Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2008

SBI MLS Fantasy Corner

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Admit it, the month of April was a rough one for your MLS fantasy team. I mean sure, you might be one of the lucky few who adjusted to all the rules changes and got off to a flying start, but chances are you like most of us, wondering what is wrong with Luciano Emilio and trying to decide whether to hold on to Juan Pablo Angel or cut bait.

Red Bulls 2, Earthquakes 0: A Supporter's View

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Is a win still a win if nobody is there to see it? The answer is yes.

Okay, so saying there was nobody at Giants Stadium on Sunday is a bit much, but the small crowd in attendance to see the Red Bulls' 2-0 win against San Jose was still a bit disconcerting. There were die-hard fans in the crowd who did get to see John Wolyniec and Jozy Altidore combine for a pair of crucial plays, but plenty of fans stayed home either because of the weather or Sunday responsibilities.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Good morning all. As the end of the European seasons gets closer, the games will get more and more intense and the stakes even higher.

Today's slate of matches is no different. Aston Villa takes on Everton in what has to be the match of the day. Everton is holding on to a UEFA Cup Place while Aston Villa can pull even with a victory.

Guevara's beautiful goal

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If you have not seen Amado Guevara's free kick goal against Kansas City, you are in for a treat. The Honduran midfielder scored his second goal of the day in breath-taking fashion, curling a long-range free kick past Kevin Hartman to give Toronto a 2-0 win on Saturday.

Here is the goal:

What do you think of the goal?

San Jose Earthquakes at Red Bulls: Running Commentary

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Good afternoon everybody. It's an overcast day in New Jersey as we prepare for the final MLS match of the weekend, with the Red Bulls playing host to the San Jose Earthquakes.

San Jose is coming off its first win of the season while the Red Bulls are coming off a disappointing 1-1 tie vs.

You know, Gallardo's goal IS pretty good

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As some of you know, I called the contest for this week's MLS Goal of the Week over, naming Amado Guevara's free kick as the unquestioned winner.

Well, he might have some competition.

Marcelo Gallardo's volley blast deserves consideration, though I still think Guevara gets the edge.

Red Bulls 2, Earthquakes 0 (The Post-Game Look)

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Photo by ISI Photos

Jozy Altidore could have let frustration overtake him, and it almost did. Battered and bruised throughout the first half of the Red Bulls match against San Jose, Altidore struggled to make an impact despite the Red Bulls controlling play in the first half.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week Five

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What a weekend.

MLS fans were treated to goals galore and some pretty tightly-contested matches this weekend. From Chicago and New England scoring second-half game-winners to Columbus holding on for its own 1-0 victory, there was plenty of drama in the last weekend in April.

There were blowouts too, including the highly-entertaining romp by Los Angeles against Chivas USA.

SBI MLS Best XI: Week Five

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Week five of the MLS season feature some truly standout individual performances that made it extremely difficult to select a Best XI for the week.

Some picks were easy, like Landon Donovan, who netted a hat-trick AND an assist in the Galaxy's 5-2 mauling of Chivas USA, but some others were tough to make.

Toronto FC 2, Wizards 0: A Supporter's View

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With one beautiful free kick goal, Amado Guevara helped secure the three points for Toronto FC and helped TFC extend its winning streak to three matches.

Is this really the same team that started the season so poorly? The easy answer is no, not with newcomers Guevara, Laurent Robert and Rohan Ricketts turning the Toronto midfield into one of the best in MLS.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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Photo by ISI Photos

Fulham is still alive. Yes, you read that right, the Cottagers' hopes of avoiding relegation stayed alive for another week courtesy of a 3-2 win against Manchester City. That means the five Americans who play for Fulham were given another chance to survive, at least one more game with something on the line.

SBI MLS Player of the Week/Weak

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It is rare to find a performance so thoroughly dominant that it overshadows the kind of games we saw this weekend, but Landon Donovan had that sort of performance.

The Los Angeles Galaxy forward had THREE goals and an assist in the Galaxy's 5-2 thrashing of Chivas USA on Saturday, upping his goal total to eight (which according to Max Bretos puts Donovan on pace for 225 career goals).

Los Angeles Galaxy 5, Chivas USA 2: A Supporter's View

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It had the makings of a tightly-contested rivalry match. The LA Galaxy and Chivas USA were tied 2-2 late in the second half in a match that looked destined to be a tie.

At least before the Chivas USA imploded, Brad Guzan reverted to his awful rookie form and Alan Gordon did his best Bizarro Alan Gordon impression.

Matt Kassel called in to U.S. Under-20 camp in England

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Red Bulls youth prospect Matt Kassel was one of 18 players selected to take part in a U.S. Under-20 national team camp in Manchester, England next week. The U.S. team will play friendlies against the reserve teams from Bolton (May 7), Manchester United (May 8) and Liverpool (May 10).

Also on the squad are former U.

Revolution 1, FC Dallas 0: A Supporter's View

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One look at the New England Revolution starting lineup last Thursday and most observers would have penciled in the Revs match at FC Dallas as a blowout loss. Missing six starters, the Revs fielded an inexperienced squad with plenty of new faces against a Hoops squad that went into the match unbeaten.

Morning Ticker: Brazil to tour USA, Barca sets Ronnie price and Ronaldo's nightmare

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Good morning all. Today is the big day for Champions League fans as Manchester United faces Barcelona in a winner-take-all semifinal second leg today.

I will be writing about that match shortly. For now, here are some soccer news tidbits to get the day started:

Brazil to tour United States, play Canada in Seattle

The Brazilian national team will play matches against Canada and Venezuela in the United States this summer.

(The rest of) Your Questions Answered

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Good afternoon folks (and good morning on the West Coast). Well, it took a little while to finish off the last part of the most recent Q&A, but it is finally done. Here are the answers to the remaining questions from last week's Q&A.

Enjoy.

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

SQUARD- With Honduras in the Olympics, What are the chances that Guevara will be one of their three "over 23" players?

Fire 2, Rapids 1: A Supporter's View

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After weeks of hearing how the Chicago Fire was in desperate need of a legit right winger, John Thorrington stepped up and made a good case for being that very player. His two goals lifted the Fire to a 2-1 victory against Colorado and kept the Fire near the top of the East standings.

Lider Marmol signs with the Chicago Fire

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The Chicago Fire signed Paraguayan defender Lider Marmol, the team announced on Tuesday. The signing ends a three-month long saga that saw Marmol train with the Red Bulls for two months before eventually joining the Fire and agreeing to terms.

"We are excited to hae Lider join our organization," Fire technical director Frank Klopas said.

Manchester United vs. Barcelona: Running Commentary

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The game we've all been waiting for is finally here. Manchester United vs. Barcelona. Winner goes to the Champions League final. It doesn't get much better than that.

Manchester United plays host to Barcelona needing a win to clinch the Champions League final berth, or a 0-0 tie to force overtime in this home-and-home series.

D.C. United 4, Real Salt Lake 1: A Supporter's View

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When D.C. United walked off the field at Rice-Eccles Stadium two weeks ago, the sting of a 4-0 blowout loss to Real Salt Lake was only tempered by the knowledge that the chance for revenge would come very soon.

That chance came on Saturday and D.C. took full advantage, riding two penalty kicks and two stunning strikes to earn a 4-1 victory at RFK Stadium.

Paul Scholes blast lifts Manchester United to Champions League final

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Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes delivered a clutch long-range bomb of a goal to help Man U top Barcelona, 1-0, in the second leg of their semifinal series, earning the Red Devils a place in the UEFA Champions League final for the first time since the club won the treble in 1999.

Paul Scholes blast lifts Manchester United to Champions League final

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Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes delivered a clutch long-range bomb of a goal to help Man U top Barcelona, 1-0, in the second leg of their semifinal series, earning the Red Devils a place in the UEFA Champions League final for the first time since the club won the treble in 1999.

D.C. United 4, Real Salt Lake 1: A Supporter's View

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When D.C. United walked off the field at Rice-Eccles Stadium two weeks ago, the sting of a 4-0 blowout loss to Real Salt Lake was only tempered by the knowledge that the chance for revenge would come very soon.

That chance came on Saturday and D.C. took full advantage, riding two penalty kicks and two stunning strikes to earn a 4-1 victory at RFK Stadium.

Fire 2, Rapids 1: A Supporter's View

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After weeks of hearing how the Chicago Fire was in desperate need of a legit right winger, John Thorrington stepped up and made a good case for being that very player. His two goals lifted the Fire to a 2-1 victory against Colorado and kept the Fire near the top of the East standings.

Lider Marmol signs with the Chicago Fire

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The Chicago Fire signed Paraguayan defender Lider Marmol, the team announced on Tuesday. The signing ends a three-month long saga that saw Marmol train with the Red Bulls for two months before eventually joining the Fire and agreeing to terms.

"We are excited to have Lider join our organization," Fire technical director Frank Klopas said.

Revolution 1, FC Dallas 0: A Supporter's View

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One look at the New England Revolution starting lineup last Thursday and most observers would have penciled in the Revs match at FC Dallas as a blowout loss. Missing six starters, the Revs fielded an inexperienced squad with plenty of new faces against a Hoops squad that went into the match unbeaten.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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Photo by ISI Photos

Fulham is still alive. Yes, you read that right, the Cottagers' hopes of avoiding relegation stayed alive for another week courtesy of a 3-2 win against Manchester City. That means the five Americans who play for Fulham were given another chance to survive, at least one more game with something on the line.

Toronto FC 2, Wizards 0: A Supporter's View

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With one beautiful free kick goal, Amado Guevara helped secure the three points for Toronto FC and helped TFC extend its winning streak to three matches.

Is this really the same team that started the season so poorly? The easy answer is no, not with newcomers Guevara, Laurent Robert and Rohan Ricketts turning the Toronto midfield into one of the best in MLS.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week Five

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What a weekend.

MLS fans were treated to goals galore and some pretty tightly-contested matches this weekend. From Chicago and New England scoring second-half game-winners to Columbus holding on for its own 1-0 victory, there was plenty of drama in the last weekend in April.

There were blowouts too, including the highly-entertaining romp by Los Angeles against Chivas USA.

Red Bulls 2, Earthquakes 0 (The Post-Game Look)

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Photo by ISI Photos

Jozy Altidore could have let frustration overtake him, and it almost did. Battered and bruised throughout the first half of the Red Bulls match against San Jose, Altidore struggled to make an impact despite the Red Bulls controlling play in the first half.

Tottenham lands Modric

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Photo by ISI Photos

Juande Ramos' first summer transfer period as Tottenham's manager figured to be an exciting one. It is already off to a flying start as Spurs have landed Croatian midfielder Luka Modric, one of the most highly-sought-after players available this summer.

Chelsea downs Manchester United, tightens EPL race with two matches left

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Michael Ballack scored two goals, including a late penalty kick, to give Chelsea a 2-1 victory against Manchester United on Sunday. The win helped Chelsea catch Manchester United on points with two games left to play in the English Premier League Season.

Chelsea has remaining games against Newcastle and Bolton while Manchester United will face West Ham United and Wigan.

Tottenham lands Modric

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Photo by ISI Photos

Juande Ramos' first summer transfer period as Tottenham's manager figured to be an exciting one. It is already off to a flying start as Spurs have landed Croatian midfielder Luka Modric, one of the most highly-sought-after players available this summer.

SBI on the radio tonight

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Good evening folks. For those of you interested, I will be appearing as a guest on Marcelo Balboa's radio show, From the Pitch, tonight. I will be on along with Chicago Fire head coach Denis Hamlett and Colorado Rapids head coach Fernando Clavijo.

The show is on from 9pm to 11pm Eastern, I should be on around 10pm Eastern.

Morning Ticker: Vidic a doubt, Ronaldinho too pricey for Milan and Aussie goalkeeper given reprieve

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Good morning folks. Wednesday is here, which means today is the day of the Manchester United-Barcelona Champions League semifinal. It promises to be a match-up for the ages and will certainly have most of us glued to the TV this afternoon.

Since that is still several hours away, here are some soccer stories to tide you over this morning:

Vidic doubtful for semifinal

Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic is doubtful for today's Champions League semifinal vs.

Fantasy MLS Corner

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(With Fantasy MLS growing more and more popular, I figured it was time to incorporate a segment to help provide SBI readers with some insight into the fantasy game. Stephen Zaffuto will serve as the SBI Fantasy MLS expert and give us his weekly take on the action in the official MLS Fantasy Game.

Who will run the Red Bulls? My unusual suspect

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Photo by ISI Photos

Things have gotten very quiet on the Red Bulls front as far as the club's search for a new managing director goes. Nobody is saying a thing as we wait for officials in Salzburg to annoint a new team leader now that Marc deGrandpre has left to return to his preferred field of soft drink sales.

Champions League Semifinal: Manchester United at Barcelona (Running Commentary)

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The match-up is finally here. Manchester United vs. Barcelona. Two of the most storied clubs in the world, two of the most star-studded squads in the world, ready to battle with a place in the Champions League final on the line.

The first leg of their semifinal series takes place in Barcelona today (2:45pm, ESPN2) and there are storylines galore.

Cervi on trial with Celtic

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Photo by ISI Photos

U.S. Under-23 national team goalkeeper and 2008 Chicago Fire draft pick Dominic Cervi is on trial with Scottish powerhouse Celtic. Ron Waxman, Cervi's New York-based agent, confirmed on Wednesday that Cervi has been with Celtic for more than a week as part of an extended trial.

FC Dallas 2, Chivas USA 0: A Supporter's View

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Before the season began, a Chivas USA-FC Dallas match might have been seen as a potential Western Conference final between two young teams that showed great promise in 2007. A month into the new season and only one of these two has lived up to that promise.

FC Dallas remained unbeaten while Chivas USA remained unhinged in the Hoops' 2-0 victory against the Goats on Sunday night.

Morning Ticker: Jo to Man City, Pachuca ties Saprissa, Vidic doubtful vs. Chelsea

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Guten Morgen SBI readers. You might think Thursday is a day to take it easy in terms of soccer news, but there is action today that will keep it from being all that quiet. You have UEFA Cup semifinals, the ESPN MLS game (New England at FC Dallas) and the build-up to this weekend's EPL title clash between Chelsea and Manchester United.

UEFA Cup Semifinals set for today

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The UEFA Cup semifinals kick off today with both match-ups being shown on Fox Soccer Channel. Here is the rundown:

  • 2:30pm- Fiorentina at Rangers
  • 5pm- Zenit St. Petersburg at Bayern Munich

The Fiorentina-Rangers tilt is the more appealing of the two, though watching Bayern Munich this year has been a treat.

Angel's injury not as serious as first thought, Echeverry sidelined

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Photo by ISI Photos

Red Bulls striker Juan Pablo Angel saw a nerve specialist on Thursday and the prognosis was a very good one for Angel and for the Red Bulls. An analysis of the Colombian forward's lower back and hamstring revealed that his injury is, in fact, a nerve-related injury that can be treated with a cortisone shot, and not the left hamstring strain he was first diagnosed with.

Red Bulls Update: Reyna, Freeman and Richards train, Boyens trials and Leitch looks to rebound

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Photo by ISI Photos

Good afternoon folks. I'm back from Red Bulls practice and have some updates for you on Claudio Reyna, Hunter Freeman, Dane Richards and Andrew Boyens.

Red Bulls captain Claudio Reyna took part in training on Thursday and looks like a safe bet to be in the starting lineup for Sunday's match against San Jose.

TFC announce Tebily signing

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Toronto FC officially announced the signing of Ivory Coast defender and EPL veteran Olivier Tebily on Thursday. As SBI told you last week, TFC made Tebily the latest addition in a recent spree of signings that included Amado Guevara, Laurent Robert and Rohan Ricketts.

Tebily, 32, spent six years with Birmingham City of the English Premier League after having previously played for Scottish giant Celtic and Sheffield United.

(Some more of) Your Questions Answered

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Good evening on the East Coast and Good afternoon on the West Coast (and good morning in Asia).

Since it's about 4pm in Cali, and since California happens to boast a strong SBI following, I decided to knock out a late afternoon Q&A. Here is the second-third of the most recent Question and Answer session:

AQUINAGA- Hi Ives.

New England at FC Dallas: Your Running Commentary

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The New England Revolution travel to Texas tonight to take on the red-hot Hoops of FC Dallas.

The Revs come into the match severely short-handed, with injuries and Mauricio Castro's suspension costing the Revs as many as six starters. How hurt is New England? None other than Gary "Red Sox Nation" Flood is in the starting lineup tonight.

Smith helps Revs top FC Dallas

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You can erase FC Dallas from the list of unbeatens (a list they were the last member of). Khano Smith's 72nd-minute strike helped a severely short-handed New England squad head to Pizza Hut Park and knock off previously unbeaten FC Dallas last night.

For those of you who missed it, here is the goal:

Not sure what happened to Dario Sala on that goal but it wasn't exactly the hardest hit ball ever.

(The Rest of) Your Questions Answered (Almost)

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Just when you thought it couldn't be done, SBI has done it. (Yes, I spoke too soon. It appears there are still some more questions that I didn't get to from the latest Q&A. I will look to do those before the end of the day.)

Apologies for not posting much this morning but I spent the time finishing off the rest of the record-setting Q&A session from Monday.

You Write the Caption: The Best of the Sexy Football Edition

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Good afternoon folks. The latest You Write the Caption contest was a good one, with Abel Xavier joining Hugo Sanchez in the YWTC Hall of Fame after becoming a repeat subject in the contest.

This week's photo gave readers plenty to work with. Here is Abel Xavier, doing his best to be the best looking traffic cone in world soccer:

This installment of You Write the Caption is brought you by Objectivo Apparel.

This weekend's soccer on TV

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The long English Premier League season is winding down to a close and this weekend will feature the match that could determine the EPL champion.

Leaders Manchester United travel to Chelsea on Saturday with a chance to essentially lock up the title with a victory. Chelsea will look to pull even with Manchester United with a victory, which would make the final two weeks of the season VERY interesting.

My ESPN piece on MLS Vagabonds

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If you ever wondered about the players who bounce around from team to team in Major League Soccer, you might be interested in my ESPN.com story on MLS vagabonds. I take a look at the 10 players in MLS right now who have played on three more teams in a corresponding number of seasons (or fewer).

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Good morning folks. Today's soccer action is already under way with Manchester United taking on Chelsea. If you plan on following the action, please feel free to do so here.

Here are today's matches on TV:

SATURDAY

  • 7:30am- Setanta USA- Manchester United at Chelsea
  • 9:30am- GolTV- Werder Bremen at Karlsruhe
  • 10am- FSC- Middlesbrough at Sunderland
  • 10am- Setanta USA- Liverpool at Birmingham
  • 11:30am- GolTV- Schalke 04 at Hamburg
  • Noon- FSC- Bolton at Tottenham
  • 2pm- GolTV- Barcelona at Deportivo La Coruna
  • 2pm- FSC- Reading at Wigan
  • 4:15pm- Setanta USA- Fulham at Manchester City
  • 7pm- FSC- (MISL) Monterray vs.

(The rest of) Your Questions Answered

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Just when you thought it couldn't be done, SBI has done it.

Apologies for not posting much this morning but I spent the time finishing off the rest of the record-setting Q&A session from Monday. I know some of you were expecting to get answers in mid-May. Not this time.

Here they all are, the rest of your questions answered.

Smith helps Revs top FC Dallas

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You can erase FC Dallas from the list of unbeatens (a list they were the last member of). Khano Smith's 72nd-minute strike helped a severely short-handed New England squad head to Pizza Hut Park and knock off previously unbeaten FC Dallas last night.

For those of you who missed it, here is the goal:

Not sure what happened to Dario Sala on that goal but it wasn't exactly the hardest hit ball ever.

Red Bulls Update: Reyna, Freeman and Richards train, Boyens trials and Leitch looks to rebound

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Photo by ISI Photos

Good afternoon folks. I'm back from Red Bulls practice and have some updates for you on Claudio Reyna, Hunter Freeman, Dane Richards and Andrew Boyens.

Red Bulls captain Claudio Reyna took part in training on Thursday and looks like a safe bet to be in the starting lineup for Sunday's match against San Jose.

Angel's injury not as serious as first thought, Echeverry sidelined

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Photo by ISI Photos

Red Bulls striker Juan Pablo Angel saw a nerve specialist on Thursday and the prognosis was a very good one for Angel and for the Red Bulls. An analysis of the Colombian forward's lower back and hamstring revealed that his injury is, in fact, a nerve-related injury that can be treated with a cortisone shot, and not the left hamstring strain he was first diagnosed with.

