Did you know this website launched 10 years ago? That’s right, a lifetime ago, this site, with a different name and covering a different MLS team altogether, got off the ground. In the nearly 11 years since, there’s been ups, downs and a lot of changes. Kind of like 2021!
Well, I stuck around, and so far no teams have disappeared (although we’re adding a new team, Angel City FC!) but 2021 in general was a “two steps forward, two steps back” kind of year. As we wait out another cursed year, let’s take a final look back before saying good riddance and hoping we don’t get fooled again — perhaps 2022 will be better, somehow.
Here’s a look back at the best from Angels on Parade in 2021:
- Why we need to celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day: There are so many made-up holidays, and I had scarcely heard of this one before, but thinking it over, it made quite a bit of sense as to why we need to think of supporting non-males in sports, year-round.
- Orange County SC eager to get involved in women’s soccer: I’m still waiting for an announcement I hope comes eventually that OCSC will field a women’s team, but here they do lay out their intentions to build a path to the pros for girls.
- Let’s check in on Brian Rodriguez during his loan: To his credit, Rodriguez did end up returning to LAFC and seemed to buckle down, but his loan spell at Almería certainly seemed like a wake-up call for the young professional.
- LAFC keep dropping points, and it’s been costly: Wow, talk about foreshadowing. But this early look at LAFC’s penchant for coughing up points truly portended the outcome of the campaign, falling well short of the playoffs, remarkably.
- Angel City FC coaching candidate emerges, and supporters aren’t thrilled: This was the first explanation of just what happened with ACFC looking to hire their first head coach, and just why fans pushed back against a man being hired. In the end, he was, by another club, while Angel City hired a woman, Freya Coombe.
- Sports are a business, but is a trend emerging with LAFC’s departures? We added a staff writer this year! Trebor brought it from the jump, and here he wondered if LAFC letting good players walk away in rather disgruntled fashion is becoming a bit too regular.
- Magic of MLS on display at MLS All-Star Game: Unfortunately, I got sick during All-Star Week and had to watch the dang thing at home (breakthrough COVID, perhaps), but Trebor captures the fun of taking in a unique part of MLS culture.
- Carlos Vela on his basketball fanhood: Had fun talking to Carlos about the thing that makes him just like us — his openly rabid fandom of basketball.
- The movement to protect NWSL players needs to be league’s guiding principle: If you need a recap of all of the truly baffling scandals that hit the league (up to that point) in 2021 and some thoughts on how to proceed, the fans urging the protection of players has to be the message, all day everyday.
- Orange County SC’s league title a decade in the making: We did cover a team winning a league title in 2021, don’t forget! OCSC nabbed their first star with a dominant underdog win in the USL Championship Final, and it gave me a chance to reflect on our journey together.
Thanks, as always, for reading! Happy New Year!
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