Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2013

Club Tijuana face next test vs. Palmeiras in Libertadores Round of 16

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By DAN KARELL

Club Tijuana look to continue their impressive debut run in the Copa Libertadores, when Brazilian side Palmeiras come into the Estadio Caliente on Tuesday (9:30pm ET, Fox Deportes) for the first-leg match in the Round of 16.

Though Palmeiras were relegated at the end of last year, they still have a strong squad thanks to their participation in the Copa Libertadores and finished first in their group with three wins in six matches, just edging Argentine club Tigre on goal difference for the top place.

Saborio to miss “several weeks” with quad injury

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Real Salt Lake learned the hard way last Saturday what it is like to play without forward Alvaro Saborio. Now, it looks like they'll have to get used to him being on the sidelines.

According to a report out of Salt Lake City, Saborio is likely to miss "several weeks" as per quotes from RSL manager Jason Kreis.

Dortmund reach the Champions League final on aggregate

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By DAN KARELL

After 170 minutes of quality soccer, Borussia Dortmund nearly gave it all away in the final ten minutes of the tie.

Two goals, and many skipped heartbeats later, the German side had gained entry to the UEFA Champions League final with a 4-3 aggregate victory over Real Madrid.

MLS Ticker: Rogers trains with Galaxy; Viana out for Red Bulls match; and more

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By DAN KARELL

The Los Angeles Galaxy announced over their Twitter account that Robbie Rogers had joined the team in training on Tuesday.

The former U.S. international was practicing with a professional team for the first time since last February, when he simultaneously retired from the game and came out as gay.

Red Bulls Notes: Petke calls Cahill invaluable; praises Miller for recent performances; and more

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By DAN KARELL

The importance of Tim Cahill to the New York Red Bulls could not have been on a bigger display last Saturday, when he scored both goals in the team's 2-1 win vs. Toronto FC, a performance that earned him MLS Player of the Week.

The Australian international had been called out by fans and the media alike for his lack of scoring so far this season, but once again, manager Mike Petke laughed off those suggestions, praising Cahill's versatility and willingness to do whatever it takes to win.

Park Ji-Sung linked with move to MLS

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By DAN KARELL

Another Premier League winner could soon be on his way to Major League Soccer.

According to The Daily Mail, Queens Park Rangers midfielder Park Ji-Sung has been linked with a move to North America, as MLS looks to expand their marketing reach into the Asian market.

Timbers set to make one boy’s wish come true

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BY MIKE DONOVAN

When eight-year-old Atticus was given the chance to have any wish granted, all he wanted to do was have a chance to play soccer with his friends.

That wish will come true Wednesday thanks to Make-A-Wish Oregon and the Portland Timbers when Atticus and his team, the Green Machine, will take on the Timbers in a match at Jeld-Wen Field.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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By DAN KARELL

Real Madrid attempt to achieve the impossible when they host Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday in the second-leg match of the Champions League semifinals (2:45pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

Jose Mourinho's men are given a boost as talismanic midfielder Cristiano Ronaldo returned to training this week, giving them a legitimate chance to come back from the 4-1 scoreline suffered last Wednesday.

American Soccer Notes: Orlando Stadium bill passes in Florida Senate; U.S. Open Cup field set; and more

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By DAN KARELL

The city of Orlando and Orlando City SC inched closer on Monday to building a stadium of their own, a precursor for a future expansion franchise in Major League Soccer.

At 5:50pm on Monday, the Florida State Senate passed SB-306, a bill that will help Orlando be able to afford the price of a new stadium in the downtown area.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week Nine

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Los Angeles Galaxy climbing back to the top of the latest SBI MLS Power Rankings shouldn't come as a big surprise, but the other Western Conference team moving up the charts quickly is a bit more of a surprise.

The Portland Timbers moved up to the No.

Must-See Match Day Video: Montreal Impact

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Tuesday Kickoff: Benteke hat-trick leads Villa rout vs. Sunderland; Wenger linked with PSG; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Aston Villa might just have saved themselves from relegation to the Championship.

In a lower end of the table clash, Paul Lambert's charges ran riot on Monday, defeating Paolo Di Canio's Sunderland, 6-1, at Villa Park. Christian Benteke scored a hat-trick in 17 second-half minutes, his first such achievement in English soccer to give him 18 goals on the season, by far leading all Villa scorers.

Goalkeeper position becoming a growing concern for RBNY as Robles struggles

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BY DAVE MARTINEZ

Slowly, the New York Red Bulls are addressing their team issues, but one remains glaring.

A healthy forward corps has helped drive the team to a league-leading 15 goals. The midfield has contributed greatly in creating chances, putting New York in solid command for team assists league wide with 20, nearly doubling the total of their closest rivals (12).

SBI MLS Save of the Week: Donovan Ricketts

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NASL Week 4: A Look Back

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

The Tampa Bay Rowdies took a 2-1 win against Ft. Lauderdale to open up the first-of-two Florida Derbies this season. The win, which not only secured Tampa a shared first-place spot in the NASL table, proved to be a pivotal bounce back after collapsing against Atlanta last week after leading 3-1 for much of the game.

European Weekend Rewind: Shorthanded Real win at Atletico; Chelsea reclaim third after Arsenal draw; and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

On paper, Atletico Madrid had their best chance to defeat rival Real for the first time in 14 years. Real manager Jose Mourinho started only three players from the first-choice side that lost 4-1 at Dortmund earlier in the week, and Real were probably looking ahead to Tuesday's return leg at the Bernabeu.

SBI MLS Goal of the Week: Giles Barnes

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SBI MLS Team of the Week: Portland Timbers

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By DAN KARELL

What began as an encouraging start to the 2013 season has turned into a truly impressive run for the Portland Timbers after a statement victory on the road against Sporting Kansas City.

The Timbers went on the road on Saturday and took down Sporting Kansas City, 3-2, earning Caleb Porters' squad SBI MLS Team of the Week honors.

NWSL Week Three Rewind: The leaders emerge

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By MIKE McCALL

It took three weeks, but there's finally some separation in the National Women's Soccer League.

After four of the league's first five matches ended in 1-1 draws, the past five have provided winners, including all four games this weekend. It's still early, but the NWSL picture is starting to take shape, with the Portland Thorns unsurprisingly on top, the Western New York Flash surprisingly at the bottom, and a few others making noise as well.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Kekuta Manneh

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By DAN KARELL

Vancouver Whitecaps manager Martin Rennie brought on Kekuta Manneh in the 54th minute of Saturday's match against FC Dallas down two goals, in desperate need of a spark.

Manneh provided just that, scoring once and assisting on a second as the Whitecaps tied FC Dallas 2-2.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Tim Cahill

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By DAN KARELL

Hearing the catcalls from some of the media and fans about his lack of scoring, New York Red Bulls midfielder Tim Cahill took it upon himself to make his mark in a big way.

Cahill's two goals on Saturday in the Red Bull's 2-1 win over Toronto FC including the game-winner in the 89th minute has earned him SBI MLS Player of the Week honors for Week Nine.

The SBI Show: Episode 29 (Talking MLS Expansion and Week 9, and more)

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By IVES GALARCEP

Major League Soccer takes center stage in the latest episode of The SBI Show, with MLS expansion and a loaded slate of action in Week Nine leading the topics discussed.

Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I discuss a wide range of topics, from Tim Leiweke's move to Toronto FC, to Tim Cahill's value as a Designated Player, and Portland's statement victory against Sporting Kansas City.

Barnes blast earns Dynamo draw vs. Rapids

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Houston Dynamo didn't play like they usually do at home, but the Colorado Rapids weren't able to make the most of an uncharacteristically flat Dynamo performance and gave Giles Barnes enough room to deliver some magic and keep Houston unbeaten at BBVA Compass Stadium.

Report: Man City owner closing in on NYC MLS expansion team

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By IVES GALARCEP

When Don Garber revealed last week that MLS was closing in on announcing the league's 20th franchise, the chances of New York being the home for that 20th team didn't seem nearly as strong as they had appeared in the past. Not with Orlando pushing hard to make the cut, and not with obstacles appearing to be standing in the way of a potential soccer stadium in New York.

Monday Kickoff: Bale takes home awards; Zanetti suffers serious injury; and more

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By DAN KARELL

For just the third time in history, one player has bagged both the Professional Footballers Association Player and Young Player of the Year awards in a season.

Tottenham Hotspurs midfielder Gareth Bale has achieved the feat, winning the PFA Player of the Year award for the second time in three seasons after scoring 19 goals in 29 Premier League matches this season, .

Timbers Notes: Early goal not a problem; road success continues; and more

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Photo by Peter G. Aiken/USA TODAY Sports

BY MIKE DONOVAN

When the Portland Timbers conceded a goal less than a minute into Saturday night's match against Sporting Kansas City, it didn't seem like that the first road victory of the season would be in store. However, the situation seemed to have little effect on the Timbers and their gameplan.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Alejandro Bedoya is beginning to make a compelling case for why he should be included in one of the U.S. Men's National Team's rosters this summer.

Bedoya continued his run of good form at the start of the Allsvenskan campaign, scoring the goal that sparked Helsingborg to a 5-1 rout of Gefle on Saturday.

Manneh-led Whitecaps rally late to tie FC Dallas

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

After FC Dallas went up 2-0 right out of the halftime break, Vancouver head coach Martin Rennie sent on forward Kekuta Manneh in hopes of salvaging the match.

Eighteen minutes into his appearance, the Gambian rookie powered a shot past Raul Fernandez for his first MLS goal.

Crew thrash D.C. United in match delayed by scoreboard fire

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By THOMAS FLOYD

First the scoreboard at Columbus Crew Stadium caught fire. Then D.C. United's back line went up in flames.

Riding first-half goals from Dominic Oduro, Josh Williams and Federico Higuain, the Crew improved to 3-2-3 with a 3-0 win over United, who dropped to 1-6-1 just five months after playing in the Eastern Conference final.

Fagundez, Nguyen lead Revolution to victory over Union

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By DAN KARELL

On a night where soccer took a back seat to the New England Revolution honoring the city of Boston, it was one of Boston's own who scored his first goal of the season and helped seal the team's first home victory too.

Homegrown player Diego Fagundez scored the game-winning goal in the 61st minute as the Revolution defeated the Philadelphia Union 2-0 on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro.

Timbers make a statement with impressive road win vs. Sporting KC

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BY MIKE DONOVAN

For their three MLS seasons, the Portland Timbers have been searching for a statement road victory. And a statement win is exactly what the club delivered Saturday against Sporting Kansas City.

In one of the more entertaining games of the MLS season, Portland knocked off host Sporting Kansas City, 3-2, in front of a sellout crowd at Sporting Park.

Missing stars doesn’t stop Galaxy from posting impressive win at RSL

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By IVES GALARCEP

No Robbie Keane. No Landon Donovan. No problem for the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Bruce Arena's side was missing its two designated players, as well as regular starters Carlo Cudicini and Todd Dunivant, but it didn't seem to matter as the reserve players deputized on Saturday stepped up and helped deliver an impressive victory that keeps the champions rolling toward the top of the Western Conference.

Earthquakes play Chivas USA to a draw in four goal thriller

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Despite 21 attempts on goal, 14 corner kicks, and nearly 58 percent of the possession, the San Jose Earthquakes nearly lost.

It took a second-half goal from substitute Cordell Cato to even the scoreline as the Earthquakes played Chivas USA to a 2-2 tie on Saturday night at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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The race to qualify for next season's Champions League kicks into top gear in England, with both Chelsea and Arsenal in action today against quality opponents.

Chelsea will welcome Swansea City to Stamford Bridge, where The Swans will attempt to secure their first league win since early March.

Romero and Di Vaio goals propel Impact to win over Fire

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By TYLER DAY

The Montreal Impact delivered a complete performance on Saturday and remain unbeaten at home after a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Fire at Stade Saputo.

Second-half goals from Andres Romero and Marco Di Vaio, as well as a controversial red card for the Fire, temporarily vaulted the Impact back atop the Eastern Conference standings with a 5-1-1 record.

Cahill brace leads Red Bulls on the road in win over Toronto

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By DAN KARELL

New York Red Bulls midfielder Tim Cahill picked a great day to score his first goals of the season.

With his team playing without Juninho and Dax McCarty in the center of the park due to suspension and injury, respectively, it was Cahill who stepped up to guide the Red Bulls to victory on the road.

Saturday EPL Rewind: Tottenham snatch draw on late Wigan own goal; Liverpool score six without Suarez; and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Wigan Athletic were minutes away from a 2-1 home win over a Champions League contender and three huge points in their fight to avoid relegation. All signs pointed to another trademark late-season upset for Roberto Martinez's squad.

But visiting Tottenham Hotspur had other plans.

MLS Week 9: SBI Live Commentary

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By IVES GALARCEP

Familiar foes Real Salt Lake and the Los Angeles Galaxy will renew acquaintances at Rio Tinto Stadium tonight in the day's marquee match-up of Saturday Week Nine action.

The Galaxy are coming off an impressive win vs. Sporting Kansas City, but a road trip to Utah will be a tougher proposition as RSL enter off a win of their own, a 1-0 triumph.

The SBI Show: Episode 28 (talking USMNT, MLS Week 9 and more)

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By IVES GALARCEP

From Jurgen Klinsmann's latest comments on the state of the U.S. Men's National Team, and his thoughts on Landon Donovan, to Jozy Altidore's record-breaking season in the Netherlands, there is plenty to discuss on the American soccer front heading into the weekend.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

A crosstown clash between the second and third place teams in La Liga will kick off a busy Saturday in the world of soccer.

