Photo by Jennifer Nicholson/USA Today Sports
By JASON MITCHELL
SEATTLE — Tyrone Mears knows how to make the first one count.
The Seattle Sounders — after leading the Supporters’ Shield race for much of the season — had suddenly lost four of five, melted down in an embarrassing U.S. Open Cup debacle, lost to their archrivals 4-1, and found themselves mere minutes away from a disappointing tie to 10-man D.C. United in front of 44,410 at CenturyLink Field.
But in the 88th minute a deflected cross fell to Mears in the corner of the penalty area, and the right back with the Premier League pedigree unleashed a one-touch rocket past a helpless Andrew Dykstra for the 1-0 win and his first goal with the Sounders.
A Friday night, and perhaps much more, saved.
Midfielder Nick DeLeon did nearly equalize moments later, slapping a close-range shot off the crossbar.
The Sounders (10-7-2, 32 points) are now tied with the Vancouver Whitecaps for the best record in the Western Conference, and trail D.C. United (10-6-5, 35 points) in the Supporters’ Shield race by three points.
For its part, D.C. United ends a four game, 12 day road trip with four points from a 1-2-1 record.
By AARON CRANFORD
With two second-half goals Friday night in Concepcion, Chile, Peru claimed a third-place finish in Copa America for a second consecutive time.
Andre Carrillo was the man to net the game-winner, as his right-footed shot from the top of the penalty box beat an outstretched Paraguay goalkeeper Justo Villar and rippled the back of the net in the 48th minute.
And to put the icing on the cake, Peru striker Paolo Guerrero, who has looked lethal for Los Incas all tournament, powered in his scoring chance after Joel Sanchez fizzed in a cross from the right wing in the 89th minute.
With the goal, Guerrero — who won the Golden Boot award in 2011 with five goals — ties Chile forward Eduardo Vargas with a tournament-leading four goals. No player has ever won the Golden Boot award in consecutive tournaments, which puts Gurrerro on the brink of making Copa America history if Vargas does not score in the final vs. Argentina Saturday. Continue reading
By IVES GALARCEP
It didn’t start out as the prettiest of matches, but a much stronger performance in the second half helped the U.S. Men’s National Team complete its final Gold Cup tuneup in promising fashion.
After a sloppy first half that produced just one own goal, the U.S. scored three unanswered goals to cruise to a 4-0 victory against Guatemala in front of a sellout crowd at LP Field in Nashville.
A Clint Dempsey penalty kick, a Timmy Chandler blast from distance and a Chris Wondolowski tap-in off a beautiful Gyasi Zardes run helped the Americans overwhelm the Guatemalans after a first half that saw the U.S. struggle to create good chances.
By AARON CRANFORD
In front of a record-setting crowd in Nashville, Tennessee, U.S. Men’s National Team captain Michael Bradley led the charge in a dominant 4-0 display against Guatemala.
Bradley controlled the midfield, orchestrating attacks and forcing fouls in key areas in the final third en route to helping secure the victory, and helping him earn SBI USMNT Man of the Match honors for the fourth straight match.
While Bradley won’t appear on a score sheet for a goal or assist, his surging runs toward goal were, at times, only stopped by Guatemala players tripping up the U.S. captain.
By AARON CRANFORD
Chelsea cruised to an English Premier League title this past season season, scoring 73 goals in the process, and its attack appears to only be getting stronger as the club announced the signing of Radamel Falcao on loan.
After spending a year on loan with EPL rival Manchester United, the Colombian striker is ready to return to England for another season after A.S. Monaco has agreed to loan him to Chelsea for the upcoming 2015-16 campaign.
“I am very happy to be joining Chelsea,” the 29-year-old striker said in a club statement, “and can’t wait to start training and help with our aim of retaining the league title and being successful in Europe.’
Falcao only tallied four goals in the 2014-15 season for the Red Devils, but will find more familiar faces at Chelsea, as he joins Colombian winger Juan Cuadrado on the squad and reunites with former Atletico Madrid teammates Thibaut Courtois, Felipe Luis, and Diego Costa.
While not explicitly part of the deal, A.S. Monaco also announced Friday that it has signed Chelsea midfielder Mario Pasalic on a season-long loan.
Here are some more news and notes for your Friday evening: Continue reading
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):
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
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.