Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2008

Fire 0, Wizards 0: A Supporter's View

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Ninety minutes, Triple-digit temperatures and no goals.

A scoreless draw had to be expected when the Wizards and Fire took the field on Sunday. Aside from the sweltering heat, neither team was going to be taking many chances in this key Eastern Conference clash. The tie leaves Chicago chasing New England and Columbus atop the East and leaves KC trailing the playoff pack.

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

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What does a match between two last place teams look like? It looks like what we saw on Sunday in San Jose. The Earthquakes dominated play but couldn't finish while the Red Bulls looked absolutely awful in a 4-5-1 that set attacking soccer back about 10 years.

The performance would have been consider promising for San Jose if not for the huge mountain still to climb in the West standings.

FC Dallas confirms rejection of Cooper bids

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FC Dallas general manager Michael Hitchcock has confirmed SBI's report from earlier today that the club has decided to turn down all offers for all-star forward Kenny Cooper.

Should New England sell Taylor Twellman?

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Jozy Altidore left. So did Brad Guzan. Juan Toja could be leaving soon too, as could Kenny Cooper.

As the list of MLS players set to make moves to Europe continues to grow, one name not on that list is Taylor Twellman, the New England Revolution striker who had his bid for a multi-million dollar move to Preston North End rejected last winter.

Dynamo 2, D.C. United 0: A Supporter's View

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The game that seemed like it would never be played finally was played last Wednesday and the result left you wondering whether D.C. United got tired of waiting.

Houston man-handled D.C., 2-0, at RFK Stadium in a game that had been postponed twice and was delayed for hours on the night it was finally completed.

What would you do if you were Kenny Cooper?

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(No, there are no updates on Kenny Cooper's transfer decision. It appears will be waiting at least one more day, if not longer for a final conclusion. If you are wondering what is taking so long, you may not realize everything involved in this big decision.

Liverpool lands Keane in $40 million transfer

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Just imagine it. A forward tandem of Fernando Torres and Robbie Keane. It's pretty scary, isn't it?

Liverpool fans are surely drooling at the news that Liverpool has signed Keane in a $40 million transfer from Tottenham.

Chad Barrett is in Salt Lake for tonight's Toronto-Real Salt Lake match

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Those of you wondering just when the Chicago Fire-Toronto FC deal is going to be completed may not be waiting much longer.

Sources have told SBI that Chad Barrett is in Salt Lake City today with Toronto FC, which faces Real Salt Lake tonight (9pm).

Morning Ticker: Fulham lands forward, Everton chasing Moutinho and Cesc squashes Madrid rumor

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Good morning everybody. While we await word on where Kenny Cooper is headed, and wait for an official announcement of the Chicago-Toronto FC trade that will send Brian McBride to the Chicago Fire, here are some stories from across the pond to get your day started.

Cooper and Toja deny transfer deals being done

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With reports circulating about transfer deals being completed for both FC Dallas midfielder Juan Toja and forward Kenny Cooper, but MLS All-Stars denied that deals were done while a team source told SBI that multiple teams have made strong inquiries about Cooper.

MLS All-Star Game Matchday

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Good evening folks. I'm coming to you from BMO Field and we're less than two hours from kick-off of the 2008 MLS All-Star game between MLS and West Ham United.

The fans haven't been let in yet but I can see them stacked outside the gates. A sell-out crowd is expected tonight and it will be interesting to see how Toronto fans embrace an MLS All-Star team that may have no Canadians in the starting lineup.

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

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The San Jose Earthquakes had to figure another loss was coming when Amado Guevara stepped up to take a penalty kick on Saturday. The Toronto FC midfielder is known for being as close to a lock at converting penalties as anyone in MLS so his kick seemed like a foregone conclusion. At least before Joe Cannon saved his attempt on Saturday.

FIFA lays down law on releasing of Olympic players

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In the ongoing power struggle over whether or not U-23 star players will be allowed to play in the Beijing Olympics, FIFA president Sepp Blatter has stated his position, sending out a letter to all member associations stating that the release of under-23s is obligatory, reports the Telegraph.

