Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2007

Beckham to miss SuperLiga match against FC Dallas

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David Beckham is set to miss his second straight Superliga match with an injured left ankle. Beckham will not travel to Texas for the LA Galaxy's match against FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park.

The only good news about Beckham's status is that he is expected to travel with the Galaxy for its upcoming MLS match against Toronto FC in Toronto on Aug.

Manchester City: Spending more than Chelsea

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I'm sure that headline might have sounded crazy before this summer but new manager Sven-Goran Eriksson's connections and new owner Thaksin Shinawatra have combined to give City the spending power and international pull to sign some quality players and get close to signing several more.

So far, Man City has acquired young Italian striker Rolando Bianchi, Bulgarian midfielder Martin Petrov, Swiss midfielder Gelson Fernandes and former Barcelona midfielder Geovanni.

SUPERLIGA: MLS keeps rolling on

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Major League Soccer upped its record in Superliga to 3-1-4 on Sunday with a DC United win against Club America and a Houston Dynamo tie against Morelia.

That impressive record against the Mexican clubs in the competition won't change until the semifinals as MLS teams and Mexican teams will face each other in the final stage of first-round games on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Blanco stars in Fire MLS Debut

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While we keep waiting for David Beckham to play his first competitive game for the LA Galaxy, Mexican star Cuauhtemoc Blanco made his debut for the Chicago Fire and it was a good one. He assisted on Chicago's first goal in its 3-0 win against Toronto at BMO Field on Sunday.

Blanco flashed his passing brilliance for the Fire in helping Chicago end its five-game losing streak.

Monday Morning Center Back (Red Bulls deny deGrandpre report)

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The Red Bulls are denying reports that Marc deGrandpre has been ousted from his position as the team's managing director.

Team spokesman Brian Tsao stated that there are no plans for a change in the club's management personnel and that deGrandpre still holds his same position.

The Red Bulls also denied an SBI report that plans for a training facility in Florham Park have been scrapped.

DeGrandpre out as Red Bulls Managing Director

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After 16 months in charge of the Red Bulls as managing director, Marc deGrandpre will be leaving the post and ending his short career in professional sports.

According to sources within the team, deGrandpre is being re-assigned by parent company Red Bull to another section of the company, a move that could be the first of several in a serious front office shake-up.

SUPERLIGA: Chivas records first Mexican win

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After MLS opened the new Superliga Tournament with a 2-0-2 record against its Mexican opponents, the boys from south of the borders responded tonight with a win as Chivas De Guadalajara beat the Beckham-less Galaxy, 2-1, on Saturday night.

FC Dallas outplayed Mexican power Pachuca but came away with just a 1-1 draw, in part because of a blown off-side call on what should have been a Clarence Goodson goal.

Soccer Saturday

Soccer By Ives at related • 7 views

Hello all. I'm afraid I won't be posting much today. It's my son's birthday so I'll be celebrating that with him. I'm sure I'll be posting something tonight but I'm throwing this post up to let you guys and gals talk about anything going on in the soccer world.

As you may have read yesterday (First on SBI I might add), Freddy Adu is heading to Portugal to seal his Benfica deal.

Adu and Benfica agree on deal (updated)

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After hitting a snag earlier this week, Freddy Adu's transfer to Benfica is on again. According to sources with knowledge of the situation, Adu's representatives and Benfica have agreed in principle on a contract, with Adu set to travel to Portugal next week to complete the deal. Terms of the contract were not available.

Adu's agent, Richard Motzkin, had turned down Benfica's original contract offer after Benfica agreed on a $2 million transfer with MLS.

You write the caption (weekend edition)

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Hey folks, sorry for the lack of posts today but I've been pretty busy today.

Here is something to tide you over for those last few hours in the office, the weekend edition of YWTC.

I have one photo as well as a bonus photo that you can just laugh at rather than write captions for. Just remember, when writing captions please try to keep them short and no expletives or overly raunchy themes.

It's Q&A Time

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Hello all. It is that time again. I want you to send me your soccer questions and I will try to do my best to answer them.

Please remember to keep them short and keep it to one or two questions. Post your questions below and I'll look to answer them all early next week.

Fire away.

TGIF: A slow news day

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Good morning all. Apologies for the lack of morning posts but I was busy finishing off a column for ESPN.com. The subject? Mr. Freddy Adu. It should be up later this afternoon or tomorrow.

Not much going on today in the soccer world. Here are some of the highlights:

Gabriel Heinze to fight for LIverpool move: Manchester United defender Gabriel Heinze is consulting lawyers on what to do about his current situation.

Red Bulls vs. Chivas USA (Running commentary)

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The game is about to kick off. Check in here for my running commentary and feel free to share your own thoughts on the match below.

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29th minute- To be fair, Reyna is having a good game tonight. Sending some corner kicks in with purpose.

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28th minute- If you gasp anytime you see Claudio Reyna go down don't worry, you're not alone.

Red Bulls lineup vs. Chivas USA (Get ready for it)

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Anyone hoping to guess the lineup for tonight's match is going to be disappointment. An illness and Bruce Arena's own ingenuity have given us a 4-3-3 formation nobody could have seen coming:

Altidore-------------Angel------------------Wolyniec

Van Den Bergh------Reyna------------------Vide

Goldthwaite--------------------------------Freeman

---------------Stammler----Leitch--------------------

-----------------------Conway--------------------------

Yes, the nightmare came true.

Fire signs Wanchope

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It is official. The Chicago Fire has signed Costa Rican forward Paulo Wanchope, adding him to an attack that already includes Cuauhtemoc Blanco.

Wanchope has had his share of knee troubles through the years but he is still a quality forward who will be an upgrade for the Fire. Will it be enough to help Chicago seriously challenge for a playoff spot?

SBI Fantasy MLS League (Week 17)

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Apologies to those of you have been waiting for me to post The SBI Fantasy MLS Rankings. Things have tightened up near the top, with the top five teams separated by 140 points and teams two through five separated by 46 points.

Hudson FC has not let go of the top spot, even though I came close to catching him before laying an egg last week.

You Write the Caption (Wednesday's Best)

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I'll give you folks some credit. The captions were better on Wednesday than Monday, but there were also some very weak ones.

One thing I need to clarify is that captions are not supposed to be super long. They're also not supposed to be quotes of the subjects in the photos but I let those slide because they're funny. That said, some of you are writing scripts.

SUPERLIGA: Matchday 2 (Your comments)

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We have two great games tonight in Superliga. DC United is playing (and beating) Morelia while Houston faces Club America in the best match of the first round at 10pm. Share your comments on these matches here. I will try to do a running commentary on the Houston-America game but can't promise it at this point.

Check here for comments throughout the night:

Who is the US national team player of the year?

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Yes, I realize it is only July but I have to ask this question. Who is, to date, the US men's national team player of the year?

Voting for Honda Player of the Year is about to close and I just sent in my ballot (I'm one of about a thousand voters it seems) and really found this to be a tough year to call. Who would you say was the best player so far?

