LeroyFerNetherlands1-ChileWorldCup2014 (AP)

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

The Netherlands and Italy continue qualifying for Euro 2016, while Mexico and Ecuador square off in a friendly later in the evening.

USMNT Denmark 4

Who should the USMNT start vs. Switzerland?

The U.S. Men’s National Team will be aiming for a bounce-back performance vs. Switzerland after struggling in a loss to Denmark. Here is a look at the starting lineup Klinsmann could trot out on Tuesday.

BenjiJoya (ISIPhotos)

5 players score for U.S. U-23s in win over Bosnia

The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team defeated Bosnia & Herzegovina, 5-2, in a friendly on Friday. Five different Americans found the back of the net in the match.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

LeroyFerNetherlands1-ChileWorldCup2014 (AP)

By ADAM TROXTELL

The Netherlands will try to put what has so far been a rough Euro 2016 qualifying campaign behind them against Turkey in one of many international games on Saturday.

After finishing third at last year’s World Cup, the Dutch side has been brought back down to Earth with a string of disappointing results that leaves them third in Group A. While they will most likely qualify in an expanded European Championship field, a win against Turkey would boost that bid.

Similarly, the Turks have found qualifying difficult, sitting two points behind Holland in fourth. The absence of Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben through injury gives them a reason to be optimistic, though in-form Wolfsburg striker Bas Dost will look to carry the Netherlands’ attack forward just the same.

Italy’s qualifying campaign is going smoothly so far, and that looks to continue on a trip to fourth-place Bulgaria. The Italians will look to take advantage of any slip-up by first-place Croatia, who has a tough task against third-place Norway in Group H.

Javier Hernandez will start for Mexico in tonight’s friendly against Ecuador, despite playing a bit-part role in Real Madrid’s La Liga campaign so far. Head coach Miguel Herrera also named Jesus Corona as the starting goalkeeper, ahead of Guillermo Ochoa.

If you will be watching any of today’s action, feel free to leave your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (today’s soccer on TV schedule after the jump):

Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, Featured, International Soccer | 4 Comments

Who should the USMNT start vs. Switzerland?

USMNT Denmark 4

By FRANCO PANIZO

Losing a match and the possession battle within it in the way the U.S. Men’s National Team did earlier this week will likely lead to lineup changes. Just how many is the question.

The U.S. will aim to rebound from Wednesday’s deflating 3-2 defeat to Denmark when it visits Switzerland in a friendly on Tuesday that wraps up this European camp. U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has plenty to consider going into that game, as his side looked far from good in a loss to the Danes that accentuated the Americans’ second-half woes.

The midfield will be chief among Klinsmann’s areas of concern, as the U.S. failed to hold onto the ball for large stretches against Denmark and struggled to create much from the run of play. Michael Bradley is all but guaranteed to be in the Americans’ lineup, but who pairs with him in the middle is unclear. Alejandro Bedoya did a decent job of covering ground against the Danes, but his inability to get into a rhythm offensively could see Klinsmann explore another option.

Out wide, Klinsmann will likely also consider making some alterations. Left back Greg Garza endured his roughest U.S. outing to date, and, in front of him, Fabian Johnson proved far too ineffective. Right midfielder Gyasi Zardes also had a tame outing in his third international appearance, leaving the door open for someone else to step in to his place next week.

So, who will Klinsmann start against the Swiss? Here’s a lineup SBI could see taking the field:

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, U.S. Men's National Team | 107 Comments

5 players score for U.S. U-23s in win over Bosnia

BenjiJoya (ISIPhotos)

By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. Men’s National Team may not have gotten its European camp off to a good start, but the same cannot be said about the Under-23 side.

Five different players scored on Friday for the U.S. U-23s, who never trailed in a 5-2 win over Bosnia & Herzegovina. Santos Laguna’s Benji Joya scored the Americans’ winner via a second-half penalty kick. Monterrey forward Alonso Hernandez and San Jose Earthquakes rookie Fatai Alashe added insurance tallies.

Andi Herzog’s side took a  2-0 lead into halftime thanks to strikes from Stanford’s Jordan Morris and Stuttgart forward Jerome Kiesewetter. Bosnia and Herzegovina refused to roll over, however, and pulled one back in the 64th minute. Joya converted from the spot two minutes later to make it 3-1, but the hosts also netted on a penalty kick before the Americans put the game out of reach with goals from Hernandez and Alashe.

The U.S. U-23s, who are preparing to qualify for the 2016 Olympics this fall, next take on Denmark on Tuesday in the second and final game of this European camp.

Here is the U.S. U-23s’ starting lineup against Bosnia:

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, U.S. Men's Olympic Team | 42 Comments

Euro 2016 Qualifying Rewind: England thumps Lithuania; Spain edges Ukraine; and more

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By AARON CRANFORD

In London, the England National Team had their way with Lithuania, defeating them 4-0 in front of more than 83,000 fans.