Cervi on trial with Celtic

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Photo by ISI Photos

.S. Under-23 national team goalkeeper and 2008 Chicago Fire draft pick Dominic Cervi is on trial with Scottish powerhouse Celtic. Ron Waxman, Cervi's New York-based agent, confirmed on Wednesday that Cervi has been with Celtic for more than a week as part of an extended trial.

Chelsea 1, Liverpool 1: What an own goal

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Chelsea looked well on its way to a 1-0 defeat at Anfield today, which probably would have been okay given the home-and-home format of the Champions League semifinals, but when Liverpool substitute John Arne Riise headed a cross into his own net, the Blues were downright ecstatic.

The own goal cancelled out a Dirk Kuyt first-half strike and means Liverpool heads to Stamford Bridge next week needing a win or a or a tie of 2-2 or more to advance, and a 1-1 tie to force overtime in this Champions League semifinal series.

Toronto FC 1, Real Salt Lake 0: A Supporter's View

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Toronto FC fans waited for weeks, but the club's home opener finally arrived and it was as beautiful a day as they could have hoped for. From the crowd, to the weather to Toronto FC's performance, there was plenty at BMO Field to smile about.

At least if you weren't a Real Salt Lake player, coach or fan.

Wizards 1, Fire 0: A Supporter's View

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The Chicago Fire had the momentum heading into Sunday's showdown with Kansas City Wizards, but that momentum disappeared with an early Wizards goal and with every missed chance the Fire botched.

Fire fans will curse Chad Barrett and Jon Busch, while Wizards fans will thank Jack Jewsbury and Kevin Hartman.

(Some of) Your Questions Answered

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Good morning folks. It is a clear and sunny Tuesday morning here in New Jersey and if you're like me, you are counting down the hours to today's Champions League clash between Liverpool and Chelsea.

To get the day rolling, I have decided to knock out the first part of the most recent Q&A session.

Earthquakes 2, Rapids 0: A Supporter's View

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There is little debate about the most shocking scoreline of the past weekend. The San Jose Earthquakes traveled to Dick's Sporting Goods Park and handed the Colorado Rapids a 2-0 defeat for the expansion team's first win.

Maybe we should have seen it coming? After all, the Earthquakes pushed the Chicago Fire to the brink while the Colorado Rapids were extremely fortunate to escape Gillette Stadium with a win a week earlier.

A Supporter's View: Real Salt Lake

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Beating D.C. United wasn't really uncharted territory for Real Salt Lake, but beating D.C. the way RSL beat them certainly was.

Never had a Salt Lake squad so thoroughly dominated an opponent the way Real Salt Lake dominated D.C. last Saturday in its 4-0 win. The attack rolled, the defense stifled and Salt Lake fans started talking playoffs in April.

Joe Franchino to the Los Angeles Galaxy (Official)

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(The story SBI brought you first is now official)

The Los Angeles Galaxy's desperate search for players who can help the team's terrible defense has led the club to a familiar face who has been away for a long time.

According to a source within Major League Soccer, the Galaxy and New England Revolution are discussing a trade that would send Revs defender Joe Franchino to the Galaxy.

This weekend's soccer on TV

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If you are in the mood to watch a bunch of intense rivalries, this is your weekend.

As if the Old Firm clash at midweek wasn't enough to quench the thirst of fans who relish the chance to see arch-rivals do battle, this weekend brings us several good match-ups that can be considered must-see, even if they aren't necessarily between table-topping teams.

Marmol leaves Red Bulls, will train with Chicago (but has NOT signed a contract)

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Paraguayan midfielder Lider Marmol has left the New York Red Bulls and is heading to Chicago to train with the Chicago Fire. Marmol has yet to sign a contract with MLS or the Fire, but he will train with the Fire and make a decision on whether he wants to stay and sign with Chicago.

Marmol's extended training stint with the Red Bulls came to an end on Friday after the Red Bulls determined they could no longer wait for something to change in the current deadlock involving them and the Chicago Fire, who hold the first right to sign Marmol within MLS.

A Supporter's View: FC Dallas

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It took three games but FC Dallas finally put together a complete game and finally posted a victory last Saturday against the Red Bulls.

There was no blown late lead, no last-gasp equalizer surrendered by a defense that had already given up two leads. Against the Red Bulls, FC Dallas scored in the first minute and played mistake-free soccer the rest of the match.

A Supporter's View: Houston Dynamo

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The MLS season will head into its fourth week this weekend and the defending champion Houston Dynamo still don't have a win.

Yes, it is tough to believe considering the team's depth, star power and experience, but the Dynamo is struggling early and it is unclear whether things will turn around in week four.

A Supporter's View: Chivas USA

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After two weeks of getting positive results despite not playing that well, Chivas USA finally paid for playing below the form the Goats showed for most of 2007.

Columbus exposed Chivas USA in a 4-3 shootout that saw Sacha Kljestan red carded and Brad Guzan give up the game-winning goal in messy fashion, leaving Chivas USA fans wondering whether their team will ever match last year's regular-season success.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Good morning everybody

Today's schedule boasts some quality games (including some that have already begun). If you plan on watching today's matches, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play by play in the comments section below.

Here is today's schedule of games on TV:

  • 7:30am- Setanta USA - Reading at Arsenal
  • 9:45am- Setanta USA - Liverpool at Fulham
  • 10am- FSC- Tottenham at Wigan
  • Noon- FSC- Manchester United at Blackburn
  • 2pm- GolTV- Espanyol at Barcelona
  • 2pm- Setanta USA- Bayern Munich vs.

New England Revolution at Red Bulls: SBI Running Commentary

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Good evening folks. It is a clear day at Giants Stadium as we head toward tonight's I-95 clash between the New England Revolution and the New York Red Bulls.

The Red Bulls are looking to rebound from last week's 2-0 loss to FC Dallas while the New England Revolution will look to erase its own memories of a recent loss, its 1-0 defeat at home against Colorado.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Good morning folks. Today offers a pretty mixed bag of soccer games on TV and while there are no true marquee match-ups, there are some intriguing encounters.

Here is today's schedule of games on TV:

  • 11am- FSC- Portsmouth at Manchester City
  • 11am- GolTV- Valladolid at Villarreal
  • Noon- Setanta USA- Bordeaux at Tolouse
  • 1pm- GolTV- Real Madrid at Racing de Santander
  • 2:30pm- FSC- Inter Milan at Torino
  • 3pm- Telefutura- Kansas City Wizards at Chicago Fire
  • 3pm- Setanta USA- Lille at Marseille
  • 5pm- Setanta USA- Sunderland at Newcastle
  • 5pm- FSC- River Plate at Rosario Central
  • 7pm- GolTV- La Equidad at Once Caldas

Today's best match may actually be the Chicago Fire-Kansas City Wizards tilt, which will help determine first place in the MLS Eastern Conference after four weeks.

