Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2016

MLS teams make final roster cuts

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Photo by Kevin Jairaj/USA Today Sports

The MLS season is just five days away, and a handful of notable cuts were made this Tuesday.

The LA Galaxy released defender Dan Gargan and forward Ignacio Maganto. Gargan leaves the Galaxy after two years of service. The 10-year MLS veteran is eligible for free agency, while Maganto leaves the club after being selected in the 2015 MLS Draft.

CCL Preview: Sounders travel to Club America; RSL hosts Tigres

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Photo by Troy Wayrynen/USA Today Sports

While MLS will kick off this weekend, two sides have unfinished business to take care ofin the CONCACAF Champions League on Wednesday.

The Seattle Sounders will travel to Mexico to face Club America, while Real Salt Lake hosts Tigres UANL at Rio Tinto Stadium later in the evening.

SBI MLS Season Preview: Portland Timbers

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Photo by Trevor Ruszkowksi/USA Today Sports

In 2015, the Portland Timbers ascended to the MLS mountaintop by claiming the club's first-ever MLS Cup. Now, the challenge comes in defending it.

Following an offseason full of parties, parades and praise, the Timbers arenow set to begin their title defense by featuring much of the same.

SBI MLS Spotlight: Grabavoy looking for another MLS Cup with Timbers move

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Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/Portland Timbers

Ned Grabavoy has been around Major League Soccerlong enough to know what he wants. Following a trying season with New York City FC, the veteran midfielder found exactly what he was searching for this offseason: a chance to win another MLS Cup.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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Europe's top leagues will be on display Tuesday afternoon, while competitions in North and South America heat up later in the evening.

English Premier League leader Leicester City, currently two points clear of Tottenham Hotspur, will host West Bromwich Albion, while a surging Chelsea travels to Norwich City.

SBI Spotlight: Fabian Castillo has sights set on MLS Cup and dream move to Europe

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Photo by Tim Heitman/USA Today Sports

One of the main reasons Fabian Castillo is motivated heading into this season is because he wants to help FC Dallas win a title. Another is because he wants to go play in Europe.

Castillo is entering the new MLS campaign eager to build on the solid seasonhe had with FC Dallas last year, when he scored nine goals and delivered nine assists en route to helping the young club reach the Western Conference Finals.

SBI MLS Season Preview: FC Dallas

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Photo by Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports

If there was one thing to take away from FC Dallas' season in 2015, it was that the club has plenty of promise.

FC Dallas enjoyed a strong campaign a year ago, and did so with a bit of a different formula than most other teams.Buoyed by a number of Homegrown Players and fellow youngsters who stepped in to play significant roles, FC Dallas finished just shy of both winning the Supporters' Shield and making it to the MLS Cup Final.

SBI Reader Poll: What do you think of the new U.S. Soccer logo?

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The new minimalist crest revealed by U.S. Soccer caused quite the discussion and debate on Monday.

The U.S. federation unveiled its new logo, replacing the one that has been in use since 1995.

"This design embodies the spirit of U.S. Soccer, but it also transcends our teams and the game.

CCL Preview: Galaxy visit Santos Laguna; D.C. United hosts Queretaro

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Photo by Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports

Two CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals will come to a close on Tuesday.

D.C. United will host Mexican club Queretaro in its second leg, while the LA Galaxy travel to Mexico to play Santos Laguna at Estadio Corona.

The Eastern Conference side enters Tuesday's leg down, 2-0.

SBI MLS Spotlight: Steve Birnbaum looking to emerge as leader following USMNT goal

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Photo by Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports

Following a goal-scoring performance with the U.S. Men's National Team, Steve Birnbaum enters the 2016 season with a bit of momentum. The D.C. United centerback is now looking to utilize that momentum to become a better player and leader on both the club and international stage.

SBI MLS Season Preview: D.C. United

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Photo by Danny Wild/USA Today

Following yet another playoff defeat to the New York Red Bulls, Ben Olsen had to ask himself a question. The D.C. United head coach wondered aloud if his club had peaked, if it had reached its plateau in an increasingly competitive Eastern Conference.

According to Olsen, the answer was no, but the D.

Tuesday Kickoff: Oxlade-Chamberlain, De Bruyne injuries and more

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A new month begins with many midweek games, but some star players will have to sit out due to injuries.

Arsenal head coach Arsene Wenger said Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will miss six-to-eight weeks of play, but he will not have to undergo surgery on his knee injury. (REPORT)

Kevin De Bruyne hopes to return to training for Manchester City in five weeks.

Copa America Centenario start times revealed

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Photo by Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports

The groups for the Copa America Centenario were set on Feb. 21, but the kickoff times for all of those enticing matchups were not revealed until Monday.

The organizing committee for this summer's tournament in the U.S. announced the start times for all of the matches, including the U.

CCL Preview: Galaxy visit Santos Laguna; D.C. United hosts Queretaro

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Photo by Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports

Two CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals will come to a close on Tuesday.

D.C. United will host Mexican club Queretaro in its second leg, while the LA Galaxy travel to Mexico to play Santos Laguna at Estadio Corona.

The Eastern Conference side enters Tuesday's leg down, 2-0.

SBI MLS Season Preview: Columbus Crew

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Photo by Joe Maiorana/USA TODAY Sports

From the momentGregg Berhalter was hired as head coach in late 2013, the Columbus Crew have been building towards an MLS Cup. After breaking through as a contender in 2014, the Crew got their crack at the league's ultimate prize in December, but fell just short.

SBI MLS Spotlight: Crew's Saravia realizing dream of playing for both club and country

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Photo by Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports

Ever since he was a kid in Guatemala City, Rodrigo Saravia has had two dreams. The first was to represent his countryon the highest level. The second was to follow several of his childhood heroes to MLS while forging his own professional career.

In the first several months of a whirlwind 2016, the 23-year-old midfielder has accomplished both.

MLS Ticker: Veron, Asprilla injuries, D.C. signs Horton and more

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Photo by Logan Bowles/USA Today Sports

While D.C. Unitedhas officially added a new goalkeeper, a few players suffered injuries the weekend before the start of the 21st MLS season.

New York Red Bulls forward Gonzalo Veron suffered a potential hamstring injury after scoring a hat trick in his club's 5-1 win over Jacksonville Armada FC on Saturday.

The Weekend's Best: Rashford, Lyon and more

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In a week filled with strong performances and crucial league victories, an 18-year-old English forward grabbed the spotlight. Here are SBI's picks for The Weekend's Best (as voted by SBI's editorial staff):

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

MARCUS RASHFORD (MANCHESTER UNITED).After scoring a brace to help the Red Devils defeat Danish club Midtjylland in the UEFA Europa League, the 18-year-old forward netted yet another double on Sunday.

SBI MLS Season Preview: Montreal Impact

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Photo by Marc DesRosiers/USA Today Sports

A cloud of uncertainty hung over the Montreal Impact's plans for 2016 throughout much of the offseason, but in the end, they got the commitment they were looking for and are now ready to build on what they accomplished last year.

