Mid-Day Ticker: Former MLS player says he is gay, Sounders target GK and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com


By DAVID GUBALA

Former Columbus Crew player David Testo broke a major barrier on Thursday, becoming the first MLS player, past or present, to publicly announce that he is gay.

In an interview with CBC, Testo said that he regrets not having come out earlier and that the life of a gay professional soccer player is extremely difficult.

Testo briefly played for the Columbus Crew before spending his last four years with the Montreal Impact. He won the team’s MVP award in 2009, however is currently struggling with his career after he was dropped from the team about a month ago.

Here are a few more stories from around the soccer world:

SOUNDERS TARGET GSPURNING

It looks like the Seattle Sounders have found the player to succeed Kasey Keller in goal. 

Michael Gspurning, a 30-year-old, 6-foot-5 goalkeeper who currently plays his soccer for Skoda Xanthi FC of the Greek first division, has been identified as a prime candidate to take over for the legendary American goalkeeper, who retired at the end of the MLS season.

Gspurning is a player that Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer said he had an eye on back in October. There are also reports that the Austrian goalkeeper was in town for one of Seattle’s CONCACAF Champions League game.

Gspurning has three caps under his belt for the Austrian national team, last appearing in 2009 for two of Austria's qualifying matches for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

OSORIO CLOSING IN ON PUEBLA JOB

Former Chicago Fire and New York Red Bulls coach Juan Carlos Osorio is set to become the head coach at Mexican club Puebla.

If he is hired, Osorio will replace Sergio Bueno, who finishes his duties with Puebla on Sunday.

Osorio had been up for the Honduran, Costa Rican and Colombian national team jobs, but ultimately did not land any of them. Instead, he'll join American DaMarcus Beasley at Puebla, which missed out on qualifying for the playoffs in the Mexican Apertura.

NEWCASTLE RENAMES ST. JAMES PARK

Newcastle has been looking to linking St. James’ Park with another brand since 2009 and has decided to rename it Sports Direct Arena on a short-term basis.

Until the club finds a permanent sponsor to buy the naming rights, it will temporarily rename it after Newcastle owner Mike Ashley’s sports retail company. Ashley is still open to offers to purchase full stadium naming rights.

Newcastle’s shirt sponsorship with Northern Rock will also expire at the end of this season, making way for the opportunity of acquiring naming rights along with a shirt sponsorship deal.

VAN MARWIJK EXTENDS DUTCH DEAL

Netherlands coach Bert Van Marwijk has extended his contract until 2016. Van Marwijk took charge after the Euro 2008 finals and led the Netherlands to the World Cup Final along with stringing together 14 straight wins in competitive matches.

The contract extension would mean he will be Holland’s head man should the Dutch qualify for the 2014 World Cup, hosted by Brazil, as well as the 2016 European Championships, hosted by Italy.

The Netherlands host Switzerland Friday in Amsterdam before traveling to Hamburg on Tuesday to take on Germany in a pair of friendlies.

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What do you think about Testo revealing that he is gay? Is Gspurning a legitimate replacement for Kasey Keller? How do you see Osorio prospectively faring at Puebla? 

Share your thoughts below.

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32 Responses to Mid-Day Ticker: Former MLS player says he is gay, Sounders target GK and more

  1. Detroit! says:

    Good for Testo; that can’t have been easy. Too bad he had to put up with so much crap for so long.

  2. PD says:

    hear hear!

  3. malkin says:

    What is this, 1980?

  4. Gnarls says:

    It’s great that athletes, owners and other sports people are coming out more these days, but it reaffirms the fact that the sports world has been a tough, hostile place to be gay for a very long time. In all likelihood there have been gay athletes since the dawn of professionalism. It’s unfortunate there’s been a de facto DADT policy in place since then.

  5. jdavids says:

    good for testo. my old college lax teammate came out after we graduated and told me first. i told him he was still a midfield beast and my teammate for life.

  6. Steve C says:

    Bet you thought he was gay.

    Nope! David Testo.

    (Sorry, just sounds too much like Chuck Testa.)

  7. Alex says:

    Do you know whats great? There’s been no anti-gay bashers and that’s fantastic.

  8. abc says:

    Do you know how many athletes on professional sports teams are openly gay?

    That’s just the state of the sports world, even in 2011 unfortunately.

  9. abc says:

    I think MLS would probably have the least negative reaction to an openly gay player of any US sports league…

  10. Rory Miller says:

    I wrote a novel for the Amazon Kindle that involved two soccer players comming out as a sub-plot, and in the research I did on it I was stunned to learn just how few athletes ever do come out, and even then it is only after they retire.

