Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2012

CCL Thursday: Your Running Commentary

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A pair of MLS teams take to the road in CONCACAF Champions League play aiming for results that will help take them one step closer to the knockout stage.

The Seattle Sounders are in Trinidad and Tobago to face Caledonia, a team Seattle handled at CenturyLink Field 3-1 on Aug.

Hackworth awarded Union coaching job on permanent basis

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John Hackworth is no longer the interim head coach of the Philadelphia Union. He's on the job permanently.

The Union removed the interim label from Hackworth, who took over after the firing of Peter Nowak and steadied the club. He has amassed a 5-6-2 record in charge after the horrid 2-7-2 start that put the Union in an early hole in the Eastern Conference standings a year after they were in the conference semifinals.

Vergara fires Chivas USA GM Domene

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Chivas USA owner Jorge Vergara has not wasted any time in making changes with his new-found total control of the team.

A day after the Chivas USA and Chivas de Guadalajara owner purchased the other 50 percent of the club from Antonio Cue to assume complete ownership of the club, Vergara fired general manager Jose Domene, the Los Angeles Times reported on Thursday.

Must-See Goal: Mix Diskerud

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Diskerud, Boyd score to guide teams to UEFA Europa League group stage

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In a short time, Mix Diskerud has made a major impact on his new team.

Diskerud scored his first goal since joining Rosenborg on loan from Stabaek, and it is one that put Rosenborg in the UEFA Europa League group stage, as his beautiful 87th-minute, left-footed volley from the top of the box gave the club a 2-1 victory (3-2 on aggregate) over Polish side Legia Warsaw in the final qualifying round.

MLS Spotlight: RSL captain Beckerman plays balancing act in trying to lead club

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The past few weeks have been pretty busy for Kyle Beckerman, and they have seen the veteran midfielder go through a whirlwind of emotions.

From trying to help Real Salt Lake get out of their current funk to playing in high-profile international friendlies and competitions, Beckerman has had his plate more than full recently.

MLS Spotlight: John emerges from setbacks, adversity for FC Dallas

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By THOMAS FLOYD

George John has experienced his fair share of setbacks in the past year. But if the FC Dallas centerback's spirits have been dampened, he isn't showing it.

Last summer, a deal that would have sent John to English side Blackburn Rovers FC fell through.

Mid-Day Ticker: Iniesta wins UEFA Best Player award, Defoe re-signs and more

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Standing on a stage next to the two most prolific goal scorers in the world, Andres Iniesta finally received his due.

Iniesta was chosen as the 2011-12 UEFA Best Player in Europe, beating out Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi and Real Madrid nemesis Cristiano Ronaldo to take home the individual honors that were voted on by a panel of 53 European journalists at the UEFA Champions League draw in Monaco on Thursday.

Injured Bradley out for USA's World Cup qualifiers against Jamaica

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If the U.S. men's national team is to take a pair of World Cup qualifying results off of Jamaica, it will have to do so without the services of integral midfielder Michael Bradley.

Bradley's agent told FOX Soccer that he will miss the Sept. 7 and 11 matches against Jamaica after picking up a right thigh injury in training with AS Roma on Tuesday, one that is expected to keep him out for the next 2-to-3 weeks.

Gyau completes loan to St. Pauli

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The opportunity has presented itself for Joe Gyau to display his talents on the first-team level.

Gyau, one of the top midfield prospects in the U.S. pipeline, was loaned to 2. Bundesliga club St. Pauli for the 2012-13 season by Hoffenheim, a move that provides a chance for the speedy 19-year-old winger to receive consistent playing time.

Real Madrid, Man. City, Dortmund put in same group at Champions League draw

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The road to Wembley Stadium will be a difficult one for the defending champions of Spain, England and Germany.

Real Madrid, Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund were drawn together in a stacked Group D to highlight the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League draw, which was conducted in Monaco.

Edu completes three-year deal with Stoke, awaits work permit for eligibility

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Maurice Edu's move to Stoke City is officially complete.

Edu signed a three-year deal with Stoke Thursday, and the club has been given the green light by the English FA to finalize his work permit that will make him eligible for selection. According to the club's official website, it is unlikely that will be completed ahead of this weekend's match against Wigan Athletic, meaning that Edu will debut for the club following the international break.

Dwayne De Rosario's 100 MLS goals

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D.C. United captain Dwayne De Rosario cemented his place in exclusive MLS company Wednesday night, becoming just the seventh player in league history to tally 100 career goals, joining Jeff Cunningham, Jaime Moreno, Landon Donovan, Ante Razov, Jason Kreis and Taylor Twellman. D.C. United compiled a highlight reel of all of his goals, capped off by his header against the New York Red Bulls Wednesday that brought him to the milestone.

Pappa's transfer from Fire to Heerenveen takes immediate effect

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If the Chicago Fire are to reach the playoffs and go on a postseason run this season, they will have to do so without Marco Pappa.

The Guatemalan midfielder's transfer to Dutch club Heerenveen has been expedited, and he will leave the Fire with immediate effect. The Fire had originally planned on sending Pappa to Heerenveen following the conclusion of the MLS season after the transfer had been agreed upon earlier this month.

Jol: Dempsey transfer talks with 'several' clubs continue, Sunderland interested

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Time is running short on Clint Dempsey's hopes at moving clubs before Friday's summer transfer deadline, but Fulham manager Martin Jol revealed that potential for a move is there as the club has ongoing talks with others about a transfer for the U.S. national team star.

Jol used Sunderland by name in his latest comments, marking the second club he has specifically identified as a potential landing spot along with Liverpool.

Ream called in by Klinsmann for USA-Jamaica World Cup qualifiers

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Tim Ream's uneven start to his first full season and England has not prevented him from making his return to the U.S. men's national team.

According to his club, Bolton, Ream has been called in by Jurgen Klinsmann for the United States' World Cup qualifiers against Jamaica on Sept.

Joseph scores twice in N.E. return to help Chivas complete 3-goal comeback

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Shalrie Joseph made himself feel quite at home at Gillette Stadium Wednesday night.

In his return to the place he called home since 2003 until a trade sent him across the country to Chivas USA, Joseph scored two goals to spark a three-goal comeback and help the Goats salvage a 3-3 draw against the Revolution to keep their faint playoff hopes alive.

Real Madrid capture Spanish SuperCopa with win over rival Barcelona

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Real Madrid came out on fire in the second leg of the Spanish SuperCopa Wednesday, then had to hold on as 10-man Barcelona nearly pulled off the unthinkable at Estadio Santiago Bernabeau.

Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo scored early, and Madrid were able to hold on despite a free-kick goal from Lionel Messi to defeat Barcelona 2-1 and win the SuperCopa via the away goals tiebreaker after the teams played to a 4-4 aggregate draw.

Thursday Kickoff: Pots set for Champions League draw, Berbatov to Fulham & more

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The roadmap for the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League group stage will be set on Thursday, with one of the ultimate groups of death lingering as a possibility. The champions of England, Germany, Italy and Spain could all be drawn into the same group, with Real Madrid, Manchester City, Juventus and Borussia Dortmund put in pots 1-4, respectively.

Galaxy youngsters rout Islanders in CCL action

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BY KAYLA KNAPP

CARSON, Calif.—Injuries, illness and a busy schedule meant a mostly reserve lineup for the Los Angeles Galaxy in their Wednesday night CONCACAF Champions League match—nine of the starters were under 23, including five rookies.

But that didn't stop the youngsters from crushing the Puerto Rico Islanders 4-0.

Gaven's late winner leads 10-man Crew to key victory over Union at PPL Park

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By JOEY SAMUEL

CHESTER, Pa. -- Despite being down to ten men, and getting dominated in possession for large parts of the second half, Eddie Gaven gave the Columbus Crew just what they needed to make up ground in the ever-tightening Eastern Conference playoff race.

Late Conde strike cancels out DeRo's 100th goal, forces draw for D.C., RBNY

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WASHINGTON -- On a night when one of the finest attacking players in MLS history hit a career milestone, a defender ended up stealing the show with a stunning blast.

Wilman Conde's 88th-minute strike from outside the area took the spotlight off of Dwayne De Rosario's 100th-career MLS goal and forced a 2-2 draw between rivals D.

Must-See Goal: Wilman Conde

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Mattocks, Cummings headline Jamaica roster for U.S. World Cup qualifiers

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Jamaica's lineup against the United States for the pair of World Cup qualifiers next month certainly won't be lacking speed.

Vancouver Whitecaps rookie Darren Mattocks and winger Dane Richards, and Colorado Rapids forward Omar Cummings were named to Jamaica's 24-man roster and will spearhead the attack for the Reggae Boyz in games in Kingston, Jamaica, on Sept.

MLS/CCL Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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A ferocious rivalry. An emotional return. A hot team on the playoff hunt. CONCACAF Champions League revenge. It's all on the docket Wednesday night.

D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls meet in the rubber match of this year's Atlantic Cup, with United looking to creep up to third place in the Eastern Conference, while New York eyes the top spot and can leapfrog Sporting Kansas City for first place with a win.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 25

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The Montreal Impact just keep on winning, and keep on climbing up the SBI MLS Power Rankings.

The expansion team pushed their winning streak to five matches thanks to their comprehensive 3-0 victory against D.C. United. Patrice Bernier continued his outstanding season, helping the Impact push closer to a possible playoff spot.

Real Madrid vs. Barcelona: Your Running Commentary

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The second Clasico in as many weeks takes place at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, where Real Madrid will attempt to overturn a 3-2 deficit to bitter rival Barcelona in the second leg of the Spanish SuperCopa (4:30 p.m., ESPN3.com/ESPN Deportes).

Barcelona battled back for the opening-leg win after Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring in the second half last Thursday, getting an equalizer from Pedro a minute later that was followed by consecutive goals from Lionel Messi and Xavi.

Americans Abroad Spotlight: Gatt fights off injuries to continue shining for Molde

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Photo courtesy of Molde FK

By FRANCO PANIZO

Josh Gatt has been a shining star for Molde FK this year, helping the Norwegian club in its quest to repeat as league champions with six goals in the first six months of the Tippeligaen campaign.

MLS Notes: Union cut Perlaza, Dynamo sign English midfielder Barnes and more

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The Philadelphia Union's trade haul for former No. 1 overal MLS SuperDraft pick Danny Mwanga did not last very long at PPL Park.

Colombian forward Jorge Perlaza was unceremoniously cut by the Union not even three months after being acquired from the Portland Timbers in exchange for Mwanga in early June.

Porter named Timbers coach, will take over after conclusion of college season

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Caleb Porter is making the jump to the professional ranks, but not until December.Â

Porter was named the new coach of the Portland Timbers Wednesday, where he will take over full-time duties from interim coach and general manager Gavin Wilkinson, who took over for the ousted John Spencer.

Mid-Day Ticker: Martinez to Bayern done; Barca, Madrid hit with bans & more

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Javi Martinez is officially a Bayern Munich player.

After an on-again, off-again transfer saga, the Spanish international has completed his move from Athletic Bilbao to the German giants for a €40 million fee that was necessary to trigger a buy-out clause in his contract.

Report: Namoff suing D.C. United for negligence

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Former D.C. United defender Bryan Namoff had his career end prematurely because of a concussion, and he is reportedly taking legal action against the club for failing to act with the proper care that could have prevented the ongoing medical issues he faces today.

Must-See Interview: Hope Solo

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"In everything I do, I play to win, and I speak the truth, and people are either going to love me or they hate me." - Hope Solo

U.S. women's national team goalkeeper Hope Solo has become as polarizing figure as there is in the women's game.

Americans Abroad: Bradley out for Inter match, McCoist talks Bocanegra & more

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Michael Bradley's first season with Roma has hit its first speed bump.

According to Italian publication Gazzetta Dello Sport, Bradley suffered a muscle strain in his right leg and will be out for Roma's trip to Inter Milan this weekend. There is no timetable given for his return, and the injury will be monitored in the coming days, so it is unclear how it will affect his standing for the U.

MLS/CCL Wednesday: A Look Ahead

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D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls have played many intese games over the years, but it has been a while since a meeting this late in the season between the two rivals has had playoff implications for both sides.

The latest edition of the Atlantic Cup will be decided at RFK Stadium Wednesday night in the rubber match of the season series between two teams looking to gain a stronger foothold in the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

When a Panenka goes horribly wrong

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Playing in front of his home fans, with a place in the UEFA Champions League group stage on the line during a tense penalty shootout Tuesday, Udinese's Maicosuel stepped to the spot and tried to catch Sporting Braga goalkeeper Beto off guard with a Panenka, a chip down the center along the likes of what Andrea Pirlo so fearlessly did against England during Euro 2012.

Wednesday Kickoff: Walcott, Arsenal at impasse, Spurs bid for Dembele & more

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Arsenal sold Robin van Persie after the Dutch striker refused to sign a long-term contract with the club. Now, the same scenario has developed with Theo Walcott.

The speedy winger reportedly turned down a five-year contract offer that would have paid him £75,000 a week and is now potentially on his way out from the Emirates, with the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool ready to pounce prior to Friday's transfer deadline.

CCL Rewind: Toronto FC lose late, Alajuelense win

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If Toronto FC were in need of a result into their CONCACAF Champions League match against Santos Laguna, they are in must-win territory now.
Toronto fought back from a one-goal deficit thanks to a goal from Quincy Amarikwa, but they surrendered two late goals to suffer a 3-1 loss at BMO Field in Group 1 action on Tuesday.

Report: Timbers to announce Porter as head coach on Wednesday

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The Portland Timbers wanted Caleb Porter, and the second-year MLS club has reportedly gotten the coach they set out to hire as their permanent replacement for John Spencer.

Portland radio station KPAM 860 reported on Tuesday night that Portland would announce Porter as the team's new head coach on Wednesday.

Toronto FC vs. Santos Laguna: Your Running Commentary

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Five months after they fought in the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals, Toronto FC and Santos Laguna meet again in the regional tournament, this time in the group stage when the two duel at BMO Field (8 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel).Â

Considering it is just the second of four Group 1 games, it's a bit premature to call this a true "must-win" game for TFC; however, when taking into account how dominant both of these teams were against the third team in the group, Salvadoran side Aguila, and how dominant Santos Laguna can be at Estadio Corona, the Reds need to come up with three points to feel secure in their chances of winning the group and advancing to the knockout stage.

Americans Abroad: Tuesday Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Sacha Kljestan and RSC Anderlecht were on the verge of ending their UEFA Champions League campaign before it ever really got started, but two goals in the final nine minutes of their second leg against AEL changed that.

Anderlecht punched their ticket to the group stage of the Champions League, earning a 3-2 aggregate victory after defeating the Cyprus club, 2-0, at home in the final play-off round on Tuesday.

Must-See Trailer: We The Pharaohs

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Bob Bradley's task at attempting to guide Egypt to the World Cup something unlike any other challenge an American soccer coach has faced around the world. Considering the state of the sport in Egypt following the riots at Port Said this past February and how the national team can be used as a rallying point for Egyptian people, Bradley's task is about more than just simple wins and losses.

SBI MLS Save of the Week: Matt Pickens

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Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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The UEFA Champions League group stage is within reach for two Americans, but their teams will need to overcome first-leg deficits if they are to maintain hopes of competing on Europe's biggest stage and join the likes of Americans Jermaine Jones and Michael Parkhurst in the tournament field.

SBI MLS Best XI: (Week 25)

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In-form Seattle Sounders forward Fredy Montero put together one of the best games of the MLS season in an offensive outburst that was one of the best in a week that saw several outstanding attacking performances.

Montero's hat trick against Chivas USA highlighted a week in which San Jose's Alan Gordon and Simon Dawkins and Columbus' Federico Higuain and Jairo Arrieta all delivered multiple goals in victories, earning all five players spots on the SBI MLS Best XI as a result.