Blackburn accept $4 million bid for Friedel

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Brad Friedel's successful run with Blackburn is set to end after Rovers accepted a $4 million transfer bid for his services from an undisclosed English club (Aston Villa is the leading candidate).

MLS All-Star Game Roundup

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Good afternoon folks. I'm at BMO Field, where the MLS All-Star team went through its final training preparations. All the players were in attendance today except for Houston's Dwayne DeRosario and Pat Onstad, who are playing for Houston against D.

Morning Ticker: Donovan talks Europe move, Buddle a transfer target and the forward Toronto missed out on

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Good morning folks. It was a very interesting day here at the All-Star festivities. While several players had yet to arrive, there was still enough interviews to do and enough information to uncover.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 17

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What happens to the SBI MLS Power Rankings when all five MLS matches end in ties? Can there be much of a change? Can there really be any change?

I say there can be. Let's face it, not every tie is the same.

SBI MLS Fantasy Corner

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It may be all-star week in Major League Soccer, but that doesn't mean it's a week off for you Fantasy MLS players.

Tonight's make-up game between Houston and D.C. United starts a busy week in MLS that will work around Thursday's all-star game.

SBI fantasy correspondent Casey Cannon takes a look at the good and bad buys for this week in fantasy MLS:

Hello and Welcome to the Soccer by Ives Fantasy Guide – now with pepper spray for hotdogs!

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

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It as ugly, but you can call the scoreless tie between the Chicago Fire and Real Salt Lake a fair result. It figured that no goals would be scored when the league's two toughest defense squared off, but seeing so many missed chances was still a bit puzzling.

With every league game ending in a tie, the Fire-RSL result kept RSL in first place in the West and kept Chicago in playoff position.

Red Bulls 2, Galaxy 2 : A Supporter's View

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It was supposed to be the Beckham show on Saturday night at Giants Stadium but Dave Van Den Bergh, Jorge Rojas and Juan Pablo Angel gave the Red Bulls fans in attendance a reason to smile.

At least before Landon Donovan stole the show with a late equalizer, something he's done in the past, to help the Galaxy salvage a tie and force the home team to think about its missed opportunity to close ground in the tight Eastern Conference.

Monday Ticker: Chelsea deny Kaka bid, Makelele to PSG and the Olympic call-up mess

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It was an interesting weekend in the soccer world to say the least.

From the New England Revolution's flight to remember, to the big fan brawl at the Columbus Crew-West Ham friendly, there was plenty of off-field activity to talk about. Fortunately, there was also some on-field stuff to talk about as well, including the completion of SuperLiga group play and the MLS schedule, which finished with five ties (yes, all five games this week finished tied).

Crew 2, Wizards 2 (A Supporter's View)

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Guillermo Barros Schelotto won't be in the MLS All-Star game later this week and last Thursday he provided a strong case for being the worst snub in the league. The Argentine star dazzled the crowd at Crew Stadium, helping Columbus fight back from 2-0 down to take a 3-2 lead against the Wizards.

MLS Matchday: Week 17

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Good afternoon all. Today is a relatively light schedule as four teams continue their SuperLiga exploits. That doesn't mean there still aren't some entertaining match-ups on the slate.

David Beckham's return to New York leads the way as the golden one plays in front of a packed Giants Stadium today.

Report: Kaka to Chelsea in record move (Milan: Not so fast my friend)

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In one of the more shocking developments of the European summer transfer market, Brazilian superstar Kaka is reportedly ready to move to Chelsea in a record-breaking transfer.

How much money are we talking? Try a $158 MILLION. Yes, say that one in your best Dr. Evil voice. WOW.

Don't go buying the snazzy new Chelsea black uniform with Kaka on it just yet.

Earthquakes 1, Rapids 1: A Supporter's View

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(Apologies for this post getting up several days late. It was supposed to run in mid-week but a technical glitch caused it not to be posted.)

