Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2011

Must-See Goal: DeAndre Robinson

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Agudelo to train with Liverpool

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The wave of young MLS players heading to train in England continues to grow, with New York Red Bulls striker Juan Agudelo the latest to take the trip across the pond.

Agudelo will spend two weeks training with Liverpool FC. Ron Waxman, Agudelo's New York-based agent, confirmed the training stint on Wednesday.

USA U-17s vs. France: Your Running Commentary

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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).

The match is the first of three for the U.

Mid-Day Ticker: Bruce axed, Saborio among RSL players on mend and more

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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.

SBI Live Q&A: Nov. 30 Edition

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It's time for us to have the latest installment of the SBI Live Q&A.

With the 2011 MLS season behind us, and the off-season in full swing, it's the perfect time to have another live Q&A.

Want to talk off-season MLS transaction? U.S. national team results and the future?

SBI Live Q&A set for 1pm today

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

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

Join me at 1pm as we spend a few hours dicussing everything from Major League Soccer news to the U.S. men's national team, to international soccer.

Get your questions ready and join me at 1pm.

Earthquakes re-acquire Salinas, sign Lenhart to extension

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The San Jose Earthquakes wasted no time finding a new option for the left side of midfield after parting ways with Bobby Convey, and found a familiar face to fill the role.

The Earthquakes traded for former San Jose winger Shea Salinas, acquiring him from Vancouver in exchange for an undisclosed amount of allocation money.

Boswell, Convey, Cannon among veterans available in MLS Re-Entry Draft

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Major League Soccer has revealed the names of the players who will be made available in the upcoming MLS Re-Entry Draft.

Bobby Boswell, Bobby Convey, Joe Cannon and Andy Williams are just some of the veterans left exposed by their MLS teams in the Re-Entry Draft, which will be held on Dec.

Napoli 3, Juventus 3: Match Highlights

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Wednesday Kickoff: Galaxy win tour opener, City drops Arsenal, and more

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The Los Angeles Galaxy opened their Asia Pacific Tour in winning fashion, posting a 1-0 victory over the Indonesian National Select Team on Wednesday.

Robbie Keane scored the winner for the Galaxy, who trotted out the same starting lineup that defeated the Houston Dynamo in the MLS Cup Final just ten games earlier.

MLS Notes: Crew cut Mendoza; Jakovic, Ream secure training stints and more

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Photo by Tony Quinn/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Andres Mendoza may have scored 13 goals in his first full season in MLS, but that didn't stop him from being let go by the Columbus Crew.

At times the subject of controversy due to his behavior, Mendoza was among the players whose options were declined by Columbus on Tuesday.

Hall on the move again, shipped to Toronto FC from FC Dallas for draft pick

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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 SuperDraft.

Eight-team field set for CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament

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By JOEY SAMUEL

The field competing for CONCACAF's spots at the 2012 Summer Olympics is officially set.

Trinidad & Tobago and Cuba each recorded the results they needed Monday night to advance out of Caribbean qualifying and earn the final two spots in the 2012 CONCACAF Pre-Olympic Tournament.

Chivas deals Nagamura to Sporting KC

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Photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com

Sporting Kansas City's busy week continues.

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, acquiring Paulo Nagamura from Chivas USA in exchange for a first-round pick in the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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The Carling Cup quarterfinals aren't typically must-see TV, but when the draw for this year's edition was conducted, it resulted in some mouth-watering matchups between England's top teams.

Chelsea and Liverpool will do battle for one spot in the semifinals, while Arsenal and Manchester City clash for another.

RSL trades Russell to D.C. for draft pick

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

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.

MLS releases dates of 2012 home openers

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MLS has released the dates of each team's home opener for the 2012 season, and all but one team will play its first home match by Week 3.

The Houston Dynamo are the only team that will have to wait a while for their home opener next year, as they'll be on the road until their new soccer-specific stadium opens in Week 10 on May 12.

Impact's early moves show promise heading into expansion season

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By AVI CREDITOR

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.

Tuesday Kickoff: Drogba turns down deal, Zambrano to coach in Colombia & more

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Let the Didier Drobga sweepstakes begin.

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.

Report: USA to face Venezuela in January

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Photo by Bernd Feil/ISIphotos.com

The U.S. men's national team's January camp appears to be culminating with two matches close to the Equator.Â

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.

Schellscheidt retires as Seton Hall head coach, ending historic coaching career

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Legendary coach Manny Schellscheidt has been a pioneer in American soccer for decades, and on Monday he retired from his long-time profession, stepping down as Seton Hall head coach after 24 years.

Schellscheidt spent nearly a quarter century in charge of the Pirates, but he had already established an impressive coaching resume even before that.

Sporting KC deals Arnaud to Montreal for Sinovic and allocation

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

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 midfield.

Must-See Goal: Inigo Martinez

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Before you call this goal a fluke, it isn't even the first time Martinez has scored this kind of goal THIS YEAR:


Montreal acquires Ricketts from LA for allocation

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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.

Garza on trial with Club Tijuana

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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.

Americans Abroad Ticker: Okugo training in Freiburg, Bocanegra sidelined and more

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By JOEY SAMUEL

When he took the job as head coach of the US national team, Jurgen Klinsmann urged players in Major League Soccer to keep playing at a high level throughout the offseason.

It appears as though they are listening.

Amobi Okugo became the latest American to earn a training stint at a European club on Monday when he joined SC Freiburg, sources told SBI.

NCAA Round of 16 recap: Akron upset by Charlotte, North Carolina survives in OT

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

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 2008.

Mid-Day Ticker: Semifinals set in Mexico, 2022 World Cup site "not over yet" and more

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By JOEY SAMUEL

A wild weekend that included several major upsets concluded Sunday night in Mexico, where the four semifinal places in the Apertura playoffs were set.