Mid-Day Ticker: Scorpions land stadium sponsor, Robinho out a month and more

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The San Antonio Scorpions are making moves.

The NASL club landed Toyota as a sponsor for its new soccer-specific stadium, which is slated to open in time for the 2013 season. It will be the second soccer-specific stadium in America with the Japanese car company's name branded on it, joining the Chicago Fire's Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill.

Real Salt Lake defense finds its way while waiting for Olave's return from injury

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By NICK IUELE

Life has not been easy for Real Salt Lake without centerback Jamison Olave, but after a spell of struggles the club's back line appears to be hitting its stride.

After dropping three straight league matches after Olave's latest injury, RSL won their CONCACAF Champions League match 2-0 over Tauro FC and played to an ugly, but effective, 0-0 draw with the Philadelphia Union Friday at PPL Park.

Report: Wigan look to land Espinoza

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Roger Espinoza's Olympic performance for Honduras is still lingering in the front offices of clubs in England, and it appears as if one is eager to pry him away from Sporting Kansas City prior to the close of the European summer transfer window.

According to reports from England, Premier League side Wigan Athletic is looking to make a move for Espinoza, who is in the final year of his contract with Sporting KC and MLS.

USL Pro Playoffs: Wilmington, Charleston advance to semifinals

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The Wilmington Hammerheads got off to a slow start in their first round playoff match against the Richmond Kickers, but an improved second half saw them find the back of the net three times en route to pulling off an upset on the road.

Tom Parratt found the back of the net in stoppage time to score the winner in Wilmington's 3-2 victory over Richmond on Saturday in a game that was a roller coaster of emotions for both sides.

Santos Laguna, Toronto FC meet again with CCL fortunes at stake

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Five months ago to the day, Toronto FC and Santos Laguna kicked off the semifinals of the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League at BMO Field, with the Reds holding the Mexican power to a 1-1 draw before ultimately succumbing a week later in a 6-2 rout at Estadio Corona.

U.S.

Gyau on trial with St. Pauli

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Joe Gyau's quest for first-team playing time may involve a drop down to the 2. Bundesliga.

According to second-division German side St. Pauli, Gyau trained with the club Tuesday ahead of a potential move from TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. It is unclear whether that move would be a loan or permanent, but either way it would provide Gyau for a chance at first-team minutes that he is not receiving at Hoffenheim.

Tuesday Kickoff: Drogba, Anelka may be sold; Spurs denied for Damiao & more

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It has been far from smooth sailing for former Chelsea teammates Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka in their foray into Chinese soccer.

With their club, Shanghai Shenhua, sitting in 10th place in China's top flight comes word that the pair may have to be offloaded because of financial issues and a conflict among shareholders, according to reports out of China.

Teenager Villarreal provides key spark for the Galaxy

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BY KAYLA KNAPP

CARSON, Calif.—It has been a wild eight months for rookie Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Jose Villarreal.

Since signing a Homegrown contract at the end of 2011, the 18-year-old California native has spent the majority of his playing time in the reserve league, but lately, that has been changing.

Bunbury out for season with torn ACL

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Sporting Kansas City's quest to add another trophy this season has suffered a major setback.

Starting forward Teal Bunbury is out for the season after tearing his ACL and suffering LCL damage in his left knee in the club's 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls Sunday night.

Revs acquire former MLS All-Star Toja with top spot in allocation order

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Juan Toja and his infamous mullet are headed to Gillette Stadium.

The New England Revolution used their place atop the MLS allocation order to select Toja, a former MLS All-Star at FC Dallas who signed with the league late last week. Toja, 27, rejoins MLS after a foray into European soccer with Romania's Steaua Bucharest and Greece's Aris FC.

SBI MLS Goal of the Week: Fredy Montero

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SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Jose Villarreal

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When Jose Villarreal went into Sunday's LA Galaxy match against FC Dallas, he was brought in to provide a spark in a scoreless draw. He provided that and more in helping steer the Galaxy to a 2-0 victory.

Villarreal assisted on Juninho's openin goal just seven minutes after entering the match, and drew plenty of praise after the match for giving the Galaxy attack the energy it needed to pull away.

Report: Porter offered Timbers coaching job

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The Portland Timbers aren't wasting time when it comes trying to find the head coach that will guide the team into the next era.

The Oregonian is reporting that the Timbers have offered their coaching job to University of Akron head coach and former U.S. Under-23 head coach Caleb Porter.

Roma 2, Catania 2: Match Highlights

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Modric signs five-year deal with Madrid

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Real Madrid are in need of boost after a sluggish start to the La Liga season, and they are hoping Luka Modric will help provide that.

Modric's long-rumored move to Real Madrid from Tottenham Hotspur became official on Monday, with the Croatian international undergoing a medical at the Bernabeu Stadium after agreeing to a five-year deal with the Spanish heavyweights.

NASL Week 21: A Look Back

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By FRANCO PANIZO

If the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers were hoping to end August on a strong note, they did just that by defeating the league-leading San Antonio Scorpions this past weekend.

The Strikers topped the Scorpions, 2-1, in front of 3,268 fans at Lockhart Stadium on Saturday courtesy of two second-half strikes from Abe Thompson.

SBI MLS Team of the Week: Columbus Crew

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The Columbus Crew picked up a pair of narrow wins at home during the past week, and that has placed them right back into the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference.
The Crew are four points shy of the final playoff spot in the East after picking up big victories in their two matches at Crew Stadium last week.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Federico Higuain

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The Columbus Crew have propelled themselves into the Eastern Conference playoff race on the strength of a pair of victories this past week, and no player was more important in securing those victories than Federico Higuain.

The Argentine newcomer was instrumental in last Wednesday's 2-1 win vs.

Liverpool 2, Manchester City 2: Match Highlights

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Monday Kickoff: Rooney could miss two months, Lucio sidelined, and more

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By BRYAN ROBISON

While Manchester United was able to enter the win column with a 3-2 win over Fulham after losing their season debut to Everton last weekend, it was not all good news for the Red Devils, as star Wayne Rooney went down with a leg injury. After attempting to deflect Fulham's Hugo Rodallega's shot, Rooney had his thigh cut open by Rodallega's cleat after he stepped on Rooney's leg.

Kamara scores for both sides as Red Bulls earn road draw vs. Sporting Kansas City

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The New York Red Bulls went into Livestrong Sporting Park hoping to pull off an upset and grab first place in the Eastern Conference back from Sporting Kansas City.

They fell short of that goal, but still came away with a result that keeps them very much in position to potentially catching Sporting KC further down the road.

Galaxy earn hard-fought win over FC Dallas

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BY KAYLA KNAPP

CARSON, Calif.—It was a tense affair from the minute the whistle blew to start the game in Carson on Sunday afternoon. Both LA Galaxy and FC Dallas are in the playoff hunt, and as we come into the final stretch of the regular season, the intensity of every match is amplified.

MLS Match Night: Your Running Commentary

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A pair of key conference clashes provide a special Sunday night treat for MLS fans as the LA Galaxy play host to red-hot FC Dallas (7pm, NBC Sports), and Sporting Kansas City put first place in the East on the line against the New York Red Bulls (9pm, ESPN2).

FC Dallas are charging fast up the Western Conference standings, winners of three straight to move within five points of Vancouver for the fifth and final playoff spot in the West.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Geoff Cameron may have spent most of this past week in the United States completing paperwork to finalize his move to Stoke City, but that did not stop him from earning a start and making an impressive debut for the Potters.Â

Three days after arriving to England, Cameron put forth an impressive 90-minute outing in his first Stoke appearance as he helped the club hold Arsenal to a scoreless draw at Britannia Stadium.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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A Premier League showdown between Liverpool and Manchester City headlines another action-packed Sunday of soccer across Europe as all five major leagues are now underway.

Defending champions City pulled off an impressive comeback victory last week over Southampton, but they suddenly find themselves six points adrift of league leaders Chelsea, who have won their first three games.

Late Toronto goal evens it up against Houston for 1-1 draw

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By BRYAN ROBISON

While Houston extended their 21 match home unbeaten streak, it did not go as they had hoped, as the home Dynamo side let a lead slip away in the final minutes. Toronto FC's Terry Dunfield evened up the score in the closing minutes to tie up the match at 1-1, just five minutes before the final whistle blew.

Montero nets hat trick for Seattle in 6-2 rout over Chivas USA

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By BRYAN ROBISON

Whether it is off the bench or after being introduced in the starting lineup, Fredy Montero is having quite an impact during August. That continued on Saturday night, as the Colombian netted his first career hat trick at Home Depot Center against Chivas USA.

Arrieta, Higuain propel Crew past Revs

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The Columbus Crew spent half the season struggling to generate goals as their defense and goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum kept the team afloat, but times have changed in Columbus thanks to the team's newest attacking acquisitions.

Costa Rican striker Jairo Arrieta and Argentine midfielder Federico Higuain scored two goals apiece, including two Higuain set piece strikes and Arrieta's game-winner to erase an early two-goal deficit and lift the Crew to a 4-3 victory against the New England Revolution at Crew Stadium on Saturday night.

Bernier brace leads Impact past DC United 3-0 for fifth consecutive win

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By BRYAN ROBISON

The Montreal Impact finished their astounding August in style, defeating DC United 3-0, to finish the month 4-0. The win, their fifth in a row, and sixth consecutive victory at Stade Saputo, pulled the Impact within a point of fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings.

MLS Match Day: Your Running Commentary

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The race for the playoff spots continues to heat up in Major League Soccer today, with a handful of key match-ups headlining today's league action.

D.C. United has traveled to Canada, and will take on the Montreal Impact in a clash of teams vying for fifth place in the East, and the playoff berth that goes with it.

Must-See Goal: Fernando Torres

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Edu joins Stoke City

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Maurice Edu has found a new home and when he gets there he will see a familiar face.

The U.S. national team midfielder/defender has signed with English Premier League squad Stoke City, agreeing to personal terms with the club on Saturday. He joins the Potters just as U.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Chelsea will be looking to kick their season off with a second straight victory, as will Newcastle, when the two English Premier League forces square off at Stamford Bridge in today's marquee match-up.

The Blues opened the season with a victory against Reading, while the Magpies toppled Tottenham to get their new campaign off on the right foot.

Union, RSL play to scoreless draw at PPL

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By JOEY SAMUEL

With the MLS playoff race heating up, both the Philadelphia Union and Real Salt Lake could have used three points from their match on Friday night. But in a game where chances were few and far between, each team was forced to settle for a bore draw, although it was the Union who came away more disappointed.

Union vs. Real Salt Lake: Match Night Commentary

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Real Salt Lake has made the trip to Pennsylvania for tonight's visit to PPL Park, where they will take on a Philadelphia Union side still holding on to faint hopes of a playoff run (7:30pm, NBC Sports).

RSL got the week off to a good start, posting a 2-0 CONCACAF Champions League victory against Tauro FC.

2012 SBI College Soccer Season Preview: Rankings, Players to watch and more

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

The 2012 Men's College soccer season is ready to kick off tonight around the country and the best teams and players in America will give soccer fans plenty of added entertainment to go along with their usual pro soccer fix.

Defending champion North Carolina is back, and despite all the new faces, the Tar Heels should be in contention again.

SBI's Italian Serie A Preview

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Juventus did not lose a game in Serie A play last season and managed to get better in the offseason, making major signings and letting the rest of Italy know that the club's return to greatness was not a one-year fluke.

Juve enter the new season as the overwhelming favorites to capture the scudetto again while teams behind them reshuffle their rosters looking for answers.

Transfer Ticker: Edu move in the works, Johnson signs with Sunderland and more

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Maurice Edu's move to Stoke City is not complete yet, but Rangers manager Ally McCoist confirmed that the move is still in the works.Â

"I'm led to believe the Maurice Edu transfer to Stoke is still ongoing," McCoist told Sky Sports. "If and when that happens, he will go with our best wishes, but I don't think there has been anything concrete done with that at the moment.

SBI College Preview: Zardes poised to cement place as top striker in the nation

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Photo courtesy of CSUB Athletics


By KAYLA KNAPP

Anyone who has seen Gyasi Zardes play knows what the 20-year-old talented striker is capable of doing on the field.

The CSU-Bakersfield junior has everything a coach could ask for in a forward.

MLS Week 25: A Look Ahead

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By THOMAS FLOYD

Riding a three-game winning streak, Sporting Kansas City has climbed back to the top of the Eastern Conference -- a spot the New York Red Bulls are keeping a close eye on from a short distance.

That first place slot will be on the line Sunday when Kansas City hosts New York in a nationally televised clash at Livestrong Sporting Park in the first of three matches between these two clubs in the next two months.

Williams names U.S. U-17 residency roster

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

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U.S. U-17 national team coach Richie Williams announced his 31-player residency class for the fall semester Friday, one that includes 20 returning players who will train full time at the IMG Academies facility in Bradenton, Fla., ahead of the 2013 CONCACAF championship tournament in April that serves as a qualifier for the FIFA U-17 World Cup next summer.

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

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Even though Newcastle finished ahead of Chelsea in the Premier League table last season, Chelsea's UEFA Champions League title pushed Newcastle into the qualifying rounds of the Europa League instead of automatic entry into the group stage. The Magpies can exact a bit of revenge at Stamford Bridge in their high-profile matchup in England on Saturday, a rematch of the meeting between the two clubs last year in which Papiss Cisse scored one of the goals of the year.

SBI College Preview: Alvarez ready to lead UConn to glory and realize his pro dream

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photo courtesy of UConn Athletics

By FRANCO PANIZO

Before he was a college soccer player, and before he developed into one of the best playmakers in the nation for national power UConn, Carlos Alvarez was just a teenager with a life-changing decision to make.

Must-See Skills: Andres Iniesta

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If you watched Thursday's Spanish Super Cup first-leg between Barcelona and Real Madrid, chances are you were left amazed by the stellar skills of Andres Iniesta. He was the best player on the field at Camp Nou and helped set up two of the three goals.

In case you missed the match, or if you just want to see Iniesta's magic again, here is Iniesta's performance against Real Madrid.

SBI's German Bundesliga Preview

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By BRYAN ROBISON

Similar to La Liga and Premier League, Bundesliga sees itself going into 2012 with two prime contenders, and then what looks like a strong competition for third place. For the top German league, last year's top two finishers will go into this season expecting to end that way again this year.

SBI College Preview: MAC gets new contender with West Virginia

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By AVI CREDITOR

The A in MAC might as well have stood for Akron for the last couple of decades.Â

Akron has won the Mid-American Conference's regular season title 14 times since 1993, including each of the last seven years. Caleb Porter's side is reloaded again for another run at the conference crown and a potential national championship, but the Zips have a new league foe to contend with this season: West Virginia.

LA Galaxy 5, Metapan 2: Match Highlights

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Barcelona 3, Real Madrid 2: Match Highlights

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Former All-Star Toja returns to MLS

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Juan Toja is back in MLS.Â

The former FC Dallas All-Star signed a contract with the league and will be assigned a team through the league's allocation order next week, joining Eddie Johnson, Kamani Hill, Bakary Soumare and Luis Robles as players to go through the player mechanism this season.

SBI College Preview: UNC's Lopez takes starring role for defending champions

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Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Camarati/UNC Athletics

By AVI CREDITOR

With all of the talent that Mikey Lopez had around him last season, it was understandable for the U.S. Under-20 midfielder's contributions to get a bit lost in the shuffle at the University of North Carolina.

Friday Kickoff: Ljungberg retires, Olympic star Konate signs in Russia and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Former Sweden captain and MLS Designated Player Freddie Ljungberg has called it a career.

Ljungberg, who played for the Seattle Sounders and Chicago Fire after a decorated career in Europe, retired Friday, capping a career that began in 1994.

Beckham stars, referee confounds as Galaxy trounce Metapan in CCL opener

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By KAYLA KNAPP

CARSON, Calif.--The LA Galaxy took down Isidro Metapan 5-2 on Thursday night in their opening CONCACAF Champions League match, but the win wasn't nearly as comfortable as the scoreline would suggest.

