Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2012

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

It did not take very long for Jozy Altdiore to fulfill U.S. men's national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann's wishes.

Days after Klinsmann said he wanted to see Altidore create and finish his own chances, Altidore did just that and more in AZ Alkmaar's 3-3 draw with RKC Waalwijk on Sunday.

Dike equalizer earns Timbers a point, cancels out controversial D.C. penalty

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D.C. United took a step closer to the Eastern Conference playoffs, while the Portland Timbers were left walking off the field in another game they felt robbed by match officials.

Timbers striker Bright Dike pounced on a loose ball in the penalty area to slot home a 79th-minute equalizer to help cancel out a Chris Pontius penalty and helpPortland salvage a 1-1 draw against D.

Saborío hat trick leads Real Salt Lake in 4-0 drubbing of Chivas USA

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By BRYAN ROBISON

The 2012 season for both Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA could have been summed up with Saturday's game. Despite a strong showing from Chivas keeper Dan Kennedy, it was not enough to keep the opposing team out of the net, and often. Real Salt Lake's Álvaro Saborío knocked it past Kennedy three times on his own, tallying his second hat trick on the year to lead RSL past Chivas 4-0.

Clark returns to scoring column for Dynamo in win over New England

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By BRYAN ROBISON

On a choppy pitch, thanks to the rain throughout the match at BBVA Compass Stadium, the Houston Dynamo extended their unbeaten streak at home to 23 consecutive games. Ricardo Clark scored his first goal for the Dynamo since making his return to the club this year, as he knocked in the game-winner in the second half to help lead the Dynamo to a crucial 2-0 win over the New England Revolution.

Must-See Goal: Ryan Johnson

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Henry sets the table as Red Bulls rebound with key victory vs. hapless Toronto FC

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New York Red Bulls star Thierry Henry returned from his one-match suspension in style, tearing apart Toronto FC's defense to help the Red Bulls snap their recent funk and give them a much-needed boost.

Henry notched three assists before capping his stellar night with a perfect long-range chip to lead the Red Bulls to a 4-1 thrashing of last-place TFC in front of an announced sell-out crowd at Red Bull Arena on Saturday night.

Crew edge Union on questionable Mirosevic winner

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The Philadelphia Union pulled off a tremendous comeback on Saturday night, battling from 2-0 down to tie things up against the Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium, but a blown call helped the home team earn a crucial victory and hand the Union another heartbreaking result.

Milovan Mirosevic scored in the 87th minute on a goal to give the Crew a 3-2 victory that help stay within range of the Houston Dynamo for the fifth and final playoff spot in the East.

Earthquakes late-game heroics continue with Lenhart brace in draw vs. FC Dallas

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By BRYAN ROBISON

After taking the lead twice in the final third of the match, FC Dallas thought they were going to escape Buck Shaw Stadium with a crucial three points. But Steven Lenhart denied the visiting squad both times, knocking in a pair of equalizing goals to deny FC Dallas of being just the second team to defeat the Earthquakes at home this season, as the thrilling match ended in a 3-3 draw.

Sounders earn playoff berth after holding Whitecaps to scoreless draw at BC Place

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Camilo had the goal in his sights, and three points in the grasp of the Vancouver Whitecaps, but rather than seal a sorely-needed victory with a clutch last-minute winner, the Brazilian striker sent a great scoring chance just inches wide of the far post.

The final whistle blew just seconds later, bringing an end to a testy clash of Cascadia rivals, with the Seattle Sounders and Whitecaps settling for a scoreless draw at BC Place on Saturday night.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Brad Guzan and Aston Villa have gotten off to a poor start to the season, and things don't figure to get any easier today as they take on surprising West Bromwich Albion.

The Baggies have started the season 3-1-1 and will be favored against a Villa side coming off a blowout loss to Southampton.

Must-See Goal: Jozy Altidore

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MLS Match Night: Your Running Commentary

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After a Friday night showdown between the top two teams in the Eastern Conference, the playoff race continues tonight with several teams fighting for their post-season lives tonight.

After four consecutive wins, Columbus has fallen off the pace, falling behind the Houston Dynamo for the final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt.

Fire remain resolute despite loss to Sporting KC

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

KANSAS CITY, Kansas- The Chicago Fire saw their bid for first place in the Eastern Conference batted away on Friday night, with Sporting Kansas City posting a 2-0 victory that extended their lead on the second-place Fire to five points.

The loss might seem to put an end to the Fire's chance of overtaking KC for the top spot in the East, but a game in hand means the race isn't quite over.

Dempsey opens Spurs account with winner against Man Utd

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Another big game, another goal for Clint Dempsey.

Tottenham Hotspur ended their long winless streak at Old Trafford that dates back to 1989 on Saturday, and it was Dempsey who provided the decisive finish in Spurs' 3-2 victory over Manchester United.

Dempsey opened his Tottenham scoring account early in the second half by knocking home a rebound seconds after a Nani goal had trimmed Spurs' lead.

Must-See Goal: Martin Jiranek

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Saturday Ticker: World Cup schedule released, Diaby injured, and more

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BY JOEY SAMUEL

The 2014 World Cup may still be almost two years away, but that doesn't mean it's too early to start thinking about when you might be watching all of the tournament's matches.

On Friday, FIFA unveiled the dates and times of each and every one of the 64 games that will be played in Brazil in 2014, and the schedule will prove quite favorable to fans in North America.

Diskerud scores to cap Rosenborg romp

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photo by ISIphotos.com

Rosenborg BK jumped into the top spot of Eliteserien on Friday with a big victory over Haugesund, and Mix Diskerud contributed to the fun by netting his first league goal for the club.

Diskerud capped the scoring in Rosenborg's 5-2 win over Haugesund on Friday, sliding in from close range to redirect a low cross in the 88th minute of the match.

Sporting Kansas City vs. Chicago Fire: Match Night Commentary

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First place in the MLS Eastern Conference is on the line tonight at Livestrong Sporting Park as first-place Sporting Kansas City takes on the second-place Chicago Fire (8:30pm, NBC Sports).

Sporting KC returns home after a successful road trip and they face a Chicago Fire side that is on the roll, having won four straight.

Galaxy Notebook: With CCL quarterfinal berth clinched, focus now on MLS stretch run

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BY KAYLA KNAPP

Carson, CALIF. — The Los Angeles Galaxy were paying attention to an important game last night, but it wasn't one they were playing in. The Puerto Rico Islanders defeated Metapan 3-0 in their CONCACAF Champions League group stage match.

Zusi's brace leads Sporting KC past Fire

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

Sporting Kansas City's hold on the Eastern Conference got even tighter on Friday as the East leaders outplayed their closest competitor in the East to post an impressive victory and extend their lead to five points.

Graham Zusi scored goals in each half and Sporting KC's defense posted another shutout to earn a 2-0 victory against the Fire at LiveStrong Sporting Park.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

A hugely important London Derby headlines a full slate of matches on Saturday as English Premier League leaders Chelsea take on fierce rivals Arsenal in an early-morning showdown.

The Blues enter Saturday atop the EPL table with four wins and a draw in their first five games, but they face a massive test in the Gunners, who despite sitting in fifth place are also unbeaten themselves.

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

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Chelsea has jumped out to an impressive start to the English Premier League season, but they will face perhaps their toughest test to date when the travel to the Emirates to take on an improving Arsenal side in the weekend's most high-profile soccer match.

The Gunners are undefeated to start the season, much like Chelsea, but three draws from five matches has Arsenal needing to bag all three points against the Blues in order to re-establish themselves as a top four team in the Premier League.

Klinsmann discusses Lichaj, Altidore, qualifying and more in ESPN interview

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Jurgen Klinsmann is little more than a week away from bringing together the U.S. men's national team for the World Cup qualifying matches that will determine whether the team advances to the Hexagonal Round, or crashes and burns. He helped provide some good insight into his thought process on player selections, preferred positions for certain players and the status of some national team prospects in a wide-ranging interview with ESPN.

USMNT Daily Update: What an all-MLS national team lineup might look like

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

A popular question being asked these days about the U.S. national team is "Where are the MLS players?" With Landon Donovan missing so many matches for the U.S. lately, and with Geoff Cameron having made the move to Stoke City in the summer, the number of regular U.

MLS Week 30: A Look Ahead

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By THOMAS FLOYD

First place in the Eastern Conference will be on the line tonight when two of the hottest teams in MLS meet at Livestrong Sporting Park.

