Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2011

Davies returns to Sochaux with future undetermined

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Photo by Brad Smith/ISIphotos.com

Charlie Davies' comeback in 2011 was one of the stories of the year in American soccer, as he returned to the playing field less than two years removed from a horrifying car accident that nearly took his life and did take the life of another passenger.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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New Year's Day will usher in 2012 this weekend, but it will also provide us with a loaded menu of English Premier League matches as most of the league pulls off a two-games-in-three-days marathon over the next three days.

Brad Guzan will look to continue his stellar form for Aston Villa when his team travels to London to take on Chelsea on Saturday.

Donovan set for second Everton loan

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Landon Donovan had his first training session with Everton on Friday, officially kicking off his second loan spell with the club.

"We're delighted to have Landon back, he's trained today and it's easy for him to settle in with a great group of boys here who will make it easy for him," Everton manager David Moyes said during his Friday press conference.

Guzan earns praise for play as starter

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When Aston Villa starting goalkeeper Shay Given went down with an injury in an early December match against Manchester United, Alex McLeish was forced to turn to American backup Brad Guzan, who has been patiently waiting for a starting role in the Premier League ever since joining Villa from Chivas USA in 2008.

Leonardo downplays Beckham to PSG

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

Most reports have been making David Beckham's signing with Paris-St. Germain a matter of "when" and not "if," but PSG sporting director Leonardo offered a far less convincing take on the potential signing on Friday.

At a press conference where the club introduced Carlo Ancelotti as the club's new coach, Leonardo told reporters that Beckham's move to Paris was "not done yet, and it might not happen.

SBI's Top 5 USMNT Goals of 2011

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Photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Scoring was not the easiest of things for the U.S. men's national team in 2011. It found the back of the net just 16 times in 17 games for its lowest goal-scoring total in a decade.

That does not mean there weren't any nice goals, though.

Friday Kickoff: Cahill heading to Chelsea, Aguirre fired by Zaragoza and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

After flirting with Arsenal and Chelsea during the summer transfer window, Gary Cahill will likely be heading to Chelsea in January after a transfer fee was agreed upon with Bolton Wanderers.

The central defender has become an England national team regular and will look to stabilize a defense that will lose Alex in January and could be without John Terry for an extended period following a criminal racism charge.

Wenger confirms Henry loan to Arsenal being finalized

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had been coy in recent days when discussing a potential return to Arsenal by legendary striker Thierry Henry, but on Friday Wenger acknowledged that a two-month loan move is in the works and needs only some paperwork to be finalized.

"Normally it should happen," Wenger said in his Friday press conference ahead of Arsenal's match against Queens Park Rangers.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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Photo by Joe Toth/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Clint Dempsey has made quite the statement in 2011, and this weekend will provide him with a chance to finish it in style.

Having enjoyed a career year, Dempsey's final game of 2011 will pit him and Fulham against Norwich City in a match that could see the Cottagers inch closer to the top half of the Premiership table.

Report: Sounders signing Danish winger

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The Seattle Sounders appear to be hitting the international market during transfer season yet again.

After officially announcing the acquisition of Swedish right back Adam Johannson on Thursday, the Sounders are reportedly close to signing Danish winger Christian Sivebaek, a player general manager Adrian Hanauer told the Seattle Times that the Sounders are "very interested" in acquiring.

Mid-Day Ticker: Warner releases FIFA details, Perez closing in on MLS and more

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Some of the back-room workings between Jack Warner and FIFA are starting to come to the surface.

Warner reportedly claimed that in exchange for drumming up support to get Sepp Blatter elected in the 1998 FIFA presidential election, he secured the television rights to the World Cup for his native Trinidad & Tobago for a single dollar.

Who is your American Player of the Year?

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

As the calendar gets set to turn to 2012, it's an obvious time to reflect and look back at the year that was for U.S. Soccer.

While the year provided the ushering in of a new coaching era, a 6-8-3 international record and a breakout stage for a number of players, it also saw some of the more familiar names rise to the occasion on both the club and international levels.

Rounding up the MLS comings and goings: Western Conference

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

For a team coming off of a championship run, the Los Angeles Galaxy have had plenty of major moving parts over recent weeks.

Between Landon Donovan going back to Everton on a short-term loan, Juninho returning to Sao Paulo, Donovan Ricketts being dealt to the Montreal Impact, Sean Franklin re-signing and David Beckham, well, still making a decision, the Galaxy remain the talk of MLS deep into the offseason.

Thursday Kickoff: Henry-to-Arsenal picks up steam, Ronaldinho stays put and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Although Thierry Henry's recent stint at Arsenal was technically just for training, rumors continue to swirl that Arsene Wenger is considering offering the former Arsenal striker a short-term contract. Some reports stipulate that a two-month loan has already been offered to the New York Red Bulls forward.

Rowe signs Generation adidas deal with MLS

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With the 2012 MLS Draft just two weeks away, the 2012 MLS Generation adidas class took a step closer to being completed after the signing of the highest-rated unsigned underclassman.

UCLA playmaker Kelyn Rowe has signed a Generation adidas deal, sources told SBI on Wednesday. Rowe is the fifth player to sign a Generation adidas deal, joining Andrew Wenger, Darren Mattocks, UCLA teammate Chandler Hoffman and Sam Garza.

Dynamo trade for Sturgis

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Photo by Nick Turchiaro/ISIphotos.com

Almost six years ago, Nathan Sturgis was a Generation adidas signing, a U.S. youth national team prospect and a player with a bright MLS future.

Five teams later, he hopes to have finally found a long-term home.

Sturgis was dealt to the Houston Dynamo from Toronto FC for a conditional draft pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft on Wednesday, marking his second trade in 13 months.

Earthquakes sign Honduran Bernardez

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The San Jose Earthquakes took a step toward fortifying their back line Wednesday by agreeing to a deal with Honduran centerback Victor Bernardez.

Bernardez, 29, has 52 caps for Honduras. He started in all of Honduras' games during this past summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup and was also a member of the country's World Cup team in 2010.

Zimmerman blasts national team set-up

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One-time U.S. youth international Preston Zimmerman doesn't have a single cap for the senior U.S. national team, and while it wasn't likely that he'd be receiving his first call-up sometime soon anyway based on his current level of play and club standing, he didn't do himself any favors by using social media to voice his opinion about the current U.

Mid-Day Ticker: Suarez suspended again, City making play for Hazard and more

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Luis Suarez might as well be on the FA's speed dial these days.

In the aftermath of receiving an eight-game ban and hefty fine from England's ruling body, the Liverpool striker was given his second punishment after being found guilty of misconduct for flipping the middle finger to Fulham fans at Craven Cottage following a match earlier in December.

Old Firm Derby: A Look Ahead

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It is no real surprise that the Scottish Premier League race already appears to be down to the two usual suspects. How Rangers and Celtic have gotten to their current positions, though, is a story in itself.

Heading into Wednesday's latest edition of the venomous Old Firm Derby (2:45 p.

Rounding up the MLS comings and goings: Eastern Conference

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Photo by Kelley L. Cox/ISIphotos.com

With the MLS Eastern Conference as wide open as it was down the stretch last season, a roster tweak in the right direction could be all it takes to separate certain clubs from the pack. Â

In the opening month of the offseason, no teams did more to augment their rosters than the Philadelphia Union and Sporting Kansas City, two clubs that felt they had what it took to win the conference crown last season before ultimately losing out to the Houston Dynamo.

Norwich City 0, Tottenham 2: Match Highlights

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Wednesday Kickoff: FIFA to release documents, Ajax-AZ to start over & more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

FIFA has been ordered to release documents pertaining to its involvement with former marketing partner ISL by the Swiss supreme court.

The documents contain information about several FIFA members who took millions of dollars in kickbacks from ISL during the negotiation of television broadcast deals for the World Cup, with former FIFA president Joao Havelange and 2014 World Cup organizer Ricardo Teixeira at the forefront of the scandal.

Adu to train with Rayo Vallecano

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Freddy Adu is hoping to make 2012 the biggest year of his career, and he will be kicking off that year in Spain.

Adu is on his way to Spain, where he will train with La Liga side Rayo Vallecano. The training stint will run through the first week of January.

Rayo Vallecano made a play for Adu's services in the summer before Adu settled on MLS, and will now get a chance to have a closer look at the attacking midfielder.

Report: Sounders land Swedish right back

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When the Seattle Sounders lost James Riley in the expansion draft there was some real concern about how Seattle would fill the void let by the dependable veteran's departure.

The Sounders have reached an agreement with Swedish right back Adam Johansson, according to the club website of Johannson's current club, IFK Goteborg.

The lowdown on Dan Potts

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While die-hard U.S. men's national team fans probably already have the lowdown on young West Ham United defender Dan Potts, the reaction to some tweets about the 17-year-old left back suggests that not everybody is aware of the story behind the latest promising foreign-born prospect eligible to play for the United States.

Who makes your 2011 Team of the Year?

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French publication L'Equipe named its 2011 Team of the Year recently, and as you might expect, Barcelona dominated the selections with six players on the team.

LIonel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo headline the squad, which includes a total of eight players from La Liga and two players from the English Premier League.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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The post-Boxing Day schedule is a light one, but Arsenal kicks things off today with a chance to break into the Premier League Top Four with a victory against Wolverhampton (10am, Fox Soccer Plus).

Robin Van Persie will look to break the Arsenal club record for goals in a calendar year (he is currently tied with Thierry Henry at 34 goals) and has two games to try and match Alan Shearer's English Premier League record of 36.

