The final international break of the season is in the books, and it is time for the top leagues in Europe and Mexico to get back in full swing.
Manchester United will kick things off on Saturday as the club resumes its march to reclaiming the Premier League trophy at Sunderland. The host Black Cats have only collected three points in their last seven league matches, pushing them dangerously close to the drop zone.
With four points from two World Cup qualifiers, and with a handful of new faces stepping up to stake their claims to regular places on the U.S. Men's National Team, the race for places on the 2014 U.S. World Cup team is looking like it will be a very competitive one.
Real Salt Lake and the Seattle Sounders may not have the geographic proximity to be considered a true MLS rivalry. But after consecutive years of meeting come playoff time, it's safe to say plenty of pride is on the line when these Western Conference heavyweights clash.
The final international break for the 2012-13 season has come and gone, leaving the members of Europe's top leagues with a little over two months of uninterrupted club competition to close out the calendar.
League-play kicks into top gear this weekend following an exciting World Cup Qualifying international break, and Juventus will commence Saturday's soccer action when they travel to the San Siro to meet Inter Milan.
The clash between Inter Milan and Juventus may not hold title-implications like fans have come to expect over the years, but the intensity will certainly remain, as Internazionale look to make a late push at Champions League qualification.
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With five starters on the mend already, the Rapids will have to add another to the injury list, as starting center back Diego Calderon will miss the next 4-5 months following successful knee surgery. The Ecuadorian slammed into a goalpost making a goal-line clearance during Colorado's 1-0 loss to Los Angeles last Saturday, forcing him off in the 34th minute.
WASHINGTON â€” On a rise above the Potomac River, among the Gothic architecture of Georgetown University's two-century-old campus, is where American soccer's absentee star could be found.
As Landon Donovan braved the cold, windy conditions during the Los Angeles Galaxy's training session Thursday morning, he juggled a ball on his head, turned and hit a 35-yard volley from the right flank, grinning as it bounced into an empty net.
MEXICO CITY It wasn't a beautiful game by any means, and any hopes of seeing the U.S. Men's National Team boss Mexico in Estadio Azteca were probably always unrealistic, but style points don't matter all that much when history is being written and when American fans think back to Tuesday's World Cup qualifier.
Arsene Wenger won't have to wait much longer until he gets midfielder Jack Wilshere back on the field.
Speaking to reporters ahead of this Saturday's match against Reading, Wenger announced that Wilshere would be out a further two weeks, but set a return date for the Englishman on April 13, against Norwich.
The U.S. Men's National Team's scoreless draw vs. Mexico in World Cup qualifying action Tuesday shattered TV ratings records on both networks that showed the match in the United States on Tuesday night.
ESPN announced on Wednesday afternoon that Tuesday's qualifier doubled the highest previous rating for a World Cup qualifier, registering a 1.
UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. If the New York Red Bulls are to pick up their first win of the season this Saturday, they might have to do it without Tim Cahill.
Cahill isnot recovering from an injury like fellow Designated Player Thierry Henry, but the fatigue accumulated while on international duty could keep the Australian midfielder out of Saturday's home game against the Philadelphia Union.
Embattled and undermanned, the U.S. Men's National Team traveled to the daunting grounds of Estadio Azteca on Tuesday night and secured a valuable road point, fending off wave after wave of Mexican attack en route to the scoreless draw.
MEXICO CITY On a night when Mexico was far from sharp, and the crowd at Estadio Azteca was not quite as intimidating as in past visits, the U.S. Men's National Team played a solid overall team game and showed no fear in grabbing a valuable point in Tuesday's 0-0 World Cup qualifying draw.
The third match day of the CONCACAF Hexagonal round sees a match between rivals (U.S. vs. Mexico), and two other matches between teams trying to create space between one another. Last-placed Costa Rica take on Jamaica, who are right in the middle of the pack, while leaders Honduras visit Panama, with two points from two draws.
In a highly-anticipated matchup, Spain travel to Paris, France to take on Frank Ribery and Les Blues, in a match that will likely determine the winner of Group I, forcing the loser to have to qualify for the World Cup finals via the playoffs round.
England visit Montenegro, needing a win to take control of Group H.
MEXICO CITY The Mexican National Team's attack is loaded with talent all across the field, but the keys to their success, particularly against the U.S. Men's National Team, lie with how Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez and Giovani Dos Santos perform.
On Tuesday morning, FIFA released a statement on the official protest lodged by the Costa Rica football association, following the 1-0 win by the United States during a match played in blizzard-like conditions in Denver, Colorado.
In their statement, FIFA wrote "FIFA has examined the content of the letter and, taking into consideration article 14, paragraph 4 of the 2014 FIFA World Cup regulations, has confirmed that the conditions established in the regulations for an official protest have not been met by the Costa Rica FA.
MEXICO CITY One of the biggest games of the year in American soccer, if not the biggest, will take place tonight at Estadio Azteca and U.S. Men's National Team fans across the United States will be gathering together to watch what they will be hoping is a history-making game.
MEXICO CITY Jurgen Klinsmann has called in some defensive depth to help replace the loss of injured U.S. Men's National team midfielder Jermaine Jones on Monday, bringing in defender Michael Orozco-Fiscal to join the team ahead of Tuesday's World Cup qualifier vs.
MEXICO CITY With Jermaine Jones back in Germany recovering from an ankle injury suffered in the U.S. Men's National team's World Cup qualifying victory against Costa Rica, Jurgen Klinsmann has a variety of options to turn to for a replacement.
It was their second draw in a row, but a late Fred goal saved Brazil from certain embarrassment.
The Brazilian's tied Russia 1-1 on Monday evening at Stamford Bridge, in London, giving Luiz Felipe Scolari another chance to find his best eleven ahead of next summer's World Cup, and even this summer's Confederation Cup.
MEXICO CITY The U.S. Men's National Team is preparing to play in a stadium where they have never won a World Cup qualifier, a place where only one other team has ever won a World Cup qualifier, and they are ready to face a crowd of more than 110,000 anxious Mexican fans that will turn Estadio Azteca into an imposing cauldron.
No one could have predicted this after week one of the Major League Soccer season, but Chivas USA are in second place in the Western Conference, following another dominating win, this time a 4-1 scoreline over the Chicago Fire on Sunday.
Led by Dan Kennedy's outstanding goalkeeping, and the attacking exploits of Edgar Mejia and Juan Agudelo, the Goats dismantled the Fire in convincing fashion.
With the snow-covered USMNT win over Costa Rica in the books, and a looming World Cup qualifying showdown vs. Mexico on Tuesday, Episode 20 of the SBI Podcast takes a look back at Friday's victory and ahead to an exciting match-up against their arch-rivals from South of the Border.
After over two months away, the Spanish club announced on Sunday that Tito Vilanova will be returning to Barcelona this week from New York City, where he was undergoing chemotherapy in his battle against cancer.
The Costa Rican Soccer Federation's protesting of last Friday's World Cup qualifying loss to the United States on the grounds of the field at Dick's Sporting Goods Park being unplayable due to the heavy snow that fell that night is being looked into by FIFA.
FC Dallas has been one of the surprises of the early part of the 2013 season and few players have played a larger role in that early success than Brazilian Jackson Goncalves.
The winger has enjoyed an impressive run of form and his efforts, including his hustle to force Josh Saunders into a goal-producing blunder, were key to FC Dallas' 2-0 victory against Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
HOUSTON With a 32-game home unbeaten streak in the balance, the Houston Dynamo showed once again that they can pull out some late magic.
Down a goal in the second half to the dangerous Vancouver Whitecaps, things changed in Houston's favor in the 55th minute when Barnes put a bow on a sublime sequence down the right flank from Will Bruin, Kofi Sarkodie and Ricardo Clark to pull the Dynamo even with a powerful header past Joe Cannon to draw Houston level.
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. The U.S. Men's National Team is set to travel to Mexico City today and one of the things head coach Jurgen Klinsmann will be pondering on the charter flight south is which 11 players he will turn to in order to try and deliver the first U.
For the first 80 minutes, the FC Dallas-Real Salt Lake match could have gone either way, with FC Dallas holding a 1-0 lead and RSL pressing hard for an equalizer.
Then, in the 81st, Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Josh Saunders took a bad touch on a pass, allowing FC Dallas midfielder Jackson Goncalves to get a chance on goal, before hitting a deflected strike that crawled into the net, slowly ending RSL's hopes to win the match.
WASHINGTON â€” Something clearly has been amiss for D.C. United early this season. The goals that came with such abundance last year have gone missing. The defensive discipline that earned the club so many results down the stretch has largely escaped as well.
Freddy Adu's latest stint in Major League Soccer is officially over and he is ready to embark on the latest adventure in a roller-coaster career in a league that just might provide the perfect environment for him to showcase his skills.
Adu completed his transfer to Bahia on Friday night, thus ending his tenure with the Philadelphia Union, sources confirmed to SBI on Friday.
It might be an international fixture period, but that isn't stopping Major League Soccer from putting on a full slate of matches today.
The Montreal Impact will look to improve to 4-0 today when they take on a short-handed New York Red Bulls side at Stade Saputo. Patrice Bernier has been one of the league's best players early in the season and will be looking to dominate the middle against a good New York midfield that features Dax McCarty.
World Cup Qualifying resumed action yesterday, and Spain's 1-1 draw against Finland, who currently sit 86 spots below Spain in FIFA's World Rankings, served as the biggest surprise of the short international break thus far.
Despite commanding an astounding 82% possession, Spain woefully lacked a cutting edge and were only able to muster four shots on target against their Nordic foes.
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. As DaMarcus Beasley sipped hot coffee and did his best to warm up after one of the coldest and most surreal nights he had ever experienced in his dozen years as a U.S. Men's National team player, he looked much older than the Beasley so many of us remember.
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. It might sound strange for the second match of a 10-match tournament to be considered "Must-win" but that is what the U.S. Men's National Team faces tonight when they take on Costa Rica at Dick's Sporting Goods Park tonight (10pm, ESPN/UniMas).
Just because it is such a great photo, and captures the night, and shows what might be the best snow afro in history, here is Jermaine Jones in action during Friday night's snow storm win over Costa Rica.
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. The snow started falling in the afternoon, but few could have imagined the sort of blizzard-like conditions that would develop and help make Friday night's World Cup qualifier at Dick's Sporting Goods Park a match for the ages.
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The U.S. Men's National Team's showdown vs. Costa Rica will be front and center for all American fans tonight, but before that match, and throughout the weekend, there are soccer matches of all kinds to keep fans entertained and excited.
Honduras faces off against Mexico in a match with plenty of CONCACAF ramifications.
Few MLS goalkeepers boast the reputation and accomplishments of Kevin Hartman, holder of most of the major goalkeepers in MLS history, and the Red Bulls are looking to exploit that experience to the fullest.
The Red Bulls officially added "El Gato" Hartman to their roster with an interesting wrinkle; he will also serve as the team's Goalkeeper Development Manager tasked to work with the team's young keeping core and it's development academy.
While the American soccer community zeroes in on Commerce City, Colo., for the U.S. national team's crucial qualifier against Costa Rica, the MLS show goes on â€” even without some big names at its disposal.
So what's the matchup most hindered by international call-ups?
Tonight is the night U.S. Men's National Team fans have been waiting for ever since the U.S. walked off the field in Honduras having lost their CONCACAF HEX opener. The Americans take on Costa Rica tonight at Dick's Sporting Goods Park anything less than a win will have the U.
Freddy Adu may not yet officially be a player of Brazilian club Bahia, but that did not stop him from talking about the potential move and how good a fit he thinks it could be for him when he arrived to the South American country on Thursday.
Keeping his promise to help Major League Soccer teams in the CONCACAF Champions League, Don Garber has given the Los Angeles Galaxy and Seattle Sounders some rest time between their semi-final round matches.
