Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2011

Wednesday Kickoff: 3 reds, 0 goals and a CCL draw between Columbus and RSL

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While nobody will mistake Tuesday night's CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal first leg between the Columbus Crew and Real Salt Lake as an instant classic, there were plenty of talking points to come out of the 0-0 draw at Crew Stadium.

Referee Jair Marrufo issued three red cards, with RSL's Tony Beltran (two yellows) and Nat Borchers and Columbus' Emilio Renteria all being sent off and becoming ineligible for the return leg March 1 at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Real Madrid held to draw at Lyon, Chelsea rolls in UEFA Champions League

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Real Madrid is in the driver's seat but still faces a dicey return leg if it is to advance to the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League for the first time in seven years after being held to a 1-1 draw by host Lyon. Former Lyon striker Karim Benzema gave Madrid the lead and a crucial away goal before Bafetimbi Gomis equalized late in the second half for the French side.

CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals: Your Running Commentary

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One of two Major League Soccer teams is guaranteed a spot in the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals, and the first step to finding out which team that will be takes place tonight in Columbus when the Crew hosts Real Salt Lake (8 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel/Galavision) in the first leg of their quarterfinal matchup.

U.S. U-17s defeat El Salvador, clinch place in 2011 FIFA World Cup

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Mario Rodriguez and Marc Pelosi scored goals in extra time to propel the United States Under-17 national team to a wild 3-2 victory over El Salvador in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF U-17 championships. The victory booked a place in the semifinals of the tournament and clinched a berth in the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico for coach Wilmer Cabrera's squad.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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Real Madrid's chance at revenge and redemption has come.

With a knockout stage tie against Lyon standing in the way of a trip to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals for the second straight year, Madrid will look to weather the storm in France on Tuesday against the team that ended its 2010 quest for European glory.

Philadephia signs Ruiz

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The Philadelphia Union signed forward Carlos Ruiz on Tuesday, adding the mercurial striker and one-time Major League Soccer MVP to its roster.

The 31-year-old Ruiz, signed on free transfer from Aris FC, won the league MVP and Golden Boot while a member of the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2002 and is Guatemala's all-time leading scorer.

Mid-Day Ticker: Xavi hurt, injuries mount for United, Marseille and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

Barcelona midfielder Xavi will be out for the next 7-10 days after test revealed a minor muscle problem in his left leg.

With that timetable, the central figure in Barca's attack is set to miss league matches against Mallorca and Valencia, but he should return in time for the club's crucial UEFA Champions League second leg against Arsenal on March 8.

UCL: Madrid looks to overcome Lyon; Chelsea hoping for silver lining in 2011

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Real Madrid has been in this position before: Knockout stage, favored, against Lyon.

In 2010, the French side turned in one of the surprises of the UEFA Champions League by eliminating the Spanish giants in the same stage. In order to exorcise some of the past demons, Madrid will have to find a way to have success against a team it hasn't beaten in their last six matchups.

Tuesday Kickoff: CCL Tale of the Tape

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Photo by Rick Osentoski/ISIphotos.com

Real Salt Lake and the Columbus Crew will play their first meaningful game in almost four months when Crew Stadium opens its doors for the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal.

The Crew isn't being given much of a chance, considering the offseason moves the team has made and the amount of injuries that have piled up during the MLS preseason.

Galaxy convert Whitecaps' mistakes into pair of goals in preseason victory

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Photo by Jose M. Romero

By JOSE M. ROMERO

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Vancouver Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi stood in a covered area above the stands at Arizona State University's soccer stadium, wondering aloud what his team was doing.

Down on the field, the Whitecaps couldn't finish chances, and they couldn't overcome two key turnovers that led to quick goals for the Los Angeles Galaxy in Monday's 2-0 preseason win for L.

Evening Ticker: West Ham advances in FA Cup; RBNY to face Impact and more

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Make that two Americans in the FA Cup quarterfinals.

West Ham defeated Burnley, 5-1, on Monday to advance to a quarterfinal date with Stoke City. Jonathan Spector started the match on the bench, came on in the 73rd minute with the match's result well in hand and assisted on a stoppage-time goal.

Chemistry, core key for Real Salt Lake ahead of CCL quarterfinal with Columbus

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

Real Salt Lake is set for a sudden start to its 2011 season with Tuesday's CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal first leg against the Columbus Crew (8 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel).

Its preseason training abbreviated by its CCL obligations, Real Salt Lake's need for its players to start training camp in shape and with a sense of familiarity was that much more important.

Mid-Day Ticker: Gattuso gets 4-game ban, Revs send stars home and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

AC Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso has received a four-match ban for his actions after Milan's loss to Tottenham in last week's UEFA Champions League match.

Following the final whistle and postgame handshakes, Gattuso was involved in an altercation with Tottenham's bench that resulted with him headbutting Spurs assistant Joe Jordan.

Rizespor 3, Orduspor 0: The Highlights

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European Weekend Rewind: Inter, Bayern improve ahead of rematch & more

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

Since their meeting in the UEFA Champions League final last season, Inter Milan and Bayern Munich have been on similar paths. Both clubs started slowly in their respective leagues, both clubs have been climbing their respective tables in recent weeks and both clubs earned wins this Saturday ahead of their Round of 16 matchup in this year's Champions League on Wednesday.

Monday Kickoff: Ranieri resigns from Roma post, Evra gets extension and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

AS Roma has accepted the resignation of manager Claudio Ranieri following a string of poor results, culminating with a 4-3 loss to Genoa over the weekend after the club held a three-goal lead. It was the fourth-consecutive defeat for the Serie A side, who currently sits in eighth place after being tipped as a title contender at the beginning of the season.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Tim Howard has made a career of coming up big when his team has needed him the most, and he did so once again this weekend with a heroic performance.

Facing a stacked Chelsea squad in a road FA Cup match, Howard helped Everton defeat the Premiership heavyweights 4-3 in penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw through 120 minutes of play.

Bedoya to train with Birmingham City

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

The silly season may be over, but that doesn't mean speculation about American players' club futures has ended.

Orebro SK midfielder Alejandro Bedoya will join Birmingham City for a week-long training stint. Bedoya has been partaking in Orebro's preseason preparations, but will now temporarily prepare himself for the upcoming Swedish season with Birmingham.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Almost a year to the day that Maurice Edu scored the game-winning goal for Rangers against rival Celtic to etch his name in Old Firm history, another edition of the storied derby takes place in Scotland (7:30 a.m., untelevised). With a win, Rangers could move even closer to first place in the Scottish Premier League, as Edu's side currently trails Celtic by five points with two games in hand.

