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MLS Week 13: A Look Ahead

An MLS Cup rematch between the New England Revolution and LA Galaxy headlines this weekend’s MLS action.

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Toulon Tournament: U.S. Under-23s vs. Netherlands (SBI Live Commenary)

After a disappointing 1-3 loss to France in the opening match of the Toulon Tournament, the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team hopes to rebound in their second match of the tourney.

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This Weekend’s Soccer On TV

The FA Cup, Copa del Rey, Coupe de France and DFB Pokal all wrap up this weekend, with some international action in between.

MLS Week 13: A Look Ahead

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Photo by Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

The East and West are set to collide in MLS Week 13, which includes a rematch of last year’s MLS Cup finale.

While both teams have struggled in recent weeks, the New England Revolution have a chance to snag a tiny bit of revenge for last year’s loss to the LA Galaxy with a rematch at Gillette Stadium.

Meanwhile across the country, the Seattle Sounders, this year’s Western Conference leaders, face off with an Eastern Conference contender in the New York Red Bulls, who will be looking to emerge from a rough patch of their own.

Elsewhere, Toronto FC hosts the San Jose Earthquakes, Sporting KC takes on FC Dallas and D.C. United looks 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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Toulon Tournament: U.S. Under-23s vs. Netherlands (SBI Live Commenary)

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By AARON CRANFORD

After a disappointing 3-1 loss to France in the opening match of the Toulon Tournament, the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team hopes to rebound in their second match of the tourney.

However, the Netherlands stand in their way, a team that won it’s opening match, 3-2, over Costa Rica. With Olympic qualifying beginning in October, each test helps prepare the U.S. for qualification into the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The U.S. and the Netherlands Under-23 team will kick off at Stade Perruc today in Hyeres, France (11 a.m. ET, BeIN Sports).

SBI will be providing live commentary on today’s match so please feel free to follow the action here. As always, you are welcome to share your own thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Today’s live commentary is after the jump):

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, U.S. Men's Olympic Team | 19 Comments

This Weekend’s Soccer On TV

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By ADAM TROXTELL

The weekend is dotted with domestic cup finals across Europe, while the Under-20 World Cup also takes center stage.

Late on Friday night — or early Saturday morning — the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team gets the weekend started with its opening Group A match against Myanmar. News Zealand and the Ukraine kickoff the tournament earlier in the evening.

Arsenal will try to repeat as FA Cup champions in the final against Aston Villa on Saturday. The Gunners won back-to-back cups in 2002 and 2003, though Chelsea was the last team to do it back in 2010.

Also on Saturday, Paris Saint-Germain looks to complete a league cup double against Auxerre in the Coupe de France final. Borussia Dortmund faces Wolfsburg in the final of the DFB Pokal, and Barcelona looks for the second trophy of a potential treble in the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao.

The U.S. Women’s National Team plays its final warm-up game ahead of the World Cup against South Korea on Saturday.

Santos Laguna and Queretaro contest the final leg of the Liga MX playoff final on Sunday. Mixed in with the late action is national MLS coverage, with the Seattle Sounders hosting the New York Red Bulls followed by a rematch of the 2014 MLS Cup Final between the New England Revolution and LA Galaxy.

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

Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, Featured, Mexican Soccer, Soccer on TV, U.S. Women's National Team | Leave a comment

NASL Week 9: A Look Ahead

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Photo by Minnesota United FC/NASL

By COLE KELLOGG

With a win vs. second-placed Minnesota United FC, the New York Cosmos could clinch the NASL Spring Season title Saturday.

The rest of the league will be looking to redeem themselves from midweek US Open Cup losses. Wednesday night was an embarrassing one for the majority of NASL sides, with seven losing out to USL teams in the third round of the US Open Cup. The only two sides to progress were the Cosmos and the Atlanta Silverbacks, who played competition from much lower on the American soccer pyramid.

The Canadian NASL teams will square off Friday night for the third time in a month, with FC Edmonton smashing Ottawa 6-2 over two legs in the Canadian Championships.

Here is what this weekend’s NASL action looks like:

Ottawa Fury FC vs. FC Edmonton (Friday, 7pm, WatchESPN)

This matchup is what Fury coach Marc Dos Santos calls, “The best rivalry in the NASL.” The two teams are both in the bottom half of the league table, and are coming off of a two-leg series in the Amway Canadian Championship just a month ago.

FC Edmonton have had the best of Ottawa this season, winning both legs of the Canadian Championship series, 3-1, but are level on points with Fury FC in NASL action. Edmonton are coming off of a 4-2 win against the Atlanta Silverbacks last week, having lost two straight before that. They lead the league in scoring with 15 goals, largely due to the efforts of forward Toni Ameobi and midfielders Ritchie Jones and Lance Laing.

Fury FC also found themselves a victory last weekend, beating Indy Eleven, 1-0, courtesy of a Nicki Paterson strike. That win gave Ottawa three points for the first time in a month, and it’ll be looking to make it two in a row against their Canadian counterparts this Friday night.

Indy Eleven vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies (Saturday, 7:30pm, WatchESPN)

Indy Eleven are now coming off of four straight losses thanks to a 2-0 defeat to Louisville City in the US Open Cup. Meanwhile, the Rowdies were undefeated in four before a stoppage-time loss to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds midweek.

Indy doesn’t have much else to play for other than pride after another disappointing season, with not many bright spots other than a Sergio Pena wonderstrike and performances by Kristian Nicht that took him to the CONCACAF Champions League final.

