Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2010

Evening Ticker: Spector bags a brace, Hahnemann loses starting job and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

On a snowy night at Upton Park, Jonathan Spector emphatically ended his poor run of form.

Given the chance to start for West Ham for the first time in more than three months, Spector scored twice in the first half of his club's shocking 4-0 victory over his former team, Manchester United, in the quarterfinals of the Carling Cup on Tuesday.

SBI MLS Under-23 Best XI

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

With all the retirements of long-time MLS standouts in 2010 there has been some concern over who would take their places. If the members of SBI's MLS Under-23 Best XI show anything, it is that the league has plenty of young talent ready to take over.

State of the Team: Portland Timbers

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

A recent trip to Portland was all it took to see even some semblance of enthusiasm for the soon-to-be MLS Portland Timbers.

There were a couple of billboards in town. And at Fred Meyer, a variety store chain, Timbers scarves, T-shirts and beanies were for sale.

Mid-Day Ticker: Jones demoted, BBC's Panorama report on FIFA and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

In one of the odder personnel moves of the season, United States midfielder Jermaine Jones and two other players have been sent down to the Schalke reserves in Germany's fourth division by coach Felix Magath.

A look at the World Cup bid races

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They may be almost a decade or more away, but the 2018 and 2022 World Cups have become the most important topics in the world of soccer this week.

More specifically, the subject of which nations will get to host those tournaments.

FIFA is set to vote on both tournaments, and which nations will get to host them, and while accusations of corruption and bribes is casting a shadow on the process, the fact remains we will find out in less than two days just who the lucky countries are.

Tuesday Kickoff: Spector eyeing German move, Carragher sidelined and more

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Jonathan Spector has endured a disappointing season at West Ham, one where playing time has been in short supply. He may have his way out and it could come via a move to Germany.

Spector is reportedly closing in on a move to German club Cologne, a switch which would end Spector's seven-year run in England.

A look to the future as World Cup Decision Day looms

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Barcelona destroys Real Madrid (Updated with highlights)

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It was supposed to be a battle of the two best teams in the world, but by the end of it, only one team looked like a world beater.

Barcelona savaged Real Madrid, ripping apart Jose Mourinho's normally stingy defense on the strength of the sharp passing of Lionel Messi, Xavi and Iniesta.

USA women draw Sweden, Colombia and North Korea in World Cup

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After enduring a tougher than expected road to qualifying, the U.S. women's national team learned the identity of its opponents in next year's FIFA World Cup.

The Americans will take on North Korea, Colombia and Sweden at the World Cup in Germany next summer.

Here are the groups:

A- Germany, Canada, Nigeria, France

B- Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, England

C- USA, Korea DPR, Colombia, Sweden

D- Brazil, Australia, Equatorial Guinea, Norway

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What do you think of the draw?

Olsen introduced as D.C. United head coach

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Photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

WASHINGTON - After officially completing his 180-degree turn about his stance on D.C. United's head coaching situation, team president and chief executive officer Kevin Payne insisted that Ben Olsen was the man for the job all along.

Barcelona vs. Real Madrid: Matchday Commentary

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The match is finally here.

Barcelona and Real Madrid, the two best teams in the world right now, are set to face off in the most anticipated match of the European club season (3pm, GolTV).

Lionel Messi vs. Cristiano Ronaldo. Jose Mourinho vs. Pep Guardiola. Xavi and Iniesta vs.

SBI Live Q&A set for Wednesday at 1pm

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It's almost that time again. Time for us to discuss all things soccer in the latest SBI Live Q&A.

Mark your calendar for Wednesday at 1pm, when we will discuss all things soccer (and pop culture). Want to talk World Cup bids? The MLS off-season? The NCAA Tournament? New TV shows? We'll be discussing it all during Wednesday's Q&A.

SBI All-American MLS Best XI

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In a year when foreign players took him many of Major League Soccer's top awards, and grabbed more than half the spots on MLS Best XI, it's easy to forget that several American players enjoyed strong seasons.

From Chris Wondolowski's Golden Boot-winning 18 goals, to Landon Donovan's latest stellar season, American players led the way for many of the top teams in the league this year, and while you could argue that foreign players are taking on a more prominent role in the league than ever thanks to the increased number of Designated Player slots, American players continue to play key roles.

NCAA Round of 16: UCLA wins in OT, North Carolina escapes in PKs and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

It might not have been easy, but the top seeds did enough to dispatch their competition and advance into the quarterfinals of the 2010 NCAA Tournament.

Seven of the top eight seeds advanced to the quarters, with only No. 10 seed Michigan winning a match-up against a higher seed.

Barcelona vs. Real Madrid: Who will win?

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The most anticipated match of the European club season will kick off later today when FC Barcelona takes on arch-rival Real Madrid at the Camp Nou.

While millions of fans around the world watch, the easy question to ask right now is this. Who do you think will win? Will it be Lionel Messi and the reigning Spanish champions, or will Jose Mourinho's revamped Real Madrid side prove that its ready to take control of La Liga?

European Weekend Rewind: Berbatov leads Man Utd, Milan held and more

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IAN HOLLIDAY

The game of the weekend, and quite possibly the game of the year, takes place at Camp Nou Monday afternoon. But contrary to what the hype surrounding Barcelona v. Real Madrid might have you believe, there were other matches played in Europe this weekend, and some of them were quite entertaining.

U.S. Under-20s tie Mexico, fall in penalties

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For the second straight match, the U.S. Under-20 men's national team earned a tie in the Torneo de las Americas, and for the second match the Americans fell in penalty kicks.

Gale Agbossoumonde converted a rebound of his own saved header in the 70th minute to give the U.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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photo by Tony Quinn/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

On a weekend where there were few positives to take away, Sacha Kljestan returned to RSC Anderlecht's starting lineup as the club won big to take over first place in the Jupiler Pro League.

Kljestan started, played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in Anderlecht's 4-1 victory over last place Royal Charleroi SC.

Olsen to be named D.C. United head coach

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D.C. United took a good look around as it considered who to make head coach come 2011 before decided it already had the man for the job.

Ben Olsen will remain D.C. United head coach for the 2011 season, removing the interim tag he has held since taking over for Curt Onalfo, who left D.

NCAA Round of 16 (Matchday Commentary)

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The 16 teams still vying for a national championship are in action today in eight Round of 16 matches across the country.

Unbeaten Louisville and title favorites Akron and Maryland are all in action today, and SBI will try to bring you coverage from as many of today's matches as possible.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Tottenham is doing well in UEFA Champions League play, but if Spurs are going to move back into the top four of the English Premier League, they will need to beat Liverpool today to stay close to the pack.

Liverpool has a more modest goal, which is to pull even with Tottenham, which the Reds can do with a win at White Hart Lane.

Dempsey scores again for Fulham

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Fulham is in an early battle to steer clear of relegation, and if not for Clint Dempsey, chances are the Cottagers would be losing that battle.

Dempsey stepped up yet again on Saturday, heading home his sixth goal of the season to help Fulham post a 1-1 tie vs. Birmingham City.

U.S. Women clinch last spot in World Cup

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It came in atypical fashion, but the U.S. women's national team qualified for the 2011 Women's World Cup thanks to a 1-0 second leg victory over Italy Saturday afternoon.

A 40th minute goal by Amy Rodriguez was all the scoring the U.S. would need, as they won the two-game aggregate 2-0.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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It may be hard to believe, but Stuart Holden and Bolton are currently sitting in fifth place in the English Premier League, and could move into with a win against Blackpool today.

Bolton currently sit ahead of the likes of Tottenham (on goal differential) and Liverpool, and are doing so playing attractive soccer.

NCAA tournament: Round of 16 Preview

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Despite all the overtimes, penalty kicks and late winners that came out of last Sunday's round of 32, precious little was found in the way of upsets. 13 of the 16 seeded teams advanced into the third round, setting up several matchups between national powerhouses and exciting prospects.

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

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The game everyone has been waiting for is finally here, even if it will come a day later than most would like.

Barcelona and Real Madrid, the two best teams in the world, face off on Monday in the most highly-anticipated match of the European club season. Both teams have looked unstoppable, and Monday's match will give one of the team's the edge in the tight race for the La Liga title.

The latest from Special1 TV

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As if Special1 TV isn't funny enough, throw in 'Arsene Wenger' doing impressions of Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci and you have an episode that could be an all-time great.

Enjoy:Â


Vancouver keeps on wheeling and dealing

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While the rest of Major League Soccer was celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday, the Vancouver Whitecaps and Toronto FC were completing a trade that served as the last remnant of Wednesday's flurry of trades and the latest step in a very busy week for Vancouver.

The Whitecaps traded midfielder/defender Nathan Sturgis to Toronto FC for the No.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Four Americans and their clubs are eyeing a place in next season's Champions League, and winning their matches this weekend could prove vital in their hunt to reach that competition.

Hannover 96 is just three points shy of third place in the Bundesliga standings, and the Champions League qualifying spot that comes with it.

Report: Argentina-USA March friendly in Seattle confirmed

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

Several reports earlier this month suggested that a USA-Argentina friendly in Seattle next March was in the works, and now a fresh report has emerged suggesting the match is a done deal.

ESPN Deportes is quoting an organizer of Argentine national team friendlies, who reportedly confirmed that Argentina will play the United States in Seattle on March 26th.

Happy Thanksgiving from SBI

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

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

Wrapping up a wild MLS Expansion Draft Day

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

A day that began with 10 expansion draft picks for the expansion Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps ended with seven of those 20 players traded to already established MLS clubs, Portland's promise of international signings and a conference call saboteur.

Trades galore after MLS expansion draft

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Just when you thought the MLS Expansion Draft would be the main business of the day in Major League Soccer, a wave of trades followed after to make it the busiest day in MLS history.

The Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps pulled off a plethora of post-draft trades, shipping off many of the players they just acquired.

U.S. Soccer names finalists for Athlete of the Year Awards

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With 2010 nearing an end, it's about the time of year when U.S. Soccer names its list for Athlete of the Year nominations.

Five players are nominated in each category, with Landon Donovan aiming to repeat after receiving the Male Athlete of the Year Award in 2009. He goes up against Carlos Bocanegra, Michael Bradley, Steve Cherundolo and Clint Dempsey, all members of the U.

McCarty, Nyassi among those chosen in 2010 Expansion Draft

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BY ADAM SERRANO

The 2010 season may be only be a few days dead, but the 2011 season has already kicked off with the Expansion Draft.Â

The Vancouver Whitecaps and the Portland Timbers added ten players to their initial MLS rosters on Wednesday as their clubs began to take shape for the 2011 season.

Portland deals McCarty to D.C. United for Wallace

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Dax McCarty's tenure as a Portland Timber lasted all of a few hours.

Just three hours after selecting McCarty with the first pick in the 2010 MLS Expansion Draft, Portland shipped McCarty and allocation money to D.C. United for Rodney Wallace and a fourth-round pick in the 2011 MLS Draft.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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It's a big day in the UEFA Champions League for two teams featuring U.S. men's national team players, as Schalke and Rangers fight to keep their knockout-stage dreams alive on Wednesday.

Maurice Edu is slated to miss Rangers' crucial match with Manchester United as he recovers from his minor knee injury, and the Scottish champions will need to fill that void in order to keep pace with Valencia, whom they trail by two points for second place in Group C.

2011 MLS Expansion Draft: Live Commentary

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The Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps are ready to make the first selections in the 2011 MLS Expansion Draft.

The Timbers have already begun building their team with the signings of USSF D-2 standouts Ryan Pore Eddie Johnson and Bright Dike, while the Whitecaps recently unveiled U.

Morning Ticker: UEFA to probe Real Madrid cards, Fabregas out and more

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By TRAVIS CLARK

Two late red cards are unusual in the late stages of any match, but in Tuesday's Champions League game, Real Madrid players Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos were both sent off for time wasting, earning second yellow cards.

Wednesday morning, UEFA announced that they are investigating both dismissals, under the idea that both Alonso and Ramos intentionally earned the cards.

SBI MLS Draft Big Board (Version 1.0)

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The 2011 MLS Draft is fast approaching and now that the MLS season is finally over, teams can begin turning their attentions toward identifying the players who could help them next season.

The 2010 MLS Draft was a major hit, and arguably the deepest in league history, but the upcoming draft could be just as deep.

UCL Rewind: Arsenal lose in Portugal, AC Milan goes through

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By TRAVIS CLARK

Just a few days after blowing a 2-0 lead at home and losing to bitter rivals Tottenham, Arsenal took to the road in hopes of quickly erasing the memories of that loss.

However, Aresnal couldn't break down Sporting Braga, and two late goals from Brazilian forward Matheus earned the home side an unlikely victory -- handing Arsenal their second straight Champions League defeat, when they only needed a draw to qualify for the next round.

Projecting the MLS Expansion Draft

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Trying to predict expansion drafts is never easy, trying to do so for two teams is downright impossible.

That doesn't mean we can't try though, and with Vancouver and Portland set to make their expansion draft selections on Wednesday afternoon, there is plenty of speculation about which directions each team will go.

Evening Ticker: Hurzeler joins USA U20 squad, Kandji tears ACL and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

The United States' youth system received an unexpected boost with the news that Bayen Munich and German U17 standout Fabian Hurzeler will join the USA's U20 squad.

According to Yanks Abroad, U.S. U20 coach Thomas Rongen said that Hurzeler will join the team during its January camp.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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Real Madrid could deal the death blow to Ajax Amsterdam on Tuesday, as an Ajax loss coupled with an AC Milan victory over AJ Auxerre would put Madrid and Milan through to the knockout stage from the treacherous Group G in the UEFA Champions League.

Arsenal, coming off a bad loss to Tottenham over the weekend, looks to cement its place in the knockout stage with a victory in Portugal over Sporting Braga, which is playing for its Champions League life, currently three points behind the Gunners and Shakhtar Donetsk in Group H.

A look back at the 2010 MLS Cup Weekend

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The 2010 MLS Cup Final will be remembered for a hard-fought game, disappearing fans and some frigid weather conditions, but the weekend itself should be remembered for being entertaining and Toronto should be remembered for throwing one heck of a weekend for Major League Soccer.

For those of you who weren't able to make the trip, here is a rundown of some of the highlights for me, as well as some random thoughts from the weekend in Toronto:

One enduring moment I was lucky enough to see came well after MLS Cup Final, at one of the post-cup parties.

SBI Live Q&A (Nov. 23rd Edition)

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

If you have some soccer-related questions, get ready to throw them my way. Want to talk MLS Cup? U.S. national team? European soccer? Whatever it is, let's talk about it.

Send your questions my way (Q&A is after the jump):

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SBI Live Q&A set for 1pm today

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It's that time again. Time to talk soccer in the latest SBI Live Q&A.

With MLS Cup in the rearview mirror, trades galore being made and the expansion draft looming, it's the perfect time to have a Q&A.

Check in this afternoon at 1pm and submit your soccer questions for me to answer and discuss.

List of players available for MLS Expansion Draft announced

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Major League Soccer has released the names of the players protected by each of the 16 current MLS teams ahead of Wednesday's MLS Expansion Draft.

Portland and Vancouver will choose from the players left unprotected on Monday, with each MLS team in position to lose as many as two players in the expansion draft.

Wheeling and dealing on first day of MLS off-season

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MLS teams wasted no time making deals after the end of the 2010 season, in part because of the looming MLS expansion draft.

The Columbus Crew continued its dismantling of its 2008 championship team by dealing midfielder Brian Carroll to the Phiadelphia Union (NOT D.C. United) for a conditional second round pick and an allocation.

Traveling fans bring spirit, flavor to MLS Cup

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By TRAVIS CLARK

TORONTO - Traveling a few thousands miles on short notice can be a bit of a drag. But when it's to support your respective home team in the MLS Cup final in a city you've never been to, it can sometimes be a whole new experience.

Both FC Dallas and Colorado supporters, coming from two of the smaller markets of Major League Soccer, were both well-represented Sunday evening.

Report: Adu to play in Randers reserve match with hope of landing contract

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Freddy Adu could soon land at a new club, but not for its first team.

According to Danish outlet Sporten, Adu will play for Randers in a reserve tournament game tonight and could end up with a contract with the club should he impress. He is expected to play in the last three games of the tournament for Randers, who he has been training with in order to stay in shape.

NCAA Tournament: Top seeds advance to Round of 16

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

The second round of the NCAA tournament saw plenty of late-game drama as half of the 16 games were decided in overtime or via penalty kicks and several more were decided with goals in the final minutes.

No. 13 Butler's first loss of the season came at the worst possible time as Michigan State upset the Bulldogs 1-0.

Missed chances, misfortune doom FC Dallas in Cup final

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

TORONTO -- George John could only sit at his locker and stare into space, trying to forget every defender's nightmare that he'd just experienced moments earlier.

In a sullen and quiet, almost puzzled FC Dallas locker room, where all players and staff could do was sit or stand and not move, John tried to find the words to explain what happened in the 107th minute of Sunday night's MLS Cup.

European Weekend Rewind: Barca, Real Madrid roll, Spurs top Arsenal & more

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

In a weekend of impressive performances and intriguing storylines across Europe, La Liga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid produced two of Saturday's signature wins. Barca handed Almeria a worst-in-club-history 8-0 defeat, while Real Madrid clobbered Athletic Bilbao 5-1.

Gutsy play helps Rapids become MLS Cup champions

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BY ADAM SERRANO

Destiny, grit and determination. The words that have come to symbolize the 2010 season for the MLS Cup champion Colorado Rapids.Â

The Rapids captured their first MLS Cup trophy with a 2-1 victory over FC Dallas in extra time preserving the Rocky Mountain dominance of the trophy.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

St Etienne may have only tied AJ Auxerre, but it received good news before the match with the return of Carlos Bocanegra to its starting eleven.

Having not played in a match since Oct. 17 due to a neck injury, Bocanegra started and went the distance in the 1-1 draw with Auxerre.

Rapids capture first MLS Cup with extra-time victory over FC Dallas

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By AVI CREDITOR

TORONTO - The MLS Cup is staying put in the Rocky Mountain region.

Extra-time substitute Mac Kandji's close-range shot ricocheted off George John for an own goal in the 108th minute, lifting the Colorado Rapids to a 2-1 victory over FC Dallas and their first MLS Cup title.

MLS Cup Final: Match Night Commentary

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The Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas are meeting tonight in the MLS Cup Final at BMO Field in Toronto (8:30pm, ESPN).

The Rapids come in having qualified through the Eastern Conference, while FC Dallas battled through the brutally tough Western Conference to secure its first berth in the MLS Cup Final.

MLS Cup: A Look Ahead to Colorado Rapids vs. FC Dallas

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By ADAM SERRANO

The day has finally arrived. Two teams and just one trophy. Â

By the end of the night, Major League Soccer will have its new champion, the journey that has been the 2010 season will be complete and either the Colorado Rapids or FC Dallas will earn the first MLS Cup in team history.

Garber discusses playoff changes, security issues with MLS supporters

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By TRAVIS CLARK

TORONTO - MLS commissioner Don Garber addressed various concerns with MLS fans Sunday morning during the 2010 Supporters Summit. Several issues were discussed during a roundtable held with fan representatives from all over the league.

Garber fielded questions from both the crowd of supporters -- every team in the league appeared to be represented -- and a pair of moderators, Canadian media members Jason DeVos and Nigel Reed.

McCarty, Hyndman patch up differences en route to 2010 MLS Cup final

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Photo by David Bernal/ISIPhotos.com

By ADAM SERRANO

TORONTO - Dax McCarty's development is one of the key reasons why FC Dallas is preparing for MLS Cup. With an impressive work rate on defense as well as skill going forward, McCarty has matured into the perfect partner for David Ferreira and Daniel Hernandez in the Dallas midfield.

Prolific strikers Cunningham, Casey hoping to score first MLS championship

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Photos by ISIphotos.com

By JOSE M. ROMERO

TORONTO --Â The long and illustrious careers of two of the most prolific scorers in Major League Soccer history collide Sunday when the Colorado Rapids' Conor Casey and FC Dallas' Jeff Cunningham battle with their respective clubs for the league championship.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Fulham sits just a goal differential away from the Premier League relegation zone, making today's match against Manchester City crucial for Clint Dempsey and the Cottagers to avoid slipping any further in the standings.

Manchester City also needs a win today to move past surprising Bolton into fourth place in the Premier League, just a point behind third-place Arsenal.

Barcelona, Real Madrid win big in La Liga

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

It was a big day for Spain's top two teams as Barcelona and Real Madrid put on offensive clinics ahead of next week's El Clasico.

Lionel Messi scored a hat trick as Barcelona routed Almeria 8-0. Messi opened the scoring in the 17th minute, kicking off a torrid 19 minutes in which Barcelona scored five times.

Wallace ready to face his old club in MLS Final

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BY ADAM SERRANO

TORONTO - Anthony Wallace sits on the cusp of the MLS Cup and the only thing standing in the way is his old club, FC Dallas.

The former U.S. Youth International spent three and a half years with Dallas after being drafted with the 9th pick, but struggled to earn significant playing time with FCD.

John overcomes injuries to shine in second season

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By JOSE M. ROMERO

TORONTO -- After just two seasons in Major League Soccer, George John is playing for a league championship.

Not bad for a 23-year-old, late first-round Superdraft pick who has battled -- and beaten -- hamstring injuries over those two years.

Cummings peaking as Rapids eye MLS Cup

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By TRAVIS CLARK

TORONTO - A successful strike partnership is an elusive weapon that few MLS teams have succeed in creating. The Colorado Rapids have been one of the few teams able to create a dangerous tandem, with Conor Casey and Omar Cummings emerging as the most effective tandem in league.

Pearce fights injury as he looks to cap strong season with championship

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By JOSE M. ROMERO

TORONTO -- Heath Pearce might not be on the field to try and finish the mission with his FC Dallas teammates, but he can take some pride in having had a career-turning season.

The MLS All-Star defender, who was also named to SBI's MLS Best XI, is dealing with a hamstring injury.

Mastroeni nears elusive title after sticking with Colorado through hard times

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By AVI CREDITOR

TORONTO- Pablo Mastroeni has seen the Colorado Rapids go through hard times. He's had his chances to seek success elsewhere. Now that the 34-year-old Rapids captain is on the cusp of capturing his first MLS Cup, his loyalty to the club has surely been validated.

U.S. Women defeat Italy 1-0

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The U.S. women left it late, but in the end got a win and a valuable away goal, defeating Italy 1-0 in Padova. Alex Morgan scored in stoppage time to send the U.S. back to Chicago with the edge.

While the U.S. did well to limit Italy's chances on the offensive end -- the Azzurri registered no shots on goal for the game -- they were inefficient in creating good scoring opportunities of their own, save for Morgan's last-gasp winner.

NCAA Tournament second round preview

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Sixteen teams down, 16 to go.

Wednesday saw the near shocking dismissals of ACC powerhouses Virginia and Boston College, recent upstart Monmouth, and red-hot Princeton. On Sunday, the second round of the NCAA tournament kicks off and the survivors of an unpredictable first round call the tournament favorites into action as the field is whittled down to the final 16.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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The race for first place in La Liga continues today as Real Madrid looks to stay in front of Barcelona with a win against Athletic Bilbao ahead of next week's 'Clasico' against Barcelona.

Jose Mourinho's men will look to maintain its one-point lead on Barcelona, while in Italy, AC Milan will try to maintain its own lead atop Serie A with a win against a tough Fiorentina side.

Evening Ticker: USWNT keep top ranking, Canadian great Stojanovic dies and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

The U.S. Women maintained their No. 1 ranking despite a shocking loss to Mexico two weeks ago when the latest FIFA Women's World Rankings were released today. The USA saw its lead over second-place Germany nearly halved but extend its tenure at the top to 32-consecutive months.

Party with SBI in Toronto tonight

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If you are in Toronto tonight, then you're going to want to make your way to The Social (1100 Queen St. West) for the Designated Players' second-annual MLS Cup bash.

Proceedings kick off at 10pm as SBI, The Original Winger, This is American Soccer, DuNord and The Offside Rules throw a proper MLS Cup party.

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

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Arsenal has been on Chelsea's trail through the Premier League season, but the Gunners could surpass the suddenly struggling Blues with a win this weekend against Tottenham in a vital London Derby.

Chelsea can hold onto first place with against Birmingham, while Manchester United could pull even with Chelsea with a win and Chelsea loss.

Colorado centerbacks face past in quest to deliver Rapids first MLS championship

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By AVI CREDITOR

TORONTO - Marvell Wynne returns to the stadium he called home until he was shipped out in the offseason. Drew Moor goes up against his hometown team, a club he'd spent his entire career with before being dealt away last summer. For the Colorado Rapids' starting centerback tandem, winning the MLS Cup on Sunday night would be made even sweeter by that history.

Arsenal's Wenger backs Rapids for MLS Cup

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Ferreira named MLS MVP

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By TRAVIS CLARK

TORONTO - Shortly after David Ferreira accepted the 2010 Major League Soccer Most Valuable Player award, he stood on the podium with the spotlight shining down upon him. The worst-kept secret in MLS was confirmed, as the 31-year-old Colombian was honored for a tremendous season.

Hernandez right at home with FC Dallas

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By JOSE M. ROMERO

TORONTO --Â Tyler, Texas will always be known for NFL Hall of Fame running back Earl Campbell, the "Tyler Rose."Â

And to some extent, other local celebs such as actress Sandy Duncan and former NBA player Larry "Grandmama" Johnson.

Pearce still questionable for MLS Cup

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By ADAM SERRANO

FC Dallas full back Heath Pearce has been on the sidelines for much of FC Dallas' run to MLS Cup with a hamstring injury, but Pearce is still aiming to return to the field for Sunday's MLS Cup Final. After undergoing a number of fitness tests on Friday, Pearce was bullish about being ready to take the field against the Colorado Rapids.

Timbers considering options as MLS expansion draft nears

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

The four walls of Gavin Wilkinson's office are covered with white boards on which there is much of the information the Portland Timbers' technical director will need for next week's MLS expansion draft.

But first, Wilkinson and other representatives of the organization will head to Toronto to be part of the MLS Cup festivities and gatherings this week.

Fantasy Premier League: Matchweek 14

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By AVI CREDITOR

Wayne Rooney is on his way back, and it couldn't happen at a better time for Manchester United.

With three very favorable matchups in the coming weeks (home against Wigan Athletic and Blackburn, away to Blackpool), Rooney can transition back to game shape and form just in time for the Red Devils' Matchweek 17 and 18 tilts with Arsenal and Chelsea, respectively.

The latest from Special1 TV

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NCAA Tournament: Virginia falls, UMBC downs Princeton, UCSB wins and more

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Photo by ISIPhotos.comÂ

By JOHN BOSCHINI

After one day of the 2010 NCAA Tournament, one thing is certain. There won't be a repeat champion.

Virginia's dreams of a repeat were extinguished on Thursday as the Cavaliers fell 1-0 to Old Dominion.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Michael Bradley and Borussia Moenchengladbach escaped the Bundesliga's dungeon with their 4-0 rout of FC Cologne last weekend, and now they'll turn their sights towards escaping the relegation zone altogether.

Moenchengladbach hosts Mainz, and despite sitting pretty in third place, the O-Fives are reeling, having lost their last three games all by way of shutout.

MLS announces Generation adidas graduates

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With MLS Cup on the horizon, with it comes the conclusion of the 2010 season and a chance to look to next year. When planning for next year, a few teams with graduating Generation adidas players may have to juggle things a little bit.

This week, MLS indicated those players would graduate from the program.

SBI Stoppage Time: MLS Cup Preview

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Donovan postpones loan decision

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photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com

If you think the Los Angeles Galaxy's season ending means Landon Donovan is ready for an offseason loan out to Europe, think again. He hasn't made up his mind yet.

Donovan told Sky Sports News on Thursday he wanted to enjoy his vacation before making a decision on whether he'll go out on loan from the Galaxy for a third consecutive year.

Whitecaps introduce DeMerit as first signing

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Jay DeMerit finally has a team again.

Four months after starting all four games for the U.S. national team in South Africa, the former Watford defender was introduced at a press conference today as the first MLS signing by the Vancouver Whitecaps. There was no indication if DeMerit signed as a Designated Player.

Afternoon Ticker: FIFA bans two from World Cup voting, Gerrard hurt and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

And then there were 22.

FIFA suspended two of the 24 executive committee members from voting on the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts on Tuesday after finishing their corruption investigation.

Nigeria's Amos Adamu was suspended from all soccer activity for three years after admitting to taking bribes from undercover reporters who acted as lobbyisted trying to buy votes.

USA 1, South Africa 0: The Highlights

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FIFA Friendly Rewind: Messi powers Argentina, Portugal pounds Spain and more

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

One memorable moment of last-minute brilliance from Lionel Messi was enough to give Argentina the win in an otherwise forgetable match against archrivals Brazil in Doha, Qatar on Wednesday. In the 91st minute, Messi collected the ball 40 yards from goal and began one of his signature runs through the Brazil defense before finishing on a low, hard, left-footed strike across his body.

Must-See Goal: Juan Agudelo

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Agudelo scores in dream debut, lifts young USA team to win in South Africa

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Juan Agudelo's birthday is six days away, but he got his best present a week early, scoring the game-winning goal to help the U.S. men's national team top South Africa in exhibition action in Cape Town on Wednesday.

Fellow debutant Mikkel Diskerud worked a give-and-go with Agudelo, who took a touch in the penalty area before coolly chipping a shot off the bottom of the crossbar for the only goal of the match.

USA vs. South Africa: Match Day Commentary

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The U.S. men's national team will play its final game of 2010 today when it takes on South Africa in the Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup at beautiful Green Point Stadium in Cape Town. (2pm, ESPN2).

New faces Juan Agudelo, Mikkel Diskerud, Teal Bunbury and Tim Ream are just some of the youngsters who could make their USA debuts today against a tough South African squad led by Steven Pienaar.

SBI Stoppage Time: NCAA Tournament Preview

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NCAA Tournament Preview

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Despite the controversy surrounding Monday's selection show, 48 teams begin their quest for the College Cup tonight as the 2010 NCAA Tournament kicks off around the country.

There is little argument as to who the favorites to reach the semifinals in Santa Barbara are.

USA vs. South Africa: The Pre-Game Tailgate

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The U.S. men's national team is ready to play its final game of 2010 today when it takes on South Africa in the Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup today (2pm, ESPN2).

Bob Bradley has brought a young squad to Cape Town for today's match, meaning American fans will be able to get their first glimpses of several top young prospects in the U.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By TRAVIS CLARK

As 2010 nears an end, and the memories of the World Cup in South Africa grow more distant, international teams around the world are gathering together for one final run out this year. Forty-seven friendlies are on the schedule, including the U.

Is new look for KC a good change?

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The Kansas City Wizards, at least the team formerly known as the Kansas City Wizards, are set to make a major announcement on Wednesday and it appears the news will be a name and brand change.

Kansas City will now be called Sporting KC, with the above logo making the rounds as the new look (though the logo has yet to be officially revealed).

MLS names Best XI

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

MLS announced it's Best XI on Tuesday and made one slightly surprising move in selecting the team.

Landon Donovan was listed as a forward on the ballot, but was listed as a midfielder on the Best XI announced by the league, a change which allowed for him, Edson Buddle and Chris Wondolowski to all make the team.

Garber discusses playoffs, expansion in State of MLS address

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BY ADAM SERRANO

Don Garber outlined his visions for MLS in his annual state of the league addressed on Tuesday afternoon.

In a conference call with the media, commissioner Garber touched on a number of potential changes MLS today including expansion into New York City and the Southeast, the new Reserve League and much more.

NCAA Tournament field set: Louisville top seed, UC-Irvine left out

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 By JOHN BOSCHINI

The map to Santa Barbara was drawn today when the NCAA announced the 48 teams that will compete in this year's men's soccer NCAA tournament.Â

Louisville, Maryland, Akron and North Carolina were named seeds one through four, meaning that if all four advance to the final four on Dec.

Crew ready to rebuild without Schelotto

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

When the Columbus Crew won the 2008 MLS Cup Final, it had a deep and strong team that many believed could potentially become a dynasty.

Two years later, that MLS Cup remains the only championship won by the club, with two straight first-round playoff exits forcing the Crew to consider making major changes.

SBI Stoppage Time: A Look Ahead to USA-South Africa

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SBI's MLS Best XI

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Selecting the eleven best players in Major League Soccer this season was arguably tougher than in any season before it. Along with the fact that the league has more teams than ever, teams have done much better at bringing in true impact players.

We're not just talking about Designated Players, but players who can come to MLS as relative unknowns and flourish.

USA to face Chile at Home Depot Center on Jan. 22nd

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As the U.S. men's national team prepares for the final match of 2010 against South Africa on Wednesday, U.S. Soccer has announced the first match of 2011.

The United States will face Chile at Home Depot Center on Jan. 22nd.

The match will take place at the tail-end of the U.

College conference tournament roundup

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Champions were crowned all around the country as conference tournaments drew to a close on Sunday. For some, a conference victory was their only chance to punch a ticket to the Big Dance while others simply secured a higher seed in tonight's NCAA selection.

Mid-Day Ticker: Edu out for 'a few games', Rooney nears return and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

United States midfielder Maurice Edu escaped serious damage to his knee, but he'll still be spending a couple of weeks on the sideline, according to his team's manager.

Walter Smith said on Rangers' team Web site that he will hold Edu out "for a few games" to let his left knee fully heal before he returns to action.

MLS Cup Final is set: Who's your pick?

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The MLS Cup Final few people outside of Colorado and the Dallas/Ft. Worth area has arrived, and while we can spend time dwelling on the fact that some teams expected to be there aren't, it's time to focus on the two teams who did what they needed to do to reach the final.

FC Dallas and Colorado met twice this season, tying both matches.

European Weekend Rewind: Chelsea stunned, Milan tops Inter and more

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

Chelsea almost never loses at Stamford Bridge, so a 3-0 home defeat to a mid-table team is big news, particularly since the three goals scored by Sunderland Sunday were the first three the Blues had allowed at the Bridge all season. Chelsea remains the team to beat in the Premier League, but with only two points separating them from second-placed Arsenal, the Blues need to work that much harder to hold on to the title.

Maryland tops UNC to take ACC title

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

No. 3 Maryland again showed why they are a strong favorite to hoist the College Cup as the Terrapins won their fourth ACC championship with a 1-0 victory over No. 4 North Carolina, who went down to 10 men after Michael Farfan was shown a straight red card in the first half.

FC Dallas clinches spot in MLS Cup Final with 3-0 victory over Galaxy

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In the end, it wasn't that close at all.

FC Dallas earned their first ever trip to MLS Cup with a convincing 3-0 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy.

It was chippy match with the physical play dominating. FCDÂ took the lead in the 26th minute when David Ferreira put Dallas ahead with a strike that beat Ricketts.

Western Conference Final: Galaxy vs. FC Dallas: Match Night Commentary

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BY ADAM SERRANO

There's only one ticket left to be punched for Toronto and MLS Cup.Â

The Los Angeles Galaxy take on FC Dallas in the Western Conference Final with the right to play the Colorado Rapids on the line. The Galaxy are looking to make it to back to the Cup Final for the second year in a row, but once more a team from the Lone Star State stands in their way.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Pachuca's season may not have gone as well as expected, but for Jose Torres, Herculez Gomez and Marco Vidal, that doesn't matter anymore as the club reached the Apertura playoffs.

Facing a must-win situation, Pachuca reached the Apertura Liguilla with a 2-1 road victory over Necaxa in the clubs' season finale.

Strong D propels Rapids to MLS Cup Final

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The Colorado Rapids have earned a reputation for making Dick's Sporting Goods Park a fortress and on Saturday nigh the San Jose Earthquakes were reminded of that fact.

The Earthquakes tried in vain to break through the Rapids stingy defense, but for the second visit this season, San Jose came away goal-less.

ACC final: Maryland vs. North Carolina (Matchday commentary)

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

One of the most coveted conference tournament titles in college soccer is up for grabs this afternoon when No. 3 Maryland clashes with No. 4 North Carolina at WakeMed Stadium in Carey, NC. North Carolina comes in as the top seed, riding a 12-game unbeaten streak and an undefeated record against ACC opponents, including a 2-1 victory at home against Maryland on Sept.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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An Italian Derby, an MLS conference final and an American star facing a top English club headline Sunday's soccer action.

Inter Milan takes on AC Milan today in the weekend's marquee match-up, while Tim Howard and Everton play host to Arsenal. Tonight's final match will be for the right to face the Colorado Rapids in the MLS Cup Final when Los Angeles takes on FC Dallas.

Western Conference Final: Rapids vs. Earthquakes (Match Night Commentary)

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The Colorado Rapids will look to move a step closer to a first MLS Cup Final victory with a won tonight at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in the Eastern Conference final against the San Jose Earthquakes (9pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

A cold and snowy atmosphere awaits the two Western Conference clubs, with the Rapids considered the favorites at home, but the Earthquakes have already shown an ability to triumph in a hostile environment.

Holden, Bradley score in respective victories

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Stuart Holden scored his first goal abroad while Michael Bradley netted his second of the season in their clubs respective wins on Saturday.

Holden scored the winner in Bolton Wanderers' 3-2 triumph over Wolves, hitting a one-timed shot into the open net after American goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann was forced out of position.

Holden, Bradley score in respective victories

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Stuart Holden scored his first goal abroad while Michael Bradley netted his second of the season in their clubs respective wins on Saturday.

Holden scored the winner in Bolton Wanderers' 3-2 triumph over Wolves, hitting a one-timed shot into the open net after American goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann was forced out of position.

ACC Semifinals: UNC, Maryland advance

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

It may not have been pretty, but the ACC got the final everyone wanted when No. 3 Maryland and No. 4 North Carolina advanced from their respective semifinals on Friday night at WakeMed Soccer Park in Carey, NC.

Maryland started off the evening by extracting revenge for last year's ACC tournament loss to Virginia with a 2-0 victory over the Cavaliers.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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The Spanish Primera is almost always a two-horse race between Real Madrid and Barcelona, but this year Villarreal has tried very hard to make it a three-horse race.

The YelloW Submarine can do just that today with a win against FC Barcelona in a clash of top Spanish clubs. Jozy Altidore is coming off scoring a goal in Copa Del Rey action and will look to get minutes against the defending Spanish champions.

MLS Playoffs: A Look Ahead to Galaxy-FC Dallas

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BY ADAM SERRANO

After putting together two of the best and most consistent seasons in MLS, the Los Angeles Galaxy and FC Dallas will battle in a Western Conference Final good enough to be an MLS Cup Final.

The Galaxy appears to have returned to its early season form after confidently beating the Seattle Sounders to return to the Conference Final for the second year in a row.

ACC Semifinals: (Match Night Commentary)

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 By JOHN BOSCHINI

The semifinals of the ACC tournament are shaping up to be two of the best matchups of the season as No. 20 Virginia takes on red-hot No. 3 Maryland at 5:30. Following that game will be No. 3 North Carolina squaring off against No. 21 Boston College.

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

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There are few rivalries as intense as the Milan Derby, and this weekend's installment should be even better than usual.

You have Zlatan Ibrahimovic facing his former club wearing enemy colors. You have the battle for first place in Serie A (at least the battle to be closest to streaking Lazio).

2011 Copa America groups drawn

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The 10 CONMEBOL countries and guest countries Mexico and Japan learned their fates for the group stage of the 2011 Copa America on Thursday, with host Argentina receiving a favorable draw. Here are the three groups:

GROUP A - Argentina, Japan, Bolivia, Colombia

GROUP B - Brazil, Paraguay, Ecuador, Venezuela

GROUP C - Uruguay, Chile, Mexico, Peru

The top two teams in each group and the two best third-place teams advance to the quarterfinals of the July, 2011, tournament.

MLS Playoffs: A Look Ahead to Rapids-Earthquakes

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By ADAM SERRANO

This year's Eastern Conference final is set to take place in the heart of the Rockies.Â

The two bottom seeds in the bracket, the Colorado Rapids and San Jose Earthquakes square off in an Eastern final that has a distinctly Western flavor.

Edu injury doesn't appear serious

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U.S. national team midfielder Maurice Edu has had major knee surgery on his left knee before, so when he went down with an injury to that same knee that required a stretcher ride, there were fears of a recurrence, and a potentially serious setback.

As of now, Edu appears to be in the clear, though he is still awaiting definitive MRI results to confirm what Rangers medical staff already believes, that the knee injury suffered against Hibernian at mid-week was a bruise.

Conference Tournament Preview: Big East, Big Ten and ACC semifinals

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Three of the country's top conferences will take another step towards crowning a champion when the ACC, Big 10 and the Big East play their semifinals today. Some teams are playing for their NCAA tournament lives while the national powerhouses are looking to add silverwear to trophy cases and secure a prime position in the NCAA tournament.

Fantasy Premier League: Matchweek 13

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By AVI CREDITOR

The only thing worse than fielding a Fantasy Premier League team of players who don't score goals, is fielding a team of players who don't score goals OR rack up any bonus points. Those extra one, two or three points can be the great equalizer (especially if earned by your captain) if your team has an off-week production-wise.

Big Ten Tournament: First-round recap

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Second-seeded Ohio State was expected to make quick work of 3-12-3 Wisconsin to start its Big 10 title defense. But the Badgers had other ideas, holding the Buckeyes scoreless for 110 minutes and advancing 5-4 on penalty kicks and providing one of the biggest shocks of the season.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Tim Howard and Everton have not lost in their last seven games, and if they are to extend that streak, they'll have to do so against a team they haven't defeated in league play since 2007.

Everton hosts Arsenal in a game the Gunners need in order to keep within striking distance of first place.

DeLaGarza, Gonzalez look to bring college success to Galaxy playoff run

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By ADAM SERRANO

From college to the pros, AJ DeLaGarza and Omar Gonzalez have always enjoyed success together.

Despite many pundits ruing the Galaxy's chances without injured defender Gregg Berhalter, the pair teamed up well in the club's Semifinal series victory over the Seattle Sounders.

Hernandez key to underdog Earthquakes success

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BY ADAM SERRANO

The San Jose Earthquakes have fluctuated as a franchise since the time the club re-entered MLS in 2008 and defender Jason Hernandez has been there for every twist and turn in the Bay Area.Â

Hernandez anchored the Earthquakes defense that defeated the New York Red Bulls and advanced to the Eastern Conference Final against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday(9:30pm ET, FSC).

Who will the USMNT start vs. South Africa?

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

Now that the roster is out, we can start to think about potential lineup combinations for the U.S. national team against South Africa.

Figuring out a potential lineup from such an inexperienced field won't be easy, but it will be a good exercise to think about which way Bob Bradley will go.

Mid-Day Ticker: USMNT roster taking shape, Wilkins leaves Chelsea and more

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Photo by Nick Turchiaro/ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

Bob Bradley still hasn't announced his roster for the United States' friendly against South Africa next week, but more names continue to be revealed ahead of Thursday's official proclamation.

Agudelo, Ream and Bunbury among USA call-ups vs. South Africa

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The U.S. Men's national team has called up an inexperienced squad loaded with youth for next week's friendly against South Africa (Wednesday, 2pm).

Juan Agudelo, Teal Bunbury, Gale Agbossoumonde and Tim Ream are among the selections.

Here is the squad:

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GK-Brad Guzan, Dom Cervi

D- Clarence Goodson, Jonathan Spector, Jonathan Bornstein, Eric Lichaj, Nat Borchers, Tim Ream, Gale Agbossoumonde

M-Alejandro Bedoya, Eddie Gaven, Brian Carroll Logan Pause, Robbie Rogers, Mikkel Diskerud

F-Robbie Findley, Juan Agudelo, Teal Bunbury

---------------

What do you think of the roster?

NASL submits final bid to USSF for Second Division sanction

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The USSF Second Division Pro League is no more, and the second incarnation of the North American Soccer League is aiming to assume the mantle as the second division soccer league in the United States.

The NASL tabled a bid that included six teams back on September 28, 2010 -- two fewer than the eight that the U.

European Midweek Rewind

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

Top-flight clubs from England, Italy and Spain were in action Wednesday, with league matches being played in the Premier League and Serie A, while La Liga clubs played fourth round matches in the Copa Del Rey.

Wednesday's most intriguing match was the Manchester derby, with the Citizens hosting United knowing a win would draw them level on points with the Red Devils.

ACC Tournament quarterfinals recap

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

The semifinals are set for the ACC Tournament as four more teams were eliminated at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C., in Wednesday's quarterfinals.

No. 3 Maryland dispatched a stronger-than-expected Clemson side with a 2-1 victory. The Terrapins flexed their offensive muscle early with an eighth-minute goal from Billy Cortes.

Hyndman named MLS Coach of the Year

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Schellas Hyndman utilized his roster in ways he probably didn't plan on during the preseason.

The outcome? An FC Dallas team that is still alive in the playoffs, and one whose 19-game unbeaten streak in the regular season turned the side from postseason afterthought to MLS Cup contender.

Americans Abroad: Wednesday Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

It may have been a brief, but Eric Lichaj's performance on Wednesday is surely one he'll never forget.

Lichaj made his Premiership debut in Aston Villa's match against Blackpool, coming off the bench in the 90th minute to help the Villans preserve a 3-2 victory.

Altidore scores in Villarreal's Copa del Rey victory

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For the second time in as many legs, Jozy Altidore got on the scoresheet for Villarreal in the Copa del Rey.

Altidore scored the Yellow Submarine's lone goal in a 1-1 draw with Club Polideportivo Ejido in the first leg of their fourth-round tie. On Wednesday, Altidore tallied again, scoring an insurance goal in the 90th minute to ice the second-leg victory.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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There's a mid-week bonanza of soccer around the world, as the Manchester derby highlights a great Wednesday slate of action.

Aside from the Manchester City-Manchester United match, Real Madrid looks to avoid being eliminated from the Copa del Rey in the second leg of its tie with Real Murcia (2 p.

Mid-Day Ticker: South Africa releases roster, Hull City sold and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

While time ticks down until Bob Bradley releases his roster for the United States men's national team's Nov. 17 friendly against South Africa, Bafana Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane has already released his.

South Africa's roster for the Nelson Mandela Challenge features many of its World Cup participants, including Everton midfiedler Steven Pineaar and World Cup standout Siphiwe Tshabalala.

Convey named MLS Comeback Player of the Year

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Photo by Kelley L. Cox/ISIphotos.com

Two years ago, a knee injury derailed Bobby Convey's English Premier League career. Even last season, Convey struggled to find fitness and form in his return to Major League Soccer, leaving many to think that his best days were behind him.

Bradley set to turn to youth for next USMNT roster

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

With the travel to South Africa making a trip there a burden for overloaded starters, and with several key MLS-based players still taking part in the MLS playoffs, Bob Bradley has a limited number of options for selecting his roster for the U.

Saborio named MLS Newcomer of the Year

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Real Salt Lake striker Alvaro Saborio didn't waste much time establishing himself as the top striker on a top team, and arguably one of the best finishers in MLS in his first season. His 12 goals in MLS play were enough to impress voters into naming him MLS Newcomer of the Year.

Today's Soccer on TV & Web

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If the prospects of having to wait until the weekend for quality soccer have you down, you are in luck. This week's slate of mid-week action is jam-packed, with key matches across Europe.

Topping the list of juicy action is today's Manchester Derby, with Manchester United visiting City of Manchester Stadium to take on struggling Manchester City.

2010 ACC Tournament Preview

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

When the season started, the Atlantic Coast Conference was poised to dominate college soccer. Six of the top 12 teams were from the ACC in the initial NSCAA rankings, including four of the top six.

As the season moved into the fall, parity began to set in.

College top 25: Louisville still top, UCLA back in top 10

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

The regular season has nearly drawn to a close and everything is pretty much the same near the top of the college soccer rankings.

Louisville retained the top spot with 18 first-place votes by staying undefeated on the season with a quarterfinal victory over West Virginia in the Big East Tournament.

Mid-Day Ticker: Virus hits Manchester United, Drogba battles malaria and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

Manchester United has more to worry about than just its opponent ahead of Wednesday's clash with Manchester City.

A virus has made its way through the locker room, leaving Sir Alex Ferguson potentially short-handed for the mid-week match.

Questions abound as Sounders face offseason

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

The season came to an uninspiring end Sunday night for the Seattle Sounders.

Given the deficit they faced, 0-1 going into the last leg of the playoff series against the L.A. Galaxy, the Sounders needed an energetic, aggressive performance, a shutdown defensive effort and some spark on offense from its scorers to give themselves a chance to win and advance.

U.S. Women beat Costa Rica 3-0 to advance to playoff

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

With their backs against the wall and in a rather unusual spot, the U.S. women's national team responded in appropriate fashion, defeating Costa Rica 3-0 in the CONCACAF Third Place game.

Lauren Cheney opened the scoring with a goal in the 17th minute, creating space at the top of the box and blasting a shot that deflected past Ticos goalie Dinnia Diaz.

Fantasy Premier League: Matchweek 12

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By AVI CREDITOR

How's that for a quick turnaround?

While you still likely haven't fully digested Chelsea's loss to Liverpool, Arsenal's loss to Newcastle, Sir Alex Ferguson's risky, yet undamaging (unless you're Owen Hargreaves) lineup moves against Wolves and Mario Balotelli's fitting stat line (one day his biography will be released with the title "Two Goals and a Red Card - The Mario Balotelli Story"), the Premier League slate continues on Tuesday and Wednesday with Matchweek 12 before Matchweek 13 commences on Saturday.

Who should the USMNT call up vs. South Africa?

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The last U.S. national team match of the year will take place in the same country where so many of the year's most memorable matches took place, and chances are the return to South Africa could feature several new faces that didn't make the trip south last summer.

When the United States takes on South Africa on Nov.

What's next for the New York Red Bulls?

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

The New York Red Bulls looked destined for an MLS Cup Final appearance, standing 90 minutes from hosting an Eastern Conference final, but a disappointing loss to San Jose put an abrupt end to an otherwise amazing season for a club that climbed back up from the horror of 2009.

European Rewind: Torres leads Liverpool Real Madrid & Roma win derbies & more

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

Fernando Torres seems to have finally found his form, and not a moment too soon for a Liverpool side fighting to put itself back into European contention. Torres scored both goals in Liverpool's 2-0 win over Chelsea on Sunday, a win that pulled the Reds back into the top half of the table, and shrunk the Blues lead to just two points over Man United.

MLS Cup Final Four is set

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Three underdogs and one major title favorite.

That's the best way to describe the remaining MLS playoff field, the four Western Conference teams still alive for an MLS Cup championship.Â

San Jose and FC Dallas knocked off more highly-regarded opponents with strong first round displays, while Colorado needed penalty kicks to win a tightly-fought series against Columbus.

Mid-day Ticker: Hahnemann considers MLS return, Bielsa quits Chile and more

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By TRAVIS CLARK

Wolverhampton Wolves goalie Marcus Hahnemann could make a return to Major League Soccer in 2011.

The 38-year-old is currently in the final year of his contract with the English Premier League club, and is considering a return to MLS when his contract expires next summer.

Najar and Bunbury ponder USMNT option

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For MLS rookies Andy Najar and Teal Bunbury, the decision on what national team they would represent may have seemed easy a year ago. Today, both appear to have serious decisions to make.

Both Najar and Bunbury have turned down national team call-ups, Najar by Honduras and Bunbury by Canada, as they weigh their options and try to balance the beginnings of their professional careers.

Agudelo, Bowen among U.S. Under-20 call-ups

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New York Red Bulls striker Juan Agudelo and West Ham midfielder Sebastian Lletget are among the players called up for the U.S. Under-20 national team's upcoming participation in the Torneo de las Americas later this month.

The U.S. team will face Colombia on Nov. 26th and Mexico on Nov.

College weekend recap: Princeton wins Ivy, Creighton and UVA upset, and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

The first ticket to the 2010 NCAA tournament was punched on Saturday when No. 16 Princeton claimed the Ivy League title.

The Tigers defeated No. 13 Penn 2-1 in front of over 2,000 fans in New Jersey to claim their first title since 2001. Benjamin Burton got the hosts on the board on the half-hour mark with a headed goal and Antoine Hoppenot doubled Princeton's lead in the 70th minute.

Galaxy advance to the Western Conference Final with victory over the Sounders

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The Los Angeles Galaxy advance to the Western Conference Final for a second year in a row after a 2-1 victory over the Seattle Sounders on Sunday night at the Home Depot Center.

Edson Buddle and Omar Gonzalez scored to give the Galaxy a 3-1 aggregate in its series with the Sounders. Buddle connected in the 19th minute off a corner kick ball by David Beckham.

MLS Playoffs: Galaxy vs. Sounders: Match Night Commentary

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BY ADAM SERRANO

The last spot in MLS' version of the final four is up for grabs as the Seattle Sounders travel down the Pacific Coast to take on the Los Angeles Galaxy(ESPN, 9PM).

Los Angeles is up 1-0 on aggregate after a 1-0 victory at Qwest Field last Sunday.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Bolton Wanderers' run at a potential place in Europe received a boost this weekend, and Stuart Holden once again played a role in making that happen.

Facing a midfield that included the likes of Wilson Palacios and Gareth Bale, Holden helped Bolton to a big 4-2 victory over Tottenham Hotspur with a 90-minute performance.

FC Dallas eliminates Real Salt Lake to reach Western Conference Final

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No team had gone into Rio Tinto Stadium and beaten Real Salt Lake in more than a year, but FC Dallas didn't need a victory to keep its MLS Cup dreams alive.

All FC Dallas needed was a draw after a first-leg victory, so when Dax McCarty scored a first half goal to give the visitors a two-goal cushion, all the pressure went on RSL and the defending MLS Cup champions could not recover.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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If you want high-profile match-ups and fierce rivalries, this day is one of the best of the season.

Roma-Lazio, Real Madrid-Atletico Madrid and Liverpool-Chelsea are just three of the marquee battles on the schedule today.

Want to see some Americans in action? Jozy Altidore's Villarreal is on TV, as is Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96.

MLS Playoffs: Real Salt Lake vs. FC Dallas (Match Night Commentary)

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The first spot in the Western Conference final will be clinched tonight when Real Salt Lake faced off against FC Dallas at Rio Tinto Stadium tonight (10pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

RSL will be looking to erase a 2-1 deficit from the first leg, with FC Dallas coming in confident after Eric Avila's late goal at Pizza Hut Park.

