Photo by Adam Hunger/ USA Today Sports
BY MICHAEL PENG
NEW YORK — Building a team from the ground up is no walk in the park, and Jason Kreis knows that, but after watching his club’s winless streak extend to seven matches with a 3-1 loss to the Seattle Sounders on Sunday at Yankee Stadium, the New York City FC head coach is left searching for answers on how to turn this team around.
But perhaps he doesn’t have to look too far to find some inspiration.
“I think there’s a lot of models out there, but Seattle being a team that came from expansion, a team that has a very good fan-following in a fantastic stadium and a fantastic city,” Kreis said after the game. “There’s a lot of things we can model ourselves after them.”
That’s not a bad choice for a paragon by Kreis and NYCFC, as the Sounders have been one of the most successful teams in the MLS since joining the league in 2009, making the playoffs each season while advancing to the conference finals of the MLS Cup twice and winning the U.S. Open Cup four times.
Photo by Geoff Burke/ USA Today Sports
By CLIFF STARKEY
WASHINGTON—It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Last year was a fluke. This year would look more like 2013.
D.C. United had heard it all. Despite a stunning turnaround last season, in which they finished first in the Eastern Conference before an exit to the New York Red Bulls in the playoffs, many outlets—and MLS fans—didn’t expect as much from the team this year.
D.C. United knew what was expected of them. And they’ve responded in historical fashion.
Saturday night’s win at RFK Stadium against the surging Columbus Crew gives D.C. United (5-1-2) the best start in franchise history through eight games. That bears repeating: D.C. United—four-time MLS Champions and a founding member of MLS—has never started a season as strongly as in 2015.
Marco Etcheverry. Jaime Moreno. Bruce Arena.
Fabian Espindola. Chris Rolfe. Ben Olsen. Continue reading
By AYDIN REYHAN
This weekend brought us a champion in the Premier League and let us know that some leagues are going to be extremely fun going into the final weeks.
With a 1-0 victory on Sunday, Chelsea was crowned champions of the Premier League, earning manager Jose Mourinho his third title with the club and first since returning to the team in 2013.
Chelsea was not alone in claiming a domestic crown as Juventus locked up their fourth consecutive Sere A championship with a victory over Sampdoria.
Meanwhile, Spain’s title race remains nowhere near as clear cut, as Barcelona thrashed Cordoba 8-0 on the road as they are still protecting their two-point gap atop of La Liga ahead of Real Madrid.
Here is what happened in European soccer’s top five leagues this weekend: Continue reading
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By RYAN TOLMICH
Just a few days before the Gold Cup kicks off, the U.S. Men’s National Team will get a chance to ease into the tournament with a friendly.
U.S. Soccer announced Monday that the USMNT will take on Guatemala on July 3 at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee. The contest will take place just four days before the USMNT’s Gold Cup opener against Honduras in Frisco, Texas.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to play a team like Guatemala before the Gold Cup,” said U.S. MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “They are similar to our opponents in the group stage, so we couldn’t ask for better preparation.
“Our goal is to win the tournament, and this will be an important first step. Nashville has always been a great home to the National Team, and we look forward to having a fantastic crowd at LP Field.”
Originally reported last week, the friendly will serve as a final tune-up ahead of the Gold Cup. The Guatemala matchup will serve as the third friendly for the U.S. ahead of this summer’s tournament, with the team set to travel to Europe for matches with the Netherlands and Germany on June 5 and 10, respectively.
What do you expect from the friendly against Guatemala? What type of lineup would you expect Klinsmann to utilize?
Share your thoughts below.
photo by Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports
By FRANCO PANIZO
Two Eastern Conference clubs continued to punish the opposition, while two Seattle Sounders veterans did exactly the same.
Week 9 in MLS revealed plenty about where some of the teams and players are headed in 2015, especially in the case of D.C. United and the New England Revolution. Both clubs extended their recent good runs of form, beating out fellow Eastern Conference contenders to move to the top of the table in the east.
As for the West, Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins put on their latest show to help the Seattle Sounders pick up a 3-1 road win over New York City FC. The dynamic duo not only combined to make up the Sounders’ three goals, but it is also showed off its impressive chemistry and propensity to pull off the incredible in a dazzling effort at Yankee Stadium.
Here is what SBI is mulling over aft Week 9 in MLS:
By FRANCO PANIZO
It was not the result Greg Garza or Club Tijuana wanted, but the U.S. Men’s National Team defender ended a personal drought this weekend that dated back more than two years..
Garza found the back of the net for the first time since Nov. 16, 2012, on Friday, scoring Club Tijuana’s lone goal in a 2-1 loss to fellow American Edgar Castillo and Atlas. The tally came via a close-range finish following a cross from the right and put Tijuana ahead just before halftime. Unfortunately for the Xolos, they allowed the lead to slip away and now hold a slim one-point advantage for one of Liga MX’s playoff spots.
A pair of Americans squared off in Germany, as John Brooks and Fabian Johnson both started for their respective clubs in Hertha Berlin’s 2-1 home loss to Borussia Moenchengladbach. Brooks went the distance for Hertha in the match, and Johnson lasted until the 79th minute before being replaced. The win kept third-placed Moenchengladbach in control of the Bundesliga’s final guaranteed UEFA Champions League spot.
It was not all good news this weekend, however. Brad Guzan was surprisingly not given the nod for Aston Villa on Saturday, and instead demoted to the bench while Shay Given started in between the pipes in a 3-2 win over Everton. It marked the first time this season that Guzan did not start in league play for the Villans, snapping his streak at 34 games.
Here is how the Americans Abroad fared this weekend:
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By RYAN TOLMICH
Since assuming the role of Real Salt Lake head coach in 2007, success hasn’t been too hard to come by for Jason Kreis. Having led RSL to an MLS Cup in 2009, Kreis has reached the pinnacle of MLS success while becoming the youngest head coach in history to claim an MLS crown.
However, despite all of his previous successes, positives have been hard to come by in Kreis’ first handful of games in charge of NYCFC.
Through the first nine games of the club’s inaugural season, NYCFC have collected just six points, opening Kreis’ eyes to just how difficult it is to build a team from scratch in the current MLS landscape.
“Not well,” Kreis said when asked how he’s handling the team’s slow start. “It just doesn’t sit well with me. I guess I didn’t realize it would be this difficult. Maybe I forgot how hard it is to build a team in this league and have success on a continuous basis, a consistent basis.
“A lot of sleepless nights now to think of ways to get this team to improve, to stay positive, because if you think there are a lot of positive things to look to, and to have some patience, and that’s probably my biggest downfall in my character is that I have very little patience.” Continue reading
photo by Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports
By FRANCO PANIZO
NEW YORK — Effective and attractive. Graceful and lethal.
The Seattle Sounders extended their current winning streak to three games on Sunday night, going on the road and picking up an impressive 3-1 win over New York City FC. The two players that led the way for the Sounders were the same two that have been doing plenty of the heavy lifting this year and each of the previous two, as strike partners Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins combined to score all three of Seattle’s goals.
Martins bagged a brace in the match at Yankee Stadium with goals on each side of halftime, and sandwiched in between those strikes was Dempsey’s 58th-minute winner. It was a vintage performance from the two veterans – who have combined for 11 goals and six assists two months into the 2015 campaign – that showcased their understanding, eye for the incredible, and ruthlessness in front of goal.
“We rely on each other to create chances for each other,” said Dempsey, who now has five goals and four assists this season. “The movement off the ball that we have and being able to connect passes and put each others in good positions to get goals is what’s going to help us to be successful throughout the season.