Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2012

Americans Abroad: Tuesday Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Eric Lichaj may not be starting for Aston Villa on a regular basis, but he made a case for himself on Tuesday.

Starting in his first game since Sept. 15, Lichaj went the distance and made an impact on the game by setting up the winning goal in the Villans' 3-2 Capital One Cup victory over Swindon Town.

Red Bull Arena hit with power outage, but avoids flooding from Superstorm Sandy

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

Red Bull Arena avoided flooding during Hurricane Sandy's devastating tour through New Jersey, but the arena and the area surrounding it was hit by a power outage, according to a statement released by the team on Tuesday afternoon.

Here is the statement:

"Our staff wascontinuallyassessing Red Bull Arena overnight and this morning and found only minor, non-structural damage to the facility.

U.S. Soccer Announce Hiring Of New USWNT Head Coach

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By GARRETT CLEVERLEY

U.S. soccer has announced the hiring of Tom Sermanni as the next head coach of the U.S. Women's National Team.

Currently the head coach of the Australia Women's National Team, Sermanni will take over head coaching responsibilities on January 1st, after he fulfills his obligations with the Football Federation of Australia.

Johnson’s injury not as serious as first feared, Sounders could play him in first leg vs. RSL

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

That sound you hear is the Seattle Sounders' breathing a collective sigh of relief.

Eddie Johnson's hamstring injury sustained in the first half of the Sounders' loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy this past Sunday was not as serious as first feared, and there is an outside chance he could play, according to the Seattle Times' Joshua Mayers.

SBI 2012 MLS All-Rookie Best XI

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

Teams searching for talent in the 2012 MLS Draft found quite a few quality gems. Several players who were able to step right in and make smooth transitions from college to the pros.

Some high draft picks lived up to their draft hype, like Darren Mattocks and Luis Silva, while some other rookies emerged to surprise and impress, like Connor Lade and Ray Gaddis.

SBI Live Q&A (Oct. 30th Edition)

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

It is that time again. Time for us to talk all things soccer in the latest SBI Live Q&A.

With the semifinal round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying finished, and the MLS playoffs about to kick off, there is plenty to talk about. Get your soccer-related questions ready and send them my way.

SBI Live Q&A set for 2pm Today

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

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

Please join me at 2pm ET today, when I will answers your soccer-related questions. Feel free to ask about anything in the soccer world (and even some pop culture topics) and we'll spend a good part of the afternoon touching on a variety of topics.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Year: Austin Berry

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

The 2012 MLS Draft class was a strong one, but the cream of the rookie crop was easy to sort through when the regular season came to a close. Nick DeLeon became an integral part of D.C. United's impressive run to the playoffs and Matt Hedges stepped in to an injury-hit FC Dallas defense and enjoyed a standout rookie campaign.

Americans Abroad Spotlight: Garza thriving at Club Tijuana after difficult start to pro career

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Photo courtesy of Club Tijuana

By FRANCO PANIZO

When Greg Garza scored the first goal of his professional career earlier this month, he was overcome with so much emotion that he couldn't settle on a single way to celebrate it, so he settled on two different celebrations.

SBI MLS Best XI: Week 34

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The last week of the MLS regular season may have felt like a pointless exercise for teams already eliminated from the playoffs, but the games provided an opportunity for some players to give their fans a reason to be optimistic about 2013.

From Federico Higuain's two-goal effort against Toronto FC, to David Ferreira's two-assist showing against Chivas USA, and A.

SBI College Soccer Top 25 (Oct. 30th Edition)

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And then there was one.

Maryland heads into the final week of the regular season sporting the only unbeaten record in the nation, and while they had some trouble with Clemson last week, the Terms still earned the draw that helped them clinch the ACC regular season title. That was enough to keep the Terrapins atop the SBI College Soccer Top 25.

USWNT 2, Germany 2: Field Level Highlights

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

MLS releases updated playoff schedule

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Photo by Michael Pimentel/ISIphotos.com

The 2012 MLS playoffs schedule is set.

No, we don't know all of the teams that will be playing in the conference semifinals but we do know what the schedule will be after MLS released an updated list of games. The list includes the times and dates for most of the matches in the postseason, so it might be a good idea to start marking your calendars.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Andrew Jean-Baptiste

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One of the bits of silver lining in the Portland Timbers' disappointing 2012 campaign has been the chance for the team to give some younger players a look, and Andrew Jean-Baptiste has made the most of that opportunity.

The 2012 MLS First Round draft pick has started five of the team's past six matches, and ended his rookie season on a strong note.

College Weekend Rewind: Maryland clinches ACC, Notre Dame ties Marquette, and more

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

The University of Maryland clinched the ACC regular season title on Saturday courtesy of their 2-2 draw vs. Clemson.

The SBI No. 1 Terrapins remain the only unbeaten team in the nation, but they had more trouble with Clemson than most would have imagined.

Messi, Ronaldo, Falcao headline Ballon d’Or shortlist filled with La Liga players

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FIFA has released a 23-man shortlist for the 2012 Ballon d'Or and to very few people's surprise, La Liga players comprised most of it.

Barcelona's Leo Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao were just three of the 14 players on the Ballon d'Or list that ply their trade in Spain's top division.

SBI MLS Team of the Week: New York Red Bulls

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

The New York Red Bulls are starting to gain momentum.

For a second straight week, the Red Bulls had the look of a team that is vastly improved both offensive and defensively, beating rivals Philadelphia Union, 3-0, at PPL Park on Saturday.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Bill Hamid

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

D.C. United held on for a crucial 1-1 draw against the Chicago Fire on Saturday, and no player was as key to D.C. securing the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs than goalkeeper Bill Hamid.

The young netminder made eight saves, several of which were of the highlight reel variety, to keep the Fire from scoring a winner and relegating D.

Johnson injury a cause for concern for Sounders

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Photo by Steven Brashear/ISIphotos.com

Never mind the result. The Seattle Sounders may have lost something much more valuable on Sunday.

Forward Eddie Johnson suffered a hamstring injury in the Seattle Sounders' regular season finale loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday night, and the club is now awaiting results to determine the severity of it.

Monday Kickoff: Messi wins Golden Boot, Boca Juniors tie River Plate and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Leo Messi can add yet another piece of hardware to his stacked trophy case.

Messi was presented with his second Golden Boot award for scoring the most goals in a European league last season. The 25-year-old scored a La Liga-record 50 goals for Barcelona in 2011-2012, which was four more than Real Madrid attacker Cristiano Ronaldo.

Monday Morning Centerback: NBC securing of EPL TV rights a win for American soccer fans

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By IVES GALARCEP

The ever-changing landscape of professional soccer on American television underwent another seismic shift with the news that NBC Universal has secured the rights to the English Premier League in the United States starting with the 2013/2014 season.

The EPL confirmed the news over the weekend that NBC had indeed beaten out Fox and ESPN for the rights, with reports putting the final deal at three-years and approximately $250 million.

NASL: A Look Back at the Season

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Magee winner leads Galaxy past Sounders

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BY KAYLA KNAPP

CARSON, CALIF—Mike Magee has a knack for scoring clutch goals for the Los Angeles Galaxy, and he did just that on Sunday night at the Home Depot Center, helping lift the home side over the visiting Seattle Sounders 1-0 with an 83rdminute goal.

The two Western Conference giants were locked in what seemed to be an unbreakable deadlock until the late goal from the Galaxy substitute.

European Weekend Rewind: Chelsea and Bayern handed first losses, AC Milan wins and more

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By NICK IUELE

The race for first place in the English Premier League became a little tighter on Sunday, asManchester United handed English Premier League table-toppers Chelsea their first loss of the season.

A Robin van Persie goal and David Luiz own goal put the visitors up 2-0 within the first 15 minutes, but Juan Mata and Ramires scored on both sides of halftime to tie the match.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

From a collective standpoint, the U.S. Men's National Team forwards could not have asked for a better weekend as three different players found the back of the net and another delivered a late game-winning assist.

Clint Dempsey, Herculez Gomez and Terrence Boyd were the U.

MLS begins to set schedule for upcoming playoff games

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Photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIphotos.com

The MLS playoff picture became a little clearer on Saturday, and the dates and times for some of the games have already been set.

After being held to a draw by D.C. United on Saturday, the Chicago Fire will again play host when the Houston Dynamo travel to Toyota Park for the Eastern Conference knockout round game on Wednesday night.

Rowdies rally, top Stars in penalties to win NASL title

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Photo courtesy of Tampa Bay Rowdies/Matt May

Down two goals on aggregate, the Tampa Bay Rowdies were in need of a big performance in order to pull themselves back into the NASL Championship Series.

They got just that and more en route to pulling off a dramatic and entertaining penalty shootout victory that gave them their first NASL title.

Aston Villa 1, Norwich City 1: Match Highlights

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Brad Guzan turned in an outstanding performance on Saturday for Aston Villa, helping the Villans overcome a red card to hold on for a 1-1 draw against Norwich City.

Guzan made a handful of clutch saves to keep Norwich City from taking control of the match, though a late Norwich goal kept Villa from recording the victory.

Hamid makes clutch late saves to help D.C. United salvage draw in Chicago, clinch second place in East

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The final frantic minutes of Saturday's Eastern Conference showdown between D.C. United and the Chicago Fire looked like they would generate a goal. As the Fire pelted the D.C. goal with chance after chance, it seemed inevitable that the home team would find the goal to help them avoid the East wild card round.

Wondolowski ties season goal record in Earthquakes draw at Portland

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After putting together one of the best seasons in MLS history, Chris Wondolowski could be forgiven if the final goal he scored during this dream 2012 campaign was a penalty kick.

Though Steven Lenhart certainly appeared to embellish on his way to earning a valuable penalty, it isn't likely to be remembered for long that a questionable call helped draw the penalty Wondolowski buried to give him a league record-tying 27th goal on the season.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

One of the most anticipated matchups of the year takes place at Old Trafford today, as Chelsea will take on Manchester United. Chelsea is off to a torrid start this season, following their Champions League championship earlier this year. Yet despite having yet to lose so far this season, they sit just one point clear of second-place Manchester City, and four points clear of Manchester United.

Hackworth says no decision made yet on Adu’s future with Union

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By IVES GALARCEP

CHESTER, Pa. The rumors began to swirl immediately after the Philadelphia Union's game-day roster was announced. The absence of Freddy Adu's name led to some scathing theories about why he was missing from the squad for a second straight match, with one report suggesting Adu's days with the Union were already over.

MLS Match Day: Your Running Commentary

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The final weekend of action in the MLS regular season is upon us, and despite all playoff spots being locked up, there is still plenty to play for.

The Chicago Fire will host D.C. United in front of an expected sold-out crowd at Toyota Park in a game with huge postseason implications. Both teams are trying to lock up the No.

Cooper double leads Red Bulls in romp past Union

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The New York Red Bulls hadn't won a road game in five months, but with a bye into the Eastern Conference semifinals on the line, the Red Bulls finally showed their capable of taking three points away from Red Bull Arena.

Kenny Cooper scored a pair of goals, and Thierry Henry added his own beautiful finish, to help the Red Bulls cruise to a 3-0 victory against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday afternoon.

Friday College Rewind: VCU thrashes Xavier, Charlotte edges Saint Louis, and more

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Four Atlantic-10 teams ranked in the SBI Top 25 took the field on Friday night in a pair of important matches, and by the end of the night it was the lowest-ranked team of the four that made the biggest impression.

SBI No. 25 VCU not only handed No. 8 Xavier their first loss of the season, they dismantled them.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Both Arsenal and Manchester City endured painful UEFA Champions League defeats at midweek, and both must shake off those disappointments if they are going to avoid falling any further back of current English Premier League leaders Chelsea and Manchester United.

The Citizens have a golden chance to close the gap on one or both of the EPL leaders when they play host to Swansea.

Union vs. Red Bulls (Match Day Commentary)

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The New York Red Bulls will establish their playoff position in the Eastern Conference today when they take on the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park (1:30pm, NBC).

The Red Bulls can move up to the No. 3 seed with a victory today against the Union, but could wind up stuck playing in a Wednesday Eastern Conference wild card match if they fall short against a Union side playing out the string.

Wondolowski on brink of MLS history

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Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski has enjoyed the type of season that many won't soon forget, but what would make it truly special from an individual standpoint would be him scoring twice this weekend to break the all-time single-season scoring record.

MLS Disciplinary Committee fines Keane, Benitez

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Photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com

No suspensions this week. Just fines.

The MLS Discplinary Committee fined Los Angeles Galaxy forward Robbie Keane and FC Dallas defender Jair Benitez each an undisclosed amount for their actions this past weekend, the league announced on Friday.

Report: NBC Universal front-runner in U.S. for EPL TV rights

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If you have enjoyed ESPN and Fox's broadcasts of EPL games in recent years, there appears to be some bad news on the horizon.

According to a report, NBC Universal is close to winning the bid for TV rights to EPL games for three years starting with the 2013-2014 season. NBC Universal has reportedly emerged as the front-runner after offering $83 million, an amount that is three times more than what Fox currently pays ($23 million).

College Spotlight: UConn’s Blake hopes to realize college, professional dreams

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photo courtesy of UConn Athletics

By JOSE M. ROMERO

The pull of his home in Jamaica is strong, but as time passes and Andre Blake grows more accustomed to the college town of Storrs, Conn., the homesickness fades away.

Besides, Blake, a sophomore goalkeeper for the UConn Huskies, has plenty of other things to think about: winning games for his team, doing well in academics, playing professionally and one day going back to Jamaica to work with youth.

Berry, DeLeon set to square off in battle of top rookie candidates

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

D.C. United's visit to square off with the Chicago Fire on Saturday is one of the weekend's marquee MLS matches, and not just because second place in the Eastern Conference is up for grabs.

The two front-runners for Rookie of the Year, Fire centerback Austin Berry and United midfielder Nick DeLeon, are set to do battle in the match with postseason implications and it will provide both of them one last opportunity to show why they should be named the top rookie of the 2012 class.

USMNT Daily Update: SBI’s 23 for 2014 (October 2012 edition)

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

There are 594 days between now and the 2014 World Cup. That may seem like a long time, but for the players with aspirations of being in Brazil representing the United States, the clock is ticking very fast and those 594 days will be gone before we know it.

Stars in firm control as Rowdies look to rally in NASL Championship Series

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By FRANCO PANIZO

For Minnesota Stars FC, playing as visitors in the second leg of the NASL Championship Series is nothing new. They experienced it last year, traveling to South Florida before playing to a scoreless draw and capturing the NASL crown.

That scenario is not one the Tampa Bay Rowdies are hoping repeats itself.

MLS Week 34: A Look Ahead

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By THOMAS FLOYD

A unique set of circumstances may have nicely tied up the Western Conference playoff picture heading into this final weekend, but the seeding out East remains fairly unraveled.

There, the only club locked into its seed is a Sporting Kansas City team which has clinched the No.

Mid-Day Ticker: Berlusconi convicted, Kagawa sidelined and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

As if things could not get any worse for AC Milan.

Currently near the bottom of the Serie A table, AC Milan will now have to deal with the distraction that is sure to come from team president Silvio Berlusconi being sentenced to four years in prison.

This Weekend’s Soccer on TV (and SBI’s Top Ten Matches to Watch)

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Before the English Premier League season began, if you were told a team from Liverpool would be sitting in the top four at the end of October the natural inclination would have been to think that Liverpool was off to strong start, and not perennially slow-starting Everton.

Things have changed this season, with the Toffees off to a red-hot start to the season.

Parkhurst named to Champions League Team of the Week

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Michael Parkhurst is on run of fine form, and American soccer fans and pundits are not the only ones taking notice.

Parkhurst was named to the UEFA Champions League Team of the Week for the third round of matches after turning in a solid 90-minute effort in FC Nordsjaelland's 1-1 draw with Juventus on Tuesday.

CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals set

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Though they had already booked their place in the quarterfinals before Thursday, the Los Angeles Galaxy's 3-2 victory against Isidro Metapan helped them secure the No. 4 seed in the quarterfinals as the match-ups for the knockout round were set after Thursday night's results.

The Galaxy will face No.

College Soccer Weekend Preview: Marquette faces Notre Dame again, Atlantic 10 powers collide, and more

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Photo courtesy of Notre Dame Athletics

Notre Dame's 3-1 humbling of Marquette on Wednesday helped force a four-way tie in the Big East Conference's Blue Division, the strongest collection of teams in the nation. Marquette doesn't have to wait long to exact some revenge.

The SBI No.

European Weekend Preview: Chelsea battles Man United, Milan looks to rebound and more

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By NICK IUELE

English Premier League table-toppers Chelsea will take on Manchester United this weekend. The Blues are still undefeated on the season, while United is tied for second position with Manchester City with 18 points. Chelsea will look to rebound from a Champions League loss to Shakhtar as the Red Devils try to close the EPL gap.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Everton hasenjoyed a dream first couple of months in the Premiership campaign, overcoming the typical slow starts that have haunted them in years past. They currently sit in fourth place in the league standings, and are within striking distance of second after having lost just once in their first eight games of the year.

Americans Abroad: Midweek Rewind

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

It might not have been a flashy performance, but Michael Parkhurst may have enjoyed the best outing among the Americans Abroad who played this week, as he went the distance in FC Nordsjaelland's 1-1 draw with Juventus in UEFA Champions League play on Tuesday.

CONMEBOL jumped the gun on the super-sized 2016 Copa America

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So much for that big party in three and a half years.

Tuesday's big news that a revamped Copa America was coming to the United States was the talk of the town, and had American soccer fans drooling at the prospects of a high-profile tournament coming to our shores in 2016. After years of rumors about the possibility, it was easy to fall in love with the news of it actually happening.

USMNT Daily Update: The defender pool may look thin, but there is plenty of talent in the pipeline

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For the better part of a decade, Steve Cherundolo and Carlos Bocanegra have been key figures for the U.S. Men's National Team, but now as both have moved past 30 and closer to the end of their careers we are faced with the harsh reality that there haven't been all that many players to emerge in recent years to pose serious challenges to their positions.

MLS Spotlight: Zakuani exercising patience after long road back

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By THOMAS FLOYD

Steve Zakuani sees no shame in biding his time. If he's learned nothing else over the past year and a half, it is the art of patience and perspective.

The Seattle Sounders midfielder knows what he is capable of. Pace. Skill. Confidence. He showed it all in his breakout 2010 campaign, notching 10 goals and six assists.

Gomez punishes TFC yet again, eliminates Canadians from CCL

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Herculez Gomez has made a habit of burning Toronto FC for goals, and Wednesday night was no different as the U.S. national team striker delivered the winning strike against a TFC side that tried and failed to score a major upset in Mexico.

Toronto FC needed a big win against the Mexican champions to beat them out for a place in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, but after wasting some quality early chances, TFC was left without a goal to show for their early work.

UEFA Champions League Rewind: Dortmund drop Madrid, Ajax topple Man City, and more

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Wednesday wasn't the best day for big-spending clubs in the UEFA Champions League, as Real Madrid and Manchester City both lost road matches to make the Champions League's 'Group of Death' even more interesting.

Borussia Dortmund outplayed Real Madrid on their way to a 2-1 victory in Germany, taking over first place in Group D in the process.

“Cold-blooded” Sounders cruise to CCL victory in Hahnemann’s Seattle debut

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By JASON MITCHELL

SEATTLE, Wash. It might not have been the usual Seattle crowd or the most meaningful match, but for Marcus Hahnemann it sure felt good to be home.

"The training has been great," said Hahnemann, "I've been getting sharper every day, but to actually get out on the field was awesome.

Sporting KC beat Union to clinch first place in East

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Sporting Kansas City needed just a point to secure first place in the Eastern Conference on Wednesday night, but after turning in a below-par performance against the New York Red Bulls last weekend, the East leaders needed a strong outing to give them some momentum heading into the playoffs.

C.

Mid-Week College Rewind: Providence stuns UConn, Notre Dame topples Marquette, and more

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Providence College headed into Wednesday night's match against SBI No. 3-ranked UConn having won just three matches all year. The Friars didn't figure to stand much of a chance against UConn's stingy defense and high-powered offense, but their own outstanding defensive display helped them pull off one of the biggest upsets of the college season.

CONCACAF Champions League preview: Sounders, Toronto FC look for wins

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

The group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League is in its last days, and on Wednesday night, two MLS teams are in action.

The Seattle Sounders face Marathon of Honduras at CenturyLink Field, with Seattle having clinched the Group 4 title and a spot in the quarterfinals.

Report: Copa America headed to U.S. in 2016

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

ESPN is reporting that the U.S. and Mexican national teams will join four other CONCACAF teams and 10 CONMEBOL teams in Copa America 2016, to be played in the United States that year.

ESPN's Jorge Ramos said as much in a tweet (in Spanish) earlier today.

A look at the West teams that missed the MLS playoffs

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

The MLS playoff field is set, with 10 teams playing at least one more game and the other nine going home following this weekend's regular-season finales. It's always a bittersweet time of the year, when the teams who failed to make the postseason dwell on what wrong while probably being somewhat relieved that it is over and they can look ahead to hopefully better days and more success in 2013.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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Photo courtesy of Getty Images Europe

By JOSE M. ROMERO

Zenit St. Petersburg's 1-0 win over Anderlecht kicked off Wednesday's UEFA Champions League action, as the Russian club got its first points of the competition.

Chivas USA tabs David as president, Real as soccer operations manager

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Photo courtesy of isiphotos.com

By JOSE M. ROMERO

In a major shakeup by owners Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes, Chivas USA named Jose David new team president and Jose Luis Real as operations supervisor.

The announcement of the new hires came late Tuesday night.

Mid-day Ticker: Three Guatemala players banned for life by FIFA, players address racism in England soccer and more

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photo courtesy of Zimbio/Getty Images

By JOSE M. ROMERO

It's an ugly day for soccer in Guatemala, with three national team players banned for life by FIFA for match-fixing, according to an Associated Press report.

Guillermo Ramirez, Gustavo Cabrera and Yoni Flores were all handed lifetime bans after an investigation found that the three were involved in fixing friendlies against Venezuela in 2011 and Costa Rica in May of this year, plus a CONCACAF Champions League group-stage match in October 2010 between CSD Municipal of Guatemala and Santos Laguna of Mexico.

SBI MLS Best XI: Week 33

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

While he may not get as much attention for it as players like Chris Wondolowski and Thierry Henry do, Robbie Keane has put together an MVP-caliber season as the focal point of the Los Angeles Galaxy attack.

He strengthen his case for an MLS Best XI nod against the San Jose Earthquakes, scoring a goal in the Galaxy's 1-1 draw, and matching league scoring leader Chris Wondolowski on the day.

UEFA Champions League: A Look Ahead

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By NICK IUELE

The second day of Match Day Three has quite the action packed schedule, featuring some of the top teams in the world. Spanish champion Real Madrid and German champion Borussia Dortmund, among others, highlight Wednesday games.

Real Madrid leads the Group D with four points, while Dortmund had a win and a loss, good for second in the group.

Seitz makes courageous decision to help save a life

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FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz has made 102 saves during a six-year career that has seen him play for three different teams, mostly as a back-up after entering Major League Soccer as one of the best young American goalkeeping prospects in college history. Some of those 102 saves have been astounding, such as the handful of jaw-dropping stops he made at the end of the 2011 season to deny Chris Wondolowski the Golden Boot.

Hainault header steers Dynamo into CCL quarters

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

When the Houston Dynamo headed to the locker room during Tuesday's CONCACAF Champions League match against CD Olimpia, they had reason to worry. Head coach Dom Kinnear had been ejected during the first half, Olimpia had taken a 1-0 lead and the Dynamo were going to have to comeback without their coach and without standouts Brad Davis and Will Bruin.

Germans rally for second straight draw vs. USWNT

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By GARRETT CLEVERLEY

It was an evening of rare events for the U.S. Women's National Team on Tuesday night.

The Americans almost always win when Abby Wambach scores a first-half goal, but Tuesday wasn't one of those matches. Christie Rampone rarely ever makes bad mistakes, but on Tuesday she committed an ugly blunder that led directly to a goal.

Real Salt Lake eliminated from CONCACAF Champions League

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

The task was clear for Real Salt Lake. Beat Herediano, either 1-0 or by more than one goal, and they would have their place in the CONCACAF Champions League.

That task seemed well within reach, particularly with Tuesday night's group stage showdown taking place at Rio Tinto Stadium, but much like they did in the 2010 CONCACAF Champions League Final, Real Salt Lake couldn't find the goal they needed to capture that special moment of glory.

UEFA Champions League Rewind: Barca wins late, Man United battles back, and more

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For more than 90 minutes, Scottish champions Celtic looked like they just might pull off a shock result in Spain, taking a point off seemingly unstoppable FC Barcelona. Unfortunately for the Hoops, they just became the latest to come close, but fall short of knocking off the Spanish juggernaut.

Jordi Alba scored the winning goal in the final seconds of stoppage time to help lift Barcelona to a 2-1 victory at the Camp Nou, a result that helped push Barca to the top of its group.

