WASHINGTON -- When Maicon Santos was sent to FC Dallas in a trade midway through last season,
the Brazilian striker was largely considered the missing link for a championship-caliber squad. But
after scoring two goals in 11 games, Santos was benched in the playoffs and let go during the
After his messy offseason departure from Philadelphia, the Vancouver Whitecaps forward will
return to the City of Brotherly Love to take on a Union side that appears to be sorely missing his
Another player for a major European club is in a battle with a serious illness.
Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov was diagnosed with acute leukemia, the club announced on
Friday. According to an Aston Villa statement, Petrov had developed a fever after last week's match
against Arsenal, and the disease was discovered in his ensuing blood tests.
It's getting down to crunch time across Europe, with a number of teams approaching must-win
territory to keep their title or UEFA Champions League hopes afloat for another week.
Manchester City falls into that category, with the club entering its crucial match with
Sunderland three points behind rival Manchester United while star forward Sergio Aguero is
sidelined with a mystery foot injury.
MLS commissioner Don Garber said before the season that the league's disciplinary committee
would take a hard line on excessive challenges and instances of embellishment, and the first
instance of that more rigid stance has been put in motion.
The league has suspended and fined Houston Dynamo midfielder Adam Moffat for a harsh challenge
and fined Seattle Sounders midfielder Alvaro Fernandez for embellishing contact in their matchup a
Egyptian soccer continues to be in recovery mode after the club season was cancelled in the
aftermath of the fatal riots in Port Said, but the beat goes on for Bob Bradley and the Egyptian
Egypt defeated Uganda 2-1 in Sudan on Thursday to remain unbeaten in the four games since the
tragedy that took the lives of 74 people last month.
Not even two weeks ago, Fabrice Muamba was in a fight for his life, nearly dying after
collapsing on the field during an FA Cup match between Bolton and Tottenham.
The 23-year-old Bolton midfielder continues his recovery from the sudden cardiac arrest in a
London hospital, and after a number of reports and accounts of his progress, the first photo of him
since the frightening episode is making the rounds.
The summer friendly announcements continue to roll in.
Liverpool and Tottenham, both of whom have already announced plans for a U.S. summer tour, will
meet at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on July 28 for a club friendly.
Liverpool announced earlier this week that they would be taking on AS Roma at Fenway Park in
Boston on July 25, while Tottenham has friendlies scheduled with the Los Angeles Galaxy and New
York Red Bulls on July 24 and 31, respectively.
CARSON, Calif. â€“ LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena confirmed that Landon Donovan is an injury
doubt for Saturday's match against the New England Revolution. Donovan has been absent for training
for the entire week due to what Arena admitted was a quadriceps strain.
For two years, Sebastien Le Toux was the leading scorer and face of the franchise for the
Philadelphia Union. The first season without him has seen the team's worst start in its short
history. But coach Peter Nowak isn't thinking at all about the fact that Le Toux will return to
face his former club at PPL Park this Saturday.
Salomon Kalou may have been the hero of Chelsea's 1-0 Champions League triumph over Benfica on
Tuesday. But if former manager Andre Villas-Boas was still in charge, it's unlikely he would have
been on the field.
Kalou recently told The Sun that Villas-Boas minimized his role after he and the club failed to
reach an agreement on a new contract that would keep him at Chelsea past this season.
Good morning everybody. I haven't been able to get together an SBI Live Q&A lately, and since
I'm probably not going to be able to get one together for this week I wanted to give readers a
chance to send some questions in for me to answer.
So I'm bringing back the old school Q&A format for this week.
American soccer fans might best know Gabriel Gomez for his performance in Panama's stunning
victory over the U.S. men's national team in the group stages of last summer's Gold Cup. Gomez left
his stamp on that game, scoring a goal and setting up another to give Panama its first win over the
Barcelona was held scoreless for the first time in 30 UEFA Champions League matches on
Wednesday, and while AC Milan's organized defensive effort accounted for much of the club's
frustration, the Spanish power was not entirely thrilled with the playing conditions either.
The defending world champions have lodged a complaint about the condition of the playing surface
at the San Siro.
Santos Laguna, the highest-scoring team in Mexico was expected to demolish Toronto FC in their
CONCACAF Champions League semifinal series. If that is going to happen, Santos will have to do the
demolishing down in Mexico.
Toronto FC put on an inspiring performance to battle the top team in Mexico to a stalemate, as
the sides played to a 1-1 draw in Toronto on Wednesday night.
Toronto FC kicks off their quest to become the second straight MLS team to reach the CONCACAF
Champions League finals tonight when the Reds welcome Mexican power Santos Laguna to BMO Field for
the first leg of their semifinal tie (8 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel/Telefutura).
TFC reached the semifinals by springing a surprise on the favored Los Angeles Galaxy, and based
on the last couple of results without the injured Torsten Frings, it's going to take a top-notch
effort from TFC to get by Santos Laguna, which routed the Seattle Sounders in the second leg of
their quarterfinal tie and boast an impressive strikeforce that includes in-form American striker
To say that Herculez Gomez has seized his opportunity would be accurate, but it wouldn't quite
tell the whole story.
Gomez has made the most of his chance to start for Santos Laguna after an injury to Darwin
Quintero opened up a place in the club's starting lineup.Â With five league goals and three
CONCACAF Champions League goals since Feb.
The Colorado Rapids signed the one-time U.S. national team forward on Wednesday, adding him to a
forward stable that is already set to get Conor Casey back from injury in the coming weeks.
Sources told SBI that the Rapids acquired Hill through a lottery, which would mean that the club
is prohibited from taking part in any other player lottery this season, though the club did not
specify that in its official announcement.
Barcelona and AC Milan met twice in the UEFA Champions League group stage, and they'll treat
soccer fans to two more matchups starting with their opening leg of their UCL quarterfinals at the
Barcelona rolled through the Round of 16 behind the goalscoring exploits of Lionel Messi.
Major League Soccer has sent a strong message that should make players think twice before using
controversial language in any forum, whether it be on the field or through social media.
The league suspended Houston Dynamo winger Colin Clark three games, fined him an undisclosed
amount and mandated him to attend diversity and sensitivity training for using an anti-gay slur
toward a Seattle Sounders ball boy during the clubs' match Friday night.