The Chicago Fire, winners of seven of their past eight, will travel to face a Sporting Kansas City team that is unbeaten in eight.

A look at Freddy Adu's frustrating season (and all the assists that could have been)

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Freddy Adu enjoyed his best game of the season last weekend, scoring two goals before suffering an injury that forced him to leave the Philadelphia Union's win against the Houston Dynamo.

It's just been that kind of year for the playmaker, who has endured a rough season along with the rest of the Philadelphia Union.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 29

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As we head toward the final month of the MLS regular season, the San Jose Earthquakes and Sporting Kansas City continue to set the pace in their respective conferences, but the LA Galaxy just might be rounding into the strongest team in the league.

The Earthquakes were thoroughly impressive in out-playing Seattle in Seattle last weekend to secure a win and hit the 60-point mark.

College Weekend Preview: Notre Dame meets UConn, Indiana takes on Penn St., Duke battles North Carolina, and more

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The battle for Big East supremecy will be waged in Connecticut on Saturday when UConn, the No. 2 team in the latest SBI Top 25, takes on No. 5-ranked Notre Dame in the weekend's marquee match-up.

The Fighting Irish are riding high after scoring a big road win against No. 12 Indiana, but UConn will present a significantly tougher test.

European Weekend Preview: Chelsea takes on Arsenal, Barca and Sevilla meet in battle of La Liga unbeatens, and more

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By NICK IUELE

The English Premier League has another appetizing week of matchups in store, headlined by defending Champions League winners Chelsea against an in-form Arsenal side. The Blues hold their perch atop the table, but Arsenal has played very well of late and should provide a stiff challenge.

Altidore scores in AZ Alkmaar cup win

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photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

Jozy Altidore's dream start to the season only continues to get better and better.

Altidore scored his latest goal for AZ Alkmaar on a penalty kick that capped the scoring in a 4-1 rout over second division club SC Veendam in the second round of the KNVB Cup on Thursday.

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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photo by Joe Toth/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Clint Dempsey made a habit of coming up big in marquee matches during his time with Fulham, and Tottenham Hotspur are surely hoping that will also hold true, beginning with this weekend.

Spurs are set to pay a visit to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United in a game that might mark Dempsey's toughest challenge in the early goings of his Tottenham career.

USMNT Daily Update: Livestrong Park's chance to be the new go-to WCQ venue

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By IVES GALARCEP

When the U.S. Men's National Team takes on Guatemala at Livestrong Sporting Park next month in World Cup qualifying, there will be more on the line than a spot in the Hexagonal round of CONCACAF qualifying. The stadium the game is being played in will be competing for a new role as the national team's preferred home for marquee qualifiers.

MLS Ticker: Beckham returns, Soumare out for the season, and more

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After being sidelined for three weeks, David Beckham has recovered from an ankle injury and could make his return to action for the Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday when they take on the Colorado Rapids.

Beckham resumed training this week and is on the verge of returning to action after missing the team's past two MLS victories against the Colorado Rapids and Toronto FC.

Classic Must-See Goal: Diego Maradona

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Mid-Day Ticker: Pardew given eight-year deal, FIFA sets World Cup kickoff times, and more

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Alan Pardew is credited with having done one of the best managing jobs in Europe last year in helping guide Newcastle United to the brink of a UEFA Champions League place. Newcastle rewarded him for that success on Thursday by signing him to a new eight-year contract.

"If you look at clubs like Manchester United and Arsenal, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger have shown that stability gives you the best platform to achieve success and that is the model we wish to emulate here," Newcastle managing director Derek Llambias told the BBC.

Kick TV: The FIFA 13 Launch Party

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Thursday Kickoff: Terry suspended, Rooney returns in Cup win, and more

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John Terry has been suspended for four matches and fined£220,000 after the English FA found him guilty of misconduct relating to racial slurs Terry was accused of hurling at Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand last season.

Terry, who retired from the England national team last week in protest of the FA's handling of the case, can appeal the decision.

College Soccer Rewind: Notre Dame tops Indiana, Marquette stays perfect, & more

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Notre Dame bounced back from their first loss of the season with a victory that re-establshes their place as one of the nation's top teams.

Fighting Irish centerback Grant Van De Casteele headed home a Dillon Powers corner kick in the 71st minute to give SBI No.5-ranked Notre Dame a 1-0 victory over No.

College Soccer: Indiana and Notre Dame clash in tonight's marquee match-up

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Notre Dame fell from the ranks of the unbeaten last weekend, but they will have a chance to re-assert their status as one of the top teams in the country when they take on Indiana tonight (7pm) in a battle of Midwestern powers.

The Hoosiers, No. 12 in the SBI Top 25, will look to hand the Fighting Irish their second straight loss.

Americans Abroad: Midweek Rewind

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photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

For the second time in four days, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim scored three goals en route to picking up three points and for the second time in four days, Fabian Johnson accounted for one of those tallies.

Having netted in Hoffenheim's 3-1 win over Hannover 96 on Sunday, Johnson once again contributed to the club's cause by capping the scoring in Hoffenheim's 3-0 victory against VfB Stuttgart on Wednesday.

Must-See Goal: Francesco Totti

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USMNT Daily Update: How Klinsmann has embraced the 'empty bucket' philosophy without actually playing it

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When Jurgen Klinsmann because U.S. Men's National Team head coach more than a year ago, there was a widely-held belief that he was going to usher in a new era of attack-minded American soccer, and he would do away with the perceived ultra-defensive approach Bob Bradley was deemed guilty of subjecting U.

Kick TV: Jimmy Conrad in Mexico City (and a Clint Mathis sighting)

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Wednesday Kickoff: Villa and Leeds pull Cup upsets, Vidic sidelined and more

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Manchester City's disappointing start to the new campaign continued on Tuesday, with Aston Villa knocking the defending English Premier League champions out of the Capital One Cup with a 4-2 comeback victory.

City held an early lead on the Villans, but Paul Lambert's side rallied to send the match into extra time, where Charles N'Zogbia and Gabriel Agbonlahor provided the winning goals.

SBI MLS Save of the Week: Brad Knighton

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College Soccer Rewind: Tulsa knocks off Creighton, UNC wins in OT, and more

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Tulsa freshman forward Christian Mata stole the show on Tuesday night, scoring two goals to help lead the Golden Hurricanes to a 2-0 upset win against No. 20-ranked Creighton in Oklahoma.

Mata opened the scoring in the 56th minute when he finished off a pass from Bryce Follensbee, then added his second in the 86th minute to help Tulsa improve to 6-3 on the season.

CONCACAF: Toronto FC rolls, Herediano wins close to set up RSL decider, & more

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Toronto FC is facing a serious challenge to advance out of the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League, but on Tuesday they did what they had to do to keep those modest hopes alive.

Terry Dunfield scored twice, and Quincy Amarikwa provided a goal and assist, to help Toronto FC roll to a 3-0 victory against Salvadoran side CD Aguila in Champions League group stage action in San Salvador.

Sounders to let fans vote to keep or replace GM

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If you have ever wished you could vote to have the person who runs your favorite sports team fired, or kept, the Seattle Sounders are making that dream come true for their fans.

Sounders season-ticket holders and members of The Alliance, the club's official member assocation, will take part in an online vote to either retain general manger Adrian Hanauer (pictured on the left), or to replace him.

College Soccer: UConn, Georgetown and North Carolina in action tonight

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Fresh off a resounding victory against St. John's on Saturday, UConn will look to avoid the road upset against Yale tonight.

Ranked No. 2 in the latest SBI College Soccer Top 25, the Huskies are still undefeated and will look to avoid the upset against a Yale team that pushed them to overtime last year.

Highly-anticipated FIFA13 released nationwide

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By FRANCO PANIZO

NEW YORK -- The day so many soccer fans in the United States have been anxiously waiting for is finally here, and the prepared reasons for missing work have surely already begun hitting employers' desks across the nation.

EA Sports' FIFA Soccer 13 hit shelves at midnight on Tuesday and its highly-anticipated release is sure to satisfy the cravings of gamers who have been needing a new fix after playing last year's edition ad naseum.

