Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2014

Late Luyindula equalizer helps RBNY salvage point vs. Chivas USA

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

HARRISON, N.J. The New York Red Bulls looked destined for a disappointing result at home on Sunday against Chivas USA, with another poor start dooming them to a late deficit. Peguy Luyindula helped ease some of the disappointment when he headed home a stoppage-time equalizer, but it was clear from Mike Petke that even the dramatic finish didn't change the fact his team had another lackluster performance.

Nguyen’s late winner turns tables on Earthquakes

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

The San Jose Earthquakes have made it a routine to pull off late heroics at Buck Shaw Stadium, with last-minute goals an almost expected part of the proceedings in the small Northern California stadium.

Fans at Buck Shaw saw another late game-winner on Saturday, only this time it wasn't by the Earthquakes, but by the New England Revolution, who escaped San Jose with all three points after recording their first win of the 2014 season in dramatic fashion.

Beltran replaces Evans on USMNT squad ahead of Mexico friendly

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By IVES GALARCEP

Brad Evans won't have a chance to boost his chances of being the U.S. Men's National Team starting right back this week against Mexico, but his absence has opened the door for another national team hopeful to enter the fray.

Real Salt Lake defender Tony Beltran has been called in to replace the injured Evans, who failed to appear in Seattle's 2-1 loss to the Columbus Crew on Saturday night.

Dwyer stoppage-time winner propels Sporting KC past Rapids

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By TATE STEINLAGE

It was Sporting Kansas City's turn to benefit from a second half stoppage-time goal Saturday after two heartbreaking finishes earlier in the season, as Dom Dwyer's 92nd minute blast helped boost the reigning MLS Cup champions over the Colorado Rapids 3-2 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

FC Dallas stay tops in West after beating Timbers

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By MIKE DONOVAN

FC Dallas continued their hot start to the season, beating the Portland Timbers in a bizarre match Saturday night that featured an off-the-ball double red card, an own goal, and a late game-winner for the home side.

Mauro Diaz and Blas Perez found the score sheet for FC Dallas, while a Matt Hedges own goal was Portland's lone tally in Dallas' 2-1 victory in front of 16,045 at FC Dallas Stadium.

Saborio brace propels RSL in dominant win vs. TFC

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By TYLER GRAY

SANDY, Utah -Toronto FC arrived at Rio Tinto Stadium with a perfect 2-0 record and a growing reputation as a powerhouse team capable of being a title contender.

Real Salt Lake provided a clear reminder that TFC has a way to go before it can join RSL in the select category of true MLS Cup candidate, overwhelming Toronto FC on their way to a 3-0 victory on Saturday.

Crew stay perfect as Meram winner stuns Sounders

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Photo by Jane Gershovich/JaneG. Photography

By JASON MITCHELL

SEATTLE The Columbus Crew came into Saturday's match riding the first 2-0 start in franchise history. But a road game against the Seattle Sounders promised to provide a much stiffer test than the Philadelphia Union at home or D.

Whitecaps remain unbeaten with win vs. Dynamo

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By DAN KARELL

Darren Mattocks and Pedro Morales' recent performances are quickly making Vancouver Whitecaps fans forget about losing Camilo this offseason.

Though he didn't score, Mattocks was a workhorse during his 65 minutes on the field as the Whitecaps outlasted the Dynamo, 2-1, on Saturday afternoon at BC Place.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Liverpool could make their long-awaited return to the top of the English Premier League on this Soccer Sunday if the Reds avoid defeat at home to sixth-place Tottenham Hotspur.

With Chelsea falling to Crystal Palace and Manchester City drawing with fellow contenders Arsenal on Saturday, Liverpool will be the new league leaders today with a draw or victory against Spurs.

Amarikwa’s late equalizer saves Fire in draw at D.C. United

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By DAN KARELL

D.C. United still can't find a way to win.

Despite holding a 2-1 lead in the second half, D.C. United allowed Chicago Fire forward Quincy Amarikwa to equalize in the 82nd minute. Though each side had chances in the final minutes plus stoppage time, the two clubs settled for a 2-2 draw on Saturday at RFK Stadium.

DiVaio equalizer forces Union to settle for another draw

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By IVES GALARCEP

In what is becoming too familiar a trend for the John Hackworth's liking, the Philadelphia Union played another quality match only to see a late defensive breakdown cost them a chance at a victory.

On Saturday, it was the Montreal Impact playing the role of spoiler this time, with Marco DiVaio marking his 2014 debut with an 80th-minute goal to help Montreal earn a 1-1 draw at PPL Park.

MLS Match Week 4: Your Running Commentary

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By IVES GALARCEP

U.S. Men's National Team teammates Michael Bradley and Kyle Beckerman will face off in a clash of top teams as Toronto FC visits Real Salt Lake in one of the marquee match-ups of MLS Week 4.

The unbeaten Columbus Crew will look to improve to 3-0 when they visit CenturyLink Field to take on a Seattle Sounders side still missing suspended star Clint Dempsey.

USL Pro Week 2: A Look Ahead

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

Despite a slow start to the season, week two will feature a wider slate of teams in action.

Orlando City SC kick off their final home season in the USL Pro when they welcome the Pittsburgh Riverhounds to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

After a crushing loss at Chelsea and a heartbreaking draw with Swansea City earlier this week, Arsenal face a must-win match for their English Premier League title hopes Saturday.

But the Gunners will have to go through one of the hottest teams in England if they are to get their title chase back on track.

MLS Ticker: Rapids sign Klute, Irwin; Galaxy loans three to reseves; Dempsey disappointed in suspension; and more

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

The Colorado Rapids have signed goalkeeper Clint Irwin and defender Chris Klute to new contracts, the club announced Friday.

Irwin, who joined the Rapids last year after a trial, became the starting goalkeeper when veteran Matt Pickens was injured early.

This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

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By RYAN TOLMICH

If Arsenal are to climb back into the Premier League title race, they will have to start their ascension against the toughest of opponents, as the Gunners host Manchester City to headline this weekend's action.

Arsenal enter the weekend having fallen to fourth in the league after picking up just one point in their last two contests.

MLS Week 4: A Look Ahead

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By DAN KARELL

The conversation about the merits of Michael Bradley over Kyle Beckerman will reach a boiling point on Saturday as Bradley's Toronto FC travel to face Beckerman's Real Salt Lake.

The highly-anticipated match will be the first occasion for fans to see the two American midfielders face each other since Bradley left the league after the 2005 season.

Johannsson misses penalty kick as AZ ousted from Dutch Cup

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

It looks like Aron Johannsson can have a bad club game, after all.

The young U.S. National Team striker has been enjoying a breakout season with AZ Alkmaar, but his team was ousted Thursday from the Dutch Cup after Johannsson missed a crucial penalty kick early in a 1-0 loss.

The SBI Show: Episode 126 (Talking the USMNT roster, Previewing MLS Week 4, and more)

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By IVES GALARCEP

The U.S. Men's National Team roster for next week's friendly against Mexico dropped earlier this week, offering a glimpse of what we could see against 'El Tri', and raising questions about some of the players left out.

In Episode 126 of The SBI Show, we discuss the squad, including the young players brought in, and the players who missed the cut.

Liga MX Round 13: A Look Ahead

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By DAN KARELL

Heading into the stretch run of the Apertura campaign, this weekend represents a perfect time for the Super Clasico.

Both Chivas de Guadalajara and Club America sit level in the Liga MX standings heading into round 13 with 17 points a piece, and the upcoming match on Sunday is a proverbial six-pointer.

USWNT keep top spot in FIFA rankings as Germany closes in

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

The U.S. Women's National Team is still No. 1.

Despite taking a thrashing earlier this month at the Algarve Cup, the USWNT hold onto their No. 1 spot in the latest FIFA rankings released Friday. It marks the seventh year the USWNT has topped the rankings.

Sporting KC Notes: Gardner waived for potential deal; Zusi, Besler called up for USMNT friendly; and more

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By TATE STEINLAGE

Sporting Kansas City announced Tuesday that it has waived 31-year-old defender Josh Gardner to free up a roster spot for a prospective international signing that manager Peter Vermes hopes to ink this week.

"We've been working on a few players for quite some time," Vermes told SB Nation.

European Weekend Preview: Man City battle Arsenal; first-place Atletico visit Bilbao; and more

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Photo by Javier Garcia / ISIPhotos.com

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

If Arsenal are to stay in the hunt for the English Premier League title, Saturday might be their last stand.

Fourth-place Arsenal's title hopes took critical blows within the span of a week when Chelsea crushed the Gunners 6-0 at Stamford Bridge and Mathieu Flamini's own goal forced the contenders to draw with bottom-half Swansea City, 2-2.

Friday Kickoff: Hiddink returns as Netherlands manager, PSG mull Oscar bid; and more

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

The Netherlands have found a new coach for their national team – and it's a familiar name.

Guss Hiddink, who took the Dutch to the 1998 World Cup semifinal, will return to lead the team on a two-year contract. He will start after the World Cup this summer when Louis van Gaal steps down.

Marquez, Fabian headline 19-man Mexico roster for USMNT friendly

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Mexico has named a 19-player roster for its upcoming friendly with the U.S. Men's National Team, and it is not short on talent.

Rafa Marquez and Marco Fabian headline the fully-domestic-based squad that head coach Miguel Herrera unveiled on Thursday ahead of the April 2 friendly with the U.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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By FRANCO PANIZO

There might be 22 players that will try to improve their standings with the U.S. Men's National Team next week, but they are not the only ones attempting to make a deep final push for a spot on this summer's World Cup squad.

Several foreign-based players on the fringes of the full U.

Soccer Thursday: Your Running Commentary

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Aron Johannsson is looking to help AZ Alkmaar successfully defend their KNVB Cup title, but some stiff opposition stands in their way of making it back to the final.

AZ are set to host traditional Dutch powerhouse Ajax on Thursday in the semifinals of the competition and the winner of the match will move on to the championship game on April 19 against Wednesday's winners PEC Zwolle.

A look at the players who missed out on the latest USMNT roster

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By IVES GALARCEP

When the U.S. Men's National Team roster for the upcoming Mexico friendly was announced on Wednesday, there were a few names that stood out in their absence. Benny Feilhaber and Jose Torres were left out of the squad, raising serious questions about whether either still has a realistic chance of returning to the World Cup after playing in the 2010 tournament.

Reports: Gatt expected to have torn ACL again, out indefinitely

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By FRANCO PANIZO

March has been a brutal month for American players recovering from knee injuries.

According to several reports out of Norway, Josh Gatt suffered a knock in training recently and Molde FK believe it is the same ACL tear that the 23-year-old winger only recently recovered from.

Sermanni sees value in fresh USWNT call-ups

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By CAITLIN MURRAY

With nearly every camp the U.S. Women's National Team has had since coach Tom Sermanni took over, a new player has been called up to train with the senior squad – and next week will be no different.

As qualifiers for the 2015 World Cup loom seven months away, Sermanni is thinking even more long term, which means we shouldn't expect to stop seeing new faces with the USWNT.

Report: New details about Orlando City’s stadium made public

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By FRANCO PANIZO

David Beckham and his looming Miami franchise will not be the only MLS club in Florida to grab headlines for their planned stadium this week.

Following several days of Beckham making public appearances in the Sunshine State to try and convince government officials to allow him to build a soccer-specific stadium in PortMiami, new details regarding Orlando City's future home have been revealed via a report from local broadcast network WFTV.

Klinsmann talks sense or urgency, Bradley, Edu after latest USMNT roster reveal

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Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

For the U.S. Men's National Team, now is crunch time.

Following Wednesday's roster announcement for next week's friendly vs. Mexico, U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann talked about the importance of his final camp before World Cup preparations get underway in May in a video released by U.

Henry to meet former club Arsenal in Red Bulls’ July friendly

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Photo by Back Page Images/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Thierry Henry will have himself a special day this July.

The New York Red Bulls announced on Thursday that they will host Henry's former club Arsenal in a friendly at Red Bull Arena on July 26. The match is scheduled for a 5pm kickoff, and will see Henry face the club where he had some of the best years of his legendary career and scored a record 226 goals in all competitions.

Thursday Kickoff: UEFA adopt Nations League; Chelsea advance interest in Costa; and more

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By DAN KARELL

UEFA confirmed on Thursday the creation of the UEFA Nations League.

The once-rumored tournament was adopted by all 54 UEFA nations at the UEFA congress in Kazakhstan this week and will begin in 2018. The tournament will split the UEFA nations into four groups based on UEFA coefficient, with promotion and relegation between the groups.

Wednesday Evening Ticker: Valdes suffers torn ACL; Real Madrid falls again; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Victor Valdes' may have just played his final game in a Barcelona uniform.

The Barcelona goalkeeper, who announced last year that he would be leaving the club at the end of his contract, was carted off the field after 24 minutes with a serious knee injury on Wednesday in Barcelona's 3-0 victory against Celta de Vigo.

Americans Abroad: Wednesday Rewind

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Photo by Joe Toth/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

It was another disappointing day for struggling Sunderland, but there was a bit of good news from an Americans Abroad perspective.

Jozy Altidore got the nod for the Black Cats in Wednesday's 2-1 defeat to Liverpool, and the U.

Must-See Own Goal: Izaldo

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Roma announce development of new stadium

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By RYAN TOLMICH

Italian club AS Roma displayed on Wednesday the development of a new home stadium, Stadio della Roma, to be completed by the start of the 2016-17 Serie A season.

Roma, who currently sit second in Serie A, unveiled the new 52,500 seat "modern colosseum" Wednesday in an unveiling by club president James Palotta, who is based out of Boston.

Yedlin and Gil are in, Feilhaber, Torres and Magee left out of USMNT squad to face Mexico

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

Youngsters DeAndre Yedlin and Luis Gil were two of the few slight surprise inclusions in the U.S. Men's National Team roster announced on Wednesday to take on Mexico on April 2nd.

