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Sam Hiatt’s story is your story

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Is age impacting success? MLS’s oldest and youngest squads in 2022 | MLSSoccer.com
“Age is no guarantee of efficiency. And youth is no guarantee of innovation.”

Recap: Loons defeat Colorado in odd USOC clash – 2022 US Open Cup, Round of 32 – E Pluribus Loonum
It took 18 hours and two separate days but the match was played to completion

Major League Soccer celebrates Soccer For All Week | MLSSoccer.com
Major League Soccer announced today the launch of Soccer For All Week (May 12-23). The League-wide initiative reinforces the collective commitment to drive positive social change, foster more inclusive and equitable communities, and support an end to discrimination.

Chris Seitz advocates for mental health awareness in sports: “This is who I am” | MLSSoccer.com
Last season wasn’t the first time Chris Seitz had a coaching staff challenge him to meet aggressive fitness goals. Far from it.

Philadelphia Union, New York Red Bulls enter “big test” between rivals | MLSSoccer.com
One week after drawing Supporters’ Shield leaders LAFC on the road, the Philadelphia Union return home Saturday night with hopes of denying the New York Red Bulls’ pursuit of history (7:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+).

ESPN finally did a U.S. Open Cup whip-around show and it was a hit | Pro Soccer Wire
The Futbol Americas U.S. Open Cup Goalcast on ESPN Plus achieved universal acclaim during its broadcast on Wednesday.

Men’s club soccer

After Haaland signed for Man City, who are the best young No. 9 strikers the big clubs should sign?
There are not a lot of quality No. 9 strikers around these days, so we look at the best now that Erling Haaland has been snapped up by Man City.

Liverpool’s Fabinho to miss FA Cup final, could return for Champions League final – Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool midfielder Fabinho will miss the FA Cup final on Saturday but has a chance of playing in the Champions League final, Jurgen Klopp said.

Real Madrid cruise with Vinicius hat trick as Levante relegated
The result means Levante, who have 29 points from 36 matches, are relegated to Spain’s second division as they cannot mathematically get out of the bottom three.

Marcelo: Ex-Lyon defender denies being dropped for breaking wind – BBC Sport
Former Lyon defender Marcelo denies French press claims that he was dropped for laughing and breaking wind.

Tottenham 3-0 Arsenal: Spurs increase top-four pressure on Gunners with victory – BBC Sport
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says “a beautiful game was destroyed” as his side suffers a damaging blow in their top-four hopes with a north London derby defeat at Tottenham.

Philippe Coutinho: Barcelona player joins Aston Villa permanently – BBC Sport
Aston Villa sign former Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho on a permanent deal from Barcelona.

Fabinho: Liverpool midfielder ruled out of FA Cup final with hamstring injury – BBC Sport
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp confirms his side will be without midfielder Fabinho for Saturday’s FA Cup final against Chelsea.

Lionel Messi earned $122m last year. He still felt the need to take Saudi money | Lionel Messi | The Guardian
The Argentinian has a strong record of linking up with oppressive monarchies. He is fast becoming the posterboy for sportswashing

A-League Men finals: how the contenders for the championship shape up | A-League Men | The Guardian
On paper, Melbourne City have the best team but their cross-town rivals Victory are in red-hot form and don’t rule out the Mariners.

OSAYS: OL Reign’s Sam Hiatt — Our Stories are Your Stories
The increase in anti-Asian racism and xenophobia this past year has opened deep wounds in the AANHPI community and served as a painful reminder of the persistence of discrimination. In honor of AANHPI Heritage Month, we launched this campaign to support the AANHPI community to remind them they are not alone and that they are seen; and illuminate the AANHPI experience to dispel misconceptions and celebrate the representation from such a wide range of cultures.

Vytas Andriuskevicius added to Thorns coaching staff – Stumptown Footy
The former Timbers fullback comes to the club after a stint with the Oregon Premier Soccer Academy.

Culture

2022 Locus Awards Top Ten Finalists – Locus Online
The magazine of the science fiction, fantasy, and horror field with news, reviews, and author interviews

Myles Garrett, Wyatt Teller, Johnny Stanton to play local Dungeons & Dragons game for charity – cleveland.com
The event will benefit Red Nose Day, a fundraising campaign to end child poverty.

