Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2010

Bradley calls in 20 players for USMNT friendlies

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Schalke 04 midfielder Jermaine Jones, Aston Villa defender Eric Lichaj and FC Dallas winger Brek Shea were among 20 players called by U.S. men's national team head coach Bob Bradley for upcoming friendlies against Poland (Oct. 9th in Chicago) and Colombia (Oct. 12 in Chester, Pa.).

Shea and Heath Pearce were the only MLS players to be called in, with the league playing a full schedule around the time of the friendlies (though Dallas plays Colorado on Oct.

UEFA Europa League: Your Running Commentary

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Many of the day's matches are already in the books, but plenty UEFA Europa League action still remains to be played as the group stage continues in the European competition.

Jozy Altidore is once again getting the start for Villarreal in its home match against Club Brugge. The late matches of the day, though, are likely the Manchester City-Juventus and Atletico Madrid-Bayer Leverkusen clashes.

College Spotlight: Notre Dame's Dillon Powers

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Notre Dame midfielder Dillon Powers isn't a goal-scoring machine, or a dynamic playmaker, but for many experts his well-rounded game makes him the most complete player in the nation, and arguably the best pro prospect in college soccer.

A key figure on the U.S. Under-20 national team, Powers has established himself as a mature midfield force who has grown considerably since being one of the youngest members of the 2009 U.

Mid-Day Ticker: Holden extends Bolton deal, Cummings wins award and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

In a very short time, Stuart Holden has made a very strong impression with his Premier League club.

Holden signed a three-year extension with Bolton on Thursday that will keep him in England at least through the 2012-2013 season.

CONCACAF Champions League rewind: Crew falls, Sounders win and more

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The Columbus Crew missed its chance to clinch a place in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals on Wednesday night, suffering a 2-1 loss to Guatemalan side CD Municipal.

Former Los Angeles Galaxy forward Guillermo "Pando" Ramirez scored both goals on a rain-soaked night to help Municipal move to within a point of the Crew for a berth in the Champions League quarterfinals with a match remaining.

College Round-up: Ohio State ties Akron, UNC falls and more

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Akron saw their dreams of a perfect season end as the Zips drew 2-2 on the road to Ohio State in dramatic fashion Wednesday night. Darren Mattocks broke a 1-1 deadlock for Akron in the 68th minute and Akron appeared to on their way to a seventh-straight win, but David Timestra scored with three seconds left in regulation to equalize.

Cummings brace leads Rapids to victory

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The Colorado Rapids sent a clear message on Wednesday night to anybody expecting them to fold up and be the team to fall out of a playoff place.

Don't hold your breath.

Omar Cummings scored a pair of goals while newly-acquired Mac Kandji delivered two assists to help the Colorado Rapids register a 4-1 victory against the Philadelphia Union at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

Fire keeps playoff hopes alive with 3-0 win

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The San Jose Earthquakes had a golden opportunity to bury the Chicago Fire and solidify their own hold on a playoff place.

The Fire had other plans.

Chicago snapped a seven-match win-less streak by scoring three unanswered goals in a 3-0 rout of the Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium.

MLS Match Night: Your Running Commentary

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The Chicago Fire's playoff chances haven't quite been eliminated, but San Jose can throw some more dirt on the grave with a win today as the Fire visits the Earthquakes.

Chicago-San Jose is one of two MLS matches on the schedule, with the Colorado Rapids playing host to the Philadelphia Union.

SBI Live Q&A (Sept. 29th Edition)

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Good evening folks. It's time for the first night-time edition of the SBI Live Q&A.

Time for us to talk soccer, and time for you to send your soccer-related questions my way. Want to talk UEFA Champions League? The MLS Playoff Race? Some college soccer? Send your questions my way and I'll try to answer and discuss as many of them as possible over the next few hours.

Who is your MLS Player of the Month?

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The month of September has been stellar for a number of top MLS players and picking the player of the month isn't easy.

Who has had the best September? Is it Chris Wondoloski, with his four goals? Is it Omar Cummings, with his own four goals? How about Dwayne "Write the Check" DeRosario?

Fantasy MLS: Week 27

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Photo by Don Feria/ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

Ladies and gentlemen, start your Rapids.

With Colorado in the thick of the playoff hunt and exuding its best form of the season, Gary Smith's side is rewarded with home fixtures against the expansion Philadelphia Union and league-cellar-dweller D.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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FC Barcelona failed in two attempts to beat Rubin Kazan in last year's UEFA Champions League group stage and the Spanish champions will have to win in Russia to finally break that hex today.

Rubin Kazan-Barcelona is just one of several enticing match-ups today. Inter Milan takes on Werder Bremen and Tottenham faces FC Twente in two other quality tilts.

SBI USSF Division 2 Power Rankings: Week 25

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By TRAVIS CLARK

The first and most likely only year of the USSF Division 2 League is coming to a close.

Not much is at stake in the final week of the season -- there is a fight at the top for some of the higher seeds, and of course, a race for first in the SBI Power Rankings.

Dynamo looks to build on forgettable 2010

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 Photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

There's the Juan Pablo Angel game-winning free kick in injury time that caromed off the post, the goalkeeper and into the net.

There's the time former team centerpiece Dwayne De Rosario buried a free kick to put a dagger into the team's postseason hopes.

SBI Live Q&A set for 7pm tonight

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If you have ever found yourself wishing you could take part in an SBI Q&A, but couldn't because of when we usually hold them, you may be in luck.

I will host the first evening SBI Live Q&A tonight at 7pm (ET)Â tonight. You can send in your soccer-related questions and I will try answer as many of them as possible.

UEFA Champions League recap: Chelsea and Arsenal roll, Ajax ties AC Milan

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It was a perfect day for London clubs in Champions League play on Tuesday as Chelsea and Arsenal both posted victories to take control of their respective groups.

Chelsea cruised to a comfortable 2-0 victory against French champion Marseille at Stamford Bridge, while Arsenal overcame a myriad of injuries to post a 3-1 victory on the road against Partizan Belgrade.

RSL reaches CCL quarters, TFC eliminated after draw

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Real Salt Lake became the first Major League Soccer team to clinch a berth in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals after registering a 1-1 tie against Toronto FC at BMO Field on Tuesday night.

Javier Morales converted a free kick to help erase a 1-0 Toronto lead and push RSL back to ten points in Group A.

Keller and the vets leading Sounders playoff charge

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Photo by Michael Pimental/ISIphotos.com


By JOSE M. ROMERO

Back in June, on the eve of the World Cup, there were questions being raised about whether Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller had much more left in the tank at age 40.

CONCACAF Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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With Group A victories tonight, Real Salt Lake and Cruz Azul can punch their tickets to the knockout stage of the CONCACAF Champions League.

Salt Lake travels to BMO Field to take on a desperate Toronto FC team (8 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel) that has had it's MLS playoff hopes slip away while its star player is concurrently upset with his contract situation.

Americans Abroad: Tuesday Rewind

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photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.comÂ

By FRANCO PANIZO

Alejandro Bedoya may have scored an early game-winner for Orebro SK on Tuesday, but his day did not end as well as it started.

Bedoya enjoyed a dream start in Orebro's match against Kalmar on Tuesday by scoring a goal in the first minute of the 1-0 affair.

NSCAA Top 25 roundup: Akron stays on top, UNC up to No. 2

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By JOHN BOSCHINIÂ Â

The Akron Zips have retained the top spot in the NSCAA/HendrickCars.com poll for the fifth-consecutive week after a 4-0 demolition of former No. 2 Tulsa last Friday. Akron, which has yet to concede a goal all season, again received all 25 first-place votes, and Tulsa dropped to No.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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Spartak Moscow has already defeated MSK Zilina, 3-0, in the first match of the day, but seven more UEFA Champions League matches are slated for Tuesday afternoon, with Ajax-AC Milan being the headliner.

Also in action, though, are Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid, 2009 runner-up Bayern Munich and English powers Chelsea and Arsenal.

Chicago's coaching flop

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

When you're hired to replace a successful head coach, particularly when that coach was dumped rather than retired or quit, you had better do at least as well as your predecessor.

By any measure, Carlos De Los Cobos has failed as Chicago Fire head coach since replacing Denis Hamlett, who was let go despite two successful seasons in charge.

What did you think of De Rosario's post-goal actions?

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Dwayne De Rosario has carried Toronto FC offensively ever since his arrival north of the border, and he wants the team's ownership to take further notice of that.

After scoring a goal against San Jose on Saturday that cut the Reds' deficit in half, De Rosario celebrated by acting as if his left hand were a checkbook and writing himself an imaginary check.

USSF D-2: A Look Back at Week 25

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By TRAVIS CLARK

The NSC Minnesota Stars became the first club to finish their USSF D-2 schedule, going out in style with a 3-1 win over FC Tampa Bay on the road.

And while the result wasn't enough for the Stars to climb above the seventh spot in the overall playoff standings, the strong finish means that Minnesota will avoid the eighth seed, and a matchup with either Rochester or Austin.

FIFA 11 hits stores nationwide today

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Soccer fans across the country will be shelving out around $60 today, and not because they'll be attending the next big match in their respective cities.

The latest edition of EA Sports' highly-touted FIFA series, FIFA 11, is set to hit stores today, meaning the countless hours of gaming will commence for soccer lovers spanning from Los Angeles to New York City to Miami.

Tuesday Kickoff: UEFA Champions League resumes

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The UEFA Champions League group stage resumes on Tuesday, with a rematch of the 1995 final among the highlights on the schedule.

Ajax Amsterdam, which defeated AC Milan for the 1995 championship, will face the Rossoneri in a Group G showdown. Ajax needs at least a draw to avoid falling six points behind Milan early in group play.

Wondolowski named MLS player of the week

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Chris Wondolowski has been the key factor in San Jose's surprising success this season and he delivered arguably his best performance of the campaign with a hat-trick in a 3-2 win against Toronto FC on aturday. The stellar outing earned him MLS Player of the Week honors.

Mid-Day Ticker: Rooney to miss Valencia clash, Messi comeback looms and more

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Wayne Rooney will miss Manchester United's Champions League visit to Valencia with an ankle sprain suffered in Manchester United's 2-2 tie vs. Bolton on Sunday.

Rooney is one of a handful of Premier League players who will miss mid-week Champions League action with injuries.

Who should be called in for the upcoming USMNT friendlies?

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We are less than two weeks away from the U.S. men's national team's upcoming friendlies against Poland and Colombia, meaning it's time to think about who U.S. head coach may be calling in for those matches.

With the MLS schedule in full swing we aren't likely to see many MLS players called in for the two friendlies, but with so many teams having their playoff dreams all but ended, it might wind up being easier for Bradley to call in a players set to play in the New England-Houston and CHivas USA-Toronto FC matches that weekend (and he could also call in some MLS players just for the Colombia match).

College Soccer: Sunday Rewind

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The weekend of action in college soccer wrapped up without any real surprises as the top 25 teams went five for six on Sunday, Only Harvard suffered a defeat, marking the Crimson's fifth match without a win.

A 74th-minute winner from Stephen Baker broke a 1-1 tie and gave No.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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American goalkeepers Marcus Hahnemann and Brad Friedel square off today as Wolves takes on Aston VIlla in one of the day's featured match-ups.

The two goalkeepers aren't the only Americans in action today. Steve Cherundolo and DaMarcus Beasley will lead Hannover 96 against Kaiserslautern.

Crew rallies from two down to earn draw vs. Revs

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By IAN HOLLIDAY

For the second time in four days, the New England Revolution jumped out to a 2-0 lead over one of the top teams in MLS. And, for the second time in four days, the Revs were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw.

Union blank Chivas USA at PPL Park

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ ISIphotos.com Photo by Howard C. Smith/ ISIphotos.com Â

Philadelphia probably won't be heading to the playoffs in their inaugural season but the Union continue to play solidly at home, defeating a reeling Chivas USA 3-0 on Saturday afternoon following a 10-day break.

College Round-up: Akron routs Tulsa, UCSB tops UCLA, and more

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If there was any doubt about who is the best team in the country, No. 1 Akron removed it with a 4-0 dismantling of No. 2 Tulsa on Friday evening. The Zips again held their opposition scoreless, their 11th straight game with a shutout dating back to last season.Â

It didn't take long for Akron to go ahead.

MLS Week 26: A Look Back

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

The gap between the teams currently in the MLS playoffs and those teams chasing a playoff berth grew much wider this weekend as Toronto FC, Chicago and Kansas City all lost matches they needed to win.

The Seattle Sounders opened up a six-point hold on its playoff berth thanks to Blaise N'kufo's late game-winner to help Seattle beat the Fire.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Benny Feilhaber just cannot be stopped.

Having scored four goals in the past seven days, Feilhaber continued his tear with AGF Aarhus on Sunday as he assisted on two goals and scored a clutch game-winner in a 3-2 victory over Koge.

Report: USA to play Chile in January

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If you've grown tired of seeing the U.S. national team host a Scandinavian team at the end of its annual January camps, you may be in luck.Â

According to a report, Chile has been scheduled to play the United States in Los Angeles on January 22 or 23. While no venue has been announced, the location of the match makes it likely that it will be played at the Home Depot Center.

European League Weekend Rewind

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

It was a tough week for traditional powerhouses at the tops of their leagues as Chelsea and Arsenal lost in England and Inter Milan faltered against Roma in Italy.

Carlos Tevez provided the winner in Manchester City's victory against previously-unbeaten Chelsea, while Mirko Vucinic netted a late winner to lift struggling Roma to a sorely-needed victory against Inter Milan.

College Soccer: Sunday Rewind

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The weekend of action in college soccer wrapped up without any real surprises as the top 25 teams went five for six on Sunday, Only Harvard suffered a defeat, marking the Crimson's fifth match without a win.

A 74th-minute winner from Stephen Baker broke a 1-1 tie and gave No.

European League Weekend Rewind

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

It was a tough week for traditional powerhouses at the tops of their leagues as Chelsea and Arsenal lost in England and Inter Milan faltered against Roma in Italy.

Carlos Tevez provided the winner in Manchester City's victory against previously-unbeaten Chelsea, while Mirko Vucinic netted a late winner to lift struggling Roma to a sorely-needed victory against Inter Milan.

Report: United States to play Chile in January

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If you've grown tired of seeing the U.S. national team host a Scandinavian team at the end of its annual January camp, you're in luck.Â

According to a report, Chile has been scheduled to play the United States in Los Angeles on January 22 or 23. While no venue has been announced, the location of the match makes it likely that it will be played at the Home Depot Center.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Benny Feilhaber just cannot be stopped.

Having scored four goals in the past seven days, Feilhaber continued his tear with AGF Aarhus on Sunday as he assisted on two goals and scored a clutch game-winner in a 3-2 victory over Koge.

