Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2007

Under-20 WORLD CUP: USA settles for 1-1 tie vs. South Korea

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Danny Szetela's first-half header gave the U.S. Under-20 national team the lead but it didn't last long as South Korea equalized before halftime. Chris Seitz bailed out a shaky U.S. defense with a handful of quality saves as the U.S. team settled for a 1-1 tie in its opening match of the Under-20 World Cup.

What did you think of the match?

Red Bulls vs. Columbus Crew: My Running Commentary

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Hello folks. I'm not in Columbus for tonight's match but I'll be watching and offering up some observations. If you want to follow along and add your own thoughts on the match then follow along on this thread.

Let's have some fun.


32nd minute- So the Red Bulls are struggling to maintain possession even though the Crew aren't really applying much pressure.

Under-20 WORLD CUP: USA set to open tourney

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The U.S. Under-20 national team is set to open its Under-20 World Cup today against South Korea (5pm, ESPNU).

I'm not really sure on what the lineup will be for the USA for this game but here's a guess:







What do you think of this lineup?

RBNY Acquires Santino Quaranta from LA

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The Red Bulls filled one of their empty roster slots on Friday by acquiring midfielder Santino Quaranta from the LA Galaxy for a conditional fourth round draft pick.

Quaranta is expected to join the Red Bulls in Columbus for their match against the Crew. No word yet on whether he'll actually be on the bench for the match.

What role will Quaranta play for the Red Bulls?

European powers keep adding top talent

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Having trouble keeping up with the flurry of transfer moves in the European market? Join the club.

Another wave of transfers have gone through this week as teams such as Barcelona and Liverpool load up for the 2007/2008 campaign.

here are some of the more recent transfers, and some that are in the works:

Eric Abidal joins Thierry Henry at Barcelona

Tottenham breaks the bank for Darren Bent

Newcastle closing in on Edmilson

Liverpool closing in on Fernando Torres

Barcelona closing in on Christian Chivu

These are just some of the moves that have been made or are close to being made.

Q&A: The Lost Questions

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Those of you wondering what happened to those questions I never got around to answering more than a week ago, here they are. They got lost in the Gold Cup sauce but I was able to dig them up and answer them.

Here you go:

DANNY- adu is supposed to be the difference maker for the U20's in the upcoming tournament, but personally i think bradley will shine brighter and be the real engine of our team.

TGIF- The day after the Argentina thrashing

Soccer By Ives at related • 17 views

Good morning all. I know some of you are still bummed out after the U.S. national team's 4-1 loss to Argentina but after watching the match three more times last night (yes, I had insomnia and had to crank out an piece) I can say that the match wasn't as bad as it might have seemed.

Was the Eddie Gaven for Ben Olsen substitution terrible?

COPA AMERICA: Argentina 4, USA 1

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A beautiful first half, then a bloodbath.

The U.S. national team played tough, solid defense and stayed right with Argentina in the first half but slowly fell apart in the second half as Argentina began finding the cracks in the American defense en route to a 4-1 victory in Copa America action on Thursday.

So what went wrong?

COPA AMERICA: US Lineup vs. Argentina (OFFICIAL)

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So much for that phantom lineup.

The US starting lineup for tonight's match against Argentina is actually the lineup I posted this morning so there are no surprises. Here it is:






COPA AMERICA: U.S.A-Argentina (My running commentary)

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Here is the running commentary on tonight's Copa America match between the U.S. national team and Argentina.

Here we go, follow along by clicking the link below:


HALFTIME- We head into the break tied at 1-1.


45th minute- A 1-1 tie at halftime.

COPA AMERICA: US lineup vs. Argentina?

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So there is a US national team starting XI for tonight's game against Argentina floating around the web. I haven't gotten confirmation of it ('s match tracker and the Copa America site have it but's matchtracker isn't up yet) so I'm not buying this one. I figured I could still toss it out to see what you folks thought of it:






This group doesn't make much sense since it doesn't include either of the team's natural left backs, Bornstein and Pearce.

Red Bulls to sign Karcz

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After clearing roster space by parting ways with three defenders on Thursday, the Red Bulls are set to sign Clifton native and former Rutgers forward Chris Karcz to a deal. I haven't received word yet on the type of deal he is being signed to but odds are he will slide into the developmental roster spot vacated by Hugh McDonald.

Karcz has spent the past two months training with the Red Bulls and secured a deal after proving that he was capable of staying healthy.

COPA AMERICA: Mexico upsets Brazil, 2-0

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Hugo Sanchez had his prayers answered.

The Mexican national team coach needed his team to have a good showing in Copa America and the team has gotten off to a great start by scoring to beautiful goals to beat Brazil, 2-0, on Wednesday night. Nery Castillo (pictured below) and Ramon Morales netted highlight-reel striikes while goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa played a stellar match.

COPA AMERICA: Who would you start against Argentina?

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You've heard it over and over, Argentina is going to blow out the U.S. national team in Copa America. You've heard that a thousand times a day since the U.S. roster was announced and it became clear that the Americans were sending a C team to face what is basically Argentina's full senior squad.

Well, the matchday is here and we are left to ponder what the U.

COPA AMERICA: Mexico leads Brazil 2-0 at halftime

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So much for Mexico's turmoil and Hugo Sanchez losing control of his team.

Mexico has rebounded from its Gold Cup loss to the USA on Sunday by scoring two beautiful goals to take a 2-0 halftime lead against Brazil tonight. Mexico is playing well and Brazil looks completely disjointed and not like the Brazil we're used to seeing.

Will things change in the second half?

My story on the Dunivant-Goldthwaite trade

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For those of you who hadn't seen it, here is my Herald News story on the Red Bulls trade with Toronto FC.

The one detail you'll need to see is the fact tht the Red Bulls dealt Dunivant AND $75,000 in cash for Goldthwaite. With Toronto only paying a third of Dunivant's salary this deal wasn't about cap space as first thought. The Red Bulls just wanted to get rid of Dunivant.

Inter Milan introduces David Suazo

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Inter Milan introduced new signing David Suazo on Wednesday. The move ends a long-running quest by Inter to land the Honduran star. Suazo wasted no time squashing any suggestion that he ever considered signing with AC Milan, which made a last-ditch bid for him.

Suazo joins a loaded Inter Milan forward line including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Adriano, Hernan Crespo and Julio Cruz, though recent reports have suggested that Ibrahimovic is ready for a move, either to Man United or AC Milan.

Beasley signs with Rangers

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U.S. national team midfielder DaMarcus Beasley has completed his long-rumored move to Glasgow Rangers.

The move ends Beasley's up and down stint with PSV Eindhoven as he heads to the same club Claudio Reyna once called home.

What do you think of the move? Share your thoughts below.

COPA AMERICA: Mexico faces Brazil tonight

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Day two of Copa America features one of the tournament's most highly anticipated matches, Brazil vs. Mexico (8:45pm, GolTV, Telefutura).

Brazil doesn't have Ronaldinho or Kaka but still has enough firepower to be considered the favorite tonight against a Mexico squad that is reportedly in turmoil. Diego and Robinho (below) lead the Brazil attack and they'll be looking to punish a Mexico defense that will be without key starting defenders Ricardo Osorio and Carlos Salcido.

SBI Fantasy MLS Rankings Week 13

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If you had Brad Davis in your fantasy lineup last week then you're probably still hungover from the celebration.

