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MLS Week 7: SBI Live Commentary

D.C. United and Vancouver Whitecaps have sights set on top conference spots, plus much more from a packed evening of MLS action. Join SBI for live commentary on all the day’s proceedings.

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Heinemann leads Fury FC to win against Minnesota United

Ottawa Fury FC had a tough two-game road test to begin the year, only grabbing one point in the process, but Marc Dos Santos’ men demonstrated why there’s no place like home.

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Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

Chelsea hosts third place Manchester United, Arsenal and Reading vie for an FA Cup Final place, and Barcelona takes on Valencia in a top-four clash in La Liga.

Saturday European Rewind: Chelsea takes big step toward title; Barca beats Valencia; and more

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By ADAM TROXTELL

Facing a familiar opponent when it comes to locking up an English Premier League title, Chelsea took a big step toward claiming its fourth.

Though the margins aren’t as small as they have been in past seasons, it didn’t make Chelsea’s 1-0 win against Manchester United any less satisfying. With Arsenal on FA Cup semifinal duty, the Blues now lead by 10 points at the top of the standings.

Eden Hazard’s 13th league goal of the season wrapped up the three points for Chelsea in the 38th minute. Capitalizing on a John Terry tackle at midfield on Radamel Falcao, Hazard was easily played through down the left before sending a shot underneath David De Gea and in.

It was one of few chances for Chelsea, again without Diego Costa. At the other end, Manchester United was given plenty of time to score with 70 percent of the possession, but they only came close to scoring twice.

Wayne Rooney had a golden opportunity in the first five minutes, but his left-footed strike curled wide of the goal. In the second half, Falcao attempted a shot from almost the same place Hazard scored his, but the ball clanged off the outside of the post and out.

Arsenal needed extra time, but the Gunners will go on to defend their FA Cup trophy with a 2-1 win against Reading in the semifinal. Barcelona stayed top of La Liga with a win at home, and Borussia Dortmund climbed into the top half of the Bundesliga.

Here are more recaps from Saturday’s action across Europe’s top leagues.

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MLS Week 7: SBI Live Commentary

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The last two MLS Cup winners clash at the StubHub Center tonight when current holders LA Galaxy host Sporting Kansas City in the marquee match of MLS Week Week Seven.

After topping the Seattle Sounders last Sunday, the Galaxy are searching for a second consecutive win and their third of the season. SKC is unbeaten in four ahead of what is now an important Western Conference matchup.

Before that, D.C. United will try to retake first in the East in a home game against the Houston Dynamo. The visitors had their offense up and running last week in a 3-0 win against Montreal Impact, and they’ll look to make another statement in their only meeting with DCU this season.

Elsewhere, Columbus Crew hosts Orlando City, FC Dallas takes on Toronto FC, the Colorado Rapids and Seattle Sounders look for potentially valuable points in the playoff race, and Vancouver Whitecaps try to stay top of the West against Real Salt Lake.

SBI will be providing live commentary on today’s action so please feel to follow the action here. As always, you are welcome to share your own thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Tonight’s SBI Live Commentary is after the jump):

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer | 2 Comments

Heinemann leads Fury FC to win against Minnesota United

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Photo by NASL/Ottawa Fury FC

By AARON CRANFORD

Ottawa Fury FC had a tough two-game road test to begin the year, only grabbing one point in the process, but Marc Dos Santos’ men demonstrated why there’s no place like home.

The Canadian side took down Minnesota United FC, 1-0, in front of more than 5,000 Fury fans on Saturday. United had little going for them all match due to Fury FC’s high pressure and offensive bombardment.

Last year’s Spring Season winner Minnesota United looked a shadow of their former selves against Ottawa, especially in the first half. Forwards Tom Heinemann and Paulo Junior combined well and forced United goalkeeper Sammy Ndjock into five saves within the first 45 minutes alone.

And Heinemann was the man to break the deadlock in the second half, beating Tiago Calvano in the lead-up to the goal with a nifty cut inside. Continue reading »

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Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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By ADAM TROXTELL

The future of the top four in both England and Spain hinges on a pair of key matchups this Soccer Saturday.

Manchester United travels to London where league leading Chelsea awaits, eight points clear of the third-placed Red Devils. Victory for the Blues will further cement their claim to the English Premier League title, but anything less leaves the door at least slightly open for challengers.

A late Robin Van Persie goal saved the Red Devils from defeat at home the last time these teams met. Man United has won six league games in a row, while Chelsea has not lost in 12 games.

Elsewhere in England, Reading and Arsenal contest the first FA Cup semifinal at Wembley Stadium.