MLS Week 26: A Look Back

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

The gap between the teams currently in the MLS playoffs and those teams chasing a playoff berth grew much wider this weekend as Toronto FC, Chicago and Kansas City all lost matches they needed to win.

The Seattle Sounders opened up a six-point hold on its playoff berth thanks to Blaise N'kufo's late game-winner to help Seattle beat the Fire.

College Round-up: Akron routs Tulsa, UCSB tops UCLA, and more

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If there was any doubt about who is the best team in the country, No. 1 Akron removed it with a 4-0 dismantling of No. 2 Tulsa on Friday evening. The Zips again held their opposition scoreless, their 11th straight game with a shutout dating back to last season.Â

It didn't take long for Akron to go ahead.

Union blank Chivas USA at PPL Park

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ ISIphotos.com Photo by Howard C. Smith/ ISIphotos.com Â

Philadelphia probably won't be heading to the playoffs in their inaugural season but the Union continue to play solidly at home, defeating a reeling Chivas USA 3-0 on Saturday afternoon following a 10-day break.

Crew rallies from two down to earn draw vs. Revs

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By IAN HOLLIDAY

For the second time in four days, the New England Revolution jumped out to a 2-0 lead over one of the top teams in MLS. And, for the second time in four days, the Revs were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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American goalkeepers Marcus Hahnemann and Brad Friedel square off today as Wolves takes on Aston VIlla in one of the day's featured match-ups.

The two goalkeepers aren't the only Americans in action today. Steve Cherundolo and DaMarcus Beasley will lead Hannover 96 against Kaiserslautern.

If you're looking for some entertaining soccer to watch, you can't go wrong with Brazilian powers Internacional and Corinthians.

SBI Live Q&A (Sept. 24 edition)

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It's that time again. Time for SBI readers to send their soccer questions my way for the latest SBI Live Q&A.

There are plenty of topics to discuss today. Juergen Klinsmann? Check. The MLS playoff race? Check. Tonight's Akron-Tulsa college showdown? Check. The European soccer scene? We'll discuss that as well.

Galaxy and Red Bulls prepare for star-studded battle

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BY ADAM SERRANO

Landon Donovan, David Beckham, Rafael Marquez, and Juan Pablo Angel.

Despite the loss of Thierry Henry and Omar Gonzalez, Friday's clash (ESPN2: 8pm, PDT)between the Los Angeles Galaxy and New York Red Bulls is not lacking star power. With the Galaxy leading the league with 50 points and the Red Bulls in second place in the Eastern Conference, the match has major implications for not only MLS Cup, but the Supporters Shield as well.

No. 1 Akron faces No. 2 Tulsa in a can't-miss college showdown

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Admit it, you don't watch much college soccer and your past experiences with it haven't been the best.

Tonight's match betwee No. 1 ranked Akron and No. 2 ranked Tulsa (8pm, Fox Soccer Channel) just might change that perception.

Boasting what may be one of the most talented teams in college soccer history, the unbeaten Zips enter tonight's match unscored upon and featuring a dangerous attack loaded with pro prospects.

Timbers turning ground and stones as MLS debut nears

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

The Portland Timbers have set up a 24/7 webcam through which visitors to the club's web site can watch the renovation of PGE Park.

The work began earlier this month, even though the USSF-Division II Timbers are still playing out the final games of their 2010 season.

Salgado set for training stint with Everton

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U.S. Under-20 national team striker Omar Salgado is heading to English club Everton for an extended training stint, sources within MLS told SBI on Friday.

Currently under contract as a Generation adidas player with MLS, Salgado will be eligible for the 2011 MLS Draft and has spent recent weeks training with the Portland Timbers and will now join Everton for a training stint.

New York Red Bulls vs. Los Angeles Galaxy: Match Night Commentary

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 BY ADAM SERRANO

The stars are out tonight as the New York Red Bulls visit the league leading Los Angeles Galaxy (8pm PDT, ESPN2).Â

Thierry Henry may be missing, but tonight's match will feature a cavalcade of stars including Landon Donovan, Rafael Marquez, David Beckham, Juan Pablo Angel and Edson Buddle.

Role players shine as Red Bulls blank Galaxy, 2-0

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIPhotos.com

BY ADAM SERRANO

Substance over style.Â

On one of the biggest nights in the history of MLS, with four designated players set to shine, it was the complimentary players who were the most effective.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Manchester City is trying to halt Chelsea's perfect start to the season while Bayern Munich tries to stop upstarts Mainz 05 from opening an even bigger lead atop the German Bundesliga.

City-Chelsea and Bayern-Mainz are two of the day's marquee match-ups, but not the only good matches on tap.

Bradley scores as Moenchengladbach ties Schalke, 2-2

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Michael Bradley scored his first goal of the Bundesliga season in Borussia Moenchengladbach's 2-2 draw against Schalke 04 on Saturday, and he did so with one of his patented runs into the box.

With Moenchengladbach leading 1-0, Bradley doubled the lead with a deep run that started in his own half before finishing off a nice passing sequence with a left-footed effort to the far post.

MLS Matchday 26: Your Running Commentary

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The Major League Soccer playoff race will become even clearer today as a handful of important matches will go a long way toward establishing who still has a chance for the post-season.

Kansas City, Chicago and Toronto all enter today's action needing victories to keep their post-season aspirations alive, but all three face stiff tests against teams currently in playoff posiiton.

MLS Matchday 26: Your Running Commentary

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The Major League Soccer playoff race will become even clearer today as a handful of important matches will go a long way toward establishing who still has a chance for the post-season.

Kansas City, Chicago and Toronto all enter today's action needing victories to keep their post-season aspirations alive, but all three face stiff tests against teams currently in playoff posiiton.

Bradley scores as Moenchengladbach ties Schalke, 2-2

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Michael Bradley scored his first goal of the Bundesliga season in Borussia Moenchengladbach's 2-2 draw against Schalke 04 on Saturday, and he did so with one of his patented runs into the box.

With Moenchengladbach leading 1-0, Bradley doubled the lead with a deep run that started in his own half before finishing off a nice passing sequence with a left-footed effort to the far post.

Role players shine as Red Bulls blank Galaxy, 2-0

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 Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIPhotos.com

BY ADAM SERRANO

Substance over style.Â

On one of the biggest nights in the history of MLS, with four designated players set to shine, it was the complimentary players who were the most effective.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Manchester City is trying to halt Chelsea's perfect start to the season while Bayern Munich tries to stop upstarts Mainz 05 from opening an even bigger lead atop the German Bundesliga.

City-Chelsea and Bayern-Mainz are two of the day's marquee match-ups, but not the only good matches on tap.

New York Red Bulls vs. Los Angeles Galaxy: Match Night Commentary

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 BY ADAM SERRANO

The stars are out tonight as the New York Red Bulls visit the league leading Los Angeles Galaxy (8pm PDT, ESPN2).Â

Thierry Henry may be missing, but tonight's match will feature a cavalcade of stars including Landon Donovan, Rafael Marquez, David Beckham, Juan Pablo Angel and Edson Buddle.

Salgado set for training stint with Everton

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U.S. Under-20 national team striker Omar Salgado is heading to English club Everton for an extended training stint, sources within MLS told SBI on Friday.

Currently under contract as a Generation adidas player with MLS, Salgado will be eligible for the 2011 MLS Draft and has spent recent weeks training with the Portland Timbers and will now join Everton for a training stint.

Timbers turning ground and stones as MLS debut nears

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

The Portland Timbers have set up a 24/7 webcam through which visitors to the club's web site can watch the renovation of PGE Park.

The work began earlier this month, even though the USSF-Division II Timbers are still playing out the final games of their 2010 season.

No. 1 Akron faces No. 2 Tulsa in a can't-miss college showdown

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Admit it, you don't watch much college soccer and your past experiences with it haven't been the best.

Tonight's match betwee No. 1 ranked Akron and No. 2 ranked Tulsa (8pm, Fox Soccer Channel) just might change that perception.

Boasting what may be one of the most talented teams in college soccer history, the unbeaten Zips enter tonight's match unscored upon and featuring a dangerous attack loaded with pro prospects.

Galaxy and Red Bulls prepare for star-studded battle

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BY ADAM SERRANO

Landon Donovan, David Beckham, Rafael Marquez, and Juan Pablo Angel.

Despite the loss of Theirry Henry and Omar Gonzalez, Friday's clash (ESPN2: 8pm, PDT)between the Los Angeles Galaxy and New York Red Bulls is not lacking star power. With the Galaxy leading the league with 50 points and the Red Bulls in second place in the Eastern Conference, the match has major implications for not only MLS Cup, but the Supporters Shield as well.

SBI Live Q&A (Sept. 24 edition)

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It's that time again. Time for SBI readers to send their soccer questions my way for the latest SBI Live Q&A.

There are plenty of topics to discuss today. Juergen Klinsmann? Check. The MLS playoff race? Check. Tonight's Akron-Tulsa college showdown? Check. The European soccer scene? We'll discuss that as well.

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

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Chelsea has looked unstoppable early in the English Premier league season but the Blues face their first tough test of the campaign against the big spenders from Manchester City.

Chelsea will have to win in Manchester by beating a tough Man City side that will provide the toughest test faced by Carlo Ancelotti's men so far this season.

USSF D-2: A Look Ahead at Week 25

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By TRAVIS CLARK

With the eight playoff teams in USSF D-2 now set, determining those first round matches is the only thing left to resolve.Â

Vancouver and Montreal will get one more chance to face off (Friday, 10:30 p.m.) before the Canadian rivalry takes a year off in 2011 as the Whitecaps make the transition to MLS -- that is, unless the two sides meet up in the postseason.

Fantasy Premier League: Matchweek 6

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By AVI CREDITOR

Much like in Major League Soccer, most of the attention this weekend belongs to one game featuring two high-priced rosters and teams with high ambitions.

Even though Chelsea-Manchester City might be the match of the week, others likely hold greater fantasy implications.

Morning Ticker: Injuries plague Chelsea, Man. City; Hargreaves nears return and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

When Chelsea and Manchester City face each other on Saturday, both teams figure to be a bit shorthanded.

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has been ruled out for the match along with the in-form Salomon Kalou and Yossi Benayoun. Lampard suffered a setback in training while recovering from a hernia operation and is expected to miss the Blues' next three matches.

College Soccer Weekend Preview

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The top-two schools in the nation will face-off this weekend when No. 2 Tulsa travels to take on No. 1 Akron this Friday. Tulsa's offense, which has scored 18 goals through six games, will look to break down an Akron defense which has yet to concede a goal in 2010. If the Golden Hurricanes are going to pull off the upset they'll have to find a way to stop Darlington Nagbe, who has three goals through the first six matches.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

If Michael Bradley is to help Borussia Moenchengladbach break their recent string of dreadful performances, he'll likely have to outdo a fellow American central midfielder that he could play alongside next month.

Poll: Which MLS game will be the best this weekend?

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All the hype about this weekend's Major League Soccer action surrounds the Los Angeles-New York tilt that will feature the glitz and glamor of the league (sans Thierry Henry). But does that mean it's necessarily the best game of the weekend?

In Chicago, the Fire and Seattle Sounders will do battle in Freddie Cup II, with Freddie Ljungberg facing his former team for the second time since he was traded.

SBI Live Q&A set for 1pm on Friday

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With all the action taking place at mid-week, and all the big games we have taking place this weekend, Friday seems like the perfect time for the next SBI Live Q&A.

I will host the next Q&A at 1pm on Friday so get your soccer (and pop culture) questions ready to send my way. Want to discuss the CONCACAF Champions League craziness?

Agbossoumonde forced to wait on club move

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Photo by John Dorton/ISIphotos.com

When Gale Agbossoumonde was loaned to Portuguese giant Sporting Club Braga last winter, things were looking pretty bright for the 18-year-old centerback.

His professional outlook hasn't changed, but his club status has. After a large turnover in Braga's front office and technical staff and despite Agbossoumonde showing well with the first team, the organization elected not to exercise its option to purchase Agbossoumonde from parent club Miami FC, leaving him without a team after the European summer transfer window shut.

Bring It to Our Country

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In 70 short days, FIFA will announce who will host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. The powers behind the United States' bid to host the World Cup hope to win over some more people by releasing this inspiring video narrated by Morgan Freeman. If you haven't seen it yet, enjoy:


Mid-Day Ticker: Neymar left out, Beckham suing magazine and more

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Photo by Tony Quinn/ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

Young Brazilian striker Neymar figures to have plenty of memorable games ahead of him, but none of those will be happening next month.

The 18-year-old has been left out of Brazil's squad by coach Mano Menezes for the Selecao's yet-to-be-announced friendlies in October.

USSF D-2: Playoff field set

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By TRAVIS CLARK

With a 4-2 loss Wednesday night to Miami FC, the dim USSF D-2 playoff aspirations of first-year club A.C. St. Louis were finally extinguished.Â

Abe Thompson proved to be too much for the St. Louis defense to handle in Miami, netting a hat trick and seeing Miami to their third straight win of the season, eliminating any remaining hope of postseason action for the visitors.

Premier League favorites fall in cup play

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One by one, some of the big boys of English soccer fell by the wayside against lower-tier competition in the third round of Carling Cup action this week.

On Tuesday it was Everton, which was stunned in penalty kicks by League One side Brentford, and Bolton, which fell, 1-0, to Burnley.

Afternoon Ticker: Ribery out four weeks, Liverpool hopeful of sale and more

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By FRANCO PANIZOÂ

Bayern Munich is currently coping with not having star Arjen Robben at its disposal, but now the team will have to deal with the injury absence of its other big playmaker.

Franck Ribery has been ruled out for four weeks after damaging ligaments in a league match against TSG Hoffenheim on Tuesday.

Kansas City hopes to keep pace in playoff race, as Dallas hosts New England

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By TRAVIS CLARK

A streaking Kansas City Wizards side hosts the Houston Dynamo Wednesday evening, in a bid to keep pace in the tightening MLS playoff race (8:30 p.m., MLS Direct Kick). The Wizards have been hot of late, unbeaten in nine of their last 10, including a 2-0 win over Chivas USA this past Sunday.

RSL looks to seize control of Group A while Seattle heads to Mexico

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By TRAVIS CLARK

Real Salt Lake has a chance to stake a strong claim on a quarterfinal spot in the CONCACAF Champions League, as they travel to Panama and face Arabe Unido (8pm/concacaf.com, 11pm/delayed on FSC).

Jason Kreis has a decision to make -- either go for the jugular and field a starter-heavy lineup, or give some regulars a night off.

CONCACAF Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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Real Salt Lake and Seattle take the field in CONCACAF Champions League action tonight. One team has dreams of a quarterfinal berth, another is looking to register its first point in the group stage.