USMNT Daily Update: After more than a year away, it's time to bring back Lichaj

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By IVES GALARCEP

If you are wondering who the guy is defending against Liverpool star Steven Gerrard is, it is American fullback Eric Lichaj. He just happens to be the only American defender playing with any regularity in the English Premier League (Geoff Cameron has been more midfielder than defender so far for Stoke), and has been doing so since the early part of 2012.

Backe's curious decision to move McCarty (and how it could cost RBNY the playoffs)

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

When the New York Red Bulls welcomed back a handful of key players from injury recently, it meant that one of Major League Soccer's most talented rosters was back to full strength and head coach Hans Backe would have a plethora of options at his disposal as he tried building the best possible squad to make a title run.

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

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Photo courtesy of University of Louisville

The University of Louisville didn't get off to the best start to the season, but the Big East power is slowly rounding into form and looking more like a team to avoid as the college season gets rolling.

The Cardinals were one of four teams to play their way into the Top 25 this week.

SBI MLS Goal of the Week: Juninho

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MLS Ticker: Nguyen out for season, Billionaire plans AEG bid, and more

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photo by Andrew Katsampes/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

If the New England Revolution are going to pull off some upsets during the final few weeks of the season, they will have to do so without Lee Nugyen.

The Revolution midfielder underwent surgery to correct chronic instability in his right shoulder on Monday morning and he will be out for the remainder of the year.

The USMNT Daily Update: Bradley resume training and what his comeback means for the USMNT qualifiers

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By John Todd/ISIPhotos.com

Both Jurgen Klinsmann and U.S. Men's National Team fans everywhere breathed sighs of relief this morning amid word that midfielder Michael Bradley was back in full training with AS Roma after being sidelined for the past three weeks with a thigh injury.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Luis Silva

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From a team standpoint it was another rough week for Luis Silva but from an individual standpoint, theToronto FC midfielderenjoyed as good a week as possible.

Silva scored a goal and assisted on another in Toronto's 4-2 loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy, earning him SBI's MLS Rookie of the Week award.

USA-Guatemala qualifier on Oct. 16th at Livestrong Sporting Park is sold out

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The last home match of the U.S. Men's National Team's current qualifying round will be a sellout.

The U.S. team's group stage finale against Guatemala on Oct. 16hth at Livestrong Sporting Park, a match that will ultimately decide which two teams from CONCACAF Qualifying Group A advance to the Hexagonal Round, has sold out, U.

College Soccer Weekend Rewind: Unbeatens fall, UConn rolls, and more

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Three of the remaining teams in Division I men's college soccer with perfect records suffered their first losses of the season last weekend, leaving Marquette and Cornell as the lone remaining teams in the nation with unbeaten and untied records.

Louisville knocked off Notre Dame in a battle of Big East heavyweights, with Andrew Farrell converting the winning penalty kick to give the Cardinals a 2-1 victory against the Fighting Irish on Saturday.

NASL Week 25: A Look Back

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The celebration began even before kickoff and even that was not enough to stop the San Antonio Scorpions.

Having already clinched the NASL regular season title a day earlier because of the Tampa Bay Rowdies' failure to pick up three points, the Scorpionsplayed to a 1-1 draw with Minnesota Stars FC in their regular season finale on Sunday.

Manchester City 1, Arsenal 1: Match Highlights

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SBI MLS Best XI (Week 29)

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIPhotos.com

The Los Angeles Galaxy are rolling up the Western Conference standings, and Robbie Keane and Juninho are leading the team's charge.

Both players scored two goals in the Galaxy's 4-2 drubbing of Toronto FC on Saturday, providing the latest outstanding efforts in what have been tremendous seasons for both.

Monday Morning Centerback: For young goalkeepers, it isn't easy being green

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Photos by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

Wine and goalkeepers get better with age. It isn't hard to argue with the second part of that statement if you watch Major Leaue Soccer with any regularity. In a league that, for the first time in its history, has three goalkeepers 23 and younger starting regularly for their teams, finding youthful reminders of the importance of goalkeeping experience is never difficult.

Adu bags brace as Union down Dynamo

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By JOEY SAMUEL

CHESTER, Pa. -- Freddy Adu hasn't always lived up to the hype during his time in Philadelphia, but on Sunday, he delivered one of his best performances in a Union uniform as he led the club to victory.

The mercurial midfielder scored after an impressive individual effort in the 28th minute before converting a second-half penalty kick and the Union went on to defeat the Houston Dynamo, 3-1, at PPL Park.

D.C. United win another close one to pull into tie with RBNY for third place in East

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Photo by Tony Quinn/ISIPhotos.com

Life without Dwayne DeRosario doesn't figure to be easy for D.C. United, but for the second straight match they benefited from tough defending and some opportunistic finishing to pull out a close victory without the reigning league MVP.

Branko Boskovic came off the bench and delivered a game-winning goal in the 64th minute, heading home a Lionard Pajoy cross to give D.

Whitecaps drop points again as Smith's late equalizer salvages draw for Rapids

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The Vancouver Whitecaps are feeling the heat in the Western Conference playoff race, and a recent winless skid made Sunday's match against the Colorado Rapids a vital one for their playoff hopes.

A pair of second-half goals by Alain Rochat and Kenny Miller gave the Whitecaps control, and erased a first-half strike from Omar Cummings, but Jamie Smith spoiled the party at BC Place when he powered through the Whitecaps defense and unleashed an equalizer in te 86th minute to help the Rapids earn a 2-2 draw in Canada.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim finally won their first game of the Bundesliga season by upsetting Hannover 96, and both Fabian Johnson and Danny Williams played a part in making that happen.

The two U.S. men's national team players went the distance and scored goals for Hoffenheim in their stunning 3-1 victory over Steve Cherundolo and Hannover.

European Weekend Rewind: Man United downs Liverpool, Dortmund falls and more

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By NICK IUELE

The English Premier League did not disappoint this weekend as Arsenal and Manchester City settled for a 1-1 draw and Manchester United defeated Liverpool, the result decided with less than 10 minutes remaining in both matches.

City was under the impression that Joleon Lescott's 40th minute header was enough to down the Gunners, but Laurent Koscielny beat Joe Hart in the 82ndminute to salvage a point.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Chris Wondolowski

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As impressive as Chris Wondolowski's goal totals have been in recent years, it is his penchant for delivering clutch goals that makes his exploits all the more impressive.

Wondolowski provided crucial goals in both of San Jose's matches last week, coming off the bench to score both goals in the Earthquakes 2-2 draw vs.

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

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The past week wasn' exactly a lesson in beautiful soccer for D.C. United, but for a team that recently lost reigning league MVP Dwayne DeRosario to an injury, finding a way to generate vital results in the thick of a playoff race is beautiful in its own right.

Riding some tough defending and some opportunistic finishing, D.

Liverpool 1, Manchester United 2: Match Highlights

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UEFA Champions League Rewind: Ronaldo winner caps Madrid-City thriller, Arsenal rallies, Milan stalls, and more

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For one thrilling moment on Tuesday, Real Madrid saw all its struggles and early-season troubles disappear. Cristiano Ronaldo, he if the recent sad disposition and semi-permanent frown, delivered a crucial game-winning goal to cap a thrilling UEFA Champions League opener against Manchester City in a match that ended with a barrage of goals.

Real Madrid 3, Manchester City 2: Match Highlights

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SBI Men's College Soccer Top 25

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We are just mid-way through September, and the number of college soccer teams with perfect record has already been paired down to just three, and of those three, none are teams you would have expected to be part of that select company.

Notre Dame, Old Dominion and Marquette have all enjoyed dream starts to their 2012 campaigns, with the Fighting Irish looking the most impressive of the bunch.

SBI MLS Spotlight: Higuain enjoying life in America

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BY DAVE MARTINEZ

To understand the Columbus Crew's Federico Higuain, you have to know where he is coming from.

The dynamic forward, and the Crew's newest Designated Playe, was born and raised in the bustling metropolis of Buenos Aires, and he comes from a culture where soccer is king.

SBI Live Q&A set for 1pm today

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

If you want talk about anything from MLS to the U.S. national team to European soccer, feel free to join us at 1pm today, when I will be answering questions from SBI readers.

Want to talk about the best USMNT lineup, or perhaps the national team's recent offensive struggles?

Madrid and Man City in the spotlight as UEFA Champions League kicks off today

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The UEFA Champions League Group Stage kicks off proceedings today with one of the most compelling match-ups of the round as Real Madrid takes on Manchester City in a battle of big-spending champions.

Real Madrid's domestic campaign is off to a disappointing start, with just one win in four matches, but Jose Mourinho is determined to get his team off to a good start in a group that is easily the most difficult in the Champions League (a group that includes City, Borussia Dortmund and Ajax).

Field-Level View: USA 1, Jamaica 0

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SBI Live Q&A (Sept. 18th Edition)

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

It has been a while since our last Q&A, but with so much going on in the soccer world now seems like the perfect time to catch up and discuss everything. Want to talk U.S. national team or MLS or international soccer, or college soccer?

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 28

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The San Jose Earthquakes continued to lead Major League Soccer as the steamroll toward an inevitable Supporters Shield, but they aren't the only team in the midst of a serious roll toward the pre-season.

The LA Galaxy pushed their unbeaten streak to five matches, posting their fourth shutout victory in five matches, with last Friday's victory against the Colorado Rapids.

Must-See Tribute: Everton remembers the Hillsborough 96

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Everton and Liverpool are fierce rivals, but the neighbors share a unique bond not fond among all rivals. That much was evident on Monday, when Everton paid tribute to the victims of the Hillsborough tragedy before Monday's match at Goodison Park against Newcastle.

Here is the tribute:


Everton tribute to the 96 by emmysguysandgals


Demba Ba brace, missed calls help Newcastle tie Everton

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Everton scored for goals against Newcastle on Monday at Goodison Park, but only two of them were officially counted as goals.

A pair of blown calls, one on a bad offside call that ruled out a Marouane Fellaini goal, and another that negated a Victor Anichebe goal, opened the door for Demba Ba to salvage a point for a Newcastle side desperate for one.

Monday Kickoff: Aguero could face Real Madrid, QPR's Johnson sidelined, & more

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Manchester City is preparing to start a very difficult UEFA Champions League group this week and could receive a major boost ahead of a showdown vs. Real Madrid with the return of Argentine striker Sergio Aguero.

Sidelined for the past month with a knee ligament injury, Aguero has traveled to Madrid with Manchester City ahead of Tuesday's high-profile group stage clash and could feature in the match.

SBI MLS Team of the Week: Chicago Fire

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Though they aren't being talked about much, the Chicago Fire can certainly stake a claim to the title of hottest team in Major League Soccer.

The Fire have won six of seven matches to climb into second place in the Eastern Conference, and their recent victories against Toronto FC and Montreal helped them reach the 50-point mark.

Monday Morning Centerback: On Altidore, his AZ hot streak and misguided criticism of his form for the USMNT

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By IVES GALARCEP

If you took a look at the leading scorers in Europe's top leagues right now, the list would include many of the most prolific scorers in the world. Lionel Messi leads La Liga with six. Robin Van Persie has four for Manchester United, tied for the most in the English Premier League.

SBI MLS Best XI (Week 28)

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D.C. United lost Dwayne DeRosario for the rest of the regular season, but that didn't stop them from reviving their playoff hopes with a big win and no player played a bigger role in that win than Chris Pontius.

The D.C. left winger scored a goal and assist to help D.C.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Matt Hedges

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

When the 2012 MLS season began, Matt Hedges was penciled in as a rookie option off the bench for FC Dallas, but as the year has gone on he has established himself as a regular starter and ever-improving presence for a team on the comeback.

Hedges showed this past weekend just how far he has come.

SBI MLS Goal of the Week: Thierry Henry

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KickTV: Jimmy Conrad pays a visit to the Portland/Seattle derby at Jeld-Wen Field

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NASL Week 24: A Look Back

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The San Antonio Scorpions returned home to their faithful fans for the first time in nearly a month, but the Carolina RailHawks crashed the party by pulling off the upset.

The RailHawks stunned the league-leading Scorpions, 2-1, during the penultimate week of the NASL regular season on Saturday courtesy of a second-half goal from Ty Shipalane at Heroes Stadium on Sunday night.

Which new faces should Klinsmann call in October?

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

Jurgen Klinsmann had a chance to take a good, long look at several players in the U.S. Men's national team's recent training camps and World Cup qualifiers, and it is a safe bet some of those players won't be back.

The question now becomes just which new players will Klinsmann take a look at when the team reconvenes in October for the final two matches of the qualifying round.

USMNT on the Road to Brazil

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Marquez ready to make RBNY comeback

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Photo by ISIPHotos.com

BY DAVE MARTINEZ

HARRISON, N.J.-- Having played in one third of the Red Bull's regular season matches (9 of 27), and appearing for just five minutes of play during the course of the past eight weeks, Rafa Marquez finally feels fit enough to return to the team and contribute in a major way.

Fire loan Barrouch to Israeli team Bnei Yehuda

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

The Chicago Fire have loaned out young forward Orr Barrouch to Israeli side Bnei Yehuda for the rest of the year, the club announced on Thursday.

The 20-year-old Barrouch has played in nine matches for the Fire this season. In 2011, Barrouch notched two goals and two assists in 2011.

D.C. United faces familiar challenge after De Rosario injury

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By AVI CREDITOR

WASHINGTON -- At this time last season, D.C. United was coping with the long-term injury to Chris Pontius, a key attacking player whose injury ultimately provided too much to overcome en route to missing out on the playoffs.Almost exactly a year to the day later, it's deja vu for D.

Name the Clint Dempsey Face

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Photo by John Todd/ISIPhotos.com

You surely have seen it by now. Clint Dempsey's hilarious face aimed at Jamaica's Ryan Johnson as the two exchanged words during the U.S. team's 1-0 victory on Tuesday.

Dempsey didn't take too kindly to Johnson's attempt at talking tough and responded with a face that was equal parts crazy and funny.

Earthquakes land rights to Marcus Tracy

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The San Jose Earthquakes won the MLS lottery for the rights to forward Marcus Tracy.

San Jose had a 4.6 percent chance to land the former Wake Forest standout, but beat the odds to add the promising prospect to an already stacked stable of forwards.

Tracy, who signed with Danish side Aalbor BK before knee injuries cut short his stint in Europe, is still recovering from micro-fracture knee surgery and seems to be more of a long-term project than an immediate contributor.

What is the USMNT Best XI heading into October?

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

After the past two World Cup qualifiers against Jamaica, there are plenty of new ideas about just what is the best possible starting lineup for the U.S. Men's National Team when everybody is healthy. With two important qualifiers looming next month, it is time to think about what Jurgen Klinsmann's Best XI will be.

DeRosario sidelined 10-12 weeks with MCL Sprain

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The MLS playoff hopes for D.C. United and World Cup qualifying hopes for Canada both took a major hit on Thursday amid word that playmaker Dwayne DeRosario will miss 10-12 weeks with a sprained MCL.

D.C. United announced the severity of the injury, which DeRosario suffered during Canada's World Cup qualifying loss to Panama last Tuesday.

Eight MLS teams set for Tracy lottery

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Come Thursday morning, Marcus Tracy will have an MLS team to call his home.

The weighted lottery for the former Wake Forest standout, Hermann Trophy winner and Aalborg BK striker will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday.Of the 17 eligible teams for the lottery (Vancouver and Colorado are prohibited after winning the rights to Lee Nguyen and Kamani Hill earlier this season), eight are participating, MLS announced Wednesday evening.

Fire climb to second in East, officially eliminate Toronto FC from playoff hunt

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Toronto FC's quest to reach the MLS postseason for the first time in franchise history will have to wait until at least 2013.

The Reds, in a playoff drought since the club's inception in 2007, became the first MLS team to officially be eliminated from playoff contention in 2012 after the Chicago Fire went into BMO Field and walked away with a 2-1 victory Wednesday night.

Zusi performance vs. Jamaica a sign of progress for USMNT newcomer

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By FRANCO PANIZO

COLUMBUS, Ohio --That Graham Zusi started in the U.S. men's national team's 1-0 win over Jamaica on Tuesday was a surprise to most. That Zusi was able to leave such a mark in the much-needed win was an even bigger eye opener.

That is, to most except U.

Wednesday Ticker: Hillsborough details emerge, Iniesta injured and more

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More than two decades after the tragic events at Hillsborough Stadium that claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool fans, an independent investigation has uncovered and revealed some disturbing details about the incident.

