Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2012

Manchester City 1, Manchester United 0: Match Highlights

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A look at MLS bad boy Steven Lenhart

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By all accounts, Steven Lenhart is a laid-back and mellow person off the field. Someone who enjoys surfing and is considered quiet by most who know him.

On the field, the San Jose Earthquakes forward is something else entirely.

Lenhart has fashioned a well-earned reputation as a bad boy, a villain, the kind of player who spends as much time getting under his opponent's skin as he does actually playing the game.

Manchester City vs. Manchester United: Match Day Commentary

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The biggest game of the year in the English Premier League kicks off this afternoon with first-place Manchester United taking on arch-rival Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium (3pm, ESPN).

United enters the match with a three-point lead over City, but the Citizens can jump into first place with a victory.

USL PRO: A Look Back at Week 4

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The Charlotte Eagles were unsuccessful in picking up their first win of the season versus Antigua Barracuda FC last week, but they learned their lesson and made sure that was not the case in their rematch this past weekend.

Playing in their second game against the Barracudas in three days, the Eagles claimed their first win of 2012 with a 2-0 result that was watched by 800 fans at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Maicon Santos

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When the 2012 MLS season began, D.C. United figured to be a team capable of scoring goals in bunches. What most wouldn't have predicted is that Maicon Santos would be leading the charge as the team's top scorer.

All the former FC Dallas striker has done is emerge as the target forward the team has been yearning for, providing a physical presence up top capable of putting pressure on defenses and finishing chances.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Ryan Meara

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIPhotos.com

It was a good week for MLS rookies, with several enjoying standout performances, but it was hard to top New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara's day against New England.

Meara made five saves, several of the top-notch variety, to help lift a severely short-handed Red Bulls squad to a 1-0 victory over the Revolution.

SBI MLS Team of the Week: D.C. United

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Photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIPhotos.com

They may have started the season slowly, but D.C. United is hitting on all cylinders right now and have the seven-match unbeaten streak to prove it.

Just a week after thrashing the New York Red Bulls, D.C. United served notice that they plan to be Sporting Kansas City's biggest competition in the East after their 3-2 victory against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday.

Who is your pick in the Manchester Derby?

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The English Premier League title will go a long way toward being decided today when Manchester United and Manchester City square off at the Etihad Stadium today (3pm, ESPN). A United victory would essentially seal the title, while a City triumph would leave the teams tied heading into the final weeks of the season.

European Rewind: Inter Milan surge into contention, Newcastle stumble and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Italy's race for third place and the final spot in the Champions League has an unexpected contestant.

Inter Milan, largely counted out as little as a month ago, have surged with a six-game unbeaten streak since the appointment of new manager Andrea Stramaccioni to draw level on points with three other teams in the race for a spot in the Champions League.

Monday Kickoff: England eyes Hodgson, Podolski to Arsenal confirmed, and more

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The English FA has not gone far to find a replacement for former England manager Fabio Capello, pegging West Brom manager Roy Hodgson as the leading candidate to manage England at this summer's European Championships.

The FA has sought permission and has been granted permission by West brom to speak with Hodgson, who appears a good bet to beat out former favorite Harry Redknapp for the job.

NASL Week 4: A Look Back

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photo by Matt May/Tampa Bay Rowdies

By FRANCO PANIZO

One of the most historic derbies in U.S. soccer history was renewed this weekend, as the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Ft. Lauderdale Strikers faced off for the first time in 19 years.

Playing in their first match since 1993, the Rowdies defeated their Florida rivals, 3-1, in front of 3,536 fans at Al Lang Stadium in St.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

As far as season finales go, DaMarcus Beasley could not have had a much better performance to close out his first year in Mexico.

Beasley capped his season with Puebla with a Man of the Match-worthy outing, playing a pivotal role in the club overcoming a one-goal deficit to defeat Tigres UANL, 2-1.

Impact rallies to victory as Timbers suffer another late-game collapse

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If MLS matches were only 75 minutes long, the Portland Timbers just might be a first-place team. Unfortunately for the Timbers, playing well for 90 minutes has proven to be impossible.

Montreal scored a pair of goals in the final 15 minutes to send Portland to another defeat in a match where John Spencer's team looked capable of earning a point or three.

Must-See Goal: Kyle Walker

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Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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If a day filled with match-ups of top teams from leagues all over the world is your cup of tea, then today is the kind of day you dream about.

Top match-ups in Italy, France, Spain, Scotland and the Netherlands headline today's slate, starting with the Old Firm Derby. Celtic has locked up the league title, but the Glasgow rivalry is no less intense and Rangers will surely want to end the year on a positive note.

Steele's late winner propels RSL past winless TFC

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Real Salt Lake figured to have an easy time disposing of Toronto FC on Saturday night, but they had a much tougher time than expected as TFC showed signs of life and looked primed to record their first point of the season.

Then their defense reminded us just why Toronto has yet to register a point all season.

Noonan's late equalizer salvages Galaxy draw vs. FC Dallas at Home Depot Center

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By ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, Calif. --Pat Noonan scored in stoppage time to help the Los Angeles Galaxy steal a late point from FC Dallas in a 1-1 draw at Home Depot Center on Saturday night.Â

Shea converted a penalty kick in the 61st minute after Galaxy back-up goalkeeper Bill Guadette brought down forward Blas Perez in the box a the Panamanian drove towards goal after a defensive miscue by the Galaxy's David Junior Lopes.

Must-See Goal: Marco Pappa

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Certainly wind aided, but so what. Still a nice goal:


Lenhart brace propels Earthquakes past Union

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By JOEY SAMUEL

He didn't even play half an hour, but Steven Lenhart's physical style of play in the box worked wonders on Saturday night as his two goals led the San Jose Earthquakes to victory over the Philadelphia Union.

After 75 minutes of mostly boring play from both teams, Lenhart broke the deadlock when he headed in a cross from fellow substitute Marvin Chavez.

Red Bulls post first shutout to beat Revs, but lose Henry to hamstring injury

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BY DAVE MARTINEZ

New York earned a hard-fought three points on Saturday despite a plethora of injuries, but the result came at a hefty price. Â

A strong effort from a patchwork defense, and a standout performance from rookie goalkeeper Ryan Meara helped Meara earn his first career shutout, but the joy derived from a hard-fought 1-0 victory over New England was tempered by the loss of Thierry Henry to a hamstring injury that could sideline him for several weeks.

Union vs. Earthquakes: Match Night Commentary

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The Philadelphia Union will look to keep their three-match shutout streak rolling against one of the hottest teams in MLS as the West-leading San Jose Earthquakes visit PPL Park tonight.

The Union defense has helped the team turn around a slow start to the season and consecutive 1-0 victories have Philadelphia feeling good heading into tonight's showdown against a San Jose side riding their own unbeaten streak.

Must-See Goal: Luis Suarez

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Luis Suarez broke out in a big way for Liverpool on Saturday, netting a hat-trick in Liverpool's 3-0 win vs. Norwich City. His third goal was the headline maker though, as he scored on a shot from near midfield.

Here are all three of Suarez's goals, including the final, must-see goal:

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Red Bulls vs. Revolution: Match Day Commentary

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Eastern Conference rivals New York and New England face off today at Red Bull Arena in a match-up of teams trying to break out of recent slumps (3:30pm, NBC Sports).

The Red Bulls come in off an embarrassing 4-1 loss to D.C. United while New England comes in off a bye week after dropping their own 2-1 decision to D.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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A month from now, Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey will be teammates on the U.S. national team, helping lead the team into World Cup qualifying. Today, the two will square off in one of the matches of the day as Everton takes on Fulham.

Howard and the Toffees are coming off a stirring 4-4 draw against Manchester United, while the Cottagers come in on a four-match unbeaten streak, with Dempsey leading the attack.

Rapids lock up Larentowicz with multi-year deal

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Jeff Larentowicz is not going anywhere anytime soon.

The Colorado Rapids made sure of that by locking up the integral central midfielder to a multi-year deal on Friday, the terms of which were not disclosed.Â

Larentowicz has had success ever since joining the Rapids ahead of the 2010 season.

Union's Farfan suspended 2 more games

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

If you thought that Gabriel Farfan was out of the woods after MLS' Disciplinary Committee announced punishments from last week's Chivas USA-Philadelphia Union game on Thursday and he wasn't a part of it, think again.

The Disciplinary Committee suspended Farfan two additional games and fined him an undisclosed amount for his two-footed challenge into James Riley last weekend.

MLS Week 8: A Look Ahead

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Photo by Stephen Brashear/ISIphotos.com


By THOMAS FLOYD

There won't be any silverware on the line this time around, but this weekend's clash between the Seattle Sounders and Chicago Fire is sure to be a tense affair all the same.

After the Sounders claimed their third straight U.

Galaxy Notes: Saunders PK save a turning point, Leonardo returns and more

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By ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, Calif. -- Championship seasons are riddled with season-defining moments that often propel a team from mediocrity to glory.Â

One such moment may have come for the Los Angeles Galaxy last Saturday when goalkeeper Josh Saunders stopped an Omar Cummings penalty kick in the 91st minute to preserve the club's 2-1 victory against the Colorado Rapids.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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The significance might be lacking more than usual this time of year, but that does not mean that the final Celtic-Rangers battle of the season doesn't have the potential for an intense atmosphere to unfold on the playing field.

The Old Firm derby remains one of the most fierce in all of the world, and considering Rangers' financial issues, it could very well be the last in which Maurice Edu, Carlos Bocanegra and Alejandro Bedoya participate as a summer of uncertainty awaits.

Liverpool opens doors for Fox Soccer reality series

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Hard Knocks meets one of the Premier League's most storied clubs.

That's the basic premise, as Fox Soccer will be airing a six-episode reality series in the fall that will offer a behind-the-scenes look at Liverpool FC, going where TV cameras have never gone before. The all-access series, titled, "Our Liverpool: Never Walk Alone," will be produced by the same award-winning producer of HBO's popular 24/7 documentary series and will begin with the club's run toward the FA Cup title before the offseason and beginning of the 2012-13 campaign.

European Look Ahead: High-stakes Manchester derby, races intensify & more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

The Manchester derby is always a tense affair, but when the Premier League title is on the line it becomes one of the must-see games of the season.

Manchester United have seen their eight-point lead from two weeks ago shrink to a mere three points, and Manchester City now control their own destiny because of their superior goal differential.

Lindpere sounds off on his recent benching, Red Bulls struggles and more

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By DAVE MARTINEZ

HARRISON, N.J. -- New York Red Bulls midfielder Joel Lindpere just hasn't been himself.Â

The Estonian standout, who compiled eight goals and five assists through a total of 37 games last season, has failed to register a single shot on goal through four starts and seven appearances; an effort that has cost him a starting spot with the team.

Friday Kickoff: Europa League final set, Chelsea-QPR handshake nixed & more

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It might not be the one that most were expecting or even hoping for, but there will be an all-Spanish final for a European trophy.

Atheltic Bilbao and Atletico Madrid advanced to the UEFA Europa League final after second-leg semifinal triumphs on Thursday, with Madrid looking for its second tournament crown in three years.

Guardiola steps down as Barcelona coach

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The most successful manager in the storied history of FC Barcelona is walking away.Â

Pep Guardiola announced that he will be stepping down as Barcelona coach after the end of this season instead of renewing his rolling one-year contract with the club, one which he led to 13 trophies in four years at the helm.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Bolton Wanderers took a step in the right direction in their efforts to avoid relegation by beating Aston Villa earlier this week, but grabbing another result this weekend could be vital if they hope to stay up.

Bolton begin their home stretch to the season with a visit to Sunderland, where a win could go a long way in helping Tim Ream and his team secure another season in the Premiership.

Nowak suspended additional game, Fraser fined for Union-Chivas USA scuffle

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Philadelphia Union head coach Peter Nowak was suspended an additional game and fined $5,000 by MLS for his role in a scuffle during the Union-Chivas USA match last Saturday.

Nowak left the technical area and walked on the field as a scuffle ensued following a red card challenge from Gabriel Farfan on James Riley.

MLS Ticker: Rapids sign Brazilian, Crew acquire Arrieta and more

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The Colorado Rapids already-strong front line just got deeper and more talented.

Colorado bolstered its forward corps Thursday, signing 33-year-old Brazilian striker Luis Eduardo "Edu" Schmidt to complement a group that includes Omar Cummings, Quincy Amarikwa, Andre Akpan and Conor Casey, who is close to returning from a long-term Achilles injury.

Gomez's amazing 28 months in Mexico

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There have been few stories regarding American soccer players quite as compelling as that of Herculez Gomez and the amazing two years he has spent in Mexico reviving a career that was in jeopardy of ending not too long ago.

Gomez considered life after soccer when he looked to be out of options in the winter of 2009, after his contract with the Kansas City Wizards had expired and he was not re-signed.

MLS Spotlight: MacMath bounces back from rough start between the posts

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By THOMAS FLOYD

Zac MacMath is nothing if not resilient.

After all, his first season as the Philadelphia Union's starter in goal didn't exactly get off to a splendid start, as the club kicked off the year with three consecutive losses, during which the 20-year-old experienced some notable growing pains.

Union Notes: Califf expected to return, Nowak could be suspended, and more

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By JOEY SAMUEL

After missing four of the Philadelphia Union's first six games of 2012, captain Danny Califf appears to be ready to return to action when the team faces the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.

Califf has been plagued by injury concerns so far this season, most recently sitting out games against Colubmus and Chivas USA due to a hamstring pull.

Mid-Day Ticker: Guardiola mulls future, UEFA rejects suspension appeals & more

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Is Pep Guardiola's Barcelona reign coming to an end?

That was the question after Chelsea on Tuesday ended Barcelona's attempt to win back-to-back Champions League titles, claiming a 3-2 aggregate triumph over Guardiola's side in the semifinal. The loss came three days after Real Madrid defeated Barcelona, making it unlikely the Catalans will repeat as La Liga champions either.

Monterrey thwarts Santos Laguna comeback, repeats as CCL champion

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Santos Laguna had the look of a team capable of erasing a two-goal deficit and beating a defending champion, but Monterrey ultimately played like a champion that had no interest in relinquishing their title.

Santos jumped all over Monterrey in the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League Final series on Wednesday, but Monterrey midfielder Neri Cardozo spoiled the comeback with a decisive second-half goal that gave the Rayados the series and their second straight CONCACAF title.

MLS Spotlight: Iron-man Moor a model of consistency for Colorado

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By THOMAS FLOYD

Drew Moor may have enjoyed a career year last season, but he didn't expect anyone beyond the Rocky Mountains to really notice. And that's fine with him.

The Colorado Rapids defender, who has been about as dependable as they come in MLS since he debuted in 2005, scored four goals last year while playing across the back line and logging every minute of 32 league matches.

RSL ties FC Dallas in Frisco

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Another game, another questionable call against Real Salt Lake.

That's how some RSL players and most RSL fans must have felt after yet another controversial referee's decision cost the team points. Just four days after a very questionable red card left RSL with nine men in an eventual loss to San Jose, a dubious penalty called against Tony Beltran helped give FC Dallas a leg up in their Western Conference clash in Frisco, Texas on Wednesday night.

Real Madrid 2, Bayern Munich 1: Match Highlights

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MLS/CCL Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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Herculez Gomez and Santos Laguna have a two-goal hill to climb in Torreon, Mexico, when they take on Monterrey with the CONCACAF Champions League title on the line (8 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel/Telefutura).

Monterrey will try to defend their 2-0 lead after the first leg and finish off their second consecutive run to the CCL title, but in order to do so they'll have to fend off an explosive Santos Laguna team in a brutal place to play for opponents all while playing without their suspended star striker Humberto Suazo.

UCL Rewind: Bayern Munich shocks Real Madrid in PKs to reach final

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Two days of breathtaking UEFA Champions League semifinal play are complete, and with the dust settled, neither of the two Spanish favorites will be playing for Europe's greatest prize.

Bayern Munich defeated Real Madrid on penalty kicks and will play for the UEFA Champions League trophy in their home stadium after their semifinal tie ended in a 3-3 aggregate draw.

Timbers sign Scottish left back Smith

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The Portland Timbers have been in search for upgrades at the fullback positions, and the club addressed that need on Wednesday.

The Timbers signed Scottish left back Steven Smith -- Timbers forward Kris Boyd's former teammate at Rangers -- adding another option out wide defensively for coach John Spencer.

Injuries continue to pile up for Red Bulls

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By DAVE MARTINEZ

Thought things couldn't get any worse for the New York Red Bulls' defense? Think again.

Fresh off of a 4-1 loss to rival D.C. United, the defensively hobbled Red Bulls have just been dealt another blow, as coach Hans Backe has revealed centerback Stephen Keel will be out of action for a few weeks with back injury for which he was listed as "questionable" on the club's injury report as of Tuesday.

Real Madrid vs. Bayern Munich: Your Running Commentary

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The last piece of the UEFA Champions League final will fall into place at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, as Real Madrid host Bayern Munich in the second leg of their semifinal tie (2:45 p.m., FX).

The German side holds a 2-1 advantage after the first leg, with Mario Gomez' late goal accounting for the difference.

Mid-Day Ticker: Terry faces longer ban, Lazio dealt shock loss and more

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John Terry is already ineligible for the UEFA Champions League final. What remains to be seen is if he'll have to miss any time in European competitions next season.

Terry was given a straight red card for his knee to the back of Alexis Sanchez in the first half of Tuesday's 2-2 draw at Barcelona, and a UEFA panel will meet on May 31 to determine whether to increase the ban from the automatic one-game suspension.

Gomez, Santos Laguna aim to overturn deficit in second leg of CCL final

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CONCACAF will crown its club champion tonight in Torreon, Mexico, and after a 2-0 victory in the first leg, Monterrey has to be liking its chances to finish off its back-to-back title run in their second leg against Santos Laguna (8 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel/Telefutura).

So why should Santos Laguna feel confident?

SBI MLS Best XI: Week 7

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Photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIPhotos.com

If you told most D.C. United fans that Dwayne DeRosario and Hamdi Salihi would start the season without a goal in the first seven matches they probably would have assumed a terrible start. Seven weeks into the 2012 season, neither DeRosario or Salihi has a goal but Chris Pontius and Maicon Santos have more than picked up the slack.

Should yellow cards be wiped out before a major club final?

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FIFA has already taken steps to assure that players picking up a single yellow card in the semifinals of the World Cup won't be ineligible for the final because of card accumulation. Should club governing bodies adopt the same approach?

The question is raised yet again after Chelsea's riveting triumph over Barcelona, one in which three starters picked up their second cards of the knockout phase and are forced to miss the final.

UEFA Champions League: Bayern Munich aim to hold off Real Madrid

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Either Bayern Munich will be hosting the UEFA Champions League final, or Jose Mourinho will be bringing another team to Europe's grandest stage. One way or another, it's all on the line in Spain's capital city on Wednesday.

Bayern Munich take a 2-1 lead over Real Madrid back to Estadio Santiago Bernabeu for the second leg of their Champions League semifinal.

Williams hurts shoulder, out 4-to-6 weeks

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Danny Williams' place on the U.S. men's national team roster for next month's friendlies and June's World Cup qualifiers is in jeopardy.

The TSG 1899 Hoffenheim midfielder/defender is out for the last two games of the season after injuring his shoulder. According to Hoffenheim's web site, he will need to miss the next 4-to-6 weeks while recovering, which would make him fit right around the time that the U.

Wednesday Kickoff: Chandler stays with Nurnberg, Grant backs Di Matteo & more

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Timmy Chandler is staying put.

Despite months of speculation that he would be transferring this summer, Chandler signed a contract extension with FC Nurnberg that will keep him with the club through 2015.

Chandler's current contract still had another year on it, but as the final summer transfer window of that deal approached, the possibility of him moving elsewhere increased.

Barcelona 2, Chelsea 2: Match Highlights

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Perez suspended for elbow to Harvey

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Blas Perez has been on the wrong end of a challenge deemed suspension-worthy by the MLS Disciplinary Committee. Now he's the one being suspended.

The FC Dallas striker has been suspended one game and fined an undisclosed amount for his elbow to Vancouver defender Jordan Harvey in their matchup Saturday night.

UCL Rewind: 10-man Chelsea survives to stun Barcelona, reach final

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El Clasico might have taken place at Camp Nou on Saturday, but a true classic unfolded there Tuesday.

Despite being reduced to 10 men in the first half and facing a deficit, Chelsea stunned Barcelona to advance to the UEFA Champions League final after a 2-2 draw (3-2 win on aggregate).

MLS Notes: Winter's bold statement, 'Caps sign Homegrown forward and more

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Toronto FC manager Aron Winter believes his club will make the playoffs. Really.

"We're making the playoffs," he firmly told reporters after Tuesday's training session.Â

Winter's proclamation comes after Toronto FC have fallen to 0-6-0, are a loss away from matching the worst start in league history and have a bout at Rio Tinto Stadium with Real Salt Lake on the horizon.

Despite new appeals process, RSL not disputing Olave red card

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Real Salt Lake feel a bit wronged for what happened in the 69th minute of their 3-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes Saturday night. Even though the club has an opportunity to rectify the situation to a degree -- turning over the loss obviously isn't an option -- it is choosing to pass.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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It's do or die for Chelsea and Barcelona today, and in many ways it's the same for Aston Villa and Bolton, albeit under completely different circumstances.

The two UEFA Champions League semifinalists battle for a place in the Munich final at Camp Nou, with Barcelona looking to rebound from last week's 1-0 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and the 2-1 home loss over the weekend to rival Real Madrid in league play.

USL Pro Week 3: A Look Back

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Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Blues

By FRANCO PANIZO

Rochestor Rhinos forward Andrew Hoxie was substituted into the club's match versus the Los Angeles Blues at halftime to make an impact, and he did not take long to do just that.

Hoxie scored the winner five minutes after entering the scoreless game on Friday night, and he then helped set up an insurance goal shortly after.

World Football Challenge back for 2012

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The World Football Challenge is returning for another slate of international club friendlies across North America.

As of now, the only matches officially part of the WFC are Chelsea's clash with the Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field on July 18 and Liverpool's meeting with Toronto FC at Rogers Centre on July 21.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 7

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Sporting Kansas City is still the team to beat in MLS right now, but the San Jose Earthquakes sure are making things interesting.

While Kansas City suffered its first loss of the season in Portland over the weekend, the Earthquakes improved to 5-1-1 with a 3-1 triumph over Real Salt Lake, pushing them to No.

UEFA Champions League: Chelsea cling to narrow lead against Barcelona

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Considering the nature of their domestic season, Chelsea sealing a berth in the UEFA Champions League final at Barcelona's expense would be have to be considered the shock of the year. But here are the Blues, 90 minutes away from doing just that.

SBI MLS Team of the Week: Philadelphia Union

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It's not that often that a team with nine men walks off the field as winners, but the Philadelphia Union were able to do just that Saturday night.

The Union held off Chivas USA 1-0 despite red cards to Keon Daniel and Gabriel Farfan for violent challenges, getting a back-heel goal from Freddy Adu, stout goalkeeping from Zac MacMath and a solid overall defensive effort to take home SBI's MLS Team of the Week honors.

Tuesday Kickoff: Dempsey finishes fourth in FWA voting, Rangers hit hard & more

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Clint Dempsey's tremendous season for Fulham has not gone unnoticed overseas after all.

After being left off the Professional Footballers' Association Premier League Team of the Year, Dempsey took fourth in the Football Writers' Association voting for Premier League Player of the Year.

U.S. women draw familiar foes for Olympics; Mexico men get favorable draw

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This summer will be a bit similar to last summer for the U.S. women's national team.

The U.S. women drew France, Colombia and North Korea for their group at this summer's Olympic tournament -- three teams that they beat during last year's run to the World Cup final. Colombia and North Korea were in the same group as Pia Sundhage's side during the World Cup, while the U.

NASL Week 3: A Look Back

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photo by FC Edmonton

By FRANCO PANIZO

FC Edmonton's start to the season is becoming one they would like to quickly forget.

Edmonton dropped to 0-3-1 on the season after suffering a heartbreaking 4-3 loss to Minnesota Stars FC at Clarke Stadium in Edmonton, Canada on Sunday night.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Nick DeLeon

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D.C. United midfielder Nick DeLeon received his first test against rivals New York Red Bulls this past weekend, and he passed with flying colors.

DeLeon scored a goal and was a handful all night against an outmatched Red Bulls side that seemed to have no answer for United's attack. DeLeon's performance in United's 4-1 win on Sunday was the latest solid game put together by the former Louisville player, and it was good enough to earn him his third SBI MLS Rookie of the Week award and second consecutive.

Trophees des Champions to be held at Red Bull Arena in July

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The annual kickoff to the French soccer season is making its way to the United States, and the current home of one of the most prolific Frenchmans of all time will play host.

The 2012 Trophee des Champions, also known as the French Soccer Cup, will take place this season at Red Bull Arena on July 28.

Mid-Day Ticker: Rossi out 10 months, Pizarro denies deal, and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Giuseppi Rossi's injury is worse than originally feared.

After being projected to miss another six months with the torn ACL he suffered earlier this month, Rossi is now being ruled out for 10 months. The Italian international needs two surgeries to repair the damaged ligament in his right knee, but the latest timetable for recovery means Rossi will miss most of next season.

SBI Player of the Week: Chris Pontius

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If there were any lingering doubts over Chris Pontius being able to return to the form he showed before suffering a broken leg last season, he put those doubts to rest against the New York Red Bulls.

Pontius inspired D.C. United to a big 4-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls on Sunday with the first hat-trick of his career.

Short-handed Red Bulls pile on mistakes in loss to rival D.C. United

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By AVI CREDITOR

WASHINGTON -- A turnover here. An errant pass there. A triple-team gone wrong here. A flat-footed defender there.

The New York Red Bulls produced one calamitous error after another in Sunday night's 4-1 loss to D.C. United, one that exposed the club's glaring lack of defensive depth after a rash of injuries and one notable suspension have left the high-spending side short of solutions.

European Rewind: Real Madrid take El Clasico, Dortmund repeat and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Real Madrid couldn't have asked for a better way to all but wrap up the La Liga title.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored just three minutes after Alexis Sanchez briefly gave Barcelona hope to send Madrid seven points clear with a 2-1 win at the Camp Nou.

Must-See Goal: Junior Hoilett

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Monday Kickoff: Van Persie voted Player of the Year, Muamba speaks & more

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After carrying Arsenal for much of this season, Robin Van Persie now gets to lift the PFA Player of the Year trophy.

The Dutch striker was given the honor Sunday after scoring an English Premier League-leading 27 goals for the Gunners, who sit in third place with three fixtures remaining.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Kaiserslautern might have been officially relegated, but U.S. Under-23 men's national team forward Andrew Wooten helped the team achieve something it had not done in quite a while.

Wooten scored the winner in the club's 2-1 triumph over Hertha Berlin on Saturday, giving Kaiserslautern their first league victory since October (a span that stretched over 21 games).

D.C. United ride Pontius hat trick to 4-1 thrashing of New York

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By THOMAS FLOYD

WASHINGTON -- Last year, the New York Red Bulls traveled to RFK Stadium and handed D.C. United a 4-0 thumping, embarrassing their Atlantic Cup rivals in front of their hometown fans and a national TV audience.

United on Sunday reclaimed their home turf in emphatic fashion.

Earthquakes strike late to down 9-man Real Salt Lake, take top spot in West

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There's a new top dog in the MLS Western Conference.

Playing with nine men, conference-leading Real Salt Lake succumbed to two San Jose Earthquakes goals in second-half stoppage time, as San Jose won 3-1 at Buck Shaw Stadium to take over the top spot in the West.

Simon Dawkins scored the game-winner off Stephen Beitashour's second assist of the night, and Chris Wondolowski netted his league-leading eighth goal to cap off the victory -- San Jose's first over RSL since July 3, 2009.

D.C. United vs. Red Bulls: Match Night Commentary

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Eastern Conference rivals D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls face off tonight at RFK Stadium, with second place in the East on the line in this battle of arch-rivals.

The Red Bulls come in unbeaten in four matches, and boast MLS goal-scoring leaders Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper.

Myers own goal helps Timbers snap Sporting KC's run of perfection

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Sporting Kansas City's perfect run is over.

Right back Chance Myers inadvertently headed a Kris Boyd cross into his own net in the 41st minute to account for the only goal, as the Portland Timbers dealt Sporting KC their first loss of the season, a 1-0 decision at Jeld-Wen Field.

Saunders PK save salvages in for Galaxy

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The Los Angeles Galaxy looked like they had a win in the bag in Colorado when they took a 2-0 lead on the Rapids heading into the second half, but an Omar Cummings wonder goal and a 90th minute penalty call threatened the Galaxy's first road win of the season.

That's before Josh Saunders stepped up and saved a Cummings penalty, canceling out a highly-questionable penalty call against David Junior Lopes and handing the Galaxy a 2-1 victory at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

Ching equalizer spoils two-goal night from Gaven, earns Dynamo road draw vs. Crew

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For 58 minutes, the Houston Dynamo's visit to Crew Stadium was a goal-less snoozer that looked unlikely to produce a goal. Four goals later, fans at Crew Stadium had been treated to an exciting finish even if the home team was unable to secure the victory.

Columbus midfielder Eddie Gaven scored two goals to cancel out an early Will Bruin score and give the Crew a 2-1 lead in the second half, but Bruin set up Ching with a quality chance the veteran buried in the 81st minute to give Houston a 2-2 draw on Saturday.

Adu's winner lifts nine-man Union past Chivas USA

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BY JONATHAN VERA

CARSON, Calif. – The Philadelphia Union have been shutting down opposing offenses with regularity in recent weeks, but trying to stop a team while having just nine players on the field was a challenge that seemed too much to ask.

On Saturday night, the Union met the challenge of overcoming two red cards, riding a Freddy Adu goal and some tough defending to a 1-0 victory over Chivas USA at Home Depot Center.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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The door has been left open for Manchester City, and today will determine whether the Citizens are serious about taking full advantage.

Manchester United's 4-4 tie with Everton early this morning means Manchester City can close the gap atop the English Premier League standings to three points with a win against Wolverhampton today.

MLS Match Day 7: Your Running Commentary

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The Western side of the United States is the place to be for MLS action tonight, as five night games are being played in home stadiums of Western Conference clubs.

Chicago's 3-2 victory over TFC kicked things off today, but a later-than-usual cluster of matches should give MLS fans plenty of enticing night-time viewing.

Nyarko winner lifts Fire past winless TFC

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Reggie Lambe gave Toronto FC fans a brief glimmer of home on Saturday, scoring two goals four minutes apart to erase a first-minute goal from Chicago's Dominic Oduro.

Then the TFC defense collapsed.

The Fire scored two unanswered goals, including a game-winning tally from Patrick Nyarko, to give the Fire a 3-2 victory at BMO Field on Saturday.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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The game of the year in European soccer, between Barcelona and Real Madrid, headlines today's packed schedule of soccer action, but it is hardly the only marquee match-up on the slate, with London rivals Chelsea and Arsenal set to collide this morning in a match with plenty of implications.

Timbers trade for Fucito

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Seattle Sounders fans will think twice about cheering for Mike Fucito now.Â

The former Sounders fan favorite was traded from the Montreal Impact to the Portland Timbers Friday. Based on his performance this season, the Impact will receive either a second-round pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft or an international roster spot for the 2013 season.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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This weekend, all eyes are on Camp Nou.

Barcelona and Real Madrid clash in another edition of El Clasico that has plenty of Spanish title ramifications. This match might not be the last between the star-studded rivals this season. If both can overturn one-goal deficits in the UEFA Champions League semifinals next week, then the next Clasico will have the ultimate prize on the line: A European championship.

Follow Friday with Sporting KC

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Sporting Kansas City has been all business on the field en route to their 7-0-0 start, but their level of comedy off of it hasn't suffered in the least. Here's proof. Enjoy:


MLS Week 7: A Look Ahead

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By THOMAS FLOYD

D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls will renew their longtime rivalry Sunday, and they'll do so with second place in the Eastern Conference at stake.

The match features two of the league's most in-form teams, with New York unbeaten in four and United undefeated in five.

Projecting Klinsmann's USMNT training camp roster

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With about a month to go before Jurgen Klinsmann settles on the 23 or so players he will call into pre-World Cup Qualifying training camp, it's time to consider his options and what the squad might look like.

There are some easy selections, such as Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley and Landon Donovan to name a few, but Klinsmann is going to have some tough decisions to make, particularly in midfield, where he has a plethora of options.

MLS Notes: Koevermans hurt, Frings returns, Davis out another match & more

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Just when Toronto FC is on the verge of getting one Designated Player back on the field, another one goes down with an injury.

With Torsten Frings set to return from a hamstring injury, Dutch striker Danny Koevermans appears set to miss this weekend's clash with the Chicago Fire with a leg injury that he suffered in training.

European Look Ahead: Rivalries take spotlight with El Clasico, London derby

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

El Clasico is one of the few events in the world in which the result routinely lives up to the hype, and Saturday will see another chapter written in the storied rivalry.

With a title on the line and both teams looking to recover from surprising UEFA Champions League defeats, Real Madrid travels to Barcelona holding a four-point advantage in La Liga with five games to play.

SBI Live Q&A: April 20th Edition

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

We haven't had one of these in a while but I'm hoping we can cover a bunch of topics in today's Q&A. Whether it's MLS, the U.S. national team, European soccer or even some pop culture topics, get your questions ready and I will answer as many of them as I can.

Rolfe out with injured ankle

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Chris Rolfe's second Chicago Fire debut won't be happening this weekend after all.

Rolfe, reacquired by the Fire earlier this week, injured his ankle in training and will miss Saturday's match in Toronto after expecting to feature for Chicago right away.

Injuries have held Rolfe back throughout his career, both in MLS and with Aalborg BK in Denmark, but this one does not appear to be serious, as there is no structural damage to the striker's ankle according to the Fire's official website.

Must-See Match: El Clasico

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Barcelona. Real Madrid. Messi. Ronaldo. Guardiola. Mourinho.

The two storied rivals are set for their next historic clash Saturday, with Madrid able to effectively slam the door on Barcelona's league title hopes with a win at Camp Nou. Barcelona, however, can sneak within a point of the league leaders with a home victory.

SBI Live Q&A set for Noon today

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Yes folks, it has been entirely too long, but after more than two months without one, it is time for a new SBI Live Q&A.

In case you forgot what that is (and I wouldn't blame you considering how long it has been), I will be answering soccer-related questions for the next hour or so from SBI readers.

Copa Libertadores knockout field set

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The Copa Libertadores field has been cut to 16.

Defending champion Santos took care of business on Thursday against Bolivian side The Strongest with a 2-0 victory that included Neymar's fifth goal of the tournament. As a result, Santos finished as the third-seeded team among those that qualified for the knockout round, behind Brazilian sides Fluminense and Corinthians.

Friday Kickoff: Gatt hurt, Rogers out for final Leeds matches and more

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If there is a knock on up-and-coming American winger Josh Gatt it is his propensity for injury, and it seems as if the injury bug has caught the 20-year-old speedster yet again.

After missing Molde's match this past week against Viking, Gatt has been ruled out for the club's clash with Luke Rodgers' Lillestrom SK on Monday with an unspecified muscle strain, according to the club's official website.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

If Oguchi Onyewu wants to show U.S. men's national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann he is ready for World Cup qualifying, this weekend likely provides the American centerback his best opportunity to return to Sporting CP's lineup.

With the Portuguese club having played in the Europa League semifinals on Thursday, Onyewu could get his first start since February when Sporting takes on CD Nacional de Madeira on Sunday.

Garber discusses goal-line technology and more in latest public conversation

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Goal-line technology is a hot topic in the world of soccer these days, and it could soon be implented in MLS.

If FIFA decides to change its long-standing rules of not using technology to aid match officials when it comes together to discuss the matter this July, MLS is open to being one of the first leagues to try the new approach should it get approved.

MLS Spotlight: Nagbe developing a flair for the spectacular

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By THOMAS FLOYD

Darlington Nagbe may only have five MLS goals to his name, but he has sure made the most of them.

Last year, the Portland Timbers midfielder-forward saw his first career strike -- a spectacular juggle-and-volley effort against Sporting Kansas City -- claim league Goal of the Year honors.

Long-time USMNT defender and Crew star Hejduk retires

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Frankie Hejduk has called it a career.

The long-time U.S. national team defender and Columbus Crew captain retired on Thursday, ending an impressive career that saw him play in multiple World Cups as well as in Europe.

Hejduk enjoyed a 16-year professional career that saw him play for the Tampa Bay Mutiny, Crew and LA Galaxy in MLS, with a stint at German club Bayer Leverkusen.

Union Notes: Gaddis likely to start again, Mwanga's status up in the air, and more

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By JOEY SAMUEL

Last week, Raymon Gaddis was plugged into the starting lineup on a moment's notice when Philadelphia Union captain Danny Califf aggravated a hamstring injury. As the Union prepare for Saturday's away tilt against Chivas USA, it's becoming likely that Gaddis will get yet another start in his first MLS season.

MLS Spotlight: Ex-TFC defender Gargan right at home with Chicago

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 Photo by Tracy Allen/ISIphotos.com

By THOMAS FLOYD

Dan Gargan's path to the Windy City has been anything but a breeze.

First, there was the torn knee ligament that threw a wrench in his promising career. Then, his abrupt 2008 retirement.

Mid-Day Ticker: Coyle says Muamba may play again, Cole targets Lille stay & more

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For 78 minutes, it seemed as if Fabrice Muamba could very well lose his life. Now, it's conceivable the Bolton midfielder could return to play once more.

Bolton manager Owen Coyle said Muamba, who was released from the hospital Monday after suffering a heart attack a month ago during an FA Cup match at Tottenham, could very well play again for the club -- possibly as soon as next season.

MLS Spotlight: Collin enjoying the Sporting (KC) life

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

Aurelien Collin is big, bald and bad. The bruising type of bad.Â

The Sporting Kansas City center back is as physical a player as there is in MLS, and he doles out thumpings regularly. The native of France knew from a young age what position he wanted to play, so he channeled his energy into becoming a defender who thrives on ball distribution and making attacking players pay for forays into the box.

Marquez suspended for three games

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New York Red Bulls midfielder Rafa Marquez always figured to face some sort of suspension for his actions in last weekend's match against the San Jose Earthquakes. On Thursday, Marquez and the Red Bulls found out just how stiff a punishment he will face.

MLS announced on Thursday that Marquez will be suspended for three matches after injuring San Jose midfielder Shea Salinas with a bearhug and slam that resulted in Salinas suffering a broken collarbone.

Thursday Kickoff: Monterrey downs Santos, Raul leaving Schalke, and more

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Mexican powerhouse Monterrey took a giant step toward repeating as CONCACAF Champions League title holders on Wednesday night after a second-half brace from Humberto Suazo gave the Rayados a 2-0 first-leg victory over Santos Laguna.

The match was a tightly contested one until the second half, when Suazo finally broke through with a pair of goals, including a dazzling run through the Santos defense near the end of the match to help give Monterrey a two-goal cushion heading to the second leg in Torreon next week.

Corradi confirms short-term deal, eyes full season with Montreal

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Veteran Italian striker Bernardo Corradi has started to leave his mark for the Montreal Impact, with goals in each of the club's last two games. As of now, he'll only have about two more months to contribute up top, though he hopes to extend that period for at least the rest of the season.

Must-See Goal: Humberto Suazo

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Sporting KC stays perfect with rout in Vancouver

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

Sporting Kansas City's Cascadian swing started off in fine fashion with Wednesday night's 3-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps at B.C. Place Stadium, as the Eastern Conference leaders moved to 7-0-0 on the season.

