Tony Taylor (USA Today Images)

MLS Ticker: NYCFC’s Taylor done for season; Montreal sells out CCL final; and more

Injuries to Tony Taylor and Chris Schuler are set to impact New York City FC and Real Salt Lake, while Montreal’s lackluster MLS run isn’t stopping fans from supporting their CONCACAF Champions League run.

Adam Kwaresey 1 (USA TODAY Sports)

SBI MLS Spotlight: Portland’s Adam Kwarasey still looking for his best

Portland Timbers goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey believes he can play better than he has shown since arriving in MLS, with Sunday’s showing a potential sign he’s heading in the right direction.

UEFAChampionsLeagueLogo (Getty)

UEFA Champions League Quarterfinals: SBI Live Commentary

Barcelona attempts to see-off PSG, while Bayern Munich faces a two-goal deficit against Porto in today’s UEFA Champions League action.

MLS Ticker: NYCFC’s Taylor done for season; Montreal sells out CCL final; and more

Tony Taylor (USA Today Images)

Photo by Jim Dedmon/USA Today Sports

By CARL SETTERLUND

Just when things were looking up for New York City FC’s Tony Taylor, his second season in Major League Soccer took a devastating turn for the worse.

NYCFC announced on Tuesday that the apparently serious left knee injury that saw Taylor stretchered off in the 35th minute on Sunday against the Portland Timbers will, in fact, end his season.

The 25-year-old forward, who was playing in place of David Villa, tore his left anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in a non-contact injury in his first ever MLS start.

“Tony is a great young professional and I know his teammates are going to miss him on the field,” NYCFC head coach Jason Kreis said. “Everyone at New York City FC is 100 percent behind him in his recovery and will be there to help every step of the way… I’m confident that he’ll come back fitter and stronger than ever.”

After trying his luck in Europe, the former U.S. youth international joined the New England Revolution in 2014, but only made one brief substitute appearance.

NYCFC selected Taylor in the 2014 MLS Expansion Draft last December. He had made two appearances for NYCFC this season, totaling 66 minutes.

Here are a few other notes from around MLS: Continue reading »

Posted in CONCACAF Champions League, Featured, MLS- Expansion, MLS- Montreal Impact, MLS- New York City FC, MLS- Real Salt Lake | Leave a comment

UCL Rewind: Bayern Munich, Barcelona both win big to advance into semifinals

Thomas Muller (Zimbio)

By CARL SETTERLUND

When FC Porto topped Bayern Munich, 3-1, in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarterfinal matchup last week, it seemed like the German giants were on the ropes — but really, they just got angry.

Bayern returned the favor, and then some, on Tuesday at Allianz Arena, punishing Porto in a 6-1 victory that sent Pep Guardiola’s crew through to the tournament’s semifinals by a 7-4 aggregate score.

The Bundesliga leaders peppered the Portuguese upstarts with 21 shots, including eight by Robert Lewandowski, who led all scorers with a brace.

Thomas Muller pitched in a goal and two assists, while Thiago Alcantara and Jerome Boateng both headed one home in the first half. Bayern led, 5-0, at halftime before Xabi Alonso completed the scoring off a free kick in the 88th minute.

Meanwhile, southwest at the Camp Nou, Barcelona rode a Neymar brace to a 2-0 win over Paris-Saint Germain. The Ligue 1 champions couldn’t live up to their billing, as Barca won by multiple goals in both legs to pull away for 5-1 aggregate score. Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, UEFA Champions League | 3 Comments

SBI MLS Spotlight: Portland’s Adam Kwarasey still looking for his best

Adam Kwaresey 1 (USA TODAY Sports)

Photo by USA TODAY Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

NEW YORK — Adam Kwarasey is not happy with the way he has performed so far this season. Still juggling his commitments as the starting goalkeeper for the Portland Timbers and as a family man in a new country, Kwarasey feels he has not been able to reach his top level.

Yet this weekend provided evidence that he’s getting closer to the kind of form that saw him thrive at the club level in Sweden and play at a World Cup with Ghana.