Tuesday Kickoff: EPL Boxing Day roundup, Kaka on the market and more

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Boxing Day is one of the most exciting days of the year for soccer fans as all 20 Premier League teams take to the field over a two-day period and Monday's offerings did not disappoint.

Manchester United are now tied at the top of the Premier League title after a 5-0 destruction of Wigan.

Dempsey scores again to help Fulham tie Chelsea

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Clint Dempsey is closing out 2011 in style, as he scored his fourth goal in six matches to help Fulham salvage a 1-1 draw in their West London Derby clash against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Dempsey made a near-post run to convert a Bryan Ruiz cross, cancelling out a beautiful Juan Mata goal just two minutes into the second half.

Soccer Monday: Your Running Commentary

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Chelsea had championship aspirations heading into the season, but a few stumbles have left the big-spending Blues trailing the Manchester clubs and now stand closer to falling out of top four than challenging for the top spot.

If Chelsea is going to stay ahead of the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool, they will need to beat London rival Fulham in today's Boxing Day clash.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

If the Christmas weekend left you starved for soccer, Monday might just be enough to satisfy your hunger.

Nearly a dozen games involving Americans Abroad are scheduled to take place on Boxing Day, including Jonathan Spector's match against his former club, West Ham United.

MLS Spotlight: Nyarko living a dream in Chicago

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By ANTHONY ZILIS

Patrick Nyarko turned and pointed out the window of Palace Gate Restaurant on a chilly October day in uptown Chicago, where he was having lunch with Fire teammate Dominic Oduro. He can't look at an open space in a cramped city, like the small parking lot outside, without being reminded of his childhood soccer games.

Lletget ready to take next step in development

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photo by John Dorton/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

SARASOTA, Fla. --Â Sebastian Lletget hasn't had the easiest of times since signing with West Ham United on his 18th birthday, but things are starting to look up for the U.S. Under-23 men's national team midfielder.

Merry Christmas from SBI

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Hello all. I want to wish a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you SBI readers out there. We hope you enjoy some time off, quality family time and a few peeks at SBI in between your unwrapping of presents and celebrating.

We will have a few presents for you in terms of posts today to help quench your thirst for soccer so keep an eye out for those, and feel free to throw some story suggestions our way today as we make our way through a second straight day without soccer to watch (the good news is soccer is on the way on Monday courtesy of the Premier League's Boxing Day schedule).

Must-See Interview: Clint Dempsey

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Is an Henry return to Arsenal a good idea?

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One of the more interesting rumors of the holiday season in Europe surrounds Thierry Henry's potential return to Arsenal on a short-term loan in January. Nobody at Arsenal is publicly admitting it is in the works (Arsene Wenger said he has yet decide whether to pursue it), and there is no guarantee that the New York Red Bulls would be willing to let their star player go on a loan, but the idea remains an intriguing one.

German-born striker Boyd making his mark with U.S. Under-23 national team

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By FRANCO PANIZO

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Terrence Boyd should have been sent off on Thursday.

After delivering a clumsy and dangerous challenge on Zarek Valentin in the second half of the U.S. Under-23 men's national team's intrasquad scrimmage, Boyd was given a second yellow card.

Barcelona 9, L'Hospitalet 0: Match Highlights

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Barcelona beating up on small club like Hospitalet in the Round of 32 of the Copa Del Rey didn't exactly come as a surprise, but when a Barca side with mostly reserves puts on a nine-goal masterpiece, it still becomes beautiful soccer worth watching.

The reigning Club World Cup champions should face a much tougher test in the Copa Del Rey in the quarters, where a likely meeting with Real Madrid awaits, but the 9-0 rout of L'Hospitalet serves as a reminder of just how dangerous Barca can be.

Mid-Day Ticker: Galaxy inks deals with five, Atletico signs new coach, and more

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By JOEY SAMUEL

While the retaining of David Beckham's services remains up in the air for the Los Angeles Galaxy, five other players saw their contract situations get a lot clearer on Friday.

Sean Franklin and Bryan Jordan re-signed with Los Angeles, while Adam Cristman's option was picked up, allowing Bruce Arena to keep key parts of the deep squad that won the 2011 MLS Cup and Supporters' Shield.

Corona continuing to build on breakout year

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By FRANCO PANIZO

LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. --Â Most of the players called into the U.S. Under-23 men's national team camp that ply their trade in a league other than MLS have yet to break into their team's rotation.

That's not the case for Joe Corona.

At 21, Corona is a regular in Club Tijuana's gameday rosters.

Berhalter's Hammarby signs Husidic

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photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

Hammarby IF head coach Gregg Berhalter won't be the only one at the club with MLS experience next season.

Hammarby signed midfielder Baggio Husidic on Friday morning, the club announced on its website. Husidic, who has spent the past three seasons with the Chicago Fire, agreed to a two-year deal with the Swedish club.

Friday Kickoff: Chelsea tie Tottenham, Galaxy sign academy star, and more

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By JOEY SAMUEL

In a match where both teams needed three points, London rivals Tottenham and Chelsea each had to settle for one as they played to a 1-1 draw. Emmanuel Adebayor scored to put Spurs up in the 8th minute, only for Chelsea to equalize through Daniel Sturridge fifteen minutes later.

Must-See Interview: Brad Friedel

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Johnson looking to bounce back after long hiatus

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photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

BRADENTON, Fla. -- As the U.S. Under-23 men's national team played an intra-squad scrimmage on Thursday afternoon, Eddie Johnson sat in the stands at IMG Soccer Academy making observations, smiling and cracking jokes with U.

Boyd, Lletget score in final U.S. U-23 scrimmage of training camp

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By FRANCO PANIZO

BRADENTON, Fla. -- The U.S. Under-23 men's national team wrapped up its December camp with a second intra-squad scrimmage on Thursday afternoon, and the competition for roster spots set the tone for a physical and fiery match.

Split up into white and blue teams, the 29 players in camp (Bill Hamid left camp earlier in the week due to family reasons) took part in a windy match at IMG Soccer Academy that saw its share of physical play and rough challenges.

Mid-Day Ticker: AZ goalkeeper has card rescinded, Neymar rumors swirl & more

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Common sense has prevailed.

The Dutch football federation has rescinded the red card given to AZ Alkmaar goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado in the aftermath of Wednesday's pitch invasion during a cup game against Ajax.Â

The goalkeeper was the target of a fan who ran onto the field right at the player in the 36th minute of the match.

Soccer Thursday: Your Running Commentary

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There are only a handful of games across the soccer world on Thursday, but a pretty crucial one is taking place at White Hart Lane, where Chelsea and Tottenham do battle in a London derby (3 p.m., ESPN2/ESPN3.com/ESPN Deportes).

Tottenham sits in third place in the Premier League, two points ahead of the Blues with a game in hand.

Healthy Jeffrey hoping to make Olympic qualifying team

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Photo by Max Becherer/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. - Prior to November, the last time Jared Jeffrey suited up for a U.S. youth national team was in 2009, and much has changed for him since then.

Since representing the United States at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup three summers ago, Jeffrey has switched clubs, learned a new language and overcome the nagging hip injury that put him on the shelf for much of last season.

Johnson signs with Puebla

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

Eddie Johnson's long wait to find a new club has come to an end.

The American forward has signed with Mexican club Puebla, where he will team with DaMarcus Beasley and play under former Chicago Fire and New York Red Bulls coach Juan Carlos Osorio.

Gonzalez, John, Cameron make Klinsmann's roster for U.S. January camp

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Photo by Andrew Katsampes/ISIphotos.com

Jurgen Klinsmann has called in 20 players for the U.S. men's national team's January camp, and the neglected ones from the past few months will finally get their chance to perform in front of the U.S. coach.

Centerbacks Omar Gonzalez, George John and Geoff Cameron and attacking midfielder Benny Feilhaber are all part of the crew that will train in Phoenix and at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

MLS Notes: Union sign Lopez, Minda joins Chivas and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

The Philadelphia Union continue their busy offseason by adding Costa Rican defender Porfirio Lopez from Chinese side Dalian Haichang.

Lopez, a 26-year-old left back, was most recently on loan at Costa Rican side Alajuelense, where he was a part of the team's back-to-back Apertura and Clausura championship teams.

Thursday Kickoff: Jones under fire, Suarez appealing ban and more

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U.S. national team midfielder Jermaine Jones could be facing some disciplinary action in the coming days. Â

Jones is reportedly under investigation by the German Football Federation for allegedly stepping on an opposing player's injured foot on purpose during Schalke's 3-1 loss to Borussia Monchengladbach in the German Cup Round of 16 on Wednesday.

Fulham 0, Manchester United 5: Match Highlights

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Fan goes after goalkeeper, forces suspension of AZ-Ajax Dutch Cup match

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AZ Alkmaar's Dutch Cup match with Ajax pitted two of the Netherlands' top teams against each other and figured to produce some fireworks. Just not like this.

With Ajax leading 1-0 in the 36th minute, a fan raced from the stands at Amsterdam ArenA and went after AZ goalkeeper Esteban, who defended himself by kicking the fan on the ground.

Porter talks U-23 training camp

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MLS notes: FC Dallas loses stadium sponsor, Impact sign Brazilian and more

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For the first time since its soccer-specific stadium opened in 2005, FC Dallas won't be playing at Pizza Hut Park.Â

Instead, the club will play at the temporarily named FC Dallas Stadium while it searches for a new sponsor.

Pizza Hut is reportedly dropping its sponsorship of the stadium, effective after the Football Championship Subdivision title game is held there on Jan.