You Write the Caption (Wednesday)

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Good afternoon all. Sorry I didn't put this up sooner but I went to Red Bull practice today.

I'm hoping you guys and gals can produce some better captions than Monday. Not that the Ronaldo captions weren't funny, but the bar was set pretty high after last week.

Today's picture features two of the best players in the world, and two of the most popular, caught in a goofy pose.

Red Bulls Pre-Game Report

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The Red Bulls held their final training session before Thursday's match against Chivas USA and right now it remains unclear what starting lineup Bruce Arena will use.

The biggest question figures to be which forwards Arena starts against Chivas USA. Juan Pablo Angel is obviously one choice but Arena must then decide between John Wolyniec and Jozy Altidore.

Zizzo signs with Hannover 96

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U.S. Under-20 national team midfielder Sal Zizzo has completed a move to German club Hannover 96. Zizzo joins U.S. national team defender Steve Cherundolo at the club and joins Heath Pearce as the second American player to make a move to the Bundesliga this summer.

Zizzo starred for the U.S. team at the Under-20 World Cup, showing flashes of brilliance on the right flank.

Superliga: Galaxy vs. Pachuca (your comments)

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Hello folks. I'm watching the Galaxy-Pachuca Superliga match and realized I should have a post up for people to comment. I should have known that members of the SBI Mafia had already taken over another post to follow along.

Instead of posting their, post here. Follow the match here (It is scoreless at halftime). I'll comment here and there but it won't be a running commentary (That was the plan, I'm commenting on the jump)

Fire away.

Adu transfer on hold....for now

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The long-rumored sale of Freddy Adu to Benfica has hit a snag. Reports surfaced on Wednesday stating that MLS had agreed to a $2 million transfer but Adu and Benfica could not agree on personal terms.

The first thing I thought when I saw that report was, "What? Just $2 million?." It does seem like it isn't that much for a player who just starred at the Under-20 World Cup.

SUPERLIGA: Galaxy top Pachuca, FC Dallas ties Chivas

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Landon Donovan netted the game-winning goal as the LA Galaxy defeated Mexican champions Pachuca, 2-1, in the opening match of the SuperLiga Tournament for both teams.

Alan Gordon opened the scoring when he ran onto a long pass from Donovan, chested it down and slotted it past Pachuca goalkeeper Miguel Calero in the 50th minute.

My column in today's Herald News

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For those of you who hadn't seen it yet, here is my soccer column in today's Herald News. I make the point that Cuauhtemoc Blanco could wind up having as big an impact on MLS long term as Beckham. I started thinking about that on Sunday and you probably noticed I made it the subject of this week's MMCB. I just wanted to write something other than the millionth Beckham column.

Tevez transfer fiasco rolls on

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Just when you thought we would finally get a resolution on the Carlos Tevez transfer situation, FIFA throws a curve ball by deciding not to make a decision on the case.

For those of you who aren't up to speed on the situation, Manchester United is set to buy Tevez for a hefty price tag but Tevez's agent, Kia Joorabchian, is claiming that he owns Tevez's economic rights, and not West Ham United, meaning he should receive the transfer funds for Tevez.

Man City in for Nery Castillo

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Mexican star Nery Castillo could be on his way to Manchester City. The Olympiakos striker is linked to a move to City but reports state that he is holding out for a move to a bigger club and is said to have contacted Chelsea and Real Madrid.

A move out of Greece is all but certain after Castillo starred for Mexico at the Gold CUp and Copa America this summer.

SBI MLS Power Rankings

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Someone finally stopped the Houston Dynamo. Well, not completely stopped, but at least scored some goals on the MLS champions.

That team was New England, which flexed its offensive muscle against the normally-stingy Dynamo. That New England back-line still gave up goals, three to be exact, but The Revs look like the class of the Eastern Conference right now.

You Write the Caption (Monday's best)

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The image of Ronaldo with hair was hilarious but I'm not sure the caption submissions lived up to that standard.

There were some decent ones but none of the captions was drop-dead funny. Maybe it's just me. I came up with seven good ones (and an eighth from yours truly). Here they are:

T5. Ronaldo: Very soon, I get a fancy design shaved in my head like Eddie Johnson, then I score more goals!

Fire to sign Wanchope

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Juan Carlos Osorio appears to have his first signing since taking over as Chicago Fire head coach.

The Chicago Tribune's Luis Arroyave is reporting that the Fire is set to sign Costa Rican forward Paulo Wanchope.

The move makes perfect sense. Wanchope and Osorio had a very close relationship when both were at Manchester City and Wanchope was looking for a club after ending his short stint in Japan.

Red Bull to buy out AEG's stake in Red Bull Park

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When Anschutz Entertainment Group sold the MetroStars to Red Bull more than a year ago, it sold everything but a 50 percent stake in the Harrison Stadium Project now known as Red Bull Park.

That too has been sold now.

After weeks of negotiations to buy AEG's stake, sources have confirmed that Red Bull is ready to announce a deal that would remove AEG from a project it had been working on for seven years, leaving Red Bull as the sole owner of the stadium, which is set to open in late 2008.

Parke out with a torn hamstring

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Red Bulls central defender Jeff Parke will be sidelined at least two weeks with a torn right hamstring suffered during Sunday's 1-0 win against DC United.

Parke suffered the hamstring injury late in the first half when he jumped in the air to clear a ball out. The injury will likely mean that Seth Stammler will start in central defense.

In other injury news, Ronald Waterreus is questionable with a bone bruise in his left ankle and Santino Quaranta has a right toe sprain and is out.

Ljungberg joins Hammers

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An off-season of departures continues for Arsenal, which added Swedish midfielder Freddie Ljungberg to the list of long-time players to leave after Ljungberg joined West Ham United. West Ham, which is enjoying a strong transfer season (The whole Tevez mess aside), adds Ljungberg to an already impressive summer haul that includes Scott Parker and Craig Bellamy.

Adu transfer to Benfica imminent

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The Freddy Adu era in MLS is all just about over.

Sources in MLS state that a transfer to Portuguese power Benfica is on the verge of going through. No word on the transfer amount yet but the Salt Lake Tribune reported that MLS is asking for $7.5 million for the 18-year-old playmaker.

If Adu does leave it would signal the not so amazing Adu Era in MLS.

You Write the Caption (Monday)

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I'm sure you were waiting patiently for your chance to write a caption. Here it is.

Before I get to the latest installment of YWTC, let me state that I will have three You Write the Captions this week. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We'll see how that schedule works out before making it the set routine.

Now, to the photo. We are turning to Brazilian star forward Ronaldo, who is known to the masses for his shaved bald head.

Monday Morning Center Back (What about Blanco?)

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Good morning all. As I sit here trying to recover from the hangover following David Beckham's party last night I can't help but think about how little media coverage was given to the other star MLS newcomer's debut this weekend.

Cuauhtemoc Blanco, the Mexican playmaker American soccer fans love to hate, made his debut for the Chicago Fire on Sunday and it barely registered a ripple on the national media radar.