Davis' hat-trick scored some very lucky (and smart) owners triple digits and helped shake up the SBI Fantasy standings.

The juggernaut known as Hudson FC extended its lead atop the SBI standings, with long-time first-place squad Taurine Machine continuing to plummet.

Red Bulls release Graham and Regan

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The Red Bulls have released defenders Taylor Graham and Tim Regan. Word came down late Tuesday night. No word on when the Red Bulls will actually announce the moves, particularly since they have yet to announce the Todd Dunivant-Kevin Goldthwaite deal.

The move doesn't come as a big surprise. Both Graham and Regan were given chances to play and both struggled badly in the time they were given.

COPA AMERICA: Peru 3, Uruguay 0

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No, that's not a misprint. Peru just dismantled the favorites from Uruguay in the opening match of Copa America. I'll post more later. I need to celebrate this one a little bit.

Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole, Pe-Ru, Pe-Ru.

Gold Cup Final: The Game in Pictures

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Since many of you are still basking in the glow of the U.S. national team's Gold Cup final triumph over Mexico, I figured it would be good to let you all see the best pictures from the day.

Here are the best images of the day (captions provided by yours truly):

Benny Feilhaber reaches out to celebrate his goal with teammates.

Trouble in the Mexico camp? Say it ain't so.

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So much for Hugo Sanchez having things under control.

The Mexican national team is apparently in crisis as it prepares for Copa America. There are reportedly riffs within the team, with some players who were fans of former coach Ricardo LaVolpe forming one camp and supporters of Sanchez in another camp. There is even word that LaVolpe spoke to some Mexican players during the Gold Cup, offering them advice.

Henry in the Barcelona jersey

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I know this is painful to see for you Arsenal fans out there but I had to post this picture of Henry. Talk about a surreal image.

Copa America kicks off today

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The tournament is officially here.

The 2007 Copa America kicks off today with a pair of interesting matches. Uruguay faces Peru at 6pm and Venezuela meets Bolivia at 8:45pm. Both matches will air on GolTV. I'm not going to lie. I will have the Peru flag out and will be cheering my family's nation on.

If you're looking for good info on the Copa America, here is the official website.

Red Bulls trade Dunivant to Toronto for Goldthwaite (updated)

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The Red Bulls and Toronto FC have made their second deal of the season. The Red Bulls shipped left back Todd Dunivant to Toronto FC for left back Kevin Goldthwaite.

A source with knowledge of the trade has just informed me that the trade is not a straight swap. The Red Bulls will actually pay a portion of Dunivan't salary in the deal, meaning the trade doesn't even free up the large amount of cap space first thought to be created by this deal.

Going back to Jersey

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Hello all. I'm on the plane, getting ready for the trip back to New Jersey and I have to say this was a great trip. Chicago has always been one of my favorite cities and I think I like it even more. It's actually one of the few cities I would leave the New York/New Jersey area for (Hey, if Henry can leave Arsenal, I suppose I could leave new Jersey).

Monday Morning Center Back (The Gold Cup afterglow)

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It's a bit of a gloomy morning in Chicago but it is a sunny day in the world of American soccer after the U.S. national team's come from behind victory against Mexico in the Gold Cup final.

Here's my column for the Herald News on the Gold Cup final. I will have a column on the match for that should post later this morning.

Here are some numbers that are just impressive to look at:

  • USA is 9-0-1 against Mexico in past 10 matches outside of Mexico
  • The game-winning goal for USA was scored by a 22-year-old, Benny Feilhaber
  • USA is 10-0-1 with Bob Bradley as head coach

Remember when people insisted that the national team needed a foreign coach to succeed?

Gold Cup Final: A Look back

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Wow, what a game.

The U.S. national team comesbackfrom a 1-0 deficit to beat Mexico 2-0 in front of a sold-out crowd at Soldier Field dominated by Mexican fans.

I've been to a bunch of US-Mexico games and today's was easily the best game of the bunch. Both teams played well, attacking in waves and both goalkeepers came up with clutch saves.

Gold Cup Final: Starting Lineups

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Here they are folks, today's starting lineups:















I switched the formation to a 4-4-2 because you're more likely to see Dempsey up top with Donovan working off the wing.

Gold Cup Final: Running Commentary

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Okay folks, I'm still not sure if I'll be able to handle a running commentary for this match since I'm trying to catch a flight after the game and need to write as much of my Herald News as possible but I will at least do a basic one. Let's get a roll call of readers who plan on following along and taking part. That'll help me decide whether to crank out a full commentary or not.

Gold Cup Final: Matchday is here

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Hello all. It's three hours to kickoff of the Gold Cup final and I'll be heading to the stadium shortly.

Here are my Gold Cup final stories for the Herald News today:

Nothing nice about rivalry


Beasley: Mexico could be better

It's a cloudy day in Chicago but I don't think there will be rain for the match.

A rainy Saturday in Chicago (and picking a US lineup vs. Mexico

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Hello all, I'm here in Chi-town getting ready to go to the US national team press conference. Nothing much going on over here but as news surfaces I'll pass it along. Keep an eye out for a US-Mexico piece from me on That should post later in the afternoon.

So here's the obvious question. What starting lineup would you use on Sunday if you were Bob Bradley?

Mexico's Copa America squad not so great, but decent

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Amidst all the controversy surrounding the U.S. team's Copa America roster it was easy to forget about Mexico's roster situation. As I reported last night, Mexico's European-based stars begged out of the competition, leaving Hugo Sanchez to try and fill in the blanks.

Here is the Mexico Copa America roster:

Goalkeepers : Oswaldo Sánchez (Santos), Guillermo Ochoa (América), Jesús Corona (Tecos).

the US Copa Roster (my much calmer take on it)

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Okay, I'll admit it. My initial reaction to the US Copa America roster was one of major disappointment. After giving it some thought I came to realize what was at the heart of my initial reaction.

I made the mistake of believing Sunil Gulati when he repeatedly said that the US team would be a strong one and one capable of doing well at the tournament.

No US Copa America roster yet

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Still waiting. You'll see it here as soon as it comes out so stay tuned.

USA's Copa America Roster Announced (Finally)

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Here it is, the US national team's Copa America roster:

GOALKEEPERS- Brad Guzan (Chivas USA), Kasey Keller (Borussia Moenchengladbach)

DEFENDERS- Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Bobby Boswell (D.C. United), Dan Califf (Aalborg BK), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Jay DeMerit (Watford FC), Drew Moor (FC Dallas), Heath Pearce (FC Nordsjælland), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC)

MIDFIELDERS- Kyle Beckerman (Colorado Rapids), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Benny Feilhaber (Hamburger SV), Eddie Gaven (Columbus Crew), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Justin Mapp (Chicago Fire), Lee Nguyen (PSV Eindhoven), Ben Olsen (D.

Thierry Henry to Barcelona

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Read it and weep Arsenal fans. French striker Thierry Henry has finally made the long-anticipated move to Barcelona.

No word yet on the details of the deal and whether any players are headed to Arsenal in the deal.

You know what this deal means. Barcelona's attack is officially sick.

Off to the US press conference

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I'm heading to downtown Chicago for today's press availability with the US national team. No, still no word on the Copa America roster, but that's coming soon enough.

