Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2011

Magee winner lifts Galaxy to opening playoff win over Red Bulls

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The chants of "Red Bull Reject" rang out in Red Bull Arena, but the player they were aimed at didn't hear them.

No, Mike Magee was too focused on the task at hand, helping the No. 1 seed Los Angeles Galaxy post an opening playoff win against the New York Red Bulls, which just so happened to be Magee's former team.

Dynamo take charge by beating Union at PPL Park

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By JOEY SAMUEL

CHESTER, Pa. - In a game between a two-time MLS Cup champion and a team two years into its existence, one squad's playoff experience shined through.

After Andre Hainault and Sebastien Le Toux traded goals in a furious opening seven minutes, Calen Carr netted a 30th minute winner and the Houston Dynamo held on for the final hour to earn an 2-1 away win over the Philadelphia Union in front of a sellout crowd at PPL Park.

MLS Playoffs: Rapids vs. Sporting KC (Match Night Commentary)

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The defending MLS Cup champion Colorado Rapids take on Sporting Kansas City today in Eastern Conference semifinal action, and while the Rapids are reigning champs, Sporting KC comes in as the favorites in a series that kicks off tonight (7:30pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

The Rapids find themselves in the Eastern Conference bracket for the second straight year, but face a very tough opponent in the semifinals as Sporting KC has been one of the strongest teams in the league in the second half of the season.

MLS Playoffs: Union vs. Dynamo (Match Day Commentary)

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The Philadelphia Union will play the first playoff game in their team's brief MLS history today as they take on the Houston Dynamo at PPL Park (5pm, ESPN2).

The Dynamo finished the regular season on a strong run to grab the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, but take on a Union side that has been very tough to beat at home.

MLS Playoffs: Red Bulls vs. Galaxy (Match Day Commentary)

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The Los Angeles Galaxy will begin their chase for the 2011 MLS Cup title today against a New York Red Bulls squad intent on shaking up the playoff field wih an upset of the Supporters Shield winners (3pm, ESPN2).

Today's Western Conference semifinal first leg brings us to frigid Red Bull Arena, where some surprising snow covered the area on Saturday.

NSC Minnesota holds off Fort Lauderdale to lift first NASL championship

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By FRANCO PANIZO

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. - NSC Minnesota Stars just could not beat the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers during the regular season, losing twice and tying twice in four matches.

Unfortunately for the Strikers, that trend didn't continue in the NASL Championship Series.

Must-See Goal: Alvaro Saborio

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Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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The Major League Soccer playoffs will be in full swing today, taking center stage on a busy day in the soccer world.

The headlining match of the day takes place at Red Bull Arena, where the New York Red Bulls take on the Los Angeles Galaxy in the most star-studded playoff match in MLS history.

Real Salt Lake dismantles Seattle at Rio Tinto

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By JOSÉ M. ROMERO

Much was made of Real Salt Lake's regular season-ending six-match winless streak and how it might be a sign that RSL is in trouble heading into the playoffs.

On Saturday night, Real Salt Lake put that notion to rest in emphatic fashion.

Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders: Match Night Commentary

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Two of the top three teams in Major League Soccer during the regular season square off in the opening match of the MLS conference semifinals (10pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

The No. 3 seed in the Western Conference, Real Salt Lake will look to win at Rio Tinto Stadium in game one of the two-game series to put pressure on the No.

Barcelona 5, Mallorca 0: Match Highlights

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Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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The Manchester Derby stole all the headlines last week, but the focus in Europe returns to London this weekend as Arsenal and Chelsea renew their Derby.

Chelsea is coming off a disappointing derby loss to Queens Park Rangers, and will face an Arsenal side growing in confidence after a slow start to the season, thanks in large part to red-hot striker Robin Van Persie.

SBI staff's MLS playoff predictions

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Photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com

When it comes to MLS playoff predictions, there's one thing that the SBI staff can agree on -- the 2011 MLS Cup winner will come from the Western Conference.

Which team ends up getting the job done is another story.

After sampling six SBI MLS writers, the Los Angeles Galaxy, Seattle Sounders and Real Salt Lake are the three prime candidates to lift the MLS Cup trophy at the Home Depot Center on Nov.

MLS playoff notes: Rosales ruled out for first leg, Smith tears ACL and more

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The Seattle Sounders enter the MLS playoffs as one of the league's hottest teams, but in order to find success in the first leg of the Western Conference semifinals, they'll have to do so without their midfield maestro.

Mauro Rosales has been ruled out of the first leg of the Sounders' series against Real Salt Lake, according to the Seattle Times.

Confident Galaxy prepared for New York challenge in quest for MLS Cup

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By ADAM SERRANO

The Los Angeles Galaxy have succeeded in every goal that they've set out for themselves this season thus far. Supporters' Shield? Check. Advancing to the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League? Check.Â

On Sunday against the New York Red Bulls, the Galaxy begin their assault on the last item of their list, an MLS Cup title.

Red Bulls alter mentality, approach en route to improved results

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com


By AVI CREDITOR

The New York Red Bulls began the season playing as advertised, producing a high-octane style of play, outpossessing teams and using their cavalcade of international stars to try and overpower the opposition.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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The MLS playoffs take center stage this weekend, with the first legs of the conference semifinals on tap for Saturday and Sunday.

Real Salt Lake and Seattle kick things off Saturday night in a highly anticipated clash of league powers, followed by Sunday's triple-header of Los Angeles-New York, Philadelphia-Houston and Colorado-Sporting Kansas City.

MLS Conference Semifinals: A Look Ahead

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 Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By THOMAS FLOYD

And then there were eight.

With the new, much-discussed wild-card round now a thing of the past, MLS fans are back to the traditional eight-team bracket they've seen in the postseason since the league's inception.

The first edition of the Fox Soccer 2012 MLS Draft Big Board makes its debut

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While many MLS fans are caught up in the excitement of the playoffs, there are plenty of fans who have seen their teams already eliminated and who are already thinking toward the future.

High on the lists of things to think about is the 2012 MLS Draft, which is about ten weeks away.

MLS Spotlight: Future bright for RSL's Gil

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 Photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.com


By THOMAS FLOYD

Luis Gil is well aware of the hype. As a 17-year-old whose uncanny skill and composure on the ball has drawn the attention of such European titans as Arsenal and Real Madrid, it would be hard not to be.

How far do you think the Rapids can go?

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The Colorado Rapids flew under the radar last season en route to capturing their first MLS Cup championship.

Despite holding that distinction, the Rapids find themselves in a similar position in 2011. The defending champions are again quietly still very much alive after defeating the Columbus Crew in Thursday night's wild card match to advance into the Eastern Conference bracket.

Trailing Strikers feel optimistic heading into NASL championship finale

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By FRANCO PANIZO

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The scoreline in the NASL Championship Series doesn't favor the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, but you wouldn't know that judging from the team's demeanor.

Down 3-1 as it heads into the second leg against NSC Minnesota Stars, Ft.

Colorado 1, Columbus 0: Match Highlights

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Friday Kickoff: Hamid to train with West Brom, Keane trains with Galaxy and more

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United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann has insisted that out-of-season MLS players do what it takes to stay in game shape in order to maintain their standing with the national team.

For D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid, that means going to England to train with a Premier League side.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Seeing German-Americans playing along one another on the U.S. men's national team is becoming quite the trend, but for one weekend we'll see a portion of them doing battle.

Jermaine Jones is set to face off against fellow United States pool players Danny Williams and Fabian Johnson when Schalke 04 and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim play on Saturday.

Rapids defeat Crew to advance to Eastern Conference semifinals

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The Colorado Rapids' hopes of defending its MLS title are still alive, and the club can thank Omar Cummings for that.

Cummings scored his first goal in nearly three months to help lift the Rapids to a 1-0 win over the Columbus Crew in a wild card playoff match at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Thursday night.

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

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The Colorado Rapids will take their first step toward trying to repeat as MLS Cup champions when they face the Columbus Crew in the second of two MLS Wild Card games this week (10pm, Direct Kick).

The Rapids will look to take advantage of the home-field edge provided at Dick's Sporting Goods Park against a Columbus side that will be looking for some revenge after being eliminated from the 2010 playoffs by the Rapids.

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

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The Colorado Rapids will take their first step toward trying to repeat as MLS Cup champions when they face the Columbus Crew in the second of two MLS Wild Card games this week (10pm, Direct Kick).

The Rapids will look to take advantage of the home-field edge provided at Dick's Sporting Goods Park against a Columbus side that will be looking for some revenge after being eliminated from the 2010 playoffs by the Rapids.

Brazil names squad for friendly against Bradley's Egypt

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Bob Bradley's first game in charge of the Egyptian national team is a little more than a couple of weeks away, and his opponent, Brazil, named its squad for the friendly that will take place in Doha, Qatar, on Nov. 14.

While it's not a complete first-team squad because of domestic-based players staying in Brazil for the final stretch of the Brazilian championship, the Selecao are re-introducing Real Madrid midfielder Kaka to the mix for the first time since the 2010 World Cup.

What was your MLS goal of the year?

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This MLS season was chock-full with highlight-reel goals from start to finish, making for one of the most, if not the most, entertaining seasons to date.Â

Whether it was the likes of Eric Hassli's volley in Seattle or Darlington Nagbe's volley in Portland, the individual skill displayed by some players this season was outstanding.

Rossi out 6 months with torn ACL

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Giuseppe Rossi's season has come to a screeching halt.

Rossi's club Villarreal confirmed that the New Jersey-born striker tore his right ACL against Real Madrid in Wednesday's 3-0 loss at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, and he will have to miss the next six months of action.

Coming off a the best season of his career to date, the 24-year-old Rossi had scored five goals in all competitions for Villarreal this season including two in UEFA Champions League play.

Mid-Day Ticker: Chelsea fails in move bid, WPS terminates magicJack and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

Chelsea may not be bolting from Stamford Bridge for a new home after all.

The club came up short in its attempt to convince the necessary majority of the Chelsea Pitch Owners to sell back the stadium land that the club sold to the supporter-spearheaded group, and as a result, the club can't regain ownership of the entire grounds.

MLS playoff system continues to come under spotlight as postseason unfolds

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By AVI CREDITOR

The Los Angeles Galaxy won the Supporters' Shield, amassing the most points over the course of the MLS season, thus earning any and all advantages heading into the postseason.

Their reward: two cross-country trips in a four-day span for a two-legged tie against the only team in the league that can go head-to-head in a bare-knuckles payroll battle.

Rapids, Crew set for another early playoff battle

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By AVI CREDITOR

The Colorado Rapids and Columbus Crew have taken different roads to get to this point, but ultimately they're right back where they were a year ago.

Colorado eliminated Columbus in the Eastern Conference semifinals last season en route to capturing its first MLS Cup.

FC Dallas 0, New York 2: Match Highlights

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Red Bulls eliminate FC Dallas, set up playoff showdown with Galaxy

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The New York Red Bulls may have eked into the playoffs, but they're in a position to shake up the postseason picture in a big way after their latest performance.

Joel Lindpere finished a cross from substitute Mehdi Ballouchy in the 61st minute, and Thierry Henry scored an insurance goal in the final seconds of stoppage time to lift the Red Bulls to a 2-0 victory over FC Dallas in a single-elimination wild card match Wednesday night.

MLS Playoffs: FC Dallas vs. Red Bulls (Match Night Commentary)

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The road to the 2011 MLS Cup Final begins tonight, with the New York Red Bulls taking on FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park in Major League Soccer's first wild card match (Fox Soccer Channel, 9pm).

FC Dallas enters the match as the highest-seeded wild card team, but a 2-5 finish to the regular season has Schellas Hyndman's club looking vulnerable against a New York Red Bulls side that finished the season strongly.

Must-See Goal: Luis Suarez

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Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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Surprise contender Levante and Real Madrid sat back and watched Tuesday as Barcelona leapfrogged both teams to take the top spot in the Spanish league table. Both have a chance to strike back as part of a packed Wednesday afternoon of soccer.

Between full slates of La Liga and Serie A games, there's plenty of domestic action to go around, but cup play is also a big part of the day, as the remaining four spots in the Carling Cup quarterfinals will be claimed by day's end.

Whitecaps cut assistants Hamlett, Miller

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The Vancouver Whitecaps have parted ways with assistant coaches Denis Hamlett and Colin Miller, the team announced on Wednesday.

With incoming head coach Martin Rennie taking the reins and acting head coach Tom Soehn moving back to the front office, it's not a big surprise that Rennie would want to bring in his own staff, but the move leaves two experienced assistants available for other positions.

Who do you think will win the MLS wild card matchups?

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The first two games of the MLS postseason are set for Wednesday and Thursday night, with the new wild card format meaning that for two teams it's win and advance, and for two others it's lose and go home.

New York and Dallas open the MLS playoffs Wednesday night at Pizza Hut Park in a meeting of two teams that had serious title aspirations entering the season.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Jalil Anibaba

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For much of his rookie season, Chicago Fire defender Jalil Anibaba has gone about his business putting in work on the back line, but during his regular-season finale, Anibaba made sure to show off his offensive arsenal as well.

Anibaba scored the first two goals of his MLS career in the opening 30 minutes against Columbus with a pair of headers from inside the box to earn the final SBI MLS Rookie of the Week honors of the season.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Danny Koevermans

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Danny Koevermans needed little time to adjust to MLS, and his performance in Toronto FC's regular-season finale was the latest piece of evidence of that.

The bruising Dutch Designated Player came up with a goal and an assist in Toronto's season-ending 2-2 draw with the New England Revolution to put a cap on an impressive few first months in MLS and take home SBI MLS Player of the Week honors.

Report: Arsenal scouting Ream

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By all accounts, New York Red Bulls and U.S. international centerback Tim Ream has struggled in his second season as a professional, but that doesn't necessarily mean that major clubs overseas haven't taken note of his potential.

According to reputable UK outlet The Independent, Arsenal has sent scouts to watch Ream in action during Wednesday night's MLS playoff match against FC Dallas.

New York, Dallas kick off MLS postseason with high expectations

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By AVI CREDITOR

The New York Red Bulls have seen what their low-seeded predecessors have accomplished, and despite falling short of regular-season expectations, the club is hoping to continue the MLS trend of recent years.

"I was thinking a little about that record," Red Bulls manager Hans Backe said.

Evening Ticker: United, Arsenal advance in Carling Cup, Tevez fined and more

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Two of the big dogs are still alive in the Carling Cup.

Manchester United and Arsenal each advanced to the quarterfinals of the Carling Cup, with the Red Devils beating League Two upstart Aldershot Town, 3-0, and Arsenal came from behind to defeat fellow top-flight side Bolton, 2-1.

Hyndman: Ferreira unlikely to be available for playoffs

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Any plans that FC Dallas fans might have had for David Ferreira to make his return in the postseason should be put on hold.

Ferreira, last year's MLS MVP, has been out since breaking his ankle in an April 23 victory at Vancouver. He has been working his way back to fitness but is unlikely to suit up for FCD during the postseason, according to FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman.

Maryland takes top spot in NCAA RPI

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Photo by Tony Quinn/ISIphotos.com

Connecticut's loss was Maryland's gain.

After a slip-up to West Virginia, the UConn men's soccer team fell off its perch atop the NCAA RPI rankings, allowing Maryland to claim the top spot. Both teams sport 13-1-2 records, but Maryland is coming off of a tie at now-No.

Knee injury keeps Rodgers out of opening playoff game

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Coping without a key player is nothing new for the New York Red Bulls, but they'll have to find a way to do so again in order to maintain hopes of a deep playoff run.Â

Manager Hans Backe confirmed to reporters that Luke Rodgers won't be available for Wednesday night's wildcard playoff game at FC Dallas as he deals with a knee injury.

UVA's Bates out for season with torn ACL

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University of Virginia junior Will Bates was enjoying a standout season as the Cavaliers go-to goal-scorer, but that season has been cut short.

Bates suffered a torn ACL in Friday's match against Virginia Tech and will miss the remainder of the season, sources told SBI on Tuesday.

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

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

With the MLS playoffs set to kick off on Wednesday night, and with so much going on in the international soccer world, we won't have a shortage of topics to discuss. Want to talk about MLS playoff match-ups?

Who should the Revolution hire to replace Nicol?

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

With Steve Nicol's tenure on the New England Revolution sideline coming to an end, the search begins to replace a coach who was a fixture with the organization for the last decade.

Former longtime Nicol assistant Paul Mariner has to be on the radar, even though he took a position with Toronto FC as director of player development prior to this season.

SBI Live Q&A set for Noon 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.

If you follow SBI on Facebook you were informed of today's planned Live Q&A last night. Now that you know, get your soccer-related questions ready and join me at Noon today so we can talk everything from the MLS playoffs to European soccer to the U.

Soccer Tuesday: A Look Ahead

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A riveting weekend of international club soccer just came to an end, but Tuesday's slate of cup and league matches provides a chance for some more fireworks.

Manchester United takes on upstart Aldershot Town (2:45 p.m., Fox Soccer Plus/FoxSoccer.tv) and Arsenal faces Bolton in Carling Cup round-of-16 matches; Barcelona returns to action against Granada (2 p.

Tuesday Kickoff: USWNT trio makes shortlist, Slovenia's new coach and more

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Photo by Thomas Eisenhuth/ISIphotos.com

After a year in which the United States women's national team reached the World Cup final, Abby Wambach, Hope Solo and Alex Morgan were rewarded by being named are among the 10 finalists for the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year award.

Williams hired as USA U-18 coach

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Jurgen Klinsmann's stable of youth coaches continues to evolve.

Richie Williams was hired by U.S. Soccer as the coach of the Under-18 national team on Monday, joining Caleb Porter (U-23) and Tab Ramos (U-20) as recent youth coaching hires under Klinsmann who will look to discover and develop the next generation of U.

Nicol not returning as Revolution coach

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After 10 years at the helm, Steve Nicol won't be returning to the New England Revolution.

The club and Nicol agreed to a mutual parting of the ways, according to a press release, meaning that the longest-tenured coach with a single team in league history is looking for a new club.

SBI 2011 MLS All-Rookie Team

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The 2011 MLS Draft was considered a good one with more long-term upside than immediate contributors when it took place last January, but as the season went on, we realized that the number of rookies who would wind up playing key roles on teams would be higher than most would have expected.

Fire yet to make decision on Klopas' future as head coach

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAVID GUBALA

The Chicago Fire didn't make the playoffs in 2011, but the team's strong finish to the regular season has interim head coach Frank Klopas looking look a good candidate to keep the coaching job. No decision has been made yet, but Klopas, also the team's Technical Director, does plan on being with the club in 2012, whether as the head coach or in another role.

Mid-Day Ticker: United ties up Chicharito, Balotelli linked to Milan and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

It seems there is a little bit of silver lining for Manchester United fans following their club's 1-6 defeat to local rivals Manchester City — Javier Hernandez is at Old Trafford to stay.

Just a day after getting thrashed by the Blues, Mexican striker Chicharito put pen to paper on a five-year United contract which runs until 2016.

European Weekend Rewind: City crushes United, Milan completes rally and more

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

It took Manchester City until the 60th minute to score its second goal at Old Trafford Sunday, but once Mario Balotelli had tapped home James Milner's cross for his and the team's second of the match, the metaphorical floodgates opened.

Sergio Aguero struck in the 69th and Edin Dzeko added a brace of his own in the last minute plus stoppage time as the visitors hammered their derby rivals 6-1.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

If Chris Rolfe is trying to make his way back into the U.S. men's national team picture, he did a good job of helping his cause this weekend.

Rolfe, who has not represented the United States since 2008, scored two goals in a 90-minute performance against Odense BK.

2011 MLS Playoff match-ups set

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The Houston Dynamo's 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy has completed the match-ups for the 2011 MLS playoffs, with the Dynamo rising to No. 2 in the East with their season-ending victory.

Here are the match-ups heading into the post-season, which the wild card matches taking place at mid-week and the conference semifinals beginning on Saturday:

WILD CARD ROUND

Wednesday- (4) New York Red Bulls at (1) FC Dallas

Thursday- (3) Columbus Crew at (2) Colorado Rapids

EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS

Highest Remaining Wild Card vs.

Houston Dynamo vs. LA Galaxy: Your Running Commentary

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There is just one match remaining in the 2011 MLS regular season, but that one match will have implications for a plethora of teams.

The Houston Dynamo play host to the LA Galaxy tonight (7pm, Galavision/Direct Kick) in their final match at Robertson Stadium before moving into their new stadium in 2012, a match that will set the final playoff match-ups for the entire league.

Queens Park Rangers 1, Chelsea 0: Match Highlights

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Arsenal 3, Stoke City 1: Match Highlights

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Manchester United 1, Manchester City 6: Match Highlights

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Everton 3, Fulham 1: Match Highlights

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Lecce 3, AC Milan 4: Match Highlights

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All you need to know is Lecce led AC Milan 3-0 at halftime.

Then Kevin-Prince Boateng happened.

Enjoy:


Stars take first leg in NASL Championship series over Strikers

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By FRANCO PANIZO

NSC Minnesota Stars picked a good time to get its first win over the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers.

After going winless in four regular season games against the team from South Florida, Minnesota defeated the Strikers in front of 4,511 fans at home in NSC Stadium in the first leg of the NASL Championship Series.

Wolves 2, Swansea 2: Match Highlights

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Real Madrid 4, Malaga 0: Match Highlights

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Liverpool 1, Norwich City 1: Match Highlights

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Red-hot Gomez scores two more goals as Estudiantes Tecos topple Santos Laguna

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After scoring goal after goal as a substitute, Herculez Gomez was given a chance to show what he could do in the Estudiantes Tecos starting lineup on Saturday.

He responded by scoring even more goals.

The American forward scored his sixth and seventh goals of the Mexican League season to help Tecos defeat Santos Laguna, 5-2, on Saturday.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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The most highly-anticipated match of the European club season has arrived, with rivals Manchester United and Manchester City clashing today with first place in the English Premier League and bragging rights in the city of Manchester on the line.

Manchester City is currently in first place, riding the stellar form of striker Edin Dzeko and midfielder David Silva, but City hasn't played nearly as tough a schedule early on as Manchester United, who have already faced Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool while City has yet to face any of those regulars in the EPL Top Four.

Timbers score in second-half stoppage time for draw with RSL

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

Playoff spot clinched, Real Salt Lake had victory in its grasp in its regular-season finale Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium, plus the chance to lock up the No. 3 seed from the MLS Western Conference with no help from other results.Â

RSL's reward for No.

Anibaba's brace leads Fire past Crew

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By DAVE GUBALA

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill.-- When the Chicago Fire and Columbus Crew squared off on Saturday night it was the Crew that had everything to play for and the Fire just playing out the string. You wouldn't have known it based on how both teams came out though, as the Fire completed a strong finish to the 2011 season with another victory while the Crew stumbled their way into the post-season.

Sounders cruise past Chivas USA as Rosales suffers injury scare

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BY JONATHAN VERA

CARSON, Calif. – Playing a game with nothing on the line, the Seattle Sounders went into their match against Chivas USA on Saturday night looking to stay healthy and looking to keep up their recent outstanding form heading into the MLS playoffs.

Kansas City clinches top seed in East with 1-0 win over D.C. United

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By THOMAS FLOYD

WASHINGTON - The path to the Eastern Conference title will go through Livestrong Sporting Park.

When Sporting Kansas City wrapped up its record road trip to start the MLS campaign in June, the club's 1-6-3 mark was the league's worst. But thanks to a four-month surge driven by the club's raucous new venue and capped by a 1-0 win at D.

MLS Match Night Commentary & Live Playoff Standings

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With MOST of the final weekend of the 2011 MLS regular season being played today, we will have a very clear picture of what the playoff match-ups will be for the playoffs once tonight's matches are finished. With that in mind, we will be listing the match-ups and tonight's results so you can have an updated look at what the playoffs look like.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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It may seem strange to see FC Barcelona tied atop the Spanish Premier League standings with Levante, but Lionel Messi and Co. will have their chance to start pulling away from the upstarts by beating fourth-place Sevilla in today's battle of La Liga unbeatens.

Barcelona is just one point ahead of familiar foe Real Madrid, but sitting two points back is Sevilla, which will have hopes of springing an upset today.

Porters discusses plans as U.S. U-23 coach

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photo by Tony Quinn/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The Caleb Porter era is underway.

A day after being named head coach of the U.S. U-23 men's national team, Porter held a telephone conference to discuss his new role, plans to qualify for the upcoming Olympics and what he wants to achieve.

MLS Spotlight: Durable Parke embracing heavy workload for Sounders

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Photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.com

By THOMAS FLOYD

It's not terribly often that Jeff Parke contributes on the offensive end. The industrious Seattle Sounders defender, in fact, is quick to acknowledge as much.

In his seven MLS seasons, Parke has been one of the more durable commodities the league has to offer, starting at least 20 games each campaign.

College Soccer Weekend Preview

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JOHN BOSCHINI

This weekend's game of the week in college soccer could quite possible be the game of the year as two title contenders clash in Chapel Hill.

Newly minted No. 1 Maryland and No. 5 North Carolina have been the two leading contenders in the chase for the ACC title and Friday's clash (5:30 p.

MLS Week 32: A Look Ahead

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 Photo by Don Feria/ISIphotos.com

By THOMAS FLOYD

Well, the New York Red Bulls sure took the drama out of this weekend.

With New York's 1-0 win over the Philadelphia Union on Thursday, the 10th and final ticket to the postseason was booked, and the Portland Timbers and Chicago Fire were eliminated from playoff contention.

Strikers, Stars aim for victory in first leg of NASL Championship Series

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By FRANCO PANIZO

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. - In four meetings during the regular season, the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers went undefeated against NSC Minnesota Stars with a 2-0-2 record and 6-2 goal advantage.

That may have happened in the last few months, but it will seem like long ago to both teams as they attempt to get a win in the first leg of the NASL Championship Series at NSC Stadium in Minnesota on Saturday (8:30pm ET).

FOX wins bid for 2018, 2022 World Cup TV rights

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When the 2018 and 2022 World Cups kick off in Russia and Qatar, there is a very good chance that you'll be watching those tournaments on a FOX network.

FOX beat out both ESPN and NBC for the U.S. broadcast rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, multiple reports revealed on Friday morning.

D.C. closes chapter on lost season, eyes leap to next level in 2012

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Photo by Brad Smith/ISIphotos.com


By AVI CREDITOR

The exhausted bodies crumbled to the turf one-by-one after Jair Marrufo's final whistle Wednesday night, the instant when hope was extinguished and reality set in. There will be no MLS postseason for D.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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photo by Javier Garcia/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Three months into the season, Everton and Fulham are each just two points away from the relegation zone, leaving Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey to attempt to help further their respective club away from there this weekend.

Galaxy advance to CCL Quarterfinals with win over Motagua

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BY ADAM SERRANO

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras. –- The Galaxy booked their ticket to the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League with a 1-0 victory over Club Motagua on Thursday night in Honduras.Â

Juninho put the Galaxy ahead in the 29th minute with a dipping ball from distance that was too much for Motagua goalkeeper Kerpo De Leon.

Red Bulls down Union to punch playoff ticket

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The New York Red Bulls only needed a tie on Thursday night to secure their place in the 2011 MLS playoffs, but they stepped up despite missing their best player and delivered a victory and some hope for a dream ending to a largely disappointing season.

Playing without star striker Thierry Henry, the Red Bulls rode an own goal forced by Dane Richards and disciplined defending on their way to a 1-0 victory over the Philadelphia Union at Red Bull Arena.

Red Bulls vs. Union: Match Night Commentary

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The final Major League Soccer playoff berth is on the line tonight as I-95 rivals New York Red Bulls and Philadelphia Union clash at Red Bull Arena tonight (8pm, ESPN2).

The task is a clear one for the Red Bulls. Win or draw tonight and New York qualifies for the playoffs.

Galaxy ready for must win match against Motagua in CCL

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BY ADAM SERRANO

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras. –- The Los Angeles Galaxy face one of the simplest yet most difficult situations in all of sports – win and advance.

A win over last place Club Motagua and the Galaxy qualify for the quarterfinals by winning Group A.

Europa League: Your Running Commentary

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The third round of the Europa League group stage is underway, and there are a handful of intriguing matches on tap.

Udinese and Atletico Madrid are set to do battle in one of Thursday's top matches, while Celtic's road game against Stade Rennes is another to keep an eye on. Several Americans could also see the field today, including defenders Steve Cherundolo and Jonathan Spector.

MLS East Notes: Red Bulls look to clinch, Spencer endorses De Rosario and more

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 Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By THOMAS FLOYD

All eyes will be on Harrison, N.J., tonight for the New York Red Bulls' critical meeting with the Philadelphia Union.

A Red Bulls win or draw will clinch the final playoff berth for New York and eliminate the Portland Timbers and Chicago Fire.

Porter and Ramos named USA U-23, U-20 coaches

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photo by Tony Quinn/ISIphotos.com

U.S. Soccer has named Caleb Porter and Tab Ramos as head coaches of its U-23 and U-20 men's national teams.

Porter will coach the U-23 team and lead it through qualifying for the the 2012 Olympic games in London. Porter is to remain as head coach of Akron University, and will coach both the Zips and U.

FIFA releases World Cup 2014 match schedule

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The 2014 World Cup in Brazil might still over two-and-half years away, but that doesn't mean you can't start arranging your travel plans.

FIFA released the full match schedule for the tournament on Thursday, with the opening game to be played at Arena de Sao Paulo in Sao Paulo on Thursday, June 14.

Mid-Day Ticker: Rodgers "positive" of win, Suarez backed by Dalglish and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

In the world of sports, guaranteeing a win can be a risky move, but to Luke Rodgers, the New York Red Bulls can achieve exactly that tonight.

"I'm quite positive we're going to win the game."

In a make-or-break match in the Eastern Conference, the Red Bulls takes on the Philadelphia Union which will have a major impact on which team will make the MLS post-season.

D.C. United 1, Portland 1: Match Highlights

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Is DeRosario most clutch player in MLS history?

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Watching Dwayne DeRosario show tremendous heart and incredible ability in trying to will D.C. United to a victory on Wednesday night against Portland, soomething came to mind that I had thought about a few times before. Something about DeRosario that is probably widely-accepted as fact, but never really discussed.

Report: Everton, Wigan eyeing John

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George John had to hold off on his dreams of a move to Europe this summer when a proposed transfer to Blackburn fell through in the final stages. Those events may ultimately lead John to wind up at a better club this winter, if reports are to be believed.

According to the UK Daily Mail, Everton and Wigan are both on the trail of the FC Dallas defender and are expected to make January bids for the big centerback.

Americans Abroad: Europa League Preview

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Sacha Kljestan has been in good form as of late, and he'll attempt to carry that over as Anderlecht continues its Europa League run.

Coming off a weekend performance that earned high praise, Kljestan should start again when Anderlecht plays its third match in Group L against Austria's SK Sturm Graz.

Rapids fall to Santos Laguna; need help to advance in CCL

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 By JOSÉ M. ROMERO

These last two days of CONCACAF Champions League group matches have not been kind to American MLS teams.

The Colorado Rapids, despite deploying front-line players in a clear effort to win, became the third U.S. club in two days to lose its finale of group play after Wednesday night's 2-0 loss to Santos Laguna in Torreon, Mexico.

Timbers live, D.C. eliminated after wild tie

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Photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIphotos.com

WASHINGTON -- After a late flurry of action both ways, two things are clear: The Portland Timbers' postseason chances are still alive, and D.C. United's season is over.

Despite late heroics from MVP candidate Dwayne De Rosario and a number of chances in the waning minutes, D.

MLS/CCL: Match Night Commentary

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Two teams fighting for their lives square off in the nations capital as D.C. United hosts the Portland Timbers in a must-win match for both clubs (8 p.m., MLS Direct Kick/MatchDay Live).

After coming off a shocking collapse in stoppage time against Chicago on Saturday, D.C.

UCL Rewind: Chelsea runs rampant, Ramsay delivers late for Arsenal & more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Chelsea turned in an epic first-half performance as Andre Villas-Boas remains unbeaten in UEFA Champions League play with his new club.

Chelsea demolished tiny Racing Genk 5-0 at Stamford Bridge with four goals coming in the first half. More encouraging for the Blues is the regained form of Fernando Torres, who notched a double within the first 30 minutes.

Union look to experienced few as club's first trip to postseason approaches

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By KEITH HICKEY

With their franchise's MLS playoff debut approaching, members of the Philadelphia Union are getting ready what will be, for most of them, their first taste of the MLS postseason.

Of the 27 players on the Union's roster, 15 are 23 years old or younger.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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Arsene Wenger knows Olympique Marseille quite well from his years in French soccer, and the Arsenal manager will hope to turn that knowledge into points for his side when it faces Marseille in a key UEFA Champions League battle.

Marseille and Arsenal are in the top two positions, respectively, in Group F, and their meeting is one of the more intriguing matchups on Wednesday's slate.

Report: Altidore being benched at AZ

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After a hot start in his first season in the Netherlands, it appears that Jozy Altidore is going to have to fight for his place in AZ Alkmaar's starting lineup.

According to reports out of the Netherlands, AZ manager Gertjan Verbeek has elected to bench Altidore ahead of Thursday's UEFA Europa League match against Austria Wien.

Portland, D.C. both face desperation with MLS playoff hopes fading

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D.C. United and the Portland Timbers can feel each other's pain, but that won't make for a cordial atmosphere when the two do battle in a crucial match Wednesday night at RFK Stadium (8 p.m., MLS Direct Kick/MatchDay Live/SBI Live Commentary).

Both teams are coming off of deflating home losses and remain on the outside of the playoff picture looking in with just days remaining in the MLS regular season.

Real Madrid 4, Lyon 0: Match Highlights

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Manchester City 2, Villarreal 1: Match Highlights

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Fantasy MLS: Week 33

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By ALAN LEDBETTER

With most of the playoff spots spoken for, the final week of MLS is sure to be unpredictable.

Coaches are more likely to rest key players, which makes picking a fantasy team very difficult. Since lineups lock for MFLS on Wednesday, you will have to set your lineup with some uncertainty this week.

USA falls to No. 34 in FIFA rankings

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

With the results not going the United States national team's way, it's no surprise that Jurgen Klinsmann's side continues its slide down the FIFA rankings.

The United States fell three spots to No. 34 -- sandwiched in between 2010 World Cup foes Ghana and Algeria -- following its win over Honduras and loss to Ecuador.

Wednesday Kickoff: Davies files lawsuit, Capello drops Rooney hint and more

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

D.C. United striker Charlie Davies has reportedly filed a $20 million lawsuit against the nightclub owner and party host that continued to serve alcohol to the woman that was behind the wheel on the night of the accident that tragically killed one passenger and severely injured Davies.

Sounders fall to Monterrey in CCL group stage finale

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                                         AP photo

By JOSE M. ROMERO

Good thing for the Seattle Sounders that they started off CONCACAF Champions League group play with a bang, because they ended it with a whimper.

Plata leads Toronto FC past FC Dallas, earning place in CCL quarterfinals

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With the MLS playoffs a dream that disappeared long ago, Toronto FC had one thing left to play for in 2011. They had a place in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals to try and win.

Standing in their way was FC Dallas, one of the better teams in MLS, a team that needed just a draw on Tuesday night at their home ground to reach the Champions League quarterfinals.

Tuesday College Rewind: West Virginia knocks off UConn, Akron beaten & more

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A day after No. 2 ranked North Carolina suffered an upset loss to Davidson College, unbeaten and No. 1 ranked UConn also fell.

West Virginia rode goals from Shadow Sebele and Eric Schoenle to post a 2-0 victory over the Huskies in Morgantown on Tuesday night.The Mountaineers took it to the visiting Huskies for much of the match, and broke through when Sabele converted a first-half penalty kick in the 34th minute.

Report: Backe to return to RBNY in 2012

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The New York Red Bulls are in danger of missing out on the postseason despite fielding a high-priced roster with international appeal in a league where more than half of the teams make the playoffs.

Even with that, it appears that manager Hans Backe isn't going anywhere.

Champions League Rewind: Manchester clubs win, Madrid rolls by Lyon & more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Sergio Aguero rescued Manchester City with a goal with the last kick of the game as the UEFA Champions League newcomers retained hope of advancing to the knockout rounds with a 2-1 win over Villarreal.

Pablo Zabaleta fired a low cross in front of goal in the third minute of stoppage time and David Silva failed to make contact at the near post but the ball found its way to Aguero, who made no mistake from close range.

UEFA Champions League: Match Day Commentary

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Today's UEFA Champions League schedule is loaded with some tasty match-ups, as well as some classic David vs. Goliath clashes. Whatever your preference, there is likely to be a match to your liking.

Whether it's Napoli taking on seemingly unstoppable Bayern Munich, or Real Madrid facing familiar foe Lyon, there are good tilts on deck.

FCD, TFC square off with CCL knockout berth on line; Seattle looks to wrap up 1st

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Major League Soccer has taken some major strides during the 2011-2012 CONCACAF Champions League, but as the final games of group play approach, there is still work to be done before crowning this campaign as a great success.

Only one MLS team, Seattle, has clinched a place in the knockout stage so far, but that could all change Tuesday night.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 31

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Photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.com

Entering the final week of the MLS season, much is already sorted out, and that is reflected in the latest SBI MLS Power Rankings.

With nine teams already set for the playoffs, five teams eliminated from contention, and the other four jockeying for that final berth there wasn't much moving and shaking after the last round of results.

Connecticut tops first NCAA RPI rankings

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Photo courtesy of UConn Athletics

Considering how their season has unfolded, it's no surprise that the University of Connecticut Huskies find themselves atop the initial RPI rankings released by the NCAA.

UConn (13-0-1) is one of two unbeaten teams in the country and deservedly holds the top spot after thus far making it unscathed through a rigorous Big East slate that includes games against St.

Must-See FIFA Video Tribute: Emile Heskey

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If you're a fan of FIFA 12, and have ever stood in awe of Emile Heskey's ability as a soccer player, get ready to laugh (hat tip to the Daily Mirror):

What player would you like to see a tribute like this done for? Anyone in MLS come to mind?

Share your suggestions below.


Tuesday Kickoff: Warner responds, Arsenal locks up Vermaelen and more

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After being caught on video offering bribes to Caribbean officials, former CONCACAF president and FIFA executive committee member Jack Warner is on the warpath.Â

Warner continues to respond to allegations against him the Trinidad and Tobago media, where a lengthy letter was published on Tuesday.

USA to face Slovenia in World Cup rematch

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After playing France on Nov. 11, the United States men's national team will take on Slovenia in a rematch of a 2010 World Cup group stage classic on Nov. 15.

More details to follow.

What do you think of the matchup?Â

Share your thoughts below.


Who do you see finishing first in the East?

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As we wind down to the final weekend of the 2011 MLS Regular Season the race for the Eastern Conference regular season title, and the No. 1 seed that comes with it, is wide open. Four different teams have a chance to clinch the top spot in the East.

Right now the front-runners are Sporting Kansas City and Philadelphia.

Klinsmann's son called into U.S. Under-15 camp

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When the U.S. Under-15 boy's national team convened a camp at Home Depot Center on Sunday, there was one familiar name among the group.

Jonathan Klinsmann. Yes, it's Jurgen's son.

The younger Klinsmann is a goalkeeper in the 36-player camp, a week-long event U.S.

Tiny Davidson stuns No. 2 North Carolina

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Perhaps No. 2 ranked North Carolina was looking ahead to Friday's showdown against No. 3 ranked Maryland heading into Monday night's visit to tiny Davidson College. Whether it was distraction, or just a special team effort by an underdog, the Wildcats took full advantage to knock out one of the country's top teams.

Evening Ticker: U-17 World Cup tainted by clenbuterol, Warner lays blame & more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Looks like it may have been tainted chicken after all.

FIFA revealed on Monday that a majority of the players tested in this past summer's U-17 World Cup in Mexico had clenbuterol in their bodies, and that it was a result of eating contaminated meat in the country.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: C.J. Sapong

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Sporting Kansas City's C.J. Sapong has seen his playing time diminish some late on in the regular season, due in part to the resurgance of Teal Bunbury as well as his own fatigue after a long rookie season, but that hasn't stopped the Rookie of the Year front-runner from continuing to contribute.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Kasey Keller

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Call it a sentimental pick if you like, but it was tough to give this week's SBI MLS Player of the Week award to anybody but Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller.

Not only did Keller help draw a crowd of more than 64,000 to CenturyLink Field to see the final regular season home game of his illustrious career, but the 42-year-old goalkeeper made a plethora of clutch saves with his Seattle Sounders trailing San Jose.

College Soccer Weekend Rewind

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

The No. 8 Red Storm of St. John's gave further credibility to their claim as a top-10 team with a 1-0 victory over No. 7 Louisville.

Pablo Battuto Punyed netted his second game-winner of the season while Rafael Diaz made four saves in the shutout.

A closer look at the MLS Playoff Race

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Four teams. One playoff spot.

That is where the 2011 MLS playoff race stands as we enter the final week of the regular season. Nine playoff berths have been clinched, and while there is still plenty to be figured out as far as match-ups and final places, the real drama will be the race to see who will be the last team to squeeze into the playoffs.

European Weekend Rewind: Higuain nets another hat-trick, City goes top and more

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

There are better strikers than Gonzalo Higuain, but there may not be any in better form right now. On Saturday, Higuain scored his third hat-trick in four matches to lead Real Madrid to a 4-1 victory over Real Betis.

It was the striker's second hat-trick in as many La Liga matches, bringing his goal total to eight on the season, behind only fellow Argentine Lionel Messi for the league lead.

Morning Ticker: Beckham has PSG talking, EPL relegation could be scrapped and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

Despite the fact that there's still a full month until the January transfer window opens, the possibility of LA Galaxy star David Beckham linking up with Paris St. Germain has the team talking. Â

Players Kevin Gameiro, Sylvain Armand and Christophe Jallet all voiced their support for the seasoned veteran signing on, and with the financial clout of PSG might be enough to land Beckham at the club.

English Premier League Roundup

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Barrett scores as Galaxy finish season unbeaten at home

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BY ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, Calif. --Chad Barrett scored his seventh goal of the season as the Los Angeles Galaxy defeated Chivas USA in the SuperClasico in front of 27,000 at the Home Depot Center.Â

Barrett broke through in the 53rd minute of play when he headed in a cross from Adam Cristman into an empty net.

Minnesota advances to NASL final as shock run continues in win over Carolina

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

For the second consecutive year, the Carolina Railhawks scored four goals in the return leg against the NSC Minnesota Stars. Only this time, it wasn't enough.

Minnesota advanced to the NASL championship series on penalty kicks despite losing a wild 4-3 game in Cary on Saturday.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

It's been over a year since Herculez Gomez last represented the U.S. men's national team, but that drought could soon end after Gomez's latest goal-scoring performance.

For the fourth straight game that he's played in, Gomez scored a goal.

Barcelona 3, Racing Santander 0: Match Highlights

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Real Madrid 4, Real Betis 1: Match Highlights

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Sporting KC grabs playoff berth and share of first place in East after stopping RBNY

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By GARRETT DAVEY

KANSAS CITY, Kansas -- Sporting Kansas City is one of the toughest teams in the league to beat at home, and doing so with ten men and without your top player makes the task all but impossible.

The New York Red Bulls learned that fact after seeing Thierry Henry sent off for violent conduct in the 28th minute.

Liverpool 1, Manchester United 1: Match Highlights

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Manchester City 4, Aston Villa 1: Match Highlights

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Strikers advance to NASL Championship Series with win over Puerto Rico

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photo by Victor Palkaninec

By FRANCO PANIZO

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The Puerto Rico Islanders won't soon forget the name Brian Shriver.

A week after scoring the final goal in the Fort Lauderdale Strikers' 3-1 road win against Puerto Rico, Shriver bagged a brace in the second leg of the NASL semifinals series to give the hosts a 2-1 victory in front of 4,233 fans at Lockhart Stadium on Saturday night.

Union tie Toronto FC to seal playoff berth

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By JOEY SAMUEL

CHESTER, Pa. - It wasn't pretty, and it certainly wasn't impressive. But it was good enough, at least for now.

Behind a goal from Sebastien Le Toux, the Philadelphia Union tied Toronto FC, 1-1, in front of a record crowd at PPL Park.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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As far as intense rivalries go, you can't find many more intense than the Rome Derby.

Roma and Lazio always produce some of the most intese matches in Europe, and today should be no different as the Serie A powers collide. Both teams have gotten off to slow starts in league play, and are currently tied on points, but today's derby could help catapult one of them up the standings.

Sounders, 64,140 fans bid Keller fond farewell with comeback win over Earthquakes

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

Kasey Keller won't turn 42 years old until next month, but what a gift he was given by his Seatlle Sounders Saturday night.Â

Make that a few gifts.

On what Washington state government officials proclaimed "Kasey Keller Day" around the state in recognition of the veteran goalkeeper's final regular-season home match as a Sounder, Keller made seven saves and watched from between the pipes as his teammates rallied from a one-goal deficit through 81 minutes for a wild 2-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes at CenturyLink Field.

Crew clinches playoff berth with win over Revs

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The Columbus Crew came into Gillette Stadium Saturday night knowing all it needed to secure a fourth consecutive playoff berth was a win over the last-placed New England Revolution. Ninety minutes and one of its more dominant performances of the year later, the Crew had done just that.

Chicago shocks United in stoppage time to steal 2-1 win

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By THOMAS FLOYD

WASHINGTON - After 89 forgettable minutes Saturday in a match seemingly destined to end in a scoreless draw, D.C. United and the Chicago Fire more than made up for lost time with as dramatic a final act as one will see in MLS all season.

United went ahead via an 89th minute penalty kick from Dwayne De Rosario, only to watch Chicago notch goals from Sebastian Grazzini and Diego Chaves in stoppage time to steal a 2-1 win at RFK Stadium.

Sizing up the MLS Playoff Race

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The MLS season is down to its final two weeks and while most of the playoff spots are locked up, there is still plenty to play for.

Today's matches will go a long way toward clearing up the playoff picture, particularly which ten teams will be in the post-season. Houston's win against Portland on Friday night pushed the Chicago Fire to the bring of elimination.

MLS Rewind: Dynamo topple Timbers, RSL draw Rapids in Colorado

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The Portland Timbers had a full stadium of fans trying to will them to a victory they sorely needed to keep their playoff hopes in good shape. Unfortunately for the Timbers, the Houston Dynamo were also hungry for a victory to boost their playoff prospects.

Houston put together a strong performance on the road for the second straight time, riding an Andre Hainault goal and a stunning long-range blast from Danny Cruz to post a 2-0 victory over the Timbers on Friday night.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

One of the oldest and fiercest rivals in European soccer resumes today as Manchester United travels down the M6 to take on Liverpool (7:45am, ESPN2) in the latest installment of the North West Derby.

Manchester United is currently in first place in the English Premier League, tied with Manchester City, while Liverpool will try to crack the Top Four with a win.

College Soccer Weekend Preview

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By FRANCO PANIZO

If you're a big fan of matches in between teams ranked in the top 10, this weekend is perfect for you.

Louisville, currently ranked at No. 7 on Fox Soccer's Top 25, travels to take on No. 8 St. John's in one of the weekend's marquee matchups.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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Club soccer around the world returns from the international break this weekend. And how.

Whether it's European-based rivalry matches like Liverpool-Manchester United or Lazio-Roma, MLS rivalry matches like Colorado-Real Salt Lake or Los Angeles-Chivas USA, or games featuring Americans abroad who are continuing to get acclimated at their new clubs, this weekend's schedule has it all.

USA to meet France in November friendly

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The next match of the Jurgen Klinsmann era will be taking place in Paris.

U.S. Soccer announced that the national team's next match will be against France on Nov. A second friendly in Europe against a to-be-announced opponent will be played on Nov. 15.

More details to follow.


MLS Week 31: A Look Ahead

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 Photo by Andrew Katsampes/ISIphotos.com

By THOMAS FLOYD

The MLS playoff race sure is heating up.

With just a handful of matches remaining, nine teams are still competing for six available postseason berths. AÂ slate of influential weekend fixtures kicks off Friday with a critical clash in the wild-card race between the Houston Dynamo and Portland Timbers.

UConn maintains top spot; Virginia, Duke on rise in latest Fox Soccer Top 25

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UConn might have had its perfect run and extended shutout streak both come to an end, but the Huskies are still the top team in the country.Â

UConn settled for a draw against Notre Dame last weekend but improved to 12-0-1 after a 2-1 win over Providence on Wednesday to maintain its place at the No.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Michael Bradley may not currently be a starter on the U.S. men's national team, but he'll have a big chance to show head coach Jurgen Klinsmann that he's ready for more minutes.

Bradley and Chievo Verona take on league leader Juventus this weekend in a match that the U.

Retiring Keller set for home farewell as playing career winds down

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Photo by Nick Turchiaro/ISIphotos.com

Kasey Keller's legendary playing career is winding down, and the expected crowd of more than 60,000 that will salute him at CenturyLink Field for his regular-season home finale Saturday night is a testament to what he's meant to the city of Seattle and U.

Corona ready to pass on Mexico to play for USA

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Remember when you read that Joe Corona was all set to play for Mexico and pass on the chance to play for his actual country of birth, the United States?

Well, scratch that one. It seems the LA-born Corona is ready to follow in the footsteps of Jose Torres and Edgar Castillo and bypass Mexico to play for the United States.

NASL Playoff Semifinals: Second leg preview

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

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For all the dominance the Puerto Rico Islanders and the Carolina Railhawks enjoyed during the regular season, everything goes out the window once the playoffs start and both sides are in serious danger of being home in time for Halloween.Â

The Puerto Rico Islanders were decimated by international callups and face a difficult task in overturning a 3-1 deficit in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday.

Friday Kickoff: Shearer makes case for Rooney, Forlan out for Inter and more

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Wayne Rooney's three-game suspension that rules him out of the Euro 2012 group stage has become a polarizing story in the English soccer community.

Rooney's automatic one-game ban was extended to three for violent contact by UEFA following his kick of a Montenegrin player during England's final Euro qualifying match.

MLS West Notes: Trouble brewing for Rapids, Berhalter praised and more

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BY ADAM SERRANO

Trouble is brewing in the front office of the Colorado Rapids.

In an interview with the Denver Post, head coach Gary Smith admitted that there is a "relationship issue" between himself and Rapids techincal director Paul Bravo that may see Smith decide not to re-sign with Colorado when his contract is finished at the end of the season.

Sporting KC's Espinoza living the American dream

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For those who don't know Roger Espinoza's story well, they may just know him as the Sporting Kansas City midfielder who also plays for the Honduran national team.

While Espinoza does play for Honduras, his career is very much rooted in the American dream, as a fateful move from Honduras to the United States when he was just 11 changed his life forever and has helped him eventually fulfill many of his biggest dreams.

Led by resurgent Cooper, expansion Timbers gearing up for playoff push

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

The Kenny Cooper who has showed up in recent matches is exactly the player the Portland Timbers hoped they were getting when they grabbed the veteran forward with their place in the MLS allocation order prior to their expansion season.

The timing of Cooper's resurgence couldn't be better for a team that badly needs wins in order to crash the MLS playoff party.

MLS East Notes: D.C. playoff hopes take hit, Bravo defends MLS and more

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 Photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIphotos.com

By THOMAS FLOYD

Much has been made in recent weeks of the games in hand at D.C. United's disposal. But as the club has learned, those extra matches aren't particularly helpful if you lose them.

In what coach Ben Olsen called an "unacceptable performance," United fell 2-1 Wednesday at the Vancouver Whitecaps, dropping crucial points against the league's worst team.

Mid-Day Ticker: Eto'o could return to Inter, Rafa plays down Fergie success and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

Just under two months after shocking the soccer world and signing for Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala, Samuel Eto'o is being linked with a return to Inter Milan — on loan.

Eto'o left the Italian giants in late August, but when the Russian Premier League season takes a break in January and February, meaning Eto'o could potentially return to Inter for a Serie A as well as Champions League fixtures.

Onyewu leaves strong impression after return to USA starting lineup

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com


By MIKE NASTRI

HARRISON, N.J. -- The U.S. men's national team might have lost to Ecuador on Tuesday night, but there was one overwhelming bright spot for Jurgen Klinsmann and Co.

Ireland lands Estonia, Bosnia takes on Portugal in Euro qualifying playoffs

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The draw for the European Championship qualifying playoffs took place on Thursday morning and no country is happier with the results than Ireland.

The Irish, who missed out on the 2010 World Cup after facing the tough draw (and Thierry Henry handball) of France, drew Estonia out of the eight-team pot, giving Ireland the easiest draw in the pot.

Whitecaps damage D.C. United's playoff chances with win

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

On the outside looking in for a playoff spot to begin the night, the climb toward the MLS postseason got a little steeper for D.C. United.Â

The Vancouver Whitecaps played spoiler Wednesday night at B.C. Place Stadium, holding on for a 2-1 victory thanks to strong defensive play for 56 minutes, another goal for leading scorer Camilo and the first career MLS goal for forward Long Tan.

FC Dallas clinches playoff berth, Chicago in post-season jeopardy after home defeat

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By DAVE GUBALA

BRIDGEVIEW, IL -- The Chicago Fire went into Wednesday night's match against FC Dallas knowing that anything short of a victory would all but erase their chances of reaching the playoffs. For FC Dallas, the match was about trying snap a losing streak and poor run of form.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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The MLS season resumes Wednesday night with a couple of matches featuring teams in the thick of the playoff hunt. Both D.C. United and the Chicago Fire need to come away with points to maintain their hopes at sneaking into one of the remaining playoff berths.Â

While Vancouver can play spoiler for D.

Playoff chase resumes with D.C. and Chicago in action Wednesday night

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Time is running short for D.C. United and the Chicago Fire, and an accelerated level of stress is put on each of the remaining regular season games for two teams with postseason aspirations.

As two of the three teams on the outside of the current playoff picture but within striking range, United and the Fire need to pile on the results beginning with tonight's matches against the Vancouver Whitecaps and FC Dallas, respectively.

Berhalter retiring after 18-year career

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By ADAM SERRANO

One of the more decorated American defenders of all-time is hanging up his boots.

Los Angeles Galaxy defender Gregg Berhalter announced his retirement on Wednesday, effective after the end of the 2011 season. Over the course of his 18-year professional career, Berhalter appeared in two World Cups for the United States while playing in professional leagues in England, Germany, Holland and the United States.

USA 0, Ecuador 1: Post-Game Reaction

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Fantasy MLS: Week 32

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Photo by Nick Turchiaro/ISIphotos.com


By ALAN LEDBETTER

There are two weeks left in MLS with a full slate of games each week to earn enough fantasy points to finish at the top spot in SBI's fantasy division.