A team consisting mainly of MLS-based players, as well as Liga MX teammates DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Orozco and new USMNT commit Julian Green was revealed on Wednesday and there were few true surprises.

Pickens transferred to Rowdies days after Waiver Draft move

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By TATE STEINLAGE

Former Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Matt Pickens has been transferred to NASL side Tampa Bay Rowdies five days after being acquired by the New England Revolution via MLS Waiver Draft.

Sources tell SBI that Pickens move to the Rowdies in a $150,000 transfer that will earn the Revs $100,000.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 3

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By DAN KARELL

Toronto FC are finally living up to their fan's expectations.

After the busy and high-spending offseason, TFC have won their first two games of the season, including a 1-0 victory last Saturday with all three Designated Players, Michael Bradley, Gilberto, and goal-scorer Jermain Defoe playing key roles in the build-up to the goal.

Americans Abroad: Tuesday Rewind

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Photo by Paul Greenwood/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

For Tim Howard and Everton, Tuesday could not have been much been better.

The Toffees leapfrogged Tottenham and further solidified their place in next season's European competition by going on the road and picking up a 3-0 win against Newcastle United.

SBI MLS Best XI: Week Three

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By IVES GALARCEP

As much as Major League Soccer is now the home for many of the top established centerbacks in the U.S. Men's National Team player pool, you can make a good argument that the best central defender in the early weeks of the new MLS season is uncapped American Matt Hedges.

Wednesday Kickoff: Bayern crowned Bundesliga champions; UEFA to create new tournament; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Bayern Munich continue to make history.

The German super-club clinched the Bundesliga title with seven games remaining on Tuesday evening with a 3-1 victory at Hertha Berlin, breaking the record for the fastest-ever league title.

It's the club's 24th league title (23rd Bundesliga title) and first under manager Pep Guardiola.

LA Galaxy II’s Walker named USL Pro’s Week 1 Player of the Week

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By FRANCO PANIZO

LA Galaxy II midfielder Kenney Walker enjoyed quite a performance in the club's inaugural match, and he was named USL Pro's Week 1 Player of the Week as a result.

Walker was voted the winner of the initial award in the 2014 season for his one-goal, one-assist outing in a 3-1 triumph over the Orange County Blues.

Petke believes MLS clubs are making progress despite recent CCL struggles

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The hot topic surrounding MLS for much of the past week was how its clubs were struggling in the CONCACAF Champions League, and New York Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke had his turn to touch on the subject on Tuesday.

Soccer Monday: Your Running Commentary

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The upcoming weekend will not be the only time this week to view some worthwhile soccer.

Several interesting matches are on tap for a busy Tuesday slate of action, one that includes a highly-anticipated Manchester derby. Manchester United and Manchester City will square off at Old Trafford in a match that has serious implications for both.

Projecting the USMNT World Cup starting lineup

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By IVES GALARCEP

We are less than 12 weeks away from the 2014 World Cup, with the U.S. Men's National Team's opening match vs. Ghana fast approaching and plenty of questions still unanswered about the likely starters Jurgen Klinsmann will call on for that all-important match.

Sermanni names 24 players for upcoming USWNT friendlies vs. China

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Photo by Brad Smith/ISIphotos.com

Things may not have gone as well as the U.S. Women's National Team would have liked at the Algarve Cup earlier this month, but that has not stopped head coach Tom Sermanni from calling up the majority of the same players for a pair of friendlies in early April.

SBI MLS Save of the Week: Brian Perk

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

Shakira releases new World Cup song

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By FRANCO PANIZO

It might not be the official song for this summer's World Cup, but Shakira's new soccer track is sure to be on repeat throughout the competition.

Shakira released a new World Cup-inspired song titled "La La La" on Monday ahead of the start of the prestigious tournament in Brazil in June.

MLS announces Etihad Airways as official airline partner

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By FRANCO PANIZO

No stranger to the soccer world, Etihad Airways has entered a partnership with Major League Soccer.

MLS and Etihad Airways announced Tuesday that they have agreed to a multi-year partnership deal that sees the national airline of the United Arab Emirates become the official airline partner of MLS in the United States.

Reports: Beckham shares plan for soccer-specific stadium in Miami

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By FRANCO PANIZO

David Beckham has made a well-known secret officially public: He wants to build a soccer-specific stadium in PortMiami.

Beckham made his latest visit to Florida on Monday to talk to media about his plans to build a beautiful, 25,000-seat stadium on Dodge Island in downtown Miami.

SBI MLS Goal of the Week: Bernardo Anor

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Photo by Brad Smith/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Crew Notes: Anor takes advantage of Berhalter’s system; defense saves team again; and more

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By DAN KARELL

How does Columbus Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter get a performance like he did out of Bernardo Anor this week? Give him free rein to take chances.

"That's what the game is about," Anor told SBI. "We just have to try to shoot from everywhere and hope for something good to happen and that's exactly what happened today.

Tuesday Kickoff: World Cup venue in financial trouble; Prandelli extends with Italy; and more

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By DAN KARELL

The World Cup is only 79 days away from kicking off, but one city may need to pull out of the competition all together.

As cities scramble to finish some of the remaining World Cup venues, Porto Alegre faces a crucial vote that could decide the city's fate in the tournament.

Chelsea 6, Arsenal 0: Match Highlights

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MLS Ticker: Crew part ways with president McCullers; Revolution install new FieldTurf; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Columbus Crew owner Anthony Precourt is focused on the future.

After going through a busy offseason with plenty of change to the club, the Crew announced on Monday morning that president Mark McCullers had agreed to part ways with the club. McCullers will remain until April 30 to help with the transition but Precourt has taken over day-to-day duties effective immediately.

Real Madrid 3, Barcelona 4: Match Highlights

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SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Harrison Shipp

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By RYAN TOLMICH

The Chicago Fire were going to need a spark in order to have a chance of earning a result against defending MLS Supporters Shield winners New York Red Bulls on Sunday, and they received that spark from the team's least experienced player.

Shipp helped set up the Fire's only goal of the match, serving a perfect corner kick for Jeff Larentowicz to head home in an eventual 1-1 tie.

SBI MLS Team of the Week: FC Dallas

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By RYAN TOLMICH

A trio of goals in just 15 minutes were enough for FC Dallas to overwhelm Chivas USA 3-1 Saturday at Toyota Stadium.

Fabian Castillo, Je-Vaughn Watson and Michel all found the back of the net between the 71st and 86th minute for the hosts, who now sit undefeated atop the Western Conference.

The SBI Show: Episode 125 (Talking MLS Week 3, Americans Abroad, and more)

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By IVES GALARCEP

The 2014 MLS season is off to a surprising start, with some expected powerhouses stumbling out of the gate, and some surprise teams emerging to enjoy good beginnings to new eras.

In Episode 125 of The SBI, we discuss MLS Week Three, which featured the latest strong showings for the unbeaten Columbus Crew and FC Dallas, who are a combined 5-0-1 to start the new season.

FIFA approves Green’s request to play for USMNT

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By CAITLIN MURRAY

It is now official: Julian Green can play for the U.S. Men's National team.

FIFA has approved Green's change of association application, making him eligible to play for USMNT immediately, according to a tweet by U.

Red Bulls and Fire still looking for first wins after draw

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

The Chicago Fire and New York Red Bulls are both still looking for their first win after exchanging first-half set piece goals in Toyota Park Sunday.

It was only 21 minutes into the match, but Dax McCarty's equalizer on a scramble in the box was enough to secure a road point for the Red Bulls, bringing both teams to 0-1-2 on the season.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Bernardo Anor

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Columbus Crew have a new head coach, and several new faces, but it has been many of the returning players who have stepped up to help the team get off to a good start.

Count Bernardo Anor among that group. The young midfielder has stepped in nicely to help fill the void left by the retirement of Eddie Gaven, and his two goals on Saturday not only helped the Crew post an impressive 2-1 win against the Philadelphia Union.

USL Pro Week 1: A Look Back

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

Week one of the 2014 USL Pro season is in the books, and it brought plenty of action during opening weekend.

The LA Galaxy II lived up to the hype in their USL Pro debut at the StubHub Center as they went on to claim a 3-1 victory over the Orange County Blues FC on Saturday night in front of 1,259 fans.

Monday Kickoff: Ronaldo rips referee; Dante signs Bayern extension; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Cristiano Ronaldo was not a happy camper after his side fell to Barcelona in the latest rendition of El Clasico.

The Portuguese winger, who scored a penalty kick goal in the second half of the 4-3 Real Madrid defeat, blamed the loss on refereeUndiano Mallenco, claiming that La Liga referees always make calls against Real Madrid and that Mallenco was biased against them.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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Photo by Robin Parker/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

In the same week that long-time U.S. Men's National Team right back Steve Cherundolo retired, two players staked their claims as his potential long-term successor.

Geoff Cameron likely further convinced U.

Neagle anchors Sounders’ win over Impact

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Photo by Jane Gershovich/JaneG. Photography

By JASON MITCHELL

Apparently you can go home, even if you show up a day late.

Lamar Neagle, whose promising career with the Seattle Sounders has bookended a mostly forgettable 2012 season with the Montreal Impact, keyed the Sounders' 2-0 road win over his former team.

European Weekend Rewind: Messi leads Barca to Clasico win; Chelsea demolish Arsenal; and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

With their road form at an alarming low and their rivals on a blistering run through Spain, Barcelona needed something special to get back into the thick of the La Liga title race as they headed into the Santiago Bernabeu.

The defending champions got exactly what they needed in a Clasico for the ages thanks to their legendary goalscorer.

Liga MX Round 12: A Look Back

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By DANIEL PRICE

Club Tijuana followed up their impressive 4-2 CONCACAF Champions league win over LA Galaxy with a comprehensive 3-1 victory over Puebla. Three American players were on show, Edgar Castillo for the home side and DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Orozco for the visitors.

Beckham-led group unveils MLS stadium design showcasing downtown Miami

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

The case for a Major League Soccer franchise in Miami is about to get a little bit stronger.

David Beckham and the ownership group behind efforts to bring MLS to Miami will unveil stadium designs Monday, according to a report by the Miami Herald. The proposed stadium at PortMiami would feature an open-air design showcasing the city's skyline as a backdrop.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

All eyes will be on the famous Santiago Bernabeu stadium in the Spanish capital Sunday as Real Madrid host Barcelona in another installment of El Clasico.

First-place Real Madrid have not lost in La Liga since the first Clasico of the season back in October, and they hold a four-point lead over Barcelona heading into their second league meeting of the season.

Anor’s first-half goals lead Crew to victory vs. Union

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By DAN KARELL

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Columbus Crew benefited from a little bit of magic in their home opener. It just didn't come from the expected source, Federico Higuain.

Unheralded midfielder Bernardo Anor scored two goals, including a long-range blast in first-half stoppage time to help lead the Crew to a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union on Saturday evening in the team's home opener at Crew Stadium.

Two penalties in two minutes lead Rapids past Timbers

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By MIKE DONOVAN

The Portland Timbers saw their hopes of a road result disappear as the Colorado Rapids scored twice in a three-minute span to beat their Western Conference foe on a cold, snowy Saturday afternoon.

Vicente Sanchez and Deshorn Brown scored the goals, while Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts was sent off as Colorado defeated Portland, 2-0, in front of 15,135 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

Keane equalizer leaves Galaxy and RSL even at Rio Tinto

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By TYLER GRAY

SANDY, Utah In a top-tier battle of Western conference powers, the Los Angeles Galaxy and Real Salt Lake settled for a 1-1 draw Saturday, with Robbie Keane scoring the equalizer to help the Galaxy earn a road point.

Keane gave the Galaxy the equalizer in the 35th minute, dispossessing RSL defender Chris Wingert in the midfield.

Dwyer penalty kick boosts Sporting KC past Earthquakes

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By TATE STEINLAGE

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Sporting Kansas City needed only a Dom Dwyer penalty-kick to top the San Jose Earthquakes, 1-0, on Saturday to earn their first MLS victory of the season.

"It's nice," Dwyer said after the match about scoring the goal. "I think we really needed three points today.

Goncalves returns to Revs lineup after hashing out differences

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By KEVIN KOCZWARA

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. Part of the defensive solidarity seen in the New England Revolution's scoreless tie against the Vancouver Whitecaps came with the return of the team's captain Jose Goncalves, who was left off the game day roster in last weekend's 1-0 loss in Philadelphia to the Union.

FC Dallas maintains unbeaten run with home win vs. Chivas USA

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

The Oscar Pareja era at FC Dallas is off to a flying start in 2014, and Saturday night marked Chivas USA's turn to be the latest to find out just what sort of impact Pareja is having on his new team.

FC Dallas handed Chivas USA their first loss of the season with a commanding 3-1 victory in front of a crowd of 15,564 at FC Dallas Stadium on Saturday.

Defoe lifts Toronto FC past D.C. United

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By RYAN TOLMICH

Jermain Defoe scored his third goal in his first two games as a member of Toronto FC to lead his new club Saturday to a 1-0 victory over D.C. United at BMO Field.

Defoe's 60th minute finish proved to be just enough for the hosts, whose counterattack threatened throughout the afternoon.

Revs held to scoreless draw in home opener by Whitecaps

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By KEVIN KOCZWARA

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Revolution's scoreless streak to start their 2014 season continues after a draw Saturday against the Vancouver Whitecaps in the only regular season meeting between the two clubs.

"In the end, I was really happy how we played defensively," Revolution head coach Jay Heaps said after the game.

Sounders-Impact match postponed to Sunday due to inclement weather

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The Montreal Impact and Seattle Sounders will meet this weekend. It will just be a day later than originally planned.

The Impact announced Friday that their Saturday clash with the Sounders at Olympic Stadium has been moved to Sunday due to the inclement weather in the area.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

This busy Soccer Saturday will start with a bang in London as first-place Chelsea welcome third-place Arsenal to Stamford Bridge for a crucial match between English Premier League title contenders.

