Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2015

SBI's Top 10 MLS Matches of 2015

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In a year that saw a new team crowned MLS Cup champion, 2015 was certainly a special one for those who avidly follow Major League Soccer.

We saw an assortment of foreign talent take center stage in some MLS' top matches and several budding stars shine before our very eyes. There was a 10-goal outburst, which ranks second in MLS history for goals in a match, while there were hat-tricks galore.

Sources: Cosmos not signing Georgios Samaras

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Photo by Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports

Following the departure of Raul, the New York Cosmos are in the market for another big-name forward. That forward will not be Georgios Samaras.

The 30-year-old Greek international is a free agent and had been training with the Cosmos throughout October.

Red Bulls signing proves 'long time coming' for academy product Derrick Etienne

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Ever since he was a 12-year-old prospect still learning the game, Derrick Etienne has dreamed of starting his professional career as a member of the New York Red Bulls. That dream became a reality last week as Etienne formerly joined the club he has always seemed to call home.

As part of a sweeping Homegrown signing period that saw the additions of seven local players, Etienne signed his first professional contract with the New York Red Bulls on Dec.

Report: LA Galaxy to sign Jeff Larentowicz

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Photo by Mike DiNovo/USA TODAY Sports

The LA Galaxy have been hit by the departure of several key veterans, but it appears that the club is nearing the acquisition of another long-time MLS contributor as a replacement.

Goal USA is reporting that the Galaxy are on the verge of signing 11-year league veteran and current free agent Jeff Larentowicz.

Liam Ridgewell to join Brighton & Hove Albion on short-term loan

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Photo by Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA Today Sports

Once again, Liam Ridgewell is on the move. Once again, only temporarily.

The Portland Timbers announced on Wednesday that they will send Ridgewell to Brighton & Hove Albion on a short-term loan that begins on Jan. 2. Ridgewellwill begin training with the English Championship outfit this week, but cannot officially play for it until after the winter transfer window opens.

MLS Ticker: Whitecaps sign Japanese striker Kudo; RSL adds Acosta from academy; and more

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The Vancouver Whitecaps have added a much-needed goalscoring option ahead of the 2016 season.

After a strong start for the Whitecaps in 2015, main striker Octavio Rivero couldn't quitecontinue his sizzling form. With Tuesday's signing of Japanese striker Masato Kudo, though, the Cascadia club has taken a huge step forward.

Chelsea boss Hiddink states desire to have Drogba as coach

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Photo by Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports

Reports emerged on Tuesday that Didier Drogba was bound for a Chelsea return, and the club's new manager has responded by reiterating his desire to add the Ivorian in a coaching role.

Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink says that he would prefer the Montreal Impact striker toreturn to Chelsea in a coaching capacity rather than in an ambassador role.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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As the holiday period continues, the Premier League features yet another contest while La Liga returns to play one last time before the New Year.

In England, Liverpool looks to keep the club's push up the table alive following a Boxing Day victory over Leicester City. In their path will be struggling Sunderland, who enter Wednesday's clash sitting 19th in the league and seven points out of safety.

Wednesday Kickoff: Arsenal target 'busy' January; ESPN proposes FIFA debate; and more

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Arsenal enter 2016 atop the Premier League table, and the club looks set to push to remain there throughout the rest of the campaign.

According to reports from ESPN, Arsenal are nearing a deal for Basel midfielderMohamed Elneny, who would serve as a potential replacement for the injured Francis Coquelin, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere.

NASL Ticker: Raul named La Liga ambassador; Strikers add four; and more

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Spanish legend and former New York Cosmos striker Raul has taken the first step into his post-playing career.

After retiring following the Cosmos's NASL final triumph, Raul has accepted a role as an ambassador for La Liga with a focus on the U.S. As such, the former Real Madrid striker will be tasked with promoting the game in the U.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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The race for first place in the English Premier League is in full swing heading toward New Year's Day, and today's marquee match should go a long way toward determining who holds the top spot to start 2016.

Leicester City has topped the league in recent weeks, thanks to superb performances from Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, but as of Tuesday, the Foxessits in second.

MLS Ticker: Roy Miller joins Saprissa; RailHawks interested in expansion place; and more

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After playing a critical role with the New York Red Bulls for the better part of six seasons, Roy Miller will return to his native Costa Rica and join Deportivo Saprissa, according to the club's official website.

It was already known back in November that the 31-year old defender would not be back in Harrison come 2016.

SBI's Top 10 USMNT Goals of 2015

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As poor as some of the results and performances were, the U.S. Men's National Team still managed to score some gorgeous goals in 2015. Quite afewof them,actually.

A year that will largely be remembered for failing to place at the CONCACAF Gold Cup and falling to arch-rival in Mexico in the CONCACAF Cup was foiled thanks in part to the number of memorable goals that the U.

The SBI View: Potential Drogba departure serves as big blow to Impact

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Photo by Eric Bolte/USA Today Sports

The Montreal Impact appeared to be well on their way. After storming past Toronto FC before falling just a goalshort of the Eastern Conference finals, the Impact looked to be in the process of becoming very real, and very dangerous, contenders for the 2016 MLS Cup crown.

How MLS teams are taking shape heading into 2016

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Photo by Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports

The MLS offseason is well underway, and while some teams have already filled roster holes in preparation for 2016, others have a busy new year ahead of them.

A handful of trades have taken place across the league, while some big-name players have also left the league to ply their trade elsewhere.

Report: Didier Drogba unlikely to return to Impact next season

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Photo by Erik Bolte/USA Today Sports

Didier Drogba's time with the Montreal Impact looks like it may prove to be as brief as it was explosive.

According to reports from RDS, Drogba is unlikely to return to the club for the 2016 season after joining the Impact midway through 2015. Drogba is reportedly tempted by a coaching offer from former club Chelsea.

Tuesday Kickoff: Van Gaal won't resign; Benitez cites Real 'witch hunt'; and more

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Louis Van Gaal is not going to resign any time soon it seems.

The Manchester United manager told reporters after the scoreless draw against Chelsea that he will not be stepping down after his side turned in an admirable shift at Old Trafford.

"After this result the fans were applauding.

Free agent Chad Barrett chooses Earthquakes

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Photo by Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA Today Sports

The San Jose Earthquakes remained quiet early this offseason, but have added a proven forward before the start of the new year.

Late on Monday, the Earthquakes announced the signing of Chad Barrett, who made the move via the new free agency market in MLS.

The SBI 2016 MLS Mock Draft (Version 1.0)

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The 2016 MLS Draft is less than three weeks away, and while we still aren't sure which top underclassmen will be available in the draft, we can start to think about just what the draft will look like when teams start choosing from the talent likely to be available.

The Generation adidas class is key to any MLS Draft, and right now there are major question marks surrounding several of the top targets for the class.

Midday Ticker: Man United, Chelsea flounder; Real Madrid ban upheld; and more

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In a game both sides desperately needed to win, two English Premier League giants played to a scoreless draw.

Manchester United's winless streak extended to eight games on Monday against a Chelsea side which has looked below-average itself throughout the 2015-16 campaign.

David De Gea and Thibaut Courtois produced a couple of spectacular saves on the afternoon at Old Trafford, while neither side could find a breakthrough.

Americans Abroad: Monday Rewind

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Another good day at the office for Geoff Cameron and Stoke City came at the expense of a fellow American.

Stoke picked up its second victory in three days by pushing four goals past Tim Howard in a narrow victory on Monday. Cameron and the rest of the Potters triumphed, 4-3, on the road in an entertaining and back-and-forth affair that saw Stoke overturn a one-goal deficit in the final 10 minutes.

MLS Ticker: San Diego pushes for MLS; Pirlo not planning winter loan; and more

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John Moores continues his pursuit of purchasing English Premier League club Everton, but the former San Diego Padres owner also has one eye fixed of bringing Major League Soccer to the California city.

According to a report from the San Diego Union Tribune, Moores is one of two parties investigating the possibility of bringing MLS to San Diego.

Must-See Goal: Xherdan Shaqiri

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Orlando City chief soccer officer Armando Carneiro steps down after two months

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Photo by Orlando City SC

Orlando City is heading into its second season as an MLS club, and already its undergoing a major front-office shakeup.

Orlando City announced on Monday that new chief soccer officer Armando Carneiro has stepped down due to personal reasons.LionspresidentPhil Rawlins will manage the club's soccer activities temporarily while it searchesfor a new CSO.

Soccer Monday: Your Running Commentary

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More than three points will be on the line at Old Trafford, as Manchester United head coach Louis Van Gaal is under intense pressure to win and could be exiting the club soon if not.

Manchester United-Chelsea is normally a matchup of two of the English Premier League's best, but that's not the case for Monday's contest.

Monday Kickoff: Van Gaal set to exit Monday; Klopp delays Sturridge return; and more

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Louis Van Gaal is on the hot seat following a string of poor performances in recent weeks, but that may come to an end on Monday.

According to the Telegraph, the Manchester United manager apparently had discussions with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and will be stepping down as boss no matter the result on Monday against Chelsea.

Rangers set to extend Gedion Zelalem loan until end of season

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Gedion Zelalem's stay with Rangers is set to be extended further than originally planned.

Rangers manager Mark Warburtonrevealed on Sunday that the U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team midfielder will remain with the club through the remainder of the 2015-16 season. Zelalem originally joined the Scottish second division club in the summer on a deal that was to expire in January, but the new agreement means Zelalem can build on his 11 made appearances this season.

Former Red Bulls, Salvadoran defender Alfredo Pacheco shot dead

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A former Salvadoran international and New York Red Bulls defender was shot dead on Sunday.

The Salvadoran attorney general's office reported that Alfredo Pacheco, 33, was murdered in Santa Ana while with a group of friends. Two other people were injured in the incident.

Pacheco, who was one of many players banned by the Salvadoran soccer federation in 2013 for being involved in match-fixing, previously played for the Red Bulls in MLS on loan in 2009, as well as Club Deportivo FAS,C.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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There were questions early in the week as to whether Geoff Cameron would be healthy enough to play again for Stoke City before the end of the year.

Cameron not only ended up playing on Boxing Day, he impressed with a strong performance that helped Stoke pull out a victory.

Stokeclaimeda 2-0 win on Saturday at home against Manchester United, and Cameron played a pivotal part in grabbing the result by turning in a 75-minute performance as a center midfielder.

Boxing Day Rewind: Man United, Leicester lose; Southampton thumps Arsenal; and more

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Louis Van Gaal's tenure at Manchester United looks set to end soon, as the Dutchman's side lost its fourth straight match in the early fixture on Saturday.

First-half goals from Bojan Krkic and Marko Arnautovic handed Stoke City a 2-0 victory at home over the Manchurian giants. Louis Van Gaal suggested post-game thatit might even be his own decision to quit, rather than the Board of Directors'.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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The tradition of Boxing Day soccer in England will be alive and well on Saturday, with a number of juicy matches around the English Premier League.

Kicking it off, Louis Van Gaal will look for a result to save his job against Stoke City away in the early game. After a dramatic press conference exit on Wednesday, the Dutch manager will look for his big-name players to step up and earn all three points.

English Premier League Holiday Preview: Stoke City hosts Man United; and more

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Four of Europe's big-five leagues are off for the holiday this weekend, leaving the English Premier League in the spotlight on Boxing Day.

Manchester United come into Saturday' road clash with 11th place Stoke City in desperate need of three points. Manager Louis Van Gaal and his fifth place United side come into the weekend losers of three straight and haven't recorded a win in six consecutive games across all competitions.

Hello everybody. I want to wish a Mer

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Hello everybody. I want to wish a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you SBI Soccer readers out there. We hope you are enjoying some time off, quality family time and a few peeks at SBI in between your unwrapping of presents and celebrating.

We will have a few presents for you in terms of posts today to help quench your thirst for soccer so keep an eye out for those, and feel free to throw some story suggestions our way today as we make our way through a fourth straight day without soccer to watch (the good news is soccer is on the way on Saturday courtesy of the Premier League's Boxing Day schedule).

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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If Brad Guzan and Aston Villa want to bring their fans some holiday cheer,closing out the year by ending their prolonged winless run should be the objective.

Aston Villa will aim to snap its 17-game winless run over the course of the next few days, and could even take big steps towards moving back to safety in the English Premier League.

Report: Clemson goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell signs Generation adidas deal

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In what appears to be a relatively weak goalkeeping crop, the 2016 MLS SuperDraft could feature at least one shot-stopping stud.

Clemson University goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell, who helped guide his Tigers to a national championship appearance in 2015, has signed a Generation adidas contract with Major League Soccer, according to Goal USA.

Report: Jesse Gonzalez to join USMNT January camp

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Photo by Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

A dual Mexican-American international goalkeeper is apparently going to switch sides come January.

According to Goal USA, FC Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez will join the U.S. Men's National Team during its annual January camp.

Gonzalez, 20, most recently played for Mexico's Under-20 team during the U-20 World Cup.