What happens when a team that can't win two in a row faces a team that can't win?

You get a tie.

Red Bulls eyeing Carlos Ruiz

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The New York Red Bulls quest to find a replacement for Jozy Altidore has led them to a player who just happens to be in town this weekend.

The Red Bulls are considering acquiring Guatamalan forward Carlos Ruiz from the Los Angeles Galaxy, sources within MLS have told SBI.

Morning Ticker: Szetela's permanent move to Brescia, Wolff's memorable return and Man U admits Berbatov bid

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Good morning all. The end of a very busy and news-filled week is upon us and as we wind down toward Saturday's MLS schedule (and David Beckham's return to the New York area), it is time to catch up on some news and notes from the soccer world.

The "Almost" MLS All-Stars

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As you may or may not know, the 18-man MLS All-Star team isn't the only list of players selected with relation to the All-Star game. There is also a group of players known as "inactive" all-stars, who are considered the players who would also be all-stars if the MLS All-Star Game still had the same MLS-only format.

Fire 2, Toronto FC 1: A Supporter's View

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John Thorrington has become Mr. Clutch for the Chicago Fire.

We all remember his goal in last year's regular season finale against the Los Angeles Galaxy. Well, he delivered again, scoring a stoppage time game-winner to give the Fire a crucial 2-1 home victory against East Rival (and Brian McBride allocation foe) Toronto FC.

SBI MLS Fantasy Corner

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After a lengthy hiatus caused by the foreign travels of SBI's fantasy MLS correspondent, the SBI MLS fantasy corner is back. We have a new writer on board and he will do his best to get you ready for your weekly run at Fantasy MLS superiority.

Pat Phelan Update

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New England midfielder Pat Phelan is recovering from a concussion suffered during last night's SuperLiga match between the Revolution and Pachuca (which the Revs won, 1-0, on a late Khano Smith PK).

Real Salt Lake 2, Crew 0: A Supporter's View

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A red-hot Real Salt Lake rode its stingy defense to a shutout win against a strong Columbus squad to move into first place in the Western Conference.

Okay, I'll wait while everybody takes in that last sentence. And no, you aren't dreaming.

RSL is enjoying the best run of form in club history (and yes, I know that's not saying a lot) and now sits in first place in the extremely weak Western Conference.

Wambach breaks leg, will miss Olympics

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The U.S. women's Olympic team's worst nightmare has happened.

U.S. forward Abby Wambach broke her left leg during the U.S. team's match against Brazil on Wednesday night in San Diego (a 1-0 USA win) and now she will miss the Olympics.

The MLS All-Star Game replacement follies

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When the MLS All-Star reserves were named on Tuesday there were some very glaring absences from a list that included Juan Pablo Angel, Pat Onstad, Dwayne DeRosario, Jim Brennan, Pablo Mastroeni, Edson Buddle and Christian Gomez.

Some more Reyna questions answered

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With the Claudio Reyna retirement press conference still a few hours away, there are still plenty of questions being asked about his retirement and its ramifications. I've decided to answer some of the questions I'm seeing being raised.

Claudio Reyna retiring

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FIRST ON SBI

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Ultimately, the injuries were just too much to overcome.

After a 14-year professional career that saw him play in Germany, England and Scotland before returning to the United States, Claudio Reyna has decided it is time to stop playing.

Memory Lane: Tim Howard's last MLS Match

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Time does fly. With soccer a year-round endeavor it is easy to let the years slip by and not even realize how much time has passed since some memorable moments that don't really seem that far away.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 16

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So who is the hottest team in MLS right now? Yes, we know, it's D.C. United without a doubt. Who falls second in that same category? You might have to say Real Salt Lake.

SuperLiga set to kick off tonight

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The second edition of the SuperLiga Tournament pitting the best teams in MLS and the best from Mexico is set to kick off tonight with a pair of juicy match-ups. D.C. United, the hottest team in MLS, plays host to Chivas de Guadalara at RFK Stadium, while defending MLS champion Houston faces Mexican champion Atlante at Robertson Stadium.

