The Chicago Fire never did get going under head coach Carlos De Los Cobos, and the lack of
results ultimately led to De Los Cobos departure.
The Fire fired De Los Cobos on Monday (though the team's press release said the sides have
"parted ways") and former Chicago Fire standout and front office exec Frank Klopas has been chosen
to take over as head coach.
The Vancouver Whitecaps began their inagural season in MLS with so much promise, delivering a
season-opening thrashing of Toronto FC making many wonder if this expansion team might be more
successful than most past expansion teams.
The Whitecaps haven't won a game since, and head coach Teitur Thordarson paid the price for that
on Monday by being fired by the club on Saturday night, after the team's 1-1 draw vs.
The U.S. men's national team is in Cary, North Carolina preparing for its upcoming friendly
against Spain, as well as the looming CONCACAF Gold Cup, and here are some updates for you on this
Memorial Day morning:
As reported on Sunday, Alejandro Bedoya has been called into U.S. national team camp.
Nacional entered Saturday's clash with Defensor Sporting needing only one point to secure the
Clausura title, and when Richard Porta opened the scoring after just six minutes, Los Tricolores
looked set to finish the job without much drama. But Sporting went down fighting, creating a number
of chances and dominating large portions of this pulsating encounter at the Estadio Gran Parque
The 20th and final place in the English Premier League for the 2011/2012 season will be won
today when Swansea City takes on Reading FC at Wembley StadiumÂ in the League Championship
Promotion Final (10am, Fox Soccer Channel).
Swansea City will be looking to reach the Premier League for the first time in its history,
while Reading will try to return to the Premier League for the first time since the 2007/2008
Michael Parkhurst and FC Nordsjaelland may not have won their season finale this weekend, but
Parkhurst helped the club to a sixth-place finish in the Superliga with a 90-minute performance in
a scoreless draw.
The Portland Timbers are undefeated at home in MLS play no more.Â
DC United got goals from Perry Kitchen, Chris Pontius and Josh Wolff, overcoming two linesman
calls that awarded an additional two penalty kick opportunities and resulted in a Timbers goal to
walk out of Jeld-Wen Field with a hard-earned 3-2 victory.
The defending champions are having trouble closing out their opponents these days.
The Colorado Rapids settled for a 1-1 home draw against Sporting Kansas City, with Ryan Smith's
75th-minute strike forcing the MLS Cup holders into their fifth consecutive tie.
Smith took a well-struck, left-footed shot from just inside the area to beat Matt Pickens and
level the score well after Conor Casey opened the scoring in the 13th minute, pouncing on an awful
backpass to net his first goal of the year for Colorado (4-3-6).
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Getty
Â By CALEB SONNELAND
In another week of unlikely goal-scorers, center back Patrick Ianni and midfielder Lamar Neagle
got on the score sheet for the travelling Seattle Sounders to deal Real Salt Lake its second home
loss in over two years.
Los Angeles Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena chose to rest forward Juan Pablo Angel for the team's
third match in eight days, but it didn't matter, as Angel's replacement Miguel Lopez scored the
only goal in the Galaxy's 1-0 win over the New England Revolution at Gillette Staduim Saturday
Sepp Blatter has lost his lone competitor for the FIFA presidency.Â
Asian Football Confederation presidentÂ Mohamed Bin Hammam withdrew his bid to become the
president of FIFA just a day before he is to stand before the FIFA ethics committee due to
allegations of bribery.
The top two teams in the world are set to face off in London in the UEFA Champions League final
on Saturday, and one will add a fourth European championship trophy to its already busting
Giants Barcelona and Manchester United will meet in the Champions League for the third time in
the last four years.
It didn't hurt that Penarol's run in the Copa Libertadores forced Diego Aguirre's side to
de-emphasize its domestic campaign, but Nacional deserves plenty of credit for being one point away
from clinching the Uruguayan Clausura title. Los Tricolores enter the 14th round five points ahead
of Penarol and six points above Defensor Sporting, which faces the leaders Saturday (3 p.
FC Twente did not exercise its option to buy the U.S. national team centerback's contract from
AC Milan on Friday. Onyewu joined Twente on loan in January, playing fullback and centerback in his
14 appearances (13 starts) with the club.
The winless Atlanta Silverbacks travel to take on the red-hot Carolina Railhawks and the
seemingly unstoppable Etienne Barabara this weekend. The Maltese striker has scored 11 goals so far
in 2011, seven more than his closest competition for the league's top scorer.
Chivas USA may be looking to develop the best youth program in MLS, but plans for a potential
"All-Southern California" Chivas USA appear to be overblown.Â
Following a pair of recent reports that have come out in the last week stating that the
Rojiblancos are intending to field an "All-SoCal" team, General Manager Jose Domene clairified the
statements in an interview with MLSsoccer.
If Freddy Adu is to receive another loan to Caykur Rizespor, he'll do it knowing that he won't
be playing top-flight soccer.
Rizespor battled back to draw Orduspor, 3-3, in the second leg of their promotion playoff
semifinal on Thursday, but Orduspor won the first leg, 4-0, and advanced to the promotion final via
a 7-3 aggregate victory.
It may have only been a U.S. Open Cup qualifier, but Sporting Kansas City's 5-0 win in Overland
Park, Kan., over the New England Revolution on Wednesday was aÂ very welcome sight forÂ the sore
eyes of coach Peter Vermes, whose team has struggled to a 1-6-1 start on theÂ roadÂ while waiting
for the June opening of Livestrong Sporting Park.
MLS commissioner Don Garber appeared at the Sports Business Journal/Sports Business Daily Sports
Facilities and Franchises Ticketing Symposium in New Jersey to talk all things MLS. You can read
more of his answers to questions about the league here, but below are a couple of his responses to
questions about MLS:
The Copa Libertadores -- without global marketing and SuperBowl-like build-up -- has remained
one of the more prestigious competitions in the world. Its passion, purity and pressure is what
drives all South American-based players to step it up a notch in the intense challenges that the
Canadian Soccer Association officials have deemed the surface at BMO Field unplayable, and the
second leg of the Canadian championship between Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps has been
rescheduled for July 2.
