Photo by Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
Michael Bradley knows that Tuesday night will be special, but the U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder also understands that the night will be about much more than his personal achievements.
The U.S. kicks off the 2015 Gold Cup Tuesday night (9:30 p.m., FOX Sports 1, UniMas), taking on a tough Honduras team to start play in Group A. For Bradley, that matchup presents the potential for his 100th cap, a real milestone on a road that has featured plenty of twists and turns.
Bradley calls that milestone”special”, one that he will cherish when the time is right. However, that time is certainly not Tuesday night, as the USMNT captain understands that the night is about moving towards a Gold Cup crown more so than his personal achievements.
“When you talk about pride and honor and responsibility, that only adds to it, but as I’ve touched on, this week at this point, I’m not making any more of that than there needs to be,” Bradley said. “We’re excited to get this tournament going. we’ve all been looking forward to it for a long time. It’s a big opportunity for us. It’s a big tournament and everybody’s mentality is to push and push so that, at the end of the month, we can be the ones holding up a trophy.
“They’re very hard to play against,” Bradley said. “So we’ll be committed to stepping on the field, and trying to be sharp and trying to push the tempo and getting after them and seeing if we can start [the Gold Cup] off with a good result.”
Photo by Kirby Lee/ USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
For Omar Gonzalez and Greg Garza, Tuesday night’s Gold Cup opener represents so much more than just another game; it represents a homecoming.
The two Texans return to their home state as a member of the U.S. Men’s National Team for Tuesday’s matchup with Honduras (9:30 p.m., FOX Sports 1, UniMas), the first for the USMNT at this summer’s Gold Cup.
Gonzalez’s return proves special for the Dallas native, who will feature in FC Dallas’ Toyota Stadium, a site just 25 miles away from Garza’s childhood home of Grapevine.
For Garza, who has featured prominently with Liga MX’s Tijuana in recent years, the matchup presents him with the opportunity to play in front of family, an opportunity that has been few and far between in recent years. Save for some matchups with his youth teams and a trip to San Antonio earlier this year, Garza has rarely featured so near his loved ones, making his potential Gold Cup debut Tuesday all the more special.
“What else can you ask for, right? It’s a dream come true,” Garza said. “For me being home and having my family, my parents, my aunts and uncles, grandparents, everyone here to see me, I’m just really happy to be here.” Continue reading
By RYAN TOLMICH
After all of the missed deadlines and controversy that preceded his arrival, Frank Lampard is finally a member of New York City FC, and he couldn’t be more excited to finally get on the field.
Nearly a full year after signing with the club, Lampard is set to make his NYCFC debut this Sunday against Toronto FC, finally putting the much talked about Lampard-gate to rest by taking the field at Yankee Stadium.
Despite all of the controversy that came with his extended stay with Manchester City, Lampard wouldn’t quite say he regrets his time abroad. Rather, Lampard says that he is excited to make amends for any frustration the he has caused, with those apologies coming in the form of on-the-field successes.
“I’ve always been a very determined character and I think football and my career has always thrown out moments,” Lampard said in a press conference Tuesday. “Any player that has as long of a career as I’ve had will have moments and decisions, and I’ve learned that the only way to answer any question is on the pitch. For me, I’m not interested in looking backwards at all. I’m very, very excited to be here and I’ll try and make all my answers on the pitch in the coming months, this season and next season.
“It’s difficult to say I have regrets and look back with a negative feeling,” Lampard added. “My aim is to look forward now. I don’t know about regrets, but I am very excited to be here now to try and play my best football. I think we’re in a decent position in the league now, just short of the playoffs, where if we can put a little run together, and I hope to be a part of that. I won’t have any regrets at the end of the season when we hopefully have a successful year.” Continue reading
By AARON CRANFORD
The commercial relationship between Traffic Sports USA and CONCACAF is no more, as the two mutually cut its business ties Tuesday.
CONCACAF announced that the federation has mutually agreed with Traffic Sports USA to end its Corporate Agency Partnership, with sponsorship rights to the next four editions of the biennial Gold Cup — which includes the 2015 Gold Cup — seven seasons of the CONCACAF Champions League and all other events organized by CONCACAF, including youth tournaments, Olympic qualifiers and Futsal, terminated as of today.
CONCACAF is currently in the process to select commercial rights partners and vendors for the future.
“CONCACAF and Traffic Sports USA have decided to part ways and dissolve their commercial rights agreement,” the federation said in a statement.
“Nonetheless, CONCACAF remains committed to organizing and executing best-in-class competitions for our member associations, fans, players, coaches, and sponsors, including the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.” Continue reading
Photo by Isaiah J. Downing/USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
The holiday weekend provided plenty of changes in MLS, as several teams picked up major upsets to shuffle up the MLS Power Rankings.
Headlining the week’s upset parade was an unlikely candidate, as the shorthanded Seattle Sounders did just enough to squeak past D.C. United. Elsewhere, Western Conference cellardwellers Colorado Rapids defeated a Supporters’ Shield candidate in the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Meanwhile, both the LA Galaxy and Portland Timbers continued their respective hot streaks, while FC Dallas served up a statement with a thrashing of the New England Revolution to assert the West’s dominance over the MLS landscape.
Here are the SBI MLS Power Rankings for Week 18, as voted on by SBI’s editorial staff:
By DAN KARELL
Two years after seeing the U.S. Men’s National Team claim its fifth trophy, the 2015 Gold Cup kicks off Tuesday night with a spot in the Confederation’s Cup up for grabs.
Entering as reigning champions, the Americans could secure an automatic berth into the Confederations Cup with a Gold Cup title, but standing in their way will be a tough group of contenders that could easily disrupt head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s plans.
Once again leading the charge is Mexico, which despite some key injuries, enter the Gold Cup with a roster that might just be the most formidable in the region. Meanwhile, even a shorthanded Costa Rica team could pose major threats on the heels of a World Cup run, while typical contenders Honduras, Panama and El Salvador each boast strong teams that could make noise in the group stages in beyond.
Here is a closer look at the field for the 2015 Gold Cup below: Continue reading
By DAN KARELL
Freddy Adu’s latest career roll of the dice has come up short once again.
After a little more than three months under contract with Finnish side Kuopion Palloseura (KuPS), Adu has asked for his release, with both the club and Adu confirming on Tuesday that he has left the club. Adu played just five times for KuPS in the Veikkausliiga, with three starts. He failed to score a goal.
“He will pursue new challenges, and he is not available anymore for the Ilves match,” KuPS head coach Marko Rajamäki told Finnish newspaper Savon Sanomat. “I wish good luck to him. He is just a great personality.”
The five first-team matches Adu took part in were in April and May, after which he was relegated to the club’s reserve team, which plays in the fourth division of Finnish soccer.
Adu left a message on his Twitter account confirming the move, saying, “I have decided to exercise my option in my contract to leave KuPS this summer to pursue other opportunities. I thank the club and my teammates for welcoming me and making me a part of the team and I wish the team good luck for the remainder of the season and in the future.”