‘We’re bringing people together’: when football meets therapy | Soccer | The Guardian
After trying to take his own life in 2019, Aaron Connolly realised he could use football to bring people together to talk

Friday

11:45 AM PT — Luton Town vs Huddersfield Town on ESPN+. I’m suggesting this because Luton are the Hatters, which always makes me laugh.

7:30 PM PT — Portland Thorns vs US on CBS Sports Net. Go us.

Saturday

8:45 AM PT — Chelsea vs Liverpool on ESPN+ in the FA Cup Final. Someone is going to win a trophy less important that Sounders last trophy.

12:30 PM PT — Colorado Rapids vs LAFC on Univision/TUDN/Twitter. It’s the only broadcast MLS match of the week. Hopefully it’s a draw.

Sunday

10:30 AM PT — Atlanta United vs New England Revolution on ESPN/ESPN Deportes. That’s a decent appetizer.

1:00 PM PT — US vs Minnesota United on ESPN/ESPN Deportes. Go us.

7:00 PM PT — US vs Real Monarchs on MLSNextPro.com Go us.



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Alex Roldán turned down call-up to El Salvador

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Alex Roldán was conspicuously left off El Salvador’s roster for some upcoming Concacaf Nations League matches. On Friday, El Salvador coach Hugo Perez explained why.

“To close this chapter I want to say that Roldán is not coming because he is not happy with what happened before the game against Canada,” he said in Spanish. “He prefers to take some more time to digest that. But that is the reason, there is no other. Those are things that don’t have to happen, but they did. But we can’t do anything anymore, we have to turn the page and move on.”

The incident in question happened in February, when the El Salvador players released a statement saying that they intended not to play a World Cup qualifier due to a dispute over bonuses. Although they eventually relented, some hard feelings apparently persisted.

The 2-0 loss to Canada effectively eliminated El Salvador from World Cup contention and Roldán was not part of the team during the final qualifying window, nor a friendly in April.

Although Roldán only made his El Salvador debut during last summer’s Gold Cup, he’s already made 15 appearances and established himself as a team captain.

In a Twitter post, Roldán didn’t offer a ton of elaboration but did say that he “didn’t want to come back with bad thoughts and ruin relationships” and left the door open for a return in the future.

El Salvador’s loss is the Sounders’ gain, however, as Roldán will now be available for the team’s June 14 match against the Vancouver Whitecaps.





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João Paulo undergoes ‘successful’ ACL surgery

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João Paulo underwent “successful” ACL surgery on Wednesday, the Seattle Sounders announced. The surgery was performed by Dr. Bert Mandelbaum in Santa Monica, Calif., the same doctor who did both of Jordan Morris’ ACL procedures. The injury occurred during the second leg of the Concacaf Champions League final on May 4.

Generally speaking, the recovery timeline for ACL surgeries is 6-9 months, which means the earliest João Paulo could return is sometime early next year, most likely in February or March. If the Club World Cup takes place in 2023, the thinking seems to be that it would likely happen in mid-February. The MLS regular season usually starts in late February or early March.

It took Morris about eight months to return from his most recent ACL surgery, but he was about five years younger than João Paulo is now. Jordy Delem needed almost a full year to recover from his ACL injury.



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Drew Moor, Colorado Rapids look to extend record unbeaten home stretch

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It is a bit of a family reunion in Colorado this Holiday weekend as the Rapids finally welcome Nashville SC into DSGP for the first time. Old-timers (like myself) will see a few familiar names on the staff as the visitors are led by Head Coach Gary Smith, and assistant Steve Guppy, Matt Pickens, and Kosuke Kimura, all of whom were part of the 2010 MLS Cup winning side in Colorado.

Another member of that historic squad is Colorado’s own Drew Moor, who has fond memories of that group and is looking forward to welcoming his old mates back to the stadium where they won it all—at least after the final whistle on Saturday. “Just great memories,” Drew tells Burgundy Wave thinking back on that team. “I’m happy to call them my friends. I haven’t seen those guys in a long time, so it’ll be good to see them and reconnect a little bit. You always want to beat your buddies when you’re playing against them, but they’ve done extremely well. From a personal standpoint, I can’t wait to hug them and see how they’re all doing.”