Chivas de Guadalajara, despite finishing first in the regular season standings, could not overturn the deficit from their shocking 2-1 loss to Queretaro from last week.

Monday Kickoff: World mourns Speed, Guardado expected to move and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

The loss of life in the sports world always runs deep within the game, and to lose a player like Gary Speed saw shockwaves sent throughout soccer on Sunday.

The Wales manager was discovered at his home Sunday morning with the news spreading to every corner of the Britain within the hour that he had taken his own life.

Hoffman brace leads UCLA past Rutgers to book place in NCAA quarterfinals

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BY ADAM SERRANO

LOS ANGELES -- Chandler Hoffman can't stop scoring and thanks to the junior forward's incredible run of form, UCLA sits just one win away from the College Cup.

Hoffman tallied two goals, making his total 18 on the year, as UCLA defeated Rutgers, 3-0, at Drake Stadium in the NCAA Round of 16 on Sunday night.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Timmy Chandler may have scored a goal on Saturday, but he wasn't the only U.S. men's national team defender to make an impact with his left foot.

Jonathan Spector helped rescue Birmingham City from defeat, assisting on an 87th-minute equalizer in the club's 2-2 draw with Blackpool.

Rolfe's goal, three assists lead Louisville to NCAA quarterfinals

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Colin Rolfe's one-man show has Louisville on the cusp of a return to the College Cup.

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.

Fox Soccer Interview: Bradley talks Chievo and move to Serie A

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NCAA Tournament Round of 16 kicks off today

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The race to win the 2011 NCAA College Cup will heat up today as the 16 remaining contenders square off in pre-quarterfinal action across the country.

Four of the top five seeds are still alive, including No. 1 North Carolina, which opens today's action in a tricky match-up against Indiana.

Chelsea 3, Wolves 0: Match Highlights

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West Brom 1, Tottenham 3: Match Highlights

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Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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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.

Manchester United 1, Newcastle 1: Match Highlights

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Arsenal 1, Fulham 1: Match Highlights

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Chandler scores to end Nurnberg's winless streak

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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 picked off a pass, dribbled by a pair of defenders and rifled a left-footed shot to the near post.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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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 Newcastle United.

Najar set to train with Tottenham

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photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIphotos.com

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.

NCAA Tournament: A Look Ahead to the Round of 16

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By JOHN BOSCHINI

We're getting down to the nitty gritty of the postseason as the Round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament kicks off at campus sites around the country on Sunday.

With students still returning from Thanksgiving break, don't expect crowd support to be quite as raucous as it has been during the season.

Mid-Day Ticker: Impact sign Arguez, Castillo joins Tijuana, and more

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The Montreal Impact continued their preparations for the 2012 MLS season by signing Ft. Lauderdale Strikers midfielder Bryan Arguez.

The former U.S. U-20 international, who had a stint with D.C. United in 2007, helped the Strikers reach the NASL Championship Series this past season.

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

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The top two teams in Serie A square off as Juventus and Lazio do battle in the weekend's top match-up.

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.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

It must be Thanksgiving weekend, because there are some tasty match-ups involving the Americans Abroad contingent this weekend.

Michael Bradley and Chievo Verona have one of the marquee games, as they take on AC Milan on Sunday.

Happy Thanksgiving from SBI

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Hello everybody. It is Thanksgiving Day, one of those rare days during the year when soccer goes on the backburner and there are no major games to watch.

American soccer fans have plenty to be thankful for, from a growing and strengthening Major League Soccer to a continuously growing number of soccer television viewing options.

AC Milan 2, Barcelona 3: Match Highlights

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Thursday Kickoff: Beckham in talks with PSG, Del Piero thinking MLS and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

With his contract set to expire at the turn of the year, David Beckham is allegedly in talks with Ligue 1's Paris Saint-Germain, according to the clubs sporting director Leonardo.

The 36-year-old was a staple in the LA Galaxy midfield this year and played a massive part in the team's successful campaign toward a MLS Cup.

MLS Cup champion Galaxy turn attention to 2012

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By ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, Calif. --Â The champagne has dried up, the parties are over and now one question remains.

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.

UCL Rewind: Barcelona tops Milan to win group, APOEL through and more

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A revenge goal, beautiful build-ups and top individual play. It's safe to say that Wednesday's UEFA Champions League's marquee matchup lived up to its billing.

Barcelona captured Group G and forced Milan into the runner-up pot for the knockout stage draw after an entertaining, 3-2 victory at the San Siro.

Union take Khalfan in waiver draft

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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. An energetic, athletic winger, the Tanzanian international scored a goal and assisted on four others this past season with Vancouver.

Impact ignore retirement threat, make Ching first pick in expansion draft

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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. In addition to Ching, the Impact pounced on the chance to grab former Chivas USA and U.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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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 intriguing game.

Should Montreal select Ching?

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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.

UEFA Champions League: Ibrahimovic faces Barca, APOEL can clinch and more

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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.

Is this the next USMNT jersey?

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The U.S. men's national team is set to unveil a new jersey during the early parts of next year, but images are already surfacing as to what it will look like.

According to multiple jersey-related websites, the next U.S. jersey will have red and white horizontal stripes with a ghost sash going downwards from right to left (just as the current ones have).

Wednesday Kickoff: Rongen wins debut, USA stays put in rankings and more

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Photo by Omar Martinez/ISIphotos.com

Bob Bradley isn't the only American making waves as coach of a non-U.S. national team.

Thomas Rongen won his debut as coach of American Samoa, which defeated Tonga, 2-1, in an Oceania World Cup qualifier for its first-ever victory.

Manchester United 2, Benfica 2: Match Highlights

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Real Madrid 6, Dinamo Zagreb 2: Match Highlights

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UCL Rewind: Real Madrid stays on fire, United and City struggle and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

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,.