SKC played about 73 minutes of high quality soccer.

Santos provides equalizer as Montreal, D.C. United settle for draw

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For the second straight game on the road the Montreal Impact had a victory within reach. And for the second straight game they let points get away.

Maicon Santos' 73rd-minute goal on a low shot from distance cancelled out Bernardo Corradi's 68th-minute header, as D.C. United and the Impact settled for a 1-1 draw in front of 10,135 at RFK Stadium Wednesday night.

MLS/CCL Wednesday: Match Night Commentary

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It is a busier Wednesday night than usual for American soccer fans, what with two MLS matches and the CONCACAF Champions League Final on tap featuring American striker Herculez Gomez.

D.C. United plays host to the Montreal Impact (7:30pm, Direct Kick) while red-hot Sporting Kansas City puts their perfect record on the line in Vancouver tonight against the Whitecaps (10pm, Direct Kick).

UCL Rewind: Drogba's goal propels Chelsea to victory over Barcelona

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

It might not have been pretty, but some gritty defending combined with a clinical finish from Didier Drogba has given Chelsea the upper hand in their UEFA Champions League semifinal against Barcelona.

Chelsea held serve on a rainy night at Stamford Bridge in the first leg with a 1-0 win over Barcelona.

SBI MLS Best XI: Week 6

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It isn't often that you see Chivas USA dominate a Best XI side, but the team's latest road victory helped three Goats earn honors in SBI's MLS Best XI.

Goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, defender Heath Pearce and midfielder Oswaldo Minda lead this week's Best XI selections, while FC Dallas teammates Blas Perez and Brek Shea also garnered places among the league's best this week.

Report: Toronto FC to host Liverpool

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Add Canada to Liverpool's summer tour of North America.

It will be Reds vs. Reds north of the border, as Toronto FC hosts Liverpool at Rogers Centre on July 21, according to a report from the Toronto Star.

The match will be one of three that Liverpool is slated to play in North America, with a match against AS Roma at Boston's Fenway Park slated for July 25 and one against Tottenham at Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium on July 28.

Must-See Goal: Nkosi Burgess

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Chelsea vs. Barcelona: Your Running Commentary

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One of the few things that Lionel Messi has yet to do in his remarkable career is score against Chelsea. He'll get an opportunity to snap that six-game drought in the first leg of Barcelona's highly anticipated UEFA Champions League semifinal with Chelsea, with Wednesday's first leg taking place at Stamford Bridge (2 p.

Holden talks Bolton, Dempsey, soccer in the USA and more in BBC interview

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It has been a frustrating season for U.S. international midfielder Stuart Holden, who has had to face another long-term injury while trying to build on his early success in the Premier League. That injury has not changed his stature as one of Bolton's more important, personable players, though.

Gomez, Santos Laguna look to dethrone Monterrey as CCL final kicks off

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MLS might no longer have a rooting interest in the CONCACAF Champions League, but that doesn't mean U.S. Soccer fans don't have a reason to pay close attention to what transpires in Mexico over the next week.

Monterrey and Santos Laguna kick off their CCL final with the first leg Wednesday night at Estadio Tecnologico (10 p.

Streaks at stake for D.C. United, Sporting Kansas City in mid-week action

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D.C. United aims to end one dubious streak Wednesday night, while Sporting Kansas City looks to keep their impressive one intact.

That is what's on the line in two mid-week MLS matches, as D.C. hosts the Montreal Impact and Sporting Kansas City leaves the confines of Livestrong Sporting Park, heading north to face the Vancouver Whitecaps.

UEFA Champions League: Chelsea eye revenge, upset against Barcelona

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

For Chelsea, it's all about revenge when Barcelona arrives at Stamford Bridge for the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semifinal tie on Wednesday.

Much of the game's build-up has focused on the last time these two teams met, when Andres Iniesta scored a last-gasp equalizer to send Barcelona to the 2009 final on away goals.

Wednesday Kickoff: Beckham makes Olympic cut, Reading promoted and more

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David Beckham's hopes for participating in the Olympics have cleared the first hurdle.

Team Great Britain manager Stuart Pearce has narrowed down his long initial list of candidates for his 18-man roster down to 80, with Beckham, Gareth Bale, Craig Bellamy and Joe Cole being among the other players whose names have been released.

Bayern Munich 2, Real Madrid 1: Match Highlights

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Galaxy Notebook: Villarreal returns from injury, Garcia shines with reserves and more

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BY ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, Calif. --The professional career of Los Angeles Galaxy Homegrown product Jose Villarreal may not have begun as he would have liked, but after recovering from an knee injury cut his preseason short, the 18-year-old midfielder is eager to make an impact with the defending MLS Cup champions.

UCL Rewind: Late Gomez winner gives Bayern Munich edge over Real Madrid

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Bayern Munich are one step closer to playing a Champions League Final in their home stadium as they dispatched Real Madrid 2-1 in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semifinal.

Mario Gomez scored from very close range off a Philipp Lahm cross in the 89th minute to break a 1-1 deadlock.

USL Pro Week 2: A Look Back

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Photo by Orlando City SC


By FRANCO PANIZO

Orlando City SC returned to the Citrus Bowl for their first official match since winning the USL Pro Championship this past weekend, and they gave their fans something to cheer about.

Former New York Red Bulls midfielder John Rooney stole the show, scoring two goals and assisting on another to set the tone for the Lions' 4-1 rout of the Wilmington Hammerheads at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

Chivas sign Colombian forward Correa

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Chivas USA took a step toward upgrading their attacking options by turning to MLS' breeding ground for talent: Colombia.

Chivas signed 19-year-old Colombian striker Jose Erick Correa from club Boyaca Chico FC to augment a strike force that has managed just four goals in six games.

Bradley's Egypt runs unbeaten streak to 8

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On a day when 73 people stood trial for their alleged roles in the deadly riots at a February soccer match in Port Said, Egypt, Bob Bradley was busy doing his part to restore the game in the African nation, guiding the national team in another match while trying to assess his squad before the games start to count in June.

Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid: Your Running Commentary

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It's power vs. power as Bayern Munich takes on Real Madrid in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semifinal matchup (2:45 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel).

For Bayern Munich, maintaining their blistering home form is crucial if they want to entertain thoughts of returning to Allianz Arena for next month's final and become the first team to play for a European cup title at its home stadium since Roma did in 1983.

Report: Potts not eligible for USA

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Danny Potts might not have an international choice to make after all.Â

According to Yanks Abroad, Potts, a West Ham left back whose father was born in the United States, is not eligible to represent the United States. Potts, 18, played for the U.S. Under-20 national team last May when it was thought that he had dual eligibility, but both U.

How long should Marquez be suspended?

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After Rafa Marquez' latest act of misconduct, the consensus question seems to be not if MLS' Disciplinary Committee will suspend the New York Red Bulls Designated Player, but how for long?

Marquez' much-publicized, off-ball, NFL-style tackle and kick to San Jose Earthquakes winger Shea Salinas resulted in Salinas breaking his clavicle, and he is set to undergo surgery and miss the next 6-to-8 weeks, according to the Earthquakes.

Despite bright start, Red Bulls in search of answers for porous defense

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By DAVE MARTINEZ

New York Red Bulls coach Hans Backe needed two words to describe his team's defensive effort against the San Jose Earthquakes this weekend.Â

"Ball watching." Â

While the Red Bulls' offense has erupted for 16 goals through six matches, the defense has been woeful, allowing 10 goals – good for third-most in the league -- and the club twice blew one-goal leads at home Saturday, settling for a 2-2 draw with San Jose.

SBI MLS Team of the Week: Sporting Kansas City

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After winning the matchup of the top two teams in the league, Sporting Kansas City has deservedly seized control of the early pole position in the MLS Eastern Conference and in the race for the Supporters' Shield.

Applying their trademark high pressure and getting a timely goal off a set piece, Sporting KC stifled Real Salt Lake's attack and improved to 6-0-0 on the season with a 1-0 victory Saturday, earning SBI's MLS Team of the Week honors.

UEFA Champions League: Real Madrid, Bayern Munich open semifinal round

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Despite the dominance Real Madrid have exhibited in this season's UEFA Champions League, speculation lingers that their route to the semifinals has something to do with poor opposition along the way.

Jose Mourinho's men have yet to play a team from England, Spain, Germany or Italy in their 10 UEFA Champions League matches, but all that will change when they travel to the Allianz Arena to take on German powerhouse Bayern Munich in the opening leg of their semifinal tie.

Must-See Goal: Alvaro Negredo

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Tuesday Kickoff: Del Bosque signs Spain extension, Balotelli wants to stay & more

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Vicente Del Bosque will attempt to supply evidence for those opposed to coaches going through a second World Cup cycle that success can indeed be achieved under those circumstances.

The Spanish national team manager reportedly signed a contract extension that will have him in charge of La Furia Roja through the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 6

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It may be seven months before the MLS Cup is awarded, but at this point in 2012, there is little doubt Sporting Kansas City is the top team the league has to offer.

Entering the weekend as the league's only unbeaten club, Kansas City separated itself from the pack in the SBI MLS Power Rankings with a 1-0 win over the previous No.

SBI Reader Poll: Do you love or hate the new U.S. Men's National Team jersey?

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The unveiling of the U.S. Men's National Team home jersey was met with a thorough mix of love and hate. Some fans were excited at the red stripe look, while many fans absolutely despise the new look.

To some, the ode to the American flag is enough to make the new jersey a winner.

Timbers acquire Rincon on loan

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The Portland Timbers are making a habit of signing sons of former Colombian internationals.

The Timbers announced Monday that they added 18-year-old forward Sebastian Rincon on loan for the 2012 season from Uruguay outfit Atletico Atenas. Rincon is the son of former Colombian national team forward Freddy Rincon, who played in three World Cups during his 18-year career.

Rolfe returns to MLS, Chicago

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photo by ISIphotos.com

Chris Rolfe is back in MLS and with the same team he last played for before trying his hand in Europe.

Rolfe rejoined the Chicago Fire after spending the last three seasons with Danish club Aalborg BK, the Fire announced Monday. Terms of Rolfe's new deal with the Fire were not disclosed as per club and league policy, but it was announced that he and Aalborg mutually parted ways prior to his arrival in Chicago.

New USMNT, USWNT jerseys unveiled

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The red-and-white hooped jersey making the rounds months ago is indeed the U.S. men's national team's new home jersey. It is the U.S. women's national team jersey, too.

For the first time, Nike has unified the jerseys for the United States men's and women's teams, U.S. Soccer revealed on Monday.

Union land Herdling on loan from Hoffenheim

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The Philadelphia Union took advantage of the final few hours of the transfer window being open, as they bolstered their attacking depth by signing a player with European experience.

Philadelphia acquired German midfielder/foward Kai Herdling on loan from German Bundesliga club TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, the Union announced on Monday.

Mid-Day Ticker: Parkhurst injured, Muamba released from hospital and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

If you were curious as to why Michael Parkhurst was not in FC Nordsjaelland's gameday roster this past weekend, wonder no more.

A staple in his team's defense, Parkhurst suffered a toe injury prior to Nordsjaelland's 2-1 win over Silkeborg IF on Sunday.

SBI Rookie of the Week: Nick DeLeon

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D.C. United's stirring comeback win against New England on Saturday helped boost Ben Olsen's club up the Eastern Conference standings, and also helped strengthen Nick DeLeon's already impressive Rookie of the Year candidacy.

It is only six weeks into the season, but DeLeon has been the most impressive rookie in the league and his two-assist effort in United's 2-1 victory against New England magnified that fact.

NASL Week 2: A Look Back

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photo by Robin Jerstad

By FRANCO PANIZO

More than 13,000 fans turned up to see the San Antonio Scorpions in their home opener, but that was one of the only positives the first-year team could take away this weekend.

The Scorpions failed make their first home match a memorable one for their fans, as they suffered a 4-0 defeat to the Puerto Rico Islanders in front of a sold-out crowd of 13,151 at Heroes Stadium in San Antonio, Texas on Sunday.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Blas Perez

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FC Dallas has turned things around after a slow start to the season, posting consecutive wins. The latest win, a comeback victory against Montreal, was delivered in large part due to the impressive efforts of Panamanian striker Blas Perez.

With Dallas trailing 1-0 at Pizza Hut Park, Shea scored a second-half equalizer, then took part in the build-up that led to Brek Shea's late game-winning goal.

USA defeats Mexico in Legends Game

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Familiar faces. Familiar result.

An older generation of U.S. men's national team players defeated Mexican rivals of years past, 2-0, in the Legends Game played at the Home Depot Center on Sunday night. Roy Lassiter and Brian McBride scored in the 70-minute match and goalkeeper Ian Feuer came up with several saves to give the Americans their latest dos-a-cero victory.

European Rewind: Tevez nets hat trick, Dortmund close in on title, and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Welcome back, Carlos Tevez.

The Argentinian striker, who recently returned to the club after a six-month absence due to a dispute with Manchester City manager Roberto Macini, netted a hat trick in City's 6-1 win over Norwich City. Sergio Aguero added a brace while Adam Johnson completed the rout in the 90th minute.

Monday Kickoff: Morosini passes, Cabanas returns and more

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Italian soccer is still in shock after the passing of midfielder Piermario Morosini, so much so that Udinese captain Antonio di Natale is considering retirement at season's end.

