Jurgen Klinsmann USMNT 18

Klinsmann looking to finalize USMNT’s Gold Cup plans in friendly vs. Guatemala

Ahead of a much-talked about Gold Cup, Jurgen Klinsmann and the U.S. Men’s National Team face a friendly against Guatemala that will serve as a benchmark ahead of the tournament’s kickoff.

Jun 16, 2015; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; United States midfielder Carli Lloyd (10) pushes the ball up against Nigeria in a Group D soccer match in the 2015 FIFA women's World Cup at BC Place Stadium. The U.S. won 1-0, winning their group. Mandatory Credit: Michael Chow-USA TODAY Sports

Familiar foes USWNT, Japan meet again in World Cup final match

The U.S. Women’s National Team and Japan will meet for the third straight major tournament final on Sunday in the World Cup’s championship game.

USWNT Germany 07012015

The SBI Show: Episode 219 (Previewing USWNT-Japan, USMNT-Guatemala and more)

Co-hosts Garrett Cleverly and Ives Galarcep take a closer look at a busy 4th of July weekend of soccer action on the latest episode of The SBI Show.

Copa America third-place match preview: Peru, Paraguay aim to end tournament runs on a high

Paolo Guerrero Peru celebration Copa America

By FRANCO PANIZO

They may once again have fallen just short of reaching the Copa America final, but both Peru and Paraguay have a shot to claim some more hardware on Friday.

They will just have to do so without some of their top talents.

Peru and Paraguay will wrap up their impressive Copa America campaigns in Chile on Friday night, as they square off in the tournament’s third-place match. The two nations are entering the game at Estadio Municipal de Concepcion with some injury concerns, but Paraguay may be the one that is worse off due to expected absences of attackers Roque Santa Cruz, Derlis Gonzalez, and Nelson Haedo Valdez, and defender Bruno Valdez.

Peru will be missing some of its first-choice regulars, too. Already without centerback Carlos Zambrano due to the red card he received in the 2-1 semifinals loss to Chile, the Peruvians are also likely to be without veteran forward Claudio Pizarro, who is apparently battling some niggling injuries.

Fellow star attacker Jefferson Farfan is another question mark for Peru head coach Ricardo Gareca, who will have to get creative if the Peruvians are to finish in third place for the second straight Copa America.

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Posted in Copa America 2015, South American Soccer | 1 Comment

Friday Kickoff: UEFA lifts spending restrictions on Man City, PSG; Orozco replaces Chicharito on Mexico roster; and more

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By RYAN TOLMICH

After feeling the wrath of new Financial Fair Play rules this past season, Manchester City and Paris Saint-German have seen their clubs’ punishments conclude.

UEFA announced Friday that the federation had lifted the punishments put on the two big-money clubs, who saw restrictions on transfer spending and Champions League squad size this past year. The two teams’ settlement agreement with the federation do still require the clubs to meet certain guidelines for 2016.

“We are now able to be more active on the transfer market to make our team even more competitive by recruiting the right talents that our team needs,” said PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi.

“However, we are mindful that the settlement signed last year with UEFA is still applicable. Our club has, among other objectives, to reach a break-even result in 2015-16, so we will spend our money on the right players as we always did it and this will help the PSG to grow. We don’t have an unlimited budget.”

Here are some more news and notes to kick off your Friday morning: Continue reading »

Posted in CONCACAF Gold Cup, European Soccer, FIFA, Mexican Soccer | Leave a comment

Lloyd, Solo, Johnston among USWNT players up for World Cup awards

photo by Michael Chow/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

The World Cup trophy is not the only thing that U.S. Women’s National Team players are looking to claim in Canada this weekend.

FIFA unveiled its shortlists for the Women’s World Cup on Thursday, and four Americans are up for consideration. Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe, and Julie Johnston all made the cut for the Golden Ball award, which is given to the best player of the tournament, while Hope Solo is one of three candidates for the Golden Glove accolade that is awarded to the best goalkeeper.

Solo is competing with Germany’s Nadine Angerer and Ayumi Kaihori of Japan for the Golden Glove. Lloyd, Rapinoe, and Johnston, meanwhile, are in a class of players that also includes Saori Ariyoshi (Japan), Lucy Bronze (England), Amandine Henry (France), Aya Miyami (Japan), and Celia Sasic (Germany).

No American made the cut for the Young Player Award, which has three finalists in Canada’s Kadeisha Buchanan, Ada Hegerberg of Norway, and China’s Jiali Tang.

The winners of these accolades, as well as the second- and third-placed finishers, will be announced after the World Cup final on July 5.

Which USWNT player do you think is most deserving of the Golden Ball award? Is there an American missing on the shortlist that should have been included? Do you see Solo claiming the Golden Glove?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in 2015 Women's World Cup, U.S. Women's National Team, Women's Soccer, Women's World Cup 2015 | 1 Comment

Landon Donovan denies double meaning in recent World Cup tweet

KlinsmannDonovan (ISIPhotos.com)

 

By FRANCO PANIZO

The subtweet of the week was apparently no subtweet at all. If Landon Donovan is to be believed, at least.

