Romain Gall

Gall plays late hero as U.S. U-20s win vs. Croatia in final match before U-20 World Cup

Gall scored just two minutes after coming on in the 64th minute, sending the United States to a 1-0 win and lifting the young Americans’ spirits before next month’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup.

PepGuardiolaBayernMunich1-FCPorto (Getty)

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

Bayern Munich takes on Hertha Berlin, and Manchester City faces Aston Villa on this busy Soccer Saturday.

Rapids FC Dallas 04242015 (USA TODAY Images)

FC Dallas overcome Blas Perez red card to earn draw at Colorado

Nick LaBrocca’s equalizer helped the Rapids earn a point after a first-half finish from Mauro Diaz, and second-half red card issued to Blas Perez.

Red Bulls still unsure as to whether they’ll add a Designated Player this summer

Jesse Marsch New York Red Bulls 15

Photo by Tommy Gilligan/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

HANOVER, N.J. — From Thierry Henry and Landon Donovan to Rafa Marquez and David Beckham, there’s always been a good amount of star power on display in recent years when the New York Red Bulls and LA Galaxy have collided.

Sunday’s showdown at Red Bull Arena won’t have that. Partly because of an injury to Galaxy forward Robbie Keane, and partly because of New York’s lack of a big-name player.

The Red Bulls are off to a hot and undefeated start in MLS this season, but the club has done so with an approach that differs from that of years past. Instead of surrounding one or two star individuals with a core of blue-collared players, New York is now relying on a team concept that requires everyone to do their part.

The results have so far been impressive – the Red Bulls have gone 3-0-2 to remain the only unbeaten team in MLS – but the absence of a star individual still has some fans yearning for a big-name Designated Player. New York brass has said in recent months that it is open to signing someone of that caliber in the summer, but the club is still not sure whether it will or not because of how well it has performed thus far.

“We’re still evaluating,” Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch told SBI on Saturday, feet away from visiting former DP Juan Pablo Angel. “I would say that, for me, the main focus is that we really like this group. If we add to it, we don’t want to add to it just because you have a DP spot or you have the ability to add. We want to make sure that everything we do here is very calculated, and regardless of it’s a DP or any player that comes in here, we want it to be the right fit.

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Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- New York Red Bulls | 5 Comments

Gall plays late hero as U.S. U-20s win vs. Croatia in final match before U-20 World Cup

Romain Gall

By AARON CRANFORD

After drawing against Qatar in the U.S. Under-20 National Team’s first match of their April camp, Romain Gall led them to a more satisfying result on Saturday when the U-20s played Croatia.

Gall scored just two minutes after coming on in the 64th minute, sending the United States to a 1-0 win and lifting the young Americans’ spirits before next month’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup.

The Columbus Crew SC midfielder was set up on the winner by Philadelphia Union forward Zach Pfeffer, who sent in a pass from the left side.

Maki Tall squandered a golden chance to put the U.S. U-20s ahead on a penalty kick in the 26th minute, but the Croatian goalkeeper parried away his PK try. Gall saved the day in the end, though. Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, U.S. Under-20 National Team, U.S. Youth National Teams | Leave a comment

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

PepGuardiolaBayernMunich1-FCPorto (Getty)

By IVES GALARCEP

Bayern Munich can lock up the Bundesliga title today with a win against John Brooks and Hertha Berlin in one of the day’s more intriguing battles.

Bayern can secure a virtually insurmountable lead on second-place Wolfsburg with a win against Hertha, which is riding a five-match unbeaten streak.

In England, Manchester City takes on Brad Guzan and Aston Villa in a match the Citizens need to help boost its Champions League prospects.

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

Enjoy the action (Today’s Soccer TV schedule is after the jump):

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Posted in Featured, Your Running Commentary | 7 Comments

FC Dallas overcome Blas Perez red card to earn draw at Colorado

Rapids FC Dallas 04242015 (USA TODAY Images)

By LEOPOLDO PONCE

In a chippy game that came to an end with two FC Dallas goal-line clearances, FC Dallas managed a 1-1 draw on the road against the Colorado Rapids.

FC Dallas started the match like a team intent on avenging an ugly loss to Colorado two weeks ago, as Fabian Castillo helped set up a Mauro Diaz goal with a jaw-dropping and ankle-breaking dribble through the Rapids defense.

The tide turned for the Rapids in the second half, when Blas Perez was sent off for an off-the-ball incident with Drew Moor. Perez appeared to strike Moor, which drew an immediate straight red card.

