JermaineJonesLukasPodolskiUSMNT1-Germany2013Friendly (USATODAYSports)

Germany line up USMNT friendly next June in Cologne

The German Football Federation announced that they will host a friendly match against the U.S. Men’s National Team next June in Cologne.

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Friday Kickoff: FIFA sponsors concerned; Beckenbauer, 4 others under investigation; and more

A number of official sponsors of FIFA are reportedly concerned with the organization’s current state of affairs.

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This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

Southampton have a chance to prove that they aren’t a fluke this season when they host high-flying Manchester City, headlining This Weekend’s Soccer on TV.

Wright, Pulisic, Silva headline U.S. U-17s roster for Nike International Friendlies

HajiWright-U-17USMNT

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team will be an experienced squad when they kick off the 2014 Nike International Friendlies on Friday evening.

Head coach Richie Williams has selected a 20-man roster to take part in the annual tournament taking place from Friday through Tuesday at the Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Florida, featuring 16 players of the 2013 squad that took home the tournament title.

Headlining the squad is last year’s Golden Boot winner Haji Wright, MVP Christian Pulisic, and Golden Glove award winner Kevin Silva in this strong and experienced 20-man roster.

“We’re looking forward to it,” Williams told SBI in a phone interview. “The Nike Friendlies are always really good competitive international matches. Again we’ll play England and Brazil again and throw in Australia, they’ve been improving quite a bit from the senior tema down into their youth teams.

“We have our work cut out for us but we’re up for the challenge and we want to prove that last year wasn’t a fluke and all the winning we’ve been doing and also playing really well, we want to continue to do that throughout the friendlies. It’s just another opportunity for our players to get some quality international minutes to gain more experience, for us to see different guys in different situations and it’s just another preparation for us for qualifying in February.”

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With Chile tournament in rear-view mirror, Williams and U.S. U-17s look forward to Nike Friendlies

Head Coach: Richie Williams and Coaching Staff

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

For all the success that the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team has had in international tournaments and friendlies, it was easy to forget that they could be susceptible to a poor performance here or there.

Coming off a long-distance trip to Chile to take part in the Copa Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins tournament, a warm-up for this weekend’s Nike Friendlies, the results did not go the way head coach Richie Williams and his staff planned.

The U.S. conceded late goals in each of their first two matches, drawing host Chile, 2-2, and falling to Brazil, 4-3, before settling for a 1-1 draw with Qatar in their final match. It was one of the rare occasions where the team flew home without any silverware.

“I think (overall) things have been going very very well for the team, we’ve been playing well but also getting different results, and we want to continue to play well and continue to develop (the players),” Williams said in a phone interview. “But they also need to start learning as they get older, especially with (U-17 World Cup) qualifying and that with many of these players being professionals or will become professionals, results matter and you need to take your chances and have a shutout mentality and not give up soft goals.”

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Must-See Video: USMNT players take half-court challenge

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Germany line up USMNT friendly next June in Cologne

JermaineJonesLukasPodolskiUSMNT1-Germany2013Friendly (USATODAYSports)

Photo by Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports

 

By DAN KARELL

The one-rumored rematch for the U.S. Men’s National Team to face Germany is now set to become a reality.

The German Football Federation (DFB) announced on their website the schedule of matches for the national team in 2015, which includes a friendly match on June 10, 2015 against Jurgen Klinsmann and the USMNT. The match is set to take place at the RhineEnergieStadion in Cologne.

U.S. Soccer has yet to comment on the friendly match.

It’s the third time in three years that the two nations are meeting in a June friendly. The two nations last met in rainy Recife in June at the World Cup, where the USA settled for a 1-0 defeat, though they progressed to the Round of 16 along with Germany. They also met in Washington D.C. in 2013 as part of the U.S. Soccer’s centennial celebrations. That match, the USA defeated a weakened Germany side, 4-3, as they headed into World Cup qualifying that summer with a huge head of steam.

If the game is confirmed by U.S. Soccer, it’s the first announced friendly for the team in 2015. The USMNT went 6-5-4 in 2014, including a 1-1-2 record at the World Cup.

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What do you think of this news? Excited to see the USMNT face Germany again? Do you plan on traveling for the match?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Featured, International Soccer, U.S. Men's National Team, U.S. Soccer | 7 Comments

Friday Kickoff: FIFA sponsors concerned; Beckenbauer, 4 others under investigation; and more

SeppBlatterFIFA5-2014 (AFP)

By DAN KARELL

In the aftermath of SONY ending their long-term involvement with FIFA as a sponsor, other “official sponsors” are expressing their concerns with the recent state of the organization.

The Wall St. Journal reports that Visa, McDonalds, and Coca-Cola are all worried with the current state of affairs at FIFA, after a summary of a probe into the bidding process of the 2018-2022 World Cups found Russia and Qatar, the World Cup bidding winners, not guilty of any allegations against them.

Both Visa and McDonalds asked FIFA for “greater transparency” while Coca-Cola wished for a speedy resolution to the conflict over the bidding process.

Budweiser and Adidas meanwhile told the WSJ that they would stand by FIFA during its latest crisis.

Here are some more stories to kick off your Friday:

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Posted in European Soccer, Featured, Uncategorized | 10 Comments

This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

GrazianoPelleSouthampton2-StokeCity2014EPL (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

With Chelsea secure at the top of the English Premier League, the battle for finishing second place is heating up as we head towards the busy holiday season.

On Sunday morning, Southampton will have the opportunity to prove that their hot start is no fluke when they welcome the high-spending Manchester City to the St. Mary’s Stadium. The Saints have impressively amassed 26 points so far this season despite losing five starters from last year’s squad.

New signing Graziano Pelle has stepped up in Rickie Lambert’s place and scored nine goals in all competitions, with big performances from Jose Fonte, Morgan Schneiderlin, and Victor Wanyama.

Man City are coming in firing on all cylinders after a late comeback gave them a 3-2 win over Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League.

In Italy, the Derby della Mole takes place this weekend as Serie A leaders Juventus face crosstown rivals Torino. Torino have struggled after losing Alessio Cerci and Ciro Immobile last summer while Juventus are riding a five-match unbeaten run in all competitions.

In North America, playoff action continues with the second leg of the MLS conference finals as the New York Red Bulls take a 2-1 deficit up I-95 to the New England Revolution and the Seattle Sounders host the LA Galaxy, who hold a 1-0 advantage heading into the match. In Liga MX, Club America takes on fellow Mexico City club Pumas UNAM with a one-goal advantage in favor of Pumas.

Here’s This Weekend’s Soccer on TV:

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Posted in European Soccer, Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS Playoffs, South American Soccer, U.S. Soccer, U.S. Youth National Teams | 3 Comments