After a 4-1 first leg loss at Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League semifinals, Real return to Madrid this weekend to face rival Atletico, who are determined to beat Real for the first time in 14 years.

Altidore reaches 30-goal mark after brace leads AZ to victory

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By IVES GALARCEP

Jozy Altidore continued his outstanding goal-scoring form on Friday, adding two goals and a beautiful assist to his accomplshments in AZ Alkmaar's 4-0 rout of Heerenveen.

Altidore delivered a first half goal before completing the route with a beautiful free kick goal and perfect back-heel assist in a victory that helped push AZ closer to safety from relegation in the Dutch League.

NASL Week 4: A Look Ahead

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

One of the North American Soccer League's marquee rivalries will be renewed on Saturday when the Ft. Lauderdale play host to the Tampa Bay Rowdies at Lockhart Stadium for the first of two Florida Derbies this season.

The Strikers have yet to win this season in the NASL, losing two straight matches on the road where they conceded five goal.

SBI Fantasy MLS: Week Nine Preview

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By CASEY CANNON

Hello and Welcome to the Soccer by Ives Fantasy Corner – now with less accountability!

Every week I dig through statistics, news, and rumors to provide the reader with the kind of fantasy advice that only a certified internet journalist can provide.

Leiweke appointed to take over MLSE in Toronto

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By DAN KARELL

Considering what Tim Leiweke did for the Los Angeles Galaxy, Toronto FC and their fans could be forgiven for being pretty excited for their future prospects.

The former President and CEO of Anschutz Entertainment Group was named to the same role with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment on Friday, a Toronto-based sports company that manages, among others, Toronto's Major League Soccer franchise.

Groin injury sidelines D.C. United’s Pontius vs. Crew

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By THOMAS FLOYD

A rough start to the season for Chris Pontius and the D.C. United attack just went from bad to worse.

Pontius will miss United's trip to face the Columbus Crew on Saturday after suffering a groin strain during training Thursday. While Pontius has only notched a single assist for United (1-5-1), the left winger has gone the full 90 minutes every match and remains a dynamic piece of a D.

Donovan on Klinsmann’s comments about his USMNT standing: ‘I agree’

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By DAN KARELL

When U.S. Men's National Team head coach JurgenKlinsmann made it clear on Wednesday that Landon Donovan was going to have to work hard to regain his place on the national team, and even added that there are several players ahead of Donovan on the depth chart now, some might have expected Donovan's reaction to those comments to be negative.

MLS Week 9: A Look Ahead

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By THOMAS FLOYD

When it has come to sustained success over the past half decade, no MLS teams have done it better than the Los Angeles Galaxy and Real Salt Lake.

Sure, some recognizable faces have come and gone. But both teams have maintained their accomplished cores and smartly managed the players around them while bolstering their trophy cases.

This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

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By MICHAEL KLINE

Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid clash this weekend, in a rivalry match with second place in the Spanish Primera Division on the line.

Real Madrid will attempt to bounce back from a midweek thrashing from Borussia Dortmund in the semifinals of the Champions League, and a victory over crosstown rivals Atlético will boost morale around the club.

American Soccer Notes: Cosmos add three more players, FC Tucson breaks ground on stadium, and more

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By DAN KARELL

The start of their season is still more than three months away, but the New York Cosmos have continued to add talent and depth to their roster.

On Friday, the club announced that they had signed three new players; defender Hunter Gorskie, and goalkeepers Jimmy Maurer and Chad Calderone.

SBI Fantasy MLS: Week Eight Preview

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By CASEY CANNON

Hello and Welcome to the Soccer by Ives Fantasy Corner – now with less accountability!

Every week I dig through statistics, news, and rumors to provide the reader with the kind of fantasy advice that only a certified internet journalist can provide.

Indianapolis NASL team to be called Indy Eleven

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By DAN KARELL

Since being announced as the latest NASL expansion team on January 16th, the Indianapolis pro soccer franchise has stayed tight-lipped about what the team's name, colors, and crest would be.

On Thursday afternoon at an outdoor ceremony in Indiana's capital city, President Peter Wilt and the entire front office staff announced that the team would be named Indy Eleven, with a red, white, and blue color scheme, and a crest with the statue of victory, an Indianapolis landmark.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Jermaine Jones has recovered from the ankle injury that sidelined him for the better part of a month, and now he will attempt to make his way back into Schalke's starting lineup.

Coming off a substitute cameo for the club in last Saturday's loss to Eintracht Frankfurt, Jones will try to attempt to regain his starting spot when Schalke try and knock off Hamburg SV in a home game on Sunday.

European Weekend Preview: Real face tough test at Atletico; van Persie and Man United visit Arsenal; and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Things are not getting any easier for Real Madrid.

After a 4-1 first leg loss at Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League semifinals, Real return to Madrid this weekend but not to the comforts of the Bernabeu. No, Los Blancos will take the field this Saturday at the Vicente Calderon against a crosstown rival determined to beat Real for the first time in 14 years.

NWSL Week Three: A Look Ahead

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIPhotos.com

By MIKE McCALL

After a half-slate of games in Week Two, the National Women's Soccer League is back with all eight teams in action this weekend.

Chalk it up to the low number of games (six), the player allocation system or the fact that international breaks kept teams from coming together in the preseason, but there hasn't been much variety so far.

Friday Kickoff: Warner claims his innocence; reports have Mourinho and Falcao joining Chelsea; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Following his resignation from his position as Security Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, former CONCACAF President Jack Warner spoke live on national television on Thursday, defending his actions during his time as president of the region's soccer authority, as well as any claims that he committed fraud.

Timbers Notes: Harrington and Jewsbury return to KC; and reserve team news

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BY MIKE DONOVAN

PORTLAND, Ore. When the Portland Timbers and Sporting Kansas City battle Saturday, there will likely be two players on the field that are in the top-ten for games played in KC uniform. But both those players will be in the visiting team's uniform.

MLS Ticker: Stoke City coming to Dallas, Laba en route to TFC and more

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By DAN KARELL

Brek Shea will be returning to Dallas, Texas this summer for the first time since his January move to England. Only this time, he'll be in the opposition's shirt.

Shea's club Stoke City announced this week that they will have a ten-day pre-season tour in the U.

Europa League Rewind: Chelsea win in Basel, Fenerbahce beats Benfica

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By DAN KARELL

Chelsea were facing a trip back to London with another draw after conceding a late goal. Fortunately for them, defender David Luiz had other ideas.

The Brazilian struck a free kick in the 94th minute through the opposition wall and into the net, giving Chelsea a thrilling 2-1 victory over FC Basel on Thursday night in Europa League semifinal action from Basel.

Timbers centerback search goes global, with Aussie defender in range

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Portland Timbers are thin at centerback, and they are working hard to rectify that weakness in their roster.

The Timbers have closed in on a pair of centerback targets, with sources telling SBI that the Timbers are in talks with Australian defenderMichael Thwaite and Gambian-born former Norwegian national team defender Pa Modou Kah.

MLS West Notes: Whitecaps earn comeback win; another Rapid injury; and more

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BY MIKE DONOVAN

The Vancouver Whitecaps got two late goals to prevent an embarrassing loss to FC Edmonton in the first leg of the Canadian Championship semifinals. Trailing 2-1 for the majority of the match, Vancouver scored the tying goal in the 84 minute off a Camilo penalty kick.

McCarty to miss two weeks with thigh injury

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

The New York Red Bulls are going to have to find a way to get by without their most consistent and most influential midfielder after word emerged that Dax McCarty looks set to miss the next two weeks with a thing injury.

MLS East Notes: TFC top Impact in Canadian Championship; Higuain struggling; and more

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By DARRELL LOVELL

Toronto FC may be struggling to win games in Major League Soccer, but on Wednesday night they continued their winning ways in the Canadian Championships, earning a victory with a lineup made up mostly of reserve players.

TFC defeated the Montreal Impact, 2-0, on Wednesday night, with Doniel Henry and Andrew Wiedeman providing the second-half strikes to give the defending Canadian champions the first-leg victory in their semifinal series.

Klinsmann offers insight into how Gold Cup squad will be constructed

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By IVES GALARCEP

ARLINGTON, Va. With a busy June featuring three World Cup qualifiers serving as the chief priority for the U.S. Men's National Team this summer, the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup has long been as seen as a secondary task, and a likely showcase for the plethora of young American players currently on the fringes of the national team radar.

Thursday Kickoff: Santos and Monterrey scoreless in CCL final opener; Lewandowski to leave Dortmund; and more

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By IVES GALARCEP

Santos Laguna and Monterrey have scored goals in bunches throughout the CONCACAF Champions League tournament, but when the two Mexican powerhouse squared off in the first leg of the final on Wednesday, neither could find the net.

Santos and Monterrey played to a scoreless draw in Torreon in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League final series.

Garber reveals expansion announcement could come in 4-6 weeks

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The long wait to find out which city will house MLS's 20th team looks set come to an end.

MLS commissioner Don Garber told reporters at halftime of the Amway Canadian Championship match between Toronto FC and the Montreal Impacton Wednesday night that the league hopes to be able to make an expansion announcement in the next four to six weeks.

Union Notes: Hackworth backs Le Toux; tells McInerney to be consistent; and more

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Once again, Philadelphia Union forward Sebastien Le Toux is the odd man out.

Since the start of April, the Frenchman has started on just once, and didn't make it off the bench in the 3-2 win last Sunday against D.C.

Union Notes: Hackworth backs Le Toux; tells McInerney to be consistant; and more

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Once again, Philadelphia Union forward Sebastien Le Toux is the odd man out.

Since the start of April, the Frenchman has started on just once, and didn't make it off the bench in the 3-2 win last Sunday against D.C.

Klinsmann: Donovan USMNT return not guaranteed

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By IVES GALARCEP

ARLINGTON, Va. -If you were expecting Landon Donovan to just walk back into the U.S. Men's National Team set-up easily, think again.

U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann sounded like a coach who isn't totally convinced just yet that there is a place on the current U.

Lewandowski hits four as Borussia Dortmund crush Real Madrid

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By DAN KARELL

The legend of Robert Lewandowski continues to grow.

On a night where Cristiano Ronaldo was expected to have the spotlight, it was Lewandowski instead who stole the show in spectacular fashion, single-handedly putting his side one step closer to the UEFA Champions League Final in London next month.

MLS Ticker: TFC closes in on Laba; Fire interested Mila; and more

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Not completely satisfied with his current roster, Toronto FC manager Ryan Nelsen is still looking to bring in a couple of players before the May 6 transfer deadline.

Though moves for Bolton midfielder Kevin Davies and midfielder Maximiliano Urruti of Newell's Old Boys in Argentina fell through in the last two days, Nelsen is closing in on another Argentine player.

Holden recalled to Bolton for playoff push

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By DAN KARELL

With two matches remaining, Bolton Wanderers FC are still in the hunt for a place in the Premier League for next season.

Wanting to improve his squad's depth, Bolton manager Dougie Friedman recalled American international Stuart Holden from Sheffield Wednesday at the end of his month-long loan deal.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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By DAN KARELL

Two of the more charismatic managers in Europe will meet today, as Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid travels to Germany to face Jürgen Klopp's Borussia Dortmund in Champions League semifinal action (2:45pm, FX Channel).

Dortmund will have to overcome the news released on Monday evening, with star midfielder Mario Götze agreeing to switch to hated rivals Bayern Munich for next season.

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

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

The month of April has been a relatively quiet one on the U.S. Men's National Team front, with no matches on the schedule. What the month has been is a chance for players on the team, and on the radar, to try and strengthen their places heading into an extremely busy summer.

Bolton’s Davies staying put as move to TFC falls apart

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By IVES GALARCEP

Toronto FC came very close to adding a quality striker to partner with Robert Earnshaw, but their quest to build a potent strike tandem has fallen short after word that Kevin Davies move from Bolton to TFC has fallen apart.

Bolton announced on Wednesday that Davies will be staying with the Trotters, with the Bolton News reporting that a "contractual glitch" prevented Davies from completing the transfer.

Suarez hit with 10-match ban by English FA

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By IVES GALARCEP

Luis Suarez will have plenty of time to think about the bite heard round the world, and Liverpool will have a long time to figure out how to play without him.

The English FA suspended Suarez for 10 matches on Wednesday, ending his season and leaving him facing a six-match ban to start the 2013/2014 season.

SBI MLS Goal of the Week: Dax McCarty

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Wednesday Kickoff: Ibrahimovic linked with move to Juventus; Suarez accepts FA charge; and more

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By DAN KARELL

After just one season at Paris Saint-Germain, Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be ditching his digs in Paris for a move back to Italy.

Italian publication La Gazetta Dello Sport is reporting that Juventus have offered Ibrahimovic a four-year contract to return to Turin this summer and end his career in Italy.

Red Bulls notes: Petke disagrees with Juninho suspension, injury updates, more

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BY DAVE MARTINEZ

If anyone knows a thing or two about losing your head in the heat of a match, it's New York Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke.

Is it any surprise, then, that he feels a little compassion for Juninho? The 38-year-old playmaker lost his cool in the waning minutes of last Wednesday's 1-0 defeat to Sporting Kansas City, kicking a dead ball in the penalty area at goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen.

Bayern Munich dominate Barcelona in UCL semifinal rout

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By DAN KARELL

From the first minute of the game, Bayern Munich decided to take the fight to Barcelona. After the first 90 minutes of the two-legged affair, it looks like their semifinal fight may already be over.

Midfielder Thomas Müller scored two goals and recorded an assist to lead Bayern as they throttled Barcelona 4-0 on Tuesday in the first-leg of the Champions League semifinals.

