Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2008

How I picked Spain to win Euro 2008

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

If you are expecting to read another account of how someone was genius enough to make the right call on who would win Euro 2008, don't worry. This isn't quite that kind of story.

SBI now on Facebook

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Are you an SBI reader who is also on Facebook? Prepare to have two of your favorite sites connected. Soccer By Ives is now on Facebook.

I have started out with an SBI group and will work to integrate some more features to the group page going forward. Think of it as a place where you and fellow soccer fans can discuss and debate the sport as well getting to know each other beyond the SBI usernames and short posts.

SBI All-Euro 2008 Team

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

With the European Champions now over, it is time to look back at the players who made the tournament one to remember.

From the daring Turks to the high-flying Russians to the dynamic Dutch, there were plenty of standout players in the tournament, but only 11 can make the Euro 2008 Best XI.

Covering an MLS match for the first time: One writer's story

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Ever wonder what it's like being a soccer writer? Ever imagine what it must be like being new to the job and getting the chance to cover your first MLS game?

Monday Observations: On Luciano Emilio, Wilman Conde and the U.S. Open Cup

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

With MLS All-Star Game balloting set to close on Wednesday, one player has made a stronger late push than any other to be included in the Starting XI that will face West Ham United next month.

With Rojas on board, what next for the Red Bulls?

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As expected, the Red Bulls are set to sign Venezuelan national team midfielder Jorge Rojas. The 31-year-old is arriving in New York today and will undergo a physical on Tuesday ahead of signing a contract with the Red Bulls. He will not be eligible to play for the Red Bulls until after the July 15 open of the summer transfer window.

Afternoon Ticker: Villa tell Barry he can go, Barca eyes Adebayor and Nihat faces lengthy recovery

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

At long last Liverpool fans can rejoice. Sort of.

In what seems like a mini-me version of the Cristiano Ronaldo debacle, word has come that Aston Villa manager Martin O?

Fire 0, Earthquakes 0: A Supporter's View

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No offense to the San Jose Earthquakes but when you are outplayed at home by San Jose, your team is in serious trouble.

The Fire squandered another match at Toyota Park, another chance at precious points in the stacked Eastern Conference, but instead of take the three points from the expansion strugglers, Chicago finished a terrible June with another poor effort.

Chelsea signs Deco

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The Scolari era at Chelsea has officially begun.

New Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari has landed Portuguese midfielder Deco from Barcelona for an undisclosed fee. Deco joined is new team on Monday.

Deco's arrival makes an already crowded Chelsea central midfield even more congested.

Wizards welcome back Josh Wolff

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The Kansas City Wizards may have found the cure for their terrible offense, or at least they hope so.

The Wizards have signed Josh Wolff, who makes his return to MLS after spending two seasons with German club 1860 Munich.

Wizards welcome back Josh Wolff

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The Kansas City Wizards may have found the cure for their terrible offense, or at least they hope so.

The Wizards have signed Josh Wolff, who makes his return to MLS after spending two seasons with German club 1860 Munich.

Afternoon Ticker: Villa tell Barry he can go, Barca eyes Adebayor and Nihat faces lengthy recovery

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

At long last Liverpool fans can rejoice. Sort of.

In what seems like a mini-me version of the Cristiano Ronaldo debacle, word has come that Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neil will grant Gareth Barry's wish to leave Villa Park.

Monday Observations: On Luciano Emilio, Wilman Conde and the U.S. Open Cup

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

With MLS All-Star Game balloting set to close on Wednesday, one player has made a stronger late push than any other to be included in the Starting XI that will face West Ham United next month.

Covering an MLS match for the first time: One writer's story

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Ever wonder what it's like being a soccer writer? Ever imagine what it must be like being new to the job and getting the chance to cover your first MLS game?

SBI All-Euro 2008 Team

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

With the European Champions now over, it is time to look back at the players who made the tournament one to remember.

From the daring Turks to the high-flying Russians to the dynamic Dutch, there were plenty of standout players in the tournament, but only 11 can make the Euro 2008 Best XI.

SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 14)

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

D.C. United is on fire.