Few visiting teams go into Rio Tinto Stadium and walk out victorious. Especially not when that
visiting team is off to a struggling start. Especially not when Real Salt Lake is on a roll after a
pair of convincing season-opening victories.
But that's exactly what transpired over the weekend, as Chivas USA stunned RSL with a 1-0 result
to capture SBI MLS Team of the Week honors.
If Toronto FC is to figure out a remedy for their defensive problems, Wednesday night would be
an ideal time to do so.
TFC, Major League Soccer's last hope in the CONCACAF Champions League, welcomes red-hot Herculez
Gomez and in-form Santos Laguna to BMO Field Wednesday night for the opening match of their CCL
semifinal match (8 p.
Saturday night's game against Real Salt Lake is one that Casey Townsend won't soon forget.
With injuries to forwards Juan Pablo Angel and Alejandro Moreno, Townsend stepped up for Chivas
USA, starting his second straight game and delievering the game-winning goal in Chivas' surprising
1-0 victory over RSL at Rio Tinto Stadium to earn SBI MLS Rookie of the Week honors.
The New England's Revolution's front line is making way for yet another new face.
The Revs signed Swedish striker Bjorn Runstrom on Wednesday, adding another player to a
completely revamped attack. Runstrom joins Saer Sene, Jose Moreno, Fernando Cardenas and Blake
Brettschneider as new forwards who have joined the club since the offseason.
AC Milan and Barcelona are set to square off for the third time in this season's UEFA Champions
League as the Serie A leaders welcome the defending European champions to the San Siro for the
first leg of their quarterfinal tie.
Lionel Messi arrives in Italy with an astounding 12 goals in this season's Champions League, but
Barcelona struggled to impose themselves when the two teams met back in September.
The New York Red Bulls' home opener took on a special meaning for Wilman Conde. The Colombian
defender's re-integration to Major League Soccer also marked a return to competition after nearly a
year away from the game.
It took awhile but Chelsea and Real Madrid both scored late to take leads back home.
Chelsea won away in Europe for the first time in 13 months when Salomon Kalou scored late in the
second half to give the Blues a 1-0 win against Benfica. The home side had the majority of
possession and registered 25 shots but didn't create many real chances.
The oldest cup competition in the world and the most prestigious tournament in the modern game
are on display as the quarterfinals of both the FA Cup and theÂ UEFA Champions League kick off this
Chelsea take their circus on the road to Portugal as Roberto Di Matteo's men face Benfica (2:45,
To say it's David versus Goliath would be an understatement.
APOEL Nicosia are in the midst of one of the more remarkable Champions League runs in recent
memory but the powerhouse that is Real Madrid threaten to put an emphatic end to the feel-good
story. Cristiano Ronaldo and his Madrid cohorts will travel to Cyprus, a country with a fourth of
the population of city of Madrid, to take on APOEL.
Aston Villa is coming stateside for a pair of preseason friendlies against MLS clubs this
The Portland Timbers and Chicago Fire announced respective matches against the Villans on
Tuesday afternoon. Aston Villa, which currently employs forwards Darren Bent and Gabriel
Agbonlahor, will first take on the Fire at Toyota Park on July 21 before visiting JELD-WEN Field to
take on the Timbers on July 24.
U.S. Men's national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann was in Nashville for last night's Olympic
Qualifying debacle and had plenty to say about it, about the U.S. team and the future of the
players and head coach Caleb Porter.
Here are Klinsmann's comments from last night (and apologies for spelling mistakes, I'm about to
fly out of Nashville and wanted to get this out):
"We all feel really sorry for the guys," Klinsmann said.
The U.S. Under-23 men's national team's Olympic dream is over before it ever really got
A late blunder by substitute goalkeeper Sean Johnson in the final minute of stoppage time erased
a heroic comeback from the United States, as El Salvador knocked the Americans outÂ of Olympic
qualifying with a 3-3 draw at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn.
That's what the U.S. Under-23 national team faces tonight in a must-win match against El
Salvador in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying in Nashville.
Anything but a win and the Americans will be eliminated from the Olympic Qualifying Tournament,
while a win would send the United States through into a likely semifinal match-up against Mexico
with an Olympic berth up for grabs.
Fulham have lost their last two league games via shutout, and in order to end that poor run on
Monday they will have to do so against a Manchester United team still fighting for first place in
Manchester United hosts the Cottagers (3pm, ESPN2) in a match that will pit Clint Dempsey
against the likes of Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs.
In a weekend of outstanding performances, none was more impressive than the virtuoso display put
in by New York Red Bulls star Thierry Henry.
He delivered two clutch goals and an assist in the Red Bulls 4-1 thrashing of the Colorado
Rapids, and as much as there were several important individual performances from his teammates,
Henry was the star of the show.
The remarkable recovery of Fabrice Muamba took a significant step forward over the weekend with
the news the Bolton midfielder was able to get out of bed.
According to a statement released by the London Chest Hospital, Muamba "continues to make
encouraging progress in his recovery. Over the weekend he has been able to sit out of bed for a
short time, watch television and has begun to eat.
Tonight is do-or-die time for the U.S. men's Under-23 national team. A win tonight against El
Salvador and the Americans stay alive in the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament. Anything less
than a win and the United States will see the dream of an Olympic berth eliminated.
Kei Kamara looked like he might be the player left facing the blame for Sporting Kansas City not
keeping their record perfect as Sunday night's match against FC Dallas wound down to a close, but a
brilliant sequence and clutch finished changed all that.
Kamara finished off an outstanding passing sequence to deliver the game-winning goal in Sporting
KC's 2-1 victory against FC Dallas at Livestrong Sporting Park on Sunday.
Manchester City are back atop the English Premier League but it came in less-than-convincing
fashion with a 1-1 draw away to Stoke.
Peter Crouch scored one of the goals of the season to give the home side a second-half lead. A
long ball from deep inside Stoke's half was headed by Crouch to Jermaine Pennant who then returned
a pass to the 6'7 striker.
For two veteran Americans plying their trade in Mexico, this weekend saw them boost their
chances of getting called in for the U.S. men's national team's friendlies and World Cup qualifiers
The New York Red Bulls are looking for the first win of the season and will try to do so in
their 2012 home opener as they take on the unbeaten Colorado Rapids (4pm, NBC Sports Network).