U.S. U-17s win group at CONCACAF championships, will face El Salvador

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Photo by Brad Smith/ISIphotos.com

Andrew Oliver scored his second goal of the CONCACAF Under-17 championships, and Houston Dynamo Academy keeper Fernando Pina kept the clean sheet as the United States defeated Panama, 1-0, on Friday to win Group B and get one step closer to qualifying for this summer's FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico.

Must-See Goal: Jimmy Briand

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Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Tim Howard and Everton will give it another go against Chelsea in the FA Cup after the two sides played two a 1-1 draw in their fourth-round matchup three weeks ago.Â

With a spot in the fifth round against Reading on the line, Howard will need to be at his best to shut down Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, where Didier Drobga is expected to rejoin the starting lineup after being benched in favor of the cup-tied Fernando Torres against Fulham.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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The FA Cup usually presents some appealing David-vs.-Goliath matchups, and some of this weekend's fifth-round matches are no exception.

Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal have Crawley Town, Notts County and Leyton Orient, respectively, in their paths to reach the quarterfinals.

MLS Ticker: Sporting KC signs homegrown player, Fire add striker and more

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Sporting Kansas City signed its second homegrown player on Friday, adding 19-year-old defender Kevin Ellis to the team's roster.

Ellis joins United States youth national team goalkeeper Jon Kempin as the homegrown players in Kansas City. He played at Barton County Community College for the last two seasons, scoring 34 goals in time as both an attacking player and a defender.

Mid-Day Ticker: Bunbury timetable changes, Giggs signs extension and more

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Photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

Teal Bunbury's dislocated elbow will cost him the next 4-6 weeks, according to Sporting Kansas City's official Twitter feed.

Bunbury met with team physicians on Friday and was re-evaluated after his initial hospital visit, which yielded a recovery timetable of 2-4 weeks.

FC Dallas signs Sanchez as league-record sixth homegrown player

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FC Dallas signed 16-year-old goalkeeper Richard Sanchez as a homegrown player on Friday, giving the team a league-record six homegrowns on its first-team roster.

Sanchez, a goalkeeper for Mexico's Under-17 national team, joins Bryan Levya, Ruben Luna, Moises Hernandes, Victor Ulloa and Jon Top as homegrown signings for the MLS Cup runners-up.

MLS, Fox agree to 1-year pact

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Major League Soccer and Fox Soccer agreed to a one-year deal Friday, continuing the broadcasting relationship between the two that goes back to 2003.

The opening game of the Fox Soccer Channel slate is the first-ever MLS match for the Portland Timbers, when the expansion side takes on MLS Cup champion Colorado Rapids on March 19.

The latest from Special1 TV

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Which team has had the best offseason?

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

In light of the series of player moves that have happened this offseason, most notably this past week, a number of Major League Soccer teams have improved themselves significantly - at least on paper.

Although not many of the playoff stalwarts did much tinkering heading into 2011, some of the league's worst teams have appeared to take large steps in closing the talent gap, which should make for a pretty exciting season, one whose opening game is less than a month away.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

FA Cup action resumes this weekend, and with it could come a tasty match-up involving two American midfielders who are both in the midst of strong seasons.

Clint Dempsey and Stuart Holden could square off as Fulham hosts Bolton Wanderers with a spot in the quarterfinals on the line.

Onstad coming out of retirement to play for D.C. United

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

The solution to D.C. United's goalkeeping problems appears to have been right in front of the club all along.

Goalkeeper coach Pat Onstad is coming out of retirement to compete for the club's starting keeper job in the aftermath of Steve Cronin breaking his wrist.

U.S. Soccer announces nominees for 2011 Hall of Fame induction

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Cobi Jones, Eddie Pope and Jason Kreis highlight a strong group of first-timers among the nominees on the 2011 U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame ballot, which was released Thursday afternoon.

Jones, the United States' all-time leader in caps with 164, played in three World Cups and was one of the most recognizable and distinguished players of his era.

Must-See Goal: Franco Jara

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MLS Ticker: Sounders extend Alonso, San Jose makes stadium headway and more

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Photo by Nick Turchiaro/ISIphotos.com

The Seattle Sounders made a key move to keep one of their core players around for a while, signing holding midfielder Osvaldo Alonso to a contract extension that will keep him with Seattle through the 2014 season.

Alonso, who was already signed through the end of next season, was voted the Sounders' team MVP last season and enters his third with Seattle.

"Fully fit" Zakuani reflects on first two years in MLS, ready to take next step

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Photo by Richard McEnery/ISIphotos.com

By JOSE M. ROMERO

On a windswept day in Arizona after another preseason training session, Steve Zakuani reminisced.

"I remember my first year when I came in, we went down to Ventura (Calif.)," Zakuani said.

UEFA Europa League: Your Running Commentary

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Three of the UEFA Europa League's Round of 32 first legs are in the books, but 13 more remain to be played on Thursday including games involving Americans Sacha Kljestan and Maurice Edu.

Kljestan starts out on the bench as Anderlecht opens up at home against Ajax Amsterdam in one of the more intriguing knockout-stage matchups.

Morning Ticker: Timbers trade for Zizzo, U.S. U-17s advance to quarters and more

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

The Portland Timbers' list of offensive acquisitions got a little bit longer on Wednesday, with the team acquiring former United States youth national team midfielder Sal Zizzo from Chivas USA in exchange for allocation money.

U.S. Open Cup set-up finalized

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By AVI CREDITOR

The road to the 2011 U.S. Open Cup has been set.

The USSF released its structure and schedule for this year's tournament on Thursday. Out of the 40 teams that get by the first phases of qualifying, 11 will be from new sanctioned third division USL-PRO, nine from USL Premier Development League, eight from MLS, eight from the U.

CONCACAF U-20 championship schedule released; U.S. begins play March 29

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By FRANCO PANIZO

CONCACAF released the schedule for the upcoming Under-20 championship on Wednesday, and the tournament's opening day will see Mexico in action.

The U-20 championship in Guatemala kicks off with a doubleheader on Monday, March 28, starting with Canada-Guadeloupe and ending with Mexico-Cuba.

Agbossoumonde and Djurgardens finalize six-month loan

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photo by John Dorton/ISIphotos.com

Gale Agbossoumonde has finally found a new home.

Agbossoumonde and Swedish club Djurgardens IF agreed to a six month loan on Wednesday, ending a whirlwhind 12 months for the United States U-20 national team defender.