Galaxy ship another regular starter by transferring Juninho to Tijuana

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Photo by Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports

For the second time this week, the LA Galaxy have said goodbye to an important member of the club.

The Galaxy announced on Thursday that they havetransferred three-time MLS Cup winner Juninho to Liga MX side Club Tijuana. The departure of Juninho comes just two days after the Galaxy sold stout centerback Omar Gonzalez to Pachuca.

Report: Shane O'Neill heading back to Cyprus club

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Shane O'Neill's stay in Belgium was a short one.

After apparently signing a two-year-deal with Belgian outfit Royal Mouscron-Peruwelz in August, the U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team defender is reportedly heading right back to Cyprus, according to Belgian outlet DH.be.

He will apparently rejoin Cypriot club Apollon Limassol, the team he was originally transferred to by the Colorado Rapids in August, after not playing a single game for RMP.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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While the rest of the world takes a holiday break this weekend, the English Premier Leaguecarries on with a full slate of fixtures.

Headliningthe Boxing Dayaction is a matchup pitting Liverpool against league-leading Leicester City. The Foxes are coming off a 3-2 win over Everton last week while the Reds try to recover from a 3-0 loss at the hands of promotion side Watford.

Thursday Kickoff: Barca accused of 'smokescreen'; Rooney supports Gaal; and more

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It appears as though not every club around the world is in a jovial mood this time of year.

According to a release, Santos is accusing Barcelona of creating a "smokescreen" in order to not pay the Brazilian club a €2 million bonus. Neymar was one of three players named to the Ballon d'Or shortlist, and Santos is wanting to be paid after it and Barca agreed to a series of bonus clauses when the playmaker was sent to Spain in the summer of 2013.

Evening Ticker: Guardiola reportedly accepts Man City job; Van Gaal rips media; and more

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Pep Guardiola already set the date on when he would be leaving his job at Bayern Munich, and after a week of speculation about his various options, the Spanish manager has reportedly settled on the joining the club he has been linked with for months.

German media outlet Bild is reporting that Guardiola has accepted a job with English Premier League side Manchester City, meaning current manager Manuel Pelligrini will be out of a job.

Impact confirm discussions with Chelsea over Drogba's future

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Could it really be the case that after dazzling MLS for less than half a season Didier Drogba is set to return to Chelsea?

According to the Montreal Impact, the answer is not in their control.

After being spotted with Blues owner Roman Abramovich and interim manager Guus Hiddink at Saturday's English Premier League win over Sunderland, the heat has been turned up on discussions between the Ivorian's current and former clubs.

NASL Ticker: Rowdies add NPSL side; Miami FC adds Sierra; and more

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The Tampa Bay Rowdies have kept busy this offseason with consistent player news, but the club made an even bigger announcement on Wednesday morning.

The NASL side will field a team in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) beginning in 2016.

Rowdies 2, as the franchise will be named, will join NPSL South Region's Sunshine Conference, alongside the Fort Lauderdale Strikers U-23, Jacksonville United FC, Kraze United, Miami Fusion FC, Miami United, Storm FC and Weston FC.

Reports: Galaxy negotiating to bring over Ashley Cole

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The player who said in 2014 that he was not ready to join MLS because he was "not ready to relax on a beach" could soon be playing near the beaches of Southern California.

Multiple reports have stated that the LA Galaxy are negotiating a deal with veteran English fullback Ashley Cole. The Irish Sun first reported the news, and ESPNFC.

John Hackworth to coach U.S. U-17s once again

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Photo by Eric Hartline/USA Today Sports

John Hackworth will give coaching the U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team another go.

On Wednesday, U.S. Soccer announced Hackworth as the new head coach of the U-17 team, replacing Richie Williams, who left the federation to join the coaching staff of Real Salt Lake in MLS.

An up-to-date look at MLS rosters

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Photo by Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports

The MLS offseason is well underway, but many teams have plenty of holes to fill before the first ball is kicked come March 6.

The MLS Re-Entry Draft has come and gone, which saw four players sign with a new team. The MLS Draft will also see young talent join the league on Jan.

Chelsea attempting to bring back Didier Drogba as soon as possible

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If Chelsea has its way, Didier Drogba's MLS tenure willbe short-lived.

Chelsea interim manager head coach Gus Hiddink said on Wednesdaythat the club is working on trying to bring Drogba back, confirming reports that have surfaced in recent days. The 37-year-old Ivorian striker has another year on his deal with the Montreal Impact, but Chelsea is keen on trying to see him return as soon as possible.

MLS Ticker: Coventry City signs Rose; Red Bulls add three Homegrowns; and more

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Photo by Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA Today Sports

After impressing on a recent trial, midfielder Andy Rose will sign with English Championship side Coventry City once his current contract with the Seattle Sounders expires in January.

Rose's move will be made official after receiving international clearance.

Frank Yallop named Arizona United head coach

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Photo by Kelley L Cox/USA Today Sports

After departing the Chicago Fire towards the tail end of last season, Frank Yallop has found himself a new gig.

On Wednesday, Yallop was named head coach and president of soccer operations for USL side Arizona United SC. His contract is for three years.

Wednesday Kickoff: Blatter's work 'finished'; U.S. investors target Everton; and more

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Throughout all of his recent controversies, Sepp Blatter has remained confident, but now, the suspended FIFA president appears resigned to his fate.

Blatter admitted that his work with the game is "finished" after being hit with an eight-year suspension over an alleged payment made to Michel Platini in 2011.

Report: Luis Gil to leave RSL for Queretaro

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Photo by Chris Nicoll/USA Today Sports

Another U.S. national team player is prepared to head south of the border to ply their trade.

One day removed from Omar Gonzalez officially departing the LA Galaxy, Goal USA reported on Wednesday that Real Salt Lake midfielder Luis Gil is set to move to Liga MX side Queretaro on a free transfer.

Michael Bradley named U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year

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Midfielder Michael Bradley has been named 2015 U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year, U.S. Soccer announced Tuesday. Bradley won the award with 43 percent of the vote among runners-up Fabian Johnson with 33 percent of the vote and Clint Dempsey with 20 percent.

The award is the first time Bradley has been named Player of the Year.

Omar Gonzalez introduced as Darth Vader at Pachuca

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Star Wars is all the rage these days. Everyone has the fever overthe battles a long time ago in a galaxy far, far way.

Omar Gonzalez included.

Gonzalez was introduced at Pachuca on Tuesday after completing his transfer from the LA Galaxy, and attended his press conference in a full Darth Vader outfit.

Evening Ticker: FIFA to test video replay; Skrtel out six weeks; and more

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Goal-line technology's introduction into the game of soccer has paved the way for other technological advances to be implemented, and it appears as though more changes are on their way.

According to the Associated Press, FIFA is preparing to test video replays for the first time and will also discuss various rule changes in January.

MLS Ticker: Red Bulls add Muyl from academy; Sounders sign two; and more

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Photo by Georgetown Sports Information

The New York Red Bulls continue to build on a strong 2015 season by adding more Homegrown Players from their academy.

Just after announcing the signings of Derrick Etienne and Brandon Allen early on Monday, the Red Bulls announced Tuesday the signing of Alex Muyl.

A look at the U.S. U-23 player pool ahead of Olympic qualifying playoff

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Photo by Peter G. Aiken/USA Today Sports

A fierce playoff against one of South America's top youth national teams awaits, and preparations for that will begin in earnest in a matter of days.

The U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team and Colombia are set tomeet in a two-legged playoff in three months, but some of the young Americans will spend time together in the senior U.

MLS announces 2016 home openers; season to begin March 6

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photo by Trevor Ruszkowski/USA Today Sports

Major League Soccer released the 2016 home openers for every club on Tuesday, with the season slatedto begin on March 6.

The full schedule will be released on January 7, including the full U.S. national television schedule.

The 21st MLSseason will begin with a bang when defending 2015 MLS Cup champions Portland Timbers play host to last year's runners' up Columbus Crew SC.

San Antonio unveils USL plans as Scorpions close up shop

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The San Antonio Scorpions' time in the NASL is over as soccer in San Antonio is set to move in a new direction.

Following the sale ofToyota Field and S.T.A.R. Soccer Complex to the City of San Antonio and Bexar County, the Scorpions NASL franchise will cease to exist. According to sources close to the situation, owner Gordon Hartman, who has been operating the team at a loss due to charitable work with Morgan's Wonderland, is expected to offload the team imminently with Las Vegas as a rumored destination.

NASL Ticker: Armada sign Lagerblom; Cosmos add to preseason; and more

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Jacksonville Armada FC are making big moves to improve their squad in 2016, after finishing last in the NASL table in their debut season.

On Tuesday, the Armada announced the signing of Bundesliga champion Pekka Lagerblom.Lagerblom is a versatile midfielder that has earned 12 caps for the Finland national team in his professional career.

Omar Gonzalez departs LA Galaxy for Pachuca

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Photo by Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports

Omar Gonzalez's seven-year stay with the LA Galaxy has come to an end.

The Galaxy announced on Tuesday that the U.S. Men's National Team center back has been transferred to Pachuca of Liga MX. As a result, Gonzalez departs the only professional club he has ever played for after making 180 regular season appearances.

Scorpions

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The NASL version of the San Antonio Scorpions is no more, and many involved are unhappy with the events that have unfolded.

The Scorpions announced on Tuesday that the sale of Toyota Field and S.T.A.R. Soccer Complex to the City of San Antonio and Bexar County has beenfinalized. As part of that agreement,Spurs Sports and Entertainment (SSE) will operate the facilities andfield a team in the USL.

Injury has Geoff Cameron's status in doubt for upcoming Stoke City matches

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It looks like Stoke City will have to make due without Geoff Cameron for the rest of the year.

Stoke has two games remaining in 2015, and Cameron is likely to miss them both with a hamstring injury. The 30-year-old defender sustained the knock in the Potters' scoreless draw with West Ham United on Dec.

The SBI Show: Episode 247 (Talking MLS moves, Abby Wambach's comments and more)

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The MLS offseason is barreling toward the new year and teams have wasted no time revamping rosters and getting things geared up for 2016.

Episode 247 of The SBI Show takes a look at the busy month of transactions, including Toronto FC's acquisitions of Will Johnson, Steve Beitashour and Drew Moor.

An early look at MLS preseason schedules

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Photo by Casey Sapio/USA TODAY Sports

The year is winding down, but 2016 MLSpreseason matches are only a little over a month away.

Action between MLS clubs begins in early February, althoughseveral clubs still have yet to announce preseason plans. Announcement of preseason plans still lay in wait for the Montreal Impact, D.

Minnesota United balancing long-term MLS goals with short-term improvements

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Minnesota United will make the leap to MLS relatively soon, but following an offseason of restructuring and rebuilding, the club is more focused than ever on achieving its short-term goals as a member of the NASL.

Set to depart the league in either 2017 or 2018, Minnesota United's move from the NASL presents the club with several challenges.

Tuesday Kickoff: Ancelotti wants Bayern stay for Lewandowski; Sanchez out until January; and more

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Although Carlo Ancelotti won't take over the reigns at Bayern Munich until the end of the current Bundesliga season, the veteran manager reportedly wanted assurance from the club prior to signing on in regards to one of its top players.

Ancelotti agreed to sign with the Bundesliga leaders on Sunday with Pep Guardiola's departure in the works, but that was only the case after Bayern reassured the Italian that the team will keep forward Robert Lewandowski in the future.

Evening Ticker: Arsenal drops Man City; Del Bosque to retire from Spain; and more

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Despite its best efforts, Manchester City couldn't complete the comeback on Monday night against Arsenal.

The Gunners picked up a crucial three points after defeating Man City, 2-1, at the Emirates Stadium, closingthe gap with English Premier League leaders Leicester City to two points. As things stand, the Foxes sit atop the table with 38 points, while the Gunners trail with 36.

Red Bulls sign Homegrown prospects Etienne, Allen

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The New York Red Bulls' stable of Homegrown prospects continues to grow.

Academy products Derrick Etienne and Brandon Allen are the latest prospects to sign with the club, as the Red Bulls announced the signing of the Homegrown duo on Monday afternoon. With the additions of Etienne and Allen, the Red Bulls now feature the most Homegrown players in MLS withseven.

Soccer Monday: Your Running Commentary

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While Leicester City occupy the top spot in the English Premier League, title contenders Arsenal and Manchester City will do battle on Monday afternoon in an attempt to close the deficit on the Foxes.

Currently third in the EPL table, Man City is coming off of a 2-1 win over Swansea nine days ago, while Arsenal is unbeaten in five straight matches in all competitions.

NASL Ticker: Miami signs forward Cvitanich; U.S. Soccer approves Cosmos academy; and more

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Miami FC continues to set the tonewith exciting team news.

The new NASL side, which will debut in 2016, announced its latest acquisition of experienced striker Dario Cvitanich on Monday.

Cvitanich is a 31-year-old Argentinian goalscorer that has played professionally for Ajax in the Netherlands, Nice in France, Boca Juniors in Argentina, and Liga MX side Pachuca.

