Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2013

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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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.

USA 0, Mexico 0: Field Level Highlights

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Photo by John Todd/ISIPhotos.com

Saturday EPL Rewind: Southampton stuns Chelsea; Tottenham defeats Swansea; and more

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Photo byBen Queenborough/ISIPhotos.com

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Less than two weeks after reclaiming third place in the Premier League standings, Chelsea fell back to fourth on Saturday following its 2-1 loss at Southampton.

The Blues entered Saturday's match at St.

Villarreal’s late equalizer earns Galaxy a draw at Toronto FC

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

While Landon Donovan made his long-awaited return to action as a 61st minute substitute against Toronto, two other second-half substitutions stole the show at BMO Field on Saturday afternoon.

Jose Villarreal's acrobatic equalizer in stoppage time erased a late go-ahead goal from Toronto rookie Jonathan Osorio as the Los Angeles Galaxy and Toronto FC played out a thrilling 2-2 contest.

Henry inspires Red Bulls to first win of the season

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By DAN KARELL

HARRISON, N.J. The Red Bulls were boosted on Saturday by the return of Thierry Henry, and he marked it in style.

Henry, who started on the bench due to injury, scored the game-winning goal in the 81st minute, as New York won their first game of the season 2-1 over the Philadelphia Union.

The SBI Podcast: Episode 21 (Looking back at USA-Mexico, and a look ahead to MLS Week 5)

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Photo by John Todd/ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

The U.S. Men's National Team's memorable scoreless draw against Mexico was the highlight of a busy week on the American soccer scene and is the focus of the latest episode of The SBI Podcast.

Episode 21 touches on the USMNT's memorable week in qualifying, as we discuss which players stepped up the most, and which players made the most of their chances in the March qualifiers.

Rogers interviewed for first time since announcing he is gay

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

On February 23, 2013, Robbie Rogers walked away from the game of soccer and came out as a gay soccer player in a post that he published on his blog.

One month later later, Rogers is ready to tell the world why.

The 25-year old granted interviews to The Guardian and The New York Times, revealing his reasons for quitting soccer.

USMNT Daily Update: 23 for 2014 (March 2013 Edition)

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Photo by John Todd/ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

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.

MLS Week 5: A Look Ahead

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By THOMAS FLOYD

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.

European Weekend Preview: Inter battles Juve; Bayern looks to clinch title; & more

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Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images Europe

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

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.

Friday Kickoff: Ferdinand hits out at England fans; Ancelotti wants Beckham extension; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Rio Ferdinand has heard racist chants in the past, but never before from his own supporters.

The Manchester United defender has said he was shocked to hear about England fans at last Friday's 8-0 win in San Marino chanting about him and his brother Anton, using lyrics with racist overtones.

This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

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By MICHAEL KLINE

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.

Injuries thin out Red Bulls striking options ahead of Union match

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BY DAVE MARTINEZ

The Red Bulls are knee deep into a 253-minute scoreless streak. If they hope to solve that dilemma, they may have to do it without their two main strikers.

Team captain Thierry Henry is still recovering from a knock suffered against D.C. United while Fabian Espindola is a question mark as team officials await word on the severity of his hamstring injury.

SBI MLS Fantasy: Week Five Preview

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By CASEY CANNON

Hello and Welcome to the Soccer by Ives Fantasy Corner – now with fewer bed bugs! Every week I dig through statistics, news, and rumors to provide the reader with fantasy advice like: go that way really fast. If something gets in your way, turn.

Today I would like to share my tale of woe.

MLS Notes: Rapids lose Calderon to knee injury: Moor suspended; and more

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By DAN KARELL

The Colorado Rapids just can't catch a break.

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.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Brad Guzan may be fresh off of helping the U.S. Men's National Team pick up a historic World Cup qualifying point against Mexico at Azteca Stadium, but there will not a moment's rest for him.

Guzan faces Liverpool this weekend.

Guzan returns to club action on Sunday as Aston Villa host the seventh-placed Reds at Villa Park.

Mid-Day Ticker: Mancini concedes title race; Diaby out for nine months; and more

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By VINCE MADURI

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has conceded the Premier League title race to rivals Manchester United but insists he will be back next season to try to win it back.

"It's over, but this doesn't change anything because we should do our best from now to the end," Mancini said.

Refreshed and refocused, Donovan looks to win back national team place

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By THOMAS FLOYD

WASHINGTON — 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.

MLS Ticker: Friedrich returns to the Fire, Galaxy welcomed at the White House, and more

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

For the first time in 2013, Arne Friedrich seems to be pain free.

The former German international hit the field on Wednesday for training with his Chicago Fire teammates, reportedly working with and without the ball during the training session.

USA 0, Mexico 0: A Look Back

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Photo by John Todd/ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

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.

Wednesday Evening Ticker: Pedro to miss Barca’s next two matches; Toure denies PSG move; and more

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images Europe

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Barcelona winger Pedro will be out of commission for the next 10 days after injuring his calf during Spain's 1-0 World Cup qualifier victory over France.

The 25-year-old, who scored the game-winner for his country, was subbed off in the 77th minute on Tuesday.

Thursday Kickoff: Wilshere set to return in two weeks, Bayern can win title on Saturday, and more

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By DAN KARELL

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.

Holden poised for short-term loan to Sheffield Wednesday

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By IVES GALARCEP

Stuart Holden has struggled for playing time at Bolton since returning from injury, but the Trotters are prepared to set Holden up with a move that could help him get back on the field.

The Bolton News is reporting that Bolton is preparing to send Holden on a short-term loan move to Sheffield Wednesday.

Ratings for USA-Mexico qualifier shatter records

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

Valentin loaned to Bodo/Glimt in Norway

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

The pipeline of American players moving to Norway from Major League Soccer is showing no signs of letting down.

On Monday afternoon, the Montreal Impact announced that defender Zarek Valentin is being loaned to Norwegian second division club FK Bodo/Glimt.

Red Bulls Notes: Cahill’s availability in question; Espindola, Lade miss practice; and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

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.

USA 0, Mexico 0: Player Reactions

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

CONMEBOL Rewind: Venezuela shocks Colombia, Bolivia holds Argentina at home, and more

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Photo by Reuters

By DAN KARELL

Venezuela stunned Colombia with a 1-0 win at home, highlighting a four-match night of CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying matches on Tuesday.

The win moves Venezuela into fifth place in the nine-nation group, meaning if everything ended today, Venezuela would be in a play-off home-and-home with the fifth-placed team from Asia.

Mid-Day Ticker: Robin van Persie may end his career at Manchester United, Roy Hodgson insists England are in control over destiny and more

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By VINCE MADURI

Robin van Persie has hinted that the forward may end his career at Old Trafford, citing Sir Alex Ferguson's track record of getting the most out of older players like Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes.

"For the next few years I will be at Manchester United and maybe longer.

UEFA Rewind: Spain tops France; England stopped in Montenegro; and more

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Photo by Javier Garcia/ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

The potential entrants the 2014 World Cup became clearer after a number of winning results on Tuesday in World Cup qualifying action.

Spain defeated France 1-0 in a match that both sides needed to win, after Olivier Giroud saved a draw for France during the last meeting between these two sides.

USA vs. Mexico: SBI Match Night Commentary

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By IVES GALARCEP

MEXICO CITY The biggest rivalry in CONCACAF will be revived tonight at Estadio Azteca, when the U.S. Men's National team takes the field to take on arch-rival Mexico.

The U.S. come in off a confidence-boosting 1-0 victory over Costa Rica last Friday, a win that pushed them to second place in the CONCACAF Hexagonal Round standings.

