Photo by Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
In a busy weekend of MLS action, the league’s top contenders did well to hold serve by picking up victories.
The LA Galaxy picked up a late win over fellow Western Conference contender Sporting KC, while the New York Red Bulls protected their home field with a 2-0 win over the Earthquakes.
The Seattle Sounders, Vancouver Whitecaps and FC Dallas all rebounded well from poor performances with victories this past week. Meanwhile, Toronto FC and Orlando City slumped to disapointing defeats at the hands of FC Dallas and the Columbus Crew, respectively.
Here is a look at SBI’s MLS Power Rankings following MLS Week 7: Continue reading
By ADAM TROXTELL
In an effort to save its season, Hannover 96 has appointed a new coaching set-up that includes one of the club’s and the U.S. Men’s National Team’s most storied players.
Steve Cherundolo has been named assistant manager to Michael Frontzeck’s new system at Hannover, according to local media reports. The club sits two points away from the relegation zone after a devastating 4-0 loss to Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday, resulting in Tayfun Korkut’s firing on Monday.
Since retiring at the end of the 2013-14 season, Cherundolo has been part of the Hannover coaching team. He was put in charge of the club’s under-15 squad this season.
Cherundolo played for Hannover for his entire career between 1999 and 2014. In addition to 370 appearances for the German club, he appeared 87 times for the USMNT.
Hannover plays four of their next five games against top-half opponents, with the fifth coming against fellow strugglers Freiburg.
What do you think about Cherundolo’s appointment? Can Frontzeck, Cherundolo and the new set-up save Hannover from relegation?
Share your thoughts below.
Photo by New York Cosmos/NASL
By RYAN TOLMICH
Week 3 of the NASL Spring Season is in the books, and it was far from kind to those that were looking to establish themselves as early season contenders.
Preseason contenders Minnesota United FC and the San Antonio Scorpions have both started the season with a limp, furthered by their losses this weekend to the sophomore due of Ottawa Fury FC and Indy Eleven, respectively.
Meanwhile, both the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Fort Lauderdale Strikers impressed in recent weeks before falling over the weekend.
Sitting unblemished remain the Cosmos, whose victory over the aforementioned Rowdies have added some credence to the hype and hoopla of a busy offseason.
Here is what SBI is thinking following NASL Week 3: Continue reading
By ADAM TROXTELL
On attempt number five, LA Galaxy II finally tasted victory.
Los Dos triumphed, 2-1, at home to Austin Aztex late Sunday for their first win of the season, taking them out of last place in the Western Conference. Raul Mendiola scored the winner in the 84th minute, four minutes after Sainey Touray equalized for the visitors.
Before that, Mendiola provided the opener. In the 64th minute, he cut the ball back to Ariel Lassiter, who shifted onto his left foot and swerved the ball into the net for his second goal in as many games. It was Mendiola’s league-leading fourth assist of the season.
Defensive lapses that have led to late, game-deciding goals appeared again for Los Dos with ten minutes to go. Touray took advantage of a loose ball in the defensive third to score the equalizer.
Mendiola connected on a pass inside the box from Ryo Fujii, made space for himself and then fired a shot into the net to send Los Dos fans home happy.
Galaxy II heads on the road to play Real Monarchs on Saturday, while Austin Aztex will try to bounce back against Colorado Springs Switchbacks at home that same day.
Here are more recaps from last week’s USL action:
Photo by Greg Bartram/USA Today Sports
By FRANCO PANIZO
Rafael Ramos lost his mind, and so too did MLS officials.
It was wild weekend in MLS, as a rain delay of almost three-and-half-hours inexplicably took place in Dallas while one of the league’s more promising youngsters was sent off after a major meltdown in Columbus. There were also continued troubles for New York City FC and Toronto FC, leaving two of the more expensive clubs in the league with big question marks.
Week 7 was not all about the negative, however. Several U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team players saw the field to help their cases for World Cup inclusion, and the Portland Timbers, Vancouver Whitecaps and FC Dallas each got back on track with wins.
Here is what SBI is thinking about after Week 7:
By MATT STYPULKOSKI
For the third time in the first seven weeks of this season, the New York Red Bulls have been named the SBI MLS Team of the Week.
The Red Bulls earned the honor with a 2-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes on Friday night. The result kept the Red Bulls unbeaten and in a three-way tie atop the Eastern Conference standings, despite having played just five matches to D.C. United’s six and the New England Revolution’s seven.
So far this season, the Red Bulls have displayed an aptitude for scoring depth. The club has produced nine goals this season, but five different players have found the back of the net and Bradley Wright-Phillips tops the list with just three goals.
Friday night’s victory was another display of that multi-faceted attack, as Sacha Kljestan opened his account in the 29th minute and Mike Grella notched his second goal of the season just six minutes later.
The Red Bulls beat out the the Columbus Crew, Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders for this week’s award.
What did you think of the Red Bulls’ performance? Which team stood out to you in MLS Week 3?
Share your thoughts below.
Photo by Ron Chenoy/USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
NEW YORK — As Tony Taylor fell to the ground clutching his leg in the 33rd minute of Sunday’s matchup with the Portland Timbers, he joined New York City FC’s ever-growing list of wounded contributors.
The latest injury crisis, which came amidst Sunday’s 1-0 loss to the Timbers at Yankee Stadium, only added to a theme that has defined the club’s opening month and a half of MLS play.
Already missing out on David Villa, Mix Diskerud, Jason Hernandez and Josh Williams, NYCFC continue to be bitten by the injury bug. While obviously frustrated by his team’s inability to stay healthy, head coach Jason Kreis was quick to point out the efforts of his side to push on despite the absence of some of the team’s most important pieces.
“We had five players that were unavailable today due to injury, and that’s a lot at one time,” Kreis said after the loss. “All of it has happened within a week, which is pretty crazy. The players that were called upon tonight to put in a performance and, to show what they were about, stepped forward.
“The morale in the group tonight was very high. They were willing and able to do anything for each other, which is encouraging as well.” Continue reading
By AYDIN REYHAN
The domestic and cup action resumed this weekend in Europe’s top five leagues as we saw some expected as well as surprising results.
Chelsea blanked Manchester United 1-0 to extend their lead above the third-placed side to 11, 10 above second-placed Arsenal. The title is all but in the bag with the remaining Premier League games.
Real Madrid continued to chase Barcelona with a 3-1 victory over Malaga. However, there were two casualties as Gareth Bale picked up a knock early on while Luka Modric is set to be out for the next six weeks after being injured yet again.
Inter Milan and AC Milan shared the spoils as they held one another scoreless in a tactically-sane derby.
Here are all of the results form this weekend: Continue reading