The Red Bulls endured a rough pair of road games against Western powers to start the season, but
take on a Rapids team today that will be without key midfielders Jeff Larentowicz (suspended) and
The U.S. Under-23 men's national team's hopes of reaching the 2012 Olympics have been dealt a
Two days after routing Cuba, the Americans suffered a shocking 2-0 defeat to Canada at LP Field
in Nashville, Tenn. on Saturday night in their second Group A match. Both goals came in the second
half off of corner kicks, with Donell Henry and Lucas Cavallini scoring after defensive mistakes
from the United States.
As far as home openers go, Toronto FC and its fans endured a rough one.
After finding out that goalkeeper Stefan Frei would be out for up to 10 weeks with a broken leg
on Saturday, Toronto FC fell to 0-2 on the season with a 3-0 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes at
Some shaky Toronto defending allowed for Chris Wondolowski to score twice in the match, and he
could have had a third if not for hitting a wide open shot off the near post in the second
Chelsea and Tottenham are London rivals heading in opposite directions these days, and Saturday
their Derby clash will determine whether that continues and they cross paths in the Premier League
Tottenham is sliding these days, winless in four matches and sitting in fourth place after
seeing their once comfortable hold on third place erased by surging Arsenal.
CONCACAF Olympic qualifying continues on Friday evening as Group B kicks off at the Home Depot
Center. Â The action begins this evening at the Home Depot Center when Honduras faces Panama (9pm
EDT/CONCACAF.com) and ends when Mexico takes on Trinidad and Tobago (11:30pm EDT).
The Danny Califf situation continues to raise a few eyebrows in Philadelphia.
After the Philadelphia Union captain was an unused substitute in last week's home opener against
the Colorado Rapids, he and manager Peter Nowak had differing stories on why the veteran centerback
did not play.
The immediate future of the U.S. men's national team is consumed with Olympic qualifying, but
the wave of players in the pipeline behind them are getting to work as well.
New U.S. Under-18 coach Javier Perez has called in 35 players for his first training camp since
taking over at the helm a little more than a month ago, with a heavy Development Academy presence
being a theme on the roster.
A pair of derbies in the United Kingdom should command the attention of soccer fans around the
world this weekend.
Rangers and Celtic renew pleasantries in the latest edition of the Old Firm derby, with Celtic
running away from their rivals in the league table and Rangers wallowing in a financial crisis that
has taken its toll on the field as well.
Underneath the surface of the United States Under-23 men's national team's 6-0 victory over Cuba
is room for improvement.
That's how coach Caleb Porter sees things.
Despite a convincing victory to open Olympic qualifying, Porter was not entirely happy with the
way his team played, challenging the U-23s to improve ahead of Saturday's match against Canada in
his post-match remarks.
The New York Red Bulls were awaiting an update on the status of Luke Rodgers' on-going attempts
to secure a working visa this past Wednesday. What they received instead was an unwelcome wrinkle
to the proceedings that leaves the Englishman's fate as uncertain as it ever was.
European clubs have seemingly gotten their way in the battle with FIFA.
UEFA and FIFA reached an agreement at the UEFA Congress for a six-year deal that works heavily
in the clubs' favor.Â
As a result of the new pact, there will be no more one-off friendlies such as the one in August
right after most club seasons begin, and instead the calendar over the next two years leading up to
the World Cup will consist of nine instances of countries playing two friendlies over a few-day
The U.S. Men's Under-23 national team begins the march toward Olympic Qualifying tonight against
Cuba, and with the U.S. team's opening match of the group stage less than an hour away, here are a
few Fox Soccer videos looking ahead to the tournament:Â
More videos are after the jump:
FREDDY ADU DISCUSSES OLYMPIC QUALIFYING
Here is a link to a Fox Soccer video where I discuss what to expect from the United States in
The U.S. Men's Under-23 national team takes the first step toward qualification for the summer
Olympics tonight against Cuba in CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying in Nashville (9pm, Universal Sports
The Americans enter the tournament as the favorite to win, and tonight's opening match should
give us the first indications of just how strong this U.
U.S. Under-23 national team Caleb Porter is one of the most highly-regarded young coaches in
American soccer, and his appointment to lead the United States through Olympic Qualifying didn't
come as much of a surprise to those familiar with his success at the University of Akron.
Real Madrid has been known to push the envelope, whether it be with luring the world's top
players, or signing expressive coaches in an effort to remain at the forefront of world soccer.
What the club has up its sleeve now certainly ups the ante in that regard.
The Spanish power unveiled plans for a $1 billion island resort in the United Arab Emirates that
is due to open in January, 2015.
The group stage for CONCACAF Olympic qualifying is hours from getting underway, as the U.S.
Under-23 men's national team faces Cuba in the opening match at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn.
While Cuba may not seem like a challenging opponent, keep in mind that in 2008 the United States
opened its qualifying campaign against Cuba and was held to a 1-1 draw before beating Panama and
Honduras en route to the semifinals.
Philadelphia Union right back Sheanon Williams is with the United States U-23 team as it
prepares to open CONCACAF Olympic qualifying. While the call-up is an honor for Williams, Union
coach Peter Nowak his staff aren't exactly thrilled with how the situation played out.
Alejandro Guido is the latest American heading to Club Tijuana.
The U.S. Under-20 attacking midfielder will join the contingent of Americans at the top-flight
Mexican club after signing his first professional contract on Wednesday.Â According to Yanks
Abroad, the 18-year-old Guido signed a three-year deal with Xolos, where he'll team with Joe
Corona, Edgar Castillo and Greg Garza.
Tottenham is set for a return trip to the United States, and they'll play against Major League
Soccer's two biggest spenders while they are here.
Spurs announced that they will play the Los Angeles Galaxy at the Home Depot Center on July 24
before heading across the country to Red Bull Arena to play the New York Red Bulls as part of the
inaugural New York Invitational Cup on July 31.
Real Madrid's lead in La Liga is not so insurmountable anymore.
Jose Mourinho's side played to a drew for the second straight game, allowing 17th-place
Villarreal to take a point in a 1-1 draw Wednesday. As a result, Madrid's one-time, 10-point lead
over Barcelona is down to six points with 10 games remaining in the league, including one
head-to-head matchup at Camp Nou next month.
Sacha Kljestan's strong 2011-2012 season continues.
The American midfielder tallied his fifth goal of the season Wednesday, opening the scoring in
Anderlecht's 2-1 victory over Zulte-Waregem. The win wrapped up the regular season for Anderlecht,
which finished atop the Belgium Pro League standings and will take a three-point advantage into the
six-team league playoff hexagonal, where the top two finishers qualify for the UEFA Champions
Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba is receiving all kinds of support from around the soccer
community as he continues his recovery from a sudden cardiac arrest, including one touching gesture
from an MLS star who happens to be one of his former teammates.
After Valencia wraps up what they hope is a spot in next year's UEFA Champions League, the
storied Spanish side will head to the United States for a pair of friendlies against MLS teams.Â
Currently in third place in La Liga behind Real Madrid and Barcelona, Valencia will play the
Portland Timbers at Jeld-Wen Field on May 23 followed by being the Houston Dynamo's opponent in the
Dynamo Charities Cup on May 31 at BBVA Compass Stadium.
As the seasons begin to wind down across the globe, the fights atop league tables either for
championships or places in the Champions League and Europa League begin to get more fierce. All ofÂ
that is at stake when Everton meets Arsenal and Manchester City hosts Chelsea in two of the more
important games going on this Wednesday.
With one slip-up against Swansea City, Manchester City finds itself losing its footing in the
race for the Premier League title, but it can get right back in the thick of things with a win on
Wednesday. Chelsea, meanwhile, has found itself after Andre Villas-Boas' dismissal and is back in
the race for a UEFA Champions League spot.
Two things David Estrada would like fans to know: He didn't come from nowhere to suddenly burst
onto the Major League Soccer scene with his hat trick last Saturday, and he won't let three goals
in a game go to his head.
Michael Ballack has long been rumored to join the New York Red Bulls as their third designated
player.Â That assumption may have just been put to rest. According to an interview with Goal.com,
the midfielder's agent, Michael Becker, claims Red Bull General Manager Erik Soler has other
Lionel Messi is set to make Barcelona history yet again.
After some recent adjustments to the total goal-scoring tally, the 24-year-old striker is one
goal away from tying Cesar Rodriguez for Barcelona's all-time leading scorer. La Vanguardia
newspaper in Spain, in collaboration with Barcelona, revised Rodriguez's total tally down to 232
Led by a trio of outstanding performances by forwards, the SBI MLS Best XI for Week 2 is stacked
with plenty of attacking talent.
Player of the Week David Estrada leads the way, and is joined on the squad by teammate and
partner in goal-creating crime Alvaro Fernandez. River-dancing striker Kei Kamara garnered
recognition as well, and so did LA Galaxy Designated Players Robbie Keane and David Beckham.
Toronto FC made waves when they eliminated the LA Galaxy from the CONCACAF Champions League, but
the momentum from that victory took a big hit after word that star defender Torsten Frings will be
sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Frings will miss 4-6 weeks with the strained right hamstring suffered during Toronto FC's 3-1
loss to the Seattle Sounders on Saturday, the team announced on Tuesday morning.
Sporting Kansas City's dismantling of the New England Revolution was a study in how to make full
use of a man advantage, as their attack punished the 10-man Revs on their way to a 3-0 drubbing at
Livestrong Sporting Park.
In a weekend where not every team that enjoyed a man advantage could make the most of it,
Sporting KC provided a textbook example of how to stretch a team open and break down a short-handed
Last week's loss to FC Dallas forced New York Red Bull's head coach Hans Backe to tinker with
his lineup.Â Facing a difficult challenge against Real Salt Lake, New York changed their
formation, tactic, and personnel in an attempt to steal points on the road.
In three years in MLS, David Estrada had never scored a single goal in MLS play.
On Saturday, he took a major step toward making up for that drought, scoring a hat-trick to help
Seattle post a 3-1 victory against Toronto FC. A performance that made Estrada the easy choice for
SBI MLS Player of the Week.
CHESTER, Pa. -- The Philadelphia Union created a good number of chances in the first half of
Sunday's match against Colorado, but they ultimately paid the price for not being able to put any
of those chances in the net.
Despite losing Jeff Larentowicz to a red card, the Colorado Rapids scored two goals in a
six-minute span and held on with only ten men to defeat the Philadelphia Union, 2-1, in the Union's
home opener at PPL Park on Sunday.
The races across Europe for UEFA Champions League places next season are almost as important as
the race for league titles, with teams desperately vying for the valuable income that comes with
those precious qualification places.
The race in Serie A is as intense as any other, with four teams within six points of the fourth
and final place in the Serie A standings.
CARSON, Calif. â€“ Last year the Vancouver Whitecaps finished dead last in the league without
mustering an away victory all season. However, in this year's campaign the Caps are off to a great
2-0-0 start and recorded their first away win in MLS play, beating Chivas USA, 1-0, at the Home
Depot Center on Saturday night.
The Montreal Impact had a lot to celebrate about in their MLS home opener, but winning their
first game was not one of them.
Playing in front of a record crowd of 58,912 at Olympic Stadium, the Impact scored their first
MLS goal and looked poised for victory before the Chicago Fire pulled level to secure a 1-1 draw on
Tim Howard will look to move a step closer to silverware today when he leads Everton into the FA
Cup quarterfinals against Sunderland in one of the days top matches.
The Toffees come in off a disappointing derby day loss to Liverpool during the week, but a win
today would ease that disappointment as it would cliinch a semifinal berth and trip to Wembley with
a win against the Black Cats.
An attendance of 7,500 was announced as Toronto FC defeated the Los Angeles Galaxy to advance to
the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals Wednesday night. According to TFC rookie midfielder Luis
Silva, 300 of those were his own family and friends.
With a thrilling week of UEFA Champions League play over and a few high-profile fixtures looming
next week, the slate of games around Europe this weekend lacks the prestige of high-profile clubs
taking each other on.
That's not to say races for both league titles and next season's European places will not take
significant steps forward.
The CONCACAF Champions League semifinals are set after another rout capped off the latest
Pumas UNAM, which entered Thursday night's second leg against Isidro Metapan in a 2-1 hole,
unleashed an 8-0 beating on its Salvadoran counterpart to become the third Mexican team to qualify
for the tournament semifinals.
U.S. national team starters Jozy Altidore, Steve Cherundolo and Jermaine Jones all saw their teams
draw tough Spanish opponents in the Europa League quarterfinals, which were drawn on Friday.