Despite flurry of second half cards, including the bizarre sending off of captain Robbie Keane, the Galaxy managed to hold off a quick and dangerous Metapan side.

Barcelona beats Real Madrid, 3-2, in Spanish Super Cup first leg at Camp Nou

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FC Barcelona dominated play but had no goals to show for it after a scoreless first half against Real Madrid, but they broke through in the second half with three straight goals to erase a Cristiano Ronaldo opener and take control of the Spanish Super Cup series.

Goals from Pedro, Lionel Messi and Xavi helped Barcelona jump out to a 3-1 lead before Angel DiMaria pounced on a Victor Valdes blunder to give Real Madrid a valuable goal in a 3-2 Barcelona first-leg victory at Camp Nou on Thursday.

LA Galaxy vs. Isidro Metapan: Your Running Commentary

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The Los Angeles Galaxy kick off their quest for a Champions League title when they take on El Salvador side Isidro Metapan at Home Depot Center tonight in CONCACAF Champions League action (10pm, FOX Soccer Channel).

The Galaxy will be without Landon Donovan tonight, but will be fielding all the rest of their starters against Metapan, which opened group play with a 3-1 victory against the Puerto Rico Islanders.

SBI College Preview: UConn looking to bounce back after disappointing finish

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photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

If ending a season on a penalty shootout loss is tough to swallow, the UConn Huskies were surely more than demoralized last year. After all, their penalty kick defeat to Charlotte in the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament marked the third straight season in which UConn had their hopes of winning a national championship dashed in such a manner.

SBI College Preview: Focused Schoenle returns ready to lead West Virginia

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Photo courtesy of West Virginia University Athletics


By AVI CREDITOR

For West Virginia University centerback Eric Schoenle, a junior season that started out with so much promise and potential did not exactly end in the most ideal manner.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Michael Bradley proved last season that he is more than capable of playing well in Serie A, but now he will have to show that he can do so with the pressure that comes from playing at one of the league's premier clubs.

Bradley is set to officially begin his AS Roma tenure on Sunday, as the club kicks off its 2012-2013 campaign against Catania.

Promo: Messi vs. Ronaldo (Round 1 is here)

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Promo: Messi vs. Ronaldo (Round 1 is here)

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Real Madrid and Barcelona set to renew rivalry in Spanish Super Cup Clash

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Real Madrid and Barcelona are ready to resume what many soccer fans consider the most entertaining rivalry in the game when they clash today in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup (4pm, ESPN3.com)

Real Madrid will be facing their rival for the first time since beating them at the Camp Nou to all but clinch the Spanish League title.

SBI College Preview: North Carolina creates new identity in quest to repeat

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Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Camarati/UNC Athletics

By AVI CREDITORÂ

Repeating as national champions in men's college soccer rarely happens these days. No team has gone back-to-back since Indiana in 2003 and 2004, and the only team since then to even reach the title game in consecutive years was Akron in 2009 and 2010.

Ryan Meara out for the season

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By DAVE MARTINEZ

Ryan Meara's magical rookie season has come to an abrupt end.

SBI has learned that the former Red Bulls starting keeper will undergo hip surgery that will effectively end his first professional season.

"Yes, it will be a season ending (surgery)," Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe confirmed after Thursday's training session

Meara, a New York native and Fordham University product, started 18 matches for the team this season, accumulating 1620 minutes in net, and allowing all of 27 goals against for a respectable 1.

MLS Spotlight: SKC anchor Besler relishes whirlwind summer

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By THOMAS FLOYD

Matt Besler, if nothing else, sure has stayed busy this summer.

The Sporting Kansas City centerback has been there for his team's surge back to first place. He also was a stalwart for the club's run to the U.S. Open Cup title, playing all 120 minutes and converting a penalty kick in the final earlier this month.

Report: Wooten loaned to Sandhausen

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If Andrew Wooten is to find consistent minutes in the 2. Bundesliga this season and further his development, it apparently won't be with Kaiserslautern.
According to a report, Wooten is set to go on a season-long loan to recently-promoted club SV Sandhausen in a quest for playing time.

Dynamo open CCL campaign with win over FAS

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The Houston Dynamo may have failed to win their last two MLS games, but that pair of poor results did not stop them from grabbing a convincing victory in their CONCACAF Champions League opener.
The Dynamo got their campaign in the regional competition started with a 3-1 win over Salvadoran club C.

Dempsey left out of Fulham squad for Saturday's clash with Manchester United

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The Clint Dempsey saga at Fulham continues.

The U.S. national team star will not play for the Cottagers in their upcoming showdown with Manchester United, having been left out of the squad for Saturday's showdown.

The transfer rumor mill has gone very quiet on Dempsey, with a long-rumored move to Liverpool looking less and less like a possibility by the day.

Rogers loaned to Stevenage

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Robbie Rogers has a new place to play until this winter.

Rogers was loaned Thursday from Leeds United to League One side Stevenage, where he will play for former Colorado Rapids manager Gary Smith. The loan extends until the end of 2012, at which point he will return to Leeds.

Houston Dynamo 3, CD FAS 1: Match Highlights

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Chelsea 4, Reading 2: Match Highlights

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Higuain leads Crew past Toronto FC

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The days of the Columbus Crew being criticized for their lackluster offense may be over.

First the arrival of Jairo Arrieta provided a good spark to the team's forward line, and now Federico Higuain has begun his MLS career in style.

The Argentine newcomer notched a goal and assist to help lead the Crew to a 2-1 victory over Toronto FC at Crew Stadium on Wednesday night.

D.C. United tightens Eastern Conference race with win over Fire

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WASHINGTON -- D.C. United's response to all of the controversy and disappointment from Sunday's draw against Philadelphia was a thorough win over a fellow contender in the Eastern Conference.

Dwayne De Rosario scored the 99th goal of his career, and newcomers Lionard Pajoy and Long Tan got in the act as well, as D.

Galaxy Notebook: CCL action is back, Donovan injury update and more

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By KAYLA KNAPP

The LA Galaxy will take on reigning Salvadoran champion Isidro Metapan on Thursday night at the Home Depot Center in their opening CONCACAF Champions League game of this campaign.

After a weekend off, the team is recharged, refocused and ready to tackle the next ten days.

CCL/MLS Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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Five Eastern Conference teams are in action Wednesday night, with a pair of MLS matches being complemented by the Houston Dynamo's opening match of their CONCACAF Champions League run.

In Washington, D.C., the Chicago Fire will look to snap D.C. United's 11-match home unbeaten run while distancing themselves from the hosts even further in the playoff race.

Must-See Goal: Ismaily

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SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 24

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There is a new team atop the SBI MLS Power Rankings, and it's a team that knows what it feels like to be in the top spot.

Sporting Kansas City has edged past the San Jose Earthquakes for the No. 1 spot after posting their third straight league win with a road shutout against Toronto FC.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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A pair of teams featuring Americans will look to take a step closer to the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, as RSC Anderlecht (Sacha Kljestan) and Hapoel Kiryat Shmona (Bryan Gerzicich) look to earn favorable road results in the opening legs of their respective final qualifying-round ties.

Mid-Day Ticker: Martinez move to Bayern in jeopardy, Guido makes debut and more

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By JOEY SAMUEL

Javi Martinez has been rumored with a move from Athletic Bilbao to Bayern Munich for weeks. But suddenly, the deal seems much less likely to be completed.

On Wednesday, Bayern president Uli Hoeness downplayed the potential move for the centerback, calling the Athletic Bilbao front office "very, very stubborn" and claiming that Bilbao is doing everything they can to stop the move.

beIN Sport acquires television rights to USMNT road World Cup qualifiers

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Fans in the United States will no longer have to worry about U.S. men's national team World Cup qualifiers being shown on pay-per-view.

New sports network beIN Sport announced in a press release Wednesday that it has acquired exclusive rights to televise the national team's road qualifiers for the remainder of the 2014 World Cup cycle, starting with the final two matches of this round, Sept.

SBI MLS Best XI (Week 24)

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FC Dallas' Colombian connection has the club entering the playoff discussion after a horrid stretch of play seemingly had the club closer to the Western Conference cellar than the postseason, and it looks like David Ferreira and Fabian Castillo have no intentions of slowing down.

Ferreira and Castillo both played major roles in the club's road victories at Vancouver and Real Salt Lake and were easy selections for SBI's MLS Best XI for Week 24.

Ipswich Town denies making Edu offer

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Maurice Edu's transfer saga has taken a bit of an odd turn.

Two days after Rangers manager Ally McCoist claimed that League Championship side Ipswich Town had made an offer for the U.S. international, the club's manager, Paul Jewell, denied that his club had done such a thing.

CCL/MLS Wednesday: A Look Ahead

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There are three matches involving MLS teams Wednesday, and each one carries a good deal of significance.

In league play, D.C. United and the Chicago Fire meet in a clash of teams both currently in the playoff picture and looking to jockey for a safer position as the home stretch continues.

CCL Rewind: RSL bounce back, Santos Laguna rout Aguila and more

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Real Salt Lake got the performance they were looking for to end a four-game losing streak.

In need of a bounce-back performance after a CONCACAF Champions League-opening loss to Herediano and after three straight losses in league play, RSL topped Panamanian side Tauro FC 2-0 behind second-half goals from Alvaro Saborio and Kyle Beckerman.

Wednesday Kickoff: Aguero out a month, Juventus coach's appeal denied & more

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Manchester City have avoided the worst-case scenario involving star striker Sergio Aguero.

Aguero will miss about a month with a knee injury, but he reportedly avoided any major tears after going down in the first half of City's 3-2 win over Southampton following a tackle by Nathaniel Clyne.

Real Salt Lake 2, Tauro FC 0: Match Highlights

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Real Salt Lake vs. Tauro: Your Running Commentary

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Real Salt Lake hope that home-field advantage will change the club's CONCACAF Champions League fortunes, as the 2010-11 tournament finalists look to bounce back after dropping their group opener.

RSL welcome Panamanian side Tauro FC to Rio Tinto Stadium for a key Group 2 battle (10 p.

Field-Level View: USA 1, Mexico 0

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Koffie, Camara, Bernardez suspended by MLS Disciplinary Committee

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The MLS Disciplinary Committee had plenty of incidents to sift through from this past week, and three more players have received bans for harsh fouls.

Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Gershon Koffie, Montreal Impact defender Hassoun Camara and San Jose Earthquakes defender Victor Bernardez were all suspended for a game and fined an undisclosed amount for their actions.

Americans Abroad: Bedoya's Helsingborg faces climb, Grella scores again and more

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If Alejandro Bedoya and Helsingborg are to reach the UEFA Champions League group stage, they'll need to pull off an inspired road performance.

The Swedish champions conceded a second-minute goal to Kris Commons that set the tone for Celtic's 2-0 victory in the first leg of their final qualifying round tie, one that happened on Helsingborg's home ground.

SBI MLS Save of the Week: Dan Kennedy

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McCoist alludes to potential Stoke City move for Edu

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Maurice Edu and Geoff Cameron teamed together in central defense to do their part in the U.S. men's national team's first-ever win on Mexican soil last week. It appears as if the two may be joining forces much more frequently for the foreseeable future.

According to Rangers manager Ally McCoist, Edu's representation alerted him to a potential transfer to Stoke City, a move that would facilitate his transfer out of the fourth-tier Scottish club and into the English Premier League where he would be teammates with Cameron.

USL Pro: A Look Back at Week 20

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The final weekend of almost every regular season has its share of drama, and the USL Pro's season finale was no different as two teams snuck into the playoffs while another saw its postseason hopes vanish.

The Harrisburg City Islanders and the Wilmington Hammerheads booked the final two spots in the postseason and the Charlotte Eagles fell out of sixth place and the playoff picture by losing on Sunday.

Mid-Day Ticker: Spurs sign Adebayor, De Rossi stays put at Roma and more

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Emmanuel Adebayor is returning to White Hart Lane to inject some much-needed life into Tottenham's attack.

Adebayor, who scored 17 goals last season while on loan with Tottenham from Manchester City, has completed a permanent transfer to the club after a drawn-out transfer saga has finally concluded with his departure from Etihad Stadium for a reported £5 million fee.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Luis Silva

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After following his breakout play in the CONCACAF Champions League in March with a slow start to his first MLS campaign, Luis Silva has rediscovered his groove for Toronto FC.

Silva scored a goal and had his rebounded shot put home by Eric Hassli in Toronto FC's mid-week draw with the Portland Timbers, and he bounced back to go the distance against Sporting Kansas City over the weekend to collect SBI MLS Rookie of the Week honors.

MLS Notes: Rapids sign Honduran veteran Thomas, FCD add striker & more

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The Colorado Rapids may be slipping further and further out of postseason contention, but that is not stopping the club from making improvements for the stretch run.

The Rapids signed Honduran veteran and former Wigan Athletic central midfielder Hendry Thomas Tuesday in an effort to bolster the club's quality in the center of the field while adding a player with immense experience.

Bedoya set for UEFA Champions League taste against former rival Celtic

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When Alejandro Bedoya moved from Orebro to Rangers last summer, he figured to play in crucial matches against Celtic. A year later, his jersey has changed once more, but the opportunity to take down the Scottish power has presented itself once again.Â

Bedoya's new club, Swedish champion Helsingborg, takes on Celtic in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League final playoff round tie on Tuesday (2:30 p.

RSL seek CCL rebound at Rio Tinto

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It is unusual to think that the second game of the CONCACAF Champions League group stage would be a must-win affair, but that is essentially the situation in which Real Salt Lake finds themselves after a tournament-opening loss three weeks ago.

With the new tournament format shrinking the group stage from six games to four, the pressure and importance rises with each match, and as a result, RSL's clash with Panamanian side Tauro FC (10 p.

Everton 1, Manchester United 0: Match Highlights

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Tuesday Kickoff: Arsenal eye M'Vila, Man. City close in on Sinclair and more

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With a new void in his midfield, Arsene Wenger may turn yet again to another rising French star to try and bolster his club.

Arsenal's interest in Stade Rennes midfielder Yann M'Vila has reportedly been rekindled as the close of the summer transfer window nears. If M'Vila were to sign with Arsenal, he would join a group of young Frenchmen to sign with the club over the last few years that includes Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy, Abou Diaby and most recently Olivier Giroud.

Howard, Everton open season by blanking Manchester United

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Everton have been notoriously slow to find their footing at the start of the past few Premiership seasons, but the Toffees got off to a flying start to the new campaign on Monday.

Everton upset and blanked Manchester United, 1-0, in their season opener at Goodison Park, winning courtesy of a Marouane Fellaini goal early in the second half.

SBI MLS Goal of the Week: Lamar Neagle

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Everton vs. Manchester United: Your Running Commentary

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Opening weekend of the Premiership campaign has been plenty entertaining, but there is still one more intriguing match on tap involving one of the league's marquee teams.

Everton and Manchester United are set to square off on Monday afternoon (3pm ET, ESPN 2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3.

Manchester City 3, Southampton 2: Match Highlights

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Red Bulls Rewind: Gaudette steals the show

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By DAVE MARTINEZ

On a night where Tim Cahill scored his first goal as a Red Bull and the team rallied from a 2-0 deficit for a 3-2 victory, it was Bill Gaudette who stole the show.

And that says a lot.

"I think the real hero tonight was probably Billy," Cahill said after the match.

Mid-Day Ticker: Aguero injured, Pepe cleared to leave hospital, and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Manchester City may have dodged a bullet by coming from behind to beat Southampton this past weekend, but they have suffered a scare due to the injury to Sergio Aguero.

The Argentine striker had to be taken off on a stretcher in the early moments of Manchester City's 3-2 win on Sunday, and now the club is anxiously awaiting to hear the results from scans taken on his right knee.

