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USMNT fall five spots to No. 28 in latest FIFA Rankings

The U.S. Men’s National Team dropped five places to No. 28 in the November FIFA World Rankings after two friendly match losses earlier this month.

USMNT vs Colombia starting eleven

23 for 2015: Projecting the USMNT Gold Cup roster (November 2014 Edition)

The U.S. Men’s National Team’s disappointing November has led to a slight shakeup in the latest SBI 23 for 2015, as we project the U.S. Gold Cup roster.

Jermaine Jones 112202014 (USA TODAY Sports)

The SBI Show: Episode 180 (Talking MLS playoffs, Americans Abroad, and more)

Episode 180 of The SBI Show takes a look back at the MLS conference finals openers, and breaks down an impressive weekend for Americans Abroad.

USMNT fall five spots to No. 28 in latest FIFA Rankings

USMNTStartingXI2-RepublicofIreland2014 (Getty)


The U.S. Men’s National Team paid a price for their two November friendly defeats.

FIFA released their latest World Rankings on Thanksgiving morning, and they saw the USA drop five places to No. 28, one spot ahead of Bosnia and Herzegovina and one spot behind of Ecuador.

The defeats to Colombia (2-1) and the Republic of Ireland (4-1) earlier this month keep the USMNT as the third-best ranked nation in CONCACAF, behind No. 16 Costa Rica and No. 20 Mexico. Rounding out the top five is No. 54 Trinidad and Tobago and No. 56 Panama.

Other big movers in the November FIFA rankings included England, who jumped seven places to No. 13, Israel, who moved up 13 spots to No. 32, Tunisia, who advanced nine places to No. 22, and Jamaica, who jumped 42 places to No. 71.

The world top six remained the same as last month. Germany keep their No. 1 ranking, followed by Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Brazil. Portugal moved up two places to tie France in No. 7, and Spain leapfrogged Uruguay for the ninth position, as the Celeste round out the top ten.


What do you think of this latest ranking? Do you feel that the U.S. deserves this ranking? Should they be higher? Should they be lower?

Share your thoughts below.

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

23 for 2015: Projecting the USMNT Gold Cup roster (November 2014 Edition)

USMNT vs Colombia starting eleven

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It’s okay to admit it. If you are a U.S. Men’s National Team fan, you probably came away from the November friendlies feeling down about the state of the team. A pair of losses, including a blowout against an Ireland B team has been enough to shake the confidence of even the most ardent U.S. fan.

What is easily forgotten in the wake of those losses was the number of players missing from that November roster. Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Omar Gonzalez, Graham Zusi, Aron Johannsson and Terrence Boyd were all left out of that camp while Jermaine Jones, John Brooks, DeAndre Yedlin and Lee Nguyen missed the Ireland loss.

While those friendly losses didn’t do much to instill confidence in the state of the team, what it did do is give U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann some information to process about his team, including veterans and newcomers. In my latest piece, I broke down the players who boosted their stock the most in the November friendlies, and those who saw their stock drop.

With that in mind, here is a look at the group of players I currently see making up the 2015 Gold Cup roster. Yes, plenty can still happen between now and then, but this is how I see things shaking out based on where players stand now, and how things should go in the coming months.

Here is a look at the latest SBI 23 for 2015:

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Posted in Featured, U.S. Men's National Team, Uncategorized | 109 Comments

The SBI Show: Episode 180 (Talking MLS playoffs, Americans Abroad, and more)

Jermaine Jones 112202014 (USA TODAY Sports)

Photo by Andy Martin/USA TODAY Sports


The New England Revolution and Los Angeles Galaxy moved a step closer to meeting in the MLS Cup Final and the latest episode of The SBI Show breaks down their series-opening victories.

Episode 180 of The SBI Show takes a look back at the Revs’ 2-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls, as well as the Galaxy’s 1-0 triumph over the Seattle Sounders.

Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I also discuss a good week for Americans Abroad, including goal-scoring performances from Terrence Boyd and Aron Johannsson.