CONCACAF HEX Rewind: Panama beats Honduras to top group, Costa Rica downs Jamaica

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By VINCE MADURI

Panama leads the Hexagonal after a stunning 2-0 victory over Honduras on Tuesday in Panama City.

Forward Luis Tejeda put Panama ahead very early in the second minute of the game. FC Dallas forward Blas Perez put the match out of reach in the 74th minute.

USMNT battles Mexico to scoreless draw in qualifier at Azteca

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By THOMAS FLOYD

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.

The match marked just the second time the U.

USA 0, Mexico 0: Match Highlights

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Photo by John Todd/ISIPhotos.com

Mexico 0, USA 0: SBI Player Grades

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Photo by John Todd/ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

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.

Wednesday Kickoff: Gerrard laments England result; Suarez ignites controversy again; and more

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By DAN KARELL

England looked to be on their way to an important victory away from home after the first 45 minutes of the match. The second 45 however, were a different story.

Three Lions midfielder Steven Gerrard has rued the result for England, saying that some players on the side stopped playing for "20 or 30 minutes" once the second half began.

CONCACAF Qualifying Preview: Jamaica travels to Costa Rica, Honduras visits Panama

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By DAN KARELL

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.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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By DAN KARELL

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.

USMNT Road to Brazil: Episode 9

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Photo by John Todd/ISIPhotos.com

Containing Chicharito and Gio key to USMNT game-plan vs. Mexico

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

FIFA dismisses Costa Rica protest of snow-covered qualifier

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By DAN KARELL

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.

Where will you be watching USA-Mexico?

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

Orozco-Fiscal added to USMNT roster for Mexico qualifier

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by IVES GALARCEP

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.

Kljestan could be poised for first start under Klinsmann

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

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.

Tuesday Kickoff: Late goal by Fred saves draw for Brazil; Hodgson fully behind his team; and more

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By DAN KARELL

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.

KickTV: The HEX (Episode 4-The Snow Game)

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Monday Evening Ticker: Keane to miss Ireland qualifier; Xavi and Alonso set to return for Spain; and more

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Photo byGreig Cowie/ISIPhotos.com

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

The Republic of Ireland will be without captain and leading goalscorer Robbie Keane for Tuesday's crucial World Cup qualifying match against Austria.

The Los Angeles Galaxy forward left Ireland's 0-0 draw with Sweden last Friday with a calf injury.

With pressure squarely on Mexico, USMNT won’t sit back on Tuesday

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

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.

SBI MLS Goal of the Week: Rafael

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Photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

D.C. United's Young Designated Player Rafael had a debut to remember, scoring a long-range blast against Columbus on Saturday that's been chosen as SBI MLS Goal of the Week.

Here is Rafael's goal:

What did you think of the goal?

U.S. Under-20s drawn with Spain and France for World Cup

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

The United States will have to advance from a very difficult group at this summer's Under-20 World Cup in Turkey.

In Monday afternoon's World Cup draw, the U.S. were placed in Group A, where they'll face European powers Spain, France, and a still to be determined African country.

SBI MLS Team of the Week: Chivas USA

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By DAN KARELL

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.

The SBI Podcast: Episode 20 (Breaking down USMNT qualifiers and MLS Week 4)

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

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.

With visa issues sorted, Rodgers wants back in MLS

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BY DAVE MARTINEZ

Is anyone in Major League Soccer looking for a striker? Luke Rodgers is back on the market and wants another shot at the States.

And no worries; he says his visa issues are a thing of the past.

"I could get my visa. I had spoken to the Embassy in December and they said it wouldn't be a problem," Rodgers told SBI.

Chivas USA score three second-half goals to rout winless Fire

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By TYLER DAY

For Chivas USA it's all about respect. With more results like Sunday, the team won't have any trouble earning it.

Chivas broke open a tied game with three goals in the final 20 minutes to register a 4-1 thrashing of the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park on Sunday.

Monday Kickoff: Vilanova set to return; key players out of World Cup qualifiers; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Barcelona will finally get their manager back.

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.

FIFA looking into Costa Rica’s protest of snow-covered World Cup qualifier vs. USMNT

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Jackson Goncalves

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

Jones out for match against Mexico

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By DAN KARELL

As the U.S. Men's National team travels to Mexico City on Sunday, they'll be short one starter.

Jermaine Jones, who needed stitches at halftime during Friday's 1-0 win over Costa Rica, tweeted that he was traveling back to Germany due to the leg injury.

Creavalle and Barnes seal 2-1 comeback win for Dynamo over Whitecaps

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BY DARRELL LOVELL

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.

Who should the USMNT start vs. Mexico?

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Photo by John Todd/ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

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.

Second-half goals give FC Dallas win over shorthanded Real Salt Lake

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By DAN KARELL

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.

Earthquakes 1, Sounders 0: Match Highlights

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

LA Galaxy 1, Rapids 0: Match Highlights

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

Crew snap D.C. United’s home unbeaten streak

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By THOMAS FLOYD

WASHINGTON — 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.

Adu signs deal with Bahia, will be introduced Monday

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

Montreal stays unbeaten with gritty win over New York

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By DAN KARELL

Playing without Thierry Henry, Tim Cahill and, Jamison Olave for the first time this season, the New York Red Bulls had a match that they'd like to quickly forget.

Brandon Barklage earned a red card in the 73rd minute, and a make-shift defensive unit struggled all match long.

MLS Week Four: Match Day Commentary

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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.

UEFA Rewind: Finland stuns Spain; Portugal’s struggles continue; and more

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By MICHAEL KLINE

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.

CONMEBOL Rewind: Argentina blanks Venezuela, Paraguay snatches draw with Uruguay, and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Dominating shutouts and a couple of last-minute goals highlighted Friday's four World Cup Qualifiers from South America.

Argentina got its revenge and then some more in a 3-0 home win over Venezuela to maintain its four-point lead at the top of the table.

CONCACAF Rewind: Honduras rallies to draw Mexico, Panama scores crucial goal to tie Jamaica

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By DAN KARELL

Mexico probably thought that two goals from Javier Hernandez was more than enough to ensure a crucial road victory in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.

Turns out, they were wrong.

With 13 minutes remaining, Hondurans's Carlos Costly and Jerry Bengtson each scored goals to tie the match at 2-2, keeping the hosts at the top of the qualification standings.

Beasley turns back the clock in Man of the Match performance

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

USA vs. Costa Rica: SBI Match Night Commentary

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By IVES GALARCEP

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).

Jermaine Jones: The Abominable Snowman

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Photo by John Todd/ISIPhotos.com

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.

Jones didn't just gather snow on his head.

Dempsey winner caps strong team effort as USMNT tops Costa Rica in snow storm

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

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.

Dempsey continues strong run of USMNT form in win over Costa Rica

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

As the U.S. Men's National Team pushed on for an insurance goal against Costa Rica, it was becoming increasingly evident that Clint Dempsey was running out of gas.

It did not matter, though. Dempsey had already made his mark.

USA 1, Costa Rica 0: Match Highlights

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SBI Fantasy MLS: Week Four Preview

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By CASEY CANNON

Hello and Welcome to the Soccer by Ives Fantasy Corner – now with even more German Heritage! Every week I dig through statistics, news, and rumors to provide the reader with the kind of fantasy advice that only a dedicated German fitness fanatic can provide.

USMNT Road to Brazil: Episode 8 (Preparing for Costa Rica)

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This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

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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.

Mexico face stern test against Honduras, Jamaica and Panama fight to maintain World Cup hopes

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By DAN KARELL

The CONCACAF region plays host to two of the biggest World Cup qualifiers on Friday, as Honduras hosts Mexico and Jamaica hosts Panama.

