Pedro Morales Newcomer of the Year (USA TODAY Sports)

SBI MLS Newcomer of the Year: Pedro Morales

On the strength of a 10-goal, 12-assist campaign, Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Pedro Morales was named 2014 SBI MLS Newcomer of the Year.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

John Brooks could start for Hertha Berlin vs. Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich, Alejandro Bedoya hopes to take on Marseille, and more in this upcoming weekend’s Americans Abroad action.

GrazianoPelleSouthampton2-StokeCity2014EPL (Getty)

This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

Southampton have a chance to prove that they aren’t a fluke this season when they host high-flying Manchester City, headlining This Weekend’s Soccer on TV.

Wright, Pulisic, Silva headline U.S. U-17s roster for Nike International Friendlies

HajiWright-U-17USMNT

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team will be an experienced squad when they kick off the 2014 Nike International Friendlies on Friday evening.

Head coach Richie Williams has selected a 20-man roster to take part in the annual tournament taking place from Friday through Tuesday at the Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Florida, featuring 16 players of the 2013 squad that took home the tournament title.

Headlining the squad is last year’s Golden Boot winner Haji Wright, MVP Christian Pulisic, and Golden Glove award winner Kevin Silva in this strong and experienced 20-man roster.

“We’re looking forward to it,” Williams told SBI in a phone interview. “The Nike Friendlies are always really good competitive international matches. Again we’ll play England and Brazil again and throw in Australia, they’ve been improving quite a bit from the senior tema down into their youth teams.

“We have our work cut out for us but we’re up for the challenge and we want to prove that last year wasn’t a fluke and all the winning we’ve been doing and also playing really well, we want to continue to do that throughout the friendlies. It’s just another opportunity for our players to get some quality international minutes to gain more experience, for us to see different guys in different situations and it’s just another preparation for us for qualifying in February.”

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Posted in U.S. Soccer, U.S. Youth National Teams | 3 Comments

Must-See Video: USMNT players take half-court challenge

Posted in Must-See Goals, U.S. Men's National Team | 3 Comments

SBI MLS Newcomer of the Year: Pedro Morales

Pedro Morales Newcomer of the Year (USA TODAY Sports)

Photo by Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

 

By DAN KARELL

Three days after signing with the Vancouver Whitecaps, Pedro Morales made his debut off the bench in the 65th minute.

The Chilean needed only 25 minutes on the field to have a profound impact, scoring a goal and adding an assist in a Whitecaps 4-1 rout of the Red Bulls on the opening day of the season. The performance was a sign of things to come.

In 34 appearances with the Whitecaps this season, the veteran midfielder Morales scored 10 goals and added 12 assists, guiding his side to a fifth-place finish in the ultra-competitive Western Conference. Morales’ overall performance this season made him the runaway choice for SBI MLS Newcomer of the Year.

Receiving all but one first-place vote in voting by SBI Soccer staff, Morales beat out an impressive group of nominee’s for this year’s award. Here’s a rundown of rest of the top five candidates for the award:

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Posted in Featured, MLS- Vancouver Whitecaps, SBI MLS Awards | Leave a comment

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

John Brooks (Getty Images)

By FRANCO PANIZO

John Brooks had a tough task last weekend in having to step into Hertha Berlin’s starting lineup for the first time in two months.

His potential next challenge will not be any easier.

Brooks could face off against undefeated Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich on Saturday, when Hertha Berlin host the 9-0-3 club. Brooks will have his hands full if he does get the nod again, as he will have to help limit a star-studded attack that has scored a a league-best 31 goals thus far this season. The U.S. Men’s National Team centerback and Hertha are coming off picking up three points last weekend, and that victory coupled with Bayern’s UEFA Champions League loss this week should give the underdogs plenty of confidence on their home soil.

