MLS: Montreal Impact at New York City FC

Frank Lampard makes long-awaited debut for NYCFC

More than a year since he was first linked to New York City FC, former Chelsea star and England legend Frank Lampard finally made his MLS debut on Saturday.

MLS: Montreal Impact at New York City FC

Impact end week on high note with big road win against NYCFC

A Piatti brace and an Oduro goal propel the Montreal Impact over New York City FC, 3-2, at Yankee Stadium.

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Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

While Bayern Munich faces Wolfsburg in the DFP Supercup, the Seattle Sounders can claim the Cascadia Cup vs. the Vancouver Whitecaps this Saturday.

Frank Lampard makes long-awaited debut for NYCFC

MLS: Montreal Impact at New York City FC

Photo by Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports

By MICHAEL PENG

NEW YORK — The roar of the crowd was already thunderous, then it became deafening.

After more than a year of connection with New York City FC, former Chelsea star and England legend Frank Lampard made his MLS debut at last.

The moment came seconds after David Villa, the club’s captain and first-ever player, had just converted a penalty in the 68th minute to cut into what was a 2-0 deficit to the Montreal Impact, and Lampard jogged onto the pitch at Yankee Stadium to a standing ovation of 27,645 in the Bronx.

“I think every player, if they are honest with you, would like to feel the crowd and to feel the crowd’s support and I’ve sensed that,” Lampard said after the game. “I’ve seen it in the games, particular last week, it was a fantastic atmosphere, [Andrea] Pirlo came on and got an amazing reception. I think the fans, the support was seen fantastically, it’s up to me now to repay that by playing well.”

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Impact high on confidence following Drogba signing, statement win over NYCFC

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Photo by Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

NEW YORK – While the off-the-field headlines generated by the signing of Didier Drogba proved to be a major win for the club, Saturday’s on-the-field performance by the Montreal Impact proved to be the week’s most impressive achievement.

Visiting Yankee Stadium, the Impact bested the New York City FC backline time and time again, earning a hard-fought 3-2 road win to pick up the team’s third victory in four games.

The win, which gives the Impact 27 points through 19 games, was just the team’s second road win of the season and eighth in the franchise’s three-and-a-half year MLS history.

Led by the performances of Dominic Oduro and Ignacio Piatti, the Impact displayed a bit of swagger in picking apart NYCFC’s defense, continuously pinging passes up and over opposing backline to create chance after chance.

Oduro, who provided the game’s opener, said that was all part of the plan, as the Impact were fully prepared to exploit space left unoccupied by NYCFC’s less-pacey defense. For the Imapct, it was all about execution, something made all the easier by the confidence generated in recent weeks.

“I think Didier coming in put a little spark into the team,” Oduro said. “Everybody is excited. The city of Montreal is excited. Coming here, we came with great confidence and I think him coming to join the team, it will be a great push. We’re confident going into our next game. We have a couple of games coming up and hopefully we can get points. Continue reading »

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Impact end week on high note with big road win against NYCFC

MLS: Montreal Impact at New York City FC

Photo by Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports

By MICHAEL PENG

NEW YORK — The Montreal Impact turned what was a good week into a great one after picking up a key win on Saturday.

Days after completing the signing of former Chelsea star and Ivory Coast international Didier Drogba, the Impact took advantage of some shoddy defense and defeated New York City FC, 3-2, at Yankee Stadium in a match with playoff implications.

Both sides came into the contest with 24 points in the Eastern Conference and on the fringe of the playoff cut line, but the win vaulted Montreal into sole possession of sixth place as of the end of the match, and it also helped the team avoid a season sweep after dropping the first two contests to NYCFC. Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Montreal Impact, MLS- New York City FC | 1 Comment

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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By AARON CRANFORD

The European offeseason is winding down to a close, with domestic competition between the strongest clubs starting today.

Bundesliga champion Bayern Munich will face Wolfsburg in the DFL-Supercup (2:30 p.m., FOX Sports 2 Go), which is a match that pits the league winner and the DFB-Pokal winner. Wolfsburg never met its foe en route to winning the 2014-15 domestic cup, but each side did win one of the two meetings between them during the regular season, setting up an intriguing competition Saturday to kickstart the 2015-16 Bundesliga season.

In MLS, the coveted Cascadia Cup can be clinched Saturday when the Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps meet up for their second meeting of 2015. The Sounders won the first meeting, 2-0, and with a win tonight (10 p.m., MLS Live), the Seattle faithful can celebrate because they’ll be four points above both the Portland Timbers and the Whitecaps, and both rivals will only have one Cascadia match left.

Meanwhile, after a strong second-place finish in the NASL Spring Season table, the Tampa Bay Rowdies have struggled as of late, losing their last three matches.

