By ADAM TROXTELL
Club Tijuana was victorious against Morelia on Friday, but Greg Garza’s evening didn’t end so well.
The 23-year-old left back had to be replaced by fellow American Joe Corona after suffering an apparent knee injury during the 4-2 Tijuana win. There is no word from the club on Garza’s current status, but the team felt the need to take him off in the 52nd minute.
It was Garza’s fourth-straight start for Tijuana in the Liga MX Clausura. He appeared in 15 of 17 matches in the Apertura last year.
The victory helped Club Tijuana move into first place in Liga MX, if only temporarily.
By ADAM TROXTELL
For the first time since switching from the Oceania region, Australia is a continental champion.
The Socceroos triumphed 2-1 in extra time against heavyweights South Korea to win the Asian Cup on home soil. James Troisi scored in the 105th minute to make Australia the first men’s national team to win two different continental titles.
It was an exciting end to an entertaining final. The teams split possession and combined for eight shots on target.
Massimo Luongo had his long-range effort sail into the net for a 1-0 Australia lead just before halftime. It looked like his strike was the crucial one in a very even contest, but Heung-Min Son’s 90th minute equalizer for South Korea sent things into extra time.
Australia found that extra gear in the added period. Tomi Juric, who was substituted on for Tim Cahill in the 64th minute, muscled his way past a defender before sending a shot on goal. Troisi was there to poke home the saved effort, sending more than 76,000 fans at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney into a frenzy.
By ADAM TROXTELL
The 2015 USL PRO season is set to open in style with some potentially promising rivalries kicking off for the first time.
The league announced home openers for the upcoming season in a pair of tweets on Saturday. Seattle Sounders FC 2 face Portland Timbers 2 when league play starts on March 21.
Another pair of clubs with direct MLS links lock horns north of the border on March 28 when FC Montreal hosts Toronto FC II. On the same day, expansion teams Louisville City hosts Saint Louis FC while the first battle for Oklahoma begins when the Tulsa Roughnecks open against Oklahoma City Energy FC.
Champion Sacramento Republic begins its title defense at home against LA Galaxy II.
A full schedule is expected to be released on Monday. Here is a rundown of the home openers for all of the league’s teams:
By ADAM TROXTELL
Manchester City will look to take advantage of Chelsea’s absentee top-scorer when the top two teams meet in English Premier League play.
The FA upheld a three-match ban for Diego Costa on Friday, meaning the league’s leading scorer will miss the crucial matchup at Stamford Bridge. The Citizens sit five points behind first-place Chelsea and have identified this match as a must-win.
Both teams suffered shock defeats in the FA Cup last weekend, placing more importance on league performance as they chase down the title. Last time they met, Man City squeaked out a 1-1 draw thanks to an 85th minute goal from former Chelsea man Frank Lampard.
History favors the home team in this matchup. Out of the last 9 league meetings between the two clubs, six have ended in a win for the hosts.
As if starting the second half of the Bundesliga season in the relegation zone wasn’t hard enough, Borussia Dortmund begin a climb from the bottom with a trip to third-place Bayer Leverkusen. Last time the teams met in August, Leverkusen took a 2-0 win away from Signal Iduna Park when Dortmund’s rough league campaign was only beginning.
Real Madrid will be without the suspended Cristiano Ronaldo when they host Real Sociedad. Elsewhere in Spain, Atletico Madrid look for a win at Eibar to bounce back from being knocked out of the Copa Del Rey by Barcelona.
If you will be watching today’s games, feel free to share your thoughts, opinions, and some play-by-play in the comments section below.
Enjoy today’s action (Today’s soccer TV schedule after the jump):
By IVES GALARCEP
The 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup might still feel like it’s a long time from now, but the reality is we are only about five months from knowing the team Jurgen Klinsmann will select to try and defending the U.S. team’s title.
Four months will likely fly by, but there will be a plethora of friendlies to bring Klinsmann closer to finding the team he wants, and now that the first friendly of 2015 is in the books, the U.S. coach must have a slightly clearer picture of his options.
What we are still trying to figure out is just how serious is Klinsmann’s commitment to a shift to the 3-5-2 formation. He only used it for the first half of the Chile friendly, but given the personnel in the player pool, we shouldn’t be surprised to see much more of the new formation in the more than half-dozen friendlies between now and the Gold Cup.
The next match is next week against Panama, and that match should help weed out some pretenders and identify some more serious candidates for Gold Cup roster spots.
As we reach the end of the first month of the new year, here is a look at the latest SBI 23 for 2015:
By ADAM TROXTELL
Chelsea hosts Manchester City with English Premier League in a battle of Premier League title hopefuls, a weekend packed with televised soccer.
The recent talk ahead of the one vs. two matchup is concentrated on who will not be on the pitch come Saturday. Man City will be missing Yaya Toure and new signing Wilfried Bony, who are still with Ivory Coast at the African Cup of Nations.
The Blues might also have personnel concerns since Diego Costa now faces suspension for stamping on Liverpool’s Emre Can during their League Cup semifinal on Tuesday. The FA could now suspend the striker for the matchup, which could have title implications in the long run.
Elsewhere, the Bundesliga is back with its own top of the table clash. Second-placed Wolfsburg hosts first place Bayern Munich to start the second half of the season on Friday. Borussia Dortmund’s task of climbing out of the relegation zone contains a difficult start with a trip to third-placed Bayer Leverkusen.
A full Saturday evening of Liga MX starts with America facing Tigres. First placed Veracruz, one of two teams to go unbeaten in their first three games, travels to Monterrey.
An African Cup of Nations quarterfinal between Ghana and Guinea highlights Sunday afternoon’s action.
Here is a full look at this weekend’s soccer on TV (schedule after the jump):