RSL takes on Panamanian side Arabe Unido tonight (live at 8pm, shown on tape delay at 11pm on Fox Soccer Channel) in what should be a tough road match, but a match the defending MLS champions can win.

Americans Abroad: Wednesday Rewind

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photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.comÂ

By FRANCO PANIZO

Benny Feilhaber is on fire.

Just three days after scoring his second career goal at the club level, Feilhaber netted a hat-trick in AGF Aarhus' 6-3 overtime victory against Skive in the fourth round of the Danish Cup on Wednesday.

Late Cunningham goal keeps FC Dallas' unbeaten streak alive

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

For the better part of 93 minutes, it looked as though the lowly New England Revolution were going to end FC Dallas' 15-game unbeaten streak Wednesday night. Instead, a Jeff Cunningham goal on the second-to-last-kick of the match saved a point for the Hoops and kept the streak alive.

Wizards complete wild 4-3 comeback win over Houston

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Photo by Gary Rohman

Josh Wolff picked an appropriate time for his second goal of the 2010 season. The former USMNT forward capped off a second half rally with a 96th minute winner, as Kansas City erased a two-goal deficit, defeating the Houston Dynamo 4-3 and keeping their playoff hopes alive.

CCL Recap: MLS still cursed in Mexico but not in Panama

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By AVI CREDITOR

Real Salt Lake finally ended the curse that has plagued Major League Soccer teams for ages, becoming the first MLS side to win a game in...Panama.

The MLS Cup holders received two goals from Will Johnson and one from Alvaro Saborio to defeat Arabe Unido, 3-2, and take control of Group A in the CONCACAF Champions League.

NCAA Player Profile: Ryan Kinne

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Just by looking at him, it's a little difficult to believe that Ryan Kinne is one of the United States' top striking prospects. Standing at only 5-foot-8 and weighing about 160 pounds, Kinne isn't the archetypal big and physical American striker.

NCAA midweek roundup: Wake upset again, Tulsa survives scare, more

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Things are looking pretty grim for Wake Forest as the Demon Deacons suffered yet another loss to unranked opposition, this time a 1-0 defeat to College of Charleston. A 61st minute goal by Francis Twohig was enough for Charleston and No. 19 Wake Forest was again held to a shutout, their third of the season.

CCL Recap: MLS still cursed in Mexico but not in Panama

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By AVI CREDITOR

Real Salt Lake finally ended the curse that has plagued Major League Soccer teams for ages, becoming the first MLS side to win a game in...Panama.

The MLS Cup holders received two goals from Will Johnson and one from Alvaro Saborio to defeat Arabe Unido, 3-2, and take control of Group A in the CONCACAF Champions League.

Wizards complete wild 4-3 comeback win over Houston

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Photo by Gary Rohman

Josh Wolff picked an appropriate time for his second goal of the 2010 season. The former USMNT forward capped off a second half rally with a 96th minute winner, as Kansas City erased a two-goal deficit, defeating the Houston Dynamo 4-3 and keeping their playoff hopes alive.

Late Cunningham goal keeps FC Dallas' unbeaten streak alive

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

For the better part of 93 minutes, it looked as though the lowly New England Revolution were going to end FC Dallas' 15-game unbeaten streak Wednesday night. Instead, a Jeff Cunningham goal on the second-to-last-kick of the match saved a point for the Hoops and kept the streak alive.

Americans Abroad: Wednesday Rewind

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photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.comÂ

By FRANCO PANIZO

Benny Feilhaber is on fire.

Just three days after scoring his second career goal at the club level, Feilhaber netted a hat-trick in AGF Aarhus' 6-3 overtime victory against Skive in the fourth round of the Danish Cup on Wednesday.

CONCACAF Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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Real Salt Lake and Seattle take the field in CONCACAF Champions League action tonight. One team has dreams of a quarterfinal berth, another is looking to register its first point in the group stage.

RSL takes on Panamanian side Arabe Unido tonight (live at 8pm, shown on tape delay at 11pm on Fox Soccer Channel) in what should be a tough road match, but a match the defending MLS champions can win.

RSL looks to seize control of Group A while Seattle heads to Mexico

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By TRAVIS CLARK

Real Salt Lake has a chance to stake a strong claim on a quarterfinal spot in the CONCACAF Champions League, as they travel to Panama and face Arabe Unido (8:00 p.m./concacaf.com, 11:00 p.m./delayed on FSC).

Jason Kreis has a decision to make -- either go for the jugular and field a starter-heavy lineup, or give some regulars a night off.

Kansas City hopes to keep pace in playoff race, as Dallas hosts New England

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By TRAVIS CLARK

A streaking Kansas City Wizards side hosts the Houston Dynamo Wednesday evening, in a bid to keep pace in the tightening MLS playoff race (8:30 p.m., MLS Direct Kick). The Wizards have been hot of late, unbeaten in nine of their last 10, including a 2-0 win over Chivas USA this past Sunday.

Afternoon Ticker: Ribery out four weeks, interest in buying Liverpool and more

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By FRANCO PANIZOÂ

Bayern Munich is currently coping with not having star Arjen Robben at its disposal, but now the team will have to deal with the injury absence of its other big playmaker.

Franck Ribery has been ruled out for four weeks after damaging ligaments in a league match against TSG Hoffenheim on Tuesday.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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More Carling Cup action highlights a busy mid-week slate of European soccer for Wednesday afternoon. Newcastle takes on Chelsea, while Aston Villa hosts Blackburn Rovers in the higher profile meetings of the day's competition.

Villa's match will provide a chance for seldom-used U.

NCAA Top 25 rundown: Akron still No. 1; Ohio State, Harvard and Virginia slip

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

There were several shakeups in the NSCAA/HendrickCars.com Top 25 this week, but one thing remains constant: The Akron Zips have received every first-place vote since the Week 1 poll, and they don't look to be relinquishing the top spot anytime soon after winning their first five games by a combined score of 11-0.

CONCACAF Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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The Columbus Crew can make some serious headway in reaching the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals in its Group B match against Santos Laguna (8 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel).

Columbus trails Santos by one point in the group, and both have created separation from third-place Municipal and fourth-place Joe Public.

MLS enjoys good night in CONCACAF Champions League

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Major League Soccer clubs scored a pair of impressive results against Mexican competition on Tuesday night in CONCACAF Champions League action.

Peruvian striker Andres Mendoza scored an 87th-minute winner to lead the Columbus Crew to a hard-fought 1-0 winagainst Santos Laguna at Crew Stadium.

Wednesday Kickoff: Infamous referee arrested, Mexican players suspended and more

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Italian national team fans will never forget Byron Moreno. Now they have more reason to believe their worst fears about the Ecuadorian referee were true.

Moreno was arrested on Tuesday on drug smuggling charges at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport after being found with more than 10 pounds of heroin strapped to his body.

Fantasy MLS: Week 26

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By AVI CREDITOR

Yes, the marquee match of the week is taking place at the Home Depot Center Friday night, but in Fantasy MLS circles, much should be focused on the teams playing two matches this week. FC Dallas, Kansas City, Houston and New England each play twice in Week 26, with the first three teams deserving your attention.

Rout of Columbus could be turning point for Sounders

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BY JOSE Â M. ROMERO

How important was the Seattle Sounders' 4-0 domination of the Columbus Crew this past Saturday? For more reasons than one, none in any particular order of importance.

-Blaise N'kufo, the reigning MLS Player of the Week, scored not just his first but second and third goals as a Sounder.

Own goal of the week

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Who needs a header own goal, or a volley own goal, when you can finish like this:

Your favorite own goal of all time? Seen one better recently?

Who will win the LA-NY showdown?

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

It's being called the game of the season, an inter-conference clash that will feature four Designated Players.

The Los Angeles Galaxy-New York Red Bulls battle on Friday will have its share of hype, even without injured Red Bulls star Thierry Henry, and along with featuring the star power of players like David Beckham and Rafael Marquez, it could be an MLS Cup Final preview.

Meet the future of the USMNT

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To call the newest U.S. Under-17 national team residency roster diverse is an understatement.

Not only does the squad boast players from all over the country, it actually has players coming from across the globe. Players from Japan and Guatamala are included in a squad that also has a strong MLS academy influence.

SBI USSF Division 2 Power Rankings: Week 24

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By TRAVIS CLARK

The regular season of the USSF Division 2 League is nearing an end, and the battle for postseason positioning will come down to the final day.

A tussle at the top of the table continued over last weekend, as both Austin and Rochester lost, leaving the Rhinos with a slim one point lead for the No.

Who will win the LA-NY showdown?

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

It's being called the game of the season, an inter-conference clash that will feature four Designated Players.

The Los Angeles Galaxy-New York Red Bulls battle on Friday will have its share of hype, even without injured Red Bulls star Thierry Henry, and along with featuring the star power of players like David Beckham and Rafael Marquez, it could be an MLS Cup Final preview.

Rout of Columbus could be turning point for Sounders

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BY JOSE Â M. ROMERO

How important was the Seattle Sounders' 4-0 domination of the Columbus Crew this past Saturday? For more reasons than one, none in any particular order of importance.

-Blaise N'kufo, the reigning MLS Player of the Week, scored not just his first but second and third goals as a Sounder.

Own goal of the week

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Who needs a header own goal, or a volley own goal, when you can finish like this:

Your favorite own goal of all time? Seen one better recently?


Fantasy MLS: Week 26

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By AVI CREDITOR

Yes, the marquee match of the week is taking place at the Home Depot Center Friday night, but in Fantasy MLS circles, much should be focused on the teams playing two matches this week. FC Dallas, Kansas City, Houston and New England each play twice in Week 26, with the first three teams deserving your attention.

Wednesday Kickoff: Infamous referee arrested, Mexican players suspended and more

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Italian national team fans will never forget Byron Moreno. Now they have more reason to believe their worst fears about the Ecuadorian referee were true.

Moreno was arrested on Tuesday on drug smuggling charges at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport after being found with more than 10 pounds of heroin strapped to his body.

MLS enjoys good night in CONCACAF Champions League

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Major League Soccer clubs scored a pair of impressive results against Mexican competition on Tuesday night in CONCACAF Champions League action.

Peruvian striker Andres Mendoza scored an 87th-minute winner to lead the Columbus Crew to a hard-fought 1-0 winagainst Santos Laguna at Crew Stadium.

CONCACAF Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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The Columbus Crew can make some serious headway in reaching the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals in its Group B match at Santos Laguna (8 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel).

Columbus trails Santos by one point in the group, and both have created separation from third-place Municipal and fourth-place Joe Public.

NCAA Top 25 rundown: Akron still No. 1; Ohio State, Harvard and Virginia slip

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

There were several shakeups in the NSCAA/HendrickCars.com Top 25 this week, but one thing remains constant: The Akron Zips have received every first-place vote since the Week 1 poll, and they don't look to be relinquishing the top spot anytime soon after winning their first five games by a combined score of 11-0.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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The Carling Cup's third round gets underway on Tuesday in England, with Tottenham-Arsenal being the match of the day, but a bevy of Americans could potentially be in action elsewhere.

Bolton faces Burnley, Everton meets Brentford, Wolverhampton squares off with Notts County, Fulham visits Stoke City and West Ham travels to Sunderland in matches (all beginning at 2:45 p.

Juninho's success helps Galaxy, could open more doors in MLS for Brazilians

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

By ADAM SERRANO

While the scoring prowess of Edson Buddle and Landon Donovan and the stout defending of Omar Gonzalez have been crucial ingredients to the success of the Los Angeles Galaxy, it is the play of a newcomer that may play just as important of a role in the team's good fortune.

Mid-Day Ticker: Matthaus takes Bulgaria job, Henry out for Galaxy match and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

Former Germany star Lothar Matthaus is back in international soccer after signing a one-year deal (with an option for two more) to become the manager of the Bulgarian national team.

The 49-year-old Matthaus had an infamous stint in Major League Soccer with the MetroStars in 2000 before concluding his playing career and entering the managing realm.

USSF D-2: A Look Back at Week 24

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By TRAVIS CLARK

The Carolina Railhawks became the latest USSF Division 2 to officially secure a playoff spot over the weekend.

With only a handful of games remaining in second division play, Carolina's 4-2 win over struggling Crystal Palace locked up the fifth playoff spot in postseason play.

Tuesday Kickoff: MLS clubs eye CCL quarters, Shea disciplined and more

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The quest to bring respectability CONCACAF Champions League results to Major League Soccer will continue tonight when MLS clubs take on Mexican opponents yet again.

The Columbus Crew will take on Santos Laguna at Crew Stadium tonight (8pm, Fox Soccer Channel) in a vital match that could see Columbus claim first place in Group B with a victory.

Afternoon Ticker: Hartman to miss 2-3 weeks, Nkufo wins award and more

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FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman will miss two to three weeks with the sprained MCL he suffered in last week's run-in with New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry.

Hartman was forced to leave at halftime of the Red Bulls-FC Dallas match last Thursday after a ball kicked by Henry jarred Hartman's leg, spraining his MCL in the process.

Berbatov's wonder goal

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 In case you missed it, Dimitar Berbatov scored one of the better goals you'll ever see this past Sunday against Liverpool. We've seen bicycle kicks before, but scoring one in a Manchester United-Liverpool clash, and doing it with the class Berbatov showed is extra special.

here is the goal:


What did you think of the goal?

Klinsmann reveals details of talks with U.S. Soccer

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Juergen Klinsmann emerged from his extended vacation recently to discussa variety of topics with Kansas City Wizards television analyst Sasha Victorine and revealed that U.S. Soccer's unwillingness to give him full control of the national team in writing ultimately led to the end of discussions about him possibly taking over as U.

Who is this week's MLS Player of the Week?

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Most weeks, picking the MLS Player of the Week is easy.

Not this week.

Seattle's Blaise Nkufo, Toronto FC's Dwayne DeRosario and Los Angeles' Landon Donovan all enjoyed stellar multi-goal performances to help lead their teams to victories, and they each would easily win player of the week most other weeks.

NCAA Top 25 roundup: Wake Forest tops Virginia, Ohio State upset and more

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The No. 2 Virginia Cavaliers suffered their first loss in almost a year when No. 14 Wake Forest came to Charlottesville and earned a 1-0 victory over the defending champions Sunday afternoon.Â

Sophomore forward Andy Lubahn scored the lone goal with a strike from the left side of the penalty area.

European Weekend Rewind

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

Late goals were the order of the weekend for some of Europe's biggest clubs. Dimitar Berbatov completed his hat-trick in the 84th minute to give Manchester United a 3-2 win over arch-rivals Liverpool, while Arsenal were held by Sunderland on a stoppage time goal from Darren Bent.

Kamara shines as Wizards continue playoff push and defeat Chivas USA, 2-0

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         Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIPhotos.comÂ

BY ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, CALIF--On Sunday night, the Kansas City Wizards dreams of the playoffs grew a little brighter while Chivas USA's slim hopes were all but extinguished.

Report: Whitecaps interested in signing DeMerit as DP

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 Photo by ISIPhotos.com

BY ADAM SERRANO

Jay DeMerit's search for a club has taken yet another turn.

Canadian Newspaper reports claim that the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps have joined the race for the USMNT defender's signature. The reports claim that DeMerit and the Whitecaps have been in conversations, but there is still a "significant distance to bridge.

Kansas City Wizards vs. Chivas USA: Match Day Commentary

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BY ADAM SERRANO

A pair of clubs striving for a playoff berth face off in a must win match at the Home Depot Center as the Kansas City Wizards take on Chivas USA.

Both clubs come into the match red hot and will need a victory in order to keep their slim dreams of a playoff berth alive.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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photo by Ben Queenborough/ISIphotos.comÂ

By FRANCO PANIZO

Benny Feilhaber accomplished something this weekend that he's only done once before in his career: he scored a goal at the club level.

Rapids Handle Revs Easily at Home

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

The Colorado Rapids took another step toward their first playoff birth since 2006 Saturday night with a comfortable 3-0 win over the New England Revolution. Omar Cummings and Conor Casey scored in the first half, and Wells Thompson added an insurance goal seven minutes from time.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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AC Milan will look to rebound from last week's Serie A upset loss with a win against Catania today.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic stole the show in mid-week with two goals in a UEFA Champions League victory against Auxerre, but he and the rest of Milan's loaded attack must come through today to keep Milan from falling too far behind Inter Milan in the race for the Scudetto.

NCAA Friday roundup: UNC Tops Duke, UCSB drops Harvard, and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

No. 4 North Carolina nicked a vital ACC road win with a 1-0 victory over the Duke Blue Devils in a matchup between two fierce rivals.Â

The Tar Heels enjoyed the better of the play throughout the evening, with the exception of some dangerous forays from standout Duke striker Ryan Finley.

Dempsey nets equalizer against Blackburn

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Clint Dempsey scored his first goal of the Premiership campaign on Saturday, netting a second-half equalizer to keep Fulham on its unbeaten start to the season.

Earning his third start of the season in Fulham's 1-1 draw against Blackburn Rovers, Dempsey rescued a point for the Cottagers by heading home a cross from new teammate Carlos Salcido.

MLS Matchday 25: Your Running Commentary

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The Chicago Fire's quest for a playoff berth will have to go through Rio Tinto Stadium, where defending MLS champion Real Salt Lake has proven to be unbeatable.

The Fire-RSL match kicks off a good day of action in Major League Soccer, with Sigi Schmid's Seattle Sounders taking on his former team.

Real Salt Lake top Fire to set MLS home unbeaten record

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

The Chicago Fire saw its playoff hopes diminished even further with a 1-0 loss to Real Salt Lake on Saturday afternoon at Rio Tinto Stadium. The victory made it 23 games since RSL was beaten at home, an MLS record.

The lone goal came in the 44th minute when Alvaro Saborio scored from a penalty kick after Wilman Conde, who had already been cautioned in the 30th minute, pulled Ned Grabavoy down inside the box.

Match Night Commentary: D.C. United vs. Los Angeles Galaxy

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BY ADAM SERRANO

Two clubs on opposites sides of the table face off as D.C. United visits the league leading Los Angeles Galaxy. (7:30pm PST, FSC)

Galaxy are riding high after a convincing victory over the Crew last week and will look to avoid a let down against United.

Sounders rout Crew to boost playoff hopes

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

When it rains it pours for Blaise Nkufo. The Swiss international's first goal for Seattle turned into a hat trick as the Sounders trounced the Columbus Crew 4-0 Saturday night at Crew Stadium.

Nkufo got the scoring started early, putting home a rebound in the fourth minute to give the Sounders an early lead.

Donovan hits brace as Galaxy battle back to defeat United, 2-1

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 Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIPhotos.com

BY ADAM SERRANO

Landon Donovan is getting used to playing the hero.

Two goals in five minutes by the midfielder completed the Los Angeles Galaxy's first come back of the season as the league leaders defeated a heroic D.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Premier League powers Manchester United and Liverpool square off today in the weekend's most high-profile encounter.

Both teams are coming off disappointing draws in Premier league play, with Manchester United enjoying the home-field advantage at Old Trafford.

The Premier League isn't the only league offering quality tilts today.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Premier League powers Manchester United and Liverpool square off today in the weekend's most high-profile encounter.

Both teams are coming off disappointing draws in Premier league play, with Manchester United enjoying the home-field advantage at Old Trafford.

The Premier League isn't the only league offering quality tilts today.

Donovan hits brace as Galaxy battle back to defeat United, 2-1

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIPhotos.net

BY ADAM SERRANO

Landon Donovan is getting used to playing the hero.

A Donovan brace in five minutes completed the Los Angeles Galaxy's first come back of the season as the league leaders defeated a heroic D.

Sounders route Crew to boost playoff hopes

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

When it rains it pours for Blaise Nkufo. The Swiss international's first goal for Seattle turned into a hat trick as the Sounders trounced the Columbus Crew 4-0 Saturday night at Crew Stadium.

Nkufo got the scoring started early, putting home a rebound in the fourth minute to give the Sounders an early lead.

Real Salt Lake top Fire to set MLS home unbeaten record

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

The Chicago Fire saw its playoff hopes diminished even further with a 1-0 loss to Real Salt Lake Saturday afternoon at Rio Tinto Stadium. The victory made it 23 games since RSL was beaten at home, an MLS record.

The lone goal came in the 44th minute when Alvaro Saborio scored from a penalty kick after Wilman Conde, who had already been cautioned in the 30th minute, pulled Ned Grabavoy down inside the box.

Match Night Commentary: D.C. United vs. Los Angeles Galaxy

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BY ADAM SERRANO

Two clubs on opposites sides of the table face off as D.C. United visits the league leading Los Angeles Galaxy. (7:30pm PST, FSC)

Galaxy are riding high after a convincing victory over the Crew last week and will look to avoid a let down against United.

MLS Matchday 25: Your Running Commentary

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The Chicago Fire's quest for a playoff berth will have to go through Rio Tinto Stadium, where defending MLS champion Real Salt Lake has proven to be unbeatable.

The Fire-RSL match kicks off a good day of action in Major League Soccer, with Sigi Schmid's Seattle Sounders taking on his former team.

Dempsey nets equalizer against Blackburn

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Clint Dempsey scored his first goal of the Premiership campaign on Saturday, netting a second-half equalizer to keep Fulham on its unbeaten start to the season.

Earning his third start of the season in Fulham's 1-1 draw against Blackburn Rovers, Dempsey rescued a point for the Cottagers by heading home a cross from new teammate Carlos Salcido.

NCAA Friday roundup: UNC Tops Duke, UCSB drops Harvard, and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

No. 4 North Carolina nicked a vital ACC road win with a 1-0 victory over the Duke Blue Devils in a matchup between two fierce rivals.Â

The Tar Heels enjoyed the better of the play throughout the evening, with the exception of some dangerous forays from standout Duke striker Ryan Finley.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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AC Milan will look to rebound from last week's Serie A upset loss with a win against Catania today.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic stole the show in mid-week with two goals in a UEFA Champions League victory against Auxerre, but he and the rest of Milan's loaded attack must come through today to keep Milan from falling too far behind Inter Milan in the race for the Scudetto.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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Long-time rivals Manchester United and Liverpool square off on Sunday to headline this weekend's soccer action.

United will be looking to erase the bad taste of last week's 3-3 tie vs. Everton, while Liverpool will look to improve on last week's disappointing showing against Birmingham.

Ponce faces choice between USA and Mexico

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BY ADAM SERRANO

United States or Mexico?

For one American born player, the decision is not as simple as just choosing a national team.

Chivas de Guadalajara's American-born defender Miguel Angel Ponce has an interesting choice ahead of him. Born in America and raised in Mexico, the left back has risen through the ranks at one of Mexico's largest clubs.

FC Dallas vs. Red Bulls: Match Night Commentary

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The New York Red Bulls are in Frisco, Texas tonight to take on streaking FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park (9pm, MSG/Direct Kick).

FC Dallas is riding a 14-match unbeaten streak, but will face a stiff test from an improving Red Bulls squad that has been boosted by the arrivals or Thierry Henry and Rafael Marquez.

FC Dallas extends unbeaten streak, ties RBNY

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Whoever said regular season MLS games are boring might have have been convinced otherwise on Thursday night after watching the New York Red Bulls and FC Dallas battle through a dramatic, fiesty and entertaining 2-2 draw at Pizza Hut Park on Thursday night.

FCD extended its unbeaten streak to 15 matches, but paid a big price, with goalkeeper Kevin Hartman and veteran midfielder Daniel Hernandez suffering knee injuries that forced them to leave the match before the second half.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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photo by ISIphotos.comÂ

By FRANCO PANIZO

Stuart Holden has enjoyed a strong start to the season, but if he is to make it even more impressive by opening his scoring abroad account this weekend, he'll have to do it against a fellow American.

USSF D-2: A Look Ahead at Week 24

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By TRAVIS CLARK

Three full weekends of USSF D-2 action remain, and for NSC Minnesota, the stakes are higher than ever.

A battle for that last playoff spot is still up for grabs, and this weekend gives the Stars a chance to take another step closer to that goal.

Fantasy Premier League: Matchweek 5

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By AVI CREDITOR

Another season, another quick start for the top four teams in the league. Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and...Blackpool?

The recently promoted Tangerines are off to a dream start in the Premiership, amassing two victories by shutout and securing seven points through their first four games.

Should Henry be suspended for Hartman incident?

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What started out as a celebration turned into a nightmare when a Thierry Henry kicked a ball into Kevin Hartman's foot, causing the FC Dallas goalkeeper to suffer a sprained MCL that could sideline him for several weeks.

The incident came after a Mehdi Ballouchy goal in Thursday's Red Bulls-FC Dallas match.

College Soccer Weekend Preview

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Duke and North Carolina are about to write another chapter in the storied "Tobacco Road Rivalry" when the two teams clash today in Durham.

No. 11 Duke and No. 4 UNC are only seperated by about eight miles and house one of the fiercest rivalries in college sports.

Win tickets to the New York premiere of Pelada

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If you love soccer, and love the way it brings people together, then you have to see the movie Pelada.

A film chronicling the world-wide travels of two soccer enthusiasts looking for soccer games in every corner of the world, Pelada is a heart-warming and inspirational film that will touch soccer lovers anywhere.

USA set to face South Africa in Cape Town in November

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The U.S. men's national team has an agreement in principle to face South Africa on Nov. 17th in Cape Town in the Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup, U.S. Soccer announced on Friday.

U.S. Soccer is still finalizing the deal, but once completed, it will mark the United States'Â fourth trip to the African nation in the past three years (twice to play South Africa, once for the 2009 Confederations Cup and most recently for the 2010 World Cup).

Win tickets to the New York premiere of Pelada

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If you love soccer, and love the way it brings people together, then you have to see the movie Pelada.

A film chronicling the world-wide travels of two soccer enthusiasts looking for soccer games in every corner of the world, Pelada is a heart-warming and inspirational film that will touch soccer lovers anywhere.

Should Henry be suspended for Hartman incident?

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What started out as a celebration turned into a nightmare when a Thierry kicked a ball into Kevin Hartman's foot, causing the FC Dallas goalkeeper to suffer a sprained MCL that could sideline him for several weeks.

The incident came after a Mehdi Ballouchy goal in Thursday's Red Bulls-FC Dallas match.

College Soccer Weekend Preview

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Duke and North Carolina are about to write another chapter in the storied "Tobacco Road Rivalry" when the two teams clash today in Durham.

No. 11 Duke and No. 4 UNC are only seperated by about eight miles and house one of the fiercest rivalries in college sports.

Fantasy Premier League: Matchweek 5

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By AVI CREDITOR

Another season, another quick start for the top four teams in the league. Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and...Blackpool?

The recently promoted Tangerines are off to a dream start in the Premiership, amassing two victories by shutout and securing seven points through their first four games.

USSF D-2: A Look Ahead at Week 24

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By TRAVIS CLARK

Three full weekends of USSF D-2 action remain, and for NSC Minnesota, the stakes are higher than ever.

A battle for that last playoff spot is still up for grabs, and this weekend gives the Stars a chance to take another step closer to that goal.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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photo by ISIphotos.comÂ

By FRANCO PANIZO

Stuart Holden has enjoyed a strong start to the season, but if he is to make it even more impressive by opening his scoring abroad account this weekend, he'll have to do it against a fellow American.

FC Dallas extends unbeaten streak, ties RBNY 1-1

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Whoever said regular season MLS games are boring might have have been convinced otherwise on Thursday night after watching the New York Red Bulls and FC Dallas battle through a dramatic, fiesty and entertaining 2-2 draw at Pizza Hut Park on Thursday night.

FCD extended its unbeaten streak to 15 matches, but paid a big price, with goalkeeper Kevin Hartman and veteran midfielder Daniel Hernandez suffering knee injuries that forced them to leave the match before the second half.

FC Dallas vs. Red Bulls: Match Night Commentary

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The New York Red Bulls are in Frisco, Texas tonight to take on streaking FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park (9pm, MSG/Direct Kick).

FC Dallas is riding a 14-match unbeaten streak, but will face a stiff test from an improving Red Bulls squad that has been boosted by the arrivals or Thierry Henry and Rafael Marquez.

Ponce faces choice between USA and Mexico

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BY ADAM SERRANO

United States or Mexico?

For one American born player, the decision is not as simple as just choosing a national team.

Chivas de Guadalajara's American-born defender Miguel Angel Ponce has an interesting choice ahead of him. Born in America and raised in Mexico, the left back has risen through the ranks at one of Mexico's largest clubs.

SBI USSF Division 2 Power Rankings: Week 23

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By TRAVIS CLARK

The NSC Minnesota Stars really want that last playoff spot.

Playing at home against playoff-bound Carolina, the Stars took advantage of an early Railhawks red card to come away with a 1-0 win. Carolina's Devon McKinney was sent off for a foul in his own penalty area, but Minnesota's Simone Bracalello missed the ensuing penalty kick.

Altidore starts, plays 90 in Europa League loss to Dinamo Zagreb

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Jozy Altidore started and played 90 minutes for Villarreal in their 2-0 loss to Dinamo Zagreb in Europa League action in Croatia.

Altidore didn't have any clear-cut scoring chances, but he did draw a handful of free kicks and was one of Villarreal's more active players.

