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Michael Bradley set to earn 100th cap with USMNT in Gold Cup opener

Michael Bradley’s long road with the U.S. Men’s National Team will likely see the midfielder collect his 100th cap Tuesday.

Jul 3, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; USA midfielder Gyasi Zardes (20) controls the ball against Guatemala defender Deniss Lopez (15) during the second half at Nissan Stadium. USA won 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

USMNT 4, Guatemala 0: The SBI Breakdown

The U.S. Men’s National Team defeated Guatemala, 4-0, on Friday, and here are SBI’s biggest takeaways from the final Gold Cup tuneup.

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USWNT 5, Japan 2: The SBI Breakdown

After the U.S. Women’s National Team’s defeat of Japan on Sunday, SBI has several takeaways from the team’s run through the Women’s World Cup.

Women’s World Cup final smashes TV records

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Photo by Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA Today Sports

By DAN KARELL

The 2015 Women’s World Cup final didn’t just break records on the field. It also broke records on the TV screen.

According to Nielsen, the U.S. Women’s National Team’s 5-2 rout of Japan on FOX earned an overnight metered market household rating/share of 15.2/27. Per SI.com, the game averaged 25.4 million viewers over the course of the evening, during the 7-9 p.m. ET time slot.

From 8:45 to 9 p.m., as the USWNT drew closer to ending its 16-year World Cup drought, the TV viewership peaked with an 18.3/31.

To put it in perspective, the Women’s World Cup final had more viewers than the U.S. Men’s National Team’s match vs. Portugal last summer (18.7 million on ESPN and 24.7 combined with Univision’s viewership), the 2011 Women’s World Cup Final (13.46 million), Game Six of the 2015 NBA Finals (23.3 million on ABC) and even Game Seven of the 2014 World Series (23.5 million on FOX).

The Nielsen numbers don’t take into account the thousands of fans who watched online or at sports bars across the country.

What do you think of this development? Impressed with the support for the USWNT from across the country? Do you see this number being broken at the Olympics next year?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in 2015 Women's World Cup, Soccer on TV, U.S. Women's National Team | 35 Comments

Michael Bradley set to earn 100th cap with USMNT in Gold Cup opener

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Photo by Soobum Im/USA TODAY Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

Barring a surprise of epic proportions or unfortunate injury, Michael Bradley will achieve yet another milestone in his accomplished career on Tuesday. One that only 15 other U.S. Men’s National Team players have ever accomplished.

Bradley is set to become the latest American to earn 100 caps on Tuesday as he leads the U.S. into its Gold Cup opener against Honduras. The significance of the match at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, will likely not allow for much celebration, but that is probably the way the no-nonsense Bradley probably prefers it.

Even so, the game will serve as a reminder of just how far the 27-year-old midfielder has come since earning his first cap for the U.S. back in May 2006. Bradley has not only become arguably the best player in the pool, but is now the de facto leader after being named captain last week by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. His presence, on and off the field, has been and continues to be vital to the Americans’ success

Still, the path to the century mark has not been easy for Bradley. While he became a regular contributor for the U.S. in 2007, he did so under repeated claims of nepotism from media and fans. Bradley’s father, Bob, was the head coach of the U.S. when the promising youngster began to break in, but many on the outside saw the bushy-haired prospect as undeserving and emphatically stated as much.

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Posted in Featured, MLS- Toronto FC, U.S. Men's National Team | 25 Comments

USMNT 4, Guatemala 0: The SBI Breakdown

photo by Jim Brown/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

The scoreline may have been complimentary, but the performance was far from flattering.

The U.S. Men’s National Team played its final tuneup before the start of the CONCACAF Gold Cup last Friday, picking up a 4-0 victory over Guatemala at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee. The blowout scoreline indicated that the U.S. cruised to victory, but head coach Jurgen Klinsmann and his players confessed in the aftermath that improvements needed to be made.

It is hard to argue otherwise. Whether it was in possession, in the final third, or defensively, the Americans were far from sharp against Guatemala, especially in the first half. A better opponent would have punished the U.S. given some of the quality looks in front of goal that the Guatemalans had, and the Americans know that it must avoid repeating that if they are to be kings of the region again this summer.

