Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2009

Rochester Rhinos join NASL

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In the latest back-and-forth battle between the new NASL and USL, the new league received a boost today when the Rochester Rhinos announced that they were going to make the switch from USL-1 to the NASL.

"We evaluated the situation very carefully and decided that the best decision for the future of the Rhinos and soccer in Rochester was for us to join the new NASL," said Rhinos CEO Rob Clark in a press release.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Christmas is still a month a way, but it will feel like Christmas to soccer fans today as they get treated to a loaded schedule of top matches, including the highly-anticipated Barcelona-Real Madrid showdown.

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka will will take part in their first editions of 'El Clasico', as will Barcelona's Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Ibrahimovic's 'El Clasico' match winner

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If you were watching today's FC Barcelona-Real Madrid match, you were one of millions and millions around the world, and while we didn't get the goal-fest we were hoping for, the match's lone goal was a worthy winner for any match.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic came on as a second-half sub and wasted little time making an impact.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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by FRANCO PANIZO

When November began, Hull City and Borussia Moenchengladbach were two European clubs entrenched in their respective relegation zones after poor starts. The tide has turned for both teams as each club capped undefeated Novembers with the help of a pair of young Americans.

Chelsea keeps rolling after 3-0 drubbing of Arsenal

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Arsenal had high hopes of scoring a much-needed win against Chelsea on Sunday, at least before Didier Drogba got to work.

The Ivorian striker scored a pair of truly stunning goals to help Chelsea record a 3-0 victory over Arsenal in Sunday's London Derby. The victory helped increase Chelsea's led over Manchester United atop the EPL standings to five points.

Davies gives first interview since accident, aiming to be back in time for World Cup

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U.S. national team striker Charlie Davies gave his first interview since the deadly car accident he was involved in six weeks ago and revealed that while he is still coping with the psychological impact of the accident, he expects to make a full recovery.

In an interview with ESPN's Jeremy Schaap released on Sunday, Davies stated that his doctors believe he will make a complete recovery and he believes he will be back in time for the 2010 World Cup next June.

Monday Morning Centerback: On the Red Bulls and Fire coaching searches and a potential Union signing

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Good morning and Happy Cyber Monday all (okay, so maybe it's not a holiday). Apologies for the late start to the day, but the changeover from West Coast time to East Coast time has officially ruined my sleep patterns, which isn't good for getting sleep, but is good for writing 3am posts.

There are a bunch of topics to discuss, most of them being MLS related, so let's just jump in:

The New York Red Bulls will officially introduce Erik Soler as the team's new general manager later this week.

College Soccer: Quarterfinals set as high seeds hang on

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by TRAVIS CLARK

It's been a tournament ripe with upsets to this point, and with half the higher seeds still in the mix, there were plenty more for the taking in the latest round of the NCAA Tournament. This time, however, the majority of high seeds were able to hold serve, with the only seeded upset coming from the University of Maryland, 2-0 winners against No.

A look at the state of the Union

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It might be difficult to believe, but the Philadelphia Union will make its debut in less than four months.

Major League Soccer's 16th club will begin play in March in Seattle and while the Seattle Sounders set a new standard for expansion success, there are signs that Philadelphia could have similar success.

Afternoon Ticker: Ireland ask to be 33rd World Cup team, Henry may be punished and more

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The story of Thierry Henry's handball just won't go away. Almost two weeks have elapsed since Ireland was knocked out, and the Football Association of Ireland refuses to leave without a final word. The FAI asked FIFA last week about being the 33rd nation in the World Cup next year, as a result of the unfair loss against France on November 18.

Rochester Rhinos join NASL

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In the latest back-and-forth battle between the new NASL and USL, the new league received a boost today when the Rochester Rhinos announced that they were going to make the switch from USL-1 to the NASL.

"We evaluated the situation very carefully and decided that the best decision for the future of the Rhinos and soccer in Rochester was for us to join the new NASL," said Rhinos CEO Rob Clark in a press release.

A look at the state of the Union

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It might be difficult to believe, but the Philadelphia Union will make its debut in less than four months.

Major League Soccer's 16th club will begin play in March in Seattle and while the Seattle Sounders set a new standard for expansion success, there are signs that Philadelphia could have similar success.

Afternoon Ticker: Ireland apply to be 33rd World Cup team, Henry may be punished and more

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The story of Thierry Henry's handball just won't go away. Almost two weeks have elapsed since Ireland was knocked out, and the Football Association of Ireland refuses to leave without a final word. The FAI asked FIFA last week about being the 33rd nation in the World Cup next year, as a result of the unfair loss against France on November 18.

College Soccer: Quarterfinals set as high seeds hang on

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by TRAVIS CLARK

It's been a tournament ripe with upsets to this point, and with half the higher seeds still in the mix, there were plenty more for the taking in the third round. This time around, the majority of high seeds were able to hold serve, with the biggest upset coming from the University of Maryland, 2-0 winners against No.

Monday Morning Centerback: On the Red Bulls and Fire coaching searches and a potential Union signing

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Good morning and Happy Cyber Monday all (okay, so maybe it's not a holiday). Apologies for the late start to the day, but the changeover from West Coast time to East Coast time has officially ruined my sleep patterns, which isn't good for getting sleep, but is good for writing 3am posts.

There are a bunch of topics to discuss, most of them being MLS related, so let's just jump in:

The New York Red Bulls will officially introduce Erik Soler as the team's new general manager later this week.

Chelsea keeps rolling after 3-0 drubbing of Arsenal

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Arsenal had high hopes of scoring a much-needed win against Chelsea on Sunday, at least before Didier Drogba got to work.

The Ivorian striker scored a pair of truly stunning goals to help Chelsea record a 3-0 victory over Arsenal in Sunday's London Derby. The victory helped increase Chelsea's led over Manchester United atop the EPL standings to five points.

Davies gives first interview since accident, aiming to be back in time for World Cup

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U.S. national team striker Charlie Davies gave his first interview since the deadly car accident he was involved in six weeks ago and revealed that while he is still coping with the psychological impact of the accident, he expects to make a full recovery.

In an interview with ESPN's Jeremy Schaap released on Sunday, Davies stated that his doctors believe he will make a complete recovery and he believes he will be back in time for the 2010 World Cup next June.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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by FRANCO PANIZO

When November began, Hull City and Borussia Moenchengladbach were two European clubs entrenched in their respective relegation zones after poor starts. The tide has turned for both teams as each club capped undefeated Novembers with the help of a pair of young Americans.

Ibrahimovic's 'El Clasico' match winner

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If you were watching today's FC Barcelona-Real Madrid match, you were one of millions and millions around the world, and while we didn't get the goal-fest we were hoping for, the match's lone goal was a worthy winner for any match.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic came on as a second-half sub and wasted little time making an impact.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Christmas is still a month a way, but it will feel like Christmas to soccer fans today as they get treated to a loaded schedule of top matches, including the highly-anticipated Barcelona-Real Madrid showdown.

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka will will take part in their first editions of 'El Clasico', as will Barcelona's Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Jimmy Bullard's clever goal celebration

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Comedy is all about timing and for Hull City midfielder Jimmy Bullard, his choice for a funny goal celebration could not have been better timed.

Last January, Hull manager Phil Brown made headlines when he had his team sit down on the field at halftime of a game against Manchester City so he could read his squad the riot act for a 4-0 halftime deficit against Man City.

Jimmy Bullard's clever goal celebration

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Comedy is all about timing and for Hull City midfielder Jimmy Bullard, his choice for a funny goal celebration could not have been better timed.

Last January, Hull manager Phil Brown made headlines when he had his team sit down on the field at halftime of a game against Manchester City so he could read his squad the riot act for a 4-0 halftime deficit against Man City.

Davies making "fantastic" progress on road to recovery

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Some two weeks after being released from a Washington D.C. hospital where he spent a month recovering from a deadly car accident, U.S. national team forward Charlie Davies has moved his rehabilitating to Delaware, where doctors have labeled his progress "fantastic".

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Jozy Altidore's quest for his first English Premier League goal will take him to City of Manchester Stadium, where he and Hull City will face off against Manchester City in one of the more intriguing matches on Saturday.

Altidore is coming off a strong performance in Hull's recent 3-2 win vs.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Jozy Altidore's quest for his first English Premier League goal will take him to City of Manchester Stadium, where he and Hull City will face off against Manchester City in one of the more intriguing matches on Saturday.

Altidore is coming off a strong performance in Hull's recent 3-2 win vs.

Davies making "fantastic" progress on road to recovery

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Some two weeks after being released from a Washington D.C. hospital where he spent a month recovering from a deadly car accident, U.S. national team forward Charlie Davies has moved his rehabilitating to Delaware, where doctors have labeled his progress "fantastic".

Your October Questions Answered (Part Five)

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Good evening folks. Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving festivities. We took it easy on the posting front today as we enjoyed the holiday with our families and friends, but I couldn't let the day go by without at least some reading material.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Tim Howard and Everton are struggling, having won only once in their last seven games, but the anguish of a disappointing season can be eased considerably with a victory in the Merseyside Derby.

Everton plays host to arch-rival Liverpool on Sunday, and they will need a solid performance out of Howard and his defense in order to win and avoid falling further near the drop zone.

NCAA Tournament: Round of 16 Preview

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by TRAVIS CLARK

Upsets ran rampant through the second round of the NCAA Tournament, and the third round gets underway with half of the top seeds knocked out. Last weekend's biggest upset saw No. 4 Ohio State knocked out by underdogs Drake.

That was one of the bigger surprises, while three unseeded ACC teams knocked out their seeded opponents, leaving the powerful conference with six of the remaining 16 teams.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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The match millions of soccer fans around the world have spent months waiting for is finally here. Barcelona vs. Real Madrid, otherwise known as 'El Clasico', is finally here and two of the best and most expensive collections of soccer talent in the world are set to do battle.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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The match millions of soccer fans around the world have spent months waiting for is finally here. Barcelona vs. Real Madrid, otherwise known as 'El Clasico', is finally here and two of the best and most expensive collections of soccer talent in the world are set to do battle.

NCAA Tournament: Round of 16 Preview

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by TRAVIS CLARK

Upsets ran rampant through the second round of the NCAA Tournament, and the third round gets underway with half of the top seeds knocked out. Last weekend's biggest upset saw No. 4 Ohio State knocked out by underdogs Drake.

That was one of the bigger surprises, while three unseeded ACC teams knocked out their seeded opponents, leaving the powerful conference with six of the remaining 16 teams.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Tim Howard and Everton are struggling, having won only once in their last seven games, but the anguish of a disappointing season can be eased considerably with a victory in the Merseyside Derby.

Everton plays host to arch-rival Liverpool on Sunday, and they will need a solid performance out of Howard and his defense in order to win and avoid falling further near the drop zone.

Your October Questions Answered (Part Five)

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Good evening folks. Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving festivities. We took it easy on the posting front today as we enjoyed the holiday with our families and friends, but I couldn't let the day go by without at least some reading material.

Happy Thanksgiving from SBI

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Hello all. It is Thanksgiving Day, one of those rare days during the year when soccer goes on the backburner and there are no major games to watch (Well, unless you count the handful of Coppa Italia matches being played today).

American soccer fans have plenty to be thankful for this year.

Happy Thanksgiving from SBI

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Hello all. It is Thanksgiving Day, one of those rare days during the year when soccer goes on the backburner and there are no major games to watch (Well, unless you count the handful of Coppa Italia matches being played today).

American soccer fans have plenty to be thankful for this year.

Liverpool ousted, Barca rolls in UEFA Champions League

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Liverpool's nightmare season got a bit worse on Tuesday after Fiorentina's 1-0 win over Lyon knocked the EPL club out of the UEFA Champions League.

Liverpool did its part, beating Debrecen, 1-0, but a penalty kick by Peruvian defender Juan Vargas gave Fiorentina the goal it needed to join Lyon in the Round of 16 and relegate Liverpool to the Europa League.

Fire's latest coaching departure a bad sign for Chicago's future

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What do you get when you take an overbearing and meddling owner and a stubborn head coach? You get a marriage that was never going to work.

Such is the case in Chicago, where the Fire is looking for its third coach in three years after parting ways with head coach Denis Hamlett, who never did see eye-to-eye with Fire owner Andrew Hauptman, who has taken a hands-on approach to running the Fire that led to a strained relationship with Hamlett.

MLS Expansion Draft Thoughts

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The Philadelphia Union is just hours away from having its first set of players and Philly fans will soon have names to put on the jerseys they are ordering in bunches.

We ran our SBI Mock Expansion Draft on Tuesday, but several readers have asked which ten players I would take if I were running Philadelphia's expansion draft.

Finalists for U.S. Athletes of the Year announced

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Photo by ISIphotos.com


Landon Donovan, Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey are among the five finalists for the U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year Award.

U.S. Soccer announced all the finalists for its four player awards. Michael Bradley and Oguchi Onyewu join Donovan, Howard and Dempsey on the ballot.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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Match Day Five of the UEFA Champions League group stage concludes today with at least two more places in the Round of 16 set to be filled.

AC Milan takes on Marseille in the day's most high-profile and important match, with Milan being able to secure a second-round place with a win.

Moreno, LeToux among players chosen by Philadelphia Union in MLS Expansion Draft

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Columbus Crew forward Alejandro Moreno, Seattle Sounders forward Sebastian LeToux and Chivas USA defender Shavar Thomas were among two of the ten players chosen by the Philadelphia Union in Wednesday's MLS Expansion Draft.

Here is the list:

Brad Knighton, David Myrie, Shavar Thomas, Jordan Harvey, Shea Salinas, Stefani Miglioranzi, Andrew Jacobsen, Nick Zimmerman, Alejandro Moreno, Sebastien LeToux

Surprising omissions?

A closer look at Philadelphia's expansion draft

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Photo by ISIphotos.com


There were no superstars taken, no former league MVPs. No players with U.S. national team caps, or players with multiple all-star appearances, or even players with ties to the Philadelphia area. When the final list of players chosen by the Philadelphia Union was announced, we were treated to a group of MLS players who could make up the type of tough and tenacious team that Nowak likes, and Philadelphia fans will want to root for.

Americans Abroad: Wednesday Rewind

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Clint Dempsey just cannot stop scoring.

After scoring three goals in his last four league games, Dempsey added another two en route to helping Fulham bury Blackburn on Wednesday. Dempsey netted both goals in the second half of the 3-0 win, making a well-timed run for the first, and impressively turning his defender on the second.

Americans Abroad: Wednesday Rewind

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Clint Dempsey just cannot stop scoring.

After scoring three goals in his last four league games, Dempsey added another two en route to helping Fulham bury Blackburn on Wednesday. Dempsey netted both goals in the second half of the 3-0 win, making a well-timed run for the first, and impressively turning his defender on the second.

A closer look at Philadelphia's expansion draft

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Photo by ISIphotos.com


There were no superstars taken, no former league MVPs. No players with U.S. national team caps, or players with multiple all-star appearances, or even players with ties to the Philadelphia area. When the final list of players chosen by the Philadelphia Union was announced, we were treated to a group of MLS players who could make up the type of tough and tenacious team that Nowak likes, and Philadelphia fans will want to root for.

Moreno, LeToux among players chosen by Philadelphia Union in MLS Expansion Draft

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Columbus Crew forward Alejandro Moreno, Seattle Sounders forward Sebastian LeToux and Chivas USA defender Shavar Thomas were among two of the ten players chosen by the Philadelphia Union in Wednesday's MLS Expansion Draft.

Here is the list:

Brad Knighton, David Myrie, Shavar Thomas, Jordan Harvey, Shea Salinas, Stefani Miglioranzi, Andrew Jacobson, Nick Zimmerman, Alejandro Moreno, Sebastien LeToux

Surprising omissions?

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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Match Day Five of the UEFA Champions League group stage concludes today with at least two more places in the Round of 16 set to be filled.

AC Milan takes on Marseille in the day's most high-profile and important match, with Milan being able to secure a second-round place with a win.

Finalists for U.S. Athletes of the Year announced

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Photo by ISIphotos.com


Landon Donovan, Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey are among the five finalists for the U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year Award.

U.S. Soccer announced all the finalists for its four player awards. Michael Bradley and Oguchi Onyewu join Donovan, Howard and Dempsey on the ballot.

MLS Expansion Draft Thoughts

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The Philadelphia Union is just hours away from having its first set of players and Philly fans will soon have names to put on the jerseys they are ordering in bunches.

We ran our SBI Mock Expansion Draft on Tuesday, but several readers have asked which ten players I would take if I were running Philadelphia's expansion draft.

Fire's latest coaching departure a bad sign for Chicago's future

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What do you get when you take an overbearing and meddling owner and a stubborn head coach? You get a marriage that was never going to work.

Such is the case in Chicago, where the Fire is looking for its third coach in three years after parting ways with head coach Denis Hamlett, who never did see eye-to-eye with Fire owner Andrew Hauptman, who has taken a hands-on approach to running the Fire that led to a strained relationship with Hamlett.

Liverpool ousted, Barca rolls in UEFA Champions League

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Liverpool's nightmare season got a bit worse on Tuesday after Fiorentina's 1-0 win over Lyon knocked the EPL club out of the UEFA Champions League.

Liverpool did its part, beating Debrecen, 1-0, but a penalty kick by Peruvian defender Juan Vargas gave Fiorentina the goal it needed to join Lyon in the Round of 16 and relegate Liverpool to the Europa League.

New second division soccer league revives NASL

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The league that folded more than 20 years ago is set to return, though in name only. The USL breakaway league officially announced Monday that they would revive the name North American Soccer League to use for the new league forming next season.

"By becoming the NASL, we are paying respect to the players, coaches and leaders who were pioneers for men's professional soccer in North America, many of whom remain involved and committed to the growth of our game in various capacities throughout the U.

MLS Expansion Draft Protected Lists Unveiled (UPDATED)

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Major League Soccer has released the lists of players protected from Wednesday's MLS Expansion Draft, which the expansion Philadelphia Union will use to select ten players from the remaining unprotected players on the league's 15 team rosters.

MLS Cup Final hero Robbie Russell, U.S. national team midfielder Ricardo Clark and former MLS MVP Amado Guevara are among the more high-profile players left off lists who will be available for the Union to select in Wednesday's draft.

CONCACAF throws support behind USA bid to host World Cup

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The United States bid to host a World Cup in either 2018 or 2022 received a major boost from home region CONCACAF, with confederation board members voting unanimously to back the U.S. bid to host one of the next two World Cups up for bid.

"The United States can count on the full support of CONCACAF, including Chuck Blazer, Rafael Salgueiro and myself," said CONCACAF president and FIFA vice president Jack Warner.

UEFA Champions League: A Look Ahead

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When the groups were drawn for the UEFA Champions League in late summer, Inter Milan and FC Barcelona were penciled in as the top two teams in their group. Nobody told Russian champions Rubin Kazan, who have turned Group F into a real Group of Death by taking points off of both European powers.

SBI's Mock 2009 MLS Expansion Draft

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Photo by ISIphotos.com


The Philadelphia Union will select its first set of players on Wednesday in the 2009 MLS Expansion Draft and while there is no guarantee that the ten players chosen will make Peter Nowak's team, it is a safe bet that several members of the group will make up a good nucleus for Major League Soccer's 16th team.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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Matchday Five of the UEFA Champions League group stage kicks off today with several crucial match-ups featuring some of the world's biggest and best clubs.

Few match-ups are more enticing than FC Barcelona-Inter Milan, which headlines today's schedule of matches. Both teams need a win today to secure control of a tough Group F.

Ben Olsen officially retires

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

One of the longest tenured MLS players called it a career today, as D.C. United midfielder Ben Olsen officially announced his retirement from professional soccer at a press conference at RFK Stadium.

Chicago Fire parts ways with Denis Hamlett

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In a move that seemed inevitable for months, the Chicago Fire has parted ways with head coach Denis Hamlett and has chosen not to re-sign him as head coach. Hamlett's contract expires at the end of the calendar year.

Hamlett took over as Fire head coach before the 2008 season, replacing Juan Carlos Osorio.

Chicago Fire parts ways with Denis Hamlett

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In a move that won't come as a surprise to SBI readers, the Chicago Fire has parted ways with head coach Denis Hamlett and has chosen not to re-sign him as head coach. Hamlett's contract expires at the end of the calendar year.

In two seasons as head coach, Hamlett posted a 24-17-19 regular season record and guided the Fire to two straight Eastern Conference finals.

Ben Olsen officially retires from professional soccer

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One of the longest tenured MLS players called it a career today, as D.C. United midfielder Ben Olsen officially announced his retirement from professional soccer at a press conference at RFK Stadium.

The 32-year-old played through pain in his surgically repaired ankles in 2009, relying on medication to make it through games.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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Matchday Five of the UEFA Champions League group stage kicks off today with several crucial match-ups featuring some of the world's biggest and best clubs.

Few match-ups are more enticing than FC Barcelona-Inter Milan, which headlines today's schedule of matches. Both teams need a win today to secure control of a tough Group F.

SBI's Mock 2009 MLS Expansion Draft

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Photo by ISIphotos.com


The Philadelphia Union will select its first set of players on Wednesday in the 2009 MLS Expansion Draft and while there is no guarantee that the ten players chosen will make Peter Nowak's team, it is a safe bet that several members of the group will make up a good nucleus for Major League Soccer's 16th team.

UEFA Champions League: A Look Ahead

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When the groups were drawn for the UEFA Champions League in late summer, Inter Milan and FC Barcelona were penciled in as the top two teams in their group. Nobody told Russian champions Rubin Kazan, who have turned Group F into a real Group of Death by taking points off of both European powers.

CONCACAF throws support behind USA bid to host World Cup

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The United States bid to host a World Cup in either 2018 or 2022 received a major boost from home region CONCACAF, with confederation board members voting unanimously to back the U.S. bid to host one of the next two World Cups up for bid.

"The United States can count on the full support of CONCACAF, including Chuck Blazer, Rafael Salgueiro and myself," said CONCACAF president and FIFA vice president Jack Warner.

MLS Expansion Draft Protected Lists Unveiled

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Major League Soccer has released the lists of players protected from WEdnesday's MLS Expansion Draft, which the expansion Philadelphia Union will use to select ten players from the remaining unprotected players on the league's 15 team rosters.

Here is a rundown of the protected lists, along with the list of players who have graduated from Generation adidas status:

COMPLETE LIST OF AVAILABLE PLAYERS FOR WEDNESDAY'S DRAFT

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Chivas USA

Bornstein, Jonathan

Braun, Justin

Flores, Jorge

Padilla, Jesus

Galindo, Maykel

Lahoud, Michael

Kljestan, Sacha

Nagamura, Paulo

Thornton, Zach

Cuesta, Yamith

Santos, MaiconÂ

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Chicago Fire

Busch, Jon

Conde, Wilman

Brown, C.

New second division soccer league revives NASL

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The league that folded more than 20 years ago is set to return, though in name only. The USL breakaway league officially announced Monday that they would revive the name North American Soccer League to use for the new league forming next season.

"By becoming the NASL, we are paying respect to the players, coaches and leaders who were pioneers for men's professional soccer in North America, many of whom remain involved and committed to the growth of our game in various capacities throughout the U.

Will David Beckham play for England in South Africa?

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The 2009 season is over, and it was a disappointing end to the Galaxy's season. Falling on penalties to Real Salt Lake means that an offseason of rest and recovery awaits for the MLS Cup runner-up. That's true for all but David Beckham, as he will leave LA and join AC Milan in the January transfer window for a second straight six month loan.

Real Salt Lake wins MLS Cup title (A Look Back)

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

 Yes Real Salt Lake fans, last night really happened.

Real Salt Lake won the 2009 MLS Cup Final, beating the Los Angeles Galaxy in penalty kicks to cap a dream run through the playoffs.

RSL outplayed the favored Galaxy over the course of the 120 minutes before penalties, then the underdogs showed their poise yet again, winning their second penalty shootout in eight days to bring Utah its first professional sports title.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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by FRANCO PANIZO

If Jozy Altidore is to regain the top form he demonstrated earlier this year, then his performance in this past weekend's game was a step in the right direction.

Coming off a pair of lackluster performances with the U.S. national team, Altidore responded by starting and playing 74 minutes in Hull City's 3-3 draw vs.

College Soccer: ACC quality on display in second round

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by TRAVIS CLARK

All season long, the ACC has been the talk of men's college soccer -- seen by many as the best conference in the nation. And while the nine schools spent the regular season beating up on each other, the NCAA Tournament was the chance for the conference to prove how good it really is.

It's Q&A Time

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With the 2009 MLS season now over, and attention can start turning to the off-season action, it is time for a new Q&A.

Please submit your soccer questions in the comments section below and I will answer a select number of those questions. Whether you want to talk U.S. national team, MLS, European soccer, or even some pop culture topics, good questions are always welcome.

EPL Week 12: A Look Back

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by TRAVIS CLARK

Nine goals in one match, and five for Jermaien Defoe. Apoplectic defending was on display at White Hart Lane on Sunday, as Tottenham ran rampant against Wigan Athletic in a comprehensive and humiliating 9-1 win for Spurs.

Making the result all the more bizarre and impressive, the score at the half was just 1-0 in favor of Tottenham.

Afternoon Ticker: FIFA calls emergency meeting, Wigan to refund fans and more

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by TRAVIS CLARK

After a week of controversy around Europe, Sepp Blatter and FIFA have taken notice, and are posturing themselves to take action. Soccer's governing body has called a meeting for December 2 in Cape Town, South Africa, in response to some of the controversies of the past week.

Will David Beckham play for England in South Africa?

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The 2009 season is over, and it was a disappointing end to the Galaxy's season. Falling on penalties to Real Salt Lake means that an offseason of rest and recovery awaits for the MLS Cup runner-up. That's true for all but David Beckham, his second season begins as he will leave his family behind and join AC Milan in the January transfer window.

Afternoon Ticker: FIFA calls emergency meeting, Wigan to refund fans and more

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by TRAVIS CLARK

After a week of controversy around Europe, Sepp Blatter and FIFA have taken notice, and are posturing themselves to take action. Soccer's governing body has called a meeting for December 2 in Cape Town, South Africa, in response to some of the controversies of the past week.

EPL Week 12: A Look Back

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by TRAVIS CLARK

Nine goals in one match, and five for Jermaien Defoe. Apoplectic defending was on display at White Hart Lane on Sunday, as Tottenham ran rampant against Wigan Athletic in a comprehensive and humiliating 9-1 win for Spurs.

Making the result all the more bizarre and impressive, the score at the half was just 1-0 in favor of Tottenham.

It's Q&A Time

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With the 2009 MLS season now over, and attention can start turning to the off-season action, it is time for a new Q&A.

Please submit your soccer questions in the comments section below and I will answer a select number of those questions. Whether you want to talk U.S. national team, MLS, European soccer, or even some pop culture topics, good questions are always welcome.

College Soccer: ACC quality on display in second round

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by TRAVIS CLARK

All season long, the ACC has been the talk of men's college soccer -- seen by many as the best conference in the nation. And while the nine schools spent the regular season beating up on each other, the NCAA Tournament was the chance for the conference to prove how good it really is.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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by FRANCO PANIZO

If Jozy Altidore is to regain the top form he demonstrated earlier this year, then his performance in this past weekend's game was a step in the right direction.

Coming off a pair of lackluster performances with the U.S. national team, Altidore responded by starting and playing 74 minutes in Hull City's 3-3 draw vs.

Real Salt Lake wins MLS Cup title

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

 Yes Real Salt Lake fans, last night really happened.

Real Salt Lake won the 2009 MLS Cup Final, beating the Los Angeles Galaxy in penalty kicks to cap a dream run through the playoffs.

RSL outplayed the favored Galaxy over the course of the 120 minutes before penalties, then the underdogs showed their poise yet again, winning their second penalty shootout in eight days to bring Utah its first professional sports title.

MLS Cup: Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake (Match Night Commentary)

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The Los Angeles Galaxy will be going for its third MLS Cup title tonight against Real Salt Lake (8:50pm, ESPN/Galavision/Telefutura), which is appearing in its first MLS Cup Final.

The Galaxy, led by MLS MVP Landon Donovan and David Beckham, will look to build on a season that saw LA go from one of the worst teams in MLS to Western Conference champions.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Tim Howard faces off against former club Manchester United today in one of the day's marquee match-ups.

The morning EPL matches are already underway, but Everton's showdown against the champions will highlight the afternoon slate of matches.

If you will be watching today's action, or if you watched the early morning action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

MLS Grapevine: Sampson favorite to coach Chivas USA, MLS targets U-17 stars and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

On the eve of what could be the Los Angeles Galaxy's first MLS Cup title since 2005, the man who led LA to its last championship looks ready to return to MLS.

Steve Sampson is on the verge of being hired by Chivas USA as head coach, sources have told SBI.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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The Mexican League playoffs and the MLS Cup Final headline a busy day of soccer action around the world.

The LA Galaxy-Real Salt Lake MLS Cup Final should offer a great nightcap for a day of soccer that includes some EPL and Serie A action, and a Mexican League playoff showdown featuring Michael Orozco's San Luis against Toluca.

MLS Cup: Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake (The Pre-Match Preview)

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The Los Angeles Galaxy faces Real Salt Lake in the 2009 MLS Cup Final tonight (8:30pm, ESPN/Galavision) in a match-up of teams that each seemed like MLS Cup long-shots at certain points in the season.

The Galaxy looked far from a title team through the season's first two months, but Bruce Arena's club came together during the summer and kicked into a new gear when David Beckham finally arrived during the summer.

MLS Cup: Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake (Match Night Commentary)

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The Los Angeles Galaxy will be going for its third MLS Cup title tonight against Real Salt Lake (8:50pm, ESPN/Galavision/Telefutura), which is appearing in its first MLS Cup Final.

The Galaxy, led by MLS MVP Landon Donovan and David Beckham, will look to build on a season that saw LA go from one of the worst teams in MLS to Western Conference champions.

MLS Cup: Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake (The Pre-Match Preview)

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The Los Angeles Galaxy faces Real Salt Lake in the 2009 MLS Cup Final tonight (8:30pm, ESPN/Galavision) in a match-up of teams that each seemed like MLS Cup long-shots at certain points in the season.

The Galaxy looked far from a title team through the season's first two months, but Bruce Arena's club came together during the summer and kicked into a new gear when David Beckham finally arrived during the summer.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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The Mexican League playoffs and the MLS Cup Final headline a busy day of soccer action around the world.

The LA Galaxy-Real Salt Lake MLS Cup Final should offer a great nightcap for a day of soccer that includes some EPL and Serie A action, and a Mexican League playoff showdown featuring Michael Orozco's San Luis against Toluca.

MLS Grapevine: Sampson set to coach Chivas USA, MLS targets U-17 stars and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

On the eve of what could be the Los Angeles Galaxy's first MLS Cup title since 2005, the man who led LA to its last championship looks ready to return to MLS.

Steve Sampson is set to be hired by Chivas USA as head coach, sources have told SBI.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Tim Howard faces off against former club Manchester United today in one of the day's marquee match-ups.

The morning EPL matches are already underway, but Everton's showdown against the champions will highlight the afternoon slate of matches.

If you will be watching today's action, or if you watched the early morning action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Denmark 3, USA 1: A Look Back

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The U.S. men's national team had plenty of bright spots and highlights in 2009, but the final game of the year had few moments worth remembering.

With most of the team's top stars unavailable, Bob Bradley handed opportunities to several players to show that they deserve more playing time.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The 2009 MLS Cup will serve as the marquee match of a busy weekend of soccer on TV.

The LA Galaxy takes on Real Salt Lake on Sunday night in a match that should offer plenty of intrigue and attacking soccer.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The 2009 MLS Cup will serve as the marquee match of a busy weekend of soccer on TV.

The LA Galaxy takes on Real Salt Lake on Sunday night in a match that should offer plenty of intrigue and attacking soccer.

Denmark 3, USA 1: A Look Back

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The U.S. men's national team had plenty of bright spots and highlights in 2009, but the final game of the year had few moments worth remembering.

With most of the team's top stars unavailable, Bob Bradley handed opportunities to several players to show that they deserve more playing time.

Morning Ticker: Henry backs calls for replay, Beckham battles ankle injury and more

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Thierry Henry has backed calls for a replay of the Ireland-Italy World Cup playoff he helped decide with his now infamous handball, even though FIFA has already rejected a request for a replay.

"Naturally I feel embarrassed at the way that we won and feel extremely sorry for the Irish who definitely deserve to be in South Africa," said Henry.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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by FRANCO PANIZO

World Cup qualifying is in the rear-view mirror, and for the Americans Abroad that means it is time to get back into club soccer.

After missing international duty due to an ankle injury, Tim Howard should be healthy enough to start for Everton in possibly the most intriguing match of the weekend when the Toffees host Manchester United, Howard's former club.

Upsets hit NCAA Tournament First Round

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Looks like the RPI called it right by labeling the Big East as a weak conference. Of the three schools involved in the first round out of the conference, two fell in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Thursday.

UConn traveled to Monmouth in a match-up of two top 25 teams who failed to earn a seeding in the tournament.

SBI's Friday Free Kicks: What about Shalrie, where will Schelotto go, and more

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Landon Donovan was named the 2009 MLS Most Valuable Player on Thursday, and while it is tough to argue against awarding the U.S. national team star for his performance this season, the MVP results still raised a glaring question.

What about Shalrie Joseph?

It isn't a question so much about choosing between Joseph and Donovan, which is a subjective debate that has supporters on both sides.

Who would you vote into the 2010 Hall of Fame class?

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The voting for the 2010 National Soccer Hall of Fame closed on Thursday evening, and while I was able to squeeze my ballot in just under the deadline, it was far from an easy decision to make.

There were 24 names on the ballot.

Who would you vote into the 2010 Hall of Fame class?

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The voting for the 2010 National Soccer Hall of Fame closed on Thursday evening, and while I was able to squeeze my ballot in just under the deadline, it was far from an easy decision to make.

There were 24 names on the ballot.

SBI's Friday Free Kicks: What about Shalrie, where will Schelotto go, and more

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Landon Donovan was named the 2009 MLS Most Valuable Player on Thursday, and while it is tough to argue against awarding the U.S. national team star for his performance this season, the MVP results still raised a glaring question.

What about Shalrie Joseph?

It isn't a question so much about choosing between Joseph and Donovan, which is a subjective debate that has supporters on both sides.

Upsets hit NCAA Tournament First Round

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Looks like the RPI called it right by labeling the Big East as a weak conference. Of the three schools involved in the first round out of the conference, two fell in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Thursday.

UConn traveled to Monmouth in a match-up of two top 25 teams who failed to earn a seeding in the tournament.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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by FRANCO PANIZO

World Cup qualifying is in the rear-view mirror, and for the Americans Abroad that means it is time to get back into club soccer.

After missing international duty due to an ankle injury, Tim Howard should be healthy enough to start for Everton in possibly the most intriguing match of the weekend when the Toffees host Manchester United, Howard's former club.

Morning Ticker: Henry backs calls for replay, Beckham battles ankle injury and more

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Thierry Henry has backed calls for a replay of the Ireland-Italy World Cup playoff he helped decide with his now infamous handball, even though FIFA has already rejected a request for a replay.

"Naturally I feel embarrassed at the way that we won and feel extremely sorry for the Irish who definitely deserve to be in South Africa," said Henry.

Who will win the 2009 MLS Cup?

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Two teams left, one cup to play for. The long and difficult MLS season has been successfully navigated by Real Salt Lake and Los Angeles Galaxy. On Sunday, the season comes to an end and MLS will crown a champion.

In the city where MLS has been a runaway success this season, a one club will emerge victorious.

European Ticker: Ireland requests replay, Hiddink's future uncertain and more

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Thierry Henry's handball heard around the world helped secure France's passage to the 2010 World Cup, but the French may not be through to South Africa yet.

The Irish federation has appealed Wednesday's night 1-1 result (2-1 aggregate advantage for France), and is demanding that France replay the second leg of the playoff.

Expansion Draft rules set as Union prepare to build roster

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As the MLS season winds towards the end, the excitement continues to build in Philadelphia. On November 25, the Union will continue to take shape as the expansion draft takes place. The first players in Philadelphia Union history will come off the books of ten other clubs.

MLS released the specific rules that the other MLS clubs must follow when they make players available for Peter Nowak and his staff to select.

Donovan named Most Valuable Player

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The final postseason award was announced today, and to no surprise Landon Donovan was named the league's Most Valuable Player for the 2009 season.

For Donovan, it's the very first time in his MLS career that he's been selected as the top player in the league. This despite the fact he's been around since 2001 with the San Jose Earthquakes.

Donovan named Most Valuable Player

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The final postseason award was announced today, and to no surprise Landon Donovan was named the league's Most Valuable Player for the 2009 season.

For Donovan, it's the very first time in his MLS career that he's been selected as the top player in the league. This despite the fact he's been around since 2001 with the San Jose Earthquakes.

Expansion Draft rules set as Union prepare to build roster

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As the MLS season winds towards the end, the excitement continues to build in Philadelphia. On November 25, the Union will continue to take shape as the expansion draft takes place. The first players in Philadelphia Union history will come off the books of ten other clubs.

MLS released the specific rules that the other MLS clubs must follow when they make players available for Peter Nowak and his staff to select.

European Ticker: Ireland requests replay, Hiddink's future uncertain and more

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Thierry Henry's handball heard around the world helped secure France's passage to the 2010 World Cup, but the French may not be through to South Africa yet.

The Irish federation has appealed Wednesday's night 1-1 result (2-1 aggregate advantage for France), and is demanding that France replay the second leg of the playoff.

Who will win the 2009 MLS Cup?

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Two teams left, one cup to play for. The long and difficult MLS season has been successfully navigated by Real Salt Lake and Los Angeles Galaxy. On Sunday, the season comes to an end and MLS will crown a champion.

In the city where MLS has been a runaway success this season, a one club will emerge victorious.

Dynamic Duo set to leave MLS

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by FRANCO PANIZO

If the Houston Dynamo is to continue its relative MLS success next season, it will likely have to do so without two of their most talented players.

Midfielders Ricardo Clark and Stuart Holden are out of contract at season's end, and both players are unlikely to return to the club, having been strongly linked with moves to Europe during the upcoming winter transfer window.

SBI's Mock World Cup Draw (Version 1.0)

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The 32-team field is set for the 2010 World Cup and for the next two weeks until the World Cup Draw on Dec. 4 you will see plenty of sample draws to give soccer fans around the world a sense of where teams just might wind up.

SBI isn't going to miss out on that fun.

SBI is heading to Seattle

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The 2009 MLS Cup his hitting Seattle this weekend, and SBI will be there to cover it, as well as to cover all the MLS-related activities associated with MLS Cup weekend.

Real Salt Lake takes on the Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday, but the weekend should be filled with much more as reps from all the league's teams converge on Seattle to talk deals (and in some cases, look for head coaches).

College Soccer Tournament Preview

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by TRAVIS CLARK

The first round of the NCAA Tournament kicks off today, and with it, the last chance for some players before leaving college and carving out a professional career -- either in at home or abroad. For others, it's a chance at making a lasting impression on their collegiate coach, upsetting the high seed and going on a run towards that championship trophy.

Dynamic Duo set to leave MLS

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by FRANCO PANIZO

If the Houston Dynamo is to continue its relative MLS success next season, it will likely have to do so without two of their most talented players.

Midfielders Ricardo Clark and Stuart Holden are out of contract at season's end, and both players are unlikely to return to the club, having been strongly linked with moves to Europe during the upcoming winter transfer window.

SBI is heading to Seattle

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The 2009 MLS Cup his hitting Seattle this weekend, and SBI will be there to cover it, as well as to cover all the MLS-related activities associated with MLS Cup weekend.

Real Salt Lake takes on the Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday, but the weekend should be filled with much more as reps from all the league's teams converge on Seattle to talk deals (and in some cases, look for head coaches).

College Soccer Tournament Preview

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by TRAVIS CLARK

The first round of the NCAA Tournament kicks off today, and with it, the last chance for some players before leaving college and carving out a professional career -- either in at home or abroad. For others, it's a chance at making a lasting impression on their collegiate coach, upsetting the high seed and going on a run towards that championship trophy.

SBI's Mock World Cup Draw (Version 1.0)

Soccer By Ives at related • 19 views


The 32-team field is set for the 2010 World Cup and for the next two weeks until the World Cup Draw on Dec. 4 you will see plenty of sample draws to give soccer fans around the world a sense of where teams just might wind up.

SBI isn't going to miss out on that fun.

Henry's Infamous Handball

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Thierry Henry helped France into the World Cup with a handball that won't soon be forgotten in Ireland (or anywhere for that matter).

Here's Henry's Diego Maradona impression:

We'll take part of the blame for jinxing Henry by running the above photo with the Wednesday Commentary post, but in the end, the French star cheated and won't live it down any time soon.

Algeria advance past Egypt, Slovenia upset Russia as World Cup field set

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by TRAVIS CLARK

After three years of World Cup qualifying, the 32-team tournament field is set for next summer. Attention now turns to the December 4 draw in Cape Town, when the 32 nation field will learn their fate.

It was a hectic day across several continents as the final six spots were sewn up.

Toronto FC to introduce Preki as head coach on Thursday

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Toronto FC has informed its fans, and the Canadian media, that it will reveal its newest head coach at a press conference on Thursday. You already know who it is.

Former Chivas USA head coach Preki will be introduced as Chivas USA's fourth head coach, and will have the task of guiding TFC to its first playoff berth in its fourth season of existence.

Toronto FC to introduce Preki as head coach on Thursday

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Toronto FC has informed its fans, and the Canadian media, that it will reveal its newest head coach at a press conference on Thursday. You already know who it is.

Former Chivas USA head coach Preki will be introduced as Chivas USA's fourth head coach, and will have the task of guiding TFC to its first playoff berth in its fourth season of existence.

Algeria advance past Egypt, Slovenia upset Russia as World Cup field set

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by TRAVIS CLARK

After three years of World Cup qualifying, the 32-team tournament field is set for next summer. Attention now turns to the December 4 draw in Cape Town, when the 32 nation field will learn their fate.

It was a hectic day across several continents as the final six spots were sewn up.

Henry's Infamous Handball

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Thierry Henry helped France into the World Cup with a handball that won't soon be forgotten in Ireland (or anywhere for that matter).

Here's Henry's Diego Maradona impression:

We'll take part of the blame for jinxing Henry by running the above photo with the Wednesday Commentary post, but in the end, the French star cheated and won't live it down any time soon.

Last six places in 2010 World Cup to be booked today

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There are six places left in the 2010 World Cup, and 12 teams will spend today fighting to be one of those lucky six.

Today marks the last day of World Cup qualifying and matches on three continents will determine who rounds out the field of 32. European powers France, Portugal and Russia will look to secure places in South Africa, while bitter rivals Egypt and Algeria will kick off today's proceedings in a winner-take-all playoff.

SBI's 2009 MLS Rookie Best XI

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Almost eleven months ago, during a sunny week in South Florida, you could tell the 2009 MLS Draft Class had the potential to be special.

During the rough days of the MLS Combine, even as player struggled with fitness and playing with their new teammates, there was a sense that this year's crop of talent had the potential to provide MLS with a serious infusion of talent.

USA vs. Denmark: The Pre-Game Preview

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The U.S. men's national team plays its final match of a busy and memorable 2009 today when it takes on Denmark in Aarhus (2:30pm, ESPN Classic/Galavision/ESPN2 after Ukraine-Greece).

Both teams will be missing several key players, with the Americans playing without Landon Donovan, Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey (as well as injured regulars Oguchi Onyewu, Jay DeMerit and Charlie Davies).

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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It is the last international match day of the year and we will be treated both to some decisive World Cup qualifiers as well as some quality international friendlies.

You already know about today's qualifiers, but there are also some great friendlies, including Germany-Ivory Coast, Italy-Sweden and Netherlands-Paraguay.

USA vs. Denmark: Matchday Commentary

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The final match of the year is set to kick off today for the U.S. men's national team as the Americans take on Denmark (2:30pm, ESPN Classic/Galavision/ESPN2 after Ukraine-Greece) on the last international matchday of the year.

The United States will be playing its 24th match of the year and this match is an important one as head coach Bob Bradley looks to learn more about the depth of his squad.

USA vs. Denmark: Matchday Commentary

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The final match of the year is set to kick off today for the U.S. men's national team as the Americans take on Denmark (2:30pm, ESPN Classic/Galavision/ESPN2 after Ukraine-Greece) on the last international matchday of the year.

The United States will be playing its 24th match of the year and this match is an important one as head coach Bob Bradley looks to learn more about the depth of his squad.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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It is the last international matchday of the year and we will be treated both to some decisive World Cup qualifiers as well as some quality international friendlies.

You already know about today's qualifiers, but there are also some great friendlies, including Germany-Ivory Coast, Italy-Sweden and Netherlands-Paraguay.

USA vs. Denmark: The Pre-Game Preview

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The U.S. men's national team plays its final match of a busy and memorable 2009 today when it takes on Denmark in Aarhus (2:30pm, ESPN Classic/Galavision/ESPN2 after Ukraine-Greece).

Both teams will be missing several key players, with the Americans playing without Landon Donovan, Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey (as well as injured regulars Oguchi Onyewu, Jay DeMerit and Charlie Davies).

SBI's 2009 MLS Rookie Best XI

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Almost eleven months ago, during a sunny week in South Florida, you could tell the 2009 MLS Draft Class had the potential to be special.

During the rough days of the MLS Combine, even as player struggled with fitness and playing with their new teammates, there was a sense that this year's crop of talent had the potential to provide MLS with a serious infusion of talent.

Last six places in 2010 World Cup to be booked today

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There are six places left in the 2010 World Cup, and 12 teams will spend today fighting to be one of those lucky six.

Today marks the last day of World Cup qualifying and matches on three continents will determine who rounds out the field of 32. European powers France, Portugal and Russia will look to secure places in South Africa, while bitter rivals Egypt and Algeria will kick off today's proceedings in a winner-take-all playoff.

Akron earns No. 1 seed as NCAA Tournament field announced

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Mike Wise Photography

For Akron, the rest of the season begins now. 20 wins from 20 matches have come and gone, and now five matches stand between them and a unblemished record in 2009. Teal Bunbury and the rest of the Zips head into the NCAA Tournament with a chance to finish what they've started, and will do so as the number one overall seed.

Commissioner Garber issues State of League Address

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

MLS Commissioner Don Garber gave his annual State of the League Address on Monday and covered a wide range of topics, from expansion to the Collective Bargaining Agreement to the Designated Player rule.

Kenny Cooper injured in training (UPDATED)

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photo by ISIphotos.com

Kenny Cooper has been struggling for playing time with TSV 1860 Munich lately, and now it appears he will have to wait even longer to get on the field.

MLS coaching carousel in full spin

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The MLS season is set to end on Sunday after the 2009 MLS Cup, and the MLS Expansion draft is looming just eight days away, meaning all the teams that need head coaches are about to take part in one of the most frantic coaching change flurries MLS has ever seen.

Chase for USA Under-17s heats up

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Two of the U.S. Under-17 national team's top prospects are inching closer to European moves, while a third is edging closer to an MLS deal.

Manchester City and Real Madrid have stepped up their bids for U.

U.S. Soccer announces details for American fans to apply for 2010 World Cup tickets

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If you are a U.S. national team fan who has been eagerly anticipating the details on how to apply for 2010 World Cup tickets, your wait is over.

U.S. Soccer has announced the process for American fans to apply for match tickets. Here are the details:

Priority status for applying for tickets to the U.

Afternoon Ticker: Benitez threatens Liverpool, Brazil wins again and more

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has warned the club he would quit if striker Fernando Torres were ever sold without his consent.

Speculation has surrounded the Spanish international's future with the club due to its largely-publicized financial debt.

Columbus Crew to face Toluca in CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals

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CONCACAF held its draw for the Champions League quarterfinals on Tuesday and the draw will pit defending MLS Cup champion Columbus Crew against Mexican League power Toluca.

Columbus was eliminated from the MLS playoffs by Real Salt Lake in the first round, but will kick off 2010 in March with a home-and-home quarterfinal series against Toluca.

MLS Generation adidas squad to travel to South Africa

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While most of them may be a bit young to have a realistic chance of playing in the 2010 World Cup, a team of MLS Generation adidas players are about to take a trip to South Africa for an experience they won't soon forget.

Stefan Frei, Patrick Nyarko and Chris Pontius headline a team of 18 MLS players that will travel to South Africa to participate in a series of friendlies and other events later this month.

MLS Generation adidas squad to travel to South Africa

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While most of them may be a bit young to have a realistic chance of playing in the 2010 World Cup, a team of MLS Generation adidas players are about to take a trip to South Africa for an experience they won't soon forget.

Stefan Frei, Patrick Nyarko and Chris Pontius headline a team of 18 MLS players that will travel to South Africa to participate in a series of friendlies and other events later this month.

Columbus Crew to face Toluca in CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals

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CONCACAF held its draw for the Champions League quarterfinals on Tuesday and the draw will pit defending MLS Cup champion Columbus Crew against defending Mexican League champion Toluca.

Columbus was eliminated from the MLS playoffs by Real Salt Lake in the first round, but will kick off 2010 in March with a home-and-home quarterfinal series against Toluca.

Afternoon Ticker: Benitez threatens Liverpool, Brazil wins again and more

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has warned the club he would quit if striker Francisco Torres were ever sold without his consent.

Speculation has surrounded the Spanish international's future with the club due to its largely-publicized financial debt.

Chase for USA Under-17s heats up

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Two of the U.S. Under-17 national team's top prospects are inching closer to European moves, while a third is edging closer to an MLS deal.

Manchester City and Real Madrid have stepped up their bids for U.

U.S. Soccer announces details for American fans to apply for 2010 World Cup tickets

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If you are a U.S. national team fan who has been eagerly anticipating the details on how to apply for 2010 World Cup tickets, your wait is over.

U.S. Soccer has announced the process for American fans to apply for match tickets. Here are the details:

Priority status for applying for tickets to the U.

MLS coaching carousel in full spin

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The MLS season is set to end on Sunday after the 2009 MLS Cup, and the MLS Expansion draft is looming just eight days away, meaning all the teams that need head coaches are about to take part in one of the most frantic coaching change flurries MLS has ever seen.

Kenny Cooper injured in training

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photo by ISIphotos.com

Kenny Cooper has been struggling for playing time with TSV 1860 Munich lately, and now it appears he will have to wait even longer to get on the field.

Commissioner Garber issues State of League Address

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MLS Commissioner Don Garber gave his annual State of the League Address on Monday and covered a wide range of topics, from expansion to the Collective Bargaining Agreement to the Designated Player rule.

Akron earns No. 1 seed as NCAA Tournament field announced

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Mike Wise Photography

For Akron, the rest of the season begins now. 20 wins from 20 matches have come and gone, and now five matches stand between them and ensure that a undefeated season has gone for naught. Teal Bunbury and the rest of the Zips head into the NCAA Tournament with a chance to finish what they've started, and will do so with the number one overall set.

Donovan, Joseph and Ljungberg headline 2009 MLS Best XI

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Major League Soccer announced its Best XI on Monday, with no real surprises among the selections.

MVP finalists Landon Donovan, Shalrie Joseph and Jeff Cunningham headed the group, while MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Zach Thornton also got the nod.

Castillo among four new players called in for USA friendly vs. Denmark

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Edgar Castillo has been called into his first U.S. national team camp.

The New Mexico native and former Mexican national team player was one of four new players called into the U.S. men's national team camp ahead of Wednesday's friendly against Denmark. He will be joining the U.S. team for the first time since the new FIFA rule that allowed him to change national team affiliations from Mexico to the United States.

Sunday Ticker: Van Persie suffers major injury, Maradona suspended and more

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Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie could miss three months or more of the English Premier League season after suffering torn ankle ligaments during the Netherlands 0-0 tie vs. Italy on Saturday.

Van Persie injured his right ankle after a hard challenge by Italy and Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini just 15 minutes into the friendly.

Torres excused from USMNT camp, won't face Denmark

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U.S. men's national team midfielder Jose Francisco Torres will not play in Wednesday's friendly against Demmark after he was excused from the U.S. team's camp for personal reasons.

Torres was one of four new players called in to the U.

Morning Ticker: Swiss win U-17 World Cup, Van Persie injury update and more

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A header goal from Haris Seferovic proved to be the difference as the Switzerland Under-17 national team defeated Nigeria, 1-0, in the Under-17 World Cup Final on Sunday in Nigeria.

The Swiss capped an undefeated tournament with it latest impressive victory, knocking off the defending champions and heavily favored Nigerians in the final.

Three more teams qualify for World Cup, 12 teams vie for final six spots

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Nigeria, Cameroon and New Zealand all qualified for the 201 World Cup last weekend with key victories, leaving just six spots remaining as we head into the last day of qualifying for next summer's World Cup.

Here are the 26 teams that have already qualified for the 2010 World Cup:

Brazil, Spain, England, Argentina, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Cote d'Ivoire, USA, Mexico, Denmark, Paraguay, Japan, Australia, South Korea, Ghana, Chile, Serbia, Switzerland, Honduras, Slovakia and North Korea, South Africa, Nigeria, Cameroon and New Zealand

There are 12 teams vying for the remaining six spots.

Who should the USA start vs. Denmark?

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

If the starting lineup the U.S. team fielded in Saturday's loss to Slovakia didn't look far enough away from Bob Bradley's first-choice squad, wait until you see the team we are likely to have take the field in Denmark on Wednesday.

College Soccer: Conference Champions secure automatic tournament bids

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NCAA selection Monday is upon us, and it will be a nervy wait for some of the nation's collegiate soccer programs. The 48-team field will be announced tonight at 5:30pm (ESPNews), with the field already full of conference champion winners across the country.

University of Virginia claimed the ACC bid, with a 1-0 win against NC State on Sunday.

Are you headed to MLS Cup?

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The 2009 MLS Cup Final is set and two Western Conference teams are set to do battle as the Los Angeles Galaxy takes on Real Salt Lake at Qwest Field in Seattle. While Seattle fans are expected to pack Qwest Field for the event, MLS fans from across the country are expected to make the trip to the Pacific Northwest to take in the event.

SBI's 2009 MLS Best XI

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Major League Soccer will be announcing its 2009 MLS Best XI later this afternoon and while some of the picks are easy to make, some others will be very difficult.

Picking this year's forwards was especially tough, with a half dozen worth candidates for the Best XI nod.

Donovan, Joseph and Ljungberg headline 2009 MLS Best XI

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Major League Soccer announced its Best XI on Monday, with no real surprises among the selections.

MVP finalists Landon Donovan, Shalrie Joseph and Jeff Cunningham headed the group, while MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Zach Thornton also got the nod.

Here is the MLS Best XI

GOALKEEPER- Zach Thornton

DEFENDERS- Chad Marshall, Wilman Conde, Geoff Cameron

MIDFIELDERS- Landon Donovan, Shalrie Joseph, Stuart Holden, Freddie Ljungberg, Dwayne DeRosario

FORWARDS- Jeff Cunningham, Conor Casey

What's our take?

SBI's 2009 MLS Best XI

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Major League Soccer will be announcing its 2009 MLS Best XI later this afternoon and while some of the picks are easy to make, some others will be very difficult.

Picking this year's forwards was especially tough, with a half dozen worth candidates for the Best XI nod.

Are you headed to MLS Cup?

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The 2009 MLS Cup Final is set and two Western Conference teams are set to do battle as the Los Angeles Galaxy takes on Real Salt Lake at Qwest Field in Seattle. While Seattle fans are expected pack Qwest Field for the event, MLS fans from across the country are expected to make the trip to the Pacific Northwest to take in the event.

College Soccer: Conference Champions secure automatic tournament bids

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NCAA selection Monday is upon us, and it will be a nervy wait for some of the nation's collegiate soccer programs. The 48-team field will be announced tonight at 5:30pm (ESPNews), with the field already full of conference champion winners across the country.

University of Virginia claimed the ACC bid, with a 1-0 win against NC State on Sunday.

Three more teams qualify for World Cup, 12 teams vie for final six spots

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Nigeria, Cameroon and New Zealand all qualified for the 201 World Cup last weekend with key victories, leaving just six spots remaining as we head into the last day of qualifying for next summer's World Cup.

Here are the 26 teams that have already qualified for the 2010 World Cup:

Brazil, Spain, England, Argentina, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Cote d'Ivoire, USA, Mexico, Denmark, Paraguay, Japan, Australia, South Korea, Ghana, Chile, Serbia, Switzerland, Honduras, Slovakia and North Korea, South Africa, Nigeria, Cameroon and New Zealand

There are 12 teams vying for the remaining six spots.

Who should the USA start vs. Denmark?

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

If the starting lineup the U.S. team fielded in Saturday's loss to Slovakia didn't look far enough away from Bob Bradley's first-choice squad, wait until you see the team we are likely to have take the field in Denmark on Wednesday.

Morning Ticker: Swiss win U-17 World Cup, Van Persie injury update and more

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A header goal from Haris Seferovic proved to be the difference as the Switzerland Under-17 national team defeated Nigeria, 1-0, in the Under-17 World Cup Final on Sunday in Nigeria.

The Swiss capped an undefeated tournament with it latest impressive victory, knocking off the defending champions and heavily favored Nigerians in the final.

Torres excused from USMNT camp, won't face Denmark

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

U.S. men's national team midfielder Jose Francisco Torres will not play in Wednesday's friendly against Demmark after has been excused from the U.S. team's camp.

Torres was one of four new players called in to the U.

Sunday Ticker: Van Persie suffers major injury, Maradona banned and more

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Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie could miss three months or more of the English Premier League season after suffering torn ankle ligaments during the Netherlands 0-0 tie vs. Italy on Saturday.

Van Persie injured his right ankle after a hard challenge by Italy and Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini just 15 minutes into the friendly.

Castillo and Torres called in for USA friendly vs. Denmark

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Edgar Castillo has been called into his first U.S. national team camp.

The New Mexico native and former Mexican national team player was one of four new players called into the U.S. men's national team camp ahead of Wednesday's friendly against Denmark.

Midfielders Stuart Holden and Jose Francisco Torres were also called in, as was Ricardo Clark.

Real Salt Lake reaches first MLS Cup final after beating Chicago in PKs

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Real Salt Lake is heading to its first MLS Cup Final after beating the Chicago Fire on penalty kicks at Toyota Park on Saturday night.

Goalkeeper Nick Rimando stole the show, making three penalty saves to win the second playoff penalty shootout of his career.

New Zealand qualifies for World Cup

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New Zealand is headed to the World Cup.

After a scoreless first leg, New Zealand booked its passage to South Africa 2010 by defeating Bahrain 1-0 on Saturday in front of their home crowd at Westpac Stadium. It took a 45th minute goal from Rory Fallon and a penalty save from Mark Paston to give New Zealand the victory on aggregate, and a place in next year's World Cup.

United States vs. Slovakia (Your Running Commentary)

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The United States national team is in Bratislava set to take on Slovakia for the first of two European friendlies.

The game marks the first ever meeting between the United States and Slovakia, and will give head coach Bob Bradley an opportunity to fine tune the U.S. team seven months away from the World Cup in South Africa.

Toronto FC to hire Preki as new head coach

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Toronto FC has tried and failed for three straight years to make the playoffs, so finding a coach capable of getting the club over that hurdle was vital this winter. TFC has found just such a coach in one of the most sought-after coaching prospects in American soccer.

USA vs. Slovakia (Matchday Commentary)

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The U.S. national team returns to action for the first time since qualifying for the 2010 World Cup today when it takes on Slovakia in a friendly in Bratislava (10am, FSC).

The Americans are without Landon Donovan and Tim Howard, as well as the injured Oguchi Onyewu and Jay DeMerit, but there are still plenty of starters who will have chances to show they can play without the team's top players.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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We will move several steps closer to seeing the 32-team field for the 2010 World Cup filled out today as qualifying matches in Europe, Africa and the Americas highlight today's action.

The European qualifying playoffs top today's action, but there is also MLS playoff action tonight, as well as several top-notch friendlies to choose from.

World's best squaring off in high-profile friendlies

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by FRANCO PANIZO

With the World Cup in sight, most of this weekend's attention will be towards the remaining qualifiers, but there are a few high-profile friendlies on tap today that might be just as exciting.

England-Brazil is one of those matches, as the Three Lions will took to topple Brazil for the first time since 1990, a stretch of seven games that includes a 2-1 loss in the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup.

Philadelphia Union unveils jersey

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The Philadelphia Union unveiled the uniform it will wear in 2010. Here it is:

Don't like the photo? Here's a graphic of the jersey:

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What do you think of the jersey? Like it? Hate it?

Share your thoughts below.

Favorites go unbeaten in opening legs of European World Cup playoffs

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France, Russia and Portugal posted crucial first-leg victories in their UEFA World Cup qualifying playoff matches, but all three still have plenty of work to do in the second legs to ensure qualifying for South Africa.

Nicolas Anelka scored in France's 1-0 win vs. Ireland in Dublin, giving the French the lead and an away goal in its match-up.

MLS Playoffs: Real Salt Lake at Chicago Fire (Match Night Commentary)

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The Chicago Fire will look to reach its fourth MLS Cup Final by beating Real Salt Lake in tonight's MLS Eastern Conference Final (8pm, FSC).

The winner of tonight's match will face the Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS Cup Final. The Galaxy defeated the Houston Dynamo, 2-0, in overtime on Friday night.

Slovakia 1, USA 0: The Highlights

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The U.S. men's national team played without several star players and still managed a respectable performance in a 1-0 loss to an underwhelming Slovakia.

Marek Hamsik's penalty kick provided the difference, and also changed the tone of the match as Slovakia played like a team content with a 1-0 victory.

Slovakia 1, USA 0: The Highlights

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The U.S. men's national team played without several star players and still managed a respectable performance in a 1-0 loss to an underwhelming Slovakia.

Marek Hamsik's penalty kick provided the difference, and also changed the tone of the match as Slovakia played like a team content with a 1-0 victory.

MLS Playoffs: Real Salt Lake at Chicago Fire (Match Night Commentary)

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The Chicago Fire will look to reach its fourth MLS Cup Final by beating Real Salt Lake in tonight's MLS Eastern Conference Final.

The winner of tonight's match will face the Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS Cup Final. The Galaxy defeated the Houston Dynamo, 2-0, in overtime on Friday night.

Favorites go unbeaten in opening legs of European World Cup playoffs

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France, Russia and Portugal posted crucial first-leg victories in their UEFA World Cup qualifying playoff matches, but all three still have plenty of work to do in the second legs to ensure qualifying for South Africa.

Nicolas Anelka scored in France's 1-0 win vs. Ireland in Dublin, giving the French the lead and an away goal in its match-up.

Philadelphia Union unveils jersey

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The Philadelphia Union unveiled the uniform it will wear in 2010. Here it is:

What do you think of the jersey? Like it? Hate it?

Share your thoughts below.


World's best squaring off in high-profile friendlies

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by FRANCO PANIZO

With the World Cup in sight, most of this weekend's attention will be towards the remaining qualifiers, but there are a few high-profile friendlies on tap today that might be just as exciting.

England-Brazil is one of those matches, as the Three Lions will took to topple Brazil for the first time since 1990, a stretch of seven games that includes a 2-1 loss in the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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We will move several steps closer to seeing the 32-team field for the 2010 World Cup filled out today as qualifying matches in Europe, Africa and the Americas highlight today's action.

The European qualifying playoffs top today's action, but there is also MLS playoff action tonight, as well as several top-notch friendlies to choose from.

Toronto FC to hire Preki as new head coach

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Photo by ISIphotos.com
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Toronto FC has tried and failed for three straight years to make the playoffs, so finding a coach capable of getting the club over that hurdle was vital this winter. TFC has found just such a coach in one of the most sought-after coaching prospects in American soccer.

USA vs. Slovakia (Matchday Commentary)

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The U.S. national team returns to action for the first time since qualifying for the 2010 World Cup today when it takes on Slovakia in a friendly in Bratislava (10am, FSC).

The Americans are without Landon Donovan and Tim Howard, as well as the injured Oguchi Onyewu and Jay DeMerit, but there are still plenty of starters who will have chances to show they can play without the team's top players.

United States vs. Slovakia (Your Running Commentary)

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The United States national team is in Bratislava set to take on Slovakia for the first of two European friendlies.

The game marks the first ever meeting between the United States and Slovakia, and will give head coach Bob Bradley an opportunity to fine tune the U.S. team seven months away from the World Cup.

New Zealand qualifies for World Cup

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New Zealand is headed to the World Cup.

After a scoreless first leg, New Zealand booked its passage to South Africa 2010 by defeating Bahrain 1-0 on Saturday in front of their home crowd at Westpac Stadium. It took a 45th minute goal from Rory Fallon and a penalty save from Mark Paston to give New Zealand the victory on aggregate, and a place in next year's World Cup.

MLS Playoffs: Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo (Match Night Commentary)

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The Los Angeles Galaxy and Houston Dynamo are set to face off for a place in the 2009 MLS Cup Final and it is anybody's guess which of these Western Conference powers will pull off the victory tonight at the Home Depot Center (11:25pm, ESPN2).

The Galaxy will be the host tonight and is a slight favorite, but the Dynamo has a strong enough defense and quality attacking weapons to score the upset.

Favorites fall in ACC semifinals

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Wake Forest was considered a heavy favorite to reach the ACC men's tournament final, but nobody told Virginia, which knocked off another higher seed to reach the ACC Final.

The Cavaliers converted all five penalty kicks to defeat Wake Forest, 5-4, in penalty kicks in their ACC Tournament semifinal in Cary, North Carolina.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Club soccer takes a break around the world (save for the USA and Mexico) which means international fixtures take center stage this weekend.There are crucial World Cup qualifiers and high-profile friendlies headlining this weekend's action.

World Cup Qualifying: New Zealand, Bahrain set for winner-take-all

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by TRAVIS CLARK

One game, everything to play for. When tonight's World Cup playoff between Bahrain and New Zealand (2am, FSC) kicks off, the winner claims a spot in South Africa, while the loser faces the prospect of missing the tournament once again.

Neither side is a prominent soccer nation, yet the underlying feeling is that the winning nation's program would receive a much-needed shot in the arm.

College Soccer: Conference Tournament watch

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by TRAVIS CLARK

NCAA tournament spots are up for grabs as conference tournaments wind up, ending this weekend on Sunday. For some programs around the nation, a miracle run in their respective tournament is the only hope to extend the post-season any further.

One of the last big tournaments got underway in the Big Ten.

World Cup Qualifying: African rivals aim for knockout blow

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by TRAVIS CLARK

Three more World Cup spots will be sealed on Saturday, and with the tournament held in the same continent, desperation will be at a maximum as African qualification finishes. Two spots are already held by the continent's two best teams, as Ghana and the Ivory Coast have both safely secured a place in the World Cup.

World Cup Qualifying: A closer look at the UEFA Playoffs

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Nine spots remain for the 2010 World Cup, and four of those will be decided through the UEFA playoffs, which are set to begin on Saturday.

Russia-Slovenia, Greece-Ukraine, Portugal-Bosnia Herzegovina and France-Ireland are the two-legged playoffs that will determine which remaining UEFA teams punch their tickets to South Africa next summer.

World Cup Qualifying: Costa Rica, Saprissa Ready For Uruguay

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By NESTOR F. SEBASTIAN

It's been all business in the Uruguayan and Costa Rican camps this week, ahead of their first-leg playoff match at San Jose's Saprissa stadium, with no bulletin-board material or off-key quotes to rile each other up.

Instead, it's generally been a pleasant environment for players, media corps and managers, both of whom have praised each other's squad's games and achievements but have also divulged very little information on their respective teams' workouts.

Preki leaves Chivas USA

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

In a move that was long expected, Preki has left Chivas USA after three seasons as head coach.

Preki took over as head coach for Bob Bradley before the 2007 season and guided the team to the playoffs all three seasons.

MLS Playoffs: Houston at Los Angeles (A Look Ahead)

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The Los Angeles Galaxy and Houston Dynamo were two of the best teams in MLS all season, and on Friday night they will play for the right to play in and be the favorite in the 2009 MLS Cup Final. The Western Conference Final (11pm, ESPN2) features some of the league's best talent, and is loaded with juicy individual match-ups both on the field and on the sideline.

Omar Gonzalez named MLS Rookie of the Year

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Los Angeles Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez was named the winner of the 2009 Rookie of the Year Award on Thursday, beating out Toronto FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei and D.C. United forward Chris Pontius for the honors.

European Ticker: Ferguson handed ban, Cudicini injured in crash and more

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Turns out Alex Ferguson isn't above punishment from the FA after all. Manchester United's manager was handed a two-match bantoday for the next two Premier League games as a result of criticizing referee Alan Wiley a few weeks ago. Ferguson will remain in the stands for league matches against Everton and Portsmouth.

Your October Questions Answered (Part Four)

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Welcome to the latest installment of Your October Questions Answered, where we take your reader-submitted questions and try to offer up our best responses and opinions to those questions.

This batch of questions covers everything from Brian McBride's potential return to the U.

Jermaine Jones unlikely to return before 2010

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With the Bundesliga winter break fast approaching, it's looking more and more unlikely that Jermaine Jones will be able to return to the pitch for Schalke 04 in 2009. The Bundesliga's winter break begins on December 19, and will last until January 16, meaning the 28-year-old midfielder would have another two months to recuperate from his shin injury.

Who should the USA start vs. Slovakia?

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The U.S. men's national team takes on Slovakia on Saturday and the match is one of the last remaining opportunities this year for head coach Bob Bradley to take a look at different players and positional pairings before the end of the year.

With standouts Landon Donovan and Tim Howard not called in, and with key injuries to Oguchi Onyewu and Jay Demerit, the squad Bradley will turn to to face the Slovakians will be a much different-looking group than the ones that helped the team qualify for the 2010 World Cup.

With pro ranks looming, Opara focused on another shot at college titles

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Photo by Sports on Film

Last January, Ike Opara sat in a college classroom with his laptop cracked open as he took a peak at what could have been his future. He was supposed to be focusing on his Debate class, but was instead tuned into the 2009 MLS Draft.

Afternoon Ticker: RSL in talks to sell minority stake in club, Germany-Chile friendly called off and more

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By TRAVIS CLARK

In the midst of a playoff run, and one win from a spot in MLS Cup, Real Salt Lake is reportedly close to seeing a new minority owner buying into the club.

According to the Deseret News, RSL owner Dave Checketts is in the latter stages of negotiations with Utah real estate developer Dell Loy Hansen to sell Hansen a 49 percent stake in the club.

Arena named MLS Coach of the Year

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In a little over a year, Bruce Arena transformed one of the worst teams in the league into a contender for the 2009 MLS Cup. As a result of the remarkable turnaround, Arena was named as the 2009 Coach of the Year.

Hired to replace Ruud Guillt on August 18, 2008, Arena looked to change a Galaxy squad in disarray.

Who will win the UEFA Playoffs?

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Beginning Saturday, eight nations in Europe will compete for the last four remaining UEFA spots in the 2010 World Cup. Winners of the two leg playoffs will secure a spot in the World Cup draw on December 4, and the losers endure the pain of watching next summer's tournament from home.

Who will win the MLS Eastern Conference Final?

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The Chicago Fire and Real Salt Lake are probably not the teams most observers would have pegged to be playing for the Eastern Conference title and berth in MLS Cup, but these two teams earned their places in the Final Four by virtue of strong first-round performances that should lead into a memorable East Final on Saturday night (8pm, FSC).

Upsets galore in ACC Tournament quarterfinals

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With the remnants of Tropical Storm Ida pouring heavy rains in Cary, North Carolina, the stage was set for upsets in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals on Wednesday. Three lower seeds knocked off higher seeds to set up a pair of semifinals few would have predicted.

North Carolina State had the upset of the day, knocking off No.

Upsets galore in ACC Tournament quarterfinals

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With the remnants of Tropical Storm Ida pouring heavy rains in Cary, North Carolina, the stage was set for upsets in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals on Wednesday. Three lower seeds knocked off higher seeds to set up a pair of semifinals few would have predicted.

North Carolina State had the upset of the day, knocking off No.

Who will win the MLS Eastern Conference Final?

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The Chicago Fire and Real Salt Lake are probably not the teams most observers would have pegged to be playing for the Eastern Conference title and berth in MLS Cup, but these two teams earned their places in the Final Four by virtue of strong first-round performances that should lead into a memorable East Final on Saturday night (8pm, FSC).

Who will win the UEFA Playoffs?

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Beginning Saturday, eight nations in Europe will compete for the last four remaining UEFA spots in the 2010 World Cup. Winners of the two leg playoffs will secure a spot in the World Cup draw on December 4, and the losers endure the pain of watching next summer's tournament from home.

Arena named MLS Coach of the Year

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In a little over a year, Bruce Arena transformed one of the worst teams in the league into a contender for the 2009 MLS Cup. As a result of the remarkable turnaround, Arena was named as the 2009 Coach of the Year.

Hired to replace Ruud Guillt on August 18, 2008, Arena looked to change a Galaxy squad seen by many as in disarray.

Afternoon Ticker: RSL minority owner may sell stake, German-Chile friendly called off and more

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In the midst of a playoff run, and one win from a spot in the MLS Cup, news from Utah today hint that Real Salt Lake minority Dave Checketts is close to selling his 49 percent stake in the club.

According to the Deseret News, Checketts is in the later stages of negotiations with Utah real estate developer Dell Loy Hansen for the shares Checketts' owns in the club.

With pro ranks looming, Opara focused on another shot at college titles

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Photo by Sports on Film

Last January, Ike Opara sat in a college classroom with his laptop cracked open as he took a peak at what could have been his future. He was supposed to be focusing on his Debate class, but was instead tuned into the 2009 MLS Draft.

Men's College Soccer RPI: Akron on top

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18 wins from 18 games, and the Akron Zips are the top-ranked team no matter where you look in the collegiate ranks. NSCAA and Soccer America both have the Zips on top, and the latest RPI released this week concurs. Having answered every question asked of them during the regular season, Akron now has a chance to run the table all the way to a NCAA championship.

Davies released from hospital

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U.S. national team forward Charlie Davies has been released from the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington some four weeks after being involved in a deadly car crash.

"I would like to take the time to thank everyone who has dealt with me in the Hospital Center and NRH for really putting in the time to help me get better as a person and as an athlete," Davies said in a statement released on his behalf.

Evening Ticker: German keeper Enke dies, Real Madrid falls and more

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Hannover 96 and German national team goalkeeper Robert Enke has died of an apparent suicide after being hit by a train.

A recent member of the German national team, Enke had reportedly struggled to cope with the death of his two-year old daughter, who died from a heart ailment in 2006.

The new-look Marcus Hahnemann

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In case you hadn't noticed, Marcus Hahnemann is back with the U.S. national team, having been called in for the upcoming friendlies vs. Slovakia and Denmark. Hahnemann is also looking a tad bit different from his days at Reading. The Wolverhampton goalkeeper has shed a few pounds.

Here is the new-look Marcus Hahnemann:

The new-look Marcus Hahnemann

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In case you hadn't noticed, Marcus Hahnemann is back with the U.S. national team, having been called in for the upcoming friendlies vs. Slovakia and Denmark. Hahnemann is also looking a tad bit different from his days at Reading. The Wolverhampton goalkeeper has shed a few pounds.

Here is the new-look Marcus Hahnemann:


Evening Ticker: German keeper Enke dies, Real Madrid falls and more

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Hannover 96 and German national team goalkeeper Robert Enke has died of an apparent suicide after being hit by a train.

A recent member of the German national team, Enke had reportedly struggled to cope with the death of his two-year old daughter, who died from a heart ailment in 2006.

Men's College Soccer RPI: Akron on top

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18 wins from 18 games, and the Akron Zips are the top-ranked team no matter where you look in the collegiate ranks. NSCAA and Soccer America both have the Zips on top, and the latest RPI released this week concurs. Having answered every question asked of them during the regular season, Akron now has a chance to run the table all the way to a NCAA championship.

Davies released from hospital

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U.S. national team forward Charlie Davies has been released from the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington some four weeks after being involved in a deadly car crash.

"I would like to take the time to thank everyone who has dealt with me in the Hospital Center and NRH for really putting in the time to help me get better as a person and as an athlete," Davies said in a statement released on his behalf.

Who will win the MLS Western Conference Final?

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The Los Angeles Galaxy and Houston Dynamo have combined for four MLS Cup titles this decade, and one of them will move a step closer to trying to claim Team of the Decade honors when they meet in Friday's Western Conference Final (11pm, ESPN2).

ACC Tournament Preview

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by TRAVIS CLARK

Tournament season is finally here, and today marks the kickoff of one of the premier tournaments in men's college soccer. The ACC, regarded by many as the best conference in the nation, gets underway today with a play-in match between Clemson and Virginia Tech.

Montero named MLS Newcomer of the Year, Thornton wins Comeback Award

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In one of the easier results to see coming, Seattle Sounders striker Fredy Montero was named MLS Newcomer of the Year. He beat out Sounders teammates Kasey Keller and Freddie Ljungberg for the honor.

Montero scored 12 goals and added seven assists in helping lead the Sounders to the playoffs.

What next for the four eliminated MLS playoff teams?

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The MLS playoffs resume on Friday with the Western Conference final, but the playoffs are already over for the four teams eliminated this past weekend. How those teams respond to their first-round exits, and how they deal with very important off-seasons, will determine if they are back in the post-season in 2010.

Montero named MLS Newcomer of the Year, Thornton wins Comeback Award

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In one of the easier results to see coming, Seattle Sounders striker Fredy Montero was named MLS Newcomer of the Year. He beat out Sounders teammates Kasey Keller and Freddie Ljungberg for the honor.

Montero scored 12 goals and added seven assists in helping lead the Sounders to the playoffs.

What next for the four eliminated MLS playoff teams?

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The MLS playoffs resume on Friday with the Western Conference final, but the playoffs are already over for the four teams eliminated this past weekend. How those teams respond to their first-round exits, and how they deal with very important off-seasons, will determine if they are back in the post-season in 2010.

ACC Tournament Preview

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by TRAVIS CLARK

Tournament season is finally here, and today marks the kickoff of one of the premier tournaments in men's college soccer. The ACC, regarded by many as the best conference in the nation, gets underway today with a play-in match between Clemson and Virginia Tech.

Who will win the MLS Western Conference Final?

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The Los Angeles Galaxy and Houston Dynamo have combined for four MLS Cup titles this decade, and one of them will move a step closer to trying to claim Team of the Decade honors when they meet in Friday's Western Conference Final (11pm, ESPN2).

USL outcasts to launch new league in 2010

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Six ownership groups that were previously part of the USL-First Division have joined forces with St. Louis Soccer United to form a new professional soccer league that will begin play in 2010.

The Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina Railhawks, Miami FC, Minnesota Thunder, Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps have joined St.

USMNT names 22-man squad for Slovakia friendly

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MLS Golden Boot winner Jeff Cunningham, veteran goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann and Fulham striker Eddie Johnson are three of the 22 players called up by Bob Bradley for Saturday's friendly against Slovakia (10am, Fox Soccer Channel).

Bradley called in a mostly full-strength squad of available players, with Tim Howard and Landon Donovan among those not called in for this match.

Philly Union to officially announce Hackworth as assistant

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The Philadelphia Union will be selecting its first players in just two weeks when Major League Soccer holds the Expansion Draft and Union head coach Peter Nowak will have his lead assistant coach in place for the draft.

The Union will announce the hire of former U.

SBI European Club Top 25

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Chelsea won the first battle of EPL heavyweights on Sunday when the Blues knocked off defending champion Manchester United, and while the victory didn't help Chelsea take over the top spot in the SBI European Club Top 25, it has the Blues piling even more pressure on No.

Lyon and Marseille put on ten-goal thriller

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If you weren't satifisfied with the nine goals scored in the four MLS playoff games this past weekend, you certainly would have gotten your fill of goals if you were lucky enough to see Lyon and Marseille battle to a 5-5 draw on Sunday.

Lyon edged closer to first-place Bordeaux with the tie, but will feel disappointed at not having been able to secure the three points in a match it led on three different occasions.

EPL Week 11: A Look Back

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by TRAVIS CLARK

Will there ever be a Chelsea-Manchester United match-up that won't involve referee criticisms? Whenever Sir Alex and his side end up losing -- especially in a match with such stakes -- comments from the often critical Scotsman almost always lashes out at the ref shortly after the final whistle.

Big East Tournament Wrap: UConn knocked out, Louisville squeaks into semifinals

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The mighty fall quickly when tournament time comes around. With the Big East tournament now heading into the semifinals, the University of Connecticut won't be around contending for the conference title. Continuing a strong upset run in the postseason, the Providence Friars took care of the Huskies in a 1-0 double-overtime contest.

National Soccer Hall of Fame announces 24 finalists on 2010 Ballot

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..........................Photo by ISIphotos.com

The National Soccer Hall of Fame released its final ballot for the Class of 2010 and the 24 former soccer players chosen represent a vast array of teams and eras.

Former U.S. national team standouts Earnie Stewart, Peter Vermes and Thomas Dooley, Women's national team stars Cindy Parlow and Shannon McMillan, as well as foreign-born MLS pioneers Marco Etcheverry, Peter Nowak and Carlos Valderrama are just some of the candidates on the ballot.

Kansas City to name Vermes head coach

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Peter Vermes took over as interim head coach of the Kansas City Wizards last summer to try and help the team turn around a disappointing season and to get a better sense of what the team needed heading into 2010.

Morning Ticker: N'Gog dives Liverpool to draw, Zlatan ponders Sweden retirement and more

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Liverpool midfielder David N'Gog may have salvaged his club from losing against Birmingham on Monday, but he did so with one of the most highly-criticized dives in recent memory.

With Birmingham shockingly leading the hosts 2-1 in the second half, N'Gog dribbled into the penalty area before being brought down by midfielder Lee Carsley's sliding challenge.

USL outcasts set to launch new league in 2010

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Six ownership groups that were previously part of the USL-First Division have joined forces with St. Louis Soccer United to form a new professional soccer league that will begin play in 2010.

The Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina Railhawks, Miami FC, Minnesota Thunder, Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps have joined St.

Morning Ticker: N'Gog dives Liverpool to draw, Zlatan ponders Sweden retirement and more

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Liverpool midfielder David N'Gog may have salvaged his club from losing against Birmingham on Monday, but he did so with one of the most highly-criticized dives in recent memory.

With Birmingham shockingly leading the hosts 2-1 in the second half, N'Gog dribbled into the penalty area before being brought down by midfielder Lee Carsley's sliding challenge.

Kansas City Wizards to name Peter Vermes head coach

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Peter Vermes took over as interim head coach of the Kansas City Wizards to try and help the team turn around a disappointing season and to get a better sense of what the team needed. Wizards' owners apparently believe the team needs Vermes to stay as head coach.

Big East Tournament Wrap: UConn knocked out, Louisville squeaks into semifinals

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The mighty fall quickly when tournament time comes around. With the Big East tournament now heading into the semifinals, the University of Connecticut won't be around contending for the conference title. Continuing a strong upset run in the postseason, the Providence Friars took care of the Huskies in a 1-0 double-overtime contest.

National Soccer Hall of Fame announces 24 finalists on 2010 Ballot

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   Photo by ISIphotos.com

The National Soccer Hall of Fame released its final ballot for the Class of 2010 and the 24 former soccer players chosen represent a vast array of teams and eras.

Former U.S. national team standouts Earnie Stewart, Peter Vermes and Thomas Dooley, Women's national team stars Cindy Parlow and Shannon McMillan, as well as foreign-born MLS pioneers Marco Etcheverry, Peter Nowak and Carlos Valderrama are just some of the candidates on the ballot.

EPL Week 11: A Look Back

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by TRAVIS CLARK

Will there ever be a Chelsea-Manchester United match-up that won't involve referee criticisms? Whenever Sir Alex and his side end up losing -- especially in a match with such stakes -- comments from the often critical Scotsman almost always lashes out at the ref shortly after the final whistle.

Lyon and Marseille put on ten-goal thriller

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If you weren't satifisfied with the nine goals scored in the four MLS playoff games this past weekend, you certainly would have gotten your fill of goals if you were lucky enough to see Lyon and Marseille battle to a 5-5 draw on Sunday.

Lyon edged closer to first-place Monaco with the tie, but will feel disappointed at not having been able to secure the three points in a match it led on three different occasions.

SBI European Club Top 25

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Chelsea won the first battle of EPL heavyweights on Sunday when the Blues knocked off defending champion Manchester United, and while the victory didn't help Chelsea take over the top spot in the SBI European Club Top 25, it has the Blues piling even more pressure on No.

Philly Union to officially announce Hackworth as assistant

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The Philadelphia Union will be selecting its first players in just two weeks when Major League Soccer holds the Expansion Draft and Union head coach Peter Nowak will have his lead assistant coach in place for the draft.

The Union will announce the hire of former U.

USMNT names 22-man squad for Slovakia friendly

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MLS Golden Boot winner Jeff Cunningham, veteran goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann and Fulham striker Eddie Johnson are three of the 22 players called up by Bob Bradley for Saturday's friendly against Slovakia.

Bradley called in a mostly full-strength squad of available players, with Tim Howard and Landon Donovan among those not called in for this match.

Galaxy and Dynamo win home games to set MLS Conference Finals

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Landon Donovan's second-half penalty kick proved to be the difference as the Los Angeles Galaxy edged Chivas USA, 1-0, on Sunday to take the series by a goal.

Mike Magee drew the vital penalty when he ran onto a Donovan pass before being crashed into by Chivas USA defender Yamith Cuesta.

MLS Playoffs: Chivas USA at Los Angeles Galaxy (Match Night Commentary)

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The Los Angeles 'Super Clasico' will determine a playoff winner for the first time as the LA Galaxy play host to Chivas USA at Home Depot Center in Game Two of their Western Conference playoff series.

The teams tied, 2-2, in Game One, and tonight the Galaxy will be the home team.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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by FRANCO PANIZOÂ

The Americans Abroad must have known this was the final weekend before the U.S. national team's two European friendlies, because there was a plethora of positive performances and five different goal scorers in one of the most successful weekends in recent memory.

MLS Playoffs: Seattle at Houston (Your Running Commentary)

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The Houston Dynamo will look to take a step closer to a third MLS Cup title in four years today when it hosts the Sounders in Game Two of their Western Conference first-round series (3pm, Telefutura).

The Dynamo held off Seattle's dangerous attack in Game One, posting a scoreless draw in a sold-out Qwest field.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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The top two teams in England face off today, while four MLS teams battle to see which two will play in the Western Conference final in MLS.

Manchester United travels to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea, while the Home Depot Center Clasico and Seattle-Houston fill out the MLS portion of today's action.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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The second participant in the MLS Eastern Conference finals will be decided today when the New England Revolution face the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park.

That playoff game is just one of the highlighted match-up on this busy Saturday.

Beasley makes appearance in Rangers victory

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2009 has not been the kindest year to DaMarcus Beasley, but the midfielder's appearance in Rangers' 2-1 victory on Saturday was a step in the right direction.

Beasley came off the bench at halftime in Rangers' league match against St. Mirren, marking the first time Beasley has seen the field in league play this season.

MLS Playoffs: New England at Chicago (Match Night Commentary)

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The second participant in the MLS Eastern Conference Final will be determined tonight when the New England Revolution faces the Chicago Fire in Game Two of their First Round playoff series.

New England will try to join Real Salt Lake in the East Final by building on its 2-1 victory in Game One.

MLS Playoffs: New England at Chicago (Match Night Commentary)

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The second participant in the MLS Eastern Conference Final will be determined tonight when the New England Revolution faces the Chicago Fire in Game Two of their First Round playoff series.

New England will try to join Real Salt Lake in the East Final by building on its 2-1 victory in Game One.

Beasley makes appearance in Rangers victory

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2009 has not been the kindest year to DaMarcus Beasley, but the midfielder's appearance in Rangers' 2-1 victory on Saturday was a step in the right direction.

Beasley came off the bench at halftime in Rangers' league match against St. Mirren, marking the first time Beasley has seen the field in league play this season.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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The second participant in the MLS Eastern Conference finals will be decided today when the New England Revolution face the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park.

That playoff game is just one of the highlighted match-up on this busy Saturday.

Big East Quarterfinals: A Look Ahead

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by TRAVIS CLARK

The Big East happens to be an earlier starter when it comes to the postseason tournament. The first round took place midweek, and while it's too early to pronounce some of the results as upsets, DePaul managing to squeak into the quarterfinals comes as a slight surprise -- the Demons drew 2-2 at Georgetown before winning on penalties.

This weekend's Soccer on TV

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The most highly-anticipated match of the English Premier League season is upon us, and so are some truly can't-miss MLS playoff series deciders.

Chelsea plays host to Manchester United on Sunday with a chance to open up a five-point lead atop the EPL standings, while six MLS teams head into action knowing that defending MLS champions Columbus has been eliminated from the post-season.

SBI's Friday Free Kicks: Things are looking up in Philly, some MLS Awards thoughts and more

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Standing on a rooftop overlooking the site of the Philadelphia Union's future stadium, I couldn't help but see the pieces being put into place for a club that should help revitalize soccer on the East Coast.

As cranes lowered ten-ton cement blocks into place to piece together the Union's stadium, you could stand inside the unfinished building and see the vision.

SBI's Friday Free Kicks: Things are looking up in Philly, some MLS Awards thoughts and more

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Standing on a rooftop overlooking the site of the Philadelphia Union's future stadium, I couldn't help but see the pieces being put into place for a club that should help revitalize soccer on the East Coast.

As cranes lowered ten-ton cement blocks into place to piece together the Union's stadium, you could stand inside the unfinished building and see the vision.

This weekend's Soccer on TV

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The most highly-anticipated match of the English Premier League season is upon us, and so are some truly can't-miss MLS playoff series deciders.

Chelsea plays host to Manchester United on Sunday with a chance to open up a five-point lead atop the EPL standings, while six MLS teams head into action knowing that defending MLS champions Columbus has been eliminated from the post-season.

Report: Agbossoumonde to Sporting Braga (UPDATED-Talks underway, no deal yet)

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U.S. U-20 national team defender Gale Agbossoumonde could be the first member of the U.S. Under-20 World Cup team to score a move to Europe after the tournament.

According to this report out of Portugal, Agbossoumonde, who currently plays for Miami FC in the USL, is expected to join Sporting Braga on loan on Nov.

Big East Quarterfinals: A Look Ahead

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by TRAVIS CLARK

The Big East happens to be an earlier starter when it comes to the postseason tournament. The first round took place midweek, and while it's too early to pronounce some of the results as upsets, DePaul managing to squeak into the quarterfinals comes as a slight surprise -- the Demons drew 2-2 at Georgetown before winning on penalties.

Morning Ticker: Ronaldo remains sidelined, van der Sar bashed and more

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Cristiano Ronaldo is arguably the best player in the world, but his spot in next year's World Cup will be determined when Portugal and Bosnia square off in a two-legged playoff later this month. There is only one problem for Ronaldo: He may not have a say in if Portugal qualifies.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Clint Dempsey has found his scoring touch again, netting in Fulham's previous two league matches, and this weekend he gets a chance to extend that streak against a familiar foe.

Dempsey and Fulham battle Wigan Athletic on Sunday, a team the U.

Your October Questions Answered (Part Three)

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Welcome to the latest installment of Your Questions Answered, now with more national team content.

The U.S. men's national team has dominated October's batch of questions as you might expect, but this installment includes some interesting inquiries about the likes of Brad Friedel, Jeff Cunningham and yes, Freddy Adu.

TGIF: Are small rosters hurting top MLS teams?

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Friday is here and we are faced with the somewhat surprising reality that the first team eliminated from this year's MLS playoffs is the defending MLS Cup champion Columbus Crew. You can complain all you want about the playoff format, and the fact that Real Salt Lake barely edged its way into the playoffs, but RSL played great soccer when it mattered most, while the Crew bumbled and stumbled to the finish line and ultimately paid for its inconsistency.

Report: Agbossoumonde to Sporting Braga

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Photo by ISIphotos.com
U.S. U-20 national team defender Gale Agbossoumonde could be the first member of the U.S. Under-20 World Cup team to score a move to Europe after the tournament.

According to this report out of Portugal, Agbossoumonde, who currently plays for Miami FC in the USL, is expected to join Sporting Braga on loan on Nov.

TGIF: Are small rosters hurting top MLS teams?

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Friday is here and we are faced with the somewhat surprising reality that the first team eliminated from this year's MLS playoffs is the defending MLS Cup champion Columbus Crew. You can complain all you want about the playoff format, and the fact that Real Salt Lake barely edged its way into the playoffs, but RSL played great soccer when it mattered most, while the Crew bumbled and stumbled to the finish line and ultimately paid for its inconsistency.

Your October Questions Answered (Part Three)

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Welcome to the latest installment of Your Questions Answered, now with more national team content.

The U.S. men's national team has dominated October's batch of questions as you might expect, but this installment includes some interesting inquiries about the likes of Brad Friedel, Jeff Cunningham and yes, Freddy Adu.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Clint Dempsey has found his scoring touch again, netting in Fulham's previous two league matches, and this weekend he gets a chance to extend that streak against a familiar foe.

Dempsey and Fulham battle Wigan Athletic on Sunday, a team the U.

Morning Ticker: Ronaldo remains sidelined, van der Sar bashed and more

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Cristiano Ronaldo is arguably the best player in the world, but his spot in next year's World Cup will be determined when Portugal and Bosnia square off in a two-legged playoff later this month. There is only one problem for Ronaldo: He may not have a say in if Portugal qualifies.

Real Salt Lake stuns Columbus, eliminates Crew with 3-2 victory

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Guillermo Barros Schelotto was being counted on to help his Columbus Crew climb out of the one-goal deficit it faced after a Game One defeat to Real Salt Lake, and he did just that with two first-half goals in Thursday night's Game Two. Unfortunately for the Crew, the normally stout defense it was counting on to pitch a shutout delivered a mistake-filled performance that has helped put an end to Columbus' quest for a repeat.

Real Salt Lake stuns Columbus, eliminates Crew with 3-2 victory

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Guillermo Barros Schelotto was being counted on to help his Columbus Crew climb out of the one-goal deficit it faced after a Game One defeat to Real Salt Lake, and he did just that with two first-half goals in Thursday night's Game Two. Unfortunately for the Crew, the normally stout defense it was counting on to pitch a shutout delivered a mistake-filled performance that has helped put an end to Columbus' quest for a repeat.

Afternoon Ticker: Kroenke nears takeover bid of Arsenal, Chelsea look to sell stadium naming rights and more

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Arsene Wenger and Arsenal may soon have a new owner at the club. Stan Kroenke, who already added to his stock of shares in the North London club earlier this week, reportedly bought 200 more shares today to draw his stake in the club to 29.9 percent -- just 0.09 percent away from the limit where Kroenke would have to make a bid for the remaining shares.

Americans Abroad: Europa League Rewind

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The resumption of the Europa League after a short hiatus meant another important round of games for Everton and Fulham. With those clubs in action, both Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard were in action Thursday afternoon.

Dempsey's Fulham traveled to Rome, and after getting out to a 1-0 lead, were reduced to 10 men early in the second half.

MLS Playoffs: Real Salt Lake at Columbus Crew (Matchday Preview)

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The Columbus Crew quest for a repeat MLS Cup championship will ride on tonight's First Round playoff decider against Real Salt Lake at Crew Stadium (8pm, ESPN2).

The Crew will need to erase a 1-0 deficit from its first-leg loss at Rio Tinto Stadium to do win the series, and will welcome back reigning MLS MVP Guillermo Barros Schelotto, who is expected to start after being benched for the first game.

MLS Playoffs: Real Salt Lake at Columbus Crew (Matchday Preview)

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The Columbus Crew quest for a repeat MLS Cup championship will ride on tonight's First Round playoff decider against Real Salt Lake at Crew Stadium (8pm, ESPN2).

The Crew will need to erase a 1-0 deficit from its first-leg loss at Rio Tinto Stadium to do win the series, and will welcome back reigning MLS MVP Guillermo Barros Schelotto, who is expected to start after being benched for the first game.

Americans Abroad: Europa League Rewind

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The resumption of the Europa League after a short hiatus meant another important round of games for Everton and Fulham. With those clubs in action, both Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard were in action Thursday afternoon.

Dempsey's Fulham traveled to Rome, and after getting out to a 1-0 lead, were reduced to 10 men early in the second half.

Afternoon Ticker: Kroenke nears takeover bid of Arsenal, Chelsea look to sell stadium naming rights and more

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Arsene Wenger and Arsenal may soon have a new owner at the club. Stan Kroenke, who already added to his stock of shares in the North London club earlier this week, reportedly bought 200 more shares today to draw his stake in the club to 29.9 percent -- just 0.09 percent away from the limit where Kroenke would have to make a bid for the remaining shares.

Marshall named MLS Defender of the Year

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For the second straight season, the Columbus Crew's Chad Marshall was selected as the league's best defender. Marshall was named as the MLS 2009 Defender of the Year Thursday, joining Carlos Bocanegra and Robin Fraser as the award's only two-time winners.

2009 has been a tremendous success for Marshall, named in July as an All-Star, and earning five caps with the U.

UEFA Champions League: Lyon adds to Liverpool woes, Sevilla clinches knockout spot

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Liverpool was so close to victory yesterday in Lyon. After shutting out Les Gones for 83 minutes, a Ryan Babel wonder goal broke the deadlock, handing Rafa and the Reds a lifeline in Group E. A win against the French powerhouse would throw them back in the thick of things. But it was not to be, as Lisandro Lopez capitalized on some poor Liverpool defending to snatch a 1-1 draw that sealed Lyon's passage to the knockout stage.

Americans Abroad: Wednesday Rewind

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Thanks to a singular Premier League fixture and some midweek matches in Mexico, a handful of Americans Abroad saw the pitch on Wednesday.

Two Americans went head-to-head against each other in London, as Brad Friedel's Aston Villa traveled to Upton Park out to pile misery on West Ham and Jonathan Spector.

Who should the USMNT call up for the European friendlies?

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The U.S. men's national team's European friendlies are fast approaching and we will soon learn which new faces head coach Bob Bradley will be taking a look at.

Why should we expect to see some new faces? The long term losses of Charlie Davies and Oguchi Onyewu, coupled with the absence of Jay DeMerit, has left serious voids in the squad.

Men's College Soccer Wrap: No. 1 Akron wins again, No. 3 UCSB held

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Conference tournaments are right around the corner, increasing the stakes of each match this late in the college soccer season. While the No. 1 Akron Zips have certainly earned at least an at-large bid, an undefeated regular season is still in sight. The Zips did nothing to harm the cause Wednesday, eking out a 2-1 win against Michigan State to remain undefeated on the year.

Marshall named MLS Defender of the Year

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For the second straight season, the Columbus Crew's Chad Marshall was selected as the league's best defender. Marshall was named as the MLS 2009 Defender of the Year Thursday, joining Carlos Bocanegra and Robin Fraser as the award's only two-time winners.

2009 has been a tremendous success for Marshall, named in July as an All-Star, and earning five caps with the U.

Men's College Soccer Wrap: No. 1 Akron wins again, No. 3 UCSB held

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Conference tournaments are right around the corner, increasing the stakes of each match this late in the college soccer season. While the No. 1 Akron Zips have certainly earned at least an at-large bid, an undefeated regular season is still in sight. The Zips did nothing to harm the cause Wednesday, eking out a 2-1 win against Michigan State to remain undefeated on the year.

Who should the USMNT call up for the European friendlies?

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The U.S. men's national team's European friendlies are fast approaching and we will soon learn which new faces head coach Bob Bradley will be taking a look at.

Why should we expect to see some new faces? The long term losses of Charlie Davies and Oguchi Onyewu, coupled with the absence of Jay DeMerit, has left serious voids in the squad.

Americans Abroad: Wednesday Rewind

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Thanks to a singular Premier League fixture and some midweek matches in Mexico, a handful of Americans Abroad saw the pitch on Wednesday.

Two Americans went head-to-head against each other in London, as Brad Friedel's Aston Villa traveled to Upton Park out to pile misery on West Ham and Jonathan Spector.

UEFA Champions League: Lyon adds to Liverpool woes, Sevilla clinches knockout spot

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Liverpool was so close to victory yesterday in Lyon. After giving Lyon their best for 83 minutes, a Ryan Babel wonder goal broke the deadlock, handing Rafa and the Reds a lifeline in Group E. A win against the French powerhouse would throw them back in the thick of things. But it was not to be, as Lisandro Lopez capitalized on some poor Liverpool defending to snatch a 1-1 draw that sealed Lyon's passage to the knockout stage.

UEFA Champions League: Draws and goals galore as Matchday 4 gets underway

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by TRAVIS CLARK

There was end-to-end action pretty much everywhere you looked on Matchday 4 of the UEFA Champions League. A couple of high profile matches delivered the goods, with late equalizers in Madrid and Manchester scuttling a Chelsea comeback against Atletico and a CSKA upset of United.

Morning Ticker: Gerrard and Torres face surgery, Arteta suffers injury setback and more

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As if Rafa Benitez and Liverpool's woes couldn't get any worse after their 3-1 loss against Fulham on Saturday, word came this week that both his top stars, Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres, might need surgery in the next month.

Torres has been dealing with a sports hernia injury, while Gerrard picked up a groin injury while playing for England last month.

Under-17 World Cup: USA vs. Italy (Matchday Commentary)

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The U.S. Under-17 men's national team will look to extend its winning streak to three games today when it takes on Italy in the second round of the Under-17 World Cup in Nigeria (10pm, ESPN360.com).

The Americans defeated Malawi and United Arab Emirates to reach this stage, and now face a strong Italian team that rolled to the second round.

Thornton named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year

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Chivas USA goalkeeper Zach Thornton was named 2009 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year on Wednesday, marking the second time he's won the award.

Thornton enjoyed a career renaissance with Chivas USA this season, posting career highs in shutouts and goals against average while helping guide Chivas USA to the playoffs.

USA-Slovakia to be shown on FSC

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The U.S. national team's friendly vs. Slovakia in Bratislava later this month will air live on Fox Soccer Channel.

U.S. Soccer announced via its Twitter Wednesday that the U.S. team's first of two European friendlies will air live at 10am on FSC on Nov. 14. No word yet on what station will air the U.

UEFA Champions League: Matchday Four (Your Running Commentary)

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The UEFA Champions League wraps up play today with eight rematches from the last round.

It's already halftime in Kazan as Barcelona looks to avenge its defeat at Camp Nou when the two clubs last faced each other (live on FSC). With the score tied at 0-0, there are plenty of reasons to watch -- as well as other Champions League action as matchday 4 resumes today.

Segares out, Conde still a doubt for Fire's playoff decider

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If the Chicago Fire were hoping for reinforcements to bolster their chances against New England in Saturday's second leg playoff match, they'll have to look beyond Gonzalo Segares. The defender is currently listed as out for the upcoming do-or-die encounter set for Saturday at Toyota Park.

Segares out, Conde still a doubt for Fire's playoff decider

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If the Chicago Fire were hoping for reinforcements to bolster their chances against New England in Saturday's second leg playoff match, they'll have to look beyond Gonzalo Segares. The defender is currently listed as out for the upcoming do-or-die encounter set for Saturday at Toyota Park.

UEFA Champions League: Matchday Four (Your Running Commentary)

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It's already halftime in Kazan as Barcelona look to avenge their defeat at Camp Nou in their last meeting (live on FSC). With the score tied at 0-0, there are plenty of reasons to watch -- as well as other Champions League action as matchday 4 resumes today.

Liverpool face Lyon as the French club aims to reach the qualification stages.

USA-Slovakia to be shown on FSC

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The U.S. national team's friendly vs. Slovakia in Bratislava later this month will air live on Fox Soccer Channel.

U.S. Soccer announced via its Twitter Wednesday that the U.S. team's first of two European friendlies will air live at 10am on FSC on Nov. 14. No word yet on what station will air the U.

Thornton named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year

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Chivas USA goalkeeper Zach Thornton was named 2009 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year on Wednesday, marking the second time he's won the award.

Thornton enjoyed a career renaissance with Chivas USA this season, posting career highs in shutouts and goals against average while helping guide Chivas USA to the playoffs.

Under-17 World Cup: USA vs. Italy (Matchday Commentary)

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The U.S. Under-17 men's national team will look to extend its winning streak to three games today when it takes on Italy in the second round of the Under-17 World Cup in Nigeria (10pm, ESPN360.com).

The Americans defeated Malawi and United Arab Emirates to reach this stage, and now face a strong Italian team that rolled to the second round.

Morning Ticker: Gerrard and Torres face surgery, Arteta suffers injury setback and more

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As if Rafa Benitez and Liverpool's woes couldn't get any worse after their 3-1 loss against Fulham on Tuesday, word came this week that his star duo Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres both might need surgery in the next month.

Torres has been ailed with a sports hernia injury, while Gerrard picked up a groin injury while playing for England last month.

UEFA Champions League: Draws and goals galore as Matchday 4 gets underway

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by TRAVIS CLARK

There was end-to-end action pretty much everywhere you looked on Matchday 4 of the UEFA Champions League. A couple of high profile matches delivered the goods, with late equalizers in Madrid and Manchester scuttling a Chelsea comeback against Atletico and a CSKA upset of United.

USA set to face Italy in Under-17 World Cup Round of 16

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

by FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. Under-17 men's national team finally put together a strong performance in its final group match, and its reward for beating the United Arab Emirates is a Round of 16 date with Italy.

Weekend College Soccer Wrap

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Upsets are always a huge part of sport, and when it comes to the collegiate game, the national rankings create an obvious atmosphere for upset. While in the men's game, hardly a weekend goes by without upset -- particularly in the ACC, as the powerhouses beat up on each other -- it's always worth noting when the mighty fall.

Galaxy loan Beckham to AC Milan (again)

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

One of the worst-kept secrets in MLS became official on Monday as David Beckham's second loan deal to AC Milan was formally announced.

The Los Angeles Galaxy announced on Monday that it has agreed to terms with AC Milan on a loan that will see Beckham join Milan in January, and play with the Serie A giants up until the 2010 World Cup.

Your October Questions Answered (Part 2)

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It's November, which means it is time for SBI to crank out last month's Q&A installments.

While a few weeks have passed since questions were submitted, most questions are still just as relevent today as they were two to three weeks ago.

U.S. national team questions rule the day as usual, with more World Cup questions starting to filter in now that the Americans have qualified and the clock is ticking quickly toward South Africa.

MLS announces awards finalists

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Landon Donovan, Shalrie Joseph and Jeff Cunningham are the finalists for MLS MVP honors and just three of the MLS players identified as finalists for season-ending awards by Major League Soccer.

Donovan is one of several members of the Los Angeles Galaxy to be selected as finalists for honors.

Jozy Altidore's Wooly Road Block

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Photo by ISIphotos.com
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We all know about Jozy Altidore's well-publicized suspension and fine for being late for a recent Hull City match, and his punishment for mentioning it on Twitter, but now we get our first evidence of what may be a conspiracy to make Altidore late again.

SBI European Club Top 25

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FC Barcelona has just one loss this season, and the defending European champions will get their chance to avenge that loss on Wednesday when they travel to Russia to take on FC Rubin Kazan on Wednesday.

The Russian champions cracked this week's SBI European Club Top 10 with its latest league victory, and on the strength of its 2-1 win at the Camp Nou and its draw vs.

Morning Ticker: Kroenke buys more Arsenal shares, Hunt picks Germany over England and more

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Colorado Rapids owner Stan Kroenke edged closer to a potential takeover of English power Arsenal after buying another batch of shares.

Kroenke now owns about 29.6 percent of Arsenal's shares, just three percentage points below the amount that would obligate him to launch a formal takeover bid.

Soehn out as D.C. United head coach

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Tom Soehn will not be back as head coach of D.C. United after removing his name from consideration to be retained upon the conclusion of his current contract at the end of the calendar year.

D.C. United failed to make the playoffs for a second straight season, but it did enjoy success under Soehn, who helped guide the team to a Supporters Shield in 2007 and U.

Denmark releases roster for USA friendly

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The Danish national team announced the roster that will take on U.S. national team on Nov. 18 in Aarhus.

Christian Poulsen, Dennis Rommedahl and Thomas Kahlenberg are just some of the top European-based standouts called in for the match, which is the first of two friendlies the U.S.

Denmark releases roster for USA friendly

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The Danish national team announced the roster that will take on U.S. national team on Nov. 18 in Aarhus.

Christian Poulsen, Dennis Rommedahl and Thomas Kahlenberg are just some of the top European-based standouts called in for the match, which is the first of two friendlies the U.S.

Soehn out as D.C. United head coach

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Tom Soehn will not be back as head coach of D.C. United after removing his name from consideration to be retained upon the conclusion of his current contract at the end of the calendar year.

D.C. United failed to make the playoffs for a second straight season, but it did enjoy success under Soehn, who helped guide the team to a Supporters Shield in 2007 and U.

Morning Ticker: Kroenke buys more Arsenal shares, Hunt picks Germany over England and more

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Colorado Rapids owner Stan Kroenke edged closer to a potential takeover of English power Arsenal after buying another batch of shares.

Kroenke now owns about 29.6 percent of Arsenal's shares, just three percentage points below the amount that would obligate him to launch a formal takeover bid.

SBI European Club Top 25

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FC Barcelona has just one loss this season, and the defending European champions will get their chance to avenge that loss on Wednesday when they travel to Russia to take on FC Rubin Kazan on Wednesday.

The Russian champions cracked this week's SBI European Club Top 10 with its latest league victory, and on the strength of its 2-1 win at the Camp Nou and its draw vs.

Jozy Altidore's Wooly Road Block

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Â

Photo by ISIphotos.com
Â
We all know about Jozy Altidore's well-publicized suspension and fine for being late for a recent Hull City match, and his punishment for mentioning it on Twitter, but now we get our first evidence of what may be a conspiracy to make Altidore late again.

MLS announces awards finalists

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Landon Donovan, Shalrie Joseph and Jeff Cunningham are the finalists for MLS MVP honors and just three of the MLS players identified as finalists for season-ending awards by Major League Soccer.

Donovan is one of several members of the Los Angeles Galaxy to be selected as finalists for honors.

Your October Questions Answered (Part 2)

Soccer By Ives at related • 2 views


It's November, which means it is time for SBI to crank out last month's Q&A installments.

While a few weeks have passed since questions were submitted, most questions are still just as relevent today as they were two to three weeks ago.

U.S. national team questions rule the day as usual, with more World Cup questions starting to filter in now that the Americans have qualified and the clock is ticking quickly toward South Africa.

Galaxy agree to loan Beckham to AC Milan (again)

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

One of the worst-kept secrets in MLS became official on Monday as David Beckham's second loan deal to AC Milan was formally announced.

The Los Angeles Galaxy announced on Monday that it has agreed to terms with AC Milan on a loan that will see Beckham join Milan in January, and play with the Serie A giants up until the 2010 World Cup.

Weekend College Soccer Wrap

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Upsets are always a huge part of sport, and when it comes to the collegiate game, the national rankings create an obvious atmosphere for upset. While in the men's game, hardly a weekend goes by without upset -- particularly in the ACC, as the powerhouses beat up on each other -- it's always worth noting when the mighty fall.

USA set to face Italy in Under-17 World Cup Round of 16

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

by FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. Under-17 men's national team finally put together a strong performance in its final group match, and its reward for beating the United Arab Emirates is a Round of 16 date to face Italy.

MMCB: Should the higher MLS seeds be worried?

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Four matches, zero wins and four tough tasks to accomplish heading into the second set of first-round MLS playoff games. That is the reality facing the top four seeds in the MLS playoffs as they return home to host game two of their respective series.

EPL Week 10: A Look Back

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by TRAVIS CLARK

It's been 10 years since Arsenal fell against Tottenham in the Premier League, and Saturday at the Emirates was no different. In what was a bit of revenge for last year's 4-4 enthralling draw at the Grove, Arsenal saw off Spurs 3-0, a scoreline that flattered the home side, while at the same time could of been much worse.

MLS Playoff Rewind: Home teams go unbeaten

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Home teams went unbeaten on the first weekend of the MLS Playoffs, setting up a quartet of nail-biters for the second legs of all four series.

The New England Revolution and Real Salt Lake held serve at home, posting key victories, while the Houston Dynamo and Los Angeles Galaxy were able to take draws in their visits to Seattle and, well, Los Angeles.

RSL downs Columbus, 1-0, to take MLS playoff series lead

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Real Salt Lake took a major step toward a potential first-round series upset on Saturday, scoring a 1-0 victory in the opening leg of its series vs. defending MLS Cup champions Columbus Crew.

Robbie Findley tapped home a Yura Movsisyan pass in the 88th minute to send RSL into Thursday night's Game Two in Columbus up a goal.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

There are two key MLS playoff series kicking off today, and European soccer action looms, but the U.S. Under-17 national team's final World Cup group match should garner plenty of attention on this Soccer Sunday.

The U.S. Under-17 team is coming off a 1-0 win vs.

MLS Playoffs: Chicago Fire at New England Revolution (Matchday Commentary)

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The Chicago Fire take on the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium today in Game One of their Eastern Conference Playoff series (2pm, FSC).

This is their fifth straight playoff encounter and there's no love lost here as the sides are a safe bet to play a physical and uncompromising series.

MLS Playoffs: Los Angeles Galaxy at Chivas USA (Matchday Commentary)

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The biggest rivalry in Major League Soccer will have its first playoff installment today when the Los Angeles Galaxy faces Chivas USA in the first game of their Western Conference playoff series (5:30pm, ESPN2).

The Galaxy enters as the No. 1 seed in the West, and this series will feature David Beckham's debut in the MLS playoffs, while also signaling Landon Donovan's first appearance in the playoffs since he helped lead LA to the 2005 MLS Cup title.

Americans Abroad: A Look Back

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by FRANCO PANIZO

If there was any doubt about Michael Bradley having returned to his top form, he surely killed off that uncertainty this weekend.

Bradley capped off his impressive October on Saturday, starting and going the distance in Borussia Moenchengladbach's 3-2 victory over Hamburg SV.

Castillo called up for USA friendlies in Europe

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Edgar Castillo will join the U.S. men's national team for the first time when he meets up with the squad for its upcoming friendlies against fellow World Cup participants Slovakia and Denmark. Castillo revealed that he has been called up for the U.S. friendlies in post-game interviews with Mexican media on Saturday evening.

Castillo called up for USA friendlies in Europe

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Edgar Castillo will join the U.S. men's national team for the first time when he meets up with the squad for its upcoming friendlies against fellow World Cup participants Slovakia and Denmark, Castillo told Mexican media on Saturday evening. Sources confirmed the call-up to SBI on Sunday.

Americans Abroad: A Look Back

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by FRANCO PANIZO

If there was any doubt about Michael Bradley having returned to his top form, he surely killed off that uncertainty this weekend.

Bradley capped off his impressive October on Saturday, starting and going the distance in Borussia Moenchengladbach's 3-2 victory over Hamburg SV.

MLS Playoffs: Los Angeles Galaxy at Chivas USA (Matchday Commentary)

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The biggest rivalry in Major League Soccer will have its first playoff installment today when the Los Angeles Galaxy faces Chivas USA in the first game of their Western Conference playoff series (5:30pm, ESPN2).

The Galaxy enters as the No. 1 seed in the West, and this series will feature David Beckham's debut in the MLS playoffs, while also signaling Landon Donovan's first appearance in the playoffs since he helped lead LA to the 2005 MLS Cup title.

MLS Playoffs: Chicago Fire at New England Revolution (Matchday Commentary)

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The Chicago Fire take on the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium today in Game One of their Eastern Conference Playoff series (2pm, FSC).

This is their fifth straight playoff encounter and there's no love lost here as the sides are a safe bet to play a physical and uncompromising series.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

There are two key MLS playoff series kicking off today, and European soccer action looms, but the U.S. Under-17 national team's final World Cup group match should garner plenty of attention on this Soccer Sunday.

The U.S. Under-17 team is coming off a 1-0 win vs.

RSL downs Columbus, 1-0, to take MLS playoff series lead

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Real Salt Lake took a major step toward a potential first-round series upset on Saturday, scoring a 1-0 victory in the opening leg of its series vs. defending MLS Cup champions Columbus Crew.

Robbie Findley tapped home a Yura Movsisyan pass in the 88th minute to send RSL into Thursday night's Game Two in Columbus up a goal.