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Finlay, Kamara propel Crew past hapless Union

Led by Ethan Finlay, the Columbus Crew outclassed a hapless Philadelphia Union team on Saturday at MAPFRE Stadium.

Chris Tierney Revs-RSL 2015 (USA Today Images)

Revolution dominate for first win over RSL since 2009

The New England Revolution took advantage of a shorthanded Real Salt Lake defense to emerge from Saturday with a dominating victory.

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MLS Week 8: SBI Live Saturday Commentary

Saturday’s MLS action is packed with four contests, headlined by a matchup between the Vancouver Whitecaps and D.C. United.

Rowdies down in-state rival Armada FC behind Santos brace

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Photo by Tampa Bay Rowdies/NASL

By AARON CRANFORD

Maicon Santos started the Tampa Bay Rowdies three-goal night against the Jacksonville Armada, and he sealed the deal in the 77th minute with the game-winner.

Santos bagged the brace on the night, but both sides came ready to play offensively, as the Rowdies narrowly topped their in-state foe, 3-2, in front of 5,461 fans.

The home team was the first to make their mark in Al Lang Stadium when Rowdies forward Santos drew a penalty and subsequently converted the chance in the 12th minute. The lead would not last too long, however. Two minutes later, Marco Flores had a penalty of his own to convert for the home side, and although his shot was saved by Kamil Contofalsky, he followed up his shot and buried the rebound.

While the Rowdies would go into the half down a goal thanks to Jemal Johnson’s second goal of the season for Armada FC, Tampa Bay would grab two in the second, including Martin Nunez’s equalizer to claim the team’s second victory of the Spring Season. Continue reading »

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Finlay, Kamara propel Crew past hapless Union

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Photo by Andrew Weber/USA Today Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

For the second straight week, the Columbus Crew proved dominant in dispatching an opponent that posed little threat.

Led by a pair of goals from Ethan Finlay, the Crew thoroughly defeated a hapless Philadelphia Union, 4-1, Saturday at MAPFRE Stadium.

Finlay, whose finishes came on either side of halftime, was joined on the scoreboard by Justin Meram and Kei Kamara, as the Crew’s forward line proved to be an absolute nuisance for a Union team with lackluster performances aplenty.

Throughout the first half, the Crew continued to rely on wide play and crosses to generate most of the team’s attacks, and that strategy finally paid off in the 21st minute by way of a Kamara finish. Continue reading »

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Revolution dominate for first win over RSL since 2009

Chris Tierney Revs-RSL 2015 (USA Today Images)

Photo by Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports

By CARL SETTERLUND

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Revolution hadn’t beaten Real Salt Lake since 2009, but the Revs weren’t at all intimidated Saturday at Gillette Stadium.

The Revolution scored multiple goals for the third time in four games and upped their unbeaten streak to six games, as they dominated RSL, 4-0, in front of 17,942 at Gillette Stadium.

Chris Tierney, Juan Agudelo, Charlie Davies and Scott Caldwell all scored as the Revs sent in 25 shots, including 13 on target, taking advantage of an RSL back line missing Chris Schuler and Jamison Olave.

The Revs (4-2-2) had gone 0-6-1 in their previous seven matches against RSL (2-2-3), but they erased those memories on Saturday. Real Salt Lake has now lost its last two matches.

Continue reading »

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MLS Week 8: SBI Live Saturday Commentary

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By RYAN TOLMICH

With both sides emerging as contenders in either conference, Saturday’s clash between D.C. United and the Vancouver Whitecaps is one that will allow either side to make a true statement.

The matchup at BC Place headline’s Saturday’s MLS action, as the Western Conference-leading Whitecaps take on D.C, who currently sit second out east.

Kicking off the day’s festivities will be the Columbus Crew and the Philadelphia Union, as the former looks to build off last week’s thrashing of Orlando City.

Also on the docket is a matchup between the New England Revolution and Real Salt Lake, while Western Conference newcomers Sporting KC take on the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium.

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

Enjoy the action (Tonight’s SBI live commentary is after the jump):

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer | 6 Comments

Angule double leads Strikers past Fury

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Photo by Ottawa Fury FC/NASL

By AARON CRANFORD

For the third consecutive week, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers bagged at least two goals, and while their scoring exploits weren’t enough in last week’s loss to FC Edmonton, the Strikers’ consistency in attack paid off on Saturday when they faced Ottawa Fury FC.

