Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2011

Fulham 4, Tottenham 0: The Highlights

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Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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photo by John Dorton/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

World Cup qualifying for the U-20 World Cup is fast approaching, and one American who is currently helping his cause to make the United States' roster is Bobby Wood.

Having recently been promoted to TSV 1860 Munich's first team, Wood made his professional debut against MSV Duisburg on Saturday.

Adu heading to Turkish side Rizespor

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American midfielder Freddy Adu's long and winding path through Europe has taken him to Turkey.

According to Richard Motzkin, his agent, Adu is set to move to Turkish second division club Rizespor on loan. Portuguese club Benfica, which bought Adu from Real Salt Lake in 2007, still owns Adu's contract.

Edu helps Rangers reach League Cup final with splendid strike

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Maurice Edu closed out January with arguably his best outing since recovering from a knee injury, playing 90 minutes and scoring a beautiful goal as Rangers reached the Co-operative Insurance Cup final.

Edu opened the scoring in Rangers' 2-1 victory over Motherwell in the Scottish League Cup semifinal by blasting a left-footed shot from distance in the 20th minute.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Clint Dempsey and Fulham aren't challenging for a European place, and are more concerned with avoiding relegation, but the FA Cup is still the club's best chance at glory and the Cottagers will need to knock off mighty Tottenham today to keep that dream alive.

Fulham-Tottenham headlines the day's FA Cup offerings, with Arsenal taking on Huddersfield Town in a battle of powerhouse vs.

Everton 1, Chelsea 1: The Highlights

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Southampton 1, Manchester United 2: The Highlights

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MLS Training Camp Preview: Sporting Kansas City

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

PHOENIX -- No MLS team will spend more time in the desert than Sporting KC, around four weeks in all.

That's OK, because the newly-branded club (formerly the Kansas City Wizards) could use the "on the road" experience to prepare for the MLS regular season, when it will play its first nine or 10 games away from home before opening its new 18,500-seat soccer-specific stadium in June.

MLS Training Camp Preview: New England Revolution

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

After missing the playoffs for the first time under Steve Nicol last season, the Revolution enters the 2011 season with more questions than answers.

The Revs have been in transition since Taylor Twellman first sustained the head injury that would eventually end his career midway through the 2008 season.

Bradley heading to Aston Villa on loan

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After weeks of speculation about where Michael Bradley could wind up, the U.S. national team midfielder is heading to England to play for a team with plenty of American ties.

Bradley is heading to English Premier League side Aston Villa, sources confirmed to SBI on Saturday.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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While Dimitar Berbatov has been stealing most of the headlines during Manchester United's unbeaten league run, Mexican striker Javier Hernandez has also played a pivotal role, scoring seven league goals and threatening Wayne Rooney for a starting role.

Hernandez should get another chance to work his magic today as Manchester United takes on Southampton in FA Cup action.

Special1 TV: Sven gets the sack

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

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Call it a Winter Cup Weekend, with the FA Cup and Asian Cup grabbing the headlines and dominating the weekend TV schedule.

Australia and Japan will face off on Saturday in an Asian Cup Final in the best match of the weekend. The match isn't being shown on the traditional American soccer channels, but there are cable networks and internet options for fans eager to see what should be an exciting final.

MLS Notes: Cunningham signs with Crew, league amends player rules and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

Jeff Cunningham is returning to Columbus after all.

Cunningham, the second-leading goal scorer in Major League Soccer history, and the Crew agreed on a multi-year contract on Friday, more than a month after Columbus secured the striker's MLS rights in the Re-Entry Draft.

Clark sidelined four weeks after fracturing cheekbone

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American midfielder Ricardo Clark finally broke through in recent weeks at German club Eintracht Frankfurt, earning quality minutes and impressing at multiple positions.

Clark's renaissance has been on hold after suffering a fractured cheekbone during a training session on Friday.

Red Bulls sign Hot as Homegrown Player

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In the same month that the New York Red Bulls signed Maryland standout Matt Kassel to a Homegrown Player contract, the club has now added the first defender from its academy to the senior team.

The Red Bulls have signed U.S. Under-20 national team defender Sacir Hot to a Homegrown Player contract, sources told SBI on Friday.

Mid-Day Ticker: Liverpool lands Suarez, Pazzini joins Inter and more

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Amid rumors that Fernando Torres is interested in joining Chelsea comes word that Liverpool has, in fact, added a star rather than lost one.

Liverpool has completed the acquisition of Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez from Ajax for a reported €26.5 million euros. After a lengthy and public negotiations, Liverpool finally offered a total that Ajax deemed reasonable for one of the stars (and villains) of the 2010 World Cup.

MLS moves Houston Dynamo to Eastern Conference

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With the Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers joining Major League Soccer in 2011 the league had to make some changes to conference alignment.

As it turns out, MLS made just one change.

The Houston Dynamo will be playing in the Eastern Conference in 2011, a move that is more cosmetic than anything since the league will play a balanced schedule in 2011.

MLS Training Camp Preview: Seattle Sounders

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

PHOENIX -- The Sounders are one of the teams that trained at Grande Sports World in Casa Grande, Ariz., last offseason. They're repeat customers in 2011, hoping the preseason will be the springboard to a third playoff berth in three seasons of existence.

Bradley on the verge of a move

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Michael Bradley appears to have played his last game for Borussia Moenchengladbach, with a transfer expected to be completed before the close of the current transfer window.

Bradley has been linked with a handful of clubs in recent weeks, and Moenchengladbach's signing of Michael Fink on Thursday set the wheels in motion for a winter transfer for the 23-year-old Americans.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Clint Dempsey and Fulham may have had a flat showing against Liverpool on Wednesday, but they'll have a chance to quickly erase that from their memories in FA Cup action this weekend.

Fulham hosts Tottenham on Sunday, and Dempsey will look to spark the Cottagers' attack against the likes of Ledley King and Michael Dawson after failing to find the back of the net against Liverpool.

Doyle still undecided between USA and Ireland

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Photo by John Dorton/ISIPhotos.com

Conor Doyle was born and raised in Texas, and just finished a training camp with the U.S. Under-20 national team, but that hasn't stopped Ireland from courting him and leaving him with a decision to make over which country he will represent.

Evening ticker: Onalfo joins Galaxy, Van Der Sar retiring in May and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

After a tumultous reign as the head coach of D.C. United, Curt Onalfo is headed back to work.

The Los Angeles Galaxy announced that Onalfo, 41, will join the club as an assistant where he will be reunited with Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, under whom he served as an assistant for the U.

Saad leaves Michigan to pursue pro career

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University of Michigan freshman Soony Saad, the leading scorer in NCAA Division I men's soccer in 2010 with 19 goals, has left Michigan to pursue a professional career. Saad confirmed his departure from Michigan to Fox Soccer and SBI on Thursday.

Onyewu's injury not serious

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The injury that forced American defender Oguchi Onyewu to leave Wednesday's FC Twente match against PSV Eindhoven has turned out to not be serious.

According to SBI's Avi Creditor, who spoke to Onyewu on Thursday, Onyewu suffered a muscle injury in his rib cage that will require some rest and rehab, but he isn't expected to be sidelined for an extended period of time.

MLS Training Camp Preview: Columbus Crew

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

PHOENIX -- As training convenes in Phoenix for the Columbus Crew, there are plenty of unanswered questions.Â

Most of the questions surround the team's roster, which has undergone a major overhaul, making it easy to wonder just who are all of these guys.

Bradley's club situation in limbo

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After being a regular starter for Borussia Moenchengldbach for the better part of two and a half seasons, U.S. national team midfielder Michael Bradley days with the relegation-threatened German club appear numbered.

Bradley has come off the bench in Moenchengladbach's past two matches, with rumors swirling about clubs interested in his services.

Spector and Clark thrive in new roles

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It wasn't too long ago that Jonathan Spector and Ricardo Clark were among the list of American players struggling for minutes in Europe, but they each have seen their fortunes change over the past month.

Spector has seen a position change from fullback to central midfield spark a renaissance, with Spector scoring goals and earning regular starts for West Ham United.

USA 1, Chile 1: Behind the Scenes

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Americans Abroad: Spector's West Ham and Dempsey's Fulham fall, Onyewu hurt

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Jonathan Spector was in the starting lineup for West Ham yet again, but he couldn't duplicate his past Carling Cup magic as the Hammers lost to Birmingham, 3-1, in overtime of their second leg at St. Andrews on Wednesday. The loss sent Birmingham to the Carling Cup Final.