CONCACAF Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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The Seattle Sounders and Los Angeles Galaxy have already secured their place in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals and tonight the Houston Dynamo and Real Salt Lake will look to make it four MLS teams in the quarterfinals if they can get the results they need tonight.

The Houston Dynamo need at least a draw tonight when they take on CD Olimpia (8pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

Heath turns down Toronto FC, signs new Orlando City deal

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Toronto FC courted Adrian Heath, and apparently even offered him a chance to one day be their head coach, but neither that or a sizable contract offer was enough to draw the Orlando City head coach away from Florida, toward the unstable setup at the current worst team in MLS.

Orlando City announced on Tuesday that Heath was staying put, signing him to a new three-year deal.

USMNT Daily Update: Time to think about life without Landon

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

Landon Donovan's latest comments about his future, and about his desire to continue playing, rang the same alarm bells that went off back in May when he first revealed uncertainty about his future.

Since he burst on the scene a dozen years ago to begin what has become the best career in U.

USA 3, Guatemala 1: Field Level Highlights

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UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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Chelsea will look to try and take control of one of the toughest groups in the UEFA Champions League when they travel to Ukraine to take on Group E co-leader Shakhtar Donetsk in one of today's top match-ups.

Donetsk looked very impressive drawing with Juventus in their previous group match and could grab control of this difficult group with a win against a Chelsea side enjoying a solid run of form domestically.

Red Bulls lose Sam for the season

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BY DAVE MARTINEZ

Just when things were beginning to look up for the New York Red Bulls, injuries have once again struck at the least opportune time.

Reports out of Red Bulls camp have Hans Backe revealing dynamic newcomer Lloyd Sam will miss the rest of the the season after diagnostics confirmed a PCL strain of his right knee.

SBI MLS Team of the Week: Seattle Sounders

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

The Seattle Sounders were the only MLS team to play two matches last week, and while they weren't able to take all six points, they certainly showed the qualities that make them a clear-cut title contender.

The Sounders overcame an early red card to earn a hard-fought draw against Real Salt Lake, then flexed their attacking muscle in a 3-1 victory against FC Dallas.

SBI College Soccer Top 25 (Oct. 23rd)

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Photo by Tony Quinn/ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

The University of Maryland removed any doubts about their hold on the No. 1 spot in the SBI Top 25 after outplaying and ultimately defeating then No. 2 North Carolina in last week's showdown of top teams.

The rainy conditions in Maryland put a damper on things, but we were still able to see a Terrapins side that was both strong offensively and tough defensively.

UEFA Champions League: A Look Ahead

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By NICK IUELE

Spanish powerhouse FC Barcelona and Scottish champion Celtic square off in the day's most high-profile match of today's UEFA Champions League Match Day Three action.

Both Barcelona and Celtic have yet to lose a match in Champions League play, with Barcelona being a perfect two for two and Celtic earning a win and a draw in two matches.

A look at the East teams that missed the playoffs

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Most seasons that end without a playoffs berth are usually considered failures. That may be the case for the five clubs that did not advance into the postseason from a tight Eastern Conference this year, but all five teams head into the off-season with at least some reason to feel optimistic about 2013.

Donovan opens up again, puts odds of playing in 2014 World Cup at “50/50″

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Photo by John Todd/ISIPhotos.com

About four months ago Landon Donovan sent the American soccer community buzzing when he gave the first clear-cut evidence that maybe, just maybe, he was seriously considering retirement sooner rather than later. His latest interview reveals that those earlier statements were far from a passing faze.

USMNT Daily Update: A look at the leading candidates to host HEX qualifiers

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1. CREW STADIUM, Columbus, Ohio

USMNT history- Has hosted the past three Hex home games vs. Mexico, all victories. Recently hosted a qualifying win vs. Jamaica.

Why it works- USMNT fans from the East Coast and Midwest converge, and there isn't a strong presence from any other CONCACAF fan bases nearby.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Nick DeLeon

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Photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIphotos.com

D.C. United clinched a spot in the playoffs this past weekend with a dramatic 3-2 victory over the Columbus Crew, and Nick DeLeon played a role in helping make that happen.

DeLeon injected some life into United prior to halftime by pulling the club level at 1-1 with a goal from close range prior to halftime.

Mid-Day Ticker: Leeds fan jailed for attacking Kirkland, Atletico eyes Chicharito and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The Leeds United fan who assaulted Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland this past weekend will spend the next few months behind bars.

Aaron Crawley, a 21-year-old Leeds fan, has been jailed four months after pleading guilty to assault and entering the field of play during Friday's game between the Whites and Sheffield Wednesday.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Brad Evans

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In Major League Soccer, where the small salary cap makes versatile players like gold, Brad Evans is a dream of a player. Capable of playing anywhere you need him, and capable of playing well anywhere you put him.

This past week was another example of the qualities Evans brings to the table.

Fan arrests spoil festive day at Galaxy-Earthquakes game

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The fireworks on the field during the Los Angeles Galaxy-San Jose Earthquakes game carried over into the stands, leading to the arrests of at least seven fans during the 2-2 draw on Sunday.

Ugly scenes erupted at Buck Shaw Stadium just after the start of the second half on Sunday when a fight reportedly took place and two smoke bombs were ignited in the Galaxy fans section.

European Weekend Rewind: Chelsea keeps rolling, Juve stays unbeaten, and more

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By NICK IUELE

Chelsea continued to show their dominance in the English Premier League with a 4-2 win over Tottenham. Juan Mata led the way with two goals, scoring in the 66th and 69th minute respectively. The second goal put the table toppers in the lead, and Daniel Sturridge's tap in at the far post was the final blow.

Defense coming together for Red Bulls

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BY DAVE MARTINEZ

Have the Red Bulls finally stumbled upon the right formula for their backline? That is the hope of Coach Hans Backe and his men after this Saturday's encouraging draw against Sporting KC.

"I would guess so because Brandon [Barklage] is out definitely for the Philly game, perhaps the rest of the season," the Red Bulls boss said.

Sunday College Rewind: Penn State upends Northwestern, New Mexico post strong shutout, and more

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A rough week for Big Ten powers continued on Sunday a Northwestern saw a perfect conference record tarnished at the hands of Penn State, which handed the Wildcats a surprising 1-0 loss in Chicago.

Hasani Sinclair's 104th-minute winner clinched the victory for the Nittany Lions and kept SBI No.

Timbers top Whitecaps to secure Cascadia Cup

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By BRYAN ROBISON

With both teams fighting for a chance at two different trophies, the Portland Timbers went into BC Place looking for any way to salvage a seemingly lost season. The mission was accomplished for those Timbers, as they earned a 1-0 victory to not only earn their first road win of the season, but also win the Cascadia Cup.

Wondolowski’s 26th goal helps Quakes tie Galaxy

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Photo by Michael Pimental/ISIPhotos.com

After blowing leads in their previous two meetings against San Jose this season, the Los Angeles Galaxy went into Sunday's battle against the Earthquakes knowing they couldn't afford to let up even if they took a lead on San Jose.

Unfortunately for the Galaxy, they became the latest in a long line of teams that simply couldn't hold a second-half lead against the Earthquakes.

Sounders eliminate FC Dallas from playoff contention with home win

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By BRYAN ROBISON

FC Dallas went into Sunday night knowing their playoff hopes were on the line. Goalkeeper Kevin Hartman played like it, doing his best to keep Dallas into Sunday's match.

Seattle's offense had other ideas, and eventually proved too move for Hartman and the Dallas defense to handle.

And then there were 10: MLS playoff teams set

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The ten-team field for the MLS playoffs has been determined with a week left in the season, but while we know what all he match-ups are in the Western Conference, the East is still very much up for grabs.

All the playoff match-ups are set out West, with Vancouver qualifying as the No.

Stars blank Rowdies in first leg of NASL Championship Series

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For the second straight year, Minnesota Stars FC will head to Florida with a two-goal cushion in the NASL Championship Series.

The sixth-seeded Stars won the first leg of the series at home on Saturday night, grabbing a 2-0 upset win over the No. 2 seed Tampa Bay Rowdies as NSC Stadium. Both goals came in the second half, with Amani Walker and Martin Nunez each finding the back of the net to send the 4,642 fans in attendance into a frenzy.

MLS Sunday: Match Night Commentary

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The San Jose Earthquakes have locked up the Supporters Shield and first place in the Western Conference, but they will still be looking to keep their dream season going with a win against the Los Angeles Galaxy (7pm ET, Galavision) in one of three Western Conference matches tonight with playoff implications.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

After spending more than a month and a half on the sidelines, Tim Ream returned to Bolton Wanderers' starting lineup in the first game under interim manager Jimmy Phillips. But Ream surely did not put forth the type of comeback game he would have wanted.

USWNT fight to a 1-1 draw against Germany in Chicago

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By BRYAN ROBISON

In the first game of the post-Pia Sundhage era, the United States' Women played to a 1-1 draw with Germany in Chicago at Toyota Park. The match pitted the two top ranked teams in the world, with the number one ranked Americans playing host to the number two ranked Germans, as the Americans continue their tribute tour after winning the Olympic gold medal over the summer.

Deportivo La Coruna 4, Barcelona 5: Match Highlights

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Barcelona kept their record in La Liga play perfect on Saturday, but had to work hard to keep it that way. It too a stellar offensive performance, including another Lionel Messi hat trick to help Barcelona hold on for a 5-4 victory vs. Deportivo La Coruna.

Here are the match highlights:


Rapids continue Chivas USA’s misery with road win

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By BRYAN ROBISON

It was a continuation of the overall story of 2012 for one team, while the other wrote a new chapter, as the Colorado Rapids defeated Chivas USA 2-0 at the Home Depot Center on Saturday night.

For Chivas, that continuation was their disappointing effort at home this season, as they have not won a match at home since July 18th against Portland.

Revs beat Fire to win home finale

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Photo by Andrew Katsampes/ISIPhotos.com

The New England Revolution didn't have much to play for on Saturday night, but being eliminated from the playoffs long ago didn't stop the Revs from delivering a victory for a good-sized crowd in their home finale.

Diego Fagundez belted a 25-yard blast past Chicago Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson in the 17th minute to help give the Revs a 1-0 victory.

TFC and Impact play to scoreless draw

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Montreal poured on a late onslaught, and Marco DiVaio came close to becoming the latest player to burn Toronto FC with a late goal, but the Italian missed a golden chance late and spared TFC another collapse.

Goalkeeper Freddy Hall made some key late saves to help Toronto salvage a scoreless draw against the Impact at BMO Field on Saturday afternoon.

Neal winner pushes D.C. United into playoffs

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D.C. United looked like they might fall short of victory in their home finale on Saturday night, with the Columbus Crew showing the fight you would expect from a team battling for its playoff life, but Lewis Neal delivered a goal that not only won the match, but also ended United's lengthy playoff drought.

Improved Red Bulls tie Sporting KC

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By DAVE MARTINEZ

HARRISON, NJ- It may not have been the victory the Red Bulls were hoping for, but by the end of the night, it didn't quite matter.

For the first time in three meetings, the New York Red Bulls got the better of Sporting KC for most of their 90 minute encounter.

Dynamo rally to playoff-clinching victory

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

The Houston Dynamo needed a second-half rally, but eventually found the form they needed to take all three points and secure their place in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Goals from Oscar Boniek Garcia and Brad Davis in the final 20 minutes helped the Dynamo register a 3-1 victory against the Philadelphia Union at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday night.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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With Juventus and Napoli continuing their strong starts to the Serie A season, plenty of teams are hoping just to keep up with the pair. Several of those teams are in play on Sunday, as Inter Milan, Catania, and Roma will all be in action, with Juventus now three points ahead Napoli after posting a 2-0 victory on Saturday in a battle of the top two teams in Italy.

Saturday College Rewind: Akron keeps rolling, Brown tops Cornell, and more

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A day after Maryland defeated North Carolina in a battle of the nation's top two teams, SBI No. 3 ranked Akron showed us why just might have a claim to the top spot.

The Zips defeated Wake Forest, 2-1, on Saturday to push their unbeaten streak to eight matches. Reinaldo Brenes and Scott Caldwell delivered goals in each half, and while West Virginia did become the first team in eight matches to score a goal on Akron, Majed Osman's 52nd minute finish was as close as the Mountaineers came to an upset.

Toronto FC courting Orlando City’s Heath for assistant role

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Toronto FC's nightmare 2012 season isn't quite over yet, but they are already working hard to prepare the team for 2013.

Part of that preparation is trying to build a revamped coaching staff, and sources have told SBI that Toronto FC has targeted highly-regarded Orlando City head coach Adrian Heath for a role on that staff.

MLS Match Day: Your Running Commentary

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The jockeying for playoff positioning in the MLS Eastern Conference will be in full swing today as teams try and move into better playoff spots, and the Columbus Crew tries to simply make the playoffs.

D.C. United takes on the Columbus Crew in crucial East match-up, with D.C. able to clinch a playoff berth and potentially even a top three spot with a win.

College Soccer Rewind: Maryland tops UNC, Cal Poly upsets UCSB, and more

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Photo courtesy of University of Maryland Athletics

Any questions about whether the Maryland Terrapins are deserving of their ranking as the No. 1 college team in the nation were put to rest on Friday as they edged No. 2-ranked North Carolina in a rain-soaked ACC showdown.

Schillo Tshuma re-directed a Patrick Mullins shot into the net in overtime to help give the SBI No.

CONCACAF Hex Schedule to be set in November

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Delegates from all six remaining national teams in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying met on Friday to try and determine the final schedule for the Hexagonal round of qualifying. After reportedly being unable to reach a consensus on a schedule, he delegation ultimately agreed to have the schedule for the Hexagonal Round of qualifying determined by FIFA draw.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Last season, Andre Villas Boas was fired after a lackluster spell as manager at Chelsea. This year, he has found a new home with Tottenham Hotspur, and today he gets the chance to exact revenge on the team that let him go.

Tottenham face off against Chelsea in an intriguing London rivalry that features two teams in the top five of the English Premier League table.

Garber fines and suspends Schmid

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When Sigi Schmid uttered the critical words during and after the Seattle Sounders' draw with Real Salt Lake on Wednesday, you knew It was inevitable he would get fined for them.

He got more than fined.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber suspended and fined Schmid $2,000 for his public comments about match officials during and after Seattles' scoreless draw with Real Salt Lake, the league announced Friday.

College Soccer Weekend Preview

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Seeing a battle of the top two teams in any capacity across the world is usually a real treat, and that is exactly what college soccer fans will get this weekend.

Maryland, the No. 1 team in the latest SBI Top 25, welcomes No. 2 North Carolina in an ACC clash toniht that is also the premier college soccer match of the weekend.

Earthquakes set to break ground on latest MLS stadium

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By FRANCO PANIZO

San Jose Earthquakes fans have had lots to cheer about this season.From watching Chris Wondolowski threaten to break the all-time MLS record for goals in a campaign to all the late-game heroics the team has mustered, it has been a dream year thus far for Earthquakes faithful.

College Spotlight: Soccer journey brings Indiana’s Zavaleta home

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

Eriq Zavaleta was just a high school freshman in Westfield, Ind., when he made a pretty big decision for a kid his age. He decided to leave high school and go to Bradenton, Fla., to train in the U.S. Soccer U-17 national team residency program.

That decision has taken Zavaleta, now 20, to "15 or 16 countries" as a player for his country.

Road to Brazil: Recapping the USMNT’s recent group stage victories

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

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The battle for the Scudetto has become a two-team race early on, with Napoli emerging as the strongest contender for the crown currently being worn by Juventus.

Both teams are sporting the same unbeaten record, but with Juve having not lost a league game since the 2009/2010 season, they defending champions will be favored.

MLS Week 33: A Look Ahead

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By THOMAS FLOYD

This weekend's MLS slate carries playoff implications aplenty, to say the least.

In San Jose, the Earthquakes will look to clinch the Supporters' Shield and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs by sweeping the defending champion Los Angeles Galaxy, who badly need a win if they hope to avoid the Western Conference wild-card game.

Mid-Day Ticker: Friedel likely to start vs. Chelsea, Everton signs Hitzlsperger and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Brad Friedel's spell on the sidelines may turn out to be as brief as anyone could have imagined.

Tottenham head coach Andre Villas-Boas hinted that Friedel could be back to starting in between the pipes for Spurs in this weekend's match against Chelsea.

SBI Men’s College Soccer Top 25 (Oct. 19th)

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Photo courtesy of Saint Louis University

The Atlantic Coast Conference may boast the top two teams in the nation right now, but the stacked Big East is starting to dominate the top of the SBI Top 25.

Maryland and North Carolina remain as No. 1 and No. 2 in the newest rankings heading into their match-up tonight, but four Big East teams round out the top seven spots, while surging Louisville has helped give the conference a nation-best five teams in the Top 25.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

If seeing the U.S. Men's National Team players lock up a berth into the next round of World Cup qualifying was not enough to satisfy your soccer cravings, you're in luck, because there are plenty of appetizing matches involving Americans to watch this weekend.

Galaxy Notes: Gearing up for Earthquakes showdown

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BY KAYLA KNAPP

CARSON, CA. — The first two meetings this year with the San Jose Earthquakes did not end well for the Los Angeles Galaxy. After going ahead by multiple goals in each game, the Galaxy could not hold off the Earthquakes comeback in either – resulting in two losses to their Northern California rivals.

European Weekend Preview: Tottenham takes on Chelsea, Juve battles Napoli, and more

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By NICK IUELE

Tottenham, a couple weeks removed from a big win over Manchester United, will face another stiff test in English Premier League table toppers Chelsea. Spurs new boy Clint Dempsey scored against Man U and twice in the United States' World Cup Qualifier against Guatemala on Tuesday, so it appears he is back in good form and could help with a potential upset.

Hart steps down as Canada coach

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The first Canadian casualty following the Canucks' embarrassing exit from World Cup qualifying has been claimed, and to no one's surprise it is head coach Stephen Hart.

Hart resigned as Canada's coach on Thursday afternoon, two days after witnessing his team get dismantled, 8-1, at the hands of Honduras in a match the Canucks only needed a draw from in order to advance to the Hexagonal round of qualifying.

USMNT to face Russia in Krasnodar on Nov. 14

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Photo by John Todd/ISIPhotos.com

The U.S. Men's National Team's long-rumored friendly against Russia was made official on Thursday, with the USMNT taking on the Russians in Krasnodar on Nov. 14th.

Currently ranked No. 12 in the world, Russia is enjoying a strong World Cup qualifying campaign and recently defeated Portugal to stay unbeaten in group play (4-0 without a single goal allowed).

USMNT Daily Update: The state of the MNT after qualifying for the Hexagonal

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Photo by John Todd/ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

The dust has settled, the celebrations are over, and the angst surrounding the U.S. Men's National Team's tougher-than-expected qualification for the Hexagonal has subsided. After a run of lackluster performances, the Americans still finished on top of their group, saving their best performance for last.

Multiple TV networks bidding for U.S. EPL rights

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The race to grab the broadcast rights to the English Premier League in the United States is going to be an intense one, and there are more players involved than you might have imagined.

ESPN and Fox Soccer are trying to retain the rights they have held together for the past three years, but several new networks are vying to unseat them from that lucrative spot.

Thursday Kickoff: Terry accepts ban, Liverpool injury woes mount, and more

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John Terry has given up fighting the racism charges filed against him by the English FA, and has apologized for his remarks aimed at Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand.

"I want to apologize to everyone for the language I used," Terry said in a statement released by his representatives.

Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake: Match Night Commentary

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The race for second place in the MLS Western Conference is a tight one, and tonight's clash between the Seattle Sounders and Real Salt Lake (10pm, NBC Sports) will go a long way toward determining who the No. 2 seed in the West will be.

Real Salt Lake has a three-point lead on the Sounders for second place, but Seattle has a game in hand and can pull even with a win tonight.

Stellar Gspurning saves point for Sounders vs. RSL

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By JASON MITCHELL

SEATTLE, Wash. An early red card looked like it might doom the Seattle Sounders in their Western Conference clash vs. Real Salt Lake on Wednesday night, but the Sounders gave RSL all they could handle and rode a strong night from their goalkeeper to earn a precious point.

Must-See Goal: Neymar

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MLS Spotlight: Zizzo shining for Timbers after overcoming injury

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Photo by Patricia Giobetti/ISIPhotos.com

By THOMAS FLOYD

Sal Zizzo chuckled at the notion but nonetheless knew it was true. For the Portland Timbers midfielder, the circumstances surrounding his torn ACL last October were about as ideal as could be.

Zizzo, first off, knew what he was up against.

South American rewind: Argentina continues surge toward World Cup

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By Jose M. Romero

Lionel Messi and and Gonzalo Higuain scored first-half goals for Argentina, and the South American power held on for a 2-1 World Cup qualifier win over Chile in Santiago, Chile Tuesday night.

Mid-Day Ticker: England, Poland draw in World Cup qualifier; FA, Serbia argue racism claims; and more

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By Jose M. Romero

England and Poland played to a 1-1 draw Wednesday, less than 24 hours after their originally scheduled 2014 World Cup qualifier was postponed due to heavy rain in Warsaw.

England opened the scoring in the 31st minute on a goal by Wayne Rooney, but the Brits couldn't hold on for the three points, as Kamil Glik rose above defender Joleon Lescott to head home the equalizer in the 70th minute.

USA 3, Guatemala 1: SBI’s Player Grades

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

The U.S. Men's National Team shook off Guatemala's early goal and proceeded to dominate the visitors in what was easily their best performance of the 2012 World Cup qualifying round. There were a plethora of standout evenings, particularly in the attack, that should give U.

Mission Accomplished

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Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. Men's National Team needed just a draw to advance to the next round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, but what they got instead was a convincing victory that saw them shake off an early scare.

A look at the CONCACAF Final Six

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

Coming into the final day of the third round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers, five spots were on the line. Group B was already locked up, thanks to Mexico's undefeated record through group play. But in Group A and C, both spots were up for grabs.

By the end of Tuesday, all six places in the Hex were locked up, giving us a strong field of contenders for what promises to be a brutal final round of CONCACAF qualifying in 2013.

USA 3, Guatemala 1: Match Highlights

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Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

USA 3, Guatemala 1: Player Reactions

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Canada eliminated by Honduras in humiliating loss

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Canada needed only a draw to advance to the Hexagonal round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying and keep the dreams of reaching Brazil 2014 alive.

What transpired for the Canucks was nothing short of a nightmare.

Canada suffered a humiliating 8-1 loss to Honduras in San Pedro Sula on Tuesday afternoon, a shocking result that eliminated the visitors from World Cup qualifying and pushed Los Catrachos through to the Hexagonal.

USA vs. Guatemala: Match Night Commentary

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The U.S. Men's National Team can book a place in the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying tonight with a win or draw against Guatemala at Livestrong Sporting Park (7:15pm, ESPN2).

The Americans are coming off a last-minute 2-1 win against Antigua & Barbuda on Friday and will be the heavy favorites against a Guatemala side that has never beaten the United States on American soil.

Studio 90: USMNT Ready for Guatemala challenge

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

Today’s World Cup Qualifying on TV

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World Cup qualifying dominates proceedings today, as countries in Europe, South America and the CONCACAF region look to move closer to the 2014 World Cup.

World champion Spain faces off against France in the day's best match-up, with the French looking to move ahead of the Spanish in Group I.

USA vs. Guatemala: A Look Ahead

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

There are any number of scenarios that could see the U.S. Men's National Team qualify for the Hexagonal round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, but there is no confusion about what the Americans need to do tonight against Guatemala.

MLS Disciplinary Committee fines Feilhaber, Hernandez and Impact

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Photo by Andrew Katsampes/ISIphotos.com

As far as the MLS Disciplinary Committee goes, there's apparently no such thing as a week off.

While most MLS clubs were enjoying some free time due to the international break, the MLS Disciplinary Committee was hard at work and they handed out three punishments for actions that happened prior to the stoppage in league play on Monday.

Klinsmann, Bradley discuss approach vs. Guatemala

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CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying: A Look Ahead

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If Alexis Sanchez and Chile are going to end their current two-game losing streak and try to jump back into a top four spot in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying, they are going to need to knock off arguably the hottest team in the South American region right now.

Having slipped to fifth place in the standings after a pair of 3-1 losses, Chile hosts Argentina on Tuesday in the 10th match-day of CONMEBOL qualifying.

Zusi, USMNT train in KC ahead of World Cup qualifier

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A villain to USMNT fans, Ruiz will look to be Guatemala’s hero yet again

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Carlos Ruiz does two things very well. Score goals and annoy opposing teams' players and fans.

From his days as a goal-scoring machine for the LA Galaxy (he led them to the 2002 MLS Cup title), to his brief stint as an enigmatic striker for FC Dallas, Toronto FC and Philadelphia Union, Ruiz compiled an impressive 88 goals in MLS.

CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying: Final Hexagonal spots up for grabs

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Five of the six spots in the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying remain up for grabs, and that should make for an intense final match-day as teams attempt to avoid falling out of the picture for Brazil 2014.

Monday Mid-Day Centerback: Johnson’s renaissance an inspiration for future USMNT comeback stories

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Yes, it is only one game, and no, we won't know whether Eddie Johnson is going to stick around as a regular fixture for the U.S. National Team for the foreseeable future, but his impressive return to the fold is still a development that plenty of people can gain inspiration from.

Dempsey and Bradley discuss Guatemala qualifier

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Monday Kickoff: Cole’s Chelsea days numbers, Liverpool plan on staying at Anfield, and more

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Ashley Cole's days with Chelsea appear to be winding to a close.

According to the Daily Mail, the Chelsea left back is ready to leave the European champions at the end of the season after failing to reach an agreement on a new contract. Manchester United, Real Madrid and Paris St. Germain have all been linked to moves for the English defender.

College Soccer Rewind: Central Florida knocks out SMU, Northwestern edges Ohio State, and more

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A Steven Lamberta goal in the 68th minute was enough for a stingy Central Florida defense to ride to a 1-0 victory against No. 22 SMU on Sunday.

The Knights posted their fourth shutout in five matches to halt the Mustangs, who saw their nine-match unbeaten streak snapped. Sophomore goalkeeper Sebastian Evers made five saves for the shutout.

NASL Playoff Rewind: Stars shock Scorpions, Rowdies edge RailHawks

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By FRANCO PANIZO

For the second straight season, Minnesota Stars FC will be in the NASL Championship Series but only after handing out what may have been the biggest upset of the playoffs.

The Stars kept their hopes of defending their championship alive by rallying to defeat regular-season winners the San Antonio Scorpions, 2-1, at Heroes Stadium on Sunday night.

Who should the USMNT start vs. Guatemala?

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With three points in the bag following Friday's last-minute World Cup Qualifying win against Antigua & Barbuda on Friday, the U.S. Men's National Team heads into Tuesday's match needing just a draw to guarantee a place in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying.

Klinsmann discusses win vs. Antigua & Barbuda

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Evening Ticker: Marcelo out 3 months, Lampard out for England, & more

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By BRYAN ROBISON

Brazil and Real Madrid defender Marcelo will miss at least three months after breaking his foot in training for a friendly against Japan. It is not known whether the veteran left back will undergo surgery, as he is set to undergo tests after he returns to Spain on Monday.

Fabian Johnson to miss Guatemala match

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Fabian Johnson had been expected to be able to recover from a recent illness in time to join the U.S. Men's National Team for its World Cup Qualifier vs. Guatemala on Tuesday, but his inability to shake off the flu has ruled him out for the all-important group finale.

College Soccer Rewind: Georgetown upsets Marquette, Louisville tops St. John’s, & more

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By BRYAN ROBISON

One of the two final remaining undefeated schools went down yesterday, as Marquette fell to Georgetown for their first loss on the year. The Hoyas controlled the pace from the start, and proved to be too strong for their Big East rivals.

A Steve Neumann free kick in the second half proved to be the difference, as Georgetown improves its record 12-2-1 on the year, with both losses occurring in conference play earlier this month.

USA 2, Antigua & Barbuda 1: The SBI Player Grades

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On a night when the U.S. Men's National Team rode some late-game heroics to a valuable three points, the number of American players who stood out was considerably shorter than the number of Americans who struggled. Facing an underdog Antigua & Barbuda side in awful playing conditions, the U.

CONMEBOL WCQ: Messi leads Argentina to victory, Colombia beat Paraguay, & more

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After an hour of scoreless soccer between Argentina and Uruguay on Friday, Lionel Messi took matters into his own hands and led his country to victory.

Messi opened the scoring in the 65th minute, playing a pass to Angel Di Maria, who beat his defender and put a cross back in to Messi for the goal.

College Soccer Recap: Saint Louis tops VCU, Air Force upsets UNM again, & more

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In Friday's only matchup between two teams ranked in the SBI Top 25, some late heroics by a pair of Saint Louis players led the team to a dramatic double overtime victory.

With No. 20 VCU leading 2-1 late in the second half, Saint Louis junior midfielder Raymond Lee netted a timely equalizer to send the game into overtime.

Antigua & Barbuda 1, USA 2: Match Highlights

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Johnson brace saves USA in last-minute WCQ win

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. Men's National Team were flirting with disaster and on the brink of settling for a shock draw against Antigua & Barbuda, but Eddie Johnson came through in the clutch to help lift the Americans to victory.

Canada dumps short-handed Cuba

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Losing four players before kickoff was just the start of what ultimately was a disastrous day for Cuba and a positive one for Canada.

The Canadians compounded on Cuba's misery on Friday night, grabbing a 3-0 win against the already-eliminated team in front of a crowd of 17,712 at BMO Field.

CONCACAF recap: Guatemala scores late to top Jamaica, Mexico routs Guyana & more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Carlos Ruiz did it again.

Ruiz lifted Guatemala to their latest win in Group A action on Friday night, a big 2-1 triumph over Jamaica. Ruiz headed home a corner kick in the 85th minute to break the deadlock in a game that seemed destined to end in a stalemate, and that helped tie Guatemala with the U.

The USMNT got the job done, but another flat performance is a cause for concern

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By IVES GALARCEP

They went to Antigua in search of three points, and as far as the ultimate task was concerned, Jurgen Klinsmann and the U.S. Men's National Team accomplished that on Friday night.

The Americans didn't just earn a vital victory.

UEFA WCQ Rewind: Russia tops Portugal, Germany breezes past Ireland, and more

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By BRYAN ROBISON

Russia may have failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, but on Friday the Russians looked like a team determined to get to Brazil for the 2014 edition of the tournament.

Alexander Kerzhakov's early goal was enough for the Russians to hold off Portugaland earn important 1-0 victory in the battle for Group F.

Antigua & Barbuda vs. USA: Match Night Commentary

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The U.S. Men's National Team has traveled to the Caribbean for a crucial World Cup Qualifying encounter vs. underdog Antigua & Barbuda in a match the Americans need to win to stay on track for passage to the Hexagonal Round of CONCACAF qualifying (7pm, beIN Sport).

The Americans are currently in a three-way tie in Group A, with Guatemala and Jamaica, and can take control of their fate with a win against an Antigua & Barbuda side currently sitting at the bottom of the group table.

Studio 90: USMNT ready for Antigua & Barbuda

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Backe refutes Swedish report claiming he said he’s done coaching Red Bulls

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Hans Backe has a matter of weeks left on his New York Red Bulls coaching contract, but he isn't quite ready to walk away just yet.

Just a day after a Swedish media report quoted him as saying he was leaving the Red Bulls after the 2012 season, Backe shot down the report, suggesting to MLSSoccer.

College Soccer Weekend Preview

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Undefeated Marquette sent a strong message with last week's win against UConn, but now they must live up to their new label as national power when they travel to the nation's capital to take on fellow Big East power Georgetown.

Ranked No. 7 in the latest SBI Top 25, the Hoyas suffered consecutive Big East losses to UConn and Notre Dame, but regrouped recently with a win against Lehigh, and their attack has the weapons to cause problems for Marquette.

USA vs. Antigua & Barbuda: A Look Ahead

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By IVES GALARCEP

For U.S. Men's National Team fans with long memories, the scenario must sound familiar. An American team heading to the Caribbean for what amounts to a must-win World Cup qualifier, and facing that challenge with a short-handed team.

Teams jockey for last CONCACAF WCQ spots

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

The semifinal round of World Cup qualifying in the CONCACAF region will be over by this time next week, and the final six teams will be set. But first, there are several key matches in the region over the next week that will determine who makes it to the Hexagonal and who stays home.

Dead Man Walking: Backe says he’s done as RBNY head coach after 2012

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By IVES GALARCEP

When Erik Soler was given the boot as New York Red Bulls general manager earlier this month, it was pretty clear that Hans Backe days as head coach were numbered.

Backe revealed just how little time he has left, telling a Swedish newspaper that he would leave the Red Bulls after the 2012 season.

The race to be the 20th MLS club is heating up

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By FRANCO PANIZO

It is no secret that MLS wants a second team in the New York area, and the chances of that happening appear more likely than ever. MLS officials publicly discussed proposed plans earlier this week to have a soccer-specific stadium constructed for the 20th team in the league in the New York City borough of Queens in the coming years.

Galaxy Notes: Reserves playing for title, defense copes without DeLaGarza, & more

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BY KAYLA KNAPP

CARSON, Calif., On Friday morning, the Los Angeles Galaxy will host the Vancouver Whitecaps as they play for their first-ever MLS Reserve League Division title.

With 16 points, the Galaxy sit just one point behind division leaders San Jose, and will claim the title with either a win or draw because of their higher goal differential.

Who should the USMNT start vs. Antigua & Barbuda?

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By IVES GALARCEP

The biggest question heading into Friday's World Cup qualifier against Antigua & Barbuda isn't so much who will start, but rather who will be left around to play.

That is the sentiment surrounding the U.

Mid-day Ticker: Rapids’ Pickens out for the season; Fellaini sidelined; and more

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Matt Pickens will see his 75-match appearance streak end due to a groin injury that will force him out of the club's final two matches.

Pickens had the longest active streak in MLS before getting injured in Saturday's game against San Jose.

SBI Men’s College Soccer Top 25 (Oct. 10th)

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If anyone still had questions about Marquette's legitimacy as a national power this year, those questions were answered over the weekend, when the Golden Panthers toppled unbeaten UConn, the No. 1 team in the SBI College Soccer Top 25 at the time.

Marquette handed the Huskies their first loss of the season to not only maintain one of only two perfect records in the nation (Cornell holding the other), it also cemented Marquette's status as a serious contender for the Big East title and a potential NCAA run later this year.

Johnson’s flu adds to mounting USMNT woes

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Add Fabian Johnson to the list of players who could be sidelined for the U.S. Men's National Team's upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Johnson is currently suffering from a flu infection and is expected to miss out on Friday's trip to Antigua & Barbuda, according to German outlet Kicker.

A mature, focused Eddie Johnson set for USMNT return

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BY DAVE MARTINEZ

It has been a long and winding road back to the National team for Eddie Johnson.

Once considered the next great American forward, the 28-year-old striker has since seen his career come to a near halt as four nomadic years in Europe and an unsuccessful jaunt with Puebla FC of Liga MX derailed his progress.

Castillo out for both USMNT qualifiers, Johnson to join team in KC

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By FRANCO PANIZO

U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann must be feeling a bit of deja vu right now.

As was the case in the United States' first World Cup qualifier against Antigua & Barbuda back in June, Klinsmann will be without both first-choice left backs, Fabian Johnson and Edgar Castillo, for the Americans visit to Antigua this coming Friday.

Plenty still up for grabs in MLS West

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

Four teams in the MLS Western Conference have clinched playoff spots, with the San Jose Earthquakes having clinched the No. 1 seed.

That much is known. From there, seeds 2 through 4 are up for grabs between the L.

Welcome to the new Soccer By Ives

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After nearly five years with the same design we started with way back on New Year's Day of 2008, SBI has finally undergone a facelift.

It has taken several months, and will probably take a few more days to work out the kinks, but we have completed a major transformation of the website many of you have made a regular part of your soccer-loving day.

(VIDEO) Road to Brazil: The USMNT prepares for Antigua & Barbuda

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A closer look at Klinsmann’s midfield options vs. Antigua & Barbuda

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Going into a crucial World Cup qualifier without your two best options at left back might seem like something to be extremely worried about, and U.S. Men's National Team fans certainly are beginning to worry about Jurgen Klinsmann's dwindling options at a weak position. But the reality is a weak left back isn't likely to matter against lowlyAntigua & Barbuda, a team that is comprised mostly of players plying their trade for USL Pro side Antigua Barracuda FC.

SBI MLS Spotlight: Clark makes seamless return to Houston

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By THOMAS FLOYD

Ricardo Clark understands the dramatic highs and lows his career hastaken him through. And he's fine with the cards he's been dealt. It'sthrough such challenges, after all, that one grows.

For the 29-year-old, the past three years have carried their fairshare of adversity.

Castillo out for both USMNT qualifiers, Johnson to join team in KC

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U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann must be feeling a bit of deja vu right now.

As was the case in the United States' first World Cup qualifier against Antigua & Barbuda back in June, Klinsmann will be without both first-choice left backs Fabian Johnson and Edgar Castillo for the Americans visit to Antigua this coming Friday.

A mature, focused Eddie Johnson set for USMNT return

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BY DAVE MARTINEZ

It has been a long and winding road back to the National team for Eddie Johnson.

Once considered the next great American forward, the 28-year-old striker has since seen his career come to a near halt as four nomadic years in Europe and an unsuccessful jaunt with Puebla FC of Liga MX derailed his progress.

SBI Men's College Soccer Top 25 (Oct. 10th)

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If anyone still had questions about Marquette's legitimacy as a national power this year, those questions were answered over the weekend, when the Golden Panthers toppled unbeaten UConn, the No. 1 team in the SBI College Soccer Top 25 at the time.

