Photo by Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
The East and West are set to collide in MLS Week 13, which includes a rematch of last year’s MLS Cup finale.
While both teams have struggled in recent weeks, the New England Revolution have a chance to snag a tiny bit of revenge for last year’s loss to the LA Galaxy with a rematch at Gillette Stadium.
Meanwhile across the country, the Seattle Sounders, this year’s Western Conference leaders, face off with an Eastern Conference contender in the New York Red Bulls, who will be looking to emerge from a rough patch of their own.
Elsewhere, Toronto FC hosts the San Jose Earthquakes, Sporting KC takes on FC Dallas and D.C. United looks for revenge against the Philadelphia Union.
Here’s a closer look at all of this weekend’s MLS action: Continue reading
By FRANCO PANIZO
Tab Ramos has touted the current U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team as the most experienced and talented one that he has ever coached, but now the Americans will have to live up to the hype and deliver in order to prove they are deserving of such superlatives.
The U.S. Under-20s will begin their much-anticipated World Cup campaign on Saturday morning (12:01 am ET, Fox Sports 1) with a match against relatively unknown Myanmar. The Americans enter the showdown at Northland Events Center as the favorites, but that’s a role they are expected to carry throughout the opening rounds of the competition after also being paired with New Zealand and Ukraine in a favorable Group A.
Apart from having landed a kinder draw, this group of U.S. U-20s is also much more seasoned than the one that went three and out in Turkey two years ago. Players like captain Emerson Hyndman (Fulham), Rubio Rubin (FC Utrecht) and Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas) have begun to break through at the club level, making for increased expectations and pressure in this World Cup.
The Americans are aware of that, and of the fact that failing to get out of the group will be deemed as a huge failure. Still, the U.S. is not thinking that far ahead. The sole focus right now is on starting the tournament with a win.
“Our goal right now is to beat Myanmar the first game, so if we can get the three points the first game then the next challenge will come along,” Ramos said earlier this month. “One of the things that the team knows – and it’s no secret because I think every team in the world will tell you – that the team that we have can beat any team in any one given day.
By AYDIN REYHAN
With four of the top five leagues already concluded, this weekend presents a swansong of European action with a series of cup finals.
The FA Cup, Copa del Rey, DFB Pokal and Coupe de France will each be decided this weekend in the last bit of action in their respective countries before the 2015-16 campaign.
Meanwhile, the Serie A comes to a close this weekend with Juventus as champions, marking official end of every top-five league in Europe for the 2014-2015 domestic season.
Here’s a closer look at all of the cup action throughout Europe this weekend: Continue reading
Photo by Orange County Blues FC/NASL
By COLE KELLOGG
This week in USL gives us a a number of games with one team in each half of the table.
Overall last place team FC Montreal will face off against against their first place counterpart the Rochester Rhinos.
In a similar battle in the Western Conference, the last place Real Monarchs with fight Sacramento Republic FC, who are just a point out of first place.
Portland and Tulsa will play to try and work their way into a playoff spot in the West, while Colorado will try to leapfrog LA II with a victory on the road.
Here is a closer look at this weekend’s USL action:
By FRANCO PANIZO
The Under-20 World Cup is about to begin, and so too are the tough decisions for Tab Ramos.
The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team is set to open a World Cup campaign that is filled with lofty expectations on Saturday morning (12:01 am ET, Fox Sports 1), taking on a relatively unknown team in Myanmar at Northland Events Center in Whangarei. The Americans are expected to control the run of play in the Group A match, but U.S. head coach Ramos will need to figure out what pieces best fit together in order for the possession to translate into production and ultimately three points.
Ramos has indicated that he plans to move the U.S. to a 4-4-2 diamond formation for the World Cup in New Zealand, but the wealth of options that he has at his disposal will surely make it difficult to settle on a starting eleven. Choosing players for the midfield and forward spots will be especially tough given the loaded and healthy stable he has to pick from, a stable that includes Emerson Hyndman, Gedion Zelalem and Joel Sonora.
Who will start against Myanmar? Here is the lineup SBI thinks Ramos could deploy:
By AARON CRANFORD
Sepp Blatter will lead FIFA as president for a fifth successive term after opponent Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein withdrew from consideration Friday at the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich.
After the first round ballot, Blatter held a 133-73 vote lead over Prince Hussein from Jordan, but a two-thirds majority was needed in order to be named FIFA president, and Blatter did not have the 140 votes necessary to claim victory.
However, with the sizable gap in votes, Prince Hussein decided enough was enough and withdrew from consideration before the second round of voting began. Continue reading
By RYAN TOLMICH
Down a goal early and entering on the heels of a lackluster performance, the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team was in need of a major turnaround.
That’s exactly what the U.S. got in what ended up as a dominant performance, culminating in a 3-1 victory over the Netherlands behind goals from Jerome Kiesewetter, Alonso Hernandez and Will Packwood.
After goalkeeper Cody Cropper allowed a 10th minute shot from Brahim Darri to slip through his hands, the U.S. took control, highlighted by goals from Kiesewetter and Hernandez.
Kiesewetter, who dominated the Dutch defense throughout the afternoon, provided the equalizer in the 20th minute, as the U.S. forward followed up on a blocked shot to pounce. After chesting the ball down, Kiesewetter struck on the volley, smashing a shot past the near post to level the scoreline at one apiece. Continue reading