D.C. United Notes: Olsen puts players under microscope; Pontius feeling pressure; and more

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By THOMAS FLOYD

WASHINGTON — Over the past few weeks, Ben Olsen took a long look in the mirror. In search of an explanation for his club's slugglish start, the D.C. United coach scrutinized himself and the coaching staff he's assembled.

But he's done with that. After a 3-2 loss to the Philadelphia Union on Sunday dropped United to 1-5-1, it's now up to the roster itself to prove its worth.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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By DAN KARELL

Two of the world's soccer heavyweights collide today in the Allianz Arena, as Bayern Munich play host to FC Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals (2:45pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

Barcelona will be led by Lionel Messi, who has recovered from his hamstring injury and will start today.

Miller quietly making the most of latest chance

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By FRANCO PANIZO

HARRISON, N.J. This might be something few could have believed as recently as two weeks ago but in a recent stretch of eight days that saw the New York Red Bulls play three games, Roy Miller was one of the club's most consistent performers.

Gulati hopeful for a future World Cup in the U.S. and transparency in FIFA

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By DAN KARELL

Sunil Gulati is ready to hit the ground running once he starts his position as a member of the 25-person FIFA Executive Committee this May.

Speaking to reporters in a conference call on Monday, the U.S. Soccer president commented on everything from transparency in FIFA to a potential World Cup in the United States.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week Eight

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Seattle Sounders hit rock bottom in last week's SBI MLS Power Rankings, but after recording their first win of the season the Sounders look poised to start their climb toward the top.

The Sounders defeated the Colorado Rapids to not only erase the zero from their win column, but also to help open the account for Nigerian forward Obafemi Martins, who scored his first Seattle goal on Saturday.

NWSL Week Two Rewind: Thorns make a statement

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By MIKE McCALL

Week Two was a light one for the National Women's Soccer League, but the weekend finished with plenty of intrigue nonetheless.

Two teams were scheduled for byes and two more were sidelined due to the tragic events in Boston, leaving just two matches: a home-opening win over rival Seattle for the Portland Thorns, and a draw between the Washington Spirit and Western New York Flash where both goals came in the final 10 minutes.

Tuesday Kickoff: Bayern secure Götze transfer; Ferguson applauds Van Persie; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Pep Guardiola's going to have quite the midfield next season at Bayern Munich.

Monday evening, German publication Bild reported that the German giants had activated the release clause in Borussia Dortmund midfielder Mario Götze's contract, paving the way for a move this summer to Munich.

Must-See Goal: Robin Van Persie

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The SBI Show: Episode 27 (talking Americans Abroad, MLS Week 8, and more)

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By IVES GALARCEP

From Clint Dempsey's latest big goal to the successful weekend enjoyed by MLS teams like the Los Angeles Galaxy and New York Red Bulls, there was plenty to talk about in the American soccer landscape after this past weekend.

Episode 27 of The SBI Show covers all of these topics, and more, as co-host Garrett Cleverly and I touch on the exploits of some top Americans Abroad as well as the results from MLS Week Eight.

Monday Evening Ticker: Man United clinch Premier League title; The FA issue statement on Suarez bite; and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Manchester United now have control of title #20 thanks to a brilliant offensive performance from their #20.

Robin van Persie netted a hat trick in the opening 33 minutes of United's Premier League-clinching 3-0 win over Aston Villa. The win moved United sixteen points clear of rivals and defending league champions Manchester City with five matches left in the 2012-13 campaign.

NASL Week 3: A Look Back

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

If we learned anything in NASL this past weekend, it's that you can never count the Atlanta Silverbacks out.

The Silverbacks were down 3-1 in the first half after Luke Mulholland scored in the 24th and 44th minute for the Rowdies, but a second-half surge lead Atlanta to one of the biggest NASL comebacks in recent memory as Pedro Mendes scored a pair of goals to help lead a 4-3 comeback victory.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Adam Jahn

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By DAN KARELL

When San Jose forward Adam Jahn came into Sunday's match against the Portland Timbers in the 84th minute, he was brought on to try and help an Earthquakes attack that simply hadn't been able to find a way past Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.

Yedlin, Salgado headline U.S. Under-20 camp squad

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By IVES GALARCEP

Seattle Sounders defender DeAndre Yedlin has been one of the most impressive rookies in Major League Soccer through the early part of the season and his form was destined to earn the 19-year old a call from U.S. Under-20 National Team head coach Tab Ramos.

That call has come, and Yedlin is one of 23 players called into a Under-20 camp in Carson, California.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Jack McInerney

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By DAN KARELL

He may not even be 21 years old yet, but Jack McInerney is scoring goals like a seasoned veteran.

McInerney scored two first-half goals on Sunday in the Union's 3-2 victory over D.C. United, a brace that pushed his recent run to four goals in three matches, and six on the season.

SBI MLS Team of the Week: Los Angeles Galaxy

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Los Angeles Galaxy may have fallen short in their quest for CONCACAF Champions League glory, but after taking some time to get over that disappointment, the defending champions look every bit like a team capable of winning a third straight title.

Facing a fatigued, but still imposing Sporting Kansas City side, the Galaxy showed off the dynamic attacking soccer that was the hallmark of their most recent title run, with Landon Donovan looking like his dominating self and Robbie Keane showing the form that made him the league's most dangerous player in the second half of 2012.

Pressure mounting on Warner and Blazer after report details alleged rampant corruption

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By IVES GALARCEP

When Chuck Blazer turned whistleblower on former friend and confidant Jack Warner back in 2011, accusing him and other officials in the CONCACAF region of corruption, you just knew it would eventually lead to the airing of some serious dirty laundry and potentially the downfall of both Blazer and Warner.

European Weekend Rewind: Tottenham rally to defeat Man City; Juve a step closer to Scudetto; and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

In the span of eight minutes on Sunday, Tottenham Hotspur's hopes of finishing in the top four this season went from fading to fantastic.

Instead of staying four points back from fourth-place Chelsea with a 1-0 loss against Manchester City, Spurs scored goals in the 75th, 79th and 82nd minutes to stun the defending champions at White Hart Lane.

Sam shows promise for Red Bulls in win over Revs

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BY DAVE MARTINEZ

After trading away Dane Richards last season, then New York Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe quickly realized how dramatically his wing play suffered. He took a chance on signing Lloyd Sam to buffer the loss. While out of form and fitness, Backe believed the speedy, young English midfielder would fill the gap in what had become an impotent flank attack.

Monday Kickoff: Liverpool fine Suarez but won’t sell him; Boateng targeted by racial abuse again; and more

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By DAN KARELL

On Sunday, Liverpool forward Luis Suarez was able to celebrate his game-tying goal in the 96th minute, helping his side tie Chelsea 2-2 at Anfield. On Monday, the club brought him back down to earth.

The Merseyside club fined Suarez an undisclosed amount for his bizarre actions during the second half, where he decided to bite the right arm of Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic after losing possession in the box.

Jahn’s stoppage-time equalizer earns Earthquakes draw vs. Timbers

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BY MIKE DONOVAN

For a second straight game, the Portland Timbers were facing the San Jose Earthquakes, and for a second straight match the Timbers were in control and holding a one-goal lead late in the second half.

The script changed late though, and reverted to one we have seen from the Earthquakes far too many times to be surprised by.

Thorns home opener helps boost Portland’s standing as ‘Soccer City’

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BY MIKE DONOVAN

PORTLAND, Ore.-For a town that proclaims itself as "Soccer City, USA," the arrival of a professional women's soccer team gave citizens here a chance to solidify Portland's status as an epicenter of the sport in the country.

If Sunday's home opener is any indication, Portland will continue to be known as a hotbed for soccer for a long time to come.

MLS Week 8: SBI Live Sunday Commentary

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By IVES GALARCEP

A battle of Eastern Conference rivals and a budding feud between Western Conference foes make today's light schedule of MLS matches an intriguing one.

D.C. United will look to snap their recent struggles with a home win at RFK Stadium against the Philadelphia Union (5pm, ESPN2).

Dynamo score last-gasp equalizer to tie TFC

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By IVES GALARCEP

Toronto FC had everything set up for a statement victory. They were playing well, had a go-ahead goal, an opposing team missing several starters to injury and a red card leaving their opponent a man down.

Everything as aligned perfectly. And then the Houston Dynamo spoiled the party at BMO Field in the final minute of stoppage time, becoming the latest team to find a late goal to snatch points away from TFC.

Larentowicz winner lifts Fire past Crew

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By TYLER DAY

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. There is nothing like a game winner in an important rivalry to win over home supporters.

Jeff Larentowicz won over plenty of fans who braved the frigid conditions at Toyota Park to see the Chicago Fire take on long-time rival Columbus Crew.

Red Bulls rebound from mid-week loss to rout Revs

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By IVES GALARCEP

HARRISON, N.J. You could tell from the early moments of Saturday night's match against the New England Revolution that the New York Red Bulls had no intention of turning in another forgettable performance like the one displayed last Wednesday in a 1-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City.

Rimando, Morales lead RSL to close win over visiting Chivas USA

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

As many expected during the pre-match buildup, Saturday evening's clash between Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA came down to the play of the clubs' high-caliber goalkeepers.

Kennedy made four impressive saves but was frozen on a well-placed header from RSL's Javier Morales.

Galaxy snap Sporting KC’s shutout streak on way to victory

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By OMAR SHAMOUT

CARSON, Calif. If the Los Angeles Galaxy were going to quell any creeping doubt among themselves and supporters regarding their recent three-game mini slump, Saturday night's showdown vs. Sporting Kansas City was the perfect game to make a statement.

Sporting Kansas City hadn't given up a goal in more than nine hours of play, a five-game shutout streak, on their march to the top of the Eastern Conference standings.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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By MICHAEL KLINE

Tottenham kicks off today's titanic soccer action when the North London club hosts the defending English Premier League champions Manchester City.

Andre Villas-Boas' squad enjoyed a 10-day break which has seen Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon and Jermaine Defoe all recover from injury.

Dempsey equalizer helps spark comeback as Tottenham beats Man City

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By IVES GALARCEP

Clint Dempsey has made a habit of turning up his form in the second half of seasons and he continued to elevate his game on Sunday, scoring the first goal in a three-goal rally that helped Tottenham secure a vital 3-1 victory over Manchester City at White Hart Lane.

Suarez delivers a bite and equalizer as Liverpool tie Chelsea

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By IVES GALARCEP

Luis Suarez was already a reviled figure by many soccer fans outside Uruguay and Liverpool, but the controversial striker took his villainous reputation to new heights on Sunday after he appeared to bite Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during Sunday's English Premier League showdown.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

For Herculez Gomez and Santos Laguna, this weekend could not have gone any better. Not only did they clinch a playoff spot with a 1-0 victory on Friday, but they did so against the team they will soon face in the CONCACAF Champions League final.

Gomez and Santos defeated Monterrey at home on Friday and that match gave them a taste of what is in store for them this upcoming Wednesday when they again host Los Rayados in the first leg of the CCL final.

McInerney double leads Union past struggling D.C. United

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By IVES GALARCEP

D.C. United went into Sunday's showdown vs. the Philadelphia Union in desperate need of some contributions from an attack that had been anemic all season. The team had been lacking chances, and failing to produce goals, which was continuing to put the D.C. defense in tough spots on their way to a poor start to the season.

MLS Week Eight: SBI Live Commentary

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By IVES GALARCEP

MLS powers Sporting Kansas City and the Los Angeles Galaxy square off tonight in an inter-conference clash that could be a preview of the 2013 MLS Cup Final.

Sporting KC have made the cross-country trek to Los Angeles after their mid-week win vs. the New York Red Bulls, and they bring with them a five-match unbeaten streak and shutout streak that has them looking like the toughest team in the league.

Gulati elected to FIFA Executive Committee

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By IVES GALARCEP

Sunil Gulati already had his share of clout in the soccer world, but after Friday's vote to select a new FIFA Executive Committee representative from North America, Gulati is that much more powerful.

The U.S. Soccer President can now add FIFA ExCo member to his title after edging out Mexican Soccer Federation president Justino Compean by the narrowest of margins.

Saturday EPL Rewind: Arsenal hold off 10-man Fulham; Sunderland defeat Everton; and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

When Fulham's Steve Sidwell was sent off just 12 minutes into Saturday's match at Craven Cottage, three points seemed all but guaranteed for Champions League hopeful Arsenal.

The visiting Gunners never do anything easily though, and they struggled to get one past Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer until just before halftime, when Laurent Koscielny's header across the face of the goal found the head of fellow center back Per Mertesacker.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Photo byBen Queenborough/ISIPhotos.com

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

A busy Saturday in the world of soccer kicks off with a slate of seven matches in the Premier League, which includes a London clash with serious implications in the battle for Champions League spots.

D.C. United and Union set to resume budding rivalry

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By THOMAS FLOYD

For all the attention Cascadia has rightfully received for bringing a new level of intensity to MLS rivalries, the fresh I-95 feud between D.C. United and the Philadelphia Union has offered up its fair share of heated affairs as well.

Over the past year, the clubs' first teams have met five times.

MLS announces new intra-league loan system

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By IVES GALARCEP

MLS teams with young players they need to find playing time for have a new mechanism in place to help players play important minutes, and potentially help other MLS teams address needs.

Major League Soccer revealed on Friday that a mechanism was put in place during the off-season that allows loans between MLS teams.

This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

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By MICHAEL KLINE

Former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez will attempt to do what no Chelsea manager has done since May of 2010: beat Liverpool in a league match.

