Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

Everton faces Tottenham and Bayern Munich meets Bayer Leverkusen in today’s marquee matchups on a busy Soccer Saturday.

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Surging Earthquakes halt Galaxy’s winning streak

Shea Salinas’ header goal, and San Jose’s stingy defens, helped the Earthquakes shut down the LA Galaxy on their way to a 1-0 victory.

UCSB Mens soccer vs Westmont College UCSB wins 4-1

College Soccer Rewind: Upsets galore on opening night

Two SBI Top 10 teams in California went down to unranked foes, the No. 1 Georgetown Hoyas were held to a scoreless draw and more results this Friday.

SBI’s 2015 College Soccer Kickoff

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By IVES GALARCEP

The chase for the NCAA title begins today all across the country, and the start of the college soccer season also signals the beginning of a process that will lead several college players to the pros.

An exodus of top talent from last season has seen the college game lose such standouts as Cyle Larin, Cristian Roldan, Fatai Alashe, Jay Chapman, and Zack Steffen,  but a new generation of talented players will step up to fill the void and become the next targets for professional scouts.

Jordan Morris, Joshua Yaro and Abu Danladi are widely regarded as the most talented prospects in the college game, and SBI’s college preview features interviews with all three players discussing their bright futures and goals for 2015.

SBI will be providing regular coverage of the college game, and also keeping you up to date on the top pro prospects in the college ranks that you need to be keeping an eye on. Today is our day to drop a series of team previews and player profiles to help introduce you to the 2015 college season, as it kicks off today.

Here is a rundown of SBI’s College Soccer Season Preview Stories, giving you what you need to get ready for the 2015 college season: Continue reading »

Posted in College Soccer, Featured | 1 Comment

SBI College Preview Spotlight: Jordan Morris balancing pressures of school, high expectations and national team duties

photo by StanfordPhoto.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Being a student-athlete is far from easy. You have to worry about classes and practices, exams and games, studying material and opponents, travel, and so much more.

Being a student-athlete who does all that while also representing the U.S. Men’s National Team? Well, that’s a whole other challenge.

Jordan Morris experienced something that very few other Americans have, as he was called up by the U.S. while still being a college player. It was not just a one-time thing either. Morris was summoned on multiple occasions by U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann during the fall months of 2014 and also selected for a U.S. Under-23 camp during that time, all of which helped to accelerate the young forward’s development by exposing him to higher levels of the game.

It was all a dream come true for Morris, but it also came at a price. Having to travel far for camps was admittedly tough for him, and the fact that they came during the college season meant he missed several games for Stanford. He could not, would not turn down the calls to represent his country, of course, but his production for the Cardinal dropped. Morris went from six goals and seven assists in his freshman year in 2013 to four and six as a sophomore.

With Morris still seen as one of the more talented U.S. prospects and key international games like Olympic qualifiers on the horizon, the 20-year-old junior will likely be put through the wringer and miss matches again for Stanford this season. That still will not be enough of a reason for him to not up his goal and assist numbers, not if the Cardinal are to build on an impressive 2014 campaign that saw them win the Pac-12 before getting upset in their first game of the NCAA tournament.

Experience is on his side, however, after a whirlwind year that saw him juggle so many commitments.

“He’s been through this before now,” Stanford head coach Jeremy Gunn told SBI. “I think for him as an individual he’ll be quite ready to manage the challenges that you face when you’re hopefully continuing to get action with the Under-23s – they’ll have qualifiers and different things.

Continue reading »

Posted in College Soccer, College Spotlight, Featured, U.S. Men's National Team, U.S. Men's Olympic Team | 19 Comments

Bradley confirms he’ll stay with Toronto FC during USMNT-Peru friendly

photo by Nick Turchiaro/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. Men’s National Team will be without its captain for at least the first of its two upcoming friendlies vs. South American opposition.

Michael Bradley confirmed on Friday reports that said he would stay with Toronto FC this upcoming week instead of joining the U.S. for its preparations for a Sept. 4 meeting with Peru. Toronto plays on road against the Seattle Sounders a day after that international friendly takes place at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., and Bradley is being kept in an effort to help his club try to solidify its playoff positioning in the Eastern Conference.

It is not confirmed what will happen with fellow Toronto FC star Jozy Altidore, but the most recent reports and rumors are that he will not stick around with the club like Bradley.

