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The SBI Show: Episode 188 (Talking MLS CBA talks, USMNT, and more)

Episode 188 of The SBI Show takes a closer look at the MLS CBA talks, and breaks down recent moves, and looming moves around the league.

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U.S. Soccer seeking FIFA exemption to clear Gedion Zelalem for USMNT duty

U.S. Soccer is currently seeking an exemption for Gedion Zelalem, who under current rules would be ineligible to represent the U.S. Men’s National Team for at least five years.

Oduro

MLS Ticker: Oduro traded to Impact; Busch returns to Fire; and more

The Montreal Impact acquired Dom Oduro, while Jon Busch returns to the Chicago Fire after five years with the San Jose Earthquakes.

Tuesday Evening Ticker: Chelsea reaches League Cup final; Ghana advances from AFCON group; and more

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By ADAM TROXTELL

Chelsea’s goal of winning four trophies this season may have died, but the dream of three remains alive.

The Blues beat Liverpool, 1-0, in extra time of their League Cup semifinal second leg to book a spot in the final. In a back-and-forth game, Branislav Ivanovic headed in the winning goal in the 94th minute for a 2-1 Chelsea victory on aggregate.

Thibault Courtois was called into action a few times in the first half as Liverpool searched for an immediate advantage. Two saves in the space of four minutes from both short and long range kept the heated encounter dead even.

Chelsea looked to have had an opportunity to score in the 22nd minute when it appeared Diego Costa was brought down by Martin Skrtel in the box. Much to the home fans’ surprise, the referee gave a foul the other way and Costa was cautioned for diving.

All was forgotten just four minutes into the extra period when Willian’s curling free kick was headed in powerfully by Ivanovic. It also served as at least a partial remedy to being knocked out of the FA Cup by Bradford on Saturday.

Here is some more news from Tuesday:

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Posted in European Soccer | 4 Comments

Red Bulls Notes: No Tim Cahill move yet; Matt Miazga injury not serious; and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

There have been plenty of rumors swirling about Tim Cahill’s future as a New York Red Bull, including a recent report suggesting a deal to move Cahill was already in place. Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch made it clear on Tuesday Cahill’s future with the team has yet to be resolved.

Cahill has been rumored in recent days to be nearing the completion of a move to United Arab Emirates club Al Wahda FC, but Marsch said via a conference call on Tuesday that is not the case.

“It really hasn’t changed much in the last two weeks,” Marsch said of Cahill’s status with the Red Bulls. “There’s been some dialogue in terms of potentially what the future could look like, but I don’t think there has been a concrete agreement as to what the future will hold. There’s been some good dialogue, Tim’s been nothing but professional, so I think everybody is open-minded and pursuing the best-case scenario for both parts.”

The 35-year-old midfielder is currently representing Australia at the Asian Cup, and has helped lead the Socceroos to the tournament final. A decision on the Designated Player’s future is expected after the tournament, but the Red Bulls could use a resolution as soon as possible in order to better prepare for the upcoming MLS campaign.

“It’s not just the finances. It’s the position and the player and everything,” said Marsch. “If this is the right place for him and he’s committed to be here, then certainly having him here in a way that makes us better would be important. If in the end the relationship doesn’t work out, then we use the ability and flexibility within our roster to go out and bring out what’s next.

“We’re handcuffed just a little bit, but, again, we’ll see what happens and then we’ll move forward.”

Here are some more Red Bulls notes from Tuesday:

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Posted in MLS- New York Red Bulls | 8 Comments

USWNT Notes: Alex Morgan progressing; Morgan Brian ‘pivotal'; and more

Alex Morgan bench by Geoff Burke-USA TODAY
Photo by Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports

By CAITLIN MURRAY

After a repeat ankle sprain during October’s World Cup qualifiers, Alex Morgan is almost all the way back to her best. Speaking to reporters via conference call on Monday, U.S. Women’s National Team coach Jill Ellis said Morgan is nearly back to her pre-injury best.

“Alex needs more time on the final piece, which is finishing,” Ellis said. “We’ve spent a lot of time on technical work with her, because she has been off the field for quite a while. She’s coming along great. We’re very excited with where she is.”

