SBI World Player of the Week: Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick in Barcelona’s 5-1 victory over Sevilla to claim La Liga’s all-time goalscoring mark.

Xavier, UMBC and UC-Irvine record major upsets to reach NCAA Round of 16

The NCAA Tournament suffered a major shakeup on Sunday, with a handful of top seeds suffering stunning second round upsets.


Monday Kickoff: Rodgers feeling the heat; Reus sidelined again; and more

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers understands that his job is on the line following a recent string of losses.

SBI World Team of the Week: Schalke



Entering the weekend on a 10-game unbeaten streak, Wolfsburg’s run of form was finally put to an end by a first-half blitz from Schalke.

Led by a pair of goals from Maxim Choupo-Moting, Schalke used an early jump to take down surging Wolfsburg, 3-2, to earn recognition as SBI World Team of the Week.

Schalke scored a trio of goals within 25 minutes to shock their in-form opposition who have surged to second in the Bundesliga on their current run. However, form was of little uses against Schalke, who will take the momentum from the weekend’s victory into a midweek Champions League clash with Chelsea.

Schalke beat out Crystal Palace, Barcelona, Marseille and Eintracht Frankfurt for this week’s honors.


What did you think of Schalke’s performance? Which team stood out to you this past week?

Share your thoughts below.

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SBI World Player of the Week: Lionel Messi



Lionel Messi is officially the most prolific goalscorer in La Liga’s 85 year history.

The Barcelona star netted a hat-trick in Saturday’s 5-1 victory over Sevilla in a performance that sees Messi earn recognition as SBI World Player of the Week.

Messi’s trio of finishes were the 251st, 252nd and 253rd in the Spanish League, as the Argentine assumes the mantle as La Liga’s top goalscorer by passing former Athletic Bilbao forward Telmo Zarra. Kickstarted by a first-half free kick that saw him equal Zarra’s mark, Messi’s record-breaking finish came in the 72nd minute in a spectacularly worked sequence with Neymar.

Messi’s record breaking performance saw the Barcelona star top Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben, Cagliari’s Diego Farias and Schalke’s Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting for this week’s honors.

What did you think of Messi’s performance? Which player stood out to you this past weekend?

Share your thoughts below.

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Must-See Goal: Luciano Slagveer

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Xavier, UMBC and UC-Irvine record major upsets to reach NCAA Round of 16


Photo by Xavier Athletics


Xavier had never won a NCAA Tournament home match until defeating Monmouth, and now, they are heading to the third round of the tournament for the first time ever after shocking No. 5 Indiana, 2-1, in Bloomington.

The Musketeers took the lead in the 29th minute after Matt Vasquenza beat the keeper for his 7th goal of the year. Hoosiers defender Grant Lillard quickly equalized in the 34th. But Musketeers senior Will Walker converted the game-winning penalty kick in the 74th minute to give the team its 15th win, a program record.

UMBC produced one of the best results in university history after knocking out No. 4 Maryland, 1-0. Retrievers midfielder Malcolm Harris netted the game-winner in the 70th minute to send his side into the third round, which is the farthest any UMBC athletic program has advanced in NCAA Tournament history.

No. 2 UCLA star midfielder Leo Stolz scored a golden goal in overtime to lift the Bruins over San Diego, 2-1. Toreros defender Parker Price put the away side up in the 20th, but Stolz netted his first of two in the 55th with a spectacular free kick.

While UC Irvine midfielder Michael Sperber eliminated Pac-12 powerhouse No. 6 Stanford, 1-0, in overtime, all five ACC teams, including No. 1 Notre Dame, and all four Big East teams won Sunday to advance into the round of 16; No. 7 Clemson could make it six for the ACC Monday.

Meanwhile, in one of the intriguing intrastate battles, North Carolina forward Tyler Engel scored in the 89th minute to give the Tar Heels a 2-1 upset victory over No. 10 Charlotte. Engel scored his first of the afternoon in the 27th, but the Tar Heels conceded an own goal in the 52nd minute.

Here is a rundown of Sunday’s results: Continue reading »

Posted in College Soccer, Featured | 1 Comment

Monday Kickoff: Rodgers feeling the heat; Reus sidelined again; and more


Photo by Guy Rhodes/ USA TODAY SPORTS



The world of soccer is an extremely results-driven business, and Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool have struggled to get results.

After sputtering to a fourth consecutive defeat this weekend, Rodgers admitted that he understands that his job is on the line as Liverpool continue their decline all the way to 12th in the Premier League.

“I’m not arrogant enough to think that I will be in a job through anything,” Rodgers said. “Any manager will tell you that you have to win games and you have to get results, especially after how we’ve been developing as a football club. But I have a great communication line with the owners. We’ve been honest enough with each other but ultimately you have to get results. You have to perform. In my first year when we weren’t maybe getting the results we were performing well.

“Owners and directors and chairmen and chief executives have to see development on the field. Barring this period, our development has been very good and fast. But there’s no doubt as a manager you have to get results. That will support the confidence to the owners, and you take it from there. I will only ever do my best. The best has seen us develop well. Now I need to fight even harder. And take the responsibility because as manager full responsibility comes down to me. Any pressure comes on to me.”

Here are more news and notes to kickoff your Monday morning:

Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, Featured, FIFA, International Soccer | 8 Comments

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

Terrence Boyd RB Leipzig 1By FRANCO PANIZO

On the scoresheet and in the headlines. That was where Terrence Boyd was this weekend.

Boyd helped push RB Leipzig to victory on Sunday, bagging a brace that opened his scoring account in the 2. Bundesliga and included the winner in a 4-1 triumph over St. Pauli. Both of Boyd’s goals came in impressive fashion, as he first headed a powerful header home from a difficult angle in the opening half before firing in a rocket of a shot in the second stanza. The goals gave the 23-year-old Boyd three across all competitions, and gave Leipzig their first win in three matches.

Not to be too outdone, fellow forward Aron Johannsson also netted his first of the season to lift AZ Alkmaar to a win in the Eredivisie. Johannsson scored via a snap header on Saturday, giving AZ a 1-0 victory that extended their league unbeaten streak to four games. Johannsson’s 14th-minute goal was his first since last April.

While the goal-scorers shone brightest this weekend, a pair of young centerbacks also made some noise. John Brooks earned his first Bundesliga start since Sept. 19 for Hertha Berlin in Saturday’s 2-1 win against FC Cologne, and Ventura Alvarado earned a rare nod for Club America in a 2-1 defeat to Edgar Castillo and Atlas that same day.

Here is how the Americans Abroad fared this weekend:

Continue reading »

Posted in Americans Abroad, Featured | 15 Comments