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MLS Week 8: SBI Live Saturday Commentary

Saturday’s MLS action is packed with four contests, headlined by a matchup between the Vancouver Whitecaps and D.C. United.

Don Garber 2015 SuperDraft (USA Today Images)

Garber says MLS will keep pursuing USMNT players; talks expansion past 24 teams; and more

MLS commissioner Don Garber reiterated his intention to go after top U.S. Men’s National Team players and also talked about league expansion, format and several other topics.

Jesse Marsch New York Red Bulls 15

Red Bulls still unsure about adding summer DP

The New York Red Bulls might be synonymous with star power, but they are still undecided as to whether or not they will sign a Designated Player this summer.

MLS Week 8: SBI Live Saturday Commentary

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By RYAN TOLMICH

With both sides emerging as contenders in either conference, Saturday’s clash between D.C. United and the Vancouver Whitecaps is one that will allow either side to make a true statement.

The matchup at BC Place headline’s Saturday’s MLS action, as the Western Conference-leading Whitecaps take on D.C, who currently sit second out east.

Kicking off the day’s festivities will be the Columbus Crew and the Philadelphia Union, as the former looks to build off last week’s thrashing of Orlando City.

Also on the docket is a matchup between the New England Revolution and Real Salt Lake, while Western Conference newcomers Sporting KC take on the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium.

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

Enjoy the action (Tonight’s SBI live commentary is after the jump):

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer | 3 Comments

Angule double leads Strikers past Fury

Fury_NASL_Strikers

Photo by Ottawa Fury FC/NASL

By AARON CRANFORD

For the third consecutive week, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers bagged at least two goals, and while their scoring exploits weren’t enough in last week’s loss to FC Edmonton, the Strikers’ consistency in attack paid off on Saturday when they faced Ottawa Fury FC.

Jose Angulo collected his first brace of the 2015 Spring Season and Marlon Freitas scored the game-winner with a beautiful right-footed curler from outside the box to give the Strikers the scoring they needed to take all three points in a 3-1 win in front of 3,023 fans at TD Place.

Rafael Alves made things interesting late on, as the Fury FC defender cut the lead to one after heading in his first goal of the season on a corner kick.

However, with time winding down and the Canadian side pushing men forward, Angulo caught Ottawa on the counterattack, adding his second of the day during stoppage time to seal the result. Continue reading »

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Garber says MLS will keep pursuing USMNT players; talks expansion past 24 teams; and more

Don Garber 2015 SuperDraft (USA Today Images)

Photo by Isaiah J. Downing/USA Today Sports

By CARL SETTERLUND

Longtime Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber was making the media rounds on Friday, and he had plenty to say, specifically broaching the topics of MLS expansion and attracting prominent U.S. Men’s National Team players to join the league over options abroad.

“We will do whatever we need to do to ensure that we have the best possible American players here,” Garber said in an interview with the Associated Press Sports Editors on Friday. “We have to be a league of choice for everyone that cares about the game, that’s players and fans.”

The comment continues a public dialogue between Garber and USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who recently stated several times his concerns over the conditioning of MLS players — in most part due to the league’s longer offseason than other professional soccer leagues.

MLS has, of course, recently lured in big names such as Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Jermaine Jones, Mix Diskerud and Jozy Altidore. Several others with USMNT experience such as Sacha Kljestan, Juan Agudelo and Maurice Edu have also joined or rejoined MLS in the past couple years.

Thirteen MLS players made the roster for the USMNT’s recent 2-0 friendly win over Mexico.

“My job is to do everything that I can to grow Major League Soccer and to ensure that MLS is going to be a driver of the growth soccer at the highest level in the U.S.,” Garber told the APSE. “It’s not a short-term goal. It’s a long-term objective.

“I do believe our national team coach has a short-term objective. That’s what he’s hired to do… it’s to win the Gold Cup, it’s to have the best possible team in 2018. And our goals and objectives are broader than that, and that’s why we agree on some things but don’t agree on others.”

Garber also interacted with a MLS fans in a Q&A hosted on Facebook, talking about several topics, including expansion, league format, replay technology, and more. Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer | 11 Comments

Red Bulls still unsure about adding summer DP

Jesse Marsch New York Red Bulls 15

Photo by Tommy Gilligan/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

HANOVER, N.J. — From Thierry Henry and Landon Donovan to Rafa Marquez and David Beckham, there’s always been a good amount of star power on display in recent years when the New York Red Bulls and LA Galaxy have collided.

Sunday’s showdown at Red Bull Arena won’t have that. Partly because of an injury to Galaxy forward Robbie Keane, and partly because of New York’s lack of a big-name player.