Rowdies head coach Thomas Rongen needs a spark and could look to insert U.S. international Freddy Adu into the starting lineup vs. the Carolina RailHawks (7:30 p.m., ESPN3), after he made his 15-minute debut and assisted the team’s lone goal on Aug. 25.

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

Enjoy the action (today’s soccer on TV schedule after the jump): Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, Featured, Major League Soccer, Mexican Soccer, Your Running Commentary | 27 Comments

After difficult spring seasons, Fury FC, FC Edmonton leading Fall table ahead of derby

 Photo by Ottawa Fury FC

By RYAN TOLMICH

If one were to look at the NASL’s Spring Season table, it’s hard to imagine that either Ottawa Fury FC or FC Edmonton would be any sort of contenders early in the Fall Season.

Yet here they are.

After finishing ninth and 10th, respectively, in the Spring Standings, Fury FC and FC Edmonton now sit atop the table ahead of this weekend’s Canadian derby (Sunday, 4 p.m., ESPN3). Meanwhile the Spring Season champions, the New York Cosmos, currently sit as the season’s bottom-dwellers, signaling a bit of a shift in power as the Fall Season hits its stride.

Both Fury FC head coach Marc Dos Santos and Eddies head coach Colin Miller cited the three-week break between seasons as essential in helping their teams grow, an opportunity not afforded to many teams throughout the world. Continue reading »

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MLS Week 22: A Look Ahead

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Photo by Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

Following Wednesday’s MLS All-Star game, several of the league’s biggest stars are set to return to action.

Having seen his team fall in six of seven matches, Clint Dempsey returns to the struggling Seattle Sounders to lead the way in a Cascadia clash against the Vancouver Whitecaps. Meanwhile, the surging FC Dallas is bolstered by the returns of Blas Perez and Je-Vaughn Watson in a match-up with the lowly Chicago Fire.

Elsewhere, New York City FC will look to continue its recent hot streak against the Montreal Impact, Orlando City aims to bounce back at the Columbus Crew, and the New York Red Bulls look for revenge against the Philadelphia Union.

Here’s a closer look at all of this weekend’s MLS action: Continue reading »

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Union hoping to help Tranquillo Barnetta enjoy smooth transition into MLS

Tranquill Barnetta Schalke

 

By FRANCO PANIZO

Thierry Henry, David Beckham, Tim Cahill, Clint Dempsey. What all those players have in common aside from being very talented is that they all initially struggled in MLS after joining the league in the summer.

They are not the only cases either. History has had a way of repeating itself with midseason acquisitions in MLS, but the Philadelphia Union are hoping that will not be the case with their newest player.

The Union signed Switzerland international Tranquillo Barnetta earlier this week in one of the biggest moves in club history. Barnetta – who was signed via Targeted Allocation Money – should provide an upgrade for a club that lacks star power and consistency, but a big question that remains is: how quickly will he be able to contribute?

While Philadelphia has said the 30-year-old midfielder will be available for Saturday’s game against the New York Red Bulls, the club knows that it cannot play him for 90 minutes. He is joining the Union following his offseason and will need to get back to full fitness.

Barnetta also needs to adapt to his new teammates on the field and get adjusted to life off of it as well. In the past, that process has taken up to as many as several months in some cases, but Philadelphia believes that Barnetta will enjoy a smooth adaptation period.

“I think every case is different, every player adapts differently, and the fact that Tranquillo is a humble, good person first will help in that transition,” Union head coach Jim Curtin said. “He doesn’t come with an arrogance or any feeling that he’s above MLS or anything like that. I think that is a good thing we have going on our side, and of course there’s going to be getting used to (your teammates).

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Posted in Featured, MLS- Philadelphia Union | 3 Comments

This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

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By RYAN TOLMICH

While MLS continues through the summer months, European leagues prepare for domestic league action with a series of cup matches.

In England, Chelsea and Arsenal collide in the Community Shield, pitting the FA Cup winners against the league’s reigning champions. The matchup, which serves as an unofficial kickoff to the English Premier League season, provides an early taste of the highly-publicized and, at times, physical Jose Mourinho-Arsene Wenger rivalry to kickstart the English campaign.

German champion Bayern Munich takes on Wolfsburg in the DFP Supercup, while Paris-Saint Germain faces off with Lyon for the French Super Cup.

In other action, Barcelona faces Fiorentina in the International Champions Cup, the Vancouver Whitecaps collide with Cascadia rivals Seattle Sounders and Ottawa Fury FC hosts FC Edmonton in a battle of the NASL’s top two teams.

Here is this weekend’s soccer on TV (schedule after the jump): Continue reading »

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