By IVES GALARCEP
The MLS Playoff Conference semifinals kickoff on Sunday and the latest episode of The SBI Show has you covered on all the angles.
Episode 179 of The SBI Show takes a closer look at the West finals between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Seattle Sounders, as well as the East finals between the New York Red Bulls and New England Revolution.
Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I also discuss the recent U.S. Men’s National Team friendlies in Europe, including an in-depth look at the awful 4-1 loss to Ireland.
We also discuss topics ranging from MLS expansion to the NCAA tournament.
Give Episode 179 of The SBI Show a listen after the jump:
Photo by Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports
By DAN KARELL
Think that the Seattle Sounders and LA Galaxy have seen a lot of each other recently? Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena sure believes so.
“We know everything about each other and there’s not a whole lot of preparation. We’ve just got to go out and play,” Arena quipped in a conference call with reporters.
When the two teams face off in the Western Conference finals on Sunday evening at the StubHub Center, it will be the club’s third meeting in just six weeks, after finishing the regular season with a home-and-home set to determine the MLS Supporters Shield winner. The Sounders won that outright in the last match of the regular season, but it’s been the Galaxy who have stormed through the MLS Cup Playoffs so far.
Though the Galaxy played Real Salt Lake to a scoreless draw in Rio Tinto Stadium, Landon Donovan and MLS MVP candidate Robbie Keane combined up top to lead the Galaxy to a 5-0 rout of RSL.
Photo by Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
DeAndre Yedlin’s meteoric rise through the ranks of U.S. Soccer has culminated in a 2014 award nomination.
U.S. Soccer announced Thursday that the Seattle Sounders defender is one of four nominees for U.S. Soccer Young Male Athlete of the Year. Yedlin, who was one of just seven players to appear in more than 10 U.S. Men’s National Team games in 2014, is joined by midfielders Mukwelle Akale, Emerson Hyndman and Christian Pulisic, as well as forward Haji Wright.
Akale earned a pair of MVP trophies for the U.S. U-18′s this year, while Wright and Pulisic have led the attacking charge for the U.S. U-17′s. Meanwhile, Hyndman, who made his senior debut in September against the Czech Republic, prominently featured for the U-20′s and U-23′s throughout the 2014 campaign.
Friday’s nominations come following U.S. Soccer’s announcement that Tim Howard has been recognized as Male Athlete of the Year, beating out Kyle Beckerman, Alejandro Bedoya, Clint Dempsey, Fabian Johnson and Jermaine Jones for the award.
What do you think of the nominees? Any surprises or snubs?
Share your thoughts below.
Photo by Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports
By CARL SETTERLUND
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Playing in your first U.S. Men’s National Team match in seven years might be enough to distract most players, but with his New England Revolution a step away from the MLS Cup Final, Lee Nguyen isn’t likely to lose focus.
A week after impressing in the U.S. team’s 2-1 loss to Colombia, Nguyen is back with the Revs, and ready for the upcoming Eastern Conference final series against the New York Red Bulls, which kicks off on Sunday.
Making his first U.S. appearance since 2007, Nguyen made the most of his call-up, turning heads in a 12-minute cameo.
“It was a great feeling to be back wearing those red, white and blue colors again,” said Nguyen, who returned to the Revs this week. “I’m very thankful to have that chance to be part of that again.” Continue reading
By RYAN TOLMICH
The world of professional soccer in Vancouver is about to undergo a major facelift.
The Vancouver Whitecaps announced Friday that the club is set to become the seventh MLS side to own and operate a USL Pro franchise with the creation of Whitecaps FC 2, who will begin play in 2015. In addition, the club also revealed plans for the National Soccer Development Centre, where WFC2 will play home matches.
“Today marks another important milestone for our club and another step forward in our partnership with UBC,” Whitecaps FC president Bob Lenarduzzi said in a press release. “We’re thrilled to be launching our USL PRO team at UBC. We have many talented young players at our club, including nine Residency products who recently did very well internationally with our Canadian U-20 men’s national team.
“WFC2 will allow them to continue their development against quality competition, including our fellow Cascadia rivals from Seattle and Portland. Along with the renderings of our new training facility, we have a clear view into our future. These initiatives will provide a positive impact and lasting legacy for Whitecaps FC, Canadian soccer, UBC, and the community at large.” Continue reading
Photo by John Rieger/USA TODAY Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
Orlando City have yet to make their MLS debut, but the club is already certain that Adrian Heath is the coach to lead the team through the team’s opening MLS seasons.
The club announced Friday that Heath has signed an extension with the club that will keep the Englishman in Orlando through 2017. Heath has been in charge of Orlando City since the club’s inception four years ago.
“I’m obviously delighted to be here. When you’ve been here from the very beginning, you don’t want to move somewhere else just as you’re on the brink of going to MLS,” Heath said in a statement. “I firmly believed in what we’ve been trying to achieve here. I’m fortunate to sit in a lot of those meetings that outline our plans for the next few years, and I’m incredibly excited about what’s going to be happening here in Orlando.”
During the club’s time in USL Pro, Heath has been earned two Coach of the Year awards, three Regular Season Championships and two USL PRO Championships.
Here are some more of Friday’s MLS news and notes: