Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Martins, Dempsey lead Sounders to road victory over NYCFC

Obafemi Martins and Cint Dempsey combined for all three goals as the Seattle Sounders extends New York City FC’s woes.

Feilhaber vs. Chicago Fire

Sporting KC snaps Fire’s win streak with Nagamura header

Sporting KC scores decisive lone goal in its first win in nearly a month, snapping the Chicago Fire’s three-game winning streak.

Greg Garza Tijuana (Tijuana)

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

Greg Garza scored for Club Tijuana, Brad Guzan was demoted to the bench, and more in this past weekend’s Americans Abroad action.

Martins, Dempsey lead Sounders to road victory over NYCFC

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Photo by Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports

BY MICHAEL PENG

NEW YORK — It was the usual suspects again for Seattle, but when Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins have been so splendid all season, it’s a formula the Sounders will gladly take game after game to get positive results.

Martins’ first of two goals on the night opened the scoring in the 23rd minute and Dempsey added a go-ahead score in the 58th as the Sounders defeated host New York City FC, 3-1, in front of a crowd of 25,384 at Yankee Stadium on Sunday.

Martins tacked on another goal in the 67th mark to put the game away and subsequently extended the expansion club’s winless streak to an MLS-long seven matches.

With the three scores in the contest, Dempsey and Martins have now combined to be responsible for 11 of the Sounders’ 13 goals on the season so far.

“Nothing surprises me with those two guys,” Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid said. “They are able to conjure up magical stuff and they are unique and special.”

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Posted in Featured, MLS- New York City FC, MLS- Seattle Sounders | 2 Comments

Sporting KC snaps Fire’s win streak with Nagamura header

Nagamura vs. Chicago Fire

Photo by Matt Polster / USA TODAY Sports Images

By TATE STEINLAGE 

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The 50th meeting between Sporting Kansas City and the Chicago Fire was a breath of fresh air. The two sides traded what has been sluggish, defensive-minded play in recent years for pace and a flurry of chances.

In the end Sunday, it was Sporting KC who benefitted. Paulo Nagamura’s 75th-minute header was buried in the back of the net as the home side grabbed three points for the first time in nearly a month with a 1-0 victory. The win also snapped the Fire’s three-match winning streak.

Nagamura made quick work with his first chance after coming on in the 64th minute. The midfielder got on the end of a perfect cross from defender Jalil Anibaba on the right flank. Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson extended to make a play but the ball was out of reach and en route to the back of the net.

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Chicago Fire, MLS- Sporting Kansas City | Leave a comment

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

Greg Garza Tijuana (Club Tijuana)

 

By FRANCO PANIZO

It was not the result Greg Garza or Club Tijuana wanted, but the U.S. Men’s National Team defender ended a personal drought this weekend that dated back more than two years..

Garza found the back of the net for the first time since Nov. 16, 2012, on Friday, scoring Club Tijuana’s lone goal in a 2-1 loss to fellow American Edgar Castillo and Atlas. The tally came via a close-range finish following a cross from the right and put Tijuana ahead just before halftime. Unfortunately for the Xolos, they allowed the lead to slip away and now hold a slim one-point advantage for one of Liga MX’s playoff spots.

A pair of Americans squared off in Germany, as John Brooks and Fabian Johnson both started for their respective clubs in Hertha Berlin’s 2-1 home loss to Borussia Moenchengladbach. Brooks went the distance for Hertha in the match, and Johnson lasted until the 79th minute before being replaced. The win kept third-placed Moenchengladbach in control of the Bundesliga’s final guaranteed UEFA Champions League spot.

It was not all good news this weekend, however. Brad Guzan was surprisingly not given the nod for Aston Villa on Saturday, and instead demoted to the bench while Shay Given started in between the pipes in a 3-2 win over Everton. It marked the first time this season that Guzan did not start in league play for the Villans, snapping his streak at 34 games.

Here is how the Americans Abroad fared this weekend:

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Posted in Americans Abroad, Featured | 6 Comments

FC Edmonton keeps Minnesota United winless behind Laing’s effort

"N.A.S.L. "

Photo by FC Edmonton

By AARON CRANFORD

Minnesota United FC had no answer for the play of FC Edmonton winger Lance Laing in their 2-2 draw with the Canadian club.

Laing added a goal and an assist to his tally on the year, and due to his performance, the Loons remain winless five weeks into the NASL Spring Season.

Tomi Ameobi claimed the second for the Eddies in the 71st minute, but it was all set up by the play of Laing. He sped with the ball down the left, and instead of blasting a shot at a tight angle, coolly passed the ball across the goal where the Eddies striker was there to meet it.

Miguel Ibarra celebrated the opening goal and his first of the season in the second minute of play, but it was Laing who started the comeback with a beautifully-struck free kick and looked to have finished the game off with his assist.

