Sporting KC Sounders 0523 (USA TODAY Sports

SBI MLS Team of the Week: Sporting Kansas City

After beating New England, then traveling to Seattle and containing the Sounders’ dangerous attack, Sporting KC earned SBI MLS Team of the Week honors for Week 12.

Sebastian Giovinco 05242015 (USA TODAY Sports)

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Sebastian Giovinco

Sebastian Giovinco led TFC to victory with a spectacular long-distance strike, earning SBI MLS Player of the Week.

SeppBlatterFIFA5 (Marca)

Monday Kickoff: Blatter compares himself to mountain goat; Queretaro, Santos Laguna to meet in final; and more

Sepp Blatter compared his endurance to that of a mountain goat, while Queretaro and Santos Laguna booked places in the Liga MX Clausura final.

SBI MLS Team of the Week: Sporting Kansas City

Sporting KC Sounders 0523 (USA TODAY Sports

Photo by Jennifer Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports

By IVES GALARCEP

When the week began for Sporting Kansas City, having the task of facing New England and Seattle without star midfielders Graham Zusi and Roger Espinoza in the starting lineup might have seemed like too tall a task.

Peter Vermes’ stepped up to the challenge and showed why it should be considered a legitimate contender, beating the Revolution, 4-2, and holding the Sounders to one shot on goal in a 0-0 tie. The four-point haul was enough to help make Sporting KC the SBI MLS Team of the Week.

Unbeaten in five, Sporting KC rode the playmaking of Benny Feilhaber, and finishing of Dom Dwyer and Krisztian Németh to roll past the Revs. The defense stepped up in Seattle, with Matt Besler and Kevin Ellis leading the back-line to one of its best performances of the season.

Sporting KC beat out the Philadelphia Union, Montreal Impact and the Colorado Rapids for this week’s Team of the Week honors.

What did you think of Sporting KC’s performance? Which team impressed you the most this week?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Featured, MLS- Sporting Kansas City, SBI MLS Team of the Week | Leave a comment

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Axel Sjoberg

Axel Sjoberg 1 05252015 (USA TODAY Sports)

Photo by Chris Humphreys/ USA Today Sports

By COLE KELLOGG

Rookie centerback Axel Sjoberg was once again part of a stout Colorado defense that kept a clean sheet this weekend.

The Rapids’ 1-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps marked their fifth clean sheet of the season in 11 games. Sjoberg went the distance and played an important role in the Rapids securing the win at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

Sjoberg and company were able to keep one of this season’s most notorious Western Conference attackers off the board in Octavio Rivero. Up against Rivero, as well as the speedy Kekutah Manneh, the hulking centerback proved to be a steady presence at the back, making three clearances and four interceptions to help maintain the clean sheet.

The Rapids rookie beat out San Jose’s Fatai Alashe, Orlando City’s Cyle Larin and Chicago’s Matt Polster for this week’s honors.

What did you think of Axel Sjoberg’s performance? Which rookie stood out to you this past weekend?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Colorado Rapids, SBI MLS Rookie of the Week | 1 Comment

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Sebastian Giovinco

Sebastian Giovinco 05242015 (USA TODAY Sports)

Photo by Nick Turchiaro/USA Today Sports 

By RYAN TOLMICH

When Toronto FC made the move to sign Sebastian Giovinco, the team expected the Italian to bring a different level of class to BMO Field. That class was on full display on Saturday.

Giovinco led the way in a 1-0 TFC victory, smashing a long distance strike to snag his side three points and himself SBI MLS Player of the Week.

The Italian forward got things started early with his finish in just the fifth minute after receiving the ball 30 yards out. Giovinco took a pair of touches before rifling a shot past Adam Kwarasey from range, giving his side the lead and the win in a game that saw him terrorize the Timbers backline for chances throughout the contest.

Giovinco beat out Sporting KC’s Benny Feilhaber, Montreal’s Ignacio Piatti and Columbus Crew forward Kei Kamara for this week’s honors.

What did you think of Giovinco’s performance? Which player stood out to you this past weekend?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Featured, MLS- Toronto FC, SBI MLS Player of the Week | Leave a comment

NASL Week 8: A Look Back

Photo Courtesy of NASL/Minnesota United FC

Photo by Minnesota United

By COLE KELLOGG

The most exciting 90 minutes of the weekend was a 3-2 match between MLS-elect side Minnesota United and NASL newcomer Jacksonville Armada FC, as a Minnesota United victory leapfrogged the team into second place.