Suspended Blatter 'would not be here' if U.S. was awarded 2022 World Cup

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Sepp Blatter was handed an eight-year ban from FIFA on Monday and the FIFA president made sure to go out with a bang.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Blatter, who remains set to appeal his suspension, said that "if we had awarded the World Cup in 2022 the USA, wewould not be here" regarding the recent punishment handed down to him and Michel Platini.

Beckham targets Zlatan signing for MLS Miami

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Photo by Mike DiNovo/USA Today Sports

David Beckham might still be working on trying to finalize the stadium plans for his proposed MLS franchise in Miami, but that is still not stopping him from dreaming of signing one of the world's most prolific strikers in due time.

Beckham is open to signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic if and when the retired global icon is able to hammer out a deal for a soccer-specific stadium.

Orlando City acquires Bendik from TFC

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Following the departure of Tally Hall, Orlando City took a step on Monday toshore up the goalkeeper position.

Orlando City announced on Monday that the club has acquired goalkeeper Joe Bendik from Toronto FC in exchange for a conditional fourth round selection in the 2017 MLS Draft.

Klinsmann praises Brooks, Johnson for Bundesliga performances

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If Jurgen Klinsmann is thankful for something this holiday season, it is the form that both John Brooks and Fabian Johnsonare showing with some of the German Bundesliga's top teams.

Brooks and Johnsonhave both been demonstrating a high level in recent weeks, scoring goals and finding other ways to make impacts for their respective clubs.

Monday Kickoff: Blatter, Platini banned by FIFA; Marquez returns to Atlas; and more

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It all began in Maywhen seven of FIFA's top executives were arrested in Zurich, Switzerland on corruption charges.Almostseven months later, current FIFA President Sepp Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini have been slapped with an eight-year banby FIFA's ethics committee.

After 40 years of service with football's top organization, 17 of which were spent as president, the 79-year old Blatter, along with Platini, wassaid to have been exiled by FIFA for an allegedtwo million Swiss franc (£1.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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Danny Williams had quite a day onSunday. He not only set a new career highfor goals in a season, but did soin jaw-dropping fashion.

Williams pushed Reading past Blackburn Rovers, 1-0, with a stunning half-volleythat will be added to his career highlight reel.The U.S. Men's National Team midfielder netted for the fourth time this season when he raced onto a bouncing pass just outside of the right part of the penalty area in the 11th minute, and unleashed a ferocious effort that soared over Blackburn goalkeeper Jason Steele and inside the far post.

Sunday Ticker: Barcelona wins club World Cup, Real Madrid nets 10, and more

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With the statuses of superstars Lionel Messi and Neymar up in the air prior to Sunday's FIFA Club World Cup finale, Barcelona was surely thrilled to have both men back in the starting lineup when their match against River Plate kicked off.

In typical Barca fashion, the Spanish treble winners methodically picked apart their Argentine counterparts in a 3-0 thrashing at Yokohama International Stadium.

Ancelotti to replace Guardiola at Bayern after current season

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After weeks of speculation, the future of Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich has now been officially revealed.

The Spanish manager that led FC Barcelona to 24 trophies in four seasons will once again be on his way this summer, Bayern announced on Sunday ahead of the Bundesliga winter break. Taking his place on July 1, 2016, will be experienced European manager Carlo Ancelotti.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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A club will be named best in the world on Sunday, as Barcelona kicks off against River Plate in the Club World Cup final.

The reigning UEFA Champions League winner is the heavy favorite, especially since Leo Messi and Neymar both took part in training on Saturday. However, River Plate and striker Lucas Alario will give everything they've got at the International Yokohama Stadium.

Saturday Ticker: Chelsea names Hiddink boss; Americans buy into Palace; and more

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Prior to a Jose Mourinho-less Chelsea taking the pitch on Saturday against Sunderland, the club officially announced the Portuguese's replacement.

The Blues appointed Dutchman Guus Hiddink as manager on a interim basis, meaning the English side will re-evaluate their managerial situation at season's end.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Following Jose Mourinho's exit on Thursday, Chelsea's next chapter begins on Saturday.

The Blues are just one point above the relegation zone entering the weekend in the English Premier League, and a test against Sunderland is on the docket.

While the game is at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea has only won three of its eight EPL games there during the 2015-16 campaign.

Matt Miazga claims U.S. Soccer's Young Male Player of the Year honor

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For a handful of young, talented U.S. players, 2015 has been a year to remember.

Matt Miazga was one of those players.

Miazga enjoyed a meteoric rise in 2015 at both the club and international levels, and was awarded U.S. Soccer's Young Male Player of the Year honors on Friday as a result.

Report: Red Bulls could be forced to sell Matt Miazga

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The New York Red Bulls appear to be in a bit of a predicament when it comes to Matt Miazga.

According to a report from Goal USA, Miazga'scontract expires at the end of the next MLS season, and his new agency is reportedly determined to see the U.

NASL Ticker: Fury sign trio; Minnesota United to play Timbers, Fire, Whitecaps; and more

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New Ottawa Fury head coach Paul Dalglish has been handed quite the task in rebuilding the team that was only two goals away from winning the NASL championship last year, after three top players had their transfer requests granted this week.

On Friday, though, the Fury announced the additions of three new signings: Dennis Chin, Lance Rozeboom and Fernando Timbo.

Lance Laing chasing elusive NASL title with Minnesota United move

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On Oct. 29, 2011, Lance Laing saw his best chance at an NASL title dashed. A member of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Laing's pursuit of a league crown fell short, as the Jamaican star watched the then Minnesota Stars celebrate on the field of Lockhart Stadium in what has proven to be hisone shot at an NASL final.

TFC completes trade with Timbers for Will Johnson

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Photo by Will Johnson Godofredo Vasquez/USA Today Sports

Toronto FC continued its recent run of adding veteran names in the offseason on Friday, but its second signing on the day came as aspecial homecoming of sorts.

The Canadian side began the day by adding former Vancouver Whitecaps defender Steven Beitashour, then hours later announced the arrival of Portland Timbers captain and MLS Cup champion Will Johnson.

Klinsmann set to integrate USMNT, U-23s into January camp

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Since last year's iteration, the concept of a January camp has been one of contention. Unimpressed with his side's fitness levels, U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann was critical of his side heading into the start of the 2015 season.

USMNT captain Michael Bradley named U.S. Player of the Year

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U.S. Men's National Team midfielder and captain Michael Bradley has been named U.S. Player of the Year for 2015, his first time taking home the award.

The 28-year old Bradley beat out fellow Toronto FC teammate Jozy Altidore and three-time Player of the Year recipient Clint Dempsey.

Soccer Friday: Your Running Commentary

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If Schalke 04 wants to keep pace with the German Bundesliga's top teams, it will have to find a way to beat lowly Hoffenheim at home on Friday.

Schalke most recently suffered a disappointing 2-1 loss to FC Augsburg, but will have a chance to rebound quickly against 17th-place Hoffenheim at Veltins-Arena.

MLS Ticker: TFC trades for Beitashour; Crew sign Ashe; and more

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Heading into the 2016 MLS offseason, Toronto FC made a point of patching the club's back line. The club started by adding veteran defender Drew Moor, and that process continued Friday with the signing of a fullback to match.

On Friday, TFC announced that the club had acquired fullback Steven Beitashour from the Vancouver Whitecaps in exchange for the club's second-highest second round pick in the upcoming MLS Draft.

Report: Red Bulls sign four college-based Homegrown talents

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Photo by Georgetown Sports Information

The New York Red Bulls have apparently tapped into their Homegrown talent ahead of the MLS Draft.

According to Goal USA, the Red Bulls are set to sign Georgetown teammates Brandon Allen and Alex Muyl, Virginia midfielder Derrick Etienne and Maryland midfielder Mael Corboz.

European Weekend Preview: Arsenal hosts Manchester City; Atletico travels to Malaga; and more

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Manager Claudio Ranieri and his Leicester City side have stolen the English Premier League spotlight in 2015, butMonday will feature two traditional powerhouses in a fixture with massive title implications.

Second-place Arsenal will host third-place Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium, the lone match on Monday's docket.

Friday Kickoff: Guatemala manager resigns; Bayern re-signs star quartet; and more

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Come March, Guatemala will likely be missing its all-time leading goal-scorer in Carlos Ruiz, and on Thursday, it was revealed that it would also be without its head coach since 2014.

On Thursday, Ivan Franco Sopegno resigned from his position as manager of the national team. He steps down with a 8-10-5 record as the national team head coach.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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Tim Ream will be playing in a familiar setting this weekend, though rather than playing for the team where his European career began, he will be playing against it.

Ream will return to Macron Stadium on Saturday to face off against his former side, Bolton, for the first time since leaving the Trotters to join Fulham last summer.

MLS Ticker: Saunders extends with NYCFC; Orlando City, Timbers select in Re-Entry Draft; and more

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Photo by Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports

He wasn't even tabbed to be the team's starting goalkeeper in 2015, butNew York City FC saw enough from Josh Saunders to know that they wanted the veteran back next season.

According to NYCFC's press release on Thursday, the club has signed Saunders to a multi-year contract extension.

Diskerud criticizes Wambach's comments on dual nationals

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Mix Diskerud did not take too kindly to Abby Wambach's remarks on Wednesday, so he issued a response.

In a post on his personal Instagram account, the U.S. Men's National Team midfielder and Norweigan-American dual citizen responded to being called "foreign" by Wambach.

"Think about who you try to disenfranchise.

SBI MLS Draft Big Board (Version 1.0)

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Photo by Georgetown Sports Information

The 2016 MLS Draft is exactly a month away, making today a good day to drop the first SBI MLS Draft Big Board.

It is still early in the process of determining just which players will be in the draft, but it's a good time to start thinking about the talent that will be available in the upcoming draft.

Donovan offers supportive take on Wambach's dual-nationals comments

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Following Abby Wambach's comments on dual nationals representing the U.S., former LA Galaxy star Landon Donovan provided his take on the topic as well.

The U.S. Men's National Team's all-time leading goal-scorer and assist leader spoke with SiriusXM FC about Wambach's comments and explained why he thinks some dual nationals may not care as much about representing the USMNT as players who have developed through the U.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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The magical train that isLeicester City continues to chug along.

After defeating reigning English Premier League champion Chelsea on Monday — which led to the subsequentfiring of Jose Mourinho — the Foxes visit Everton this Saturday in the hopes of adding towards their lead in the table.

USMNT, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico seeded as Copa America schedule announced

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The U.S. Men's National Team's path through the Copa America has been made a bit clearer.

CONCACAF revealed on Thursday that the USMNT, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico have been selected as the seeded nations for the tournament, which is set to be held from June 3-26 across the U.S.

The USMNT's selection comes to the nation's status as hosts, while Argentina is recognized as the top team in the South American region.

SBI Question of the Day: Should Jordan Morris turn pro?

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To turn pro, or not to turn pro? That is the important question Jordan Morris has to answer.

The U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team forward ended his special year as an NCAA champion with Stanford, and while becoming a professional may seem like the obvious next step, Morris could easily return to the Cardinal for his senior season.

Klinsmann stresses 'big moment' for Morris as pro decision looms large

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Photo by Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports

This was always inevitable for Jordan Morris. The time to make a decision has come.

Morris punctuated his strong junior season in emphatic fashion on Sunday, as he bagged a brace to help give Stanford its first College Cup title. Now, the 21-year-old striker is at a fork in the road.

NASL Ticker: Rowdies add Alhassan; Cosmos to face Quakes; and more

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The attacking unit of the Tampa Bay Rowdies continues to get better and better this offseason.

Following the signing of Tom Heinemann and re-signing of Freddy Adu, the Rowdies announced on Thursday that the club has come to terms with winger Khalif Alhassan. The former Portland Timberswinger joins the Rowdies after spending 2015 with Minnesota United, for whom he racked upfour goals and six assists last season.

Jose Mourinho axed by Chelsea

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Jose Mourinho's inability to conjure something special this season has cost him his job.

What seemed inevitable was made official on Thursday, as Chelsea fired Mourinho from its head-coaching post. Mourinho had led Chelsea to an English Premier League title during the 2014-15 campaign, butstruggled mightily for results this season.

Joe Corona loaned from Tijuana to relegation contender Dorados

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Joe Corona has found a new home in Liga MX for the 2016 Clausura.

The U.S. Men's National Team midfielder was loaned from Club Tijuana to Dorados on Thursday, extending his stay away from the Xolos for yet another campaign.Corona, who joined Tijuana in 2010, had spent the 2015 Apertura with Veracruz, appearing in just nine games.

Thursday Kickoff: Suarez hat trick sends Barca to Club World Cup final, and more

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No matter where it goes, who it plays or what the competition is, Barcelona seems to make it look easy.

Thanks to a hat trick from Luis Suarez, the reigning UEFA Champions League winner eased into Sunday's Club World Cup final on Thursday. Barcelona defeated Guangzhou Evergrande, 3-0, at International Stadium Yokohama in Osaka, Japan, and will play Argentine club River Plate in the final.

