Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2014

Atletico knock out Chelsea to set up Madrid derby in UCL Final

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By DAN KARELL

For the first time in UEFA Champions League history, two teams from the same city will face off in the final.

On Wednesday afternoon in London, Atletico Madrid put in a complete performance with a 3-1 victory vs. Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, as goals from Adrian, Diego Costa, and Arda Turan lead Atleti to the Champions League final.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: (Week 8)

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By DAN KARELL

When Clint Dempsey plays as well as he is right now, there's only one outcome for the Seattle Sounders.

Sigi Schmid's side have climbed to the summit of the SBI MLS Power Rankings for the first time this season after their 4-1 rout of the Colorado Rapids, with Dempsey scoring two goals to take his season tally to eight.

Report: Stuttgart once again interested in Chandler

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By FRANCO PANIZO

FC Nurnberg are sure to lose a few players if they are relegated this season, and Timmy Chandler could be one of them.

According to a report out of Germany, Bundesliga strugglers VfB Stuttgart are once again interested in signing Chandler. Stuttgart initially expressed interest in the 24-year-old right back in December 2011, but Chandler opted to agree to an extension with Nurnberg a few months later.

SBI NWSL Power Rankings (Week 3)

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

Another week in the National Women's Soccer League? Another week to talk about how good Seattle Reign are playing.

But the third week of the NWSL brought another league power to the forefront Portland Thorns FC won a hard battle against FC Kansas City and showed they can close out games.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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By RYAN TOLMICH

With Real Madrid already having booked their place in the Champions League final, Cristiano Ronaldo and co.will be joined by either a familiar foe from across town or a legendary former manager, as Atletico Madrid's trip to Chelsea highlights this Soccer Wednesday.

USWNT interim coach Ellis names squad for Canada friendly

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By DAN KARELL

U.S. Women's National Team interim head coach Jill Ellis named a 22-player squad on Wednesday for the USA's friendly match vs. Canada on May 8 in Winnipeg, Canada.

The squad features 18 players currently playing in the National Women's Soccer League and Ellis' selection includes goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris making her return to the squad and call-ups for Portland Thorns midfielder Allie Long and defender Nikki Marshall.

Thirteen local officials join group opposed to soccer stadium at PortMiami

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By DAN KARELL

The opposition group to David Beckham's proposed stadium on land at the Port of Miami is continuing to grow.

Thirteen local mayors and vice-mayors in Miami-Dade County have signed a letter to join the Miami Seaport Alliance, a group that opposes Beckham's plan to build a soccer-specific stadium on the southwest corner of PortMiami.

NWSL Week 4: A Look Ahead (midweek)

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By KAREEN DROT

The first three weeks of the National Women's Soccer League have not been kind to last season'srecord-setting clubs. FC Kansas City and Sky Blue FC, this season's bottom-dwellers to date are double-billed in the fourth week, but their competition is nothing to scoff at.

SBI Live Q&A (April 30th Edition)

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By IVES GALARCEP

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

Get your soccer-related questions ready and fire them at me as I discuss a wide range of soccer topics (and pop culture topics) over the course of the next hour or two.

SBI’s USMNT 23 for 2014 (April 2014 Edition)

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By IVES GALARCEP

We are just two weeks away from Jurgen Klinsmann submitting the 30-player preliminary U.S. Men's National Team World Cup roster, and a month away from knowing which 23 players he plans on taking to Brazil.

Yes folks, it's coming right down to the wire, and with each passing day it's becoming more and more clear just how difficult a task Klinsmann will have in selecting his final 23-player roster.

Ream voted Bolton’s official supporters association’s Player of the Year

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photo by Paul Greenwood/ISIphotos.com

Tim Ream has put together a very good season for Bolton Wanders and that has gone a bit under the radar for fans living stateside.

The same cannot be said for those in Bolton.

Ream was voted the winner of the Bolton Wanderers Supporters Association (BWSA) Player of the Year award on Tuesday at the club's end-of-season gala for his quiet but sturdy campaign.

SBI Live Q&A set for Noon 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 noon as I take questions on any and all soccer topics, as well as some pop culture questions, and even a few questions about other sports.

Want to talk USMNT?

Wednesday Kickoff: Pep accepts blame for Bayern blowout, Tottenham deny DeBoer approach, and more

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By IVES GALARCEP

After suffering the worst defeat of his illustrious coaching career, Pep Guardiola wasn't about to pass the blame to anybody but himself.

The Bayern Munich manager was apologetic after his team's 4-0 trouncing by Real Madrid, going as far as saying he made a mistake in his approach to guiding Bayern into their Champions League semifinal.

Real Madrid rout Bayern Munich to reach UEFA Champions League final

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By FRANCO PANIZO

This was supposed to be a contest. It was anything but that.

Real Madrid reached the UEFA Champions League final on Tuesday by handing reigning champions Bayern Munich a thorough and surprising 4-0 victory at Allianz Arena. Madrid won the series on aggregate, 5-0, to reach the May 24 finale in Lisbon, where they will take on the winner of Wednesday's other semifinals series between Chelsea and Atletico Madrid.

A closer look at the USMNT depth chart: Left Backs

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photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Jurgen Klinsmann famously said back in summer 2012 that anybody can play left back.

We will soon see just how true those words were.

The U.S. Men's National Team will head into the World Cup this summer not short on options at left back, a position that has long troubled the Americans.

Report: Orlando City likely to resume pursuit of eminent domain after latest negotiations break down

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Orlando City need to secure one final piece of land to begin construction on their downtown soccer-specific stadium, and they will likely have to go the route of eminent domain to do so.

According to a report from MyFoxOrlando.com, Orlando City's negotiations have broken down with the Faith Deliverance Temple over the last piece of property that the MLS-bound club needs to build its stadium.

Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid: Your Running Commentary

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By DAN KARELL

Real Madrid are only 180 minutes from achieving "La Decima" but Bayern Munich and Pep Guardiola stand in their way of eternal glory.

The two European giants meet up for the second leg of their UEFA Champions League semifinal tie on Tuesday (2:45pm, Fox Sports 1/Fox Deportes) at the Allianz Arena with Real Madrid aiming to reach the final for the first time since 2002 and Bayern attempting to return for the third straight year.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: J.J. Koval

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By DAN KARELL

It's unlikely that even J.J. Koval expected to be starting this early into the season for the San Jose Earthquakes.

The 21-year-old Stanford product started his second straight match in central midfield for the Earthquakes and played all 90 minutes in the 'Quakes 1-0 victory against Chivas USA.

Tuesday Ticker: Zanetti to retire at season’s end, Najar signs Anderlecht extension and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Javier Zanetti's illustrious career is coming to a close.

Inter Milan president Erick Thohir told reporters Tuesday that Zanetti will retire at season's end and become a director for the club. Zanetti, 40, has spent almost 19 years with the Italian giants, becoming their all-time leader in appearances and helping itcapture several titles.

SBI MLS Save of the Week: Steve Clark

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photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com

SBI MLS Goal of the Week: Sebastian Fernandez

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Tuesday Kickoff: Man City, PSG face FFP punishments; Chivas target six signings; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain may not miss out on European competition next season, but that doesn't mean UEFA won't throw down the hammer at two of Europe's biggest clubs.

According to a number of reports in England and France, both Man City and PSG are in line to receive harsh financial punishments from UEFA for breaching Financial Fair Play rules.

USL Pro Week 6: A Look Back

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

There was a big party in Sacramento on Saturday, and Harrisburg decided to crash it.

After starting their first five-games on the road, Sacramento Republic FC kicked off their home schedule at Hughes Stadium with a sell-out crowd of 20,231 that set the USL Pro record.

The SBI Show: Episode 135 (Talking 2016 Copa America, USMNT position battles, and more)

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By IVES GALARCEP

The looming World Cup is generating plenty of the attention in the soccer world, but later this week a tournament that is still two years away will take center stage as CONCACAF and CONMEBOL prepare to announce the 2016 Copa America, which is set to be played in the United States.

UCL Preview: Bayern attempt to turn tide vs. Real Madrid; Chelsea, Atletico look to break deadlock

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Pep Guardiola's tactics have long been lauded, but he will need to come up with a very strong gameplan if he is to help Bayern Munich continue their UEFA Champions League title defense.

Bayern Munich and Real Madrid will lock horns in the second leg of their semifinals series at Allianz Arena on Tuesday (2:45pm ET, Fox Deportes/Fox Soccer 2Go), and the hosts will try and overturn a 1-0 deficit after losing to a Karim Benzema goal in the opening match in Spain last week.

CONCACAF and CONMEBOL to hold press conference Thursday, expected to announce 2016 Copa America

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By RYAN TOLMICH

The worst-kept soccer secret in the Americas looks like it will finally be revealed this week when CONCACAF and CONMEBOL will hold a press conference that is expected to discuss the long rumored Copa America 2016 coming to United States soil.

The press conference, which will take place Thursday in Miami, is expected to featureCONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb,CONMEBOL president Eugenio Figueredo and "a number of internationally renowned" representatives from each region.

A closer look at the USMNT depth chart: Centerbacks

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By DAN KARELL

For the first time since 1998, the U.S. Men's National Team could head into the World Cup with no starting experience from their centerback pair.

The duo of Matt Besler and Omar Gonzalez have entrenched themselves as USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann's starting defenders, having stayed as the preferred pairing since the infamous snow game victory in Colorado against Costa Rica in March 2013.

Villarreal permanently bans racist fan for life after Alves incident

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By RYAN TOLMICH

Villarreal did their part in taking a stand against racism in soccer today by officially banned the fan responsible for racially abusing Barcelona's Dani Alves Sunday.

During yesterday's matchup between Villarreal and Barcelona, a banana was thrown in the direction of Alves as the Brazilian defender was preparing to take a corner.

Soccer Monday: Your Running Commentary

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By DAN KARELL

The final weeks of the English Premier League are upon us and the battle for fourth place in the league between Everton and Arsenal is still going strong.

Arsenal can take another step forward on Monday afternoon as they host Newcastle (3pm, NBC Sports Network) in a huge late-season match that could determine whether the Gunners play UEFA Champions League soccer next season.

Borough president not sold on potential NYCFC stadium in Bronx

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By DAN KARELL

One of the biggest proponents of bringing Major League Soccer to the Bronx is suddenly not so hot on the idea of building a separate soccer-specific stadium for New York City FC.

Last summer, Bronx borough president Ruben Diaz Jr. wrote to MLS Commissioner Don Garber asking for the league to consider the Bronx as a permanent home for NYC FC.

NWSL Week 3: A Look Back

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Jane G. Photography/Seattle Reign FC

By KAREEN DROT

Seattle and Washington took the challenge of playing two games in one week head on but it was the Seattle Reign who came out victorious in both fixtures. Without skipping a beat, Seattle proved they are not a one-trick pony, as the Reign secured their second and third consecutive wins decisively at home against the Washington Spirit and the Houston Dash.

Earthquakes to host Atletico Madrid in summer friendly at Candlestick Park

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By DAN KARELL

Atletico Madrid are taking a rare trip to North American this summer, and their first destination will be San Francisco.

The San Jose Earthquakes announced on Monday that they'll be hosting Atletico Madrid at Candlestick Park in a friendly match on July 27.

Liga MX Round 17: A Look Back

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By DAN KARELL

After winning the Liga MX Apertura title some five months ago, Club Leon needed a win on the final round of the Clausura season to qualify for the playoffs.

Leon did just that last Friday, traveling to the Estadio Caliente in Tijuana and taking down Club Tijuana, 2-1, to earn the final place in the Liguilla on goal-difference.

SBI MLS Team of the Week: Seattle Sounders

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Photo by Jane Gershovich/Jane G. Photography

By CAITLIN MURRAY

The Seattle Sounders came into the 2014 with high expectations, and the past few weeks have shown them to be a team very capable of meeting these expectations.

The hottest team in MLS continued to roll this past weekend, as the dynamic duo of Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins led the way yet again, this time in a 4-1 thumping of the Colorado Rapids.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Bradley Wright-Phillips

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

With a hat trick in one game and an equalizer in the next, it seems Bradley Wright-Phillips is ready to quiet critics who said he wasn't scoring enough for the New York Red Bulls.

Wright-Phillips came up big for four goals in two games in Week 8, carrying the New York Red Bulls to a 4-0 thrashing of the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday on a hat trick and a 1-1 draw to Columbus Crew on Saturday.

Monday Kickoff: Suarez wins POY award; Dani Alves suffers racist abuse; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Less than one year after being booed at the Professional Footballers' Association awards dinner following his ten-match FA ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic, Liverpool's Luis Suarez received a standing ovation to accept an individual honor.

Slumping Dynamo and Timbers play to draw in Houston

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By MIKE DONOVAN

The Portland Timbers and Houston Dynamo both entered their match Sunday afternoon looking for a victory to put an end to long winless droughts. But after 90 minutes in the hot Texas sun, neither team was able to take the full three points.