For those of you who haven't seen it, here is my column on the US-Canada game for There are player grades included so take a look at this and feel free to offer your own take on grades and other observations from the game.

Get ready to wait even LONGER for U.S. Copa America roster

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So I'm camped out, waiting for the word on the US Copa America roster only to get word a few minutes ago that the roster won't be released until 4pm Eastern Time. ARGHHH.

What's the hold up? I wish I knew.

Chicago Fire coaching report (Updated)

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The Fire job is still available but some candidates are starting to come into focus. Here are the coaches who I have heard as candidates:

  • Frank Klopas, Former Chicago Fire standout
  • Juan Carlos Osorio, Colombian club Millonarios head coach.
  • Paul Mariner, New England assistant

And no, nobody has been offered the job yet.

Argentina's Copa America Roster is LOADED

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While we wait for the US national team's Copa America roster to becme available I think we need to admire Argentina's stacked Copa America roster.

Messi, Tevez, Crespo, Aimar and Riquelme. Wow.

Greetings from Chicago

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Good morning all. It's Friday and we're still waiting for the release of the U.S. Copa America roster. No sign of them yet even though I was told last night that they would be out by 10am.

It was a crazy night at Soldier Field. You all know about the blown offside call already, as well as Mexico's tough win against Guadeloupe. After the match Mexican players had some interesting things to say about the final.

Mexico edges Guadeloupe, 1-0, on Pavel Pardo blast

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The dream Gold Cup final is now set. Mexico played some beautiful soccer but couldn't break through on Guadeloupe until midfielder Pavel Pardo delivered a 30-yard blast into the top right corner of the Guadeloupe goal to give Mexico a 1-0 victory on Thursday night.

The Mexicans will now face the United States in the highly-anticipated Gold Cup final on Sunday at Soldier Field.

Mexico's top players pulling out of Copa America

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The Copa America rosters will be officially released on Thursday and the US national team won't be the only team missing top players. Several of Mexico's top players have asked to be excused from the Copa America roster. Pavel Pardo, Ricardo Osorio, Carlos Salcido and Nery Castillo have stated their preference not to play in the tournament, citing a need for rest and important European seasons ahead.

US holds off fiesty Canada in controversial 2-1 Gold Cup semifinal victory.

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The call was bad.

The offside call that negated Canada's potential equalizing goal against the US team was wrong. The bad decision provided a disappointing ending to a rather exciting match. The United States won 2-1, but we'll never know what would have happened if the game had gone into overtime tied with Canada playing a man up.

It was a disappointing performance by the Americans, particularly the way they handled protecting their lead.

US-Canada (Let's hear your running commentary)

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Hello all. I won't be able to do a proper running diary but you can feel free to offer your comments on the match in the comments section of this post.

Fire away.

US lineup vs. Canada

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Here is the US lineup vs. Canada:








BENCH: Howard, Feilhaber, DeMerit, Simek, Clark, Twellman, Mapp

I got nine of 11, with Keller and Johnson the ones I missed.

The U.S. team's Copa America Roster: My take

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Some time tonight, US national team coach Bob Bradley will submit his roster for Copa America. We haven't heard much about who may be on the roster but theories abound.

How many Gold Cup players will Bradley take? What European-based players that he hasn't taken a look at yet will he call on now? What MLS players who have fallen off the radar is Bradley ready to give a chance to?

A relaxing day in Chicago

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Hello all, I've taken a little chill time in Chi-town today and I have to tell you the weather here is amazing. Sunny but with a cool breeze off the lake.

After knocking out a portion of the Q&A (the rest is coming, I promise) I met up with the Chicago Tribune's Luis Arroyave for lunch. Now it's his town and the guy can take me anywhere for lunch and where do we wind up?

Keller to earn 100th cap?

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So much for not expecting too many surprises in the US lineup today.

According to Steve Goff, Kasey Keller will be starting in goal tonight against Canada. If he does, it will mark his 100th appearance for the national team.

The decision is somewhat surprising but Keller is worthy of the nod even though Howard has been solid throughout the tournament.

Some of your questions answered

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Okay folks, I know it's been a few days past when I was supposed to have the Q&A done but it's been a bit of a busy week. That and some of the more elaborate questions from some of you made it longer than usual for me to get through the questions.

Rather than keep you waiting, here are some of your questions answered (The rest will come soon).

Good morning folks

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What a busy Wednesday in the soccer world. I thought I would be coming to Chicago for a simple assignment, but news of Dave Sarachan's firing, word that there was no chance Peter Nowak would take the job, as well late word of an MLS trade on the west coast kept me a bit swamped. Because of that I wasn't able to finish the Q&A last night. I am working on it right now and will post as much as I have done later this morning.

Nowak will NOT coach the Chicago Fire

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When the Chicago Fire announced the firing of Dave Sarachan today one name jumped to the top of most people's lists as a leading candidate to replace him, Peter Nowak. Fire fans have long dreamed of their former captain coming back to lead the team he captained to the 1998 MLS Cup title.

It's not happening.

According to sources in Chicago, Nowak has no intention of taking the job vacated by Sarachan.

Galaxy trade Sturgis and Findley to RSL for Chris Klein

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Just a day after introducing newly-signed Honduran forward Carlos Pavon, the LA Galaxy have added yet another attacking weapon to the bunch. According to sources on the West Coast, the Galaxy have acquired veteran winger Chris Klein, dealing talented U.S. Under-20 national team defender/midfielder Nathan Sturgis and talented young forward Robbie Findley to Real Salt Lake in the process.

The US lineup vs. Canada (My last crack at it)

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After taking in the interview session and watching some practice I am going to go with this as the US team's lineup against Canada tomorrow night:








So why the changes?

Bradley won't finalize Copa America roster until AFTER Thursday's Gold Cup semifinal

Soccer By Ives at related • 4 views

The press conference with Bob Bradley, Landon Donovan and Carlos Bocanegra just finished and one of the interesting aspects of the session was Bradley revealing that he wouldn't submit the US team's Copa America roster until after Thursday night's Gold Cup semifinal against Canada. The team has until midnight Thursday night to submit it, meaning Bradley will have a few hours to make final decisions.

I've made it to Soldier Field (And my take on the Dave Sarachan firing)

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After taking two trains and a cab I have completed the treck from O'Hare Airport to Soldier Field. The US team is about 45 minutes away from arriving and I'll be heading over for the interview session.

As you may have heard by now Dave Sarachan has been fired by the Chicago Fire. I swear I had nothing to do with it (Unless Chicago dropping to 11th in the SBI rankings served as the last straw.

What lineup should Bob Bradley use against Canada?

Soccer By Ives at related • 0 views

OK folks, we are less than two days away from the USA-Canada Gold Cup semifinal. If you were Bob Bradley, what would be the starting 11 you would start?

Here is mine, which hasn't changed since I posted it yesterday.








I've been swayed a bit on my Bornstein pick, with Jonathan Spector serving as an enticing alternative, but I'll stand by this lineup as the one I see Bradley using.

SBI is in Chicago

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Hello all. Apologies for the post-less morning but I was on my way to Chicago for the Gold Cup. I've just landed at O'Hare and will be heading to Soldier Field for US and Mexico practice. Check back later as I keep you all informed of my travels in the Windy City. It should be fun.