The Hondurans come into the match on a high, after beating the United States in the last round, and sitting currently atop the Hexagonal standings.

Hartman signs with Red Bulls as goalkeeper/development manager

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BY DAVE MARTINEZ

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.

MLS Week 4: A Look Ahead

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By THOMAS FLOYD

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 — even without some big names at its disposal.

So what's the matchup most hindered by international call-ups?

The SBI Podcast: Episode 19 (Previewing USA-Costa Rica, and a quick look at MLS Week 4)

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

Adu touches on potential Bahia move with Brazilian media

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By FRANCO PANIZO

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.

WCQ Weekend Preview: Argentina looks to avenge Venezuela loss, Portugal visits Israel in a crucial match, and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

In a weekend filled with World Cup qualifiers all over the globe, the most intriguing matchup can be found in South America as CONMEBOL-leading Argentina hosts Venezuela.

Back in October, Venezuela got its first-ever win over Argentina, a 1-0 home victory that gave the country its first points in the qualifying process for the 2014 World Cup.

Dempsey and Klinsmann discuss the big Costa Rica qualifying match-up

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Friday Kickoff: Balotelli helps Italy comeback against Brazil; Van Persie calls out UEFA; and more

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By DAN KARELL

When Mario Balotelli is playing, you never know what's going to happen.

Italy and Brazil kicked off the upcoming string of international matches with a bang, finishing the game with a scoreline of 2-2 at the Stade de Geneve in Geneva, Switzerland.

MLS Ticker: Schedule changes made for CCL semifinalists; Toja fined for embellishment; and more

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By DAN KARELL

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.

Klinsmann discusses recent criticisms, Costa Rica, and more in pre-game press conference

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By FRANCO PANIZO

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.

Studio 90: USMNT continue preparations for Costa Rica

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Mid-Day Ticker: West Ham agree to Olympic Stadium deal; Hodgson casts doubt over Rio’s England future; and more

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By VINCE MADURI

West Ham has agreed to a 99 year deal to become the primary tenants of Olympic Stadium, ending long marathon negotiations between the London Legacy Development Corporation and the club.

The deal gives the Hammers the right to use the facility for all home games for the next century but will not own property interest in the stadium.

Columbus, KC, Seattle and Utah make the cut as USMNT announces home HEX venues

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

U.

PRO release statement on Cooper handball controversy

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By DAN KARELL

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.

Gomez, Bradley, and Cameron respond to Sporting News story

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By DAN KARELL

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.

Wednesday Evening Ticker: Saborio doubtful for qualifier vs. USMNT, Drogba left off Ivory Coast squad, and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Costa Rica may have to face the USMNT on Friday night without their captain and leading scorer Alvaro Saborio.

According to Costa Rican sports show Deportes Repretel, Los Ticos manager Jorge Luis Pinto confirmed Wednesday that Saborio is doubtful to start Friday's World Cup qualifying match in Denver.

The Reuters American Soccer Hangout (with Marcelo Balboa, Ives and Simon Evans)

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Liverpool convinced Suarez will stay, Chepo plays down Honduras match, and more

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By DAN KARELL

As is customary with being one of the top players in the Premier League, transfer rumors have swirled over the head of Liverpool forward Luis Suarez all season long.

But Liverpool's chief executive Ian Ayre has unequivocally stated that he was "100 percent" sure that Suarez would still be a member of the team come next season.

Arena sounds off on USMNT in ESPN interview

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By DAN KARELL

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.

Klinsmann names Dempsey USMNT captain for qualifiers

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

Union Notes: Hackworth discusses impending Adu move, Soumare’s trade request, and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

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.

Mid-Day Ticker: Liverpool’s Joe Allen out for season, Poyet in front for Reading job and more

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By VINCE MADURI

Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen will miss the rest of the season due to an injury to his left shoulder, which the Welsh international is set to have surgery for on Thursday.

The 23-year-old has experienced a dip in form the last few weeks, ultimately leading to the decision to proceed with surgery.

Red Bulls Notes: Petke unsure if Juninho will start vs. Impact; Moreno impressing; and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

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.

Hernandez files lawsuit against FC Dallas for wrongful termination

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week Three

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Montreal Impact have slowly but surely erased any doubts about their validity as a transformed team and legitimate playoff-caliber squad.

The Impact beat Canadian rival Toronto FC to improve to 3-0, taking an early lead in the MLS Eastern Conference and serving notice that they are a force to be reckoned with.

MLS Ticker: Keane not ready to walk away, MLS Cup winning coach sacked, and more

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By DAN KARELL

While one famous international forward is leaving the game at the end of this season, another one is determined to keep playing for much longer.

Los Angeles Galaxy forward Robbie Keane, speaking to BBC Sport ahead of Ireland's World Cup Qualifier against Sweden on Friday, stated his intent to continue to play soccer as long as he can.

SBI MLS Goal of the Week: Rodney Wallace

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By DAN KARELL

Trailing 1-0 in the 90th minute to the arch-rival Seattle Sounders, the Portland Timbers needed a goal to grab a point, and head back to Jeld-Wen Field with a result.

Thanks to a terrific header from Rodney Wallace, they were able to do just that. The Costa Rican's goal was just the seventh of his career in MLS, and it earned him SBI's MLS Goal of the Week.

Howard speaks out against notion the USMNT is divided

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

SBI MLS Save of the Week: Bill Hamid

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By DAN KARELL

Time after time, D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid repelled attack after attack from the New York Red Bulls last Saturday afternoon.

But it was his magnificent diving save on a 90th minute header from Red Bull's defender Brandon Barklage that has earned Hamid SBI's Save of the Week.

Bocanegra backs Klinsmann in statement addressing recent criticism of USMNT coach

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By IVES GALARCEP

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?

Wednesday Kickoff: Toure could leave Man City; Abidal plays in first match since surgery; and more

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By DAN KARELL

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.

SBI MLS Team of the Week: Montreal Impact

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By DAN KARELL

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.

Dynamo midfielder Davis added to USMNT roster

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

Report: Sounders set to part ways with Johansson

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Adam Johansson is reportedly in the final hours of his time as a member of the Seattle Sounders.

Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said after Tuesday practice that Johansson is going to be waived in a move that could be made official as soon as Wednesday, according to the Seattle Times.

MLS rescinds Velazquez’s red card

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It turns out Joaquin Velazquez will be able to suit up for Chivas USA this weekend, after all.

Two days after controversially being sent off in the Goats' 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy, Velazquez had his red card and subsequent one-game suspension and fine rescinded by MLS on appeal on Tuesday.

Sporting News article raises serious questions about Klinsmann’s tenure as USMNT head coach

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

Henry and Nesta to miss Impact-Red Bulls match on Saturday

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By DAN KARELL

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.

MLS Ticker: Red Bulls sign Luyindula, Timbers put Mosquera on indefinite leave, and more

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By DAN KARELL

The New York Red Bulls spent all off-season trying to find the pieces to solve the puzzle of replacing the 18 goals scored by Kenny Cooper. They might have just found the missing piece.

New York completed the signing on Tuesday morning of French forward Peguy Luyindula on a free transfer, giving the squad yet another option at the top of the field.

USMNT Daily Update: A look at centerback options

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

Monday Evening Ticker: Messi opens up about future; Kroos and S. Bender out for Germany; and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Lionel Messi has hinted that he could return to Argentina to finish his career, saying that he still has a good relationship with his home country despite recent criticism.

The superstar forward told Argentinian television channel TyC Sports that he would like to return to his home country when his newborn son Thiago starts school.

McInerney coming through in the clutch for Union

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By THOMAS FLOYD

CHESTER, Pa. — 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?

D.C. United Notes: Olsen rues possession struggles, young Brazilians coming along and more

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By THOMAS FLOYD

WASHINGTON — D.C. United have work to do in the possession department. That much, if nothing else, was abundantly clear during their scoreless draw Saturday at Red Bull Arena.

As New York wore United down by moving the ball with ease, the visitors struggled to cope with the pressure, failing to build while lazy long balls and cheap giveaways becoming all too common.

Tuesday Kickoff: Owen to retire at season’s end, Neymar down to three potential teams, and more

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By DAN KARELL

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 SBI Podcast: Episode 18 (discussing the USMNT qualifying roster, MLS Rivalry Week, and more)

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

Despite winless start, Petke’s system beginning to take shape for Red Bulls

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BY DAVE MARTINEZ

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.

Klinsmann backs young defense, says qualifiers are their chance to shine

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By DAN KARELL

The initial shock from the announcement of the U.S. Men's National Team roster for the team's upcoming qualifiers lay with the inexperience and overall lack of natural defenders on the roster.

Three of the six listed defenders on the U.

Bradley, Dempsey and Guzan named to USMNT World Cup qualifying roster

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By IVES GALARCEP

Michael Bradley, Brad Guzan and Clint Dempsey headlined the 23-player USMNT roster announced for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers vs. Costa Rica and Mexico.

Several familiar faces were left oft the roster, including long-time captain Carlos Bocanegra as well as German-Americans Fabian Johnson, Danny Williams and Timmy Chandler.

A look at who the USMNT could start vs. Costa Rica

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Carlos Alvarez

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

As names start to surface, USMNT roster announcement set for 1pm

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Bill Hamid

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

Monday Kickoff: Rio pulls out of England squad; Lampard scores 200th for Chelsea, Totti moves into second place in Serie A scoring, and more

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By DAN KARELL

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.

Brazilian reports identify Kleberson as player heading to Union for Adu

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Philadelphia Union are on the verge of unloading out-of-favor midfielder Freddy Adu to Brazilian side Bahia, and reports out of Brazil have Kleberson heading the other way in a swap deal.

The World Cup-winning midfielder will join the Union as soon as Adu and Bahia reach an agreement on a transfer.

Cooper scores controversial winner to lead FC Dallas past Dynamo

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By DARRELL LOVELL

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.

Late Alvarez equalizer helps 10-man Chivas USA tie Galaxy

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

European Weekend Rewind: Man City and Tottenham upset; Bayern gets revenge on Leverkusen; and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur both lost to lower positioned foes this weekend as their rivals gained ground in the Premier League race.

City fell 2-0 on Saturday at Everton, the sixth-place club that has become one of the defending champion's toughest opponents.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Another week, another goal for Jozy Altidore.

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.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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By MICHAEL KLINE

A pair of London Derby clashes headline Sunday's soccer action on TV, with Tottenham playing host to Fulham to White Hart Lane and West Ham heading to West London to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

American forward Clint Dempsey will be available to face his former team after missing a couple of weeks due to a calf injury.

Crew and Earthquakes battle to a hard-fought draw

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By VINCE MADURI

The Columbus Crew and San Jose Earthquakes battled to a 1-1 draw Saturday in a game neither team looked at their best offensively and defenses ruled.

Justin Morrow tied the game at one apiece in the 73rd minute after the Earthquakes had fallen behind just five minutes earlier.

Saborio equalizes late as RSL tie Rapids

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Alvaro Saborio's 80th minute goal helped Real Salt Lake earn a 1-1 draw with rival Colorado in the first leg of this season's Rocky Mountain Cup series.

The late strike from the veteran goalscorer erased a Colorado lead that was created by rookie Deshorn Brown in the 37th minute.

Late Wallace header earns Timbers a tie in Seattle

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By JASON MITCHELL

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.

McInerney scores winner again as Union edge Revolution

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By FRANCO PANIZO

CHESTER, Pa. For the second straight week, the Philadelphia Union were victorious and for the the second straight week it was Jack McInerney who made the difference.

The Union defeated the New England Revolution, 1-0, in a rainy game at PPL Park on Saturday afternoon, with McInerney providing the game's only goal in the 76th minute.

Fire defense holds on for scoreless draw at Sporting KC

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By TYLER DAY

The two clubs that allowed the fewest goals in the Eastern Conference last year stayed true to form on Saturday, as Sporting KC and Chicago battled to a 0-0 draw.

Both teams seemed to execute their strategies heading into the game, but neither could find a quality finish for their numerous chances.

Impact remain perfect with 2-1 win over TFC

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BY DARRELL LOVELL

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.

Olsen labels Hamid ‘a new man’ after national team stint

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By THOMAS FLOYD

HARRISON, N.J. — 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.

As Olsen put it, "He's a new man.

With NYC2 lagging, Garber says Florida becoming more of an expansion priority

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By FRANCO PANIZO

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 EPL Rewind: Everton blanks Man City, Arsenal wins comfortably at Swansea, and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Manchester City's chances at defending the Premier League title took a devastating blow on Saturday as the club fell 2-0 to a determined Everton side.

The host Toffees rebounded from last weekend's 3-0 FA Cup quarterfinal loss to relegation-threatened Wigan Athletic with a hard-fought victory over second-place City.

Hamid saves DC United in scoreless draw with New York.

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HARRISON, N.J. In the snow, the ball touched nearly every blade of grass on the field, but it never crossed the plane of the goal. DC United goalkeeper Bill Hamid made sure of that.

Hamid made seven saves, including a game-saving one in injury time, as DC United played New York Red Bulls to a 0-0 tie on Saturday afternoon at Red Bull Arena.

MLS Week Three: SBI Match Day Live Commentary

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By IVES GALARCEP

It is rivalry weekend in Major League Soccer, and the league has a full slate of rivalry match-ups across the country and in Canada today.

Proceedings kick off at Red Bull Arena, where the New York Red Bulls take on D.C. United in their I-95 showdown.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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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.

Adu closing in on move to Brazilian side Bahia

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

Adu closing in on move to Brazilian side Bahia

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

CCL semifinal schedule set, Sounders and Galaxy to host first leg

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

BY DAN KARELL

CONCACAF released the schedule for the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Champions League on Friday afternoon, giving the two Major League Soccer teams remaining a tough task at hand.

The Los Angeles Galaxy and the Seattle Sounders will both host the first legs against Monterrey and Santos Laguna, respectively, before traveling to their Mexican opponents for the second leg.

Sounders make it official, sign Martins as third DP

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BY DAN KARELL

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.

After early struggles, Red Bulls expect changes to their backline

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BY DAVE MARTINEZ

The New York Red Bulls opened their first two matches of the season with an encouraging offensive flurry and ended both under defensive duress.

Coming into the 2013 campaign, head coach Mike Petke knew his backline was in a state of flux. Nevertheless, he has kept three of the four defensive starters in tact through two matches.

USMNT Daily Update: Is Klinsmann ready to change his midfield preference?

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

MLS Week 3: A Look Ahead

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By THOMAS FLOYD

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.

The SBI Podcast: Episode 17 (with special guest Jose Villarreal)

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By IVES GALARCEP

There aren't many American players who have enjoyed a better past month than Jose Villarreal.

The 19-year-old sensation was one of the top standouts on the U.S. Under-20 National Team in its recent successful qualification for the Under-20 World Cup.

This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

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By MICHAEL KLINE

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.