Beckham Era comes full circle with title

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Photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

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.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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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 knockout stage.

Which players should the Impact select?

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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.

Must-See Video: MLS Cup 2011

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UEFA Champions League: City, United aim for knockout round and more

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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.

Tuesday Kickoff: Blatter talks MLS, Twellman replaces Harkes and more

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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.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Brondby IF won its first game since early October in shocking fashion this past weekend, and it can partially thank Clarence Goodson for that.

Along with going the distance and limiting first-place FC Copenhagen to one goal, Goodson scored the opener in Brondby's 2-1 victory on Sunday.

MLS unveils list of players available in MLS Expansion Draft

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Major League Soccer has unveiled the lists of players who will be available for the Montreal Impact to select in the upcoming Expansion Draft.

Brian Ching, Freddy Adu, Justin Mapp, and Andy Williams are just some of the players available for selection by Montreal on Wednesday.

European Weekend Rewind: Dortmund tops Bayern, Juve back on top and more

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

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.

Arena revels in another MLS Cup championship

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

CARSON, Calif. -- Make it three MLS championships for 60-year-old Bruce Arena, and no coach in the  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.

NCAA Tournament: Second Round Rewind

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

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 out why.

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.

Mid-Day Ticker: Beckham coy over future, Eboue abused in Turkey and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

With his contract at the LA Galaxy set to expire at the end of December, it's still unsure whether or not David Beckham will be playing in MLS for the 2012 season.

After the former England international helped his side to its third MLS Cup (the last coming in 2005), Beckham was quizzed about his well-publicized future in the game.

MLS Cup: Dejected Dynamo look back on season positively despite loss in final

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By FRANCO PANIZO

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. The silence that filled the air spoke volumes.

MLS Cup: Galaxy relish the journey to MLS Cup title

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 By ADAM SERRANO

It was a celebration three years in the making.Â

The Galaxy may have been crowned MLS Cup Champions with a 1-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo on Sunday night, but it is the journey that they took to get to the summit that was truly special.

MLS Cup: Donovan returns to form with MVP performance

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 Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

By THOMAS FLOYD

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 .

Galaxy DPs combine to bring MLS Cup back to Los Angeles

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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.

MLS Cup 2011: Match Night Commentary

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The Los Angeles Galaxy and Houston Dynamo will do battle tonight as they each search for their third MLS Cup titles in tonight's 2011 MLS Cup Final (9pm, ESPN).

The Galaxy come in as the heavy favorites, playing at home in Home Depot Center, where they haven't lost in MLS all season.

MLS Cup Preview: Galaxy boasts pedigree, Dynamo carries momentum

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 Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

By THOMAS FLOYD

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.

MLS Cup: Cameron and Boswell vital to Houston's hopes of stifling Galaxy attack

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Photos by ISIPhotos.com


By FRANCO PANIZO

CARSON, Calif. -- It is no secret that the Houston Dynamo will need to slow down the Los Angeles Galaxy's star-studded attack if it wants to win the MLS Cup.

That may seem like a tall task when the Galaxy have players like Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan and David Beckham, but it is a task that Geoff Cameron and Bobby Boswell are ready for.

MLS Cup: Coaching aces Arena, Kinnear aim for record third titles

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

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.

MLS alters competition format for 2012

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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 predetermined site.

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.

MLS Cup: Carr overcomes injury history to give Dynamo attack another weapon

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BY ADAM SERRANO

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 Brian Ching, with his fast paced play adding a cutting edge to the Dynamo attack.

MLS Cup Notes: Beckham returns to training, Hall talks penalties and more

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

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 Saturday afternoon.

MLS Cup: Former teammates Camargo, Juninho reunite as opponents

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By AVI CREDITOR

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.

MLS Cup: Unsung DeLaGarza a key part of the Galaxy's defensive domination

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photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

CARSON, Calif. - When pundits and fans talk about the Los Angeles Galaxy's success this season, the names most often mentioned are David Beckham, Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez.

One player whose name is not mentioned as frequently but probably should be is A.

MLS Cup: Costly says pressure is on the Galaxy

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

Practice had a calm, almost stoic feel to it for the Houston Dynamo Friday on the fields near the main Home Depot Center stadium.

So said forward Carlos Costly, who added that he's anxious for Sunday when the Dynamo face the L.A. Galaxy for the MLS Cup.

DeRosario's MVP award sweeter after season of upheaval

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

CARSON, Calif. -- His career already full of accomplishments, Dwayne De Rosario was nevertheless humble in accepting his 2011 MLS Most Valuable Player trophy Friday afternoon at the Home Depot Center.

Playing for three different teams in one season clearly had an effect on his perspective.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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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.

MLS Cup Notes: Keane looks to cap big week, Davis rules out playing, and more

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BY ADAM SERRANO

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 Sunday.

MLS Cup: Who will win?

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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.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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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.

Larentowicz training with Bolton

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photo by Nick Turchiaro/ISIphotos.com

Jeff Larentowicz has become the latest player to heed Jurgen Klinsmann's advice.

Larentowicz has joined English Premier League club Bolton Wanderers for a training stint during the MLS offseason, joining the long list of domestic-based U.

MLS Cup: Gonzalez focused on cup, not caps, as Galaxy's defensive leader

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

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.

He needs to win the MLS Cup.

NCAA Tournament First Round Recap

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

One round down in the NCAA Tournament and most of the heavy hitters relegated to the first round are still alive, with one notable exception.

2009 champions Virginia were shocked 1-0 at home by Colonial Athletic Champions Delaware in an overtime upset.

De Rosario named MLS MVP

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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 Valuable Player.

Slovenia 2, USA 3: A Look Back

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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 second half.

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.

MLS Cup: Cristman ready to step in for Barrett

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          Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, Calif. --Â The Los Angeles Galaxy may boast a star-studded lineup, but it's who is not going to be on the field that may prove the difference for the Galaxy come MLS Cup.

MLS Cup Notes: Beckham rips Blatter, Davis replacement candidates & more

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Photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com


By AVI CREDITOR

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.

Mid-Day Ticker: Anzhi to swoop for Berbatov, PFA for Blatter axe and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

FC Anzhi Makhachkala are plotting yet another transfer to shock the soccer world, and this time, Dimitar Berbatov is the man set in its sights.

Enjoying its glut of cash from its new owner, Suleyman Kerimov, the Russian club is looking to prise Berbatov, now 30, away from Premier League champions Manchester United.

MLS Cup: Galaxy wary of Ching threat

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By ADAM SERRANO

The Houston Dynamo may be without their MVP candidate, but the Los Angeles Galaxy are keenly aware that the Dynamo will still have another key weapon in their attack.

Dynamo captain Brian Ching has enjoyed a stellar season since battling back from injuries that limited him to just 20 regular season games.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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photo by Florian Eisele/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

If you came away from the U.S. men's national team friendlies wanting to see more of Fabian Johnson, you'll likely get your chance on Sunday.

Johnson should make his way back into TSG 1899 Hoffenheim's lineup when it takes on relegation-threatened Hamburg SV.

MLS Cup arrives in LA

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SBI's MLS Cup Bash in Los Angeles

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MLS Cup is right around the corner, which means not only a chance for the league to crown a new champion, but a chance for readers and fans to party with SBI.

Soccer By Ives will be hosting our annual MLS Cup Bash at the Seven Bar Lounge in downtown Los Angeles (555 W.

Beckerman, Rogers, Kitchen set for training stints with German clubs

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

A few more U.S. national team players will be extending their trips to Europe.

Real Salt Lake's Kyle Beckerman and the Columbus Crew's Robbie Rogers have had training stints arranged with Bundesliga club Kaiserslautern by U.

MLS Notes: Revs introduce Heaps, Keller wins Save of the Year and more

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

The Jay Heaps coaching era in New England is officially underway.

Heaps was introduced as New England Revolution head coach at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, taking over for the ousted Steve Nicol.

Heaps retired from playing for the Revolution in 2009 and was most recently a color analyst for the team's television broadcasts.

Mid-Day Ticker: Blatter's racism solution, Everton fans plan protest and more

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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.

CONCACAF releases 2014 World Cup qualifying schedule

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The U.S. men's national team's quest to qualify for the 2014 World Cup will begin at home.

CONCACAF released the schedule for the third round of World Cup qualifying, and the United States will open its campaign in Group A with a home game against Antigua & Barbuda on June 8, 2012.

USA U23s 1, Bayer Leverkusen U23s/reserves 1: Match Highlights

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Nagbe wins MLS Goal of the Year

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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.

International Rewind: Spain salvages draw, Messi tallies for Argentina & more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

They may be playing meaningless friendlies, but the defending World and European champions are stuck in a run of form unbecoming of the top-ranked team in the world.

After trailing 2-0, Spain scored twice in the final 10 minutes to salvage a 2-2 away draw with Costa Rica in a match in which much of the first-team saw action.

Pots set for Euro 2012 draw

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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 summer.Â

Co-hosts Poland and Ukraine occupying two of the four spots in the top pot, with defending Euro (and World Cup) champion Spain joining them.

Wednesday Kickoff: Agudelo to train with Stuttgart, Turkey axes Hiddink & more

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Photo by Brett Sarsfield/ISIphotos.com

Juan Agudelo will be the latest MLS-based U.S. men's national team player to get a training stint overseas with a top-level club.

Agudelo will be training with Bundesliga outfit VfB Stuttgart -- one of U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann's former teams -- agent Ron Waxman wrote on his official Twitter account.

Galaxy agree to local broadcast deal worth 55 million

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By ADAM SERRANO

The Los Angeles Galaxy are turning their success on the playing field to success in the board room with a new local television deal.Â

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Galaxy signed a television deal with Time Warner Cable valued at 55 million over 10 years.

Portugal, Ireland cruise into Euro 2012

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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 world powerhouse.

After being held to a scoreless draw in the first leg of its playoff with Bosnia & Herzegovina, Portugal exploded for six goals in a 6-2 rout in the home leg on Tuesday.

Slovenia 2, USA 3: Post-Game Reaction

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Slovenia 2, USA 3: Match Highlights

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Rosales named MLS Newcomer of the Year

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Photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.com

Kasey Keller won't be the only Seattle Sounders player with an end-of-season award this year.

Mauro Rosales won the MLS Newcomer of the Year award on Tuesday, beating out a class of more than 80 players that made the jump to MLS from leagues abroad this past year.

Bocanegra reaches 100-cap plateau

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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 caps.

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.

U.S. U-23s draw, lose in final camp friendlies

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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.

Keller named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year

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After a long and illustrious career as one of America's best goalkeepers, Kasey Keller has one more award to walk off into the sunset with.

The 41-year-old Seattle Sounder was announced as MLS Goalkeeper of the Year on Tuesday in a move widely expected after he was named to the MLS Best XI last week.

Offense finally awakens as USA tops Slovenia

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Serious questions were being asked of the U.S. men's national team's offense after six games in the Jurgen Klinsmann era, but the Americans answered some of them in their final game of the year.

The United States won its first game on European soil in three years with a 3-2 victory over Slovenia on a frigid and foggy night in Ljubljana, Slovenia on Tuesday.

Tuesday Kickoff: Bradley loses in Egypt debut, Gaven signs extension and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Former U.S. men's national team head coach Bob Bradley made his managerial debut for Egypt on Monday, and the result was not a good one.

