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Soccer Players

February 20, 2013 | By David Ng
What the above photograph doesn't show is that shoes were allowed during a recent naked art tour held at Vienna's Leopold Museum. The highly unconventional gallery excursion -- in which guests were invited to strip down and walk about -- was tied to the exhibition "Nude Men," a survey of art dealing with the nude male form. Since opening last year, "Nude Men" has sparked a good deal of conversation in Vienna, particularly surrounding its promotional poster, which depicts three fully frontal nude soccer players.
February 15, 2013 | By Kevin Baxter
Robbie Rogers said he had to choose between being a soccer player or being himself. He ultimately chose to be himself, stepping away from his sport Friday in a powerful blog post in which he revealed he is gay. "I always thought I could hide this secret," wrote Rogers, 25, a former Mater Dei High standout who played five seasons in Major League Soccer and had 18 appearances with the U.S. national team. "Football was my escape, my purpose, my identity. Football hid my secret, gave me more joy than I could ever have imagined.
January 5, 2013 | By Kevin Baxter
FIFA, the world governing body for soccer, is throwing a huge gala Monday in Zurich, where it will announce the men's and women's players of the year for 2012. But with FIFA following a well-worn script, what should be a time for celebration will again be clouded in controversy because a player who could arguably win the women's award won't even be there. Christine Sinclair, without question the most underrated elite player in the world, has been overlooked again. Consider that last year she accounted for more than half her team's goals while captaining Canada to an Olympic bronze medal, her country's first medal in a traditional Summer Games' team sport since 1936.
December 16, 2012 | KEVIN BAXTER
Numbers alone can't reveal the magic of Lionel Messi -- although the numbers are, inarguably, quite magical. Entering Barcelona's match with Atletico Madrid on Sunday, Messi has 88 goals in 68 games this calendar year, breaking a record that had stood for four decades. That's an average of one goal every four days -- including the weeks when Messi didn't play a game. Oh, and he also has 29 assists. "We will not see a player like this ever again," Barcelona Manager Tito Vilanova said last weekend, after Messi scored twice in a 2-1 win over Real Betis.
November 25, 2012 | By Kevin Baxter
Two years ago, after the longest season of his long career, Landon Donovan returned to his Manhattan Beach home, drew the curtains, turned off the phone and spent two weeks trying to recover. He eventually emerged from his sequestration to have one of his finest Major League Soccer seasons in 2011, leading the Galaxy with 15 goals, including the score that gave the team its first title in six years. Exhausted again, Donovan will go back into hiding after Saturday's MLS Cup final, his 49th game in 48 weeks.
November 23, 2012 | Gale Holland, Los Angeles Times
As a child, the boy would pretend to be his favorite soccer pro, sliding across the ground and narrating into an imaginary microphone, "Oh, what a save by Oswaldo Sanchez!" But his mother thought the game was too rough. So he could only play pickup. When he entered La Puente High, his mother decided to let him play. What authorities have said happened next was staggering, and led to the arrest of four students in September. According to Los Angeles County sheriff's officials, older soccer players sodomized younger ones — and attempted to sodomize the youth, who requested anonymity.
November 14, 2012 | By Monte Morin, Los Angeles Times
Soccer players who repeatedly strike the ball with their heads may be causing measurable damage to their brains, even if they never suffer a concussion, according to a study published Tuesday by the Journal of the American Medical Assn. By examining brain scans of a dozen professional soccer players from Germany, researchers found a pattern of damage that strongly resembled that of patients with mild traumatic brain injury, said Dr. Inga Katharina Koerte, a neuroradiologist at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital, who led the study.
November 6, 2012 | By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
Three teenagers arrested in connection with alleged sexual hazing of younger members of the La Puente High School soccer team have been charged with various sexual assault and battery charges, prosecutors said Tuesday. The names of the three boys were not released because they are minors. They were arrested last month after an investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Special Victims Unit. The boys were charged in Juvenile Court. Their next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 19. Two of the boys, both 17, were charged with 10 counts each: one felony count of sexual penetration with a foreign object, one felony count of assault with a deadly weapon, four misdemeanor counts of sexual battery and four misdemeanor counts of hazing.
October 18, 2012 | By David Ng
An art exhibition in Vienna titled "Nude Men" -- "Nackte Manner" in German -- is stimulating considerable media attention in Austria. The show, which opens this week at the Leopold Museum, is dedicated to depictions of male nudity from the 19th century to the present day, and includes paintings, sculpture, photographs and more. The Leopold Museum is offering some of the artwork on its website. (Please note the images may be offensive for some readers.) On its exterior wall, the museum has put up a full-frontal image of a naked man created by Austrian artist Ilse Haider, "Mr. Big. " One of the items in the museum show has already proved controversial.
October 5, 2012 | By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
Four teenagers who say they were sexually hazed by soccer players at La Puente High School filed legal claims against the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District on Thursday. The claims allege that the attacks were captured on cellphone videos, that a coach knew about the hazing and that older players targeted younger players. The claims, precursors to civil lawsuits, allege that the coach "supported and conspired and abetted with students. " Four senior members of the soccer team have been arrested on suspicion of assault and the soccer coach has been placed on leave.
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