I Choose You... Kaku

I Choose You... Kaku

If you guys don’t know this about me, I am a 90’s kid and also a bit of a nerd. I figured why not take two things that were/are in my life and combine them for a fun blog. So I was thinking, “If MLS players had a squad of Pokemon, what would that look like?”. After me asking for some help on Twitter (thank you to everyone who shared my tweet and gave suggestions, @MLSAces) I think I came up with a great list of 15 MLS players and what their 6 member Pokemon team would look like. For 99% of these Pokemon I used the original 151 (because we ‘bout that OG Pokemon life) but I did have to use some others at one point.

Let’s start with the most noticeable hair in MLS and that in my head is Colorado Rapids center-back Lalas Abubakar. Abubakar’s head is a goddamn work of art, and he is one player that you notice for style when is he playing. So I was thinking, Lalas would definitely have a squad of Pokemon with some sick hair too right?!   


Signature Pokemon: Exeggutor 

I mean does this one need explaining? Him and his partner rocking the same haircut is an easy pick here.  Exeggutor is also a bit beefy, as a center-back you have to be beefy at times too. Great hair and could probably be his center-back partner, sounds like a great combination to me. 

Rest of the Team:






I’d guess that a good amount of kids from the 90’s loved fire type Pokemon right? I mean who would not want some of the kick ass fire types in generation 1? It just so happens to be that we have a team in MLS called the Fire (for now at least). And who better to represent the bright red Fire passion of the team and Pokemon than Dax McCarty? Dax is a leader on the field for the Fire, rocks his bright red uniform, and rocks that bright red hair! 


Signature Pokemon: Charmander

Charmander and Dax share that beautiful red flavor along with being either a Fire type or a member of the Fire. They both pack a punch in a little body… I mean gingers now a days rare like a Charmander.


Rest of the Team:






What is the name of the D.C. United supporter’s group? The Screaming Eagles. And who is a D.C. United member that FLIES up and down the wing? USMNT player Paul Arriola. Without a doubt in my mind if Pokemon and MLS combined, Paul would rock the all flying type squad. And Paul… if you’re reading this, we need that old hair back! It would have perfectly matched the style of your signature Pokemon. 


Signature Pokemon: Pidgeot

Pidgeot is a fast Pokemon that flies in the air with its large wings. Now Arriola isn’t a large winger… but he FLIES! Pidgeot has sharp claws and a sharp beak that lets it take some major shots at its opponents. Arriola has some sharp ass skills that lets him take some major shots at the rest of the teams in MLS. Finally, (back to the hair) Arriola’s old flow and Pidgeot’s hair are almost identical! 

Rest of the Team:






Now I’ve been talking a lot about hair in this blog. But let’s not make this all about sweet locks on players and Pokemon’s heads. Some people aren’t as lucky as to have the hair of a Lalas Abubakar or the hair color of a Dax McCarty. We all know who I am hinting at and that is USMNT start midfielder Michael Bradley. That bald dome of Bradley has had some magical and some pain filled moments for U.S. soccer fans over the years. Bradley’s bald dome deserves a bald squad. Oh and if Michael was a gym leader, he would have a whole gym themed around domes and bald people. 


Signature Pokemon: Squirtle

Squirtle and Michael Bradley are almost the same if you really think about it. Both beautifully bald, both proudly represent blue, and both have been pretty popular in the United States for people my age. Both Bradley and Squirtle play some rock hard defense, Squirtle literally with its shell and Bradley on the field as a #6.

Rest of the Team:






I’m going to be honest with this next player… I stretched this one out. I’ve seen Reggie Cannon make some Pokemon references on Twitter and really wanted to include him on this list. So I hope you respect the team I gave you Reggie! Cannon is a rock solid defender on the right-side of the field for FC Dallas and the USMNT. Just look at the picture I found of Reggie, don’t tell me that he doesn’t perfectly match up with his signature Pokemon. And playing for FC Dallas I figured I could also incorporate their logo into his squad. 

Signature Pokemon: Geodude

Geodude and Reggie are very similar. Strong bodies, sturdy, and pretty strong defenders. But just because they are defenders doesn't mean they can’t hit you on the attack. Reggie gets up the field and puts in some fantastic balls into the box for Dallas. Geodude can hit you with that strong Earthquake or even a huge Self-Destruct. I also feel like Reggie, Brock, and their Geodudes would be boys.

Rest of the Team:






This one might also be a little bit of a stretch but another baller 90’s kid in MLS had to make the list. Derrick Etienne Jr. is also known as the Haitian Messi because when he steps on the field he is an immediate spark for either the Red Bulls or Haiti. I think his speed, skills, dance moves, and personality are all electronic on the field and in the locker room.

Signature Pokemon: Jolteon

Derrick seems like a dog guy to me. Why not give him a flashy/bright Jolteon that matches his bright/flashy skills and personality. If you didn’t know, Jolteon’s fur is electrically charged… just like Etienne’s sub appearances. I could just see Etienne and Jolteon going for runs, chillin’,  and destroying opponents with Thundershocks and Thunderbolts. 