West Ham came in with a 2-1 lead on aggregate, but Birmingham forced extra time with its own 2-1 regulation scoreline and clinched the victory at home courtesy of a Craig Gardner goal.

Evening Ticker: Keys quits from Sky, De Jong called up and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

In what was a near-inevitable move, Sky Sports has announced the resignation of Richard Keys after the commentator made disparaging comments about a female lineswoman this weekend.

"I am deeply sorry for my remarks and the offense they have caused," Keys said in a statement.

Must-See Goal: Karim Benzema

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In a Copa del Rey match marred by Iker Casillas being hit with a projectile from the stands and a controversial no-goal call on a shot by Luis Fabiano, Karim Benzema delivered an excellent individual effort to give Real Madrid a 1-0 lead over Sevilla heading into the second leg of their semifinal tie:


Earthquakes win Bingham lottery

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The San Jose Earthquakes have hit the goalkeeper jackpot.

Entering Wednesday's lottery for Cal goalkeeper David Bingham with the fifth-highest odds of winning (8.8 percent), the Earthquakes cashed in by landing the final 2011 Generation adidas prospect on the market.

Bingham enters an appealing situation.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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In addition to the number of Americans that are in action on Wednesday, Barcelona and Real Madrid both have Copa del Rey semifinal first-leg matches, which should make for a rather exciting day of mid-week soccer.

Real Madrid must travel to Sevilla for its match (2 p.m., ESPN3.com/ESPNDeportes), while Barcelona will host Almeria (4 p.

Mid-Day Ticker: Japan's Kagawa breaks foot, Ajax sets Suarez deadline and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

Japan will be severely short-handed in Saturday's Asian Cup final against Australia after offensive catalyst Shinji Kagawa was ruled out of the match with a broken foot.

Kagawa, a star for Bundesliga leader Borussia Dortmund, was injured in the Samurai Blue's dramatic Asian Cup victory over South Korea.

Five teams opt out of Bingham lottery

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Photos by ISIphotos.com

And then there were 13.

Sporting Kansas City, Chivas USA, D.C. United, the Houston Dynamo and Philadelphia Union have all opted out of Wednesday afternoon's lottery for the rights to Generation adidas goalkeeper David Bingham, leaving 13 teams vying for his services.

MLS Training Camp Preview: D.C. United

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By AVI CREDITOR

After putting last season's historically bad campaign in the rear-view mirror, D.C. United is aiming for a fresh start with Ben Olsen at the helm of a team on a mission.

With a bevy of new faces in camp and a fresh attitude to boot, expectations of a vast improvement are abound in the nation's capital.

Big day for Americans in the UK

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Jonathan Spector has had quite a run over the last couple months, and if he and West Ham turn in another winning performance on Wednesday, they'll book themselves a place at Wembley Stadium for a Carling Cup title bout with Arsenal on Feb. 27.

West Ham and Birmingham square off in the second leg of their cup semifinal tie (2:45 p.

Wednesday Kickoff: Knighton waived, Dynamo delay groundbreaking and more

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

The Philadelphia Union's goalkeeping corps is down to a 39-year-old veteran and a 19-year-old rookie.

The team elected to waive Brad Knighton Tuesday, parting ways with the 25-year-old netminder who started eight games in the club's inaugural season.

Blackpool 2, Manchester United 3: Match Highlights

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Guzan has Hull City loan extended

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Brad Guzan's loan deal to Hull City has helped him earn valuable playing time.

He's about to get a bit more.

Aston Villa and Hull City have agreed to extend Guzan's loan for another month.

Guzan has been Hull's starter since coming over and is expected to remain the starter for another two weeks, when Vito Mannone is expected to return from a thigh injury.

Galaxy sign McBean as newest Homegrown Player

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The Los Angeles Galaxy has signed the second Homegrown Player in team history, coming to terms with 16-year-old forward Jack McBean, sources told SBI on Tuesday.

The Newport Beach native is a 6-foot target striker who has spent time with the U.S. Under-17 national team, having joined the Under-17 national team Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida.

Chivas USA announce sponsorship with Corona

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BY ADAM SERRANO

Changes are in the air for Chivas USA.

New Coach, new General Manager, a host of new players and now a new sponsor.

Chivas USA announced on Tuesday an agreement with Groupo Modelo, a Mexican beer conglomerate. The agreement will lead to the Corona Extra logo taking a prominent place on team apparel.

Former 'El Tri' striker Kikin Fonseca eyes MLS move

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The list of foreign players expressing interest in signing with Major League Soccer is growing by the way, and now you can add another familiar name to the list.

Former Mexican international Francisco "Kikin" Fonseca is seeking an MLS contract, sources close to Fonseca told SBI on Tuesday.

SBI Live Q&A (Jan. 25th Edition)

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Good afternoon folks. It's time for an SBI Live Q&A.

Want to talk about USA-Chile? The upcoming MLS season? European soccer? if you want to discuss it, we can do so over the next few hours.

Send your questions my way.

Let's get started (Q&A is after the jump):

Major League Soccer Chile European Soccer sbi amp SBI Live Q&A SBI Live Q&A (Jan. 25th Edition)

MLS Training Camp Preview: Vancouver Whitecaps

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

PHOENIX -- The Vancouver Whitecaps' first MLS preseason camp away from home figures to draw some interest from plenty of those following the expansion club.Â

Vancouver is no stranger to training in Arizona. The USSF Division 2 Whitecaps played three preseason games in Casa Grande and Tempe (Arizona State University) last February and are back for a total of three weeks in the winter sunshine of the desert this year.

Tuesday Kickoff: Japan downs S. Korea, Rossi signs extension and more

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Arch-rivals Japan and South Korea played a memorable Asian Cup semifinal on Tuesday that came down to dramatic penalty kicks. Kicks South Korea wasn't ready for.

Japan converted three of four penalties while South Korea missed all three attempts to send Japan to the Asian Cup Final, where the winner of Australia/Uzbekistan awaits.

SBI Live Q&A set for 1pm Today

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

I will hold a Live Q&A today at 1pm. We can talk all things soccer, from the USA-Chile friendly, to the upcoming MLS season, to European soccer or anything else on your mind.

Get your questions ready and join me here at 1pm.

See you then.

Kassel signs Homegrown Player deal with Red Bulls

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Maryland midfielder Matt Kassel has spent the past three years as a potential Homegrown Player signing for the New York Red Bulls.

The wait is finally over.

Kassel has reached a contract agreement with the Red Bulls to become the team's third Homegrown Player, sources told SBI on Monday.

Cal Goalkeeper Bingham signs with MLS as Generation adidas player

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California goalkeeper David Bingham has signed a Generation adidas contract with Major League Soccer and will be made available in a special draft lottery before the 2011 MLS season, sources told SBI on Monday.

Bingham was regarded as one of the top two goalkeeping prospects heading into the 2011 MLS Draft, but was left out of the 2011 Generation adidas draft class after failing to reach an agreement.

Friendship aids Diskerud in USMNT transition

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                               Photo by ISIPhotos.com

BY ADAM SERRANO

Often when a new player joins the national team program, their performance is ripe with expectation. Each move is scrutinized and each pass dissected. For Mixx Diskerud, the story is no different.

Projecting the USA Gold Cup roster: January Edition

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It might seem like the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup is still far away, but it is less than five months away, meaning it isn't too early to start thinking about the squad Bob Bradley will put together to try and regain the Gold Cup title.

The United States has won the past three Gold Cup titles where the first-choice squad was available and this year's tournament will feature America's best.

MLS Training Camp Preview: Real Salt Lake

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

   PHOENIX -- Like Florida and Arizona in major league baseball, the two sunny states are also entrenched as the destinations of choice for U.S. winter preseason training for Major League Soccer clubs.

And just like in baseball, it appears Arizona is increasingly becoming the locale of choice.

USA 1, Chile 1: A Look Back

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Photo by John Todd/ISIPhotos.com

The U.S. men's national team began its new year on Saturday with a 1-1 draw against Chile, and while the first match of 2011 had some of the sloppiness often associated with January friendlies, there were also the bright spots that come with seeing new faces perform.