Will Bruin gave the hosts an early lead, but Portland's Gaston Ferandez answered with a first-half strike of his own as the two teams played to a 1-1 draw at BBVA Compass Stadium.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

John Brooks' new back tattoo was apparently not a hindrance to his performance this weekend.

Brooks gave his World Cup chances a boost on Saturday by scoring the winner and helping Hertha Berlin record a cleansheet in a 2-0 triumph over TSV Eintracht Braunschweig.

Must-See Goal: Jonjo Shelvey

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European Weekend Rewind: Liverpool slip against Chelsea; Atletico edge Valencia; and more

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

The old sports adage is that defense wins championships.

Chelsea's defensive-minded 2-0 victory against league-leading Liverpool might not have earned them an English Premier League title Sunday, but it kept their chances alive in what is now a three-team race once again.

Djalo sparks Earthquakes to first win of season

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By IVES GALARCEP

The San Jose Earthquakes were in desperate need of a victory, and through 45 minutes of Saturday's match against Chivas USA, it didn't look like they would find that elusive first victory of 2014.

Then Yannick Djalo took the field at halftime, and gave the Earthquakes the spark they sorely needed.

Espindola double helps D.C. United trounce 10-man FC Dallas

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By CLIFF STARKEY

WASHINGTON — D.C. United have put together a solid stretch of games over the last few weeks, but lacked a comprehensive performance to show the league that they can win with style.

On the strength of Fabian Espindola's two goals and an assist, Saturday night's 4-1 win over visiting FC Dallas may have been just that performance.

Crew, Red Bulls settle for draw after end-to-end match

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By DAN KARELL

COLUMBUS, Ohio For only the second time this season, the Columbus Crew failed to win after leading at halftime.

Bradley Wright-Phillips' second-half goal canceled out Jairo Arrieta's first-half penalty kick as the Crew and New York Red Bulls settled for a 1-1 draw on Saturday evening at Crew Stadium.

Boyd nets another double, scoring two against Austrian champs Red Bull Salzburg

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By IVES GALARCEP

Terrence Boyd was already a safe bet to be called up to next month's U.S. Men's National Team pre-World Cup training camp, but he is building up some serious momentum to try and lock up a World Cup roster spot.

Boyd delivered his second straight two-goal game, include a late game-winning strike to help Rapid Vienna beat recently-crowned Austrian champions Red Bull Salzburg on Saturday.

Rimando falters as Whitecaps rally late to tie RSL

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By TYLER GRAY

SANDY, Utah Real Salt Lake's goalkeeper, Nick Rimando, was only one shutout away from tying the MLS record heading into tonight's match and he looked like he was going to get it for about 85 minutes of the match. The Vancouver Whitecaps had other plans.

Bunbury burns former club, scores winner to lead Revs past Sporting KC

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By CARL SETTERLUND

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. The New England Revolution couldn't take advantage of a 73rd-minute red card to the Chicago Fire's Quincy Amarikwa last weekend, settling for a draw. With a little more motivation to push the Revs forward, host New England capitalized on a nearly identical situation Saturday night against Sporting Kansas City.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Sunday's clash between the top two teams in the English Premier League will not mathematically decide this season's champion, but legendary Anfield will still be filled with the drama of a title-decider.

First-place Liverpool will look to earn their 12th consecutive league win and all but wrap up the EPL title when second-place Chelsea visit Anfield on Sunday.

Dempsey brace keys Sounders’ dominant win over Rapids

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Photo by Jane Gershovich/JaneG. Photography

By JASON MITCHELL

SEATTLE -Clint Dempsey is running rampant over Major League Soccer, and he has the Seattle Sounders looking like early title contenders.

Dempsey scored his league-leading seventh and eighth goals on Saturday, terrorized the Colorado Rapids throughout the match, and lifted Seattle to a dominant 4-1 win in front of 38,582 at CenturyLink Field.

Felipe nets winner as Impact edge Union

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By RYAN TOLMICH

Just weeks after the two teams swapped young forwards, the Montreal Impact picked up their first win of the season with a 1-0 victory over the Philadelphia Union at Stade Saputo.

The game's lone goal came from the foot of Brazilian midfielder Felipe in the 15th minute.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Everton's quest for a Champions Leagues spot next season continues Saturday with a trip to face one of the most consistent sides in England.

USMNT goalkeeper Tim Howard and the fifth-place Toffees are one point behind fourth-place Arsenal with three matches remaining in the English Premier League season.

MLS Match Week 8 (SBI Live Commentary)

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By IVES GALARCEP

A reunion in Montreal, a clash of East forces in Columbus, and battle of Western Conference foes headline today's MLS Week Eight action.

Jack McInerney will face the Philadelphia Union for the first time since being traded away as he and the Montreal Impact face Andrew Wenger and the Union at Stade Saputo.

USL Pro Week 6: A Look Ahead

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

After starting their first four-games of the season on the road, Oklahoma City Energy FC kick off their home season at Pribil Stadium, hosting the 2013 USL Pro champions Orlando City SC on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. ET.

The Energy currently sit in fifth place in the standings, after suffering their second defeat against FC Dallas' reserves during week four.

CONCACAF President Webb open to moving Gold Cup out of U.S.

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By RYAN TOLMICH

CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb spoke out against the fixed nature of the Gold Cup Friday, stating that other CONCACAF nations should get the chance to host.

The Gold Cup has been hosted by the United States since its inception in 1991, aside from 1993 and 2001 which saw Mexico as co-hosts.

MLS Ticker: Schmid blasts U.S. Open Cup schedule; Boyd discusses MLS; and more

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By RYAN TOLMICH

With this summer's World Cup looming, Major League Soccer clubs were looking forward to the league-wide tournament break as a time to recover, relax from a busy first half of the season

As one of the few leagues that plays on a summer schedule, MLS made sure to accommodate those headed to this summer's tournament when they scheduled a two week break from June 12-24.

MLS Week 8: A Look Ahead

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By DAN KARELL

It's taken many months, but the Seattle Sounders seem to be all on the same page at this point in the season.

The impressive chemistry between Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins has lead to nine goals in the team's last three games and many chances for other players as well.

Former Barcelona coach Vilanova dies of cancer

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

After a long battle with throat cancer, former FC Barcelona assistant and head coach Tito Vilanova passed away on Friday, the club announced. He was 45 years old.

Reports late on Thursday stated that he had been admitted to a Barcelona hospital after suffering a relapse and underwent emergency life-saving surgery that ultimately failed.

Bradley to undergo foot procedure during Toronto FC break

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

Toronto FC is making the most of a bye week, with midfielder Michael Bradley taking the opportunity to address a bothersome nerve issue in his foot. The minor procedure had been previously scheduled for the break.

"It just means he's just got to get off it for a week," manager Ryan Nelsen said of Bradley resting his foot after the procedure, according to the Toronto Star.

This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By RYAN TOLMICH

With 24 years between the club and its last Premier League title, league leaders Liverpool will look to take one more giant leap towards winning the league when the Reds host second-place Chelsea on Sunday morning in this weekend's marquee matchup.

Must-See Commercial: Nike

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NASL Week 3: A Look Ahead

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By JOE PANTORNO

Even after only playing each other two times, the New York Cosmos and San Antonio Scorpions have developed quite a nice rivalry.

Last season, the Cosmos beat the Scorpions twice, the second of which clinched the Cosmos a berth in the NASL Soccer Bowl.

NWSL Week 3: A Look Ahead

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Jane G. Photography/Seattle Reign FC

By KAREEN DROT

Last week, Houston Dash had a taste of victory in a come-from-behind win over Boston. But up next, the Dash will attempt to snap the two-game win streak of a strong Seattle Reign team that tops the league table.

European Weekend Preview: Liverpool battle Chelsea; Leverkusen host Dortmund; and more

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Photo by Javier Garcia / ISIPhotos.com

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

With a five-point lead with three matches left in the English Premier League race, Liverpool have one more major test standing in their way to a title.

On Sunday, first-place Liverpool host second-place Chelsea at historic Anfield for an all-important EPL clash.

Friday Kickoff: Ancelotti rules out Man United move; Berlusconi denies Milan sale reports; and more

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By DAN KARELL

In the wake of David Moyes' firing, Manchester United are scouring the land, searching for the next club manager.

On Friday, they learned they can cross off Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti's name from the list.Speaking at a press conference, Ancelotti said that while he respects Man United, he's more than happy at the Bernabeu.

Liga MX Round 17: A Look Ahead

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By DANIEL PRICE

As we enter the final weekend of the 2014 Clausura regular season there are still six playoff spaces up for grabs. As one of the tightest championships in years draws to a close, Round 17 promises to provide thrilling action for fans across the country.

With potential Liguilla playoff games across the league it is difficult to choose a standout fixture.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Timmy Chandler targeted this weekend for his return to action for FC Nurnberg, and now we will see if he can come through and earn his first minutes for the club since February.

Recovered from the knee injury that has sidelined him for the better part of three months, Chandler has said he will be available for Nurnberg's clash with Mainz on Saturday.

UEFA Europa League: Your Running Commentary

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By FRANCO PANIZO

If you are hungry for some quality soccer, there is a scrumptious pair of matches on tap that should fill your appetite.

The UEFA Europa League semifinals are set to get underway on Thursday with two match-ups that hold plenty of intrigue, as Benfica lock horns with Juventus in a battle of European heavyweights (3:05pm, ESPN Deportes/DirecTV/Fox Soccer Plus) at Estadio Da Luz while Sevilla and Valencia square off in an all-Spanish affair in the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan (3:05pm, ESPN3/Fox Soccer 2Go).

A closer look at the USMNT depth chart: Central Midfielders

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

It has been no secret this cycle that the U.S. Men's National Team's strength lies in the midfield, particularly in the central positions. Jurgen Klinsmann has a glut of talented players cable of manning the middle of the park, but how many of them earn places on the World Cup roster this summer will be a storyline that is followed very closely in the coming weeks.

Cruz Azul edge Toluca for CCL title on away-goals rule

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Cruz Azul ended their 17-year drought without a major trophy on Wednesday, and they did so despite never beating Toluca in the CONCACAF Champions League finals series.

Cruz Azul hoisted the CONCACAF Champions League trophy on Wednesday night after a 1-1 road draw gave them the away-goals advantage over Toluca.

Largest field of teams set to partake in 2014 Open Cup

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photo by George Frey/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The 101st edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup will have the largest field of teams that the tournament has ever seen.

U.S. Soccer announced on Thursday the competition format and pairings for the first two rounds of the 2014 U.

Joya brace leads U-21 USMNT to victory over Tijuana

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The Under-21 U.S. Men's National Team wrapped up their training camp on Wednesday with a victory over Club Tijuana, and it was Benji Joya who delivered the goods for the Americans.

Joya scored a second-half brace to lead the U.S. to a 2-1 victory over the Xolos on Wednesday in Carson, California.

Video: Klinsmann talks Dempsey, U.S. Under-21 team and more

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Wright-Phillips makes case for starting spot with sterling hat-trick performance

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photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

HARRISON, N.J. A jubilant New York Red Bulls' locker room was filled with jokes about Bradley Wright-Phillips needing to take more sick days, and with good reason.

A day after being a health concern due to flu-like symptoms,Wright-Phillips' delivered a hat-trick performance to help the Red Bulls to a romp of the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday night.

Bradley Wright-Phillips hat trick leads Red Bulls in rout over Dynamo

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By IVES GALARCEP

The big question surrounding the New York Red Bulls early on in the 2014 season has been who would step up to provide Thierry Henry some support in attack and a real goal threat.

Bradley Wright-Phillips made his case for being up for that role on Wednesday night, scoring a hat trick to help lead the Red Bulls to a 4-0 victory against the Houston Dynamo at Red Bull Arena.

Thursday Kickoff: Man United target Cavani; Man City, No European bans from FFP; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Manchester United have begun targeting summer signings.

Even without a full-time head coach in place, Man United are interested in opening the check-book to sign Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani. The Uruguayan forward was acquired last summer by PSG for €60 million and it will take a bid of at least €72 million ($100 million) to bring Cavani to Old Trafford.

Wright-Phillips makes case for starting spot with hat-trick performance

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photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

HARRISON, N.J. A jubilant New York Red Bulls' locker room was filled with jokes about Bradley Wright-Phillips needing to take more sick days, and with good reason.

A day after being a health concern due to flu-like symptoms,Wright-Phillips' delivered a hat-trick performance to help the Red Bulls to a romp of the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday night.

SBI MLS Best XI (Week 7)

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By IVES GALARCEP

Real Salt Lake continues to be the only undefeated team in Major League Soccer, and a big reason for that is the continued outstanding form of goalkeeper Nick Rimando.

The U.S. national team goalkeeper made a handful of jaw-dropping saves to help RSL post a 1-0 victory against the Portland Timbers.

Revs Notes: Joseph welcomed back, Dorman to fill in as captain, and more

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By CARL SETTERLUND

After forgettable stints at Chivas USA and with the Seattle Sounders, New England Revolution legend Shalrie Joseph has rejoined the club where his name is still gold.