David Suazo to AC Milan? (And other transfer news)

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Just when you thought the Honduran star striker was all signed and sealed to go to Inter Milan there is word out of Italy that AC Milan have swooped in to sign the best striker in CONCACAF. It seems as if Suazo's current club, Cagliari, agreed to a transfer with AC Milan after Inter Milan had already agreed to terms with Suazo. This should make for an interesting tug of war between the arch-rivals.

No new MLS expansion info

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Sorry to tease you kind folks but I will not be posting on the league's expansion situation. What I will say is that nothing has changed as far as the New York area getting a second team before 2010. The 2010 season is the earliest another area team could arrive. Reports have linked the Mets to potentially buying a franchise but that's still more than two seasons away.

A closer look at the US-Canada Gold Cup semifinal (including a projected lineup)

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It is as an exciting a Gold Cup semifinal as we could have hoped for based on the brackets. Canada, with its dynamic midfield, against a US team that has yet to lose and has allowed just one goal.

It is no secret that the key to the match will be the play in midfield. Canada boasts a quintet of midfielders in Julian DeGuzman, Atiba Hutchinson, Dwayne DeRosario, Paul Stalteri and Patrice Bernier.

My story on the Red Bulls youth program

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As I have stated in the past few months, I am working on a series of stories on the Red Bulls youth program. The first of those stories ran in Tuesday's Herald News. This story is an overview on the new league guidelines and how the Red Bulls are ahead of the league's other teams in this area because they already had a quality system in place when most other teams had no real program.

Tuesday's lineup

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Good morning folks. It will be a busy day on SBI as I try to cover several bases today before heading to Chicago for the Gold Cup tomorrow. Here is a rundown of what will be covered today on the blog:

  • MLS Team Rankings
  • SBI Fantasy MLS League Standings
  • Projecting a US lineup vs. Canada
  • European transfer news
  • MLS expansion talk

I will post the Q&A on Wednesday morning.

MLS Power Rankings

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The Wizards keep rolling, the Galaxy finally woke up, Toronto opened up a can and Real Salt Lake still has a zero next to its name.

The MLS rankings are starting to move into focus as DC and Chivas move up and Colorado moves down. Here are the MLS team rankings:

  1. Kansas City (6-2-2)- The Wizards' dynamic midfield is showing that it is their work that has Eddie Johnson looking like a star.

Landon to Copa America still not a done deal?

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Lost in the wake of the US national team's Gold Cup quarterfinal victory against Panama was Landon Donovan stating that he would speak to Bob Bradley after the Gold Cup regarding Copa America. When asked if he would play in the tournament Donovan would only say "I'm available". In other words, a final decision has yet to be made, at least that's what his words suggested.

My US-Panama column for those who missed it

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For those of you who didn't catch it this weekend, here is my column off the US-Panama match for Nothing earth-shattering, just some player analysis. I offered a bit of criticism of Taylor Twellman, who still can't finish, and Frankie Hejduk, who still can't cross, but there were more positives than negatives from that game.

I didn't touch on it in the column but I was impressed with Panama this tournament.

Sour Grapes or Valid Gripes?

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If you haven't heard by now, the Gold Cup has been rigged by CONCACAF to be a showcase tournament for the US and Mexico, with the rest of the tournament's teams there just for show and to provide some speed bumps before the pre-determined final between the Americans and Mexicans.

At least that's what seemingly every other team in the tournament is saying after a week filled with questionable cards and bad officiating that didn't do much to hurt the US team or Mexico.

Monday Morning Centerback

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What a weekend of soccer action. Whether you're a Eurosnob (I mean fan of European soccer), Major League Soccer, Latin American soccer or the US national team, there was some entertaining soccer for you to enjoy.

What were the top stories this weekend? Here are some:

Real Madrid clinches La Liga title after comeback victory.

GOLD CUP: Mexico wins, Guadeloupe upsets Honduras

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The second set of Gold Cup semifinals has been set after Mexico defeated Costa Rica, 1-0, and Guadeloupe upset Honduras, 2-1.

Mexico will face Guadeloupe in the second game of a Gold Cup doubleheader on Thursday in Chicago. The US national team will meet Canada in the first semifinal on Thursday.

Check in during the week for more Gold Cup coverage.

Impressed with Schelotto Revs fans? He could have been yours

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Guillermo Barros Schelotto put on a show for the Columbus Crew on Saturday night, scoring a great goal and setting up another to help his team salvage a 3-3 tie against New England. Revs fans had to be impressed by the Argentine's performance. What may set those same Revs fans off is word that their own team could have signed Schelotto.

After the match, Schelotto admitted to Boston-based soccer writer Gerardo Cordero that the Revs were in contact with Schelotto and they could have signed the Boca Juniors star before Columbus did.

Red Bulls vs. Wizards

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The Red Bulls play host to the Wizards tonight in a battle for first place in the East. Juan Pablo Angel has already scored just six minutes in to make it 1-0. Feel free to share your thoughts on the game in this post. I'm writing Gold Cup stuff but will be checking in here at some point.

Fire away.

My MLS Game Predictions

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For those of you who missed it early today, I didn't have game previews for this weekend's matches because there was no usual Friday piece this week (I'll be doing a column off the US-Panama game).

With that in mind, here are my predictions for this week:

Columbus Crew at New England Revolution- Revs roll, even though the Crew does give them fits everytime they play.

GOLD CUP: USA-Panama Running Commentary

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Okay folks, I'm at GIllette Stadium and will do a running commentary for those of you who can't see the game or who just want to share some comments about the game. If you're going to be taking part and following along please let me know in the comments section so I know there are folks who are interested.

Follow the commentary on the jump:

32nd minute- How good is Blas Perez?

The U.S. lineup vs. Panama

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Here is the lineup for the US national team in today's Gold Cup quarterfinal against Panama:







Twellman over Ching is the only real surprise and even that isn't a complete surprise.

U.S.-Mexico 'Friendly' in Mexico City is set

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For those of you who hadn't heard by now, the U.S. national team will be facing the Mexican national team in an exhibition at Eztadio Azteca in Mexico City on Sept. 9th. Mexican federation president Justino Compean let the cat out of the bag early last week when he told ESPN Deportes that the rivals would meet in a friendly in Mexico.

The match is not completely official as there are still some contracts to be signed, but the agreements have been made in principle and an announcement from the US side should come soon.

More details on the Carlos Pavon to LA Galaxy deal

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I just got word that the deal Carlos Pavon signed with the LA Galaxy is a four-year deal, with only the 2007 season guaranteed. The rest of they years are option years. The deal will be announced on Monday. Pavon will stay in the United States after Honduras completes its Gold Cup run, but must still await the always exciting work visa process.

A busy day in Foxboro

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So I'm struggling to get out of bed today (casinos are the devil) but I will soon be ready to roll to Gillette Stadium for today's tripleheader, featuring a pair of Gold Cup quarterfinals and a Revs-Crew MLS match.

What do I see happening today? I think Canada handles Guatemala, the US team contains Panama's defense in a 2-0 win and the Revs thrash Columbus.

One last guess at the US national team lineup vs. Panama

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After talking to some people and considering what the U.S. national team will be up against tomorrow, here is what I see the starting lineup being for the Gold Cup quarterfinal against Panama:







I changed Spector for Hejduk and Feilhaber for Bradley, as well as adjusting the formation.