Brazil spoiled Bradley's first game in charge of the Pharoahs, winning 2-0 in a friendly played in Doha, Qatar.

USA vs. Slovenia: Match Day Commentary

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The U.S. men's national team takes on Slovenia today (Noon, ESPN2) in a re-match of their 2010 World Cup draw.

The Americans are in dire need of a victory, and some goals, after going 1-4-1 with just two goals scored since Jurgen Klinsmann took over as head coach.

Tuesday's Soccer on TV

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Photo by Joe Toth/ISIphotos.com

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.

USA, Panama to meet in January friendly

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Photo by Osvaldo Aguilar/ISIphotos.comÂ

The U.S. men's national team will play its final match of 2011 in Slovenia on Tuesday, but there's already an eye on 2012.

According to the Panamanian football federation, the United States and Panama will meet for a friendly in Panama City on January 25.

Salgado to train with Fulham

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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.

Report: New England to name Heaps head coach

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The New England Revolution recently parted ways with long-time head coach Stevie Nicol, and it appears they are going to stay within the Revs family for their new coach.

The Revs are preparing to name former defender Jay Heaps as the team's new head coach, the Boston Globe reported on Monday.

NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament Field Announced

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The 48-team field was announced for the 2011 NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament, and as is the case every year, there were some surprises as well as some surprising omissions.

Here is how the field breaks down (seeded teams have first-round byes:

BRACKET 1

(1) North Carolina vs 1st-round winner of Elon vs.

Arena wins MLS Coach of the Year Award

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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.

Beckham wins MLS Comeback Player Award

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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.

Mid-Day Ticker: Fabregas warning for Van Persie, Terry rejoins England and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

Former Arsenal captain and long-time fan favorite Cesc Fabregas issued a statement of caution to current captain Robin van Persie.

Van Persie, now 28, has 18 months left on his current contract with the London club, but hasn't seemed to be in a rush to put pen to paper.

USA 2, Slovenia 2: A World Cup look back

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NCAA Tournament Field to be announced today

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The 48-team field for the NCAA men's soccer tournament will be announced this afternoon, and there will be several teams sweating out the next few hours as they wait to see if they made the cut.

With a total of 22 automatic bids awarded to conference champions, there are 26 spots at-large bids available.

Monday Kickoff: Bradley making Egypt debut, Puebla hires Osorio and more

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While Jurgen Klinsmann struggles to find wins or goals with the U.S. men's national team, the man he replaced is ready to begin his latest coaching adventure.

Bob Bradley will coach his first game as head coach of the Egyptian National Team, which takes on Brazil today (Noon, ESPN3.

Who should the USMNT start vs. Slovenia?

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

The U.S. men's national team faces its first World Cup 2010 rematch on Tuesday against the same Slovenia side the Americans earned a dramatic 2-2 draw against in World Cup group play.

Jurgen Klinsmann will look to find the right combination of players to help a sagging offense that has managed just two goals in six matches since he took over as head coach.

College Soccer Weekend Rewind: Conference champions crowned

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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.

Speas leads North Carolina to ACC Title with win over Boston College

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Here come the Tar Heels

Ben Speas scored twice and added an assist as North Carolina rolled to its third ACC title with a 3-1 victory over Boston College.

The Tar Heels offense came from an unlikely source as Speas equaled his goal-scoring tally for the season.

France 1, USA 0: Match Highlights

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College Soccer: Championship Sunday (Match Day Commentary)

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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 champions today.

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.

England 1, Spain 0: Match Highlights

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France 1, USA 0: A Look Back

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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.

England vs. Spain: Match Day Commentary

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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 the English).

World Cup Qualifying Rewind: Argentina slips up again, Japan advances & more

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By JOEY SAMUEL

When Argentina opened its campaign to qualify for the 2014 World Cup with a commanding 4-1 win over Chile, things looked to be back on track for the Albiceleste after a disastrous 2011 Copa America.

But only two games later, that optimism has completely faded away.

Canada, Antigua and Barbuda advance as CONCACAF qualifying continues

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The final round of matches in the second round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying might as well not be played, as all the teams to advance are now known.

The six teams to secure their passage into the third round of qualifying were finalized on Friday, with Canada being one of the teams to secure its passage.

Schuler golden goal leads North Carolina; Boston College rolls in ACC semifinals

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

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.

Second half goal sees USA lose to France

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Another friendly. Another 1-0 loss.

The U.S. men's national team was unable to score for the fourth time in six games under new head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, and as a result fell, 1-0, to France at Stade de France on Friday.

Loic Remy scored the game's only goal minutes after entering in the second half, but the result could have been worse for the Americans if not for several quality saves from Tim Howard.

USA vs. France: Match Day Commentary

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The U.S. men's national team will face its toughest test of the new Jurgen Klinsmann era in Paris today as the Americans take on France (2:45pm, ESPN2).

The United States returns to action with a pair of friendlies in Europe, starting with today's friendly in France and ending with a World Cup 2010 rematch against Slovenia on Tuesday.

College Soccer Weekend Preview

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The NCAA men's soccer post-season is well underway as the top conferences across the country prepare to crown champions ahead of the upcoming NCAA Tournament draw.

The power conferences provide the big showcases today, as the ACC, Big EAST and Big Ten hold conference semifinals today.

Studio 90: USA-France Gameday

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Keller's final press conference

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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.

Friday's Soccer on TV

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

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.

USA vs. France: The Pre-Game Tailgate

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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.

Friday Kickoff: U.S. U-23s top Bochum, Aguero injured and more

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Photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.com

After a few days together in a training-camp setting in Germany, the U.S. Under-23 national team got to take to the playing field on Friday and turned in a positive result.Â

Tony Taylor scored the go-ahead goal, while Terrance Boyd and Dilly Duka also got on the board as the U.