Portland was up, 1-0, on the road against New York City FC on Sunday when in the 89th minute Kwarasey was called upon to produce the type of special moment that has not been seen, at least on a consistent basis, this season. Khiry Shelton was slipped through on goal from the right side of the penalty area, and had a great shot at equalizing the match.

Kwarasey reacted quickly, coming off his line at a good angle, making himself big, and denying a low shot with his right foot to preserve the lead and help the Timbers record their third shutout of the young season. It was just one play, but one that suggested that the 27-year-old keeper may be finding the kind of rhythm in MLS that he’s yearning for.

“I can be a lot better, I can,” the soft-spoken Kwarasey told SBI. “I’m not happy with the way I’ve played so far this season. Of course, I understand it’s a reason for that – I’m new and still adjusting – but I know the level I can play and I know that I can be better than I’ve been so far.”

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, MLS- Portland Timbers, SBI MLS Spotlight | Leave a comment

The SBI Show: Episode 201 (Talking MLS Week 7, USA-Mexico and more)

USA vs. Mexico 2 (USA TODAY Sports)

Photo by Soobum Im/USA TODAY Sports

By IVES GALARCEP

After a three week hiatus, The SBI Show is back, and just in time to talk about the latest installment of the U.S. Men’s National Team’s rivalry with Mexico.

Episode 201 of The SBI Show looks back at the U.S. team’s latest 2-0 victory, and talks about the impressive performances of Jordan Morris and Ventura Alvarado. We also talk about Mexico, and the reality of the team the U.S. faced last week.

Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I also discuss MLS Week Seven, including the New York Red Bulls’ latest victory, and Portland’s road win at Yankee Stadium against a short-handed New York City FC.

Give Episode 201 of The SBI Show a listen after the jump:

Continue reading »

Posted in Major League Soccer, Podcasts, U.S. Men's National Team | 5 Comments

Klinsmann, Saucedo headline U.S. U-18 roster for April friendlies

150205 U18MNT starters

By RYAN TOLMICH

With a trio of friendlies in Bosnia & Herzegovina on the horizon, U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team head coach Javier Perez has unveiled a roster of 20 call-ups.

Goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann, midfielder Sebastian Saucedo and forward Mukwelle Akale headline Perez’s call-ups for the team’s training camp, that is set to take place from Thursday to May 1.

Stationed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the U.S. will take on Siroki Brijeg on April 25, before facing off with the Bosnia U-18’s on April 28 and 30.

The trip abroad represents the first time that the team has convened since the 2015 Copa Chivas Tournament, which took place in February and saw the U.S. go 1-2-1. Nine players, including goalscorers Mauricio Pineda and Eryk Williamson, return from February’s roster, while the most recent squad also features a full list of 20 players with academy ties.

Here is a closer look at the U.S. U-18 roster for the team’s upcoming friendlies: Continue reading »

Posted in U.S. Soccer, U.S. Under-18 National Team, U.S. Youth National Teams | 25 Comments

SBI MLS Save of the Week: Clint Irwin

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Photo by Kevin Jairaj/USA Today Sports

Posted in SBI MLS Save of the Week, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

SBI MLS Goal of the Week: Obafemi Martins

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Photo by Ron Chenoy/USA Today Sports

Posted in MLS- Seattle Sounders, SBI MLS Goal of the Week | 4 Comments

NASL Week 3: The SBI Rewind

Cosmos

 Photo by New York Cosmos/NASL

By RYAN TOLMICH

Week 3 of the NASL Spring Season is in the books, and it was far from kind to those that were looking to establish themselves as early season contenders.

Preseason contenders Minnesota United FC and the San Antonio Scorpions have both started the season with a limp, furthered by their losses this weekend to the sophomore due of Ottawa Fury FC and Indy Eleven, respectively.

Meanwhile, both the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Fort Lauderdale Strikers impressed in recent weeks before falling over the weekend.

Sitting unblemished remain the Cosmos, whose victory over the aforementioned Rowdies have added some credence to the hype and hoopla of a busy offseason.

Here is what SBI is thinking following NASL Week 3: Continue reading »

Posted in NASL | 1 Comment