Altidore will be returning to action in Spain for the first time since leaving Villarreal as AZ
Alkmaar takes on Valencia, while Jermaine Jones and Schalke will try to stop the impressive attack
of Athletic Bilbao.
Robbie Keane arrived in Los Angeles with a swagger and a clinical scoring touch, but now as he
enters his second season with the Los Angeles Galaxy, it appears that he will have to re-discover
it all over again.Â
Since returning from an offseason loan to Aston Villa, Keane has been unable to develop a real
connection with his new forward partner Edson Buddle while also failing to display the clinical
touch that he enjoyed just months ago.
The U.S. national team midfielder scored the deciding goal and assisted on an insurance tally in
Schalke's 4-1 victory over FC Twente, capping a furious comeback to keep the German side alive in
the UEFA Europa League.
Twente led 1-0 on aggregate entering the match and scored a key away goal to put Schalke in a
big hole in the 14th minute.
As the final whistle blew on the New York Red Bulls' season-opening loss to FC Dallas, no one
was more visibly angered than Thierry Henry - and with good reason.Â The Red Bulls' lack of
rhythm, cohesion and inability to move forward was a throw-back to a time he would have much rather
It's do-or-die for the two Manchester powerhouses.
Manchester United and Manchester City both face deficits heading into the second legs of their
respective Europa League Round of 16 ties. Athletic Bilbao managed three goals in a 3-2 win at Old
Trafford last week, putting the favored Red Devils in a corner as they head to Spain.
C.J. Sapong has shown no signs of slowing down after bursting onto the MLS scene as an impact
rookie last season, and Sporting Kansas City has already shown its faith in the player by locking
him up to a new contract.
Just a game into his second season as a professional, Sapong signed a new deal with SKC on
Thursday, the terms of which were not disclosed.
D.C. United is not going anywhere. At least not in the next two years, anyway.
The club agreed to a two-year lease extension with RFK Stadium operator Events D.C. over the
weekend and announced the terms on Thursday. The new agreement ensures United of staying in the
only home stadium they have known through the 2013 MLS season.
The Montreal Impact needed help at striker, and help at striker is what they have received.Â
The Impact signed 35-year-old Italian striker Bernardo Corradi, a veteran of Serie A and someone
who brings a wealth of European experience and goals to the Impact. Terms of the deal were not
disclosed, but reports out of Italy in recent days suggested that Corradi was going to be on a
short-term deal that would be revisited in the summer.
The chances that an MLS club wins the CONCACAF Champions League this year got a little slimmer,
as the Seattle Sounders crashed out of the tournament in embarrassing fashion.
Led by two goals from red-hot striker Herculez Gomez, Santos Laguna defeated the Sounders, 6-1,
in the second leg of the quarterfinals series on Tuesday night to advance to the semifinals on
CARSON, Calif. -- Toronto FC made Canadian soccer history by knocking off the LA Galaxy, 2-1 to
be the first Canadian side to advance to the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Champions League. TFC will
take on Mexican side Santos Laguna in the CCL semifinals.
CARSON, Calif. -- The stakes are clear for theÂ LosÂ AngelesÂ Galaxy and Toronto FC.
Fueled by a crowd of nearly 47,658 at the Rogers Centre, TFC jumped out to a 2-0 lead last
Wednesday, but the Galaxy roared back, scoring two goals -- including an 88th-minute equalizer from
Landon Donovan -- to bring the aggregate to 2-2 going into Wednesday night's second leg (10 p.
It could be a bleak day for English soccer, as Chelsea is the country's last remaining hope in
the UEFA Champions League and faces a two-goal deficit ahead of their Round of 16 second leg
The two tangle at Stamford Bridge after a 3-1 result that went in favor of the attack-minded
Brazil is considered by most to be the favorite (if not co-favorite with Spain) to take home the
gold medal at this summer's Olympics in London and for good reason -- the potential roster is
stacked with talent.
Headlined byÂ Under-23 standouts Neymar, Paulo Henrique Ganso, Lucas, Philippe Coutinho, Leandro
Damiao and Alexandre Pato,Â a 52-man preliminary roster was assembled by manager Mano Menezes, one
that may prove difficult to trim down.
The Seattle Sounders have made the trip south to Mexico in search of survival and chance to move
a step closer to a CONCACAF Champions League title. It is a trip no MLS team has ever returned from
triumphantly, but the Sounders look more than capable of making history.
The Sounders have taken a one-goal lead down to Torreon, Mexico, after posting a 2-1 victory in
the first leg.
A few weeks after an ominous Leeds United debut, Robbie Rogers is back in action.
The American winger played in a club friendly against Carlisle United and scored on Tuesday,
marking his return to the field for Leeds after suffering a concussion in his debut on Feb. 18.
After coming on as a 79th-minute substitute, Rogers clashed heads with Doncaster Rovers' Tommy
Spurr on a 50-50 ball and had to be taken off in stoppage time.
Not many MLS fans were aware of exactly who Real Salt Lake was picking when the club selected
Sebastian Velasquez in the second round of this past January's MLS SuperDraft. They have a better
The unheralded Velasquez earned a surprise start and was an integral part of RSL's 3-1 victory
over the defending champion Los Angeles Galaxy Saturday night, winning the season's first SBI MLS
Rookie of the Week honors.
FC Dallas continued to do their part in maintaining the trend byÂ signing 25-year-old Colombian
striker Luis Perea, adding a complement up top to Blas Perez and giving FCD more firepower during a
time which Brek Shea is off on U.
The U.S. Under-23 men's national team roster for Olympic qualifying appears set, with forward
Tony Taylor getting called in as the 20th player on the squad.
Taylor was not originally included on the U.S. team, but an injury to an unnamed player
(believed to be Columbus Crew midfielder Dilly Duka) over the weekend forced head coach Caleb
Porter to look for an alternative.
Real Salt Lake faces serious competition for the top spot in the Western Conference this season,
but they got off to an impressive start in Week 1 by going on the road and defeating the reigning
Trailing the Los Angeles Galaxy after Edson Buddle scored off a header in the 71st minute, Real
Salt Lake responded with three goals in 17 minutes.
The good news just continues to pile in for Real Salt Lake.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Alvaro Saborio and Javier Morales have received green cards,
making them both lawful residents of the United States. That alsoÂ means that the duo no longer
count toward the MLS roster limits, and RSL can used the freed up international roster spots on
Out goes one defender and in comes another for Toronto FC.