European Weekend Rewind: Man. United keeps rolling, Madrid survives and more

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

Though the club at times has looked far from invinvible this year, the fact remains that Manchester United has gone undefeated through its first 22 Premier League matches. Perhaps the biggest factor in the Red Devils' success so far has been the form of Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov, who added three more goals to his league-leading total of 18 in the club's 5-0 thrashing of Birmingham City on Saturday.

Monday Kickoff: Savage rules out MLS move, Chelsea makes another Luiz bid and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

After holding talks with the Vancouver Whitecaps, Robbie Savage has decided to stay in England.

"I'm going to stay here," Savage, 36, said on Twitter. "Canada was a great option but it was too big a move for my family." The former Wales international currently plays for Derby County in the English Championship and works occasionally as a television pundit.

Honduras defeats Costa Rica, 2-1, to win Central American Cup

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The 2011 Central American Cup in Panama came to a close on Sunday, and World Cup participant Honduras walked away victorious.

Honduras claimed its third Central American title, defeating a 10-man Costa Rica side, 2-1, in Panama City. Los Catrachos took an early lead through a rifled finish from close range by Walter Martinez in the 8th minute, and Emil Martinez added a second off a free kick in the 53rd.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

From goals scored to key U.S. national team players ending their respective playing droughts, this weekend brought mostly good news.

Three Americans found the back of the net, including Edson Buddle, who enjoyed a dream debut with FC Ingolstadt 04.

Must-See Goal Call: Teal Boon-Boo-Ree

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USA 1, Chile 1: Match Highlights

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Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Jermaine Jones is set to make his English Premier League debut for Blackburn against West Bromwich Albion in one of today's key matches to watch.

Jones joins Blackburn on loan and should slide right into the starting lineup for a Rovers side currently in 12th place. He won't be the only American central midfielder in action, with Michael Bradley and Borussia Moenchengladbach facing Bayer Leverkusen.

Bunbury penalty helps USMNT earn 1-1 draw

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CARSON, CALIF -- The U.S. men's national team's first match of the new year didn't start well, but ended with some promising signs as the young forward tandem of Juan Agudelo and Teal Bunbury helped the United States salvage a point on opening night.

Bunbury scored on a penalty kick in the 75th minute of play while Esteban Paredes was the lone goalscorer for La Roja in front of a crowd of 18,580 at the Home Depot Center.

USA vs. Chile: Match Night Commentary

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The U.S. men's national team begins the new year tonight by taking on South American side Chile at Home Depot Center (10pm, Telefutura/ESPN3.com).

Bob Bradley will be fielding a very young squad against a Chile team that also has plenty of new faces. Neither team will feature it's best players, but the chance to impress their coaches should have both teams in attack mode.

Everton 2, West Ham 2: Match Highlights

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Fulham 2, Stoke 0: Match Highlights

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USA vs. Chile: The Pre-Game Tailgate

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The U.S. men's national team will open a new year and new four-year World Cup cycle tonight when the Americans take on Chile at Home Depot Center (10pm, Telefutura/ESPN3.com).

Bob Bradley will be fielding a young squad against a Chile side made up of domestic league players.

Dempsey nets pair, Spector scores on banner day

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There were only two American field players in action in the English Premier League on Saturday but that didn't stop them from nearly equaling the goal total of all the English Players in the EPL combined.

Clint Dempsey scored a pair of goals to help Fulham defeat Stoke City, 2-0, while Jonathan Spector added his own goal to help West Ham register a 2-2 tie against Everton.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Revenge will be on the mind of some of England's top teams today in a loaded schedule of soccer around the world.

Manchester United dropped points in controversial fashion when the Red Devils visited Birmingham City last month, but Sir Alex Ferguson's side will look to take all three points at Old Trafford today.

Cascadia clubs to hold preseason summit at Sounders' facility

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

Soccer fans in the Pacific Northwest won't have to wait until the regular season starts to see their teams face off against their regional rivals.

The Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps (and their fans) will come together March 4-6 at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Wash.

U.S. Soccer's Studio 90 previews USA-Chile

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Galindo, Espinoza and Delgado released by Chivas USA

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BY ADAM SERRANO

Robin Fraser is putting his stamp on Chivas USA.

The Los Angeles based club began their preseason preparations today and change was in the air for the club on their first day of practice. Fraser announced that the Cuban forward Maykel Galindo, Costa Rican defender Dario Delgado and Mexican winger Rodolfo Espinoza were not continuing  with the club.

Attakora seeking stability for Toronto FC

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By JOSE M. ROMERO

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. -- On a frigid desert evening in practically the middle of nowhere, in front of a handful of people, a Major League Soccer veteran played through a groin injury.

That last part probably wasn't good news for Toronto FC, which opens full-team preseason training for 2011 in just a few days.

Mid-Day Ticker: Japan reaches Asian Cup semis, Friedel bankrupt and more

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By MIKE NASTRI

Japan slipped by Qatar 3-2 in the quarterfinals of the Asian Cup behind a Masahiko Inoha game winner.

The Kashima Antlers midfielder jumped on a loose ball in front of net and slotted home the stoppage time winner. Shinji Kagawa added two goals in the effort for the Blue Samurai.

Buddle scores in Ingolstadt debut

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Former Los Angeles Galaxy striker Edson Buddle got his European career off to a great start on Friday, scoring a goal in FC Ingolstadt's 1-1 draw vs. Duisburg.

Buddle started and played 88 minutes and looked to give relegation-threatened Ingolstadt a big boost with his late goal, but Duisburg found a late equalizer to spoil Buddle's debut.

Newcomers ready to make an impact as USA faces Chile

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                                                        Photo by ISIPhotos.com

BY ADAM SERRANO

It's the first match of the year for the United States national team and for many of the players on the field, it will be their first chance to state their case for a future with the team.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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If you're hoping to see some Americans making their debuts with new clubs, then this is a good weekend for Soccer on TV.

Jermaine Jones will make his Blackburn debut in a match airing on Fox Soccer Channel, while Robbie Findley's Nottingham Forest debut is airing on Saturday on Fox Soccer Plus.

Questions abound as USMNT prepares to kick off 2011

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

The U.S. men's national team is set to begin a new year, and a new World Cup cycle, on Saturday in its kickoff friendly against Chile, and while there won't be any first-team regulars in action, the match will offer us the first glimpses of what the new year might be like.

Grella's Motherwell loan has been cancelled

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Mike Grella figured to have a good chance for playing time with Scottish club Motherwell, but now he won't have that chance.

Grella's loan from Leeds to Motherwell has been cancelled due to FIFA regulations that don't allow players to play for three clubs in one season. Grella had played for Carlisle United on loan last fall, an emergency loan neither Leeds or Motherwell believed would count against Grella, but the Scottish FA put a halt to the loan.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. national team won't be the only squad with new American faces in its lineup this weekend.

Several players in the Americans Abroad contingent will be looking to make debuts with their respective new clubs.

Jermaine Jones is one of those players, and he'll look to start for Blackburn when it faces West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.

Johnson learning, thriving with USMNT

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                                                     Photo by ISIPhotos.com

BY ADAM SERRANO

Sean Johnson is making a habit of using the Home Depot Center as a launching pad to his success.

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

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Good afternoon everybody. It's Q&A Time.

Time for us to talk all things soccer (and pop culture) for a few hours.

Want to talk MLS Draft? U.S. national team? European Soccer? Send your questions my way.

Let's get started (Q&A is after the jump):

European Soccer Pop Culture amp SBI Live Q&A SBI Live Q&A (Jan. 20th Edition)

How will Angel do with the Galaxy?

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

When Juan Pablo Angel completed his move to the Los Angeles Galaxy there was plenty of talk about how well he could do in the Galaxy offense, while some in New York questioned whether he had much left in the tank. One thing is clear. How well the Galaxy does in 2011 will be directly tied to how well the Colombian striker does.

A look back at the MLS/Supplemental Drafts

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With the 2011 MLS Draft and Supplemental Draft now in the rearview mirror, it's time to take a closer look at the teams who did the best job of stockpiling talent.

No, we won't know for sure who the true winners and losers were for a few years, but we can certainly speculate about which teams we thought did well.

Grella joins Motherwell on loan

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American striker Mike Grella has joined Scottish club Motherwell on loan, the club announced on Thursday.

Grella joins Motherwell from English side Leeds United, where he has struggled for playing time. Grella most recently went on loan to Carlisle United, where he scored three goals in 11 appearances.