If earlier reports still hold true, Agbossoumonde could be bought outright from Traffic USA/Miami FC for a fixed price at the end of the loan in August.

Arsenal, Shakhtar Donetsk score comeback victories in Champions League

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Almost a year after Lionel Messi's four goals sent Arsenal packing from the UEFA Champions League, the Gunners got a little bit of revenge.

Late goals from Robin Van Persie and Andrei Arshavin canceled out David Villa's first-half strike and give Arsenal a 2-1 advantage over Barcelona when the teams meet again at the Camp Nou next month for the second leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie.

Davies' wait for first-team action ends with loan from Sochaux to D.C. United

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Photo by Ben Keller/D.C. United

By AVI CREDITOR

WASHINGTON - After every demotion to the FC Sochaux reserves, Charlie Davies' patience was wearing thinner and thinner.

Despite regaining health in a relatively miraculous period of time considering the severity of his injuries, Davies' light at the end of Sochaux's tunnel wasn't getting any brighter.

Ampaipitakwong ready for any role to contribute in rookie season with San Jose

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By ADAM SERRANO

Hard work, dedication and a flair for the unexpected.

These traits have been the basis for Anthony Ampaipitakwong's game in his rise from youth standout in his native Texas to four years at Akron.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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The UEFA Champions League knockout stage continues Wednesday with the highly anticipated Arsenal-Barcelona matchup sure to captivate most viewers. AS Roma and Shakhtar Donetsk will also play the first leg of their knockout tie.

Stuart Holden's Bolton is also in action, taking on Wigan Athletic in a FA Cup fourth-round replay at DW Stadium, though that match is not being televised in the United States.

Imposing forward Salgado making strong preseason impression for Whitecaps

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(Photo by Jose M. Romero)

By JOSE M. ROMERO

Early impressions of the No. 1 overall MLS SuperDraft pick, Omar Salgado: The kid can play.

His height stands out immediately. At 6-foot-4, any defender is going to have a hard time with him in the box, even the most physical centerback, because he has to not only push Salgado out of the goal area but keep him as far away from the 18-yard box as possible.

MLS Ticker: Dynamo signs Taylor, Red Bulls fall in Guadalajara and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

The Houston Dynamo agreed to terms with Jamaican international centerback Jermaine Taylor on Wednesday, adding yet another piece to its evolving defensive corps.

The Dynamo, who already augmented Dom Kinnear's defensive options in the offseason by signing Hunter Freeman and drafting Kofi Sarkodie, now welcome the 26-year-old Taylor.

D.C. United seals Davies loan

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Photo by Hugo Ivan Munoz/DC United

Charlie Davies passed all his tests, and he'll be a member of D.C. United in 2011.

The club announced that it has signed Davies to a 12-month loan from FC Sochaux, and it will be holding a press conference this afternoon at RFK Stadium to introduce Davies to the media.

Wednesday Kickoff: Arsenal vs. Barcelona

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When Arsenal appears to be on the brink of breaking through in European competition, one club always seems to get in the way. FC Barcelona.

Perhaps the most anticipated UEFA Champions League knockout stage tie gets underway Wednesday in London, with Arsenal and Barcelona renewing their European rivalry (2:45 p.

Tottenham shocks AC Milan; Schalke, Valencia draw in Champions League

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

For Harry Redknapp and Tottenham, the club's first-ever knockout match in the Champions League couldn't have gone any better with Spurs edging AC Milan, 1-0, at the San Siro. Peter Crouch was the hero for the English side, as the lanky forward scored his third goal in the Champions League this season.

Evening Ticker: Crew wins Veeder lottery, Lichaj open to loan extension and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The Columbus Crew's back line just got a little deeper.

Columbus acquired U.S. U-20 national team defender Korey Veeder in a weighted lottery on Tuesday. The Crew landed the 19-year-old Veeder despite having the third-best chance (19.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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The UEFA Champions League resumes on Tuesday with the first two matches of the knockout stage being played in Italy and Spain.

AC Milan will try to fend off Tottenham in the marquee match of the day, while Valencia looks to put FC Schalke 04 in an early hole in the first leg of their tie.

Pearce traded to Chivas USA for allocation money

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                   Photo By ISIPhotos.com

Heath Pearce is on the move.

The U.S. International left back has been sent to Chivas USA for allocation money. Pearce was an integral part of FCD's run to the MLS Cup Final in 2010, but appeared to have some tension with head coach Schellas Hyndman.

MLS Ticker: League seals Canadian TV deal, Ferrari on trial with Fire and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

Major League Soccer and Canada's The Sports Network have reached a six-year deal to broadcast the league's games nationally north of the border.

TSN will carry 24 MLS games this season, all of them featuring Toronto FC or the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps.

Bunbury hurt in Sporting KC friendly (UPDATED)

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Photo by Nick Turchiaro/ISIphotos.com

Sporting Kansas City and United States international striker Teal Bunbury was injured during a preseason friendly with the Houston Dynamo and has been taken to the hospital for tests on his elbow.

Sporting KC's official Twitter feed revealed that the early diagnosis of the injury is a dislocated elbow.

A look ahead to the Copa Libertadores

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By NESTOR F. SEBASTIAN

After years of playing in Europe, veteran left-back Roberto Carlos probably forgot how intense Copa Libertadores competition can get on the field as well as off of it.

Two weeks ago, his Corinthians side was booted from the tournament by Colombia's Deportes Tolima in the preliminary stage, prompting death threats against him and his family, forcing him to leave his homeland once again to reportedly sign with Russia's Anzhi.

Which USMNTer other than Landon Donovan would be your top PK option?

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The United States national team is in desperate need of a goal in the waning minutes. After a foul in the area, the referee points to the spot. Penalty! One problem. For whatever reason, Landon Donovan isn't on the matchday roster. Somebody else has to step up and take the kick.

In light of Clint Dempsey's penalty against Fulham yesterday, it got us to thinking: Who in the U.

Tuesday Kickoff: UEFA Champions League knockout stage begins

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After more than two months off, UEFA Champions League play resumes on Tuesday with the first legs of two knockout-stage ties.

The headliner is AC Milan-Tottenham (2:45 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel/Fox Deportes), where a shorthanded Spurs side will try to steal a result at the San Siro against an AC Milan team that is battling injuries of its own.

NASL teams ruled out of U.S. Open Cup; sanctioned league struggling financially

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By JOHN BOSCHINI

After a tumultuous offseason rife with doubt over the future of one of American soccer's two Division 2 leagues, the NASL lived to fight another day as the U.S. Soccer Federation gave the league provisional sanctioning over the weekend.

Dempsey draws late penalty, has shot saved in Fulham-Chelsea draw

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Clint Dempsey almost added another game-winning goal to his Fulham highlight reel. Almost.

After drawing a stoppage-time penalty on Chelsea's new centerback David Luiz, Dempsey stepped to the spot and had his shot saved by Peter Cech, which preserved a 0-0 draw.

Dempsey had a chance to score off the rebound, after getting himself into position to attempt a bicycle kick, but his shot went well high and wide of the target.

U.S. U-17s dispatch Cuba 3-1 in CONCACAF Qualifying

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The United States U-17s opened their run to Mexico in a big way with a convincing 3-1 victory over Cuba on Monday.

Andrew Oliver earned a goal and an assist in the convincing victory. Alfred Koroma opened the scoring for the U.S. before U.S. team took command with goals by Oliver and later Esteban Rodriguez.

Philadelphia wins Agorsor lottery

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Chris Agorsor got his wish. He will embark on his professional career in Philadelphia.

The Union won the weighted lottery to Agorsor's rights Monday afternoon, competing against only the expansion Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps with the odds in its favor. The Union had a 96.

MLS Ticker: Borchers signs new deal, Quakes bring back Stephenson and more

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Photo by Nick Turchiaro/ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

Real Salt Lake took yet another step in fortifying it's staunch defensive unit by signing centerback Nat Borchers to a deal that will keep him at Rio Tinto through the 2014 season, the club announced on Monday.

Fulham vs. Chelsea: Your Running Commentary

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Clint Dempsey is in fine form for Fulham, having scored four times in his last six matches. He'll try to add to that tally Monday afternoon as the Cottagers host Chelsea in a West London derby (2:55 p.m., ESPN2/ESPN3.com).

The match is notable for other reasons than just Dempsey being involved.

Soft-spoken Nagbe ready to make loud statement in first season with Timbers

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By ADAM SERRANO

Darlington Nagbe is soft-spoken, one who prefers to allow his actions on the field speak for him. As the franchise's first draft pick, Nagbe's career will be eternally scrutinized by the Rose City faithful.

Mid-Day Ticker: Spurs shorthanded for AC Milan test, Terry benched and more

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Tottenham's hopes of an upset when it faces AC Milan in this week's UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg took a serious blow with the news that Gareth Bale is still out with a back injury. Tottenham coach Harry Redknapp had been confident that Bale could recover in time to travel to the San Siro, but the 21-year-old will have to stay behind.

Neymar stars as Brazil captures another South American U-20 championship

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While one Brazilian icon exits the soccer stage, a future one took another step toward entering the limelight after a stellar showing in the CONMEBOL Under-20 championships in Peru.

Neymar scored two goals in the finale on Saturday -- a 6-0 thrashing of Uruguay -- to capture the tournament's golden boot with nine goals, outlasting his closest competition by five scores.

Ronaldo set to announce retirement

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The soccer world is set to lose one of its most illustrious active members today when Brazilian legend Ronaldo calls it quits on an 18-year career.

The 34-year-old striker told a Brazilian newspaper that he was unable to maintain his fitness and that he is retiring. During his club career, Ronaldo played at Cruzeiro, PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and AC Milan before wrapping up at Corinthians in his native country.

European Weekend Rewind: Rooney leads United, Barcelona draws and more

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

The last eight months or so have not been kind to Wayne Rooney. A lukewarm showing in the World Cup carried over into an equally tepid start to the Premier League season, and all the while the striker was making more headlines off the pitch than on it.

Bolton 2, Everton 0: The Highlights

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Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

A month ago, three young Americans found themselves on the bench of their respective clubs, which ultimately helped facilitate loan moves as they searched for more playing time.

Those three Americans made their debuts this weekend.

Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and Eric Lichaj all received their first appearance for their new clubs.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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The last time Bolton faced Everton, Tim Howard robbed Stuart Holden of what would have been his first Premier League goal. The in-form Bolton midfielder has a second chance to beat his international teammate on Sunday.

Bolton-Everton is one of the marquee matches of the day for American soccer fans, but another one of great importance is happening in Germany, where captain Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 continue their push for a UEFA Champions League berth with a key game against Werder Bremen.

MLS preseason recap: Davies scores twice, Texas derby gets intense and more

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By THOMAS FLOYD

The optimism surrounding Charlie Davies' trial with D.C. United seems to increase by the day.

In a development that is sure to please U.S. national team and United supporters alike, Davies notched two goals and an assist during the Black and Red's 4-0 win over the Trinidad and Tobago Under-20 national team Saturday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Rapids, Sporting KC play preseason scoreless draw

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

PHOENIX – The defending MLS champions hadn't been in Arizona more than 24 hours before they had to play the first of three preseason games of a tightly-scheduled six-day trip to the desert.

It showed. To some degree, anyway.

The Colorado Rapids and Sporting Kansas City played to a scoreless draw after 120 minutes – two 45-minute periods and a 30 – before a decent-sized crowd of onlookers and Omar Bravo fans Saturday morning at the Reach 11 soccer complex.

Manchester United 2, Manchester City 1: The Highlights

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Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Few league matches are anticipated as much as the Manchester derby, and even though the earlier meeting this season between Manchester City and Manchester United ended in a scoreless deadlock, there's reason to believe that Saturday's clash at Old Trafford will supply some drama and fireworks.

FoxSoccer.tv is offering a FREE trial this week

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If the recent shutting down of free streaming sites has you down, and you've started to consider pay options for your internet soccer viewing, then FoxSoccer.tv has a great option for you this week.

FoxSoccer.tv is offering a 7-day free trial, beginning today, with all the weekend's EPL, Serie A and Ligue 1 as well as the mid-week UEFA Champions League all on offer.

Red Bulls Notebook: Tainio on trial, Marquez to play centerback and more

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By MIKE NASTRI

The New York Red Bulls have already added many new faces to the team that won the regular season Eastern Conference crown. New York hopes to add one more piece to that puzzle with new trialist Teemu Tainio.Â

The current Ajax midfielder arrived in Mexico for Red Bull camp on Thursday night.

McBean, Pelosi highlight U.S. U-17 CONCACAF championship roster

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Los Angeles Galaxy recent homegrown signing Jack McBean is among the 20 players who will suit up for the United States in the Under-17 CONCACAF championship in Jamaica, which starts next week.

Joining McBean is one of the U-17's top scoring threats, Marc Pelosi (pictured above), who has six goals in 20 appearances with the team.

Real Salt Lake wins Arnoux lottery

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Real Salt Lake's luck heading into an important season for the club is certainly looking good.

Despite having awful odds (5.4 percent) of winning the Cody Arnoux lottery, Real Salt Lake won the rights to the former Wake Forest star, Everton reserve and Vancouver Whitecaps Division 2 striker.

Mid-Day Ticker: West Brom hires Hodgson, La Liga strike looms and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

A mere five days after sacking Roberto Di Matteo, West Bromwich Albion hired former Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson as manager of the relegation-threatened club.

Hodgson, 63, takes over a West Brom club that has plummeted in the Premier League table after a promising start and now sits 17th, kept out of the relegation zone by goal difference alone.

U.S. U-20 team drawn with Panama, Suriname for World Cup qualifying

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. U-20 national team has learned its foes for the upcoming CONCACAF Championship, which will determine which four teams from the federation reach this summer's U-20 World Cup in Colombia.

The United States will take on Panama and Suriname in Group B.

The latest from Special1 TV

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MLS Ticker: Red Bulls eyeing Tainio, Union close to signing Ruiz and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

After a rather quiet offseason in terms of player moves, the New York Red Bulls are reportedly close to making a big splash in the transfer market.

According to reports out of the Netherlands, the club has a two-year offer on the table to Ajax midfielder and Finland international Teemu Tainio (pictured above, left), who has fallen out of favor at the club and can be had on a free transfer.

Healing Hamid hoping to help D.C. United turn things around in 2011

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photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Bill Hamid may still be recovering from the shoulder injury that derailed his standout rookie season with D.C. United in 2010, but that hasn't stopped him from setting lofty goals as he heads into his second full season as a pro.

Arnoux, Agorsor, Veeder set for lotteries

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The Cody Arnoux saga is hours away from reaching a resolution.

According to MLSSoccer.com (scroll down the link), Arnoux, the former Wake Forest star, Everton reserve and Vancouver Whitecaps Division 2 forward, has signed a contract with the league and will be allocated to a team through a weighted lottery Friday at 4:30 p.

Crew posts first preseason win by shutting out Sounders

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Photo by Jose M. Romero

By JOSE M. ROMERO

AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Operators of the still-to-be completed Westside Soccer Complex in this bedroom community west of Phoenix charged admission to watch the Seattle Sounders and Columbus Crew play a preseason match Thursday afternoon.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

If Eddie Johnson is to end his nine-month scoring drought this weekend, he'll have to do so against a fellow American.

Johnson and cellar-dwellers Preston North End face Hull City and Brad Guzan, who will look to record his third cleansheet for the club.

2011 MLS Schedule unveiled

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Major League Soccer unveiled its full 2011 schedule on Thursday, less than five weeks before the season is to kick off.

The season begins on March 15th, when the Los Angeles Galaxy visits Qwest Field to take on the Seattle Sounders. That opening match was revealed weeks ago. Among the more intriguing matches revealed on Thursday, here are some that stand out:

April 9th- Philadelphia Union vs.

D.C. keeper Cronin breaks wrist

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Photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIphotos.com

D.C. United goalkeeper Steve Cronin is out "several weeks" after suffering a broken wrist in training, the team announced on Thursday.

Cronin, acquired in a December trade with the Portland Timbers for Troy Perkins, hurt his wrist during a training session on Tuesday.

Alvarez is poised to shine with RSL

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By JOSE M. ROMERO

You can hear it Arturo Alvarez's voice: Coming to Real Salt Lake is a good thing for his soccer career.

Who can blame the veteran forward-midfielder? He's joined one of the deepest, most talented rosters in MLSafter being chosen by Portland in last November's expansion draft, then being shipped to Real Salt Lake in exchange for a 2011 MLS Draft pick.

Thursday Kickoff: Red Bulls edge Atlante in PKs, Wondo's new deal and more

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Midfielder Austin Da Luz converted the match-winning penalty kick to help the New York Red Bulls edge Atlante in a penalty shootout after a scoreless match in their friendly in Mexico on Wednesday night.

Goalkeeper Greg Sutton posted the shutout, playing 90 minutes in place of regular starter Bouna Coundoul, who was on national team duty with Senegal.

Olsen discusses Davies' first week and potential loan

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By FRANCO PANIZO

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Wednesday completed D.C. United's first week in South Florida, and it also marked Charlie Davies' seventh day with the club as he looks to land a season-long loan deal.

Davies, along with most of the team's top players, did not play in Wednesday afternoon's 4-0 victory over Florida International University in a 60-minute friendly, but head coach Ben Olsen did touch on Davies' near-week trial with the club following the game.

Friendlies recap: Messi, Ronaldo live up to hype; France downs Brazil and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo finally got the chance to face each other on the international stage, and they did not disappoint.

Messi set up the opening goal in the 14th minute with a wonderous pass to scorer Angel Di Maria, only to have Ronaldo answer with a goal of his own seven minutes later.

MLS Ticker: Cronin injures wrist, Taylor trials with Dynamo and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

D.C. United has gone to great lengths to improve itself during the offseason, but after an injury to one of its acquisitions, the team currently is without a healthy goalkeeper on the official roster.

Steve Cronin, acquired in a trade with Portland for Troy Perkins, injured his wrist in training, and the team is awaiting MRI and X-ray results to determine the severity of the injury.

Must-See Goal: Wesley Sneijder

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Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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International friendlies dominate the mid-week soccer slate, as France-Brazil and Germany-Italy are just two of a number of intriguing matchups taking place on Wednesday.

Perhaps no match is more intriguing than the Argentina-Portugal one, though. It will feature Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who have scored 24 goals apiece in league play for Barcelona and Real Madrid, respectively, as they take their individual rivalry to the international stage for the first time.

DeMerit relishes return to action

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By ODEEN DOMINGO

PHOENIX – Jay DeMerit swears he's done this before.

He was a World Cup starter and an American soccer success story in the shores of Europe.

But walking onto the field for an actual game felt as foreign to him as wearing a shirt in a rock video.

Lichaj loaned to Leeds United

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

Aston Villa has loaned American fullback Eric Lichaj to Leeds United for the next month.

Lichaj had been getting decent minutes at right back for Aston Villa, but manager Gerard Houllier singled him out after the team was dismantled by Manchester City, 4-0, on Dec.

A look at Davies and his potential D.C. United loan

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Charlie Davies will take the field today for D.C. United in a scrimmage against Florida International University in what will be his final chance to impress D.C. before the club decides whether to bring him in on a season-long loan from FC Sochaux.

Davies has already impressed, netting a goal and assist and showing glimpses of his trademark speed.

Wednesday Kickoff: Guardiola agrees to extension, Spurs-LA team up and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

Pep Guardiola and FC Barcelona have agreed to a one-year extension that will keep the manager at Camp Nou through the 2011-2012 season. Financial terms of the extension were undisclosed.

According to the Associated Press, the 40-year-old Guardiola has said that he prefers one-year deals as opposed to long-term ones in order to stay motivated, and he has been granted his wish.

Timbers tie Galaxy in first pre-season match vs. MLS competition

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BY ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, CALIF - There will be a number of firsts this year for the Portland Timbers in their inaugural season and on Tuesday, the club added another. The Timbers played their first match against MLS competition and continued their unbeaten pre-season with a 1-1 draw against the LA Galaxy.

Salgado winner lifts Whitecaps past Crew

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By ODEEN DOMINGO

PHOENIX – The absence of creases on the cheekbones of his weathered face tells you enough.

Vancouver Whitecaps coach Teitur Thordarson is not one for smiling.

But Thordarson couldn't help but force a hint of a smirk after the Whitecaps' 2-1 win in a scrimmage of two 45-minute halves over the Columbus Crew at the Reach 11 Soccer Complex.

MLS Training Camp Preview: Philadelphia Union

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By AVI CREDITOR

The training wheels have been taken off, and the Philadelphia Union is ready to ride with the big boys.

After an inaugural season that ended well short of a postseason berth, the Union has made a number of personnel moves to shore up what was a shaky defense in 2010 while providing support for its budding attackers as well.

MLS Training Camp Preview: Portland Timbers

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By ADAM SERRANO

The Portland Timbers hope their look in their first year in MLS not as a typical expansion franchise, but instead as a powerhouse in the nation's top league.

The Rose City faithful will have much to be excited about in their first year in MLS with a club that appears focused on being electrifying right out of the gate.

MLS Training Camp Preview: FC Dallas

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By ADAM SERRANO

One win away.

That is how close FC Dallas came winning the franchise's first MLS Cup in 2010. Fresh off its crushing defeat to the Colorado Rapids in the final, FCD is ready to make a return run to the championship in 2011.

Djurgardens close to acquiring Agbossoumonde on six month loan

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Gale Agbossoumonde's future looks to finally be taking a turn for the better.

According to a Swedish report, Djurgardens IF has been impressed with Agbossoumonde during his two-week trial and is ready to sign the U.S. U-20 national team defender on a six month loan from Traffic USA/Miami FC.

Messi vs. Ronaldo and the rest of Wednesday's international fixture slate

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No, the United States won't be playing Egypt on Wednesday, but the day's international fixture slate is still ripe with tantalizing matchups.

Among the headliners is the Argentina-Portugal tilt that will pit La Liga rivals Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo against each other for the first time on the international stage.

It's Old School Q&A Time

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Good afternoon folks. While Live Q&As have become the standard on SBI in recent months I am also aware that not everybody can make it to our Live Q&A sessions so every once in a while I will bring back the old school SBI Q&A format.

Send in your soccer (and pop culture) questions and I will answer them in the coming weeks in a series of posts.

MLS Ticker: Beckham's training stint extended, Chivas USA tops San Jose and more

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

David Beckham's return to the United States will be put off for two more weeks after he had his training stint with Tottenham extended.

Beckham was set to join the Los Angeles Galaxy for pre-season this week, but now with his Tottenham stint extended, he will have even less time with his MLS team despite the act the MLS season is just five weeks away.

MLS Training Camp Preview: Toronto FC

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

2011 is a year of new beginnings for Toronto FC.

An 11th-placed finish in last year's campaign fell wildly short of both fan and ownership expectations, resulting in the ousting of head coach Preki and director of soccer Mo Johnston. Under the advisement of former German national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann, Toronto hired Ajax assistant Aron Winter head coach and brought Paul Mariner back to the MLS as director of player development following his unsucessful stint as manager of Plymouth North End.

Cannon grateful to be with Whitecaps

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By JOSE M. ROMERO

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. -- Joe Cannon spent the first few days of Vancouver Whitecaps training camp in Arizona doing some rehabilitation on his left ankle, the one he broke last August while with the San Jose Earthquakes.

MLS Training Camp Preview: Colorado Rapids

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By AVI CREDITOR

The Colorado Rapids enter the 2011 preseason with an unfamiliar distinction: Defending MLS Cup chamions.

Not much has changed in terms of the team's make-up. Captain Pablo Mastroeni is back in the fold after climbing the champion's mountain for the first time in his career; the lethal strike tandem of Conor Casey and Omar Cummings is still in tact, which may have been an uncertainty had Cummings gotten the chance to impress on trial at Aston Villa; and the defensive unit, which had a number of unknown commodities in 2010, has a successful season under its belt as it enters another campaign together.

MLS Training Camp Preview: Houston Dynamo

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By AVI CREDITOR

To date, perhaps no team has had as active a preseason than the Houston Dynamo. And the club has barely hit the training pitch.

With the team breaking ground on its new downtown stadium last week and the club being shifted to the Eastern Conference (for this season at least), change is in the air in Houston.

Mid-Day Ticker: Wolfsburg fire McLaren, stars sidelined for friendlies and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

After a reign of only eight months, Steve McClaren's time at Wolfsburg is over.

McClaren was let go by Wolfsburg on Monday after the former England manager has struggled at the helm of the 2009 champion, who is now fighting a relegation battle near the bottom of the Bundesliga table.

Who would the USMNT have started vs. Egypt?

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

The political unrest and dangerous conditions in Egypt led to the cancellation of Wednesday's friendly between the United States and the defending African champions, but that doesn't mean we can't think about what could have been.

We'll never know what lineup Bob Bradley would have gone with against the Egyptians, but we can speculate.

Inter Milan 5, AS Roma 3: The Highlights

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MLS Ticker: Davies scores for D.C., Dike dealt injury blow and more

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photo by Hugo Ivan Muñoz/D.C. United

Charlie Davies played his first full scrimmage with D.C. United on Monday and contributed a goal and assist in 74 minutes to help D.C. top the Canadian Under-20 national team, 5-1, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Newly-acquired D.

European Weekend Rewind: Goals galore in England, Barca sets record and more

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

On a Saturday that saw a single-day record 40 goals scored in the Premier League, it was the last two that arguably sent the biggest shock waves around England. Last placed Wolverhampton Wanderers came back from an early 1-0 deficit against league leaders Manchester United, drawing level in the 10th minute, and getting the eventual winner five minutes before halftime.

Monday Kickoff: Osorio turns down Honduras, West Brom dumps DiMatteo and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Juan Carlos Osorio was all set to coach the Honduran national team, and looked primed for a return to the United States this summer in charge of a new team, but Osorio is still in Colombia and Honduras is still searching for a manager after a dispute over Osorio's arrival date led the former New York Red Bulls head coach to pass on his first national team job.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Brian McBride should enjoy his record for goals scored in a Premier League season by an American while he still can because Clint Dempsey is on the brink of breaking it.

Dempsey scored his career-high ninth goal in the Premiership campaign, giving Fulham the equalizer in a 2-2 draw against Aston Villa.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Players facing their former teams is nothing new. Facing a former team just days after forcing a highly-publicized and shocking transfer move is rare and provides the perfect ingredient for an already important Chelsea-Liverpool clash.

Fernando Torres is set to face Liverpool today at Stamford Bridge in a match sure to be an emotional and intense battle.

MLS Pre-Season Recap: Nagbe shines in debut, Seattle tops Whitecaps, and more

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By THOMAS FLOYD

Is it too early to peg Darlington Nagbe as the MLS rookie of the year favorite?

The Portland Timbers midfielder-forward showed a glimpse of the lofty potential that made him the No. 2 pick in January's SuperDraft, scoring the equalizer during his side's first exhibition as an MLS club, a 1-1 draw Friday with the Ventura County Fusion in Ventura, Calif.

Regulars make mark as Crew, Sporting KC draw in training match

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

PHOENIX -- Sporting Kansas City and the Columbus Crew share the fields at the vast Reach 11 soccer complex, so it only made sense that the two teams scheduled their respective first preseason training matches against each other.Â

The two clubs played to a 2-2 draw Saturday after three 30-minute periods, the play of the day made by Sporting KC forward Kei Kamara about five minutes into the second session.

Aston Villa 2, Fulham 2: The Highlights

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Newcastle 4, Arsenal 4: The Highlights

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Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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The last time Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey faced each other as opponents the year was 2005 and both players were still plying their trades in Europe.

A combined decade in Europe later, Bradley and Dempsey could face off today, with Bradley poised to make his debut for Aston Villa against Fulham in the day's most anticipated match for American fans.

Full MLS Schedule to be announced on Thursday

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Major League Soccer announced on Friday that the full 2011 schedule will be released on Thursday.

The schedule will be balanced with each team facing each other twice, both home and away. With the inclusion of the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps, each team will play 34 matches in the 2011 season.

More from Davies' first day with D.C. United

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photo by Hugo Ivan Muñoz/D.C. United

By FRANCO PANIZO

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Charlie Davies' week-long trial with D.C. United is officially underway.

Following an intra-squad scrimmage on Friday, and with a several members of the media on hand, Davies touched on topics ranging from how he feels currently to his situation with Sochaux.

Davies hoping for a fresh start with D.C. United

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By FRANCO PANIZO

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. - D.C. United is aiming to get back to its glory days in 2011 after a truly forgettable year. The club's next potential player is looking to do the same thing.

Charlie Davies is in Florida with D.C., embarking on a week-long stint with the club that will help D.

Should Torres celebrate if he scores vs. Liverpool?

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With Chelsea taking on Liverpool this weekend, just days after Fernando Torres left behind the Reds to join the Blues (for a lot of green), there is a big buzz over whether Torres should or shouldn't celebrate if he scores a goal against his former club.

To some, choosing not to celebrate against a former club is seen as a classy gesture, but with Torres being vilified by Liverpool fans, it's tough to imagine that it will matter much to them whether the Spanish striker goes crazy or stays calm if he finds the net this weekend.

MLS Training Camp Preview: New York Red Bulls

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The New York Red Bulls will begin their journey toward the club's first MLS Cup title in Mexico, where the team's pre-season will hit full swing.

The regular season Eastern Conference champions are coming in off a busy off-season that saw the club's roster revamped and expectations raised for a team loaded with headliners.

Special1 TV: Deadline Day Aftermath

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

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As if Chelsea-Liverpool needed any more drama to make it a must-see encounter, having Fernando Torres make his Chelsea debut against the very Liverpool side he just left days ago makes this one a can't-miss match and the headliner in a loaded weekend of soccer action.

The uncomfortable reunion also happens to be a seriously important match for both sides, with Chelsea trying to stay in the title race and Liverpool trying to climb back into the picture.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

A familiar face in a new place. That's a recurring theme for the Americans Abroad contingent this weekend.

From Michael Bradley to Eddie Johnson, nearly a handful of Americans will look to make debuts with their respective new clubs.

Bradley could make his Premiership debut on Saturday as Aston Villa faces Fulham.

Sporting KC and Columbus take pre-season work to Phoenix

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

PHOENIX -- Closer to the big city, a couple of Major League Soccer teams are getting work done on a complex of soccer fields in frigid Arizona.

Yes, it's been record cold these days in the Valley of the Sun, but that isn't stopping Sporting Kansas City and the Columbus Crew from training at Reach 11 West, about 25 to 30 minutes due north of downtown Phoenix.

A look at the plethora of American winter moves

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If this winter seemed like an especially period for American players in Europe, it's because we saw more movement in this transfer window than in any window recent memory.

By the close of the transfer period in England on Tuesday, a total of eight Americans had made moves in the month of January.

Dynamo stadium groundbreaking set for Saturday

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After clearing the final hurdles to get the project approved, the Houston Dynamo will officially break ground in its new stadium on Saturday, between 2pm and 4pm local time in Houston.

The $95 million stadium, which will be built on Houston's East End and is projected to be completed in 2012, should provide a major boost for a soccer market with a strong fan base, but a fan base that has endured watching the Dynamo play in a tattered Robertson Stadium.

SBI Live Q&A (February 3rd Edition)

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Good afternoon everybody (and good morning on the West Coast). It's SBI Live Q&A Time.

Time for us to talk soccer. Whether it's MLS, U.S. national team or European soccer, get your questions ready to send my way. We can talk about all things soccer (as well as some pop culture).

Want to talk MLS pre-season?

SBI Live Q&A set for 1pm Today

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

If you want to talk about the crazy winter transfer market, or the U.S. national team, Major League Soccer, or the upcoming UEFA Champions League, join us at 1pm today with your questions and I will try cover as many of them as I can.

