Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2013

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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The latest installment of 'El Clasico' kicks off today as Barcelona takes on Real Madrid in the first leg of their Copa Del Rey semifinal series, just one of several quality matches on a loaded Wednesday of soccer action.

Barcelona's dream season has seen them run away with La Liga, and cruise to the Champions League knockout rounds, but Real Madrid is sure to offer a stiff challenge despite the fact the team is mired in controversy amid rumored strife between manager Jose Mourinho and Real Madrid's top players.

Sporting KC loan Kamara to Norwich City

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The winter MLS exodus is in full swing and Kei Kamara has joined the crop of MLS players heading to Europe this off-season.

Sporting Kansas City has loaned Kamara to Norwich City, with the deal including a purchase option that could see Kamara leave MLS for good. If Norwich City passes on buying Kamara outright, Kamara could return to Sporting KC as early as May 6th.

Anderlecht closing in on Najar transfer

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By IVES GALARCEP

The on-again, off-again, transfer of Honduran national teamer and D.C. United standout Andy Najar is back on again, with D.C. United and Belgian club Anderlecht agreeing on a transfer for the former MLS Rookie of the Year.

Sources with knowledge of the deal have confirmed to SBI that D.

MLS Spotlight: Findley returns to RSL in pursuit of comfort zone

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By THOMAS FLOYD

In Robbie Findley's mind, this sluggish phase of his once-vibrant career should be cured by a simple dose of consistency.

There sure wasn't much of that going around during his past two seasons with second-tier English side Nottingham Forest FC. Flipping through five managers in two years will do that.

Gatt flashes speed, promise as one of few bright spots for USMNT vs. Canada

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BY DARRELL LOVELL

HOUSTON – In match that will be remembered for failed chances and missed opportunities, Joshua Gatt was one of the closest things to a silver lining for the U.S. Men's National Team after Tuesday's drab showing.

USMNT 0, Canada 0: A Look Back

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By IVES GALARCEP

It is probably the last thing you want to do, isn't it? Look back at Tuesday night's horror show of a scoreless draw delivered by the U.S. Men's National Team against a Canada side that had no intention of just laying down and being anybody's punching bag.

It was forgettable, drab and disappointing, at least for a good majority of the very players Jurgen Klinsmann was counting on to show they were ready for future consideration for the national team.

USMNT vs. Canada: Match Night Commentary

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The U.S. Men's National Team kicks off U.S. Soccer's 100th year, and a very important year for a variety of reasons, with tonight's friendly against Canada in Houston (9pm, ESPN2).

An MLS-heavy side will take the field at BBVA Compass Stadium tonight, with players looking to impress Jurgen Klinsmann enough to not only gain ground on the USMNT depth chart, but also to potentially earn a place on the World Cup qualifying squad that will travel to Honduras for the Feb.

USMNT and Canada finished scoreless yet again

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Jurgen Klinsmann entered the U.S. Men's National Team's friendly against Canada wanting toerase the memory of last summer's dull scoreless draw in Toronto.

Rather than forget the bitter feelings from that game, they were compounded, as a young and inexperienced Canada squad held an inexperienced U.

USA 0, Canada 0: Match Highlights

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Wednesday Kickoff: Zeman could be sacked, Rodgers wants Gerrard extention, and more

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BY DAN KARELL

One of the brightest story lines so far this season has been the play of American midfielder Michael Bradley at AS Roma. In just his first season at the club, the 25-year-old has carved out a near permanent place in the starting lineup, and has earned plaudits from the Romanisti faithful, as well as the coaching staff, for his play, as well as his never-ending motor.

REPORT: Kamara poised for transfer to Norwich City

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Sporting Kansas City is being pegged as a serious championship contender after making several major off-season additions, but it is a potential second high-profile departure that could put a serious dent in this championship plans.

The BBC in England is reporting that Sporting KC midfielder Kei Kamara is on the verge of a move to Norwich City, pending the receipt of a work permit.

Altidore plays on through racist abuse, leads AZ to romp over FC Den Bosch

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By IVES GALARCEP

Jozy Altidore has faced his share of adversity in his pro career, but he has never faced anything quite as ugly as what he experienced on Tuesday.

Altidore was the subject of racist abuse from fans of Dutch side FC Den Bosch during their Dutch Cup clash with Altidore and AZ Alkmaar.

Red Bulls hire Fraser as assistant coach

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By IVES GALARCEP

The New York Red Bulls head into the 2013 season with a head coach who has zero head coaching experience. That doesn't mean the team's coaching staff won't have at least some head coaching experience on it.

The Red Bulls have signed former Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser to be the team's lead assistant coach, sources within the team told SBI on Tuesday.

Red Bulls lacking midfield options as regular season approaches

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By FRANCO PANIZO

By most accounts, the New York Red Bulls have had a dream offseason. They have added a number of veterans with MLS experience, disposed of some big contracts and a malcontent Designated Player, and signed an American to be their head coach.

Mid-Day Ticker: ‘Qatargate’ slams FIFA with corruption allegations, FA charges Ferguson, and more

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By MICHAEL KLINE

As if Sepp Blatter and FIFA did not already have enough yolk on their faces regarding the 2022 World Cup bidding process.

France Football magazine, in a 16-page report, has accused FIFA of awarding Qatar the 2022 World Cup on grounds of corruption.In the report titled 'Qatargate', Michel Platini was said to have been present at a secret meeting in the French presidential palace in Paris with Qatari prince Tamin bin Hamad al-Thani and the previous owners of Paris Saint-Germain.

Espinoza, Bernardez headline Honduras roster for upcoming USMNT qualifier

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Honduras head coach Luis Suarez has released the roster that will take on the U.S. Men's National Team in their World Cup qualifier on Feb. 6, and it is loaded.

Roger Espinoza, Victor Bernardez and Maynor Figueroa headline Honduras' 23-man roster for their battle with the U.S. at San Pedro Sula next Wednesday.

Balotelli joins AC Milan for €20 Million

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BY MICHAEL KLINE

AC Milan have agreed on a fee with Manchester City for 22-year-old striker Mario Balotelli.

Pending a medical on Wednesday,Balotelli will sign a four-and-a-half year contractwith Milan that will keep him at the San Siro until 2017.

The deal, thought to be in the region of €20m, will reunite the eccentric Italian with Serie A less than three years after his transfer from Inter Milan to Manchester City in August of 2011.

This Week’s Soccer on TV

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They may be far apart in the Spanish League standings, but that won't make the latest installment of the Barcelona-Real Madrid derby any less intriguing.

The Spanish giants meet on Wednesday in the week's most high-profile match-up, with Barcelona riding high and Real Madrid enduring controversy amid reported tension in the locker room.

USMNT vs. Canada: A Look Ahead

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By IVES GALARCEP

It may just be a friendly, and isn't likely to be played in front of the biggest crowd, but tonight's 2013-opening match for the U.S. Men's National Team carries more weight than any January match in recent memory.

When the USMNT takes on Canada tonight (9pm, ESPN2) they will be playing more than just a friendly.

BREAKING: Shea being sold to Stoke City pending physical

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By IVES GALARCEP

The long and winding saga that has been Brek Shea's inevitable departure to Europe has taken yet another strange turn as just days after it seemed he might not be heading anywhere during this transfer window now comes word that he is on the verge of a transfer move.

Tuesday Kickoff: O’Brien signs with Nordsjaelland, Guardiola set to spend big for Bayern, and more

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BY DAN KARELL

The same month that another American left Danish side Nordsjaelland for greener pastures, a new American has stepped in to join the Danish champions.

Midfielder Conor O'Brien has signed a two-year contract with Nordsjaelland, joining the club on a free transfer after having his contract with Norwegian side Sonderjyske expire.

Wondolowski confident heading into USMNT showdown vs. Canada

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BY DARRELL LOVELL

HOUSTON – In a camp of players looking to get their first look with the USMNT, Chris Wondolowski is hoping to finally cash in on his latest chance.

The MLS scoring demon has accomplished everything at the MLS level but success has escaped him at the international, and it is not for a lack of chances.

Mid-Day Ticker: Galatasaray sign Drogba, Xavi inks extension, and more

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BY JUSTIN FERGUSON

Turkish Super Lig club Galatasaray has reportedly captured their second massive signing of the January transfer window, signing former Chelsea star Didier Drogba from China's Shanghai Shenhua.

The 18-month deal for Drogba comes a week after Galatasaray finalized a transfer for Inter Milan's Wesley Sneijder.

Report: O’Brien in talks with Odense BK over move

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Conor O'Brien may soon be moving up the food chain over in Denmark.

O'Brien is currently in negotiations with Odense BK after becoming a free agent at the end of 2012, according to a report from Danish outlet Bold. O'Brien spent much of the past two years of his career with fellow Danish outfit SonderjyskE, but is poised to make a move to a new club in the coming weeks after choosing not to re-sign with SonderjyskE.

VIDEO: Klinsmann looks back at USMNT camp and ahead to Canada friendly

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USMNT Notes: Zusi taking leadership role, date for Honduras roster set, and more

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By DARRELL LOVELL

HOUSTON – In a year Graham Zusi has gone from a player looking to break his way into head coach Jurgen Klinsmann's plans, to one that is seeing that the next level is well within his grasp.

Zusi entered the 2012 January camp looking to work his way onto the US roster.

MLS Ticker: Sounders land Neagle, Galaxy name Klein team president, and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Lamar Neagle and the Seattle Sounders just cannot get enough of one another.

Seattle re-acquired Neagle on Sunday in a trade with the Montreal Impact, marking the third time the 25-year-old midfielder will play for the Sounders.

Inside the 2013 MLS SuperDraft: Episode 3

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Galaxy rookies face tough challenge of making squad for defending champions

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By OMAR SHAMOUT

It's hard for any rookie to find their role on a new team, but joining the back-to-back MLS Cup champions is an even tougher hurdle. Luckily for the LA Galaxy's three MLS SuperDraft selections, key personnel changes have opened the door for them to claim a spot in head coach Bruce Arena's squad as full preseason training begins Monday.

European Weekend Rewind: Upsets aplenty in FA Cup, Messi and Ronaldo shine, and more

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BY JUSTIN FERGUSON

Just chalk it up to the magic of the Cup.

Sixteen Premier League teams entered the Fourth Round of the FA Cup at the beginning of this weekend. Five were knocked out of the competition by lower level clubs. Three needed late winners to avoid the dreaded replay.

