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Neagle brace leads Sounders to victory against Rapids

Led by a Lamar Neagle brace, the Seattle Sounders took down the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

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Rolfe, Clark score as D.C. United earns draw with Dynamo

Chris Rolfe and Ricardo Clark each found the back of the net as D.C. United picked up a draw against the Houston Dynamo.

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Cosmos cruise to home-opening win over Rowdies

Goals from Marco Senna and Leo Fernandes helped the New York Cosmos post a 2-0 victory in their home opener, and move into first place in the NASL.

Neagle brace leads Sounders to victory against Rapids

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Photo by Ron Chenoy/USA Today Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

The Colorado Rapids provided a bit of a fight, but it wasn’t enough to keep Lamar Neagle and the high-powered Seattle Sounders attack at bay.

Led by a Neagle brace, the Sounders topped the Rapids, 3-1, Saturday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for the team’s second win in three games.

Neagle’s first finish came in just the fifth minute, seconds after Dillon Powers drilled the post on the other end of the field.

Hitting out on the counter, Neagle cut into the box on his right foot before smashing a curler to the far post, tucking a shot just under the crossbar to give the visitors the early lead.

The Sounders midfielder added a second in the 25th minute, taking advantage of some calamity in the box to give his side a 2-1 lead. Following a save by goalkeeper Clint Irwin, Neagle swooped in behind a bumbling Rapids defense, pouncing on a loose ball to finish from close range to restore the Sounders’ advantage. Continue reading »

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Silverbacks edge RailHawks on goals from Bangura, Okafor

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Photo by Rob Kinnan/Carolina RailHawks

By AARON CRANFORD

CARY, N.C. — The Atlanta Silverbacks came into WakeMed Soccer Park on the wrong foot, but a tale of two halves saw the Atlanta side through with a 2-1 win against the Carolina RailHawks.

In front of approximately 4,500 fans, the first half belonged to Carolina, with many chances going just wide of Silverbacks goalkeeper C.J. Cochran’s goal.

But Atlanta would come out in the second half with guns blazing. Shaka Bangura rocketed a shot that bounced around the box in the 49th minute past a diving Hunter Gilstrap for the opener. And approximately 20 minutes later Jonathan Okafor gave the visiting side the 2-0 lead.

Okafor was active all night, combining well with his teammates and stretching the field in attack. RailHawks midfielder Mark Anderson had some of the best attempts for the Cary side. He came the closest to netting in the first half, hitting the post on one attempt and missing just wide with a right-footed curling effort on another.

But it was Blake Wagner’s shot that made things interesting late on. Continue reading »

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Crew pick up dominant victory against 10-man Orlando City

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Photo by Greg Bartram/USA TODAY Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

Hampered by a series of mental mistakes, Orlando City proved to be little challenge to the Columbus Crew on Saturday night.

Goals from Federico Higuain, Justin Meram and Kei Kamara led the way, as the Crew smashed Orlando City, 3-0, at MAPFRE Stadium to hand OCSC the team’s first road loss.

Higuain put the Crew on the board in the 32nd minute, ending a slow start that saw the Crew struggle to put a shot on target.

The Argentine’s finish was of the backheel variety, as Higuain flicked a pass from midfielder Ethan Finlay off his heel and into the far post, earning the Crew a 1-0 lead in a half that they, for the most part, dominated.

Those threats got even more meaningful in the 33rd minute, when Orlando City’s Rafael Ramos was sent off with a straight red. Frustrated from a no-call, Ramos took his anger out on Waylon Francis, earning a red for a late and malicious challenge. Continue reading »

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Rolfe, Clark score as D.C. United earns draw with Dynamo

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Photo by Brad Mills/USA Today Sports

By CLIFF STARKEY

WASHINGTON—Although the season is still young, the MLS standings arms race is heating up and beginning to take shape. Both D.C. United and the Houston Dynamo looked to their Saturday evening match in the nation’s capital as a chance to keep pace with early MLS frontrunners.

Goals by Chris Rolfe and Ricardo Clark kept both teams level at RFK Stadium on Saturday night, and ensured that neither team could push its way up the early-season conference standings as the two sides played to a 1-1 draw.

With a win, D.C. United could have jumped ahead of  theNew York Red Bulls for top spot in the East, while Houston might have found themselves second in the West, barring other weekend results.