What did you think of Altidore's performance today?

Rapids deal again, swap Clark to Houston for Mullan

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The Colorado Rapids aren't about to stand pat as the MLS playoff race heats up.

Just two days after sending Mehdi Ballouchy to the New York Red Bulls for Macoumba Kandji, the Rapids have traded injured midfielder Colin Clark and an allocation to the Houston Dynamo for veteran winger Brian Mullan.

UEFA Champions League: Arsenal and Chelsea cruise, Ibra leads Milan to win

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It was a banner day for English clubs in the UEFA Champions League group stages as Chelsea and Arsenal kicked off their group campaigns with emphatic victories.

Arsenal destroyed Portuguese side Braga, 6-0, while Chelsea made easy work of MSK Zilina, posting a 4-0 road victory.

CONCACAF Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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Toronto FC begins the post-Mo Johnston era tonight as it faces Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium in a key CONCACAF Champions League clash (10pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

Both teams enter tonight's match 1-1 after losing their last matches. With all four teams in their group holding 1-1 records, a win tonight would be a vital step toward qualifying for the knockout rounds.

Thursday Kickoff: RSL trounces TFC in CCL, Quakes edge Union and more

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Real Salt Lake got off to a slow start on Wednesday night, but quickly rebounded and showed off its championship qualities.

After surrendering an early goal to Toronto FC, RSL responded with four unanswered goals to post a 4-1 CONCACAF Champions League victory at Rio Tinto on Wednesday night.

SBI Stoppage Time: MLS Update

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SBI Stoppage Time: 9/15/10 from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.

SBI Live Q&A set for 1pm Today

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

I will be hosting a live Q&A at 1pm today so get your soccer-related (and pop culture) questions ready to fire at me. Want to talk MLS, U.S. national team or Champions League? Have a music or TV question you want to throw my way? If so, check back in at 1pm (or maybe even a bit sooner).

SBI MLS Spotlight: Mehdi Ballouchy

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SBI MLS Spotlight: Mehdi Ballouchy from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.

UEFA Europa League group stage begins

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The UEFA Europa League group stage kicks off Thursday afternoon with all 48 teams across 12 groups getting their campaigns underway, and a few Americans have a stake in the day's action.

Sacha Kljestan has reportedly been nursing an ankle knock, and it's unclear whether he'll be included in the squad for RSC Anderlecht's Group G opener with Zenit St.

SBI Live Q&A (Sept. 16th edition)

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It's that time again SBI readers. Time for you to send your soccer (and pop culture) questions my way in the latest SBI Live Q&A.

If you want to talk American soccer or international soccer, MLS or EPL, U.S. national team or European qualifiers, you can do it now. If you want to discuss it, send your questions my way.

Altidore starts, plays 90 in Europa League loss to Dinamo Zagreb

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Jozy Altidore started and played 90 minutes for Villarreal in their 2-0 loss to Dinamo Zagreb in Europa League action in Croatia.

Altidore didn't have any clear-cut scoring chances, but he did draw a handful of free kicks and was one of Villarreal's more active players.

What did you think of Altidore's performance today?

SBI Live Q&A (Sept. 16th edition)

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It's that time again SBI readers. Time for you to send your soccer (and pop culture) questions my way in the latest SBI Live Q&A.

If you want to talk American soccer or international soccer, MLS or EPL, U.S. national team or European qualifiers, you can do it now. If you want to discuss it, send your questions my way.

UEFA Europa League group stage begins

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The UEFA Europa League group stage kicks off Thursday afternoon with all 48 teams across 12 groups getting their campaigns underway, and a few Americans have a stake in the day's action.

Sacha Kljestan has reportedly been nursing an ankle knock, and it's unclear whether he'll be included in the squad for RSC Anderlecht's Group G opener with Zenit St.

SBI MLS Spotlight: Mehdi Ballouchy

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SBI MLS Spotlight: Mehdi Ballouchy from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


SBI Live Q&A set for 1pm Today

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

I will be hosting a live Q&A at 1pm today so get your soccer-related (and pop culture) questions ready to fire at me. Want to talk MLS, U.S. national team or Champions League? Have a music or TV question you want to throw my way? If so, check back in at 1pm (or maybe even a bit sooner).

SBI Stoppage Time: MLS Update

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SBI Stoppage Time: 9/15/10 from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


Thursday Kickoff: RSL trounces TFC in CCL, Quakes edge Union and more

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Real Salt Lake got off to a slow start on Wednesday night, but quickly rebounded and showed off its championship qualities.

After surrendering an early goal to Toronto FC, RSL responded with five unanswered goals to post a 5-1 CONCACAF Champions League victory at Rio Tinto on Wednesday night.

CONCACAF Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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Toronto FC begins the post-Mo Johnston era tonight as it faces Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium in a key CONCACAF Champions League clash (10pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

Both teams enter tonight's match 1-1 after losing their last matches. With all four teams in their group holding 1-1 records, a win tonight would be a vital step toward qualifying for the knockout rounds.

UEFA Champions League: Arsenal and Chelsea cruise, Ibra leads Milan to win

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It was a banner day for English clubs in the UEFA Champions League group stages as Chelsea and Arsenal kicked off their group campaigns with emphatic victories.

Arsenal destroyed Portuguese side Braga, 6-0, while Chelsea made easy work of MSK Zilina, posting a 4-0 road victory.

There weren't many surprises in Wednesday's Champions League action, as Zlatan Ibrahimovic's brace lifted AC Milan to victory, while Jose Mourinho's first Champions League match with Real Madrid produced a 2-0 victory against Ajax.

Rapids deal again, swap Clark to Houston for Mullan

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The Colorado Rapids aren't about to stand point as the MLS playoff race heats up.

Just two days after sending Mehdi Ballouchy to the New York Red Bulls for Macoumba Kandji, the Rapids have traded injured midfielder Colin Clark and an allocation to the Houston Dynamo for veteran winger Brian Mullan.

Afternoon Ticker: Maradona interested in Portugal, fake Togo team plays and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Diego Maradona's first World Cup as a head coach may have ended in embarrassing fashion, but that hasn't stopped him from thinking he could reach Brazil 2014 as manager of another talented national team.

Maradona's assistant, Alejandro Mancuso, has revealed that the soccer legend is interested in furthering his coaching career with Portugal's national team.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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The second day of UEFA Champions League group play kicks off Wednesday afternoon, with Jose Mourinho making his return to the competition after guiding Inter Milan to the title last season.

Mourinho's Real Madrid meets Ajax Amsterdam in one of the top matches of the day. Although he isn't on his team's Champions League roster, Oguchi Onyewu has a stake in today's action as well.

Messi's latest masterpiece

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Lionel Messi put on a show in Barcelona's 5-1 UEFA Champions League victory over Panathinaikos on Tuesday, scoring two goals and setting up two others to kick off Barca's quest for European glory.

After scoring a relatively easy goal (by his standards), Messi completed a brilliant passing sequence with Xavi and Pedro to weave through the heart of the Panathinaikos defense for a true golazo.

College Spotlight: Indiana's Will Bruin

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Will Bruin is no stranger to expectations.

As a seventh grader, Bruin caught the attention of Greg Vitello, coach at DeSmet High School in St. Louis and the third-winningest coach in men's high school soccer history.

USA remains at 18 in latest FIFA rankings

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

The latest FIFA World Rankings are out, and the United States men's national team's position is unchanged.

Bob Bradley's side remained at No. 18 in the world, two spots better than Ghana, nine better than France and 10 better than Mexico.

Fantasy MLS: Week 25

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

Six weeks remain in the Major League Soccer season, and although the focus is largely on the teams in the playoff hunt, the fantasy focus should shift to a team that's likely on the outside of the postseason picture for the first time.

Breaking down the Kandji-Ballouchy trade

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Photo by Michael Janosz/Â ISIphotos.com
So who got the better of the New York Red Bulls' trade of Macoumba Kandji to Colorado for Mehdi Ballouchy?

Plenty of observers will point to Kandji as the better prospect and chalk up the advantage to the Rapids, but the truth is the deal makes much more sense, and has the potential to do far more, for the Red Bulls than Colorado.

Real Madrid, Chelsea and Arsenal begin UEFA Champions League group stage

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Jose Mourinho's quest to win a third UEFA Champions League title with a third different team begins today when Real Madrid takes on Ajax in the group stage opener for both clubs.

Real Madrid joins Chelsea, Arsenal, Bayern Munich and AC Milan among the powerhouses kicking off their group campaigns today.

Wednesday Kickoff: Crew rout Joe Public, Valencia out for season and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

The Columbus Crew hardly showed any ill effects from the weekend's league loss at Los Angeles, coming back with a less-than-full-strength squad and soundly defeating Joe Public FC, 3-0, in CONCACAF Champions League play Tuesday night.

Leandre Griffit, Jason Garey and Steven Lenhart each scored after halftime, as the Crew impressively wrapped up three points without the services of Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Will Hesmer or Eddie Gaven.

Loss to Saprissa effectively ends CCL run for Sounders

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

The Seattle Sounders hung around for a almost a half amid the rain and humidity of San Jose, Costa Rica, but their defense broke down and their only regular starter in the back was red-carded, in front of his hometown fans, no less.

Chivas USA defeats Guadalajara on Penalties in ChivaClásico in San Diego

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BY ADAM SERRANO

Chivas USA escaped the shadow of their big brother to the south on Tuesday night in San Diego.

The Rojiblancos defeated Chivas de Guadalajara on penalty kicks winning the second edition of the Chivaclasico. The match took place in San Diego's PetCo Park for 23,216 red-and-white clad fans.

CONCACAF Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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The Columbus Crew and Seattle Sounders will look to erase the disappointments of their last CONCACAF Champions League matches by posting victories in group stage action tonight.

The Crew takes on Joe Public tonight at Crew Stadium (8pm, Fox Soccer Channel) while the Sounders face CD Municipal (10pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

UEFA Champions League: Barca rolls, Man Utd and Inter held

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Lionel Messi scored two and had a hand in two other goals as Barcelona rebounded from its weekend loss to Hercules with an emphatic 5-1 thrashing of Greek club Panathanaikos on Tuesday at the Camp Nou.

Barcelona actually fell behind early courtesy of a Sidney Gouvou goal, but the Spanish club rebounded quickly and steam-rolled the Greeks behind an inspired performance from Messi, who came within a missed penalty kick of a hat-trick.

NCAA Top 25: Monmouth cracks top five, Akron still No. 1

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The Akron Zips held on to the top spot in NSCAA/HendrickCars.com National Rankings for the third straight week following a 2-0 victory over Bowling Green on Saturday. Virginia stays at No. 2 despite drawing with Duke, who fell to 11th in the rankings, which were released on Tuesday.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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U.S. national team midfielders Maurice Edu and Jermaine Jones are in the starting lineups for their respective teams today as the UEFA Champions League group stages kick off.

Edu and Rangers take on Manchester United at Old Trafford while Jones and Schalke battle a potent Lyon side.

Sounders facing Champions League decision

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Photo by Michael Pimental/ISIphotos.com Â

By JOSE M. ROMERO

The Seattle Sounders are in Costa Rica for their CONCACAF Champions League group match against Deportivo Saprissa tonight, and if the Sounders don't win, they might as well stop trying to advance out of the group.

Mid-Day Ticker: Rooney to face Rangers, BC Place opening in June, and more

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Manchester United's roster will include Wayne Rooney for today's UEFA Champions League clash with Rangers, and Sir Alex Ferguson believes Rooney will respond well in his first club match since the public revelations about his infidelity.

Ferguson excluded Rooney from United's weekend fixture against Everton for fear of the striker taking abuse after his personal life became tabloid fodder.

Toronto FC fires Preki and Johnston

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Toronto FC's recent five-match winless skid has crippled the team's playoff hopes, with last week's shocking home loss to D.C. United providing the lowpoint for the season.

That was enough for TFC ownership to decide changes were needed.

Red Bulls deal Kandji to Rapids for Ballouchy

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The New York Red Bulls got a close-up look at Mehdi Ballouchy when they beat the Colorado Rapids last weekend. Apparently they liked what they saw.

The Red Bulls have traded forward Macoumba Kandji to the Rapids for Ballouchy on Tuesday.

What do you think of the deal? Shocked to see Kandji traded?

UEFA Champions League group stage kicks off today

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Europe's top teams begin their quest for the UEFA Champions League today when the tournament's group stage kicks off across the continent.

Defending champion Inter Milan and title contenders Barcelona and Manchester United are in action today, while Tottenham looks to make some noise in the competition.

Morales suspended for kneeing Alonso

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Real Salt Lake midfielder Javier Morales is known for his playmaking ability and creativity, but it was his mixed martial arts skills that got him into a bit of trouble.

Morales was issued a one-match suspension on Monday for delivering a knee to the groin of Seattle Sounders midfielder during their match last Thursday.

Gordon named MLS Player of the Week

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BY ADAM SERRANO

Chivas USA forward Alan Gordon earned MLS Player of the Week honors on Monday after a two-assist performance in the Rojiblancos 2-0 victory over the New England Revolution.Â

Gordon defeated a strong field of candidates for the award including the Los Angeles Galaxy's Landon Donovan, New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry, Chivas teammate Justin Braun and Philadelphia Union forward Sebastien Le Toux.

Afternoon Ticker: Moyes charged by FA, Zamora out four months and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By TRAVIS CLARK

Saturday's wild 3-3 finish between Manchester United and Everton saw two late goals conceded by the Red Devils, but Everton thought his side was denied the chance for a last second chance for a winner.

USSF D-2: A Look Back at Week 23

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By TRAVIS CLARK

There's a possibility the NSC Minnesota Stars might not get to play next season. This past weekend, they set out to make sure this year lasts as long as it possibly can.

A vital 3-0 road win against AC St. Louis drew the Stars one step closer to a playoff berth, and combined with a Tampa Bay loss at Rochester, handed Minnesota the advantage in the race for the final spot in the D-2 postseason.

Updating the MLS Playoff Race

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The Chicago Fire and Toronto FC are running out of time to grab hold of an MLS playoff spot and both dropped precious points on Saturday in losing matches they had been favored to win.

TFC's 1-0 home loss to D.C. United, the worst team in MLS, puts a major dent in the team's hopes of reaching the playoffs for the first time in club history.

Did Beckham wear the tightest jersey ever?

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Photo by Michael Janosz/Â ISIphotos.com

David Beckham made his triumphant return from a torn Achilles last Saturday, and while getting on the field was impressive, it wasn't as impressive as the fact that he didn't pass out while wearing what may have been the tightest jersey in professional soccer history.

Weekend College Roundup

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

It was a weekend of draws near the top of the rankings this weekend in NCAA action. Here is a rundown of the weekened's top matches:

#5 Maryland 1, #9 Boston College 1

A second-half equalizer from Billy Cortes rescued a 1-1 tie for the Maryland Terrapins in their ACC opener against Boston College.