With Real Madrid a little closer this time, league leaders Barcelona will try to ensure they remain on top of La Liga for at least one more weekend in a home match against fourth place Valencia. Sevilla came back to draw the Catalan side 2-2 last weekend, allowing Los Blancos to cut the gap between first and second to just two points.

Club America can go level with CD Guadalajara in first place of Liga MX with a win against Queretaro.

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):

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Posted in European Soccer, Featured | 12 Comments

Earthquakes frustrated with dismal first half in loss to Red Bulls

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Photo by Jim O’Connor/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

HARRISON, N.J. — The San Jose Earthquakes knew that by the time they got into the game, it was already far too late.

The Earthquakes put forth a strong final 20 minutes on Friday, but it was not enough to overcome their slow first 70 in a 2-0 road loss to the New York Red Bulls. San Jose was doomed by its overall lack of sharpness and defensive toughness in the first half, which was evident with pass after pass missing the mark against a New York team that also had its share of unforced turnovers.

Eventually, the Red Bulls found a groove and the walls caved in for the Earthquakes. Two goals in a span of six minutes in the first half put Dom Kinnear’s men in a hole, and it was one that they were never able to climb out of.

“You can’t just show up and think that you’re going to play well,” captain Chris Wondolowski told SBI. “You always have to come out and have the right mentality and be willing to grind out whatever it is, especially on the road. If you just go out there and put your toe in tackles and do those things, then you’re going to get punished.”

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Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- San Jose Earthquakes | 1 Comment

Red Bulls not satisfied with performance despite extending unbeaten run to five

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Photo by Jim O’Connor/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

HARRISON, N.J. — The New York Red Bulls had clearly been the better side in the first half. They had created chances. They had a two-goal lead. Red Bull Arena was buzzing in full support.

All that still did not stop head coach Jesse Marsch from going into the locker room at halftime to shout at his men. Marsch wanted better regardless of how pretty New York was already sitting, and his players agreed.

The Red Bulls defeated the San Jose Earthquakes, 2-0, on Friday night, but both Marsch and the team were not satisfied with the overall performance despite being pleased with the final result. New York felt it was often too sloppy with its passing, that it failed to truly put the game out of reach and that there was a bit of a letdown from an intensity standpoint in the final 15-20 minutes.

Mind you, this was all coming from a club that was now undefeated through five games and in first place of the Eastern Conference. But you sure would have been hard-pressed to figure that out judging by the mood in the Red Bulls’ largely quiet locker room.

“You look at last week and there’s so many good teams that thought they were good teams, and then whether they underestimated their opponent or just didn’t bring the same sort of fight to the game, they came out flat. We showed some of that today,” said goalkeeper Luis Robles, whose voice was hoarse from so much shouting. “We were fortunate to get two goals, and to hold them off, but there were definitely moments when they were the better team. Continue reading »

Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- New York Red Bulls | 18 Comments

Carter-Vickers, Steffen and Roldan headline roster for U.S. U-20 camp

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By IVES GALARCEP

The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team’s preparations for the Under-20 World Cup will take Tab Ramos’ squad to Austria, where 20 players have been chosen to take part in a training camp starting on Saturday.

Goalkeeper Zack Steffen, defender Cameron Carter-Vickers and midfielder Junior Flores are among the players who will gather in Linz, Austria for the one-week camp. The U.S. Under-20s will play friendlies against Qatar and Croatia.

Jordan Allen, Christian Roldan and Zach Pfeffer will take part in their first U.S. Under-20 training camp of the year.

Here is the 20-man roster:

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Posted in U.S. Under-20 National Team | 15 Comments

USMNT goal is a dream fulfilled for student-athlete Jordan Morris

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Photo by Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

By Friday afternoon, Jordan Morris will be bound to the normality of college classes just like any other student; but, Wednesday night presented the forward with a chance to live his dream.

A college student by day, Morris was thrust into the spotlight that evening, helping to lead the U.S. Men’s National Team to a 2-0 victory over heated rivals Mexico.

Just 20-years-old, Morris has grown up with the rivalry, one that was as one-sided as any before he was born. Wednesday, the Stanford forward had his part to play.

Scoreless as the teams emerged from halftime, Morris found himself alone on goal just minutes into the second half. With the weight of his youth, and the Mexican defense, chasing him down, Morris remained calm and fulfilled a goal he’s had for himself since he first kicked the ball as a youngster in Seattle.

“It was a super emotional time,” Morris said after the game. “I dreamed about it last night, I’ve dreamed about it since I was a little kid. Scoring goals, especially in such a big game, it was unbelievable. I kind of honestly blacked out a little bit and didn’t know what was going on. It was such an emotional time.” Continue reading »

Posted in U.S. Men's National Team | 57 Comments