Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2011

Klopas replaces De Los Cobos as Fire head coach

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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.

Whitecaps fire Thordarson, make Soehn head coach

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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.

USL Pro Week 9: A Look Back

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

The Richmond Kickers' fall from grace continued with a 1-1 draw to FC New York on Saturday.

Richmond is winless in four games after starting the season with a six-game winning streak. The Kickers find themselves three points behind Orlando City with no games in hand.

Swansea City beats Reading to earn place in Premier League

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No team from Wales has ever played in the English Premier League, but that will change now after Swansea clinched the final place in the EPL for the 2011/2012 season.

Scott Sinclair scored three goals as Swansea rode three early goals to post a 4-2 victory against Reading in the League Championship Playoff Final at Wembley Stadium on Monday.

NASL Week 8: A Look Back

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Offenses struggled to make and impact this weekend in the NASL as five of the six teams in action failed to find the back of the net.

The Carolina Railhawks were the lone exception with a 2-0 victory over the still-struggling Atlanta Silverbacks.

USMNT Update: Bedoya called in, Spain tickets running out and more

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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.

Latin American Weekend Rewind

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By DAVID MOSSE

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 Central.

Swansea City vs. Reading FC: Your Running Commentary

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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 Stadium 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 season.

Report: Bedoya called upon for Gold Cup

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Alejandro Bedoya has reportedly been called in to Bob Bradley's Gold Cup roster following an injury to the New England Revolution's Benny Feilhaber.

Report:Â http://tinyurl.com/3vsj3yp

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What do you think of Bedoya's call up? Â Has he done enough for Orebro to deserve it?

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

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By FRANCO PANIZO

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.

DC United stops Timbers' home win streak at five

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

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.

Gibbs' equalizer offsets Wondolowski's goal in Chicago-San Jose draw

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On two occasions the San Jose Earthquakes took one-goal leads at Toyota Park, but on both occassions, the Chicago Fire answered quickly.

Cory Gibbs' diving header in the 80th minute rescued the Chicago Fire and forced a 2-2 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.

Smith goal levels score, snaps SKC skid, forces Rapids into fifth straight draw

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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).

Ianni and Neagle deal RSL second home loss in two years

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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.

Mendoza with a brace in wild 3-3 draw between Crew and Chivas USA

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BY ADAM SERRANO

It was a back and forth affair between the Columbus Crew and Chivas USA as the two clubs battled to a 3-3 draw.Â

The Crew were able to battle back from a three decifits as Crew forward Andres Mendoza tallied a pair of goals in the high-octane match.

Late goal rescues point for Houston against rival Dallas

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

A late goal from Colin Clark salvaged a 2-2 draw for the 10-man Houston Dynamo against FC Dallas in an ill-tempered match between the rival clubs.

The game started with a flurry of chances for Houston. Brad Davis broke down the left flank and found Will Bruin from eight yards out but Kevin Hartman stoned the rookie with a good save.

Feilhaber, Juninho injured in Galaxy win over Revs

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - No Angel? No problem.

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 night.

Bin Hammam drops out of race for FIFA presidency

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By ADAM SERRANO

Sepp Blatter has lost his lone competitor for the FIFA presidency.Â

Asian Football Confederation president 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.

Rodgers goal salvages New York's draw with Vancouver after Hassli PK

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Luke Rodgers scored his fifth goal of the season, converting a Jan Gunnar Solli cross to cement the New York Red Bulls' come-from-behind, 1-1 draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps at Empire Field.

Vancouver opened the scoring in the 24th minute with Eric Hassli's successful penalty kick after Camilo was tripped in the area by Carlos Mendes.

Barcelona 3, Manchester United 1: The Highlights

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Union buries Toronto FC with six-goal barrage

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

Those who high-tailed it out of BMO Field at halftime for their favorite pub to watch the UEFA Champions League final might have wished they'd stuck around. Or not.

Had those fans stayed, they would have seen the most goals for a single team in MLS this season to date, and the most combined goals for two teams in MLS in 2011.

UEFA Champions League Final: Your Running Commentary

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The UEFA Champions League Final most have been expecting for a year is finally here, as FC Barcelona takes on Manchester United in today's final at Wembley (2:30pm, FOX).

The teams are meeting in the Champions League for the third time in four years and for the second final in three seasons.

MLS Match Day 11: Your Running Commentary

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Rivals Houston and FC Dallas face off in a Texas Derby that headlines a heavy day of action in MLS.

The Dynamo will look to halt Dallas' seven-match unbeaten streak, and will need to break Dallas' record-setting shutout streak to do so. Houston will ne

What is the best match of the day?

MLS Week 11: A Look Ahead

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 Photo by Wendy Larsen/ISIphotos.comÂ

By THOMAS FLOYD

FC Dallas is undefeated in its last seven games and the Houston Dynamo is winless in its last five, but all that goes out the window when the rivals renew their Texas derby Saturday in Houston.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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It's the last weekend of major European soccer for a while, but the season's most anticipated matchup is still on tap.

Barcelona and Manchester United square off in the UEFA Champions League final at London's Wembley Stadium in a rematch of the 2009 final, which Barcelona won, 2-0, in Rome.

Mid-Day Ticker: Blatter under investigation, Toure tests positive & more

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The FIFA corruption investigation has reached its most prominent target.

President Sepp Blatter is now under investigation by FIFA for reportedly looking the other way at alleged bribes paid to Caribbean voters and not reporting the indiscretion despite knowing about it.

Who will win the UEFA Champions League final?

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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 silverware case.

Giants Barcelona and Manchester United will meet in the Champions League for the third time in the last four years.

FC Dallas centerback John to train with Greek national team

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FC Dallas defender George John will accompany the Greek national team for its friendly against Ecuador at Citi Field in New York on June 7.

John, 24, is a second-generation Greek-American, is eligible to represent both the United States and Greece and he is uncapped by both countries.

SBI's South American Weekend Preview

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By DAVID MOSSE

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.

USL Pro Week 9: A Look Ahead

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

With their closest rivals on hiatus, the Richmond Kickers are looking to take advantage.

A midweek loss to Orlando City put the Floridians into pole position in the American Division, a place Richmond has occupied since the first week of the season.

Twente passes on option to buy Onyewu

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Oguchi Onyewu is back in club limbo.

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.

NASL Week 8: A Look Ahead

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Wish Atlanta luck.

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.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

If there is one American who has flown under the radar despite putting together a solid but quiet season in Europe, it is Carlos Bocanegra.

Bocanegra will end a strong first campaign with St Etienne this weekend when the club takes on Paris Saint-Germain.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

If there is one American who has flown under the radar despite putting together a solid but quiet season in Europe, it is Carlos Bocanegra.

Bocanegra will end a strong first campaign with St Etienne this weekend when the club takes on Paris Saint-Germain.

Western Conference Notes: Domene clarifies "all-SoCal" Chivas plans, Angel out for NE and more

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BY ADAM SERRANO

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.

U.S. U-18s fall to Portugal

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The United States Under-18 national team fell to 0-1-1 at the Lisbon International Tournament after dropping a 1-0 result to host Portugal on Thursday.

Portugal's Ricardo Alves scored the lone goal in the 81st minute, and the United States will look to salvage its tournament run on Saturday when it plays Finland.

Rizespor's promotion hopes end

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

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.

Must-See Smack Talk: Houston Dynamo vs. FC Dallas

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The Houston Dynamo planted its flag in Dallas a couple of weeks ago with the above billboard to build the hype for this weekend's match against Texas rival FC Dallas.

The Red Stripes started their response by flying a "Dallas Til I Die" banner over Houston's Robertson Stadium, and now and their fans have gotten into the act.

Eastern Conference Notes: SKC enjoys home cooking, NY questions PK & more

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 Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.comÂ

By THOMAS FLOYD

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 a very welcome sight for the sore eyes of coach Peter Vermes, whose team has struggled to a 1-6-1 start on the road while waiting for the June opening of Livestrong Sporting Park.

Garber talks MLS at Sports Franchises and Facilities conference

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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:

On where the league is looking to expand:

"We are focused on New York.

Copa Libertadores: Velez Sarsfield manager looks to shake off past demons

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By NESTOR F. SEBASTIAN

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 Copa offers.

Ajax beats Portland in U.S. finale

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Dutch champion Ajax Amsterdam completed its two-game tour in the United States with a 2-0 victory over the Portland Timbers in a friendly at a sold-out Jeld-Wen Field Wednesday night.

Lorenzo Ebecilio and Demy de Zeeuw scored the goals for Ajax, which also defeated D.C.

Sporting KC routs Revolution, clinches berth in U.S. Open Cup

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Sporting Kansas City hopes that the rest of its home games unfold like Wednesday night's U.S. Open Cup play-in match did.

SKC routed the New England Revolution, 5-0, at the Blue Valley District Athletic Center in Overland Park, Kan., to clinch Major League Soccer's final berth in the Open Cup field of 40.

Canadian championship final leg rescheduled for July

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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.

Fulham earn Europa League berth via FIFA Fair Play

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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 for Europe.

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.

Donovan scores as the Galaxy defeat the Dynamo, 1-0

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BY ADAM SERRANO

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.

Shea's goal the difference in Seattle

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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.

Canadian Championship match suspended due to inclement weather

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

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The Vancouver Whitecaps are 30 minutes away from their first piece of hardware since becoming an MLS franchise.

They'll have to wait until Thursday morning at 11 a.m., EST, to play those 30 minutes, however, according to a bulletin from Rogers Sportsnet, which aired the match in Canada.

Red Bulls tie Rapids after first-half goal blitz

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By MIKE NASTRI

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.

LA Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo: Match Night Commentary

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The Los Angeles Galaxy will look to try and extend its lead atop the Western Conference standings tonight against a Houston Dynamo side that has proven to be much tougher in 2011 than it was in 2010.

SBI will be providing live commentary of tonight's match from Home Depot Center, so please feel free to follow along.

Seattle Sounders vs. FC Dallas: Match Night Commentary

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The Seattle Sounders are at home at Qwest Field once again, and this time they'll be taking on one of the hottest teams in MLS in FC Dallas i a key Western Conference showdown.

Despite the loss of MLS MVP David Ferreira, Dallas has been riding a stingy defense and the goalkeeping of Kevin Hartman to a six match unbeaten streak.

Red Bulls vs. Rapids: Match Night Commentary

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The defending champion Colorado Rapids are in Red Bull Arena tonight for a key inter-conference battle against the New York Red Bulls as Thierry Henry looks to get the Red Bulls back on track.

SBI will be providing commentary on tonight's match so please feel free to follow along with us.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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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:

8 p.

Americans Abroad: Goodson scores, Holden wins Bolton awards and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

U.S. national team centerback Clarence Goodson is going to be entering the Gold Cup on a good run of form.

Goodson scored his second goal of the season for Danish outfit Brondby, heading home a corner kick in the early moments of his club's 1-1 draw with FC Nordsjaelland on Wednesday.

Copa Libertadores semis: A Look Ahead

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By NESTOR F. SEBASTIAN

Four South American teams representing four countries will do battle over the next two days in the opening legs of the Copa Libertadores semifinals.

Brazil's Santos and Paraguay's Cerro Porteno open their tie Wednesday night, while Argentina's Velez Sarsfield and Uruguay's Penarol do the same on Thursday.

SBI MLS Team of the Week: San Jose Earthquakes

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The San Jose Earthquakes have climbed out of their early-season funk and are starting to resemble the team that made a run to the MLS conference finals last year.

Tuesday night's loss in the U.S. Open Cup to the Chicago Fire notwithstanding, the Earthquakes are in the midst of playing their best soccer of the season.

U.S. U-18s draw Netherlands in Portugal

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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 Wednesday.

Gatt scores twice in Molde's cup win

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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.

Mid-Day Ticker: Okugo out three weeks, Seedorf re-signs at AC Milan and more

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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.

A look at Wednesday's loaded MLS slate

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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:

8 p.

SBI MLS Best XI: Week 9

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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.

Fire overcomes deficit, beats Earthquakes in U.S. Open Cup play-in match

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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.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Michael Farfan

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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.

Report: Blazer names Bin Hammam, Warner in FIFA corruption allegation

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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 whistleblower.

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.

Iniesta, Villa and Torres headline Spain squad named to face USA

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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.

MLS Week 9: A Look Back

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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.

Beckham plays 90 minutes, catches pitch invader at Neville Testimonial

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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.

Evening Ticker: United closes in on de Gea, Giggs plays despite saga and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

It seems like it's just a matter of time before David de Gea is donning the Manchester United goalkeeper kit.

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.

Dempsey's versatility gives Bradley personnel options up top at Gold Cup

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photo by John Dorton/ISIphotos.com


By FRANCO PANIZO

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.

Neville Testimonial: Your Running Commentary

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A star-studded lineup takes to the field to celebrate Gary Neville's career as Manchester United hosts Juventus in a club friendly at Old Trafford (2:35 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel).

Manchester United's starting XI features the likes of Neville, his brother Phil and Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 10

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Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

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.

Gold Cup: A Look at Group B

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Fantasy MLS: Week 12

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Photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIphotos.com

Week 11 in MFLS was a low-scoring one unless you happened to load up on Seattle and Portland defenders and goalkeepers. Aside from them, fantasy points were hard to come by.

The proof is in the results -- the leading point scorers for last week were Jeff Parke, Eric Brunner, Troy Perkins and Kasey Keller, who each posted seven points.

Ruiz vs. Convey: Which goal was better?

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Photo by Kelley L. Cox/ISIphotos.com

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.

Morning Ticker: Spector offered new West Ham contract, Gomes wants PSV switch and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Jonathan Spector is set to become a free agent this summer, but West Ham United is hoping that he never reaches the open market.

West Ham is looking to keep Spector as it prepares for a season in the Championship, and has offered the U.

USL Pro Week 8: A Look Back

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

With the Richmond Kickers off for the weekend, Orlando City took a temporary lead at the top of the Atlantic Division while Antigua Barracuda FC gifted Charlotte its second win of the season.

It was the second 2-0 loss in as many weeks for Antigua, which is cooling rapidly after a hot streak during April.

Ponce called up to Mexico's preliminary Copa America squad

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BY ADAM SERRANO

It appears that Miguel Ponce has chosen to join the Mexican national team spurring the country of his birth.Â

The left back for Chivas de Guadalajara was chosen for Mexico's preliminary squad for the Copa America.

Ponce has been a fixture for Chivas de Guadalajara backline since last season.

Chandler headlines list of surprising exclusions from USMNT Gold Cup squad

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By AVI CREDITOR

As surprising as the inclusions of Robbie Rogers, Freddy Adu and Chris Wondolowski on the United States Gold Cup roster might be, what is perhaps more eye-opening is the list of omissions.

Timmy Chandler, Teal Bunbury and Alejandro Bedoya were all left off of the U.

2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup rosters set

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All 12 rosters for the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup have been released and there is plenty of star power set to be on display in the United States this summer.

Manchester United star Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez headlines the list of players who the United States will be trying to beat for the Gold Cup trophy.

More notes on the USA Gold Cup squad

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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.

Bradley names 23-man USA roster for Gold Cup

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There were plenty of familiar faces, but also some surprising inclusions on the U.S. national team's Gold Cup roster.

Here is the squad:

GOALKEEPERS-Tim Howard, Nick Rimando, Marcus Hahnemann

DEFENDERS- Jonathan Spector, Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo, Oguchi Onyewu, Eric Lichaj, Tim Ream, Jonathan Bornstein, Clarence Goodson, Â

MIDFIELDERS- Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu, Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Sacha Kljestan, Robbie Rogers, Freddy Adu, Benny Feilhaber, Jermaine Jones

FORWARDS- Juan Agudelo, Chris Wondolowski, Jozy Altidore

What do you think of the squad?

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Jeff Parke

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After not scoring a goal in almost seven years, Seattle Sounders defender Jeff Parke picked a good time to break his goal drought.

The Sounders centerback headed home a game-winning goal in stoppage time to cap another stellar defensive performance in Seattle's 1-0 victory against Sporting Kansas City.

NASL Week 7: A Look Back

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

The Carolina Railhawks are in danger of running away with the NASL regular-season title following a emphatic victory over the Puerto Rico Islanders.

Striker Etienne Barbara scored twice to extend his goal-scoring streak to eight games and the Railhawks are off to their best start in franchise history.

Latin American Weekend Rewind: Pumas claims Mexican title, Ronaldinho stars for Flamengo and more

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By DAVID MOSSE

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.

De Rosario included on Canada Gold Cup roster

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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.

English Premier League Roundup

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Projecting the USA Gold Cup roster: Final Edition

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The CONCACAF Gold Cup is just two weeks away, meaning the wait to see Bob Bradley's U.S. national team roster for the tournament is almost over.

Bradley will announce his roster this afternoon, and while a good number of roster spots are easy enough to project, there are still a handful of spots clearly up for grabs.

European Weekend Rewind: Lille wins Ligue 1, EPL relegation drama and more

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

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 history.

Lille entered the weekend needing only a point from its match at Paris St.

European Weekend Rewind: Lille wins Ligue 1, EPL relegation drama and more

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

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 history.

Lille entered the weekend needing only a point from its match at Paris St.

Rain-interrupted match between FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake ends in scoreless draw

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

Sunday's FC Dallas-Real Salt Lake match might as well have ended in the 83rd minute, when a torrential downpour forced a lengthy weather delay at Pizza Hut Park in suburban Dallas.Â

There was no score then, and there would be no score over the final minutes of the match after it resumed about an hour and 40 minutes later.

Offensive chances fail to produce goals as Toronto settles for draw against Colorado

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Multiple chances never materialized into a goal as Toronto FC and the Colorado Rapids battled to a scoreless draw at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Denver.

It was an back-and-forth game early on but neither team could threaten the opposition's goal.

D.C. United falls to Ajax on late goal

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By AVI CREDITOR

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 Sunday evening.

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

D.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

In recent months, Alejandro Bedoya has been the subject of several transfer rumors. He'll likely be involved with more after his latest performance.

Bedoya was involved in all of Orebro SK's goals in the team's 3-1 win over GAIS on Sunday.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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It is Judgment Day in the English Premier League, and while the Rapture Hoax came and went without a ripple, there will be two Premier League teams that will see their time in the EPL ended.

Wolverhampton and Blackburn face off in a battle of teams looking to avoid relegation, while Birmingham City will try to take points from its trip to Tottenham to avoid the drop as well.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Inter Milan is no longer the reigning European champion, but it can still finish its season on a high note by winning the Coppa Italia.

Inter faces Palermo in the high-profile club match of the day, while Germany and Uruguay highlight the international slate in a rematch of the 2010 World Cup's third-place game.

Beckham to miss Galaxy match for Neville Testimonial

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BY ADAM SERRANO

David Beckham is heading back to Manchester.

The LA Galaxy have decided to allow David Beckham to return to Manchester on Tuesday to play in Gary Neville's testimonal against Juventus  and skip the Galaxy match against Houston on Wednesday.

Barrett scores winner as Galaxy edges Chivas USA

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By JONATHAN VERA

CARSON, Calif – 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 a 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.

Convey, Quakes hold on to beat Revs

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

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).

Timbers top Crew, remain undefeated in MLS at home

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

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.

Parke header lifts Sounders past SKC in injury time

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By CALEB SONNELAND

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.

Ballouchy stoppage-time goal lifts Red Bulls to draw with Dynamo

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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.

Ruiz goal sends Union past Fire

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

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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.

Chivas USA vs. LA Galaxy: Match Night Commentary

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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 match.

SBI MLS Game of the Week: Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Chivas USA

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

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 Galaxy.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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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 and Co.

Starikov scores in win vs. Zenit

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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.

Schmid and Sounders prepared for "dangerous" Sporting Kansas City

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By CALEB SONNELAND

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 Crew, respectively.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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The championships in all of the major European leagues are already spoken for, but there's still plenty on the line in this weekend's soccer around the world.

The five-team relegation battle in England's Premier League is one thing to keep an eye on, as is the race for spots in next year's European competitions.

Mexican powers Club America, Morelia to play July friendly in Arizona

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

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.

Adu working his way back up the ladder

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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.

Source: Najar called up but not joining Honduras for CONCACAF Gold Cup

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Andy Najar will play for Honduras someday. It just doesn't appear that day will be during this summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Sources tell SBI that Najar was originally called up by Honduras manager Luis Fernando Suarez for the Gold Cup, but the 18-year-old midfielder will not be joining his country for the tournament.

MLS Ticker: Henry to miss Dynamo match, Galaxy signs Davies and more

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If the New York Red Bulls are to return to their winning ways, they'll have to do so without their captain.

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.

MLS Week 10: A Look Ahead

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 Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.comÂ

By THOMAS FLOYD

The SuperClasico has been a one-sided affair of late, with the Los Angeles Galaxy unbeaten in the battle for Home Depot Center bragging rights since 2007. 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 money when the clubs meet Saturday.

Special1 TV: The season finale

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SBI's European Weekend Preview

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By DAVID MOSSE

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.

France U-20s 2, USA 1: The Highlights

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Conor Doyle scored again, but the United States Under-20 national team fell to France in their second meeting of the week to wrap up the team's mini-camp in Europe. Here are the highlights:


SBI'S Latin American Weekend Preview

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By DAVID MOSSE

Pumas UNAM is in solid position to capture its seventh league title after earning a hard-fought 1-1 draw in the first leg of the Mexican Clausura final against Morelia Thursday night.

Francisco Palencia gave Pumas the lead with 69th-minute strike with a blast from outside the area to quite the home crow.

Copa Libertadores: Cerro Porteno, Santos, Velez, Penarol reach semifinals

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By NESTOR F. SEBASTIAN

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.

NASL Week 7: A Look Ahead

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

A high-profile clash of two league leaders highlights this weekend's action in the NASL.

The high-flying Carolina Railhawks will look to avenge their Week 1 loss to the Puerto Rico Islanders, who returned to NASL play with a 2-0 loss to Minnesota in midweek.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

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.

Beckham set to miss Galaxy match for Neville Testimonial

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David Beckham is set to miss another match. No, not with an injury, and not for another Royal Wedding.

No, Beckham looks ready to miss another MLS regular season match for the Los Angeles Galaxy to play in a testimonial match.

Manchester United is holding a Testimonial Match for Gary Neville on Tuesday and Beckham is expected to play in the match honoring his long-time teammate and closest friend.

Western Conference Notes: Donovan nixes Roma talk, Schmid's reply & more

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com


By ADAM SERRANO

Landon Donovan doesn't believe that he's going anywhere.

Throughout the past week, rumors have been rampant that Roma's new American owner was planning to make a splash by signing a big-name American player to the legendary Serie A side.

Must-Listen Interview: Thierry Henry

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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.

Fantasy MLS: Week 11

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Photo by Patricia Giobetti/ISIphotos.com

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By ALAN LEDBETTER

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.

Eastern Conference Notes: Winter satisfied, Ngwenya struggling & more

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 Photo by Nick Turchiaro/ISIphotos.com

By THOMAS FLOYD

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.

SBI MLS Best XI: Week 8

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Landon Donovan was at it again last week, finding the net and helping the Los Angeles Galaxy record another victory.

Donovan moved into first place on the MLS goal-scoring charts with his latest performance, and he also took up what has become a regular place on the SBI MLS Best XI.

Henry could miss Dynamo match with knee injury

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The injury bug has once again bitten Thierry Henry, and the red-hot forward could miss Saturday's match against the Houston Dynamo because of it.

Head coach Hans Backe told reporters on Thursday that Henry picked up a knee injury in the Red Bulls' 3-2 loss versus Chivas USA and is listed as day-to-day.

Mid-Day Ticker: USA roster to be announced May 23, Union-Madrid match official and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

If you're anxiously awaiting to know who will be representing the U.S. men's national team in the Gold Cup, your wait will soon be over.

Head coach Bob Bradley will reveal his 23-man roster for the Gold Cup on May 23, U.

O'Reilly shines as U.S. Women beat Japan again

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photo by Brad Smith/ISIphotos.com

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. women's national team continued its preparations for the World Cup with a match against Japan on Wednesday, and once again the Americans pulled out a 2-0 victory.

Four days after defeating Japan by the same scoreline, the United States was victorious through goals from Heather O'Reilly and Amy Rodriguez.

England to abstain from FIFA presidential vote

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The England-FIFA drama continues.

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.

Vancouver 1, Toronto FC 1: The Highlights

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MLS Week 8: A Look Back

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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 draw.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Toronto FC: Your Running Commentary

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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 1, Braga 0: The Highlights

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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.

MLS teams learn fate after 2011-2012 CONCACAF Champions League draw

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A number of places are still to be determined in next season's CONCACAF Champions League, but when those moving parts all get settled, they'll know exactly where they're going.

Despite three Caribbean spots, one Canadian spot and one Nicaraguan spot still up for grabs, CONCACAF conducted the draw for the 2011-2012 tournament on Wednesday.

SBI MLS Team of the Week: FC Dallas

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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.

UEFA Europa League final: Your Running Commentary

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FC Porto didn't lose to a single team from Portugal all season en route to an undefeated domestic championship campaign. Sporting Braga would love nothing more than to snap that streak today.

The two Portuguese sides meet for the UEFA Europa League championship in Dublin, Ireland (2:45 p.

Real Madrid to face Guadalajara in WFC; reported friendly with Union in works

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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 16.

Gold Cup: A Look at Group A

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Mid-Day Ticker: USA unchanged in FIFA rankings, Tevez staying at City and more

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The United States will enter the CONCACAF Gold Cup as the 22nd-ranked team in the world, and the highest-ranked team in the region.

Barely any international games were played over the last month, meaning that there was little change to the latest FIFA rankings.

Soccer Wednesday: A Look Ahead

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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 around.

Report: Roma wants American star

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New president of AS Roma, Boston-based Thomas DiBenedetto, is making changes at his new club.

Reports abound say that DiBenedetto will appoint Walter Sabatini as the new sporting director, and after that, he is apparently turning his attention to bringing an American star over to Italy.

Must-See Comments: John Spencer

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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.

Doyle, Gatt, Gil score goals in U.S. U-20 draw with France

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Life after the disappointment of the 2011 CONCACAF championship has begun for the United States Under-20 national team.

Conor Doyle, Josh Gatt and Luis Gil each scored as the U.S. U-20s tied host France, 3-3, in a friendly on Tuesday.

Doyle, who had two goals and two assists in the regional tournament, continued his run of form internationally.

MLS Ticker: Fire declines Castillo option, McDonald appeal denied and more

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Nery Castillo is officially the latest Designated Player bust.

The Chicago Fire declined its option to maintain the Mexican striker on loan from Shakhtar Donetsk ahead of Friday's deadline, and his stint in Major League Soccer is over.

U.S. U-17s draw Czech Rep., Uzbekistan and New Zealand for World Cup

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The path to Mexico City is set.

The United States Under-17 national team learned the identities of its opponents for the group stage of this summer's FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico in Tuesday's draw.

The Americans will open Group D play on June 19 against the Czech Republic in Torreon.

Mid-Day Ticker: Brawl breaks out at West Ham dinner, CAF backs Blatter and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

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 ensuing fracas.

In Reserve: Fire, Sporting Kansas City tie; United remains perfect and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The Chicago Fire reserves entered Tuesday's match against Sporting Kansas City having scored five goals in two games, but that offensive output was not replicated as the teams tied, 1-1.

With former Fire defender Bakary Soumare in attendance, Chicago jumped out to an early lead courtesy of a goal from Cristian Nazarit.

U.S. youth teams: Lletget, Gyau out of U-20 trip; U-17s set for Tuesday draw

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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.

Columbus signs Horton, club's first Homegrown Player

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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.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 9

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For the first time all season, there's a change at the top of the SBI MLS Power Rankings.

The Los Angeles Galaxy has snatched the top spot from Western Conference rival Real Salt Lake after a convincing win on Saturday night made L.

Must-See Tifo: Seattle Sounders ECS

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Evening Ticker: Swansea on to promotion final, Friedel transfer buzz and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

Welsh side Swansea City booked its place at Old Trafford after a frantic ending to its 3-1 victory over Nottingham Forest in a League Championship playoff semifinal at Liberty Stadium.

The two sides entered the second leg of their tie knotted at 0-0 on aggregate and were clashing for a chance to play in the league's promotion final against either Cardiff City or Reading.

Davies to miss "a couple of weeks" with hamstring injury

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Charlie Davies red-hot start to his tenure in MLS has hit a snag, with a hamstring injury suffered in Saturday's match against Colorado expected to keep him sidelined for a couple of weeks.

D.C. United is off this week, which means Davies shouldn't miss too many matches, but the timing of the injury is unfortunate for his chances of earning a call up to the U.

Mexican keeper dropped from Gold Cup squad for headbutt

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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.

Premier League Roundup

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USL Week 7: A look back

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

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 Atlantic Division.

Chelsea 2, Newcastle United 2: The Highlights

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SBI MLS Player of the Week: Justin Braun

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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.

Mid-day Ticker: Al Wasl hires Maradona, Busquets cleared of racism and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Diego Maradona is headed back to the dugout.

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.

