WilTrappColumbusCrewSC1-TorontoFC2015 (USATodaySports)

Trapp returns for Crew after three-month layoff

Wil Trapp, who played 16 minutes off the bench in his return for the Columbus Crew, said he was ecstatic to return to the field.

Frank Lampard NYCFC Training 0701

Lampard officially begins tenure with NYCFC

With his contract officially beginning on July 1, Frank Lampard participated in training with New York City FC for the first time Wednesday

Apr 17, 2015; Harrison, NJ, USA;  New York Red Bulls defender Kemar Lawrence (92) handles the ball during the first half against the San Jose Earthquakes at Red Bull Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

SBI Spotlight: Confident Kemar Lawrence shining for Red Bulls

Young Jamaican left back Kemar Lawrence has been a revelation for the New York Red Bulls this season.

Evening Ticker: Barcelona nabs Turan, denied bid for Pogba; Blind appointed Netherlands manager; and more




Barcelona has reportedly acquired one of its main targets Wednesday, but another is proving tougher to reel in.

Barcelona officials flew all the way out to Italy to make a formal offer for French international Paul Pogba’s services, but Juventus sent them home packing with nothing.

“Barcelona offered us €80 million ($88.4 million) for Pogba, but we don’t want to sell him,” Juventus CEO Beppe Marotta told La Gazzetta dello Sport of the talk with Barcelona directors Ariedo Braida and Alberto Soler.

Barcelona would be unable to acquire the dynamic midfielder until the January 2016 transfer window at the earliest due to the transfer restrictions currently placed on the club by FIFA, but Juventus has no intention on selling Pogba just yet.

Meanwhile, Arda Turan and Liga BBVA rival Atletico Madrid have agreed terms to see the Turkish playmaker suit up for the club after the UEFA Champions League winners pay €35 million ($38.7 million), according to Marca. He will be unable to play for Barcelona until January 2016, but the attacking midfielder is sure to provide a spark to the already-fruitful Barca attack when he makes his debut.

The Turkish international had been rumored to make a move to England, but he has now surprisingly agreed to join Barca.

Here are some more news and notes this Wednesday evening: Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer | 1 Comment

Trapp returns for Crew after three-month layoff

WilTrappColumbusCrewSC1-TorontoFC2015 (USATodaySports)



The fact that Wil Trapp played 16 minutes plus stoppage time off the bench in a U.S. Open Cup game on the road seems meaningless at first glance.

But considering everything he’s been through, just getting back on the field in the first place is a big milestone.

Tuesday night’s substitute appearance for the Columbus Crew in a 2-0 defeat at Orlando City was Trapp’s first minutes of game action since April 8, when he started in a road match at the Vancouver Whitecaps but was substituted at halftime after symptoms from a recent concussion returned. Before Tuesday, he had missed 13 MLS games, one U.S. Open Cup match and an international friendly.

“I’m pretty happy to be back after a couple of months of inactivity,” Trapp told the Crew’s website after the match.

“Before the game, you’ve got the butterflies, it’s been a while since you’ve been in that rhythm of a game day,” he added later. “You don’t know really what to expect. You’re just hoping everything pans out health-wise. But (I’m) just ecstatic to be out there. Get on the ball, make some passes, just feel like you’re grounded in a real game again. It was a great first step and I’m looking forward to the next one.”

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Columbus Crew | 1 Comment

Lampard officially begins tenure with NYCFC

Frank Lampard NYCFC Training 0701



PURCHASE, N.Y. — There weren’t any special treatments nor fanfare for Frank Lampard Wednesday, just a short round of applause from his coaches and teammates to officially welcome him to the club before they all quickly got down to business.

Lampard then threw on an orange pinnie over his new sky blue shirt — this time of MLS variety — and finally took part in soccer-related activities with New York City FC for the first time during the club’s training session Wednesday at SUNY Purchase.

“We’ve been waiting and waiting as you all already know, as well as everyone involved with the club,” defender Shay Facey said. “Fans and everyone has been really excited. Today he’s here, and I’m sure a lot of the guys after training will be talking to him and getting as much out of him as they can.”

Lampard, though unavailable to the media Wednesday, participated in 8-on-8 and possession-keeping drills with his new teammates throughout the session. And to no one’s surprise, it appeared to be a seamless transition.

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- New York City FC | 6 Comments

SBI Spotlight: Confident Kemar Lawrence shining for Red Bulls

photo by Jim O’Connor/USA Today Sports


HANOVER, N.J. — Transitioning from one leadership group to another, the New York Red Bulls took a new and economic approach this past offseason. While the new regime faced plenty of criticism for that strategy, it still managed to make a first great find, signing a promising prospect who has carved out a starting role and impressed with a string of strong performances for club and country that includes a recent match-up against Lionel Messi.

Jamaican international Kemar Lawrence was acquired by the Red Bulls a couple of weeks into the season, signing via a transfer from Harbour View FC of the Caribbean island’s first division. Lawrence had spent part of the preseason with New York, but was only added to the MLS outfit’s roster after starting left back Roy Miller sustained an injury that ruled him out for a couple of weeks.

Boasting the trademark Jamaican confidence, but with a serious dose of humility and maturity, Lawrence made the most of his early opportunity. The 22-year-old speedster filled in for Miller on the left side of the defense in the Red Bulls’ second game of the year, and half season later, Lawrence has not looked back.