Carli Lloyd caps 2015 with U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year honors

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Photo by Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

A FIFA Women's World Cup title will likely remain the biggest accomplishment for U.S. Women's National Team midfielder Carli Lloyd in 2015, but it wasn't the only hardware that she took home this year.

Prior to Wednesday's final USWNT Victory Tour match against China, the 33-year old Lloyd was announced by U.

USWNT falls to China in Wambach farewell match

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On the night when Abby Wambach made her final U.S. Women's National Team appearance, the team did everything it could to get the legend one more goal against China.

The Chinese women had other plans, though.

Jill Ellis fielded an experienced side thatshould'vedone the job at the Superdome, but the USWNTlost for the first time in 25 matches on Wednesday.

MLS Ticker: Dynamo re-sign trio; McDonough joins Atlanta United; and more

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Photo by Troy Taormina/USA Today Sports

Scratch off another name from the second phase of the MLS Re-Entry Draft.

On Wednesday, the Houston Dynamo announced they had re-signed a trio of MLS veterans, including Honduran international Boniek García. The 31-year-old midfielder was set to enter into Thursday's negotiation phase of the Re-Entry Draft, but the Dynamo opted to retain him, as well as midfielder Ricardo Clark and defender Sheanon Williams, back for another year.

John Brooks scores header in German Cup win

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John Brooks has gone from not scoring at all to scoring twice in three games.

Brooks helped Hertha Berlin advance in DFB Pokal by scoring the insurance goal in a 2-0 road win over Nurnberg on Wednesday. The 22-year-old centerback struck in the 65th minute, beating his defender to the spot on a corner kick and heading neatly to the far post.

Moor excited to join Toronto FC despite leaving established home with Rapids

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Drew Moor could not hide his sadness over leaving the Colorado Rapids. He also could not contain his excitement about joining Toronto FC.

Moor became the second player in MLS history to take advantage of free agency, as he signed with Toronto FC on Wednesday.

Video: USWNT pay tribute to retiring Abby Wambach

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Photo by Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports


MetLife Stadium to host Copa America Centenario Final

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Come June 26, MetLife Stadium is sure to be rocking.

On Wednesday, CONCACAFannounced that MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, will host the 2016 Copa America Centenario Final.The 82,000 seat stadium does have an artificial grass field, but has previously laid temporary grass over it for international friendlies.

Wambach calls for U.S. Soccer to fire Klinsmann

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Abby Wambach is set to play her final game forthe U.S. Women's National Team on Wednesday night, but the international game's all-time leading scorer says she'd like to see a major shakeup within U.S. Soccer on her way out.

Speaking on the Bill Simmons Podcast, Wambach said that the one change she'd make within U.

Video: Bayern Munich stars fire shots at Muller in crossbar challenge

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TFC bolster backline with signing of Drew Moor

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Photo by Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports

Following seven seasons as a member of the Colorado Rapids, Drew Moor will now look to add some much-needed stability to the Toronto FC defense.

TFC announced on Wednesday that the club has signed the former Rapids captain. Moor's signing makes the 31-year-old the second player to take advantage of the league's new form of free agency following the signing of Justin Mapp by Sporting Kansas City.

Louisville City eager to join MLS expansion race

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Photo by Louisville City

When looking through the stands of Louisville Slugger Field throughout Louisville City's inaugural campaign, it was not uncommon to see the face of Mayor Greg Fischer among the various government officials scattered throughout the crowd. Now heading into year two as a franchise, Louisville City, with Fischer's assistance, ismaking the push for a new stadium anda spot inMajor League Soccer.

Heinemann 'ecstatic' to join ambitious Rowdies

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Tom Heinemann is a man with seven years of professional experience in American soccer, and that experience put the Ottawa Fury on the cusp of winning last year's NASL championship.Now, the goalscorer finds himself in Tampa Bay, starting anew with the Rowdies ahead of the 2016 season.

In his second season as a member of Fury FC, Heinemann scored four postseason goals in two games for the club, bringing them inches from The Championship trophy before falling to the New York Cosmos in the NASL finale.

Marco Pappa hoping to live up to expectations with Rapids

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Marco Pappa is not shying away from expectations. He knows a lot is expected of him at his new club in 2016, and he is keen on delivering.

One of the more intriguing names remaining in the MLS Re-Entry Draft list, Pappa was scooped up by the Colorado Rapids on Tuesday. The Rapids traded general allocation money to the Seattle Sounders for the 28-year-old midfielder in a move that demonstrated a willingness to spend more in order to beat other teams to the Pappa punch prior to Phase 2 of the Re-Entry Draft on Thursday.

Galaxy find leadership in Dan Kennedy

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For the LA Galaxy, the addition of goalkeeper Dan Kennedy is a great way to cap off a year of inconsistency between the pipes.

Kennedy was traded to the five-time MLS Cup champions on Tuesday, marking his return to Los Angeles after spending only one year away from the city.

Evening Ticker: Guardiola to decide future 'next week'; Inter tops Cagliari; and more

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With speculation surrounding Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola in regards to his future with the German club, "clarity" may finally come about next week.

German network ARDspoke with the former Barcelona manager after Tuesday's 1-0 victory againstDarmstadt in the DFB-Pokal competition, and Guardiola said about his future, "Tonight, I have no answer.

Wednesday Kickoff: Mourinho's future in doubt; Atleti, Real Madrid could face sanctions; and more

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Jose Mourinho's second reign as Chelsea manager could soon be over, according to ESPNFC.

The club began Wednesday by holding "intense discussions" over the status of the 52-year old boss and a vote by the team's board is said to occur in order to help guide owner Roman Abramovich's decision.

MLS Ticker: Rapids acquire Pappa in trade; Brener new Dynamo majority owner; and more

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The MLS offseason is starting to heat up.

The Seattle Sounders announced the trade of Marco Pappa to the Colorado Rapids in exchange for allocation money on Tuesday, ending his two-year stint with the team. Pappa was set to feature in the second phase of the Re-Entry Draft on Thursday, but the Rapids were able to strike a deal ahead of time with the Sounders.

Must-See Goal: Xabi Alonso

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USMNT announces Iceland, Canada friendlies to kick off 2016

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The U.S. Men's National Team will open 2016 at the StubHub Center. Not with one friendly, but with two.

U.S. Soccer announced on Tuesday that the U.S. will hold its annual January camp next month in Carson, California, and conclude it with a pair of home friendliesagainst Iceland and Canada.

Midday Ticker: CONMEBOL bans Fred; Blatter letter revealed; and more

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Still reeling from a disappointing Copa America performance, five-time World Champion Brazil now faces some more trouble.

CONMEBOL, South America's soccer governing body, announced on Tuesday that Brazilian midfielder Fred has been bannedfor one year after allegedly dopingat this summer's Copa America in Chile.

Galaxy complete deal to land Dan Kennedy

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Bruce Arena said after the LA Galaxy's early exit from the 2015 MLS Playoffs that "there are going to be changes."

On Tuesday, we saw amajorone, as the Galaxy sent their second and third round picks in the 2017 MLS Draft to FC Dallas in exchange for veteran goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.

"Dan is a very good player and proven goalkeeper in our league," said Arena in a team-issued statement.

NASL Ticker: Minnesota United adds Laing; Miami FC signs Rusin, Smith; and more

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Minnesota United have added yet another big name to their roster ahead of the 2016 season.

The club announced on Tuesday that former FC Edmonton midfielder and Jamaican international Lance Laing has officially signed with the club ahead of the 2016 season. Laing has been named to the NASL Best XI three times since joining the league in 2011.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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Cup action takes center stage on Tuesday, and some of the German Bundesliga's best will battle it out.

Bayern Munich hosts Darmstadt 98 at the Allianz Arena in one of four DFB Pokal round of 16 matchups on Tuesday.

The reigning Bundesliga champion has already defeated Darmstadt 98 this year, a 3-0 result in September.

Aron Johannsson unclear when he will return to training

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Aron Johannsson thought he would be back in training by now. Maybe even playing.

Unfortunately for him and Werder Bremen,that is not the case.

Johannsson continues to deal with pain in the hip region, which he had surgery on back in late October, and there is still no clear timetable for a full recovery.

Report: Freddy Adu re-signed by Rowdies

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Freddy Adu's late-season performances have earned the 26-year-old forward a new deal with the Tampa Bay Rowdies.

Sports Illustrated reported on Tuesday that Adu had signed a new contract to remain with the Rowdies. The extension comes after the Rowdies optednot to exercise the option they held on Adu for the 2016season in favor of a reported multi-year deal.

Adam Najem weighing future with Red Bulls, senior year at Akron

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Photo by Jeff Harwell/Akron Athletics

There are a handful of New York Red Bulls Homegrown talents that may soon be a part of the organization.

One of those who could turn pro and receive an offer from the Red Bulls this offseason is Akron attacking midfielder Adam Najem.

On Monday, Goal USA reported that the Red Bulls were looking into signing a few of their college-based homegrown stars this winter, including Virginia freshman midfielder Derrick Etienne, Georgetown forwards Alex Muyl and Brandon Allen and Maryland midfielder Mael Corboz.

Tuesday Kickoff: Leicester won't sell Vardy; Honduran President to face charges; and more

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Jamie Vardy's and Leicester City's magical season continued to become even more of a fairytale story on Monday.

The Foxes defeated struggling Chelsea, 2-1, in front of the home faithful at King Power Stadium in the English Premier League, surging them up the standings and into first place above Arsenal for another week.

Must-See Goal: Riyad Mahrez

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MLS free agency process shows strengths and weaknesses

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At long last, MLS has free agency. Or at least some semblance of it.

MLS officiallyintroduced free agency into its offseason agenda this month, marking the first time that the player acquisition mechanism was usedin the league's 20-year history.

Vermes remains focused on Sporting KC while acknowledging European rumors

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Peter Vermes has read the reports regarding interest from Europe, and even acknowledged their validity. However, his focus remains solely on the task of retooling his current club in Sporting Kansas City.

The Kansas City Star reported in November that Vermes had been earmarked for a pair of Premier League jobs as well as a potential gig with a European national team.

Mapp finds ideal fit in signing with Sporting KC

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Photo by John Geliebter/USA TODAY Sports

A highly-sought after member of the inaugural MLS free agent class, Justin Mapp knew he would have every ability to find a club that provided him with the perfect fit, and he found just that with Sporting Kansas City.

The 31-year-old winger became the first free agent off the market on Monday by signing with Sporting KC, signaling a match that both sides believe is one made in heaven.

Report: Toronto FC, Chicago the frontrunners in chase for Will Johnson

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After lifting the MLS Cup trophy just last Sunday alongside Liam Ridgewell, former Portland Timbers captain Will Johnson is in search of a new club.

The Timbers are reportedly shopping Johnson, who is ready to leave Portland after three seasons. He has become expendable in the wake of Caleb Porter's shifting of Darlington Nagbe into a central midfield role.

Soccer Monday: Your Running Commentary

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Its a match between extremely underachieving and overachieving English Premier League teams on Monday, as Jose Mourinho and Chelsea head to Claudio Ranieri and Leicester City.

After 15 games in the EPL, Chelsea sit just a point out of the relegation zone in 16th, while story-of-the-season Leicester City sits in third with a chance to top the table with a win on Monday.

South Florida defender Brendan Hines-Ike turns down MLS interest to join Orebro

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Scratch one name off the MLS Combine List.

USF centerback Brendan Hines-Ike has signed a four-year deal with Swedish club Orebro. The move was officially announced last week, but that still did not stop MLS from including him in the initial list of players that were invited to the 2016 MLS Combine.

Sporting KC makes Justin Mapp first free-agent signing in MLS history

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Photo by Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA Today Sports

The first internal free-agent signing in MLS history was made on Monday.

Sporting Kansas City has announced the addition of midfielder Justin Mapp, who joins the club after spending four years plying his trade with the Montreal Impact. Mapp was a free agent this offseason per the terms agreed to in the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Dempsey, Bradley among nominees for 2015 U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year

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Photo by Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports

Clint Dempsey remains in pursuit of Landon Donovan's all-time U.S. Men's National Team scoring record, but Dempsey could level Donovan in another area that yields a significant piece of hardware.

Dempsey is one of five nominees for the 2015 U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year award, which will be unveiled on Friday.

NASL Ticker: Heinemann signs with Rowdies, Minnesota United adds Pinho; and more

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After a 2015 NASL season that saw him score a brace in the NASL final, Tom Heinemann will move from the Ottawa Fury to the Tampa Bay Rowdies on a two-year contract.

The 28-year-old striker completes his move after scoring 12 goals in the 2015 NASL season. Heinemann also managed an impressive four postseason goals in two games en route to The Championship Final.

Clemson sees Morris' second goal as decider in College Cup final

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Photo by Gary Rohman/USA Today Sports

The final score may have been 4-0 on Sunday, but according to Clemson, the game was all but over as soon as Jordan Morris scored his second goal of the day.