The league announced on Thursday that the Galaxy's match on April 6 against the Montreal Impact has been moved to October 16, while the Sounders match against Chivas USA on April 7 has been moved to September 4.
The U.S. Men's National Team and their fans have spent a good portion of the week discussing the Sporting News story from Monday that cited several unnamed players and sources being critical of head coach Jurgen Klinsmann and his unconventional methods.
There were no surprises among the four venues chosen to host the remaining home CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers for the USMNT, but it still had to be exciting news for U.S. fans eager to make their travel plans for this year's most important matches.
PRO, the Professional Referee Organization that provides and governs officials in the U.S. and Canada, released a statement on Thursday defending referee Jair Marrufo for not calling a handball in the 90th minute, on a play that resulted in a goal.
Last Sunday, FC Dallas' Kenny Cooper used his right shoulder and biceps to control a cross, before scoring the game-winner in a 3-2 victory over Houston.
On Wednesday afternoon, after a closed practice, several players on the U.S. Men's National Team spoke to the media about, among other things, their thoughts on the Sporting News article from Tuesday.
Though many players did not comment on the situation, forward Herculez Gomez, midfielder Michael Bradley, and defender Geoff Cameron all spoke on the recent media fuss about the chemistry within the national team.
Jurgen Klinsmann's tenure as U.S. Men's National Team manager was never going to be easy, but he's hit some rocky slopes recently as his team train in Denver ahead of a crucial World Cup Qualifying match against Costa Rica on Friday.
Clint Dempsey has been carrying the scoring load on the U.S. Men's National Team for as long as anyone can remember, and now he will also be carrying the burden of leadership as the team's newest captain.
U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has appointed the Tottenham star as the new U.
Freddy Adu's move to Brazilian club Bahia is not yet official, but the Philadelphia Union are working hard at make sure it gets done in the coming days.
Union head coach John Hackworth confirmed and discussed Adu's impending switch to Bahia (which was reported by SBI last week) in his weekly press conference on Wednesday, andwas careful in talking about the potential deal.
UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill will not be in the New York Red Bulls' starting lineup this weekend and there is a chance that Juninho won't be either.
Having recently returned from a calf strain that forced him to miss one game already, Juninho is somewhat of a concern ahead of the Red Bulls' battle withthe undefeated Montreal Impact at Olympic Stadium on Saturday.
When Daniel Hernandez finished up his playing career with FC Dallas last fall, he fully expected to make the transition to the team's coaching staff in a move similar to ones made by many long-time MLS players. The veteran midfielder had spent years in Major League Soccer, and years wearing the armband for FC Dallas, and he figured to have at least two years working the sidelines alongside Schellas Hyndman, his former college coach and the man who brought him to play for his hometown FC Dallas.
Though he is half a world away in England recovering from broken bones in his back that have kept him out of the upcoming U.S. Men's National Team World Cup qualifiers, Tim Howard still felt compelled to address the state of the team after scathing allegations emerged from a Sporting News article released on Tuesday.
The Sporting News story making big waves surrounding the U.S. Men's National Team and Jurgen Klinsmann's job as head coach has raised plenty of questions. Which players spoke out questioning Klinsmann's job? Will the report of issues within the team drive the team apart before the crucial upcoming qualifiers, or bring the team closer together?
In a few months time, Yaya Toure could be pulling on the uniform of something other than the sky blue of Manchester City.
According to reports out of England, Toure is unhappy with his contract situation, and his agent has stated publicly that if the Ivorian international isn't presented with a new and improved contract by Sunday, he could leave.
While others have struggled out of the starting gates, the Montreal Impact have taken a wide open lead, after winning their third straight match last Saturday, 2-1 over Toronto FC.
Battling against father time, a squad of veterans including as Davy Arnaud, Marco Di Vaio, Patrice Bernier, and Alessandro Nesta have combined with the youth of Felipe Martins, Andres Romero, and Jeb Brovsky has created a lethal combination.
Houston Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis has been added to the U.S. Men's National Team squad currently in training camp ahead of upcoming qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico, U.S. Soccer announced on Tuesday.
Davis becomes the 24th player in the camp in Denver, where the team is preparing for Friday's match against Costa Rica.
There have been rumblings for some time of issues within Jurgen Klinsmann's U.S. Men's National Team, but a Sporting News article released on Wednesday provided some damning detail to the rumors of strife and unhappiness with Klinsmann's squad.
The article, written by Brian Straus, contains comments from several unnamed U.
With Montreal Impact's hot start, and the superstar names on New York Red Bulls, one might have expected a game filled with goals, cameras flashing, and a match that would be a perfect advertisement for Major League Soccer.
Instead, injuries have clouded the bright lights that were shining on Quebec's largest city.
With Carlos Bocanegra out of the picture for now, and Oguchi Onyewu still in "Can't Get Minutes for His Club Team" asylum, the centerback pool for the U.S. Men's National Team has an inexperience feel to it heading into the March World Cup qualifiers.
Geoff Cameron and Omar Gonzalez started in the team's last qualifier, but with the fullback position down to the bare bones, there is a very good chance Cameron will spend these next qualifiers as a fullback, which isn't a stretch considering that's where he plays for Stoke City.
CHESTER, Pa. â€” Jack McInerney can't quite explain it. It's still early in this 2013 campaign, but when the Philadelphia Union have found themselves in need of a goal, he's been the man to provide it. Is it skill? Is it timing?
English soccer will be losing one of their legends of the game when May comes around.
Stoke City forward Michael Owen announced his plan to retire at the end of the season on Tuesday morning, ending a dazzling career that saw the Chester, England native play for Liverpool, Real Madrid, and Manchester United among others, as well as represent his country on 89 occasions.
The topic of the day in American soccer circles is the roster selected by the U.S. Men's National Team for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers and that is what we kick our 18th episode of The SBI Podcast with tonight.
Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I discuss the 23-player roster chosen by Jurgen Klinsmann, and what the lineup might look like on Friday against Costa Rica.
Slowly but surely, Mike Petke's plan is coming together.
Back-to-back late-game meltdowns on the road cast an ominous cloud over the New York Red Bulls season and erased whatever gains they had garnered in those two matches. After all, New York scored four goals in two matches while controlling long periods of play against both Portland and San Jose.
When the new U.S. Men's National Team roster was announced earlier today, the initial reaction was one of shock at the dearth of defensive options on the 23-man roster, but you only needed to look a little closer to find that there aren't as few defensive options as you might think.
Carlos Alvarez's professional debut went about as well as he could have ever imagined.
The Chivas USA rookie came on as a halftime substitute in Sunday's 'SuperClasico' showdown vs. the Los Angeles Galaxy and ended the match by scoring the equalizing goal in a 1-1 draw at Home Depot Center.
The suspense continues to build around the USMNT roster announcement for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico, and now the wait to find out the players on the roster has been extended.
U.S. Soccer will announce the training camp roster at 1pm, with some weekend injuries apparently forcing the team to reconsider options.
In a week when there weren't exactly a ton of goals scored in MLS, there stood a very good chance that a goalkeeper would have a good chance to be the MLS Player of the Week. Given the performance Bill Hamid turned in, he would have been a serious contender no matter how many goals were scored around the league.
It looks as though Rio Ferdinand's controversial return to the English National Team will be delayed just a bit longer.
The Manchester United defender has pulled out of the England squad citing a need to stick to a pre-planned fitness program that limits the amount of playing time the 34-year-old defender puts on his aging body.
Kenny Cooper reminded everyone Sunday why FC Dallas brought him back in the fold with some late game heroics to stoke the fires of the Texas Derby.
With time running out in a tie game, Cooper found space behind the Dynamo back line and after controlling a Luis Michel ball, smashed it into the near corner to give Dallas a 3-2 win; their second of the 2013 campaign.
The stage was set for a blowout even before the opening whistle of the Los Angeles Galaxy's showdown vs. Chivas USA on Sunday, but the Goats weren't interested in playing to the anticipated script.
Facing the defending MLS Cup champions, the Goats made things tough for the Galaxy for much of the first half, and even after a questionable red card left Chivas USA with ten men, the Goats never gave in to the Galaxy's high-octane attack.
Altidore upped his season total to 25 goals across all competitions on Sunday, netting AZ Alkmaar's second in a 3-2 defeat to Ajax. The in-form U.S. Men's National team forward scored in the second half when he raced to a ball played over the top before sliding a shot to the far post.
SEATTLE, Wash. The Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders are still hunting for elusive first wins after a 90th-minute equalizer from late Portland substitute Rodney Wallace Saturday night left the longtime rivals tied at 1-1.
A poorly-marked Wallace got on the end of a floated lob into the box from defender Andrew Baptiste and sent a clean header past goalkeeper Michael Gspurning.
In a game where Montreal and Toronto traded suspect penalties, Marco Di Vaio proved to be the difference as the Impact held off their Canadian rivals for a 2-1 victory.
Di Vaio was played the role of a quintessential center forward, providing a target for an Impact attack that used the long ball with laser like precision and was continuously hunting for the final touch.
HARRISON, N.J. â€” When Bill Hamid returned from U.S. national team camp in January, Ben Olsen observed a change in his 22-year-old goalkeeper. The athleticism and instincts have always been there. But there was more polish, more command, more reliability.
HARRISON, N.J. MLS is still focused and hopeful of basing its 20th team in New York City, but the pressure is on to get a deal done and soon.
Speaking to reporters at halftime of the New York Red Bulls' scoreless draw with D.C. United on Saturday, MLS commissioner Don Garber touched on expansion and the league's need to get a deal finalized with the city of New York finalized over the construction of a soccer-specific stadium in Queens.
Saturday's European action kicks off at Goodison Park, where Everton will take on Manchester City. The host Toffees, who were bounced from the FA Cup by relegation-threatened Wigan, are in a tight race with city rival Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion for a spot in European competition next season.
The long and drawn-out divorce between Freddy Adu and the Philadelphia Union appears to be close to reaching its conclusion and it may just work out perfectly for both parties.
Adu is closing in on a transfer move to Brazilian first division side Bahia, and is set to travel to Brazil next week to finalize the deal, sources with knowledge of the deal confirmed to SBI on Friday.
The long and drawn-out divorce between Freddy Adu and the Philadelphia Union appears to be close to reaching its conclusion and it may just work out perfectly for both parties.
Adu is closing in on a transfer move to Brazilian first division side Bahia, and is set to travel to Brazil next week to finalize the deal, sources with knowledge of the deal confirmed to SBI on Friday.
Don't look now, but Seattle could make a real run for MLS glory this season.
The Sounders announced in a press conference on Friday the signing of Nigerian forward Obafemi Martins, becoming the team's third Designated Player on their roster. He joins midfielders Mauro Rosales and Shalrie Joseph as the team's DP's, and bolsters an already strong Seattle attack.
Remember when one of the bigger complaints about the U.S. Men's National Team was the notion of the "Empty Bucket" and the fact that Bob Bradley preferred a central midfield of Jermaine Jones and Michael Bradley? The argument back then was that it was too defensive a set-up, and the U.
Ladies and gentleman, MLS Rivalry Week has arrived.
The league's new venture that packs all of its heated feuds into a single weekend of soccer features plenty of intense matchups. The festivities kick off Saturday with a renewal of the Atlantic Cup, as D.
This weekend gives Queens Park Rangers the opportunity to move up a couple places in the relegation zone, while Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Barcelona will all look to extend their tremendous leads atop their respective leagues.
Aston Villa will face a relegation battle for the second weekend in a row on Saturday, when they host Queens Park Rangers at Villa Park.
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This week in addition to the usual Fantasy Soccer notes there is an opportunity for you to help the USMNT.
PORTLAND, Ore. The rivalry between the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders has stretched 38 years, multiple leagues and has featured numerous memorable moments for both clubs.And while that is at the forefront of any Pacific Northwest rivalry match, this one holds additional meaning for new head coach Caleb Porter.
Once again, as if piggybacking off this week's Champions League drama, Thursday's evening of Europa League round of 16 action had just about everything.
Carrying a 3-0 lead into the San Siro, Tottenham amazingly surrendered three goals to Inter Milan, including an own goal by William Gallas, before scoring a crucial goal in the first half of extra time to ensure qualification to the quarterfinals on away goals.
Paris St. Germain's quest to become a world power and European champion will have to go through the top team in the world after the draw for the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals set up a dream tie between PSG and FC Barcelona.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and PSG will take on Lionel Messi and Barcelona in one of the most intriguing match-ups chosen in the Round of Eight draw, which was held on Friday morning.
Two days, two European competitions, two impressive comebacks undone by the away goals rule.
First, Arsenal notched a 2-0 victory at Bayern Munich on Wednesday, evening their two-legged Champions League Round of 16 clash at three goals each but seeing the German club advance via a 3-1 triumph in London.
The Columbus Crew are heading into their home opener prepared to be without Eddie Gaven for their home opener this Saturday. The midfield standout injured his ankle in a week two loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Roy Hodgson has announced the 26-man England squad that will take on San Marino and Montenegro March 22 and 26.
After leaving Rio Ferdinand out of the team for Euro 2012, citing football reasons, Hodgson has invited the Manchester United defender back into the national team for the first time since June 2011 when England took on Switzerland.
Ben Olsen leaned back, squinted and put his mental clock in reverse. Toward the last time he tasted MLS Cup glory, to be precise. It's been nearly a decade, but he hasn't forgotten what defined that D.C. United locker room.
Ask most die-hard Portland Timbers supporters about their team's history, and chances are you should be able to get your share of good information, whether back from the NASL days to the current MLS days. Ask those same fans when was the last time their team received a penalty kick call and you will probably have a much tougher time getting an answer.
The U.S. Men's National team will face a very busy summer, with World Cup qualifiers in June and the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July. Now the team has set-up the first tough warm-up test leading up to that busy week.
U.S. Soccer made official the long-rumored friendly against Belgium on Thursday.
The Houston Dynamo had a one-goal edge and some daunting history to overcome as they took the field in Torreon, Mexico to take on Santos Laguna. MLS teams have found Estadio Corona to be a house of horrors and the Dynamo became the latest team to find out just how difficult it is to escape Torreon with a result.
Los Angeles Galaxy defeated Costa Rican side Herediano 4-1 (4-1 agg) on Wednesday evening at the Home Depot Center, advancing to the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Champions League where they'll face defending champions Monterrey.
Four different players scored for the Galaxy, and there were many different bright stars for Los Angeles on the night.
The Mexican National Team has called in as strong a squad as possible for its upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and the United States, with Javier Hernandez and Giovani Dos Santos leading the 22-player squad announced late on Wednesday.
With the Seattle Sounders having already booked their place in the CONCACAF Champions League in historic fashion, the Houston Dynamo and Los Angeles Galaxy will try to join them by getting results in a pair of tough match-ups tonight.
The Dynamo face the most daunting task, traveling to Torreon, Mexico to take on Santos Laguna (8pm, Fox Soccer Channel).
Few supplemental draft picks have been able to have the kind of instant success San Jose Earthquakes forward Adam Jahn has enjoyed just two games into his young career.
Jahn, a Stanford graduate who also grew up in El Macero, California near Sacramento, was selected by his hometown club in the first round of the MLS Supplemental Draft in January (15th overall), and has wasted little time announcing himself to the league with a stellar substitute appearance against the Red Bulls Sunday, and helping San Jose overcome a 1-0 deficit very late in the match.
UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. When New York Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke said Tuesday that Lloyd Sam needs to return to fitness and get back to 'a mentality level' to be considered for selection, questions were raised as to what he meant by that.
The US Women's National Team defeated Germany 2-0 Wednesday to win the Algarve Cup in Portugal.
Alex Morgan got on the end of a Sydney Leroux cross in the 13th minute to open the scoring, then Morgan capitalized on a defensive miscommunication to net her second of the afternoon and clinch a US victory.
Some say money can't buy you love, but in the football world, it can buy just about anything.
Reports are streaming out of England that name Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, and Arsenal, as the centerpieces of a Dream Football League, which is being organized and would take place in Qatar, during the summer of 2015.
FC Barcelona was going to have to make history in order to advance to the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League, and history is exactly what they made.
Lionel Messi scored a pair of stunning goals to erase AC Milan's first-leg 2-0 lead, then David Villa gave Barcelona the lead for good, finishing off a Xavi pass in the second half to give Barca control of the two-leg series.
The U.S. Women's National Team seems to have caught the injury bug, and it's not going away soon.
Midfielder Carli Lloyd has suffered a fracture in her left shoulder, ruling her out for six to eight weeks. Lloyd suffered the injury during the national team's first match against Iceland at the Algarve Cup, leaving the match in the second half.
The Seattle Sounders knew they had done a good job escaping from Mexico down just one goal against current Mexican League leaders UANL Tigres last week, but only now do they realize just how close that result has them from a historic result in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.
FC Barcelona face the daunting task of trying to erase a 2-0 deficit today when they take on AC Milan in the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16 series (3:45pm, Fox Soccer Channel).
Milan pulled off a shocker in the first leg, not only scoring twice on Barcelona but holding them scoreless at the San Siro.
The Ryan Nelsen era officially began in week one with a close loss to Toronto FC, but what will likely be remembered more as the first major step in Nelsen's ascent as TFC head coach is his team's win against Sporting Kansas City last Saturday.
In 11 days Jurgen Klinsmann will settle on 11 players to help deliver the U.S. Men's National Team its first points of the Hexagonal round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. It will take much more than three points to qualify, but the three points on the line in Colorado next week are as important as any the U.