SBI MLS Team of the Week: FC Dallas

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FC Dallas picked up two upset victories over top Western Conference teams in a span of four days, and that made them this week's easy choice for SBI's MLS Team of the Week award.

After going on the road and blanking the Vancouver Whitecaps last Wednesday, FC Dallas beat Real Salt Lake, 2-1, through a late goal from David Ferreira on Saturday.

NASL Week 20: A Look Back

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The Carolina RailHawks were down a goal with not much time left in their match against FC Edmonton, but two late strikes, including one in stoppage time, helped them come-from-behind to pick up a win that further distanced them from the Eddies for the final playoff spot.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: David Ferreira

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FC Dallas has revived a season that looked like a lost cause just a month ago, and one of the key factors behind the recent resurgance is the play of former MLS MVP David Ferreira.

The Colombian playmaker illustrated his importance to the Dallas attack repeatedly in recent weeks, and the past week was his best yet.

Monday Kickoff: Bradley scores in Roma friendly, Man Utd near Buttner deal, and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

AS Roma has concluded their preseason preparations for the upcoming Serie A campaign, and Michael Bradley looks ready to tackle the season head-on.

Bradley scored in Roma's final preseason friendly on Sunday, netting the second goal in the Italian club's 3-0 win over Greek side Aris FC.

Ipswich Town make offer for Edu

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Maurice Edu has been linked with a move to Ipswich Town in recent weeks, but now a bid by the English club has formally been submitted.

Rangers manager Ally McCoist confirmed Monday that Ipswich of the English Championship have made an offer for Edu. The U.S. men's national team midfielder has not played in a game for Rangers this season, but he has reportedly been keen on making a move away from the club that is currently in Scotland's fourth tier due to last season's liquidation.

Dynamo grab late draw with Crew to stay undefeated at home

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The Columbus Crew were minutes away from handing the Houston Dynamo their first MLS defeat inside of BBVA Compass Stadium, but a late Adam Moffat goal made sure to keep the Dynamo unbeaten at home.

Moffat scored in the 82nd minute to help the Dynamo pick up a 2-2 draw with the Columbus Crew on Sunday, a result that ties Houston with the Chicago Fire for third place in the Eastern Conference.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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photo by Nick Turchiaro/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

It was a goal-filled weekend for the Americans Abroad contingent, as four different players found the back of the net on the biggest scoring output of the early European season.

Clarence Goodson was among the players to tally, netting his first goal of the season in Brondby IF's 1-1 draw with FC Copenhagen on Saturday.

Pearce game winner helps cap Red Bulls rally, keeps RBNY unbeaten at home

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With the final minutes of the first half ticking away on Sunday night, the New York Red Bulls looked like they just might suffer their first loss at Red Bull Arena this year. Two early goals by the Portland Timbers had the Red Bulls on the ropes and looking ripe for defeat.

The Red Bulls had other ideas.

D.C., Philadelphia play to draw after chaotic finish at RFK Stadium

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WASHINGTON -- Three red cards, two controversially disallowed goals and a missed penalty by a reigning MVP with the game in the balance. Just another run-of-the-mill outing for rivals D.C. United and the Philadelphia Union.

When the dust settled after a series of hard tackles, lost tempers and focus-altering calls by referee Mark Geiger, the two teams played to a 1-1 draw in front of 12,312 at RFK Stadium, with Brian Carroll's eighth-minute tally being offset by Amobi Okugo's 64th-minute own goal.

MLS Match Night: Your Running Commentary

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It is a busier-than-usual Sunday night in Major League Soccer, where three matches are on tap, including a pair of key Eastern Conference showdowns.

D.C. United is looking to avoid a late-season slide like they suffered at the end of last season, and will need a victory against the Philadelphia Union today at RFK Stadium (5pm, NBC Sports) to move back ahead of the surging Montreal Impact for the fifth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Jol discusses Dempsey situation

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Premier League Rewind: City earn comeback win, Arsenal stymied, and more

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By JOEY SAMUEL

It may not have been the way they envisioned it, but Manchester City earned an impressive win in their first game of the season as they opened their defense of the Premier League title in dramatic style.

City came back from a goal down to defeat newly promoted Southampton, 3-2, at Etihad Stadium with goals from Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko, and Samir Nasri.

Studio 90: USA U-20 WNT ready for tomorrow's World Cup opener

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Altidore nets two more goals in AZ win

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Jozy Altidore can't stop scoring.

The U.S. Men's National Team forward scored two more goals today, both of the quality variety, in AZ Alkmaar's 3-1 win against Heracles. That gives him four in two matches, and gives him an outstanding start to the season.

Altidore didn't just score tap-in goals today.

MacDonald nets winner as Fire top Revs

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By JEFFREY KRAUSE

BRIDGEVIEW, IL.- Fans at Toyota Park were treated to plenty of goal-scoring action early and often in Saturday night's Chicago Fire-New England Revolution, with three goals coming in the first 15 minutes of the match. Luckily for most of those fans, the Fire came away with the edge during that flurry, as they continued their recent hot form with another victory.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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The defending champions of each of the world's two best leagues open their seasons today, but other top contenders to the English and Spanish crowns will be in action as well as part of an action-packed Sunday of soccer.

In England, Manchester City begins their defense of the Premier League title with a home opener against newly promoted Southampton, a week after beating Chelsea in the FA Community Shield.

FC Dallas steals victory from Real Salt Lake after late Ferreira goal

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By BRYAN ROBISON

FC Dallas made it three-for-three for the week and continued their strong form for August, as they escaped from Rio Tinto Stadium with a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake on Saturday night. David Ferreira notched a late stoppage time goal to steal the win for Dallas, stunning both Real Salt Lake and the raucous crowd.

Montreal shakes up standings thanks to 3-1 win over San Jose

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By BRYAN ROBISON

There was no late match heroics for San Jose this time around, as they built themselves too big of a hole to come back from thanks to a two goal defecit. After falling behind early, Montreal charged back, scoring three unanswered goals, and winning their fourth consecutive home match 3-1 at Stade Saputo on Saturday.

Kamara goal helps Sporting KC beat Toronto FC for third straight victory

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By BRYAN ROBISON

With Sporting Kansas City sporting a top lineup, the Eastern Conference leading squad proved why they sit at the top of the standings, defeating Toronto FC, 1-0, at BMO Field on Saturday.

Despite not taking the lead until the final ten minutes of the match, there was no question who the better squad was on the day.

Super-sub Montero lifts Seattle past Vancouver

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By JASON MITCHELL

SEATTLE, Wash. -The Seattle Sounders topped the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-0 Saturday afternoon, gaining vital space in the standings and an emotional win over one of its fiercest rivals.

The win in front of 55,718 fans at CenturyLink Field leaves Seattle alone in third-place in the Western Conference, breaking a three-way tie with Whitecaps and Los Angeles Galaxy.

Saturday Ticker: Barca land Song, Zenit eye Nani, and more

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The plundering of Arsenal's roster by Europe's top teams continued on Saturday as the Gunners agreed with FC Barcelona on a £15 million to transfer midfielder Alex Song.

Song joins Robin Van Persie, Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri as top Arsenal stars to leave the Gunners in the past two summers, though the transfer fees acquired in those deals have left Arsenal with a sizeable amount of transfer revenue to work with for the second straight summer.

MLS Disciplinary Committee fines and suspends Robson

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The MLS Disciplinary Committee have received plenty of flak this season for some of their decisions, but the latest suspension they handed out is sure to raise more than a few eyebrows and questions.

Hours before the Vancouver Whitecaps were set to take on rivals the Seattle Sounders, the MLS Disciplinary Committee banned Vancouver midfielder Barry Robson one game and fined him an undisclosed amount.

MLS Match Day: Your Running Commentary

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The Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps renew acquaintances in the latest instlalment of their Cascadia Derby, but more than bragging rights will be on the line when they meet today.

The Sounders and Whitecaps are currently tied on points with the Los Angeles Galaxy in the Western Conference standings and three points today for either side would vault them into a strong position heading into the final months of the regular season.

Must-See Goal: Zoltan Gera

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Bedoya scores in Helsingborg debut

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Another Americans Abroad season debut, another goal.

Alejandro Bedoya added himself to the list of Americans who have scored for their respective clubs in their debut games of the current campaign, netting a bicycle kick in his first game with Helsingborgs IF. Bedoya got off to a dream start with the Swedish powerhouse by scoring the opener in the 37th minute, his first goal in the Allsvenskan since May 2011, but he and Helsingborg would relinquish the lead and lose, 2-1.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Last season, both Tottenham and Newcastle had UEFA Champions League aspirations, and battled each other to the end of the season only to have Chelsea snatch away the spot they were chasing after by winning the Champions League Final.

Spurs and the Magpies kick off the new English Premier League season doing battle yet again, only with plenty of new faces in the mix.

SBI's Spanish La Liga Preview

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Real Madrid and Barcelona, the two best teams in the world (at least in the eyes of some) will once again head into a Spanish Primera Division season as the clear-cut favorites and opponents ready to turn La Liga into their own punching bag.

There is little mystery as to which teams will be dominating the Spanish League yet again.

Fire loan out playmaker Grazzini

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The curious case of Sebastian Grazzini and the Chicago Fire has come to a resolution.

The Fire loaned Grazzini to Argentine club Atletico de Rafaela on Friday. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Fire had exercised their option on the Argentine playmaker for a second year at the end of June after a bit of a contract dispute, which, according to the Chicago Sun Times, was started over Grazzini misunderstanding the original terms of his deal with the club.

Onyewu omitted from Sporting Lisbon's Europa League roster for play-in round

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Oguchi Onyewu's honeymoon period with Sporting Lisbon appears to be over.

After turning in a rebound season and reclaiming his form with the Portuguese power last season, a fit Onyewu was left off the club's UEFA Europa League roster, which was turned in on Thursday.Â

With Sporting only submitting a 22-man squad, one player can still be added to the roster up to a day before next Thursday's opening leg of the club's final qualifying playoff round against Danish side Horsens, according to reports out of Portugal.

MLS Week 24: A Look Ahead

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By THOMAS FLOYD

As if the pressure of the Cascadia Cup rivalry between the Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps wasn't enough, this weekend's bout featuring the Pacific Northwest rivals also carries notable Western Conference playoff implications.

With a crowd of about 60,000 expected to fill CenturyLink Field, the Sounders will host the Whitecaps in a match contested between two of the teams locked in a three-way tie for third in the conference.

Cameron unavailable for Stoke opener

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Geoff Cameron's Premier League debut will have to wait a week.

According to Stoke City's official website, Cameron won't be able to return to England until early next week while finalizing his visa, and he is unavailable for the club's opener against Reading on Sautrday.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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Welcome back, Premier League and La Liga.

The new seasons in England and Spain get underway this weekend, with full slates of action featuring some of the top teams in the world. Manchester United's campaign doesn't start until Monday, but Manchester City kicks off its title defense against Premier League newcomer Southampton a week after defeating Chelsea to win the Community Shield.

Reports: Dempsey fined by Fulham

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The inevitiable end to Clint Dempsey's Fulham career is starting to get ugly.

According to reports from England, the club has fined Dempsey an undisclosed amount for refusing to play in Saturday's season opener against Norwich City. This comes hours after Fulham manager Martin Jol claimed that he was leaving Dempsey out of his squad for the match because he had not trained with the club's first team for the last four weeks.

SBI's English Premier League Preview

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After the manner in which the 2011-12 English Premier League season ended, it's hard to think that this season will be able to top Manchester City and Manchester United's race for the title that literally came down to the final minute.

With a number of high-profile names changing addresses, a European club champion looking to reinvent itself and a number of important lingering questions, though, there are still plenty of unknowns heading into what should be a riveting campaign, one that will kick off Saturday.

Ogunbiyi's RBNY move falls through

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Babajide Ogunbiyi's long-awaited move to the New York Red Bulls is off.

Citing medical conditions, the Red Bulls parted ways with Ogunbiyi, an original draft pick of the club in 2009 who plied his trade in Denmark before agreeing to terms with the club on July 31.Â

"During our standard, thorough physical, our medical team noticed an issue regarding Jide's health," Red Bulls general manager Erik Soler said in a statement.

Sign up for SBI's Fantasy Premier League

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Want the chance to compete against SBI staff and readers? Here is your shot.

You will have your chance to show that your knowledge of the Premier League is superior to that of everybody else by drafting your 15-man fantasy squad, substituting and using your transfers wisely and following your team on a weekly basis from August to May.

Friday Kickoff: Dempsey out for opener, Van Persie signs for four years & more

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On the eve of the 2012-13 Premier League season, Clint Dempsey remains in club limbo.Â

Fulham manager Martin announced that Dempsey, the club's leading scorer last season, will not be part of Fulham's matchday roster for Saturday's season opener against Norwich City while also confirming that Dempsey wants to leave Craven Cottage.

Evening Ticker: Rockets owner looking to purchase Dynamo, Wynalda leaves Atlanta and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The Houston Dynamo may have a brand new owner to go along with their brand new stadium.

According to a FOX report, Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander is currently in negotiations to purchase the Dynamo from the three parties that currently own the club.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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photo by Tony Quinn/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

If you enjoyed watching Tim Howard stone Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez on Wednesday night, you may soon get another opportunity to see the U.S. men's national team goalkeeper do so.

Howard and Everton kick off their Premiership season at home against Hernandez and Manchester United on Monday in one of the marquee games on opening weekend.

USMNT reactions to win over Mexico at Azteca

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MLS Spotlight: Johnson shining after overcoming Olympic qualifying nightmare

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By FRANCO PANIZO

CHESTER, Pa. -- Sean Johnson may be quietly piecing together one of the best seasons among goalkeepers in MLS this year, but not many people will point to that when asked about the year he is having. Rather, they will talk about the blunder he had in Olympic qualifying in March that cost the U.

Union trade Pajoy to D.C. United for Cruz

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The Philadelphia Union already have a boat-load of impressive young talent, but on Thursday they managed to add yet another good youngster will parting ways with an older, expensive player who never quite panned out.

The Union traded Colombian striker Lionard Pajoy to D.C. United for midfielder Danny Cruz.

Playoff hopes on life support for Hackworth, Union

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By JOEY SAMUEL

A year ago, the Philadelphia Union were competing for the top spot in the Eastern Conference in their second season of existence. Now, they find themselves fighting just to remain in the hunt for a playoff spot.

On Sunday, the Union will face the team that holds the fifth and final playoff spot for the second week in a row when they take on D.

Mid-Day Ticker: Van Persie set for debut, Bale's status in doubt & more

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By THOMAS FLOYD

Manchester United fans won't have to wait long to see Robin Van Persie in a Red Devils uniform.

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson said he is confident Van Persie, signed Wednesday on a transfer from Arsenal, will be cleared and ready to play when United kick off their English Premier League season Monday against Everton.

Crew tie Galaxy on emotional night in Columbus

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The Columbus Crew made an emotional return to action on Wednesday night, playing their first match since the death of midfielder Kirk Urso. As difficult as it was to get back on the field after such a tragedy, the Crew battled on and honored their fallen teammate with a gutsy performance.

Nagbe goal gives Timbers tie on road with TFC

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The Portland Timbers may not have won their first road game of the season on Wednesday night, but they did manage to get a result that surely felt like a victory.

The Timbers drew Toronto FC, 2-2, at BMO Field on Wednesday after a late headed goal from Darlington Nagbe. The Timbers attacker took advantage of some poor defending by TFC to get open and equalize in the 82nd minute after Portland had relinquished a 1-0 lead earlier.

USA 1, Mexico 0: A Look Back

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Twenty four times over the course of 75 years.

That is how many times, and over how long a period of time, the U.S. Men's National Team had traveled south of the border looking for a win against Mexico. Twenty four times they tried and 24 times they failed to win, and 23 of those times they lost.