NASL Week 6: A Look Back

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

The Railhawks are beginning to look unbeatable.

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.

European Weekend Rewind: Man United crowned, Lille and City lift trophies and more

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

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.

Latin American Weekend Rewind: Boca tops River, Mexican final set and more

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By DAVID MOSSE

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.

Must-See Brawl: Morelia vs. Cruz Azul

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Let us set the scene. Morelia scores its third goal of its semifinal match against Cruz Azul, thus locking up  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.

Braun Hat Trick leads Chivas USA past Red Bulls

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By MIKE NASTRI

New York Red Bulls coach Hans Backe said during the week that Sunday's match vs. Chivas USA could be a trap game for the Eastern Conference leaders. And that's exactly what it was.Â

Justin Braun's hat trick was just enough for Chivas USA to slip by New York, 3-2, at Red Bull Arena on Sunday.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

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.

Red Bulls vs. Chivas USA: Match Night Commentary

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The New York Red Bulls will look to keep their unbeaten streak going tonight when they play host to Chivas USA at Red Bull Arena (7pm, Telefutura).

The Red Bulls are coming off a 1-1 draw against the Los Angeles Galaxy, and will look to cushion their lead atop the Eastern Conference standing.

Another trophy bites the dust

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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.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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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.

DPs shine as Galaxy cruises to 4-1 victory over Sporting KC

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By ADAM SERRANO

The Los Angeles Galaxy battled back from an early deficit to score four unanswered goals, defeating Sporting Kansas City, 4-1, in front of 19,763 at the Home Depot Center on Saturday night.Â

Sporting KC was able to open the scoring when an errant cross that deflected off Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez led to an own goal and gave the visitors an early lead.

Danso goal earns Timbers point in Seattle

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By CALEB SONNELAND

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.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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It could be a big day for the city of Manchester.

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.

FA Cup final: The Highlights

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Pontius penalty salvages 1-1 draw for D.C.

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 Photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIphotos.com

By THOMAS FLOYD

WASHINGTON -- Threatening for an equalizer early in the second half against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday, D.C. United seemed poised to draw even one way or another, despite the loss of forwards Charlie Davies and Josh Wolff to first-half injuries.

Revs down shorthanded Whitecaps 1-0

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Benny Feilhaber drew a penalty and should have had his first MLS goal as the New England Revolution defeated Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1-0 at Gillette Stadium Saturday night.

Shalrie Joseph easily stroked home the penalty kick in the 49th minute for the Revs first goal in 236 minutes.

Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers: Match Night Commentary

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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.

MLS Week 9: A Look Ahead

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Photo by Patricia Giobetti/ISIphotos.comÂ

By THOMAS FLOYD

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.

Friday Ticker: Ronaldo returning to Corinthians, SAF charged again and more

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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.

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

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Manchester City hasn't win a trophy in more than 30 years, but the Citizens could take a first step toward realizing the dreams of their rich owners with a win in Saturday's FA Cup Final at Wembley.

The FA Cup final is the marquee match this weekend in world soccer, but for American soccer fans you can do worse than the Seattle Sounders-Portland Timbers match.

Mexico releases Gold Cup Roster

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By ADAM SERRANO

Mexico head coach José Manuel de la Torre has released his roster for this summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup, and there are a couple of notable exclusions.

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.

USL Pro Week 7: A Look Ahead

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

And then there were 12.

With Puerto Rico's three franchises no longer a part of USL Pro, the league has reorganized the standings to feature 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 Division.

U.S. U-18s set for Lisbon tournament

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Professionals and Development Academy players make up Mike Matkovich's United States Under-18 roster for next week's trip to Lisbon, Portugal.

The U-18s will face the Netherlands, Portugal and Finland on May 25, 26 and 28, respectively, in the Lisbon International Tournament.

NASL Week 6: A Look Ahead

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

With FC Edmonton and the Carolina Railhawks finding form, the Puerto Rico Islanders have some company at the top tier of the NASL table.

At the other end of the table the Atlanta Silverbacks and the Montreal Impact are trying to kick-start their campaigns, but time is beginning to run out as the season approaches the quarter mark.

SBI's South American and Mexican weekend preview

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By DAVID MOSSE

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.

The latest from Special1 TV

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SBI'S European Weekend Preview

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By DAVID MOSSE

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.

Copa Libertadores: Velez Sarsfield, Penarol close in on semifinal berths

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By NESTOR F. SEBASTIAN

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.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The German Bundesliga comes to a close this weekend, and Ricardo Clark and Eintracht Frankfurt are in a must-win situation if they are to return to the league next season.

Clark and Eintracht Frankfurt face league champion Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, and only an upset win combined with other results can save the 17th-placed club.

Must-See Rivalry: Seattle vs. Portland

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Western Conference Notes: Chivas moves on, Shea contract extended and more

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Photo by Nick Turchiaro/ISIphotos.com

BY ADAM SERRANO

Chivas USA is preparing for life without Marcos Mondaini.Â

Mondani was suspended on Thursday for four matches, plus an additional $1,500 fine for a tackle on Javier Morales that resulted in a broken ankle for the RSL playmaker.

Eastern Conference notes: Mwanga breaks slump, Attakora frozen out & more

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 Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com


By THOMAS FLOYD

Through the early stages of this 2011 season, Philadelphia Union striker Danny Mwanga has seemingly epitomized the phrase "sophomore slump."

After notching seven goals last season en route to being a Rookie of the Year finalist, Mwanga has started just four of his eight games played this year.

Galaxy to face Manchester City at HDC

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The World Football Challenge continues to grow.

Just days after announcing a friendly with Real Madrid as part of the WFC, the Los Angeles Galaxy announced it will host Manchester City at the Home Depot Center as part of the tournament on July 24.

Manchester City just clinched a place in next year's UEFA Champions League and is in this month's FA Cup final.

England League Championship promotion playoffs: A Look Ahead

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

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.

Henry tops MLS Castrol Index

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Photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIphotos.com

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.

Mid-Day Ticker: Dalglish gets Liverpool deal, Bayern closes in on Neuer & more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Liverpool is hoping to get back to its winning ways next season, and the club is counting on Kenny Dalglish to lead the way.

Liverpool appointed Dalglish as permanent manager of the club, agreeing to a three-year deal with the former Liverpool player.

Win tickets to Seattle-Portland on SBI

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If you are a Seattle Sounders or Portland Timbers fan and you are trying to find tickets for the big match on Saturday, SBI has the contest for you.

SBI and Golazo Energy Drink are teaming up once again to bring you the latest SBI Ticket Contest. We are giving away two pairs of tickets to the Sounders-Timbers match.

Mondaini suspended four games, fined $1,500 for Morales tackle

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Photo by Nick Turchiaro/ISIphotos.com

Chivas USA's Marcos Mondaini has been suspended four games and fined $1,500 for his tackle that broke Real Salt Lake playmaker Javier Morales' ankle over the weekend.

Mondaini came in with a sliding challenge from behind, and Morales immediately went to ground clutching his lower leg.

Chiumiento goal salvages point for 'Caps

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When the Vancouver Whitecaps needed a moment to rescue a point at home, they turned to their playmaker.

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.

Impact beats Red Bulls in friendly

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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 Saputo Stadium.

Gerba headed home a cross in the 37th minute for the game's only tally.

Americans Abroad: Midweek Rewind

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photo by John Dorton/ISIphotos.com

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Gale Agbossoumonde may not be an automatic starter for Djurgardens IF, but he continued to cement his place in the team on Wednesday.

In Djurgardens' third round Svenska Cupen match against IFK Lulea, Agbossoumonde started and played 90 minutes as his club won, 2-1.

Mwanga equalizer helps Union ties Galaxy

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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.

Controversial Hernandez penalty lifts Dallas past Toronto

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By CALEB SONNELAND

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.  The call was a debatable one from referee Yader Reyes and it has, once more, called attention to the standard of officiating in the MLS.

Philadelphia Union vs. Los Angeles Galaxy: Match Night Commentary

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The Philadelphia Union will look to avenge its first loss of the current MLS season when the Union takes on the Los Angeles Galaxy at PPL Park tonight (7:30pm).

The Galaxy shut down Philly, 1-0, at Home Depot Center earlier in the season and will be looking for a second straight win at PPL Park after winning their last year.

Barcelona claims third consecutive La Liga title

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A 1-1 tie for Barcelona isn't typically a result to celebrate for the club's faithful, but that wasn't the case on Wednesday as Barcelona won its third consecutive La Liga title.

Playing on the road against Levante, Barcelona won the La Liga title for the 21st time in its history with a 1-1 draw.

FC Dallas to make player announcement on Thursday

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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 one as club president and CEO Doug Quinn will be there along with chairman Clark Hunt, head coach Schellas Hyndman and FC Dallas players.

MLS Ticker: Galaxy signs Davies, Sinovic joins Sporting Kansas City and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

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.

MLS Week 7: A Look Back

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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.

Vikings owner says MLS to Minnesota a possibility if stadium is built

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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 billion.

Mid-Day Ticker: FIFA questions allegations, Costa Rica to replace Japan in Copa America and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

FIFA is under some serious heat right now due to the latest accusations of corruption in its recent World Cup bidding, and to little surprise the world's governing body is trying to alleviate that.

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke has questioned England 2018 bid chairman Lord Triesman for not make allegations of unethical behavior sooner.

Copa Libertadores: Quarterfinals kick off tonight

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By NESTOR F. SEBASTIAN

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.

Union-Galaxy headlines mid-week MLS action

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The Philadelphia Union will look to keep its unbeaten home record intact tonight when the club plays host to the Los Angeles Galaxy at PPL Park.

The Union will look to erase the memory of a 1-0 loss to Portland last week, while the Galaxy will be trying to build on an impressive effort in a 1-1 draw against New York on Saturday.

Fantasy MLS: Week 10

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Photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com

By ALAN LEDBETTER

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.

SBI MLS Best XI: Week 7

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It was an interesting week in Major League Soccer, what with three scoreless draws, a few rather awful matches, and one beautiful display of soccer between Los Angeles and New York.

The Galaxy-Red Bulls tilt didn't produce a winner, but the quality of soccer led to several players from the match earning SBI MLS Best XI honors this week.

Rodgers lashes out on Donovan

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Photos by ISIphotos.com

The New York Red Bulls-Los Angeles Galaxy cross-country rivalry has some added spice to it.

Major League Soccer's two high-spending, marquee-market teams played to an exciting 1-1 draw Saturday night, but the fireworks didn't stop at the final whistle.

Morales undergoes ankle surgery; October return a possibility

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Real Salt Lake's MLS Cup title hopes took a bit of a hit after Javier Morales suffered a severe ankle injury, but there's hope that Morales could be back in time for the club's postseason push.

RSL's Argentine playmaker underwent successful ankle surgery and could return to action in October, said Dr.

Beckham held out of Galaxy-Union game

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Photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com

With his team going through a tough stretch of the schedule, Los Angeles Galaxy coach Bruce Arena has elected to keep one of his Designated Players at home for the mid-week trip to Philadelphia.

David Beckham has been left in California to rest while his teammates face the Union at PPL Park Wednesday night.

Manchester City vs. Tottenham: Your Running Commentary

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For a second consecutive season, Manchester City and Tottenham play in a late-season match with big implications (Fox Soccer Channel, 2:45 p.m.).

Last season it was Tottenham that defeated Manchester City to clinch a place in the UEFA Champions League for the first time in club history.

In Reserve: Late Meram tally lifts Crew, Sounders spread scoring against Chivas

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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 2-1-0.

USL Pro drops Puerto Rican teams from league amid financial turmoil

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

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.

Report: 6 FIFA Ex-Co members accused of misconduct in WC bidding process

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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.

Mid-day Ticker: Blanc cleared in racism claims; Earthquakes, Timbers to host West Brom and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

French national team manager Laurent Blanc today has been cleared of racism charges by the French Football Federation.Â

Claims that Blanc had backed a project to reduce the number of ethnic minority players in the national set-up put the Frenchman under the spotlight.

Home Depot Center to host MLS Cup

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Major League Soccer's not-so-secret announcement of this year's MLS Cup venue has officially been made public.

The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., will be the site of the 2011 MLS Cup final, marking the fourth time the event will have been played there. The match is slated for Sunday, Nov.

USWNT looks to repeat 2008 Olympic success at FIFA World Cup in Germany

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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.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 8

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Real Salt Lake may have lost its playmaker, but it still has its spot atop the SBI MLS Power Rankings.

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.

Cummings sidelined 2-4 weeks with sprained ankle

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Colorado Rapids have been waiting weeks to get Conor Casey back from a strained hamstring, but now the Rapids will be forced to play without their most dangerous player.

Colorado striker Omar Cummings is set to miss 2-4 weeks with a sprained ankle suffered during the Rapids' 2-1 win vs.

USA U-20 roster announced for May training camp

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By FRANCO PANIZO

 Joe Gyau, Conor Doyle, Kelyn Rowe and Dillon Powers were among the U.S. U-20 men's national team veterans called into the team's May training camp in France.

20 players were selected in total for the training camp in Vichy, France by Tab Ramos.

USL Pro Week 6: A Look Back

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Try as they might, the Wilmington Hammerheads couldn't stop a Richmond Kickers side that is starting to look unbeatable early in the 2011 USL Pro season.

Two second-half goals from Richmond canceled out an early goal from Wilmington as the Kickers got the better of a match-up between two unbeaten teams.

Fulham vs. Liverpool: Your Running Commentary

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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.

Mid-day Ticker: Simek dislocates elbow, Sahin secures Madrid move and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

American defender Frank Simek has 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. The injury has yet to be fully assessed, however, Simek was just an hour away from completing every minute of United's season.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Andy Najar

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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.

Barcelona to play in Miami and Dallas

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Spanish champion FC Barcelona has added two more dates to its tour of the United States and will face off against Mexican powerhouse Chivas Guadalajara in Miami and Club America in Dallas.

The matches are part of the 2011 World Football Challenge, which announced Herbalife as the event's title sponsor on Monday.

2011 MLS player salaries unveiled

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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 York match.

European Weekend Rewind: AC Milan champs, Man United on brink and more

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

One European giant claimed its league's title this weekend, and two others moved closer to clinching their own domestic championships.

AC Milan claimed its first Scudetto since 2004 on Saturday in less-than thrilling fashion, playing to a scoreless draw at AS Roma.

NASL Week 5: A Look Back

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

If there were any doubts that Etienne Barbara deserved to be the NASL Player of the Month in April they were erased over the weekend.

Barbara netted a double in a dominating 3-1 win for the over FC Tampa Bay to send make the Carolina Railhawks, at least for now, even with Puerto Rico at the top of the NASL table.

