Aurelien Collin debuted a line of custom-made suits, AC78, at a fashion show before the Silversun Pickups played a free concert Tuesday night at the Power & Light District as part of the AT&T MLS All-Star Game weekend festivities.
By TOD PALMER and SAM McDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
Judging by the crowd’s raucous reaction and Collin’s jovial spirit after watching his teammates and a few friends strut down a makeshift runway in his creations, the fashion show was a smashing success.
“It’s a small dream, but a dream come true,” Collin said. “I never imagined one day I’d have a fashion show, but now I have to keep working hard, and hopefully the next one will be bigger and bigger and bigger.”
Several teammates — Matt Besler, Teal Bunbury, Kei Kamara, Eric Kronberg, Lawrence Olum, Ike Opara, C.J. Sapong and Graham Zusi — served as models for the half-hour exhibition.
“It’s another level,” Sapong said. “At the beginning, we didn’t all realize the passion and commitment that he had to this. Today, it really sunk in for everybody. Backstage we were getting hyped up as if it was a soccer game and obviously with the fans who turned out, it was just a beautiful experience.”
Meola presents gifts
Only a day ago, Carlos Salas made plans to eat dinner, sit down in the living room and watch the MLS All-Star Game on TV with his father. A 16-year-old student at Harmon, Salas begged his father to buy tickets to the game Wednesday at Sporting Park but was ultimately told that was too expensive to manage.
He’s going for free now.
Tony Meola, a former goalie for the Kansas City Wizards, presented Salas and a group of 20 soccer players from the Kansas City Kansas Soccer Association with two free All-Star Game tickets Tuesday, along with soccer gear and jerseys for the upcoming fall seasons. The giveaway was presented by Allstate.
“I’m probably going to take my dad,” Salas said. “He brought me out to this field a long time ago. It’s where I got started.”
Meola made a surprise appearance at the 16-and-under team’s practice Tuesday night at Leo Alvey Park. After cycling through a few penalty kick contests, he presented them with a backpack with all of the gifts inside.
Saved for last: The pair of tickets.
“It’s really important to do things like this,” said Meola, who resides in New Jersey. “You see the looks on their faces when they find out they’re going to a game they weren’t going to otherwise.
“This is a small part of their life today, but they’ll remember it and hopefully they’ll be able to pass it on one day.
Quicker than quick
Four Grand-Am Road Racing Series drivers offered select Major League Soccer All-Stars a unique experience Tuesday, whipping laps around Kansas Speedway at nearly 170 mph in Daytona Prototype cars.
“It was a great experience and gives me a newfound respect for these guys,” Houston All-Star defender Corey Ashe said. “The fact that they’re able to go way faster than 165 or whatever we were doing, the hand-eye coordination has to be ridiculous. To be able to do it for hours, it’s just ridiculous — hands down harder than playing soccer and more dangerous for sure.”
Ashe’s Dynamo teammate, Brad Davis, is no stranger to fast cars or fast speeds.
“My dad used to do some drag racing when I was growing up and always loved speed,” Davis said. “I’m the baby of the family. When my older siblings got out of the house, he decided to give himself a present and got a couple different Corvettes, including a ’66 Corvette Stingray.
“He took me on the highway a few times and opened it up, so it was a ton of fun. Of course, I don’t think he was going 160. He was definitely in the triple digits, but I don’t think it was 160.”
Three other MLS All-Stars — Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando, Chicago Fire midfielder Mike Magee and Montreal Impact midfielder Patrice Bernier — also enjoyed a few laps, along with Sporting Kansas City defender Lawrence Olum and midfielder Peterson Joseph.
“I’ve never known much about racing, but when I got the opportunity to do it I jumped all over it,” Magee said. “It’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime things, but I had a completely different impression of what it would be like. I thought it would be easier. I definitely didn’t think I would be scared, but I was scared to death. It was cool, but I don’t need to do it again. Once is enough.”