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‘MLS’ Articles

Pro Soccer

MLS WORKS, ESPN to present a Special Olympics All-Star Soccer match between North America and Germany on Tuesday August 5


NEW YORK – On behalf of the 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star Game, MLS WORKS, ESPN and Special Olympics are collaborating to leverage the power of sports to promote an environment of social inclusion and acceptance, by uniting people with and without intellectual disabilities through Special Olympics Unified Sports.


On Tuesday, August 5th, MLS WORKS and ESPN will host a Special Olympics Unified Sports All-Star soccer match between Special Olympics North America and Special Olympics Germany, to coincide with the 2014 AT&T MLS All-Stars taking on German Bundesliga club, FC Bayern Munich.


The two Unified Sports soccer teams (comprised of players both with and without intellectual disabilities, wearing uniforms provided by adidas) will play a 7v7 small-sided match, consisting of two 20-minute halves, at 2 p.m. PT on the Providence Park game field.  The game will start immediately following the AT&T MLS All-Star open training session with free admission to the public. Special Olympics athletes and unified partners will be available for interviews following the game.


The game will showcase the Unified Sports exchange program that is the cornerstone of the ongoing partnership between MLS and Special Olympics North America.  Through the Unified Sports soccer exchange program, Unified soccer teams from MLS cities travel to other MLS markets to receive training from MLS players and coaches, as well as compete in exhibition matches with their Special Olympics counterparts in that MLS market.  Unified matches are scheduled in conjunction with MLS club matches, providing MLS fans with an opportunity to witness first-hand, the talents and abilities of Special Olympics soccer players.


Toronto FC All-Star and World Cup star Michael Bradley will be joined by Bayern Munich legend and club ambassador Paul Breitner to present the Special Olympic athletes and the Unified Partners with medals following the match.

The participants and coaches will also participate in a halftime recognition during the 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star Game at Providence Park (9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2, Univision, RDS, TSN).  ESPN is the Global Presenting Sponsor and Official Media Sponsor of Special Olympics Unified Sports.



MLS WORKS Community MVP Contest won by Bill Yoachim of Vancouver


MLS WORKS on Friday announced Vancouver Whitecaps FC nominee William “Bill” Yoachim as the $10,000 Grand Prize winner of the 2014 MLS WORKS Community MVP Contest presented by Wells Fargo.

Yoachim has dedicated his life to advocating on behalf of Aboriginal youth and working to improve life conditions for future generations.  As Executive Director of Kw’umut Lelum Child and Family Services and an elected member of Chief and Council for Snuneymuxw First Nation, he is also the co-founder and a key organizer of the annual Hope and Health movement, an event put on in partnership with Whitecaps FC that utilizes soccer to inspire hope and health across VI Coast Salish communities and the community at large.

The Hope and Health initiative was a natural extension of Yoachim’s passion for soccer and desire to bring the community together in an event that fosters hope and health, over tragedy and despair, despite many challenges faced by Indigenous people.

To read more about Bill Yoachim and the Hope and Health movement, CLICK HERE.



MLS adds Edu, Boswell, Franklin to upcoming AT&T All-Star Game



Seattle’s Chad Marshall and LA Galaxy’s Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez replaced

NEW YORK (Saturday, August 2, 2014) – MLS All-Star Head Coach Caleb Porter has selected Philadelphia Union midfielder Maurice Edu and D.C. United defenders Bobby Boswell and Sean Franklin as replacements for Seattle Sounders FC defender Chad Marshall, LA Galaxy forward Robbie Keane and LA Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez for Wednesday’s 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star Game against Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich (9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2, UniMas, TSN, RDS).


Edu made his return to MLS this year from Premier League side Stoke City, signing with the Union on January 27th. He has started in each of the 18 matches he’s played in at midfield and defense, contributing three goals and two assists while helping Philadelphia stay in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt.


Boswell, a seasoned MLS defender, returned to D.C. United this year after spending six seasons with the Houston Dynamo; Franklin, a seven-year MLS veteran, spent his past six seasons with the LA Galaxy earning the MLS Rookie of the year in 2008. Both Boswell and Franklin have helped D.C. turn around its season – going from last place in MLS last year to one of the top three teams in the league this year.


