Photo by Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
Entering the season perceived to be just outside the league’s upper echelon, FC Dallas continues to make its case to be included among the league’s elite.
FC Dallas has picked up three wins in as many games, most recently besting the Philadelphia Union 2-0. With the victory, FC Dallas remains the only team in the league on maximum points.
Things haven’t been as smooth for the defending champion LA Galaxy, which was once again forced to settle for a draw.
Elsewhere, the Earthquakes picked up a second straight victory to open up Avaya Stadium in style while ensuring a move up the rankings.
Here are the SBI MLS Power Rankings for Week 3: Continue reading
By AARON CRANFORD
Major League Soccer is ready to award an MLS expansion team to the owners of NASL side Minnesota United on Wednesday, but not everybody is wanting to help the latest addition succeed.
As reported by the Minneapolis Star Tribune on Sunday, Minnesota Vikings executives, who were competing with Minnesota United for franchise rights to the Minneapolis market, are “twisting arms” to prevent the construction of a soccer-specific stadium for the current NASL side.
“The idea was that, thus discouraged, the MLS would zero in on awarding the expansion franchise to the Wilfs, and it would play in the new dome,” the Minneapolis Star Tribune stated.
Vikings executives Mark and Zygi Wilf, the president and principal owner of the NFL team, reportedly have “a loyal pal” in Senator Thomas Bakk.
Bakk reportedly phoned MLS Commissioner Don Garber before MLS made a final decision and told Garber that Minnesota United “would not receive a dime’s worth of assistance from the state” if they were selected in favor of the NFL team’s bid.
Here are some more MLS notes to close out your Tuesday:
By ALAN CONDON
The U.S. Men’s National Team is set to be shorthanded on the attacking end for the team’s upcoming friendlies.
Captain Clint Dempsey suffered a right hamstring injury during training on Monday in Zurich, and will not be available for the upcoming friendlies against Denmark and Switzerland.
The Seattle Sounders captain returned to Seattle on Tuesday and is expected to be sidelined for two to three weeks with the injury. If that timetable proves accurate, Dempsey could miss matches against the Houston Dynamo and LA Galaxy.
No replacement will be called upon to fill Dempsey’s shoes as the U.S. Men’s National Team kicks off its tour with a match against Denmark on Wednesday. Six days after their clash with Denmark at NRGi Park in Aarhus, the squad travels to Zurich to take on No. 12-ranked Switzerland.
What do you think of Dempsey’s injury? How will the USMNT and Seattle Sounders fare without the forward? Who should take his spot in the Americans’ lineup?
Share your thoughts below.
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By FRANCO PANIZO
David Beckham is back in Miami, and a buzz about the city’s chances of landing an MLS team is growing again.
Beckham has been spotted in the South Florida metropolis over the last couple of days, and is reportedly meeting with business partner Marcelo Claure behind closed doors to discuss stadium locations for their proposed MLS franchise. Beckham has apparently even approved the use of land near Marlins Park just west of downtown Miami for his soccer-specific venue.
Earlier this month, the Miami-Dade County commission agreed to propose that location to Beckham as a site for the stadium that he and his group of investors need to gain entry into MLS.
“He mentioned (the site),” Miami Beach mayor Philip Levine told the Miami Herald a day after he was seen with Beckham at fashion guru Tommy Hilfiger’s birthday party. “I think he has a sense of openness and willingness to anything.”
photo by Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports
By FRANCO PANIZO
Having only a few days of preparation before a match is not necessarily ideal, but it is the situation Jurgen Klinsmann and the U.S. Men’s National Team find themselves in currently.
The U.S. began reconvening in Europe over the weekend, but the pleasantries were short-lived and focus was quickly placed on Wednesday’s friendly against Denmark. The match at NRGi Park provides Klinsmann with his first chance since last fall to see an entire group of foreign and domestic-based players, and should provide quite the challenge as the Americans continue to prepare for their CONCACAF Gold Cup title defense.
Klinsmann may have had the luxury of summoning in anyone of his choosing, but he has left off some notable names while calling on a pair of newcomers. Brad Guzan was left off the squad – due to the birth of his child – and so were regulars Mix Diskerud, Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler. Filling some of their places are Club Leon goalkeeper William Yarbrough and Club American centerback Ventura Alvarado, two dual-nationals who have chosen the U.S. over Mexico.
Still, Klinsmann’s squad boasts plenty of experienced players receiving consistent minutes on the club level. From Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey to Michael Bradley and Fabian Johnson, there is enough talent in the squad to grab a result and build on February’s 2-0 home win over Panama.
Here is who SBI sees starting for the U.S. in Wednesday’s match against Denmark:
By ALAN CONDON
FIFA President Sepp Blatter has told the UEFA Congress that a boycott of the Russia and Qatar world cups should not be considered, arguing that such protests never work.
Ahead of his bid for re-election on May 29, Blatter has insisted that soccer must remain united amid calls from politicians and lawmakers to jettison the two forthcoming World Cups over human rights issues and corruption claims.
“Football should be united, sport should be united when it comes to boycotts. Boycotts have never had any results … we have to go there,” said Blatter.
“The autonomy of sports must be guaranteed,” added Blatter. “We should do something for peace. Maybe we can help at least certain conflict situations.”
Photo by Troy Taormina/USA Today Sports
By MIKE GRAMAJO
SANFORD, Fla. — After suffering its first-ever defeat in MLS, Orlando City faces a new challenge going into this weekend. The club is losing seven players to international call-ups in the coming days and also dealing with some injuries, making for a depleted roster.
Orlando head coach Adrian Heath, however, sees no problem adjusting his lineup when Orlando City travels to Saputo Stadium to take on the Montreal Impact on Saturday.
“I’ve always said, ‘One door closes (and) another one opens for somebody else,’ and people can walk through the door,” Heath told reporters during Orlando’s Monday training. “There will be a number of opportunities for our players this weekend. We’ve played three games now, and I think I can confidently say we’ve been the best team in all three games.”
If the Lions are to perform well again, they will have to count on their depth to help get the job done. Brek Shea (U.S. Men’s National Team), Kevin Molino (Trinidad & Tobago), Darwin Ceren (El Salvador), Cyle Larin (Canada), Conor Donovan (U.S. U-20s), Rafael Ramos (Portugal U-20s) and Estela (Portugal U-20s) will all be missing for Saturday’s encounter with the Impact.