Chelsea have never lost a home league match under manager Jose Mourinho, and they will look to keep that streak and more importantly, their advantage atop the league intact as the Gunners visit West London.

MLS Match Week 3 (SBI Live Commentary)

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By IVES GALARCEP

Real Salt Lake and the LA Galaxy have already faced each other this season, but the Western Conference powers have been lined up as opponents again this weekend in the marquee match-up of MLS Week Three.

Nick Rimando single-handedly saved RSL in the season-opening meeting, but Real Salt Lake should be a tougher team to deal with at Rio Tinto Stadium as they face a Galaxy side that is coming off a disappointing CONCACAF Champions League exit last Tuesday against Club Tijuana.

Klinsmann speaks out on Dempsey’s suspension

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By DAN KARELL

Jurgen Klinsmann isn't a fan of Clint Dempsey's two-game suspension for violent conduct.

Major League Soccer announced on Friday that Dempsey was suspended for two games for an incident with Toronto FC defender Marc Bloom last Saturday, keeping Dempsey out of the Sounders lineup until April 12.

The SBI Show: Episode 124 (Talking Julian Green’s decision, MLS crashing out of CCL, and more)

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By IVES GALARCEP

Julian Green's decision to play for the U.S. Men's National Team was easily the biggest story of the month in American soccer and it's the lead topic in the newest episode of The SBI Show.

Episode 124 digs into Green's decision to play for the USA, and what it can mean for the national team going forward.

Dempsey, Palmer, Armando fined and suspended by MLS

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By DAN KARELL

Whether or not Seattle Sounders Designated Player Clint Dempsey meant to hit Toronto FC defender Mark Bloom below the belt last Saturday, he's suffering the consequences.

The Major League Soccer Disciplinary Committee announced on Friday that Dempsey has been suspended for two matches and fined an undisclosed amount for violent conduct.

MLS Ticker: Salgado loaned to Battery; Sounders break away from Seahawks; and more

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

Omar Salgado's search for playing time will take him to Charleston.

The Vancouver Whitecaps announced on Friday thatthey've sent the former No. 1 overall pick on-loan to the Charleston Batteryof USL Pro. Salgado's loan move is subject to the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC).

This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

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By DAN KARELL

The second installment of "El Clasico" takes center stage in soccer on TV this weekend.

Barcelona travels to Real Madrid with their season on the line. Media in Spain are already claiming that the winner of the match will win the title. Real Madrid currently lead La Liga with 70 points and lead Barcelona by four points with ten matches remaining.

MLS Week 3: A Look Ahead

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN ITEL

The Western Conference takes center stage in Week 3 of the MLS season, when rivals Real Salt Lake and the L.A. Galaxy clash in RSL's home opener at Rio Tinto Stadium (4 pm, NBCSN).

There was some worry in RSL's camp that the availability of goalkeeper Nick Rimando would be in question after he suffered a back spasm while making a save in the 22nd minute of their 3-3 tie Saturday against San Jose.

Liga MX Round 12: A Look Ahead

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By DANIEL PRICE

After the Liga MX sides comfortably dispatched their MLS opposition in the CONCACAF Champions League, domestic football returns this weekend with Round Twelve of the Clausura.

The tie of the round sees the league leaders Cruz Azul travel to Club Leon for a battle between two of the strongest Liga MX sides.

Friday Kickoff: Juventus drawn with Lyon; Roma to bid for Jovetic in summer; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Juventus' path to glory now goes through France.

The Italian side were drawn in the UEFA Europa League quarterfinal round on Friday with former French champions Lyon, with the two legs taking place on April 3 and April 10. Amazingly, the two clubs have never played each other in an official European competition

Also drawn in the quarterfinals were AZ Alkmaar with SL Benfica, FC Basel with Valencia, and FC Porto with Sevilla.

USL Pro Week 1: A Look Ahead

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

After a busy offseason, USL Pro is back with more teams and more Major League Soccer influence.

Three new expansion franchises will make their debut, including Oklahoma City Energy FC and Sacramento Republic FC, but all eyes should be on LA Galaxy II, the first MLS-owned team in USL Pro.

NYCFC unveils fan-selected club badge

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By DAN KARELL

In a public unveiling in Manhattan, New York City FC introduced the club's inaugural badge.

The badge, inspired by defunct New York City subway tokens and designed by Rafael Esquer of Alfafa Studios, was selected by fans in online voting between March 10-13 on NYCFC's website.

Bayern-Man United, Chelsea-PSG headline UCL quarterfinal draw

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By IVES GALARCEP

The stacked deck that is the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal draw always figured to produce some enticing match-ups, and Friday morning's draw did not disappoint.

Chelsea will face Paris St. Germain and FC Barcelona will meet La Liga foe Atletico Madrid in two of the more intriguing match-ups of the quarterfinal draw.

New York City FC Notes: Reyna gives stadium updates, brass talks player signings, and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

NEW YORK Future MLS expansion club New York City FC may still be working on finding a permanent home, but the same cannot be said about their search for a temporary stadium.

NYFCFC director of football Claudio Reyna spoke to reporters at the club's badge unveiling in Manhattan on Wednesday night, and he touched on a myriad of topics.

European Weekend Preview: El Clasico takes center stage; Chelsea host Arsenal; and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

With only four points separating Spain's two biggest rivals heading into the final 10 matches of the La Liga season, El Clasico will be must-see drama for soccer fans all over the world this weekend.

First-place Real Madrid's last defeat across all competitions came in the first El Clasico of the season, a 2-1 victory for Barcelona at Camp Nou.

Must-See Goal: Andrea Pirlo

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Video: Pirlo nets spectacular free kick

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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By FRANCO PANIZO

There are several Americans Abroad match-ups on tap this weekend, but none might be more interesting than than the royal rumble that could take place on Friday night in Mexico.

Puebla will make a visit to Estadio Caliente to take on Club Tijuana in a match thatcould feature up to as many as nine Americans.

UEFA Europa League: Your Running Commentary

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By FRANCO PANIZO

March Madness might garner a lot of attention stateside, but there is a European-based competition resuming that is worth some of the spotlight as well.

The UEFA Europa League is set continue on Thursday afternoon as the second legs of the Round of 16 are played, including Napoli's home game against FC Porto.

Union land Brazilian midfielder Fred through waiver draft

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After some uncertainty, the Philadelphia Union have landed the midfielder they were hoping to acquire.

The Union announced on Thursday that they have brought back Fred, the 34-year-old Brazilian who last played for the club during its inaugural season in 2010. Fredy was acquired via an MLS waiver draft and will join Philadelphia upon the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate.

Scorpions add two more former MLS players in Soto, Borrajo

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Photo by Michael Burns/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The San Antonio Scorpions' recent addition of Eric Hassli was a sign of things to come.

The Scorpions announced on Thursday that they have signed two more former MLS players, agreeing to deals with attacking midfielder Josue Soto and right back Jonathan Borrajo.

Torres scores beauty as Tigres routs Atlante in Copa MX

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Jose Torres has World Cup experience on his resume after taking part in the 2010 tournament in South Africa, and he looks to determined to play in another.

For the second time in three games, Torres found the back of the net for Tigres UANL in a 6-0 Copa MX mauling of Atlante on Wednesday night.

A look at Cherundolo’s retirement, and the void it leaves at the USMNT right back position

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By IVES GALARCEP

One of the best defenders in U.S. Men's National Team history called it a career on Wednesday when Steve Cherundolo announced his official retirement from the game at the age of 35.

Cherundolo's retirement might have come as a surprise to some, but not because he was too young or still at the peak of his game.

Reports: MLS’s referee lockout over after passing of new CBA

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Move on over, replacement referees. MLS's main officials are coming back.

MLS and the Professional Referees Organization (PRO) have reached an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement with the Professional Soccer Referees Association (PSRA), according to several reports.

Thursday Kickoff: Mourinho charged with improper conduct, Martinez shoots down recent Coleman reports, and more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho's decision to jump onto the field during Chelsea's 2-1 defeat at Aston Villa has him in hot water.

Mourinho was charged on Wednesday by the FA with improper conduct and could face a fine of £10,000.

Must-See Goal: Hulk

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UCL Rewind: Van Persie hat-trick completes United comeback; Dortmund through despite loss

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By DAN ITEL

A Robin van Persie hat trick rescued Manchester United and for the time being embattled head coach David Moyes in Wednesday's Champions League Round of 16 matchup against Olympiakos, giving his side a 3-0 win at Old Trafford that sees them through to the quarterfinals.

Earthquakes fall to Toluca in penalty kicks

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

The San Jose Earthquakes looked primed to be demolished on Wednesday night, missing eight starters and facing a dangerous Toluca side in Mexico with a patch-work defense. The Earthquakes figured to be blown out of the water.

Cruz Azul crush Sporting KC to send MLS champs crashing out of CCL

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By TATE STEINLAGE

Sporting Kansas City had no answer for Mariano Pavone and the rest of Cruz Azul in Wednesday's decisive second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.

Pavone tallied a hat-trick in under an hour to boost the Mexican side into the semifinals with a 5-1 (5-2 aggregate) victory, eliminating the last remaining Major League Soccer squad from the tournament.

MLS Ticker: Magee set for 2014 debut; Toronto approves BMO Field upgrade; and more

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By DAN ITEL

Mike Magee is expecting to make his season debut Saturday in the Chicago Fire's home opener against the New York Red Bulls, the reigning MLS Most Valuable Player told reporters Wednesday, while also taking the opportunity to dispel any rumors of a "bust-up" with head coach Frank Yallop.

SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 2)

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN ITEL

It may have been a disappointing result for Real Salt Lake, considering they conceded a stoppage time goal that led to a 3-3 draw on the road against the San Jose Earthquakes, but a point at Buck Shaw Stadium is never anything to scoff at.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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By RYAN TOLMICH

Fresh off of a 3-0 trouncing at the hands of Liverpool, David Moyes and Manchester United will have to erase a 2-0 deficit when they host Olympiacos Wednesday afternoon.

It's been a tumultuous year to say the least for Moyes' United. The reigning Premier League champions currently find themselves sitting in seventh, 12 points behind the all-important Champions League qualification that comes with fourth place.

Klinsmann expresses concern with treatment of USMNT players like Dempsey in MLS play

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN ITEL

The 2014 World Cup is fast approaching, and Jurgen Klinsmann's biggest fear has to be the thought of losing a key player to a serious injury. That would have made watching Clint Dempsey play last weekend against Toronto FC especially worrisome after, in Klinsmann's words, Dempsey was fouled repeatedly.

Klinsmann discusses Green’s USMNT decision

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Report: Chandler not expected to make Nurnberg return this season

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Timmy Chandler's season might be over, and so too could his dreams of playing in the 2014 World Cup.

According to a German report, FC Nurnberg head coach Gertjan Verbeek has said it is likely Chandler will miss the remainder of the current campaign and not return in the near future as had previously been expected.

Club Tijuana roll past Galaxy, book place in CCL semifinals

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By MARK EDWARD HORNISH

From the moment last week's first leg ended, the LA Galaxy's one-goal advantage against Club Tijuana felt like it wouldn't be enough to help the Galaxy survive a second leg trip to Tijuana.

Just 56 seconds into Tuesday night's second leg, that one-goal advantage was gone and the Galaxy were well on their way to becoming the latest MLS team to have their CONCACAF Champions League hopes ended south of the border.

Petke discusses Red Bulls’ need for creativity, Convey, and more

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By RYAN TOLMICH

New York Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke has every right to be frustrated.

The 2013 Supporters Shield champions were battered 4-1 in their opening matchup with the Vancouver Whitecaps. They followed that performance with a generally dominant effort against a young Colorado Rapids side, only to have a questionable penalty call cause them to walk away with just one point.

Wednesday Kickoff: Robben signs Bayern extension; Jese tears ACL; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Bayern Munich have locked down one of their core players for the next three years.

The German club announced on Wednesday that Arjen Robben has signed a new contract through June 2017, which will keep him at Bayern until he's 33-years old. Though contract details weren't disclosed, SportBild reported last February that Robben's salary would be around €8 million per season.

Report: Cherundolo likely to retire after battling persistent knee injuries

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By FRANCO PANIZO

After battling constant knee problems for much of the past year, Steve Cherundolo is apparently set to call it a career.

Hannover 96 has scheduled a press conference for Wednesday in which Cherundolo, the club's captain and longest-serving professional player, and president Martin Kind will be in attendance, according to a report from German outlet Neue Presse.

Onyewu sets up Sheffield goal in win over former club QPR

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Oguchi Onyewumade a statement for Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday, and he did so against the club that recently deemed him not good enough to see the field.

Onyewu helped Sheffield Wednesday post a cleansheet in a 3-0 victory over his former club Queens Park Rangers, and also assisted on the second goal in what was surely a memorable feel-good win for the veteran centerback.

Green files one-time switch after opting to play for USMNT

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Jurgen Klinsmann's MO since being appointed the head coach of the U.S. Men's National Team in 2011 has been to try and get as many dual nationals to play for the U.S. setup so as to not risking losing "the next Giuseppe Rossi."

Klinsmann has fared well in that regard, and on Tuesday he claimed another victory by getting a player with immense potential to commit to the American cause.

Scorpions sign former MLS DP forward Hassli

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Eric Hassli will be staying in Texas, after all. He just will not be with an MLS club.

The San Antonio Scorpions announced Tuesday that they have signed Hassli, 32, for the 2014 NASL season. Hassli, who recently parted ways with FC Dallas, reported to San Antonio on Tuesday and practiced with the club.

MLS Insider: The Battle for Southern California

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

Documentary series MLS Insider to return during 2014 season

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Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

If you were a fan of the MLS Insider documentary series that debuted last season, some good news has arrived.