Wayne Rooney headed in the first of the evening while Danny Welbeck and Raheem Sterling added the second and third. Tottenham Hotspur forward Harry Kane continues his exceptional run of form by scoring his first international goal a little more than a minute into his first cap for England. The win leaves England with a perfect record in qualification.

In an important match with Group C rival Ukraine, Spain narrowly squeaked by with a 1-0 win at home. Alvaro Morata netted his first international goal in the 28th minute after fighting off a challenge and chipping the ball over Ukraine goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov. But beyond that, Spain could not find another way past the FC Shakhtar Donetsk keeper, who recorded three saves in the match.

New York City FC striker Adam Nemec scored the first goal in Slovakia’s 3-0 win over Luxembourg. The NYCFC forward’s side sits atop Group C, three points in front of Spain.

Meanwhile, the game between Montenegro and Russia was suspended and later abandoned Friday. Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was hit in the head with a flare moments into the match and had to be subbed off. Play later continued, and Roman Shirokov’s penalty attempt was saved in the 67th minute. But moments later, another object struck a Russian player, and the referee abandoned the match.

Here is a look at all of the scores from today’s Euro 2016 Qualifying action: Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, International Soccer | 11 Comments

Euro 2016 Qualifying: Your Running Commentary

UEFAEuro2016Logo1 (UEFA)

By AARON CRANFORD

Qualification for the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament is back.

Nine matches are set to kick off at 3:45 p.m. ET today, with more to come this weekend as Europe’s domestic action takes a break.

2010 World Cup winners Spain take on Ukraine in today’s most intriguing affair. Spain sits second in Group C while Ukraine is just below them in third. Meanwhile, England looks to take a huge step forward in their group as they host Lithuania.

For more analysis, check out an in-depth look at all of the Euro 2016 matches this weekend here.

Enjoy the action (today’s schedule is after the jump): Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, Your Running Commentary | 3 Comments

Ventura Alvarado ‘happy’ and committed to USMNT

VenturaAlvaradoClubAmerica1 (Mexsport)

 

By AARON CRANFORD

Ventura Alvarado still has the option to play for Mexico or the United States, but he told ESPN FC on Friday that he’s committed to representing the latter.

The Club America center back appeared for the U.S. Men’s National Team late against Denmark on Wednesday, but the game only provisionally cap-tied the dual national. Alvarado could still choose to play for Mexico in the future if he were to be called in by Mexico head coach Miguel Herrera’s side in the future, but the Liga MX starter has made decided where he wants to play.

“I want to stay here,” Alvarado told ESPN FC. “I was happy to wear this jersey and I’m really motivated to be here and keep working. I’m looking forward to getting another call-up.” Continue reading »

Posted in U.S. Men's National Team | 62 Comments

MLS Week 4: A Look Ahead

Fabian Castillo FC Dallas 91

Photo by Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

FC Dallas has proven to be the league’s hottest team to start the season, but Oscar Pareja’s side faces its biggest test of the young season on Saturday against the reigning Supporters’ Shield winners.

The Seattle Sounders have had two weeks to think about their upset loss to the San Jose Earthquakes, and will be aiming to ruin Dallas’ perfect record. Seattle will likely have to do so without Clint Dempsey, however, as the veteran nurses an injury picked up while with the U.S. Men’s National Team.

Meanwhile, D.C. United, fresh off a loss to the rival New York Red Bulls, look to rebound at RFK Stadium in a match-up with the reigning MLS Cup champions the LA Galaxy.

In other action, New York City FC hosts Sporting Kansas City while the Columbus Crew take on the visiting New York Red Bulls.

Here’s a closer look at Week 4’s MLS action: Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer | 10 Comments

MLS Ticker: MLS signs TV deal with Brazilian provider Globosat; Jermaine Jones trains with Revolution; and more

Garber-LogoReveal-USAToday

By AARON CRANFORD

MLS continues to increase its global exposure after partnering with Brazilian broadcaster Globosat, a Rio de Janiero-based cable and satellite provider.

The four-year deal will give the largest pay-TV operator in Latin America the opportunity to telecast at least two MLS regular season matches per week, including the All-Star Game, at least one Decision Day match, half of the MLS Cup Playoffs and MLS Cup.

“This new agreement with Globosat is further illustration of the growing demand for Major League Soccer in the global media rights marketplace. With Flavio Augusto da Silva’s ownership of Orlando City SC and with over 15 Brazilian players in MLS, including Kaká, there is clearly an increased desire for MLS content in Brazil,” said Gary Stevenson, president and managing director, MLS Business Ventures.

“We are excited to be partnered with such a powerful brand in Globosat and are confident that together we will create even greater awareness for the sport, our clubs and our stars.”

Every year, matches will alternate between Globosat networks SporTV 1, SporTV 2 and SporTV 3. MLS also retains the right to broadcast one game per week for free-to-air TV, which will give the league an opportunity to add to its ever-growing fan base in Brazil. Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- New England Revolution | 31 Comments