The U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team forward scored his first goal in just the second minute of play, and after 90 minutes of lopsided action, the Tigers had to watch on as Stanford lifted the NCAA title at Sporting Park in Kansas City.

Monday Kickoff: Tigres wins wild Apertura final; Europa round of 32 revealed; and more

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In one of the wildest finishes to a final in 2015, Tigres UANL emerged as champion.

Despite entering the second leg on Sunday down 3-0, Pumas UNAM was able to force extra time in the Liga MX Apertura final, scoring three unanswered goals. Tigres pushed ahead once again, though, as Andre-Pierre Gignac scored the first goal in the extra periods, but Gerardo Alcoba scored for Pumas with minutes to spare to force penalties.

Chelsea matched with PSG, Arsenal draws Barca in UCL draw

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The UEFA Champions League Round of 16 is always bound to provide one or two scintillating matches, but Monday's draw provided several must-see games for the upcoming knockout stages.

Headlining the action are several clashes of titans, including a meeting of English Premier League powerhouse Arsenal and reigning champions Barcelona.

Jordan Morris ends special year with a championship

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Photo by Gary Rohman/USA Today Sports

It's not every day that an American soccer player is compared to the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

It's even less as likely that the player being compared to two of the world's best players happens to play college soccer.

However, that's exactly what Stanford head coach Jeremy Gunn did on Sunday after the Cardinal won the program's first NCAA title in a 4-0 romp vs.

Sunday Ticker: Real Madrid falls to Villarreal; Arsenal tops EPL; and more

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An early finish from Roberto Soldado proved to be just enough for Villarreal to topple Real Madrid on Sunday afternoon.

Soldado's eighth-minute finish led the way for the Yellow Submarine, who held on for a 1-0 win that keeps the club in fifth on La Liga's table. Meanwhile, Real Madrid's loss sees the club remain third, five points behind Barcelona.

Goals from Dunn, Press hand USWNT win over China

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Photo by Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports

It took the U.S. Women's National Team some time to break down China on Sunday, but the superb attacking talent of the Americans showed through over the course of 90 minutes.

A first-half goal from Crystal Dunn proved to be the difference for Jill Ellis' side in Glendale, Arizona, but Christen Press added her fourth goal in two games to help the USWNT to a 2-0 win on Sunday evening.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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FC Union Berlin distanced itself from the relegation zone with a win on Saturday, and it was Bobby Wood that played a big part in makingthat happen.

Wood turned in his latest goal-scoring outing to push Union Berlin to victory, as he bagged a brace in a 3-0 road triumph over Fortuna Dusseldorf.

Morris brace leads Stanford to program's first College Cup title

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Photo by Gary Rohman/USA Today Sports

It didn't take long for U.S. Men's National Team forward Jordan Morris to make an impact in the College Cup final on Sunday and,as a result, the Stanford Cardinal are national champions for the first time in program history.

A little more than a minute into the NCAA final against No.

NCAA Final: Stanford vs. Clemson (SBI Live Commentary)

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If the College Cup semifinals were any indication, Sunday's final is going to be a close one.

No. 2 Clemson faces off against No. 8 Stanford in Kansas City to determine the 2015 NCAA champion (2 p.m., ESPNU). Both had to escape penalty-kick shootouts to reach Sunday's final, with the Cardinal needing 10 rounds of spot kicks to advance.

Report: Galaxy to trade FC Dallas for Dan Kennedy

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Photo by Jerome Miron/USA Today Sports

The LA Galaxy are apparently on the verge of adding a veteran MLS goalkeeper.

On Saturday, the Los Angeles Times reported that the five-time MLS Cup champions are expected to announce a trade for current FC Dallas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy on Monday.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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While Napoli-Roma headlines Sunday's action, an intriguing battle in England could see a long winning streak snapped.

Tottenham enters Sunday's clash with Newcastle having not lost since Oct. 22. The Magpies come into White Hart Lane as the underdog, but they are also coming off a massive win against Liverpool and will look to upset another top dog in the English Premier League.

England draws Wales as Euro 2016 group stage is set

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Two United Kingdom sides will face off from the start in Euro 2016, as England has been drawn with Wales into Group B in next summer's competition.

Elsewhere, Group E can be dubbed the tournament's group of death with Belgium, Italy and Sweden all looking to advance.

Behind Gareth Bale and company, Wales managed to qualify for their first major finals since 1958, but it now faces a daunting task in competing against Russia to make it out of the group.

Andrew Tarbell saves the day for Clemson in College Cup semifinals

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Photo by Gary Rohman/USA Today Sports

Time and time again, goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell came up big on Friday.

And by the end of the game, No. 2 Clemson enjoyed all the spoils thanks to him. The goalkeeper made eight saves, including a huge stop with only minutes to play in regular time, to lead the Tigers to a 4-1 penalty-kick win over No.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Fabian Johnson and Borussia Monchengladbach are on a rollin the German Bundesliga, and will look to keep their recent unbeaten streak in league play going against a Bayer Leverkusen side that has had its ups and down.

Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez has been in outstanding form for Leverkusen, but that hasn't stopped his team from managing just one win in five in league play.

MLS suspends Jermaine Jones, impacting USMNT availability

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Photo by Vincent Carchietta/USA Today Sports

If Jermaine Jones is to return to MLS, he will have to sit on the sideline to start the season.

The U.S. Men's National Team midfielder was suspended six games and also fined an undisclosed figure by MLS for his conduct towards center official Mark Geiger during the New England Revolution's aggregate loss to D.

Clemson, Stanford to meet in College Cup final after penalty-kick wins

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Photo by Gary Rohman/USA Today Sports

The path taken wasn't easy and always pretty, but the Clemson Tigers are back in the College Cup final.

For the first time since 1987, the No. 2-seeded Tigers advanced to the NCAA Tournament final where they will play Stanford. Thanks to the stellar play of goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell, as well as the calmness of Clemson's field players, the Tigers secured a 4-1 penalty kick win over No.

Morris, Herbers, Allen named MAC Hermann finalists

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Photos by StanfordPhoto.com/Creighton & Georgetown Athletics

The field for the 2015 MAC Hermann Trophy was narrowed to just three on Friday.

The three finalists were revealed ahead of the College Cup semifinals by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). Stanford's Jordan Morris, Creighton's Fabian Herbers and Georgetown's Brandon Allen are the only ones remaining in the running for this prestigious honor.

FC Dallas adds Urruti, Sporting KC selects Kann in Re-Entry Draft

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Photo by Jaime Valdez/USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas made it clear on Friday that it had a plan in mind by trading up to acquire the first overall selection in the MLS Re-Entry Draft.

That plan turned out to be selecting Maximiliano Urruti.

In Phase 1 of the Re-Entry Draft, FC Dallas nabbed Urruti, the Portland Timbers forward and MLS champion who was only one of two selections on the day.

Timbers land potential Villafana replacement in trade for Klute

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Photo by Kim Klement/USA Today Sports

The Portland Timbers waved goodbye to their starting left back on Friday, but they may have also just welcomed his replacement. From none other than the Columbus Crew, of course.

Shortly after officially transferring Jorge Villafana to Santos Laguna, the Timbers announced that they have traded for versatile fullback Chris Klute.

Timbers transfer Jorge Villafaña to Santos Laguna

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Photo by Jerome Miron/USA Today Sports

Less than a week after winning the MLS Cup, one starter is already out of the Portland Timbers' door.

On Friday, the MLS Cup champions officially announced that left back Jorge Villafaña hasbeen transferred to Liga MX side Santos Laguna. The 26-year-old defender turned in a remarkable performance during the MLS Cup Final vs.

MLS Ticker: Beitashour, MacMath traded before MLS Re-Entry Draft, and more

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Photo by Isaiah J. Downing/USA Today Sports

Steven Beitashour will stay in Canada next season, but he'll be donning a different color jersey.

According to TSN, the 28-year-old right back will be leaving the Vancouver Whitecaps and heading to Toronto FC. The Iranian international has reportedly been acquired by TFC ahead of the MLS Re-Entry Draft on Friday.

MLS releases initial 59-player list for 2016 MLS Combine

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A select group of college players have been invited to have thechance to prove themselves at the 2016 MLS Combine.

MLS announced on Friday that59 players comprise the initial invite list for the 2016 MLS Combine, which is set to be heldin Fort Lauderdale, Florida, from Jan. 7-12. The players, all of whom have completed their college eligibility, were selected by acommittee of MLS coaches and NCAA Division I coaches.

Miami FC announces Palacios, Richards, Chavez signings; reveals kit

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Set to start play in 2016, Miami FC took a major step forward on Thursday with the announcement of its first three signings and inaugural kit.

Miami FC announced on Friday thatthe club has signed Honduras midfielder Wilson Palacios, former New York Red Bulls winger Dane Richards and former Atlanta Silverbacks forward Jaime Chavez as the club's first three player signings.

Christen Press hat trick propels USWNT to win vs. Trinidad & Tobago

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Photo by Soobum Im/USA Today Sports

Trinidad & Tobago was no match for the U.S. Women's National Team and especially Christen Press.

Scoring a second-half hat trick, Press helped the U.S. stay undefeated on its Victory Tour on Thursday evening. The USWNT secured a 6-0 win against T&T at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, improving its unbeaten streak to 23 games.

Friday Kickoff: Tigres pounds Pumas; Platini ban upheld; and more

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Attack-minded Pumas UNAM looked anything but on Thursday, as Tigres UANL pummeled the visitors at Estadio Universitario.

Tigres, thanks to goals from Andre-Pierre Gignac, Javier Aquino, and Rafael Sobis, defeated No. 1 seed Pumas at home, giving them a 3-0 advantage heading into the second leg of the Liga MX Apertura finals.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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John Brooks scored a game-winning goal last weekend to move Hertha Berlin into a UEFA Champions League spot. Now, he will attempt to help keep the club there.

Brooks and Hertha Berlin will aimto build on their 2-1 home triumph over Bayer Leverkusen when they visit 12th-placed SV Darmstadt on Saturday.

Lloyd, Rapinoe, Solo among nominees for U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year

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Photo by Michael Chow/ USA TODAY Sports

Fresh offa World Cup-winning campaign, there is no shortage of eligible candidates for recognition as the U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year.

U.S. Soccer announced on Thursday thatmidfielders Lauren Holiday, Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe, defender Becky Sauerbrunn, and goalkeeper Hope Solo are the five nominees to win the 2015 award.

Report: USMNT to face Iceland in January friendly

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Photo by Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports

It appears the U.S. Men's National Team will indeed have a January camp.

ESPNFC.com reported on Thursday that the USMNT will take on Iceland on Jan. 31 in Carson, California, to open its2016 campaign. A second match is reportedly set for early February in the western U.

A closer look at the 2015 MLS Re-Entry Draft

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photo by Joe Nicholson-USA Today Sports

Free agency may be the new, cool kid on the block, but the Re-Entry Draft is still the old reliable neighbor that you can count on.

The MLS offseason is officially underway, and although much of the buzz is about the league's initial free agency class, the true player mechanism for bolsteringrosters with proven talent is the Re-Entry Draft.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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The Derby of the Sun kicks off on Sunday, and Serie A title hopes are on the line.

Napoli, just two points behind Inter Milan on the table entering the weekend, hosts AS Roma at Stadio San Paolo. Roma is only three points behind Napoli, and while it enters the weekend on a high after advancing into the knockout phase of the UEFA Champions League, it has been unable to secure a win in its last five games.

The SBI Show: Episode 246 (Recapping MLS Cup and more)

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The 2015 MLS season came to an end with a memorable MLS Cup final, and the Portland Timbers capturing their first MLS title.

Episode 246 of The SBI Show looks back at the Timbers' triumph over the Columbus Crew, the players who helped deliver the title and the incredible celebrations that took place in Portland after the victory.

Greg Garza returns to Tijuana following Atlas loan spell

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Greg Garza's timewith Atlas was riddled with injury, but now the U.S. Men's National Team fullback will look to get back on track with a return from his loan spell.

Atlas announced on Thursday that Garza will return to parent club Tijuana ahead of the Liga MX Clausura season, which is set to kick off Jan.

The SBI Live Q&A (December 10th Edition)

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It is that time again. Time to answer all your soccer (and other random topic) questions in the latest edition of the SBI Live Q&A.

It's time to catch up on everything in the soccer world. Want to discuss the MLS Cup final? The new MLS TAM funds? Expansion? The international game? College Soccer?

The SBI College Cup Preview

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It all comes down to one weekend in Kansas City.

The College Cup kicks off at Sporting Park on Friday, and a team will be crowned champion by Sunday (2 p.m., ESPNU).

In the first semifinal, the highest overall seed remaining in No. 2 Clemson takes on No. 6 Syracuse (6 p.m., ESPNU), guaranteeing an ACC team in the final.