USA to face the Netherlands, Japan and Nigeria in Olympic Tournament

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The U.S. men's Olympic soccer team will face Holland, Japan and Nigeria in this summer's Olympic Games.

The draw, held early this morning, placed the Americans in a group with a tough Dutch squad and a Nigeria team with a strong collection of young players that will include key figures from the squad that reached the 2005 Under-20 World Cup final as well as the team that just won the 2007 Under-17 World Cup.

The Dutch Olympic team: A closer look

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It is clear, at least from the early look, that the Netherlands will be considered the favorites to advance from the U.S. Olympic team's group.

You know all about the Dutch senior team's stars, but you may know only a few of the Dutch Under-23 team's best. Here is what the Dutch lineup may look like when it takes the field in China this summer (as well as a look at some potential overage players for the Dutch):

Dutch Olympic Team Projected Lineup

-------------------------------------Ryan Babel-----------------------------------

-----------------Ibrahim Afellay--------------Jonathan DeGuzman-----------

---Royston Drenthe----------------------------------------Daniel de Ridder---

---------------------------------Hedwiges Maduro-------------------------------

Erik Pieters--------------Ryan Donk-----Ron Vlaar--------Gianni Zuiverloon

-----------------------------------Boy Waterman------------------------------

Other players to watch:

  • Maceo Rigters
  • Roy Beerens
  • Ismael Aissati
  • Otman Bakkal
  • Collins John

Leading the way for the Dutch are Drenthe (Real Madrid), Maduro (Valencia) and Babel (Liverpool).

Kansas City Wizards at Chicago Fire: Your Running Commentary

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The unbeaten Chicago Fire take on the Kansas City Wizards today in a match that will determine who sits in first place in the MLS Eastern Conference after four weeks.

The Fire comes in at 2-0-1 while the Wizards enter at 2-1-1 after starting unbeaten at 2-0.

If you will be watching the match, and will be online, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and play by play in the comments section below.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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It was a rough weekend for Americans in England. of the 12 currently playing in the English Premier League, none of them tasted victory last weekend and only Brad Friedel's heroics against Manchester United kept his Blackburn from facing defeat.

There was better news elsewhere, from Oguchi Onyewu's Standard Liege clinching the Belgian Jupiler League title to Michael Bradley's Heerenveen clinching a Champions League playoff spot with its own victory.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 4

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And then there was one.

FC Dallas is the lone remaining unbeaten team in Major League Soccer as we look past week four of the 2008 season. Chicago was knocked from the unbeaten ranks by Kansas City, which regained the top spot in the newest power rankings after traveling to Toyota Park and posting a shutout.

It's Q&A Time

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Good afternoon everybody (and good morning to those of you on the West Coast). It is that time again. Time for you to send your soccer-related questions my way. Feel free to send your soccer questions to me and I will look to answer them later this week.

As always, please try to keep the questions from being too long and try to limit your questions to one or two.

Columbus 2, D.C. United 1: A Supporter's View

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When the Columbus Crew traveled to RFK Stadium last Thursday it was expected to be a predictable match. D.C. would get its attack going and post a win while the Crew would struggle on the road and lose in D.C. yet again.

The outcome was anything but predictable. The Crew thoroughly outplayed D.

Chelsea at Liverpool: Who wins?

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Chelsea will be traveling to Liverpool tomorrow for the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semifinal series and trying to pick a winner in this serious is a difficult proposition.

Do you go with Liverpool, which has enjoyed so much Champions League success through the years?

Red Bulls 1, Revolution 1: A Supporter's View

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Considering how long it has been since the Red Bulls beat New England, you would think some Red Bulls fans would be happy with a tie.

Not so, not when the Red Bulls were up a goal and a man early in the second half. Not after the Red Bulls controlled the first half and looked like they just might cruise to a second straight home win.

My take on the Red Bulls tie vs. New England

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Two points lost. That is how most will see the Red Bulls' 1-1 tie vs. New England on Saturday. The Red Bulls were up a man and up a goal and came away with just a point.

As justifiably disappointed as many Red Bulls fans were after this game, seeing Saturday night as a failure is a slight overreaction.

Red Bulls 1, Revolution 1: A Supporter's View

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Considering how long it has been since the Red Bulls beat New England, you would think some Red Bulls fans would be happy with a tie.

Not so, not when the Red Bulls were up a goal and a man early in the second half. Not after the Red Bulls controlled the first half and looked like they just might cruise to a second straight home win.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 4

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And then there was one.

FC Dallas is the lone remaining unbeaten team in Major League Soccer as we look past week four of the 2008 season. Chicago was knocked from the unbeaten ranks by Kansas City, which regained the top spot in the newest power rankings after traveling to Toyota Park and posting a shutout.

New England Revolution at Red Bulls: SBI Running Commentary

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Good evening folks. It is a clear day at Giants Stadium as we head toward tonight's I-95 clash between the New England Revolution and the New York Red Bulls.

The Red Bulls are looking to rebound from last week's 2-0 loss to FC Dallas while the New England Revolution will look to erase its own memories of a recent loss, its 1-0 defeat at home against Colorado.

A Supporter's View: Chivas USA

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After two weeks of getting positive results despite not playing that well, Chivas USA finally paid for playing below the form the Goats showed for most of 2007.

Columbus exposed Chivas USA in a 4-3 shootout that saw Sacha Kljestan red carded and Brad Guzan give up the game-winning goal in messy fashion, leaving Chivas USA fans wondering whether their team will ever match last year's regular-season success.

A Supporter's View: FC Dallas

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It took three games but FC Dallas finally put together a complete game and finally posted a victory last Saturday against the Red Bulls.

There was no blown late lead, no last-gasp equalizer surrendered by a defense that had already given up two leads. Against the Red Bulls, FC Dallas scored in the first minute and played mistake-free soccer the rest of the match.

A Supporter's View: Houston Dynamo

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The MLS season will head into its fourth week this weekend and the defending champion Houston Dynamo still don't have a win.

Yes, it is tough to believe considering the team's depth, star power and experience, but the Dynamo is struggling early and it is unclear whether things will turn around in week four.

(The rest of) Your Questions Answered

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Good afternoon folks (and Good Morning on the West Coast). It has been a slow day on SBI as I try to catch up with some projects and also as I finally sat down and finished off the most recent Q&A session (which was the largest to date).

Eddie Johnson and the MLS collective bargaining agreement were the big topics in this session as readers offered up a pretty diverse range of questions.

A Supporter's View: Real Salt Lake

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Beating D.C. United wasn't really uncharted territory for Real Salt Lake, but beating D.C. the way RSL beat them certainly was.

Never had a Salt Lake squad so thoroughly dominated an opponent the way Real Salt Lake dominated D.C. last Saturday in its 4-0 win. The attack rolled, the defense stifled and Salt Lake fans started talking playoffs in April.

Angel trains, looks good for New England game

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Photo by ISI Photos

Red Bulls forward Juan Pablo Angel went through a full training session on Thursday and looks fit to play in Saturday's Eastern Conference showdown vs. the New England Revolution.