The Impact are heading into the upcoming MLS campaign with plenty of expectations given how stronglythey closed out 2015.

SBI Spotlight: Ignacio Piatti in search of more goals despite playing out wide

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Photo by Eric Bolte/USA Today Sports

Ignacio Piatti may not spend much time this yearas central or close to goal as he did at the start of 2015, but that does not mean he expects his goal-scoring totalto decrease.

In fact, despite his positional change, he is looking to do even better statistically this year than he did last.

New U.S. Soccer crest revealed

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After more than two decades with the old, U.S. Soccer has revealed the new.

U.S. Soccer announced its new crest on Monday, confirming a leak of it shared in August of 2015. The iconic shield design features seven red and six white stripes below "USA" in dark blue, and abandons the soccer ball and stars that have received criticism over the years.

Monday Kickoff: Ronaldo, Citigroup subpoenaed in FIFA probe and more

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While a U.S. bank has received an order to appear in court over the FIFA scandal, a Portuguese star made his feelings clear following Real Madrid's loss to its rival over the weekend.

Following Real Madrid's derby defeat to Atletico Madrid on Saturday, Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo said, "If everybody was at my level, we'd be top," but later clarified those comments.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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Fabian Johnson may not have earned his club three points, but he saved it from defeat.

Johnson turned in his latest goal-scoring performance of the season on Sunday, as he netted the equalizer in Borussia Monchengladbach's 2-2 draw with FC Augsburg. The veteran midfielderfound the back of the net in the 55th minute,finishing off a good attacking sequence with a low, one-timed effort that ensured his side would not falter.

European Weekend Rewind: Man City wins Capital One Cup, Atletico downs Real and more

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Manchester City added yet another trophy to its cabinet on Sunday.

The Citizens defeated Liverpool, 4-1, in penalty kicks after playing to a thrilling 1-1 tie to claim the 2015-16 Capital One Cup.

Man City goalkeeper Willy Caballero proved to be the hero in the contest, making three consecutive saves during the shootout to lift the title over the Reds.

SBI Spotlight: Kelyn Rowe looking to take next step with Revs in 2016

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Photo by Stew Milne/USA TODAY Sports

Before the start of each season, Kelyn Rowe sets what he calls a "selfish goal": to be better than the player he was the year prior. To this point, he's accomplished that feat every time, but the New England Revolution midfielder is far from ready to call himself a finished product.

SBI MLS Season Preview: New England Revolution

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Photo by Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports

Throughout the past severalseasons, the New England Revolution have counted themselves among the Eastern Conference's elite. With that being said, the 2016 season is about taking that next step.

Following an MLS Cup loss in 2014, the Revs were unceremoniously dumped out of the 2015 playoffs inan opening round loss to D.

MLS Ticker: Hines scores four, Koval waived and more

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Photo by Reinhold Matay/USA Today Sports

The MLS preseason came to an end on Saturday, and it ended in spectacular fashion as a defender scored four goals against Brazilian competition.

Centerback Seb Hines scored four goals to lead Orlando City SC to a 6-1 rout of Brazilian club Esporte Clube Bahia.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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League leaders in Spain, Italy and France will be in action on Sunday, while the Capital One Cup final takes place at Wembley Stadium.

Liverpool and Manchester City will battle it out for this year's Capital One Cup title. With both sides still playing in European competitions, the Reds in the UEFA Europa League and City in the UEFA Champions League, today's match will give one team massive competition as the season winds down.

SBI Spotlight: Eric Miller hoping to stay healthy and earn minutes with Rapids

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Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/USA Today Sports

Injuries have kept Eric Miller from representing his country before, but he's been working hard this offseason to make sure that does not happen again.

The U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team plays Colombia in an Olympic qualifying playoff series on March 25 and 29, and Miller wants to be a part of the team that takes on the South American side.

SBI MLS Season Preview: Colorado Rapids

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Photo by Isaiah J. Downing/USA Today Sports

There's no doubt the Colorado Rapids are coming off a hugely disappointing year, but the club completed an overhaul in the offseason with the hope of turning things around in 2016.

To put it bluntly, the Rapids may not have had the worst record in 2015, but they easily could be considered the worst team from the year.

Must-See Goal: Stephan El Shaarawy

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SBI MLS Season Preview: Toronto FC

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Photo by John E. Sokolowski/USA Today Sports

Toronto FC exorcised a demon by finally making the playoffs last year. Now, it is all about building on that and achieving even more.

The 2015 season saw Toronto FC finished sixth in the Eastern Conference to book a historic first trip to the postseason.

SBI Spotlight: Will Johnson easing his way into leadership role at Toronto FC

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Photo by Godofredo Vasquez/USA Today Sports

Toronto FC has made no secret of its desire to make drastic improvements defensively in 2016, and one of the offseason acquisitions that is really helping to change thatisveteran midfielder Will Johnson.

Acquired via a trade from the Portland Timbers shortly after the 2015 season concluded, Johnson has come into the group and quickly instilled a tougher mentality.

Report: Tim Howard set to join Rapids in July

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After more than 13 years playing club soccer abroad, Tim Howard is nearing a deal that will send the keeper backto MLS.

According to ESPN FC, the 36-year-old goalkeeper is reportedly close to finalizing a deal that will see him join the Colorado Rapids in July. Howard's transfer fee is reported as being between $600,000 and $750,000, while the U.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Bragging rights and a shot at winning the Spanish La Liga are on the line this Saturday.

Real and Atletico compete in the Madrid Derby, and plenty is at stake. Barcelona continues to win in league play, so all three points are a must for each side at the Santiago Bernabéu.

In England, league leader Leicester City will host Norwich City, while Chelsea battles on the road against Southampton.

Deflected Bobby Wood strike pushes FC Union Berlin to victory

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It may have taken a wicket deflection, but Bobby Wood and FC Union Berlin will take his latest game-winning goal all the same.

Wood helped earn Union Berlin a victory on Friday by netting the decisive strike in a 2-1 comeback win at home over Kaiserslautern. The 23-year-old forward struck at the hour-mark via a shot that fortuitously ricocheted of a defender before changing flight completely and soaring into the back of the net.

MLS Ticker: Moore waived, Fire and more

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Photo by Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports

Some teams are looking to finalize their rosters with the start of the MLS season just around the corner, and one Canadian club decided to offload a striker.

Toronto FC announced it had waived forward Luke Moore on Friday. The 30-year-old appeared in 15 games in 2015, scoring once and assisting three goals.

Julian Green nets twice in Bayern Munich II victory

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In histeam's second game following the winter break,Julian Green stole the show to lead Bayern Munich II to victory.

The U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team midfielder netted a pair of goals on Friday to lead Bayern Munich II to a victory over Rain/Lech. The goals were Green's eighth and ninth of the season in the German third division.