Barrett to miss MLS Cup with dislocated ankle

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           Photo by ISIPhotos.com

BY ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, Calif. – A little more than a week until MLS Cup, the Los Angeles Galaxy's hopes of an MLS Cup took a devastating blow.

Forward Chad Barrett will miss the MLS Cup Final after suffering a dislocated right ankle during the club's training session on Thursday.

Scheduling, expansion hot topics in Garber's State of the League address

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By AVI CREDITOR

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.

MLS announces 2011 Best XI

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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.

Mid-Day Ticker: Former MLS player admits being gay, Sounders target GK and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com


By DAVID GUBALA

Former Columbus Crew player David Testo broke a major barrier on Thursday, becoming the first MLS player, past or present, to publicly announce that he is gay.

In an interview with CBC, Testo said that he regrets not having come out earlier and that the life of a gay professional soccer player is extremely difficult.

Euro 2012 playoffs: A Look Ahead

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By DAVID GUBALA

For a few of Europe's international powers, the European Championship qualifying process didn't go as planned, but there's still a shot to reach next summer's finals.

The final round of Euro 2012 qualifiers gets underway on Friday, starting with the first legs of the home-and-away playoff series.

College Soccer Rewind: Big Ten shapes up; UCI, UCSB set for final and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

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 Wednesday.

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.

Wenger talks Shea, soccer in USA

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Nashville, Carson, Kansas City to host CONCACAF Olympic qualifiers

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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.

SBI's 2011 MLS Best XI

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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.

Thursday Kickoff: West Brom eyeing Ream, Nguyen on verge of MLS and more

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Photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphoto.com

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.

Who is your pick for MLS MVP?

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It is a debate that is sure to heat up in the days leading up the announcment of the final MLS end-of-season awards.

Who is the MLS MVP?

There are candidates scattered throughout MLS, with some candidates having stronger cases than others. In the case of some teams, like Los Angeles and Seattle, you have multiple candidates.

SBI Live Q&A (Nov. 9th Edition)

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It is time to talk all things soccer in the latest SBI Live Q&A.

We have plenty of topics to discuss this time around. Whether it's the U.S. national team, MLS, college soccer or European and international soccer, we can talk about it for the next few hours.

Let's jump right in and get started (Live Q&A is after the jump):

International Soccer College Soccer sbi amp SBI Live Q&A SBI Live Q&A (Nov. 9th Edition)

SBI 2011 MLS Defender of the Year: Omar Gonzalez

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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.

Big Ten Tournament Preview

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

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.

Boston College upsets Maryland, Virginia wins in overtime in ACC quarterfinals

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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 Tuesday night.

SBI Live Q&A set for 1pm Today

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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.

Grella enjoys career day with four goals in Brentford win

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photo by Marc Atkins/ISIphotos.com

Mike Grella hasn't been lighting up the scoreboards ever since making the move to Europe in 2009, but that wasn't the case on Tuesday.

Grella enjoyed a career day by scoring four goals in Brentford's 6-0 win over rival Bournemouth in the quarterfinals of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

MLS notes: Backe expects Rost to leave, Timbers deny Rapids' request and more

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Photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com

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.

UNC, Maryland favorites to return to final in ACC Tournament

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

As the ACC Tournament gets into full swing tonight at campus sites up and down the East Coast, all signs point to a rematch of last year's final between top-seeded North Carolina and No. 2 Maryland.

That's not to say other schools won't make a push as they look to secure postseason berths.

Galaxy draw Toronto FC, Seattle gets Santos Laguna in CCL quarterfinal draw

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Photo by Nick Turchiaro/ISIphotos.com

The odds were that two MLS teams would go up against each other in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, and that scenario unfolded during Tuesday's quarterfinal draw in New York.

The Los Angeles Galaxy drew Toronto FC for the first round of the knockout stage, which commences in March.

Ibrahimovic reveals details of Onyewu brawl

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It was a fight that we didn't hear many details about, but given the players involved, it figured to be a serious scuffle.

Now we know just how serious.

Just days after the one-year anniversary of the Oguchi Onyewu-Zlatan Ibrahimovic fight, details have surfaced about the highly-publicized brawl that left one of the combatants with a broken rib.

SBI 2011 MLS Rookie of the Year: C.J. Sapong

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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.

Creighton maintains top NCAA RPI spot

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The way things are shaking out for Creighton, it would appear that the Bluejays are well on their way to a top seed in the NCAA men's soccer tournament.

After finishing the regular season as Missouri Valley Conference co-champions, the Bluejays, who are a perfect 9-0 at home this season, are set to host the league's tournament this week.

Slovenia releases roster for U.S. friendly

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Photo by Joe Toth/ISIphotos.com

Slovenia 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 Zlatan Ljubijankič, were called in.

Tuesday Kickoff: Architects oppose A/C for Qatar stadiums, Di Maria hurt & more

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The air conditioned stadiums that are supposed to combat the heat during the 2022 World Cup might have been a major selling point of Qatar's World Cup bid, but they might never come to fruition.Â

The architects in charge of designing Qatar's World Cup stadiums are reportedly against having air conditioning in the arenas.

Liverpool announces Pelosi signing

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Liverpool has announced the signing of former U.S. Under-17 national team captain Marc Pelosi on Tuesday, making Pelosi the second American to sign with the English powerhouse this year.

Pelosi has spent months with Liverpool, but his move to the club had been held up as he and Liverpool awaited international clearance for the move.