Midday Ticker: France suspends Benzema; Schweinsteiger accepts ban; and more

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The French football federation (FFF) brought the hammer down on Karim Benzema on Thursday.

In a press conference, FFF president Noël Le Graët said Karim Benzema was indefinitely suspended from the national team, but he also left the door open for his return to the team.

"I have decided, it is a decision from the president of the French federation and not from the executive committee or the ethics committee," Le Graët told the press.

NYCFC bolster back line via trade for Ethan White

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Photo by Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA Today Sports

Ethan White's tour of the northeast continues. Next stop: New York City.

New York City FC announced on Thursday that it has traded for White, the 24-year-old centerback who last played for the Philadelphia Union. NYCFC traded a fourth-round pick in the 2017 MLS Draft for White.

Gent midfielder Saeif says it's 'matter of time' before USMNT call-up

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Kenny Saief has represented Israel several times on the youth level, but the Gent midfielder says he expects to represent the U.S. Men's National Team in the very near future.

Speaking to Israeli outlet Sport5, Saeif revealed that, although he has yet to receive an official call-up, he believes that it is merely "a matter of time" before he represents the U.

Soccer Thursday: Your Running Commentary

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A Mexican team will be crowned Apertura champion this weekend, but one team could take a huge step towards that title on Thursday night.

The first leg of the Liguilla finals kicks off tonight at Estadio Universitario, and all eyes will be on Tigres UANL and Pumas UNAM.

Out of all the Mexican sides, the visitors have been the better attacking team this campaign, but Tigres has the talent to win the finals as well.

Who should the USMNT call up for January camp?

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It might be that time of year where most of us begin to focus on the holiday season, but it is also that time of year where Jurgen Klinsmann needs to consider who he will bring to the January camp.

If he is having one at all.

The U.S. Men's National Team has held a January camp for several years now, but that streak could be in jeopardy in 2016.

SBI Live Q&A set for 1pm Today

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

Join SBI editor-in-chief as he takes your soccer-related questions (and pop culture questions) starting at 1pm today. Want to talk MLS Cup? The MLS offseason? Want to discuss the U.S. Men's National Team, or even college soccer?

Thursday Kickoff: Santa Fe wins Copa Sudamerica; Neymar may miss time; and more

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A Colombian club has finally won the Copa Sudamerica.

After scoreless ties in the first leg on Dec. 2 and second leg on Wednesday, Independiente Santa Fe topped Argentine side Huracán, 3-1, in penalty kicks to claim the Copa Sudamerica title.

The Colombian side was undoubtedly the better side on the day at Estadio El Campín, outpossessing Huracán 59-41 percent while outshooting it 14-5.

Evening Ticker: Arsenal, Chelsea, Roma advance to UCL knockout phase, and more

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Manchester City won't be the only club representing the English Premier League in the knockout phase this UEFA Champions League campaign, as Arsenal and Chelsea both secured advancement on Wednesday.

Needing a win on the road at Karaiskakis Stadium, Arsenal, specifically Olivier Giroud, came to play.

MLS Ticker: Rapids select Azira in Waiver Draft; Sporting KC brings back Olum and more

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Photo by Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA Today Sports

When all was said and done, only one player was selected in Wednesday's MLS Waiver Draft: Michael Azira.

The Colorado Rapids selected the 28-year-old midfielder with the second overall pick of Wednesday's draft, a move which proved to be the only selection of the afternoon.

Julian Green earns first Bayern Munich start in UCL win

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Julian Green's purgatory at Bayern Munich has come to an end. For one day, at least.

Green earned his first competitive start for the German club in any competition on Wednesday, playing the first 62 minutes of a 2-0 UEFA Champions League victory over Dinamo Zagreb. Green was deployed as the right-sided attacker in a three-man front line, but came off after Roberto Lewandowski opened the scoring in the road match.

Fans file class-action lawsuit against U.S. Soccer after recent USWNT cancelation

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U.S. Soccer has a problem on its hands.

A pair of fans in Hawaii have come together and sued U.S. Soccer over the last-second cancelation of this past weekend's scheduled friendly between the U.S. Women's National Team and Trinidad & Tobago. The Americans were set to play the Caribbean country in a friendly in Honolulu, Hawaii, but the match at Aloha Stadium was called off less than 24 hours before it was supposed to be played.

Orlando City, GM Paul McDonough mutually agree to part ways

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One of themen largely responsible for shapingOrlando City's MLS roster will not be back in 2016.

General manager Paul McDonough and Orlando Cityhave mutually agreed to part ways, the club announced on Wednesday. McDonough is leaving to pursue other opportunities, but will only do so after first helping the club with the 2015 Re-Entry Draft and other played-related activities.

MLS approves large TAM increase, additional Homegrown Player spending

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Originally announced in the summer, Major League Soccer's Targeted Allocation Money mechanism was introduced as a way to allow clubs to attract higher quality players. Now, ahead of the 2016 season, the league has taken that program to the next level.

MLS announced on Wednesday thateach MLS club will receive an additional $800,000 in Targeted Allocation Money for the 2016 season and an additional $800,000 for the 2017 season.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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Heading into the final round of fixtures in the Champions League group stages, both Arsenal and Chelsea find themselves in do-or-die situations.

Facing off with Greek side Olympiakos, Arsenal will need a big-time victory to avoid missing out on the knockout stages for the first time in 16 years.

Terrence Boyd still unable to train fully with RB Leipzig

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It has been more than a year since Terrence Boyd suffered a seriousinjury, and he is stillnot certain when he will be able to train fully again with his club.

Boyd, 24, tore his right ACL and meniscus on Dec. 7, 2014, but has had setbacks on his road to recovery and has not been able to resume practicing with RB Leipzig.

Pineda, Pogatetz, Earnshaw highlight players eligible in Wednesday's Waiver Draft

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Photo by Jennifer Buchanan/USA Today Sports

Just three days afterthe completion of the 2015 season, MLS will kickstart the offseason with the first of the league's series of drafts.

A total of 27 players are up for grabs on Wednesday afternoon as the leagueholds the 2015 MLS Waiver Draft.

USL players move towards unionization

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Following a season-long push, the players of the United Soccer League have moved one step closer to unionizing.

In a press release, the USL Playerd Association revealed that it has received authorization cards from 53 percent of players and has requested recognition from the league. Ifthe USL were to optto withhold recognition, the USLPA expects to petition the National Labor Relations Board to conduct an election.

Wednesday Kickoff: Ronaldo 'happy' at Real; Mourinho confident in job status; and more

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Recent links to Paris Saint-German have done little to concern Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Real Madrid star, who netted four times on Tuesday in Champions League action, insists that he is happy at Real Madrid amid links to the French club. In recent weeks, Ronaldo has been linked with a move away from Real as tensions with manager Rafa Benitez have reportedly risen.

Fabian Johnson continues fine form with UCL assist

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For a while now, it seems as though at least one Borrussia Monchengladbach goal per game is created or scored by U.S. international Fabian Johnson.

That statement remained true in Tuesday's UEFA Champions League battle against Manchester City.

The U.S. Men's National Team fullback and winger started and had another superb showing during the 72 minutes he was on the field at City of Manchester Stadium.

Report: MLS Cup champ Jorge Villafana to be sold to Santos Laguna

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Shortly after the Portland Timbers win the MLS Cup on Sunday, head coach Caleb Porter said some tough roster decisions would have to be madethis winter.

Now, we apparently know one of them.

The Timbers are on the verge of selling stout left back Jorge Villafana to Liga MX outfit Santos Laguna, SI.

Sunil Gulati on USWNT game cancellation: 'We screwed up'

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U.S. Soccer is pointing the finger at itself for the snafu that forced the cancellation of a U.S. Women's National Team game over the weekend.

The World Cup-winning U.S. had a friendly against Trinidad & Tobago scrapped on Saturday, less than 24 hours before it was set to be played, because of poor field conditions.

MLS Ticker: Clark confirms Dynamo stay; Thorrington hired by LAFC; and more

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Photo by Troy Taormina/USA Today Sports

Ricardo Clark was one of many high-profile veterans that headlined the first MLS free agency class, but it appears as though he is already off the market.

Clark confirmed on his social media account that he had indeed signed a new contract with the Dynamo, forgoing his chance to test the free agency market and potentially sign with a new MLS club.

Video: Timbers greeted with incredible welcome in Portland

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Photo by Jeff Swinger/USA Today Sports


Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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It's now or never for many teams on fringe of qualifying for the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League.

In Tuesday's headline match, VfL Wolfsburg hosts Manchester United at Volkswagen Arena. The German club sits one point above its Matchday 6 foe, and has won three of its last four games in all competitions.

CONCACAF implements interim leadership structure until May

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CONCACAF wants to take its time to get things right.

The confederation announced on Monday that its executive committee (EXCO) has decided to not immediately appoint another interim president and to operate CONCACAFthrough the committeemembers as a whole until May.

"In light of current events, it is critical that the Confederation's next President be determined by a public election and the scrutiny that comes with it," EXCOsaid in the statement.

Report: Brooks could be sold by Hertha Berlin

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John Brooks' days with Hertha Berlin could be numbered.

A report from German outlet Kicker says that Hertha Berlin will explore the possibility of selling the U.S. Men's National Team defender should he not sign a new deal with the club in the coming weeks. Brooks is currently set to see his contract expire in 2017, and the club is hoping to reach an extension before Christmas.

UCL Preview: Seven knockout phase spots up for grabs as group stage closes

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Seven remaining spots in the knockout phase, that's what's at stake for 13 prospective clubs in the UEFA Champions League this week as the group stage comes to a close.

Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Bayer Leverkusen, Roma, VfL Wolfsburg, PSV Eindhoven, Valencia, Olympiacos, FC Porto, BATE Borisov, Dynamo Kiev and KAA Gent are all still in the race to advance, while clubs likeBorussia Mönchengladbach, Sevilla,Galatasaray, Shakhtar Donetsk, Malmö FF, CSKA Moscow and Astana could secure a third-place finish and join the UEFA Europa League.

MLS Ticker: Timbers decline Urruti, Paparatto; Impact keep core; and more

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Photo by Jaime Valdez/USA Today Sports

Before the MLS Cup champions could start their celebrations in Portland on Tuesday, the Timbers had to make some roster decisions on Monday.

The Timbers decided to decline options on defender Norberto Paparatto and forward Maximiliano Urruti, as well as goalkeeper Andrew Weber, defenders Jeanderson and Andy Thoma and midfielders Nick Besler and Michael Nanchoff.

Tuesday Kickoff: Ancelotti may wait for Man United; Benzema requests meeting; and more

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Carlo Ancelotti may have to wait a few years, but the 56-year-old Italian could be the next Manchester United manager.

Man United head coach Louis van Gaal's current contract with the club expires in June 2017, leaving the door open for Ancelotti to possibly return to coaching in the English Premier League.

Mike Magee, Ricardo Clark headline first MLS free agency class

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Major League Soccer finally has free agency, at least in some form, and the first players to benefit from the new free agent designation were identified on Monday, with Mike Magee, Ricardo Clark and Ned Grabavoy among the more intriguing options for teams looking to sign veteran players who have no ties to their former teams.

MLS Ticker: Pontius traded to Union; D.C. United acquires Neagle; and more

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Photo by Tommy Gilligan/ USA Today Sports

Chris Pontius' move to the Philadelphia Union is now complete.

The Union announced Monday that the club has acquired Pontius from D.C. Unitedin exchange for both General and Targeted Allocation Money.With the deal, which was originally reported by Goal USA last week, Pontius' seven-year tenure with D.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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A couple of U.S. internationals made their mark over the weekend in the German Bundesliga, but in an English Championship battle pitting Americans against one another, Eric Lichaj proved to be a difference-maker.

Lichaj's Nottingham Forest took on Tim Ream's and Emerson Hyndman's Fulham on Saturday, but it was the former who had the last laugh, assisting the game-winning goal in a 3-0 rout.

Timbers qualify for 2016-17 CCL, join Red Bulls, FC Dallas and more

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Photo by Jeff Swinger/ USA Today Sports

With Sunday's historic win at MAPFRE Stadium, the Portland Timbers didn't only claim their first-ever MLS Cup.

The title also qualified the Cascadia side for the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League, joining four other fellow MLS sides.

As the Supporters' Shield winners, the New York Red Bulls will also compete in next year's tournament.

MLS unveils new match ball for 2016

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A handful of roster decisions have already been made in MLS, and now there is a new ball to accompany those changes.

On Monday, the league and sponsor adidas unveiled the official match ball, NATIVO, for the 2016 season. The ball has been tested by teams from around the world to provide the greatest control and accuracy.

Soccer Monday: Your Running Commentary

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Only five points away from an automatic qualification spot into next year's UEFA Europa League group stage, Everton can close that gap on Monday.

The Toffees host Crystal Palace at Goodison Park in Liverpool, headlining Monday's matches.

Everton's most recent outing was a 2-0 win against Middlesbrough in the English Football League Cup.