The SBI Podcast: Episode 5 with special guest Eddie Johnson

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By IVES GALARCEP

Eddie Johnson enjoyed a dream 2012, resurrecting his career and re-establishing himself as one of the best American forwards around. He prepares to kick off the new year on Tuesday night when he and the U.S. Men's National Team take on Canada in Houston.

Johnson joined us on the latest episode of The SBI Podcast and shared his thoughts on 2012, the current U.

Morning Ticker: Cape Verde pulls ANC stunner, Merseyside teams add midfield depth, and more

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BY DAN KARELL

African minnows Cape Verde, competing in their first ever African Cup of Nations, stunned the continent with a dramatic 2-1 victory over Angola on Sunday, sealing a place in the knockout round of the competition.

The island nation, with a population of 500,000, scored two goals in the final nine minutes of the match, including one in injury time, to secure a historic victory.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

If the U.S. Men's National Team forwards play against Honduras on Feb. 6 as well as they did this weekend, Los Catrachos are in trouble.

Three Americans found ways to make impacts for their respective clubs, including Herculez Gomez. A day after his grandmother passed away, Gomez started for Santos Laguna and set up an insurance goal in their 2-0 win over Leon on Friday.

MLS Notes: Dynamo duo sidelined, SKC and Revs tie in pre-season opener, and more

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Omar Cummings and Corey Ashe head into the 2013 season as projected starters for the Houston Dynamo, but now both may miss the start of the season after undergoing surgeries to repair some knee issues.

The the procedures are being deemed minor by the Dynamo, the timetable on the returns of Ashe and Cummings is between four to six weeks, which leaves both players for the March 2nd against D.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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The early rounds of the FA Cup are always intriguing because of the potential for upsets and the match-ups between English Premier League powers and once-might clubs now struggling in the lower divisions.

Sunday offers just those kind of opportunities, with former EPL side Leeds United taking on Clint Dempsey and Tottenham while Brentford faces Chelsea.

Saturday Ticker: Man United sign Zaha, Honduras and Costa Rica in Copa Centroamericana Final

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BY DAN KARELL

One of the hottest prospects in the English game will be plying his trade up north, starting July 1.

Wilfried Zaha, just 20-years-old, completed his deal with Manchester United yesterday afternoon, signing a five-and-a-half-year contract with the Premier League club for a reported £15 million transfer fee.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Geoff Cameron and Stoke City face a stiff challenge on their quest for a deep run in the FA Cup when they take on Manchester City in a rematch of the 2011 FA Cup Final.

Yaya Toure is absent due to the African Cup of Nations, while Mario Balotelli and Samir Nasri are injury questions heading into a match against a Stoke City side with their own share of injury woes.

This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

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By FRANCO PANIZO

If Geoff Cameron and Stoke City are going to advance out of the fourth round of the FA Cup this weekend, they will need to avoid a repeat performance of their first match of the new year.

Stoke City and Manchester City are set to do battle at Britannia Stadium on Saturday, and the Potters will be aiming to eliminate the Premiership heavyweights while avenging the 3-0 loss they suffered back on Jan.

Altidore scores again, ties career-high for goals in another AZ victory

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Make that 15 Eredivisie goals and 19 across all competitions this season for Jozy Altidore.

Altidore scored his latest goal for AZ Alkmaar on Friday,netting the third goal for the club in a 4-1 victory over VVV Venlo. The U.S. Men's National Team striker put the game out of reach by running onto a through ball played in behind the defense and opening his hips before slotting a shot to the far post.

MLS Ticker: Chivas USA trades Townsend to United, Rapids land Eloundou, and more

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Chivas USA's firesale of non-hispanic players continues.

Chivas USA dealt former University of Maryland forward Casey Townsend to D.C. United on Friday, a little more than a year after selecting him with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft.

European Weekend Preview: Manchester clubs face EPL foes in FA Cup, Barcelona looks to bounce back, and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Without a true major matchup in the non-English leagues, the focus this weekend will largely be on the intriguing sixteen matches that will comprise the fourth round of the FA Cup.

The league-leading Manchester sides will both face familiar top-flight foes in the competition, withSir Alex Ferguson's United squad battling Fulhamin Saturday's spotlight match.

National Soccer Hall of Fame reveals 2013 candidate class

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Taylor Twellman, Jason Kreis, Ben Olsen, and Chris Armas are among the 22 candidates for the 2013 National Soccer Hall of Fame.

U.S. Soccer released the 2013 player ballot on Friday afternoon for this year's Hall of Fame class, and it also includes Robin Fraser, Tony Sanneh, John O'Brien and Joe-Max Moore.

Report: Sousa denied work permit, Fraser being lined up as RBNY assistant

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By IVES GALARCEP

The New York Red Bulls head coaching search took some serious twists and turns in recent weeks, and for a time it was unclear just what circumstances led to the sudden hiring of Mike Petke has Red Bulls head coach.

Now we have a clearer picture of what went wrong after the New York Post reported on Friday that leading candidate Paulo Sousa had his application for a work permit rejected after agreeing to take the Red Bulls head coaching job.

Whitecaps part ways with Bonjour

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Martin Bonjour has been suspiciously absent from the start of the Vancouver Whitecaps' preseason camp, and now we know why.

Days after saying that Bonjour was missing because of personal reasons, the Whitecaps waived the Argentine centerback. Bonjour played just one season with the Whitecaps, scoring one goal in 28 appearances in 2012.

Hazard charged by FA for ball boy incident

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As expected, Eden Hazard has been charged by the English FA for kicking a ball boy in this past Wednesday's league cup semifinal match against Swansea City.

The FA charged Hazard on Fridayfor his violent conduct earlier in the week, but ruled that there was not sufficient enough evidence to hand him the customary three-match suspension.

Checketts sells majority stake in RSL

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BY DARRELL LOVELL

The torch of running Real Salt Lake has officially been passed on, as the club announced Thursday that Dave Checketts has sold his majority stake in the club to Dell Loy Hansen, who assumes sole ownership.

Checketts was the driving force behind bringing Major League Soccer to Utah in 2004.

The SBI Podcast: Episode 4 with special guest Jozy Altidore

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By IVES GALARCEP

Jozy Altidore didn't waste any time getting off to a great start to 2013, scoring a hat-trick for AZ Alkmaar in his first match of the new year, and as the U.S. Men's National team draws closer to World Cup qualifying, Altidore figures to play a key role in the U.

Inside the 2013 MLS SuperDraft: Episode 2

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Friday Kickoff: Barcelona win sets up El Clasico in Copa del Rey, Casillas faces lengthy spell on sidelines, and more

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BY DAN KARELL

Millions of football fans around the world cheered last night, not just because Barcelona beat Malaga in the Copa del Rey, but because the win sets up an epic semi-final clash with rivals Real Madrid.

It will be yet another two-legged installment of El Clasico, one of the most watched games in the world, and one that the global audience has had the pleasure of viewing on 12 occasions since the start of 2011.

D.C. United acquire Indonesian midfielder Alam on loan

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D.C. United have bolstered their attacking options, signing midfielder Syamsir Alam on loan from Belgium club C.S. Vise.

United announced the addition of the 20-year-old Indonesian on Friday morning, and Alam joins the club after having spent time at SC Heerenveen and Vitesse Arnhem of the Eredivisie, and Uruguayan side Penarol.

Petke “honored and privileged” to coach Red Bulls

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By VINCE MADURI

After spending ten years serving the club in multiple capacities, as a player, assistant coach and interim coach, Mike Petke finally has his wish come true: he is head coach of the New York Red Bulls.

"I'm honored and I feel privileged to have been put in this situation that I'm in right now," Petke said in a conference call with the media Thursday.

A look ahead to the 2014 MLS Draft Class (The first 2014 SBI Draft Big Board)

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By IVES GALARCEP

It has only been a week since the 2013 MLS Draft wrapped up, and just two days since the Supplemental Draft gave another group to of college players their dream of being selected by a pro team, but MLS scouts are already looking ahead to next year and the players who just might be having their names called when the next draft rolls around.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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By FRANCO PANIZO

With his road to recovery now complete, Stuart Holden has his sights set on regaining his starting spot with Bolton Wanderers and he might get a chance to stake his claim this weekend.

Having been rested for last weekend's match against Crystal Palace, Holden will be available for selection when Bolton takes on Tim Howard and Everton in their FA Cup clash on Saturday.

Kick TV: Jimmy Conrad interviews Sunil Gulati

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MLS East Notes: Restrepo on trial, Impact leave door open for DelPiccolo, and more

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BY DARRELL LOVELL

Could Diego Restrepo be the goalkeeper to push Zac MacMath? He will get his chance to show just that to John Hackworth.

Restrepo told SBI Wednesday that he will make his way to the City of Brotherly Love after a week-long training stint with D.C. United as the former University of Virginia standout is working to find a landing spot in MLS.

Red Bulls name Mike Petke head coach

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By IVES GALARCEP

After months of searching for the right man to lead the New York Red Bulls, the final decision on a new head coach saw the team turn the very man who has been holding the position since the departure of Hans Backe last fall.

The Red Bulls have named Mike Petke as the team's new head coach, ending weeks of speculation and searching by turning to a candidate with strong ties to the club.

Thursday Kickoff: Controversy brewing at Real Madrid, Sao Paulo wins in Libertadores, and more

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BY DAN KARELL

Real Madrid captains Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos have declared a fiery ultimatum to club President Florentino Perez on the matter of manager Jose Mourinho, according to Spanish publication Marca.

In the scathing report, the captains have declared that Perez must either sack Mourinho, or else many of the squad will hand in their transfer requests.

Wednesday Evening Ticker: Swansea advances to historic Cup Final, Madrid and Sevilla reach Copa semis, and more

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BY JUSTIN FERGUSON

Swansea City played Chelsea to a scoreless draw on Wednesday, setting up an eye-opening Capital One Cup final between the Welsh club and League Two's Bradford City.

The Swans will head to their first major cup final after holding onto the 2-0 advantage from the first leg of the semifinal.

MLS and USL PRO announce milestone player development agreement

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By IVES GALARCEP

Major League Soccer and USL-PRO announced a long-rumored player development partnership on Wednesday that will change the MLS development landscape in a significant way in the coming years.

Beginning in 2013, USL PRO and MLS Reserve League teams will take part in interleague play while soe MLS teams will establish exclusive affiliation deals with USL PRO teams.

The SBI Podcast: Episode 3 with special guest Will Bruin

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By IVES GALARCEP

The latest episode of The SBI Podcast is here and Garrett Cleverly and I cover a wide range of American soccer topics including the recent MLS Drafts, Americans Abroad and the U.S. Men's National Team.

