Photo by Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY SPORTS
By RYAN TOLMICH
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?
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By FRANCO PANIZO
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:
Photo by Steven Bisig/USA Today Sports
By MIKE DONOVAN
Just 90 days after the 2014 season ended just one point short of the postseason, the Portland Timbers kicked off preseason training Friday at Providence Park.
After starting last season without a win in the club’s first eight league matches, head coach Caleb Porter wants to make sure he does all he can to prevent the same slow start in 2015.
One way he hopes to do that was by having an offseason fitness plan for each and every returning Timber. For the first time since joining MLS, the club will have the same strength and conditioning coach for consecutive seasons.
“I’ll give credit to (Director of Sports Science) Nick Milonas,” Porter said, “because we had, for the first time, an offseason training program in place that was given at the end of the year and that was followed through every single day and it was monitored and the compliance was good. That will allow us to start in a better position than we did last year.” Continue reading
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By CAITLIN MURRAY
The U.S. Women’s National Team will play 10 matches in the lead-up to the Women’s World Cup in June — and fans will be able to watch all of them from home.
In an unprecedented move, all of the USWNT’s matches leading into Canada 2015 will be on broadcast television, including the prestigious annual Algarve Cup tournament, which did not air in the U.S. last year but led to coach Tom Sermanni being fired following a string of losses.
FOX Sports, which will broadcast the World Cup in June and July, will air all but two USWNT matches, including the Algarve Cup. ESPN will air the team’s opening match of the year and their send-off match before going to Canada.
The USWNT’s toughest opponents sit on the front end of the schedule — England and France next month, followed by Norway and Switzerland in the Algarve Cup.
The Americans will play four stateside matches before the World Cup — one in the midwest, two in California, including at the San Jose Earthquakes’ brand new stadium, and their send-off match will be at Red Bull Arena outside New York City.
See the USWNT’s 2015 schedule below:
Photo by Denny Medley/USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
Tim Cahill is currently representing Australia on the international stage, but the New York Red Bulls Designated Player is reportedly close to making a change on the club level.
The National reported on Monday that the Australian forward has agreed to a tentative deal with United Arab Emirates club Al Wahda, with the two sides hoping to reach a formal agreement at the conclusion of the Asia Cup.
Cahill made 29 total appearances in 2014 for the Red Bulls, although the 35-year-old was used mostly as a substitute toward the end of the season. Currently in Australia for the Asia Cup, Cahill, who has scored three goals in the competition, is set to lead the Socceroos against UAE on Monday in the competition’s second semifinal matchup.
Here are some more of of Monday’s MLS news and notes: Continue reading
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By CAITLIN MURRAY
It seemed that Plan A was always for Hope Solo to be starting in goal for the U.S. Women’s National Team.
The USWNT played in 24 matches in 2014. Solo started in 21 of them. She voluntarily missed one in June for what U.S. Soccer called a “family commitment” and was arrested for allegedly assaulting two family members the following night.
As Solo went through her legal troubles – which could’ve resulted in jail time and force her to miss this summer’s World Cup – coach Jill Ellis started No. 2 goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris just once when Solo was available. It was at World Cup qualifying against Haiti, a low-tier team that recorded a single shot against the U.S. in 90 minutes, which wasn’t even on goal.
Solo’s criminal case was later dismissed but it appeared unlikely to result in a conviction from the start. The alleged victims had reportedly changed their stories and were uncooperative. If those around Solo and the USWNT thought she would be around for the long haul, to Canada 2015 and beyond, they weren’t alone.
“When I decide to walk away, it will be my decision and it will be because I’m not having fun anymore,” Solo told SBI before World Cup qualifying when asked if she planned to retire after Canada 2015. “Do I expect to go another cycle after this cycle? Absolutely, if that’s what I set out to do and if I’m fully committed 110 percent.”
“I’m tired of all these questions about, is this my last cycle? I told Jill, I was like, ‘Jill, I’ll be around. You’re going to have to kick me out of this team before I leave.’ ”