What should punishment be for latest ugly tackle and injury?

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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.

Manchester United 2, Chelsea 1: The Highlights

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Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

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 1860 Munich.

Adu scores winner for Rizespor

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photo by Kelley Cox/ISIphotos.com

Freddy Adu scored his fourth goal of the season for Caykur Rizespor on Sunday, netting the winner in the club's 3-1 victory over Tavsanli Linyitspor.

Adu got on the end of a cross and powered it home with a diving header in the first half.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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The English Premier League title will go a long way toward being decided today when Manchester United plays host to Chelsea at Old Trafford.

A Manchester United win would all but lock up the title for United, while a Chelsea victory would put the Blues in the driver's seat with three matches remaining.

Stars trade goals as the Galaxy and Red Bulls play to energetic draw

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BY ADAM SERRANO

The LA Galaxy and New York Red Bulls match lived up to its top billing as both teams put on an entertaining display with the match ending in a 1-1 draw.Â

Thierry Henry gave the Red Bulls the lead just four minutes into the match before Landon Donovan equalized for the Galaxy in the 41st minute of play.

Revs miss chances in scoreless draw with Rapids

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

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 Saturday night.

The result hurts the Revs more than the Rapids, as the home side felt it played well enough to win.

LA Galaxy vs. New York Red Bulls: Match Night Commentary

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Prepare for the flashing lights as two of the marquee teams in MLS face off tonight at the Home Depot Center.

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.

Fire dominates, but settles for tie with Whitecaps

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

The Chicago Fire dominated the visiting Vancouver Whitecaps in every category except the scoreline as the two teams battled to a scoreless draw at Toyota Park.

Chicago began the game with a flurry of chances that went begging.

United, Dallas play to scoreless draw

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By THOMAS FLOYD

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.

United nearly won the contest in the 89th minute when Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman denied substitute Fred's point-blank header at the far post.

Palmer consolation goal not enough for Dynamo

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By CALEB SONNELAND

After a scoreless first half at BMO Field, Toronto FC netted twice after the break to take all three points from the Houston Dynamo.

Reds striker Joao Plata put in quite a performance after opening scoring in the 50th minute, the first goal of his MLS career.

Renteria penalty sees Crew share points with Sounders

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By CALEB SONNELAND

Emilio Renteria netted a second half penalty in the 67th minute to ensure that Seattle didn't walk away from Crew Stadium with all the spoils. Â

Fredy Montero had previously put the visiting side ahead early after connecting with an Erik Friberg cross to beat Will Hesmer in the seventh minute.

Morales Leg Break Mars Real Salt Lake Win

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By CALEB SONNELAND

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.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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AC Milan has been riding high atop Serie A for most of the regular season, but can finally officially lift the Scudetto today with a win against AS Roma.

Milan is seven points clear of second-place Inter Milan, meaning a win or Inter Milan tie or loss will snap Inter's streak of five straight Serie A titles.

Danso's header leads Timbers past Union

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The Philadelphia Union fought hard and looked capable of escaping Jeld-Wen Field with a point, but the Portland Timbers had other plans.

Timbers defender 'Futty' Danso headed home a Jack Jewsbury cross in the 72nd minute to help give Portland a 1-0 victory over Philadelphia on Friday night.

Portland Timbers vs. Philadelphia Union: Your Running Commentary

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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 Philadelphia's.

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

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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.

LA Galaxy to take on Real Madrid on July 16th at LA Coliseum

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David Beckham will have a chance to face off against former club Real Madrid when the Los Angeles Galaxy plays host to the Spanish powerhouse on July 16th at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The match is part of the summer World Football Challenge series featuring top international clubs and MLS clubs.

MLS Week 8: A Look Ahead

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By THOMAS FLOYD

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.

Bedoya scores third goal of the season in Orebro loss

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photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Alejandro Bedoya is making a case as to why he should be on the U.S. national team when the Gold Cup kicks off this summer.

Bedoya scored his third goal of the Swedish season in Orebro SK's 2-1 loss versus Kalmar FF on Friday.

USL Pro Week 6: A Look Ahead

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 By JOHN BOSCHINI

The USL Pro season may only be five weeks old but time is already running short for some struggling sides.

The Harrisburg City Islanders and FC New York are both looking for their first win as the two teams square off at St. John's University.

Portland Timbers jet unveiled

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photo by alaskaair.com

Fans of the Portland Timbers can now fly in style.

Alaska Airlines introduced its Portland "Timbers Jet" to a crowd of fans on Friday morning. The aircraft features the Timbers' name and logo and is covered in the team's green and yellow colors.

Projecting the USA Gold Cup Team: The Forwards

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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.

Tainio to miss Red Bulls-Galaxy match

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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.

Mid-Day Ticker: Mourinho banned, Once Caldas upsets Cruzeiro and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

If Jose Mourinho didn't receive enough punishment by seeing Real Madrid bounced out of the Champions League by arch-rival Barcelona, he surely has now.

Mourinho was handed a five-match suspension and fined about $81,000Â by UEFAÂ for his sending off during the first leg of the Champions League semifinal against Barcelona.

Galaxy vs. Red Bulls: Who will win?

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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.

SBI's European Weekend Preview

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By DAVID MOSSE

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.

NASL Week 5: A Look Ahead

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

With the Puerto Rico Islanders off for another 12 days, the Carolina Railhawks have an opportunity to stake a claim at the top of the NASL table.

After an opening-day loss to Puerto Rico, Carolina is unbeaten in three games and will hope to carry that momentum south for a matchup with FC Tampa Bay.

The Latest from Special1 TV

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MLS Week 7: A Look Back

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Week Eight of the MLS season has already begun with a pair of mid-week games, but before we get into the full slate of weekend matches, we wanted to take a look back at an interesting Week Seven.

The Portland Timbers handed Real Salt Lake its first loss of the season, while the New York Red Bulls continued their hot streak.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The chase for hardware in Europe continues this weekend, and a handful of Americans are still in the mix.

Sacha Kljestan and RSC Anderlecht are three points behind first-place Racing Genk in the Belgian playoffs, but they can close the gap with a win against the league leaders on Saturday.

Western Conference Notes: Angel set to face NY, Fraser set to face RSL and more

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

By ADAM SERRANO

For the first time in his illustrious career that has spanned from his native Colombia to Argentina, England and the United States, Juan Pablo Angel will take on a former team in league play.

UEFA Europa League: Your Running Commentary

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Giuseppe Rossi and Villarreal need somewhat of a miracle to keep their hopes of European silverware alive.

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.

Eastern Conference notes: Hall takes blame, Union shorthanded and more

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Photo by Stephen Brashear/ISIphotos.com

By THOMAS FLOYD

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.

Rongen out as U.S. U-20 coach

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Photo by Omar Martinez/ISIphotos.com

For Thomas Rongen, the failure to guide the United States Under-20 national team to World Cup qualification has cost him his job.

Rongen will not have his contract renewed when it expires at the end of the year and he has been relieved of his head coaching duties for the U-20s, sources told SBI on Thursday.

Who will win the UEFA Champions League final?

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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.

Toronto, Vancouver advance to final of Canadian championship

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The Canadian championship final will be an all-MLS affair.

Toronto FC made quick work of FC Edmonton while Vancouver needed extra time to put away the Montreal Impact in the final legs of their semifinal matchups Wednesday night.

Rookie Joao Plata set up Alan Gordon in the 21st minute for the lone goal in TFC's 1-0 victory over Edmonton.

