By FRANCO PANIZO
The New York Red Bulls’ previous sporting director was well-versed in the European game. Their new one knows about all things on the domestic front.
Sources have informed SBI that the Red Bulls have found the successor for Andy Roxburgh, hiring retired forward Ali Curtis as the club’s sporting director. Curtis, 36, is currently the senior director of player relations and competition for MLS.
BigAppleSoccer.com first reported the deal.
Curtis, who has never held a management position for a team, joins a Red Bulls side that saw Roxburgh depart last week after two years at the helm. Curtis will be tasked with trying to improve a roster that made it to the Eastern Conference Finals, but lost the masterful Thierry Henry to retirement.
A former player who attended Duke, Curtis hung up his cleats for good in 2004. He was drafted three years earlier by the now-defunct Tampa Bay Mutiny, and also went on to play for D.C. United and Dallas Burn.
New York technical director Ricardo Campos and New England Revolution assistant Tom Soehn were some of the other candidates up for the sporting director job.
What do you make of Curtis’ appointment? Like the move? What should be his first priority with the Red Bulls?
Share your thoughts below.
Photo by Derik Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports
By CAITLIN MURRAY
The U.S. Women’s National Team ended their 2014 on a bitter note Sunday, drawing to Brazil to lose their final tournament of the year.
Brazil’s Marta could not match her splendid performance against the Americans a week ago, but the International Tournament of Brasilia hosts did dominate the USWNT and forced a scoreless stalemate, enough to hand Brazil the tournament title on tiebreaker.
The USWNT started in what looked like an experimental lineup — a 4-4-2 with Abby Wambach and Lauren Holiday as the front pair, with Kelley O’Hara, normally a defender, on the right midfield flank. The departure from coach Jill Ellis’ favored 4-3-3 seemed to be targeted at containing Marta, which it did, but the Americans struggled to control the midfield or maintain possession.
The USWNT’s best chance came in the 59th as a long Tobin Heath cross found Wambach on the far post. Wambach’s header had pace and goalkeeper Luciana beat, but sailed just wide. Brazil had a similar failed chance – Monica’s powerful, close-range header off a Marta corner kick was nodded just wide in the 38th minute.
By FRANCO PANIZO
Talk about redeeming yourself.
A week after committing an egregious error that led to a loss, Brad Guzan bounced back with a heroic performance that rescued a result for a shorthanded Aston Villa side. Guzan shone brightly in the Villans’ clash with Manchester United on Saturday, making eight saves to thwart the star-studded attack repeatedly and preserve a 1-1 draw. The impressive outing, which came in a game that saw Aston Villa finish with 10 men, pushed Guzan into a tie with Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Robert Green for the Premiership lead in saves (60) this season.
For John Brooks, things went in the other direction. After enjoying a pair of headline-grabbing performances in the past few days, Brooks came back down to earth as he and Hertha Berlin conceded five times in a shutout loss to Hoffenheim on Sunday. If that was not bad enough, Brooks scored a first-half own goal that wound up being the decisive tally and also conceded a penalty kick.
Rubio Rubin had no such struggles. The U.S. Men’s National Team prospect finished 2014 by continuing to impress, assisting on the second goal in FC Utrecht’s 3-0 victory over AZ Alkmaar on Saturday. Rubin got the nod, lasted until the 82nd minute and should’ve had a second assist in the triumph that snapped a two-game losing streak for Utrecht. Meanwhile, compatriot Aron Johannsson went the distance for AZ in the two clubs’ final match before the Eredivisie’s winter break.
Here is how the Americans Abroad did this weekend: Continue reading
Photo by Joe Nicholson/USA Today Sports
By FRANCO PANIZO
It is all systems go for DeAndre Yedlin’s move to Tottenham.
Yedlin has been granted a work permit ahead of his transfer to Spurs next month and will be available for selection upon his arrival, according to a report from the Mirror. The Seattle Sounders defender had recently been attempting to obtain a Latvian passport through his grandmother in fear of having a work permit rejected, but no longer needs it to play for Tottenham.
Yedlin, 21, signed a pre-contract with the Premiership club in August after impressing at the World Cup with the U.S. Men’s National Team. He has been a regular in Jurgen Klinsmann’s rosters since making his international debut back in January, and has accumulated 10 caps.
By FRANCO PANIZO
The Bronx may be New York City FC’s initial home, but they do not intend to be there for the long-term.
NYC FC has shifted focus in its search for a soccer-specific stadium and is now looking at the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn, the New York Daily News has reported. The 2015 MLS expansion club had recently been working on a site in the Bronx just south of its current home venue, Yankee Stadium, but that didn’t materialize into something concrete and forced New York City FC to look elsewhere.
“We had focused on the Bronx, but that didn’t work out, and we weren’t able to find anything else in the Bronx that made sense,” said Martin Edelman, a member on the board of directors of NYC FC’s co-owner Manchester City. “So we’re looking in Queens and Brooklyn, and each potential (site) has to be analyzed for construction, for access to public transportation, for parking, it’s a very complicated process.
By DAN KARELL
Liverpool’s disastrous start to the English Premier League season could be damaged even further on Sunday when they take on Arsenal.
The two clubs have performed below expectations this season, and the match at Anfield is a massive chance for both clubs to position themselves for a better finish heading into the busy holiday schedule. One aspect in Liverpool’s favor is that Arsenal have struggled in the big matches recently, and the Gunners’ last trip to Anfield produced a spectacular 5-1 victory in favor of Liverpool.
In the northeast of England, the Tyne-Wear derby takes place for the 153 time, this edition at St. James Park. Alan Pardew has just one win in seven Tyne-Wear derby matches, though Sunderland sit just one point above the relegation zone while Newcastle are in a more comfortable position. Jozy Altidore has been dropped to the bench in place of Steven Fletcher.
In France, leaders Olympique Marseille look to stay ahead of Paris Saint-Germain when they host Lille, and in Italy, fourth-place Lazio visit eleventh-place Inter Milan, hoping to inject more misery into the blue side of Milan.
If you will be watching today’s action, or want to discuss the day’s earlier action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.
Enjoy the action (Today’s schedule is after the jump):