By MATT STYPULKOSKI
Roma’s Serie A title hopes will be on the line against Juventus on Monday afternoon.
Juve enters the clash with a hefty advantage atop the league’s table, but the Giallorossi could cut the deficit to a more manageable six-point gap with a win at home, where they are unbeaten this season.
In October, Juve won a controversial 3-2 game in Turin. But this time around, Roma will benefit from the absence of Andrea Pirlo, who picked up a calf injury during the Champions League match against Borussia Dortmund last week. Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba could also miss the match.
This evening, the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team has an important match as it continues in the CONCACAF Championship group stage in Honduras. The Americans, who opened the tournament with a 5-0 win over Cuba on Friday, are set to take on Trinidad and Tobago.
Elsewhere, Spanish side Elche, which sits just one point clear of the relegation zone, will take on mid-table Celta de Vigo.
If you will be watching today’s soccer, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.
Enjoy the action (Today’s TV schedule is after the jump): Continue reading
By AARON CRANFORD
Former Red Bulls forward John Wolyniec will now lead New York’s USL team after working in management for the club since 2010.
“I’m grateful to the organization for this opportunity,” Wolyniec told New York Red Bulls. “NYRB II represents an important platform in our player development system. Our goal is to create an environment for our young players to have a chance to train and play in a professional setting and get meaningful minutes to prepare them for careers in MLS.”
Wolyniec served as Player Development Coordinator and head of the Red Bulls’ MLS Reserve team since Feb. 2013. Ibrahim Sekagya, who recently retired, and former Columbus Crew goalkeeping coach Vadium Kirillov will join Wolyniec in managing NYRB II for the club’s inaugural season.
Here are some more MLS moves from Monday:
Photo by Andrew Fielding/USA TODAY Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
Carlos Bocanegra saw a 15-year professional career come to a close in 2014, but the former U.S. Men’s National Team centerback has hopped right back in the game to take charge of a brand new project.
MLS Atlanta announced Monday that the club has hired Bocanegra as its first technical director. The former defender, who will join club president Darren Earles in April, will be charged with overseeing day-to-day soccer operations such as scouting, academy development and player wellness.
“I feel very fortunate to have played the game of soccer professionally for so many years and am excited to be part of something special here in Atlanta,” Bocanegra said. “I’ve always wanted to stay involved with soccer at the top level, and to have that opportunity with MLS Atlanta is a great way to start this next chapter. I’m a competitor and I look forward to bringing that drive and passion into everything I do here in Atlanta.” Continue reading
By ADAM TROXTELL
After consecutive seasons without playoff soccer, FC Dallas went old school in its subsequent coaching appointment to make 2014 very different.
Former FCD midfielder Oscar Pareja transformed the team into a respected attacking unit that was a Seattle away goal from reaching the 2014 Western Conference final. It was exactly the kind of turnaround needed for an organization still dreaming about what could have been in that 2010 MLS Cup Final.
Under the tutelage of his fellow countryman, Colombian winger Fabian Castillo had his best season since joining the team in 2011. He scored 10 goals and tallied three assists to earn attention from teams like Club America and prompt FCD to offer him a five-year contract that was signed in the preseason.
Castillo was only bested by Panamanian striker Blas Perez, who led the team with 11 goals and six assists. He was the central figure in an attack that also included on-loan Colombian winger Andres Escobar, who has since returned to Dynamo Kyiv, and young designated player Mauro Diaz.
The flash was coupled with the backbone of the squad, made up of veterans like Stephen Keel, Je-Vaughn Watson, Adam Moffatt, and Michel. Their contributions provided the balance necessary for a consistent run into the playoffs.
Ahead of the 2015 season, FCD has somehow managed to get even younger. Pareja remains hopeful that his youthful side, which still retains the core of the squad from last season, can continue to build on what he called a “good starting point.”
Photo by Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports
By IVES GALARCEP
The month of February featured just one U.S. Men’s National Team match, but that 2-0 win against Panama was enough to help offer some more information on an ever-evolving player pool four months before the Gold Cup.
Gyasi Zardes and Miguel Ibarra were the players who saw their stock rise the most in February. Zardes stood out in the win against Panama, while Ibarra earned praise from Jurgen Klinsmann for his showing in the same match.
There wasn’t a ton of movement in our projected U.S. Gold Cup squad, though there were a few changes. Among them is Graham Zusi, who has come back from a lingering foot injury and should be back with the national team for the March friendlies.
Here is the February edition of SBI’s projected U.S. Gold Cup roster:
By MATT STYPULKOSKI
Orlando City fans have officially “Filled the Bowl.”
The expansion side announced Monday morning that the team’s first-ever MLS game against fellow newcomer New York City FC, which is set to be played at the 60,000-seat Citrus Bowl, has been sold out.
The announcement follows a nearly month-long campaign by Orlando City to move tickets in an effort to fill the stadium for its inaugural match.
The two new sides are scheduled to open their MLS campaigns Sunday at 5 p.m. The match will be televised on ESPN2.
Here are some more of Monday’s MLS news and notes: Continue reading