The European season is fast approaching

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Spanish powerhouse Barcelona began training this weekend, meaning Thierry Henry's first sessions with his new team. It also means the European soccer seasons are fast approaching.

SBI will be providing coverage of Europe's top leagues for those of you who enjoy your EPL and Serie A as much, if not more, than you're MLS.

Barcelona fans eager to see Henry make his debut won't have to wait much longer.

Red Bulls vs. DC United (running commentary)

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Sorry for the delay but the Red Bulls-DC United game is under way. Follow along here.

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31st minute- Not much going on right now as neither club can get steady possession.

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30th minute- For all the people DC is missing today the one guy they clearly miss is Ben Olsen.

Red Bulls starting lineup vs. DC United

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Hello all. I'm here at a basically empty Giants Stadium. We're 40 minutes from kickoff and here is the lineup the Red Bulls will use (It is the same lineup I projected yesterday.)

---------Altidore-----Wolyniec----------

Mathis----------------------------Richards

------------Reyna----Stammler-----------

Goldthwaite----------------------Freeman

------------Mendes---Parke-----------------

------------------Conway---------------------

No Dema and no Joe Vide.

My story previewing the Red Bulls-DC United game

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For those of you who haven't seen it, here is my story previewing today's match between the Red Bulls and DC United. The highlights of the story are Bruce Arena saying that Claudio Reyna needs to step up and Jozy Altidore passing up a few days off in order to be ready for DC United, which he is on a mission to beat.

Beckham makes debut

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David Beckham made his debut for the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday night, coming in as a second half substitute in the Galaxy's 1-0 exhibition loss to Chelsea.

The game had all the hype and media coverage expected back when Beckham first signed with the league. Celebrities made their way to Home Depot Center to take in the action and paparazzi covered every second of it.

Beckham's Debut Nears

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David Beckham's first match with the LA Galaxy is at halftime and it looks as if Beckham will actually make his debut. I tried hard to ignore the event, or at least not blog about it, but I'm sure some of you are watching and are interested.

With that in mind I figured I could provide a forum for you to discuss the Beckham love-fest. So talk about anything you want to relating to tonight's match.

Red Bulls Pre-Game Report

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It was a beautiful day at Giants Stadium today and the vibe around the team is a pretty positive one heading into tomorrow's game against DC United.

Here is the scoop on things going on in Red Bulls land:

  • Dema Kovalenko will not start in the DC match. He is still feeling pain in his groin and while Kovalenko wants to play with the pain, the team is being more cautious.

The weekend is here (And yes, I'm back)

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Hello all. Apologies for the light posting the past few days but I'm back now and ready to resume regular SBI duties. I hope some of you took advantage of the light posting to actually get some work done at your day jobs.

I'll be heading to Giants Stadium in a short while to get the latest on tomorrow's big Eastern Conference clash between the Red Bulls and DC United.

Beckham likely to miss Chelsea friendly

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As you have probably heard by now, David Beckham's ankle injury is likely to keep him out of the LA Galaxy's friendly against Chelsea on Saturday.

While this is devastating news to the fans who have shelled out big bucks for that game in part because of Beckham's participation, what is more important to MLS is that Beckham doesn't miss actual MLS matches.

A look ahead to the second half of the MLS season

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With the All-Star Game now behind us and the real important part of the MLS season upon is, it is time to think about what we can expect in the second half of the season.

I will be posting something for Saturday on the teams I see making the playoffs, breakout players and potential disappointments. First, I wanted to ask you, the readers, your thoughts on some of these issues.

MLS All-Star Game (Your Running Commentary)

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Good evening folks. The MLS All-Star Game is coming up later tonight and while I won't be able to do a running commentary on the match I did want to give you all a forum to discuss the match.

With that in mind, please use this thread to talk about tonight's game with other members of the SBI Mafia. In other words, the running commentary is in your hands.

You Write the Caption (Wednesday's Best)

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Hello all. Sorry for the lack of posts today but I'm on the road right now and will being posting infrequently tonight and tomorrow.

It's a little late but here are the best captions submitted for the picture of Cuauhtemoc Blanco on the phone:

5. "Ok, I think I've almost got it... I put my left foot in, then I put my left foot out.

Who should really start in the MLS All-Star Game?

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Admit it, when the MLS All-Star Starting XI was announced you had some issues with the squad selected.

That's generally what happens when you have an American soccer fanbase that can come up with so many different views on the same players.

Steve Nicol put together a very respectable and functional starting lineup and few can complain that the group Nicol is starting can match up well with Celtic FC, but are Nicol's choices the most deserving based purely on performance during the first half of the MLS season?

The US national team depth chart

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After a summer full of tournaments and after seeing so many familiar and unfamiliar faces donning the stars and stripes, U.S. national team fans can't help but think about what sort of shape the national team pool is in.

The truth is the pool is strong and deeper than it has ever been. I know that may be hard to believe after the disappointing showing at Copa America but a deeper look at the US talent pool reveals some good quality.

You Write the Caption (Wednesday)

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After starting the week with a few obviously funny photos for you to write captions for, I will go with a more subtle entry for Wednesday.

It is none other than soon-to-be Chicago Fire star Cuauhtemoc Blanco, who is set to join the Fire on Friday. This photo is from a while back but I always thought it had comedy potential.

Prove me right folks.

MLS All-Star Game starters set

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New England Revolution coach Steve Nicol announced his starting 11 for Thursday's MLS All-Star Game between MLS stars and Scottish champions Celtic in Colorado.

Nicol had no major surprises in the starting 11, though Landon Donovan not being in the 11 will be a surprise to some. Here is the Starting XI:

MLS All-Star Team Starting XI

-----------Eddie Johnson-----Juan Pablo Angel-------------

--------------------Dwayne DeRosario----------------------

Juan Toja------------------------------------Ronnie O'Brien

--------------Ricardo Clark-----Shalrie Joseph------------

Jonathan Bornstein-------------------------Jimmy Conrad

---------------------Michael Parkhurst----------------------

--------------------------Matt Reis---------------------------

DeRosario starts ahead of Christian Gomez is a bit of a surprise because I'm not sure DeRosario has had a great year to date.

You Write the Caption (Tuesday's Best)

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The captions are out of control.

There's no other way to say it as submissions keep growing with each installment of You Write the Caption. The comedy value wasn't quite as good as Monday's photo of Ailton on a Blue Zebra but Jose Mourinho looking like a tanned Spongebob Squarepants still produced good humor and did generate some gems.

Here are the best captions from Tuesday:

5.

Earthquakes back in 2008

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The San Jose Earthquakes are coming back.

Sports Illustrated is reporting that San Jose will join Major League Soccer as an expansion team in 2008. The news comes after weeks of growing speculation that San Jose was in the driver's seat to return to the league after seeing the old Earthquakes leave San Jose after the 2005 season and transform into the Houston Dynamo.

Inter Milan adds some South American flavor while AC Milan keeps us guessing

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Inter Milan introduced two new signings on Tuesday, Chilean playmaker Luis Jiminez and Colombian defender Nelson Rivas. The players were in Italy to train with their new club and while it is unclear what kind of impact they will actually make on Inter's loaded roster, at least they were real signings to go along with Honduran striker David Suazo.

