Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2010

MLS Playoffs: New York Red Bulls vs. San Jose Earthquakes: Match Night Commentary

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BY ADAM SERRANO

The New York Red Bulls begin their MLS Playoffs campaign tonight as they travel west to Buck Shaw Stadium to face the San Jose Earthquakes (10pm, Telefutura).Â

The Red Bulls completed a run from worst to first to make the playoffs for the first time since their MLS Cup appearance in 2008.

FC Dallas holds serve at home after Avila's late goal deals RSL 2-1 defeat

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The MLS Cup holders are in danger of being shown an early exit from the playoffs.

Substitute Eric Avila's goal on a nifty 18-yard strike in the 88th minute helped FC Dallas overcome Real Salt Lake, 2-1, at Pizza Hut Park Saturday night. Even more menacing for RSL, though, is that it will have to play the home leg next weekend without its playmaking central midfielder.

MLS Playoffs: FC Dallas vs. Real Salt Lake (Your Running Commentary)

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Real Salt Lake embarks on its MLS Cup title defense in a place it has never won, facing FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park in the first leg of their highly anticipated playoff series (5 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel).

These teams proved to be evenly matched in the regular season, with each posting a 2-0 result at its respective home park in their two meetings.

Edu scores as Rangers draw Inverness

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Maurice Edu netted his first goal of the season on Saturday, scoring in Rangers' 1-1 draw with Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Edu finished a nice passing sequence in the first half by blasting a left-footed volley to the far post.The goal was not enough to keep Rangers' unblemished SPL record intact as the club surrendered an equalizer in the 81st minute.

Dempsey braces Fulham to victory

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Fulham snapped its five-game winless streak on Saturday, and Clint Dempsey was the player to lift the club to victory.

Fulham defeated Wigan Athletic, 2-0, through two first-half goals from Dempsey. The U.S. international, who played all 90 minutes in the win, headed home a Carlos Salcido cross in the 30th minute before knocking another in with a one-time finish just before halftime.

Friday college roundup: Maryland rolls, Cal survives and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

The No. 3 Maryland Terrapins continued their unstoppable form on Friday night with a convincing 2-0 victory over No. 11 Virginia. Casey Townsend scored just 1 minute, 32 seconds into the match for his third goal in as many games.

John Stertzer provided insurance for Maryland just two minutes after halftime with a header to double the lead.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Before the Major League Soccer playoffs continue, some high-profile teams overseas will be in action.

Premier League title chasers Chelsea and Arsenal each look to avoid being tripped up in their respective matches, setting the table for the key Tottenham-Manchester United battle at Old Trafford.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV (and Top 10 matches to watch)

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By TRAVIS CLARK

The 2010 MLS Playoffs are off the mark. After Thursday night's Colorado-Columbus opener, three more first legs highlight the slate of action. All three MLS matches should provide an entertaining spectacle, with the strong crowd out in Seattle one of many reasons to tune in Sunday night.

College Soccer Weekend Preview

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

It's a weekend on the road for many of the nation's top teams as college soccer enters its penultimate weekend before conference tournaments begin.

The game of the week kicks off tonight as No. 3 Maryland travels to No. 11 Virginia in an explosive ACC matchup.

Report: Klinsmann to join Toronto FC as consultant

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Jurgen Klinsmann is heading to MLS, but it won't be as a coach.

The Globe and Mail is reporting that Klinsmann is in talks with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment to join in a consultant role with Toronto FC -- specifically assisting in the process of hiring a head coach and general manager.

SBI MLS Playoff Preview: Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

Welcome to the most glamorous matchup of the MLS quarterfinals, and not just because Los Angeles is involved.Â

This series, it can be argued, is good enough to be an MLS Cup final. There are impact players on both sides and benches. There are veteran coaches with long histories of winning - the Galaxy's Bruce Arena and the Sounders' Sigi Schmid - and there are intriguing head-to-head matchups from one end of the pitch to the other.

Mid-Day Ticker: Ronaldinho recalled, Villa wants to re-sign Friedel and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

Ronaldinho is making his return to the Selecao.

After being left off the World Cup roster and not suiting up for Brazil since April, 2009, the former FIFA World Player of the Year was called into the national team by coach Mano Menezes for next month's highly anticipated friendly against Argentina in Qatar.

SBI MLS Playoff Preview: New York Red Bulls vs. San Jose Earthquakes

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BY ADAM SERRANO

One is a club built on star power and the other is led by an unlikely success story. Despite the differences, both the New York Red Bulls and the San Jose Earthquakes are expecting to make a run deep into the MLS playoffs.Â

The Earthquakes are led by the MLS Golden Boot winner Chris Wondolowski, whose unlikely run to the boot catapulted the Quakes into the playoffs for the first time since the franchise's re-inception into MLS.

U.S. women open World Cup qualifying with 5-0 rout over Haiti

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

A hat trick from striker Abby Wambach led the U.S. women's national team to an easy 5-0 win over Haiti Thursday night.

The USWNT were too much for Haiti to handle, jumping out to an early lead in the ninth minute. Carli Lloyd blasted a free kick that the keeper saved, but the rebound spilled in front of the goal mouth, and Rachel Buehler finished.

Fantasy Premier League: Matchweek 10

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By AVI CREDITOR

The matchup gods are smiling on Arsenal.

With Arsene Wenger's side starting to look like itself after a rash of injuries, the Gunners welcome last-place West Ham to the Emirates this weekend for what should be the start of a three-week fantasy feeding frenzy.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Villarreal is one point shy of first place in La Liga, and Jozy Altidore may be able to help the club surpass Real Madrid for the top spot this weekend.

Having scored his first goal of the season on Wednesday, Altidore could see time when Villarreal travels to take on Sporting Gijon.

Mastroeni hands Rapids advantage over Crew

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By TRAVIS CLARK

A Pablo Mastroeni goal was all that a domintant Colorado could muster, but the Rapids held on for the shutout and took a 1-0 advantage as the MLS playoffs opened Thursday night.

One year after losing on the road against a Western Conference team, Columbus opened up strong, taking the attacking initiative from the kickoff.

MLS Playoffs: Columbus Crew vs. Colorado Rapids (Match Night Commentary)

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The road to Toronto begins tonight, as the 2010 MLS Cup Playoffs get underway out in Colorado with the Rapids hosting the Columbus Crew (9 p.m., ESPN2/ESPN3.com).

Colorado will look to take advantage of playing at home at altitude, as the Crew visit Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Prolific strike duo Conor Casey and Omar Cummings will test the Crew's defense frequently, in the aims of providing a cushion heading into next weekend's second leg.

SBI MLS Playoff Preview: Real Salt Lake vs. FC Dallas

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By TRAVIS CLARK

Real Salt Lake's reward for finishing with the second-best point total in MLS? An opening playoff series against FC Dallas, one of the hardest teams to beat in MLS this season.

It's a matchup of two similar teams -- both favor a possession-oriented game, aiming to dominate the ball in search of that killer pass that unlocks the opposing defense.

Mid-Day Ticker: Frings considers MLS, Red Bulls injuries mount and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

To United States men's national team fans, he will always be considered a villain. And he may be coming to a Major League Soccer team near you.

Torsten Frings, whose "save" to clear a ball off the line in the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup helped Germany hold off the United States, said that he hopes to continue his play career for a couple of more years, either in Germany or in the United States, specifically New York.

For Seattle's Parke, perseverance paid off

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

To hear Jeff Parke tell it, everything he went through to get to today just made him a stronger person.

It was all worth it when he looked up into the stands at Qwest Field earlier this month and saw 31,000 people celebrating the Seattle Sounders' U.S. Open Cup championship, with Parke in the lineup at center back.

SBI MLS Playoff Preview: Columbus Crew vs. Colorado Rapids

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By AVI CREDITOR

Both the Columbus Crew and Colorado Rapids suffered different forms of heartbreak in their respective regular season finales.

For Columbus, starting goalkeeper Will Hesmer fractured his shoulder in a victory over Philadelphia, leaving a massive gap in the back for the 2008 MLS Cup champions.

U.S. Women to begin World Cup Qualifying in Mexico

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By TRAVIS CLARK

Thursday night marks the beginning of the U.S. Women's National Team's quest for a sixth conescutive appearance at the Women's World Cup.

The USWNT begin play in Group B of the CONCACAF Women's World Cup qualifying tournament in Cancun, Mexico.

Crew's Gaven wins Save of the Week

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Photo by Rick Osentoski/ISIphotos.com

This is one award that Eddie Gaven probably hopes he never has to win again.

Forced into goal in the 85th minute with the Columbus Crew out of substitutes and starting keeper Will Hesmer injured with a fracture shoulder, Gaven denied Philadelphia's Shea Salinas over the weekend and won the final MLS Save of the Week award of the season.

College soccer mid-week roundup: Akron rolls, Butler routs Indiana and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

No. 1 Akron improved to 4-0 over Top-10 opponents with a narrow 1-0 victory over No. 9 Creighton on Wednesday. A Darlington Nagbe goal was enough for the Zips to extend their home unbeaten streak to 22 games. Creighton was shut out for the first time this season as Akron continues to be the top-scoring and top-defending team in the country.

Report: Jones injured right ankle, doubtful for weekend (UPDATED)

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

United States men's national team midfielder Jermaine Jones limped off after 77 minutes in FC Schalke 04's German Cup match on Tuesday after reportedly suffering an injury to his right ankle.

The severity of the injury is unclear, but a report out of Germany (and Schalke's team site) suggests that Jones has been limited in training to riding a stationary bicycle and that he is doubtful for Schalke's weekend clash with Bayer Leverkusen.

Thursday Kickoff: Altidore's goal

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If you haven't seen it yet, take a look at Wednesday's finish by Jozy Altidore, who takes a nice touch around a defender at the top of the box and fires a low shot past the keeper at the end of the first half in Villarreal's Copa del Rey match against Club Polideportivo Ejido (fast-forward to 0:24 for the goal-scoring sequence):


Vasquez ousted as Chivas USA head coach after one season

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Martin Vasquez took over as Chivas USA head coach expected to build on a tradition the team had for being a regular playoff participant under former coach Preki. Vasquez fell well short of that, and on Wednesday he paid for that with his job. Chivas USA parted ways with Vasquez on Wednesday, releasing him from his contract and leaving the former U.

MLS announces 2010 Awards finalists

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By TRAVIS CLARK

On the eve of the beginning of the 2010 MLS Playoffs, the finalists of the regular season awards were announced.

A strong week for Chris Wondolowski continued, as the San Jose Earthquakes striker was one of three finalists for the MVP. He'll have to best FC Dallas playmaker David Ferreira and Los Angeles striker Edson Buddle for the award.

Americans Abroad: Midweek Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Jozy Altidore received a rare 90-minute outing with Villarreal on Wednesday, but perhaps more importantly, he found the back of the net.

Altidore netted Villarreal's lone goal (his first across all competitions this season) in a 1-1 draw with Club Polideportivo Ejido in the first leg of the fourth round fixture in Copa del Rey.

Wondolowski named Player of the Month for October

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

MLS Golden Boot winner Chris Wondolowski earned yet another accolade for his late-season heroics, named MLS Player of the Month for his sensational October performance.

The 27-year-old carried the Earthquakes offense in the last month of the regular season, accounting for every goal the team scored in the month of October.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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Domestic cup games overseas resume on Wednesday, with a few United States men's national team players potentially seeing the pitch.

Eric Lichaj is starting but Brad Guzan has surprisingly given way to Brad Friedel for Aston Villa's Carling Cup match against Burnley. Elsewhere in the UK, Maurice Edu's Rangers will face Kilmarnock in the Scottish Cup.

A look at the standout MLS Class of 2010

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A year ago, the 2009 MLS rookie class was being lauded as one of the best in recent memory. Little did we know that just a year later the MLS Class of 2010 would be even better.

The current crop of MLS rookies has enjoyed a stronger season than many would have imagined, with many rookies playing key roles, including some holding down major parts on strong teams.

College Spotlight: UCSB's Sam Garza

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Photo courtesy of Tony Mastres/UCSB Media Relations

By ADAM SERRANO

From injuries to transferring between schools to dark nights away from the game that he loves, one goal has kept Sam Garza from the brink.

His dream of representing the United States in a major international competition.

Altidore featured in La Liga interview

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United States men's national team striker Jozy Altidore should be in action later Wednesday afternoon when Villarreal takes on Club Polideportivo Ejido in a Copa del Rey match. Altidore was recently featured in a La Liga interview, where he touched on topics such as the growth of soccer in the United States, the quality of Spain's top flight, Villarreal's depth of forwards and his connection to family in Haiti.

MLS Playoff Ticker: Shea to the bench, Crew inks backup keeper and more

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Photo by Nick Turchiaro/ISIphotos.com

Brek Shea spent the bulk of the 2010 Major League Soccer season breaking out as a major contributor to the FC Dallas attack. His play was so solid that it even earned him a call-up for the United States' friendly against Colombia earlier this month.

How would you like the MLS playoffs to be set up?

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

As the Major League Soccer postseason nears, much is still being made about the playoff set-up.

Why should the Supporters' Shield winner be forced to play a team like Seattle when two other teams finished with fewer points? Why does Real Salt Lake, who finished in second, have to play the team with the fifth-most points in the league?

Chicharito's dream Manchester start continues with latest game-winner

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For those who thought it would take at least a few months, if not a season or two, before Javier Hernandez made in impact at Manchester United, guess again.

The Mexican striker added another chapter to his dream start in England, scoring the game-winning goal in the 90th minute of Tuesday's Carling Cup victory over Wolverhampton.

MLS teams preparing for 2011 preseason in Arizona

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

On the pitch, the Seattle Sounders are focused on their opening-round playoff series that begins this weekend against the L.A. Galaxy.Â

Off the field, the team is firming up plans for a return to Casa Grande, Ariz., in winter 2011 for preseason camp.

Sources close to the team and and Grande Sports World, the soccer complex in Casa Grande about an hour's drive south of Phoenix, said the Sounders are set for a return to the eight-field, 45-acre facility.

Henry "probably out" for playoff opener

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By ADAM SERRANO

The New York Red Bulls are likely to begin the 2010 playoffs without the services of their star striker, Thierry Henry.Â

Head coach Hans Backe told reporters on Tuesday that Henry is "probably out" for Saturday's playoff opener against the San Jose Earthquakes.

College Top 25: Duke ousted, Charlotte climbing and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

It's more of the same at the top of the table this week as the top four schools in the NSCAA poll, Akron, Louisville, Maryland and North Carolina, stayed in the same position as last week. Southern Methodist moved up one spot to round out the Top 5, bumping Connecticut down to No.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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Domestic cups all over Europe dominate the mid-week schedule, and Spain's two headlining clubs are a part of the action.

Real Madrid and Barcelona each have road matches in the fourth round of the Copa del Rey Tuesday afternoon, with Madrid facing Real Murcia (2 p.m., GOLTV) and Barca taking on Ceuta (4 p.

SBI MLS Spotlight: Carlos Mendes

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Morning Ticker: Paul the Octopus dies, Blackburn nears sale and more

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Paul the Octopus, who baffled soccer fans with his ability to correctly pick the outcomes of World Cup games this summer, died in his tank Tuesday morning. He was 2 1/2 years old.

According to a spokeswoman from the aquarium where he lived, Paul died of natural causes.

He rose to prominence by picking the winners of all seven of Germany's World Cup games in addition to the World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands.

Ballon d'Or 23-man shortlist released

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The Ballon d'Or shortlist has a bit of a Spanish flavor to it.

Seven of the 23 nominees for the prestigious award participated in the FIFA World Cup for Spain over the summer, with Xavi, Andres Iniesta, David Villa, Carles Puyol, Cesc Fabregas, Xabi Alonso and Iker Casillas making the cut.

Fantasy MLS: Season Recap

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

Congratulations to Alan Ledbetter, owner of I <3 MLS, the 2010 Fantasy MLS SBI League champion.

I <3 MLS's players scored an SBI League-best 71 non-PK goals on the way to a 795-point season, which was good for fourth overall on the MFLS site.

Mid-Day Ticker: Donovan wins Silver Boot, Serie A talks stall and more

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

Lost in the shadows of Chris Wondolowski's spotlight is the fact that Landon Donovan captured Major League Soccer's Silver Boot with a league-leading 16 assists.

The Los Angeles Galaxy captain set a career-high in the category, besting his previous high of 13.

Wondolowski earns third Player of the Week award

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

After a weekend that saw Chris Wondolowski lock up the Golden Boot as the top scorer in MLS, the San Jose Earthquakes forward added to his laurels Monday, earning the nod as MLS Player of the Week.

Wondolowski started his week with a hat trick off the bench in San Jose's 3-0 victory over Chivas USA on Wednesday.

USSF D2: Islanders take lead on Railhawks, Rhinos jump to USL Pro

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By TRAVIS CLARK

Advantage, Puerto Rico Islanders.

Over the course of 2010, the plucky USSF D2 side has mastered the art of two-legged performances. The trend continued on Sunday, as the Islanders defeated the Carolina Railhawks 2-0 on home soil in the first leg of the USSF D2 championship.

Must-See Goals: PSV Eindhoven's 10-spot

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To say that this Dutch Eredivisie matchup on Sunday between PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord Rotterdam was one-sided would be a wild understatement. Despite the record loss, Feyenoord is standing by its coach.


SBI Stoppage Time: MLS Playoff Edition

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SBI Stoppage Time: MLS Playoff Preview from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.

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Which team is most likely to pull a first-round upset in the MLS playoffs?

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Photo by Rick Osentoski/ISIphotos.com

The 2010 MLS Playoff field is set, and some intriguing matchups highlight the first round.

In the West, the reward for the Los Angeles Galaxy winning the Supporters' Shield is a date with the Seattle Sounders, one of the league's most in-form teams.

MLS Week 30: A Look Back

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By AVI CREDITOR

The New York Red Bulls finished first in the Eastern Conference. Chris Wondolowski led the league in goals. New England, Houston, Chicago and D.C. weren't close to the playoff picture.

Welcome to bizarro MLS.

The final week of the regular season is in the books, but not before a few fairy tale stories took place.

College soccer weekend roundup: Louisville claims Big East title and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

For the second straight game, No. 2 Louisville snatched victory in double overtime to clinch the Big East regular-season title with a 2-1 victory over No. 19 South Florida.

Kenny Walker put the Cardinals ahead in the 30th minute with a blast from 30 yards out.

European Weekend Rewind

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

If you had to pick the best club in European football right now, you could do worse than to pick Real Madrid. The new Galacticos have been playing up to their name in recent weeks, winning their last three league matches by a combined score of 16-3, and throwing in a mid-week 2-0 in over AC Milan in the Champions League.

The 2010 MLS Playoff Field is set

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After 30 weeks of action, the MLS Playoff Field is now set as eight teams vie to lift the 2010 MLS Cup title next month in Toronto.

The Western Conference has dominated league play all season and will send six teams to the playoffs, with the Los Angeles Galaxy holding the distinction as top seed in the West.

Galaxy clinch the Supporters Shield with 2-1 win over FC Dallas

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BY ADAM SERRANO

The Los Angeles Galaxy started the season in first will end the season in first.Â

The Galaxy clinch the Supporters Shield with a 2-1 victory over FC Dallas in front of 24,993 at the Home Depot Center. Atiba Harris opened the scoring for Dallas with a header past Donovan Ricketts in the 22nd minute off a splendid pass from Eric Alexander.

FC Dallas vs. Los Angeles Galaxy: Match Night Commentary

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BY ADAM SERRANO

After dominating in the first half of the season, the Supporters Shield will come down to the final match for the Los Angeles Galaxy.

The Galaxy need a win or a draw against FC Dallas to avoid playing FCD in the first round of the playoffs. If the Galaxy fail to earn a result than Real Salt Lake will take possession of the regular season title.

FC Dallas vs. Los Angeles Galaxy: Match Night Commentary

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BY ADAM SERRANO

After dominating in the first half of the season, the Supporters Shield will come down to the final match for the Los Angeles Galaxy.

The Galaxy need a win or a draw against FC Dallas to avoid playing FCD in the first round of the playoffs. If the Galaxy fail to earn a result than Real Salt Lake will take possession of the regular season title.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

It took two months, but Sacha Kljestan once again found playing time for RSC Anderlecht.

Kljestan earned his first start in a league match since Aug. 21, starting and going the distance in Anderlecht's 2-0 victory against KVC Westerlo on Sunday.

Supporters Shield race goes down to the final day for Galaxy and RSL

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BY ADAM SERRANO

The race for the Supporters Shield will come down to the final match of the season.

The award for the best record in the regular season will not be handed out until the end of the Los Angeles Galaxy's match with FC Dallas (5pm PDT MLS Direct Kick).

Saborio's stoppage time brace keeps RSL in Supporters Shield hunt in 2-2 vs. Rapids

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BY ADAM SERRANO

Real Salt Lake refuse to lose.Â

Alvaro Saborio fired a brace during stoppage time to keep RSL's dreams of the Supporters Shield alive with a 2-2 draw against the Colorado Rapids. By earning the draw, RSL took the lead for the Shield from the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Galaxy will now need a draw or a win against FC Dallas to win the Shield.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Chelsea is still on top of the English Premier League, but the race to determine who will be the biggest challenger to the throne will take a major step toward being decided today when Manchester City takes on Arsenal in the match of the day.

City is in second place, but Arsenal could close the gap with the win at City of Manchester Stadium.

Moreno retakes all-time MLS goals record in final match, but D.C. falls to Toronto

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               PHOTO BY BRAD SMITH/ISIPHOTOS.COM

BY ADAM SERRANO

Jaime Moreno finished his legendary career in style on Saturday night.

Moreno scored his 133th goal of his career, but D.C. United fell 3-2 to Toronto FC.

McBride scores in final match as Fire defeat Chivas USA 4-1

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BY ADAM SERRANO

Brian McBride found the perfect way to end his illustrious career.

McBride scored the opening goal as the Chicago Fire ended their season with an impressive 4-1 victory over Chivas USA. It was a night in farewells at the Home Depot Center as three players played their final match with their respective teams.

Wondolowski takes golden boot lead, but Quakes fall to Wizards, 4-1

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BY ADAM SERRANO

Chris Wondolowski completed his dramatic goal scoring season with one final strike.

Wondolowski scored his 18th goal of the season, but the Earthquakes fell 4-1 to the Kansas City Wizards in their final match of the season. While Wondolowski's goal gets the headlines, Birahim Diop stole the show with a hat trick for the Wizards.

Sounders drop finale to Houston

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The Seattle Sounders had been on a roll going into Saturday's regular season finale against the Houston Dynamo, and while losing a never a good thing, it just might help the Sounders find a smoother pass to the MLS Cup Final.

The Houston Dynamo rode goals from Geoff Cameron and Cam Weaver to post a 2-1 victory against the Sounders at Robertson Stadium on Saturday.

Real Madrid rolls again

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There isn't a hotter team right now than Real Madrid, and Jose Mourinho's squad showed us why yet again with its 6-0 thrashing of Racing Santander today.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored four goals to keep Real Madrid in first place in La Liga after Barcelona briefly held first place with an earlier victory against Real Zaragoza.

Friday College round-up: North Carolina clinches ACC, Notre Dame ties UConn and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

For all the competiveness in the ACC, the champion has been decided early.

No. 4 North Carolina clinched at least a share of the regular-season title and the top seed in the ACC with a 3-1 win over Virginia Tech on Friday night. The Tar Heels opened the scoring with goals from Jordan Gafa and Carlos McCray.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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There may not be a more in-form player in the world than Gareth Bale, and Saturday against Everton will be his next chance to impress the growing list of big-name clubs interested in acquiring him.

Tim Howard will be out to stop Bale as he looks to add a second shutout after keeping Liverpool off the scoreboard in last week's Merseyside Derby.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV (and SBI's Top 10 Matches to Watch)

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With Manchester United stumbling and struggling out of the gate, Manchester City and Arsenal are looking like better bets to challenge Chelsea for the Premier League title.

Both teams will look to draw closer to the defending champions when they face off in the weekend's marquee match-up.

SBI Stoppage Time: RBNY's turnaround and a look at the MLS playoff field

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SBI Stoppage Time: 10/21/10 from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


The Special One is Back

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MLS Week 30: A Look Ahead

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By TRAVIS CLARK

Heading into the final weekend of MLS action, and not a single playoff spot is up for grabs.

So why tune in to the last go-round before the race for MLS Cup starts? Well, the Supporters' Shield still needs to be settled, for starters, as well as some tussling to determine postseason matchups that will get underway next week.

SBI Live Q&A (Oct. 22nd Edition)

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Good afternoon folks. I't s that time again. Time for you to send me your soccer questions and time for me to answer as many of them as I can over the next hour.

Want to talk the MLS Playoffs? UEFA Champions League? This weekend's action in Europe? The U.S. national team? The college game? If so, feel free to join the Q&A and send your questions my way.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Maurice Edu may have had an up-and-down Champions League game against Valencia, but he'll need to quickly put that past him as Rangers take on Celtic in a battle of unbeatens this weekend.

Both teams enter the Old Firm derby with eight wins in as many matches, and the winner will take an early lead in the race for supremacy in the SPL.

College Soccer Weekend Preview

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

A couple of top-10 teams face difficult road tests this weekend as we draw closer to the start of conference tournament play.

Tonight, No. 8 Virginia travels north to take on No. 20 Boston College. The Eagles are undefeated at home this season while the Cavaliers are on the road for the first time since Sept.

USSF D2: Pore grabs MVP, Nolly named goalie of the year

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The second day of USSF D2 awards saw Ryan Pore walk away the big winner, as the league's leading goal-scorer was also named the Second Division MVP on Thursday.

Pore carried most of Portland's offense throughout the 2010 season, and was also named a member of the D2 Best XI.

Opportunity knocks for Lichaj

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

Less than two weeks after making his first U.S. men's national team appearance, Eric Lichaj stands poised to make his English Premier League debut.

The Aston Villa defender has a very good chance of being called on to replace starting right back Luke Young, who has been sidelined with a torn hamstring.

Red Bulls complete improbable turnaround, clinch top seed with win

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A year after enduring the worst season in the club's history, the New York Red Bulls have completed an incredible turnaround after beating New England on Thursday to clinch first place in the Eastern Conference.

The Red Bulls posted a 2-0 win against the Revolution on Thursday night to secure first place in the Eastern Conference and the No.

Mid-Day Ticker: Crew blows by Joe Public, Zakuani wins GOTW and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

Thursday night wasn't a complete loss for the Columbus Crew, despite the team dropping to second place in Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference.

Emilio Renteria tallied two goals in the second half to lead the Crew past Joe Public FC, 4-1, in their CONCACAF Champions League group stage finale in Trinidad.

SBI Live Q&A Re-scheduled to 3pm

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The SBI Live Q&A originally scheduled for 1pm today has been re-scheduled for 3pm this afternoon.

Apologies for the change but we are posting an exclusive video interview with Juan Pablo Angel at 1pm where he discusses the Red Bulls turnaround as well as his professional future and the process that has led to his impending departure from the New York Red Bulls.

SBI MLS Spotlight: Juan Pablo Angel

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/Â ISIPhotos.com

As the New York Red Bulls celebrate the accomplishment of going from worst team in MLS to first place in the Eastern Conference, not all the story lines surrounding the team are happy ones.

Star striker Juan Pablo Angel is playing what will be his final season with the Red Bulls after the club decided not to bring him back in 2011, and while players moving on from clubs is nothing new, the circumstances surrounding Angel's departure have been regarded as very disappointing to many associated with the club.

Fantasy Premier League: Matchweek 9

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By AVI CREDITOR

Farewell, Rooney-gate.

With the story of the week seemingly reaching its bizarre conclusion, it appears that Wayne Rooney will have some Fantasy Premier League relevance after all. Assuming the off-field distractions that have plagued Rooney this season are behind him, he should be OK once he regains his fitness.

SBI Live Q&A (Oct. 22nd Edition)

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Good afternoon folks. I't s that time again. Time for you to send me your soccer questions and time for me to answer as many of them as I can over the next hour.

Want to talk the MLS Playoffs? UEFA Champions League? This weekend's action in Europe? The U.S. national team? The college game? If so, feel free to join the Q&A and send your questions my way.

Fantasy Premier League: Matchweek 9

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By AVI CREDITOR

Farewell, Rooney-gate.

With the story of the week seemingly reaching its bizarre conclusion, it appears that Wayne Rooney will have some Fantasy Premier League relevance after all. Assuming the off-field distractions that have plagued Rooney this season are behind him, he should be OK once he regains his fitness.

SBI MLS Spotlight: Juan Pablo Angel

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/Â ISIPhotos.com

As the New York Red Bulls celebrate the accomplishment of going from worst team in MLS to first place in the Eastern Conference, not all the story lines surrounding the team are happy ones.

Star striker Juan Pablo Angel is playing what will be his final season with the Red Bulls after the club decided not to bring him back in 2011, and while players moving on from clubs is nothing new, the circumstances surrounding Angel's departure have been regarded as very disappointing to many associated with the club.

SBI Live Q&A Re-scheduled to 3pm

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The SBI Live Q&A originally scheduled for 1pm today has been re-scheduled for 3pm this afternoon.

Apologies for the change but we are posting an exclusive video interview with Juan Pablo Angel at 1pm where he discusses the Red Bulls turnaround as well as his professional future and the process that has led to his impending departure from the New York Red Bulls.

Mid-Day Ticker: Crew blows by Joe Public, Zakuani wins GOTW and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

Thursday night wasn't a complete loss for the Columbus Crew, despite the team dropping to second place in Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference.

Emilio Renteria tallied two goals in the second half to lead the Crew past Joe Public FC, 4-1, in their CONCACAF Champions League group stage finale in Trinidad.

Red Bulls complete improbable turnaround, clinch top seed with win

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A year after enduring the worst season in the club's history, the New York Red Bulls have completed an incredible turnaround after beating New England on Thursday to clinch first place in the Eastern Conference.

The Red Bulls posted a 2-0 win against the Revolution on Thursday night to secure first place in the Eastern Conference and the No.

USSF D2: Pore grabs MVP, Nolly named goalie of the year

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The second day of USSF D2 awards saw Ryan Pore walk away the big winner, as the league's leading goal-scorer was also named the Second Division MVP on Thursday.

Pore carried most of Portland's offense throughout the 2010 season, and was also named a member of the D2 Best XI.

Opportunity knocks for Lichaj

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

Less than two weeks after making his first U.S. men's national team appearance, Eric Lichaj stands poised to make his English Premier League debut.

The Aston Villa defender has a very good chance of being called on to replace starting right back Luke Young, who has been sidelined with a torn hamstring.

Rooney signs new Manchester United deal

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Wayne Rooney isn't going anywhere.

After a week of speculation about Rooney's potential departure from Manchester United, complete with Rooney's own admission that he wanted to leave, the England striker has been convinced to stay and has now signed a new five-year contract to stay with Manchester United.

College Soccer Weekend Preview

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

A couple of top-10 teams face difficult road tests this weekend as we draw closer to the start of conference tournament play.

Tonight, No. 8 Virginia travels north to take on No. 20 Boston College. The Eagles are undefeated at home this season while the Cavaliers are on the road for the first time since Sept.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Maurice Edu may have had an up-and-down Champions League game against Valencia, but he'll need to quickly put that past him as Rangers take on Celtic in a battle of unbeatens this weekend.

Both teams enter the Old Firm derby with eight wins in as many matches, and the winner will take an early lead in the race for supremacy in the SPL.

Western Conference Notebook: Rocky Mountain Cup and the Supporters Shield, Klein retires and more

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                Photo by ISIPhotos.com

BY ADAM SERRANO

For the third straight year, the final Rocky Mountain Cup match will have a direct affect on the outcome on the playoff race.

But this year rather than playoff spots being at stake, it will be the Supporters Shield on the line for Real Salt Lake.

Red Bulls vs. Revolution: Match Night Commentary

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The New York Red Bulls close out their regular season tonight with a chance to clinch the regular season Eastern Conference title with a win against the New England Revolution (7:30pm, ESPN2).

The Red Bulls clinch with a victory, but beating the Revs has never been easy for New York, which hasn't beaten New England in 15 straight matches.

Europa League: Your Running Commmentary

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The Europa League is back in action today, with several quality match-ups on the schedule and two Americans in action.

Sacha Kljestan earned the start for Anderlecht in its clash against Greek side AEK Athens. Jozy Altidore isn't in the starting lineup for Villarreal's match against Greek side PAOK, but he is likely to see time as a reserve.

Fab Freshmen heating up the college scene

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

The stars in college soccer used to be juniors and seniors. Guys who bided their time to make an impact. Freshman were relegated to backup roles and spent time coming off the bench but that model is changing, and quickly.

Whether you're a smaller school like College of Charleston, or a national power like Akron, freshmen are playing key roles at top teams across the country.

SBI Live Q&A set for 1pm on Friday

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If you missed Wednesday night's SBI Live Q&A, don't worry, we'll have one more before the week is through.

We will have the latest SBI Live Q&A on Friday afternoon at 1pm. Want to discuss the upcoming MLS Playoffs? The UEFA Champions League? The Wayne Rooney fiasco? If it's soccer related, it's a safe bet we'll be discussing it.

Must-See Goal: Adam Still

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Win Two Tickets to tonight's Red Bulls-Revs match

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

The New York Red Bulls will close out the 2010 regular season tonight at Red Bull Arena against the New England Revolution and they could win the first regular season conference title in club history with a win.

SBI will be giving readers a chance to see tonight's match with our latest ticket contest.

Brown to retire after 13 years with Fire

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

When the Chicago Fire's season comes to a close following this weekend's match against Chivas USA, so too will the career of one of the club's most recognizable faces.

And his name isn't Brian McBride.

College Mid-week Roundup: Butler no longer perfect, SMU tops Tulsa and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Well, it's over. The last perfect record in college soccer is no more as No. 7 Butler was held to a 0-0 draw by IUPUI.

Butler held a commanding 29-6 shot advantage but couldn't find the breakthrough. Austin Oldham actually found the back of the net for the Bulldogs, but it was directly off a throw-in and disallowed.

Wondolowski nets hat trick in Earthquakes, 3-0 victory over Chivas USA

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BY ADAM SERRANO

Chris Wondolowski continued his MVP-caliber season on Wednesday with a hat trick in the San Jose Earthquakes, 3-0 victory over Chivas USA.

Wondolowski began the match on the bench and came on as a sub late in the first half after Cornell Glen left with an injured hamstring.

SBI Live Q&A (Oct. 20th Edition)

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Good evening folks. It's time for our regular installment of the SBI Live Q&A. We are back for the second night-time Q&A after having enjoyed a successful first foray into the evening Q&A format.

You know the drill. Send your soccer (or pop culture) questions my way and I will try to answer as many of them as I can over the course of the next few hours.

Maurice Edu's up-and-down day

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Maurice Edu was having a dream day in Rangers' UEFA Champions League match before disaster struck.

Edu scored the opening goal of Rangers' 1-1 draw with Valencia, skying high (and taking a punch to the face by Valencia keeper Cesar Sanchez in the process) to head home a 33rd-minute corner kick at Ibrox Stadium.

USSF D2: Pore named scoring champ, Janicki best defender

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Two final games are all that remains in the USSF D-2 season, but the first round of postseason awards were doled out Wednesday.

To no surprise, Ryan Pore was named the league's top goal scorer, finishing the season on 15 goals, one more than future teammate Eddie Johnson, who scored 14 for the Austin Aztex in 2010.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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United States men's national team midfielders Jermaine Jones and Maurice Edu are both in their respective starting lineups as they continue their quests for UEFA Champions League glory on Wednesday.

Jones' Schalke sits in second place in Group B, trailing unbeaten leader Lyon by three points.

What are your favorite Jaime Moreno moments?

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As D.C. United prepares to conclude a forgettable season when they host Toronto this Saturday, the franchise will also bid adieu to one of the greatest players in MLS history, as Jaime Moreno will play his last game in a United uniform.

The 36-year-old has spent all but one of his 15 MLS seasons in the nation's capital, and is currently tied with Jeff Cunningham for the all-time lead in goals at 132.

SBI Live Q&A set for 8pm tonight

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It's that time again folks.

It's time for the newest SBI Live Q&A, and for the second time, we will be hosting the live Q&A in the evening.

Be sure check in to SBI at 8pm tonight so you can submit your soccer-related questions, as well as some pop culture questions, and I will try to answer and discuss as many of the questions that come in as possible.

UEFA Champions League Recap: Ronaldo guides Real, Arsenal coasts and more

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In a two-minute span, Cristiano Ronaldo showed how dangerous he can be when he is playing up to his highest potential.

Moments after slicing a free kick through an opening in the AC Milan wall and into the goal, Ronaldo knifed through the Milan defense and played a pass in the box to Mesut Ozil, whose deflected shot fortuitously found the back of the net to give Real Madrid a two-goal edge in the 14th minute.

Fantasy MLS: Week 30

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

Oh, the unpredictability of the regular season's final week.

All eight playoff spots are spoken for, but the Supporters' Shield isn't yet and there's still strategic jockeying to be done to set up first-round matchups.

Wednesday Kickoff: RSL wins CCL group, USA drops in FIFA rankings and more

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Real Salt Lake continued its dominating form at home on Tuesday night, and did so playing a team made up mostly of reserves.

The defending MLS Cup champions became the first MLS team to win a CONCACAF Champions League group thanks to its 3-1 victory against Cruz Azul at Rio Tinto Stadium on Tuesday night.

Donovan open to Everton return

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Landon Donovan is about to get ready for another run at an MLS Cup title with the Los Angeles Galaxy, but that isn't keeping him from considering his options after the current MLS season.

In an interview with BBC Radio Merseyside, Donovan admitted that he would find it difficult to turn down a chance to return to Everton, where he spent part of last season on loan.

CONCACAF Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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Toronto FC and Real Salt Lake close out their group stage participation in the CONCACAF Champions League, but both are entering tonight's matches in much different places.

Toronto FC has already been eliminated, but will look to close out with a win against Arabe Unido tonight (8pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

Henry to miss Red Bulls-Revs match

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The New York Red Bulls have a chance to clinch their first Eastern Conference title in club history, but they'll have to do so without Thierry Henry.

The French striker is listed as out for Thursday night's match, the final regular season match for both clubs, with a right knee strain that also forced him to miss the Red Bulls' 2-1 loss to Philadelphia last Saturday.

Timbers look to build after adding first four players

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

The Portland Timbers have their first four MLS players signed and in the books as the fledgling franchise's original quartet.

Timbers technical director Gavin Wilkinson introduced forward Bright Dike, midfield wing Ryan Pore, goalkeeper Steve Cronin and a surprise - former Austin Aztex forward Eddie Johnson - to the public and media in Portland Tuesday morning.

Mid-Day Ticker: Rooney out for CL clash, Bocanegra out three weeks and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

The Wayne Rooney news cycle keeps on spinning.

While the world is still digesting Sir Alex Ferguson's admission that Rooney has asked out of Manchester United, the English striker has been ruled out ahead of the Red Devils' UEFA Champions League match against Bursaspor on Wedneday.

College Top 25: Butler keeps climbing, Princeton joins list

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For the first time this season, the top five schools in the NSCAA Top 25 remained the same but there was a slight tweak in order.

Akron retain the top spot yet again with all 23 first-place votes while the Louisville Cardinals stay in the runner up spot after a couple of wins last week.

MLS Timbers sign first four players for 2011

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The expansion Portland Timbers have signed the first four players in the club's history, including a trio of top scorers from the USSF Division 2.

Portland announced the signing of forward Bright Dike and midfielder Ryan Pore, as well as goalkeeper Steve Cronin, from the USSF D-2 Portland Timbers, while also signing English forward Eddie Johnson away from the Austin Aztex.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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Real Madrid takes on AC Milan today in the marquee match of the UEFA Champions League group stage.

Two of the most star-studded squads in Europe will face off at the Bernabeu today as Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain, and Iker Casillas lead the Spanish powerhouse against Ronaldinho, Robinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

USSF D-2 Playoffs: Carolina, Puerto Rico to battle for league title

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

The next two weekends will decide the winner of USSF-Division Two title.

The second-seeded Carolina Railhawks and eighth-seeded Puerto Rico Islanders emerged from the eight-team playoff rounds as the last two standing, Carolina surviving with a 2-1 aggregate-goals win over the Montreal Impact Sunday night and the Islanders' Nick Addlery scoring two goals in added extra time to lead La Tropa Naranja to a 2-0 victory over No.

Who do you see winning MLS Cup 2010?

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The eight teams that will be vying for the 2010 MLS Cup title have been established, and while we still don't know which teams will be facing each other when the playoffs begin next week, it isn't too early to think about who will lift the MLS Cup in Toronto next month.

It can be argued that there are more legitimate title contenders this year than any previous season in MLS history.

Ferguson confirms Rooney wants out

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So much for the Wayne Rooney rumors just being rumors.

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson confirmed on Tuesday that Wayne Rooney has told the club he wants to leave, a revelation that could pave the way for the England star's shock departure.

"We have had a discussion about the whole situation," Ferguson said.

Report: Aalborg's Tracy out indefinitely

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Things aren't getting any easier for Marcus Tracy.

According to a report out of Denmark, the 24-year-old United States forward prospect has returned to America for more surgery on his knee. Tracy, who suffers from chronic knee tendinitis, has been ruled out until January at the earliest, when he may resume training with the team.

Mid-Day Ticker: Mexico nears new coach, World Cup bid scandal grows and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

The list of candidates to be the next coach of the Mexican national team is down to one.

Monterrey coach Victor Manuel Vucetich withdrew his name from consideration, leaving Jose Manuel De La Torre as the only remaining candidate for the position.

Zakuani named MLS Player of the Week

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

Steve Zakuani was voted MLS Player of the Week on Monday for his performance in Seattle's 2-1 victory against Chivas USA last Friday.

Zakuani beat out a field that included, among others, Colorado striker Omar Cummings and Philadelphia Union midfielder Fred.

The MLS Playoff picture still taking shape

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While we now know which eight teams will be playing in the 2010 MLS playoffs, what we don't know is which teams will be facing each other in two weeks when the playoffs begin. The final week of the regular season games will help clear up a playoff picture that is still too tough to predict.

MLS Week 29: A Look Back

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIPhotos.com

The Colorado Rapids became the eighth and final MLS team to qualify for the playoffs, and while Kansas City's loss on Saturday made their game against Los Angeles a formality, the Rapids still delivered an eye-opening thrashing of the Western Conference leaders, beating the Galaxy 3-1.

European Weekend Rewind: Real Madrid rolls, Man. City looks like a contender, Eto'o overcomes racist fans and more

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

Europe's top leagues returned from the international break this week to mostly predictable results. Barcelona and Real Madrid are back on top in Spain after impressive wins, while Liverpool's struggles continued at Everton.

In Italy, Alexandre Pato scored twice to help AC Milan look impressive in a 3-1 win against Chievo, and Samuel Eto'o scored the only goal in Inter's 1-0 win against Cagliari after suffering racist chants directed at him by fans.

College weekend roundup: UCLA tops Cal in double OT, Louisville rolls and more

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It was another weekend without any shockers in college soccer as most of the top teams took care of business against inferior opposition.

It took 105 minutes but No. 13 UCLA got an impressive 1-0 road victory against No. 10 California on Sunday afternoon. Kelyn Rowe broke a 0-0 draw with a laser from 25 yards out.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

A pair of American goalkeepers enjoyed strong performances this weekend, helping pave the way for results in two of the weekend's biggest matches.

Brad Friedel and Tim Howard helped Aston Villa and Everton, respectively, in matches against two of the top teams in the Premier League.

Report: Rooney read to leave Manchester United

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There was a time when Wayne Rooney was seen as the face of Manchester United, and a player who would retire a Red Devil.

Now, he may only be around for a few more months.

The Daily Telegraph is reporting that Rooney is ready to leave Manchester United, and it's a falling out with manager Alex Ferguson that has the England star ready to leave.

Real Salt Lake halts FC Dallas unbeaten run, closes gap for Supporters Shield

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Real Salt Lake may not have the best record in Major League Soccer (at least not yet), but the defending MLS Cup champions had the look of a team ready to repeat after posting a 2-0 victory on Saturday night to halt FC Dallas' 19-match unbeaten streak.

A Ned Grabavoy header gave RSL the lead and Javier Morales added an insurance goal in the 90th minute on a night when FC Dallas provided little in the way of a test in this preview of a potential Western Conference first-round match-up.

Union pounces on flat Red Bulls in 2-1 win

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If you didn't know anything about the two teams facing off at PPL Park on Saturday, you couldn't have been blamed for thinking the Philadelphia Union was the first-place team and the New York Red Bulls were the ones playing out the string.

Playing their last home game of the season, the Union overwhelmed a slow-starting Red Bulls side, scoring two first-half goals before holding off a late charge from New York to post a 2-1 victory on Saturday.

Rapids prevent Galaxy from clinching the Supporters Shield with 3-1 win

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 Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIPhotos.com

BY ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, CALIF -- Saturday night just kept getting better for the Colorado Rapids.

Moments before their match with the Los Angeles Galaxy, the Rapids got word that they were in the playoffs due to the Kansas City Wizards 1-0 loss to the New England Revolution.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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As if their rivalry needed any more motivation, both Liverpool and Everton head into today's Merseyside Derby desperatey needing three points to escape the bottom of the Premier League standings.

If you're not waking up early to see Tim Howard and the Toffees, consider the several Italian matches on today's schedule.

Revs eliminate Wizards, MLS playoff field set

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

The Kansas City Wizards came into Gillette Stadium Saturday night knowing they needed a lot of help to have a shot at the MLS playoffs, but none of it mattered when they couldn't defeat the New England Revolution.

A first half goal from Shalrie Joseph was the difference in a 1-0 win for the Revs in their final home match of the season.

Colorado Rapids vs. Los Angeles Galaxy: Match Night Commentary

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BY ADAM SERRANO

The Los Angeles Galaxy host the Colorado Rapids at the Home Depot Center in a match of vital importance for the Supporters Shield and the playoff race.Â

With a win or a tie and Real Salt Lake loss, the Galaxy will clinch the Supporter's Shield for the first time since 2002, when they also won MLS Cup.

Hesmer scores the equalizer in Crew's 2-2 draw with TFC

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BY ADAM SERRANO

Just when you thought that things couldn't get any worse for Toronto FC.Â

TFC drew 2-2 against their Trillium Cup rivals the Columbus Crew in a match that saw Columbus goalkeeper Will Hesmer score the equalizer in the 92nd minute off a corner kick.

Philadelphia Union vs. New York Red Bulls: Match Night Commentary

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The New York Red Bulls are paying their first visit to PPL Park today to take on I-95 rivals Philadelphia Union in what should be a heated Eastern Conference clash (6pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

The Union will be playing for pride, while also looking to knock the Red Bulls off their run to a regular season Eastern Conference title.

Friday College Recap: Duke and UCLA fall, UNC ties BC and more

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Duke's woeful form continues as the No. 19 Blue Devils fell to unranked UC-Santa Barbara 2-0. Cole Grossman netted a double for The Guachos while goalkeeper Sam Hayden recorded his fourth-straight shutout. Duke has now won only once in their previous five games and are in danger of falling out of the rankings for the first time this season.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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When David Villa signed for FC Barcelona this summer he probably didn't expect to his former club to be in first place in La Liga the first time he faced them.

That's exactly where Valencia sits as the two sides meet today in the day's best match. With Lionel Messi back to full health, the defending champions will be favored to halt Valencia's hot start to the season.

Red hot Sounders easily dispatch Chivas USA, 2-1

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BY ADAM SERRANO

The Seattle Sounders have finally shaken their Chivas USA jinx in regular season play.

Goals by Steve Zakuani and Osvaldo Alonso were all the Sounders needed to defeat Chivas USA, 2-1 in front of 36,356 at Qwest Field. The victory was the Sounders first victory over Chivas USA in league play.

MLS Week 29: A Look Ahead

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This weekend will mark the end of an era in MLS, and it could also signal the end of the playoff race.

Brian McBride will play his final match in Chicago on Saturday, while the Kansas City Wizards will look to win and keep their faint playoff hopes alive against New England.

McBride will be honored by the Fire at the team's final home game, at Toyota Park, as Fire fans give the U.

Evening Ticker: US ends 2018 World Cup Bid to focus on 2022, NESV takeover of Liverpool complete and more

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BY ADAM SERRANO

The Unted States World Cup Bid Committee announced that they will be dropping out of the running for the 2018 World Cup.

A move that has been long considered a formality with FIFA explicitly stating that they would like the 2018 World Cup to take place in Europe.

MLS Expansion Draft set

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The Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps will take major steps toward building their MLS expansion teams on Nov. 24, when both teams take part in the MLS Expansion Draft. Details for the expansion draft were revealed on Friday.

Each team will select ten players from the pool of players not protected by the 16 current MLS teams.

Sounders prepare for home playoff Halloween party

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By JOSE M. ROMERO

Come Halloween Night in and around the Emerald City, there figures to be tens of thousands of adults and kids dressed as ghosts, superheroes and Seattle Sounders.Â

A lot those folks wearing rave green will be in their seats at Qwest Field.

College Soccer Weekend Preview

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Conference play is in full swing this weekend in college soccer and big schools with postseason ambitions square off in the ACC, Pac-10 and even the Ivy League while mid-major powerhouses are trying to avoid conference slip ups.

Tonight, No. 3 North Carolina travels north to face No.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV (and Top 10 Matches to watch)

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Everton and Liverpool currently stand closer to relegation than an English Premier League title, but the Merseyside Derby is always a can't-miss affair and never lacking for storylines.

The Liverpool-based rivals face off in this weekend's marquee match-up, with the clash coming just as Liverpool celebrates having gotten rid of nightmare owners Tom Hicks and George Gillet.

Fantasy Premier League: Matchweek 8

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By AVI CREDITOR

After a break that definitely seemed longer than two weeks, Premier League action resumes this weekend with a host of appealing matchups.

The Manchesters appear to be the big winners, as United hosts West Brom and City travels to recently promoted Blackpool.

SBI USMNT Spotlight: Stuart Holden

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SBI USMNT Spotlight: Stuart Holden from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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Several American players are playing in key European club match-ups this weekend, but none are taking part in as important a clash as Tim Howard is in the Merseyside Derby.

Everton and Liverpool are enduring poor starts to the season and neither can afford a loss when the teams meet on Sunday at Goodison Park.

Western Conference Notebook: Galaxy close in on Supporters Shield, FC Dallas faces RSL and more

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BY ADAM SERRANO

The Los Angeles Galaxy are just one win away.

A victory over the Colorado Rapids on Saturday and the Galaxy will clinch the Supporters Shield and the top spot in the MLS playoffs. The Galaxy have won the Shield twice in its history, but not since 2002, a year that also saw the Galaxy win MLS Cup.

Evening Ticker: USWNT roster announced, Rooney says ankle is fine and more

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The U.S. Women's National Team has announced their roster ahead of the CONCACAF Women's World Cup Qualifying tournament later this month. Head coach Pia Sundhage cut the squad from 30 to 20 players following a three-week training camp in Atlanta. The squad includes seven players with previous World Cup experience.

West Coast College Notes: tough test for USCB, RPI rankings released and more

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BY ADAM SERRANO

The season hasn't gone according to plan for UCSB, but the Gauchos are about to have their chance to show country their strength against No. 19 Duke at Isla Vista.Â

The Gauchos are coming off a victory over Cal Poly in a win that UCSB needed to keep their pace on the national scene as the showdown in Isla Vista will be broadcast on Fox Soccer Channel.

Fantasy MLS: Week 29

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Photo by Michael Pimentel/ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

Even though all but one playoff spot is secure, every team with postseason aspirations still has something to play for, which is a big get for fantasy managers.

Instead of resting star players down the stretch, the top-scoring MFLS teams should have all their studs in action for the final two weeks as teams jockey for playoff positioning and the Supporters' Shield.

What is the best USMNT starting lineup?

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

After the pair of recent U.S. men's national team friendlies, it is tough not to think about what exactly is the strongest possible lineup Bob Bradley can field.

Bradley won't be needing to field a full-strength squad until next summer's Gold Cup, and the next possible chance to catch a glimpse of the strongest U.

Morning Ticker: Gordon suspended, Omaha wants an MLS team and more

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Chivas USA forward Alan Gordon has been suspended two games and fined 1,000 dollars "for violent conduct" during Chivas' 3-0 victory over Toronto FC on Saturday.

In the 74th minute of the game, with Chivas leading 1-0, Gordon caught Toronto defender Adrian Cann in the face with his arm.

College mid-week roundup: Butler nets five, Virginia held to a draw and more

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No. 9 Butler broke its streak of narrow victories with an emphatic 5-0 trouncing of Bowling Green on Wednesday night. More encouraging for the last remaining perfect team in Division I? For the first time in nearly a month, a goal came from a Bulldog forward. Austin Oldham, Ben Sippola, Julian Cardona, Adam Glanzer and Tyler Pollock provided the goals for Butler, who's rain-soaked victory was witnessed by only 225 fans.

SBI Stoppage Time: MLS Edition

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SBI Stoppage Time: MLS Edition 10/13/10 from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


Shea 'experiment' with USMNT still a work in progress

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BY ADAM SERRANO

An experiment.Â

The words that United States head coach Bob Bradley used to describe Brek Shea's time with the United States national camp. The versatile FC Dallas midfielder earned his first national team camp after a strong 2010 season with Dallas and an impressive stint with the United States' various youth squads.

Wizards top Fire to keep playoff hopes alive

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The Kansas City Wizards haven't given up hope just yet.

Needing to win their final three games and have Colorado lose its final two games, the Wizards took the first step toward making that improbable scenario take place with a 2-0 victory against the Chicago Fire on Tuesday night.

Mid-Day Ticker: Liverpool owners ousted, Serbia-Italy called off and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

The biggest hurdle toward the sale of Liverpool FC has been cleared after the High Court ruled that current owners Tom Hicks and George Gillet do not have the authority to oust members of the club's board of directors.

The ruling allows for the board to go through with the sale of the club, although it's not a definite that New England Sports Ventures will be the buyer.

Confident Lichaj makes strong USMNT debut

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BY ADAM SERRANO

Butterflies, nerves, tension.Â

These are usual emotions for a player representing his country for the first time. For Eric Lichaj's first cap with the United States in the U.S. team's 0-0 draw with Colombia on Tuesday night at PPL Park, these were just words.

USA 0, Colombia 0: The Highlights

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SBI Stoppage Time: A look back at USA-Colombia

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SBI Stoppage Time: USMNT Edition 10/12/10 from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


USA and Colombia play to scoreless draw

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Three days after settling for a 2-2 result versus Poland, the U.S. men's national team was held to scoreless draw against Colombia at PPL Park in Philadelphia on Tuesday night.

Head coach Bob Bradley deployed a 4-3-3 formation to start the match, but it proved ineffective against a Colombian team that enjoyed much of the possession.

Angel "probably won't" return to Red Bulls in 2011

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BY MIKE NASTRI

Juan Pablo Angel will most likely not be wearing a New York Red Bulls uniform to start the 2011 season.

At halftime of the US Men's National Team match against Colombia, ESPN analyst Alexi Lalas asked Angel if he would be back with New York for next season.

USA vs. Colombia (Match Night Commentary)

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The U.S. men's national team is in PPL Park in Chester, Pa. tonight to take on Colombia in the second of two home friendlies this week (8pm, ESPN2).

The Americans recorded a 2-2 tie against Poland on Saturday in Chicago, and will be looking to finish the month off with a win before taking a break until a November 17th friendly against South Africa in Cape Town.

Euro 2012 Qualifying: England held, Spain squeaks by Scotland and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

England suffered a setback in its quest to qualify for the 2012 Euro Cup, getting held scoreless for the first time at the rebuilt Wembley Stadium by Montenegro on Tuesday.

England couldn't get one passed goalkeeper Mladen Bozovic despite having a 12-5 advantage in shots taken.

Afternoon Ticker: Hahnemann mulls international retirement, Liverpool decision tomorrow and more

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After eight caps and two World Cups, Marcus Hahnemann is considering retiring from the USMNT to focus on his club career.

"I haven't played the last few times I've been called up and traveled. You question whether it's worth going,"Â Hahnemann told the BBC

The 38-year-old, who received his first call-up in 1994, is currently the number one goalkeeper for Wolverhampton in the English Premier League.

College Top 25 : Unbeaten Butler cracks Top Ten, Louisville moves to No. 2 and more

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If trends continue, Louisville might not enjoy their newfound No. 2 ranking for very long. For the fifth-straight week there is a new school following up Akron in the NSCAAA rankings and the undefeated Cardinals will try and break the string of No. 2 schools losing their first week in the runner up spot.

A different kind of College Spotlight

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The California men's soccer team is currently ranked No. 10 in the nation, but being one of the top teams on the West Coast doesn't mean the Bears don't have time for some fun.

The squad took advantage of a recent road trip to make a pretty entertaining home music video. Now, it's no Benny Feilhaber doing No Air, but it's still pretty entertaining and will help pass the time until USA-Colombia.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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European Championship qualifying is in full swing today, with a plethora of key matches to choose from this afternoon.

England faces Montenegro in a key clash, while the Netherlands takes on Sweden in another intriguing match-up. Defending World Cup champions Spain face Scotland

If you want something besides European soccer, then tonight's CONCACAF vs.

MLS Playoff teams all but set, only the match-ups remain uncertain

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There are still two weeks to go in the Major League Soccer season, but the race for playoff spots is all but over.

The Kansas City Wizards could still conceivably qualify for the playoffs if they win their remaining three games and Colorado loses its final two matches, but barring that scenario we are left with trying to figure out how the eight playoff teams will fall into place.

USA vs. Colombia: The Pre-Match Tailgate

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The U.S. men's national team takes on the Colombian national team tonight at PPL Park (8pm, ESPN2)Â in a match that should provide a stiff test for an American squad sure to feature several fresh faces.

The 2-2 tie against Poland on Saturday provided some positives and negatives, but tonight's match will deliver completely new challenges.

USSF D-2 Playoff Recap: Whitecaps top Timbers, No. 1 seed falls to Puerto Rico

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

The last meeting betwen the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps before both teams head to MLS had all the drama you would expect, especially given the fact they were meeting in the playoffs.

Each team won at home in their USSF Division 2 playoff series, but the Whitecaps were able to hold on for the series victory after posting a 2-0 first-leg victory.

Evening Ticker: Brazil wins again, De Jong avoids punishment and more

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Dani Alves and Alexandre Pato scored goals to lift Brazil to a 2-0 win vs. the Ukraine in a friendly in Derby, England on Monday.

Playing with a young squad similar to the one that beat the United States in August, Brazil improved to 3-0 under coach Mano Menezes.

Alves opened the scoring with a beautiful volley, while Pato added the insurance goal with a nice turn and shot from close range to hand the Ukraine its first loss in almost a year of friendlies.

International Fixture Rewind

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

Europe's top leagues took an international break this week, as players were called in to their national teams for friendlies and Euro 2012 qualifiers.

Friday was the busiest match day, and it yielded some surprising results. In Euro qualifying, Northern Ireland held Italy to a scoreless draw, while Estonia pulled off a shock 3-1 upset of Serbia in Serbia.

Mid-Day Ticker: Davies fined, Wondo named Player of the Week and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Charlie Davies has received his punishment.

Davies has been fined $1,040 and his license has been suspended for his involvement in a speeding incident with Sochaux teammate Jacques Faty. Davies was with Faty on Oct. 3 when the two were pulled over for speeding at 125mph.

Who should the USA start vs. Colombia?

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

With just three days of turnaround time, the U.S. men's national team figures to have a different look on Tuesday night against Colombia from the squad we saw tie Poland on Saturday.

FC Dallas teammates Heath Pearce and Brek Shea have joined the team in Philadelphia, while Carlos Bocanegra has returned to France.

College Weekend Rewind: Virginia scores 10, Tulsa falls again and more

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Not to be outdone by Maryland's seven-goal victory over Virginia Tech, No. 7 Virginia netted a whopping ten goals against Alabama A&M on Saturday night.

Brian Ownby, Will Bates and Ahkeel Rodney netted braces for the Cavaliers while Felipe Liberos, Brian Span, Jimmy Simpson and an own goal provided the rest.

USA 2, Poland 2: A Look Back

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

It wasn't the prettiest game, but there was an equal amount of positive and negative to be drawn from the U.S. men's national team's 2-2 tie vs. Poland on Saturday.

The positives? Among them, the play of the attack. The passing and movement by the 4-2-3-1 formation was encouraging, though Jozy Altidore's finishing kept it from being a more effective performance.

USA 2, Poland 2: The Highlights

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Red Bulls and Real Salt Lake battle to scoreless draw

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

There were no goals scored, but the New York Red Bulls' scoreless draw against Real Salt Lake on Saturday was far from boring.

The two MLS Cup title contenders played a fiercely-contested and highly technical match that saw Real Salt Lake hit the woodwork with two shots.

Davies speeding case takes strange twist

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American striker Charlie Davies could face prison time in France after revealing that he made false statements to French police following an incident where he and Sochaux teammate Jacques Faty were caught driving 125 MPH.

Davies had told police he was the driver of the car clocked driving 125 last Saturday, but revealed on Saturday that it was, in fact, Faty who was driving.

Wondolowski braces Quakes for playoffs

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Photo by Brad Smith/ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

WASHINGTON - Chris Wondolowski's season has been all about cashing in on opportunities, something that was quite evident in perhaps the most important victory for the San Jose Earthquakes since the franchise's rebirth in 2008.

USA settles for tie vs. Poland

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The U.S. men's national team showed good attacking qualities and introduced a new talent to the squad on Saturday night, but defensive frailties caused the team to blow leads twice in a 2-2 tie against Poland on Saturday night.

Jozy Altidore scored the opening goal, but missed on a plethora of other chances, including one hard shot off the crossbar.

USA vs. Poland: Match Night Commentary

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The U.S. men's national team takes on Poland tonight in Chicago's Soldier Field on a friendly that should give us a good glimpse into how the U.S. team is shaping up heading into the new World Cup cycle (8pm, Fox Soccer Channel/Galavision).

U.S. men's national team head coach Bob Bradley figured to make some tactical changes and take a look at some new faces, and we'll see our share of change based on the lineup the United States will field tonight.

USA vs. Poland: The Pre-Game Tailgate

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The U.S. men's national team is in Chicago tonight to take on Poland in the first friendly since Bob Bradley was re-signed as U.S. head coach (8pm, ESPN2).

Tonight's match will likely be the first chance to see Jermaine Jones in a U.S. national team uniform, and should be the first chance to see Oguchi Onyewu in action since the World Cup.

Red Bulls vs. Real Salt Lake: Match Day Commentary

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The New York Red Bulls take on defending MLS Cup champion Real Salt Lake today at Red Bull Arena (4pm, Telefutura/MSG)Â in a match-up that just might wind up being an MLS Cup Final preview.

The Red Bulls are in first place in the Eastern Conference and can open up a four-point lead on Columbus with a win today.

NCAA Friday roundup

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Only three days after knocking off second-ranked UConn, the No. 6 Maryland Terrapins made an emphatic statement with a 7-0 demolition of Virginia Tech on Friday night. A double from Jason Herrick was supplemented by goals from Matt Kassel, Casey Townsend, Patrick Mullins, Paul Torres and a Virginia Tech defender.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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European club soccer is taking a break this weekend for international fixtures, but that doesn't mean there aren't matches to watch.

American soccer fans will plenty to watch, with the U.S. national team facing Poland and MLS games rounding out the day. European Championship qualifying was in full swing on Friday, but France takes on Romania in a key tilt.

Chicago Fire vs. Columbus Crew: Your Running Commentary

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The Chicago Fire could see its playoff dreams dashed tonight unless it can hand the Columbus Crew a loss tonight when the Eastern Conference rivals square off at Toyota Park tonight (9pm, Direct Kick).

The Crew will be looking to keep the pressure on the New York Red Bulls for first place in the East, while also looking to erase the bad taste left by its recent U.

SBI's Red Bulls/Real Salt Lake Ticket Giveaway contest

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If you're a New York Red Bulls fan hoping to see Saturday's potential MLS Cup preview between the Red Bulls and Real Salt Lake, and you don't have tickets, SBI has the contest for you.

We are giving away two tickets to Saturday's match. What you have to do to win is tell us what has been your favorite aspect of the current 2010 season for the Red Bulls.

MLS Week 28: A Look Ahead

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With the 2010 MLS Playoff race not being much of a race at all, the final weeks of the MLS season will be more about playoff positioning than playoff survival.

The Kansas City Wizards and Chicago Fire are technically alive in the playoff race, but with both teams having mountains to climb, this weekend's marquee match-ups are the ones featuring teams already in playoff position.

Euro 2012 Qualifying: Your Running Commentary

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Some of the top matchups in 2012 European Championship qualifying get underway Friday afternoon, with Germany-Turkey and Portugal-Denmark highlighting the day's fixtures. Defending Euro and World Cup champion Spain is also in action, as are Italy and World Cup runner-up Holland. D.C. United Designated Player Branko Boskovic is expected to play for Montenegro as well.

Should MLS teams set aside more tickets for away fans?

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

With regional rivalries becoming even more prominent in Major League Soccer, MLS teams could find themselves under a high demand for tickets from away fans.

The Seattle-Portland-Vancouver and New York-Philadelphia-D.C. triangles all figure to be hot spots for visiting fans to try and set up shop.

Remember When: March 26, 2008

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The last time the United States men's national team faced Poland, Carlos Bocanegra, Oguchi Onyewu and Eddie Lewis all scored in a 3-0 rout at Wisla Stadium in Krakow. Start getting into game mode for Saturday night's friendly in Chicago by taking a trip down memory lane:

What are your predictions for Saturday's match?

Seattle's Zakuani wins Goal of the Week

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Photo by Tom Hauck/ISIphotos.com

The Steve Zakuani momentum train has picked up even more speed.

Already having turned in a fantastic second season in Major League Soccer, not to mention a brilliant display in Wednesday's U.S. Open Cup final, Zakuani won MLS' Goal of the Week honor for his tally against Toronto FC last weekend.

Okazaki goal lifts Japan over Argentina

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A month after routing defending World Cup champion Spain in a friendly, Argentina couldn't come up with the same kind of result against Japan Friday morning (U.S. time).

Shinji Okazaki pounced on a parried save by Argentine keeper Sergio Romero and slotted home the rebound in the 19th minute to lift the Samurai Blue to a 1-0 victory over a full-strength Argentina squad in Saitama, Japan.

College Soccer Weekend Preview

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After a Tuesday and Wednesday of NCAA action that featured several matchups containing two ranked opponents, this weekend will be about survival for the top 25.

Only two matches feature ranked opponents facing off against each other as opposed to six last weekend.

The game of the weekend takes place Saturday night when No.

Whitecaps roll over Timbers in key USSF D-2 playoff series opener

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

The Vancouver Whitecaps are loaded with new faces, players who weren't with the club the past two years for its two runs to the USL championship game. They had also failed to beat the Portland Timbers in four regular-season matches in 2010.

Neither mattered Thursday night at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, B.

Galaxy stay ahead in Supporters Shield chase with 1-0 victory over Union

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BY ADAM SERRANO

It's not always pretty, but the Los Angeles Galaxy are getting the results that may give them the Supporters Shield.Â

An Edson Buddle goal and a little magic from goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts was all the Galaxy needed to defeat the Philadelphia Union, 1-0 at PPL Park on Thursday evening.

Galaxy faces Union with Supporters Shield in sight

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BY ADAM SERRANO

The Los Angeles Galaxy will look to continue their hopes of the Supporters Shield on the road against the Philadelphia Union tonight. (ESPN2, 5:00PM)

The Galaxy sit two points ahead of the hard charging Real Salt Lake for the trophy. Head Coach Bruce Arena will be eager to set his line up for the playoffs as the club arrives in Philadelphia nearly at full strength.

Brazil sharp in rout of Iran

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Well-taken free kicks. Spot-on timing. Top-notch finishing.

Yup, it's Brazil.

Dani Alves scored on a perfectly placed free kick, and Alexandre Pato and Nilmar added the insurance goals as Brazil topped Iran, 3-0, in an international friendly on Thursday in Abu Dhabi.

Check out the highlights:


West Coast College Notebook: Cal survives and thrives, UCI rolls and more

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BY ADAM SERRANO

The California Golden Bears have undergone a topsy turvy week.

Last week, the university's sports programs felt the sting of budget cuts as a number of sports were eliminated in a cost cutting measure. Cal's #19 ranked soccer program was rumored to be on the list of potential budget cuts for the University.

SBI Live Q&A (Oct. 7 edition)

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It's time for the latest SBI Live Q&A, where we discuss all things soccer and pop culture.

Submit your soccer-related questions and I will try to answer as many of them as I can. Want to talk U.S. men's national team? MLS Playoff race? College Soccer? European soccer? Send your questions my way.

SBI Live Q&A set for 1pm Today

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It's that time again. Time for the latest SBI Live Q&A.

With the U.S. men's national team preparing to return to action on Saturday, and with the MLS playoff race winding down, it's a good time to discuss all things soccer. Please feel free to send in your soccer questions and I will try to answer as many of them as I can.

International Fixture Friday

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Friday is a busy day for international soccer, with 2012 European Championship qualifying and international friendlies taking center stage.

Germany and Turkey square off in a Group A qualifying battle that features a bevy of players with ties to both countries. In Group B, Russia faces some pressure to come away with a result in its match with the Republic of Ireland, which leads the group and could distance itself from the Russians with a victory.

Fantasy MLS: Week 28

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Photo by Kelley L. Cox/ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

The FIFA calendar is at it again.

With international call-ups affecting roster personnel for some Major League Soccer teams this weekend, it's important to know who won't be available for your roster selection.

Who would you start in the USA midfield vs. Poland?

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There is no position with more good options for U.S. national team head coach Bob Bradley to choose from than midfield, and Bradley will have a tough time deciding on the four or five midfielders he will start against Poland.

The first question is whether Bradley will seriously consider using a five-man midfield, and take a step away from the standard 4-4-2 he made a staple of his first four years as U.

NCAA midweek roundup: UConn falls, Creighton upsets Tulsa and more

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UConn enjoyed their promotion to the second-ranked team in the country for only a couple of hours as the Huskies fell to No. 6 Maryland 1-0 on Tuesday night. Freshman Patrick Mullins scored in the first half to hand UConn their first defeat of the season. It was the first shutout of the season for UConn, who had averaged nearly three goals per game previously.

Who would you like to see start at defense for the USMNT against Poland?

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Photo by Perry McIntyre/ISIphotos.com

With some new faces in United States men's national team training, coach Bob Bradley has quite a few personnel decisions to make ahead of Saturday's friendly against Poland.

One of those areas of contention is at defense, where Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo, Clarence Goodson, Eric Lichaj, Oguchi Onyewu, Michael Parkhurst and Jonathan Spector are available for selection.

San Jose trio to miss potential postseason clincher for international duty

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Photo by Kelley L. Cox/ISIphotos.com

The San Jose Earthquakes are on the cusp of clinching a spot in the Major League Soccer postseason for the first time since the franchise's re-introduction into the league. If the Earthquakes are to do so this weekend, though, they'll have to rely a bit more on the depth of their roster.

SBI on the SI.com Podcast

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The Soccer By Ives Podcast hasn't been created yet, and it may still be a good while before we get one off the ground. In the meantime, you can catch me on some of the top podcasts around as a guest.

I joined Jen Chang and Steve Davis on this week's SI.com podcast, where we discussed the MLS Rookie of the Year race, the mercurial Jeff Cunningham and the upcoming U.

U.S. Open Cup Final: Match Night Commentary

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 The Columbus Crew and Seattle Sounders both have a U.S. Open Cup Trophy in their trophy case, and each will have a chance to add a second tonight in the 2010 U.S. Open Cup Final (10pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

The Sounders will be seeking to become the third team to win back-to-back Open Cup titles, but will do so against a tough Columbus side that last won the trophy in 2002, when a Crew side featuring current Columbus head coach Robert Warzycha defeated a Sigi Schmid-led Los Angeles Galaxy.

Nyassi's brace leads Sounders to U.S. Open Cup repeat

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By JOSE M. ROMERO

A year ago at this time, Sanna Nyassi wasn't even activated for Seattle Sounders games, his observance of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan affecting his match fitness and costing him an opportunity to play down the stretch of the MLS regular season.

USSF Division 2 Playoff Preview

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By TRAVIS CLARK

It's been a long season in the USSF Division 2, and soon enough, a second division champion will be crowned.

Playoff action begins Wednesday evening, as eight teams vie for the championship. The next few weeks will be a rigorous test of travel adaptability and each club's depth, as the eventual winner will have to navigate through six games in order to emerge victorious.

Must-See Goal: Matty Burrows

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(Summary is not available.)

SBI MLS Spotlight: Dane Richards

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SBI MLS Spotlight: Dane Richards from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.

Mid-Day Ticker: Liverpool nearing sale, Vucetich claims Mexico offer and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

Williams. Yastrzemski. Ortiz. Gerrahhd?

Liverpool is on the verge of being sold to Boston Red Sox owners John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino for a reported $477 million. Liverpool's board has approved the sale, and the Premier League has reportedly released a statement in which it will be ready to approve the sale later this week.

Who is your MLS Most Valuable Player?

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

With the season winding down and the playoff picture almost completely sorted out, it's becoming more clear as to who is deserving of the Major League Soccer Most Valuable Player award.

Landon Donovan has put together another strong season, leading the league in assists to this point (14) as he guns for his second consecutive award.

Who would you like to see start at defense for the USMNT against Poland?

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Photo by Perry McIntyre/ISIphotos.com

With some new faces in United States men's national team training, coach Bob Bradley has quite a few personnel decisions to make ahead of Saturday's friendly against Poland.

One of those areas of contention is at defense, where Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo, Clarence Goodson, Eric Lichaj, Oguchi Onyewu, Michael Parkhurst and Jonathan Spector are available for selection.

Who is your MLS Most Valuable Player?

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

With the season winding down and the playoff picture almost completely sorted out, it's becoming more clear as to who is deserving of the Major League Soccer Most Valuable Player award.

Landon Donovan has put together another strong season, leading the league in assists to this point (14) as he guns for his second consecutive award.

Mid-Day Ticker: Liverpool nearing sale, Vucetich claims Mexico offer and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

Williams. Yastrzemski. Ortiz. Gerrahd?

Liverpool is on the verge of being sold to Boston Red Sox owners John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino for a reported $477 million. Liverpool's board has approved the sale, and the Premier League has reportedly released a statement in which it will be ready to approve the sale later this week.

SBI MLS Spotlight: Dane Richards

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SBI MLS Spotlight: Dane Richards from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


Must-See Goal: Matty Burrows

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USSF Division 2 Playoff Preview

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By TRAVIS CLARK

It's been a long season in the USSF Division 2, and soon enough, a second division champion will be crowned.

Playoff action begins Wednesday evening, as eight teams vie for the championship. The next few weeks will be a rigorous test of travel adaptability and each club's depth, as the eventual winner will have to navigate through six games in order to emerge victorious.

U.S. Open Cup Final: Match Highlights

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Nyassi's brace leads Sounders to U.S. Open Cup repeat

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By JOSE M. ROMERO

A year ago at this time, Sanna Nyassi wasn't even activated for Seattle Sounders games, his observance of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan affecting his match fitness and costing him an opportunity to play down the stretch of the MLS regular season.

U.S. Open Cup Final: Your Running Commentary

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The Columbus Crew and Seattle Sounders both have a U.S. Open Cup Trophy in their trophy case, and each will have a chance to add a second tonight in the 2010 U.S. Open Cup Final (10pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

The Sounders will be seeking to become the third team to win back-to-back Open Cup titles, but will do so against a tough Columbus side that last won the trophy in 2002, when a Crew side featuring current Columbus head coach Robert Warzycha defeated a Sigi Schmid-led Los Angeles Galaxy.

SBI on the SI.com Podcast

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The Soccer By Ives Podcast hasn't been created yet, and it may still be a good while before we get one off the ground, but in the meantime you can catch me on some of the top podcasts around as a guest.

I joined Jen Chang and Steve Davis on this week's SI.com podcast, where we discussed the MLS Rookie of the Year race, the mercurial Jeff Cunningham and the upcoming U.

San Jose trio to miss potential postseason clincher for international duty

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Photo by Kelley L. Cox/ISIphotos.com

The San Jose Earthquakes are on the cusp of clinching a spot in the Major League Soccer postseason for the first time since the franchise's re-introduction into the league. If the Earthquakes are to do so this weekend, though, they'll have to rely a bit more on the depth of their roster.

NCAA Top 25: Akron stays on top, UConn moves to No. 2

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Even failure to win for the first time this season couldn't topple Akron from the top spot in this week's NSCAA/HendrickCars.com Top 25. An inconsistent seven days by the top five teams allowed the Zips to receive all 24 first-place votes for the fifth-consecutive week and a tie at the bottom of the table meant 26 teams will be ranked as San Diego State and James Madison each received 41 points.

Afternoon Ticker: Tevez-Mancini row, Alex out three weeks and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Carlos Tevez may have five goals in Manchester City's first seven games of the season, but that didn't stop him from lashing out at head coach Roberto Mancini this past weekend.

According to reports, Tevez and Mancini were involved in a heated argument during halftime of City's 2-1 win vs.

The definition of a bad first touch

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Who is your MLS Newcomer of the Year?

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

For a year that will likely be remembered as the one when the marquee Designated Players infiltrated Major League Soccer, many of the biggest difference-makers around the league have been non-DP newcomers.

The addition of Alvaro Saborio has made Real Salt Lake even more of a threat to repeat as MLS Cup champion.