The player his teammates affectionately call "Chaz" did a trial with New England back in February and was claimed off waivers by the Revs on Tuesday afternoon, sending the 12th-year MLS veteran back to the club he called home for his first 9-1/2 seasons.

Pontius undergoes hamstring surgery, expected to miss 4-6 months

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By DAN KARELL

Chris Pontius will be spending another long stretch on the sidelines due to injury.

D.C. United announced on Wednesday that the midfielder had undergone surgery on his left hamstring and is expected to miss the next four to six months.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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By DAN KARELL

Two of Europe's biggest clubs meet up on Wednesday afternoon in one of the most anticipated matches of the season.

Pep Guardiola and Bayern Munich visit Carlo Ancelotti and Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League semifinals.

SBI NWSL Power Rankings (Week 2)

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

The second week back for the National Women's Soccer League was (mostly) about the underdogs teams that struggled last year but are out to prove they belong at the top of the table.

To that end, the Washington Spirit looked like a team ready to shed their old image.

NYC FC moving forward with temporary training facility in Westchester County

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By DAN KARELL

New York City FC seem adamant that their game-day home will be within the five boroughs of New York City. However, that ideal isn't extending to their training facilities, for now.

On Tuesday evening, the town of Harrison's planning board approved a reported $10 million projectfunded by NYC FCto upgrade the athletic facilities at Manhattanville College, located in Purchase, N.

The SBI Show: Episode 132 (Previewing MLS Week 7, talking expansion, and more)

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By IVES GALARCEP

Technical difficulties prevented us from posting Episode 132 of The SBI Show last week when originally scheduled, but with so many good topics covered on the episode, we decided it was better late than never.

Episode 132 of The SBI Show previewed MLS Week Seven, while also touching on a multitude of topics ranging from promotion and relegation, to the U.

The SBI Show: Episode 133 (Recapping MLS Week 7, Talking American Abroad, and more)

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By IVES GALARCEP

The SBI Show is back after a brief hiatus, and there was no shortage of topics to discuss after an eventful week in Major League Soccer.

Episode 133 of The SBI Show took a look back at MLS Week Seven, which featured Real Salt Lake's latest victory against the Portland Timbers, as well as several comebacks.

SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 7)

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By DAN KARELL

Even last year's Western Conference Champions were no match for this year's Real Salt Lake

For the second straight week, RSL is topping this week's SBI MLS Power Rankings after vanquishing the Portland Timbers last Saturday, 1-0, at Rio Tinto Stadium. Ned Grabavoy scored his side's goal late but the clean sheet was preserved by an outstanding performance from goalkeeper Nick Rimando, keeping the Timbers off the board.

Video: Landon Donovan talks Moyes’ firing, the World Cup, and more

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Wednesday Kickoff: Barca transfer ban lifted; Moyes releases statement; and more

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By DAN KARELL

FC Barcelona will be able to buy players in the next transfer window, at least for the time being.

FIFA released a memo on Wednesday saying that Barcelona's transfer ban from FIFA has been temporarily lifted due to an appeal lodged by the club. FIFA had placed the ban on Barcelona for the next two transfer windows due to what they found as irregularities in Barcelona's transfer policies with players under the age of 18.

Atletico, Chelsea play to drab scoreless draw in Spain

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Chelsea and Atletico Madrid are not the most attack-minded teams, and that was as apparent as ever on Tuesday.

Playing in the first match of their two-legged UEFA Champions League semifinals series, the two clubs settled for a scoreless draw at Vicente Calderon Stadium.

Revolution add club legend Joseph off waivers

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photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Nearly two years after a somewhat divorce from the New England Revolution, Shalrie Joseph is making his way back to the club where he established himself as a professional.

New England announced on Tuesday afternoon that they have acquired Joseph, a Revolution legend, via the Waiver Draft.

Atletico Madrid vs. Chelsea: Your Running Commentary

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The UEFA Champions League semifinals are about to get underway.

Atletico Madrid and Chelsea will square off in the first leg of their semifinals series at Vicente Calderon Stadium on Tuesday (2:45pm ET, Fox Deportes/Fox Soccer 2Go), and both sides will be looking to set the tone in what is sure to be a tight pair of matches between two physical and defensively-stout clubs.

Recovering Cahill ruled out vs. Dynamo

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photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

HANOVER, N.J. The New York Red Bulls will be without Tim Cahill for Wednesday's match against the Houston Dynamo.

Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke said Tuesday that Cahill will miss the upcoming match vs.

A closer look at USMNT’s crowded forward battle

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Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Only a few weeks remain before U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann names his preliminary World Cup roster, and one position where places are still up for grabs is forward.

Klinsmann has what could be the deepest (though not necessarily the most talented) pool of forwards in U.

SBI MLS Save of the Week: Nick Rimando

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photo by ISIphotos.com

USL Pro Week 5: A Look Back

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

Arizona United SC rebounded from their mortifying USL Pro debut after Jonathan Top's late-game winner claimed a 2-1 victory over the Sacramento Republic FC on Saturday night at the Peoria Sports Complex.

The Republic broke the deadlock when forward Thomas Steward found Rodrigo Lopez, who struck from close range to beat goalkeeper Evan Newton in the 27th minute.

UCL Preview: Madrid looks to unseat Munich, Atletico aim to continue dream run vs. Chelsea

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Real Madrid are a step away from reaching the UEFA Champions League final, but in their way stand the defending champions and a manager that they are all too familiar with.

Real Madrid will host Pep Guardiola and Bayern Munich at the Bernabeu Stadium on Wednesday (2:45pm ET, Fox Deportes/Fox Soccer 2Go) in the first leg of their semifinals series.

SBI MLS Goal of the Week: Hector Jimenez

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photo by Michael Burns/ISIphotos.com

Man Utd confirm Moyes exit after disappointing season

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By FRANCO PANIZO

This always seemed inevitable.

Manchester United announced on Tuesday that they have fired manager David Moyes after a disappointing first season and Ryan Giggs will serve as head coach of the club on an interim basis.

Moyes more than struggled to replace legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson this season, failing to qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 1995 and enduring an inconsistent and subpar year that will see Man Utd finish with their lowest-ever points total in the Premiership.

Tuesday Kickoff: Ronaldo could play vs. Bayern; Eto’o ruled out; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Cristiano Ronaldo is back in Real Madrid's squad ahead of their crucial UEFA Champions League semifinal first leg against Bayern Munich on Wednesday, but it's touch and go whether he will start.

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti stated in his pre-match press conference that him and his staff will wait until Wednesday to make a decision on the starting lineup.

Must-See Goal: Florian Dick

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Gil, Trapp withdraw from U.S. U-21 camp due to injury

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By DAN KARELL

Tab Ramos opened his inaugural pre-Olympic U.S. Under-21 Men's National Team training camp in Carson, Calif. without two of his key players.

Real Salt Lake midfielder Luis Gil and Columbus Crew midfielder Wil Trapp both accepted call-ups but then pulled out of the camp on Monday due to injuries.

Battle continues over Beckham’s proposed Miami stadium site

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By RYAN TOLMICH

The first opposition David Beckham's Miami MLS team faces may not be a fellow MLS side like the Chicago Fire or the Portland Timbers. Rather, it appears as if the expansion team's first matchup will come with opposition of a different nature: a cruise line.

John Fox, former Vice President of Royal Caribbean Cruises and currently of theMiami Seaport Alliance, appeared on a Miami talk showalongside JohnAlschuler, real estate advisor to David Beckham, to discuss the proposed PortMiami stadium deal.

Report: Qatar to reduce World Cup stadiums to eight as costs soar

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By DAN KARELL

Even Qatar isn't immune to a financial crisis.

The oil-rich country has decided to reduce the amount of stadiums they plan to build from 12 to eight for the 2022 World Cup they were picked to host, according to a report from Doha. Qatar's bid included plans to build nine new stadiums from scratch with a capacity of 40,000 or more and expand three current stadiums to add more seating and other improvements.

U-20 USMNT fall in Dallas Cup final to River Plate

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By DAN KARELL

After enduring an emotionally and physically draining victory in extra time, the U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team ran out of gas in Sunday's Dallas Cup final.

Facing River Plate for the second time in this year's prestigious youth tournament, the U.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Harrison Shipp

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By RYAN TOLMICH

It was just another week and another assist for Chicago Fire rookie Harrison Shipp.

Shipp showed off his playmaking abilities once again in the Fire's 1-1 draw with the New England Revolution by setting up the Fire's lone goal. The Notre Dame product'sthird assist in six games helped him earn SBI MLS Rookie of the Week honors yet again.

Orlando City to play inaugural 2015 MLS season at renovated Citrus Bowl

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

Orlando City SC will have to wait until 2016 to begin playing in their new downtown soccer-specific stadium.

The club announced on Monday morning that they will play the entire 2015 inaugural Major League Soccer season at the renovated Florida Citrus Bowl after claiming delays in the last acquisition of land by City of Orlando officials.

NYC FC announce details of games at Yankee Stadium

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

New York City FC officially announced Monday what everyone already knew the Major League Soccer expansion club will play its inaugural 2015 season at Yankee Stadium. But they filled in the blanks about how the arrangement will work.

It will be a labor-intensive endeavor, with it taking three days to convert the Yankees baseball diamond to a soccer pitch and vice versa.

NASL Week 2: A Look Back

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By JOE PANTORNO

Minnesota United and the New York Cosmos remain perfect through two games this season as the North American Soccer League spring season's schedule slowly begins to take shape.

The defending Soccer Bowl champion Cosmos managed to escape Canada with three points, defeating FC Edmonton 1-0 thanks to a 37th minute strike from Sebastian Guenzatti.

NWSL Week 2: A Look Back

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By KAREEN DROT

In the second week of National Women's Soccer League action, teams that dominated the league last season struggled to find their rhythm, while the clubs that rounded out the bottom of the 2013 standings ran the show.

All four 2013 playoff clubs were on the field this Saturday and none managed three points.

Reports: Moyes ouster from United “imminent”

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

David Moyes' time may soon be up.

Multiple English media outlets are reporting that Moyes may soon be fired as manager of Manchester United, with ESPN also reporting that Moyes' dismissal is "imminent."

United owners, the Glazer family, and vice president Ed Woodward are reportedly in discussions about whether to continue with Moyes at the helm, having first considered it after United's FA Cup defeat to Swansea City in January.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Matt Hedges

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

Matt Hedges helped lead FC Dallas to victory Saturday against a strong Toronto FC side, assisting on the game-winning goal and scoring one of his own to keep FCD as the team to beat.

It was late in the 88th minute that Hedges helped FCD hold onto their No.

SBI MLS Team of the Week: Real Salt Lake

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

It may have not been the biggest win, but Real Salt Lake nabbed a tough three points this week by playing well on both sides of the ball and continuing to prove themselves as a top team. They head into Week 8 still unbeaten.

With a tight 1-0 win over the Portland Timbers, Nick Rimando proved to be a difference-maker, coming up with big saves to preserve the shutout.

Liga MX Round 16: A Look Back

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By DANIEL PRICE

Cruz Azul paid a heavy price for resting their best players in last Friday's Liga MX encounter against Morelia.

Morelia destroyed an understrength Cruz Azul side, 5-1 thanks to a pair of goals from Hector Mancilla. La Maquina had chosen to rest a number of their key players in advance of Wednesday's CONCACAF Champions League final against Toluca, though the league leaders still wouldn't have expected to be humiliated in such comprehensive fashion.

European Weekend Rewind: Sunderland stun Chelsea; Barcelona rally to defeat Bilbao; and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

After 77 straight league home matches without a loss, Jose Mourinho has now tasted defeat inside Stamford Bridge and it could not have come at a worse time for his Chelsea team.

Second-place Chelsea lost 2-1 on Saturday to last-place Sunderland, who won on an 82nd-minute penalty kick from Fabio Borini.

Monday Kickoff: Messi to be offered new deal; Roma qualify for UCL; and more

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By DAN KARELL

With all of Barcelona's off the field problems, current president Josep Maria Bartomeu is doing his best to ensure that the club's next piece of breaking news is a positive one.

Speaking to Esport3 Television in Barcelona, Bartomeu said that the club is in talks to give Lionel Messi an improved contract.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Easter Weekend was kind to the Americans Abroad contingent.

Several players delivered strong performances this past weekend, including Rapid Vienna striker Terrence Boyd. Boyd bagged a brace in the club's 2-2 draw vs. SV Grodig on Sunday, scoring his first goal in the 24th minute before converting a penalty kick that he drew late in the first half.

New USWNT coach to be named by mid-May

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

The wait for a permanent replacement for fired U.S. Women's National Team head coach Tom Sermanni shouldn't last too much longer.

A new coach should be hired in the next few weeks, U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati told NBC Sports on Saturday.

"I'm pretty sure we'll be done by the middle of May," Gulati said.

Late missed penalty forces Fire to settle for tie vs. Revs

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By CARL SETTERLUND

The Chicago Fire entered Saturday afternoon's home match against the New England Revolution with ties in each of its previous five games. Although the final result saw that run extended to six games, it wasn't for lack of late drama.

First half goals by the Fire's red-hot Quincy Amarikwa and New England's Lee Nguyen secured a 1-1 result in front of 15,743 at Toyota Park, but they saved plenty of fireworks for the end after Amarikwa's second yellow card in the 73rd minute.

Ten-man Crew fight back to earn draw vs. D.C. United

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By DAN KARELL

COLUMBUS, Ohio Even though they were down to ten men, the Columbus Crew were rewarded for their persistence.

In a game filled with emotion and intensity that at one point boiled over in the Crew's goalmouth, the Crew battled back thanks to a Hector Jimenez goal in the 90th minute to tie D.

Dwyer brace helps Sporting KC cruise to rout Impact

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By TATE STEINLAGE

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Montreal Impact fans waiting for their team's first victory will have to wait at least one more week after the Impact gave up four goals to Sporting KC Saturday in front of 20,306 at Sporting Park.

A Dom Dwyer brace capped off a second half which resulted in three goals for the home team en route to the 4-0 finish.

Late Perez tap-in lifts FC Dallas over Toronto FC

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By JASON MITCHELL

It's good to have the Super Raton back.

Blas Perez, returned to the FC Dallas lineup after missing last week's match with a hamstring injury, scored in the waning minutes of regulation to give his team a dramatic 2-1 victory over Toronto FC at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.

Sounders ride Dempsey to victory against 10-Man Chivas USA

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By LEE PRINDLE

Clint Dempsey continued his recent run of good form on Saturday night as his two assists rallied the Seattle Sounders to a 2-1 victory against 10-man Chivas USA in Carson, Calif.

Dempsey's playmaking abilities were on full display as he created goals for Lamar Neagle and Obafemi Martins in a physical and back-and-forth match.

Rimando shines in RSL win over Timbers

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By TYLER GRAY

SANDY, Utah Real Salt Lake and the Portland Timbers developed quite a rivalry last season. They played each other a total of six times but RSL dominated the series never losing once. Their meeting Saturday was a chance for the visiting Timbers to break the trend but not without RSL having something to say about it.

Late Manneh goal gives Whitecaps 2-2 draw with Galaxy

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By RYAN TOLMICH

Just one week after scoring a game-winner against the Vancouver Whitecaps, it looked like Robbie Keane could repeat the feat once again but alas, his Los Angeles Galaxy had to settle for a 2-2 draw Saturday in Vancouver.

With the score tied at one, Keane gave the Galaxy the lead in the 77th minute, giving Whitecaps supporters feelings of deja vu from last week's matchup.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

As if fighting for their Champions League hopes were not enough, Everton's match at Goodison Park were have even more drama Sunday thanks to the homecoming of their former manager.

David Moyes and his seventh-place Manchester United squad head to Merseyside to face fifth-place Everton, who trail Arsenal by just one point in the race for the English Premier League's final Champions League spot.

Dynamo grab road point in 0-0 draw with Union

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Houston Dynamo and Philadelphia Union entered their Saturday clash at PPL Park struggling offensively, so it shouldn't have come as much of a surprise that they would wind up playing to a goal-less draw.

Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall and Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath had little to do on a day when neither team could get going in the attack.

Rapids, Earthquakes settle for scoreless draw

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By RYAN TOLMICH

After a tough opening to their 2014 campaign, the San Jose Earthquakes were looking to pick up their first win Saturday when they visited the Colorado Rapids.

However, the Quakes were forced to settle for an always-difficult road point in a game where they were reduced to 10 men late.

Altidore draws winning PK as Sunderland shock Chelsea

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By RYAN TOLMICH

Jozy Altidore and Sunderland had been struggling.

The Black Cats, who entered the weekend with just 26 points from 33 games, are dead last in the Premier League. Altidore, who has scored one Premier League goal this season, had been absent from the Sunderland squad for the past few weeks.

MLS Match Week Seven: SBI Live Commentary

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A trio of key Eastern Conference clashes kick off the day's proceedings as MLS Week Seven features a full slate of nine matches on the day before Easter.

The Philadelphia Union and Houston Dynamo are two teams struggling as they face off at PPL Park. Both teams got off to promising starts to the season, but they each have slumped since and will be desperate for a win today.

Saturday Ticker: Sunderland end Chelsea home unbeaten run; Atletico maintain lead; and more

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By RYAN TOLMICH

Sunderland were dead and buried.

Sitting 20th in the English Premier League with a trip to Stamford Bridge at hand, the Black Cats were up against a wall.

However, a late Fabio Borini penalty kick goal earned Sunderland a 2-1 win and all three points over title hopefuls Chelsea.

U-20 USMNT book place in Dallas Cup final with dramatic win vs. Fluminense

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By DAN KARELL

Against the odds, Tab Ramos and his U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team are on the verge of something special.

Despite playing win ten men for nearly all of the second half and extra time, a Rubio Rubin penalty kick goal lifted the U.S. U-20s over Fluminense, 3-2, on Friday evening, to earn a place in the final of the Gordon Jago Super Group at the Dallas Cup.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Second-place Chelsea will have another chance to pull ahead of Liverpool at least for a temporary basis as they host a relegation fighter Saturday at Stamford Bridge.

Before their tough set of road matches next week, Chelsea will take on last-place Sunderland, who are desperate to pick up any points in their race to get out of the bottom of the English Premier League.

Chivas USA rookie McNamara to undergo surgery for torn ACL

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By RYAN TOLMICH

Chivas USA midfielder Thomas McNamara has seen his impressive rookie season cut short after it was revealed he suffered a torn ACL and meniscus in his right knee during last Saturday's 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers.

MLS Ticker: PortMiami stadium would cost Beckham’s group $250M; Defoe out again; and more

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By RYAN TOLMICH

If David Beckham is to get his wish of building a Major League Soccer Stadium in PortMiami, his ownership group is going to have to come up with some extra cash.

The publicly owned waterfront location, which has been eyed by Beckham and co. since the announcement of MLS' Miami expansion, will cost the group an additional $50 million.

This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By RYAN TOLMICH

With the European season winding down, this weekend boasts a series of games with major title implications.

Starting in England, Liverpool look to hold on to their position atop the Premier League table when they travel to Norwich Sunday.

MLS Week 7: A Look Ahead

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By DAN KARELL

The winless Portland Timbers hit the road this week to take on Real Salt Lake in the highlight of MLS Week Seven.

RSL are coming off a tough 2-2 draw at the Philadelphia Union but they should be boosted with the return of Luis Gil to the lineup from injury.

Gil, Trapp and O’Neill headline squad called in for U.S. Under-21 camp

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By IVES GALARCEP

Former U.S. Under-20 national team standouts Luis Gil, Wil Trapp and Shane O'Neill headline a 21-player squad made up almost exclusively of professional players that have called into a U.S. Under-21 training camp taking place next week in Carson, California.

USL Pro Week 5: A Look Ahead

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

Sacramento Republic FC's unbeaten start may have ended last weekend, but it was the way they responded the following day that displayed they're a team to be reckoned with.

With one more road game left before their home opener, the Republic will travel to the Peoria Sports Complex to face off against expansion side Arizona United SC on Saturday.

NWSL Week 2: A Look Ahead

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By KAREEN DROT

The first week of National Women's Soccer League action produced a mixed bag of results – the defending champion Portland Thorns FC underwhelmed against expansion side Houston Dash while Seattle Reign FC, a second-last place team last season, earned their first ever clean sheet.

Liga MX Round 16: A Look Ahead

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By DANIEL PRICE

After last weekend confirmed Atlante's relegation to the Ascenso MX, the most pressing question in the division is who will claim the eight Liguilla (playoff) spaces. So far Cruz Azul and Toluca are the only certainties, but with only two games left pressure is rapidly increasing on the other sides.

Friday Kickoff: Neymar out for 4 weeks; Guardiola ends rotation policy; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Barcelona didn't just lose the Copa Del Rey to rival Real Madrid on Wednesday evening. They also lost yet another one of their starters to injury.

After undergoing tests on Thursday, Barcelona announced on their website that Neymar has been ruled out for four weeks with a foot injury, potentially ruling him out for the rest of the La Liga season.

European Weekend Preview: Slumping Barca face Bilbao; Everton host Man United; and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

When Barcelona visited Athletic Bilbao in December, the first-place club suffered its first La Liga loss under first-year manager Gerardo Martino.

Four months later, Barcelona need a win against their old foes in order to keep their season from going completely off the rails.

Klinsmann discusses pre-World Cup preparations for USMNT

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

The World Cup is 54 days away.

The 30 U.S. Men's National Team players named to coach Jurgen Klinsmann's preliminary World Cup roster will arrive May 14 at Stanford University to begin a month-long training program, and Klinsmann sat down with U.S. Soccer to discuss preparations.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Danny Williams came back from his latest knee setback this past Monday and now he has a golden opportunity to show just how healthy he really is.

Williams and Reading will play the second of their three matches in nine days when they visit Wigan Athletic in what is surely to be an intense match with promotional play-off implications on Friday.

Howard signs Everton extension through 2018

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photo by Matt West/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Tim Howard has been a staple for Everton for much of the past decade, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.

Everton announced Thursday that Howard has signed a contract extension with the club that will run through the end of the 2017-18 season.

Landon Donovan talks World Cup, Klinsmann and more

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Photo by David Bernal/ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

As Landon Donovan moves closer to playing in his fourth World Cup, the U.S. Men's National Team star has done plenty of reflecting on how much has changed since he first took the field in the 2002 World Cup.

MLS Insider: Pair of Aces

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photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com

On Women’s Soccer: Is the USWNT’s 4-3-3 formation here to stay?

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

When Tom Sermanni was fired as head coach of the U.S. Women's National Team, it was clear U.S. Soccer didn't have much confidence in his vision.

But when Jill Ellis took over last week – quite possibly as an audition for the permanent job – she saw something in his approach worth keeping: the 4-3-3 formation.

A closer look at MLS’s recent expansion

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photo by Perry McIntyre/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Not all things are created equal. MLS's recent expansion is a prime example of that.

Atlanta was added officially as MLS's 22nd team on Wednesday and the club is set to begin play in 2017 in a shiny new stadium that will open that year and also house the NFL's Atlanta Falcons.

SBI NWSL Power Rankings (Week 1)

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Jane G. Photography/Seattle Reign FC

By CAITLIN MURRAY

In the opening week of the National Women's Soccer League 2014 season, the power rankings look quite a bit different than any week last year.

The Seattle Reign have come out of the gate leading the pack and grabbing the top spot of Week 1 rankings.

Revolution Notes: Goncalves’ status up in the air, attack still sputtering, and more

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photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIphotos.com

By CARL SETTERLUND

The New England Revolution travel to play Chicago on Saturday, and it's still unclear if the team will have MLS Defender of the Year Jose Goncalves at its disposal.

Head coach Jay Heaps had no updates to provide on his captain's status after Goncalves was injured last weekend on a 38th-minute tackle that earned Houston's Ricardo Clark a yellow card.

SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 6)

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By DAN KARELL

Despite the early season struggles of the New York Red Bulls and the Portland Timbers, who last year led the league's Eastern and Western conferences, 2013 MLS Cup finalists Real Salt Lake keep chugging along.

Jeff Cassar's side take top spot in this week's SBI MLS Power Rankings ahead of FC Dallas after securing a 2-2 draw at the Philadelphia Union, one that RSL nearly won.

Reports: Brooks benched over large back tattoo

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By FRANCO PANIZO

John Brooks was a puzzling omission from Hertha Berlin's game-day roster this past weekend, but now we might know why he was not in uniform.

Brooks was not made part of Berlin's 18-man roster for the 2-1 loss to Bayer Leverkusen this past Sunday because of a large back tattoo he recently gone done, according to multiple reports from Germany.

U-20 USMNT stay perfect at Dallas Cup with win over Tigres UANL

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photo by John Dorton/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The perfect start continued for the Under-20 U.S. Men's National Team on Wednesday.

The U.S. closed out the group stage of the Dr Pepper Dallas Cup by defeating Tigres UANL, 1-0, courtesy of a goal from Rubio Rubin.

Must-See Goal: Gareth Bale

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Second-half rally propels Red Bulls past Union for first win of 2014

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By IVES GALARCEP

HARRISON, N.J. The New York Red Bulls and Philadelphia Union have carried some pretty clear and worrisome trends through the early part of the 2014 season. The Red Bulls have been a slow-starting team that has shown much better quality in the second half, though that hadn't resulted in any wins before Wednesday.

Thursday Kickoff: Bale leads Madrid to cup title; Bayern, PSG linked with Koscielny; and more

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By DAN KARELL

On Wednesday evening, Gareth Bale was worth every penny of his reported $132 million transfer fee for Real Madrid.

Facing Barcelona in the final of the Copa Del Rey, the supersonic Welshman knocked the ball past Barcelona defender Marc Bartra at the midfield line along the sideline and instantly went into fifth gear.

MLS welcomes Atlanta as newest expansion franchise

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

It's official: Atlanta has been awarded an expansion team in Major League Soccer.

