By FRANCO PANIZO
Some old and new players were mixed into the fold for the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team this month, but it came at a price.
The U.S. U-20s finished their recent camp in England this past weekend with a pair of 2-1 losses, falling to both Tottenham Hotspur’s U-21 team and England’s U-20 side in a span of three days. The first defeat came in a closed-door match on Friday at Tottenham Hotspur’s Training Center in London, and the second occurred in a rainy friendly played in front of 11,406 fans at Home Park in Plymouth.
Lynden Gooch scored the goal in the defeat to Spurs, and Maki Tall netted in his debut vs. England.
U.S. head coach Tab Ramos used the two games and entire camp to get closer looks at some of the players who took part in February’s successful World Cup qualifying campaign. Several others who did not participate also got the opportunity to prove their worth, including newcomers Tall and Desevio Payne.
By RYAN TOLMICH
While MLS beckons in either 2017 or 2018, 2015 is all about one thing for Minnesota United: establishing the club as a dominant force in the NASL.
Minnesota United enters 2015 having run rampant through the 2014 regular season, claiming the top spot in last year’s Spring season while finishing as runners-up in the Fall to claim the Woosnam Cup, awarded to the regular season champions. However, that regular season success proved to be all for naught, as the team fell to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the playoff semi-finals by way of penalty kicks
On the backs of young superstars Miguel Ibarra and Christian Ramirez, Minnesota United is once again set to contend with a team that, on paper, appears to have even more talent than last season’s edition.
With MLS veterans Johnny Steele and Kalif Alhassan, as well as international additions Ibson and Sammy N’Djock, head coach Manny Lagos now wields a lineup as strong as any in the league, one that has ambitions of the club’s second championship.
Here’s a closer look at the 2015 Minnesota United. Continue reading
Photo by Logan Bowles/FC Edmonton
By AARON CRANFORD
FC Edmonton had a rough start to the 2014 season, winning only two matches out of nine in the Spring Championship.
But the Eddies exploded onto the scene in the Fall Championship and almost qualified for the 2014 Soccer Bowl with an impressive 3rd place finish in the Fall table, winning eight games and drawing five.
The turnaround has everyone in Edmonton, including head coach Colin Miller, excited to see the momentum carry into 2015. With their first match of the 2015 NASL Spring Championship Saturday against newcomer Jacksonville Armada FC, Miller said he wants to see his side come out of the gates blazing, showing the league that they are ready to be one of the top teams year in, year out.
“I inherited a club, a team that was drastically on the decline,” Colin Miller told SBI in a phone interview, “and I think over the last couple of seasons, we’ve managed to turn that around and change the mindset of the club to the point where we’re very, very well-respected within the league.
“That’s what I’m looking for. It’s to continue to developing into a team that is a genuine contender for championship places.”
Here is a closer look at FC Edmonton in 2015: Continue reading
By FRANCO PANIZO
Like the senior side last week, the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team was unable to overcome Denmark in a friendly on Tuesday.
The U.S. U-23s saw its March camp end on a losing note after suffering a 1-0 defeat to Denmark at Lyngby Boldklub Stadion. The Americans were outdone by a second-half goal from Andreas Cornelius, forcing them to finish the camp with a 1-1 record that also included a 5-2 win over Bosnia & Herzegovina.
U.S. head coach Andi Herzog, who is looking to prepare his side for 2016 Olympic qualifying this fall, made only three changes to the lineup that took the field in that Sunday victory against Bosnia. New York City FC forward Khiry Shelton, San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Fatai Alashe and Monterrey striker Alonso Hernandez replaced Stanford’s Jordan Morris, LA Galaxy II forward Ariel Lassiter and striker Mario Rodriguez of Borussia Moenchengladbach.
The changes did not pay off in terms of a result, however, as the Americans were narrowly defeated nearly a week after the senior U.S. team suffered a 3-2 friendly loss to Denmark.
Here is the U.S. U-23s’ starting lineup against Denmark:
Photo by Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
In a week where many of the league’s teams were hampered by international call-ups, some teams took the opportunity to make a statement while some faltered due to some notable absences.
The league’s hottest team, FC Dallas, continued their unbeaten streak, but were forced to settle for a draw with the Seattle Sounders, while the reigning champion LA Galaxy weren’t so lucky in a late-game 1-0 loss to D.C. United.
Among the teams who marched to victory was the New York Red Bulls, who topped the Columbus Crew, 2-1, for a statement road victory. Meanwhile, the Fire also marched to victory, the team’s first, with a win over the Union.
Here are the SBI MLS Power Rankings for Week 4:
By FRANCO PANIZO
The U.S. Men’s National Team was on the way to an impressive victory, but a moment of frustration and indiscipline from one its most experienced players opened the door for some more second-half struggles.
A Jozy Altidore red card for dissent in the 68th minute left the Americans down a man, paving the way for a late Switzerland equalizer in an eventual 1-1 tie in Zurich. Brek Shea had opened the scoring for the Americans with a gorgeous free kick just before the end of the first half, but Altidore’s red card helped the Swiss pull level 10 minutes before the final whistle.
Valentin Stocker pushed home the equalizer at Stadion Letzigrund following a corner kick from the left, scoring the eighth goal the U.S. has surrendered in the final 10 minutes of their last eight games. The U.S. now has just one win in those matches.
By RYAN TOLMICH
Alejandro Bedoya played an unfamiliar role in last week’s U.S. Men’s National Team loss to Denmark. Though he held is own as a defensive midfielder, Bedoya showed on Tuesday against Switzerland why he’s more valuable for the U.S. in an attacking role.
Bedoya returned to his more familiar right wing role on Tuesday, and was the USMNT’s most polished player in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Switzerland. He contributed defensively, and helped create a handful of quality chances, which helped him earn SBI USMNT Man of the Match honors.
On the attacking end, Bedoya was among the team’s more creative options, combining well with right back Timmy Chandler to send in wave after wave of attack in the opening half. The best of Bedoya’s looks came in the 27th minute, when the midfielder centered a pass to Michael Bradley near the penalty spot for the USMNT’s best early look.
Bedoya’s attacking creativity, along with his work ethic on the defensive end, earned him recognition as SBI USMNT Man of the Match, beating out Brek Shea, Danny Williams and Timmy Chandler.
What did you think of Bedoya’s performance? Which player stood out to you in the USMNT’s draw with Switzerland?
Share your thoughts below.
By ALAN CONDON
Liverpool will refuse to sell its most promising young talent Raheem Sterling this summer, despite contract negotiations dragging on since the start of October with no new deal in sight.
Liverpool head coach Brendan Rodgers has reaffirmed his intention to keep the youngster at Anfield, and will not consider a deal to sell him in the summer transfer window, with a number of clubs reported to be eyeing up a move.
Sterling’s current contract keeps him at Anfield until 2017 and talks to extend his stay until 2020 have been put on hold until the end of the season.
The 20-year-old was reportedly offered a contract of 100,000 pounds ($148,500) per week, a significant upgrade on his 35,000-pound wage. But Sterling reportedly wants 150,000 pounds per week which would put him among the top earners at the club.
Rodgers has repeatedly stated that he believes Liverpool can best develop Sterling, but the Reds feel no pressure to sell the winger and are determined not to pay him more than they feel he is worth.
Here are some more news and notes for your Tuesday afternoon: