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Chile 3, USA 2: SBI’s USMNT Player Grades

Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley and Steve Birnbaum were among the players to earn good marks from the U.S. Men’s National Team’s friendly against Chile.

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David Beckham expects Miami stadium deal to ‘start coming together pretty quickly’

David Beckham says that he expects details to “start coming together pretty quickly” with regards to MLS Miami.

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Reports: Sebastian Giovinco nearing agreement with Juve to join TFC in February

Sebastian Giovinco is reportedly close to coming to an agreement to mutually terminate his Juventus contract and join Toronto FC in February.

Jill Ellis names USWNT roster for France, England friendlies

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Photo by John Reiger/USA Today Sports

By DAN KARELL

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis is taking a nearly full-strength squad on a two-week trip to Europe next months.

Ellis announced a 24-player squad featuring the likes of Abby Wambach, Sydney Leroux, and Alex Morgan, but also including a few surprises as well. Ellis recalled 37-year-old midfielder Shannon Boxx to the squad for the first time since the 2013 Algarve Cup.

After Washington Spirit midfielder Tori Huster’s first USWNT call up for the team’s January training camp, she will join the team in Europe and could earn her first USWNT cap. Allie Long, Samantha Mewis and Kristie Mewis, all midfield options, did not make the cut.

The USWNT face France in Lorient on Feb. 8 and England in Milton Keynes on Feb. 13.

“These games are exactly what we need,” Ellis said in a statement. “Our goal leading up to the World Cup is to play some of the best teams. These are two opponents that will test us and certainly two teams we could meet in Canada. Both teams are exceptionally well-organized, have a high level of athleticism and will pose some excellent challenges.”

Megan Rapinoe is out with a knee injury and Christine Rampone is rehabbing a back injury, and the two are not in the squad. Goalkeeper Hope Solo remains suspended by U.S. Soccer and has not been included in the squad either.

Here’s a closer look at the USWNT squad for their European friendly matches:

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Posted in U.S. Women's National Team, Women's Soccer | Leave a comment

NRGi Park in Aarhus to host USMNT friendly at Denmark

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By DAN KARELL

The U.S. Men’s National Team now know where they’re taking the field on March 25 in Denmark.

The Danish FA announced on Friday that NRGi Park in Aarhus will play host to the upcoming friendly match between the USMNT and Denmark. The stadium holds 19,433 seats and is the home of AGF Aarhus. Americans Aron Johannsson, Benny Feilhaber, and Jeremiah White all called NRGi Park home at one point of their careers.

Denmark usually plays their national team matches at the Parken in Copenhagen, but on occasion, they will play matches across the rest of the country.

The game is set to kick off at 3 p.m. ET and be televised on ESPN2 in English and UniMas in Spanish. The friendly is the first of two USMNT March friendlies in Europe. Next, the U.S. will travel south to to face Switzerland on March 31.

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What do you think of this news? Do you plan on attending the match?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in U.S. Men's National Team | 2 Comments

Chile 3, USA 2: SBI’s USMNT Player Grades

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By IVES GALARCEP

When Mark Gonzalez buried the winning goal on Wednesday to seal Chile’s victory against the U.S. Men’s National Team, it was easy to come away from that friendly feeling like the U.S. laid another egg. Going five matches without a win and allowing nine goals in three matches will start making everything taste a little sour, but the first U.S. friendly of 2015 still gave Jurgen Klinsmann plenty to ponder.

My latest Goal.com story took a look at some of the key things to take away from Wednesday’s friendly, such as the excellent play of USMNT debutant Steve Birnbaum, who didn’t play like someone making his first national team appearance.

Not on that list was the overall verdict on Klinsmann’s 3-5-2 experiment. I touched on that on Thursday on Goal.com, basically calling it a successful debut marred by the fact Klinsmann only gave the new formation 45 minutes.

Now, with some time to digest the match, and more importantly re-watch it, I present SBI’s USMNT player grades for the Chile friendly:

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

David Beckham expects Miami stadium deal to ‘start coming together pretty quickly’

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By RYAN TOLMICH

Since announcing plans to add an expansion team last February, all has been quiet on the stadium front from David Beckham and those involved with MLS Miami, but the former LA Galaxy midfielder remains upbeat.

Beckham, who admitted that it has been difficult to secure a stadium deal, says that he remains positive of nailing down details with regards to the Miami franchise. The Englishman also says that he expects there to be significant updates in the near future, according to NBC Miami.

“We’re pretty close to announcing certain things,” Beckham said, “and then the stadium will come after that.

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Posted in Featured, MLS- Miami | 7 Comments

Reports: Sebastian Giovinco nearing agreement with Juve to join TFC in February

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By DAN KARELL

Toronto FC could have all three of their Designated Players around for the start of the 2015 MLS season.

According to reports in Italy, Sebastian Giovinco is close to an agreement with Juventus that would allow the “Atomic Ant” to join TFC in February, letting him take part in preseason training. TFC announced on Jan. 19 that Giovinco had signed a Designated Player contract with the club, though it was initially anticipated that he would join TFC in July.

TFC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko has claimed that the club hasn’t spoken with Juventus, but head coach Greg Vanney said that TFC is hopeful that Giovinco could arrive ahead of schedule.

In the meantime, TFC has until March 1 to shed one of their Designated Player contracts, which surely means that forward Gilberto is on his way out. According to reports in Canada, Gilberto has remained in his native Brazil while TFC begin preseason preparations in Florida.

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What do you think of this news? Do you see Giovinco arriving next month? Do you think that TFC is a playoff team with Giovinco around all season?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Toronto FC | 3 Comments

Juan Agudelo signs contract with Revolution

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By RYAN TOLMICH

After a year in the club wilderness, Juan Agudelo is officially a member of the New England Revolution.

The Revs announced Friday that the club has officially re-signed Agudelo, who previously featured for the club in 2013. The 22-year-old forward scored seven goals in 14 games for the Revs in his lone season with the club before departing MLS for a move to England’s Stoke City.

Due to the circumstances of Agudelo’s original departure, the Revs retained the forward’s rights upon his return to MLS without the use of the allocation order.

“Juan is a player that we always knew that we would be interested in welcoming back to the club if the opportunity presented itself, and now it has,” said Revs general manager Michael Burns. “He is familiar with our club, our coaches, many of his teammates and the system that we play so we are confident that he will be able to fit right in and help us straight away.” Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, MLS- New England Revolution | Leave a comment