Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2012

Union part ways with Mondragon

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The man who played as big a part as any in making the Philadelphia Union a playoff team is now headed home.

Philadelphia and goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon mutually agreed to the Colombian's release Monday, clearing the way for the 40-year-old to end his career in his native country.

Portland signs Kris Boyd as designated player

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The Portland Timbers were looking for a strong target forward to help fill the role that Kenny Cooper never could quite fill, and they have turned to a proven goal-scorer to do the job.

The Timbers have signed Scottish striker Kris Boyd as a Designated Player, the team announced on Monday.

USA talking potential friendly with Scotland

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photo by ISIphotos.com

Five months is all that separates the U.S. men's national team from the start of its World Cup qualifying campaign, and a friendly against Scotland appears to be in the works prior to then.

According to a report in Scotland, the U.S. Soccer Federation is in talks with the Scottish Football Association over a potentialy friendly.

Mid-Day Ticker: Chelsea close in on De Bruyne, Terry ruled out and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Chelsea is looking for a better second half of the season in the Premiership, and it is hoping the signing of an attacking midfielder will help them do that.

Chelsea is set to sign Kevin De Bruyne from Belgian club RC Genk on a five-year deal.

Chicago plays D.C. to scoreless draw in preseason opener

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 Photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIphotos.com

By THOMAS FLOYD

After D.C. United and the Chicago Fire had their fair share of defensive struggles throughout the 2011 MLS campaign, the two teams both had a notable silver lining to take away from their friendly Sunday: no goals allowed.

Report: WPS to cancel season

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Another milestone was achieved this past weekend for women's professional soccer in the United States, as the U.S. women's national team qualified for the Olympics.

Unfortunately for the players, they might not have a domestic season in which to prepare for the Summer Games.

Red Bulls sign Conde after completing deal with Fire

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Just days after selling Tim Ream to Bolton, the New York Red Bulls have secured the services of his replacement, signing Colombian centerback Wilman Conde after making a trade with the Chicago Fire.

The Red Bulls dealt allocation money (which one source put at $150,000) to the Fire for the chance to sign Conde, who returns to MLS after spending 2011 in Mexico with Atlas.

Must-See Goal: Erlan Gaston Mealla

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Arsenal 3, Aston Villa 2: Match Highlights

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European Weekend Rewind: Arsenal comes back, Inter loses and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

It looked to be another long afternoon at the Emirates after Arsenal found themselves down two to Aston Villa at halftime and on the verge of going out of the FA Cup. Relief came quickly, however, as the Gunners scored three goals within 10 minutes to move on to the fifth round.

Morgan and Wambach lead U.S. Women past Canada

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By CALEB SONNELAND

Despite both sides having punched their tickets to the 2012 London Olympics, bragging rights and a No. 1 seed were on the line when the United States Women clashed with Canada last night.

Thanks to the continued brilliance of Abby Wambach and young gun Alex Morgan, the United States trotted out a 4-0 victory to cap off what has largely been a pedestrian Olympic Qualifying.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

In a week that saw several young and inexperienced players make their cases for more playing time on the U.S. men's national team, it was the veterans of the United States who shined brightly.

Landon Donovan was one of those players, as he inspired Everton to victory by setting up both of its goals in a 2-1 win over Fulham in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Friday.

Onyewu scores two for Sporting CP

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Oguchi Onyewu didn't start today's Sporting CP match off in the best of fashions, drawing a first-minute yellow card. He quickly made up for that slow start by scoring a pair of first-half goals against Beira Mar.

If you watch the videos below and think you're seeing the same goal, you aren't.

Beasley scores winner for Puebla vs. Jaguares

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DaMarcus Beasley has picked up where he left off with Mexican side Puebla, continue his stellar form since moving South of the Border with his latest goal.

Beasley delivered the game-winning goal in Puebla's 1-0 victory against Jaguares on Saturday, scoring a right-footed finish after making a fast back-post run and latching onto a perfect pass before pulling off a perfect cut-back and finish.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Arsenal's season hasn't gone quite according to plan, but a win today against Aston VIlla in FA Cup Fourth Round action could help ease some of the pressure being faced by Arsene Wenger these days.

Wenger has been roundly criticized since the Gunners' loss to Manchester United last week, but a win today might help ease some of that backlash.

Johnson scores in Hoffenheim loss

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It may have have happened in a loss, but Fabian Johnson scored his first goal for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Saturday.

Johnson opened his account with the club he joined last summer by netting in the second half of Hoffenheim's 3-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund. Johnson got on the end of a low cross and one-timed a powerful shot into the back of the net to prevent Hoffenheim from getting shut out for a second consecutive game.

Liverpool 2, Manchester United 1: Match Highlights

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Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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A pair of heated English derby match-ups headline today's action, and both will have added subplots that will only make things more intense.

Manchester United and Liverpool clash in their first meeting since the controversial match where Luis Suarez allegedly used racial slurs against Patrice Evra; while London rivals Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers meet for the first time since John Terry allegedly used a racial slur against Anton Ferdinand.

USA Women top Costa Rica to clinch Olympic berth

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The U.S. Women's National Team faced a tougher test than expected, but ultimately the Americans proved too tough for underdog Costa Rica and eventually punched their ticket to the Summer Olympics.

A first-half goal by Tobin Heath gave the U.S. women the lead and despite a courageous fight from the Costa Ricans, the United States held that one-goal lead before Carli Lloyd blasted home a long-range blast in the second half to give the Americans a 2-0 victory in the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying semifinals in Vancouver.

Everton 2, Fulham 1: Match Highlights

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This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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Photo by Stephen Brashear/ISIphotos.com

CONCACAF's two places in the women's soccer tournament at this summer's Olympics will be determined Friday night, as the U.S. women look to maintain their stretch of dominance and clinch a place in London with a win over Costa Rica.

Pair of Donovan assists leads Everton past Fulham in FA Cup

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The All-American showdown went to Landon Donovan, Tim Howard and Everton.

Donovan came up with two assists to guide the Toffees to a 2-1, come-from-behind victory over Clint Dempsey's Fulham at Goodison Park in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Friday.

Donovan hit summer acquisition Denis Stracqualursi with a pinpoint left-footed cross from the right in the 27th minute, and the Argentine headed it past Fulham goalkeeper David Stockdale to pull Everton level at 1-1.

European Look Ahead: Liverpool set for United, top Italian sides meet and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

It's FA Cup weekend again in England, and the field is down to 32 teams.

Liverpool are well out of the Premier League title race, and their Champions League hopes are diminishing quickly, but fans will find some solace in the domestic cups, especially after the club reached the Carling Cup final earlier this week.

Everton vs. Fulham: Match Day Commentary

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The three best American soccer players in the world will be on the field together in a club match for the first time ever as Tim Howard and Landon Donovan lead Everton against Clint Dempsey and Fulham (3pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

Today's FA Cup Fourth Round showdown is being billed as a battle between Dempsey and Donovan, long-time USA teammates and two great players who draw different reactions from different fans.

Ream ready for new challenges at Bolton

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com


By FRANCO PANIZO

Tim Ream was married all of 24 hours and on the brink of going on his honeymoon before he got a phone call that would alter his plans.

Getting ready to head to Tahiti with his wife, Ream received a call on Jan.

Dempsey and Donovan set to do battle (Who is your favorite?)

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Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan, the two best field players in American soccer, and two of the most popular players in American soccer history, are set to do battle today in the FA Cup (3pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

Today's Fulham-Everton clash serves as the perfect event to showcase the match-up of two players who have been U.

Mwanga training with Aston Villa

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

The Philadelphia Union's preseason is starting to become more notable not for who is in camp but for the attackers who are spending time in England.

According to his agent, Richard Motzkin, third-year forward Danny Mwanga is training with Aston Villa for the next 10 days.

U.S. women a win away from London

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Photo by Stephen Brashear/ISIphotos.com

The U.S. women's national team has been a wrecking crew during its run at CONCACAF Olympic qualifying, but there is still one more piece of business to take care of before it can celebrate.

With a win Friday night over Costa Rica (8 p.

Friday Kickoff: Chandler sidelined with hamstring injury, Iniesta hurt and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

All American eyes Friday are on Goodison Park, where Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey do battle in Everton and Fulham's FA Cup match, but there's another game in Europe that is of importance to Americans abroad as well.

Timmy Chandler's FC Nurnberg and Steve Cherundolo's Hannover 96 are slated to go up against one another in a Bundesliga match that should be featuring the present and future of U.

Earthquakes bolster Güvenışık and re-sign Busch to extension

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BY ADAM SERRANO

The San Jose Earthquakes believe that they have found another compliment to Chris Wondolowski with the signing of Turkish forward Sercan Güvenışık.

The 31-year-old German league veteran impressed the Earthquakes during a two month trial with the club last season, which included scoring two goals in a reserve match against the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey have shared plenty of moments throughout their careers as the top two attacking threats of the U.S. men's national team, but they will not be celebrating together on Friday.

The two American stars are set to face off for the first time since 2006 when Everton and Fulham do battle in the fourth round of the FA Cup (3pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

Bornstein starts for Tigres in Copa Libertadores loss

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Most of last night's headlines might have been about the U.S. men's national team's friendly in Panama, but that was not the only place south of the border where an American was playing.

Lost amid the U.S. team's 1-0 win, Jonathan Bornstein made his season debut, starting and going the distance in Tigres UANL's 1-0 first-leg loss to Chilean club Union Espanola in the Copa Libertadores.

Sarvas eager to build his own legacy with the Galaxy

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIPhotos.net

BY ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, Calif. -- Marcelo Sarvas has some big cleats to fill.Â

Brought in from Costa Rican side Alajuelense, the 30-year-old Brazilian midfielder was signed by the Los Angeles Galaxy during the offseason as a replacement for fellow Brazilian Juninho.

Solo questionable for Costa Rica clash

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photo by Stephen Brashear/ISIphotos.com

The U.S. women's national team cruised through the Group Stage of Olympic qualifying and now just needs a win on Friday against Costa Rica to reach the Summer Games in London.

There's one problem: Hope Solo might not play.

Toronto FC signs Ecuadorian defender Caicedo

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Toronto FC appears determined to fix its defensive problems, and it has turned to an Ecuadorian international to help it do so.

On the day it signed Richard Eckersley to a permanent deal, Toronto announced it acquired defender Geovanny Caicedo. The 30-year-old, who has earned eight caps for Ecuador since making his debut in 2009, last played for LDU Quito.

Africa Cup of Nations: Ghana opens with a win, Senegal eliminated and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

One of the favorites to win this year's Africa Cup of Nations, Ghana opened its tournament with a narrow victory over Botswana that can best be described as a roller coaster for John Mensah.

The Ghana captain endured highs and lows in Ghana's Group D opener, scoring the only goal before receiving a red card and then picking up a hamstring injury.

Barcelona 2, Real Madrid 2: Match Highlights

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MLS Notes: Toronto signs Eckersley permanently, Impact win big and more

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photo by Andrew Katsampes/ISIphotos.com

Richard Eckersley will be calling Toronto FC home for the foreseeable future.

Eckersley was signed to a permanent move with the Reds after joining the club on loan from Burnley last April, the club announced on Thursday.

Thursday Kickoff: Mexico beats Venezuela, Bayern angers fans and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Mexico seemed ready to settle for a draw with Venezuela, but two late goals coming in a span of a minute lifted El Tri to a 3-1 victory over the South Americans.

Fielding a squad largely comprised of players competing for a spot on the Olympic qualifying team, the Mexicans won on Wednesday night courtesy of goals from Rafael Marquez Lugo and Oribe Peralta in the 88th and 89th minutes, respectively.

Liverpool 2, Manchester City 2: Match Highlights

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Ream's transfer to Bolton complete

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Tim Ream is officially a member of Bolton after his transfer from the New York Red Bulls was finalized on Thursday.

The transfer, believed to be valued near $3 million, is the highest ever paid for an MLS defender, surpassing the $2 million paid by French club Boulogne for former Chicago Fire defender Bakary Soumare.

Panama 0, USA 1: Match Highlights

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Zusi goal helps USA win in Panama

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By FRANCO PANIZO

U.S. men's national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann scheduled the friendly in Panama to experience what a road game in CONCACAF was like, and he got just what he wanted.

Four days after beating Venezuela, the United States defeated Panama, 1-0, on Wednesday night in a game that felt much like a CONCACAF World Cup qualifier on the road.

USA vs. Panama: Match Night Commentary

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The U.S. men's national team plays its second game in a week, and second of 2011 in Panama City tonight against CONCACAF foe Panama (8:30pm, Galavision/ESPN3.com).

The United States is coming off a 1-0 victory against Venezuela, but tonight should offer a much tougher test as the Americans face the Panama side that beat the Americans in the Gold Cup group stages before losing a 1-0 decision in the Gold Cup semifinals.

MLS Notes: D.C. adds defender, Wright trains with FC Dallas and more

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D.C. United's preseason personnel surge continued on Wednesday with the acquisition of Argentine centerback Emiliano Dudar from BSC Young Boys in Switzerland.

The 6-foot-4, 30-year-old Dudar is a player with experience on a number of levels and is a one-time Swiss league Defender of the Year (2009-2010).

Must-See Goal: Dani Alves

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Red Bulls step into 2012 after one roller coaster offseason

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By DAVE MARTINEZ

Though the New York Red Bulls were once considered clear-cut favorites to win the 2011 MLS Eastern Conference crown, the team imploded with a host of problems on the field, and in the locker room.

The defense became a porous mess that forced head coach Hans Backe to retool tactically in the final quarter of the season with a crude system he dubbed "cynical soccer" in order to stay competitive.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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Domestic cup competitions in Europe typically feature David vs. Goliath stories, but Wednesday, it's all about the big boys.

Liverpool carries its 1-0 edge over Manchester City in the Carling Cup semifinals into the second leg at Anfield, where the Reds will try and hold on and advance to next month's title game against surprise finalist Cardiff City.

FSC to air Everton-Fulham FA Cup bout

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Photos by ISIphotos.com

U.S. national team stars Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey have not shared a field together since the CONCACAF Gold Cup final, but Friday they are slated to do so -- as opponents.

Everton and Fulham meet in a fourth-round FA Cup match at Goodison Park, and Fox Soccer Channel has picked up the 3 p.

Rapids bolster attack, sign Castrillon

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The Colorado Rapids are shifting their philosophy after going through a front office and technical staff overhaul, and that change is spreading to the field as well after the club announced the signing of Colombian attacking midfielder Jaime Castrillon from Independiente Medellin.

Transfer Ticker: Dos Santos on verge of move, Ibisevic heads to Stuttgart & more

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Giovani Dos Santos is no stranger to moving during the winter transfer window, but instead of what has happened in past years, he is on the verge of leaving club purgatory for good.

Forever glued to the bench at Tottenham, the 22-year-old Mexican star is on the verge of a full transfer to Spanish club Villarreal, according to reports from Europe.

John scores for West Ham developmental squad, eyes first-team debut

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

George John has yet to make his debut with West Ham United, but he soon could after putting together a strong showing in his first match since joining the club.

John, on loan from FC Dallas until the beginning of March, starred in his first game for West Ham's developmental squad on Tuesday, putting together a strong defensive outing while scoring a goal in the Hammers' 1-1 draw with Gillingham.

U.S. U-23s close January camp with victory over Alajuelense

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The U.S. Under-23 men's national team finished off its January training camp with a victory, topping Alajuelense 1-0 in a friendly in Costa Rica.

Tony Taylor scored the lone goal, taking a pass from the Columbus Crew's Dilly Duka at the top of the box and finishing in the 41st minute.

Wednesday Kickoff: Stevenage hires Smith, Europe's financial woes and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Former Colorado Rapids head coach Gary Smith is headed back to England.

The man who took charge of the Rapids' surprising 2010 MLS Cup run has been hired as manager of League One side Stevenage FC. Stevenage chairman Phil Wallace said Smith's ability to produce success despite a low budget with the Rapids was a major reason for the hire.

Lloyd hat trick lifts U.S. women past Mexico to cusp of Olympic berth

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Photo by Stephen Brashear/ISIphotos.com

They might have been held to single digits on the scoreboard for the first time during the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament, but the U.S. women's national team remains on a roll.

Carli Lloyd netted a hat trick, and the U.

Evening Ticker: Chivas signs two, Cardiff City reaches Carling Cup final and more

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Chivas USA is the latest MLS club to join the trend of signing Colombian central defenders.

Following in the recent footsteps of the Portland Timbers and FC Dallas, the Goats announced the signing of veteran Colombian centerback John Alexander Valencia on Tuesday, adding the 30-year-old, 6-foot-4 defender to the club.

Reports: Mourinho wants out of Madrid

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On the eve of one of the more important matches of the season for Real Madrid, manager Jose Mourinho is making headlines again for all the wrong reasons.

According to reports out of Spain, Mourinho is letting it be known that he wants out of Madrid at the end of this season, which would be two years into his four-year contract with the club.

Who should the USMNT start vs. Panama?

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With the first friendly of 2012 producing a thrilling, though somewhat disappointing 1-0 victory against Venezuela on Saturday, the U.S. men's national team is now in Panama preparing for the first tough road match for this young group.

Jurgen Klinsmann scheduled this Panama match with the expressed purpose of testing inexperienced players in a hostile environment, and the opponent is one who should provide a tougher test than the one provided by Venezuela.

Williams replaces Cabrera as head of U.S. U-17 residency program

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

It's been a bit of a whirlwind year for Richie Williams, but he has landed in a spot of extreme importance in the U.S. Soccer community.

Williams was named U.S. Under-17 national team coach on Tuesday, a position that also entails overseeing the federation's residency program in Bradenton, Fla.

What is your ideal format for the MLS All-Star Game?

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

With every passing year, the format for the MLS All-Star Game seems to continue to be a point of contention among fans and media, but even with that, the 2012 version won't be providing any drastic changes.

While officially awarding this year's game to Philadelphia, the league announced that it will maintain its unique MLS vs.

U.S. women set for important Olympic qualifying matchup with Mexico

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Photo by Stephen Brashear/ISIphotos.com

The CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament has been a breeze so far for the U.S. women's national team, which has outscored two overmatched opponents by a combined 27-0 margin. Things should be a bit more competitive in Tuesday's final group match.

MLS awards All-Star Game to PPL Park; match format to remain unchanged

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

Major League Soccer made official Tuesday what was reported on Monday, awarding the 2012 MLS All-Star Game to PPL Park at an announcement at Philadelphia's City Hall Tuesday morning.

The game will take place Wednesday, July 25, at 8 p.

MLS Notes: Saputo addresses Del Piero talk, Boyd passes on Houston and more

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Juventus and Italian national team legend Alessandro Del Piero has long been linked with a move to MLS, and despite recent reports having him wind up with the Montreal Impact, the club's president set the record straight on the matter.

Joey Saputo admitted to having discussions with the 37-year-old Del Piero's representatives on two occasions -- last April in Montreal and last June in Italy -- while discussing a potential move to MLS, but offered that Del Piero has his eyes on the league's two major markets should he come to America.

Tuesday Kickoff: Tevez to PSG called off, Pepe escapes punishment and more

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And so the roulette wheel continues to spin.

Paris St.-Germain have pulled out of talks with Manchester City to sign striker Carlos Tevez. The Ligue 1 leaders were considered the front-runners after talks with AC Milan broke down last week. PSG's sporting director Leonardo and new manager Carlo Ancelotti met with Tevez's advisers but couldn't come to terms

"There was an opportunity, we have studied it, we made a good offer but failed to agree a deal," Leonardo told L'Equipe.

Several familiar faces missing as Galaxy open training camp

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BY ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, Calif. –Fresh off one of the most successful seasons, the Los Angeles Galaxy returned to the practice field amid a steady downpour at the Home Depot Center.

