Soccer Bowl

Commissioner Bill Peterson believes Minnesota United’s MLS move further legitimizes NASL

NASL commissioner Bill Peterson believes Minnesota United’s decision to move to MLS proves NASL is at the highest level of the sport.

william-yarbrough

Yarbrough sees USMNT call-up as ‘privilege’, hopes to be called in again

William Yarbrough told U.S. Soccer that he does not want this call-up to be his only one and that he’s committed to being a regular in the USMNT.

New York Red Bulls celebrate 15

MLS Week 4: The SBI Rewind

The New York Red Bulls worked their gameplay to perfection, the Portland Timbers found a way to drop points again, and more of SBI’s takeaways from Week 4 in MLS.

Yallop praises Fire center back partnership while looking to build on win over Union

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By ALAN CONDON

Brazilian center back Adailton opened his account for the Chicago Fire with a goal against the Philaldephia Union on Sunday, earning Frank Yallop’s side its first win of the season, and all without the services of Designated Players Shaun Maloney and David Accam.

Adailton arrived at the Fire in December via Brazilian outfit Esporte Club Bahia, and his impressive defensive display and first half header against the Union has come at a time when the Fire really needed it.

“He’s a solid defender, and that’s what we needed,” Yallop said on a conference call. “A no nonsense guy who heads it away, clears it when he needs to, but can pass out of the back. Obviously he is a little older in his years but he’s very experienced. I’ve been pleased with his play. He’s a good kid, he works hard and he listens, and he’s a great teammate.”

Despite the three successive losses for the Fire at the beginning of the season, Adailton and Jeff Larentowicz have shown positive signs of a developing partnership at the back, and Yallop is hoping that the strong defensive foundation will help the team to see out games such as the Philadelphia one going forward.

“It’s a long long season but I’ve been pleased with the way that they’ve (Adailton and Larentowicz) played together,” Yallop said. “They seem to be getting a nice understanding, and they’re nice and solid. That’s the backbone you need to be successful, and both of them have started to look live they’ve played together for a while.

“This group is evolving, listening and learning as we move forward and I’ve been very pleased with the attitude. Even to grind that game out and win it was important for our psyche.”

Last week, Yallop spoke of his frustrations with the timing of the international call-ups which saw Designated Players Shaun Maloney and David Accam leave the squad.

Although the Fire earned their first win of the season without their services, the head coach is looking forward to welcoming back the two players, and admitted he won’t hesitate to change his winning team for its tough encounter against Toronto FC on Saturday.

“Having both David and Shaun coming back from international duty hopefully unscathed and uninjured is only a good thing,” said Yallop. “It’s good to have options. It’s getting a little cluttered in there for starting spots, so it’s up to me to sort that out and figure out what’s going on in the future.

“You can’t have enough good players around, and I think that the guys that played at the weekend did a fantastic job of playing well and creating chances, and in the end seeing that game through when we needed it. We needed those three points and we said before it doesn’t matter how we get it, we’ve just got to get the three points somehow.”

Meanwhile Toronto FC also welcomes back some players from international duty with Michael Bradley and Jose Altidore returning from their friendlies with the U.S. Men’s National Team, and Yallop insists that his side must be at its best to earn something from the game.

“The additions they’ve added obviously in the attacking areas is key for them,” said Yallop. “But we’re at home. We’ve got to be on the front foot and ready for their attacking play which they’ve obviously improved in with the guys they’ve signed.

“We’ve got to prepare and get ready for this next game which is a very difficult game against anther conference opponent. We want to try and get three points and if it means bringing those guys (Maloney and Accam) back into the team then so be it.”

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What do you think of the Fire’s centerback partnership thus far? What kind of lineup do you see Yallop going with against Toronto FC?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in MLS- Chicago Fire | Leave a comment

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Kelyn Rowe

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Photo by David Butler II/USA Today Sports

By MATT STYPULKOSKI

The New England Revolution’s goal drought has finally come to an end thanks to Kelyn Rowe.

After three weeks without finding the net – or winning a match, as a result – Rowe scored both goals in the Revolution’s 2-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, earning recognition as SBI MLS Player of the Week.

The first tally required a bit of luck and a deflection off the head of Shaun Francis. But the second was more clinical, as Rowe made a run to the near post on a Chris Tierney free kick, then steered Darius Barnes’ wayward header into the back of the net.

The brace earned Rowe SBI’s MLS Player of the Week honors, beating out the Vancouver Whitecaps’ David Ousted, Real Salt Lake’s Javier Morales and Sporting Kansas City’s Ike Opara for the award.

What did you think of Rowe’s performance? Which player stood out to you in MLS Week 4?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in MLS- New England Revolution, SBI MLS Player of the Week | 1 Comment

SBI MLS Team of the Week: New York Red Bulls

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Photo by Jim O’Connor/USA Today Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

Having spent the past few weeks talking up the benefits of the team’s high-pressure system, the New York Red Bulls promised they would go into MAPFRE Stadium and press the Columbus Crew into submission, and that is exactly what they did.