Galaxy Notebook: LA faces pressures of hosting Cup, Magee on fire and more

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BY ADAM SERRANO

The Los Angeles Galaxy will get to enjoy one of the greatest luxuries in professional sports. They'll get to play the final, at their own stadium and in front of their own fans.Â

The Galaxy will face the Houston Dynamo in the MLS Cup Final at the Home Depot Center on November 20th.

Donovan withdraws from USMNT squad to focus on MLS Cup

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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.

Rapids part ways with Gary Smith

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When a story surfaced almost a month ago detailing issues between Colorado head coach Gary Smith and technical director Paul Bravo, it was clear one of them wouldn't be back for 2012.

As it turns out, Smith will be the one not returning.

The Colorado Rapids parted ways with Smith on Monday, announcing that they would not renew the contract of the coach who led the Rapids to the 2010 MLS Cup title.

Davis, DeRosario and Shea up for MVP as MLS Award finalists are announced

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Brad Davis, Dwayne DeRosario and Brek Shea were named finalists for the MLS MVP Award on Monday as the league announced the finalists for all the season-ending awards.

Here are all the finalists for the awards, with winners set to be announced over the course of the next two weeks, starting with MLS Rookie of the Year on Tuesday:

2011 MLS AWARD FINALISTS (announcement date in parentheses)Â

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR (Tuesday)

Michael Farfan (Philadelphia Union)

Perry Kitchen (D.

Who should the USMNT start vs. France?

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The U.S. men's national team returns to action on Friday with a match-up against France, a match that should tell us plenty about the current state of Jurgen Klinsmann's team.

Klinsmann will have a strong group to choose from for Friday's match. Both Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey will be available, and German-born Fabian Johnson is set to make his national team debut.

RSL left feeling the sting of missed opportunities

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BY JONATHAN VERA

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 opportunities.

LA Galaxy 3, Real Salt Lake 1: Match Highlights

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Sporting KC 0, Dynamo 2: Match Highlights

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College Soccer Weekend Rewind

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

There's still a week to go until the brackets for the 2011 NCAA Tournament are revealed but several teams have already seen their postseason hopes extinguished.

Only four teams remain in the Big East Tournament as Connecticut, Louisville, St.

Gil, Bunbury added to U.S. Under-23 camp

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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.

European Weekend Rewind: Real Madrid rolls, City looking title-worthy and more

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

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.

Monday Kickoff: Galaxy stars in Euro demand, Ferdinand sent death threat and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

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 indeed attempt to bring David Beckham back to Europe as the former International looks to reclaim his place for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Jozy Altidore has reason to celebrate, and not just because it's his birthday.

Altidore found the back of the net for the first time since Sept. 29 by capping the scoring in AZ Alkmaar's 3-0 victory over ADO Den Haag on the day he turned 22 years old.

Galaxy roll past RSL to clinch place in MLS Cup Final

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BY ADAM SERRANO

The Los Angeles Galaxy continued their methodical push to the MLS Cup as they advanced to the league championship with a 3-1 victory over Real Salt Lake at the Home Depot Center.Â

The victory put the Galaxy in their second final in three years as they will take on the Houston Dynamo on their home soil on November 20th.

MLS Western Conference Final: Match Night Commentary

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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 (9pm, ESPN).

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.

Dynamo beat Sporting KC to book MLS Cup trip

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By GARRETT DAVEY

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.

MLS Eastern Conference Final: Match Day Commentary

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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.

Must-See Goal: Marame Varihua

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Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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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.

Manchester United 1, Sunderland 0: Match Highlights

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Queens Park Rangers 2, Manchester City 3: Match Highlights

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Newcastle 2, Everton 1: Match Highlights

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Arsenal 3, West Brom 0: Match Highlights

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Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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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.

MLS West final notes: Keane finding form, RSL waits on CB tandem & more

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Photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com


By ADAM SERRANO

Robbie Keane seems healthy and ready to contribute for the Los Angeles Galaxy's run to MLS Cup. Now all he needs to do is find the back of the net.Â

Keane was appearing in just his second match since an adductor strain cost him the last three weeks of the season as well as a number of important matches for club and country.

Agudelo, Union trio added to U-23 camp

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

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.

Who was the biggest USA roster snub?

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Photo by Perry McIntyre/ISIphotos.com

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.

MLS East final notes: Bravo's injury status, final CCL berth on the line & more

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Photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

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.

Must-See Video: All 202 Messi goals for Barcelona

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Set-piece proficiency, defending key as semifinalists reach cusp of MLS Cup

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By AVI CREDITOR

If there's a theme prevalent throughout the last round of the MLS postseason, it's that proficiency off of dead-ball situations has been vital to staying alive.

Out of the four remaining teams, only Real Salt Lake has yet to benefit from a set piece during its playoff run.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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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.

MLS Conference Finals: A Look Ahead

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 Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

By THOMAS FLOYD

After seven months and hundreds of matches, the 2011 MLS campaign has been whittled down to just three games.

The two conference finals Sunday will determine the participants in the MLS Cup, to be held Nov.

Tainio injury halts Red Bulls' quick start in season-ending loss to Galaxy

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By JONATHAN VERA

CARSON, Calif. – 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.

Who will advance to the MLS Cup final?

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Photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com

By Sunday's end, the MLS playoff field will be narrowed down to two clubs.

No wild card teams remain in the postseason picture after the overall top seed Los Angeles Galaxy disposed of the New York Red Bulls Thursday night.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Domination.Â

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.

Dynamo finish off Union to reach Eastern Conference final

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By JOEY SAMUEL

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 Conference final.

Beckham shines as Galaxy eliminate Red Bulls to reach Western Conference Final

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BY ADAM SERRANO

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.

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

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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.

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

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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).

Americans Abroad: Europa League Preview

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Jozy Altidore's red-hot start to the season with AZ Alkmaar cooled off a bit in October, but Thursday should give him an opportunity to get back on track.