A look at the current U.S. Under-23 training camp

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Caleb Porter's first camp in charge of the U.S. Under-23 national team is well underway in the Sarasota/Bradenton area of Florida, as some of the most talented young players in American soccer do their best to try and impress the coach assigned the task of helping the United States qualify for the 2012 Olympics.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

With nearly full slates of action in the Premier League, Serie A and Ligue 1 and domestic cup play on the docket as well, plenty is on the line across Europe today.

A number of Americans are in action across the continent, as Clint Dempsey looks to keep his goal-scoring form going at Craven Cottage against Manchester United, while goalkeepers Tim Howard and Brad Guzan aim for clean sheets against Swansea City and Arsenal, respectively.

Olympic hopeful Arguez enjoying revival

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Photo by Max Becherer/ISIphotos.com


By FRANCO PANIZO

LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. -- Bryan Arguez has a lot to be excited about these days.

In the past two months, Arguez has gone from playing in the NASL with the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, to getting signed by the Montreal Impact, to getting called into his first camp in years with the U.

Terry faces criminal racism charge

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A day after Liverpool's Luis Suarez was given an eight-game ban for saying racist remarks toward Patrice Evra, John Terry finds himself in hot water for a similar offense.

The Chelsea captain faces criminal charges after the Crown Prosecution Service found sufficient evidence to go ahead and take Terry to court on a charge of a racially aggrivated public order offense.

Wednesday Kickoff: Beckham yet to sign, USA unmoved in FIFA rankings & more

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

Depending on whom you believe, David Beckham is either set to make a dent on the Paris-St. Germain payroll or is still very much a free agent.

Despite front-page reports in France that Beckham has signed an 18-month deal with PSG, people in his camp have strongly denied that a deal has been completed.

Evening Ticker: Kean under fire, referee admits fixing United friendly and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Things are looking worse and worse for Steve Kean as Blackburn manager as his club slumped to a 2-1 loss to Bolton on Tuesday, intensifying calls for him to be fired.

Blackburn is now rooted to the bottom of the English Premier League and is four points away from safety having played a game more than its competitors.

Report: Juninho going back to Sao Paulo

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The Los Angeles Galaxy appear to be on the verge of losing one of the key pieces to their championship squad.

According to multiple reports out of Brazil, midfielder Juninho is signing a three-year contract with Sao Paulo and rejoining the club after two seasons on loan with the Galaxy.

Suarez dealt 8-game ban for Evra incident

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England's Football Association has sent Liverpool striker Luis Suarez quite the message.

Suarez was handed an eight-game ban and fined £40,000 after the FA found him guilty of misconduct for using racist remarks toward Manchester United fullback Patrice Evra when their two clubs met on Oct.

Must-See Charades: Wayne Rooney

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When Wayne Rooney draws "Bend it Like Beckham" in a game of Manchester United charades, it's hard to imagine comedy not ensuing. Enjoy:


Mid-Day Ticker: Wambach wins AP award, four clinch CCL berths and more

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Photo by Thomas Eisenhuth/ISIphotos.com

Abby Wambach's penchant for coming up big in the FIFA Women's World Cup this past summer has earned her more individual acclaim six months later.Â

Wambach was named the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year Tuesday, becoming the first soccer player -- male or female -- to win an individual year-end award from the AP.

UVA's Span signs with Djurgarden

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One of college soccer's top attacking talents is headed overseas.

After not being offered a Generation adidas deal by MLS, University of Virginia winger Brian "Cobi" Span signed with Swedish club Djurgarden on Tuesday. Djurgarden had also offered former Akron and current GA striker Darren Mattocks a deal before he ultimately signed with MLS.

Report: Leeds eyeing Rogers

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

A day after locking up centerback Chad Marshall for the foreseeable future, the Columbus Crew may be on the verge of losing a key figure from its attack.Â

Winger Robbie Rogers is closing in on a deal with Leeds United, according to a report from England.

Tuesday Kickoff: City won't loan Tevez, Bruce in mix for South Korea job & more

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The talks between AC Milan and Manchester City over Carlos Tevez seem to have hit a standstill.

Manchester City is maintaining its firm stance that it will not loan Tevez anywhere this winter and is instead only seeking a permanent transfer for the wantaway Argentine striker.

Wenger, Mattocks sign with MLS

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The 2012 MLS Draft is less than a month away and Major League Soccer has secured the services of the two highest-rated prospects coming out of college this year.

Sources have told Fox Soccer that Duke standout Andrew Wenger and Akron star Darren Mattocks have signed Generation adidas contracts, with MLS expected to announce the first of its Generation adidas signings on Tuesday.

Mid-Day Ticker: Buddle to train with West Ham, Seton Hall names new coach, and more

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A coaching change at FC Ingolstadt led to an early winter break for Edson Buddle, who was sent home until the new year. The U.S. national team striker isn't going to lay around doing nothing during the German winter break though. He has headed to London, where he will spend a week training with West Ham United.

Must-See Own Goal: Festus Baise

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If this isn't the best own goal ever scored, I don't know what is.

Enjoy:

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Columbus signs Marshall to extension

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The Columbus Crew underwent a successcful rebuilding period in 2011, as they parted ways with several veterans and brought in a group of new faces that exceeded expectations last season.

One of the few familiar faces to remain was Chad Marshall, and all he did was help anchor the stingy Crew defense for yet another season.

Impact sign Canadian international Bernier

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The Montreal Impact continued to shape their roster on Monday, signing a player who is no stranger to the club.

The Impact signed Canadian international Patrice Bernier, a 32-year-old midfielder who previously played for the club from 2000-2002. Bernier, who was born in Quebec and resides in Montreal, will vie for a starting spot on the team.

Studio 90: Day One From December Camp

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Monday Kickoff: Beckham not in Paris, Herzog to join USMNT staff and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

David Beckham isn't going anywhere — for now.

Despite rumors that the LA Galaxy's Beckham was present at Paris Saint-Germain's Ligue 1 clash with Lille on Sunday, reports have emerged to squash any notion of that kind.

With a reported move to PSG imminent, Beckham was thought to be in France to finalize an 18-month deal to the newly-rich club.

Manchester City 1, Arsenal 0: Match Highlights

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European Weekend Rewind: City rebounds, Juve still unbeaten and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Manchester City are back on track with as a 1-0 victory over Arsenal put the noisy neighbors back atop the English Premier League. Mario Balotelli and David Silva combined for the only goal of the contest and snapped Arsenal's eight-game unbeaten run in league play.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

A week after enduring one of his worst performances of the season, Clint Dempsey responded in a big way.

Dempsey lifted Fulham to victory over Bolton Wanderes on Saturday, scoring a goal and assisting on another in the 2-0 affair. Dempsey found the back of the net with a well-placed header before sending Costa Rican teammate Bryan Ruiz in on goal with a nifty pass.

Barcelona 4, Santos 0: Match Highlights

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FC Barcelona capped a dream year by winning a second Club World Cup title in three years, but their performance in Sunday's 4-0 thrashing of Santos took the game of soccer to another level.

South American champions Santos didn't stand a chance as Barcelona dominated play from start to finish, showing off their trademark passing attack and providing more evidence to the argument that this Barcelona side might be the best club team ever.

The latest on the 2012 Generation adidas class

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As we draw closer to the 2012 MLS Draft, Major League Soccer is moving closer and closer to trying to secure the services of the players who will make up its Generation adidas draft class, and things are still very much in flux with less than a month to go before the draft.

MLS is expected to announce the first of its signings in the coming week, and offers have already been sent out to most of the top targets.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Though the game is being played while much of the United States is still asleep, the Club World Cup Final between Barcelona and Santos is promising to be must-see football.

The battle between the reigning European and South American champions will feature some serious star power, with Lionel Messi and Neymar grabbing most of the headlines.

Fulham 2, Bolton: Match Highlights (including Dempsey's latest goal)

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Things just keep getting better for Clint Dempsey, and keep getting worse for Bolton.

The Cottagers posted a 2-0 victory on the Trotters to keep Bolton buried at the bottom of the English Premier League standings. Clint Dempsey opened the scoring with his team-leading fifth goal of the season to push Fulham to 11th in the Premier League standings.

Garza set to sign with Club Tijuana

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U.S. Under-23 national team defender Greg Garza has left Under-23 camp in Sarasota, Florida to finalize a move to Club Tijuana.

Garza is set to sign with the Mexican First Division club after a successful trial in recent weeks. He's joining a squad with two other Americans on the roster in U.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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With the word that Landon Donovan is heading to Everton in January, the Toffees are suddenly feeling confident about their chances of climbing back into the top half of the English Premier League standings. If they can make that move before the new year will depend largely on whether Tim Howard and Co.

FC Dallas deals Chavez to San Jose for allocation

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FC Dallas traded Honduran winger Marvin Chavez to the San Jose Earthquakes on Friday, securing an allocation in the process.

The deal sent Chavez, who enjoyed a standout season in Dallas, to San Jose, where he should slot right in as the team's starting right winger.

Chavez delivered six goals and four assists for FC Dallas, providing a perfect complement on the right wing to Brek Shea's forays from the left flank.

The UEFA Champions League Final 16

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Mid-Day Ticker: Cameroon bans Eto'o, Everton keeps Barkley and more

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Not even one of the faces of African soccer is immune to punishment of the harshest kind.

The Cameroonian Football Federation banned captain and star forward Samuel Eto'o 15 matches for his role in a players' strike last month. Eto'o can appeal the punishment over the course of the next two weeks, but if it is upheld, the ban could signal the end of the 30-year-old Eto'o's international career, considering the length of the ban and the bad blood between player and federation.