Atlanta will begin play in 2017 as the 22nd franchise team in MLS. The team, not yet named, will be owned by Arthur Blank, who also owns the NFL's Atlanta Falcons.

Blank agreed to pay $70 million as an expansion fee, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Watch the MLS expansion announcement in Atlanta

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By DAN KARELL

Major League Soccer will be making a "major announcement" on Wednesday evening in Atlanta.

All signs point to Atlanta being named the league's latest expansion franchise and the league's 22nd club, with the future team being operated by Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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By RYAN TOLMICH

For many, Wednesday brings about the midweek blues. However, don't fear, soccer fans, as there are a variety of games to keep your head on straight right in the middle of your work week.

Headlining Wednesday's action is the most recent addition of European soccer's biggest rivalry: El Classico.

Projecting the USMNT pre-World Cup camp roster

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By IVES GALARCEP

We are just a month away from the U.S. Men's National Team convening on Northern California for the all-important pre-World Cup training camp and Jurgen Klinsmann is going to have some interesting decisions to make on the group he winds up inviting to the camp.

Mexico 4, U-18 USMNT 3: Match Highlights

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photo by ISIphotos.com

Report: Vikings increasing efforts to bring MLS expansion to Minneapolis

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By DAN KARELL

With Major League Soccer set to announce their 22nd expansion team in Atlanta later this afternoon, the Minnesota Vikings are maneuvering to have Minneapolis receive one of the remaining two expansion slots.

Just as Atlanta's future MLS team will be operated by an owner from the National Football League, the Vikings are leading the charge to acquire an MLS expansion franchise to play at their brand new 65,000-seat stadium, which is expected to be completed in 2016.

Report: Chandler making progress, hopes to be back in action for Nurnberg next week

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Some help might soon be on the way for the U.S. Men's National Team's problematic right back spot.

According to a report from Bild, Timmy Chandler resumed doing some light ball-work at Nurnberg practice earlier this week, marking the first time he has done so since suffering a knee injury in a match vs.

Wednesday Kickoff: Man City tops salary charts; Chelsea ready to spend; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Manchester City may not win the English Premier League title this season but they've remained No. 1 on the salary charts.

Per a study conducted by ESPN the Magazine and SportingIntelligence called the Global Salary Survey, Man City pay their players the most compared to any sporting franchise across the globe.

Tuesday Ticker: Arsenal battle back to top West Ham, Ronaldo out for cup final, and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Arsenal are back in fourth place in the Premiership and their dreams of playing in next season's UEFA Champions League are still alive.

At least, for now.

The Gunners battled back from a 1-0 deficit to defeat West Ham United, 3-1, on Tuesday afternoon.

MLS Disciplinary Committee fines Crew’s Gonzalez for embellishment

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photo by Michael Burns/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Giancarlo Gonzalez's embellishment late on Sunday has not gone unpunished.

The MLS Disciplinary Committee announced on Tuesday that it has fined Gonzalez an undisclosed amount for trying to dupe match officials into thinking he had been struck by Chris Wondolowski late in the 1-1 draw between the Columbus Crew and San Jose Earthquakes.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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By FRANCO PANIZO

It might only be Tuesday, but that does not mean that there are no interesting soccer matches to keep you busy.

Arsenal and West Ham United (2:45pm ET, NBC Sports Live Extra) will get things underway on Tuesday afternoon in a Premiership match that should draw plenty of eyeballs stateside.

Cahill, Armando available for selection for Red Bulls-Union showdown

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photo by Robin Alam/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

HARRISON, N.J. The New York Red Bulls will not be at full health on Wednesday, but they will be pretty close to it.

Midfielder Tim Cahill and centerback Armando are set to be available for the Red Bulls' home game vs.

Report: Royal Caribbean form organization to oppose Beckham’s proposed PortMiami stadium

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The opposition to David Beckham's proposed soccer-specific stadium in PortMiami is steadily growing.

According to a report from the Miami Herald, Royal Caribbean Cruises has rounded up some allies to form an organization to oppose Beckham's desired stadium in the southwest corner of Dodge Island near downtown Miami.

SBI MLS Best XI: Week Six

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Photo by Andrew Katsampes/ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

Kevin Alston scored his first professional goal last weekend, and while that alone would have been enough of a landmark given his five years in the league, the moment was made even more special by all he has overcome to return to top form.

U-20 USMNT kicks off Dallas Cup with pair of wins

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team is off to a dream start at the Dr Pepper Dallas Cup.

A day after securing a 3-2 win over Argentine club River Plate, the U.S. blanked German side Eintracht Frankfurt, 3-0, on Monday. Real Salt Lake's Benji Lopez, Philadelphia Union's Zach Pfeffer and Lorient's Romain Gall each found the back of the net in the triumph.

SBI MLS Save of the Week: Steve Clark

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SBI MLS Goal of the Week: Clint Dempsey

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USL Pro Week 4: A Look Back

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

Orlando City SC is at it again.

Orlando City continued its unbeaten start in the USL Pro, defeating the Charleston Battery 1-0 on Saturday. The result also catapulted the Lions back into first place in the standings.

Adrian Heath's men were able to get the upper-hand this time after both sides played to a 1-1 draw during opening weekend at Blackbaud Stadium.

Tuesday Kickoff: Man City, PSG in FFP trouble; Ronaldo and Pique out of final; and more

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By DAN KARELL

The deep-pocketed owners of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain could be restricted on improving their squads this summer.

Both clubs are included in a group of 20 European teams under investigation by UEFA'sClub Financial Control Body for breaching rules of Financial Fair Play, according to multiple reports in England.

NASL Week One: A Look Back

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By IVES GALARCEP

The New York Cosmos picked up right where they left off after winning last year's NASL Soccer Bowl, opening the 2014 season with a resounding victory over the Atlanta Silverbacks on Sunday.

Captain and defender Carlos Mendes led the charge for the Cosmos, scoring the first two goals of his professional career in New York's 4-0 mauling of the Silverbacks.

Report: NYC FC to play first three seasons at Yankee Stadium

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New York City FC will begin play in Major League Soccer in 2015 in a home within the five boroughs, the only problem is it's a temporary home.

The New York Times is reporting that NYC FC will play its first three seasons in MLS at Yankee Stadium, a development that isn't all that big a surprise given the club's struggles to make progress toward a soccer stadium project.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Harrison Shipp

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Rookie of the Year race is turning into a one-man show in MLS, with Harrison Shipp once again displaying the qualities that have him looking very much like the best first-year pro in Major League Soccer.

Shipp turned in another solid performance for the Chicago Fire last weekend, proving to be a handful all match in a 1-1 tie against the Montreal Impact.

SBI MLS Team of the Week: Seattle Sounders

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By IVES GALARCEP

A week after pulling off an improbable two-goal comeback to tie the Portland Timbers at Providence Park, the Seattle Sounders continued their Road Warrior profile by traveling to Frisco, Texas and handing FC Dallas their first loss of the season.

The Sounders pulled off yet another road comeback, rallying from 2-1 down to beat FC Dallas, 3-2, a win that made Seattle the easy pick for SBI MLS Team of the Week.

The SBI Show: Episode 131 (Looking back at MLS Week 6, Americans Abroad, and more)

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By IVES GALARCEP

Clint Dempsey's red-hot form, MLS expansion talk, and the exploits of some top Americans Abroad headlined the topics discussed in the latest episode of The SBI Show.

Episode 131 takes a look back at MLS Week 6, including Seattle's stirring comeback against FC Dallas, as well as the Philadelphia Union-Real Salt Lake tilt and D.

Report: Most Americans don’t plan to watch World Cup, poll finds

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

Soccer may be the World's Game, but it's not the United States' game, apparently.

Two in three Americans don't plan to follow the World Cup this summer, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll released Monday. Only 7 percent of Americans said they plan to follow the tournament closely.

Klinsmann observes and takes part in U-18 USMNT training camp

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

NWSL Week 1 Rewind: Reign re-born as Dash make debut

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

It's only the first week, but the Seattle Reign have to feel good about sitting atop the leader board after an embarrassing 2013, buoyed by a 3-0 shutout Sunday of the Boston Breakers. With Hope Solo in goal, they recorded their first shutout in franchise history while looking dominant on the other end of the field.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Clint Dempsey

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

Clint Dempsey has done it again.

After leading the Sounders to a jaw-dropping rally and draw last week in Portland on a hat trick, he returned for round two to wage a comeback win in Dallas this week.

Scoring two goals and forcing an own goal from a strategic shot into traffic, Dempsey pushed his side to erase a 2-1 deficit and grab a 3-2 victory against FC Dallas, a team that went into Week 6 unbeaten.

European Weekend Rewind: Liverpool defeat Man City; Barcelona fall to Granada; and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

After going 24 years without a league title, Liverpool now have one hand on this season's English Premier League trophy.

Liverpool pulled seven points ahead of fellow title contenders Manchester City with a thrilling 3-2 win at Anfield on Sunday. The high-scoring Reds raced out to a 2-0 lead on the visiting Citizens inside the first half-hour and endured a second-half Manchester City rally before striking a crucial goal in the final 15 minutes of play in front of their home fans.

Liga MX Round 15: A Look Back

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By DANIEL PRICE

Cruz Azul drew 2-2 with Pachuca in the Estadio Azul, after battling back from two goals down in dramatic fashion. The free-flowing and open game saw both sides rack up fifteen shots each, providing an engaging and entertaining spectacle for both sets of fans and the neutrals alike.

Monday Kickoff: Arsenal facing injury crisis; Atletico not concerned over Costa’s knee; and more

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By DAN KARELL

The sweat on Arsene Wengers brow is dripping from his forehead as he worries in anticipation of a mid-week English Premier League clash against West Ham.

Following a 120-minute performance from Wenger's squad on Saturday afternoon, the Gunners usual strength in midfield has been decimated with almost everyone dealing with either injury or fatigue.

Earthquakes, Crew settle for draw in physical battle

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Federico Higuain's late first half goal was canceled out by Chris Wondolowski's early second half header as the San Jose Earthquakes and Columbus Crew settled for a 1-1 draw on Sunday afternoon at Buck Shaw Stadium.

Despite a defeat to Toronto FC last week, Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter went with the exact same starting eleven and while they came out in the opening 20 minutes with more energy, they failed to find any targets in the box on crosses.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Juan Agudelo came off the bench for FC Utrecht late in the first half on Sunday, and he did not take very long to make an impact.

After entering Utrecht's clash with SC Heracles Almelo in the 36th minute, Agudelo waited just four minutes before scoring the winner in a 2-1 victory with a well-placed and powerful header.

Edu and Beckerman trade late goals as Union tie RSL

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By TYLER GRAY

Maurice Edu played the role of hero for the Philadelphia Union with a surprising late-game strike, securing the 2-2 result and another tie for Union.

RSL took the lead twice, in the sixth minute thanks to midfielder Luke Mulholland's quick reactions after Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath blocked Alvaro Saborio's initial PK attempt.

Revs snap out of offensive funk, top Dynamo at home

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By TIM FONTENAULT

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. For more than an hour, the New England Revolution and Houston Dynamo looked well on their way to a scoreless draw, but two unlikely goal scorers were able to secure all three points for the Revolution.

Kevin Alston scored his first career goal and Jerry Bengston added his first since March 9, 2013 as the Revspicked up their second win in three matches by beating the Dynamo, 2-0, on Saturday at Gillette Stadium.

Arnaud’s early goal enough to lead D.C. United past winless Red Bulls

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Last season, the New York Red Bulls rolled to a Supporters Shield title as holders of the best record in Major League Soccer. That same season saw D.C. United finished with a meager three wins, the lowest total in league history.

One month into the 2014 season the roles have reversed, with the Red Bulls proving unable to win a match and D.

Late Torres goal helps Chivas USA earn draw in Portland

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BY MIKE DONOVAN

PORTLAND, Ore.-For the second consecutive week, the Portland Timbers gave up a lead late at home, as Chivas USA used a Erick Torres goal to earn the 1-1 draw on Saturday night at Providence Park.

Will Johnson scored early for the Timbers, but they were unable to notch their first victory of the season, settling for their fourth home draw of the season.

Keane’s winner lifts Galaxy past Whitecaps

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By MARK EDWARD HORNISH

CARSON, Calif. The Vancouver Whitecaps do not love LA. In three years in MLS, and four visits to the Stub Hub Center, the men from British Columbia have never won or tied. They've only found the back of the net once, while conceding 10 goals all time in Los Angeles.

Red-hot Dempsey propels Sounders to comeback win vs. FC Dallas

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By IVES GALARCEP

FC Dallas has enjoyed a dream start to the 2014 MLS season. A combination of good soccer and good fortune had helped Oscar Pareja's side jump out to a 4-0-1 record and first place in the West. For 74 minutes it looked like FC Dallas might continue their hot streak.

Amarikwa equalizer spoils McInerney’s debut as Fire tie Impact

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By RYAN TOLMICH

It looked to be an ideal start to the beginning of the Jack McInerney era in Montreal.

The 21-year-old striker, traded to the Impact just last week, debuted in style for his new club with a 43rd minute goal to give his side the lead.

However, a Quincy Amarikwa equalizer shortly after halftime spoiled both McInerney's debut and Impact head coach Frank Klopas' first match with his former club, the Chicago Fire, as the Impact were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw in Montreal.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

The path to the English Premier League title will cut right through historic Anfield today as two contenders collide on Merseyside.

First-place Liverpool have not lost in EPL play since the calendar turned to 2014, and the high-scoring Reds have a four-point on their Sunday opponents, third-place Manchester City.

Buddle goal leads Rapids over shorthanded TFC

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By DAN KARELL

The Colorado Rapids had never earned even a point at BMO Field in club history. That is, until Saturday afternoon.

For the second consecutive week, the Rapids beat not only the odds but their Canadian opposition to send a message to Major League Soccer teams.

MLS Match Week 6: SBI Live Commentary

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By IVES GALARCEP

The MLS Western Conference is shaping up to be a competitive dogfight in 2014, and the team that has jumped out to the early lead in the West faces a very tough test from another top West contender.

FC Dallas rolls into today's meeting with the Seattle Sounders boasting the best record in the league (4-0-1).

MLS Commissioner Garber diagnosed with prostate cancer

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Major League Soccer announced on Saturday that commissioner Don Garber has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He is expected to make a full recovery.

The press release states that Garber, 56, has undergone a series of tests and that the cancer has not spread from the prostate gland.

The SBI 2014 NASL Season Preview

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By IVES GALARCEP

The 2014 NASL season kicks off on Saturday, and the growing league has plenty to be exited about heading into a new year.

The arrivals of expansion teams Indy Eleven and FC Ottawa will increase the league's size to 10 teams, and Indy has already done an excellent job of creating buzz in a soccer hotbed.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Photo by Matt West / ISIPhotos.com

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Arsenal might be out of contention for the English Premier League title this season, but the Gunners are still two cup wins away from ending their long trophy drought.

Arsene Wenger's squad will go for the first of those wins Saturday as Arsenal faces Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup Semifinals.

NWSL: Previewing the 2014 season

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

The National Women's Soccer League is back – and not only will it be bigger, but its star power will be a little bit brighter.

As the NWSL welcomes the Houston Dash, an expansion team owned by Major League Soccer's Dynamo, there will also be a fresh batch of U.

NWSL 2014 season preview

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

The National Women's Soccer League is back – and not only will it be bigger, but its star power will be a little bit brighter.

As the NWSL welcomes the Houston Dash, an expansion team owned by Major League Soccer's Dynamo, there will also be a fresh batch of U.

MLS Week 6: A Look Ahead

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By DAN KARELL

FC Dallas have continued their flying start to the season but one of Major League Soccer's most talented teams stands in their way of staying undefeated.

Oscar Pareja's side welcomes the Seattle Sounders and their full compliment of Designated Players to Toyota Stadium for a showcase that should bring out the best in both sides.

U.S. Soccer president touches on USA Copa America rumors

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The rumored 2016 Copa America, which would reportedly be played in the United States and feature CONCACAF powers as well as South American countries, has been making the rounds for almost two years. But when a fresh report emerged this week claiming the tournament was a done deal, U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati decided to enter the fray.

MLS Ticker: Defoe ruled out again; Rogers loaned to LA Galaxy II; and more

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By RYAN TOLMICH

Toronto FC will look to win their second straight game this weekend, despite the absence of one of the club's big money signings.

TFC star Jermain Defoe will miss this week's matchup with the Colorado Rapids due to a hamstring injury, according to TFC head coach Ryan Nelson.

This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By RYAN TOLMICH

The English Premier League title could take a major step toward being decided this weekend when league leaders Liverpool take on third placed Manchester City. The Citizens, who enter the matchup four points back with two games in hand, knocked off the Reds, 2-1, back in December.

U-18 USMNT preview Mexico friendly, look back at Canada win

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

SBI MLS Team of the Month (March): Columbus Crew

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By DAN KARELL

Plenty of coaches talk about their desire to play attractive, possession-based soccer, but few can back up their words. So far, Columbus Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter is one of them.

In the first month of the season, the Crew put together a 3-0 record including a dominant win at D.

SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week Five)

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By DAN KARELL

FC Dallas are showing no signs of slowing down.

Oscar Pareja's club re-captured "El Capitan" from the Houston Dynamo last weekend with a tremendous 4-1 performance, backed by the play of midfielder Mauro Diaz. The Argentine has been the key to FC Dallas' recent success but the addition of Hendry Thomas in defensive midfield combined with Matt Hedges and Chris Seitz has given FC Dallas one of the best spines in MLS.

Friday Kickoff: Aguero set for return vs. Liverpool, Courtois cleared to face Chelsea, and more

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By IVES GALARCEP

Sergio Aguero's long injury layoff appears ready to finally come to an end, and it is coming at just the right time for Manchester City.

The Argentine striker is reportedly set to return for the Citizens for this weekend's potential championship decider against Liverpool.

USL Pro Week 4: A Look Ahead

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

While a majority of USL Pro clubs have already seen action in the 2014 season, Arizona United SC officially enters the mix this weekend when they make their league debut on Saturday at home against Oklahoma City Energy FC.

The Energy are coming off a 4-2 loss to LA Galaxy II after winning their first-ever match against the Orange County Blues FC.

Liga MX Round 15: A Look Ahead

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By DANIEL PRICE

Just three games remain for teams to claim one of the eight available places in the end-of-season Liguilla, and with only five points separating third-placed Pumas UNAM from sixteenth-placed Monterrey the battle looks set to go right to the wire.

European Weekend Preview: First-place Liverpool host Man City; Bayern face Dortmund; and more

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Photo by Paul Greenwood / ISIPhotos.com

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

The road to the English Premier League title will run right through historic Anfield this weekend.

First-place Liverpool are hunting for their 10th consecutive league victory this Sunday when they host third-place Manchester City, who are four points behind the league-leading Reds but have two matches in hand.

USWNT opens post-Sermanni era by beating China again

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

The post-Tom Sermanni era of the U.S. Women's National Team has begun and, for now, not much has changed – the USWNT still coasted past China, 3-0, on Thursday and interim coach Jill Ellis doled out minutes to veterans and rookies alike, using all of her substitutions.

Bayern facing Real Madrid, Chelsea meet Atletico after UCL semis set

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By IVES GALARCEP

Defending European champion Bayern Munich will take on a familiar foe in the semifinals this year after being paired with Real Madrid in Friday's European Champions League semifinal draw.

Pep Guardiola will take on a rival he knows well from his Barcelona days, while Chelsea has been paired with Atletico Madrid in another enticing clash.

Opara to undergo season-ending surgery on ankle

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photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Sporting Kansas City's defensive depth has taken a big hit, as centerback Ike Opara has been lost for the season.

Sporting KC announced on Thursday that Opara will undergo surgery on April 16 to repair a chondral defect in his right ankle and is expected to miss the rest of the 2014 campaign.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. Men's National Team's forward options have been discussed at length in recent months, but one player who is seemingly being overlooked by many observers is Terrence Boyd.

Having had to sit out Rapid Vienna's last game due to yellow card accumulation, Boyd will be looking to make his way back into the club's lineup vs.

USMNT 2, Mexico 2: Field-Level Highlights

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Photo by David Bernal/ISIPhotos.com

Dempsey, Bradley, Defoe lead 2014 MLS salary figures

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By DAN KARELL

The Major League Soccer Players Union released the most recent salary figures for the 2014 MLS season on Thursday, and it's the league's most recent signings who top the charts.

Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, and Jermain Defoe are all set to earn north of $5 million guaranteed this season, taking the place of fellow Designated Players Landon Donovan ($4.

On Women’s Soccer: Who will replace Sermanni as USWNT coach?

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By CAITLIN MURRAY

Now that the dust is settling from Tom Sermanni's shocking ouster as head coach of the U.S. Women's National Team, attention will turn to the next step: Finding his replacement.

It won't be easy. Sermanni came to the U.

Altidore’s nightmare season at Sunderland hits bottom, leading to the question “What’s next?”

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By IVES GALARCEP

With a month left in the English Premier League season, the final verdict on Jozy Altidore's first (and potentially only) season at Sunderland can be issued.

Even if he somehow climbs out of Gus Poyet's doghouse, and earns some playing time, and even finds a goal for the first time in 2014, Altidore will find it difficult to avoid his first season at Sunderland being called anything but a failure.

USMNT rise up to No. 13 in latest FIFA Rankings

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By DAN KARELL

The U.S. Men's National Team may not have beaten Mexico on April 2, but the draw did boost them in the latest FIFA World Rankings.

FIFA unveiled their April rankings on Thursday, which saw the U.S. jump back up to No. 13 on the back of their 2-2 draw with Mexico.

Thursday Kickoff: Ronaldo suffers hamstring setback; Tigres win Copa MX; and more

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By DAN KARELL

After missing two matches due to a knee injury, Cristiano Ronaldo is facing even more time on the sidelines.

Real Madrid released a medical report on Wednesday stating that medical tests have shown an injury to Ronaldo's left hamstring. Multiple reports in Spain believe that Ronaldo will be out for at least 15 days.

U-18 USMNT top Canada in first of two friendly matches

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By DAN KARELL

Coy Craft continues to make a name for himself with the U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team.

The 16-year-old FC Dallas product scored one goal and assisted on another as the U-18s beat Canada, 2-1, in a friendly match at the U.

SBI MLS Best XI of the Month (March)

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Columbus Crew enjoyed a perfect 3-0 month of March and they landed one player on the SBI MLS Best XI of the Month for March for each win they registered.

SBI MLS Player of the Week Federico Higuain leads a group of Crew players that includes Michael Parkhurst and young midfielder Wil Trapp.

UCL Rewind: Atletico eliminate Barcelona, Bayern rally to knock off Man Utd

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By FRANCO PANIZO

It took five games, but at long last there has been a victor between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.

After playing to a 1-1 draw on four separate occasions earlier this season, Atletico Madrid eliminated Barcelona from the UEFA Champions League and advanced to the semifinals of the competition for the first time on Thursday with a 1-0 win that gave them a 2-1 advantage on aggregate.

Report: Swollen knee keeps Williams out of Reading’s loss to Bournemouth

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Danny Williams' strong run of form has apparently been interrupted again by some knee issues.

According to a report from English outlet GetReading, Williams was held out of Reading's 3-1 loss vs. AFC Bournemouth on Tuesday because of swelling in his knee.

PRO unveils officiating crews for MLS’ Week 6

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The schedule for Week 6 in the MLS season includes several intriguing matches, and the referees who will officiate them have been announced.

Professional Referee Organization (PRO) named on Tuesday the officiating crews for this upcoming weekend's matches and next Wednesday's game between the New York Red Bulls and Philadelphia Union.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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By DAN KARELL

Everything is up for grabs in both of Wednesday's UEFA Champions League showdowns.

Manchester United, with their Champions League future on the line, face arguably their biggest game of the season when they visit the European and German champions Bayern Munich (2:45pm ET, Fox Sports 1).

CCL Rewind: Toluca powers past 10-man Alajuelense to reach final

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By DAN KARELL

In what's been a recurring theme over the past few seasons, a Liga MX club showed their might against a foreign CONCACAF Champions League opponent.

On this occasion, Toluca shook off their league defeat to Club Tijuana last Friday with a comprehensive 2-0 victory (3-0 on aggregate) over Costa Rica's Alajuelense, advancing to the CONCACAF Champions League final.

Former U.S. youth defender Valentin tears Achilles, out for season

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By DAN KARELL

Zarek Valentin's season is over just as it was getting started.

Only two games into the 2014 Tippeligaen season with club Bodø/Glimt, the 22-year-old American defender suffered a torn Achilles tendon in his left leg, according to reports in Norway, ending his season.

USWNT players react to Sermanni’s firing

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

Reactions are trickling in from U.S. Women's National Team players after head coach Tom Sermanni was fired in a shocking move over the weekend – and they cover quite a range.

Abby Wambach reiterated comments from Sunil Gulati a day earlier, when he said Sermanni's dismissal was "not a collective group of players" pushing for his ouster.

Ramos calls in 21 players for Dallas Cup

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team will compete in the Dallas Cup later this month and now we know which players will be available.

U.S. head coach Tab Ramos named a 21-player roster on Wednesday ahead of the tournament that runs from April 13-20 in Dallas, Texas.

Must-See ESPN Promo: American Outlaws

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

Report: Beckham’s proposed soccer stadium runs into hurdle

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Landing a stadium in PortMiami was never going to be easy for David Beckham, and now he has his first real hurdle to overcome.

Miami-Dade commissioners on Tuesday did not allow PortMiami to move a fuel-spill facility that would need to be relocated for Beckham's proposed soccer-specific stadium, according to a report from the Miami Herald.

UCL Preview: Barcelona put title hopes up against tough Atletico, Man Utd look to avoid elimination in Munich

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Barcelona admittedly struggle to create scoring chances against Atletico Madrid's tough and stingy defense, but they will need to find a way to do just that in order to secure advancement in the UEFA Champions League.