Jose Angulo collected his first brace of the 2015 Spring Season and Marlon Freitas scored the game-winner with a beautiful right-footed curler from outside the box to give the Strikers the scoring they needed to take all three points in a 3-1 win in front of 3,023 fans at TD Place.

Rafael Alves made things interesting late on, as the Fury FC defender cut the lead to one after heading in his first goal of the season on a corner kick.

However, with time winding down and the Canadian side pushing men forward, Angulo caught Ottawa on the counterattack, adding his second of the day during stoppage time to seal the result. Continue reading »

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Garber says MLS will keep pursuing USMNT players; talks expansion past 24 teams; and more

Don Garber 2015 SuperDraft (USA Today Images)

Photo by Isaiah J. Downing/USA Today Sports

By CARL SETTERLUND

Longtime Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber was making the media rounds on Friday, and he had plenty to say, specifically broaching the topics of MLS expansion and attracting prominent U.S. Men’s National Team players to join the league over options abroad.

“We will do whatever we need to do to ensure that we have the best possible American players here,” Garber said in an interview with the Associated Press Sports Editors on Friday. “We have to be a league of choice for everyone that cares about the game, that’s players and fans.”

The comment continues a public dialogue between Garber and USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who recently stated several times his concerns over the conditioning of MLS players — in most part due to the league’s longer offseason than other professional soccer leagues.

MLS has, of course, recently lured in big names such as Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Jermaine Jones, Mix Diskerud and Jozy Altidore. Several others with USMNT experience such as Sacha Kljestan, Juan Agudelo and Maurice Edu have also joined or rejoined MLS in the past couple years.

Thirteen MLS players made the roster for the USMNT’s recent 2-0 friendly win over Mexico.

“My job is to do everything that I can to grow Major League Soccer and to ensure that MLS is going to be a driver of the growth soccer at the highest level in the U.S.,” Garber told the APSE. “It’s not a short-term goal. It’s a long-term objective.

“I do believe our national team coach has a short-term objective. That’s what he’s hired to do… it’s to win the Gold Cup, it’s to have the best possible team in 2018. And our goals and objectives are broader than that, and that’s why we agree on some things but don’t agree on others.”

Garber also interacted with a MLS fans in a Q&A hosted on Facebook, talking about several topics, including expansion, league format, replay technology, and more. Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer | 12 Comments

Red Bulls still unsure about adding summer DP

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Photo by Tommy Gilligan/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

HANOVER, N.J. — From Thierry Henry and Landon Donovan to Rafa Marquez and David Beckham, there’s always been a good amount of star power on display in recent years when the New York Red Bulls and LA Galaxy have collided.

Sunday’s showdown at Red Bull Arena won’t have that. Partly because of an injury to Galaxy forward Robbie Keane, and partly because of New York’s lack of a big-name player.

The Red Bulls are off to a hot and undefeated start in MLS this season, but the club has done so with an approach that differs from that of years past. Instead of surrounding one or two star individuals with a core of blue-collared players, New York is now relying on a team concept that requires everyone to do their part.

The results have so far been impressive – the Red Bulls have gone 3-0-2 to remain the only unbeaten team in MLS – but the absence of a star individual still has some fans yearning for a big-name Designated Player. New York brass has said in recent months that it is open to signing someone of that caliber in the summer, but the club is still not sure whether it will or not because of how well it has performed thus far.

“We’re still evaluating,” Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch told SBI on Saturday, feet away from visiting former DP Juan Pablo Angel. “I would say that, for me, the main focus is that we really like this group. If we add to it, we don’t want to add to it just because you have a DP spot or you have the ability to add. We want to make sure that everything we do here is very calculated, and regardless of it’s a DP or any player that comes in here, we want it to be the right fit.

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- New York Red Bulls | 19 Comments

Gall plays late hero as U.S. U-20s win vs. Croatia in final match before U-20 World Cup

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By AARON CRANFORD

After drawing against Qatar in the U.S. Under-20 National Team’s first match of their April camp, Romain Gall led them to a more satisfying result on Saturday when the U-20s played Croatia.

Gall scored just two minutes after coming on in the 64th minute, sending the United States to a 1-0 win and lifting the young Americans’ spirits before next month’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup.

The Columbus Crew SC midfielder was set up on the winner by Philadelphia Union forward Zach Pfeffer, who sent in a pass from the left side.

Maki Tall squandered a golden chance to put the U.S. U-20s ahead on a penalty kick in the 26th minute as the Croatian goalkeeper parried away his PK try. Gall saved the day in the end, though. Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, U.S. Under-20 National Team, U.S. Youth National Teams | 1 Comment