Our special guest in Episode 3 is Will Bruin, who made some headlines on Tuesday by scoring a pair of goals in the U.

MLS Ticker: Norwich eyeing Kamara, Whitecaps signing Japanese playmaker, and more

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By VINCE MADURI

Sky Sports in England are reporting that Norwich City have made a bid to Sporting Kansas City aimed at securing forward Kei Kamara to help them avoid the drop in the second half of the season.

The forward has scored nine goals or more in each of his last three seasons, including eleven this past season and was recently named Sierra Leone player of the year.

Angel returns to Atletico Nacional after six years in MLS

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By FRANCO PANIZO

After spending the last 15 years playing for clubs in the United States and around the world, Juan Pablo Angel is heading back to the place where it all began.

Angel has re-joined Colombian club Atletico Nacional, signing a deal with the team where he started his storied career in 1993 and scored 45 goals in 147 league appearance.

Portland and Seattle among host venues announced for 2013 Gold Cup

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By VINCE MADURI

CONCACAF announced the Gold Cup host venues Wednesday and fans in the Pacific Northwest will be happy with the news. Seattle's CenturyLink Field and Portland's JELD-WEN field will both host matches in the biannual tournament.

The Gold Cup is expanding its US footprint by going to several cities that have never hosted one of its matches, including Portland.

Inside the 2013 MLS SuperDraft: Episode 1

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Nelsen to leave QPR and join TFC on Feb. 1

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By HAYES CREECH

Toronto FC's appointment of Ryan Nelsen raised plenty of eyebrows, not the least of which because of the fact it was unclear just when Nelsen would finish playing for Queens Park Rangers.

Nelsen put to rest fears of TFC starting the 2013 season without its coach on the sidelines on Tuesday when he confirmed that he will be leaving QPR and joining TFC on a permanent basis on Feb.

Bruin’s brace leads USMNT to scrimmage win vs. Club Tijuana reserves

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By IVES GALARCEP

Will Bruin is making the most of his first stint with the U.S. Men's National Team, scoring two goals to help the national team post a 3-0 victory against Club Tijuana's reserves in a closed-door scrimmage at Home Depot Center on Tuesday.

Philadelphia defender Jeff Parke provided the third goal for the Americans, who were playing in their final warm-up before the Jan.

Wednesday Kickoff: Bradford City book improbable Cup Final berth, El Salvador qualifies for Gold Cup,and more

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BY DAN KARELL

League Two side Bradford City have achieved the near-impossible, beating Aston Villa 4-3 over two legs to make it to the League Cup Final next month at Wembley Stadium.

Despite playing in the fourth division of English football, the team from the north of England took down three Premier League sides on their way to the finals, starting with Wigan, then Arsenal, before finishing with Aston Villa on Tuesday.

Report: Sousa rejects Red Bulls head coaching job

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By IVES GALARCEP

In what is becoming a recurring theme with the New York Red Bulls, just when they look like they have their guy, something goes wrong and the team is left scrambling.

Just a week after sources told SBI that the Red Bulls and Paulo Sousa had reached an agreement to make Sousa the team's new head coach, a fresh report out of Portugal states that Sousa has decided to pass on the job after initially leaving his head coaching job with Hungarian side Videoton expressly to take the New York job.

Red Bulls, Rapids among busiest teams in MLS Supplemental Draft

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The four rounds of the 2013 MLS Supplemental Draft whizzed by on Tuesday afternoon, and the Colorado Rapids, Philadelphia Union and New York Red Bulls were among the busiest teams.

The Red Bulls opened the day by taking Monmouth midfielder/defender Ryan Clark with the No.

2013 MLS Supplemental Draft: Live Stream and SBI Commentary

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By IVES GALARCEP

The 2013 MLS Supplemental Draft takes place today at 2pm as the league's 19 teams look to uncover some gems in the remaining draft pool.

With the 2013 MLS Draft being just two rounds, the shortest its ever been, the supplemental draft has more talent than ever to choose from and teams could find some really serviceable players.

MLS Ticker: Silvestre on trial with Timbers, Crew sign Glauber, and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The Portland Timbers have added a number of experienced players this offseason under the guidance of new head coach Caleb Porter, and they might soon add another who has played at some of the biggest clubs in the world.

Timbers owner Merritt Paulson tweeted on Tuesday that former Manchester United and Arsenal defender Mikael Silvestre is set to begin a training stint with Portland.

Studio 90: Gonzalez and Wondolowski discuss USMNT camp

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2013 MLS Supplemental Draft set for today (a look at the best available players)

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By IVES GALARCEP

Just five days after the 2013 MLS Draft, the league's 19 teams will have another chance to add from the incoming college talent pool by taking part in today's MLS Supplemental Draft (2pm).

The New York Red Bulls have the first pick in today's four-round draft and the Red Bulls will have several good options to choose from with that top pick.

Whitecaps part ways with Robson

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BY DARRELL LOVELL

The Vancouver Whitecaps took the first step to ending their Scottish experiment moving midfielder Barry Robson out of the club.

As SBI reported last week, the Whitecaps were looking to end their relationship with the Scottish international, Monday the club made it official announcing that it has parted ways with the Designated Player.

USMNT Daily Update: Who should Klinsmann start vs. Canada?

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By IVES GALARCEP

The U.S. Men's National Team's January camp rolls into its final full week of action and Jurgen Klinsmann will need to start thinking about which player he will plan on giving playing time to when the USMNT takes on Canada on Jan. 29th in Houston.

The Americans have a closed-door scrimmage against Club Tijuana's reserves at Home Depot Center, and while that match should offer some players an opportunity to impress Klinsmann, the training camp itself should ultimately determine who Klinsmann hands starts against the Canadians.

Trialists look to impress as MLS training camps get underway

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By VINCE MADURI

MLS teams began training camp Monday and several notable non-roster invitees began trying to impress their new teams and earn a contract. Among the more notable names were former New England Revolution midfielder Blair Gavin, RSL forward Paulo Jr., Colorado Rapids midfielder Jamie Smith and FC Dallas forward Ruben Luna.

Tuesday Kickoff: Kaka transfer hits a snag, Newcastle close in on double signing, and more

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BY DAN KARELL

What seemed almost inevitable a few days ago, now looks to be out of reach.

Kaka, the former talisman of the Brazilian national team and A.C. Milan, was all set for a move back to his former club from Real Madrid, before financial issues have forced the transfer to stall, according to reports.

Mid-day Ticker: Falcao injury update, PSG grieve death of coach, ACON update, and more

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BY MICHAEL KLINE

Atlético Madrid breathed a huge sigh of relief when scans revealed Radamel Falcao's hamstring injury isn't as serious as originally thought.

Falcao was removed from Sunday's match against Levante after aggravating his left hamstring. Scans confirmed no tear was detected in the Colombian's hamstring, alluding to a minor strain.

Arena: Donovan will “Definitely” play for Galaxy in 2013

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By IVES GALARCEP

Landon Donovan isn't ready to return from his off-season, but according to Los Angeles Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, Donovan will be coming back eventually.

The Galaxy opened their training camp on Monday and Donovan's absence quickly made waves, but Arena put to rest any notion that Donovan wasn't returning in 2013, stating that Donovan will come back eventually.

SBI’s 2013 MLS Draft Team-by-Team Grades

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

The 2013 MLS Draft was one filled with wheeling and dealing, and plenty of surprises, but the actual draft picks made were, for the most part, fairly reasonable and this year's draft lacked the true head-scratching selections of year's past.

Dempsey discusses his equalizer vs. Man United

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MLS Ticker: Timbers sign Miller, Sounders complete Montero loan, and more

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Portland Timbers busy off-season continues with their latest addition, another American player with the tools to provide yet another upgrade for Caleb Porter's side.

The Timbers have announced the signingof defender Ryan Miller, which was first reported by SBI last Friday.

European Weekend Rewind: Barca suffers first loss, Tottenham ties Man United, and more

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By NICK IUELE

Going undefeated for an entire season is near impossible, but Barcelona looked like they would never be beaten. However, even the greatest teams falter at times and the clock struck midnight on Barca's amazing run this weekend.

Real Sociedad became the first club to beat Barcelona this term.

Monday Kickoff: Galatasaray seal Sneijder transfer, Ferguson and Wenger fume at referees, and more

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BY DAN KARELL

The long drawn out transfer of Inter Milan midfielder Wesley Sneijder is nearly finished, as Turkish club Galatasaray announced on their club website last night that Sneijder and the club had agreed upon personal terms.

The transfer, for a reported £8 million, will become official upon completion of a medical today in Istanbul.

Minnesota set to sign NASL MVP Campos

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Minnesota Stars are under new ownership, and the signs of that new ownership group's influence are starting to show.

The Stars have been known for fielding one of the best teams in the NASL on a consistent basis under head coach Manny Lagos despite not having the financial backing of an owner.

Union looking to unload Adu, who has likely played his final game for Philadelphia

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Philadelphia Union are ready to part ways with midfielder Freddy Adu and are working hard to ship him out either via transfer or on loan before the start of the 2013 MLS season.

Union head coach John Hackworth revealed the team's plans in a letter to season ticket holders issued on Sunday.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewnid

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Clint Dempsey is officially a thorn in Manchester United's side.

For the second time this season, Dempsey punished Manchester United by scoring a vital goal for Tottenham on Sunday.Dempsey, who scored the winner the last time these two teams met in September, donned the hero's cape by tucking away a 93rd-minute shot from close range to give Spurs a 1-1 draw inside of a snowy White Hart Lane.

Davis relishing his first USMNT look in two years

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By OMAR SHAMOUT

CARSON, Calif. – Houston Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis, 31, says he's relishing his first U.S. men's national team call up under Jurgen Klinsmann. The 2012 MLS MVP finalist earned his last cap under Bob Bradley in a 2010 friendly against El Salvador.

"The older you get the less opportunity that those things are possibly going to happen," Davis said after camp on Thursday.

Sunday Ticker: Balotelli could be sold for right price, Messi ties La Liga record, and more

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BY DAN KARELL

As each day passes, it seems more likely that the Mario Balotelli experiment at Manchester City will be coming to an end.

A.C. Milan is interested in making a bid for the the 23-year-old Italian, though according to a report from Italian publication Gazzetta Dello Sport, Manchester City are holding out for a £31 million transfer fee.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Four of the top six teams in the English Premier League square off in a pair of high-profile match-ups that will headline a packed Sunday of quality matches across the globe.

