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Grading the U.S. Under-20’s qualifying tournament

The U.S. Under-20’s Men’s National Team qualified for the U-20 World Cup over the weekend, and SBI has handed out individual player grades.

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The SBI Show: Episode 188 (Talking MLS CBA talks, USMNT, and more)

Episode 188 of The SBI Show takes a closer look at the MLS CBA talks, and breaks down recent moves, and looming moves around the league.

USMNT XI Honduras 2014

Who should the USMNT start vs. Chile?

The U.S. Men’s National Team takes on Chile in a friendly on Wednesday, and here is the lineup that SBI thinks head coach Jurgen Klinsmann will use.

The SBI Show: Episode 188 (Talking MLS CBA talks, USMNT, and more)

DonGarberMLSSuperDraft2015 (USATodaySports)

By IVES GALARCEP

MLS players are letting it be known that they are serious about being ready to strike if CBA talks don’t improve, leaving us to wonder if the 2015 MLS season will start on time.

Episode 188 of The SBI Show takes a closer look at the current CBA talks, including comments made by several players suggesting a strike is a very real possibility.

Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I also discuss the latest MLS moves, such as Shaun Maloney’s move to the Chicago Fire, and potential moves, like Sacha Kljestan’s looming return to MLS. We also talk USMNT, and USWNT, specifically Hope Solo’s latest transgression.

Give Episode 188 of The SBI Show a listen after the jump:

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, Podcasts, U.S. Men's National Team, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Who should the USMNT start vs. Chile?

USMNT XI Honduras 2014

Photo by Robert Mayer/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

Jurgen Klinsmann has a number of his top-choice players available, but whether he starts them all for the first match of the new year is something he is likely considering plenty.

The U.S. Men’s National Team is set to open a busy 2015 schedule on Wednesday, taking on Chile in a friendly that will see the Americans make a rare appearance in South America. Klinsmann trimmed his January camp roster to 23 players over the weekend and the head coach has several of his MLS-based marquee regulars available, but his stated goal of identifying younger and unproven talent this year could be a factor when he tries to settle on a lineup.

Klinsmann could be tempted to give test runs to up-and-comers like Wil Trapp and Gyasi Zardes to see if they sink or swim, but he might also want to rely on more of his experienced mainstays in a tough environment like Chile given that the Gold Cup is fast approaching.

Here is who SBI thinks will take the field against the Chileans on Wednesday:

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Posted in Featured, U.S. Men's National Team | 96 Comments

Report: Juan Agudelo close to returning to Revolution

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Photo by Trevor Ruszkowski/USA Today Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

Roughly 17 months after departing the New England Revolution in pursuit of a European career, forward Juan Agudelo is reportedly closing in on a return to the reigning Eastern Conference champions.

Goal USA reported Monday that the 22-year-old striker is on the verge of returning to the Revs on a free transfer after turning down an offer from Germany’s 1860 Munich.

Agudelo, who left the Revs in August of 2013, originally moved to England’s Stoke City on a free transfer, but was loaned to FC Utrecht following the denial of his work permit. Following his stint with Utrecht, Agudelo became a free agent after ending his contract with Stoke following a second work permit issue.

Agudelo scored seven goals in 14 games for the Revs in 2013. Prior to joining the Revs, he featured for the New York Red Bulls and Chivas USA.

What do you thing of the Agudelo news? How will Agudelo fit in with the Revs? What do you expect from the forward in 2015?

Share your thoughts below

Posted in Featured, MLS- New England Revolution | 47 Comments

MLS Ticker: Plata to miss start of season; Orlando City signs Martin Paterson, Carlos Rivas; and more

JoaoPlataRSL1-ChivasUSA2014 (USATODAYSports)

Photo by Russell Isabella/USA Today Sports

By DAN KARELL

Real Salt Lake will be without one of its key starters for the beginning of the 2015 MLS season.

RSL forward Joao Plata fractured the fifth metatarsal in his left foot during training on Sunday, the club announced on Monday. He is expected to miss three to four months with the injury. The diminutive Ecuadorian suffered the injury without contact while changing directions on artificial turf.

The news comes just as Real Salt Lake signed Plata, 22, to a multiyear contract that has made him a Young Designated Player. Plata is coming off a breakout 2014 campaign in which he scored 13 goals and added six assists for the club.

Losing Plata is a big blow to an RSL team going through a big transition, having already lost mainstays Chris Wingert, Ned Grabavoy, and Nat Borchers earlier this offseason.

Here are some more stories from around MLS:

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS - Atlanta, MLS- Columbus Crew, MLS- Orlando City, MLS- Real Salt Lake, MLS- Toronto FC | 2 Comments

Hope Solo’s World Cup status in jeopardy following recent suspension

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Photo by Rob Kinnan/ USA Today Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

Following Hope Solo’s latest transgressions, those involved with the U.S. Women’s National Team have admittedly begun envisioning a World Cup without the controversial goalkeeper.

U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati admitted as much Monday on a conference call with reporters when asked about Solo’s status for the upcoming World Cup. Currently serving a 30-day suspension, Solo will be held to a certain set of standards by Gulati, head coach Jill Ellis and Development Director April Heinrichs.

U.S. Soccer expects Solo to meet certain requirements during her month-long suspension, but would not confirm whether those requirements include alcohol  counseling. If Solo meets expectations, those involved will welcome the goalkeeper back with open arms. If not, Gulati said, the USWNT is prepared to move forward without her.

“Sure,” Gulati said when asked if it’s possible that Solo misses out on this summer’s tournament.  “As I’ve said and as Jill has said, we’ve asked her to do a number of things and she’s going to have to do a number of those things and make progress in those areas. Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, U.S. Women's National Team, Women's Soccer, Women's World Cup 2015 | 3 Comments

USWNT’s pre-World Cup schedule released, all matches on TV for first time

USWNT by Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY SportsPhoto by Christopher Hanewinckel/USA Today Sports

By CAITLIN MURRAY

The U.S. Women’s National Team will play 10 matches in the lead-up to the Women’s World Cup in June — and fans will be able to watch all of them from home.

In an unprecedented move, all of the USWNT’s matches leading into Canada 2015 will be on broadcast television, including the prestigious annual Algarve Cup tournament, which did not air in the U.S. last year but led to coach Tom Sermanni being fired following a string of losses.

FOX Sports, which will broadcast the World Cup in June and July, will air all but two USWNT matches, including the Algarve Cup. ESPN will air the team’s opening match of the year and their send-off match before going to Canada.

The USWNT’s toughest opponents sit on the front end of the schedule: England and France next month, followed by Norway and Switzerland in the Algarve Cup.

The Americans will play four stateside matches before the World Cup — one in the midwest, two in California, including at the San Jose Earthquakes’ brand new stadium, and their send-off match will be at Red Bull Arena outside New York City.

See the USWNT’s 2015 schedule below:

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Posted in U.S. Women's National Team, Women's Soccer | 3 Comments