Angel missed last week's 2-0 loss to FC Dallas with a right hamstring strain, but he appears to be fully recovered from the injury.

A Supporter's View: New York Red Bulls

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When the patch-work defense took the field at Pizza Hut Park on Saturday night, Red Bulls fans couldn't help but be worried.

Two fullbacks were playing in central defense while two midfielders were playing fullback. It took FC Dallas 50 seconds to figure out how to get one past this mixed bag of defenders and the rest of the night was a exercise in frustrating for the Red Bulls, who created chances but missed them all and watched as Kenny Cooper buried an insurance goal to effectively end the match.

A Supporter's View: Colorado Rapids

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The Colorado Rapids mustered just two shots on goal against the New England Revolution but still found a way to beat perennial MLS Cup participant New England on its home turf. The 1-0 win has the Rapids thinking much better thoughts about the 2008 season than most of us would have expected.

It's just three games into the season, but these Rapids are playing with a swagger that hasn't been seen in Colorado in a decade.

A Supporter's View: Columbus Crew

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If the Columbus Crew offense sleep-walked through its 2-0 loss to the Red Bulls a week earlier, the Crew attack was WIDE awake against Chivas USA as four goals helped Columbus topple the Goats and stay perfect at Crew Stadium.

Guillermo Barros Schelotto erased the memories of his invisible showing last week by scoring a goal and setting up two others, including one on a beautiful laser-like assist to Robbie Rogers.

Earthquakes chasing Peguero

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Photo by ISI Photos

The San Jose Earthquakes are trying to secure the services of Brondby forward and former Colorado and Red Bulls forward Jean Philippe Peguero.

A source close to Peguero said talks are under way between San Jose and Peguero, but that no deal had been completed as of Tuesday afternoon.

A Supporter's View: San Jose Earthquakes

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The rebirth finally happened for San Jose Earthquake fans last weekend as two years of frustration and absence were erased by the sights of players taking the field at McCafee Coliseum in Earthquakes uniforms.

No, the team didn't win, or even score a goal, but after two years of missing their team, San Jose fans at least had a squad to call their own.

A Supporter's View: Kansas City Wizards

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On a cold night in Kansas, the Kansas City Wizards suffered through a scoreless draw against the Houston Dynamo that probably didn't do much to warm up the fewer than 10,000 fans in attendance.

One point from two home games last week was enough to put a damper on the talk of the Wizards being this year's surprise MLS team (Colorado has stolen that moniker for now), but the Wizards did show some improvements defensively and some promise that the quick start to the season wasn't a mirage.

Fantasy MLS Corner

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(With Fantasy MLS growing more and more popular, I figured it was time to incorporate a segment to help provide SBI readers with some insight into the fantasy game. Stephen Zaffuto will serve as the SBI Fantasy MLS expert and give us his weekly take on the action in the official MLS Fantasy Game.

A Supporter's View: Toronto FC

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Losing can lower expectations, this is no revelation, just human nature.

So when Toronto FC sat tied at 2-2 late in its game against Los Angeles on Sunday, most TFC fans were rejoicing in seeing the team do something other than lose after starting the season 0-2. It would have been more than enough with the team preparing to play in BMO Field for the first time this season.

Red Bulls update: A quiet transfer deadline looms

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Those of you waiting for the Red Bulls to swoop in on transfer deadline day and make a splash with some signings will have to wait. That isn't going to happen.

Other than a proposal made to Red Bull Salzburg to bring in Ernst Obster on loan (a proposal that has not been approved yet) the Red Bulls will not be making any transfer deadline acquisitions (that includes Jorge Rojas, who will not be coming).

A Supporter's View: New England Revolution

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A big win, then a bad loss. Another great win, and another disappointing defeat. The early season has been a roller coaster ride for the injury-plagued New England Revolution, which has played some of the best soccer in the league this season, but has also struggled badly in a pair of losses.

A Supporter's View: Chicago Fire

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It was a crazy week in Chicago Fire land. First came the news that John Guppy was forced out resigned as president and general manager, then came the club's second straight victory of the early season to move it into first place in the East.

Chicago isn't dominating opponents (well, aside from a short-handed Revs team) but the Fire is using disciplined defense and timely finishing to get off to a strong start to the campaign despite a handful of key injuries.

USA-Argentina tickets go on sale at noon today

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Photo by ISI Photos

If you are a U.S. national team fan with plans of seeing the USA-Argentina friendly at Giants Stadium, and you weren't one of the fortunate souls who took part in the VISA-sponsored pre-sale this weekend, get your phones and computers ready.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week Three

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Does anybody want to be considered the top team in MLS in April?

Houston and D.C. United started the season fighting for those honors, but they now have a single win between them after six combined games. Kansas City looked poise to hold on to the top spot before going winless on a two-game home stand.

Guppy out as Fire President and GM

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The Chicago Fire has just announced that president and general manager John Guppy and the Fire have parted ways. Andell Sports Managing Director (and former Chivas USA GM) Javier Leon has been installed as the Fire's interim president and GM.

The announcement comes in the same week that the Red Bulls announced that managing director Marc deGrandpre resigned from the Red Bulls to take a job in the private sector.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Good morning folks. A busy day of soccer is already under way but it isn't too late to have a place to discuss the matches.

Here is today's schedule of games (including the ones that started at 10am):

  • 10am- FSC- Fulham at Reading
  • 10am- Setanta USA- Middlesbrough at Tottenham
  • 11:30am- GolTV- Schalke 04 at Werder Bremen
  • Noon- FSC- Newcastle at Portsmouth
  • 12:15pm- Setanta USA- Watford at West Bromwich Albion
  • 2pm- GolTV- Racing de Santander at Valencia
  • 2:30pm- FSC- AC Milan at Juventus
  • 4pm- GolTV- Barcelona at Recreativo Huelva
  • 4:30pm- FSC- Chicago Fire at San Jose Earthquakes
  • 4:30pm- Setanta USA- Manchester City at Sunderland
  • 6:15pm- Setanta USA- Aston Villa at Derby County
  • 8pm- FSC- Catania at Palermo
  • 8pm- HDNet- Houston Dynamo at Kansas City Wizards
  • 8:30pm- MSG- NY Red Bulls at FC Dallas
  • 10pm- GolTV- Once Caldas at Deportivo Cali

If you are watching today's games, and I know plenty of you are currently watching Fulham/Reading, please feel free to share your thoughts on the action in the comments section below.

Ronaldinho agrees to deal with AC Milan

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Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho has agreed to the general terms of a contract with AC Milan, meaning that the Italian club can sign the playmaker once it agrees on a transfer agreement with Barcelona.

Ronaldinho, who is out for the rest of the season with a leg injury, has been eyeing a move out of Barcelona and long-time suitors AC Milan look to have won the sweepstakes for his services.