The Red Bulls are off to a hot and undefeated start in MLS this season, but the club has done so with an approach that differs from that of years past. Instead of surrounding one or two star individuals with a core of blue-collared players, New York is now relying on a team concept that requires everyone to do their part.

The results have so far been impressive – the Red Bulls have gone 3-0-2 to remain the only unbeaten team in MLS – but the absence of a star individual still has some fans yearning for a big-name Designated Player. New York brass has said in recent months that it is open to signing someone of that caliber in the summer, but the club is still not sure whether it will or not because of how well it has performed thus far.

“We’re still evaluating,” Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch told SBI on Saturday, feet away from visiting former DP Juan Pablo Angel. “I would say that, for me, the main focus is that we really like this group. If we add to it, we don’t want to add to it just because you have a DP spot or you have the ability to add. We want to make sure that everything we do here is very calculated, and regardless of it’s a DP or any player that comes in here, we want it to be the right fit.

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- New York Red Bulls | 14 Comments

Gall plays late hero as U.S. U-20s win vs. Croatia in final match before U-20 World Cup

Romain Gall

By AARON CRANFORD

After drawing against Qatar in the U.S. Under-20 National Team’s first match of their April camp, Romain Gall led them to a more satisfying result on Saturday when the U-20s played Croatia.

Gall scored just two minutes after coming on in the 64th minute, sending the United States to a 1-0 win and lifting the young Americans’ spirits before next month’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup.

The Columbus Crew SC midfielder was set up on the winner by Philadelphia Union forward Zach Pfeffer, who sent in a pass from the left side.

Maki Tall squandered a golden chance to put the U.S. U-20s ahead on a penalty kick in the 26th minute as the Croatian goalkeeper parried away his PK try. Gall saved the day in the end, though. Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, U.S. Under-20 National Team, U.S. Youth National Teams | 1 Comment

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

PepGuardiolaBayernMunich1-FCPorto (Getty)

By IVES GALARCEP

Bayern Munich can lock up the Bundesliga title today with a win against John Brooks and Hertha Berlin in one of the day’s more intriguing battles.

Bayern can secure a virtually insurmountable lead on second-place Wolfsburg with a win against Hertha, which is riding a five-match unbeaten streak.

In England, Manchester City takes on Brad Guzan and Aston Villa in a match the Citizens need to help boost its Champions League prospects.

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

Enjoy the action (Today’s Soccer TV schedule is after the jump):

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Posted in Featured, Your Running Commentary | 7 Comments

FC Dallas overcome Blas Perez red card to earn draw at Colorado

Rapids FC Dallas 04242015 (USA TODAY Images)

By LEOPOLDO PONCE

In a chippy game that came to an end with two FC Dallas goal-line clearances, FC Dallas managed a 1-1 draw on the road against the Colorado Rapids.

FC Dallas started the match like a team intent on avenging an ugly loss to Colorado two weeks ago, as Fabian Castillo helped set up a Mauro Diaz goal with a jaw-dropping and ankle-breaking dribble through the Rapids defense.

The tide turned for the Rapids in the second half, when Blas Perez was sent off for an off-the-ball incident with Drew Moor. Perez appeared to strike Moor, which drew an immediate straight red card.

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, MLS- Colorado Rapids, MLS- FC Dallas, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Accam goal leads Fire past 10-man NYCFC

MLS: New York City FC at Chicago Fire

Photo by Mike DiNovo/USA TODAY Sports

By AARON CRANFORD

The first 38 minutes in Bridgeview, Illinois were the some of the worst of the season for New York City FC and some of the best for the Chicago Fire.

The Fire came ready to play, creating a handful of chances early on, especially through the play of David Accam and Shaun Maloney. Accam hit NYCFC goalkeeper Ryan Meara’s left post in the 15th minute, signaling a long evening in store for the young goalkeeper making his first start of the season.

An already-shorthanded NYCFC saw an Andrew Jacobson red card leave the expansion team down to 10 men, and Accam’s 20th-minute goal stood up as the Fire registered a 1-0 victory at Toyota Park.

Sean Johnson made four saves to record the shutout in his first start in a month.

One of the most dynamic players on the night was Harrison Shipp, who created many chances for the Fire through the midfield, and blasted a shot off of the post in the second half.

From early on, Chicago dominated the evening, and NYCFC’s night only went downhill after the initial Accam chance. Not only did Meara poorly handle the ball heading out of play in the 20th minute, which immediately led to Accam netting the game-winner, but NYCFC also saw Andrew Jacobson sent off in the 23rd minute and two starters — Adam Nemec and Javier Calle — forced into substitution after suffering injuries by the 38th minute of play. Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Chicago Fire, MLS- New York City FC | 11 Comments