MLS announced on Tuesday that the acclaimed weekly feature will be back in 2014. The series, produced by eight-time Emmy award winners Hock Films, is presented by adidas and each episode will debut on KICKTV as opposed to last year when the show initially aired on TV via NBC Sports Network.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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By RYAN TOLMICH

Tuesday is once again a Champions League day with a trio of second legs headlining a full night of action.

Chelsea legend Didier Drogba will make his return to Stamford Bridge when Turkish side Galatasaray heads to London for the second leg of their Champions League clash.

Sporting KC to host Manchester City in July friendly

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Photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Kansas City might not be hosting the MLS All-Star Game again in 2014, but that will not prevent a marquee European club from paying a visit to Sporting Park this summer.

Sporting Kansas City announced Tuesday that it will host a friendly against Premiership heavyweights Manchester City on July 23.

SBI MLS Save of the Week: Zac MacMath

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Photo by Brad Smith/ISIphotos.com

The SBI Show: Episode 123 (with special guests Will Bruin and Amobi Okugo)

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Houston Dynamo and Philadelpha Union have been two of the bigger surprises of the early part of the 2014 MLS season and two of the key figures behind their good starts are Will Bruin and Amobi Okugo.

Bruin has scored a league-leading three goals in two matches for the 2-0 Dynamo, while Okugo has helped the Union defense surrender just one goal in two matches in a 1-0-1 start.

Galaxy look to finish off Xolos in decisive CCL leg in Tijuana

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The LA Galaxy may be up a goal on aggregate, but they know that likely will not be enough if they wish to keep their CONCACAF Champions League dreams alive.

The Galaxy currently hold a 1-0 lead over Club Tijuana after a tight first quarterfinals leg at the StubHub Center in Los Angeles last week, but are set to travel approximately 135 miles south to try and see off the Xolos in the decisive match at what is expected to be a rowdy Estadio Caliente in Tijuana on Tuesday night.

Report: Julian Green to train with USMNT ahead of Mexico friendly

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By IVES GALARCEP

Julian Green's first experience with the U.S. Men's National Team appears to have gone well enough for there to be another.

The young Bayern Munich prospect will now be joining the USMNT ahead of the upcoming April 2 friendly against Mexico, SI.com reported on Tuesday.

SBI MLS Best XI (Week Two)

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Photo by John Todd/ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

Jermain Defoe's MLS debut grabbed the headlines in MLS Week Two, but it was actually the week of the defender in Major League Soccer as several centerbacks and fullbacks stepped up with memorable performances worthy of a place in the SBI MLS Best XI.

SBI MLS Goal of the Week: Kyle Beckerman

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Photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com

Tuesday Kickoff: Former FIFA VP received Qatar payment; Moyes losing support; and more

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Disgraced former FIFA Vice-President Austin "Jack" Warner is implicated in yet another controversy surrounding the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Warner and his sons were allegedly paid close to $2 million from a company owned by former Qatari FIFA official Mohammed Bin Hamman, according to a report by The Telegraph.

SBI MLS Team of the Week: Toronto FC

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By DAN KARELL

Toronto FC proved in their season opener last Saturday that the expensive transfers to sign Michael Bradley and Jermain Defoe were worth every penny.

Two quick-fire strikes from Defoe and a superb all-around performance from Bradley and others helped lead TFC to an impressive 2-1 victory at the Seattle Sounders.

Report: USMNT to face Czech Republic in September

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

U.S. Soccer is beginning to fill up their post-World Cup friendly dates.

According to the Czech Republic FA's website, the U.S. Men's National Team are set to face the Czech Republic in a friendly match in Prague on Wednesday, September 3.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: John Berner

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

Earning your first professional start brings with it enough nerves, but earning that first start as a goalkeeper taking on Thierry Henry and the New York Red Bulls made things that much tougher for Colorado Rapids rookie John Berner.

Timbers Notes: Facing another early deficit, Fernandez impresses, and more

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Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/Portland Timbers

BY MIKE DONOVAN

PORTLAND, Ore,- In 2013, the Portland Timbers started the season with two home matches, falling behind in both and leaving a bitter taste in the players' mouths. The 2014 season has seemed to start very similar for the Rose City.

Sam one of few bright spots for struggling Red Bulls

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By RYAN TOLMICH

The New York Red Bulls have had a rough start to their 2014 season.

It began with a 4-1 beating from the Vancouver Whitecaps in a game in which the Red Bulls never looked like they had a chance. The second game of the season saw a young Colorado Rapids side steal a point at Red Bull Arena.

Toronto FC’s stars shine in season-opening win

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Photo by Steven Bisig/USA Today Sports

By LEE PRINDLE

SEATTE Much was made in the offseason about the amount of money Toronto FC spent to revamp their roster.

Toronto's high-profile off-season signings made their highly-anticipated MLS debuts on Saturday in Seattle and they did so in style as Toronto FC beat the Sounders, 2 1, on the back of a Jermain Defoe double.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Jermain Defoe

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By IVES GALARCEP

As far as debuts go, Jermain Defoe turned in one of the better MLS debuts in a long time.

The English striker scored a pair of goals to help lead Toronto FC to an impressive season-opening 2-1 win against the Seattle Sounders, earning SBI MLS Player of the Week honors in the process.

Monday Kickoff: Gerrard talks up title chances; Benzema a doubt for El Clasico; and more

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Sitting just four points behind English Premier League leading side Chelsea after 29 matches, Liverpool are starting to believe that they can contend for the EPL title this season.

Few would have expected last August for Liverpool to be in second place at this point of the season but based on their current and recent performances, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard believes that the team can achieve the improbable and win the club's first title in 24 years.

Liga MX Round 11: A Look Back

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By DANIEL PRICE

Pumas UNAM hit five as relegation-threatened Atlante capitulated in the capital.

The Cancun-based side had picked up ten points from their previous four games and had moved into Liguilla contention yet they were thoroughly outclassed by a rampant Pumas and looked every bit a team fighting for their top flight survival.

Must-See Goal: Motaz Salhani

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Manneh equalizer saves point for Whitecaps vs. ten-man Chivas USA

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By DAN KARELL

After the Vancouver Whitecaps' impressive season opener, the team learned just how difficult it is to play on the road.

Playing in unseasonably hot temperatures in Southern California, the Whitecaps were only able to muster a 1-1 draw with Chivas USA on Sunday at the StubHub Center, despite playing with a man-advantage for more than 75 minutes.

European Weekend Rewind: Villa stun Chelsea; Messi breaks Barca scoring record; and more

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Photo by Joe Toth/ISIPhotos.com

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Chelsea may still have a lead atop the English Premier League, but the title momentum is no longer sitting with the Blues after a disastrous weekend trip to Villa Park.

A pair of second-half red cards and a fantastic back heel goal from Fabian Delph doomed first-place Chelsea to a 1-0 loss at Aston Villa on Saturday.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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Photo by Joe Toth/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Brad Guzan and Aston Villa entered their Saturday showdown with Premiership leaders Chelsea as heavy underdogs.

They left elated and as late winners.

The Villans surprisingly went into Stamford Bridge and handed Chelsea the first league loss in their last 15 matches by picking up a 1-0 victory that surprised plenty of observers.

Another Fernandez equalizer helps Timbers salvage point vs. Fire

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Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/Portland Timbers

BY MIKE DONOVAN

PORTLAND, Ore.- For the second consecutive week, an Eastern Conference team struck first against the host Portland Timbers. And for the second consecutive week, the home side was able to earn a draw courtesy of a Gaston Fernandez goal.

Bruin’s goal enough as Dynamo edge Impact

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The last time the Montreal Impact visited the Houston Dynamo, they saw star forward Marco DiVaio issued a red card for an ugly incident late in a playoff loss to the Dynamo.

Four months later, the Impact found themselves sorely missing DiVaio as the suspended striker's absence proved costly in a tightly-contested 1-0 Dynamo victory on Saturday.

Late Hedges equalizer earns FC Dallas draw, spoils Sporting KC’s home opener

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By TATE STEINLAGE

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Chad Barrett spoiled a result for Sporting Kansas City last weekend in the MLS opener against the Seattle Sounders. Saturday it was FC Dallas defender Matt Hedges who played the role of heartbreaker with his late header that helped spur the match to a 1-1 draw.

Bernardez brace secures point for Earthquakes in latest dramatic finish

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Photo by John Todd/ISIPhotos.com

By TYLER GRAY

The San Jose Earthquakes did it again.

Trailing 3-1 at halftime, the Earthquakes looked like they might be run off the field by visiting Real Salt Lake, but in what has become a common occurrence in San Jose, the Earthquakes found a way to battle back and earn a point when earning any kind of points seemed improbable.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

A pair of famous derbies in the English Premier League highlight this Soccer Sunday of action as Arsenal visit North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United host title-chasing Liverpool.

Both Tottenham and Arsenal both suffered tough results in European action this weekend, and they will be looking to set the record straight with a victory against their bitter rivals.

Defoe brace lifts Toronto FC over Sounders

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Photo by Jane Gershovich/JaneG. Photography

By JASON MITCHELL

SEATTLE From David Beckham to Thierry Henry, there's a long and well-documented history of highly-touted Designated Players needing time to adjust to life in Major League Soccer.

Apparently no one told Jermain Defoe.

LeToux winner leads Union past Revs

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By IVES GALARCEP

After an impressive showing in their season opener in Portland, the Philadelphia Union returned home to an PPL Park crowd eager to see their new-look team in action.

The Union didn't disappoint, controlling their match against the New England Revolution for much of the day on their way to a 1-0 victory against the Revs on Saturday.

Questionable PK helps Rapids earn draw at Red Bull Arena

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By RYAN TOLMICH

HARRISON, N.J. After last week's 4-1 thrashing at the hands of the Vancouver Whitecaps, the New York Red Bulls needed a spark to ignite the defense of their 2013 Supporters Shield. They started their match on Saturday well enough, but couldn't sustain that energy for the rest of the match, allowing the visiting Colorado Rapids to ride a questionable penalty kick call to a hard-earned road point.

MLS Match Week 2: SBI Live Commentary

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By IVES GALARCEP

Michael Bradley makes his return to Major League Soccer while the rest of the league gets its first glimpse at the new-look Toronto FC in today's MLS Week 2 action.

TFC travels to Seattle to take on a Sounders side coming off an opening-week victory.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Only two clubs have taken points from Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga this season, and the dominant defending champions of Europe and Germany will look for revenge on one of them this Soccer Saturday at the Allianz Arena.

First-place Bayern Munich hold a 20-point lead in the Bundesliga, and their quest for an unbeaten league season continues when third-place Bayer Leverkusen come to town.

Lichaj to undergo double hernia surgery, out indefinitely

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By DAN KARELL

Eric Lichaj received some devastating news on Thursday that will likely keep him out of consideration for the U.S. Men's National Team at the World Cup.

Nottingham Forest announced that Lichaj will soon undergo surgery for a double hernia, with no timetable for his return.

This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

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By DAN KARELL

It's said that a season is like a roller coaster of emotions, but for Bayern Munich, they've experienced such highs and lows in just one week.

Last Tuesday the club advanced in the UEFA Champions League with a strong performance at home to hold off Arsenal, but the club were stunned to see former president Uli Hoeness submit his resignation on Friday after being convicted of tax fraud.

SBI Live Q&A set for 1pm today

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By IVES GALARCEP

It's that time again. Time to talk all things soccer in the latest SBI Live Q&A

Join me at 1pm as we discuss everything from the MLS season to CONCACAF Champions League to UEFA Champions League. Want to talk about the U.S. Men's National Team? Even want to talk TV, maybe some True Detective or The Walking Dead?

Report: Gilberto ruled out for TFC match vs. Sounders

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By DAN KARELL

At least one Designated Player has been ruled out of Saturday's highly anticipated match between Toronto FC and the Seattle Sounders.

According to reports in Toronto, TFC will be without Brazilian forward Gilberto as he continues to recover from a hip flexor suffered in preseason.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

After a rough few months, Joe Corona is starting to turn things around at Club Tijuana.

Corona has moved past his recent spell of inactivity with Xolos and strung together a few solid performances, with his freshest outing coming in Wednesday's 1-0 CONCACAF Champions League loss to the LA Galaxy.

Friday Kickoff: Van Persie hopes for Man United extension; Hoeness resigns from Bayern; and more

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By DAN KARELL

After weeks of slow churning from the rumor mill, Manchester United forward Robin Van Persie has addressed rumors of him wanting to leave.

The Dutch international told Man United's match-day program United Review that contrary to reports, he's glad to be at Man United and he hopes that he can even extend his stay beyond June 2016, when his current deal ends.

The SBI Show: Episode 122 (Recapping mid-week CCL, previewing MLS Week 2, and more)

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By IVES GALARCEP

Major League Soccer teams went unbeaten in CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal action against Mexican clubs at mid-week, but the work is far from over as second legs loom.

In Episode 122 of The SBI Show, we look back at the two wins by MLS teams, with the LA Galaxy beating Club Tijuana and Sporting Kansas City edging Cruz Azul.

European Weekend Preview: Spurs host Arsenal; Bayern face Leverkusen; and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, two bitter North London rivals coming off disappointing results in European action, will square off in another fierce derby that will affect their respective hunts for the title and UEFA Champions League positioning.

Third-place Arsenal sit seven points behind league-leading Chelsea with a match in hand, but they will head to White Hart Lane this weekend missing several top players.

Liga MX Round 11: A Look Ahead

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By DANIEL PRICE

After Liga MX clubs suffered a disappointing week of continental football in the Copa Libertadores and CONCACAF Champions League, this weekend's fixtures provide a chance for the sides to get back to winning ways against domestic opposition.

The most exciting fixture of the weekend is arguably the head-to-head between the relegation-threatened Veracruz and Atlas.

Johannsson on target for 25th goal of season in Europa League win

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Aron Johannsson has moved one step closer to making history, and AZ Alkmaarhave benefitted as a result.