SBI Fantasy MLS: Week Three Preview

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By CASEY CANNON

Hello and Welcome to the Soccer by Ives Fantasy Corner – now with preferred seating! Every week I dig through statistics, news, and rumors to provide the reader with the kind of fantasy advice that only a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt can provide.

This week in addition to the usual Fantasy Soccer notes there is an opportunity for you to help the USMNT.

Friday Kickoff: Chelsea drawn with Rubin Kazan, Pogba and Varane earn callups, and more

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BY DAN KARELL

Chelsea have been drawn against Rubin Kazan in the quarterfinals of the UEFA Europa League.

Kazan come in with a title-beating record, taking down Inter Milan in the group stage, while defeating defending Europa League champion Atletico Madrid in the round of 32.

Timbers notes: Porter ready for Cascadia rivalry, looks to improve defense

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Photo courtesy of Portland Timbers

By MIKE DONOVAN

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.

Europa League Rewind: Tottenham survive on away goals, Chelsea and Newcastle progress, and more

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

BY DAN KARELL

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.

Barcelona face PSG and Bayern take on Juventus as UEFA Champions League quarterfinals are set

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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.

Recent results shine light on away goals rule, raising question of whether soccer still needs it

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By MIKE McCALL

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.

MLS Ticker: AEG terminates sale process; Mansally and Saborio disciplined; and more

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By VINCE MADURI

Billionaire Phil Anschutz has announced he is terminating the sale process of AEG and retaining ownership of the sports and entertainment company.

Along with this development, AEG also announced that Tim Leiweke will be replaced by Dan Beckerman as President and CEO.

MLS East Notes: Gaven still sidelined; Fagundez re-ups with Revs; and more

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BY DARRELL LOVELL

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.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The last time AZ Alkmaar met Ajax, Jozy Altidore inspired his club to a big 3-0 win in cup play.

AZ will be hoping that history repeats itself this weekend.

In dire need of three points to distance themselves from the drop zone, AZ will attempt to snap their six-game winless streak when they host Ajax on Sunday.

Mid-Day Ticker: Rio Ferdinand back in England squad, Wenger says English clubs need to ‘wake up’ and more

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By VINCE MADURI

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.

Teammates on 2004 MLS Cup-winning D.C. United, Olsen, Petke and Nelsen take winding paths to coaching ranks

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By THOMAS FLOYD

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.

"A lot of personality," he recalled.

As drought stretches over three seasons, Timbers still waiting for a PK call

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

MLS Spotlight: Farrell enjoys strong start to MLS career

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By TYLER DAY

It didn't take long for Andrew Farrell to show why he was worthy of the No. 1 pick in this year's draft.

The 20-year old Generation Adidas and former University of Louisville defender was impressive in the Revolution's opening match win vs. the Chicago Fire.

USMNT announces friendly vs. Belgium in Cleveland on May 29th

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

Santos Laguna eliminate Dynamo to set up CCL semifinal clash vs. Seattle

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

Galaxy trounce Herediano to book CCL semifinal date vs. Monterrey

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BY DAN KARELL

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.

USMNT drop to 33rd in latest FIFA World Rankings

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By IVES GALARCEP

The U.S. Men's National Team haven't played a match in five weeks, but that didn't stop them from slipping yet again in the FIFA World Rankings.

The latest rankings have the Americans dropping to 33rd, falling a spot behind Romania in the latest chart.

Thursday Kickoff: Blatter against Euro 2020 plan, Roma get a new sponsor, and more

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BY DAN KARELL

FIFA President Sepp Blatter spoke of his displeasure at the potential European Championships scheduled for 2020, with multiple host cities in countries all over Europe.

According to the German publication Kicker, Blatter spoke with UEFA President Michel Platini, advising him against moving the Euro's out of a single country.

Mexico names strong squad to face Honduras and USMNT

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

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.

Bayern Munich holds off Arsenal, Malaga knocks off Porto to book final places in UEFA Champions League quarterfinals

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BY DAN KARELL

If Arsenal needed any more motivation heading into the Allianz Arena on Wednesday, Barcelona's 4-0 win over AC Milan on Tuesday should have been more than enough.

And channeling their spirit, a forward thinking Arsenal side scored two goals; one three minutes after the start, the second, five minutes before time.

Dynamo and Galaxy aim to join Sounders in CCL semifinals

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By IVES GALARCEP

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).

MLS Spotlight: Jahn announces his arrival on the MLS stage

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By VINCE MADURI

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.

RBNY Notebook: Petke opens up about Sam omissions, Miller makes shocking admission, and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

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.

Now we know.

Mid-Day Ticker: USWNT win Algarve Cup, Carlos Tevez has been charged and more

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By VINCE MADURI

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.

MLS Spotlight: Schuler ready to shine for RSL

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By THOMAS FLOYD

Nick Rimando remembers a young, raw Chris Schuler breaking in with Real Salt Lake in 2010 as a third-round pick out of Creighton. His first impression of the 6-foot-4 defender?

"He couldn't kick a ball straight," the veteran goalkeeper quipped.

Oh how things change.

USMNT to face Costa Rica, Belize and Cuba as CONCACAF Gold Cup Schedule announced

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By IVES GALARCEP

The 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup schedule was announced on Wednesday and the U.S. Men's National Team was placed in a group alongside Costa Rica, Belize and Cuba.

The Americans will face Belize at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland on July 9th before traveling to Salt Lake City to take on Cuba on July 13th.

Wednesday Kickoff: Qatar to organize star-studded tournament, Monterrey moves on to CCL semis, and more

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BY DAN KARELL

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.

Bayern Munich vs. Arsenal highlights final day of Champions League round of 16 action

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BY DAN KARELL

Bayern Munich can extend their winning streak to twelve matches in all competitions, if they defeat Arsenal on Wednesday night at the Allianz Arena.

The German side defeated the Gunners in London on February 19, striking a dagger into the hearts of the English side.

Barcelona trounce AC Milan, Galatasaray wins at Schalke to book UCL quarterfinal places

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

Carli Lloyd set to miss first month of NWSL with injury

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BY DAN KARELL

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.

Must-See Goal: Djimi Traore

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Photo by Jane Gershovich/JaneG.Photography

Sounders rally late to earn historic CONCACAF Champions League win over Tigres

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Photo by Jane Gershovich/JaneG.Photography

By JASON MITCHELL

SEATTLE, Wash. Eddie Johnson came close time and again. In the season-opener against the Montreal Impact. In the first leg of this CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal against Tigres UANL last week.

SBI MLS Best XI: Week Two

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Photo by Nick Turchiaro/ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

It hasn't taken long for Major League Soccer's incoming class of international newcomers to make an impact.

MLS Week Two saw several new faces turn in standout performances, led by the Toronto FC tandem of Robert Earnshaw and John Bostock.

Sounders look to make history in CONCACAF Champions League tonight

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Photo by Jane Gershovich/JaneG.Photography

By IVES GALARCEP

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.

UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Your Running Commentary

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

SBI MLS Team of the Week: Toronto FC

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

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.

USMNT Daily Update: Who should Klinsmann start vs. Costa Rica?

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

SBI MLS Goal of the Week: Hassoun Camara

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Tuesday Kickoff: Wilshere ruled out of Bayern match, Pique issues ultimatum to supporters, and more

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BY DAN KARELL

Arsenal's slim chance of moving on in the Champions League just got slimmer.

News broke on Monday night that Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is facing a three-week stay on the sidelines, after discovering he had ankle inflammation during a training session.

Barcelona face do-or-die second leg vs. Milan in today’s UEFA Champions League action

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BY DAN KARELL

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.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Adam Jahn

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

Arena: Donovan to return the last week of March

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BY DAN KARELL

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.

