Photo by Kirby Lee/ USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
For Omar Gonzalez and Greg Garza, Tuesday night’s Gold Cup opener represents so much more than just another game; it represents a homecoming.
The two Texans return to their home state as a member of the U.S. Men’s National Team for Tuesday’s matchup with Honduras (9:30 p.m., FOX Sports 1, UniMas), the first for the USMNT at this summer’s Gold Cup.
Gonzalez’s return proves special for the Dallas native, who will feature in FC Dallas’ Toyota Stadium, a site just 25 miles away from Garza’s childhood home of Grapevine.
For Garza, who plies his trade with Liga MX’s Tijuana, the matchup presents him with the opportunity to play in front of family, an opportunity that has been few and far between in recent years. Save for some matchups with his youth teams and a trip to San Antonio earlier this year, Garza has rarely featured so near his loved ones, making his potential Gold Cup debut Tuesday all the more special.
“What else can you ask for, right? It’s a dream come true,” Garza said. “For me being home and having my family, my parents, my aunts and uncles, grandparents, everyone here to see me, I’m just really happy to be here.” Continue reading
Photo by Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
Michael Bradley knows that Tuesday night will be special, but the U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder also understands that the night will be about much more than his personal achievements.
The U.S. kicks off the 2015 Gold Cup Tuesday night (9:30 p.m., FOX Sports 1, UniMas), taking on a tough Honduras team to start play in Group A. For Bradley, that matchup presents the potential for his 100th cap, a real milestone on a road that has featured plenty of twists and turns.
Bradley calls that milestone”special”, one that he will cherish when the time is right. However, that time is certainly not Tuesday night, as the USMNT captain understands that the night is about moving towards a Gold Cup crown more so than his personal achievements.
“When you talk about pride and honor and responsibility, that only adds to it, but as I’ve touched on, this week at this point, I’m not making any more of that than there needs to be,” Bradley said. “We’re excited to get this tournament going. we’ve all been looking forward to it for a long time. It’s a big opportunity for us. It’s a big tournament and everybody’s mentality is to push and push so that, at the end of the month, we can be the ones holding up a trophy.
“They’re very hard to play against,” Bradley said. “So we’ll be committed to stepping on the field, and trying to be sharp and trying to push the tempo and getting after them and seeing if we can start [the Gold Cup] off with a good result.”
Photo by Isaiah J. Downing/USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
The holiday weekend provided plenty of changes in MLS, as several teams picked up major upsets to shuffle up the MLS Power Rankings.
Headlining the week’s upset parade was an unlikely candidate, as the shorthanded Seattle Sounders did just enough to squeak past D.C. United. Elsewhere, Western Conference cellardwellers Colorado Rapids defeated a Supporters’ Shield candidate in the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Meanwhile, both the LA Galaxy and Portland Timbers continued their respective hot streaks, while FC Dallas served up a statement with a thrashing of the New England Revolution to assert the West’s dominance over the MLS landscape.
Here are the SBI MLS Power Rankings for Week 18, as voted on by SBI’s editorial staff:
By DAN KARELL
Two years after seeing the U.S. Men’s National Team claim its fifth trophy, the 2015 Gold Cup kicks off Tuesday night with a spot in the Confederation’s Cup up for grabs.
Entering as reigning champions, the Americans could secure an automatic berth into the Confederations Cup with a Gold Cup title, but standing in their way will be a tough group of contenders that could easily disrupt head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s plans.
Once again leading the charge is Mexico, which despite some key injuries, enter the Gold Cup with a roster that might just be the most formidable in the region. Meanwhile, even a shorthanded Costa Rica team could pose major threats on the heels of a World Cup run, while typical contenders Honduras, Panama and El Salvador each boast strong teams that could make noise in the group stages in beyond.
Here is a closer look at the field for the 2015 Gold Cup below: Continue reading
By DAN KARELL
Freddy Adu’s latest career roll of the dice has come up short once again.
After a little more than three months under contract with Finnish side Kuopion Palloseura (KuPS), Adu has asked for his release, with both the club and Adu confirming on Tuesday that he has left the club. Adu played just five times for KuPS in the Veikkausliiga, with three starts. He failed to score a goal.
“He will pursue new challenges, and he is not available anymore for the Ilves match,” KuPS head coach Marko Rajamäki told Finnish newspaper Savon Sanomat. “I wish good luck to him. He is just a great personality.”
The five first-team matches Adu took part in were in April and May, after which he was relegated to the club’s reserve team, which plays in the fourth division of Finnish soccer.
Adu left a message on his Twitter account confirming the move, saying, “I have decided to exercise my option in my contract to leave KuPS this summer to pursue other opportunities. I thank the club and my teammates for welcoming me and making me a part of the team and I wish the team good luck for the remainder of the season and in the future.”
By DAN KARELL
Manchester United has been quiet in the transfer market so far this summer, but manager Louis Van Gaal is reportedly ready to make a big splash.
According to reports in Germany, Man United has approached Bayern Munich over the transfer of Thomas Müller. Some reports claim that Man United would offer €82 million in exchange for the World Cup champion, while others state that there will be a transfer fee plus Angel Di Maria heading to Bavaria.
Regardless of the price, Man United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward reportedly met recently with Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
Müller and Bayern manager Pep Guardiola got into a heated argument during Bayern’s first day of preseason training on Monday, but according to reports in Munich, the pair were back on good terms at training on Tuesday.
Here are some more stories to kick off your Tuesday: Continue reading
Photo by Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA Today Sports
By DAN KARELL
The 2015 Women’s World Cup final didn’t just break records on the field. It also broke records on the TV screen.
According to Nielsen, the U.S. Women’s National Team’s 5-2 rout of Japan on FOX earned an overnight metered market household rating/share of 15.2/27. Per SI.com, the game averaged 25.4 million viewers over the course of the evening, during the 7-9 p.m. ET time slot.
From 8:45 to 9 p.m., as the USWNT drew closer to ending its 16-year World Cup drought, the TV viewership peaked with an 18.3/31.
To put it in perspective, the Women’s World Cup final had more viewers than the U.S. Men’s National Team’s match vs. Portugal last summer (18.7 million on ESPN and 24.7 combined with Univision’s viewership), the 2011 Women’s World Cup Final (13.46 million), Game Six of the 2015 NBA Finals (23.3 million on ABC) and even Game Seven of the 2014 World Series (23.5 million on FOX).
The Nielsen numbers don’t take into account the thousands of fans who watched online or at sports bars across the country.
What do you think of this development? Impressed with the support for the USWNT from across the country? Do you see this number being broken at the Olympics next year?
Share your thoughts below.