Vancouver held a 1-0 lead in the 60th minute of Wednesday night's second leg, but torrential
downpours and repeated lightning forced the game to be abandoned.
The Fulham Cottagers have earned a place in next season's Europa League after finishing at the
top of the FIFA Fair Play Standings in the English Premier League among teams not already qualified
Word of Fulham's place in Europa League came down on Thursday, after some doubt had been placed
on whether the Cottagers would hold on to the spot after seeing Zoltan Gera draw a red card in
Sunday's season-ending 2-2 vs.
Landon Donovan scored his league-leading seventh goal of the season as the Galaxy defeated the
Houston Dynamo, 1-0 in front of 14,458 at the Home Depot Center.
The Galaxy controlled a majority of the possession before taking the lead just moments before
halftime. A Chris Birchall shot bounced off the outstretched arm of Lovel Palmer laeding to referee
Chris Penso to call a penalty.
As the rain fell for the third straight game day in Seattle, FC Dallas held its ground to sneak
a win at Qwest Field through a first-half Brek Shea goal. Â The goal, Shea's fourth of the season
saw Seattle finish a three-game home stint 1-1-1 having only scored two goals.
The Sounders welcomed Erik Friberg back to the Starting XI, as the Swede took up the right side
of the midfield for Seattle.
The rapid succession of goals between Colorado and New York looked more like a boxing match than
a soccer game, as the teams went blow for blow scoring four first half goals in six minutes. The
blitz started with a Jeff Larentowicz penalty and concluded with a Luke Rodgers class finish.
A full slate of midweek action involving MLS teams is on the docket Wednesday night, including
three league matches, a U.S. Open Cup play-in game, the second leg of the Canadian championship and
an international club friendly. Here's the schedule of matches and viewing info:
Chicago Fire Homegrown Player Victor Pineda scored in the first half for the United States
Under-18 national team, but the Netherlands pulled even in the second half, and the two sides
played to a 1-1 draw in the opening game of the Lisbon International Tournament in Portugal on
U.S. Under-20 winger Josh Gatt scored his first two professional goals with top-flight Norwegian
club Molde FK and had a hand in setting up a third in a 7-1 victory over third-tier Tiller in a
domestic cup match on Wednesday.
Gatt and American U-20 left back Sean Cunningham each started and went the distance for Molde,
which advanced to the Round of 16 in the tournament.
Philadelphia Union midfielder Amobi Okugo will be out for at least the next three weeks after
suffering a high ankle sprain against the Chicago Fire over the weekend, according to the Delaware
County Daily Times.
Okugo suffered the injury in the opening minutes against the Fire and was replaced by Kyle
Nakazawa, who figures to see the lion's share of Okugo's minutes while he is out.
You'll be forgiven for thinking that it might be Saturday.
Eleven MLS teams are in action Wednesday night, as three league games, a U.S. Open Cup match, a
Canadian championship final and an international club friendly all highlight the schedule. Here's
the lineup for the night:
Carlos Ruiz and Bobby Convey scored two of the best goals of the season last weekend, and those
scores as well as their overall performances helped them both earn places in SBI's MLS Team of the
Week this week.
Ruiz's long-range volley and Convey's curling free kick were the highlights, but not everyone on
the Best XI scored goals.
Facing a two-goal deficit and the possibility of missing out on the U.S. Open Cup final field
for the first time in club history, the Chicago Fire turned it up another notch.
Orr Barouch and Yamith Cuesta scored second-half goals to counter Ellis McLoughlin and Justin
Morrow's first-half strikes, and the Fire outlasted the San Jose Earthquakes, 2-2 (5-4 in
penalties), to win their Open Cup play-in match Tuesday night.
Michael Farfan was one of the more dangerous attacking players in all of college soccer in his
final season at North Carolina, and even though he slipped to the second round in the MLS
SuperDraft, he's proving some of his doubters wrong with his play on the professional level.
A week before the FIFA presidential election is set to take place, one of the candidates and
another high-powered FIFA executive have been implicated in a corruption scandal by an unlikely
Mohamed Bin Hammam, the Asian Football Confederation president and challenger to Sepp Blatter,
and three others -- including CONCACAF president Jack Warner -- were reportedly outed to FIFA by
CONCACAF secretary general Chuck Blazer.
The U.S. men's national team will be facing a very strong Spain side when the team's meet in a
friendly at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro on June 4th.
Barcelona teammates Andres Iniesta, David Villa, Pedro, Sergio Busquets, Victor Valdes and
Gerard Pique lead the group, with Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas and Chelsea striker Fernando
Torres among the other selections.
After a terrible start to the season the San Jose Earthquakes were quickly forgotten in the
stacked Western Conference, but a second straight win has the 'Quakes' looking more like a team
ready to go on a winning run when the club needs to make up for its bad start.
Bobby Convey's beautiful free kick was arguably the best goal of the week, while the late winner
from Ellis McLoughlin sealed the points for Frank Yallop.
David Beckham looked right at home in his Manchester United jersey.
Donning the No. 7 kit, the Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder played 90 minutes, nearly scored on a
shot from distance and even caught a pitch invader late in Gary Neville's testimonial match against
Juventus at Old Trafford.
It seems like it's just a matter of time before David de Gea is donning the Manchester United
Reports emerging from Spain have made the agreement between Atletico Madrid and Manchester
United for de Gea seem like a done deal as the Premier League club looks to replace the retiring
Edwin van der Sar.
When the U.S. men's national team opens its Gold Cup camp later this week, Clint Dempsey will be
gearing up to play in his third regional tournament. This one, however, is likely to be a bit
different from the ones he took part of in 2005 and 2007.
The Los Angeles Galaxy strengthened its hold atop the SBI MLS Power Rankings with a victory over
Superclasico rival Chivas USA, but it's another team from California that is starting to make some
noise on its way up the table.
