Monday Postgame: Recalling the best names in MLS history
The offseason headlines keep piling up, with this week’s most notable ones including a new coach in New York, a groundbreaking agreement between the league and the third-tier USL Pro circuit, and the selection of 67 hopefuls in the 2013 Supplemental Draft.
There was also uncertainty about the status of young midfielders Brek Shea and Freddy Adu, controversy around the personnel decisions at Chivas USA, and a number of other transactions, including a Designated Player departure in Vancouver.
But we’re looking at the lighter side of the news this week, and the headline that caught our eye was the recent change in ownership at Real Salt Lake, where Dave Checketts sold the team to businessman Dell Loy Hansen, who brings perhaps the best name in the game to the ownership ranks.
MLS has never had a Dick Trickle (of NASCAR fame) or a God Shammgod (NBA) or a Fitz Hall (Premier League; nickname: “One Size”), but the league is no slouch when it comes to colorful names, and now it has a Dell Loy to add to the mix of monikers.
Let’s take a look at some of the other standouts (real names only, no nicknames):
Dilly Duka — Dilly is short for Dilaver, and they both rock. (The midfielder is currently with the Crew but could be headed out of Columbus before the season starts.)
Joe-Max Moore — If you type “Joe-Max” into Google — just Joe-Max and nothing else — your first hit is the former US and New England Revolution striker. That’s because he’s the one and only Joe-Max Moore.
Ubusuku Abukusumo — Try saying the former Columbus Crew defender’s name three times fast.
O’Neil Peart — The 2000 New York draft pick was huge among Rush fans.
George John — Like New York winger Lloyd Sam, the FC Dallas defender sports two first names.
Tally Hall — Equal parts English fox-hunting phrase and prep school dormitory.
Sinisa Ubiparipovic (right) — The Montreal midfielder’s handle is a rollercoaster of vowels and consonants.
Justin Moose — At 5-foot-8, the former D.C. midfielder is not built like his surname. (He does currently play in Finland, though, where moose are plentiful.)
Oscar Boniek García — It’s the Boniek — which he wears across the back of his Dynamo jersey — that makes the Honduran midfielder’s name unique: His parents included it in homage to former Polish international Zbigniew Boniek.
Quavas Kirk — Not "Kirk Quavas," as one soccer website currently lists him, but Quavas Kirk, which could fit a Bond villain or an R&B singer as well as it does the ex-Galaxy and D.C. United midfielder, who currently suits up for the Rochester Rhinos.
Emery Welshman — Don’t let the last name fool you, Toronto FC’s 2013 SuperDraft pick hails from Canada.
Bright Dike (right) — The Portland striker’s first name is an adjective … but it doesn’t describe a levee in the midday sun: His last name is pronounced "dee-kay.”
Hunter Jumper — The Chicago Fire defender has a very active but slightly contradictory name.
Emiliano Bonfigli — An Argentine midfielder with a melodious Italian name, he was waived by Real Salt Lake at the end of 2012.
Anthony Ampaipitakwong — He and Chris Wondolowski put fear in the heart of the equipment manager responsible for stitching names onto the backs of San Jose uniforms in 2011.
Vitalis Takawira — His first name is also the name of an American hair tonic, his last name sounds Japanese, and he’s from Zimbabwe. This could only be better if he also had a great nickname. What’s that? The former KC striker was known as “Digital?” Jackpot.
Mauricio Cienfuegos — The Salvadoran playmaker with “en fuego” in his name was frequently that in MLS, sparking the Galaxy to three trophies in eight seasons.
Luckymore Mkosana — A second-round draft pick of the Fire in 2012, he’s known as “Lucky.” But his luck ran out in Chicago, and he’s currently playing for USL Pro side Harrisburg.