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MLS Ticker: Cahill linked to UAE’s Al Wahda; D.C. United could loan players from Inter Milan; and more

Tim Cahill is reportedly set for a move to the United Arab Emirates’ AL Waha, while D.C United could bolster the team’s roster with imports from Inter Milan.

Hope Solo by Geoff Burke USA TODAY

Hope Solo suspension shines light on USWNT’s backup goalkeeper inexperience

Hope Solo was treated like the only goalkeeper option for the U.S. Women’s National Team. Now what will coach Jill Ellis do?

Sepp Blatter 3 (Getty Images)

Monday Kickoff: Blatter criticizes UEFA; Riquelme announces retirement; and more

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has dared a candidate from UEFA to challenge him in the upcoming elections.

Timbers notes: Porter praises continuity; T2 advantages; and more

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Photo by Steven Bisig/USA Today Sports

By MIKE DONOVAN

Just 90 days after the 2014 season ended just one point short of the postseason, the Portland Timbers kicked off preseason training Friday at Providence Park.

After starting last season without a win in the club’s first eight league matches, head coach Caleb Porter wants to make sure he does all he can to prevent the same slow start in 2015.

One way he hopes to do that was by having an offseason fitness plan for each and every returning Timber. For the first time since joining MLS, the club will have the same strength and conditioning coach for consecutive seasons.

“I’ll give credit to (Director of Sports Science) Nick Milonas,” Porter said, “because we had, for the first time, an offseason training program in place that was given at the end of the year and that was followed through every single day and it was monitored and the compliance was good. That will allow us to start in a better position than we did last year.” Continue reading »

Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS Training Camp, MLS- Portland Timbers, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

USWNT’s pre-World Cup schedule released, all matches on TV for first time

USWNT by Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY SportsPhoto by Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports

By CAITLIN MURRAY

The U.S. Women’s National Team will play 10 matches in the lead-up to the Women’s World Cup in June — and fans will be able to watch all of them from home.

In an unprecedented move, all of the USWNT’s matches leading into Canada 2015 will be on broadcast television, including the prestigious annual Algarve Cup tournament, which did not air in the U.S. last year but led to coach Tom Sermanni being fired following a string of losses.

FOX Sports, which will broadcast the World Cup in June and July, will air all but two USWNT matches, including the Algarve Cup. ESPN will air the team’s opening match of the year and their send-off match before going to Canada.

The USWNT’s toughest opponents sit on the front end of the schedule — England and France next month, followed by Norway and Switzerland in the Algarve Cup.

The Americans will play four stateside matches before the World Cup — one in the midwest, two in California, including at the San Jose Earthquakes’ brand new stadium, and their send-off match will be at Red Bull Arena outside New York City.

See the USWNT’s 2015 schedule below:

Continue reading »

Posted in U.S. Women's National Team, Women's Soccer | 1 Comment

MLS Ticker: Cahill linked to UAE’s Al Wahda; D.C. United could loan players from Inter Milan; and more

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Photo by Denny Medley/USA Today Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

Tim Cahill is currently representing Australia on the international stage, but the New York Red Bulls Designated Player is reportedly close to making a change on the club level.

The National reported on Monday that the Australian forward has agreed to a tentative deal with United Arab Emirates club Al Wahda, with the two sides hoping to reach a formal agreement at the conclusion of the Asia Cup.

Cahill made 29 total appearances in 2014 for the Red Bulls, although the 35-year-old was used mostly as a substitute toward the end of the season. Currently in Australia for the Asia Cup, Cahill, who has scored three goals in the competition, is set to lead the Socceroos against UAE on Monday in the competition’s second semifinal matchup.

Here are some more of of Monday’s MLS news and notes: Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- D.C. United, MLS- New York Red Bulls, MLS- Toronto FC | 22 Comments

Hope Solo suspension shines light on USWNT’s backup goalkeeper inexperience

Hope Solo by Geoff Burke USA TODAYPhoto by Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports

By CAITLIN MURRAY

It seemed that Plan A was always for Hope Solo to be starting in goal for the U.S. Women’s National Team.

The USWNT played in 24 matches in 2014. Solo started in 21 of them. She voluntarily missed one in June for what U.S. Soccer called a “family commitment” and was arrested for allegedly assaulting two family members the following night.

As Solo went through her legal troubles – which could’ve resulted in jail time and force her to miss this summer’s World Cup – coach Jill Ellis started No. 2 goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris just once when Solo was available. It was at World Cup qualifying against Haiti, a low-tier team that recorded a single shot against the U.S. in 90 minutes, which wasn’t even on goal.

Solo’s criminal case was later dismissed but it appeared unlikely to result in a conviction from the start. The alleged victims had reportedly changed their stories and were uncooperative. If those around Solo and the USWNT thought she would be around for the long haul, to Canada 2015 and beyond, they weren’t alone.

“When I decide to walk away, it will be my decision and it will be because I’m not having fun anymore,” Solo told SBI before World Cup qualifying when asked if she planned to retire after Canada 2015. “Do I expect to go another cycle after this cycle? Absolutely, if that’s what I set out to do and if I’m fully committed 110 percent.”

“I’m tired of all these questions about, is this my last cycle? I told Jill, I was like, ‘Jill, I’ll be around. You’re going to have to kick me out of this team before I leave.’ ”

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, U.S. Women's National Team, Women's Soccer | 28 Comments

Monday Kickoff: Blatter criticizes UEFA; Riquelme announces retirement; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Sepp Blatter looks well on his way to winning a fifth consecutive FIFA presidential election, and while he’s ahead, he’s fired a warning shot toward his biggest opposition: UEFA.

Blatter said that the European soccer governing body, whose members haven’t been shy in opposing Blatter’s policies and fumbling of public relations, lacks the courage to oppose him in the upcoming elections. Currently only former FIFA executive Jerome Champagne, former player David Ginola, and AFC and FIFA Vice President Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein have pledged their candidacy for the presidency.

“I have been asked by the national associations to be our candidate again because nobody that is strong was in,” Blatter told CNN. “So I go there… All those who want to get rid of me should come. All this opposition is coming now, it’s unfortunate to say – but it’s true – it’s coming from Nyon, from UEFA. They don’t have the courage to come in. So let me go [on] – be respectful.

“Football is a team sport. Let’s go together with the team. I invite the confederation of UEFA and especially the leaders of UEFA that are so bitterly attacking me: Join! Join! Football is a unity.”

Blatter insisted later in the interview that he is still in the middle of his efforts to reform FIFA and that his “mission” is not yet finished.

Here are some more news and notes to kick off your Monday morning: Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, Featured, FIFA, International Soccer, South American Soccer | 16 Comments

U.S. U-20s 2, El Salvador 0: Match Highlights

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Posted in CONCACAF, U.S. Under-20 National Team, U.S. Youth National Teams | 4 Comments