As MLSsoccer.com's Best of 2011 comes to a close on Jan. 2, we continute to look back at some of the best, worst and most controversial moments of the year.
Here we recall some of the silliest and most scintilating comments from personalities around the league in 2011 in our Quotes of the Year.
Actions might speak louder than words, but it's been another fun year at the mic in MLS. From players' cross-country barbs to coaches dumbfounded to a Columbus Crew intellectual, we gathered the best from this year for our Quotes of the Year. Listen up.
“Who cares what they think? It’s all about what we believe in the locker room, and we believe in each other. Everyone keeps saying we’re a fluke. My mom thinks we’re the best thing in the league. That’s all that matters to me.”
— Columbus Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum
"Welcome to Major League Soccer. We're messing with the big boys now."
— Portland Timbers head coach John Spencer, after the team's season-opening loss to Colorado
“If you were moving, he’d be the first guy at your house if you needed some help moving your furniture or loading the truck. Off the field, he’s tremendous. On the field, if somebody hits him, he’s going to hit back.”
— Seattle Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid, on Colorado Rapids midfielder Brian Mullan
“For the referee to miss the moment in an environment like this tonight, there is not a place in the world where it would have been missed like it was tonight. I’m extremely upset for the organization, for the fans and our team, because they did enough to win the game tonight.”
— Sporting Kansas City head coach Peter Vermes (right) on a missed call late in a scoreless draw against Chicago in the Livestrong Sporting Park opener
"It's like switching from tight briefs to boxers."
— Former MLS defender Jimmy Conrad, on the difference between CommunityAmerica Ballpark to Livestrong Sporting Park (via Twitter)
“For 20 months, we’ve been standing in front of the store, looking through the window at the candies inside. After all of our hard work, we’re in the store. But it’s up to us how many candies we will take. Will it be one or three or five? Or are we going to take the whole store?”
— Philadelphia Union head coach Peter Nowak, on his team's playoff ambitions
"You can ask my friends who were able to fly out, guys who’ve played around the world, and they just can’t believe it. They just are so proud of what’s going on here in Seattle and I’m just proud to be a small piece of it.”
— Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller, on his tribute game in Seattle
“In this league, he’s a respected person, but ... the kid’s a [expletive]head. He is telling linemen off, shouting at referees. Is it one rule for him and one rule for the rest of us? He needs to be a bit more humble. He just talks too much.”
— New York Red Bulls striker Luke Rodgers, on Landon Donovan
"I'm confused, who is Luke Rogers?"
— Donovan, via Twitter
“In all my years in this league, I’ve not played against a cheaper team, and they’ve been doing it all year. We saw it a few weeks ago with [Thierry] Henry kneeing someone in the back. We’ve seen that stuff all year. You just deal with it, and at the end of it, the cream rose to the top, and the better team won.”
— Donovan (right), after a melee marred the Galaxy's 1-0 win over New York in the Western Conference Semifinals
“I have nothing to say. [His comments] don’t touch me in the slightest.”
— New York's Thierry Henry, on Donovan
“I watch PBS documentaries. There’s so much garbage on TV these days. I’d rather read a book. Right now I’m reading a book on the history of Christian development through the Middle Ages. It’s pretty good so far.”
— Columbus Crew midfielder Eddie Gaven
“If it’s too wet up there for them to play soccer, they might want to move that franchise, because it pisses down rain nearly every time I’ve been in Seattle. Next time we go up there, we’re going to take plenty of towels for them so we can dry the field off before the game. And maybe we’ll take plenty of tissue paper so they can dry their eyes after the game.”
— Spencer after the Timbers' draw against the Sounders in Seattle in May
“Best night of my career? No. Best night of my life.”
— Former D.C. United striker Charlie Davies, after scoring two goals in his MLS debut
“They had no intention of winning the game. That’s how we knew they were going to play, that’s how Steve Nicol-coached teams play, and give them credit: They did what they set out to do.”