Galaxy lands Carlos Pavon

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The Los Angeles Galaxy's quest to land the signature of veteran Honduran forward Carlos Pavon has come to a successful end. According a source with knowledge of the situation, Pavon has completed a deal to join the Galaxy.

As first reported by the Washington Post, the Galaxy have been in hot pursuit of Pavon for a few weeks now and managed to secure his services just as he has starred for Honduras during the Gold Cup.

It is Q&A Time

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Hello all. With so much going on in the world of soccer right now (Gold Cup, U-20 World Cup, MLS) I figured it was a good time to have another question and answer session.

Post your questions below in the comments section and I will answer them by early next week. Please try to keep them somewhat brief and try to limit them to one or two.

Bradley, Altidore and Szetela among 21 named to US Under-20 World Cup roster

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Head coach Thomas Rongen announced the 21-man roster for the U.S. Under-20 national team ahead of the upcoming Under-20 World Cup in Canada. Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Freddy Adu, Gabriel Ferrari and Danny Szetela were among the players named to the squad.

Here is the full roster:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Brian Perk (UCLA), Steve Sandbo (SMU), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (6): Tony Beltran (UCLA), Amaechi Igwe (New England Revolution), Ofori Sarkodie (Indiana University), Nathan Sturgis (Columbus Crew), Julian Valentin (Wake Forest), Tim Ward (Columbus Crew)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Freddy Adu (Real Salt Lake), Bryan Arguez (D.

Thierry Henry move to Barcelona closer to reality

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Arsenal striker Thierry Henry is moving closer and closer to a transfer to Barcelona as reports have confirmed that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is in talks with the Spanish giants.

Can you imagine an Henry-Ronaldinho-Messi forward trio? That would be sick.

Henry's move could trigger a series of transfers, but recent reports suggest that Barcelona might keep Samuel Eto'o around.

Jose Angulo's next MLS Stop: Columbus

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Jose Angulo, who is in the midst of a week-long training stint, has lined up his next MLS training stint. The destination is none other than Columbus. He will be joining the Crew later this month for a training, where he'll take the field alongside fellow Jersey products Danny Szetela and Eddie Gaven.

As I stated in the post about his training stint with New England, Angulo cannot be signed directly by an MLS team.

All 13 missing Haitian U-17 soccer players have been found

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The crazy story of the missing youth team has ended with all 13 players being found. It will be interesting to see who gets into trouble for this stunt.

What do you think of this story? Share your thoughts below.

Gold Cup Quarters: Who should Bob Bradley start vs. Panama?

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Now, the real fun begins.

The quarterfinals are two days away and Bob Bradley has some tough decisions to make regarding the US national team's starting ineup against Panama. After just watching Panama's group matches over again (thanks, TIVO) I can tell you that the Panamanian attack will offer a much tougher test than the Americans have seen to date, but their defense is vulnerable.

At least two Cuban players defect from Gold Cup squad

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You knew it was going to happen. The question was when and where. Two players from the Cuban Gold Cup team defected, one in New Jersey and another in Houston. One of the players, Lestor More, was long regarded as the team's top forward, and was its star during the 2005 World Cup qualifying phase.

One player who appears to have stayed with the team is Reynier Alcantara, the team's top goal scorer during the tournament.

Gold Cup quarters set: USA to face Panama

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Mexico defeated Panama, 1-0, and Honduras thrashed Cuba, 5-0, to set the Gold Cup quarterfinals. Here are the match-ups:


Canada vs. Guatemala

USA vs. Panama


Mexico vs. Costa Rica

Honduras vs. Guadeloupe

The potential USA-Mexico quarterfinal almost happened but Mexico squeezed out a goal against a tough Panama team.

Haitian Under-17 team disappears into New York

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A truly crazy story emerging from New York City, where word has come out that half of the players on the Haitian Under-17 national team disappeared during a layover at JFK Airport on Wednesday.

It isn't too tough to figure out what is going on here. The Haitian team became its country's first to qualify for the U-17 World Cup and it boasts some seriously talented players on it.

And I'm back

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Hello folks. Sorry for the lack of posts today but yesterday's drive up to Foxboro, the slate of stories I had to write, and today's drive back home to Jersey left me needing some time off. I'm back though and will be checking out your comments and looking to catch you all up and whatever I have missed.

I wrote a column for on the US national team and its group stage performance in the Gold Cup but it hasn't posted yet.

GOLD CUP: USA routs El Salvador, 4-0 to finish group play unbeaten

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DaMarcus Beasley netted the first and last goal to help the US national team rout El Salvador, 4-0, in its final Gold Cup Group B match.

The U.S. defense smothered El Salvador, preventing the Central Americans from getting a single shot on goal.

Who played well? Beasley, Michael Parkhurst, Jonathan Spector and Jonathan Bornstein did well.

Jose Angulo training with New England Revolution

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Jose Angulo's quest for a professional soccer contract has brought him to New England, where the former St. Benedict's star and long-time Passaic County resident is training with the New England Revolution.

Angulo went through his first training session with the Revs on Tuesday morning and will spend the week with the club. The training stint is not a trial, because MLS rules prevent New England from signing a player directly out of high school.

Landon playing in Copa America

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After months of uncertainty, Landon Donovan has finally revealed that he will be playing in Copa America. Donovan told the Boston Globe that he will be playing in Copa America. The news shouldn't have come as much of a surprise because it was no secret that US coach Bob Bradley and USSF president Sunil Gulati wanted Donovan to play in the South American championship.

US Starting lineup vs. El Salvador

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Here is the starting lineup for the USA tonight:







This formation is very versatile, it can attack but has enough support defensively.

USA -El Salvador (Running commentary)

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Since some of you can't watch the game, and some just want to talk about the game, I will be doing a running commentary on the game. It won't be minute by minute but I will try to update regularly. Feel free to discuss the match in the comments section below.

29th minute- The US team is content to knock the ball around and seems to have six players in midfield at times with Dempsey, Donovan and Beasley dropping deep to get the ball.

SBI Fantasy MLS League Standings (Week 10)

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What a week to have Ben Olsen. The DC United midfielder proved to be last week's winning lottery ticket for the lucky owners who started him and collected his hat trick.

The week also saw long-time SBI League leader Taurine Machine knocked off the top spot, with Hudson FC moving into first place. Both teams are still representing the league well, with Hudson FC checking in at seventh overall and Taurine Machine at ninth.

On Today's US lineups and player perceptions

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So I read the reader comments regarding potential lineups and must say that there's one trend that needs to be addressed.

Far to many observers of the national team fall into the trap of judging players solely on what they do, and not on who they are doing these things against. Player B can have a better game than Player A and for some, that's proof enough that they are better.

GOLD CUP: Canada beats Haiti, 2-0

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Houston Dynamo midfielder Dwayne DeRosario scored both goals for Canada to lift the Maple Leafs to a 2-0 win and berth in the quarterfinals.

Costa Rica also reached the quarterfinals by virtue of its 1-0 victory against Guadeloupe. Walter Centeno's highlight-reel free kick sealed it for the Ticos.

Canada will play the 1pm quarterfinal at Gillette Stadium on Saturday against the second place team in Group B, which could be El Salvador or Guatemala (and yes, could even be Trinidad & Tobago, if they beat Guatemala by two or more goals and El Salvador loses by less than what Guatemala does).

