Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2013

Jones hits impressive strike as Schalke cruise past Stuttgart

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By FRANCO PANIZO

It may have taken Jermaine Jones a bit longer than he would have liked to open his scoring account this season, but he did so in style on Saturday as Schalke 04 cruised past VfB Stuttgart.

Jones netted his first goal of the 2013-14 campaign in a 3-0 home victory for Schalke with an impressive blast from distance in the 79th minute.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

On this Soccer Saturday, another English Premier League giant will make a visit to Cardiff City Stadium, a place where it has been tough to get three points so far this season.

First-place Arsenal's trip to Cardiff City highlights Saturday's slate of EPL matches.

Arena: Gonzalez and Donovan not leaving on loan; Keane out for four to six weeks; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Los Angeles Galaxy stars Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez won't be moving to Europe on loan in January.

That's according to Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, who, in a wide-ranging interview on Galaxy All-Access, put an end to any speculation of the U.S. Men's National Team duo leaving during the final offseason before the 2014 World Cup.

The SBI Show: Episode 95 (Talking Bob Bradley job options, college soccer, and more)

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By IVES GALARCEP

Bob Bradley hasn't coached in MLS since 2006, but it appears the former U.S. Men's National Team, Chicago Fire, New York/New Jersey MetroStars and Chivas USA coach is open to a return to the league where his pro coaching career began.

Episode 95 of The SBI Show takes a look Bradley's reported interest in the Vancouver Whitecaps job, which he has interviewed for.

MLS Ticker: Saborio “likely” to return for MLS Cup; TFC decline options on Convey and Earnshaw; and more

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By DAN KARELL

A scenario with Real Salt Lake Designated Player Alvaro Saborio unavailable for the Major League Soccer Cup final is looking less likely by the day.

The veteran forward was a regular participant in RSL training this week, and according to head coach Jason Kreis, it's looking "very likely" that Saborio will be available for selection on December 7 when RSL takes on Sporting Kansas City for the 2013 title.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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By JAY BELL

Tim Howard and Geoff Cameron are normally working together to keep U.S. Men's National Team opponents off the scoreboard, but on Saturday it will be Cameron hoping to find a way to get goals past Howard when Stoke City takes on Everton in one of the weekend's featured match-ups for Americans Abroad.

NWSL Ticker: Report: USWNT to play France in June; Cascadia rivals trade forwards; and more

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

The French are coming.

According to a report in France, France Women's National Team coach Philippe Bergeroo said Tuesdaythat his squad will visit the U.S. for two friendlies in June.

Bergeroo, who replaced coach Bruno Bini starting in August, said he wants to see if the French team is up to par with the U.

This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

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By DAN KARELL

For the second time in seven days, Tottenham prepares to face a Manchester side that's in a strong run of form.

On the back of their 6-0 defeat to Manchester City, Tottenham welcome Manchester United to White Hart Lane, with Man United coming off a 5-0 rout of their own in UEFA Champions League action on Wednesday.

Report: Bradley interviewed for Whitecaps head coaching job

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By DAN KARELL

Bob Bradley might not be out of a job for long.

According to a report in The Province in Vancouver, the former U.S. Men's National Team and long-time Major League Soccer head coach is on the Vancouver Whitecaps' shortlist for their open head coach position.

Friday Kickoff: Ronaldo held out of next game; Tottenham continue perfect record in Europa League; and more

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By DAN KARELL

There was a familiar face back in Real Madrid's training sessions on Thursday and Friday, but the club won't be risking injury to their highest-paid star.

Cristiano Ronaldo is back in full training after suffering a slight hamstring injury in Madrid's 5-0 win at Almeria, but manager Carlo Ancelotti isn't willing to risk further injury to the Portuguese international.

European Weekend Preview: Barca look to bounce back against Bilbao; Spurs host Man United; and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

For manager Gerardo Martino and Barcelona, the long honeymoon is officially over.

After 20 consecutive matches without a defeat to open the Martino Era at Camp Nou, Barcelona return to Spain this weekend on the heels of a 2-1 Champions League group stage loss at Ajax.

Must-See Goal: Douglas Costa

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UEFA Europa League: Your Running Commentary

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Forget the old American tradition of watching football on Thanksgiving, because there is more than enough soccer for your viewing pleasure today.

The UEFA Europa League resumes on Thursday with a heavy round of matches, including Olympique Lyon-Real Betis, Bordeaux-Eintracht Frankfurt, Swansea City-Valencia and Legia Warsaw vs.

Thursday Kickoff: Match-Fixing scandal in England; Messi progressing with injury recovery; and more

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By DAN KARELL

For those who thought that soccer in England was immune to match fixing, it seems that they were wrong.

According to an investigative report from English newspaper, the Telegraph, six people have been arrested by the National Crime Agency, a British organization similar to the FBI, on suspicion of match-fixing.

Happy Thanksgiving from SBI

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Hello everybody. It is Thanksgiving Day, that day of the year you come to SBI looking for a soccer fix and find this familiar waving turkey greeting you.

American soccer fans have plenty to be thankful for, from a thriving Major League Soccer to a continuously growing number of soccer TV viewing options.

Altidore and Wambach named U.S. Athletes of the Year

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By DAN KARELL

U.S. National Team forwards Jozy Altidore and Abby Wambach have earned U.S. Soccer's highest award based on their play in 2013.

The two were among five athletes who took home U.S. Athlete of the Year honors from U.

USMNT drop one place to No. 14 in latest FIFA Rankings

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By DAN KARELL

The U.S. Men's National Team has paid a slight price for their forgettable performances in Europe in November.

On Thursday, FIFA released the updated World Rankings for November, which sees the USMNT fall one place to No.

Must-See Goal: Mario Götze

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Must-See Goal: Gareth Bale

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UCL Rewind: Man United thrash Leverkusen; Ten-man Real Madrid stroll to victory; and more

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By DAN KARELL

On a night with no less than 36 goals scored in eight UEFA Champions League matches, it was Manchester United's display at the Bay Arena that stole the headlines.

Despite missing a handful of starters including Robin Van Persie, Man United put in an impressive performance with a 5-0 rout of Bayer Leverkusen.

Egypt FA hire Gharib to replace Bradley as National Team head coach

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By DAN KARELL

Bob Bradley's time as head coach of the Egyptian National Team is officially over.

The Egyptian FA announced on Wednesday that they've appointed former national team assistantShawki Gharib to the head coaching position, ending Bradley's two-year run.

Green makes pro debut for Bayern Munich in Champions League match

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By DAN KARELL

In a match that gave Bayern Munich a record 10th-consecutive victory in UEFA Champions League play, another milestone was achieved as well.

Just a few weeks after signing his first ever professional contract with the German giants, 18-year-old attacking midfielder Julian Green made his full debut on Wednesday afternoon, entering as a second half substitute in Bayern's 3-1 victory at CSKA Moscow.

Report: Brooks undergoes MRI on knee, reveals no ligament damage

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By DAN KARELL

Hertha Berlin defender John Brooks has suffered another setback in his pursuit to return to the starting lineup, but the news is not as bad as originally feared.

According to reports in Germany, Brooks missed practice on Tuesday, with Hertha head coach Jos Luhukay saying that the 20-year-old is suffering from a "knee problem" and would undergo an MRI.

Brazil World Cup stadium collapse kills at least two, may delay construction

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

A small section of a 2014 World Cup stadium in Brazil collapsed Wednesday, killing at least two and causing damage that could delay completion of the project, according to local reports.

Work on Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo had been nearly completed when a crane fell, causing a metal structure beneath to buckle and destroy part of the stands.

The SBI Show: Episode 94 (Talking Julian Green, MLS, and more)

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By IVES GALARCEP

American-born Bayern Munich prospect Julian Green made his professional debut today, and he was also the lead subject of the latest episode of The SBI Show.

Episode 94 of The SBI Show discusses Green's inclusion in Bayern's UEFA Champions League squad for Wednesday's match against CSKA Moscow, which saw him make a two-minute cameo.

Red Bulls part ways with Pearce after injury-shortened season

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By DAN KARELL

Heath Pearce's tumultuous time in New York has come to an end.

On Wednesday, the club announced that they were parting ways with the out-of-contract defender after an injury-shortened 2013 season. The 29-year-old Pearce only made 14 appearances this season for the Red Bulls before electing to undergo season-ending hip surgery in early July.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

With just one point between them, Manchester United heads to Bayer Leverkusen today for a top-of-the-table clash in UEFA Champions League Group A – but Man United is going in without three players, including star forward Robin Van Persie.

Van Persie and center back Nemanja Vidic are injured and have not made the trip to Germany for today's match.

MLS Ticker: Keane has surgery for chronic achilles pain; Gonzalez likely staying stateside; and more

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

Los Angeles Galaxy captain Robbie Keane has undergone surgery to remedy a chronic issue with his Achilles tendons.

The forward announced on his Facebook page Tuesday he'd be having surgery on both of his feet, writing: "Getting an operation on both Achilles tomorrow.

Revolution’s Goncalves named MLS Defender of the Year

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By DAN KARELL

In his first season in Major League Soccer, there's no doubt that Jose Goncalves hit the ground running.

The physically-imposing center back helped solidify a back line that featured a rookie and two other un-proven defenders to take the New England Revolution into the MLS Cup playoffs for the first time in four years.

UEFA Champions League Wednesday: A Look Ahead

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By DAN KARELL

Italian soccer has taken plenty of flack recently, and the situation could grow worse if Juventus fail to win on Wednesday.

The twice-consecutive Serie A champions have yet to win a match in the UEFA Champions League this season, and face what manager Antonio Conte is calling a must-win when they host FC Copenhagen at Juventus Stadium.

UCL Rewind: 10-man Ajax stun Barca; Arsenal tops winless Marseille; and more

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

It wasn't quite David and Goliath, but Ajax certainly beat the odds in UEFA Champions League action Tuesday.

Ajax came away with a huge upset in Amsterdam, clinging to a 2-1 victory over Barcelona despite being down to ten for most of the second half.

Report: TFC set to sign Defoe in blockbuster deal

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By IVES GALARCEP

Toronto FC's courtship of top European forwards has been going on for months, and now it appears that quest for a top striker is ready to bear fruit.

The Daily Mirror is reporting that TFC is set to make Tottenham forward Jermain Defoe the highest-paid player in MLS history, in a four-year, $7.

Wednesday Kickoff: Belounis to leave Qatar; Villas-Boas on the hot seat; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Stranded French soccer player Zahir Belounis is coming home.

After a long ordeal that culminated with FIFPro visiting Qatar to lobby for his release, Belounis has received his exit visa and is expected to return to Paris with his family on Thursday, according to his brother Mahdi.

Several Americans nominated for inaugural CONCACAF awards

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By FRANCO PANIZO

CONCACAF will recognize the achievements of players, coaches and referees in the region for the first time, and several Americans are in the running for the numerous awards that will be handed out.

CONCACAF announced on Tuesday afternoon that it will begin tohave annual awards in 2013 and that the inaugural categories arePlayer of the Year, Goalkeeper of the Year, Female Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Goal of the Year and Referee of the Year.

Indy Eleven adds fourth to roster with Honduran Erick Norales

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

In just their fourth signing, Indy Eleven are bringing in an international veteran to serve as anchor for their as-yet-undetermined back line.

The new Indiana-based NASL club has signed Honduran defender Erick Norales, who is coming off of recent club stints in Honduras and China.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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By FRANCO PANIZO

If you are in the need for some high-quality soccer, Tuesday should provide a quick fix.

UEFA Champions League action resumes with a slate of intriguing match-ups, but none may be bigger than Ajax's home game vs. Barcelona. Ajax will be desperate for a win in order to fortify their chances of advancing out of Group H, so a fun and open match is likely to take place at Amsterdam ArenA.

The SBI Show: Episode 93 (Recapping the MLS conference finals, and more)

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By IVES GALARCEP

The stage is set for the 2013 MLS Cup Final after Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake booked their places with impressive victories in the MLS conference finals.

Episode 93 of The SBI Show takes a look back at both conference finals, as we discuss the key figures and moments from the matches at Sporting Park and Jeld-Wen Field.

