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Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

Der Klassiker commences in the form of a DFB Pokal semifinal clash between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund

Bradford Jamieson LA Galaxy 22

Galaxy’s Bradford Jamieson building on foundation laid with U.S. U-20s

LA Galaxy youngster Bradford Jamieson is building off of the foundation that was laid in February’s Under-20 World Cup qualifying with the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team.

Impact America CCL Final (Getty)

The SBI Show: Episode 203 (Previewing Impact-Club America, recapping MLS Week 8, and more)

Co-hosts Garrett Cleverly and Ives Galarcep break down the CONCACAF Champions League finals with special guest Nick Sabetti, while also recapping MLS Week 8.

Orlando City frustrated as setbacks continue to deny first win at home

MLS: Toronto FC at Orlando City SC

Photo by Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports

By MIKE GRAMAJO

ORLANDO, Fla. — When it comes to playing at home, Orlando City may own the possession of the game but have failed in penetrating the final third to catapult them to victory for the first time at the Citrus Bowl.

Since their March 8 home opener against New York City FC, Adrian Heath’s men have only scored once, and have conceded five goals at home. The end results have led to disappointment in the Orlando City locker room, but if there’s one player more upset, that’s team captain Ricardo Kaka.

“I don’t know, I just don’t know,” said a disappointed Kaka after the 2-0 loss to Toronto FC on Sunday. “When we play away, we can create and make some goals, and here, [Home] we can’t score. Maybe we’re too anxious to score and to win at home, and sometimes this anxiousness is negative, and we need to turn it into a positive.”

Despite Orlando City finding the net only once at home this season, the designated player has led the Lions on the scoring front with three goals this season. His partnership with Kevin Molino has yet to come to fruition, while the team’s forward pool has been inconsistent since the loss to Pedro Ribeiro, who suffered a hamstring injury earlier this season.

“When we’re chasing the game, sometimes we get too desperate,” said Orlando City head coach Adrian Heath after Jozy Altidore scored the opener in the 50th minute. “Our finishing was really poor, Carlos Rivas had a shot from the 18-yard box with nobody on him, and later on, Bryan Rochez found himself in a really good position, and them two finishes summed the ending.” Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Orlando City | Leave a comment

Monday Kickoff: Mourinho hits out at ‘boring’ chants; Super Clasico ends in draw; and more

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By RYAN TOLMICH

As Chelsea continued to set course for a scoreless draw with Arsenal to all but wrap up the title, chants of “boring” filled the Emirates, a fact that caused Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho to call for fans to look in the mirror.

Mourinho, who has a long standing rivalry with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, jibed that the chants are a result of Arsenal’s own title drought, one that dates back to 2003-04, as well as Wenger’s decision to remove Olivier Giroud late in the game despite Arsenal’s chase.

“You know, I think boring is 10 years without a title. That’s very boring,” said Mourinho. “You support the club and you’re waiting, waiting, waiting for so many years without a Premier League title, so that’s very boring.

“But maybe they were not singing to us. Maybe, when you want to win a game and you’re at home and you take your number nine [Olivier Giroud] off, maybe the home fans want more. Maybe they want to play Giroud and [Danny] Welbeck together up front to try to win the game.”

Here are some more news and notes to kick off your Monday morning: Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, Featured, Mexican Soccer | 9 Comments

Dempsey strikes again, lifts Sounders over Timbers

Dempsey Stinky (Jane Gershovich)

Photo by Jane Gershovich

By JASON MITCHELL

SEATTLE– It took 77 minutes and forced a packed house to sit through a somnolent first half, but the Seattle Sounders scored late in front of 41,451 at CenturyLink Field to earn a 1-0 win over the Portland Timbers on Sunday night.

No surprise it was Clint Dempsey who finally felled the Timbers.

Just moments after entering the match, Sounders midfielder Andy Rose fired from short-range at goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey, who dove to deflect the shot but failed to collect. As Kwarasey rolled toward the goal in search of the ricochet, Dempsey darted in to push the ball over the line for the 1-0 lead and his fourth goal of the season.

Dempsey has now scored in four straight matches against Portland. He also has six career goals in the rivalry, leading all players on either team since the Timbers joined MLS in 2011.

Late substitute Fanendo Adi almost equalized in the 81st minute, but his header from the center of the penalty area slapped off the crossbar. Gaston Fernandez volleyed wide right in stoppage time.

The Timbers have yet to win a regular season MLS match in Seattle. The Sounders now lead the all-time MLS series with a 6-2-4 record, outscoring Portland 22-14 in the process.

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, MLS- Portland Timbers, MLS- Seattle Sounders | 7 Comments

Red Bulls remain unbeaten with a little luck in draw against Galaxy

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Photo by Noah K. Murray/ USA Today Sports

By MATT STYPULKOSKI

HARRISON, N.J. – As the saying goes, sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

On Sunday, the New York Red Bulls were a little of both, as they controlled the game before benefitting from a fortunate bounce in a 1-1 draw against the Los Angeles Galaxy, which extended their season-opening unbeaten run.