Who should Bob Bradley start vs. Guatemala?

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The US national team is 2-0 in Gold Cup play and heads into tomorrow night's match with a chance to secure first place in its group and a quarterfinal return to Gillette Stadium.

Now, if you were Bob Bradley, based on the first two games of the tournament, who would you start? Keep in mind performances as well as who those performances came against.

Gold Cup power rankings

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After watching more Gold Cup matches in five days than perhaps I have watched in the past two tournaments combined I can safely say that this Gold Cup has been the most entertaining installment of the tournament in years.

Here is how I see the 12 teams in the tournament looking so far this tournament (remember, just for the games of this tournament):


  1. USA (2-0)- Only team with two victories, Americans have managed to overcome shaky refs without complaining, unlike certain other teams (cough, Mexico).

Monday Morning Centerback

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There are sore losers and then there is the Mexican national team.

To the surprise of no one, Mexico wasn't in much of a mood to give credit to Honduras after Sunday's shocking 2-1 loss to 'Los Catrachos' at GIants Stadium. From coach Hugo Sanchez to the king of sportsmanship, goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez, 'El Tri' was chock full of excuses as to how they lost to a supposedly inferior Honduras squad.

GOLD CUP: Honduras shocks Mexico, Cuba ties Panama

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The 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup is earning the name Tournament of Surprises after a pair of stunning results at Giants Stadium. Carlos Costly scored two goals, including a 91st-minute game-winner, to lift Honduras past Mexico, 2-1.

Mexican midfielder Cuauhtemoc Blanco lost his temper yet again, drawing a red card after elbowing Honduran defender Samuel Caballero in the 48th minute to force Mexico to play the rest of the match a man down.

DC United routs lackluster Red Bulls, 4-2

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Ben Olsen scored a hat-trick to lead DC to a 4-2 romp ahead of the Red Bulls at RFK Stadium. Yes, you read that right. Ben Olsen scored three goals. The game was ugly, at least for the Red Bulls, most of which looked like they were wearing lead uniforms considering how sluggish they looked. Yes, the Red Bulls are still in first place but they aren't exactly playing great soccer these days.

Red Bulls vs. DC United

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The first-place Red Bulls visit RFK Stadium today to take on arch-rival DC United. Here is the Red Bulls starting lineup:







Ronald Waterreus is back in the starting lineup, which should provide a boost for the defense.

One great Saturday of soccer

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Talk about a Saturday full of crazy soccer action. From the Gold Cup to MLS to the La Liga title race, there was something for everybody. Here are some of the highlights:

Real Madrid and Barcelona both tie, setting up title-deciding final weekend

Barcelona gave up a late goal and Real Madrid scored a late goal as both teams tied to stay atop the Spanish First Division standings heading into the final weekend.

Guadeloupe upsets Canada, 2-1, to top Group A

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Just when I go and peg Canada as a Gold Cup title contender tiny Guadeloupe steps in and spoils the party. The French island moved into first place in Group A with a stunning 2-1 upset of Canada in Miami.

Jocelyn Angloma (above, left), yes the 42-year-old former French national team player, scored to help push Guadeloupe into the driver's seat for a Quarterfinals berth.

GOLD CUP: USA cruises past Trinidad & Tobago, 2-0

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Goals from Brian Ching and Eddie Johnson off beautiful plays from Justin Mapp and Landon Donovan were enough to give the US national team a 2-0 victory against Trinidad & Tobago in Gold Cup action on Saturday.

I will be digging into this match later on tonight. Fee free to post your thoughts on the game. Did you like the young defense?

The US national team's lineup vs. Trinidad & Tobago

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As expected, Bob Bradley made wholesale subs for today's game after having just played two days earlier. The starting lineup is an attractive one considering it's supposed to be the bench:







Like most of you, I am very curious to see how that back four plays.

An Unhappy Reunion

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As many of you know, Friday night's Honduras-Panama match was Amado Guevara's first match back at Giants Stadium. It was my first chance to talk to him in months, first chance to ask him about his departure from MLS and about his return to Giants Stadium.

Guevara refused to talk. Not to the media in general, he just refused to talk to me.

Mexico holds off feisty Cuba

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After an early Cuba goal stunned the pro-Mexico crowd, and led to Honduran and Panamanian fans cheering hard for Cuba, Mexico recovered and scored two goals to pull out a tougher than expected 2-1 victory at Giants Stadium on Friday night. Jared Borgetti and Nery Castillo scored goals for a Mexico squad that played without a handful of regulars.

GOLD CUP: Panama thrashes short-handed Honduras, 3-1

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Amado Guevara worked his magic at Giants Stadium one more time, netting a nice free kick goal, but was the lone bright spot for Honduras, who fell to a solid Panama squad, 3-1, on Friday.

The win puts Panama in great shape to qualify for the Gold Cup quarterfinals and will force Honduras to find results in its next two Gold Cup matches.

Mexico's starting lineup vs. Cuba

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For those of you eager to see what Mexico looks like tonight, here is there starting lineup:







No Osorio or Salcido as Hugo Sanchez fields a B+ squad against a weaker Cuba team.

So much for seeing some protests

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There were no Cuban protests outside Giants Stadium today, even though there was a designated protest zone. Maybe local Cubans weren't aware of tonight's match, or maybe they're waiting for Sunday.

Gold Cup: Honduras vs. Panama

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Hello all, I'm here at Giants Stadium and you will be surprised to hear that Honduran fans are making up a majority of the fans in the stadium so far. Then again, Mexican fans are probably just partying in the parking lot until it's time to watch 'El Tri' in the second game.

Amado Guevara is in the starting lineup for Honduras. We will see what he does tonight in his first match back at Giants Stadium since the Red Bulls' playoff win against DC United last October.

Off to Giants Stadium for the Gold Cup

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After watching all of the games of the Gold Cup so far I will finally get to see some matches in person tonight when Giants Stadium plays host.

Honduras vs. Panama, then Mexico vs. Cuba. We should have a tasty mix of fans, though Sunday's doubleheader is promising to draw a much larger crowd.

For those of you really into the Gold Cup, here is a column I wrote for ESPN.

La Liga Race comes down to the wire

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Real Madrid and Barcelona are tied atop the Spanish First Division standings with two games to play. Real Mardid holds the tie-breaker on better head-to-head record and Barcelona heads into its derby game against Espanyol without Ronaldinho, who is suspended with a red card. Oh, and by the way, Sevilla is sitting two points behind the co-leaders, hoping for a double slip.

US/Guatemala: the day after

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So it's the morning after the US national team's 1-0 victory against Guatemala and I'm curious to hear what the mood is among you US fans. Were you happy with the performance? Were you upset with it? Do you accept it as the type of game to expect as a tournament favorite?

I happened to like the US team's performance, except for a 20-minute stretch in the second half where they were on their heels and giving Guatemala too much of the ball and too much space.

Trinidad & Tobago's Silvio Spann with a wonder strike

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I hate to be a spoiler but T&T's Silvio Spann hit a 50-yard free kick into the top corner of the net against El Salvador. Yes, 50 yards. Insane. You have to see it. I'll post it as soon as someone puts it on YouTube.

