Citrus Bowl

MLS Ticker: Orlando City sells out home opener; Crew Stadium to be re-named Tuesday; and more

Orlando City announced Monday that the club has sold out its inaugural MLS game against New York City FC.

Damien Perrinelle New York Red Bulls 34

Marsch hints at Perrinelle, Zubar as Red Bulls starting centerbacks

New York Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch has hinted that veterans Damien Perrinelle and Ronald Zubar will start at centerback in the season opener against Sporting Kansas City.

SeppBlatterFIFA5 (Marca)

Monday Kickoff: Blatter concerned by racism in Russia; Pedro considering future with Barca; and more

Sepp Blatter is “concerned” by recent reports regarding racism in Russia, who are set to host the World Cup in 2018.

MLS Ticker: Orlando City sells out home opener; Crew Stadium to be re-named Tuesday; and more

Citrus Bowl

By MATT STYPULKOSKI

Orlando City fans have officially “Filled the Bowl.”

The expansion side announced Monday morning that the team’s first-ever MLS game against fellow newcomer New York City FC, which is set to be played at the 60,000-seat Citrus Bowl, has been sold out.

The announcement follows a nearly month-long campaign by Orlando City to move tickets in an effort to fill the stadium for its inaugural match.

The two new sides are scheduled to open their MLS campaigns Sunday at 5 p.m. The match will be televised on ESPN2.

Here are some more of Monday’s MLS news and notes.

CREW STADIUM TO BE RE-NAMED ON TUESDAY

In 1999, Crew Stadium opened as the United States’ first soccer-specific stadium. Now, 17 years later, the venue is set for a name change.

The Columbus Crew announced on Monday that the club has struck a naming-rights deal for its stadium. The new name will be revealed at a press conference Tuesday morning.

In addition to Crew matches, the Columbus stadium has hosted a number of U.S. Men’s National Team games over the past 17 years, including eight FIFA World Cup Qualifiers and four “Dos a Cero” wins over Mexico.

FORMER TORONTO FC MIDFIELDER BRADLEY ORR RETIRES

Bradley Orr hasn’t appeared on the field since starting for Toronto FC on Sept. 6 of last season. Now, that 90-minute performance will go down as his last as a professional soccer player.

“As of now I am retired from football,” Orr tweeted on Monday morning. “I’ve loved every minute of my career and I’ve got no regrets whatsoever only great memories. Thank you!”

The 32-year-old midfielder, who was on loan to Toronto from Blackburn Rovers last season, played in 19 MLS games, including 14 starts. His only goal came helped Toronto rescue a 2-2 draw against Sporting Kansas City in stoppage time on May 23. He also tallied one assist.

Prior to his stint in Toronto, Orr had played for Newcastle United, Burnley, Bristol City, Queens Park Rangers, Ipswich Town and Blackpool over a 12-year career.

REVOLUTION ADD TYLER RUDY, LONDON WOODBERRY

Tyler Rudy and London Woodberry have been on trial with the New England Revolution throughout the preseason. On Monday morning, they both officially became a part of the squad.

Woodberry, a 23-year-old defender, made his professional debut with FC Dallas in 2013, making eight appearances before spending last season with Arizona United in the USL. Prior to turning pro, Woodberry was named a NSCAA Third Team All-American selection during his senior year at the University of Maryland.

Rudy, a 21-year-old midfielder, arrives in New England after going undrafted. In four years at Georgetown University, Rudy tallied seven goals and 12 assists in 88 appearances, including a run to the College Cup Final in 2012. As a senior, he received Second Team All-Big East honors.

What do you think of the Orlando City news? Excited about the Crew’s new stadium rights deal?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Columbus Crew, MLS- New England Revolution, MLS- Orlando City, MLS- Toronto FC, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

European Weekend Review: Chelsea claim first trophy of 2015; Real Madrid settles for draw; and more

Chelsea+v+Tottenham+Hotspur+Capital+One+Cup+OEcYOSwWohTl

By AYDIN REYHAN

With eyes still fixed on Champions League and Premier League successes, Chelsea have claimed the club’s first trophy of the 2014-15 campaign.

For the first time since 2007, Chelsea lifted the Capital One Cup on Sunday by defeating Tottenham 2-0 in the final.

Both sides created chances, but the Blues were able to capitalize as their defense also stood firm throughout the 90 minutes.

John Terry scored on the brink of halftime when Willian’s free kick was taken down by Kurt Zouma for Terry to bury home through traffic. Diego Costa would finish the job when Cesc Fabregas located him inside the area before he dribbled into a tight angle but still sliced the ball home past Hugo Lloris.

In La Liga, Real Madrid was unable to protect a 1-0 lead earned through a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty as Gerard Moreno equalized with a dart into the bottom far corner from outside the 18. With the result, Real Madrid only sits two points ahead of Barcelona atop the table.