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Posted in Featured, MLS- Colorado Rapids, MLS- FC Dallas, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Accam goal leads Fire past 10-man NYCFC

MLS: New York City FC at Chicago Fire

Photo by Mike DiNovo/USA TODAY Sports

By AARON CRANFORD

The first 38 minutes in Bridgeview, Illinois were the some of the worst of the season for New York City FC and some of the best for the Chicago Fire.

The Fire came ready to play, creating a handful of chances early on, especially through the play of David Accam and Shaun Maloney. Accam hit NYCFC goalkeeper Ryan Meara’s left post in the 15th minute, signaling a long evening in store for the young goalkeeper making his first start of the season.

An already-shorthanded NYCFC saw an Andrew Jacobson red card leave the expansion team down to 10 men, and Accam’s 20th-minute goal stood up as the Fire registered a 1-0 victory at Toyota Park.

Sean Johnson made four saves to record the shutout in his first start in a month.

One of the most dynamic players on the night was Harrison Shipp, who created many chances for the Fire through the midfield, and blasted a shot off of the post in the second half.

From early on, Chicago dominated the evening, and NYCFC’s night only went downhill after the initial Accam chance. Not only did Meara poorly handle the ball heading out of play in the 20th minute, which immediately led to Accam netting the game-winner, but NYCFC also saw Andrew Jacobson sent off in the 23rd minute and two starters — Adam Nemec and Javier Calle — forced into substitution after suffering injuries by the 38th minute of play. Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Chicago Fire, MLS- New York City FC | 9 Comments

MLS Week 8: SBI Live Friday Commentary

MLS Logo Panel

The eighth week of the MLS season kicks off on Friday night, with a doubleheader on the docket.

The Chicago Fire play host to injury-hit New York City FC at Toyota Park (8pm, Univision Deportes). The Fire are coming off an extended break, and should be well-rested against an NYCFC team missing several starters.

The MLS nightcap takes place at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, where the Colorado Rapids play host to FC Dallas (10pm, Univision Deportes). The Rapids demolished FC Dallas in Frisco just two weeks ago, but it is a safe bet Oscar Pareja’s side will be focused and motivated in tonight’s rematch.

SBI will be providing live commentary on tonight’s action 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 SBI live commentary is after the jump):

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Posted in SBI Match Day Commentary, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

SBI MLS Game of the Week: New York Red Bulls vs. Los Angeles Galaxy

Zardes_Kljestan_MLS

By AARON CRANFORD

For the only time this regular season, the Los Angeles Galaxy travel from sea to shining sea to take on the New York Red Bulls in an important early-season matchup on Sunday (5 p.m., ESPN2).

The LA Galaxy and NY Red Bulls, teams that have both started the 2015 season well, will duke it out in the SBI Game of the Week Sunday in Red Bull Arena. The Galaxy enter Sunday’s affair on the heels of a two-game win streak while the Red Bulls are MLS’ only undefeated team left.

LA take a 3-2-2 record across the United States and into Harrison, New Jersey, while the 3-0-2 Red Bulls hope their strong start continues. And with West Coast-East Coast bragging rights and the opportunity to continue early league success on the line, both sides are sure to come out guns blazing.

Here’s a closer look at the SBI Game of the Week: Continue reading »

Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- LA Galaxy, MLS- New York Red Bulls | 9 Comments

Barca faces Bayern, Real Madrid meets Juve in UCL semifinal draw

UEFAChampionsLeagueLogo (Getty)

 

By RYAN TOLMICH

Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola’s path to the Champions League final will go through his former club.

The German powerhouses were drawn against Barcelona Friday in the Champions League semifinal draw, pitting the Spanish manager against the club that he managed to 14 trophies during his four years in charge.

Barcelona advance to the semifinals on the heels of an impressive performance against Paris Saint-Germain, knocking off the French champions, 5-1, on aggregate. Bayern, meanwhile, presented one of this season’s most memorable efforts in their second leg against Porto, destroying the Portuguese side, 6-1, to erase a 3-1 defeat in the opening leg.

In the other draw, Juventus are set to make their first semifinal appearance in 12 years and will now matchup with the reigning champions, Real Madrid. Now preparing for their 17th and 18th Champions League meeting, the two sides previously met in the 1998 Champions League final, which the Spanish side captured to claim the seventh of their now ten titles.

Real Madrid claimed their spot in the semis via the foot of Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez, whose late finish against rivals Atletico Madrid proved to be the lone goal in the series. Juve’s spot in the semis was spurred on by a workmanlike effort in the second leg against Monaco, holding the Ligue 1 side to a scoreless draw following a Juve win in the opening leg.

The semifinals will kickoff on May 5 with Juventus hosting the opening leg, while Barcelona will follow suit the next day. The semifinals will wrap up in Madrid and Munich on May 12 and 13, respectively. Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer | 7 Comments