The two Spanish clubs are eyeing a place in the semifinals of the tournament, but only one will make it after they play the decisive leg of their quarterfinals series at Vicente Calderon on Wednesday.

UCL Rewind: Chelsea complete comeback, Dortmund’s rally falls short

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Jose Mourinho has done it again.

Chelsea advanced to the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday with a 2-0 victory over Paris Saint-Germain that came as a result of a late goal from substitute forward Demba Ba. The triumph pulled Chelsea level on aggregate at 3-3, but the Blues advanced on away goals.

Wednesday Kickoff: Dortmund find Lewandowski replacement; Iniesta approaches 500 games; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Borussia Dortmund have found a replacement for the outgoing Robert Lewandowski.

After months of rumors, Dortmund confirmed on Wednesday that they've agreed a deal to sign Hertha Berlin forward Adrian Ramos, with the Colombian international signing a four-year contract beginning in July.

MLS Ticker: Bradley questionable; Miller and Armando carrying knocks; and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Michael Bradley's status for this weekend's match is up in the air.

Toronto FC head coach Ryan Nelsen told reporters Tuesday that Bradley is one of several players that could miss this Saturday's home game vs. the Colorado Rapids due to injury. Nelsen did not specify what is bothering Bradley, but said that the veteran midfielder is recovering from "a couple of little strains.

USL Pro Week 3: A Look Back

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

By MIKE GRAMAJO

The LA Galaxy II launched their way back to the top of the USL Pro standings after defeating the Oklahoma City Energy FC, 4-2, on Monday night at the StubHub Center.

Peabo Doue gave the Energy the early lead in the seventh minute when Kyle Greig connected with the midfielder, who converted on the cross.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Two teams are inprime positions to become the first UEFA Champions League semifinalists on Tuesday, but they will have to go on the road to finish their jobs.

Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madridhold comfortable advantages over Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund, respectively, but will play the role of visitors in their series' decisive legs.

LA Galaxy to play Manchester United at Rose Bowl in July

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The LA Galaxy are no strangers to playing top European teams, but they will face an opponent that fits that category for the very first time this summer.

The Galaxy announced on Tuesday that they will host Manchester United in a friendly at the Rose Bowl on July 23.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Month: Harrison Shipp

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Photo by Robin Alam/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The Chicago Fire are not off to an impressive start in 2014, but the same cannot be said of rookie Harrison Shipp.

The Notre Dame product and Homegrown Player signing has gotten off to a solid start in his first month as a professional, starting in three of the Fire's four games in March and assisting on two goals.

SBI MLS Best XI (Week Five)

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By IVES GALARCEP

It was a good week for U.S. Men's National Team stars in MLS, and a good week for international midfielders as well.

Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey turned in standout performances last weekend to lead their teams to important results, and earn their places in the SBI MLS Best XI for Week Five.

Pitbull releases 2014 World Cup’s official song “We Are One (Ole Ola)”

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By FRANCO PANIZO

UCL Preview: Chelsea look to overturn deficit vs. PSG, Madrid attempt to finish off Dortmund

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By FRANCO PANIZO

It's going to take something special for Jose Mourinho to turn this one around.

Chelsea are looking to overturn a 3-1 deficit when they host Paris Saint-Germain in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League quarterfinals series on Tuesday. The Blues will be without the suspended Ramires, but should have a recovering Samuel Eto'o (hamstring) available for selection as they try to reach the semifinals for the seventh time in the last 11 years.

SBI MLS Goal of the Week: Jose Mari

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SBI MLS Save of the Week: Zac MacMath

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

Gulati sheds light on Sermanni firing

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

In the hours after Tom Sermanni had been fired Sunday from his job as U.S. Women's National Team coach, the soccer world was stunned. Fans, media and Sermanni himself were all caught by surprise.

And then the speculation began that a player mutiny must've been behind the decision.

Altidore dropped from Sunderland squad for loss to Tottenham

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By IVES GALARCEP

Sunderland faced a very difficult challenge on Monday in taking on Tottenham in a match the Black Cats needed to win to help boost their fading chances of avoiding relegation.

Jozy Altidore was nowhere to be found. He was dropped from the first team, and spent Monday playing with Sunderland's Under-21 team.

Tuesday Kickoff: Rooney returns to training; Roma lose Destro and Benatia; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Manchester United's UEFA Champions League hopes have been given a massive boost on the eve of their biggest match this season.

Wayne Rooney was back on the training pitchon Tuesday and has been included in the squad that will face Bayern Munich in the second-leg match on Wednesday at the Allianz Arena.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Nick Hagglund

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By IVES GALARCEP

When Toronto FC drafted Nick Hagglund as one of the first centerbacks taken in the 2014 MLS Draft, the rookie didn't figure to see much playing time with the likes of Stephen Caldwell, Doneil Henry and Bradley Orr on the squad.

It didn't take long for Hagglund to get his chance though, with Caldwell and Henry suspended for Saturday's match against the Columbus Crew.

U.S. U-18 forward Novakovich signs with Reading

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By DAN KARELL

A member of the U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team has decided to bypass college to play in England.

Midfielder Andrija Novakovich has signed his first professional contract with Reading FC, joining the English Championship club following a two-week trial last month.

The SBI Show: Episode 130 (Recapping MLS Week 5, talking Americans Abroad, and more)

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Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/Portland Timbers

By IVES GALARCEP

It was a wild weekend in Major League Soccer, as a rivalry-heavy schedule produced goals galore and some truly dramatic finishes.

Episode 130 of The SBI Show takes a look back at all the crazy action, including Seattle's stunning comeback in a 4-4 tie against Portland, FC Dallas' romp over Houston, Toronto FC's surprising road win in Columbus minus several starters, and more.

Pulisic hat-trick propels U.S. U-17s to Josip Katalinski International Tournament title

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Photo by John Dorton/ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team head coach Richie Williams wasn't kidding when he said that Christian Pulisic, Haji Wright, and Joe Gallardo were among the best players in the world in their age group.

The high-powered American trio proved too much for opposing teams as the U.

Must-See Goal: Djibril Cisse

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Monday Kickoff: Chelsea banking on Eto’o fitness; Camp Nou upgrades approved; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Chelsea are resting their UEFA Champions League hopes on the health of forward Samuel Eto'o.

The former Barcelona and Inter Milan star has been dealing with a hamstring strain since going off early on March 22 in Chelsea's 6-0 victory against Arsenal, but over the course of the season has been the best center forward on Chelsea's roster.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Clint Dempsey

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By RYAN TOLMICH

The beginning of Clint Dempsey's time in Seattle was, by most accounts, underwhelming.

Despite the lofty price tag, the American international failed to live up to his paycheck in his opening campaign. Scoring just one goal in his first nine matches was ruled unacceptable.

SBI MLS Team of the Week: Toronto FC

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By RYAN TOLMICH

It was viewed as a battle of two heavyweights. On one side was the Columbus Crew, undefeated and coming off of a potentially season-defining 90th minute winner over Seattle. On the other, Toronto FC, the big-money side who were humbled in their last contest with a 3-0 beating at the hands of Real Salt Lake.

Liga MX Round 14: A Look Back

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By DANIEL PRICE

Club America slumped to their fourth home defeat of the season as league leaders Cruz Azul emerged from the Estadio Azteca as 2-1 winners on Saturday evening.

A fast paced game saw its opening goal just before the twenty minute mark. Mauro Formica beat America's Luis Gabriel Rey to Alejandro Castro's cross and he powerfully headed the ball past the helpless Moises Munoz.

European Weekend Rewind: Everton defeat Arsenal; Atletico hang on to win; and more

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By JUSTIN FERGUSON

For the last 16 seasons, Arsene Wenger has managed Arsenal to a top-four, Champions League-qualifying spot in the English Premier League table.

After Sunday's trip to Goodison Park, the Gunners are going to need some outside help if they are to make it 17 straight.

Galaxy roll past Chivas USA

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By MARK EDWARD HORNISH

CARSON, Calif. The LA Galaxy and CD Chivas USA squared off in the 29th edition of the SuperClasico on a warm Sunday afternoon at the Stub Hub Center. The result was just like old times, with the Galaxy putting on a dominating performance, downing the Rojiblanco, 3-0, in front of an announced crowd of 15,008.

Tom Sermanni fired as USWNT coach

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

After less than 16 months on the job, U.S. Soccer has relieved Women's National Team head coach Tom Sermanni of his duties, effective immediately.

"We want to thank Tom for his service over the past year and half, but we felt that we needed to go in a different direction at this time," U.

Tom Sermanni talks about his surprising USWNT dismissal and future plans

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

On a sunny Sunday afternoon in Denver, U.S. Women's National Team head coach Tom Sermanni led the team to a 2-0 victory over China. He didn't know it, but that was his last game as USWNT coach. Shortly thereafter, U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati and CEO Dan Flynn fired him.

Reports: Atlanta to be announced as latest MLS expansion city

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By IVES GALARCEP

The city of Atlanta, long considered one of the favorites to land a team in the latest round of Major League Soccer expansion, has been granted an MLS expansion team, multiple news outlets reported on Sunday.

An announcement unveiling Atlanta as the latest MLS expansion city will be held on April 16th, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

D.C. United snap league winless streak, beat struggling Revs

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Photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIPhotos.com

By CLIFF STARKEY

WASHINGTON — It had been eight long months since D.C. United tasted victory in an MLS match. A grueling stretch that has only been made barely tolerable by the U.S. Open Cup the team won last year.

The streak is over though, and it ended with the help of their opponent.

Watson leads FC Dallas in rout of 10-man Dynamo

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

The lone season match of the so-called Texas Derby turned into a Texas Nightmare for the Houston Dynamo, who were handed a humiliating 4-1 home loss Saturday by FC Dallas after a late game-changing red card.

The Dynamo looked poised to hand Dallas their first bit bad luck this season with a close first half, exchanging a goal each.

Attinella stellar in goal as RSL tie Sporting KC at Sporting Park

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By TATE STEINLAGE

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Real Salt Lake isn't used to playing without Nick Rimando in goal, but they got a performance Saturday from Jeff Attinella that was anything but a drop off.

Attinella had to make eight saves and face a total of 20 shots from Sporting Kansas City to help his team earn an important 0-0 draw in front of 19,838 fans at Sporting Park.

MacMath saves late PK to help Union salvage draw vs. Fire

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By IVES GALARCEP

The Philadelphia Union watched another late lead disappear, and when Aaron Wheeler clumsily stuck a leg out and fouled Juan Luis Anangono in the penalty area to give the Chicago a last-second penalty kick, it looked as though the Union were set for another nightmare ending.

Mari nets two golazos in Rapids’ win over the Whitecaps

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By TYLER GRAY

The Colorado Rapids hadn't scored from the run of play in three games this season but midfielder Jose Mari decided to change all that, and in spectacular fashion.

The match was going well for the Vancouver Whitecaps they were up a goal via Darren Mattocks and playing well when things went sideways in the 77th minute.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Photo by Michael Zemanek / ISIPhotos.com

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Arsenal may still have a glimmer of hope for an English Premier League title this season, but they will be focused on keeping hold of a Champions League spot Sunday when they visit Everton at Goodison Park.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Alejandro Bedoya seems to really get up for matches against AS Monaco.

After delivering a strong performance at right wingback vs. the French heavyweights back in the fall, Bedoya found the back of the net playing in a central role in a 3-1 loss on Sunday.

Amid flurry of chances, USWNT coast past China

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

It wasn't quite the roaring comeback the U.S. Women's National Team wanted after a rough Algarve Cup last month, but the Americans coasted to victory Sunday in a new formation over China, 2-0.

In their second time starting in a 4-3-3 under coach Tom Sermanni, the USWNT seemed to be their own worst enemy, failing to finish on a flurry of chances as China threatened very little for a friendly in front of 14,903 fans.

Robles helps short-handed Red Bulls earn draw in Montreal

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By IVES GALARCEP

The list of missing starters read like a who's-who for the New York Red Bulls. Thierry Henry, Tim Cahill, Jamison Olave and Dax McCarty. None of them were in the starting lineup for Saturday's clash with the Montreal Impact, and their collective absences made the Red Bulls an underdog against a winless Impact side.

Dempsey’s hat trick leads Sounders comeback in wild draw vs. Timbers

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BY MIKE DONOVAN

PORTLAND, Ore.- Some rivalry matches fail to live up to the hype. Saturday's match between the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders was not of them.

In a game that saw lead changes, long-distance goals, a hat trick and a brace, numerous shots off the woodwork, and seven yellow cards, the Timbers and Sounders dueled to a 4-4 draw in front of a sold-out Providence Park, with Seattle overcoming a two-goal deficit in the final five minutes.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Photo by Javier Garcia / ISIPhotos.com

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Before their crucial meeting with league-leading Liverpool next weekend at Anfield, third-place Manchester City will try to maintain pressure on the high-scoring Reds with a home English Premier League victory against eighth-place Southampton.