London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea square off, while EPL leaders Manchester United will look to extend their league lead to seven points with a win against fourth-place Tottenham.

USMNT to face Tijuana in closed-door scrimmage

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The U.S. Men's National Team might be playing in only one official friendly during their current January camp, but that does not mean they aren't playing anybody else.

According to Club Tijuana's website, the reigning Liga MX champions and the U.S. will square off in a closed-door scrimmage this coming Tuesday at the Home Depot Center.

Altidore records hat-trick in AZ romp

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Jozy Altidore returned from the Dutch League's winter break in style, recording a hat-trick in AZ Alkmaar's 4-1 win against Vitesse Arnhem.

All three of Altidore's goals came in a 15-minute span in the second half and the hat-trick haul gives him 14 league goals on the season, tied for second-most in the Eredivisie.

Saturday Ticker: No Holtby for Spurs in January, African Cup of Nations kicks off, and more

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BY DAN KARELL

FC Schalke's Lewis Holtby is unlikely to move to new club Tottenham Hotspur in the January transfer window, according to Tottenham coach Andre Villas-Boas.

The 22-year-old midfielder, who has an English father and German mother, has already signed a pre-contract agreement with the North London club.

Stoke City make bid for Brek Shea

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By IVES GALARCEP

The January transfer window has been a quiet one for Americans, but a major move for a top young American player is in the works.

English Premier League side Stoke City has made a $3 million offer for FC Dallas and U.S. National Team midfielder Brek Shea, sources confirmed to SBI this week.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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For a team that drops points as rarely as Juventus has in recent years, a two-match winless streak is enough to ring alarm bells. With their lead atop Serie A down to three matches, the Old Lady head into their showdown vs. Udinese knowing they can't afford many more slip-ups.

Udinese currently sit in eight place in Serie A, but consecutive blowout wins to start the new year has them feeling confident heading into today's showdown in Turin.

Chicago selects Bywaters, Nairn falls to Seattle in inaugural NWSL college draft

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By J.J. DUKE

Early on Friday morning in Indianapolis, the National Women's Soccer League held their first college draft. For four rounds, each team had the opportunity to add players to their rosters before the inagural season commences in April.

De Rosario, Ricketts headline 22-man Canada roster for camp ahead of Denmark, USMNT friendlies

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Canada's latest roster might be a bit younger than usual, but it still has its share of experienced offensive weapons.

Dwayne De Rosario and Tosaint Ricketts are among the 22 players that Canada interim head coachColin Miller has summoned for an upcoming camp that will run from Jan.

The SBI Podcast: Episode 2 (with special guest Eriq Zavaleta)

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The 2013 MLS Draft is in the books and SBI breaks down the action on Episode 2 of The SBI Podcast.

We have No. 10 pick and Seattle Sounders rookie Eriq Zavaleta on the show to discuss joining the Sounders, being drafted in his hometown and playing for Sigi Schmid, who also coached his father and unclue.

Friday Kickoff: Walcott signs new Arsenal contract, Kaka wants out of Madrid, and more

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BY DAN KARELL

As training finished Friday afternoon at Arsenal's London Colney practice facility, forward Theo Walcott dotted the I's, crossed the T's, and signed his name on a brand new contact extension.

The 23-year-old has agreed to a three-and-a-half-year deal worth £100,000 a week, with a £3 million signing bonus.

Gonzalez open to Galaxy extension, but says no offers have been made yet

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By OMAR SHAMOUT

CARSON, Calif. With only one year left on his contract, LA Galaxy and current U.S. Men's national team defender Omar Gonzalez refused to close the door on extending his stay in Los Angeles beyond next season. But he said there's been no new contract offer from the club as of yet.

Sources: Reyna turned down Red Bulls coaching job

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By IVES GALARCEP

The deal looked all but done just days ago, but sources with knowledge of the New York Red Bulls coaching search tell SBI that Claudio Reyna has turned down the opportunity to be the team's lead assistant coach.

Reyna was pegged as the frontrunner earlier this month to be the assistant for Paulo Sousa, who has been tipped to take over as Red Bulls head coach, but Reyna has apparently made the final decision to pass on the job offer.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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By FRANCO PANIZO

From a pair of high-profile matches to three potential debuts, this weekend has plenty of intriguing matches involving the Americans Abroad contingent.

The arguably two biggest games will take place on Sunday, as Clint Dempsey and Tottenham battle Manchester United while Michael Bradley and AS Roma face Inter Milan.

Revs choose Farrell, Toronto FC shines at MLS SuperDraft

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By VINCE MADURI

Toronto FC lead the way at the 2013 MLS SuperDraft after trading the number one overall selection, then taking Canadian duo Kyle Bekker and Emery Welshman among other selections.

TFC traded the top pick to the New England Revolution, who used it on consensus number one prospect, defender Andrew Farrell of Louisville.

Real Salt Lake re-sign franchise icon Javier Morales

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By DARRELL LOVELL

A day after bringing one former attacker home, Real Salt Lake has struck a deal to keep the face of the franchise in the fold, announcing the club has re-signed Javier Morales.

The Argentine playmaker broke the good news to the RSL faithful Wednesday via twitter, saying he had signed a deal to return to the club.

BREAKING- Timbers part ways with Boyd

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Portland Timbers have parted ways with Scottish forward Kris Boyd, sources confirmed to SBI on Thursday.

The high-priced forward never quite settled in to be the marquee goal-scorer the Timbers were hoping for when they signed him in 2012, but the Timbers have rectified that problem by reaching an agreement with Boyd to buy out his contract and clear his high salary and Designated Player spot from the Timbers' books.

The Final SBI 2013 MLS Draft Big Board

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By IVES GALARCEP

INDIANAPOLIS The 2013 MLS Draft is set to kick off shortly but before we hear the first pick of the day I wanted to drop the final SBI MLS Draft Big Board.

No, it's not as big as the previous Big Boards, but it should help give you a sense of how players are rated heading into today's first round.

2013 MLS Draft: SBI Draft Day Commentary

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By IVES GALARCEP

INDIANAPOLIS The 2013 MLS Draft is here and there is promising to be some serious action on the trade front as teams jockey for position in a draft with some good depth, if not star power.

The New England Revolution hold the top pick now after completing a trade with Toronto FC on Wednesday and all signs point to the Revs grabbing Louisville defender Andrew Farrell.

Wednesday Night Ticker: Rooney scores winner in return, Chelsea blows two-goal lead, and more

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BY JUSTIN FERGUSON

It only took Wayne Rooney nine minutes to make an impact in his return from injury, and his quick goal was all that Manchester United needed to get the FA Cup replay victory over West Ham on Wednesday.

Rooney, who had been out since Christmas Day with a knee injury suffered during training, redirected a pass from Javier Hernandez into a wide-open goal to register his ninth goal of the season.

Edu set to join Bursaspor on loan

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Maurice Edu knows he needs first-team minutes if he is to continue to play for the U.S. Men's National Team in this important calendar year, and as a result he is heading to a team in Turkey that U.S. fans might be familiar with.

Americans Abroad: Midweek Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

AS Roma are one step closer towards winning some hardware and reaching the 2013-14 UEFA Europa League, and Michael Bradley is a big reason as to why that is.

Roma were locked in a scoreless stalemate with Fiorentina and penalty kicks were looming in their Coppa Italia quarterfinals match on Wednesday, but Bradley stepped up to help give the Giallorossi a 1-0 extra-time victory by playing a part in setting up the winner.

The Final 2013 SBI MLS Mock Draft

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By IVES GALARCEP

INDIANAPOLIS The 2013 MLS Draft is a day away and teams all over the league are working the phones to try and secure the right trade to potentially move up or down the draft order in search of the right player to boost their roster.

Rumors are flying about nearly every pick at the top of the first round, with only Chivas USA's selection of Carlos Alvarez with the No.

RSL and Timbers finalize deal to send Findley back to Utah

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BY DARRELL LOVELL

Robbie Findley is coming home.

Real Salt Lake and the Portland Timbers have finalized the trade to send Findley's rights to RSL, a trade first reported by SBI. Sources tell SBI that RSL sent $75,000 in allocation money to the Timbers for Findley's rights.

Indianapolis awarded NASL franchise to begin play in 2014

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Indianapolis, home of Thursday's MLS SuperDraft, better get used to hosting soccer events.

NASL announced on Wednesday that Indianapolis was the latest city to be awarded an expansion franchise, with the club expected to start play in 2014.The unnamed Indiana team becomes the 12th member of the NASL for the 2014 season, andis owned by president and chief executive officer of Keystone Construction Corporation Ersal Ozdemir.

Revolution land No. 1 pick in MLS draft

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By IVES GALARCEP

INDIANAPOLIS The New England Revolution are now on the clock.

Toronto FC was always expected to deal one of its high draft picks before Thursday's MLS Draft, and on Wednesday they made their move, sending the No. 1 overall pick to the Revolution for the No.

Keane signs contract extension with Galaxy

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The LA Galaxy are keen on Robbie Keane.

The Galaxy announced on Wednesday that they re-signed Keane to a multi-year contract extension. The 32-year-old Designated Player enjoyed a strong season in 2012, scoring 16 regular season goals and assisting on nine others while helping the Galaxy repeat as MLS Cup champions.

Holden delighted with Bolton return

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Galaxy sign Juninho to multi-year deal after securing full transfer from Sao Paulo

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David Beckham might not be returning to LA Galaxy for the 2013 season, but another big part of their back-to-back championship-winning teams is.

Juninho hassigned a multi-year deal with the Galaxy on Wednesday, ending any lingering speculation to where his future lied. The 24-year-old Brazilian midfielder had played for the Galaxy during the last three seasons on loan from Sao Paulo, but has now completed a full transfer that will keep him in Los Angeles for the foreseeable future.

BREAKING- Rapids deal Larentowicz to Fire for 1st-round pick and allocation

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

INDIANAPOLIS The Colorado Rapids have been looking to move midfielder Jeff Larentowicz for some time and have no completed a trade that will make them even busier at the 2013 MLS Draft.

Sources have confirmed to SBI that the Rapids are trading Larentowicz and the No.

Stover discusses Cosmos’ stadium proposal

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By DAVE MARTINEZ

A 25,000-seat professional soccer stadium in New York is being proposed for construction at the center of a rundown area of land with the aspiration of opening by 2016.

Sound familiar? You bet, but it isn't Major League Soccer's proposal we are talking about.

