Jul 25, 2015; Chester, PA, USA; The starting lineup of the United States pose for a photo before the CONCACAF Gold Cup third place match against Panama at PPL Park. Mandatory Credit: Panama won on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw. Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Who should the USMNT call up for the September friendlies?

The U.S. Men’s National Team roster for the September friendlies will be unveiled on Sunday, and here is who SBI thinks will get called in.

Mexican Fans as Teams enter the Stadium--------------------BPI2014 FIFA World CupGroup ABrazil v MexicoFortaleza de São João, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil17 June 2014©2014 BPI all rights reserved

CONCACAF announces ticket lottery process for USMNT-Mexico clash in October

USA and Mexico fans found out the process CONCACAF will use to distribute tickets for the Confederations Cup playoff match in October.

FC Barcelona's captain Andres Iniesta holds the Champions League trophy at the start of the UEFA Champions League Group stage draw ceremony, on August 27, 2015 in Monaco. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE        (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

PSG faces Real Madrid, Bayern meets Arsenal as UCL groups drawn

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paris St. Germain will meet Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League group stage after the groups were drawn on Thursday.

Richie Williams seeing shift in youth soccer in U.S. ahead of U-17 World Cup

RichieWilliamsUSU17MNTNikeInternationalFriendlies-2014 (Getty)

 

By RYAN TOLMICH

In recent seasons, there has been quite the shift in youth soccer in the U.S., and U.S. Under-17 National Team head coach Richie Williams is now seeing the benefits, and drawbacks, of it.

Recently, Williams and the U-17s competed in the 2015 Václav Ježek Tournament, finishing with a 1-1-2 record in a tournament Williams said featured some “interesting” refereeing. Giving up four penalty kicks while receiving none, Williams was overall pleased with his side’s performance, citing compact defending and chance creation as positives.

For the tournament, Williams brought in a strong roster, featuring many of the team’s regulars, including forward Haji Wright, midfielder Christian Pulisic and defender Danny Barbir. Still, Williams says that he has reiterated to his players that spots on the roster for this October’s World Cup are most certainly up for grabs as the next two months will prove crucial for each and every player in the pool.

“We spoke to the group and said that there’s no spot guaranteed,” Williams told SBI. “We’re still two months away and just because you were on the qualifying roster a few months ago, it doesn’t guarantee you a spot in the World Cup. You need to be training well, playing well in games.

“Just like any team, you have to make sure you bring them together and you have to pick the best 21. It’s not always the best 21, but the group of 21 that is going to come together and play as a team and get results as a team.” Continue reading »

Posted in U.S. Soccer, U.S. Under-17 National Team, Under-17 World Cup | 4 Comments

Who should the USMNT call up for the September friendlies?

Photo by Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. Men’s National Team roster for the upcoming friendlies is set to be unveiled this weekend, and the discussion on who should be on it is about to go into hyperdrive.

U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is set to reveal his squad for the looming September matches against Peru and Brazil, and has already revealed that veterans Tim Howard and DaMarcus Beasley will be on it. Who joins them is up for debate, but it seems crystal clear that Klinsmann will go with most of his first-choice players as he attempts to prepare the Americans for October’s all-important 2017 Confederations Cup playoff vs. Mexico.

While some observers might want a litany of changes from the team that performed poorly at the CONCACAF Gold Cup last month, the reality is that Klinsmann is likely to count on many of the same players. One or two new faces like red-hot Sandhusen forward Andrew Wooten could be brought in, but the roster will probably have very few major surprises.

Almost all the major leagues around the world are now in full swing, so Klinsmann will have plenty of options to choose from and some tough decisions to make. In particular, right back is a position that Klinsmann will need to think about plenty given that Fabian Johnson is recovering from an injury while Timmy Chandler only just began to see time again for Eintracht Frankfurt.

Klinsmann might also have to mix things up at the forward and centerback spots, especially at the former spot since leading talisman Clint Dempsey is struggling with a knock.

Who will Klinsmann call up? Here are the 23 players that we think he brings in:

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, U.S. Men's National Team | 6 Comments

CONCACAF announces ticket lottery process for USMNT-Mexico clash in October

Mexican Fans as Teams enter the Stadium--------------------BPI2014 FIFA World CupGroup ABrazil v MexicoFortaleza de São João, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil17 June 2014©2014 BPI all rights reserved

By MICHAEL PENG

Fans hoping to attend the CONCACAF Cup between the United States and Mexico on Oct. 10 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., will take their first step toward securing the tickets in two weeks.

