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Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

While Chelsea and Arsenal meet in the Community Shield, the San Jose Earthquakes will try to take down the Portland Timbers this Sunday.

Ventura Alvarado Club America 93

Ventura Alvarado endures nightmare first start in new Liga MX season

Ventura Alvarado had a nightmare performance for Club America on Saturday, scoring a decisive own goal and gifting a late insurance tally to Atlas.

MLS: New York Red Bulls at Philadelphia Union

Red Bulls praise impact of Shaun Wright-Phillips in win vs. Union

Since Shaun Wright-Phillips started training with the New York Red Bulls, the players in the squad were aware of the impact he would make once he touched the field in a Red Bulls uniform.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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By AARON CRANFORD

The start of the 2015-16 English Premier League season is just around the corner, but two heavyweights will try to grab some silverware Sunday.

Chelsea and Arsenal meet in the Community Shield (10 a.m., Fox Sports 1), which is a match that pits the 2014-15 league winner against the FA Cup champion. With both sides wanting to start off their respective campaigns on the right foot, head coach Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger will want nothing less than a result against their London rival.

A Canadian derby highlights Sunday’s NASL action, as Ottawa Fury FC and FC Edmonton square off in a battle of the top two teams in the Fall Season (4 p.m., ESPN 3).

Meanwhile, the San Jose Earthquakes will try to upend the Portland Timbers (5 p.m., ESPN 2), who have won the last three contests between the two Western Conference foes.

If you will be watching 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, NASL, Your Running Commentary | Leave a comment

Ventura Alvarado endures nightmare first start in new Liga MX season

Ventura Alvarado Club America 93

 

By FRANCO PANIZO

This surely was not the way Ventura Alvarado envisioned his new season starting.

Club America dropped to 0-2 in the Liga MX Apertura campaign by suffering a 3-1 home loss to Atlas on Saturday, and it was Alvarado who played a major role in determining the outcome at Estadio Azteca.

Alvarado first broke a 1-1 stalemate with an ugly own goal that proved to be decisive a minute into the second half. After a low cross from the right came into the penalty area, the 22-year-old centerback attempted to trap the ball instead of clear it and wound up bundling it into his own net in awkward motion.

He also whiffed badly on a clearance in the 92nd minute to kill any chance of picking up a result. Alvarado allowed a cross to ricochet off of him before falling into the path of Franco Arizala, who clinically put the game to bed with a solid finish.

The start was the first in the new season for Alvarado, who just returned this week from playing for the U.S. Men’s National Team at the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Alvarado was a regular starter for the Americans in that tournament, but also had several hiccups that led to goals and constant criticism from fans and media.

You can see all of the highlights and lowlights of Atlas’ 3-1 win over Club America below:

Continue reading »

Posted in Americans Abroad, Featured | 4 Comments

Orlando City forward Larin “not done yet” in rampant rookie season

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at Orlando City SC

Photo by Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports

By MIKE GRAMAJO 

ORLANDO, Fla. — When Cyle Larin bagged his brace in the 54th minute during Orlando City’s 5-2 thrashing of the Columbus Crew, it not only tied the forward for most goals scored by a rookie in a single MLS season with 11 goals, but also set a benchmark in the club’s short history in the league.

With 11 goals to his name this season, the Canadian international also became the club’s all-time leading goalscorer in Major League Soccer, and it drew plenty of praise from Orlando City boss Adrian Heath.

“We all know how important goals are, and I think we have somebody that’s on a hot streak,” Heath said on Larin’s rookie season. “His confident is up, and I told him ‘I thought you worked really hard tonight’ and I’m a big believer in you get out of football in what you put in.

“He has all the tools to be a top-line striker. People don’t realize how strong and how quick he is, we do because see it every day, and if he keeps working, and God willing, he keeps injury free, he has a bright future.” Continue reading »

Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Orlando City | Leave a comment

Galaxy end road drought, beat Rapids with three second-half goals

MLS: LA Galaxy at Colorado Rapids

Photo by Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports

By AARON CRANFORD

For the first time since Aug. 20, 2014, the LA Galaxy claimed a win away from the StubHub Center, and in both cases, the Colorado Rapids were on the unfortunate side of history.

The Galaxy’s common contributors in 2015 were the ones who found the back of the net Saturday, as Sebastian Lletget, Robbie Keane and Alan Gordan handed the Rapids their first loss since June 27. With the 3-1 victory the Galaxy have won five out of their last seven matches.

In order to finally break the road curse, the Galaxy needed to show a bit of anger and emotion, and star Steven Gerrard was the figure to become fiery, as he and former Galaxy midfielder Marcelo Sarvas were involved in a heated exchange minutes before Keane’s stoppage-time dagger. Continue reading »

Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Colorado Rapids, MLS- LA Galaxy | 3 Comments

Sporting KC, Dynamo draw in hotly-contested match

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Sporting KC

Photo by John Rieger/USA TODAY Sports

By SKYLAR ROLSTAD

A heavily physical encounter between the newest additions to the Western Conference saw both sides share a point Saturday.

