Jesse Marsch New York Red Bulls 51

Jesse Marsch sees lack of identity as part of reason for recent USMNT struggles

With the U.S. Men’s National Team currently struggling, New York Red Bulls head coach and former U.S. assistant Jesse Marsch has called for the team to reestablish its identity.

USMNT Denmark 3

Denmark 3, USMNT 2: The SBI Breakdown

The U.S. Men’s National Team suffered a 3-2 loss to Denmark on Wednesday, and here are SBI’s five biggest takeaways from the match.

XaviBarcelona1-RealMadrid2015 (Getty)

Report: Xavi set for lucrative move to Qatar

Barcelona midfielder Xavi is set to snub a move to NYCFC and sign a lucrative deal with Al-Sadd in Qatar.

NYCFC Notes: Kreis surprised by Diskerud’s USMNT omission; back line to be shuffled; and more

Mix Diskerud New York City FC 99

photo by Reinhold Matay/USA Today Sports


Jason Kreis knew he was going to lose a number of his players to international call-ups this month, but he and New York City FC got one pleasant surprise.

They got to keep Mix Diskerud.

It had been almost two years since Diskerud was last passed over by U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann for an international fixture date, so Kreis fully anticipated losing the crafty midfielder for this weekend’s home game against Sporting Kansas City. Klinsmann, however, chose to leave Diskerud with his club, a move that Kreis is thankful for but did not see coming.

“Yeah, I was very surprised, but you never know,” said NYCFC head coach Kreis. “I don’t know what the objectives for these two games are for the coach or what he’s looking to achieve or who he’s looking to look at that might be new in that program. It’s impossible for me to say, but I really had expected Mix to go.

“I think there are several MLS players that are in the exact same category as Mix that didn’t get called in, so it seems that Jurgen has a bit of a plan. But I don’t know, I haven’t spoken to him.”

Klinsmann has been critical about the fitness of some of his players in recent weeks, but it is unknown if Diskerud is among that group. Regardless, the 24-year-old midfielder’s absence from the U.S. picture is unusual.

Diskerud has been a part of every U.S. camp he has been available for since summer 2013, when he was not included in the roster for a pair of friendlies against Belgium and Germany and a trio of World Cup qualifiers. He missed out on last April’s squad for a friendly vs. Mexico, but that game fell outside of FIFA’s international calendar and Diskerud’s release from his club, Rosenborg, was not mandated.

Diskerud, for his part, did not divulge details about his omission on Wednesday. He said he had a policy of not discussing what he and his head coaches talk about, and mostly sidestepped three different questions about his U.S. absence.

“It’s mostly European-based players and players in Liga MX,” said Diskerud. “I’ve just got to watch them. It’s not going to feel weird.”

Here are more notes from NYCFC camp:

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Posted in MLS- New York City FC | 2 Comments

Midday Ticker: Terry pens new Chelsea deal; Marquinhos re-signs with PSG; and more

John Terry of Chelsea



John Terry will remain a Chelsea defender for at least one more season.

Terry has signed a one-year extension to keep him at Stamford Bridge through the 2015/16 season. Reports this season indicated that a deal was being drawn out, and Terry expressed his desire to extend his stay.

“It is because John continues to peform. He is a top defender,” Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho told reporters. “I am happy that he completely deserves this new contract after a season where he has already played 40 matches.”

It is Chelsea’s club policy to offer players over 30 one year deals. Terry, 34, was on a contract that would have expired this summer. Since his 1998 debut, the defender has won 13 major trophies with Chelsea, including the UEFA Champions League, three Premier League titles, and five FA Cups.

Here are more news and notes for your Thursday afternoon:

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Revs Notes: Agudelo, Davies developing partnership; Farrell adjusting to centerback; and more

Juan Agudelo-Callum Mallace Revs-Impact (USA Today Photos)

Photo by Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Under coach Jay Heaps, the New England Revolution have been relatively predictable in trotting out just one true forward. But in pursuit of a win last Saturday against the Montreal Impact, Heaps subbed on Charlie Davies in the 62nd minute, but left Juan Agudelo on the field — and fans got a look at the best argument for switching up the Revs’ preferred formation.

“I expected it from the moment we signed (Agudelo) that we would be a team that played two or three forwards at a time,” said Davies, adding that he still considers Teal Bunbury a forward, despite Bunbury playing out on the wing with the Revs. “If we can get that lineup going and everyone working fluid, and get the rhythm right and the timing right, I think it’s extremely difficult to defend.”

The duo wasn’t able to shake New England (0-2-1) out of a 270-minute scoring drought to start 2015, but Agudelo and Davies did provide a spark in their 22 minutes together.

“He’s definitely a guy that makes great runs, which opens up space for other players,” Agudelo said of Davies before training on Wednesday. “His runs in behind makes a hole in front of their defense. … Sometimes he doesn’t get rewarded for those runs, but he’s a very smart striker.”

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Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- New England Revolution | 3 Comments

NASL Ticker: League announces expanded deal with ESPN; statement on Minnesota United departure; and more




After broadcasting 30 matches with the company last season, the NASL is set to see a dramatic increase in ESPN broadcasts this season.