When D.C. and Los Angeles took the field on Sunday it was supposed to be a battle between two of the most in-form teams in MLS.

The story of how I picked Spain to win Euro

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

If you are expecting to read another account of how someone was genius enough to make the right call on who would win Euro 2008, don't worry. This isn't quite that kind of story.

Spain crowned European champions

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

On the strength of a stingy defense, quick and skillful midfield and a wonderful finish from Fernando Torres, Spain is the new European Champion.

It was definitely refreshing to watch a team win a tournament by playing beautiful attacking soccer and not by turning the game into a defensive-oriented bore-fest.

New York Red Bulls at Chivas USA: Running Commentary

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The Red Bulls are in Home Depot Center tonight to take on Chivas USA in a key match for both teams. The Red Bulls are hoping to keep pace in the stacked Eastern Conference while the Goats are looking to exact some revenge for their loss at Giants Stadium earlier this month.

If you will be watching the match, or if you want to follow the match, you can check in here.

Chivas USA 2, Fire 0: A Supporter's View

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The Goats are back (for now).

After a two-game losing streak with two shutout losses, Chivas USA looked like it might slip back into its early-season funk. Not so fast. All the Goats did was put together a convincing 2-0 win against the suddenly slumping Chicago Fire.

Morning Ticker: Villa out for Euro final, Adebayor staying at Arsenal and Asian WC draw set

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Photo by ISI Photos

Good morning folks. It is the end of an unforgettable week of soccer action and while today may not have any games to look forward to, there is still plenty of news to go over.

Let's start the day with a few stories from last night and this morning to get your Friday going:

Villa set to miss Euro final

Spain striker and Euro 2008 goal-scoring leader David Villa looks set to miss Sunday's final against Germany with a leg injury.

(The rest of) Your Questions Answered

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Hello all. Apologies for the lack of posts this morning but I was finishing off the last of the most recent Q&A and also working on a piece for ESPN.com on my picks for the MLS All-Star game Starting XI.

First things first. I definitely wanted to answer the remaining questions from the last Q&A so I could clear the way for another Q&A session later today (stay tuned for that).

Copa Libertadores: Liga de Quito smashes Fluminense

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The best team in South America just might come from......Ecuador.

Yes, you read that right. Liga Deportivo de Quito, a club most American soccer fans have never heard of, smoked Brazilian side Fluminense, 4-2, in the first leg of the Copa Libertadores final on Thursday night. The second leg is set for next Wednesday at the Maracana.

It's Q&A Time

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Good afternoon folks. It is that time again. Time for you to send your soccer questions my way and time for me to try and either find you an answer or give you my opinion on the subject.

You know the drill. Send one or two questions of modest length to me and I will try to answer them by next week.

The Red Bulls Rebound

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

I won't deny it. I thought the Red Bulls were finished.

Watching D.C. United shred the Red Bulls to the tune of a 4-1 rout two weeks ago, I couldn't help but see the defeat as the first step in a total collapse.

Morning Ticker: Adebayor changes mind, Italian club eyes Nakamura and Costa Rica boots Medford

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So much for the whole "I'm staying at Arsenal thing."

Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor has back-tracked from his statement last week that he was staying at Arsenal and is once again eyeing a move to AC Milan.

What should we believe? I think it's fair to say Adebayor is checking out options and is ready for a move.

Dynamo 1, FC Dallas 1: A Supporter's View

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Schellas Hyndman's transition to MLS reached a milestone on Thursday as the long-time SMU coach earned his first point in charge of FC Dallas. The Hoops showed far more energy and promise than they did against the Red Bulls a week earlier, and the result also helped the club walk away with the prize awarded to the winner of this Texas season series.

Ballack doubtful for Euro Final

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Some six years after missing the 2002 World Cup final due to yellow cards, German national team captain Michael Ballack could miss the Euro 2008 final vs. Spain with a calf strain.

Ballack hasn't trained in two days and could be replaced in the lineup by Bastian Schweinsteiger or Tim Borowski.

MLS Matchday: Your Running Commentary

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Good evening folks. We are in Week 14 of the MLS season and tonight features several quality match-ups.

