photo by Jeff Curry/USA Today Sports
By FRANCO PANIZO
NEW YORK — Alex Morgan is still battling a knee injury, but the star U.S. Women’s National Team forward insists she will be ready for the start of the World Cup.
Morgan has been recovering from a bone bruise in her left knee in recent weeks, and missed both of the U.S.’s wins against the Republic of Ireland and Mexico earlier this month because of the injury. Her status for Saturday’s send-off series finale vs. Korea Republic is unclear, but Morgan believes she will be fully healthy and ready to go when the Americans open up their World Cup campaign against Australia in about a week-and-a-half.
“I’ve been doing a lot better and I’m still day-to-day,” said Morgan. “Once June 8 comes, there’s no question in my mind that my knee will not be bothering me. I’m going to be 100 percent and I’m looking forward to the World Cup and knowing that won’t set me back at all.”
By RYAN TOLMICH
For the first time ever, players such as Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan and Sydney Leroux will be in the game.
EA Sports announced Thursday that the U.S. Women’s National Team will be among 12 women’s national teams included in the upcoming FIFA 16 video game. The USWNT will be joined by Germany, France, Sweden, England, Brazil, Canada, Australia, Spain, China, Italy and Mexico as playable teams, marking the first time that gamers will be able to use women’s teams in the popular FIFA series.
Each team will be playable in both online and offline gameplay, but will only be playable against other women’s teams.
The announcement comes just over a week before the kick off of the Women’s World Cup, which is set to run from June 6 to July 5.
Have a look at a trailer for the new feature below:
By DAN KARELL
Sepp Blatter and FIFA are feeling the heat, a little more than 24 hours after the U.S. Department of Justice and their Switzerland counterparts raided FIFA’s personnel and offices.
Blatter held an emergency meeting with the leaders of all six FIFA confederations, a FIFA spokesperson confirmed, while reports are growing that Blatter has rejected calls for him to stand down or even move Friday’s FIFA presidential election.
“There was a meeting today with the president [Blatter] with the representatives from the confederations to discuss the current situation,” FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fischer told reporters.
In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Swiss police officers arrested seven individuals in cooperation with the U.S. DoJ, and at the same time, police officers raided the offices of FIFA for information surrounding the 2018/2022 World Cup bidding process.
Since then, UEFA has called for a postponement of the presidential election, but FIFA has reiterated its desire to hold the election as scheduled, as well as to hold the 2018 World Cup in Russia and 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Here are some more stories to start your Thursday:
By CAITLIN MURRAY
PORTLAND, Ore. — After a seven-week long wait, Portland Timbers fans were reminded what it feels like to win at home.
An early goal from Maximiliano Urruti lifted the Timbers past D.C. United, 1-0, at Providence Park on Wednesday to end a two-game losing run and give the Timbers their first home win since April 4.
“You can lose energy when you’re not getting results, and when you do that, you’re dead in the water,” Timbers coach Caleb Porter said. “That’s not going to happen here. You’ll always see a good response out of these guys and our goal was to come in aggressive.”
In the fifth minute, Gaston Fernandez sent a skidding cross into the box for Urruti, who ran onto it for the one-time tap in. It was the first time this season the Timbers have scored an early goal and continues their streak of not losing when leading at the half.
By ADAM TROXTELL
It may have been their first taste of U.S. Open Cup action, but for most NASL teams, the third round was also the last.
Teams from USL sent seven NASL teams packing on Wednesday night. Among the surprise results was Saint Louis FC’s penalty shootout win against Minnesota United. Saint Louis’ Bryan Gaul equalized with 10 minutes to go by converting from a penalty kick.
The Austin Aztex eliminated defending NASL champions and Texas rivals San Antonio Scorpions with a 2-0 win. Louisville City FC also triumphed 2-0 against Indy Eleven, while the Charlotte Independence beat the Carolina RailHawks 1-0 thanks to a Ryan Finley strike with nine minutes remaining.
In an all-USL and Cascadia affair, Seattle Sounders FC 2 recorded its second victory against Portland Timbers 2 this week with a 2-1 win in extra time.
There were NASL teams that made it through to the fourth round. League-leading New York Cosmos topped the PDL’s Jersey Express 3-0, while the Atlanta Silverbacks beat Chattanooga FC 2-1. Shaka Bangura’s late penalty kick for the Silverbacks sent the game into extra time, where Jaime Chavez struck in the 110th minute to seal the deal.
Here is a closer look at the U.S. Open Cup third round action:
Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea / USA Today Sports Images
By MARK EDWARD HORNISH
Tonight’s Western Conference showdown between bitter rivals Real Salt Lake and LA Galaxy began much like the last one ended.
With the ball on the penalty spot, RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando stared down Galaxy penalty-taker Juninho. This time the result was different, however, as Rimando guessed wrong, dove to his left, and Juninho buried the penalty kick in the back of the net to eventually give the Galaxy a 1-0 win.
“I’ll be honest, in my mind, I said ‘I’m gonna cross this time” said goal scorer Juninho after the match. “Last time I hit a ball low and to the right side, and he caught it. This time I crossed it and he could not save it.”
Rimando has built his career on his ability to stop penalty kicks, including stonewalling three of seven Galaxy penalty shooters in the 2009 MLS Cup final to hand his club their first MLS Cup trophy. But tonight he guessed wrong, and the Galaxy were able to reclaim some small measure of pride at the foot of their diminutive Brazilian midfielder.
“The guys know how important it was to me to get a goal again,” finished Juninho, “especially against Real Salt Lake.”
Photo by Jane Gershovich
By JASON MITCHELL
SEATTLE– What a difference four days — and perhaps the hapless Colorado Rapids — make.
Coming off a scoreless and fairly listless draw against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, the Seattle Sounders attacked the Rapids early on Wednesday night, riding a first-half Marco Pappa strike to a 1-0 win in front of 39,757 at CenturyLink Field.
The Sounders (7-3-2, 23 points) now boast the best record in MLS and have beaten the Rapids in five straight regular season matches by a combined score of 13-3. The Rapids (2-2-8, 20 points) earned just their second win of the season last weekend, but fell to last place in the Western Conference with Wednesday’s loss. Colorado is also 0-8-1 in nine visits to Seattle.
Pappa opened the scoring in fine fashion in just the 15th minute, collecting a deflected cross just outside the penalty area and bending a right-footed shot into the far upper corner for the 1-0 lead. The left-footed Pappa nearly doubled the lead from the same spot early in the second half, but rifled a shot just over the crossbar.
The Rapids showed better in the second half after coming out flat, but never put a shot on-target from within the penalty area.
By RYAN TOLMICH
The U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team’s first taste of the 2015 Toulon Tournament turned out to be a bitter one.
Undone by a trio of goals in 11 minutes, the U.S. was thoroughly defeated by France, 3-1, in the first game of the Toulon Tournament group stage. Stanford forward Jordan Morris scored the lone goal for the U.S. in the second half.
The lone bright spot for the U.S. was Morris’ second-half finish, who darted past the France defense in the 66th minute before tapping a shot to the backpost to push the scoreline to 3-1.
France’s dominance was apparent from the opening whistle, culminating in back-to-back goals from Fares Bahlouli and Enzo Crivelli just one minute apart.
Bahlouli’s opener saw France take full advantage of a string of sloppy play from the U.S., kickstarted by a Dan Metzger turnover in the midfield. On the attack, U.S. goalkeeper Cody Cropper was forced into a save, but the defense’s inability to clear their lines saw Bahlouli place a shot just past the fingertips of Cropper, giving France a 1-0 lead. Continue reading