International Rewind: Argentina top Germany, Spain squeak by Puerto Rico, and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Lionel Messi missed a penalty kick and was denied by the post on another chance, but that still do not stop him and Argentina from going into Germany and cruising to victory.

The Albiceleste extended their current winning streak to five games after picking up a 3-1 win over Germany in  one of the marquee matches of Wednesday's busy international FIFA date.

Transfer Ticker: Martinez to join Bayern, Modric nears Madrid move and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Bayern Munich are about to crack open their piggy bank, and they are going to do so for one of the up-and-coming Spanish internationals.

Bayern Munich are nearing a record deal for Athletic Bilbao's Javi Martinez, and the reported transfer fee is expected to be $49.

Colombian duo Ferreira and Castillo lead surging FC Dallas to victory in Vancouver

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By BRYAN ROBISON

FC Dallas is starting to think about a playoff push, something that would have been unthinkable a month ago, before a dynamic Colombian duo stepped forward to revive a struggling Dallas offense.

The Colombian connection of David Ferreira and Fabian Castillo have been the leading drivers of an FC Dallas resurgence, and they were at it again on Wednesday night in Vancouver, manufacturing both goals as FC Dallas posted an impressive 2-0 victory against the Vancouver Whitecaps in Vancouver.

USA 1, Mexico 0: Match Highlights

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Michael Orozco Fiscal's game-winner vs. Mexico

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USMNT top Mexico to pick up historic first win at Azteca

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Mexico had lost just eight times in 119 matches at Estadio Azteca and never against the U.S. men's national team heading into their friendly on Wednesday night, but thanks to some disciplined defending, key saves and an opportunitic goal, the Americans changed all that.

The United States grabbed a historic win on Wednesday, beating its southern rivals at Estadio Azteca, 1-0, thanks to a second half goal from substitute Michael Orozco.

USA vs. Mexico: Match Night Commentary

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The U.S. Men's National Team takes on arch-rival Mexico tonight at Estadio Azteca, and the U.S. will be looking to become the first Americans to beat 'El Tri' on Mexican soil when the square off in a rare friendly in Mexico City (8pm, ESPN2).

The Americans will be trying to snap a four-match winless streak against Mexico, a streak that began with a 2-1 loss at Azteca in 2009 during World Cup qualifying.

Lalas, Keller, Donovan reflect on Azteca

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Americans Abroad Spotlight: Boyd adapts to new surroundings at Rapid Vienna

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Photo courtesy of GEPA-pictures.com/Wien Energie

By FRANCO PANIZO

After the busiest summer of his brief professional career, Terrence Boyd joined Austrian club Rapid Vienna from German powerhouse Borussia Dortmund in July with the idea that he would find the necessary playing time to further his development.

USA vs. Mexico: A Look Ahead

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The U.S. Men's National Team will take the field at Estadio Azteca tonight trying to beat a Mexico team riding a wave of confidence and good form. The Americans will also be trying to win in a stadium they have never won in, a city they have never won in, and a country they have never won in.

Van Persie headed to Manchester United

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The Robin van Persie transfer saga has come to a conclusion, and it is one that has the Dutch striker set for a major move from the Emirates to Old Trafford.

Arsenal announced that they have reached an agreement with Manchester United for the transfer of Van Persie, who has been the subject of transfer rumors for months, including potential moves to United rival Manchester City and Italian champion Juventus.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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Wednesday's FIFA international fixture date makes for an unusually busy weekday of international soccer around the world, one with some tantalizing matchups setting the table for tonight's USA-Mexico bout at Estadio Azteca.

Powers Germany and Argentina square off in Frankfurt, where Germany will trot out a squad missing some key faces but one that still features Mesut Ozil, Miroslav Klose and Sami Khedira against a full-strength Argentina team that will feature the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Angel di Maria.

Solo book sheds light on Ryan altercation, team reaction to Chastain tweets

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

U.S. women's national team goalkeeper Hope Solo left quite the impression on this summer's Olympics, between her controversial tweets about former U.S. great and television analyst Brandi Chastain and her two massive saves against Japan in the Olympic final that helped the U.

Klinsmann addresses U.S. challenge in Mexico

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Where will you be watching USA-Mexico?

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The U.S. men's national team meets rival Mexico for the first time in more than a year when the two CONCACAF powers meet at Estadio Azteca later tonight (8 p.m., ESPN2/ESPN3.com/Univision).

The U.S. men have enjoyed some of their finer moments in their history at Mexico's expense, but the recent meetings against El Tri have gone the way of Mexico, whose golden generation has captured a FIFA U-17 World Cup, third place in a U-20 World Cup, a CONCACAF Gold Cup and an Olympic gold medal all since the summer of 2011.

SBI MLS Best XI (Week 23)

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The LA Galaxy dynamic duo of Landon Donovan and Juninho partnered up to help the Galaxy demolish Chivas USA last Sunday and their exploits made them easy selections to SBI MLS Best XI for Week 23.

Donovan's four assists helped him earn MLS Player of the Week honors, while Juninho fired in two goals to continue a strong run of form after starting the season in shaky fashion.

SBI MLS Save of the Week: Dan Kennedy

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MLS Wednesday: A Look Ahead

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All eyes will be on the U.S. men's national team's friendly against Mexico Wednesday night, but MLS features three matches with the push for the playoffs in full swing.

The Columbus Crew return to action for the first time since Kirk Urso's sudden passing against the Los Angeles Galaxy in a nationally televised match during which emotions will run high.

Wednesday Kickoff: Muamba retires, Grella scores in Capital One Cup & more

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That Fabrice Muamba is alive is a miracle in itself, considering that his heart stopped for 78 minutes after he collapsed during a match against Tottenham in March. The Muamba miracle will not, however, include a return to the playing field.

Muamba announced his retirement from professional soccer Wednesday, citing a recent visit with a cardiologist that dissuaded him from attempting to continue his career.

FOX Soccer signs deal with CONCACAF to air Gold Cup and Champions League

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FOX Soccer will be the home for the biggest CONCACAF competitions for the next four years after signing a four-year deal with the Confederation to air the next two Gold Cups and the CONCACAF Champions League through the 2015/2016 competition.

FOX Soccer announced the deal on Tuesday, and revealed that not only will the network broadcast the two tournaments on FOX Soccer Channel, but will also be able to carry all of the tournament's matches on FOX Soccer's digital platforms:

Additionally, FOX Soccer has the option of showcasing all CONCACAF Champions League and Gold Cup matches through its wide array of digital platforms, including FOXSoccer.

Beckerman, Johnson, Torres look forward to USA-Mexico friendly

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SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 23

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It sure didn't take long for the San Jose Earthquakes to climb back atop the ladder.

More late heroics gave San Jose a 2-1 win over the Seattle Sounders on Saturday, pushing the Earthquakes back to the No. 1 spot in this week's SBI MLS Power Rankings after they had been dethroned the week prior by the Houston Dynamo.

FIFA 13: The Trailer

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FIFA 13 hits stores next month, and EA released a trailer Tuesday of what fans and gamers can expect from the latest edition of the popular video game (watch for the cameo from New York Red Bulls DP Tim Cahill). Enjoy:


USMNT attempts to conquer Azteca

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Photo by ISIphotos.comÂ

It is the U.S. men's national team's house of horrors, one of the more daunting places to play around the world. And it looms Wednesday night.Â

The U.S. men's national team has never won at the storied Estadio Azteca, and despite bringing a less-than-full-strength squad to Mexico City for Wednesday night's friendly against El Tri, the challenge remains the same: Finally put a "1" in the "W" part of the W-L-T column that current reads 0-8-1 all-time at Azteca, 0-19-1 all-time in Mexico City and 0-23-1 all-time on Mexican soil.

Mid-Day Ticker: Ribery, Benzema face trial; Welbeck set for new deal and more

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The underage prostitution scandal that rocked the French national team prior to its lackluster showing in the 2010 FIFA World Cup is back in the news.

Bayern Munich star Franck Ribery and Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema are facing a trial for allegedly soliciting an underage prostitute a few years ago.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Connor Lade

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

No, Connor Lade did not get on the scoresheet, nor was he directly involved with either of the New York Red Bulls' goals Friday night, but his contribution was definitely felt in the club's important 2-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo.Â

The versatile Lade, who got the start at right back, helped lock down in-form Houston forward Mac Kandji, played a vital role in the clean sheet and was his usual active self up and down the flank to earn SBI MLS Rookie of the Week honors.

USL Pro: A Look Back at Week 19

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The Charleston Battery booked their place in the USL Pro postseason this past weekend, and they did so in convincing fashion.

The Battery clinched a playoff berth and snapped a five-game winless skid by mauling the Rochester Rhinos, 4-0, in their penultimate game of the season on Saturday.

Mexico to honor Olympic gold medal team prior to U.S. friendly at Azteca

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If Terrence Boyd, Sean Johnson, Joe Corona or Brek Shea needed a reminder of what they potentially missed out on by not getting a chance to compete in the Olympics, they will get as close a look as they will possibly want.

Mexico will honor its Olympic gold medal winning team prior to the U.

Tuesday Kickoff: La Liga trio up for UEFA award, Barton loan blocked and more

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The 2011-12 UEFA Best Player in Europe award candidate list is down to three La Liga standouts.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo made the shortlist for the award, which is being given out for the second year. Messi won last year's inaugural award beating out Xavi and Ronaldo, respectively, while Iniesta finished fourth.

Who should Klinsmann start vs. Mexico?

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When the U.S. Men's National Team takes the field at Estadio Azteca on Wednesday night, they will be facing arch-rival Mexico with a squad that will look far different from what most would consider an A team.

There is no Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo or Jozy Altidore, which means Jurgen Klinsmann will have to rely on some new faces to try and help the USA earn a result in Mexico City, a place the United States has never won a match.

Chandler cites schedule and travel as reasons for latest USMNT snub

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photo by John Dorton/ISIphotos.com

There was yet another turn in the Timmy Chandler-U.S. men's national team saga on Monday, but it is not one unfamiliar to American soccer fans.

According to a German report, Chandler was called up for the United States' Wednesday friendly against Mexico at Azteca Stadium but he passed on the opportunity due to the scheduling and 'strenous' travel that would have been required.

First-choice Galaxy defense looks sharp, posts shutout in first 2012 game together

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By KAYLA KNAPP

It took the LA Galaxy until their 25th game of the season before coach Bruce Arena was able to start his MLS Cup-winning back four, but you wouldn't have guessed that by their performance in Sunday night's SuperClasico.

Caldwell, Smith among players on 2012 MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List

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The 2012 college season is weeks away from getting started, and the Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) have released their list of players to watch keep an eye on this year.

Senior Akron midfielder Scott Caldwell and Old Dominion senior forward Yannick Smith are among the 42 male players who have been identified for the 2012 MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List, which was announced on Monday.

Mid-Day Ticker: Terry ban reduced, Llorente linked with Juventus, and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

John Terry is once again back in the headlines, but this time it comes with good news for the Chelsea captain.

Terry's ban for his violent actions in the UEFA Champions League semifinals against Barcelona have been reduced on appeal, meaning the centerback will be able to play from the start of their title defense this upcoming season.

SBI MLS Team of the Week: Sporting Kansas City

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To say Sporting Kansas City had a good week doesn't do justice to what a special week it was for the fans of the team formerly known as the Kansas City Wizards.

First, Sporting KC won the club's first trophy in eight years with a dramatic penalty shootout victory in the U.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Landon Donovan

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Whether it is because he is on the brink of playing Mexico or just an emphatic response to the Los Angeles Galaxy's flat performance last week, Landon Donovan enjoyed one of his best performances of the season en route to picking up SBI's MLS Player of the Week award.

Donovan inspired the Galaxy to a 4-0 win victory over rivals Chivas USA on Sunday, setting up every goal to record a career-high in assists.

NASL Week 19: A Look Back

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By FRANCO PANIZO

FC Edmonton are back in the hunt for the playoffs.

The Eddies brought themselves within four points of sixth place in the NASL standings and the final playoff spot that comes with it by blanking the Puerto RIco Islanders, 1-0, at Clarke Stadium on Sunday.

Report: MLS closing in on $300M stadium project in Queens, New York

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Major League Soccer's desire to have a second team in the New York market is well-documented, as is the fact that league officials have been working feverishly to find a stadium project in New York City that could make a second NY team a reality.

Now we know just how close to realizing that goal MLS actually is.

Pappa signs Heerenveen pre-contract, will play out 2012 season with the Fire

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The long-standing question of whether Marco Pappa would be leaving the Chicago Fire and heading to Europe this season has finally been answered.

Yes, Pappa is heading to Europe, but no, he won't be leaving the Fire this season.

Chicago announced on Monday that Pappa had signed a pre-contract with Dutch Eredivisie side Heerenveen, but that Pappa would remain with the Fire for the rest of the 2012 season, which will run through the end of his current contract.

USMNT Notes: Chandler uncommitted, Klinsmann discusses roster and more

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photo by Floria Eisele/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

If there was any lingering uncertainty as to the real reason Timmy Chandler turned downed cap-tying call-ups the past two summers, U.S. men's national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann put them to rest on Sunday.

SBI MLS Goal of the Week: Sanna Nyassi

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Donovan ties MLS assist record as Galaxy blow away Chivas USA in 'SuperClasico'

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By KAYLA KNAPP

CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy bounced back from their 4-0 loss to the Seattle Sounders in a big way on Sunday night. LA scored four goals of their own against Chivas USA, with Landon Donovan assisting all of them, tying the MLS record for assists in a single game.

Gordon added to USMNT roster for Mexico friendly

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Alan Gordon's penchant for late-game heroics have saved the San Jose Earthquakes a number of times this season, and they have now also helped earn the forward a call-up to the U.S. men's national team.

U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann added Gordon to the roster that will take on Mexico in a rare friendly at Estadio Azteca on Wednesday, U.

Nyassi's strike proves too much as Impact take down Revolution at Gillette

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By BRYAN ROBISON

No team has played more games than the Montreal Impact, and perhaps no team in the Eastern Conference has surpassed expectations more than the expansion club. Head coach Jesse Marsch and company continued their impressive summer form, as they defeated the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium, 1-0, on Sunday night.

Rolfe's brace leads Fire to comeback victory at PPL Park vs. Union

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CHESTER, Pa.-- The Chicago Fire aren't delivering quite as many dramatic last-minute comebacks as the San Jose Earthquakes, but when it comes to coming back to win games they have trailed in, the Fire have been as good as any team in MLS this year.

The Fire pulled off their latest comeback on Sunday night, erasing a 1-0 deficit with three unanswered goals to knock off Eastern Conference rival Philadelphia, 3-1, at PPL Park.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

FC Nordsjaelland may have routed Silkeborg IF in their match this weekend, but Michael Parkhurst was at the front and center to helping them cruise to victory.

Parkhurst played a vital part in Nordsjaelland's early success in their 6-1 win on Saturday, setting up the opener from the right flank in the third minute before scoring the eventual winner three minutes later.

Klinsmann names squad for Mexico friendly

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Jurgen Klinsmann named the 22-player roster for the U.S. Men's National Team for Wednesday's friendy against Mexico, and there are several new faces in the mix.

Newly-crowned U.S. Open Cup champions Graham Zusi and Matt Besler were among the players chosen to take on Mexico at Estadio Azteca on Wednesday in a rare friendly in Mexico between the two rivals.

Weekend Ticker: Man City win Community Shield, PSG stumble in opener, and more

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By JOEY SAMUEL

With a new Premier League season on the horizon, Manchester City showed on Sunday that they're ready to begin defending their crown.

Goals from Yaya Toure, Carlos Tevez, and Samir Nasri helped earn Manchester City a 3-2 win over 10-man Chelsea in the FA Community Shield at Villa Park in a battle of last year's Premier League champions and FA Cup winners.