The NASL announced Thursday that the league has expanded its deal with ESPN to include the airing of a minimum of 120 matches in 75 different countries through ESPN3, ESPN Play, and ESPN Player.

“Working with ESPN, the Worldwide Leader in Sports, is going to be of great benefit to our fans, who will be able to watch the vast majority of our matches on ESPN3, ESPN Play, and ESPN Player this year,” said NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson. “We have quickly developed a great relationship with ESPN, and we’re glad to be a part of their live coverage.”

Eight of the league’s clubs – the Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Indy Eleven, Jacksonville Armada FC, Minnesota United FC, San Antonio Scorpions, and Tampa Bay Rowdies – will air all 15 regular season home games live on ESPN3 in the U.S.

The New York Cosmos, Ottawa Fury FC, and FC Edmonton will offer home matches on their pre-existing broadcasting platforms, One World Sports, and City TV Edmonton, respectively.

“Over the last few years, we’ve continued to elevate our broadcast capabilities, and this year is no different,” Peterson said. “Our evolving relationship with ESPN is helping us move closer to more advanced discussions about live event coverage in the future.”

Here are some more of Thursday’s NASL news and notes: Continue reading »

Posted in NASL | 8 Comments

SBI Reader Poll: Where should MLS expand to next?

MLS Logo Panel


With Wednesday’s announcement set to confirm Minnesota’s inclusion as the league’s 23rd team, Major League Soccer is getting closer and closer to the longtime goal of 24 franchises by the end of the decade.

That 24th and final spot becomes more competitive by the day, as quite a few markets have thrown their name into the hat for inclusion in MLS. One of those markets, Miami, has gone so far as to earn a promise of a franchise, but the league’s mandated task of securing a stadium has proven to be a major hurdle for David Beckham and the rest of the team’s ownership group.

While Miami’s wheels spin, several other markets continue to fortify their push. Sacramento has been drumming up ever more local support from both fans and legislators, while San Antonio even has the backing of Mexico’s soccer bigwigs.

Where do you think MLS should expand to next? Cast your vote after the jump: Continue reading »

Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Expansion, Uncategorized | 141 Comments

Must-See Goal: Robson

RobinhoPalmeiras1-SaoPaulo2015 (GazettaPress)

Posted in Must-See Goals, Must-See Videos, South American Soccer | 1 Comment

USL Notes: Brian Ownby returns home to Richmond; Tulsa signs former Sounder Ochoa; and more


Photo by Suz Kitsteiner


Brian Ownby’s offseason move signaled the end of his time with the Houston Dynamo, but it doesn’t mean a new beginning in unfamiliar territory.

For the 2015 USL season, Ownby is returning home to Virginia to play for the Richmond Kickers. The 24-year-old forward spent 2013 on loan at the club that is more than familiar to the Richmond native.

“I used to go to Kickers games when I was little, watching guys like Dwayne De Rosario play,” Ownby told SBI. “It was a great experience. I’m looking forward to this year.”

Ownby joins the Kickers after making 29 appearances for the  Dynamo, the club that drafted him in 2012. On his way to MLS, Ownby honed his game playing across town from the Kickers with the Richmond Strikers Academy.

He went on to play at the University of Virginia where he scored 21 goals and tallied 10 assists over 72 appearances. All of this made the decision to join the Kickers simple, though Ownby said he sees the USL as just as much of a competitive league as MLS.

“Everyone has their comparisons, but I feel like it’s becoming more of a powerful league,” Ownby said. “There are plenty of guys in the USL that can play in MLS. I don’t have any hard feelings [against the Dynamo.] I’m happy that Houston gave me the opportunity.”

Ownby’s deal lasts just one year, but his 2013 loan spell showed what he is capable of in just one season. His seven goals and seven assists took him to second place in the team on 21 points, and the Kickers finished first in the regular season.

“I’m excited to join up with this team,” he said. “We set a record [in 2013] for most games unbeaten. I think we can do great things.”

The Kickers open their USL schedule on the road against Wilmington Hammerheads on Saturday.

Here are more news and notes from the USL:

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Thursday Kickoff: Messi tops 2014 revenue charts; French Guiana shock Honduras; and more

LionelMessiBarcelona2-ManCity2015 (Getty)


Lionel Messi may not have won the last two FIFA Ballon d’Or awards, but he’s beaten Cristiano Ronaldo in at least one category from 2014.

In the 17th edition of France Football’s Stars of Salary findings, Messi tops the list with a reported €65 million in revenue in 2014 from both his salary and endorsement deals combined. It’s the fifth consecutive year that the 27-year-old midfielder has finished atop France Football’s annual money list.

Behind Messi, Ronaldo took home a more-than-respectable €54 million, and rounding out the top five is Barcelona’s Neymar at €36.5 million, Paris Saint-Germain’s Thiago Silva at €27.5, and Robin Van Persie of Manchester United at €26.5.

12 players took home €20 million in revenue or more in 2014, as the rising salary costs in soccer show no signs of slowing down. While Spanish clubs hold the top three places, of the next nine, five of the players named play in the English Premier League, two play in Ligue 1, one plays in the Bundesliga, and one more plays in La Liga.

Here are some more stories to start off your Thursday:

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Posted in European Soccer | 7 Comments