19
Jul

Seattle Sounders made Xander Bailey’s wish come true and it’s beautiful

Xander Bailey had his Make-A-Wish dream come true in a big way on Saturday — and on his birthday, no less. The 19-year-old from West Virginia has been dealing with cystic fibrosis since he was a baby while also playing soccer for most of his life.

His dream? Meet his favorite soccer player, Seattle Sounders star Clint Dempsey.

His reality? Not only did Xander meet Dempsey, but he signed a contract with the Sounders, trained with the team and even spoke with the media. The Sounders pulled out all the stops.

But it didn’t stop there. As Seattle geared up for a pre-season friendly against Tottenham Hotspur, Xander was named to their active roster and started against the English club.

Hey, Brad Friedel, maybe give the kid a break and let that one slip through?

Even the fans got involved, creating a banner for their club’s newest signing. 

What an unbelievable few days for Xander and his family. Bravo, Seattle. Bravo.

19
Jul

Diego Valeri scores stunning goal for Portland Timbers

It’s been a tough year for the Portland Timbers. They’ve only won twice at home this season — one of which came last night. 

Portland had to come back after going down a goal early, but fought all the way back, with Diego Valeri sealing it in the 77th with this ridiculous strike.

Wait for the second angle. It gets even better than the first.

Even if the Timbers can’t manage to pull themselves into a playoff spot, this goal will live on highlight reels for quite some time.

16
Jul

Mike Magee stars in hilarious spoof of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”

In this phenomenal short courtesy of KickTV and Major League Soccer, Chicago Fire forward Mike Magee channels his inner Ferris Bueller and decides to skip school — er, practice — and play hookie for a day.

The “trailer” to Mike Magee’s Day Off parodies many scenes from the classic 1980s flick “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and features a loaded cast; LA Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez stars as Magee’s best friend; United States women’s national team star Sydney Leroux plays Magee’s girlfriend; Hope Solo is the jealous sister.

And that’s not all.

"World Champion" Judah Friedlander acts as Bueller’s uber-dull economics teacher (very convincingly, too), while Thierry Henry is a host at a French restaurant. Plus, MLS standouts Michael Bradley, Dwayne De Rosario and LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena all make cameos as well.

The clip ends on the famous last line of the movie, with a slight tweak:

"Life moves pretty fast," Magee says. "If you don’t stop and watch a game once in a while, you might miss it.”

Brilliant!

H/T FTW

7
Jun

Julio Cesar gets emotional again, and it’s incredibly touching

image

You’ll always know if Cesar happy, sad or mad (Image: USA Today).

It’s no secret that Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar is an emotional guy. He’s never hidden how he feels, whether it’s a happy moment — like joining QPR — or a sad one, like losing in the World Cup.

So it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that the accomplished keeper let the tears flow again, this time as he bid farewell to his Toronto FC teammates.

Sure, he’d only spent a few months with the club and played in just seven matches, but it’s clear the Canadian club made a huge impact on him. Before Cesar shipped off to Brazil for this summer’s World Cup, the team presented him with a touching gift, and the waterworks couldn’t be stopped:

You can see just how much his time at TFC meant to him. For a guy who’s won just about everything a player could dream of in his lengthy career, it’s sweet that even something as seemingly small as a framed photograph can make him break down.

But even with all of his accomplishments, Cesar still doesn’t have the elusive World Cup. If Brazil go all the way this summer, let’s hope someone’s got a box of extra-strength tissues close by.

(H/T 101GG)

1
Jun

Jermaine Defoe is still killing it for Toronto FC

Even if you’ve only paid marginal attention to Major League Soccer this season, you’ve probably heard of Jermaine Defoe’s stellar first campaign in Toronto.

Since his high-profile switch from Tottenham Hotspur, Defoe has lit up the league with six goals in seven starts, his last two coming in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Columbus. To bag his brace, Defoe provisionally tied the score at 2-2 with this magnificent left-footed screamer:

Who needs a first touch when you can just volley it?

31
May

Marco Pappa scores free kick golazo in Sounders win

imageHe loves it when you call him Big Pappa. (Image: USA Today)

Looks like we’ve found our goal of the weekend, folks.

It comes courtesy of Seattle Sounders midfielder Marco Pappa and in the form of a delicious free kick special. Watch how Pappa’s left-footed curler dips over the wall and leaves Real Salt Lake keeper Jeff Attinella with no chance:

Mmmmm, mmmm good!

Pappa’s goal briefly made it 2-0 for the Sounders, who went on to win 4-0 and bumped their lead atop the Western Conference to five points over second-placed RSL.

25
May

Erik Hurtado makes defenders look silly

imageBreaking ankles is a move generally reserved for the basketball court, but Vancouver Whitecaps forward Erik Hurtado did so on the soccer pitch Saturday night.

In a 2-2 draw with the Seattle Sounders, Hurtado briefly made it 1-1 on a superf finish from a tight angle, but not before twisting both Osvaldo Alonso and Djimi Traore into pretzels. Watch the goal below:

Ouch.

27
Apr

Columbus Crew’s Dominic Oduro really loves pizza

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Nobody loves pizza more than Dominic Oduro loves pizza.

And to prove it, the Columbus Crew forward shaved the design of actual slices of pizza in his hair. Pepperonis and all. Check it out:

Who else is getting hungry?

Sadly, Oduro’s delicious ‘do couldn’t inspire Columbus to a win on Saturday, as the Crew tied NY Red Bulls, 1-1. Oduro came on as a second-half substitute but failed to score, which may have robbed us of a chance to see his favorite goal celebration:

Told ya. That man really enjoys his pizza.

Image: MLS

1
Apr

MLS teams take full advantage of April Fools’ Day

imageThe Rapids announced a spectacular return to their roots Tuesday (Image: Colorado Rapids)

It’s April 1st, so we all know to take every breaking news item with a huge grain of salt, right?

We certainly hope so, or there’s a good chance you were that person that frantically forwarded the following MLS stories along to friends and colleagues, along with an oblivious, “OMG! Have you seen THIS?”

Up first: Orlando City SC, who re-branded themselves the “Manatees” today:

#GoSeaCows, indeed. Who needs another sports team nicknamed “The Lions” anyways? Booooring.

Read More

26
Mar

Vancouver Whitecaps lose player to ‘off-field walking accident’

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We’ve all been there.

You’re walking around downtown, without a care in the world, when something across the street grabs your attention.

Maybe it’s a cute girl, or boy. Maybe it’s a shiny new Ferrari (humans love shiny things), or a new frozen yogurt shoppe that just looks so appealing! Whatever it may be, you stare a little bit longer, when suddenly — BANG! — down you go. 

What the heck?! That bike rack came out nowhere!

It’s okay, we all eventually fall victim to the occasional walking hazard. Unfortunately, when you’re a professional athlete, the embarrassing mishap quickly goes viral. Sorry, Nigel Reo-Coker.

According to Major League Soccer’s official website, the Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder faces a short spell on the sidelines after what the league termed an “off-field walking accident.” The club confirmed that Reo-Coker was “looking elsewhere while walking when he tripped over a bike rack, cutting his face and hitting his head in the process.” According to the CBC, he also suffered a slight concussion.

Ouch. That sounds pretty rough, though not nearly as brutal as the roasting he’s sure to receive from his teammates. And from his coach, Carl Robinson, for that matter. “I don’t think he was looking where he was going, which is never a good sign for a midfield player,” Robinson deadpanned to reporters.

At least the former West Ham and Aston Villa player can take solace in this: as far as oddball injuries are concerned, it could have been a lot worse.

(H/T MLS)

Composite: USA Today/FOX Sports - Eddie Hon