photo by Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports
By FRANCO PANIZO
HANOVER, N.J. — The New York Red Bulls are making no secret about it: They want to exact revenge on the New York Cosmos.
A year removed from an embarrassing 3-0 defeat to the Cosmos in U.S. Open Cup play, the Red Bulls are set for a rematch with the NASL club in the fifth round of the tournament on Wednesday. The Red Bulls will have the homefield advantage this time and are expected to field a lineup that more closely resembles their starting group.
Last year, then-head coach Mike Petke went with a reserve-filled unit against the Cosmos due to a combination of international absences, injuries and preferred approach. The result was an apathetic and humiliating loss at Shuart Stadium that infuriated the Red Bulls’ fan base and left the players with pain and a sour taste in their mouths.
“There’s a sense of revenge, that we need to win this game,” said centerback Matt Miazga, who started in last year’s fourth round match. “Obviously, at the start of the season (head coach Jesse Marsch) really made it a commitment to win this Open Cup, and that’s one of our goals. Now, the Cosmos are in our way, and we’re going to give it our all.
“I played in that game last year, and it did suck losing, 3-0, away at their place. Now, we’re back at home, and we’re going to look to win at home.”
By AARON CRANFORD
Both Argentina and Paraguay know how it feels to lose a final match, as Argentina was defeated by Germany in last year’s FIFA World Cup and Paraguay was topped by Uruguay in the 2011 Copa America final.
However, the 2015 Copa America is a chance at redemption for both nations entering Tuesday night’s semifinal clash in Concepcion, Chile.
Argentina’s deadly attack has looked, at times, unstoppable, as the only real tactic against it is to bunker deep and hope for a counter-attack opportunity.
Yet, Paraguay is the one team in this tournament that stood toe-to-toe with Argentina in attack, and it hopes similar play leads to a positive result once again. Continue reading
photo by Robert Mayer/USA Today Sports
By FRANCO PANIZO
Jozy Altidore has carved out a good career for himself despite being just 25-years old. He has earned 80 caps for the U.S. Men’s National Team, scored 27 goals, played in two World Cups, and spent a number of years in leagues across Europe.
Altidore believes his best soccer is still to come, however.
Currently in his third cycle with the U.S., Altidore has already developed into one of the figureheads of the team. He is not only a leader on the field due to his abilities and wealth of experience, but also off of it for how he sets an example for the next generation of youngsters coming through the pipeline.
Altidore has spearheaded the Americans’ attack almost immediately from the moment he was introduced to the full U.S. side in 2008. He has found the back of the net in big games, like in the 2009 Confederations Cup upset over Spain, and honed his craft in Europe and MLS to become more than just a goal-scoring threat.
He’s matured a lot both as a person and a player since the start of his career, but the veteran striker still thinks there is plenty of more room to grow.
“I still feel like my best football is yet to come,” Altidore told FIFA.com. “I understand the game in a way that I didn’t before. I’m excited for the next five or six years. I’m getting better with every game and I want to see where that goes.”
BY MICHAEL PENG
Mexico’s 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign took a bump before it even got started, as the federation announced defender Hector Moreno will miss the summer tournament due to a foot injury.
The 27-year-old, arguably the best player on Mexico’s back line, was taken out of El Tri’s friendly with Costa Rica at halftime on Saturday and is set to undergo surgery in Houston on Tuesday.
Moreno, who has been playing his club soccer at La Liga side Espanyol since 2011, has made 57 caps for the Mexican national team since 2007 and was a key component to Mexico’s run in last year’s World Cup until he suffered a broken tibia in the quarterfinal defeat to the Netherlands.
photo by Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports
By FRANCO PANIZO
One of the surprise inclusions on the U.S. Men’s National Team’s Gold Cup roster will not be participating in the tournament, and he is likely to be replaced by one of the more surprising exclusions.
Houston Dynamo left midfielder Brad Davis has been ruled out of the upcoming Gold Cup because of a knee injury. U.S. Soccer is planning to replace Davis on the 23-man squad, but CONCACAF must receive paperwork from the federation and approve any change before it becomes official.
Despite that, U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has already brought Atlas defender Greg Garza into camp. Garza will be available to play in Friday’s friendly against Guatemala in Nashville, Tennessee, and could be named as Davis’ replacement if CONCACAF gives the green light.
The Americans begin their Gold Cup title defense on July 7 vs. Honduras.
What do you think of Davis being ruled out of the Gold Cup? Should Garza be Davis’ replacement for the tournament? Would you have preferred to see DaMarcus Beasley get called in?
Share your thoughts below.