Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2009

Americans Abroad: Midweek Rewind

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Brad Friedel may not have pulled out a victory over Liverpool, but his performance in the midweek match was just his latest impressive showing.

Friedel looked poised for a cleansheet after shutting out Steven Gerrard and company for 90 minutes, before Fernando Torres scored a last-gasp winner in stoppage time.

Americans Abroad: Midweek Rewind

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Brad Friedel may not have pulled out a victory over Liverpool, but his performance in the midweek match was just his latest impressive showing.

Friedel looked poised for a cleansheet after shutting out Steven Gerrard and company for 90 minutes, before Fernando Torres scored a last-gasp winner in stoppage time.

Onyewu expected to return in March

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Oguchi Onyewu likely won't play in the U.S. national team's friendly against the Netherlands in Amsterdam on March 3, but he should be fully recovered from his knee injury and back training with club AC Milan sometime that month.

Onyewu ruptured the patellar tendon in his left knee during the U.

European Ticker: Bolton fire Megson, Fulham's Hodgson signs new deal and more

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by TRAVIS CLARK

The managerial merry-go-round kicked off in England a couple of weeks ago with the sacking of Mark Hughes, and it continued today as Bolton manager Gary Megson became the next Premier League boss to get the boot.

Bolton have been polar opposites of Manchester City.

Where will Manchester City finish?

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The Roberto Mancini era is underway at Manchester City and hefty expectations abound. Between the transfer money at his disposal, and the ambition of City's owners, Mancini has quickly embraced the ambitious mentality, declaring intent for a top four finish and a league title challenge.

U.S. Soccer rejects both USL and NASL second division applications

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Aside from ongoing CBA negotiations in Major League Soccer, one of the biggest stories from the domestic offseason has been the split of USL and the creation of the new NASL. Both leagues had submitted application to the U.S. Soccer Federation in hopes of fielding a sanctioned, second-division league in 2010.

Report: Greek club Aris Salonika eyeing Eddie Johnson

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Eddie Johnson has played in just two league matches for Fulham since returning from a loan spell with Cardiff City earlier this year, and Johnson might find himself loaned out again this winter in order to find minutes, only this time he might move to Greece.

According to this report out of Greece, Johnson is being tracked by Greek club Aris Salonika.

Report: Greek club Aris Salonika eyeing Eddie Johnson

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Eddie Johnson has not found much playing time with Fulham since returning to the club from a loan-spell with Cardiff City earlier this year, and in order to find minutes at the club level he might find himself in Greece.

According to this report out of Greece, Johnson is being tracked by Greek club Aris Salonika, who hope to land the American international on a loan.

U.S. Soccer rejects both USL and NASL second division applications

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Aside from ongoing CBA negotiations in Major League Soccer, one of the biggest stories from the domestic offseason has been the split of USL and the creation of the new NASL. Both leagues had submitted application to the U.S. Soccer Federation in hopes of fielding a sanctioned, second-division league in 2010.

Where will Manchester City finish?

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The Roberto Mancini era is underway at Manchester City and hefty expectations abound. Between the transfer money at his disposal, and the ambition of City's owners, Mancini has quickly embraced the ambitious mentality, declaring intent for a top four finish and a league title challenge.

European Ticker: Bolton fire Megson, Fulham's Hodgson signs new deal and more

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by TRAVIS CLARK

The managerial merry-go-round kicked off in England a couple of weeks ago with the sacking of Mark Hughes, and it continued today as Bolton manager Gary Megson became the next Premier League boss to get the boot.

Bolton have been polar opposites of Manchester City.

Onyewu expected to return in March

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Oguchi Onyewu likely won't play in the U.S. national team's friendly against the Netherlands in Amsterdam on March 3, but he should be fully recovered from his knee injury and back training with club AC Milan sometime that month.

Onyewu ruptured the patellar tendon in his left knee during the U.

Report: Adu booted by Belenenses

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Freddy Adu's tenure at Portuguese club Belenenses appears over.

According to Portuguese publication Record, new Belenenses manager Toni has started his term as head coach by cutting some dead weight from the roster, including Adu, who is being sent back to Benfica.

Tuesday Kickoff: On Adu's MLS options

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Where will Freddy Adu go next?

That's the decision the young midfielder is pondering after a second European club decided to give him back to Benfica after failed loan stints. Belenenses seemed like a good destination when Adu first went there, but the loan proved to be as pointless as his stint at Monaco.

USA World Cup ticket allotment now up for sale

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If you haven't already scored some tickets to U.S. national team matches at the 2010 World Cup, the time is fast approaching to do just that.

U.S. Soccer announced on Monday that the USA's allotment of tickets is now for sale to the general U.S. public.

All U.S. citizens and residents can apply for tickets from U.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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There are only two club matches of any consequence today, but since both will feature American players, it is worth having a running commentary for.

Brad Friedel and Aston Villa face Liverpool while Jozy Altidore and Hull City takes on Bolton in a relegation battle. Altidore earns another start for the Tigers.

Generation adidas update: Mwanga, Opara, Bone and Tchani close in on deals

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Major League Soccer officials may not be gaining any ground in ongoing labor negotiations with the MLS player's union, but they are having much more success in lining up what could be the largest Generation adidas class in league history.

Just a week after announcing the first four members of the 2010 Generation adidas class, now comes word that the league is closing in on most of its top targets, with at least one new target emerging.

Generation adidas update: Mwanga, Opara, Bone and Tchani close in on deals

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Major League Soccer officials may not be gaining any ground in ongoing labor negotiations with the MLS player's union, but they are having much more success in lining up what could be the largest Generation adidas class in league history.

Just a week after announcing the first four members of the 2010 Generation adidas class, now comes word that the league is closing in on most of its top targets, with at least one new target emerging.

USA World Cup ticket allotment now up for sale

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If you haven't already scored some tickets to U.S. national team matches at the 2010 World Cup, the time is fast approaching to do just that.

U.S. Soccer announced on Monday that the USA's allotment of tickets is now for sale to the general U.S. public.

All U.S. citizens and residents can apply for tickets from U.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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There are only two club matches of any consequence today, but since both will feature American players, it is worth having a running commentary for.

Brad Friedel and Aston Villa face Liverpool while Jozy Altidore and Hull City takes on Bolton in a relegation battle. Altidore earns another start for the Tigers.

Tuesday Kickoff: On Adu's MLS options

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Where will Freddy Adu go next?

That's the decision the young midfielder is pondering after a second European club decided to give him back to Benfica after failed loan stints. Belenenses seemed like a good destination when Adu first went there, but the loan proved to be as pointless as his stint at Monaco.

Report: Adu booted by Belenenses

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Freddy Adu's tenure at Portuguese club Belenenses appears over.

According to Portuguese publication Record, new Belenenses manager Toni has started his term as head coach by cutting some dead weight from the roster, including Adu, who is being sent back to Benfica.

D.C. United to hire Onalfo as head coach

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Photo by ISIphotos.comÂ

D.C. United's search for its sixth head coach has come to an end and D.C. has settled on a coach with plenty of ties to the club.

D.C. has hired Curt Onalfo as its new head coach and could announce the decision as early as today, sources told SBI on Monday.

Monday Kickoff: On Holden, Onalfo and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The interest in Stuart Holden just keeps on growing and the chances of him returning to MLS in 2010 continue to shrink.

Burnley became the newest EPL team linked to a move for the U.S. national team midfielder as he heads toward the January transfer window ready to field offers as a free agent.

Your November Questions Answered (Part 2)

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Photo by ISIphotos.comÂ

It's the Monday after Christmas and while I'm sure many of you are at work wishing you weren't at work, here is something to help you pass the time.

This is the second installment of Your November Questions Answered.

Americans Abroad: Monday Rewind

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Everton's season has not gone quite as expected, but on Monday, Tim Howard helped the club do something it hadn't done in its past seven games: Win.

Howard helped Everton end a seven-game winless streak that dated back to Nov. 8, making seven saves in the Toffees' 2-0 victory over Burnley.

Americans Abroad: Monday Rewind

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Everton's season has not gone quite as expected, but on Monday, Tim Howard helped the club do something it hadn't done in its past seven games: Win.

Howard helped Everton end a seven-game winless streak that dated back to Nov. 8, making seven saves in the Toffees' 2-0 victory over Burnley.

Your November Questions Answered (Part 2)

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Photo by ISIphotos.comÂ

It's the Monday after Christmas and while I'm sure many of you are at work wishing you weren't at work, here is something to help you pass the time.

This is the second installment of Your November Questions Answered.

Monday Kickoff: On Holden, Onalfo and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The interest in Stuart Holden just keeps on growing and the chances of him returning to MLS in 2010 continue to shrink.

Burnley became the newest EPL team linked to a move for the U.S. national team midfielder as he heads toward the January transfer window ready to field offers as a free agent.

D.C. United to hire Onalfo as head coach

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Photo by ISIphotos.comÂ

D.C. United's search for its sixth head coach has come to an end and D.C. has settled on a coach with plenty of ties to the club.

D.C. has hired Curt Onalfo as its new head coach and could announce the decision as early as today, sources told SBI on Monday.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Arsenal has been hot on the trail of EPL leaders Chelsea and Manchester United for most of the season, but now the Gunners are feeling the heat from Aston Villa. Arsenal can close the gap on Chelsea with a win against the Villans, but a loss would suddenly drop the Gunners to fourth place.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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by FRANCO PANIZO

2009 has been an up-and-down year for the Americans Abroad, but two of the younger players made sure to end the final weekend of the year with solid outings.

Maurice Edu completed his recovery from the lengthy knee injury that has sidelined him since May by making an appearance in Rangers' 4-1 victory over Hibernian.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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by FRANCO PANIZO

2009 has been an up-and-down year for the Americans Abroad, but two of the younger players made sure to end the final weekend of the year with solid outings.

Maurice Edu completed his recovery from the lengthy knee injury that has sidelined him since May by making an appearance in Rangers' 4-1 victory over Hibernian.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Arsenal has been hot on the trail of EPL leaders Chelsea and Manchester United for most of the season, but now the Gunners are feeling the heat from Aston Villa. Arsenal can close the gap on Chelsea with a win against the Villans, but a loss would suddenly drop the Gunners to fourth place.

SBI 2010 MLS Mock Draft (Version 1.0)-UPDATED

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The 2010 MLS Draft is just three weeks away and after all the success of the 2010 MLS Draft class, fans across the country are more anxious than ever to see just what treats this year's draft might have for their team.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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With the exception of Aston Villa fans and a handful of prognosticators, there weren't many people who could have seen Aston Villa have the type of season it is currently enjoying.

Brad Friedel and Villa is currently tied for third place in the English Premier League and can take sole possession of third with a win against Arsenal on Sunday in the weekend's top match.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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With the exception of Aston Villa fans and a handful of prognosticators, there weren't many people who could have seen Aston Villa have the type of season it is currently enjoying.

Brad Friedel and Villa is currently tied for third place in the English Premier League and can take sole possession of third with a win against Arsenal on Sunday in the weekend's top match.

SBI 2010 MLS Mock Draft (Version 1.0)

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The 2010 MLS Draft is just three weeks away and after all the success of the 2010 MLS Draft class, fans across the country are more anxious than ever to see just what treats this year's draft might have for their team.

Top Five USMNT Goals of 2009

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by FRANCO PANIZO

U.S. national team head coach Bob Bradley released the 30-man roster that will participate in the first camp of 2010 on Tuesday, but before we turn the page on the year that was, SBI is taking a look back at the top five goals of the year.

With the U.

Jermaine Jones rehab drama at Schalke

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Just when you thought Jermaine Jones' recovery from multiple surgeries to heal a broken leg, now come words that problems with his rehab have reportedly led to a falling out with Schalke 04 manager Felix Magath.

According to German publication Bild, Jones expressed his unhappiness with Schalke's plan for his rehabilitation, stating he needs to rest more so as not to have another setback.

Thursday Kickoff: On the Galaxy and Generation adidas

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Good morning all. I hope your enjoying this Christmas Eve (and aren't in that group of millions who will be scouring for late Christmas gifts.)

Things have slowed down a bit on SBI as you can tell, but we will have some gifts of our own in the coming days in the form of a new MLS Draft Big Board, an MLS Mock Draft, and some more Q&A answers.

SBI MLS Draft Big Board (Version 3.0)

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The 2010 MLS Draft is drawing ever closer and each passing week helps provide some focus into what we might see happen when the league's 16 teams converge on Philadelphia to select from this year's crop of talent.

Merry Christmas from SBI

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Hello all. I want to wish a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you SBI readers out there. Hope you enjoy some time off, quality family time and a few peeks at SBI in between your unwrapping of presents and celebrating.

I will have some Christmas presents in the form of posts for those of you who need your soccer fix even on the holiday.

Merry Christmas from SBI

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Hello all. I want to wish a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you SBI readers out there. Hope you enjoy some time off, quality family time and a few peeks at SBI in between your unwrapping of presents and celebrating.

I will have some Christmas presents in the form of posts for those of you who need your soccer fix even on the holiday.

SBI MLS Draft Big Board (Version 3.0)

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The 2010 MLS Draft is drawing ever closer and each passing week helps provide some focus into what we might see happen when the league's 16 teams converge on Philadelphia to select from this year's crop of talent.

Thursday Kickoff: On the Galaxy and Generation adidas

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Good morning all. I hope your enjoying this Christmas Eve (and aren't in that group of millions who will be scouring for late Christmas gifts.)

Things have slowed down a bit on SBI as you can tell, but we will have some gifts of our own in the coming days in the form of a new MLS Draft Big Board, an MLS Mock Draft, and some more Q&A answers.

Jermaine Jones rehab drama at Schalke

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Just when you thought Jermaine Jones' recovery from multiple surgeries to heal a broken leg, now come words that problems with his rehab have reportedly led to a falling out with Schalke 04 manager Felix Magath.

According to German publication Bild, Jones expressed his unhappiness with Schalke's plan for his rehabilitation, stating he needs to rest more so as not to have another setback.

Top Five USMNT Goals of 2009

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by FRANCO PANIZO

U.S. national team head coach Bob Bradley released the 30-man roster that will participate in the first camp of 2010 on Tuesday, but before we turn the page on the year that was, SBI is taking a look back at the top five goals of the year.

With the U.

MLS announces First Generation adidas signings

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The 2010 Major League Soccer Draft is shaping up to be a strong one, and the league took steps toward that reality on Tuesday with the announcement of the signing of seven quality draft prospects.

Teal Bunbury, Jack McInerney, Dilly Duka and Blair Gavin were announced as the league's first four Generation adidas signings of the winter, while Toni Stahl, Andre Akpan and Zach Loyd were also announced as senior signings, meaning they already have MLS contracts heading into next month's draft.

MLS announces First Generation adidas signings

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The 2010 Major League Soccer Draft is shaping up to be a strong one, and the league took steps toward that reality on Tuesday with the announcement of the signing of seven quality draft prospects.

Teal Bunbury, Jack McInerney, Dilly Duka and Blair Gavin were announced as the league's first four Generation adidas signings of the winter, while Toni Stahl, Andre Akpan and Zach Loyd were also announced as senior signings, meaning they already have MLS contracts heading into next month's draft.

Reports link Zenga to Red Bulls (UPDATED)

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The New York Red Bulls coaching search has long been believed to involve two types of coaches: ones with MLS experience and foreign coaches. There now appears to be a candidate who fits both descriptions. That man is Walter Zenga.

The former New England Revolution goalkeeper and head coach has fashioned a modest coaching career in Italy, having enjoyed a good run with Catania before taking a more high-profile job with Palermo.

Afternoon Ticker: Donovan secures work permit, Kroenke picks up more Arsenal shares and more

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by TRAVIS CLARK

Landon Donovan's Everton journey has yet to begin, but the last piece of the puzzle fell into place today. The final hang up in the process was a work permit allowing Donovan to secure the 10-week loan agreement with the Liverpool-based club.

Your November Questions Answered (Part 1)

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November came and went three weeks ago, but the questions SBI readers posed during that month haven't gone away just yet.

It took me some time to get around to them, but I will be posting answers to the November Q&A over the course of the week. We will start with the first batch of questions, which covers topics ranging from Freddy Adu to the Philadelphia Union, and even SBI's Top Five albums of the year.

Your November Questions Answered (Part 1)

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Â

November came and went three weeks ago, but the questions SBI readers posed during that month haven't gone away just yet.

It took me some time to get around to them, but I will be posting answers to the November Q&A over the course of the week. We will start with the first batch of questions, which covers topics ranging from Freddy Adu to the Philadelphia Union, and even SBI's Top Five albums of the year.

Afternoon Ticker: Donovan secures work permit, Kroenke picks up more Arsenal shares and more

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by TRAVIS CLARK

Landon Donovan's Everton journey has yet to begin, but the last piece of the puzzle fell into place today. The final hang up in the process was a work permit allowing Donovan to secure the 10-week loan agreement with the Liverpool-based club.

Reports link Zenga to Red Bulls

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Â

The New York Red Bulls coaching search has long been believed to involve two types of coaches: ones with MLS experience and foreign coaches. There now appears to be a candidate who fits both descriptions. That man is Walter Zenga.

The former New England Revolution goalkeeper and head coach has fashioned a modest coaching career in Italy, having enjoyed a good run with Catania before taking a more high-profile job with Palermo.

Bradley names 30 players for January camp

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Strong rookie seasons have earned three MLS rising stars a chance to show Bob Bradley what they can do. Omar Gonzalez, Chris Pontius and Kevin Alston were all named a part of the 30-man roster for the January 4 camp to be held at the Home Depot Center. The three will be in search of a first cap when the U.

Monday Kickoff: On D.C. United, Bunbury and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Where is D.C. United headed?

That question hangs over a franchise with a trophy case unmatched by any team in Major League Soccer. Two straight seasons of missed playoffs, a vacant head coaching post and a handful of retired, aging or soon-to-be-leaving stars has D.

Maurice Edu returns to action

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It's been a long time coming, but Maurice Edu's comeback took another step towards completion Monday. The 23-year-old midfielder, in the midst of a long recovery from a knee injury, returned to the pitch in a closed-door reserve match, going 80 minutes in a 2-1 loss to Partick Thistle.

Edu made it through the game unscathed and will likely be pushing for a regular place as he returns to fitness.

MLS adds trio of Colombian defenders

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Major League Soccer has enjoyed some impressive success in recent years with the signings of quality Colombian defenders, and the league will be looking to strike gold yet again with the acquisition of three more defenders from the South American nation.

America De Cali central defender Edward Zea, Deportivo Cali central defender Pablo Escobar and Deportes Quindio central defender Hanyer Mosquera have been signed by MLS and have already had discovery claims placed on them by various MLS teams, including the Philadelphia Union, sources with knowledge of the signings told SBI on Monday.

Afternoon Ticker: Mancini targets top four, Guardiola's future uncertain and more

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Manchester City officially introduced Roberto Mancini as its new manager on Monday, and the Italian is ready to take the Premier League by storm.

Mancini, who agreed to a three-and-a-half-year deal with City, is eyeing a top four finish this season, and hopes to win the Premiership in 2010-2011.

Messi named Player of the Year as FIFA hands out awards

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by FRANCO PANIZO

From an individual stand-point, Lionel Messi has enjoyed a dream year, helping Barcelona win an unprecedented six trophies, and those achievements helped earn him the ultimate individual award.

Messi was named the FIFA World Player of the Year on Monday, just two days after scoring the game-winning goal in the FIFA Club World Cup final.

Donovan wins again as U.S. Soccer names Athletes of the Year

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It's been a season full of individual awards for Landon Donovan, and the Los Angeles Galaxy star added another one to his 2009 tally, as U.S. Soccer named Donovan the Male Athlete of the Year for the third time.

Surprisingly enough, it's the first time Donovan has won the award since 2004, when he won it two years running.

Morning Ticker: Houston hopeful for stadium, Robinho urged to stay and more

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by FRANCO PANIZO

The Houston Dynamo will be one of seven clubs without a soccer-specific stadium for the 2010 MLS season, but the club is hoping it can at least agree in principle to starting such a stadium soon.

Dynamo officials are continuing their efforts to push for a new stadium, stating that a soccer-friendly stadium would benefit the club exponentially.

What should Stuart Holden Do?

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One of the biggest names in MLS without a contract this offseason is Stuart Holden. The Houston Dynamo midfielder enjoyed a breakout season in 2009, fitting in nicely in the Dynamo attack. With overseas suitors knocking at his door, the deadline approaches for Holden as he chooses to sign with a European club or stay in Houston.

Bradley names 30 players for January camp

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Strong rookie seasons have earned three MLS rising stars a chance to show Bob Bradley what they can do. Omar Gonzalez, Chris Pontius and Kevin Alston were all named a part of the 30-man roster for the January 4 camp to be held at the Home Depot Center. The three will be in search of a first cap when the U.

What should Stuart Holden Do?

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One of the biggest names in MLS without a contract this offseason is Stuart Holden. The Houston Dynamo midfielder enjoyed a breakout season in 2009, fitting in nicely in the Dynamo attack. With overseas suitors knocking at his door, the deadline approaches for Holden as he chooses to sign with a European club or stay in Houston.

Morning Ticker: Houston hopeful for stadium, Robinho urged to stay and more

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by FRANCO PANIZO

The Houston Dynamo will be one of seven clubs without a soccer-specific stadium for the 2010 MLS season, but the club is hoping it can at least agree in principle to starting such a stadium soon.

Dynamo officials are continuing their efforts to push for a new stadium, stating that a soccer-friendly stadium would benefit the club exponentially.

Donovan wins again as U.S. Soccer names Athletes of the Year

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It's been a season full of individual awards for Landon Donovan, and the Los Angeles Galaxy star added another one to his 2009 tally, as U.S. Soccer named Donovan the Male Athlete of the Year for the third time.

Surprisingly enough, it's the first time Donovan has won the award since 2004, when he won it two years running.

Messi named Player of the Year as FIFA hands out awards

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by FRANCO PANIZO

From an individual stand-point, Lionel Messi has enjoyed a dream year, helping Barcelona win an unprecedented six trophies, and those achievements helped earn him the ultimate individual award.

Messi was named the FIFA World Player of the Year on Monday, just two days after scoring the game-winning goal in the FIFA Club World Cup final.

Afternoon Ticker: Mancini targets top four, Guardiola's future uncertain and more

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Manchester City officially introduced Roberto Mancini as its new manager on Monday, and the Italian is ready to take the Premier League by storm.

Mancini, who agreed to a three-and-a-half-year deal with City, is eyeing a top four finish this season, and hopes to win the Premiership in 2010-2011.

MLS adds trio of Colombian defenders

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Major League Soccer has enjoyed some impressive success in recent years with the signings of quality Colombian defenders, and the league will be looking to strike gold yet again with the acquisition of three more defenders from the South American nation.

America De Cali central defender Edward Zea, Deportivo Cali central defender Pablo Escobar and Deportes Quindio central defender Hanyer Mosquera have been signed by MLS and have already had discovery claims placed on them by various MLS teams, including the Philadelphia Union, sources with knowledge of the signings told SBI on Monday.

Maurice Edu returns to action

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It's been a long time coming, but Maurice Edu's comeback took another step towards completion Monday. The 23-year-old midfielder, in the midst of a long recovery from a knee injury, returned to the pitch in a closed-door reserve match, going 80 minutes in a 2-1 loss to Partick Thistle.

Edu made it through the game unscathed and will likely be pushing for a regular place as he returns to fitness.

Monday Kickoff: On D.C. United, Bunbury and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Where is D.C. United headed?

That question hangs over a franchise with a trophy case unmatched by any team in Major League Soccer. Two straight seasons of missed playoffs, a vacant head coaching post and a handful of retired, aging or soon-to-be-leaving stars has D.

Champions League Draw sets up dream reunions

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Jose Mourinho will be returning to Stamford Bridge while David Beckham heads back to Old Trafford after the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 draw provided a set of dream match-ups.

Mourinho and Inter Milan will face Chelsea is the marquee match-up of the round, while Beckham got his wish after claiming he hoped AC Milan would face Manchester United.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Clint Dempsey has cooled down a bit since achieving a rapid-fire scoring streak over the past seven weeks, but Dempsey will have an opportunity to reignite that streak this weekend, only his chance comes against an EPL heavyweight.

Dempsey and Fulham play host to Manchester United, which is still trying to make up for its 1-0 loss to Aston Villa at home last weekend.

Everton announces Donovan loan move

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Everton FC formally announced the completion of the Landon Donovan loan move on Friday, clearing the way for the U.S. men's national team star to make his temporary move to the English Premier League.

Donovan will join U.

The Friday Kickoff: Notes on Howard/Donovan, D.C. United, KC's stadium and more

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Good afternoon all. Apologies for the late Kickoff, but an early morning and some non-SBI responsibilities forced the late posting. We will try to make up for the tardiness by hitting you with a plethora of news and notes. Let's get started:

U.S. Soccer announced the final four winners of its Best Of series on Friday, with Landon Donovan (best goal, vs.

This weekend's soccer on TV (UPDATED)

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To many soccer fans, FC Barcelona is already considered the best team in the world. On Saturday, Barca will have the chance to hold that title in an official capacity.

The European champions take on South American champions Estudiantes La Plata in the final of the Club World Cup, with the winner taking the crown as world's best.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Barcelona will attempt to conquer the world today as it plays in the FIFA Club World Cup Final against Argentine side Estudiantes.

Barca will look to add the Club World Cup to its European and La Liga titles and will be favored to do so even without injured star Andres Iniesta.

Barcelona defeats Estudiantes, wins FIFA Club World Cup

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Barcelona suffered a little more than it would have liked in the FIFA Club World Cup final, but the Spanish club finished a dream year with another piece of hardware to add to its already crowded cabinet.

Barcelona came back from a one-goal deficit to dispose of Estudiantes, 2-1,on Saturday.

Beasley stays hot with another goal, assist for Rangers

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American midfielders hoping to make the 2010 U.S. World Cup team next summer had better beware. DaMarcus Beasley is back and has every intention of being in South Africa this summer.

Beasley continued his recent blazing hot form today, scoring a goal and setting up another in Rangers' 6-1 smashing of Motherwell.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Benfica takes on FC Porto while West Ham takes on London rival Chelsea in two of the day's more highly-anticipated match-ups.

Sunday has already boasted a handful of quality match-ups this morning, but there is still plenty of soccer to be played (and watched). If you will be watching today's action (and are done shoveling snow), or watched some of the morning's top tilts and want to discuss them, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Wolverhampton Wanderers entered the Premiership season struggling mightily, having won only two games in its first three-and-a-half months in the league. But the tide turned for the club when Marcus Hahnemann made his team debut on Nov. 29, and this weekend's result was just the latest piece of evidence that Hahnemann is still capable of playing at a high level.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Wolverhampton Wanderers entered the Premiership season struggling mightily, having won only two games in its first three-and-a-half months in the league. But the tide turned for the club when Marcus Hahnemann made his team debut on Nov. 29, and this weekend's result was just the latest piece of evidence that Hahnemann is still capable of playing at a high level.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Benfica takes on FC Porto while West Ham takes on London rival Chelsea in two of the day's more highly-anticipated match-ups.

Sunday has already boasted a handful of quality match-ups this morning, but there is still plenty of soccer to be played (and watched). If you will be watching today's action (and are done shoveling snow), or watched some of the morning's top tilts and want to discuss them, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Beasley stays hot with another goal, assist for Rangers

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American midfielders hoping to make the 2010 U.S. World Cup team next summer had better beware. DaMarcus Beasley is back and has every intention of being in South Africa this summer.

Beasley continued his recent blazing hot form today, scoring a goal and setting up another in Rangers' 6-1 smashing of Motherwell.

Barcelona defeats Estudiantes, wins FIFA Club World Cup

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Barcelona suffered a little more than it would have liked in the FIFA Club World Cup final, but the Spanish club finished a dream year with another piece of hardware to add to its already crowded cabinet.

Barcelona came back from a one-goal deficit to dispose of Estudiantes, 2-1,on Saturday.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Barcelona will attempt to conquer the world today as it plays in the FIFA Club World Cup Final against Argentine side Estudiantes.

Barca will look to add the Club World Cup to its European and La Liga titles and will be favored to do so even without injured star Andres Iniesta.

This weekend's soccer on TV

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To many soccer fans, FC Barcelona is already considered the best team in the world. On Saturday, Barca will have the chance to hold that title in an official capacity.

The European champions take on South American champions Estudiantes La Plata in the final of the Club World Cup, with the winner taking the crown as world's best.

The Friday Kickoff: Notes on Howard/Donovan, D.C. United, KC's stadium and more

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Good afternoon all. Apologies for the late Kickoff, but an early morning and some non-SBI responsibilities forced the late posting. We will try to make up for the tardiness by hitting you with a plethora of news and notes. Let's get started:

U.S. Soccer announced the final four winners of its Best Of series on Friday, with Landon Donovan (best goal, vs.

Everton announces Donovan loan move

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Everton FC formally announced the completion of the Landon Donovan loan move on Friday, clearing the way for the U.S. men's national team star to make his temporary move to the English Premier League.

Donovan will join the Toffees after the New Year, pending acceptance of his UK work permit application, which is a formality given Donovan's U.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Clint Dempsey has cooled down a bit since achieving a rapid-fire scoring streak over the past seven weeks, but Dempsey will have an opportunity to reignite that streak this weekend, only his chance comes against an EPL heavyweight.

Dempsey and Fulham play host to Manchester United, which is still trying to make up for its 1-0 loss to Aston Villa at home last weekend.

Champions League Draw sets up dream reunions

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Jose Mourinho will be returning to Stamford Bridge while David Beckham heads back to Old Trafford after the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 draw provided a set of dream match-ups.

Mourinho and Inter Milan will face Chelsea is the marquee match-up of the round, while Beckham got his wish after claiming he hoped AC Milan would face Manchester United.

SBI MLS Draft Big Board (Version 2.0)

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The NCAA College Cup was supposed to provide a showcase for some of the best young talent in the nation, including several players considered good bets to be MLS First-Round draft picks next month.

It wasn't quite the showcase most expected, but some players definitely took advantage of the stage.

Barcelona's stroll past Atlante

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The FIFA Club World Cup isn't getting the attention it has gotten in year's past, but FC Barcelona is doing its part to change that.

The European champions opened its Club World Cup on Wednesday with a 3-1 win vs. Atlante. The Mexican club opened the scoring, but were quickly dismantled by Lionel Messi and Co.

The Thursday Kickoff (Notes On Donovan, D.C. and Holden)

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Good morning all. As we try to wrap our heads around Landon Donovan's new contract (which Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl puts at four years, $9 million), things continue to get more and more interesting in MLS during a time of year when things are usually slow.

So what is our take on Donovan's new contract?

U.S. Soccer's Best Video of 2009

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

For U.S. Soccer fans, few nights have ever been as emotional as the night of Oct. 14, when the Americans tied Costa Rica in their final World Cup qualifier. The importance of the result wasn't just tied to finishing first in the CONCACAF qualifying group, but also to the ability to score a result and honor a fallen teammate who's absence left everyone with a heavy heart.

SBI wins U.S. Soccer Best Blog Award

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For those of you who may have missed the news on Wednesday, Soccer By Ives won U.S. Soccer's Best Soccer Blog Award. The award, voted on by fans on USSoccer.com, is SBI's second straight. Congratulations to the other nominees in a category that has grown stronger with each passing year.

D.C. United in scramble mode as coaching search stalls

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Just a day after having Akron head coach Caleb Porter turn down the job, D.C. United has now missed on two other potential candidates for the position.

D.C. United was turned down by the San Jose Earthquakes after requesting permission to speak to head coach Frank Yallop about the D.

FC Dallas puts Van Den Bergh on trade block

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FC Dallas has spent a good part of this off-season completing new deals and exercising contract options on most of the key figures that helped push the club to the brink of the playoffs.

The key word being most.

SBI has learned that FC Dallas declined to pick up the option on midfielder Dave Van Den Bergh's contract and has been actively shopping the Dutch midfielder around the league.

USA to face Netherlands on March 3 in Amsterdam

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It took several months to finally become official, but the long-rumored USA friendly vs. the Netherlands in Amsterdam has been formally announced by U.S. Soccer.

The Americans will face the Dutch at Amsterdam ArenA on March 3 (2:30pm, ESPN2/Galavision). The Netherlands, currently No. 3 in the World, is the second World Cup participant the United States has secured a friendly with for 2010, with Honduras being the other (and with a rumored Mexico friendly in the works as well).

D.C. United in scramble mode as coaching search stalls

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Just a day after having Akron head coach Caleb Porter turn down the job, D.C. United has now missed on two other potential candidates for the position.

D.C. United was turned down by the San Jose Earthquakes after requesting permission to speak to head coach Frank Yallop about the D.

USA to face Netherlands on March 3 in Amsterdam

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It took several months to finally become official, but the long-rumored USA friendly vs. the Netherlands in Amsterdam has been formally announced by U.S. Soccer.

The Americans will face the Dutch at Amsterdam ArenA on March 3 (2:30pm, ESPN2/Galavision). The Netherlands, currently No. 3 in the World, is the second World Cup participant the United States has secured a friendly with for 2010, with Honduras being the other (and with a rumored Mexico friendly in the works as well).

FC Dallas puts Van Den Bergh on trade block

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FC Dallas has spent a good part of this off-season completing new deals and exercising contract options on most of the key figures that helped push the club to the brink of the playoffs.

The key word being most.

SBI has learned that FC Dallas declined to pick up the option on midfielder Dave Van Den Bergh's contract and has been actively shopping the Dutch midfielder around the league.

Porter turns down D.C. United, signs new deal with Akron

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

In a move that will surely come as a shock in MLS circles, highly-regarded University of Akron head coach Caleb Porter has turned down the job as D.C. United head coach after being offered the position just a day after Akron lost in the NCAA College Cup Final to Virginia in penalty kicks.

The Wednesday Kickoff

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Good morning all. As the shopping days until Christmas wind down and we move closer to the New Year, this time of year is usually when news in the soccer world slows down. That wasn't the case on Tuesday.

Yes, you remember that slow Tuesday I talked about (and jinxed). We saw DaMarcus Beasley continuing his comeback, the LA Galaxy announcing that they would have a major announcement to make on Wednesday and a hot-shot college coach turned down a chance to coach the most successful club in MLS history.

Donovan pens new MLS contract

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Landon Donovan is set to embark on a new career adventure in England, but not before securing his future here in the United States.

The Los Angeles Galaxy has signed Donovan to a lucrative new multi-year contract that will push him into the company of Major League Soccer's Millionaires Club with the likes of David Beckham, Cuauhtemoc Blanco and Freddie Ljungberg, sources told SBI on Wednesday.

Donovan pens new MLS contract

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Landon Donovan is set to embark on a new career adventure in England, but not before securing his future here in the United States.

The Los Angeles Galaxy has signed Donovan to a lucrative new multi-year contract that will push him into the company of Major League Soccer's Millionaires Club with the likes of David Beckham, Cuauhtemoc Blanco and Freddie Ljungberg, sources told SBI on Wednesday.

The Wednesday Kickoff

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Good morning all. As the shopping days until Christmas wind down and we move closer to the New Year, this time of year is usually when news in the soccer world slows down. That wasn't the case on Tuesday.

Yes, you remember that slow Tuesday I talked about (and jinxed). We saw DaMarcus Beasley continuing his comeback, the LA Galaxy announcing that they would have a major announcement to make on Wednesday and a hot-shot college coach turned down a chance to coach the most successful club in MLS history.

Porter turns down D.C. United, signs new deal with Akron

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

In a move that will surely come as a shock in MLS circles, highly-regarded University of Akron head coach Caleb Porter has turned down the job as D.C. United head coach after being offered the position just a day after Akron lost in the NCAA College Cup Final to Virginia in penalty kicks.

Americans Abroad: Tuesday Rewind

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by FRANCO PANIZO

It appears a little bit of time on the bench has done DaMarcus Beasley a world of good.

Beasley followed up his impressive weekend performance by starting in his third consecutive game for Rangers vs. Dundee United on Tuesday. The midfielder once again had a stellar outing, scoring the game-winner, and adding an assist in Rangers' 3-0 triumph.

Some American soccer thoughts on a slow Tuesday

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Good morning all. It is a slow Tuesday in the soccer world and while there aren't a ton of major stories making the rounds today, there is still plenty to think about if you are an American soccer fan.

In MLS, you still have three teams still looking for head coaches. D.C. United is down to two candidates in Akron's Caleb Porter and former KC head coach Curt Onalfo (our money is on Porter being the pick).

Holden offered improved MLS contract as transfer window nears

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by FRANCO PANIZO

After enjoying a dream year for club and country, Houston Dynamo midfielder Stuart Holden is largely considered to be the next player in the U.S. pipeline to make the jump from MLS to Europe during the upcoming winter transfer window. But that potential move seems to be in jeopardy after MLS made an unexpected move.

USSF confirms USA-Honduras friendly

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The U.S. national team will start its World Cup year by playing Honduras at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California on Jan. 23 (9pm ET, Fox Soccer Channel).

The USSF announced on Tuesday that the U.S. team will finish its annual January training camp with a friendly against Honduras, confirming reports that surfaced last week.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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This is going up a bit late, but since there are a handful of matches on tap today (including several involving Americans), it's only right to have a running commentary post.

Here are the matches you can watch today:

2:30pm- FSC- Aston Villa vs.

LA Galaxy to make "Major Player Announcement" on Wednesday

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Photo by ISIphotos.comÂ

The Los Angeles Galaxy has scheduled a press conference for Wednesday to make a "Major Player Announcement", with head coach Bruce Arena and captain Landon Donovan scheduled to attend.

The announcement? The Galaxy still hasn't revealed that part, but sources tell SBI the club will be announcing that Donovan is heading to English club Everton on loan.

Americans Abroad: Tuesday Rewind

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by FRANCO PANIZO

It appears a little bit of time on the bench has done DaMarcus Beasley a world of good.

Beasley followed up his impressive weekend performance by starting in his third consecutive game for Rangers vs. Dundee United on Tuesday. The midfielder once again had a stellar outing, scoring the game-winner, and adding an assist in Rangers' 3-0 triumph.

LA Galaxy to make "Major Player Announcement" on Wednesday

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The Los Angeles Galaxy has scheduled a press conference for Wednesday to make a "Major Player Announcement", with head coach Bruce Arena and captain Landon Donovan scheduled to attend.

The announcement? The Galaxy still hasn't revealed that part, but the club will be announcing that Donovan is heading to English club Everton on loan.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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This is going up a bit late, but since there are a handful of matches on tap today (including several involving Americans), it's only right to have a running commentary post.

Here are the matches you can watch today:

2:30pm- FSC- Aston Villa vs.

USSF confirms USA-Honduras friendly

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The U.S. national team will start its World Cup year by playing Honduras at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California on Jan. 23 (9pm ET, Fox Soccer Channel).

The USSF announced on Tuesday that the U.S. team will finish its annual January training camp with a friendly against Honduras, confirming reports that surfaced last week.

Holden offered big MLS contract, could snub European move

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by FRANCO PANIZO

After enjoying a dream year for club and country, Houston Dynamo midfielder Stuart Holden is largely considered to be the next player in the U.S. pipeline to make the jump from MLS to Europe during the upcoming winter transfer window. But that potential move seems to be in jeopardy after MLS made an unexpected move.

Some American soccer thoughts on a slow Tuesday

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Good morning all. It is a slow Tuesday in the soccer world and while there aren't a ton of major stories making the rounds today, there is still plenty to think about if you are an American soccer fan.

In MLS, you still have three teams still looking for head coaches. D.C. United is down to two candidates in Akron's Caleb Porter and former KC head coach Curt Onalfo (our money is on Porter being the pick).

MMCB: On the college game, and why it's still so important

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No, there were no goals scored in regulation of Sunday's NCAA College Cup Final (won by Virginia over Akron in penalty kicks), and yes, there were only a combined three goals scored in the three College Cup games this past weekend, but this weekend's NCAA matches were still a success.

Howard backs Donovan move to Everton as Moyes confirms deal is being finalized

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Though it shouldn't come as much of a surprise, U.S. national team goalkeeper Tim Howard has thrown his support behind Landon Donovan's impending loan move to Everton, stating emphatically that Donovan could provide a boost for the Toffees.

'From playing with him in the USA team I know he is a tremendous player,' Howard told Everton's official website.

European Ticker: Madrid eyeing Carvalho, Ballack pessimistic about Germany and more

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Real Madrid has made a habit of trying to sign the world's top defenders in an effort to field a stout defense, and the club's latest target is Chelsea defender Ricardo Carvalho.

After receiving the news that street fighter Pepe would be out six months with ruptured ligaments in his right knee, Madrid has set its sights on Carvalho as a replacement, and hope to land the Portuguese international in the winter transfer window.

Rongen releases roster for U-20 camp

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photo by ISIphotos.com

by FRANCO PANIZO

Jack McInerney, Stefan Jerome and Luis Gil headline the U-20 national team roster released by head coach Thomas Rongen for the first U-20 camp of the 2011 cycle.

Rongen releases roster for U-20 camp

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photo by ISIphotos.com

Jack McInerney, Stefan Jerome and Luis Gil headline the U-20 national team roster summoned by head coach Thomas Rongen for the first U-20 camp of 2010.

European Ticker: Madrid eyes Carvalho, Ballack downplays World Cup and more

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Real Madrid has made a habit of trying to sign the world's top defenders in an effort to field a stout defense, and the club's latest target is Chelsea defender Ricardo Carvalho.

After receiving the news that street fighter Pepe would be out six months with ruptured ligaments in his right knee, Madrid has set its sights on Carvalho as a replacement, and hope to land the Portuguese international in the winter transfer window.

Howard backs Donovan move to Everton as Moyes confirms deal is being finalized

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Though it shouldn't come as much of a surprise, U.S. national team goalkeeper Tim Howard has thrown his support behind Landon Donovan's impending loan move to Everton, stating emphatically that Donovan could provide a boost for the Toffees.

'From playing with him in the USA team I know he is a tremendous player,' Howard told Everton's official website.

MMCB: On the college game, and why it's still so important

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No, there were no goals scored in regulation of Sunday's NCAA College Cup Final (won by Virginia over Akron in penalty kicks), and yes, there were only a combined three goals scored in the three College Cup games this past weekend, but this weekend's NCAA matches were still a success.

Bradley nets winner for Moenchengladbach

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Michael Bradley isn't regarded as a goal-scoring machine, at least not since his dream season at Heerenveen, but the U.S. national team midfielder has shown during his time in the Germany Bundesliga that he can certainly finish when given the opportunity.

Bradley scored his latest goal today, and the score wound up being the game-winner, in Borussia Moenchengladbach's 5-3 win vs.

Banner day for American keepers in EPL

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Brad Friedel and Marcus Hahnemann came into Saturday's EPL action as underdogs, with their respective clubs facing two EPL powers, but by the end of the day both American goalkeepers were standing tall with zeros on the scoreboard.

Friedel turned in a stellar performance for Aston Villa, leading his team to an improbable win vs.

FIFA Club World Cup: A Look Ahead

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by FRANCO PANIZO

While most of this past week's attention was focused on the final group stage matches of the UEFA Champions League, a lower profile tournament kicked off in the United Arab Emirates.

The FIFA Club World Cup began this past Wednesday, and with three matches already played, the seven-team tournament's semifinals are set.

Maynor Figueroa's sensational strike

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If you're a U.S. national team fan, you should be quite familiar with the Honduras national team and its players, having seen the U.S. team play them four times in 2009. But just in case you were starting to forget, here is a goal from Honduran left back Maynor Figueroa that is sure to stick in your memory bank.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Of all the enticing soccer matches on tap today, maybe none is as exciting or intriguing as Liverpool vs. Arsenal.

Between Rafa Benitez's career deathwatch and Wenger's own recent dust-ups, the two long-term managers have had their troubles with a season that hasn't quite gone according to plan for either.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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by FRANCO PANIZO

DaMarcus Beasley has been one of the most criticized players on the U.S. national team this year due to his lack of sharpness and sporadic minutes at the club level, but the Rangers midfielder took a positive step towards resurrecting a career that appeared to be in shambles.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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by FRANCO PANIZO

DaMarcus Beasley has been one of the most criticized players on the U.S. national team this year due to his lack of sharpness and sporadic minutes at the club level, but the Rangers midfielder took a positive step towards resurrecting a career that appeared to be in shambles.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Of all the enticing soccer matches on tap today, maybe none is as exciting or intriguing as Liverpool vs. Arsenal.

Between Rafa Benitez's career deathwatch and Wenger's own recent dust-ups, the two long-term managers have had their troubles with a season that hasn't quite gone according to plan for either.

Maynor Figueroa's sensational strike

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If you're a U.S. national team fan, you should be quite familiar with the Honduras national team and its players, having seen the U.S. team play them four times in 2009. But just in case you were starting to forget, here is a goal from Honduran left back Maynor Figueroa that is sure to stick in your memory bank.

FIFA Club World Cup: A Look Ahead

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by FRANCO PANIZO

While most of this past week's attention was focused on the final group stage matches of the UEFA Champions League, a lower profile tournament kicked off in the United Arab Emirates.

The FIFA Club World Cup began this past Wednesday, and with three matches already played, the seven-team tournament's semifinals are set.

Banner day for American keepers in EPL

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Heading into Saturday's round of Premiership fixtures, it appeared unlikely that any of the American goalkeepers would pull out a result in their respective matches, but each goalkeeper walked away with a favorable road result.

Brad Friedel and Marcus Hahnemann each posted surprising road victories for their clubs against a pair of the EPL's top teams.

Bradley scores winner for Moenchengladbach

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Michael Bradley isn't regarded as a goal-scoring machine, at least not since his dream season at Heerenveen, but the U.S. national team midfielder has shown during his time in the Germany Bundesliga that he can certainly finish when given the opportunity.

Bradley scored his latest goal today, and the score wound up being the game-winner, in Borussia Moenchengladbach's 5-3 win vs.

A look at potential January USMNT camp call-ups

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

We are a month away from U.S. men's national team coach Bob Bradley calling the first camp of the year, and the MLS-heavy camp should feature some new faces who have played their way onto the radar.

I touched on the subject in my Friday ESPN.

Red Bull Arena to be new home for Big East men's Championships

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Red Bull Arena has yet to open, but the best soccer specific stadium in the nation has already begun adding major events.

The New York Red Bulls and the Big East Conference announced that Red Bull Arena will be the new home for the men's Big East Championships for the next three years (2010-2012).

NCAA Men's College Cup Semifinals: Match night commentary

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The four best men's teams in NCAA soccer will square off tonight for a chance to play in Sunday's College Cup Final.

Tonight's semifinals in Cary, North Carolina will be played in frigid and wintry conditions, but that shouldn't stop some of the nation's most talented players from showing their stuff.

This weekend's Soccer on TV

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Chelsea is still in first place in the English Premier League, but Manchester United is poised to regain its place atop the standings if it can win the weekend's marquee match-up.

The Red Devils will need to beat Aston Villa in the best match of the weekend if Man Utd is going to catch a suddenly wobbly Chelsea squad.

This weekend's Soccer on TV

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Chelsea is still in first place in the English Premier League, but Manchester United is poised to regain its place atop the standings if it can win the weekend's marquee match-up.

The Red Devils will need to beat Aston Villa in the best match of the weekend if Man Utd is going to catch a suddenly wobbly Chelsea squad.

NCAA Men's College Cup Semifinals: Match night commentary

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The four best men's teams in NCAA soccer will square off tonight for a chance to play in Sunday's College Cup Final.

Tonight's semifinals in Cary, North Carolina will be played in frigid and wintry conditions, but that shouldn't stop some of the nation's most talented players from showing their stuff.

Red Bull Arena to be new home for Big East men's Championships

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Red Bull Arena has yet to open, but the best soccer specific stadium in the nation has already begun adding major events.

The New York Red Bulls and the Big East Conference announced that Red Bull Arena will be the new home for the men's Big East Championships for the next three years (2010-2012).

A look at potential January USMNT camp call-ups

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

We are a month away from U.S. men's national team coach Bob Bradley calling the first camp of the year, and the MLS-heavy camp should feature some new faces who have played their way onto the radar.

I touched on the subject in my Friday ESPN.

Johannesburg: A Closer Look

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by TRAVIS CLARK

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Travelers landing in OR Tambo airport for the first time next June will be hard pressed to think they are in Africa. A cosmopolitan city known as the economic capital of South Africa, this city is proud and ready to kick off the tournament next year at Soccer City stadium.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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by FRANCO PANIZO

With winter break slowly starting to take into effect across Europe, more members of the Americans Abroad contingent finds themselves with a pause in the action, but that doesn't mean there aren't any quality matches to keep an eye on this weekend.

TGIF: Will Jermaine Jones ever get healthy?

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When Jermaine Jones declared six months ago that he wanted to play for the United States, American soccer fans had ever reason to be excited.

Jones was a highly-respected midfielder in the German Bundesliga and seemed like a perfect fit to slide into central midfield alongside Michael Bradley.

NCAA College Cup Semifinals: A look ahead

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Whether you're a fan of dangerous attacking teams, or simply want to catch a glimpse of some future MLS standouts, this weekend's NCAA College Cup in Cary, North Carolina has something for you.

All four teams boast quality rosters so there isn't much talk about underdogs and Cinderella stories.

Johannesburg: A Closer Look

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by TRAVIS CLARK

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Travelers landing in OR Tambo airport for the first time next June will be hard pressed to think they are in Africa. A cosmopolitan city known as the economic capital of South Africa, this city is proud and ready to kick off the tournament next year at Soccer City stadium.

NCAA College Cup Semifinals: A look ahead

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Whether you're a fan of dangerous attacking teams, or simply want to catch a glimpse of some future MLS standouts, this weekend's NCAA College Cup in Cary, North Carolina has something for you.

All four teams boast quality rosters so there isn't much talk about underdogs and Cinderella stories.

TGIF: Will Jermaine Jones ever get healthy?

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When Jermaine Jones declared six months ago that he wanted to play for the United States, American soccer fans had ever reason to be excited.

Jones was a highly-respected midfielder in the German Bundesliga and seemed like a perfect fit to slide into central midfield alongside Michael Bradley.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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by FRANCO PANIZO

With winter break slowly starting to take into effect across Europe, more members of the Americans Abroad contingent finds themselves with a pause in the action, but that doesn't mean there aren't any quality matches to keep an eye on this weekend.

UEFA Champions League: Matchday Six (Your Running Commentary)

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The final eight spots in the Champions League Round of 16 will be filled today as the group stage concludes with a handful of key clashes.

The marquee match-ups reside in Group H, where Inter Milan faces Rubin Kazan, with the loser of that match set to tumble out of the Champions League.

Tough tests await Americans in FA Cup Third Round

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England-based Americans Jay DeMerit, Jonathan Spector and Mike Grella will see their FA Cup Third-Round match-ups pit them against England's best clubs.

Grella's Leeds United will face Manchester United, DeMerit's Watford will play Chelsea and Spector's West Ham will meet London rival Arsenal in key FA Cup Third Round tilts, set to be played just after the New Year.

Champions League Rewind: Barcelona, Inter advance

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Barcelona and Inter Milan stood on the brink of both being eliminated from the UEFA Champions League, but they both showed why they are champions, delivering vital victories on the final matchday of the group stage to reach the Round of 16.

Barcelona overcame an early 1-0 deficit to beat Dinamo Kiev, 2-1, with Xavi and Lionel Messi delivering the goals.

Free Kicks galore in UEFA Champions League

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There were plenty of goals scored in Champions League action this week, but masterful free kicks took center stage.

Inter Milan's Mario Balotelli, Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo all delivered skillful free kick goals to help their teams win ans secure places in the Champions League Round of 16.

The MLS Grapevine: Donovan deal nears, MLS signs draft candidates and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Landon Donovan's proposed loan move to English club Everton is gaining momentum, and it is starting to look more and more like the U.S. national team's two best players will be club teammates come the new year.

Everton has now confirmed that it is in talks to bring the U.

MLS announces list of seniors invited to Draft Combine

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Major League Soccer announced its initial list of 62 seniors invited to take part in the MLS Draft Combine next month in Florida.

Connecticut midfielder Toni Stahl, Harvard forward Andre Akpan, UCLA midfielder Michael Stephens and goalkeeper Brian Perk, and Indiana defender Ofori Sarkodie are some of the top players among the invited draft prospects.

Everton finalizes loan deal for Donovan

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Landon Donovan's loan move to Everton has been completed, sources confirmed to SBI on Thursday.

The U.S. national team star and Los Angeles Galaxy captain will join the Liverpool-based club when the transfer window opens on Jan.

LA Galaxy issue statement regarding Donovan/Everton move

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The Los Angeles Galaxy issued a statement on Thursday afternoon regarding the Landon Donovan loan move to Everton that we reported earlier today as being a done deal. The Galaxy has denied that a deal has been reached.

Here is the team's statement:

"We are aware of Everton's interest in Landon Donovan, as they are one of a number of clubs who have contacted the Galaxy about the possibility of a short term loan agreement for Landon.

SBI MLS Draft Big Board (Version 1.0)

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The 2010 MLS Draft is still five weeks away, and while some of the best prospects expected to be available in the draft are still completing their college seasons, fans have already started to consider what their teams might be doing when the draft arrives.

It isn't too early to start thinking about the talent that will be available, and if the 2009 draft showed us anything, it is that quality MLS starters can be found among the players coming out of the college ranks.

World Cup Venue Preview: Moses Mabhida Stadium

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by TRAVIS CLARK

DURBAN, South Africa -- The arch over Moses Mobhida Stadium is already an iconic staple to the Durban skyline. One of the brand-new stadiums built for the World Cup, the locals nearby claim that it is the most impressive of the bunch.

As of December, there is still work to do on the stadium, despite the fact the entire structure is complete and has held a competitive match.

World Cup Venue Preview: Moses Mabhida Stadium

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by TRAVIS CLARK

DURBAN, South Africa -- The arch over Moses Mobhida Stadium is already an iconic staple to the Durban skyline. One of the brand-new stadiums built for the World Cup, the locals nearby claim that it is the most impressive of the bunch.

As of December, there is still work to do on the stadium, despite the fact the entire structure is complete and has held a competitive match.

SBI MLS Draft Big Board (Version 1.0)

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The 2010 MLS Draft is still five weeks away, and while some of the best prospects expected to be available in the draft are still completing their college seasons, fans have already started to consider what their teams might be doing when the draft arrives.

It isn't too early to start thinking about the talent that will be available, and if the 2009 draft showed us anything, it is that quality MLS starters can be found among the players coming out of the college ranks.

LA Galaxy issue statement regarding Donovan/Everton move

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The Los Angeles Galaxy issued a statement on Thursday afternoon regarding the Landon Donovan loan move to Everton that we reported earlier today as being a done deal. The Galaxy has denied that a deal has been reached.

Here is the team's statement:

"We are aware of Everton's interest in Landon Donovan, as they are one of a number of clubs who have contacted the Galaxy about the possibility of a short term loan agreement for Landon.

Everton finalizes loan deal for Donovan

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Landon Donovan's loan move to Everton has been completed, sources confirmed to SBI on Thursday.

The U.S. national team star and Los Angeles Galaxy captain will join the Liverpool-based club when the transfer window opens on Jan.

MLS announces list of seniors invited to Draft Combine

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Major League Soccer announced its initial list of 62 seniors invited to take part in the MLS Draft Combine next month in Florida.

Connecticut midfielder Toni Stahl, Harvard forward Andre Akpan, UCLA midfielder Michael Stephens and goalkeeper Brian Perk, and Indiana defender Ofori Sarkodie are some of the top players among the invited draft prospects.

The MLS Grapevine: Donovan deal nears, MLS signs draft candidate and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Landon Donovan's proposed loan move to English club Everton is gaining momentum, and it is starting to look more and more like the U.S. national team's two best players will be club teammates come the new year.

Everton has now confirmed that it is in talks to bring the U.

Free Kicks galore in UEFA Champions League

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There were plenty of goals scored in Champions League action this week, but masterful free kicks took center stage.

Inter Milan's Mario Balotelli, Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo all delivered skillful free kick goals to help their teams win ans secure places in the Champions League Round of 16.

Champions League Rewind: Barcelona, Inter advance

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Barcelona and Inter Milan stood on the brink of both being eliminated from the UEFA Champions League, but they both showed why they are champions, delivering vital victories on the final matchday of the group stage to reach the Round of 16.

Barcelona overcame an early 1-0 deficit to beat Dinamo Kiev, 2-1, with Xavi and Lionel Messi delivering the goals.

Tough tests await Americans in FA Cup Third Round

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England-based Americans Jay DeMerit, Jonathan Spector and Mike Grella will see their FA Cup Third-Round match-ups pit them against England's best clubs.

Grella's Leeds United will face Manchester United, DeMerit's Watford will play Chelsea and Spector's West Ham will meet London rival Arsenal in key FA Cup Third Round tilts.

UEFA Champions League: Matchday Six (Your Running Commentary)

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The final eight spots in the Champions League Round of 16 will be filled today as the group stage concludes with a handful of key clashes.

The marquee match-ups reside in Group H, where Inter Milan faces Rubin Kazan, with the loser of that match set to tumble out of the Champions League.

Who will win the NCAA College Cup?

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The NCAA Men's College Cup Semifinals are set for Friday and four of the best and most talent-laden squads in the country will be squaring off.

Akron, Virginia, Wake Forest and North Carolina will take the field in Cary this weekend and soccer fans will have the chance to not only see the best college teams in the nation, but also many of the best pro prospects in the upcoming 2010 MLS Draft.

Champions League Rewind: Juve falls, Man Utd rolls

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Juventus figured to have some momentum heading into its do-or-die Champions League clash with Bayern Munich on Tuesday. Having just beaten Inter Milan, Juve needed only a draw at home against Bayern to reach the Round of 16, but instead of a draw, the Italian club was handed a 4-1 beating and a place in the Europa League.

Fulham set to unload Johnson

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Eddie Johnson hasn't gotten much playing time since joining Fulham from MLS two years ago, and now it appears as though he won't have much more time to break through.

According toreports out of England, Fulham has put the word out that it wants to unload Johnson and three other players during the winter transfer window in order to reduce its salary bill.

Report: Everton eyeing Landon Donovan loan

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Landon Donovan figures to be headed somewhere on loan this winter, and a new destination has emerged as a possibility.

English club Everton, home of U.S. national team goalkeeper Tim Howard, has its sights on landing Landon Donovan on loan, The Telegraph reported on Tuesday.

World Cup Venue Preview: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium

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by TRAVIS CLARK

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa -- With the World Cup draw firmly in the past, the attention can now turn to the final countdown towards the opening match of the 2010 World Cup. An estimated 450,000 fans will descend upon South Africa next year in June and July.

DeMerit completes comeback in Watford victory

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Jay DeMerit made a second half appearance in Watford's 3-1 victory over Queens Park Rangers on Monday, completing his comeback from eye surgery.

DeMerit was subbed in at halftime, and helped Watford post a scoreless second half en route to a 3-1 win that pushed Watford to sixth place in the Coca Cola Championship.

More from the Red Bulls' new general manager

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New Red Bulls general manager Erik Soler met the media on Monday and delivered his ideas and visions for what he wants to do with the club going forward as he takes over the reins of a team in disarray.

While Soler readily admits that he doesn't have a working knowledge of MLS, the former Norwegian international described a system that he will be putting in place that should help him operate a club in a league he is still learning about.

SBI European Club Top 25 (Dec. 8)

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We took a few weeks off, but the SBI European Club Top 25 is back.

You would think there would be a major shake-up in the rankings after taking a month off, but the reality is there were few dramatic shifts. Eight of the teams in the last Top 10 remain, with Arsenal seeing the biggest fall over the course of the past four weeks.

UEFA Champions League: Matchday Six (Your Running Commentary)

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The final berths in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 will be decided today and Wednesday as Europe's best look to move a step closer to a shot at the Champions League title.

Today's schedule of matches features several do-or-die encounters, including Juventus-Bayern Munich and Marseille-Real Madrid, two match-ups that will send one team into the knockout round and the other to the Europa League.

Evening Ticker: Grella's goals propel Leeds, St. Louis names team and more

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Mike Grella has had his ups and downs since signing with English League One side Leeds United out of Duke University, but his performance on Tuesday will certainly qualify as the highlight of his young career.

Leeds came on as a substitute in overtime and promptly scored two goals to help Leeds run away with a 5-1 FA Cup victory against Kettering on Tuesday.

Report: Everton eyeing Landon Donovan loan

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Landon Donovan figures to be headed somewhere on loan this winter, and a new destination has emerged as a possibility.

English club Everton, home of U.S. national team goalkeeper Tim Howard, has its sights on landing Landon Donovan on loan, The Telegraph reported on Tuesday.

Evening Ticker: Grella's goals propel Leeds, St. Louis names team and more

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Mike Grella has had his ups and downs since signing with English League One side Leeds United out of Duke University, but his performance on Tuesday will certainly qualify as the highlight of his young career.

Leeds came on as a substitute in overtime and promptly scored two goals to help Leeds run away with a 5-1 FA Cup victory against Kettering on Tuesday.

UEFA Champions League: Matchday Six (Your Running Commentary)

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The final berths in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 will be decided today and Wednesday as Europe's best look to move a step closer to a shot at the Champions League title.

Today's schedule of matches features several do-or-die encounters, including Juventus-Bayern Munich and Marseille-Real Madrid, two match-ups that will send one team into the knockout round and the other to the Europa League.

More from the Red Bulls' new general manager

Soccer By Ives at related • 1 view

New Red Bulls general manager Erik Soler met the media on Monday and delivered his ideas and visions for what he wants to do with the club going forward as he takes over the reins of a team in disarray.

While Soler readily admits that he doesn't have a working knowledge of MLS, the former Norwegian international described a system that he will be putting in place that should help him operate a club in a league he is still learning about.

SBI European Club Top 25 (Dec. 8)

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We took a few weeks off, but the SBI European Club Top 25 is back.

You would think there would be a major shake-up in the rankings after taking a month off, but the reality is there were few dramatic shifts. Eight of the teams in the last Top 10 remain, with Arsenal seeing the biggest fall over the course of the past four weeks.

DeMerit completes comeback in Watford victory

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Jay DeMerit made a second half appearance in Watford's 3-1 victory over Queens Park Rangers on Monday, completing his comeback from eye surgery.

DeMerit was subbed in at halftime, and helped Watford post a scoreless second half en route to a 3-1 win that pushed Watford to sixth place in the Coca Cola Championship.

World Cup Venue Preview: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium

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by TRAVIS CLARK

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa -- With the World Cup draw firmly in the past, the attention can now turn to the final countdown towards the opening match of the 2010 World Cup. An estimated 450,000 fans will descend upon South Africa next year in June and July.

Reports: USA to face Honduras in January friendly

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If you are wondering who the U.S. men's national team will be lining up for friendlies in 2010, it appears the first of those opponents has been lined up, while another potential opponent has surfaced.

According to reports out of Honduras, the U.S. men's national team will face fellow World Cup participant Honduras on Sunday, January 24 at Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

MMCB: Red Bulls draw closer to coaching hire and another American striker emerges

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The New York Red Bulls will move one step closer to trying to organize the mess that is the club's front office when it formally introduces Erik Soler today as the team's new general manager. Soler will step in and be in charge of all soccer-related operations for a club still picking up the pieces following a nightmare 2009 season.

Red Bulls introduce new GM

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The first impression you get from new Red Bulls general manager Erik Soler is that he is an intelligent and polished soccer man. You also realize that for all his experience and his diverse resume, Soler knows very little about the American game. He admitted as much on Monday, stating, "I'm not going to claim to be an MLS expert.

European Ticker: United injury woes worsen, Aguero interest heats up and more

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Just when you thought Manchester United's defensive injury woes could not get any worse, in comes news that Nemanja Vidic is set to miss the club's Champions League match against VfL Wolfsburg.

Having missed Saturday's 4-0 thrashing of West Ham United with the flu, Vidic has failed to recuperate, and has been ruled out of Tuesday's match.

European Ticker: United injury woes worsen, Aguero interest heats up and more

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Just when you thought Manchester United's defensive injury woes could not get any worse, in comes news that Nemanja Vidic is set to miss the club's Champions League match against VfL Wolfsburg.

Having missed Saturday's 4-0 thrashing of West Ham United with the flu, Vidic has failed to recuperate, and has been ruled out of Tuesday's match.

Red Bulls introduce new GM

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The first impression you get from new Red Bulls general manager Erik Soler is that he is an intelligent and polished soccer man. You also realize that for all his experience and his diverse resume, Soler knows very little about the American game. He admitted as much on Monday, stating, "I'm not going to claim to be an MLS expert.

MMCB: Red Bulls draw closer to coaching hire and another American striker emerges

Soccer By Ives at related • 1 view


The New York Red Bulls will move one step closer to trying to organize the mess that is the club's front office when it formally introduces Erik Soler today as the team's new general manager. Soler will step in and be in charge of all soccer-related operations for a club still picking up the pieces following a nightmare 2009 season.

Reports: USA to face Honduras in January friendly

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If you are wondering who the U.S. men's national team will be lining up for friendlies in 2010, it appears the first of those opponents has been lined up, while another potential opponent has surfaced.

According to reports out of Honduras, the U.S. men's national team will face fellow World Cup participant Honduras on Sunday, January 24 at Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Tim Howard has had enough brilliant moments in his career to fill up an ESPN highlight reel. From his gutsy performance against Argentina in 2008, to his penalty kick heroics against former club Manchester United in last season's FA Cup, Howard has made a name for himself with his timely saves, and his most recent shot block is just the latest evidence of his greatness.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Tim Howard has had enough brilliant moments in his career to fill up an ESPN highlight reel. From his gutsy performance against Argentina in 2008, to his penalty kick heroics against former club Manchester United in last season's FA Cup, Howard has made a name for himself with his timely saves, and his most recent shot block is just the latest evidence of his greatness.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Six points is all that seperates second place from twelfth in Ligue 1, and for Carlos Bocanegra and Stade Rennes, this weekend provides an opportunity to leapfrog a few teams.

After a winless November, eleventh place Stade Rennes will look to claim victory when it battles Lorient in the quest to climb up the standings, and into a position for next season's European soccer.

USA to face England, Algeria and Slovenia as World Cup Draw is set

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The U.S. men's national team avoided being drawn into a Group of Death, and will now face a very favorable path in the 2010 World Cup.

The Americans were drawn against a strong England side, but the rest of Group C is filled out with beatable opponents Algeria and Slovenia to give the U.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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With the World Cup Draw dominating the attention of soccer fans throughout the world, it is easy to forget that there are soccer matches to be played this weekend.

The upcoming weekend won't have the number of high-profile matches we saw last week, but there are still top matches on the schedule.

Wild celebrations echo around Cape Town during draw

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by TRAVIS CLARK

CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- While the draw was going on on the other side of town, the true celebration of the 2010 World Cup could be seen at a wild party on Long Street. Set up as part of FIFA's Fan Fest, nothing could match the excitement of more than 100,000 South Africans packed into the Mother City's bar district.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Today is the day after the World Cup draw, meaning there's still that lingering hangover from finding out which teams will be facing each other next summer. The World Cup is still six months away, but there are plenty of matches today to satisfy that hunger soccer fans are sure to wake up with today.

Bradley's assist vs. Bayern Munich

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Borussia Moenchengladbach saw its five-match unbeaten streak ended by Bayern Munich on Friday, but U.S. national team midfielder Michael Bradley did enjoy one of the bright spots of the match for the underdogs, a clever assist on Moenchengladbach's lone goal.

Here is Bradley's assist:

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Generation adidas team look to close trip on a high note

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by TRAVIS CLARK

CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- The third and final match of the Generation adidas tour is set for Sunday morning, and will provide a fitting end to the 2009 trip to South Africa. The collection of young MLS players face Ajax Cape Town reserves, a game they all want to win and close out the tour on a high note.

Juventus downs Inter Milan

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Inter Milan's lead atop Serie A was cut to four points on Saturday after Claudio Marchisio notched a second-half winner as Juventus scored a vital 2-1 victory in Turin.

Here are the highlights:

What did you think of Juventus' win? Think the referee had a bad day, or are you not buying Inter's complaints about the officiating?

Akron and Wake join UNC and UVA in NCAA Final Four

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The undefeated Akron Zips moved a step closer to a perfect season on Saturday, scoring a 1-0 victory against Tulsa in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals to secure a berth in the College Cup semifinals, set for Friday in Cary, North Carolina.

Defender Kofi Sarkodie provided the winner for the Zips, who will now face North Carolina in the national semifinal.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Clint Dempsey has been on a roll lately, and he will look to keep his recent hot streak going for Fulham against Sunderland.

Today's slate of soccer matches on TV isn't confined to ones featuring Americans Abroad, though Dempsey and Tim Howard will both be playing matches on TV today.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Clint Dempsey has been on a roll lately, and he will look to keep his recent hot streak going for Fulham against Sunderland.

Today's slate of soccer matches on TV isn't confined to ones featuring Americans Abroad, though Dempsey and Tim Howard will both be playing matches on TV today.

Akron and Wake join UNC and UVA in NCAA Final Four

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The undefeated Akron Zips moved a step closer to a perfect season on Saturday, scoring a 1-0 victory against Tulsa in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals to secure a berth in the College Cup semifinals, set for Friday in Cary, North Carolina.

Defender Kofi Sarkodie provided the winner for the Zips, who will now face North Carolina in the national semifinal.

Juventus downs Inter Milan

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Inter Milan's lead atop Serie A was cut to four points on Saturday after Claudio Marchisio notched a second-half winner as Juventus scored a vital 2-1 victory in Turin.

Here are the highlights:

What did you think of Juventus' win? Think the referee had a bad day, or are you not buying Inter's complaints about the officiating?

Generation adidas team look to close trip on a high note

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by TRAVIS CLARK

CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- The third and final match of the Generation adidas tour is set for Sunday morning, and will provide a fitting end to the 2009 trip to South Africa. The collection of young MLS players face Ajax Cape Town reserves, a game they all want to win and close out the tour on a high note.

Bradley's assist vs. Bayern Munich

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Borussia Moenchengladbach saw its five-match unbeaten streak ended by Bayern Munich on Friday, but U.S. national team midfielder Michael Bradley did enjoy one of the bright spots of the match for the underdogs, a clever assist on Moenchengladbach's lone goal.

Here is Bradley's assist:

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Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Today is the day after the World Cup draw, meaning there's still that lingering hangover from finding out which teams will be facing each other next summer. The World Cup is still six months away, but there are plenty of matches today to satisfy that hunger soccer fans are sure to wake up with today.

Wild celebrations echo in Cape Town during draw

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by TRAVIS CLARK

CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- While the draw was going on on the other side of town, the true celebration of the 2010 World Cup could be seen at a wild party on Long Street. Set up as part of FIFA's Fan Fest, nothing could match the excitement of more than 100,000 South Africans packed into the Mother City's bar district.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

Soccer By Ives at related • 2 views

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With the World Cup Draw dominating the attention of soccer fans throughout the world, it is easy to forget that there are soccer matches to be played this weekend.

The upcoming weekend won't have the number of high-profile matches we saw last week, but there are still top matches on the schedule.

USA to face England, Algeria and Slovenia as World Cup Draw is set

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The U.S. men's national team avoided being drawn into a Group of Death, and will now face a very favorable path in the 2010 World Cup.

The Americans were drawn against a strong England side, but the rest of Group C is filled out with beatable opponents Algeria and Slovenia to give the U.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

Soccer By Ives at related • 1 view

by FRANCO PANIZO

Six points is all that seperates second place from twelfth in Ligue 1, and for Carlos Bocanegra and Stade Rennes, this weekend provides an opportunity to leapfrog a few teams.

After a winless November, eleventh place Stade Rennes will look to claim victory when it battles Lorient in the quest to climb up the standings, and into a position for next season's European soccer.

2010 World Cup Draw Day is Here

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The day we have all been waiting for has finally arrived.

In just a few hours, the groups for the 2010 FIFA World Cup will be drawn (Noon, ESPN/FSC/Univision/ESPN360.com) and all 32 teams will know which opponents will be awaiting them at next summer's World Cup in South Africa.

For the United States, today's draw will be about hoping to avoid a brutal group, though the odds are against the Americans avoiding at least a tough path to the second round.

DeMerit closes in on comeback

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photo by ISIphotos.com

If you thought this week was kind to the U.S. national team on the injury front, you will love to hear that Jay DeMerit is closing in on his return.

Carlos Tevez's beautiful Carling Cup goal

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Manchester City finally found a way to win a match, and not draw for once, when it defeated a very young Arsenal squad in today's Carling Cup quarterfinals. The 3-0 victory was sparked by a wonderful goal from Argentine striker Carlos Tevez, who danced around the Gunners defense to open the scoring.

Donovan discusses uncertain club future

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Since claiming earlier this year that he wanted to return to Europe to play club soccer, U.S. national team midfielder Landon Donovan has kept relatively quiet about his future. That is, until now.

Donovan sat down with Outside the Lines reporter Bob Ley on Wednesday, and discussed a myriad of topics, ranging from Thierry Henry's handball, to the perception of the U.

Morning Ticker: West Ham pursuing Toni, LDU Quito wins Sudamericana and more

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by FRANCO PANIZO

It is no secret that Luca Toni has been unhappy with his situation at Bayern Munich this year, and West Ham United is one of the clubs that has taken notice.

Toni is being heavily pursued by West Ham, and talks with the Italian international are considered to be in the advanced stages.

Who would you hire to fill the remaining MLS coaching vacancies?

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Three MLS teams are left searching for head coaches after Chivas USA's hiring of Martin Vasquez and at this point it is no easy guess as to which coaches will be hired in this last go-round.

Denis Hamlett, Curt Onalfo, Tom Soehn and Richie Williams all started 2009 with head coaching jobs and all are in the mix for new gigs elsewhere in MLS.

MLS/College Roundup: Report links Califf to Philly, Reis sidelined and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com
The Philadelphia Union appear set to move one step closer to fielding a strong defense in its first year of existence with the reported acquisition of U.S. national team pool defender Danny Califf.

According to Soccer365.

Zambrano set for MLS return as KC assistant

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It has taken him seven years to get back into the MLS mix, but Octavio Zambrano is set to return to Major League Soccer.

Zambrano is poised to join the Kansas City Wizards as an assistant coach, sources have confirmed to SBI. We mentioned the Zambrano-KC connection a few weeks back and the sides appear to have finalized a deal to bring the former MetroStars and LA Galaxy head coach back to MLS as a member of Peter Vermes' coaching staff.

Clemson joins lists of major programs searching for a head coach

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You can add Clemson University to the list of major college soccer programs searching for new head coaches.

Interim head coach Phil Hindson will not be back after the Tigers' posted a 7-13-1 record in 2009, University officials confirmed to SBI on Thurday. Hindson took over as head coach after long-time head coach Trevor Adair resigned  in June following his arrest for assault.

Chicago Fire buys Pappa's rights, signs winger through 2012

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The Chicago Fire has made a deal to secure the services of one of its most important players, Guatamalan winger Marco Pappa.

The Fire exercised its option to buy Pappa's rights from Guatamalan side CSD Municipal, thus ending a two-year loan deal it had for Pappa and securing his services through the 2012 season.

Edu targets Old Firm return

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Maurice Edu has been out of action for club and country for what seems like an eternity, but the Rangers midfielder has targeted a return date.

Having returned to training last week, Edu is eyeing to make his comeback on Jan. 3, when Rangers play arch-rival Celtic. With no winter break in the Scottish Premier League, Rangers has six league matches in December, but Edu feels his return from a complicated knee injury will have to wait until 2010.

Cape Town prepares for World Cup launch party

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by TRAVIS CLARK

CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- For the residents of this city, and the nation of South Africa, December 4 has been a long time coming. Ever since the nation was named as the 2010 World Cup host country back in May 2004, extensive work has been undertaken to ensure that the country would be ready six years later.

Cape Town prepares for World Cup launch party

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by TRAVIS CLARK

CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- For the residents of this city, and the nation of South Africa, December 4 has been a long time coming. Ever since the nation was named as the 2010 World Cup host country back in May 2004, extensive work has been undertaken to ensure that the country would be ready six years later.

Edu targets Old Firm return

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Maurice Edu has been out of action for club and country for what seems like an eternity, but the Rangers midfielder has targeted a return date.

Having returned to training last week, Edu is eyeing to make his comeback on Jan. 3, when Rangers play arch-rival Celtic. With no winter break in the Scottish Premier League, Rangers has six league matches in December, but Edu feels his return from a complicated knee injury will have to wait until 2010.

Chicago Fire buys Pappa's rights, signs winger through 2012

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The Chicago Fire has made a deal to secure the services of one of its most important players, Guatamalan winger Marco Pappa.

The Fire exercised its option to buy Pappa's rights from Guatamalan side CSD Municipal, thus ending a two-year loan deal it had for Pappa and securing his services through the 2012 season.

Clemson joins lists of major programs searching for a head coach

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You can now add Clemson University to the list of major college soccer programs searching for new head coaches.

Interim head coach Phil Hindson will not be back after the Tigers' posted an 8-13-1 record in 2009, University officials confirmed to SBI on Thurday. Hindson took over as head coach after long-time head coach Trevor Adair resigned  in June following his arrest for assault.

Zambrano set for MLS return as KC assistant

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It has taken him seven years to get back into the MLS mix, but Octavio Zambrano is set to return to Major League Soccer.

Zambrano is poised to join the Kansas City Wizards as an assistant coach, sources have confirmed to SBI. We mentioned the Zambrano-KC connection a few weeks back and the sides appear to have finalized a deal to bring the former MetroStars and LA Galaxy head coach back to MLS as a member of Peter Vermes' coaching staff.

MLS/College Roundup: Report links Califf to Philly, Reis sidelined and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com
The Philadelphia Union appear set to move one step closer to fielding a strong defense in its first year of existence with the reported acquisition of U.S. national team pool defender Danny Califf.

According to Soccer365.

Morning Ticker: West Ham pursuing Toni, LDU Quito wins Sudamericana and more

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by FRANCO PANIZO

It is no secret that Luca Toni has been unhappy with his situation at Bayern Munich this year, and West Ham United is one of the clubs that has taken notice.

Toni is being heavily pursued by West Ham, and talks with the Italian international are considered to be in the advanced stages.

Who would you hire to fill the remaining MLS coaching vacancies?

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Three MLS teams are left searching for head coaches after Chivas USA's hiring of Martin Vasquez and at this point it is no easy guess as to which coaches will be hired in this last go-round.

Denis Hamlett, Curt Onalfo, Tom Soehn and Richie Williams all started 2009 with head coaching jobs and all are in the mix for new gigs elsewhere in MLS.

Donovan discusses uncertain club future

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Since claiming earlier this year that he wanted to return to Europe to play club soccer, U.S. national team midfielder Landon Donovan has kept relatively quiet about his future. That is, until now.

Donovan sat down with Outside the Lines reporter Bob Ley on Wednesday, and discussed a myriad of topics, ranging from Thierry Henry's handball, to the perception of the U.

Carlos Tevez's beautiful Carling Cup goal

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Manchester City finally found a way to win a match, and not draw for once, when it defeated a very young Arsenal squad in today's Carling Cup quarterfinals. The 3-0 victory was sparked by a wonderful goal from Argentine striker Carlos Tevez, who danced around the Gunners defense to open the scoring.

Howard posts nine-save shutout, leads Everton to Europa win

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Everton may be struggling badly in the English Premier League, but U.S. national team goalkeeper Tim Howard made sure to help keep the Toffees Europa League success going.

Howard made nine saves to help lead Everton to a 1-0 victory against AEK Athens in Greece on Wednesday.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Barcelona is coming off a big win over Real Madrid, but in order for the club to maintain its first place position, it will have to defeat Xerez in one of many matches being played on Wednesday.

Some games are already underway, including Tim Howard and Everton's UEFA Champions League match vs.

SBI's Mock World Cup Draw (Version 2.0)

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With today's announcement from FIFA establishing which teams will be in the four pots ahead of Friday's World Cup Draw, we can now focus on a more accurate attempt at a mock World Cup Draw.

In our first mock draw, the U.S. national team wound up in a group with Spain, Greece and Uruguay, which wasn't quite a Group of Death, but a tough group nonetheless.

FIFA rejects referee changes at World Cup

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In the aftermath of Thierry Henry's infamous handball, soccer fans across the globe have come to expect a change in FIFA's officiating, whether it be the use of video technology or additional referees.

It appears neither will be implemented at the World Cup.

FIFA's executive committee has decided not to introduce any referee changes at the 2010 World Cup, stating that the tournament is too soon.

Morning Ticker: Guzan wins again, Klinsmann nixes Bundesliga return and more

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by FRANCO PANIZO

Brad Guzan got one of his rare starts for Aston Villa on Tuesday, playing in place of Brad Friedel in the Carling Cup quarterfinals, and he did not disappoint.

Having led Villa to the quarters with a heroic penalty shoot-out performance vs.

FIFA sets World Cup draw pots, USA placed with Asia/Oceania, Dutch seeded over French

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The U.S. national team's worst case scenario for the World Cup draw pots took place on Wednesday, with the CONCACAF teams being placed with teams from Asia and Oceania, setting up the strong possibility of the Americans being drawn into a potential Group of Death.

In one of the more surprising developments of the establishment of the World Cup draw pots was the Netherlands being placed among the eight seeded teams, which pushed France into the pot of unseeded European teams.

Jermaine Jones returns to training

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If you're a U.S. national team fan hoping to catch a glimpse of midfielder Jermaine Jones, you may soon get your chance.

Jones returned to practice for Schalke 04 on Tuesday, having finally recovered from a nagging shin injury that has sidelined him for most of 2009. Jones ran through training exercises and some ball work.

Chivas USA to hire Vasquez as head coach

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Some three weeks after parting ways with former head coach Preki, Chivas USA has settled on its new head coach and the Goats have settled on a familiar face.

Chivas USA will hire former assistant and former Bayern Munich assistant coach Martin Vasquez, sources told SBI on Tuesday.

Who would you like to see the USA draw?

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The World Cup draw is just three days away, meaning we are just three days away from knowing which three nations the United States will be matched up against next summer.

While most U.S. fans will be hoping for as easy a draw as possible, I know there must be a few of you who are hoping for a particular match-up.

Europe's Best XI

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While Lionel Messi captured the Ballon d'Or as expected, France Football also named its Ballon d'Or Best XI, a collection of the best talent in the world and a team that would be a fun one to watch.

Here is the team chosen as Europe's Best XI:

---------------------Samuel Eto'o-----------------------

Cristiano Ronaldo------------------------Lionel Messi

-----------Kaka------------------Steven Gerrard-------

----------------------Xavi------Iniesta--------------------

Nemanja Vidic--------John Terry----------------Maicon

-------------------------Iker Casillas----------------------


Obviously it isn't a practical lineup, what with no defensive midfielder and a set of defenders that wouldn't quite work as a unit.

FIFA: No World Cup for Ireland

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FIFA has put an end to any talk of Ireland potentially being included as a World Cup team, stating on Tuesday that it would be impossible to include Ireland as a 33rd participant.

Ireland made the request to be added due to the controversial way the Irish were beaten by France in their UEFA World Cup playoff.

SBI's 23 for 2010: December 2009 edition

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Photo by ISIphotos.com
 The World Cup is just six months away and with serious injuries and the inclusion of some new faces shaking things up on the U.S. national team, it is getting a bit tougher to project just which 23 players will be on the team when it heads to South Africa.

SBI's 23 for 2010: December 2009 edition

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Photo by ISIphotos.com
 The World Cup is just six months away and with serious injuries and the inclusion of some new faces shaking things up on the U.S. national team, it is getting a bit tougher to project just which 23 players will be on the team when it heads to South Africa.

FIFA: No World Cup for Ireland

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FIFA has put an end to any talk of Ireland potentially being included as a World Cup team, stating on Tuesday that it would be impossible to include Ireland as a 33rd participant.

Ireland made the request to be added due to the controversial way the Irish were beaten by France in their UEFA World Cup playoff.

Europe's Best XI

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While Lionel Messi captured the Ballon d'Or as expected, France Football also named its Ballon d'Or Best XI, a collection of the best talent in the world and a team that would be a fun one to watch.

Here is the team chosen as Europe's Best XI:

---------------------Samuel Eto'o-----------------------

Cristiano Ronaldo------------------------Lionel Messi

-----------Kaka------------------Steven Gerrard-------

----------------------Xavi------Iniesta--------------------

Nemanja Vidic--------John Terry----------------Maicon

-------------------------Iker Casillas----------------------


Obviously it isn't a practical lineup, what with no defensive midfielder and a set of defenders that wouldn't quite work as a unit.

Messi wins Ballon d'Or

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FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi was named the winner of the Ballon d'Or, honoring the top player in Europe. He beat out Cristiano Ronaldo by a record margin while Barcelona teammates Xavi and Andres Iniesta finished third and fourth respectively.

The award, presented by France Football and voted by journalists throughout Europe, went to Messi after he led Barcelona to the La Liga and UEFA Champions League titles last season.

Messi wins Ballon d'Or

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FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi was named the winner of the Ballon d'Or, honoring the top player in Europe. He beat out Cristiano Ronaldo by a record margin while Barcelona teammates Xavi and Andres Iniesta finished third and fourth respectively.

The award, presented by France Football and voted by journalists throughout Europe, went to Messi after he led Barcelona to the La Liga and UEFA Champions League titles last season.