Jul 25, 2015; Chester, PA, USA; The starting lineup of the United States pose for a photo before the CONCACAF Gold Cup third place match against Panama at PPL Park. Mandatory Credit: Panama won on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw. Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Who should the USMNT call up for the September friendlies?

The U.S. Men’s National Team roster for the September friendlies will be unveiled on Sunday, and here is who SBI thinks will get called in.

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MLS Week 26: A Look Ahead

Rivalries take centerstage again in MLS this weekend as the playoff picture continues to heat up.

May 23, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley (4) takes a ball up field during the first half in a game against the Portland Timbers  at BMO Field. Toronto FC won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Bradley confirms he’ll stay with Toronto FC during USMNT-Peru friendly

Michael Bradley has confirmed that he will stay with Toronto FC and miss the U.S. Men’s National Team’s upcoming friendly vs. Peru.

Who should the USMNT call up for the September friendlies?

Photo by Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. Men’s National Team roster for the upcoming friendlies is set to be unveiled this weekend, and the discussion on who should be on it is about to go into hyperdrive.

U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is set to reveal his squad for the looming September matches against Peru and Brazil, and has already revealed that veterans Tim Howard and DaMarcus Beasley will be on it. Who joins them is up for debate, but it seems crystal clear that Klinsmann will go with most of his first-choice players as he attempts to prepare the Americans for October’s all-important 2017 Confederations Cup playoff vs. Mexico.

While some observers might want a litany of changes from the team that performed poorly at the CONCACAF Gold Cup last month, the reality is that Klinsmann is likely to count on many of the same players. One or two new faces like red-hot Sandhusen forward Andrew Wooten could be brought in, but the roster will probably have very few major surprises.

Almost all the major leagues around the world are now in full swing, so Klinsmann will have plenty of options to choose from and some tough decisions to make. In particular, right back is a position that Klinsmann will need to think about plenty given that Fabian Johnson is recovering from an injury while Timmy Chandler only just began to see time again for Eintracht Frankfurt.

Klinsmann might also have to mix things up at the forward and centerback spots, especially at the former spot since leading talisman Clint Dempsey is struggling with a knock.

Who will Klinsmann call up? Here are the 23 players that we think he brings in:

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Posted in Featured, U.S. Men's National Team | 69 Comments

MLS Week 26: A Look Ahead

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Photo by Tommy Gilligan/USA Today Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

MLS rivalries take centerstage yet again this weekend, with several boasting major playoff implications.

In the East, the New York Red Bulls and D.C. United are set to collide in a battle with major conference and Supporters’ Shield implications. Meanwhile, north of the border, Toronto FC hosts the Montreal Impact in a potential playoff preview.

Out West, the action is headlined by a California Classico, as the surging LA Galaxy visit playoff hopefuls the San Jose Earthquakes. Another club looking to improve its standing in the playoff picture is the Seattle Sounders, who are up against the wall heading into Saturday’s Cascadia clash with the Portland Timbers.

Elsewhere, the Vancouver Whitecaps visit the Houston Dynamo, New York City FC looks to turn its season around against the Columbus Crew, and Real Salt Lake aims to move closer to postseason contention by beating FC Dallas.

Here’s a closer look at this weekend’s MLS action: Continue reading »

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Bradley confirms he’ll stay with Toronto FC during USMNT-Peru friendly

photo by Nick Turchiaro/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. Men’s National Team will be without its captain for at least the first of its two upcoming friendlies vs. South American opposition.

Michael Bradley confirmed on Friday reports that said he would stay with Toronto FC this upcoming week instead of joining the U.S. for its preparations for a Sept. 4 meeting with Peru. Toronto plays on road against the Seattle Sounders a day after that international friendly takes place at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., and Bradley is being kept in an effort to help his club try to solidify its playoff positioning in the Eastern Conference.

It is not confirmed what will happen with fellow Toronto FC star Jozy Altidore, but the most recent reports and rumors are that he will not stick around with the club like Bradley.

