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UCL: Juventus vs. Real Madrid: SBI Live Commentary

Cristiano Ronaldo and the reigning champions travel to Turin today for the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semifinal first leg.

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Midday Ticker: Brazil unveils squad for Copa America; Bayern and Univision announce partnership; and more

Oscar was left off Brazil’s Copa America squad, Bayern Munich announces partnership with Univision, and more news from around the world of soccer.

The SBI Show: Episode 204 (Recapping MLS Week 9, talking CCL, and more)

Co-hosts Garrett Cleverly and Ives Galarcep break down the MLS Week 9 action, and dig into the topic of whether MLS needs to start spending more to truly compete on the global stage.

UCL: Juventus vs. Real Madrid: SBI Live Commentary

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By IVES GALARCEP

Real Madrid’s quest for an 11th UEFA Champions League title will take the Spanish giants to Italy, where Juventus is hoping to continue a run into territory the club hasn’t been in for more than a decade.

Juve hosts the first leg of their UCL semifinal series against Real Madrid today (2:45pm, Fox Sports 1) and the Italians will be looking to put the shackles on Madrid’s vaunted attack. The battle in midfield should be a memorable one as well, with Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal looking to win the battle in the middle against the likes of Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez.

Real Madrid will be without Luka Modric and Karim Benzema for today’s first leg, while Juventus will be without Paul Pogba.

SBI will be providing live commentary on today’s action so please feel free to follow along here. As always, you are welcome to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Today’s SBI Live Commentary is after the jump):

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Posted in European Soccer, Featured, SBI Match Day Commentary | 1 Comment

Midday Ticker: Brazil unveils squad for Copa America; Bayern and Univision announce partnership; and more

NeymarBrazil1-Japan2014 (AP)

By ADAM TROXTELL

Plenty of star names will take part in Brazil’s quest for continental glory, but one particular English Premier League title winner will not feature.

Chelsea’s Oscar was left off of Dunga’s 23-man Copa America squad, confirmed on Tuesday by the Brazilian coach. Dunga said the attacking midfielder has sustained an injury late in the Premier League season and, after communicating with Chelsea staff, he decided not to call Oscar up for the tournament in Chile.

“His period of recovery will be somewhat prolonged, so he will not be in the best condition,” Dunga told reporters. “We think he will be better prepared for the World Cup qualifiers, which begin soon after the Copa America.”

Bayern Munich’s Dante was also not called up, with Atletico Madrid’s Miranda the preferred option. Liverpool attacker Coutinho, Santos and former Real Madrid man Robinho, and Chelsea’s Willian also made Dunga’s squad.

Here are some more news and notes for your Tuesday afternoon:

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Posted in European Soccer, Featured, South American Soccer | 3 Comments

SBI MLS Save of the Week: Steve Clark

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Posted in MLS- Columbus Crew, SBI MLS Save of the Week | 1 Comment

Tim Melia’s shutout adds interesting twist to Sporting KC’s goalkeeper situation

Tim Melia

Photo by John Rieger/USA Today Sports 

By TATE STEINLAGE 

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Sporting Kansas City spent a pretty penny this past offseason to bring in Luis Marin. The exact figure has not been made public, but for an international goalkeeper with national team experience, the cost likely isn’t cheap.

The price of admission may be even more eye-opening now that Marin has given up six goals in his last two starts and was benched Sunday in favor of Tim Melia, the former Chivas USA player who made the most of his opportunity by organizing a 1-0 shutout over the Chicago Fire.

With Marin still finding his footing in a new league and country, and Melia proving he has what it takes, Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes finds himself in an interesting predicament. One that begs the question: Is the goalkeeping situation wide open right now?

“Seriously?” Vermes said when asked that very question Sunday. “What is this, quarterback day or what? Tim had a very good game and that’s it. That’s where we are right now.”

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Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Sporting Kansas City | 2 Comments

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Axel Sjoberg

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Photo by Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

Facing off with two of the league’s most dominant sides within a space of three days, Axel Sjoberg’s baptism by fire continued this past week.

The hulking centerback passed the test with flying colors, playing 90 minutes in back-to-back draws to earn SBI MLS Rookie of the Week.

Tasked with taking on the New York Red Bulls and LA Galaxy just days apart, Sjoberg helped anchor a Rapids back line that put together back to back 1-1 results away from home. With a combined six interceptions in the two games, Sjoberg showed poise in limiting two of the league’s more high-powered offenses to just penalty-kick and corner-kick finishes.

Sjoberg’s role in what turned out to be a pair of strong defensive performances earned the Rapids defender SBI MLS Rookie of the Week, beating out Sean Davis, Fatai Alashe and Matt Polster for this week’s honors.

What did you think of Sjoberg’s performances? Which rookie stood out to you this past weekend?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in MLS- Colorado Rapids, SBI MLS Rookie of the Week | 2 Comments

SBI NASL Player of the Week: Lance Laing

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Photo by FC Edmonton

By AARON CRANFORD

For the second week in a row, FC Edmonton winger Lance Laing continues to be productive going forward.

The speedy attacker scored a beautiful free kick and assisted the team’s second goal en route to a 2-2 draw vs. the 2014 Spring Season winners, Minnesota United, which also earned him recognition as SBI NASL Player of the Week.

Laing and counterpart Sainey Nyassi harassed the Minnesota United FC back line Sunday, but it was the Jamaica international who was the most fruitful and dynamic on the afternoon. He now has three assists in the Spring Season, tied for the league lead.

Laing’s goal, assist and overall play earned him recognition as SBI NASL Player of the Week, beating out Lucky Mkosana, Marcos Flores, Tiyi Shipalane and Alhassane Keita.

What did you think of Laing’s performance? Which player stood out to you in Week 5?

Share your thoughts below.

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SBI NASL Team of the Week: Jacksonville Armada FC

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Photo by Jacksonville Armada FC

By AARON CRANFORD

Being an expansion club, Jacksonville Armada FC will have its ups and downs as it tries to figure things out in the NASL; but its performance Saturday was certainly one of those ups.

Armada FC stayed undefeated at home in their first year after a 2-1 win against the defending champion San Antonio Scorpions, earning it recognition as SBI NASL Team of the Week. The team can thank Alhassane Keita for providing the dramatic extra-time game-winner in front of 8,147 fans at Community First Park.

With their second win of the year, Armada FC is in the thick of things in the Spring Season table. If the ball continues to bounce its way, it could see a finish at the top of the table.

Jacksonville’s result and outing beat out the performances of the New York Cosmos and FC Edmonton for this week’s honors.

What did you think of Armada FC’s performance? Which team stood out to you in this past weekend’s NASL play?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in NASL | 1 Comment

The SBI Show: Episode 204 (Recapping MLS Week 9, talking CCL, and more)

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By IVES GALARCEP

The cream has begun to rise to the top of the MLS standings, as we watched the Seattle Sounders and New England Revolution dispose of their New York opponents in a pair of MLS Week Nine’s headlining matches.

Episode 204 of The SBI Show looks back at a weekend with several intriguing matches, including Seattle’s thrashing of NYCFC and the Revs’ victory against a short-handed New York Red Bulls side that suffered its first loss of the season.

Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I also look back at the CONCACAF Champions League finals, and Montreal’s improbable run. We also dive into whether MLS is doing enough to really compete on the international stage.

Give Episode 204 of The SBI Show a listen after the jump:

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, Podcasts, U.S. Men's National Team | 1 Comment