Two months ago, the world seemed to revolve around Barcelona, with AC Milan one of the many asteroids, rocketing through the sky with no fixed direction or motive.
But in the present time, the picture has been flipped. It's Barcelona now that is struggling, out of the Copa Del Rey, and down 2-0 to Milan going into today's UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg, while the Italian side is within two points of second-placed Napoli in Serie A, and have not lost in ten matches.
The San Jose Earthquakes didn't figure to be a team that a rookie forward would be able to find many minutes with heading into the 2013 season, but a rash of injuries presented a golden opportunity for Stanford product Adam Jahn and last Sunday he made the most of it.
American soccer fans have been given another update on the status of Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan.
Speaking with LA Galaxy Insider ahead of the Galaxy's CONCACAF Champions League match against Costa Rican side Herediano on Wednesday, coach Bruce Arena revealed that Donovan would return to the team by the last week of March.
U.S. Men's national Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann took to Twitter on Monday for a live Q&A on the U.S. Soccer Twitter account, and among other tidbits, revealed some very encouraging injury updates on some national team veterans.
Klinsmann revealed that both Clint Dempsey and Steve Cherundolo are back in training with their respective teams, and stated that Dempsey should be fine for World Cup qualifiers later this month.
Real Salt Lake's Alvaro Saborio and the Columbus Crew's Jairo Arrieta will join Fulham standout Bryan Ruiz on the Costa Rican national Team squad called up for this month's CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers.
The team that will take on the United States in Denver on March 22nd was unveiled on Monday and there were few major surprises in the mix.
The Seattle Sounders' long rumored move for striker Obafemi Martins is nearing completion as the Nigerian has paid his buyout clause with Levante, clearing the way for Seattle.
Martins has only been with Levante since the beginning of the season, but has been the Sounders' primary target to replace recently departed forward and all-time leading goal scorer Fredy Montero, who was sent on loan to Colombian side Millionarios in the offseason.
The Montreal Impact are off to a dream start to the season, having posted a two-game winning streak during a short road trip through the Pacific Northwest. The two road wins are as many as they recorded in all of 2012 and there is clear reason for optimism up North.
As many injuries as there were for American players this past week, and as many reasons to worry as there seem to be now for the U.S. Men's National team, it was still a pretty good week for several American players.
Herculez Gomez and Amobi Okugo are two such players who enjoyed memorable weeks.
Facing unexpected adversity, it was Philadelphia's young guns that stepped up.
Amobi Okugo's first-half goal and Jack McInerney's second-half tally led the Philadelphia Union to their first victory of the season, beating the Colorado Rapids 2-1 on Sunday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
Chivas USA shook off an early season loss with an impressive 3-1 victory over FC Dallas on Sunday at the Home Depot Center. Down a goal in the second half, the Goats pulled off three successive finishes to get three important points at home.
Two of the top goal scorers in MLS square off as Chris Wondolowski and Thierry Henry do battle tonight in a clash of teams seeking their first victories of the season.
The San Jose Earthquakes will look to avoid starting the season with two straight home losses as they face off tonight (10pm, ESPN2) against a New York side that is on a second straight cross-country road trip after blowing a two-goal lead in last week's 3-3 draw vs.
WASHINGTON â€” Ben Olsen knows all too well the skepticism surrounding Lionard Pajoy. The man seems to do everything but finish. Admire the work ethic. Praise his awareness. Worry about the missed chances.
But on this night, Pajoy buried one. And to Olsen, that's all that mattered.
The New England Revolution were the only team in MLS to have last week off, and the wait to kick off the new season proved well worth it as they started 2013 off on a winning note.
New England's Jerry Bengston broke a scoreless game in the 62nd minute with a header off a perfect Kelyn Rowe cross to lead the Revolution to a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park on Saturday night.
In a game that showcased a contrast of philosophies, the Montreal Impact and their defensive-minded style knocked off the possession-heavy Portland Timbers, 2-1, on Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd at Jeld-Wen Field.
A Hassoun Camara overhead kick goal in the 30th minute gave the visitors the lead while Felipe Martins doubled the gap half an hour later after he found himself unmarked in front of Donovan Ricketts.
The second week of the 2013 MLS season won't include some of the league's best teams as they are given the weekend off ahead of the CONCACAF Champions League, but that doesn't mean there aren't some intriguing match-ups today.
D.C. United returns home after a season-opening loss to the Houston Dynamo, and they will take on a tough opponent in Real Salt Lake, that began the season with a big road win vs.
The initial reaction among U.S. Men's National Team fans to the news of Tim Howard's current injury was understandable. Shock and fear seemed a normal way to respond to the news that Howard would likely miss this month's World Cup qualifiers considering Howard has started virtually every important U.
When Tim Howard landed hard on the ground during Everton's FA Cup win vs. Oldham, he got right back up and continued on looking unscathed. We are only now beginning to learn the ramifications of that painful-looking tumble.
Howard suffered two fractured ribs in his back and is set to be sidelined for an undisclosed amount of time, Everton manager David Moyes revealed on Friday.
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One of the changes from last year is the ability to carry over a trade.
No Abby Wambach, Carli Lloyd, or Shannan Boxx in the starting lineup?
The US Women's National Team cruised to a 5-0 victory over China in their second match at the Algarve Cup in Portugal. The Americans currently sit atop Group B with six points in two games, and have one match remaining, against Sweden on March 11.
The latest episode of The SBI Podcast features an interview with U.S. Men's National Team midfielder Joe Corona, who spent some time with us to discuss, among other things, the recent historic success of his club team, Mexican champion Club Tijuana.
English soccer takes center stage this weekend, with both Premier League and FA Cup matches taking place.
Reading and Aston Villa will face off on Saturday, in a match that can have a huge impact on the battle to avoid relegation this season.The Villans are one of only six original Premier League teams to have never been relegated from the top flight, but their streak is in major jeopardy going into the last stretch of the season.
