Photo by Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports
By COLE KELLOGG
Derbies once again take center stage as the U.S. Open Cup moves into the tournament’s fifth round.
In the fourth round of the tournament, fans were treated to a number of intriguing matches that saw the Portland Timbers controversially beat the Seattle Sounders and New York City FC lose to the New York Cosmos in penalty kicks.
Another New York derby can be viewed as the most exciting matchup of the tournament’s fifth round. With the Cosmos running away with the NASL spring season title, and the New York Red Bulls putting its first MLS series against NYCFC to bed on Sunday, both teams are coming in on emotional highs.
Meanwhile, the the west coast boasts a derby of its own as the LA Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes collide for the second California Clasico in less than a week.
Elsewhere in this round of Open Cup games are six all-MLS affairs and one other inter-league matchup between the Chicago Fire and Charlotte Independence. The Philadelphia Union face D.C. United, the Houston Dynamo play the Colorado Rapids, Sporting Kansas City take on FC Dallas, Orlando City play the Columbus Crew and Real Salt Lake take on the Portland Timbers.
Here’s a closer look at the Round of 16 matches: Continue reading
By RYAN TOLMICH
The U.S. Women’s National Team is just one step away from the finals of the Women’s World Cup, but standing in their way Tuesday will be the best team in the world.
After dispatching China in the quarterfinals, the U.S. takes on Germany in Tuesday’s semifinal, pitting the world’s top two teams against one another. Led by the tournament’s two top scorers in Celia Sasic and Anja Mittag, Germany presents the biggest test that the U.S. has faced to this point.
The USWNT will be bolstered by a pair of returns, though, as Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Holliday both return to the lineup after serving suspensions last time out.
SBI will be providing live commentary on tonight’s match so please feel free to follow the action here. As always, you are welcome to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.
Enjoy the action (Tonight’s live commentary is after the jump):
Photo by Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
After years of rumors linking him with a move to the league, Giovani Dos Santos has reportedly found himself a serious suitor in MLS.
Reports out of Spain state that the Mexican star is currently in discussions with the LA Galaxy. The reports state that the transfer fee for the Mexican playmaker, who plays for Villarreal, would be somewhere around $7.84 million.
Dos Santos is reportedly guaranteed to depart Villarreal after a frustrating season that saw him score just six goals and provide seven assists in 40 appearances. The 26-year-old attacker has also reportedly drawn interest from Liga MX’s Tigres, although Dos Santos prefers not to move to a Mexican club.
Should the Galaxy make a move for Dos Santos, it would need to find a way to him on its roster. He likely would require a Designated Player salary, but LA has all three of its current slots filled with Robbie Keane, Omar Gonzalez, and the incoming Steven Gerrard.
One possible solution could come via the introduction of the league’s long-rumored core player rule. Given the flexibility to add a fourth big-money player, the Galaxy could add Dos Santos to their roster. Continue reading
photo by Robert Mayer/USA Today Sports
By FRANCO PANIZO
Jozy Altidore has carved out a good career for himself despite being just 25-years old. He has earned 80 caps for the U.S. Men’s National Team, scored 27 goals, played in two World Cups, and spent a number of years in leagues across Europe.
Altidore believes his best soccer is still to come, however.
Currently in his third cycle with the U.S., Altidore has already developed into one of the figureheads of the team. He is not only a leader on the field due to his abilities and wealth of experience, but also off of it for how he sets an example for the next generation of youngsters coming through the pipeline.
Altidore has spearheaded the Americans’ attack almost immediately from the moment he was introduced to the full U.S. side in 2008. He has found the back of the net in big games, like in the 2009 Confederations Cup upset over Spain, and honed his craft in Europe and MLS to become more than just a goal-scoring threat.
He’s matured a lot both as a person and a player since the start of his career, but the veteran striker still thinks there is plenty of more room to grow.
“I still feel like my best football is yet to come,” Altidore told FIFA.com. “I understand the game in a way that I didn’t before. I’m excited for the next five or six years. I’m getting better with every game and I want to see where that goes.”
photo by Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports
By FRANCO PANIZO
HANOVER, N.J. — The New York Red Bulls are making no secret about it: They want to exact revenge on the New York Cosmos.
A year removed from an embarrassing 3-0 defeat to the Cosmos in U.S. Open Cup play, the Red Bulls are set for a rematch with the NASL club in the fifth round of the tournament on Wednesday. The Red Bulls will have the homefield advantage this time and are expected to field a lineup that more closely resembles their starting group.
Last year, then-head coach Mike Petke went with a reserve-filled unit against the Cosmos due to a combination of international absences, injuries and preferred approach. The result was an apathetic and humiliating loss at Shuart Stadium that infuriated the Red Bulls’ fan base and left the players with pain and a sour taste in their mouths.
“There’s a sense of revenge, that we need to win this game,” said centerback Matt Miazga, who started in last year’s fourth round match. “Obviously, at the start of the season (head coach Jesse Marsch) really made it a commitment to win this Open Cup, and that’s one of our goals. Now, the Cosmos are in our way, and we’re going to give it our all.
“I played in that game last year, and it did suck losing, 3-0, away at their place. Now, we’re back at home, and we’re going to look to win at home.”
photo by Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports
By FRANCO PANIZO
One of the surprise inclusions on the U.S. Men’s National Team’s Gold Cup roster will not be participating in the tournament, and he is likely to be replaced by one of the more surprising exclusions.
Houston Dynamo left midfielder Brad Davis has been ruled out of the upcoming Gold Cup because of a knee injury. U.S. Soccer is planning to replace Davis on the 23-man squad, but CONCACAF must receive paperwork from the federation and approve any change before it becomes official.
Despite that, U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has already brought Atlas defender Greg Garza into camp. Garza will be available to play in Friday’s friendly against Guatemala in Nashville, Tennessee, and could be named as Davis’ replacement if CONCACAF gives the green light.
The Americans begin their Gold Cup title defense on July 7 vs. Honduras.
What do you think of Davis being ruled out of the Gold Cup? Should Garza be Davis’ replacement for the tournament? Would you have preferred to see DaMarcus Beasley get called in?
Share your thoughts below.
By RYAN TOLMICH
Cody Cropper has found himself a new home.
MK Dons announced Tuesday that the club has signed Cropper, the 22-year-old goalkeeper who recently appeared for the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team at the Toulon Tournament. Cropper’s signing was a part of a triple swoop that also saw MK Dons add Wales striker Simon Church and English winger Dale Jennings.
“I’m excited to have them on board,”said head coach Karl Robinson. “They will all bring different attributes to the group. Cody has got tremendous potential and he fits the type of the person we want around the place. He’s a good size, got a great work ethic and wants to learn.”
“It’s a great opportunity for myself and I’m very pleased to be here,” Cropper added. “I want to push on and develop as a goalkeeper.”