Hamid-USAToday

SBI MLS Goalkeeper of the Year: Bill Hamid

Bill Hamid stellar play in goal in 2014 helped D.C. United go from last place to first place in the Eastern Conference, and earned Hamid the SBI MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award.

23 for 2015: Projecting the USMNT Gold Cup roster (November 2014 Edition)

The U.S. Men’s National Team’s disappointing November has led to a slight shakeup in the latest SBI 23 for 2015, as we project the U.S. Gold Cup roster.

GarethBaleRealMadrid2-FCBaselUCL2014 (Getty)

UCL Preview: Real Madrid visit Basel, Arsenal host Dortmund; and more

Real Madrid take their unbeaten Champions League record to Switzerland to face FC Basel in today’s UCL Preview.

SBI MLS Goalkeeper of the Year: Bill Hamid

Hamid-USAToday

Photo by Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

 

By RYAN TOLMICH

Bill Hamid’s long-awaited ascent toward the upper echelon of American goalkeepers reached overdrive in 2014, and now the D.C. United has made the transition from top prospect to one of the best goalkeepers in the U.S. system.

Three years after assuming the role of starting goalkeeper, Hamid came into his own as D.C. United ascended from the league’s basement to the top of the Eastern Conference as Hamid provided a dominating force in goal. His play helped D.C. United post the best defensive record in MLS in 2014, and helped Hamid be select as SBI MLS Goalkeeper of the Year honors.

The 24-year-old goalkeeper was among the league’s best in every goalkeeper statistic, but statistics don’t do justice to the type of jaw-dropping saves Hamid made on a regular basis.

Leading the league in save percentage, Hamid’s saves ranged from calm to electric, as the D.C. United goalkeeper limited errors while erasing those made by the backline.

Hamid was voted SBI MLS Goalkeeper of the Year by SBI Soccer staff, winning in a landslide as he beat out a strong list of contenders for the award, including two-time and reigning SBI MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Nick Rimando and Columbus Crew netminder Steve Clark.

Here is a closer look at who rounded out the top five candidates for SBI MLS Goalkeeper of the Year:

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Posted in Featured, MLS- D.C. United, SBI MLS Awards | 3 Comments

Dwyer, Sinovic among five options picked up by Sporting KC

Dwyer-USAToday

Photo by Gary Rohman/ USA Today Sports

 

By RYAN TOLMICH

After seeing the forward shatter the club’s single season goalscoring mark, Sporting KC are set to hold on to forward Dom Dwyer.

Sporting KC announced Wednesday that the club has picked up options on Dwyer, forward C.J. Sapong, defenders Seth Sinovic and Ike Opara, as well as goalkeeper Jon Kempin just one day after declining options on six players Tuesday.

Dwyer scored 22 goals for Sporting KC in 2014 to earn recognition as the team’s Offensive Player of the Year. Meanwhile, Sinovic, who started 31 regular season games, will remain after earning the title as the club’s Defensive Player of the Year.

The club also opted to hold onto Kempin after releasing goalkeepers Andy Gruenebaum and Eric Kronberg Wednesday. In addition, Kempin was recognized as MVP of the MLS Homegrown Game back in August.

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What do you think of Sporting KC’s roster moves? What do you expect from Dwyer next season?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in MLS- Sporting Kansas City | 1 Comment

23 for 2015: Projecting the USMNT Gold Cup roster (November 2014 Edition)

USMNT vs Colombia starting eleven

Photo by ISIPhotos.com
 

By IVES GALARCEP

It’s okay to admit it. If you are a U.S. Men’s National Team fan, you probably came away from the November friendlies feeling down about the state of the team. A pair of losses, including a blowout against an Ireland B team has been enough to shake the confidence of even the most ardent U.S. fan.

What is easily forgotten in the wake of those losses was the number of players missing from that November roster. Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Omar Gonzalez, Graham Zusi, Aron Johannsson and Terrence Boyd were all left out of that camp while Jermaine Jones, John Brooks, DeAndre Yedlin and Lee Nguyen missed the Ireland loss.

While those friendly losses didn’t do much to instill confidence in the state of the team, what it did do is give U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann some information to process about his team, including veterans and newcomers. In my latest Goal.com piece, I broke down the players who boosted their stock the most in the November friendlies, and those who saw their stock drop.

With that in mind, here is a look at the group of players I currently see making up the 2015 Gold Cup roster. Yes, plenty can still happen between now and then, but this is how I see things shaking out based on where players stand now, and how things should go in the coming months.

Here is a look at the latest SBI 23 for 2015:

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Posted in Featured, U.S. Men's National Team, Uncategorized | 11 Comments

UCL Preview: Real Madrid visit Basel, Arsenal host Dortmund; and more

GarethBaleRealMadrid2-FCBaselUCL2014 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Real Madrid are attempting to keep their perfect UEFA Champions League record alive on Wednesday when they visit FC Basel.

Paulo Sousa’s men have a strong recent history in the Champions League and need to secure a positive result, either a draw or an historic victory, to keep their hopes of advancing alive. Real Madrid on the other hand are already qualified for the knockout stages, and could give squad players such as Javier Hernandez and Asier Illarramendi a chance to start.

Injury-hit Arsenal meanwhile take on Group D leaders Borussia Dortmund at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal are winless in their last three while Dortmund are unbeaten in their last three, though they’re missing star player Marco Reus through the new year.

Elsewhere in Champions League action, Juventus travel to Sweden to take on Malmo FF, Champions League finalists Atletico Madrid host Olympiacos, American Sacha Kljestan and Anderlecht face Galatasaray, and struggling Liverpool visit Bulgaria to take on Ludogorets.

Here’s today’s Champions League schedule, complete with TV and internet listings:

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Posted in European Soccer, Featured, UEFA Champions League | Leave a comment

UCL Rewind: Messi breaks scoring record; Aguero saves Man City and more

Messi-Getty

By RYAN TOLMICH

Lionel Messi now stands alone as the Champions League’s all-time leading goalscorer.

For the second time in three days, Messi shattered a goalscoring record with a hat-trick, as the Barcelona forward scored a trio of goals to lead the way in a 4-0 victory over APOEL.

Kickstarted by Luis Suarez’s first goal for the club, Messi scored in the 38th, 58th and 87th minutes to seize the top spot among the tournament’s scoring list. The Argentine is now three goals ahead of previous record holder Raul, while Cristiano Ronaldo remains lurking just four goals behind.

Here’s a look at some other Champions League scores from Tuesday: Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer | Leave a comment

The SBI Show: Episode 180 (Talking MLS playoffs, Americans Abroad, and more)

Jermaine Jones 112202014 (USA TODAY Sports)

Photo by Andy Martin/USA TODAY Sports
 

By IVES GALARCEP

The New England Revolution and Los Angeles Galaxy moved a step closer to meeting in the MLS Cup Final and the latest episode of The SBI Show breaks down their series-opening victories.

Episode 180 of The SBI Show takes a look back at the Revs’ 2-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls, as well as the Galaxy’s 1-0 triumph over the Seattle Sounders.

Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I also discuss a good week for Americans Abroad, including goal-scoring performances from Terrence Boyd and Aron Johannsson.

Give Episode 180 of The SBI Show a listen after the jump:

Continue reading »

Posted in Americans Abroad, Featured, Major League Soccer, Podcasts, U.S. Men's National Team | 1 Comment