Jaqua "close" to Houston return

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Nate Jaqua is in advanced discussions with Major League Soccer about a new contract, with a team source confirming the negotiations and another source saying the two sides are "close" to a deal that would return Jaqua to the Houston Dynamo, which he helped win MLS Cup last season.

Guzan to Aston Villa in $1.5 million transfer

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Brad Guzan is on his way to England and the English Premier League is about to add another American goalkeeper.

The Chivas USA and U.S. national team goalkeeper is heading to Aston Villa for a transfer fee of $1.

The MLS All-Star Game that could have been

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It's okay to admit it. You aren't happy with this year's MLS All-Star Game. You were hoping for a Champions League title contender like Manchester United or Real Madrid instead of West Ham United (no offense, Hammers fans).

Guzan's last MLS match?

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With growing rumors linking Chivas USA goalkeeper Brad Guzan to a move to Aston Villa this summer, tonight's game against Los Angeles began looming large as potentially his last MLS match for the Goats.

Red Bulls not Welcome to Honduran forward

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The Red Bulls' reported plans for a trial for Honduran Under-23 forward George Welcome may be an exercise in futility because they aren't the first MLS team to express interest in the Olympic Qualifying star.

Morning Ticker: FIFA's Plan B for 2010, Blatter enters Cristiano Ronaldo fray and Barca signs Hleb

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Sepp Blatter didn't really surprise anybody when he said he had a back-up plan in case South Africa could not host the 2010 World Cup, but when the FIFA president came out and said he had three countries lined up as potential replacements, you couldn't help but wonder if FIFA might be ready to pull the plug on South Africa being the host.

Chivas USA 1, Earthquakes 0: A Supporter View

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It took a lot longer than some might have expected, but Chivas USA has made the rugged climb from near the West basement to first place in the conference. Sure, the gap between first place and sixth place is only three points, but for the Goats, the climb was a victory of sorts.

Moral victories is all the Earthquakes seem to have these days, and even those are hard to come by.

Fire 2, Crew 2: A Supporter's View

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The Chicago Fire still hasn't won an MLS match in a month, so you would think a road point against the Columbus Crew would be a moral victory of sorts.

Well, it wasn't. Not when Chicago held a two-goal lead early on and looked like it might find that long-awaited victory.

Wednesday West Coast Roundup

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With the number of West Coast readers growing by the month, SBI will make it a point to start providing more coverage of all things on the West side of the USA map. With that in mind, here is the first installment of the West Coast Roundup, with SBI correspondent Odeen Domingo filling us in on the happenings over on the left coast, providing his own spin on the stories people in the Pacific and Mountain time zone want to read about.

Two MLS and two USL teams reach U.S. Open Cup semis

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The U.S. Open Cup final will feature an MLS team against a USL team. This became guaranteed after the results of last night's quarterfinals, when two MLS and two USL teams won to set up semifinal meetings.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 15

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The Revs just keep on rolling.

New England maintained its grip on the top spot in the SBI MLS Power Rankings, something not many teams have been able to do this year. Beating Los Angeles cemented their place while also causing the Galaxy to slide further after three matches without a win.

Who are the hottest players in MLS?

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With the MLS season reaching its midway point, it is tough to argue against New England and D.C. being the best teams in the league right now, and part of the reason for that is the recent form of two MLS All-Stars who have stepped their game up considerably. SBI correspondent Carl Setterlund takes a look at the hottest players in MLS.

The worst week in Red Bulls/MetroStars history?

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A blown lead on an absolutely embarrassing mistake, A 2-0 loss to a USL-2 team AND a 4-0 blowout loss on the 4th of July. These three events took place in a seven-day span, leading me to wonder if there is any way this wasn't the worst week in the history of the club.

Rapids 4, Red Bulls 0: A Supporter's View

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When the New York Red Bulls arrived in California last week, they had to be thinking that a good week just might be in store for them. They were facing a Chivas USA team that beaten recently, they were going to face a USL-2 team in the U.S. Open Cup, and then they were going to play a struggling Colorado Rapids team on the 4th of July.

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

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Call it a coincidence but in the same week when former Houston forward Joseph Ngwenya was revealed to hav a trial with Bayern Munich, the Dynamo were once again struggling to score goal.

A third straight draw, and third scoreless draw of the season, was all the defending champions had to show for its Western Conference showdown vs.

Soccer Saturday

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Good afternoon everybody. It's a lazy Saturday and I'm coming to you from sunny Florida. I am on vacation but that doesn't mean I won't be posting from here. I will post something this afternoon but for now you can use this post to discuss any soccer topics you wish (including last night's embarassing display by the Red Bulls).

Afternoon ticker: Portsmouth launch new Crouch bid, Villa and Silva to stay at Valencia, Martins interested in Arsenal

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It's truly a slow day in soccer when a third-choice striker on the move is the most notable snippet of news. SBI correspondent Carl Setterlund put together some tidbits to get you through a slow soccer Saturday.

Crouch close to Pompey switch

The Telegraph reports that Liverpool forward Peter Crouch is close to moving to Portsmouth for a rumored ?

Some Saturday Soccer Observations

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Good evening folks. After a day of sun, and the requisite nap that comes with sunning, I wanted to offer up some observations as well as news tidbits to keep the day going for those of you who have turned to SBI for your soccer fix.

Peru reduces suspensions, stars set to return

Reversing what was clearly a dumb decision a few months too late, the Peruvian Football Federation has reduced the suspensions of Jefferson Farfan, Claudio Pizarro and Santiago Acasiete.

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

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Call it a coincidence but in the same week when former Houston forward Joseph Ngwenya was revealed to hav a trial with Bayern Munich, the Dynamo were once again struggling to score goal.

A third straight draw, and third scoreless draw of the season, was all the defending champions had to show for its Western Conference showdown vs.

New York Red Bulls at Colorado Rapids: Your Running Commentary

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Good evening folk. The Red Bulls take on the Colorado Rapids in a crucial match for both teams. With a three-match unbeaten streak and Juan Pablo Angel set to return, the Red Bulls will be looking for a road win to build some momentum with. If you will be watching the match feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

4th of July Ticker: Another Italy scandal, Liverpool's new left back, Newcastle's American takeover denied and

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Hello folks. Hope your enjoying your holiday. For those of you looking for a soccer fix, here are a few stories to tide you over:

Italian players accused of match-fixing

From the "Not again" department comes word out of Rome that five players from Atalanta and Livorno have been charged with match-fixing.

Revolution 2, Toronto FC 1: A Supporter's View

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There's no place like home. At least not for Toronto FC, which has yet to lose an MLS match at BMO Field. Their record away from home is another story as the Canadians continue struggling when they make their way south.

New England's home form has left something to be desired this season.

Red Bulls 1, Chivas USA 1: A Supporter's View

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Last week was an interesting week to be a New York soccer fan. On one hand you had the Showdown in Chinatown, a memorable charity game in Manhattan that featured some of sport's biggest stars, while on the other you had the Red Bulls beating Chivas de Guadalajara in a friendly. Except for Claudio Reyna playing in the charity match, there was something for Red Bulls fans to be happy about.

Liga de Quito wins Copa Libertadores

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In a two-game series that saw 10 goals scored you wouldn't expect a goalkeeper to be the hero, but Liga de Quito goalkeeper Jose Francisco Cevallos was just that for Liga. Cevallos made three penalty kick saves to help Liga de Quito beat Brazilian club Fluminense, 3-1, in penalty kicks to capture the Copa Libertadores title last night at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.

Argentina unveils Olympic squad (let the chase for silver begin)

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You know that dream scenario? The one where the U.S. Olympic team shocks the world and wins the gold medal? Yes, that one. Well, Argentina called, and they said wake up.

