By FRANCO PANIZO
They may once again have fallen just short of reaching the Copa America final, but both Peru and Paraguay have a shot to claim some more hardware on Friday.
They will just have to do so without some of their top talents.
Peru and Paraguay will wrap up their impressive Copa America campaigns in Chile on Friday night, as they square off in the tournament’s third-place match. The two nations are entering the game at Estadio Municipal de Concepcion with some injury concerns, but Paraguay may be the one that is worse off due to expected absences of attackers Roque Santa Cruz, Derlis Gonzalez, and Nelson Haedo Valdez, and defender Bruno Valdez.
Peru will be missing some of its first-choice regulars, too. Already without centerback Carlos Zambrano due to the red card he received in the 2-1 semifinals loss to Chile, the Peruvians are also likely to be without veteran forward Claudio Pizarro, who is apparently battling some niggling injuries.
Fellow star attacker Jefferson Farfan is another question mark for Peru head coach Ricardo Gareca, who will have to get creative if the Peruvians are to finish in third place for the second straight Copa America.
By FRANCO PANIZO
Five days and one game are all that separate the U.S. Men’s National Team from the start of its CONCACAF Gold Cup title defense, and head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is likely to make the most of that remaining time and fixture.
The U.S. will have its final tune-up before the start of the Gold Cup on Friday, as the Americans host Guatemala at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee. The friendly will give Klinsmann one last opportunity to assess the state of the team before next Tuesday’s tournament opener, and also a chance to see which players might best comprise a starting lineup.
Ideally, Klinsmann would be able to toss out his preferred group from the onset on Friday so as to give it a game to fine-tune things. But the fact that his European- and Mexican-based players are coming off of vacations complicates things, and could lead to him going with a more in-form starting eleven that does not necessarily include all of the U.S.’s top talents.
One thing Klinsmann will certainly be looking closely at is how the Americans perform in the formation he trots out. The U.S. had success in June’s friendlies vs. the Netherlands and Germany, but did so by using two different tactical looks. Klinsmann could be inclined to go back to one of those formations, but may consider something else entirely given that key veterans Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, and Alejandro Bedoya are all returning to the fold after missing those wins on European soil.
Who will start for the U.S.? Here is a lineup we could see starting against Guatemala:
By COLE KELLOGG
Yet another weekend of Summer 2015 is filled with an incredible array of world soccer, highlighted by the finales of two large-scale tournaments.
On Saturday evening, Chile and Argentina will face off in the finale of what was a dramatic tournament. Lionel Messi and the boys will take on Arturo Vidal and company as the two face off for the first time since the Champions League final.
The Women’s World Cup will reach its conclusion, as what many called an underwhelming USA side will take on Japan in a rematch of the 2011 final and the 2012 Olympic gold medal match.
MLS teams will now face off for the first time without the CONCACAF stars that are taking part in the Gold Cup. The LA Galaxy will take on Toronto FC on Saturday night in what is sure to be one of the most entertaining matches of the weekend.
On Friday, the USMNT are back in action in its final pre-Gold Cup friendly against Guatemala. The team, now captained by Michael Bradley, will look to continue its fine form after two shocking wins in Europe against the Netherlands and Germany earlier this month.
Elsewhere, the NASL Fall Season starts up with four matches available on ESPN3.
Here’s a closer look at this weekend’s soccer on TV: Continue reading
Photo by Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
After a midweek full of tournament action, MLS boasts a full slate of games heading into the holiday weekend.
Headlining the proceedings will be a pair of inter-conference matches, as the LA Galaxy play host to Toronto FC, while Eastern Conference leaders D.C. United travel west to take on the Seattle Sounders.
Riding victories over their two local rivals, the New York Red Bulls return to action against an increasingly fit Columbus Crew, while NYCFC looks to bounce back in a clash against the Montreal Impact.
Elsewhere, The surging Portland Timbers face a San Jose Earthquakes team riding two straight victories and FC Dallas takes on the struggling New England Revolution.
Here’s a closer look at this weekend’s MLS action: Continue reading
By IVES GALARCEP
The 4th of July weekend is a special one or American soccer fans, as one national team prepares to try and defend a title, and another attempts to win its first one in 16 years.
Episode 219 of The SBI Show previews the Women’s World Cup final, which will pit the U.S. Women’s National Team against Japan in a rematch of the 2011 World Cup final, won by the Japanese.
Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I also discuss the U.S. Men’s National Team’s friendly against Guatemala on Friday, and what we should expect from Jurgen Klinsmann’s team in its final Gold Cup tune-up match.
We also discuss the U.S. Open Cup Round of 16, and preview MLS Week 18.
Give Episode 219 of The SBI Show a listen after the jump:
By RYAN TOLMICH
After feeling the wrath of new Financial Fair Play rules this past season, Manchester City and Paris Saint-German have seen their clubs’ punishments conclude.
UEFA announced Friday that the federation had lifted the punishments put on the two big-money clubs, who saw restrictions on transfer spending and Champions League squad size this past year. The two teams’ settlement agreement with the federation do still require the clubs to meet certain guidelines for 2016.
“We are now able to be more active on the transfer market to make our team even more competitive by recruiting the right talents that our team needs,” said PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi.
“However, we are mindful that the settlement signed last year with UEFA is still applicable. Our club has, among other objectives, to reach a break-even result in 2015-16, so we will spend our money on the right players as we always did it and this will help the PSG to grow. We don’t have an unlimited budget.”
Here are some more news and notes to kick off your Friday morning: Continue reading
By FRANCO PANIZO
The subtweet of the week was apparently no subtweet at all. If Landon Donovan is to be believed, at least.
Donovan was a guest on the Dan Patrick Show on Wednesday, and one of the topics the retired U.S. Men’s National Team star discussed was his Tuesday tweet that came during the U.S. Women’s National Team’s 2-0 World Cup semifinals win over Germany.
Donovan published a tweet commending veteran Abby Wambach’s leadership despite not starting for the Americans, but also added that it was “priceless” to have such an experienced figure on the bench during the World Cup. Those comments were instantly perceived by many as Donovan having a subtle dig at U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who controversially left Donovan off the 2014 World Cup roster.
Donovan, however, shot down that notion on Wednesday.
photo by Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports
By FRANCO PANIZO
CONCACAF has approved the change, and Greg Garza is now officially on the U.S. Men’s National Team’s Gold Cup roster.
U.S. Soccer announced on Thursday afternoon that Garza has replaced the injured Brad Davis on the 23-man American squad that is preparing for a Gold Cup title defense. Garza had been brought into camp earlier this week by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, but the U.S. needed to file paperwork and have it approved by CONCACAF before being able to officially swap Garza for Davis.
The 23-year-old left back, who is currently on loan at Atlas from Club Tijuana, has started in two U.S. matches this year. He made his debut for the Americans and played in each of their five games that followed the 2014 World Cup.
Garza and the U.S. will play their final friendly before the start of the Gold Cup on Friday, as they take on Guatemala at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee.
What do you think of Garza officially being added to the USMNT roster? Expecting him to start at the Gold Cup? Would you have preferred to see another player called in for Davis?
Share your thoughts below.