The future of the United States men's national team is on display in Sarasota, Fla., as the U.S.
Under-17 national team takes on France on the opening match of the 2011 Nike International
Friendlies (5 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel).
Steve Bruce's tenure at Sunderland has come to an abrupt end.
The Premier League club fired Bruce from his post as manager on Wednesday, cutting his time at
the Stadium of Light short in his third season since joining the club from Wigan Athletic -- the
19th-place club to whom Sunderland lost at home last weekend.
Jeremy Hall is acquiring quite the jersey collection in a short amount of time.
The one-time U.S. youth product and Generation adidas signing is on the move again after being
traded from FC Dallas to Toronto FC on Tuesday in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2013 MLS
After dealing Davy Arnaud to Montreal to re-acquire Seth Sinovic and re-signing goalkeeper Jimmy
Nielsen, Sporting KC added depth to its midfield Tuesday,Â acquiring Paulo Nagamura from Chivas USA
in exchange for a first-round pick in the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft.
D.C. United took a step in reinforcing its back line by acquiring veteran right back Robbie
Russell from Real Salt Lake on Tuesday.
D.C. sent a third-round pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft (a first round Supplemental Draft pick
if the SuperDraft stays in its two-round format) in exchange for Russell, who was out of contract
with RSL after four years of playing for the club.
Fans of the Montreal Impact who saw their team labor through a troubling 2011 NASL campaign and
at one point staged a protest against team management probably couldn't forsee the events of this
past week coming.
By opting to build its nucleus around established MLS veterans and a few young players who could
thrive with an opportunity in a new situation as opposed to building around pricey newcomers who
aren't as familiar with the inner workings of the league, Montreal has laid the groundwork to be
far more than a doormat in its expansion season in MLS.
Drogba's agent said that the player has rejected a one-year contract extension from Chelsea and
is prepared to go wherever he is offered the most money. Drogba's contract with Chelsea expires
this summer, when he would be able to leave on a free transfer.
The U.S. men's national team's January camp appears to be culminating with two matches close to
According to numerous reports, Venezuela will host the U.S. national team in a friendly on
January 21. The prospective match comes days before another reported friendly, which pits the
United States against Panama in Panama City on January 25.
The Montreal Impact have continued to wheel and deal as Jesse Marsch shapes his roster, with the
latest blockbuster coming Monday with Montreal dealing Seth Sinovic and an allocation to Sporting
Kansas City for veteran midfielder Davy Arnaud.
The deal is a smart one for Kansas City, which gets back starting left back and hometown product
Sinovic, while also parting with Arnaud, a captain who had lost his place in Sporting's central
The Montreal Impact came away from last week's expansion draft without a proven goalkeeper, but
that void was filled in a major way on Monday after the Impact acquired Jamaican national team
goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts from the Impact for allocation money.
Ricketts had been one of the best goalkeepers in the league before a broken arm sidelined him
and paved the way for Josh Saunders to take the starting job away from Ricketts.
U.S. Under-23 national team defender Greg Garza's search for a club team has led him to Mexico,
where he recently secured a Mexican passport and is now beginning a trial with Mexican First
Division side Club Tijuana.
AÂ former youth player with Portuguese powerhouse Sporting Lisbon, Garza has been searching for
a new club since leaving Portuguese second division side Estoril Praia earlier this year.
There will be no repeat for Caleb Porter and the Akron Zips.
The defending champions were unceremoniously dumped out at the hands of unseeded Charlotte with
a 1-0 defeat Sunday night. A first-half goal from A-10 rookie of the year Giuseppe Gentile proved
to be the difference as Charlotte handed Akron its first regulation loss in NCAA play since
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Colin Rolfe's one-man show has Louisville on the cusp of a return to the
Rolfe, Louisville's leading scorer and last year's Hermann Trophy finalist, took apart
Maryland's back line with a goal and three assists in leading the Cardinals to a 4-2Â victory in
the NCAA Tournament Round of 16 at Ludwig Field Sunday night.
This weekend's English Premier League action marked the one-third point of the season, leaving
plenty of soccer left to play, but Manchester City could put a stranglehold on first place in
England with a win against Liverpool today.
The Reds are the only thing standing between City and a seven-point lead atop the Premier
League, and Liverpool has its own motivation for wanting to win at Anfield today.
Nurnberg's eight-game winless streak has come to a close, and Timmy Chandler is the man
responsible for that.
Chandler helped Nurnberg win its first game since mid-September by scoring the winner in the
club's 1-0 victory over Kaiserslautern on Saturday. Chandler's first goal of the season came early
in the first half when he pickedÂ off a pass, dribbled by a pair of defenders and rifled a
left-footed shot to the near post.
If the long Thanksgiving weekend has left you with an empty Saturday you'd love to spend just
watching great soccer, today's slate of soccer games offer just the type of day-long getaway soccer
fans dream of.