The San Jose Earthquakes climbed another three spots this week, making that a six-spot
improvement over the last two weeks, from No.
Fans were treated to two of the better goals of the Major League Soccer season on Saturday
night, when Carlos Ruiz and Bobby Convey each found the net in impressive fashion.
Ruiz admitted that his left-footed volley from distance was a bit fortuitous, and perhaps
Chicago keeper Jon Conway could've done better, but the stunning strike was perfectly hit and gave
the Union three points.
As the news of the U.S. national team Gold Cup roster selections sink in, here are some
highlights from Bob Bradley's conference call explaining his decisions:
Timmy Chandler was left off because it was decided he needed a rest after playing an extensive
number of minutes for the first time in his pro career, and playing in the Gold Cup would have left
him with little time to recover before the next German season.
Pumas UNAM didn't put forth a great performance on Sunday, but goals from former Chivas USA
standout Francisco Palencia and Javier Cortes proved the difference, as Guillermo Vasquez's side
claimed the Clausura title with a 2-1 victory over Morelia.
After all that chatter, Dwayne De Rosario will be representing Canada this summer.
The New York Red Bulls midfielder highlights manager Stephen Hart's roster for the CONCACAF Gold
Cup, along with five other MLS players. Attacking talent Simeon Jackson, who spearheaded Norwich
City's promotion to the English Premier League also made the cut for Canada, which will open the
Gold Cup against the United States on June 7 in Detroit.
The last time Lille won the French top flight, the European Cup didn't exist yet. Now, after 57
years, the club will enter the UEFA Champions League as French champions for the first time in its
Lille entered the weekend needing only a point from its match at Paris St.
The last time Lille won the French top flight, the European Cup didn't exist yet. Now, after 57
years, the club will enter the UEFA Champions League as French champions for the first time in its
Lille entered the weekend needing only a point from its match at Paris St.
WASHINGTON --Vurnon Anita's goal in the 87th minute broke a 1-1 tie and gave Dutch champion Ajax
a 2-1 victory over D.C. United in an international club friendly in front of 10,728 at RFK Stadium
Anita took on rookie defender Ethan White, cut back to his left foot and tucked his low shot
from inside the area inside the far post
CARSON, Calif â€“ The season's first installment of the 'SuperClasico' was build as being a
tougher match-up than it has been in recent years, and that proved to be the case on Saturday night
as aÂ Chad Barrett goal proved to be the difference in the Los Angeles Galaxy's 1-0 victory against
Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center.
Bobby Convey lofted home a beautiful free kick in the 83rd minute and the San Jose Earthquakes
weathered a frantic final 10 minutes to hold on for a 2-1 win over the New England Revolution at
Buck Shaw Stadium Saturday night.
The win improves the Earthquakes to 3-4-3 (12 points) on the season, while the Revs drop to
3-4-4 (13 points).
Eric Brunner's 46th-minute goal -- the product of yet another successful set piece for the
Portland Timbers -- was just enough for Portland to make it five straight MLS wins at Jeld-Wen
Field after its 1-0 win over the Columbus Crew Saturday night.
In what was largely not a match for the history books, the Seattle Sounders netted a late winner
through the head of defender Jeff Parke to seal the win and three points over a struggling Sporting
Kansas City side.
But with both teams coming off disappointing results from the week before, it took an unlikely
hero in Parke to rally and break the deadlock in a match lacking an offensive threat.
New York Red Bulls midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy came on as a late substitute and headed in a
stoppage-time goal off a corner kick to pull New York even with the Houston Dynamo and salvage a
2-2 draw at Robertson Stadium.
Houston had taken the lead just minutes earlier, as the Red Bulls experienced more problems
defending set pieces.
Carlos Ruiz floated a left-footed rebound shot out of the reach of Chicago goalkeeper Jon Conway
and into the net in the 75th minute, and the Philadelphia Union made it stand in its 2-1 win over
the Fire Saturday night at PPL Park.
Ruiz got the ball off a deflected set piece and scored, and the rest of the match was relatively
uneventful as the Union ended a three-game winless streak and improved to 5-3-2.
The only intracity rivalry is here, the SuperClasico between the LA Galaxy and Chivas USA.
Both teams are coming off impressive victories, the Galaxy with a 4-1 victory over Sporting KC
while the Rojiblancos went on the road to defeat the New York Red Bulls, 3-2. In this, the 21st
Clasico in Los Angeles history, both teams are incredibly hot and will likely create a lively
The MLS version of the "SuperClasico" has never quite lived up to the billing, or ever
really been a rivalry worthy of an elaborate nickname. That may change this season though, with
Chivas USA looking like a team ready to be a true rival to its neighbors, the Los Angeles
French League leaders Lille will look to lock up the Ligue 1 title today in a home showdown
against Paris St. German.
With the English Premier League, German Bundesliga and Serie A all having already decided their
champions, Lille will look to be the next in line to lift a trophy (or drop one off a bus), but
with PSG having its own European aspirations to fight for, it won't be a cakewalk for Eden Hazard
Ukrainian-born and American-raised striker Eugene Starikov gave Zenit St. Petersburg, the club
that owns his rights, a good glimpse at what they might want to consider keeping after he scored a
goal to help FK Tom Tomsk beat Zenit, 2-1, on Saturday.
Starikov was called into U.S. national team camp in January, and spent some time with the U.
SEATTLE - After a week filled by the war of words between Seattle Sounders coach Sigi Schmid and
Portland Timbers coach John Spencer, both managers were finally able to step out of the spotlight
and focus on the MLS preparations for the weekend against Sporting Kansas City and the Columbus
PHOENIX -- Two big names of Mexican club soccer are coming to the University of Phoenix Stadium
in Glendale, Ariz., on July 10 -- 10-time Primera Division champion Club America and one of the
finalists for the league's 2011 Clausura title, Morelia.
Freddy Adu has had his share of ups and downs throughout his seven years as a professional
soccer player. There were the highs of signing with MLS and Benfica, and enjoying success with the
Under-20 national team, but there have also been lows, like bouncing around on a string of
unsuccessful loan spells.