MLS Week 24: A Look Back

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.comÂ
So much for the Los Angeles Galaxy season collapsing.

The Galaxy halted its recent slide in commanding fashion, delivering a 3-1 victory against the Columbus Crew on Saturday to regain sole possession of the best record in MLS and ease fears that the team was in danger of falling apart.

European Weekend Rewind

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The weekend before UEFA Champions League can sometimes produce domestic league upsets in Europe, but few could have expected the number of shocking results delivered by some of Europe's top teams.

Barcelona suffered a shocking 2-0 home loss to newly-promoted Hercules, Manchester United gave up two stoppage-time goals in a 3-3 draw against Everton, AC Milan felll to newly-promoted Cesena, 2-0, and AS Roma suffered an embarrassing 5-1 defeat against Cagilari.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Stuart Holden has enjoyed a good start to the season at Bolton, establishing himself as a starter for the Wanderers. Both Holden and Bolton face a stiff test today when they take on Arsenal.

The Bolton-Arsenal tilt is just one of many featuring Americans today. Tim Howard's Everton takes on Manchester United today, while Clint Dempsey's Fulham goes up against Marcus Hahnemann's Wolverhampton.

Saturday Kickoff: Serie A players plan strike, Hamid set for surgery, more

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Serie A fans could be without soccer Sept. 25-26 if the association of Italian soccer players makes good on its threat to strike.

AC Milan defender, and spokesman for Italian Football players association (IAC), Massimo Oddo announced the planned strike in a press conference yesterday morning.

Red Bulls vs. Rapids: Match Day Commentary

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The New York Red Bulls take on the Colorado Rapids at Red Bull Arena today in a battle of teams looking to solidify their holds on playoff spots (4pm, Telefutura).

The match-up features two of the best forward tandems in Major League Soccer, with Thierry Henry and Juan Pablo Angel looking to outduel Rapids tandem Conor Casey and Omar Cummings.

Toronto suffers crushing loss to D.C. United

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Playing a home game against the worst team in Major League Soccer was supposed to mean three points for Toronto FC. Instead of three, the Canadian squad were left with zero as its playoff hopes took a severe hit.

D.C. United isn't used to playing the role of spoiler, but it did so Saturday, riding an 81st-minute goal from Julius James to post a 1-0 victory at BMO Field, handing Toronto its second home loss of the season.

Red Bulls topple Rapids, 3-1

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If the New York Red Bulls had a checklist for things they'd like to see in a victory on Saturday against Colorado, there is a good chance several boxes were checked out.

Thierry Henry scores a goal? Check. Dane Richards keeps up his impressive play? Check. Rafa Marquez and Tchani play another good game together?

Columbus Crew vs. Los Angeles Galaxy: Match Night Commentary

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BY ADAM SERRANO

It's a battle for the top spot of the table tonight as the Columbus Crew take on the Los Angeles Galaxy in one of the biggest games of the season. Â (7:30pm PST, MLS Direct Kick)

The Los Angeles Galaxy had been running away with MLS, but a dip in form has brought the Galaxy back to the pack.

Union puts dent in Fire's playoff hopes with win

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

The Philadelphia Union dominated early and held on late to earn the first shutout in club history. A 36th-minute Sebastien Le Toux goal was the difference as the Union defeated the Chicago Fire, 1-0, at PPL Park on Saturday.

For the Fire, now winless in five matches, the loss is another blow to the club's playoff chances.

Galaxy demolish Crew, 3-1 in Beckham's return

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BY ADAM SERRANO

The Los Angeles Galaxy have been searching for their early season form and on Saturday night against the best team in the Eastern Conference, they may have rediscovered that magic.Â

The Galaxy struck for three goals from Edson Buddle, Jovan Kirovski and Dema Kovalenko to defeat a listless Columbus Crew side  3-1 at the Home Depot Center.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Jozy Altidore's quest for playing time at Villarreal continues today as the Yellow Submarine faces Espanyol in Spanish First Division action.

The young U.S. national team striker made the decision to stay with Villarreal and battle for minutes rather than leaving via transfer this summer, so today's match should give us a sense of whether the decision is panning out.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Tim Howard and Everton may not have defeated Manchester United, but their 3-3 draw against the Premiership heavyweights surely must have felt like a victory nonetheless.

After falling behind 3-1 in the second half, Everton managed to claim a point through two late goals from Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Tim Howard and Everton may not have defeated Manchester United, but their 3-3 draw against the Premiership heavyweights surely felt like a victory nonetheless.

After falling behind 3-1 in the second half, Everton managed to claim a point through two late goals from Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Jozy Altidore's quest for playing time at Villarreal continues today as the Yellow Submarine faces Espanyol in Spanish First Division action.

The young U.S. national team striker made the decision to stay with Villarreal and battle for minutes rather than leaving via transfer this summer, so today's match should give us a sense of whether the decision is panning out.

Galaxy demolish Crew, 3-1 in Beckham's return

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BY ADAM SERRANO

The Los Angeles Galaxy have been searching for their early season form and on Saturday night against the best team in the Eastern Conference, they may have rediscovered that magic.Â

The Galaxy struck for three goals from Edson Buddle, Jovan Kirovski and Dema Kovalenko to defeat a listless Columbus Crew side  3-1 at the Home Depot Center.

Union puts dent in Fire's playoff hopes with win

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

The Philadelphia Union dominated early and held on late to earn their first-ever shutout Saturday night. A 36th minute Sebastien Le Toux goal was the difference as the Union defeated the Chicago Fire 1-0 at PPL Park.

For the Fire, now winless in five matches, the loss is another blow to the club's playoff chances.

Columbus Crew vs. Los Angeles Galaxy: Match Night Commentary

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BY ADAM SERRANO

It's a battle for the top spot of the table tonight as the Columbus Crew take on the Los Angeles Galaxy in one of the biggest games of the season. Â (7:30pm PST, MLS Direct Kick)

The Los Angeles Galaxy had been running away with MLS, but a dip in form has brought the Galaxy back to the pack.

Red Bulls topple Rapids, 3-1

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If the New York Red Bulls had a checklist for things they'd like to see in a victory on Saturday against Colorado, there is a good chance several boxes were checked out.

Thierry Henry scores a goal? Check. Dane Richards keeps up his impressive play? Check. Rafa Marquez and Tchani play another good game together?

Toronto suffers crushing loss to D.C. United

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Playing a home game against the worst team in Major League Soccer was supposed to mean three points for Toronto FC. Instead of three, the Canadian squad were left with zero as its playoff hopes took a severe hit.

D.C. United isn't used to playing the role of spoiler, but it did so Saturday, riding an 81st-minute goal from Julius James to post a 1-0 victory at BMO Field, handing Toronto its second home loss of the season.

Red Bulls vs. Rapids: Match Day Commentary

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The New York Red Bulls take on the Colorado Rapids at Red Bull Arena today in a battle of teams looking to solidify their holds on playoff spots (4pm, Telefutura).

The match-up features two of the best forward tandems in Major League Soccer, with Thierry Henry and Juan Pablo Angel looking to outduel Rapids tandem Conor Casey and Omar Cummings.

Saturday Kickoff: Serie A players plan strike, Hamid set for surgery, more

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Serie A fans could be without soccer Sept. 25-26 if the association of Italian soccer players makes good on its threat to strike.

AC Milan defender, and spokesman for Italian Football players association (IAC), Massimo Oddo announced the planned strike in a press conference yesterday morning.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Stuart Holden has enjoyed a good start to the season at Bolton, establishing himself as a starter for the Wanderers. Both Holden and Bolton face a stiff test today when they take on Arsenal.

The Bolton-Arsenal tilt is just one of many featuring Americans today. Tim Howard's Everton takes on Manchester United today, while Clint Dempsey's Fulham goes up against Marcus Hahnemann's Wolverhampton.

Chivas USA keeps slim playoff dreams alive with 2-0 victory over Revs

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Photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com

BY ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, CALIF - Desperate to keep their slim playoff dreams alive, Chivas USA defeated the New England Revolution 2-0 on Friday night with goals by Justin Braun and Paulo Nagamura.

New England Revolution vs. Chivas USA: Match Night Commentary

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BY ADAM SERRANO

A pair of teams with their playoff dreams on life support will face off at the Home Depot Center tonight as the New England Revolution visit Chivas USA. (7pm. Matchday Live)

The Rojiblancos have been struggling mightily and will look to break a recent two game losing streak that has seen them get shut out in their last two matches.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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U.S. national team goalkeeper Tim Howard will go up against his former club on Saturday when Everton takes on Manchester United in one of the weekend's featured matches.

Everton-Manchester United is one of a handful of matches American fans can watch with Americans playing abroad.

Saying goodbye to McBride

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Photo by Tracy Allen/ISIphotos.com

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When Brian McBride's announced last week that he would retire at the end of the current MLS season, there were plenty of U.S. national team fans, and long-time fans of McBride, who realized the significance of McBride's impending farewell.

This weekend's NCAA soccer action

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

AÂ pair of big-time ACC match-ups highlight a jam-packed weekend of NCAA action, with 21 of the top 25 schools in action.

Later today, No. 9 Maryland looks to rebound from their early loss to Michigan State by traveling to fifth-ranked Boston College.

MLS Week 24: A Look Ahead

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By TRAVIS CLARK

Week 24 MLS action provides a glimpse at what the postseason could look like later this fall.

Three games feature six teams currently sitting in playoff position going up against each other, including the matchup of Los Angeles and Columbus, a battle of the top two teams in MLS.

Fantasy Premier League: Matchweek 4

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By AVI CREDITOR

At the end of Matchweek 3 in the Barclays Premier League, Theo Walcott was assuming the best form of his young career, Jermain Defoe looked to have avoided what seemed to be inevitable surgery and Frank Lampard looked doomed to miss at least one match.

USSF D-2: A Look Ahead at Week 23

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By TRAVIS CLARK

For the first time in a long time, all 12 USSF D-2 will be in action this weekend.

With the playoff race creating pressure in almost every match, eyes will be on Rochester as the Rhinos play host to the FC Tampa Bay Rowdies (7:00 p.m., Saturday).

Friday Kickoff: Defoe out three months, Queiroz fired, and more

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Just when you thought things couldn't get worse for Tottenham after Michael Dawson's recent injury, now comes word that striker Jermain Defoe is set to miss three months with torn ankle ligaments.

Defoe suffered the injury during England's recent win against Switzerland, the same match that saw fellow Tottenham star sidelined with multiple leg injuries.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The next chapter in DaMarcus Beasley's career is set to begin.

Fresh off of playing in three friendlies last week, one of which he scored in, Beasley will be aiming to make his official Hannover 96 debut when the club does battle with Bayer Leverkusen.

Real Salt Lake, Sounders play to scoreless draw

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

Kasey Keller's diving save of a Robbie Findley penalty kick in the 32nd minute salvaged a point for the Seattle Sounders in their scoreless draw Thursday night with defending MLS champion Real Salt Lake.

Keller guessed correctly on Findley's PK and the ball was cleared away.

Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake: Your Running Commentary

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Western Conference powers and cup winners Real Salt Lake and Seattle Sounders face off tonight at Qwest Field in Seattle in a key MLS battle of teams with title aspirations (11pm, ESPN2).

Real Salt Lake is battling Los Angeles and Columbus in the race for the Supporters Shield while U.S. Open Cup holders Seattle is in the heat of the battle for a playoff berth.

Wolyniec retires, Lewis to retire after 2010 season

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The list of veteran MLS players to retire this season continued to grow, with long-time New York forward John Wolyniec announcing his immediate retirement and Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Eddie Lewis announcing that he would retire at the end of the current MLS season.

Lewis will bring an end to a special career that saw him serve as a key contributor to the U.

Score this round for the Portland Timbers

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

The Seattle vs. Portland soccer rivalry that goes back to the NASL days has a new chapter after the Timbers unveiled a billboard Thursday proclaiming the Rose City as "Soccer City, USA" mere blocks from the home of the Sounders, Qwest Field.

The photo above was taken from the Timbers' Facebook page.

Beckham looking to provide energy to stuttering Galaxy

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

BY ADAM SERRANO

As the Los Angeles Galaxy get set to play their most important match of the season this weekend, today the club welcomed back David Beckham to the active roster on Thursday.

A closer look at Andy Najar

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Andy Najar is one of the most exciting young players in Major League Soccer, and a strong MLS Rookie of the Year, but the teenager is still so new to the American soccer scene that he can still go completely unnoticed standing in a sea of soccer fans.

This was the case last month when Najar took in the USA-Brazil friendly at Giants Stadium.

Evening Ticker: Surgery for Balotelli, Tevez talks retirement and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By TRAVIS CLARK

The start of Mario Balotelli's Manchester City career has sputtered to a halt, as the club announced that the Italian striker would have to undergo surgery and miss another month of action.

Galaxy youngsters fight the first-season grind

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Photo by Don Feria/ISIphotos.com

BY ADAM SERRANO

For Los Angeles Galaxy youngsters Michael Stephens and Tristan Bowen, the season has been something of a roller coaster.

The young duo have been key contributors to the Galaxy, with Bowen tallying two goals and an assist while Stephens has seven assist and a goal.

Chicago Fire vs. Toronto FC: Your Running Commentary

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The MLS Playoff race is in full swing and the Chicago Fire takes on Toronto FC tonight (8:30pm, Direct Kick) in a match both teams desperately need to win to boost their playoff hopes.

TFC heads to Toyota Park needing a win to close down the five-point lead Seattle and San Jose have in the race for the final playoff spots.

Thursday kickoff: Defoe out six weeks, FIFA vists D.C., more

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England and Tottenham will be without Jermain Defoe for at least six weeks after the striker injured his ankle in England's 3-1 victory over Switzerland on Tuesday.

Defoe is off to a blazing start to the season, netting a hat trick against Bulgaria and scoring in Tottenham's Champions League qualifier versus Young Boys.

Chicago, Toronto settle for 0-0 draw

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Both the Chicago Fire and Toronto FC entered Wednesday night's Eastern Conference clash in need of three points to close the playoff gap.

Neither side could capitalize on a handful of chances, however, and the game ended in a 0-0 draw that did little to help either side's playoff aspirations.

East chases West as MLS playoff race nears final stretch

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By TRAVIS CLARK

As the cool air descends on MLS stadiums across the country, the race for a coveted playoff spot is certain to keep heating things up on the field.

The recurrent theme of Western Conference superiority in 2010 is reinforced with a quick glance at the playoff standings.

U.S. U-20s fall to Colombia

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The U.S. U-20s' struggles in Peru continued on Wednesday, with Thomas Rongen's side losing again, this time 2-0 to Colombia.