According to a report released Wednesday, police and security authorities, who deflected the blame for the 1989 stampede on Liverpool fans and covered up the true details, could have done more to prevent the incident, and as many as 41 of the 96 who perished could have survived had they received treatement in a more timely manner.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Tony Cascio

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With the Colorado Rapids turning to an alternate forward partnership with Conor Casey nursing an injury and Omar Cummings away on international duty, rookie Tony Cascio stepped up to help deliver a convincing victory with one of his best performances in his first season MLS.

Cascio starred in Colorado's 3-0 win over the Portland Timbers Friday with a goal and an assist to take home SBI MLS Rookie of the Week honors.

USMNT reacts to win over Jamaica

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CONCACAF qualifying: Mexico clinches, DeRo hurt in Canada loss and more

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Only five places remain up for grabs in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying hexagonal.

Mexico became the first nation to clinch a place in the final qualifying round, topping Costa Rica 1-0 at Estadio Azteca Tuesday night on the strength of a 60th-minute Javier Hernandez header.

Must-See Goal: Carlos Ruiz

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SBI MLS Team of the Week: New England Revolution

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After a franchise-record winless skid, the New England Revolution have been reduced to the role of MLS playoff spoiler, and that's exactly the role they played this past week in cooling off the hottest team in the league.

The Revolution snapped a 10-game winless stretch by ending the Columbus Crew's six-game unbeaten streak with a 2-0 result to claim SBI MLS Team of the Week honors.

Who was your USMNT Man of the Match?

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photo by ISIphotos.com

The U.S. men's national team enjoyed one of their most thorough performances under Jurgen Klinsmann in their victory over Jamaica on Tuesday night, and several players put forth strong showings in a 1-0 win that was not as close as the score indicates.

USA 1, Jamaica 0: Match Highlights

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A special night for Williams for multiple reasons

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

COLUMBUS, Ohio-- On the 11-year anniversary of Sept. 11th, every American at Crew Stadium had their own story for how they remember that fateful day. For Danny Williams, the tragedy was burned into his memory as a young boy in Germany watching his American father cry as they watched the images on television.

Tracy signs with MLS

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One of the more heralded U.S. attacking prospects of the past few years is coming to MLS.

Former Wake Forest standout forward and Hermann Trophy winner Marcus Tracy signed with MLS Tuesday and will be assigned to a team through a weighted lottery on Thursday, two days prior to the roster freeze deadline, the league announced.

Mexico aims to clinch, Canada looks for repeat showing in CONCACAF qualifiers

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On a night when the U.S. men's national team is in a fight to stave off a worst-case scenario in the semifinal round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, the Mexican national team can wrap up a place in the hexagonal.

Mexico faces Costa Rica at Estadio Azteca and can clinch a spot in the final qualifying round with a win or a draw.

Studio 90: USMNT eyes different result ahead of Jamaica rematch

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USMNT still confident heading into tonight's crucial qualifier vs. Jamaica

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Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- For a team that just played one of its worst matches in recent memory, the U.S. men's national team is heading into tonight's crucial World Cup qualifier against Jamaica sounding extremely confident.

Must-See Goal: Yevhen Konoplyanka

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USA vs. Jamaica: The Pre-Game Tailgate

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

COLUMBUS, Ohio-- The task is a clear one for the U.S. Men's National Team. Win tonight and they ease the pressure on their chances of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup. Tie or lose and the Americans are facing a pressure-packed final two qualifiers come October with no more margin for error.

USA vs. Jamaica: Match Night Commentary

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COLUMBUS, Ohio- Just four days after Jamaica's historic 2-1 victory against the U.S. Men's national team, the Americans will look to get their World Cup qualifying campaign back on track with a win tonight against the Reggae Boyz (8pm, ESPN2/Galavision).

Jamaica is leading Group A with seven points and can move a step closer to the Hex with a victory tonight, while the Americans can pull even with the Jamaicans with a win at Crew Stadium, where the U.

Gomez goal propels USMNT to crucial World Cup qualifying win vs. Jamaica

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photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The U.S. men's national team may not have won by a large margin, but they responded to last week's loss to Jamaica with a strong performance en route to picking up the three much-needed points.

Studio 90: USMNT Back Home in Columbus

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Dempsey: Playing on 9/11 adds special touch to crucial qualifier

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photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- It has been nearly 11 years since the 9/11 tragedy, but the effects from the events that took place that day are still felt by many across the nation each and every year and the U.S. men's national team are no exception.

MLS Notes: Thompson seeks trade, San Jose clinch playoff berth, and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By JOEY SAMUEL

Wells Thompson has seen his playing time dwindle in a big way this season, and now he's looking to move on to greener pastures.

The Colorado Rapids announced on Sunday that the midfielder has requested to be traded to another team in Major League Soccer.

Cherundolo, Bocanegra set to return to lineup for crucial qualifier vs. Jamaica

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

COLUMBUS, Ohio-- There figure to be several changes made to the U.S. men's natinonal team's starting lineup heading into Tuesday's crucial World Cup qualifying showdown vs. Jamaica, and U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has already revealed some of them.

MNT in Germany: Steve Cherundolo (Part 2)

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Red Bulls Notebook: McCarty talks Cahill partnership, Marquez update, and more

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By DAVE MARTINEZ

The New York Red Bulls latest Designated Player, Tim Cahill, has been outspoken about his transition into Major League Soccer but what does his new partner Dax McCarty think?

The 25-year-old veteran of the American top flight has found a solid form all season long while teaming with a plethora of different options in the middle.

CONCACAF World Cup qualifying: A Look Ahead

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photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

While the U.S. men's national team will be trying to avoid falling further behind Jamaica in Group A on Tuesday, 10 other CONCACAF teams will be looking to improve their chances of reaching the Hexagonal round of qualiyfing in what are sure to be intense and intriguing matches.

Klinsmann reviews USMNT loss to Jamaica

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Battery score late to top Hammerheads, claim USL Pro Championship

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photo courtesy of USL Pro

By FRANCO PANIZO

For the second time in three years, the Charleston Battery are the USL Pro champions.

The Battery ended their dream playoff run on by grabbing a 1-0 victory over the Wilmington Hammerheads in the USL Pro Championship at Blackbaud Stadium on Saturday night, giving Charleston their second title since 2010 and fourth overall.

Figuring out the USMNT midfield ahead of Tuesday's showdown vs. Jamaica

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There was a time not too long ago when the U.S. national team enjoyed a wealth of midfield options and a lack of forwards. As the team heads into Tuesday's must-win World Cup qualifier, the Americans are faced with the opposite problem.

Injuries to Michael Bradley and Landon Donovan have exposed a lack of midfield depth and left Jurgen Klinsmann's team lacking attacking punch and stability.

Who should Klinsmann start vs. Jamaica this time?

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

Just two days removed from Friday's disappointing 2-1 loss to Jamaica, Jurgen Klinsmann is left to figure out just which 11 players he can turn to for Tuesday's crucial rematch against the 'Reggae Boyz' in Columbus.

There were few good performances across the board for the Americans, and some that should lead to changes in the lineup.

Sounders 2, Chivas USA 1: Match Highlights

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Johnson brace lifts Seattle over Chivas USA

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By JASON MITCHELL

SEATTLE, Wash. - They play the games for a reason, and for 88 minutes Saturday afternoon swooning Chivas USA (7-12-7) looked like it might defy the odds and earn a draw with the Seattle Sounders (13-6-8).

But this late in the season there are also reasons why some teams are fighting for the Supporters' Shield while others watch their playoff hopes dwindle away.

CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying: Canada, Mexico, Honduras win & more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By BRYAN ROBISON

While Jamaica's win over the United States garnered much of the headlines on Friday, there were plenty of other intriguing World Cup qualifying match-ups that took place in CONCACAF.

The most signifcant was Canada's win over Panama at BMO Field in Toronto.

USMNT reacts to loss to Jamaica

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Jamaica 2, USA 1: A Look Back

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photo by ISIphotos.com

KINGSTON, Jamaica-- Just three weeks after making history by winning in Mexico for the first time, the U.S. team made history again, only it was the kind they definitely didn't want to make.

Jurgen Klinsmann had to know his U.S. team would be in for a tough night without a handful of key veterans, but he also has to know that his teams chances of leaving Jamaica with a point or three were going to hinge on his roster and lineup selections.

CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying: Argentina, Colombia roll and more

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photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Argentina knew that a win would put them in the driver's seat in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying for Brazil 2014, and they took care of business with a relatively easy win over Paraguay on Friday.