The first Fox Soccer 2012 MLS Mock Draft (and an in-depth look at the draft pool)

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

With the 2012 MLS Draft now less than a month away, I have unveiled my first Fox Soccer 2012 MLS Mock Draft in an attempt to give people a sense of how things just might shake out when teams start making their selections in Kansas City four weeks from now.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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Set your alarms for early Sunday morning, because a rare matchup between two of the world's most entertaining teams -- and players -- is on the docket.

Barcelona and Santos each took care of business to set up a meeting between the defending European champions and the South American powerhouse in the final of the FIFA Club World Cup.

Americans Abroad: Potts signs new deal, Lichaj nearing return and more

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The future remains bright for an up-and-coming U.S.-eligible defender.

Danny Potts, 17, put pen to paper Friday on a two-and-a-half year deal that will keep him at West Ham through the 2013-2014 season. Potts, whose father was born in the United States and played for West Ham, is eligible to play for both England and the United States.

USA U-23 camp gets underway in Florida

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

The next step in selecting the team that will be charged with qualifying the United States for the Olympics is underway, as United States Under-23 coach Caleb Porter holds his December training camp in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. A group of 30 players has been called in for the next week, where they'll aim to catch Porter's eye and build a foundation for the coming months.

Altidore, Kljestan go head-to-head; City, United tested after Europa League draw

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Jozy Altidore and Sacha Kljestan have both enjoyed individual club success this season, which in turn has led to their teams turning in strong results both domestically and in Europe. All of that will come to a head in the UEFA Europa League Round of 32, when their two teams will square off.

Arsenal, AC Milan set for knockout clash following UEFA Champions League draw

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With AC Milan in the runner-up pot, the odds of a high-profile matchup in the first knockout round of the UEFA Champions League were quite high. As it turns out, the draw did not disappoint.

Arsenal got paired with Milan during Friday's Champions League draw, setting the stage for an intriguing battle in the tournament's Round of 16.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Zak Whitbread is on the brink of doing something that he's only done once this season: Start consecutive games.

A week after returning to Norwich City's lineup in a surprise victory over Newcastle, Whitbread appears set to start for the Canaries when they play Tim Howard and Everton.

Donovan set to join Everton on short loan

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photo by Chris Brunskill/ISIphotos.com

Landon Donovan is heading back to Everton.

Donovan will join the Toffees from the Los Angeles Galaxy on a two-month loan that will run until Feb. 25, the Galaxy announced on Thursday.

"The opportunity to return to Everton and play for such a well-respected club and a manager that I hold in such high regard was something that was simply too good to pass up.

Whitecaps acquire Nguyen via lottery

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Lee Nguyen's search for a stable club situation will be taking him to Vancouver.

The Vancouver Whitecaps acquired Nguyen via a weighted lottery on Thursday. The Whitecaps were the odds-on favorite to acquire the 25-year-old attacker. The other teams who entered the lottery were Real Salt Lake, Toronto FC, the Houston Dynamo, FC Dallas and the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Timbers make Valencia signing official

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Two weeks after it was reported, the Portland Timbers have officially signed Colombian Jose Adolfo Valencia as a Designated Player.

The 19-year-old Valencia joins Portland from Colombian club Sante Fe pending the succesful completion of a physical, the Timbers announced on Thursday.

Afternoon Ticker: Balotelli and Richards scuffle, Rowdies return and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Mario Balotelli and Micah Richards were anything but all smiles in Thursday's training session.

The two Manchester City regulars were involved in a scuffle near the end of practice following a heated exchange of words. Richards had to be held back by fellow teammates when he attempted to continue the argument.

UEFA Europa League: Your Running Commentary

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The UEFA Europa League group stage will wrap up today, and several Americans are hoping their respective team is still standing after the dust has settled.

Jozy Altidore is one of those players, as he and AZ Alkmaar need a win over already-qualified FC Metalist Kharkiv in Group G in order to secure qualification.

MLS Notes: Nguyen lottery set for today, Quakes stadium progress & more

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Lee Nguyen's wait to find out his new club is almost up.

MLS will conduct a weighted lottery for the services on Thursday afternoon, the league announced.

The teams that have thrown their hat into the ring for the lottery are the Vancouver Whitecaps, Toronto FC, Houston Dynamo, FC Dallas, Real Salt Lake and Los Angeles Galaxy.

Buddle dismissed from Ingolstadt until after winter break

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If Edson Buddle's absence from FC Ingolstadt's match-day roster this past weekend didn't raise eyebrows, what has transpired since surely will.

According to German outlet Kicker, Ingolstadt manager Tomas Oral has dismissed Buddle from the relegation-threatened team until after the winter break.

Must-See Goal: Luuk de Jong

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Thursday Kickoff: Villa injured as Barca wins, Universidad takes title and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

A day after Pep Guardiola said he had no plans of selling him, David Villa was lost to injury.

Villa will be sidelined for approximately the next six months after fracturing his tibia in Barcelona's 4-0 Club World Cup win over Al Sadd on Thursday.

Union set to sign Panamanian Gomez

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The Philadelphia Union went into the offseason with a variety of needs, not the least of which was some defensive depth. Their first step toward adding that depth has led to the signing of a versatile player who should be familiar to U.S. national team fans.

The Union is set to sign Panamaian national team midfielder Gabriel Gomez, multiple reports in Philadelphia revealed on Thursday morning.

Bolton still interested in acquiring Ream

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New York Red Bulls sporting director Eric Soler may have said Tim Ream is not for sale, but that hasn't stopped Bolton Wanderers from continuing to admit interest in the American center back.

Bolton manager Owen Coyle spoke about Ream on Thursday, admitting that the club is still keen on acquiring him during the winter transfer window.

MLS Generation adidas team drops Netherlands tour finale to Almere City FC

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A day after topping one second-division side from the Netherlands, the MLS Generation adidas team dropped a result to another one, falling to Almere City FC, 2-0.

The loss wrapped up the side's 10-day tour of the country, in which it also lost to a team of Ajax Reserves and defeated FC Volendam.

Kljestan, Dempsey score in Europa League

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Sacha Kljestan's run of form is turning out to be anything but temporary.

Kljestan continued his strong season for Anderlecht, scoring a goal in the club's 5-3 triumph over Lokomotiv Moscow in their UEFA Europa League battle. His curling effort to the far corner dug Anderlecht out of an early 1-0 deficit and helped the Belgian side win its group, which should make for a more favorable result during Friday's knockout round draw.

Kashiwa 1, Santos 3: Match Highlights

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Mid-Day Ticker: Villa not for sale, Suarez racism hearing begins and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

David Villa may not be living up to expectations this season with Barcelona, but that doesn't mean the club is in any rush to get rid of him.

Pep Guardiola spoke to reporters in Japan ahead of Barcelona's FIFA Club World Cup campaign and said he has no intentions of disposing of Villa, who has been linked to several Premiership clubs.

UEFA Europa League: Your Running Commentary

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It's do or die for a number of teams across Europe as the UEFA Europa League winds down.

Half of the teams in the field play their final group games of the tournament today, including Clint Dempsey's Fulham, which can cement a place in the knockout round and set the tone for perhaps another deep tournament run with a win or by getting some help.

Americans seek final push to reach UEFA Europa League knockout stage

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The next two days are rather crucial for a number of Americans abroad, as their quests to reach the UEFA Europa League knockout stage come down to the final game of group play.

Clint Dempsey and Fulham control their own destiny and can advance as the second-place team from Group K with a win over Odense BK on Wednesday (3 p.

European clubs lining up bids for Schuler

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The NCAA College Cup Final always has its share of scouts tracking the top talent, and last weekend's matches in Hoover, Alabama drew extra attention from foreign clubs interested in the handful of top pro prospects on display.

At the top of that list was North Carolina striker Billy Schuler, who helped lead the Tar Heels to their second NCAA title after scoring the vital equalizer in the semifinal win against UCLA last Friday.

Wednesday Kickoff: Dynamo sell naming rights, Santos reaches final and more

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Houston Dynamo fans have been waiting since the club's inaugural 2006 season for a soccer-specific stadium they could call their own, and, come May, that dream will be realized.

According to the Houston Chronicle, that stadium will be named BBVA Compass Stadium at an official ceremony slated for Wednesday afternoon.

FC Volendam 2, Generation adidas 3: Match Highlights

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Sounders re-sign Rosales

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Mauro Rosales enjoyed an outstanding first season in Major League Soccer, leading Seattle's high-powered offense and earning MLS Newcomer of he Year honors in the process.

The Sounders rewarded Rosales outstanding debut, and secured his services in the process, signing the 30-year-old playmaker to a multi-year contract.

Boyd, Rowe added to U-23 camp

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

When Caleb Porter released his initial roster for the upcoming U.S. Under-23 training camp in Florida, a few omissions raised some eyebrows.

A couple of those players in question are now included, as Borussia Dortmund striker Terrence Boyd and UCLA playmaker Kelyn Rowe were added to the camp, during which Porter will get a look at 30 players eligible for Olympic qualifying.

Hamburg SV All-Stars 4, Ronaldo-Zidane All-Stars 5: Match Highlights

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French great Zinedine Zidane and Brazilian icon Ronaldo put on their annual Match Against Poverty event Tuesday, taking on a team of Hamburg SV All-Stars in Germany, and the legend-laden squad did not disappoint.

Ronaldo scored as part of his team's 5-4 victory, with proceeds from the event going toward combating poverty in the Horn of Africa.

Red Bulls GM Soler: No moves or loans imminent for Ream, Henry, Marquez

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Photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

Tim Ream's training stints with West Brom and Bolton are just that and nothing more. Officially.

New York Red Bulls general manager Erik Soler made that much clear to reporters on Tuesday, saying that Ream won't be transferred or loaned out despite what conflicting reports from overseas might suggest.

