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.

Hope Solo-USatoday

Hope Solo’s World Cup status in jeopardy following recent suspension

U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati admitted Monday that goalkeeper Hope Solo could miss out on this summer’s World Cup following her recent suspension.

JoaoPlataRSL1-ChivasUSA2014 (USATODAYSports)

MLS Ticker: Joao Plata to miss start of season; Orlando City sign Martin Paterson, Carlos Rivas; and more

Real Salt Lake will reportedly be without forward Joao Plata for three to four months after he broke the fifth metatarsal in his left foot in training.

Adrian Heath hopes young Orlando City squad translates to present and future success



LAKE MARY, Fla. — Adrian Heath’s squad may be relatively young compared to other teams around the league, but that isn’t stopping the Orlando City head coach from setting lofty goals ahead of the team’s first MLS campaign.

“We have a tremendous batch of young players,” Heath told reporters during the club’s media day on Friday. “We’ve got nothing to fear. We can go out and play aggressive and positive, and make a stamp in this league.

“Nobody puts more pressure on themselves than I do. We want to get in the forefront of everything. There is no reason why we can’t be a major team in North America. We think we’re going to be competitive. The more I see the group, the more convinced I can be.”

With the likes of high-profile names making their way to large MLS markets in 2015, Heath told reporters on Friday that he wasn’t afraid in taking a different approach on how he assembles his inaugural squad. The former Everton strikers emphasized on building around Kaka while at the same time planting the seeds for long-term success.

“It’s a little bit different,” said Heath. “I don’t know the average age of that team is, the 35-years old they’ve been bringing in. I’ll stick with our 20-year, 19-year and 23-year olds and work with them. It’s all about supporting Kaka.”

Heath rejected claims that his team is rather too young, pointing at veterans Aurelien Collin and Danny Mwanga, who each have 100 games played in MLS. With a mix of veteran players and inexperienced prospects, Heath believes the team is set up for success in the present and in the future.

The belief was bolstered Monday, when the club added 20-year-old Colombian midfielder Carlos Rivas and 21-year-old Colombian midfielder Cristian Higuita. Joined by veteran forward Martin Paterson, Monday’s transactions highlighted the team’s belief in surrounding experience with youthful exuberance.

Kaka, who signed with Orlando City last summer as the club’s first designated player, also provided commentary about playing with a young team.

“Even if I won a lot of things in my career, I can still have the motivation to win,” Kaka said. “Everyday I’ll show them my professionalism, and show them how I can win with them and be successful in this league.”

Donovan Ricketts, another MLS veteran selected by the Lions during the Expansion Draft, acknowledged that his back line is the youngest he’s ever played with. However, he casted a shine of light when he said there’s positives to that.

“I guess I’ll have to shout more,” Ricketts said jokingly when asked about playing alongside a youthful defense line. “When you’re playing with more experienced people you allow them to know what they’re going to do. When you have youth, they’re excited and eager to learn, so we’re going to need everyone to be on the same page as quickly as possible.”

 Orlando City look to their first unofficial game as a team when they take on fellow expansion side New York City FC on Feb. 21 during the opening game of the Carolina Challenge Cup.

Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Orlando City | Leave a comment

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

DonGarberMLSSuperDraft2015 (USATodaySports)


MLS players are letting it be known that they are serious about being ready to strike of CBA talks don’t improve, leaving us to wonder if the 2015 MLS season will start on time.

Episode 188 of The SBI Show takes a closer look at the current CBA talks, including comments made by several players suggesting a strike is a very real possibility.

Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I also discuss the latest MLS moves, such as Shaun Maloney’s move to the Chicago Fire, and potential moves, like Sacha Kljestan’s looming return to MLS. We also talk USMNT, and USWNT, specifically Hope Solo’s latest transgression.

Give Episode 188 of The SBI Show a listen after the jump:

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Posted in Featured, Podcasts, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hope Solo’s World Cup status in jeopardy following recent suspension

Hope Solo-USatoday

Photo by Rob Kinnan/ USA Today Sports


Following Hope Solo’s latest transgressions, those involved with the U.S. Women’s National Team have admittedly begun envisioning a World Cup without the controversial goalkeeper.