The last time Liverpool lost to Chelsea in the league also happens to be Benitez's last loss as a Liverpool manager.

Americans Abroad Notes: Adu makes Bahia gameday roster; Bedoya scores, delivers assist; and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Freddy Adu may not have to wait much longer to make his Bahia debut.

Adu was named to Bahia's 18-man game-day roster for their road fixture against Juazeirense on Sunday, and the Brazilian Cup match could see Adu get his first taste of action since joining the club last month.

Friday Ticker: Roura keeps Barcelona focusing on La Liga; Suarez, Bale, and Van Persie nominated for award; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Though they have a 13 point lead ahead of Real Madrid in La Liga, Barcelona assistant coach Jordi Roura says that they can't any matches off until the title is clinched.

The Catalonian side is set to play next Tuesday against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, but before that Barcelona have a league match to worry about, when they face Levante at home on Saturday.

MLS Week 8: A Look Ahead

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By THOMAS FLOYD

Can that high-powered Los Angeles Galaxy attack put an end to Sporting Kansas City's 519-minute shutout streak?

That is the question heading into the marquee matchup of the Week 8 MLS schedule. With the availability of Robbie Keane (ankle) and Jose Villarreal (shoulder) in question, the Galaxy could have a tough time cracking Jimmy Nielsen and that stingy Sporting back line.

The SBI Show: Episode 26 (with special guest Peter Vermes)

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By IVES GALARCEP

It has been a pretty good month of April for Peter Vermes.

The Sporting Kansas City head coach was elected to the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame for his impressive playing career earlier in the month, and in recent weeks Sporting KC has put together a five-match unbeaten streak and shutout streak to climb into first place in the MLS Eastern Conference.

MLS Western Conference Notes: Gordon apologetic, Whitecaps waive Paulo Jr., and more

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BY MIKE DONOVAN

To the surprise of no one, MLS suspended Alan Gordon for three games for using a gay slur in Sunday's loss to the Portland Timbers. Since the incident, Gordon has been unable to sleep and apologized to Robbie Rogersthrough Steven Lenhart.

NASL Week 3: A Look Ahead

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

The Atlanta Silverbacks will look to go 2-0 against the NASL's two Florida teams when they go into St. Petersburg to face-off against the Tampa Bay Rowdies, Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

The Silverbacks opened up their season last week at home, defeating the Strikers from Ft.

European Weekend Preview: Tottenham host Man City; Juventus face AC Milan; and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

At the end of their last league match, a dramatic 2-2 draw with Everton, Tottenham Hotspur had control of third place in the Premier League table.

Two weeks later, as Tottenham have been away from domestic competition, London rivals Chelsea and Arsenal have moved past Spurs and into England's last two Champions League spots.

NWSL Week Two: A Look Ahead

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By MIKE McCALL

The National Women's Soccer League waters are still a bit murky, but this weekend ought to help clear things up.

After an opening round that featured three 1-1 draws and a fourth match decided by an own goal, there weren't many statements being made, and it wouldn't be a surprise if it takes a few weeks for the teams to find their form.

Liga MX Weekend Preview: Santos host Monterrey, Pachuca visit Tigres; and more

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

With the Liguilla almost dawning upon the Clausura tournament, Monterrey is in danger of missing out on the playoffs.

Monterrey beat Pachuca last week, but the problem for the Rayados has been winning on the road. Monterrey have yet to register a win on the road this season and that has cost them heavily, making remaining in the top eight a difficult challenge.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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By FRANCO PANIZO

If you are in the mood to watch some mouth-watering matches, this weekend's Americans Abroad action is perfect for you.

Several Americans will be involved in intriguing, high-profile matches this weekend, including Clint Dempsey.

MLS Spotlight: Six years after first impressing Vermes, Bieler shining for Sporting KC

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Judging from the start of the MLS season, Claudio Bieler and Sporting Kansas City are a match made in heaven. Bieler provides Sporting KC the type of goal-scoring forward they have been sorely missing in recent years and the club offers him a new challenge in a relatively tranquil setting and a hefty payday.

KickTV: Forza Roma (Spotlight on Michael Bradley)

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Timbers Notes: Two captains providing leadership; Earthquakes rematch looming; and more

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BY MIKE DONOVAN

PORTLAND, ORE.- When Caleb Porter named two captains in the offseason, it seemed like an unusual step for the club. Jack Jewsbury had his gameday armband removed and named a club captain, while newcomer Will Johnson took over the on-field captain's role.

Six weeks into the season, it seems that the two captains have built an on-and-off-field relationship that has provided dividends for the club.

Petke struggling to find someone to give Red Bulls wings

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By FRANCO PANIZO

HARRISON, N.J. The New York Red Bulls midfield has a problem and it was a problem that was easily disguised in the early weeks of the MLS season, as the team played a series of opponents that made it easy to cover the issue.

The Red Bulls lack quality on the wings and the problem became glaringly obviouson Wednesday night as the Red Bulls suffered a disappointing 1-0 loss at home to Sporting Kansas City, a result that dropped New York to 2-4-2 on the season.

Location confirmed for proposed soccer-specific stadium in Orlando

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

After months of speculation, the city of Orlando has confirmed an exact location for what it hopes will be the future home of a Major League Soccer franchise.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer told a local news station Wednesday evening that the city has purchased an area of land in the city's downtown area for $8.

MLS Eastern Conference Notes: Reis dealing with Boston Marathon aftermath, Kamara’s future uncertain and more

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BY DARRELL LOVELL

The aftermath of the bombing of Monday's Boston Marathon hit home in the New England soccer community as Matt Reis' father-in-law, John Odom, was injured in the blast. Odom was at the finish-line waiting to cheer on his daughter, Nicole, when the blast occurred.

Fire Notes: Confidence rising despite Houston loss; Friedrich suffers setback; and more

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By TYLER DAY

Despite their 2-1 defeat at Houston last week, Fire players are noticeably upbeat about the team's recent form.

"The way we have played the last two games has been dramatically better," said striker Chris Rolfe after training Wednesday. "I think that's the biggest takeaway.

Kamara attracting European suitors as Sporting KC wait on Norwich City decision

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By IVES GALARCEP

Sporting Kansas City are not just riding high on the MLS playing field, with five straight shutouts and a run that has propelled them into first place in the Eastern Conference. They are also seeing one of their investments gain considerable value by the day.

Thursday Kickoff: Wilshere and Mirallas escape punishment; Ancelotti slams PSG squad; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Both Arsene Wenger and David Moyes are likely breathing sighs of relief this morning.

The FA decided that they would not punish Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere and Everton forward Kevin Mirallas for an incident that happened during halftime of their match on Tuesday.

Collin leads Sporting KC to fifth straight shutout and another win vs. RBNY

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By DAN KARELL

HARRISON, N.J. Broadway might be in Manhattan, but under the bright lights of Red Bull Arena, Aurelien Collin took center stage.

Collin was dominant on both sides of the ball, scoring his first goal of the season and marking Thierry Henry the entire match, making the Red Bulls forward nearly invisible throughout.

Red Bulls vs. Sporting KC: SBI Live Match Commentary

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By IVES GALARCEP

The New York Red Bulls have gone almost two years without tasting victory against Sporting Kansas City and tonight won't be any easier as the Eastern Conference rivals square off at Red Bull Arena (7:30pm, MSG).

The Red Bulls enter off an impressive win vs.

Wednesday Evening Ticker: Roma advance to Italian Cup final; Chelsea reclaim third place with win; and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Michael Bradley and AS Roma have punched their ticket to the Italian Cup final after orchestrating a strong second-half comeback to win 3-2 at Inter Milan.

After the hosts tied the semifinal series at 2-2 with a goal from defender Jonathan, Inter youth product Mattia Destro scored two goals to swing the momentum back into Roma's favor.

Union Notes: Testy D.C. United showdown looms; no decision yet on Kleberson’s status; and more

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By DAN KARELL

In the team's four year history, plenty of bad blood and tension has been built up between the Philadelphia Union and D.C. United.

This Sunday, the Union return to RFK Stadium for the first time since August 19, 2012, where both teams played to a 1-1 draw that finished ten men on nine.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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By DAN KARELL

Three Premier League matches featuring England's top teams highlight Wednesday's soccer action.

Manchester City hosts Wigan Athletic, with both sides needing to win for different reasons. City wants to keep their title hopes alive, while Wigan needs to win to get themselves out of the relegation zone, where they currently sit in 18th place.

Forbes releases this year’s list of most valuable clubs

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There's a new leader at the top of Forbes list of the world's most valuable soccer teams.

For the first time since Forbes began calculating the value of soccer clubs in 2004, Manchester United is not the most valuable club in the world. In the 2013 list, the top honor goes to Real Madrid, valued at $3.

Red Bulls look to break drought vs. Sporting KC

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By IVES GALARCEP

UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. You wouldn't expect Thierry Henry to remember specific details about last year's MLS results, but the international star is known to be an MLS junkie who follows the league more closely than you would expect.

So it shouldn't have come as a surprise when he could remember so many details about his New York Red Bulls' struggles with Sporting Kansas City, a team that came to Red Bull Arena twice last year and handed the Red Bulls two of only three road shutouts they suffered last season.

MLS Spotlight: Rapids GK Irwin took road less traveled to MLS

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By THOMAS FLOYD

If there has been one constant in the tale of pure persistence that is Clint Irwin's soccer career, it's rejection.

Rejection by every MLS team that passed on him in the 2011 drafts. Rejection by countless clubs foreign and domestic that never responded to his inquiries.

Wednesday Kickoff: Messi declared fit; Bale a doubt for Man City clash; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Barcelona midfielder Lionel Messi has been declared fit from his hamstring injury suffered in the first-leg of the Champions League quarterfinals against Paris Saint-Germain. The Argentine was left out of last Saturday's win for Barcelona against Zaragoza, allowing him extra time to recover.

SBI MLS Best XI: Week Seven

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By IVES GALARCEP

The New York Red Bulls turned in their most complete performance of the season last weekend at RFK Stadium and a trio of standouts led the charge to victory over D.C. United.

Thierry Henry, Dax McCarty and Jamison Olave drove the Red Bulls to their first road win of the season, and their efforts in beating D.

International Champions Cup set to feature Real Madrid, Juventus, and LA Galaxy

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By DAN KARELL

As of summer 2013, the Herbalife World Football Challenge will be no more. In it's place there will be a new tournament, culminating with a final match on August 6 or 7 in Miami at Sun Life Stadium.

According to a report from Reuters, the International Champions Cup is set to debut this summer, with the likes of Real Madrid, Inter Milan, and Juventus traveling from Europe, and the Los Angeles Galaxy representing Major League Soccer in the tournament.

Tuesday Evening Ticker: Tuesday Evening Ticker: Arsenal held by Everton; Bayern run riot in German Cup; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Arsenal had a chance to create a four point gap between them and rivals Chelsea and Tottenham when they welcomed in Everton to the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Instead, Arsenal had to settle for a point.

In a match of missed opportunities and questionable substitutions by manager Arsene Wenger, Arsenal played Everton to a scoreless draw, keeping Everton's slim hopes of a top-four finish alive, and hurting Arsenal's chances to secure one.

Gordon suspended three matches for gay slur

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By DAN KARELL

Major League Soccer's Disciplinary Committee usually handles cases of infractions during games. In this instance, MLS Commissioner Don Garber decided to make the decision himself.

Garber and MLS announced that San Jose Earthquakes forward Alan Gordon has been fined an undisclosed amount and suspended for four games total, three of which are for "using unacceptable and offensive language towards an opponent in the 60th minute of the game against the Portland Timbers on April 14.

D.C. United Notes: Townsend thriving on loan; strike duo struggling; and more

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By THOMAS FLOYD

WASHINGTON — While D.C. United's struggling attack limped through a 2-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, one of their own found goals easier to come by some 100 miles to the south.

In the Richmond Kickers' 4-1 win over the Charleston Battery, on-loan United striker Casey Townsend found net in the 32nd and 68th minutes.

Rogers gives first TV interviews since coming out

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By DAN KARELL

Nearly two months after walking away from the game of soccer, Robbie Rogers has shared his story about leaving soccer and coming out as a gay man for the first time on television.

The former USMNT midfielder spoke on Monday to ABC's Nightline program and CNN's Anderson Cooper 360, detailing his fears about how he would be perceived by his peers in the locker room, and the public before his blog post in February when he announced his retirement.

SBI Fantasy MLS: Week Eight Preview

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By CASEY CANNON

Hello and Welcome to the Soccer by Ives Fantasy Corner – now with more aggressive deadlines! Every week I dig through statistics, news, and rumors to provide the reader with the kind of fantasy advice that only a former member of Deathtöngue can provide.

Go right now and make lineup changes.

NBC announces coverage plans for upcoming EPL season

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By DAN KARELL

Since winning the American rights package to the English Premier League for 2013-2016 last fall, many people have wondered what direction NBC would take their coverage. On Tuesday morning, the network showed that they were more than serious.

NWSL Roundup: FC Kansas City has the look of a real title contender

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By MIKE McCALL

The opening weekend of the inaugural National Women's Soccer League season is in the books, with draws galore and a surprising result involving an expected title contender.

Three of the four matches ended in a deadlock, with the Boston Breakers earning a point via a stoppage-time equalizer and Sky Blue FC pulling the lone victory of the week with an upset of the Western NY Flash.

Tuesday Kickoff: Rooney linked again with PSG; Aguero escapes FA action; and more

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By DAN KARELL

With new rumors of a move by Manchester United for Atletico Madrid forward Radamel Falcao Garcia, fresh links between Wayne Rooney and Paris Saint-Germain have been renewed.

A former PSG sports advisor has said that a transfer of Rooney to PSG is a "done deal," though Rooney is reportedly hoping to stay in Manchester, and potentially negotiate his contract with the club.

SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week Seven)

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FC Dallas just keeps on rolling and now they have reached the top of the charts after handing the Los Angeles Galaxy their first loss of the season.

Things are certainly breaking FC Dallas' way on the schedule. The Galaxy rested several starters after their CONCACAF Champions League disappointment, and FC Dallas' stingy defense made things difficult for Landon Donovan and the rest of the Galaxy.

The SBI Show: Episode 25 (with special guest Terrence Boyd)

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By IVES GALARCEP

In a year when several foreign-based Americans are enjoying great seasons abroad, one U.S. Men's National Team player is having a breakout campaign in his very first season as a full-time pro.

Terrence Boyd made the move to Austrian club Rapid Vienna first his first season of first-division soccer and he has made the most of it, scoring 16 goals in all competitions.

SBI MLS Goal of the Week: Will Johnson

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SBI MLS Team of the Week: New York Red Bulls

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By DAN KARELL

In need of a vital win against a bitter rival, the New York Red Bulls put Thierry Henry back into the starting lineup for the first time since their last matchup with D.C. United, and it paid dividends.

Henry scored the game-winning goal in the 29th minute and was part of the buildup in the second goal scored, as the Red Bulls left RFK Stadium on Saturday with a 2-0 win over D.

Gordon facing suspension after being caught using gay slur

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By IVES GALARCEP

Alan Gordon knew it almost immediately after he said it. You could see the look on his face as he came to the realization that he had joined an unfortunate list of MLS players to cross the line and use a gay slur during a match.

With national TV cameras trained on him, Gordon aimed a gay slur at Portland Timbers captain Will Johnson.

SBI Rookie of the Week: Deshorn Brown

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By DAN KARELL

The Colorado Rapids are enjoying surprising run of success in recent weeks and a major reason for it is a youth movement led by the team's strong rookie class.

Dillon Powers won consecutive SBI MLS Rookie of the Week honors recently and now teammate Deshorn Brown has kept the streak going for the Rapids after his goal helped Colorado beat Chivas USA.

European Weekend Rewind: Man City hold off Chelsea in FA Cup semifinal; Arsenal move to third with win; and more

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Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Although the Premier League title looks like it will make the move to the red side of Manchester next month, Manchester City are on the verge of bringing another major domestic trophy back to the Ethiad Stadium in the month of May.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Joe Bendik

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By IVES GALARCEP

Toronto FC registered their third straight draw last weekend at PPL Park and the main reason they escaped their visit to Chester, Pennsylvania with a point was because of the heroics of goalkeeper Joe Bendik.

The former Portland Timbers netminder turned in a career day, recording nine saves, many of the highlight-reel variety, to help Toronto FC earn a 1-1 draw.

NASL Week 2: A Look Back

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

San Antonio were hoping to start life in their new home with a win, Tampa Bay decided to spoil that.

The Scorpions opened up their home season in their new soccer-specific stadium on Saturday, but it was the Rowdies who took the victory at Toyota Field in front of 8,100 fans in attendance.

Davis leads Dynamo to record-setting win over the Fire

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By DAN KARELL

With the heat of the Houston sun on his back, Houston Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis continued to do what he does best. Win soccer games.

Davis scored the game-winning goal and assisted on the opener as the Houston Dynamo defeated the Chicago Fire 2-1 on Sunday at BBVA Compass Stadium, extending their home unbeaten streak to 35 games, a Major League Soccer record.

U.S. Under-17 MNT falls to Honduras, will miss first U-17 World Cup

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By IVES GALARCEP

Death, taxes and the United States qualifying for the Under-17 World Cup. There are just some things you could always expect.

That isn't the case anymore.

After qualifying for 15 straight Under-17 World Cups, every World Cup ever held in the age group, the U.

Oduro equalizer helps Crew earn draw in Montreal

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By DAN KARELL

The match was as cold as the pitch beneath the 22 players running on it. That was until a four-minute second half stretch when both Marco Di Vaio and Dominic Oduro scored spectacular goals for their clubs.

The result was that the Montreal Impact drew with the Columbus Crew 1-1 on Sunday afternoon at Stade Saputo, with the match being played 24 hours after it's originally scheduled time due to snowfall in Montreal.

Will Johnson’s free kick leads Timbers to second straight victory

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By MIKE DONOVAN

PORTLAND, Ore. Early Sunday afternoon, Caleb Porter sent Will Johnson a text message telling him to score a free kick goal during the Timbers match against the San Jose Earthquakes. Being the captain that he is, Johnson decided to do exactly as his coach had asked.

Liga MX Weekend Rewind: Pumas hand Tigres first defeat, Monterrey downs Pachuca, and more

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

Tigres de UANL saw their 13-match unbeaten run come to a halt on Sunday, falling 2-0 against Pumas de UNAM after Martin Bravo's lone strike in the 32nd minute lifted the Mexico City side towards victory on Sunday.

Tigres, who held much of the possession during the game, opened up the scoring after Emanuel Villa eighth goal of the season put the Nuevo Leon side up 1-0 early in the eighth minute.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The championship hangover just won't end for Josh Gatt and Molde FK.

The back-to-back Eliteserien league winners continued their dismal start to the season on Saturday, suffering a 2-1 loss at home to Sogndal on Saturday. The result dropped Molde to 0-4 on the campaign and left them in last place in Norway's top tier.

Ferguson laughs off Falcao link; Barcelona confident of landing Neymar; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Like a Spanish telanovela, the twists and turns in the transfer saga of Radamel Falcao Garcia are either laugh inducing, or the kind that gets your attention right away.

Last week, Spanish publication Marca reported that Manchester United were the new team on the block interested in the Colombian forward's services.

U.S. Under-17s vs. Honduras: Your Running Commentary

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By IVES GALARCEP

The U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team is one win away from securing a place in the Under-17 World Cup and standing in the way of that berth is Honduras, which will look go snatch that ticket to the world championship with a win today in CONCACAF Under-17 World Cup qualifying action in Panama (6pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

Altidore hat-trick leads AZ to victory, ups goal total to 28

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By IVES GALARCEP

Jozy Altidore continued his goal-scoring ways in the Dutch Eredivisie on Sunday, netting a hat-trick during AZ Alkmaar's 6-0 win vs. FC Utrecht.

Altidore scored all three goals in one nine-minute span, with two penalty kicks and a header doing the damage as Utrecht drew two red cards to fall down to nine men.

MLS Week Seven (Your Sunday Running Commentary)

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By IVES GALARCEP

A trio of Sunday matches headline Major League Soccer action today, led by tonight's Western Conference showdown between the Portland Timbers and San Jose Earthquakes.

The Timbers are coming off their first win of the season and will take on a San Jose side that is starting to get healthier after enduring a rash of early-season injuries that kept the Earthquakes very shorthanded to start the year.

Bendik heroics help TFC hold Union to a draw

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By DAN KARELL

There were plenty of occasions when the Philadelphia Union breached the Toronto FC defensive wall.

On every occasion but one, goalkeeper Joe Bendik was up to the challenge.

Bendik made nine saves and loomed large in goal as Toronto FC tied the Union 1-1 on Saturday afternoon at PPL Park.

Red Bulls weed out mistakes in win over D.C. United

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By THOMAS FLOYD

WASHINGTON — Mike Petke had seen enough. The leaky defense. The lack of commitment. The late collapses. All of it.

So after the New York Red Bulls allowed two late goals in a 3-1 loss to the Chicago Fire last weekend, the coach turned the team's training focus to defensive shape.

Sounders stay winless as Revs escape Seattle with draw

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By JASON MITCHELL

SEATTLE Even a midweek guarantee from head coach Sigi Schmid can't get the Seattle Sounders in the win column. And the New England Revolution still haven't scored since early March.

Shorthanded and facing a stingy Revolution defense, the Sounders (0-3-2) controlled play for most of the match Saturday afternoon, repeatedly testing backup goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth and creating plenty of scoring chances.

John winner lifts FC Dallas past 10-man Galaxy

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By IVES GALARCEP

FC Dallas couldn't have asked for a better scenario heading into Saturday's showdown vs. defending MLS champions Los Angeles Galaxy. Bruce Arena chose to rest Robbie Keane, Todd Dunivant and Juninho, and a crowd of more than 20,000 FC Dallas fans showed up to root on a Dallas team that has been one of the league's most pleasant surprises.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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By MICHAEL KLINE

Today's FA Cup semifinal match between Chelsea and Manchester City will capture the attention of soccer fans across the globe.

Manchester City have steamrolled through the competition thus far in the tournament, outscoring opponents 13-0 in just four matches.

Late Camilo penalty earns Whitecaps a draw with RSL

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Real Salt Lake were minutes away from their first-ever win in Canada when defender Nat Borchers was whistled for an unlucky handball in the box.

The RSL defender, who turned 32 on Saturday, slipped and fell to the turf at BC Place in the 83rd minute of the match with the Whitecaps.

MLS Week Seven (SBI Live Match Commentary)

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Western Conference will get an early start on Week Seven proceedings today as a pair of day-time kickoffs headline the weekend's action.

The Seattle Sounders will look to pick up their first win of the 2013 MLS season today when they face off against the New England Revolution (4pm, MLS Direct Kick/Univision Deportes).

Saturday EPL Rewind: Arsenal rally late to defeat Norwich; Everton blank QPR; and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

The ten Premier League teams in action on Saturday definitely saved their best for last as nine of the day's 10 goals were scored in the second half.

Four of those second half goals came from one match, a 3-1 Arsenal win over Norwich City. As a 55th-minute header from Norwich's Michael Turner began to put hopes of an Arsenal move to third place in jeopardy, the host Gunners equalized in the 85th minute off of a controversial penalty.

NWSL Preview: Thorns, Flash enter season as title favorites

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By MIKE McCALL

It may not generate huge crowds or giant TV ratings, but the dawn of the National Women's Soccer League season this weekend is a crucial one for the future of the U.S. women's national team, as well as the sport of women's soccer.

The eight-team NWSL is the latest attempt at an American women's pro soccer league, following Women's Professional Soccer (2009-11) and the Women's United Soccer Association (2001-03), but there's a key difference this time.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Photo by Michael Zemanek/ISIPhotos.com

While Sunday's FA Cup match between Chelsea and Manchester City is commanding most of the attention around Wembley Stadium this weekend, the first semifinal is an intriguing matchup for fans of the English game.

Wigan Athletic take a break from their fight to avoid relegation with a match against Millwall.

Liga MX Weekend Preview: Santos face Toluca; Pumas host Tigres; and more

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

Thirteen weeks into the Clausura season, the parity amongst Liga MX teams is easy to see when looking at the standings. Just ten points separate third-placed Club America from the 14th-placed Puebla.

However, first-placed Tigres UANL have quietly stayed undefeated and will look to extend their lead at the top of the table when they visit fifth-placed Pumas on Saturday.

NASL Week 2: A Look Ahead

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

It's not just Major League Soccer clubs that are opening soccer-specific stadiums anymore.

The San Jose Scorpions will open up their new stadium, named Toyota Field, when they host the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday night in NASL week two action. The 8,000 seat facility is across the street from their former stadium, and it's expandable to 18,000 seats if the club ever makes the jump to MLS.

MLS Week 7: A Look Ahead

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By THOMAS FLOYD

It may still be early in the MLS campaign, and as such clubs' records must be taken with a grain of salt. But there's no denying the Los Angeles Galaxy and FC Dallas have already established themselves as teams to beat.

On Saturday, the two sides' meeting should provide a little more clarity to the tight Western Conference table.

MLS Western Conference Notes: Martins out for Sounders-Revs, Agudelo still hobbled, and more

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BY MIKE DONOVAN

Obafemi Martins returned to practice on Thursday for the first time in two weeks while dealing with a knee injury. Despite his return to practice, Sigi Schmid told KJR Radio that Martins will not play in Saturday's match against the New England Revolution. The team listed Martins as out for the match.

SBI Fantasy MLS: Week Seven Preview

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By CASEY CANNON

Hello and Welcome to the Soccer by Ives Fantasy Corner – now in new spring colors! Every week I dig through statistics, news, and rumors to provide the reader with the kind of fantasy advice that only a tax expert can provide.

This week we have we have a player leaving for a while and a player returning.

MLS Eastern Conference Notes: DeRosario returns, Marshall reaches milestone, and more

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By DARRELL LOVELL

The struggling United attack will get a lift this weekend as captain Dwayne De Rosariois primed to return to the lineup. The club's attack has been anemic so far in 2013 scoring just two goals in five games. With Nick DeLeon on the shelf as well, getting De Rosario back is the boost that will, hopefully for D.

This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

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By MICHAEL KLINE

All eyes will be on Wembley Stadium this weekend, when Manchester City and Chelsea clash in a huge FA Cup semifinal match.

Both clubs will be looking to make amends for an unfulfilling league campaign by reaching this season's FA Cup final.

Chelsea overcame a two-goal deficit in their quarterfinal match against Manchester United to force a replay, which they won 1-0 at Stamford Bridge earlier this month.

U.S. Under-17s beat Guatemala, face Honduras in decisive CONCACAF quarterfinal

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By IVES GALARCEP

The U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team took another step closer to their goal of qualifying for the Under-17 World Cup in Friday by beating Guatemala, 1-0. The victory sets up a winner-take-all quarterfinal match-up against Honduras on Sunday, with the winner booking a place in the Under-17 World Cup.