MLS Playoffs: Crew vs. Rapids (Match Day Commentary)

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A place in Major League Soccer's final four, and a chance to host the Eastern Conference Final are on the line today at Crew Stadium as the Columbus Crew takes on the Colorado Rapids in the second leg of their first-round MLS playoff series.

The Rapids posted a 1-0 victory against the Crew in the first leg, but Columbus has the home edge tonight and needs to win by multiple goals to win the series, or a one-goal victory to force overtime and potentially penalties.

Mexico shocks USA women in World Cup qualifying

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While changes to CONCACAF's World Cup Qualifying format could keep the United States from facing Mexico on the men's side, the rivalry has reached a new level in the women's game.

Mexico pulled off arguably the biggest upset in women's soccer history on Friday night, recording a 2-1 victory against the United States that clinched a place in the 2011 Women's World Cup.

Friday college roundup: Butler drawn, Maryland rolls and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

It's a good thing for the country's top teams that Cleveland State probably won't be headed to the NCAA tournament this season.

A week after handing then No. 1 Akron its first loss of the season, the Vikings held No. 6 Butler to a scoreless draw in front of a scant 138 fans in Indianapolis.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Clint Dempsey will look to build on his two-goal performance from last week against a familiar face who won't make finding another goal easy.

Dempsey and Fulham take on Brad Friedel and Aston Villa in a battle of mid-table Premier League clubs. Both teams are on 12 points coming into the match.

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

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Call it Derby Weekend, with arch-rivals facing off in leagues all over the world.

Roma takes on Lazio, Real Madrid faces Atletico Madrid and FC Porto battles nemesis Benfica in just a few of the juicy match-ups on the schedule this weekend.

You know it's a loaded weekend when Liverpool-Chelsea doesn't get top billing.

SBI Stoppage Time: Previewing the weekend's MLS playoff action

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SBI Stoppage Time- A Look at Second Leg of Conference Semis from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


College soccer weekend preview

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

The first automatic ticket to the NCAA tournament could be punched on Saturday when No. 13 Pennsylvania travels to No. 16 Princeton in a matchup of 5-0-0 Ivy League records. Since the Ivy League does not hold a conference tournament, the regular season champion receives the conference automatic bid.

MLS Playoffs: A Look Ahead to Real Salt Lake-FC Dallas

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By TRAVIS CLARK

For FC Dallas, a tie is all that is needed to knock out the defending champions.

Thanks to Eric Avila's dramatic game-winner in the closing minutes of the first leg of the Western Conference semifinal, FCD carries a slim, 2-1 lead into Saturday night's second leg at Rio Tinto Stadium.

MLS Playoffs: A Look Ahead to Crew-Rapids

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By AVI CREDITOR

The Colorado Rapids and Columbus Crew each should have mixed emotions heading into Saturday's Eastern Conference semifinal second leg (4 p.m., Telefutura).

For the Rapids, they were the far better team in the opening leg, creating chances, exploiting space and getting top-notch play out of Conor Casey and Omar Cummings and stellar midfield performances on both sides of the ball from Pablo Mastroeni, Brian Mullan and Jeff Larentowicz.

Mid-day Ticker: Rooney heads to Oregon, Tevez returns to Manchester and more

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By TRAVIS CLARK

Wayne Rooney is coming to America.

The Manchester United striker, in the midst of long recovery from an ankle injury and earning criticism for recent actions at the Premier League club, will head to the United States to continue his rehab from a nagging ankle injury.

SBI MLS Spotlight: Chris Wondolowski

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SBI MLS Spotlight: Chris Wondolowski from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


Fantasy Premier League: Matchweek 11

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By AVI CREDITOR

Gareth Bale is getting awfully close to Cliff Lee/Chuck Norris territory.

After overwhelming Maicon, of all defenders, to put forth a second straight stellar performance against Inter Milan, Bale's stock is at its highest. His fantasy value?

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Fresh off a two-goal performance, Clint Dempsey will look to add to his season tally as Fulham attempts to win its third game of the season.Â

There's only one problem, though. He'll be facing typically-solid Brad Friedel and Aston Villa.

Olave named MLS Defender of the Year

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Real Salt Lake's amazing defensive record this season figured to earn the club some post-season accolades and the first of those came on Friday, with Jamison Olave being named MLS Defender of the Year.

Olave anchored an RSL defense that allowed an MLS record-low 20 goals this season and posted 14 shutouts.

SBI Stoppage Time: Recapping San Jose's win vs. New York

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SBI Stoppage Time: Earthquakes v. Red Bulls Wrap from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


Convey stars as Earthquakes eliminate Red Bulls

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

The San Jose Earthquakes weren't given much of a chance when they took the field against the New York Red Bulls on Thursday night, but they knew they could pull the upset if the executed their game plan. And the New York Red Bulls? They knew they could put away this Eastern Conference playoff series if they finished the chances they were bound to create.

MLS Playoffs: Red Bulls vs. Earthquakes: Match Night Commentary

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The New York Red Bulls will look to move a step closer to the Eastern Conference final tonight with a win or tie against the San Jose Earthquakes in the second leg of their MLS playoff series at Red Bull Arena (8pm, ESPN2).

The Earthquakes need a win tonight after dropping the first leg, 1-0, at Buck Shaw Stadium.

MLS Playoffs: A Look Ahead to Galaxy-Sounders

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Photo by Richard McEnery/ISIphotos.com

By JOSE M. ROMERO

Thanks to a surprise goal from Edson Buddle, the Los Angeles Galaxy own the upper hand ahead of Sunday's Major League Soccer Western Conference semifinal second leg with the Seattle Sounders.

SBI's MLS MVP: Chris Wondolowski

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Now that's an underdog story.

From Houston Dynamo afterthought to Golden Boot winner, the San Jose Earthquakes' Chris Wondolowski emerged as the unlikeliest success story this season, scoring a league-best 18 goals en route to capturing SBI's Most Valuable Player award.

Wondolowski, who has scored San Jose's last 10 goals, earned four of a possible six first-place votes on SBI ballots (including mine) to outlast FC Dallas' David Ferreira, who received the two other first-place votes, and Los Angeles' Edson Buddle.

College Spotlight: South Florida's Jeff Attinella

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Photo courtesy of USF media relations

By JOHN BOSCHINI

Some people think University of South Florida goalkeeper Jeff Attinella's competitiveness is a bad thing. He disagrees.

"I'm just a very intense person," Attinella said. "I always want to win.

UEFA Europa League: Your Running Commentary

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Several teams can clinch places in the UEFA Europa League knockout stage as group play resumes on Thursday.

Manchester City, Sporting Lisbon, CSKA Moscow, Stuttgart, Porto, Paris-St. Germain and Zenit St. Petersburg all will be assured places in the final 32 with victories in their respective matches.

MLS Playoffs: A Look Ahead to Earthquakes-Red Bulls

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By ADAM SERRANO

A one-goal deficit may not seem like much, but at Red Bull Arena, the San Jose Earthquakes have a mountain to climb.Â

After falling at home to the New York Red Bulls, 1-0 on a Joel Lindpere goal, the Earthquakes need a two-goal victory if they are to advance to the Conference Final.

Mid-Day Ticker: USA-Argentina friendly, England's bid in trouble and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

Reports out of South America suggest that the United States could be hosting Argentina in a men's soccer friendly in Seattle this coming March.

According to the report, the prospective date of the match would be March 26, which falls during a FIFA International Break (March 26-30, 2011).

SBI's MLS Newcomer of the Year: Alvaro Saborio

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There were some worthy candidates for the 2010 MLS Newcomer of the Year award, but it was tough to bet against the leading scorer on one of the best teams in the league.

Alvaro Saborio made a smooth transition to Real Salt Lake, providing an instant scoring threat and making RSL fans forget about the departure of Yura Movsisyan.

College round-up: Maryland rolls, Irvine upset and Big East recap

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

After a weekend full of upsets and odd results, college soccer regained some normalcy in mid-week while the Big East tournament got underway.

No. 3 Maryland continued its unstoppable run of form with a dominating 3-0 victory over No. 13 William & Mary.

UCL Rewind: Madrid ties Milan, Arsenal falls to Shakhtar and more

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

When Filippo Inzaghi took AC Milan from 1-0 down to a 2-1 lead over Real Madrid in just 10 minutes, it looked like the hosts were destined to claim all three points. A 92nd-minute goal from Pedro Leon changed all that, salvaging a point for Madrid.

Goodson signs with Brondby IF

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Clarence Goodson's time with IK Start will come to a close this weekend after the club's season finale as he has signed a deal to join Brondby IF.

Goodson agreed to a three-year deal with Brondby on Tuesday, and will join the Danish club on a free transfer in January when it prepares for the spring season.

SBI's MLS Defender of the Year: Jamison Olave

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Real Salt Lake fielded the stingiest defense in Major League Soccer and the anchor of that defense was Colombian centerback Jamison Olave. The imposing defender put together the best season of his three-year MLS career, a season that helped him earn SBI MLS Defender of the Year honors.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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The Special One's return to Italy is the marquee matchup of Wednesday's UEFA Champions League group stage action.