NASL Ticker: Cosmos add Farfan, Rowdies sign Avila and more

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Photo by Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports

NASL clubs continue to fill out their rosters, as the New York Cosmos and Tampa Bay Rowdies headline the recent batch of signings with a pair of MLS veterans.

Gabriel Farfán has joined the Cosmos on a season-long loan from Liga MX side Chiapas.

Lloyd, Morgan, Pugh among USWNT call-ups for SheBelieves Cup

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Photo by Thomas B. Shea/USA TODAY Sports

Four of the world's top five women's national teams will take part in the2016 SheBelieves Cup, and the U.S. Women's National Team has named a talented roster to compete.

FIFA Women's World Player of the Year Carli Lloyd, star striker Alex Morgan and 17-year-old sensation Mallory Pugh are among those head coach Jill Ellis has named to her roster to do battle with some of the world's best teams.

SBI Spotlight: Chris Duvall retraces steps after missed times with Red Bulls

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Photo by Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports

While 2015 was a season of great success for the New York Red Bulls, one defender's season was cut short after a devastating leg injury.

Chris Duvall, an opening day starter for the Red Bulls at left back in 2015, was a key contributor to the team's back line before a broken tibia sidelined him in July.

SBI MLS Season Preview: New York Red Bulls

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Coming off of back-to-back Eastern Conference Finals appearances, the New York Red Bulls are eager to take another big step in 2016.

Head coach Jesse Marsch and the Red Bulls have continuous emphasized the importance of keeping its core group of players together, something that they were able to do for the most part over the offseason.

Soccer Friday: Your Running Commentary

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Several matches will take place in Europe's top leagues on Friday afternoon, while Liga MX takes over in the nightcap.

Currently seventh in La Liga, Eibar will host Las Palmas today, while Nice and Bastia have everything to play for in Ligue 1 action. Meanwhile, Hertha Berlin will travel to Köln in Germany.

Gianni Infantino elected FIFA president

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Sepp Blatter's 18-year reign of FIFA came to an official end on Friday.

Gianni Infantinowas elected FIFA president after receiving a majority of the votes (115) in the second round, beating out Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa of Bahrain, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan and Jerome Champagne.

SBI MLS Season Preview: Orlando City

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Photo by Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports

Much of Orlando City SC's inaugural season was filled with excitement and drama, including the club's home opener against New York City FC at the Citrus Bowl.

Orlando City did experience a rough summer, many red cards and just missed out on the MLS playoffs, but overall, there was a lot of excitement that surrounded the Lions in year one.

SBI Spotlight: Joe Bendik ready to settle down, start anew with Orlando City

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Photo by Dan Hamilton/USA Today Sports

Joe Bendik has traveled quite a few miles to play the game he enjoys, but the 26-year-old goalkeeper is ready to settle down in his new home of Orlando.

After graduating from Clemson, the 6-foot-3 netminder flew to Norway and signed on with Sogndal.

TFC taking cautious approach with Jozy Altidore injury

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Photo by Trevor Ruszkowski/USA Today Sports

Jozy Altidore has so far only been listed as questionable for Toronto FC's season opener, but there is a chance that he could miss morethan just the first game of 2016.

Altidore's availability for Toronto FC's duel with the New York Red Bulls on March 6 has been up in the air since he sustaineda hamstring injury in preseason training earlier this week.

European Weekend Preview: Real Madrid-Atletico, Liverpool-Man City and more

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While Barcelona looks to extend its lead at the top of La Liga this weekend, the Madrid Derby will take center stage on Saturday.

Currently second and third on the league table, Atletico and Real will meet for the second time with season. After finishing in a 1-1 tie back in October, both sides need three points in order to stay within reach of the Blaugrana.

Friday Kickoff: Neymar deal, Marcelo injury and more

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Most of the coverage this Friday morning has revolved around FIFA's Extraordinary Congress, but a star of the game is also generating some buzz after a new reported deal with Barcelona surfaced.

Brazilian star Neymar has reportedly signed a new five-year deal, which will make him the second-highest-paid player, with Barcelona.

Liverpool-Man United, Dortmund-Tottenham paired in Europa League draw

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There is no shortage of spectacular matchups in the UEFA Europa League round of 16.

The draw for the next round was conducted on Friday, and Liverpool-Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund-Tottenham and Villarreal-Bayer Leverkusen, among others, were paired to compete in March.

Man United is coming off an impressive 5-1 (6-3 on aggregate) win against Danish club Midtjylland on Thursday.

U.S. Soccer will vote for Prince Ali to become next FIFA president

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After meeting with all five candidates in Zurich, U.S. Soccer revealed its endorsement for Friday's FIFA presidential election.

Federation president Sunil Gulati announced U.S. Soccer would vote for Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan on Thursday, and the presidential nominee subsequently expressed his thanks for the public endorsement.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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Jorge Villana and Santos Laguna may have grabbed a good result on the road in CONCACAF Champions League play on Wednesday, but there is no time for them to rest on their laurels if they are to close out February on an even more positive note.

Villafana and Santos Laguna will have to quickly recover and shift their focus awayfrom the scoreless road draw against the LA Galaxy, as the Liga MX side takes on Puebla on Saturday.

Obafemi Martins officially leaves Sounders for Shanghai Greenland Shenhua

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Photo by Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports

One of MLS' worst-kept secrets has finally become official.

The Seattle Sounders announced on Thursday Obafemi Martins has officially signed withShanghai Greenland Shenhua FC of the Chinese Super League. In total, Martins spenttwo seasons in Seattle while scoring 40 goals in 72 total appearances en route to becoming the second all-time leading scorer in club history.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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Capturing La Liga may be out of the reach for both clubs now, but the bragging rights of Madrid are still at stake this weekend for Atlético and Real.

The two Spanish powerhouses will square off on Saturday at Santiago Bernabeu after playing to a 1-1 tie back on the Oct. 4 derby at the Estadio Vicente Calderon.

SBI Spotlight: Tranquillo Barnetta set to fill different roles for Union

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Tranquillo Barnetta will be asked to fill a few different roles during his first full season with the Philadelphia Union.

The 31-year-old Swiss international, who joined the club in July, is expected to step into the middle of Jim Curtin's attacking formation as a replacement for Cristian Maidana, who was traded to Houston in December.

SBI Spotlight: Dillon Powers experiences 'life-changing' Reading trial

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Photo by Jennifer Nicholson/USA Today Sports

Dillon Powers spent more than two weeks on trial with English Championship club Reading FC this offseason, and came back to the U.S. from that experience a changed man.

The 25-year-old midfielder originally joined the Royals for two weeks in November, but had his trial at Hogwood Park extended a few more days.

SBI MLS Season Preview: Real Salt Lake

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As head coach Jeff Cassar enters his third season in charge of Real Salt Lake, the club will be hoping to rebound from a difficult 2015 season.

Despite two victories against Sporting Kansas City, and one win each against the LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders, last season proved to be nothing more than a disappointment for RSL.