— Donovan, after the Galaxy’s 1-1 draw against the Revolution on March 20
"It was like dancing with fairies.”
— Sporting Kansas City's C.J. Sapong after scoring his first MSL goal
"Can he be temperamental? Yes. But what top scorer around the world hasn't been that way at times in their career? If we asked him to be a model citizen, well, then he wouldn't be Jeff. We're OK with the way he is."
— Columbus Crew technical director Brian Bliss on Jeff Cunningham
"The Brazilians have to have their visas done every three months, so it's difficult, for whatever reason. I don't know if we're at war with Brazil or whatever, but it's real hard getting visas, and it's going to take a while there.”
— LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena
“He’s always been a father figure. He was always trying to steer me in the right direction. Sometimes you get into arguments with your dad, too, right? … Peter will never let you slack. I love that."
— Philadelphia Union midfielder Freddy Adu on Nowak
“I am not sure that looking back on the whole Freddy Adu experience that we managed it as well as we could have. But hindsight is 20-20. The league was very different then, Freddy was very different then. He was a very young guy, there was a lot of attention on him. The league needed it, the sport needed it and Freddy needed it, and I’m not sure that he was able to handle it.”
— MLS Commissioner Don Garber on Freddy Adu (right)
“If The New York Times asks you to write for them, would you go?”
— Former Toronto FC midfielder Dwayne De Rosario, when asked by journalists about his desire to play for Celtic
“Everybody was the wrong choice. With the exception of Keller, nobody played real well.”
— Schmid, after the Sounders’ 3-0 loss to RSL in the Western Conference Semifinals
"There was never a day I entered the locker room and didn’t see a smile on his face.”
— New York Red Bulls midfielder Dax McCarty on Bobby Rhine, who passed away in September
"Long time, no start."
— Vancouver Whitecaps forward Long Tan, after receiving his first start in nearly five months on Oct. 6
"It doesn’t help when you have a ref that listens to [David] Beckham and Donovan at the beginning and does what they want. That plays a big part of the game.”
— FC Dallas midifleder Daniel Hernandez, after FCD's 3-1 loss to the LA Galaxy on Aug. 6
"He joined the Twitter."
— Nowak explaining the reason Union forward Sébastien Le Toux scored nine goals in the eight games, on Sept. 29
"I've worked tirelessly under extreme duress at the club, I've gotten little to no help from Paul [Bravo] or from Jeff [Plush], and still managed to put a team together that won a championship and got in the playoffs this year. I feel as though I've been very disrespected in all of this."
— Former Colorado Rapids head coach Gary Smith
“If you watched the game, there were individual errors that you can’t do anything about. I almost didn’t commit any errors, so I am not worried. I think I am playing at my maximum level and doing everything I can. I don’t have, unfortunately, four defenders on my level that can help me out.”
— New York Red Bulls defender Rafa Márquez, after the Red Bulls' 3-1 loss to Real Salt Lake on Sept. 21
“A really difficult moment. We haven’t lost a match in this place in a long time. I’m confused at the moment.”
— Real Salt Lake head coach Jason Kreis (right), after RSL’s loss to Monterrey in the CONCACAF Champions League finals
"I just know [Marsch] as a competitor on the field. He's a competitive guy. He's a guy that's been successful in the league. I have nothing against him, but I wouldn't play for him."
— Former Houston Dynamo forward Brian Ching, on Montreal Impact head coach Jesse Marsch
“Charlie’s a friend of mine. We even roomed together at national team camp. He even looked at me and was kind of smiling. He knew. He said, ‘That’s football.’ That’s what he told me.”
— Real Salt Lake defender Chris Wingert on Charlie Davies after Davies drew a decisive penalty in a 1-1 draw between RSL and D.C. United
“I’ll tell you that the first man who broke the four-minute mile was a man named Roger Bannister. The next week, another six people broke the four-minute mile because they believed in it.”
— FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman after FCD beat Pumas UNAM in the CCL, giving MLS its first-ever win in Mexico