Union signs Colombians Mondragon and Valdes

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The Philadelphia Union continued the revamping of its second-year squad on Thursday with the announced signings of Colombian goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon and Colombian defender Carlos Valdes.

Mondragon, 39, joins the Union from German side Cologne while Valdes, 25, comes to MLS from Colombian club Independiente Santa Fe.

SBI Live Q&A set for 1pm today

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

I will be holding the latest Q&A today at 1pm. Want to talk about last week's MLS Draft? The winter transfer market? The upcoming UEFA Champions League Round of 16?

Get your questions ready and check back in at 1pm today.

Galaxy signs Angel as third DP

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BY ADAM SERRANO

The Los Angeles Galaxy have signed Juan Pablo Angel as the club's third Designated Player, the team announced on Wednesday. Angel was chosen by the Galaxy in the Re-Entry Draft last December.

Los Angeles is in dire need of a forward after the recent departure of Edson Buddle to the German second division.

Onyewu goes full 90 in Twente debut

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Oguchi Onyewu's drought of playing club-level soccer has come to an end.

Onyweu played 90 minutes in his first match with FC Twente since being loaned to the club from AC Milan, with whom he hadn't played since September, 2009.

Twente defeated Heracles, 5-0, behind four goals from Marc Janko.

MLS Notes: Talley retires; Dynamo add two homegrown players and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

Another old-timer has decided to hang up his cleats.

Defender Carey Talley, who played with six teams over a 13-year career, retired on Wednesday.

Talley, drafted by D.C. United in 1998, had career stops with Kansas City, Dallas, Salt Lake, Chivas USA and a return to D.

Onyewu set for FC Twente debut

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After a frustrating fall spent watching AC Milan matches from the sidelines (and more often from the stands), U.S. national team defender Oguchi Onyewu is set to make his league debut with FC Twente today against Heracles (12:45pm).

Onyewu has made the move to the Dutch Eredivisie on loan, where he will be re-united with his former Standard Liege manager, Michel Preud'homme.

Wood joins 1860 Munich first team

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U.S. Under-20 national team striker Bobby Wood was one of the standouts of the recent U-20 camp, and his stellar form has helped earn him a place on the 1860 Munich first team.

Wood joins the first team just a week after 1860 Munich parted ways with another American striker, Kenny Cooper, who has signed with the Portland Timbers.

Wednesday Kickoff: Castillo loaned to Aris, Cosmos hire Cantona and more

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

After parting ways with Freddie Ljungberg earlier in the off-season, it appears the Chicago Fire will begin the 2011 season without either of its 2010 Designated Players.

According to reports in Mexico and Greece, Mexican striker Nery Castillo is set to join Greek club Aris FC on a loan for the rest of the European season.

Americans Abroad: Altidore starts, Hahnemann posts shutout and more

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U.S. national team striker Jozy Altidore was handed a rare start for Spanish power Villarreal, but he couldn't keep his squad from being knocked out of the Copa Del Rey quarterfinals after a 3-0 loss to Sevilla.

Altidore played 62 minutes, and showed some glimpses, but struggled to make an impact as the left forward in a 4-3-3 attack.

Miller rides career turnaround into USMNT invite

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BY ADAM SERRANO

Ryan Miller's name isn't one many would have expected to receive a U.S. national team call-up a month ago, but considering how far he has come in his career over the past two years, nothing should come as too much of a surprise.

Galaxy, TFC and RSL score good values in Supplemental Draft

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The MLS Supplemental Draft doesn't have the hype or get the attention of the MLS "Super" Draft but there were still good values to be had during Tuesday's draft.

The Vancouver Whitecaps began proceedings by taking UCSB centerback Michael Boxall with the first pick to get the draft going.

MLS Supplemental Draft set for today

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If the 2011 MLS Draft wasn't enough of an event for you to get your off-season fix, then today's MLS Supplemental Draft should offer an appetizer for those who love seeing their teams add new faces.

There is some talent left that went undrafted last week, particularly non-American college players who teams passed on because they would take up international player slots.

Mid-Day Ticker: Cummings loan falls through, Jones loan completed and more

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Photo by Nick Turchiaro/ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

Omar Cummings won't be joining Aston Villa after all.

Cummings' attempt to secure a United Kingdom work permit was denied, meaning that the Colorado Rapids striker won't be going to Aston Villa on loan as had been speculated for some time.

Who should the USMNT start vs. Chile?

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The first U.S. national team match of the year won't feature many familiar faces. In fact, there are no players who could be considered first-choice national team options. No, Saturday's friendly against Chile is instead about new faces and Bob Bradley's chance to see how a new crop of MLS players can measure up in what will be a first or second appearance for many of them.

RSL to hire Brown as assistant coach

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When Real Salt Lake lost assistant coach Robin Fraser to Chivas USA, the club figured to find another former MLS player to replace Fraser. RSL has done just that, tapping a 13-year MLS veteran for the job.

Real Salt Lake is set to hire long-time Chicago Fire defender C.J. Brown as the club newest assistant coach, sources with knowledge of the appointment told SBI on Monday evening.

SBI Live Q&A (Jan. 17th Edition)

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Good evening folks. It's that time again. Time for you to send me your soccer-related questions and time for me to give my take on those questions in the newest SBI Live Q&A.

There is plenty to discuss, from the recent 2011 MLS Draft, to the U.S. men's national team's upcoming 2011 opener, to the European season.

Agudelo keeps his cool as expectations keep building for next future USA star

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                                                        Photo by ISIPhotos.comÂ

BY ADAM SERRANO

The life of a professional soccer player can change in just a moment.Â

One well-timed pass or run can change a player's life.

Timbers deal for Cooper is official

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The Portland Timbers bolstered their attack at last week's MLS Draft with the selection of Akron striker Darlington Nagbe, and now the Timbers have officially added an ideal partner for Nagbe in former U.S. national team striker Kenny Cooper.

Portland announced the acquisition of Cooper on Monday, pending receipt of his international transfer certificate.

SBI Live Q&A Set for tonight at 8pm

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With the 2011 MLS Draft having come and gone, and with the U.S. men's national team set to play its first match of the new year, it's a good time to have a Live Q&A.

Be sure to check in tonight at 8pm for the newest SBI Live Q&A. I will be taking questions on all things soccer (and pop culture).

Recapping the MLS Draft

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The 2011 MLS Draft has come and gone and as great a day as it was for many teams, the whirlwind of transactions might have been a bit overwhelming for folks to keep up with.

Here is a quick rundown of SBI's coverage of last week's MLS Draft:

My Fox Soccer piece on the 2011 MLS Draft Winners and Losers

SBI's 2011 MLS Draft Recap

MLS DRAFT TEAM VIDEO PROFILES

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Sunderland lining up bid for Bradley

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Just days after Jermaine Jones made the move from the German Bundesliga to the English Premier League, now comes word a U.S. teammate of Jones could be joining him in the EPL.

Sunderland is lining up a transfer bid for U.S. World Cup midfielder Michael Bradley. The Black Cats are believed to be looking for a potential replacement for Lee Cattermole, who is battling a back injury and is drawing transfer interest from the likes of Liverpool, and Bradley could be just the player to solidify the midfield for Steve Bruce's side.

European Weekend Rewind: Madrid, Milan held, Barca rolls again and more

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

Three of the world's top clubs were held to draws this weekend against lesser opposition, and each of them surrendered ground in their respective title races because of it.

The most shocking of the three results was Real Madrid's 1-1 draw at Almeria.

Must-See Goal: Cani

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Monday Kickoff: Bent on the move, CONCACAF wants fourth World Cup spot and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Darren Bent's tenure at Sunderland has apparently come to a close.

The England international is on the verge of heading to Aston Villa after an 18 million pound offer has been made for the star striker. Bent turned in a written transfer request Sunday night and will travel to Aston Villa today to discuss personal terms.

2011 Gold Cup taking shape as three more teams qualify

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The 2011 Gold Cup is five months away, and all but two nations set to participate are known as three more qualified on Sunday.

Costa Rica, El Salvador and Panama reached the Gold Cup with wins that assured them of playing in the semifinals of the Copa Centroamericana, the seven-team tournament that names a Central American champion and decides which five nations from the region reach CONCACAF's biggest stage.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Jonathan Bornstein may be coming off an injury with a team and setting that he's fairly unfamiliar with, but that didn't stop him from making his Tigres UANL (and Americans Abroad) debut this weekend.