After an eventful opening weekend featuring upsets, comebacks and goals aplenty, what can MLS do for an encore?
That is the question heading into Week 2. While the matchups are diluted by the absences of the Los Angeles Galaxy, Houston Dynamo and Seattle Sounders due to Champions League duty, there are still plenty of intriguing games to absorb as teams continue to grow into their 2013 identities.
The Los Angeles Galaxy can count themselves both lucky and cheated coming away from Thursday's CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal opener vs. Herediano, but they won't leave Costa Rica too unhappy with a scoreless draw.
The Galaxy had a Mike Magee goal incorrectly ruled offside, then saw a late Herediano penalty kick crash off the crossbar (after a very questionable penalty call).
There are just two weeks until the U.S. Men's National Team's next qualifiers. Just two weeks for players to make their case for inclusion not only on the roster, but potentially into the starting lineup when the U.S. takes on Costa Rica in an all-important home qualifier.
It wasn't their best performance, but Paris St. Germain's UEFA Champions League dreams are still alive.
Paris Saint-Germain reached the tournament's quarterfinal stage for the first time in 18 years after posting a 1-1 draw against Valencia on Wednesday at the Parc des Princes, winning the two legged tie 3-2 on aggregate.
For more than 70 minutes Wednesday night it looked like the Seattle Sounders, despite being considerably outplayed by Tigres UANL for much of the match, were going to escape Mexico with a scoreless draw.
But after repeatedly playing with fire at Estadio Universitario, the Sounders were finally burned in the 73rd minute and eventually lost 1-0 in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.
The same team that finished the 2012 season on top of Major League Soccer looks very much like a team that intends to stay on top of the league.
The Los Angeles Galaxy's 4-0 humbling of the Chicago Fire sent a very clear message that the defending MLS Cup champions aren't about to suddenly revert to mediocrity after the departure of David Beckham, and amid the absence of Landon Donovan.
UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. â€“ Ruben Bover is going to be a work in progress.
The young New York Red Bulls wingerand head coach Mike Petke admitted to such following the club's practice on Wednesday, their first since their season-opening 3-3 draw with the Portland Timbers this past Sunday.
The next two spots in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals will be decided today when Paris St. Germain take on Valencia (2:45pm, Fox Soccer Channel) and Juventus faces Celtic (2:45pm, Fox Soccer Plus/MSG Plus).
Juventus has one foot in the quarters after romping at Celtic Park in the first leg, and their 3-0 advantage from the first leg is looking like an impossible hurdle for the Scottish champions to climb.
For one of the few times this season, Paris Saint-Germain will have to play without Zlatan Ibrahimovic when they take the pitch at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday against Valencia.
The Parisian side won the first leg 2-1, but lost the big Swede in the 90th minute to a red card for a harsh tackle, meaning their side will be without their leading scorer and playmaker against a hungry Valencia team.
Sir Alex Ferguson was so furious at referee Cuneyt Cakir's decision to send off Nani that the Manchester United manager did not attend his own post-match press conference, instead sending assistant coach Pat Phelan to meet with the media.
Nani's controversial dismissal in the 56th minute turned the match, which had been in United's favor, over to Real Madrid, who would score two goals in two minutes from the feet of Luka Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo, and eventually hold on to win on aggregate 3-2.
The first two spots in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals will be decided today, and at least one European giant will be eliminated from the competition as Manchester United and Real Madrid square off at Old Trafford (2:45pm, Fox Soccer Channel).
United and Real Madrid finished the first leg at the Bernabeu tied 1-1, meaning United have a valuable road goal and could advance with a win or scoreless draw.
With the first week of the 2013 MLS season in the books, it is time to look back at all the action on the latest episode of The SBI Podcast.
Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I discuss the top games from the weekend in MLS, including the thrilling six-goal shootout between the New York Red Bulls and Portland Timbers, as well as Real Salt Lake's impressive opening win at San Jose.
The opening week of the 2013 MLS season delivered some quality goals, and it wasn't easy to pick the best one, but ultimately it was the debut goal from one of the weekend's most impressive newcomers that stood out the most.
Portland midfielder Diego Valeri's beautiful goal in Sunday's 3-3 draw vs.
Cristiano Ronaldo makes his long awaited return to the Theater of Dreams, Old Trafford, when Manchester United host Real Madrid today in the second leg of the round-of-16 in the UEFA Champions League. The two sides drew 1-1 in the first leg in Madrid.
Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs is set to make his one thousandth senior appearance in an illustrious career when his side face Real Madrid at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed to reporters that Giggs would play a part in the highly anticipated match, though the Scot refused to say whether the 39-year-old Welshman would start or not.
DeAndre Yedlin came into the 2013 season with plenty of hype as the Seattle Sounders' first Homegrown Player signing, and it didn't take him long at all to show why he was so highly regarded coming out of Akron.
There were several good team performances in the opening week of the MLS season, but you will be hard-pressed to match the effort turned in by Real Salt Lake, which posted a 2-0 victory against defending Supporters Shield winners San Jose at Buck Shaw Stadium.
Edgar Castillo has been enjoying one of the best runs of form in the U.S. Men's National Team pool in recent weeks, but he won't be a part of the upcoming World Cup qualifiers after suffering facial fractures in Club Tijuana's match against Atlast last weekend.
It is not about how many chances you create, but what you do with them that counts. In a game that was dominated by the San Jose Earthquakes early, Alvaro Saborio's ability to put away his chances late separated Real Salt Lake from the hosts in a 2-0 opening weekend victory.
PORTLAND Caleb Porter's voice was hoarse from screaming for the better part of the first half, but that didn't stop him from sending a clear message at halftime of the Portland Timbers' match against the New York Red Bulls.
"If I could put all my money on something, it would be us coming back to tie or win this game," Porter told his team.
The U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team takes on Mexico today in the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship Final in Puebla, Mexico (7pm, Fox Soccer Channel).