The Red Bulls sent out a resounding statement that the club can still compete with the best, toppling the Crew 2-1 Saturday to earn SBI MLS Team of the Week.

On the road against an Eastern Conference contender, the Red Bulls remained confident in their system, despite a less-than-stellar opening half. The visitors emerged for the second stanza rejuvenated, starting with a Bradley Wright-Phillips finish from the penalty spot. Although a finish from the Crew’s Tony Tchani soon followed, the Red Bulls emerged once again through substitute Mike Grella, whose chipped volley proved to be the icing on the cake to top off an impressive Red Bulls performance.

The Red Bulls beat out Sporting KC, Real Salt Lake and Orlando City for this week’s honors.

What did you think of the Red Bulls’ performance? Which team stood out to you in MLS Week 4?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in MLS- New York Red Bulls, SBI MLS Team of the Week, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Matt Polster

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Photo by Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY Sports

By MATT STYPULKOSKI

The Chicago Fire picked up its first points of the season on Sunday afternoon and Matt Polster played a major role in the result.

Matched up against veterans Maurice Edu and Vincent Noguiera, Polster was clinical and precise in the midfield in the Fire’s 1-0 win over the Philadelphia Union, earning the midfielder recognition as SBI MLS Rookie of the Week.

The 21-year-old out of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville started in the midfield alongside Michael Stephens. The duo bossed the game, consistently out-dueling Edu and Nogueira, and Polster connected on 40 of his 48 pass attempts on the day – an 83 percent completion rate.

Sunday marked Polster’s third consecutive start for the Fire after coming on as a substitute against the Los Angeles Galaxy in the season opener.

Polster beat out Seattle Sounders midfielder Christian Roldan for this week’s honors.

What did you think of Polster’s performance? Which rookie stood out to you in MLS Week 4?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in MLS- Chicago Fire, SBI MLS Rookie of the Week | Leave a comment

Najar leads Honduras to Gold Cup with comeback victory over French Guiana

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By RYAN TOLMICH

Down 3-1 entering Sunday night’s second leg, Honduras was going to have to put together a special performance to rekindle the country’s hopes of appearing in this summer’s Gold Cup.

On the back of Andy Najar, a special performance is exactly what Los Catrachos put forth.

Honduras topped French Guiana, 3-0, Sunday and 4-3 on aggregate to claim the 12th and final spot in July’s Gold Cup.

Najar led the way for Los Catrachos, who were topped 3-1 in the opening leg in French Guiana. The former D.C. United midfielder scored a pair of goals in a little over two minutes, the first of which came in the 30th minute via a spectacularly hit volley from outside the box. Continue reading »

Posted in CONCACAF, CONCACAF Gold Cup | 5 Comments

California freshman midfield Eloi Vasquez reported missing

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By ADAM TROXTELL

A freshman soccer player from the University of California has been missing since early Saturday morning, prompting appeals for information about his whereabouts.

Eloi Vasquez, 19, was reportedly last seen leaving a party at the University of Southern California’s Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity chapter early on Saturday. He was last heard from at 2:15 a.m. that morning. Cal Athletics has issued an appeal for any information.

“Our entire Cal Athletics family is very concerned for Eloi’s safety and our first priority is to help in any way we can to locate him,” the statement reads. “We ask that everyone keep Eloi and his family in their thoughts and pray for his safe return.”

A flier asking for information about Vasquez’s disappearance says the freshman may have gone to the beach after leaving the party.

Posted in College Soccer | 1 Comment

Must-See Goal: Andy Najar

Andy Najar, Roy Miller

Posted in CONCACAF, CONCACAF Gold Cup, Must-See Goals | 6 Comments

USL Week 2: A Look Back

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By ADAM TROXTELL

After a disappointing opening week loss, Sacramento Republic FC showed why they are the reigning USL champions against Los Angeles Galaxy II.

Sacramento came back to top Los Dos, 3-2, at the StubHub Center’s Track & Field Stadium on Saturday night. Two converted penalties from Octavio Guzman put Republic FC back in the game, and a stoppage-time winner from Rodrigo Lopez sealed the first win of 2015.

Galaxy II started the brightest, with captain Daniel Steres heading in Andre Auras’ free kick in just the ninth minute for a 1-0 lead. It was only a matter of minutes before Sacramento equalized. Lee Nishanian was called for a foul inside the box, and Guzman stepped up to draw things level.

He later handed Sacramento the lead with a second converted penalty kick midway through the first half, and suddenly Los Dos were declining in influence. The response came in the 67th minute, with Raul Mendiola playing in a low cross from the right to find Travis Bowen who applied the one-time finish.

Just as the game looked like it would end in a draw, Lopez stepped up. David Estrada got behind the Galaxy II defense before setting up Lopez for the tap-in winner.

Here are some more recaps of this weekend’s USL action:

Continue reading »

Posted in USL | Leave a comment