CuboTorres-USAToday

Chivas confirm “Cubo” Torres transfer to MLS, subsequent six-month loan in Mexico

Chivas de Guadlajara announced Thursday that forward Erick ‘Cubo’ Torres will join the club for a six-month loan stint following his sale to MLS.

BrekSheaStokeCityWarmup1 (Getty)

Stoke City’s Hughes confirms Shea-to-Orlando deal in works

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes stated Monday that Brek Shea is finalizing a move to Orlando City.

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MLS Re-Entry Draft Stage 2 set for Thursday

Stage 2 of the MLS Re-Entry Draft is set to take place on Thursday, with 56 players still available for selection.

Brooks scores opening goal for Hertha Berlin in draw with Eintracht Frankfurt

JohnAnthonyBrooksHerthaBerlin4 (BZBerlin)

By RYAN TOLMICH

Three days after earning the praise of his manager, John Brooks put an exclamation point on a spectacular week by finding the back of the net.

The Hertha Berlin centerback scored the opening goal in his side’s 4-4 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt Wednesday for the U.S. Men’s National Team defender’s first goal since his game-winner against Ghana at this summer’s World Cup. The finish was Brooks’ fourth goal of his club career.

Brook’s finish came via a set piece, as Hertha Berlin midfielder Ronny provided a long-distance free kick into the center of the box. A streaking Brooks finished with his left foot from just outside the six-yard box to open the scoring.

The 21-year-old defender was recently the subject of praise from manager Jos Luhukay, who has been impressed by Brooks’ defensive work in recent outings.

Despite Brooks’ heroics, Hertha Berlin were forced to settle for a draw after conceding a three goal lead, including a 4-2 lead in extra time.With the draw, Hertha Berlin move into 11th place, four points clear of the relegation zone.

Have a look at Brooks’ finish after the jump:

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Posted in Americans Abroad | 12 Comments

MLS Re-Entry Draft Stage 2 set for Thursday

Dwayne De Rosario Toronto FC 29

Photo by Nick Turchiaro/USA Today Sports
 

By FRANCO PANIZO

After a largely inactive week, the MLS player landscape figures to change more noticeably on Thursday.

Stage 2 of the 2014 MLS Re-Entry Draft will take place less than a week after an expectedly-quiet first round, with 56 players still available for selection.

Last Friday’s Stage 1 saw three veterans picked up by new clubs, but there figures to be a lot more movement in Stage 2 as teams attempt to fortify their rosters at discounted rates. Players taken in this round can have their contracts renegotiated.

The Montreal Impact are first to choose, followed by the San Jose Earthquakes, Colorado Rapids, Chicago Fire and Houston Dynamo. Expansion clubs New York City FC and Orlando City choose last.

Some of the more recognizable remaining players include Canadian attacker Dwayne De Rosario, versatile defender Marvell Wynne, goalkeeper Jon Busch, seasoned midfielder Shalrie Joseph, and forward Edson Buddle.

Players who are not selected in this round will become available to any MLS club on a first-come, first-served basis.

Here’s a look at the entire list of 56 players available for Stage 2 of the MLS Re-Entry Draft:

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer | 5 Comments

Thursday Kickoff: Real Madrid interested in extending Ancelotti; Chivas reinforce front-line; and more

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By DAN KARELL

On the verge of winning their third title of 2014, Real Madrid are interested in keeping manager Carlo Ancelotti around for the long-haul.

Speaking in Morocco during the Club World Cup, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez said he’d be “delighted” to extend Ancelotti’s contract. The Italian boss deserves plenty of credit, not only for leading Real Madrid to the UEFA Champions League and Copa Del Rey crowns but for managing a team filled with big egos and a seeming imbalance of attacking players over defenders.

We’d be delighted to renew his contract when the season ends,” Perez said. “There were initial question marks about getting him in as coach, but I always wanted him. I saw what he achieved at Milan, Chelsea and at PSG. One day I was at a Champions League game with my friend Galliani, I was introduced to Carlo and he was keen to present the whole team to me. He creates a great family atmosphere apart from doing a great job as coach. This is important.”

