USATSI_8066733_168381069_lowres

Yankee Stadium preparation helps Sporting KC earn road win

Sporting KC prepared for Yankee Stadium’s narrow dimensions, and those preparations paid dividends in 1-0 victory over New York City FC.

Johannsson-USAToday

Jordan Morris called into USMNT camp after Aron Johannsson ruled out

A toe infection has forced Aron Johannsson out of Tuesday’s friendly. opening the door for the young forward Morris to potentially earn his second national team cap.

D.C. United responds to Ben Olsen’s blunt words

D.C. United players took coach Ben Olsen’s strong words to heart in their response against LA Galaxy.

Adailton’s header hands Fire first win of season against Philadelphia

Chicago-Fire-Adailton-MikeDinovo-USATSI

Photo by Mike Dinovo / USA Today Sports

By ADAM TROXTELL

A big sigh of relief breathed out of the cold at Toyota Park.

The Chicago Fire emerged from a clash of winless teams against Philadelphia Union with their first victory of the season, 1-0 on a frigid spring afternoon. Harrison Shipp was again in the middle of the action, leaving only the question of how only one goal was scored in a lively match.

After scoring the Fire’s first goal of the season last weekend against San Jose, Shipp provided the eventual winner in the first half with a cross that was steered home by Adailton. The goal came after a steady build-up by the Fire, who out-shot the Union 16-7 and held the visitors to zero shots on goal.

Philadelphia’s effort was held back by several factors, not least a red card to Fred in the 73rd minute for hitting Shipp in the face. It came just as the Union appeared to be organizing for an equalizer, but they remain winless through four games this season.

Continue reading »

Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Chicago Fire, MLS- Philadelphia Union | Leave a comment

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

HulkBrazil1-ChileWorldCup2014 (Getty)

By ADAM TROXTELL

In the buildup to this summer’s Copa America, Chile also might have revenge on the mind when facing Brazil in London.

The match held at the Emirates Stadium is the first meeting between the two sides since Brazil’s win on penalty kicks in the round of 16 at last year’s World Cup. Both teams called up the big guns for this friendly match, with Neymar and Alexis Sanchez expected to play.

Qualification continues for next summer’s European Championships, with Germany trying to retake first place in their group against Georgia. It should be an easy time for the Germans, who are currently staring up at Poland in a close Group D.

Ireland hosts Poland later in the day, with just three points separating first from fourth. Third place Scotland plays bottom dwellers Gibraltar.

Portugal can take top spot in Group I with a win against Serbia. Denmark, who currently tops the group, plays France in a friendly match this round.

If you will be watching any of today’s action, feel free to leave your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below

Enjoy the action (today’s soccer on TV schedule after the jump):

Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, South American Soccer | 6 Comments

Nagging injury forces Villa to sit, but Kreis expects quick recovery

David Villa MLS New York CIty FC 03212015

BY MICHAEL PENG 

NEW YORK — David Villa had been fighting through it week after week, but the pain from a groin injury that has been nagging him since the preseason finally became too unbearable, forcing the Spanish star to sit out of New York City FC’s match Saturday against Sporting Kansas City.

Without his presence up top, as well as the likes of Khiry Shelton and Adam Nemec, who were both called away on their respective international duties, NYCFC suffered their first loss in club history, dropping the match 1-0 on an early Ike Opara header on a chilly, snowy night at Yankee Stadium.

Patrick Mullins and Javier Calle got the nods to start for NYCFC, and substitute Tony Taylor came on late, but none of them were able to find the goal NYCFC needed to salvage the loss, as the team had just three shots on target on 12 tries.

The club cited “a slight adductor issue” in a statement released just prior to the match and afterward, head coach Jason Kreis admitted this is an issue the team has been monitoring for quite some time.  Continue reading »

Posted in MLS- New York City FC | Leave a comment

Utility man Barnes boosting Revolution’s defense

Darrius Barnes 2014 playoffs (USA Today Photo)

Photo by Stew Milne/USA Today Sports

By CARL SETTERLUND

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Darrius Barnes isn’t the first player that comes to mind when most people think of the New England Revolution’s defense, but Barnes is again proving his value.

The versatile 6-foot-1 defender entered the season as a top backup, but has made the most of his early-season opportunities. Barnes patrolled the middle with Andrew Farrell in last weekend’s shutout against the Montreal Impact, and on Saturday he shifted out wide to provide cover for injured right back Kevin Alston.

“Darrius had an excellent week of training, and an excellent game last week, so it was hard to take him off,” said Revs coach Jay Heaps, who moved his Week 3 right back, fill-in Jeremy Hall, to the bench in favor of Barnes. “Again tonight he proves why you put him in there. He’s fighting for everything.”

