Jozy Altidore TFC (USA TODAY Sports)

Altidore provided new opportunity to score, drive culture of Toronto FC

Jozy Altidore’s move gives the forward a new opportunity, one that reunites him with Michael Bradley.

Earthquakes Collage

SBI MLS Season Preview: San Jose Earthquakes

Dom Kinnear has returned to the San Jose Earthquakes and the head coach will look to transform a team that endured a rough 2014 season.

Sacha Kljestan 1 (USA TODAY Sports)

Kljestan determined to force his way back into the USMNT picture

Sacha Kljestan is back in MLS, and the New York Red Bulls midfielder has made it clear he wants to play his way back into the U.S. Men’s National Team conversation.

Soccer Monday: Your Running Commentary

Tevez-Juventus-Roma-Getty

 

By MATT STYPULKOSKI

Roma’s Serie A title hopes will be on the line against Juventus on Monday afternoon.

Juve enters the clash with a hefty advantage atop the league’s table, but the Giallorossi could cut the deficit to a more manageable six-point gap with a win at home, where they are unbeaten this season.

In October, Juve won a controversial 3-2 game in Turin. But this time around, Roma will benefit from the absence of Andrea Pirlo, who picked up a calf injury during the Champions League match against Borussia Dortmund last week. Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba could also miss the match.

This evening, the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team has an important match as it continues in the CONCACAF Championship group stage in Honduras. The Americans, who opened the tournament with a 5-0 win over Cuba on Friday, are set to take on Trinidad and Tobago.

Elsewhere, Spanish side Elche, which sits just one point clear of the relegation zone, will take on mid-table Celta de Vigo.

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

Enjoy the action (Today’s TV schedule is after the jump): Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, U.S. Under-17 National Team, Uncategorized, Your Running Commentary | Leave a comment

USL executive VP Jake Edwards becomes new league president

Jake Edwards USL president 1

photo courtesy of USL

By FRANCO PANIZO

A new name also comes with a new president.

USL announced on Monday a number of changes on the executive side, with the most notable one being Jake Edwards replacing Tim Holt as league president. Edwards takes over after Holt’s decision to resign, and he most recently served as USL’s executive vice president in 2014.

“Jake Edwards is a dynamic, young executive with exceptional vision and extraordinary drive to achieve outstanding results,” USL CEO Alec Papadakis told USLSoccer.com. “He is a proven leader with a broad understanding of U.S. soccer, both on the collegiate and professional levels. Armed with a professional soccer career, MBA, corporate experience with Octagon (a leading global sports marketing firm), and a deep understanding of the USL business, we are confident that Jake will successfully lead the USL into the next phase of operations and growth.

“He has been instrumental in developing Destination 2020, the league’s long-term strategic growth plan, and navigating the league through its rebranding. We are fortunate to have such an outstanding sports executive as Jake to complete a seamless President leadership transition.”

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Posted in USL Pro | 1 Comment

Marsch hints at Perrinelle, Zubar as Red Bulls starting centerbacks

Damien Perrinelle New York Red Bulls cropped (USA Today)

Photo by Eric Bolte/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

Jesse Marsch is feeling much more at ease and confident these days as it pertains to the standing of the centerbacks on his roster, so much so that it seems he’s made up his mind on the starters for the season opener.

When Marsch was appointed head coach of the New York Red Bulls in January there were some initial reservations as to if the crop of central defenders on the squad was good enough to carry out his plan for 2015. There was talent among the players on the roster, but not all of it fit into the blueprint that Marsch was laying out.

After making a number of moves and with a full preseason now complete, Marsch is no longer anywhere near as “concerned” about that talent or depth of the position. He has even appeared to confidently settle on a starting tandem for this Saturday’s first game at Sporting Kansas City.

“I think that Damien Perrinelle has done very well. He’s a very smart centerback and he’s a very good complement to the way that Ronald (Zubar) plays,” Marsch recently told SBI when asked about the position. “We’re asking a lot of our centerbacks both from a tactical perspective and from a physical perspective and I think that those two have worked really well together.”

