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MLS Week 12: A Look Ahead

D.C. United collides with the New England Revolution in a battle of the Eastern Conference’s top two teams to headline MLS Week 12.

PrinceAliBinAlHusseinLeadersInSport (Getty)

Friday Kickoff: Prince Ali confirms World Cup expansion plan; Queretaro drops first leg to Pachuca; and more

Prince Ali bin Al Hussein is hoping to add more berths into the World Cup, while Queretaro was undone by Pachuca in the opening leg of the Liga MX Liguilla semifinals.

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Report: Beckham to explore soccer-football stadium possibilities with University of Miami

The Miami Herald is reporting that David Beckham and the University of Miami will look into the possibility of building a stadium that can hold both soccer and football games.

SBI Reader Poll: Who was the best American Abroad this season?

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By IVES GALARCEP

With the European and Mexican club seasons winding to a close, it is time to look back at the Americans who enjoyed the best seasons playing abroad.

The contingent of Americans Abroad may have lost a bunch of star power in recent years with the likes of Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley moving back to MLS, but there still remains a sizable presence of Americans plying their trades, and thriving in foreign leagues.

From Fabian Johnson helping Borussia Moenchengladbach secure a place in the UEFA Champions League to Geoff Cameron helping Stoke City finish in the top half of the English Premier League and Alfredo Morales anchoring FC Ingolstadt’s promotion to the German Bundesliga, there were plenty of good success stories.

Our question for you today is this: Which American playing abroad do you think had the best season in 2014/2015? Cast your vote for SBI Americans Abroad Player of the Year after the jump:

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Posted in Americans Abroad, Featured | 63 Comments

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

DeAndre Yedlin Tottenham (Getty Images)

 

By FRANCO PANIZO

There is not a whole lot to play for for the remaining members of the Americans Abroad contingent, but DeAndre Yedlin and Totttenham are among the few exceptions.

Tottenham enters the final weekend of the Premier League campaign still in the hunt for fifth place and the UEFA Europa League berth that comes with it, but the club needs a victory coupled with a Liverpool loss to Stoke City to move up the table. Spurs have the benefit of taking on an Everton side that has only pride to play for, but the game is on the road at Goodison Park. Yedlin seems unlikely to start for Tottenham in the match, but could again be an option off the bench for manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Another American still with much at stake going into his club’s final match is Bobby Wood. FC Erzgebirge is currently in the 2. Bundesliga relegation zone, and only a win with some outside help can assure it of avoiding the drop. Wood should be in the lineup for Ezgebirge for its Sunday visit to Heidenheimer, and will surely be hoping to get on the scoresheet so as to help the side that was willing to take a chance on him this past winter.

Jonathan Bornstein also has added incentive to win this weekend. Bornstein and Queretaro host Pachuca on Sunday in the second leg of their Liga MX Liguilla semifinals series, and a win there could advance the White Roosters to the championship bout. Bornstein has been seeing time lately for the club, and might be used as a starter in the decisive clash because of his experience.

Here is who the Americans Abroad battle this weekend:

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Posted in Americans Abroad, Featured | 1 Comment

Sounders vs. Timbers highlights U.S. Open Cup 4th Round Pairings

Seattle Sounders U.S. Open Cup

 

By COLE KELLOGG

The Seattle Sounders were always certain to have a rough go of retaining their U.S. Open Cup title, but a fourth round draw against the Portland Timbers will make it all the more difficult.

On Thursday evening, U.S. Soccer released the possible matchups that will largely be determined by the outcome of the third round of games, which will take place on May 27.

15 MLS teams were placed into geographic regions that correspond specifically to a third round matchup. With two more MLS teams than third round matches, though, the Sounders were picked to play the Portland Timbers on June 16.

Another scintillating matchup could be a standoff between Peter Wilt’s old club in the Chicago Fire and his new one in Indy Eleven.

The remaining exciting match possibilities include a possible derby between the New York Cosmos and New York City FC, Minnesota United against Sporting Kansas City, the San Antonio Scorpions versus the Houston Dynamo, and the Fort Lauderdale Strikers against Orlando City SC.

The possibilities are as follows:

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, NASL, U.S. Open Cup, U.S. Soccer, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

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By RYAN TOLMICH

With titles decided in Europe’s major leagues, this weekend’s events center around relegation battles.

In England, one of Newcastle or Hull City will see relegation to the Championship, but the former enter as the more likely to survive. A Newcastle win over West Ham would ensure safety, as would a Hull City draw or loss to Manchester United. As it stands, Newcastle maintains a two point advantage but has a seven-goal deficit in goal differential.

La Liga sees battles both at the top of the table and the bottom, as Valencia and Sevilla compete for the league’s fourth and final Champions League spot with just one point between them. Meanwhile, relegation has four potential contenders, with Granada, Deportivo, Eibar and Almeria all fighting to avoid the final two spots.