Klinsmann: Dempsey and Johnson should be ready for qualifying, Cherundolo back training with Hannover

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

Saborio, Arrieta and Ruiz among players called up by Costa Rica for World Cup qualifiying

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

Mid-Day Ticker: Reading fire McDermott; USWNT advance to Algarve Cup final; and more

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By VINCE MADURI

Reading have fired head coach Brian McDermott following the club's 2-1 home loss to Aston Villa on Saturday, leaving the relegation threatened Royals without a manager for the time being.

"The search for a successor will start immediately," the club said in a statement.

RBNY’s Miller in hot seat after latest shocker

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BY DAVE MARTINEZ

Roy Miller has a long history of folding under pressure.

In three years with New York, the longest tenured Red Bull has also been the most gaffe prone member of the team when it comes to high intensity situations.

During the 2010 playoffs, Miller failed to spot a streaking Wondolowski in the box allowing a late, series tying goal to the Earthquakes and all but assuring New York's elimination from the playoffs.

Martins pays his own Levante buyout, clearing way for pending move to Sounders

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By VINCE MADURI

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.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Patrice Bernier

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

The SBI Podcast: Episode 16 with special guests Herculez Gomez and Amobi Okugo

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

Okugo and McInerney deliver for Union in win over Rapids

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BY DAN KARELL

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 rally to top FC Dallas

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

BY DAN KARELL

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.

Earthquakes pounce on another Red Bulls collapse for latest comeback win

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By IVES GALARCEP

The New York Red Bulls were in total control, and looked to have a road win in the bag on Sunday night, but two familiar scenarios played out yet again.

Roy Miller cost his team another game and the San Jose Earthquakes were able to capitalize with yet another late-game comeback.

Monday Kickoff: Gerrard backs Suarez for awards, Ribery set to miss Arsenal clash, and more

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BY DAN KARELL

Liverpool FC captain Steven Gerrard has backed teammate Luis Suarez to win an award, following the Uruguayan's performance over Tottenham on Sunday.

Suarez scored the game's opening goal, his 22nd in Premier League play, and earned his side a penalty in their 3-2 victory against Spurs.

MLS Match Week Two: Your Running Commentary

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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.

Pajoy strike enough for D.C. United to topple RSL

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By THOMAS FLOYD

WASHINGTON — 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.

Whitecaps stay perfect by knocking off Crew

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By VINCE MADURI

The Vancouver Whitecaps rode one beautiful goal and one opportunistic finish to keep their impressive start to the 2013 season going.

A Daigo Kobayashi blast in the sixth minute, and a Kenny Miller conversion of a Columbus Crew turnover helped the Whitecaps deliver a 2-1 victory over the Crew at BC Place on Saturday.

Bengston’s header helps Revs open 2013 with a victory

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By TYLER DAY

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.

Impact topple Timbers for second straight road win

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By MIKE DONOVAN

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.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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By MICHAEL KLINE

Sunday's soccer activity involves four of the biggest clubs in England, with both Premier League and FA Cup action on display.

The hopes of cup glory are on the line, as well as aspirations of competing in next season's Champions League.

Tottenham visit Anfield in a Premier League matchup that includes two of the best players in the English game.

Saturday Ticker: Man United turn to Nike to help fund Ronaldo return; Richards sidelined another month; and more

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By MICHAEL KLINE

Manchester United officials reportedly met with Nike representatives on Friday, with Cristiano Ronaldo being one of the topics of the meeting.

According to reports, United are interested in bringing Ronaldo back to Old Trafford, and are asking Nike to help finance the massive return.

Earnshaw’s brace helps TFC post first win in almost eight months

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By MICHAEL KLINE

Toronto FC opened their home campaign in style, jumping all over Sporting Kansas City early on and holding on for an impressive 2-1 victory at BMO Field on Saturday.

Ryan Nelsen's second match in charge of Toronto FC saw the Canadian soccer club record their first MLS win since July 18th of 2012, a span of almost eight months and 15 matches.

MLS Match Week Two: Your Running Commentary

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

Solo ruled out for three to four months after surgery

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BY DAN KARELL

U.S. Women's National Team hero Hope Solo will be out for three to four months following surgery to her repair cartilage in her left wrist.

Initially, Solo had been projected to return in just eight weeks, but U.S. Soccer today announced that her recovery timetable will be significantly longer.

USMNT Daily Update: Howard will be missed this month, but goalkeeper spot in good hands with Guzan

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Reading and Aston Villa are both in danger of being relegated, and their showdown today is vital for both team's chances of avoiding a fate neither team wants to suffer.

The match between The Villans and The Royals will have huge relegation implications, with a win taking either side out of the bottom three.

Howard set to miss March qualifiers with broken ribs in his back

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

SBI Fantasy MLS: Week Two Preview

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By CASEY CANNON

Hello and Welcome to the Soccer by Ives Fantasy Corner – now with almost no shame! Every week I dig through statistics, news, and rumors to provide the reader with the kind of fantasy advice that only a nationally ranked Epeeist can provide.

One of the changes from last year is the ability to carry over a trade.

KickTV: Wondolowski gets the Jimmy Conrad makeover

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USWNT romp over China in Algarve Cup

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BY DAN KARELL

No Abby Wambach, Carli Lloyd, or Shannan Boxx in the starting lineup?

No problem.

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 SBI Podcast: Episode 15 (with special guest Joe Corona)

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

This Weekend’s Soccer On TV

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By MICHAEL KLINE

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.

MLS Week 2: A Look Ahead

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By THOMAS FLOYD

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.

Red Bulls’ Juninho to miss Earthquakes match

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BY DAVE MARTINEZ

Two major issues cursed the Red Bulls during the 2012 season; their propensity to give up the early goal and their inability to escape injuries.

One of those issues has been left behind in preseason, while the other has made it's presence known just one game into the season.

Galaxy earn valuable scoreless road draw vs. Herediano

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By IVES GALARCEP

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).

European Weekend Preview: Man United-Chelsea headline FA Cup quarters; Lyon and Marseille clash in France; and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

The final eight in this season's FA Cup competition will take center stage this weekend as most of Europe's top teams begin the home stretch of their domestic league campaigns.

The marquee match this weekend is Manchester United vs. Chelsea, the league leaders vs.

Friday Kickoff: Bale leads Spurs past Inter, Ferguson ends rumors of Rooney exit, and more

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BY DAN KARELL

Gareth Bale just can't seem to stop scoring.

The Welshman scored his tenth goal in eight games to lead Tottenham Hotspurs to a 3-0 victory over recent Champions League winner Inter Milan on Thursday night at White Hart Lane.

Bale opened the scoring with a glancing header in the sixth minute, and it was all downhill from there for Inter Milan.

USMNT Daily Update: Who should Klinsmann call up for the March qualifiers?

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Only three points separate Maurice Edu and Bursaspor from third-place Fenerbahce, and they will have a golden chance to pull level with the Turkish heavyweights this weekend.

Currently sitting on 37 points and in fourth place of the Super Lig, Bursaspor will visit the 18-time Turkish champions on Sunday in one of Turkey's marquee match-ups this weekend.

Fire notes: Squad regroups from opening loss, Friedrich and Pause still doubtful, and more

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By TYLER DAY

"We've got our eyes on trophies," Fire midfielder Jeff Larentowicz said. "We've got enough veteran guys that know how the league works and know what it takes to win."

That was last week – before the club's opening day 4-0 pummeling on Sunday at the hands of MLS Cup Champion LA Galaxy.

