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MLS season to start on schedule as league, Players Union come to terms on new CBA

MLS and the Players Union have reached a deal on a new CBA, ensuring the 2015 season will start on schedule.

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Evening Ticker: Young strike seals Man United win; PSG reaches Coupe de France semis; and more

Both Manchester teams, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea all seal EPL wins, PSG and Barcelona advance in domestic cups, and Blatter has a stern solution for racism.

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SBI MLS Season Preview: Seattle Sounders

After winning the Supporters Shield and U.S. Open Cup in 2014, the Seattle Sounders are focused on adding the elusive MLS Cup to the trophy case in 2015.

MLS season to start on schedule as league, Players Union come to terms on new CBA

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By RYAN TOLMICH

It took until the 11th hour, but the 2015 MLS season will begin as scheduled.

Multiple outlets reported via Twitter on Tuesday night that MLS and the Players Union have come to terms on a Collective Bargaining Agreement, with player representative and Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando telling Reuters that a “deal is done.”

The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that the two sides agreed to a five-year deal that will allow free agency to players who are both over 28 years of age and have eight years of MLS experience. Salary increases will be capped for free agent players, as those making under $100,000 have a cap of a 125 percent increase of their prior salary, players making between $100-200,000 have a cap of 120 percent and players making more than $200,000 have a cap of 115 percent.

In addition, the new CBA will include a raise of the minimum salary to $60,000, a figure expected to increase incrementally during the years of the deal. Finally, there will also be an immediate raise in the salary cap, although no specific figure has been released. Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer | 44 Comments

Evening Ticker: Young strike seals Man United win; PSG reaches Coupe de France semis; and more

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By ADAM TROXTELL

While it may not be scintillating soccer on display, Manchester United is still finding ways to win.

After 89 minutes of a possession game that produced few good chances, Ashley Young popped up to capitalize on a Newcastle moment of madness and give Man United a 1-0 win. It keeps the Red Devils standing alone in fourth place, two points ahead of Liverpool and one point behind Arsenal in third.

With 69 percent of the possession, Man Untied was always going to produce something. Tim Krul denied the Red Devils a lead just before halftime when he made a point-blank save from Marouane Fellaini’s header.

By then, Newcastle may have deserved the lead. Emmanuel Riviere ran onto a ball inside the Man United penalty area, where he appeared to be fouled by Chris Smalling. The referee refused to give a foul, though replays show he easily could have.

Though Wayne Rooney’s sliced effort from 12 yards can be put down to poor finishing, it was Krul who proved to be the Red Devils’ biggest issue this time. The Dutchman pulled off a double-save just inside the second half to deny Fellaini again, as well as Young.

Persistence paid off with a minute to go, when Rooney forced a back-pass to Krul under heavy pressure. The goalkeeper’s clearance fell straight to Young, who took a touch before firing into an empty net.

The game also marked a return for Jonas Gutierrez for Newcastle, who made his first appearance in 17 months while he underwent cancer treatment.

Here are more news and notes for your Wednesday evening:

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Carli Lloyd brace lifts USWNT in Algarve Cup opener

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Photo by Jerry Lal / USA Today

By ADAM TROXTELL

While searching for some new faces to inspire the team this summer, the U.S. Women’s National Team received a lift from its older, more reliable squad members.

Carli Lloyd scored twice in the second half to give the USWNT a comeback win against Norway in their Algarve Cup Group B opener, 2-1. Lloyd’s equalizer was a splendid turn and strike from some 20 yards out, and a converted 62nd-minute penalty kick gave the USWNT an early upper hand in what is viewed as an important warm-up to the World Cup.

Early chances for the U.S. came and went, but it was Norway who struck first just before halftime. An unmarked Ada Hegerberg scored her 15th goal for the Norwegians, and the 19-year-old looked to hand her team momentum going into the break.

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Posted in U.S. Women's National Team, Women's Soccer | 7 Comments

Report: U.S. U-23s line up March friendlies vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark

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Photo by Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports

 

By DAN KARELL

The U.S. Men’s National Team and U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team won’t be the only U.S. international sides in action during the upcoming March FIFA dates.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team has lined up friendly matches at the end of this month against Bosnia and Herzegovina and Denmark. U.S. Soccer has not officially announced any friendly matches for the U-23s this year but the Denmark FA’s website has their U-21 team hosting the U.S. on March 31, in a yet to be determined venue.

As such, it’s expected that both friendly matches and a training camp will be taking place in Europe. U.S. Soccer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Continue reading »

Posted in U.S. Men's Olympic Team, U.S. Soccer | 2 Comments

SBI MLS Season Preview: Seattle Sounders

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By JASON MITCHELL

Six trips to the playoffs in six seasons. Two trips to the Western Conference finals in the last three years. Four U.S. Open Cup trophies. A Supporters’ Shield trophy. Victory over Liga MX side Tigres UANL to advance to the CONCACAF Champions league semifinals.

It’s an impressive list of accomplishments for a young club. There’s just that one little thing evading the Seattle Sounders: an MLS Cup trophy.

Last year the Sounders righted a listing ship, dashing memories of a disastrous end to the 2013 campaign with the club’s first Supporters’ Shield trophy, a fourth U.S. Open Cup title, and a close loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy in the conference finals. Still, a crushing defeat hurt that much more knowing that victory would have left the Sounders hosting the MLS Cup at a packed CenturyLink Field.

“Everybody has that bitter taste in their mouths after accomplishing so much, and being so close to doing something really, really, special by winning three trophies,” said center back Zach Scott on Tuesday. “Obviously the big thing now that we’ve been able to win the Open Cup and a Supporters’ Shield is to get the big one, the MLS Cup.”

The belief within the clubhouse is that there is enough talent on the roster to win MLS Cup, that the challenge is getting the team playing its best soccer when it matters most.

“By far the biggest thing is just to be clicking at the right time,” said Scott.

Here’s a closer look at the 2015 Seattle Sounders:

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, MLS- Seattle Sounders | 4 Comments

Still no agreement in place as CBA talks continue

Garber new logo by Noah K Murray USA TODAY

Photo by Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

Talks are entering crunch time, and negotiations are continuing between MLS and the Players Union.

The two sides negotiated until late Tuesday night and talks have continued into Wednesday. The principle negotiations still revolve around free agency, with ESPN reporting that there has been some movement regarding the league’s latest proposal.

The league has reportedly offered limited free agency for players that are over 28 years of age and have spent at least eight years in the league. Under that agreement, players would only be able to earn a salary increase limited to 10 percent when moving to a new team.

Goal USA reported Wednesday morning that the Players Union did hold a vote to strike, although the result of the vote was unclear. Talks between the two sides were reportedly seen in a positive light in the afternoon before taking a negative turn in the evening.

The MLS season is set to kick off Friday with a matchup between the Chicago Fire and LA Galaxy. The Fire have traveled to Los Angeles despite the recent impasse in negotiations.

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What are your thoughts on the recent developments? How do you see talks playing out?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer | 27 Comments