Through six games, the Red Bulls are now 3-0-3 – the longest undefeated open to a season in club history. They also sit just two points behind the New England Revolution and D.C. United, which lead the Eastern Conference, with games in hand.

The Red Bulls’ bit of good fortune came while trailing 1-0 in the 58th minute. Bradley Wright-Phillips appeared poised to equalize from inside six yards after a low cross from Sal Zizzo. Instead, the English striker’s shot was blocked by AJ DeLaGarza, which sent it back into play, off the head of an unsuspecting Felipe and into the back of the net.

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- LA Galaxy, MLS- New York Red Bulls | 31 Comments

Altidore brace leads Toronto FC past Orlando City

MLS: Toronto FC at Orlando City SC

Photo by Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports

By MIKE GRAMAJO 

ORLANDO, Fla. — For the fourth time this season, Orlando City SC dominated possession at home, but the visiting side had the most important factor to a game: the goal.

Jozy Altidore bagged a brace as he propelled Toronto FC to a much-needed 2-0 victory over Orlando City on Sunday night at the Citrus Bowl in front of 30,908 in attendance.

The American international put Toronto on the scoresheet in the 50th minute after making a run past Orlando City’s back line, striking a low-shot past Donovan Ricketts. Altidore doubled the lead, and secured his brace in the 82nd minute when he rounded Ricketts to slot the ball into an open net.

“[Toronto] didn’t surprise us,” said Orlando City head coach Adrian Heath. “I thought they played their most experienced team and made it difficult. We fell in their trap, and I don’t think we were good enough to win the game.” Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Orlando City, MLS- Toronto FC | 7 Comments

Despite draw, Red Bulls pass test against defending champion Galaxy

Red Bulls by Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports

Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports

By MATT STYPULKOSKI

Though the Los Angeles Galaxy traveled east without Robbie Keane, the defending MLS Cup champions provided a measuring stick for the New York Red Bulls.

Although the Red Bulls didn’t get the win to prove it, they felt like they passed that test on Sunday with a performance that left their opponent on the back foot for much of the day.

“I thought our reactions and our awareness and our movement as a group was all very good,” Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch said. “Very, very good. In a lot of ways, the first half might have been one of our better halves this season. These are positives, that I feel like we continue to move ourselves along. Against a good team, we played really well and again, we’re a little bit unlucky not to get three points.”

That disappointment with the 1-1 draw, but delight with the performance, was a common theme in the Red Bulls’ dressing room after the match. And while midfielder Sacha Kljestan agreed with that assessment, he also drew another conclusion from Sunday evening. Continue reading »

Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- New York Red Bulls | 1 Comment

Sunday European Rewind: Hernandez leads Real Madrid to victory; Arsenal held by Chelsea; and more

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By ADAM TROXTELL

Javier Hernandez has been a regular name on the Real Madrid score sheet this week.

Just a few days after his strike sent Los Blancos to the UEFA Champions League semifinals, Hernandez scored a brace as Real topped Celta Vigo, 4-2. La Liga’s second place team, two points behind leaders Barcelona, now has five straight league wins.

Hernandez struck in the 24th and 69th minutes, initially giving Real the lead after a quick Celta start. Nolito scored in the ninth minute to hand the hosts a surprise lead.

Toni Kroos ensured it didn’t last long, smashing home a rebound from the middle of the box just seven minutes later. Hernandez then struck from a tight angle to give Los Blancos the lead.

Celta didn’t wilt, instead equalizing in the 28th minute through Santi Mina. They put five shots on goal for the game, keeping the Real defense busy. James Rodriguez just needed a bit of luck to give Los Blancos the lead again, however, when his deflected shot went in two minutes before halftime.

Real cruised from there, and one more Hernandez strike sealed the deal in the second half.

There weren’t as many goals, but Chelsea earned a valuable point against Arsenal in other action on Sunday. Lyon took top spot in Ligue 1 on goal difference alone, and Torino beat Juventus for the first time in 20 years.

Here is more from the action on Sunday in Europe’s top leagues:

Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer | 6 Comments

MLS Week 8: SBI Sunday Commentary

MLS Logo Panel

By RYAN TOLMICH

Having emerged to this point unscathed, the New York Red Bulls face their biggest task to date in a matchup with the reigning MLS Cup champions.

Riding back-to-back victories, the LA Galaxy travel to Red Bull Arena to take on the unbeaten Red Bulls without Robbie Keane, who is absent due to injury.

Two contenders entering Sunday on a more sour note are also set to collide, as Toronto FC travels south to take on Orlando City. Finally, Sunday evening provides a Cascadia clash as the Portland Timbers take on the rival Seattle Sounders.

SBI will be providing live commentary on tonight’s action so please feel free to follow the action here. As always, you are welcome to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Tonight’s SBI live commentary is after the jump):

Continue reading »

Posted in Major League Soccer | 3 Comments