The playoff picture is starting to clear up as many teams are beginning to clinch spots, while others have dropped out.

Mexico 1, Brazil 2: Match Highlights

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Dempsey continuing to adjust to new role under Klinsmann

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By FRANCO PANIZO

HARRISON, N.J. -Â The U.S. men's national team is still a work in progress under new head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. That much was made obvious during the last two friendlies against Honduras and Ecuador.

What may have been just as obvious is how well Clint Dempsey is adapting to a new role in the more attack-oriented system Klinsmann is implementing, even if things aren't perfect yet.

Garber addresses MLS schedule, playoff system, expansion and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

HARRISON, N.J. -- MLS Commissioner Don Garber held an informal press conference at halftime of the U.S. men's national team friendly with Ecuador Tuesday night, and he discussed a bevy of topics, including MLS scheduling and expansion.

The first thing Garber touched on were the comments made recently by U.

World Cup Qualifiers: Venezuela upsets Argentina, Panama advances and more

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By JOEY SAMUEL

Different coach, same old inconsistency.

That was the story Tuesday night as Argentina slumped to a 1-0 defeat away to Venezuela in the second round of 2014 World Cup qualifying in South America. Despite replacing coach Sergio Batista after a poor performance at the 2011 Copa America, Argentina once again struggled against a lesser opponent under new coach Alejandro Sabella.

USA to play two friendlies in Europe during November fixture window

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

With the latest batch of international friendlies in the rear view mirror, the U.S. national team is looking forward to its next set of games, which will both take place in Europe.

The United States' next two friendlies will be played during the Nov.

Euro Qualifiers: France, Denmark get decisive results, Sweden qualifies & more

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By JOEY SAMUEL

During the qualifying process for the 2010 World Cup, France put on a number of disappointing performances and was forced to get in through the playoff round. On Tuesday, Les Bleus made sure that wouldn't happen again.

A Samir Nasri penalty in the 78th minute rescued a 1-1 draw for France against Bosnia-Herzegovina, allowing France to remain in first place in Group D and seal a place in EURO 2012.

USA 0, Ecuador 1: Match Highlights

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Chandler's comfort level rises after another strong performance at left back

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

HARRISON, N.J. -- The more U.S. national team defender Timmy Chandler plays at left back, the more it looks like the long search for a dependable option at the position has come to an end.

USA falls to Ecuador on late goal

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By FRANCO PANIZO

HARRISON, N.J. - The U.S. men's national team saw an all too familiar game play itself out against Ecuador.

For the third time in five games, the Americans created chances but had nothing to show for it, falling 1-0 to Ecuador in front of 20,707 supporters at Red Bull Arena on Tuesday night.

USA vs. Ecuador: Match Night Commentary

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The U.S. men's national team looks to make it two wins in a row under Jurgen Klinsmann with tonight's match against Ecuador at Red Bull Arena (7pm, ESPN).

The Americans come in off a 1-0 victory against Honduras on Saturday, but tonight's opponent should provide a much tougher challenge, at least in terms of attacking threats.

Tuesday's Soccer on TV

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The club break for international games continues on Tuesday with a loaded slate of intriguing matchups across the world. Between the final Euro 2012 qualifiers, World Cup qualifiers and friendlies, it's a good day to be by either a TV or computer. Â

The United States' friendly with Ecuador is sure to capture the attention of most fans in this country, but tonight's Mexico-Brazil bout is also one to watch.

USA looking to build on recent success against athletic, in-form Ecuador

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Photo by Hunter Dorton/ISIphotos.com


By FRANCO PANIZO

HARRISON, N.J. - The U.S. men's national team might have been able to cross off winning from its to-do list after beating Honduras, but its primary goal now is to show further improvement under the new system that head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is implementing.

Mid-Day Ticker: Rooney appeals to UEFA, S. Africa appeals to CAF and more

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Wayne Rooney is writing to UEFA in hopes of keeping his one-game ban in the European championship from being extended.Â

Rooney was sent off in England's draw with Montenegro for an unnecessary kick to Miodrag Dzudovic, and it's up to UEFA to judge whether the automatic suspension should be increased to three matches for violent conduct.

For USMNT's New Jersey natives, Red Bull Arena provides homecoming twist

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

HARRISON, N.J. -- With the U.S. national team frequently playing in the New York-New Jersey area, the novelty -- but not the joy -- of coming back has worn off a bit for a few of the players who call the region home.

Studio 90: USMNT ready for Ecuador

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Klinsmann adds Woods to coaching staff, names Hamid backup goalkeeper

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Photo by Thomas Eisenhuth/ISIphotos.com


By AVI CREDITOR

HARRISON, N.J. -- Jurgen Klinsmann's coaching staff is slowly starting to take form.

After Martin Vasquez became entrenched as Klinsmann's second-in-command, the U.S. national team manager announced the addition of Chris Woods as the goalkeeper coach.

Keane may miss three to four weeks with injury

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BY ADAM SERRANO

Robbie Keane has picked up an injury that force him to miss one of the most important games in the Los Angeles Galaxy's season.Â

Ireland head coach Giovanni Trapattoni ruled Keane out for Ireland's vital EURO 2012 Qualifer against Armenia on Tuesday due to a adductor muscle injury that the forward picked up in a 2-0 victory over Andorra.

Who should the USMNT start vs. Ecuador?

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

The U.S. men's national team's 1-0 victory against Honduras had its share of bright spots, but also some question marks, making Tuesday's friendly against Ecuador a good chance for some players to redeem themselves, and for some to show their stuff after seeing only limited time on Saturday.

Studio 90: USMNT arrives in New Jersey

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College Rewind: UConn ties Notre Dame, Virginia upsets Maryland and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

The nation's last perfect record is no more.

Top-ranked Connecticut was held to a scoreless draw by No. 12 Notre Dame in front of nearly 2,000 fans in South Bend, Indiana. The draw was the first time the Huskies failed to win in 12 tries this season while Notre Dame continued its home unbeaten run.

NASL Semifinals: First leg rewind

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

If having a week of rest and a first-round bye is supposed to be an advantage it certainly didn't look that way on Saturday as both top-seeded Carolina and #2 Puerto Rico slumped to first-leg losses in the semifinals of the NASL.

For the Puerto Rico Islanders, an astounding 10 international call-ups could explain a 3-1 loss to the third-seeded Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

Onyewu's sharp club form carries over to USMNT

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photo by Andrew Katsampes/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - If Oguchi Onyewu's recent string of performances for Sporting Lisbon wasn't a sign that he's getting back to top form, his outing against Honduras likely was.

Having not played for the U.

Monday Kickoff: Anzhi eyes Van Persie, Rooney's Euro spot at risk and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

Just a few months after shocking the soccer world and snapping up Samuel Eto'o from Inter Milan and making him the highest paid player in the world, Russian big spenders Anzhi Makhachkala are planning a couple other eyebrow-raising transfers.

LA Galaxy clinch 2011 Supporters Shield

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The Los Angeles Galaxy clinched their second consecutive Supporters' Shield trophy on Saturday night when the Seattle Sounders dropped a 2-0 result to the Philadelphia Union.Â

Los Angeles has 64 points with two games remaining and with their regular season championship, the Galaxy will have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, including the 2011 MLS Cup Final, which is scheduled to be played at Home Depot Center.

USA 1, Honduras 0: Post-Game Reaction

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Galaxy wins Supporters Shield after Seattle loses

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The Los Angeles Galaxy will have at least one trophy to show off this season.

With the Seattle Sounders falling to the Philadelphia Union 2-0, Los Angeles clinched the Supporters Shield for the second consecutive season. As a result, the Galaxy also won homefield advantage throughout the 2011 playoffs and earned automatic entry into the group stage of the 2012-2013 CONCACAF Champions League.

Adu shines as Union move into first place in East with important road win at Seattle

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For much of the first half of Saturday night's Seattle-Philadelphia match it looked as though the short-handed Sounders would still find a way to knock off the visiting Union at CenturyLink Field. Unfortunately for the reigning U.S. Open Cup champions, they squandered too many quality scoring chances, giving Philadelphia continued life.

Williams continues wild ride by earning first start with USA

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Photo by Hunter Dorton/ISIphotos.com


By FRANCO PANIZO

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - When U.S. men's national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann revealed his starting lineup to his players, Danny Williams was in shock.

Williams, the 22-year-old son of an American serviceman and German mother, was included in the starting XI that would take on Honduras at Sun Life Stadium on Saturday night, something that may not have even seemed possible just a month ago.

USA 1, Honduras 0: Match Highlights

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USMNT beats Honduras to get first win under Klinsmann

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Miami Gardens, Fla. - The U.S. men's national team is full of new faces now a days, but Jurgen Klinsmann can thank the familiar ones for his first victory as U.S. head coach.

The Americans won their first game in the Klinsmann era on Saturday night, beating Honduras 1-0 in front of 21,170 fans at Sun Life Stadium.

USA vs. Honduras: Match Day Commentary

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The U.S. men's national team will play its fourth match under new head coach Jurgen Klinsmann and will be looking for its first victory under the German manager as the Americans take on Honduras at Sun Life Stadium (6pm, Fox Soccer Channel/Univision).

The Americans are 0-2-1 under Klinsmann, but the United States will look to break through offensively after some struggles to score in recent matches.

USMNT takes on Honduras looking for the first victory of the Klinsmann era

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By FRANCO PANIZO

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - It has been a little more than two months since Jurgen Klinsmann took over as head coach of the U.S. men's national team, but that short period of time hasn't stopped an increasing pressure from befalling the team already.

World Cup Qualifying Rewind: Uruguay, Argentina roll, Canada cruises and more

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By JOEY SAMUEL

Last summer, Uruguay shocked the world by advancing all the way to the semifinals of the 2010 World Cup. On Friday, they started their path to the next World Cup in style.

Uruguay, which also won the 2011 Copa America this summer, opened their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign in CONMEBOL with a 4-2 win over Bolivia.

Euro Qualifying Rewind: England qualifies with tie, Turkey stumbles and more

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By JOEY SAMUEL

When the draw for Group G of EURO 2012 qualifying was made, many believed England had been handed an easy road to the tournament. Their path ended up being much more difficult than many expected, but Friday they finally punched their ticket to Poland and Ukraine.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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Photo by Thomas Eisenhuth/ISIphotos.com

The international break means fewer matches to watch this weekend, but there's still a host of Euro 2012 qualifiers, Mexican league matches and a pair of MLS games to keep you occupied.

Oh, and there's that U.S. men's national team game, as well.

International fixtures: England looks to clinch, WC qualifying continues & more

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England is a point away from cementing a place at the 2012 European championships, but the Three Lions will have to earn that point on the road at Montenegro.Â

That match is one of the few highlights among the day's European qualifiers, in addition to the anticipated matchup between Germany and Turkey.

Who should the USMNT start vs. Honduras?

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The U.S. men's national team will field as close to a full strength squad as it has had since Jurgen Klinsmann took over, leaving what should be some easy decisions when it comes time for him to pick a lineup for Saturday's match vs. Honduras.