Headlining tonight's schedule of games is the New England-Toronto clash, which pits two of the top three teams in the Eastern Conference against each other. Can New England avoid the home woes that have led to a 3-2-2 record at Gillette Stadium?

The Red Bulls Rebound

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

I won't deny it. I thought the Red Bulls were finished.

Watching D.C. United shred the Red Bulls to the tune of a 4-1 rout two weeks ago, I couldn't help but see the defeat as the first step in a total collapse.

(The rest of) Your Questions Answered

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Hello all. Apologies for the lack of posts this morning but I was finishing off the last of the most recent Q&A and also working on a piece for ESPN.com on my picks for the MLS All-Star game Starting XI.

First things first. I definitely wanted to answer the remaining questions from the last Q&A so I could clear the way for another Q&A session later today (stay tuned for that).

Morning Ticker: Villa out for Euro final, Adebayor staying at Arsenal and Asian draw set

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Photo by ISI Photos

Good morning folks. It is the end of an unforgettable week of soccer action and while today may not have any games to look forward to, there is still plenty of news to go over.

Let's start the day with a few stories from last night and this morning to get your Friday going:

Villa set to miss Euro final

Spain striker and Euro 2008 goal-scoring leader David Villa looks set to miss Sunday's final against Germany with a leg injury.

Chivas USA 2, Fire 0: A Supporter's View

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The Goats are back (for now).

After a two-game losing streak with two shutout losses, Chivas USA looked like it might slip back into its early-season funk. Not so fast. All the Goats did was put together a convincing 2-0 win against the suddenly slumping Chicago Fire.

Nash/Reyna charity game: A Look Back

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Standing in the middle of an energized crowd, Jozy Altidore rattled off autographs and posed for picture after picture. Even after most of the other stars who played in the Steve Nash/Claudio Reyna charity match in Manhattan's Chinatown, Altidore stood on the turf at Nike Field and signed and posed for fans eager to meet American soccer's most exciting young star.

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

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Toronto FC still hasn't lost at home, still hasn't sent the packed house at BMO Field home with heads hung low, but last weekend they didn't send their fans home happy either. A scoreless draw against struggling Kansas City felt a bit more like a loss than a win for a team battling to get to the top of the Eastern Conference.

Galaxy 3, Crew 3: A Supporter's View

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Watching the Columbus Crew and Los Angeles Galaxy do battle it last Saturday it was tough to believe that both these teams missed the playoffs last year. The Crew and Galaxy have boasted exciting attacking soccer this year and they both look to have the firepower to reach the post-season in 2008.

Stars to gather for NYC soccer charity event

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Photo by ISI Photos

Several stars from the soccer and basketball worlds will gather in Manhattan on Wednesday evening for a charity event that should be a sight to behold.

Steve Nash and Claudio Reyna have organized a charity 8-on-8 soccer game that will feature international soccer star Thierry Henry as well as several NBA stars.

Real Salt Lake 2, Revolution 1: A Supporter's View

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Real Salt Lake can't lose.

Stop rubbing your eyes. You really did just read that first sentence correctly. Real Salt Lake is unbeaten in five games and looking like a real challenger for a playoff spot in the wide-open Western Conference.

If RSL needed a signature win to show it is for real, that win came on Saturday against a New England team that hadn't lost in seven matches.

You Write the Caption: The Osorio Edition

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It has been a good while since the last installment of You Write the Caption but I can tell you that this week SBI will have at least two contests.

Today's photo, courtesy of ISIphotos.com, is of New York Red Bulls head coach Juan Carlos Osorio, who has done an admirable job leading his new club to a 5-4-4 mark despite a myriad of injuries and the transfer of Jozy Altidore.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 13

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Call it the Curse of the No. 1 spot.

FC Dallas was once No. 1 in the SBI MLS Power Rankings, then the Hoops promptly fell apart. The Columbus Crew had it for a while, but eventually suffered a losing streak. Most recently the Chicago Fire grabbed the top spot and hasn't won a match since.

Where will Arshavin go?

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Andrei Arshavin has played just two games in the European Championships but two games have been enough for him to earn the label of fastest rising star at the tournament.

Arshavin's skillful display against the Netherlands, which saw him outshine midfield stars Wesley Sneijder and Rafael Van Der Vaart, has helped catapult his transfer price, a price that will surely be paid by some team hoping he can duplicate his Euro magic in one of Europe's biggest leagues.

Euro 2008: Spain vs. Italy (Your Running Commentary)

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After three exhilarating, unpredictable, entertaining and unforgettable quarterfinal match-ups, can the last match of the European Championship quarterfinal round possibly give us more?

It just might. Spain and Italy square off in what was probably the most anticipated match-up of the quarterfinal round.

USA vs. Barbados (second leg): Your Running Commentary

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The U.S. national team will look to move one step closer to World Cup 2010 in South Africa today by beating Barbados and winning its home-and-home series to advance to the third round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.

The task is a simple one. Hold on to its 8-0 lead from the first game and the Americans advance to the next round (stop laughing).

Real Salt Lake 0, Earthquakes 0: A Supporter's View

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For as long as they have been in MLS, there has never been a D in Real Salt Lake. Not literally or figuratively. Things seem to be changing.

RSL has posted three straight shutouts and has allowed just one goal in four matches, the kind of stingy defending we're not used to seeing from the boys from Utah.

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

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Who can figure out the New England Revolution?

The Revs have been one of the strongest teams in MLS all season, but for some reason when they play at Gillette Stadium they have been prone to flat performances. Such a showing came yet again on Thursday, as an inspired and gritty Red Bulls team nearly pulled a rare win at Gillette before settling for a well-earned draw.

Euro 2008: Portugal vs. Germany (Running Commentary)

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Talk about marquee match-ups. Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Michael Ballack. Pepe and Ricardo Carvalho vs. Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski. Portugal vs. Germany.

The Euro 2008 quarterfinals kick off today with one of the best match-ups of the round. Will a rested Portugal squad that looked extremely good in its first two matches be too much for a German squad that has yet to resemble the tournament favorites they were supposed to be when the Euros began?

Real Salt Lake 1, Chivas USA 0: A Supporter's View

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What happened to Chivas USA? After rattling off three straight wins, the Goats had the look of the team that finished first in the regular season. Now, after two straight shutout losses, Chivas USA is reeling again.

Real Salt Lake knows all about bad streaks, but RSL is currently riding a pretty good one.

Toronto FC 3, Colorado 1: A Supporter's View

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Just call BMO Field The Fortress because visiting teams just can't win there. Seven times opponents have gone to BMO Field hoping to knock off Toronto FC and seven times they have failed.

Colorado became the latest to fall short, dropping a 3-1 decision to a short-handed Toronto squad that was missing several starters but still didn't miss a beat.

Revolution 2, Dynamo 0: A Supporter's View

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Playing without Taylor Twellman and Shalrie Joseph, two of the league's best players, New England showed off its depth in beating another short-handed team, the Houston Dynamo, for the second time this season. The 2-0 road win has helped push the Revs atop the Eastern Conference and has folks talking about them finally breaking that MLS Cup jinx.

D.C. United 4, Red Bulls 1: A Supporter's View

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D.C. United's rapid recovery and rise up the East standings took a familiar step last weekend, as the Red Bulls rekindled the roll of D.C. punching bag in a 4-1 blowout loss. The match showed just how much better D.C. is playing than it was a month ago, while also revealing for all to see just how far away the Red Bulls are from being a legitimate contender.

A final tribute to Jozy Altidore's Red Bull career

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Red Bulls fans don't have a lot to smile about these days, not with their team losing badly and struggling to field a competitive team.

Jozy Altidore's departure to Villarreal didn't help matters, but looking back on his brief time with the club might help offer some relief for an otherwise awful time for Red Bulls fans.

Barcelona shows door to Big Three

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Imagine being Barcelona and being good enough to say you don't need Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto'o and Deco.

New Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola revealed just that on Tuesday, stating that Ronaldino, Deco and Eto'o are not in Barca's future plans. Now Ronaldinho and Deco weren't a surprise as they have been linked with exits for a while now.

Euro 2008: Matchday 11 (Group C)

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Three teams. One spot. We all knew Group C of the European Championships would be the most competitive, but I'm not sure many of us could have imagined just how the group would play out.

The Netherlands have torched Italy and France on its way to a berth in the quarterfinals. That leaves Romania, France and Italy to vie for the second quarterfinal berth in the group.

FC Dallas introduces Hyndman as head coach

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FC Dallas officially introduced Schellas Hyndman as the fifth head coach in the club's history on Tuesday. With the decision made, and Hyndman on board, it is time to start thinking about the decision the club just made.

Can a coach who has spent two decades coaching college really make the adjustment to MLS?

Revolution 2, Dynamo 0: A Supporter's View

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Playing without Taylor Twellman and Shalrie Joseph, two of the league's best players, New England showed off its depth in beating another short-handed team, the Houston Dynamo, for the second time this season. The 2-0 road win has helped push the Revs atop the Eastern Conference and has folks talking about them finally breaking that MLS Cup jinx.

FC Dallas introduces Hyndman as head coach

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FC Dallas officially introduced Schellas Hyndman as the fifth head coach in the club's history on Tuesday. With the decision made, and Hyndman on board, it is time to start thinking about the decision the club just made.

Can a coach who has spent two decades coaching college really make the adjustment to MLS?

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 12

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The Los Angeles Galaxy can't be stopped.

Well, at least that goes for an offense that has rattled off 14 goals in its past five league matches. Edson Buddle's hat-trick provided a boost for an offense that has been rolling despite not having Landon Donovan.

Winners of four of their last five, the Galaxy has a firm hold on the West lead and look like they have solved the defensive problems that plagued the squad earlier in the season.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 12

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The Los Angeles Galaxy can't be stopped.

Well, at least that goes for an offense that has rattled off 14 goals in its past five league matches. Edson Buddle's hat-trick provided a boost for an offense that has been rolling despite not having Landon Donovan.

Winners of four of their last five, the Galaxy has a firm hold on the West lead and look like they have solved the defensive problems that plagued the squad earlier in the season.

Morning Ticker: World Cup qualifying roundup

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Good morning everybody. I'm back from my weekend away and there is a bunch to discuss from the soccer world this Monday morning.

Let's start with several surprising World Cup qualiying results throughout the world.

Brazil, Argentina struggle before big clash

Paraguay moved into first place in South American World Cup qualifying with its 2-0 win against Brazil on Sunday.

USA 8, Barbados 0: A look back

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It was a bloodbath worthy of a regional champion facing a minnow, but through all the goals and the domination by the U.S.national team in its 8-0 drubbing of Barbados on Sunday, we are still left trying to figure out exactly what we learned from the exercise.

Well, we learned that the Americans won't be facing a humiliating upset in this round of World Cup qualifying.

Euro 2008: Matchday Ten (Group B)

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Germany must avoid defeat today in order to prevent being eliminated in the Euro 2008 group stage. That sentence isn't one many people thought they would see but the pre-tournament favorites are just in that position after losing to Croatia in its second game of the tournament.

Germany must register a draw or win to advance to the quarterfinals, where a meeting with Portugal awaits.

Galaxy 3, Earthquakes 0: A Supporter's View

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The Los Angeles Galaxy's transformation from butt of all MLS jokes to leaders of the Western Conference has been nothing short of impressive while Edson Buddle's progress from wayward MLS striker to hat-trick machine is almost as jaw-dropping.

The Galaxy thrashed the San Jose Earthquakes, 3-0, with Buddle netting all three goals.

USA vs. Barbados: Your Running Commentary

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The U.S. national team begins World Cup qualifying today against Barbados at Home Depot Center. The Americans are heavily favored, but they also know that any sort of disappointing result will mean having to travel to Barbados to earn a result.

The Americans will field a lineup you would expect, except for Brad Guzan getting the start in goal.

