USMNTStartingXI2-RepublicofIreland2014 (Getty)

USMNT fall five spots to No. 28 in latest FIFA Rankings

The U.S. Men’s National Team dropped five places to No. 28 in the November FIFA World Rankings after two friendly match losses earlier this month.

USMNT vs Colombia starting eleven

23 for 2015: Projecting the USMNT Gold Cup roster (November 2014 Edition)

The U.S. Men’s National Team’s disappointing November has led to a slight shakeup in the latest SBI 23 for 2015, as we project the U.S. Gold Cup roster.

Jermaine Jones 112202014 (USA TODAY Sports)

The SBI Show: Episode 180 (Talking MLS playoffs, Americans Abroad, and more)

Episode 180 of The SBI Show takes a look back at the MLS conference finals openers, and breaks down an impressive weekend for Americans Abroad.

Jones provides killer instinct for Revs playoff run

Jermaine Jones-Thierry Henry (USA Today Images)

Photo by Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports

By CARL SETTERLUND

HARRISON, N.J. — When the New England Revolution were stuck in an eight-game losing streak leading up to the team’s summer acquisition of Jermaine Jones, the problem wasn’t necessarily talent.

The Revs are predominantly a collection of young players on the rise, and their locker room is one of the most cohesive in the league, but they just didn’t have enough veteran leadership to compete. Now Eastern Conference finalists, at one point in July the Revs fell four games below a .500 record.

It couldn’t be a more opposite vibe now, as Jones delivered not just the quality, but the urgency the Revs needed in their Eastern Conference Final first leg win Sunday afternoon at Red Bull Arena.

While MVP candidate Lee Nguyen had said during the previous week that an away draw would be an acceptable result, Jones begged to differ, venturing forward for an 85th-minute winner that puts the Revolution in an enviable position heading into the second leg on Saturday at Gillette Stadium.

“We not scared, we go there to beat New York,” Jones said at last Thursday’s training session. Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- New England Revolution | 15 Comments

Report: Club America’s Alvarado rejects calls from U.S. Soccer to pursue El Tri dream

VenturaAlvaradoClubAmerica1 (Mexsport)

By DAN KARELL

It’s not often anymore that you see a dual-national soccer player who grew up in the USA decide to play for another nation.

Sure, it’s happened before, the most high-profile cases being Giuseppe Rossi and Neven Subotic, but considering U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s approach to calling in dual-nationals to the U.S. senior and junior teams, it is a subject that hasn’t been broached in some years.

It comes as a surprise then as a report out of Mexico states that Club America centerback Ventura Alvarado dreams of playing for the Mexican National Team, despite having received calls from the U.S. Soccer Federation in the past.

“The truth is to play in a Mexican team and one like (Club) America is a dream for any young person (in the USA),” Alvarado told Televisa Deportes.

Continue reading »

Posted in Mexican Soccer, U.S. Men's National Team, U.S. Soccer | 74 Comments

Referee Stott draws criticism for unwillingness to show red card

Gonzalez-Martins-SoundersGalaxy-USaToday

 Photo by Kelvin Kuo/ USA Today Sports
 

By RYAN TOLMICH

While it is widely acknowledged that the playoffs are about seeing the best of the best collide, members of the LA Galaxy claim that the referee of last night’s clash with the Seattle Sounders took a step too far.

Following the Galaxy’s 1-0 victory over the Sounders, defender Omar Gonzalez claimed that referee Kevin Stott admitted to not issuing Sounders defender Zach Scott in an effort to avoid putting a damper on next week’s second leg.

“It’s tough when Stott says he’s not going to give another yellow because he wants the best players playing next game,” Gonzalez said. “I think it’s not his job to focus on the next game. It’s his job to focus on the game tonight, the game at hand, so for him to say that to one of our players is pretty ridiculous.

Gonzalez’s comments echo those made by teammate Landon Donovan, who said the players were privy to the fact that there would be no dismissals.

“The officials have made it clear that no one’s getting sent off,” added Donovan. “We have to make sure we’re aware of that next weekend, and we’ll play with that in mind, and I’m sure they will too.” Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, MLS Playoffs, MLS- LA Galaxy, MLS- Seattle Sounders, Uncategorized | 30 Comments

Packwood joins Colchester United on emergency loan

WillPackwood (BirminghamCity)

By RYAN TOLMICH

With just a single appearance to his name this season with Birmingham City, Will Packwood is set to head out on loan.

Birmingham City announced Monday that Packwood is set to join League One’s Colchester United on an emergency loan until Jan. 1. Birmingham City, who currently sit in 19th in England’s Championship, also have the option to call Packwood back after 28 days.

Colchester United’s addition of Packwood comes as a result of an injury to captain Magnus Okuonghae, who ruptured his achilles Saturday against Coventry City.

Packwood’s loan move will be his second in as many years, as the 21-year-old American defender played eight games for Bristol Rovers in League 2 last season.

Colchester United are in action Saturday against MK Dons.

What do you think of the move? What do you expect from Packwood during his time with Colchester City?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Americans Abroad, Featured | 2 Comments

SBI World Team of the Week: Schalke

Schalke-Celebrate-Bundesliga

By RYAN TOLMICH

Entering the weekend on a 10-game unbeaten streak, Wolfsburg’s run of form was finally put to an end by a first-half blitz from Schalke.

Led by a pair of goals from Maxim Choupo-Moting, Schalke used an early jump to take down surging Wolfsburg, 3-2, to earn recognition as SBI World Team of the Week.

Schalke scored a trio of goals within 25 minutes to shock their in-form opposition who have surged to second in the Bundesliga on their current run. However, form was of little uses against Schalke, who will take the momentum from the weekend’s victory into a midweek Champions League clash with Chelsea.

Schalke beat out Crystal Palace, Barcelona, Marseille and Eintracht Frankfurt for this week’s honors.

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What did you think of Schalke’s performance? Which team stood out to you this past week?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in European Soccer, SBI World Team of the Week | 3 Comments

SBI World Player of the Week: Lionel Messi

Messi-Barcelona-Getty

By RYAN TOLMICH

Lionel Messi is officially the most prolific goalscorer in La Liga’s 85 year history.

The Barcelona star netted a hat-trick in Saturday’s 5-1 victory over Sevilla in a performance that sees Messi earn recognition as SBI World Player of the Week.

Messi’s trio of finishes were the 251st, 252nd and 253rd in the Spanish League, as the Argentine assumes the mantle as La Liga’s top goalscorer by passing former Athletic Bilbao forward Telmo Zarra. Kickstarted by a first-half free kick that saw him equal Zarra’s mark, Messi’s record-breaking finish came in the 72nd minute in a spectacularly worked sequence with Neymar.

Messi’s record breaking performance saw the Barcelona star top Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben, Cagliari’s Diego Farias and Schalke’s Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting for this week’s honors.

What did you think of Messi’s performance? Which player stood out to you this past weekend?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in European Soccer, Featured, SBI World Player of the Week | 1 Comment