“I’ll be with Toronto FC in Seattle,” Bradley told reporters. “There was some discussions between everyone at U.S. Soccer and everyone at Toronto FC, going back a few months to when we played those friendlies in June.

“There was agreement that for this game in Seattle that I’d be able to stay with Toronto FC and then afterwards, if (U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann) would like, then I’ll join up with the team in Boston for the game against Brazil.”

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, MLS- Toronto FC, U.S. Men's National Team | 15 Comments

College Soccer: Weekend Preview

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Photo by Maryland Athletics

By AARON CRANFORD

College soccer is back, and 2015’s opening weekend has plenty of intriguing matchups in store.

SBI No. 6 Notre Dame and No. 8 Maryland is one of many to see this weekend, as both powerhouses meet in Bloomington, Indiana for the first match of the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic, hosted by Indiana University.

Meanwhile, the No. 1 Georgetown Hoyas kick off their campaign in Florida, as they meet Florida Gulf Coast Friday and South Florida Sunday.

Reigning national champions and No. 3 Virginia Cavaliers have no easy task to start their repeat campaign, as they face No. 16 Charlotte Saturday. Finally, to end opening weekend’s action, No. 14 Indiana hosts Notre Dame, arguably giving the Fighting Irish the toughest tests this weekend, and No. 12 Louisville hosts No. 4 Stanford to close out the evening.

Here is a rundown of where all of the top teams will be playing during the opening weekend in men’s college soccer: Continue reading »

Posted in College Soccer | 2 Comments

SBI College Preview: UCLA looking to erase sting of College Cup loss by reaching full potential in 2015

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Photo by Don Liebig

By RYAN TOLMICH

As if they needed any more motivation to be great, the UCLA Bruins now understand the pain that comes with getting oh so close.

Having stormed through the NCAA tournament with a trio of three-goal performances, UCLA was tasked with taking on Virginia in the national championship game. Outshooting the Cavaliers 15-6 in the game’s opening 90 minutes, the Bruins looked well on their way to the school’s first national title until 2002.

But then, penalty kicks.

Defeated, 4-2, from the spot, UCLA was unceremoniously knocked out with a title within grasp, just one step away from reaching college soccer’s ultimate goal.

Now, a year older, a year wiser and with a major chip on their shoulder, UCLA head coach Jorge Salcedo says the pain of last year’s final is still felt with this year’s group, although the lesson’s learned radiate just as much.

“It was very difficult to lose in the manner that we did,” Salcedo told SBI. “I think every soccer player that has played the game has played in matches where they were the better team and lost. Players have played in matches where they weren’t the better team and won.

“The takeaway is that you have to do it every single game. Just because you were good in your previous match doesn’t mean that you’re going to obtain the same results by doing things the same way. Each game presents different challenges and each game presents different tactical challenges, so my overall thought on what happened in the national championship game is that each game presents challenges that we have to be prepared for and we have to cope with those challenges.” Continue reading »

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SBI College Preview: Veteran-filled Georgetown setting sights on first national championship

Photo by Georgetown Sports Information

By RYAN TOLMICH

One minute.

That was all that stood between Georgetown and a berth in the NCAA semifinals, but up a goal with time ticking, things just didn’t work out.

A goal from Virginia’s Todd Wharton sent the game to overtime, a period that saw Georgetown earn plenty of chances to snag a late win. Alas, it wasn’t to be, as the Hoyas fell on penalties in the quarterfinals, one step further than they had reached the year before.

For head coach Brian Wiese, the sting of last year’s loss has certainly not gone away. Yet, the pride that came with the performance remains, too, helping educate and motivate the Hoyas heading into a 2015 season that could prove to be the one.

“These were really hard lessons for the guys. They were doing everything right, and it just didn’t work out,” Wiese told SBI. “Last year was really tough, and we did a lot of things in that five-minute stretch in that UVA game. We had done things right for 85 minutes, and then we were sitting there saying that we weren’t doing what we should be doing right now and that ended up costing us the game.

“They know they’re good enough. They’ve been in pressure situations playing against teams. The experience of those types of games will hopefully carry them through the next time they’re in in it. Coming this year, if we’re fortunate enough to be in it, you expect the boys to be able to manage it.” Continue reading »

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