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USWNT 5, Japan 2: The SBI Breakdown

After the U.S. Women’s National Team’s defeat of Japan on Sunday, SBI has several takeaways from the team’s run through the Women’s World Cup.

AndreaPirloJuventus2-ALeagueAllStars2014 (Getty)

Andrea Pirlo officially joins NYCFC as Designated Player

New York City FC announced on Monday that it has signed Andrea Pirlo as its third Designated Player. Pirlo will join the club on July 21.

Jul 4, 2015; Carson, CA, USA; Los Angeles Galaxy forward Robbie Keane (7) heads down field after scoring past Toronto FC goalkeeper Chris Konopka (1) in the first half of the game at StubHub Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Robbie Keane

Robbie Keane netted a hat-trick in L.A. Galaxy’s 4-0 win over Toronto, and his performance earned this week’s SBI MLS Player of the Week honors.

Dempsey addresses referee incident, USMNT captaincy situation

photo by Jim Brown/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

Clint Dempsey is not dwelling on the past nor is he concerning himself too much with losing the captain’s armband.

Instead, he is focusing on helping the U.S. Men’s National Team any way he can.

Dempsey played in his first competitive game in nearly two-and-a-half weeks on Friday, helping the Americans defeat Guatemala, 4-0, in their final CONCACAF Gold Cup tuneup. But the friendly marked more than just his return to action for either club or country, as Dempsey did not serve as the U.S. captain for the first time in two years.

U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann took the armband away from Dempsey and gave it to veteran midfielder Michael Bradley earlier this week. The decision was not entirely surprising given Dempsey’s recent run-in with a U.S. Open Cup referee and is one that the 32-year-old forward understands and has no resentment about.

“It’s cool,” said Dempsey after the victory at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee. “Michael is a great leader, he deserves to be captain, and for me, I’m just excited to be part of the team that is trying to push to win the Gold Cup and be a part of the Confederations Cup.

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Posted in U.S. Men's National Team | 23 Comments

USMNT not pleased with performance in lopsided victory over Guatemala

photo by Jim Brown/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

The blowout scoreline was something the U.S. Men’s National Team was proud about.

The performance? Not so much.

The U.S. wrapped up its CONCACAF Gold Cup preparations on Friday night by recording a 4-0 victory over Guatemala at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee. Three different Americans found the back of the net in the friendly, but those tallies came only after Carlos Castrillo scored an ugly own goal in the 20th minute of a poor first half for Jurgen Klinsmann’s side.

For large stretches in the opening stanza, Guatemala looked the team more comfortable in possession. The Americans had their moments, but looked largely out of sync when they had the ball. Jozy Alitdore even had a poorly-taken penalty kick saved in the 18th minute, a play that was symbolic of the U.S.’s rough opening 45 minutes.

Things improved in the second half for the U.S., but the overall showing still was not good enough for a nation that is looking to successfully defend its Gold Cup title this month.

“I’m not happy with that performance,” said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “I’m kind of disappointed with a couple things: movement off the ball, speed of play, urgency. Things that we talked about before were not executed the way we wanted them to be executed.

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Posted in Featured, U.S. Men's National Team | 58 Comments

Familiar foes USWNT, Japan meet again in World Cup final match

photo by Michael Chow/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

If the U.S. Women’s National Team is to snap its 16-year run without a World Cup , it will have to do so against a very familiar foe. The same foe that snatched the tournament trophy away from the Americans’ fingertips four years ago.

The U.S. will meet Japan in the Women’s World Cup final on Sunday, marking the third straight meeting in a championship game between the two nations. The Americans most recently beat Japan in the final at the 2012 Olympics, but it was pain from the defeat they suffered one year prior at the World Cup that still resonates.

The U.S. had Japan on the ropes twice in that final, but allowed the Japanese to score late goals, including three minutes before the end of extra time. If that was not enough heartbreak for the Americans, the ensuing penalty shootout surely was. The U.S. missed its first three attempts and wound up losing, 3-1, after four rounds of penalty kicks.

The World Cup dreams had been crushed, but now the U.S. has a shot at making amends.

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Posted in 2015 Women's World Cup, U.S. Women's National Team, Women's Soccer, Women's World Cup 2015 | 13 Comments

The SBI Show: Episode 219 (Previewing USWNT-Japan, USMNT-Guatemala and more)

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By IVES GALARCEP

The 4th of July weekend is a special one or American soccer fans, as one national team prepares to try and defend a title, and another attempts to win its first one in 16 years.

Episode 219 of The SBI Show previews the Women’s World Cup final, which will pit the U.S. Women’s National Team against Japan in a rematch of the 2011 World Cup final, won by the Japanese.

Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I also discuss the U.S. Men’s National Team’s friendly against Guatemala on Friday, and what we should expect from Jurgen Klinsmann’s team in its final Gold Cup tune-up match.

We also discuss the U.S. Open Cup Round of 16, and preview MLS Week 18.

Give Episode 219 of The SBI Show a listen after the jump:

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Posted in U.S. Men's National Team, U.S. Women's National Team, Uncategorized, Women's World Cup 2015 | 13 Comments

Keane hat trick leads Galaxy in blowout of TFC

Keane Lletget LA TOR (USA TODAY Sports)

 

By COLE KELLOGG

Robbie Keane netted his third MLS hat trick and Sebastian Lletget added a fourth at the Stubhub Center as the Los Angeles Galaxy trounced a toothless Toronto FC side, 4-0, on Saturday night.

The Canadian side, which was missing U.S. Men’s National Team starters Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley, had a nightmare of a performance in Los Angeles, with Keane tearing TFC’s defense to shreds on his way to the first hat-trick scored in MLS this season.

The Galaxy entered the match short-handed as well, with goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, centerback Omar Gonzalez and forward Gyasi Zardes all absent on international duty, but they didn’t skip a beat as Keane helped lead the Galaxy

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- LA Galaxy, MLS- Toronto FC | 15 Comments

Red-hot Finlay propels Crew past Red Bulls

Ethan Finlay Crew Red Bulls 07042015

 

By COLE KELLOGG

The league leaders in assists and goals struck yet again on Saturday, as Kei Kamara and Ethan Finlay fueled the Columbus Crew past the New York Red Bulls, 2-1, at MAPFRE Stadium.

Finlay scored a pair of goals, both assisted by Kamara, to help the Crew push their unbeaten run to four matches.

Anatole Abang scored the early goal for the New York side in the eighth minute, firing past Steve Clark from a difficult angle on the right side of the box. Bradley Wright-Phillips played Abang through after a quick one-two combination, and the speedy forward came through with the finish.

But Columbus was not about to lay down at home. The Crew got on the board 25 minutes later through a brilliant Finlay strike. Clark played a long ball from his box to Kamara, who flicked a header for Finlay to run onto near the top of the box. Finlay cut inside to lose Damien Perrinelle, and then struck a curled shot to the far post, past Luis Robles.

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Columbus Crew, MLS- New York Red Bulls | 4 Comments

Kevin Doyle scores first MLS goal to help Rapids knock off Whitecaps

Kevin Doyle Vicente Sanchez COL VAN (USA TODAY Sports)

 

By COLE KELLOGG

Kevin Doyle scored his first MLS goal, and Vicente Sanchez put one past Vancouver in the second minute as the Colorado Rapids won its second straight home game on Saturday. The Rapids have now beaten the Whitecaps twice in seven weeks at Dicks Sporting Goods Park.

A Rapids team at the bottom of the league managed a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps, who sit in second place team in the Eastern Conference.

The Rapids needed just two minutes to get on the scoreboard, with Vicente Sanchez netting the opener just 120 seconds into the action. Luis Solignac drove down the left sideline and into the box to deliver a driven pass across the goalmouth. That ball found Sanchez at the back post, who fired past David Ousted for a quick start to the match.

Without a bit of brilliance from Ousted, the Rapids could have been up 2-0 after 17 minutes. A Marcelo Sarvas from right outside the box deflected off of the wall and into the path of Solignac near the penalty spot. The Argentine forward turned and struck a hard volley high to the center of the goal, but a great reaction from Ousted kept the ball out.

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Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Colorado Rapids, MLS- Vancouver Whitecaps | 5 Comments

Castillo and Diaz fire FC Dallas past the Revs

FabianCastilloFCDallas1-SeattleSounders2014 (Getty)

 

By COLE KELLOGG

The South American connection was once again at the heart of a spectacular FC Dallas performance on Saturday, as the team thoroughly outplayed the New England Revolution for the entirety of the match.

FC Dallas won its second match in a row on Saturday with a decisive 3-0 victory over the Revolution at home in Frisco, Texas.

Mauro Diaz kicked off the rout in the ninth minute when he struck a low, driven free kick under the wall to shock the Revolution. Goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth had no chance to stop the Diaz strike.

It was a comedy of errors in front of the Revolution goal in 63rd minute leading up to FC Dallas’ second goal goal. Diaz turned provider here, as he intercepted from Jose Goncalves and drove down the right side of the field before delivering a low cross into the box. Fabian Castillo made contact for an initial shot that Shuttleworth saved, but the bouncing ball rebounded off of Kevin Alston and back into Castillo’s path. The dynamic midfielder didn’t miss twice, and he volleyed the ball home for the 2-0 lead.

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Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- FC Dallas, MLS- New England Revolution | Leave a comment