You can start the day in Germany, where defending champions Borussia Dortmund take on
neighboring rivals Schalke 04, then head on over to England, where Manchester United faces upstart
Another day, another MLS player going abroad to train.
Andy Najar has become just the latest player to get a training stint in Europe during the MLS
offseason, as he is set to practice with Tottenham Hotspur. Najar will head to London tonight to
begin a two-week trainining stint that ends on Dec.
The top two teams in Serie A square off as Juventus and Lazio do battle in the weekend's top
There are some games in England this weekend that may spark more interest, but seeing Andrea
Pirlo and Juve take on the Lazio squad led by Miroslave Klose and Hernanes.
The Premier League will offer up the latest contender lining up to try and hand Manchester City
its first defeat as Liverpool plays host to the Citizens, while Manchester United takes on
Newcastle in another clash of Top Four teams.
CARSON, Calif. --Â The champagne has dried up, the parties are over and now one question
Just what will the Los Angeles Galaxy do for an encore in 2012?
After winning the MLS Cup, the Supporters Shield and qualifying for the quarterfinals of the
CONCACAF Champions League in 2011, the Galaxy have their work cut out for them if they are going to
repeat their feat next season.
Immediately following the Montreal Impact's expansion draft, MLS conducted its waiver draft, and
only one selection was made.
The Philadelphia Union used their spot in the order to nab former Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder
Nizar Khalfan.Â An energetic, athletic winger, the Tanzanian international scored a goal and
assisted on four others this past season with Vancouver.
The Montreal Impact didn't waste any time in making a statement in the MLS Expansion Draft.
Despite threats that Brian Ching would retire if selected, the Impact made the Houston Dynamo
forward and captain the first overall pick in Wednesday's draft.Â In addition to Ching, the Impact
pounced on the chance to grab former Chivas USA and U.
There are top-quality UEFA Champions League matchups all over the schedule on Wednesday, but
none will command as much attention as the AC Milan-Barcelona battle at the San Siro. Milan striker
Zlatan Ibrahimovic faces his former team for the first time, adding plenty of juice to an already
Houston Dynamo striker Brian Ching has had a storied MLS career and is one of the more
intriguing names available in this afternoon's MLS Expansion Draft. If the Montreal Impact select
him, though, it could create quite the situation.
The 33-year-old Ching told the Houston Chronicle that he'd retire if picked by Montreal, stating
his wish to remain in Houston with the franchise he's played for since 2003 and play in the new
stadium that is set to open next season.
With much of the drama removed from Wednesday's UEFA Champions League matchup between Barcelona
and AC Milan (2:45 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel), the focus can turn to one of the more glaring
subplots of the group stage.Â
Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic will go up against his former team for the first time since
leaving two summers ago.
Real Madrid entered the fifth matchday of UEFA Champions League already having qualified for the
knockout rounds, so a more subdued performance from the Spanish giants wouldn't have been a
complete surprise. That's not quite what happened, though,.
CARSON, Calif. -- A game of word association to quantify David Beckham's five years in Major
League Soccer certainly arouses a wide range of responses depending on which part of the Beckham
Era is being discussed.
The penultimate matchday of the UEFA Champions League group stage kicks off with a number of
teams poised to clinch berths in the knockout stage, cement their place atop the group table or at
the very least stay in contention for a third-place finish and a drop down to the Europa League
Wednesday's MLS Expansion Draft provides the Montreal Impact a chance to build the foundation
for its MLS roster, and the club will have some decisions to make based on how much it wants to
spend and which direction it wants to go off the bat.
Designated Players Julian de Guzman, Andres Mendoza, Mustapha Jarju, Branko Boskovic, Frank
Rost, Milton Caraglio, Omar Bravo and Jeferson are all free for the taking (although Rost is likely
to return to Germany after a few-month stay with New York), giving the Impact the option to make a
major investment immediately.
Manchester United and Manchester City both look like solid bets to reach the knockout stage of
the UEFA Champions League, and both can take major steps to securing their spots among the final 16
teams with victories on Tuesday.
United hosts Benfica (2:45 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel) in a meeting between two teams tied for
first atop Group C.
Sepp Blatter has gotten himself in hot water for recent comments, but the FIFA president steered
clear of controversy when talking about Major League Soccer.
In an interview with Fox Soccer, Blatter addressed the MLS schedule, maintaining his position
that it would be better if the league aligned itself with the European calendar as opposed to
continuing the March-to-November schedule.
For much of this season, Bayern Munich has looked poised to run away with the Bundesliga title
in the way that Borussia Dortmund did last year. Once riding a 12-match shutout streak across all
competitions, the Bavarian club has cooled off considerably in recent weeks, just as last year's
champions began to heat up.
CARSON, Calif.Â -- Make it three MLS championships for 60-year-old Bruce Arena, and no coach in
the Â has more since the inception of the league in 1996.
Just another feather in the cap for the 2011 MLS Coach of the Year, who appeared to letting it
all soak in as he sat down to speak with reporters after his Los Angeles Galaxy defeated the
Houston Dynamo 1-0 Sunday night for the MLS Cup.
When Boston College was announced as the fourth seed in this year's NCAA Tournament, more than a
few people raised their eyebrows in surprise. On Sunday, the rest of the college soccer world found
The Eagles were shocked at home by unseeded Rutgers with a penalty kick shootout loss, dumping
Boston College out in their first game of the tournament.
CARSON, Calif. -- Minutes before the Los Angeles Galaxy blasted music and opened bottles of beer
in their locker room at the Home Depot Center, the Houston Dynamo sat in theirs with glum faces and
blank stares.Â The silence that filled the air spoke volumes.
CARSON, Calif. - Landon Donovan, it would appear, has a knack for timing.
While struggling with various ailments, including a particularly troublesome quadriceps strain,
the Los Angeles Galaxy captain notched just one goal and one assist in the regular season after the
end of July .
CARSON, Calif. -- No Major League Soccer team with a Designated Player had won an MLS Cup prior
to Sunday night.
In one moment, three DPs combined to buck that trend.
Landon Donovan finished off a pass from Robbie Keane in the 72nd minute to break a scoreless
deadlock and deliver the MLS Cup to the Los Angeles Galaxy following a 1-0 result over the Houston
Dynamo in front of 30,281 at the Home Depot Center.
CARSON, Calif. - Ever since the participants in Sunday's MLS Cup booked their tickets to the
season's grand finale two weeks ago, the Los Angeles Galaxy has been widely pegged as one of the
biggest favorites the final has ever seen.
CARSON, Calif. -- Standing atop the winner's podium following MLS Cup is nothing new for Los
Angeles Galaxy coach Bruce Arena and Houston Dynamo coach Dom Kinnear. Whichever one gets the
opportunity to do that again following Sunday's final, though, will make history in the process
while further etching his name in U.
As expected, Major League Soccer altered its competition format for next season, with the league
announcing those changes hours prior to the 2011 MLS Cup -- the last one to be held at a
The 2012 MLS Cup will be held at the home of the finalist with the most regular-season points,
and the road to getting to the final has changed as well.
CARSON, Calif. -- Long derided for being injury prone, Calen Carr is used to be written off, but
for Carr, redemption could be only 90 minutes away.Â
Since returning to from a concussion suffered in preseason while he was with the Chicago Fire,
Carr has earned a starting spot alongside Dynamo captain BrianÂ Ching, with his fast paced play
adding a cutting edge to the Dynamo attack.
CARSON, Calif. -Â If there was any doubt as to whether David Beckham was going to play in the
MLS Cup final, it should be gone now.
Having missed training the last couple of days with a cold, Beckham squashed any concerns over
his health following the Los Angeles Galaxy's practice session inside a chilly Home Depot Center on
CARSON, Calif. --Â While the Houston Dynamo's Luiz Camargo and the Los Angeles Galaxy's Juninho
will spend much of Sunday's MLS Cup Final matched up directly against each other, it won't be the
first time the two Brazilians will have shared the field together.
The final two unbeatens in the English Premier League square off today as Manchester City takes
on Newcastle United on the marquee match-up of the day.
It shows you how much things have changed when those two teams are the ones battling for Premier
League bragging rights, but City's dominance this year and Newcastle's surprising success have been
two of the biggest storylines of the season.
Robbie Keane is looking is to cap off one of the best weeks of his career with a championship. Â
Keane led Ireland qualify for their first appearance at the European Championships on Tuesday
with a convincing playoff victory over Estonia. Now, the Irish striker will look to cap off his
impressive week with an MLS Cup title when his Los Angeles Galaxy take on the Houston Dynamo on
The 2011 MLS Cup Final is being considered in most circles as a mis-match between the strongest
team in the league and a team that road a hot streak into the post season. The Los Angeles Galaxy
are the heavy favorites to lift the trophy in their home stadium, but the Dynamo aren't ready to
just play the role of punching bag.
A battle of unbeaten English Premier League teams in November is the kind of match-up fans dream
of, but the two teams ready to take part in that battle aren't the teams many would have envisioned
before the season began.
First-place Manchester City takes on the biggest surprise of the Premier League season,
Newcastle, in the weekend's most enticiing match-up.
The big man in the middle has quietly become a star for the Los Angeles Galaxy, but there's one
more thing for standout centerback Omar Gonzalez to achieve this season to go with his Defender of
the Year and Best XI honors.
D.C. United star Dwayne DeRosario has enjoyed one of the best careers in MLS history and is
widely regarded as one of the best players the league has ever seen. He has won multiple
championships, and most recently a Golden Boot, but the one honor he hadn't won before was MLS Most
The U.S. men's national team's 3-2 victory over Slovenia broke down into two parts. The exciting
and encouraging offensive display in the first half and the shaky and discouraging debacle in the
It was an important win for Jurgen Klinsmann, who ends his first year in charge of the United
States on a winning note, and an encouraging note after an otherwise lackluster start.