Missing several pieces like Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane (both on loan), Omar Gonzalez (injury) and Juninho (joined Sao Paulo) the club returned to the training ground in preparation for their CONCACAF Champions League matches against Toronto FC in March.

Ream granted work permit, set to sign with Bolton

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Tim Ream's time in MLS has come to a close.

After spending the first two years of his professional career with the New York Red Bulls, Ream is set to sign with Bolton Wanderers after being granted a work permit on Monday. Ream will join Bolton on a transfer worth an estimated $3 million, the highest amound ever paid for an MLS defender.

Mid-Day Ticker: Subotic under investigation, USA U23s tie and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Neven Subotic is one of the top young centerbacks playing in Europe, but his future is under threat after Geman authorities opened a sexual assault investigation against him.

Subotic and three others are under investigation after a 21-year-old woman claimed she was the victim of a sexual assault.

Africa Cup of Nations: Hosts win opener, Ivory Coast squeaks by and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The 2012 Africa Cup of Nations got underway this past weekend, and co-hosts Equatorial Guinea opened the tournament in dramatic fashion.

Former Real Madrid player Javier Balboa scored three minutes before the death to give Equatorial Guinea a 1-0 win over Libya.

Philadelphia to host 2012 MLS All-Star Game

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Fans of the Philadelphia Union have had plenty to chear about in the club's brief two-year MLS existence. From the opening of PPL Park in 2010, to the team's MLS playoff debut in 2011. Now Union fans are ready to have a new experience to celebrate in 2012, the hosting of an MLS All-Star Game.

Malaga 1, Barcelona 4: Match Highlights

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U.S. Women post another blowout in Olympic qualifying

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The U.S. Women's national team figured to face a tougher task against Guatemala on Sunday than it did after a 14-0 thrashing of the Dominican Republic to open CONCACAF Olympic qualifying on Friday.

The challenge was slightly tougher, but only by a goal.

Abby Wambach scored two goals to move into third place on the all-time international goals scored list, while Sydney LeRoux added five goals in a 13-0 thrashing of Guatemala in Vancouver on Sunday.

European Rewind: Manchester clubs win, Bundesliga title race tightens and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Those who woke up early on Sunday morning were treated to one of the best Premier League games of the season.

Manchester City used a last-minute penalty from Mario Balotelli to beat Tottenham 3-2 and go six points clear at the top of the table.

Arsenal 1, Manchester United 2: Match Highlights

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Manchester City 3, Tottenham 2: Match Highlights

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Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

It took Clint Dempsey nine years to score the first hat-trick of his career, a feat he accomplished on January 7 in an FA Cup win over Charlton Athletic.

It did not take much longer for him to do it again.

Dempsey became the first American to net a hat-trick in the Premiership on Saturday.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Today is one of those jam-packed days of soccer action that make you happy to be a soccer fan with a full day with nothing to do but watch soccer.

There is something for everybody today, from the historic Arsenal-Manchester United clash, which will be the first English Premier League match shown live on American network television, to this morning's Manchester City-Tottenham tilt featuring two of the best teams in England.

Late Clark goal sees USA top Venezuela

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Just when it looked like the U.S. men's national team was destined for another scoreless game, a familiar face came up with the timeliest of goals.

Substitute Ricardo Clark powered home a header deep into stoppage time on Saturday night, giving the United States a 1-0 victory over Venezuela at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona in its opening match of 2012.

USA vs. Venezuela: Match Night Commentary

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The U.S. men's national team kicks off 2012 in Arizona, taking on Venezuela at University of Phoenix Stadium in its first match of the year (9 p.m., Galavision/ESPN3.com).

The friendly comes as part of the culmination of January training camp, and it provides Jurgen Klinsmann a chance to see some of the players he has yet to observe in international game situations on a competitive stage.

Wolves 2, Aston Villa 3: Match Highlights

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New MLS signings highlight Panama roster for U.S. friendly

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New FC Dallas signings Blas Perez and Carlos Rodriguez and new Philadelphia Union midfielder Gabriel Gomez are among the 18 players called in by Julio Dely Valdes for Panama's friendly against the United States next week.

Not included on Panama's roster are Santos Laguna centerback Felipe Baloy or star forward Luis Tejada, who scored three times at the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Must-See Hat Trick: Clint Dempsey

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Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Landon Donovan is coming off an outstanding match in Everton's 1-1 draw vs. Aston Villa last week, and he will look to post an even better performance against struggling Blackburn today.

Donovan will look to jump-start an offense that has has its share of struggles, but an offense that could have a field day against struggling Rovers.

Leiweke ponders Galaxy legacy after bringing Beckham back with new deal

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By ADAM SERRANO

LOS ANGELES -- David Beckham has always been a vital part of AEG president Tim Leiweke's plans for the Los Angeles Galaxy. Now as Beckham prepares for his second stint with the club, Leiweke is considering the legacy that he will leave on his team.

Dempsey wins second U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year award

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After turning in a dynamic year for the U.S. men's national team, Clint Dempsey being named U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year should come as a surprise to nobody.Â

Dempsey turned in perhaps his finest year as a professional for both club and country.

Breaking down Beckham's comeback

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The biggest MLS story of the off-season hit Los Angeles on Thursday, as news of David Beckham's return to the LA Galaxy made headlines around the world.

What does Beckham's return really mean for the Galaxy, MLS and American soccer? Here is my Fox Soccer column on what it means, and how we got to this point.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

For the U.S. men's and women's national teams, it's a big weekend.

The women kick off their qualifying campaign for the 2012 Olympics Friday night in Canada, going up against the Dominican Republic. Just a couple of days later, Pia Sundhage's charges are at it again, facing Guatemala and hoping to secure maximum points before a final group showdown with Mexico.

MLS Notes: D.C. acquires Cruz, FCD signs Panamanian defender and more

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Photo by Patricia Giobetti/ISIphotos.com

D.C. United's wing options got a little more intriguing on Friday.

The club acquired midfielder Danny Cruz from the Houston Dynamo in exchange for a partial allocation, adding an up-and-coming player to the team's already up-and-coming nucleus.

Fire Notebook: Oduro, club ready to pick up where they left off and more

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Photo by Tracy Allen/ISIphotos.com


By DAVID GUBALA

The Chicago Fire will swap the crispy, cold ways of Chicago for the sunny rays of Ave Maria as they travel to Florida to officially kick off the preseason camp for their 15th season in Major League Soccer.

Arsenal-United on Fox to be USA's first live Premier League network broadcast

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Photo by ISIphotos.comÂ

Sunday will mark a significant milestone in the progession of soccer in America.Â

When Fox airs the Arsenal-Manchester United match at 11 a.m., it will be the first live Premier League broadcast in the United States on network television.

Cabañas attempting professional comeback with Paraguayan club

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Almost two years ago, Paraguayan forward Salvador Cabañas was months away from being a starting striker in the World Cup until he was left in a fight for his life after being the victim of a shooting at a Mexican bar.Â

Now he's on the verge of a stunning comeback to professional soccer.

European Look Ahead: Gunners seek payback, Bundesliga returns and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

The last time Arsenal and Manchester United faced each other, the end result looked less like an outcome between two of England's heavyweights and more of one between a Premier League side and a League Two outfit.

The Red Devils ran rampant at Old Trafford back on Aug.

Gyau set for first team, Williams getting centerback look for Hoffenheim

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For U.S. Under-23 winger Joe Gyau, the future is now.

Gyau confirmed on his own Twitter feed that he will be in TSG 1899 Hoffenheim's matchday 18 against Hannover 96 this weekend for the first time. Hoffenheim is dealing with a number of injuries, and Gyau, who has been playing well for the club's U-23 team, is going to get his first taste of first-team life in the Bundesliga in what could prove to be a seminal year in the 19-year-old winger's career.

Friday Kickoff: De Gea may need eye surgery, Pato hurt again and more

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Goalkeeper David De Gea has not exactly lived up to expectations in his first season with Manchester United, and there is pretty legitimate reasoning to explain what has gone wrong.

He might need be able to see clearly.

De Gea reportedly requires laser surgery to repair a case of farsightedness.

Backe: Rost not returning to New York

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Photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com

As a new season approaches for the New York Red Bulls, it is still very uncertain who will be standing between the goalposts for a team looking to surpass its results from 2011.Â

According to multiple reports, manager Hans Backe definitively said that German goalkeeper Frank Rost would not be returning to the club, weeks after sporting director Erik Soler said there was a "good possibility" of Rost coming back.

USMNT 1, U.S. U-23 team 1: Match Highlights

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Beckham re-signs with the Galaxy, hints at future ownership in MLS

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Photo by David Bernal/ISIPhotos.com

BY ADAM SERRANO

LOS ANGELES --It is official, David Beckham will be returning to MLS and it appears that he may be staying for quite some time.Â

The Los Angeles Galaxy presented Beckham before a group of reporters on Thursday to announce his new two-year-deal with the club.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The German Bundesliga kicks back into full gear this weekend, and with it could come a direct head-to-head duel between a pair of U.S. men's national team players.

Steve Cherundolo and Fabian Johnson could do battle when Hannover 96 and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim resume their Bundesliga campaigns on Saturday.

Evening Ticker: Pepe apologizes to Messi, SKC signs Peterson and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Facing media scrutiny and the possibility of disciplinary action, Pepe has issued an apology to Leo Messi.

Well, sort of.

A day after what appeared to be a deliberate step on Messi's hand in Real Madrid's 2-1 loss to Barcelona, Pepe told Real Madrid's website that it was an involuntary act.

Must-See Video: Table Tennis Titans

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Who should the USMNT start vs. Venezuela?

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The U.S. men's national team will play its first match of 2012, and an MLS-heavy squad will take the field against Venezuela on Saturday night in Arizona with many players looking to impress Jurgen Klinsmann and work their way into the full senior team mix.

Some familiar faces are back in the mix as Benny Feilhaber and Ricardo Clark are in camp, while Heath Pearce joins them as the only players on the camp roster with more than 30 caps.

Africa Cup of Nations to kick off Saturday

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Prior to Bob Bradley being appointed as its head coach, Egypt failed to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. The Pharoahs' failure is the rest of Africa's success, as for the first time in six years a new champion will be crowned.

The 28th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations is set to get underway on Saturday, with 16 teams competing in the host nations of Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

AZ defeats Ajax, advances in Dutch Cup

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As if there was not enough drama the last time Ajax and AZ Alkmaar played.

AZ advanced to the quarterfinals of the Dutch Cup with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Ajax in their rescheduled round of 16 match on Thursday morning. A second-half penalty kick goal would be the decisive finish in a game that saw each team take and squander leads.

Mid-Day Ticker: Pepe faces discipline, Shangai pursuing Drogba and more

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It's no wonder why Pepe is nicknamed "The Butcher."

The Real Madrid defender, who is either known for physical play or malicious attacks on his opponents depending on who you talk to, could face disciplinary action for deliberately stomping on Lionel Messi's hand during yesterday's Clasico.

Real Madrid 1, Barcelona 2: Match Highlights

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Liverpool signs record jersey deal with American company Warrior Sports

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One of the biggest clubs in England is getting rid of adidas and slipping into something a bit more American.

Liverpool announced on Thursday morning that it has reached a record jersey deal with Michigan-based company Warrior Sports. The deal is worth $38.6 million annually over the course of six years, making it the largest jersey deal in England and second-biggest in the world behind Barcelona's deal with Nike (worth an estimated $40.

MLS Notes: FCD loans Jackson out, Sinovic re-signs with SKC and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

Citing "personal reasons,"  FC Dallas has temporarily lost Jackson Gonçalves, as the club loaned the 23-year-old back to Cruzeiro in his native land of Brazil.

Though the midfielder proved to be a large factor last season for FC Dallas, coach Schellas Hyndman believes the situation can be "mutually beneficial.

Rogers receives work permit to join Leeds

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photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

Robbie Rogers' move to Leeds United has not yet been completed, but the move seems all but done after Rogers was approved for a work permit.

Not having played the required amount of games for the U.S. men's national team, Rogers qualified for a work permit on special dispensation.

Thursday Kickoff: Barcelona takes first leg, Spector solid in upset win, and more

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In a game filled with attacking superstars, it was a pair of gritty defenders that decided the latest edition of El Clasico.

Carles Puyol and Eric Abidal turned around a 1-0 halftime deficit as Barcelona defeated eternal rivals Real Madrid, 2-1, at the Estadio Bernabeu in the first leg of the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey Wednesday.

Beckham returns to Galaxy on 2-year deal

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Photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com

At long last, the David Beckham sweepstakes is officially over, and the Los Angeles Galaxy are the winners.

The league's original Designated Player signed a two-year deal with the Galaxy on Wednesday, putting an end to a long-winded bout of speculation regarding his future.

Agbossoumonde passes on MLS move

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U.S. Under-23 national team defender Gale Agbossoumonde has endured a rough road in his quest for regular playing time since turning pro two years ago. With a recent stint at Eintracht Frankfurt failing to deliver him playing time, Agbossoumonde looked poised for a move to Major League Soccer.

Real Madrid vs. Barcelona: Your Running Commentary

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Bitter rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona are set to write the next chapter in their storied Clasico history as they meet in the opening leg of the Copa del Rey quarterfinals at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu (4 p.m., GOLTV/ESPN3.com).

While Barcelona is looking for revenge in this tournament after being beaten by Madrid in last year's final, it is Madrid that is looking to try to even the overall score.

D.C. United opens preseason with plenty of roster vacancies, new faces

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Photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIphotos.com


By AVI CREDITOR

The majority of D.C. United's offseason roster questions have not fully been answered, and as the club's preseason got underway with the first day of training on Wednesday, it is clear that there is plenty to be done before the team takes its final shape.

Mid-Day Ticker: Chicago re-signs Pardo, Arshavin linked with Lazio and more

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photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

A day after unveiling Quaker Oats as its jersey sponsor, the Chicago Fire made another big announcement.

The Fire re-signed midfielder Pavel Pardo on Wednesday, the club announced on its website.

Sources: Beckham to re-sign with Galaxy, announcement set for this week

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BY ADAM SERRANO

David Beckham is returning to Los Angeles.

Sources confirmed to Soccer By Ives on Wednesday that the English star would be returning to the Los Angeles Galaxy for the upcoming 2012 season.Â

A press conference is expected to take place on Thursday in Los Angeles to announce Beckham's re-signing.

MLS Notes: Keel agrees to new deal, D.C. adds Santos and more

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photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.comÂ

By FRANCO PANIZO

On the verge of losing one of its top defenders, the New York Red Bulls have locked up another for the foreseeable future.

The Red Bulls signed centerback Stephen Keel to a new contract, the club announced on Wednesday.

Bolton poised for transfer swoop of LeToux

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The Bolton Wanderers are desperate to avoid relegation this season, and they are hitting the Major League Soccer talent pool hard to try and avoid the drop.

With Tim Ream already lined up for a move to Bolton (upon receipt of a UK work permit), the Trotters are now preparing a transfer move for Philadelphia Union star Sebastien LeToux.

Barcelona, Real Madrid set for latest Clasico in Copa del Rey quarterfinals

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Here we go again.

The world's top rivalry takes center stage when Real Madrid hosts Barcelona in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarterfinals (4 p.m., GOLTV/ESPN3.com), the first of two meetings in a week's time that will determine which club advances to the semifinals.

USA improves to No. 33 in FIFA Rankings

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photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

After months of stagnating, the U.S. men's national team is back on the rise in the FIFA rankings, although barely.

The United States improved one spot to No. 33 in the latest rankings after having spent the last three months at the No.

Wednesday Kickoff: Henry strains calf, shooting at U.S. women's hotel & more

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Thierry Henry has been able to provide a spark for Arsenal in his brief time on loan with the club, but the Gunners may have to look elsewhere for inspiration during their crucial match this weekend.

Henry picked up a calf strain in training, and his status is uncertain for Arsenal's match against Manchester United.

Zusi, McInerney score as U-23s and USMNT battle to draw

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BY ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, Calif. – In a match that was much closer than the last time these teams met, the U.S. Under-23 national team battled to a hard fought 1-1 draw against the U.S. national team on Tuesday evening at the Home Depot Center Complex.

Pair of trades cap Supplemental Draft day

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Photo by Tony Quinn/ISIphotos.com

At least the MLS Supplemental Draft day contained something last Thursday's SuperDraft did not: Multiple trades.

Hours after the completion of the Tuesday's proceedings, the Seattle Sounders and Real Salt Lake agreed to one deal, while the Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps agreed to another.

Report: Lichaj to Leeds unlikely

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It was widely thought that after regaining his fitness following hip surgery American and Aston Villa fullback Eric Lichaj would head on loan to Leeds United, where he enjoyed overall success in his first stretch with consistent first-team minutes while on loan there last year.

Must-See Miss: Robbie Findley

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Montreal takes Charlotte's James with first pick in MLS Supplemental Draft

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The Montreal Impact wasted little time in making it known who they would take with the first pick in Tuesday's MLS Supplemental Draft.

With their selection, which is akin to the first pick in the third round of the SuperDraft had the main event not been shortened, the Impact took Charlotte winger Evan James, a skilled, Canada-born midfielder who performed well at the combine after helping the 49ers to the NCAA championship game.

MLS Notes: Portland signs Colombian defender, 'Caps add Knighton and more

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The Colombia-to-Portland pipeline is back in action.

The Portland Timbers announced the acquisition of 24-year-old defender Hanyer Mosquera, a 6-foot-1 centerback expected to come in and add a dominating presence along the Portland back line. Mosquera becomes the fourth Colombian on the Timbers, joining Designated Players Diego Chara and Jose Adolfo Valencia and forward Jorge Perlaza.

SBI Live Q&A (Jan. 17th Edition)

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It's that time again. Time to talk all things soccer in the first SBI Live Q&A of 2012.

We have plenty to talk about today, from the MLS Draft, to the U.S. national team camp and upcoming friendlies, to the U.S. Under-23 training camp and upcoming Olympic qualifiers.

We don't have to stop there.

SBI Live Q&A set for Noon Today

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It's that time again. With the new year upon us, and plenty to discuss in the soccer world, it's time for the latest SBI Live Q&A.

Join me at Noon today as I answer questions on all things soccer (and pop culture). Want to talk about the MLS Draft? The U.S. national team camp?

Corona honored as Mexico's top club rookie

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Joe Corona appears destined for a big 2012 as he continues to contribute for Club Tijuana while becoming a bigger part of the U.S. national team set-up. All of that is on the heels of what was just recognized as a pretty sharp 2011.

The 21-year-old Corona won the Golden Ball as Mexico's top rookie, beating out finalists Alfonso Luna (Atlante), Armando Zamorano (Jaguares) and Hector Herrera (Pachuca) to take home the award.

Tuesday Kickoff: Fire close in on jersey sponsor, Henry apologizes to fan & more

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The Chicago Fire might be adding a new graphic to the front of their jerseys this season.

According to reports out of Chicago, the club is closing in on a jersey sponsor deal with Quaker Oats, something that would end the club's sponsor hiatus after one season. Best Buy had been the team's jersey sponsor from 2008-2010 before ending its commitment prior to last season.

Agudelo, Gatt injury concerns as friendlies draw near

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BY ADAM SERRANO

It appears that injury bug has hit the U.S. January camp and that may render two key players for the senior team and Under-23 side doubtful for upcoming friendlies.Â

Under-23 right winger Josh Gatt was unavailable for training on Monday after suffering an apparent ankle injury on Sunday evening.

Studio 90: Jones joins USMNT camp

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A look at the changes to the CONCACAF Champions League and U.S. Open Cup

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The recent changes to the Major League Soccer schedule and competition format are hardly the only ones impacting professional soccer teams in North America.

Coinciding with the MLS SuperDraft, U.S. Soccer and CONCACAF announced major changes to the CONCACAF Champions League and U.

Sundhage names roster for U.S. women's Olympic qualifying campaign

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photo by Brad Smith/ISIphotos.com

The CONCACAF Olympic Women's qualifying tournament takes place later this month, and we now know who will be representing the U.S. women's national team in it.

Head coach Pia Sundhage has named a 20-player squad for the eight-team tournament in Vancouver, B.

Mid-Day Ticker: Man arrested for racially abusing Edu, India starts league & more

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With Martin Luther King's legacy being commemorated across the country, it's an eye-opening shame that blatant forms of racism still exist around the world, specifically in the soccer forum.

Over the weekend, U.S. midfielder Maurice Edu and Rangers teammate Kyle Bartley were the subject of racial abuse via Twitter, an incident that resulted in the arrest of a 41-year-old man who was due to appear in a Scottish court on Monday.

MLS Supplemental Draft: A Look Ahead

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Had the MLS SuperDraft not been shortened to two rounds, then a lot more scrutiny would be applied to some of the early selections in Tuesday's MLS Supplemental Draft, with those picks typically being included among teams' draft hauls from last week's main event. Â Â

As it stands, the upcoming four-round affair provides another chance for teams to bolster their rosters as training camps open across North America.

Inter Milan 1, AC Milan 0: Match Highlights

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USMNT 4, US U-23 Team 0: Match Highlights

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Monday Kickoff: Inter bid for Tevez, Maradona released from hospital and more

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Inter Milan have stepped up their efforts to sign Carlos Tevez as the tumultuous transfer saga surrounding the controversial striker shows no signs of dissipating.

The Serie A giants have offered Manchester City more than $32 million to sign Tevez in the January transfer window. Inter president Massimo Moratti opened communication with the Premier League club after a possible deal with AC Milan crumbled at the last minute.

Buddle begins week-long Everton trial

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Everton is in dire need of attacking help, and once again turned to an American to try and help turn things around.

The Toffees have handed Edson Buddle a week-long trial, and will be hoping to find a goal-scoring bargain at a time the squad is struggling to generate goals.

European Rewind: Inter win derby, Gunners upset by Swansea and more

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Inter Milan are back.

The champions from 2006-2010 have stormed back into the title race after an atrocious start and started off 2012 with a bang with a 1-0 win over AC Milan. Diego Milito scored against the run of play nine minutes into the second half to wrap up the victory on a foggy day at the San Siro.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Sacha Kljestan and RSC Anderlecht returned to league action this weekend for the first time since December, and they both picked up right where they left off.

RSC Anderlecht continued its winning ways with a 3-0 victory over third-place Club Brugge on Sunday.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Thierry Henry has already made a dramatic return to Arsenal, but today he will have his chance to try and top his game-winning FA Cup goal against Leeds by scoring in his first English Premier League match of his comeback.

The Gunners take on Swansea City in what should be an entertaining encounter, and could bring us Henry's first start since coming back to Arsenal.

Donovan delivers clutch assist as Everton ties Villa

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Landon Donovan continued his strong run of form for Everton on Saturday, delivering his best performance since re-joining the Toffees in Everton's 1-1 draw at Aston Villa.

Donovan laid off a beautiful defense-splitting pass to set up Victor Anichebe's equalizer in a match that also so Donovan's LA Galaxy teammate, Robbie Keane, make his Aston Villa debut.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Less than two months ago Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane were combining on a game-winning goal that helped lead the Los Angeles Galaxy to an MLS Cup title. Today, the two will square off on the other side of the planet as Donovan's Everton and Keane's Aston Villa do battle.

Manchester United will look to keep the heat on Manchester City by knocking off Bolton, which is awaiting a work permit for newly-acquired defender Tim Ream.

Development key as US senior squad defeats U-23s in scrimmage

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BY ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, Calif. -- There were plenty of lessons learned on Friday as the United States senior squad soundly defeated the U.S. Under-23's 4-0 in a scrimmage that took place on the Mooch Myernick Field at the Home Depot Center complex.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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Inter Milan seems to finally have found its form, and after winning five straight matches and outscoring its last two opponents 9-1 and getting Wesley Sneijder back from injury, the club faces bitter rival and first-place AC Milan with a chance to make a statement in Serie A.Â

The Milan derby is the highlight of the weekend slate across Europe, one that also includes an Aston Villa-Everton game that will be of interest to U.

Jones called into USA camp

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Jermaine Jones might currently be serving a lengthy ban for Schalke 04, but that does not mean he will be without playing games until it is over.

In the midst of serving an eight-week suspension for stomping on an opponent's injured foot, Jones has been called into the U.S. men's national team camp by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

European Look Ahead: Milan derby looms, Ligue 1 back in action

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

One of the most intense rivalries in the world of soccer is set to write another chapter.

AC Milan and Inter Milan face off on Sunday in a game with substantially more significance now that Inter are back in the title race. Inter are on a five-game winning streak in league play that dates back to Dec.

A look back at the 2012 MLS Draft

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When people look back at the 2012 MLS Draft, they will surely look at it as the first draft that didn't feature a multitude of trades. What they might wind up really recalling of the draft, however, is the amount of solid MLS talent that was available.

There were no draft pick trades in this year's draft, but teams still came away with some good talent throughout the league after picking from one of the deeper draft classes in recent memory.

Friday Kickoff: Tevez deal called off, Gibson headed to Everton and more

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Carlos Tevez is not headed to Milan.

Talks between Manchester City and AC Milan suddenly broke down after Alexander Pato refused a move to Paris-St. Germain. Milan needed the 20-25 million pound transfer fee from the Brazilian international's move to have any chance of raising the necessary cash.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

If Brad Guzan retains his spot in Aston Villa's starting lineup this weekend, we are in for a treat.

Guzan and the Villans host Landon Donovan, Tim Howard and Everton on Saturday in arguably the biggest match-up involving Americans this weekend.

Generation adidas signings Dwyer, Martinez, Polak slip into solid situations

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By AVI CREDITOR

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Generation adidas tag typically translates into high MLS SuperDraft position, but for three of this year's nine signings, that did not turn out to be the case.

Not like it matters all that much. All three fell into pretty ideal club situations from individual perspectives.

USMNT to play Brazil in May friendly

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photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

Before the U.S. men's national team begins its World Cup qualifying campaign this summer, it will be tested against one of the world's best.

The United States will host Brazil in a friendly on May 30 or 31, the Brazilian federation (CBF) announced on its website on Thursday.

Soler offers reasoning on Cooper trade

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By AVI CREDITOR

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The New York Red Bulls turned some heads by trading a 2013 first-round pick and allocation money to the Portland Timbers for veteran striker Kenny Cooper, a move intriguing for a number of reasons, none more than the fact that New York already has a full stable of first-team strikers in Thierry Henry, Luke Rodgers and Juan Agudelo.

FC Dallas loans John to West Ham

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photo by ISIphotos.com

George John left the U.S. men's national team camp last week to pursue an opportunity abroad.

That move has been completed, with John moving to a club in England.

According to various reports out of England, FC Dallas has loaned John to West Ham United.

Impact take Wenger with first pick of 2012 MLS SuperDraft

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By AVI CREDITOR

KANSAS CITY, Mo. --Â The Montreal Impact made Duke centerback Andrew Wenger the first selection in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, taking the versatile, U.S. Under-23 defender with its first-ever draft pick.

Wenger, the 2011 MAC Hermann Trophy winner, is the reigning ACC Offensive Player of the Year, a year after he captured the conference's Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Red Bulls acquire Cooper via trade with Portland

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photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

The New York Red Bulls' forward corps just got a little deeper.

The Red Bulls acquired Kenny Cooper from the Portland Timbers in exchange for a 2013 first round MLS SuperDraft pick and allocation money. Cooper joins the Red Bulls after a return season to MLS that saw him score eight goals and have two assists in 34 league games.

2012 MLS Draft: Live Commentary

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The Montreal Impact will make the first draft pick of their MLS history today as the league's 19th team kicks off today's 2012 MLS Mock Draft.

The Impact are expected to pick between Darren Mattocks and Andrew Wenger as the top pick in this year's draft, with Mattocks expected to be the selection.

2012 MLS Draft: The Pre-Game

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The 2012 MLS Draft is set to kick off in a few hours as teams from across the league look to add those missing pieces to the puzzle.

The 2012 draft class is a strong one, with depth at a variety of positions, such as centerback and attacking midfielder. There are quality prospects available that have teams trying to trade up into the top four, where the likes of Luis Silva, Kelyn Rowe, Enzo Martinez and Sam Garza have drawn considerable interest.

Thursday Kickoff: Keane loan official, Sneijder fit for Milan derby and more

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It's official, Robbie Keane is headed to Aston Villa.

The Premier League side confirmed the long-running rumor that the LA Galaxy striker will join Villa for two months during the MLS off-season. The 31-year-old captain of the Irish national team is hoping to stay fit ahead of this summer's European Championships and is the latest in a number of short-term loan deals from MLS clubs to the Premier League.

Sochaux make second bid for Edu

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photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

If at first you don't succeed, try again.

That is the approach Sochaux is taking in terms of Rangers midfielder Maurice Edu.

Having had a previous bid worth an estimated $774,400Â turned down, Sochaux has launched a second bid for the U.

U.S. Open Cup undergoes major changes

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup will much different than any of its predecessors.

U.S. Soccer announced a number of changes for the 99th edition of the tournament. Those changes include a 64-team field (the largest in the modern era), a random selection process for determining home teams from the opening round until the quarterfinals, and the inclusion of all professional teams from the top three divisions, meaning the MLS qualifying bracket is no more.

Thursday Ticker: Seattle acquires Sivebaek, Chivas USA lands Bolanos and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The Seattle Sounders have acquired Danish midfielder Christian Sivebaek following his transfer from FC Midtjylland, the Sounders announced on Wednesday.

The 23-year-old midfielder arrives in Seattle after playing for Midtjylland since 2006.

Tottenham vs. Everton: Your Running Commentary

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Landon Donovan and Brad Friedel's highly-anticipated match-up is finally here.

The two Americans are both in their respective team's starting lineups, as is Tim Howard, for Tottenham's home game against Everton (2:45 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel). Donovan will look to help the Toffees upset the Spurs in his third game back while also attempting to silence one his most recent critics in Friedel in the process.

Guzan could remain Villa starter despite Given's return

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photo by Neil Tingle/ISIphotos.com

Shay Given has recovered from his groin injury and has returned to training for Aston Villa, but that does not necessarily mean he is going to supplant Brad Guzan as the Villans' starting goalkeeper.

Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish is keeping his options open in terms of who to start between the goal posts on a permanent basis as a result of Guzan's string of strong performances since filling in for Given since early December.

MLS Notes: Plata re-signs with Toronto, Crew sign Speas and more

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photo by Nick Turchiaro/ISIphotos.com

After uncertainty clouded his future with Toronto FC, Joao Plata is staying right where he is.

One of MLS's most technically-gifted players, Plata has agreed to re-sign with Toronto FC on a multi-year deal.

Studio 90: 1 Week Down

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MLS Combine 2012's good and bad performers

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By FRANCO PANIZO

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The 2012 MLS Combine has come to a close, but not before several players used the event to help their stock while others did not.

In a class dominated by attacking talent, several forwards and creative midfielders enjoyed strong combines, showcasing their goal-scoring and playmaking abilities.

Donovan, Friedel set to face off in must-see match on Wednesday

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Remember when Brad Friedel made those comments about Landon Donovan? Well, today is the day Donovan can make his former teammate eat those words.

Donovan and Friedel are set to square off on Wednesday afternoon when Everton visits Tottenham in a game American fans have been salivating over ever since Donovan agreed to a loan deal with Everton.

Rogers agrees to join Leeds United

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photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

Robbie Rogers made it no secret that he wanted to play abroad once his MLS contract expired at the end of last season.

It appears his wish has been granted.

Rogers has agreed to join Championship club Leeds United, subject to him securing a work permit.

Wednesday Kickoff: Cantona not running, Newcastle deny Carroll bid and more

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Oh, what could have been.

Despite initial reports claiming that Eric Cantona would be seeking the French presidency, the Manchester United legend has dropped out of the race. The initial announcement was instead a carefully orchestrated ploy to raise awareness about public housing for France's lower class.

Silva heads into SuperDraft as one of best combine performers

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By FRANCO PANIZO

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- If you were to ask MLS coaches which players at this year's combine helped their cause the most, David Silva would surely be among the more common names mentioned.

The Mexican-born attacking midfielder from UCSB was one of the brightest spots at the combine, showing the playmaking ability that his him considered a top prospect.

USF forward Dwyer enjoys his strongest performance on MLS Combine's final day

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By FRANCO PANIZO

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Dom Dwyer did not know he was heading to the 2012 MLS Combine until a day before the event kicked off, but that did not stop him from having a decent showing at the event that he capped off with a goal.

Dwyer helped adiZero (blue) to a 3-1 win over Prime (green) on Tuesday morning, scoring an insurance goal in the 52nd minute of the game when he pounced on a rebound and knocked the ball into the back of the net.

Charlotte's James wraps up combine with strong third-day showing

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Photo by Steven Limentani/ISIphotos.com


By FRANCO PANIZO

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Historically, players typically improve with each passing day at the MLS Combine, and that was certainly the case for Charlotte forward Evan James this year.

MLS Combine Spotlights: Sam Garza, Nick DeLeon and Tony Cascio

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Skillful wingers in the player pool are at a premium ahead of Thursday's MLS SuperDraft, but three of the top players available at the position are some of the more sought-after attackers eligible for selection.

Sam Garza, a Generation adidas signing out of UCSB who can play up top or on the wing, helped his stock considerably with his showing while playing for the adiPure team at the Combine and had a big hand in helping set up Ethan Finlay as part of the Creighton forward's hat trick.

MLS Combine Breakdown: Frank Klopas

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MLS Notes: Conway retires, Keller heads to broadcast booth and more

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Veteran MLS goalkeeper Jon Conway has decided to hang up his cleats and gloves.

Conway, 34, was selected by the Los Angeles Galaxy in this past December's re-entry draft to compete for a backup spot behind Josh Saunders, but he instead elected retire after a 12-year career.

South Florida's Blais enjoys strong MLS Combine with three steady performances

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By FRANCO PANIZO

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Most of the positive talk during the 2012 MLS Combine has surrounded the forwards and attacking midfielders, but one player who has performed well and does not play either of those positions is Chris Blais.

The 6-foot-4, 195-pound goalkeeper was one of the more consistent performers through the event, showing good command of his area and making a handful of fine saves in the process in all three of his team's games.

Brazil, Argentina to meet in New Jersey

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New York-area soccer fans are in for a summer treat.

Brazil and Argentina will square off in a June 9 friendly at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., pitting the two South American rivals and some of the top players in the world against each other. The date falls on a FIFA international fixture date, meaning that first-choice players like Lionel Messi and Neymar should be available for selection, though that is far from being a certainty at this point.

Injured Agbossoumonde, Bingham replaced at U.S. Under-23 camp

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Centerback Gale Agbossoumonde and goalkeeper David Bingham have been forced to withdraw from United States Under-23 national team camp with undisclosed injuries ahead of today's opening day of training at the Home Depot Center, according to U.

Tuesday Kickoff: Hughes takes over at QPR, Cantona's French campaign & more

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Mark Hughes is back in the Premier League after agreeing to become the new manager at Queens Park Rangers.

Hughes signed a deal through the 2013-14 season and replaces the ousted Neil Warnock, who was let go with the club lingering just a point above the relegation zone.

MLS Combine: Day Three Commentary

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The final match day of the 2012 MLS Combine has kicked off as MLS coaches and scouts make their final observations and preparations ahead of Thursday's MLS Combine.

The day's first match features the Blue and Green teams, and while there are some interesting prospects in this game, the main event features the talent-laden and undefeated red team against the equally impressive white team.

MLS forwards Moreno, Renteria make Venezuela roster for USA friendly

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Columbus Crew forward Emilio Renteria and Chivas USA forward Alejandro Moreno are among the players called in for Venezuela's friendly against the United States on Jan. 21 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

Former New York Red Bulls defender Gabriel Cichero is also part of the 24-man group that will face Mexico in Houston four days later.

MLS Combine Breakdown: Sigi Schmid

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Henry scores winner in return to Arsenal

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In a game that was begging for a special moment, Thierry Henry stepped up to the task to resume his duties as Arsenal's king.Â

Ten minutes after making his return to the field as a substitute for Arsenal, Henry delivered a game-winning goal to lift the Gunners in the fourth round of the FA Cup via a 1-0 victory over Leeds United in front of a delirious crowd at Emirates Stadium on Monday.

MLS Combine Spotlights: Ryan Meara, Callum Mallace and Ethan Finlay

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The big names at the 2012 MLS Combine have for the most part lived up to expectations through two Combine match-days, but there have also been some lesser-known players who have also boosted their stock in Fort Lauderdale.

Three of the players to help boost their draft stock are Fordham goalkeeper Ryan Meara, Marquette midfielder Calum Mallace and Creighton forward Ethan Finlay.

Messi wins third straight Ballon d'Or, Sawa unseats Marta to win women's title

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As if Lionel Messi needed any more evidence to prove that he is greatest player in the world.

Messi captured the Ballon d'Or for the third consecutive year, beating out Cristiano Ronaldo and Xavi to add yet another item to his trophy case. The 24-year-old Barcelona maestro received 47.

Arsenal vs. Leeds United: Your Running Commentary

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Thierry Henry's return to Arsenal commences in the FA Cup, as the on-loan New York Red Bulls striker is available as a substitute in the Gunners' third-round match against Leeds United (2:45 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel).

The winner of the match has a fourth-round date with Aston Villa, a match that could pit MLS Designated Players Henry and Robbie Keane against each other should Arsenal advance and Keane's prospective loan to Villa from the Los Angeles Galaxy go through.

Italy announces February USA friendly

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The long-rumored friendly between the United States and Italy appears to have come to fruition.

The Italian soccer federation announced that the Azzurri will host the United States at Stadio Luigi Ferraris in Genoa on Feb. 29, the first FIFA international fixture date of the new year.

Finlay dazzles with hat-trick on Day 2 of MLS Combine

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By FRANCO PANIZO

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The second day of the MLS Combine was the first day for Ethan Finlay, who had arrived to the Sunshine State on Saturday. He had missed the first day of the event on Friday to attend the Hermann Trophy Award ceremony in St.

Dempsey to face Donovan, racism revisited after FA Cup fourth round draw

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Headlines in England following the draw for the fourth round of the FA Cup will be centered on the Liverpool vs. Manchester United battle and a possible QPR vs. Chelsea meeting, as rematches of racism-marred Premier League games take center stage. For American fans, though, there's a much more tasty fixture to be found.

Mid-Day Ticker: Keane training with Villa, Ballon D'or to be decided and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

Robbie Keane, it would seem, has already sealed his switch to Aston Villa.

The Irishman, reported to be on the brink of a loan move to the Premier League club, is already training with Villa, as seen on a video on the club website.

MLS Combine Breakdown: Dom Kinnear

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MLS Combine Breakdown: Peter Vermes

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Revolution sign pair from America de Cali

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America de Cali's loss has turned out to be the New England Revolution's gain.

The Revolution announced the signings of centerback John Lozano and attacking midfielder Fernando Cardenas from the traditional Colombian giant, which was relegated to the country's second division last month.

MLS Combine Spotlights: Chandler Hoffman, Dom Dwyer and Casey Townsend

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The forward class in the 2012 MLS Combine is an intriguing one, as teams try to figure out who the top strikers will be on the board once Akron star Darren Mattocks is taken, as expected, with the first or second pick in the draft.

Three of the most likely candidates to go early from the forward pool are UCLA product Chandler Hoffman (pictured), Maryland standout Casey Townsend and South Florida star Dom Dwyer.