Vieira could manage Man City after developing with NYCFC

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Patrick Vieira may have just taken the head coaching position at New York City FC, but one Manchester City official is already considering him as an option to succeed current manager Manuel Pellegrini.

According to Brian Marwood, Man City football administration officer, Vieira could become the Man City manager, but he needs to first develop as the NYCFC boss.

Monday Kickoff: Pumas, Tigres reach Liga MX final; FBI probes Blatter; and more

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The Liga MX Liguilla finals will pit arguably the best attacking unit against the best defensive unit during the Apertura season.

With its 3-0 victory in the first leg, Pumas UNAM all but clinched a spot in the finals, but Club America was able to make things interesting at Estadio Olímpico Universitario on Sunday.

MLS Cup notes: Villafana shuts down Finlay; Kamara unfazed by injury; and more

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COLUMBUS, Ohio Ethan Finlay spoke to the press on Monday with an an air of hubris.

"I think we match up really well with them defensively," said Finlay in the lead up to the final. "I love my matchup with [Jorge] Villafana."

The Columbus Crew winger had to eat his words on Sunday, though, as the Timbers' right back shut down Finlay completely.

Dejected Crew look to take lessons from MLS Cup defeat

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Photo by Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports

COLUMBUS, Ohio – As confetti rained down on the Portland Timbers in the center of the field, Kei Kamara and Wil Trapp watched from afar. Heartbroken, dejected, and devastated, the vision of the Timbers celebrating at Mapfre Stadium was a nightmare come to life, but, for so many reasons, the two Columbus Crew stars just couldn't look away.

Timbers cap memorable 2015 with MLS Cup title

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Photo by Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports

COLUMBUS, Ohio The champagne fumes were overpowering. The music was blaring. There was dancing, singing, joking, beer guzzling, and even a FaceTime call to an old teammate.

The Portland Timbers were on cloud nine, having just capped a strong and memorable 2015with an MLS Cup trophy thatfew on the outside thought was obtainable as recently as two months ago.

Timbers crowned MLS Cup champions in wild, controversial final

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Photo by Trevor Ruszkowksi/USA Today Sports

COLUMBUS, Ohio Goals, entertainment, drama, controversy. The 2015 MLS Cup Final had it all, and in the end, it was the Portland Timbers who were standing tallest.

The Timbers won the MLS Cup on Sunday evening by defeatingthe Columbus Crew, 2-1, at Mapfre Stadium in a wild match littered with major talking points.

SBI MLS Cup Final Man of the Match: Jorge Villafana

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Photo by Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports

Throughout the 2015 season, Jorge Villafana was targeted as the weak linkof the Portland Timbers back line. Yet, in Sunday's MLS Cup Final, Villafana proved dominant yet again to help lead his side to the league's ultimate crown.

Matching up with MLS Best XI winger Ethan Finlay, Villafana proved to be the best player on the pitch, looking both calm and composed on the attacking and defensive ends to earn honors as SBI MLS Cup Final Man of the Match.

2015 MLS Cup Final: SBI Live Commentary

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The Columbus Crew face the Portland Timbers in the MLS Cup final today (4 p.m., ESPN/UniMas) at MAPFRE Stadium in a matchup that is promising to be a memorable encounter.

The Crew and Timbers enter on strong runs of form that carried over from the second half of the regular season straight into the playoffs.

SBI's 2015 MLS Cup Predictions

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COLUMBUS, Ohio The day has finally arrived. MLS Cup is here.

The Columbus Crew host the Portland Timbers at MAPFRE Stadium (4 p.m., ESPN, UniMas) in the 2015 final, and the game should be good one given how similar the two clubs are.

With thegamefast approaching, the SBI editorial staff has made its predictions for the result.

USWNT match in Hawaii cancelled due to poor field conditions

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Just two days after U.S. Women's National Team midfielder Megan Rapinoe tore her ACL, USWNT fans are in for more bad news.

U.S. Soccer announced Sunday that the match between Trinidad & Tobago and the U.S. women was cancelled due to poor field conditions.

The match was to be played at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii, but the artificial turf did not hold up to the testing procedure performed on Saturday.

MLS Cup Notes: Porter embraces underdog status; Crew relish home field advantage; and more

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COLUMBUS, Ohio The Portland Timbers have traveled to the Columbus Crew's stomping grounds for Sunday's MLS Cup final with the record of the best team on the road over the past two seasons.

Caleb Porter's side has won 14 games away from home in MLS since the start of 2014, and the structured gameplans from the former Akron head coach is the reason behind that stat.

Similar clubs Crew, Timbers aim to punctuate strong seasons with MLS Cup

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photo by Trevor Ruszkowski/USA Today Sports

COLUMBUS, Ohio In a year dominated by superstaradditions, it is two balancedteams missingbig international names that will vie for Major League Soccer'sultimate prize.

The Columbus Crew and Portland Timbers will battleat MAPFREStadium on Sunday afternoon in the MLS Cup Final, and a major talking point going into the match will be the status of Kei Kamara.

Stanford, Clemson, Akron, Syracuse reach College Cup

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Photo by Maciek Gudrymowicz/StanfordPhoto.com.

For the fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament, the No. 1 overall seed will not participate in the College Cup.

That's because No. 8 Stanford, led by goals from Jordan Morris and Foster Langsdorf, upset Wake Forest, 2-1, on the road at Spry Stadium on Saturday in the NCAA quarterfinals.

MLS owners approve expansion to 28, Miami's new stadium site, and more

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Photo by Jason Mowry/USA TodaySports

After a meeting of Major League Soccer's Board of Governors on Saturday, the league announced 28 clubs as a new goal for future expansion.

"There is no shortage of demand for MLS expansion teams," said MLS Commissioner Don Garber, "and we believe the opportunity exists to grow beyond our current plans.

John Brooks scores to give Hertha Berlin win over Leverkusen

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John Brooks has just recently recovered from a spell on the bench with Hertha Berlin, and the U.S. international center back is now scoring goals.

In Bundesliga action on Saturday, Brooks scored a thumping header in the sixtieth minute for the go-ahead goal for his side over Bayer Leverkusen.

Fabian Johnson scores as Moenchengladbach hands Bayern first loss of season

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Fabian Johnson's run of goal-scoring form continued on Saturday against the German Bundesliga's topteam.

Johnsonscored the third of three successive goals for Borussia Moenchengladbach, which claimed a 3-1 victory over league leader Bayern Munich. The loss was Bayern Munich's first of the 2015-16 Bundesliga season.

Kei Kamara uncertain for MLS Cup Final after suffering leg injury in training

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photo by Danny Wild/USA Today Sports

COLUMBUS, Ohio The Columbus Crew had a nightmare moment on Saturday that could have major implications on the MLS Cup Final.

Kei Kamara went down with a leginjury at the tail-end of the Crew's afternoon training session at Mapfre Stadium, and has been labeled a game-time decision by the club.

Rapinoe tears ACL during training with USWNT

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Photo by Jennifer Buchanan/USA TODAY Sports

The final stops of the U.S. Women's National Team Victory Tour were meant to be celebratory, but the mood quickly turned sour due to a serious injury suffered by Megan Rapinoe.

U.S. Soccer announced on Saturday that Rapinoe suffered a tornanterior cruciate ligament in her right knee.

Crew, Timbers point to wide play as key to MLS Cup final

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Photo by Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports

Throughout the buildup to Sunday's MLS Cup finale, much of the focus has been on bruising forwards Kei Kamara and Fanendo Adi, but it may just bethe battle taking place on either side of them that makes all the difference.

Heading into the league final, both the Portland Timbers and Columbus Crew have relied very much on wide play, as both sides boast dynamic sets of wide midfielders to go with fullback pairings that are arguably the two most sturdy in the league.

Friends, countrymen, rival playmakers Valeri and Higuain set for MLS Cup clash

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COLUMBUS, Ohio From playing against one another in Argentina to sharing meals at the dinnertable in the United States, Diego Valeri and Federico Higuainhave seen their relationship grow from that of just competitors to that of actual friends.

The Columbus Crew will welcome the Portland Timbers to MAPFRE Stadium on Sunday in the MLS Cup Final, and a game within the game will be seeing which Argentinian playmaker outdoes the other to help will his side to victory.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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The games might already be underway, but Saturday still has an action-packed schedule to offer.

One of the day's most interesting matches will take place in Spain, as Barcelona visits Valencia. New Valencia head coach Gary Neville will not be officially on the sidelines for the match, but will be watching from the stands as his struggling club tries to slow down Leo Messi, Neymar, and the rest of Barcelona's star-studded lineup.

The SBI Show: Episode 245 (MLS Cup Preview with Wil Trapp & Fanendo Adi)

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The 2015 MLS Cup Final kicks off on Sunday, with the Columbus Crew playing host to the Portland Timbers, and the latest episode of The SBI Show breaks down what should be an entertaining matchup.

Special guests Wil Trapp of the Columbus Crew and Fanendo Adi of the Portland Timbers headline Episode 245 of The SBI Show, as they discuss Sunday's final, as well as the impressive seasons they have both enjoyed.

Trapp set to go up against mentor Porter in first MLS Cup Final

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Photo Trevor Ruszkowski/ USA TODAY Sports

COLUMBUS, Ohio – In his three seasons as a professional, Wil Trapp has rapidly emerged as one of Major League Soccer's most effectivedeep-lying midfielders while earning the praises of everyone from Jurgen Klinsmann to Thierry Henry.

Now, heading into the biggest game of his professional career, Trapp is tasked with going up against the the man that he credits with helping him find his true calling on the soccer field.

Wright among those leaving Cosmos following first offseason moves

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Following the retirements of Marcos Senna and Raul, the New York Cosmos' roster continues to take shape with the first batch of offseason moves.

The Cosmos announced Thursday that the contracts ofHaji Wright, Kharlton Belmar, Samuel Cáceres, John Neeskens and Keasel Broom have expired and will not be renewed by the club at this time.

Borchers hoping to cap first Timbers season with his second MLS Cup title

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Photo by Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Since the process of growing it began in 2013, the beard sported by Nat Borchers has become hard to miss. Yet, Sunday afternoon, the facial hair that has become Borchers' most recognizable feature could, in theory, fall by the wayside in exchange for an MLS Cup.

Clemson-Maryland, Wake Forest-Stanford headline NCAA quarterfinals

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Photo by Carl Ackerman/Clemson Athletics

Four ACC teams have reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament, and this weekend could see three book a spot in the College Cup.

No. 1 overall seed Wake Forest is one step away from that stage a stage of the competition it hasn't been to since 2009.

Liam Ridgewell recovered, ready to start for Timbers in MLS Cup Final

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COLUMBUS, Ohio Sitting out the decisive leg of the Western Conference Finals was one of the toughest points in Liam Ridgewell's career. That is how bad he wanted to be on the field.

Ridgewellwill apparently not have to worry about enduring another rough moment this weekend, however.

NYCFC picks up club option on Poku, Mullins and eight others

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Following an inaugural season that saw the club fall short of its sights on a playoff berth, New York City FC madesome roster moves for the 2016 season.

On Friday, the club announced it has declined options on four players in Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Jeb Brovsky, Ned Grabavoy and Pablo Alvarez, and picked up the options on 10 others.

Miami Beckham United secures Overtown site for soccer-specific stadium

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There is still some work to be done, but David Beckham has secured a stadium site in Miami at long last.

Miami Beckham United, the Englishman'sgroup of investors for an expansion MLS franchise, announced on Friday that it has acquired some land in Overtown on which to builda soccer-specific stadium.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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Fabian Johnson has been on a run of good form as of late with Borussia Moenchengladbach, and the club is going to need all that he can offer if it is to pick up three more points this weekend.

Why?Because the undefeated league leader is coming to town.

Johnson and Moenchengladbach open up the December part of their schedule on Saturday by hosting powerhouse Bayern Munich, which comes into the game with a 13-0-1 record.

MLS Ticker: FC Dallas re-signs Acosta; Nemeth wins goal award; and more

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Photo by Gary A. Vasquez /USA Today Sports

FC Dallas' attack may look a little different in 2016 with the departure of Blas Perez, but the club made some decisions on Thursday that will see its defense remain mostly intact.

The Texas club decided to pick up the options on Matt Hedges, Je-Vaughn Watson, Ryan Hollingshead, Zach Loyd, Rolando Escobar,Atiba Harris and Victor Ulloa.

MLS not ready to pull plug on David Beckham's expansion efforts in Miami

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Robert Mayer-USA Today Sports

David Beckham has been searching for a location for a soccer-specific stadiumin Miamifor approximately three years, but MLS knows that finalizing that type of deal takes time.

As such, the league is not ready yet to pull the plug on the project.

Beckham's efforts to find land for his proposed MLS expansion franchise have been nothing short of frustrating.

Don Garber touches on expansion, spending and more in MLS address

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Photo by Isiah J. Downing/ USA Today Sports

Don Garber is quick to admit that the current movement in Sacramento has caught his eye, but those hoping that the league will make its way to the city will need to display one further trait: patience.