Cosmos unveil proposed soccer-specific stadium plans

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MLS is no longer the only organization looking to construct a soccer-specific stadium in the New York Area.

The New York Cosmos of the NASL announced on Wednesday that they have submitted an economic development proposal to the State of New York for a 25,000-seat stadium that they hope can open by 2016.

TFC, Rapids line moves as looming trades are set to shake up MLS Draft

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By IVES GALARCEP

FORT LAUDERDALE- Toronto FC figured to have control of the 2013 MLS Draft as holders of two of the top three picks, and it appears the team is ready to pull off a series of moves to try and maximize that advantageous position.

Multiple sources have confirmed to SBI that TFC is preparing to trade the No.

Guardiola named new Bayern Munich coach

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Pep Guardiola will make his return to the touchline in 2013, and he will do so as head coach of Bayern Munich.

The German heavyweights announced on Wednesday that Guardiola has signed a three-year dealwith the club that will begin following the conclusion of the current Bundesliga campaign and runs through 2016.

Cherundolo to miss next Hannover game due to knee pains

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If Hannover 96 are to win their first game of 2013 when the Bundesliga returns from its winter break this weekend, they will have to do so without Steve Cherundolo.

The Hannover captain and U.S. Men's National Team defender will not be available for the club's road game against Schalke 04 on Saturday, as he is dealing with knee pains.

Livestrong Foundation and Sporting KC terminate stadium sponsorship deal

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BY DARRELL LOVELL

The 2013 MLS All-Star game will not be played at Livestrong Sporting Park after all.

No, the game is not being moved out of Kansas City, but the name of the $200 million soccer mecca is slated to change according to ESPN.com as the outlet is reporting that Sporting Kansas City and the stadium's sponsor, the Livestrong Foundation, are severing ties.

Holden returns for Bolton in 2-0 FA Cup win over Sunderland

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By DARRELL LOVELL

It is the words all USMNT fans wanted to hear: Stuart Holden is officially back.

The popular central midfielder returned to first team action for Bolton Tuesday going 16 minutes in a 2-0 win over EPL side Sunderland in an FA Cup replay. The quarter-hour plus was the first time the midfielder has seen since appearing in a League Cup match April 20th, 2012 against Aston Villa, which prompted surgery on his knee just eight days later.

Wednesday Kickoff: Kompany red card rescinded, Guardiola dreams of EPL job, and more

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BY DAN KARELL

Manchester City were delivered some unexpected good news on Wednesday morning, as captain Vincent Kompany's red card from the 2-0 win at Arsenal last Sunday was rescinded by the English FA.

After the match, Manchester City launched an appeal, which successfully overturned the red card and three-match ban that came with it.

MLS Ticker: Galaxy bringing back Juninho, Toronto FC sign Julio Cesar, and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

The Los Angeles Galaxy continued their successful offseason by re-signing a key player from their last two championship seasons.

In an interview with beIN Sport, Bruce Arena said that Los Angeles midfielder Juninho will return to the club for a fourth season.

Sources: Hassli wants out of Toronto FC

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By IVES GALARCEP

When Toronto FC traded for French striker Eric Hassli, it was believed that the high-priced forward could potentially be a solid long-term solution for TFC.

It appears he has no intention of sticking around long enough to make that happen.

Sources tell SBI that Hassli has requested a move away from Toronto FC, with the club in the unenviable position of trying to offload a big-salary player in a league with few options for him (a move back to Europe would seem to make the most sense).

USMNT to hold Costa Rica qualifier at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The decision so many U.S. Men's National Team fans have been anxiouslywaiting for has finally been made.

The U.S. will play their first home game of the Hexagonal round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying at Dicks Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.

Trade winds swirling as MLS Draft approaches

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By IVES GALARCEP

FORT LAUDERDALE- Trade talk is a regular staple of the week leading up to the MLS Draft, and this week has been no different.

Toronto FC is in control of the top of the draft, with the No. 1 and No. 3 picks. With Chivas USA already publicly expressing their plans to select Carlos Alvarez as the No.

Rogers, Leeds United mutually agree to part ways

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

It is safe to say Robbie Rogers did not plan on it going this way.

A year after signing with Leeds United, the Championship club announced on Tuesday that it had mutually agreed to part ways with Rogers. The 25-year-old midfielder hadrecently been on loan with League One club Stevenage, but failed to break into the lineup on a permanent basis during his five months there before recently returning to Leeds.

D.C. United sign teen forward Seaton to Homegrown Player deal

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Photo by D.C. United

BY DARRELL LOVELL

D.C. United have added another name to their cadre of Homegrown signings Monday announcing that the club has come to terms with forward Michael Seaton.

The 16-year-old is the fifth and youngest Homegrown signing in club history and extends a tradition of rewarding the club's best young prospects with a place on the first team roster.

The SBI Podcast: Episode 1 (with Andrew Farrell and Walker Zimmerman)

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Photo by MLS/Andy Mead

By IVES GALARCEP

After more than five years of waiting, the SBI Podcast is finally here.

We have put off running a podcast for some time but now we will be featuring a regular twice-weekly podcast co-hosted by myself and Garrett Cleverly (@azkicksit on Twitter).

MLS Combine: Off-Day Observations

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Photo by MLS/Andy Mead

By IVES GALARCEP

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. The MLS Combine took a break today, the day before players have their final chance to impress scouts with Tuesday's Combine-closing matches.

Players went through their final round of meetings with interested teams as team officials looked to get to know the prospects they have been watching over the past few days (and months).

Tuesday Kickoff: Mourinho targets EPL return, Sven lands a new job, and more

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BY DAN KARELL

Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho certainly isn't doing himself any favors.

In yet another stunning revelation, Mourinho admitted in a pre-recorded video for the English FA's 150th anniversary celebrations that he would like to go back to England and manage in the future, likely in the Premier League, and maybe once more for his former club Chelsea.

MLS Combine: Day Three Live Commentary

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By IVES GALARCEP

LAUDERHILL, Fla. The final day of the MLS Combine takes place today as MLS coaches and scouts from across the league take their final notes and make their final decisions on the players vying for one of the 38 places in the 2013 MLS Draft on Thursday.

It is a cold (by Florida standards) and cloudy morning at the Combine, meaning easier conditions for the players here to navigate as they try to make some lasting impressions in the third set of games.

Generation adidas class enduring mixed Combine performances

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Photo by MLS/Andy Mead

By FRANCO PANIZO

LAUDERHILL, Fla. No matter how they perform at the MLS Player Combine, the seven players in this year's Generation adidas class are safe bets to all be snagged in the first round when the MLS SuperDraft takes place on Thursday.

MLS Combine: Day Two Match Highlights

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Here are the match highlights from the MLS Combine's second day of action. The first match featured plenty of goals, while the second match wound up a scoreless draw:

adiPower 3, adiZero 2

PRIME 0, adiPure 0

Canadians Bekker and Welshman turn their reunion into a chance to shine at the MLS Combine

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Photo by MLS/Andy Mead

By VINCE MADURI

Playing next to familiar faces is nothing new at the MLS Combine. Former college and club teammates cross paths all the time, but for Kyle Bekker and Emery Welshman, the chance to play together one more time has provided an even more special experience.

European Weekend Rewind: Man United downs Liverpool, Juve held, and more

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BY NICK IUELE

With the exception Germany's Bundesliga, all the top leagues in Europe were back in action this weekend. The fixture lineup did not disappoint, pitting English giants against each other while providing a couple top teams in Italy with a wake up call.

Sunday in the English Premier League featured Manchester United's 2-1 win over Liverpool and Manchester City's 2-0 victory over 10-men Arsenal.

Holden makes Bolton’s FA Cup squad vs. Sunderland

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It has been 22 long months on the road of recovery for Stuart Holden, but the finish line is finally in sight.

Holden was named to Bolton Wanderer's game-day roster for the club's FA Cup replay against Sunderland on Tuesday, marking the first time he will be in uniform for Bolton's first team since suffering a broken leg in March 2011.

Defenders impressing at MLS Combine

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Photo by MLS/Andy Mead

By VINCE MADURI

LAUDERHILL, Fla. MLS teams attending the Combine in hopes of finding a centerback or two to try and grab for depth have been treated to a pleasant surprise. What they have found is an impressive pool of centerbacks that

The general consensus is that Andrew Farrell is the top talent in this draft and he has done nothing to disprove that theory in Ft.

Red Bulls to name Sousa head coach, Reyna expected to be lead assistant

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By IVES GALARCEP

The New York Red Bulls are the final team in MLS with a coaching vacancy to fill this off-season, but sources tell SBI they have settled on the top two men in their staff and it is two coaches recently linked to the club.

The Red Bulls will name Paulo Sousa head coach as early as this week, sources confirmed to SBI on Monday.

Alvarez: I want to play for Chivas USA

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Photo courtesy of MLS/Andy Mead

By FRANCO PANIZO

LAUDERHILL, Fla. Carlos Alvarez and Chivas USA might just be a match made in heaven.

A day after new Chivas USA head coach Jose 'Chelis' Sanchez tweeted how he hopes to select Mexican-Americans in the upcoming MLS SuperDraft, Alvarez revealed to SBI that his preferred destination would be with the Goats.

MLS Combine Day Two: A Look Back

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By IVES GALARCEP

LAUDERHILL, Fla. The second match day of the 2013 MLS Combine featured two very different matches. The first was a goal-fest that provided plenty of action for MLS scouts to consider when weighing the quality of the draft pool, while the second match was a far less impressive goal-less draw that did few favors for the players who participated.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Tim Ream and Bolton Wanderers were in a hole nine minutes into their game against Millwall, but rather than crumble the Trotters fought back to earn a draw in a subpar weekend for the Americans Abroad contingent.

Bolton earned a 1-1 draw versus Millwall on Saturday despite a poor start that saw Millwall go up early after a Ream turnover led to Zat Knight committing a foul in the penalty area.

Monday Kickoff: Kompany banned for three matches, Ben Arfa dreams of PSG, and more

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BY DAN KARELL

Roberto Mancini might want to invest some of his club's money into migraine medicine, after Vincent Kompany's red card in Manchester City's 2-0 win over Arsenal on Sunday earned the defender a three-match ban, according to reports.

The Belgian international joins the likes of regular first-team players Sergio Aguero, Micah Richards, Samir Nasri, and the brothers Toure that are unavailable to play for the Citizens.