UEFA Europa League Round of 16: Your Running Commentary

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With the possible exception of Cristiano Ronaldo, there isn't a more in-form player on the planet these days than Tottenham's Gareth Bale.

The Welsh star will put his recent goal-scoring run on the line when he leads Spurs into a Europa League Round of 16 showdown against Italian side Inter Milan.

UCL Rewind- PSG reach quarters for first time in 18 years, Juve cruises

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By DAN KARELL

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.

Wednesday Evening Ticker: Gulati running for Blazer’s ExCo seat; USWNT open Algarve Cup with win; and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

On Wednesday, CONCACAF confirmed that USSF president Sunil Gulati will run for the FIFA Executive Committee seat currently held by Chuck Blazer.

Gulati, who is in his second term as the president of US Soccer, will be running against Mexican federation president Justino Compeán for the position.

Club Tijuana stay unbeaten in Libertadores after knocking off world champion Corinthians

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Club Tijuana Cinderella story just keeps getting better and more unbelievable.

The Mexican champions posted their third straight Copa Libertadores on Wednesday, beating reigning World Champions Corinthians 1-0 in Tijuana.

The victory improved the Xolos' record to a perfect 3-0 in the group stage, five points ahead of Corinthians in a group that includes Colombian champion Millonarios and Bolivian side San Jose.

Late goal lifts Tigres over Sounders in CCL quarterfinals

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By JASON MITCHELL

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.

Thursday Kickoff: Rooney could be sold this summer, Toluca ties Barcelona (ECU), and more

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BY DAN KARELL

Being dropped from the starting eleven on Tuesday may have just been the start of things to come.

Since Manchester United's 2-1 loss against Real Madrid, rumors have been swirling through the English media that manager Sir Alex Ferguson is willing to sell Wayne Rooney for £20 million.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week One

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

Red Bulls Notes: Bover a work in progress, Petke dismisses travel woes excuse, and more

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Photo courtesy of New York Red Bulls

By FRANCO PANIZO

UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – 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.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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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.

SBI MLS Spotlight: Agudelo carrying more responsibility as one of Chivas USA’s few holdovers

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Of the few players to survive Chivas USA's offseason overhaul, Juan Agudelo may be the one with the biggest burden on his shoulders.

It might be hard to believe but this season marks Agudelo's fourth as a professional and with that comes increased expectations.

PSG vs. Valencia highlight day two of second leg UEFA Champions League action

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BY DAN KARELL

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.

Borussia Dortmund 3, Shahktar Donetsk 0: Match Highlights

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Wednesday Kickoff: Ferguson irate at referee, Goetze leads Dortmund to UCL quarters, and more

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BY DAN KARELL

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.

Manchester United 1, Real Madrid 2: Match Highlights

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Davis scores late, gives Dynamo advantage over Santos in CCL

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The Houston Dynamo were on the verge of having to head to Mexico needing a win to advance in the CONCACAF Champions League.

Then Brad Davis stepped up in a huge way.

Davis scored an 89th-minute goal for the Dynamo to give them a 1-0 victory over Santos Laguna in the first leg of their quarterfinal series at BBVA Compass Stadium on Tuesday night.

CCL Preview: Dynamo, Sounders, Galaxy all set for quarterfinal action

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BY DAN KARELL

Three Major League Soccer teams remain in the hunt for the CONCACAF Champions League title, as the tournament resumes in the Championship Round starting tonight.

Among the final eight teams fighting for a place in next winter's Club World Championship is the Seattle Sounders, Houston Dynamo, and Los Angeles Galaxy.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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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.

MLS Ticker: League plays down Miami expansion rumors, Zizzo sidelined after knee surgery, and more

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By MICHAEL KLINE

A Major League Soccer spokesperson has cleared the air, denying that the MLS have held discussions with RSE Ventures concerning an expansion team in Miami.

Recent reports have held that the MLS was "pushing hard for Miami expansion team," but the MLS spokesperson has squashed those claims.

The SBI Podcast: Episode 14 (breaking down MLS Week 1, U.S. Under-20s, & more)

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

SBI MLS Goal of the Week: Diego Valeri

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

SBI MLS Best XI: Week One

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By IVES GALARCEP

It was an outstanding week for midfielders in the opening stanza of the MLS season, with midfield maestros leading the way in several week one victories.

Sporting Kansas City's Graham Zusi and Houston's Ricardo Clark were among the midfielders to shine, and both were honored for their performances by making the SBI MLS Best XI for Week One.

Tuesday Kickoff: Vilanova nearing Barcelona comeback, Mancini upset with Rodwell, and more

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BY DAN KARELL

FC Barcelona received some much needed good news on Tuesday, when President Sandro Rosell announced that manager Tito Vilanova could return to the club full time by the end of this month.

Vilanova has been in New York since January, recovering from cancer treatment for the second time in his life.

Monday Evening Ticker: Man City grinds out 1-0 win at Villa, Neymar hints at European move, and more

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BY JUSTIN FERGUSON

Carlos Tevez's goal in first half stoppage time was all that Manchester City needed to get the three points at Aston Villa on Monday night.

Tevez took advantage of a Ciaran Clark error just seconds before the halftime whistle, calmly receiving a Edin Dzeko pass and slotting it past a busy Brad Guzan.

Man United host Real Madrid in Champions League second leg round-of-16 action

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BY DAN KARELL

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.

Mid-Day Ticker: Giggs to play vs. Real Madrid, Uruguayan legend Cubilla dies, and more

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BY DAN KARELL

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.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: DeAndre Yedlin

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JaneGershovich/JaneG.Photography

By IVES GALARCEP

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.

SBI MLS Team of the Week: Real Salt Lake

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

Castillo out for a month after surgery for facial fractures

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

Report: Whitecaps lose DeMerit to torn Achilles

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Vancouver Whitecaps got their 2013 season off to a winning start this weekend, but there won't be much celebrating amid word that team captain Jay DeMerit could be lost for the entire season.

The Vancouver Province is reporting that DeMerit suffered a completely ruptured Achilles tendon just six minutes into Saturday's win vs.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Mike Magee

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By IVES GALARCEP

There were plenty of questions about who would help Robbie Keane with the goal-scoring load on the Los Angeles Galaxy with David Beckham gone and Landon Donovan on vacation in Cambodia.

Mike Magee delivered a emphatic answer as to just who it will be.

Red Bulls search for answers after deflating draw

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BY DAVE MARTINEZ

All credit to the Portland Timbers; they quite literally pushed New York around the field for the final 45 minutes of Sunday's 3-3 come-from-behind draw.

However, watching the Red Bulls wither away in the second half sent out a clear message. This team is far from being "regular season" ready.

Saborio double leads RSL past Earthquakes

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BY DARRELL LOVELL

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.

Magee’s first career hat-trick leads Galaxy in romp over Fire

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By OMAR SHAMOUT

CARSON, Calif. The LA Galaxy stormed into the 2013 season with a 4-0 rout of theChicago Fire, including three superb left-footed strikes from forward Mike Magee.

The 28-year-old forward scored the first hat-trick of his career while filling in up front in the absence of Landon Donovan.

Timbers rally from two goals down to tie Red Bulls

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

Mexico down U.S. U-20s in extra-time of CONCACAF final

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team entered the CONCACAF U-20 Championship final against Mexico having never won the entire tournament.

They still haven't.

The U.S. suffered a 3-1 loss to their southern rivals in hard-fought match at Estadio Cuauhtemoc in Puebla that was decided in extra-time.

European Weekend Rewind: Real Madrid beats Barca again, Tottenham defeats Arsenal, and more

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BY JUSTIN FERGUSON

While it most likely will not make a huge difference in the La Liga championship picture, Real Madrid's league win over Barcelona could make an impact in the upcoming Champions League ties.

