Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2010

MLS Cup 2010 is headed to Toronto

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The news broke last week, but Don Garber made it official this morning, announcing Toronto as the host city for the 2010 MLS Cup Final in November.

We had already mentioned it this morning, but we wanted to post about it again so we could show off the MLS Cup 2010 logo.

Our thoughts on Toronto?

Szetela set to begin trial with Philadelphia

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A week after being released by D.C. United, Danny Szetela has found a team interested in giving him a look, and he might end up not waiting long to face his former club.

According to sources close to Szetela, the Philadelphia Union are bringing in the former U.S. youth national team star for a trial for the remainder of this week and next week, a stint that will come ahead of the Union's home opener at Lincoln Financial Field against D.

UEFA Champions League: Matchday Commentary

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Manchester United takes on Bayern Munich today (2:45pm, FSE/FSN) while French rivals Lyon and Bordeaux clash (2:45pm, FSC)Â in today's two UEFA Champion League quarterfinal first-leg matches.

Wayne Rooney is back in the fold after missing Manchester United's league match at the weekend, so the defending English champions will be at full strength when they take on a Bayern Munich team that will be without Arjen Robben or Bastian Schweinsteiger.

SBI Live Q&A is set for Wednesday at Noon

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If you are wondering when the next SBI Live Q&A is, wonder no more.

I will be hosting the next SBI Live Q&A on Wednesday at noon, so be sure to check in to SBI to submit your questions. I will be answering select questions live from Noon until 1pm (although I have been known to run Live Q&A's past the two-hour mark).

A look back at the Tevez hat-trick

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Carlos Tevez is on fire.

Just when you thought Lionel Messi was the only Argentine scoring for fun in Europe, Tevez has begun to sizzle and his recent goal-scoring exploits have helped Manchester City make a serious push for a Champions League place.

He scored a hat-trick on Monday vs.

Algerians/Slovenians Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Slovenia may be a small country of only two million people, but the Slovenians Abroad represented in a big way this weekend with three different goal scorers.

Nejc Pecknik's contributions were the most notable as the midfielder added an assist to his goal in a 2-1 comeback victory for Nacional de Madeira over Vitoria Setubal.

Tuesday Kickoff: Champions Leagues resume, Americans Abroad and more

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The UEFA Champions League quarterfinals kick off today, with Manchester United facing Bayern Munich (2:45pm, Fox Sports Espanol/FSN) and Lyon taking on Bordeaux (2:45pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

Manchester United will be looking to make its third straight Champions League final, but will need to hold off a dangerous Bayern side to do so.

Copa Libertadores: Recapping the Group Stage

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By NESTOR F. SEBASTIAN

With four rounds gone for most teams and several already eliminated, it's time to assess and provide a brief synopsis on which squads look good enough to go deep into the Copa Libertadores pool, which teams will have a tough time making noise in the subsequent round and which teams will crash and burn.

SBI Live Q&A is set for Wednesday at Noon

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If you are wondering when the next SBI Live Q&A is, wonder no more.

I will be hosting the next SBI Live Q&A on Wednesday at noon, so be sure to check in to SBI to submit your questions. I will be answering select questions live from Noon until 1pm (although I have been known to run Live Q&A's past the two-hour mark).

Copa Libertadores: Recapping the Group Stage

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By NESTOR F. SEBASTIAN

With four rounds gone for most teams and several already eliminated, it's time to assess and provide a brief synopsis on which squads look good enough to go deep into the Copa Libertadores pool, which teams will have a tough time making noise in the subsequent round and which teams will crash and burn.

Tuesday Kickoff: Champions Leagues resume, Americans Abroad and more

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The UEFA Champions League quarterfinals kick off today, with Manchester United facing Bayern Munich (2:45pm, Fox Sports Espanol/FSN) and Lyon taking on Bordeaux (2:45pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

Manchester United will be looking to make its third straight Champions League final, but will need to hold off a dangerous Bayern side to do so.

Algerians/Slovenians Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Slovenia may be a small country of only two million people, but the Slovenians Abroad represented in a big way this weekend with three different goal scorers.

Nejc Pecknik's contributions were the most notable as the midfielder added an assist to his goal in a 2-1 comeback victory for Nacional de Madeira over Vitoria Setubal.

SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 1)

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The defending MLS Cup champions got their title defense off in dramatic fashion as Real Salt Lake cruised past San Jose in Week 1 of MLS action.

Led by MLS Player of the Week front-runner Javier Morales, Real Salt Lake scored the rare road win, perhaps a sign that last fall's championship has, in fact, changed something about a team that used to dread road games like the plague.

SBI Video Corner: Post-Game Reactions from Red Bulls win vs. Chicago

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SBI MLS Fantasy League Update

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For those of you wondering what is going on with the SBI Fantasy MLS League at MFLS.com, the site is sorting out some issues caused by a change in the statistical feed previously provided by Major League Soccer. Once that is resolved, fantasy scores should be updated.

The SBI Fantasy MLS League boasts more than 500 owners and there is still room for more, so if you want to join just send us an email at SBIFantasySoccer@gmail.

MLS Team of the Week: Kansas City Wizards

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While Peter Vermes took over as interim head coach of the Kansas City Wizards last season, the Vermes era in KC didn't officially begin until Saturday when he and the Wizards faced off against former KC head coach Curt Onalfo and D.C. United.

The Wizards throttled D.C. United, 4-0, in what was the weekend's most impressive performance, and a game that should set a great tone for what the revamped Wizards will be able to do this week.

SBI MLS Player of the Week & Best XI (Week 1)

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

In a weekend with plenty of standout performances, there was none better than that of Javier Morales, who scored a pair of stunning goals and set up a third in Real Salt Lake's season-opening 3-0 win vs.

Red-hot Gomez is on Bradley's radar (UPDATED)

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There isn't a more in-form American striker in the world right now than Herculez Gomez, something that hasn't gone unnoticed by U.S. national team head coach Bob Bradley.

Gomez told his club's website that he has had contact with Bradley during his recent goal-scoring binge (seven goals in 12 matches), and he acknowledged that he just keep scoring and playing more to have any realistic chance of playing in this summer's World Cup.

Report: Manchester United set for North American summer tour (including MLS All-Star Game)

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Manchester United is coming back to the United States this summer in what could be an unforgettable tour for American (and Canadian) soccer fans.

The Sports Business Journal is reporting that Manchester United is working on a summer tour of North American that would include visits to Boston, Philadelphia, Toronto and Houston for the 2010 MLS All-Star Game.

Afternoon Ticker: Rooney and Ferdinand fit, Feilhaber return looming and more

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By FRANCO PANIZOÂ

Some of Manchester United's fears heading into the club's Champions League quarterfinals match against Bayern Munich were eased on Monday, as Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney were deemed fit enough to play.

Rooney and Ferdinand missed United's 4-0 dismantling of Bolton Wanderers over the weekend with a bruised foot and groin injury, respectively, but the English duo made the trip to Germany on Monday morning.

Chivas USA 0, Rapids 1 (A Look back)

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

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By ADAM SERRANO

CARSON,CALIF -- The Martin Vasquez era began on Friday night, but not with the bang that was expected from the new coach as Chivas USA fell 1-0 at Home Depot Center - their first opening day loss since 2005.

Chivas USA 0, Rapids 1 (A Look back)

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

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By ADAM SERRANO

CARSON,CALIF -- The Martin Vasquez era began on Friday night, but not with the bang that was expected from the new coach as Chivas USA fell 1-0 at Home Depot Center - their first opening day loss since 2005.

Afternoon Ticker: Rooney and Ferdinand fit, Feilhaber return looming and more

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By FRANCO PANIZOÂ

Some of Manchester United's fears heading into the club's Champions League quarterfinals match against Bayern Munich were eased on Monday, as Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney were deemed fit enough to play.

Rooney and Ferdinand missed United's 4-0 dismantling of Bolton Wanderers over the weekend with a bruised foot and groin injury, respectively, but the English duo made the trip to Germany on Monday morning.

Red-hot Gomez has had contact with Bradley

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There isn't a more in-form American striker in the world right now than Herculez Gomez, something that hasn't gone unnoticed by U.S. national team head coach Bob Bradley.

Gomez told his club's website that he has had contact with Bradley during his recent goal-scoring binge (seven goals in 12 matches), and he acknowledged that he just keep scoring and playing more to have any realistic chance of playing in this summer's World Cup.

Report: Manchester United set for North American summer tour (including MLS All-Star Game)

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Manchester United is coming back to the United States this summer in what could be an unforgettable tour for American (and Canadian) soccer fans.

The Sports Business Journal is reporting that Manchester United is working on a summer tour of North American that would include visits to Boston, Philadelphia, Toronto and Houston for the 2010 MLS All-Star Game.

SBI MLS Player of the Week & Best XI (Week 1)

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

In a weekend with plenty of standout performances, there was none better than that of Javier Morales, who scored a pair of stunning goals and set up a third in Real Salt Lake's season-opening 3-0 win vs.

SBI MLS Fantasy League Update

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For those of you wondering what is going on with the SBI Fantasy MLS League at MFLS.com, the site is sorting out some issues caused by a change in the statistical feed previously provided by Major League Soccer. Once that is resolved, fantasy scores should be updated.

The SBI Fantasy MLS League boasts more than 500 owners and there is still room for more, so if you want to join just send us an email at SBIFantasySoccer@gmail.

MLS Team of the Week: Kansas City Wizards

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While Peter Vermes took over as interim head coach of the Kansas City Wizards last season, the Vermes era in KC didn't officially begin until Saturday when he and the Wizards faced off against former KC head coach Curt Onalfo and D.C. United.

The Wizards throttled D.C. United, 4-0, in what was the weekend's most impressive performance, and a game that should set a great tone for what the revamped Wizards will be able to do this week.

SBI Video Corner: Post-Game Reactions from Red Bulls win vs. Chicago

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SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 1)

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The defending MLS Cup champions got their title defense off in dramatic fashion as Real Salt Lake cruised past San Jose in Week 1 of MLS action.

Led by MLS Player of the Week front-runner Javier Morales, Real Salt Lake scored the rare road win, perhaps a sign that last fall's championship has, in fact, changed something about a team that used to dread road games like the plague.

Galaxy defeats Revs, 1-0

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Edson Buddle's goal in the 5th minute was the difference as the LA Galaxy dominated the New England Revolution to win their home opener, 1-0, on Saturday night.

The LA Galaxy struck early as Landon Donovan fired a beautiful cross in from the left sideline that found the head of Buddle. The forward was able to muscle past Pat Phelan and head the ball past goalkeeper Preston Burpo.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Real Madrid takes on Atletico Madrid today in the marquee match-up of the day on this Soccer Sunday.

Real Madrid is looking to stay ahead of FC Barcelona in the race at the top of the Spanish First Division so a win against their city rival is vital, but Atletico isn't likely to make things easy.

European Ticker: Iniesta injured, Zola considers resigning and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

If Barcelona is to win the first leg of its Champions League quarterfinal series against Arsenal, it will have to do so without Andres Iniesta.

Iniesta suffered a hamstring injury in Barcelona's 1-0 win against Mallorca on Saturday, and tests have revealed that he will miss up to ten days.

Defense Key to Victory for Red Bulls

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By MIKE NASTRI

A team that finishes dead last in Major League Soccer obviously has some glaring holes on both sides of the ball. The Red Bulls gave up 47 goals in just 30 games in 2009. But, in the first game of the 2010 Red Bull campaign, the team showed there is some improvement on the defensive line.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

On most weekends it is the veteran Americans Abroad who enjoy the bulk of the success, but some of this weekend's better performances came from the younger contingent.