MLS Matchday Three: Weekend Preview

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The third weekend of MLS action is upon us and there are plenty of quality match-ups to take in. From the Houston-KC showdown to the New England-Colorado tilt, there will be some exciting games in what has been a high-scoring season so far.

Here is a rundown of some things to watch for:

Game of the weekend: Colorado at New England.

Chicago Fire at San Jose Earthquakes: Your Running Commentary

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The Earthquakes are coming home.

After two years of non-existence, the San Jose Earthquakes are ready to take the field for a home match for the first time since the 2005 season. Fans will converge at MaCafee Coliseum in Oakland to watch the reborn Earthquakes take on Cuauhtemoc Blanco and the Chicago Fire.

Chivas USA at Columbus Crew: Your Running Commentary

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The Columbus Crew will be looking to erase the memories of last week's lackluster performance against the Red Bulls, but it won't be easy against a Chivas USA team that has managed to get results despite not playing its best soccer.

Crew Stadium won't have an army of visiting fans so look for the Crew to be pushed by a home team eager to see its team show the form that helped Columbus win the season opener against Toronto FC.

Colorado Rapids at New England Revolution: Your Running Commentary

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Two of the more explosive offenses early in the season square off at Gillette Stadium tonight as the Revs look to build in its 3-1 win against previously unbeaten Kansas City. The Rapids are coming off a 3-2 loss to the Wizards last weekend but will look to test the Revs defense.

The marquee match-up will be in central midfield, where Colorado's Christian Gomez and New England's Shalrie Joseph rekindle a long-running battle.

Houston Dynamo at Kansas City Wizards: Your Running Commentary

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The Kansas City Wizards will be looking to keep Houston's early-season struggles going while the Dynamo will try to post its first win of the season without several key players.

With Pat Onstad, Eddie Robinson and Stuart Holden all doubts, Houston will need a special effort to hand the Wizards a second-straight defeat.

New York Red Bulls at FC Dallas: My Running Commentary

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With Juan Pablo Angel at home and not on this trip, the Red Bulls will be revealing a new strike tandem of Jozy Altidore and Oscar Echeverry. More importantly for the Red Bulls will be whether the club's defense can handle FC Dallas' dangerous attack.

You could see a new formation tonight from the Red Bulls as Juan Carlos Osorio could toy with a 4-3-3, with hopes of pressuring the wings and forcing Dallas to defend rather than sitting back and letting the Hoops attack.

D.C. United at Real Salt Lake: Your Running Commentary

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D.C. United fans don't need to be reminded how tough it has been for their club to get results at Real Salt Lake. It is one of the more frustrating developments of the past two seasons considering how much better D.C. has been than RSL.

This time around, Real Salt Lake is an improved team that has shown good flashes early on.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Good morning folks. A busy day of soccer is already under way but it isn't too late to have a place to discuss the matches.

Here is today's schedule of games (including the ones that started at 10am):

  • 10am- FSC- Fulham at Reading
  • 10am- Setanta USA- Middlesbrough at Tottenham
  • 11:30am- GolTV- Schalke 04 at Werder Bremen
  • Noon- FSC- Newcastle at Portsmouth
  • 12:15pm- Setanta USA- Watford at West Bromwich Albion
  • 2pm- GolTV- Racing de Santander at Valencia
  • 2:30pm- FSC- AC Milan at Juventus
  • 4pm- GolTV- Barcelona at Recreativo Huelva
  • 4:30pm- FSC- Chicago Fire at San Jose Earthquakes
  • 4:30pm- Setanta USA- Manchester City at Sunderland
  • 6:15pm- Setanta USA- Aston Villa at Derby County
  • 8pm- FSC- Catania at Palermo
  • 10pm- GolTV- Once Caldas at Deportivo Cali

If you are watching today's games, and I know plenty of you are currently watching Fulham/Reading, please feel free to share your thoughts on the action in the comments section below.

A Supporter's View: New England Revolution

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So much for panic mode. The New England Revolution rebounded from last week's drubbing against the Chicago Fire with a big win of its own, a 3-1 triumph against previously unbeaten Kansas City on the road on Wednesday night.

The Revs didn't just beat a tough opponent on the road.

DeGrandpre resigns as Red Bulls managing director

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Photo by ISI Photos

Red Bulls managing director Marc deGrandpre has resigned. He is leaving the club to take a position with another company.

DeGrandpre informed the team at a meeting this afternoon. According to sources, deGrandpre decision to leave was his own.

A Supporter's View: Real Salt Lake

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Getting beat is one thing, and it's something Real Salt Lake fans have grown accustomed to over the years, but to get beaten by players you let go just two games into a new season is downright painful.

When Alecko Eskandarian and Atiba Harris scored goals for Real Salt Lake you just knew RSL fans were snickering in their Utah homes at players who couldn't score for them could score against them.

A Supporter's View: The Houston Dynamo

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This isn't how the season was supposed to start for the Houston Dynamo. An ugly loss to New England followed by a tie at home against FC Dallas, a traditional punching bag at Robertson Stadium.

Geoff Cameron's late equalizer provided some hope, and almost made Houston fans forget that their team needed a late goal to avoid two losses to start the season.

SBI Fan's Corner: The Kansas City Wizards

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It's a good time to be Kansas City Wizards fan. The Wizards are 2-0, a stadium project is on the way, the team's new ownership group is spending money (exhibit A: Claudio Lopez) and even the team's new temporary home is drawing rave reviews among KC fans for the atmosphere.

So pardon Wizards fans for gloating a bit.

A Supporter's View: The Columbus Crew

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Admit it Crew fans, the season-opening win against Toronto FC had you buzzing about a great season. That vibe lasted less than a minute into Saturday as the Red Bulls handed Columbus a 2-0 loss in what could be best described as a drab performance by the Crew.

So was it just a case of the Crew having an off night or is the club's need for a target forward going to become an issue that dogs the team all year?

A Supporter's View: Toronto FC

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How do you find a silver lining in a 4-1 loss? How do you keep hoping going when you are a Toronto FC fan and the same team that tortured you a year ago is off to an 0-2 start?

You can find hope because results haven't started coming yet and you aren't ready to give up on the team you called your own a year ago.

A Supporter's View: New England Revolution

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New England fans had every reason to be flying high heading into last Thursday night's match against the Chicago Fire. The Revs had made it a habit of beating Chicago and the previous week's drubbing of Houston had New England fans talking MLS Cup in early April.

One blowout loss later and Revs fans are starting to have doubts.

A Supporter's View: The Chicago Fire

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With the memories of Cuauhtemoc Blanco's last-minute equalizer still in the minds of Fire fans, the Chicago Fire took the field against arch-rival New England last Thursday eager to score some taste of revenge for being knocked out of the MLS playoffs yet again.

Chicago exacted that revenge in the form of a 4-0 drubbing of the Revolution.

A Supporter's View: New York Red Bulls

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The vibe in Red Bulls land is a happy one following the club's 2-0 win against Columbus on Saturday. Beating the Crew without Jozy Altidore and without injured starters Dane Richards and Hunter Freeman provided a sense of relief for fans who were worried the club was heading into the season unprepared to compete.