However, Jamie Watson had the last laugh after slotting in a penalty kick for the Loons late in the game. Continue reading »

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Sunday European Rewind: Chelsea claims fourth title; Napoli downs 10-man Milan; and more

Chelsea-Crystal-Palace-title-2015-Getty

By ADAM TROXTELL

For the first time in five years, Chelsea will finish as the top team in the English Premier League.

The Blues sealed their fourth Premier League title on Sunday with a 1-0 win against Crystal Palace. Eden Hazard scored the lone goal by rebounding his own penalty kick in the 45th minute.

Though Palace attempted to offer some form of opposition, Chelsea went on to dominate the game and celebrate at the final whistle. It is the first time since the 2009-10 season, then under Carlo Ancelotti, since the Blues have lifted the top prize in English soccer. Three of the club’s four titles have been secured with Jose Mourinho at the helm.

Chelsea spent the first half just waiting for the goal to come, and it finally did as halftime approached. James McArthur and Adrian Mariappa were unable to keep up with Hazard as he darted into the box, both taking part in bringing down the Belgian.

The penalty was taken poorly by Hazard’s standards and saved by Speroni. But he could do nothing about the resulting header that sailed inside the far right post to finally make Chelsea’s title claim official.

Elsewhere, Roma put a serious dent in Genoa’s UEFA Champions League hopes in Serie A, and Borussia Monchengladbach took a step toward the Bundesliga’s European spots while forcing Hertha Berlin to work to avoid the drop.

Here are more recaps from Sunday’s action across Europe’s top leagues:

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Posted in European Soccer, Featured | 2 Comments

23 for 2015: Projecting the USMNT Gold Cup roster (April 2015 edition)

USMNT goal Mexico 31

 

By IVES GALARCEP

There may have only been one U.S. Men’s National Team friendly in the month of April, but that isn’t stopping us from seriously shaking up our projection for the USMNT Gold Cup roster.

No, this isn’t an overreaction to Jordan Morris’ impressive showings against Mexico (for senior team and the U-23s), but rather an acknowledgment that Jurgen Klinsmann can make several roster changes within the Gold Cup (after the group stage) which will give him even more options beyond the initial roster he must name.

That means we can see more players given chances this summer than we had been projecting earlier.

Does that mean everybody who is worthy of a look will get one? Not quite. There is still plenty of depth all over, and there will be some good players left out.

With that in mind, here is the April projection of the USMNT Gold Cup roster (the squad we see Klinsmann taking):

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Posted in U.S. Men's National Team, Uncategorized | 69 Comments

MLS announces changes to allocation, discovery processes

MLSLogoEdit

By CARL SETTERLUND

Major League Soccer announced its 2015 rule changes, and the focus was on player acquisitions, with the league modifying the allocation and discovery player acquisition mechanisms.

The changes go into effect as of today.

The allocation process is being consolidated into one system, combining the Designated Player allocation rankings, the weighted lottery and blind draw acquisition mechanisms, effectively barring a repeat of the hot-button Jermaine Jones signing.

The new system includes a public allocation player ranking list, picked by MLS club technical staffs and the league player personnel department.

MLS also modified the discovery process — the avenue to acquire players not on the allocation list or otherwise ineligible through other player acquisition processes.

Teams can put up to seven players on their discovery list and can modify the list at any time. Players are acquired through the discovery process on a first come, first serve basis.

However, in a new change, teams can offer $50,000 of allocation money to acquire a player that another team already has a claim on. That team must then either make the player a reasonable contract offer or accept the allocation money and give up rights to the player. Continue reading »

Posted in Major League Soccer | 21 Comments

21 for New Zealand: Projecting the U.S. U-20 World Cup roster (April Edition)

U-20 USMNT starting XI vs. Trinidad and Tobago (Mexsport)

 

By FRANCO PANIZO

The final camp before Under-20 World Cup roster selections are due is in the books. Now, players just have to wait and hope they’ve made enough of an impression.

U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos got one last up-close-and-personal look at a pool of his players this month with a camp in Austria that saw the Americans tie Qatar and beat Croatia. Ramos had a lot, but not all, of his first-choice players at his disposal, which allowed him to simultaneously fine-tune things and assess those youngsters still fighting desperately to grab one of the remaining World Cup spots.

Competition is heavy throughout the entire squad, but the midfield and defense are areas where Ramos will really have to make some tough decisions. Versatility could be key in helping land one of those final places on the squad, as well as getting first-team minutes, which several of Ramos’ MLS-based players are encouragingly getting right now at their clubs.

Ramos still has until next month to mull things over, but the date to submit rosters is fast approaching. With that, here is SBI’s latest projection of the 21 players that could make it to the World Cup in New Zealand:

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Posted in U.S. Under-20 National Team, U.S. Youth National Teams, Under-20 World Cup | 19 Comments