Jamaica 2, USA 1: Match Highlights

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United States Women defeat Germany 1-0 to win U-20 World Cup

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By BRYAN ROBISON

Just days after falling to the German club 3-0 in the group stage of the tournament, the United States shocked Germany 1-0 on Saturday to win the U-20 World Cup in Tokyo, Japan. Kealia Ohai scored her second goal of the tournament late in the first half, which proved to be the game-winning goal.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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The weekend off for most league competition continues today, as most leagues are off throughout the weekend with 2014 World Cup qualifying taking place around the globe.

The marquee matchup today for international fans takes place in Glasgow today, as Scotland hosts Serbia, looking to qualify for their first World Cup since 1998.

Jamaica rallies from early deficit to earn first win over USMNT

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By FRANCO PANIZO

For a second straight month, Jurgen Klinsmann and the U.S. men's national team made history, but this time the result was not one they wish to remember.

Weeks after beating Mexico for the first time at Azteca Stadium in a friendly, the United States resumed their World Cup qualifying campaign by suffering a 2-1 loss to Jamaica at National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica on Friday night.

Jamaica vs. USA: Match Night Commentary

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  Â

The U.S. men's national team will attempt to take a big step toward the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying when it faces Jamaica in the fourth match of the six-game semifinal round (8 p.m., beIN Sport). To get three points, though, the Americans will have to do something they have never done in their history: Win a World Cup qualifier on Jamaican soil (0-0-4 all-time).

USMNT on the Road to Brazil

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Studio 90: USMNT seeks first qualifying win in Jamaica

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Garber: MLS offered Drogba more than $10 million per year

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If you did not think MLS had a serious interest in luring Didier Drogba to North America this summer, think again.Â

Speaking at a panel at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit in New York on Thursday, MLS comissioner Don Garber said that the league offered Drogba a salary of more than $10 million per year, which would have been an MLS record.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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Leagues around the world take a back seat to the international game, as World Cup qualifying resumes.

The marquee match for U.S. soccer fans is the U.S. men's national team's battle against Jamaica Friday night, where the U.S. can claim sole possession of first place in its qualifying group with a win.

Where will you be watching Jamaica-USA?

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The U.S. men's national team's path to Brazil 2014 continues Friday night with the first of two World Cup qualifying matches against Jamaica in a five-day span.

The game in Kingston, Jamaica, is the first U.S. men's national team game to be televised on beIN Sport, a network that is being carried on Dish Network and DirecTV and has begun to be rolled out by Comcast in different markets around the country (call your local provider for the latest information leading up to first kick).

Cahill scores in World Cup qualifying tune-up for Australia

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New York Red Bulls Designated Player Tim Cahill has not taken long to find his form in MLS, accounting for a goal and two assists in five matches since joining the league and giving opposing defenders problems with his trademark aerial ability and runs into the area. It was more of the same on the international level for Cahill Thursday night.

U.S. U-20 women set for rematch with Germany in World Cup final

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The U.S. Under-20 women's national team is a game away from being on top of the world for a record third time, but standing in its way is an opponent on a roll, and one that has already dealt the Americans a setback during this year's FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup.

USA vs. Jamaica: A Look Ahead

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

KINGSTON, Jamaica -- A visit to Independence Park, otherwise known as ‘The Office,' for a game against the Jamaican national team isn't really an intimidating experience for opposing teams. If anything, the loud reggae music and female dance squads that entertain fans give national team matches a party-like atmosphere.

Last-second Clark penalty gives Dynamo crucial win over Real Salt Lake

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After the night Nick Rimando had in goal for Real Salt Lake, there's no question he'd like to have one moment back.

Rimando, who saved a Brad Davis penalty and a point-blank Will Bruin header late in the second half, committed a foul on Mac Kandji that led to a last-second penalty, one that Colin Clark converted to give the Houston Dynamo a 1-0 victory over RSL at BBVA Compass Stadium Thursday night.

World Cup Qualifying: European teams start their journeys, CONMEBOL action resumes, and more

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photo by ISIphotos.com

World Cup qualifying is set to get back into full swing on Friday and there should be plenty of quality and drama as 66 teams will be in action in an attempt to further solidify their place in Brazil 2014.

Europe will be the site for most of those matches, as UEFA's World Cup qualifying will begin with 22 matches.

Mid-Day Ticker: Zenit in talks over Nani deal, Starikov goes on loan, & more

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photo by Matt West/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The transfer window may be closed throughout most of Europe but one country in which it is still open is Russia, and one club there is trying to take advantage of that by luring Manchester United winger Nani.

Who should Klinsmann start vs. Jamaica?

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The U.S. Men's National Team takes on Jamaica in World Cup qualifying on Friday and with stars Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley set to miss out, Jurgen Klinsmann will have some important decisions to make on how he shapes his lineup without those two stars.

Without Donovan and Bradley, and potentially without Clint Dempsey, the U.

Fire captain Pause shakes off pain to return from injury scare in playoff hunt

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Photo by ISIphotos.com


By JEFFREY KRAUSE

Nobody should question Chicago Fire captain Logan Pause's threshold for pain and drive to return to the field from injury after what transpired in the last month.

During an Aug. 12Â game against the Philadelphia Union, Pause, 31, was defending a corner kick when Bakary Soumare, his former teammate on the Fire and current Union defender making his team debut, elevated for the ball, inadvertently striking Pause from behind.

Americans Abroad Spotlight: Chandler still open to USMNT despite club focus

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Photo courtesy of FC Nurnberg

By FRANCO PANIZO

It has been almost a year since Timmy Chandler last played for the U.S. men's national team and although he has turned down a number of recent call-ups due to injuries or fatigue, the talented youngster insists he is still open to representing the United States in the near future.

CONCACAF World Cup qualifying: A Look Ahead

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photo by Tony Quinn/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. men's national team will be looking to get a few steps closer to the 2014 World Cup when they take on Jamaica in their third match in the third round of CONCACAF qualifying on Friday, but they won't be the only ones in action.

Mourinho refuses to open up about Ronaldo situation

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photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

If Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho knows the reasoning behind why star attacker Cristiano Ronaldo is currently unhappy, he is not sharing it with the rest of the world.

Mourinho has remained mum on the subject of Ronaldo's public unhappiness with the club and when he was pushed for a response about the situation by a reporter, the Portuguese coach responded by saying that he did not want to talk about the situation.

MNT in Germany: Steve Cherundolo

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Thursday Kickoff: Atletico rejected several Falcao offers, Chelsea hopes to re-sign Cole, and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

It is no secret that Radamel Falcao is one of the premier strikers in world soccer right now, so it should come as no surprise that several inquiries were made for his services during this past summer transfer window.

Atletico Madrid chief executive Miguel Angel Gil Marin revealed Wednesday he turned downed Falcao interest from four clubs this past summer, including Chelsea and Manchester City.

Rapids turn tables on Timbers, coast to home victory

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What a difference a few days made for the Colorado Rapids and Portland Timbers.

After Portland stifled the Rapids with a 1-0 result at Jeld-Wen Field last Friday to put the 2010 MLS Cup winners in last place in the Western Conference, the Rapids bounced back with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over the Timbers at Dick's Sporting Goods Park Wednesday night.

Revolution halt Crew's hot streak, snap 10-game winless skid

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The New England Revolution had not won in 10 matches. The Columbus Crew had not lost in six. With one result, both streaks are over.

The Revolution found a way to cool off Designated Player Federico Higuain and the red-hot Crew, earning a 2-0 home victory to snap a franchise-worst winless skid and halt Columbus' momentum in the race for a postseason berth.

MLS Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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The international break means that most MLS teams are out of action this week, but there are still a pair of games Wednesday night, including one that will have the attention of all of the teams in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

The Columbus Crew, winners of four straight games and unbeaten in their last six, can end the night as high as third place in the East and be within a point of second-place New York.

SBI MLS Best XI (Week 26)

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Dwayne De Rosario made history in MLS' Week 26, and he also made his way to SBI's MLS Best XI.

De Rosario's 100th career goal was the highlight of his week, which included two quality performances for D.C. United against New York and Real Salt Lake.

Frings out for season with hip injury

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Toronto FC started the season with three Designated Players. None of the three will finish the season on the field with the club.