Galaxy face crucial personnel decisions as club retools for busy season ahead

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Photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.comÂ


By ADAM SERRANO

The Los Angeles Galaxy may have won MLS Cup, but there is no rest for the defending champions. Not with David Beckham being heavily sought after by Qatari-owned Paris St. Germain and numerous key players out of contract as yet another busy schedule looms in 2012.

FIFA Club World Cup semifinals: A Look Ahead

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The opening acts at the FIFA Club World Cup were pretty entertaining. Now Lionel Messi and Neymar are ready for center stage and perhaps a final duel that would pit South America's preeminent attacking talents against each other.

The first few games at the tournament have provided some great theater, with host Kashiwa Reysol stealing the show with two victories, including a penalty-kick triumph over CONCACAF champion Monterrey.

Which potential DP do you want to see in MLS in 2012?

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Omar Bravo is gone. David Beckham could be gone. Nicolas Anelka isn't coming.

The Designated Player landscape in MLS is changing and evolving, and even with teams having the flexibility to go after younger DP options or giving players like league veteran Shalrie Joseph a DP deal, the lure of landing a big-name, marketable superstar is still prevalent.

MLS Generation adidas team claims victory over FC Volendam

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Photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.com

The MLS Generation adidas side continued its tour of the Netherlands with a 3-2 victory over second-division club FC Volendam on Tuesday.

Columbus Crew midfielder Dilly Duka scored his second goal of the tour, tallying off a free kick much like he did against the Ajax reserves in a 4-2 loss last week.

WPS gets conditional sanctioning for 2012

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Having faced uncertainty about its future in recent weeks and months, WPS appears to have avoided doomsday. At least for now.

WPS reportedly received conditional Division 1 sanctioning for 2012 from U.S. Soccer's board of directors on Monday evening despite it only having five teams and the minimum for Division I status typically being eight.

Rangers talking extension with Edu

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Maurice Edu has done well for himself ever since joining Rangers from Toronto FC in 2008, and the club hopes to keep him for the long haul.

Rangers manager Ally McCoist said that the club has begun to have contract extension talks with Edu and his representatives. The U.

MLS Notes: Bravo dealt to Cruz Azul, Frei training with Liverpool and more

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Photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.com

Omar Bravo's time in MLS is up.

Sporting Kansas City and top-flight Mexican club Cruz Azul agreed to a deal that will see the Designated Player return to his native country after one season in MLS. No terms of the deal were disclosed.

Tuesday Kickoff: Chelsea hands City first loss, Juve ties Roma, and more

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Chelsea breathed life into their faint title hopes, while also helping open up the English Premier League title race after handing Manchester City their first loss of the season in a 2-1 victory at Stamford Bridge on Monday.

Frank Lampard came off the bench to convert the game-winning penalty as a Joleon Lescott handball doomed City to their first defeat, which leaves the Premier League leaders just two points ahead of Manchester United.

Friberg leaves Sounders for Malmo

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Swedish midfielder Erik Friberg became the latest Seattle Sounder to depart this off-season, moving to Swedish club Malmo on Monday in a transfer announced by the Sounders.

Friberg played 26 matches for Seattle, recording a goal and assist for the Sounders.

The off-season has been a busy one for the Sounders, who had already lost goalkeeper Kasey Keller to retirement, James Riley and Tyson Wahl in the expansion draft, as well as Nate Jaqua and Pat Noonan in the re-entry draft.

Galaxy sign Alajuelense midfielder Sarvas

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By ADAM SERRANO

Los Angeles Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena was busy adding to the defending MLS Cup champions Monday, making four picks in the MLS Re-Entry Draft and hitting the international market as well. Following the Re-Entry Draft, Arena announced the signing of former Alajuelense midfielder Marcelo Sarvas on a conference call with reporters.

LA makes four picks, Seattle trades up for Burch in second stage of Re-Entry Draft

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Photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIphotos.com

Although the majority of teams passed on the opportunity to add players in the second stage of the MLS Re-Entry Draft, a few used Monday's exercise to stockpile depth ahead of the 2012 preseason.

Three teams took multiple players, spearheaded by the defending champion Los Angeles Galaxy, who made four selections: defenders Andrew Boyens and Chris Leitch, veteran forward Pat Noonan and veteran goalkeeper Jon Conway.

Soccer Monday: Your Running Commentary

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There are just two games on the slate today, but when those two games are as good Manchester City-Chelsea (3pm, ESPN2) and Roma-Juventus (2:30pm, Fox Soccer Channel), it makes for a special afternoon.

Manchester City will look to keep their stranglehold on the Premier League lead with a win, while Chelsea will look to hand the Citizens their first loss of the season as they try to maintain a place in the Top Four of the Premier League.

Who should Klinsmann call up to the January USMNT camp?

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

The tradition of holding a January camp for mostly MLS players looking to break through into the U.S. naitonal team is going to be maintained during the Jurgen Klinsmann era and the German manager will be putting together his first January camp very shortly.

Berhalter named Hammarby manager

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The opportunity for American managers in Europe haven't been easy to come by, but a young American is ready to blaze a trail after only recently retiring as a player.

Former U.S. national team defender Gregg Berhalter has been named the new manager of Swedish club Hammarby, the club announced on Monday.

Monday Kickoff: Anelka signs in China, Tigres wins Mexican League, and more

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The race to land the services of Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka is over, and Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua has emerged as the top bidder, landing Anelka on a two-year contract.

Shenhua beat out teams from Russia, Qatar, as well as MLS club Montreal Impact, for the 32-year-old French striker, with reports estimating the deal will pay Anelka more than $300,000 a week.

MLS Draft Notes: Mattocks ready to skip MLS for Europe, Ownby trial in Germany

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

The 2012 MLS Draft is a month away, and the Montreal Impact's options with the No. 1 overall pick are ready to get a lot weaker.

Akron University striker Darren Mattocks, a consensus pick to be among the first two players selected in January's MLS Draft, is ready to pass on the Generation adidas contract offered to him by MLS to sign in Europe.

European Weekend Rewind: Barca rolls, Bayern extends Bundesliga lead, & more

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FC Barcelona won the match-up of the weekend, if not the season to date, with a thrilling 3-1 victory against arch-rival Real Madrid. Goals from Alexis Sanchez, Xavi and Cesc Fabregas helped the reigning champions erase Real Madrid's three-point hold on first place in La Liga (though Real Madrid still has a game in hand).

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

There were several noteworthy performances from the Americans Abroad contingent this weekend, but none was better than the match put in by Oguchi Onyewu.

Onyewu was the only American to find the back of the net this past weekend, as he hit the winner in Sporting CP's 1-0 victory over CD Nacional de Madeira.

Speas stunner seals second title for UNC

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

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Underdog Charlotte looked poised to pull another upset, and make North Carolina the latest victim, but Tar Heels forward Ben Speas delivered a goal worthy of a championship to help UNC win its first NCAA title in a decade.

Speas, who won a national title with Akron last season, produced the game's lone goal 24 minutes from time with a fantastic strike.

MLS Re-Entry Draft field lacks stars, dominated by veteran role players

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 Photo by Brad Smith/ISIPhotos.com

By THOMAS FLOYD

Fans expecting their team to nab that missing piece of the MLS Cup puzzle in the Re-entry Draft on Monday shouldn't get their hopes up.

Last year, clubs used the mechanism to bolster their rosters with the likes of Juan Pablo Angel, Josh Wolff, Jimmy Conrad and Cory Gibbs.

NCAA College Cup Final: Match Day Commentary

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The championship favorites take on the ultimate Cinderella story as No. 1 ranked North Carolina faces Charlotte in the NCAA Men's College Cup Final today in Hoover, Alabama (4pm, ESPNU).

The Tar Heels entered the tournament as favorites, and showed their quality in beating a tough UCLA side in penalties in the semifinal.

Real Madrid 1, Barcelona 3: Match Highlights

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Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Santos Laguna and Tigres enter today's Mexican Apertura Final second leg with championship aspirations and 90 minutes to try and lift a trophy.

Tigres posted a 1-0 victory in Torreon in the first leg, and will be favored to hold that lead at home, but Santos Laguna does boast the firepower to reverse that scoreline.

UNC and Charlotte prepare for battle in NCAA College Cup Final

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

No. 1 North Carolina and unseeded Charlotte share the same state geographically but that's about all these two teams have in common.

The Tar Heels are a perennial power participating in their fourth-straight College Cup. It is a team full of pro-ready talent, a team that has gelled remarkably fast under first-year head coach Carlos Somoano, who spent the better part of the decade as an assistant with North Carolina.

Gomez headed to Santos Laguna

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While Santos Laguna is busy trying to climb out of a one-goal deficit in the Mexican Apertura final, the club has an eye on sustaining its success during the Clausura campaign as well. A piece of that puzzle involves Herculez Gomez.Â

Cash-strapped Estudiantes Tecos has sold Gomez to Santos Laguna, putting the U.

Must-See Goal: Robin Van Persie

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Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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The two best teams in the world prepare to square off today in the highly-anticipated match-up of Spanish giants FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.

The latest chapter of 'El Clasico' brings us Real Madrid in first place by three points, but knowing that Barcelona has gotten the better of them in recent match-ups.

Charlotte, UNC advance to national title with penalty-kick victories

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

The National Championship is headed back to North Carolina in one way or another.

It was a long yet dramatic night in Hoover, Alabama as both UNC and Charlotte booked their place in the final with the help of penalty kicks. Charlotte was never able to break down Creighton's record-breaking defense but were vastly superior in the penalty kick shootout that followed a dull 0-0 draw.

