Happy Thanksgiving from SBI

From everybody here at SBI Soccer, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. Here are some things we’re grateful for in 2014:

USMNTStartingXI2-RepublicofIreland2014 (Getty)

USMNT fall five spots to No. 28 in latest FIFA Rankings

The U.S. Men’s National Team dropped five places to No. 28 in the November FIFA World Rankings after two friendly match losses earlier this month.

USMNT vs Colombia starting eleven

23 for 2015: Projecting the USMNT Gold Cup roster (November 2014 Edition)

The U.S. Men’s National Team’s disappointing November has led to a slight shakeup in the latest SBI 23 for 2015, as we project the U.S. Gold Cup roster.

Happy Thanksgiving from SBI

TurkeyWave

Hello everybody. It is Thanksgiving Day, that day of the year you come to SBI looking for a soccer fix and find this familiar waving turkey greeting you.

American soccer fans have plenty to be thankful for, from a thriving Major League Soccer to a continuously growing number of soccer TV viewing options. The U.S. national team has qualified for the 2014 World Cup, with a promising generation of young talents leading the way.

What will I give thanks for from a soccer standpoint this year? Here are some things that came to my mind this morning:

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UCL Rewind: Arsenal hold off Dortmund; Atleti roll past Olympiacos; and more

AlexisSanchezArsenal2-BorussiaDortmundUCL2014 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Arsenal broke a three-game winless run in all competitions on Wednesday evening against one of the toughest opponents they’ll see all season.

The English club defeated Borussia Dortmund, 2-0, in the fifth matchday of UEFA Champions League group stage action, moving to within two points of the German side in the group standings. The win was a massive morale boost for the Gunners, who were missing nearly a starting XI worth of talent due to injuries.

Yaya Sanogo, starting in place of both Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud, took advantage of his first opportunity and fired home through Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller’s legs to open the scoring in the second minute.

Alexis Sanchez added Arsenal’s second in the 57th minute, curling home a beauty to put the Gunners up, 2-0. Dortmund weren’t without chances though, as Damian Martinez made a number of saves to keep out the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Ciro Immobile, and Adrian Ramos during the match.

Here’s a look at some other Champions League scores from Wednesday:

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USMNT fall five spots to No. 28 in latest FIFA Rankings

USMNTStartingXI2-RepublicofIreland2014 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

The U.S. Men’s National Team paid a price for their two November friendly defeats.

FIFA released their latest World Rankings on Thanksgiving morning, and they saw the USA drop five places to No. 28, one spot ahead of Bosnia and Herzegovina and one spot behind of Ecuador.

The defeats to Colombia (2-1) and the Republic of Ireland (4-1) earlier this month keep the USMNT as the third-best ranked nation in CONCACAF, behind No. 16 Costa Rica and No. 20 Mexico. Rounding out the top five is No. 54 Trinidad and Tobago and No. 56 Panama.

Other big movers in the November FIFA rankings included England, who jumped seven places to No. 13, Israel, who moved up 13 spots to No. 32, Tunisia, who advanced nine places to No. 22, and Jamaica, who jumped 42 places to No. 71.

The world top six remained the same as last month. Germany keep their No. 1 ranking, followed by Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Brazil. Portugal moved up two places to tie France in No. 7, and Spain leapfrogged Uruguay for the ninth position, as the Celeste round out the top ten.

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What do you think of this latest ranking? Do you feel that the U.S. deserves this ranking? Should they be higher? Should they be lower?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Featured, FIFA, U.S. Men's National Team | 17 Comments

23 for 2015: Projecting the USMNT Gold Cup roster (November 2014 Edition)

USMNT vs Colombia starting eleven

Photo by ISIPhotos.com
 

By IVES GALARCEP

It’s okay to admit it. If you are a U.S. Men’s National Team fan, you probably came away from the November friendlies feeling down about the state of the team. A pair of losses, including a blowout against an Ireland B team has been enough to shake the confidence of even the most ardent U.S. fan.

What is easily forgotten in the wake of those losses was the number of players missing from that November roster. Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Omar Gonzalez, Graham Zusi, Aron Johannsson and Terrence Boyd were all left out of that camp while Jermaine Jones, John Brooks, DeAndre Yedlin and Lee Nguyen missed the Ireland loss.

While those friendly losses didn’t do much to instill confidence in the state of the team, what it did do is give U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann some information to process about his team, including veterans and newcomers. In my latest Goal.com piece, I broke down the players who boosted their stock the most in the November friendlies, and those who saw their stock drop.

With that in mind, here is a look at the group of players I currently see making up the 2015 Gold Cup roster. Yes, plenty can still happen between now and then, but this is how I see things shaking out based on where players stand now, and how things should go in the coming months.

Here is a look at the latest SBI 23 for 2015:

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Posted in Featured, U.S. Men's National Team, Uncategorized | 130 Comments

The SBI Show: Episode 180 (Talking MLS playoffs, Americans Abroad, and more)

Jermaine Jones 112202014 (USA TODAY Sports)

Photo by Andy Martin/USA TODAY Sports
 

By IVES GALARCEP

The New England Revolution and Los Angeles Galaxy moved a step closer to meeting in the MLS Cup Final and the latest episode of The SBI Show breaks down their series-opening victories.

Episode 180 of The SBI Show takes a look back at the Revs’ 2-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls, as well as the Galaxy’s 1-0 triumph over the Seattle Sounders.

Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I also discuss a good week for Americans Abroad, including goal-scoring performances from Terrence Boyd and Aron Johannsson.

Give Episode 180 of The SBI Show a listen after the jump:

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Posted in Americans Abroad, Featured, Major League Soccer, Podcasts, U.S. Men's National Team | 3 Comments

Report: European, MLS scouts keeping an eye on Altidore

Jozy Altidore Sunderland 22

By RYAN TOLMICH

Jozy Altidore seems set on leaving Sunderland in the upcoming transfer window and it appears that a list of potential suitors is preparing for the forward’s departure.

The Sunderland Echo is reporting that representatives from Ligue 1 side Lille were among a set of scouts keeping tabs on Altidore during his time with the U.S. Men’s National Team earlier this month, which included a penalty kick goal against Colombia at London’s Craven Cottage.

“Three Italian clubs came to see him in London, as well as two French teams and German clubs,” said Altidore’s agent Lyle Yorks. “He has interest throughout Europe.”

Several MLS sides have also reportedly kept an eye on Altidore, although Yorks insists that there have been no formal advances.

“There’s been a lot of interest for Jozy in Major League Soccer,” Yorks said, “but there have not been any really serious conversations.”

Altidore and Sunderland are back in action Saturday against Chelsea at the Stadium of Light.

Where would you like to see Altidore end up come January? What kind of club would be best for the forward’s career?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Americans Abroad, Featured | 52 Comments