Boca Juniors thrash Cucuta, 3-0, to reach Libertadores final

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You would think that heading into a second leg of a home-and-home series down 3-1 would be too tough to overcome. Not so for Boca Juniors, which overwhelmed Colombian club Cucuta, scoring a 3-0 victory to reach the Copa Libertadores final.

US lineup vs. Guatemala

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Here it is, the US national team's starting linep tonight vs. Guatemala:








Some interesting calls, such as Twellman over Johnson, Bradley/Feilhaber over Clark and Hejduk over Spector and Simek.

GOLD CUP: US-Guatemala running diary

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Hello folks. Let's have some fun tonight. Here is the running commentary (I have switched the commentary to the jump so that it doesn't block out the rest of the blog):

33rd minute- Guatemala's goalkeeper looks like he won a contest to be on this team. Pretty shaky. This is something that people may not realize as far as edges the US has in CONCACAF.

Check in tonight for US-Guatamala running commentary

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Hello all, sorry for the afternoon hiatus. I spent the day taking care of a few things but I am back.

I went to Giants Stadium to pick up my Gold Cup credential for tomorrow night. I tried to track down Amado Guevara at the Honduras team hotel but had no luck. I'll try to talk to him after tomorrow's game to see if he will talk about his Chivas USA divorce.

European transfer market in full swing

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If you're a European soccer fan then things have officially gotten interesting this off-season.

The transfers and serious transfer rumors are starting to fly. Here are just some of the moves that have happened or are reportedly in the works:

  • Thierry Henry to Barcelona
  • Frank Lampard to Juventus
  • Samuel Eto'o to AC Milan
  • Giuseppe Rossi to Juventus
  • Dani Alves to Chelsea
  • Anderson to Manchester United
  • Nani to Manchester United
  • David Suazo Inter Milan
  • Arjen Roben to Real Madrid
  • Roberto Carlos to Fenerbahce
  • Miroslave Klose to Bayern Munich
  • Luca Toni to Bayern Munich
  • Scott Parker to West Ham
  • Claudio Pizarro to Chelsea
  • Frank Ribery to Bayern Munich
  • Wesley Sneijder to Aston Villa

This is just a sample of the moves and potential moves being cooked up across the pond.

Who starts for the US tonight?

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The US national team opens Gold Cup play tonight against Guatemala in a rematch of a scoreless draw played in March. The Guatemalans bunkered in the last time around and we can expect a similar strategy even though they have a new coach in charge and Freddy Thompson, Guatemala's top midfielder, is injured.

If you are Bob Bradley who would you start?

Tiny Guadeloupe outplays Haiti in 1-1 tie

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Haiti was the heavy favorite and had the clear crowd advantage at Miami's Orange Bowl but they couldn't turn that into an advantage on the field as Guadeloupe outplayed the Haitians in a 1-1 tie in their Gold Cup opener.

If you didn't see the match you missed what was actually an exciting match. Guadelope has indeed succeeded in bring in its European-based players and the team's quality showed throughout the match.

Julian DeGuzman's brace lift's Canada to 2-1 win against Costa Rica

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Deportivo La Coruna midfielder Julian DeGuzman scored a pair of beautiful goals to lift Canada past Costa Rica in the opening match of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. It was a well-played game that either team could have won and it's definitely a good tone-setter for the tournament.

DeGuzman hit a top of the box blast just a minute after Costa Rica's Walter Centeno hit a nice curling shot for the opening goal, then he added his second in the second half on a perfect chip over Costa Rica's goalkeeper.

Angel strikes again

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It wasn't pretty but three points with five starters out of the lineup is still pretty good.

The Red Bulls downed Toronto FC 2-1 despite being thoroughly outplayed in the first half. Juan Pablo Angel works his magic yet again.

The bright spots included Angel, Jon Conway, Carlos Mendes and Dane Richards. The not-so-bright spot was Markus Schopp looking atrocious in a right back experiment that should never be tried again.

Halftime observations (Toronto 1, Red Bulls 0)

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What any ugly 45 minutes for the Red Bulls? I get it, they have injuries, but that excuse doesn't explain some of the stuff going on tonight.

The Markus Schopp at right back experiment failed. Here's a question. Why didn't the Red Bulls sign Chris Leitch? To be fair it may be a red tape problem, since Columbus has to be given a chance to match any offer the Red Bulls make.

Red Bulls starting lineup tonight vs. Toronto

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Here is the Red Bulls starting lineup tonight vs. Toronto:







Schopp is the real surprise here, playing at right back, which I'm pretty sure he's never done for the Red Bulls before.

Gold Cup: Matchday One

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Tonight marks the first set of games in the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup and I can tell you that the opening match is an exciting one. Canada vs. Costa Rica. The second match, Haiti vs. Guadaloupe, isn't as appealing but it could wind up being just as entertaining.

Here is a closer look at these teams:


Two teams with dangerous attacks and less than stellar defenses square off in what could be a shootout.

Who starts tonight for the Red Bulls?

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With injuries still plaguing the Red Bulls, Bruce Arena must try to put together a starting 11 that can not only punish Toronto FC's vulnerable defense, but can also contain TFC's dangerous attack. That's no easy task with your two starting fullbacks out injured.

Here is the starting lineup I see Arena using tonight:







Why this lineup?

Milan to bid on Eto'o

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AC Milan is still wiping champagne off the Champions League trophy but they have already publicly identified one of their big summer transfer targets to help them repeat. That target is Samuel Eto'o.

The Barcelona striker is a safe bet to leave the Spanish giants this summer, but AC Milan was the first club to publicly admit that they will make a bid for the Cameroonian.

Full slate of TV Games on Wednesday

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Today is a good day to be a soccer fan. There are games all day. If you want some European flavor then you have some Euro qualifiers in the afternoon. If MLS and CONCACAF is more your taste then you have matches in the evening. There is even a tantalizing South American club match worth watching. There's something for everybody.

Here is the full slate of soccer games on TV on Wednesday.

Get your Gold Cup fix here

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The CONCACAF Gold Cup is set to begin in two days and I know some of you can't wait for it to start.

If you're fiending for your Gold Cup fix, I've got the thing for you. Here is my preview of the tournament, with breakdowns of all 12 teams. Now it isn't overly in-depth. Obviously there were some issues getting information on some teams, but it's something good to digest before the tournament begins.

On second thought

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When I decided to blog about Landon Donovan's Copa America quandary I knew it would bring about a strong reaction from two very vocal contingents, the Landon lover and the Landon haters. The thing is, I'm not in either camp.

After listening to some of the arguments, and looking at the LA Galaxy's schedule in July, I have changed my mind.

SBI Fantasy MLS League Rankings (Week 10)

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We have ourselves a pretty good two-horse race atop the SBI Fantasy MLS League standings, with Taurine Machine holding steady but Hudson FC closing in on the leaders. Both teams are currently in the top five in the entire MLS fantasy game.

It was a very good week to have Eddie Johnson and Andrew Boyens, but not such a good week to have Roberto Brown, Kevin Harmes or Chris Gbandi (all of which I had and none of which who played).

SBI MLS Rankings (Week 9)

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The Kansas City Wizards are for real. Yes, they may have gotten some help from an overzealous referee on Saturday but still did their part to thrash the Red Bulls and move into first place in the Eastern Conference.

