Max Urruti (USA TODAY Sports)

Urruti nets winner to end Timbers home drought

After a seven-week long wait, Portland Timbers fans were reminded what it feels like to win at home.

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Juninho penalty sends Galaxy past RSL

Juninho’s converted penalty kick in the seventh minute held as the LA Galaxy defeated Real Salt Lake 1-0.

Pappa strike pushes Sounders past Rapids

An early first-half strike from Marco Pappa was all the scoring the Seattle Sounders needed to knock off the Colorado Rapids at CenturyLink Field on Wednesday night.

Urruti nets winner to end Timbers home drought

Max Urruti (USA TODAY Sports)

By CAITLIN MURRAY

PORTLAND, Ore. — After a seven-week long wait, Portland Timbers fans were reminded what it feels like to win at home.

An early goal from Maximiliano Urruti lifted the Timbers past D.C. United, 1-0, at Providence Park on Wednesday to end a two-game losing run and give the Timbers their first home win since April 4.

“You can lose energy when you’re not getting results, and when you do that, you’re dead in the water,” Timbers coach Caleb Porter said. “That’s not going to happen here. You’ll always see a good response out of these guys and our goal was to come in aggressive.”

In the fifth minute, Gaston Fernandez sent a skidding cross into the box for Urruti, who ran onto it for the one-time tap in. It was the first time this season the Timbers have scored an early goal and continues their streak of not losing when leading at the half.

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Posted in Featured, MLS- Portland Timbers | Leave a comment

USL teams sweep all seven vs. NASL in U.S. Open Cup third round

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By ADAM TROXTELL

It may have been their first taste of U.S. Open Cup action, but for most NASL teams, the third round was also the last.

Teams from USL sent seven NASL teams packing on Wednesday night. Among the surprise results was Saint Louis FC’s penalty shootout win against Minnesota United. Saint Louis’ Bryan Gaul equalized with 10 minutes to go by converting from a penalty kick.

The Austin Aztex eliminated defending NASL champions and Texas rivals San Antonio Scorpions with a 2-0 win. Louisville City FC also triumphed 2-0 against Indy Eleven, while the Charlotte Independence beat the Carolina RailHawks 1-0 thanks to a Ryan Finley strike with nine minutes remaining.

In an all-USL and Cascadia affair, Seattle Sounders FC 2 recorded its second victory against Portland Timbers 2 this week with a 2-1 win in extra time.

There were NASL teams that made it through to the fourth round. League-leading New York Cosmos topped the PDL’s Jersey Express 3-0, while the Atlanta Silverbacks beat Chattanooga FC 2-1. Shaka Bangura’s late penalty kick for the Silverbacks sent the game into extra time, where Jaime Chavez struck in the 110th minute to seal the deal.

Here is a closer look at the U.S. Open Cup third round action:

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Posted in NASL, U.S. Open Cup, USL | 3 Comments

Juninho penalty sends Galaxy past RSL

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Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea / USA Today Sports Images

By MARK EDWARD HORNISH

Tonight’s Western Conference showdown between bitter rivals Real Salt Lake and LA Galaxy began much like the last one ended.

With the ball on the penalty spot, RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando stared down Galaxy penalty-taker Juninho.  This time the result was different, however, as Rimando guessed wrong, dove to his left, and Juninho buried the penalty kick in the back of the net to eventually give the Galaxy a 1-0 win.

As with the penalty call to end the last match between the two sides, Real Salt Lake felt much aggrieved by the call, but this time they were not vindicated by a Rimando save.  Jamison Olave was whistled by referee Baldomero Toledo when his hand contacted a ricocheting ball as he slide-tackled Galaxy winger Ignacio Maganto.

It is unlikely that Real Salt Lake will blame the referee for the final result, however.  They opened the match in sleepy fashion, allowing the Galaxy five shots in the first eight minutes of the match while managing none.  The Galaxy pressure culminated in the night’s only tally.

Despite the low score, the match was a hotly contested, back and forth affair, and for the final hour of the night RSL gave as much as possible. The visitors won 73 percent of all challenges on the night and ultimately matched the Galaxy’s shot total, 12-12.

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- LA Galaxy, MLS- Real Salt Lake | 1 Comment

Pappa strike pushes Sounders past Rapids

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Photo by Jane Gershovich

By JASON MITCHELL

SEATTLE–  What a difference four days — and perhaps the hapless Colorado Rapids — make.

Coming off a scoreless and fairly listless draw against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, the Seattle Sounders attacked the Rapids early on Wednesday night, riding a first-half Marco Pappa strike to a 1-0 win in front of 39,757 at CenturyLink Field.

The Sounders (7-3-2, 23 points) now boast the best record in MLS and have beaten the Rapids in five straight regular season matches by a combined score of 13-3. The Rapids (2-2-8, 20 points) earned just their second win of the season last weekend, but fell to last place in the Western Conference with Wednesday’s loss. Colorado is also 0-8-1 in nine visits to Seattle.

