photo by Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports
By FRANCO PANIZO
NEW YORK — Effective and attractive. Graceful and lethal.
The Seattle Sounders extended their current winning streak to three games on Sunday night, going on the road and picking up an impressive 3-1 win over New York City FC. The two players that led the way for the Sounders were the same two that have been doing plenty of the heavy lifting this year and each of the previous two, as strike partners Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins combined to score all three of Seattle’s goals.
Martins bagged a brace in the match at Yankee Stadium with goals on each side of halftime, and sandwiched in between those strikes was Dempsey’s 58th-minute winner. It was a vintage performance from the two veterans – who have combined for 11 goals and six assists two months into the 2015 campaign – that showcased their understanding, eye for the incredible, and ruthlessness in front of goal.
“We rely on each other to create chances for each other,” said Dempsey, who now has five goals and four assists this season. “The movement off the ball that we have and being able to connect passes and put each others in good positions to get goals is what’s going to help us to be successful throughout the season.
By AYDIN REYHAN
This weekend brought us a champion in the Premier League and let us know that some leagues are going to be extremely fun going into the final weeks.
With a 1-0 victory on Sunday, Chelsea was crowned champions of the Premier League, earning manager Jose Mourinho his third title with the club and first since returning to the team in 2013.
Chelsea was not alone in claiming a domestic crown as Juventus locked up their fourth consecutive Sere A championship with a victory over Sampdoria.
Meanwhile, Spain’s title race remains nowhere near as clear cut, as Barcelona thrashed Cordoba 8-0 on the road as they are still protecting their two-point gap atop of La Liga ahead of Real Madrid.
Here is what happened in European soccer’s top five leagues this weekend: Continue reading
By RYAN TOLMICH
Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez has hit a sepctacular run of form for Real Madrid, only furthering his desires to stay removed from the substitute bench.
The Mexican striker has filled in admirably in the absence of Karim Benzema, scoring four goals in the past six games including the winning tally in the Champions League quarterfinals against Atletico Madrid. Hernandez is glad that his patience has paid off in the form of playing time, but remains hopeful that that time will continue.
“The season has been very complicated,” Hernandez said. “But, in football, sometimes the wheel turns very quickly. And thank God, I now have more possibilities to play. My parents taught me that patience and perseverance are part of learning. Today, I feel very good. For many people, I was already finished here, but it was only the beginning. One must not lower one’s head.
“I learn every day in this great club and all I am grateful to God for that,” he added. “I know that at Real Madrid the competition is strong and the minutes are rare and my intention was never to complain. But, at times, I just expressed the frustration I felt. As I am not one to be content with sitting on the bench, I always want more.”
Here are some more news and notes to kick off your Monday morning: Continue reading
Photo by Ron Chenoy/USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
Since assuming the role of Real Salt Lake head coach in 2007, success hasn’t been too hard to come by for Jason Kreis. Having led RSL to an MLS Cup in 2009, Kreis has reached the pinnacle of MLS success while becoming the youngest head coach in history to claim an MLS crown.
However, despite all of his previous successes, positives have been hard to come by in Kreis’ first handful of games in charge of NYCFC.
Through the first nine games of the club’s inaugural season, NYCFC have collected just six points, opening Kreis’ eyes to just how difficult it is to build a team from scratch in the current MLS landscape.
“Not well,” Kreis said when asked how he’s handling the team’s slow start. “It just doesn’t sit well with me. I guess I didn’t realize it would be this difficult. Maybe I forgot how hard it is to build a team in this league and have success on a continuous basis, a consistent basis.
“A lot of sleepless nights now to think of ways to get this team to improve, to stay positive, because if you think there are a lot of positive things to look to, and to have some patience, and that’s probably my biggest downfall in my character is that I have very little patience.” Continue reading
Photo by Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports
BY MICHAEL PENG
NEW YORK — It was the usual suspects again for Seattle, but when Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins have been so splendid all season, it’s a formula the Sounders will gladly take game after game to get positive results.
Martins’ first of two goals on the night opened the scoring in the 23rd minute and Dempsey added a go-ahead score in the 58th as the Sounders defeated host New York City FC, 3-1, in front of a crowd of 25,384 at Yankee Stadium on Sunday.
Martins tacked on another goal in the 67th mark to put the game away and subsequently extended the expansion club’s winless streak to an MLS-long seven matches.
With the three scores in the contest, Dempsey and Martins have now combined to be responsible for 11 of the Sounders’ 13 goals on the season so far.
“Nothing surprises me with those two guys,” Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid said. “They are able to conjure up magical stuff and they are unique and special.”
Photo by USA Today Sports Images
By ADAM TROXTELL
A day after his team was victorious in a friendly outing against Ponte Preta, Orlando City SC midfielder Kevin Molino shared some bad news.
Molino has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL, Orlando City announced on Sunday night.
Molino was subbed out of Saturday night’s friendly in the 18th minute and replaced by Eric Avila. Molino has started all seven of Orlando City’s games this season, recording one assist.
The injury will also rule Molino out of this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, where he was expected to be one of Trinidad & Tobago’s key players.
Here are some more MLS news and notes:
Photo by Matt Polster / USA TODAY Sports Images
By TATE STEINLAGE
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The 50th meeting between Sporting Kansas City and the Chicago Fire was a breath of fresh air. The two sides traded what has been sluggish, defensive-minded play in recent years for pace and a flurry of chances.
In the end Sunday, it was Sporting KC who benefitted. Paulo Nagamura’s 75th-minute header was buried in the back of the net as the home side grabbed three points for the first time in nearly a month with a 1-0 victory. The win also snapped the Fire’s three-match winning streak.
Nagamura made quick work with his first chance after coming on in the 64th minute. The midfielder got on the end of a perfect cross from defender Jalil Anibaba on the right flank. Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson extended to make a play but the ball was out of reach and en route to the back of the net.
By FRANCO PANIZO
It was not the result Greg Garza or Club Tijuana wanted, but the U.S. Men’s National Team defender ended a personal drought this weekend that dated back more than two years..
Garza found the back of the net for the first time since Nov. 16, 2012, on Friday, scoring Club Tijuana’s lone goal in a 2-1 loss to fellow American Edgar Castillo and Atlas. The tally came via a close-range finish following a cross from the right and put Tijuana ahead just before halftime. Unfortunately for the Xolos, they allowed the lead to slip away and now hold a slim one-point advantage for one of Liga MX’s playoff spots.
A pair of Americans squared off in Germany, as John Brooks and Fabian Johnson both started for their respective clubs in Hertha Berlin’s 2-1 home loss to Borussia Moenchengladbach. Brooks went the distance for Hertha in the match, and Johnson lasted until the 79th minute before being replaced. The win kept third-placed Moenchengladbach in control of the Bundesliga’s final guaranteed UEFA Champions League spot.
It was not all good news this weekend, however. Brad Guzan was surprisingly not given the nod for Aston Villa on Saturday, and instead demoted to the bench while Shay Given started in between the pipes in a 3-2 win over Everton. It marked the first time this season that Guzan did not start in league play for the Villans, snapping his streak at 34 games.
Here is how the Americans Abroad fared this weekend: