XaviBarcelona1-RealMadrid2015 (Getty)

Report: Xavi set for lucrative move to Qatar

Barcelona midfielder Xavi is set to snub a move to NYCFC and sign a lucrative deal with Al-Sadd in Qatar.

USMNT Denmark 3

Denmark 3, USMNT 2: The SBI Breakdown

The U.S. Men’s National Team suffered a 3-2 loss to Denmark on Wednesday, and here are SBI’s five biggest takeaways from the match.

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Bayern chairman says Klinsmann’s choice of assistant led to downfall as club’s manager

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says that Jurgen Klinsmann’s failure at the club stems from the “mistake” of hiring assistant coach Martin Vasquez.

NASL Ticker: League announces expanded deal with ESPN; statement on Minnesota United departure; and more

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By RYAN TOLMICH

After broadcasting 30 matches with the company last season, the NASL is set to see a dramatic increase in ESPN broadcasts this season.

The NASL announced Thursday that the league has expanded its deal with ESPN to include the airing of a minimum of 120 matches in 75 different countries through ESPN3, ESPN Play, and ESPN Player.

“Working with ESPN, the Worldwide Leader in Sports, is going to be of great benefit to our fans, who will be able to watch the vast majority of our matches on ESPN3, ESPN Play, and ESPN Player this year,” said NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson. “We have quickly developed a great relationship with ESPN, and we’re glad to be a part of their live coverage.”

Eight of the league’s clubs – the Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Indy Eleven, Jacksonville Armada FC, Minnesota United FC, San Antonio Scorpions, and Tampa Bay Rowdies – will air all 15 regular season home games live on ESPN3 in the U.S.

The New York Cosmos, Ottawa Fury FC, and FC Edmonton will offer home matches on their pre-existing broadcasting platforms, One World Sports, OttawaFuryFC.com and City TV Edmonton, respectively.

“Over the last few years, we’ve continued to elevate our broadcast capabilities, and this year is no different,” Peterson said. “Our evolving relationship with ESPN is helping us move closer to more advanced discussions about live event coverage in the future.”

Here are some more of Thursday’s NASL news and notes: Continue reading »

Posted in NASL | 3 Comments

SBI Reader Poll: Where should MLS expand to next?

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By RYAN TOLMICH

With Wednesday’s announcement set to confirm Minnesota’s inclusion as the league’s 23rd team, Major League Soccer is getting closer and closer to the longtime goal of 24 franchises by the end of the decade.

That 24th and final spot becomes more competitive by the day, as quite a few markets have thrown their name into the hat for inclusion in MLS. One of those markets, Miami, has gone so far as to earn a promise of a franchise, but the league’s mandated task of securing a stadium has proven to be a major hurdle for David Beckham and the rest of the team’s ownership group.

While Miami’s wheels spin, several other markets continue to fortify their push. Sacramento has been drumming up ever more local support from both fans and legislators, while San Antonio even has the backing of Mexico’s soccer bigwigs.

Where do you think MLS should expand to next? Cast your vote after the jump: Continue reading »

Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Expansion, Uncategorized | 135 Comments

Must-See Goal: Robson

RobinhoPalmeiras1-SaoPaulo2015 (GazettaPress)

Posted in Must-See Goals, Must-See Videos, South American Soccer | 1 Comment

Report: Xavi set for lucrative move to Qatar

XaviBarcelona1-RealMadrid2015 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

New York City FC’s chances of signing Barcelona midfielder Xavi now seem to be done and dusted.

Newspaper Diario AS reports that Xavi has agreed to join Qatari club Al-Sadd, the former club of National Team teammate Raul, on a three-year contract worth €30 million overall. In addition to playing for Al-Sadd, Xavi would also act as a “consultant” for the Aspire Academy, which attracts youth players from around the world to its academy.

On Wednesday, NYCFC head coach Jason Kreis said that he’d love to have Xavi on his team, but essentially poured water on the Spanish midfielder coming to NYCFC any time soon.

“This is always difficult because when you think about a player like Xavi Hernandez, for me, one of the (best) players in the world ever, you say to yourself on one side that there’s no doubt that a player like that will be great at New York City,” Kreis said. “But when you look at it from another view and say you only got three of these (DP spots), and you already got another one that plays in the midfield (Lampard) and you got a third one in David Villa, whose all relative age are getting up there, you start to think, maybe not.

“I’m a huge fan of Xavi Hernandez. I think he would be a huge player in this league, no doubt about it,” Kreis said. “But positionally, I don’t think that it makes the best sense and the most sense.”

Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, Featured, MLS- New York City FC | 9 Comments

Denmark 3, USMNT 2: The SBI Breakdown

USMNT Denmark 3

 

By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. Men’s National Team may have given up two late goals, but there were numerous other problems throughout the friendly in Denmark that paved the way for the Americans’ latest disappointing defeat.

The U.S. suffered a 3-2 loss to the Danes at NRGi Park on Wednesday, with Nicklas Bendtner scoring two of his three tallies in the game in the final seven minutes to help the hosts rally to victory. The result and performance extended the second-half issues that have largely plagued Jurgen Klinsmann’s side since last summer’s World Cup, but there were a lot of other things that the U.S. needs to address.

From not being able to hold onto possession for large spells to failing to defend as a team in critical moments, the Americans were the inferior side in a number of areas on Wednesday. That was almost masked by the fact that the U.S. nearly grinded out a win, but Bendtner’s late-game heroics ensured that American spotlight was fixed largely on all the things that need improving ahead of next week’s friendly vs. Switzerland and this summer’s Gold Cup.

Here are SBI’s biggest takeaways following the Americans’ 3-2 loss to Denmark:

Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, Featured, International Soccer, U.S. Men's National Team | 30 Comments

Bayern chairman says Klinsmann’s choice of assistant led to downfall as club’s manager

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Photo by Gary A. Vasquez/ USA Today Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

Two years before assuming the role of head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team, Jurgen Klinsmann occupied the same post at Germany’s biggest club: Bayern Munich.

But after just 29 league games, Klinsmann was dismissed for what Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge called  “an important mistake”.

Rummenigge told Goal USA that Klinsmann’s tenure was cut short due to the appointment of assistant coach Martin Vasquez, whose unfamiliarity with the Bundesliga proved to be a major hindrance in the club’s view.

“I believe it’s not a surprise that he’s successful,” Rummenigge said to Goal USA, “because when he had been coaching here for one season I believe both parties, him and ourselves, made one mistake. It was looking like something little but in the end it was an important mistake. Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, Featured, U.S. Men's National Team | 7 Comments

Dane Richards eager to make most of his second run with Red Bulls

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Photo by Jonathan Dyer/USA Today Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

After nearly three years away, Dane Richards finally put on the uniform of the team that helped him start his professional soccer odyssey.

Richards took the field in the 75th minute of the New York Red Bulls’ 2-0 win against D.C. United on Sunday, signaling the return of a club fan favorite. Upon his entry, there were cheers, there were chants, but most of all, there were smiles from ear to ear.

“It was unbelievable, you know,” Richards told SBI in the locker room following the victory. “This is like a home away from home. I was really happy. I just wanted to go onto the field. I know (that field), I’ve been on that field, so I just want to go forward from here.”

Born in Montego Bay, Jamaica, the 31-year-old speedster made his name in Harrison, New Jersey, racking up 21 goals in 147 appearances for the club between 2007-12. What followed were stops in Vancouver, England and, most recently, Norway, but a return to Red Bull Arena has brought a bit of familiarity into Richards’ life.

That familiarity can only help so much, though, in a locker room so full of turnover. Since Richard’s departure, the Red Bulls have changed coaches and sporting directors twice each. Excluding Richards, just three players remain from the Red Bull roster that existed as the Jamaican left it in July 2012, ensuring a bit of a transition for the 31-year-old. Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, MLS- New York Red Bulls | 4 Comments

This Weekend’s Soccer On TV

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By ADAM TROXTELL

European club competitions have been replaced by international friendlies and qualifiers this weekend, but there’s still plenty of action occupying televisions this weekend.

At the top of the list is the first meeting between Brazil and Chile since their dramatic World Cup round of 16 match that ended in penalties at the Estadio Mineirao in 2014. The rematch will take place at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium in London, with both teams calling up their top players.

Aside from settling grudges, the match also presents both teams with a high profile test in the build-up to this summer’s Copa America.

Qualification for the 2016 European Championships also takes center stage this weekend, starting with an important match in Group C between Spain and the Ukraine on Friday. England line up at Wembley against Lithuania in a Group E clash at the same time.

The Netherlands will hope to climb up the Group A table against Turkey. Just two wins and two losses have left the Dutch in third place, six points off of group leaders Czech Republic.

Finally, MLS action keeps rolling through the international break. The Chicago Fire and Philadelphia Union kick-off Sunday’s nationally televised action, followed by Real Salt Lake and Toronto FC later in the evening.

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

Continue reading »

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