Milan welcomes back Jose Mourinho to the San Siro, though he'll lead Real Madrid against AC Milan. Arsenal and Chelsea will also look to seal passage through to the knockout stages as well.

Rodriguez, Pearce to miss second leg against Real Salt Lake

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As FC Dallas looks to hang on to a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference Semifinals, they'll have to achieve a result at Rio Tinto without the services of Heath Pearce and Milton Rodriguez.

According to 3rd Degree, neither Pearce or Rodriguez traveled with the team to Salt Lake City. Pearce injured his hamstring prior to last weekend's first leg, and didn't make the 18 in FCD's 2-1 win.

Backe: Henry will be available for Earthquakes match

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Thierry Henry just might be ready to make his MLS playoff debut.

New York Red Bulls manager Hans Backe told a team official that Henry is available for selection for the second leg of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal against the Earthquakes. Henry has missed the first leg in San Jose with a knee injury that also kept him out of the last two regular season games.

Mid-day Ticker: Klinsmann officially joins Toronto FC as consultant, Le Toux wins fair play and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By TRAVIS CLARK

Jurgen Klinsmann is now the man to help reorganize Toronto FC. The former German international was officially hired as a consultant to help the club through the hiring process of a coach and general manager.

SBI's MLS Coach of the Year: Schellas Hyndman

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There were several worthy candidates for the 2010 MLS Coach of the Year award, but it is hard to argue with the job Schellas Hyndman did turning FC Dallas into one of the strongest and most consistent teams in the league.

Dallas went from missing the playoffs in 2009 to posting a 19-match unbeaten streak and posting the fourth-best record in MLS in 2010, an accomplishment that earned Hyndman SBI's MLS Coach of the Year award.

Big East Tournament Preview

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

One of college soccer's premier conferences gets set to crown a champion as the Big East Tournament kicks off tonight.

First-round action will consist of the bottom eight seeds facing each other with the higher seed receiving home field advantage.

Najar named MLS Rookie of the Year

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D.C. United midfielder Andy Najar has been named the 2010 MLS Rookie of the Year. Najar beat out New York Red Bulls defender Tim Ream and Philadelphia Union striker Danny Mwanga for the honors.

Najar flourished as the best player on a terrible D.C. United squad, showing impressive attacking qualities and finishing the season with five goals and one assist.

Ricketts named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

Los Angeles Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts was named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year on Wednesday morning, beating out Real Salt Lake's Nick Rimando and FC Dallas' Kevin Hartman.

What do you think of this selection? Who got your vote?

Share your thoughts below.

UCL Rewind: Bale dazzles in Spurs win, Copenhagen holds Barca and more

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

He didn't get on the score sheet this time, but Gareth Bale was once again the best player on the pitch for Tottenham Hotspur against Inter Milan, assisting on goals from Peter Crouch and Roman Pavlyuchenko and giving Maicon fits all night.

Rafael Van Der Vaart opened the scoring in the 18th minute and Samuel Eto'o added to his competition-leading goals total to spoil the shutout as Spurs earned an impressive 3-1 win over Inter in group A.

SBI's MLS Rookie of the Year: Tim Ream

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

In a year when the MLS rookie class was arguably one of the strongest in league history, no rookie enjoyed as impressive a first professional season as Tim Ream.

The New York Red Bulls central defender didn't just impress enough to earn a starting role from day one, he established himself as the best defender on a Red Bulls team that wound up finishing first in the Eastern Conference.

SBI's MLS Goalkeeper of the Year: Nick Rimando

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Real Salt Lake boasted the stingiest defense in MLS this year, and while centerbacks Jamison Olave and Nat Borchers played key roles in RSL allowing the fewest goals in MLS, goalkeeper Nick Rimando was arguably the most important factor in the defending MLS champions strong defensive showing in 2010.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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The UEFA Champions League group stage resumes today with some of the tournament's top teams seeking to secure passage to the Round of 16.

Inter Milan and Barcelona are in action today, as is Manchester United. Maurice Edu's Rangers take on Valencia.Â

Here is today's schedule:

1:30pm- DirecTV/FoxSoccer.

Mid-Day Ticker: Batista claims Argentina job, USWNT wins its group and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

Sergio Batista has apparently proven his worth.

Named the interim coach after Diego Maradona's firing in the aftermath of the World Cup, Batista is set to shed that interim label and become the permanent coach for the Argentina national team.

College Top 25: Louisville takes top spot, Irish debut and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

For the first time this season, a new team tops the college soccer top 25.

Following its shocking upset against Cleveland State, Akron has fallen to No. 2 behind still-undefeated Louisville, who receieved 16 of a possible 23 first-place votes.

SBI Live Q&A (Nov. 2nd Edition)

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Good afternoon everybody. It's that time again. Time for you to send me your soccer-related questions and time for me to answer as many of them as I can.

Want to talk MLS playoffs? UEFA Champions League? Taylor Twellman's impending retirement? We can talk anything soccer-related you'd like.

Twellman set to announce retirement

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

New England Revolution striker Taylor Twellman has scheduled a press conference for Tuesday at 1:30pm where he will announce his retirement.

Twellman has struggled with brain injuries that have forced him to miss the entire 2010 season, injuries that will cut short one of the best careers of any forward in MLS history.

SBI's 2010 MLS Awards to be announced this week

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With the 2010 MLS regular season complete, it is time for us to announce or choices for the season-ending awards.

SBI will be selecting its MLS Best XI, as well as picks for MLS MVP, Newcomer of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year, Defender of the Year and Goalkeeper of the Year.

Inter, Barcelona poised to advance as UEFA Champions League resumes

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Inter Milan and FC Barcelona, the past two winners of the UEFA Champions League, can clinch their places in the knockout round of the tournament with wins in today's group stage action.

Inter faces Tottenham at White Hart Lane in a rematch of the dramatic 4-3 Inter win on Oct. 20 while Barcelona must win in Copenhagen to secure passage to the knockout rounds.

RSL to face Columbus in CCL quarters, MLS avoids Mexican clubs until final

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Real Salt Lake and the Columbus Crew will face off in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, and while that draw might seem unfair to MLS, the rest of the tournament's quarterfinal draw was actually very promising for the MLS sides.

All four Mexican teams left in the draw were placed on the same side of the bracket, meaning the winner of the RSL-Columbus quarterfinal will take on the winner of the CD Olimpia-Deportivo Saprissa quarterfinal in the semis.

Galaxy confident, Sounders hopeful after first leg

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

The Los Angeles Galaxy's 1-0 victory at Qwest Field against the Seattle Sounders have set the Galaxy up for a comfortable second leg at Home Depot Center.

As for whether the win sent a message to the rest of the playoff field that Los Angeles is ready to lift MLS Cup?

Mid-day Ticker: Wilshere signs new Arsenal deal, Timbers let eight players go and more

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By TRAVIS CLARK

English starlet Jack Wilshere has been rewarded for a promising start to the 2010-11 Premier League season, signing a new long term deal with Arsenal on Monday.

The 18-year-old, who has started eight times in the Premier League this season, has been at the club since he was nine years old, and has matured into a fixture with the second-place team in the English Premier League.

SBI Live Q&A set for Noon on Tuesday

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Good afternoon folks. I'm back from my European vacation and am ready to get back in the swing of things with an SBI Live Q&A on Tuesday.

We'll have a live Q&A on Tuesday at Noon so get your soccer-related questions read to send my way and I will try to answer as many of them as I can before the UEFA Champions League kicks off later in the day.

Islanders claim improbable USSF D-2 title

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

In the end, the 2-0 first leg lead proved to be plenty for the Puerto Rico Islanders, the 2010 champions of the USSF Second Division. The Carolina Railhawks didn't have enough to overturn the deficit, only mustering a 1-1 tie in Cary, NC.

It only took eight minutes for Puerto Rico to pad their lead in Saturday's second leg, as Sandy Gbandi scored to increase the Islanders lead and essentially clinch the two-legged series.

College weekend roundup: Akron upset, Penn wins Ivy League clash and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Cleveland State's shocking defeat of top-ranked Akron highlighted a weekend full of upsets as nine schools lost or were drawn by lower-ranked opposition.

Cleveland State toppled the formerly indomitable Zips with a wild six minutes late in the second half for a 2-1 upset.

Must-See Goal: Eric Avila

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Eric Avila scored the most important goal of his young career on Saturday, blasting a long-range winner to lift FC Dallas to a 2-1 victory against Real Salt Lake. The goal broke a dead-lock in a fiercely-contested battle and gives the Hoops a good chance of knocking off the defending champions in a series that returns to Rio Tinto Stadium next week.

European Weekend Rewind: Dortmund goes top, Lazio extends its lead and more

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

It was a weekend of new leaders and extended leads in Europe's top five leagues, as new leaders emerged in Germany and France, England, Italy and Spain saw consolidation of power at the tops of their tables.

Real Madrid are still undefeated at the top of La Liga, one point ahead of rivals Barcelona.

Must-See Goal: Edson Buddle

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Call it lucky or brilliant, but you have to call Edson Buddle's goal a thing of beauty and a vital strike in the Los Angeles Galaxy's playoff series against Seattle.

If you haven't seen it yet, or want to see it again, here it is:

What did you think of the goal?