By RYAN TOLMICH
Following Tuesday’s trade with the Montreal Impact, the New York Red Bulls have wasted little time in using the club’s newly acquired top spot in the allocation order.
The Red Bulls announced Wednesday that they have completed a move for Anderlecht and U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Sacha Kljestan. There was no immediate mention as to whether the 29-year-old midfielder – who was previously a teammate of Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch while at Chivas USA – was on a Designated Player deal.
“Sacha is a great player with tremendous experience,” Marsch said in a statement. “We feel that he is a great addition to our roster. He fits into the style of soccer that we want to play, but more importantly he is a man with tremendous character. We are excited to add him to the club and feel that his presence will pay dividends both on the field and in the locker room.” Continue reading
By FRANCO PANIZO
Diego Costa may have escaped punishment in Monday’s win against Liverpool, but he might soon face the wrath of the English Football Association.
A day after stomping on two opponents in Chelsea’s win in the Capital One Cup, Costa has been charged by the FA with violent conduct over one of the incidences. He is facing a three-match ban, and has until Jan. 29 to respond to the charge.
Costa stomped on both Emre Can and then Martin Skrtel in the tournament game, but is only being charged for the former infraction despite not getting booked by the match official.
“Diego Costa has been charged by the FA for violent conduct following an on-field incident which was not seen by the match officials but caught on video,” the FA said in a statement. “The charge is in relation to an incident involving the Chelsea forward and Liverpool’s Emre Can which occurred in the 12th minute of the League Cup semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge last night.
“Following a review of an incident during the game involving Costa and Liverpool’s Martin Skrtel, the FA will not be taking any further action.”
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has labeled both incidences as accidental.
Here are more notes from around the world of soccer:
By RYAN TOLMICH
Barcelona were able to escape the opening leg of the Copa del Rey quarter finals in possession of a 1-0 lead over Atletico Madrid, but Lionel Messi and co. will be in a battle to maintain that advantage in Wednesday’s second leg at Vicente Calderon Stadium.
The Catalan club enter Wednesday on a six-game win-streak, which includes last week’s opening leg victory as well as a 3-1 league triumph over last season’s league winners. Having not conceded in four games, Barca will now have to content with in-form Atleti striker Antoine Griezmann, who scored twice this past weekend as Atleti topped Ray Vallecano, 3-1.
In the African Cup of Nations, Group D maintains the potential of being settled by drawing lots as each of the four games to this point have ended in identical 1-1 draws. Perennial powerhouses Cameroon and Ivory Coast will matchup while Guinea takes on Mali, as yet another set of identical results will see the luck of the draw determine advancement to the knockout stages
If you will be watching today’s games, feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.
Enjoy today’s action (Today’s soccer TV schedule after the jump): Continue reading
By IVES GALARCEP
The U.S. Men’s National Team is ready to start the new year with its first match of 2015, and the latest episode of The SBI Show breaks down the team’s friendly against Chile.
Episode 189 of The SBI Show takes a closer look at the USA-Chile clash, as we discuss the potential 3-5-2 formation for the U.S., and project our starting lineup for the match.
Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I also catch up on a busy few days in MLS, including our take on the big trade made by the Montreal Impact and New York Red Bulls, and Juan Agudelo’s potential return to New England.
Give Episode 189 of The SBI Show a listen after the jump:
Photo by Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports
By FRANCO PANIZO
Jurgen Klinsmann scheduled a number of tough opponents to challenge his U.S. Men’s National Team during the six months before this summer’s Gold Cup.
The first test of 2015 comes on Wednesday, in unfamiliar territory, against an opponent that should offer a difficult challenge even without its World Cup stars.
The U.S. opens a busy 2015 on Wednesday evening, visiting a Chile team that is comprised completely of domestic-based players. The match at Estadio El Teniente in the central city of Rancagua marks the U.S. team’s first on South American soil against South American competition since the 2007 Copa America. The friendly will give Klinsmann an opportunity to see both veteran mainstays and unproven talents in a hostile environment, and potentially in a new tactical system.
No, Chile does not have the game-changing likes of Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal. But combine the rowdy atmosphere the home crowd is likely to provide with a squad of in-season Chilean players hungry to impress ahead of this summer’s Copa America – which is in their home country, no less – and you get the type of recipe that even an Iron Chef would struggle with.
“We know that those are all very ambitious players,” said Klinsmann. “They want to prove to (manager Jorge) Sampaoli that they belong in the first group, they want to impress the players that are right now in Europe. We expect a very aggressive, a very energetic Chilean team and we’ve prepared our team for that. Hopefully, we hold our ground and go in the other direction as well.”