SBI Spotlight: Chris Wingert confident RSL return was right decision

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Despite growing up as a New Yorker and spending last season with expansion side New York City FC, Chris Wingert has called Real Salt Lake home for what will now be his ninth season with the club.

The MLS veteran struggled to find his way in the league after initially being drafted by the Columbus Crew in 2004.

Is this the new USMNT away jersey?

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A new year might come with a new jersey and a distinctively new look for the U.S. Men's National Team.

TodoSobreCamisetas.com posted an imageof a new U.S. away jersey that will allegedlybe worn during this summer's Copa America Centenario. The jersey is predominantly black with red and blue on the right and left shoulders, respectively, and comes with a new crest that made the rounds in 2015.

Report: Jerome Kiesewetter likely to leave Stuttgart in the summer

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Photo by Chris Humphreys/USA Today Sports

Jerome Kiesewetter has spent the past four years of his career with Bundesliga club Stuttgart, but it now appears that the U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team wingerwill be on the move this summer.

According to German outlet Kicker, Kiesewetteris likely to leave Stuttgart in the summer following the expiration of his contract.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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The round of 32 in the UEFA Europa League will come to an end on Thursday, and many teams have work to do in order to progress in this year's tournament.

Manchester United is currently trailing FC Midtjylland, 2-1, on aggregate, but hosts the Danish club at Old Trafford on Thursdayafternoon.

Impact planning to manage Didier Drogba's minutes

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Photo by Eric Bolte/USA Today Sports

There is no denying that Didier Drogba is a physical beast, butnot even he is immune to rigors of the grueling MLS season, especially not at his age.

Drogba joined the Impact for preseason training last week in Florida, and is gearing up for his first full campaignin MLS.

SBI MLS Season Preview: Philadelphia Union

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For the first time in a few years, there is good amount of positive energy coming out of Chester, Pennsylvania and its surrounding area as the Philadelphia Union embark on a new Major League Soccer campaign.

The reinvigorated approach to the season comes from the top and new sporting director Earnie Stewart, who moved to the Union from AZ Alkmaar at the end of the 2015 regular season.

MLS Ticker: Union sign Ilsinho, Earthquakes add Quintero, preseason and more

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Wednesday was filled with MLS preseason action, but a couple teams made headlines with more signings.

The Union announced the signing of former Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Ilsinho on Wednesday. The 30-year-old, who has made one appearance for the Brazilian national team,featured in 175 games and scored 22 goals while claiming five titles with the Ukrainian club.

Thursday Kickoff: Schweinsteiger, Bale, Platini and more

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Manchester United has an important day on Thursday, as it attempts to come back in the UEFA Europa League, and the club has received a boost before the game in the form of some good news.

After suffering a torn medial ligament, Man United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is confident he will not miss Euro 2016, and he expects to start running again in the next five days.

RSL gives up second-half goals in CCL loss to Tigres

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Photo by Miguel Sierra/EFE via USA TODAY Sports

Nick Rimando's penalty-kick heroics were once again on full display, but the goalkeeper's talents on spot kicks weren't enough to lead Real Salt Lake to a CONCACAF Champions League victory on Wednesday night.

Finishes fromJosé Arturo Rivas and Jurgen Damm proved to be just enough for Liga MX side Tigres UANL, which topped RSL, 2-0, on Wednesday night at theEstadio Universitario in the first leg of their CCL quarterfinal clash.

Galaxy battle Santos Laguna to goal-less draw in CCL quarterfinals

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CARSON, Calif. The new-look LA Galaxy opened their 2016 campaign with five new starters, but the same goal as every year to become the first MLS side to win the CONCACAF Champions League. To do so, they will need now need to gain a result on the road in Mexico, after battling the Liga MX defending champion Santo Laguna to a 0-0 draw at StubHub Center on Wednesday night.

Jozy Altidore questionable for TFC opener after suffering another hamstring injury

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Photo by Kim Klement/USA Today Sports

Jozy Altidore started 2016 in impressive fashion, but things have taken a frustrating turn.

Altidore has suffered his latest hamstring injury, and is a question mark for Toronto FC's season opener on March 6. The 26-year-old forward started feeling some discomfort on Tuesday, and did not play in the club's preseason match on Wednesday.

Galaxy debutants impress in 2016 opener

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The LA Galaxy officially began their 2016 campaign on Wednesday nightwith five new starters, and a total of eight players in the starting lineupwho were not members of the club this time last year.

Giovani Dos Santos and Steven Gerrard were both added as designated players in the middle of last season.

UCL Rewind: Man City earns road win vs. Kiev; Atletico Madrid, PSV tie

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Manchester City entered Wednesday's UEFA Champions League contest the clear favorite, and proved to be as much in a decisive victory.

The English Premier League club defeated Dynamo Kiev, 3-1, at NSC Olimpiyskiy in Kiev, Ukraine. The road win puts Man City in a good position to progress to the tournament'squarterfinals for the first time in club history.

SBI Spotlight: Clarence Goodson eager to teach, ready to perform

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Photo by Kelley L Cox/USA Today Sports

Clarence Goodson has enjoyed a long and successful career, but is not ready to end it just yet.

He's played abroad and competed in a handful of international friendlies and competitions for the U.S. Men's National Team. Overall, he's been capped 46 times and made the 2010 U.

Minnesota United unveils stadium renderings

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Minnesota United is set to move to MLS within the next fewseasons, and it appears that theclubwill do so in a stadium that might impress many.

Minnesota United owner Dr. Bill McGuireunveiled a series of renderings at a press conference on Wednesday depicting the team's future home. The stadium, which will be located on a 35-acre site off of Interstate 94 in St.

SBI MLS Season Preview: San Jose Earthquakes

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Photo by Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports

The San Jose Earthquakes were one of the last teams officially eliminated from playoff contention last season, and head coach Dominic Kinnear is hopeful his side finishes above that red line after making depth signings this offseason.

Striker Chad Barrett and defender Andres Imperiale were some of the early offseason moves made by the West Coast club.

USWNT to face Colombia at Talon Energy Stadium in second April friendly

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Photo by Erich Schlegel/USA TODAY Sports

Just four days after facing Colombia in East Hartford, the U.S. Women's National Team will take on the South American powerhouse again in preparation for this summer's Olympics.

U.S. Soccer announced on Wednesday the USWNT will take on Colombiaon April 10 at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pa.

NASL Ticker: Opta, Chicago, Silverbacks and more

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While Chicago NASL is in the process of determining its club name, the league announced a new partnership on Tuesday.

The NASL has teamed up with Opta for a three-year partnership that will see the leading statistics provider deliver analysis of each NASL regular season and postseason match.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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Both the UEFA and CONCACAF Champions Leagues return on Wednesday as several of each region's top clubs look to seal advantages in opening legs.

