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SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 8)

  Photo by Noah K. Murray/ USA Today Sports By RYAN TOLMICH In a matchup of two of the league’s top teams, the New York Red Bulls and LA Galaxy held on to a result that kept both sides elevated atop […]

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Tuesday Kickoff: Real Madrid consider extending Chicharito; Bayern interested in Gündoğan; and more

Javier Hernandez’s recent improvement in form has forced Real Madrid to contemplate keeping Chicharito in Madrid beyond June 30.

Indy Eleven_NASL

Impact add Indy Eleven goalkeeper Nicht ahead of CCL final vs. Club America

Hours after receiving word that goalkeeper Evan Bush would not be available for the CONCACAF Champions League final, the Montreal Impact signed a new one.

SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 8)

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Photo by Noah K. Murray/ USA Today Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

In a matchup of two of the league’s top teams, the New York Red Bulls and LA Galaxy held on to a result that kept both sides elevated atop the league’s perch.

The Galaxy and Red Bulls played to a 1-1 draw, although the Red Bulls did emerge from their home field as the more aggressive and dynamic side.

Elsewhere, the Seattle Sounders earned a victory over their Cascadia Rivals, the Portland Timbers, while Toronto FC finally got back into the win column with an impressive victory over Orlando.

The Columbus Crew and New England Revolution continued to impress as well, showing some of the form that saw the two sides emerge as major contenders towards the tail end of last season.

Here is a closer look at the SBI MLS Power Rankings for Week 8, as voted on by SBI editorial staff (We have expanded our voter pool, so you will see plenty of adjustments to last week’s rankings): Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, SBI MLS Power Rankings, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Report: NASL in discussions with prospective ownership group to expand into Hartford

Bill Peterson NASL

By RYAN TOLMICH

The NASL’s latest expansion efforts could see the league increase it’s footprint in the Northeast.

The Hartford Courant reported Tuesday that the NASL is currently in talks with a prospective ownership group based in Hartford, Connecticut. Commissioner Bill Peterson was quick to praise the city as a soccer market, but did not reveal details regarding the identity of the potential ownership or the league’s expansion plans.

“I personally believe Hartford would be a highly successful market,” Peterson said, according to the Courant. “It has a long track record of drawing great crowds for soccer matches, whether it’s U.S. soccer or some of the exhibitions that have been held over the years. There’s great participation and a great following for the national teams, and there’s a great following for professional teams. So we’re pretty confident that a team there in that area, put together correctly, managed correctly, would be very successful.”

If expansion were to find its way into Hartford, the team would likely make a home at a renovated Dillon Stadium, which seats about 10,000 people. Rentschler Field, which is no stranger to hosting U.S. Men’s National Team contests and holds 40,000 fans, is considered too big.

“You can put 20,000 people in a 60,000-seat stadium and you should be pretty proud,” Peterson said,. “But people will look at it and say it’s only a third full.” Continue reading »

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Tuesday Kickoff: Real Madrid consider extending Chicharito; Bayern interested in Gündoğan; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez’s recent glutton of goals couldn’t have come at a better time for him.

Just a few weeks ago, Real Madrid were ready to discard the Mexican international, who is spending the year on-loan with an option to buy from Manchester United, but Hernandez’s goal to progress in the UEFA Champions League and a pair of goals in a 4-2 victory over Celta Vigo has fans calling for Hernandez to extend his stay in Spain.

According to Spanish publication Marca, Real Madrid’s front office are taking a serious look into keeping “Chicharito” around, though they will have to agree on a work-around. The report states the loan deal signed with Man United calls for Real Madrid to make a decision on whether they want to sign Hernandez by Thursday. Real Madrid, the report adds, instead want to extend that deadline, and negotiate a lower price than the €20 million that Man United value Hernandez.

Speaking in a press conference on Tuesday, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti said that a decision on Hernandez will be taken at the conclusion of the season, though it seems internally it could come sooner.

In a separate interview, Mexico National Team head coach Miguel Herrera called Hernandez a “world class striker” but said he may be better off being the star at a smaller club instead of playing second fiddle at a massive club.

Here’s some more stories to start off your Tuesday:

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Posted in European Soccer, Featured, South American Soccer | 1 Comment

Impact add Indy Eleven goalkeeper Nicht ahead of CCL final vs. Club America

Indy Eleven_NASL

Photo by Indy Eleven/NASL

By AARON CRANFORD

Hours after receiving word that goalkeeper Evan Bush would not be available for the CONCACAF Champions League final, the Montreal Impact went out and found a new goalkeeper just before the deadline.

