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Indy Eleven hopes new stadium can continue soccer’s push into the mainstream

Indy Eleven owner Ersal Ozdemir and president Peter Wilt believe the club’s new stadium proposal will help grow the game both locally and nationally.

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Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

Fabian Johnson and Borussia Moenchengladbach return from their winter break, Paul Arriola looks to get back on the field for Club Tijuana, and more in this upcoming weekend’s Americans Abroad action.

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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.

Indy Eleven hopes new stadium can continue soccer’s push into the mainstream

Indy Eleven rendering aerial close

By RYAN TOLMICH

Heading into just the second year of the team’s existence, Indy Eleven have the soccer world buzzing about the potential of a brand new soccer specific stadium.

Following a debut season that saw the club sell out every home game, the club unveiled plans for a new stadium on Wednesday, as owner Ersal Ozdemir and president Peter Wilt look to continue to grow the game both locally and nationally.

“I think it’s a continuation of the support you’ve seen for soccer nationally, as well as locally,” Wilt told SBI. “You look at the facilities in Kansas City and Salt Lake City, which are markets not all that different than Indianapolis, and they’re sold out every game. You look at Houston and Portland, and similar sized venues again, that are sold out virtually every game. The sport has reached a tipping point in this country and it deserves a venue like this.

“Some people just haven’t caught on that there is a real shift in demographic in the United States, not just in unusual markets that might be ethnic-heavy or skewed young. Throughout the United States, the age wave has grown up that supports soccer that required a venue this size.” Continue reading »

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Jaime Penedo, Gabriel Torres headline Panama roster for USMNT friendly

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, Colorado Rapids forward Gabriel Torres and FC Dallas forward Blas Perez are among the 21 players called in for Panama’s friendly against the  U.S. Men’s National Team on Feb. 8.

With the friendly at the StubHub Center outside Los Angeles, Penedo returns to the site of where he helped the Galaxy win the MLS Cup in December in his first full season as a starter. He appeared in 29 games and made 81 saves last season.

The young Los Canaleros squad also includes six players that featured for Panama in this month’s CONCACAF U-20 Championship. Panama qualified for the U-20 World Cup and finished as runners-up behind Mexico.

Check out the full roster after the jump:

Continue reading »

Posted in CONCACAF, U.S. Men's National Team, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

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 month.

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 cap. Allie Long, Samantha Mewis and Kristie Mewis, all midfield options, did not make the cut.

The USWNT faces 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. 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 the European friendly matches:

Continue reading »

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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.

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Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The German Bundesliga returns from its winter break this weekend, and Fabian Johnson is surely hoping that it is the start of a better half-season for him.

Johnson was limited to mostly spot duty off the bench during the opening months of the season, but will now aim to break into the lineup more regularly as Borussia Moenchengladbach attempts to move into a guaranteed UEFA Champions League spot. That starts on Saturday for Johnson and his club, as they visit struggling Stuttgart. Johnson and Moenchengladbach are just a point off of third place in the table, so win could push them into that position if Bayer Leverkusen is unable to grab maximum points in its game.

Paul Arriola is also looking to get back into the mix this weekend, but not because he’s been on a brief vacation. Arriola has been away from Club Tijuana during the opening weeks of the Liga MX campaign because of the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team’s World Cup qualifying tournament, and he will now attempt to crack the Xolos’ lineup when they take on Morelia on Friday night. Arriola finished the U.S.’s successful qualifying campaign with a goal and an assist in the last two games, so that momentum could carry over as he tries to earn a regular role again at the club level.

Another youngster trying to see a steadier dose of minutes in the coming months is Julian Green. Hamburg has seldom used the teenage loanee, but that could begin to change as the club attempts to further distance itself from the relegation zone in Saturday’s clash with Cologne. Green has just five appearances thus far this season, a number that will need to increase exponentially in order for him to have a real case for playing at the Gold Cup this summer.

Here is who the Americans Abroad battle this weekend: Continue reading »

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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:

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, U.S. Men's National Team, Uncategorized | 24 Comments