Euro 2008: Matchday Nine (Group A)

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The third and final round of group games begins today with Group A finishing play as Turkey and the Czech Republic square off in what amounts to a play-in game for the Euro 2008 quarterfinals.

The task is simple for the Turks and Czechs: win and they join Portugal in the next round.

Chicago Fire at FC Dallas: Your Running Commentary

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The Chicago Fire are in Frisco, Texas today taking on FC Dallas in today's lone MLS match. The Fire will be looking to try and keep pace with the New England Revolution in the East while FC Dallas is still lookng for its first win since the club fired head coach Steve Morrow.

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

Colorado Rapids at Toronto FC: Your Running Commentary

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Toronto FC return to BMO Field tonight to play host to the up-and-down Colorado Rapids in a match-up of inconsistent teams.

Can Toronto continue their strong home form? Can the Rapids find another way to avoid a two-game losing streak and move back up the Western Conference standings?

New York Red Bulls at D.C. United: Running Commentary

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The task will be a tough one for the Red Bulls. They have to travel to D.C. United, where they never win, and find a way to win without the departed Jozy Altidore and the injured Juan Pablo Angel and Claudio Reyna. D.C. will be missing players as well, but will be heavily favored to continue its recent hot streak.

Who is on your MLS All-Star Ballot?

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It might not seem like it, but the MLS season is barreling toward the midway point, which means it's getting to be that time to vote for the MLS All-Star Game. Fan Balloting has been under way for quite some time but media were only given their ballots this week.

This got me wondering what lineup you, the SBI Mafia, would vote for to play against West Ham United in this summer's All-Star Game.

Dynamo 3, Toronto FC 1: A Supporter's View

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This is the Houston Dynamo we've been waiting to see.

The two-time MLS champions got off to a terrible start to the season but Houston is hitting its stride now, as evidenced by its 4-1-1 stretch in its past six MLS matches. The latest victory came against a short-handed TFC squad that is having some struggles after its own good run of form.

Greetings from the road

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Hello all. Apologies for the lack of posts but am traveling and will be on the road (in the air actually). I am actually writing this from my phone. Look out for a guest author on SBI tomorrow. I will check back in tonight.

Real Salt Lake 0, Wizards 0: A Supporter's View

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There are exciting 0-0 ties, like USA-Argentina, and then there are scoreless draws like Real Salt Lake-Kansas City Wizards.

It wasn't pretty, and fans probably didn't leave Rice-Eccles excited about a match they'll remember for a long time, but the result was a fair one for two teams struggling to find consistency and keep pace with the league's better teams.

(Some of) Your Questions Answered

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Hello folks. Apologies for the lack of posts the past day but I am taking a break from the site, unplugging from the grid if you will, at least as much as I can since it's almost impossible for me to stay away from the computer.

I will look to put up some posts on the upcoming European Championships but for now, I have some answers from the most recent Q&A.

The Trouble With Substitutes

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Good morning class. My name is Shawn Francis and I will be your substitute for today as it seems that your regular teacher, Mr. Galarcep is away for a teachers in service day???whatever that means. You can just call me SF because I like to keep it loose. Now I know that I do not have the same qualifications as Mr.

Euro 2008: Matchday Seven (Group C)

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The European Championship's Group of Death, Group C, is set to kick off its second phase of games today, with Italy desperate to record a win against Romania while France looks to slow down the red-hot Dutch.

Italy faces Romania in the first game (noon, ESPN2) while the Netherlands and France square off in today's second match (2:30pm, ESPN2).

It's A Conspiracy. A C-O-N Spiracy.

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(Summary is not available.)

Quiet Down, It's Movie Time

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Alright everyone back to your seats, it's World Studies time. Today we're focusing on South America --Bolivia to be exact-- a country whose rich futbol culture isn't widely know in the States beyond the Moreno residence in Washington D.C.

Now we're going to watch a film --a short film so don't think you're going to get a chance to sleep off last night's Boone's or Mad Dog binge.