European Weekend Preview: Chelsea face Man City in FA Cup semifinal; Napoli visit AC Milan; and more

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Photo by Matt West/ISIPhotos.com

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

After a scoreless home draw and a tough 2-0 road loss earlier this season, Chelsea will get one more chance at knocking off Manchester City when the two English giants meet this Sunday.

Although the Blues will not be able to cut into City's seven-point advantage in the race for second place in the Premier League table, this weekend clash at Wembley Stadium is of utmost importance as the winner will return next month for the FA Cup Final.

Friday Kickoff: Messi expected back for Bayern clash, Chelsea drawn with Basel in Europa League, and more

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By DANIEL KARELL

Injury or not, don't rule out Lionel Messi for the upcoming Champions League semifinals.

The Argentine came on in the 62nd minute of Barcelona's 1-1 draw with Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday and had an instant impact on the match. His status for the match was a doubt in the first place because of a hamstring injury the week before, but Messi said that it was worth the risk to play.

The SBI Show: Episode 24 (with special guest Alecko Eskandarian)

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By IVES GALARCEP

On the eve of the latest installment of the D.C. United-New York Red Bulls rivalry The SBI Show talks to a player who was a key figure in the series in the past, a New Jersey native who enjoyed his share of success against his hometown team.

Alecko Eskandarian enjoyed a very successful career before concussions forced him to step away from the game at an early age.

Barcelona face Bayern, Real Madrid meet Dortmund again in UCL semifinal draw

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By IVES GALARCEP

FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich will square off in the UEFA Champions League semifinals, setting up a tasty match-up between Pep Guardiola's former club and his future club.

The current league leaders in Spain and Germany will meet in the semis after Friday morning's draw, which also set up a group stage rematch between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund in what should be another quality match-up.

Europa League Rewind: Dempsey’s double can’t save Spurs, Chelsea advance, & more

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By DAN KARELL

Tottenham gave everything they had on Thursday night. Unfortunately for them, it wasn't enough.

The North London side fell to FC Basel 4-1 on penalty kicks, after 120 minutes tied at two in the Europa League quarterfinals. Clint Dempsey had both goals for Spurs on the night, giving the team an early lead before coming back to save them late in the match.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Rosenborg BK have started their season just as well as anyone could have imagined. They have won all three of their league games, scored nine goals and are yet to concede.

It has been a good run of form for Rosenborg at the start of the new campaign, and Mix Diskerud will aim to make sure it continues this weekend.

USMNT Daily Update: A look at the right back depth chart

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By IVES GALARCEP

When Geoff Cameron turned in a pair of strong performances at right back in last month's World Cup qualifiers, one of the deeper positions on the U.S. Men's National Team became even deeper.

You might not think right back is all that deep, especially considering Cameron was thrust into the position last month, but it took a rash of injuries to have Klinsmann play Cameron at the position he actually plays regularly for Stoke City.

UEFA Europa League: Your Running Commentary

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By DAN KARELL

Rafael Benitez's managerial run with Chelsea hasn't exactly been a pleasant one, but like last season, the club is making a run in a European competition.

Chelsea takes a 3-1 lead in their tie with Rubin Kazan (12:00pm, Fox Soccer Channel) to Moscow, Russia to face a team that's knocked off the defending champions, Atletico Madrid, in the round of 32.

USMNT climb to 28th in latest FIFA World Rankings

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By IVES GALARCEP

The U.S. Men's National Team saw their steady descent in the FIFA World Rankings come to a halt this month after their success in March's World Cup qualifiers helped them climb up the charts.

The U.S. moved up five places to No. 28 in the latest world rankings, released on Thursday.

CONCACAF: Monterrey vs. Galaxy (SBI Live Match Commentary)

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By IVES GALARCEP

The hopes and dreams of MLS glory in the CONCACAF Champions League rest in the hands of the Los Angeles Galaxy, which face the daunting task of trying to beat two-time defending champions Monterrey on the road tonight (10pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

The Rayados come into the match riding the momentum of their comeback victory in the first leg, which saw Monterrey score a pair of goals in the final minutes of play to erase a 1-0 deficit and take full control of the series.

Monterrey returns to CCL final with victory over Galaxy

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By DAN KARELL

The gap might be shrinking between top MLS teams and top Mexican teams, but the harsh reality was on display yet again on Wednesday night that Mexico's best are still the kings of the CONCACAF region.

Two Major League Soccer teams made it to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League, but for the second straight year MLS teams were kept out of the final by their Mexican counterparts.

Thursday Kickoff: Premier League picks Hawk-Eye; Lucas signs new contract; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Tennis technology will soon be coming to the Premier League.

After a meeting between shareholders of all 20 Premier League clubs, the league agreed unanimously to install Hawk-Eye as the method of goal-line technology at each Premier League stadium. It makes the English league the first in the world to use goal-line technology.

UCL Rewind: Barca edge PSG on away goals and Bayern beat Juve in Turin

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

While Paris Saint-Germain celebrated a 50th-minute goal from Javier Pastore, Lionel Messi began to warm up on the sideline at the Nou Camp.

Even with a hamstring injury that kept him from starting the match, Messi played a part in the equalizer that punched Barcelona's sixth straight ticket to the UEFA Champions League semifinals.

Timbers Notes: First win brings positive vibes and centerback depth issues

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By MIKE DONOVAN

It had been a long time between home wins for the Portland Timbers. In fact, before Portland' 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, it had been 218 calendar days since the club's last victory at Jeld-Wen Field.

The win wasn't only Portland's first at home since August of 2012, but also Caleb Porter's first win as a professional head coach.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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By DAN KARELL

The main question on everyone's mind in the run up to Barcelona vs. Paris Saint-Germain (2:45pm, Fox Soccer Channel) is "will Lionel Messi play?"

The Argentine limped off the field at half time of the first leg and hasn't played since, but Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova announced on Tuesday that whether Messi plays will be determined just before the teams arrive at the Camp Nou.

Union Notes: Kleberson closer to playing, Farfan back from injury, and more

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By DAN KARELL

Since arriving in Philadelphia, Brazilian midfielder Kleberson has been patiently awaiting his chance to make his Major League Soccer debut.

That chance may come as early as this Saturday, when the Philadelphia Union play host to Toronto FC.

Speaking at his weekly press conference, Union manager John Hackworth said that he thought about putting Kleberson in during the last match, but decided against it after Columbus equalized in the second half.

PSG travel to Barcelona, Juventus host Bayern in final day of UCL quarterfinal action

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By DAN KARELL

It will be hard to top the late drama that the world witnessed in Dortmund on Tuesday night, but both Wednesday UEFA Champions League matches could live up to the hype.

Paris Saint-Germain travel to Barcelona for the second-leg, needing to win or draw scoring three goals or more.

Wednesday Kickoff: Balotelli banned by Serie A; Messi included in Barca squad; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Just when it looked like he was turning a corner, immaturity has brought Mario Balotelli back to earth.

Already set to serve a one-match suspension due to yellow card accumulation, Serie A officials tacked on an additional two-match ban due to Balotelli's actions following the 2-2 draw between his AC Milan club and Fiorentina last Sunday.

CONCACAF Champions League: Santos Laguna vs. Seattle Sounders (Match Night Commentary)

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By DAN KARELL

The Seattle Sounders will have it all to do when they take the field at the Estadio Corona in Torreon, Mexico, trailing 1-0 on aggregate. The Sounders were given the weekend off by Major League Soccer which should give them a chance to rest and re-focus towards their second-leg match against Liga MX side Santos Laguna in the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals (8pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

Santos Laguna reach CCL Final after Sounders fall short

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By DAN KARELL

Just hours after Borussia Dortmund completed an improbable late comeback of their own in Europe's Champions League, the Seattle Sounders were in the process of setting up their own in Mexico.

Substitute Lamar Neagle scored a goal in the 73rd minute to tie the match against Mexican side Santos Laguna, and put the Sounders just one goal away from making it into the CONCACAF Champions League final.

Red Bulls Notes: Petke takes blame for poor start, injury updates, and more

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BY DAVE MARTINEZ

The New York Red Bulls are 1-3-2 to open the season, and there is plenty of blame to go around for the results. Through six matches, the team is winless on the road, has been shut out twice, have been anemic on offense outside of the first match of the season and have been shaky, at best, in their own third.

UCL Rewind: Dortmund pull off stoppage time miracle; Madrid fend off Galatasaray

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BY IVES GALARCEP

When Malaga's Eliseu put the ball in the net in the 82nd minute to give Malaga a 2-1 lead over Borussia Dortmund, it looked as though the reigning German champions had given themselves too high a hurdle to overcome in too short an amount of time. They couldn't dwell on the fact that the goal looked to be offside.

CCL Preview: Sounders face Santos Laguna in crucial semifinal second leg

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By DAN KARELL

Santos Laguna are 90 minutes away from knocking off a third Major League Soccer team from the CONCACAF Champions League. That is, unless the Seattle Sounders have anything to say about it.

The Sounders arrived yesterday in Torreon, Mexico, carrying with them the pressures of their league's expectations and the weight of a one-goal deficit heading into a difficult environment.

Must-See Goal (and assist): Robert Lewandowski (and Marco Reus)

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Must-See tifo: Borussia Dortmund

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UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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By DAN KARELL

Galatasaray hope to erase a three-goal deficit when they welcome Real Madrid (2:45pm, Fox Soccer Channel) to the cauldron that is the Ali Sami Yen Arena in Istanbul, Turkey on Tuesday night.

The Turkish side will be without their leading Champions League scorer, Burak Yilmaz, but with Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba on the pitch, anything is possible.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week Six

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By IVES GALARCEP

Sporting Kansas City started the 2013 season slower than most would have expected, but they have started to hit their stride and are looking every bit like the title contender they were expected to be when the season began.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Dillon Powers

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Colorado Rapids are in the midst of a youth movement, driven in part by a rash of injuries, but also by the quality of a strong crop of rookies who have impressed head coach Oscar Pareja enough to earn regular playing time.

Dillon Powers is one of those players and the former Notre Dame midfielder has stepped in and become an integral part of the Rapids midfield.

Real Madrid travel to Turkey, Dortmund host Malaga in UCL quarterfinals second legs

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By DAN KARELL

Real Madrid could make it to the semi-finals of the Champions League for the third successive season with a positive result against Galatasaray in Istanbul on Tuesday evening.

The Spanish club won the first-leg last Wednesday by a scoreline of 3-0, putting them in cruise control ahead of the second leg.

SBI MLS Goal of the Week: Darel Russell

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SBI MLS Best XI: Week Six

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By IVES GALARCEP

It takes a special performance to have a team place more than two or three players in the SBI MLS Best XI, but the Portland Timbers turned in one of those kind of performances in their win against the Houston Dynamo.

Jamaican forward Ryan Johnson leads a group of four Timbers on this Week's SBI MLS Best XI, with midfielder Diego Chara among those earning plaudits for his outstanding efforts against the Dynamo.

Liga MX Rewind: Chivas keep stumbling, Tigres stay unbeaten, and more

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

Chivas Guadalajara's poor run in the 2013 Clausura season continued last Friday night, with the Goats suffering a 3-2 loss to Jaguares de Chiapas.

Rafael Marquez Lugo's brace brought Chivas back level after falling 0-2 in the first half, but they were topped by Franco Arizala's 80th-minute game-winning strike.

Tuesday Kickoff: Goal-line technology nears EPL approval; Silva fit for PSG; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Though not a done deal yet, goal-line technology will likely be used next season on one of the biggest stages in world soccer.

The Premier League clubs will meet on Thursday to discuss, among other things, the use of goal-line technology starting next season.

MLS Ticker: Timbers defender Horst undergoes knee surgery, TFC and Impact sign Argentinians

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By DAN KARELL

You know it's a bad injury when the opposing player is calling for help.

Houston Dynamo forward Giles Barnes was involved in an innocuous challenge in the box with Portland Timbers' defender David Horst that saw the latter fall to the ground in agony, clutching his right knee in the 15th minute of Saturday's 2-0 win.

Monday Evening Ticker: Late Aguero goal earns City a win at United; Roma, Lazio share honors; and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

It most likely will do nothing more than delay their rivals' title celebration a few more weeks, but Manchester City will surely take great pride in a second straight win at Old Trafford.

The defending Premier League champions defeated first-place United 2-1 on Monday evening, giving the blue side of Manchester back-to-back road derby wins for the first time in 41 years.

D.C. United Notes: Olsen backs Pajoy; midfield lacking rhythm; and more

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By THOMAS FLOYD

WASHINGTON — It was a classic Lionard Pajoy sequence. Run down a pass with hustle. Beat a defender with skill. Yank the shot wide with errant aim.

If Pajoy had cashed in on his hard work, D.C. United would have taken the lead in first-half stoppage time at Sporting Kansas City on Friday.

Soccer Monday: Your Running Commentary

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By DAN KARELL

Inter-city rivalries rule the day, with two massive showdowns on Monday in England and Italy.

Manchester United stand 15 points clear of rivals Manchester City but are unlikely to take it easy against their hated rivals when the two meet in Old Trafford (2:30pm, ESPN).

SBI MLS Team of the Week: Portland Timbers

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Portland Timbers dominated the Houston Dynamo in a way that opponents rarely do, and the provided the first real glimpse of what the Caleb Porter era could bring to Portland.

Ryan Johnson's two goals made the highlights, but it was the total team effort and quality possession that helped the Timbers overwhelm the Dynamo on their way to a 2-0 victory.

