MLS: Portland Timbers at Seattle Sounders FC

Dempsey strikes again to lift Sounders over Timbers

Clint Dempsey scored late for the Seattle Sounders, lifting his team to a 1-0 victory over the Portland Timbers at CenturyLink Field on Sunday night.

MLS: Toronto FC at Orlando City SC

Altidore brace leads Toronto FC past Orlando City

Jozy Altidore bagged a brace as he propelled Toronto FC to a much-needed 2-0 victory over Orlando City on Sunday night at the Citrus Bowl in front of 30,908 in attendance.

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Red Bulls remain unbeaten with a little luck in draw against Galaxy

Th New York Red Bulls unbeaten run continued Sunday as Felipe’s equalizer led the way in a draw with the LA Galaxy.

Dempsey strikes again to lift Sounders over Timbers

MLS: Portland Timbers at Seattle Sounders FC

Photo by Joe Nicholson/USA Today Sports Images

By JASON MITCHELL

SEATTLE– It took 77 minutes and a somnolent first half, but the Sounders scored late in front of 41,145 at CenturyLink Field to earn a 1-0 win over the Portland Timbers on Sunday night.

No surprise, it was Clint Dempsey who finally felled the Timbers.

Just moments after entering the match, Andy Rose fired a short range shot at goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey, who deflected the shot but failed to the gather the ball. As Kwarasey and the ball rolled toward the goal, Dempsey darted in to tap it over the line for the 1-0 lead.

It was Dempsey’s fourth goal of the season and the fourth straight match he has scored against the Timbers. He now has six career goals against Portland, the most for either team against the other since the Timbers joined MLS in 2011 to renew a decades-old rivalry.

Late substitute Fanendo Adi almost equalized in the 81st minute, but his header from the center of the penalty area slapped off the crossbar.  Gaston Fernandez volleyed wide right in stoppage time.

The Timbers have never won a regular season MLS match in Seattle. The Sounders now lead the all-time MLS series with a 6-2-4 record, outscoring Portland 22-14 in the process.

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Posted in Featured, MLS- Portland Timbers, MLS- Seattle Sounders | 1 Comment

Altidore brace leads Toronto FC past Orlando City

MLS: Toronto FC at Orlando City SC

Photo by Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports

By MIKE GRAMAJO 

ORLANDO, Fla. — For the fourth time this season, Orlando City SC dominated possession at home, but the visiting side had the most important factor to a game: the goal.

Jozy Altidore bagged a brace as he propelled Toronto FC to a much-needed 2-0 victory over Orlando City on Sunday night at the Citrus Bowl in front of 30,908 in attendance.

The American international put Toronto on the scoresheet in the 50th minute after making a run past Orlando City’s back line, striking a low-shot past Donovan Ricketts. Altidore doubled the lead, and secured his brace in the 82nd minute when he rounded Ricketts to slot the ball into an open net.

“[Toronto] didn’t surprise us,” said Orlando City head coach Adrian Heath. “I thought they played their most experienced team and made it difficult. We fell in their trap, and I don’t think we were good enough to win the game.” Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Orlando City, MLS- Toronto FC | 2 Comments

Despite draw, Red Bulls pass test against defending champion Galaxy

Red Bulls by Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports

Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports

By MATT STYPULKOSKI

Though the Los Angeles Galaxy traveled east without Robbie Keane, the defending MLS Cup champions provided a measuring stick for the New York Red Bulls.

Although the Red Bulls didn’t get the win to prove it, they felt like they passed that test on Sunday with a performance that left their opponent on the back foot for much of the day.

“I thought our reactions and our awareness and our movement as a group was all very good,” Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch said. “Very, very good. In a lot of ways, the first half might have been one of our better halves this season. These are positives, that I feel like we continue to move ourselves along. Against a good team, we played really well and again, we’re a little bit unlucky not to get three points.”

That disappointment with the 1-1 draw, but delight with the performance, was a common theme in the Red Bulls’ dressing room after the match. And while midfielder Sacha Kljestan agreed with that assessment, he also drew another conclusion from Sunday evening. Continue reading »

Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- New York Red Bulls | 1 Comment

Red Bulls remain unbeaten with a little luck in draw against Galaxy

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Photo by Noah K. Murray/ USA Today Sports

By MATT STYPULKOSKI

HARRISON, N.J. – As the saying goes, sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

On Sunday, the New York Red Bulls were a little of both, as they controlled the game before benefitting from a fortunate bounce in a 1-1 draw against the Los Angeles Galaxy, which extended their season-opening unbeaten run.