Morosini collapsed during Livorno's Serie B match against Pescara on Saturday after suffering cardiac arrest.

Dynamo, Fire tie in match shortened by lightning

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Mother nature was not a fan of the Chicago Fire or Houston Dynamo on Sunday.

The two teams played to a 1-1 draw at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. in a match that was delayed twice by lightning before ultimately being called in the 66th minute.

Will Bruin and Logan Pause exchanged goals midway through the first half.

Marquez's latest bad behavior

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BY DAVE MARTINEZ

Saturday night's match between the New York Red Bulls and the San Jose Earthquakes was a chippy affair, with plenty of questionable plays. None more questionable than Rafa Marquez's football tackle of Shea Salinas.

With the Red Bulls defending a corner kick situation, Marquez wrapped his arms around Salinas in the box, refusing to let go of his marker.

Chivas USA victory keeps Toronto FC winless

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Chivas USA's impeccable road record remains in tact and Toronto FC's misery continues.

A first-half goal from midfielder Oswaldo Minda saw Chivas USA win their third road game of the season, as they recorded a 1-0 win over Toronto FC at BMO Field on Saturday afternoon to improve to 3-3 on the season.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

If there was an award for the best goal scored in a season by an American Abroad, Jozy Altidore's latest strike would surely be up for contention.

Altidore scored his 14th league goal and 18th across all competitions on Saturday when he rocketed a shot from distance in AZ Alkmaar's match against PSV Eindhoven.

Shea's first goal of season lifts FC Dallas to victory

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Brek Shea picked a good time to come out of his early-season slump.

Shea scored his first goal of the season on an 88th-minute effort that saw FC Dallas complete their comeback to top the Montreal Impact, 2-1, at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, Texas on Saturday night. The result improved FC Dallas to 3-2-1 while it dropped Montreal to 1-5-1.

Late Pontius goal gives United win over Revolution

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D.C. United looked ready for a third draw in their last four games, but Chris Pontius changed that when he scored his first goal since returning from the injury that sidelined him for the end of last season.

Pontius gave United a 2-1 win over the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, curling a right-footed shot in the 82nd minute.

FA Cup: Liverpool 2, Everton 1: Match Highlights

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Collin header helps lead unbeaten Sporting KC past RSL

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Any doubts about just which team is the very best in Major League Soccer at the moment were put to rest on Saturday night as Sporting Kansas City delivered their latest masterpiece performance.

Sporting KC thoroughly outplayed Real Salt Lake in a match-up of the league's best teams, with Aurelien Collin providing the difference with a header goal that gave Kansas City a 1-0 victory at Livetsrong Sporting Park.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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With Liverpool having already booked their place in the FA Cup Final, today we will find out which London club will join them at Wembley with silverware on the line.

Rivals Tottenham and Chelsea square off today in their FA Cup semifinal, and while both are fighting for a place in the Premier League Top Four, and Chelsea has the Champions League semifinals against Barcelona to think about, today's FA Cup tilt should still be a hotly-contested clash.

Red Bulls settle for draw after San Jose rallies twice

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BY DAVE MARTINEZ

The New York Red Bulls are quickly building a reputation as one of the most schizophrenic sides in Major League Soccer. The team squandered two early leads at home, getting victimized by a pair of brilliant San Jose goals en route to a deflating 2-2 draw.

Veterans propel Galaxy to comeback win

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CARSON, Calif. --The Los Angeles Galaxy broke out of their two-game losing streak on Saturday with a 3-1 victory over the Portland Timbers at Home Depot Center on Saturday night.

Kris Boyd gave the Timbers the lead in the 23rd minute, but Landon Donovan gave the Galaxy a lifeline in the 44th minute when he tied the match.

Must-See Goal: David Beckham

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Scott's first career goal lifts Sounders past Rapids

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By JASON MITCHELL

SEATTLE, WA. - It took more than 2,000 minutes of career action, but Seattle defender Zach Scott made sure his first MLS goal was one to remember.

Some 50 minutes after scooting a header just above the crossbar, Scott confidently headed the match-winner into the far side of the net in the 63rd minute, giving the Seattle Sounders a 1-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids on Saturday afternoon.

Union down Crew for first win of 2012

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By JOEY SAMUEL

It took more than a month, and it wasn't pretty, but the Philadelphia Union earned their first win of the season in front of 18,526 fans at PPL Park on Saturday.

Eric Gehrig handled a Freddy Adu cross in the 37th minute and Gabriel Gomez buried the ensuing penalty to give the Union a 1-0 lead.

MLS Week 6: Match Night Commentary

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A loaded slate of eight matches fills up the Major League Soccer schedule today, with two top match-ups serving as the headliners of the day.

Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake square off in a battle of conference leaders. Boasting a combined 10-1 record, Sporting KC and RSL have been the class of the league this season and should provide an entertaining and high-quality match.

Must-See Goal: Jozy Altidore

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Must-See Video: All 22 of Clint Dempsey's goals so far this season for Fulham

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As all American soccer fans are aware, Clint Dempsey is enjoying what is arguably the best season ever for an American player in Europe (or anywhere else for that matter). His 22 goals in all competitions have made him a transfer target for big clubs and has put him in the rarified air of goal scorers such as Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Tim Howard and Everton's quest for silverware can move one step closer to bearing fruit today as the Toffees take on arch-rival Liverpool today in a highly-anticipated FA Cup semifinal showdown at Wembley Stadium (7:30 am, Fox Soccer Channel).

The Toffees have enjoyed an outstanding run of form in Premier League play, and will look to make their second FA Cup Final appearance in four years with a win against a Liverpool side that has endured a disappointing season in league play.

MLS Notes: Dynamo sign Mexican left back, FCD recalls Jackson and more

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The Houston Dynamo are in a bit of a personnel crisis with suspensions and injuries taking their toll on the club's roster, but the club augmented its defensive options on Friday with the signing of a young Mexican left back.

Houston acquired Oscar Recio on loan from Monterrey, a move that frees starting left back Corey Ashe to slide up to the midfield with Brad Davis nursing a calf injury.

MLS Week 6: A Look Ahead

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By THOMAS FLOYD

After much debate over who is the top team in MLS at this early stage in 2012, Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City will resolve matters just as the soccer gods intended -- on the field.

The matchup between 5-1-0 Salt Lake and 5-0-0 Kansas City -- the league's final unbeaten team -- is the centerpiece of a packed MLS slate this weekend featuring nine games.

What does your team need ahead of the April MLS transfer deadline?

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The first transfer window of the 2012 MLS season closes on Sunday, and some teams could use the next couple of days to fine tune their rosters for the next couple of months before they are able to hit the international market again at the end of June.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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The FA Cup will be narrowed down to two finalists this weekend at Wembley Stadium, and each of the semifinal matches has a special twist to it. Tim Howard and Everton will look to topple Merseyside rival Liverpool. If that result happens, and Tottenham bests Chelsea in the all-London semifinal, then Howard and Brad Friedel could take center stage in the final.

European Look Ahead: Dortmund close in on title, FA Cup derbies and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

As the Bundesliga turns down the home stretch, rivals become allies as Borussia Dortmund threaten to run away with another league title.

Dortmund's 1-0 victory over Bayern Munich Wednesday saw the defending champions move six points clear at the top of the table with only four games to play.

Crew goalkeeper Hesmer out 6 months

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A series of serious injuries have taken their toll on the Columbus Crew.

After centerback Julius James required surgery for a collapsed lung last week and remains out indefinitely as he recovers, Columbus learned that No. 1 goalkeeper William Hesmer will need to miss at least the next six months after undergoing microfracture surgery on his hip.

Rossi tears ACL again

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Just as he was on the cusp of potentially returning to action for Villarreal, Giuseppe Rossi faces yet another long spell on the sidelines.

The New Jersey-born Italian international tore his right ACL for the second time in the last six months during a training session and will be out for at least another six months, according to the club's official website.

Gatt signs new deal with Molde

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It is turning into a landmark day for U.S. youth internationals.

On the heels of Joe Gyau signing a three-year deal with Hoffenheim, Josh Gatt has signed a three-year deal with Norwegian club Molde FK, extending his stay with the club through 2015.

Gatt, 20, has played all 270 minutes for Molde in the early going this season, including a highlight-reel goal in the club's season-opening victory.

Rosters set for USA-Mexico legends game

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

When word broke about a United States-Mexico legends game last week, there remained some speculation about just which players from the storied rivalry would be participating for both sides.

The final rosters are out, and some of the more prolific heroes and villains from the last two decades of CONCACAF's ongoing feud will be on hand for the unique event.

Friday Kickoff: Gyau signs new club deal, Maradona responds to Pele and more

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Joe Gyau's future at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim is secure.

The U.S. Under-23 winger signed a three-year professional contract with the Bundesliga club on Friday, meaning that he is tied to Hoffneheim through 2015.

Gyau, 19, has begun to emerge as an option for the first team this season after proving his quality for the club's U-23 side.

Galaxy Notebook: Lopes ready for transition, Leonardo return delayed and more

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BY ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, Calif. --David Junior Lopes is fully aware of the opportunity that being a member of the Los Angeles Galaxy provides and the hulking Brazilian centerback believes that he can shine with his new club.Â

Lopes was acquired from Chivas USA on Tuesday in a deal that sent Paolo Cardozo to the Galaxy's cross-hall rivals.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Two Americans are still in contention for the FA Cup, and both will try and punch their tickets to the tournament final against some of the Premiership's most talented teams.

Tim Howard and Brad Friedel are a step away from playing for some hardware, but respective matches against Chelsea and Liverpool await.

Who will win the big Sporting KC/RSL showdown?

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Two teams, a combined 10-1 record and a showdown to determine league supremacy.

Unbeaten Eastern Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City take on Western Conference leaders Real Salt Lake in a match-up of the two teams widely regarded as the best in Major League Soccer. It is a match-up that could offer up a preview of the MLS Cup, and at the very least should give us a handful of tantalizing head-to-head individual match-ups on Saturday.

Morgan focused on preparing for Olympics

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As the U.S. Women's National Team moves closer to going for gold at the summer Olympics in England, the growing buzz around the team surrounds budding superstar Alex Morgan, who has carried over her World Cup success last summer with a strong showing for the team in 2012.

Though she's still just 22, Morgan is quickly becoming the face of the national team, both with the attention she's getting off the field, and the goals she keeps scoring on the field.

Red Bulls Notebook: Conde sidelined, reinforcements unlikely, and more

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BY DAVE MARTINEZ

The New York Red Bull's explosive offense has certainly managed to cover for some of the team's more glaring weaknesses. Midfield production has been a major concern as has been the fortitude of their defense. Today's revelations may just compound on those problems.

Mid-Day Ticker: Ivanovic hit with ban, Mancini concedes EPL title & more

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By THOMAS FLOYD

If Chelsea is going to defeat Tottenham in Sunday's FA Cup semifinal, the club will have to do it without Branislav Ivanovic.

The Serbian defender was handed a three-match ban by the FA on Thursday after video caught him striking Wigan's Shaun Maloney in the midriff during Chelsea's 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Conde could miss a month with groin injury

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The New York Red Bulls are scoring goals at an astronomical pace these days, and they may wind up needing every one of the goals Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper are scoring to keep on winning.

The Red Bulls are set to be without standout defender Wilman Conde for up to a month after the Colombian defender injured his groin during the team's practice session on Thursday.

Philadelphia Union to face Schalke 04 on May 9th

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Just a day after announcing that Chelsea would be facing the MLS All-Stars in this summer's MLS All-Star Game at PPL Park, the Philadelphia Union revealed that another European club would be making a visit to the Union's stadium.

Philadelphia will face German Bundesliga side Schalke 04 in a friendly on May 9th, the Union announced on Thursday.

SBI MLS Best XI: Week 5

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Can anybody stop Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper?

Five weeks into the MLS season the dynamic New York Red Bulls duo has combined for 13 goals and has helped New York tear about the team's past three opponents in blowout victories. It was more of the same last weekend, as the two combined for four goals and an assist in New York's 4-1 humbling of the Columbus Crew.

Thursday Kickoff: Balotelli to stay in lineup, Rapids sign Henao, and more

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Mario Balotelli's future at Manchester City may be uncertain but manager Roberto Mancini will still need the temperamental striker in the final six weeks of the season.

Despite implying that Balotelli would not play for City again, Mancini said the 21-year-old striker will be selected for the April 30th matchup against Manchester United.

A look back at a wild day across Europe

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It was just one of those days in European soccer.

A wild stretch in which Alessandro Del Piero showed he still has it in a landmark appearance, Wigan Athletic beat Manchester United for the first time, Arjen Robben was twice the goat for Bayern Munich, a third-tier French side reached the final of a domestic cup and Cristiano Ronaldo struck for a hat trick transpired in a matter of hours overseas in one of the more memorable days of the season.

Americans Abroad: Mid-Week Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Fabian Johnson did something on Wednesday that he has not done much of in his career: He scored a goal.

The U.S. men's national team midfielder/defender contributed to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim's lopsided victory over Hamburg SV on Wednesday, scoring the third goal in a 4-0 win.

Union's Torres out with MCL sprain

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The news is not getting any better for the Philadelphia Union.

Already off to a struggling start, the Union learned that midfielder Roger Torres is expected to miss the next 8-to-10 weeks after spraining the MCL in his left knee during a reserve league match against the New England Revolution on Monday.

Must-See Goal: Dorlan Pabon

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Bend it like Beckham, meet Power it like Pabon.

