Luis Robles New York Red Bulls 96

Luis Robles: Union still fighting for ‘some form of free agency’ despite MLS owners’ refusal to consider it

New York Red Bulls goalkeeper and MLS Players Union rep Luis Robles has reiterated the need for free agency to be part of the CBA equation if the 2015 season is to start on time.

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Ashton Gotz on the fast track in recruitment for USMNT

Fullback Ashton Gotz is being put on the fast track to join the U.S. Men’s National Team thanks to help from the U.S. Soccer Federation.

SBI MLS Season Preview: Houston Dynamo

The Houston Dynamo have a new coach, and some new anchors in defense and eventually at forward. Here is a closer look at the 2015 Dynamo.

The SBI Show: Episode 193 (CONCACAF Champions League, MLS labor talks, and more)

BenOlsen

 By IVES GALARCEP

The CONCACAF Champions League has long been a source of disappointment for Major League Soccer teams, and that same familiar storyline played out again on Thursday in Costa Rica with D.C. United’s destruction at the hands of Alajuelense.

Episode 193 of The SBI Show takes a look back at D.C. United’s 5-2 loss to the Costa Rican side, and digs into the continued issues MLS has with succeeding in CCL play. We also discuss Montreal’s impressive 2-2 tie with Pachuca.

Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I also discuss the MLS labor talks, and the likelihood of a strike, which is growing by the day as the two sides reach an apparent stalemate over free agency.

Give Episode 193 of The SBI Show a listen after the jump:

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Posted in CONCACAF Champions League, Major League Soccer, Podcasts, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

CONCACAF U-17 Championship: U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team Preview

ChristianPulisic-USU17MNT-2014England (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Two years ago, with high hopes and expectations, the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team were shocked by Honduras U-17s in a must-win match, eliminating the U.S. from the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

Now two years later, with another team loaded with talent from front to back, the U.S. are hoping to right those wrongs and earn a place in the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile later this year.

As luck would have it, the U.S. will have to face Honduras again at this year’s version of the CONCACAF Under-17 Championship, which is being held in Honduras and begins on Friday. The tournament is playing under a new format though, like we saw at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship, meaning that the margin for error is slightly larger for the U.S. squad.

The U.S., featuring the likes of Joe Gallardo, Haji Wright, and Christian Pulisic, will kick off the tournament against Cuba on Friday before facing Trinidad and Tobago, Guatemala, Honduras, and Jamaica in group stage matches. If the U.S. wins their group, they’ll qualify automatically for the World Cup. If they finish second or third, they’ll be able to play in a “crossover” game, with the winner moving on to the World Cup.

Here’s a closer look at the U.S. U-17s squad, schedule, and a preview of what to expect:

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Posted in CONCACAF, U.S. Under-17 National Team | 2 Comments

This Weekend’s Soccer On TV

DidierDrogbaChelsea1-Tottenham2014EPL (Getty)

By ADAM TROXTELL

Chelsea’s clash with Tottenham in the English League Cup Final highlights a busy Sunday of soccer on TV.

It’s a rematch of the 2008 final, one that Blues fans will want to forget after London-rivals Spurs came back to win 2-1. That was Tottenham’s first, and so far only, trophy after a nine year drought.

Prior to that game, in-form Liverpool hosts second-place Manchester City as both clubs chase down teams ahead of them in the standings. The Reds are trying to keep pace with Southampton, Arsenal and Manchester United in the race for UEFA Champions League spots, while Manchester City can cut the deficit at the top of the table to just two points with a victory Sunday. Man United hosts Sunderland on Saturday, and the Gunners face Everton on Sunday.

Similar clashes take place in Spain on Sunday, with fifth-place Sevilla playing third-place Atletico Madrid. First place holders Real Madrid host sixth place Villarreal, who is currently six points behind Valencia in the final Champions League spot.

In Mexico, Tijuana will try to maintain its spot at the top of Liga MX on Friday night with a win against Pachuca. Xolos took first place away from Cruz Azul, who will try to take advantage of any slip ups against Toluca on Sunday.

Here is this weekend’s soccer on TV (schedule after the jump):

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Posted in European Soccer, Soccer on TV | Leave a comment

MLS Ticker: Atlanta surpasses 19,000 season tickets; PRO announces referee assignments; and more

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, MLS Commissioner Don Garber, Atlanta Falcons/Atlanta MLS Owner Arthur Blank, and Georgia World Congress Center Executive Director Frank Poe

By AARON CRANFORD

Atlanta won’t enter Major League Soccer for another two years, but fans are showing their excitement in a big way.

In a discussion with Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on Friday, Don Garber announced that Atlanta’s expansion franchise, set to enter the league in 2017, has surpassed 19,000 season ticket deposits sold.

In Aug. 2014, MLS Atlanta owner Arthur Blank said roughly 14,000 season tickets were sold, but with today’s update, less than 6,000 available season tickets are up for grabs before Georgia’s franchise kicks off in in two years.

In comparison, New York City FC announced Thursday that they had sold more than 14,000 season tickets for their inaugural MLS season in 2015.

Here are more notes from around MLS: Continue reading »

Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Atlanta, MLS- Montreal Impact, MLS- San Jose Earthquakes | 1 Comment

Luis Robles: Union still fighting for ‘some form of free agency’ despite MLS owners’ refusal to consider it

Luis Robles New York Red Bulls 96

Photo by Gary Rohman/USA Today Sports

 

By FRANCO PANIZO

Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen might think that free agency discussions are a waste of time, but the MLS Players Union is far from agreeing on that point.

In the wake of recent comments from Hansen that stated that discussing MLS free agency is pointless given league’s single-entity structure, a players union representative has vowed that it intends to stay the course with what it wants from this round of collective bargaining negotiations.

That means that free agency is still among the chief issues — other forms of player movement and higher finances are others — that needs to be addressed if the MLS season is to start as planned a week from Friday.

“Economics play a big part, don’t get me wrong, but we’re more fighting for the idea that we can choose,” New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles told SBI. “Every other job in America has this ability to go out into the market, put in your resume and, if you have a few different job offers, weigh which one is best for you, best for your family, and then you can go out (and make a decision).

“Then there’s also this idea that that leverage exists, that the market dictates your value and all these things don’t exist right now and if we continue the current system then I think players will continue to fall into a situation where the league determines what their value is. Even though they need a guy that plays 27 out of 34 games and is playing 2-3 positions, but because the league doesn’t deem you to be one of their marquee guys, even though other teams are willing to pay a premium for you, you’re always going to be stuck in a situation of what the league says and what the league thinks.

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- New York Red Bulls | 34 Comments

Ashton Gotz on the fast track in recruitment for USMNT

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

Ashton Gotz still lacks an American passport, but it’s looking all the more likely the Hamburg defender will be asked to train with the U.S. Men’s National Team next month.

With U.S. Soccer scout Matthias Hamann overseeing the young German-American’s progress, Gotz is expected to be called for USMNT friendlies against Denmark and Switzerland at the end of March. His passport likely won’t be in place by then, but he will get to train with the team.

“That way, he can get to know the environment ahead of time so everything isn’t new,” Matthias told Hamburger Morgenpost.

According to Gotz’s agent, the U.S. Soccer Federation is working with Gotz to help him obtain an American passport.

“Jürgen Klinsmann called him and gave him a contact to the federation so he is trying now, with help, to get an American passport first,” Gotz’s agent, Bjorn Gerke, told SBI this week. “Other things will come after this procedure.”

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Posted in Featured, U.S. Men's National Team | 47 Comments