Green included in Bayern’s Champions League squad vs. CSKA Moscow

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Julian Green's successful season with Bayern Munich's reserves has been rewarded.

After scoring 15 goals in 18 games with the German giants' second team, Green has been called up to Bayern's squad for their Wednesday UEFA Champions League group game at CSKA Moscow.

Report: Beckham considering PortMiami for potential soccer-specific stadium

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By FRANCO PANIZO

David Beckham's quest to land a site for a potential soccer-specific stadium in Miami might take him to a place right on the water.

According to a report from the Miami Herald, Beckham is considering building a 25,000-seat stadium for a potential MLS Franchise at PortMiami.

Tuesday Kickoff: World Cup stadiums still behind schedule; FIFA calls for tougher racism sanctions; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Despite a number of extensions from FIFA over the last 12 months for the completion of Brazil's 12 World Cup stadiums, at least two are still behind schedule and likely won't be finished by FIFA's current deadline of the end of the year.

Stadiums in Manaus, in the heart of the Amazon, and Cuiaba, in Southwestern Brazil, are targeting finish dates in January, though in Manaus, they're fighting through the tropical rail season that sends bucketfuls of rain all day and night, which has delayed construction even more.

With U.S. Soccer in the loop, NWSL expansion is up to Houston Dynamo

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

The Houston Dynamo are rapidly approaching a decision whether to join the National Women's Soccer League next year – and the evidence in favor is mounting.

A drive for 2014 season ticket deposits for a prospective Houston NWSL expansion team ended Monday after four days and the response was enough for club President Chris Canetti to move forward, he said.

MLS Ticker: Fire decline option on Arevalo Rios, FC Dallas part ways with Ferreira; and more

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By DAN KARELL

After only arriving in August, one of Major League Soccer's newest Designated Players looks to be on his way out.

The Chicago Fire announced today that Arevalo Rios' contract option was declined, parting ways with the Uruguayan international just months after the club signed him to a DP contract.

Announced roster for USWNT camp marks return of Rodriguez, LePeilbet

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

The U.S. Women's National Team roster for the team's December camp was released Monday with call-ups of some long-absent players and new additions.

The camp running from Dec. 3 to Dec. 15 in Carson, Calif. will see the return of defender Amy LePeilbet, who has been recovering since surgery on her left ACL in January, andforward Amy Rodriguez, who had been on hiatus for a pregnancy she announced that same month.

Georgetown takes down ODU, UCLA, Notre Dame move on with ease in NCAA second round

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By DAN KARELL

Following last year's run to the College Cup final, Georgetown picked up the first of what they hope is five wins as they easily dispatched Old Dominion, 3-0 in the NCAA Tournament's second round.

The Hoyas needed just 12 minutes to open the scoring as sophomore midfielder Brandon Allen found sophomore Cole Seiler at the far post for a tap-in.

MLS reveals 28-player Waiver Draft list

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

Major League Soccer hasn't named its 2013 champion yet, but off-season team-building begins today.

MLS is hosting their Waver Draft draft at 3:30 pm, where 28 players released by 13 clubs will hope to be scooped up for next season.Some notable names appear on the draft list, including Philadelphia Union's Kléberson, who helped lead Brazil to a World Cup win in 2002.

2014 MLS Schedule released

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By DAN KARELL

The 2013 MLS season isn't even over yet but fans can already start preparing for the 2014 MLS season.

On Monday afternoon, the league released the full-season 2014 MLS Schedule, with the 19 teams beginning play on March 8/9 and finishing their seasons on the final weekend in October.

Rapids’ Powers named MLS Rookie of the Year

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By DAN KARELL

When the Colorado Rapids started Dillon Powers in their 2013 season opener, they likely didn't realize that it would be the first of 29 starts this season.

The Notre Dame product kept producing solid performances in the center of midfield, holding down the spot and helping lead the banged-up Rapids to the MLS Playoffs.

Chivas USA’s Real exits to coach Mexican first team

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

Chivas USA continues to hemorrhage personnel. Coach Jose Luis Real Casillas is leaving Chivas USA to coach the first team in Guadalajara, Mexico, the club announced Monday.

With this latest personnel change, Chivas USA is now without a coach and sporting director.

Red Bulls decline options on outside backs Barklage and Carney

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By DAN KARELL

The New York Red Bulls will be auditioning for roles this winter at outside back after the club parted ways with two starters.

The Red Bulls announced on Monday that they have declined options on wing backs David Carney and Brandon Barklage, with Carney eligible to remain in Major League Soccer through the waiver draft and Barklage eligible for the MLS re-entry draft.

Must-See Goal: Darwin Quintero

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=op3DaBuZg3Q

Monday Kickoff: Balotelli linked with Milan exit; Ronaldo a doubt for Galatasaray clash; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Mario Balotelli's tumultuous time at AC Milan could be nearing it's end.

After scoring 26 penalty kicks in a row, the first 26 of his professional career, Balotelli missed the second one of the season as Milan drew, 1-1, with Genoa, dropping the Italian giants to 13th place in Serie A.

Timbers vs. RSL: SBI Live Match Commentary

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The Portland Timbers have a monumental task tonight, but they'll face it in a home stadium with arguable the best home-field advantage in MLS as they face Real Salt Lake in the second leg of their Western Conference Final (9pm, ESPN).

RSL comes in off a 4-2 victory in the first leg, meaning Portland has to win by two goals to force overtime, or win by three goals to advance to the MLS Cup Final.

RSL advances to MLS Cup Final after dispatching Timbers

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By MIKE DONOVAN

PORTLAND, Ore.-Real Salt Lake used an early goal to solidify its aggregate lead and never looked back as the club booked its spot in the MLS Cup final for the second time in franchise history.

Robbie Findley's first-half goal was the difference as RSL defeated the host Timbers, 1-0, on Sunday night at Jeld-Wen Field.

European Weekend Rewind: Bayern blank Dortmund; Giroud leads Arsenal past Southampton; and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Even though they had won their most important meeting with Borussia Dortmund back in May's Champions League Final, Bayern Munich entered Signal Iduna Park this weekend on a six-match winless run against Dortmund in Bundesliga play.

That all changed during the second half of Saturday's rivalry match, which ended 3-0 in favor of the visitors.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Those wanting to see Mix Diskerud earn a U.S. Men's National Team start in central midfield next to Michael Bradley received more ammunition for their argument this weekend.

Diskerud delivered what is surely to be one of the best goals scored by an American playing overseas this season on Sunday, as he unleashed a cannon of a shot into the top corner of the net after masterfully sidestepping a diving defender.

UCLA, Cal, and Notre Dame all begin play in NCAA Tournament second round

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By DAN KARELL

With the field cut down to 32 teams, the 16 seeded squads all return to action on Sunday as they begin their paths to the College Cup.

Each school knows that there will be a new champion this year as last year's national title winner, Indiana, were knocked out last Wednesday by Akron, who moved on to face Marquette.

Austria 1, USMNT 0: Field-Level Highlights

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Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

A matchup between two English Premier League powers on the outside looking in at the early-season title race highlights this Soccer Sunday.

Eighth-place Manchester City host seventh-place Tottenham Hotspur at Ethiad Stadium in a matchup between City's high-powered offense and Spurs' stingy defense.

Must-See Goal: Diego Costa

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By DAN KARELL

Diego Costa just can not stop scoring.

With his Atletico Madrid side already holding a 4-0 lead in the 69th minute, Costa found himself behind a cross from teammate Gabi while in the box. Instead of letting the ball go past him or pass it to a teammate outside the box, Costa instead attempted the audacious overhead kick, which of course went in.

Dwyer and Sapong lead Sporting KC past Dynamo to advance to MLS Cup final

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By DAN KARELL

Not even the frigid cold air in Kansas City on Saturday evening could turn down the heat inside Sporting Park.

Behind goals from once-reserve forwards C.J. Sapong and Dom Dwyer, Sporting Kansas City erased an early deficit to defeat the Houston Dynamo, 2-1, in the second leg of the Eastern Conference finals, advancing to the MLS Cup final for the first time since 2004.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Defending treble winners Bayern Munich look to extend their lead atop the Bundesliga table and make league history when they face rivals Borussia Dortmund on this jam-packed Soccer Saturday of action.

Bayern head to Signal Iduna Park on a 36-match unbeaten run in Bundesliga play, and they can break the longstanding record held by 1982-83 Hamburg with another positive result against their biggest German opponents.

SBI 2014 MLS Draft Big Board (version 1.0)

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By IVES GALARCEP

While it might still seem far away, the 2014 MLS Draft is actually less than two months away, meaning most MLS teams are well into their draft preparations as they try to identify the players to go after on draft day.

As is our tradition on SBI, we will be providing you with regular player rankings leading up to the draft, offering you the best measure of MLS draft prospects you will find anywhere.

Report: Stoke manager Hughes reveals that Agudelo won’t join in January

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By DAN KARELL

The surprising news earlier this week that Juan Agudelo's work permit application was denied has cost him a chance to join Stoke City in the English Premier League in January.

At his pre-match press conference Stoke manager Mark Hughes confirmed his disappointment with the news, saying that due to the decision, the club will continue their search for a new striker in January.

MLS Ticker: Crew decline options on O’Rourke and Arrieta; Hamid training with West Bromwich; and more

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By MARC SERBER

Barely two weeks onto the job, Columbus Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter is already busy making roster moves.

While other teams are cleaning house, the Columbus Crew announced on Friday afternoon that itexercised the contract options on 14 players from its current roster.

Revolution exercise option on Goncalves, decline Davies, will monitor Agudelo situation

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By KEVIN KOCZWARA

Jose Goncalves will call New England home again.

The Revolution made their captain's loan permanent as the team used their option to purchase the player and transfer him permanently to New England, the club announced Friday.

This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

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By MARC SERBER

Club soccer returns from the international break this weekend with a bang. There are massive matches in Germany and England, the resumption of the MLS playoffs and the start of the Liguilla (playoffs) in the Liga MX.

Saturday morning starts with the Merseyside Derby with Everton entertaining Liverpool at Goodison Park.

NASL Ticker: Scorpions name Marcina full time head coach; FC Edmonton sign new striker; and more

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By MARC SERBER

After sifting through over 200 candidates, the San Antonio Scorpions decided to give Alen Marcina the head coaching job on a full time basis.

Marcina took over for San Antonio on an interim basis following the sacking of Tim Hankinson on August 27, and went 3-5-1 in the final eight games as the Scorpions finished the Fall season in last place.

Liga MX playoffs – quarterfinal round: A Look Ahead

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By MARC SERBER

Club America enter the Liga MX Apertura playoffs with the league's best record, but ten players from their side are just returning from New Zealand, after having to go to the other side of the world to help Mexico qualify for the World Cup.

Staring down the barrel at Club America in their Liguilla quarterfinal match-up is a Tigres UANL side that pipped Chiapas to the final playoff spot on goal differential, but are not to be taken lightly.

SBI MLS Fantasy: Round 40 Preview

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By CASEY CANNON

Hello and Welcome to the Soccer by Ives Fantasy Corner – now with more magical moments! Every week I dig through statistics, news, and rumors to provide the reader with the kind of fantasy advice that only a guy who really dislikes scarves can provide.

One team MyGameFairPlay had a huge week and displaced marmots at the top of the SBI league.

Report: Bayern Munich to face MLS All Stars in Portland next year

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By DAN KARELL

If the latest reports are correct, next summer's Major League Soccer All-Star Game opponent will be one of the biggest in league history.

According to a report in the Munich Evening News, German giants Bayern Munich will travel to the United States to face the MLS All-Stars in 2014, becoming the first ever German side to play in the annual summer friendly match.

Friday Kickoff: Walcott set for Arsenal return: Bale says injuries are behind him; and more

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By DAN KARELL

The supposed "minor injury" that has kept Arsenal winger Theo Walcott out for the past two months has reportedly healed itself, leaving the England international fit for this weekend's action.

In his pre-match press conference, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger declared Walcott fit to return to first team action, and Walcott looks set to be thrown straight into the game-day squad without any games under his belt when Southampton visit the Emirates on Saturday.

What’s next for Agudelo?

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By IVES GALARCEP

Days after the stunning news that he would not be receiving a UK work permit, young American forward Juan Agudelo is in limbo as he heads toward the January transfer window as a free agent.