That said, it was not all bad vs. Guatemala. Some players were real bright spots with their individual performances, and there were also other positives for the Americans to build on as they gear up for Tuesday’s Gold Cup opener against a tougher Honduras side.

Here is what SBI is mulling over after the U.S.’s 4-0 rout of Guatemala:

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Posted in Featured, U.S. Men's National Team | 27 Comments

NASL Week 1: A Look Back

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By COLE KELLOGG

FC Edmonton only amassed nine points from 10 games in the Spring Season, but the team is already one-third of the way to that number after one game in the Fall.

The Canadian side smashed the San Antonio Scorpions on Sunday, scoring four goals and allowing none against the 2014 NASL Champions.

Elsewhere in the league, the New York Cosmos could only manage a 1-1 draw against Indy Eleven at home, a disappointing result for the first place team from the Spring.

The Carolina RailHawks followed up a strong Spring Season with a resounding victory over Minnesota United, while the Tampa Bay Rowdies beat the Atlanta Silverbacks and Ottawa Fury FC defeated the Jacksonville Armada.

Here’s a closer look at the action from the first week of the Fall Season: Continue reading »

Posted in NASL, New York Cosmos, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Bobby Wood stays put in 2. Bundesliga, signs with FC Union Berlin

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By MICHAEL PENG

Bobby Wood has found a new club, but he is staying in the 2. Bundesliga.

The 22-year-old striker, who scored consecutive game-winners for the U.S. Men’s National Team in its friendlies against the Netherlands and Germany last month, has agreed to a three-year contract with FC Union Berlin, according to a club release.

The signing comes on the heels of recent rumors that had Wood linked to a possible move to VfB Stuttgart of the Bundesliga, but that potential move didn’t come to fruition.

Wood, who was out of a contract prior to this deal, spent the second half of last season with FC Erzgebirge via loan from 1860 Munich. He scored three goals in nine appearances.

In total, Wood has tallied six goals and six assists through 59 appearances in the 2. Bundesliga.

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Posted in Americans Abroad, U.S. Men's National Team | 17 Comments

USWNT 5, Japan 2: The SBI Breakdown

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Photo by Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

After 16 long years, the U.S. Women’s National Team can finally lay claim to the title of Women’s World Cup champions.

Sunday’s demolition of Japan, spurred on by a Carli Lloyd hat-trick, cemented the USWNT’s place in history, snagging the team’s third star while ending a 16-year drought. At times tumultuous, both on and off the field, the U.S. reigned supreme, overcoming a team that was previously a major thorn in the USWNT’s side.

With Sunday’s victory, the 2015 team, with Lloyd and head coach Jill Ellis in particular, cemented their legacies in U.S. soccer lore while demonstrating the team’s dominance yet again as the world continues to close the gap.

Here’s a closer look at some of SBI’s takeaways from the USWNT’s 2015 Women’s World Cup title run: Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, U.S. Women's National Team, Women's World Cup 2015 | 12 Comments

Must-See Goal: Carli Lloyd

photo by Michael Chow/USA Today Sports

Posted in 2015 Women's World Cup, Must-See Goals, U.S. Women's National Team, Women's Soccer, Women's World Cup 2015 | 12 Comments

Late goal from Jewsbury leads Timbers to win over Earthquakes

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Photo by Jaime Valdez/USA Today Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

Through 90 minutes, it looked like the Portland Timbers were destined to settle for a home draw with the San Jose Earthquakes before Jack Jewsbury stepped up to snatch all three points.

Scoreless through regular time, Jewsbury provided the game’s lone goal in second-half stoppage time, leading the Timbers to a 1-0 win over the visiting Earthquakes on Sunday night.

Jewsbury’s goal came in the 91st minute, lobbing home a close-range shot off of a sloppy yet effective set piece.

Having earned a free kick on the edge of the box, Diego Valeri sent a ball into the box that took a deflection off Gaston Fernandez right in front of Earthquakes goalkeeper David Bingham. Jewsbury collected on the goal’s left side by lobbing a shot up and over a helpless Bingham and into the back of the net, earning the Timbers all three points. The goal is Jewsbury’s second stoppage time winner of the season. Continue reading »

Posted in MLS- Portland Timbers, MLS- San Jose Earthquakes | 9 Comments