Per a report from both clubs, Indy Eleven goalkeeper Kristian Nicht will join the Impact on full transfer before their crucial CCL second-leg final, and the 33-year-old will most likely earn the nod to start in goal.

“I want to thank the Indy Eleven organization for giving me the chance to follow through on this wonderful opportunity,” Nicht told Indy Eleven.  “While I am very excited to join Montreal, thanks to the support I received from Indy Eleven’s tremendous fans and the Indianapolis community as a whole I will always consider myself ‘Indy Forever.’” Continue reading »

Posted in CONCACAF Champions League, Featured, MLS- Montreal Impact | 13 Comments

Evening Ticker: Beckenbauer backs Klopp as Guardiola successor; Bournemouth all but enters EPL; and more

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By RYAN TOLMICH

Pep Guardiola is under contract with Bayern Munich until 2016, but if the Spaniard were to depart, club legend Franz Beckenbauer already has a replacement in mind.

With his time at Borussia Dortmund set to come to a close at the end of the season, Jurgen Klopp has been earmarked as a potential Bayern manager by Beckenbauer should Guardiola ever depart.

“Of course I could imagine Klopp as Guardiola’s successor,” Beckenbauer told Sky Sports Germany. “When I was president, we often talked about Klopp and believe he would fit very well at Bayern. Klopp is definitely an option at Bayern. The question is, how long Guardiola will be in Munich. I hope for a long time, but Klopp would be considered.

“I can’t imagine that Guardiola would leave in 2016. He likes Munich. He has had success with the team, and he knows that he can succeed in the future. He has everything he wants.”

Here are some more news and notes for your Monday evening:

Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, Featured | 1 Comment

MLS Week 8: The SBI Rewind

Benny Feilhaber Sporting Kansas City 62

photo by Peter G. Aiken/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

Week 8 of the MLS season had plenty of interesting developments. Both on and off the field.

From commissioner Don Garber talking with certainty about expanding beyond 24 teams to seeing two routs and an eight-goal thriller, Week 8 was plenty eventful. There were also some real standout individual performances, including a two-goal outing from Sporting Kansas City Benny Feilhaber that showed that his international career might not be over just yet.

It was not all good, however. The Philadelphia Union returned to their struggling ways in a lopsided and embarrassing loss to the Columbus Crew that raised concerns over whether players might already be giving up on the season.

Here is what SBI took away from Week 8:

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer | 16 Comments

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Matt Polster

MLS: Chicago Fire at San Jose Earthquakes

Photo by Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports

By AARON CRANFORD

Matt Polster is making a name for himself in the Chicago Fire midfield after another solid outing in his team’s 1-0 win vs. New York City FC.

For the second time this season, Polster is recognized as SBI MLS Rookie of the Week. He earned it in Week 4 when the 21-year-old rookie completed 83% of his passes. This time out, the former Southern Illinois University Edwardsville midfielder produced a completion rate of 87% — executing 81 out of his 93 passes on the day.

Polster also attempted two shots on goal but was unable to find his first in MLS. The rookie has started five games in a row since being subbed on in Chicago’s opening loss to the LA Galaxy on March 6.

The Fire midfielder beat out Colorado Rapids defender Axel Sjoberg and NYCFC forward Khiry Shelton for this week’s honors.

What did you think of Polster’s performance? Which rookie stood out to you in MLS Week 8?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Chicago Fire | 7 Comments

USL Week 6: A Look Back

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Photo by Rochester Rhinos

By ADAM TROXTELL

A home crowd only added to the Rochester Rhinos’ hot start to the season on Sunday.

A goal on either side of halftime took the Rhinos easily past New York Red Bulls II, 2-0 in their home opener to keep them unbeaten through six games. They trail Richmond Kickers in the Eastern Conference on goal difference alone as the Rhinos’ 20th anniversary season comes into full swing.

Alex Dixon scored his third goal of the season in the 40th minute to draw first blood. The initial shot from Tyler Rudy at the top of the box was saved before Dixon pounced on the rebound from 10 yards out.

Jonathan Mendoza added a second in the 67th minute. Rudy was again the catalyst, taking the ball off of NYRB II forward Daniel Bedoya to start the move. Eventually, the ball made its way to Colin Rolfe, who played Mendoza inside the left of the box before he cut inside and sent a low finish to the far side.

FC Montreal is next in line to test the Rhinos’ unbeaten record on Saturday. NYRB II will try to snap a four-game winless streak at home against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Sunday.

Here are some more recaps from this weekend’s USL action:

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