Having failed to find the back of the net last month, Altidore will look to get back on the scoresheet when AZ face Austria Vienna in a Europa League match.

France names roster for USA friendly

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France national team head coach Laurent Blanc has released his roster for the upcoming friendly against the U.S. men's national team, and as expected, the team is stacked.

Karim Benzema, Samir Nasri and Hugo Lloris headline a 22-man roster that will face the United States and Belgium on November 11 and 15, respectively.

Who should the USMNT call up for the upcoming friendlies in Europe?

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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.

Big East Tournament kicks off tonight

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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.

Mid-Day Ticker: Schweinsteiger out for 2011, Gerrard coming along and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

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 Gökhan Inler in a Champions League match, Schweinsteiger immediately began clutching his shoulder and medical attention was rushed over.

Europa League Preview: EPL clubs look to top, Atletico tackles Udinese and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

With the second half of the Europa League group stages kicking off today, the English Premier League quartet involved in the competition are sitting pretty in their respective groups.

Tottenham and Stoke City sit atop Groups A and E, respectively, on seven points, while Birmingham City is tied for the top spot with Club Brugge on six points — the two sides clash today.

Klinsmann releases 22-man roster for France, Slovenia friendlies

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photo by Hunter Dorton/ISIphotos.com

Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Carlos Bocanegra and Tim Howard headline the U.S. men's national team roster for the upcoming friendlies in Europe against France and Slovenia.

There's one new face in camp, with Hertha Berlin defender Alfred Morales among the 22 players selected by Klinsmann.

Shea to join Arsenal for month-long training

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photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

You can add Brek Shea to the list of MLS players who will be training abroad this offseason.

Following the U.S. men's national team's upcoming friendlies against France and Slovenia, Shea will train with Arsenal of the English Premier League for a month, FC Dallas announced on Thursday.

Galaxy look to use experience to advance past New York

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BY ADAM SERRANO

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.

Marquez suspended two additional games

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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.

Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake: Match Night Commentary

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The task is an extremely difficult one, but not an impossible one for the highest-scoring team in MLS.

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 (10pm, ESPN2).

Sporting KC vs. Colorado Rapids: Match Night Commentary

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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.

UCL Rewind: Bayern tops Napoli, English clubs post shutout victories and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

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 17th minute.

Corona among 31 called in for combined USA U-23/U-20 training camp

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Joe Corona will get his chance with the United States after all.Â

The Tijuana attacker and one-time Mexican youth international is among 31 players called into a United States Under-23/Under-20 combined training camp by new U-23 coach Caleb Porter.

The players will train in Duisburg, Germany, from Nov.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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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.

Dempsey wins Futbol de Primera award as U.S. Soccer player of the year

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

Clint Dempsey has had a tremendous year, and now he's got the hardware to prove it.

Dempsey was named the Futbol de Primera U.S. Soccer Player of the Year on Wednesday, winning the award for the second time in his career.

Gonzalez still waiting for USMNT call

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Omar Gonzalez is waiting for another U.S. national team call-up, and much like many American soccer fans and observers, he has been left wondering just when that next call will come.

The MLS Defender of the Year favorite has yet to receive a call from, or spoken to, new U.

MLS notes: Keller set for could-be finale, Revs to speak with Ralston and more

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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.

War of words between Galaxy, Red Bulls continues ahead of second leg

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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.

UCL Wednesday: A Look Ahead

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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 entertainment.

Klopas to remain Fire head coach

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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.

Wednesday Kickoff: MLS looks into Baltimore, Cassano needs surgery & more

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Photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIphotos.com

As D.C. United continues its quest to find a new stadium location, MLS continues its exploration into whether Baltimore is a viable market for league expansion.

The league sent out a survey to fans in the Baltimore area in an effort to gauge interest in an MLS franchise in the city.

Viktoria Plzen 0, Barcelona 4: Match Highlights

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Galaxy Notebook: Birchall looking to fill in, HDC at limited capacity and more

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By ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, Calif. – Depth all over the field has been one of cornerstones to the Los Angeles 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.

UCL Rewind: Messi scores 200th goal, Chelsea held by Genk and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

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.

MLS Spotlight: Seattle a perfect fit for Alonso

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By JOSÉ M. ROMERO

Osvaldo Alonso honestly felt that this could be the year for his Seattle Sounders.

He said as much late last week, before the Sounders were blasted 3-0 at Real Salt Lake in the first leg of the MLS Western Conference semifinals.

Confident Bunbury striking at right time

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Photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.com


By AVI CREDITOR

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.

Rosales expected to miss second leg vs. RSL

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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.

MLS Conference Semifinals: A Look Ahead

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 Photo by Brad Smith/ISIphotos.com


By THOMAS FLOYD

The first legs of the conference semifinals over the weekend created four very unenviable hills to climb.

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 three-goal cushion.

Must-See Goal: Ryujiro Ueda

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UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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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 matches.

Creighton jumps to top spot in NCAA RPI

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As the NCAA men's soccer regular season winds down, the game of musical chairs atop the NCAA RPI rankings continues to go on.

Guided by Ethan Finlay and Tyler Polak, the reigning Missouri Valley Conference Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, 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.

A first look at the 2012 MLS Draft (Projecting the Top 10 picks)

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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 draft.

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.

Favorites on cusp of clinching knockout berths in UEFA Champions League

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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 on Tuesday.Â

Should Chelsea and Bayer Leverkusen both win their Group E matches they'd both advance to the knockout stage.

Tuesday Kickoff: Ballon d'Or finalists revealed, Boskovic called up, and more

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Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo lead a stacked field of finalists for the Ballon d'Or, French publication France Football announced on Tuesday.

A total of 23 finalists were revealed for the award, which Lionel Messi is considered the favorite to win for the third straight year.