Several young MLSers earned playing time, including Cesar Zamora, Bryan De La Fuente, Francisco Navas Cobo and Conor Shanosky, as the U-20s conceded two second half goals in the span of three minutes.

Mid-day Ticker: Blatter talks eliminating extra time, Capello to retire and more

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By TRAVIS CLARK

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has revealed another plan to shake things up at the World Cup, announcing that a study to determine whether or not extra time should be eliminated would take place.

This would be done in an attempt to encourage more of an attacking style during the knockout stages.

USSF D-2: Playoff picture comes into focus

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By TRAVIS CLARK

The race for postseason play in the USSF Second Division is winding down, with the last spot likely coming down to one of three expansion teams.

Eight of the 12 teams will qualify for the playoffs in a particular fashion -- the top team in each conference (USL/NASL) will be seeded first and second respectively, and from there, the next six highest point totals will qualify and be seeded three through eight, regardless of conference.

Beckham actived, eligible for Columbus match

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The return of David Beckham to the Los Angeles Galaxy lineup looks more and more likely to happen this weekend.

Los Angeles activated the 35-year-old midfielder Thursday, meaning that he will be available for this Saturday's clash with the Columbus Crew in an important match for the Supporters' shield -- both sides are tied for first in MLS, with 44 points apiece.

USSF D-2: Playoff picture comes into focus

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By TRAVIS CLARK

The race for postseason play in the USSF Second Division is winding down, with the last spot likely coming down to one of three expansion teams.

Eight of the 12 teams will qualify for the playoffs in a particular fashion -- the top team in each conference (USL/NASL) will be seeded first and second respectively, and from there, the next six highest point totals will qualify and be seeded three through eight, regardless of conference.

Mid-day Ticker: Blatter talks eliminating extra time, Capello to retire and more

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By TRAVIS CLARK

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has revealed another plan to shake things up at the World Cup, announcing that a study to determine whether or not extra time should be eliminated would take place.

This would be done in an attempt to encourage more of an attacking style during the knockout stages.

Thursday kickoff: Defoe out six weeks, FIFA vists D.C., more

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England and Tottenham will be without Jermain Defoe for at least six weeks after the striker injured his ankle in England's 3-1 victory over Switzerland on Tuesday.

Defoe is off to a blazing start to the season, netting a hat trick against Bulgaria and scoring in Tottenham's Champions League qualifier versus Young Boys.

Chicago, Toronto settle for 0-0 draw

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Both the Chicago Fire and Toronto FC entered Wednesday night's Eastern Conference clash in need of three points to close the playoff gap.

Neither side could capitalize on a handful of chances, however, and the game ended in a 0-0 draw that did little to help either side's playoff aspirations.

East chases West as MLS playoff race nears final stretch

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By TRAVIS CLARK

As the cool air descends on MLS stadiums across the country, the race for a coveted playoff spot is certain to keep heating things up on the field.

The recurrent theme of Western Conference superiority in 2010 is reinforced with a quick glance at the playoff standings.

U.S. U-20s fall to Colombia

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The U.S. U-20's struggles in Peru continued on Wednesday, with Thomas Rongen's side losing again, this time 2-0 to Colombia.

Several young MLSers earned playing time, including Cesar Zamora, Bryan De La Fuente, Francisco Navas Cobo and Conor Shanosky, as the U-20s conceded two second half goals in the span of three minutes.

Galaxy youngsters fight the first-season grind

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Photo by Don Feria/ISIphotos.com

BY ADAM SERRANO

For Los Angeles Galaxy youngsters Michael Stephens and Tristan Bowen, the season has been something of a roller coaster.

The young duo have been key contributors to the Galaxy, with Bowen tallying two goals and an assist while Stephens has seven assist and a goal.

Chicago Fire vs. Toronto FC: Your Running Commentary

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The MLS Playoff race is in full swing and the Chicago Fire takes on Toronto FC tonight (8:30pm, Direct Kick) in a match both teams desperately need to win to boost their playoff hopes.

TFC heads to Toyota Park needing a win to close down the five-point lead Seattle and San Jose have in the race for the final playoff spots.

Wednesday Kickoff: Argentina routs World Cup holders Spain in friendly

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The stakes might have been minimal, and the lineups might not have been at completely full strength for both sides, but Argentina showed that there's a different way to defeat Spain other than by playing ultimate defense.

Argentina put on an impressive attacking display, and received some assistance from Spain keeper Pepe Reina in the process, defeating the defending World Cup champions in Buenos Aires, 4-1, in an international friendly Tuesday evening.

Euro 2012 Qualifying: Rooney scores for England, France responds and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

Despite his name popping up in British tabloids for all the wrong reasons, Wayne Rooney got back to doing what he does best: Scoring goals.

Rooney scored the opening goal of England's 3-1 victory over Switzerland in 2012 European Championship qualifying on Tuesday, helping England maintain a perfect record in Group G through two matches.

MLS Notes: Cummings scores for Jamaica, Segares punished and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

Omar Cummings' form isn't exclusive to when he wears the Colorado Rapids uniform.

Cummings, who has scored three goals in his last two Major League Soccer games for the Rapids, scored Jamaica's goal in the Reggae Boyz' 2-1 loss to Peru in a friendly on Tuesday.

SBI Live Q&A set for 1pm Today

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It's that time again.

Time for you to submit your soccer-related questions for me to answer in our regular SBI Live Q&A series. Want to discuss the U.S. national team? Have some MLS topics you'd like to touch on? Does the new college season already have you intrigued? Let's discuss it all today.

USL's first and second divisions to merge

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By AVI CREDITOR

The United Soccer Leagues announced Wednesday that starting in 2011, USL-1 and USL-2 will merge to form a single league called USL PRO.

USL officials and team owners are meeting Wednesday in Tampa, Fla., to further discuss and outline the specifics for the new league, which will be made up of as many as four geographic regions and will be affiliated with the United States Soccer Federation.

SBI Live Q&A (Sept. 8 Edition)

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It's SBI Live Q&A Time.

Time for you to submit your soccer-related questions fo me to try and answer. Want to talk the MLS Supporters Shield race? Trying to figure out who the top college prospects are? Itching to discuss the U.S. national team? Send your soccer (and some pop culture) questions my way and I will try to answer as many of them as I can.

Fantasy MLS: Week 24

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Photo by Tracy Allen/ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

If the Chicago Fire are going to make any semblance of a playoff run, this week is when it's going to happen.

With favorable matches at home against Toronto FC and at the Philadelphia Union, the Fire have a golden chance to pick up six points and re-enter themselves in the race for the postseason.

Honduras U-20 coach seeks Najar call-up

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BY ADAM SERRANO

The Honduran national team is trying to do everything it can to make sure that it doesn't lose teen phenom Andy Najar.

In a Honduran publication, U-20 head coach Javier Padilla announced that he will tryand bring Najar into the Honduras set up for the U-20 World Cup.

SBI USSF Division 2 Power Rankings: Week 22

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By TRAVIS CLARK

While second division soccer appears to be headed towards another tumultuous offseason, a few more weeks remain of regular season action in 2010.

The race for eight playoff spots is heating up, and even the bottom clubs like Miami and Baltimore maintain ever so small hopes to qualify for postseason play.

Evening Ticker: Surgery for Balotelli, Tevez talks retirement and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By TRAVIS CLARK

The start of Mario Balotelli's Manchester City career has sputtered to a halt, as the club announced that the Italian striker would have to undergo surgery and miss another month of action.

Euro 2012 Qualifying: Rooney scores for England, France responds and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

Despite his name popping up in British tabloids for all the wrong reasons, Wayne Rooney got back to doing what he does best: Scoring goals.

Rooney scored the opening goal of England's 3-1 victory over Switzerland in 2012 European Championship qualifying on Tuesday, helping England maintain a perfect record in Group G through two matches.

MLS Notes: Cummings scores for Jamaica, Segares punished and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

Omar Cummings' form isn't exclusive to when he wears the Colorado Rapids uniform.

Cummings, who has scored three goals in his last two Major League Soccer games for the Rapids, scored Jamaica's goal in the Reggae Boyz' 2-1 loss to Peru in a friendly on Tuesday.

Wednesday Kickoff: Argentina routs World Cup holders Spain in friendly

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The stakes might have been minimal, and the lineups might not have been at completely full strength for both sides, but Argentina showed that there's a different way to defeat Spain other than by playing ultimate defense.

Argentina put on an impressive attacking display, and received some assistance from Spain keeper Pepe Reina in the process, defeating the defending World Cup champions in Buenos Aires, 4-1, in an international friendly Tuesday evening.

Will fatigue overtake Sounders in crucial stretch?

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

BY JOSE M. ROMERO

Seven MLS games remain on the Seattle Sounders' schedule, three at home and four on the road. Seven games to earn 13 more points, at least, and get to coach Sigi Schmid's magic number of points, 45, that he believes will get the club into the postseason.

Who will win the Supporters' Shield?

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Photo by Rick Osentoski/ISIphotos.com

When the Columbus Crew and Los Angeles Galaxy meet on Saturday night at the Home Depot Center, the stakes will be high, with the winner taking the outright lead in the race for Major League Soccer's Supporters' Shield.

Both the Crew and Galaxy are level on 44 points, but should either slip up, a few teams are ready to pounce.

USSF D-2: A Look Back at Week 22

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By TRAVIS CLARK

The USSF Second Division entered its final full month of play with the two-way race for the top as tight as ever.

Top spot in the second division will likely go to either Rochester Rhinos or Austin Aztex, with the Texan club holding an advantage of having two games in hand.

NCAA Top 25: Akron stays on top

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Akron maintained the top spot in the NSCAA/Adidas national rankings after the first full week of men's collegiate action. The Zips received all 21 first-place votes after opening-week victories over traditional powerhouses North Carolina and Wake Forest.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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European Championship 2012 qualifying and international friendlies comprise an intriguing slate of soccer on Tuesday.

Much of the focus for Euro qualifying will be on Group G, as Switzerland hosts England (2:45 ET, ESPN3.com) just days after Wayne Rooney became the latest member of the Three Lions to be involved in a sex scandal.

Chivas USA Official: Club looking for new stadium site

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BY ADAM SERRANO

The rumors of a potential move for Chivas USA are back.

While promoting the second edition of the "ChivaClasico" between Chivas USA and the parent club Chivas de Guadalajara, the Communications Manager of Chivas USA admitted to the Mexican media that plans are in the works to construct a new stadium specifically for the club.

Mid-Day Ticker: Houllier deal final, Wales manager to resign and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

The Aston Villa manager saga appears to officially be over as French publication L'Equipe reports that Gerard Houllier will inform the French Football Federation that he will sign a two-year contract to take over at Villa Park.

Houllier (pictured above, center), who coached Liverpool from 1998-2004, will step away from his post as the FFF's technical director after the country's notorious World Cup stint and replace interim manager Kevin MacDonald.

Cummings wins MLS Player of the Week

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Jamaican striker Omar Cummings earned MLS Player of the Week honors on Monday after his two-goal performance in Colorado's 3-0 win against Chivas USA.

Cummings beat San Jose's Geovanni and FC Dallas' Kevin Hartman for the honors after scoring two goals and also setting up Colorado's third goal with a hard blast that forced a loose ball converted by Conor Casey.

U.S. Under-20s thrashed by Paraguay

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The U.S. men's Under-20 national team's opening match in the Cuadrangular Internacional is one the team will be in a hurry to forget.

Paraguay thrashed the United States, 5-0, on Monday in Arequipa, Peru. Oscar Ruiz netted a hat-trick for Paraguay.

The current U.S. squad playing in Peru is playing without several key players who have begun their college seasons, along with pros who were not released by their clubs.

Argentina faces Spain on busy fixture date

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European Championship qualifying wil be the focus of plenty of attention today, but the Argentina-Spain friendly just might be the most intriguing match of the day.

Argentina will be led by new manager Sergio Batista, who has taken over for Diego Maradona on an interim basis.

Report: Wolfsburg interested in DeMerit

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photo by Chris Brunskill/ISIphotos.comÂ

Jay DeMerit's search for a new club looks to be nearing its end, with Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg interested in the U.S. national team defender.

According to multiple reports, Wolfsburg manager Steve McClaren is lining up a move for DeMerit, who is a free agent.

Evening Ticker: Houllier to coach Aston Villa, Kuyt sidelined and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Aston Villa appears to have found its next manager.

According to reports, former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier will be named as the Villans' coach sometime this week. Currently the French Football Federation's technical director, Houllier most recently coached Lyon in 2005-2007.

MLS Week 23: A Look Back

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Photo by Tracy Allen/ISIphotos.comÂ

The Los Angeles Galaxy and Chicago Fire went into Saturday's showdown both needing a win badly, but now that neither could secure the three points they each find themselves feeling some serious pressure.

College Round-Up: Akron tops Wake Forest, Indiana routs UCLA and more

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The Akron Zips removed any doubt about deserving their pre-season No. 1 ranking by completing a two-game sweep of top ACC opposition with a 2-0 win at No. 3 Wake Forest on Sunday.

Junior striker Darlington Nagbe scored a goal and set up another to give the Zips defense all it needed to work with.

Afternoon Ticker: Beasley scores in friendly, Mexico loses and more

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photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

It didn't take long for DaMarcus Beasley to score his first goal with Hannover 96.

Beasley scored in Hannover's 3-0 win against Czech club Mlada Boleslav in a friendly on Saturday. The U.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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If you didn't see enough of Neymar terrorizing American defenders in last month's USA-Brazil friendly, you'll have your chance to watch him today as Santos takes on Flamengo in one of the day's few options for socccer on TV.

Neymar's club isn't dominating quite as much as it did last season, but the club is still one you should watch every chance you get (even after losing Ganso to an injury).

Late Gonzalez goal helps Galaxy salvage draw

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Photo by Tracy Allen/ISIphotos.com
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The Los Angeles Galaxy looked destined for another loss, another step in a worsening slide, before Omar Gonzalez stepped up and saved the day.

No, Los Angeles didn't beat the Chicago Fire, but when Gonzalez headed home a last-minute equalizer, you couldn't blame the Galaxy for feeling like a victory was scored at a sold-out Toyota Park on Saturday afternoon.

Crew top United, set up Supporters' Shield showdown next week at L.A.

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Photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

WASHINGTON - The Columbus Crew have won Major League Soccer's last two Supporters' Shields, and after trailing the league's pace-setter for much of the season, they are in prime position to try and claim that title for a third straight season.

USSF D-2: A Look Ahead at Week 22

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By TRAVIS CLARK

Only one month of the USSF D-2 regular season remains, and it's last call for the bottom feeders to pull off a last-minute miracle.