Coming off a two-goal performance over the weekend, Johannsson scored his 25th of the season across all competitions in a 1-0 victory over Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala in the opening leg of their Europa League Round of 16 series on Thursday.

MLS Disciplinary Committee fines Silva for diving

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Photo by Tony Quinn/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The MLS Disciplinary Committee is back and Luis Silva is the first to feel its wrath this season.

MLS announced on Thursday that the Disciplinary Committee unanimously agreed to fine Silva an undisclosed amount for diving in D.

Spotlight on DeAndre Yedlin

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By IVES GALARCEP

It isn't always easy to follow up an impressive rookie season in Major League Soccer. We have seen that be the case for several first-year standouts in recent years. DeAndre Yedlin has no intention of taking a step back though, he has only grown hungrier to succeed after that started with him being considered a low-profile rookie, and ended with him being called in to the U.

USL Pro announces Phoenix’s change in ownership, rebran

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Phoenix FC is no longer.

USL Pro announced on Thursday that the franchise rights for a club in Phoenix, Arizona have been acquired by Arizona United Soccer Club, a team that will be owned bylocal advertising executive Kyle Eng.

Arizona United SC will assume the schedule that was prepared for Phoenix FC, and it is expected that the new club will enter into an agreement with the city of Peoria to have its home games played at the Peoria Sports Complex Stadium, which seats just under 13,000 fans.

UEFA Europa League: Your Running Commentary

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Before the weekend action arrives, the UEFA Europa League returns to the spotlight with the first legs of it Round of 16.

Thirty-two teams enter the second round of the knockout phase of the competition on Thursday, and there are several mouthwatering match-ups that will be worth watching.

Klinsmann gives updates on current USMNT standing of Dempsey, Altidore, Green

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Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Clint Dempsey's form may not be where it was a year ago, but Jurgen Klinsmann is seeing progress nonetheless.

The U.S. Men's National Team head coach recently sat down with ussoccer.com to touch on the current standing of several players and said that he saw improvement from Dempsey during the recent three-day camp ahead of the Ukraine friendly earlier this month.

SiriusXM to offer live coverage of 2014 MLS season

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Photo by Joshua Weisberg/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

MLS is hitting radio airwaves this season.

MLS announced on Thursday that SiriusXM FC, SiriusXM's exclusive 24/7 soccer channel, will offer live nationwide coverage of the 2014 season.

Report: Shea not bitter over premature Barnsley exit

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Brek Shea may have had a premature exit at Barnsley, but has insisted he holds no ill will over what transpired at the club.

Shea touched on the topic Wednesday of his Barnsley loan being cut short three weeks before it was scheduled to end due to an incident that he had with one of the Tykes' fans in the aftermath of a 5-0 loss to Huddersfield Town on March 1.

Thursday Kickoff: Man City sweating over Aguero fitness; Hoeness sentenced to prison; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Manchester City's UEFA Champions League hopes were dashed on Wednesday, but they may have more bad news awaiting them when they return to England.

Star striker Sergio Aguero played only 45 minutes in Man City's second-leg match against Barcelona, leaving with a reported hamstring injury.

LA Galaxy vs. Club Tijuana: SBI Live Commentary

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By IVES GALARCEP

CARSON, Calif. The LA Galaxy take on Club Tijuana in CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal action at Stub Hub Center (10pm ET, Fox Soccer Plus/Galavision).

The battle for Southern California will see both sides fielding close to full-strength squads as they each look to take control of this two-leg series, which will conclude in Tijuana on Tuesday.

Ellis goal gives Sporting KC 1-0 CCL win vs. Cruz Azul

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By TATE STEINLAGE

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Sporting Kansas City's Kevin Ellis has been known as the hometown kid ever since he signed with the club in 2011. However, Wednesday night the defender was simply known as the hero, as his score helped give Sporting KC a 1-0 victory against Cruz Azul, and a slight edge heading into next week's second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals in Mexico City.

Samuel’s goal, Penedo’s saves, earn Galaxy first-leg triumph vs. Club Tijuana

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By MARK EDWARD HORNISH

CARSON, Calif. Judging by crowd noise, it seemed at kickoff that it was Club Tijuana, not the LA Galaxy, that enjoyed the home field advantage in this first leg of Wednesday night's CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal match.

The Galaxy changed that in the 11th minute when a Marcelo Sarvas long ball fooled the Xolos back line and sprung Robbie Keane loose in the penalty area.

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

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

The U.S. Men's National Team fell one place in the March FIFA Rankings to No. 14 following their 2-0 defeat to Ukraine.

Now sitting between No. 13 Greece and No. 15 Chile, the USMNT were penalized for their defeat last month.

UCL Rewind: Messi, Alves goals see Barca through; PSG cruises past Leverkusen

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By DAN ITEL

Barcelona got just what they needed and then some in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 matchup Wednesday against Manchester City, gutting out a 2-1 result at Camp Nou for a 4-1 aggregate win.

Buffeted by their 2-0 win two weeks ago in the first leg on Man City's home ground thanks to goals by Lionel Messi and Dani Alves, Barcelona put in stellar defensive performance and got insurance goals from the same two once again in front of nearly 86,000 loyal supporters.

MLS Ticker: Red Bulls sign Petke to new contract; Hedges signs FC Dallas extension; and more

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

All Mike Petke did in his first year as a head coach in Major League Soccer was lead the New York Red Bulls to a Supporters Shield, the first silverware in franchise history.

On Wednesday, the Metrostars/Red Bulls legend was rewarded for the 2013 season's success with a new contract to remain head coach.

Red Bulls sign Petke to new contract

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By DAN KARELL

All Mike Petke did in his first year as a head coach in Major League Soccer was lead the New York Red Bulls to a Supporters Shield, the first silverware in franchise history.

On Wednesday, the Metrostars/Red Bulls legend was rewarded for the 2013 season's success with a new contract to remain head coach.

Orlando City sign Redding as first MLS homegrown player

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

ORLANDO, Fla. — Orlando City SC might not be in Major League Soccer just yet, but that isn't stopping them from already working on their list of MLS homegrown players.

The Lions announced on Wednesday that they have signed U.S. Under-18 national team defender Tommy Redding as their first MLS homegrown player.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week One

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By DAN ITEL

The opening week of the 2014 MLS season wasn't kind to the teams considered the top title contenders heading into the new campaign.

The Portland Timbers, Sporting Kansas City and Los Angeles Galaxy all failed in their bids to start the season off with a win, stumbling out of the blocks while at least one title contender started the season in impressive fashion.

Roma to meet Liverpool at Fenway Park in July friendly

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By RYAN TOLMICH

AS Roma and Liverpool will return to Boston's Fenway Park for a July 23 exhibition match, Fenway Sports Management announced Wednesday.

The two clubs previously met on U.S. soil in 2012, playing in front of more than 37,000 fans at the home of Major League Baseball's Boston Red Sox.

Crew Notes: New-look back line impresses; Five players loaned to Dayton; and more

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

While the Columbus Crew's attackers took home the plaudits for the impressive goals scored in the Crew's 3-0 victory at D.C. United last Friday, the new-look defensive line also deserves plenty of credit for the win.

In their first MLS game together as a unit, the Columbus Crew's back line performed more like a well-oiled machine than a group of players who had never played together before this season.

Petke not keen on upcoming Supporters’ Shield celebration

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By FRANCO PANIZO

HANOVER, N.J. The New York Red Bulls have planned a Supporters' Shield celebration for just before their home opener this Saturday, and head coach Mike Petke is not all that keen on it.

A long-time member of the club who knows exactly the kind of struggle the Red Bulls went through to capture their first piece of silverware, Petke admitted after practice on Wednesday that he is not too thrilled about the banner presentation that will precede New York's home opener vs.

USWNT bounce back, cruise past North Korea in Algarve Cup finish

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

The U.S. Women's National Team have ended the Algarve Cup on a high note.

Bouncing back from two uncharacteristic losses, the USWNT finished off the tournament Wednesday with a convincing 3-0 win against North Korea.

It wasn't the showing the USWNT were hoping for at the annual tournament– they finished in 7th place overall, their lowest placement ever.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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By RYAN TOLMICH

Wednesday is a Champions League kind of day. A pair of UEFA Champions League second legs highlight the afternoon matchups, while two MLS sides begin their quarterfinal contests in the CONCACAF Champions League.

The European competition is headlined by the second edition of the heavyweight fight that is Barcelona vs.

A look at the USMNT World Cup team three months before the World Cup

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By IVES GALARCEP

The 2014 World Cup kicks off exactly three months from today, meaning the days are dwindling and time running out on players to round into form and make their pushes not only for a place on the U.S. World Cup team, but also the starting lineup.

In my latest Goal.

Arsenal phenom Zelalem called by Germany for U-17 Euro qualifying

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By DAN ITEL

Gedion Zelalem's international fate may be sealed, and it's not very good news for those hoping it would be with the U.S. Men's National Team.

The Arsenal phenom who was born in Berlin and is of Ethiopian descent, who also happened to have lived in the United States, has been named to Germany's U-17 squad for UEFA Euro qualifying.

Former MLS player Shawn Kuykendall dies after battle with cancer

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By DAN ITEL

Former D.C. United and New York Red Bulls midfielder Shawn Kuykendall died Wednesday morning after a nearly yearlong battle with a rare and incurable form of cancer.

He was 32.

Announced on his website, kuykenstrong.

Sporting KC emphasize home leg of CCL quarterfinals

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By TATE STEINLAGE

So, Cruz Azul is human after all. The Liga MX leader dropped its first match of the year this past weekend — a 3-0 beating at the hands of Tigres UANL.

However, the Mexican side is still a giant at home, unbeaten and having allowed just one — yes, one — goal in league play at Estadio Azul.

CCL Rewind: Gordon’s stoppage-time goal saves Earthquakes in draw vs. Toluca

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By DAN KARELL

On a night when not much seemed to be going their way, the San Jose Earthquakes were rewarded for their spirit and never-ending fight.

Alan Gordon, who had missed time recently while recovering from offseason foot surgery, came on as a second-half substitute and headed in a free kick for a goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

Wednesday Kickoff: Ozil suffers hamstring injury; Wenger calls Robben “a diver”; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Arsenal's midfield took another hit on Tuesday evening with the loss of Mesut Özil.

The German international was substituted at halftime of Arsenal's 1-1 draw at Bayern Munich and following the match, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger stated that Özil had suffered a serious hamstring injury.

Holden sidelined again, will miss 6-9 months after latest knee surgery

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Stuart Holden's bad luck with injuries has reared its ugly head yet again, with Bolton announcing on Tuesday that the U.S. National Team midfielder will miss 6-9 months after undergoing knee surgery.

The news marks the latest in a series of injury setbacks for the 28-year old, who will be facing his fifth lengthy injury recovery in four years.

Williams returns to Reading with knee problem

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By FRANCO PANIZO

When Danny Williams returned to Reading from U.S. Men's National duty last week, he did so with a bit of a knee issue.

Williams rejoined the Royals last week after making a substitute appearance in the Americans' 2-0 loss to Ukraine, but was held out of the club's 1-1 draw vs.

Report: Replacement referees to continue officiating MLS matches in Week 2

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Photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Get ready for Round 2 of MLS replacement referees.

According to a report from SI.com, the Professional Referee Organization (PRO) and Professional Soccer Referees Associating (PRSA) have yet to come to a resolution to end the regular league officials' lockout and that means that another week of replacement referees is in store for MLS.

Earthquakes bring back Stephenson, release Martinez

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Photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Khari Stephenson is officially once again a member of the Earthquakes.

San Jose announced Tuesday that it has brought back Stephenson a year after he left to play for Real Salt Lake. The 33-year-old Jamaican midfielder with experience playing in Europe and MLS played for the Earthquakes from August 2010 to the end of the 2012 campaign, compiling eight goals and eight assists in 69 regular season matches.

Sporting KC sign former Barca academy player Dovale

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By TATE STEINLAGE

Sporting Kansas City have locked in another former Barcelona youth product, announcing the signing of spanish midfielder Antonio 'Toni' Rodriguez Dovale Tuesday.

Dovale joins midfielder Uri Rosell as players on Sporting KC's roster who developed in part in Barcelona's youth system.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The second legs of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 series begin on Tuesday, and for Arsenal that means one last chance to salvage their hopes in the competition.

It will not be easy, though.

Arsenal will enter Allianz-Arena to take on red-hot Bayern Munich (3:45pm Fox Deportes/Fox Soccer 2Go) and try and overturn a 2-0 deficit.

SBI MLS Goal of the Week: Sebastian Fernandez

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The SBI Show: Episode 121 (Recapping MLS Week 1, talking Americans Abroad and more)

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By IVES GALARCEP

The opening week of the 2014 MLS season saw plenty of dramatic finishes, and impressive debuts and we recap it all in the latest episode of The SBI Show.

Episode 121 of The SBI Show takes a look back at all eight matches from the past MLS weekend, including Seattle's last-minute win against Sporting Kansas City, and Vancouver's impressive throttling of the New York Red Bulls.

SBI MLS Save of the Week: Nick Rimando

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Photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com

Earthquakes aim to knock off Toluca in first leg of CCL quarterfinals series

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By FRANCO PANIZO

For the San Jose Earthquakes, there is no time to shake off the preseason cobwebs because aCONCACACAF Champions League bout awaits.

The Earthquakes may not have played in opening weekend of the 2014 MLS season because of a bye in the schedule, but that will not stop them from having the difficult task of hosting a Toluca side in midseason form in the opening leg of their Champions League quarterfinals series.

Under siege at Algarve Cup, USWNT performance raises questions

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

It's safe to say the 2014 Algarve Cup probably hasn't been what the U.S. Women's National Team expected.

As if a 1-0 loss to Sweden to break the USWNT's 43-game unbeaten streak wasn't uncomfortable enough, the No. 1 FIFA-ranked Americans got crushed in a 5-3 rout by No.