With his Stoke City deal appearing to be dead in the water, what happens next for Agudelo?

Akron tops Indiana, Elon and Louisville survive in PKs in NCAA first round

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Photo courtesy of Louisville Athletics

By IVES GALARCEP

There will be a new NCAA Men's Soccer National Champion in 2013 after defending champion Indiana saw dreams of a repeat dashed by a familiar foe.

Akron jumped out to a 2-0 lead and held off a furious second-half charge from the Hoosiers to hold on to a 3-2 victory in their first-round NCAA Tournament match in Akron.

European Weekend Preview: Dortmund host rivals Bayern; Southampton visit first-place Arsenal; and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

After a major international break that finalized the field for next summer's World Cup, the focus will be back on league play this weekend and a major rivalry clash in Germany

Even though they sport a perfect league record at home this season, the odds will be against second-place Borussia Dortmund when they face first-place Bayern Munich on Saturday.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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By FRANCO PANIZO

If Alejandro Bedoya is going to bounce back from his U.S. Men's National Team performance this weekend, he will have to do so against one of the most talented teams in the world.

Bedoya and Nantes have a golden opportunity to jump into Ligue 1′s UEFA Champions League qualifier spot on Sunday, but will have to do so against an AS Monaco side that boasts the likes of Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez.

Chivas USA parts ways with Mejia, nine others

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Let the offseason purge at Chivas USA begin.

Nearing the end of what has been a disastrous year, Chivas USA announced on Thursday afternoon that they have parted ways with 10 players. The club sent Edgar Mejia, Julio Morales, Mario de Luna and Jaime Frias back to Liga MX outfit Club Deportivo Guadalajara and also declined options for Patrick McLain, Steven Purdy, Daniel Antunez, Marvin Iraheta, Josue Soto and Jose Manuel Rivera.

As deal with Red Bulls falls apart, Sky Blue forges ahead

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

The New York Red Bulls won't be acquiring a National Women's Soccer League team anytime soon.

Negotiations dating back to December 2012between the Red Bulls and New Jersey-based NWSL club Sky Blue FC have fallen apart and Sky Blue is forging ahead with a new plan for 2014, club CEO Thomas Hofstetter told reporters Thursday.

USWNT to kick off 2014 with friendly vs. Canada

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Photo by Nick Turchiaro/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. Women's National Team's rivalry with Canada will be renewed in January 2014, as the two teams square off in their first friendly of the year.

U.S. Soccer announced on Thursday that Tom Sermanni will guide the U.

LeBron on MLS Miami expansion talks: “We’re working on it”

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By FRANCO PANIZO

A week filled with expansion news received a little more on Wednesday night.

According to a report from Sports Illustrated, NBA star LeBron James spoke out again about his MLS Miami expansion discussions with fellow global icon David Beckham following the Miami Heat's win in Orlando on Wednesday night.

Hartman retiring after 17 years in MLS

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By FRANCO PANIZO

One of the most accomplished goalkeepers in MLS history is calling it a career.

New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Kevin Hartman is officially hanging up his cleats after spending an illustrious 17-year career in MLS, sources confirmed to SBI on Thursday.

Austria 1, USMNT 0: Match Reaction

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Photo by Thomas Eisenhuth/ISIphotos.com

Defending champ Indiana faces Akron as NCAA Tournament Kicks off tonight

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By IVES GALARCEP

The NCAA Tournament field will be whittled down from 48 to 32 today as the first round of the tournament kicks off across the country.

Defending national champion Indiana headlines the marquee match-up of the first round, taking on Akron in a highly-anticipated clash featuring plenty of pro prospects.

NWSL Ticker: Dynamo want pro women’s team, Reign continues off-season deal-making; and more

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

The Houston Dynamo are making a strong and very public push to acquire a franchise in the year-old National Women's Soccer League.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the Major League Soccer club wants an NWSL team and is in talks to gauge the feasibility of joining the new eight-team league.

Forbes values eight MLS franchises at more than $100 million

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By DAN KARELL

In the wake of Major League Soccer's decision to expand to 21 teams by 2015 with the inclusion of Orlando City Soccer Club, the league received some more positive news on Wednesday.

According to a report in Forbes, eight MLS franchises are valued at more than $100 million each, with the Seattle Sounders leading the way at a value of $175 million.

This is the 2014 World Cup field

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By DAN KARELL

With Uruguay's scoreless draw against Jordan on Wednesday evening and their 5-0 aggregate victory, the 32-team field for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil is set.

The South Americans were the last nation to earn a berth in the World Cup after a qualifying process that began with Belize defeating Monserrat, 5-2, on June 15, 2011 in CONCACAF.

Thursday Kickoff: Uruguay book ticket to Brazil; Ribery out of Dortmund clash; and more

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By DAN KARELL

The field of 32 for the 2014 World Cup is set.

Uruguay became the final nation to qualify for the World Cup after their scoreless draw with Jordan in the second leg of the AFC/CONMEBOL playoffs, finishing with a 5-0 aggregate score in the South American nation's favor at Estadio Centenario in Montevideo.

Magee, Keane, and Di Vaio top MVP nominees as MLS announces awards finalists

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By DAN KARELL

Three names remain are in the running for Major League Soccer MVP of the 2013 season after the league revealed the finalists for their end-of-season awards.

Robbie Keane, Mike Magee, and Marco Di Vaio are all in the running for the league's Most Valuable Player, though none of the trio remain in the MLS Cup playoffs.

Orlando City majority owner hints at Kaka interest

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

ORLANDO, Fla. — After making their Major League Soccer dream a reality, Orlando City Soccer Club now have their eyes set on another target, their first designated player.

Flavio Augusto Da Silva, the majority owner of the club, hinted after the Lions' entrance to the league that he's focused on bringing a top-level designated player once they kickoff in MLS in 2015.

Evans signs new multi-year contract with Sounders

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By DAN KARELL

Brad Evans has parlayed his recent form with both the Seattle Sounders and the U.S. Men's National Team into a new contract.

The Sounders announced on Wednesday that Evans has signed a "multi-year contract" to remain with the club into next season. Per league and team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

MLS Ticker: Berhalter adds Wolff to Crew staff; Fire pair set for Atletico Madrid training stints; and more

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By DAN KARELL

With only a couple of months to go before the start of preseason training, new Columbus Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter has been hard at work making additions to his back-room staff, and he's quickly found two new hires.

The Crew announced on Wednesday that former Major League Soccer forward Josh Wolff has joined the club as an assistant coach while Asher Mendelsohn will become the Crew's director of soccer operations, effective immediately.

Agudelo’s Stoke City work permit denied

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By KEVIN KOCZWARA

Juan Agudelo's dreams of playing in the English Premier League have hit a major roadblock.

On Wednesday morning, Stoke City announced that Agudelo, who is set to join the EPL club in January, had his work-permit application denied by the United Kingdom Home Office.

Garber confirms MLS interest in Miami

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By KEVIN KOCZWARA and MIKE GRAMAJO

ORLANDO, Fla. Commissioner Don Garber confirmed at last night's announcement for Orlando City that Major League Soccer is working with David Beckham to add another team in Florida soon. Garber even met with the mayor of the city to talk about the p

"I'm convinced Miami will be a great market if we can get a stadium in Downtown Miami and right ownership," Garber told SBI.

The SBI Show: Episode 92 (Recapping USA-Austria, talking Orlando City, and more)

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By IVES GALARCEP

The U.S. Men's National Team closed out 2013 with a year-ending loss to Austria and the latest episode of The SBI Show takes a look back at the action.

Episode 92 of The SBI Show takes a closer look at the 1-0 loss to Austria, including a look at the players who boosted their stock, and those who struggled.

Mexico caps dramatic qualifying run with victory over New Zealand, ticket to Brazil

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

Despite all the theatrics and worry that Mexico might not qualify for the 2014 World Cup, it turned out to be an easy task with only New Zealand standing in their way. With a 4-2 victory over New Zealand early Wednesday, Mexico is booked for Brazil on a 9-3 aggregate score line.

MLS awards Orlando City 21st franchise; will begin play in 2015

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

ORLANDO, Fla. — For the first time in more than a dozen years, Major League Soccer is coming back to the Sunshine State.

After much speculation, MLS commissioner Don Garber officially welcomed Orlando City SC as the league's 21st franchise on Tuesday.

The Lions will begin play in the 2015 MLS season.

Austria 1, USMNT 0: Match Highlights

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Photo by Thomas Eisenhuth/ISIphotos.com

Wednesday Kickoff: Hummels and Schmelzer out for Dortmund; Ballon d’Or deadline extended; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Germany head coach Joachim Löw isn't feeling the love right now in Dortmund.

After sending a number of his Bayern Munich-based players home from Germany camp following their 1-1 draw with Italy last Friday, Low decided to keep the Borussia Dortmund players in the side, and both Mats Hummels andMarcel Schmelzer have come away from Germany's 1-0 victory over England with injuries.

UEFA Qualifying Rewind: Ronaldo wins showdown vs. Ibrahimovic; France digs out of deep hole; and more

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

Cristiano Ronaldo again proved Tuesday why he is one of the greatest to ever play the game, much to the chagrin of Sweden and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

In a battle of Ronaldo vs. Ibrahimovic, it was one-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo who lifted his nation to victory.

USMNT suffer underwhelming loss to Austria to close out 2013

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Photo by Thomas Eisenhuth/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

A memorable year ended with a more than forgettable result.

The U.S. Men's National Team closed out their successful 2013 with a disappointing 1-0 loss to Austria in a friendly at Ernst-Happel-Stadion in Vienna on Tuesday.

SBI USMNT Man of the Match: Michael Bradley

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By DAN KARELL

While the U.S. Men's National Team succumbed to a second consecutive shutout in their 1-0 defeat to Austria, there were a number of positives to note. One of them was certainly the reemergence of Michael Bradley.

The AS Roma midfielder brushed off a subdued performance from last Friday at Scotland with a much better performance on Tuesday night in the rain of Vienna, earning him SBI USMNT Man of the Match honors.

Sounders re-sign Alonso to Designated Player contract

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By DAN KARELL

One of Major League Soccer's best players has earned a raise.

The Seattle Sounders announced on Tuesday that they had signed midfielder Osvaldo Alonso to a multi-year Designated Player contract, keeping the Cuban native at the club for the foreseeable future.

USA vs. Austria: SBI Live Match Commentary

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The U.S. Men's National Team will play the final match of 2013 today in Vienna against Austria (2:30pm, NBC Sports).

The Americans are coming off a boring 0-0 draw that saw the team struggle badly in the first half before improving thanks to some substitutions in the second half.

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

Bradley, Egypt bow out of qualifying with win over Ghana

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The performance was admirable, but the end result was not what Bob Bradley and Egypt were hoping for.

Facing a near-impossible scenario to reach next summer's World Cup, Egypt defeated Ghana, 2-1, in Cairo on Tuesday but were eliminated from qualifying after falling 7-3 on aggregate in the two-legged playoff against the Black Stars.

A look back at the Shot Heard Around the World

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Nearly a quarter-century ago, the U.S. Men's National Team started a trend of reaching World Cups thanks to a historical goal from Paul Caligiuri.

It was24 years ago to the day that Caligiuri struck "the Shot Heard Around the World" with his left foot to lift the U.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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By FRANCO PANIZO

If you did not fake being sick from work or school today, you will probably regret it later.

Tuesday's slate of matches is jampacked with intriguing contests as the final few berths for next summer's World Cup in Brazil will be clinched. From what will surely be an intense second leg between Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal and Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Sweden to Mexico's visit to New Zealand to finalize their plans to Brazil, there is soccer to keep viewers busy all day.

Cahill ties Australian scoring record with winner vs. Costa Rica

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The fine form that Tim Cahill ended the MLS season with has carried over to the international stage.

Cahill came off the bench to help Australia win its first game under new head coach Ange Postecoglou on Tuesday, scoring a trademark header to give the Socceroos a 1-0 triumph over Costa Rica at Allianz Stadium in Sydney.