On a more positive note, Liga MX’s Liguilla semifinals are set for Friday with Chivas de Guadalajara taking on Santos Laguna while Queretaro faces Pachuca. Finally, both MLS and NASL boast full slates of action.

Here is this weekend’s soccer on TV (schedule after the jump): Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, Featured, Major League Soccer, Mexican Soccer | 2 Comments

With more expansion on the horizon, NASL’s Peterson welcomes competition from MLS

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By RYAN TOLMICH

When Major League Soccer held a ceremony in Miami more than a year ago to announce plans to expand into the Florida city, few could have imagined that MLS wouldn’t be the first pro soccer league to jump back into the difficult market.

The North American Soccer League has done just that, swooping into Miami at a time when David Beckham’s plans for MLS expansion in the city has hit a series of roadblocks. Now, with Miami FC set to play in NASL next year, the league that had grown accustomed to losing markets to MLS suddenly looks ready to take one of its own.

NASL commissioner Bill Peterson insists the timing of the league’s move into Miami wasn’t about trying to beat MLS to the punch. Citing his belief that Miami is big enough to support more than one club if necessary, Peterson says that he believes a potential MLS expansion could be beneficial to both parties.

“It did not have an effect on the timing of any decision,” Peterson told SBI regarding the MLS plans. “Of course, we evaluated it with potential owners. Will this venture be successful if there’s another team in town? We absolutely believe that not only will it be successful, it might be more successful. We do believe that rivalries are good for the fans. It generates more interest in the different communities. Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, MLS- Miami, NASL | 27 Comments

The SBI View: NASL’s Miami move puts the pressure on MLS to bolster expansion plans

Don Garber David Beckham

photo by Robert Mayer/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

At long last, little brother stepped up to big brother.

MLS suffered a hit to its expansion plans on Wednesday when NASL came out of left field announcing that it was expanding into Miami. A new club named Miami FC that is partially owned by former Italian national team star Paolo Maldini will take the field next year, meaning NASL will launch a franchise in the South Florida metropolis before MLS and its European great, David Beckham, can.

After watching MLS snatch up its markets for years, including most recently Minnesota, NASL struck back with a move that has now put MLS on the defensive in a market it has struggled to make progress in.

Beckham and his group of investors, Beckham Miami United, have been stuck in relative limbo since announcing their MLS plans in February 2014. Strong local opposition has twice thwarted Beckham Miami United’s chances of finding a suitable piece of downtown land to build a soccer-specific stadium, and with no soccer-specific stadium MLS has said there will be no team.

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Expansion, NASL | 62 Comments

Red Bulls II, LA Galaxy II among favorites eliminated in U.S. Open Cup upsets

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By RYAN TOLMICH

Most of the favorites held serve in the U.S. Open Cup’s second round, but for five non-professional teams, that dream lives on.

With USL clubs representing the first professional sides into the fray, the PDL’s Jersey Express and Ventura County Fusion, USASA’s PSA Elite and Chula Vista FC and NPSL’s Chattanooga FC pulled off upsets to advance to the third round of the competition.

Jersey Express booked a date with the local New York Cosmos with a 1-0 upset over New York Red Bulls II while their fellow PDL side, the Ventura County Fusion, toppled LA Galaxy II, 2-1, with a goal from UCLA star Abu Danladi.

The two USASA sides, PSA Elite and Chula Vista FC, topped the Orange County Blues and Arizona United, 2-1 and 3-0, respectively. PSA Elite now faces the Fusion in a matchup of non-pro sides, while Chula Vista travels to Bonney Field to take on Sacramento Republic.

Finally, Chattanooga FC rounds out the advancing underdogs after beating the Wilmington Hammerheads in penalty kicks to book a date with the Atlanta Silverbacks.

Here is a closer look at all of the U.S. Open Cup second round action:

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Posted in U.S. Open Cup, USL | 13 Comments

Nemeth and Dwyer forming strong partnership for Sporting KC

 Dwyer Nemeth (USA TODAY Sports)
Photo by Denny Medley/USA TODAY Sports

By SKYLAR ROLSTAD

Intelligence, Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes said, was the secret to Sporting Kansas City’s cohesion in the attacking third as his team took down the New England Revolution 4-2 at Sporting Park Wednesday night, ending the second-place Revolution’s nine-game unbeaten streak.

“The execution of our gameplan was very good,” Vermes said. “We played with a lot of intelligence in our game.”

Sporting KC extended an unbeaten streak of its own to four with the win.

The players turning that intelligence into goals and wins were Sporting KC strikers Dom Dwyer and Krisztian Nemeth.

“We’re very unselfish with each other, we just want to win,” Dwyer said. “At the end of the day, we’re very happy right now. It’s a job done for us.”

Nemeth scored two goals on the night and recorded an assist, a cross which he played into the penalty area for Dwyer to finish. He said generating assists for the club was one of his personal goals so far this season.

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Posted in MLS- New England Revolution, MLS- Sporting Kansas City | 2 Comments