Having missed the season opener due to a thigh strain, Bornstein made his first start for Tigres on Saturday as the club defeated Necaxa 1-0.

Must-See Goal: Carlos Tevez

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One of the wildest games of the weekend was Manchester City's 4-3 victory against Wolverhampton, and a game that crazy deserved a goal as good as the one Carlos Tevez delivered by dancing through the Wolves defense.

 Enjoy (at the 52-second mark):


Must-See Goal: Maurice Edu

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After being sidelined in recent weeks with a knee injury, American midfielder Maurice Edu showed just how healthy he is on Saturday, when he delivered this beautiful goal for Rangers.

Enjoy:


Jones completes loan move to Blackburn

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

Jermaine Jones needed to escape the doghouse at Schalke 04 quickly, and now he's heading to a place where he will be able to play as well as work on his English.

Jones has had his loan move to Premier League side Blackburn go through, meaning he will join fellow U.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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We're still in the first month of the new year but today will be offering us the best day of soccer action to date.

There are can't-miss derbies, table-topping clashes and even some intriguing international tilts on today's schedule. The Merseyside Derby kicks things off with Liverpool and Everton squaring off.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Arsenal will look to keep pressure on unbeaten Manchester United in the English Premier League title race today with a win against struggling rival West Ham.

That London derby is one of several interesting match-ups today in England, including Chelsea's battle agaist Blackburn and Stoke's match-up against Stuart Holden's Bolton.

MLS Draft Team Recap: Seattle Sounders

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The Seattle Sounders didn't wind up having a first-round pick when the MLS Draft concluded on Thursday, but the club's wheeling and dealing left the team as one of the draft's winners when all was said and done in Baltimore.

The Sounders traded out of the first round and secured some allocation money in the process, while using the four second-round picks it had to stockpile an impressive collection of prospects.

MLS Draft Team Recap: Chicago Fire

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When the Chicago Fire entered the 2011 MLS Draft, the hope was that the rebuilding club would be able to find defensive help to make up for the losses of Wilman Conde and C.J. Brown.

The club's wishes were answered when North Carolina central defender Jalil Anibaba fell to the Fire at the No.

MLS Draft Team Recap: Portland Timbers

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By MIKE NASTRI

The Portland Timbers bolstered their offense on draft day with Akron forward Darlington Nagbe.

In the team's first MLS Draft the Timbers drafted the most impactful player for 2011 in Nagbe. The Hermann Award winner is a dynamic attacker with a nose for goal.

MLS Draft Team Recap: Houston Dynamo

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By MIKE NASTRI

The Houston Dynamo came away as the big winner on draft day taking Kofi Sarkodie and trading up to select Will Bruin.

Sarkodie, the dynamic right back from Akron, fell a few spots lower than expected on draft day. Houston took the best player available with the seventh overall pick in Sarkodie despite just recently signing a right back in Hunter Freeman,.

Mid-Day Ticker: Findley granted work permit, TFC balks at DeRo loan and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

Robbie Findley has had his European wish granted.

The former Real Salt Lake striker received his work permit on Friday, clearing the way for him to join English League Championship side Nottingham Forest.

SBI U.S. U-20 Spotlight: Gale Agbossoumonde

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Gale Agbossoumonde INT from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


SBI U.S. Under-20 Spotlight: Thomas Rongen

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Thomas Rongen INT from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


Americans Abroad Ticker: Blackburn eyes Jones, Spector open to move and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Jermaine Jones' troubles with Schalke 04 could soon come to a close, and Blackburn may be the club to help solve them.

Jones is reportedly being looked at by Blackburn Rovers as a potential target in this winter transfer period. Blackburn is looking to acquire the U.

MLS Draft Team Recap: Philadelphia Union

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By MIKE NASTRI

The Philadelphia Union came into the 2011 MLS Draft with a handful of needs, but goalkeeper wasn't considered one of them.

That is what made the Union's selection of Maryland goalkeeper Zac MacMath somewhat surprising, but with incoming goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon turning 40 this year, Peter Nowak chose to take one of the best overall prospects in the draft.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Tim Howard, Everton and Liverpool aren't too far from the relegation zone, and this weekend's Merseyside Derby could determine which team continues to fight for safety for the remainder of the season and which starts to climb the table.

Howard and Everton travel to Liverpool on Sunday in one of the marque match-ups of the weekend.

MLS Draft Team Recap: New York Red Bulls

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By MIKE NASTRI

Erik Soler and the Red Bulls said before the draft the team would concentrate on defense. But, New York threw a change-up when Corey Hertzog fell to them at the 13th pick. The speedy Penn State forward will supply needed quality depth behind Thierry Henry or could play out wide.

SBI Stoppage Time: 2011 MLS SuperDraft Wrap

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SBI Stoppage Time: MLS Superdraft Wrap from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


MLS SuperDraft Team Recap: Chivas USA

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Robin Fraser knows a thing or two about being a part of and overseeing a strong defense, and he used that knowledge when making Chivas USA's first pick in the draft by picking up Akron's Zarek Valentin.

After picking at No. 4, Chivas traded back into the first round, acquiring Real Salt Lake's first-round pick (No.

MLS SuperDraft Team Recap: New England Revolution

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The New England Revolution found itself on the outside of the playoff picture looking in last season. In an effort to avoid a repeat of that scenario, the Revs looked to shore up its defense by landing one of the top centerback prospects in the MLS SuperDraft, taking California's A.J. Soares with the sixth overall pick.

MLS SuperDraft Team Recap: Vancouver Whitecaps

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The Vancouver Whitecaps kicked off the 2011 MLS SuperDraft in surprise fashion, selecting United States Under-20 forward Omar Salgado with the first overall selection. After the Whitecaps stole the early headlines, they continued to stockpile talent, taking Akron's Generation adidas midfielder Michael Nanchoff with their second first-round pick (No.

USMNT announces March friendlies with Argentina, Paraguay

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The United States men's national team is going to be taking on two of South America's top squads this spring.

The United States Soccer Federation officially confirmed the U.S. men's national team's March 26 friendly against Argentina in New Jersey, but it also announced a friendly with Paraguay three days later in Nashville, Tenn.

MLS Superdraft Team Recap: DC United

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BY MIKE NASTRI

DC United got its man. In a turn of unexpected events, Perry Kitchen fell to United with the third overall pick. United followed up its selection of the current US U-20 captain with another Akron player, fullback Chris Korb. DC finished off its draft by trading into the third round to select goalkeeper Joe Willis of Denver.

Whitecaps take Salgado No. 1, Akron produces 5 of first 8 picks in MLS Draft

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So much for all that Darlington Nagbe and Perry Kitchen talk.

The Vancouver Whitecaps opted to select Omar Salgado with the first overall pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, choosing the 17-year-old United States U-20 prospect over the two Akron products who had been expected to vie for the top spot.

2011 MLS Draft: Match Day Commentary

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The best day of the year for Major League Soccer fans is here. The day every team has some hope and every team's fans can dream of the possibilities.

SBI will be providing in-depth coverage of the 2011 MLS Draft, with live commentary, interviews, articles and video interviews.

2011 MLS Draft: SBI's Positional Rankings

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The 2011 MLS Draft is set to kick off shortly and if you were wondering who the best players available were at each position, let us give you a guide.

Here is a rundown of the top players available by position. We'll be tweaking the board as we get closer to the start of the draft, but be sure to make this your place to see who is available.

SBI US U-20 Spotlight: Zarek Valentin

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Zarek Valentin INT from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


SBI US U-20 Spotlight: Zac MacMath

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Zac MacMath INT from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


SBI Stoppage Time: MLS Combine Wrap

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SBI Stoppage Time: MLS Combine Wrap from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


SBI 2011 Full MLS Mock Draft

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The 2011 MLS Draft is less than 12 hours away, but it's never too late to project every single pick in the draft.

It took us some time, and plenty of travel, but we've come up with a full 54-player draft. Every team, every pick, every player.

No, we don't actually think we'll be right on all 54, or even most, but this Mock Draft should help give you a sense of how players are rated heading into Thursday's Draft.

2011 MLS Draft: A Look Ahead

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Photo Courtesy of MLSSoccer.com

The 2011 MLS Draft is set to begin Thursday at Noon and while we have a good idea who the first two players picked will be, it isn't a stretch to call this year's draft one of the toughest to predict in recent memory.