“Given the limited minutes that Omar and Robbie would need to play due to having a game on Friday and the injury to Chad, I felt we needed to bring in Sean, Bobby and Maurice to provide us with more cover in the back,” Porter said. “This will also allow us to manage the other players’ time so everyone is ready for their matches on the weekend.”



MLS hands down Week 18 disciplinary action on Shane O’Neill

Shane O'Neill (courtesy MLS & Colorado Rapids)

NEW YORK – Colorado Rapids defender Shane O’Neill has been suspended one game and fined an undisclosed amount for serious foul play which endangered the safety of an opponent in the 11th minute of the match on July 12 against the Philadelphia Union (VIDEO).


Columbus Crew midfielder Bernardo Anor was issued a red card in the 84th minute of the match on July 12 against the New York Red Bulls (VIDEO). Through the MLS Players Union, Anor submitted an appeal, which was upheld. Anor will be available for the game against Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday, July 16.



MLS All-Star roster set with World Cup stars

MLS All-Stars to take on German Bundesliga champions F.C. Bayern Munich

NEW YORK (July 16, 2014) – Eight players who took part in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil highlight the list of athletes named to Major League Soccer’s 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star Fan XI that will compete against German giants Bayern Munich in the 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star Game on Wednesday, August 6 at Providence Park in Portland, Oregon.  The match will be televised live on ESPN2, UniMas, and in Canada on TSN and RDS starting at 9:30 p.m. ET.


U.S. men’s national team captain Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC) features alongside World Cup teammates Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy) and Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake). The Fan XI is rounded out by 2010 World Cup hero Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), former French World Champion Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), and AT&T/EA SPORTS “More Than a Vote” Challenge winner Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders FC).


In what could shape up to be a stateside World Cup showcase, MLS All-Star opponents Bayern Munich currently field seven players that took part in Germany’s World Cup winning team. In total, 14 Bayern players represented their countries in Brazil, more than any club in the world.


The Fan XI received the most votes at their respective positions from combined fan voting on two platforms – online at and via Twitter. The ballot consisted of eight players from each club, as chosen by the media.


Martins earned his place on the Fan XI through the innovative AT&T/EA SPORTS MLS All-Star ‘More Than a Vote’ Challenge. Fans scored more than one million goals with Martins in FIFA 14, with one goal equaling one vote. Other players who finished in the top five of ‘More Than a Vote’ Challenge were Eddie Johnson (D.C. United), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls) and Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy).


A 3-4-3 formation was selected for this year’s Fan XI. Bios for the 11 All-Stars named today are at the bottom of this release.


2014 MLS All-Star Fan XI

Goalkeeper: Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)


Defenders: Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)


Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)


Forwards: Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders FC – AT&T/EA SPORTS “More than a Vote” Challenge winner)


Players who were close to the leading vote-getters at their positions, but finished outside the Fan XI include, in alphabetical order by last name: Steven Beitashour (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Júlio César (Toronto FC), Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls), Aurelien Collin (Sporting Kansas City), Jermain Defoe (Toronto FC) and Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City).


The Fan XI are not necessarily included on the game day roster. MLS All-Star coach Caleb Porter will select the roster based on player availability and tactical considerations, but all Fan XI players are All-Stars.


Two selections by MLS Commissioner Don Garber, and Porter’s complete 20-man game day roster, will be announced on Saturday, July 19 during ESPN2’s broadcast of Sporting Kansas City vs. LA Galaxy.


Under the CBA, a total of 32 players will be named All-Stars. After the game day roster, the remaining players receiving the All-Star honor will come from voting among MLS players.

Bios for 2014 MLS All-Star Fan XI:

(Listed by position in a 3-4-3 formation)

Nick Rimando                     Goalkeeper          Real Salt Lake                     Nationality: USA                 Born: June 17, 1979

In his 15th MLS season, Rimando earns his fourth All-Star selection (2010, 2011, 2013, 2014). He has 111 career shutouts, which is one shy of the MLS record of 112. A two-time MLS Cup Champion (2004, 2009), he was named MLS Cup MVP in 2009 with Real Salt Lake. Following his standout 2013 season, Rimando was selected as a member of the U.S. men’s national team World Cup squad.

