Rubio Rubin Myanmar (Getty Images)

U.S. U-20s 2, Myanmar 1: The SBI Breakdown

Gedion Zelalem showing both good and bad things is among SBI’s chief takeaways from the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team’s 2-1 win vs. Myanmar.

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Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

Arsenal seeks to retain the FA Cup against Aston Villa in one of four European domestic cup finals highlighting this Soccer Saturday.

Maki Tall US U-20 Myanmar (Getty)

U.S. U-20s overcome slow start to rally to narrow World Cup victory over Myanmar

The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team fell behind early, but rallied to a 2-1 victory over Myanmar in the Group A opener for both teams on Saturday.

Must-See Goal: Lionel Messi

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U.S. U-20s 2, Myanmar 1: The SBI Breakdown

Rubio Rubin Myanmar (Getty Images)

By FRANCO PANIZO

It was not a dream performance by any stretch of the imagination, but it was enough to start the World Cup off on the right foot.

The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team kickstarted its tournament run in New Zealand by picking up three points on Saturday, coming from behind to defeat World Cup newcomers Myanmar, 2-1, in a Group A opener that was as tight at the scoreline indicated.

While the U.S. got the job done and now sits in first place in Group A, its performance in the match at Northland Events Center in Whangarei left a lot to be desired. An early mistake by goalkeeper Zack Steffen allowed Myanmar to take a shock lead, and an overall sloppy and nervy first half from the Americans raised a few eyebrows.

U.S. head coach Tab Ramos made some adjustment shortly after halftime, and the Americans looked much improved. Emerson Hyndman also turned from facilitator to scorer, following up Maki Tall’s 14th-minute goal with one of his own in the 56th minute to ultimately decide the match.

Here is what SBI is thinking about following the U.S.’s 2-1 win vs. Myanmar:

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Posted in Featured, International Soccer, U.S. Under-20 National Team, U.S. Youth National Teams, Under-20 World Cup | 7 Comments

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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By ADAM TROXTELL

Domestic cup finals in England, Germany, Spain and France take center stage in a full Saturday of action.

Arsenal can become the winningest team in FA Cup history with victory against Aston Villa in the final. The holders are tied with Manchester United for most FA Cups won with 11.

In Spain, Barcelona is looking for the second of a possible three trophies this season against Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final. Paris Saint-Germain also seeks a double in the final of the Coupe de France against Auxerre.

Jurgen Klopp is after a victorious end to his time with Borussia Dortmund when the team faces Wolfsburg in the DFB Pokal final.

Later, the U.S. Women’s National Team plays its final World Cup warm-up friendly against South Korea. Mexico also gets some prep work in with a friendly against Guatemala ahead of the Copa America and Gold Cup this summer.

If you will be watching today’s action, feel free to leave your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (today’s soccer on TV schedule after the jump):

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U.S. U-20s overcome slow start to rally to narrow World Cup victory over Myanmar

Maki Tall US U-20 Myanmar (Getty)

By FRANCO PANIZO

What started out as a nightmare ended up as a win, and the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team is now sitting pretty through the first round of games at the Under-20 World Cup.

The Americans began their campaign in New Zealand by picking up three points on Saturday after rallying to a 2-1 victory over Myanmar in the two teams’ Group A opener. Myanmar scored nine minutes into the match at the Northland Events Center in Whangarei to shock the Americans, but goals from Maki Tall and Emerson Hyndman flipped the script.

Tall netted with an acrobatic finish in the 17th minute of a sloppy first half for the U.S., and Hyndman capped the comeback with a slotted effort in the 56th.

The Americans, who had not won a U-20 World Cup game since September 2009, currently sit in first place in Group A after tournament hosts New Zealand and Ukraine played to a scoreless draw earlier in the day.

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Posted in Featured, International Soccer, U.S. Under-20 National Team, U.S. Youth National Teams, Under-20 World Cup | 87 Comments

SBI U.S. Under-20 Man of the Match: Emerson Hyndman

U.S. Under-20s vs Myanmar (Getty Images)

 

By IVES GALARCEP

Before the Under-20 World Cup began, Emerson Hyndman entered the tournament seen as the U.S. Under-20 team’s best player. On Saturday in New Zealand,  he lived up to that billing, helping lead the U.S. team’s rally past Myanmar.

Hyndman delivered a corner kick eventually sent home by Maki Tall in the first half, then the U.S. captain scored his own goal in the second half in the U.S. team’s 2-1 victory in its Under-20 World Cup opener in New Zealand. Hyndman’s performance helped him earn SBI Man of the Match honors.

The U.S. overcame a shaky start to the match, and Hyndman’s poise in midfield was key to turning the tide for the Americans. The Fulham midfielder’s sharp passing and work all over the field helped set the tone for a better second half for the U.S., which stands atop its World Cup group after the first match day.

Hyndman beat out Rubio Rubin and Maki Tall for Man of the Match honors.

What did you think of Hyndman’s performance? Which player impressed you the most against Myanmar?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Featured, U.S. Under-20 National Team, Uncategorized, Under-20 World Cup | 7 Comments

Kevin Ellis scores debut MLS goal in dominant defensive performance

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By SKYLAR ROLSTAD

In Sporting Kansas City’s 4-0 win over FC Dallas on Friday night, the team’s attack once again came together to blow past the opposition, scoring four goals in a game for the third time this season and the second consecutive time at Sporting Park.

But the difference between Sporting’s 4-0 win on Friday and it’s 4-2 triumph over New England in its last home game was the defense, which posted a second straight shutout and even got central defender Kevin Ellis his first career Major League Soccer goal and fourth career assist.

“I told him it’s probably his best game that he’s played with us so far, since he’s been with us,” Sporting KC head coach Peter Vermes said after the game. “He was basically locked into the game.”

“At times he has a tendency to sort of lose his concentration but tonight he was in the game the whole time.”

Ellis, who made his seventh start of the season, agreed with Vermes but was quick to credit the entire team.

“For [Vermes] to say that, it means a lot,” Ellis said. “I feel that this was the best game we played as a team this year. I can’t talk that much about myself, I’ve got to talk about the team.”

However, Ellis is no stranger to starting minutes for Sporting. Since being signed as a Homegrown player, the 23-year-old has amassed 24 starts in his professional career.

“I haven’t really noticed any specifics,” Matt Belser said of Ellis’s improvements. “He probably just has gotten more comfortable. The more games you play, the more confidence you’re going to gain.”

Vermes said Ellis’s experience switching to center back after playing as a left defender helped him understand the game. He also pointed out the value of Ellis playing as a forward as a youth player in sporting’s system.

“It really helps a player when he’s played up front to be in the back because now in front of you it’s a lot easier to see the game,” Vermes said.
Vermes himself started his playing career as a forward and shifted to center defender by the time he played for the Kansas City Wizards.

Posted in MLS- Sporting Kansas City, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Under-20 World Cup: U.S. U-20s vs. Myanmar (SBI Live Commentary)

U-20 USMNT starting XI vs. El Salvador (Mexsport)

 

By IVES GALARCEP

The United States Under-20 Men’s National Team keeps opening day action going at the U-20 World Cup against Myanmar.

Momentum is there to be seized in Group A after hosts New Zealand drew Ukraine 0-0 in the tournament’s opening match. The U.S. U-20s enter the tournament with big expectations and will look to get off on the right foot (Midnight ET, Fox Sports 1).

Myanmar is not to be underestimated, coming out of the Asian bloc as hosts of their region’s qualification tournament.

After just managing to qualify out of CONCACAF, the U.S. U-20s can look to make a statement in its opening game.

SBI will be providing live commentary on tonight’s match, so please feel free to follow the action here. As always, you are welcome to share your own thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (live commentary after the jump):

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Posted in U.S. Under-20 National Team, Under-20 World Cup | 38 Comments

Sporting KC routs 10-man FC Dallas

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Photo by Peter Aiken / USA Today Sports Images

By SKYLAR ROLSTAD

With Sporting Kansas City’s below-par home record of last season, one might have expected the team to have trouble welcoming Western Conference second-place side FC Dallas to Sporting Park.

Instead, Sporting KC extended its unbeaten streak to six games with a controlling 4-0 win.

Krisztian Nemeth recorded his third goal in his last two games at Sporting Park and also added an assist. Sporting’s supreme defense also ruled the night as center backs Matt Besler and Kevin Ellis held FC Dallas to a single shot on goal.

Sporting dominated the first half, frustrating FC Dallas into nine first-half fouls. Things got even worse for the visitors just before the halftime whistle, as center back Zach Loyd was sent off with his second yellow of the game for a foul on Nemeth.

By the final whistle, FC Dallas had only managed five shots with one on goal. Sporting finished with 12 shots, six of them on goal.

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- FC Dallas, MLS- Sporting Kansas City | 3 Comments