Tuesday Kickoff: Xavi suffering from thigh problem; Hart to start for England; and more

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By DAN KARELL and MARC SERBER

Despite the return of Cesc Fabregas to full training on Tuesday, Barcelona could be without one of their central midfield starlets for this Saturday's match against Granada.

Already having missed the Spanish National Team's trip to Africa for a pair of friendlies, midfielder Xavi Hernandez has continued to struggle to overcome a thigh injury, having trained on the side for the last few days.

USMNT looks to finish record year on a high note vs. Austria

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By DAN KARELL

Heading into the final match of 2013, U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has overseen a near-revolution in his side. During the calendar year, the U.S. won 16 matches, three more than ever before in the same time span.

Report: Heat’s James considering joining Beckham’s MLS ownership group

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By DAN KARELL

One of the biggest stars in American sports could team up with David Beckham in his plan to start a Major League Soccer franchise in Miami.

According to numerous reports on Monday, Miami Heat star Lebron James confirmed his interest in joining Beckham's ownership group for a potential MLS franchise based in Miami.

NWSL: Leroux traded to Seattle, Mewis heads to Boston

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

Sydney Leroux is heading to play for Seattle Reign FC in the National Women's Soccer League in exchange for Kristie Mewis, who will join her hometown Boston Breakers.

In addition to Mewis in exchange for Leroux, Boston acquired goalkeeper Michelle Betos and Seattle's first- and second-round selections in the 2015 NWSL college draft.

The SBI Show: Episode 91 (Talking USMNT, college soccer and more)

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By IVES GALARCEP

The U.S. Men's National Team is set to play Austria on Tuesday in their final match of 2013, and the latest episode of The SBI Show looks ahead to that match, and looks back at Friday's 0-0 tie vs. Scotland.

Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I discuss lineup options for Jurgen Klinsmann for Tuesday, and break down player performances against Scotland.

USA 0, Scotland 0: Field-Level Highlights

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UEFA Qualifying Preview: France has it all to do against Ukraine as second leg approaches

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By MARC SERBER

In order to make amends for its disastrous and laughable campaign in 2010, France must make history by becoming the first ever UEFA national side to overturn a 2-0 deficit in its home leg versus Ukraine.

After being stunned by goals from Roman Zozulya and Andriy Yarmolenko in Kiev, the Stade de France in Paris will be on a knife's edge.

Who should the USMNT start vs. Austria?

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By IVES GALARCEP

There are two things that are pretty tough debate as we head toward Tuesday's USMNT friendly vs. Austria, the final U.S. Men's National Team match of 2013. First, last Friday's draw against Scotland was forgettable. Second, Jurgen Klinsmann can and will make lineup changes to try and generate a better performance and give some new faces a look.

NCAA Tournament Field set: Akron facing Indiana, Stanford and St. John’s in as bubble teams

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The NCAA Tournament Field was announced on Monday afternoon and there weren't a ton of real surprises save for one extremely juicy first-round match-up.

Defending national champion Indiana will have an extremely tough road to a repeat as the Hoosiers were paired with Akron in easily the best first-round match-up of the 48-team tournament.

Pelosi signs new Liverpool contract

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By DAN KARELL

Though he hasn't played a game in more than nine months due to a serious leg injury, American youngster Marc Pelosi has signed a new contract with Liverpool FC.

The 19-year-old U.S. youth international midfielder suffered a broken leg on February 17 of this year, but according to Liverpool, he's impressed the club so much in his rehabilitation from the injury that he's earned a new contract.

MLS Ticker: Cahill considering A-league loan; DeRo open to move abroad; and more

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

New York Red Bulls midfielder Tim Cahill is reportedly eying a move back to his native Australia this winter while his Major League Soccer season is over to stay fit ahead of next summer's World Cup.

Cahill will decide in the next few weeks whether he will seek a loan to play in his homeland's A-League or even in the English Premier League, according to some rumors.

Monday Kickoff: Scolari open to Chelsea return; Khedira undergoes successful knee surgery; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Even though he didn't leave in the most amicable of circumstances, Luiz Felipe Scolari is interested in the idea of returning to England someday to manage once more in the Premier League.

The current Brazil boss took over at Chelsea in July, 2008, but was fired just seven months into the job due to a poor run of form, a move that obviously disappointed the 65-year-old veteran manager.

CAF qualifying rewind: Nigeria, Ivory Coast, and Cameroon are through to the World Cup

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By MARC SERBER

Among the confederations across the globe, the road to the World Cup is probably the most strenuous in the Confederation of African Football.

Only five nations of their 54 members qualify for the World Cup after an arduous campaign that started for some all the way back in November of 2011.

USA 0, Scotland 0: SBI Player Grades

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By IVES GALARCEP

The first half was forgettable, but the second half was encouraging. That was the best way to sum up the U.S. Men's National Team's 0-0 tie vs. Scotland.

The first half was truly forgettable, with the U.S. team lacking energy and offering little in the attack.

College Soccer: Championship Sunday (SBI Live Commentary)

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By IVES GALARCEP

The NCAA Tournament field will be set on Monday, and today we will see 18 conference tournament champions crowned, and 18 automatic berths to the NCAA Tournament awarded.

We have already had four teams qualify automatically for the tournament, with Loyola Marymount and Penn winning their respective regular season conference titles (neither conference plays a post-season tournament) while Drexel and University of Maryland-Baltimore County both won conference titles on Saturday.

College Soccer: Indiana, Providence and Virginia among teams booking spots in conference finals

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Indiana Hoosiers moved a step closer to an improbable run to the NCAA Tournament after defeating Penn State in penalty kicks in Friday's Big Ten semifinals.

The Hoosiers have a losing record, but the defending champions can secure a place in the NCAA Tournament with a win against Michigan State in Sunday's Big Ten Final.

Must-See Goal: Keisuke Honda

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The Netherlands-Japan friendly on Friday was a beautiful display of quality passing for both teams, and the highlight of the match featured Japan's masterfully-worked equalizer.

Keisuke Honda finished things off, but it was the combination play that made this a must-see goal.

Enjoy:

USMNT 0, Scotland 0: Post-Game Player Reactions

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USMNT 0, Scotland 0: Match Highlights

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UEFA Qualifying Rewind: Ukraine, Portugal, and Greece all have the upper hand after first leg

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By MARC SERBER

Unlike yesterday's World Cup qualifying playoffs (Jordan 0, Uruguay 5 and Mexico 5, New Zealand 1) the good news is that every team in Europe still has a chance heading into the second leg.

It will be toughest for Romania after falling, 3-1, to Greece on the road, but the Romanians do have the away goal and will be playing the second leg at home.

SBI USMNT Man of the Match: Tim Howard

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By DAN KARELL

In a game with opportunities few and far between, it was the man between the posts who stepped up to keep the U.S. Men's National Team in the game.

Though he wasn't tested much in the scoreless draw with Scotland, USMNT goalkeeper Tim Howard played with a veteran's savvy and poise with every Scotland attack.

Lackluster performance sees USMNT settle for scoreless draw with Scotland

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

A lesson in frustration. That is essentially what the U.S. Men's National Team's friendly in Scotland was all about.

The U.S. settled for a disappointing and unimpressive scoreless draw with Scotland at Hampden Park in Glasgow on Friday in their penultimate match of 2013.

USA vs. Scotland: SBI Live Commentary

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By IVES GALARCEP

The U.S. Men's National Team take on Scotland today in Glasgow in their next-to-last match of the year (3pm, ESPN2).

The U.S. team is without Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan for today's match, but that will open the door for Sacha Kljestan and Alejandro Bedoya to earn starts in the 4-2-3-1 formation Klinsmann will deploy today.

NASL/USLPRO Ticker: OKC team named named Energy FC; Ayoze signs Cosmos extension; and more

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By MARC SERBER

Some four months after being awarded a USL Pro franchise, Oklahoma City's owners, Prodigal LLC, announced theclub's name, colors, and venue for the 2014 season at a press conference on Thursday afternoon. The teamwill be known as "OKC Energy FC" with ties to Oklahoma City's connections with industry.

Soccer Friday: Your Running Commentary

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By DAN KARELL

The final international break of the year continues on Friday with the commencement of the UEFA World Cup qualifying playoff round.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal take on Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Sweden in the highest-profile game of the day, though Greece vs.

The SBI Show: Episode 90 (Previewing USA-Scotland, talking MLS, and more)

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By IVES GALARCEP

The U.S. Men's National Team faces Scotland today in the first of two end-of-year friendlies and the latest episode of The SBI Show breaks down the matchup and what to watch for.

Join co-host Garrett Cleverly and I as we discuss potential lineups, and predict outcomes for today's friendly.

USMNT-Scotland Pre-game Live Chat over at Goal

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By IVES GALARCEP

If you are anxiously awaiting the USMNT-Scotland match, and want to discuss it and all things U.S. Men's National Team, then I have the place for you.

Join me over at Goal.com, where I will be hosting a live chat from 12:30pm until about 1:30pm. I will be taking reader questions on today's match, and all things USMNT.

MLS Ticker: Marsch eyes vacant Whitecaps post; McBean heads to England to train; and more

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

After parting ways with the Montreal Impact last year, Jesse Marsch appears closer to returning to a Major League Soccer head coaching position. The Vancouver Whitecaps have reportedly interviewed Marsch as a possible replacement for Martin Rennie, whose contract was not renewed after two seasons.

UEFA Qualifying Preview: Portugal vs. Sweden highlights playoff round first-leg matches

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By DAN KARELL

Two will enter, but only one of Cristiano Ronaldo orZlatan Ibrahimovic will qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

By virtue of finishing in second place in their groups, UEFA placed through a random draw Ronaldo and Portugal with Ibrahimovic and Sweden, robbing fans of seeing both international stars at the World Cup but giving everyone an opportunity to see them matched up against one another.

Boyd and Johannsson reflect on their USMNT experiences

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Sounders’ brass strongly backs Schmid for 2014

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By JASON MITCHELL

On Monday, Seattle Sounders part owner and general manager Adrian Hanauer indicated a decision on retaining head coach Sigi Schmid could take weeks.

Guess not.

Majority owner Joe Roth issued a press release Thursday morning announcing Schmid's return for the 2014 season.

Friday Kickoff: Iniesta not interested in foreign offers; FIFA ethics committee can’t take WC from Qatar; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Contract negotiations are continuing between Barcelona and Andres Iniesta, but though the club are reportedly not worried about rushing to complete a new deal.

The Spanish international's current deal runs through the end of the 2014/2015 season, when Iniesta will be 31-years old, but according to reports in Spain, Iniesta isn't interested in leaving Barcelona.

Lichaj ready to seize opportunity in upcoming friendlies

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By TYLER GRAY

It's been a while since Eric Lichaj has been called up to the U.S. Men's National Team. Injuries, starting a family, and poor club form have all contributed to his long absence. He's been in the same boat as Timothy Chandler, outcast since the 2011 Gold Cup when Bob Bradley was still at the helm.

USMNT prepare to fine-tune against Scotland in penultimate 2013 friendly

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By FRANCO PANIZO

World Cup qualifying and its drama are in the rear-view mirror for the U.S. Men's national Team. What lies ahead are the final preparations for the World Cup.

The U.S. is currently in Europe preparing for the first of its final two friendlies in its successful 2013 campaign.

PRO releases referee assignments for Conference Finals second legs

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Photo by Patricia Giobetti/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The referee assignments for the upcoming Conference Finals matches are in.

Professional Referee Organization (PRO) announced on Thursday the officiating crews for next weekend's decisive legs in the Eastern and Western Conferences Finals.

Schmid to stay on as Sounders head coach

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By FRANCO PANIZO

It turns out Sigi Schmid will return as head coach of the Seattle Sounders in 2014.

Speculation over Schmid's future in Seattle came to a close on Thursday as Sounders majority owner Joe Roth issued a statement backing Schmid as the head coach of the club.

Red Bulls already planning how to use Henry in 2014

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Whether it is by adding another offensive piece or resting Thierry Henry more often, the New York Red Bullsneed to find ways to help lift the offensive load off their captain's shoulders in 2014.

Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke said via his end-of-the-season conference call on Wednesday that Henry is still talented enough a player to build around despite being 36 years-old.