I will be posting a Final 50-player MLS Draft Big Board, as well as a full three-round MLS Mock Draft later on tonight (They would have been sooner if I hadn't fallen ill on Tuesday).

U.S. U-20 national team beats Miami FC, 3-1, to end last camp before qualifying

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photo by John Dorton/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The U.S. U-20 national team ended its final camp before World Cup qualifying on Wednesday morning, and it did so in impressive fashion.

Red Bulls confirm three signings, draft intentions; Kassel, team close to deal

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After a quiet beginning to the offseason, the New York Red Bulls announced they have signed three players on Wednesday, less than 24 hours ahead of the 2011 Major League Soccer SuperDraft.

Red Bulls General Manager Erik Soler confirmed that English striker Luke Rodgers and Norwegian midfielder Jan Gunnar Solli, who have long been rumored to be added to the club, have officially joined the fold.

Afternoon ticker: Braun, Ihemelu released from U.S. camp, Cristman dealt to L.A. and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Chivas USA forward Justin Braun and Dallas defender Ugo Ihemelu have been released from the U.S. National Team camp due to injuries and will miss the team's upcoming friendly against Chile on January 22.

Braun is out for a week after four stitches were required to close a cut on his Achilles' tendon and Ihemelu was unable to shake off nagging hip and groin injuries.

U.S. Under-20 striker Gatt signs with Molde

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U.S. Under-20 national team winger Josh Gatt has signed with Norwegian club Molde, the club announced on Wednesday.

Molde, coached by former Manchester United star Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, purchased the 19-year old striker from Austrian side Rheindorf Altach.

Gatt enjoyed a strong year in Norway, and recently established himself as a top prospect on the U.

U.S. Under-20 midfielder Gatt signs with Molde

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U.S. Under-20 national team winger Josh Gatt has signed with Norwegian club Molde, the club announced on Wednesday.

Molde, coached by former Manchester United star Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, purchased the 19-year old striker from Austrian side Rheindorf Altach.

Gatt enjoyed a strong year in Norway, and recently established himself as a top prospect on the U.

SBI MLS Combine Spotlight: Michael Tetteh

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SBI Combine Spotlight: Michael Tetteh from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


MLS Combine Breakdown: Sigi Schmid

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MLS Combine: Sigi Schmid from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


MLS Combine 2011's Top Performers

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The 2011 MLS Combine is in the books, but before all of the focus turns towards where these guys will be playing this season, we're looking back at the event's top performers.

Several of the top prospects did not participate in the Combine, but there were still many players who showed considerably well over the three days worth of matches in sunny Ft.

MLS Combine Breakdown: John Spencer

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MLS Combine: John Spencer from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


MLS Notes: TFC's Lindsay out for 2011, D.C. lands Uruguayan defender and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

Hope and promise surround Toronto FC after the revamping of its coaching and techinical staff, but those good feelings have been tempered by the word that homegrown player Nicholas Lindsay is expected to miss the entire 2011 season with a knee injury.

MLS Combine Breakdown: Robin Fraser

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SBI Combine Breakdown: Robin Fraser from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


SBI Combine Spotlight: Corey Hertzog

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SBI Combine Spotlight: Corey Hertzog from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


MLS Combine Day 3 Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The 2011 Major League Soccer Combine came to a close on Tuesday afternoon, and only a small portion of the players ended it with impressive performances.

Jalil Anibaba, A.J. Soares and Michael Tetteh had some of the more promising efforts on a day that ended with Jabulani defeating AdiPower, 2-1, and AdiPure playing to a scoreless draw with AdiZero.

SBI Combine Spotlight: Justin Meram

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SBI MLS Spotlight: Justin Meram from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


Mid-Day Ticker: Onyewu finalizes Twente loan, Union find sponsor and more

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                          Photo by Perry McIntyre/ISIPhotos.com

BY ADAM SERRANO

Oguchi Onyewu is returning to the Low Countries.

The United States national team defender is joining Dutch club, FC Twente on loan until the end of the season from AC Milan.

MLS Combine Breakdown: Tom Soehn

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SBI Combine Coverage: Tom Soehn from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


SBI Combine Spotlight: Will Bruin

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SBI Combine Spotlight: Will Bruin from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


MLS Combine Day Three: Match Day Commentary

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The 2011 MLS Combine wraps up today with the final day of action as players have their final chance to impress MLS coaches today.

We will be providing commentary throughout the morning's matches so please feel free to follow along here. As always, you are welcome to share your own thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

SBI Stoppage Time: MLS Combine Day 2 Recap

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SBI Stoppage Time: MLS Combine Day Two Wrap-Up from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


USMNT newcomer Starikov eager to fit into U.S. system after first call-up

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BY ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, CALIF -- Eugene Starikov's journey has been a winding road that is not typical among American soccer players. A search for soccer success that has taken him from the heat of Central Florida to the chill of Siberia and finally to the sunny fields of Carson, California.

MLS Combine Spotlight: John Rooney

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SBI Combine Spotlight: John Rooney from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


MLS Combine Day 2 Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The MLS Combine continued on Monday, and as expected, Day 2 saw marked improvements in terms of style of play.

Seven goals were scored in the two matches, but much of the day's more promising performances came in AdiZero's 3-2 triumph over AdiPower.

U.S. Under-20 Spotlight: Fabian Huerzeler

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SBI US U-20 Spotlight: Fabian Huerzeler from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


Mid-day ticker: Messi wins Ballon d'Or, Henry training with Arsenal and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

For the second-consecutive year, Lionel Messi has been voted the best player in the world.

Messi, 23, beat out Barcelona teammates Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta to take home FIFA's inagural Ballon d'Or award. FIFA merged its World Player of the Year award with France's Ballon d'Or award last year with Messi winning both awards in 2009.

U.S. Under-20 Spotlight: Joe Gyau

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SBI US U-20 Spotlight: Joe Gyau from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


U.S. Under-20 Spotlight: Omar Salgado

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SBI US U-20 Spotlight: Omar Salgado from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


MLS Combine Day 2: Match Day Commentary

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Day Two of the 2011 MLS Combine is set to kick off and most Combine observers are expecting today's action to really tell a more clear story about where many of these players will wind up being taken on Thursday at the MLS Draft.

I will be providing commentary along with the rest of the SBI team today from here in Fort Lauderdale, so please feel free to follow along here.

European Weekend Rewind: Newcastle upset, Ibrahimovic saves Milan and more

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

Every January, as the third round of the FA Cup begins in England, the question is never whether there will be upsets, but rather how big they'll be. Saturday's was one of the biggest in recent memory.

Tiny Stevenage, which only became part of the Football League this season, and currently sits 15th in the League Two table, not only out-shot and out-possessed its Premier League opponents, it out-played them.

U.S. Under-20 Spotlight: Perry Kitchen

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SBI US U-20 Spotlight: Perry Kitchen from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


SBI Stoppage Time: A look back at the U.S. Under-20 National Team Scrimmage

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SBI Stoppage Time: U-20 Wrap from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Jonathan Spector's time at West Ham United may be numbered, but the U.S. national team defender is doing his best to make sure he leaves with a bang.

Spector continued his cup heroics this weekend, scoring the winner in West Ham's 2-0 victory over Barnsley in the third round of the FA Cup.

MLS Combine Breakdown: Dom Kinnear

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SBI Combine: Dom Kinnear from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


Gyau shines in U.S. U-20 intra-squad scrimmage

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By FRANCO PANIZO

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. -Â MLS coaches were probably wishing that Joe Gyau was entering the upcoming draft.

Gyau, who is under contract with German club TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, enjoyed an impressive outing in the U.S. U-20 national team's intra-squad scrimmage on Sunday afternoon.

SBI MLS Combine Spotlight: Kofi Sarkodie

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MLS Combine Breakdown: Paul Mariner

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SBI Interviews Paul Mariner from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


USA Under-20 Intra-Squad Scrimmage: Live Commentary

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The U.S. Under-20 men's national team is in Fort Lauderdale for training camp ahead of CONCACAF Under-20 World Cup qualifying and they're playing an intra-squad scrimmage today that will help showcase their players to MLS scouts in town for the MLS Combine.

SBI will be providing some live commentary on today's scrimmage so please feel free to follow along here.