Tickets for USA-Argentina at Giants Stadium to go on sale next Monday

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Photo by ISI Photos

Tickets for the USA-Argentina match on June 8 at Giants Stadium will go on sale to the public on Monday, April 14 at noon, U.S. Soccer announced today.

The match, scheduled for 7:30 p.

You Write the Caption: The Best of the Olympic Qualifying Streaker captions

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Good afternoon everybody.

If it seems like the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament was a long time ago, it might be because you can't remember many of the results of the games. Your mind was too busy memorizing the images of soccer streaker Tiffany May as she frolicked around Raymond James Stadium rather than the actual matches.

Guevara says goodbye Motagua, hello Toronto

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Photo by ISI Photos

Former MLS MVP and one-time MetroStars and Red Bulls standout Amado Guevara played his final match for Honduran power CD Motagua last weekend and appears ready to return to Major League Soccer.

(More of) Your Questions Answered

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Good morning folks. This should be a busy Monday in the soccer world so stay tuned for some news and notes, as well as MLS player of the week and Goal of the Week.

For now, here are some more questions answered from the most recent Q&A session.

Enjoy:

KJ- Is there that any chance Fulham wont be relegated?
Q&A

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week Two

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Two weeks into the MLS season and there is only one team with two victories. The Kansas City Wizards have jumped ahead of the pack early on, but the first two weeks of the MLS season have already shown us that parity throughout the league will keep things close.

Juan Carlos Osorio made his Red Bulls debut a successful one as his squad posted a victory and shutout against Columbus.

Columbus Crew at New York Red Bulls

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MLS opening days at Giants Stadium are traditionally known for two things, fans dreading what the new year will bring and rain putting a damper on the opening-game festivities.

Well, one out of two ain't bad. The concerns about the Red Bull season are there, but the skies are clear here at Giants Stadium.

Toronto FC at D.C. United: Your Running Commentary

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Two games, one MLS and one CONCACAF Champions Cup, and zero goals. The D.C. United attack was supposed to be an unstoppable force but the flow of goals has yet to come.

It may come today against a Toronto FC defense that is still looking for the right combination.

Colorado Rapids at Kansas City Wizards: Your Running Commentary

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The battle of the MLS unbeatens will take place today in Kansas City, Kansas. Okay, so maybe that's a little bit of hyperbole, but there is no mistaking that both the Kansas City Wizards and Colorado Rapids enjoyed dream starts to their seasons last week.

Both teams scored shutout victories at home and now the Wizards play host to the Rapids with a chance to jump out in front of the pack in the Eastern Conference.

New England Revolution at Chicago Fire: Your Running Commentary

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It took five months but the rematch of the MLS Eastern Conference final between New England and the Chicago Fire is here.

The Revolution comes off an impressive 3-0 thrashing of MLS Cup champion Houston in its season opener. Chicago's season opener wasn't as successful. The Fire needed a last-minute goal from Cuauhtemoc Blanco to salvage a 1-1 tie against Real Salt Lake.

San Jose Earthquakes at Los Angeles Galaxy: Your Running Commentary

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More than two years after disappearing in a cloud of Texas dust, the San Jose Earthquakes are back and ready to take the field tonight. San Jose makes its MLS return at Home Depot Center against the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Normally you would expect an expansion team to be a heavy underdog in a first match, but not after the Galaxy looked like a glorified pub team in its 4-0 season-opening loss to the Colorado Rapids.

TGIF: A busy day at SBI and a look back at Thursday night's games

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Good morning folks. Apologies for the lack of posts this morning. Between finishing my ESPN piece on the Kansas City Wizards and choosing the SBI MLS team correspondents, I won't be able to give you much this morning.

However, what I can do is give you a sneak peak at what is coming later today:

  • You Write the Caption: The best of the Streaker captions
  • (More of) Your Questions answered
  • A closer look at the Kansas City Wizards
  • This weekend's soccer on TV
  • SBI team correspondents announced

For now I want your take on last night's MLS matches.

Altidore injures knee, status for Saturday in doubt

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Photo by ISI Photos

The New York Red Bulls' bad luck with injuries this pre-season got worse on Thursday. Jozy Altidore suffered a knee injury during training on Thursday, making his availability for Saturday's season opener against the Columbus Crew questionable.

USA-England tickets now on sale

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If you are looking for tickets to the U.S. national team's game against England at Wembley Stadium on May 28, they have now gone on sale.

Tickets went on sale at 11 a.m. this morning. You can buy them online at www.ussoccerstore.com.

For more information, go here.

Tickets cost $115 and are limited to eight per costumer.

This weekend's soccer on TV

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Twenty-eight games. That is how many soccer games you will be able to watch on TV this weekend if you are lucky enough to have Fox Soccer Channel, GolTV, Setanta Sports USA, Telefutura and HDNet. Now I'm sure there are plenty of matches I'm not listing, but ask your self, isn't 28 enough?

Altidore has bruised right knee, says he's fine

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Red Bulls officials have called Altidore's injury a bruised right knee and say he is day to day. Altidore discussed his knee on the ESPN live chat this afternoon, saying it is fine.

"My knee's all right," Altidore said via online chat. "It's day to day. Don't worry. I'm fine."

His status for Saturday night's match, and whether he can start, is still questionable.

Introducing your MLS Correspondents for SBI

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It was a long and difficult process choosing 14 writers to represent Soccer By Ives as MLS team correspondents, but it was also a fulfilling one because the quality of the candidates was everything I could have asked for.

Candidates came from all walks of life, from teachers to lawyers to students to coaches.

My take on the Kansas City Wizards

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For those of you who have yet to see it, My Friday story for ESPN.com this week was on the Kansas City Wizards and the turnaround they have enjoyed under new coach Curt Onalfo. As you may know from reading SBI, I have pegged the Wizards to be this season's surprise team and after talking to Onalfo and Jimmy Conrad, and seeing them play, I'm even more confident about that call.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Good morning everybody. There is a full slate of games on TV today so there will be plenty to discuss.

For you die-hards, the day began with Arsenal-Liverpool in a battle of reserve lineups as both squads prepare for their Champions League second-leg this week. The rest of the day boasts quality games from England, Spain, Germany, Italy and MLS.

(Some of) Your Questions Answered

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Good morning all. I'm busy going through final candidates for the SBI team correspondent positions (and there are some quality candidates) but I did find time to crank out answers to some of your questions from last week's Q&A.

Here are some of your questions answered. Look for the next installment very soon.

Q&A

Morning Ticker: Arsenal-Liverpool draw, Fenerbahce wins and MLS lays down the law

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Good morning everybody. It is the day after the first leg of the UEFA Champions League and if you're like me, you're going through a little UCL withdrawal.

If you are an MLS fan you are probably asking yourself how it is that two of the best teams in MLS can't score a single goal in the first legs of their CONCACAF Champions Cup series.