Matt Besler                          Defender              Sporting Kansas City        Nationality: USA                 Born: February 11, 1987

The 2012 MLS Defender of the Year and two-time Best XI selection earns his third MLS All-Star selection (2011, 2013, 2014). Besler was at the heart of the Sporting Kansas City defense that helped the team win MLS Cup 2013. The Overland Park, Kan. native was an integral part of the U.S. men’s national team’s defense at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, starting all four matches as the team advanced to the Round of 16.

Omar Gonzalez                   Defender              LA Galaxy                             Nationality: USA                Born: October 11, 1988

A fixture for the U.S. men’s national team in World Cup Qualifying, Gonzalez made 14 appearances in 2013 and was second on the team in minutes played with 1,172. Since the Galaxy selected Gonzalez third overall in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, he has been named MLS Rookie of the Year, Defender of the Year and to three MLS Best XI’s, while helping the Galaxy win two MLS Cups (2011, 2012) and two Supporters’ Shields (2010, 2011).

DeAndre Yedlin                   Defender              Seattle Sounders FC         Nationality: USA                 Born: July 9, 1993

In 2013, Yedlin became the first Homegrown Player signing in the history of the Seattle Sounders FC. This is his second All-Star selection (2013, 2014) after being named an All-Star by Commissioner Don Garber in 2013. After a standout rookie season, Yedlin became the first Homegrown Players to make the U.S. national team’s World Cup roster, appearing in three of the team’s four games in Brazil.

Clint Dempsey                    Midfielder             Seattle Sounders FC         Nationality: USA                 Born: March 9, 1983

After returning to MLS last August, Dempsey has led Sounders FC to the best record in the League so far in 2014, contributing nine goals and three assists. The captain of the U.S. men’s national team, Dempsey scored the team’s fastest goal in World Cup history at 29 seconds in the 2-1 win over Ghana, making him the first American player to score in three consecutive World Cups (2006, 2010, 2014).


Michael Bradley                  Midfielder             Toronto FC                           Nationality: USA                 Born: July 31, 1987

Returning to MLS after playing nine seasons abroad. Bradley is the engine of Toronto FC’s midfield. He started and played every minute of the U.S. men’s national team’s four games during the World Cup. This is Bradley’s first MLS All-Star selection, but second appearance after playing for AS Roma in the 2013 All-Star game.

Graham Zusi                        Midfielder             Sporting Kansas City        Nationality: USA                 Born: August 18, 1986

A six-year MLS veteran, Zusi was named to the U.S. men’s national team for the 2014 FIFA World Cup; played in all four games in Brazil and assisted on goals in the 2-1 win against Ghana, and the 2-2 draw against Portugal. Named to the Fan XI in 2013, and recorded six goals and eight assists while helping Sporting KC win MLS Cup 2013. Has scored one goal and added four assists so far in 2014.

Kyle Beckerman                Midfielder             Real Salt Lake                     Nationality: USA                 Born: April 23, 1982

Playing in his 15th MLS season, Beckerman is among MLS all-time leaders in games and minutes played. He made his FIFA World Cup debut in Brazil, starting all three group stage games for the U.S. and helping the team advance to the Round of 16. He captained RSL to its first ever MLS Cup title in 2009 and this is his eighth straight All-Star nomination.

Landon Donovan                Forward                LA Galaxy                             Nationality: USA                 Born: March 4, 1982

The all-time leading goal scorer in MLS history with 137 goals and second in assists with121 assists, Donovan has been named an MLS All-Star for his 14th consecutive season. The all-time leader in goals (57) and assists (56) for the U.S. men’s national team has won five MLS Cup titles, three with the LA Galaxy.

Thierry Henry                      Forward                New York Red Bulls          Nationality: France            Born: August 17, 1977

In his fourth full season with the New York Red Bulls, Henry has four goals to go along with a MLS-best nine assists in 15 games played. He has been named to the MLS Best XI twice (2011, 2012). Henry helped France win the 1998 FIFA World Cup, and reach the tournament final at the 2006 FIFA World Cup. This is his fourth MLS All-Star Team selection.

Obafemi Martins                 Forward                Seattle Sounders FC         Nationality: Nigeria            Born: October28, 1984

After signing with Seattle as a Designated Player in 2013, Martins has tallied eight goals and six assists in 16 appearances this season.  Prior to joining Seattle, Martins spent six seasons with Italian giants Inter Milan and four seasons in the Barclay’s Premier League with Newcastle United. He has scored 18 goals for the Nigerian national team and made two appearances at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.



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