If the New York Red Bulls are to return to their winning ways, they'll have to do so without
Thierry Henry did not travel with the team to Houston, the team announced via its official
Twitter feed. Henry, who is tied for third in the league with five goals, had been bothered by
swelling in his right knee and will be rested this weekend.
The SuperClasico has been a one-sided affair of late, withÂ the Los Angeles Galaxy unbeaten in
the battle for Home Depot Center bragging rights since 2007.Â But with three wins in four games and
only one loss since March, Chivas USA seems poised to give the Galaxy a run for its moneyÂ when the
clubs meet Saturday.
Not long ago Arsenal seemed poised to finally snap its trophy-less streak, but the Gunners fell
short in four competitions and now all that is left is securing direct entry into next season's
UEFA Champions League.
Arsene Wenger's side trails Manchester City by one point entering the final round, so Arsenal
needs a victory against Fulham on Sunday (11 a.
Out of the four semifinalists in this year's Copa Libertadores, only Paraguay's Cerro
Porteno will be vying for its first title with Brazil's Santos, Argentina's Velez Sarsfield and
Uruguay's Penarol all having lifted the trophy on at least one occasion.
There is a small chance Blackburn can get relegated on the Premiership's final matchday, but
Jermaine Jones will aim to erase that possibility and secure the Rovers' spot in the league.
Jones and Blackburn currently sit in 15th place in the Premier League, but they are not
guaranteed safety as they have only one more point than Wigan Athletic and Blackpool, both of which
are in the drop zone.
Thierry Henry isn't one to mince words, so when he was asked about Robert Pires' recent comments
claiming that Henry had asked him to come to MLS and New York, Henry wasted no time shooting the
whole idea down. He made it clear his former Arsenal teammate was mistaken by proceeding to rip his
good friend and long-time teammate for talking too much.
Landon Donovan continued his strong form this past week with two stellar games. He was expected
to put up big fantasy stats considering his schedule, but Justin Braun surprised us all by notching
a hat trick against the New York Red Bulls.
If one thing has become clear during Aron Winter's tenure in charge of Toronto FC thus far, it's
that the stern Dutch coach is hardly ever pleased with his side.
After Toronto used a Maicon Santos equalizer to pick up a 1-1 draw at Vancouver in the first leg
of the Canadian Championship on Wednesday, Winter conceded he was satisfied with the outcome --
even if he wasn't in his team's overall play.
The English FA said Thursday it will abstain from casting a ballot in this summer's FIFA
presidential campaign in a protest against candidates Sepp Blatter and Mohamed bin Hammam. FA
chairman David Bernstein said the decision to not support either candidate was made due to recent
and current issues involving FIFA.
The first MLS installment of the Seattle-Portland rivalry headlined an entertaining and eventful
weekend of soccer action in Major League Soccer's Week Eight.
With the upcoming week almost upon us, it's time to look back at the week that was. From the Los
Angeles Galaxy's impressive blowout victory, to Chivas USA's stunning road win against New York,
there was plenty to talk about besides the intense Seattle-Portland match, which ended in a
Major League Soccer's two Canadian teams, the Vancouver Whitecaps and Toronto FC, go head-to-head
in the first leg of the Canadian championship at Empire Field in their first meeting since the
opening game of the MLS season (10 p.m., Rogers Sportsnet in Canada; Sportsnet stream).
Porto won its third trophy of the season, adding the UEFA Europa League to its Portuguese league
and Super Cup titles with a 1-0 victory over Sporting Braga in the final in Dublin, Ireland. Falcao
scored the goal -- his 17th the competition -- to help make 33-year-old manager Andre Villas-Boas
the youngest coach to win a UEFA competition.
The Los Angeles Galaxy may have had the biggest blowout of the week, and Chivas USA had the most
surprising win of the week, but no team can top FC Dallas this week after the Red Stripes posted a
pair of shutout victories to climb the Western Conference standings.
Led by the attacking forays of Fabian Castillo, the stout defending of George John, and the
stellar goalkeeping of Kevin Hartman, FC Dallas beat both Toronto FC and the Philadelphia Union to
improve to 5-3-2 on the season.
Real Madrid and Chivas de Guadalajara will meet at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego on July 20 as
part of this summer's World Football Challenge, tournament organizers announced on Wednesday.
Madrid is already slated to play the Los Angeles Galaxy in a WFC match at the L.A. Coliseum on July
Despite European leagues winding down and no MLS games until the weekend, there's still an
ecclectic array of soccer on Wednesday.
Between the UEFA Europa League final, Copa Libertadores quarterfinals, a U.S. women's national
team pre-World Cup friendly and Canadian championship, there's plenty of entertaining soccer to go
The Pacific Northwest rivalry between Seattle and Portland has been taken up a notch.
Portland Timbers coach John Spencer took offense to some of Seattle Sounders coach Sigi Schmid's
postgame remarks after Saturday night's 1-1 draw and went off on the Sounders coach in the Portland
media after training on Tuesday.
Police were called to the Grosvenor Hotel in London Monday night after a brawl broke out at West
Ham's end-of-season dinner.
West Ham striker Demba Ba was at the center of the altercation, after he reportedly got into an
argument with a fan, which resulted in the fan racially abusing the Senegalese player and an
The United States Under-20 national team is set to take on France in two friendlies this week,
one on Tuesday and one on Thursday, but two of the more highly touted Americans expected to play in
the games won't be available.
Sebastian Lletget and Joe Gyau, initally named to the roster for the trip, won't be with the
club "due to slight injuries they have picked up with their clubs," according to U.
The Columbus Crew announced the signing of Louisville forward Aaron Horton on Tuesday, marking
the first time the club has ever signed a Homegrown Player.
Having spent just one season at Louisville, Horton was able to sign with Columbus as a Home
Grown Player as he was a member of the Crew's 2010 USL Super 20s National Championship team last
summer, where he was named tournamenet MVP.