Colombian side Atletico Nacional sits atop its group in the Copa Libertadores, and the play of Dorlan Pabon is a big reason why. The 24-year-old Colombian international attacker, who leads the tournament with six goals, sent a powerful, swerving free kick from more than 40 yards into the right upper 90 as part of Atletico Nacional's 3-0 victory over Penarol Tuesday night that is worth at least a few looks.

Altidore scores twice in AZ draw

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While U.S. international forwards Clint Dempsey and Herculez Gomez continue their goal-scoring ways, Jozy Altidore maintains his.

Altidore scored both of AZ Alkmaar's goals in a 2-2 draw with FC Twente on Wednesday. He tallied in the third minute, heading home a corner kick (and getting away with a pushoff, to be fair) to give AZ the early lead.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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It is an extremely packed and important day across Europe, as games with massive implications take place across the continent.Â

Jozy Altidore's hopes of competing in next year's UEFA Champions League could be in the balance today, as AZ Alkmaar plays FC Twente (1 p.m., ESPN3.

Nowak to coach MLS All-Stars vs. Chelsea

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Peter Nowak had success as an MLS All-Star manager against Chelsea in 2006, and he'll get the opportunity to repeat that feat this summer.

Nowak will coach the MLS All-Stars against Chelsea at PPL Park on July 25, the league announced on Wednesday, marking the second consecutive season that the host city's coach will have the honors of leading the MLS side during the mid-summer classic.

Record-setting season puts Dempsey in demand

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There isn't going to be a bigger story involving an American soccer player this summer than the one surrounding Clint Dempsey and his club future.

After tallying his 22nd goal in all competitions to rescue yet another point for Fulham against Chelsea on Monday, Dempsey's stock continues to grow in value as he heads toward the final year of his Fulham contract.

USL Pro: A Look Back at Week 1

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The 2012 USL Pro season officially kicked off this past weekend, and two teams exchanged blows after playing twice in three days.

The Pittsburgh Riverhounds and Antigua Barracuda FC kicked off the second year of USL Pro action last Friday night, with the Riverhounds taking a 1-0 decision thanks to a Mike Seth goal in the first half.

Barcelona 4, Getafe 0: Match Highlights

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USA down to 29 in FIFA rankings

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The U.S. men's national team didn't play a game this past month, but other nations merited enough of a boost to drop the Americans a couple of spots in the latest FIFA rankings.

The U.S. men fell from 27 -- the highest ranking achieved so far during the Jurgen Klinsmann era -- down to 29 in the rankings released on Wednesday, the penultimate world standings prior to when the United States takes to the field again in friendlies against Scotland and Brazil next month.

Wednesday Kickoff: Abidal has transplant, Cuban player defects & more

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While Barcelona was busy pulling within one point of Real Madrid a top the table in La Liga with a resounding 4-0 victory over Getafe on Tuesday, left back Eric Abidal was undergoing a liver transplant needed to save his life.

Abidal, who received the transplant from his cousin, Gerard, is reportedly in recovery from the procedure, but no official statement has been made on his condition per his family's request.

Liverpool 3, Blackburn 2: Match Highlights

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Fire's Gibbs out up to 6 months

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Cory Gibbs has suffered yet another injury centerback.

The veteran, but oft-injured, defender will miss the next 4-to-6 months after undergoing surgery for a torn right meniscus on Tuesday. According to the Fire, the injury was suffered in training during last Wednesday.

Galaxy add centerback depth, acquire Lopes from Chivas USA

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By ADAM SERRANO

After a difficult start to the season, the Los Angeles Galaxy added some defensive help on Tuesday by acquiring Brazilian centerback David Junior Lopes from rival Chivas USA in exchange for midfielder Paolo Cardozo.Â

Lopes has yet to make an appearance for Chivas USA this season, but the hulking Brazilian centerback made eight apperances and seven starts for the Rojiblancos in 2011 after joining the club midseason from Romanian club FC Universitatea Craiova.

MLS All-Stars to face Chelsea

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Chelsea is coming back to the United States for seconds.

According to Fox Soccer, Chelsea will be the MLS All-Stars' opponent this summer during the mid-summer classic at PPL Park. MLS will make the announcement official at a press conference in Chester, Pa.

TFC signs Homegrown keeper Roberts

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You might remember a Canadian goalkeeper scoring a goal from his own half of the field during last summer's FIFA Under-17 World Cup.

That goalkeeper is now on an MLS roster.

Toronto FC signed Quillan Roberts to a Homegrown Player deal on Tuesday, adding an academy product in an area of need for the club.

MLS suspends, fines Joseph

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Shalrie Joseph is the MLS disciplinary committee's latest victim.

The New England Revolution captain was suspended a game and fined an undisclosed amount for his scissoring tackle from behind on FC Dallas' Ricardo Villar on Thursday night, one that drew a yellow card during the game.

Mexico, Panama to host 2013 CONCACAF youth championships

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Qualifying for major international tournaments has been a tougher challenge than expected for U.S. youth teams over the last year, and that quest won't get any easier in 2013, as qualification for two youth World Cups will take place on foreign soil.

Mexico and Panama have been selected to host the 2013 CONCACAF Under-20 and Under-17 championships, respectively.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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Michael Bradley and Lionel Messi take center stage on Tuesday.

Fresh off his first Serie A goal, Bradley and his Chievo Verona teammates will try to play spoiler for AC Milan, as the Rossoneri have fallen a point behind unbeaten Juventus and need a win to avoid risking an even steeper climb in the race for the Scudetto.

Balotelli escapes further punishment for Song tackle

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It doesn't happen all that often, but Mario Balotelli caught a break.

Balotelli will not be disciplined any further for his studs-up stomp on Arsenal midfielder Alex Song's knee in their match over the weekend, The FA announced on Tuesday. It appears that Balotelli has escaped further punishment -- which reports said could have been up to nine games -- because of a technicality.

Dynamo facing brief midfield crisis with suspensions, Davis calf injury

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The Houston Dynamo are coming off consecutive bye weeks, but that does not mean the well-rested club is not facing some serious issues ahead of its match against the Chicago Fire this Sunday.

With Adam Moffat and Colin Clark already suspended for the game, the Dynamo could be down a third midfield starter with 2011 MLS MVP runner-up and assist king Brad Davis nursing a calf injury that he suffered in training over the weekend.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 5

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The stage has been set for Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City to do battle with early-season supremacy at stake.

For the second week in a row, the teams are 1-2 in the SBI MLS Power Rankings. Salt Lake notched a pair of victories, including a Rocky Mountain Cup triumph over the Colorado Rapids, to maintain its No.

Must-See Goal: Alejandro Alpizar

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Who do you want to be the MLS All-Star Game opponent?

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One of the uncertainties of the MLS season should be cleared up on Wednesday.

According to the Philadelphia Daily News, MLS will announce the opponent for the 2012 MLS All-Star Game at a press conference tomorrow. The MLS All-Stars have taken on a club from the United Kingdom in each of the last seven seasons, with Manchester United being the opponent the last two years.

SBI MLS Team of the Week: Real Salt Lake

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Injuries aren't an excuse for Real Salt Lake. The club just keeps finding new players to step up to maintain its high level of play instead.

Despite injuries to two key midfield starters, Real Salt Lake showcased its depth and came up with two wins (and two clean sheets) in four days to take home SBI's MLS Team of the Week honors.

Tuesday Kickoff: U.S. U-17s top Mexico, Newcastle makes table push and more

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It won't make up for Mexico's recent continental dominance, but it's something.

The U.S. Under-17 men's national team topped Mexico 1-0 in the fifth-place game of the Mondial Minimes Tournament in France Monday, getting a goal from New York Red Bulls academy forward Wesley Wade to cap off the competition with a victory.

Fulham 1, Chelsea 1: Match Highlights

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Americans Abroad: Monday Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Clint Dempsey just cannot and will not stop scoring.

Just as Fulham looked set for defeat against Chelsea in their Monday match-up, Dempsey headed home the equalizer to give Fulham a 1-1 draw. The goal was Dempsey's third in his last two games and gives him 22 across all competitions this season.

NASL Week 1: A Look Back

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photo by Rosa Cavalcanti

By FRANCO PANIZO

Opening weekend of the 2012 NASL season saw no shortage of drama, especially in South Florida where the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers overcame being a man down to earn their first three points of the season.

Must-See Goal: Hatem Ben Arfa

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Is Balotelli worth the trouble?

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Mario Balotelli is once again in the headlines for the wrong reasons, and once again the question being asked is if he is worth all the trouble.

For Manchester City head coach Roberto Mancini, the answer appears to be "not anymore".

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Andrew Wenger

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When Andrew Wenger was selected with the first pick in the 2012 MLS Draft, the biggest question about him was what was his best position.

A standout defender, midfielder and forward at Duke, Wenger made a good case for being able to score goals in the pros when he delivered a classy finish on what wound up being the game-winning goal in Montreal's 2-1 victory against TFC on Saturday.

Messi dream season continues with latest milestone

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It is no secret that Leo Messi is a scoring machine, but his most recent two-goal outing saw him do something that has not been done in almost 40 years.

Messi upped his season total to 60 goals scored across all competitions with his brace in Barcelona's 4-1 win vs. Real Zaragoza, marking the first time a player has scored that many in a major European league since Gerd Mueller found the  net 67 times for Bayern Munich in 1972-1973.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Chris Wondolowski

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The Vancouver Whitecaps defense set an MLS record on Saturday for most minutes without allowing a goal to start the season, a scoreless streak that Chris Wondolowski helped the San Jose Earthquakes shatter.

Wondolowski delivered the equalizing goal, and then volleyed home an insurance goal, to help San Jose beat the Vancouver Whitecaps, 3-1, on Saturday.

Chivas USA rally for comeback win in Portland

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The Portland Timbers looked well on their way to another victory at Jeld-Wen Field when they pounced on a defensive blunder by Chivas USA and took a 16th minute lead at home on Saturday night.

Chivas USA had other ideas, and a second-half rally not only gave the Goats another road victory.

RSL dominate Rapids in Rocky Mountain duel

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Real Salt Lake didn't show much sign of fatigue in playing their second game in four days on Saturday night, and much like Wednesday's shutout of Montreal, the RSL defense made sure Nick Rimando didn't have much to do.

Riding a first-half goal from Alvaro Saborio, and stingy defending that limited the Rapids to just one shot on goal, RSL cruised to a 2-0 victory over Colorado at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Soccer Monday: Your Running Commentary

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If this past weekend's action did not satisfy your craving, you are in luck. Monday has a handful of quality matches worth watching, including arguably the day's biggest game between Fulham and Chelsea.

Clint Dempsey will aim to continue his goal-scoring ways when the Cottagers host Fernando Torres, Frank Lampard and Chelsea.

European Rewind: Man City fall again, Real Madrid and AC Milan lose ground

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Start printing the banners and begin tying red ribbons to the Premier League trophy. Barring a miracle, Manchester United are going to be the champions of England.

Manchester City continued their terrible run of form with a 1-0 loss to Arsenal at the Emirates and the so-called "noisy neighbors" fall eight points behind United in the race for the Premier League title with six games to play.

Monday Kickoff: Dempsey delays decision, Mancini warns Balotelli and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Clint Dempsey is in no rush to make a decision over his future.

Fresh off a two-goal performance that raised his season total to 21 goals, Dempsey told reporters he will wait until the summer to decide on whether to accept a new deal from Fulham or not.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Michael Bradley has scored in a number of countries during his eight-year career, and he can now add Italy to the list.

Bradley opened his Serie A account this past Saturday when he placed a low shot to the bottom right corner of Chievo Verona's 3-2 win over Catania.

Must-See Goal: Mauri

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Real Zaragoza 1, Barcelona 4: Match Highlights

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Must-See Goal: Mikel Arteta

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Arsenal struck a death blow to Manchester City's title hopes, while boosting their own chances of securing third place in the English Premier League with Sunday's 1-0 victory at the Emirates. Mikel Arteta played the hero with a stunning long-range strike that was good enough to finish any match.

Henry and Cooper lead red-hot Red Bulls

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BY DAVE MARTINEZ

Three weeks ago, the New York Red Bulls had scored all of one goal through their first two fixtures. Homeland Security denied a work visa to their star striker Luke Rodgers, who was stuck in England with no hope of a return. Though New York acquired Kenny Cooper from Portland in anticipation of such a scenario, they didn't show outward confidence in  pairing the big American forward and Thierry Henry –  going so far as to start an out of form Juan Agudelo with the team captain over him for the season opener.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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If the English Premier League title race is going to last much beyond this weekend, Manchester City is going to need to deliver a victory today against Arsenal in the top match of the weekend.

City is trailing Manchester United by five points, and anything but a victory today at the Emirates would all but eliminate the Citizens from the title race.

D.C., Sounders battle to physical draw

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By THOMAS FLOYD

WASHINGTON -- There were no goals to speak of when D.C. United and the Seattle Sounders wrapped proceedings Saturday, but that's not to say the match was completely devoid of drama.

The teams traded opportunities throughout, even though neither side found much of a rhythm in what often amounted to a battle of physicality in the middle of the park.

Earthquakes hand Whitecaps first loss of season

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Photo by Michael Pimental/ISIPhotos.com

The Vancouver Whitecaps made history by being the MLS team with the longest start to a season without conceding a goal, and then they proceeded to giving up three in a short span.