Elsewhere, Raul and the New York Cosmos put on a show against the San Antonio Scorpions, who were brought back down to Earth after back-to-back wins.

The other matches saw victories for Ottawa Fury FC, FC Edmonton and the Carolina RailHawks, with the latter managing a win on the road.

Here is a closer look at this weekend’s action: Continue reading »

Posted in NASL, New York Cosmos | 1 Comment

European Weekend Review: Hull City relegated; Valencia claim UCL spot; and more

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By AYDIN REYHAN

With the ends of their domestic seasons, the relegation battle has come to an end for teams across Europe.

Hull City found themselves victims of the drop on Sunday after failing to pick up a victory against Manchester United. With the draw, Hull City are relegated to the Championship while Newcastle United remain safe in the Premier League.

Meanwhile, in Spain, Valencia’s quest for the Champions League proved successful with a win over Almeria.

Lets take a deeper look at all five leagues in the final week of their respective seasons. Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer | 1 Comment

Monday Kickoff: Blatter compares himself to mountain goat; Queretaro, Santos Laguna to meet in final; and more

SeppBlatterFIFA5 (Marca)

By RYAN TOLMICH

First elected FIFA president in 1998, Sepp Blatter says he plans to just keep pushing on.

Blatter, who is favored in the upcoming FIFA elections, likened himself to a mountain goat, an animal regarded for its endurance and perseverance. The 80-year-old, who called himself “a simple, devout man”, would be serving his fifth term should he prove victorious in the election.

“I am a mountain goat that keeps going and going and going,” Blatter said. “I cannot be stopped, I just keep going.”

Here are some more news and notes to kick off your Monday morning: Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, Featured, FIFA, International Soccer, Mexican Soccer | 4 Comments

Union starting to find results, confidence in recent weeks

MLS: Philadelphia Union at New York Red Bulls

By MATT STYPULKOSKI

HARRISON, N.J. – In a matter of two matches, the Philadelphia Union managed to match what it had accomplished through the season’s first 11.

After starting the season with a dreadful six points from 11 matches, the Union have taken just as many points from the last two – Sunday night’s 2-0 victory against the New York Red Bulls followed on the heels of a 1-0 win over D.C. United last week.

“It’s a funny league and it’s certainly a funny conference,” Union head coach Jim Curtin said. “I talked all week to my guys about our season could go one of two ways in this building tonight. We’re either one win less than (the Red Bulls) or we’re getting separated and left in the dust.”

Indeed, the back-to-back wins have quickly pushed the Union up the table and into a tie for sixth place, though they still sit just below the Eastern Conference’s red line on goal difference, pending the result of Orlando City’s match Sunday night. Continue reading »

Posted in MLS- Philadelphia Union | 1 Comment

Red Bulls acknowledge need to improve sputtering attack

Mike Grella New York Red Bulls 62

photo by Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

HARRISON, N.J. — The games are adding up, but the goals are not for the New York Red Bulls. Not in abundance, anyway.

The Red Bulls suffered a setback via a 2-0 home loss to the Philadelphia Union on Sunday, and it was a familiar problem that opened the door for the surprise defeat. The Red Bulls failed to convert any of their chances, a result of some bad luck but also some bad finishing and impatience.

The Red Bulls were the better side for large stretches of the Eastern Conference affair, but found it tough to breakdown a Union team that sat back and looked to hit back on the counter. New York was unfortunate to hit the post twice in the first half, but struggled mightily throughout the 90 minutes to create real quality scoring opportunities.

The club now has just five goals in its last six matches – and no more than two goals in any one game this year – and was quick to point out Sunday that offensive improvements are needed.

“In this process we need to continue to figure out when we play in games like this how to be more effective and how to be a little more dangerous and how to create a few more clear chances,” said Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch. “Some of that is going to come with crosses, some of that is going to play with quick combination play along the line, some of it’s going to come from set pieces, so we need to continue to iron out some of those details and get better.

“Overall, it was pretty clear that we had command of that game. It’s just that now they made us pay for a couple of mistakes and we couldn’t make them pay.”

Continue reading »

Posted in MLS- New York Red Bulls | 7 Comments