By RYAN TOLMICH
Barcelona were able to escape the opening leg of the Copa del Rey quarter finals in possession of a 1-0 lead over Atletico Madrid, but Lionel Messi and co. will be in a battle to maintain that advantage in Wednesday’s second leg at Vicente Calderon Stadium.
The Catalan club enter Wednesday on a six-game win-streak, which includes last week’s opening leg victory as well as a 3-1 league triumph over last season’s league winners. Having not conceded in four games, Barca will now have to content with in-form Atleti striker Antoine Griezmann, who scored twice this past weekend as Atleti topped Ray Vallecano, 3-1.
In the African Cup of Nations, Group D maintains the potential of being settled by drawing lots as each of the four games to this point have ended in identical 1-1 draws. Perennial powerhouses Cameroon and Ivory Coast will matchup while Guinea takes on Mali, as yet another set of identical results will see the luck of the draw determine advancement to the knockout stages
If you will be watching today’s games, feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.
Enjoy today’s action (Today’s soccer TV schedule after the jump): Continue reading
By IVES GALARCEP
The U.S. Men’s National Team is ready to start the new year with its first match of 2015, and the latest episode of The SBI Show breaks down the team’s friendly against Chile.
Episode 189 of The SBI Show takes a closer look at the USA-Chile clash, as we discuss the potential 3-5-2 formation for the U.S., and project our starting lineup for the match.
Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I also catch up on a busy few days in MLS, including our take on the big trade made by the Montreal Impact and New York Red Bulls, and Juan Agudelo’s potential return to New England.
Give Episode 189 of The SBI Show a listen after the jump:
Photo by Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports
By FRANCO PANIZO
Jurgen Klinsmann scheduled a number of tough opponents to challenge his U.S. Men’s National Team during the six months before this summer’s Gold Cup.
The first test of 2015 comes on Wednesday, in unfamiliar territory, against an opponent that should offer a difficult challenge even without its World Cup stars.
The U.S. opens a busy 2015 on Wednesday evening, visiting a Chile team that is comprised completely of domestic-based players. The match at Estadio El Teniente in the central city of Rancagua marks the U.S. team’s first on South American soil against South American competition since the 2007 Copa America. The friendly will give Klinsmann an opportunity to see both veteran mainstays and unproven talents in a hostile environment, and potentially in a new tactical system.
No, Chile does not have the game-changing likes of Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal. But combine the rowdy atmosphere the home crowd is likely to provide with a squad of in-season Chilean players hungry to impress ahead of this summer’s Copa America – which is in their home country, no less – and you get the type of recipe that even an Iron Chef would struggle with.
“We know that those are all very ambitious players,” said Klinsmann. “They want to prove to (manager Jorge) Sampaoli that they belong in the first group, they want to impress the players that are right now in Europe. We expect a very aggressive, a very energetic Chilean team and we’ve prepared our team for that. Hopefully, we hold our ground and go in the other direction as well.”
By CAITLIN MURRAY
Indy Eleven may only be a year old, but the NASL franchise is ready to upgrade its facilities in a big way.
Indy Eleven is proposing a new $82 million home stadium that would seat 18,500 fans for the Indiana legislature to consider. The venue would be soccer-specific, but adaptable for other sports, including American football, according to new renderings released by the Indianapolis Star.
This is Indy Eleven’s second attempt at getting the legislature to approve a new stadium — they tried last year before playing a single game, which the legislature rejected. The team currently plays at a venue for Indiana University-Purdue University.
Their latest proposal would look to use taxpayer money to fund the project, but financing options aren’t yet clear.
Despite the renderings showing a “bird’s nest” look reminiscent of the iconic Bejing National Stadium used in the 2008 Olympics, team president Peter Wilt admitted the renderings were “a concept, so it’s subject to change and it surely will change.”
See more renderings of the proposed stadium below:
By ADAM TROXTELL
Chelsea’s goal of winning four trophies this season may have died, but the dream of three remains alive.
The Blues beat Liverpool, 1-0, in extra time of their League Cup semifinal second leg to book a spot in the final. In a back-and-forth game, Branislav Ivanovic headed in the winning goal in the 94th minute for a 2-1 Chelsea victory on aggregate.
Thibault Courtois was called into action a few times in the first half as Liverpool searched for an immediate advantage. Two saves in the space of four minutes from both short and long range kept the heated encounter dead even.
Chelsea looked to have had an opportunity to score in the 22nd minute when it appeared Diego Costa was brought down by Martin Skrtel in the box. Much to the home fans’ surprise, the referee gave a foul the other way and Costa was cautioned for diving.
All was forgotten just four minutes into the extra period when Willian’s curling free kick was headed in powerfully by Ivanovic. It also served as at least a partial remedy to being knocked out of the FA Cup by Bradford on Saturday.
Here is some more news from Tuesday: