Tab Ramos

U.S. U-20s learn valuable lessons at CONCACAF U-20 Championship

Tab Ramos said his team learned some key lessons as they made it through U-20 World Cup qualifying at the CONCACAF U-20 Championships.

SachaKljestanAnderlecht1-OlympiakosUCL (AP)

Red Bulls use top spot in allocation to sign Sacha Kljestan

The New York Red Bulls have used the top spot in the allocation order to add midfielder Sacha Kljestan.

FC+Barcelona+v+Club+Atletico+de+Madrid+La+nhKo85VuorSl

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

Barcelona take on Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey, while the African Cup of Nations Group Stage concludes with potential for a four-way tie.

U.S. U-20s learn valuable lessons at CONCACAF U-20 Championship

Tab Ramos

By DAN KARELL

The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team accomplished their goal of qualifying for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup later this year, but they did it in somewhat underwhelming fashion.

Endowed with a squad chock full of professionals, the U.S. stumbled out of the gate at the CONCACAF Under-20 Championships in Jamaica, drawing Guatemala and falling to Panama. Tab Ramos’ side recovered in the final four matches, shutting out the rest of their opponents and earning their place in New Zealand, but the damage from the first two matches knocked down some of the lofty expectations on the team and added a few more helpings of pressure.

The result was that the team learned a tried and true lesson the hard way, that any game in CONCACAF is a difficult one, despite what the outlook seems on paper.

“I would say the players learned a lot, and the coaching staff as well,” Ramos told SBI in a phone interview. “I’ll tell you there (in Jamaica), no matter how much preparation you have…no matter who you play in friendly games leading up to that competition, it doesn’t matter the quality of the opponent that you face.

“When you get to the CONCACAF qualifiers, there’s nothing like it. Every game is a final.”

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Posted in Featured, U.S. Under-20 National Team, U.S. Youth National Teams | 13 Comments

Red Bulls use top spot in allocation to sign Sacha Kljestan

SachaKljestanAnderlecht1-OlympiakosUCL (AP)

By RYAN TOLMICH

Following Tuesday’s trade with the Montreal Impact, the New York Red Bulls have wasted little time in using the club’s newly acquired top spot in the allocation order.

The Red Bulls announced Wednesday that they have completed a move for Anderlecht and U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Sacha Kljestan. There was no immediate mention as to whether the 29-year-old midfielder – who was previously a teammate of Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch while at Chivas USA – was on a Designated Player deal.

“Sacha is a great player with tremendous experience,” Marsch said in a statement. “We feel that he is a great addition to our roster. He fits into the style of soccer that we want to play, but more importantly he is a man with tremendous character. We are excited to add him to the club and feel that his presence will pay dividends both on the field and in the locker room.” Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, MLS- New York Red Bulls | 26 Comments

Midday Ticker: Diego Costa charged by FA; Arsenal sign Gabriel Paulista; and more

Diego Costa Chelsea (AP)

By FRANCO PANIZO

Diego Costa may have escaped punishment in Monday’s win against Liverpool, but he might soon face the wrath of the English Football Association.

A day after stomping on two opponents in Chelsea’s win in the Capital One Cup, Costa has been charged by the FA with violent conduct over one of the incidences. He is facing a three-match ban, and has until Jan. 29 to respond to the charge.

Costa stomped on both Emre Can and then Martin Skrtel in the tournament game, but is only being charged for the former infraction despite not getting booked by the match official.

“Diego Costa has been charged by the FA for violent conduct following an on-field incident which was not seen by the match officials but caught on video,” the FA said in a statement. “The charge is in relation to an incident involving the Chelsea forward and Liverpool’s Emre Can which occurred in the 12th minute of the League Cup semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge last night.

“Following a review of an incident during the game involving Costa and Liverpool’s Martin Skrtel, the FA will not be taking any further action.”

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has labeled both incidences as accidental.

Here are more notes from around the world of soccer:

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Posted in European Soccer, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

FC+Barcelona+v+Club+Atletico+de+Madrid+La+nhKo85VuorSl

By RYAN TOLMICH

Barcelona were able to escape the opening leg of the Copa del Rey quarter finals in possession of a 1-0 lead over Atletico Madrid, but Lionel Messi and co. will be in a battle to maintain that advantage in Wednesday’s second leg at Vicente Calderon Stadium.

The Catalan club enter Wednesday on a six-game win-streak, which includes last week’s opening leg victory as well as a 3-1 league triumph over last season’s league winners. Having not conceded in four games, Barca will now have to content with in-form Atleti striker Antoine Griezmann, who scored twice this past weekend as Atleti topped Ray Vallecano, 3-1.

In the African Cup of Nations, Group D maintains the potential of being settled by drawing lots as each of the four games to this point have ended in identical 1-1 draws. Perennial powerhouses Cameroon and Ivory Coast will matchup while Guinea takes on Mali, as yet another set of identical results will see the luck of the draw determine advancement to the knockout stages

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

Enjoy today’s action (Today’s soccer TV schedule after the jump): Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, Featured, International Soccer, Uncategorized | 19 Comments

Video: Jurgen Klinsmann, Clint Dempsey preview USMNT match vs. Chile

Clint Dempsey WorldCup Belgium USMNT (USA Today Sports Images)

Posted in U.S. Men's National Team | 5 Comments

The SBI Show: Episode 189 (Previewing USMNT-Chile, talking MLS deals, and more)

Jurgen Klinsmann USA 10082014

 By IVES GALARCEP

The U.S. Men’s National Team is ready to start the new year with its first match of 2015, and the latest episode of The SBI Show breaks down the team’s friendly against Chile.

Episode 189 of The SBI Show takes a closer look at the USA-Chile clash, as we discuss the potential 3-5-2 formation for the U.S., and project our starting lineup for the match.

Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I also catch up on a busy few days in MLS, including our take on the big trade made by the Montreal Impact and New York Red Bulls, and Juan Agudelo’s potential return to New England.

Give Episode 189 of The SBI Show a listen after the jump:

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, Podcasts, U.S. Men's National Team, Uncategorized | 6 Comments