Madrid defeated its biggest rival 2-1 on Saturday, giving the club its second win over Barcelona in five days and its first league Clasico win at home in five years.

Monday Kickoff: Arsenal shareholders deny takeover claims, Totti scores historic goal, and more

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BY DAN KARELL

Arsenal may be struggling on and off the field, but the club's main shareholders aren't ready to jump ship just yet.

Over the weekend, a report in the British paper The Telegraph quoted a source on an imminent $2.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

If Joe Gyau's latest outing is a sign of things to come, the youngster better be ready for a heavy dose of playing time.

Gyau started and went the distance in a league game for the first time in his blossoming career on Sunday, helping St Pauli defeat VfR Aalen, 1-0.

U.S. Under-20s vs. Mexico: Your Running Commentary

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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.

MLS Week One: Your Running Commentary

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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.

Sounders Notebook: Tiffert bought out, Yedlin shines in debut, and more

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By JASON MITCHELL

The Seattle Sounders dropped their season opener Saturday night, but much of the news surrounding the team this weekend involves a confirmed departure, a potential arrival, and a start for a rookie.

The big news in recent days was the team's completion of a buyout of Christian Tiffer's contract.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

If Joe Gyau's latest outing is a sign of things to come, the youngster better be ready for a heavy dose of playing time.

Gyau started and went the distance in a league game for the first time in his blossoming career on Sunday, helping St Pauli defeat VfR Aalen, 1-0.

Goalkeeper blunder dooms Rapids as FC Dallas win home opener

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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.

Altidore scores 24th goal in AZ draw, setting new mark for goals in season by an American

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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.

Zusi inspires Sporting KC rally over Union in MLS season opener

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By MICHAEL KLINE

The Philadelphia Union got off to a strong start in the 2013 MLS season opener, but Graham Zusi and Sporting Kansas City made sure they were the ones to take all three points at PPL Park.

Inspired by a goal and two assists from Zusi, Sporting KC rallied from a poor first half and defeated the Union, 3-1, on Saturday afternoon.

Whitecaps top new-look Toronto FC

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By FRANCO PANIZO

It took just seven minutes for the Vancouver Whitecaps to face their first bit of adversity in the 2013 season.

It did not phase them.

The Whitecaps lost captain Jay DeMerit to a non-contact injury in the opening minutes of their season opener but still managed to defeat Toronto FC, 1-0, at BC Place on Saturday evening.

Clark leads way as Dynamo drop sluggish D.C. United

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By THOMAS FLOYD

New year, same Houston Dynamo.

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.

Crew thrash Chivas USA in Chelis debut

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Chivas USA's new era under Jose 'Chelis' Sanchez is off to as disappointing a start as could have been imagined.

Playing in their first game under Sanchez, Chivas USA suffered a 3-0 loss to the Columbus Crew in front of a small crowd at the Home Depot Center on Saturday night.

Arnaud chip shot lifts Impact to upset over Sounders

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Photo byJane Gershovich/JaneG.Photography

By JASON MITCHELL

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.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Tottenham and Arsenal headline today's soccer action, as the London clubs battle it out to qualify for next season's Champions League.

The North London Derby will possess an extra intensity than it normally has, since both Tottenham and Arsenal are fighting to qualify for the Champions League.

MLS Match Day One: Your Running Commentary

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The 2013 MLS Season kicks off today with matches across the country as the 18th season of Major League Soccer brings with it plenty of intrigue and excitement.

The day's action kicks off at PPL Park, where Sebastien LeToux makes his return to the Philadelphia Union against a strong Sporting Kansas City side.

Saturday Ticker: World Cup 2022 Might Be Played in Winter, FIFA’s Anti-Racism Chief Lashes Out on Financial Punishments, and more

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There is a possibility of Qatar's 2022 World Cup being played in the winter, according to FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke.

Valcke maintains that if medical evidence of the World Cup being played in Qatar's blistering heat shows that it is dangerous to the players' health, then the tournament could be moved to the winter.

Kimura, Alexander set for Rose City return with RBNY

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Photo courtesy of the New York Red Bulls

By FRANCO PANIZO

UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. Playing at JELD-WEN Field under normal circumstances is intimidating. Playing there in a season opener is even worse.

The New York Red Bulls have the honors (or bad luck) of having to play out the second scenario, as they visit Caleb Porter and the new-look Portland Timbers on Sunday in their first game of 2013.

SBI MLS Season Preview: Portland Timbers

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

U.S. U-20s advance to CONCACAF final after easy win over Cuba

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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.

Gomez powers Santos Laguna to win over Jaguares

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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.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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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 División, 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 Clásico, however, with Madrid set to rest the majority of their starters ahead of Tuesday's Champions League clash with Manchester United.

U.S. Under-20s vs. Cuba: Match Day Commentary

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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.

SBI MLS Season Preview: Our pre-season picks for the 2013 MLS Awards

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

U.S. Soccer unveils Centennial Jerseys

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By IVES GALARCEP

U.S. Soccer is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and has now released the new uniforms to commemorate the occasion.

New uniforms for the Women's and Men's National Team are now available, along with a bunch of other products commemorating the 100th anniversary of U.

The SBI Podcast: Episode 13 (Talking Club Tijuana, Jozy Altidore and breaking down the MLS Eastern Conference)

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By IVES GALARCEP

The 2013 MLS season kicks off in 24 hours and The SBI Podcast wraps up part two of our preview of the upcoming season by breaking down the MLS Eastern Conference.

Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I discuss all 10 teams in the East, and break down their chances of making the playoffs, or winning it all.

SBI MLS Season Preview: Houston Dynamo

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By IVES GALARCEP

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.

SBI Fantasy MLS Preview: Week One

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By CASEY CANNON

Hello and Welcome to the Soccer by Ives Fantasy Corner – now accepting competitors coupons! Every week I dig through statistics, news, and rumors to provide the reader with the kind of fantasy advice that only a statistically unlikely monkey can provide.

I want to take a moment to talk about the MLS Mothership.

SBI MLS Preview: Los Angeles Galaxy

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By OMAR SHAMOUT

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.

Tim Howard a doubt for Everton match against Reading

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BY DAN KARELL

Tim Howard is in danger of ending one of the all-time iron man streaks this weekend.

The 33-year-old goalkeeper has played in 210 successive Premier League matches for Everton, stretching back to when he signed for the club on a permanent basis in 2007.

MLS Week 1: A Look Ahead

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By THOMAS FLOYD

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.

Toronto FC signs Robert Earnshaw

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BY DAN KARELL

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 Weekend’s Soccer On TV

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By MICHAEL KLINE

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.

European Weekend Preview: North London Derby, El Clasico, Juve-Napoli, and more

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BY JUSTIN FERGUSON

Two intense rivalries and a 1 vs. 2 clash headline a massive weekend in European soccer.

We start with the always heated North London Derby, where Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur will battle for crucial league positioning on top of the usual local bragging rights.

MLS disciplinary committee suspends and fines De Rosario

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BY DAN KARELL

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.

Friday Kickoff: Beckham hints at PSG stay, Benitez has owners backing, and more

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BY DAN KARELL

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.

MLS Season Preview: FC Dallas

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BY DARRELL LOVELL

FC Dallas had a 2012 the club would rather forget. Injuries and a lack of consistent form made for a challenging campaign that left the club with more questions than answers.

Making matters worse was a strong run at the end that fell just short of the last spot in the playoffs once stars like David Ferreria and Blas Perez made their way into the starting XI.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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By FRANCO PANIZO

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.