    I’d bet we see an actual current player come out in one of the major sports leagues in America in the next 5 to 7 years.

  11. sholata says:

    To be sure, Testo is not the only former or current player in the league to be gay, any more than I’m the only gay fan of the league

  12. Brendan says:

    Surely, and the importance of this barrier is just it should now make it easier to discuss issues surrounding homosexuality in sport. Or rather, exactly that it shouldn’t be an issue.

  13. T says:

    No offense, but this is news?

  14. Andrew says:

    “Any professional athlete who gets on TV or radio and says he never played with a gay guy is a stone-freakin’ idiot. . . . I would even say the same thing in college. Every college player, every pro player in any sport has probably played with a gay person.”
    — Charles Barkley

  15. chris says:

    i would have thought the other guy was gay based on the picture

  16. Hopper says:

    He’s the first to come out, so I’d say it’s news.

  17. Chris says:

    So encouraged to have read all of the comments here. I just finished reading the public comments on ESPN.com – and it some of the most vile hatred I have EVER seen. Disturbing and disappointing. Glad to see that the followers here are much more educated, and just plain better human beings.

  18. Scott A says:

    Yep. Even if it only helps one young gay guy or gal feel like they don’t have to hide who they are. Hopefully by the time they’re in professions, they’ll be able to do so before retiring.

  19. TommyOC says:

    I was reading the headline of an article on my favorite gay news blog and got super excited that A) MLS got a non-Beckham shout-out; and B) A “recent” MLS player has come out. This is good stuff to hear. Kodus to Mr. Testo for having the guts to come out!

    According to Testo’s interview, the Montreal Impact’s front office and teammates have long known of his sexuality and were supportive.

    But I have a question: Did Montreal know when they signed his 2-year contract in 2009? (If so, that kinda makes me a Montreal fan – next to, of course, my beloved Galaxy.)

    And another question: Did anybody in Columbus know?

    And of all the soccer leagues and nations in the world for a gay athlete to ideally come out in, I’d think MLS and the United States sits squarely up top on both lists.

    Now… will an active MLS player please come out of the closet? I will become an undying supporter of you. Statistically speaking, there’s gotta be a few of you…

  20. chris says:

    Sad this is on the front page of espn. Not good for the stereotype of the sport

  21. Brian says:

    Good for him. I’m sure it takes a ton of courage.

    I kinda have a feeling though that not too many people who knew him didn’t know that he was gay. Have you heard the guy talk?

  22. putting this out there says:

    I do commend him on making it “official” in public. But ummm, people knew he was gay in college. He really isnt surprising anyone who knew him or his past. I don’t mean that in a negative way, but he did date the Shane guy from real world… just saying… the cat is fully out the bag after already walking around the room… All, in all, congrats to him for coming out!

  23. TommyOC says:

    It’s official: Montreal has now gained a supreme level of respect in my eyes… from espn.com’s article:

    “David Testo’s declaration is in fact very personal,” Montreal Impact president Joey Saputo said in a statement. “We knew David’s orientation prior to him joining our club from Vancouver in 2007.”

  24. Neumannator says:

    Good for him and I can’t wait for the day when this isn’t news. The young people I work with don’t understand why this kind of stuff is a big deal and that gives me hope for the future. Live and let live.

  25. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    What in the world is that supposed to mean? Are you implying that there is a homosexual connotation to soccer? I don’t see where that’s coming from. The NBA has had a retired player come out (John Amaechi)and Gareth Thomas (Welsh rugby player) came out while he was still playing. I don’t see how this can be read as a negative for soccer.

  26. Brian says:

    Oh come on. It’s sad that something like this is still a big deal in today’s sports world, but unfortunately that’s the world we live in and it will remain this way until more athletes come out. It will also continue to be a big deal until our country is more accepting of gay people.

    And anyone who thinks that soccer is some kind of sissy and weak sport because a former player publicly announced he was gay is ignorant because there are probably just as many gay people in (or who used to play in) the NFL, the NBA, MLB and the NHL, and it’s incredibly bigoted and stupid to believe that gay people are by default “weak” and “sissy”.

  27. doug says:

    Stereotype for soccer? This is not the WNBA where they actually market that stereotype for profit

  28. ANM says:

    Good for David Testo! I wanted to post a video of his 80 yard goal for the U-23s against Mexico as a tribute, but I can’t find the footage. This decent-ish goal against AC Milan in a friendly will have to do.

    link to youtube.com

  29. This Guy says:

    Oh yeah, Rory Stewart walked across Afghanistan with little security.

  30. Ido says:

    What happened to Hannehman?

  31. vinceN says:

    a bunch of women’s softball players are lesbians, but i don’t know why none of them have come out of the closet