U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati admitted as much Monday on a conference call with reporters when asked about Solo’s status for the upcoming World Cup. Currently serving a 30-day suspension, Solo will be held to a certain set of standards by Gulati, head coach Jill Ellis and Development Director April Heinrichs.

U.S. Soccer expects Solo to meet certain requirements during her month-long suspension, but would not confirm whether those requirements include alcohol  counseling. If Solo meets expectations, those involved will welcome the goalkeeper back with open arms. If not, Gulati said, the USWNT is prepared to move forward without her.

“Sure,” Gulati said when asked if it’s possible that Solo misses out on this summer’s tournament.  “As I’ve said and as Jill has said, we’ve asked her to do a number of things and she’s going to have to do a number of those things and make progress in those areas. Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, U.S. Women's National Team, Women's Soccer, Women's World Cup 2015 | Leave a comment

MLS Ticker: Joao Plata to miss start of season; Orlando City sign Martin Paterson, Carlos Rivas; and more

JoaoPlataRSL1-ChivasUSA2014 (USATODAYSports)

Photo by Russell Isabella/USA Today Sports


Real Salt Lake will be without one of its key starters for the beginning of the 2015 MLS season.

RSL forward Joao Plata suffered a fractured fifth metatarsal in his left foot during training on Sunday, the club announced on Monday, is expected to miss 3-4 months with the injury. The diminutive Ecuadorian  suffered the injury without contact while changing directions on artificial turf.

The news comes just as Real Salt Lake signed Plata, 22, to a multi-year contract that has made him a Young Designated Player. Plata is coming off a breakout 2014 campaign in which he scored 13 goals and added six assists for the club.

Losing Plata is a big blow to an RSL team that’s going through a big transition, having already lost  mainstays Chris Wingert, Ned Grabavoy, and Nat Borchers earlier this offseason.

Here are some more stories from around MLS:

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS - Atlanta, MLS- Columbus Crew, MLS- Orlando City, MLS- Real Salt Lake, MLS- Toronto FC | 1 Comment

Report: Juan Agudelo close to returning to Revolution


Photo by Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY SPORTS


Roughly 17 months after departing the New England Revolution in pursuit of a European career, forward Juan Agudelo is reportedly closing in on a return to the reigning Eastern Conference champions.

Goal USA reported Monday that the 22-year-old striker is on the verge of returning to the Revs on a free transfer after turning down an offer from Germany’s 1860 Munich.

Agudelo, who left the Revs in August of 2013, originally moved to England’s Stoke City on a free transfer, but was loaned to FC Utrecht following the denial of his work permit. Following his stint with Utrecht, Agudelo became a free agent after ending his contract with Stoke following second work permit issue.

The 22-year-old forward originally played for the Revs in 2013, scoring seven goals in 14 games. Prior to joining the Revs, Agudelo featured for the New York Red Bulls and Chivas USA.

What do you thing of the Agudelo news? How will Agudelo fit in with the Revs? What do you expect from the forward in 2015?

Share your thoughts below

Posted in Featured, MLS- New England Revolution | 34 Comments

Who should the USMNT start vs. Chile?

USMNT XI Honduras 2014

Photo by Robert Mayer/USA Today Sports


Jurgen Klinsmann has a number of his top-choice players available, but whether he starts them all for the first match of the new year is something he is likely considering plenty.

The U.S. Men’s National Team is set to open a busy 2015 schedule on Wednesday, taking on Chile in a friendly that will see the Americans make a rare appearance in South America. Head coach Klinsmann trimmed his January camp roster to 23 players over the weekend and has several of his MLS-based marquee regulars available, but his stated goal of identifying younger and unproven talent this year could be a factor when he tries to settle on a lineup.

Klinsmann could be tempted to give test runs to up-and-comers like Wil Trapp and Gyasi Zardes to see if they can sink or swim, but he might also want to rely on more of his experienced mainstays in a tough environment like Chile given that the Gold Cup is fast approaching.

Here is who SBI thinks will take the field against the Chileans on Wednesday:

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Posted in Featured, U.S. Men's National Team | 66 Comments