Olympiacos to meet AC Milan at Citi Field as part of Guinness International Champions Cup

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Photo by Paul Greenwood/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

You can add another game to the long list of summer matches being played in the United States.

Relevent Sports announced on Tuesday that Greek club Olympiacos will take on AC Milan at Citi Field in New York on July 24.

Tuesday Kickoff: Neymar case “embarrassing” to Barcelona; Inter target Torres; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Since the start of the year, Barcelona have seen their form dip on and off the field.

On the field, the club have lost each of their previous two road matches, first to Real Sociedad and second to Real Valladolid, while off the field the club has dealt with the Neymar transfer tax fiasco.

Morgan still unsure as to when she will return from injury

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The injury that has kept Alex Morgan largely out of action since October is not progressing as fast as she would hope.

Speaking to reporters as the Portland Thorns began preparing for the start of NWSL's second season, Morgan gave an update on her left ankle knock by saying she does not know when she will be able to return to the field.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Thomas McNamara

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIPhotos.com

By RYAN TOLMICH

Chivas USA Rookie Thomas McNamara wasn't a first-round pick in the 2014 MLS Draft, but he played like one in his professional debut.

The 23-year-old second-round selection scored Chivas USA's second goal in a 3-2 victory against Chivas USA.

MLS Ticker: Johnson signs Timbers extension, Earthquakes add Portuguese winger, and more

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By RYAN TOLMICH

Portland Timbers captain Will Johnson will extend his stay with the club, according to team owner Merritt Paulson.

Johnson joined the Timbers prior to last season before having his best year as a professional by scoring eleven goals in all competitions.

SBI MLS Team of the Week: Vancouver Whitecaps

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By RYAN TOLMICH

It's hard to imagine a better start to the 2014 MLS season for the Vancouver Whitecaps, as a 4-1 thrashing of 2013 Supporters Shield winners New York Red Bulls has earned the Whitecaps honors as this season's first SBI MLS Team of the Week.

The Whitecaps completely outclassed the opposition behind a brace from Kenny Miller.

Shea loan cut at Barnsley short following fan incident

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By RYAN TOLMICH

U.S. Men's National Team winger Brek Shea had his loan stint with English League Championship side Barnsley cut short after a post-match incident involving fans. Shea will return to Premier League club Stoke City, despite the fact his loan stint having been extended to April 3 back in January.

Mid-Day Ticker: Strootman out of World Cup; Bayern president admits to tax evasion; and more

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By DAN KARELL

A serious knee injury has robbed the 2014 World Cup of another star player.

The Netherland's World Cup hopes took a huge hit on Monday with news that AS Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during Roma's 1-0 defeat at Napoli.

USWNT defense battered, surrenders record five goals in loss to Denmark

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

Before the U.S. Women's National Team's 2014 opener, coach Tom Sermanni declared that the last year had been for experimenting last year and the USWNT will switch its focus on getting results. With that in mind, Sermanni will probably be leaving the Algarve Cup with some concerns.

MLS Week One: A Look Back

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By IVES GALARCEP

There were goals galore, and a slew of impressive debuts from new faces in an opening week that gave plenty of fans reason to be optimistic about the 2014 MLS season.

Opening wins by Vancouver, Columbus and Chivas USA helped all three teams start the year in impressive fashion as all three embark on a new campaign with reconstructed rosters and new head coaches.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Nick Rimando

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By IVES GALARCEP

There were goals galore in the opening week of the 2014 MLS season, but the best performance of the weekend was turned in by someone who kept goals from finding the net.

Nick Rimando turned in a masterful effort in goal for Real Salt Lake last Saturday, making nine saves, including a last-second penalty kick save, to help RSL post a 1-0 victory against the Galaxy.

NYCFC unveil two club badge designs, ask fans to vote

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By DAN KARELL

New York City FC are leaving the future badge of the club in their supporters hands.

On Monday, NYCFC revealed two badge designs created by Alfalfa Studio's Rafael Esquer and asked fans to vote to decide which design will become the club's official badge.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

In sore need of boosting his quickly-fading World Cup chances, Jose Torres enjoyed a goal-scoring performance that just might grab the attention of U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann ahead of next month's friendly vs. Mexico.

Torres netted his first league goal since joining Tigres UANL in 2012 on Saturday, capping the scoring in the club's surprise 3-0 triumph over Liga MX leaders Cruz Azul.

European Weekend Rewind: Man City upset by Wigan in FA Cup; Barcelona lose again; and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

For the second straight season, Manchester City's dreams of a FA Cup title died at the hands of some unlikely underdogs.

Wigan Athletic defeated Manchester City 2-1 Sunday in a rematch of the 2013 FA Cup final, when the now-Championship club netted a late goal to pull off a stunning upset at Wembley Stadium.

Liga MX Round 10: A Look Back

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By DANIEL PRICE

Cruz Azul suffered their first defeat of the season as ten-man Tigres UANL took a deserved 3-0 victory on Saturday evening in Monterrey.

The visitors found themselves behind within the first ten minutes. Cruz Azul defender Manuel Madrid hauled down Alan Pulido in the penalty area, and the Brazilian Juninho made no mistake from the resultant spot kick.

ESPN announces USMNT documentary series to debut in May

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By RYAN TOLMICH

Ahead of this summer's World Cup, ESPN will produce a five-part series on the U.S. Men's National Team titled"Inside: U.S. Soccer's March to Brazil". The series, which debuts in May, will air weekly on ESPN and will offer fans a look into the preparations leading up to this summer's tournament in Brazil.

Rimando’s virtuoso performance one of the best of MLS Week One

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By TYLER GRAY

On a night full of outstanding saves, it was Nick Rimando who shined the brightest in the end.

Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, and RSL's Rimando, had quite the battle Saturday night with each goalkeeper making multiple highlight-worthy saves. The match seemed destined to be a draw until RSL forward Joao Plata decided to make his mark.

D.C. United not blaming referee for season-opening loss

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By CLIFF STARKEY

WASHINGTON- It didn't take long for referee Andres Pfefferkorn to thrust himself into the middle of the ‘replacement ref' headache that MLS had been seeking to avoid. However, unlike many fans at RFK Stadium, Coach Ben Olsen and his players are not pinning Saturday night's 3-0 loss to the Columbus Crew on Pfefferkorn's whistle.

Stoppage time goal lifts Sounders over Sporting KC

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Photo by Jane Gershovich | JaneG Photography

By JASON MITCHELL

SEATTLE Defending champion Sporting Kansas City, resting multiple starters ahead of a big midweek match, nearly escapedrainy CenturyLink Field with a draw in the 2014 MLS season opener. A pair of Seattle newcomers sent them home without a point.

Sporting KC give up another late goal to Sounders, say it’s not a trend

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By TATE STEINLAGE

SEATTLE, Wash. — Second-half stoppage time has become the Seattle Sounders' best friend, and Sporting Kansas City's worst enemy.

After allowing a 94th minute goal last year to the Sounders at home, Sporting KC experienced deja vu in Saturday's MLS opener at CenturyLink Field when forward Chad Barrett struck from inside the box to give the home side a 1-0 victory.

Higuain’s goals lead Crew to road win at D.C. United

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By DAN KARELL

Gregg Berhalter had himself a debut he'll never forget.

In Berhalter's first match as an MLS head coach and with his team facing Eastern Conference foe D.C. United, the Columbus Crew put together a complete game on the way to a 3-0 victory in their season opener on Saturday evening at RFK Stadium.

Dynamo rout Revolution behind Bruin brace

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By RYAN TOLMICH

Will Bruin entered the 2014 MLS season with a point to prove, and he got off to an ideal start on Saturday evening.

The Houston Dynamo kicked off the 2014 MLS season in stunning fashion, thrashing the New England Revolution, 4-0, at BBVA Compass Stadium in downtown Houston.

Timbers stoppage-time goal salvages draw with Union

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By MIKE DONOVAN

The Philadelphia Union came into Portland Saturday night and found themselves just one clearance away from taking all three points from the host Timbers.

But unfortunately for Philadelphia, they could not find that clearance, as Gaston Fernandez scored on the last kick of the match to steal a point away from the Union.

Higuain scores twice as Crew rout D.C. United

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By MITCHELL NORTHAM

WASHINGTON It may have been the season opener for Columbus Crew and D.C. United but it was Columbus who looked to be in mid-season form Saturday night at RFK Stadium.

Led by Frederico Higuain's brace, the Crew notched a 3-0 away victory over a helpless D.

FC Dallas hold off Impact in five-goal thriller

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By DAN KARELL

If Saturday night was a sign of what's to come this season in Major League Soccer, fans should be ready for breathless end-to-end action.

At Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, the fans were treated to a goal-fest and got their money's worth as FC Dallas took down the Montreal Impact, 3-2.

Whitecaps FC crush Red Bulls 4-1 in season opener

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By DARCY GREEN

In front of a sellout crowd of 21,000 fans at BC Place, Vancouver Whitecaps FC crushed the visiting New York Red Bulls 4-1 in a thrilling offensive onslaught by the home side.

A brace by striker Kenny Miller and second-half goals by Sebastian Fernandez and Pedro Morales gave Carl Robinson his first win as the Whitecaps coach and kept Vancouver unbeaten in season openers since they joined MLS in 2011.

Rimando the star as RSL earns road win vs. Galaxy

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By MARK DAVID HORNISH

CARSON, Calif. If the LA Galaxy hope to chase away the ghosts of their disappointing 2013 campaign, it appears that a retooled lineup will not alone solve that problem.

The inability to finish, and the willingness to surrender late goals, haunted them once again, as Kyle Beckerman sprung Joao Plata for a winning goal in the 81st minute to give RSL a hard fought 1-0 road victory at packed Stub Hub Center on a balmy Saturday night.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Juventus will kick off this Soccer Sunday with a chance at revenge against the only team they have lost to in their quest for a third straight Serie A title fourth-place Fiorentina.

First-place Juve lost 4-2 to the Viola in their first meeting this season, but they have been unbeatable in league play since that October match.

Rapids name former captain Mastroeni head coach

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

The Colorado Rapids wanted to hire a club legend to be their next head coach. On Saturday, they did just that.

The Rapids announced that former captain and midfielder Pablo Mastroeni has been named the team's head coach, just one week before the Rapids play their season opener.

Johannsson scores twice as AZ rout Heracles

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By DAN KARELL

Even with Jozy Altidore struggling at Sunderland, one of the U.S. Men's National Team's forwards is firing on all cylinders.

AZ Alkmaar forward Aron Johannsson scored his 15th and 16th goals of the Eredivisie season on Saturday as his side defeated Heracles, 4-0.

MLS Match Week 1: SBI Live Commentary

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The 2014 MLS season kicks off today, with seven matches from coast to coast.

Sporting Kansas City will begin defense of their MLS Cup title with a visit to CenturyLink Field to take on the new-look Seattle Sounders (3pm ET).

The evening's slate features some exciting clashes, with the Los Angeles Galaxy playing host to Real Salt Lake, the team that eliminated them from the 2013 playoffs.

Sounders Notes: Schmid Defends Dempsey; FieldTurf Deteriorating; and More

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By JASON MITCHELL

Clint Dempsey played more than 90 minutes in Cyprus for the United States Men's National team on Wednesday, arrived in Seattle on Thursday, and joined the team for practice on Friday.

Despite the travel and the short turnaround, Sounders fans can expect to see at least a bit of Dempsey in Saturday's season-opening match against defending champion Sporting KC.

MLS announces rule changes to playoffs, salary figures

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

On the eve of the 2014 Major League Soccer season opener, the league announced some new rule changes for the upcoming year.

While five teams in each conference will still qualify for the postseason, MLS announced that away rules will be taken into account if the score is tied on aggregate after 180 minutes of a two-legged series.

The 2014 MLS Season Kickoff (SBI’s full season preview coverage)

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

The 2014 MLS season is almost here, and if you need to catch up on all the information surrounding the new season, SBI is your place.

Whether it's The SBI Show versions of the Eastern and Western Conference previews, or all 19 SBI MLS Team Previews, or award predictions from SBI staff and Goal.

Sporting KC well aware of challenges ahead of MLS opener

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By TATE STEINLAGE

TUKWILA, Wash. — You could call Sporting Kansas City's opening stretch of five matches in 15 days a number of things. The team, however, will stick with "difficult."

The defending Major League Soccer champions kick off the regular season Saturday on the road against the Seattle Sounders in their home opener.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

While many fans in the United States eagerly anticipate the start of the 2014 Major League Soccer season, the busy Saturday of action will begin with several important matches in England.

Chelsea will look to extend their lead in the English Premier League when fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur visit Stamford Bridge, where Blues manager Jose Mourinho has never lost a league match.

MLS Week 1: A Look Ahead

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By DAN ITEL

The 2014 MLS season opens Saturday with a blockbuster matchup between defending MLS Cup champion Sporting Kansas City and the team that many expected to be hoisting the trophy, the Seattle Sounders.

And heading into the upcoming season, both teams are expected to be among the best in the league once again.

SBI MLS Preseason Power Rankings

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By IVES GALARCEP

As worthy a champion and strong a squad as Sporting Kansas City is heading into the 2014 MLS season, you don't get the sense that the reigning MLS Cup champions are a lock to repeat. Lifting the trophy two years in a row is not going to be an easy task with so many already-stacked teams revamping their rosters for the title chase.

SBI MLS Season Preview: Our pre-season picks for the 2014 MLS awards

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By DAN KARELL

We're just hours away from the start of the 2014 Major League Soccer season, and it's time to start predicting who will win the bevy of end-of-season awards.

The writing staff at SBI came together and voted on who we think will win the major awards in 2014, with Toronto FC Designated Player Michael Bradley taking our vote for MLS Most Valuable Player.

MLS to start season with replacement refs

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BY RYAN TOLMICH

The 2014 MLS season will kick off without the presence of its usual officials after the union that represents professional referees officially announced a lockout effective today.

The Professional Referee Association (PRO) announced this morning that, after months of negotiations, they would be locking out its match officials after the Professional Soccer Referees Associations (PSRA) rejected a no strike/no lockout agreement.

Liga MX Round 10: A Look Ahead

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By DANIEL PRICE

After the Mexican national team played out an entertaining draw against Nigeria on Wednesday evening, Liga MX returns this weekend with a full round of fixtures.

The highlight of Round 10 sees Club Tijuana host Chivas de Guadalajara in the Estadio Caliente.

This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

There's plenty of soccer on TV this weekend with Major League Soccer returning and some big games abroad.

The campaign for the FA Cup continues with Arsenal set to host Everton for the quarterfinal match Saturday. Everton has never won at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium, having drawn in their last two visits, but they will be traveling to face an Arsenal side still feeling the sting of their league defeat against Stoke City last weekend.

USWNT unbeaten streak ends in loss to Sweden, former coach Sundhage

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By CAITLIN MURRAY

A two-year unbeaten streak for U.S. Women's National Team is over.

Sweden defeated the USWNT 1-0 at the Algarve Cup in Portugal Friday on a spectacular header from Lotta Schelin and a missed penalty kick from Abby Wambach.

MLS catches up to MLB in popularity among young Americans, poll finds

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

The future of MLS is looking bright – at least according to a new poll out by ESPN.

MLS has caught up with Major League Baseball in popularity among Americans aged 12 to 17 as both leagues have 18 percent of that demographic calling themselves avid fans.

Red Bulls continue building; sign Duvall, Oyongo, Stevenson

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

With one day to go before their season starts, the New York Red Bulls have signed three players. Defenders Chris Duvall and AmbroiseOyongo and midfielder Eric Stevenson have joined the club, the Red Bulls announced Friday.

Duvall, 22, was selected 22nd overall in the 2014 SuperDraft while Stevenson, 23, was New York's 34th pick.

Friday Kickoff: PSG and Real Madrid battle for Pogba; Wilshere “very down” from injury; and more

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By DAN KARELL

French midfielder Paul Pogba could be the most sought after transfer target of the summer.

Both Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain have made the 20-year-old Juventus man their No. 1 target this summer, and according to a report in Gazzetta Dello Sport, PSG presidentNasser Al-Khelaifi has already met in person with Juventus president Andrea Agnelli.

European Weekend Preview: First-place Chelsea host Tottenham; Juventus face Fiorentina; and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

With fellow title contenders Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool off from English Premier League action, Chelsea have a perfect opportunity this weekend to get one step closer to the title.

The first-place Blues, who are on a 13-match unbeaten run in EPL play, will head into Saturday's clash against fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur with a 4-point lead on second-place Arsenal.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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By FRANCO PANIZO

If a short turnaround did not already make things difficult enough for Tim Howard, his opponent this weekend surely will.

Coming off a strong performance in the U.S. Men's National Team's 2-0 defeat to Ukraine on Wednesday, Howard will look to lead Everton into battle as the Toffees visit Arsenal in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup.

The SBI Show: Episode 120 (Previewing MLS Week 1 and MLS Award Predictions)

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By IVES GALARCEP

We are one day away from the official start of the MLS season, and the latest episode of The SBI Show takes a look at all of the opening week action across Major League Soccer.

Episode 120 features a look at all eight match-ups, including Sporting Kansas City's visit to CenturyLink Field, and the Philadelphia Union's trip to Portland.

SBI MLS Preview: Philadelphia Union

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

While other clubs preferred to make headline-grabbing signings this offseason, the Philadelphia Union took their time and for the most part stayed under the radar.

Coming off a season where they finished three points outside of a playoff spot, manager John Hackworth, Union CEONick Sakiewicz, and technical director Rob Vartughian took their time and did their due diligence on re-working their flawed lineup.

U.S. U-17 MNT releases roster for Pacific Northwest tour

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By RYAN TOLMICH

U.S. U-17 Men's National Team regulars Haji Wright, Christian Pulisic, and Alejandro Zendejas were selected by head coach Richie Williams in 20-player squad that is set to begin a three-match tour of the Pacific Northwest from March 7-18.

SBI MLS Season Preview: Chicago Fire

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Photo by Brad Smith/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

A season-finale result away from reaching the playoffs, the Chicago Fire have had quite the makeover this offseason.

Gone is head coach Frank Klopas and in his place is Frank Yallop, the seasoned manager who led the Earthquakes to two MLS Cup last decade.

MLS Ticker: Johnson signs DP deal with DCU, Red Bulls announce TV deal, and more

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Photo by Tony Quinn/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

D.C. United has shown Eddie Johnson the money.

Johnson has signed a deal with D.C. United as a Designated Player, the club announced on Thursday. The move was expected almost immediately after Johnson joined D.

In aftermath of latest setback, Bolton boss Freedman praises injured Holden

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Stuart Holden's latest setback might be deeply discouraging, but Bolton Wanderers head coach Dougie Freedman has given his oft-injured player a vote of confidence in the aftermath of Monday's news.

Freedman touched on Holden's early withdrawal from Monday's Under-21 game vs.

SBI MLS Season Preview: Real Salt Lake

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By TYLER GRAY

While many MLS teams retooled their rosters in the offseason, Real Salt Lake mostly retained the group that came within penalty kicks of winning the 2013 MLS Cup.

The changes happened along the sideline, where RSL lost one of the league's best head coaches in Jason Kreis.

Report: USMNT to face Azerbaijan, Turkey and Nigeria in World Cup send-off series

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. Men's National Team will take on Azerbajian, Turkey and Nigeria in their pre-World Cup send-off series, SI.com reported on Thursday.

According to the Sports Illustrated website, The Americans will face Azerbaijan at the Rose Bowl on May 27th before traveling to New Jersey to face Turkey at Red Bull Arena on June 1.

The SBI Fantasy MLS League is Back

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By IVES GALARCEP

The 2014 MLS season is just two days away and it's time to get your MLS Fantasy Teams in order for the new campaign.

The Official SBI Fantasy MLS League is back, and if you want to compete with a stacked list of competitors, this is a league you want to be a part of.

Red Bulls Notes: De Bontin’s departure takes brass by surprise, Henry praises Luyindula, and more

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

NEW YORK Media and fans were not the only ones surprised by the recent departure of New York Red Bulls general manager Jerome De Bontin.

The club was, too.

Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh and head coach Mike Petke both stated at the club's Media Day on Tuesday that they were shocked to learn earlier this week that De Bontin had left his post.

The SBI Show: Episode 119 (Talking the USMNT loss to Ukraine, previewing the MLS Western Conference)

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By IVES GALARCEP

The U.S. Men's National Team delivered one of the more forgettable performances of the Jurgen Klinsmann era, and Wednesday's 2-0 loss to Ukraine has surely cost some prospective World Cup roster candidates any chance of making the trip to Brazil.

Episode 119 of The SBI Show takes a look back at the USMNT loss to Ukraine, and breaks down which players hurt their stock the most, and which players helped their stock the most.

Report: Pearce inks deal with Impact

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Photo by Andrew Katsampes/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

After a bit of uncertainty, Heath Pearce has a found a home in MLS,

Pearce has signed a deal with the Montreal Impact just ahead of the beginning of the 2014 season, according to a report from Goal.

Report: Lichaj could miss up to a month due to latest injury setback

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By IVES GALARCEP

When Eric Lichaj left his first match in a month after just 45 minutes, there was reason to be concerned that he had suffered another setback.

He did, and he may require surgery that could cost him a month of playing time at a crucial time.

According to Sky Sports, Lichaj could wind up missing up to a month as he battles a groin injury that looks like it will require surgery.

Thursday Kickoff: Neymar scores hat-trick in Brazil win; Anelka won’t appeal FA decision; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Brazilian fans should be brimming with confidence about their national team heading into the 2014 World Cup.

Playing at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, the site of the 2010 World Cup final, Brazil routed South Africa, 5-0, in the final friendly match before the World Cup rosters will be announced.

SBI MLS Season Preview: D.C. United

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BY MITCHELL NORTHAM

Entering the 2013 Major League Soccer season, some fans, experts and pundits pegged D.C. United as the favorites to win the Eastern Conference. Others saw them as legitimate contenders and some just saw them as a team that would be competitive.

Few, if any, predicted the absolute collapse D.

Ukraine 2, USMNT 0: Match Highlights

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Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

D.C. United Notes: Korb undergoes surgery, Seaton scores for Jamaica, and more

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By MITCHELL NORTHAM

The first bit of significant injury news of the season was confirmed by D.C. United yesterday when the club announced that defender Chris Korb had an arthroscopic procedure performed on his left knee to repair cartilage.

Korb, who was pegged to be the team's top reserve at both fullback positions, is expected to miss three to four weeks recovering from the surgery.

SBI MLS Season Preview: Seattle Sounders

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By JASON MITCHELL

The beginning of the end, majority owner Joe Roth said in December, was the last weekend in September.

It's a story most Sounders fans probably don't want to hear again, but one that bears repeating, if only because the story sculpted the 2014 roster.

SBI MLS Season Preview: Toronto FC

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BY RYAN TOLMICH

Toronto FC's story is a much publicized one.

Since joining the MLS in 2007, TFC have never had a winning record and never made the playoffs. It has been a history of disappointment, failure and, to put it kindly, mediocrity.

2013 was more of the same for TFC.

SBI USMNT Man of the Match: Alejandro Bedoya

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN ITEL

If there was a bright spot in the U.S. Men's National Team's uninspired performance from Wednesday's 2-0 defeat in a friendly against Ukraine, it was Alejandro Bedoya.

In a game that featured a disjointed back-line performance and a punchless showing by central attackers Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore concerning indeed for the USMNT's hopes in Brazil it was Bedoya on the right wing who appeared to be the most dangerous in the Yanks attack.

USMNT flops in friendly loss to Ukraine

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN ITEL

The U.S. Men's National Team might have wished Wednesday's friendly with Ukraine was canceled after all.

In a lackluster performance highlighted by the disastrous center back pairing of Oguchi Onyewu and John Brooks Ukraine jumped all over the Yanks in a 2-0 victory atStadio Antonis Papadopoulos in Larnaca, Cyprus.

MLS Ticker: Season to start without referees, Whitecaps sign Morales, and more

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By DAN ITEL

Major League Soccer's regular season opening day may go on without its referees if a labor deal isn't reached by the weekend.

Commissioner Don Garber said Tuesday that the league has a plan in place to play games if the referee's union, the Professional Soccer Referee Association, fails to reach a deal with the Professional Referee Organization, the body created by the U.

USMNT vs. Ukraine (SBI Live Match Commentary)

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By IVES GALARCEP

The U.S. Men's National Team takes on Ukraine in Cyprus today in the last match Jurgen Klinsmann will have to evaluate his European-based players ahead of the pre-World Cup training camp in May (2pm, ESPN2).

Several players who haven't been with the national team in some time are with the team today, and Klinsmann will be taking a closer look at some of those players.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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By DAN ITEL

On a day of international friendlies around the globe, one of Wednesday's most highly anticipated matches will happen right here on American soil although it won't feature the U.S. Men's National Team.

Mexico, still trying to find their form after a perilous World Cup qualifying cycle that nearly left them out in the cold, will be greeted by their loyal followers north of the border when they take on Nigeria at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

Sporting KC Notes: Besler named captain; Sinovic update tops injury concerns; and more

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By TATE STEINLAGE

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Matt Besler will add an armband to his kit this season. The 27-year-old defender was announced as Sporting KC's 2014 captain Tuesday at the club's "Sporting Takeoff" event.

Besler took the stage to some 2,000 Sporting KC fans, many of whom were chanting a common phrase heard by the defender: "Hometown hero.

The SBI Show: Episode 118 (Previewing the MLS Eastern Conference, talking USMNT, and more)

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

The 2014 MLS season kicks off in three days, and if you're wondering how the MLS Eastern Conference is going to shake out, The SBI Show has you covered.

Episode 118 of The SBI Show takes an in-depth look at all 10 teams in the Eastern Conference, providing our rundown of how the teams will fare this season.

MLS Jersey Week Rewind: A look at all the new jerseys

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By DAN ITEL

Jersey Week is in full swing in MLS, with more than half the league's teams having already released new kits for 2014.

The New York Red Bulls released their highly anticipated navy blue away kits at an event Tuesday night at Stage 48 in New York City. In addition to a new, larger Red Bulls logo, the shirt features the words "New York" along the lower hem in both the front and in large font.

SBI MLS Season Preview: New England Revolution

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BY KEVIN KOCZWARA

There was no sophomore slump for Jay Heaps. Instead, in his second year as the coach of the New England Revolution, the former Revs defender ushered the franchise to the playoffs for the first time since 2009. And, to his credit, Heaps did it with a collection of young and exciting players who weren't expected to begin really producing the kinds of performances they put in last year until this season.

USWNT draws against Japan to open Algarve Cup tournament

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

Facing their toughest challenge of the year, the U.S. Women's National Team tied Japan 1-1 Wednesday to open the prestigious 2014 Algarve Cup on a goalkeeper error forced by Sydney Leroux.

The USWNT went into Wednesday's match with a 42-game unbeaten streak, with their last loss being at the 2012 Algarve Cup against Japan.

SBI MLS Season Preview: Vancouver Whitecaps FC

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BY DARCY GREEN

Vancouver Whitecaps FC had what can only be classified as a disappointing 2013 season.

For a team that was placed in a playoff spot by many prior to the season, the ‘Caps fell short of their target, finishing in seventh place in the MLS Western Conference.

SBI MLS Season Preview: LA Galaxy

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Following back-to-back MLS Cup championships, the LA Galaxy's 2013 Major League Soccer season ended earlier than expected.

