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USMNT vs. Guatemala: SBI Live Commentary

The U.S. Men’s National Team takes on Guatemala in Nashville in their final Gold Cup tuneup match. Join SBI for live commentary on tonight’s action.

Edgar Benitez Paraguay celebration Copa America

Soccer Friday: Your Running Commentary

Paraguay and Peru meet in the third-place match in Concepcion, two MLS games kick off and the USMNT hosts Guatemala Friday evening.

Jurgen Klinsmann USMNT 18

Klinsmann looking to finalize USMNT’s Gold Cup plans in friendly vs. Guatemala

Ahead of a much-talked about Gold Cup, Jurgen Klinsmann and the U.S. Men’s National Team face a friendly against Guatemala that will serve as a benchmark ahead of the tournament’s kickoff.

USMNT vs. Guatemala: SBI Live Commentary

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By IVES GALARCEP

The U.S. Men’s National Team will play its final tuneup match before the CONCACAF Gold Cup tonight when it takes on Guatemala (7pm, Fox Sports 1).

Jurgen Klinsmann will be trotting out a mostly first-choice lineup tonight as he looks for the right combination to turn to when the Gold Cup begins on Tuesday with an opening match against Honduras.

The U.S. will be entering with momentum after posting a pair of impressive wins against the Netherlands and Germany, and Klinsmann is calling on many of the players who took part in this wins. Mix Diskerud earns the start tonight ahead of Kyle Beckerman, while DeAndre Yedlin gets the nod for Alejandro Bedoya, who projects to be a starter when the Gold Cup begins.

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 thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Tonight’s commentary is after the jump):

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Posted in Featured, SBI Match Day Commentary, U.S. Men's National Team, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Soccer Friday: Your Running Commentary

Edgar Benitez Paraguay celebration Copa America

 

By AARON CRANFORD

Both Paraguay and Peru may have come up just short of Copa America glory, but the two will look to finish their impressive campaigns with a win, as they meet in the third-place match in Concepcion, Chile Friday evening.

Both sides will be without some of their better players, with Paraguay playmaker Derlis Gonzalez, Peru defender Carlos Zambrano and many more having to sit out of the battle, but with a third-place finish on the line, fresh faces can step up and lead their national team to another win.

Two MLS games are also on tap tonight, as the Seattle Sounders look to stop their slump against a first-place D.C. United, and the Houston Dynamo host the Chicago Fire with both desiring a move back up their respective conference standings.

Meanwhile, in preparation for the Gold Cup, the U.S. Men’s National Team is set to take on Guatemala in front of a sold-out crowd in Nashville, Tennessee. Jurgen Klinsmann will use this friendly to sort out his possible starting lineup for the CONCACAF tournament, which is only days away from kickoff.

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): Continue reading »

Posted in Copa America 2015, Featured, Major League Soccer, U.S. Men's National Team, Your Running Commentary | 4 Comments

Copa America third-place match preview: Peru, Paraguay aim to end tournament runs on a high

Paolo Guerrero Peru celebration Copa America

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.

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Posted in Copa America 2015, South American Soccer | 2 Comments

Friday Kickoff: UEFA lifts spending restrictions on Man City, PSG; Orozco replaces Chicharito on Mexico roster; and more

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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 »

Posted in CONCACAF Gold Cup, European Soccer, FIFA, Mexican Soccer | 1 Comment

Lloyd, Solo, Johnston among USWNT players up for World Cup awards

photo by Michael Chow/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

The World Cup trophy is not the only thing that U.S. Women’s National Team players are looking to claim in Canada this weekend.

FIFA unveiled its shortlists for the Women’s World Cup on Thursday, and four Americans are up for consideration. Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe, and Julie Johnston all made the cut for the Golden Ball award, which is given to the best player of the tournament, while Hope Solo is one of three candidates for the Golden Glove accolade that is awarded to the best goalkeeper.

Solo is competing with Germany’s Nadine Angerer and Ayumi Kaihori of Japan for the Golden Glove. Lloyd, Rapinoe, and Johnston, meanwhile, are in a class of players that also includes Saori Ariyoshi (Japan), Lucy Bronze (England), Amandine Henry (France), Aya Miyami (Japan), and Celia Sasic (Germany).

No American made the cut for the Young Player Award, which has three finalists in Canada’s Kadeisha Buchanan, Ada Hegerberg of Norway, and China’s Jiali Tang.

The winners of these accolades, as well as the second- and third-placed finishers, will be announced after the World Cup final on July 5.

Which USWNT player do you think is most deserving of the Golden Ball award? Is there an American missing on the shortlist that should have been included? Do you see Solo claiming the Golden Glove?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in 2015 Women's World Cup, U.S. Women's National Team, Women's Soccer, Women's World Cup 2015 | 3 Comments

Landon Donovan denies double meaning in recent World Cup tweet

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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.

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Posted in U.S. Men's National Team | 76 Comments

Klinsmann looking to finalize USMNT’s Gold Cup plans in friendly vs. Guatemala

Jurgen Klinsmann USMNT 18

Photo by Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

The U.S. Men’s National Team is less than a week away from kicking off the Gold Cup, but Friday night brings one last opportunity for the team to fine-tune ahead of the crucial summer tournament.

The U.S is set to take on Guatemala at Nissan Stadium on Friday night in Nashville, Tennessee, giving head coach Jurgen Klinsmann one last chance to eye his roster before deciding on starters for the Gold Cup opener against Honduras next Tuesday.

Klinsmann is planning to feature many of the regulars from the start of the game against the Guatemalans, but also intends to take full advantage of the six substitutions that are available in friendlies. That way, he can get a real sense of who is ready for the Gold Cup.

“I think the game against Guatemala will give us a really big hint toward the starting eleven a couple of days later in Dallas against Honduras,” said Klinsmann. “In the friendly with Guatemala we have the chance to use six subs. We will use all six subs most likely to give the players minutes and give them a chance to show us what they have.

“As we get closer to the opening game we’re going to zoom in and plan through hopefully a long tournament.” Continue reading »

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

Familiar foes USWNT, Japan meet again in World Cup final match

photo by Michael Chow/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

If the U.S. Women’s National Team is to snap its 16-year run without a World Cup , it will have to do so against a very familiar foe. The same foe that snatched the tournament trophy away from the Americans’ fingertips four years ago.

The U.S. will meet Japan in the Women’s World Cup final on Sunday, marking the third straight meeting in a championship game between the two nations. The Americans most recently beat Japan in the final at the 2012 Olympics, but it was pain from the defeat they suffered one year prior at the World Cup that still resonates.

The U.S. had Japan on the ropes twice in that final, but allowed the Japanese to score late goals, including three minutes before the end of extra time. If that was not enough heartbreak for the Americans, the ensuing penalty shootout surely was. The U.S. missed its first three attempts and wound up losing, 3-1, after four rounds of penalty kicks.

The World Cup dreams had been crushed, but now the U.S. has a shot at making amends.

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Posted in 2015 Women's World Cup, Featured, U.S. Women's National Team, Women's Soccer, Women's World Cup 2015 | 9 Comments