A day after delivering a vicious head butt to a Morelia trainer during an on-field skirmish in
Mexican League playoff action, Cruz Azul goalkeeper Jose de Jesus Corona has been dropped from the
Mexican national team's Gold Cup roster.
Corona leveled Morelia trainer Sergio Martin with a powerful head butt that leveled Martin, who
had thrown punches of his own during the skirmish that ensued after a Cruz Azul fan entered the
field of play during a Morelia blowout win, setting off Cruz Azul players.
The Richmond Kickers had to drop points eventually.
After an eight-game winning streak kicked off their season in style, the Kickers were held to a
1-1 draw with the Harrisburg City Islanders. Richmond continues to be the only unbeaten team left
in the USL Pro and holds a one-point lead with two games in hand over Antigua Barracuda FC in the
In one of the easier awards to select, Chivas USA's Justin Braun earned SBI's MLS Player of the
Week honors after scoring a hat-trick in the Goats' 3-2 victory against the New York Red Bulls at
Red Bull Arena on Sunday.
Braun beat out a strong field that included Landon Donovan and Fabian Castillo among others.
After a tumultuous reign as the manager of the Argentinian national team, the Argentine legend
has accepted an offer to become the manager of UAE club Al Wasl. The Dubai-based club has been
without a manager since firing Segio Farias in March and announced Maradona has signed a two-year
deal beginning in September.
Carolina increased its lead at the top of the NASL to six points, taking advantage of Puerto
Rico's hiatus, at the expense of rival Montreal Impact. The MLS-bound Impact is struggling mightily
early in the season, earning only four points from a possible 15.
After this weekend's matches, four of the five leagues we've been following all year have
crowned champions, and the fifth is well on its way to being decided.
With Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan, and FC Barcelona all having claimed their respective titles
already, Manchester United joined the club this week, officially claiming an English record 19th
title with a 1-1 draw at Blackburn on Saturday.
It took only three minutes midway through the first half for Boca Juniors to take control of the
latest Superclasico, as the home side came away with a 2-0 victory Sunday in La Bombonera. River
Plate goalkeeper Juan Pablo Carrizo was expected to be a key figure in this showdown between the
two eternal nemeses, and Carrizo played his part in a negative way in the final result.
Let us set the scene. Morelia scores its third goal of its semifinal match against Cruz Azul,
thus locking up Â a place in the Mexican League Final. As Cruz Azul stood on the field,
collectively seething, a (dumb and clueless) Cruz Azul fan decides it's a good time to invade the
pitch and try to shake the hand of his favorite player, Gerardo Torrado.
Make that three in a row for Maurice Edu and Rangers.
For the third straight season, Edu and Rangers won the Scottish Premier League title, defeating
Kilmarnock, 5-1, on Sunday to do so. Edu started and went the distance in the match that gave
Rangers its record 54th Scottish championship.
Just when you thought Sergio Ramos' dropping of the Copa Del Rey, which led to the trophy being
run over by a bus, would have taught soccer players to be more careful with the silverware they
win, we've had ANOTHER mishap involving a championship celebration, a slippery piece of silverware
and a bus.
Between championship and playoff showdowns and other matchups with big implications, Sunday's
slate has something for everybody.
Jonathan Spector's West Ham seeks a win against Wigan in a matchup of two desperate teams
currently on the bottom of England's drop zone, while Liverpool and Tottenham meet in a match that
will almost certainly decide which team qualifies for the UEFA Europa League next season.
Playing in front of an electric Qwest Field crowd, the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers
slugged out a 1-1 draw that had to leave the home team disappointed and the visitors happy with a
road point against their arch-rivals.
With a draw or victory at Ewood Park, Manchester United would clinch its 19th Premier League
championship. United States midfielder Jermaine Jones and the rest of his Blackburn teammates will
do what they can to prevent the title celebration from happening on their turf.
WASHINGTON -- Threatening for an equalizer early in the second halfÂ against the Colorado Rapids
on Saturday, D.C. UnitedÂ seemed poised to draw even one way or another, despite the loss of
forwards Charlie Davies and Josh Wolff to first-half injuries.
The Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers have been arch-rivals for decades, but their rivalry
as MLS opponents is set to be born tonight as the Timbers travel to Qwest Field for the first of
many dramatic encounters (11pm, ESPN2).
The Timbers have been riding high in recent weeks after a poor start to the season, but much of
that success has come at home.
A week after treating its fans to the much-hyped clash between New York and Los Angeles, MLS
will be showcasing a match that perhaps comes with even more anticipation: the league's first-ever
Cascadia rivalry match between the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers.
Brazilian legend Ronaldo may yet play again on the club level.
According to reports out of Brazil, Ronaldo is set to return to Corinthians after retiring
earlier this year. It appears that his return may be nothing more than to make appearances in the
club's upcoming friendlies against Inter Milan and Barcelona -- two of his former teams.
While the squad is highlighted by Manchester United forward Javier Hernandez, key players
Jonathan Dos Santos and Carlos Vela have been left off for the El Tri side that will look to repeat
as champions of CONCACAF.
With Puerto Rico's three franchises no longer a part of USL Pro, the league has reorganized the
standings toÂ featureÂ two six-team divisions instead of three five-team divisions. Antigua
Barracuda FC joins the American Division while the Los Angeles Blues are now part of the National
One of the top matches in all the world this weekend won't be played in England, Spain, Germany
or anywhere else in Europe. It'll be happening in Argentina.
Boca Juniors and River Plate renew their Superclasico rivalry Sunday afternoon (3 p.m.), and
while Boca Juniors hitman Martin Palermo (above, right) has enjoyed a fascinating career with many
memorable moments, scoring a goal in his final Superclasico would certainly be very special.
It's been a very good week for Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish, who earned a three-year contract
as a reward for salvaging this season, and Dalglish hopes to cap it off with a victory over
Tottenham at Anfield on Sunday (11 a.m., FSC). With Birmingham and Stoke City gobbling up UEFA
Europa League spots, the loser of this weekend's matchup will likely be left without European
soccer next year.
