Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2008

Kandji, Gaudette headline USL All-League team

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The United Soccer League named it's All-League Teams on Tuesday. I know I don't report nearly as much about the USL as I should, especially given the league's recent success in the U.S. Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League, but here is a chance to get a look at the best the USL has to offer.

Who is your MLS Player of the Month?

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With the MLS schedule for September now over, it is time for members of the media to submit their votes for MLS player of the month.

The only problem is that this month, perhaps more than any other month this season, picking the best player for the month is very difficult because there isn't an obvious choice.

Morning Morning Center Back: Here comes the West

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Yes, I will admit it. I thought the MLS Western Conference was toast, a collection of speed bumps, a series of rest stops on the way to legitimate soccer in the stronger Eastern Conference.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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Big, bad Brad Friedel posted another victory last weekend as he and Aston Villa kept on rolling.

Friedel was one of few bright spots for Americans Abroad last weekend. How bad were things? Consider this linep of Americans:

------------------------------Jozy Altidore-----------------------------

DaMarcus Beasley-----------Freddy Adu-------------Clint Dempsey

---------------------Michael Bradley---Maurice Edu------------------

Heath Pearce------Jay DeMerit----Jonathan Spector---Frank Simek

-------------------------------Brad Guzan------------------------------

Like that team?

Red Bulls defense collapses in 5-4 shootout loss

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Just plain ugly.

There's no other way to describe the performance by the Red Bulls on Saturday night. The offense finally woke up, scoring four goals and provided some glimpses of the quality that has long been expected of it, but on this same night the normally-reliable defense played the worst 45 minutes a defense has ever played in club history.

Emptying the Notebook: On Beckham, Carver, Exantus, Anelka and more

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So it's the day after the Los Angeles Galaxy's awful 3-1 loss to Chicago on Thursday and you're probably wondering where the Galaxy will go from here. I can tell you where at least one of their players is.

None other than David Beckham is in New York City today along with wife Victoria to promote their fragrance lines.

Americans Abroad: Wednesday Rewind

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It took a while, but Freddy Adu finally made his first start for AS Monaco. The U.S. Olympic midfielder made the starting XI in Monaco's French Cup match against Paris St. Germain. It could be Adu's last start for a while after a goal from one-time Chicago Fire target Fabrice Pancrate gave PSG the win, thus ending Adu's potential source for major playing time.

D.C. United vs. Marathon: Your Running Commentary

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Good evening all. D.C. United is in Honduras tonight to take on CD Marathon in CONCACAF Champions League group play. D.C. will look to snap Major League Soccer's winless run in this tournament, while also snapping its own recent winless rut.

Tonight's match is set for 10pm on Fox Soccer Channel.

Morning Ticker: USL keeps rolling, MLS keeps stumbling in CONCACAF Champions League

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It was another good night for USL teams and another disappointing showing for MLS teams in the CONCACAF Champions League.

The Montreal Impact faced Mexican power Atlante on Wednesday and posted a 0-0 tie to stay in a tie for first place in its group with Atlante.

D.C. United's night wasn't quite as fun.

Your Questions Answered (Part 3 of 4)

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Good morning folks. It is time for the latest portion of the most recent Q&A session. There was a wide variety of questions this time around, including some about the U.S. national team, some about MLS, and the popular "Who are the best players in the world" question. I provide my Top 11 players list in the world, in the EPL and MLS, with Rio Ferdinand earning a place on the first two lists.

SBI MLS Fantasy Corner

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Whether you are an MLS coach or a Fantasy MLS player, you both know that time is running out on this season.

The chances for gaining points are dwindling and the opportunities to move up the standings are more and more precious.

Los Angeles Galaxy at Chicago Fire: Your Running Commentary

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The Los Angeles Galaxy visit Toyota Park tonight to take on the Chicago Fire in what amounts to a must-win match if LA hopes to resurrect its faint playoff hopes. The Fire will be looking to avoid a three-match losing streak, and a three-match skid against Western Conference opponents at that.

Morning Ticker: Chicago buries Galaxy, Kinnear named Newcastle manager and Keane to let Yorke join T&T

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The Los Angeles Galaxy just flat-lined. Coded. Went into cardiac arrest.

You don't need to watch Grey's Anatomy or ER, or be a doctor, to know the medical terms for what happened to the Galaxy's playoff hopes last night. An embarrassing 3-1 loss to Chicago all but squashed LA's faint playoff hopes less than a week after a promising win against D.

What has been the most lopsided trade of the past MLS off-season?

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Photo by ISiphotos.com

The 2008 season isn't over, but with just a few games remaining in the regular season, I don't think it's too early to start looking at some of the bigger trades in MLS and how they have shaken out.

You Write the Caption: The best of the Josh Wicks entries

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Wouldn't you know it. After three months off, You Write the Caption has made a strong comeback, with this week's entry drawing a new record for submissions entered.

Let's face it, the above photo of Josh Wicks can't help but inspire the comedy writer in all of us.

This weekend's soccer on TV

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This is one of those weekends that make you happy to be a soccer fan.

One of those weekends when the stars align and the European soccer schedules come together to give you a full menu of intense match-ups and can't-miss rivalries. It is Derby Weekend this weekend, with Milan, Liverpool and Barcelona treating us to the best their cities have to offer.

You Write the Caption: The best of the Josh Wicks entries

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Wouldn't you know it. After three months off, You Write the Caption has made a strong comeback, with this week's entry drawing a new record for submissions entered.

Let's face it, the above photo of Josh Wicks can't help but inspire the comedy writer in all of us.

What has been the most lop-sided trade of the past MLS off-season?

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Photo by ISiphotos.com

The 2008 season isn't over, but with just a few games remaining in the regular season, I don't think it's too early to start looking at some of the bigger trades in MLS and how they have shaken out.

Your Questions Answered (Part 3 of 4)

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Good morning folks. It is time for the latest portion of the most recent Q&A session. There was a wide variety of questions this time around, including some about the U.S. national team, some about MLS, and the popular "Who are the best players in the world" question. I provide my Top 11 players list in the world, in the EPL and MLS, with Rio Ferdinand earning a place on the first two lists.

SBI MLS Fantasy Corner

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Whether you are an MLS coach or a Fantasy MLS player, you both know that time is running out on this season.

The chances for gaining points are dwindling and the opportunities to move up the standings are more and more precious.

Who would get your MLS MVP vote?

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There is still a month to go in the MLS regular season but with two clear front-runners for the MVP award we can start to talking about who might win the award.

Cervi set to sign with Celtic

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Some nine months after being an MLS first round draft pick, goalkeeper Dominic Cervi looks set to reap the rewards for passing up a minimum salary contract offer from MLS.

Cervi is set to sign a three-year deal with Celtic FC.

Searching for the Special Talent: Osorio still searching for the right Youth Academy signing

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Ever since Major League Soccer established the program that allowed MLS teams to sign players from their youth academy programs, Red Bulls fans have been wondering when some of their high-profile prospects would start working their way up the pipeline.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 26

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Just when thought the playoff race was easy enough to track, now 13 of 14 teams have put themselves in position to try and qualify with just a month to go in the season.

Johnny Exantus still open to signing with Red Bulls

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Johnny Exantus, the Haitian-born striker and former star of the Red Bulls Academy team, has left the Red Bulls Academy team and has been linked to Belgian club Royal Racing of Montegnee, but that doesn't mean he has given up on playing for the club that he has spent the past three years developing with.

The Return of You Write the Caption

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Well folks. You knew it was just a matter of time.

It has been a few months since that old SBI staple, You Write the Caption, has graced us but it is now time to get it back into the rotation. Many of you have been asking for it to come back and I will now look to make it a weekly installment.

Red Bulls Cichero and Rojas get Venezuelan national team call-ups

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New York Red Bulls midfielder Jorge Rojas and defender Gabriel Cichero have been called up by the Venezuelan national team for its upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Brazil (Oct. 12) and Ecuador (Oct.

Monday Morning Centerback: Can the Galaxy reach the playoffs?

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Don't call it a comeback. At least not yet.

The Los Angeles Galaxy's 5-2 drubbing of D.C. United raised plenty of questions about D.C. (again) but it also raised the question of whether Bruce Arena, Landon Donovan and David Beckham could help LA secure its first playoff berth in three years.

CONCACAF Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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It was a good week for CONCACAF players in European competitions in mid-week, with Mexican captain Rafael Marquez scoring for Barcelona and Honduran star David Suazo scoring his first goal for Benfica.

Unfortunately, the goal-scoring touch didn't carry over to the weekend.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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Attention all U.S. national team fans, if you have seen Clint Dempsey please contact SBI. He has gone missing since returning to Fulham. At least missing on the field.

Dempsey has found a seemingly permanent place on the bench at Fulham, making him one of several key American players to ride the pine last weekend without getting a single minute of action.

Recapping the week: Catching up on MLS news and some recommended reading

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Good afternoon folks. With another week in the rearview mirror, and another weekend upon us where we can relax and enjoy some soccer, here is a look back at some stories I missed during the week, some hot topics I wanted to touch on and some recommended reading:

The San Jose-Houston Dynamo match set for this weekend has been postponed as Houston recovers from Hurricane Ike.

What young players should Bob Bradley call in October?

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The U.S. men's national team's next World Cup qualifier isn't for another three weeks but all U.S. fans want to talk about is which new players Bob Bradley will bring into the World Cup qualifying mix.

Your Questions Answered (Part 1 of 4)

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Good afternoon everybody. It is time to start answering some of the questions you sent my way recently in the latest Q&A. I will be breaking up the Q&A into four segments, starting with today's.

Red Bulls Notes

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It was a busy day at Red Bulls training facility, what with three new players to speak to and plenty of other news to get into. I had lengthy interviews with Macoumba Kandji (pictured), Matt Mbuta, Terry Boss and Juan Carlos Osorio that I will look to post later today. For now, here is a rundown of some of the highlights from training and from the post-training interviews:

There is a small chance the Red Bulls game against Columbus on Thursday could be postponed until Saturday.

CONCACAF Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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D.C. United is taking on Costa Rican power Deportivo Saprissa tonight in CONCACAF Champions League action at RFK Stadium, while USL-1 force Puerto Rico Islanders are taking on Tauro FC (the same club that eliminated Chivas USA). If you are watching either of these matches, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Red Bulls vs. Columbus Crew to go on as scheduled

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The New York Red Bulls match vs. the Columbus Crew on Thursday night will go on as scheduled, Red Bulls and league sources told SBI on Tuesday night.

There was some concern about whether the game would be played because of major blackouts and a state of emergency in Ohio after the state was battered by the remnants of Hurricane Ike.

Champions League Recap: Roma shocked, Barca and Liverpool roll

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Admit it. Before Tuesday you probably never heard of CFR Cluj.

After the Romanian clubbed knocked off Italian powerhouse AS Roma on Tuesday, you will be learning a bit more.

Cluj erased a 1-0 deficit in Rome and ralled for a stunning 2-1 win in the opening Champions League group match for both teams.

Morning Ticker: Jamaica hires Barnes, Colombia fires Pinto and Ferguson sees red

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So who is this man pretending to be a seal? It is none other than Liverpool legend John Barnes, who has just been hired to take over as manager of the Jamaican national team.

Barnes takes over for fired head coach Rene Simoes, who presided over a pair of World Cup qualifying losses to Mexico and Honduras last week.

Kandji trains, will travel to Columbus

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Newly-acquired Senegalese striker Macoumba Kandji trained with the Red Bulls for the first time on Wednesday and is set to travel with the Red Bulls to Columbus for tomorrow's match against the Columbus Crew (7pm, ESPN2).

Kandji sat out Tuesday's training to receive treatment on his injured right ankle, but he trained on Wednesday and could be in uniform on Thursday night.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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The UEFA Champions League action continues today across Europe, just a day after some shocking results turned the tournamant on its ear.

Roma's stunning loss to CFR Cluj and Werder Bremen's tie vs. Anorthosis Famagusta have all the remaining match favorites focusing a little more closely today.

A closer look at the Johnny Exantus "deal"

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As you may have read elsewhere on Tuesday, there is a Belgian soccer team claiming to have signed New York Red Bulls youth prospect Johnny Exantus (left in photo).

Women's Professional Soccer: Where the stars will play

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The Women's Professional Soccer League announced its allocation of members of the U.S. women's national team on Tuesday, establishing a foundation for the seven-team league set to kick off next spring.

U.S. Olympic team star Hope Solo and U.S. national team striker Abby Wambach were among the 21 players assigned to the seven teams.

Will either LA team make the MLS playoffs?

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We are mid-way through September, with about six weeks left in the season, and there is a very real chance that neither Los Angeles team will make the MLS playoffs. That's a sad statement considering MLS Cup will be held at Home Depot Center this year.

Though neither team is eliminated from playoff contention yet, neither team is looking all that dangerous.

Will either LA team make the MLS playoffs?

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We are mid-way through September, with about six weeks left in the season, and there is a very real chance that neither Los Angeles team will make the MLS playoffs. That's a sad statement considering MLS Cup will be held at Home Depot Center this year.

Though neither team is eliminated from playoff contention yet, neither team is looking all that dangerous.

A closer look at the Johnny Exantus "deal"

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

As you may have read elsewhere on Tuesday, there is a Belgian soccer team claiming to have signed New York Red Bulls youth prospect Johnny Exantus (left in photo).

CONCACAF Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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It wasn't a great international window for the Jamaican national team, what with two World Cup qualifying losses and the firing of head coach Rene Simoes, but at least one Jamaican player rebounded well from the disappointment.

Marlon King delivered two goals in Hull's 2-1 win vs.

Van Den Bergh to undergo sports hernia surgery, will miss 2-3 weeks

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Red Bulls midfielder Dave Van Den Bergh is set to undergo sports hernia surgery that will force him to miss two to three weeks.

Van Den Bergh will travel to Germany on Wednesday to undergo the procedure.

Van Den Bergh has enjoyed a strong season for the Red Bulls, registering six goals and three assists in 22 games.

Red Bulls complete deal for Mbuta

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The New York Red Bulls have completed the acquisition of Crystal Palace Baltimore midfielder/forward Matthew Mbuta, sources with knowledge of the deal confirmed late on Friday.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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This weekend was a memorable one for Americans Abroad as two recent MLS transfers made their European club debuts, while a few other Americans found the net.

Maurice Edu (pictured) made his debut for Glasgow Rangers on Saturday in a 2-1 win over Kilmarnock while U.S. Olympic teammate Jozy Altidore impressed in his La Liga debut for Villarreal.

Emptying the Notebook: On Donovan, Altidore, Conde and Schelotto

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Good afternoon folks and welcome to the first installment of Emptying the Notebook. I plan on making this a weekly segment where I touch on all the topics and stories I wasn't able to get to during the week.

USA 3, Trinidad & Tobago 0: A Look Back

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You wanted more goals? Check.

You wanted a dominating victory? Check.

You wanted to see Michael Bradley have a great game? Check.

You wanted to see Eddie Johnson play well?

Vermes turns down Sounders FC coaching job

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So who is the most wanted man in Major League Soccer? No, this isn't a David Beckham joke. The answer, it turns out, is Kansas City Wizards technical director Peter Vermes. Less than a month after turning down an offer to become general manager of the Los Angeles Galaxy, now comes word that he has turned down an MLS head coaching job.

USA vs. Trinidad & Tobago: Match Night

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The U.S. national team is back on home soil after posting a pair of road wins to kick off CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying. The Americans face Trinidad & Tobago tonight in a match-up of the top two teams in Group A (ESPN2/Galavision, 8pm).

The U.S. team has mustered a pair of 1-0 victories on the road, but will expect a more wide-open encounter from a Trinidad & Tobago side that has scored four goals in its first two matches (a win and a tie).

England vs. Croatia: Your Running Commentary

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"The time for revenge is finally upon us."

At least that's what England is thinking as it takes the field in Zagreb to take on Croatia in today's crucial World Cup qualifying match. You all will remember that it was Croatia that knocked England out of Euro qualifying, forcing many an England fan to stay home rather than enjoy the festivities in Austria and Switzerland.

Soumare hoping to eventually be more than just a USA fan

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When the U.S. national team takes on Trinidad & Tobago at Toyota Park tonight, there will be at least one Chicago-based USA fan with a little more interest in the match than most.

Espindola's ankle not broken, pride still bruised

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Real Salt Lake forward Fabian Espindola is set to miss four to eight weeks with an ankle injury suffered in RSL's tie vs. Los Angeles on Saturday. The injury could have been much worse, but not much more embarrassing.

World Cup Qualifying goes global on Wednesday

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Let the games begin, again.

World Cup qualifying is set to kick off tonight when Paraguay plays host to Venezuela (and Vanuatu faces Fiji), but tomorrow is when most of the world will have its attention turned to a loaded qualifying schedule and all the teams trying to make it to the 2010 World Cup.

A closer look at SBI

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Good afternoon folks. As we hit a bit of a lull before tomorrow's jam-packed slate of World Cup qualifiers it is time to take a closer look at things here at SBI.

I am pleased to report that the site surpassed the 1 million pageview mark for August, making it the first month SBI has reached the seven-figure mark.

D.C. United at San Jose Earthquakes: Your Running Commentary

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D.C. United is in California tonight to try and stop the hottest team in MLS, the San Jose Earthquakes.

With the Red Bulls loss tonight, D.C. can move three points ahead for fourth place in the East while the Earthquakes are looking to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot in the West.

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

USA 1, Cuba 0: The Day After

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It wasn't pretty, nor was it a blowout, but much like its World Cup qualifying win against Guatemala, the U.S. men's national team did just enough to escape a road game with a win and valuable three points after Saturday night's 1-0 win against Cuba.

Kansas City Wizards at Houston Dynamo: Your Running Commentary

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The Kansas City Wizards are in Houston today to take on the defending champion Dynamo with a chance to move closer to the playoff race in the Eastern Conference.

Houston is rolling these days, posting a 5-1 record in its past six matches. The Dynamo will be missing several players due to international duty, including Dwayne DeRosario, Pat Onstad and Ricardo Clark.

Fire 1, Red Bulls 0: A look back

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There is plenty to discuss regarding this weekend's match-up between the Chicago Fire and New York Red Bulls, from the intense battle that wound up being decided by one mistake to the return of Juan Carlos Osorio to Toyota Park (there is also my 48 hours in Chicago, which I will get into later).

Morning Morning Centerback: The hazards of road qualifiers

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Anyone thinking that winning games on the road in World Cup qualifying isn't as tough as people say might want to reconsider after last weekend.

Skeptics might want to ask France (pictured), which was thrashed by Austria (ranked 90 spots below the French in the FIFA rankings).

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 24

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Ladies and gentleman, there is a new MLS Cup title favorite, and it isn't a team we are used to seeing wear the label. That team is the Columbus Crew.

Yes, the Houston Dynamo is playing very well and comes into this season as the two-time defending champion, but no team has been more consistent and more impressive than the Crew, which made an emphatic case to be taken seriously with its 4-0 thrashing of the New England Revolution on Saturday.

CONCACAF World Cup qualifying Roundup: Whoa Canada

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Canada is in serious trouble.

There is no other way to put it after the Canadian national team dropped a 2-1 result against Honduras in Montreal on Saturday night. The loss left Canada with just one point from two home qualifiers in what is easily the toughest group in CONCACAF.

(Even more of) Your Questions Answered

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Good evening folks. I was able to work my way through the third of four parts of the most recent SBI Q&A session. There some very good and interesting questions in this batch, including asking for my takes on best American field players ever and best strikers in the world right now. There's a little something for everybody.

Morning Ticker: Essien out for the year, Silva sidelined and Rio ready for Croatia

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With international matches and club fixtures forcing more and more players to deal with double duty, you are starting to see the ramifications of that work load as more and more players are suffering serious injuries.

Here is a rundown on some major injury news, as well as other soccer stories of the day:

Essien out for the rest of the year

Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien is set to miss the remainder of the calendar year after suffering a torn ACL while on international duty with Ghana in a match against Libya.

Who should start vs. Trinidad & Tobago?

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Now that the really hard work has been done, it is time for the U.S. men's national team to finish off its World Cup qualifying group.

The Americans can essentially do just that on Wednesday when it takes on Trinidad & Tobago at Toyota Park on Wednesday.

Who should start vs. Trinidad & Tobago?

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Now that the really hard work has been done, it is time for the U.S. men's national team to finish off its World Cup qualifying group.

The Americans can essentially do just that on Wednesday when it takes on Trinidad & Tobago at Toyota Park on Wednesday.

Morning Ticker: Essien out for the year, Silva sidelined and Rio ready for Croatia

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With international matches and club fixtures forcing more and more players to deal with double duty, you are starting to see the ramifications of that work load as more and more players are suffering serious injuries.

Here is a rundown on some major injury news, as well as other soccer stories of the day:

Essien out for the rest of the year

Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien is set to miss the remainder of the calendar year after suffering a torn ACL while on international duty with Ghana in a match against Libya.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 24

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Ladies and gentleman, there is a new MLS Cup title favorite, and it isn't a team we are used to seeing wear the label. That team is the Columbus Crew.

Yes, the Houston Dynamo is playing very well and comes into this season as the two-time defending champion, but no team has been more consistent and more impressive than the Crew, which made an emphatic case to be taken seriously with its 4-0 thrashing of the New England Revolution on Saturday.

USA 1, Cuba 0: The Day After

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

It wasn't pretty, nor was it a blowout, but much like its World Cup qualifying win against Guatemala, the U.S. men's national team did just enough to escape a road game with a win and valuable three points after Saturday night's 1-0 win against Cuba.

World Cup Qualifying: Your Running Commentary

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Qualification for the 2010 World Cup goes into full swing today as national teams from South America to Europe face off for one of the precious places in the South Africa World Cup.

Help Wanted: Have cleats? Call TFC

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John Carver is looking for some soccer players, any soccer players.

In a story widely-reported in Canada, Carver's Toronto FC will have to take on Chivas USA on Saturday missing nine players due to international duty.

This weekend's Soccer on TV

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For the first time since the European Championships gripped us with its drama and great soccer, there will be TONS of international soccer to watch as World Cup qualifying kicks off around the world.

Osorio ready for hostile reception on return to Chicago

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Juan Carlos Osorio will be making his first trip back to Toyota Park since leaving the Chicago Fire to take over as coach of the New York Red Bulls and the reception for him isn't likely to be a warm one.

SBI MLS Fantasy Corner

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When it comes to the world of fantasy MLS, the credo of following the winners certainly applies and no team has proven more reliable in the past weeks and months than the Columbus Crew.

Morning Ticker: DC wins U.S. Open Cup, Puerto Rico advances in CCL and USA up to 28th in FIFA rankings

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It took a dozen years but D.C. United finally added a second U.S. Open Cup trophy to its loaded trophy case.

The four-time MLS Cup champions downed USL side Charleston Battery 2-1 in the U.

Evening ticker: Rapids trade Herculez to KC, Barrett signs new TFC deal and Nery goes missing

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One team is in desperate need of some offensive help while the other team might just be raising the white flag.

That's one way to look at the Colorado Rapids trading of forward Herculez Gomez to Kansas City for allocation money and draft picks (4th rounder and 1st round supplemental in '09).

Meet the Future: New U.S. Under-17 program class unveiled

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The U.S. Under-17 residency program in Bradenton, Florida has produced many of the best players in American soccer and the next crop of would-be Freddy Adus, Jozy Altidores and Michael Bradleys is set to be revealed.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 23

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As we head into September the shift in MLS has gone from building teams to preparing for the stretch drive and securing playoff positions. The New York Red Bulls and D.

EPL Week Three: A Look Back

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Talk about a week to remember for Manchester City.

As if posting a rousing 3-0 victory wasn't enough, City fans enjoyed Christmas a few months early when a new ownership group took over for Thaksin Shinawatra and promptly delivered Brazilian star Robinho in a record-setting transfer on Monday.

Who should the USA start vs. Cuba?

Soccer By Ives at related • 12 views

Photo by ISIphotos.com

The U.S. men's national team is set for a historic trip to Cuba this weekend when it travels to Havana for a World Cup qualifier against the Cubans.

CONCACAF Abroad: Weekend Rewind

Soccer By Ives at related • 8 views

You can call Deportivo La Coruna Team CONCACAF.

Led by Canadian captain Julian De Guzman (above, left) and featuring Mexican winger Andres Guardado and striker Omar Bravo, Deportivo boasts a wealth of talent from the CONCACAF region. That group helped Deportivo pull off one of the upsets of the weekend, a 2-1 victory against Real Madrid.