In Europe, Atletico Madrid and Manchester City enter as heavy favorites in clashes with PSV Eindhoven and Dynamo Kiev, respectively. Both the Spanish La Liga and English Premier League powerhouses will start their knockout round runs on the road.

SBI MLS Season Preview: Houston Dynamo

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Photo by Thomas Shea/USA Today Sports

Houston Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle learned a thing or two during his first MLS season, and he's eager to prove it en route to helping a historically successful franchise reach the playoffs once again.

The past two years have seen the Dynamo finish in eighth place once in the Eastern Conference in 2014 and then in the Western Conference in 2015.

SBI Spotlight: Will Bruin hungry for more after re-signing alongside Giles Barnes

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Photo by Thomas Shea/USA Today Sports

Entering the prime of his career, Will Bruin had the opportunity to move away from the club he has called home for five years. However, the 26-year-old forward felt there was more to be done with the Houston Dynamo.

Bruin made the decision to re-sign with the Western Conference club in December alongside friend Giles Barnes.

Wednesday Kickoff: Conte to Chelsea, Mourinho, Blatter and more

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The role of Chelsea manager appears to be moving closer to being filled, while the club's former boss continues to mull his future with a new club.

Italy's Antonio Conte has reportedly held talks with Chelsea regarding the club's managerial position. Conte has a contract with Italy that runs through this summer's Euros and is scheduled to meet with the Italian federation in the coming weeks.

UCL Preview: Man City, Atletico Madrid favorites over Kiev, PSV

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Wednesday's UEFA Champions League action lacks some of the star power Tuesday had to offer, but competition should be just as fierce.

There are two clear favorites in these round of 16 ties, with Atletico Madrid and Manchester City favored over PSV Eindhoven and Dynamo Kiev, respectively.

However, the La Liga club has not played its best soccer since the new year began, and Kiev could also surprise the English side.

Two second-half goals push Queretaro past D.C. United

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Photo by Logan Bowles/USA Today Sports

D.C. United had its opportunities to come away from Mexico with a win, but eventually fell to its Mexican opponent.

Querétaro defeated the MLS club, 2-0, in the first leg of their quarterfinals series in the CONCACAF Champions League. D.C. United showed some signs of rust playing in its first competitive game since Nov.

Must-See Goal: Yerson Candelo

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Must-See Goal: Clint Dempsey

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Sounders and Club America play to Champions League draw

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Photo by Troy Warynen/USA Today Sports Images

SEATTLE The Seattle Sounders managed to earn a 2-2 draw against Mexican powerhouse Club America in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals on Tuesday night, but left themselves little room for error in next week's return leg in Mexico.

Twice the Sounders took the lead.

UCL Rewind: Messi leads Barca past Arsenal; Juve completes comeback

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Facing the game's most fearsome attacking trio, Arsenal held on for 70 minutes of Tuesday's clash with Barcelona. However, Lionel Messi could not be held down for Tuesday's entire UEFA Champions League clash.

Messi broke the deadlock in the 70th minute of Tuesday's clash with Arsenal, leading Barcelona to a 2-0 victory over the English Premier League contenders at the Emirates.

Cody Cropper earns first league start for MK Dons

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After making the move to Milton Keynes Dons last summer, Cody Cropper earned his first English Championship start on Tuesday.

The 23-year-old goalkeeper started and made one save in MK Dons' 1-1 tie vs. Huddersfield.MK Dons, which had a one-man advantage for most of the second half, conceded a late goal to Nahki Wells.

Report: Jermaine Jones would take pay cut to move closer to LA

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Photo by Mike DiNovo/USA Today Sports

Jermaine Jones remains a man without a club, but the U.S. Men's National Team midfielder would reportedly make some concessions to remain closer to home.

According to Sports Illustrated, Jones says he would take a pay cut to join a team closer to his home in Los Angeles, California.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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Tuesday is a Champions League day in both Europe and North America, as some of each region's heavy-hitters take the field.

In Europe, Barcelona looks to continue the club's defense of their UEFA Champions League crown in a matchup with Premier League title contender Arsenal. Meanwhile, last season's runners-up, Juventus, does battle with German powerhouse Bayern Munich.

MLS Ticker: Okugo waived, Kitchen and more

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Photo by Troy Taormina/USA Today Sports

After a report made the rounds that Sporting Kansas City is being linked to a Dutch midfielder, the Western Conference club revealed a change to its midfield.

Amobi Okugo, 24, was waived by Sporting KC on Tuesday after joining the team in July 2015.

CCL Preview: RSL meets Tigres; Galaxy host Santos

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Photo by Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports

Two more MLS sides will get a crack at the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals on Wednesday, when facing off against a pair of fierce Liga MX competitors.

Real Salt Lake will look to start 2016 off on the right foot when the team travels toEstadio Universitario to take onTigres, while the LA Galaxy will host Santos Laguna from the StubHub Center.

MLS Ticker: Van der Vaart, Martins, TAG Heuer partnership and more

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The field has reportedly been narrowed for the services of a Dutchman, while MLS announced a new partnership on Monday.

Sporting Kansas City has once again beenreported as the potential destination for Rafael van der Vaart, who currently plies his trade in La Liga for Real Betis. The report says the 33-year-old Dutch midfielder is ready to move on from the club.

Tuesday Kickoff: Infantino, Prince Ali, Olympics draw and more

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By this time next week, FIFA will have elected a new president, and one of the top candidates to replace the suspended Sepp Blatter has changes to the World Cup format in mind.

Candidate Gianni Infantino says he wants to have 40 nations competing in the World Cup by the 2026 edition of the tournament; only 32 countries can currently qualify for the tournament.

CCL Preview: Sounders host America; D.C. United travels to Queretaro

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There are less than two weeksuntil the start of the 2016 MLS regular season, but some clubs will be in action on Tuesday as the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals kick off.

D.C. United travels to Mexico to take onQuerétaro atEstadio Corregidora, before the Seattle Sounders host Liga MX side Club America from CenturyLink Field.

Soccer Monday: Your Running Commentary

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While one of England's top teams is scheduled for a cup clash, two Serie A giants are set to collide on Monday in a match with some major stakes.

Currently sitting second in the Italian league, Napoli can overtake league leaders Juventus with a win Monday against AC Milan (3 p.m., beIN Sports USA).

The Weekend's Best (Feb. 22)

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The UEFA Champions League may have stolen the spotlight during the week, but there were many incredible showings, jaw-dropping goals and wild but eye-catching games over the weekend. Here are SBI's picks for The Weekend's Best (as voted by SBI's editorial staff):

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

DIMITRI PAYET (West Ham United).

Howard or Guzan to start against Guatemala despite recent club struggles

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Both Tim Howard and Brad Guzan have experienced recent rough patches on the club level. However, U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann insists that the duo will remain his go-to goalkeepers going forward.

Howard was recently relegated to the role of backup goalkeeperby Everton manager Roberto Martinez, who has opted to go with Joel Robles for the time being.