Continue reading »

Posted in MLS- New York Red Bulls | 19 Comments

SBI MLS Season Preview: FC Dallas

FC Dallas Collage

By ADAM TROXTELL

After consecutive seasons without playoff soccer, FC Dallas went old school in its subsequent coaching appointment to make 2014 very different.

Former FCD midfielder Oscar Pareja transformed the team into a respected attacking unit that was a Seattle away goal from reaching the 2014 Western Conference final. It was exactly the kind of turnaround needed for an organization still dreaming about what could have been in that 2010 MLS Cup Final.

Under the tutelage of his fellow countryman, Colombian winger Fabian Castillo had his best season since joining the team in 2011. He scored 10 goals and tallied three assists to earn attention from teams like Club America and prompt FCD to offer him a five-year contract that was signed in the preseason.

Castillo was only bested by Panamanian striker Blas Perez, who led the team with 11 goals and six assists. He was the central figure in an attack that also included on-loan Colombian winger Andres Escobar, who has since returned to Dynamo Kyiv, and young designated player Mauro Diaz.

The flash was coupled with the backbone of the squad, made up of veterans like Stephen Keel, Je-Vaughn Watson, Adam Moffatt, and Michel. Their contributions provided the balance necessary for a consistent run into the playoffs.

Ahead of the 2015 season, FCD has somehow managed to get even younger. Pareja remains hopeful that his youthful side, which still retains the core of the squad from last season, can continue to build on what he called a “good starting point.”

Continue reading »

Posted in MLS- FC Dallas, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Midday Ticker: Sunderland’s Johnson arrested; Figo open to FIFA presidential debate; and more

AdamJohnsonMichaelCarrickSunderlandManUnited1-LeagueCup2014 (Getty)

By MATT STYPULKOSKI

Adam Johnson has been suspended by Sunderland after being arrested by local police.

The 27-year-old winger was arrested on suspicion of having had sex with a 15-year-old girl, according to a report first revealed by The Sun.

According to reports, Johnson remains in police custody and is helping with the investigation.

In turn, Sunderland has suspended Johnson indefinitely. A club statement read: “Sunderland AFC has confirmed that Adam Johnson has been suspended from the club, pending the outcome of a police investigation. No further comment will be made at the present time.”

Here are some more of Monday afternoon’s news and notes from around the world: Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, FIFA | 7 Comments

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

Fabian Johnson Borussia Moenchengladbach 7

 

By FRANCO PANIZO

Fabian Johnson has been in need of a pick-me-up at Borussia Moenchengladbach, and he may have just found it.

Johnson was given a rare start in the club’s meeting with Paderborn on Sunday, and gave manager Lucien Favre something to think about by scoring the game-winner in a 2-0 triumph. The goal came in the 18th minute on a left-footed strike from outside the penalty area that took a very kind deflection, and was Johnson’s first for Moenchengladbach. Playing as a left midfielder, Johnson was also involved in helping create the insurance goal nine minutes before the final whistle. He sprinted towards the end line on the play and hit a cross that was parried into the path of teammate Patrick Herrmann, who netted with a low shot.

There was another foreign-based American to score a decisive tally this weekend. Conor O’Brien was the author of the lone goal in Wiener Neustadt’s 1-0 win over Austria Vienna, converting a 34th-minute penalty kick to push his relegation-threatened side to an upset victory at home. The goal was O’Brien’s fourth of the season, and move Wiener Neustadt to within a point of safety in the Austrian Bundesliga.

While there was some good news from those two European-based players, there was also a negative development over in Mexico. Greg Garza suffered an injury in the first half of Club Tijuana’s game against Pachuca, and had to be replaced by fellow American Joe Corona in the 41st minute. The Xolos were able to overcome that loss, however, as they picked up a 3-2 victory that kept them in first place in Liga MX.

Here is how the Americans Abroad did this weekend:

Continue reading »

Posted in Americans Abroad | 45 Comments