By RYAN TOLMICH
Two days after Manchester City pushed themselves to a tie atop the table, Chelsea head north for a visit to the always-pesky Stoke City.
Chelsea enter Monday two weeks removed from their first and only slip-up of the season, a 2-1 loss at St. James Park to Newcastle. After following the misstep with a 2-0 victory over Hull City, the Blues will need at least a point to maintain sole possession of first place heading into Christmas.
Stoke, meanwhile, enter with a mixed 1-1-1 record in their last three contests, with the highlight coming in an upset victory over Arsenal at the Brittania Stadium. Currently nestled in 13th, the club sits just four points out of the relegation zone.
Both sides are expected to see the return of key contributors, as Stoke playmaker Bojan Krkic and Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois are in the lineup following injuries, while U.S. Men’s National Team defender Geoff Cameron is also in the Starting XI.
If you will be watching today’s action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below. Enjoy the action.
By RYAN TOLMICH
NASL commissioner Bill Peterson is keeping an eye towards developing future talent.
For years, those connected with soccer in the United States have been working to put together the ideal academy system. While Europe and South America have developed ways of churning out talent fit for their region, the U.S. has struggled to find a proper system to produce players in the country’s current culture and climate.
In an attempt to forge their own system, Peterson and the NASL have left the league’s teams with certain freedoms when it comes to putting together each club’s respective academy. With no overarching system in place, Peterson has left it on each individual club to develop the system that works for them.
“You’re definitely going to see people getting serious about it,” Peterson told SBI. “Right now, from a league standpoint, we’ve sort of stayed out of any direction or any guidance because we’re trying to figure out what teams are going to find the best way to do it. It’s a very tough business and a lot of people have tried to do it a lot of different ways for many years.” Continue reading
Photo by Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
Robbie Keane is set to kick off the 2015 season with a return to his hometown.
The LA Galaxy announced on Monday that the club will visit Ireland for a preseason friendly against Shamrock Rovers that is set for Feb. 21. The friendly will see Keane return to his hometown of Dublin, and more specifically the area of Tallaght.
Shamrock Rovers are the most successful club in Ireland, having won the League of Ireland 17 times while claiming 24 FAI Cups.
Here are some more of Monday’s MLS news and notes: Continue reading
By IVES GALARCEP
It was a busy week in Major League Soccer, with big news ranging from stadium project approvals to high-profile player signings to much more.
Episode 183 of The SBI Show catches you up on all the recent activity, from D.C. United’s stadium project approval to Orlando City’s signing of Brek Shea.
Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I also discuss the recent MLS re-entry drafts, the latest news on Erick ‘Cubo’ Torres’ future and more.
Give Episode 183 of The SBI Show a listen after the jump:
By RYAN TOLMICH
Freddy Adu is once again back on the open market.
Adu has parted ways with Serbian side FK Jagodina after making just one first team appearance, in a cup game, for the club. Adu’s time with the club lasted just five months.
Reports in Europe stated that Adu had been released, but the 25-year-old attacker took to Twitter on Monday to say that he had been expecting to move on for some time.
The former U.S. Men’s National Team player – who has played for 10 clubs in his career – did not make an appearance in a league game for Jagodina and saw just 13 minutes of action in a cup matchup back in September.
By DAN KARELL
The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team wrapped up their final two friendly matches before World Cup qualifying with a sweep of Honduras on the road.
In the finale on Sunday afternoon, the U.S. defeated Honduras, 2-1, following up a 2-1 victory on Thursday in the first of the two friendly matches in San Pedro Sula.
Romain Gall scored for the second match in a row, and his first-half strike was followed up by a goal from Lynden Gooch. Devron Garcia scored the lone goal for the Honduras U-20s in the defeat.
Head coach Tab Ramos will now organize a domestic-based training camp with the U-20 squad before heading to Jamaica early in 2015 ahead of the CONCACAF U-20 Championships. Ramos will have to select his 20-man squad by Dec. 30.
Here’s a look at the U.S. lineup from the 2-1 victory: