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Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

Freddy Adu made his KuPS debut, Aron Johannsson delivered another assist, and more in this past weekend’s Americans Abroad action.

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Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

Milan and Inter clash with local pride on the line, while Liverpool try to keep FA Cup hopes alive against Aston Villa in the second semifinal.

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Gonzalez’s final kick hands Galaxy win against Sporting KC

Omar Gonzalez came off the bench to help LA Galaxy secure a 2-1 win against Sporting Kansas City at the StubHub Center.

Revs mount second-half comeback to beat Union

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Photo by Eric Hartline / USA Today Sports

By ADAM TROXTELL

In a game of two halves, the New England Revolution did slightly more with their possession to come back and win a tough road contest.

The Revs scored twice in a twelve minute span to defeat the Philadelphia Union, 2-1 at PPL Park. Teal Bunbury created the equalizer from Charlie Davies, before scoring the winner himself in the 76th minute to hand the Revs a second consecutive victory.

In their third game in eight days, the Union had the better start and finish. They were prevented from adding to Cristian Maidana’s free kick goal in the 16th minute by several Bobby Shuttleworth saves.

The Union put five shots on target and had eight corners to try and create a second goal. But for much of the second half, the Revs controlled the tempo of the game, enabling them to see out a valuable victory on the road.

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Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- New England Revolution, MLS- Philadelphia Union | Leave a comment

Nyassi, Laing spur FC Edmonton to win against Strikers

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Photo by FC Edmonton/NASL

By AARON CRANFORD

FC Edmonton’s constant bombardment in attack left the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the dust, as the Eddies claimed a wild 3-2 win in Canada.

Sainey Nyassi is proving to be a hassle for opposing NASL defenses, as the midfielder used his speed and agility to create an easy goal early on for the Eddies, a penalty decision late in the first half and a goal of his own in the second half.

The Strikers put up a strong effort on the road, with Leo Moura causing the most anxiety for the Edmonton back line. His goal in the second half almost saw the Florida side through, but the Strikers just had no answers for the Edmonton attack on the day.

The goal-fest started in the 8th minute when Ritchie Jones, who was all over the field in the first 45 minutes, coolly passed Nyassi’s low-driven cross into the net after the speedy Gambian broke down the right and into the penalty box. Continue reading »

Posted in NASL | 1 Comment

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Seven months after playing in his last competitive match and a week after seeing his new club’s season opener postponed, Freddy Adu stepped back on the field to begin what he hopes is a chapter of consistency.

Adu got the nod in Finnish club Kuopion Palloseura’s season opener against KTP on Sunday, starting on the right wing and playing 66 minutes to help his side to a 1-0 win. The appearance was Adu’s first since seeing time in a cup match for Serbian outfit FK Jagodina on Sept. 24, 2014, and just his second in any competition since July 21, 2013. It is sure to inject plenty of confidence in the 25-year-old Adu, who is aiming to bring stability to a career that many are still keenly following.

While Adu was acclimating to his KuPS teammates and new league, two other Americans made noteworthy contributions for their clubs. Aron Johannsson delivered an assist for the second straight week in AZ Alkmaar’s 3-1 victory against ADO Hen Daag on Saturday, and former MLS midfielder Cole Grossman came through in the clutch to lift Bob Bradley’s Stabaek IF to a 1-0 triumph against Viking. Grossman scored in the 87th minute of the Eliteserien match, giving him his first Stabaek goal and the club its first win of the season.

Another pair of Americans were involved in the FA Cup semifinals, but only one advanced to the championship game. Danny Williams and Reading were eliminated after suffering a heartbreaking 2-1 loss in extra time to Arsenal, while Brad Guzan and Aston Villa advanced with a 2-1 upset of Liverpool. Williams started and played well during the 120 minutes of action at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, and Guzan was an unused substitute for the Villans on Sunday.

Here is how the Americans Abroad performed this weekend:

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Posted in Americans Abroad, Featured | 22 Comments

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

MichaelEssienACMilan1-MateoKovacicInterMilan-SerieA2014 (Getty)

By ADAM TROXTELL

All that’s at stake is local pride, but it’s all that is needed when AC Milan and Inter Milan lock horns.

A 1-1 draw the last time the teams met leaves them dead-even over the last 10 games, with both winning four and sharing a pair of ties. While the winner may not take any major steps toward securing a spot in Europe for next season — with Milan in ninth place and Inter in 10th — victory does go a long way toward ensuring one will finish the season higher than the other.

In England, Aston Villa and Liverpool meet in an FA Cup semifinal for the chance to meet Arsenal in the final in May. The teams split their league meetings this year, with Liverpool winning the most recent matchup 2-0 at Villa Park back in January.

Sevilla can climb even on points with fourth-place Valencia with a win on the road to Granada. In the Bundesliga, Schalke is also fighting for a European spot away from home against Wolfsburg.

If you will be watching any of 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 | 5 Comments

Whitecaps benefit from late game drama to defeat RSL

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Photo by Russell Isabella / USA Today Sports

By COLE KELLOGG

Real Salt Lake’s unbeaten start to the season ended on Saturday as the Vancouver Whitecaps exited Rio Tinto Stadium with all three points.

The match was decided in the final 15 minutes, with Darren Mattocks finishing off a Russell Teibert cross for a 1-0 win. The Whitecaps retain the top spot in the Western Conference with their fifth victory already this season.

The two teams were without star playmakers in Javier Morales and Pedro Morales, and the game was often missing the creativity that both have consistently showcased so far this season.

Red cards for RSL youngster Sebastian Saucedo and veteran Jámison Olave added to a lively final 15 minutes. Saucedo saw red just eleven minutes after entering the game for a studs-up challenge on Mauro Rosales just outside the RSL box. Jámison Olave received a second yellow for a foul on Mattocks in the 89th minute.

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Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Real Salt Lake, MLS- Vancouver Whitecaps | 1 Comment

Saturday European Rewind: Chelsea beats Man Utd to inch toward title; Barca tops 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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Posted in European Soccer | Leave a comment

Dykstra puts the past behind him in D.C. United draw

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Photo by Brad Mills / USA Today Sports

By CLIFF STARKEY

Andrew Dykstra didn’t know when he’d get to play again, but for his sake, it had to be soon.

While it could be said that that’s the life of a reserve goalkeeper — especially when you’re backing up MLS All-Star and U.S. Men’s National Team up-and-comer Bill Hamid — Dykstra needed to get first-team playing minutes.

But not for his ego, or his statistics page. Andrew Dykstra needed a solid start to put the last eight months behind him.

At the beginning of last season, Hamid picked up a toe injury that kept him out of action for most of April. Dykstra seized his opportunity, and led D.C. United to 2-0-1 record in Hamid’s absence, allowing just one goal in those three games. But once Hamid returned to fitness, Dykstra returned to the bench.

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Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- D.C. United | 1 Comment

Indy Eleven snatches victory over Scorpions via long-distance Pena strike

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Photo by NASL

By COLE KELLOG

A goal of the season candidate from Indy Eleven’s Sergio Peña helped push Indy Eleven to an away win over the defending champions.

Peña’s late long-distance strike helped Indy Eleven snatch a 2-1 away win at the San Antonio Scorpions on Saturday at Toyota Field.

After exchanging goals early in the second half, the deadlock remained until the 88th minute, when Pena scored with a brilliant strike from 40 yards out. Pena, a former Real Sociedad player, beat San Antonio’s goalkeeper Jon Kempin from distance to earn his side all three points in spectacular fashion.

Former MLS star Omar Cummings got on the scoresheet for the hosts right after half, but a fantastic Kristian Nicht performance kept Indy Eleven in the game. Indy’s Erick Norales scored off of a free kick from Dylan Mares after the hour mark, and the world-class strike from Peña sealed the win for the Eleven.

San Antonio had the better of the attacking play in this first meeting between the two NASL sides. Continue reading »

Posted in NASL | 1 Comment