MLS Combine: Day Two Live Commentary

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. The second day of the 2013 MLS Combine will be an extremely important one for several top players. Some will be looking to build on strong first-day showings, while others will be trying desperately to erase the memory of poor opening match performances.

SBI will be providing live commentary on today's Combine matches so please feel free to follow along with the action here.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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After several exciting FA Cup matches last week, the Premier League returned to action this weekend, and today's schedule does not disappoint.

League leaders Manchester United will look to improve their lead to 10 points as they welcome Liverpool to Old Trafford. With two wins to kick off 2013, the Reds hope to continue their turnaround to a tumultuous 2012.

2013 MLS Combine: Off-Day Observations

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By IVES GALARCEP

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. Today was an off day at the MLS Combine, but only in the sense that there are no games being played. There is still plenty of activity going on, with players being interviewed by interested teams and team officials engaging in trade talk.

MLS Combine: Day One Match Highlights

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Here are the match highlights for the two matches played on the opening day of the 2013 MLS Combine, a day that saw plenty of goals:

adiPower vs. Prime

adiZero vs. adiPure

GA forwards among those who struggled on Combine’s opening day

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Photo courtesy of MLS/Andy Mead

By VINCE MADURI

J.J. Johnson and Deshorn Brown entered the first day of the Combine as perhaps the two highest rated forwards in the Draft. Neither played like it on Friday.

"I think what most coaches are looking for is of course physicality, how well you move off the ball, you're work rate, so I tried to build my game around that.

Midfielders shine on Day One of MLS Combine

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Photo courtesy of MLS/Andy Mead

By FRANCO PANIZO

LAUDERHILL, Fla. Cohesion and comfortability are words not usually associated with the first day of an MLS combine, but you would have had a hard time coming to that conclusion after seeing how some of the midfielders stole the show on Day 1 of the 2013 MLS Player Combine.

MLS Combine Day One: A Look Back

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By IVES GALARCEP

There was some predictable first-day rustiness, and nobody is going to be archiving the video of Friday's matches for any how-to seminars, but there was still plenty for MLS scouts to chew on as they evaluate the talent pool.

What should be noted about the first day of any combine is that while you don't want to be starting off with a poor first day, it isn't the end of the world if you have one.

Saturday Ticker: Chelsea to offer record deal to Guardiola, Gerrard at odds with Rodgers policy, and more

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BY DAN KARELL

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, known for his lavish spending on the club's players, as well as his quick trigger-finger when something goes wrong, has made an offer to Pep Guardiola that would make him the richest manager in the world, according to reports in the Spanish publication Marca.

Ramos names 20-man roster for U.S. U-20 camp

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BY DARRELL LOVELL

Just over a month away of the CONCACAF qualifying for the 2013 U-20 World Cup, U.S. head coach Tab Ramos has tapped 20 to participate in a week-long camp in Puebla, Mexico starting next week.

As the team moves closer to qualifying the roster seems to be taking shape.

Sounders ink DeAndre Yedlin as first Homegrown signing in club history

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BY DARRELL LOVELL

The Seattle Sounders announced Friday that the club has come to terms with University of Akron right back DeAndre Yedlin to become the franchise's first Homegrown signing.

"We are thrilled to sign DeAndre as our first Homegrown Player," Sounders owner and general manager Adrian Hanauer said in a team statement.

SBI 2013 MLS Mock Draft (Version 3.0)

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The 2013 MLS Draft is now less than a week away, and while the MLS Combine could do a lot to impact the ranking of some players, MLS teams have a pretty good sense of which players they like and which positions they think they can address at the draft.

Plenty could, and will change in the eyes of scouts over the course of the next five days at the Combine, but if you were wondering how the MLS Draft would play out without the Combine, we will offer you a glimpse of what that might look like.

2013 MLS Combine: Day One (Live Commentary)

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. The 2013 MLS Combine kicks off today at Central Broward Regional Park as the nation's top college talent looks to impress scouts in the days leading up to the MLS Combine.

The Generation adidas class is set, and the final invitations and replacements have been established and the games get in full swing today.

European Weekend Preview: Arsenal hosts Manchester City, Benfica take on Porto, and more

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BY DAN KARELL

A clash of ideologies meet this weekend in London as Manchester City travels down the M1 to take on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal manager Arsené Wenger has proudly spoke of his "socialist" wage bill, with no one earning over £200,000 a week. Meanwhile, some of Roberto Mancini's men earn that much or more, and are looking to catch up to first place Manchester United.

This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

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By IVES GALARCEP

Manchester United will be looking to extend their lead atop the English Premier League to 10 points with a win against arch-rival Liverpool in one of the weekend's most high-profile match-ups.

Liverpool won't be an easy victory for the league leaders.

Thursday Evening Ticker: Barcelona routs Cordoba, Ramos receives five-match ban, and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

FC Barcelona continued their great run in Spanish competition on Wednesday, defeating second division side Cordoba 5-0 (7-0 aggregate) in Copa del Rey action. The club now has won 15 straight matches in domestic play.

Lionel Messi watched from the bench as teammates David Villa and Alexis Sanchez netted two goals apiece.

BREAKING- Llamosa fired by Chivas USA

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By IVES GALARCEP

A week from today Chivas USA will have an important decision to make at the 2013 MLS Draft, with the club boasting the No. 2 overall pick in the draft.

The man who has spearheaded preparations for that selection, and has handled running the team's technical side since the firing of former head coach Robin Fraser, has now also been given his walking papers.

Must-See Saves: Angelo Campos

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Peruvian Under-20 national team goalkeeper Angelo Campos helped turn one bad decision into a pair of world class saves on Thursday in South American Under-20 Championships.

Campos raced off his line to try and clear away a ball from an attacking Uruguayan forward, but when he was beaten to the ball and watched a weak shot rolling toward his goal, Campos turned on the jets.

Friday Kickoff: Man City willing to sell Balotelli, Terry returns for Chelsea, and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

BY DAN KARELL

Mario Balotelli's days with Manchester City appear to be numbered, and now word has surfaced of the English Premier League champions putting a specific price tag on the enigmatic striker.

Inter Milan has the first option to buy Balotelli, but Man City has let AC Milan know that the Italian national team striker can be had for€30 million, the same total Manchester City paid for Balotelli in 2010.

SBI 2013 MLS Draft Big Board (Version 4.0)

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By IVES GALARCEP

The 2013 MLS Draft is now just a week away, and all 19 teams have converged on Fort Lauderdale, Florida for the MLS Combine, where they will put the finishing touches on their player draft rankings.

The Generation adidas class is now set, with all seven projected targets formally announced as signed.

MLS Ticker: Timbers add Valeri as DP, FC Dallas sign Peruvian goalkeeper, and more

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By J.J. DUKE

The Portland Timbers were looking for a playmaker to spearhead their attack, and after a lengthy search, they landed an exciting option in Argentine Diego Valeri, who joins the Timbers on loan for the 2013 season as a Designated Player.

The 26-year old featured for Argentine First-Division side Club Atlético Lanús from 2003-2009 as well as 2011-2012.

Livestrong Sporting Park to host 2013 MLS All-Star game

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By DARRELL LOVELL

Major League Soccer is taking the 2013 All-Star game to Kansas City as the league announced Thursday that Livestrong Sporting Park will host the summer showcase July 30.

The game will be broadcast on ESPN, Univision, TSN and RDS at 8:30 p.m. ET but an opponent has yet to be announced as the league is slated to take on an international opponent for the 10th time in its history.

MLS adds Brown and Manneh to GA class, 13 others to Combine player list

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By DARRELL LOVELL

Teams looking for a dynamic forward in the MLS Super Draft have two more options. Thursday Major League Soccer announced the addition of forwards Kekuta Manneh and University of Central Florida's Deshorn Brown as the sixth and seventh members of the 2013 Generation Adidas class.

MLS East Notes: Olsen finds his guy, TFC rebuffed by Peralta, and more

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By DARRELL LOVELL

If you think D.C. United's signing of Brazilian 20-year-old Rafael is a move for the future, think again. Not only does the one-year loan suggest the 6-footer will get a real look, head coach Ben Olsen thinks he may have found his true, physical center forward to head his attacking formation.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Geoff Cameron was still relatively new to the Premiership the last time Stoke City faced Chelsea, but he will aim to take all that he has learned since then when the two clubs square off this weekend.

Stoke City and fourth-place Chelsea will do battle on Saturday at Britannia Stadium, and the Potters are in need of a victory after winning just one of their last six league games.

MLS Draft Spotlight: VCU’s Johnson sets high bar for success

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Photo courtesy of VCU Athletics

By THOMAS FLOYD

Jason Johnson sure doesn't shy from lofty comparisons. In truth, he relishes them. When asked which player's game most resembles his own, the Virginia Commonwealth forward didn't hesitate.

"I would say Cristiano Ronaldo," he stated bluntly, before laughing as he added a caveat "but not the fancy stuff.

Thursday Kickoff: Juventus open to Lampard move, Ronaldo urges fans to halt abuse at Mourinho, and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

BY DAN KARELL

Frank Lampard's club search for next season may have gotten a bit easier.

After reports that he would leave on a Bosman transfer this summer, Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo has extended an open hand to Lampard to join him next season in Italy.

Wednesday Evening Ticker: Swansea stuns Chelsea, Ronaldo nets hat-trick, and more

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Two Branislav Ivanovic errors turned into two goals for Swansea City in a 2-0 visitors' victory at Stamford Bridge in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semifinal.

The bad night for the Serbian defender started in the 39th minute. After receiving a pass from backup goalkeeper Ross Turnbull, Ivanovic turned the ball over to a high-pressing Jonathan De Guzman.

Montero confirms Sounders exit, delivers goodbye letter via Twitter

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Fredy Montero's time with the Seattle Sounders is over. At least for now.

Montero revealed he would be leaving Seattle on Twitter on Wednesday, all but confirming SBI's report that the Designated Player would be heading to Colombian club Millonarios on a six-month loan.

Holden positive after latest Bolton reserve appearance

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Stuart Holden is naturally a bubbly person, but his latest positive comments are likely to be music to U.S. fans' ears.

Holden started and played 65 minutes for Bolton's reserves in a 3-0 win over Oldham on Tuesday in what was his longest performance since recovering from the troublesome knee injury that has kept him out of action since March 2011.

D.C. United sign young Brazilian striker Rafael as DP

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By DARRELL LOVELL

D.C. United has added to their young attacking core, announcing the signing of Brazilian forward Rafael Wednesday morning. The 20-year-old striker will join the club on a one-year loan from Brazilian top flight side Bahia as a designated player, the youngest DP currently on the books in MLS.