Now we will find out whether the Wizards can keep it going without top scorer and hat-trick master Eddie Johnson. At least KC won't be alone in losing players to the Gold Cup, though the Red Bulls and DC United are poised to take advantage of not losing any players to the tournament.

Clarifying Chris Leitch's free agent status

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Since I know there's plenty of clamor for Chris Leitch to be signed, and many of you were dreading what might come from negotiating with the Columbus Crew, I made a few phone calls to find out just what Leitch's status was. Here is what I found out.

The new league rule regarding waived free agents states that a team has the right of first refusal on any offer made to the player they waived.

Sanneh to join Red Bulls

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Former US national team defender Tony Sanneh is set to join the Red Bulls. No he hasn't signed a deal just yet. He is recovering from off-season hip surgery (may not be his hip, source wasn't clear) and will join the team starting Tuesday for rehab. The thought process is that he will get a serious look once he is healthy.

This news isn't a surprise given the shaky state of the defense, what with Jeff Parke dealing with hamstring tightness and Taylor Graham looking shaky as the No.

Makalele to MLS?

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French midfielder and current Chelsea man Claude Makalele has joined the growing list of European players interested in a move to MLS.

Makalele is pondering his next move now that it seems clear his future at Chelsea is in doubt.

So who would be interested in Makalele? Who wouldn't be? There aren't many teams, aside from Chicago, New England and Houston, who couldn't use a world class defensive midfielder.

Monday Morning Centerback

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The phrase of the day is Gold Cup. Yes, MLS is in full swing but the CONCACAF Gold Cup kicks off this week across the USA and it will be all Gold Cup all the time around here for a while.

Are you looking forward to the event? Will you be attending matches?

I am neck-deep in Gold Cup stories, having already done one on the Gold Cup's impact on MLS teams for ESPN.

Landon and Copa America, enough already

Soccer By Ives at related • 11 views

There isn't really any new to the story that Landon Donovan is uncertain about going to Copa America but I haven't really chimed in on the subject. After reading the latest round of stories on Donovan's indecision I came away feeling as if he should probably either make a decision or keep quiet about it until he does.

Every time Donovan starts with the hemming and hawing about Copa and wanting to stay with the LA Galaxy, who are struggling, it all just feels a bit phony.

Karcz scores in Red Bulls reserve team loss to KC, 2-1.

Soccer By Ives at related • 4 views

Clifton native Chris Karcz scored his first goal for the Red Bulls reserves but goals from Yura Movsysian and Lance Watson gave the Kansas City Wizards reserves a 2-1 victory on Sunday morning.

Karcz's goal came after the 80th minute, with the match already 2-0. he dribbled past a few defenders and completed a nice finish. That definitely can't hurt his chances of getting signed.

USA routs China, 4-1

Soccer By Ives at related • 0 views

Goals from DaMarcus Beasley, Benny Feilhaiber, Clint Dempsey and Oguchi Onyewu gave the US national team a 4-1 win against China in San Jose on Saturday.

Solid performances all around, particularly in midfield, where Feilhaber and Michael Bradley looked good in making their cases to start in the Gold Cup. Clint Dempsey didn't have a great game before his goal and the back-line was okay.

Crazed fan ruins Denmark-Sweden Euro qualifier

Soccer By Ives at related • 0 views

Some absolute craziness from Denmark. Long story short, Sweden and Denmark in a crucial Euro qualifier and Sweden jumps out to 3-0 lead, Denmark fights back and ties match 3-3 but before the match ends a Denmark defender punches a Swedish player. The referee red cards the Danish defender and awards a penalty kick. This is when some whacked out Danish fans storms the field and takes a swing at the referee.

Johnson bags hat trick as Wizards down short-handed Red Bulls

Soccer By Ives at related • 6 views

Clint Mathis got an unwarranted red card and Jeff Parke left the match at half-time. Those two events helped the Wizards slice and dice the Red Bulls defense like a Japanese chef. Eddie Johnson netted a hat-trick but the story was the Wizards ability to pick apart the Red Bulls.

Is it panic time in Red Bulls land? What Saturday showed us is that not even Bruce Arena can find a a way to win missing three of four defenders, his goalkeeper and play a man down against one of the league's best.

Red Bulls-Wizards/US-China: Running Diary

Soccer By Ives at related • 3 views

(I will be updating this post repeatedly so check back in throughout the evening)

Hello folks. We're less than a half hour away from the marathon that will be watching Red Bulls-Wizards and USA/China. I'm Tivoing both and will be flipping back and forth, offering my take on the games. If you're reading this then chances are you didn't A) get to go to either game or B) didn't make it to a bar or gathering for it.

Yes, Atletico SBI is doomed

Soccer By Ives at related • 4 views

Good afternoon folks. It's a beautiful Saturday, that is unless you're my fantasy soccer team.

As some of you may have already noticed, my SBI Fantasy League team is fielding not one, but three players this weekend who will not be playing MLS matches. Roberto Brown, Kevin Harmes and Chris Gbandi are away on international duty. I suppose I deserve that after not spending much time throwing my team together.

Red Bulls update

Soccer By Ives at related • 1 view

Ronald Waterreus, Hunter Freeman and Todd Dunivant did NOT travel to Kansas City and are therefore out for this weekend's game against the Wizards. (And last I heard, there were no injuries from the practice facility to the plane. I can't account for anything that happened in-flight. As you know, traveling in economy can sometimes by rough.)

Who did travel?

Diego's late equalizers helps Brazil tie England

Soccer By Ives at related • 1 view

Okay, so maybe it wasn't overly exciting, but the Brazil-England friendly still offered some good glimpses of skill and I think it suffered a bit from Brazil's players looking a bit tired and England's players looking a bit like they didn't want to get hurt before the next Euro qualifier.

No, there weren't any real Wow goals but just watching Kaka and Ronaldinho on the ball made the match worth watching.

Red Bulls fans can relax

Soccer By Ives at related • 2 views

No players were injured in today's practice session, the final session before the team travels to Kansas City for Saturday's match against the Wizards.

For those of you who haven't been paying attention, the Red Bulls had lost starters to injuries in the final practice before gameday for two straight weeks (Claudio Reyna two weeks ago and Todd Dunivant last week).

You ready for England-Brazil?

Soccer By Ives at related • 1 view

I know, it's only a friendly, but if you can't get excited about the star power on display for the England-Brazil friendly at Wembley Stadium today then I don't know what to tell you. The game starts at 3pm and is airing on Fox Soccer Channel. Needless to say, I will be watching this one.

Ronaldinho and Kaka vs. Lampard and Gerrard. It should be fun.

Do you want an SBI Podcast?

Soccer By Ives at related • 3 views

After getting some requests from members of the SBI Posse to add a podcast to the rotation I have begun to give serious though to doing just that. Before I make a decision and go to my newspaper's internet people to make a podcast happen I figured I would ask you all if a weekly podcast is something you would be interested in.

Let's hear it.

Claudio Pizarro close to signing with Chelsea

Soccer By Ives at related • 0 views

Everybody's favorite Peruvian striker is close to joining Chelsea on a free transfer. Claudio Pizarro, whose contract at Bayern Munich expired, is set to join the Blues where he will provide a potential partner for Didier Drogba.

As someone who isn't a big fan of Chelsea's style of play but is obviously a fan of Pizarro I'm torn on this over.