You Write the Caption

Soccer By Ives at related • 2 views

Listen readers, I appreciate that you like the You Write the Caption feature but can we keep from making every post a version of it? The caption writing has gone overboard, though some are still very funny.

Save your good comedy for the official daily installment of YWTC. I suppose the hijacking of this morning's Beckham post by caption writers is my fault for including that Beckham-Vagenas massage photo.

Beckham's debut delayed?

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David Beckham attended his first practice with the Los Angeles Galaxy on Monday and a swollen left ankle kept him from participating fully. More importantly, the injury could force Beckham to miss Saturday's friendly against Chelsea, which has long been advertised as his U.S. debut.

The slight injury has ticket sales staffs around MLS cringing at the idea of Beckham missing his visits to their stadiums.

You Write The Caption (Monday's Top 10 Entries)

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You people never cease to amaze me.

I thought it would be tough to make the following picture of Ailton riding a blue zebra any funnier than it already is but several of you succeeded. Here are the best entries for Monday's You Write the Caption.

Here's the photo:

And here are the best caption entries (so many good ones I did a Top 10):

10.

Rapids trade Beckerman to RSL for Ballouchy

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The Colorado Rapids continued their roster overhaul by trading U.S. national team midfielder Kyle Beckerman to Real Salt Lake for attacking midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy, sources told SBI on Monday night.

I have yet to find out all the details of the deal but the deal has been completed and the two young midfielders are definitely swapping uniforms in a move that makes sense for both teams.

Heath Pearce signs with Hansa Rostock

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Everyone's favorite US national team left back candidate has found a new club. Heath Pearce has signed with newly-promoted German Bundesliga club Hansa Rostock.

That certainly won't hurt his chances as he battles Jonathan Bornstein and Jonathan Spector for US team left back duties. Add Pearce to the growing number of Americans playing in Europe's top flight.

Your Questions Answered

Soccer By Ives at related • 5 views

Okay folks, there were a bunch of questions but I was finally able to answer them all. Again, I don't have all the answers, and am not always right, but hopefully I can at least steer you in the right direction and off your my opinion on all things soccer.

Here they are, your questions answered:

SCOTT (and BJR)- Do you see Freddy Adu transfering to Europe this year, which club league would make the most sense?

My Beckham piece for ESPN.com

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For those of you who haven't seen it yet, here is my ESPN.com column on David Beckham's arrival in MLS. It is one of about 20 written on the site over the past few days. In short, I wrote that the key to Beckham's move to MLS being a real success doesn't just depend on what Beckham does, but also what those around him do.

Feel free to let me know if you agree or disagree with the premise.

You Write The Caption

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Get ready for some comedy.

It's the latest installment of You Write the Caption and while some previous installments relied on the impressive comedic stylings of the SBI Mafia today I have chosen a picture that doesn't need much help being funny. That said, I was curious to see what you all could come up with to accompany this truly hilarious photo.

Monday Morning Center Back

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Was it really a good summer? That's what US national team fans are asking themselves after the US Under-20 national team played the last of this summer's men's national team tournaments, leaving fans to reflect on the Gold Cup-Copa America-Under-20 World Cup trio.

The Americans won a trophy, delivered some memorable victories and had some promising players emerge, but there were also the disappointing losses that left some fans feeling like the summer was a disappointment.

SBI on WOR Radio (The Beckham interview)

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For those of you who didn't hear my interview with WOR Radio's Henican & White, here is my chat with them about David Beckham's arrival in the USA. Thanks to Michael Mejido for setting up the audio clip.

Obviously the interview was more of a novelty deal than anyone on that show really being into soccer (and no, I didn't listen to the soccer-bashing yahoos who called in afterwards).

Capello approached by MLS team

Soccer By Ives at related • 26 views

So who could it be?

Recently fired Real Madrid coach Fabio Capello has been approached by an MLS team about coaching in the United States.

Who are the leading candidates? When you think about which teams would be willing to spend the kind of money it would take to bring Capello here I think of two teams: The LA Galaxy and Red Bulls.

Brazil topples Argentina in Copa America Final, 3-0

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So much for the Argentina juggernaut being unbeatable.

Brazil showed once again that it has Argentina's number, knocking off the full-strength rivals without Ronaldinho or Kaka. It didn't matter as Vagner Love, Julio Baptista and Dani Alves had enough magic to help Brazil down Argentina, 3-0, in the Copa America final.

So how did a Brazil B team knock off such a loaded Argentine squad?

Argentina Sunday

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If you're a fan of Argentine soccer then today is your day.

The Argentina national team faces arch-rival Brazil in the Copa America final at 5pm on GolTV before the Under-20 team faces Mexico in the Under-20 World Cup quarterfinals at 7pm on ESPNU. You really can't ask for two better match-ups. In the Copa America final you have Lionel Messi against Robinho.

MLS: Red Bulls vs. New England (Running commentary)

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Hello all. I wasn't planning on doing a commentary on the Red Bulls-Revs game but since I know some of you can't see the game I'll do a smaller scale commentary, with fewer posts. Feel free to fill in the blanks. I'll be busy writing a story during the game but will post key moments as they happen.

Let me know if you're joining along.

Let's have some fun.

U-20 World Cup: USA vs. Austria (Running Commentary)

Soccer By Ives at related • 44 views

Hey folks. Sorry I'm late (had to do the groceries).

The game is close to getting under way and the US team appears to have all its key players. Jozy Altidore and Chris Seitz are in the lineup, as is Sal Zizzo. No excuses. The Americans are the favorites and need to deliver.

Let's get it rolling. Let me know if you're here.

Here we go:

-----------------------------------------

25th minute- I was right about Austria's back four being slow footed.

You Write the Caption (Friday's winner)

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The captions keep getting better and better.

Friday's photo of Oliver Kahn and a child wearing an autographed Bayern Munich jersey brought some serious comedic genius from the SBI Mafia. Here is the photo:

And here are the Top Five funniest captions submitted by SBI readers:

5. Boy: Last year Ballack.

A great Soccer Saturday

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It is a going to be a good day to be a soccer fan.

It is the last weekend where you can get Copa America, Under-20 World Cup and MLS action all in the same time frame. Not only do we have this triple-flavored action, the games are all high quality and they are all televised.

Here is the rundown:

2pm (ESPNU)- U-20 World Cup, USA vs.

SBI on WOR Radio today

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Since it is officially David Beckham day I wound up doing a radio interview with WOR AM 710. The interview is set to air at 5pm. Nothing too controversial, or anything SBI readers don't already know, but you all can listen and tell me if you think I should be delivering my smooth sounds on a Podcast.

Let me know what you think of the interview.

Cesc tells Madrid "No gracias"

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Arsenal playmaker Cesc Fabregas helped keep millions of Arsenal fans from pondering giving up on soccer by telling Real Madrid, 'Thanks, but no thanks.'

The Spanish playmaker rejected Real Madrid's overtures and maintained his loyalty to Arsenal, which should buy him immeasurable good will from a fan base that was desperate not to see its two best players leave in the same summer.

Beckham officially introduced (and assaulted by confetti)

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David Beckham was officially introduced as a member of the LA Galaxy on Friday as a throng of fans and media looked in during an event that felt more like a rock concert than press conference.

If we learned anything it is that even rock & roll and confetti can't keep press conferences like this from being boring. There was hearing Alexi Lalas call the Galaxy the "jewel of MLS" (Not sure what kind of jewel but I'm pretty sure QVC sells it in bulk.

You write the caption

Soccer By Ives at related • 2 views

I've got good news and bad news. The bad news is that there were no funny photos of either Mexico coach Hugo Sanchez or Mexico fans. The good news is that I still found a photo you all can write captions for.

So it may not be as funny as some previous installments, but it has potential. Here's Bayern Munich goalkeeper Oliver Kahn greeting a young Bayern Munich fan.

Beckham-mania is here

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(Attention readers: sarcasm alert. Be on the look out for random moments of sarcasm in this post).

After months of waiting for David Beckham to arrive in the United States and save soccer, the English megastar is finally here. No, he's not wearing a cape, but you would think he is.

Beckham arrived in Los Angeles last night, welcomed by a throng of soccer fans and marginally enthusiastic members of the media.

You write the caption (Winners for Thursday)

Soccer By Ives at related • 3 views

I left it up to you, the SBI Mafia, to come up with some funny captions and boy, did you drop some gems.

Here is the picture:

And here are my picks for the funniest captions for the two photos I put up for captions on Thursday:

5. "War's over man. The US won." (Emory Soccer)

4.

Wolyniec to Celtic? Nope

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I try not to address completely ridiculous rumors, particularly ones that originate from the UK, but had to in this case. John Wolyniec isn't going to Celtic. The only Hoop coming close to Wolyniec is the zero in the chances of him going there.

Nevermind the fact that Wolyniec is nowhere near close to getting a work permit (Yes, I know some people think Staten Island people speak their own language but that doesn't make it a country.

Fire Sale Update

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For those of you wondering what was going on with the sale of the Chicago Fire, it has been completed. The Chicago Tribune's Luis Arroyave identified the new ownership group as being Andell Holdings. The Tribune's report, and others suggested that the sale is still in the works but sources have confirmed that the deal is done and will be announced next week.

Red Bulls Practice Report (Thursday)

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I'm back from Red Bulls practice and there was some interesting stuff to go over, so here's the highlights:

Dema Kovalanko and Carlos Mendes are nursing injuries though it looks like Mendes is more likely to play.

With this those guys sidelined here is what the first team looked like in training, at least for a late-practice 11 vs 11:

-----------Angel---------Wolyniec-----------

Mathis-----------------------------Richards

---------------Reyna----Vide---------------

Goldthwaite------------------------Freeman

------------Stammler---Parke----------------

-------------------Conway-----------------

I don't think this means Waterreus is benched, he was involved in most of the practice, but you never know.

You write the caption

Soccer By Ives at related • 1 view

OK folks, I'm heading to Red Bulls practice this morning so I won't be posting regularly for a bit. I figured I could leave you with something fun to do while I'm gone.

Before I get to the photo, I need to clarify a point regarding my recent posting about the Lalas-Yallop feud that is simmering out in LA. Some LA fans have suggested that my sources for this story consisted of Santino Quaranta and the chip on his shoulder.

Good Thursday Morning

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Good morning folks. It's the day after the US Under-20 team's gutsy come from behind victory against Uruguay AND Mexico's humiliating dismantling at the hands of Argentina in Copa America and I know some of you are heading to work with big smiles on your faces.

Just an update on the post-game scuffle after US-Uruguay. Michael Bradley was not punched in the face.

COPA AMERICA: Argentina thrashes Mexico, 3-0

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Mexico's strong run at Copa America came to an end on Wednesday as Argentina's loaded roster proved too much in a 3-0 victory in Venezuela. Gabriel Heinze, Lionel Messi and Juan Riquelme scored the goals for Argentina.

Mexico goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez endured an especially tough night. He was slow off his line on Heinze's goal, got beaten by a beautiful chip by Messi then dove to his right only to have Riquelme chip a PK attempt straight down the middle to make the score 3-0.

U-20 World Cup: USA beats Uruguay in OT, 2-1

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Michael Bradley scored in overtime to give the US Under-20 national team a 2-1 victory against Uruguay in the second round of the Under-20 World Cup in Toronto Canada.

The win places the USA into the quarterfinals against Austria, which defeated Gambia earlier on Wednesday.

Uruguay looked like it would come away with a victory when it scored the opening goal in the 73rd minute minute, but a late own goal tied things up for the Americans before Bradley's game winner just a minute into the second half of overtime.

U-20 World Cup: USA vs. Uruguay (Running Commentary)

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Here we are, ready for the USA-Uruguay Under-20 World Cup match. Chris Seitz is on the bench for this one, which is a tough break, but back-up goalkeeper Brian Perk is highly regarded and the match is still going to come down to the US attack delivering like it has been.

Will the defense step up with Seitz on the sidelines? Will Adu work some more magic?

Seitz out for tonight's match (US lineup vs. Uruguay)

Soccer By Ives at related • 2 views

(An SBI exclusive for about the next 10 minutes)-Just got word that US Under-20 national team goalkeeper Chris Seitz will miss tonight's US Second round Under-20 World Cup match against Uruguay after picking up an injury in training. Brian Perk will start in his place. Here is tonight's starting lineup:

------------------Altidore---------------

Rogers------------Adu-----------Zizzo

-------------Bradley---Szetela--------

Wallace----Sturgis--Valentin---Beltran

--------------------Perk---------------------

Check back here for the running commentary on the match (Unless the storm in Jersey knocks out my DirecTV, which would be BAD.

Tonight's Dream Doubleheader

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Nights like tonight are why TIVO is a gift from heaven.

There are two soccer games tonight that many American soccer fans would consider can't miss. At 7:30pm you have the US Under-20 national team facing Uruguay in the second round of the Under-20 World Cup on ESPNU. At 8:30pm you have Argentina facing Mexico in the Copa America semifinals on GolTV (And Telefutura).

You Write the Caption

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Okay folks, I had to give Hugo Sanchez a break from the caption game before any more readers accused me of having a vendetta against the Mexico coach. So here is a non-Hugo photo that should offer some comic relief for you people with a sense of humor.

Here's John Terry and an unidentified Chelsea player stretching during a training session in LA.

European Transfer News

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Add Argentine defender Gabriel Milito (left in photo) to Barcelona's impressive summer transfer haul. At least that is what Barca president Joan LaPorte would have us believe.

Milito is set to join the Spanish giants as the team's sorely-needed central defense reinforcement, a need made more pressing by captain Carles Puyol's recent knee surgery, which will sideline him into the new season.

Say hello to David Beckham, SI cover boy

Soccer By Ives at related • 34 views

Let the media blitz begin.