Leading the way was Jozy Altidore, who handed Hull City a huge boost in its fight to stay in the Premier League by drawing a penalty kick 16 minutes into its match against Fulham.

Buddle, Galaxy look to build on opening win

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Photo by ISIphotos.com


BY ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, CALIF- The Galaxy started off their season on the right foot with a convincing 1-0 victory over the New England Revolution on Saturday, but Bruce Arena's men will still feel as if they can improve going forward into the new season.

Buddle, Galaxy look to build on opening win

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Photo by ISIphotos.com


BY ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, CALIF- The Galaxy started off their season on the right foot with a convincing 1-0 victory over the New England Revolution on Saturday, but Bruce Arena's men will still feel as if they can improve going forward into the new season.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

On most weekends it is the veteran Americans Abroad who enjoy the most success, but some of this weekend's better performances came from the younger contingent.

Leading the way was Jozy Altidore, who handed Hull City a huge boost in its fight to stay in the Premier League by drawing a penalty kick 16 minutes into its match against Fulham.

Defense Key to Victory for Red Bulls

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By MIKE NASTRI

A team that finishes dead last in Major League Soccer obviously has some glaring holes on both sides of the ball. The Red Bulls gave up 47 goals in just 30 games in 2009. But, in the first game of the 2010 Red Bull campaign, the team showed there is some improvement on the defensive line.

European Ticker: Iniesta injured, Zola considers resigning and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

If Barcelona is to win the first leg of its Champions League quarterfinal series against Arsenal, it will have to do so without Andres Iniesta.

Iniesta suffered a hamstring injury in Barcelona's 1-0 win against Mallorca on Saturday, and tests have revealed that he will miss up to ten days.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Real Madrid takes on Atletico Madrid today in the marquee match-up of the day on this Soccer Sunday.

Real Madrid is looking to stay ahead of FC Barcelona in the race at the top of the Spanish First Division so a win against their city rival is vital, but Atletico isn't likely to make things easy.

Galaxy defeats Revs, 1-0

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Edson Buddle's goal in the 5th minute was the difference as the LA Galaxy dominated the New England Revolution to win their home opener, 1-0, on Saturday night.

The LA Galaxy struck early as Landon Donovan fired a beautiful cross in from the left sideline that found the head of Buddle. The forward was able to muscle past Pat Phelan and head the ball past goalkeeper Preston Burpo.

SBI MLS Team Previews: Real Salt Lake

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By TRAVIS CLARK

The defending champions are out to prove that last season was no fluke. Real Salt Lake earned a bit of notoriety by winning the MLS Cup after posting a losing record in the regular season.

After an offseason of minimal change, there's reason to be optimistic about a side that returns almost every starter from a championship winning side.

SBI Team Previews: San Jose Earthquakes

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BY ADAM SERRANO

After failing to be competitive for the second straight year, change is the name of the game for Frank Yallop's San Jose Earthquakes.

The roster that finished at the bottom of the Western Conference has seen changes across the field from the inclusions of midfielder Javier Robles, forward Eduardo and winger Joey Gjertsen.

Sounders 2, Union 0: A Look Back

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The Seattle Sounders got the 2010 MLS season off to a grand start on Thursday evening with a masterful performance in a 2-0 victory against the Philadelphia Union, and while the victory wasn't a surprising result, the match helped provide some early evidence of just what types of seasons each team may be in store for.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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Real Madrid is locked in a fierce battle for first place in the Spanish Primera with FC Barcelona, and to hold onto that first-place spot Real will need to knock off arch-rival Atletic Madrid this weekend.

The Madrid Clasico is just one of several marquee battles, including several table-topping clashes, on the TV schedule this weekend.

MLS Match Week 1: A Look Ahead

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Season 15 of Major League Soccer is ready to get into full swing this weekend with seven matches on the schedule, including a couple of top rivalries.

Texas rivals Houston and FC Dallas square off, while Eastern Conference foes New York and Chicago meet in Red Bull Arena's MLS debut.

Chivas USA vs. Colorado Rapids: Your Running Commentary

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Martin Vasquez makes his head coaching debut for Chivas USA tonight as the Rojiblancos take on Conor Casey and the Colorado Rapids in a season-opening Western Conference clash.

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

Rapids down Chivas USA, 1-0

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Omar Cummings scored a second-half goal and Colorado's defense made the score stand up as the Rapids posted a 1-0 victory against Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center on Friday night.

After a scoreless first half, Cummings scored on a beautiful turn and shot from 17 yards out in the 55th minute.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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The combination of title races heating up in Europe and the return of Major League Soccer make Saturday the perfect storm for soccer fan TV viewing.

Nearly every top league in Europe features a marquee match-up being played today, from Chelsea-Aston Villa to AS Roma-Inter Milan, Bayer Leverkusen-Schalke 04 to Benfica-Braga.

Cherundolo scores free kick goal in Hannover defeat

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Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 suffered their latest lopsided loss at the hands of FC Cologne on Saturday, and although the team remains in the relegation zone, Cherundolo did enjoy some individual success in the match.

Cherundolo made his first start since being sidelined by a shoulder injury back in late January, and netted Hannover's lone goal off a free kick from 23 yards out in the club's 4-1 loss.

New York Red Bulls vs. Chicago Fire: Match Night Commentary

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Red Bull Arena's first MLS match will be played tonight against arch-rival Chicago Fire in the MLS season opener for both teams.

Both teams come in with first-year coaches making their MLS debuts, but the clubs arrive with different expectations. The Fire came within a penalty kick shootout of playing in the MLS Cup final, while the Red Bulls look to erase the memories of the worst season in MLS last year.

New York Red Bulls vs. Chicago Fire: Match Night Commentary

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Red Bull Arena's first MLS match will be played tonight against arch-rival Chicago Fire in the MLS season opener for both teams.

Both teams come in with first-year coaches making their MLS debuts, but the clubs arrive with different expectations. The Fire came within a penalty kick shootout of playing in the MLS Cup final, while the Red Bulls look to erase the memories of the worst season in MLS last year.

Cherundolo scores free kick goal in Hannover defeat

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Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 suffered their latest lopsided loss at the hands of FC Cologne on Saturday, and although the team remains in the relegation zone, Cherundolo did enjoy some individual success in the match.

Cherundolo made his first start since being sidelined by a shoulder injury back in late January, and netted Hannover's lone goal off a free kick from 20 yards out in the club's 4-1 loss.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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The combination of title races heating up in Europe and the return of Major League Soccer make Saturday the perfect storm for soccer fan TV viewing.

Nearly every top league in Europe features a marquee match-up being played today, from Chelsea-Aston Villa to AS Roma-Inter Milan, Bayer Leverkusen-Schalke 04 to Benfica-Braga.

Rapids down Chivas USA, 1-0

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Omar Cummings scored a second-half goal and Colorado's defense made the score stand up as the Rapids posted a 1-0 victory against Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center on Friday night.

After a scoreless first half, Cummings scored on a beautiful turn and shot from 17 yards out in the 55th minute.

Chivas USA vs. Colorado Rapids: Your Running Commentary

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Martin Vasquez makes his head coaching debut for Chivas USA tonight as the Rojiblancos take on Conor Casey and the Colorado Rapids in a season-opening Western Conference clash.

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

MLS Match Week 1: A Look Ahead

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Season 15 of Major League Soccer is ready to get into full swing this weekend with seven matches on the schedule, including a couple of top rivalries.

Texas rivals Houston and FC Dallas square off, while Eastern Conference foes New York and Chicago meet in Red Bull Arena's MLS debut.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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Real Madrid is locked in a fierce battle for first place in the Spanish Primera with FC Barcelona, and to hold onto that first-place spot Real will need to knock off arch-rival Atletic Madrid this weekend.

The Madrid Clasico is just one of several marquee battles, including several table-topping clashes, on the TV schedule this weekend.

Sounders 2, Union 0: A Look Back

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The Seattle Sounders got the 2010 MLS season off to a grand start on Thursday evening with a masterful performance in a 2-0 victory against the Philadelphia Union, and while the victory wasn't a surprising result, the match helped provide some early evidence of just what types of seasons each team may be in store for.

SBI Team Previews: San Jose Earthquakes

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BY ADAM SERRANO

After failing to be competitive for the second straight year, change is the name of the game for Frank Yallop's San Jose Earthquakes.

The roster that finished at the bottom of the Western Conference has seen changes across the field from the inclusions of midfielder Luis Robles, forward Eduardo and winger Joey Gjertsen.

SBI MLS Team Previews: Toronto FC

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By AVI CREDITOR

With BMO Field selected as the 2010 MLS Cup host, Toronto F.C. has a bit more motivation at reaching the promised land.

The only problem is, the team doesn't quite have the horses to get there.

Preki enters his first season as Toronto coach with a lot of work to do.

SBI MLS Team Previews: Real Salt Lake

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By TRAVIS CLARK

The defending champions are out to prove that last season was no fluke. Real Salt Lake earned a bit of notoriety by winning the MLS Cup after posting a losing record in the regular season.

After an offseason of minimal change, there's reason to be optimistic about a side that returns almost every starter from a championship winning side.

Fantasy Premier League: Matchweek 32

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By AVI CREDITOR

Things went pretty much as expected in a wild, high scoring Matchweek 31 (with the exception of the Aston Villa defense), and hopefully you were able to capitalize with a triple-digit-fantasy-point output.

The Premier League reverts back to normal this week with a slate of 10 matches.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Jay DeMerit and Watford have won just once in their last eight games, leaving the club in serious danger of being relegated, but the Hornets will hope to change that in their crucial game against Middlesbrough.

Watford is currently just three points above the Championship's drop zone, and could sorely use a win at home over Middlesbrough to boost its chances of avoiding relegation.

Red Bulls sign Juan Agudelo

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The New York Red Bulls have signed forward Juan Agudelo to a homegrown Generation adidas contract. Â Agudelo's New York-based agent, Ron Waxman, confirmed the deal to SBI on Thursday night.

A member of the U.S. Under-17 national team and product of the Red Bulls Youh Academy, Agudelo impressed during pre-season with the Red Bulls after a successful trial stint with Colombian club Millonarios.

Philadelphia Union vs. Seattle Sounders: Match Night Commentary

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Major League Soccer's 16th team will take the field for the first time tonight when the Philadelphia Union makes its debut in the MLS season opener vs. the Seattle Sounders (9:30pm, ESPN2).

The Sounders head into their second year looking to build on a very successful inaugural season, and are considered by many (including SBI) as an MLS Cup title contender.

SBI Pre-Season MLS Power Rankings

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The 2010 MLS season is nearly upon is, which means its time to look at how we see the teams stacking up.

The Columbus Crew has been the class of the league for the past two years, and that shouldn't change in 2010. What should change is Real Salt Lake's form in the regular season. With a title under its belt, RSL should have the confidence to start playing up to its ability on a consistent basis.

SBI MLS Team Preview: FC Dallas

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By TRAVIS CLARK

In 2009, FC Dallas' hot second half wasn't enough to offset a poor 3-7-5 start to the season.

The resurgence of Jeff Cunningham and the play of David Ferreira helped engineer the turnaround and this season Dallas will look to get started on the right foot.

Americans Abroad: Midweek Rewind

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photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Eddie Johnson and Freddy Adu could soon join Maurice Edu and DaMarcus Beasley as the first Americans to win hardware this season after Aris Salonika defeated Kavala in the Greek Cup semifinal on Thursday.

TFC deals Wynne to Dallas for LaBrocca

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Toronto FC figures to be making plenty of roster moves before the MLS transfer window closes, but one of its first major moves came Thursday, with the club shipping defender Marvell Wynne to Colorado for midfielder Nick LaBrocca and a third-round pick.

Wynne became expendable after the emergence of Nana Attakora, while Nick LaBrocca became surplus to requirements in Colorado after the arrival of Jeff Larentowicz.

Fantasy MLS: Week 1

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By AVI CREDITOR

With the Major League Soccer season thankfully getting started as scheduled, another Fantasy MLS campaign begins. Drafting your team is the most important step at ensuring fantasy success. Yes, making the right transfers can buoy your team to new heights, but the initial selection is crucial.

SBI Live Q&A

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Good afternoon everybody. The 15th season of Major League Soccer will kick off tonight with the Seattle Sounders playing host to the expansion Philadelphia Union. What better time is it to have a new SBI Live Q&A?

Submit your question in the CoverItLive template, and I will answer as many questions as I can for the next hour (or so).

SBI MLS Team Previews: Columbus Crew

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By TRAVIS CLARK

Fresh off the heels of a second consecutive Supporters' Shield, the pressure is on Columbus to stay at the top.

Nearly the entire established first XI from last year returns, with only Alejandro Moreno departing for Philadelphia via the expansion draft.

SBI Live Q&A set for 2pm Thursday

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 Attention SBI Readers: The newest SBI Live Q&A will take place today at 2pm so please feel free to check into SBI to take part. With the MLS season set to begin, today is a good day to field and answer some MLS-related questions before the new season kicks off.

Think of your questions and be sure to check back into SBI at 2pm so you can send them my way.

Morning Ticker: Barcelona wins again, Mexico draws Iceland and more

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By TRAVIS CLARK

For a club and player who had been scoring with ease the last three games, to go more than 70 minutes without a goal was rather unusual. That was the case for Lionel Messi and Barcelona Wednesday, unable to solve a well-organized Osasuna side for the majority of the match.

Thursday Kickoff: Philadelphia Union ready to take the field

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After years of waiting, Philadelphia-area soccer fans will finally see their MLS team be born tonight when the Philadelphia Union takes on the Seattle Sounders (9:30pm, ESPN2).

It could be a rough first season for the new team and first-year head coach Peter Nowak, but the passionate fanbase coupled with the soon-to-be-completed PPL Park should help the newest expansion team enjoy success, at least off the field.

Wednesday Rewind: One Bradley honored, one Bradley injured, and more

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Bob Bradley was named the National Coach of the Year by the U.S. Olympic Committee on Wednesday. The honor goes to the top coach among U.S. national team coaches in all sports.

Bradley earned the honor after guiding the U.S. men's national soccer team to a Confederations Cup Final, Gold Cup Final as well as first place in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.

SBI MLS Team Previews: Seattle Sounders

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By ADAM SERRANO

After a debut season that could only be labeled a smashing success, the Seattle Sounders hope that their sophomore season brings even more glory to the Pacific Northwest. To achieve that glory however, the Sounders will need to find the goals that eluded them in 2009.

SBI MLS Team Previews: Kansas City Wizards

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By AVI CREDITOR

Extreme Makeover: Kansas City Wizards edition.

No, it's not a new television series. It's what happened to the roster of the third-worst team in the league during the 2009 season.

Many of the team's stalwarts are still in place, but Kevin Hartman, Herculez Gomez and Claudio Lopez are not.

SBI MLS Team Previews: Chicago Fire

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By TRAVIS CLARK

Only the penalty-saving heroics of RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando came between Chicago and a coveted spot in last year's MLS Cup final.

In spite of the success, the Fire underwent a host of changes. Denis Hamlett was let go, Chris Rolfe and Gonzalo Segares took off for Europe, and Cuauhtemoc Blanco headed home to Mexico.

SBI Team Previews: Chivas USA

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By ADAM SERRANO

There's a new regime in town for Chivas USA and it brings a completely different style of play. After three straight first round playoff exits and an inability to score goals, former Chivas USA head coach Preki was removed from his duties for former Chivas USA assistant Martin Vasquez.

Report: Toronto to host 2010 MLS Cup

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Major League Soccer can start preparing for another MLS Cup final away from warm weather environs.

The Toronto Globe & Mail is reporting that the 2010 MLS Cup will be held in Toronto on Nov. 21.

Toronto was one of four markets to be in the running for MLS Cup, along with New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

SBI MLS Team Previews: Colorado Rapids

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By TRAVIS CLARK

For the Colorado Rapids, the task at hand is simple: qualify for the postseason. 2006 was the last time the club made the postseason, and coach Gary Smith would love nothing more than to end the drought.

Since taking over in 2008, Smith has now had enough time to shape the roster to his liking.

Who should get 20th MLS team?

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With Portland and Vancouver set to join MLS in 2011, and Montreal preparing to be announced as team 19, we are moving ever closer to that magic number of 20 MLS teams.

Our question to you this morning is a simple one. Which city do you think should be awarded the 20th MLS franchise?

SBI Fantasy MLS Season ready to kick off

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The 2010 MLS season is two days away, as is the start of the newest Fantasy MLS season.

With Major League Soccer doing away with its official fantasy game, SBI's Fantasy MLS League will be heading to a new home this season. Our league will be at http://mfls.com. To secure the password to join the SBI Fantasy MLS League, please send an email to SBIFantasySoccer@gmail.

SBI MLS Team Previews: Philadelphia Union

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By AVI CREDITOR

Major League Soccer's newest franchise will open the season Thursday night against the team to most recently hold that distinction. The temptation to compare the Union to Seattle Sounders F.C. during the season opener will be mighty, but unfair.

After Seattle's conquests in its expansion year, expectations will be high for this club to replicate that success.

Houston a step closer to stadium deal after agreement reached

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The city of Houston and Harrison County have agreed on a $20 million measure to play for infrastructure improvements to help the building of a Houston Dynamo stadium. The deal is contingent on the Dynamo agreeing to pay for a $60 million stadium.

The agreement could pave the way for a Houston soccer stadium in time for the 2012 MLS season.

MLS announces details of CBA

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Major League Soccer announced the key details of the Collective Bargaining Agreement it signed with the MLS Player's Union on Saturday.

Here are some of the key elements:

The MLS salary cap will increase from $2.315 million to $2.55 million and will increase by %5 each season thereafter.

Mid-Day Ticker: Ivory Coast settles on Sven, Ribery gets fit and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

After failing to lure Guus Hiddink into a two-month coaching stint, the Ivory Coast has settled on Sven-Goran Eriksson to guide its squad in this summer's World Cup.

Eriksson, the former Mexico and England manager, replaces Vahid Halihodzic, who was let go after the Ivory Coast's disappointing result in the African Cup of Nations.

SBI MLS Team Previews: New England Revolution

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By AVI CREDITOR

This is not your older brother's New England Revolution.

It'll be a bit odd to see the Revolution line up without Jay Heaps and Steve Ralston in the mix, but that's what the team is in for after an active, roster-altering offseason that had two of the team's most recognizable faces exit Foxborough.

A look back at Messi's latest masterpiece

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In the wake of the recently signed MLS labor deal, and in the midst of our series of MLS team previews, we actually missed out on bringing you Lionel Messi's latest masterpiece.

The Barcelona striker is on fire, having scored his second hat-trick in a week to help Barcelona post a 4-2 win vs.

Algerians/Slovenians Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZOÂ

Zlatko Dedic has plied his trade In Italy's second division for much of his career, but the Slovenian forward has enjoyed a fairly smooth transition into the Bundesliga, with his goal against Werder Bremen serving as the latest piece of evidence.

D.C. United signs Academy star Najar

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D.C. United's acclaimed Academy program has produced another player worthy of a roster slot.

After signing goalkeeper Bill Hamid last year, D.C. has now added midfielder/forward Andy Najar to its senior team, signing the 17-year-old D.C. United Academy product to a Generation adidas contract.

SBI MLS Team Previews: Los Angeles Galaxy

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By ADAM SERRANO

At this time last year, the Galaxy were a patchwork group, hoping to build off a last-place finish, but in 2010, the Galaxy head into the season with much the same lineup that came within one penalty kick of winning the MLS Cup.

Much like last season, Midfielder David Beckham won't be around for the first half of the year, but the Achilles injury suffered during his loan with AC Milan could wind up forcing him to miss much of the regular season.

Fire ready to unload Busch

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The Chicago Fire will be fielding a new starting goalkeeper when the 2010 MLS season begins on Saturday at Red Bull Arena.

According to multiple sources, veteran goalkeeper Jon Busch will either be traded or waived by the Chicago Fire this week. If Busch's departure happens as expected, untested second-year goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra will get the nod in goal for the Fire.

SBI MLS Team Previews: Houston Dynamo

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By TRAVIS CLARK

Dominic Kinnear and the Houston Dynamo have some big questions to answer this year if they hope to qualify for a fifth consecutive postseason berth.

The departure of Stuart Holden and Ricardo Clark to Europe leaves two gaping holes in their midfield, and Kinnear must reshuffle and prepare for life without two of his stars.

SBI MLS Team Previews: D.C. United

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By AVI CREDITOR

With a bevy of new players and a new coaching regime, D.C. United will aim to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

Former DCU player and assistant, Curt Onalfo, took over for former coach Tom Soehn in the offseason and inherited a team with quite a few holes after the departure of a number of roster stalwarts.

SBI MLS Team Previews: New York Red Bulls

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The New York Red Bulls have a lot of pressure heading into the 2010 season.

They have the pressure of playing well enough to fill their beautiful new stadium, as well as the pressure of erasing the bad memories of an awful 2009 season. A new coach and a new crop of players has enjoyed a good pre-season, giving the club some reason for optimism.

Davies joins Sochaux, still weeks away from full training

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Charlie Davies joined club team FC Sochaux on Monday for the next phase of his rehabilitation. He is going through individual training with a physiotherpist right now and is still two-to-four weeks away from taking part in team training.


Monday Kickoff: With CBA done, 2010 MLS season set to begin

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The new MLS Collective Bargaining Agreement signed on Saturday helped avert disaster for Major League Soccer, and now it is time to start looking ahead to the 2010 MLS season rather than praying that a strike wouldn't ruin the season.

Instead of work stoppages, we can now look forward to goals and saves and on-field action in what should be a season to remember in Major League Soccer.

SBI Video Corner: Post-game reaction from the Red Bull Arena opener

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Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Since recovering from injury, both DaMarcus Beasley and Maurice Edu have yet to solidify starting roles for Rangers, but they became the first Americans Abroad players to bring home hardware this season, as Rangers defeated St.

SBI Video Corner: Opening Night at Red Bull Arena

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Red Bull Arena debut is a memorable night

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The New York Red Bulls opened their new home in grand style, scoring a 3-1 exhibition victory against Brazilian club Santos in the inaugural match at Red Bull Arena on Saturday.

Joel Lindpere, Mike Petke and Dane Richards delivered first-half goals as New York's revamped squad showed off sharp passing and quality finishing that was sorely lacking in the team's nightmare 2009 season.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Liverpool visits Old Trafford today to take on Manchester United in the weekend's marquee match-up.

United is looking to keep the pressure on Chelsea in the race for the English Premier League title, while Liverpool needs something from today's match to keep its hopes of a top four finish intact.

New York Red Bulls vs. Santos: Matchday Commentary

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The New York Red Bulls are set to unveil their new 25,000 stadium today as they play host to Santos

I will be providing commentary from tonight's historic event as soon as I get settled into the new stadium. For now, please feel free to share your thoughts on tonight's match, and the new stadium, in the comments section below.

MLS and Players Union agree to CBA deal, 2010 season will begin on time

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The 2010 Major League Soccer season will begin on time after the league and its players union agreed to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement on Saturday. The sides agreed to a new five-year deal.

MLS commissioner Don Garber and MLS players union executive Bob Foose announced the deal in a conference call on Saturday.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Real Madrid, Inter Milan and FC Twente all look to keep their grips on first place in their respective leagues today when Saturday soccer action kicks off around the world.

Real Madrid leads Barcelona on goal differential and will be looking for a home win vs. Sporting Gijon to maintain that margin, while Inter Milan faces a tough Palermo side on the road as Jose Mourinho's men look to stave off AC Milan's challenge in Serie A.

SBI Video Corner: A look at the 2010 Red Bulls

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In our ever-growing desire to expand our coverage of American soccer, SBI will be adding a video element to the site.

SBI Video coordinator Michael Nastri will be leading the way in providing SBI readers with some in-depth coverage of the New York Red Bulls, both in written form and with video programming.

Chivas USA Notebook: Thornton returns and Talley to be waived

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

BY ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, CALIF.- With only a week left before the start of the season, Chivas USA received a very welcome addition on Friday.

Zach Thornton who won the 2009 MLS Goalkeeper of the year returned to training this week.

Injury-ravaged U.S. national team pool on the road to recovery

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Things were looking bleek for the U.S. national team on the injury front as recently as a month ago. Between Charlie Davies' uncertain future and the knee injuries to Clint Dempsey and Oguchi Onyewu, the U.S. squad had three of its marquee players facing uncertain recovery timetables while others, such as Ricardo Clark and Benny Feilhaber, were also injured.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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Photo by ISIphotos.com
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Manchester United and Liverpool are used to clashing with championship aspirations on the line for both squad, but while that won't be the case when they meet on Sunday, the match is no less important.

Stephens could be the Galaxy's next great rookie

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By ADAM SERRANO

Galaxy rookie Michael Stephens knows he has a lot to live up to.

The Los Angeles Galaxy are well known for developing top level rookie talent. Their past two first-round picks, defenders Sean Franklin and Omar Gonzalez, won the MLS Rookie of the Year award under the tutelage of Bruce Arena.

Feilhaber recovers from ankle injury, training for Aarhus

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After weeks of intensive rehabilitation at the Copacabana Beaches, U.S. national team midfielder Benny Feilhaber has returned to training for AGF Aarhus.

Feilhaber went through individual workouts on Thursday, and Aarhus physiotherapist Jens Bo Vestergaard Jorgensen has been impressed by the progress made in Feilhaber's ankle, which had suffered cartilage damage.

After a decade-long wait, Red Bulls excited to unveil new stadium

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By MIKE NASTRI

After years of waiting for a stadium to call their own, the Red Bulls got a chance to practice in Red Bull Arena for the first time on Tuesday. It was a stadium a long time in the making, but one that proved to be worth the wait.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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photo by ISIphotos.com

by FRANCO PANIZO

Ricardo Clark has not played in a match since mid-November due to a combination of factors, but Clark appears ready to end that dry spell against one of the hottest teams in Europe.

Fulham faces Wolfsburg, Liverpool takes on Benfica in Europa League quarterfinals

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Clint Dempsey and Fulham will look to ride the momentum from their dramatic Round of 16 series victory over Juventus when the Cottagers take on Wolfsburg in the Europa League quarterfinals, which were draw on Friday.

Liverpool scored a tough draw, taking on Portuguese power Benfica.

Barcelona to face Arsenal as Champions League quarterfinals are set

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Thierry Henry and Barcelona will face Arsenal while Bordeaux take on French rival Lyon in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals. The draw for the quarters took place on Friday and sets up a possible Barcelona-Manchester United final. Manchester United takes on Bayern Munich while Inter Milan faces CSKA Moscow.

Carolina Challenge Cup: Toronto FC vs. D.C. United (Live Video)

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Toronto FC takes on D.C. United tonight in the Carolina Challenge Cup in Charleston, South Carolina.

Here is a live video stream of the match, courtesy of Toronto FC TV (use the link if the video below does not work):

Toluca vs. Columbus Crew: Your Running Commentary

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The Columbus Crew will attempt to become the first MLS team to win an official match in Mexico tonight when it takes on Toluca in CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal action (8pm, Fox Soccer Channel/Telefutura).

The Crew came back to tie Toluca, 2-2, in the first leg in Columbus, but will likely need a win in tonight's second leg to secure passage into the semifinals.

Thursday Kickoff: Crew falls in CCL, D.C. downs TFC and more

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The task was tough, but looked attainable on multiple occasions for the Columbus Crew.

The Crew needed to win in Mexico to advance to the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals, and looked capable of doing so after taking a 1-0 lead just before halftime and tying Toluca 2-2 in the second half to even the overall series.

UEFA Champions League Quarterfinal Draw looms

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The UEFA Champions League quarterfinal draw will take place on Friday and the field preparing for the draw should help make for some potentially jaw-dropping match-ups.

Here are the eight teams still alive in the tournament:

Barcelona, Manchester United, Inter Milan, Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Bordeaux, Lyon, CSKA Moscow.

Barcelona's thrashing of Stuttgart

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If you missed Barcelona's 4-0 mauling of VfB Stuttgart, you missed some serious wizadry from Lionel Messi and his teammates, who torched the Germans to earn their place in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals.

Here are the highlights, including two goals from Messi, who has jumped back in the lead in the race for Best Player in the World honors:

Fantasy Premier League: Matchweek 31

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By AVI CREDITOR

Wow. Where do we start? With 15(!) fixtures during Week 31, 10 of the 20 teams in the Barclays Premier League will play two games apiece. Goodbye low-scoring weeks, hello fantasy points.

The double matchweek makes more players than normal viable, not just the high scorers from the top teams.

Mid-Day Ticker: Chelsea plots makeover; Fabregas, Cahill regain health

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By AVI CREDITOR

In the aftermath of crashing out of the Champions League, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is rumored to be making a wish list in hopes of renovating the team for next season.

Abramovich, who reportedly lit into his players with a Premier-League-title-or-you're-out rant, is considering luring the biggest of names to Stamford Bridge during the summer transfer window.

Europa League: Your Running Commentary

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By AVI CREDITOR

Get out your brackets. It's UEFA Europa League time.

The Europa League will be whittled down from 16 teams to eight by day's end as the second legs will all be played Thursday afternoon.

No team has more to overcome in the early games than Panathinaikos, which yielded three away goals in a 3-1 loss to Standard Liege in the first leg.

Davies to begin training with Sochaux Monday

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The next step in Charlie Davies' recovery from multiple major injuries is set to begin on Monday, when the U.S. national team striker is slated to begin training with FC Sochaux.

French publication L'Equipe reported on Thursday that Davies was set to leave the Cape Breton rehabilitation facility on Friday and will begin training with Sochaux on Monday.

Dempsey scores dream winner as Fulham shocks Juventus

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Clint Dempsey sat through most of Fulham's thrilling victory against Juventus, but the American star came off the bench to provide the most important goal of the day.

Dempsey scored a dream long-range chip shot goal in the 82nd minute to give Fulham a 4-1 victory and 5-4 aggregate series victory against Juventus at Craven Cottage on Thursday.

Dempsey scores dream winner as Fulham shocks Juventus

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Clint Dempsey sat through most of Fulham's thrilling victory against Juventus, but the American star came off the bench to provide the most important goal of the day.

Dempsey scored a dream long-rain chip shot goal to give Fulham a 4-1 victory and 5-4 aggregate series victory against Juventus at Craven Cottage on Thursday.

Davies to begin training with Sochaux Monday

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The next step in Charlie Davies' recovery from multiple major injuries is set to begin on Monday, when the U.S. national team striker is slated to begin training with FC Sochaux.

French publication L'Equipe reported on Thursday that Davies was set to leave the Cape Breton rehabilitation facility on Friday and will begin training with Sochaux on Monday.

Europa League: Your Running Commentary

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By AVI CREDITOR

Get out your brackets. It's UEFA Europa League time.

The Europa League will be whittled down from 16 teams to eight by day's end as the second legs will all be played Thursday afternoon.

No team has more to overcome in the early games than Panathinaikos, which yielded three away goals in a 3-1 loss to Standard Liege in the first leg.

Fantasy Premier League: Matchweek 31

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By AVI CREDITOR

Wow. Where do we start? With 15(!) fixtures during Week 31, 10 of the 20 teams in the Barclays Premier League will play two games apiece. Goodbye low-scoring weeks, hello fantasy points.

The double matchweek makes more players than normal viable, not just the high scorers from the top teams.

Mid-Day Ticker: Chelsea plots makeover; Fabregas, Cahill regain health

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By AVI CREDITOR

In the aftermath of crashing out of the Champions League, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is rumored to be making a wish list in hopes of renovating the team for next season.

Abramovich, who reportedly lit into his players with a Premier-League-title-or-you're-out rant, is considering luring the biggest of names to Stamford Bridge during the summer transfer window.

Barcelona's thrashing of Stuttgart

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If you missed Barcelona's 4-0 mauling of VfB Stuttgart, you missed some serious wizadry from Lionel Messi and his teammates, who torched the Germans to earn their place in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals.

Here are the highlights, including two goals from Messi, who has jumped back in the lead in the race for Best Player in the World honors:


Thursday Kickoff: Crew falls in CCL, D.C. downs TFC and more

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The task was tough, but looked attainable on multiple occasions for the Columbus Crew.

The Crew needed to win in Mexico to advance to the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals, and looked capable of doing so after taking a 1-0 lead just before halftime and tying Toluca 2-2 in the second half to even the overall series.

UEFA Champions League Quarterfinal Draw looms

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The UEFA Champions League quarterfinal draw will take place on Friday and the field preparing for the draw should help make for some potentially jaw-dropping match-ups.

Here are the eight teams still alive in the tournament:

Barcelona, Manchester United, Inter Milan, Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Bordeaux, Lyon, CSKA Moscow.

Toluca vs. Columbus Crew: Your Running Commentary

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The Columbus Crew will attempt to become the first MLS team to win an official match in Mexico tonight when it takes on Toluca in CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal action (8pm, Fox Soccer Channel/Telefutura).

The Crew came back to tie Toluca, 2-2, in the first leg in Columbus, but will likely need a win in tonight's second leg to secure passage into the semifinals.

Carolina Challenge Cup: Toronto FC vs. D.C. United (Live Video)

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Toronto FC takes on D.C. United tonight in the Carolina Challenge Cup in Charleston, South Carolina.

Here is a live video stream of the match, courtesy of Toronto FC TV (use the link if the video below does not work):


Donovan discusses his return to MLS

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By ADAM SERRANO

Fresh off a triumphant trip to England, Landon Donovan spoke to reporters on Wednesday to address his time in England.

Prior to the press conference, Donovan was back in action for the Galaxy today in a scrimmage against PDL side Hollywood United. During 90 minutes of play, Landon scored two goals and set up a pair, most notably rookie Michael Stephens for a brace from distance in the Galaxy's 8-0 victory.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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The final two places in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals will be determined today when Barcelona faces Stuttgart (3:30pm, Fox Soccer Channel) and Bordeaux takes on Olympiakos (3:30pm, Fox Soccer Plus).

Barcelona tied Stuttgart, 1-1, in the first leg in Germany and will look to continue its strong home form, while Bordeaux goes into its home leg having won the first leg in Greece, 1-0.

SBI Live Q&A

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Good afternoon everybody. It's time for another SBI Live Q&A.

With the MLS labor battle coming to a boil, and European soccer at its peak, there is plenty to discuss today before the final two Champions League pre-quarterfinals are decided between Barcelona and Stuttgart, and Bordeaux and Olympiakos.

MLS Players Union preparing to strike on Monday

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Major League Soccer and the MLS Players Union have yet to reach an agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, and the wheels are already in motion for a work stoppage.

The Players Union is preparing its members for a strike on Monday if a new CBA cannot be agreed to in the current negotiations, which are being overseen by a federal mediator.

San Jose Earthquakes close in on new stadium

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The San Jose Earthquakes took one step closer to breaking ground on a new stadium late Tuesday evening. The San Jose City Council unanimously approved the measure to re-zone land around the San Jose airport that would allow construction on a new Earthquakes stadium to take place.

Lew Wolff, the Earthquakes owner, will provide $60 million to help finance the project, and pay the city $7 million for the land near the airport.

Wednesday Kickoff: Hull names Dowie manager, Pachuca reaches CCL semis and more

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U.S. national team striker Jozy Altidore will play for his eighth different club manager in four professional seasons after Hull City named Ian Dowie as the club's new skipper.

Dowie takes over for Phil Brown, who was fired after Hull slumped to 19th place in the Premier League.

Hull hired Dowie after being turned down for the job by a list of candidates that included former Manchester City manager Mark Hughes and Portsmouth manager Avram Grant.

Szetela waived by D.C. United

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Danny Szetela's career has had its ups and downs, but it has now hit what may be its low point.

The former U.S. Olympic team member and Under-20 standout was waived by D.C. United on Tuesday, less than a year after joining the club from Italian Serie B club Brescia. Sources close to Szetela confirmed the move late Tuesday.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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By AVI CREDITOR

After falling 2-1 at the San Siro in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16, Chelsea needs a strong performance Tuesday to avoid joining Real Madrid, AC Milan and the other Champions League spectators on the outside looking in.

Jose Mourinho returns to Stamford Bridge with his confident Inter Milan squad, its recent 3-1 loss to Serie A minnow Catania not withstanding.

Adu fails to make Aris roster for Greek Cup semifinal

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Aris Salonika will play one of its biggest matches of the season when it takes on Kavala in a Greek Cup semifinal match on Wednesday, and Freddy Adu will take no part in it.

Adu was not named to the 18-man roster released by manager Hector Cuper for the first leg of the home-and-home series, marking the fourth straight match Adu will fail to see the field for Aris.

Mid-Day Ticker: Capello asks Beckham to join team, Hull narrows search and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

For those who thought that David Beckham's injury would prevent him from being with England during the World Cup, think again.

Kind of.

England manager Fabio Capello has extended an offer for Beckham to travel and stay with the team in South Africa, a unique move considering Beckham has no shot of playing in the competition.

MLS Notes: KC bolsters midfield, Revolution and Fire ink rookies and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

The Kansas City Wizards have officially added two more international players to their arsenal, and another is on the cusp of joining the fold, the team announced Monday night.

Outside midfield trialists Ryan Smith and Igor Kostrov joined the senior roster, while central midfield trialist Craig Rocastle has agreed to terms with the team but won't be added to the roster until he receives his P1 visa.

Tuesday Kickoff: Beckham faces six month recovery, TFC sends Gerba home, and AEG speaks on MLS labor battle

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David Beckham may still recover from his torn left Achilles tendon in time to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2010, but just how much he will be able to contribute remains to be seen.

Beckham underwent successful surgery to repair his torn left Achilles tendon on Monday, and the doctor who conducted the procedure put a six-month timetable on Beckham's return to action.

Algerians/Slovenians Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZOÂ

If U.S. national team fans were unconcerned about the firepower that Slovenia and Algeria possess, they likely changed their tunes after the goals scored this weekend.Â

There was a combined four goals netted and Algerian midfielder Abdelkader Ghezzal accounted for two of them in Siena's shocking comeback draw against Juventus.

Okugo, Navas named to U.S. Under-20 team for Dallas Cup

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

U.S. Under-20 national team head coach Thomas Rongen named a 20-man roster for the upcoming 2010 Dallas Cup in Frisco, Texas. Philadelphia Union midfielder Amobi Okugo and Houston Dynamo midfielder/forward Francisco Navas were among the players named to the squad.

USA to face Australia on June 5 in South Africa

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The U.S. national team will play its final World Cup tune-up match on June 5 against fellow World Cup participant Australia in Roodespoort, South Africa, U.S. Soccer announced on Monday. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 at 8:30am ET.

Set to take place Ruimsig Stadium in suburban Johannesburg, the friendly will be played one week before the United States opens World Cup play vs.

Carolina Challenge Cup Update

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D.C. United got off to a winning start on Saturday in its opening match of the 2010 Carolina Challenge Cup, while Toronto FC endured a disappointing start.

D.C. defeated Real Salt Lake, 2-1, on the strength of two Jaime Moreno goals, while TFC tied the Charleston Battery, 0-0, in Saturday's doubleheader at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, South Carolina.

Messi's magical hat-trick

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While Wayne Rooney has taken over the mantle of 'Best Player in the World' with his dominant form this season, the previous BPITW is still making his own strong case for retaining the title.

Lionel Messi registered a beautiful hat-trick to lift Barcelona past Valencia on Sunday, 3-1.

Monday Soccer on TV

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Today's TV selection will have Liverpool fans anxious to see if their Reds can pull within a point of Tottenham for fourth place in the Premier League with a win today vs. lowly Portsmouth (3:55pm, ESPN2).

Portsmouth is heading toward inevitable relegation, but just might be able to catch a Liverpool side that will be sure to have one eye on Thursday's crucial Europa League clash with Lille.

Gomez forcing his way onto U.S. World Cup radar

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For most Major League Soccer fans who have followed the closely for the past few years, the following sentence may not make much sense, and may leave many wondering if April Fool's came early this year, only it has not.

Herculez Gomez cannot stop scoring goals.

The former Kansas City Wizards forward/midfielder has scored six goals in his past seven matches for Mexican first division side Puebla since joining the club on a free transfer in January.

Monday Kickoff: Hull fires Brown, Beckham heads for surgery and more

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Hull City fired head coach Phil Brown on Monday, leaving assistant coaches Brian Horton and Steve Parkin in charge of the club until a permanent replacement could be secured.

Jozy Altidore's squad currently sits in 19th place in the Premier League and is in real danger of being relegated as the Tigers sit what amounts to four points away from the drop zone due to a league-worst goal difference.

Beckham injures achilles tendon, will miss World Cup

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David Beckham is set to miss the World Cup after tearing his achilles tendon in AC Milan's 1-0 win over Chievo Verona on Sunday.

Beckham picked up the injury in the waning moments of the match without coming into contact with anyone and limped off to the sidelines for treatment.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Wolverhampton Wanderers have been flirting with the drop zone all season long, but against fellow relegation-threatened Burnley, Marcus Hahnemann did his best to improve Wolves' chances of staying another year in England's top flight.

Hahnemann made his 16th consecutive start for Wolves and had one of his busiest days of the year, making a season-high eight saves en route to a 2-1 victory that ended a four-game losing streak.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Clint Dempsey has made his return to English Premier League action today, making Fulham's starting XI for today's match vs. Manchester United at Old Trafford (9:30am, Fox Soccer Plus).

Man Utd-Fulham is one of several quality matches on tap today. Barcelona-Valencia, Ajax-PSV and Bayer Lverkusen-Hamburg are all on the schedule today on another rainy Sunday on the East Coast.

Afternoon Ticker: Carolina Challenge Cup to begin, Hiddink rejects Ivory Coast and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The 2010 Carolina Challenge Cup is set to kickoff, and for three MLS teams that means one last chance to tests their players before the (hopeful)Â start of the 2010 season.

Real Salt Lake, D.C. United and Toronto FC will all join host Charleston Battery for the seventh edition of the tournament, which is played in round robin format.

Inclement weather postpones Red Bulls Arena opening

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The soft opening of new Red Bulls Arena was postponed due to inclement weather, it was announced Saturday.

Heavy rain and high wind caused the postponement of the game between the New York Red Bulls U-18 Academy team and the U.S. under-17 men's national team. The match is expected to be rescheduled.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Landon Donovan will bid farewell to Everton today in the final match of his loan with the English club.

Everton takes on Birmingham in one of the matches of the day. Several Americans are facing tough competition today, with Jozy Altidore and Hull facing Arsenal, Jonathan Spector and West Ham taking on Chelsea, and Daniel Williams and Freiburg facing Bayern Munich.

Real Salt Lake signs Saborio

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Defending MLS champion Real Salt Lake head into 2010 having lost just one key player from its title team in Yura Movsisyan, but took a major step toward replacing him with the acquisition of Costa Rican national team striker Alvaro Saborio.

RSL announced the signing of Saborio on Friday evening.

US Soccer: Turkey friendly not cancelled

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Rumors making the rounds on the internet on Friday had the Turkish national team cancelling its scheduled friendly vs. the United States on May 29 in Philadelphia, but the U.S. Soccer Federation called the rumors unfounded.

"We have not been notified by the Turkish federation of any cancellation," said U.

This weekend's soccer on TV

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Landon Donovan could say goodbye as Clint Dempsey says hello this weekend in English Premier League action.

Donovan's loan spell with Everton is scheduled to come to an end on Saturday when the Toffees face Birmingham, while Dempsey should make his Premier League return from injury at Old Trafford when Fulham faces Manchester United.

MLS Round-up: Fire signs John, Dynamo land Serioux from TFC and more

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The Chicago Fire's lengthy courtship of striker Collins John has finally concluded with a contract that will make the former Fulham standout the Fire's newest attacking weapon.

John will be called on to help pick off the offensive slack left by the departures of Cuauhtemoc Blanco and Chris Rolfe this winter and the strong target striker should former a good partnership with veteran Brian McBride, his former strike partner at Fulham.

Nesta injury could open door for Onyewu

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The concerns over whether Oguchi Onyewu would be recovered from knee surgery in time for the World Cup have long been eased as he has trained on several occasions with the U.S. national team, but a lingering issue has cast a cloud over his eventual return to AC Milan.

Will he find playing time?

Friday Kickoff: Dempsey's back, Everton retains hope of Donovan deal and more

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Clint Dempsey's impressive and quick recovery from a slightly torn PCL was the news of the day on Thursday, with the U.S. national team striker playing 30 minutes in Fulham's 3-1 Europa League loss to Juventus.

Dempsey didn't make much of an impact on the match, but his return provides a major boost to a national team in dire need of options at forward.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Since joining Everton on his ten-week loan, Landon Donovan has helped transform the club from relegation battlers to a competitive team capable of pulling out results against the Premier League's heavyweights. Now, in what appears to be his final game for Everton, Donovan will aim to help the Toffees make a run toward a spot in next year's Europa League.

Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers: Your Running Commentary

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The Seattle Sounders are taking on the Portland Timbers tonight at Qwest Field in the 'Community Shield'. The match is the last between the long-time arch-rivals before the Timbers join MLS in 2011.

If you are at tonight's match, or are following the match, please feel free to share updates from Qwest Field on the action and the atmosphere at one of the best rivalries in American soccer.

Chivas USA Notebook: Padilla seeks redemption

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Photo by ISIphotos.com
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By ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, Calif -- Last summer, Jesus Padilla was signed to be the player that Chivas USA had long desired, a player with experience with mother club Chivas de Guadalajara as well as roots with the Mexican American community in the Los Angeles area.

MLS and players union address latest strike talk

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As you would expect, Major League Soccer responded to recent comments from players about the state of MLS labor negotiations, as well as a report of a vote in favor of a striker. And as you would expect, the players union responded to that response.

Here is MLS president Mark Abbott, speaking to SBI:

"The meetings this week were productive and we have scheduled a number of additional meetings.

Report: Players vote in favor of a strike

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The Major League Soccer labor situation look ready to get much worse before it gets better.

The Washington Post is reporting that the MLS players union has voted resoundingly in favor of a strike if a new Collective Bargaining Agreement isn't agreed to before the start of the season, with the vote put at more than 350 in favor of a strike and just two against a strike.

Red Bulls sign Sutton, complete deal for Robinson

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The New York Red Bulls' roster makeover has now included a pair of former Toronto FC players.

The Red Bulls announced the signing of goalkeeper Greg Sutton. The veteran Canadian netminder lost his starting job to rookie standout Stefan Frei at Toronto FC last season before eventually being waived.

Europa League: Your Running Commentary

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The first leg of the Europa League Round of 16 kicks off today with Liverpool and Fulham looking to keep the Premier League's recent strong run of European form going.

Fulham takes on Juventus today (3pm, GolTV), while Liverpool faces Lille (1pm, DirecTV-462).

Here are today's other Round of 16 match-ups:

Atletico Madrid vs.

Fantasy Premier League: Matchweek 30

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By AVI CREDITOR

Familiarize yourself with Aston Villa's roster if you haven't already. Martin O'Neill's men will play a huge role in bringing you Fantasy Premier League success.

With two matches this week, two more next week and at least two on the final week of the season, Aston Villa's players will be hot commodities on the transfer market.

Champions League Rewind: Real Madrid falls, Man Utd rolls

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When Real Madrid spent $350 million on building the best team money could buy, one of the motivations was getting the club into the UEFA Champions League final, being played at the Bernabeu.

That dream of a home final died on Wednesday when Lyon's Miralem Pjanic scored a crushing equalizer to give the French club a 1-1 draw and series victory over Real Madrid.

Davies inching closer to resuming Sochaux training

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photo by ISIphotos.com Â

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Charlie Davies looks set to take the next step in his remarkable comeback by resuming regular training with French club Sochaux in the next week or two.

Birchall blasts leads Galaxy past Puntarenas

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By ADAM SERRANO

FULLERTON, Calif.-- Trinidad & Tobago international Chris Birchall delivered a late game-winning blast to help the Los Angeles Galaxy defeat Costa Rican side Puntarenas, 1-0, in an exhibition match on Wednesday at Cal-State Fullerton.

The Galaxy dominated play for most of the match, but didn't break through until the 88th minute, when Chris Birchall fired home a shot from distance off a beautiful pass from rookie Michael Stephens.

Chivas USA Notebook: Bornstein looks to rebound and Kljestan seeks leadership role

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Photo by ISIphotos.comÂ

By ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, Calif.-- Jonathan Bornstein understands that the last few months have seen him go from hero to villain, but the Chivas defender knows that the road won't be getting any easier as he tries to earn a spot on Bob Bradley's U.

Nasri's Wonder Goal (and Arsenal's romp)

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Arsenal thoroughly demolished FC Porto in Champions League action on Wednesday, posting a 5-0 victory on the strength of a Nicklas Bendtner hat-trick, but the moment of the match came when Samir Nasri danced through Porto's defense before blasting home a goal-of-the-year candidate.

Here is Nasri's wonder goal:

If you didn't see Arsenal's romp, you can see all five Arsenal goals, as well as a sharper look at the Nasri goal, after the jump:

What did you think of Nasri's goal?

Robben's beautiful blast propels Bayern

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Samir Nasri scored the headlines on Tuesday for his amazing dribble and finish in Arsenal's 5-0 win vs. FC Porto, but he wasn't the only player to score a dream goal.

Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben scored a crucial dream goal inBayern Munich's 3-2 loss to Fiorentina. The goal, apart from being a thing of beauty, also proved to be the difference in the Champions League series as it gave Bayern the away goals edge and series victory.

Wednesday Ticker: Crew ties Toluca, Jones targeting World Cup, and more

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The Columbus Crew looked primed for a blowout loss after falling behind 2-0 to Toluca in CONCACAF Champions League action, but the MLS power climbed off the mat and sent yet another Mexican team away from Crew Stadium without a win.

Missing several key players due to injury and suspension, the Crew didn't look to have the weapons to recover from the early two-goal deficit, but Steven Lenhart stepped up and scored two goals to help Columbus salvage a 2-2 tie in the first-leg of their quarterfinal series.

SBI Live Q&A

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Good afternoon folks. As we count down the time before today's big Champions League matches between Manchester United and AC Milan (2:30pm, FSC), and Real Madrid and Lyon (2:30pm, FSE), I thought it was a good time for a live Q&A.

We haven't done a live Q&A on SBI before, and this isn't taking the place of the regular monthly Q&A, but I do want to start doing the occasional live Q&A so we can discuss some timely subjects more quickly.

UEFA Champions League: Matchday Commentary

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Manchester United takes on AC Milan today (2:45pm, Fox Soccer Channel)Â in the marquee match-up of this round of the UEFA Champions League.

David Beckham returns to Old Trafford with AC Milan, which needs to overcome a 3-2 first-leg loss by beating Manchester United at home. Beckham is on the bench to start today's match.

Howard speaks his mind

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Photo by ISIphotos.com


Tim Howard has never been afraid to call things how he sees them, so when I spent some time with him on his 31st birthday on Saturday he didn't hold back when discussing everything from the national team to his own potential return to MLS.

Chivas USA Notebook: Bornstein looks to rebound and Kljestan seeks leadership role

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Photo by ISIphotos.comÂ

By ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, Calif.-- Jonathan Bornstein understands that the last few months have seen him go from hero to villain, but the Chivas defender knows that the road won't be getting any easier as he tries to earn a spot on Bob Bradley's U.

Howard speaks his mind

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Photo by ISIphotos.com


Tim Howard has never been afraid to call things how he sees them, so when I spent some time with him on his 31st birthday on Saturday he didn't hold back when discussing everything from the national team to his own potential return to MLS.

UEFA Champions League: Matchday Commentary

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Manchester United takes on AC Milan today (2:45pm, Fox Soccer Channel)Â in the marquee match-up of this round of the UEFA Champions League.

David Beckham returns to Old Trafford with AC Milan, which needs to overcome a 3-2 first-leg loss by beating Manchester United at home. Beckham is on the bench to start today's match.

SBI Live Q&A

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Good afternoon folks. As we count down the time before today's big Champions League matches between Manchester United and AC Milan (2:30pm, FSC), and Real Madrid and Lyon (2:30pm, FSE), I thought it was a good time for a live Q&A.

We haven't done a live Q&A on SBI before, and this isn't taking the place of the regular monthly Q&A, but I do want to start doing the occasional live Q&A so we can discuss some timely subjects more quickly.

Wednesday Ticker: Crew ties Toluca, Jones targeting World Cup, and more

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The Columbus Crew looked primed for a blowout loss after falling behind 2-0 to Toluca in CONCACAF Champions League action, but the MLS power climbed off the mat and sent yet another Mexican team away from Crew Stadium without a win.

Missing several key players due to injury and suspension, the Crew didn't look to have the weapons to recover from the early two-goal deficit, but Steven Lenhart stepped up and scored two goals to help Columbus salvage a 2-2 tie in the first-leg of their quarterfinal series.

Robben's beautiful blast propels Bayern

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Samir Nasri scored the headlines on Tuesday for his amazing dribble and finish in Arsenal's 5-0 win vs. FC Porto, but he wasn't the only player to score a dream goal.

Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben scored a crucial dream goal inBayern Munich's 3-2 loss to Fiorentina. The goal, apart from being a thing of beauty, also proved to be the difference in the Champions League series as it gave Bayern the away goals edge and series victory.

Samir Nasri's Wonder Goal (and Arsenal's romp)

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Arsenal thoroughly demolished FC Porto in Champions League action on Wednesday, posting a 5-0 victory on the strength of a Nicklas Bendtner hat-trick, but the moment of the match came when Samir Nasri danced through Porto's defense before blasting home a goal-of-the-year candidate.

Here is Nasri's wonder goal:


If you didn't see Arsenal's romp, you can see all five Arsenal goals, as well as a sharper look at the Nasri goal, after the jump:

What did you think of Nasri's goal?

Donovan leaves lasting impression with Everton loan

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Landon Donovan's final game at Goodison Park may have been against Hull City this past weekend, and if it was, the Everton fans' chants of "U-S-A" is all you need to know about how they feel for Donovan.Â

Ives was at Goodison Park on Sunday (and is currently en route back to the U.

Mid-Day Ticker: United Nations criticizes FIFA, Rangers owner eyes sale and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

The United Nations claims that FIFA has ignored its responsibility to ensure housing rights for citizens of countries involved in the World Cup bidding process after uncovering some startling facts from South Africa in the build up to this summer's World Cup.

Arena on Donovan Extension: "One in a Million Chance"

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By ADAM SERRANO

There is a chance, just not a very good one.

That's is how LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena described a potential extension on Landon Donovan's loan at English Premier League side Everton after the Galaxy's training session on Monday.

Algerians/Slovenians Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Portsmouth has not had the best of seasons, but Algerian defender Nadir Belhadj helped the struggling club continue its improbable run towards the FA Cup final.

Belhadj started and played 90 minutes in a quarterfinal tilt against Birminghamon Saturday, and his peformance was part of the reason Portsmouth posted a cleansheet in a 2-0 victory.

MLS Ticker: Dallas lands Hartman, Philly signs Colombian and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.comÂ

By TRAVIS CLARK

After a lengthy wait, Kevin Hartman finally has a new home. One of the longest tenured players in MLS, Hartman found himself out of contract with Kansas City and unable to find a new club.

That all changed Monday when Hartman's rights were traded to FC Dallas The move comes amid rumors that FC Dallas is looking to upgrade from returning starter Dario Sala.

UEFA Champions League returns to action

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After a short break, the UEFA Champions League returns this week, and four high-profile matches will determine who will advance into the quarterfinals of Europe's premier club competition.

In London, Arsenal will have to overturn a 2-1 deficit against Porto on Tuesday without skipper Cesc Fabregas (2:45pm, FSE/FSN).

A preseason look at D.C. United

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Photo by ISIphotos.comÂ

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By AVI CREDITOR

The offseason was one of great change for D.C. United.

A number of major personnel moves make this season a bit of a mystery for the four-time MLS Cup champions, who are hoping to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

Your February Questions Answered: Part Two

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Photo by ISIphotos.comÂ

Good afternoon folks. I'm back from Europe and ready to get back into the swing of things, and that will begin with the latest installment of Your Questions Answered.

Among the topics in the latest batch of questions are queries about the World Cup, Landon Donovan, Charlie Davies, Luis Gil and LeBron James (yes, LeBron).

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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The first two spots in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals will be earned today in a pair of hotly-contested second legs.

Arsenal is at home against FC Porto (2:45pm, FSE/FSN) needing to overturn a 2-1 loss in Portugal in the first leg, while Bayern Munich takes on Fiorentina in Italy (2:45pm, FSC) after having won the first leg, 2-1, in Munich.

MLS Ticker: Crew tackle Toluca task, Navas signs with Houston and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

The Columbus Crew will step on the pitch Tuesday night to play a meaningful game for the first time in months.