College Cup: Your Running Commentary

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Top prospects and college teams are on display at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala., as the NCAA College Cup gets underway.

Creighton takes on surprising Charlotte (6 p.m., ESPNU/ESPN3.com) to kick off the Final Four. The Bluejays have been one of the top teams in the country all season, relying on the play of senior striker Ethan Finlay and sophomore left back Tyler Polak.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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Messi and Ronaldo. Guardiola and Mourinho. Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Anyway you slice it, El Clasico is the marquee match of the weekend and will command the eyes of soccer fans around the world. Real Madrid is currently in the driver's seat in La Liga, leading Barcelona by three points, placing added significance on a match that doesn't need any extra luster.

Wenger, Schuler, Finlay named Hermann Trophy finalists

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Photo courtesy of Duke athletics

The quest for college soccer's top individual award has been narrowed to three competitors.

Duke's Andrew Wenger, North Carolina's Billy Schuler and Creighton's Ethan Finlay were named finalists for the Hermann Trophy, emerging from a list of 15 semifinalists that was released earlier in the week.

Real Madrid, Barcelona set for crucial Clasico showdown

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By THOMAS FLOYD

Perhaps the fiercest rivalry the beautiful game has to offer will be renewed at the Bernabeu on this weekend, and -- what's new? -- the stakes are high.

With Real Madrid three points clear of FC Barcelona with a game in hand, Saturday's Clasico (4 p.

Mid-Day Ticker: Villa talking new deal with Guzan, Henry gets a statue and more

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

After three years as a backup, Brad Guzan will make his first Premier League start on Saturday for Aston Villa, and the club is already in the process of trying to extend his stay at Villa Park before his current deal expires this summer.

College Cup: Midfielders Rowe, Martinez take differing paths to stardom

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By ADAM SERRANO

These days, Kelyn Rowe and Enzo Martinez have a great deal in common.

Both are playmakers for their teams with field vision that has pro scouts raving, and both are candidates for Generation adidas deals following this NCAA season.

College Cup: Charlotte looks to keep Cinderella run going in semifinals

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

By just about any measure, it has been a good year for the UNC-Charlotte 49ers.

The little-known school of the Atlantic-10 dispatched defending champions Akron and scored in the final five minutes against stingy UConn to steamroll their way into the College Cup.

VfB Stuttgart eyeing Chandler

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Photo by Florian Eisele/ISIphotos.com

Timmy Chandler has enjoyed a solid start to the Bundesliga season for FC Nurnberg, and at least one other club has taken notice.

According to German publication Bild, VfB Stuttgart has set its sights on Chandler as a potential replacement for expensive fullback Khalid Boulahrouz.

Report: U.S. Soccer paying Klinsmann $2.5 million

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Photo by Brad Smith/ISIphotos.com

When U.S. Soccer sealed the deal to make Jurgen Klinsmann head coach of the men's national team, it was evident that the federation was making a big investment in Klinsmann and his outlook for the program. Now it's clear just how big that investment was.

Friday Kickoff: Vidic out for season, Tigres take Apertura final lead and more

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Manchester United's week has gone from bad to worse.

After being eliminated from the UEFA Champions League in the group stage, United got word Friday that centerback Nemanja Vidic will miss the remainder of the season after suffering ligament damage in his right knee.

Vidic suffered the injury at the end of the first half of United's UCL finale against FC Basel Wednesday while battling Marco Streller for the ball.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Brad Friedel made waves with his comments about Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey this week, but its his team that has been making waves in the Premier League recently. Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur have not lost in the Premiership since the second week of the season, but they'll have to see off tricky Stoke City this weekend if they are to continue their run of good form.

Four MLS clubs to play for Desert Diamond Cup this winter

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

PHOENIX -- Four MLS teams have agreed to take part in the Desert Diamond Cup, a round-robin tournament to be held at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium in Tucson, Ariz., Feb. 22-March 3.

The defending MLS Cup champions Los Angeles Galaxy, the New York Red Bulls, the New England Revolution and Real Salt Lake are the scheduled participants in a series of matches that span a week and a half.

Friedel takes shot at Donovan while praising Dempsey with latest remarks

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Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

It's not uncommon for American soccer fans and pundits to debate on who is the better U.S. men's national team player between Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey, but one former U.S. international has weighed in on the matter and has created quite the stir in doing so.

Ajax Reserves 4, Generation adidas 2: Match Highlights

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CONCACAF releases Olympic qualifying schedule; USA to open against Cuba

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The United States Under-23 national team found out who it would play during the group stage of Olympic qualifying earlier in the week, and now it knows when it will play each of its opponents.

The U.S. team will open qualifying against Cuba on March 22, followed by a meeting with Canada two days later and a final group game against El Salvador on March 26.

Porter names 28-player roster for U23 camp

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Caleb Porter has named a 28-man roster for his first camp in charge of the U.S. U-23 men's national team, and there's talent aplenty.

Freddy Adu, Teal Bunbury, Mikkel Diskerud and Bill Hamid are just some of the more well-known names in the eight-day camp that will be held in Lakewood Ranch, Fla.

Mid-Day Ticker: Neville doesn't see a Donovan return, no investigation by UEFA and more

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photo by Ben Queenborough/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Phil Neville is in favor of manager David Moyes bringing in reinforcements to the club during the winter transfer window in January, but one player the Everton captain doesn't see being brought in is Landon Donovan.

Generation adidas falls to Ajax reserves in tour opener

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photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.com

The 2011 Generation adidas team began its three-game tour of the Netherlands on Thursday morning, but not in the fashion that it would have liked.

Ajax's reserve team defeated Generation adidas, 4-2, in a friendly in Amsterdam, according to MLS's twitter.

Ajax 0, Real Madrid 3: Match Highlights

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Thursday Kickoff: Rooney ban reduced, Sevilla eyeing Dos Santos and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Wayne Rooney will be able to play in group stage of Euro 2012 after all.

Accompanied by England head coach Fabio Capello, Rooney had his three-game ban reduced to two after a successful appeal to UEFA on Thursday. The decision to shorten Rooney's ban, which came as a result of Rooney receiving a red card against Montenegro in a Euro qualifier last month, means he will be eligible to play in England's final group match against Ukraine.

FC Basel 2, Manchester United 1: Match Highlights

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Final 16 set for UEFA Champions League

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After the dust settled from Wednesday's shocking UEFA Champions League group results, the final 16 teams have emerged to make it to the knockout stage.

The draw is set for Dec. 16, and teams from the same group or same league cannot meet in the first knockout round. The teams in each pot are:

GROUP WINNERS - Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Benfica, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Arsenal, APOEL Nicosia, Barcelona

RUNNERS-UPÂ - Napoli, CSKA Moscow, FC Basel, Lyon, Bayer Leverkusen, Marseille, Zenit-St.

UCL Rewind: Manchester clubs crash out, Lyon completes comeback and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Manchester United and Manchester City might be competing atop the Premier League standings, but neither of them will be taking part in the UEFA Champions League group stage. Instead, it's off to the Europa League.

Manchester United became the first finalist to be knocked out in the group stage the following year after being shocked by FC Basel in Switzerland, 2-1, and relegated to the second tier competition with a third-place group finish.

MLS releases initial combine roster

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Photo courtesy of UNC athletics

The MLS Combine is about a month away, but we already have a good idea of who will be trying to wow scouts ahead of the MLS SuperDraft after MLS released a list of 52 players who will compete in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Among those included on the initial list are highly rated players such as South Florida standout goalkeeper Chris Blais, North Carolina centerback Matt Hedges, Louisville attackers Nick DeLeon and Colin Rolfe, Maryland forward Casey Townsend and Creighton striker Ethan Finlay.

MLS Notes: Sounders find Keller's successor, Fire cut Ferrari and more

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The Seattle Sounders' search for Kasey Keller's successor has been completed.

Seattle announced the long-rumored signing of Austrian goalkeeper Michael Gspurning on Wednesday, ushering in a new era between the posts at CenturyLink Field.Â

"First off, you don't replace Kasey Keller.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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It's the final day of the UEFA Champions League group stage, meaning that there is high potential for drama across Europe.

Much of the focus will be centered on St. Jakob Park in Switzerland, where FC Basel will try to do the unthinkable and prevent Manchester United from making it to the knockout round.

2011 FIFA Club World Cup: A Look Ahead

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By JOEY SAMUEL

In previous years, many viewed the FIFA Club World Cup as a minor tournament that was inevitably going to be won by the European or South American teams. This time around, that could still happen, but the 2011 edition is shaping up to be the most competitive yet.

Union add Costa Rican forward Martinez

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The Philadelphia Union added a young, promising attacking piece on Wednesday by acquiring 21-year-old Costa Rican forward Josue Martinez from CD Saprissa.

Martinez brings a strong pedigree and attacking flair to the Union, where he joins a strikeforce that boasts other up-and-comers Danny Mwanga and Jack McInerney in addition to stalwart Sebastien Le Toux.

Borussia Dortmund 2, Marseille 3: Match Highlights

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MLS teams line up 2012 preseason training in Arizona

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Photo by Stephen Brashear/ISIphotos.com


By JOSE M. ROMERO

The MLS Cup final was played not even three weeks ago, but teams are already making training plans in preparation for next season.Â

Three MLS teams are confirmed for training at Grande Sports World in Casa Grande, Ariz.

UEFA Champions League: United on brink, City looks for help and more

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After seeing Chelsea avoid embarrassment with a convincing UEFA Champions League victory on Tuesday, Manchester United will hope to follow in its fellow English club's footsteps when it takes on FC Basel in Switzerland (2:45 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel).