Lawrence has not only supplanted Miller from the starting left back role he has held for three years – getting the nod in 12 of New York’s 16 games – but Lawrence has also shown that he has all the tools to develop into something special in the future. Lawrence is quick, aggressive, tough, fearless, and, of course, full of self belief, as he demonstrated in a recent Copa America outing against Argentina and Messi, widely regarded as the world’s best player.

“It’s normally how I would prepare like on a regular day against any player,” Lawrence told SBI of going up against Messi. “I was just thinking about really forcing him down the line, letting him hit some crosses with his right foot, then I’ll take it from there. Obviously we knew he wasn’t going to go on his right foot, so that was really tough, but most of the times I tried not to get caught up with him.

“I just let him play his game, and it kind of helped because he wants you to come at him, he wants you to tackle him, he wants a lot of people to be rushing him because I think he has his best games at that moment. Me not getting clinged onto him, me not rushing him every minute I think it paid off best in my game, so he just kept playing across or playing back. He didn’t really want to dribble me or anything.”

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Posted in Featured, MLS- New York Red Bulls | 2 Comments

SBI MLS Rookie of the Month (June): Cyle Larin

CyleLarinOrlandoCity2-ColoradoRapids2015 (USATodaySports)

Photo by Kim Klement/USA Today Sports



Cyle Larin has continued to justify his selection as the first pick in the 2015 MLS Draft in the buildup of the 2015 Gold Cup.

The speedy Canadian international scored in both of Orlando City SC’s wins in the month of June, blazing his way to earn SBI’s MLS Rookie of the Month crown.

Larin came off the bench on June 6 in the 66th minute against Chicago Fire to score the game-winning-goal on a rocket from outside the box with eight minutes to play. Larin also helped his side to a 2-0 win over Colorado Rapids on June 24, breaking a 0-0 tie after 62 minutes.

The 21-year-old forward has netted six goals for Orlando this season, and continued his blistering form with two goals in two appearances for Canada this month. Larin’s goal tally is level with the likes of David Villa, Bradley Wright-Phillips and Jozy Altidore in league play.

Larin earned his second consecutive SBI Rookie of the Month honor, beating out Fatai Alashe, Ignacio Maganto and Matt Polster.

What did you think of Larin’s performance? Which rookie stood out to you this month?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Major League Soccer, SBI MLS Rookie of the Month | Leave a comment

SBI MLS Player of the Month (June): David Ousted

David Ousted MLS 1 (USA TODAY Sports)

Photo by Winslow Towson/USA Today Sports


June’s hottest team can thank the league’s hottest player for propelling them into first place in the West whil making some pretty spectacular stops along the way.

Goalkeeper David Ousted has been the undisputed catalyst behind Vancouver Whitecaps’ recent run of form, and, on a number of nights, the only reason the Whitecaps had secured points. His excellent form in June helped him earn SBI MLS Player of the Month honors.

The Danish keeper stopped not one but two Bradley Wright-Phillips penalty kicks en route to a 2-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls and made 17 saves over four games this month, conceding just four goals.

Ousted kept a clean sheet against the LA Galaxy on June 6—snapping their 29-game home unbeaten streak. In his latest performance, the 30-year-old made eight saves including the SBI MLS Save of the Week to end New England Revolution’s own 19-game home unbeaten streak.

Ousted beat out Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco, Philadelphia’s C.J. Sapong and San Jose’s Matias Perez Garcia for June honors.

What do you think of Ousted’s play in goal? Which player stood out the most to you last month?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Major League Soccer, SBI MLS Player of the Month | Leave a comment

Reports: Jordan Morris has surgery to repair stress fracture

Jordan Morris U-23 USMNT 28



An inopportune injury has ruled out any chance of seeing one of the U.S. Men’s National Team’s most promising youngsters at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Jordan Morris posted a picture on his Instagram on Tuesday with a caption saying that he was set to have surgery. Several reports came out in the following hours stating that Morris was going under the knife to repair a stress fracture in one of his legs.

While there is no official timetable for his recovery, the timing of the injury will make it highly unlikely he can recover from surgery in time to be one of the roster changes USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann can make to his Gold Cup roster after the group stage.

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Posted in College Soccer, U.S. Men's National Team, U.S. Men's Olympic Team | 14 Comments

SBI USWNT Woman of the Match: Carli Lloyd


Photo by Michael Chow/USA Today Sports


Just moments after it looked like a Germany penalty kick would be the cause of death for the U.S. Women’s National Team, a spot-kick finish proved to be the moment that the earned the Americans continued life and a spot in the Women’s World Cup final.

Carli Lloyd was the author of that decisive goal, and her cold-blooded finish combined with her late assist led the USWNT to a 2-0 victory over Germany in Tuesday’s Women’s World Cup semifinal. Lloyd’s performance also earner her SBI’s USWNT Woman of the Match award.

Lloyd’s calm demeanor on her penalty kick allowed her to rocket home a shot just minutes after seeing Germany miss in the same situation on the other end of the field. Then, with the USWNT holding onto a slim one-goal lead, Lloyd turned provider and sealed the victory by feeding substitute Kelley O’Hara.

The goal gives Lloyd her third in as many games. She won SBI’s Woman of the Match honors over O’Hara, Alex Morgan and Morgan Brian.

What did you think of Lloyd’s performance? How impressed were you with her penalty kick? Which USWNT player stood out to you the most in Tuesday’s semifinal?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in 2015 Women's World Cup, U.S. Women's National Team, Women's World Cup 2015 | 28 Comments