With Julian de Guzman traded to Dallas and Danny Koevermans out for the season with a torn ACL comes word that captain Torsten Frings will be forced to miss the remainder of the season with a hip injury that requires arthroscopic surgery.

Bayern Munich youth striker headlines U.S. U-18 Sept. training camp roster

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Meet Julian Green, the latest German-American with a strong club pedigree to suit up for a U.S. youth national team.

Green, a Bayern Munich U-19 forward who was born in Tampa, Fla., and has represented Germany on the youth level, is among 20 players called in by coach Javier Perez for the U.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 26

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The Columbus Crew are making some serious waves as the season reaches its most vital point on the calendar.

The Crew's second consecutive six-point week not only catapulted them into the Eastern Conference playoff picture, but also up a couple of spots to eighth in SBI's MLS Power Rankings as they brace for another match Wednesday night against sputtering New England.

Galaxy sign Swedish veteran Wilhelmsson

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The Los Angeles Galaxy are gearing up for the stretch run of their MLS Cup title defense, and they've added a Swedish international midfielder with valuable experience to help them in the final months of the season.

With 10 days to go until the MLS roster freeze deadline, the Galaxy announced the signing of Christian Wilhelmsson, adding a 32-year-old wide midfielder who was part of the Sweden Euro 2012 team and also played in the 2008 European championship, 2006 FIFA World Cup and the UEFA Champions League.

Americans Abroad Spotlight: Altidore overcomes obstacles to hit stride with AZ

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photo courtesy of AZ Alkmaar

By FRANCO PANIZO

Jozy Altidore may be finding the back of the net more frequently than ever and may be playing some of the best soccer in his career, but that is not to say the recent success has come easy for the young American striker.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Month: Austin Berry

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When the Chicago Fire selected University of Louisville centerback Austin Berry with their first-round pick in January's SuperDraft, they hoped they were getting a player who could come in and contribute immediately. While injuries across the Fire back line may have accelerated his growth curve, Berry has certainly proved that he was ready for the rigors of MLS all along.

NASL moves to split-season schedule

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Starting next season, the NASL is making a radical change to its schedule and competition format, one along the lines of something that some have been calling for MLS to adopt as its own.

NASL announced Wednesday that in 2013, as opposed to the current format in which the regular season is followed by a typical playoff set-up, the league will be played in a split-season, Apertura-Clausura style.

USA up to 33 in FIFA rankings

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The U.S. men's national team's victory over Mexico at Estadio Azteca in last month's friendly was touted as one that closed the gap between the two nations. At the very least, that is most definitely true in terms of FIFA rankings.Â

The United States' win was good for a three-place boost in the FIFA rankings, and it cost Mexico three places as well, as the Americans are up to 33rd in the world, while El Tri is down from 18th to 21st.

Studio 90: USMNT comes together ahead of qualifiers against Jamaica

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Wednesday Kickoff: Del Piero signs with Sydney FC, Carroll injured and more

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Juventus legend Alessandro Del Piero is continuing his career in Australia.

The 37-year-old Italian became the highest-paid signing in A-League history Wednesday, completing a $2 million deal with Sydney FC for the upcoming season. Reports of Del Piero's signing with Sydney made the rounds late last week, but Premier League sides Liverpool and Southampton and both expressed late interest in signing him, making for a less certain race for his signature.

Gudjohnsen set for Sounders trial

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Even after the additions of Christian Tiffert and Mario Martinez, the Seattle Sounders might not be done adding to their attack just yet.

According to the Seattle Times, Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer said that former Chelsea and Barcelona attacker Eidur Gudjohnsen will be with the club on trial this week ahead of the Sept.

SBI MLS Team of the Month: Sporting Kansas City

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After another strong month, Sporting Kansas City sit atop the MLS Eastern Conference standings and are just three points off the pace for the Supporters' Shield. That's not all that the club was able to accomplish in August, though.Â

A 3-0-1 record in MLS play coupled with the second U.

Dempsey gets back to work as USMNT continues preparations for qualifiers

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Preparations for two World Cup qualifiers against Jamaica continue for the U.S. men's national team, and according to U.S. Soccer, all 23 players had arrived in Miami (Nick Rimando will replace Sean Johnson in camp after the first match) ahead of Tuesday's training session.

SBI MLS Player of the Month: Federico Higuain

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Few new signings, let alone Designated Players, have come into MLS and had the immediate impact along the lines of what Federico Higuain has had with the Columbus Crew.Â

Higuain netted three goals and four assists in four matches in his first month in MLS, leading the surging Crew to a 3-0-1 record in that time and making him a natural selection for SBI's MLS Player of the Month for August.

Mid-Day Ticker: PSG rule out Ronaldo, Owen signs with Stoke City and more

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Cristiano Ronaldo's reported sadness with his situation at Real Madrid won't be leading to a shock move to Paris this week.

Paris St-Germain sporting director Leonardo ruled out a major swoop for Ronaldo prior to Wednesday's close of France's transfer window. The speculation was sparked by Ronaldo's comments over the weekend that he was unhappy with his professional situation, and big-spending PSG became a likely destination considering what they are capable of spending.

SBI MLS Team of the Week: Columbus Crew

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If recent MLS seasons have taught anything, it is that teams can get hot at the right time toward the end of the season, enter the playoffs with momentum and go on an MLS Cup run. The Columbus Crew are attempting to become the latest to try and test that notion.

Riding the exploits of Designated Player Federico Higuain, Columbus posted a second-straight two-win, six-point week to push into the Eastern Conference's top five and the heart of the playoff race and capture SBI MLS Team of the Week honors.

SBI MLS Save of the Week: Dan Kennedy

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NASL Week 22: A Look Back

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By FRANCO PANIZO

For 80 minutes, the Tampa Bay Rowdies were unable to break open a 10-man Ft. Lauderdale Strikers team, and the final regular-season match between the two bitter Florida rivals seemed destined to end in a scoreless draw.

Then the final 10 minutes came.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Nick DeLeon

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Nick DeLeon spent his pre-professional days looking up to Dwayne De Rosario and trying to model his game after the D.C. United captain and MLS great. This past week, he combined with him twice for two notable moments.

DeLeon bounced back from an illness to finish off a pass from De Rosario for a goal, and he then returned the favor by assisting De Rosario for his 100th career goal in D.

U.S. U-20 women defeat Nigeria to advance to World Cup final

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The U.S. Under-20 women's national team will get a chance to make up for its one major blemish at this year's World Cup on the biggest possible stage.

Goals from Morgan Brian and Keaila Ohai lifted the U.S. U-20s to a 2-0 victory over Nigeria in the semifinals at National Olympic Stadium in Tokyo Tuesday, putting them in position capture a third U-20 World Cup title.

Tuesday Kickoff: Friedel maintains No. 1 role, Meireles heads to Turkey and more

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Tottenham's acquisition of standout French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris figured to put American Brad Friedel's starting job in jeopary, but after Friedel's showing on Saturday, Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas has made it clear that the 41-year-old veteran is still the man to beat for the job.

Dempsey discusses leaving Fulham for Tottenham

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Clint Dempsey took part in the U.S. Men's national team practice sessions on Monday in preparation for the team's upcoming qualifiers against Jamaica, but it was the subject of his club status that drew the most attention on Monday.

Dempsey's last-minute transfer to Tottenham from Fulham ended a roller coaster ride of a last month, one that saw him ostracized from Fulham as he pushed hard for a transfer.

SBI MLS Goal of the Week: Juninho

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Monday Ticker: Zenit lands dynamic duo Hulk and Witsel, Liverpool owner addresses fan concerns, & more

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By BRYAN ROBISON

After weeks of speculation on where the Brazilian striker would end up, the aptly named Hulk is headed east to FC Zenit Saint Petersburg. This comes just days after his current club, FC Porto, reportedly declined a rumored €50 million offer.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Federico Higuain

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The Columbus Crew put together another two-win week, and the driving force behind the team's recent surge continues to be Argentine playmaker Federico Higuain.

The newcomer continued to confound MLS defenses last week, recording multiple assists in a pair of comeback victories for the Crew.

Sad Ronaldo reveals unhappiness after recent match

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By BRYAN ROBISON

After becoming the tenth player in Real Madrid history to score 150 goals with the club, Cristiano Ronaldo seemed to show a lack of enthusiasm, and admitted as much after the match that he refused to celebrate the milestone.