Both teams trail Benfica in Group C, and while either team could win the group with a result and a Benfica loss to underdog Otelul Galati, the reality of the situation is that the game is a de facto second-place match.

Wednesday Kickoff: Milan closes in on Tevez, Mexico lines up friendlies & more

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Carlos Tevez appears to be inching closer to resolution on his future.

The much-maligned Manchester City striker has a major suitor in AC Milan, which has reportedly extended an offer to take the player on loan for the rest of the season before purchasing his contract during the summer.

MLS Notes: Nguyen signs with league, Kennedy gets new Chivas deal and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Lee Nguyen's long journey is leading back home.

Nguyen, a Texas native, signed a multi-year deal with MLS on Tuesday, bringing a one-time U.S. attacking prospect to the league after six years overseas. Nguyen appeared three times in 2007 for the U.

UCL Rewind: Chelsea routs Valencia, Marseille completes comeback and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

From almost out of the UEFA Champions League to topping Group E, it's been a crazy first campaign for Chelsea manager Andres Villas-Boas.

Talks of crisis at Stamford Bridge seem to be dissipating after Chelsea routed Valencia 3-0 to advance to the knockout round for the ninth consecutive season.

Plush out as Rapids managing director

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A year removed from winning MLS Cup, the Colorado Rapids are undergoing major changes to their staff and front office.

With Gary Smith already out as head coach, managing director Jeff Plush became the latest to leave the club, doing so after six years on the job, according to a team release.

USA draws Canada, Cuba, El Salvador in Olympic qualifying

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The United States drew a favorable path to the semifinals of CONCACAF Olympic qualifying on Tuesday, getting put in Group A with Canada, Cuba and El Salvador. Group A's games will take place at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. The full schedule for the qualifying tournament will be released later this week, according to CONCACAF.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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It's do-or-die for Chelsea and manager Andres Villas-Boas, as the Premier League giants need to secure a result against Valencia in order to avoid an embarrassing early exit from the UEFA Champions League.

Even with that, Frank Lampard and Fernando Torres are starting the game on the bench, and Juan Mata gets the start against his former club, which played Chelsea to a 1-1 draw in their previous meeting.

Vancouver, Montreal to do battle on opening day of 2012 MLS season

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The opening weekend of the 2012 MLS season will feature a Canadian derby.

The Vancouver Whitecaps will host the Montreal Impact at BC Place on March 10 as part of MLS First Kick, the league announced on Tuesday, as bits and pieces of next season's schedule begin to be released.

MLS Notes: Whitecaps sign Lee, Pause signs Fire extension and more

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The Vancouver Whitecaps added a veteran fullback with loads of World Cup experience to his name by signing South Korean defender Lee Young-Pyo.

According to reports, the 34-year-old Lee is joining the club on a one-year deal with an option for one more. It remains to be seen on which side of the field Lee will play for first-year manager Martin Rennie, with left backs Jordan Harvey and Alain Rochat already in the fold.

Must-See Goal: Carlos Vela

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The draw for 2012 CONCACAF Olympic qualifying is set for Tuesday, and one of the players who could be starring for Mexico during qualifying is Carlos Vela, the perpetually on-loan Arsenal forward who is currently at Real Sociedad. His late equalizer Sunday against Malaga was a thing of beauty. Enjoy:


UEFA Champions League: Chelsea, Porto feeling pressure and more

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It's a big day for Andre Villas-Boas' current team and his former one as well.

Chelsea's Portuguese manager is already on the hot seat just months into his first season at the helm, and the questions about his future will only get louder if the Blues can't knock off Valencia in Tuesday's UEFA Champions League group stage finale (Fox Soccer Channel, 2:45 p.

Tuesday Kickoff: Galaxy win tour finale, Blatter hints at technology use & more

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The Los Angeles Galaxy made it 3-for-3 on their Asia Pacific tour, defeating the Melbourne Victory in a penalty shootout, 4-3, after the teams played to a 2-2 draw in regulation.

The Galaxy trailed, 2-0, but Robbie Keane twice converted penalty kicks to pull the MLS Cup champions level.

MLS Notes: Williams retires, joins RSL staff; Fire keep Barouch and more

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Photo by/ISIphotos.com

Another longtime MLS standout is hanging up his cleats.

Real Salt Lake's Andy Williams announced his retirement Monday night, ending a productive 14-year playing career. The skillful Jamaican midfielder won't be straying far from the game at all, though, as he will join the Real Salt Lake techinical staff as a scout.

Dempsey breaks American record with game-winning goal against Liverpool

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Clint Dempsey's legend at Fulham continues to grow with every goal he scores.

The Texas native did it again on Monday, scoring an 85th-minute winner for Fulham in a 1-0 victory over Liverpool. Minutes after hitting the crossbar with a bending effort from the top of the area, Dempsey found himself in perfect position to slot home a spilled rebound by Pepe Reina from close range.

Weekend Rewind: Stanford wins women's NCAA title, Mexican final set and more

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Photo by Steven Limentani/ISIphotos.com

Stanford's women's soccer team has completed its climb up the NCAA ladder. Finally.

After falling in the national title game in each of the last two seasons, Stanford held off Duke to capture the 2011 title with a 1-0 victory in Kennesaw, Ga.

Guzan becomes Aston Villa starter after tests rule Given out for month

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The time for Brad Guzan to prove his worth at Aston Villa has finally come.

The American goalkeeper is slated to become the Villans' starter for the next month after scans revealed that regular starter Shay Given has a hamstring tear. Guzan replaced Given in the first half of Saturday's 1-0 loss to Manchester United and did not allow a goal.

Must-See Goal: Sagar Thapa

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Fulham vs. Liverpool: Your Running Commentary

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Clint Dempsey and Fulham own the Monday Premier League spotlight, welcoming Liverpool to Craven Cottage (3 p.m., ESPN2/ESPN3.com).

Fulham is in need of a result to get a bit more separation from the relegation zone and make its way toward a mid-table standing. Liverpool, meanwhile, will take to the field without central midfield stalwart Lucas for the first time since he suffered a season-ending knee injury.

Wenger, Finlay headline list of Hermann Trophy semifinalists

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Photo courtesty of Creighton Sports Information

Duke's Andrew Wenger and Creighton's Ethan Finlay have had standout seasons, and they headline the list of Hermann Trophy semifinalists released by the NSCAA on Sunday.

The two strikers were the only repeat semifinalists from last year for the Hermann Trophy -- college soccer's top individual award -- out of a list of 15 players that also includes South Florida forward Dom Dwyer, North Carolina forward Billy Schuler and Maryland striker Casey Townsend.

Chivas USA selects Alvarez to highlight first stage of MLS Re-Entry Draft

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Chivas USA made the biggest move in Monday's short first stage of the 2011 MLS Re-Entry Draft by using its fourth overall selection to pick former Real Salt Lake midfielder Arturo Alvarez.

Two other teams made selections, as the New England Revolution used the second overall pick on former Toronto FC fullback Danleigh Borman, and the Columbus Crew used the ninth overall pick to add former New York Red Bulls defender Carlos Mendes.

NCAA Tournament: Charlotte, Creighton book spots in College Cup with late drama

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Overtime was needed in both of Sunday's quarterfinals as unseeded Charlotte shocked No. 3 UConn and No. 2 Creighton overcame a hearty challenge from No. 7 South Florida.

Charlotte came from behind late in the game to knot the score at 1-1 and force a penalty kick shootout against the Huskies before advancing courtesy of a 4-2 victory.

MLS Notes: Quaranta retires, Mullan re-signs with Colorado and more

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Photo by Brad Smith/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

We've seen the last of Santino Quaranta as a professional soccer player.

Quaranta has called it a career after 11 seasons in MLS, according to the Washington Post. Feeling that there's nothing left to accomplish, Quaranta ends his time as a player with 27 goals and 29 assists in 180 MLS matches and 15 caps and one goal for the U.

Re-Entry Draft field continues to shrink, leaves few options ahead of first stage

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By AVI CREDITOR

Don't expect to be wowed by the second edition of the MLS Re-Entry Draft now that most of the big names initially available are off the table.

Between Bobby Convey being traded to Sporting Kansas City, Bobby Boswell re-signing with the Houston Dynamo, Ante Jazic re-signing with Chivas USA and Santino Quaranta retiring, the quality of the draft pool has dropped immensely.

Joseph re-signs with Revs as DP

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Photo by Nick Turchiaro/ISIphotos.com

There was a time during a tumultuous summer for the New England Revolution when it appeared that Shalrie Joseph was as good as gone when the MLS offseason rolled around.

The Revolution captain isn't going anywhere, though, after the club re-signed him and made him a Designated Player.

Monday Kickoff: Ballon d'Or finalists announced, Socrates dies at 57 and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

When the French Football Association announced its men's and women's Ballon d'Or finalists for 2011, the usual suspects were all accounted for — with one American in the mix.

The La Liga trio of Lionel Messi, Xavi and Cristiano Ronaldo are set to contend for the men's award, while Marta, Homare Sawa and Abby Wambach will vie for the women's prize.

Montreal in transfer talks with Anelka

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The Montreal Impact have made quite the splash since kicking off their inaugural MLS preseason, but the club reportedly has a potential move in the works that would top everything it's done thus far in building its roster.

According to Fox Soccer, the Montreal Impact have had extensive talks with Nicolas Anelka about bringing the Chelsea striker to MLS.

USA U-17s top Brazil to win Nike International Friendlies championship

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Photo by John Dorton/ISIphotos.com

Plenty can change in terms of player development over the next number of years, but for the time being, the United States Under-17 national team proved that there's much to be excited about when it comes to the future of the U.S. program.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Jozy Altidore has been no stranger to scoring nice goals this season, but the one he bagged this weekend is arguably among his best of the year.