MLS to host new Caribbean Player Combine in Antigua in January

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The MLS Player Combine will not be the only place where some young hopefuls will be hoping to catch the eyes of scouts from across the league.

MLS announced on Thursday that it has partnered with the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) to host a Caribbean Player Combine in 2014.

adidas releases new Argentina jersey for 2014 World Cup

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Same classic look with a slight new twist.

A day after unveiling the 2014 World Cup jerseys for Germany and Spain, adidas released an image of the new Argentina uniform for next summer's tournament. The Argentina jersey has a unique trim of gold on the right side and some light wavy lines running from right to left.

A rundown of all the College Conference Tournament action

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By IVES GALARCEP

The NCAA Tournament field will be announced in just four days time, and the race to secure the 23 automatic berths linked to conference titles is wide open, without a single one secured yet.

A total of 20 conference tournaments are taking place across the country, with each of them guaranteeing at least one golden ticket into the NCAA Tournament.

Beasley and Bedoya reflect upon return to Glasgow

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SBI College Soccer Top 25 (Nov. 14th Edition)

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Final SBI College Soccer Top 25 of the regular season features two teams who started the season near the top, and look poised to make runs at an NCAA title.

Notre Dame has climbed to the top of the heap after a strong run through the ACC regular season, and now the Fighting Irish head toward the semifinals looking like a good bet to challenge Maryland for the ACC title.

Thursday Kickoff: Dortmund eying Costa; French clubs postpone strike; and more

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By DAN KARELL

It's no secret that Borussia Dortmund are looking for a replacement next season for Robert Lewandowski, and according to reports in Germany, they have their eyes on one of the most in-form forwards in Spain.

Diego Costa, who has 13 goals in 13 La Liga games this season, is a summer target of Dortmund's, according to German publication BILD.

Must-see Goal: Edinson Cavani

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Report: Keane agrees new contract with Galaxy

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By DAN KARELL

The Los Angeles Galaxy look committed to keep star forward Robbie Keane with the club into the latter half of the decade.

After a season where Keane earned SBI's Major League Soccer MVP honors with 16 goals and 11 assists, the Republic of Ireland international has reportedly agreed to a new deal with the Galaxy.

Despite early playoff exit, Petke excited about Red Bulls’ future

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By TYLER GRAY

When New York Red Bulls head coach, Mike Petke, first learned that we would be coaching his former team, he stared at the wall and thought to himself, "Holy s , what do I do next?"

Now, just under a year later, and with arguably the franchise's most successful season under his belt, he seems like a completely different person.

adidas unveils World Cup jerseys for Spain, Germany

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Spain and Germany's 2014 World Cup jerseys have arrived.

Adidas unveiled the two European nations' new uniforms for next summer's World Cup in Brazil on Wednesday, and each one has designs that are inspired by its respective country.

Spain's jersey color is its traditional red and a gold outline that symbolizes the current golden era of Spanish soccer.

Mexico vs. New Zealand: Your Running Commentary

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Mexico's final chance to qualify for the 2014 World Cup will kick off today as 'El Tri' takes on New Zealand in the first leg of their two-leg qualifying playoff series (3:30pm, Univision).

Mexico is fielding a squad made up only of domestic players as new manager Miguel Herrera tries to build a squad around his successful Club America squad.

Uruguay on brink of World Cup berth after routing Jordan in playoff first leg

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Forget having one foot in the door. Uruguay is as close to having both in as any team could after playing just the first leg of a playoff series.

Uruguay all but looked to have assured its place in next summer's World Cup in Brazil on Wednesday by going on the road and thrashing Jordan, 5-0.

Who should the USMNT start vs. Scotland?

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By IVES GALARCEP

The U.S. Men's National Team is in Scotland ahead of Friday's international friendly, and while the lasting memories of the most recent meeting between these teams was that of a blowout, the return leg in Glasgow should be a significantly tougher challenge for Jurgen Klinsmann's side.

Dempsey, F. Johnson forced off USMNT roster with injuries

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Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Two of the U.S. Men's National Team's most dynamic offensive weapons will not be suiting up in the upcoming friendlies.

U.S. Soccer announced on Wednesday afternoon that Clint Dempsey and Fabian Johnson have been forced to withdraw from the roster that is currently in Europe preparing for friendlies against Scotland and Austria.

Mexico set to host New Zealand in first leg of much-anticipated World Cup playoff series

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Mexico may still be alive in World Cup qualifying thanks to the U.S. Men's National Team, but reaching next summer's prestigious tournament now falls squarely on El Tri's shoulders.

The beginning of the end of Mexico's troubled and forgettable 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign is set to get underway on Wednesday afternoon, as El Tri host New Zealand in the first match of their two-legged playoff series at Estadio Azteca.

Orlando City to be announced as MLS expansion club on Nov. 19

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By FRANCO PANIZO

At long last, MLS is returning to Florida.

Orlando City SC announced on Wednesday that it is set to make a major announcement at an event that is open to the public at Cheyenne Saloon on Nov. 19. The news confirms an Orlando Sentinel report from last week that stated the USL PRO club would make its move to MLS official on Nov.

Berhalter ready to take Crew into a new era

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By DAN KARELL

The search for a new head coach took a little more than two months but Columbus Crew owner Anthony Precourt believes he found just the right person to take the club into what he called "a new era."

On Tuesday afternoon, the Crew officially introduced Gregg Berhalter as the club's seventh head coach and first sporting director at a press conference at Crew Stadium, giving fans and the media a chance to see Berhalter for the first time in person since he was hired on November 6.

Report: Beckham back in Miami to scout potential stadium sites

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By FRANCO PANIZO

David Beckham seemingly cannot get enough of Miami.

According to a report from the Miami Herald, Beckham is back in Miami and will scout stadium sites for his potential MLS expansion club with Bolivian billionaire Marcelo Claure on Wednesday.

Beckham and his long-time associate Simon Fuller were in town having dinner at the South Florida home of Claure on Tuesday night, something which Claure confirmed via his personal social network accounts.

Wednesday Kickoff: Klose to miss Germany friendlies; Carrick out for up to six weeks; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Miroslav Klose only recently returned from a foot injury, but a fresh injury suffered last Sunday for Lazio has ruled the veteran striker out of Germany's final two matches of 2013.

Klose suffered a shoulder injury in Lazio's 1-1 draw with Parma and speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Germany manager Joachim Löw ruled the 35-year-old forward out for the next two to three weeks.

The SBI Show: Episode 89 (Talking USMNT, MLS coaching carousel, and more)

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By IVES GALARCEP

Eric Lichaj is back with the U.S. Men's National Team after more than two years away, which is just one of the leading topics on the latest episode of The SBI Show.

Lichaj was one of the few surprises on the roster called in by Jurgen Klinsmann ahead of the USMNT's upcoming friendlies against Scotland and Austria.

Bristol Rovers extend Packwood loan into January

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By DAN KARELL

Following two man of the match performances in four games, Bristol Rovers weren't ready to let American youngster Will Packwood return to Birmingham City.

The League Two club announced on Wednesday that they were extending the emergency loan of Packwood through early January.

U.S. Soccer appoints Ramos as youth technical director

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By DAN KARELL

U.S. Soccer has decided to promote from within to replace Claudio Reyna as the U.S. National Team youth technical director.

President Sunil Gulati announced on Tuesday evening that current U.S. Under-20 head coach Tab Ramos has been appointed to the position and will balance those duties along with his U-20 job.

MLS Ticker: Donovan sidelined for four to six weeks; Kinnear worried with Garcia call-up; and more

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By DAN KARELL

For Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan, having a longer than usual offseason may be just what he needs.

According to a report at the Galaxy's last media availability of the season, Donovan plans to use the entire offseason to rehabilitate his ailing left ankle, an injury that has kept him at less than 100 percent for the last month and a half.

Revolution Notes: Reis contemplating retirement; Agudelo set for Stoke move; and more

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By KEVIN KOCZWARA

Matt Reis came out of his net in a last-ditch effort to keep the ball in play and keep the New England Revolution's playoff dream alive. But after taking a touch and trying to find a way to play the ball out, the 38-year-old goalkeeper crumpled to the field at Sporting Park clutching his leg.

Report: WNBA games averaged more viewers this year than MLS

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By DAN KARELL

Much has been made recently about the decline in viewers of regular season Major League Soccer matches on National TV, but according to the Sports Business Journal, MLS has a long way to go before it breaks into the living rooms of your average American.

Klinsmann preaches patience for Altidore, urges MLS-based USMNT players to go out on loan

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By DAN KARELL

For the first time since his move to AZ Alkmaar in 2010, Jozy Altidore is living the frustrating life of a forward who isn't scoring goals.

The U.S. Men's National Team regular has yet to score through ten games in the English Premier League and he's already on his second head coach since he joined this summer.

Must-See Goal: Dia Sabah

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Tuesday Kickoff: Prandelli wants Rossi-Balotelli partnership; Costa withdraws from Spain squad; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Italy National Team head coachCesare Prandelli is planning on going with a new striker partnership when his side take on Germany in Milan on Friday.

With the return to fitness after two serious knee injuries and his red-hot scoring form for Fiorentina, Prandelli told reporters in Italy that he'd like to start Guiseppe Rossi alongside Mario Balotelli for the match against the Germans.

MLS Ticker: Magee admits surprise at being left off USMNT squad; Sounders to speak with Schmid; and more

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By DAN KARELL

The top-scoring American in Major League Soccer won't be playing in Europe with the U.S. Men's National Team this week.

When U.S. Soccer announced the 23-man roster for friendly matches against Scotland (November 15) and Austria (November 19), Chicago Fire forward Mike Magee's name was absent from the list, a decision that perhaps was unexpected to him after a career year with the Fire and Galaxy.

College Soccer Weekend Rewind

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By JAY BELL

Washington now has the inside track to the Pac-12 Championship after defeating California, 2-1, on Sunday. Both teams won games on Friday to start the weekend.

UC-Santa Barbara finished the regular season as the top team in the Big West after a 2-0 win over Cal Poly in front of12,805 fans.

SBI MLS MVP: Robbie Keane

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By DAN KARELL

Based purely on statistics, no player was more important to their team over the course of the 2013 MLS regular season than Los Angeles Galaxy designated player Robbie Keane.

With the departure of David Beckham, the late return of Landon Donovan from his sabbatical, and the early-season trade of Mike Magee, even more pressure was placed on the back of the Ireland international, and he stepped up in a big way.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Aron Johannsson could not have asked for a much better birthday.

Johannsson celebrated turning 23 in style on Sunday by adding to his impressive goal-scoring output for the season with a brace in AZ Alkmaar's 2-2 draw vs. Feyenoord Rotterdam. Johannsson opened the scoring with a cool one-timed finish in the first half and converted an equalizing penalty kick in the 57th minute after AZ conceded twice in the opening moments of the second stanza.

Revolution’s Reis faces five to seven months on sidelines

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By MARC SERBER

Matt Reis' status as the starting goalkeeper for the New England Revolution could be in doubt.

The Revolution announced on Monday afternoon that Reis faces five to seven months on the sidelines as he recovers from surgery on his torn left quadriceps tendon.

Liga MX Round 17: A Look Back

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By MARC SERBER

The Liga MX playoffs are set, but they will not feature 2012 Apertura champions Club Tijuana who finished in 10th after a 5-0 thumping away to Club Leon. The glaring defeat and failure to guide Xolos back to the knockout stages also cost head coach Jorge Almiron his job.

The SBI Show: Episode 88 (Talking MLS playoffs, the USMNT, and more)

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By IVES GALARCEP

With the MLS playoffs speeding toward the season-ending MLS Cup Final, the latest episode of The SBI Show catches you up on the weekend's action in the Conference final openers and more.

Episode 88 of The SBI Show takes a closer look at Real Salt Lake's resounding 4-2 win against the Portland Timbers, which has RSL in control and a step closer to returning to MLS Cup.

Bradley, Brooks, and Lichaj return in latest USMNT roster for November friendlies

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By DAN KARELL

Ahead of friendly matches against Scotland (Friday) and Austria (Nov. 19), U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has selected a mixed squad of European-based and Major League Soccer-based players, with a few familiar faces back in the team.