Led by a brace from Chris Wondolowski, the San Jose Earthquakes scored three times in 11 minutes to defeat the Whitecaps, 3-1, at Buck Shaw Stadium on Saturday evening.

Kamara's winner keeps Sporting KC perfect, Galaxy struggles continue

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If Sporting Kansas City's first four wins of the season hadn't convinced skeptics that they are very much for real, Saturday's dominating performance against the LA Galaxy should have removed some more of that doubt.

Sporting KC thoroughly outplayed the Galaxy at Livestrong Sporting Park, with Kei Kamara's first-half header providing the difference in a 1-0 victory.

Dempsey's Free Kick Goal

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Clint Dempsey scored two more goals for Fulham today in the Cottagers' 3-0 thumping of Bolton, and the brace helped increase his tally to 21 goals in all competitions (and 15 in Premier League play).

Here is Dempsey's first goal, a beautiful free kick Dempsey called the first free kick goal of his pro career:


Red Bulls keep on rolling, trounce Columbus

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The New York Red Bulls forward tandem of Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper continued their assault on MLS defenses on Saturday, combining for four goals in a 4-1 thrashing of the Columbus Crew in Columbus.

Cooper jumped all over the Crew with a pair of early goals that helped the Red Bulls take complete control of a lethargic Crew side that offered little resistence in the first half.

D.C. United vs. Sounders: Match Night Commentary

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D.C. United and the Seattle Sounders head into tonight's showdown at RFK Stadium coming off of very different results, and it's Seattle that will be hoping not to repeat last week's disappointment.

The Sounders come in off a 1-0 home loss to San Jose, while D.C. United come in riding high from a 4-1 thrashing of FC Dallas.

Impact earn first MLS win, TFC stays winless

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In a mach-up of winless Canadian teams, the Montreal Impact were able to deliver a victory for a raucous crowd at the Olympic Stadium today.

Rookie Andrew Wenger scored his first career goal for what proved to be the eventual game-winning goal in Montreal's 2-1 victory on Saturday.

Sporting KC vs. LA Galaxy: Match Day Commentary

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Sporting Kansas City has started the season in perfect fashion, winning every match they've played, but today will offer a different kind of test as they take on the LA Galaxy at Livestrong Sporting Park (4pm, NBC Sports).

SBI will be providing live commentary on today's match, so please feel free to follow along here.

Columbus Crew vs. Red Bulls: Match Day Commentary

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Fresh off of two big home wins, the New York Red Bulls are looking to pick up their first road points of the season versus the Columbus Crew today.

The Red Bulls will be weakened for their match at Crew Stadium, as they will be without midfielder Teemu Tainio (knee) and Wilman Conde (groin).

MLS Week 5: Your Running Commentary

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A pair of rivalries, one in Canada and one in the Rocky Mountains, headline today's MLS action as Week 5 kicks off with seven matches on the schedule.

Toronto FC have made the short trip to Montreal to take on the Impact at Olympic Stadium in the first meeting of these Canadian rivals as MLS foes.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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The race for the European places in Serie A is an intense one, and both Lazio and Napoli are aware that they can't afford any slip-ups at this point in the year. That will make their meeting in Rome today all the more intense, and therefore the top match of the day.

Lazio can put a hammer lock on third place with a victory today, on a day the club will honor the passing of team legend Giorgio Chinaglia.

Beckham out for Galaxy's match against Sporting KC

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BY ADAM SERRANO

If the Los Angeles Galaxy are to end Sporting Kansas City's unbeaten run on Saturday, they'll have to do so without midfielder David Beckham.Â

The Galaxy confirmed on Friday that Beckham did not make the trip to Kansas City due to back spasms.

MLS Week 5: A Look Ahead

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By THOMAS FLOYD

A season after finishing atop their respective conferences, Sporting Kansas City and the Los Angeles Galaxy are two teams now going in different directions.

Kansas City has ridden the momentum of a first-place finish in the Eastern Conference in last year, getting off to a 4-0-0 start.

SBI MLS Best XI of the Month (March)

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One of the biggest surprises of the young MLS season has been the play of the San Jose Earthquakes, who moved into a tie for first place in the Western Conference with their recent 1-0 win against the Seattle Sounders.

San Jose's impressive 3-1 start has been due in part to the standout performances of a handful of players who have played some of the best soccer in the league, a reason why the Earthquakes boast a league-high three selections on SBI's MLS Best XI for March.

Lalas, Wynalda to lead USA legends vs. Mexico

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

BY ADAM SERRANO

Fans of the United States and Mexico were unable to see the two arch-rivals face off this year during Olympic Qualifying, but thanks to a blast from the past, they'll get their fix.Â

The Legends Classic, a match featuring several of the greatest players to play for the US and Mexico is scheduled to take place at the Home Depot Center on April 15th at 9pm EDT.

Tainio set to miss 4-6 weeks with knee injury, Conde to miss Columbus match

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The New York Red Bulls midfield suffered a tough blow today amid word that Teemu Tainio will miss four to six weeks with a knee injury suffered in training on Thursday.

Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe revealed the details of Tainio's absence on Friday, while also stating that standout defender Wilman Conde will also miss Saturday's match vs.

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

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Two teams in desperate need of a victory square off with very different goals in mind as Manchester City takes on Arsenal in the weekend's marquee match-up.

Manchester City has seen their Premier League title hopes fade fast in the midst of a strong Manchester United surge, and if the Citizens want to keep those hopes alive, they must find a way to win at the Emirates.

Projecting Klinsmann's XI for World Cup qualifying

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As we stand two months away from the start of the U.S. Men's national team's World Cup qualifying process, it is about that time to start considering just what sort of team we can expect to take the field for the United States in June.

Jurgen Klinsmann has never coached a World Cup qualifier before (Germany didn't have to qualify as World Cup 2006 hosts), but that doesn't mean he doesn't have some idea of what lies ahead in venues like Guatemala and Jamaica.

European Look Ahead: Arsenal face City, Madrid battles Valencia, and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Manchester City's title dreams are on the brink as a crowded weekend of fixtures takes center stage in the Premier League

Arsenal are not out of the woods yet in their quest for fourth place and they welcome City to the Emirates on Easter Sunday.

FC Dallas 1, New England 0: Match Highlights

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Red Bulls Notes: Transfer deadline looms, Henry honored, and more

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BY DAVE MARTINEZ

Will reinforcements be joining the New York Red Bulls soon? As of now, it doesn't seem likely.

With the April 15th transfer deadline only days away, Coach Hans Backe remains skeptical about the options he may have available to join his side.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

For two Americans dealing with the disappointment of being bounced out of the Europa League, this weekend provides them an opportunity to rebound. Against each other.

Steve Cherundolo and Jermaine Jones will face off on Sunday trying to get back in the win column after seeing their respective teams eliminated in the Europa League quarterfinals on Thursday.

Late Ihemulu goal gives FC Dallas win over Revolution

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The New England Revolution looked destined to extend their unbeaten streak to three games, but a goal in the dying seconds of their match against FC Dallas made sure that was not the case.

Ugo Ihemelu headed home a free kick from Zach Loyd in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time to give FC Dallas a 1-0 win at FC Dallas Stadium on Thursday night.

MLS West Notes: Status unclear for DP Galaxy duo, Chivas sign Delgado & more

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By ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Galaxy face a stern test this weekend when they hit the road for the first time to take on currently undefeated Sporting Kansas City. Making matters even more difficult is that the Galaxy may have to do so without Landon Donovan or David Beckham.

Three Spanish clubs through, Americans crash out in UEFA Europa League

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Spain's La Liga certainly has a legitimate claim to be called the best league in the world.

After putting two teams in the UEFA Champions League semifinals earlier this week, three more Spanish teams reached the semifinals of the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, with all of them crushing the hopes of Americans along the way.

What should Vancouver do with Salgado?

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Omar Salgado is stuck.

There's no other way to describe the situation in which the first overall pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft currently finds himself.Â

After the Vancouver Whitecaps acquired all sorts of attacking talent during the offseason to add to an already full stable -- bringing in Sebastien Le Toux, drafting Darren Mattocks and signing NASL golden boot winner Etienne Barbara -- it is no wonder that 18-year-old Salgado has yet to see the field this season.

UEFA Europa League: Your Running Commentary

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The semifinals of the UEFA Europa League will be determined on Thursday, with the possibility of four teams with Americans reaching the penultimate round in the competition still lingering.

As it stands, Jozy Altidore's AZ Alkmaar and the injured Oguchi Onyewu's Sporting Lisbon are in the driver's seat after the opening legs, while Steve Cherundolo's Hannover and Jermaine Jones' Schalke are in need of comebacks in order to maintain their quests for European silverware.

Soumare eyeing return to MLS

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

When centerback Bakary Soumare left MLS in 2009, he was one of the league's top defenders, a young player with a bright future and one who fetched the largest transfer fee for an MLS defender prior to Tim Ream's sale to Bolton. After a few years in Europe, Soumare could be on the verge of returning to the league where he began his professional career.

Union Notes: Farfan impresses at left back, Nowak defends choices and more

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By JOEY SAMUEL

When the Philadelphia Union signed Costa Rican defender Porfirio Lopez in the offseason, he was supposed to be the long-term answer for the team at left back. But with four games completed already, it's seeming more likely that Gabriel Farfan will regain the starting spot he possessed last season.

Mid-Day Ticker: Muamba walking again, Kuyt mulls Roma move and more

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By THOMAS FLOYD

Less than three weeks after his heart stopped for 78 minutes, Fabrice Muamba is walking again.

The Bolton midfielder, who suffered a heart attack in an FA Cup match at Tottenham on March 17, has been up and about at the London Chest Hospital, according to Wanderers manager Owen Coyle.

Fire sign Nyarko to new deal

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One of the Chicago Fire's more integral players is not going anywhere.

The Fire re-signed speedy attacker Patrick Nyarko on Thursday, locking up the Ghanaian to a new deal, the terms of which were not disclosed by the club. With 19 assists in the last two seasons, Nyarko has been instrumental to Chicago's attack, using his pace to go at defenders while playing consistent provider for fellow Ghanaian Dominic Oduro.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Month: Tony Cascio

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As it turns out, Tony Cascio's collegiate production is translating quite nicely into the first season of his professional career.

With starts in all four of the Colorado Rapids' games, consistent and influential play on the wing and a game-winning goal on the road to boot, Cascio earned SBI's first Rookie of the Month honors of the 2012 season.

Santos 6, Toronto FC 2: Match Highlights

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Europa League: Americans aim to progress to semifinals

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The dream of European silverware is still alive for four Americans, whose teams are locked in UEFA Europa League quarterfinal battles on Thursday.

U.S. national team stalwarts Jozy Altidore, Steve Cherundolo, Jermaine Jones and the injured Oguchi Onyewu all have their teams a result away from reaching the semifinals of the competition.

Studio 90: Klinsmann looks back on Olympics, ahead to World Cup qualifying

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RSL rides PK, stingy defense to home win over Impact

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Real Salt Lake did not make the same mistake twice.

In the club's first home game since dropping a shock result to Chivas USA, Real Salt Lake took care of business Wednesday night, defeating the expansion Montreal Impact 1-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium.

RSL was awarded an early penalty to jump out to the lead.

Thursday Kickoff: Coyle rules Holden out, Monterrey reaches CCL final & more

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Stuart Holden won't be making his comeback for Bolton this season.

Bolton manager Owen Coyle made that much clear in comments on the club's official website. Even though six months -- the injury timetable given when cartilage damage in his knee was discovered -- since his last surgery have passed, the relegation-threatened club is not taking any chances and rushing him back.

Toronto FC eliminated from CCL with big loss to Santos

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Things began so well for Toronto FC, but a defensive collapse ended their dreams of becoming the first MLS team to win the CONCACAF Champions League.

Toronto FC were eliminated from the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals on Wednesday night, as they gave up four second-half goals to Santos Laguna in a 6-2 loss in the second leg of their semifinals series.

Santos Laguna vs. Toronto FC: Match Night Commentary

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A place in the CONCACAF Champions League final is on the line, as Toronto FC heads to Torreon, Mexico, to take on Santos Laguna (8 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel) and attempts to do what no other MLS team has done: Eliminate a Mexican side in the knockout rounds of the CCL.

The odds are against TFC, considering Santos Laguna's form, especially at home, and overall firepower combined with Toronto's defensive frailties.

Despite recent scoring outburst, Red Bulls lacking in midfield production

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By DAVE MARTINEZ

When a team scores nine goals in two matches, it is difficult to concentrate on the deficiencies in the attack. New York Red Bulls forwards Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper have certainly stolen headlines as the No. 1 and 2 goal scorers in Major League Soccer, respectively.

UCL Rewind: Chelsea hold off Benfica, Real Madrid rout APOEL to advance

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Real Madrid and Chelsea are through to the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League after holding on to first-leg advantages with home victories.

Chelsea were able to book their date with Barcelona despite long stretches of poor play in a 2-1 win over Benfica resulting in a 3-1 win on aggregate.

Klinsmann speaks out on Porter, the U.S. U-23s, Gomez and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

Caleb Porter's failure to guide the United States Under-23 men's national team to an Olympic berth led some to speculate whether he has a future in U.S. Soccer.

Not Jurgen Klinsmann.