2013 MLS Schedule Released

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The 2013 MLS season is just two months away and we now know when all the games of the season will be played.

Major League Soccer released the full season schedule on Wednesday afternoon, unveiling the match-ups for all 19 teams.

What do you think of the schedule?

Share your thoughts below.

Wednesday Kickoff: Sneijder nearing move to Galatasaray, Walcott close to signing, and more

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BY DAN KARELL

Wesley Sneijder's transfer saga has now seemingly taken a turn toward Europe's eastern front.

Turkish club Galatasaray S.K. have announced via their club website that they have begun negotiations with Inter Milan over the transfer of want-away midfielder Wesley Sneijder.

Santa Fe closing in on year-long loan for Union’s Carlos Valdes

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By IVES GALARCEP

Philadelphia Union captain Carlos Valdes is on the verge of heading back to Colombia, and if he does, the all-star defender may never wear a Union uniform again.

The Union are closing in on a deal to send the Colombian national team defender to Colombian side Santa Fe on a year-long loan, sources confirmed to SBI on Wednesday.

MLS Ticker: Timbers sign Evans as Homegrown Player, Impact dump Hamlett and Sorber, and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The Portland Timbers added some local talent to their team on Tuesday, signing midfielder Steven Evans to a Homegrown deal.

Evans, a Timbers Under-23s product, signed as the club's second Homegrown Player and the 21-year-old joins the Timbers after three seasons at the University of Portland.

Bedoya a popular free transfer target for multiple clubs

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By IVES GALARCEP

American midfielder Alejandro Bedoya might have taken a gamble moving to Sweden on a short-term deal a year ago, but now that gamble is paying off.

A strong season at Helsingborg has not only helped him get back on the U.S. Men's National Team radar, it also put him on the radar of several club teams who are now interested in his services as a free agent.

Holden set to play for Bolton’s reserve squad

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Stuart Holden will take the latest step towards completing his comeback on Tuesday.

Bolton announced on their Facebook page on Tuesday morning that Holden will play in their development squad game against Oldham Athletic. The match will mark the latest bit of progress for the 27-year-old Holden, who recently played in an indoor game for Bolton.

BREAKING-RSL set to bring back Findley after deal with Portland

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake may be Western Conference rivals, but that isn't stopping them from becoming familiar trade partners.

A month after completing the deal to send Will Johnson to Portland, the Timbers and RSL have made another deal, with Real Salt Lake acquiring the rights to forward Robbie Findley from Portland, sources confirmed to SBI on Tuesday.

Report: Diskerud nearing new deal with Rosenborg

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Photo courtesy of RBK.no/Knut Aage Dahl

By FRANCO PANIZO

When Mix Diskerud signed a six-month deal with Rosenborg BK last August as a free agent, many believed he was simply finding a short-term solution for a club before moving on to greener pastures during the 2013 winter transfer window.

Toronto FC introduce Nelsen as new head coach

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Toronto FC will be introducing Ryan Nelsen as the team's new head coach today in a press conference being held at BMO Field (10:30am).

The Nelsen hiring, first reported by Soccer By Ives on Monday, comes as a bit of a shock to some, but the link between Nelsen and Toronto FC president Kevin Payne is a strong one from their days at D.

InfoSport Combine heads into 13th year of creating pro opportunities

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By J.J. DUKE

During the month of January, the eyes of the American pro soccer world will be focused in on the state of Florida. Graduating collegiate seniors and a handful of impressive underclassmen will be hitting the field trying to impress future bosses, while a good part of the country will bedigging themselves out of the recent snowstorms.

American soccer community rallies together for Soccer Night in Newtown

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By FRANCO PANIZO

What started out as an idea for a small clinic for children of Newtown, Connecticut wound up culminating in a successful event featuring a who's-who of soccer stars who gathered to bring joy to a community that is still recovering from a tragedy.

Landon Donovan, Brad Davis, Brian Ching and Kenny Cooper were just some of the players who took part in Monday's Soccer Night in Newtown, an event designed to help lift the spirits of those that were affected by the massacre that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School last month.

DeGuzman signs with Mallorca

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By IVES GALARCEP

Canadian midfielder Julian DeGuzman considered coming back to MLS to spend more time with FC Dallas, but ultimately he could not pass up another chance of playing in the Spanish Premier League.

DeGuzman has signed a deal with La Liga side Mallorca, inking a deal that sources tell SBI will net him close to $1 million per year.

BREAKING- TFC set to name Nelsen new head coach

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By IVES GALARCEP

When Toronto FC hired Kevin Payne to be the team's new president, it was clear that the Canadian club was going to be handing full power over to the man who helped lead D.C. United to four MLS Cup titles. Now we are about to find out just what Payne has in store for his new club.

Messi wins fourth consecutive Ballon d’Or, Wambach named Women’s World Player of the Year

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To no one's surprise, Lionel Messi has once again been labeled the greatest player in the world.

Messi was named the winner of the 2012 Ballon d'Or on Monday, beating Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona teammate Andres Iniestato claim the award for a fourth consecutive year.

Najar joining Anderlecht on month-long loan

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Andy Najar isn't ready to make a transfer move to Europe just yet, but he will be getting a taste of life overseas as he readies for a short loan move.

D.C. United is set to loan Najar to Belgian champions Anderlecht on a short-term loan that will run through the month of January, the club announced on Monday.

European Weekend Rewind: Cavani hat-trick leads Napoli past Roma, Atletico held, FA Cup, and more

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BY NICK IUELE

With a few of Europe's top leagues still on holiday, Italy and Spain got back to league action, while England had it's third round of the FA Cup. Although there were a few surprises, most matches ended with the expected result.

In Italy, Napoli climbed their way back into a UCL spot with a 4-1 win over Roma.

The 60 Minutes special on FC Barcelona

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The television magazine show 60 Minutes is known for its in-depth reporting on world affairs, and occasionally it shines its on the sports world.

60 Minutes did so again with a profile on FC Barcelona, which includes a very though look at the club, its current success, and what makes the club arguably the best soccer team ever.

Impact hire Swiss boss Schällibaum to be new head coach

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The Montreal Impact always figured to hire a European coach to lead the team as Jesse Marsch's replacement, but few would have pegged the Impact's next hire to be a journeyman who hasn't coached a team in almost four years.

The Impact have hired Swiss manager Marco Schällibaum to be the team's new head coach, the club announced on Monday morning.

Monday Kickoff: Recent form won’t keep Lampard at Chelsea, Napoli wants Balotelli, and more

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By DANIEL KARELL

Frank Lampard's days at Stamford Bridge appear to be numbered, according to the England and Chelsea midfielder's agent, Steve Kuntar.

Despite three goals in his last two starts, it seems that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovic is ready to move on, and will let Lampard leave on a free transfer at the end of the season.

Sousa linked to Red Bulls coaching job

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By IVES GALARCEP

With Montreal's coaching hire on Monday morning, the New York Red Bulls are now the only MLS team that hasn't hired a coach for the 2013 season.

That looks likely to change this week and a new name has emerged as a candidate to be Hans Backe's replacement.

Sunday Ticker: Torn hamstring confirmed for Aguero, Vilanova back with Barca, and more

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BY DAN KARELL

Manchester City received more unfortunate news yesterday, as forward Sergio Aguero has been diagnosed with a muscle tear in his left hamstring.

Aguero announced the news on his Twitter page, after traveling to Italy for tests on the injured leg. Aguero limped off in the 76th minute of City's 3-0 win over Southampton on New Years Day.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Herculez Gomez could not have asked for a much better start to 2013.

Gomez began the new year by scoring a goal for Santos Laguna in their season-opening 1-1 draw against San Luis on Saturday. The U.S. Men's National Team striker netted with a textbook header in the first half, leaping up to meet a cross from the left flank and nodding it over San Luis goalkeeper Oscar Perez.

Report: Three finalists in running to host USMNT qualifier vs. Costa Rica

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

After a lengthy wait to find out just where the U.S. Men's National Team would play the first home qualifier of the CONCACAF Hexagonal, it now appears we will find out this week just where that March 22nd match against Costa Rica will be played.

Johnson, Zusi headline January USMNT camp roster

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

Jurgen Klinsmann has called in 25 players ahead of the January camp roster, a squad heavy on MLS talent.

Eddie Johnson and Graham Zusi headline a squad with 21 MLS players.The Houston Dynamo trio of Will Bruin, Brad Davis and Tally Hall were among the players called in, as were USMNT veterans Benny Feilhaber and young playmaker Mix Diskerud.

Klinsmann: Donovan still undecided on his future

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Photo by ISIPHotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

When the USMNT roster for January's training camp was announced on Sunday, Landon Donovan's name wasn't on the list. That wasn't really all that much of a surprise, but Jurgen Klinsmann's comments about his absence provided some insight into where things stand now.

Packwood suffers badly broken leg in FA Cup

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By IVES GALARCEP

Young American defender Will Packwood has had his promising first season with Birmingham City cut short after suffering a horrific leg break during the club's FA Cup third-round loss to Leeds United on Saturday.

Packwood, 19, suffered a broken tibia and fibula after a collision with Leeds striker Luciano Becchio.

Dempsey double leads Tottenham to FA Cup win

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Clint Dempsey scored his second and third goals of the new year for Tottenham to help lead Spurs to a 3-0 victory over Coventry City in FA Cup Third Round action on Saturday.

Dempsey followed up his New Year's Day goal vs. Reading with a double in his first start since coming back from a groin injury.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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With winter breaks now completed, La Liga, Serie A, and Liga MX have turned the calendar to 2013, with all leagues now returning to action.

The third round of the FA Cup has kicked off the year for the English clubs, as the weekend closes out with Swansea City taking on Arsenal, and Mansfield Town hosting Liverpool.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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For all the success Manchester United has had in the past decade, one sore spot for the English club has been the team's inability to win an FA Cup.

The Red Devils have gone nine years since last lifting the FA Cup, a streak they will look to move toward snapping when they face West Ham United today in a match airing on national television (Noon, FOX).

Zavaleta signs Generation adidas deal

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By IVES GALARCEP

The 2013 Generation adidas class moved a step closer toward completion on Friday with the addition of another top college star.

Indiana University sophomore standout Eriq Zavaleta has signed a Generation adidas deal and will be available in the 2013 MLS Draft, sources confirmed to SBI on Friday.