FIFA Puskas Award voting begins today

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By DAN KARELL

There were surely many candidates between November 2012 until now, but FIFA has whittled down the list to ten of the best goals in the last 12 months.

On Monday, FIFA announced the shortlist of nominees for the FIFA Puskas award, which goes to the player (male or female) who scored the best goal of the year.

Monday Kickoff: Messi ruled out for six to eight weeks; Özil and Mertesacker remain in London; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Barcelona's three-point lead at the top of La Liga became even more tenuous on Monday morning.

The Spanish club announced on Monday following tests that star playmaker Lionel Messi has been diagnosed with a hamstring muscle tear and is set for six to eight weeks on the sidelines.

European Weekend Rewind: Van Persie lifts Man Utd over Arsenal; Juventus rout Napoli; and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

After what was a slow start to the English Premier League campaign for defending champions Manchester United under new manager David Moyes, the Red Devils are closing in on the title contenders thanks to a tight victory against first-place Arsenal.

Manchester United extended their unbeaten league run to five matches as Robin van Persie netted an early match-winner against his former club in a 1-0 win at Old Trafford.

LeRoux’s double leads USWNT past Brazil to cap an unbeaten 2013

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By MIKE McCALL

ORLANDO — With key players missing on both sides and a bit of sloppy play from the hosts, this was not one of those U.S.-Brazil clashes for the ages. But as U.S. women's national team coach Tom Sermanni and his players shouted their way through interviews over a still-roaring crowd, it was clear that there were plenty of positives to be found.

Real Salt Lake vs. Timbers (Your Running Commentary)

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The top two teams in the Western Conference square off tonight at Rio Tinto Stadium when the Portland Timbers pay a visit to Real Salt Lake in the first leg of their conference final series (9pm, ESPN2).

The Timbers come in off a resounding victory against the Seattle Sounders, looking thoroughly dominant in beating their arch-rivals.

RSL roll past Timbers, but late goal gives Portland hope

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by TYLER GRAY

SANDY, UT. Portland scored the early goal but it was Real Salt Lake that ended the night as the team in control.

The Timbers shocked the home side with an early Will Johnson free kick goal, but RSL rattled off four straight goals from four different players before securing the 4-2 first-leg victory at Rio Tinto Stadium.

USWNT heads into next year with plenty of questions remaining

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By MIKE McCALL

ORLANDO — The U.S. women's national team put on quite a show to end 2013, notching a 4-1 win over Brazil in front of its biggest home crowd of the year on Sunday.Here are four thoughts from the match as the team prepares to move into the new year and begin qualifying for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup.

Sporting KC holds Dynamo in drab scoreless draw in Houston

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The Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City both played 120 minutes worth of soccer last Wednesday night, and it shows on Saturday afternoon as both sides dragged themselves through a drab 90 minutes of soccer that saw no goals and little inspiration.

Sporting Kansas City will head back home for the second leg of their Eastern Conference final series in good position to advance after escaping BBVA Compass Stadium with a 0-0 draw.

Soccer Bowl (Cosmos vs. Silverbacks): SBI Live Match Commentary

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ATLANTA The New York Cosmos will be looking to cap their first season back in action with a championship as they take on the Atlanta Silverbacks in the Soccer Bowl (ESPN3.com, ESPN Deportes).

The Silverbacks won the NASL Spring title to earn the right to host the Soccer Bowl, while the Cosmos recently won the Fall championship.

Senna’s winner leads Cosmos to first title since 1982

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

ATLANTA, Ga. — For the first time in more than thirty years, the North American Soccer League championship is going back to New York.

Marcos Senna's second-half wonder strike lifted the New York Cosmos to a 1-0 victory over the Atlanta Silverbacks for their sixth Soccer Bowl Championship in team history on Saturday night, in front of 7,211 fans at Atlanta Silverbacks Park.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Photo by Matt West/ISIPhotos.com

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Before the planet's top players depart for an important international break, soccer fans can enjoy a jam-packed Sunday filled with crucial league matches from all over the world.

Many eyes will be on Old Trafford, where eighth-place Manchester United look to continue their solid run of form in the English Premier League with a result against red-hot league leaders Arsenal.

MLS Playoff Preview: Sporting KC vs. Dynamo

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By ALAN HAINKEL AND DAN KARELL

A budding rivalry takes a new step forward as Sporting Kansas City meets the Houston Dynamo in the Eastern Conference finals for the second straight season.

Both teams this season faced their fair share of adversity in the postseason already, with Sporting KC having to come back from a goal down on aggregate to win in extra time, whole the Dynamo came back from two deficits to the New York Red Bulls to outlast them in extra time too.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Chelsea and manager Jose Mourinho will look to extend their impressive home unbeaten run when West Bromwich Albion come to town on this Soccer Saturday.

The Blues have not had the best of success against the Baggies in recent years, but they still maintain a 65-match undefeated streak at Stamford Bridge when "The Special One" is in charge.

Green signs first professional contract with Bayern Munich

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By DAN KARELL

With 15 goals in his first 17 games for Bayern Munich's U-23 team, the German giants have seen enough to offer Julian Green his first professional contract.

The club announced on Friday that the 18-year-old forward has signed with Bayern Munich through June 2017, rewarding Green for his impressive work on the field for the reserves and for the first team during training and in games during preseason friendly matches.

MLS Playoff Preview: Timbers vs. RSL

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BY MIKE DONOVAN AND TYLER GRAY

For the second time in three years, Real Salt Lake finds themselves in the Western Conference finals, just two games away from what would be an incredible appearance in the MLS Cup final, based on the preseason predications.

Standing in their way is Caleb Porter and his gritty yet highly clinical Portland Timbers, who won the season series, 2-1-0, though RSL did defeat Porters side in the U.

College Soccer Weekend Preview

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By JAY BELL

The end of the NCAA College Soccer regular season is closing in with several conference championships still up for grabs, while a few conference tournaments are already kicking off.

UCLA upset California last weekend to take the lead in the Pac-12, but now the Bruins have to wait to see how this weekend's results affect the standings.

Ramos names heavy international-based squad for U.S. U-20 camp in Italy

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By DAN KARELL

U.S. Under-20 head coach Tab Ramos has announced his first squad since the FIFA Under-20 World Cup this past summer, and it's loaded with youngsters plying their trade both professionally and overseas.

A whopping 50 percent of the squad selected by Ramos for a camp in Verona, Italy from November 10-20 play for various clubs in Europe, including Romain Gall with FC Lorient, Emerson Hyndman with Fulham FC, and Junior Flores with Borussia Dortmund.

This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

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By DAN KARELL

Wojciech Szczęsny and his Arsenal teammates are looking to wrap up what in his words would be a "perfect week" when the Gunners travel north to Old Trafford to face Manchester United.

Arsenal have come on very strong since their opening day defeat against Aston Villa but in recent years they haven't been able to overcome the Red Devils at their ground, and with David Moyes' side in better confidence in Premier League play, it's a game that should have fans from across the world tuning in.

MLS Ticker: Nesta not yet ready to coach; Williams interviewed for Whitecaps job; and more

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By KEVIN KOCZWARA

Alessandro Nesta's 20-year career came to an end on Thursday after the Montreal Impact defender announced his retirement. And, despite rumors that circulated earlier this week, he won't be leading the Impact next year as the team's coach.

Instead, the legendary defender will head to Miami to enjoy the sun, to study and to learn.

Liga MX Round 17: A Look Ahead

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By DAN KARELL

Heading into the final week of the Liga MX Apertura season, Club Tijuana still have a chance to make the Liguilla, or playoffs.

Xolos face a Club Leon side that while normally strong, has been weakened by Mexico National Team call-ups that include starters Rafa Marquez and Luis Montes.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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By FRANCO PANIZO

It could be a memorable weekend for Mix Diskerud and Rosenborg BK, but only if they win and get some help in the process.

Diskerud and Rosenborg are entering the final round of Tippeligaen matches on Sunday just one point behind league leaders Stromsgodset, and will need a win and some help in order to add to their record total of 22 championships in Norway.

European Weekend Preview: Manchester United host first-place Arsenal; Napoli face Juventus; and more

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Photo by Matt West/ISIPhotos.com

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

After posting back-to-back home shutout wins against early-season English Premier League title contender Liverpool and defending Champions League runners-up Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal will wrap up their tough stretch of matches at Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United and former star striker Robin van Persie.

Friday Kickoff: Schweinsteiger set for ankle surgery; Costa called up for Spain friendlies; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Bastian Schweinsteiger's injury issues just wont go away.

The Bayern Munich and German National Team star is set to undergo surgery on his ailing right ankle, despite having an operation on the ankle last June. Schweinsteiger has started a number of times for Bayern this season in all competitions but he's been hampered by increasing pain recently.

MLS Western Conference semfinals: Your Running Commentary

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The final two spots in the MLS conference finals will be decided tonight as the Western Conference whittles its field down to two teams with a pair of juicy semifinal second legs.

The Los Angeles Galaxy will face Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium tonight (ESPN2, 9pm) up 1-0 after their first-leg victory.

RSL topple defending champion Galaxy in overtime, head to Conference final

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By TYLER GRAY

SANDY, Utah It took two goals from unlikely sources, but Real Salt Lake finally won a major match at home.

The LA Galaxy led the aggregate heading into this game 1-0 but it was RSL that got two critical goals from midfielder Sebastian Velasquez and defender Chris Schuler, the latter coming in extra time to seal the 2-0 victory and 2-1 aggregate victory for the home side.

Timbers dominate Sounders, book place in West Final vs. RSL

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By MIKE DONOVAN

PORTLAND, Ore.-Not since the Timbers inaugural season as a professional soccer team had the club knocked their rival, the Seattle Sounders, out of postseason play. But that is exactly what Portland did on Thursday night in front of a frenzied crowd, some of whom had waited 38 years for a match of this magnitude.

Report: Williams returns to practice for Reading after recovering from foot injury

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By FRANCO PANIZO

After nearly two months on the sidelines, Danny Williams has returned to practice for Reading FC.

Williams resumed full training with Reading earlier this week after dealing with a bone bruise in his foot that was sustained in a 1-0 victory over Leeds United on Sept.

Boyd headers twice as Rapid Vienna draw Genk in Europa League

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Rapid Vienna were once again unable to pick up an important first win in the UEFA Europa League group stage, but it was through no real fault of Terrence Boyd.

Boyd scored a brace for Rapid Vienna at home on Thursday night, but the Austrian club was forced to settle for a 2-2 draw with KRC Genk.

SBI MLS Goalkeeper of the Year: Nick Rimando

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Photo by Michael Burns/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Another MLS season, another strong year for Nick Rimando.

Rimando helped guide Real Salt Lake to a strong campaign in 2013, one that many observers thought would be a rebuilding year for the club. Rimando's timely blocks, veteran leadership and distribution out of the back all played a big part in Real Salt Lake's impressive season and it is why the U.

Berhalter hoping to bring Crew back into MLS limelight

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The Gregg Berhalter era has begun for the Columbus Crew, and what an era it could shape out to be.

Berhalter was surprisingly named the Crew's new head coach and first sporting director on Wednesday, and he is tasked with turning around a club that has lost some of its luster in recent years.

MLS Notes: Pontius, Woolard undergo offseason surgery; Bernardez, Chavez called up by Honduras; and more

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Photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Two of D.C. United's biggest contributors have undergone offseason surgery and are expected to be recovering for several weeks.

D.C. United announced on Wednesday that forward Chris Pontius and defender Daniel Woolard underwent operations in the past week.

Report: Bahia choose not to renew Adu’s contract

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Freddy Adu's time in Brazil is reportedly set to come to a close, leaving the midfielder to ponder where he will head to next.

Adu will not have his contract renewed by Bahia at the end of the season and will become a free agent, according to a report out of Brazil.

TV executives interested in changing MLS broadcasting schedule

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By KEVIN KOCZWARA

Attendance numbers for Major League Soccer have stayed strong in the last year, even with a one percent drop in average attendance around the league. But one issue MLS can't seem to shake is the struggling television ratings, with drops for both primetime matches on ESPN/ESPN2 and NBC.

