Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

John Brooks could start for Hertha Berlin vs. Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich, Alejandro Bedoya hopes to take on Marseille, and more in this upcoming weekend’s Americans Abroad action.

TimHowardEverton1-Wolfsburg (Getty)

Soccer Thanksgiving: Your Running Commentary

Tim Howard and Everton take on Wolfsburg in Europa League play in Thanksgiving soccer action.

Happy Thanksgiving from SBI

From everybody here at SBI Soccer, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. Here are some things we’re grateful for in 2014:

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

John Brooks (Getty Images)

By FRANCO PANIZO

John Brooks had a tough task last weekend in having to step into Hertha Berlin’s starting lineup for the first time in two months.

His potential next challenge will not be any easier.

Brooks could face off against undefeated Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich on Saturday, when Hertha Berlin host the 9-0-3 club. Brooks will have his hands full if he does get the nod again, as he will have to help limit a star-studded attack that has scored a a league-best 31 goals thus far this season. The U.S. Men’s National Team centerback and Hertha are coming off picking up three points last weekend, and that victory coupled with Bayern’s UEFA Champions League loss this week should give the underdogs plenty of confidence on their home soil.

Facing a similar situation over in Ligue 1, Alejandro Bedoya will be hoping to return to his side’s lineup when Nantes visit first-place Marseille on Friday. Bedoya has not started in a league game for his club since Oct. 5, and will be keen on ending that streak and scoring his first goal of the season in a fixture that could move Nantes out of fourth place and into a Champions League spot. Nantes have not lost in their last nine matches and might be facing Marseille at a perfect time given that the French heavyweights have lost two of their last four league games.

Wondering what other matches might be worth keeping tabs on? Look no further than Atlas’ encounter with Monterrey, or Sandhausen’s 2. Bundesliga tilt with Leipzig on Sunday. Edgar Castillo will attempt to help Atlas close out their Liguilla quarterfinals series against Alonso Hernandez’s Monterrey after picking up a 1-0 triumph in the first leg on Thursday, while a battle between young American forwards could take place when Terrence Boyd leads Leipzig into battle vs. Andrew Wooten and Sandhausen.

Here is who the Americans Abroad lock horns with this weekend: Continue reading »

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Soccer Thanksgiving: Your Running Commentary

TimHowardEverton1-Wolfsburg (Getty)

Tim Howard and Everton can secure a place in the next round of the Europa League with a  victory against Wolfsburg in one of the headlining matches of Thanksgiving’s soccer action.

The Toffees are in Germany with a chance to secure place in the final 32 with a win, but Wolfsburg will attempt to keep its unbeaten home record intact.

In Spain, Villarreal will play host to Fabian Johnson’s Borussia Moenchengladbach in a key Group A match that could secure a place in the knockout rounds for the winner.

In Argentina, River Plate and Boca Juniors renew one of the world’s great rivalries as they face off in the second leg of their Copa Sudamericana semifinal showdown.

If you will be watching today’s soccer action  between bites of turkey, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Today’s Soccer TV Schedule is after the jump):

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Uncategorized, Your Running Commentary | 1 Comment

Happy Thanksgiving from SBI

TurkeyWave

Hello everybody. It is Thanksgiving Day, that day of the year you come to SBI looking for a soccer fix and find this familiar waving turkey greeting you.

American soccer fans have plenty to be thankful for, from a thriving Major League Soccer to a continuously growing number of soccer TV viewing options. The U.S. national team has qualified for the 2014 World Cup, with a promising generation of young talents leading the way.

What will I give thanks for from a soccer standpoint this year? Here are some things that came to my mind this morning:

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Uncategorized | 11 Comments

UCL Rewind: Arsenal hold off Dortmund; Atleti roll past Olympiacos; and more

AlexisSanchezArsenal2-BorussiaDortmundUCL2014 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Arsenal broke a three-game winless run in all competitions on Wednesday evening against one of the toughest opponents they’ll see all season.

The English club defeated Borussia Dortmund, 2-0, in the fifth matchday of UEFA Champions League group stage action, moving to within two points of the German side in the group standings. The win was a massive morale boost for the Gunners, who were missing nearly a starting XI worth of talent due to injuries.

Yaya Sanogo, starting in place of both Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud, took advantage of his first opportunity and fired home through Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller’s legs to open the scoring in the second minute.

Alexis Sanchez added Arsenal’s second in the 57th minute, curling home a beauty to put the Gunners up, 2-0. Dortmund weren’t without chances though, as Damian Martinez made a number of saves to keep out the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Ciro Immobile, and Adrian Ramos during the match.

Here’s a look at some other Champions League scores from Wednesday:

Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, UEFA Champions League | 4 Comments

USMNT fall five spots to No. 28 in latest FIFA Rankings

USMNTStartingXI2-RepublicofIreland2014 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

The U.S. Men’s National Team paid a price for their two November friendly defeats.

FIFA released their latest World Rankings on Thanksgiving morning, and they saw the USA drop five places to No. 28, one spot ahead of Bosnia and Herzegovina and one spot behind of Ecuador.

The defeats to Colombia (2-1) and the Republic of Ireland (4-1) earlier this month keep the USMNT as the third-best ranked nation in CONCACAF, behind No. 16 Costa Rica and No. 20 Mexico. Rounding out the top five is No. 54 Trinidad and Tobago and No. 56 Panama.

Other big movers in the November FIFA rankings included England, who jumped seven places to No. 13, Israel, who moved up 13 spots to No. 32, Tunisia, who advanced nine places to No. 22, and Jamaica, who jumped 42 places to No. 71.

The world top six remained the same as last month. Germany keep their No. 1 ranking, followed by Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Brazil. Portugal moved up two places to tie France in No. 7, and Spain leapfrogged Uruguay for the ninth position, as the Celeste round out the top ten.

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What do you think of this latest ranking? Do you feel that the U.S. deserves this ranking? Should they be higher? Should they be lower?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Featured, FIFA, U.S. Men's National Team | 24 Comments

23 for 2015: Projecting the USMNT Gold Cup roster (November 2014 Edition)

USMNT vs Colombia starting eleven

Photo by ISIPhotos.com
 

By IVES GALARCEP

It’s okay to admit it. If you are a U.S. Men’s National Team fan, you probably came away from the November friendlies feeling down about the state of the team. A pair of losses, including a blowout against an Ireland B team has been enough to shake the confidence of even the most ardent U.S. fan.

What is easily forgotten in the wake of those losses was the number of players missing from that November roster. Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Omar Gonzalez, Graham Zusi, Aron Johannsson and Terrence Boyd were all left out of that camp while Jermaine Jones, John Brooks, DeAndre Yedlin and Lee Nguyen missed the Ireland loss.

While those friendly losses didn’t do much to instill confidence in the state of the team, what it did do is give U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann some information to process about his team, including veterans and newcomers. In my latest Goal.com piece, I broke down the players who boosted their stock the most in the November friendlies, and those who saw their stock drop.

With that in mind, here is a look at the group of players I currently see making up the 2015 Gold Cup roster. Yes, plenty can still happen between now and then, but this is how I see things shaking out based on where players stand now, and how things should go in the coming months.

Here is a look at the latest SBI 23 for 2015:

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, U.S. Men's National Team, Uncategorized | 144 Comments