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MLS Week 4: A Look Ahead

FC Dallas has started the season with three straight victories, leading to a face-off with reigning Supporters’ Shield winners Seattle Sounders to headline Week 4’s MLS action.

VenturaAlvaradoClubAmerica1 (Mexsport)

Ventura Alvarado ‘happy’ and committed to represent USMNT

Ventura Alvarado still has the option to represent Mexico, but he told ESPN FC Friday that he’s committed to representing the U.S. Men’s National Team.

AlexisSanchezChile1-BrazilFriendly2013 (Getty)

This Weekend’s Soccer On TV

A Brazil-Chile rematch and a handful of Euro 2016 qualifiers highlight this weekend’s selection of soccer on TV.

MLS Week 4: A Look Ahead

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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 »

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

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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 AT&T MLS 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.”

Meanwhile, 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 Major League Soccer, MLS- New England Revolution | 1 Comment

USL Week 2: A Look Ahead

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By ADAM TROXTELL

After a soft opening weekend, the USL goes head first into week two with all 24 teams in action.

Rivalry is the theme of the weekend, with many teams facing off for regional pride and some playing for the first time. Expansion club Charlotte Independence gets a visit from southern neighbors Charleston Battery to kick things off on Friday.

Saturday includes the first competitive outing for several clubs, including FC Montreal, New York Red Bulls II, Saint Louis FC, Louisville City FC and Tulsa Roughnecks FC. Seattle Sounders FC 2 and Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 bring the Cascadia rivalry back to USL on Sunday.

Here is a closer look at the Week 2 action: Continue reading »

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Ventura Alvarado ‘happy’ and committed to represent 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 Friday that he’s committed to representing the latter.

The Club America centerback 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 up his mind about which country he wants to suit up for.

“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 Featured, U.S. Men's National Team | 7 Comments

International Rewind: Brazil come from behind to beat France; Colombia smash Bahrain; and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Brazil might still be in the midst of repairing the damage done from last summer’s World Cup, but Thursday’s win over France surely helped.

Brazil initially fell behind, but came back to pick up a 3-1 victory over Les Bleus in a friendly played at Stade de France. Raphael Varane opened the scoring in the 21st minute to further inflict damage on a Brazil side trying to recover from last year’s humiliating 7-1 World Cup elimination at the hands of Germany.

The Brazilians responded, however, as Oscar tied the game five minutes before halftime. Neymar then found the winner 12 minutes after the break, and Luiz Gustavo put the game out of reach in the 69th minute.

The loss was France’s first since the World Cup.

Here are other results from the latest round of international games:

Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, International Soccer, South American Soccer | 3 Comments

Euro Qualifying Preview: England looks to stay perfect against Lithuania; the Netherlands face Turkey; and more

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By AYDIN REYHAN

With domestic action taking a break in Europe this weekend, EURO 2016 qualifying is back underway with some tasty games to catch from Friday to Sunday.

England is a perfect four-for-four and will look to make that five straight wins when the Three Lions play host to Lithuania. Harry Kane has been on fire for Tottenham and has been rewarded for his efforts by coach Roy Hodgson with a call-up

The Netherlands sit in third with six points after their first three games, three points behind second-place Iceland and six behind the Czech Republic in first. Turkey has four points and will look to take advantage of the fact that the home side will be missing Arjen Robben as well as striker Robin van Persie.

Here is a breakdown of this weekend’s Euro 2016 action: Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer | 5 Comments

SBI Reader Poll: Where should MLS expand to next?

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By RYAN TOLMICH

With Wednesday’s announcement set to confirm Minnesota’s inclusion as the league’s 23rd team, Major League Soccer is getting closer and closer to the longtime goal of 24 franchises by the end of the decade.

That 24th and final spot becomes more competitive by the day, as quite a few markets have thrown their name into the hat for inclusion in MLS. One of those markets, Miami, has gone so far as to earn a promise of a franchise, but the league’s mandated task of securing a stadium has proven to be a major hurdle for David Beckham and the rest of the team’s ownership group.

While Miami’s wheels spin, several other markets continue to fortify their push. Sacramento has been drumming up ever more local support from both fans and legislators, while San Antonio even has the backing of Mexico’s soccer bigwigs.

Where do you think MLS should expand to next? Cast your vote after the jump: Continue reading »

Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Expansion, Uncategorized | 149 Comments

This Weekend’s Soccer On TV

AlexisSanchezChile1-BrazilFriendly2013 (Getty)

By ADAM TROXTELL

European club competitions have been replaced by international friendlies and qualifiers this weekend, but there’s still plenty of action occupying televisions this weekend.

At the top of the list is the first meeting between Brazil and Chile since their dramatic World Cup round of 16 match that ended in penalties at the Estadio Mineirao in 2014. The rematch will take place at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium in London, with both teams calling up their top players.

Aside from settling grudges, the match also presents both teams with a high profile test in the build-up to this summer’s Copa America.

Qualification for the 2016 European Championships also takes center stage this weekend, starting with an important match in Group C between Spain and the Ukraine on Friday. England line up at Wembley against Lithuania in a Group E clash at the same time.

The Netherlands will hope to climb up the Group A table against Turkey. Just two wins and two losses have left the Dutch in third place, six points off of group leaders Czech Republic.

Finally, MLS action keeps rolling through the international break. The Chicago Fire and Philadelphia Union kick-off Sunday’s nationally televised action, followed by Real Salt Lake and Toronto FC later in the evening.

Here is this weekend’s soccer on TV (schedule after the jump):

Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, Featured, Soccer on TV | 1 Comment