Just days after agreeing to part ways with centerback Geovanny Caicedo, Toronto signed defender
Logan Emory. The 24-year-old Emory, who last played for the Puerto Rico Islanders, joined Toronto
FC on trial during the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic in Orlando this past offseason.
When Paul Scholes ultimately decides to hang up his cleats, Manchester United will need to
replace their masterful midfielder with someone capable of filling his role.
That someone could be Eden Hazard.
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson spent this past Saturday watching Lille suffer a 2-1
loss to Lyon, and he was reportedly scouting the Belgian international ahead of this summer's
FC Basel will look to write another chapter to their Cinderella story today when the plucky
Swiss champions take a one-goal lead into theÂ Allianz Arena to face Bayern Munich in the second
leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.
The Portland Timbers could not have asked for a much better start to the MLS season.
Playing in the final Week 1 match of the new campaign, the Timbers defeated the Philadelphia
Union, 3-1, on a rainy night inside a packed Jeld-Wen Field. The hosts fell behind early in the
second half, but responded with three unanswered goals from newcomers Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Kris
Boyd and Kalif Alhassan.
U.S. men's national team veterans Brek Shea, Juan Agudelo and Freddy Adu headline a strong
19-man roster for the U.S. Men's Olympic Qualifying squad.
U.S. Under-23 head coach Caleb Porter announced the team on Monday and the only real surprise
was the omission of Hertha Berlin midfielder/defender Alfredo Morales, whose release was not
mandatory for the tournament.
Arsenal looks to keep their hot streak going today against Newcastle in a battle of teams with
Champions League aspirations (4pm, ESPN2).
The Gunners will need to get over their UEFA Champions League loss to AC Milan in a hurry as the
Magpies look to draw closer to both Arsenal and Chelsea, which both have a five-point lead on
The opening week of 2012 MLS action concludes with tonight's Portland-Philadelphia clash, and we
have already had seen several outstanding team performances to start the year.
Whether it was Real Salt Lake's impressive win against LA, to Vancouver's outstanding victory
against expansion side Montreal, there were some matches that had to leave fans excited about what
lies ahead in 2012.
U.S. Men's Under-23 national team head coach Caleb Porter is expected to unveil the 20-player
roster for CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament later today and there aren't likely to be many
surprises in the group he selects.
You need only look at the team he put together in a recent training camp in Texas for a glimpse
of what the qualifying roster should look like.
The New York Red Bulls had months to address many of the pressing problems surrounding the team,
but their opening day loss felt quite familiar.Â Defensive miscues put young rookie goalkeeper
Ryan Meara under fire, set piece situation's looked as shaky as ever, and the team could only
manage to find an attacking rhythm in spurts.
CARSON, Calif. â€“ The Houston Dynamo came into the Home Depot Center in hopes starting the
season as strong as they ended last year, but keeper Dan Kennedy and company held them off for 90
minutes before Canadian defender Andre Hainault helped the visiting Dynamo snatch three points
It isn't often you have three goals scored in one match by American players in a foreign league
(well, unless Clint Dempsey is doing it), but that's what happened in Mexico on Saturday night as
Herculez Gomez scored two goals and DaMarcus Beasley added another in Santos Laguna's 3-1 win over
CARSON, Calif. -- Before the Los Angeles Galaxy suited up against Real Salt Lake, the looming
question was, justwho would start in the home opener three days after a hard-fought CONCACAF
Quarterfinals match against Toronto FC?
The battle for first place in the English Premier League continues to rage on as arch-rivals
Manchester City and Manchester United continue to pull away from the pack as they keep pressuring
Manchester City holds the lead at the moment, but face a tricky test on the road against Swansea
CARSON, Calif. -- Three goals in the second half proved the difference as Real Salt Lake spoiled
the Los Angeles Galaxy's MLS Cup banner unveiling, handing the Galaxy their first loss at home in
more than a year.
Three unanswered Â goals from RSL, including tallies from Javier Morales and Fabian Espindola,
helped stun the Galaxy, who opened the scoring on an Edson Buddle strike.
The seventeenth season of Major League Soccer kicks off today as teams from Vancouver to
Washington D.C. begin their new campaigns.
The Montreal Impact will make their debut as the league's 19th team, taking on Canadian rival in
Vancouver. Meanwhile in LA, the Galaxy kick off defending their MLS Cup championship by facing
fellow Western Conference power Real Salt Lake in the day's best match-up.
The 2012 MLS season likely holds a number of twists, turns and surprises, but as we try and
project what will happen about nine months from now, we've come to a consensus on one thing: The
MLS Cup winner will be emerging from the Western Conference again.
The United States Under-23 men's national team's two chief competitors for a berth in this
summer's Olympics are Mexico and Honduras, and both have released their rosters for this month's
CONCACAF qualifying tournament.
D.C. United winger Andy Najar made the final cut for Honduras after being a part of the 28-man
preliminary roster that was announced earlier this week.
The race for a coveted spot in next season's Champions League takes center stage in most leagues
around Europe this weekend.
In Spain, Malaga and Levante square off in the weekend's early La Liga kickoff. Neither team was
particularly heralded coming into the season but Levante currently occupies fourth place while
Malaga lurks a single point behind.
Puebla beware. Herculez Gomez is starting to get hot again.
Just as he has done so often in the past couple of years, Gomez is starting to put together a
scoring run. He has found the back of the net three times for Santos Laguna in the past
week-and-a-half, and will look to add to that this weekend when DaMarcus Beasley and Puebla come
MLS commissioner Don Garber's desire for a second New York franchise has not been a secret for
some time, but Thursday he shed some light on the progress the league is making on securing a
Real Salt Lake almost had an unprecedented season in 2011, but the promising year ended sourly
after the team fell short on two big occasions.
RSL was unable to finish off dream runs in the MLS playoffs and CONCACAF Champions league,
losing to the Los Angeles Galaxy in the Western Conference Final and falling to Monterrey in
heartbreaking fashion in the Champions League final.