Friday Evening Ticker: Rossi heading to Fiorentina, Spurs land Holtby, and more

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BY MICHAEL KLINE

Fiorentina have confirmed in a statement that they have reached an agreement with Villarreal on a transfer for New Jersey-native Giuseppe Rossi.

Rossi has been out of action since an ACL tear in October of 2011. He returned to training in April of 2012, only to reinjure his right anterior cruciate ligament for the second time in six months.

Fire land Lindpere from Red Bulls

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Chicago Fire were in the market for some help in central midfield and they have just found it in a player who is leaving a team that didn't seem to value him in a central role.

The Fire have acquired Joel Lindpere from the New York Red Bulls in exchange for an international roster spot for the 2013 season, sources with knowledge of the deal confirmed to SBI on Friday.

USMNT Daily Update: A closer look at the delay in picking home venues for the HEX

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By IVES GALARCEP

Admit it. If you are a U.S. Men's National Team fan who likes traveling for big national team matches you have probably spent an irrational amount of time scouring flight prices and checking Twitter and your email repeatedly for any sort of word on just where the five home World Cup qualifiers for the USMNT will be this year.

Boateng discusses decision to stand up to racist chants

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MLS Ticker: Impact add Pisanu, Rapids sign defender Calderon, and more

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The Montreal Impact don't have a head coach yet, but they have added some more firepower to the roster by landing Bologna midfielder Andrea Pisanu on loan for the 2013 season.

Pisanu, who turns 31 on Monday, is a former teammate of Montreal Impact forward Marco DiVaio and he scored six goals in 75 games in Serie A from 2004 to 2012, mostly with Parma.

This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

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Leagues in Spain, Italy and Mexico return to action this weekend to give us a quality blend of viewing options for all soccer fans.

In Serie A, Michael Bradley and AS Roma take on Napoli in a match-up of teams with Champions League aspirations. Napoli currently sit just one point out of third place and the Champions League place that goes with it, while Roma sits two points further back.

Nelsen could be poised for a return to MLS, but as a coach

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By IVES GALARCEP

Queens Park Rangers defender Ryan Nelsen is widely-regarded as one of the best defenders to ever come out of Major League Soccer, and now, some eight years after he left D.C. United to play in England, Nelsen could be heading back to MLS.

The Daily Mail got the ball rolling on a rumored Nelsen return to MLS, stating that Nelsen would come back to join the D.

European Weekend Preview: Serie A and La Liga make returns from winter break

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BY NICK IUELE

Italy's Seria A and Spain's La Liga take center stage this weekend as the rest of Europe remains onholiday. The second half of the season marks the beginning of the home stretch and is where seasonsare either made or broken. Can Madrid catch Barcelona? Will Juventus repeat?

Friday Kickoff: Mancini plays down Balotelli skirmish, Pato sold to Corinthians, and more

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

BY DAN KARELL

In the aftermath of yet another embarrassing off-the-field moment involving Mario Balotelli, manager Roberto Mancini, directly involved in the incident, has backed the young striker to stay in the Manchester City squad.

Pictures surfaced yesterday afternoon of an altercation between Mancini and Balotelli during the morning training.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The celebration is officially over and the focus for reigning Liga MX champions Club Tijuana is to start off their Clausura campaign with a win, but they will need to knock off an American and his team in order to make that happen.

Xolos are set to visit Puebla on Sunday and their Clausura opener should pit the Tijuana trio of Edgar Casitllo, Joe Corona and Greg Garza against DaMarcus Beasley.

FC Dallas agree to Homegrown Player deal with Woodberry

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By IVES GALARCEP

FC Dallas is two weeks away from having some interesting decisions to make at the 2013 MLS Draft, but they will head into that event having already landed two quality college players.

Dallas has reached an agreement to sign Maryland defender London Woodberry to a Homegrown Player contract, sources confirmed to SBI on Thursday.

MLS formally announces first four Generation adidas signings

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By IVES GALARCEP

Major League Soccer took its time, but finally got around to announcing the first four members of the 2013 Generation adidas draft class on Thursday, several weeks after reaching agreements with the bulk of the class.

Andrew Farrell, Walker Zimmerman, Mikey Lopez and Jason Johnson were all announced as members of the Generation adidas class.

Mid-Day Ticker: Boateng, Milan stand up to racist chants, Shawcross and Jagielka sign new deals, and more

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A friendly between Italian giant AC Milan and fourth division club Pro Patria was suspended early on Thursday due to racist chants towards Milan's black players.

Just 25 minutes into the match, Milan's Kevin-Prince Boateng punted a ball towards host Pro Patria's supporters, some of whom had been verbally abusing him and his teammates from the opening whistle.

Sounders sending Montero on loan to Millonarios

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By IVES GALARCEP

When Fredy Montero went yet another MLS post-season without scoring a goal, his future with the Seattle Sounders seemed to be put squarely in doubt.

Now, Montero may never get another chance to find that first playoff goal.

The Sounders have agreed to a deal to send Montero on a six-month loan to Colombian side Millonarios, sources confirmed to SBI on Thursday.

MLS Ticker: Revs sign defender, Birchall returns to England, and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

The New England Revolution continued their busy offseason Thursday by finalizing a loan deal with Switzerland's FC Sion for central defender Jose Goncalves.

Goncalves, a 29-year-old from Portugal, has spent the last nine years all over Europe, including stops at Bundesliga side FC Nurenberg and Scotland's Hearts of Midlothian.

Thursday Kickoff: Juve in talks with Llorente, EPL midfielders on the move, and more

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BY DAN KARELL

Spanish forward Fernando Llorente is set to become a free agent this summer, but he might not wind up waiting that long to leave Athletic Bilbao for a new club.

Athletic have announced that Llorente has entered contract negotiations with Italian champions Juventus on a contract ahead of a potential winter transfer move.

RBNY closing in on Reyna for assistant coach role

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By IVES GALARCEP

The New York Red Bulls have yet to make a final decision on a head coach, but they have apparently found the man to give the club a strong American influence on the coaching staff.

Sources have told SBI that the Red Bulls are closing in on hiring former U.

Americans Abroad: Midweek Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Tim Howard and Everton started 2013 just the way they had hoped for: with three points.

The Toffees moved into fifth place in the Premiership table with 36 points after defeating Newcastle United, 2-1, on Wednesday. Everton went down after just two minutes, but responded with a goal on each side of halftime to grab a big road victory.

Roma routs Orlando City in winter friendly

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AS Roma are a team in mid-season form, and Orlando City found that out the hard way on Wednesday.

Roma defeated the USL Pro club, 5-0, at Barker Family Stadium in Winter Park, Fla. in a friendly on Wednesday afternoon that capped off their brief U.S. winter stop in Central Florida. Erik Lamela scored the winner two minutes into the friendly and added a second in the 13th.

Dike scores equalizer as Nigeria ties Catalonia

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It may have been an unofficial friendly, but Nigeria started 2013 with a 1-1 draw against Catalonia thanks to a goal from Portland Timbers forward Bright Dike.

Dike netted the equalizer against a Catalonia side that included Barcelona players Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique, Xavi and Sergio Busquets on Wednesday, racing to a pass played in behind the defense before executing a nifty cutback and firing it in off the near post in the second half of the match.

U.S. U-20s to hold January camp in Mexico

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

The U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team is not waiting until February to familiarize itself with Puebla, Mexico.

The U.S. will hold a week-long training camp from Jan. 14-22 in the Mexican city where the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championionship will be held, U.

MLS Ticker: Galaxy sign Hesmer, Arguez heading to Minnesota, and more

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By IVES GALARCEP

The LA Galaxy have stockpiled the goalkeeper position, and have made it clear former starter Josh Saunders won't be a part of the competition.

Less than a week after signing Italian goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini on a free transfer, the Galaxy have reached a contract agreement with Will Hesmer, sources told SBI on Wednesday.

Wednesday Kickoff: Liverpool complete Sturridge transfer, Man City wait on Aguero injury, and more

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By DAN KARELL

Liverpool has kicked off the English Premier League transfer season by completing the signing of former Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge.

The Reds will be adding Sturridge to an attack that has struggled at times this season, with only Luis Suarez providing a consistent goal-scoring threat.

Report: Morales called into upcoming USMNT camp

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Alfredo Morales may not be sniffing the field at Hertha Berlin this season, but that apparently has not stopped U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann from wanting to take a closer look at him.

Morales has been summoned into the upcoming January camp that will conclude with a friendly against Canada, according to a report from German outlet Bild.

Wenger confirms no Arsenal loan for Henry

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Thierry Henry will not be returning to Arsenal for a third time. At least not this winter.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger made that clear on Tuesday, after the Gunners finished a 1-1 draw against Southampton. His revelation put to bed the notion that Henry might spend a second straight winter loan spell with Arsenal.

Americans Abroad: Dempsey scores in Spurs win

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American star Clint Dempsey has worked his way back from a groin injury, and today he showed that he is back healthy after scoring his first home goal for Tottenham, helping Spurs post a 3-1 victory against Reading on Tuesday.

Dempsey's deflected goal, which came just three minutes after he entered the match, gives him four league goals on the season, and marked his first goal for Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

New Year’s Day Ticker: Ferguson not ready to retire, Mancini laments missing out on RVP, and more

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By DAN KARELL

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is 71 years old, and in his 26th year in charge, but he isn't quite ready to give up his job just yet, even as rumors of potential successors make the rounds.

"I'm hoping to stay on for a bit of time," Ferguson told the Abu Dhabi Sports Channel.

MLS Spotlight: Agbossoumonde ready for fresh start to career after disappointing early years

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By FRANCO PANIZO

American soccer has had no shortage of players who have failed to live up to high expectations. Young players with exciting ability who never quite managed to live up to the promise and potential they showed early on in their careers.

Gale Agbossoumonde readily admits that, at the moment, he falls into that category, but age is on his side.

USMNT Daily Update: A look back at the goals of 2012

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Happy New Year (And Happy Birthday SBI)

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Happy New Year everybody. It's a special day for us at SBI as well because today marks the fifth anniversary of our independent launch.

Yes, today is SBI's fifth birthday.

As we embark on our sixth year in business we will look to keep improving on bringing you soccer news and analysisfrom the United States and the world.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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Manchester City begins the new year with a seven-point deficit to try and erase against current English Premier League leader Manchester United, and their first step toward trying to climb back to the top pits them against a tough team on a good run.

Stoke City is riding a 10-match unbeaten streak, and will be welcoming back Geoff Cameron from suspension as the Potters take on the Citizens and the Etihad in one of the top New Year's chases of the day.