Altidore delivers double in AZ season opener

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This summer Jozy Altidore said that his goal for the upcoming club season was to improve on his 22-goal campaign of last season. That seemed like an ambitious goal at the time, but based on how his new season has begun, it may be more realistic than we thought.

The U.S. National Team striker scored a pair of quality goals just two minutes apart in AZ Alkmaar's season-opening 2-2 draw vs.

Whitecaps top RSL at BC Place

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In a battle between two teams looking to solidify their spots in the Western Conference playoff race, it was the Vancouver Whitecaps who came up with the result they needed.

Two goals scored over a six-minute span were enough for victory as the Whitecaps downed Real Salt Lake, 2-1, in front of 20,083 fans at BC Place on Saturday night.

Castillo shines as FC Dallas tops Rapids

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By BRYAN ROBISON

FRISCO, Texas-- On a night when three different Colombians scored goals, no Colombian player stood out more in Saturday's FC Dallas-Colorado Rapids tilt than Fabian Castillo, who helped Dallas beat the very man who helped bring him to Major League Soccer.

Zusi, Sporting KC down DC United to retake top spot in East

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Just days after capturing the US Open Cup title over the Seattle Sounders, Sporting Kansas City carried that momentum back into MLS play and earned three huge points on Saturday.

Graham Zusi and Teal Bunbury each got their names on the scoresheet as Kansas City defeated DC United, 2-1, at Livestrong Sporting Park to put KC back in first place in the Eastern Conference.

Lenhart's late winner leads Earthquakes to victory over Sounders

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While few could've predicted how it would happen, it would be hard for anyone to be surprised by what the San Jose Earthquakes pulled off Saturday night.

In what has become the latest in a series of astonishing late heroics by San Jose, Steven Lenhart scored a 93rd-minute winner to stun the Seattle Sounders and earn the Earthquakes a 2-1 victory at Buck Shaw Stadium.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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A new season in England unofficially kicks off today as defending Premier League champions Manchester City face off against FA Cup winners Chelsea in the FA Community Shield.

After building a reptuation as big spenders in recent years, Manchester City have yet to sign a new player in this year's transfer window and enter the Community Shield with essentially the same roster that captured the Premier League title back in May.

MLS Match Night: Your Running Commentary

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There are just four matches on the MLS schedule tonight, but three of them are battles between teams thick in the playoff race.

The Seattle Sounders will look to move past the disappointment of losing in the U.S. Open Cup Final when they travel to San Jose to take on an Earthquakes side coming off a bye week.

Real Madrid 2, Celtic 0: Match Highlights

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Mexico beats Brazil for men's Olympic gold

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Brazil came into the 2012 Olympics as the favorite to win gold, and they were expected to overwhelm Mexico when the teams met on Saturday in the Olympic final.

Mexico had other plans, and needed less than a minute to show that they weren't going to be content with Olympic silver.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Neither Brazil or Mexico have ever won the Men's Soccer Olympic gold medal before, but one of them will add that prestigious title to their trophy case when they square off in the Olympic Final today.

Brazil reached the semis on the strength of a win over South Korea, while the Mexicans pounced on defensive errors by Japan to book their place in the gold medal match.

Red Bulls down Dynamo to regain first place in East

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The Red Bulls were full aware that last week's performance against the Houston Dynamo was awful, and not good enough for a team with championship aspirations. After an intense week of training, the Red Bulls came out on Friday and showed that they are still very much one of the teams to beat in the Eastern Conference.

Red Bulls vs. Dynamo: Match Night Commentary

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The Houston Dynamo dominated the New York Red Bulls a week ago in Houston, but the Red Bulls are expected to put up a significantly tougher test when the teams meet tonight at Red Bull Arena.

The Dynamo are playing like the best team in MLS, but no visiting team has left Red Bull Arena with three points this season.

The U.S. Open Cup final video rewind

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Evening Ticker: Dos Santos out for Olympic final, Lukaku loaned and more

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If Mexico is to capture Olympic gold, it will have to do so without attacking star Giovani Dos Santos.

Dos Santos has been ruled out of the final with a muscle injury, leaving El Tri without one of its most lethal options in a game that features two of the more explosive teams in the Olympic field.

A peek at MLS36: Fredy Montero

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The second episode of NBC Sports Network's MLS36 series airs Friday night following the New York Red Bulls-Houston Dynamo clash at Red Bull Arena, and it features Seattle Sounders forward Fredy Montero. Here's a sneak peak at part of the episode, which involves Montero putting his skills to a unique use in the locker room.

McBride set for unique FA Cup appearance with Wembley FC

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By AVI CREDITOR

Four years ago, iconic U.S. forward Brian McBride was captaining the U.S. men's Olympic team in Beijing. Saturday, about two miles to the west of Wembley Stadium, where Brazil and Mexico will meet in this year's men's Olympic final, he'll be trying to lead an upstart team on an entirely different stage.

MLS Week 23: A Look Ahead

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By THOMAS FLOYD

If the Seattle Sounders want to make a run at the Supporters' Shield, then this weekend will be the ideal time to start that push.

Coming off a gut-wrenching defeat in the U.S. Open Cup final Wednesday, Seattle will travel to take on the first-place San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday in a clash of Western Conference heavyweights.

Must-See Interview: Wynalda on Wynalda

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Who should the USMNT call up vs. Mexico?

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The U.S. Men's National Team returns to action on Wednesday in the highly-anticipated friendly vs. Mexico at Estadio Azteca. We already know who Mexico will be bringing to the showdown, but U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has held off in announcing his team until the weekend.

Back in June, Klinsmann suggested that he would be fielding a full-strength squad for the trip to Mexico City, but circumstances might keep that from happening.

Report: Bedoya signs with Helsingborg

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Alejandro Bedoya is on his way back to Sweden.

Bedoya has left Rangers and signed with Helsingborg, a team currently in the mix for a place in the UEFA Champions League group stage, through the rest of the Allsvenskan season, according to Yanks Abroad. Ironically, Helsingborg's opponent in the final UCL qualifying round is Rangers' rival, Celtic.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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Either way, the Olympic men's final will end with one of two teams claiming gold for the first time.

High-powered sides Brazil and Mexico do battle for the Olympic crown at Wembley Stadium Saturday to cap an end to what has been an entertaining tournament featuring a number of breakout stars.

Americans learn draws for Champions, Europa League final qualifying rounds

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A handful of Americans learned the next steps of their quests for European glory Friday with the draws for the final qualifying rounds for the UEFA Champions League and Europa League being conducted.

For Sacha Kljestan to join fellow Americans Jermaine Jones and Michael Parkhurst in the Champions League group stage, his club, Anderlecht, will need to get by Cypriot side AEL Limassol.

Studio 90: USWNT golden again

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Friday Kickoff: Juventus coach banned, Spurs' Parker has surgery and more

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Defending Serie A champion Juventus will have to embark on their quest to repeat with a new coach.

Juventus manager Antonio Conte was banned for 10 months by the Italian soccer federation as part of a widespread match-fixing scandal that dates back to his time as manager of Siena.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Jozy Altidore and AZ Alkmaar return to action this weekend as the Eredivisie kicks off its 2012-2013 season, and they could not have asked for a more challenging task to begin with.

Altidore and AZ will open their new campaign by visiting defending champions Ajax in quite possibly the most intriguing Eredivisie match of the weekend.

MLS re-schedules Columbus-Toronto FC match to let Crew attend Urso's funeral

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Just five days after the death of Columbus Crew midfielder Kirk Urso, Major League Soccer announced on Thursday night that the Crew's match against Toronto FC, originally set for Saturday, has been postponed until Aug. 22nd.

The re-scheduling of the match will allow the Crew to attend Urso's funeral.

Boyd comes through in clutch to help Rapid Vienna advance in Europa League

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photo courtesy of GEPA-pictures.com/Wien Energie

There's clutch, and then there's what Terrence Boyd did for Rapid Vienna on Thursday.

Down a goal on aggregate and facing elimination in the third qualifying round of the Europa League, Boyd came up big for Rapid Vienna in second-half stoppage time by drawing a penalty kick that a teammate converted and then scoring an insurance goal to give the Green-Whites a 2-0 win and 3-2 aggregate victory over Serbian outfit Vojvodina.

MLS Disciplinary Committee suspends Rivas, fines Wondolowski

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It was only a matter of time before Nelson Rivas received a decision from the MLS Disciplinary Committee on his headbutt of the Philadelphia Union's Antoine Hoppenot, and as expected, the Montreal Impact defender faced some harsh punishment.

Rivas was suspended for two additional games, on top of the automatic one-game suspension that accompanies his red card, MLS announced Thursday.

Hernandez, Guardado, Ochoa on 18-man Mexico roster for USMNT friendly

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If you thought Mexico were not taking next week's friendly with the U.S. men's national team seriously, you were wrong.

Mexico head coach Jose Manuel de la Torre has revealed his 18-player roster for the upcoming friendly against the United States at Estadio Azteca, and it is comprised of mostly first-choice players.

Lloyd brace lifts USWNT to victory over Japan in gold medal game

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A dream tournament ended with a dream result for the U.S. women's national team.

A year after losing to Japan in the World Cup final, the United States exacted revenge en route to claiming the gold medal in the Olympic final by defeating the Japanese, 2-1, at a sold-out Wembley Stadium on Thursday.

Diskerud signs half-season deal with Rosenborg

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photo by Rick Yeatts/ISIphotos.com

Mix Diskerud might be changing addresses, but he won't be leaving Norway after all.

The former U.S. Under-23 men's national team midfielder signed a deal with Norwegian club Rosenborg BK that runs through the end of the year on Thursday.

Women's Olympic Final: USA vs. Japan (Match Day Commentary)

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The U.S. Women's National Team will be looking to win their third straight Olympic gold medal today, while also exacting a measure of revenge, when they face Japan in the 2012 Olympic Final at Wembley Stadium (2:45pm, NBC Sports).

The Americans enter today's final undefeated in five matches, having survived a thrilling 4-3 extra-time victory against Canada in the semifinals.

Timbers sign defender, deal Chabala to D.C. United

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The Portland Timbers have had defensive issues for most of the 2012 season, and it is a reason they are out of the playoff race in the MLS Western Conference, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that the team shook up the roster on Thursday with another trade and an international player signing.

Mid-Day Ticker: Rogers on Leeds transfer list, Cameron set for Azteca & more

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By THOMAS FLOYD

It appears Robbie Rogers' brief tenure with Leeds United could be coming to an end.

The U.S. national team midfielder has been placed on the club's transfer list, manager Neil Warnock said. Rogers signed with Leeds as a free agent in December after five years with the Columbus Crew.

Real Madrid 5, AC Milan 1: Match Highlights

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U.S. Open Cup Final (Sporting KC 1, Seattle Sounders 1): Match Highlights

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Thursday Kickoff: Arsenal sets Van Persie price, Mourinho says Kaka can leave, and more

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If Manchester United wants Robin Van Persie, they are going to have to pay more than any other team in the running for the Dutch striker's services.

United manager Alex Ferguson revealed on Wednesday that his team had made a bid for Van Persie, but reports suggest Arsenal won't sell Van Persie to Manchester United for less than £25 million, if not more.

Sporting KC captures U.S. Open Cup, ends Sounders' title reign

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Sporting Kansas City did something Wednesday night that no team across any level of U.S. Soccer had been able to do in the last four years: Defeat the Seattle Sounders in the U.S. Open Cup.

Sporting Kansas City captured its second U.S. Open Cup in franchise history, outlasting the Sounders in penalties 3-2 after a 1-1 draw through regulation and extra time and ending the Sounders' hopes of becoming the first team to win four straight tournament titles.

U.S. Open Cup Final: Match Night Commentary

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The Seattle Sounders will be trying to make history while Sporting Kansas City will be trying to deliver a trophy to their fans as the two MLS powers square off in tonight's U.S. Open Cup Final (GolTV, 9:30pm).

The Sounders will attempt to become the first team in history to win four Open Cup titles in the tournament's 99-year history, but they will have to do so on the road at LiveStrong Sporting Park, where Sporting KC will be trying to win the organization's first title since the 2004 U.

Kljestan scores in Anderlecht's UEFA Champions League qualifying win

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Sacha Kljestan has scored in league play in MLS and Belgium, for the U.S. men's national team and in the UEFA Europa League. He can now add UEFA Champions League goalscorer to his resume.

Kljestan scored the opening goal and assisted on the second tally in Anderlecht's 6-0 rout of Lithuanian side Ekranas in a UCL third-qualifying-round match on Wednesday, a win that sealed an 11-0 aggregate victory and puts Anderlecht within one round of the UCL group stage.

Red Bulls land Robles through allocation order

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Luis Robles is a member of the New York Red Bulls after all.

The Red Bulls used their place in the allocation order to select Robles, who signed with MLS Tuesday night. The club had initially tried to sign Robles during the winter, but when it became apparent that he could not sign directly with the club and would have been subjected to the allocation order, the deal came off the table.

Who will win the U.S. Open Cup?

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The 99th U.S. Open Cup tournament comes to a close Wednesday night, as Sporting Kansas City attempts to end the Seattle Sounders' three-year reign of the annual knockout competition at Livestrong Sporting Park.

A capacity crowd is expected for what should be a great end to a memorable tournament.

MLS outlines tiebreakers for playoff chase

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With the MLS standings the way they are, the races for playoff positioning and the league's 10 postseason berths figure to down to the wire. Instead of past seasons, though, when head-to-head records were used as a tiebreaker, this year's potential standings ties will be determined by the most prolific attacks.

Mid-Day Ticker: Lucas lured by PSG, Spurs make move for Damiao and more

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Paris St.-German have struck again.

The high-spending French power swooped in to sign rising Brazilian star Lucas Moura, outbidding the likes of Manchester United and Inter Milan for the Sao Paulo attacking midfielder. Reports Tuesday had PSG making a €45 million move for Lucas, who is currently on the Brazilian Olympic team that is vying for the gold medal in London.

Manchester United vs. Barcelona: Your Running Commentary

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It's not often that world powers Manchester United and Barcelona meet each other, and even though Wednesday's contest is just a preseason friendly, there is still plenty of starpower on the field for both teams that should make for an entertaining bout.

The two renowned clubs that played in the 2009 and 2011 UEFA Champions League finals meet in Sweden (2 p.

SBI MLS Goal of the Week: Felipe

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Seattle's Fredy Montero and Portland's Jack Jewsbury provided some stiff resistance, but this week's SBI MLS Goal of the Week belongs to Montreal Impact midfielder Felipe, whose sideways scissor-kick volley off a cross from Hassoun Camara put the finishing touches on Montreal's 2-0 victory over the Philadelphia Union Saturday night at Stade Saputo.

Galaxy Notes: Dunivant nears return, Buddle held from reserve match & more

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By KAYLA KNAPP

The Los Angeles Galaxy saw their five-game unbeaten streak snapped on Sunday in a crushing 4-0 defeat to the Seattle Sounders, and not only did L.A. fail to score, but their defensive performance left a lot to be desired.

While the club continued to be without Todd Dunivant at left back, who has been sidelined with a calf injury since July 19, that was no excuse for how poorly they played against Seattle.

Soccer Wednesday: A Look Ahead

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The U.S. Open Cup final is Wednesday's marquee match for U.S. soccer fans, but it's far from the only match during the day that carries some serious appeal.

Barcelona face Manchester United and Real Madrid meet AC Milan in preseason friendlies, and the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League field will be a narrowed down a bit more after the second legs of the third play-in round will send 12 more teams onto the final qualifying round.

Sounders put historic U.S. Open Cup streak on line in final against Sporting KC

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. Open Cup may still not draw the type of attention that is warranted of a tournament that has been around for nearly a century. But that does not matter for the two teams competing in this year's championship game, because they know all they need to about what is at stake.

USA sticks at 36 in latest FIFA rankings

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After a quiet month, the U.S. men's national team's place in the FIFA rankings is unchanged, and the Americans remain at their lowest point of the Jurgen Klinsmann era in the international standings.

The U.S. men held firm at 36th in the world, sandwiched in between Serbia and Wales, ahead of next week's matchup against Mexico at Estadio Azteca.

Studio 90: Extra Time with Alex Morgan

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Cameron approved for UK work permit, completes transfer to Stoke City

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Geoff Cameron's transfer saga has come to a satisfying conclusion for all parties involved.Â

Cameron was approved for his UK work permit Wednesday after a successful appeal hearing at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium, which puts the finishing touches on his transfer from the Houston Dynamo to Stoke City.

Robles signs with MLS, will go through allocation process

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photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

After flirting with the possibility of joining MLS earlier this year, former U.S. men's national team goalkeeper Luis Robles has finally struck a deal with the league.

The 28-year-old Robles reportedly agreed to a contract with MLS on Tuesday, and his next home will be determined via the allocation process due to him having been capped by the United States in the 2009 Gold Cup.

Evening Ticker: Brazil reaches Olympic final, Suarez signs long-term deal & more

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The gold medal favorites are within one win of fulfilling their lofty expectations.

Brazil's men's Olympic team got two goals from Leandro Damiao and escaped a controversial no-call on a penalty shout to rout South Korea 3-0 and advance to the Olympic gold medal match against Mexico.

U.S. Open Cup Notebook: Espinoza's role uncertain, sellout crowd expected & more

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By AVI CREDITOR

Sporting Kansas City will aim to end the Seattle Sounders' three-year reign as U.S. Open Cup champions in Wednesday night's final, but exactly what Honduras Olympic hero Roger Espinoza's role will be in helping the club try to accomplish that is uncertain.

USL Pro: A Look Back at Week 18

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The Wilmington Hammerheads took a giant step towards assuring themselves of being in the postseason this past weekend, and they did so by grabbing a pair of results against a team that was expected to beat them.

The Hammerheads went 1-0-1 in their two games in two days against the Charleston Battery, first grabbing a late 2-2 draw on the road on Friday before picking up a 2-1 win at home on Saturday.

Mexico seals place in gold medal game

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Continuing the country's recent trend of success on the youth international level, Mexico will play for Olympic gold.

Mexico battled back from an early deficit and got a goal and an assist from Oribe Peralta to post a 3-1 victory over Japan in their semifinal match at Wembley Stadium Tuesday, sealing a place in the Olympic final against either Brazil or South Korea.

SBI MLS Best XI (Week 22)

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Eddie Johnson's form that made him an MLS All-Star has continued on to the latter portion of the season as well.Â

Johnson's 10th goal of the season in Seattle's 4-0 rout of Los Angeles led to a Player of the Week performance and sealed his place on SBI's MLS Best XI for Week 22.

Impact, Timbers swap goalkeepers Ricketts, Perkins

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Two teams on the outside of the playoff race looking in have swapped goalkeepers in an unusual mid-season deal.

The Montreal Impact sent goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts to the Portland Timbers for Troy Perkins in a straight-up trade that sees both veteran goalkeepers get a change of scenery.

Mid-Day Ticker: Diskerud trains with Rosenborg, Woolard concussed & more

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A new option has presented itself in Mix Diskerud's quest to leave Stabaek for greener pastures.

Diskerud is training with Norwegian side Rosenborg, one of the country's most storied teams, this week as he eyes a move before the close of the summer transfer window at the end of the month.

Olympic Soccer: Men's Semifinals (Your Running Commentary)

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After an exhilarating Monday of Olympic soccer on the women's side, the men take center stage with four teams vying for a chance to play for the gold medal.Â

On the heels of winning the FIFA U-17 World Cup and finishing third in the U-20 World Cup last year, Mexico continues it quest to add an Olympic gold medal to its trophy case.

McCoist claims Edu, Bedoya are on the outs from Rangers

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It appears that Maurice Edu and Alejandro Bedoya's days at Rangers are coming to a close.

With the embattled club set for a League Cup battle against East Fife Tuesday, Edu and Bedoya won't be part of the festivities, with Rangers manager Ally McCoist leaving both players out of the squad for the match, claiming that they both are leaving the club.

Bolt angles for Manchester United trial

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The world's fastest man thinks he can offer some assistance to one of the world's most storied soccer clubs.

Usain Bolt, who set an Olympic record in the 100-meter dash with his 9.63-second run on Sunday to capture his second straight gold medal in the event, claims that he could make a difference for Manchester United if given the opportunity for a trial, something that he is reportedly serious about taking on before he departs England after the conclusion of the Olympics.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 22

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Welcome to the top spot, Houston.

Riding a five-game winning streak and six shutouts in their past seven matches, the Dynamo have climbed to No. 1 in this week's SBI MLS Power Rankings. Houston's latest triumph, a 2-0 result against the New York Red Bulls, put the Dynamo on top of the Eastern Conference as well.

Tuesday Kickoff: Canadian women react, Cazorla seals Arsenal deal and more

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After the dust settled from the U.S. women's national team's thrilling 4-3, extra-time victory over Canada in the Olympic semifinals, Norwegian referee Christiana Pedersen and her controversial six-second call are still at the forefront of the post-match discussion.

Pedersen enforced the seldomly called rule -- one that says the goalkeeper must put the ball back in play within six seconds -- on Canadian goalkeeper Erin McLeod, who said she was never warned by the referee and only told at halftime by an assistant referee to "Make sure you don't slow the play too much.

Studio 90: Post-Game Reaction to USA's thrilling extra-time win vs. Canada

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USWNT defeat Canada in thriller, set up gold cup medal match with Japan

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The U.S. women's national team needed to come back three separate times against Canada, and ultimately they were the ones that came out victorious in a thrilling match that is already being considered an instant classic.

Alex Morgan netted the winner seconds before penalty kicks were to take place, heading home a cross to give the United States a 4-3 extra-time victory over northern rivals Canada in the semifinals of the Olympics at Old Trafford on Monday.

Mid-Day Ticker: PSG bid for Lucas, Revs waive Moreno and more

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The race for Lucas Moura is heating up.

According to Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti, French club Paris Saint-Germain have thrown themselves into the mix for the 19-year-old midfielder. Moratti, whose club is keen on signing the midfielder, said PSG has offered Sao Paulo a bid worth an estimated $55.

Olympic Soccer: USA vs. Canada (Match Day Commentary)

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The U.S. Women's National Team is one step away from a Gold Medal game against Japan in a rematch of last year's World Cup Final, but to get to that game the Americans will have to beat a familiar foe in Canada (2:45pm, NBC Sports).

The Americans are a perfect 4-0 in Olympic play, having posted three straight shutouts.

Remembering Kirk Urso

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It has been less than two days since the death of Columbus Crew midfielder Kirk Urso at the age of 22 and the American soccer community is still coming to grips with the passing of a young player who garnered so much respect and admiration in a relatively short amount of time.

The recurring themes that emerge from people discussing Urso was his friendly and happy personality off the field and his determination and work ethic on the field.

SBI MLS Team of the Week: Seattle Sounders

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The Los Angeles Galaxy have been on the rise in recent weeks, but the Seattle Sounders brought them back to reality with a thorough victory.

The Sounders dismantled a full-strength Galaxy side, 4-0, at CenturyLink Field in a week that also included a 3-1 triumph over Caledonia AIA in the CONCACAF Champions League.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Austin Berry

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photo by ISIphotos/Andrew Katsampes

The Chicago Fire needed to come from behind to defeat Toronto FC this past weekend, and it was Austin Berry who delivered the goal that secured the three points for Chicago.

Along with helping limit Toronto FC to one goal inside of a soaked Toyota Park, Berry headed home the winner in the Fire's 2-1 victory on Saturday.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Eddie Johnson

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The Seattle Sounders flexed their attacking muscle on Sunday night against the Los Angeles Galaxy, and one night where several players impressed, Eddie Johnson stood out the most.

The Sounders striker scored the opening goal of the night and provided a threat throughout the match during Seattle's 4-0 thrashing of the Galaxy, a performance that earned him SBI MLS Player of the Week honors.

NASL Week 18: A Look Back

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photo courtesy of Puerto Rico Islanders/San Antonio Scorpions

By FRANCO PANIZO

The San Antonio Scorpions were tripped up in their quest to finish the regular season atop the NASL table, as they suffered a defeat that has made things much tighter in the standings.

USWNT face rivals Canada with spot in final on the line

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photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. women's national team are a step away from advancing to the final of the Olympic tournament, but they will have to go through a familiar opponent if they are to have a chance at fighting for gold.

Must-See Goal: Xabi Alonso

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Monday Kickoff: RVP unlikely to sign with City, Madrid beats Santos and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Arsenal are one step closer to making sure Robin van Persie sticks around for at least this upcoming season, as one of his more attractive suitors has apparently pulled out of the race to sign him.

Manchester City head coach Roberto Mancini told reporters he does not expect van Persie to sign with the club for the upcoming season.

Sounders trounce Galaxy at CenturyLink Field

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By JASON MITCHELL

SEATTLE, Wash. - In case anyone was wondering, the Seattle Sounders are back.

In a nationally-televised marquee matchup plump with playoff implications, the Sounders struck early, poured on the goals in the second half, and trounced the LA Galaxy, 4-0, at CenturyLink Field.

Timbers battle back for draw vs. 10-man FC Dallas

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By BRYAN ROBISON

Just two weeks after losing 5-0, the Portland Timbers looked to exact some revenge on the visiting FC Dallas squad on Sunday night. While they were unable to pull out a victory, they were able to unleash the wrath of the raucous JELD-WEN Field crowd late in the match to even up the score, and walk off the field with a 1-1 draw.

Weekend Ticker: SPL season kicks off, Man U nears deal with Moura, and more

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By JOEY SAMUEL

While the absence of Rangers FC may be hard to fathom, the Scottish Premier League nevertheless got underway on Saturday as all twelve teams were in action on the first weekend of the SPL season.

Celtic, now heavy favorites in Scotland with their rivals banished to the fourth division, opened their 2012-13 campaign with a win as a 79th minute goal from Kris Commons was enough for a 1-0 victory over Aberdeen.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The result may not have been one to remember for most, but Hertha Berlin's 2-2 draw with SC Paderborn 07 will be a game John Anthony Brooks will never forget.

Brooks, a U.S. U-20 men's national team centerback, made his professional debut for Hertha Berlin in their season-opening tie with SC Paderborn 07 on Friday.

Studio 90: USWNT prepares for semifinal clash with Canada

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A preview of MLS36: Chris Wondolowski

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The premiere episode of NBC Sports Network's new series MLS36 will air tonight at 9:30 pm Eastern time, following the broadcast of the match between the Portland Timbers and FC Dallas. Viewers will get an unprecendented, behind-the-scenes look at the 36 hours an MLS player spends before a game.

Tonight's debut episode features San Jose Earthquakes striker Chris Wondolowski as he prepares for the MLS All-Star Game.

European friendlies: Barcelona top PSG on penalties, Man City impress, and more

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After a wild transfer season that saw Paris Saint-Germain sign the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva, the French club appears to be building much-needed chemistry as it prepares for the new season. But they also apparently need more practice from the penalty spot.

On Saturday, PSG battled back from a 2-0 deficit to draw Barcelona, 2-2, in a friendly in Paris.

Pontius propels D.C. United to win over Crew

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In DC United's first league match since the MLS All-Star Game, Chris Pontius showed why he was chosen as All-Star MVP of that dramtic win over Chelsea almost two weeks ago.

Pontius pounced on a rebound and scored in the 49th minute of a key Eastern Conference showdown between DC United and the Columbus Crew on Saturday night, and United ended up holding on to earn a 1-0 win in front of 14,640 fans at RFK Stadium.

Bunbury, Sporting KC earn road win over Revolution

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After three straight games without a win, Teal Bunbury decided that it was about time Sporting Kansas City collected three points on Saturday night.

The striker took advantage of some sloppy play in the back by the New England Revolution, stealing the ball and scoring a breakaway goal in the 20th minute of an Eastern Conference showdown.

Crew midfielder Urso has died

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Major League Soccer arose on Sunday morning to devastating news after the Columbus Crew announced that rookie midfielder Kirk Urso had passed away. He was 22.

The Crew issued a statement saying only that Urso had died, and that the cause of death was still being determined.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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American fans of Manchester United who were disappointed by the club's absence from the World Football Challenge can get their preseason fix on Sunday morning, as the Red Devils travel to Norway to take on Valerenga in a nationally-televised friendly.

Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez, newly-signed Shinji Kagawa, and the rest of Manchester United will face off against the Norwegians in a preseason friendly in Oslo that could see former Los Angeles Galaxy striker Chad Barrett appear for Valerenga against the English giants.

Berry winner lifts Fire past TFC

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BRIDGEVIEW, IL- The Chicago Fire returned to Toyota Park Saturday night to take on Toronto FC, relying on a game-winning header from ROTY candidate Austin Berry late in the 2nd half. Â The win extends Chicago's unbeaten streak at home against Eastern Conference opponents, while also giving them more wins on the season than either of their previous two campaigns.

Rapids halt losing streak, take down Real Salt Lake 1-0

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By BRYAN ROBISON

Colorado was finally able to put a stop to a duo of losing streaks, as the Rapids entered Saturday night on a six match losing streak, aloing with failing to register a win against Rocky Mountain Cup rivals Real Salt Lake in their last eight matches.

Impact continue strong home form, topples Union at Stade Saputo

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By BRYAN ROBISON

One pattern had to end on Saturday night, as the Montreal Impact welcomed fellow Eastern Conference foe Philadelphia Union to Saputo Stadium for the first time. The Impact, winners of their last three home matches, faced off against the Union, winners of three of their last four.

MLS Match Night: Your Running Commentary

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It is a relatively light Saturday night of MLS action, but there are still plenty of storylines to follow, with the Eastern Conference leading the way tonight.

Four all-East match-ups headline the schedule as teams jockey for playoff position, and scrap for survival. In New England, the Revolution begin life without Shalrie Joseph as they take on a Sporting Kansas City side that will try to avoid the distraction of playing a U.

South Korea knocks Great Britain out of Olympics on penalties

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Like England, Great Britain disappointingly failed to advance past the quarterfinals of a major international tournament on Saturday. And like England, they were eliminated on penalty kicks.

Great Britain felt the pain England have been feeling for so many decades, as they suffered a 5-4 penalty shootout loss to South Korea in the Olympic quarterfinals at Millennium Stadium.

Red Bulls Rewind: A difficult debut for Tim Cahill

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BY DAVE MARTINEZ

Battling heavy heat and overwhelming humidity through 90 minutes of play from virtually a central defensive midfield position against a superior opponent was not exactly the way Tim Cahill, the New York Red Bulls organization or their fan base pictured the Australian's debut.

Mexico advance, Honduras fall in close Olympic quarterfinals

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One CONCACAF nation is through to the Olympic semifinals and one is out after a pair of close and entertaining quarterfinal matches on Saturday.

Mexico booked their ticket to the next round and gave themselves a chance of claiming a medal in this summer's tournament with a 4-2 extra-time win over Senegal at Wembley Stadium.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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The U.S. Men's Under-23 National Team didn't make it to the Olympics, but that hasn't stopped one team from stepping forward to capture the appreciation of plenty of American soccer fans at these Olympic Games.

Honduras has put together a dream run into the Olympic quarterfinals, and with four MLS players on the roster, it has become easy to root for them (and let's face it, not many American fans are going to root for Mexico).

Gomez scores in Santos' draw with Puebla

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Herculez Gomez got one step closer to assuring himself of receiving a call-up for the U.S. men's national team's friendly with Mexico later this month, scoring his second goal in the early parts of the Mexican Apertura on Friday night.

