By AARON CRANFORD
New York City FC inked two more players two days before their inaugural season kicks off.
NYCFC announced the signing of Spanish midfielder Pablo Alvarez while also officially announcing the signing of Shay Facey on loan from Manchester City today.
The 34-year-old Spaniard last played for Langreo, a club that currently plays in the third division of the Spanish league system. He spent the beginning of last year making appearances for Spanish second-division side CD Lugo, but Alvarez changed clubs midyear and made 13 appearances for Langreo to end 2014. He started for NYCFC in their 2-1 preseason loss to the Houston Dynamo and Jason Kreis sees him being an important role model going forward.
“Pablo has integrated well with the squad over the course of the preseason,” Kreis told NYCFC.com. “His experience will add an important veteran presence to the team both on and off the field. We have worked hard to build a team with a balance of youth and experience and that should serve us well as we head into the season.” Continue reading
Photo by Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
The MLS is just hours away from making its triumphant return, meaning its time to get back into the swing of fantasy soccer.
The SBI MLS Fantasy League is back in action for the 2015 season, giving the SBI readers a chance to compete to show off their fantasy chops.
If you haven’t signed up for your Fantasy MLS Team, do so ASAP. Just go to the Official Fantasy MLS site to build your team today. Once you do, be sure to join The SBI Soccer League. You can use this code to join the league:
If you plan on joining, let us know what your team name is in the comments section below. The highest finisher in the league with a comment in the comments section will receive a prize, as will one random team owner in the league.
Enjoy the season.
By ALAN CONDON
FIFA’s new independent ethics chief Cornel Borbely has stated that he will not take orders from soccer’s governing body after taking over from his predecessor Michael Garcia, who resigned in protest over the handling of his investigation into the controversial 2018 and 2022 World Cup bid processes.
FIFA was heavily criticized after the departure of U.S. lawyer Garcia, and Swiss lawyer Borbely — who has been the acting chairman of the investigatory chamber of the independent ethics committee since December — has said that he will refuse to allow interference with his work.
“I run my own law firm and I don’t take any orders at all from FIFA — none whatsoever,” said Borbely. “I alone decide whether to open, conduct and conclude an investigation and on its result.
“I can’t disclose details of how often I have met with Sepp Blatter, but my contacts with him are limited to purely professional encounters. He has no authority to give directives to me.”
Borbely, who was previously the head of an economic crimes investigation unit in Zurich as well as a prosecutor for a military tribunal, will investigate potential cases regardless of their status within FIFA in an effort to stamp out corruption.
“Every football official is subject to the ethics code,” Borbely added. “Whoever… breaches it will come into our purview, regardless of hierarchy, rank or position.”
Here are some more of Friday afternoon’s news and notes:
Photo by U.S. Soccer
By CAITLIN MURRAY
The U.S. Women’s National Team has made sure the ghosts of last year’s Algarve Cup didn’t linger for long.
With a second victory in the tournament against Switzerland on Friday, a comfortable 3-0 win, the USWNT looks poised to land in the Algarve Cup final and avenge last year’s worst-ever finish at the annual invitational.
Friday’s win saw contributions from veteran names on the squad as Abby Wambach, Amy Rodriguez and Alex Morgan scored goals each to lift the Americans to top Group B and tie France on points overall.
Despite a roaring finish, the USWNT struggled early to finish chances, outshooting Switzerland 8-to-1 in the first half with nothing to show for it. But the break did some good and the USWNT returned at the half firing on all cylinders.
By ALAN CONDON
After an impressive start to the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams has heaped praised on the strength and versatility of his 20-man roster, but insists they must not get complacent against hosts Honduras in their next challenge.
The U.S. U-17s have won their opening three games in the tournament in impressive style, scoring 11 goals and conceding just one in reply. Their most recent 4-1 victory over Guatemala featured seven changes to the starting 11, reaffirming Williams’ belief in the depth and quality trickling through the entire U.S. U-17 squad.
“We said from the beginning of the tournament when we announced our roster that we felt we had a deep roster, that we trust everybody on the team – all 20 players – when they’re called upon,” Williams said, via U.S. Soccer. “They’ve all played in major international matches over the last two years, so we have confidence in all the players, and they should have confidence when they step on the field. We feel like we can put any of our 20 players on the field and play well and get a good result.”
“Coach always tells us that we’re a really good team, that we’re stacked – not one, but two in every position,” added U.S. U-17 midfielder Eric Calvillo. “We have guys that come off the bench when we need them and do good work, and guys that can start any game. And we saw that today.” Continue reading