David Beckham will be on the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated, juts two days before he is officially introduced in LA as the Galaxy's newest player. Grant Wahl delivers a lengthy cover story on Beckham's arrival and impact on American Soccer.

Will Beckham be a victim of the SI cover jinx?

COPA AMERICA: Brazil edges Uruguay in PKs

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Brazil shook off a late equalizer from Uruguay and its own shakiness from the penalty spot to beat out Uruguay in penalty kicks in the Copa American semifinals on Tuesday night. Uruguay's Diego Lugano missed the last PK to send Brazil into the finals, where the winner of the highly-anticipated Mexico-Argentina match will await.

Brazil missed its PK in the sixth round of kicks, leaving Uruguay with a chance to win the match, but Uruguay missed the would-be match-winner, leaving the door open for Gilberto (not Silva) to put Brazil ahead.

Guardado heading to Deportivo, not PSV

Soccer By Ives at related • 1 view

Less than a week after it was believed that Mexican midfielder Andres Guardado was heading to PSV Eindhoven it turns out Guardado is actually going to Spanish club Deportivo La Coruna in a $9.5 million move. The fee is a record for a Mexican player.

Guardado was set to join PSV on a $6.1 million deal before Deportivo stepped in with a bid 50 percent bigger.

MLS All-Star Roster Announced

Soccer By Ives at related • 5 views

Hey folks, sorry this is a few hours old but I had to get away from the computer for a bit. Here is the 18-man roster for the MLS All-Star Game on July 19th when the All-Stars face Celtic FC in Colorado:

Goalkeeper: Matt Reis (New England Revolution), Kevin Hartman (Kansas City Wizards)

Defenders: Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Michael Parkhurst (New England Revolution), Eddie Pope (Real Salt Lake)

Midfielders: Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Dwayne De Rosario (Houston Dynamo), Christian Gomez (D.

My Red Bulls mid-season grades

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For those of you who didn't see them, here are my mid-season grades for the Red Bulls in today's Herald News.

I'll be the first to admit that they're generous grades. I didn't set out to do that but I wound up giving several players credit for the team's early-season success while injuries and players being played out of position led to a good part of the recent struggles.

Trouble in Tinseltown?

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David Beckham's arrival as a member of the Los Angeles Galaxy is set for Friday so you would think everything is great in Galaxyland right? Not so fast my friend.

According to sources within Major League Soccer, Galaxy president Alexi Lalas and head coach Frank Yallop have seen their working relationship go from cordial to unbearable.

You Write The Caption

Soccer By Ives at related • 5 views

Okay, let me begin by saying I don't have anything against Hugo Sanchez. Really, I don't. I think AP photographers do though because they keep delivering these hilarious photos of Hugo Sanchez. I couldn't help but post it. I want to here some good captions for this picture. Fire away (My suggestion is below):

Raul, if I don't get this hair done soon I'm going to freak out.

SBI Reader Roll Call

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You've heard about the SBI Mafia, but what remains unknown is where all the readers are checking in from. There have been comments from all over the US, Europe and Asia. Now it's time to get a real sense of where everybody is.

Let's hear it. Tell me where you're from. Post your name (comment nickname if it's different) and where you're posting from.

Another Hot Tuesday

Soccer By Ives at related • 3 views

Good morning folks. It is shaping up to be another blazing hot day in the Northeast and it is a relatively slow soccer day. Or is it?

The European transfer market is still as busy as ever, with Arsenal set to sign Ryan Babel and Craig Bellamy heading to West Ham (By the way, has a player ever been better suited to a team than Bellamy to West Ham?

SBI Fantasy MLS Rankings (Week 15)

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We are almost at the MLS All-Star break and three teams have pulled away from the pack in the SBI Fantasy MLS League, at least a little bit.

Hudson FC continues to top the charts, though it dropped down to 13th overall. Atletico SBI has successfully climbed back to respectability, moving into second place and posting the sixth best score in the entire Fantasy MLS competition for Week 14.

No Red Bulls news today

Soccer By Ives at related • 3 views

I regret to inform those of you waiting for some Red Bulls news that the story I was planning to bring you won't come today (at least I don't think it will). What I can tell you is that it wasn't trade or player acquisition related so don't go speculating. The story will surface soon enough.

Apologies for those of you who were waiting for something juicy.

It's Q&A Time

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Well it's Noon on a super-hot Monday and it seems like a good time to have the latest Q&A session.

Let's do it. Send me your soccer-related questions and I will post my answers later this week. Keep the questions a reasonable length and try to limit your questions to a maximum of two. Post your questions in the comments section below:

Man U closing in on Tevez (A closer look at Man U's busy summer)

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Stop me if you've heard this before but Manchester United is on the verge of landing Argentine striker Carlos Tevez. Alex Ferguson spoke publicly about the move and sounds confident that he'll have Tevez in the fold for next season.

There have been no new comments from West Ham denying the move. Last week the club insisted that no agreement had been reached with Manchester United over Tevez.

The Under-20 World Cup second round is set

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The US Under-20 national team's dream run will take it into a second round match-up against Uruguay. That match, as well as the Spain-Brazil second round match, are the best games in a second round that should be entertaining and unpredictable.

Here is a rundown of the match-ups:

Under-20 World Cup Second Round

July 11th

  • Austria vs.

Monday Morning Center Back

Soccer By Ives at related • 21 views

Can there ever be too much soccer? After a week that included Copa America, Under-20 World Cup and MLS matches, I must admit to being a bit burned out by so many games. In a way it's a good thing because it means there were that many matches worth watching.

The US Under-20 national team stole the show on Friday with its stunning 2-1 victory against Brazil.

Red Bulls at Colorado Rapids (Running Commentary)

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Okay folks, we have the battle of the bland as two of the league's struggling squads try to find a win.

Will it be the Red Bulls, who just got thrashed on Thursday night, or will it be the Rapids, who haven't won in two months?

If you're going to subject yourself to this game then at least follow along here, so we can all make fun of the game together.

Guardado heading to PSV

Soccer By Ives at related • 6 views

I'm watching the Mexico-Paraguay Copa America quarterfinal and just heard that Mexican winger Andres Guardado will be heading to Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven, where will join Mexican national teammate Carlos Salcido.

That's a pretty big move for Guardado, one of the brightest young stars in Mexico's system. A good question is whether that signing will hasten Lee Nguyen's departure from PSV.

A lazy Sunday

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So it's Sunday and it's going to be blazing hot in Jersey today. There was plenty of soccer yesterday and a good amount today so there'll be enough to talk about.

Here are some highlights from Saturday:

Brazil demolishes Chile in Copa America. I was watching the Toronto-Chicago match but had to keep clicking back to the Brazil-Chile match because the quality was so much better.

Bronfmans the front-runner to buy the Chicago Fire

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The race to buy the Chicago Fire may not be a long one. Sources with knowledge of the deal have confirmed that the ownership group led by the Bronfman family is the clear front-runner to secure the purchase of the Chicago MLS franchise and the completion of the sale could be completed by the All-Star Game on July 19th.