Klinsmann discusses the state of American soccer

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USMNT Notes: Dempsey to be assessed, Klinsmann touches on absences, and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. men's national team has a pair of important World Cup qualifiers with Jamaica looming, and just how big of a role Clint Dempsey will have in those matches has yet to be determined.

USL Pro semifinals: A Look Back

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Orlando City entered the playoffs as the heavy favorites to claim the USL Pro championship. They had done so in 2011 and ramsacked through the regular season this year en route to securing homefield advantage throught the postseason.

No one told the Wilmington Hammerheads that.

European Weekend Rewind: Van Persie shines, Roma rolls, and more

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By NICK IUELE

Manchester United striker Robin van Persie proved why he was worth every penny of his $38 million transfer from Arsenal, bagging a hat trick in the Red Devils' 3-2 victory over Premiership new boys Southampton.

The Dutch international opened with a first-half strike before scoring two more goals in the 87th minute and second minute of second-half stoppage time to erase a 2-1 Southampton lead.

Liverpool 0, Arsenal 2: Match Highlights

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Southampton 2, Manchester United 3: Match Highlights

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Earthquakes trounce Chivas USA to extend lead atop Western Conference

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The San Jose Earthquakes just keep on winning and Chivas USA just keeps on bleeding goals and squandering chances to get into the Western Conference playoff race.

In a result that should have been inevitable considering the form of the Earthquakes attack and the sad state of the Chivas USA defense, the Earthquakes rolled to a 4-0 victory at Buck Shaw Stadium on Sunday night.

Zakuani, Perez mark returns with assists as Sounders tie FC Dallas in Frisco

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By BRYAN ROBISON

FRISCO, TX - On a night where two stars made their returns to the starting lineup after lengthy injury layoffs, Seattle's Steve Zakuani and FC Dallas' Blas Perez each resumed their roles as key difference makers.

Early Nyarko goal sets the tone as Fire topple Dynamo to grab third place in East

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By JEFFREY KRAUSE

BRIDGEVIEW, IL- On a night when the Chicago Fire needed a result badly to keep their playoff prospects strong, Patrick Nyarko helped deliver a dream start.

The rest of Nyarko's FIre teammates saw to it that the perfect start culminated in the ideal result.

MLS Match Night: Your Running Commentary

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Three matches unfold across Major League Soccer tonight, each with its own playoff implications as the regular season's stretch run continues.

In the Eastern Conference, a matchup between two teams currently occupying playoff spots sees the Chicago Fire host the Houston Dynamo with just one point separating the two teams.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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photo courtesy of GEPA-pictures.com/Wien Energie

By FRANCO PANIZO

Terrence Boyd's start to the season has been better than many could have imagined, and he continued his run of good form by inspiring Rapid Vienna to their latest victory.

Three days after scoring a goal that helped Rapid Vienna advance to the Europa League group stage, the young U.

Weekend Ticker: Swedish mid on trial in LA, World Cup ball named, and more

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By JOEY SAMUEL

Last night, the Los Angeles Galaxy continued their climb up the Western Conference standings with a win over Vancouver. And as they push to qualify for the playoffs, they could be ready to add yet another veteran to the fold.

Klinsman names 25-man USMNT roster for Jamaica qualifiers

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Jurgen Klinsmann has called in a 25-man roster for the U.S. men's national team's upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Jamaica.

Here is the full roster:

GOALKEEPERS (4)Â : Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DEFENDERS (9)Â : Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Maurice Edu (Stoke City), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis), Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaelland), Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City)

MIDFIELDERS (8)Â : Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Joshua Gatt (Molde), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Jose Torres (Pachuca), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

FORWARDS (4Â ): Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur), Herculez Gomez (Santos)

What do you think of this roster?

U.S. U-20 WNT prepares for World Cup semifinal against Nigeria

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Rosell's late winner lifts Sporting KC to victory over Toronto

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Sporting Kansas City preserved their top spot in the East on Saturday, but they were made to work for it by the team at the bottom of the conference.

Newly-acquired Oriol Rosell scored an 87th-minute winner as Kansas City topped Toronto FC, 2-1, at Livestrong Sporting Park.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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After two weeks Arsenal are yet to record a win or even score a goal in Premier League play this season, but they will look to change that today as they face Liverpool.

A re-tooled Liverpool side loaned away striker Adam Carroll before the transfer deadline, while picking up Turkish midfielder Nuri Sahin.

Revs, Union finish scoreless in drab draw

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There was nothing on the line for the New England Revolution and Philadelphia Union when they squared off at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night, and it is probably a good thing.

Two teams playing out the string put together a forgettable 90 minutes of soccer and wound up settling for a 0-0 draw.

Red-hot Juninho leads Galaxy over Whitecaps

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BY KAYLA KNAPP

CARSON, Calif.—The Los Angeles Galaxy continued their lifetime series domination of the Vancouver Whitecaps, posting a comfortable 2-0 victory at the Home Depot Center on Saturday night.

The Whitecaps have never beaten the Galaxy, and they never looked close to pulling that off at any point during the game—they only had two shots throughout the 90 minutes.

Higuain rallies Crew past Impact

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The Montreal Impact took a 1-0 lead on the Columbus Crew in their important Eastern Conference clash on Saturday, but in a scene that Crew fans have become all too familiar with in recent weeks, Federico Higuain drove the Columbus attack to a victory.

Emilio Renteria headed home a Higuain cross in second-half stoppage time to lift the Crew to a 2-1 victory at Crew Stadium on Saturday night.

U.S. Women thump Costa Rica as Sundhage begins unofficial farewell tour

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The same day the news hit that Pia Sundhage was leaving her job as U.S. women's national team head coach, the Olympic gold medal-winning U.S. women played their first match since the Olympics and treated fans to a showcase of attacking prowess.

Manchester City 3, Queens Park Rangers 1: Match Highlights

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MLS Match Night: Your Running Commentary

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The two hottest teams in Major League Soccer face off tonight with playoff dreams on the line as the Montreal Impact visit Crew Stadium to take on the Columbus Crew.

The Impact and Crew wouldn't have been pegged to be playing a Game of the Week candidate a month ago, but Montreal's five-game winning streak and the Crew's five-match unbeaten streak have changed things and now both teams are on the verge of breaking into the playoff places in the Eastern Conference.

Jones scores winner as Schalke tops Augsburg

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Jermaine Jones has made quite a habit out of receiving yellow cards but on Saturday he picked up something entirely different: Three points for Schalke 04.

Jones scored the winner in Schalke's 3-1 triumph over FC Augsburg, making a long, dribbling run from the right flank before firing home a low shot to the far corner to give the club a 2-0 lead.

Spotlight on Geoff Cameron

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Geoff Cameron continued to solidify his starting role with new club Stoke City, playing 90 minutes in the Potters' 2-2 draw at Wigan Athletic on Saturday.

It has been a whirlwind few months, and an unforgettable year for the 27-year old, who has made the transition to the English Premier League, as well as the U.

Sundhage stepping down as USWNT head coach to return to Sweden

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Pia Sundhage has led the U.S. Women's national team to two Olympic gold medals during her four years in charge, but that wasn't enough to keep her around for another four years.

Sundhage's desire to return to her native Sweden has led her to decide to leave the U.S. teamÂ

"It was an honor to be able to coach these players for five years and I learned a tremendous amount from them," Sundhage said in a statement released by U.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Brad Friedel has started an English Premier League record 306 straight matches, but after Tottenham's acquisition of star French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris on Friday, that streak looks to be in jeopardy. Friedel will make it 307 starts in a row today as he leads Tottenham against Norwich City in what might be his final Premier League start for some time.

Dike goal leads Timbers to second straight win, downing collapsing Rapids

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The Portland Timbers may be doing too little, too late to help the team's chances of making a playoff run in 2012, but another commendable effort suddenly has the once-struggling Timbers slowly turning things around.

Bright Dike slotted home a Sal Zizzo cross just before halftime to give the Timbers all they needed to squeeze out a 1-0 victory against the faltering Colorado Rapids.

Must-See Hat-Trick: Falcao

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It is difficult to put into words just how impressive Radamel Falcao's masterful three-goal performance was against Chelsea in Friday's 4-0 victory in the European Super Cup, so we will let you watch the goals and tell us what comes to mind after watching them.

Enjoy:

Chelsea European Soccer hat trick Foxsports European Super Cup msn radamel falcao amp all tags