Crystal Palace Baltimore is one of those teams. Four points outside the last playoff spot, a trip to Carolina awaits this weekend, and a win for Baltimore is paramount (7:30p.

MLS Week 23: A Look Ahead

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By TRAVIS CLARK

The first weekend of September is here, and there remains very little room for error as the playoff race continues to heat up.

Kansas City faces a vital trip to Philadelphia as the Wizards continue to force themselves back into the playoff picture, while FC Dallas puts its unbeaten streak on the line at home against an undermanned Toronto FC.

SBI's College Best XI Draft Prospects

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With the 2010 MLS Draft class looking like it could be one of the best in league history, and with the 2009 draft class also having impressed, more and more eyes are focusing on the talent being produced on the college level.

This year should be just as good, if not better, with a plethora of young standouts ready to impress scouts across the country.

European Championship Qualifying: Your Running Commentary

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With a plethora of European Championship qualifiers being played today, with the likes of England, Germany and Italy in action, we should get a good sense of where some world powers stand some two months after the World Cup.

England faces Bulgaria today (3pm, Fox Soccer Channel), while Germany takes on Belgium (2:45pm, ESPN3.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

The struggling Los Angeles Galaxy will be in Chicago this weekend to take on a desperate Fire team in a battle of squads that need a win badly.

The Galaxy could wind up falling out of first place in the West with a loss on Saturday, while the Fire could see its playoff hopes fade with yet another setback.

College Roundup: Akron rolls, ACC struggles

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Akron University came within a penalty kick of an NCAA Title last year, and this year the Zips have already shown they have every intent of taking care of unfinished business.

The No. 1 ranked team in the country got its season started in impressive fashion, scoring a 3-0 win against No. 4 ranked North Carolina in Chapel Hill on Friday night.

Euro 2012 Qualifiers: England rolls, France falls and more

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photo by Greig Cowie/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Qualifiers for Euro 2012 began on Friday, and while some teams were hoping to build off what they had done at the World Cup, others were hoping to start over.

England eased some memories of its bad World Cup showing by defeating Bulgaria, 4-0, to start its qualifying campaign.

Who is your favorite USA player ever?

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With Brian McBride announcing his retirement from professional soccer at the end of the current MLS season there has been an outpouring of emotion from grateful U.S. national team fans who remember him for all his contributions to the game.

This had me wondering just who most people would consider their favorite U.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

With the European club calendar on hold for European Championship qualifying, the schedule of matches on TV this weekend is dominated by Major League Soccer.

MLS picked a good week to have some very intriguing match-ups. The Los Angeles Galaxy takes on the Chicago Fire in a battle of teams struggling for points, though the Galaxy have a few more in the bank.

Columbus Crew at D.C. United: Match Night Commentary

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By AVI CREDITOR

After the Los Angeles Galaxy scored a late equalizer to manage a point out of its match at Chicago on Saturday, the door is open for the Columbus Crew to pull even with the Galaxy in the chase for the Supporters' Shield.

To do that, the Crew will need to defeat D.

Columbus Crew at D.C. United: Match Night Commentary

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By AVI CREDITOR

After the Los Angeles Galaxy scored a late equalizer to manage a point out of its match at Chicago on Saturday, the door is open for the Columbus Crew to pull even with the Galaxy in the chase for the Supporters' Shield.

To do that, the Crew will need to defeat D.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

With the European club calendar on hold for European Championship qualifying, the schedule of matches on TV this weekend is dominated by Major League Soccer.

MLS picked a good week to have some very intriguing match-ups. The Los Angeles Galaxy takes on the Chicago Fire in a battle of teams struggling for points, though the Galaxy have a few more in the bank.

Who is your favorite USA player ever?

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(I posted this over the weekend, but wanted to give our regular readers who may have missed it a chance to chime in.)

With Brian McBride announcing his retirement from professional soccer at the end of the current MLS season there has been an outpouring of emotion from grateful U.

Euro 2012 Qualifiers: England rolls, France falls and more

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photo by Greig Cowie/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Qualifiers for Euro 2012 began on Friday, and while some teams were hoping to build off what they had done at the World Cup, others were hoping to start over.

England eased some memories of its bad World Cup showing by defeating Bulgaria, 4-0, to start its qualifying campaign.

College Roundup: Akron rolls, ACC struggles

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Akron University came within a penalty kick of an NCAA Title last year, and this year the Zips have already shown they have every intent of taking care of unfinished business.

The No. 1 ranked team in the country got its season started in impressive fashion, scoring a 3-0 win against No. 4 ranked North Carolina in Chapel Hill on Friday night.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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The struggling Los Angeles Galaxy will be in Chicago this weekend to take on a desperate Fire team in a battle of squads that need a win badly.

The Galaxy could wind up falling out of first place in the West with a loss on Saturday, while the Fire could see its playoff hopes fade with yet another setback.

European Championship Qualifying: Your Running Commentary

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With a plethora of European Championship qualifiers being played today, with the likes of England, Germany and Italy in action, we should get a good sense of where some world powers stand some two months after the World Cup.

England faces Bulgaria today, while Germany takes on Belgium in a tough test.

SBI's College Best XI Draft Prospects

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With the 2010 MLS Draft class looking like it could be one of the best in league history, and with the 2009 draft class also having impressed, more and more eyes are focusing on the talent being produced on the college level.

This year should be just as good, if not better, with a plethora of young standouts ready to impress scouts across the country.

MLS Week 23: A Look Ahead

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By TRAVIS CLARK

The first weekend of September is here, and there remains very little room for error as the playoff race continues to heat up.

Kansas City faces a vital trip to Philadelphia as the Wizards continue to force themselves back into the playoff picture, while FC Dallas puts its unbeaten streak on the line at home against an undermanned Toronto FC.

USSF D-2: A Look Ahead at Week 22

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By TRAVIS CLARK

Only one month of the USSF D-2 regular season remains, and it's last call for the bottom feeders to pull off a last-minute miracle.

Crystal Palace Baltimore is one of those teams. Four points outside the last playoff spot, a trip to Carolina awaits this weekend, and a win for Baltimore is paramount (7:30p.

Fantasy MLS: Week 23

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By AVI CREDITOR

It's International Break Week. Is your fantasy team prepared?

With a cavalcade of fantasy contributors away on national-team duty this weekend, you might find yourself dipping deep into your bench or the transfer market (if you have any moves remaining) to field a complete squad.

American legend McBride to retire at end of season

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

U.S. men's national team legend and Chicago Fire captain Brian McBride has enjoyed one of the most successful careers in American soccer history and that career will close its final chapter at the end of this MLS season.

NCAA Preview: Confident Soares could be next standout college defender

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 PHOTO BY GOLDENBEARSPORTS.COM

BY ADAM SERRANO

The college ranks have filled Major League Soccer with several young central defenders ripe with potential in recent years, with the likes of Omar Gonzalez, Ike Opara and Tim Ream making the smooth transition from college to the pros.

Beckham eyeing Sept. 11th return to the Galaxy

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BY ADAM SERRANO

The Los Angeles Galaxy have been in dire need of a spark to lift them from their late summer funk and soon, they may have just that.

Midfielder David Beckham has eyed a September 11th return to action after a long injury layoff.

NCAA Preview: UCSB hoping to lift College Cup at home again

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BY ADAM SERRANO

2010 has every chance to be a historic year for the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos.The Gauchos head into 2010 heavy with the burden of expectation after being ranked No.5 in Soccer America's preseason rankings after returning eight starters from a team that finished 17-5-2 last season.

Mid-Day Ticker: Whitecaps keep their coach, Timbers get sponsor and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

The Vancouver Whitecaps will likely be making many personnel changes before their inaugural season in Major League Soccer, but a change at coach is not in the cards.

Teitur Thordarson received a multi-year extension from the Whitecaps on Thursday, cementing his stay as coach when the Whitecaps join MLS.

Virginia's Ownby looking to bounce back in 2010

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Photo by Jim Daves/UVa Media Relations

By TRAVIS CLARK

Back in 2008, University of Virginia forward Brian Ownby enjoyed a strong start to his collegiate soccer career. Earning significant minutes as a freshman, Ownby chipped in 5 goals and 4 assists, while starting 14 games for the Cavaliers.

NCAA Preview: Top Matches to Watch

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By AVI CREDITOR

When the NCAA men's soccer season ends on Dec. 10 in Santa Barbara, Calif., the University of North Carolina and Akron University could very well find themselves matched up against each other.

Fortunately, college soccer fans don't have to wait until December to see what would happen if the two were to square off.

NCAA Preview: Virginia looks to reload, not rebuild

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By TRAVIS CLARK

Last year in men's college soccer, there were few trophies that the University of Virginia didn't get its hands on. Winners of both the ACC Championship and NCAA Championship tournament, the 2010 Cavaliers enter with eyes on defending both titles.

NCAA Preview: MacMath eyes another title

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Photo courtesy of University of Maryland

By AVI CREDITOR

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Back in 2008, Sasho Cirovski hardly expected Zac MacMath to have a junior season.

Considering the pedigree that MacMath, the University of Maryland's 19-year-old star goalkeeper, carried with him to Ludwig Field, and considering the track record of other Maryland standouts who have jumped early to the professional ranks, one could understand the Maryland coach's cautious outlook.

NCAA Preview: Top Ten Teams to Watch

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Photo by ISIphotos.com Â

By TRAVIS CLARK

The 2010 national title contenders in college soccer start and stops in the major power conferences. Five of the last 10 champions have emerged from the ACC, and defending champion Virginia will be eager to defend its title.

Thursday Kickoff: Union fields 15-year old, Kingson signs with Blackpool and more

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Lost amid the U.S. Open Cup action and SuperLiga on Wednesday night was the Philadelphia Union's friendly against Chivas Guadalajara at PPL Park.

The friendly itself didn't really matter much, but the news that the Union fielded a 15-year-old academy player surely does.

Philadelphia fielded U.

Upsets galore on opening night of NCAA men's soccer

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The 2010 men's college soccer season kicked off on Wednesday night with several top teams in action, and if last night's results are any indication, this season will be an unpredictable one.

Six teams ranked in Soccer America's Top 25 were in action on Wednesday, and four of them lost. Highly-regarded UCSB fell in overtime to Cal State-Bakersfield, while Stanford lost to Vermont, also in overtime.

Morelia beats struggling New England to win SuperLiga title

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

FOXBORO, Mass. - In the brief history of SuperLiga, MLS has acquitted itself well against what is generally considered superior Mexican competition. Unfortunately for the league, solid performances in the early rounds haven't translated to success in the tournament's final, which no MLS team has ever won by beating Mexican opposition.

Jaqua, Zakuani lead Sounders back to U.S. Open Cup final

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

This is a tournament that clearly means something to the Seattle Sounders.

Whatever feelings players may have toward CONCACAF Champions League, defense of Seattle's U.S. Open Cup is a priority. The Sounders showed that Wednesday night in their 3-1 win over Chivas USA in an Open Cup semifinal at Starfire Sports Complex near Seattle.

Crew clinch spot in U.S. Open Cup Final with win over D.C. United

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Photo by Tony Quinn/ISIphotos.com

By TRAVIS CLARK

The Columbus Crew left it till the very end, but managed to overcome a tough, ten-man D.C. United side and emerge as 2-1 winners in Wednesday night's U.S. Open Cup Semifinal.

Andy Iro forced home a late equalizer, and Columbus, up a man for 60 minutes, squeezed out a winner through a Guillermo Barros Schelotto penalty kick in extratime.

U.S. Open Cup Semifinal: Columbus Crew vs. D.C. United (Match Night Commentary)

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Good evening everyone. Bottom dwelling D.C. United is set to host the Columbus Crew in a clash that will determine the first team of the U.S. Open Cup final to be held later this year.

D.C. rested a number of regulars on the weekend against Chivas USA, aiming to be fresh for this evening's match up.

Petke to retire at end of 2010

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIPhotos.com

After 13 seasons in Major League Soccer, veteran defender Mike Petke is ready to call it a career.

The New York Red Bulls centerback and former D.

West foes Seattle, Chivas USA set to meet in U.S. Open Cup semi

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 BY ADAM SERRANOÂ

For many teams, the U.S. Open Cup is a tournament that can be glossed over as a distraction to the already jammed pack calendar. For the Seattle Sounders and Chivas USA, each club will have a chance to do something historic.Â

With a victory, the Sounders will have a chance to return to the Open Cup final for the second year in a row and appear in a major final in front of their own crowd.

D.C., Columbus set for U.S. Open Cup Semifinal

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The Coumbus Crew head to Washington, D.C. Wednesday evening, aiming to keep a quest for three trophies in 2010 alive against D.C. United in the U.S. Open Cup semifinal (7:30 p.m., stream here).

Tonight's game is the only chance D.C. United has of coming away from the 2010 season with anything positive to show from this year, as the club sits at the bottom of the league table, with no legitimate playoff shot.

Why you will hate the new CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Format

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

In case you haven't heard by now, CONCACAF is preparing to change its World Cup qualifying format dramatically, doing away with the old Hexagonal final qualifying round in favor of a two-group final round that gives eight teams a chance to battle for the three (or four) automatic World Cup berths the region receives.

SBI Live Q&A (Sept. 1 Edition)

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Good afternoon everybody (and good morning on the West Coast). It is time for another installment of the SBI Live Q&A, where you send me your soccer-related questions (and some pop culture questions as well) and I try to answer as many of them as I can.

Want to talk European transfers? Need to discuss Bob Bradley's re-hiring?

Wednesday Ticker: Van Der Vaart joins Tottenham, Rio returns to action and more

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Tottenham pulled off arguably the best transfer deadline deal on Tuesday, landing Dutch midfielder Rafael van der Vaart in a $12 million move from Real Madrid. The club announced the completion of the move on Wednesday.

Van Der Vaart gives Spurs a midfield boost as the club prepares to play in the UEFA Champions League.

NCAA men's soccer season set to kick off

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The 2010 NCAA men's soccer season begins today, with some of the nation's top teams beginning their schedules with action tonight.

The full schedule of soccer action doesn't begin until Friday, when top teams such as Akron, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and UCLA make their debuts.

SBI Live Q&A set for Noon Today

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Given the recent passing of the European transfer window, and the recent news of Bob Bradley's re-hiring as U.S. men's national team head coach, it's time for the latest SBI Live Q&A.

Get your soccer-related questions ready and at Noon today I will kick off a new Q&A, where I will try to answer as many of those questions as I can.

Montero keeping Seattle on a roll in MLS

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

So much came out of the Seattle Sounders' 2-1 come-from-behind win over the Chicago Fire Saturday night. Let's start with the obvious.

First, Seattle now has a seven-match unbeaten streak in MLS play.