LOS ANGELES -- FIFA president Sepp Blatter sent shockwaves through the soccer world with his
comments about the lack of racism as a whole in soccer and to deal with on-field incidents with a
mere handshake, and Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham didn't hold back when given the
chance to address Blatter's remarks to assembled media on Thursday.
Sepp Blatter continues to raise the bar for his critics.
In an interview with CNN World Sport the FIFA president touched on the notion of racism in
soccer, saying that not only does racism as a whole not exist in the game, but that any potential
moments of racial abuse should be settled with a handshake.
The people have spoken, and they've chosen Darlington Nagbe.
The Portland Timbers rookie won MLS Goal of the Year honors on Wednesday, beating out Vancouver
Whitecaps striker Eric Hassli for the award. Both players, suiting up for expansion teams,
delivered goals that were among the best MLS has ever seen in their first years in the league.
With the completion of Tuesday's Euro 2012 playoff qualifiers, the four pots are set for next
month's finals draw, and there's a pretty solid chance that we could see some stacked groups in the
Co-hosts Poland and Ukraine occupying two of the four spots in the top pot, withÂ defending Euro
(and World Cup) champion Spain joining them.
Portugal might have needed the final playoff round to qualify for Euro 2012, but its latest
performance put the rest of the field on notice that it can still live up to its reputation as a
After being held to a scoreless draw in the first leg of its playoff with Bosnia & Herzegovina,Â
Portugal exploded for six goals in a 6-2 rout in the home leg on Tuesday.
Carlos Bocanegra has enjoyed a distinguished career as a U.S. national team defender, and he
joined exclusive company on Tuesday, becoming the 12th player in U.S. Soccer history to reach 100
The steady U.S. captain marked the 3-2 victory over Slovenia by joining Cobi Jones, Jeff Agoos,
Landon Donovan, Marcelo Balboa, Claudio Reyna, Paul Caligiuri, Eric Wynalda, Kasey Keller, Earnie
Stewart, Tony Meola and Joe-Max Moore in the century club at the start of his 90-minute shift.
While the U.S. senior national team was busy getting a result in Slovenia, the U.S. Under-23
side training in Germany played to a draw and lost in a pair of friendlies against Bayer Leverkusen
reserve and youth sides.
A few days after topping VfL Bochum's reserve team and drawing against Azerbaijan's U-21 side,
the U-23s jumped out to a lead on a team comprised of Leverkusen's reserves and U-23s but settled
for a 1-1 draw.
About 17 months ago, the United States and Slovenia played one of the most dramatic matches of
the 2010 FIFA World Cup. They'll meet for the first time since that matchup in South Africa as part
of a packed day of international soccer on Tuesday, one that includes friendlies, World Cup
qualifiers and the final day of qualifying for Euro 2012.
Vancouver Whitecaps striker Omar Salgado, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 MLS Draft, will
train with English club Fulham once the current U.S. Under-23 national team camp in Germany
finishes up this week, sources told SBI on Tuesday.
Salgado, a 6-foot-4 striker with deceptive speed and impressive technical ability, will be
training with the London club for the next two weeks.
Bruce Arena has added yet another award to his distinguished coaching legacy.Â
The Los Angeles Galaxy head coach was awarded the 2011 MLS Coach of the Year for the third time
in his illustrious career on Monday. In 2011, Arena led the Galaxy to a 19-5-10 record earning the
Supporters Shield and the second best in league history.
David Beckham has always been known as a fierce competitor and for his ability to return from
the injury that cost him a chance at the World Cup, he was awarded with the 2011 MLS Comeback
Player of the year.Â
The 36-year-old midfielder has enjoyed an MVP-caliber season, battling back from a potentially
career-ending Achilles injury that cost Beckham a spot on England's 2010 World Cup spot and caused
him to miss six months of the 2010 MLS season.
The St. John's Red Storm won their record ninth Big East title on Sunday as Jack Bennett
converted a turnover into a golden goal to give the Red Storm a 1-0 victory in the Big East
Championship Final at Red Bull Arena on Sunday.
St. John's was one of XX teams to secure conference titles and the automatic NCAA berths that
came with them on Sunday.
The NCAA men's college soccer season wraps up pre-NCAA Tournament play today on what is
essentially conference championship Sunday, with most of the country's biggest conference crowning
The Big East, ACC and Big Ten are among the conferences that are holding championship games
today, and along with the conference titles up for grabs, there are also the automatic NCAA berths
that go along with them.
It wasn't a game USA fans will be re-watching for entertainment purposes, or one American
players will want to remember, but the U.S. national team's 1-0 loss to France still offered up
plenty of information, if not attacking soccer.
France was always going to be favored and expected to be the better side, even with a young
lineup, but the U.
The best match of the weekend, at least the best friendly, features England taking on Spain in a
battle of star-studded sides (12:15pm, Fox Soccer Channel).
Both teams have qualified for the European Championships, and both sides are considered
contenders for the trophy (though Wayne Rooney's red card suspension for the competition won't help
Boston College continued their unexpected charge into the ACC finals while North Carolina
continued to look like a national title contender as the semifinals of the ACC wrapped up on a
chilly night in Cary, NC.
North Carolina finally took advantage of a number of gilt-edged chances less than two minutes
into the first overtime period to claim a 1-0 victory over a physical Virginia team.
Retired Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller gave his final press conference on Thursday,
where he touched on his playing career, the growth and future of MLS and what lies ahead for him.
Give it a watch and feel free to share your thoughts about Keller's comments and what you'll
remember about his playing career in the comments section below.
The United States-France friendly is sure to capture the attention of American soccer viewers,
but it's a big day around the soccer world as a whole, with 2012 European championship playoffs,
World Cup qualifiers and other friendlies taking center stage.
The U.S. men's national team returns to action later today in Paris, where the Americans will
take on France (2:55pm, ESPN).
Jurgen Klinsmann will look to help the U.S. team post its first win in Europe since March of
2008 (against Poland) by beating a young French team that is expected to field an experimental
squad against the United States.
With Major League Soccer continuing to grow, the state of the league's schedule and the future
of league expansion remain trending topics in league circles.
MLS commissioner Don Garber harped on both in his State of the League address on Thursday,
alluding to the the fact that the schedule will not be getting any longer despite more teams being
added and that while putting a second team in New York is still a priority, the league is meeting
with other cities to talk about expansion.
Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber announced the league's Best XI on Thursday, and a
number of familiar names appear on the list of honorees.
Landon Donovan, Jamison Olave, Omar Gonzalez, Chris Wondolowski and Dwayne De Rosario are all
repeat Best XI performers from 2010; however, a number of players garnered Best XI honors for the
first time, including retired Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller and Designated Players Thierry Henry
and David Beckham.
Fourth-seeded Indiana booked its place in the semifinals of the Big Ten conference tournament
after topping No. 5 Michigan State with a 2-1 win with goals on either side of halftime on
Sophomore Nikita Kotlov opened up scoring with his seventh goal of the season in the 38th
minute, and senior Alec Purdie doubled the advantage just a minute after the restart with his
eighth of the year.
Feel free to begin making your plans to catch the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament.
CONCACAF announced that the tournament will take place at three sites starting in late March,
with eight teams vying for two spots at the 2012 Olympics in London. So far, the United States,
Mexico, Canada, El Salvador, Guatemala and Panama have qualified for the tournament.
The 2011 Major League Soccer season was arguably the best in league history, from both a
competition and entertainment standpoint, and as a result, it made for some tough calls when
deciding on the league's Best XI.
MLS commissioner Don Garber will announce the league's official Best XI later today, but based
on the voting of the SBI editorial staff (Ives Galarcep, Avi Creditor, Adam Serrano, Mike Nastri,
Jose Romero, Thomas Floyd, Joey Samuel), we came up with a first, second and third team to honor
those who put forth standout performances this season.
The Tim Ream buzz in England continues to spread throughout the Premier League.
After reports surfaced that Arsenal had a summer bid for the New York Red Bulls centerback
rejected and was scouting Ream during the MLS playoffs comes word that West Brom has invited Ream
for a trial and is reportedly into offering a loan to the 24-year-old defender.
There were plenty of standout defenders in MLS this year, and several who could make cases for
being the top defender in the league, but it is tough to argue that there was a better defender in
2011 than Omar Gonzalez.
The LA Galaxy centerback was the leader and foundation for the best defense in MLS, improving
his game in every facet and going from being an All-Star caliber defender to a dominant force who
was key to LA winning the Supporters Shield and reaching the MLS Cup Final.
It's no seceret that the Big Ten has been underperforming in 2011 but the lack of a dominant
team should make for an interesting tournament as the Big Ten Tournament kicks off at the
University of Michigan.
Indiana is the lone ranked team in the Big Ten but a loss against Wisconsin and draws against
Northwestern and Michigan State has relegated the Hoosiers to the No.
If Tuesday's quarterfinals were any indication of how the rest of the ACC Tournament is going to
play out, we are in for one wild tournament.
Defending champion Maryland saw its title defend end after one match as Boston College jumped
out to an early two-goal lead before holding off a fierce comeback to post a 2-1 upset victory on
It is that time again everybody. Time for you to get your soccer-related questions ready to send
my way in the latest SBI Live Q&A.
We have plenty to talk about today, what with the U.S. national team preparing for two
friendlies in Europe, MLS Cup fast approaching and the college season reaching the most important
time of the year.
It appears that Frank Rost's time in Major League Soccer has come and gone.
Hans Backe told the New York Post Tuesday that he expects New York's midseason acquisition and
Designated Player goalkeeper to return to Germany, leaving the Red Bulls with an unresolved
situation in goal yet again.
When he scored a goal in his first professional match, it was clear C.J. Sapong intended on
doing big things his rookie year.
The James Madison product didn't come into the league with much fanfare, but once he settled
into the Sporting Kansas City starting lineup, and played a key role in the team's turnaround from
a 1-6-4 start, it was clear Sapong was a special player.
SloveniaÂ announced its squad for its Nov. 15 friendly against the United States, and while
there are some familiar names on the roster, perhaps the most recognizable one is missing.
Captain and Hull City midfielder Robert Koren will not participate in the match, but the two
players who scored for Slovenia against the United States in the 2010 World Cup, Valter Birsa and
ZlatanÂ LjubijankiÄ, were called in.
Landon Donovan has withdrawn from the U.S. men's national team ahead of Friday's friendly vs.
France to focus on the MLS Cup Final, U.S. Soccer announced on Monday.
Donovan had been named to the 22-man U.S. roster for upcoming friendlies against France and
Slovenia, and originally he would have taken part in just the France friendly before returning to
the LA Galaxy to focus on the MLS Cup Final, but Donovan and U.
CARSON, Calif.-- The last time Real Salt Lake and the Galaxy competed for a trophy, it was the
2009 MLS Cup FInal and RSL took the championship. History did not repeat itself on Sunday as this
time they lost to the Galaxy on Sunday in a Western Conference final filled with missed
Real Salt Lake's Luis Gil and Sporting Kansas City's Teal Bunbury saw their MLS seasons ended on
Sunday as their teams suffered conference final defeats, but neither will have much time to sulk
after being called into the U.S. Under-23 national team camp in Germany.
Gil and Bunbury bring the total number of players in the camp to 37 players.
Will this be the year that the spending sprees that brought Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Karim
Benzema and Jose Mourinho, among others, to Real Madrid finally translate into a La Liga title?
There's a lot of season left to be played, but this weekend's results will be cause for optimism
among fans of the Merengues.
Despite ousting Real Salt Lake at the Home Depot Center on Sunday night, setting up a clash with
Houston in the final, the Galaxy stars are already being eyed up abroad.Â
Ligue 1 big-spender Paris Saint-Germain has confirmed the idea that it will indeedÂ attempt to
bring David Beckham back to EuropeÂ as the former International looks to reclaim his place for the
2012 Olympic Games in London.
The two strongest teams in MLS over the past three seasons square off tonight for a chance to play
in the 2011 MLS Cup Final as the Los Angeles Galaxy take on Real Salt Lake at Home Depot Center
The Galaxy come in as Supporters Shields winners and the favorites against an RSL side that
struggled late in the regular season, but showed against Seattle in the playoffs that they were
back to the form that helped them reach the CONCACAF Champions League Final last spring.
When Brad Davis was carried off the field late in the first half of Sunday's Eastern Conference
Final, it felt like the Houston Dynamo's chances of going to the MLS Cup Final were being carried
off with him.
The Dynamo didn't see it that way, and instead of folding without their team MVP (and arguably
the MLS MVP), Houston stood strong defensively and capitalized on two second-half chances to knock
off Sporting Kansas City.
Sporting Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo will be playing for the first place in the 2011 MLS Cup
Final today as they square off at LiveStrong Sporting Park in the Eastern Conference Final (5:30pm,
Fox Soccer Channel).
Sporting KC comes in as the No. 1 seed and will look to continue their stellar home form against
a tough Houston side that has rattled off an eight-match unbeaten streak since dropping a 3-0
decision in their last visit to face Sporting KC.
Juventus has been the revelation of the young Serie A season, and with former AC Milan playmaker
Andrea Pirlo leading the attack and a defense that has allowed just seven goals in nine matches,
the Bianconeri look like a worthy challenger to unseat defending champion AC Milan.
If Juve is going to maintain its one-point lead atop the Italian standings, they will need to
beat a dangerous Napoli side today.
If you had asked people before the English Premier League season which teams would still be
unbeaten at the start of November, not many would have said Newcastle, but there the Magpies are,
sitting near the top of the table with a zero in the loss column.
Tim Howard and Everton will try to hand Alan Pardew's squad that first loss in the opening match
of today's busy schedule of action.
With their MLS seasons over after losses in the conference semifinals on Thursday, a handful of
up-and-coming players in the U.S. Under-23 and Under-20 pools will get their chance to make their
mark ahead of this spring's Olympic qualifiers.
It happens every time the U.S. national team releases a roster for a friendly or meaningful
game. Fans and pundits clamor that a certain player or certain players who didn't make the cut
deserved the call-up.
Thursday's roster release for the November friendlies against France and Slovenia was
accompanied with a similar reaction.
Sporting Kansas City's attack has proven to be just fine without Designated Player Omar Bravo,
and the club may have to maintain its level of play without him for Sunday's MLS Eastern Conference
final against the Houston Dynamo.
The obvious draw this weekend for American soccer fans is Sunday's MLS conference final slate,
with the winners of the Los Angeles-Salt Lake and Kansas City-Houston matches advancing to the 2011
MLS Cup final.Â
There are plenty of matches around the world that should capture your attention as well, though,
beginning in Mexico, where a game remains in the Apertura regular season.
CARSON, Calif. â€“ The Western Conference final second leg between the Los Angeles Galaxy and
New York Red Bulls certainly lived up to its much-anticipated hype. Aggression was high, tempers
flared and drama unfolded after a quick start by the Red Bulls, but in the end, New York took the
long plane ride home broken and defeated.
That's one of the words that can best be used to describe Rangers' undefeated season, a season
that Carlos Bocanegra, Maurice Edu and the rest of the club will attempt to build on when they face
Dundee United on Saturday.
Currently nine points clear of second-place Motherwell with an 11-2-0 record, Rangers should
take another step towards claiming a fourth straight Scottish Premier League title if it can live
up to its expectations against Dundee.
Coming into the second leg of their Eastern Conference semifinal clash with the Philadelphia
Union, the Houston Dynamo knew all they needed to do to advance was to keep a clean sheet.
They did that and more Thursday night, as Brian Ching got on the end of yet another Brad Davis
free kick and the Dynamo defended brilliantly to seal a 1-0 win and a spot in the Eastern
CARSON, Calif. -- David Beckham has enjoyed his finest season in MLS and on Thursday in the Los
Angeles Galaxy's most important game of the season, Beckham led his team to Conference Final.Â
Dealing with back spasms that nearly forced him out of the game in the first half, the Galaxy's
midfielder sparked Los Angeles' rally as the Galaxy defeated the New York Red Bulls 2-1 advancing
to the Western Conference Final against Real Salt Lake 3-1 on aggregate.
The Supporters Shield-winning LA Galaxy will try to move a step closer to the MLS Cup Final with
a win (or draw) at Home Depot Center against the New York Red Bulls tonight (11pm, ESPN2) in their
Western Conference semifinal second leg.
The Red Bulls have other plans, trying to continue a surprising run from last team in the
playoffs to MLS Cup Final.
The Houston Dynamo play their final match at Robertson Stadium before moving to their new
stadium in 2012, and if they want to christen that new stadium with an MLS Cup trophy, they will
need to hold off the Philadelphia Union in their Eastern Conference semifinal second leg (8:30pm,
Fox Soccer Channel).
The final U.S. men's national team matches of 2011 are fast approaching, and with a pair of
European road games on the slate, there is a good bet we will see plenty of familiar faces, but
hopefully at least a few new faces.
The MLS playoffs could mean that some players don't make the trip across the pond, like Landon
Donovan, though U.
The strongest conference in college soccer will begin the path toward crowning its champion
today as the Big East Tournament kicks off and a half dozen nationally-ranked teams do battle for
the crown currently held by Louisville.
South Florida enters as the favorite, with pre-season favorites Louisville and UConn being
forced to take longer roads to the semifinals after enduring some disappointing results.
Bayern Munich will have to do without one of its most influential players for the remainder of
the year as vice-captain Bastian Schweinsteiger will be removed from action until 2012.
After landing awkwardly following an aerial battle with Napoli's GÃ¶khan InlerÂ in a Champions
League match, Schweinsteiger immediately began clutching his shoulder and medical attention was
Throughout the last three years, the Los Angeles Galaxy have experience in dealing with the
pressures of important games and in order to bypass the New York Red Bulls on Thursday (11pm EST,
ESPN2), they will need all the cunning at their disposal.
If the New York Red Bulls manage to go on a run to MLS Cup, Designated Player Rafa Marquez won't
be a part of it.
Major League Soccer suspended Marquez two additional games on top of his one-game suspension for
a red card and fined him an additional $2,000 for his part in the postgame scuffle between the Red
Bulls and Los Angeles Galaxy in the first leg of their Western Conference semifinal on Sunday.
The task is an extremely difficult one, but not an impossible one for the highest-scoring team
The Seattle Sounders must find a way to erase a three-goal deficit in tonight's Western
Conference semifinal second leg against Real Salt Lake after suffering a 3-0 loss in the first leg
The first spot in the MLS Conference Finals will be locked up tonight when Sporting Kansas City
takes on the Colorado Rapids at Livestrong Sporting Park tonight (8pm, Fox Soccer Channel).
Sporting KC opened the Eastern Conference semifinal series with a 2-0 victory against the Rapids
at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, and will now return home where they will be favored to hold off an
injury-hit Rapids squad that will play tonight's match without injured starting defenders Drew Moor
and Kosuke Kimura.
A season removed from a surprising run to the 2010 Champions League Final, Bayern Munich are
looking like the team to beat this time around.
Mario Gomez netted a hat trick as Bayern Munich rolled to an impressive 3-2 victory over Napoli.
The German striker opened the scoring by finishing off a pass from Bastian Schweinsteiger in the
With both Manchester clubs, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich all taking to the field in Wednesday's
UEFA Champions League matches, there promises to be some high-quality action as plenty of clubs
look to take a step closer to the knockout stage.
Manchester United will look to avoid being upset by Otelul Galati at Old Trafford to keep pace
with Benfica in Group C, while Manchester City looks to deliver a final blow to Villarreal's hopes
in Group A, the tournament's Group of Death.
Somewhat overlooked in the build-up to tonight's Western Conference semifinal second leg between
the Seattle Sounders and Real Salt Lake (10 p.m., ESPN2) is the fact that it could very well be
Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller's last game as a professional.
Between the injuries to key players and the size of the deficit, there's plenty of pregame
fodder on which to focus, but the fact that Keller's playing career is on the cusp of ending is
perhaps the most significant development in play.
The on-field battles between the Los Angeles Galaxy and New York Red Bulls include some of MLS'
marquee names, but the off-field war of words between Landon Donovan and Luke Rodgers is arguably
just as entertaining.
After their regular-season meeting in May, Donovan was criticized by Rodgers for complaining to
officials too much and failing to shake Thierry Henry's hand after the game.
If the results from two weeks ago are any indication, Wednesday's UEFA Champions League matches
will be must-see TV.
Whether it was Manchester United squeaking past little-known Otelul Galati, Manchester City
dramatically taking three points off Villarreal with Sergio Aguero's stoppage-time goal, Real
Madrid putting on an attacking clinic against Lyon or Bayern Munich and Napoli taking each others'
best shots and settling for a draw, the last round of UCL games provided plenty of
Frank Klopas helped a struggling Chicago Fire transform from league laughing stock to legitimate
playoff contender in less than a season and has been rewarded with a chance to keep doing the job
he did so well this past season.
The Fire will remove the interim tag from Frank Klopas' interim head coaching position and make
him the team's head coach for the 2012 MLS season, sources told Fox Soccer on Tuesday.
CARSON, Calif. â€“ Depth all over the field has been one of cornerstones to theÂ LosÂ AngelesÂ
Galaxy's success this season, and if they are to advance past the New York Red Bulls in Thursday's
Western Conference semifinal second leg, they will need their bench to be decisive yet again.
Lionel Messi took another step towards becoming the most prolific goal-scorer in Barcelona's
history as the 24-year-old striker scored his 200th, 201st and 202nd goal for the club.
Messi's clinical penalty kick was the opening goal in Barcelona's straight-forward 4-0 victory
over Viktoria Plezen as the defending champions officially booked a place in the knockout rounds
and take pole position in Group H.
Teal Bunbury doesn't accept success as a given, even if things are set up quite nicely for him
on a couple of levels.
Bunbury, who scored both goals in Sporting Kansas City's 2-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids in
the first leg of the MLS Eastern Conference semifinals, has the scales tilted heavily in his favor
heading into Wednesday night's second leg match at Livestrong Sporting Park (Wed.
The Seattle Sounders sorely missed injured playmaker Mauro Rosales during their 3-0 Western
Conference semifinal first leg loss to Real Salt Lake, and now it appears the Sounders won't have
Rosales for their crunch second-leg clash at CenturyLink Field on Wednesday either.
Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid told the Seattle Times that he doesn't expect Rosales to be able
to play on Wednesday as he is still dealing with the knee injury he suffered in the Sounders'
regular season finale against Chivas USA.
The first legs of the conference semifinals over the weekend created four very unenviable hills
The Los Angeles Galaxy, the Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City all head home to protect
leads while Real Salt Lake, the only winning team taking to the road, has the comfort of a
It's around the fourth matchday of the UEFA Champions League that things start to really take
shape atop group tables and those with ground to make up feel the pressure even more as their
European hopes start to tick away. That's where plenty of teams stand entering Tuesday's critical
As the NCAA men's soccer regular season winds down, the game of musical chairs atop the NCAA RPI
rankingsÂ continues to go on.
Guided by Ethan Finlay and Tyler Polak, theÂ reigning Missouri Valley Conference Offensive and
Defensive Players of the Week,Â the Creighton Bluejays are out to a 15-2-0 record and have wrestled
the top spot away from Maryland, one of the two teams to have defeated Creighton this season.
The 2012 MLS Draft is ten weeks away, and while we still have eight teams alive in the MLS
playoffs, those teams that saw their seasons ended already have changed their focus squarely to the
It is still a bit early to know for sure exactly which players will be available, which
underclassmen will secure Generation adidas deals, and what kind of foreign talent MLS will squeeze
into the draft.
The UEFA Champions League group stage has hit the halfway point and is headed toward the home
stretch, and a number of teams can cement places in the knockout stage if results go a certain way
Should Chelsea and Bayer Leverkusen both win their Group E matches they'd both advance to the