Here is an overall look at this weekend’s action throughout Europe’s top leagues: Continue reading »

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Marsch hints at Perrinelle, Zubar as Red Bulls starting centerbacks

Damien Perrinelle New York Red Bulls cropped (USA Today)

Photo by Eric Bolte/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

Jesse Marsch is feeling much more at ease and confident these days as it pertains to the standing of the centerbacks on his roster, so much so that it seems he’s made up his mind on the starters for the season opener.

When Marsch was appointed head coach of the New York Red Bulls in January there were some initial reservations as to if the crop of central defenders on the squad was good enough to carry out his plan for 2015. There was talent among the players on the roster, but not all of it fit into the blueprint that Marsch was laying out.

After making a number of moves and with a full preseason now complete, Marsch is no longer anywhere near as “concerned” about that talent or depth of the position. He has even appeared to confidently settle on a starting tandem for this Saturday’s opener at Sporting Kansas City.

“I think that Damien Perrinelle has done very well. He’s a very smart centerback and he’s a very good compliment to the way that Ronald (Zubar) plays,” Marsch recently told SBI when asked about the position. “We’re asking a lot of our centerbacks both from a tactical perspective and from a physical perspective and I think that those two have worked really well together.”

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, MLS- New York Red Bulls | 7 Comments

Monday Kickoff: Blatter concerned by racism in Russia; Pedro considering future with Barca; and more

SeppBlatterFIFA5 (Marca)

By RYAN TOLMICH

Just over three years away from the tournament, FIFA president Sepp Blatter has his concerns heading into 2018’s World Cup in Russia.

Blatter admitted that he is “concerned” with findings of a report regarding the issue of racism in Russia. The report, which was complied by anti-racism organizations The Fare network and Sova Center, says that there have been over 200 cases of documented racist incidents at the country’s soccer matches in the past two seasons.

“Racism is one of the items which is on my agenda on the very top, every day. If it does not stop then there must be some sanctions,” Blatter said, according to BBC Sport. “We have started a big education program with them. They are aware of the situation.”

Blatter has previously said that he has had discussions with Russian president Vladimir Putin on tackling the racism issue.

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

Posted in European Soccer, Featured, FIFA | 12 Comments

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

Fabian Johnson Borussia Moenchengladbach 7

 

By FRANCO PANIZO

Fabian Johnson has been in need of a pick-me-up at Borussia Moenchengladbach, and he may have just found it.

Johnson was given a rare start in the club’s meeting with Paderborn on Sunday, and gave manager Lucien Favre something to think about by scoring the game-winner in a 2-0 triumph. The goal came in the 18th minute on a left-footed strike from outside the penalty area that took a very kind deflection, and was Johnson’s first for Moenchengladbach. Playing as a left midfielder, Johnson was also involved in helping create the insurance goal nine minutes before the final whistle. He sprinted towards the end line on the play and hit a cross that was parried into the path of teammate Patrick Herrmann, who netted with a low shot.

There was another foreign-based American to score a decisive tally this weekend. Conor O’Brien was the author of the lone goal in Wiener Neustadt’s 1-0 win over Austria Vienna, converting a 34th-minute penalty kick to push his relegation-threatened side to an upset victory at home. The goal was O’Brien’s fourth of the season, and move Wiener Neustadt to within a point of safety in the Austrian Bundesliga.

While there was some good news from those two European-based players, there was also a negative development over in Mexico. Greg Garza suffered an injury in the first half of Club Tijuana’s game against Pachuca, and had to be replaced by fellow American Joe Corona in the 41st minute. The Xolos were able to overcome that loss, however, as they picked up a 3-2 victory that kept them in first place in Liga MX.

Here is how the Americans Abroad did this weekend:

Continue reading »

Posted in Americans Abroad, Featured | 37 Comments

23 for 2015: Projecting the USMNT Gold Cup roster (February 2015 Edition)

USMNT vs. Panama 2015 (USA TODAY Sports)

Photo by Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

By IVES GALARCEP

The month of February featured just one U.S. Men’s National Team match, but that 2-0 win against Panama was enough to help offer some more information on an ever-evolving player pool four months before the Gold Cup.

Gyasi Zardes and Miguel Ibarra were the players who saw their stock rise the most in February. Zardes stood out in the win against Panama, while Ibarra earned praise from Jurgen Klinsmann for his showing in the same match.

There wasn’t a ton of movement in our projected U.S. Gold Cup squad, though there were a few changes. Among them is Graham Zusi, who has come back from a lingering foot injury and should be back with the national team for the March friendlies.

Here is the February edition of SBI’s projected U.S. Gold Cup roster:

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, U.S. Men's National Team, Uncategorized | 96 Comments