Give Episode 180 of The SBI Show a listen after the jump:

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Posted in Americans Abroad, Featured, Major League Soccer, Podcasts, U.S. Men's National Team | 2 Comments

Report: European, MLS scouts keeping an eye on Altidore

Jozy Altidore Sunderland 22


Jozy Altidore seems set on leaving Sunderland in the upcoming transfer window and it appears that a list of potential suitors is preparing for the forward’s departure.

The Sunderland Echo is reporting that representatives from Ligue 1 side Lille were among a set of scouts keeping tabs on Altidore during his time with the U.S. Men’s National Team earlier this month, which included a penalty kick goal against Colombia at London’s Craven Cottage.

“Three Italian clubs came to see him in London, as well as two French teams and German clubs,” said Altidore’s agent Lyle Yorks. “He has interest throughout Europe.”

Several MLS sides have also reportedly kept an eye on Altidore, although Yorks insists that there have been no formal advances.

“There’s been a lot of interest for Jozy in Major League Soccer,” Yorks said, “but there have not been any really serious conversations.”

Altidore and Sunderland are back in action Saturday against Chelsea at the Stadium of Light.

Where would you like to see Altidore end up come January? What kind of club would be best for the forward’s career?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Americans Abroad, Featured | 42 Comments

SBI MLS Goalkeeper of the Year: Bill Hamid


Photo by Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports



Bill Hamid’s long-awaited ascent toward the upper echelon of American goalkeepers reached overdrive in 2014, and now the D.C. United has made the transition from top prospect to one of the best goalkeepers in the U.S. system.

Three years after assuming the role of starting goalkeeper, Hamid came into his own as D.C. United ascended from the league’s basement to the top of the Eastern Conference as Hamid provided a dominating force in goal. His play helped D.C. United post the best defensive record in MLS in 2014, and helped Hamid be select as SBI MLS Goalkeeper of the Year honors.

The 24-year-old goalkeeper was among the league’s best in every goalkeeper statistic, but statistics don’t do justice to the type of jaw-dropping saves Hamid made on a regular basis.

Leading the league in save percentage, Hamid’s saves ranged from calm to electric, as the D.C. United goalkeeper limited errors while erasing those made by the backline.

Hamid was voted SBI MLS Goalkeeper of the Year by SBI Soccer staff, winning in a landslide as he beat out a strong list of contenders for the award, including two-time and reigning SBI MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Nick Rimando and Columbus Crew netminder Steve Clark.

Here is a closer look at who rounded out the top five candidates for SBI MLS Goalkeeper of the Year:

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Posted in Featured, MLS- D.C. United, SBI MLS Awards | 10 Comments

Klinsmann looks to continuing ‘education’ of USMNT ahead of 2015

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With the team’s final friendly of 2014 in the books, Jurgen Klinsmann has turned his gaze toward a 2015 campaign that the U.S. Men’s National Team head coach insists will present a new set of challenges.

As the team heads into a busy 2015 season, Klinsmann is now looking forward to continuing the team’s learning process the began with the conclusion of this past summer’s World Cup. With new players, coaches and tournaments to look forward to, the U.S. head coach is looking forward to continuing to progress to start off the new World Cup cycle.

“2015 will be a year of developing talent on and off the field. The theme will be education. Education wherever we can,” Klinsmann said. “We want to educate more on the coaching side, we want to educate on the players side, we want to educate on the parents side about what it really takes to become a professional. What’s exciting for us is we’re building our own counseling office with Nelson Rodriguez leading it. This is a huge step. It’s something we copied a bit from the universities where we try to establish contact with the players and their parents early in order to help them understand what you need to know to become a pro. So there will be a lot of educational topics out there.

“We want to improve coaching education wherever we can because it’s crucial, and we want to challenge our players and not let them settle, not even for a second, for whatever they have achieved up to that point. We want to grow our program and one day compete with the best in the world, so it means a lot of hard work in 2015.” Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, U.S. Men's National Team | 87 Comments