Tampa Bay, on the other hand, have impressed with only one NASL loss this season. The Rowdies have gotten the best out of Georgi Hristov with three assists to his name, and both Martin Nunez and former MLS player Maicon Santos have two goals on the season.

Jacksonville Armada FC vs. Carolina RailHawks (Saturday, 7:30pm, WatchESPN)

Jacksonville and Carolina square off in a battle of fourth against fifth on Saturday Night. The Armada are coming off a narrow 2-3 loss against Minnesota last week, while the RailHawks accomplished a smash and grab 1-0 result in Fort Lauderdale.

For the RailHawks, Tiyi Shipalane is coming off of two goals in his last two matches. That puts Shipalane at three goals and three assists on the season.

The Armada are now winless in three, after coming off of back-to-back NASL wins against San Antonio and Indy. Jacksonville will look to Jemal Johnson and Alhassane Keita to stay hot and find the back of the net on the night.

Minnesota United FC vs. New York Cosmos (Saturday, 8pm, WatchESPN)

This is undoubtedly the biggest match of the weekend as first-placed New York travels to MLS-elect side Minnesota United, who are directly below them in the table. If the Cosmos can get a result, they will lock up first place for the Spring Season.

If Minnesota United upset the Cosmos, though, they can come three points closer to the first place team with a game in hand. A win for United would give them a chance to challenge the league’s overwhelming frontrunner in New York.

Cosmos Spanish superstar Raul has two goals in the last three NASL games. On the other end, Minnesota has had six different goalscorers in their last two league matches.

San Antonio Scorpions vs. Fort Lauderdale Strikers (Saturday, 8:30pm, WatchESPN)

Fort Lauderdale is a team on a downward trajectory, with three straight losses. The Strikers have only scored two goals in their last four matches.

San Antonio will be looking to move up in the table with three points to make the season less of an embarrassment after last year’s championship.

The Scorpions can hope to find attacking firepower from former MLS star striker Omar Cummings and midfielder Billy Forbes. Cummings has four goals on the season, and Billy Forbes managed a brace against FC Edmonton two matches back.

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USL Week 11: A Look Ahead

Photo by Orange County Blues FC/NASL

By COLE KELLOGG

This week in USL gives us a a number of games with one team in each half of the table.

Overall last place team FC Montreal will face off against against their first place counterpart the Rochester Rhinos.

In a similar battle in the Western Conference, the last place Real Monarchs with fight Sacramento Republic FC, who are just a point out of first place.

Portland and Tulsa will play to try and work their way into a playoff spot in the West, while Colorado will try to leapfrog LA II with a victory on the road.

Here is a closer look at this weekend’s USL action:

Continue reading »

Posted in USL | 1 Comment

Friday Kickoff: England FA chair calls for UEFA WC boycott; Nike denies wrongdoing in FIFA scandal; and more

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By RYAN TOLMICH

If Sepp Blatter is reelected as FIFA’s president in Friday’s election, the head of the English FA hopes Europe are among those to take a stand.

English FA chairman Greg Dyke says that the countries that make up UEFA should boycott the 2018 World Cup in Russia if Blatter is reconfirmed as FIFA’s leader on Friday. Stating that a singular boycott by just England would be ineffective, Dyke hopes to see all of UEFA’s countries unite should the event come to pass.

“There would be no point pulling England out if everyone else stays in. It would have no impact,” Dyke said. “It would just be forgotten. But if you could pull UEFA out, that might have an impact. If Blatter gets re-elected, then that should be discussed.

“I thought the evidence the Americans produced was devastating and I don’t think Blatter can survive that. He might survive this weekend but I don’t think he can survive in the long-term. During his period in charge, the level of corruption has been unacceptable. It’s just frightening.”

Here are some more news and notes to kick off your Friday morning:

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Posted in European Soccer, Featured, FIFA, International Soccer, Mexican Soccer | 14 Comments

The SBI Show: Episode 209 (Previewing MLS Week 14, talking USMNT and more)

Clint Dempsey Seattle (SUSA TODAY Sports)

 

By IVES GALARCEP

A very busy stretch for U.S. national teams kicks off this weekend, with a plethora of matches taking place involving teams of all ages and genders.

Episode 209 of The SBI Show will look ahead to a stacked schedule that will be featuring U.S. Men’s National Team friendlies, a U.S. Women’s National Team friendly on Saturday, the kickoff of the Under-20 World Cup as well as the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team’s participation in the Toulon Tournament.

Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I also take a closer look at MLS Week 14, and catch up on the latest details of the FIFA scandal.

Give Episode 209 of The SBI Show a listen after the jump:

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, Podcasts, U.S. Men's National Team, Under-20 World Cup | Leave a comment

SBI 2015 Under-20 World Cup Preview

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By RYAN TOLMICH

Having featured current stars Paul Pogba and Harry Kane in the 2013 tournament,the Under-20 World Cup has long served as a springboard for the game’s superstars,

The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team is one of 24 teams that will travel to New Zealand to compete for the U-20 crown. Featuring some of the game’s brightest young stars, plenty of talent will be on display in a showcase of the world’s youth.

Set to kickoff on May 30, the U-20 World Cup features plenty of contenders and potential dark horses.

Here is a closer look at each group for the upcoming World Cup, as well as some teams, matches and players to keep an eye on: Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Uncategorized, Under-20 World Cup | Leave a comment