Klinsmann looks to keep Pulisic expectations 'grounded' in wake of club success

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Jurgen Klinsmann is certainly aware of what Christian Pulisic is accomplishing with Borussia Dortmund, but the U.S. Men's National Team head coach isn't going to rush the young prospect into the senior team picture.

The 17-year-old playmaker earned his first German Bundesliga start for the club this past weekend following a series of substitute performances.

UCL Preview: Arsenal-Barca, Juve-Bayern face off in heavyweight clashes

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It's surely going to be difficult to decide which UEFA Champions League round of 16 match to watch on Tuesday.

English Premier League side Arsenal hosts Barcelona in the first leg of their knockout series, while Juventus welcomes German Bundesliga giant Bayern Munich to Juventus Stadium.

Barcelona, led by the lethal attacking trio of Luiz Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar, is currently on a 32-game unbeaten streak across all competitions.

Klinsmann unfazed by challenging Copa America Centenario draw

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The Copa America Centenario draw wasn't overly kind to the U.S. Men's National Team on Sunday night. However, head coach Jurgen Klinsmann remained upbeat following the big reveal in New York City.

The USMNT, which will host this summer's commemorative edition of the competition, will be joined in Group A by Colombia, Costa Rica and Paraguay.

Monday Kickoff: Neymar, Cahill, Aguero and more

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Sunday's Copa America Centenario draw signaled the start of much chatter and debate surrounding this summer's tournament, and one star player's availability has been the focus of discussion this Monday.

Brazil national team head coach Dunga admitted he is unsure whether or not 24-year-old star Neymar will be available for either the 2016 Olympics or Copa America Centenario this summer.

USWNT finishes first in CONCACAF Olympic qualifying over Canada

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Photo by Thomas B. Shea/USA Today Sports

The U.S. Women's National Team had already qualified for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, but the Americans made sure they finished first in CONCACAF on Sunday.

Led by goals from Tobin Heath and Lindsey Horan, the USWNT cruised to a 2-0 victory in the CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Championship vs.

USA to face Colombia, Costa Rica, Paraguay in Copa America Centenario

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The U.S. Men's National Team's path through the Copa America Centenario group stages will be a difficult one.

In Sunday night's Copa draw, the USMNT were drawn with Colombia, Costa Rica and Paraguay in Group A of this summer's tournament.

The U.S. will kick off the tournament against Colombia at Levi's Stadium on June 3.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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Liga MX'sAmerican newcomers may have grabbed their share of the headlines in recent weeks, but a long-time servant in Edgar Castillo made sure to geta bit of the spotlight this weekend.

Castillo found the back of the net for the first time this season on Saturday, scoring an insurance goal in Monterrey's 5-1 thrashing of Veracruz.

Christian Pulisic earns first start in Borussia Dortmund victory

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Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel certainly was not kidding when he said Christian Pulisic is integral to the club.

Pulisic achieved yet another milestoneon Sunday by earning his first career start in Borussia Dortmund's 1-0win over fourth-placed Bayer Leverkusen. The 17-year-old Pulisic, whorecently broke into his side's first team, was deployedon the left side of a three-man front line and lasted until halftime before being replaced.

MLS Ticker: Bravo joins NYCFC, Red Bulls, Crew-RSL and more

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New York City FC added to its defense with a loan signing on Saturday, while MLS preseason action was in full swing.

Boca Juniors sent 22-year-old Federico Bravo on loan to NYCFC for the season, the club announced on Saturday. Bravo is a defensive midfielder who has made 37 appearances for Boca Juniors over the last two years.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Two English heavyweights meet at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Chelsea hosts Manchester City in the fifth round of the FA Cup, while an in-form Tottenham side faces off against Crystal Palace.

John Terry is out of action for the Blues, but Man City head coach Manuel Pellegrini is expected to rest some of his senior players because the club plays Dynamo Kyiv in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.

U.S. U-23 midfielder Marc Pelosi sidelined 2-3 months after surgery

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Photo by Peter Aiken/USA Today Sports

The San Jose Earthquakes and U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team will have to make due without Marc Pelosi for important matches ahead.

On Friday, the Earthquakes revealed that the 21-year-old underwent successful surgery on his left knee, but he will be sidelined for two to three months.

Must-See Goal: Thomas Muller

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Klinsmann weighing where to play Johnson in USMNT's upcoming qualifiers

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Fabian Johnson is playing some of the best soccer of his career right now as a left midfielder, but not even that will guarantee that he plays that position when the U.S. Men's National Team resumes World Cup qualifying in March.

Of all the Americans who are plying their trades in Europe right now, Johnson is arguably the one enjoying the strongest season.

USWNT qualifies for Olympics behind Morgan hat trick vs. Trinidad & Tobago

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The U.S. Women's National Team qualified for this summer's Olympics in style with a convincing performance against Trinidad & Tobago on Friday night in Houston.

The Americans were on the board just minutes into the qualifying match, and comfortably controlled the game from there on out courtesy of an Alex Morgan hat trick.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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The English Premier League takes the weekend off, but some of England's best teams are still in action this Saturday.

While Reading-West Bromwich Albion and Bournemouth-Everton are two must-see matchups in the fifth round of the FA Cup, Arsenal's title-defending run also can't be missed. The 2015 FA Cup champion faces a stiff test against Hull City, which currently sits atop the Championship table.

Evening Ticker: Potential Balotelli transfer, EPL changes and more

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One of Italian soccer's most controversial strikers could be on the move to China, while proposed changes to the FA Cup and English Premier League are currently ongoing as the weekend begins.

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli, currently on loan with Serie A side AC Milan, is reportedly being shopped by the Reds to various Chinese Super League clubs.

Report: Man United leading race to sign Emerson Hyndman

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Another U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team player may soon be making the move to a storied English Premier League side, if reports are to be believed.

According to HITC Sport, Manchester United is reportedly leading the race to sign 19-year-old American midfielder Emerson Hyndman. The report states that Tottenham, West Ham United, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Wolfsburg have also shown interest in adding the Fulham midfielder, but the Red Devils are currently the frontrunners to land him.

MLS Ticker: Van der Vaart linked, Minnesota stadium and more

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After receiving interest in 2015 over a potential move to MLS, a certain Dutchman is again being tabbed to America.

Ex-Hamburg playerRafael Van der Vaart has reportedly been in contact with several MLS teams, including Sporting Kansas City, Columbus Crew SC and the New York Red Bulls. The veteran midfielder was previously linked to Sporting KC as a DP option last season.

NASL Ticker: Miami FC, Findley, Cosmos and more

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Ahead of their debut seasons, both Miami FC and Rayo OKC have added prove goal-scoring options to boost their frontlines.

Miami FC has signedBrazilian striker Pablo Campos, who was released by Minnesota United on Friday. The forward is the modern NASL's all-time leading scorer with 52 career league goals.

Soccer Friday: Your Running Commentary

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Domestic play will be in action around Europe on Friday, while two teams can punch their tickets to Rio tonight in Olympic qualifying semifinals.