Morgan had suffered a left ankle sprain in October in a 5-0 win over Guatemala during World Cup qualifying. After a physical challenge, she had to be stretchered off in the 38th minute, but scans showed no damage beyond the apparent strain.

The injury was particularly worrisome because it afflicted the same ankle that sidelined her for seven months last year. But it has healed up well and Morgan made steady progress in the USWNT’s three-week camp, which ended over the weekend.

“In this camp, I think she is just truly happy to be back out on the field and playing in non-contact and playing in 11-a-side,” Ellis said. “We did a lot of playing in 11-a-side environments out there and she got a lot of minutes, so we’re really happy.”

Here are the other bits of news from Monday’s U.S. Soccer conference call:

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Posted in U.S. Women's National Team, Women's Soccer | 7 Comments

Romain Gall, Shaquell Moore named to CONCACAF U-20 Championship’s Best XI

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By FRANCO PANIZO

As if punching a ticket to the World Cup was not sweet enough, the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team and its players claimed a number awards after their performance at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship.

CONCACAF handed out its post-tournament awards over the weekend, and two Americans in midfielder Romain Gall and defender Shaquell Moore were named to the Best XI. Gall started each of the last four games for the U.S. and scored five goals, while Moore was given the nod in five of the Americans’ six matches and helped them record three of the four consecutive shutouts they posted to close out the competition.

Additionally, Gall took a split of the Golden Boot with Mexico’s Hirving Lozano, and the U.S. was named the winner of the Fair Play award.

Tab Ramos’ side qualified for the U-20 World Cup in New Zealand this summer on Saturday, beating El Salvador, 2-0, in a knock-out round game. The Americans compiled a 4-1-1 overall record in the regional tournament in Jamaica.

Here is a rundown of all the awards:

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Posted in U.S. Under-20 National Team, U.S. Youth National Teams | 5 Comments

Joe Gallardo, Josh Perez headline U.S. Under-17 spring residency roster

USMNT U-17 Starting eleven

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By RYAN TOLMICH

U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams is looking at a familiar roster as the team heads into the spring.

Williams has called in a roster of 28 players, 24 being carryovers from the fall semester. The U-17 Men’s National Team will enter the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, which is set for late February, in hopes of qualifying for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

“This is an important semester for us and an important year for this cycle,” Williams said. “With World Cup qualifying at the beginning of March, it will be important for us to continue training well and performing well.

“We also need to find a balance with this group and some of the players who are not with us on a regular basis to form a 20-man roster that will head to qualifying to compete and get results.”

The four new faces to the group are defender Matthew Constant, midfielder Giuseppe Barone and forwards Elvir Ibisevic and Josh Perez. Of the 28 players, 25 are currently registered with development academy clubs.

Here is the full U.S. Under-17 residency camp roster: Continue reading »

Posted in U.S. Under-17 National Team, Under-17 World Cup | 3 Comments

Javier Perez names U.S. U-18 squad for tournament in Guadalajara

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By ADAM TROXTELL

Shortly after the U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team qualified for the World Cup, the next crop of young stars are lining up.

U.S. Soccer announced a 20-player U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team squad for the Copa Chivas Internacional that begins Friday. The team opens their group stage schedule against Morelia on Jan. 30, before playing Cruzeiro the following day and Club Tijuana on Feb. 2.

Included in the squad are regular recent call-ups such as Jonathan Klinsmann, Chicago Fire academy’s Mauricio Pineda, Seattle Sounders Homegrown signing Victor Mansaray, and LA Galaxy academy defender Malcolm Jones. In all, ten players come from MLS academies.

The 19th edition of the Copa Chivas Internacional, which takes place in Guadalajara, Mexico, starts with three groups of five teams, and quarterfinals, semifinals, and the final will take place Feb. 5-7. The Mexico U-17 Men’s National Team and FC Dallas Development Academy will also play in the tournament.

Here’s a closer look at the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team roster:

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Posted in U.S. Soccer, U.S. Under-18 National Team, U.S. Youth National Teams | 2 Comments