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.

Darrius Barnes 2014 playoffs (USA Today Photo)

Utility man Barnes boosting Revolution’s defense

Defensive utility man Darrius Barnes has been key to helping the New England Revolution turn things around after a slow start to 2015.

HulkBrazil1-ChileWorldCup2014 (Getty)

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

Brazil and Chile meet in a rematch from their World Cup encounter amidst a handful of Euro 2016 qualification games.

Jordan Morris called into USMNT camp after Aron Johannsson ruled out

Johannsson-USAToday

By AARON CRANFORD

Aron Johannsson scored in his first U.S. Men’s National Team match of 2015. He will have to wait until the summer to score his second.

The U.S. Men’s National Team will be without Aron Johannsson for Sunday’s friendly against Switzerland on Tuesday after the forward was forced to pull out with a toe infection.

Stanford University forward Jordan Morris has been called into the camp as Johannsson’s replacement. Morris scored the first goal against Bosnia with the U.S. Under-23s on Friday, and he will now join the senior squad in Zurich ahead of Tuesday’s friendly.

Morris made his national team debut last fall in the U.S. team’s 4-1 loss to Ireland.

What do you think of this development? Will Jordan Morris make an appearance for the senior squad against Switzerland?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Featured, U.S. Men's National Team | Leave a comment

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

Ben Olsen vs Red Bulls (USA TODAY Sports)

Photo by Jim O’Connor/USA Today Sports

By CLIFF STARKEY

WASHINGTON– After his team’s 2-0 loss last week against the New York Red Bulls in Harrison, New Jersey, D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen strongly criticized his players, their mentality, and basically everything about the game.

“It was [expletive],” Olsen said to reporters last week. “We were late to the game.”

Olsen’s players took his words to heart. And while Saturday night’s 1-0 win against the Los Angeles Galaxy may look good on paper, the fact is that a Galaxy side weakened by international call-ups gave D.C. United all they could handle until Chris Pontius’s 93rd-minute header broke the lackluster deadlock.

Nevertheless, Olsen and his team said that they spent the week leading up to the game correcting the deficiencies discovered against the Red Bulls.

“I was very happy with the effort and the response from last week,” Olsen said. “It’s a good group, and we talk about responding after negative events, and putting together positive streaks, rather than negative streaks.”
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Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- D.C. United | 10 Comments

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.
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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- New England Revolution | 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):

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

Rapids keep Houston under wraps, preserve draw

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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

Man advantage not enough for Seattle in FCD draw

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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.

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Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- FC Dallas, MLS- Seattle Sounders | 2 Comments

Report: Haji Wright to sign with New York Cosmos

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By ADAM TROXTELL

The future of rising American star Haji Wright is becoming more clear, and it appears that future does not include MLS for the time being.

Wright, 17, is set to sign for the NASL’s New York Cosmos, according to a report from the New York Times. The Cosmos are expected to confirm the deal in an announcement as early as Monday.

Already considered a promising young player, Wright confirmed this even more when his goals helped the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team qualify earlier this month for the World Cup in Chile. He scored 18 goals in 22 outings for the U-17s last year.

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Posted in Featured, NASL, New York Cosmos, U.S. Under-17 National Team | 15 Comments

Red Bulls slip past Crew in physical contest

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Photo by Greg Bartram/USA Today Sports

By AARON CRANFORD

Having now put together back-to-back victories over Eastern Conference contenders, the New York Red Bulls are on a roll.

The Red Bulls sit atop of the Eastern Conference table with seven points in three games after topping Columbus Crew SC, 2-1, at MAPFRE Stadium. Bradley Wright-Phillips added another goal to his tally on the year and was also credited with an assist on Mike Grella’s game-winning chip from well outside the box.

The goalscoring sequence was kickstarted by Lloyd Sam, who was taken down in the box by a challenge from Emanuel Pogatetz in the 48th minute, and Wright-Phillips fired in his second goal of the year. But Crew SC would respond.

Kei Kamara received a pass and danced around in the box before firing an attempt toward goal. Goalkeeper Luis Robles probably did not know too much of it as it whizzed  toward goal, but it bounced off of him in 58th minute. However, the subsequent corner fell to the feet of Tchani, and he blasted it into the empty net.

The Red Bulls would not be outdone. Mike Grella jumped on a Crew mistake in the backline, and when he looked up at the goalkeeper’s position in goal, the NYRB substitute decided to chip a shot from quite a few yards outside of the box. It sailed past goalkeeper Steve Clarke and gave the Red Bulls the 2-1 lead in the 67th minute. Continue reading »

Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Columbus Crew, MLS- New York Red Bulls | 6 Comments