Argentina's Velez Sarsfield and Uruguay's Penarol each have a step into the semifinals of the Copa
Libertadores after their shutout wins in the home legs of their quarterfinal ties.
Santos, the lone Brazilian team remaining in the field, got a vital away victory in Colombia,
and Mexico's Jaguares needed a little English flavor to equalize at the last minute in this week's
other first-leg quarterfinal matches.
England's League Championship playoffs have been called the most lucrative games in global
soccer and with the millions of pounds in Premier League funds going to the winner, it's difficult
to argue with that sentiment.
The teams that finished the 46-match regular season third through sixth in the league table
square-off over two legs before the winners meet at Old Trafford in a one-off final.
According to the Castrol Index, Major League Soccer's latest metric for measuring individual
success, New York Red Bulls Designated Player Thierry Henry is off to a stellar start in his first
full season in the league.
The Castrol Index is designed to analyze each player's every movement on the field and how those
movements impact a team's penchant for scoring goals and conceding goals.
When the Vancouver Whitecaps needed a moment to rescue a point at home, they turned to their
Davide Chiumiento's bending ball from the right carried through the 6-yard box, eluded all San
Jose Earthquakes defenders and goalkeeper Jon Busch and found the back of the net in stoppage time
to force a 1-1 draw between the two clubs at Empire Field Wednesday night.
Canadian international forward Ali Gerba's first-half goal was the difference, as the Montreal
Impact held on for a 1-0 result over the New York Red Bulls in their friendly Wednesday night at
Gerba headed home a cross in the 37th minute for the game's only tally.
Landon Donovan kept his hot streak going, while the Philadelphia Union found a way to keep their
unbeaten home streak going on Wednesday night.
Donovan opened the scoring with his fifth goal of the season to give the Los Angeles Galaxy a
first-half lead, but Danny Mwanga pounced on a Sean Franklin blunder in the second half to help
give the Union a 1-1 draw at PPL Park.
Captain Daniel Hernandez was on point to convert a penalty and give FC Dallas the win and three
points at Pizza Hut Park in Texas. Â The call was a debatable oneÂ from referee Yader Reyes and it
has, once more, called attention to the standard of officiating in the MLS.
FC Dallas has scheduled a press conference following Thursday's training session at Pizza Hut
Park to make a player announcement.
As of now there are no hints as to what the player announcement will be, but it appears it will
be a major oneÂ as club president and CEO Doug Quinn will be there along with chairman Clark Hunt,
head coach Schellas Hyndman and FC Dallas players.
The Los Angeles Galaxy's defense just got a little deeper.
Los Angeles picked up former U.S. U-20 national team defender Kyle Davies, who was placed on
waivers by FC Dallas on May 5. The 22-year-old Davies will provide cover at centerback for Omar
Gonzalez and A.
Week Seven of the MLS Season won't go down as one of the prettier weeks the league has ever
endured, but it had its share of memorable moments.
The New York-LA Galaxy match was entertaining, Charlie Davies put on another show at mid-week,
and the Joao Plata coming out party for Toronto FC was promising, but three scoreless draws and
Javier Morales' broken ankle put a damper on things.
Zygi Wilf is known for being the German-born owner of the Minnesota Vikings. He could soon be
known for being an owner of an MLS team.
Wilf held a press conference on Tuesday announcing that he had reached an agreement with Ramsey
County and the city of Arden Hills for a new retractable roof stadium worth an estimated cost of $1
Now that the shock has worn down from four Brazilian teams being ousted in the Copa
Libertadores Round of 16, which concluded last week, the focus is now on the remaining
quarterfinalists, which represent seven nations. The tournament doesn't have the usual overflow of
Argentine or Brazilian teams at this stage yet each country still has a representative not only in
contention but also considered favorites to lift the continent's most coveted trophy.
Another week has gone by and another playmaking midfielder has gone down with a long-term
injury. With Real Salt Lake's Javier Morales out of commission for a while, many fantasy owners
will yet again be looking for another midfielder to take his place.
2011 MLS SuperDraft first-round pick Justin Meram opened his Columbus Crew account, scoring a
late goal to lift the Crew to a 1-0 victory over the New England Revolution in Reserve League
action on Monday.
Meram pounced on a rebound inside the box off a Crew free kick and fired into a vacated net in
the 88th minute to provide the offense and help the Columbus reserves improve their mark to
Three Puerto Rican soccer teams have been dropped from USL-Pro with immediate effect, the league
announced Tuesday morning, reducing the number of active teams to 12.
Puerto Rico United, River Plate Puerto Rico and Sevilla FC Puerto Rico had been playing in the
USL Pro's International Division, but it has now emerged that all three have encountered severe
financial difficulties and no longer meet the league's standards and obligations.
The bribery plot surrounding the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup bids continues to thicken.
The Sunday Times of England claims to have evidence that shows that FIFA Executive Committee
members Issa Hayatou (Cameroon) and Jaques Anouma (Ivory Coast) were each paid $1.5 million to vote
for Qatar back in December.
United States women's national team coach Pia Sundhage won an international title in her first
year at the helm, guiding the USWNT to a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She's banking on
that success carrying over to this summer's FIFA World Cup in Germany.
Twelve of the 21 players selected to represent the United States this summer have never
participated in a World Cup before, but 14 were part of the 2008 world-championship team, and that
experience will be counted on as the No.
Real Salt Lake may have lost its playmaker, but it still has its spot atop the SBI MLS Power
Despite having Javier Morales exit its match with a broken ankle, Salt Lake powered through to a
victory over nine-man Chivas USA to improve to 5-1 on the season. That victory, coupled with the
New York-Los Angeles stalemate left the top three spots unchanged.
Clint Dempsey will try to add to his record breaking goal-scoring pace today when Fulham takes
on Liverpool today (2:55pm, ESPN2).