During a media conference call, the U.S. senior national team coach emphatically stated that Porter's place within U.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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Half of the UEFA Champions League semifinals spots are spoken for, and the other two will be filled today, as Chelsea and Real Madrid look to hold on to their first-leg advantages to complete what would be a star-studded final four.

Chelsea nurses a 1-0 edge over Benfica thanks to a late away goal from Salomon Kalou in their meeting last week.

SBI MLS Best XI: Week Four

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The process of selecting the SBI MLS Best XI is starting to become a challenge to see who will join Thierry Henry on the squad each week.

The New York Red Bulls striker put in another outstanding performance to earn SBI MLS Player of the Week honors again, and lead the selections for MLS Best XI for Week Four.

Wade, Turner help U.S. U-17s to tournament victory over UAE

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The U.S. Under-17 national team opened the Richie Williams era with a victory, topping the United Arab Emirates 4-0 in their opening match of the Mondial Minimes tournament on Tuesday, Williams' first game since taking over for Wilmer Cabrera as U-17 coach.

Nike International Friendlies standouts Tyler Turner and Wesley Wade scored for the United States, and Ahinga Selemani and Chivas USA academy product Bradford Jamieson also provided goals in the rout.

UCL Look Ahead: Chelsea cling to lead, Real Madrid aim to put away APOEL

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Despite all of the strife surrounding Chelsea this season, the Blues are a result away from another trip to the UEFA Champions League semifinals.

If Chelsea are able to make their 1-0 lead against Benfica stand up at Stamford Bridge, a berth in the semifinal against Barcelona -- in what would be a rematch of the classic, yet controversial, 2009 semifinal -- will be on tap.

Frustrated Impact struggling to get results at start of inaugural season

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By FRANCO PANIZO

In terms of performances this season, the Montreal Impact have had moments where they have looked far from an expansion team. In terms of results, they are exactly an expansion team.

A month into their inaugural MLS season, the Impact boast an underwhelming 0-3-1 record, which is tied for second-worst in the league with the Philadelphia Union.

Bayern Munich 2, Marseille 0: Match Highlights

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Toronto FC aiming for Santos Laguna upset with CCL final berth on the line

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Toronto FC is a win away from becoming the second consecutive MLS team to reach the finals of the CONCACAF Champions League.

That win, however, needs to come in a house of horrors for visiting teams against a club that is hitting on all cylinders during its rise to the top of the Mexican Clausura standings.

Wednesday Kickoff: Frei out up to 6 months, Ibrahimovic livid at refs & more

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The road to recovery just got increasingly longer for Toronto FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei.

Toronto FC announced that Frei will be out 4-to-6 months after undergoing surgery for torn ligaments in his left ankle. The club originally had said that Frei would miss 10 weeks with a broken left fibula, which he suffered during a non-contact play in training.

Barcelona 3, AC Milan 1: Match Highlights

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MLS disciplines Harris, McDonald, Benitez, Cruz for Week 4 actions

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The MLS disciplinary committee is bringing down the hammer.Â

After reviewing the past weekend's matches, the league's disciplinary arm has suspended FC Dallas' Jair Benitez, D.C. United's Brandon McDonald and Vancouver Whitecaps' Atiba Harris a game apiece and fined them for violent conduct, and fined D.

UCL Rewind: Messi PKs see off Milan, Bayern Munich puts away Marseille

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

A couple of penalties from Lionel Messi and a goal from Andres Iniesta saw Barcelona dispatch AC Milan 3-1 in Tuesday's second leg and on aggregate and move into the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League for the fifth year in a row.

Milan drew level at 1-1 on the half-hour mark when Antonio Nocerino capitalized on the visitor's first real attack, putting the Italian side in the driver's seat temporarily based on away goals.

A peek inside BBVA Compass Stadium

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Major League Soccer's newest soccer-specific stadium is set to open in a little more than a month, when the Houston Dynamo open BBVA Compass Stadium on May 12 against D.C. United.

The finishing touches are being put on the Downtown Houston stadium, but here is a sneak peak from inside the Dynamo's new home:


Timbers, Impact extend MLS presence in U.S. Soccer Development Academy

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Two of the newest MLS franchises are extending the league's presence in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

U.S. Soccer announced Tuesday that the Portland Timbers and Montreal Impact have been approved to have teams entered into the Development Academy, giving MLSÂ 17 teams in the 80-team academy system.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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For one of Europe's two major powers, the UEFA Champions League ends today. For the other, a place in the semifinals awaits.

Barcelona and AC Milan meet at Camp Nou in a high-stakes UCL quaterfinal second-leg match. The two played to a 0-0 draw at the San Siro last week, with Milan coming up with the formula for shutting down Lionel Messi & Co.

Breaking down the Premier League race

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The 2011-2012 season in England began with Manchester United spotting Manchester City a lead in the Community Shield, only to storm back, assert themselves down the stretch and walk away victorious.

The Premier League campaign is unfolding in a similar manner.Â

Manchester United's 2-0 victory over Blackburn Monday capped what could prove to be a decisive week in the race for the Premier League title.

Ferreira out up to 8 weeks with foot fracture

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David Ferreira's 2012 comeback season has yet to materialize, as the 2010 MLS MVP's return to the field has suffered yet another setback.

Ferreira will miss the next 6-to-8 weeks after suffering a small fracture in his right foot, FC Dallas announced on Tuesday. The procedure will be performed today by the same doctor who operated on Ferreira's broken ankle, which he suffered last April.

UCL Look Ahead: Barcelona, Milan set for thriller; Bayern aims to see off Marseille

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

An inspired defensive performance from AC Milan kept Barcelona at bay during a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarterfinal tie, but things won't be nearly as easy this time around.

Barcelona have been unstoppable at home in all competitions this season, winning 20 of their 25 games at Camp Nou.

Henry leads by example to turn Red Bulls' fortunes

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By DAVE MARTINEZ

Grabbing the bull by the horns. It is a common American colloquialism used to describe a person who tackles a situation or problem head on, with little regard to their own personal well being or standing. Since returning from a loan stint with his beloved Arsenal, Thierry Henry has certainly embodied the expression.

U.S. women blank Brazil in Kirin Cup

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The U.S. women's national team did not need the late heroics to get by Brazil this time.Â

Carli Lloyd, Shannon Boxx and Amy Rodriguez all scored off set pieces as the U.S. women blanked Brazil 3-0 in their final game of the Kirin Challenge Cup and a rematch of their riveting World Cup quarterfinal bout that the Americans won in penalty kicks.

SBI MLS Player of the Month: Kyle Beckerman

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He didn't light up the scoreboard, and didn't play assist machine, but Kyle Beckerman's contributions to Real Salt Lake's impressive start to the MLS season have made him SBI's pick for MLS Player of the Month.

RSL sits in first place in the Western Conference after four matches despite having players such as Javier Morales, Alvaro Saborio, Fabian Espindola, Will Johnson and Nat Borchers all miss starts and matches to injuries.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 4

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 Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

Thus far in 2012, the stars have been anything but aligned for the Los Angeles Galaxy.

After retaining the core of last year's MLS Cup championship squad while also bringing back 2010 MVP finalist Edson Buddle, the Galaxy were the clear No.

Tuesday Kickoff: Mexico takes U-23 crown, Rodgers scores in Norway & more

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Photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.com

Mexico's Under-23 men's national team will head to the Olympics as CONCACAF's champion.

Mexican-American left back Miguel Ponce scored in extra time to lift Mexico to a come-from-behind, 2-1 victory over Honduras in the final of the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament at Livestrong Sporting Park Monday night.

Galaxy Notebook: Poor home form dooms LA, youth star Mendiola returns & more

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Photo by ISIPhotos.net

BY ADAM SERRANO

During the Los Angeles Galaxy's run to the 2011 MLS Cup title, the Home Depot Center was a fortress, but in 2012, the results have been completely different for the defending MLS Cup champions.

In Reserve: Chivas USA down Galaxy, Rapids top Fire and more

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Things just have not gone the way of the Los Angeles Galaxy these past few days. Not even in the MLS Reserve League.

Chivas USA's reserves topped the Los Angeles Galaxy reserves convincingly on Monday afternoon, winning 4-2 at Field 1 of the Home Depot Center. Cesar Romero led the way for the Goats, scoring a second-half hat-trick in the match.

Ramos names 24 players to USA U-20s April camp

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U.S. Under-20 men's national team head coach Tab Ramos has called up a 24-man roster for an upcoming camp in Portland, Oreg.

Here's the roster:

GOALKEEPERS (2):Â Tomas Gomez (Georgetown; Webster Groves, Mo.), Jake McGuire (Chivas USA Academy; Pomona, Calif.)Â

DEFENDERS (9):Â Christian Dean (California; East Palo Alto, Calif.

Manchester City 3, Sunderland 3: Match Highlights

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SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Nick DeLeon

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photo by ISIphotos.com

Nick DeLeon's campaign for Rookie of the Year took another step in the right direction this past weekend, with the D.C. United midfielder putting together a solid outing in the club's lopsided win over FC Dallas.

That won DeLeon the SBI MLS Rookie of the Week award, as his game-winning goal gave United their first win of the season, a 4-1 triumph over FC Dallas at RFK Stadium on Friday.

Must-See Goal: Cristiano Ronaldo

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SBI MLS Team of the Week: New England Revolution

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photo by David Bernal/ISIPhotos.com

The New England revolution made some noise this weekend, as they did not just beat the Los Angeles Galaxy. They did so in convincing fashion.

Playing without the injured Benny Feilhaber, the Revolution went into the Home Depot Center and defeated a Landon Donovan-less Los Angeles Galaxy, 3-1.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Thierry Henry

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photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

For the second straight week, Thierry Henry catapulted the New York Red Bulls to victory. For the second straight week, Henry found the back of the net and set up a goal. For the second straight week, Henry was named SBI MLS Player of the Week.

Mexico, Honduras to meet in final after securing Olympic berths

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When Mexico and Honduras square off on Monday in the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying final, there will be little to play for other than bragging rights.

Both teams will represent CONCACAF in this summer's Olympics after securing berths to the competition in London this past Saturday. Honduras defeated El Salvador 3-2 in extratime in the first semifinals match, while Mexico topped Canada, 3-1, in regulation.

Morning Ticker: FIFA reforms on track, Cassano nears return and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

FIFA president Sepp Blatter may not be delivering on some of his promises, but a cleaner FIFA could be in store in the near future.

A FIFA anti-corruption adviser said the process to clean FIFA up is on track despite Blatter announcing last week that a limited number of reforms were approved by his executive committee.

Match Highlights: USWNT 1, Japan 1

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European Rewind: Juventus roll over Napoli, Man City stumble and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Juventus look like they are returning to the dominating side that seemed destined for the title earlier in the season, but is it too little, too late?

Juventus were impressive in the second half of their 3-0 victory over Napoli on Sunday. Leonardo Bonucci, Arturo Vidal and Fabio Quagliarella scored and Napoli finished the game with 10 men after Juan Zuniga was shown a red card.

Osasuna 1, Real Madrid 5: Match Highlights

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Beckerman game winner caps RSL comeback in wild victory over Portland

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The Portland Timbers could taste the victory, up 2-1 and just a few minutes from another triumph at Jeld-Wen Field, but Real Salt Lake wasn't ready to play the role of another vanquished opponent.

A late goal from Jonny Steele provided a last-minute equalizer before Kyle Beckerman struck a perfect long-range shot to give Real Salt Lake an improbably 3-2 victory in Portland on Saturday night.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Seeing Eric Lichaj's name in Aston Villa's starting line-up might become a frequent occurence in the coming weeks after he put together a performance that he likely will not forget for the rest of his career.

Making his first Premiership start since December 2010, Lichaj almost single-handedly rescued Aston Villa from defeat against Chelsea.

Cosmos legend Chinaglia dies

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Former New York Cosmos and Lazio legend Giorgio Chinaglia has died due to complications from a recent heart attack. He was 65.

Chinaglia was a star among stars on the New York Cosmos, having joined the NASL after a storied career with Italian club Lazio. He finished his NASL career with a league-record 243 goal.

Earthquakes ride strong defense, controversial penalty to win in Seattle

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The San Jose Earthquakes did an outstanding job shutting down the vaunted Seattle Sounders attack, but their stunning 1-0 victory over the Sounders on Saturday night was marred to some extent by the controversial penalty that helped them score the winner.

Forward Steven Lenhart fell in the penalty area after contact with Seattle defender Marc Burch and collapsed to the ground, drawing a penalty that Chris Wondolowski converted in San Jose's 1-0 victory at CenturyLink Field.

TFC's league woes continue as Crew win at BMO Field

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Toronto FC keeps on putting up impressive results in CONCACAF Champions League play, but continue to disappoint in MLS action.

The Canadian squad followed up their 1-1 draw against Mexican League leaders Santos Laguna on Wednesday with a flat performance in a 1-0 loss to Columbus at BMO Field on Saturday.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Juventus has seen their Serie A title chances fade in recent weeks, but AC Milan''s tie vs. Catania on Saturday has given Juve some hope of catching up.

If the Turin side is going to catch Milan, they will need a win against Napoli today in one of the day's top match-ups.

Early goals lead the way as Revolution defeat Donovan-less Galaxy, 3-1

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Photo by ISIPhotos.net

BY ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, Calif. --The New England Revolution jumped out to an early two goal lead and never looked back, defeating the Landon Donovan-less Los Angeles Galaxy, 3-1 at the Home Depot Center on Saturday night.