Donovan was a guest on the Dan Patrick Show on Wednesday, and one of the topics the retired U.S. Men’s National Team star discussed was his Tuesday tweet that came during the U.S. Women’s National Team’s 2-0 World Cup semifinals win over Germany.

Donovan published a tweet commending veteran Abby Wambach’s leadership despite not starting for the Americans, but also added that it was “priceless” to have such an experienced figure on the bench during the World Cup. Those comments were instantly perceived by many as Donovan having a subtle dig at U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who controversially left Donovan off the 2014 World Cup roster.

Donovan, however, shot down that notion on Wednesday.

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Posted in U.S. Men's National Team | 67 Comments

Klinsmann looking to finalize USMNT’s Gold Cup plans in friendly vs. Guatemala

Jurgen Klinsmann USMNT 18

Photo by Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

The U.S. Men’s National Team is less than a week away from kicking off the Gold Cup, but Friday night brings one last opportunity for the team to fine-tune ahead of the crucial summer tournament.

The U.S is set to take on Guatemala at LP Field on Friday night in Nashville, Tennessee, giving head coach Jurgen Klinsmann one last chance to eye his roster before deciding on starters for the Gold Cup opener against Honduras next Tuesday.

Klinsmann is planning to feature many of the regulars from the start of the game against the Guatemalans, but also intends to take full advantage of the six substitutions that are available in friendlies. That way, he can get a real sense of who is ready for the Gold Cup.

“I think the game against Guatemala will give us a really big hint toward the starting eleven a couple of days later in Dallas against Honduras,” said Klinsmann. “In the friendly with Guatemala we have the chance to use six subs. We will use all six subs most likely to give the players minutes and give them a chance to show us what they have.

“As we get closer to the opening game we’re going to zoom in and plan through hopefully a long tournament.” Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, U.S. Men's National Team | 23 Comments

Familiar foes USWNT, Japan meet again in World Cup final match

photo by Michael Chow/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

If the U.S. Women’s National Team is to snap its 16-year run without a World Cup , it will have to do so against a very familiar foe. The same foe that snatched the tournament trophy away from the Americans’ fingertips four years ago.

The U.S. will meet Japan in the Women’s World Cup final on Sunday, marking the third straight meeting in a championship game between the two nations. The Americans most recently beat Japan in the final at the 2012 Olympics, but it was pain from the defeat they suffered one year prior at the World Cup that still resonates.

The U.S. had Japan on the ropes twice in that final, but allowed the Japanese to score late goals, including three minutes before the end of extra time. If that was not enough heartbreak for the Americans, the ensuing penalty shootout surely was. The U.S. missed its first three attempts and wound up losing, 3-1, after four rounds of penalty kicks.

The World Cup dreams had been crushed, but now the U.S. has a shot at making amends.

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Posted in 2015 Women's World Cup, Featured, U.S. Women's National Team, Women's Soccer, Women's World Cup 2015 | 6 Comments

The SBI Show: Episode 219 (Previewing USWNT-Japan, USMNT-Guatemala and more)

USWNT Germany 07012015

 

By IVES GALARCEP

The 4th of July weekend is a special one or American soccer fans, as one national team prepares to try and defend a title, and another attempts to win its first one in 16 years.

Episode 219 of The SBI Show previews the Women’s World Cup final, which will pit the U.S. Women’s National Team against Japan in a rematch of the 2011 World Cup final, won by the Japanese.

Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I also discuss the U.S. Men’s National Team’s friendly against Guatemala on Friday, and what we should expect from Jurgen Klinsmann’s team in its final Gold Cup tune-up match.

We also discuss the U.S. Open Cup Round of 16, and preview MLS Week 18.

Give Episode 219 of The SBI Show a listen after the jump:

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Posted in Featured, U.S. Men's National Team, U.S. Women's National Team, Uncategorized, Women's World Cup 2015 | 11 Comments

MLS Week 18: A Look Ahead

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Photo by Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

After a midweek full of tournament action, MLS boasts a full slate of games heading into the holiday weekend.

Headlining the proceedings will be a pair of inter-conference matches, as the LA Galaxy play host to Toronto FC, while Eastern Conference leaders D.C. United travel west to take on the Seattle Sounders.

Riding victories over their two local rivals, the New York Red Bulls return to action against an increasingly fit Columbus Crew, while NYCFC looks to bounce back in a clash against the Montreal Impact.

Elsewhere, The surging Portland Timbers face a San Jose Earthquakes team riding two straight victories and FC Dallas takes on the struggling New England Revolution.

Here’s a closer look at this weekend’s MLS action: Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, Uncategorized | Leave a comment