The Bronfman group, which is led by an unidentified member of the Bronfman family (which made its fortune via the Seagram's company), was the first serious bidder for the Fire and has received the seal approval from league officials and AEG, current owners of the Fire.

Saturday: The day after the US beats Brazil

Soccer By Ives at related • 80 views

Good morning all. It is Saturday, the day after the US Under-20 team beat Brazil in a game for the ages. Just a day after the senior US national team stumbled out of Copa America winless, the U-20's managed to instill some new confidence into American fans who needed just two weeks to forget about the memorable Gold Cup championship won by the US.

U-20 World Cup: USA vs. Brazil running commentary

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It is time for the big game and I want you all to follow along here. I got a bit of a late start but want you all to join in so we can follow this game together. Share your thoughts on the game below and I will get started on the commentary ASAP.

Fire Away

--------------------------------

HALFTIME- Are people really criticizing Szetela for his first half?

Bronfman family among the potential buyers for the Fire

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The Bronfman family, owners of Seagram's, is leading one of the groups interested in buying the Chicago Fire from Anschutz Entertainment Group, sources confirmed on Friday.

It remains unclear which members of the family are at the forefront of this move, but Charles Bronfman is a former owner of the Montreal Expos and appears to be the most likely candidate.

Osorio is on his way to Chicago

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Juan Carlos Osorio will be leaving Colombia this weekend and coming to Chicago, where he will be introduced as the Chicago Fire's new head coach next week.

As I first reported on ESPN.com and SBI, Osorio has left Colombian club Millonarios and is ready to become just the third coach in Fire history.

I was able to speak to Osorio last night and here are some of the things we covered:

Osorio has been made aware of the possibility that the Fire will be sold, but he told me he is confident in his ability to make an impact and show any potential new owners that he is a capable coach.

MLS All-Underpaid Team

Soccer By Ives at related • 8 views

Apologies for the lack of posts today but I was finishing off my next ESPN.com piece, which will be on the best bargains and most overpaid players in MLS at the season's mid-way point. It should definitely give people something to debate about.

I'll post a link to the story when ESPN.com posts it. Let me ask you, who do you think the most underpaid and overpaid players in MLS are?

TGIF: The hangover

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Hello all, sorry it took me a little while to post this morning but I was hungover from last night's putrid display of soccer courtesy of the US national team/Red Bulls combo I took in.

You know the best thing about Friday? It's not yesterday. WOW, that was awful.

Can someone please contact Pfizer and see if they can make a Morning After pill to help people forget all memories of the US national team's performance in Copa America?

MLS: Red Bulls at Houston Dynamo (running commentary)

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Okay, here it is folks, I will do a running commentary on the Red Bulls-Houston Dynamo match tonight. We can only hope that this game is better than the U.S.-Colombia disaster I'm still suffering through as we speak.

Here it is, the Red Bulls chance to snap their recent slide and a chance to end Houston's eight-match unbeaten streak. Will it happen?

Red Bulls lineup tonight vs. Houston

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Here is the lineup Bruce ARena will call on to stop the team's 1-3-1 slide against the Houston Dynamo tonight:

-----------Angel---------Wolyniec------------

VDB------------------------------------Schopp

----------Reyna--------STammler-----------

Goldthwaite------------------------Freeman

----------------Mendes--Parke---------------

--------------------Waterreus----------------

No Mathis as Schopp gets the call.

Chicago Fire hire Osorio as head coach

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The Chicago Fire has hired Colombian club Millonarios head coach Juan Carlos Osorio to take over as the third head coach in club history, sources with knowledge of the deal confirmed on Thursday. The move comes more than two weeks after the Fire dismissed long-time coach Dave Sarachan.

The Fire offered Osorio the job a week ago and Osorio was finally able to accept on Thursday after meeting with Millionarios officials.

COPA AMERICA: The USA lineup vs. Colombia

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Here it is, the starting lineup for the US national team in tonight's Copa America match against Colombia:

-------------------Johnson----------------------

Mapp-------------Kljestan---------------Gomez

------------Beckerman-----Clark-----------------

Pearce----Boswell-------Califf------------Moor

--------------------Guzan------------------------

That's 10 of the 11 players I picked yesterday (Beckherman for Feilhaber being the only difference).

COPA AMERICA: USA vs. Colombia running commentary

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Okay folks, it's the last dance, last chance for Copa America love. THe U.S. national team faces Colombia in a match-up of eliminated clubs.

I'm watching the game so we may as well have another running commentary. Here goes folks. Let's enjoy the last moments of the 2007 Copa America for Bob Bradley's boys.

Let's have some fun with it:

---------------------------------------------

6th minute- Gomez sends the kick wide right.

The MLS mid-season Best XI

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Here they are, the MLS Best XI chosen to play in the MLS All-Star Game against Celtic on July 19th:

---------Juan Pablo Angel--------Eddie Johnson--------------

------------------------Christian Gomez------------------------

Juan Toja-----------------------------------------Dwayne DeRosario

-----------------Shalrie Joseph----Ricardo Clark---------------

Jonathan Bornstein---------------------------Michael Parkhurst

----------------------------Jimmy Conrad--------------------------

------------------------------Matt Reis-----------------------------

There you have it, just five of my selections make this group, which was chosen by fans, coaches, GMs, media and players.

The SBI MLS Best XI

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Here is my MLS Best XI at this point in the season. Two guidelines I included were not having players from the five teams currently out of the playoffs if the season ended today (Toronto, Colorado, Chicago, LA, Real Salt Lake) and not having players who played fewer than 10 games (Angel and Johnson are the exceptions to that rule). And remember folks, this is based purely on performance in the season's first half, NOT on who the most talented 11 players in MLS are.

Who is on your MLS Best XI?

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Major League Soccer is set to announce the players chosen to the mid-season MLS Best XI for the All-Star game on July 19th in Colorado. That game will feature MLS All-Stars against Scottish champions Celtic.

So who is your MLS Best XI for the first half of the season? I'll post mine in an hour.

Fire away.

COPA AMERICA: Yes, the party is over

Soccer By Ives at related • 19 views

For those of you too busy celebrating the 4th of July last night to know, the U.S. national team was officially eliminated from Copa America thanks to a rather dubious scoreless draw between Mexico and Chile. Leave it to Hugo Sanchez to send hims team out for a tie that knocks out the American (No Hugo, that doesn't count as a win against the USA.

Manchester United close in on Tevez

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Just a day after Liverpool signs Fernando Torres, Manchester United is ready to pull a "We can top that" by completing the signing of Argentine striker Carlos Tevez. Reports out of England have the EPL champions close to finalizing a deal with West Ham for the services of the dynamic forward.

COPA AMERICA: Who should the USA start vs. Colombia

Soccer By Ives at related • 4 views

Yes, I know, the Copa America tournament is all but over for the Americans after two losses by a combined score of 7-2, but there is still one more game to play and there are still good storylines even if the Americans are officially eliminated tonight.

