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Report: MLS and Players Union inch closer to CBA deal, negotiations still ongoing

MLS officials and members of the Players Union are locked in negotiations on Tuesday, and while reports suggest progress is being made, there has yet to be a deal agreed to, which leaves the start of the 2015 season in jeopardy.

Impact

Cameron Porter scores stoppage-time winner to lead Impact past Pachuca

Cameron Porter only signed a professional contract in February, but his name will forever be known in Montreal Impact folklore with his last-minute, game-tying goal against Pachuca.

Aston+Villa+v+West+Bromwich+Albion+IIDxVdJVZoql

Evening Ticker: Aston Villa win to climb out of relegation zone; Mexico-Honduras friendly set for July; and more

A stoppage-time penalty kick converted by Christian Benteke helped Aston Villa earn a sorely-needed victory against West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday.

Report: MLS and Players Union inch closer to CBA deal, negotiations still ongoing

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By ALAN CONDON

No deal is done yet, but MLS officials and the MLS Players Union remained locked in negotiations on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement late into Tuesday evening in Washington.

MLS and the MLSPU are holding labor negotiations in an effort to hammer out a new collective bargaining agreement after the previous agreement expired on January 31. Players say that without a new one, they will refuse to take the field when the new season commences.

According to a report by ESPN, the current offer on the table from MLS would allow players who are 28 years and older, and have played in MLS at least a total of eight years, with the opportunity to choose which MLS team they play for once they are out of contract.

A source close to the current negotiations told ESPN that while players would be able to change teams if they meet the aforementioned requirements, they would only be able to secure a nominal salary increase. A stipulation that would keep MLS teams from bidding against each other for the services of specific players, which was a key concern of MLS owners.

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer | 22 Comments

Cameron Porter scores stoppage-time winner to lead Impact past Pachuca

Impact

Photo by Eric Bolte/USA TODAY Sports

By AARON CRANFORD

Cameron Porter only signed a professional contract in February, but his name will forever be known in Montreal Impact folklore with his last-minute, game-tying goal against Pachuca.

The Impact advanced to the CONCACAF Champions League Semifinals over Pachuca on the away-goals rule with an aggregate score of 3-3. Montreal are just the third MLS team to advance over a Mexican club in two legs of CCL play.

For a majority of the match, the 21-year-old forward, selected in the third round of the 2015 MLS Draft, was highly unlikely to see playing time, but being down a goal, Klopas sent the rookie on with five minutes remaining plus stoppage time.

Cringeworthy defense from Laurent Ciman allowed Pachuca to take the lead from the penalty spot in the 80th minute, silencing the crowd of more than 30,000 in the Olympic Stadium. But one spectacular run from a rookie and one perfect pass from Calum Mallace saw the MLS advance. Continue reading »

Posted in CONCACAF Champions League, Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Montreal Impact | 20 Comments

Evening Ticker: Aston Villa win to climb out of relegation zone; Mexico-Honduras friendly set for July; and more

Aston+Villa+v+West+Bromwich+Albion+IIDxVdJVZoql

By AARON CRANFORD

The end of the English Premier League season is fast approaching, and Aston Villa took a huge step forward to avoid relegation after Christian Benteke netted an injury-time penalty to give them the 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion.

Villa manager Tim Sherwood claimed his first win in charge of the home side while they stopped their two-game losing streak in the process.

Gabriel Agbonlahor gave Villa the lead in the 23rd minute with a header, but West Brom midfielder Saido Berahino scored a header of his own, his 12th goal of the year, in the 66th minute to deflate the jovial mood in Villa Park. However, in extra time, Ben Foster took down Matthew Lowton in the penalty area to set up Benteke’s game-winning penalty.

These two will meet again this Saturday.

Check out more of Tuesday’s action and news below: Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, Featured | 2 Comments

SBI MLS Season Preview: LA Galaxy

LA Galaxy Collage

By MARK EDWARD HORNISH

It’s good to be king.