“That was certainly a prime in my career, I would say where I was playing well, I was growing a lot. Gary was a huge part of my career; winning a Championship is always special, but even more than that is the relationships I developed with him and Steve, obviously Matt and Kosuke.”

The veteran Colorado Rapids defender, now in his 10th season in Colorado and 18th in MLS, is a prime example of what a veteran leader can be regardless of how many minutes he sees or doesn’t see in matches. For his part, Drew has seen a lot of both, featuring in over 430 total matches including playoffs and over 17,000 minutes in MLS.

They seem like just numbers in print, but to think of them over a career and the fact that only a handful of players can touch those numbers it’s an even more impressive feat. Although, to Drew, it means something a little different. “I look at those numbers and think I feel very blessed and fortunate and lucky that I’ve played for some good organizations, for some amazing coaches, with some great teammates, great fan bases, and people that have believed in me.”

In exactly the humble, gracious way you’d expect from Moor, he continues, “I’ve dedicated everything I have to being a good professional and playing in so many games. Hopefully, some other players look at that and feel like they’ll want to do the same things.”

That responsibility is never really required, or even asked of Drew; however, it’s one he feels willing and able to take on by something as simple as the way he goes about his own business. “I have a lot of jobs here, but my number one job is to be the best center back I can be….try to win a starting spot, try to perform at a high level, and help the team in that way.”

“If you’re not a good example on the field playing – with the work you put in, the concentration you put it, trying to compete and win starting spots regardless of what the starting team is – you’ve already not been a great example for the young guys. From there, be a good teammate, be a voice, be somebody who can help not just the young guys, but the older guys as well, but absolutely be the best center back I can possibly be.”

Drew has said it before and he’ll say it again—MLS is a grind. However, he loves his job, he loves putting in the work, and he loves the satisfaction he gets from that. “I have a long list of people to thank, but I continue to be motivated every day to do my best and improve. Not a day goes by that I don’t learn something or try to improve on my own. It’s a game that changes, a group that changes, and it will keep you on your toes.”

“I do come in here every day with a smile, but it doesn’t mean I’m feeling great every day; sometimes you have to fake it,” he says with a self-deprecating laugh. “That positive energy can be contagious, and it can spread throughout the group at all times of the season.“

You have to think that will, in some large part, be missed when Moor decides to call an end to the grind of MLS and his playing career. Don’t expect any retirement tour just yet, though, as even he doesn’t really know what lies ahead of the next match.

“If I think about what’s next after my playing career, I immediately start to miss being a player. That doesn’t mean I won’t look forward to moving into what’s next when the time comes, but while I’m doing this, I want to give it everything I’ve got. You only have one career really. While I’m playing I have to be sure that when I do finish, I have to be proud of everything I put into it.”

“I’ve made no decision on my career,” Moor admits. “I’m just taking it one day at a time, I have been for a couple of years now. I think there are more days behind me than in front of me in my career so you have to enjoy it.”

“I still put pressure on myself for sure, but I’ve let some of the little things go that I know I can’t control and that’s just something you learn over a career. It’s a microcosm for everybody’s life – you can’t control everything – so you’ve got to enjoy the things you can. I try to pick and choose the right times to let some things go that maybe my younger self wouldn’t have, whether that’s blasting a referee, blasting a teammate on the field, whatever it is,” Moor tells fans, sounding like the Dad he proudly is.

As far as the current Rapids and their fight in 2022, Drew is not surprised at the way the team has come through a very difficult period in the last two weeks, with a congested schedule, weird travel adjustments, and very difficult opponents.

“This team always handles everything well, including a bit of adversity with a busy schedule. This team has incredible character from the individuals to the group. I feel like Robin and the staff, all the way up to Padraig, have done such a good job of bringing in people that can battle adversity.”

“The concentration hasn’t dropped,” Drew reassures fans. “We’re coming into a little bit of a break, which I think will be good for us both physically and mentally. I don’t always like breaks, but you’ve got to take advantage of it, get away from it for a couple of days if you can because it’s a long season.”

Before that break, however, there’s some business to attend to in welcoming back old friends while trying to extend Colorado’s home unbeaten streak to 24 matches on Saturday.



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