With that in mind, who should Bob Bradley trot out to face Colombia tomorrow night? Does he throw all the young guys out on the field, or does he go with the veterans?

Fernando Torres is officially a Red

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Spanish striker Fernando Torres was introduced as Liverpool's newest player on Wednesday, marking the most expensive transfer so far this summer. One of the world's best young goal scorers, Torres gives Liverpool a perfect strike partner for Dirk Kuyt and makes Liverpool a serious contender to title-chasers Manchester United and Chelsea.

Happy Fourth of July

Soccer By Ives at related • 2 views

Hello all. Its Fourth of July and like most of you I will be taking a break from the blog (at least that's the plan). Before I do I figured I could throw this up.

I want your caption suggestions for this photo of Mexican national team captain Rafael Marquez and Mexico coach Hugo Sanchez. What's more patriotic than making fun of the Mexican national team?

COPA AMERICA: Pizarro's braces saves Peru

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Talk about sparing Peru some serious embarrassment. Chelsea-bound striker Claudio Pizarro delivered two goals, including a late equalizing header, to help Peru salvage a 2-2 tie against a fiesty Bolivia, a result that secured a second round place for Peru.

Bolivia, led by DC United Jaime Moreno and former MetroStar Joselito Vaca (yes, he's a starter and actually looked good), held a 2-1 lead and looked good for an upset after Peru had a defender sent off, but a late Peru cross into the area found Pizarro, who showed why he's a world-class striker.

U-20 WORLD CUP: USA 6, Poland 1 (Adu and Szetela shine in rout)

Soccer By Ives at related • 6 views

Freddy Adu's hat trick and Danny Szetela's stunning brace lead the Americans to a vital 6-1 thrashing of Poland in their Under-20 World Cup match in Montreal on Tuesday.

Poland opened the match with a goal just four minutes in but the U.S. team recovered and began a complete domination of a tired Poland team that was clearly feeling the affects of its opening match against Brazil (which Poland won despite playing most of the match a man down.

Red Bulls sign Chris Leitch

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The Red Bulls have added a defender after spending a week with just four on the roster by signing Chris Leitch. Leitch cleared waivers on Tuesday, clearing the way for return to the club he spent three years as a starter for.

Leitch will join the team in Houston for the Red Bulls' match against the Dynamo on Thursday.

The Red Bulls didn't have to give up anything to acquire Leitch because he cleared waivers, eliminating any claims the Columbus Crew had on him.

U-20 WORLD CUP: USA vs. Poland (Running commentary)

Soccer By Ives at related • 12 views

Okay folks, since some of you don't have ESPNU and I do, I am going to try a running commentary for today's USA-Poland match. I say try because have to negotiate with my son for the big screen in the living room (which is usually showing Dora the Explorer and Go DIego Go at that time.)

We can get the ball rolling by getting some comments from those of you who will be following along.

Keller considering retirement

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U.S. national team goalkeeper Kasey Keller stated he would consider retirement if he can't find a suitable deal during the summer.

Keller has struggled to find a new club since being let go by relegation-bound Borussia Moechengladbach. Keller hasn't done much to increase his stock in recent performances for the U.S. national team and it remains unclear whether any MLS clubs will make serious bids for the 37-year-old goalkeeper.

Arsenal replaces Thierry Henry (sort of) and other Euro transfer news

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A week after selling iconic striker Thierry Henry, Arsenal has bought a forward who will hopefully pick up some of the slack. Brazilian born Croatian international striker Eduardo Da Silva has been signed by the Gunners for a fee believed to be close to 7.5 million pounds.

Here are some other big transfers and good rumors to follow:

Newcastle sign Geremi.

Options growing for Szetela

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Consider Danny Szetela's time in MLS close to over.

The Clifton native and Columbus Crew midfielder opened some eyes and increased interest in his services by scoring the U.S. Under-20 national team's lone goal in its 1-1 tie against South Korea on Saturday.

Currently in the last year of his original MLS contract, Szetela became free to sign a pre-contract as of July 1st and potential suitors are beginning to line up.

Some interesting facts about the new MLS player development guidelines

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My weekly Herald News column focused on Red Bulls youth prospect Matt Kassel today and while I was working on that story I found out some rather interesting information regarding the league's player development initatives. Here are some of the more interesting facts:

Teams will be allowed to sign a maximum of two players from their youth academies for the first three years of the new system, up to three players in years four through six and an unlimited number from year seven on.

COPA AMERICA: Paraguay 3, USA 1 (Pack your bags boys)

Soccer By Ives at related • 5 views

So much for that potential quarterfinal rematch with Mexico.

The U.S. national team's chances of advancing in Copa America have been all but dashed after suffering a 3-1 loss to Paraguay on Monday night. The Americans created chances and missed them, played good defense only to make boneheaded mistakes, and basically looked just about what you would expect a B-C team to look like.

COPA AMERICA: USA starting lineup vs. Paraguay

Soccer By Ives at related • 2 views

Here is the U.S. national team's lineup for tonight's match against Paraguay:

----------Johnson------Twellman---------

Kljestan----------------------------------Olsen

------------Clark--------Feilhaber----------

Bornstein-----------------------------Moor

------------Conrad-------DeMerit----------

--------------------Keller---------------------

Two changes, Kljestan for Mapp (big improvement defensively) and Moor for Wynne (who is too much of a liability against Paraguay).

COPA AMERICA: USA vs. Paraguay Running Commentary

Soccer By Ives at related • 12 views

Hello all, just giving you a heads up that I will be doing a running commentary on tonight's game so keep an eye out for that and feel free to come aboard and offer your thoughts on the game. It is a crucial game for the U.S. team's chances of reaching the Copa America quarterfinals (and a potential meeting with Mexico.)

The game is under way.

COPA AMERICA: Who should the USA start vs. Paraguay?

Soccer By Ives at related • 26 views

Four days after the U.S. national team's 4-1 drubbing against Argentina, Bob Bradley's squad heads into today's match against Paraguay needing at least a tie to keep hopes alive of a second round berth. That won't come easy against a Paraguay team that destroyed Colombia, 5-0, in its opening match.

Now Bradley must find a starting 11 to deal with a Paraguay squad that thrives on strong wing play and steady service to Bayern Munich striker Roque Santa Cruz.

Monday Morning Centerback (A soccer-filled weekend)

Soccer By Ives at related • 16 views

Good morning folks. If you're a soccer fan (and it's about 99 percent that you are since you're reading this blog) then you had yourself a buffet of soccer to choose from this weekend. Between Copa America, the Under-20 World Cup and Major League Soccer, there were games all day, every day.

Here are some observations from the weekend:

Upsets galore at the Under-20 World Cup.

A second look at the Under-20 World Cup match: USA vs. South Korea

Soccer By Ives at related • 15 views

So it's late and I'm watching this USA-South Korea match over again and I must say it is stunning how much quicker, more determined and more creative the South Koreans were than the Americans.

Seriously, it was amazing how many times Korean players simply outran Americans. One memorable moment saw Freddy Adu running free through the middle of the field only to be absolutely chased down by a Korean player.