Gomez netted for the second time in the first three games of the season for Santos Laguna by thundering home a header on a drawn up set piece in the 15th minute of their match against DaMarcus Beasley and Puebla.

Dynamo dominate flat Red Bulls in Houston

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By DAN MONTESANO

It was certainly not the way the New York Red Bulls envisioned the beginning of the Tim Cahill era.

The Houston Dynamo thoroughly dominated the Red Bulls Friday night, earning a 2-0 win and leapfrogging New York to take first place in the Eastern Conference.

Dynamo vs. Red Bulls: Your Running Commentary

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The top two teams in the Eastern Conference battle for first place as the Houston Dynamo welcome the New York Red Bulls to BBVA Compass Stadium (8 p.m., NBC Sports Network) in a Friday night bout fit for primetime.

The match -- the first of two consecutive ones between the two clubs -- marks the MLS debut of New York Designated Player Tim Cahill, who went 45 minutes and drew a penalty kick against Tottenham in Tuesday night's friendly.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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After Saturday, the men's Olympic tournament field will be whittled down to its final four.

The four quarterfinal matches take place across the the United Kingdom, as Brazil takes on Honduras, Japan meets Egypt, Mexico faces Senegal and host Great Britain squares off with South Korea.

Sporting KC's U.S. Open Cup campaign

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The Seattle Sounders have been a model of U.S. Open Cup success in the last four years, capturing the last three tournament titles and reaching the final for a fourth straight year.

Standing in Seattle's way in 2012 is Sporting Kansas City, a team that has made its intentions for this tournament clear both on the field with its play and off it with a winning bid to host next Wednesday's final in addition to an intense series of promo videos leading up to the anticipated match.

U.S. roster set for 2012 U-20 Women's World Cup

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While the U.S. women's national team is still fighting for gold at the Olympics, the next generation of players is preparing for its shot at glory in the U-20 Women's World Cup.

U.S. Under-20 women's national team head coach Steve Swanson has named the 21-player roster that will take part in that competition that will take place in Japan beginning on Aug.

MLS Week 22: A Look Ahead

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By THOMAS FLOYD

Nine months after claiming the Eastern Conference crown, the Houston Dynamo are finally on the verge returning to the top of the ladder.

Riding four consecutive wins, the Dynamo will face the New York Red Bulls Friday night with sights on extending the streak and passing their conference foe for first place.

D.C. United Notes: Najar braces for Brazil, club ready for August and more

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Andy Najar's Olympic adventure has been a rousing success thus far, but the D.C. United winger will face his biggest test Saturday.Â

Najar has played a major role in getting Honduras' Olympic soccer team out of its group and into the quarterfinals, helping set up the all-MLS goal that led to Honduras' shocking win over Spain and starting all three matches during the group stage.

Impact's Di Vaio faces potential ban

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Marco Di Vaio's first season in MLS could potentially be coming to an abrupt halt.

The Montreal Impact Designated Player faces up to a six-month ban for allegedly failing to report instances of match-fixing carried out by his teammates when he played for Bologna. Di Vaio is currently in Italy for a disciplinary hearing and will miss the club's match against the Philadelphia Union this weekend.

U.S. women advance to Olympic semifinals with win over New Zealand

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The U.S. women's national team's hopes for another Olympic gold medal are still alive, and so is its shutout streak.

Abby Wambach scored in the first half, and substitute Sydney LeRoux ended all doubt with a late clincher, as the U.S. women held off New Zealand 2-0 and advanced to the semifinals of the Olympic tournament at St.

Toronto FC signs Irish centerback O'Dea

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Toronto FC's search for a dependable centerback to help correct the club's defensive woes has culminated with the signing of Irish international Darren O'Dea.

After the club's pursuit of Swedish international Olof Mellberg did not come to fruition, TFC signed O'Dea Friday, adding a 25-year-old centerback in his prime and one with experience in Scotland and England.

Friday Kickoff: Mourinho wants to keep Kaka, Muamba plays again and more

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Kaka may not be on his way out of the Bernabeu just yet.

Speaking after Real Madrid's 5-1 thrashing of the Los Angeles Galaxy, Madrid coach Jose Mourinho claimed that he wanted to keep the Brazilian playmaker this season, this despite rampant reports that he was headed elsewhere.

Real Madrid 5, LA Galaxy 1: Match Highlights

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Olympic Soccer: USA vs. New Zealand (Match Day Commentary)

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The U.S. women's national team's quest to get back to the Olympic gold medal game for the fifth straight time continues in at St. James' Park in Newcastle, England, as the Americans take on New Zealand in a quarterfinal knockout game (9:30 a.m., NBC Sports Network, NBCOlympics.

Behind the Crest: USWNT moves on to Olympic knockout stage

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Record crowd watches Real Madrid trounce the Galaxy at Home Depot Center

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By KAYLA KNAPP

CARSON, Calif.-- There wasn't much the reigning MLS champions could do to contain the speed and skill of La Liga champions Real Madrid on Thursday night.

The Los Angeles Galaxy fell to Real Madrid 5-1 in front of a record crowd of 30,317 at the Home Depot Center, with L.

Rookie Rose stars as Sounders top Caledonia in CONCACAF opener

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BY JASON MITCHELL

SEATTLE, Wash. -Â Â The last time the Seattle Sounders took the pitch in CONCACAF Champions League, Santos Laguna handed them one of the worst losses in franchise history. Both the opponent and score were far different Thursday night at CenturyLink Field.

CCL/WFC Thursday: Your Running Commentary

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The Los Angeles Galaxy and Seattle Sounders face each other in a crucial Western Conference battle Sunday night, but before that they both have a Thursday night tune-up on national television.

After watching Real Salt Lake and Toronto FC open the new-look CONCACAF Champions League with mixed results, the Sounders will aim to hold serve at home against Caribbean side Caledonia AIA in their first group match of the 2012-13 tournament.

Studio 90: USWNT prepares for Olympic quarterfinals vs. New Zealand

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Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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Photo by ISIphotos.com


By FRANCO PANIZO

Terrence Boyd may have just received his first taste of Europa League action, but he is about to get a first-hand account of one of Austria's biggest rivalries.

Rapid Vienna host Austria Vienna in this season's first Vienna derby on Sunday, and Boyd is likely to see just how intense matches between two of the Austrian Bundesliga's top teams can be.

Dynamo bring Clark back to Houston

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Ricardo Clark is returning to Houston.Â

The former Dynamo standout central midfielder has re-signed with the club after trying his hand abroad, according to Houston's FOX affiliate, which reported the acquisition as a done deal on Thursday afternoon. Because Clark left MLS on a free transfer, Houston maintained his MLS rights, so he was not subjected to the league's allocation order upon his return.

A peek at MLS36: Chris Wondolowski

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The first episode of NBC Sports Network's MLS36 series will air Sunday night at 9:30 p.m., featuring San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski. NBCSN's cameras followed Wondolowski for 36 hours at the MLS All-Star break in Philadelphia, and even managed to catch a memorable moment between Wondolowski and Chelsea captain John Terry following the final whistle of MLS' 3-2 triumph over the UEFA Champions League winners.

MLS Notes: Heck out at Red Bulls, SKC signs La Masia product and more

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Not all the news coming out of Red Bull Arena these days involves major player signings, as the club's front office has reportedly made a significant change.

According to the New York Post, Chris Heck is out as Red Bulls president of business operations. The club has come under fire for its ticket pricing and attendance numbers, and the scheduling of mid-day, mid-week games during this summer also drew the ire of players, fans and pundits, something that fell under Heck's umbrella.

U.S. women prepare for quarterfinals with favorable path to medal round

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The U.S. women's national team has never failed to reach a gold medal game at the Olympics, and with the way things are set up, it would be quite the stunner if they failed to do so this time around.

The bracket has unfolded quite favorably for the U.S. women, who took gold in 1996, 2004 and 2008 and settled for silver in 2000 after falling to Norway in the final.

Beckham rejoins Galaxy, will miss Chivas match for Olympic closing ceremonies

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The first part of David Beckham's Olympic adventure is complete, and he has returned to the Los Angeles Galaxy in time to face his former club yet again.

Beckham rejoined Galaxy training Wednesday and will be available for selection when the defending MLS Cup champions take on Cristiano Ronaldo and La Liga winners Real Madrid at the Home Depot Center as part of the World Football Challenge Thursday night (10:30 p.

Mid-Day Ticker: Petrov in remission, Santos intent on keeping Neymar & more

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By THOMAS FLOYD

Four months after being diagnosed with leukemia, Stiliyan Petrov is in remission.

The Aston Villa captain and Bulgaria international was diagnosed after he developed a fever following a match March 24 against Arsenal. Petrov, 33, has suspended his career while receiving treatment and was the subject of numerous tributes around the English Premier League this past season.

Diskerud returns to Stabaek with uncertain future

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Mix Diskerud is facing a critical juncture in his young and burgeoning career.

Diskerud has returned to Stabaek after his loan to Gent expired at the end of July with the top-flight Belgian side electing not to exercise its option to purchase Diskerud's contract outright.

Boyd, Cherundolo set to kick off UEFA Europa League quest

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Steve Cherundolo has been on this stage before, but for Terrence Boyd, like most experiences for him on the club level, this one is entirely new.

Boyd's Rapid Vienna and Cherundolo's Hannover 96 enter UEFA Europa League qualifying Thursday, with the two U.S. national team players and their teams kicking off their respective two-leg qualifying ties among 58 sides eyeing the final qualifying round for the group stage.

Hyndman backs Shea to return to form

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By BRYAN ROBISON

Brek Shea has been conspicuously absent from the FC Dallas lineup for the last two matches, but coach Schellas Hyndman thinks a break from everything is all his struggling star needs to kick start what has been an otherwise disappointing season.

Thursday Kickoff: Roberto Carlos retires, Sporting Kansas City ties Stoke and more

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One of Brazil's all-time greats has called it a career.

Left back Roberto Carlos, 39, announced his retirement, officially putting an end to a playing career that spanned back to 1991.Â

Roberto Carlos, who had not played since March, was most recently with high-spending Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala, and he will reportedly stay there in a technical-staff capacity.

TFC rolls past CD Aguila in CCL Opener

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Toronto FC made an impressive run to the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals in the tournament's last installment, and on Wednesday TFC looked every bit like a team determined to make another deep run.

Toronto opened Champions League play on Wednesday with a resounding 5-1 victory against Salvadoran side CD Aguila.

MLS salaries for league newcomers are out

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The Major League Soccer Player's Union updated the listing of MLS players salaries earlier today, and shed some light on just how much the league's newcomers are costing.

From million-dollar strikers Kenny Miller and Marco DiVaio, to centerbacks making between $200K an $300K like Arne Friedrich, Alessando Nesta and Bakary Soumare, MLS teams did some serious spending to make their mid-season roster improvements.

Sounders acquire Martinez on loan

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Fan favorite Alvaro Fernandez may be gone, but Seattle Sounders supporters have another new player to cheer for in addition to recently-acquired Christian Tiffert.

The Sounders announced Monday that they added Honduran international midfielder Mario Martinez on loan from Real Espana.

Great Britain, Mexico both win to book places in Men's Olympic quarterfinals

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It may have been more nerve-racking than most fans would have liked, but Great Britain is through to the quarterfinals in this summer's Olympics.

Great Britain emerged as leaders from Group A while simultaneously eliminating Uruguay after a 1-0 victory over the South Americans at Millenium Stadium on Wednesday.

GolTV to air U.S. Open Cup Final

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If you were wondering where you would be able to watch the 2012 U.S. Open Cup Final between Sporting Kansas City and the Seattle Sounders, wonder no more.

GolTV has reached a multi-year agreement with the U.S. Soccer Federation to broadcast the U.S. Open Cup Final, the network announced on Wednesday.

Kljestan, Anderlecht among winners in first legs of third qualifying round of UCL

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If there is one team out of the contending 24 who is a safe bet to advance from the third round of UEFA Champions League qualifying, it is Belgian champions RSC Anderlecht.

Playing in their home leg of a two-game series, Anderlecht cruised to a 5-0 victory over Lithuanian outfit Ekranas on Wednesday.

SBI MLS Save of the Week: Sean Johnson

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Where should van Persie play this season?

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Time is winding down for Robin van Persie to make a move away from Arsenal, but the question that remains is: Where exactly will he go?

The list of reported interested suitors in the Dutch international are some of the premier clubs in the world. From Manchester United to Manchester City to Juventus, van Persie has attracted a number of top teams who not only have an eye on their respective domestic leagues, but also on the UEFA Champions League.

Honduras reaches Olympic quarterfinals

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Honduras' dream start to the Olympics got a little sweeter on Wednesday, as the CONCACAF team advanced out of the group stage and into the quarterfinals with a scoreless draw against Japan.

The tie with first-place Japan at City of Coventry Stadium saw Los Catrachos close out Group D undefeated at 1-0-2 and gave them advancement to the quarterfinals of the competition for the first time in history.

Mid-Day Ticker: Arsenal close in on Cazorla, Spurs reject Modric bid and more

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Arsenal may soon have a bit of Spanish flavor in their attack.

The Premiership club is nearing a deal to acquire midfielder Santi Cazorla from Spanish club Malaga, and the Spain international is scheduled to undergo a medical in London later this week. The reported transfer fee Arsenal is going to pay Malaga for the 27-year-old midfielder is estimated to be $27 million.

SBI MLS Goal of the Week: Jairo Arrieta

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Red Bulls Notebook: Gaudette to challenge for starting spot, Cahill debuts, Jide speaks, more

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BY DAVE MARTINEZ

Friendly matches are not usually a barometer for judgment when reflecting on regular season play, but one New York Red Bulls player put an impressive exclamation point after weeks of dominant performances by stoning Tottenham in Tuesday's 2-1 defeat to the Premiership club.

Whitecaps sign centerback O'Brien

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The Vancouver Whitecaps might have one of the better defenses in MLS, but that has not stopped head coach Martin Rennie from further strengthening that part of his team.

The Whitecaps announced Wednesday that they have signed veteran centerback Andy O'Brien, who has spent the last decade-and-a-half playing in England.

Sounders, Toronto FC look for wins in CCL openers

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With Real Salt Lake losing in their 2012-2013 CONCACAF Champions League opener, the Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC will aim to pick up MLS's first victories in the competition when they kick off their respective campaigns on Wednesday night.

The Sounders begin their quest for a Champions League title in the fortress that is CenturyLink Field, as they host Trinidad and Tobago outfit Caledonia AIA in the Group 4 opener.

Wednesday Kickoff: Earthquakes rally again, Puyol to sign new deal and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The San Jose Eathquakes are the MLS comeback kings of 2012, and Swansea City were the latest team to find that out.

Inspired by two late goals from Steven Lenhart, the Earthquakes rallied to a 2-2 draw with Swansea in a friendly played at Buck Shaw Stadium on Tuesday night.

Revs trade Joseph to Chivas USA (updated)

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For years, there was no player more synonymous with the New England Revolution than Shalrie Joseph, but it appears the Joseph era is ending for the Revs.

According to Joseph's agent, Ron Waxman, New England is trading Joseph to Chivas USA. Waxman revealed the trade on Twitter on early Wednesday morning.

Six more teams looking to book place in Olympic quarterfinals

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Brazil and Japan may already be qualified for the quarterfinals and Spain and United Arab Emirates may already be eliminated, but the remaining 12 teams in the men's Olympic soccer tournament still have all to play for.

From Great Britain to Mexico to Uruguay, a dozen teams will be vying for one of the last six berths into the quarterfinals of the Summer Games when the final round of group stage matches kickoff on Wednesday morning.

Real Salt Lake drops CCL opener to Herediano

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The start of Real Salt Lake's CONCACAF Champions League campaign could have gone worse on Tuesday night in San Jose, Costa Rica, but not much worse.

RSL gave up an early goal to the home team, missed some good chances, had a player sent off, and then had their best defender suffer an injury just two minutes later.