Must-See Commercial: Michael Bradley and Totti

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NASL Week 1: A Look Back

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By DAN KARELL

The 2013 NASL season kicked off this past Saturday with plenty of fanfare but a lack of goals.

The current seven-team spring schedule was highlighted at the weekend with a 1-1 draw between the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and FC Edmonton in Lockhart Stadium.

Brooks to choose between USA and Germany “in the coming weeks”

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By IVES GALARCEP

German-born defender John Anthony Brooks has been the subject of plenty of speculation about his national team future for some time now, and there has been a hope for U.S. Men's National Team fans that he will eventually choose the U.S. over Germany when the time comes.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Daniel Paladini

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Chicago Fire were trailing as the final minutes ticked away in the first half of Sunday's match vs. the New York Red Bulls, and might have found it too tough a road to come back if they headed into the locker room trailing at halftime, but Daniel Paladini was determined to chance Chicago's fortunes and did just that.

European Weekend Rewind: Bayern clinch Bundesliga title; Chelsea reclaim third place; and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

After a 9-2 league victory and a 2-0 first leg performance against the champions of Italy, Bayern Munich wrapped up a memorable eight-day stretch by reclaiming the Bundesliga title in record-setting fashion.

Bayern ended the quickest German league race of all-time on Saturday with a 1-0 victory at sixth-place Eintracht Frankfurt, clinching the league in the 28th round of the competition two rounds earlier than their earlier record from the 1972-73 and 2002-03 campaigns.

Monday Kickoff: Abidal makes Barcelona return; Neuer targets Bayern treble; and more

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By DAN KARELL

There are always plenty of soccer stories that make you shake your head, but this one shows the determination of the human spirit.

Eric Abidal made his return to the field for Barcelona for the first time since a liver transplant last year, coming on in the 70th minute for Gerard Pique in Saturday's 5-0 win over Mallorca.

Alston diagnosed with leukemia, will take leave of absence from Revs

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By IVES GALARCEP

New England Revolution defender Kevin Alston will take a leave of absence from the team in order to undergo treatment for leukemia after being diagnosed withchronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).

Alston's treatment is not expected to require hospitalization.

Lema leads U.S. Under-17s to CONCACAF win vs. Haiti

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By DAN KARELL

Head coach Richie Williams took his U.S. Under-17 squad to Panama last February so they'd get a feel for the playing environment. After one match, it looks like it was a good decision.

Christopher Lema scored two goals and Ahinga Selemani added another as the U.

Late Santos brace lifts Fire past Red Bulls

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By TYLER DAY

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. With less than ten minutes left in Sunday's Eastern Conference showdown, it looked like the Chicago Fire and New York Red Bulls were headed towards a draw at Toyota Park.

But two pristine finishes from Chicago substitute Maicon Santos in the 83rd and 89th minute sent the Fire to their first win of the season, a 3-1 victory against the visiting Red Bulls.

The SBI Show: Episode 23 (with special guests Brad Guzan and Will Johnson)

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By IVES GALARCEP

Two teams that registered important victories this past weekend were Aston Villa and the Portland Timbers and two players who were key to those wins were Brad Guzan and Will Johnson, who are the special guests for Episode 23 of The SBI Show.

Guzan and Villa recorded a much-needed win against Stoke City to climb out of the relegation zone in the English Premier League, while Johnson and the Timbers registered their first win of the season with a convincing win against the Dynamo.

U.S. Under-17s vs. Haiti (SBI Live Match Commentary)

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The U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team begins qualification for the Under-17 World Cup today when they take on Haiti in the CONCACAF Under-17 Qualifying Tournament in Panama (6:30pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

Head coach Richie Williams will be leading out a team led by standouts such as Shaquell Mo0re and Rubio Rubin in a match they will be expected to win.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Rapid Vienna have very few reasons to smile these days, but the play of Terrence Boyd continues to be one of them.

Boyd was back to his scoring ways on Saturday, netting his 16th goal across all competitions this season in Rapid Vienna's 1-1 draw vs FC Wacker Tirol.

MLS Week 6: Fire vs. Red Bulls (SBI Live Commentary)

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Chicago Fire will try to remove themselves from the short list of remaining winless teams in MLS today when they take on the New York Red Bulls today at Toyota Park (5pm, ESPN2).

The Fire have been struggling badly this year, in part because of a misfiring attack and a defense that has sorely missed injured German veteran Arne Friedrich.

Self-inflicted mistakes cost Earthquakes in draw vs. Whitecaps

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By VINCE MADURI

For more than a year now, the San Jose Earthquakes have been finding dramatic and impressive ways to grab points late in matches. On Saturday, they found a new and rather embarrassing way to drop points.

In the 62nd minute, Earthquakes starters Victor Bernardez and Alan Gordon left the field at the same time to change their cleats.

Timbers Notes: Johnson nets first brace, Wallace shines in start, and more

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By MIKE DONOVAN

Prior to Saturday night's game against the Houston Dynamo,Ryan Johnson had played 156 games in MLS. And despite scoring 28 times in his professional career, he had never scored multiple goals in the same game.

That all changed on the wet turf of Jeld-Wen Field.

Must-See Goal: Darel Russell

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Oduro equalizer salvages point for Crew vs. Union

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By DAN KARELL

Dominic Oduro may finally be settling in with the Columbus Crew.

Failing to find the net in the past three matches, Oduro seized his opportunity, rifling home a second half-equalizer for the Columbus Crew in Saturday's 1-1 draw with the Philadelphia Union at Crew Stadium.

Short-handed Rapids beat RSL for first win of the season

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Colorado Rapids fell short last week in their quest for their first win of the 2013 season, but Saturday they played like a team that wouldn't let anything deny them. Not a questionable penalty call. Not a the rash of injuries that decimated their starting lineup.

Timbers dominate Dynamo to post first win of 2013

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By MIKE DONOVAN

PORTLAND, Ore. The Timbers needed a win. And despite two major first-half injuries and taking on one of the hottest teams in MLS, a victory is exactly what they delivered Saturday night.

Led by two Ryan Johnson goals, and the outstanding play of their midfield, the Portland Timbers dominated the second half and collected their first win of the season, defeating the Houston Dynamo, 2-0 at a cold and rainy Jeld-Wen Field.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Long-time U.S. National Team teammates Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey will renew acquaintances as adversaries today when Howard's Everton takes on Dempsey's Tottenham in a clash of teams with UEFA Champions League aspirations.

Spurs are currently in third place in the English Premier League, but are only two points from slipping to fifth place.

Russell blasts home last-minute equalizer as TFC rallies to tie FC Dallas

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By IVES GALARCEP

When Blas Perez's shot nestled into the net in the 59th minute at BMO Field on Saturday, the 2-0 lead on the scoreboard seemed an insurmountable hurdle for a Toronto FC team that looked lost for the first 45 minutes of Saturday's match vs. FC Dallas.

Perez's goal was one of the few second-half bright spots for Dallas though, as Toronto FC controlled play and applied constant pressure looking to make a game out of what threatened to become a blowout.

MLS Week Six (SBI Live Match Day Commentary)

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Colorado Rapids and Portland Timbers are still searching for their first victories of the 2013 MLS season and both face tough tests at home as they each try to escape the realm of the witness.

The Rapids play host to Real Salt Lake in a Rocky Mountain clash that will show us whether the injury-hit Rapids can rebound from last week's disappointing come-from-ahead draw vs.

Saturday EPL Rewind: Villa trounce Stoke; Arsenal top West Brom; and more

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By MICHAEL KLINE

Aston Villa were able to overcome a late equalizer from Stoke City this afternoon, and move three points clear of the relegation zone, after a late surge led the Villans to a 3-1 win over The Potters.

Stoke entered the match on simply atrocious form, having won only once in their previous 12 league matches, and the Potters now find themselves in the midst of a relegation battle.

Must-See Goal: Matthew Lowton

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Liga MX Weekend Preview: Santos face Tijuana, America battle Puebla; and more

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By IVES GALARCEP

If you were under the impression that defending Liga MX champion Club Tijuana were enjoying another good season, you couldn't really be blamed. The Xolos played extremely well in Copa Libertadores, advancing to the Round of 16 out of a group that they were expected to be overwhelmed by.

Sporting KC vs. D.C. United (SBI Live Commentary)

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By IVES GALARCEP

Sporting KC and D.C. United face off tonight at Sporting Park in a clash ofEastern Conference rivals (8:30pm, MLS Direct Kick).

Sporting KC comes into the match riding high after a thoroughly impressive victory against the Montreal Impact last week.

Sporting KC top D.C. United with late Bieler strike

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By THOMAS FLOYD

For 88 minutes, Sporting Kansas City heaped pressure on D.C. United. And for 88 minutes, the visitors were able to weather the storm.

But in the 89th minute, Claudio Bieler seized his opportunity.

As substitute Soony Saad darted into the box from the left flank, Bieler made his run, beating Daniel Woolard to Saad's centering feed and finishing past Bill Hamid to give Kansas City the 1-0 win Friday.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Real Sociedad and Malaga's battle for fourth place in La Liga headlines a Saturday packed with action from the world's top leagues.

After defending their home turf from Borussia Dortmund in Champions League action on Wednesday, Malaga are now focused on qualifying for next season's edition of the competition in a trip to face Sociedad.

USWNT watch two-goal lead evaporate in draw vs. Germany

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by MIKE McCALL

The usual cast of characters powered a potent attack, but a shaky evening from an inexperienced back line cost the U.S. women's national team in a 3-3 draw with Germany on Friday.

After a scoreless first half, the world's top two teams erupted for six goals in the final 45 minutes, with Abby Wambach, Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan finding the net for the Americans.

MLS Week 6: A Look Ahead

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By THOMAS FLOYD

We're barely a month into the 2013 MLS campaign, but it's already time for Round 2 of one of the league's most heated rivalries.

After playing to a 1-1 draw three weeks ago at Rio Tinto Stadium, Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids will write the next chapter of the Rocky Mountain Cup story Saturday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

USMNT Daily Update: CONCACAF change adds value to 2013 Gold Cup (and what two summer rosters could look like)

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By IVES GALARCEP

The 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup was shaping up to be the tournament nobody cared about, what with World Cup qualifying in June and Mexico's participation in the Confederations Cup taking priority. Without a berth in the next Confederations Cup on the line, there just wasn't much reason for the region's powers to devote maximum resources to this summer's Gold Cup.

European Weekend Preview: AC Milan host Fiorentina; Real Sociedad and Malaga battle for fourth; and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

While the top leagues in Europe each have a considerable gap between their top two teams, the drama towards the end of this season can be found in the races for spots in next year's Champions League.

On Sunday, AC Milan will travel to Tuscany in hopes of putting some more distance between themselves and fourth-place Fiorentina.

SBI Fantasy MLS: Week Six Preview

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By CASEY CANNON

Hello and Welcome to the Soccer by Ives Fantasy Corner – now running on energy efficient jelly beans! Every week I dig through statistics, news, and rumors to provide the reader with the kind of fantasy advice that only a stats geek can provide.

The deadline TONIGHT.

This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

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By MICHAEL KLINE

The relegation battle in the English Premier League will be kicked up a notch this weekend, with six of the bottom nine clubs pitted against each other, and the ever-important goal of staying in the top division on the line.

Reading and Southampton will accompany Saturday morning's breakfast, and a loss may very well doom The Royals to the Championship next season.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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By FRANCO PANIZO

It was just over a week ago that DaMarcus Beasley stepped into the cauldron that is Estadio Azteca and helped the U.S. Men's National Team secure a good result.

For Beasley, the jersey will change this weekend but the objective will remain the same.

Puebla are set to face off against Club America on Saturday and the match will provide Beasley another opportunity to shock the home team.

USMNT Daily Update: A look at the left back depth chart

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By IVES GALARCEP

The left back position has long been a source of angst and disappointment for the U.S. Men's National Team, but when Fabian Johnson committed to the U.S., it seemed as though the position might finally be one of strength.

The SBI Show: Episode 22 (with special guests Matt Besler and DeAndre Yedlin)

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By IVES GALARCEP

The latest episode of The SBI Show features two players who enjoyed dream months of March.

For Seattle Sounders rookie DeAndre Yedlin, March saw him start every game for the Sounders, playing at a high level that has some serious Rookie of the Year and U.

Friday Kickoff: Toure signs extension, Wilshere suffers setback, and more

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By DAN KARELL

Manchester City have been given a major boost for the rest of this season, and beyond.

Yaya Toure signed a four-year contract extension with Manchester City on Thursday, ending speculation of his departure this summer.

The younger of the Toure brothers has been one of the integral pieces on a team that went from finishing in tenth place in 2009, to the team that won the league last season.

Europa League Rewind: Bale leaves on stretcher as Spurs tie Basel; Chelsea rolls; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Tottenham's Champions League hopes took a big hit on Thursday evening.

Spurs midfielder Gareth Bale was stretchered off in second half stoppage time after a bad-looking right ankle injury, forcing Tottenham to finish their 2-2 draw with FC Basel down to nine men.

MLS Ticker: Martins sidelined by knee injury, Earthquakes sign local forward; and more

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By VINCE MADURI

Seattle Sounders' recently acquired forward Obafemi Martins will miss the CONCACAF Champions League second leg against Santos Laguna after the Nigerian picked up an injury to a tendon above his knee. The forward has already left the team to seek treatment and had been ruled out of the first leg Tuesday night.

Europa League Quarterfinals: Your Running Commentary

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By DAN KARELL

Three English clubs remain as the Europa League moves into it's quarter-final stage.