The LA Galaxy, fresh off of their third MLS Cup Championship in four years, enjoyed the sort of off-season pageantry most clubs can only dream of. They went to the White House and met the President – again. They toured Europe, and were feted by foreign heads of state. Their captain was named MLS MVP. Their retiring legend had the league’s trophy named after him. Their coach received the Werner Fricker Award for career excellence.

And oh, by the way, they signed a certain highly-regarded Liverpudlian midfielder to a DP contract that should keep Galaxy ticket sales and jersey sales in the stratosphere compared to any other MLS club not named the Sounders for years to come.

Yet even the mighty Galaxy have question marks heading into the 2015 season.

The loss of Landon Donovan leaves a gaping hole in the Galaxy midfield, and the Galaxy scoring sheet. Donovan scored 13 goals in all competitions last year and added twenty assists. Steven Gerrard will not join the team until mid-July, leaving an awful lot of offense to be found among a small group of veteran midfielders and a rookie or two. It remains to be seen if Stefan Ishizaki, Baggio Husidic, and Juninho, or perhaps academy product Bradford Jamieson IV, are up to the task.

That said, the Galaxy have an embarrassment of riches on the front and back lines, and boast many players versatile enough to slot into the midfield while the Champs await the arrival of Sir Steven.

The bigger question then is how will the Galaxy deal with the threat of complacency? How many times can you climb the same mountain before it gets old? Head coach Bruce Arena has a veteran squad, a roster packed with known quantities, but it remains to be seen if the Galaxy can muster the magic once again.

Here is a closer look at the 2015 LA Galaxy:

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Posted in Featured, MLS- LA Galaxy, Uncategorized | 14 Comments

SBI MLS Season Preview: D.C. United

DC United Collage

By RYAN TOLMICH

Throughout Ben Olsen’s D.C. United tenure, things have been quite cyclical. Olsen’s time with the club has gone from bad, to good, down to really, really bad and, last year, really, really good.

For Olsen, this season is all about bringing some consistency into the fold.

Last season’s D.C. United squad rode the league’s stoutest defense all the way to the top of the Eastern Conference. Relying on a bunch of newcomers and discarded veterans, the club’s successes last season came as a surprise, if not a downright shock.

D.C. United won’t be shocking anyone this year, as the team has returned nearly all of last season’s contributing members. Roster-wise, 2015 is much of the same: same award-winning goalkeeper, same defiant defense, same breakout attacking unit that will be looking to once again prove their mettle.

The 2014 season proved that D.C. United was capable of rebounding from anything, turning a historically bad campaign the prior year into a historically good one.

Now, D.C. United just needs to show an ability to maintain a high level, and potentially even contend for a title.

Here is a closer look at 2015 D.C. United: Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, MLS- D.C. United, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

Brad Guzan Aston Villa 39

 

By ADAM TROXTELL

Aston Villa is searching for its first win with Tim Sherwood in charge against local rivals.

West Brom visits Villa Park for the first of two times this week in English Premier League action on Tuesday. The Baggies are unbeaten in their last five outings and will try to hand their Midlands rivals a third consecutive defeat.

After falling to Newcastle on Saturday, Villa sits 19th in the Premier League standings and can climb out of the relegation zone with a win. Fellow strugglers Sunderland visit Hull in search of a vital win, while Southampton tries to regain ground in the race for a UEFA Champions League spot against 12th-place Crystal palace.

Midweek domestic cup action is taking place in both Germany and France. The DFB Pokal round of 16 kicks off with Bayer Leverkusen playing 2. Bundesliga side Kaiserslautern. Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund will try to take Bundesliga form into its road trip to face Dynamo Dresden. Dortmund beat rivals Schalke 3-0 on Saturday for a fourth consecutive league win.

Later in the day, Santos Laguna will try to exact revenge on Queretaro, who trounced them 5-0 the last time the teams met in Copa MX action. Brazil’s Cruzeiro hosts Argentine club Huracan in Copa Libertadores group play, while Montreal Impact take a 2-2 aggregate score into the second leg against Pachuca in the CONCACAF Champions League.

If you will be watching today’s action, feel free to leave your thoughts, opinions, and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (today’s soccer on TV schedule after the jump):

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Posted in European Soccer, Mexican Soccer, South American Soccer | 27 Comments