Houston looked to establish dominance early in the game, and only a save by goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra—starting in place of injured Bill Hamid—kept Houston off the score sheet early. Continue reading »

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Cosmos cruise to home-opening win over Rowdies

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Photo courtesy of New York Cosmos/NASL

By IVES GALARCEP

UNIONDALE, N.Y.– The New York Cosmos welcomed Spanish legend Raul to the New York area in style, securing an impressive victory in the Real Madrid star’s home debut.

Goals from Marco Senna and Leo Fernandes on each side of halftime was enough to help give the Cosmos a 2-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rowdies in front of a sold-out crowd of 12,550 at Shuart Stadium on Saturday night.

The victory improved the Cosmos to 2-0-1, and moved them into sole possession of first place in the NASL. The loss dropped Tampa Bay to 1-1-1.

The battle of unbeaten clubs was rather one-sided, with the Cosmos taking the lead after just 10 minutes courtesy of a Senna penalty kick. Rowdies defender Darnell King was whistled for a handball in the penalty area. Senna converted the kick to kick off celebrations, and put Tampa Bay on the back foot.

Continue reading »

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Saturday European Rewind: Chelsea takes big step toward title; Barca beats Valencia; and more

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By ADAM TROXTELL

Facing a familiar opponent when it comes to locking up an English Premier League title, Chelsea took a big step toward claiming its fourth.

Though the margins aren’t as small as they have been in past seasons, it didn’t make Chelsea’s 1-0 win against Manchester United any less satisfying. With Arsenal on FA Cup semifinal duty, the Blues now lead by 10 points at the top of the standings.

Eden Hazard’s 13th league goal of the season wrapped up the three points for Chelsea in the 38th minute. Capitalizing on a John Terry tackle at midfield on Radamel Falcao, Hazard was easily played through down the left before sending a shot underneath David De Gea and in.

It was one of few chances for Chelsea, again without Diego Costa. At the other end, Manchester United was given plenty of time to score with 70 percent of the possession, but they only came close to scoring twice.

Wayne Rooney had a golden opportunity in the first five minutes, but his left-footed strike curled wide of the goal. In the second half, Falcao attempted a shot from almost the same place Hazard scored his, but the ball clanged off the outside of the post and out.

Arsenal needed extra time, but the Gunners will go on to defend their FA Cup trophy with a 2-1 win against Reading in the semifinal. Barcelona stayed top of La Liga with a win at home, and Borussia Dortmund climbed into the top half of the Bundesliga.

Here are more recaps from Saturday’s action across Europe’s top leagues.

Continue reading »

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MLS Week 7: SBI Live Commentary

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The last two MLS Cup winners clash at the StubHub Center tonight when current holders LA Galaxy host Sporting Kansas City in the marquee match of MLS Week Week Seven.

After topping the Seattle Sounders last Sunday, the Galaxy are searching for a second consecutive win and their third of the season. SKC is unbeaten in four ahead of what is now an important Western Conference matchup.

Before that, D.C. United will try to retake first in the East in a home game against the Houston Dynamo. The visitors had their offense up and running last week in a 3-0 win against Montreal Impact, and they’ll look to make another statement in their only meeting with DCU this season.

Elsewhere, Columbus Crew hosts Orlando City, FC Dallas takes on Toronto FC, the Colorado Rapids and Seattle Sounders look for potentially valuable points in the playoff race, and Vancouver Whitecaps try to stay top of the West against Real Salt Lake.

SBI will be providing live commentary on today’s action so please feel to follow the action here. As always, you are welcome to share your own thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Tonight’s SBI Live Commentary is after the jump):

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer | 3 Comments

Heinemann leads Fury FC to win against Minnesota United

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Photo by NASL/Ottawa Fury FC

By AARON CRANFORD

Ottawa Fury FC had a tough two-game road test to begin the year, only grabbing one point in the process, but Marc Dos Santos’ men demonstrated why there’s no place like home.

The Canadian side took down Minnesota United FC, 1-0, in front of more than 5,000 Fury fans on Saturday. United had little going for them all match due to Fury FC’s high pressure and offensive bombardment.

Last year’s Spring Season winner Minnesota United looked a shadow of their former selves against Ottawa, especially in the first half. Forwards Tom Heinemann and Paulo Junior combined well and forced United goalkeeper Sammy Ndjock into five saves within the first 45 minutes alone.

And Heinemann was the man to break the deadlock in the second half, beating Tiago Calvano in the lead-up to the goal with a nifty cut inside. Continue reading »

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