That's hardly the squad's biggest obstacle to overcome, though, when the Major League Soccer side hosts Toluca in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal matchup (8 p.

MLS Ticker: Crew tackle Toluca task, Navas signs with Houston and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

The Columbus Crew will step on the pitch Tuesday night to play a meaningful game for the first time in months.

That's hardly the squad's biggest obstacle to overcome, though, when the Major League Soccer side meets Toluca in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal matchup (8 p.

Your February Questions Answered: Part Two

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Photo by ISIphotos.comÂ

Good afternoon folks. I'm back from Europe and ready to get back into the swing of things, and that will begin with the latest installment of Your Questions Answered.

Among the topics in the latest batch of questions are queries about the World Cup, Landon Donovan, Charlie Davies, Luis Gil and LeBron James (yes, LeBron).

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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The first two spots in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals will be earned today in a pair of hotly-contested second legs.

Arsenal is at home against FC Porto (2:45pm, FSE/FSN) needing to overturn a 2-1 loss in Portugal in the first leg, while Bayern Munich takes on Fiorentina in Italy (2:45pm, FSC) after having won the first leg, 2-1, in Munich.

A preseason look at D.C. United

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Photo by ISIphotos.comÂ

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By AVI CREDITOR

The offseason was one of great change for D.C. United.

A number of major personnel moves make this season a bit of a mystery for the four-time MLS Cup champions, who are hoping to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

UEFA Champions League returns to action

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After a short break, the UEFA Champions League returns this week, and four high-profile matches will determine who will advance into the quarterfinals of Europe's premier club competition.

In London, Arsenal will have to overturn a 2-1 deficit against Porto on Tuesday without skipper Cesc Fabregas (2:45pm, FSE/FSN).

MLS Ticker: Dallas lands Hartman, Philly signs Colombian and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.comÂ

By TRAVIS CLARK

After a lengthy wait, Kevin Hartman finally has a new home. One of the longest tenured players in MLS, Hartman found himself out of contract with Kansas City and unable to find a new club.

That all changed Monday when Hartman's rights were traded to FC Dallas The move comes amid rumors that FC Dallas is looking to upgrade from returning starter Dario Sala.

Algerians/Slovenians Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Portsmouth has not had the best of seasons, but Algerian defender Nadir Belhadj helped the struggling club continue its improbable run towards the FA Cup final.

Belhadj started and played 90 minutes in a quarterfinal tilt against Birminghamon Saturday, and his peformance was part of the reason Portsmouth posted a cleansheet in a 2-0 victory.

Arena on Donovan Extension: "One in a Million Chance"

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By ADAM SERRANO

There is a chance, just not a very good one.

That's is how LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena described a potential extension on Landon Donovan's loan at English Premier League side Everton after the Galaxy's training session on Monday.

Mid-Day Ticker: United Nations criticizes FIFA, Rangers owner eyes sale and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

The United Nations claims that FIFA has ignored its responsibility to ensure housing rights for citizens of countries involved in the World Cup bidding process after uncovering some startling facts from South Africa in the build up to this summer's World Cup.

Donovan leaves lasting impression with Everton loan

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Landon Donovan's final game at Goodison Park may have been against Hull City this past weekend, and if it was, the Everton fans' chants of "U-S-A" is all you need to know about how they feel for Donovan.Â

Ives was at Goodison Park on Sunday (and is currently en route back to the U.

MLS Notes: Fire wins over Dallas, Seattle ties Vancouver and more

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By TRAVIS CLARK

Jackson, Mississippi was the backdrop for a friendly between FC Dallas and Chicago Fire Sunday afternoon.

Amidst the CBA uncertainty and pushed back roster deadlines, Chicago and Dallas both fielded strong starting lineups as the preseason dwindles away and the start of the 2010 season approaches.

Monday Kickoff: Brown injury concern for England, Slovenia WAG dispute and more

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By TRAVIS CLARK

As the injury bug continues to hit the United States national team, first round opponents England aren't exactly emerging unscathed either.

Manchester United and England defender Wes Brown could be out for the rest of the Premier League season and also miss the World Cup after injuring his foot over the weekend against Wolverhampton.

Reports: Chelsea eyeing Donovan move

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

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Multiple media outlets in England are reporting that Chelsea is targeting U.S. national team star Landon Donovan as a summer replacement for midfielder Joe Cole, who is rumored to be heading to Manchester United on a free transfer.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Tim Howard, Landon Donovan and Everton faces Jozy Altidore's Hull City in the day's most anticipated match for American fans.

The three Americans will reunite just four days after being in the United States' lineup for Wednesday's 2-1 exhibition loss to the Netherlands and all three should play roles in today's tilt.

Hull City at Everton: Matchday Commentary

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Good afternoon (morning in the USA), I'm coming to you from sunny and chilly Goodison Park, where Hull City is facing Everton (11am, FSC/FSE).

It might seem like an ordinary match for most EPL spectators, but for Americans it's a big tilt as Tim Howard, Landon Donovan and Jozy Altidore are all expected to play parts in today's match.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Landon Donovan's possible home finale with Everton may have only been a 20-minute cameo, but it was a productive outing that saw Donovan notch an assist and score a goal in a 5-1 victory over Hull City.

With Everton leading 3-1, Donovan came off the bench and joined in on the fun almost immediately.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Landon Donovan's possible home finale with Everton may have only been a 20-minute cameo, but it was a productive outing that saw Donovan notch an assist and score a goal in a 5-1 victory over Hull City.

With Everton leading 3-1, Donovan came off the bench and joined in on the fun almost immediately.

Hull City at Everton: Matchday Commentary

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Good afternoon (morning in the USA), I'm coming to you from sunny and chilly Goodison Park, where Hull City is facing Everton (11am, FSC/FSE).

It might seem like an ordinary match for most EPL spectators, but for Americans it's a big tilt as Tim Howard, Landon Donovan and Jozy Altidore are all expected to play parts in today's match.

Reports: Chelsea eyeing Donovan move

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

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Multiple media outlets in England are reporting that Chelsea is targeting U.S. national team star Landon Donovan as a summer replacement for midfielder Joe Cole, who is rumored to be heading to Manchester United on a free transfer.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Tim Howard, Landon Donovan and Everton faces Jozy Altidore's Hull City in the day's most anticipated match for American fans.

The three Americans will reunite just four days after being in the United States' lineup for Wednesday's 2-1 exhibition loss to the Netherlands and all three should play roles in today's tilt.

Netherlands 2, USA 1: A Look Back

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Photo by ISIphotos.com
There was plenty of ugliness, but some promising moments for the U.S. national team in its 2-1 loss to the Netherlands.

The Dutch midfield dominated, its wingers showed up great speed and moves and the Americans struggled to find many of their own chances in the first half.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Jozy Altidore proved to be a handful for centerback Johnny Heitinga in the U.S. men's national team's friendly vs. the Netherlands, and Altidore will look to replicate that performance this weekend, when he'll likely face the Dutch defender again.

MLS Notes: Crew, Wizards draw in Arizona, Chicago falls to Atlas and more

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By TRAVIS CLARK

The long and grueling MLS preseason continues to wind on as the start of the season is just under three weeks away.

Preparations for the Columbus Crew and Kansas City Wizards continued in Arizona this weeks, and the two sides met for a friendly on Thursday.

Kiwi MLS Veterans look forward to World Cup after Mexican test

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By ADAM SERRANO

The nation of New Zealand may be considered an afterthought by many at this summer's World Cup, but if the Kiwis are going to advance out of their group in South Africa, the play of a number of MLS veterans will be vital to the squad's success.

The first real test of the year for the Kiwis came on Wednesday when New Zealand fell to Mexico 2-0 in front of a capacity crowd of 90,526 at the Rose Bowl.

Everton still hoping to extend Donovan's loan deal

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Everton manager David Moyes revealed on Friday that he is still hopeful that the Toffees will be able extend Landon Donovan's loan deal beyond the originally intended agreement.

"I've not got that confirmed yet and I can't say exactly if that's going to happen," Moyes told Sky TV.

SBI's 23 for 2010: March 2010 Edition

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

We're less than a hundred days before the World Cup, meaning the clock is ticking more loudly as U.S. national team head coach Bob Bradley gets closer to picking his squad for the summer tournament in South Africa.

Bradley will announce his 23-man roster around mid-May, before the June 1 FIFA deadline and before the team departs for an East Coast destination for a pre-World Cup training camp.

MLS and Union to take labor talks to mediation

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Major League Soccer and the MLS Players Union both confirmed on Friday afternoon that they have accepted the invitation of a mediator to try and resolve the deadlock currently being experienced in the negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

As part of the meetings, MLS and the Union have jointly accepted the invitation of George H.

Arena on extending Donovan's loan: We're not interested

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Photo by ISIphotos.com
 Just when you think he's out, they pull him back in.

On the same day Everton manager David Moyes admitted hope that a deal could get done to extend Landon Donovan's loan, Los Angeles Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena stated emphatically that the Galaxy has no interest in doing that.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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On a light day of action in the English Premier League, it is Serie A where the real marquee match-ups will be played.

Fiorentina faces off against Juventus while Roma takes on AC Milan in Saturday's top matches. If the English game is still more your cup of tea, Marcus Hahnemann will look to try and upset Manchester United when the champions visit Wolverhampton.

Bocanegra scores winner in Rennes victory

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Carlos Bocanegra followed up his midweek goal for the U.S national team by scoring the winner in Stade Rennes' match against Monaco on Saturday.

Similar to his goal against the Netherlands, Bocanegra got on the end of a free kick, but this time he finished with his right foot from close range in Rennes' 1-0 victory.

Bocanegra scores winner in Rennes victory

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Carlos Bocanegra followed up his midweek goal for the U.S national team by scoring the winner in Stade Rennes' match against Monaco on Saturday.

Like his goal against the Netherlands on Wednesday, Bocanegra got on the end of free kick and headed home in Rennes' 1-0 victory. The goal was Bocanegra's first of the French League season.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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On a light day of action in the English Premier League, it is Serie A where the real marquee match-ups will be played.

Fiorentina faces off against Juventus while Roma takes on AC Milan in Saturday's top matches. If the English game is still more your cup of tea, Marcus Hahnemann will look to try and upset Manchester United when the champions visit Wolverhampton.

Arena on extending Donovan's loan: We're not interested

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Just when you think he's out, they pull him back in.

On the same day Everton manager David Moyes admitted hope that a deal could get done to extend Landon Donovan's loan, Los Angeles Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena stated emphatically that the Galaxy has no interest in doing that.

"We're not interested," Arena told MLSNet on Friday.

MLS and Union to take labor talks to mediation

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Major League Soccer and the MLS Players Union both confirmed on Friday afternoon that they have accepted the invitation of a mediator to try and resolve the deadlock currently being experienced in the negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

As part of the meetings, MLS and the Union have jointly accepted the invitation of George H.

SBI's 23 for 2010: March 2010 Edition

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

We're less than a hundred days before the World Cup, meaning the clock is ticking more loudly as U.S. national team head coach Bob Bradley gets closer to picking his squad for the summer tournament in South Africa.

Bradley will announce his 23-man roster around mid-May, before the June 1 FIFA deadline and before the team departs for an East Coast destination for a pre-World Cup training camp.

Everton still hoping to extend Donovan's loan deal

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Everton manager David Moyes revealed on Friday that he is still hopeful that the Toffees will be able extend Landon Donovan's loan deal beyond the originally intended agreement.