MLS Combine Spotlight: Robert Warzycha

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European Rewind: United beats City, Barcelona held to a draw and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

The FA Cup has lost some of its prestige with the rise of the Premier League but Sunday's clash between Manchester United and Manchester City was a glimpse at the drama knockout competitions can provide in a 3-2 win for United.

United were up by three goals before halftime thanks to two goals from Wayne Rooney and a stunning strike from Danny Welbeck.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

A trio of Americans saw the field for one team this weekend, but it is not the trio you might first think of.

Mexican-Americans Edgar Castillo, Joe Corona and Greg Garza received minutes for Club Tijuana in its Clausura opener, a 1-1 draw with Morelia.

MLS Combine: Day 2 Commentary

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The MLS Combine resumes action today as MLS Draft prospects look to give scouts and coaches more to think about as we draw closer to the MLS Draft on Thursday.

Day One saw several players boost their stock, while some others struggled to make an impact. UCSB playmaker Luis Silva, UCLA striker Chandler Hoffman, Marquette midfielder Calum Mallace, Louisville's Austin Berry and Indiana's Tommy Meyer were just some of the players who enjoyed strong first days.

Fulham 4, Charlton 0: Match Highlights

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Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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The FA Cup continues in full swing today, with the biggest match-up of the weekend featuring the Manchester Derby.

Manchester City will look to take a step closer to defending their FA Cup title against a Manchester United side that is coming off a painful loss to Newcastle in league play.

Must-See Goal: Arnaud Mendy

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Dempsey, Guzan and Donovan instrumental in FA Cup wins

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It wasn't a bad day for Americans in England as Clint Demspey, Brad Guzan and Landon Donovan impressed in the third round of the FA Cup.

Dempsey continued his impressive goal-scoring form with a hat trick in Fulham's 4-0 victory over Charlton Athletic at Craven Cottage.

Dempsey opened the scoring against the League One leaders in just the eighth minute, taking control of a deflected through ball and beating John Sullivan in Charlton's goal.

Wenger, Noyola win Hermann Trophy

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Duke standout Andrew Wenger and Stanford senior Teresa Noyola were named winners of the Hermann Trophy on Saturday in recognition of being the top players in Division I NCAA soccer.

Wenger, who signed a Generation Adidas contract after a stellar junior year at Duke, led the ACC with 17 goals and eight assists.

Dartmouth product Mkosana shines on first day of MLS Combine

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By FRANCO PANIZO

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- That a Dartmouth player is at the MLS Combine is an accomplishment in itself. That a Dartmouth player shone on the first day of the event, which is notorious for being rough for most participants, is even more impressive.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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With leagues coming off their winter breaks, and England diving into FA Cup action, today's slate of matches will give us the first good schedule of activity of the new year.

The Mexican League gets its Clausura season underway this weekend, as Herculez Gomez and Santos Laguna take on Jose Torres and Pachuca.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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The third round of the FA Cup is littered with the typical David vs. Goliath matchups that the tournament boasts every year, but there is one matchup featuring a pair of giants that is sure to capture everyone's attention.

Premier League front-runners Manchester City and Manchester United square off in an early-round encounter that has plenty on the line.

Gatt, Acuña among those called into U.S. U-23 training camp

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A healthy Josh Gatt and Mexican-American midfielder Isaac Acuña are among the 22 players called in for the next U.S. Under-23 training camp by coach Caleb Porter.

The camp will take place at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., before the group departs for Costa Rica to play friendlies against Saprissa reserves on Jan.

MLS Combine: Day 1 Commentary

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The 2012 MLS Combine kicks off today in Fort Lauderdale as the nation's top college talent (and seven random international players) look to impress MLS coaches and boost their stock ahead of the 2012 MLS Draft.

The MLS website is live-streaming today's matches, but SBI will be providing live commentary on today's action, so please feel free to follow along here.

MLS Draft Spotlight: Silva overcomes adversity, eager to succeed in MLS

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Photo courtesy of UCSB Media Relations/Adam Caira


By ADAM SERRANO

It's not hard to recognize the talent of UCSB midfielder Luis Silva.Â

A dynamic playmaker with a penchant for scoring goals from anywhere on the field, Silva is considered to be a top-10 pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft.

2012 MLS Combine: A Look Ahead (and a final pre-Combine MLS Mock Draft)

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The 2012 MLS Combine is set to kick off this afternoon in Fort Lauderdale, and SBI will be providing coverage throughout the next five days, as players look to improve their stock ahead of the MLS Draft.

The Combine will be live-streamed on MLSSoccer.com, while Fox Soccer and SBI will feature extensive coverage, including game recaps, player rankings, video interviews and breakdowns of all the action.

Rangers rejects Sochaux bid for Edu

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It will apparently take a lot more than what FC Sochaux was offering to pry Maurice Edu away from Rangers.

The Scottish club emphatically turned down Sochaux's bid for the U.S. national team midfielder a day after a reported offer of £500,000 was put on the table.

"What I would say is the bid that they put in was so far away that I would be very surprised if they came back in," Rangers manager Ally McCoist told the BBC.

European Look Ahead: Manchester clubs continue rivalry in FA Cup and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

FA Cup ties are the major draw in England this weekend, while Italian and Spanish sides return to action for the first time in nearly a month as winter breaks draw to a close.

Manchester United and Manchester City are still the heavy favorites to take home the Premier League title this year, but it's the FA Cup that provides another exhibition of one of the most heated rivalries in the world.

Rosters released for MLS Combine

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Photo by Tony Quinn/ISIphotos.com

The MLS Combine gets underway in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., later this afternoon, and MLS has released the rosters for the four teams that will compete in front of coaches and scouts for the next four days.

Seven foreign players were invited to participate in the combine, which is otherwise comprised of NCAA seniors and Generation adidas signings.

Friday Kickoff: Henry finalizes Arsenal loan, Rongen heads TFC academy & more

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It's official: Thierry Henry is going back to Arsenal.

The New York Red Bulls forward and his former Premier League club put the final touches on a short-term loan that has Arsenal's all-time leading goal scorer returning to the Emirates through the end of February.

Henry will be eligible for the club's FA Cup match against Leeds United on Monday.

Gonzalez tears ACL at Nurnberg

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Photo by Andrew Katsampes/ISIphotos.com

What was supposed to be a winter during which Omar Gonzalez was going to take the next step in his career has turned into disaster.

The Los Angeles Galaxy centerback tore his left ACL on his first day on loan with FC Nurnberg, and he has returned to Los Angeles to undergo surgery, according to Nurnberg's official website.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Landon Donovan did not lead Everton to victory in his return match for the club, but he will not have to wait long to get another chance at that.

Donovan and Everton will take on lowly Tamworth of England's fifth division in a third round FA Cup match on Saturday.

Evening Ticker: Gonzalez injured at Nürnberg, Milan closing on Tevez and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

Omar Gonzalez, fresh off the plane and training with Nürnberg, was given a Bundesliga welcome by compatriot, and now teammate, Timmy Chandler in a crunching tackle — one that left the former with an injured knee.

Though the extent of the injury is yet to be confirmed by the club, Gonzalez is seen pictured on the pitch in pain as a club physio examines his left knee.

Rapids name Pareja head coach

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photo by John Dorton/ISIphotos.com

The Colorado Rapids have signed Oscar Pareja as their head coach, the club announced on Thursday.

Having beaten out three other finalists, Pareja will attempt to lead the Rapids to the MLS Cup final in his first head coaching position.

MLS unveils 2012 schedule

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The 2012 MLS regular season schedule has been unveiled, and it is the longest ever in the league's history.

MLS's 17th season begins on March 10 and ends with MLS Cup on December 1, the first time the championship game will be decided in the final month of the year.

Must-See Video: U.S. National Teams in 2011

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MLS Notes: Marquez trains with Barca B, Red Bulls sign Borrajo and more

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

American players are not the only ones going abroad for training stints during the MLS offseason.

In an effort to keep sharp and maintain fitness, Rafael Marquez has begun practicing with Barcelona B.

Report: Sochaux eyeing Edu

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Maurice Edu is no stranger to being linked to a move away from Rangers, and Sochaux is the latest club hoping to pry him away from the Scottish giants.

According to a report, Sochaux has made Edu its top midfield target for the winter transfer window. The French club had a bid worth an estimated $774,400 rejected already, but it remains interested in acquiring the U.

Polak, Dwyer and Jean-Baptiste sign Generation adidas deals

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The MLS Generation adidas class will feature nine players after the league secured the signings of three players on Wednesday night.

South Florida striker Dom Dwyer, Creighton fullback Tyler Polak and UConn central defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste were all signed to Generation adidas contracts after being made offers on Tuesday.

Thursday kickoff: Suarez issues partial apology, Balotelli out of derby and more

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For the first time since his racial rowe with Patrice Evra caused a firestorm in England, Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has issued an apology.

Well, sort of.

Suarez apologized to anyone who might have been offended by the use of the word "negro" but did not go as so far as to apologize directly to Evra.

Jones banned eight weeks for stomp

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Jermaine Jones may have issued an apology for his stomp on Marco Reus' injured foot, but the German Football Federation (DFB) is having no remorse on the U.S. international.

The DFB has handed Jones an eight-week ban for his actions in Schalke 04's 3-1 loss to Borussia Moenchengladbach in the German Cup Round of 16.

Gonzalez loaned to Nurnberg

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photo by Andrew Katsampes/ISIphotos.com

We now know Omar Gonzalez's destination.

Gonzalez has been loaned from the Los Angeles Galaxy to FC Nurnberg until at least mid-February, the German club announced on its website on Thursday. Nurnberg official Martin Bader said the club had hoped to make a move for Gonzalez in the summer, but that the opportunity to acquire the centerback came up.

Gonzalez & John leave USMNT camp ahead of potential winter moves

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After the lengthy wait to have their chance to impress U.S. men's national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, it appears George John and Omar Gonzalez will have to wait a bit longer.

Both John and Gonzalez have left national team camp in Arizona to attend to potential winter moves. John has left the country to pursue a potential transfer while Gonzalez is mulling over loan opportunities.