Buddle set to sign with FC Ingolstadt

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U.S. World Cup striker Edson Buddle has been in Europe for most of the winter, in search of a big payday after finishing out his MLS contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

He has found that payday, and it has taken him to Germany.

Buddle is set to sign with German second division side FC Ingolstadt, sources told SBI on Saturday evening.

Beckham loan to Tottenham off, will train with Spurs till February

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                                                               Photo By ISIPhotos.com

BY ADAM SERRANO

David Beckham's potential loan to Tottenham looks like it will not take place after all.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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It's a good day for top-level soccer match-ups on TV, with three of the world's top leagues offering up juicy match-ups.

Manchester United and Liverpool started things off this morning with a key clash, while Real Madrid and Villarreal are set to do battle in the day's most enticing match-up.

SBI Stoppage Time: MLS Combine Day 1

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SBI Stoppage Time: MLS Combine Day 1 Wrap from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


MLS Combine Day 1 Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The 2011 MLS Combine kicked off on Saturday, and while there were the expected first-day cobwebs, there were also several promising performances.

In the first game of the day, AdiPure and AdiPower played to a dull 0-0 draw.

SBI MLS Combine Spotlight: A.J. Soares

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SBI Combine Spotlight: AJ Soares from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


MLS Combine Player Spotlight: Jalil Anibaba

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SBI Combine Spotlight from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


MLS Combine Day One: Match Day Commentary

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The 2011 MLS Combine is set to kick off in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with most of the top players in the MLS Draft Pool in attendance trying to impress MLS coaches.

MLS Soccer will be providing live video from the combine so you can follow the action there. I will be providing commentary through the day so please feel free to follow along here.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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The English FA Cup is in full swing this weekend while the Mexican League sees a full slate of games in its 2011 kickoff today.

Everton and Aston Villa are just two of the clubs with American players who will compete in FA Cup action today, while La Liga also has some offerings on the schedule, with FC Barcelona in action this afternoon.

SBI 2011 MLS Mock Draft (Version 2.0)

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

With the MLS Combine set to kick off on Saturday, we should start getting a much clearer picture of where players are rated by the league's scouts.

Before the draft prospects take the field in Fort Lauderdale, here is one more look at how the 2011 MLS Draft might go.

Akron's Nagbe, Stanford's Press win Hermann Trophy

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

For the second-consecutive year, the Hermann Trophy is in the hands of a Zip and a Cardinal.

Akron junior forward Darlington Nagbe was voted the best Division I player by the National Soccer Coaches of America (NSCAA), beating out fellow forwards Will Bruin of Indiana and Colin Rolfe of Louisville.

Spotlight on Salgado

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The 2011 MLS Draft will kick off in less than a week and one of the most intriguing prospects in the draft is U.S. Under-20 striker Omar Salgado.

The 17-year-old El Paso native has made a rapid rise from relatively unknown prospect in the Chivas Guadalajara youth system to one of the most promising players in the U.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

After a crowded holiday period of league action in the EPL, the FA Cup is back with Liverpool taking on Manchester United in the weekend's must-see fixture. Manchester United is looking to improve upon last year's Cup run where it was knocked out by Leeds United in the third round.

Report: USA-Argentina likely to be played at Meadowlands

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photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

The U.S. national team's scheduled March friendly against Argentina is likely to be held in the same city where the two teams last met.

A source familiar with negotiations told the AP that the March 26 friendly is likely to be played at New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.

MLS Combine Profile: Akron cornerstone recruit Ampaipitakwong goes out on top

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Photo by Tony Quinn/ISIphotos.com

By JOHN BOSCHINI

For Akron midfielder Anthony Ampaipitakwong, his four years at Akron couldn't have ended any better.

After time expired and the Zips' first national title was secured with a 1-0 victory over the Louisville Cardinals, the midfielder from Texas found the man who brought him to Ohio, Akron coach Caleb Porter.

Mid-Day Ticker: Blatter expects winter World Cup in 2022, blasts IOC and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

The 2022 FIFA World Cup might just be played in the winter after all.

After a series of high-profile soccer personalities raised the possibility of scheduling the event in the winter to avoid the high temperatures of a Qatari summer, FIFA president Sepp Blatter offered a surprisingly revealing take on the matter, which will be discussed at FIFA's executive committee meeting in March.

Special1 TV: Mid-Table Madness

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Report: Cooper heading to Portland Timbers

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

Former FC Dallas striker Kenny Cooper is on his way back to Major League Soccer, but he won't be returning to Texas.

According to German publication Kicker, Cooper is leaving 1860 Munich to join the Portland Timbers.

Starikov called into USMNT camp

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The USMNT camp of new faces has added another national team newcomer to the mix, with Bob Bradley calling in Russian-based striker Eugene Starikov.

Born in the Ukraine, Starikov was raised in Florida and played for Stetson University before signing with Zenit St. Petersburg in 2009. He went on loan to Russian First Division side  Tom Tomsk, where he scored one goal in nine appearances.

MLS Combine Profile: UNC's McCarthy goes coast-to-coast to live out MLS dream

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Photo courtesy of UNC Athletics

By AVI CREDITOR

Stephen McCarthy's journey to Major League Soccer has spanned three time zones, two colleges and one famed club team, but he's finally approaching his final destination.

McCarthy, one of the top defensive midfield prospects available in next Thursday's MLS SuperDraft, spent three years at Santa Clara University prior to transferring to North Carolina for his senior season.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Eddie Johnson has been receiving sporadic minutes with Fulham as of late, but this weekend's FA Cup action may be just what he needs in order to receive a start.

Fulham take on League One club Peterborough United, and that could give Johnson an opportunity to get his first start since early October.

U.S. U-20s held to 0-0 draw in friendly

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photo by John Dorton/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. -Â Poor finishing for the U.S. U-20 national team nearly cost it a result against a team made up of players from southern Florida, but Zac MacMath came up with a big second half penalty kick save to end the match at 0-0 on Thursday afternoon.

Mid-Day Ticker: TFC introduces Winter, Mariner; Walker loaned to Villa and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

Toronto FC announced a whole host of front office moves on Thursday, most notably officially introducing Aron Winter as its new head coach and technical director and Paul Mariner as its new director of player personnel.

Bob de Klerk, who worked with Winter in the Ajax Amsterdam academy system, will be the team's top assistant coach.

MLS Combine Profile: Hard-working Herrick set for professional stage

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Photo by Tony Quinn/ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

In the half a decade that Jason Herrick spent in College Park, Md., he experienced the ups of winning a national championship and the downs of a long-term injury. The one thing that never wavered in that time was his work rate or professional mindset.

Adu on trial with FC Ingolstadt

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Freddy Adu is closing in on another career stop, and it doesn't appear to be in Major League Soccer.

According to Yanks Abroad, Adu is on trial with FC Ingolstadt 04, the same 2. Bundesliga club that employs American Amaechi Igwe.

The club's Web site confirms that Adu is scheduled to be with the team, which is taking part in its winter training camp in Turkey, through Sunday.

MLS Combine Profile: Boxall hoping to be latest New Zealand soccer success

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        Photo by Miranda Christlock/UCSB Media Relations

BY ADAM SERRANO

The MLS combine is a high-pressure situation that is sometimes the most pressure-packed setting some players have ever faced.

Not so for UCSB defender Michael Boxall, who has played in his fair share of high-profile matches.

Fraser eager to develop a new philosophy at Chivas USA

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              Photo by Juan Miranda/Chivas USA

BY ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, CALIF -- After a host of rumors and speculation, Chivas USA unveiled head coach Robin Fraser on Wednesday afternoon. Fraser, a former assistant to Jason Kreis at Real Salt Lake comes to a team that is seeking to overcome a host of issues.

European Rewind: Top teams tumble in England

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Wednesday was an ugly day for England's top teams. Well, unless you're Manchester United.

Four of the top five teams in the Premier League dropped points on Wednesday, helping Manchester United solidify its hold on first place.

Chelsea dropped an embarrassing 1-0 loss to Wolves while Tim Howard and Everton knocked off Tottenham, 2-1.

End of an era as Lilly retires

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Photo by Trent Davol/ISIPhotos.com

Kristine Lilly, one of the most accomplished players in women's soccer history, has retired.

The world record holder for international appearances with an amazing 352, Lilly has decided to step away from both the U.S. women's national team and her professional career with the WPS Boston Breakers after spending parts of four decades playing at the highest level.