Altidore finished off a beautiful passing sequence in AZ Alkmaar's match against Heerenveen when he got an open look from close range after a beautiful first touch that got him by a defender.

U.S. Under-17 vs. Brazil: Your Running Commentary

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The Nike Friendlies conclude today with the marquee match we've been waiting for, the United States taking on Brazil (5pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

We weren't originally going to post a live commentary on this game, in part because I've just gone on vacation and nobody else is around, but with the United States up 3-1 at halftime and putting on a show, I'm sure there are plenty of USA fans eager to talk about the next generation of up and coming American stars.

Must-See Goal: Jozy Altidore's goal vs. Heerenveen

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The move to Holland has done wonders for Jozy Altidore's scoring touch.

The American forward scored the lone goal in AZ's 5-1 defeat to Heerenveen. Altidore leveled the score in the 20th minute of the match, when he played a give-and-go with a teammate, the forward cut through two defenders before firing in the goal.

NCAA Tournament: North Carolina, UCLA advance to College Cup

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Two tickets have been punched to the College Cup.

Top seeded North Carolina and 13th seeded UCLA advanced to College Cup 2011 with victories on Saturday and will face one another in on Friday, Dec. 9th at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala.

The final two spots in the final four will be decided on Sunday when third-seeded Connecticut face Charlotte and second-seeded Creighton take on South Florida.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Tim Howard and Everton find themselves in a logjam in the middle of the English Premier League standings, but if the U.S. national team goalkeeper and his team want to make a run at the top teams in England, they will need a win today against Stoke City to make that happen.

Everton is currently in a four-way tie in the middle of the Premier League table, but the Toffees hold two games in hand on the pack, and wins in those two games could pull Everton within range of arch-rival Liverpool, among others.

Chicharito injured, Guzan sees time in Man United 1-0 win vs. Aston Villa

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It wasn't exactly a beautiful game, but Manchester United's 1-0 victory against Aston Villa was loaded with talking points.

The biggest storyline from the match wasn't United's victory, but the serious ankle injury suffered by Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, who rolled his ankle and appeared to suffer severe ligament damage.

U.S. Under-17 1, Turkey 0: Match Highlights

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Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Chelsea manager Andres Villas Boas is feeling the heat as his squad has delivered some disappointing results this season, and if the Blues are going to turn things around, they'll have to win in one of the tougher stadiums to visit in the English Premier League.

Newcastle has been one of the surprises of the season, and the Magpies won't be looking to do Villas Boas any favors as they try to stay in the Top Four mix.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

American soccer fans always love a chance to glimpse the future of the U.S. national team, and this weekend will offer at least a few looks at some exciting prospects who could one day play a role on the senior national team.

The U.S.

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

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Photo by John Dorton/ISIphotos.com

The United States Under-17 national team takes to the field at the Nike International Friendlies in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., again, looking to build off its first performance of the tournament with a matchup against Turkey (5 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel).

CONCACAF Olympic qualifying draw set for Tuesday

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The United States Under-23 national team will find out its road to London soon enough.

CONCACAF announced that it will hold its draw for the Olympic qualifying tournament on Tuesday at the organization's headquarters in New York.

The eight teams in the draw (United States, Canada, Cuba, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago)Â will be split into two groups of four, with one group playing its games at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

College Spotlight: Hoffman capitalizes at UCLA, eyes College Cup homecoming

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Photo courtesy of Don Liebig/UCLA

By ADAM SERRANO

LOS ANGELES –- Chandler Hoffman is an opportunist.

His ability to get into the right place at the right time has helped him develop into one of the most feared attackers in college soccer, scoring 18 goals this season at UCLA.

The Fox Soccer MLS Draft Big Board (& more on the GA class and MLS draft pool)

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

The latest Fox Soccer MLS Draft Big Board is out, and with six weeks to go, there have been plenty of changes to the list of Top 25 prospects heading into Janaury's MLS Draft.

The very top of the Big Board is largely unchanged, with Duke's Andrew Wenger and Akron's Darren Mattocks remaining at the top, with UCLA's Kelyn Rowe and North Carolina's Billy Schuler following them.

Germany, Netherlands drawn into Group of Death for Euro 2012

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With co-hosts Poland and Ukraine placed in the first pot of the Euro 2012 draw, there was bound to be at least one brutally-tough group in next summer's tournament.

Group B gets the distinction as being the Group of Death, as the Netherlands, Germany, Portugal and Denmark will vie for two spots in the knockout round.

Sporting KC acquires Convey

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Photo by Don Feria/ISIphotos.com

Sporting Kansas City's week of wheeling and dealing has ended with an exclamation point.

The club acquired Bobby Convey from the San Jose Earthquakes in exchange for an international roster slot.Â

Convey, who did not have his contract option picked up by San Jose after this past season, was part of the initial list of players available in the MLS Re-Entry Draft, but that is no longer the case after Sporting KC stepped up to trade for the veteran left winger.

Euro 2012 draw: Live Commentary

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The draw for this upcoming summer's Euro 2012 tournament is set to go in Kiev, Ukraine, with 16 teams eager to find out who they'll be competing against for the continent's championship. With co-hosts Poland and Ukraine placed in the first pot, there's bound to be some treacherous group pairings for some of the world's top teams.

NCAA Tournament: A Look Ahead to the Quarterfinals

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

It's the kind of stuff Hollywood was built on.

Last season, a staggering nine goals were produced in a snowy quarterfinal clash between then-No. 1 Louisville and No. 8 UCLA, as the Cardinals squeaked out a 5-4 victory on their way to a runner-up finish.

Salgado, Mwanga, Gil headline team for MLS Generation adidas tour

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

MLS announced the 18-man roster that will be making the trip to the Netherlands for the Generation adidas tour, with four players from the Philadelphia Union, up-and-coming Real Salt Lake midfielder Luis Gil and last year's No. 1 pick in the MLS SuperDraft, Omar Salgado, headlining the team.

Impact unveil MLS jersey

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The Montreal Impact unveiled their MLS jersey Thursday night, taking the latest step in the run up to their expansion season.

The primary, blue kit comes with matching blue shorts and is a pretty typical MLS shirt -- sponsor across the front, team crest by the heart, three stripes down either sleeve and MLS and country flag patches on the sleeves as well.

Friday Kickoff: Platini backs winter World Cup, Houston re-signs Boswell and more

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It remains to be seen whether the 2022 World Cup will be played in the summer or the winter, but one high-ranking FIFA official has a solution to ensure a winter World Cup gets played without a problem: Move the two biggest competitions in European club soccer.Â

Ahead of Friday's Euro 2012 draw in the Ukraine, UEFA president Michel Platini said that he is open to moving the UEFA Champions League and Europa League competitions in order to accommodate a winter World Cup in Qatar.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Having been beaten by Kilmarnock in shocking fashion last week, Carlos Bocanegra, Maurice Edu and Alejandro Bedoya enter their match against Dunfermline Athletic with one thing in mind: Winning.

Rangers is still four points clear of Celtic for first place in the Scottish Premier League, but the Blues need to bounce back from last weekend's defeat.

D.C. passes on option to buy Davies

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In a move that hardly came as a surprise, D.C. United has passed on the option to buy Charlie Davies' contract from French club Sochaux.

The club announced the decision on Thursday, but it had been clear for months that Davies future didn't lie with D.C. The team is still in talks with Davies about potential options, but if Davies does return to MLS in 2012, it would be on loan to another team in the league and not D.

USA to open 2012 with friendlies against Venezuela, Panama

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photo by Florian Eisele/ISIphotos.com

The U.S. men's national team's final preparations for World Cup qualifying will begin in January with a pair of friendlies against Venezuela and Panama, U.S. Soccer announced on Thursday.

The United States will open its 2012 schedule on Jan.

MLS Notes: Cameron staying at centerback, Portland to sign Valencia and more

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photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Geoff Cameron's switch to centerback was one of the key ingredients in the Houston Dynamo's run to the MLS Cup, and that's why head coach Dominic Kinnear has made the move permanent.

Cameron will serve as a center back in 2012 after he and Kinnear had a discussion following the end of the season.

Mid-Day Ticker: Lucas out for season, Europa League continues and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

If Liverpool is to overcome its less-than-stellar start to the season and get back in contention for a Champions League spot, it will have to do so without one of its top players.

Lucas Leiva has been ruled out for the remainder of the Premiership campaign after sustaining a knee injury in Liverpool's 2-0 quarterfinal victory over Chelsea in the Carling Cup on Tuesday.

Former RSL defender Joy opens up about depression

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In the wake of the recent suicide of Wales manager and long time English soccer star Gary Speed, there is growing attention paid to the plight of pro soccer players dealing with depression.

MLS is not immune to this, as former Real Salt Lake defender Ian Joy revealed in a recent story by Prost Amerika.

Manchester United 1, Crystal Palace 2: Match Highlights

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The biggest upset of the quarterfinal round of the Carling Cup quarterfinals took place on Wednesday as Crystal Palace knocked off Manchester United, 2-1, with an overtime game-winning goal at Old Trafford.

Here are the highlights:

v


U.S. Under-17s score late to tie France

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The U.S. U-17 men's national team scored a beautiful opening goal and another in second-half stoppage time to tie France, 2-2, in the team's Nike International Friendlies opener on Wednesday.

Wesley Wade earned the Americans a result at Premier Sports Complex in Lakewood Ranch, Fla when he scored a goal in the 93rd minute following a long throw-in.

Must-See Commercial: FIFA 12

Soccer By Ives at related • 0 views