MLS Notes: Bliss joins U.S. U-20 staff, Portland's first Homegrown deal & more

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Columbus Crew technical director Brian Bliss can add U.S. Under-20 national team assistant coach to his resume after becoming the first assistant appointed to Tab Ramos' staff on Wednesday.

Bliss will maintain his duties with the Crew while assuming the added international responsibilities.

Howard scores in Everton's loss to Bolton

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It's not all that surprising that an American scored at Goodison Park on Wednesday. After all, Everton's match against Bolton marked Landon Donovan's return to the Toffees. Thing is, Donovan wasn't the one to find the back of the net.

In open play, goalkeeper Tim Howard unleashed a long kick from his own box that took a perfect bounce from about 25 yards out and got carried by a furious wind over Bolton goalkeeper Adam Bogdan into the goal.

Columbus signs Chilean Mirosevic

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After losing a lot of their offensive firepower by parting ways with leading scorer and Designated Player Andres Mendoza, the Columbus Crew took a step in finding an attacking solution by signing Chilean midfielder Milovan Mirosevic on Wednesday.

Columbus had success with a Chilean signing a year ago, finding a stable right back in Sebastian Miranda.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Landon Donovan's return to Everton is the story of the day in American soccer, and he'll look to make an immediate impact when the Toffees host Bolton at Goodison Park. Donovan has secured a place in the starting lineup, as has goalkeeping stalwart Tim Howard, who is making his 250th Premier League appearance.

How do you see Donovan faring with Everton this time around?

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Landon Donovan's second foray into the Premier League gets underway later today, with Everton's match against Bolton (3 p.m., Fox Soccer Plus/FoxSoccer.tv). Early rumblings have Donovan slated for the starting lineup, though that has yet to be announced publicly by Everton.

Generation adidas update: Martinez signed, three offered deals

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And then there were six.

North Carolina playmaker Enzo Martinez signed has signed a Generation adidas contract, becoming the sixth member of the 2012 Generation adidas class, but teammate Billy Schuler passed on the final MLS offer, and ultimately signed with Hammarby.

Schuler's decision to bolt for Europe has opened the door for MLS to expand the class, with the league extending Generation adidas offers to Creighton fullback Tyler Polak, South Florida striker Dom Dwyer and UConn centerback Andrew Jean-Baptiste.

Report: Schuler bound for Hammarby

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Photo by Chris Putman/ISIphotos.com

Another young American attacking talent appears to be taking his game overseas.

According to a report out of Sweden, University of North Carolina forward Billy Schuler will sign with top-flight club Hammarby -- the team coached by former U.

Reports: Aarhus looking at Wondolowski, Davies as potential transfer targets

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Photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIphotos.com

Two American strikers are drumming up some transfer buzz in Denmark.

According to multiple reports out of the country, Danish Superliga club AGF Aarhus is looking at Charlie Davies and Chris Wondolowski as potential targets during the transfer window, which opens Thursday and lasts through the end of the month.

Wednesday Kickoff: Goetze staying put, Messi to miss Copa del Rey match & more

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Borussia Dortmund has one of the world's up-and-coming stars in its grasp, and the defending Bundesliga champions aren't planning on letting him go.Â

Dortmund plans to keep 19-year-old playmaker Mario Goetze for at least another season despite major transfer interest, the club's sporting director said to German media.

Real Madrid 3, Malaga 2: Match Highlights

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Real Madrid was stunned and in serious trouble after conceding two set-piece goals in the opening half of its Copa del Rey Round of 16 first-leg encounter with Malaga Tuesday.

All it took was one 10-minute stretch for the cup holders to turn things around. Sami Khedira, Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema scored between the 68th and 78th minutes to completely change the club's fortunes and tournament outlook.

Leiweke: Beckham's LA return not done yet

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Photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com

BY ADAM SERRANO

David Beckham is not heading to Paris, but it is not a certainty that he will be returning to the Los Angeles Galaxy just yet, at least according to AEG President Tim Leiweke.

Word came from Paris early on Tuesday morning from officials of Paris St.

Report: Rapids to hire Pareja has head coach

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The Colorado Rapids are set to hire FC Dallas assistant and Academy Director Oscar Pareja has the team's new head coach, the Denver Post reported on Tuesday evening.

Pareja has beaten out a group of candidates that included Denis Hamlett, Tom Soehn and Richie Williams. The Rapids are expected to make the announcement this week.

FC Dallas adds Panama striker Perez, Colombia Under-23 centerback Pertuz

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FC Dallas has emerged from its offseason slumber in a big way.

The club signed Panama striker Blas Perez and young Colombian defender Hernan Pertuz on Tuesday, addressing two areas of need with international-caliber talent. Neither deal was classified as a Designated Player signing according to a team release.

Cabrera out as U.S. Under-17 coach

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There's been another coaching change in the U.S. Soccer youth tree under the Jurgen Klinsmann regime.

Months after Thomas Rongen and Mike Matkovich made way for Tab Ramos and Richie Williams on the Under-20 and U-18 levels, respectively, U.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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The seemingly never-ending stream of Premier League matches continues on Tuesday, with three more games on the docket including a high-profile battle between Manchester City and Liverpool. City can reclaim sole possession of first place with a win or draw, while the Reds, who will be without the suspended Luis Suarez, can get back into UEFA Champions League contention with a victory.

Liverpool not appealing Suarez ban

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Despite pronounced support of Luis Suarez in the aftermath of his being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra, Liverpool will not be appealing the eight-game ban the Uruguayan striker received, the FA announced on Tuesday.

Had Suarez appealed the decision, he could have received a lesser ban, but he also would have been subjected to an increased punishment if the FA had seen it fit to do so.

Report: Red Bulls signing Swedish centerback

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.comÂ

The New York Red Bulls have had an awfully quiet offseason, which has been used more to deflect rumors and links to star players as opposed to making improvements to a team that vastly underachieved by its own expectations in 2011.

Williams hosts first Under-18 national team camp; U.S. U-19s head to Germany

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

January is a busy month for U.S. Soccer across almost all ages, and following Jurgen Klinsmann's roster announcement for the senior camp that kicks off today in Phoenix and Tab Ramos' roster announcement for this week's Under-20 camp in Florida, two more sets of U.

Onyewu scores late equalizer for Sporting in League Cup draw

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With Sporting Lisbon staring at the possibility of a League Cup slip-up against Rio Ave, Oguchi Onyewu came to the rescue.

Onyewu pushed forward and got involved in a late attack, scoring an 88th-minute equalizer by finishing off a low cross to give Sporting a 1-1 draw in a League Cup game on Monday.

Tuesday Kickoff: Aston Villa eyes Keane loan, Rooney back for United and more

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By JOHN BOSCHINI

Following Landon Donovan's loan to Everton and Thierry Henry's reported loan to Arsenal, a third MLS Designated Player could be on his way to the Premier League this winter, as Aston Villa is reportedly looking to sign Los Angeles Galaxy striker Robbie Keane to a two-month loan deal.

Reports: Beckham staying in LA

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After months of speculation, questions and premature reports, it appears that the final twist in the David Beckham offseason saga has the player staying right where he is.

According to multiple reports from France and England, Beckham is not going to be signing with Paris-St. Germain after all, and a return to the Los Angeles Galaxy seems imminent.

Salgado, Gil among 36 players called in to U.S. Under-20 training camp

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Vancouver Whitecaps striker Omar Salgado and Real Salt Lake midfielder Luis Gil are among the 36 players called in by head coach Tab Ramos to the U.S. Under-20 national team camp in Fort Lauderdale this week.

Molde fullback Sean Cunningham, Liverpool signee Villyan Bijev, Nuremberg midfielder Tyrone McCargo and SC Freiburg midfielder Caleb Stanko were also among the pros called into the week-long camp in Florida.

Report: Johnson let go by Puebla due to lack of fitness

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Eddie Johnson's quest to revive his playing career appears to have hit a major snag after he was reportedly dumped by Mexican club Puebla because he was out of shape.

According to Medio Tiempo, Johnson showed up for Puebla training camp before the New Year, but he failed to meet the team's expectations of fitness and sharpness and was let go.

Who should Colorado hire as head coach?

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The last remaining head coaching vacancy in Major League Soccer sits in Colorado, where the Rapids are expected to make a decision on their replacement for Gary Smith this week.

Four candidates have emerged as Colorado's leading contenders. Denis Hamlett, Oscar Pareja, Tom Soehn and Richie Williams are the four men sources have told SBi are the finalists for the job.

What will you remember about 2011?

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The New Year is upon us and 2012 is shaping up to be another exciting and eventful year in the American soccer scene, but before we dive into a full schedule of big events, it is time to think about the year we just completed.

What will you remember about 2011? It surely varies from fan to fan, region to region, but there was plenty for fans from every corner of the United States to remember.

Monday Kickoff: Kinnear signs extension, Blazer bolts CONCACAF and more

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Dom Kinnear has enjoyed one of the strongest coaching careers in MLS history, and the Houston Dynamo have assured that he will be sticking around for a while.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the Dynamo have signed Kinnear to a three-year contract extension.

Soccer Monday: Your Running Commentary

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Clint Dempsey enjoyed a career year in England in 2011, and he will look to take his first step toward a great 2012 when he and Fulham take on Arsenal in today's slate of English Premier League matches.

Chelsea kicks things off today, hoping to erase the bad taste of a stunning lost to Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Premier League Weekend Rewind

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Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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photo by Gerhard Steenkamp/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Aston Villa finished 2011 with a big upset victory over Chelsea, and Brad Guzan played a part in making that happen.

In his fifth start of the season, Guzan helped the Villans stun Chelsea, 3-1, on Saturday.

Happy New Year (and Happy Birthday SBI)

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Happy New Year everybody. It's a special day for us at SBI as well because today marks the fourth anniversary of our independent launch.

Yes, today is SBI's fourth birthday.

As we embark on our fifth year in business we will look to keep improving on bringing you soccer news and analysis from the United States and the world.