Through six games, the Red Bulls are now 3-0-3 – the longest undefeated open to a season in club history. They also sit just two points behind the New England Revolution, which leads the Eastern Conference, with two games in hand.

The Red Bulls’ bit of good fortune came while trailing 1-0 in the 58th minute. Bradley Wright-Phillips appeared poised to equalize from inside six yards after a low cross from Sal Zizzo. Instead, the English striker’s shot was blocked by AJ DeLaGarza, which sent it back into play, off the head of an unsuspecting Felipe and into the back of the net.

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- LA Galaxy, MLS- New York Red Bulls | 13 Comments

Sunday European Rewind: Hernandez leads Real Madrid to victory; Arsenal held by Chelsea; and more

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By ADAM TROXTELL

Javier Hernandez has been a regular name on the Real Madrid score sheet this week.

Just a few days after his strike sent Los Blancos to the UEFA Champions League semifinals, Hernandez scored a brace as Real topped Celta Vigo, 4-2. La Liga’s second place team, two points behind leaders Barcelona, now has five straight league wins.

Hernandez struck in the 24th and 69th minutes, initially giving Real the lead after a quick Celta start. Nolito scored in the ninth minute to hand the hosts a surprise lead.

Toni Kroos ensured it didn’t last long, smashing home a rebound from the middle of the box just seven minutes later. Hernandez then struck from a tight angle to give Los Blancos the lead.

Celta didn’t wilt, instead equalizing in the 28th minute through Santi Mina. They put five shots on goal for the game, keeping the Real defense busy. James Rodriguez just needed a bit of luck to give Los Blancos the lead again, however, when his deflected shot went in two minutes before halftime.

Real cruised from there, and one more Hernandez strike sealed the deal in the second half.

There weren’t as many goals, but Chelsea earned a valuable point against Arsenal in other action on Sunday. Lyon took top spot in Ligue 1 on goal difference alone, and Torino beat Juventus for the first time in 20 years.

Here is more from the action on Sunday in Europe’s top leagues:

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Posted in European Soccer | 5 Comments

MLS Week 8: SBI Sunday Commentary

MLS Logo Panel

By RYAN TOLMICH

Having emerged to this point unscathed, the New York Red Bulls face their biggest task to date in a matchup with the reigning MLS Cup champions.

Riding back-to-back victories, the LA Galaxy travel to Red Bull Arena to take on the unbeaten Red Bulls without Robbie Keane, who is absent due to injury.

Two contenders entering Sunday on a more sour note are also set to collide, as Toronto FC travels south to take on Orlando City. Finally, Sunday evening provides a Cascadia clash as the Portland Timbers take on the rival Seattle Sounders.

SBI will be providing live commentary on tonight’s action so please feel free to follow the action here. As always, you are welcome to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Tonight’s SBI live commentary is after the jump):

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer | 3 Comments

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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By AARON CRANFORD

Chelsea has the title in the bag, but Arsenal are arguably the best English Premier League team in 2015, and a win against their London foe could force the league-leaders to hold off their celebrations.

After Manchester City’s win Saturday, Arsenal sit in third place on the EPL table, and the Gunners would not like to lose a top three posiition, which awards an automatic bid into the 2015-2016 UEFA Champions League group stage.

Meanwhile, El Super Clasico kicks off in Zapopan, Mexico when CD Guadalajara hosts Club America. Chivas are tied for first with 25 points on the year while Club America could match that Sunday with a road win.

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): Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, Featured, Mexican Soccer, Your Running Commentary | 12 Comments

SBI MLS Game of the Week: New York Red Bulls vs. Los Angeles Galaxy

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By AARON CRANFORD

For the only time this regular season, the Los Angeles Galaxy travel from sea to shining sea to take on the New York Red Bulls in an important early-season matchup on Sunday (5 p.m., ESPN2).

The LA Galaxy and NY Red Bulls, teams that have both started the 2015 season well, will duke it out in the SBI Game of the Week Sunday in Red Bull Arena. The Galaxy enter Sunday’s affair on the heels of a two-game win streak while the Red Bulls are MLS’ only undefeated team left.

LA take a 3-2-2 record across the United States and into Harrison, New Jersey, while the 3-0-2 Red Bulls hope their strong start continues. And with West Coast-East Coast bragging rights and the opportunity to continue early league success on the line, both sides are sure to come out guns blazing.

Here’s a closer look at the SBI Game of the Week: Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- LA Galaxy, MLS- New York Red Bulls | 13 Comments