USSF D-2: A Look Back at Week 26

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By TRAVIS CLARK

The Austin Aztex had two chances to win both the outright USSF D-2 title last weekend, and both times they came up empty-handed.

Playing two games in a three day span isn't easy, and both were on the road. Friday night, the Aztex were beaten handily by the Carolina Railhawks 3-1.

SBI Stoppage Time: A look at the USMNT's upcoming friendlies

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SBI Stoppage Time: USMNT Edition 10/9/10 from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


Crew, Sounders seeking second U.S. Open Cup title

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

The Columbus Crew just punched its ticket to the MLS playoffs. The Seattle Sounders are close to doing the same.Â

Tonight at Qwest Field, however, the MLS season and its playoff picture will take a back seat to something that means a great deal to both clubs, the 2010 U.

Red Bulls to lose Coundoul, Richards to international call-ups

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The New York Red Bulls are preparing to take on defending MLS Cup champion Real Salt Lake on Saturday and for the second time in a month, they will take on RSL without key starters.

Goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul, midfielders Rafa Marquez and Dane Richards and defender Andrew Boyens have been called in for international team duty and all but Marquez will miss the Red Bulls' showdown vs.

Coundoul named MLS Player of the Week

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIPhotos.com

Goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul has really come on strong down the stretch for the New York Red Bulls and may have delivered his best performance of the season on Saturday in New York's 1-0 victory against Kansas City.

Coundoul made 12 saves, several of which were of the acrobatic variety, to hold off a Wizards attack that threw serious numbers forward in search of a precious point in its quest for a playoff spot.

Sunday College Recap: Ohio State rolls, San Diego survives a shootout, more

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No. 19 Ohio State remain unbeaten in their Big 10 campaign with a 2-1 victory over No. 11 Michigan State. A second-half winner by Austin McAnena capped a dream week for the Buckeyes after drawing top-ranked Akron on Wednesday. The Spartans saw their six-game winning streak snapped but remain at .

European powers forced to alter rosters ahead of Euro 2012 qualifiers

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By AVI CREDITOR

Spain, Italy and England all figure to qualify for the 2012 European Championship without a problem, but the traditional powers will all have to adjust to some major roster changes for the upcoming stretch of qualifiers.

Defending European and World Cup champion Spain's roster has been altered the most.

SBI Stoppage Time: Recapping RBNY's 2-1 victory against Kansas City

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DeJong does it again

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Dutch midfielder Nigel DeJong will always be remembered by U.S. men's national team fans for his leg-breaking tackle on Stuart Holden (and by most other soccer fans for his chest stomp on Xabi Alonso in the World Cup Final). The leg breaker was at it again on Sunday, snapping the leg of Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa in a tackle that could best be described as reckless.

MLS Week 27: A Look Back

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A year after wallowing in the Eastern Conference basement with the worst record in Major League Soccer, the New York Red Bulls are in first place in the East. Their 1-0 victory against Kansas City on Saturday wasn't pretty, but it provided the latest evidence that this Red Bulls squad has learned how to win even when they don't play their best.

European Weekend Rewind: Chelsea rolls, Barca stumbles, Lazio wins and more

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

Europe's top five leagues have now played between six and eight weeks each, and only in England is the preseason favorite at the top of the league table. After suffering its first defeat of the campaign to Manchester City last weekend, Chelsea rebounded nicely with a 2-0 win over Arsenal.

Must-See Goal- Alex

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When you run down the list of goal-scoring threats on Chelsea's formidable roster, Brazilian defender Alex isn't going to be near the top of the list. Things are a bit different when you're talking about a free kick straight on goal, because few can hit a ball harder and with more purpose than Alex.

Buddle, Beckham lead Galaxy to victory over Chivas USA to a 2-1 in Superclasico

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIPhotos.com

BY ADAM SERRANO

The SuperClasico may be a rivalry on paper, but on the field, the dominance lies with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

A pair of first half goals by Edson Buddle and David Beckham was enough to cancel out a second half strike from former Galaxy forward Alan Gordon and the Galaxy were able to take home the SuperClasico trophy for the third consecutive time.

Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Chivas USA: Match Day Commentary

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BY ADAM SERRANO

The Super Clasico kicks off as the Chivas USA host their cross hall rivals the Los Angeles Galaxy.

This match has major implications for the playoffs as the Galaxy find themselves in second in the league table to Real Salt Lake. The Galaxy will need a win tonight to regain their spot at the top of the table.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Tim Howard and Everton did something this weekend that they had yet to do this season.Â

The Toffees finally won.

Howard and Everton earned their first three points of the Premiership campaign as they defeated Birmingham, 2-0, at St Andrews Stadium.

FC Dallas clinches playoff birth, pushes Chicago to brink of elimination

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It was a night of landmarks for FC Dallas as the hottest team in MLS increased its unbeaten streak to 18 games in a 3-0 thrashing of the Chicago Fire.

Jeff Cunningham tied Jaime Moreno for the career MLS goals lead and Milton Rodriguez added another goal to his tally as FC Dallas stayed in the race for the Western Conference title.

Must-See Goal: Andrea Pirlo

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He's normally known for setting up teammates with beautiful passes, but AC Milan midfielder Andrea Pirlo did the scoring on Saturday, delivering an amazing long-distance goal that had to be the goal of the day.

Enjoy:


College Round-up: Maryland tops Duke, UNC edges UVA and more

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It was another weekend of important conference matchups in the ACC while a number of NCAA powerhouses looked to get off on the right foot in their respective conferences.

In a game well publicized for its pro potential, No. 8 Maryland edged No. 9 Duke 2-0 in front of a record 7,260 fans at Ludwig Field.

Coundoul leads Red Bulls to victory, NYRB moves into first place in East

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

For all the attacking talent on the New York Red Bulls roster, it was goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul who stepped up to deliver the Red Bulls an important victory on Saturday night.

The Senegalese goalkeeper made a plethora of clutch saves to help Dane Richards' early goal stand up in a 1-0 victory in front of an impressive crowd of 24,799Â at Red Bull Arena on Saturday night.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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London rivals Chelsea and Arsenal square off today in the marquee match of the weekend and today's can't-miss tilt.

The Blues will be looking to extend their lead on first place in the Premier League while the Gunners will be trying to move into second place int he table.

There are plenty of intriguing match-ups on TVÂ today, including Napoli taking on Roma, Sevilla facing Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan meeting Juventus in Serie's top match of the weekend.

RSL downs Revs to take Supporters Shield lead

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

Good teams find a way to win, even when they're not at their best.

Real Salt Lake did just that on Saturday, winning a game it could have easily lost, and setting itself up for a strong chance at winning the MLS Supporters Shield.

The visitors were out-shot 20-6 and struggled to maintain possession for much of the game, but RSL still walked away from Gillette Stadium with a 2-1 win over the New England Revolution Saturday night.

New York Red Bulls vs. Kansas City Wizards: Match Night Commentary

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The New York Red Bulls have first-place in the Eastern Conference in mind, while the Kansas City Wizards have playoff survival on the line when the two conference rivals square off at Red Bull Arena tonight:

The Wizards are on the outside looking in as far as the playoffs go, but they'll have to beat the surging Red Bulls to stay alive.

Dempsey scores in 1-1 draw with West Ham

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Fulham extended its unbeaten run in the Premier League on Saturday, and it was Clint Dempsey that came through with the Cottagers' lone goal in a 1-1 draw against West Ham United.

Dempsey scored his second goal of the season in the first half of the match, beating goalkeeper Robert Green with a volley 112 days after scoring on him in embarrassing fashion at the World Cup.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Clint Dempsey is set to join the U.S. men's national team next week, but before he makes the trip West, he will be taking on West Ham today in a clash of London clubs.

In other Premier League action involving Americans, Tim Howard will look to help Everton climb out of the Premier League basement with a win against Birmingham, while Marcus Hahnemann and Wolves will take on Wigan.

Duke at Maryland: College Match Night Commentary

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By AVI CREDITOR

Two Top-10 Atlantic Coast Conference rivals do battle on national television as Duke and Maryland meet in a key conference battle (8 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel).

As usual, this matchup oozes with professional prospects. Duke's sophomore tandem of Ryan Finley and Andrew Wenger are the ones to watch for the guys in blue.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV (and Top 10 Matches to Watch)

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Chelsea looked unstoppable until Manchester City handed the Blues their first loss last week. This weekend, Arsenal will look to keep their London neighbors on a losing slide when the sides meet in the weekend's marquee match-up.

Both sides posted Champions League victories at mid-week and they will renew their rivalry at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Dream season has Wondolowski thinking big

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BY ADAM SERRANO

Chris Wondolowski is having a dream season.Â

With 12 goals, the 27-year-old has led the Earthquakes to the brink of the playoffs for the first time since their return to MLS in 2008. Perhaps what is most important about Wondolowski's goals are the timeliness of the strikes.

Timbers, Whitecaps end one era, look ahead to another

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BY JOSE M. ROMERO

Oh, those wild and crazy USSF-Division 2 schedule-makers.

Their flair for the dramatic brought the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps together for one last regular-season go-round Saturday afternoon north of the border in beautiful Burnaby, B.

Mid-Day Ticker: Rooney could play against Montenegro, Cosmos unveil new kit, more

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A combination of tabloid attention and nagging injuries has made the last four months particularly trying for Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney. But Sir Alex Ferguson said that Rooney should be fit ahead of the Three Lions' Euro qualifying clash with Montenegro despite missing Manchester United's next league match against Sunderland.

Galaxy defense has questions to answer

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

BY ADAM SERRANO

The playoffs are on the horizon and there are numerous questions surrounding the league-leading Los Angeles Galaxy.

After a disappointing loss to the New York Red Bulls last week, the Galaxy will be expecting to rebound against their arch-rivals Chivas USA in the SuperClasico on Sunday evening.

Fantasy Premier League: Matchweek 7

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By AVI CREDITOR

Wayne Rooney, Cesc Fabregas, Frank Lampard.

If you had these three on your roster all of last season, you likely fared pretty well in your league table. If you've had all three on your roster this season, you're likely in the drop zone.

Injuries, a lack or form and perhaps a World Cup hangover have left these three perennial fantasy behemoths rather dormant through the season's opening stretch.

Who should the USMNT start vs. Poland?

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The U.S. men's national team returns to action in a week and it will provide us our first glimpse of the next cycle under head coach Bob Bradley.

Will Bradley start trying new things, which he seemed to suggest in his comments after his re-hiring? Will we see a move away from the 4-4-2?

College Soccer Weekend Preview

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It's another weekend of high-profile matchups in the ACC as a multitude of teams look to rebound from poor midweek results.

No. 2 North Carolina suffered a tough loss to Old Dominion on Tuesday and things don't get any easier for the Tar Heels as they travel to defending national champion Virginia on Friday.

USSF D-2: A Look Ahead at Week 26

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By TRAVIS CLARK

In many ways it's fitting that the Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers close out the USSF Division 2 season against each other.

Apart from their regional rivalry, both teams are making the jump to Major League Soccer in 2011, but have one eye on winning a trophy in the second division before the year is up.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Maurice Edu is coming off a strong midweek performance in the Champions League, and he'll be looking to build on that as Rangers aims to stay atop the Scottish Premier League.

Having played 90 minutes in Rangers' 1-0 win against Bursaspor on Wednesday, Edu will hope to help Rangers win its seventh consecutive league match when the club faces Heart of Midlothian.