Cosmos, Senna to travel to Villarreal for tribute match

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By KEVIN KOCZWARA

Marcos Senna spent 11 illustrious seasons with Villarreal before joining the New York Cosmos this past summer. Now, he will have a chance to make a brief return in front of many of the same fans that cheered him on for so long.

The Cosmos announced on Wednesday that Senna and the Cosmos will travel to El Madrigal Stadium to take on Villarreal on Nov.

Report: Cherundolo resumes full training for Hannover

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Steve Cherundolo's slight setback was only that.

According to a report from German outlet Kicker, Cherundolo has resumed full training for Hannover 96 about a week after being forced to practice individually. The veteran fullback's left knee did not respond to a heavier workloadas well as the club had hoped for last week, but he has been cleared to return to practice with his teammates.

Klinsmann reiterates desire to bring top USMNT to final friendlies of 2013

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

We may currently be in the midst of the MLS playoffs, but not even that will stop U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann from calling in his best players later this month.

Klinsmann reiterated his desire to select the best possible group for the U.

Sporting KC top Revs in overtime, book place in East final vs. Dynamo

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By ALAN HAINKEL

KANSAS CITY, Kansas — In an intense, physical affair, Sporting Kansas City overcame a one-goal deficit from the first leg of their conference semifinal with the New England Revolution to force extra time at Sporting Park.

Claudio Bieler, playing his first match in more than a month, came on as a sub in the 84th minute and scored in the second half of extra time for a 4-3 win on aggregate.

Dynamo down Red Bulls on the road, advance to Conference finals

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By DAN KARELL

The Houston Dynamo had failed to defeat the New York Red Bulls in their first four meetings this season. But none of that mattered when the teams faced off for the fifth time on Wednesday night in the second leg of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

In their third game in seven days, Dominic Kinnear's side pulled off an impressive 2-1 victory after extra time against the Red Bulls, progressing to the Eastern Conference finals with an aggregate score of 4-3.

Thursday Kickoff: Zanetti nearing Inter return; Hodgson backs Hart in England squad; and more

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By DAN KARELL

After making the bench last Sunday, Inter Milan captain Javier Zanetti is hoping to make his long-awaited return from injury this Saturday when the club face Livorno at the San Siro.

The 40-year-old right back ruptured his Achilles tendon last April, ending his season and potentially ending his 22-year professional career.

UCL Rewind: Arsenal defeat Dortmund; Athletico Madrid advance;and more

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By KEVIN KOCZWARA

Aaron Ramsey's sensational season for Arsenal continued on Wednesday.

Ramsey scored the only goal at the Westfalenstadion, giving Arsenal a 1-0 win over Borussia Dortmund in their UEFA Champions League group match.The Welsh midfielder scored shortly after the hour-mark and Arsenal held firm defensively to knock off the German giants.

Earthquakes’ Bingham to train with FC Copenhagen

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Let the offseason training stints begin.

The San Jose Earthquakes announced on Tuesday that goalkeeper David Bingham would train with Danish club FC Copenhagen for two weeks. The training stint runs from Nov. 7-20 and will allow Bingham to continue to stay sharp and fit during the first few weeks of San Jose's offseason.

U-17 USMNT to face Brazil, England, Portugal at Nike International Friendlies

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team will be put to the test in December.

U.S. Soccer announced on Wednesday that Richie Williams' U-17 team will take part in the annual Nike International Friendlies and Development Academy Winter Showcase next month, with the Americans facing off against Brazil, England, and Portugal.

SBI MLS Newcomer of the Year: Diego Valeri

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photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Every year, a fresh batch of newcomers enters MLS and finds ways to make an impact.

Few players, however, do it as impressively as Diego Valeri did in 2013.

Valeri took the MLS season by storm since making his Portland Timbers debut back in an entertaining 3-3 draw against the New York Red Bulls in Week 1, showing off his classy skill and game-changing abilities on a near-game-to-game basis.

SBI MLS Most Improved Player of the Year: Diego Fagundez

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By IVES GALARCEP

Since his arrival as a Homegrown Player for the New England Revolution, Diego Fagundez has been dubbed a star in the making. Teammates have marveled at the youngster's skills for several seasons, but it wasn't until this year that the rest of the league found out just how special a talent he could be.

Report: Orlando City to be announced as MLS expansion team on Nov. 19

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By FRANCO PANIZO

It appears Orlando City's wish of being announced as an MLS expansion team by the end of the year will be granted.

According to a report from the Orlando Sentinel, MLS executive are expected to announce that Orlando City will be the league's 21st franchise on Nov.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The second legs of the Eastern Conference semifinals may be on tap, but those are not the only matches American soccer fans will be watching today.

There are a bevy of quality afternoon games before the MLS postseason action resumes, including Chelsea vs.

Sturgis signs new contract with Rapids

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By DAN KARELL

A career season has resulted in a new contract for Nathan Sturgis.

The Colorado Rapids announced on Wednesday that the 26-year-old Sturgis has signed a new deal to remain with the club next season, after his current contract was set to expire in December.

Kljestan delivers assist, sent off in Champions League draw with PSG

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By FRANCO PANIZO

What was initially looking to be the latest in a string of impressive performances for Sacha Kljestan turned into a game he would probably like to have back.

Kljestan endured a mix day at the office on Tuesday, as he first set up RSC Anderlecht's opener in a 1-1 UEFA Champions League draw vs.

Red Bulls Notes: Petke not worried about loss of Olave; Miller available for selection; and more

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By DAN KARELL

The New York Red Bulls have had plenty of high-pressure games this season, including the season-finale which saw them lift the Supporters Shield, but they face their biggest game of the season without arguably their best defender.

Jamison Olave was shown a straight red card for a reckless challenge midway through the second half of the Red Bulls 2-2 draw with the Dynamo last Sunday.

Berhalter named Crew head coach, sporting director

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By FRANCO PANIZO

A former MLS player has indeed won the Columbus Crew head coaching sweepstakes. It is just not who everyone was thinking.

The Crew have named Gregg Berhalter their new head coach and sporting director, making him the first person in franchise history to hold both distinctions.

SBI MLS Fantasy: Round 39 Preview

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By CASEY CANNON

Hello and Welcome to the Soccer by Ives Fantasy Corner – now with fewer teams! Every week I dig through statistics, news, and rumors to provide the reader with the kind of fantasy advice that only Marco Di Vaio's anger management coach can provide.

Last week I predicted 6 games.

UEFA Champions League Wednesday: A Look Ahead

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By DAN KARELL

Life on the pitch is going quite swimmingly for Arsenal, following their 2-0 victory against Liverpool last Saturday.

Now in the middle of their most difficult stretch of the early season, the high-flying Gunners travel to Germany to face Borussia Dortmund, a team who defeated them two weeks ago, 2-1.

Wednesday Kickoff: Dortmund’s Hummels to miss Arsenal match; Morelia win first ever Copa MX; and more

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Arsenal may have their share of injuries heading into the fourth match day of the UEFA Champions League, but Borussia Dortmund have been left scrambling ahead of their tie with the English Premier League leaders.

Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp said on Tuesday in a press conference that star defender Mats Hummels is very likely to miss the match due to an injury, despite playing the full 90 minutes last Friday in Dortmund's 6-1 victory against Stuttgart.

UCL Rewind: Bayern, Man City through to group stage; Real Madrid held at Juventus; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Manchester City manager Manuel Pelligrini has endured some tough criticism over English Premier League results this season, but on Tuesday he delivered on a goal that the team's ownership didn't see accomplished each of the last two seasons.

With a 5-2 victory over CSKA Moscow at the Etihad Stadium against CSKA Moscow, Man City clinched a place in the UEFA Champions League knockout round.

Impact owner Saputo emphatically denies reports of Nesta becoming head coach

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By DAN KARELL

At his season review press conference with the media on Tuesday, Montreal Impact owner Joey Saputo shot down reports that recently retired Impact defender Alessandro Nesta would be the club's next head coach.

Reports surfaced last Friday that Nesta was in line to replace current head coach Marco Schallibaum, who in his first year as the Impact's manager lead the team to a tremendous start before a poor run at the end of the season and a 3-0 defeat to the Houston Dynamo to crash out of the playoffs.

Orlando City relocating to Wide World of Sports complex for upcoming season

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

After receiving the go-ahead to build a soccer-specific stadium that should make way for a Major League Soccer franchise in central Florida, Orlando City Soccer Club announced on Tuesday that they will play at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex for the upcoming 2014 USL Pro season.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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By DAN KARELL

After a tumultuous start to the season, David Moyes has returned Manchester United to its winning ways.

The club has won four matches in a row in all competitions and five in their last six, which includes a win in the UEFA Champions League against Real Sociedad two weeks ago.

Kljestan working hard to impress Klinsmann ahead of USMNT friendly matches

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

It may not be showing in the win column, but Anderlecht midfielder Sacha Kljestan is currently playing some of the best soccer of his career since he moved abroad.

The U.S. Men's National Team regular has scored seven goals in 13 Belgian league matches including three in his last three games.

Kljestan in rich vein of goal-scoring form ahead of USMNT friendly matches

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

It may not be showing in the win column, but Anderlecht midfielder Sacha Kljestan is currently playing some of the best soccer of his career since he moved abroad.

The U.S. Men's National Team regular has scored seven goals in 13 Belgian league matches including three in his last three games.

SBI MLS Defender of the Year: Jose Goncalves

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

After missing the playoffs for the third consecutive season, New England Revolution head coach Jay Heaps, a former defender himself, made it a point to improve the defense in the offseason.

One of the acquisitions, Jose Goncalves, immediately slotted into central defense alongside A.

Sermanni names USWNT squad for friendly vs. Brazil

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

With 2015 Women's World Cup qualifying beginning next year, U.S. Women's National Team head coach Tom Sermanni is continuing his policy of squad rotation with the addition of a few new faces into the team that will face Brazil in a friendly match on Sunday.

UEFA Champions League Tuesday: A Look Ahead

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By DAN KARELL

As we head into the second half of the UEFA Champions League group stage, teams such as Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, and Atletico Madrid are in pole position, while Juventus is on the outside looking in.

The Italian giants welcome Real Madrid to the Juventus Stadium on Tuesday looking for revenge for their last encounter two weeks ago, which not only saw Madrid win but also saw Juve lose top defenderGiorgio Chiellini to a red card, leaving him out of the rematch.

Tuesday Kickoff: Torres suffers thigh injury; Totti’s return to Roma pushed back; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Chelsea fans learned on Tuesday that Fernando Torres is sidelined with a thigh injury that will keep him out for the next couple of weeks.

With three goals in his last three games, it looked as though Torres was finally rediscovering the form that made him arguably the world's best striker back in his days with Liverpool and Atletico Madrid.

The SBI Show: Episode 87 (Recapping the weekend MLS playoff action, talking Americans Abroad, and more)

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By IVES GALARCEP

A quartet of exciting conference semifinal first legs have set us up for four thrilling finishes as the MLS playoffs hit full swing.

In Episode 87 of The SBI Show, we take a look back at all four conference semifinal matches from the weekend, including Portland's win in Seattle, New England's upset of Sporting KC, New York's second-half collapse against Houston and the LA Galaxy's wasteful 1-0 victory against RSL.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Year: Dillon Powers

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By DAN KARELL

An argument can be made that the 2013 MLS Rookie class is the strongest in league history, but there was only one player who showed his consistency week in and week out during the course of the season.

Notre Dame product Dillon Powers made 29 starts in 30 games for the Colorado Rapids, establishing himself as a rock-solid central midfielder with the ability to defend and distribute, as well as attack and take corner kicks at the professional level.

SBI Reader Poll: Was Olave’s tackle a red card?

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By DAN KARELL

The first 64 minutes of the 2013 New York Red Bulls playoff campaign were going about as well as they could have hoped for.

They held a 2-1 lead on the road against the Houston Dynamo, and though Mike Petke's side had conceded early in the second half and were on the back foot, they were repelling the Dynamo's subsequent attack and still in the game.

Spotlight on Caleb Porter

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By IVES GALARCEP

As the Portland Timbers prepare for their all-important Western Conference semifinal second leg against the Seattle Sounders, the spotlight is on head coach Caleb Porter as he continues to enjoy a dream first season in charge of the Timbers.