TORONTO â€“ The scenes from Toronto FC's CONCACAF Champions League match against the Los Angeles
Galaxy were unmistakable and unforgettable.Â
An impressive march to the match down Bremmer Bolverard outside the Rogers Centre, theÂ 47,658Â
fans clad in red, who shook the dome and all but willed their side to a pair of early goals in the
first half, All of which culminated in a thrilling 2-2 draw in the first leg of the quarterfinal
Okay folks, after tallying the votes and getting reader feedback on which Fantasy MLS game to go
with this year, we at SBI will be running our annual Fantasy MLS League on the new official game on
the official league website.
We have heard plenty of good things about the new game, with the only drawback (for some) being
the fact you have to sign up for the site through your Facebook account.
The New York Red Bulls have emerged from preseason in relative health heading into Sunday's
opener.Â Even so, nagging injuries and key losses to the starting lineup will test the teams depth
against a dangerousÂ FCÂ Dallas side.
Robin van Persie has reportedly caught the attention of big spenders, Manchester City. Manager
Roberto Mancini told the press that he was keen on the Dutchman, who is enjoying the best season of
his career at Arsenal with 32 goals in all competitions.
TORONTO -- Led by a raucous crowd of 47,658 Toronto FC showed the Los Angeles Galaxy that there
would be no easy passage to the CONCACAF Champions League semi-finals, but a fast start and two
early goals for the home team wasn't enough to beat the defending MLS Cup champions.
Three MLS teams will continue their quests to become the first Major League Soccer club to win
the CONCACAF Champions League title as the quarterfinals kick off tonight in Toronto and
The defending MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy take on Toronto FC at Rogers Center as almost 50,000
TFC fans gather to cheer on the clear underdogs in the first leg of this all-MLS quarterfinal (8pm,
Fox Soccer Channel).
When American forward Herculez Gomez signed with Santos Laguna in December, the possibility of him
going up against MLS competition became a real possibility considering the club drew the Seattle
Sounders in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.
An injury to a starting striker combined with his latest run of form means that another special
night for Gomez may be in the cards at CenturyLink Field when his side and the Sounders do battle
in the first leg of their CCL quarterfinal tie.
Two more tickets to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals will be punched Wednesday, with the
defending champions looking to maintain their dominance and the tournament underdog hoping that its
time is not up.
Barcelona breezed by Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 in Germany in the opening leg of their Round of 16 tie
and will look to hold serve at home to keep their hopes of a repeat alive.
In many ways, the 2012 MLS season will be manager Aron Winter's first to be able to show what he
can do to mold Toronto FC into a winner.
Sure, the Dutch coach took over at the helm last season and came under fire for failing to bring
TFC close to its first postseason berth in franchise history, but the 2011 campaign was more about
evaluating the roster he was dealt when he took over a couple of months before the season started,
seeing who fit in and cutting out who did not.
The downward spiral that has enveloped Rangers FC continues to get more overbearing.
After players rejected pay cuts that would have relieved the club's financial burden, team
administrators released a statement saying that they are accelerating the sale of the team. The
club is currently in "a perilous financial situation" to the point that it might not be able to
afford to play the rest of its games this season, according to the statement.
In 2011, the Philadelphia Union earned their first playoff berth in what was a breakout season
for the club in its second year of existence. In 2012, the Union will look to go even further, but
this time with an even younger squad.
Philadelphia let go or traded a number of veteran players with years of experience in Major
League Soccer and abroad this offseason.
CONCACAF's defending champion opened the Champions League knockout stage in style.
Monterrey cruised to a 3-1 victory at Morelia Tuesday night behind two goals from Humberto Suazo
to take a commanding edge into next week's quarterfinal return leg.
Suazo opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 28th minute and supplied a classy finish
on a one-timer in the area just before halftime after a blazing run down the sideline by Cesar
Delgado to put Rayados in control.
TORONTO -- Andrew Boyens and Tommy Meyer have been locked in a battle throughout the Los Angeles
Galaxy's preseason to answer the big question: Which centerback will replace Omar Gonzalez in the
lineup to start the season?
Despite the theatrics, the four-goal deficit was just too much for Arsenal to overcome.
The Gunners fell just short of a would-be historic UEFA Champions League effort, defeating AC
Milan 3-0 but still finishing a goal shy of the Italians over the course of both legs, as Milan
advanced to the quarterfinals on a 4-3 aggregate.
For D.C. United, the resolution passed Tuesday by the D.C. city council is a small step, but a
step in the right direction nonetheless toward keeping the club in the nation's capital for the
The Council of the District of Columbia passed a resolution, signed by council chairman Kwame
Brown and councilmember Tommy Wells, calling on local goverment officials to find a long-term
solution to prevent D.
The first two places in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals will be booked on Tuesday, with
AC Milan looking to finish off Arsenal after an emphatic 4-0 victory in their opening leg at the
While a miracle comeback is something to keep an eye out for, there figures to be more drama in
the day's less-heralded UCL matchup, where Zenit-St.
By the end of the 2011 MLS season, Houston Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear was pressing all the
After spending the campaign's first six months tinkering with a lineup that could never quite
find the right chemistry, Kinnear shifted midfielder Geoff Cameron to centerback after a 3-0 loss
at Sporting Kansas City on Sept.
The English side heads back to the Emirates needing to overturn a four-goal deficit to AC Milan
in the second leg of the Champions League Round of 16. Arsenal has scored four goals four times
this season including in matches against Chelsea and Tottenham, so the needed offense isn't out of
the realm of possibility for Arsene Wenger's men.
Japan just has the U.S. women's national team's number at the moment.
In their first meeting since the dramatic World Cup final that Japan won in penalty kicks, Japan
topped the U.S. women 1-0 in the final group game of the Algarve Cup on Monday, preventing the
Americans from a place in the championship game for the first time in 10 years and dealing them
their first shutout in 58 matches.
It is something of a judgement day for Glasgow Rangers.
As administrators try to slash $1.5 million from the monthly expenses, several players are set
to leave the historic Scottish club. A proposal from players to postpone salaries until the summer
was rejected by the administrators and now players are set to submit a final wage-restructuring
offer that would result in as few cuts as possible.
The 2014 World Cup in Brazil is little more than two years away, but the action surrounding the
event has reached a fever pitch as a war of words between FIFA and the Brazilian government has
cast an ominous tone around World Cup preparations.
Last Friday, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke was quoted as saying Brazilian preparations
for the 2014 World Cup are moving too slowly and that the nation needed to pick things up.