Liverpool enters the match still trying to catch Manchester City for the final Champions League
place in England, but Fulham will look to play spoiler as Dempsey returns from a slight injury that
kept him out of Fulham's last match.
American defender Frank Simek hasÂ dislocated his elbow after falling awkwardly in his club's
home loss to Yeovil Town on Saturday. Â
The Carlisle United defender has been a rock at the back for the League One side.Â The injury
has yet to be fully assessed, however, Simek was just an hour away from completing every minute of
It is rare when our pick for SBI MLS Player of the Week is someone who hasn't scored a goal, but
this week Andy Najar deserved the nod for the creative spark he supplied to help D.C. United
register four points this past week.
Najar assisted on both goals in D.C. United's 2-1 win against Seattle last Wednesday, and then
was United's most dangerous player in a scoreless draw against FC Dallas that D.
Lost in the midst of the weekend MLS action was the news that Major League Soccer's players
union had revealed the 2011 salaries for the league's players.
To nobody's surprise, David Beckham and Thierry Henry are the highest-paid players in MLS. In
fact, the four highest-paid players in MLS were on the field together in Saturday night's LA-New
Javier Morales became the latest victim of a horrific leg-breaking tackle this weekend, and now
Real Salt Lake is left without its creative leader while MLS must assess what to do with Chivas USA
striker Marcos Mondaini, the man who delivered the tackle.
Having just suspended Colorado midfielder Brian Mullan for ten games for his bone-snapping
tackle on Steve Zakuani, MLS is very unlikely to take it easy on Mondaini.
The Gold Cup may be looming, but just which forwards U.S. national team head coach Bob Bradley
will bring to the tournament remains unclear. Bradley's upcoming decision was made a bit tougher
this weekend as Edson Buddle scored a spectacular equalizer in FC Ingolstadt 04's 1-1 draw with TSV
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Revolution hit the crossbar once in each half, but couldn't
find the back of the net in a scoreless draw against the Colorado Rapids at Gillette Stadium
The result hurts the Revs more than the Rapids, as the home side felt it played well enough to
Prepare for the flashing lights as two of the marquee teams in MLS face off tonight at the Home
The Los Angeles Galaxy look to rebound for a disappointing loss to FC Dallas against the Eastern
Conference leading New York Red Bulls. The match will not be short on star power as David Beckham,
Thierry Henry, Landon Donovan and Rafael Marquez are set to take part in the match.
WASHINGTON - Resolute defending controlled the proceedings as D.C. United and FC Dallas played
to a scoreless draw Saturday that was largely devoid of risks in the attacking third and,
concurrently, quality scoring opportunities for either side.
UnitedÂ nearly won the contestÂ in the 89th minute when Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman denied
substitute Fred's point-blank header at the far post.
With an injury unfortunately similar to Steve Zakuani's of the Seattle Sounders, Real Salt Lake
midfielder Javier Morales suffered what looks to be a season-ending injury in RSL's match against
Chivas USA. Â After a nasty challenge from Marcos Mondaini, Morales immediately went to ground
signaling for medical help.
The Philadelphia Union has traveled across the country to try and become the first visiting team
to take points at Jeld-Wen Field, but the red-hot Portland Timbers will be looking to stop that
tonight in Portland (10:30pm, Fox Soccer Channel).
The Timbers are a perfect 3-0 at home, but have yet to face a defense as strong as
If you happen to have a free weekend to watch as much soccer as you want, then you picked the
right weekend to have off.
Manchester United takes on Chelsea and the Los Angeles Galaxy faces the New York Red Bulls in
this weekend's headliner matches. The Premier League title could very well be decided by the Red
Devils-Blues clash, while we'll see five Designated Players on the field at the same time for the
first time in MLS history when the Red Bulls battle the Galaxy.
The powerhouse matchup MLS fans have been waiting for is finally here.
This weekend's MLS slate will wrap up late Saturday when the New York Red Bulls, who sit on top
of the Eastern Conference, travel to play the Los Angeles Galaxy, the top team in the Western
Conference, in a match that will feature five Designated Players.
When Bob Bradley sits down to pick his CONCACAF Gold Cup team, deciding on the forwards he is
going to bring won't be easy.
There are cases for several forwards, and cases against many of those same forwards. Whether
it's players who are or aren't scoring goals, or even in the case of Juan Agudelo, a player who
isn't starting at the moment in MLS, there will be plenty for Bob Bradley to consider.
If the New York Red Bulls are going to beat the Los Angeles Galaxy this weekend, they will have
to do so without standout midfielder Teemu Tainio.
The Finnish midfielder has been ruled out of Saturday's Galaxy-Red Bulls match after he was
unable to fully recover from the groin injury that forced him to leave last week's 1-0 victory
against Sporting Kansas City at halftime.
The Los Angeles Galaxy and New York Red Bulls are two of the top teams in MLS, and are
considered among the favorites to reach this season's MLS Cup Final. When they meet on Saturday
night, they will feature five Designated Players as well as some of the best players in MLS.
Before we get into a preview of the match, which we will post later on today, we wanted to hear
from SBI readers on who they think will win this marquee match-up.
Not even Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti felt his team had a shot at the Premier League crown three
months back when the Blues trailed Manchester United by 10 points with 13 games remaining. And as
recently as five weeks ago Chelsea appeared to have thrown away any chance of retaining the title
after a 1-1 draw at Stoke, but Ancelotti's side heads to Old Trafford on Sunday in position to
complete a remarkable comeback.
Giuseppe Rossi and Villarreal need somewhat of a miracle to keep their hopes of European silverware
The Yellow Submarine enters Thursday's semifinal second leg against Porto down 5-1 after being
trounced in the first leg in Portugal. If Villarreal can't pull off a large victory, the Europa
League final in Dublin will be guaranteed to be an all-Portuguese event.
Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall has been stellar more often that not during his first season as a
starter, but after the Dynamo's 2-1 loss to Colorado on Wednesday, he didn't hesitate to hold
himself responsible for result.
Manchester United and Barcelona have been down this road before.