Rest of the Team:






When I think of the best nicknames in MLS you have to look down at Atlanta United and star German, Julian Gressel. Gresselmania is a real thing and what fits better with that then a strong fighting team? Gresselmania could destroy anyone with a SQUAD of large, strong, and powerful fighters. I could even see him getting in there for some training sessions with these brawlers. 

Signature Pokemon: Machamp

I didn’t see a better fit for Gresselmania than a Pokemon that already has a championship belt. Machamp can kind of do it all; he can attack with skill, defend well, and use its strong body to its advantage. Gressel can do all of those things as well. Just imagine a tag team wrestling duo of Gressel and Machamp taking down others in the ring… now that's a beautiful thing.


Rest of the Team:






I wanted to incorporate grass type Pokemon somehow into this article because I always thought they were highly underrated. I could not think of a MLS player to match up well with a grass type until I came across the FC Cincinnati roster and it all CLICKED! What better to connect MLS to grass Pokemon than a guy named Forrest? Forrest Lasso is a HUGE defender for FCC and he is a grinder. Working his way up from USL to MLS, he has worked his way through every jungle or forrest in his way. What Pokemon would join him in that forrest though?

Signature Pokemon: Venasuar

A 6’5 defender needs a large Pokemon to go along with him. I think that Forrest would throw out the sturdy and powerful Venasaur. Venasaur does his job, he sits back takes hits and builds up a Solar Beam to destroy his opponents in one move. Lasso does the same, he sits back and he slows attackers, then hits them with a big time header on a corner on set pieces. You can only find a Venasaur walking around grasslands or in forests, the same place you’ll find Lasso, on the pitch or next to a Forrest.

Rest of the Team: 






When I see Tommy Thompson I think of a California surfer boy. Now… that may or may not be accurate to real life but that is what inspired him being connected to an all water type Pokemon team. Also, Tommy rocks the blue jerseys over in San Jose just like the team that I hooked him up with.

Signature Pokemon: Blastoise 

Tommy came into MLS as a winger and now plays a lot of fullback for San Jose. So what you can say is that he is versed in both defending and power attacks, just like a Blastoise. Rocking a shell strong defense Blastoise is a hard one to touch and can take a lot of hits in battle. If you don’t know Blastoise also has two powerful water cannons attached to its body, making it a power attacker. A shot from Tommy Thompson might feel like a Hydro Pump from a Blastoise to MLS goalkeepers at times. 

Rest of the Team: 






What do you look for in a striker? I look for a player who is ICE COLD on the finish. I want a striker who can step up to the penalty spot, be one on one with a keeper, or be in a crowded box and finish a shot all the same with ice in his veins. Now we may not have seen a striker in MLS that personifies this more that Josef Martinez. Josef would be chilling in Hotlanta or Venezuela with his all ice type team staying cool in hot situations. To come across a striker like Martinez in MLS is a rare occurrence, just like his signature Pokemon. 

Signature Pokemon: Articuno

Articuno is a rarity to find, heading into the Seafoam Islands to catch it is a tough grab. Just like an MLS club going out and grabbing a star striker that can score a record number of goals is a tough grab. Articuno can finish its opponents with an ice-cold Ice Beam just like Josef can finish MLS squads with an ice-cold shot. Both are tough and both are legends of their respective games. 

Rest of the Team: 





Nidoqueen (Shoutout Queens of the South)

What would a Pokemon blog be without mentioning ghost types? Now this one was even tougher than the grass type team. I was thinking and thinking of some type of ghost connection to MLS until I thought of a friendly little ghost we have playing in Chester, PA. Kacper Przybylko is a stealthy finisher up top for the Union and he would without a doubt have a stealthy squad of ghosts floating around him. 


Signature Pokemon: Gengar

I mean was this choice going to be anyone but Gengar? Gengar is a tough Pokemon to face, he is large, a strong attacker, and tough to get to. Kacper Przybylko is a tough nosed forward who has been a leader on the attack for the Union in 2019. The sinister smile of Gengar comes across the face of Przybylko whenever he can score for Philly. Gengar likes to hide in the shadows and strike with a Shadow Ball, just as Przybylko hides in the shadows and strikes with a beautiful ball.

Rest of the Team:






Two trainers left can you handle it? Nobody liked the Viridian Forest right? Walking through it, being stopped by every Caterpie and Weedle in the world. There was only one type of person that liked the Viridian Forest… those god damn bug catchers. I was trying to think of who personifies the bug catchers of Viridian Forest and it has to be Wil Trapp. He’s unique enough where you notice him (with one L and two P’s), he plays such an annoying position for forwards, and he’s kinda just there…


Signature Pokemon: Beedrill

Beedrill has the same color pattern as Trapp’s Columbus Crew with the yellow and black. In battle Beedrill uses its large and poisonous stinger to slowly break-down its enemies over time. Trapp will use his body and physicality to slowly break-down attackers across the game. Beedrill isn’t very quick flying long distance but has great speed in the short distance, same with Trapp in the defensive midfield. 

Rest of the Team:






We have to finish this PokeMLS article with our lord and savior, Zlatan. And there is only one way to connect MLS, Zlatan, and Pokemon…

Signature Pokemon: Mewtwo

God Pokemon for the God

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