Euro 2008: Netherlands vs. France (Running Commentary)

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Good afternoon folks. I'm coming to you from an undisclosed location in the Western part of the United States and while I promised myself I would stay away from SBI today, I just can't. SF is doing a great job holding things down today, but I still had to check in and see how the SBI Mafia is doing today.

Who is on your MLS All-Star Ballot?

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It might not seem like it, but the MLS season is barreling toward the midway point, which means it's getting to be that time to vote for the MLS All-Star Game. Fan Balloting has been under way for quite some time but media were only given their ballots this week.

This got me wondering what lineup you, the SBI Mafia, would vote for to play against West Ham United in this summer's All-Star Game.

Real Salt Lake 0, Wizards 0: A Supporter's View

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There are exciting 0-0 ties, like USA-Argentina, and then there are scoreless draws like Real Salt Lake-Kansas City Wizards.

It wasn't pretty, and fans probably didn't leave Rice-Eccles excited about a match they'll remember for a long time, but the result was a fair one for two teams struggling to find consistency and keep pace with the league's better teams.

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

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This is the Houston Dynamo we've been waiting to see.

The two-time MLS champions got off to a terrible start to the season but Houston is hitting its stride now, as evidenced by its 4-1-1 stretch in its past six MLS matches. The latest victory came against a short-handed TFC squad that is having some struggles after its own good run of form.

Morning Ticker: Czech-Turkey match could go to penalties

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Good morning all. It is a relatively slow news day so far but the European Championships keep rolling on so there will be some good matches to watch (well, at least one good match).

Before we get to the Germany-Croatia Euro showdown, here are some stories to get your day started.

Euro 2008: Portugal vs. Czech Republic (Matchday Commentary)

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Hello everybody. Today marks the second phase of group matches, with Portugal and the Czech Republic facing off with the winner clinching a quarterfinal place.

Portugal looked extremely impressive in beating Turkey, 2-0, in their opener while the Czechs struggled and were probably outplayed in their 1-0 opening win against Switzerland.

Morning Ticker: Altidore loan not set in stone, Farfan moves to Schalke and

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Good morning folks. Apologies for the delay in getting the day started but a blackout in North Bergen, home of the SBI compound, last night and this morning was to blame.

Let's get to some news:

Altidore may stay with Villarreal

As we reported last night, Jozy Altidore is set to be introduced at Villarreal today and now comes word from Spanish daily Marca that Altidore may stay with the 'Yellow Submarine' a while.

Altidore agrees to terms with Villarreal, to be introduced on Wednesday

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

Jozy Altidore's reported $10 million move to Villarreal is closer to completion.

Altidore reached an agreement on personal terms with Villarreal on Tuesday and is set to sign a six-year deal with the Spanish Premier League club, sources told SBI on Tuesday.

Galaxy 3, Rapids 2: A Supporter's View

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Talk about two teams who can look great one week and terrible the next.

The Los Angeles Galaxy looked like a pub team in losing to Toronto a week ago, but took the field at Home Depot and rattled off three unanswered goals against a Rapids team that had looked so impressive a week earlier.

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

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Who said there's no place like home?

Not the Chicago Fire, which continued its struggles at Toyota Park. A week off didn't keep the Fire from dropping another decision at home, leaving a nice-sized crowd wondering where that unstoppable team they've been watching on TV was.

EURO 2008: Italy vs. Netherlands (Running Commentary)

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Good afternoon folks. The first high-profile match of the European Championships is set to kickoff with Italy facing the Netherlands in Group C action.

Both teams come into the match dealing with injury issues. Italy lost Fabio Cannavaro while the Dutch lost Ryan Babel and will be without Arjen Robben for this match.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 11

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Here come the Houston Dynamo and D.C. United.

The two teams favored to reach MLS Cup when the season began continued their turnarounds after bad starts to the 2008 season. The Dynamo improved to 4-1-1 in their past six with a comprehensive 3-1 win against Toronto FC while D.C. United halted the red-hot Chicago Fire, 2-1 at Toyota Park.

Euro 2008: Group D Preview

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(Good afternoon everybody. Here is the fourth installment of SBI's Euro 2008 group previews. If you missed the previous ones, here are Group A, Group B and Group C previews.)

