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Saturday European Rewind: Chelsea hold on to tie Man City; Real Madrid cruise to win; And more

Chelsea and Manchester City play out a draw, Real Madrid secures an easy victory, and more of the best action from Europe on Saturday.

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San Jose signs striker Emeghara as third DP

San Jose signs striker Innocent Emeghara as their third designated player.

JasonDavidsonAustralia1-UAE2015AsianCup (Getty)

Tim Cahill helps Australia lift first Asian Cup title

A late James Troisi strike helped Australia beat South Korea to lift its first Asian Cup title.

Saturday European Rewind: Chelsea hold on to tie Man City; Real Madrid cruise to win; And more

DidierDrogbaChelsea1-Tottenham2014EPL (Getty)

By ADAM TROXTELL

In the absence of attacking prowess, Chelsea turned to defensive tactics to maintain a five-point lead at the top of the English Premier League.

A 1-1 draw against second-place Manchester City was enough to keep the Blues five points clear at the top. Chelsea was content to sit back and absorb pressure from the Citizens, who were determined to get three points in their quest to retain the title.

In place of the suspended Diego Costa, striker Loic Remy gave Chelsea the lead in the 42nd minute. He tapped the ball in from a low, first-time cross by Eden Hazard.

The game was level just three minutes later thanks to an important touch from David Silva. Thibaut Courtois failed to deal with a cross in front of the Chelsea goal, allowing Sergio Aguero to send a low shot to the far post that was poked in by his Spanish teammate.

Man City created plenty of chances, with five of 10 shots landing on target. The introduction of former Chelsea man Frank Lampard as they were chasing the winner only brought loud cheers from both sets of fans inside Stamford Bridge.

The high-profile match of the day in Germany also ended in a draw, as neither Bayer Leverkusen nor relegation-threatened Borussia Dortmund found the back of the net. In Spain, both Madrid teams eased to victory.

Here is a full look at the action from Europe (recap after the jump):

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San Jose signs striker Emeghara as third DP

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By ADAM TROXTELL

Chris Wondolowski appears to have a new striking partner in San Jose.

The Earthquakes announced the signing of Swiss goal scorer Innocent Emeghara as the club’s third designated player on Saturday, pending receipt of his P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate.

Emeghara, 25, comes to MLS after scoring five goals in eight appearances for Azerbaijani side Qarabag Agbam during the 2014-15 season.

“It is always good to sign a forward who has the potential to run away from the defense, but also who is clever enough to join in the play,” San Jose head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “He is a good signing for the league and our team. He will be a threat to score every time he steps on the field.”

Prior to his time in Azerbaijan, Emeghara made a name for himself in Europe. He scored seven goals and notched two assists in 17 games for Italian Serie A team Siena, and he also spent time on loan at Livorno.

Before that, Emeghara played for FC Lorient in the French Ligue 1. He played for Swiss Super League club Grasshoppers Club Zurich, tallying 15 goals and 12 assists in 46 games. He has nine caps with the Switzerland National Team, but is originally from Lagos, Nigeria.

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- San Jose Earthquakes | 8 Comments

Garza suffers knee injury in Tijuana win

Greg Garza (USA Today)

By ADAM TROXTELL

Club Tijuana was victorious against Morelia on Friday, but Greg Garza’s evening didn’t end so well.

The 23-year-old left back had to be replaced by fellow American Joe Corona after suffering an apparent knee injury during the 4-2 Tijuana win. There is no word from the club on Garza’s current status, but the team felt the need to take him off in the 52nd minute.

It was Garza’s fourth-straight start for Tijuana in the Liga MX Clausura. He appeared in 15 of 17 matches in the Apertura last year.

The victory helped Club Tijuana move into first place in Liga MX, if only temporarily.

Posted in Americans Abroad, Mexican Soccer, U.S. Men's National Team | 23 Comments

Tim Cahill helps Australia lift first Asian Cup title

JasonDavidsonAustralia1-UAE2015AsianCup (Getty)

 

By ADAM TROXTELL

For the first time since switching from the Oceania region, Australia is a continental champion.

The Socceroos triumphed 2-1 in extra time against heavyweights South Korea to win the Asian Cup on home soil. James Troisi scored in the 105th minute to make Australia the first men’s national team to win two different continental titles.

It was an exciting end to an entertaining final. The teams split possession and combined for eight shots on target.

Massimo Luongo had his long-range effort sail into the net for a 1-0 Australia lead just before halftime. It looked like his strike was the crucial one in a very even contest, but Heung-Min Son’s 90th minute equalizer for South Korea sent things into extra time.

Australia found that extra gear in the added period. Tomi Juric, who was substituted on for Tim Cahill in the 64th minute, muscled his way past a defender before sending a shot on goal. Troisi was there to poke home the saved effort, sending more than 76,000 fans at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney into a frenzy.

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Posted in Featured, International Soccer | 10 Comments

USL PRO announces 2015 home openers

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By ADAM TROXTELL

The 2015 USL PRO season is set to open in style with some potentially promising rivalries kicking off for the first time.

The league announced home openers for the upcoming season in a pair of tweets on Saturday. Seattle Sounders FC 2 face Portland Timbers 2 when league play starts on March 21.

Another pair of clubs with direct MLS links lock horns north of the border on March 28 when FC Montreal hosts Toronto FC II. On the same day, expansion teams Louisville City hosts Saint Louis FC while the first battle for Oklahoma begins when the Tulsa Roughnecks open against Oklahoma City Energy FC.

Champion Sacramento Republic begins its title defense at home against LA Galaxy II.

A full schedule is expected to be released on Monday. Here is a rundown of the home openers for all of the league’s teams:

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Posted in USL Pro | 1 Comment

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

Frank Lampard comes on Manchester City

By ADAM TROXTELL

Manchester City will look to take advantage of Chelsea’s absentee top-scorer when the top two teams meet in English Premier League play.

The FA upheld a three-match ban for Diego Costa on Friday, meaning the league’s leading scorer will miss the crucial matchup at Stamford Bridge. The Citizens sit five points behind first-place Chelsea and have identified this match as a must-win.

Both teams suffered shock defeats in the FA Cup last weekend, placing more importance on league performance as they chase down the title. Last time they met, Man City squeaked out a 1-1 draw thanks to an 85th minute goal from former Chelsea man Frank Lampard.

History favors the home team in this matchup. Out of the last 9 league meetings between the two clubs, six have ended in a win for the hosts.

As if starting the second half of the Bundesliga season in the relegation zone wasn’t hard enough, Borussia Dortmund begin a climb from the bottom with a trip to third-place Bayer Leverkusen. Last time the teams met in August, Leverkusen took a 2-0 win away from Signal Iduna Park when Dortmund’s rough league campaign was only beginning.

Real Madrid will be without the suspended Cristiano Ronaldo when they host Real Sociedad. Elsewhere in Spain, Atletico Madrid look for a win at Eibar to bounce back from being knocked out of the Copa Del Rey by Barcelona.

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

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

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Posted in European Soccer, Featured | 60 Comments