After extending its win streak to 13 matches last weekend, Juventus has the opportunity to put pressure on the rest of the Italian Serie A field with a win against Bologna.

Tim Howard no longer tabbed as Everton starting keeper

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While U.S. Men's National Team goalkeeper Tim Howard has enjoyed a decorated career in the English Premier League with club side Everton, the veteran may very well need to find a new home soon if he wants to continue to hold a starting role.

On Friday, Everton head coach Roberto Martinez confirmed that Spanish net-minder Joel Robles has assumed the team's number one position in goal.

Must-See Goal: John Goossens

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Josh Gatt continues rehab, begins running after latest knee surgery

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After undergoing surgery in September to repair his injured left knee, U.S. Men's National Team winger Josh Gatt has taken the next step in his rehabilitation process.

The 24-year old American announced on Friday via Instagram that he has started running again and is eager to get back out on the field.

Hiddink: Matt Miazga 'fit', close to featuring for Chelsea

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Veteran centerback John Terry is not an option for Guus Hiddink and Chelsea come Sunday against Manchester City in the fifth round of the FA Cup, but the Blues boss revealed that a certain U.S. Men's National Team defender may be ready to go.

In a press conference on Friday, Hiddink told reporters 20-year-old Matt Miazga is fit, and barring tests in training on Friday, could be ready to play on Sunday.

Terrence Boyd undergoes minor surgery

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Terrence Boyd has had his share of surgeries in recent years, and the RB Leipzig forward recently underwent another minor operation.

RB Leipzig announced on Thursday Boyd had undergone surgery to remove a cyst in his knee. The procedure will keep the forward sidelined for 10 days before returning to his recent rehabilitation stint.

Friday Kickoff: Terry, Rooney, Copa Libertadores and more

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Chelsea's veteran centerback and captain is expected to be out at least another week, while rumors of a move for Wayne Rooney were squashed before the start of the weekend.

Chelsea head coach Guss Hiddink told reporters centerback John Terry is not fit for this weekend's FA Cup clash vs. Manchester City, but hopes he may be back by next weekend.

European Weekend Preview: Chelsea-Man City; Napoli-AC Milan and more

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Sixteen teams remain in this year's English FA Cup, and with 11 teams coming from the Premier League the competition is set to really heat up over the weekend.

Fresh off a tough 2-1 loss to Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League, Chelsea hosts Manchester City in the biggest fixture of Round 5 of the FA Cup.

Bedoya, Wood among those making case for return to USMNT

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The U.S. Men's National Team's World Cup qualifying double-header with Guatemala is just around the corner, and several players are seemingly reaching top form at just the right time.

USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann pointed to the recent goalscoring exploitsof Alejandro Bedoya andBobby Woodas vital ahead of the pair of upcoming qualifiers.

Jurgen Klinsmann eyes Ethan Horvath for key Olympic qualifying role

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While the U.S. Men's National Team still has two very capable goalkeepers at the helm in Tim Howard and Brad Guzan, Ethan Horvath is making waves in Europe with Norwegian side Molde FK.

Horvath, 20, signed his first professional contract with Molde in 2013. Like most young players, the American took some time to develop, however, Horvath has since captured the club's starting goalkeeper spot and even appeared in European competition on Thusday.

MLS Ticker: Nocerino to Orlando City, Dallas terminates Watson and more

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Another former AC Milan midfielder has joined Kaka in Orlando this afternoon as Orlando City SC signed Italian defensive midfielder Antonio Nocerino.

Nocerino was signed this afternoon by Orlando City. Nocerino played with Kaka at AC Milan for the 2013-14 season. Orlando enabled itself to sign Nocerino by obtaining his discovery rights in a trade with DC United in which the Lions gave up targeted allocation money and general allocation money.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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Aron Johannsson has not appeared in a game for Werder Bremen in nearly five months, but that spell of inactivity could come to an end this Saturday against a fellow American.

Werder Bremen is set to pay a visit to FC Ingolstadt in the upcoming round of the German Bundesliga, and the match could mark the return of Johannsson.

Evening Ticker: De Gea injured, Bale and more

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Before Manchester United even took the field for Thursday's UEFA Europa League tie againstMidtjylland, the Red Devils lost a key fixture in their starting-eleven before losing the match, 2-1.

After originally being pegged as United's starting goalkeeper, David De Gea missed the match with an ankle injury suffered during warm-ups.

Must-See Goal: Aritz Aduriz

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Americans Abroad: Midweek Rewind

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While one American made the bench for a UEFA Champions League club this week, another clocked in a superb shift in Mexico.

Miguel Ibarra was the driving force for Club Leon in its Copa MX match against Mineros on Tuesday, scoring the first goal of the game and assisting the second before being substituted off.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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The English FA Cup field will shrink again this weekend and a matchup between Chelsea and Manchester City will headline the fifth-round fixtures.

Chelsea dropped a 2-1 decision at Paris Saint-Germain in its UEFA Champions League round of 16 matchup earlier in the week, but the Blues should still have some momentum left from their 5-1 thrashing of Newcastle United at home last weekend in Premier League action.

MLS Ticker: Fire, Higuita, Red Bulls and more

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In wake of the Chicago Fire's most recent trade, a replacement for Harry Shipp may reportedly be coming from the top Dutch league.

The Fire are reportedly interested in acquiring 29-year-old midfielder Michael de Leeuw, who currently plays for FC Groningen. He has scored six goals so far during the 2015-16 Eredivisie season, but the Fire would reportedly need to negotiate with the Philadelphia Union over his Discover rights.

Soccer Thursday: Your Running Commentary

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While the UEFA Europa League takes center stage in Europe during the afternoon, the Copa Libertadores rolls on in South America in the night cap on Thursday.

Fiorentina-Tottenham Hotspur headlines the action in Europe's secondary continental competition, after both sides have found very good form as of late.

Lloyd, Solo among four USWNT players named to FIFPro World XI

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Photo by Joe Camporeale/USA Today Sports

For the first time in the organization's history, FIFPro has released a Women's World XI, and it includes several U.S. Women's National Team stars.

Sports Illustrated revealed on Thursday that Carli Lloyd, Hope Solo, Julie Johnston andMeghan Klingenberg have been named to the inaugural FIFPro Women's World XI.

MLS Ticker: St. Louis expansion, Sounders-Galaxy and more

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Photo by Jeff Curry/USA Today Sports

Preseason friendlies filled Wednesday's docket, but a report out of St. Louis had many people talking MLS expansion.

A group including St. Louis Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III and St. Louis Blues CEO Chris Zimmerman, among others, is reportedly working together to bring an MLS team to St.

Thursday Kickoff: Messi sets record, Copa Libertadores and more

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Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid received most of Wednesday's attention for their performances in the UEFA Champions League, but over in Spain, the FIFA Ballon d'Or winner was setting yet another record and helping Barcelona increase its lead atop the La Liga table.