Ancelotti joined Real Madrid ahead of last season after winning two consecutive titles at PSG. Ancelotti is currently in the second year of a three-year contract.

Here are some more stories to kick off your Thursday:

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

USMNT finish 2014 at No. 27 in FIFA Rankings

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By DAN KARELL

The U.S. Men’s National Team finished 2014 on a slight high note, though it was mostly thanks to the demise of the Ivory Coast.

The USMNT were one of four teams in the top 30 to move up in FIFA’s December World Rankings, finishing 2014 as the No. 27 team in the world. Following a 2-0 defeat to South Africa, Ivory Coast dropped four places, allowing Greece, Ukraine, Ecuador, and the USA to move up the rankings.

It’s a precipitous fall for the USA, who finished 2013 ranked No. 14 and rose as high as No. 13, only to fall to a low of No. 28 last month on the back of a run of one win in their last eight games.

There was little movement elsewhere, though Serbia did jump eight spots and Zambia moved up 16 places within the top 50.

In CONCACAF, Costa Rica remains the highest-ranked team at No. 16, followed by Mexico at No. 20, the USA, Trinidad and Tobago at No. 55, and Panama at No. 57.

The top ten remains the same as well: World Cup winners Germany lead, followed by Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Brazil, Portugal, France, Spain, and Uruguay.

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What do you think of these rankings? Did you expect the USMNT to finish 2014 higher? Like their chances in 2015 to rebound and get back in the top 20?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Featured, FIFA, U.S. Men's National Team | 9 Comments

U.S. U-18 tops Germany U-18 in first of two friendlies

JavierPerezUSMNT2-WorldCup2014 (USATodaySports)

Photo by USA TODAY Sports

By DAN KARELL

Goals from Mauricio Pineda and Brooks Lennon gave the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team a memorable win midway through their winter training camp in Marbella, Spain.

The U.S. U-18s defeated Germany U-18s, 2-1, in the first of two friendly matches between the two nations. Pineda, the brother of Indy Eleven midfielder and former Chicago Fire Homegrown signing Victor Pineda, volleyed home a goal in the 19th minute to put the Americans ahead.

In the 76th minute, Lennon gave the U.S. a two-goal lead by smashing home a rebound after a shot by Real Salt Lake-AZ teammate Sebastian Saucedo was saved. Germany’s Prince Osei Owusu scored a penalty kick in the fourth minute of second half stoppage time to cut the deficit in half but the German squad ran out of time to tie the score.

The USA and Germany play each other again on Friday.

Here’s the U.S. U-18 MNT’s starting lineup:

USA: Klinsmann; Duncan, Redding, Pineda, Peleaz; Lindley, Swanson, Yueill; Saucedo, Elney, Mansaray

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What do you think of this result?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in U.S. Soccer, U.S. Under-18 National Team, U.S. Youth National Teams | 18 Comments

Williams wary of host Honduras after CONCACAF U-17 Championship draw

RichieWilliamsUSU17MNTNikeInternationalFriendlies-2014 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team avoided being grouped with Mexico in the CONCACAF U-17 Championship draw late last week, but U.S. U-17 head coach Richie Williams doesn’t believe that makes his squad favorites to win their group.

“The toughest team will be Honduras, being the host country,” Williams told SBI in a phone interview from Honduras.

Williams certainly won’t have fond memories of Los Catrachos, after the Honduras U-17s knocked the U.S.  U-17s out of World Cup qualification in the quarterfinals of the 2013 CONCACAF U-17 tournament. It was an embarrassing moment for both Williams and U.S. Soccer, as it was the first time since the U-17 World Cup’s conception in 1985 that the U.S. would not be a participant.

Luckily for the USA, this time around, it should be a bit easier to qualify thanks to a new format. Under the new format, the winners of the groups automatically earn two of the four places earmarked for the U-17 World Cup next fall in Chile, while the second and third-place finishers in each group are re-seeded and battle it out for the final two spots available.

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Posted in U.S. Under-17 National Team, U.S. Youth National Teams | Leave a comment