Fabinho Philadelphia Union MLS Open Cup 06302015 (USA TODAY Sports)

U.S. Open Cup Rewind: Union oust D.C. United, Orlando City tops Crew, and more

The Philadelphia Union topped D.C. United, while a full-strength Orlando City defeated the COlumbus Crew to headline Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup action.

SeppBlatter3-Belfast2015 (Getty)

Wednesday Kickoff: Blatter has ‘clear conscience’ over corruption charges; Barca eye long-term Pogba deal; and more

Sepp Blatter maintains a “clear conscience” despite the corruption charges against him, while Barcelona are eying the signing of Paul Pogba for the 2016-17 season.

Jun 14, 2014; Hempstead, NY, USA; New York Red Bulls midfielder Lloyd Sam (10) fouls New York Cosmos forward Sebastian Guenzatti (13) during the U.S. Open Cup match at Shuart Stadium. The Cosmos defeated the Red Bulls 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Red Bulls seeking Open Cup revenge vs. Cosmos

The New York Red Bulls are looking for some payback against the New York Cosmos in Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup showdown at Red Bull Arena.

Reports: Jordan Morris has surgery to repair stress fracture

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By FRANCO PANIZO

An inopportune injury has ruled out any chance of seeing one of the U.S. Men’s National Team’s most promising youngsters at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Jordan Morris posted a picture on his Instagram on Tuesday with a caption saying that he was set to have surgery. Several reports came out in the following hours stating that Morris was going under the knife to repair a stress fracture in one of his legs.

While there is no official timetable for his recovery, the timing of the injury will make it highly unlikely he can recover from surgery in time to be one of the roster changes USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann can make to his Gold Cup roster after the group stage.

Continue reading »

Posted in College Soccer, U.S. Men's National Team, U.S. Men's Olympic Team | 3 Comments

Argentina punishes Paraguay, advances to Copa America final

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By AARON CRANFORD

For the third time in the previous four Copa America tournaments, Argentina will take part in the final, as the 14-time winner progressed against Paraguay, 6-1.

The Argentine stars shined in Concepcion, Chile, as Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria and Sergio Aguero each tallied a goal in its rout of Paraguay. Two goals and an assist from Di Maria led the way for Argentina, who reach the final again after missing out in the 2011 edition of the tournament.

Marcos Rojo gave Argentina the lead in the 15th minute, and Javier Pastore blasted in the second twelve minutes later to give Argentina the quick two-goal advantage.

Paraguay would make the scoreline 2-1 in favor of Argentina at the break, but Di Maria’s brace, made possible by the awe-inspiring play of Lionel Messi and Pastore, a Sergio Aguero header and a late blast from Higuain sent Argentina into the final where it’ll meet host Chile. Continue reading »

Posted in Copa America 2015 | 12 Comments

SBI USWNT Woman of the Match: Carli Lloyd

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Photo by Michael Chow/USA Today Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH 

Just moments after it looked like a Germany penalty kick would be the cause of death for the U.S. Women’s National Team, a spot-kick finish proved to be the moment that the earned the Americans continued life and a spot in the Women’s World Cup final.

Carli Lloyd was the author of that decisive goal, and her cold-blooded finish combined with her late assist led the USWNT to a 2-0 victory over Germany in Tuesday’s Women’s World Cup semifinal. Lloyd’s performance also earner her SBI’s USWNT Woman of the Match award.

Lloyd’s calm demeanor on her penalty kick allowed her to rocket home a shot just minutes after seeing Germany miss in the same situation on the other end of the field. Then, with the USWNT holding onto a slim one-goal lead, Lloyd turned provider and sealed the victory by feeding substitute Kelley O’Hara.

The goal gives Lloyd her third in as many games. She won SBI’s Woman of the Match honors over O’Hara, Alex Morgan and Morgan Brian.

What did you think of Lloyd’s performance? How impressed were you with her penalty kick? Which USWNT player stood out to you the most in Tuesday’s semifinal?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in 2015 Women's World Cup, U.S. Women's National Team, Women's World Cup 2015 | 8 Comments

USMNT calls in Garza after Davis is ruled out of Gold Cup with knee injury

photo by Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

One of the surprise inclusions on the U.S. Men’s National Team’s Gold Cup roster will not be participating in the tournament, and he is likely to be replaced by one of the more surprising exclusions.

Houston Dynamo left midfielder Brad Davis has been ruled out of the upcoming Gold Cup because of a knee injury. U.S. Soccer is planning to replace Davis on the 23-man squad, but CONCACAF must receive paperwork from the federation and approve any change before it becomes official.

Despite that, U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has already brought Atlas defender Greg Garza into camp. Garza will be available to play in Friday’s friendly against Guatemala in Nashville, Tennessee, and could be named as Davis’ replacement if CONCACAF gives the green light.

The Americans begin their Gold Cup title defense on July 7 vs. Honduras.