Two years ago the two powers of European soccer met in the UEFA Champions League final in Rome,
with the Spanish side coming away with a 2-0 victory and all the glory. After Barcelona finished
off rival Real Madrid and Manchester United cruised past Schalke in the semifinals this week,
they're set to do battle again on the same stage, this time at Wembley Stadium in London.
In what had to be one of the strangest yet historic evenings in Copa Libertadores history, four
Brazilian teams were out-fought, out-played and simply out-spirited as they fell in the Round of 16
stage, leaving a more well-proportioned quarterfinal round.
WASHINGTON - Charlie Davies played provider to Josh Wolff in the first half, and Wolff returned
the favor in the second as both forwards scored to lift D.C. United to a 2-1 victory over the
Seattle Sounders Wednesday night.
D.C. United and the Seattle Sounders have had some memorable matchups over the last couple of
years, and another one could be in the cards tonight at RFK Stadium when the two do battle for the
first time in 2011 (7:30 p.m., MLS Direct Kick, Matchday Live).
United enters the match in dire need of a result, coming off consecutive league losses in which
it has conceded four goals in each game.
One game is all that stands in the way of a 2009 UEFA Champions League final rematch.
Manchester United takes its 2-0 aggregate lead into Wednesday's semifinal second leg against
Schalke (2:45 p.m., FX). Should the Red Devils hold on, they'd give themselves the opportunity to
avenge the 2-0 loss they suffered to Barcelona in the 2009 final in Rome.
Herculez Gomez and Jose Francisco Torres are up for sale.
Mexican club Pachuca, which employs the two United States internationals, placed its entire
first-team squad on the transfer list in the aftermath of the team's disappointing Clausura
campaign. Los Tuzos, not even six months removed from an appearance in the FIFA Club World Cup,
finished last in their group, missed out on the liguilla and forced management to consider
One Major League Soccer team will be a step closer to the U.S. Open Cup field of 40 by night's
The San Jose Earthquakes travel north to JELD-WEN Field to face the Portland Timbers in an Open
Cup qualifying semifinal. The winner advances to a final play-in game against the Chicago Fire,
where one of the league's two play-in berths in the Open Cup proper will be on the line.
Barcelona is on its way back to the UEFA Champions League final.
Barcelona and Real Madrid played to a 1-1 draw at Camp Nou in the second leg of their semifinal
tie, as the hosts sealed their place at Wembley Stadium with a 3-1 aggregate victory. Lionel Messi
& Co. will return to the final for the second time in three years.
The Dwayne De Rosario-CONCACAF Gold Cup saga isn't as cut-and-dry as Hans Backe has made it
Canadian national team coach Stephen Hart reportedly told Canadian media on a conference call
that De Rosario potentially opting to skip the Gold Cup was "news to me" and that he plans to speak
with the New York Red Bulls midfielder to sort out the issue.
Schalke and Real Madrid both face 2-0 deficits this week after dropping the home legs of their
respective UEFA Champions League semifinal ties.
Madrid could bow out of the tournament later today (2:45 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel) unless Jose
Mourinho can conjure up a magic formula to save his team from elimination at the hands of rival
Barcelona at Camp Nou.
Real Salt Lake's return to league play was not a successful one, but the team's loss to the
Portland Timbers wasn't enough to knock the club from the top spot in SBI's MLS Power Rankings. Two
teams are ready to pounce for the No. 1 spot, though.
On Salt Lake's heels are the high-flying New York Red Bulls and Los Angeles Galaxy, who could
each make a strong case for the top spot with a win in their highly anticipated matchup this
After the first three weeks of the season saw only two draws, three of the four games over the
weekend finished with identical scorelinesÂ withÂ the only exception being a thrashing in a
For the first time this season, the Puerto Rico Islanders failed to grab a win with a 2-2 draw
against the Ft.
When the Houston Dynamo traded up to grab Indiana striker Will Bruin the deal looked like
another shrewd move by head coach Dom Kinnear. A month and a half into his rookie season, Bruin is
making Kinnear and the Dynamo look like geniuses.
Bruin has slid right into the Houston starting lineup and been a force, scoring four goals and
proving to be a handful for opposing defenses.
The Seattle Sounders lost Steve Zakuani for the season and O'Brian White for an extended period
of time, meaning they needed some players to step up if they were going to continue their recent
Brad Evans answered the call for Seattle, scoring two goals and adding an assist in the
Sounders' 3-0 win against Toronto FC on Saturday.
For several weeks in March and early April, it looked like an Arsenal victory at the Emirates
against Manchester United on May 1 could make for a dramatic English title race. It did, but not
for the Gunners.
Aaron Ramsey's 56th minute goal gave Arsenal a 1-0 win on the day, but it's Chelsea that will
benefit most from the result.
The Los Angeles Galaxy head into Sunday on a major roll, with Landon Donovan back in form and
the club rebounding well from the loss of defender Leonardo, but a road trip to Frisco, Texas
awaits against a dangerous FC Dallas side (7pm, Telefutura).
Dallas begins life without David Ferreira, who is out with a broken ankle.
CARSON, Calif. -- Chivas USA won its second straight match after goals from Nick LaBrocca,
Marcos Mandaini, and Alejandro Moreno helped the 'Rojiblancos' post an emphatic 3-0 victory against
New England at Home Depot Center on Saturday night.
What seemed like not much of a title race in England has suddenly become a contest as Chelsea's
win on Saturday has given Manchester United a reason to feel some pressure.
Chelsea's win against Tottenham means Manchester United will need to secure all three points
from its visit to Arsenal today in order to avoid losing even more ground heading into their
meeting with Chelsea next week.
Real Salt Lake figured to have a little CONCACAF Champions League hangover heading into
Saturday's match against Portland Timbers. Little did RSL know just what sort of headache the
expansion side would be able to provide.
Riding a first-half goal from Kenny Cooper, the Timbers shut down a Real Salt Lake side that was
missing several key starters in a 1-0 triumph at Jeld-Wen Field on Saturday night.