"I've not got that confirmed yet and I can't say exactly if that's going to happen," Moyes said.

Kiwi MLS Veterans look forward to World Cup after Mexican test

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Â

By ADAM SERRANO

The nation of New Zealand may be considered an afterthought by many at this summer's World Cup, but if the Kiwis are going to advance out of their group in South Africa, the play of a number of MLS veterans will be vital to the squad's success.

The first real test of the year for the Kiwis came on Wednesday when New Zealand fell to Mexico 2-0 in front of a capacity crowd of 90,526 at the Rose Bowl.

MLS Notes: Crew, Wizards draw in Arizona, Chicago falls to Atlas and more

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By TRAVIS CLARK

The long and grueling MLS preseason continues to wind on as the start of the season is just under three weeks away.

Preparations for the Columbus Crew and Kansas City Wizards continued in Arizona this weeks, and the two sides met for a friendly on Thursday.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Jozy Altidore proved to be a handful for centerback Johnny Heitinga in the U.S. men's national team's friendly vs. the Netherlands, and Altidore will look to replicate that performance this weekend, when he'll likely face the Dutch defender again.

Netherlands 2, USA 1: A Look Back

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Photo by ISIphotos.com
There was plenty of ugliness, but some promising moments for the U.S. national team in its 2-1 loss to the Netherlands.

The Dutch midfield dominated, its wingers showed up great speed and moves and the Americans struggled to find many of their own chances in the first half.

Fantasy Premier League: Matchweek 29

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By AVI CREDITOR

With all the non-league soccer games involving Premier League players that have happened this week, I preach one thing. Wait.

Nothing's worse than using up your transfers on players who won't play. Injuries, whether minor or major, are a part of the game, and unfortunately they occur in friendlies.

Sounders sign Swiss striker Nkufo

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The Seattle Sounders have completed the signing of Swiss national team striker Blaise Nkufo, the club announced on its team website on Thursday.

Nkufo is currently the captain of Dutch champions FC Twente and will join the Sounders after this summer's World Cup. The deal had been in the works for six months as the Sounders and Nkufo's agent, Oliver Wyss of W3 Sports Management finalized the deal this week.

Netherlands 2, USA 1: My Fox Soccer take

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The U.S. men's national team didn't pull off the upset, but the fact that it nearly managed to tie a match it had been dominated in has left the Americans with something to build off of from their 2-1 loss to the Netherlands.

FIFA Fixture Date Recap: England, Slovenia win, Algeria falls and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

Wednesday's friendlies provided a glimpse into the progress of Group C's teams, and the results showed a bit of vulnerability for two of the United States' opponents.

England fell behind by a goal before rallying for a 3-1 victory over Egypt.

Holden to miss six weeks with broken leg

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The tackle was an ugly one, but we have now learned the full damage caused by Nigel DeJong's ugly and clumsy first-half challenge on U.S. national team midfielder Stuart Holden.

Holden will be sidelined for six weeks with a fractured right fibula, Holden's club Bolton revealed on Thursday.

Morning Ticker: U.S.-Czech Republic location confirmed, Brazil tops Ireland and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. national team's match against the Czech Republic has a confirmed location, and the game will bring the U.S. team back to Connecticut.

The U.S.-Czech Republic game on May 25 will be played at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, it was confirmed on Tuesday.

MLS Notes: Fred scores for Philadelphia, United off to Mexico and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

Fred's 65th-minute strike provided the Philadelphia Union with a 1-0 exhibition victory over Universidad de Guadalajara Tuesday afternoon.

The midfielder, acquired by Philadelphia in the trade that sent the top allocation spot to D.C. United, took a pass from JT Noone and buried a shot from the edge of the box.

USA vs. the Netherlands: Match Day Commentary

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The U.S. national team will take on one of the world's top teams in its final test before the World Cup roster is due when it faces the Netherlands at Amsterdam ArenA today (2:30pm, ESPN2 and Galavision).

The U.S. should have its hands full as it faces a nearly full-strength Netherlands squad that boasts plenty of attacking flair.

Late U.S. surge falls short in loss to Netherlands

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. men's national team entered its friendly against the Netherlands having never defeated the Dutch in the three all-time meetings between the two teams.

You can now make that four meetings without a win.

Late U.S. surge falls short in loss to Netherlands

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. men's national team entered its friendly against the Netherlands having never defeated the Dutch in the three all-time meetings between the two teams.

You can now make that four meetings without a win for the U.S.

Goals from Dirk Kuyt and Klass-Jan Huntelaar were enough to hand the Netherlands a 2-1 victory over the U.

USA vs. the Netherlands: Match Day Commentary

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The U.S. national team will take on one of the world's top teams in its final test before the World Cup roster is due when it faces the Netherlands at Amsterdam ArenA today (2:30pm, ESPN2 and Galavision).

The U.S. should have its hands full as it faces a nearly full-strength Netherlands squad that boasts plenty of attacking flair.

MLS Notes: Fred scores for Philadelphia, United off to Mexico and more

Soccer By Ives at related • 1 view


by AVI CREDITOR

Fred's 65th-minute strike provided the Philadelphia Union with a 1-0 exhibition victory over Universidad de Guadalajara Tuesday afternoon.

The midfielder, acquired by Philadelphia in the trade that sent the top allocation spot to D.C. United, took a pass from JT Noone and buried a shot from the edge of the box.

Morning Ticker: U.S.-Czech Republic location confirmed, Brazil tops Ireland and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. national team's match against the Czech Republic has a confirmed location, and the game will bring the U.S. team back to Connecticut.

The U.S.-Czech Republic game on May 25 will be played at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, it was confirmed on Tuesday.

MMCB: Americans set for Dutch Test

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Photo by ISIphotos.com Â
The U.S. national team's upcoming friendly vs. the Netherlands is less than three days away now and we will soon learn just how far certain players have come in their progression as players with just three months to go before the World Cup.

A pre-season look at the New York Red Bulls

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How do you rebuild and repair the worst team in Major League Soccer? The New York Red Bulls appear to be putting together a decent blueprint for how to recover from a disastrous season like 2009 was for the Red Bulls.

The club's Disney Soccer Classic Championship doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things, but the performances of the team's new players show signs of a team ready to recover from season to forget.

Mid-Day Ticker: World Cup coaching changes for two African nations and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

With the World Cup set to take place in Africa for the first time, two of the continent's participants have made swift and drastic coaching changes just months before the tournament begins.

The Ivory Coast axed Vahid Halilhodzic over the weekend and is prepared to name his successor after Wednesday's friendly with tournament-host South Africa.

Your February Questions Answered (Part 1)

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Welcome to the first installment of Your February Questions Answered. It is March 1st, the ideal day to look back and begin answering a record-setting number of questions from SBI readers.

I will be traveling quite a bit this week and will hopefully be able to answer as many of the February Questions as possible this week.

Evening Ticker: Cherundolo resumes training, U.S. women reach final and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Steve Cherundolo hasn't played in a competitive match in over a month after suffering a shoulder injury, but Cherundolo aims to end that drought this weekend.

Cherundolo trained with the U.S. national team on Monday after being given the green light to return to practice by his club, Hannover 96.

Tuesday Kickoff: Greetings from Amsterdam

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Good morning folks. I'm coming to you from Amsterdam today, a day ahead of the big USA-Netherlands friendly at Amsterdam ArenA. The U.S. national team is in town and ready to face its toughest test before the World Cup in June.

We have already had plenty of discussion about the potential U.

Algerians/Slovenians Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZOÂ

Slovenia saw more of its players get in on their club teams' action this weekend, but it was the Algerian players who enjoyed the majority of the success.

Two Algerians found the back of the net, and both goals were game-winners. Rafik Djebbour hit the lone tally, a splendid turn and volley, in AEK Athens' 1-0 victory over Ergotelis, and Hassan Yebda scored from the spot in Portsmouth's 2-1 victory vs.

High-profile tilts headline FIFA Fixture Date

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By FRANCO PANIZOÂ

The upcoming FIFA fixture date will be the final time national teams across the globe are tested and tried before their rosters for the World Cup are released, and for soccer fans everywhere that means there are plenty of intriguing matches on tap.

USA vs. Netherlands: Pre-Match Update

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The last day before the U.S. national team's match vs. the Netherlands had some surprises, some good news and some promising signs for the Americans.

Before we get into tidbits from Tuesday, here is my preview piece on Wednesday's match for FoxSoccer.

USA vs. Netherlands: Pre-Match Update

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Â

Photo by ISIphotos.com

The last day before the U.S. national team's match vs. the Netherlands had some surprises, some good news and some promising signs for the Americans.

Before we get into tidbits from Tuesday, here is my preview piece on Wednesday's match for FoxSoccer.

High-profile tilts headline FIFA Fixture Date

Soccer By Ives at related • 1 view

Â

By FRANCO PANIZOÂ

The upcoming FIFA fixture date will be the final time national teams across the globe are tested and tried before their rosters for the World Cup are released, and for soccer fans everywhere that means there are plenty of intriguing matches on tap.

Algerians/Slovenians Abroad: Weekend Rewind

Soccer By Ives at related • 0 views

Â

By FRANCO PANIZOÂ

Slovenia saw more of its players get in on their club teams' action this weekend, but it was the Algerian players who enjoyed the majority of the success.

Two Algerians found the back of the net, and both goals were game-winners. Rafik Djebbour hit the lone tally, a splendid turn and volley, in AEK Athens' 1-0 victory over Ergotelis, and Hassan Yebda scored from the spot in Portsmouth's 2-1 victory vs.

Tuesday Kickoff: Greetings from Amsterdam

Soccer By Ives at related • 0 views


Good morning folks. I'm coming to you from Amsterdam today, a day ahead of the big USA-Netherlands friendly at Amsterdam ArenA. The U.S. national team is in town and ready to face its toughest test before the World Cup in June.

We have already had plenty of discussion about the potential U.

Evening Ticker: Cherundolo resumes training, U.S. women reach final and more

Soccer By Ives at related • 1 view

By FRANCO PANIZO

Steve Cherundolo hasn't played in a competitive match in over a month after suffering a shoulder injury, but Cherundolo aims to end that drought this weekend.

Cherundolo trained with the U.S. national team on Monday after being given the green light to return to practice by his club, Hannover 96.

Your February Questions Answered (Part 1)

Soccer By Ives at related • 1 view

Welcome to the first installment of Your February Questions Answered. It is March 1st, the ideal day to look back and begin answering a record-setting number of questions from SBI readers.

I will be traveling quite a bit this week and will hopefully be able to answer as many of the February Questions as possible this week.

Mid-Day Ticker: World Cup coaching changes for two African nations and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

With the World Cup set to take place in Africa for the first time, two of the continent's participants have made swift and drastic coaching changes just months before the tournament begins.

The Ivory Coast axed Vahid Halilhodzic over the weekend and is prepared to name his successor after Wednesday's friendly with tournament-host South Africa.

A pre-season look at the New York Red Bulls

Soccer By Ives at related • 1 view


How do you rebuild and repair the worst team in Major League Soccer? The New York Red Bulls appear to be putting together a decent blueprint for how to recover from a disastrous season like 2009 was for the Red Bulls.

The club's Disney Soccer Classic Championship doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things, but the performances of the team's new players show signs of a team ready to recover from season to forget.

MMCB: Americans ready for Dutch Test

Soccer By Ives at related • 2 views


Â

Photo by ISIphotos.com Â
The U.S. national team's upcoming friendly vs. the Netherlands is less than three days away now and we will soon learn just how far certain players have come in their progression as players with just three months to go before the World Cup.