I recently completed a lengthy profile piece on Porter for Overlap Magazine, which goes into detail about Porter's background, and the road he took from baby born in Cascadia, to one of the most respected coaches in MLS.

Report: Bolton expect Holden back in training early next year

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Back home in Houston, Stuart Holden has been rehabbing from his third serious knee injury in the last three years.

The American international was frustratingly injured during the 2013 Gold Cup final, keeping him out of Bolton's early-season plans in the English Championship.

Green called up to Germany U-19s for November friendly matches

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By DAN KARELL

With U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann content to leave Julian Green off his squad for the November friendlies, the Bayern Munich youngster has agreed to join up with the Germany Under-19 squad for the same duration.

Green is included on the Germany U-19 roster for two friendlies against their French counterparts on Nov.

College Soccer Weekend Rewind

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By JAY BELL

The top-ranked California Golden Bears were beaten for the second consecutive week this weekend, this time falling to conference rival No. 5 UCLA. California was undefeated going into last weekend before losing 1-0 at home to San Diego. The Golden Bears won 3-2 over San Diego St.

Liga MX Round 16: A Look Back

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By DAN KARELL

For the first time in 18 months, Chiapas FC sit on the verge of making the Liga MX playoffs.

The squad, composed of a number of players on loan or contracted to San Luis before they relocated to Chiapas, picked up a huge 2-1 victory at home against second-place Santos Laguna, keeping the Jaguars three points clear in the Liguilla Playoffs.

NASL Week 14: A Look Back

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

Their season may have ended last month, but Manny Lagos' men decided to go out with a bang.

Omar Daley's hat-trick and Pablo Campos' second-half brace lifted Minnesota United FC to a 6-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rowdies at Al Lang Stadium.

"I'm very proud of the guys as it certainly was a wild game," Minnesota head coach Manny Lagos told NASL.

Monday Kickoff: Tottenham criticized by FIFA medical chief; Milan CEO backs Allegri; and more

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

In one of the more bizarre incidents of the 2013/2014 English Premier League season, Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris convinced his manager and medical team that he could stay on the pitch late in the match, despite being knocked unconscious.

European Weekend Rewind: Arsenal extend EPL lead with win; Roma end perfect start; and more

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Photo byKieran McManus / ISIPhotos.com

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

On the first day of the English Premier League season, Arsenal fans at Emirates Stadium stood and loudly voiced their frustrations with the club following a shocking 3-1 home loss to Aston Villa.

Less than three months later, they were on their feet celebrating a five-point lead in the league table and the Gunners' third consecutive league win.

Franklin blast gives Galaxy 1-0 edge over RSL

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By MARC SERBER

A thunderous Sean Franklin strike from 25 yards out in the 48th minute helped give the LA Galaxy a 1-0 victory against Real Salt Lake on Sunday night in the first leg of their Western Conference semifinal series.

As the series shifts from the StubHub Center in Carson, California to Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, the Galaxy will be frustrated with the result while RSL will have to consider the 1-0 scoreline an acceptable result.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Sacha Kljestan is making a real good argument for why he might be the most in-form American playing right now.

Kljestan scored a goal in a third consecutive game for RSC Anderlecht on Saturday, netting the opener in a 3-1 home win over OH Leuven. Kljestan benefited from a deflection on his shot in the 43rd minute, but he made the chance by alertly pouncing on a turnover deep in Leuven's half.

Dynamo use impressive comeback effort to draw ten-man Red Bulls

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By DAN KARELL

Even without head coach Dominic Kinnear on the sidelines, the Houston Dynamo showed why they're such a threat in the playoffs.

Despite trailing by two goals to the New York Red Bulls after 31 minutes of the first leg of their Eastern Conference semifinal series, the Dynamo battled back in the second half to level the scoreline deep into stoppage time, earning a 2-2 draw.

Cosmos finish regular season on a high with win over Silverbacks

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By DAN KARELL

Even with a different starting eleven, the New York Cosmos continue to win.

In a prelude to next week's North American Soccer League Soccer Bowl match in Atlanta, a weakened Cosmos side defeated the Silverbacks, 1-0, at Atlanta Silverbacks Park. Cosmos forward Henry Lopez scored his second goal of the season as his team finished the 2013 NASL Fall Season with an 11-game unbeaten run.

Sounders vs. Timbers: SBI Live Match Commentary

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The Seattle Sounders take on the Portland Timbers tonight in CenturyLink Field in the first leg of their Western Conference semifinal series (10pm, NBC Sports).

The Sounders come in having just beaten the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday in the West play-in game, but there's no time to rest as they must now beat a rested and in-form Timbers side that will be favored in the series.

Revolution pick up key first-leg win vs. Sporting KC

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By CARL SETTERLUND

FOXBOROUGH, Mass – Sporting Kansas City finished the regular season one point behind the New York Red Bulls for the Supporter's Shield trophy, and Peter Vermes' side had plenty of reason for optimism Saturday night at Gillette Stadium, having held their opponent, the New England Revolution, scoreless since July 2011.

Goals from Johnson, Nagbe lift Timbers over Sounders

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Photo by Jane Gershovich/Soccer By Ives

By JASON MITCHELL

SEATTLE The Portland Timbers wrapped up the regular season as perhaps the hottest team in MLS. That showed no signs of changing as the Western Conference semifinals got underway Saturday night in front 38,507 at CenturyLink Field.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Two English Premier League clubs with modest winning streaks face off at historic Goodison Park on this packed Soccer Sunday of action.

Fourth-place Tottenham Hotspur take their sparkling defensive record in league play to sixth-place Everton, who are within striking distance of a top-four spot with a win today.

A closer look at the MLS Cup Playoffs

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By IVES GALARCEP

The MLS Cup playoffs kick off tonight in New England and Seattle, and the conference semifinals are shaping up to be some truly memorable affairs.

Here is my Goal USA preview of the conference semifinal match-ups, as well as a look at the players who could be breakout stars in the post-season.

Di Vaio, Romero, Kinnear all suspended by Disciplinary Committee

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By DAN KARELL

Major League Soccer made sure that the actions on Wednesday night between the Houston Dynamo and Montreal Impact would not be tolerated.

The league's Disciplinary Committee announced in a release on Friday evening that Impact forwards Marco Di Vaio and Andres Romero have been suspended for the first three games of the 2014 seasonfor "violent conduct and endangering the safety of their opponents.

Herrera selects fully domestic-based squad for El Tri matches with New Zealand

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By DAN KARELL

If Mexico qualifies for the World Cup, they'll do it without their European-based stars.

On Friday evening, Mexico National Team head coach Miguel Herrera announced his 23-man squad for the World Cup playoff matches against New Zealand, featuring only domestic-based players including 10 players from Herrera's club side, Club America.

Report: Nesta to be hired as new Impact coach

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

The Montreal Impact didn't reportedly have to look very far when they decided to hire a new coach for next season.

According to a report in Sports Illustrated, Alessandro Nesta is set to become the next head coach of the Impact, replacing Marco Schallibaum after one season in charge.

The SBI Show: Episode 86 (Previewing MLS Playoffs, talking USMNT, and more)

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By IVES GALARCEP

With the play-in round in the books, and the final eight teams decided, the 2013 MLS Playoffs are ready to really kickoff this weekend and The SBI Show breaks down all the action in our latest installment.

Episode 86 of The SBI Show takes a close look at all four conference semifinal match-ups, including the highly-anticipated Portland Timbers-Seattle Sounders series, and the tricky New York Red Bulls-Houston Dynamo match.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Photo byBen Queenborough/ISIPhotos.com

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

A top-three clash in the English Premier League highlights a busy Soccer Saturday of action from all over the world.

First-place Arsenal look to continue their recent success against third-place Liverpool, who are led by one of the hottest goalscoring tandems on the planet.

College Soccer Weekend Preview

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By JAY BELL

A top tilt in the Pac-12 between previously undefeated California and UCLA highlights this weekend in NCAA College Soccer action.

SBI's No. 1 ranked California was stunned at home last week with a 1-0 loss, the first of theGolden Bears' season,to a San Diego St.

Soccer Friday: Your Running Commentary

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By DAN KARELL

As many with siblings around the world know, it's not easy being the little brother. Especially when the big brother is FC Barcelona.

Espanyol travels on Friday across town to face their big-spending and all-encompassing rivals, who draw more attention to their youth team than the Espanyol first team most weeks of the year.

SBI College Soccer Top 25 (Nov. 1st Edition)

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By IVES GALARCEP

The number of unbeaten teams in the nation disappeared to zero last week, with all three top teams in the SBI College Soccer Top 25 suffering their first losses of the season.

California, Washington and Notre Dame remain at the top of the latest rankings by virtue of having built up enough of a cushion on the trailing pack at the top, but teams like Akron and UCLA are closing fast as we reach the final month of the regular season.

MLS Playoff Preview: LA Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake

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By TYLER GRAY and MARC SERBER

This Western Conference Semifinals matchup is between two teams who know each other very well.

Ever since the 2009 MLS cup final, these two squads have been pretty much dead even in their head-to-head matchups including a couple in the postseason as well.

Liga MX Round 16: A Look Ahead

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By DAN KARELL

Only two weeks remain in the Liga MX Apertura season before the playoffs begin, and the race to make the playoffs is closer than ever.

The top eight teams in the standings qualify for the Liguilla, or the Apertura postseason, but the difference between sixth-place Morelia and 12th-place Club Tijuana is just six points.

MLS Playoff Preview: Red Bulls vs. Dynamo

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

The New York Red Bulls enter the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, but this time, they enter as Major League Soccer regular season champions.

And yet, in the tightly contested Eastern Conference, they face maybe the most dangerous opponent available, the Houston Dynamo.

This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

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By MARC SERBER

There's a top of the table clash on tap this weekend in the English Premier League as first-place Arsenal take on a rampant Liverpool. Despite Arsenal's recent success over Liverpool (just one loss in the last twelve meetings), the Gunners have won just twice against the Reds in their last seven home matches since moving to the Emirates in 2006.

MLS Playoff Preview: Sporting KC vs. Revolution

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By KEVIN KOCZWARA

If there's one team that the New England Revolution probably didn't want to see themselves matched up with for their first foray into the playoffs since 2009 it had to be Sporting Kansas City.

Kansas City, who finished second in the Eastern Conference, has had New England, who finished third, figured out the past two seasons and held the Revolution scoreless in the team last five meetings, going back to last season.

Friday Kickoff: AS Roma set Serie A record; Bender extends with Leverkusen; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Even without the talismanic Francesco Totti, AS Roma continue to win.

Rudi Garcia's side won their tenth match in a row on Thursday, defeating Chievo, 1-0, in a tight match at home. The ten wins to start a season is a new record in Serie A. Roma now sit five points clear of Napoli and Juventus at the top of the table.

Dynamo rout Impact, set up rematch with Red Bulls

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By DAN KARELL

The Houston Dynamo sent a warning shot to the rest of Major League Soccer on Thursday. They mean business.

In a near-complete performance at BBVA Stadium on Halloween, the Houston Dynamo routed the Montreal Impact, 3-0, moving on to the Eastern Conference semifinals where they'll play the New York Red Bulls.

European Weekend Preview: First-place Arsenal battle third-place Liverpool; AS Monaco visit Lille; and more

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Arsenal's eight-match unbeaten run in the English Premier League will be put to its biggest test of the season this weekend, when Liverpool's fearsome attack partnership of Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez visit Emirates Stadium.

NASL Week 14: A Look Ahead

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

With the North American Soccer League Fall season coming to a close on Saturday, the Atlanta Silverbacks and New York Cosmos will test run the Soccer Bowl when both sides collide at Atlanta Silverbacks Park (7:30 p.m. WATCH HERE).

The Cosmos clinched the fall season and punched their ticket for the Soccer Bowl last week when they came back from an early 1-0 deficit, defeating the San Antonio Scorpions 2-1 at Toyota Field.

Report: Porter signs long-term contract extension with Timbers

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

The Portland Timbers have rewarded Caleb Porter for the impressive job he's done in his first year in charge.

According to a report in SI, Porter has signed a five-year contract extension to remain the head coach of the Timbers, after leading them to first place in the Western Conference making him one of the front runners for the Major League Soccer Coach of the Year award.