Marquette handed the Huskies their first loss of the season to not only maintain one of only two perfect records in the nation (Cornell holding the other), it also cemented Marquette's status as a serious contender for the Big East title and a potential NCAA run later this year.

Johnson's flu adds to mounting USMNT woes

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Add Fabian Johnson to the list of players who could be sidelined for the U.S. Men's National Team's upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Johnson is currently suffering from a flu infection and is expected to miss out on Friday's trip to Antigua & Barbuda, according to German outlet Kicker.

Mid-day Ticker: Rapids' Pickens out for the season; Fellaini sidelined; and more

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Matt Pickens will see his 75-match appearance streak end due to a groin injury that will force him out of the club's final two matches.

Pickens had the longest active streak in MLS before getting injured in Saturday's game against San Jose.

SBI MLS Best XI (Week 31)

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It was a good week in MLS for playoff-bound forwards.

Fabian Espindola, Sherjill MacDonald and Chris Wondolowski are all key figures on teams heading into the MLS playoffs, and all three showed they are ready for post-season glory as they each turned in outstanding performances over the weekend.

After repeated snubs, Klinsmann didn't bother calling Chandler this time around

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By FRANCO PANIZO

After repeated attempts to call him into the U.S. Men's National team this year, only to be turned down on more than one occasion, It appears U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has grown tired of Timmy Chandler's unwillingness to commit to the U.

College Soccer Rewind: Northwestern upends Notre Dame; Maryland edges Rutgers; and more

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The Big East Conference is widely-regarded as the strongest men's soccer conference in the nation this year, but Northwestern scored a big one for the Big Ten on Tuesday night by knocking off Notre Dame in the evening's only battle of teams ranked in the SBI Top 25.

First-half goals by Joey Calistri and Lepe Setane helped the No.

Wednesday Kickoff: Atletico names Falcao price, Busquets receives ban and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Radamel Falcao is one of the strikers who is most in demand right now, and Atletico Madrid has set the amount that it will take for someone to pry him away from them.

Atletico Madrid GM Miguel Angel GIl Marin put a price on Falcao on Tuesday, saying the team will not be able to afford the Colombian striker if they do not qualify for the UEFA Champions League this season.

Report: Suspect in RBNY coach's death flees to Mexico

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The man suspected of killing New York Red Bulls youth coach Mike Jones in New York City over the weekend has fled to Mexico, according to a report from the Associated Press.

Orlando Orea, also known as Orlando Gutierrez or Orlando Estevas, bought a one-way ticket on an Aero Mexico flight with cash minutes before its departure from Kennedy International Airport on Tuesday morning, according to an anonymous official in the report.

Donovan, Shea ruled out of USMNT's upcoming World Cup qualifiers

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By FRANCO PANIZO

U.S. men's national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said Monday he called up target strikers with good heading ability because it was likely that the Americans were going to be forced to settle for whipped in crosses in their two upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

A closer look at a special night in Seattle

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KickTV: Jimmy Conrad at El Clasico

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Donovan skips first USMNT practice to undergo medical evaluation

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Landon Donovan's knee might be feeling better than it did on Saturday, but that still does not mean he will play for the U.S. men's national team on Friday.

Donovan missed the United States' first training sessionin Miami on Tuesday morning as he was being evaluated by the team's the medical staff, U.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Month: Austin Berry

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The Chicago Fire surged up the Eastern Conference standings in September, rattling off a four-match winning streak that helped them grab second place and eventually clinch the team's first playoff berth since 2009. Austin Berry played a key role in that September success, and his play during that stretch earned him SBI MLS Rookie of the Month honors.

Must-See Goal: Jackson Martinez

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USMNT Daily Update: Altidore snub a gamble that could pay long-term dividends, or blow up in Klinsmann's face

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By IVES GALARCEP

Jurgen Klinsmann made sure to offer up as thorough an explanation as possible on Monday for his decision to leave Jozy Altidore off the U.S. national team roster for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers, and while you can't argue with the notion that Altidore's U.

Scorpions, Rowdies lead way in NASL's 2012 Best XI

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The San Antonio Scorpions and Tampa Bay Rowdies were the best two teams in the regular season this year, so it should come as no surprise that their players make up more than half of NASL's 2012 Best XI.

NASL announced the best players of the campaign on Tuesday morning and both the Scorpions and Rowdies had three players, the highest total from any of the eight teams in the league.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Ray Gaddis

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The Philadelphia Union are coming off arguably their best week of the season, and Ray Gaddis played a big part in helping make that happen.

Gaddis started and went the distance in both of the Union's wins last week, first helping stymie the Chicago Fire offense in Philadelphia's upset victory at Toyota Park before helping the club get a cleansheet win over the New England Revolution on Saturday.

Tuesday Kickoff: Bolton fires Coyle; Cole apology accepted; and more

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Bolton has endured a painful drop from the English Premier League to the League Championship, and a terrible start to the season has the club's chance of returning to the top flight looking non-existent. Those facts have led to Bolton firing Owen Coyle as the club's manager after almost three seasons at the helm.

Tuesday Kickoff: Bolton's Coyle fired, Ballack wants coaching license and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The English Championship has not even reached the two-month mark yet, but already we have the first coaching casualty of the season.

Bolton Wanderers fired manager Owen Coyle on Tuesday morning after a nightmare start to their season in the Championship.

USMNT Notes: Donovan's injury showing improvement, Kljestan's return and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Fears that Landon Donovan will miss yet another U.S. men's national team training camp have been put to rest by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

Klinsmann revealed during a conference call on Monday afternoon that Donovan's injured left knee had shown substantial signs of progress and the veteran midfielder was on a plane to Miami to join the rest of the U.

Klinsmann cites Altidore's disappointing USMNT form as key reason for WCQ snub

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By FRANCO PANIZO

When Jozy Altidore was left off the U.S. Men's National Team roster for a pair of crucial upcoming World Cup qualifiers, the decision looked to be a serious head scratcher considering Altidore has been one of the best forwards in Europe in the early months of the new club season.

Klinsmann unveils 24-man roster, omits Altidore and Boyd among others

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By FRANCO PANIZO

U.S. men's national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has released the 24-man roster that will aim to attempt to reach the final round of World Cup qualifying, and there are surprises aplenty.

Here is the full roster:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DEFENDERS (8): Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Maurice Edu (Stoke City), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaelland)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Roma), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

FORWARDS (5): Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Herculez Gomez (Santos), Alan Gordon (San Jose Earthquakes), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders)

What do you think of this roster?

Mid-Day Ticker: FA charges Cole over tweet, Alves sidelined, and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Ashley Cole's now infamous tweet grabbed its share of headlines last week, and this week will be no different it appears.

Cole has been charged with misconduct by the English FA for his tweet that came in response to the John Terry racism case. The 31-year-old fullback, who has since apologized for the tweet, has until October 11 to responde to the charge

Cole is is due to join the England national team camp on Monday to prepare for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland.

SBI MLS Goal of the Week: Robbie Keane

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Espinoza out 2-4 weeks with ankle sprain

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That sound you hear is Sporting Kansas City fans breathing a collective sigh of relief.

Roger Espinoza had an MRI and X-rays taken on Monday morningand has been ruled out two to four weeks with a right anterior medial ankle sprain. Espinoza sustainted the knock in the second half of Sporting KC's 1-1 draw with the Columbus Crew on Sunday.

SBI MLS Team of the Week: Philadelphia Union

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The Philadelphia Union may not be going to the playoffs this year, but they are finishing the season on a strong note that bodes well for 2013.

The Union posted a pair of victories last week, including an impressive road victory against the Chicago Fire, to earn SBI MLS Team of the Week honors.

NASL Playoff Rewind: Rowdies edge RailHawks, Stars tie Scorpions in first legs

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Any fear of suffering from the bye week blues were put to rest by the Tampa Bay Rowdies this past weekend, as they continued their red-hot form in the NASL semifinals this past weekend.

The Rowdies moved one step closer to reaching the NASL Championship Series and extended their current unbeaten streak to seven gamesby going into WakeMed Soccer Park and defeating the Carolina RailHawks, 2-1, in the first leg of their semifinals clash on Saturday.

Is Altidore missing the USMNT qualifiers? (and if so, why?)

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Jozy Altidore set off a rash of speculation this morning when he tweeted about attending an event with AZ teammates on Tuesday, a tweet that would suggest he is not joining the U.S. Men's national team for its training camp ahead of two crucial World Cup qualifiers.

Why would Altidore, currently enjoying the best run of form on the club level of his career, be left out for two all-important qualifiers?

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Chris Wondolowski

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Chris Wondolowski just can't stop scoring.

The MLS leader in goals pushed his season total to 25 on Saturday thanks to a hat trick in the Earthquakes' 4-1 win against Colorado on Saturday. Wondolowski's latest masterpiece made him an easy pick for SBI MLS Player of the Week.

Wondolowski's three goals not only brings him within two goals of Roy Lassiter's MLS record for goals in a season, it also helped the Earthquakes move a step closer to the Supporters Shield.

European Weekend Rewind: Real and Barca draw, Inter tops Milan, and more

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By NICK IUELE

In a clash that showed why Barcelona and Real Madrid are often considered the two best teams in the world, and why Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are considered the two best players in the world, Barcelona and Real Madrid played to an excitin 2-2 drawin front of a crowd of 95,000 at Barca's Camp Nou on Sunday.

Late Gaven goal evens it up for Columbus in draw with Sporting Kansas City

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By BRYAN ROBISON

Much like they have done so often as of late, the Columbus Crew continued their recent run of finding a late goal. This time around, it was Eddie Gaven, who headed in the equalizing goal in the first minute of stoppage time to preserve a 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City, along with preserving Columbus' playoff hopes, as they remain one point behind the Houston Dynamo for the fifth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Sounders vs. Timbers: Match Night Commentary

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The Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers renew what is arguably the best rivalry in Major League Soccer tonight when the Sounders play host to the Timbers at CenturyLink Field (9pm, ESPN).

The Sounders are in the thick of the race for a top three spot in the Western Conference playoffs, while the Timbers are still playing for the Cascadia Cup, and a win tonight could give the Timbers the trophy.

Chivas USA ends scoreless streak, crushing FC Dallas' playoff hopes in draw

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By BRYAN ROBISON

Coming into Sunday's matchup with Chivas USA, FC Dallas was in desperate need of a win to keep up with the Vancouver Whitecaps. That win did not come, as Dallas dropped a pivotal two points, in a match that Chivas USA dominated at home.

Montero, Johnson goals help Seattle rout Portland

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By JASON MITCHELL

SEATTLE, Wash. - The Seattle Sounders capitalized on an electric atmosphere and a Portland Timbers' own goal Sunday night at CenturyLink Field, topping their fierce Interstate 5 rivals 3-0 to assume third place in the Western Conference.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

It may have taken a little longer than he would have liked, but Maurice Edu finally made his Stoke City debut.

Edu made his first appearance for Stoke in the club's scoreless draw with Liverpool on Sunday.

Must-See Goal: Lionel Messi

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Houston unable to make impact on playoff race in 1-1 draw against Montreal

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By BRYAN ROBISON

In a match that saw the Montreal Impact eliminated from the playoff race, the Houston Dynamo failed to take advantage of an opportunity to put some distance between them and sixth-place Columbus Crew, as a 1-1 draw puts the Dynamo just two points ahead going into today's Columbus vs.

Real Madrid vs. Barcelona: Your Running Commentary

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By BRYAN ROBISON

El Clasico kicks off for the 2012-2013 La Liga season, as Real Madrid takes on Barcelona at Camp Nou. This is the 166th match in league play between the two rivals. Real Madrid will be looking to make up ground on Barcelona, as the defending La Liga champions are off to a slow start this season.

Video: Michael Bradley scores in his return for Roma

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By BRYAN ROBISON

After missing the previous month due to a thigh injury, Michael Bradley returned to the Roma starting lineup in style today, netting his first goal of the season in the 62nd minute. The American played 72 minutes before being subbed out in Roma's 2-0 victory over Atalanta.

McInerney, Union down 10-man Revolution

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By JOEY SAMUEL

CHESTER, Pa. -- Both the Philadelphia Union and the New England Revolution are already out of playoff contention in 2012. One of those teams is ending its season in style, though, while the other is ending it in disaster.

MacDonald brace snaps Fire skid, leaves Red Bulls reeling in East playoff race

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The New York Red Bulls have worried about slow starts all season, so when they managed to keep the Chicago Fire off the scoreboard in the first half on Saturday, there was hope for a team that had consistently struggled to take control of matches.

The Red Bulls didn't lose control of the match early on Saturday.

Shea to miss upcoming USMNT qualifiers (and Donovan leaves Galaxy match with injury)

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

CARSON, Calif.-- While Eddie Johnson revealed at least one surprise in the upcoming U.S. Men's National Team roster for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers, there will at least be one more.

Sources have confirmed to SBI that FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea will not be called up by Jurgen Klinsmann for the upcoming qualifiers against Antigua & Barbuda and Guatemala.

Donovan says status for USMNT is "TBD" after suffering knee injury vs. RSL

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Photo by Matt Ersted/ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

CARSON, Calif.--Landon Donovan winced in pain as he tried putting pressure on his left knee, and as he walked gingerly toward the LA Galaxy locker room after Saturday's 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake, it appeared less and less likely that he would make his return to the U.

Espindola brace leads RSL past Galaxy

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By IVES GALARCEP

CARSON, Calif.--The LA Galaxy came out firing early on in Saturday night's Western Conference showdown vs. Real Salt Lake, and when Robbie Keane unleashed a beautiful left-footed volley in the 17th minute to give the Galaxy a 1-0 lead, RSL looked like they would be in danger of being routed.

Wondolowski nets hat trick as Earthquakes roll over Rapids to move step closer to Supporters Shield

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Chris Wondolowski has been scoring goals at an amazing clip this season, and on Saturday night he bagged another three to help San Jose stay in the lead for the MLS Supporters' Shield.

Wondolowski broke San Jose's franchise record for goals in a season with his three tallies and the Earthquakes defeated the Colorado Rapids, 4-1, at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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The always highly anticipated matchup takes place today, as El Clasico will kick off this afternoon from Camp Nou. Real Madrid will look to make some ground on Barcelona, as the defending league champions are already eight points behind league-leading Barcelona. In 222 all-time meetings, Real Madrid holds 88 wins, while Barcelona holds 87.

Must-See Goal: Santi Cazorla

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Saturday Ticker: Conte ban reduced, Cole goes on Twitter rant, and more

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By JOEY SAMUEL

Juventus are currently tied atop the Serie A as they look to defend their championship from 2011-12, and on Friday, the club received news that even further bolsters what has been an excellent start to the season.

An Italian sports arbitration court reduced coach Antonio Conte's ban from 10 months to only four months, meaning the Juventus manager will be back on the sidelines as early as December.

KickTV: Top Five Moments from El Clasico

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A sneak peek at MLS36: Kyle Beckerman

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Following tonight's game between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Real Salt Lake, NBC Sports Network will air the latest episode of MLS36, which gives viewers a look into what Major League Soccer players do for the 36 hours leading into a match.

Here's a sneak peek at tonight's episode, which will air at 11:30 pm Eastern time and features Real Salt Lake midfielder Kyle Beckerman:


MLS Match Day: Your Running Commentary

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In a game with massive playoff implications, the New York Red Bulls will host the Chicago Fire today in a nationally-televised match.

With the two teams tied for second place in the Eastern Conference, a playoff preview could be in store at Red Bull Arena this afternoon. One of the clubs could clinch a postseason berth today, as the winner of the match can seal its spot based on results in other games around MLS later on.

College Soccer Rewind: UNM upset by Air Force, Xavier downs St. Louis, and more

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By JOEY SAMUEL

Coming into this weekend, New Mexico was considered one of the top teams in the nation in college soccer. But after Friday night, that status is seriously in danger.

With six minutes remaining in overtime of a scoreless stalemate, Air Force's Caleb Downey pounced on a loose ball in the box and buried a shot past New Mexico's goalkeeper to break the deadlock and give the Falcons a dramatic 1-0 upset win.

Johnson reveals USMNT call-up on Twitter

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Guess who's back?

Seattle Sounders forward Eddie Johnson revealed on Twitter on Friday night that he has been called up by the U.S. national team for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Antigua & Barbuda and Guatemala.

Johnson sent out the following tweet on Friday night:

Thank you to the Seattle Sounders and my teammates family and friends for believing in me when everyone else didn't.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Manchester City have started the English Premier League season undefeated, winning three and drawing three in the first six games of the campaign, but they still find themselves four points away from league leaders Chelsea, who are off to an unbeaten start of their own.

MLS hoping to reach deal for NYC stadium in next 30 days

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

If MLS has its way, a deal for the much-discussed soccer-specific stadium in New York City will be finalized within the next month.

According to New York Daily News, MLS is hoping to iron out the finals details of a deal that would allow the league to move forward with their plans for a stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens within the next 30 days.

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

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Barcelona and Real Madrid have already done battle this season in the late summer's Spanish Super Cup (won by Real Madrid), but their battle for the La Liga title begins at the Camp Nou on Sunday in the latest installment of 'El Clasico'.

It may just be October but the match is already a must-win for Real Madrid.

A closer look at salaries for the newest players in Major League Soccer

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MLS released its latest round of player and team salaries earlier this week. To no one's surprise, David Beckham, Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez were among the best-paid players in the league while the New York Red Bulls and Los Angeles Galaxy were the two clubs with the highest payrolls.

Still, there were plenty of interesting salaries among some of the newcomers in the league, including that of Tim Cahill.

Local politician reveals D.C. United stadium project making progress

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Taking politicians at face value during this time of the year can be seen as a bit of a gamble, but the latest out of Washington D.C. should have D.C. United fans buzzing.

D.C. Council member Jack Evans, Ward 2 Democrat, was on "The Kojo Nnamdi Show" on Friday and he said the city is in the final stages of negotiations with United to complete a deal for a soccer-specific stadium.

USMNT stars discuss youth soccer and the sport's impact on their lives

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MLS Week 31: A Look Ahead

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By THOMAS FLOYD

Real Salt Lake and the Los Angeles Galaxy may have already clinched playoff berths, but the battle for Western Conference seeding is far from over.

With both sides fighting for a bye through the wild-card round, this weekend's rematch of last year's conference title game carries major playoff implications.

College Weekend Preview: UConn meets unbeaten Marquette, Saint Louis visits Xavier, Elon faces Furman, and more

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

UConn may be the best team in the mighty Big East Conference, but the SBI No. 1 Huskies aren't the only team in the Big East with a perfect record. That distinction belongs to Marquette, which will put their 10-0 record on the line on Saturday when they play host to the top team in the nation.

NASL Notes: Downs stepping aside, Stars on verge of being ousted and more

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The 2012 season will be NASL Commissioner David Downs' last.

Downs is set to leave his post with NASL at the end of the current campaign,the league announced Thursday. Downs has served as the league's commissioner for its first two seasons, but he intends to retire and move from Miami back to the New York area once the NASL Championship Series concludes.

MLS Notes: Franco suspended, Davis sidelined, and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Welcome to MLS, Guillermo Franco.

The MLS Disciplinary Committee decided to suspend Franco one game and fine him an undisclosed amount for his reckless challenge on Philadelphia Union midfielder Brian Carroll in the second half of the Fire's 3-1 loss on Wednesday, his second game in the league.

U.S. U-17 star Flores signs with Dortmund

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Photo by John Dorton/ISIphotos.com

U.S. Under-17 men's national team attacking midfielder Junior Flores is one of the top prospects in the American pipeline, and German Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund are convinced he could be one for the future.

Dortmund has signed the 16-year-old Flores to a professional contract, the Orlando Sentinel's Paul Tenorio reported on Twitter on Thursday evening.

Must-See Goals: Anthony Knockaert

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One player, one game, two beautiful goals.


European Weekend Preview: Barca-Madrid and Milan Derby headline a stacked schedule of rivalry matches

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By NICK IUELE

Barcelona and Real Madrid face off in La Liga play for the first time this season on Sunday in the latest installment of 'El Clasico'.

The last time the two clubs squared off, Madrid got the best of Barca in the Spanish Super Cup. Barcelona is undefeated this season, but have looked a bit vulnerable in their last two matches.

Galaxy face RSL to kick off tough stretch run

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

BY KAYLA KNAPP

CARSON, Calif. — The first time the Los Angeles Galaxy faced Real Salt Lake this year was in the 2012 season opener, where they were handed a tough 3-1 loss at the Home Depot Center. Not exactly the way the reigning MLS Cup Champions were hoping to start the defense of their title.

Americans Abroad: Midweek Rewind

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photo by Nick Turchiaro/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The majority of the Americans Abroad contingent that were in action during the middle of the weekare surely looking forward to this weekend's action after mostly poor outings, but Steve Cherundolo is not one of those players.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

As far as Americans Abroad match-ups go, this weekend could provide one of the best of the season.

As many as four Americans could be on the field at the same time on Sunday, as Tottenham Hotspur host Aston Villa. Spurs goalkeeper Brad Friedel and Villans netminder Brad Guzan are likely to square off in a battle of former mentor and apprentice, while Clint Dempsey might have to beat the likes of Eric Lichaj in order to score in a second consecutive league game for fifth-place Tottenham.

USMNT Daily Update: Who should Klinsmann call in for the qualifiers?

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

The U.S. Men's National Team will convene in Miami on Monday ahead of the crucial pair of World Cup qualifiers against Antigua & Barbuda and Guatemala, and while we aren't going to find out the names of the 23 players Jurgen Klinsmann has selected until Monday, it isn't tough to figure out we'll be seeing many of the same faces.

Polls soon to open in Seattle as Hanauer/GM vote looms

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

Seattle Sounders Alliance members are just a few days away from putting democracy in sport into action when voting opens whether to retain general manager Adrian Hanauer.

Yes, Sounders fans have major stake in the fate of Hanauer, who is less focused on stumping for fan support than on seeing the team earn a higher seed in the MLS playoffs.

Europa League: Your Running Commentary

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Clint Dempsey and Tottenham will resume their quest to lift the Europa League title today when they take on Panathanaikos in group stage action in Greece (1pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

Dempsey is coming off scoring his first Tottenham goal, the game-winning tally in Spurs win against Manchester United.

Why the MLS MVP Award is already Wondolowski's (and a closer look at the leading candidates for the honor)

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By IVES GALARCEP

With three weeks left in the MLS regular season you might think it's too early to be calling any award winners, but the reality is one award has already been locked up and the league can start chiseling the trophy.

The MLS MVP award belongs to Chris Wondolowski, and as much as that isn't really a surprise to anybody at this point, a closer look at the numbers show that nobody comes close to him.

Classic Must-See Goal: Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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Red Bulls set sights on McAllister as Backe replacement

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The New York Red Bulls are in the middle of a playoff race, and could still conceivably win an MLS Cup title, but that isn't stopping the people now running the Red Bulls from making plans for major off-season changes.

After disposing of former general manager and sporting director Erik Soler earlier this week, the Red Bulls are already lining up a replacement for head coach Hans Backe, and while several names have already surfaced as alleged targets, sources tell SBI that one coach has emerged as a front-runner to lead the Red Bulls in 2013.

College Soccer Rewind: UConn tops Georgetown; High Point no longer perfect; and more

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If showing that they were worthy of being considered one of the best teams in the nation was the goal for the Georgetown Hoyas on Wednesday afternoon, they managed to accomplish that with an impressive showing against the top team in the nation.

Unfortunately for the Hoyas, UConn and goalkeeper Andre Blake also showed us why they are worthy of being called the best team in college soccer.

Real Madrid 4, Ajax 1: Match Highlights

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USMNT Daily Update: Is Johannsson the latest dual national to pass on USA?

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His name is Aron Johannsson and he can't stop scoring goals. He is an Iceland Under-21 player who is reportedl starting to attract the attention of big European clubs by scoring goal after goal (rumors of interest from Arsenal have already surfaced). He has 11 in 11 matches for Danish side AGF Aarhus to be exact, an impressive number regardless of league.

Union upset Fire at Toyota Park

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The Chicago Fire went into Wednesday night's match against the Philadelphia Union expected to rebound from last week's loss to Sporting Kansas City.

The Philadelphia Union had other plans.

Jack McInerney recorded a goal and assist as the Union pounced on a flat Fire squad on their way to a 3-1 victory at Toyota Park.

Whitecaps roll past hapless Chivas USA, extend lead on FC Dallas for playoff spot

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The Vancouver Whitecaps were in desperate need of a victory on Wednesday night after enduring a seven-match winless streak, and after watching a once-mighty hold on a playoff spot dwindle down to two points.

Luckily for them, Major League Soccer's cure for the common slump, Chivas USA, came to town.

Must-See Goal: Andrija Zivkovic (The Triple Dummy)

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Chicago Fire vs. Philadelphia Union: Your Running Commentary

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The Chicago Fire will be looking to shake off last week's loss to Sporting Kansas City and get back in the race for first place when they take on the Philadelphia Union at Toyota Park tonight (8:30pm, Direct Kick).