MLS Week Five: SBI Live Commentary

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By IVES GALARCEP

It is rivalry week in Major League Soccer this week, as many of the league's most intense match-ups are on the schedule, led by the Seattle Sounders' visit to take on the Portland Timbers.

The Timbers are still searching for their first win of the 2014 season as they take on the same Seattle side they eliminated from the MLS playoffs last year.

This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

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By DAN KARELL

Arsenal's English Premier League title hopes may be out of reach, but if they don't stop their recent slide they could end up out of a UEFA Champions League place.

The Gunners face Tim Howard and fifth-place Everton in a crucial EPL match that could decide who finishes in the top four.

SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 4)

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Photo by Jane Gershovich/Soccer By Ives

By IVES GALARCEP

If you would have asked most people which MLS team would wind up being the final one with a perfect record, few people outside of Ohio would have every considered saying the Columbus Crew.

That's where the Crew stand though, a perfect 3-0 after a dramatic last-second winner from Justin Meram helped Gregg Berhalter's side improve to 3-0 and climb even further up the SBI MLS Power Rankings.

MLS Week 5: A Look Ahead

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By DAN KARELL

Dark green clouds of smoke billowing from the Timbers Army section of Providence Park will greet fans across the country tuning in to the first Cascadia Cup match of the season.

The struggling Portland Timbers are hoping to put their early-season problems behind them when they face their arch-rival Seattle Sounders.

USL Pro Week 3: A Look Ahead

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

There are several solid USL Pro match-ups on tap for this weekend, but none may be bigger than the debut of the Oklahoma City Energy FC, who are coached by MLS champion goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen.

The Energy will travel to California on Saturday to take on the Orange County Blues FC before making the trek north to kick off against the LA Galaxy II on Monday.

MLS Ticker: Union trade McInerney to Impact for Wenger; Toronto City backs BMO expansion; and more

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

After a slow start to the season, the Montreal Impact shook up their roster Friday with a blockbuster trade to land young striker Jack McInerney.

In exchange for McInerney, who is reportedly in the final year of his contract, the Philadelphia Union get a hometown boost in forward Andrew Wenger.

Friday Kickoff: Ronaldo to be rested; Mourinho could sell Torres, Eto’o, Ba; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Real Madrid won't gamble with Cristiano Ronaldo's long-term health this weekend.

Ahead of their La Liga tie against Real Sociedad, Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti told reporters at a press conference that Ronaldo would be rested for Saturday's match, as he heals a lingering knee injury.

Liga MX Round 14: A Look Ahead

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By DANIEL PRICE

After Wednesday evening's thrilling 2-2 draw between Mexico and the USA, players return to their clubs this weekend to compete in Week 14 of the Liga MX. There are just four games remaining, and the battle for both playoff places and top flight survival appears to be going to the wire.

Caught in a struggle for playing time, Lade fighting to climb Red Bulls depth chart

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By FRANCO PANIZO

HARRISON, N.J. Preparing for their match vs. Chivas USA last Friday, the New York Red Bulls squad was split into their first and second teams for some 11-v-11, game-situation drills. Four players were left out of the drill due to numbers.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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photo by Paul Greenwood/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Tim Howard and Everton have long dreamed of returning to the UEFA Champions League.

Now is the perfect time to position themselves to do so.

Currently sitting in fifth place and with a game in hand, Howard and Everton can close the four-point gap Arsenal have on them with a win at Goodison Park on Sunday.

The SBI Show: Episode 129 (Recapping USA-Mexico, previewing MLS Week Five, and more)

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

The U.S. Men's National Team dominated Mexico for the better part of 45 minutes on Wednesday night, then watched a 2-0 lead disappear into the Arizona night. There were some questions answered for Jurgen Klinsmann, but also some new questions raised.

European Weekend Preview: Arsenal host Everton; Real Madrid face Sociedad; and more

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Photo byMichael Zemanek / ISIPhotos.com

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Arsenal's draw with Manchester City last weekend may have kept them alive in a crowded race for the English Premier League title, but a road loss this weekend could do more than keep them out of contention it could keep them out of the Champions League next season.

On Women’s Soccer: A closer look at the recent USWNT newcomers

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By CAITLIN MURRAY

When head coach Tom Sermanni took over the U.S. Women's National Team last year, he had quite the quagmire on his hands.

He inherited an Olympic gold medal-winning squad with the best depth in the world. But that wasn't going to carry his team to a World Cup three years away.

Central midfield shines as Klinsmann gives 4-4-2 a rare look

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

By DAN KARELL

The U.S. Men's National Team couldn't hold on to a "Dos A Cero" result on Wednesday night against Mexico, but they did give head coach Jurgen Klinsmann plenty of things to ponder as he puts together his World Cup squad.

Green shows flashes of potential in USMNT debut

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By FRANCO PANIZO

GLENDALE, Ariz. After several months of hype and excitement, Julian Green made his much-anticipated U.S. Men's National Team debut in the 59th minute of their friendly with Mexico.

What followed was not exactly overly impressive or other worldly, but it did validate Jurgen Klinsmann and the U.

Thursday Kickoff: Ibrahimovic set for layoff; Ancelotti plays down Ronaldo substitution; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Paris Saint-Germain secured an historic victory on Wednesday evening, but lost their talismanic striker in the process.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was substituted in the 68th minute of PSG's 3-1 UEFA Champions League victory against Chelsea after feeling discomfort in his right leg, and the Swedish international is now awaiting results of his medical scans.

Green discusses switch to USMNT, looks forward to Mexico match

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIPhotos.com

USA vs. Mexico: SBI Live Commentary

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By IVES GALARCEP

GLENDALE, Ariz. The U.S. Men's National Team take on a familiar foe tonight when arch-rival Mexico comes to University of Phoenix Stadium for a friendly that is taking on a different sort of important than past USA-Mexico matches.

Jurgen Klinsmann will be trotting out an entirely MLS-based side, with stars Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley leading the charge.

SBI USMNT Man of the Match: Michael Bradley

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Photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

GLENDALE, Ariz. A goal, an assist and an overall impressive showing.

Michael Bradley delivered his latest fine outing for the U.S. Men's National Team in their 2-2 draw with Mexico at University of Phoenix Stadium on Wednesday, making an impact on both sides of the ball and being a key figure in the Americans jumping out to a 2-0 lead in a dominant first half.

USMNT squanders two-goal lead, settles for 2-2 tie with Mexico

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

GLENDALE, Ariz. A dominant and aesthetically-pleasing first half had the U.S. Men's National Team looking primed for an easy victory.

The second-half was a different story, with a pro-Mexican crowd being treated to a rousing comeback against an American defense that looked

The U.

USMNT 2, Mexico 2: Match Highlights

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USMNT Notes: Donovan benched due to bothersome knee, poor training sessions; centerback still up for grabs; and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

GLENDALE, Ariz. Landon Donovan has a proven track record against Mexico, so it came as a bit of a surprise when it was revealed that he was not in the U.S. Men's National Team's starting lineup for their Wednesday friendly vs.

UCL Rewind: Real Madrid roll past Dortmund; PSG topple Chelsea

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By DAN KARELL

Both Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain needed less than three minutes to get the party started.

Both clubs exploded out of the game on their way to resounding home victories, putting them one step closer to the UEFA Champions League semifinals. Real Madrid exacted some revenge against a short-handed Borussia Dortmund side in a 3-0 rout while Javier Pastore's stoppage-time strike gave PSG a 3-1 victory against Jose Mourinho and Chelsea.

The SBI Show: Episode 128 (Previewing USMNT vs. Mexico)

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By IVES GALARCEP

The U.S. Men's National Team takes on Mexico tonight and as much as the rivalry the teams share will take center stage, of even greater importance to both teams is how players do with their chances to audition for World Cup.

Episode 128 of The SBI Show takes a closer look at the friendly, including the lineup we are likely to see Jurgen Klinsmann trot out against 'El Tri'.

MLS Ticker: Defoe to miss match vs. Crew; D.C. United acquire Rolfe from Fire

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By DAN KARELL

Toronto FC will have an early look at what it will be like without Jermain Defoe in the starting lineup, long before they could potentially lose him for the World Cup.

Following practice on Wednesday, TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen confirmed to the assembled media that Defoe would not travel with the club to face the Columbus Crew on Saturday as the Englishman deals with a hamstring injury.

Must-See Goal: Diego

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Must-See Assist: Andres Iniesta

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Mexico friendly last chance to impress for USMNT World Cup hopefuls

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Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

GLENDALE, Ariz. The MLS-based U.S. Men's National Team players will have one last chance to impress Jurgen Klinsmann in an up-close-and-personal setting on Wednesday, and what a stage it will be.

The U.S. is set for its final tune-up ahead of the selection of next month's preliminary World Cup roster with a game vs.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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By DAN KARELL

It was a little less than one year ago when Borussia Dortmund broke Real Madrid hearts by knocking them out of the UEFA Champions League. Now, Los Blancos are ready for some revenge.

The two clubs meet on Wednesday at the Santiago Bernabeu in the Champions League quarterfinals for the first time since their epic two-legged dual in last year's semifinals, with Real Madrid looking the stronger side from a year ago.

U-18 USMNT assemble 24-man roster for April friendlies with Mexico and Canada

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By RYAN TOLMICH

U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team head coach Javier Perez released his roster of 24 players to participate in a domestic training camp in Carson, Calif., that includes friendlies with CONCACAF rivals Mexico and Canada.

The camp, which will run from April 4-13, will be the first action for the U-18 side since February's Copa Atlantico in the Canary Islands.

Williams calls up 22 players for U.S. U-17 trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina

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By RYAN TOLMICH

U.S. U-17 Men's National Team head coach Richie Williams has named his squad for the upcomingJosip Katalinski International Tournament that is set to take place April 3-6 in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Williams' squad sees the return of18 players from last month's tour of the Pacific Northwest, including regularsHaji Wright and Christian Pulisic.

UCL Rewind: Neymar saves Barcelona from first leg defeat, Man Utd head to Munich on even terms

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Barcelona were on their way to a disappointing first leg defeat at home to Atletico Madrid, but Neymar donned the hero's cape and came to the rescue.

Neymar saved Barcelona from going into the second leg of their UEFA Champions League quarterfinals series with Atletico Madrid down a goal, scoring a second-half equalizer to give his side a 1-1 draw at Camp Nou.

Wednesday Kickoff: Barca hit with FIFA transfer ban; Costa and Pique suffer injuries; and more

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By DAN KARELL

If Barcelona thought that their off-the-field troubles were behind them after dealing with Neymar's controversial transfer, they thought wrong.

In a stunning move on Wednesday, FIFA levied a 14-month transfer ban on Barcelona for the transfer and registration of multiple non-Spanish players under the age of 18.

USL Pro Week 2: A Look Back

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

Adrian Heath and Orlando City SC entered Saturday's USL Pro home opener vs. the Pittsburgh Riverhounds as heavy favorites.

The result told a different story, however.

The Lions had several scoring opportunities, but were left to settle with a 1-1 draw at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

SBI MLS Save of the Week: Dan Kennedy

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SBI MLS Goal of the Week: Dom Dwyer

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Who Should the USMNT start vs. Mexico?

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By IVES GALARCEP

The U.S. Men's National Team will play the last friendly before Jurgen Klinsmann names his preliminary World Cup roster in May, and the match will offer a final chance for fringe players to impress, either as starters or substitutes.

Just which players Klinsmann will call on to start against Mexico on Wednesday seems pretty straightforward.

Edu ready to take advantage of his return to the USMNT

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By FRANCO PANIZO

TEMPE, Ariz. Maurice Eduis back with the U.S. Men's National Team for the first time in a year, and he is as excited about it as anyone could imagine.

After an absence that dates back to March 2013, Edu has returned to the U.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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The unstoppable force that is reigning European champion Bayern Munich looks like the odds-on favorite to lift the biggest trophy in club soccer yet again, but Manchester United will try to play the role of spoiler when the sides meet in their quarterfinal first leg in Manchester.

Bayern is heavily favored against the struggling English side, but Manchester United has enough weapons to make things interesting.

Must-See Video: Kobayashi punks the New York Cosmos

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FC Dallas, Dynamo to host Aston Villa in July friendlies

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Brad Guzan might be making an appearance in the United States following the World Cup this summer. In fact, he might be making two.

FC Dallas announced Tuesday that they will host Guzan and Aston Villa in a friendly on July 23 at Toyota Stadium.

Cahill, Eckersley ruled out vs. Impact

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photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The New York Red Bulls might be severely shorthanded this weekend.

Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke said in his weekly conference call on Tuesday that midfielder Tim Cahill and right back Richard Eckersley will both miss this Saturday's road game vs.

Orlando City Council approves soccer stadium construction deal

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By DAN KARELL

Orlando City Soccer Club took one step closer on Monday evening to having a soccer-specific stadium to call home.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and the Orlando City Council approved a construction agreement that lays out plans for the estimated $84 million soccer stadium that Orlando City SC will eventually move into.