As far as attention for groups in the European Championships goes, Group D isn't getting nearly as much attention as it deserves.

Chivas USA 2, Crew 0: A Supporter's View

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Call them the Starsky and Hutch of MLS. Jesse Marsch and Jorge Flores have formed an entertaining tandem that keep finding new ways to defeat opponents. Now if only they could get the orange Dodge Charger.

Chivas USA fans won't care what Marsch, Flores and the Goats drive as long as they keep the three-match winning streak going tonight against the New York Red Bulls.

SBI MLS Fantasy Corner

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It's that time of the week again. Time to figure out what moves you want to make to help sort out your poor excuse of a fantasy team (sorry, speaking for myself on that one).

The Chicago Fire, the best team in MLS, is back in action this week after a bye, meaning you can get ready to put players like Blanco, Barrett and Busch back into your lineups.

Dynamo 1, Red Bulls 0: A Supporter's View

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In a match-up of severely short-handed teams, the Houston Dynamo reminded us why they are regarded as the deepest team in MLS. No Dwayne DeRosario, Pat Onstad, Wade Barrett or Eddie Robinson, four MLS All-Star caliber players, but it didn't matter against a Red Bulls squad that just doesn't have the bench to to make up for the absences of Juan Pablo Angel, Claudio Reyna and Dave Van Den Bergh.

Euro 2008: Group B Preview

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(This is the second in a five-part SBI preview of the European Championships, which begin Sunday. We profiled Group A on Monday, with Group C scheduled to come tomorrow. Enjoy.)

Who will stop Germany?

That's the big question heading into Euro 2008 and nowhere is it ringing more loudly than in the minds of Group B opponents Croatia, Poland and Austria, which must find a way to stop the tournament favorites.

Rapids 2, FC Dallas 1: A Supporter's View

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Imagine being a D.C. United fan watching highlights of the Colorado Rapids these days. Christian Gomez has played like an MVP candidate while Facundo Erpen has provided a steady force in the back for the Rapids. Gomez's replacement in D.C., Marcelo Gallardo, isn't doing quite as well and we all know about D.

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

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No game felt the pinch of international call-ups quite like the Toronto FC-LA Galaxy match-up. The list of missing players was like a who's-who of stars, ranging from David Beckham to Amado Guevara. That didn't stop Toronto FC from putting on a show for its loyal fans that still showed up at BMO Field despite the absence of so many headliners.

(The rest of) Your Questions Answered

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Remember that Memorial Day Q&A session I was supposed to do? The one where I was going to answer all the questions on Memorial Day from the previous Friday's Q&A? Well, as you know, I didn't get around to answering all of your questions.

If you were wondering what happened to the rest of the questions, I was finally able to answer them, so here they are.

Real Salt Lake 3, Earthquakes 1: A Supporter's View

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Real Salt Lake may not be able to do anything but lose on the road, but the Utah club has found far more comfortable surroundings when it plays at home.

RSL remained unbeaten at Rice-Eccles Stadium with its 3-1 handling of San Jose on Saturday. Javier Morales and Robbie Findley spear-headed an attack in a match that wasn't the prettiest to watch.

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

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D.C. United's climb out of the Eastern Conference hit a snag in New England last Thursday. D.C. was up two goals and playing the type of soccer most of us expected them to play.

Then the defense collapsed yet again.

New England rebounded from an awful first half to erase the two-goal deficit as Matt Reis kept his team in the match yet again with a series of acrobatic saves.

Spector facing surgery, could miss Olympics

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U.S. national team defender Jonathan Spector is facing surgery to repair a torn labrum, surgery that could sideline him from three to six months and would force him to miss the Olympics.

If Spector does wind up having surgery, which appears likely, it would be a big blow to the U.

The Morning After: A look back at MLS Saturday

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Good morning all. It was a pretty good day of soccer in MLS this Saturday. Well, if was if your team didn't lose or if you were an impartial observer.

Here is a quick rundown of yesterday's results:

Toronto FC 2, Los Angeles Galaxy 0

TFC's bench is stronger than the Galaxy's.