Argentina named its Olympic team, and as expected, it is loaded.

Juan Riquelme, Javier Mascherano and Nicolas Burdisso are the overage players on a squad that was probably good enough with just the U-23 players.

The worst signing of the MLS season (that you probably never heard of)

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With the 2008 MLS season at its midway point it is a good time to consider the signings MLS teams made last pre-season and how they have done so far. Before we get to that this weekend, I wanted to point to one signing that may be the bust of the year, but a bust you haven't heard much about.

Ngwenya begins three-week trial with Bayern Munich

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Ex-Houston Dynamo striker Joseph Ngwenya's name has popped up in the news recently after the 27-year-old began a trial three-week spell with German superpower Bayern Munich. If you'll direct your attention to Texas you'll see a collective mouth-watering from the Dynamo faithful.

The Red Bulls makeover is under way

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It is taking place a few months later than most fans would have liked, but the New York Red Bulls appear ready for their makeover now.

The team unveiled new signings Jorge Rojas and Juan Pietravallo on Wednesday in what should be the first of several steps toward remaking the roster that head coach Juan Carlos Osorio inherited when he took over as head coach last winter.

Wizards 1, Real Salt Lake 0 (A Supporter's View)

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The kid deserved better.

Tony Beltran is a rookie having himself a pretty good first season in MLS but he had to endure a fate that so many defenders have to endure, the cursed game-losing own goal.

Beltran's mistake snapped Real Salt Lake's record-setting unbeaten streak at five games while also giving new life to a Wizards team desperate for a win after going more than two months without one.

Angel traveling to Colorado

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The New York Red Bulls look set to receive a big boost to their faltering offense. All-Star forward Juan Pablo Angel is traveling with the team to Colorado for tomorrow's game against the Colorado Rapids and is expected to play.

Angel has been sidelined for almost a month and hasn't played since scoring the game-winning goal for the Red Bulls against Chivas USA on June 5.

Happy 4th of July from SBI

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Good morning folks. It's the 4th of July, which means hitting the beach or pool, firing up the grill and enjoying some time off and relaxing (for some of us).

For those of you who still need a soccer fix, don't worry. I'll look to check in with a few posts today before I take off for Florida (yes, it's vacation time for me).

Wizards 2, Real Salt Lake 1 (A Supporter's View)

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The kid deserved better.

Tony Beltran is a rookie having himself a pretty good first season in MLS but he had to endure a fate that so many defenders have to endure, the cursed game-losing own goal.

Beltran's mistake snapped Real Salt Lake's record-setting unbeaten streak at five games while also giving new life to a Wizards team desperate for a win after going more than two months without one.

Ngwenya begins three-week trial with Bayern Munich

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Ex-Houston Dynamo striker Joseph Ngwenya's name has popped up in the news recently after the 27-year-old began a trial three-week spell with German superpower Bayern Munich. If you'll direct your attention to Texas you'll see a collective mouth-watering from the Dynamo faithful.

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

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There's no place like home. At least not for Toronto FC, which has yet to lose an MLS match at BMO Field. Their record away from home is another story as the Canadians continue struggling when they make their way south.

New England's home form has left something to be desired this season.

Crew 2, Rapids 1: A Supporter's View

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That Columbus Crew team that tore up MLS the first month of the season just might be back. Okay, so it was just one win against a shaky Colorado squad, but seeing Robbie Rogers work his magic and Emmanuel Ekpo run rampant sure made the Crew look pretty dangerous.

Unfortunately for Rapids fans, the under-achiving and points-dropping squad they have grown accustomed to in Colorado also appears to be back.

The apocalypse in Annapolis (How the Red Bulls lost to a USL-2 team)

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So how does an MLS team lose to a USL-2 team? There were plenty of factors that went into the Red Bulls' 2-0 loss to Crystal Palace Baltimore on Tuesday night, but none of them is as important as the simple fact that the Red Bulls team that took the field played terribly.