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Evening Ticker: Chelsea reaches League Cup final; Ghana advances from AFCON group; and more

Chelsea book a cup final spot, Ghana secure progression to the AFCON knockout round, and more from Tuesday’s action.

Felipe Montreal Impact 2

Red Bulls’ acquisition of Felipe the result of wanting top allocation spot

The New York Red Bulls landed Felipe on Tuesday in a trade with the Montreal Impact, but acquiring him was a result of wanting the top spot in the allocation order.

GedionZelalemArsenal1-MonacoEmiratesCup (Getty)

U.S. Soccer seeking FIFA exemption to clear Gedion Zelalem for USMNT duty

U.S. Soccer is currently seeking an exemption for Gedion Zelalem, who under current rules would be ineligible to represent the U.S. Men’s National Team for at least five years.

Evening Ticker: Chelsea reaches League Cup final; Ghana advances from AFCON group; and more

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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:

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Posted in European Soccer, Featured | Leave a comment

Joe Gallardo, Josh Perez headline U.S. Under-17 spring residency roster

USMNT U-17 Starting eleven

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By RYAN TOLMICH

U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams is looking at a familiar roster as the team heads into the spring.

Williams has called in a roster of 28 players, 24 being carryovers from the fall semester. The U-17 Men’s National Team will enter the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, which is set for late February, in hopes of qualifying for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

“This is an important semester for us and an important year for this cycle,” Williams said. “With World Cup qualifying at the beginning of March, it will be important for us to continue training well and performing well.

“We also need to find a balance with this group and some of the players who are not with us on a regular basis to form a 20-man roster that will head to qualifying to compete and get results.”

The four new faces to the group are defender Matthew Constant, midfielder Giuseppe Barone and forwards Elvir Ibisevic and Josh Perez. Of the 28 players, 25 are currently registered with development academy clubs.

Here is the full U.S. Under-17 residency camp roster: Continue reading »

Posted in U.S. Under-17 National Team, Under-17 World Cup | 2 Comments

Red Bulls Notes: No Tim Cahill move yet; Matt Miazga injury not serious; and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

There have been plenty of rumors swirling about Tim Cahill’s future as a New York Red Bull, including a recent report suggesting a deal to move Cahill was already in place. Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch made it clear on Tuesday Cahill’s future with the team has yet to be resolved.

Cahill has been rumored in recent days to be nearing the completion of a move to United Arab Emirates club Al Wahda FC, but Marsch said via a conference call on Tuesday that is not the case.

“It really hasn’t changed much in the last two weeks,” Marsch said of Cahill’s status with the Red Bulls. “There’s been some dialogue in terms of potentially what the future could look like, but I don’t think there has been a concrete agreement as to what the future will hold. There’s been some good dialogue, Tim’s been nothing but professional, so I think everybody is open-minded and pursuing the best-case scenario for both parts.”

The 35-year-old midfielder is currently representing Australia at the Asian Cup, and has helped lead the Socceroos to the tournament final. A decision on the Designated Player’s future is expected after the tournament, but the Red Bulls could use a resolution as soon as possible in order to better prepare for the upcoming MLS campaign.

“It’s not just the finances. It’s the position and the player and everything,” said Marsch. “If this is the right place for him and he’s committed to be here, then certainly having him here in a way that makes us better would be important. If in the end the relationship doesn’t work out, then we use the ability and flexibility within our roster to go out and bring out what’s next.

“We’re handcuffed just a little bit, but, again, we’ll see what happens and then we’ll move forward.”

Here are some more Red Bulls notes from Monday:

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Posted in MLS- New York Red Bulls | Leave a comment

Red Bulls’ acquisition of Felipe the result of wanting top allocation spot

Felipe Montreal Impact 2

Photo by Eric Bolte/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

When the New York Red Bulls reached out to the Montreal Impact a couple of weeks ago to begin trade negotiations, they did not do so with the intention of landing Felipe.

They wanted a different asset instead, but still wound up acquiring the Brazilian playmaker as part of bigger deal that they believe helps set them up for short and long-term success.

Felipe became the newest member of the Red Bulls on Tuesday after they traded Eric Alexander, Ambroise Oyongo, allocation money and an international roster slot for the 2015 season to the Impact. New York received in return what they had wanted all along, the top spot in the allocation order, but also a young attacking midfielder capable of filling in at a number of positions.

“We think that Felipe adds to our group from a soccer perspective and he can play anywhere in the midfield,” Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch told reporters via a conference call on Tuesday. “He’s obviously good in the No. 10 spot, but I think he’s good at certain deeper positions as well, and the intangibles that Felipe brings, he’s one of the strongest competitors that I’ve ever been around.”

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Posted in Featured, MLS- New York Red Bulls | 5 Comments

Javier Perez names U.S. U-18 squad for tournament in Guadalajara

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By ADAM TROXTELL

Shortly after the U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team qualified for the World Cup, the next crop of young stars are lining up.

U.S. Soccer announced a 20-player U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team squad for the Copa Chivas Internacional that begins Friday. The team opens their group stage schedule against Morelia on Jan. 30, before playing Cruzeiro the following day and Club Tijuana on Feb. 2.

Included in the squad are regular recent call-ups such as Jonathan Klinsmann, Chicago Fire academy’s Mauricio Pineda, Seattle Sounders Homegrown signing Victor Mansaray, and LA Galaxy academy defender Malcolm Jones. In all, ten players come from MLS academies.

The 19th edition of the Copa Chivas Internacional, which takes place in Guadalajara, Mexico, starts with three groups of five teams, and quarterfinals, semifinals, and the final will take place Feb. 5-7. The Mexico U-17 Men’s National Team and FC Dallas Development Academy will also play in the tournament.

Here’s a closer look at the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team roster:

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Posted in U.S. Soccer, U.S. Under-18 National Team, U.S. Youth National Teams | 2 Comments

U.S. Soccer seeking FIFA exemption to clear Gedion Zelalem for USMNT duty

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By RYAN TOLMICH

After stating his intent to become a member of the U.S. Men’s National Team, Gedion Zelalem appeared to be on the path to represent the country sooner rather than later. Turns out, it isn’t quite that easy.

ESPN reported Tuesday that U.S. Soccer is currently seeking an exemption from FIFA with regards to Zelalem, who is currently barred from suiting up for the USMNT. Under current rules, the Arsenal prodigy would have to live in the U.S. for five years past his 18th birthday, which was earlier this month, in order to be declared eligible.

Firmly entrenched in Arsenal’s London setup, it’s highly unlikely that Zelalem would move stateside anytime soon, but U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati is expecting FIFA to grant an exemption.

“We’re going through the FIFA process and hope to have Gedion eligible by March or April,” Gulati told ESPNFC.com. “We don’t expect any issues.” Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, U.S. Soccer | 16 Comments