Pappa opened the scoring in fine fashion in just the 15th minute, collecting a deflected cross just outside the penalty area and bending a right-footed shot into the far upper corner for the 1-0 lead. The left-footed Pappa nearly doubled the lead from the same spot early in the second half, but rifled a shot just over the crossbar.

The Rapids showed better in the second half after coming out flat, but never put a shot on-target from within the penalty area.

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Posted in Featured, MLS- Colorado Rapids, MLS- Seattle Sounders | Leave a comment

FIFA Ticker: Warner arrested in Trinidad; UEFA threatens boycott; and more

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By DAN KARELL

One of the key defendants in the U.S. Department of Justice’s case against CONCACAF and CONMEBOL, Jack Warner, is spending the night in jail after turning himself in to Trinidadian authorities.

Trinidad and Tobago authorities filed an arrest warrant against the former CONCACAF president and FIFA Vice President in cooperation with the U.S. DoJ and charged him with eight criminal counts, according to the AP. Bail was set at 2.5 million Trinidadian ($394,457) and although Warner paid the bail, a delay in his processing meant that he would have to spend the night in jail.

The terms of Warner’s bail reportedly include surrendering his passport and having to check in with a probation officer twice a week.

Warner is no stranger to corruption allegations, resigning from FIFA following the 2011 FIFA Presidential Election after former partner-in-crime Chuck Blazer turned whistleblower. He’s been alleged of money laundering, wire fraud, and more.

Prior to his arrest, Warner released a statement slamming the DoJ for not questioning him and further maintaining his innocence.

“I have been afforded no due process and I have not even been questioned in this matter,” Warner wrote in a statement. “I reiterate that I am innocent of any charges. I have walked away from the politics of world football to immerse myself in the improvement of lives in this country where I shall, God willing, die.

“The actions of FIFA no longer concern me. I cannot help but note however that these cross- border coordinated actions come at a time when FIFA is assembled for elections to select a President who is universally disliked by the international community. At times such as this it is my experience that the large world powers typically take actions to affect world football. World football is an enormous international business.”

Here are some more notes to catch you up around the world of soccer:

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Posted in Featured, FIFA, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Defiant Blatter remains in denial regarding FIFA corruption charges

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By RYAN TOLMICH

As criticism and investigations continue to mount against FIFA, the organization’s president says he will welcome up the cleansing of the federation.

Sepp Blatter released a statement Wednesday after several of FIFA’s top officials were arrested on corruption charges. Blatter insists that Wednesday’s events were kickstarted by FIFA’s submission of a dossier to authorities last year and that the organization will continue to welcome investigations going forward.

“This is a difficult time for football, the fans and for FIFA as an organization,” Blatter said. “We understand the disappointment that many have expressed and I know that the events of today will impact the way in which many people view us.

“As unfortunate as these events are, it should be clear that we welcome the actions and the investigations by the US and Swiss authorities and believe that it will help to reinforce measures that FIFA has already taken to root out any wrongdoing in football.” Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, FIFA | 42 Comments

CONCACAF, U.S. Soccer, MLS release statements regarding FIFA scandal

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By RYAN TOLMICH

The latest scandal involving the indictments of FIFA officials has sent shockwaves throughout the sport, and the game’s governing body are stepping up to address the issues at hand.

After seeing some of its top officials, including president Jeffery Webb, charged by U.S. authorities, CONCACAF has restated the federation’s desire to cooperate with authorities while continuing business as usual while the process follows its course.

“The Confederation of North, Central America and the Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) is deeply concerned by today’s developments, in the arrest of several international football officials including those belonging to our Confederation,” CONCACAF said in a statement. “The Confederation will continue to cooperate with the authorities to its fullest capacity. ”

“At present, CONCACAF is not in a position to comment further on the specific allegations, which have been referred to the appropriate legal counsel through the pertinent channels.  CONCACAF continues to operate in the ordinary course of business, hosting all of its upcoming tournaments in a successful and timely manner, including the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.”

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Posted in Featured, FIFA, Major League Soccer, U.S. Soccer, Uncategorized | 32 Comments

Morris scores as U.S. U-23s fall to France in opening game of Toulon Tournament

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By RYAN TOLMICH

The U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team’s first taste of the 2015 Toulon Tournament turned out to be a bitter one.

Undone by a trio of goals in 11 minutes, the U.S. was thoroughly defeated by France, 3-1, in the first game of the Toulon Tournament group stage. Stanford forward Jordan Morris scored the lone goal for the U.S. in the second half.

The lone bright spot for the U.S. was Morris’ second-half finish, who darted past the France defense in the 66th minute before tapping a shot to the backpost to push the scoreline to 3-1.

France’s dominance was apparent from the opening whistle, culminating in back-to-back goals from Fares Bahlouli and Enzo Crivelli just one minute apart.

Bahlouli’s opener saw France take full advantage of a string of sloppy play from the U.S., kickstarted by a Dan Metzger turnover in the midfield. On the attack, U.S. goalkeeper Cody Cropper was forced into a save, but the defense’s inability to clear their lines saw Bahlouli place a shot just past the fingertips of Cropper, giving France a 1-0 lead. Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, U.S. Men's Olympic Team, U.S. Youth National Teams | 53 Comments