Chelsea, last season's Champions League winners, face Rubin Kazan, who previously dethroned the defending Europa League champs Atletico Madrid in the round of 32.

Tottenham hope to stop their recent domestic slide when Gareth Bale and co.

D.C. United notes: Ruiz bides his time, club ‘back to basics’ and more

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By THOMAS FLOYD

WASHINGTON — Since joining D.C. United late in the preseason, Carlos Ruiz has been every bit the "old pro" coach Ben Olsen was looking for.

The Guatemalan veteran's work ethic has impressed. His locker room personality has been positive.

A look at the current state of the USWNT heading into Friday’s friendly vs. Germany

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By MIKE McCALL

Tom Sermanni couldn't have asked for a much better start to his tenure at the helm of the U.S. women's national team.

Six games in, Sermanni's squad is unbeaten with a plus-15 goal differential, and a trip to Portugal ended with another Algarve Cup title.

SBI MLS Best XI of the Month: March

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By IVES GALARCEP

Before the 2013 season began, FC Dallas, Montreal and Chivas USA weren't consider serious threats to be among the best teams in the league, but all three enjoyed outstanding first months of the season to turn the league on its head and make us reconsider everything we thought we know about how this season would go.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Month: DeAndre Yedlin

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JaneGershovich/JaneG.Photography

By IVES GALARCEP

When DeAndre Yedlin was signed as the Seattle Sounders first Homegrown Player, the former Akron standout came in with plenty of expectations and was regarded as a star for the future.

Few could have pictured the 19-year-old Yedlin stepping right into the Sounders starting lineup and making himself a fixture at right back, but that is exactly what he has done.

CONCACAF Champions League: Galaxy vs. Monterrey (Match Night Commentary)

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Los Angeles Galaxy are Major League Soccer's best hope of winning the CONCACAF Champions League, but to do so they will have to get past the two time defending champions of the tournament.

The Galaxy face off against Monterrey in a Champions League semifinal series that kicks off tonight at Home Depot Center (10pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

Monterrey ride second-half rally past Galaxy in CCL semifinal first leg

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BY OMAR SHAMOUT

CARSON, Calif. For 45 minutes, the Los Angeles Galaxy had the look of a team more than capable of knocking off the two-time defending CONCACAF Champions League title holders.

Monterrey had other ideas, turning the second half of their semifinal first leg into a vivid reminder of why the Rayados have won the past two installments of this tournament.

Thursday Kickoff: Real Madrid under investigation; Ibra urges Rooney to join PSG; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Real Madrid's 3-0 win on Wednesday over Galatasaray should give them breathing room in their quest for a Champions League title, but news of an EU investigation has taken the wind right out of the club.

The European Commission is investigating the club for accepting illegal state aid, according to a report in The Independent.

UCL Rewind: Real Madrid open up three-goal lead over Gala; Dortmund and Malaga play scoreless first leg

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Real Madrid kept up their winning ways on Wednesday with a complete team performance that has them looking like a favorite to be at the Champions League final next month.

In Wednesday's other quarterfinal action, Borussia Dortmund and Malaga played out a scoreless draw that was marked by several missed chances from Dortmund's attacking trio of Mario Gotze, Marco Reus and Robert Lewandowski.

Timbers Notes: Club still searching for a win; Johnson earns accolades; and more

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By MIKE DONOVAN

The Portland Timbers are five weeks into the 2013 season and the team is still searching for its first victory. Not only has the club not been able to secure victory, but they are one of two MLS clubs that hasn't held a lead yet this season.

While the team has conceded first in every match in 2013, head coach Caleb Porter is confident that Portland won't be lacking first goals and victories for long.

Vermes and Moore voted into National Soccer Hall of Fame

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By VINCE MADURI

Former U.S. Men's National Team players Peter Vermes and Joe-Max Moore were elected into the National Soccer Hall of Fame, U.S. Soccer announced on Wednesday.

Moore was voted in on the regular Players Ballot, while Vermes was selected via the Veterans Ballot.

Fire Notes: Friedrich likely to miss RBNY match; Pause closer to return; and more

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By TYLER DAY

Chicago Fire supporters thought they had a piece of good news in an otherwise injury-plagued season when Tuesday's injury report did not contain veterans Arne Friedrich and Logan Pause.

Both have been in training, but only Pause is likely to feature when the winless Fire host the Red Bulls on Sunday at Toyota Park.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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By DAN KARELL

Cristiano Ronaldo and Didier Drogba renew their long-standing rivalry when Real Madrid takes on Galatasaray (2:45pm, Fox Soccer Channel) on Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League.

The two have previously faced off in the English Premier League with Manchester United and Chelsea as well as Portugal vs.

SBI MLS Best XI: Week Five

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Portland Timbers looked destined to suffer a defeat against the Colorado Rapids when they fell behind by two goals, but captain Will Johnson didn't let it happen.

The former Real Salt Lake midfielder scored a pair of goals, including a quality header, to help Portland salvage a 2-2 draw.

CCL Preview: Confident Galaxy head into semifinal clash with two-time champion Monterrey

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By BRIAN TRUSDELL

For the LA Galaxy to beat two-time defending CONCACAF Champions League champion Monterrey, they will need confidence. And if Landon Donovan is any measure, that much at least has been taken care of.

"Ideally, you win at home, but it's not an absolute must," Donovan told MLSsoccer.

Real Madrid vs. Galatasaray highlight day two of Champions League quarter-final matches

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By DAN KARELL

After conquering Manchester United in the round of 16, Real Madrid can't afford a let down when they welcome Galatasaray to the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on Wednesday in Champions League quarter-final action.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored again last Saturday, his 44th goal this season in 44 matches for Real Madrid this season, but the Spanish club will have to keep an eye out for the big-money signings of Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba for Galatasaray.

SBI MLS Player of the Month: Mike Magee

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By IVES GALARCEP

When the 2013 season began, it was believed that Robbie Keane would be the goal-scoring machine who would lead the Los Angeles Galaxy while Landon Donovan was away on his sabbatical.

It hasn't been Keane leading the attack though.

CONCACAF Champions League: Seattle Sounders vs. Santos Laguna (Match Night Commentary)

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Seattle Sounders are off to a winless first month of the Major League Soccer season, but they have a chance to give their season a much more positive vibe with a win against Mexican powerhouse Santos Laguna in their CONCACAF Champions League semifinal series, which kicks off tonight at CenturyLink Field (10pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

Gomez goal sends Santos Laguna home with lead over Sounders in CCL semis

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Photo by Jane Gershovich/JaneG.Photography

By JASON MITCHELL

SEATTLE, Wash. Herculez Gomez engaged in light-hearted banter with the Seattle Sounders for much of the week leading up to Tuesday night's CONCACAF Champions League semifinals match. At one point the Sounders front office sent Gomez a pillow, per his request.

Wednesday Kickoff: Barca plays down Messi injury; Kroos could miss two months; and more

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By DAN KARELL

The look on Lionel Messi's face at the end of Tuesday's 2-2 draw between Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain just about said it all.

The Argentine native limped off the field at halftime and didn't return for the start of the second half, being replaced by Cesc Fabregas for the last 45 minutes of the match.

Rubin, Flores and Moore headline U.S. Under-17 roster for CONCACAF qualifying

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By DAN KARELL

U.S. U-17 Men's National Team manager Richie Williams announced on Tuesday a 20-man roster for the 2013 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, set to take place from April 6-19 in Panama. The last four teams remaining in the competition qualify for the World Cup in the United Arab Emirates this October.

Kick TV: The Hex (Episode 6- USA vs. Mexico at Azteca)

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UCL Rewind: PSG earn controversial tie vs. Barcelona; Bayern exerts control in win over Juve

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By DAN KARELL

Two times during the match, the odds were against Paris Saint-Germain rescuing a point or finding a win.

But twice, the French side came back from a goal down to tie the scoreline in both controversial and dramatic fashion, tying Barcelona, 2-2, on Tuesday night in UEFA Champions League quarterfinal action in Paris.

Red Bulls Notes: First win of Petke era has team confident, injury updates, and more

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BY DAVE MARTINEZ

Breaking their scoreless streak and earning their first win of the season were encouraging accomplishments for the New York Red Bulls.

Earning that first head coaching victory for Mike Petke was icing on the cake.

"It's great also to give Mike his first win," team captain Thierry Henry noted.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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By DAN KARELL

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paris Saint-Germain host Lionel Messi and FC Barcelona (2:45pm, Fox Soccer Channel) in one of Tuesday's first-leg matches of the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League.

Ibrahimovic was recently cleared of a red-card ban that would have ruled him out for the matches against Barcelona, but the French club's leading scorer is now set to run at the heart of his former team.

CCL Preview: Struggling Sounders face strong Santos in tonight’s semifinal 1st leg

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By BRIAN TRUSDELL

The Seattle Sounders have an awful sense of timing.

Going into the first leg of the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League against Santos Laguna on Tuesday, the Sounders have lost two straight, have only one victory in six matches this year, and except for a 3-1 win over Tigres have scored only two goals.

SBI Live Q&A (April 2nd Edition)

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By IVES GALARCEP

It is that time again. Time to discuss all things soccer in the latest installment of the SBI Live Q&A.

Get your soccer-related questions (and pop culture questions) ready and send them my way as I try to touch on as many subjects as possible over the next two hours.

UCL Preview: Barcelona visits PSG; Juve travels to Bayern Munich

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By DAN KARELL

It's a return trip to Paris for a number of Barcelona players who took part in Spain's 1-0 win over France, which took place at the Stade de France in Paris' northern suburbs. Now on the west side of the city near the River Seine, Barcelona travels to meet Paris Saint-Germain in UEFA Champions League quarter-final action.

SBI Live Q&A set for 1pm today

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By IVES GALARCEP

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

Join us at 1pm today as we talk USMNT, MLS, European soccer and much more. Want to ask questions about the U.S. Men's National Team? Curious about the first month of the MLS season?

Monday Evening Ticker: QPR fall short at Fulham, Vilanova to return to Barca bench Tuesday, and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Queens Park Rangers' chances at staying in the Premier League took another blow Monday as the club fell 3-2 at West London rival Fulham.

Tenth-place Fulham's fans chanted "going down" at QPR after Dimitar Berbatov scored twice in the opening 22 minutes of the match.

Tuesday Kickoff: PSG target Rooney; Hoffenheim sack manager; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Paris Saint-Germain have made plenty of big money and big exposure signings recently, and they could be preparing for a big one this summer.

Club President Nasser Al-Khelaifi spoke on Monday of his admiration for Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney, who has been subject to transfer speculation since being benched in the second-leg of United's Champions League tie against Real Madrid.

Americans Abroad: Monday Rewind

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By DAN KARELL

There was a larger-than-usual contingent of Americans Abroad in action this Monday, as the English League Championship and leagues in Denmark, Belgium, Norway, and Germany all had matches throughout the day.

In Norway, Mix Diskerud helped his case for a potential national team call-up this summer, scoring in the 53rd minute of his side Rosenberg's 4-0 win over Brann.

SBI MLS Team of the Week: Sporting Kansas City

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By DAN KARELL

With Graham Zusi and Matt Besler back from international duty, and Benny Feilhaber playing his best game of the young season, Sporting Kansas City showed the league just how good they can be.

In front of a sellout crowd at Sporting Park, Sporting KC defeated the previously unbeaten Montreal Impact 2-0, making them the easy pick for SBI MLS Team of the Week.

USMNT Daily Update: Surveying the centerback depth chart

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By IVES GALARCEP

There were some pretty nervous U.S. Men's National Team fans not too long ago, when the roster for March qualifiers were announced and long-time captain Carlos Bocanegra was left out. His absence meant an inexperienced group would be responsible or trying to accrue valuable points in the CONCACAF Hexagonal.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Dillon Powers

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By DAN KARELL

With multiple starters out of the lineup, including their leading scorer and provider from last season, the Colorado Rapids needed someone to step up for their match against Portland.

On Saturday, that someone was Dillon Powers.

The Notre Dame product scored on a blast from more than 30 yards away in the 18th minute to give the host Rapids a 1-0 lead.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week Five

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Montreal Impact saw their dream start to the 2013 MLS season halted by Sporting Kansas City, but that didn't stop two other teams from continuing impressive runs that few outside of their home markets could have seen coming.

FC Dallas and Chivas USA are two of the hottest teams in the league at the moment, with the Goats running their unbeaten streak to four matches while Dallas improved their record to a league-best 4-1 after edging New England.

SBI MLS Goal of the Week: Jose Villarreal

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European Weekend Rewind: Bayern scores nine in historic win; Juve gets revenge vs. Inter; and more

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Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Although they did not officially secure the club's 23rd Bundesliga title, Bayern Munich's home win over Hamburg made headlines all around the world this weekend.

Bayern routed European hopeful Hamburg 9-2 on Saturday, giving the German giants a club record 10th straight Bundesliga win.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Benny Feilhaber

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

On a night when returning U.S. Men's National team standouts Graham Zusi and Matt Besler turned in outstanding showings just days after playing key parts in the U.S. team's tie vs. Mexico, it might have been easy to overlook the impressive night of their World Cup veteran teammate.

Monday Kickoff: Chelsea defeat United in the FA Cup; Messi breaks scoring record; and more

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BY DAN KARELL

Chelsea may be out of the English Premier League title race, but they took a step closer to some silverware on Monday after halting Manchester United's quest for a double.

January signing Demba Ba scored Chelsea's only goalin a 1-0 victory over the Red Devils in FA Cup quarterfinal action in Stamford Bridge on Monday.