Landon Donovan is the lone regular starter not to make the trip to South Florida, and now Klinsmann will have some good options as he tries to put together a team to deliver his first win as U.

College Soccer Weekend Preview

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

A couple of ACCÂ matchups highlight this weekend in college soccer as teams jockey for position in the country's most competitive conference.

No. 2 Maryland looks to continue their unbeaten start to the season with a trip to a Virginia side desperate to become players in the regular-season title chase.

NASL semifinals: First-leg preview

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Half of the teams in the NASL have already started their winter breaks while the four remaining teams are left to battle for a place in the inaugural NASL final.

The sixth-seeded NSC Minnesota Stars and No. 4 Fort Lauderdale Strikers survived the pressure of a one-off quarterfinal against No.

Friday Kickoff: Soares out for season, Corinthians done with Tevez and more

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Photo by Andrew Katsampes/ISIphotos.com

New England Revolution rookie centerback A.J. Soares will miss the club's final three games after undergoing ankle surgery on Thursday.

Soares started 28 games in his first season in MLS, but he injured his left ankle and will need the next 6-to-8 weeks to go through rehabilitation following the surgery, according to a team-issued release.

USMNT turns focus towards Honduras

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By FRANCO PANIZO

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. - After four training sessions in two days, the U.S. men's national team returned the practice field on a cool Thursday evening finally able to do one thing: Focus on Honduras.

Having been recovering from weekend games and with their upcoming friendly against the Catrachos getting closer, the Americans went through a 90-minute session in which every player aside from Nick Rimando (who is not yet in camp) participated.

Whitecaps send RSL to fourth straight loss with clean sheet win

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

Parking and seats on the SkyTrain were probably more difficult to come by than Vancouver Whitecaps' goals Thursday night in downtown Vancouver.Â

With the NHL Canucks playing nearby in their regular-season opener, the Whitecaps still drew a big crowd of 20,113 fans to their brand new home, B.

Klinsmann discusses Gonzalez, John and defends USMNT roster selection process

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By FRANCO PANIZO

FT. LAUDERDALE, FLA. - Following the news that Omar Gonzalez was open to considering playing for Mexico, U.S. men's national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann was again asked about his roster omissions following Thursday evening's practice session.

MLS West Notes: Jimenez makes most of chances, Kreis sick of losing and more

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By ADAM SERRANO

Hector Jimenez has been living life under the radar in his rookie season, but when the midfielder from the University of California has had his chance to see action, he's grabbed a hold of it. Â

Jimenez was instrumental in the Galaxy's 2-1 victory over Morelia in the CONCACAF Champions League, helping to create the winning goal.

Blazer resigning from CONCACAF

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Chuck Blazer's run as secretary general of CONCACAF will come to a close at the end of this year.

Blazer told the Associated Press that he'll be resigning from his post in December after a 21-year run in the position. Blazer added that he will maintain his position on FIFA's executive committee, for which he won't potentially be up for re-election until 2013.

Rejuvenated Beasley hoping run of good form translates over to USMNT

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com


By FRANCO PANIZO

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. - If there was a list of Americans players abroad off to hot starts this season, DaMarcus Beasley would surely be near the top.

For the first time in years, Beasley has begun his club season in good form.

Report: Gonzalez open to Mexico call-up

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

Los Angeles Galaxy centerback Omar Gonzalez hasn't gotten a whiff of the U.S. national team since Jurgen Klinsmann became head coach, and as a result, it appears that he's keeping his options open when it comes to international soccer.

MLS East Notes: White a 'pleasant surprise,' Mondragon training and more

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 Photo by Brad Smith/ISIphotos.com

By THOMAS FLOYD

If you had spoken with D.C. United coach Ben Olsen this past offseason and told him centerback Ethan White, a 20-year-old Homegrown Player, would start 19 matches his rookie year, he "probably wouldn't have believed you.

College Rewind: UCSB tops Akron in OT, Louisville survives Indiana test & more

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Cross defending national champion Akron off of the list of unbeaten teams in college soccer.

Luis Silva's golden goal not even a minute into overtime gave No. 15 UC Santa Barbara (Fox Soccer/SBI) a riveting 3-2 win over No. 5 Akron and handed the Gauchos a landmark victory Wednesday night.

Fantasy MLS: Week 31

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By ALAN LEDBETTER

This week in MLS, which was originally intended to be an international calendar break, was created due to games that were rescheduled throughout the year. There are three games this week, and with only three weeks left in the MFLS schedule, it is important that you don't lose ground due to players not playing.

Thursday Kickoff: Rooney's dad arrested, Chimbonda on trial with Impact & more

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Wayne Rooney's father is one of nine people who have been arrested in connection with a match-betting scandal, according to numerous reports from the United Kingdom.

The controversy surrounds the irregularities among bookmakers in bets that a player would be sent off in a 2010 Scottish Premier League match between Motherwell and Heart of Midlothian.

A Look Back at the Sounders' U.S. Open Cup run

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Photo by Stephen Brashear/ISIphotos.com


By JASON MITCHELL

More than the usual smattering of Rave Green gear sprinkled the streets of downtown Seattle Wednesday. A plane circled high above Lake Union in the late afternoon, trailing a 3,000 square-foot Sounders FC scarf visible from downtown to the city of Bellevue across Lake Washington.

Bradley enjoying switch to Chievo

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photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Michael Bradley isn't a fan of missing games, but that's exactly what he had to do in September in order to sort a future that he is currently enjoying.

Having been called into every U.

Angry Birds: Soccer Style

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Must-See Photo Shoot: Hope Solo

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USMNT continues to fine-tune ahead of Honduras match

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By FRANCO PANIZO

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. -Â The U.S. men's national team isn't quite thinking about Honduras just yet.

The United States returned to the practice field on a cloudy Wednesday morning in South Florida, but rather than turn their attention towards their soon-to-be opponents, the Americans used the session to focus on themselves.

Mid-Day Ticker: Mourinho banned, Ferdinand's agent downplays link & more

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Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho received a two-game ban for poking Barcelona assistant coach Tito Vilanova in the eye during a melee between the two clubs in August's Spanish SuperCopa.

The ban is only applicable in the SuperCopa, though, meaning that Mourinho won't have to serve the suspension until next summer, and that's assuming he is still with Real Madrid and that the club either wins the league or Copa del Rey to qualify for the two-legged tie.

Should non-MLS competitions factor into MLS awards?

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Whether you're talking heroics like those shown by Fredy Montero and Osvaldo Alonso in Tuesday's U.S. Open Cup, or CONCACAF Champions League performances by the likes of David Beckham and Landon Donovan, some of the best players in MLS are performing well on multiple fronts, and not just in MLS matches.

Sorber joins Impact coaching staff

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Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

The Bob Bradley coaching tree continues to extend north of the border.

Former U.S. national team assistant Mike Sorber has joined the coaching staff for the Montreal Impact, where he'll assist head coach Jesse Marsch when the club makes the leap to MLS next year.

College Rewind: UConn stays perfect, ACC powers need overtime and more

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Make that eight straight games without conceding a goal for the No. 1-ranked (Fox Soccer/SBI) Connecticut men's soccer team.

Carlos Alvarez scored in the fifth minute, and UConn's defense posted its eighth straight clean sheet to lift the Huskies to a 3-0 victory over Manhattan Tuesday night.

Earthquakes, Chivas USA eliminated from playoff contention with Red Bulls win

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Photo by Kelley L. Cox/ISIphotos.com

With the New York Red Bulls' victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy Tuesday night, two more teams had their playoff hopes officially dashed. The San Jose Earthquakes and Chivas USA joined Toronto FC, New England and Vancouver as teams who will be missing out on the MLS postseason, leaving 13 of the league's 18 teams vying for 10 spots.

SBI MLS Player of the Month: Sebastien Le Toux

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Photo by Andrew Katsampes/ISIphotos.com

After following up his breakout 2010 campaign with a surprisingly slow start from a goals standpoint, Sebastien Le Toux is finding his attacking form at the perfect time for the Philadelphia Union.Â

Le Toux scored seven goals in six matches in September, including two-goal efforts against New England and D.

Fire's dream U.S. Open Cup run ends, focus turns back to MLS playoff race

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Photo by Stephen Brashear/ISIphotos.com


By DAVID GUBALA

It was almost the perfect redemption to an unaccomplished season for the Chicago Fire. Winning the U.S. Open Cup for the fifth time in club history would have overshadowed all of the losses, unnecessary draws, and most importantly, potentially missing out on the playoffs.

Wednesday Kickoff: Beckham's suitors persist, Ferdinand-Fire rumor and more

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Photo by Brett Sarsfield/ISIphotos.com

The international club interest in David Beckham isn't going away, and the reports from around the globe only figure to pick up steam as time elapses on the end of his current MLS contract.

The latest round includes a report from France, which states that Paris-St.

Seattle 2, Chicago 0: Match Highlights

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Sounders defeat Fire to win third straight U.S. Open Cup

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By JASON MITCHELL

SEATTLE, WA -Â New York Greek American in the late 1960s. A St. Louis brewery side in the 1930s. The Seattle Sounders. After the Sounders topped the Chicago Fire 2-0 Tuesday night before a raucous, record-breaking crowd, those are the lone teams to three-peat in the 98-year history of the Lamar Hunt U.

Red Bulls down Galaxy to climb up playoff charts

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By MIKE NASTRI

Harrison, NJ--Â The New York Red Bulls finally put together a dominating win that is expected of the star-laden franchise, pushing them from the brink of missing the playoffs to looking like a team capable of making noise in the post-season.

U.S. Open Cup Final: Match Night Commentary

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The Seattle Sounders and Chicago Fire look to make history tonight as they face off in the U.S. Open Cup Final at CenturyLink Field (10pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

The Sounders are searching for their third straight Open Cup title, while the Fire are looking to become only the third team to ever win five U.

NY Red Bulls vs. LA Galaxy: Match Night Commentary

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The New York Red Bulls and Los Angeles Galaxy head into tonight's contest with plenty to play for, with extra incentives awaiting a victory in this high-profile contest (8pm, ESPN).

The Galaxy can clinch a second straight Supporters Shield with a win tonight, while a victory for the Red Bulls would push New York a big step closer to the playoffs.

Injured Palacios out for Honduras-USA

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Photo by Ben Queenborough/ISIphotos.com

Honduras was already going to be without a number of regulars for its friendly against the United States on Saturday, but a recent development means that Los Catrachos will be even more shorthanded than previously thought.

Stoke City defensive midfielder Wilson Palacios has had to withdraw from Honduras' roster due to a knee injury, according to reports from Honduras, and he won't take on the U.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 29

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

The Los Angeles Galaxy have fortified their stay atop the SBI MLS Power Rankings after their league-leading 18th victory, and while they shoot to top their league-record 68 points (set in 1998), the teams behind them continue to jockey for position.

USMNT begins on-field preparations for friendlies with Honduras, Ecuador

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The U.S. men's national team hit the practice field on Tuesday morning to begin preparations for its upcoming friendly against Honduras, and head coach Jurgen Klinsmann picked things up where he left off in September.