Both teams have already qualified for the Under-20 World Cup in Turkey this summer, but bragging rights are on the line today as the Americans look to build on their unbeaten run through the tournament.
The defending MLS Cup champions will open defense of their second straight title while two rookie head coaches square off in a high-profile clash at what should be a raucous Jeld-Wen Field.
The LA Galaxy open today's action by taking on the Chicago Fire (5pm). Caleb Porter and the Portland Timbers face off against Mike Petke and the New York Red Bulls in a clash of first-year pro head coaches.
FC Dallas rode an early goalkeeper blunder by Colorado back-up netminder Stewart Ceus, and some stingy defending, to post a 1-0 victory over the Rapids in Saturday's season opener at FC Dallas Stadium.
Ceus, playing in place of injured starter Matt Pickens, mis-judged a long David Ferreira pass, racing out to claim it before watching it bounce over his head and toward an open goal.
Jozy Altidore's torrid form figured to set some records, and on Sunday he made a new milestone all his own.
The U.S. Men's National Team striker scored his 24th goal of the 2012-2013 season in all competitions in AZ's 1-1 draw vs. Waalwijk. The goal helped Altidore break the record for goals in a season in all competitions by an American, a record he shared with Clint Dempsey, who set the mark last year.
Extending their unbeaten streak since opening BBVA Compass Stadium into 2013, the Dynamo defeated D.C. United 2-0 on Saturday behind the typical staples of stingy defense and set-piece proficiency, along with the less-expected offensive exploits of holding midfielder Ricardo Clark.
SEATTLE, Wash. With only a single match under its belt, the Montreal Impact have already accumulated half as many road wins as they managed all of last season. A clever first-half chip shot from Davy Arnaud gave the Impact all the scoring it would need, lifting the team to a 1-0 upset over the host Seattle Sounders.
By almost any measure, the 2012 season was one to forget for the Portland Timbers.
From the team's terrible record, to the disappointing form of Kris Boyd, down to finishing next to last in the West while expansion classmate Vancouver reached the playoffs in year two, there was plenty to get down about in the Rose City.
Tab Ramos may get his wish of playing Mexico, after all.
The U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team advanced to the CONCACAF U-20 Championship final on Friday evening, defeating a lackluster Cuban side, 2-0, off a pair of quick goals from Mario Rodriguez and Daniel Cuevas that came three minutes apart.
Santos Laguna is off to a winning start in March, and they can thank Herculez Gomez in a big way for that.
Gomez lifted Santos to a 3-1 win over Jaguares de Chiapas on Friday night and he was involved in all three of his club's goals, scoring twice (his second tally included a well-timed nutmeg) and assisting another in a span of eight minutes in the first half.
Real Madrid and Barcelona kick off today soccer action when the two clubs meet for the sixth time this season.
Barcelona have the opportunity to extend their gigantic lead in Spain's Primera DivisiÃ³n, and a win today will avenge their 3-1 loss to Madrid on Tuesday. The match won't possess the usual hype of an El ClÃ¡sico, however, with Madrid set to rest the majority of their starters ahead of Tuesday's Champions League clash with Manchester United.
The U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team has already secured a place in the Under-20 World Cup, but there is still hardware to play for down in Mexico as they face Cuba in the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship semifinals (6pm, Fox Soccer Channel).
The Americans will be without Luis Gil and Cody Cropper, who both have returned to their club teams, while quarterfinal star Jose Villarreal is on the bench today nursing an ankle injury.
The MLS season is almost here and it's time to start thinking about who the best of the best in MLS are heading into the league's 18th season.
The writing staff at SBI got together and voted on who we see winning the league's major awards in 2013, and while some of the picks aren't all that surprising, some offer interesting insight into who we see shining in MLS this year.
For 45 minutes in the 2012 MLS Cup Final, the Houston Dynamo looked like they could win a championship. The Los Angeles Galaxy may have rallied and ultimately pulled out the trophy-winning victory, but what we saw from the Dynamo was a glimpse of just how good they could be.
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I want to take a moment to talk about the MLS Mothership.
The LA Galaxy are looking to become the first "three-peat" winners of the MLS Cup during the 2013 season.
The Galaxy started 2012 in anything but championship form, and the team will be hoping that an offseason free of overseas tours provided adequate time for rest and recovery after a grueling stretch run.
Winter's chill may still linger in many markets, but it matters not. Forget the freezing temperatures and forecasts of snow that dot the country. Three short months after the Los Angeles Galaxy claimed their second straight league title, MLS is back for its earliest start yet.
On the eve of the start of the 2013 Major League Soccer season, Toronto FC have announced that they have signed forward Robert Earnshaw from Championship club Cardiff City. As per team and league policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Earnshaw most recently played for Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel, spending five months there on loan, scoring two goals in ten appearances, mostly coming off the bench.
This is shaping up to be one of those kinds of dream weekends that soccer fans circle the calendar for. With top clashes in every top league in Europe headlining the schedule, and Major League Soccer kicking off the 2013 campaign, there will be more than enough soccer action to keep fans satisfied this weekend.
Major League Soccer's Disciplinary Committee has announced that DC United captain Dwayne De Rosario has been suspended for two matches and fined an undisclosed amount, following a red card for violent conduct in a pre-season match.
De Rosario was shown the red card in the 60th minute of a match against the Philadelphia Union on February 23, after a tackle to Philadelphia's Danny Cruz.
David Beckham's stay in Paris may not end when the current season finishes in May.
During a promotional event for Adidas in the French capital, The Englishman hinted that he may want to stay with Paris Saint-Germain into next season. In response to a question about his contract going longer than five months, Beckham said "not yet it doesn't.
If Joe Corona and Edgar Castillo can build on their midweek performance, Atlas is in deep, deep trouble
Having each scored a goal in Club Tijuana's Copa Libertadores rout of Bolivian side San Jose on Tuesday, the Xolos duo will aim to improve on their most recent outing while trying to help Tijuana win their fourth straight game across all competitions.