The Fire can close the distance behind Sporting KC to two points in the race for first place, and they will do so against a Union side that slipped out of the playoffs thanks to their recent run of bad form.

UEFA Champions League Rewind: Hart Rescues Manchester City; Real Madrid and Arsenal win convincingly; and more

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Manchester City could certainly have used three points against Borussia Dortmund at home in Wednesday's UEFA Champions League Group D match, but City were fortunate to walk away with their first point of the group stage.

Goalkeeper Joe Hart stopped several quality chances from Dortmund, but the German side took a 1-0 lead in the 61st minute with Marco Reus beating Hart after a giveaway.

Must-See Goal: Karim Benzema

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MLS Notes: Adu out for Fire clash, Sam a question mark for Red Bulls, and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The Philadelphia Union will head into Toyota Park on Wednesday night looking to knock off the Chicago Fire, and they will do so without Freddy Adu.

Adu did not make the trip to Chicago afterbeing ruled out for the game with a quadriceps strain in his left leg.

Ticket sales for Sounders-Timbers surpass 66,000

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

One of, if not the hottest, soccer tickets in the world is in Seattle this weekend, where the Sounders will host their biggest Cascadia rivals the Portland Timbers on Sunday.

Ticket sales have surpassed 66,000 for the match, according to a Seattle Times report.

UEFA Champions League: Match Day Two (Your Running Commentary)

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The action in the UEFA Champions League Group of Death, Group D, swings back into full gear later today and all four teams will be eager to pick up points so as to not fall behind in the race for the top two spots.

Manchester City are in dire need of grabbing three points after failing to put away Real Madrid in the group opener, but they will have to knock off reigning German Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund in order to do so.

College Soccer Preview: UConn and Georgetown headline busy day for Top 25

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Unbeaten UConn and Unbeaten Georgetown face off today (3pm) in a battle of two of the top teams in the nation, and two teams with Big East title aspirations.

The Hoyas, No.3 in the SBI Top 25, will try to knock the Huskies from the top spot in the rankings. Freshman Brandon Allen leads the way for Georgetown and the New York Red Bulls academy product will look to test a UConn defense that has been one of the best in the nation.

Report: Davies reaches settlement with businesses that served drunk driver

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Former U.S. national team star Charlie Davies hasn't been able to find the form he once had since a horrible auto accident in which he was badly injured in 2009, but he has taken a step closer to finding closure from the incident that permanently impacted his soccer career, and nearly killed him.

SBI MLS Player of the Month: Chris Wondolowski

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The San Jose Earthquakes continued to control the Western Conference through the month of September, posting an unbeaten 3-0-2 record to stay ahead of the pack, not only in the West, but in the overall league as well.

There were plenty of players who played key roles in the latest outstanding month for San Jose, but none was as important as MLS scoring leader Chris Wondolowski, who notched four goals and two assists in his team's five matches.

UEFA Champions League: Manchester City-Borussia Dortmund headlines Wednesday's group stage action

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It's an important day for Manchester City, which need three points at home against Borussia Dortmund (2:45 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Channel) in Group D action of the UEFA Champions League to get back into position to advance.

Man City opened the group stage last month with a 3-2 loss to Real Madrid, which is also in action Wednesday in Amsterdam against Ajax.

SBI Men's College Soccer Top 25 (Oct. 3rd)

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Photo by Steve Slade/UConn Athletics

Riding their impressive victory against fellow Big East power Notre Dame last Saturday, the University of Connecticut Huskies have made their way to the top of the latest SBI College Soccer Top 25.

UConn edged ahead of former No.

Wednesday Kickoff: Puyol to miss eight weeks, USA up to 32 in latest FIFA rankings, and more

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The terrible-looking arm injury suffered by Carles Puyol in Tuesday's UEFA Champions League match against Barcelona appears to not be as bad as first feared.

According to multiple reports in Spain, Puyol is set to miss eight weeks with a dislocated elbow. The injury will not require surgery, which will allow the veteran defender to return in an astonishing two months.

MLS fines Timbers owner Paulson $25K for ripping officials on Twitter, and for confronting referee after match

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A missed penalty call in Saturday's Portland Timbers-D.C. United match was enough to set off Timbers owner Merritt Paulson. He not only rattled off a tirade on Twitter bashing MLS officiating, he then confronted match officials after the match.

Major League Soccer punished Paulson for his actions, fining him $25,000 for his actions, and for the following tweets:

"Let's be real.

USMNT Daily Update: Who should partner Cameron in central defense?

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By IVES GALARCEP

Geoff Cameron may have only recently established himself as a starting centerback for the U.S. Men's National Team, but it is no longer a stretch to say that, right now, he is the national team's best centerback and a player who should remain a starter for a long time.

Red Bulls replace Soler out as GM, former AS Monaco president named new boss

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The Erik Soler era is over for the New York Red Bulls, and the new regime at the club has a distinct French flavor.

The Red Bulls have announced the appointment of former AS Monaco club president Jerome De Bontin (pictured) as the team's new general manager. Former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier, who was appointed head of global soccer for Red Bull in July, will oversee all sporting aspects of the team.

Puyol suffers horrific arm injury in Barcelona's UEFA Champions league win

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Carles Puyol could be facing a lengthy injuy layoff after falling awkwardly on his arm during Barcelona's Champions League group stage victory against Benfica on Tuesday. After jumping up for a header, Puyol was clipped by a Benfica player and landed with the full weight of his body onto his left arm, which was in an awkward position.

UEF Champions League: Match Day Two (Your Running Commentary)

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Manchester United and Chelsea are on the road today in a pair of UEFA Champions League group stage matches they will be looking to win to secure their places as group favorites.

Manchester United will look to shake off their weekend loss to Tottenham by beating Romanian side CFR Cluj, while Chelsea are in Denmark to take on Michael Parkhurst and Nordsjaelland.

SBI MLS Best XI: (Week 29)

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Thierry Henry turned in what might have been his best game of the year in leading the New York Red Bulls to a 4-1 rout of Toronto FC, a performance that made him an easy pick for SBI MLS Best XI.

Henry's three assists and game-capping goal completed a virtuoso effort for the French striker, one of a plethora of MLS forwards to enjoy outstanding weekends.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Matt Hedges

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It isn't easy for a defender to stand out in a six-goal shootout, but Matt Hedges did just that.

The FC Dallas defender was key to holding off San Jose's attack in the first half of Saturday's match against the Earthquakes, and while he did get beat on the first of Steven Lenhart's two goals, Hedges provided a goal of his own and helped FC Dallas escape San Jose with a point.

Mid-Day Ticker: Ballack retires, Solskjaer linked to Blackburn job, and more

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Michael Ballack, the man who scored the winning goal to defeat the U.S. Men's national team in the 2002 World Cup quarterfinals, has retired from professional soccer.

The former German national team captain most recently spent the summer as a TV analyst for ESPN during the European championships, and had been linked to a move to Major League Soccer, but that move never materialized and he has decided to stop playing at the age of 36.

UEFA Champions League: Benfica-Barcelona headlines Match Day Two

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FC Barcelona have yet to drop a point in league play or in Champions League, but they should face a good challenge from Portuguese power Benfica in the most high-profile match of UEFA Champions League Match Day Two.

Benfica came into the group stages as the favorite to join Barcelona as the qualifiers out of Group G, but a draw vs.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 30

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The Houston Dynamo were in a bit of a tailspin mode in recent weeks, having won just one of their past seven MLS matches, but a change in formation and a well-earned victory have Dom Kinnear's squad back on track and back in the top half of the SBI MLS Power Rankings.

The Dynamo reverted to their old 4-4-2 formation in their 2-0 victory against the New England Revolution and the shift away from the 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2 produce the kind of performance Houston will need to solidify their hold on a playoff spot in the East.

Tuesday MLS Kickoff: DeLaGarza sidelined, Ballouchy out for season, and more

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If the Los Angeles Galaxy are going to finish the remainder of the MLS season with a strong run, they will have to do so without starting defender A.J. DeLaGarza.

The Los Angeles Times reported on Monday evening that De La Garza will likely miss the remainder of the regular season with a sprained knee ligament in his left knee.

USMNT Daily Update: Altidore's latest gem, his USMNT goal drought, and his forgotten national team goals

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By IVES GALARCEP

When Jozy Altidore slalomed through RKCWaalwijk's defense on his way to his eighth, and most beautiful goal, of the seasonon Sunday, the goal left many U.S. fans wondering when he will start scoring goals like that for the U.S. national team. His current goal rut stands at just one goal in his past 13 national team appearances, a stretch of more than 15 months that has led to understandable concerns about when his production for the U.

Villarreal, Joya among players called into U.S. U-20 team for Marbella Tournament

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Los Angeles Galaxy forward Jose Villarreal, Santos Laguna's Beji Joya and Liverpool youth player Marc Pelosi were amon the 19 players called by Tab Ramos for the U.S. Under-20 national team ahead of the upcoming Marbella Tournament in Spain.

Real Salt Lake midfielder Luis Gil and University of North Carolina teammates Mikey Lopez and Boyd Okwuano were also named to the squad, which will face Canada, Scotland and Azerbaijan from Oct.

Mid-Day Ticker: Thiago hurt, Man U leaves behind experienced trio and more

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Thiago's injury may not be as bad as some initially feared, but the Barcelona midfielder will still miss a good chunk of the season because of it.

Thiagois expected to be out for at least the next eight weeks after suffering a knee injury inBarcelona's 3-2 comeback win over Sevilla this past Saturday.

SBI MLS Team of the Week: Sporting Kansas City

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The biggest game of the past week saw Sporting Kansas City face the streaking Chicago Fire with first place on the line, and the way Sporting KC controlled the match and defeated the Fire with so much on the line made them the easy pick for SBI MLS Team of the Week.

There were some outstanding team performances, such as the ones turned in by Real Salt Lake, the New York Red Bulls and Houston Dynamo, but none of those teams outplayed an opponent as strong as the Fire.

Sam provides vital spark to Red Bulls attack

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BY DAVE MARTINEZ

It only took 58 minutes for the New York Red Bulls to see an element they had been missing for quite some time.

Earning his first start in front of a packed crowd at Red Bull Arena, Lloyd Sam proved to be a game changer. His aggressive style and skill added an element to the Red Bulls' attack that seemed to complete the team's starting puzzle that Coach Hans Backe has desperately been trying to put together for the playoff run.

College Weekend Rewind: UConn downs Notre Dame, UNC edges Duke, and more

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The UConn Huskies sent a message this weekend that they have every intention of being the top team in the stacked Big East with their win against highly-rated Notre Dame.

The SBI No. 2 Huskies rode goals from Carlos Alvarez and Flo Liu to extend their home unbeaten streak to 32 games, the seventh-longest streak in NCAA history.

Monday Mid-Day Centerback: A look at the Rookie of the Year race, and the different ways to look at the award

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What makes a Rookie of the Year? Is it, like the MLS MVP Award, an honor to be given to a player who puts together an outstanding first professional season, or an award to give to a young player who shows the most potential?

Those two things may sound like they are the same thing, but they are not.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Graham Zusi

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In an weekend that saw more than a half-dozen standout performances that could all be deemed worthy of Player of the Week honors, one player stood out the most for delivering a dream outing in the biggest match of the weekend.

When Sporting Kansas City beat the red-hot Chicago Fire to halt the Fire's four-match winning streak and keep KC's hold on first place in the East it was Graham Zusi who led the way.

European Weekend Rewind: Chelsea tops Arsenal, Barcelona keeps rolling, & more

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Chelsea continued their strong run to start the season on Saturday by knocking off London arch-rival Arsenal to stay in first place in the English Premier League.

Goals from Fernando Torres and Juan Mata helped the Blues hand the Gunners their first loss of the season. Mata provided the winner when he sent a long free kick at goal that deflected off Laurent Koscielny before going in for the decisive tally.

NASL Playoff Rewind: Stars upset Islanders, RailHawks roll past Strikers

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Minnesota Stars FC could not have picked a better time to get their first win in Puerto Rico.

The Stars upset the Puerto Rico Islanders, 2-1, in their NASL quarterfinals clash at Estadio Juan Ramon Loubriel on Sunday to grab their first victory in Puerto Rico in three years.

Rapids and Galaxy play to draw in Colorado

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Someone finally slowed down the Los Angeles Galaxy, but the Colorado Rapids bid to be the first team to beat the Galaxy in seven weeks fell short.

Rapids midfielder Jaime Castrillon scored a 16th minute equalizer to negate an early strike from Marcelo Sarvas and help give Colorado a 1-1 draw against the Galaxy on Sunday night at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

SBI MLS Goal of the Week: Ryan Johnson

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