The confederation announced Thursday that fans will be able to apply online at CONCACAF.com on Wednesday, Sept. 9 for the right to purchase tickets through a lottery system, though no specific time for when the application will begin was given.

CONCACAF will notify the winning applicants on Sept. 18 and provide them with the opportunity to select specific seating preferences with the limit capped at six tickets per applicant and one entry per household.

As for the supporters groups of both the U.S. and Mexico, an additional ticketing process will be conducted independently through each federation.

Continue reading »

Posted in CONCACAF, Confederations Cup, Featured, Mexican Soccer, U.S. Men's National Team | 6 Comments

PSG faces Real Madrid, Bayern meets Arsenal as UCL groups drawn

By IVES GALARCEP

Fans of Manchester United and Chelsea are smiling wide, while Manchester City fans are once again wondering why the UEFA Champions League draw is so cruel to them.

Manchester City was drawn into what is being widely regarded as the Group of Death, joining Juventus, Sevilla and Fabian Johnson’s Borussia Moenchengladbach in Group D after Thursday’s Champions League draw.

The draw produced several high-profile match-ups, including Paris St. Germain facing Real Madrid and Bayern Munich squaring off against Arsenal.

In terms of draws, Manchester City and Chelsea wound up in two of the easier draws possible, avoiding powerhouses.

There are plenty of storylines in the group draw as well, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic facing off against his first pro club, Malmo, and Jose Mourinho leading Chelsea against FC Porto, the team with which he won his first Champions League title as manager.

Here is a look at the full draw:

Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, Featured, Uncategorized | 12 Comments

CONMEBOL president unsure if Copa America Centenario will be played in USA

Leo Messi Arturo Vidal Argentina Chile 21

 

By FRANCO PANIZO

The 2016 Copa America Centenario may happen, after all. It just might not take place in the United States.

CONMEBOL president Juan Angel Napout gave an interview with a Paraguayan radio station on Wednesday in which he said that the location of the centennial tournament was in question. The planned 2016 Copa America was originally scheduled to be played in the United States, but allegations of $100 million in bribes that are part of the highly-publicized FIFA scandal have put that in jeopardy.

Still, Napout sounded optimistic that it will be played. He just is not 100 percent sure where.

“The 100th anniversary will have a celebration and this will be on the field,” said Napout, who is Paraguayan. “We want to have a Copa Centenario. It’s on the FIFA calendar, and the idea is for it to be played. Whether it will be in the United States? We have to wait for some things to happen, review some things.”

Continue reading »

Posted in Copa America 2016, International Soccer, South American Soccer | 30 Comments

Americans Abroad: Wednesday Rewind

Jose Torres Tigres UANL 22

 

By FRANCO PANIZO

Jose Torres may have only lasted 45 minutes on Wednesday, but that still did not stop him from making an impact.

Torres helped Tigres grab a road result in CONCACAF Champions League play with a first-half assist in a 1-1 draw with Costa Rican side Herediano. Torres fed teammate Antonio Briseno in the 14th minute with a soaring free kick that was whipped in almost flawlessly. Tigres relinquished its early lead through a first-half penalty kick and went down a man four minutes into the second half, but still escaped with a valuable road point that has it even on points with Herediano after two games in Group B.

Torres was not the only American to set up a goal on Wednesday. Gedion Zelalem enjoyed a successful debut for Rangers by assisting on a pair of tallies in a 5-0 rout of third-division side Airdrieonians in the Scottish League Cup. Zelalem, who just joined Rangers this week via a loan, started and went the distance in the match.

Another notable performance came from a fellow U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team player, as Amando Moreno came off the bench at halftime to provide a spark for Club Tijuana in Copa MX action. Moreno did not get on the scoresheet during his 45-minute shift, including on a good look late, but he buzzed around the field while earning mostly positive reviews in Tijuana’s 4-3 win over Necaxa.

Here is how the Americans Abroad peformed on Wednesday:

Continue reading »

Posted in Americans Abroad, Featured | 9 Comments