Rivals Sporting Kansas City and Houston Dynamo fought it out in a 1-1 draw, with goals at each end of the match’s duration. Dom Dwyer and Ricardo Clark both scored set piece goals, and yet again, Benny Feilhaber assisted the Sporting KC corner-kick goal, which Dwyer headed in from eight yards away in the 6th minute.

On the same end of the field, Clark also sent a header from short-range into the net in the 78th minute. Brad Davis assisted Clark from the corner flag.

Sporting KC midfielder Krisztian Nemeth thought he had the winner late in the match, but he was rightfully waved offside. SKC also may have had a chance to win a penalty in stoppage time, but the referee ruled that the ball did not touch Luis Garrido’s outstretched arm. Continue reading »

Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Houston Dynamo, MLS- Sporting Kansas City | 3 Comments

Impact high on confidence following Drogba signing, statement win over NYCFC

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Photo by Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

NEW YORK – While the off-the-field headlines generated by the signing of Didier Drogba proved to be a major win for the club, Saturday’s on-the-field performance by the Montreal Impact proved to be the week’s most impressive achievement.

Visiting Yankee Stadium, the Impact bested the New York City FC backline time and time again, earning a hard-fought 3-2 road win to pick up the team’s third victory in four games.

The win, which gives the Impact 27 points through 19 games, was just the team’s second road win of the season and eighth in the franchise’s three-and-a-half year MLS history.

Led by the performances of Dominic Oduro and Ignacio Piatti, the Impact displayed a bit of swagger in picking apart NYCFC’s defense, continuously pinging passes up and over opposing backline to create chance after chance.

Oduro, who provided the game’s opener, said that was all part of the plan, as the Impact were fully prepared to exploit space left unoccupied by NYCFC’s less-pacey defense. For the Imapct, it was all about execution, something made all the easier by the confidence generated in recent weeks.

“I think Didier coming in put a little spark into the team,” Oduro said. “Everybody is excited. The city of Montreal is excited. Coming here, we came with great confidence and I think him coming to join the team, it will be a great push. We’re confident going into our next game. We have a couple of games coming up and hopefully we can get points. Continue reading »

Posted in MLS- Montreal Impact | Leave a comment

Red Bulls use three second-half goals to beat Union

MLS: New York Red Bulls at Philadelphia Union

Photo by Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports

By JOE TANSEY

CHESTER, PA — Shaun and Bradley Wright-Phillips combined for the first time as teammates just outside the City of Brotherly Love to hand the New York Red Bulls a 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Union on Saturday night.

The Eastern Conference clash at PPL Park started with a whimper as the two sides combined for zero shots on goal in front of boisterous sets of visiting and home fans.

Although he was not credited with any saves through 45 minutes, Luis Robles did jump into action on two occasions to swat away dangerous looking crosses from the left wing from Sebastien Le Toux and Cristian Maidana respectively.

Sacha Kljestan created the best chance of the opening stanza in the 40th minute, when he knocked a shot from the left side of the penalty area into the side netting.

As the second half began, the action started to ramp up as the two teams started to dish out physical fouls in front of the sellout crowd of 18,883. Continue reading »

Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- New York Red Bulls, MLS- Philadelphia Union | 4 Comments

Orlando City runs riot over the Crew, as Larin’s brace gets Lions back to winning ways

MLS: Colorado Rapids at Orlando City SC

 

By MIKE GRAMAJO

ORLANDO, Fla. — After a winless month of July, Cyle Larin’s brace sealed Orlando City SC’s path to winning ways, as Adrian Heath’s men rallied from one goal down to defeat the Columbus Crew, 5-2, on Saturday night in front of 26,586 at the Citrus Bowl.

Federico Higuain’s opener in the first five minutes of the game put Gregg Berhalter’s men on the scoresheet first, but Cyle Larin’s equalizer in the 18th minute and Darwin Ceren’s go-ahead goal in the 38th gave the Lions the lead before heading into halftime.

Corey Ashe connected with Larin in the 54th minute to bag his brace, before Aurelien Collin scored Orlando’s fourth goal of the game in the 76th minute.

“It was an incredible performance from our boys,” the Orlando City boss told reporters on his team’s victory. “If you look at the table, it’s getting closer by the week, as I said before, every game in the Eastern Conference is going to be huge, it’s going to go down to the wire. Goals change games, and more importantly for us tonight, we scored at really good times.”

Kaka earned his second assist of the game when the Brazilian star connected with Cristian Higuita to cap the Lions’ first win over Columbus this season when he headed in the captain’s cross past goalkeeper Steve Clark in the 84th minute. Continue reading »

Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Columbus Crew, MLS- Orlando City | 1 Comment