King Conrad, and other funny or meaningful moments from MLS All-Star’s morning practice
KANSAS CITY – Happily, Major League Soccer’s top performers don’t take themselves too seriously when it comes to the All-Star happenings. MLS manager Peter Vermes put his team through a short workout at Sporting Park. Here were some of the light-moment highlights:
- MLS men were taking the field as Roma was finishing its workout. When it comes to the U.S. press and Roma, it’s all about Michael Bradley, naturally. Only about three or four other Roma men are comfortable with interviews in English, so the U.S. midfielder has been extra accommodating. Even Landon Donovan had a nice little chat with Bradley, off to the side as reporters finished up with other Roma men.
- KICK TV’s Jimmy Conrad, who spent eight years in this city, has declared himself the King of Kansas City. So he donned the king’s cape and asked a few players, well, some kingly questions, I suppose. (That’s the photo above right; but you probably had that sorted out already.)
- Former U.S. international Desmond Armstrong was at the workout, and even got a little stadium walkthrough from Vermes. Armstrong is doing a documentary on the United States team in qualifying for World Cup 1990 in Italy.
- Matt Besler was a good sport when one camera crew asked the Sporting KC man to read aloud a few Italian phrases written on large pieces of paper. I mean, sure! What could possibly go wrong with something like that?
- Will Johnson, among the league MVP candidates for all he means to first-place Portland, must be one of the nicest men in the league. As he spoke to a few reporters, Chris Wondolowski was doing the same about five steps away. He’s another captain in this ship of mostly very nice guys.
- Just getting the practice in registered as a meaningful moment following Monday’s cancelled sessions. Rain on Tuesday threatened the workouts, as stadium officials were understandably concerned about the field. The rain had mostly passed by the practice time, and forecasts call for a nicer day on Wednesday.
- I’m not sure how, but Sporting KC man Aurelien Collin manages to keep his shorts hiked up in that silly way, even while he plays. Must be a French fashion secret or something.
- Marco Di Viao absolutely blistered a one-time volley off a long cross (that’s not easy, of course), about three minutes into the 10-v-10 scrimmage to finish Tuesday’s short practice. It flew past Nick Rimando, drawing a few celebratory oohs and aws from impressed teammates.