Bradley casts an eye to the future as January camp kicks off for USMNT

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                                   Photo by ISIPhotos.com

BY ADAM SERRANO

For the United States National team, there are plenty of new faces in an old place.

The annual January camp kicked off on Wednesday at the Home Depot Center ahead of the January 23rd match-up with Chile.

SBI Live Q&A (Jan. 5th Edition)

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

It may be the off-season in American soccer but it's arguably the busiest time of year. You've got the MLS Combine and MLS Draft coming up, U.S. national team camp and U.

MLS Combine Profile: Grossman ready to take attacking skills to professional level

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Photo courtesy of Duke Sports

By JOHN BOSCHINI

Cole Grossman is ready to move on.

After four up-and-down years at Duke, the senior midfielder has set his sights on the MLS and the challenges that lie therein.

"It's an incredible learning opportunity," Grossman said.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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If mid-week soccer action is your thing, then today is a good day for you.

Manchester City takes on Arsenal in the marquee match-up on a very busy Wednesday of soccer action.

The Citizens will try to pull back into a tie with Manchester United with a win, while Arsenal will try to score the win to jump past Manchester City in the Premier League standings.

SBI Live Q&A set for tonight at 8pm

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If you've been waiting for the next night-time SBI Live Q&A, tonight is your night.

With the MLS Combine and MLS Draft fast approaching, tonight feels like the right time to talk MLS Draft, as well as any other soccer topics you want to discuss.

Want to talk European soccer? U.S. national team camp?

SBI MLS Big Board (Version 4.0)

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With the Generation adidas class completed (we think), and the MLS Combine fast approaching, the 2011 MLS Draft class has really started to take shape.

A total of 10 Generation adidas players lead a strong crop of players that will also include five non-college international players (among them John "Wayne's my brother" Rooney).

UCSB's Tetteh added to the Generation adidas class

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UCSB left winger/fullback Michael Tetteh has been added to the MLS Generation adidas draft class, UCSB head coach Tim von Steeg confirmed to SBI on Wednesday.

First reported by Presidio Sports, Tetteh's inclusion raises the number of Generation adidas players in the 2011 MLS Draft to ten.

Tetteh is a speedy left-footed player who projects as an attacking fullback on the pro level.

Wednesday Kickoff: Dempsey nets again, Argentina-Portugal canceled, and more

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Clint Dempsey scored his sixth goal of the season on Tuesday to help Fulham climb out of the relegation zone with a 3-0 win against West Bromwich Albion.

Fulham jumped all the way to 13th in the English Premier League standings with the win. Dempsey's goal made the score 2-0, with defender Brede Hangeland added an insurance goal to make the score 3-0.

MLS Combine Profile: Warshaw hopes versatility leads to pro success

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Photo courtesy of Stanford Media Relations

BY ADAM SERRANO

Versatility is the name of the game for Stanford's Bobby Warshaw.Â

Listed as a defender, Warshaw displays the positional diversity that can be golden in a league like Major League Soccer.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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You don't usually get the chance to see much soccer on Tuesdays, but the English Premier League has a few games for us to enjoy today.

Manchester United takes on Stoke City today (3pm, Fox Soccer Chanel)Â looking to extend its lead atop the Premier League standings. Meanwhile, Fulham will try to climb out of the relegation with a win today against West Bromwich Albion (3pm, ESPN3.

Full rosters announced for MLS Combine

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Major League Soccer announced the rosters for the upcoming MLS Combine and several of the top players in the draft will not be taking part.

Four Generation adidas players (Perry Kitchen, Zarek Valentin, Zac MacMath and Omar Salgado) will miss the Combine because of U.S. Under-20 national team commitments, while Akron striker Darlington Nagbe will also sit out the Combine for undisclosed reasons.

Chivas USA appoints Fraser as Head Coach

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                                       Photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.com

BY ADAM SERRANO

The long head coaching search has come to an end for Chivas USA.Â

The Rojiblancos appointed former Real Salt Lake assistant Robin Fraser as the club's latest head coach.

Real Salt Lake Academy blossoming in Arizona

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(Photos by Jose M. Romero)

By JOSE M. ROMERO

PHOENIX -- In the desert between Phoenix and Tucson lies a place that is right now developing potential MLS players for Real Salt Lake, and for the immediate future, developing college soccer prospects.

Mid-Day Ticker: Dzeko headed to City, SPL considers 10-team league and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

Manchester City is closing in on another high-priced superstar.

The English club has reportedly agreed with VfL Wolfsburg on a transfer fee for star Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko in a move that would take one of the premiere names of the transfer season off the market.

Americans who need to make winter moves

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

With January here, the winter transfer season is upon us and while the moves of big European stars will rule the headlines, there are a bunch of American players in dire need of loans or transfers this month.

You know it's not an ideal trend.

MLS Ticker: Rapids add Marshall, Timbers reach ticket mark, and more

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

The defending MLS Cup champion Colorado Rapids have started the new year by adding some defensive depth.

The Rapids announced the signing of veteran defender Tyrone Marshall on Monday. Colorado acquired Marshall's rights in the second phase of the MLS Re-Entry Draft last month.

A closer look at Beckham's latest loan farce

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

For someone who has made a career out of expressing his devotion and loyalty to the likes of England, Manchester United and his own family, David Beckham sure has made a habit out of doing anything but devoting himself to his current club, the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Hoffenheim sets sights on Jones

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Jermaine Jones' time in the Schalke 04 doghouse figures to end this month with a likely transfer, and now another German club has emerged as a potential destination for the U.S. national team midfielder.

TSG Hoffenheim is reportedly interested in signing Jones after selling Brazilian Luiz Gustavo to Bayern Munich.

Guzan posts first win for Hull, 3-2, against Portsmouth

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Brad Guzan's month-long loan move to Hull City has already produced more playing time for the American goalkeeper in three days than he'd seen in the past three months.

Guzan made five saves to help Hull City post a 3-2 victory against Portsmouth on Monday.

Guzan started and played 90 minutes, making a key late save to preserve the victory.

Monday kickoff: Beckham eyeing Spurs loan, Kaka prepares return and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Fresh reports out of England indicate that David Beckham and Tottenham are interested in a short-term loan but have yet to receive permission from the L.A. Galaxy.

Beckham is trying to secure a loan in order to keep himself in the England picture after Fabio Capello said that he was unlikely to call up the former captain again.

Report: Chivas to hire Fraser

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Photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.com

With the Major League Soccer Combine and SuperDraft just days away and the start of the 2011 preseason following shortly, it appears as if another team has filled its coaching vacancy.

As first reported by ESPN Deportes, Chivas USA will hire Real Salt Lake assistant coach Robin Fraser to be its next head coach.

Toronto FC set to hire Mariner and Winter

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After spending most of the off-season without a head coach and permanent technical director, Toronto FC appears ready to finally fill the two vital positions.

According to multiple MLS sources, Toronto is set to name former New England Revolution assistant Paul Mariner as Technical Director and former Dutch national team player Aron Winter as head coach.

Chile roster for USA friendly announced

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                                                               Photo by ISIPhotos.com

BY ADAM SERRANO

Bob Bradley's annual January camp does not open until next week, but the U.S.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Brad Guzan started 2011 by doing something he did little of last year: he started a match.

Having completed a one-month loan to Hull City, Guzan made his first start at the club level since a Sept. 22 Carling Cup match for Aston Villa on Saturday.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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It's a new year, which means another year to watch Barcelona work its magic.

The Spanish champions are back in action today against Levante in the club's first step toward trying to maintain their hold on first place ahead of Real Madrid.

While La Liga is back in action, the English Premier League has a few important matches as well, with Chelsea looking to stay in range of Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City by beating a woeful Aston Villa side flirting with the relegation zone.

Happy New Year (and SBI's Birthday)

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Happy New Year everybody. It's a special day for us at SBI as well because today marks the third anniversary of our independent launch.

Yes, today is SBI's third birthday.

As we embark on our fourth year in business we will look to keep improving on bringing you soccer news and analysis from the United States and the world.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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If Arsenal is going to keep the pressure on Manchester United in the English Premier League title race the Gunners will need to win at the same stadium where Manchester United recently stumbled, St. James' Park.

Arsenal take on Birmingham today in one of the more intriguing match-ups of today's New Year's Day Schedule.