Copa Libertadores: Four Brazilian teams ousted, including defending champ Inter

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By NESTOR F. SEBASTIAN

The samba beats were quieted Wednesday night.

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.

Rapids beat Dynamo with late Palguta goal but lose Cummings to ankle injury

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The Colorado Rapids broke their four-match winless streak in impressive fashion, but they are down another star forward.

Scott Palguta scored his first career goal in the 84th minute to give the Rapids a hard-fought, 2-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo at Robertson Stadium Wednesday night.

Davies, Najar, Wolff help D.C. end skid

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Photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

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 vs. Seattle Sounders: Match Night Commentary

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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.

Manchester United 4, Schalke 1: The Highlights

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Fire signs Colombian forward Nazarit

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Photo courtesy of Chicago Fire

The Chicago Fire has had such a good return on its South American forward signings that the club decided to go back to the well again.

Chicago signed 20-year-old Colombian forward Cristian Nazarit on a free transfer from top-flight Colombian team Independiente Santa Fe, the club announced on Wednesday.

Manchester United vs. Schalke: Your Running Commentary

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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.

Mid-Day Ticker: Najar named to Honduras roster, Ronaldo fumes & more

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Photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIphotos.com

Andy Najar is one step closer to competing in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

According to a report out of Honduras, Najar has been named to Los Catrachos' 30-man, preliminary roster for this summer's competition.

Najar, who has struggled to see regular playing time for D.

Soccer Wednesday: A Look Ahead

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Between a UEFA Champions League semifinal, two Major League Soccer games and the Canadian championship semifinals, there's plenty of mid-week soccer action to go around.

Manchester United's quest to return to the Champions League final sets the table for six MLS teams.

D.C. United hosts Seattle in the first MLS match of the night, followed soon after by Houston and Colorado.

Pachuca puts whole squad on transfer list

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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 wholesale changes.

SBI MLS Best XI: Week 7

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Will Bruin looks like a player destined to score plenty of goals in his pro career, but he may never forget his first multi-goal game.

Bruin's hat-trick helped Houston roll to a 4-1 win against D.C. United last Friday, and earned him his first nod to the SBI MLS Best XI.

Earthquakes advance in U.S. Open Cup with late Opara goal

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

The San Jose Earthquakes saved their very best for the final moments of their U.S. Open Cup match Tuesday night against the Portland Timbers, and made a little history in the process.

Ike Opara headed in a cross from Sam Cronin in the 120th minute of a match that went into two extra-time sessions, giving the Quakes a 1-0 win and their first U.

Portland vs. San Jose: U.S. Open Cup qualifier (Your Running Commentary)

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One Major League Soccer team will be a step closer to the U.S. Open Cup field of 40 by night's end.

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 draws Real Madrid, cements place in UEFA Champions League final

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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.

In Reserve: Chivas defeats Galaxy, Myers' brace lifts SKC over RSL and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Three goals were scored in the span of five minutes during the first half of Chivas USA's 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy in a MLS Reserve League SuperClasico on Tuesday.

Chivas rookie Victor Estupinan netted the opener in the 31st minute, but Hector Jimenez equalized for Los Angeles four minutes later.

Barcelona vs. Real Madrid: Your Running Commentary

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The fifth and final Clasico of the season will determine which Spanish club advances to the UEFA Champions League final.

Barcelona scored a 2-0 away result at the Bernabeu in last week's tense and heated first leg to take a commanding lead heading into today's return leg at Camp Nou (2:45 p.

Canada manager Hart responds to Backe's De Rosario-Gold Cup comments

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The Dwayne De Rosario-CONCACAF Gold Cup saga isn't as cut-and-dry as Hans Backe has made it seem.

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.

SBI MLS Team of the Month: March/April

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

The first seven weeks of the 2011 MLS season have seen some real roller-coaster rides for some teams, but for the cream of the crop, the season has been a steady rise to the top of the standings.

For the clubs enjoying the best early goings, their successes can be linked to the strong performances of the league's best players in the early going.

Fantasy MLS: Week 9

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By ALAN LEDBETTER

The Seattle Sounders and FC Dallas seemed unaffected this past week after the loss of their star players, but can their success continue on to the rest of the season?

This week, Seattle is one of four teams to play two games, so that means more opportunities for players to gain or lose points.

Which team has a better chance of making a comeback, Real Madrid or Schalke?

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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.

Report: Backe expects De Rosario to skip Gold Cup

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Photo by Brad Smith/ISIphotos.com

When the United States and Canada meet in their CONCACAF Gold Cup group stage opener in Detroit on June 7, one of the Canadians' key contributors might not be there.

New York Red Bulls manager Hans Backe told reporters on Monday that he expects Canadian international midfielder Dwayne De Rosario to skip this summer's event.

Whitbread's Norwich City gains promotion to EPL

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American defender Zak Whitbread could be the next U.S.-born player to make the climb from the League Championship to the Premier League after his club, Norwich City, earned promotion on Monday.

Norwich secured passage to the Premier League with a 1-0 victory against Portsmouth on a goal from Canadian national team striker Simeon Jackson.

SBI MLS Player of the Month: Brad Davis

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The Houston Dynamo shook off a winless March to post an unbeaten April, and no player deserved more credit for the Dynamo's surge than midfielder Brad Davis.

The skillful left winger carried the Dynamo attack, recording six assists to help the Houston offense carry on without injured striker Brian Ching.

USL Pro Week 5: A Look Back

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

The Richmond Kickers winning streak continued in emphatic fashion with a 6-0 rout of the Dayton Dutch Lions.

The USL Pro leaders have one five-straight game to begin the season and have racked up a +9 goal difference in that time.Â

Not to be outdone, Antigua Barracuda FC put seven by Puerto Rico United on Wednesday before squeaking out a narrow victory over River Plate Puerto Rico over the weekend.

Mid-Day Ticker: UEFA rejects Madrid's claims, Blackburn bids for Cisse and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

It looks like Real Madrid could enter the second leg of the Champions League semifinals against Barcelona in worse shape than it is already in.

UEFA rejected Real Madrid's new complaints on Barcelona on Monday, and has instead opted to examine six combined charges on the two teams later this week, five of which are against Real Madrid.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 7

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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 weekend.

NASL Week 4: A Look Back

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

After the first three weeks of the season saw only two draws, three of the four games over the weekend finished with identical scorelines with the only exception being a thrashing in a Canadian derby.

For the first time this season, the Puerto Rico Islanders failed to grab a win with a 2-2 draw against the Ft.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Month: Will Bruin

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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.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Brad Evans

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

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 unbeaten streak.

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.

SBI MLS Spotlight: Teal Bunbury

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European Weekend Rewind: Chelsea closes the gap, Spanish powers fall, and more

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

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.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Blackburn gained some much-needed breathing room in its battle against relegation with its first win since January, and Jermaine Jones helped the club do so.

Jones started and went the distance as Blackburn defeated Bolton, 1-0, in a match that ended the Rovers' 10-game winless streak.

FC Dallas vs. Los Angeles Galaxy: Your Running Commentary

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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.

SBI Stoppage Time: Red Bulls 1, Sporting KC 0

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Chivas USA rolls to 3-0 romp over New England

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By JONATHAN VERA

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.

Houston Dynamo 4, D.C. United 1: The Highlights

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Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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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.

Cooper goals lifts Portland past RSL

Soccer By Ives at related • 0 views

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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.