The 28-year-old Barnes also assisted on the Revs’ eventual winner in the 37th minute. Kelyn Rowe came away with the glory, but it was Barnes who did the dirty work on that one, diving to split San Jose’s Marvell Wynne and J.J. Koval and get on the end of a Chris Tierney free kick.
Continue reading »

Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- New England Revolution | 1 Comment

Sounders can’t capitalize on FC Dallas red card in draw

Kellyn-Acosta-Cristian-Roldan-TimHeitman-USATSI

Photo by Tim Heitman / USA Today Sports

By ADAM TROXTELL

An early FC Dallas red card was not enough to provide a short-handed Seattle Sounders attack with the necessary advantage.

Chance after chance went begging in the second half as the Sounders settled for a 0-0 road draw against the best team in the West though four games. Minus both Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins, the Sounders were unable to find a good enough final pass to take advantage of the missing Kellyn Acosta.

FCD’s young defensive back was sent off in just the 18th minute for a high, dangerous tackle on Andy Rose, who was deputizing for the injured Dempsey just behind striker Chad Barrett. Seattle used the extra man to its liking much more in the second half.

But the lack of goals was simply a matter of poor finishing. Neither team recorded a single shot on goal through 90 minutes, though Barrett had at least three golden opportunities before he was subbed off.

Michel sent FCD’s best chance off the cross bar with a 27th minute free kick. The home side constantly looked to attack when possible, using Fabian Castillo to almost maximum effect.

Continue reading »

Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- FC Dallas, MLS- Seattle Sounders | 7 Comments

Late Pontius winner leads D.C. United past Galaxy

USATSI_8483049_168381069_lowres

Photo by Brad Mills/USA Today Sports

By CLIFF STARKEY

WASHINGTON– Although D.C. United and the Los Angeles Galaxy are two of the most storied franchises in MLS history, each team needed Saturday night’s game in the nation’s capital to break out of their respective early-season slumps.

In the end — and at the end — it was D.C. United who came away with a vital three points.

As the game entered the final seconds, and both teams looked ready to settle for a disappointing scoreless draw in the cold, Nick DeLeon beat his man down the wing and delivered a cross that Chris Pontius headed home to ensure a late 1-0 victory.

Even though they didn’t come out as ineffectively as they did last week in Harrison, New Jersey, D.C. United once again had a tough start to the game. Defender Steve Birnbaum injured his ankle after a second-minute corner kick. Birnbaum rolled his left ankle after his headed attempt was cleared off the line. Continue reading »

Posted in MLS- D.C. United, MLS- LA Galaxy | 5 Comments

Rapids keep Dynamo under wraps, preserve draw

Houston-Dynamo-Colorado-Rapids-ThomasShea-USATSI

Photo by Thomas Shea/USA Today Sports

By ADAM TROXTELL

There was no way past the Colorado Rapids defense for a Houston Dynamo side seeking goals.

The Dynamo were shut out for the second of three home games this season and settled for a 0-0 draw at BBVA Compass Stadium. Houston outshot the visitors 11-6 on the night, though the Rapids were on top of the goal attempts more often than not.

They blocked six of the shots, with Clint Irwin saving two more for a third scoreless draw in as many games this season. What the Rapids lack in scoring prowess so far this season, they make up for in defensive courage.

That’s not to say they didn’t have a golden chance to leave Houston with all three points. Late in the first half, Gabriel Torres flicked a ball on for attacking partner Marcelo Sarvas, putting him through on goal.

Somehow, Tyler Deric produced another jaw-dropping save in the Houston goal, getting his forearms low to deflect the shot inches over the cross bar.

As the game wore on, the Dynamo had the better opportunities but failed to capitalize.

The Dynamo will try to make up for those missed chances in Seattle next weekend, while Colorado hosts New England Revolution.

Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Colorado Rapids, MLS- Houston Dynamo | 3 Comments

Yankee Stadium preparation helps Sporting KC earn road win

USATSI_8066733_168381069_lowres

Photo by Gary Rohman/Sporting KC-USA Today Sports

BY RYAN TOLMICH

NEW YORK — Sporting KC knew ahead of Saturday’s trip to Yankee Stadium that the contest would require a different set of preparations. In response, Peter Vermes had his side prepare for the chilly conditions, the backbreaking wind and, most importantly, the narrow field upon which the game would be played.

Sporting KC’s preparations paid off in the form up a 1-0 victory over New York City FC via a goalscoring sequence that was all too familiar for the players on the field.

With Yankee Stadium’s dimensions set to present a narrower field than most in the league, Sporting KC took the chance to acclimate in the week leading up to Saturday’s contest. Those acclimations saw Sporting KC specifically dial in in Matt Besler’s ability to chuck in long distance throws, which paid dividends as Ike Opara got on the receiving end to provide the game’s lone finish.

“Our coaches do a very good job preparing our team,” Besler said. “All week long, our grounds crew painted a field with the exact dimensions of this field. We’ve been training on a field thats 68 yards wide all week. We’ve been doing set pieces an throw-ins on a field that is 68 yards. We knew where the ball was getting to on a consistent basis and fortunately Ike was able to finish it off. Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, MLS- Sporting Kansas City, Uncategorized | 3 Comments