If you ask Bruce Arena, however, that might not have been a bad thing.

For the first time since 2010, the Galaxy had an extended offseason, allowing the entire squad to recover from a variety of injuries suffered over the course of the year.

Red Bulls to launch USL Pro team in 2015, MLS urging clubs to follow suit

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The LA Galaxy will not be the only MLS club with a team playing in USL Pro in the near future. Not if the New York Red Bulls have their way, anyway.

Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh said at the club's Media Day on Tuesday night that his club is well on its way to fielding a second team in the United States' third division, but that it likely will not happen until the beginning of next season.

Wednesday Kickoff: Vidic to join Inter; Last World Cup for Klose; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Nemanja Vidic will be taking his talents to the blue side of Milan next season.

Inter Milan announced on Wednesday that they've signed the 32-year-old centerback on a free transfer. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

USMNT look to answer lingering questions vs. Ukraine

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Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Three months might be all that separate the U.S. Men's National Team from the World Cup, but there are still plenty oflingering questions that head coach Jurgen Klinsmann will try and get answers to in the final friendly before this summer's pre-World Cup camp.

Video: MLS Commish Garber’s Kickoff Q&A

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SBI MLS Season Preview: Colorado Rapids

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By DAN KARELL

The Colorado Rapids finished the 2013 Major League Soccer season with plenty of positive momentum.

Then, head coach Oscar Pareja left for his old stomping grounds at FC Dallas and the question has become, now what?

Nearly two months since Pareja departed, the Rapids still have not named a head coach, with recently-retired club legend Pablo Mastroeni currently taking the reigns as an interim head coach.

Earthquakes sign German defender Gorlitz

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The San Jose Earthquakes' back line just got a little deeper.

San Jose announced on Tuesday that they have signedGerman right back Andres Gorlitz. The 32-year-old Gorlitz joins the Earthquakes after spending 12 years in the German professional ranks.

Several clubs release new uniforms as MLS Jersey Week commences

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The 2014 MLS season is nearly upon us, which means the time for clubs to unveil their new jerseys is here.

Several MLS teams released images on Monday of what their new uniforms look like as part the league's Jersey Week. The clubs that unveiled new jerseys on Monday were the LA Galaxy, Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders and Houston Dynamo and more teams are scheduled to follow suit in the coming days.

SBI MLS Season Preview: New York Red Bulls

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

With one piece of hardware finally in their trophy cabinet, the New York Red Bulls are looking to add several more and with largely the same team that won last season's Supporters' Shield.

Continuity was the word most often repeated by the Red Bulls' brass during an offseason in which they made very few moves, an oddity considering the team's tumultuous past.

Tuesday Kickoff: Puyol to leave Barcelona; FA charges Pardew; and more

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By DAN KARELL

It's the end of an era at FC Barcelona.

Captain Carles Puyol, a feature in the side from his debut in 1999 through now, announced at a press conference on Tuesday that he'll be leaving the Catalan club at season's end. Puyol didn't take any questions at the press conference and didn't state whether he would be retiring or not, just that he had agreed to rescind the final two years of his contract this summer.

SBI MLS Season Preview: Montreal Impact

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BY RYAN TOLMICH

The Montreal Impact enter the 2014 season with a bad taste in their mouths. The second year franchise began their 2013 campaign in a hurry by losing just one of their first eight matches.

The wheels fell of from there though, and the Impact limped into the playoffs after winning just one of their last eight.

SBI MLS Season Preview: Columbus Crew

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By DAN KARELL

Not long into his tenure as owner of the Columbus Crew, Anthony Precourt hit the reset button when it became clear that the Crew would miss the playoffs for a third straight season.

Over the past eight months, the Crew waved goodbye to familiar faces such as head coach Robert Warzycha, technical director Brian Bliss, and players Chad Marshall, Eddie Gaven, and Andy Gruenebaum.

Stephens joins Bradley at Stabaek

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

It always seemed likely that Bob Bradley would bring some American talent with him to Stabaek, and now he has that first player.

Stabaek announced on Tuesday that they have signed former LA Galaxy midfielder Michael Stephens.

Who should the USMNT start vs. Ukraine? (Take Two)

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By IVES GALARCEP

The U.S. Men's National Team's friendly against Ukraine is just two days away, and we've seen some major roster turnover since the squad was announced last Thursday, meaning it has become that much tougher to figure out just who Klinsmann will start on Wednesday.

U.S. Soccer: USMNT-Ukraine friendly still being played

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By IVES GALARCEP

Just hours after reports circulated claiming the upcoming U.S. Men's National Team friendly against Ukraine would be cancelled, U.S. Soccer issued the following statement late Monday to confirm that the match will still be played.

"The Football Federation of Ukraine confirmed that their team will travel to Cyprus and the match will proceed as scheduled.

The SBI Show: Episode 117 (Talking USMNT-Ukraine, Americans Abroad, and more)

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By IVES GALARCEP

The on-again, off-again, on-again USA-Ukraine friendly is still on and the latest episode of The SBI Show takes a closer look at the match.

Episode 117 of The SBI Show looks at the lineup options Jurgen Klinsmann will have to consider for the match after having Michael Bradley, Mix Diskerud and Tim Ream withdraw.

SBI MLS Season Preview: San Jose Earthquakes

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BY MIKE DONOVAN

A dream 2012 season was followed by a nightmare start to the 2013 campaign, with the club winning just three times in their first 15 matches.

But when Mark Watson took over for the fired Frank Yallop in June, San Jose regained some of the form it has been lacking.

SBI Season Preview: Chivas USA

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By DAN ITEL

Oh, Chivas USA.

Let's just say there have certainly been better times for the "other" club in Los Angeles. Yet another dismal year on the field in 2013 – resulting in the dismissal of two head coaches – led to what was perhaps MLS' biggest news item of the offseason: the purchase by the league of the club from former owners Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes.

After injury-shortened comeback, Holden to travel to U.S. for knee scan

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By DAN KARELL

Stuart Holden will find out more about his latest setback this week.

While playing with the Bolton Wanderers reserves on Monday, the American midfielder was forced off just 23 minutes into his comeback from a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Though he was able to walk off under his own power, Holden is set to travel to the U.

Liga MX Round 9: A Look Back

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By DANIEL PRICE

First-placed Cruz Azul extended their lead at the top of the Liga MX to six points following a comprehensive 1-0 over Toluca in Mexico City. For the home side it was a sweet revenge for last's season's 4-1 Liguilla defeat to Cardozo's men.

Cruz Azul's attacking quartet of Fabian, Formica, Rojas and Pavone were dangerous throughout, and each of them could consider themselves not to get on the score-sheet at some point.

Must-See Goal: Lionel Messi

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You Write the Caption: Jurgen Klinsmann / Julian Green Edition

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Photos by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

Monday marked the first day that Bayern Munich youngster Julian Green trained with the U.S. Men's National Team, and while it's just one of two days Green will spend with the team, there is already plenty of buzz surrounding his arrival.

What should we make of Dempsey’s Fulham loan?

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By IVES GALARCEP

Clint Dempsey's loan stint with Fulham came to a lackluster end over the weekend, with Chelsea posting a 3-1 victory in what was likely Dempsey's final match in a Fulham uniform.

As Dempsey prepares to return to the Seattle Sounders, the question that lingers is whether the loan to Fulham was worth it or not.

SBI MLS Season Preview: FC Dallas

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By DAN ITEL

It was going so well for FC Dallas in 2013.

An 8-2-3 start saw FCD jump to the top of the table come summertime, but a 13-game winless streak that soon followed resulted in missing out on the playoffs and the parting of ways with head coach Schellas Hyndman at season's end.

SBI MLS Season Preview: Houston Dynamo

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BY RYAN TOLMICH

The Houston Dynamo fell short in their bid to make it to three straight MLS Cup finals in 2013, but with a veteran group with plenty of talent, and Dom Kinnear at the reins, Houston could make another push at a final despite the fact the team had a largely uneventful offseason.

SBI MLS Season Preview: Sporting Kansas City

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By TATE STEINLAGE

Sporting Kansas City closed the chapter on one of Major League Soccer's greatest revivals last season, winning the club's second-ever MLS Cup after falling short the previous two years.

That's in the rearview mirror now, though.

Sporting KC face their busiest year in franchise history in 2014.

SBI MLS Season Preview: Portland Timbers

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BY MIKE DONOVAN

All Caleb Porter did in his first season as a professional head coach was earn Coach of the Year honors, while completely turning around the Portland Timbers, turning them into an attractive, creative team that was both visually appealing and successful on the field.

U.S. Soccer unveil 2014 USMNT World Cup home uniform

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By DAN KARELL

The day we've been waiting for has finally arrived.

No, not the start of the World Cup, but the release of the U.S. Men's National Team's latest uniform that they'll wear at the World Cup. Designed by official partners Nike, this uniform is an all-white kit with red lining at the end of the sleeves and the polo-type collar.

Monday Kickoff: Man City target quadruple; Khedira making impressive recovery; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini believes that Sunday's Capital One Cup title will be the first of many this season.

Heading into the final three months of the season, Man City are still contenders to win the FA Cup, English Premier League, and UEFA Champions League, though their task to come back against Barcelona won't be a simple one.

European Weekend Rewind: Ronaldo saves Real Madrid; Man City rally to win Capital One Cup; and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Real Madrid were not able to replicate their dominant Copa del Rey performance against crosstown rivals Atletico Madrid in league action Sunday, but Los Blancos were able to hang onto the top spot in La Liga thanks to some more late heroics from Cristiano Ronaldo.

Spector added to USMNT roster for Ukraine friendly

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

It turns out Jurgen Klinsmann has added a player to his squad after all.

After Tim Ream, Mix Diskerud, and Michael Bradley withdrew from the U.S. Men's National Team squad ahead of their friendly match against Ukraine, Klinsmann announced that Birmingham City defender Jonathan Spector has been added to the roster.

Must-See Goal: Hamdi Salihi

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Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By DAN KARELL

U.S. Men's National Team fans continue to grow concerned about the form of key national team attackers Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey, but two younger options continue to give those same fans, and Jurgen Klinsmann, something to think about.

Terrence Boyd scored his 14th goal in all competitions, and ninth league goal of the season, in Rapid Vienna's 6-3 loss to Austrian champion Red Bull Salzburg.

Altidore fails to make 18 as Sunderland falls in League Cup Final

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By IVES GALARCEP

American fans woke up on Sunday morning hoping to see one of their favorites potentially lift a trophy, but by the time the Capital One Cup Final was over, those fans were only left with questions about one of the U.S. Men's National Team's most important players.

Michael Bradley, Tim Ream withdraw from USMNT squad for Ukraine friendly

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By IVES GALARCEP

Jurgen Klinsmann has had to deal with lingering concerns about whether the USA-Ukraine friendly would actually be played given the political drama playing out in Ukraine, but now Klinsmann is dealing with worrying about just who he will have available to play in the match if it actually winds up being played.

Earthquakes win on final day of Rose City Invitational, Whitecaps and Timbers settle for draw

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Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/USA Today

BY MIKE DONOVAN

PORTLAND, Ore.-The Rose City Invitational wrapped up Saturday at Providence Park with the San Jose Earthquakes earning a victory and the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps playing to a hard-fought draw.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Real Madrid will look to continue their run as one of the hottest sides in the world Sunday when they visit the Vicente Calderon for another match with in-city rivals Atletico Madrid.

The attacking tandem of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale are coming off a marvelous six-goal performance against Schalke 04 in Champions League play, and the high-powered Real Madrid offense could lead the way to a six-point lead over third-place Atletico with a road victory.

MLS Ticker: Whitecaps to sign DP playmaker, Zavaleta joins Chivas USA on loan, and more

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Vancouver Whitecaps had a relatively quiet off-season in terms of additions this winter, but the past week has seen the club make some serious moves that have increased the reason for optimism for the club which was forced into selling a Golden Boot winner.

Klinsmann wants Euro-based USMNT players to prove their hunger for a World Cup spot

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By DAN KARELL

For many U.S. Men's National Team players, next Wednesday's friendly match represents their final opportunity to make the USA's World Cup squad.

Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann included not only a mixture of youth and experience in his 24-man squad for the match against Ukraine, but also players such as Oguchi Onyweu, Tim Ream, Danny Williams, and Juan Agudelo, who have not been consistent players in the National Team program in the past 12 months.

Peterson reveals details of NASL expansion plans, throws jabs at MLS in the process

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By FRANCO PANIZO

MLS commissioner Don Garber has taken what is seemingly a full-steam-ahead approach in terms of expansion, but the plan is not one NASL commissioner Bill Peterson shares for his league.

In fact, Peterson threw some thinly-veiled jabs at MLS for its rapid-fire expansion strategy on Thursday.

Camilo in limbo, Queretaro on shaky ground amid allegations of fraud by team ownership

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By DAN KARELL

Two months ago, Camilo Sanvezzo was earning a nice salary and was a sure starter for the Vancouver Whitecaps after a career year.Now in Mexico with Querétaro, he's found himself struggling to not only overcome an injury, but also receive his paycheck.

Querétaro's economic status took a huge hit on Friday as club ownerAmado Yáñez had his oil services company Oceanografia taken over by the Mexican government following allegations of fraud.

Diskerud to miss Ukraine friendly

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By IVES GALARCEP

Mix Diskerud had a month to impress U.S. Men's National Team head coach in January, and it looks as though that will be his last chance to play for the USMNT before May's pre-World Cup training camp.

Diskerud will skip the Ukraine friendly after his club team, Rosenborg, requested that he be allowed to miss it so he can prepare for the start of the Norwegian League spring season.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Fourth-place Liverpool will look to keep up the pace in the race for the English Premier League title with a trip to face Southampton at St. Mary's Stadium.

Liverpool are unbeaten in their last eight EPL matches, but they will have to work hard to get a victory against a team they have struggled against in recent seasons.