Facing a similar situation over in Ligue 1, Alejandro Bedoya will be hoping to return to his side’s lineup when Nantes visit first-place Marseille on Friday. Bedoya has not started in a league game for his club since Oct. 5, and will be keen on ending that streak and scoring his first goal of the season in a fixture that could move Nantes out of fourth place and into a Champions League spot. Nantes have not lost in their last nine matches and might be facing Marseille at a perfect time given that the French heavyweights have lost two of their last four league games.

Wondering what other matches might be worth keeping tabs on? Look no further than Atlas’ encounter with Monterrey, or Sandhausen’s 2. Bundesliga tilt with Leipzig on Sunday. Edgar Castillo will attempt to help Atlas close out their Liguilla quarterfinals series against Alonso Hernandez’s Monterrey after picking up a 1-0 triumph in the first leg on Thursday, while a battle between young American forwards could take place when Terrence Boyd leads Leipzig into battle vs. Andrew Wooten and Sandhausen.

Here is who the Americans Abroad lock horns with this weekend: Continue reading »

Posted in Americans Abroad, Featured | 3 Comments

This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

GrazianoPelleSouthampton2-StokeCity2014EPL (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

With Chelsea secure at the top of the English Premier League, the battle for finishing second place is heating up as we head towards the busy holiday season.

On Sunday morning, Southampton will have the opportunity to prove that their hot start is no fluke when they welcome the high-spending Manchester City to the St. Mary’s Stadium. The Saints have impressively amassed 26 points so far this season despite losing five starters from last year’s squad.

New signing Graziano Pelle has stepped up in Rickie Lambert’s place and scored nine goals in all competitions, with big performances from Jose Fonte, Morgan Schneiderlin, and Victor Wanyama.

Man City are coming in firing on all cylinders after a late comeback gave them a 3-2 win over Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League.

In Italy, the Derby della Mole takes place this weekend as Serie A leaders Juventus face crosstown rivals Torino. Torino have struggled after losing Alessio Cerci and Ciro Immobile last summer while Juventus are riding a five-match unbeaten run in all competitions.

In North America, playoff action continues with the second leg of the MLS conference finals as the New York Red Bulls take a 2-1 deficit up I-95 to the New England Revolution and the Seattle Sounders host the LA Galaxy, who hold a 1-0 advantage heading into the match. In Liga MX, Club America takes on fellow Mexico City club Pumas UNAM with a one-goal advantage in favor of Pumas.

Here’s This Weekend’s Soccer on TV:

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Posted in European Soccer, Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS Playoffs, South American Soccer, U.S. Soccer, U.S. Youth National Teams | 6 Comments

Germany announces June USMNT friendly in Cologne

JermaineJonesLukasPodolskiUSMNT1-Germany2013Friendly (USATODAYSports)

Photo by Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports

 

By DAN KARELL

The one-rumored rematch for the U.S. Men’s National Team to face Germany is now set to become a reality.

The German Football Federation (DFB) announced on their website the schedule of matches for the national team in 2015, which includes a friendly match on June 10, 2015 against Jurgen Klinsmann and the USMNT. The match is set to take place at the RhineEnergieStadion in Cologne.

U.S. Soccer has yet to comment on the friendly match.

It’s the third time in three years that the two nations are meeting in a June friendly. The two nations last met in rainy Recife in June at the World Cup, where the USA settled for a 1-0 defeat, though they progressed to the Round of 16 along with Germany. They also met in Washington D.C. in 2013 as part of the U.S. Soccer’s centennial celebrations. That match, the USA defeated a weakened Germany side, 4-3, as they headed into World Cup qualifying that summer with a huge head of steam.

If the game is confirmed by U.S. Soccer, it’s the first announced friendly for the team in 2015. The USMNT went 6-5-4 in 2014, including a 1-1-2 record at the World Cup.

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What do you think of this news? Excited to see the USMNT face Germany again? Do you plan on traveling for the match?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Featured, International Soccer, U.S. Men's National Team, U.S. Soccer | 10 Comments