“I’ll be with Toronto FC in Seattle,” Bradley told reporters. “There was some discussions between everyone at U.S. Soccer and everyone at Toronto FC, going back a few months to when we played those friendlies in June.

“There was agreement that for this game in Seattle that I’d be able to stay with Toronto FC and then afterwards, if (U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann) would like, then I’ll join up with the team in Boston for the game against Brazil.”

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Posted in Featured, MLS- Toronto FC, U.S. Men's National Team | 8 Comments

NASL Week 10: A Look Ahead

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By COLE KELLOGG

The New York Cosmos have the chance on Sunday to take three points from the Carolina RailHawks for the second time in a week.

Gio Savarese’s men posted a 3-1 win in North Carolina last weekend, and will relish the chance to further close the gap on the league-leading Ottawa Fury. A man of the match performance from Leo Fernandes led the Cosmos in that game.

FC Edmonton will travel to Atlanta to play the Silverbacks on Saturday, with both teams currently sitting on 15 points. The winner will end the weekend in the top four, while the loser would drop further into mid-table.

The first-place Ottawa Fury will be looking to pile on the grief against the dead-last Tampa Bay Rowdies at home. After firing head coach Thomas Rongen  just before last weekend, the Rowdies fell at home in a 3-1 loss to Minnesota United. The Fury, settled for a draw against the Cosmos midweek, have a chance to come back with a bang against the league’s worst team.

Elsewhere this week, Indy Eleven will face the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in an attempt to earn a result for their third-straight game, and the Jacksonville Armada will host the San Antonio Scorpions.

Here’s a closer look at NASL action this weekend: Continue reading »

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Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Getting out of the dog house was a start. Now, it’s about distancing away from it.

Timmy Chandler earned his first appearance of the new Bundesliga season this past weekend by coming off the bench at halftime, and is hoping that his 45-minute performance can help him earn a start on Saturday vs. VfB Stuttgart. Chandler started the month a bit out of favor with Eintracht head coach Armin Veh, but looks to be winning him back over and could be in line for a start in the upcoming road game. Getting the nod would surely be a boost for Chandler, whose case to start at right back in the upcoming U.S. Men’s National Team friendlies would be strengthened if he can help his club pick up its first win of the season.

While it will be worth keeping tabs on Chandler’s role this weekend, there is another intriguing match that you might not want to miss. A potential battle of Americans and former club teammates could take place on Friday, as Joe Corona’s Veracruz welcomes Edgar Castillo and Monterrey. Both teams have gotten off to solid starts so far in the Liga MX Apertura campaign and are even on points, but Monterrey could create some distance while having a game in hand if it can slow down the in-form Joe Corona and Co. at Estadio Luis de la Fuente.

Two other Americans that are likely to be in action and will be keen on building on their midweek success are Tim Ream and Gedion Zelalem. Ream had a successful Fulham debut in Capital One Cup play on Tuesday, and is aiming to earn his first league start for his new club on Saturday against Rotherham United. Zelalem, for his part, will try and build on his two-assist debut for Rangers by getting the nod again when it returns to league play on Sunday by visiting Queen of the South.

Here is who the Americans Abroad play this weekend:

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Friday Kickoff: Dos Santos, Ochoa left off Mexico squad; Europa League groups set; and more

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Photo by Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

Selecting his squad for the first time, interim Mexico coach Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti left some notable names off his roster for upcoming friendlies.

Giovani Dos Santos, Jonathan Dos Santos and Guillermo Ochoa have all been omitted from Mexico’s roster for a pair of friendlies against Trinidad and Tobago and Argentina in the U.S. on September 4 and 8, respectively.

In Ochoa’s stead, Ferretti selected Club America’s Moises Munoz and Toluca’s Alfredo Talavera as the team’s goalkeepers.

The rest of Ferretti’s squad, though, is littered with regulars, including Rafa Marquez, Carlos Vela and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez.

Take a closer look at Mexico’s full roster below, as well as some more of Friday’s news and notes to kick off your day: Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, Featured, International Soccer, Mexican Soccer, Uncategorized | 8 Comments