Who will win the U.S. Open Cup?

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Photo by Stephen Brashear/ISIphotos.com

Either way, history is going to made in Seattle Tuesday night.

Should the host Seattle Sounders defeat the Chicago Fire in the U.S. Open Cup final (10 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel), then they'll put the finishing touches on a three-peat, something that has never been done in the Major League Soccer era and hasn't been accomplished since Greek American AA did so in 1967-1969.

Mid-Day Ticker: Chelsea's bid to move, Iniesta returning for Barcelona and more

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Chelsea has called Stamford Bridge home since 1905, but it could be looking to secure a new place to play after recent actions by the club's executives.

The club does not own the pitch and stands at the stadium, which are instead have been owned by the Chelsea Pitch Owners since 1993 in an effort to make sure that the grounds wouldn't be bought by property developers, according to the BBC.

In Reserve: Timbers repeat result over 'Caps, Amarikwa nets hat trick & more

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Photo by Patricia Giobetti/ISIphotos.com

For the second straight day, the Portland Timbers got the better of the Vancouver Whitecaps by a 1-0 scoreline.

After the Timbers' first team accomplished that feat in the debut of BC Place on Sunday, the Portland reserves did the same on Monday on the strength of an 82nd-minute goal from Bryan Burke and a clean sheet by Jake Gleeson.

Must-See Goal: Eren Derdiyok

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This is from Saturday, but it's also a leading candidate for European goal of the season. Watch as Bayer Leverkusen's Eren Derdiyok settles a long pass, volleys to himself while turning and connects for a bicycle kick against Wolfsburg.

Enjoy:


Tuesday Kickoff: Galaxy trio out for NY clash, Impact make MLS signing & more

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Photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com

With the New York Red Bulls fighting for their postseason lives, the club is in need of anything that will tilt the scales in its favor.

The Red Bulls received a bit of a boost with the word that Landon Donovan (strained quadriceps) didn't travel with Los Angeles for the highly anticipated match at Red Bull Arena (8 p.

Buddle replaces Donovan for USMNT

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Landon Donovan has withdrawn from the U.S. national team for the upcoming friendlies against Honduras and Ecuador, and he'll be replaced by his former Los Angeles Galaxy teammate, Edson Buddle.

Donovan, who looked to suffer a bit of a knock in the second half of the Galaxy's 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake on Saturday night, has a strained right quadriceps and will use the international break to recover.

Evening Ticker: Spector won't be replaced, Afellay out six months and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Jonathan Spector picked up an ankle injury over the weekend, but that won't stop him from attending the U.S. men's national team camp this week.

Spector is set to join head coach Jurgen Klinsmann and the rest of the U.S. team in South Florida on Monday as it gets ready to prepare for its Saturday friendly against Honduras, a source told SBI.

SBI Live Q&A (Oct. 3 Edition)

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

With the MLS playoff race in full swing, and the U.S. national team ready to play a pair of friendlies, there is plenty to talk about for American soccer fans.

Want to talk about Klinsmann's call-ups?

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Michael Farfan

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There were 22 players selected ahead of Michael Farfan in the 2011 MLS Draft. For the second straight week, the Philadelphia Union midfielder/defender showed many of those teams that passed on him just what a mistake they made.

Farfan's brilliant game-winning goal against D.

SBI Live Q&A set for 3pm today

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

I'll be holding a Live Q&A starting at 3pm today, where I'll be talking about everything from MLS to the U.S. men's national team's upcoming friendlies, to any other soccer (and pop culture) topics you want to get to.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Marco Pappa

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For players looking to end a goal-scoring drought, one goal is usually enough to help end the skid and provide a confidence boost. For Marco Pappa, one goal wasn't enough as he provided a reminder of just how dangerous a player he can be.

Pappa's hat-trick performance in Chicago's 3-0 beating of Real Salt Lake was one of the best games of the season and made Pappa the easy pick for MLS Player of the Week this week.

European Weekend Rewind: Manchester battle continues; Juve, PSG win and more

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

The Premier League's two Manchester giants continued to match each other result for result this weekend. Each club posted a win on Saturday, but each one took a different route to its victory.

Returning to league play after its surprising UEFA Champions League draw midweek against FC Basel of Switzerland, Manchester United looked less-than-impressive in grinding out a 2-0 win over Norwich City.

College Rewind: UConn downs Louisville in 2OT, Duke and Carolina draw and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

The top-ranked Connecticut Huskies added another impressive win in their perfect start with a thrilling 1-0 double overtime victory against No. 8 Louisville.

Junior captain Stephane Diop pounced on a rebound created by Carlos Alvarez's shot and rocketed a shot home from the left side of the penalty box 1:02 into the second overtime.

NASL Quarterfinals: A Look Back

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For the six months, the NASL marveled at FC Edmonton's discipline, maturity and ability to grind out results.

Well so much for that.

The expansion side showed their youth and inexperience in a 5-0 loss to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers during the quarterfinals of the NASL playoffs.

Mid-Day Ticker: Sagna breaks leg, Bin Hammam fails in appeal and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

All is not well in London — more specifically, at Arsenal.

The club confirmed today that long-time regular right back Bacary Sagna suffered a broken leg in Arsenal's 1-2 defeat at the hands of Tottenham in the North London derby on Sunday.

United's playoff chances take hit with loss to Crew

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Another opportunity for D.C. United to make up ground in the playoff race. Another loss.

Thee days after dropping a decision to the Philadelphia Union, D.C. United lost again, falling 2-1 to the Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium on Saturday.

The decisive goal came in the second half on a beautiful diving header from Eddie Gaven, who made his return for the Crew after being injured for nearly two months.

Timbers top Whitecaps to spoil BC Place opener

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By DAVID GUBALA

The inaugural Major League Soccer game at the newly renovated BC Place wasn't necessarily a one to remember for the Vancouver Whitecaps.

The Portland Timbers managed to spoil Vancouver's stadium opening with a 1-0 upset thanks to a cracker of a goal from Kenny Cooper on Sunday afternoon.

Union held to draw after late Angel equalizer

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BY JONATHAN VERA

CARSON, Calif. – The Philadelphia Union were just a few seconds of regulation and a few minutes of overtime from regaining the hold on first place they lost during the summer, but before they could even celebrate it, Juan Pablo Angel stepped in to spoil the party.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The Americans Abroad have made a habit out of scoring goals this season, and this weekend was no different.

Clint Dempsey was one of the players to find the back of the net, scoring the fifth goal in Fulham's 6-0 demolition of Queens Park Rangers.

Chivas USA vs. Philadelphia Union: Match Day Commentary

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The Philadelphia Union stand a win away from first place in the Eastern Conference, but Chivas USA will be trying to stop that while also keeping their own faint playoff hopes alive today at Home Depot Center.

The Union can jump ahead of Sporting KC into first place with a victory today, but will need to do better than they have on the road this year, where they've posted a 3-6-5 mark.

Manchester United 2, Norwich City 0: Match Highlights

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Manchester City 4, Blackburn 0: Match Highlights

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Bunbury saves Sporting Kansas City with late equalizer

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photo by Michael Pimentel/ISIphotos.com

Sporting Kansas City has been no stranger to late-game heroics, and the club once again relied on that to earn a result.

Sporting earned a dramatic 1-1 victory with the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium on Saturday night in a game that saw two late goals scored within seconds of each other.

Fire keeps postseason dreams alive by drawing Dynamo

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The Chicago Fire isn't out of the playoff picture just yet.

Chicago kept itself in the mix for a playoff spot on Saturday night, earning a 1-1 draw with the Houston Dynamo at Robertson Stadium. The result has Chicago on 37 points this season, three shy of the last wild card spot currently held by the New York Red Bulls.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Tottenham and Arsenal square off today in the latest installment of the North London Derby, one of the world's premier rivalries, and in this case, a battle between teams with similar aspirations of being a Top Four team in the English Premier League.

Tottenham will be favored playing at White Hart Lane, and will look to punish an Arsenal defense that has had its problems in the early season.

Rapids defeat slumping FC Dallas on goal from Moor

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photo by Patricia Giobetti/ISIphotos.com

If the Colorado Rapids entered their game against FC Dallas hoping to close the gap in the standings between the two teams, it was a mission accomplished.

Colorado defeated FC Dallas 1-0 at Dicks Sporting Goods Park on Saturday night on a headed goal from Drew Moor in the first half.

Henry's late equalizer helps lackluster Red Bulls salvage draw vs. Toronto FC

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The New York Red Bulls needed a win against Toronto FC on Saturday to really boost their playoff chances, but for a team with just two road wins all year, a draw was probably the more realistic goal.

Toronto FC nearly left the Red Bulls with zero points, but Thierry Henry stepped up to save New York one more time, collecting a Dax McCarty' corner kick and hitting a perfect turn and shot in the 88th minute to help the Red Bulls salvage a 1-1 draw at BMO Field.

Galaxy comes from behind to beat RSL, move closer to Supporters Shield

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By ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, Calif.-- An own goal proved decisive as the  Los Angeles Galaxy continued their pursuit of the Supporters Shield by overcoming their first halftime deficit of the season in a 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake.Â

RSL was able to put the Galaxy on their heels in the 45th minute when Fabian Espindola opened the scoring, but a goal by Chad Barrett and an own goal by RSL's Nat Borchers gave the Galaxy the victory.

LA Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake: Match Night Commentary

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The Los Angeles Galaxy take on Real Salt Lake tonight in a match-up of Western Conference powers, and a game that could draw the Galaxy to the verge of the MLS Supporters Shield.Â

Real Salt Lake will try to spoil the Galaxy's party, while also snapping their own two-match losing skid.

Montero brace leads Sounders over Revs

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Sixteen-year-old Diego Fagundez scored in his first MLS start, but it was Fredy Montero who made the difference in Seattle Sounders FC's 2-1 victory over the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium Saturday night.

The Columbian capitalized on sloppy defending from the Revs in the 36th and 47th minutes to overturn Fagundez's 35th minute opener and improve the visitors to 16-6-9 (57 points) on the season and keep the pressure on Los Angeles in the Supporters Shield race.

Tim Howard's latest dynamic penalty save

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A controversial red card marred the Merseyside Derby on Saturday, with Liverpool capitalizing on the man advantage to eventually post a 2-0 victory over Everton.

Before the Reds broke through, U.S. national team goalkeeper Tim Howard did his part to keep the short-handed Toffees in the match with his latest penalty kick save, this time stopping Dirk Kuyt with a perfect diving stop.

Buddle scores twice in Ingolstadt loss

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photo by Brad Smith/ISIphotos.com

Add Edson Buddle to the list of American forwards abroad off to a strong start this season.

Buddle scored his fourth and fifth goals of the season on Saturday, giving FC Ingolstadt 04 an early 2-0 in its match against VfL Bochum.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Inter Milan is in rebuilding mode under a new manager after a brutal start to the season, and today will offer new manager Claudio Ranieri and his side a tough test to see just how far along the blue side of Milan has come.

Napoli will provide the challenge, as Edinson Cavani and the crew from Naples look to boost their own Serie A title hopes.