Thursday Kickoff: Davies joins D.C. camp, Anelka rumor resurfaces, and more

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Charlie Davies' Â quest to return to the Charlie Davies of old has taken him to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he began his one-week evaluation by D.C. United today.

Davies could see action on Friday when D.C. United plays its first intra-squad scrimmage of the camp. With his paperwork coming through on Thursday morning, the FC Sochaux striker can begin showing D.

Americans Abroad: Wednesday Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Stuart Holden and Bolton Wanderers' hopes of claiming the Premiership's Europa League spot may be grim, but those dreams stayed alive on Wednesday.

Currently in eighth place, Bolton Wanderers stayed within distance of fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur by defeating Wolves 1-0.

Fulham 1, Newcastle United 0: Match Highlights

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MLS Training Camp Preview: Chivas USA

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BY ADAM SERRANO

It's a new era at Chivas USA and its fans hope that it will lead to a new mindset and greater success.

New Head Coach Robin Fraser has taken over for the Rojiblancos replacing Martin Vasquez, who was removed after a disappointing season that saw Chivas USA finish dead last in the Western Conference.

Evening Ticker: Osorio named Honduras coach, Neville retires and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

After having his name tossed around the rumor mill in the last couple of months, Juan Carlos Osorio has a new squad to coach - the Honduras national team.

The former Chicago Fire, New York Red Bulls and Once Caldas coach has been selected to become the next manager of Los Catrachos.

Happy for change of scenery, Sounders' White makes quick impression

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Photo by Nick Turchiaro/ISIphotos.com

By JOSE M. ROMERO

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. -- O'Brian White was asked point-blank if the team that made him the fourth overall SuperDraft pick in 2009, Toronto FC, misused him.

A downward glance and shrug of the shoulders said a lot, even if the new Seattle Sounders striker's words didn't.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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Barcelona and Real Madrid took care of business in the first legs of their respective Copa del Rey semifinal ties, both coming away with victories. If they can do the same on Wednesday, the soccer world will be guaranteed at least a third Clasico this season.

Barcelona is in the driver's seat after securing a 5-0 first-leg win over Almeria.

MLS Training Camp Preview: San Jose Earthquakes

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By ADAM SERRANO

The San Jose Earthquakes aren't hoping to catch lightning in a bottle again, but rather a year that signals their return to prominence for good.Â

Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski was the story last year, scoring 18 goals and earning the Golden Boot in 2010 and helping lead the club to the Eastern Conference finals.

Gold Cup draw postponed until March

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photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

If you've been anxiously awaiting to see who the U.S. national team will face in the 2011 Gold Cup and at what stadiums, you'll have to wait a little longer.

The Gold Cup draw has been pushed back until early March after initially being scheduled for early February, a CONCACAF spokesman told SBI on Wednesday.

Arsenal 2, Everton 1: The Highlights

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Report: Findley injures thigh in training

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Having just had all the necessary paperwork completed to seal his move to England League Championship side Nottingham Forest, Robbie Findley figured to get his first taste of European soccer as soon as this week. It looks as if he'll have to put those plans on hold.

Which other American abroad would you like to see loaned or transferred?

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With the European transfer window shut for the winter, a number of Americans are settling in to their new clubs, having just been loaned or transferred elsewhere. For a few others, though, their club situation is anything but secure.

Take Eric Lichaj, for example, who enjoyed his first taste of first-team action with Aston Villa early in the season only to find himself in manager Gerard Houllier's notorious doghouse.

Morning Ticker: U.S. unmoved in FIFA rankings, Bayern to face Dutch and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

The United States stayed put at No. 18 in the monthy FIFA world rankings, maintaining its position as the highest-ranked team in CONCACAF. Mexico (27), Honduras (39) and Costa Rica (48) are the other CONCACAF teams among the Top 50.

Manchester United 3, Aston Villa 1: The Highlights

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Evening Ticker: Garber tempers Cosmos' MLS hopes, Roma for sale and more

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By JOHN BOSCHINI

It's long been a nearly foregone conclusion that if New York is to receive a second MLS franchise, it would be under the banner of the once-defunct New York Cosmos. But MLS Commissioner Don Garber said that the MLS isn't totally sold just yet on making the Cosmos a future franchise.

Teibert, Dunfield lead Whitecaps to win over RSL in preseason opener

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. -- Make that 2-0 for Pacific Northwest/southwestern Canada MLS expansion teams in their first-ever preseason training matches.Â

The Vancouver Whitecaps joined Cascadia's Seattle Sounders as winners of their on-field debut as a team, with Tuesday's 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake that was made up of three 45-minute halves.

Davies to join D.C. United in Florida for week-long evaluation and possible loan

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Sochaux forward Charlie Davies is set to join D.C. United in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on Wednesday for a week-long evaluation period that could end with him securing a 12-month loan deal to the club.

Brown making transition from player to coach

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. -- Real Salt Lake began training camp for 2011 last week, and along with starting the new year, the start of camp also signaled the beginning of a coaching career for one of Major League Soccer's longest-serving players.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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It is rare when a Tuesday is loaded with quality soccer action, but today happens to be one of those rare days.

The English Premier League boasts a quartet of quality tilts, while Italy gives us the match of the day, with AC Milan taking on Lazio in a battle of title contenders.

Altidore's arrival in Turkey

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Onyewu relishing new challenge

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By AVI CREDITOR

United States national team centerback Oguchi Onyewu is finally in position to resume getting regular minutes in important matches, and while the opportunity isn't happening at AC Milan, that doesn't mean it can't be beneficial for him and his future.

Red Bull Arena to host 2011 MLS All-Star Game

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Red Bull Arena will play host to the 2011 MLS All-Star Game on July 27th, Major League Soccer announced on Tuesday.

No opponent has been identified for the match yet. MLS has used a format featuring a team of all-stars against international club teams in recent years. FC Barcelona will be on tour in the United States during the summer and could wind up being the international opponent.

Report: Davies might join D.C. United on loan

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Charlie Davies quest for playing time and a full recovery from the accident that nearly ended his life could bring him to the very area where the fateful accident took place.

According to the Washington Post, D.C. United is in serious discussions to bring Charlie Davies on a loan.

Currently with FC Sochaux, Davies has struggled for playing time on the club's reserve side and has yet to play for the first team this year.

Torres joins Chelsea on crazy transfer deadline day

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Monday marked one of the craziest transfer window closing days in recent memory, with blockbuster deals and several Americans making moves.

Fernando Torres stole the show, moving to Chelsea on an $80.5 million transfer, while English striker Andy Carroll moved to Liverpool for an astonishing $56.