The San Jose Earthquakes are Chris Wondolowski's team and rightfully so.Â
Over the past two seasons, Wondolowski has scored more goals than any player in MLS, earning at
least a share of the scoring title both years. But this offseason, the Earthquakes have undergone a
significant revamping across the field in hopes of reliving the pressure off one of the league's
For D.C. United fans anxious over the club's four-year playoff absence, this past offseason was
an exercise in patience.
While United came back from the worst campaign in club history in 2010 to compete for a
postseason berth until last season's final week, a lack of experience in the back, consistency up
top and depth all around derailed their chances.
Well, that didn't take long. Seven minutes, to be exact.
The Portland Timbers' big summer investment looks to be a worthwhile one as Kris Boyd, the
newly-acquired Designated Player, grabbed the go-ahead goal in theÂ 7th minute of Portland's 1-0
win over Swedish outfit AIK.
Four days after scoring the lone goal in the U.S. men's national team's first-ever win against
Italy, Dempsey buried two chances in Fulham's 5-0 rout of Wolverhampton Wanderers. Dempsey's goal
total now stands at 12 (18 across all competitions), making him the seventh-leading scorer in the
Premiership this season.
The under-fire manager was dumped after Chelsea's loss to West Brom on Saturday, a defeat that
dropped Chelsea to fifth place in the Premier League, in real danger of missing out on qualifying
for the UEFA Champions League next season.
The race at the top of the English Premier League table is getting tougher by the week, and that
tightening competition will make today's showdown between Tottenham and Manchester United all the
Arsenal's recent run of form suddenly has the Gunners just four points behind Tottenham for
third place in the Premier League, meaning Spurs don't have much room for error.
Jozy Altidore has his starting job back and he isn't about to give it up.
Just three days after assisting on Clint Dempsey's game-winning goal in the USA's historic 1-0
victory against Italy, Altidore scored for Dutch club AZ yet again. He notched his tenth league
goal and 14th goal in all competitions to lead Alkmaar to a a 3-1 victory over Heracles Almemo.
A rebuilt Chivas USA isn't happy with being second best.
Less than four months after seeing their cross-town rivals lift the MLS Cup in their home
stadium, second-year head coach Robin Fraser is determined to improve on a 2011 marred with
inconsistency and a late-season slump.
A red-hot start. A faltering finish. Brek Shea's dominating season. David Ferreira's season-long
For FC Dallas, the 2011 season was a year full of high and lows. Led by U.S. men's national team
winger Brek Shea, the team looked a serious contender for the MLS Cup before a heavy scheduleÂ that
included MLS regular season, U.
Liverpool is fresh off obtaining something that Arsenal has craved for years -- a trophy. The
Gunners, though, are currently situated in a place where Liverpool would like to be -- a UEFA
Champions League spot.Â
The two teams clash at Anfield in one of the high-profile matches of the weekend, with the Reds
looking to chip away at a seven-point deficit between them and fourth-place Arsenal while both try
to overcome key injury absences to pick up the three points.
The Vancouver Whitecaps' decision to cut Lee Nguyen has turned out to be the New England
The Revolution picked Nguyen in Friday's MLS waiver draft, adding the one-time U.S.
international into the fold.Â New England was second in the waiver draft order behind Vancouver,
which cut Nguyen on Thursday despite winning a weighted lottery for his services less than three
The final at the Disney Soccer Classic will be an all-Canadian affair.
Rookie Luis Silva continued his hot preseason, scoring twice in Toronto FC's 3-0 victory over FC
Dallas on Thursday. With the victory, the Reds advance to Saturday night's title game, where
they'll face the Vancouver Whitecaps, as the two non-playoff teams from a year ago have shown well
as they prepare for the upcoming season.
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Hundreds of people clad in red and purple were on their feet. Some were banging
drums, others were chanting and a another group was cracking jokes at the referee who was
officiating the match being played right in front of their eyes.
There was nothing friendly about the Philadelphia Union's scrimmage against Costa Rican side
A.D. Belen on Thursday.
The match between the two sides had to be called off after a brawl broke out after a Michael
Farfan tackle with Belen leading 2-0. Based on video of the fight, Brian Carroll, Keon Daniel and
Zac MacMath were at the center of it all before coaches, officials and players separated the two
It is about to go from bad to worse for a number of players at Rangers FC.
With the outlook of the near future looking bleak after the club was forced to go into
administration, Rangers players are meeting with union officials to explore their possibilities in
anticipation of numerous cuts.
Wilman Conde is likely to miss the New York Red Bulls' season opener, according to coach Hans
The Colombian defender, who just made his return to action after nearly an 11-month absence from
the game, limped off the field Wednesday night in the midst of New York's 2-1 victory over the Los
Angeles Galaxy in the Desert Diamond Cup.
It's MLS roster compliance day, and there has already been one surprising development ahead of
the 5 p.m. deadline.
The Vancouver Whitecaps waived one-time U.S. international Lee Nguyen, a player acquired through
the league's weighted lottery process less than three months ago after returning to the United
States following career stops in Europe and Vietnam.
Building from the ground up in MLS is no easy task, but if anyone knows something about a
successful expansion season, it's Montreal Impact head coach Jesse Marsch.
A member of the D.C. United club that won the first MLS Cup and a member of the Chicago Fire
club that won MLS Cup in its expansion season, Marsch embarks on his first head coaching gig with
the Impact, who made the leap from NASL to MLS and have created quite a buzz north of the
These days it's rare for Lionel Messi to accomplish something he has yet to already do, but he
was able to cross another item off his career bucket list on Wednesday.
The Barcelona catalyst and reigning Ballon d'Or winnerÂ scored his first career hat trick for
his country, tallying all of Argentina's goals -- including two late ones -- in a 3-1 victory over
Switzerland in Bern.
Goals from Kenny Cooper and Thierry Henry lifted the New York Red Bulls over the Los Angeles
Galaxy Wednesday night in a 2-1 win, but it wasn't enough to see the team into the final of the
Desert Diamond Cup, as the Galaxy marched to the title game by virtue of goal difference.
The U.S. national team and Aston Villa backup goalkeeper has been offered a contract extension
by the English club, but a lack of playing time behind Shay Given could encourage him to move
elsewhere. Villa manager Alex McLeish was impressed with Guzan during his seven Premier League
starts earlier in the year, when Given was injured.