What do you think of Davis being ruled out of the Gold Cup? Should Garza be Davis’ replacement for the tournament? Would you have preferred to see DaMarcus Beasley get called in?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in U.S. Men's National Team | 28 Comments

Jozy Altidore: My best is still to come

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photo by Robert Mayer/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

Jozy Altidore has carved out a good career for himself despite being just 25-years old. He has earned 80 caps for the U.S. Men’s National Team, scored 27 goals, played in two World Cups, and spent a number of years in leagues across Europe.

Altidore believes his best soccer is still to come, however.

Currently in his third cycle with the U.S., Altidore has already developed into one of the figureheads of the team. He is not only a leader on the field due to his abilities and wealth of experience, but also off of it for how he sets an example for the next generation of youngsters coming through the pipeline.

Altidore has spearheaded the Americans’ attack almost immediately from the moment he was introduced to the full U.S. side in 2008. He has found the back of the net in big games, like in the 2009 Confederations Cup upset over Spain, and honed his craft in Europe and MLS to become more than just a goal-scoring threat.

He’s matured a lot both as a person and a player since the start of his career, but the veteran striker still thinks there is plenty of more room to grow.

“I still feel like my best football is yet to come,” Altidore told FIFA.com. “I understand the game in a way that I didn’t before. I’m excited for the next five or six years. I’m getting better with every game and I want to see where that goes.”

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Posted in MLS- Toronto FC, U.S. Men's National Team, Uncategorized | 93 Comments

U.S. Open Cup Rewind: Union oust D.C. United, Orlando City tops Crew, and more

Fabinho Philadelphia Union MLS Open Cup 06302015 (USA TODAY Sports)

By RYAN TOLMICH

Despite being down a man and a goal against the best team in the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia Union live to fight another day in the U.S. Open Cup.

The Union overcame a 24th minute C.J. Sapong red card to score two second half goals, topping D.C. United, 2-1, Wednesday at PPL Park.

Shortly after seeing Sapong sent off for catching defender Kofi Opare with a leaping elbow, Jaio Arietta opened the scoring for D.C. United. However, goals from Eric Ayuk and Fabinho in the 55th and 79th minute led the Union to a comeback win over their rivals in a rain-soaked contest.

With the win, the Union earn a matchup with the winner of Wednesday night’s derby match between the New York Red Bulls and New York Cosmos. D.C. United return to MLS play against the Seattle Sounders on Friday, while the Union are off until a July 11 clash with the Portland Timbers.

Here is a closer look at all of Tuesday night’s U.S. Open Cup action: Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, U.S. Open Cup, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Wednesday Kickoff: Blatter has ‘clear conscience’ over corruption charges; Barca eye long-term Pogba deal; and more

SeppBlatter3-Belfast2015 (Getty)

 

By RYAN TOLMICH

Despite all of the chaos going on around him, FIFA president Sepp Blatter insists that he is anything but corrupt.

Blatter, who announced his intentions to step down from the job shortly after being elected to a fifth term, has challenged those that say he is corrupt, asking detractors to separate the man from the organization. The FIFA president, who will not attend the Women’s World Cup final, continues to insist that there is no evidence of corruption on his part, despite all of the allegations currently being levied against FIFA.

“People don’t understand the word they are using when they accuse me of being corrupt,” Blatter said. “Someone who accuses me of being corrupt must first prove that to be the case. But no-one can prove I am corrupt because I’m not. I don’t mind constructive or legitimate criticism – there’s benefits in seeing things differently – but if someone says ‘Blatter is corrupt because FIFA is corrupt’ I can only shake my head at them.

“I have a clear conscience, otherwise I could not look people in the eye when I talk about this topic. The accusations against me have nothing to do with football, they’re an attack on my personal life.”

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

Posted in European Soccer, Featured, FIFA, International Soccer | 4 Comments

Red Bulls seeking Open Cup revenge vs. Cosmos

photo by Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

HANOVER, N.J. — The New York Red Bulls are making no secret about it: They want to exact revenge on the New York Cosmos.

A year removed from an embarrassing 3-0 defeat to the Cosmos in U.S. Open Cup play, the Red Bulls are set for a rematch with the NASL club in the fifth round of the tournament on Wednesday. The Red Bulls will have the homefield advantage this time and are expected to field a lineup that more closely resembles their starting group.

Last year, then-head coach Mike Petke went with a reserve-filled unit against the Cosmos due to a combination of international absences, injuries and preferred approach. The result was an apathetic and humiliating loss at Shuart Stadium that infuriated the Red Bulls’ fan base and left the players with pain and a sour taste in their mouths.

“There’s a sense of revenge, that we need to win this game,” said centerback Matt Miazga, who started in last year’s fourth round match. “Obviously, at the start of the season (head coach Jesse Marsch) really made it a commitment to win this Open Cup, and that’s one of our goals. Now, the Cosmos are in our way, and we’re going to give it our all.

“I played in that game last year, and it did suck losing, 3-0, away at their place. Now, we’re back at home, and we’re going to look to win at home.”

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, MLS- New York Red Bulls, New York Cosmos, U.S. Open Cup | 6 Comments