Since the founding of the USL's Sacramento Republic, the city has found itself emerging as a premier soccer market.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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In the German Bundesliga, there is Bayern Munich and then everyone else.

With an eight-point lead on the table already after only 14 matches, the three-time defending league champion isrunning towards yet another title. However, that does not take away the intrigue heading into a big weekend in the Bundesliga.

NASL Notes: Lagos becomes Minnesota's sporting director; Indy hires Hankinson; and more

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After another season in which head coach Manny Lagos took Minnesota United to the NASL playoffs, the MLS-elect side has opted to enhance his role.

United announced on Thursday that Lagos would become the club's first sporting director.With that role, Lagos will assume all responsibility for player recruitment, acquisition and development.

Soccer Thursday: Your Running Commentary

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The Liga MX playoff race is down to four teams and the first-leg actionof the Liguillabegins in Mexico City tonight.

Two familiar foes, Club América and Pumas UNAM, are set to battle it out for not only bragging rights in Mexico's capital, but also a berth in the final against either Tigres UANL orToluca.

U.S. Soccer remains focused on transparent Copa America amid confederation arrests

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Following the arrests of CONCACAF's and CONMEBOL's presidents on Thursday, U.S. Soccer shared a statement to ensure that the presidents' arrests in no way represent the federation's involvement in hosting Copa America Centenario.

Alfredo Hawit, interim president of CONCACAF, and CONMEBOL president Juan Angel Napout were arrested in Zurich on Thursday.

CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals schedule released

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Photo by Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports

Mark your calendars because CONCACAF announced the dates and times for next year's Champions League quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Four U.S.-based MLS teams and four Liga MX teams will compete for the CCL crown in 2016's knockout stage of the competition, and the tournament will kick off in the new year late February.

USMNT climbs one spot in latest FIFA rankings

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Following two November World Cup qualifiers, the U.S. Men's National Team's standing in FIFA's latest rankings rose.

FIFA's most recent rankings came out on Thursday, and the USMNT climbed one spot to 32nd in the world. The U.S. had previously fallen four spots after a loss to Mexico in the CONCACAF Cup and a friendly defeat to Costa Rica, but the move back up the ladder is attributed to the Americans' start in World Cup qualification.

Thursday Kickoff: CONCACAF, CONMEBOL presidents arrested, and more

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More arrests have been made in connection with corruption within FIFA, and this time, the two high-ranking officials are from the Americas.

Alfredo Hawit, interim president of CONCACAF and vice-president of FIFA, as well as CONMEBOL president and FIFA official Juan Angel Napout, were arrested in Zurich on Thursday.

Michael Parkhurst ready to replace past MLS Cup failures with dream finish

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Photo by Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports

OBETZ, Ohio –Michael Parkhurst has reached this level three times before, but each and every time, the central defender has settled for dejection, despair and heartbreak. Now, , the Columbus Crew captain is determined not to experience those feelings again.

After dominant 2015, Waylon Francis is ready for his latest final

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Photo by Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports

OBETZ, Ohio Lloyd Sam, one of the premier wingers in MLS over the last few years, was nowhere to be found in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Where did he go? The same abyss that many right-sided midfielders have fallenintothis season.

"It was like Revis Island," said Columbus Crew midfielder Wil Trapp, referring to the nickname for the area of the field NFL cornerback Darrelle Revis used to shut down wide receivers.

MLS Cup Notes: Afful and Sauro impress; Atticus to attend final; and more

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Photo by Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports

OBETZ, Ohio – As foreign players entering MLS in the middle of the summer, it would be easy to write off Gaston Sauro and Harrison Afful's 2015 campaigns. Adjusting to the speed, timing and rigors of MLS is never easy, and it's not unfair to say players tend to struggle throughout their initial foray into MLS.

MLS Ticker: Sounders decline Pappa, Barrett; Dynamo re-sign trio; and more

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Photo by Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports

Many teams from MLS have already started to restrucuture their rosters for 2016, and on Wednesday, the Seattle Sounders made some surprising decisions.

Among those who had their options declined by the Sounders included midfielders Marco Pappa, 28, and Gonzalo Pineda, 33, as well as forward Chad Barrett and defenders Zach Scott and Leo Gonzalez.

Blas Perez confirms FC Dallas departure, writes farewell message

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Blas Perez's four-year stint with FC Dalas has come to an end.

The 34-year-old Panamanian forward confirmed his exit from FC Dallas on Wednesday in an open letter on Twitter.

"On football there are cycles, unfortunately, the day on which FC Dallas and me must take separate ways, has come," the message says.

Report: Vela to join MLS, announcement expected during MLS Cup

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On the field come Sunday, all eyes will be on the MLS Cup between the Columbus Crew and the Portland Timbers.

Off the field, though, all eyes apparently will be on Don Garber as he is set to introduce a major addition to the league.

According to La Afición, the MLS commissioner is expected to introduce the signing of Carlos Vela.

Klinsmann sees 2015 as a 'learning curve' for USMNT

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The question of whether or not 2015 was a positive year for U.S. Soccer appears to have been answered by the U.S. Men's National Team head coach.

Jurgen Klinsmann shared his thoughts on how U.S. Soccer fared as a whole this year, and while he says there were some definite "downs" to the year, there were also plenty of "ups.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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A cup clash in England is expected to be heated, as Southampton-Liverpool headlines Wednesday's round of action.

Liverpool has turned the corner ever since Jurgen Klopp's arrival, winning six of its previous seven matches. Add to that fact that Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson are now being integrated back into the first team after recovering from injuries, and the Reds are a force to be reckoned with.

Sebastian Giovinco named MLS MVP

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Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/USA Today Sports

When the 'Atomic Ant' signed with Toronto FC, many expected him to be one of the league's best.

Now, at the end of the season, it turns out he was the best.

Sebastian Giovinco was named MLS MVP on Wednesday, following a year in which he scored 22 goals, tied for the league best, and a league-leading 16 assists.

Miller, Perrinelle, S. Wright-Phillips among options declined by Red Bulls

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Photo by Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports

Following Sunday's playoff elimination at the hands of the Columbus Crew, the New York Red Bulls have made their initial roster moves, although several of those expected to depart could return in the very near future.

The Red Bulls announced on Wednesday that the club has declined options onRoy Miller, Damien Perrinelle, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Kyle Reynish, Anthony Wallace, Leo Stolz, Manolo Sanchez, Marius Obekop and Dane Richards.

Mike Noonan helping Clemson become an NCAA powerhouse

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Photo by Carl Ackerman/Clemson Athletics

When one thinks of college soccer powerhouses, Virginia, UCLA, Maryland and Georgetown all come to mind.

However, one team in the ACC is quickly developing into a national heavyweight and head coach Mike Noonan is leading the charge.

Clemson is one of eight teams remaining in this year's NCAA Tournament, and the Tigers are only one game away from reaching the College Cup a stage of the tournament they have not been to in 10 years.

Reading manager Clarke confirms interest in signing Zardes

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Photo by Jerome Miron/USA Today Sports

Gyasi Zardes has long been linked to a slew of European clubs, and English Championship outfit Reading FC has made its intentions known when it comes to the pursuit of the U.S. Men's National Team forward.

Reading manager Steve Clarke confirmed his interest in the LA Galaxy forward on Tuesday, admitting that Zardes has been on the club's radar for quite some time.

IMG, SUM awarded commercial rights to Copa America Centenario

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Photo by Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports

CONCACAF and CONMEBOL awarded commercial rights for Copa America Centenario 2016 to two familiar firms to U.S. on Wednesday.

Marketing agency IMG and the commercial arm of Major League Soccer, Soccer United Marketing (SUM), won the commercial rights for Copa America Centenario, set to be held in the U.

Wednesday Kickoff: Herrera's high hopes for Tijuana; Valencia appoint Neville; and more

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Miguel Herrera has one goal in mind now that he's been appointed manager of Tijuana: to win.

The former Mexican national team manager was announced as Tijuana boss on Tuesday, and was quick to speak of his ultimate goal of leading the club to claim a title as soon as possible.

"We like to win," Herrera said.

Sacramento Republic reveal new stadium renderings

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Should Sacramento Republic join MLS, they would bring with them a unique and brand new stadium.

On Tuesday, the USL club released renderings of a proposed stadium, which will, according to the statement, seat 25,000 fans. The stadium, designed by architecture firm HNTB, will have a closed bowl with a continuous roof covering all sides of the field.

Jordan Morris, Fabian Herbers among MAC Hermann semifinalists

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Photo by Casey Valentine/StanfordPhoto.com

The semifinalists for the 2015 MAC Hermann Trophy were revealed on Tuesday, and a familiar face to U.S. Men's National Teamsupporters made the cut.

The National Soccer Coaches Association of America announced that six players, two each from three teams, make up this year's batch of standout college players.

Midday Ticker: Chile coach to join Flamengo; Ronaldo to rest; and more

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After leading Chile to its first-ever Copa America title during the summer, head coach Jorge Sampaoli is set to move on.

The 55-year-old Argentine manager has been in charge of Chile since 2012, but Sampaoli is reportedly set to join Brazilian club Flamengo ahead of its Campeonato Carioca season, which starts on Jan.

Report: Union set to acquire Pontius in trade with D.C. United

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Photo by Tommy Gilligan/USA Today Sports

D.C. United will look vastly different in 2016 due to the reported departure of the club's longest-tenured player.

Goal USA is reporting that D.C. United has agreed to a deal that would ship Chris Pontius tothe Philadelphia Union in exchange for what is believed to be allocation money.

Bolton needs investment 'quickly' as debt situation becomes 'perilous'

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Bolton Wanderers FC is in a bit of a dilemma.

The English Championship side is apparently heavy in debt, and players have not been paid their wages for the month of November. Trevor Birch, adviser to the Bolton board and owner, says that the club is actively looking for investments because the situation has become dire.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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Midweek cup matches and French Ligue 1 dominate Tuesday's international soccer, withAmericans Abroad involved all around Europe.

Manchester City will host former crosstown rivalSteve Bruce's Hull City side in the Capital One Cup. Elsewhere in that competition, Middlesbrough host Everton, while Sheffield Wednesday travel to face off against Geoff Cameron andStoke City.

MLS Ticker: TFC, Whitecaps announce roster moves; Perez linked with Saprissa; and more

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After qualifying for its first-ever MLS Playoffs, Toronto FC is doing some minor shuffling with its roster.

The team announced Tuesday that it has picked up its club options on 13 players — including Jonathan Osorio and Marky Delgado — and declined options on four others.

Joining Osorio and Delgado in returning to TFC next season aregoalkeeper Quillan Roberts; defenders Mark Bloom, Nick Hagglund, Ashtone Morgan, Josh Williams, Eriq Zavaleta and Clement Simonin; midfielders Collen Warner, Daniel Lovitz, Chris Mannella and forward Jordan Hamilton.

The SBI Show: Episode 244 (Recapping the MLS conference finals, and more)

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The Columbus Crew and Portland Timbers booked their places in the 2015 MLS Cup final and the latest episode of The SBI Show covers just how they got the job done.

Episode 244 of The SBI Show looks back at Sunday's conference finals second legs, including Portland's 2-2 tie against FC Dallas, and the Red Bulls lackluster 1-0 victory against Columbus, which wasn't enough to overcome the Crew's 2-0 first-leg lead.

Bob Bradley expects more work from Le Havre after difficult start

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It's not the start head coach Bob Bradley wanted with Le Havre, but after three games into his new job with the Ligue 2 side, he has no wins.

Bradley and Le Havre crashed out of the Coupe de France to sixth-flight minnow Saint Omer on Nov. 14, and followed that performance up with a scoreless tie to Brest before being beaten, 3-1, against second-placed Nancy on Saturday.

Bob Bradley expects more work from Le Havre after rough start

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It's not the start head coach Bob Bradley wanted with Le Havre, but after three games into his new job with the Ligue 2 side, he has no wins.

Bradley and Le Havre crashed out of the Coupe de France to sixth-flight minnow Saint Omer on Nov. 14, and followed that performance up with a scoreless tie to Brest before being beaten, 3-1, against second-placed Nancy on Saturday.

MLS Ticker: Red Bulls pick up McCarty option; TFC re-signs Morrow; and more

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Photo by Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports

After seeing their season come to a close on Sunday night, the New York Red Bulls' first order of offseason business was to make sure to lock up one of the team's most important pieces.

Red Bulls Sporting Director Ali Curtis announced Monday that the club will be picking up the option on midfielder Dax McCarty, keeping him under contract heading into the 2015 season.

Tuesday Kickoff: Messi named La Liga's best; Napoli top of Serie A; and more

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Lionel Messi earned himself a couple pieces of hardware on Monday.

The three finalists for FIFA's Ballon d'Or award were named early on Monday, but later that evening, Messi was named La Liga's Best Forward and Best Player for the 2014-15 season.

"I share this award with Luis (Suarez) who deserves it just as much as I do," Messi said after he received the award.