Lionel Messi scored his 300th and 301st career La Liga goals, becoming the first player in history to surpass 300 Spanish league goals en route to helping Barcelona to a 3-1 win vs.

Obafemi Martins confirms Sounders exit

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Photo by Jennifer Buchanan/USA Today Sports

Three years was probably longer than most would have expected Obafemi Martins would last as a Seattle Sounder.

There will not be a fourth year.

Martins confirmed his departure to Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua on Monday night, posting a farewell via his Twitter account:

Thanks to all who made these last three years an amazing experience.

UCL Rewind: Real tops Roma; Wolfsburg downs Gent

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After showing frustration followingquestions of his away form, Cristiano Ronaldo continues to make his mark for Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League.

The 31-year old superstar broke the deadlock with AS Roma in the second half of Real's 2-0 victory at the Stadio Olimpico. The goal is Ronaldo's 12th of the 2015-16 competition.

Shipp ready to go all-in with Impact following 'shocking' Fire trade

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Photo by Mike DiNovo/USA TODAY Sports

For the first 24 years of his life, Harry Shipp embodied Chicago soccer. Locally born, raised and trained, Shipp emerged as a fan favoritefor the Chicago Fire while developing a repuation as the local face of the franchise.

The relationship between player and hometown club ended last weekend, as Shipp was suddenly traded to the Montreal Impact.

A closer look at the Copa America Centenario draw the USMNT could land

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Photo by Brad Mills/USA Today Sports

The U.S. Men's National Team just got a better idea as to what road it will have to take at the Copa America Centenario, and chances are it will not be easy.

The remaining three team pots for thecommemorative tournament in the U.S. were announced on Wednesday morning ahead of Sunday's draw in New York City, and there was no need to begin toying withdraw simulators to see just how challengingit might be for the Americans to reach the knockout phasethis summer.

MLS Ticker: Minnesota United, Sounders kits, Fire, and more

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,While several friendlies will be played later on Wednesday, here are the storylines that are making rounds in MLS.

Minnesota United could reportedly enter MLS as soon as 2017, but may have to do so under a different name. According to Sports Illustrated, the club may be forced to moved on without the "United" name following the introduction of fellow expansion side Atlanta United.

Midday Ticker: Rooney injured, Beckenbauer fined and more

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Manchester United was dealt a blow on Wednesday, while a German legend has been handed down punishment by FIFA.

Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney has been left out of the team's trip toFC Midtjylland for Thursday's Europa League match after reportedly suffering knee ligament damage. The Man United captain could reportedly miss up to two months of action.

Copa America Centenario pots revealed ahead of Sunday's draw

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Photo by Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports

Only days separate us from learning the groups for the Copa America Centenario, but we can already begin to formulate ideas as to what they will look like.

The Copa America Centenario Executive Committee announced on Wednesday morning how exactly Sunday's draw in New York City will work.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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The UEFA Champions League returned with a taste of action on Tuesday, and Wednesday offers yet another clash of European powers.

Real Madrid, winners of three straight La Liga contests, headlines Wednesday's action with a visit to Italy to take on Roma. Meanwhile, in other Champions League action, German club Wolfsburg pays a visit to Belgium's Gent.

NASL Ticker: Puerto Rico FC signings, Cosmos, Strikers and more

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Ahead of its debut season, Puerto Rico FC has made its first two signings, while the New York Cosmos have also added a new face to bolster the team'sbackline.

Midfielder Joseph "Jackie" Marrero and forward Pedro Mendes have been signed as Puerto Rico FC's first two players ahead of the club's Fall debut.

Wednesday Kickoff: Lavezzi to China, Chicharito, Ronaldo and more

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Hebei China Fortune have announced the signing of Argentinian winger Ezequiel Lavezzi from Paris Saint-Germain on a contract that will pay £400k ($572k) a week. The club has also signed former Roma winger Gervinho this winter. (REPORT)

Bayer Leverkusenchief executive Michael Schade says the club has no intentions of selling Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez despite recent links with a return to the Premier League.

MLS Ticker: Drogba joins Impact, Mattocks targeted by China and more

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The Montreal Impact received a boost in training on Tuesday, while another player from the Pacific Northwest is gaining interest from China.

Impact forward Didier Drogba joined the team's preseason training in Florida after spending time in Qatar this offseason with a personal trainer. The Impact will face New York City FC in a scrimmage on Wednesday.

Nigel de Jong planning to let his play do the talking

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Photo courtesy of LA Galaxy

Of all the players in MLS, Nigel de Jong is certainly among those with a negative reputation. His physical play is seen by some observers as overly aggressive, and there are still those who refuse to forgive him for injuring Stuart Holdenmore than half-a-decade ago.

UCL preview: In-form clubs Roma, Real Madrid battle in Italy and more

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If recent form is anything to go off of, Wednesday's UEFA Champions League matchup between Real Madrid and AS Roma is sure to be exciting.

Both sides enter the round of 16 on impressive runs in domestic play. Real Madrid has scored seemingly at will against Spanish La Liga competition, while Roma has fought its way into a European qualification spot in recent weeks with vital wins.

Paunovic calls on Fire players to step up in wake of 'difficult' Shipp trade

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Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Fire caused major waves this past weekend by dealing fan favorite Harry Shipp, but head coachVeljko Paunovic insists that both the club and player will be better for it.

Shipp was traded to the Montreal Impact on Saturday, yielding general and targeted allocation money.

UCL Rewind: PSG downs Chelsea; Benfica defeats Zenit late

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Edinson Cavani proved to be the thorn in Chelsea's side once again.

Thanks to his late goal, Paris Saint-Germain defeated Chelsea, 2-1, in the first leg of the pair's UEFA Champions League round of 16 matchup at Parc des Princes in Paris, France.

The Uruguayan has a history of scoring UCL goals against the Blues, and he netted the game-winner on Tuesday after coming off the bench.

USWNT to face Colombia in April friendly

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Photo by Michael Chow/USA TODAY Sports

Following Olympic qualification, the U.S. Women's National Team is set for a Women's World Cup rematch this spring.

U.S. Soccer announced on Tuesday that the USWNT will faceColombia on April 6 at Pratt & Whitney Stadium in East Hartford, Conn.

Peter Wilt looking to revitalize soccer in Chicago with NASL project

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Photo by Kamil Sparza

Peter Wilt has already solidified his place as one of the more important figures in the history of Chicago soccer, but the longtime executive is now looking to revitalize and revolutionize the game in acity he calls home.

The former Chicago Fire president and general manager is one of the leading figures in an effort to bring an NASL club to the city of Chicago.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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UEFA Champions League soccer is back, anda slate of intense matches is on tap this Tuesday.

Paris Saint-Germain's round of 16 battle against Chelsea headlines action around the globe. A bevy of international stars between these two clubs will go head to head in this stage of the competition once again after they met in the same round during last year's UCL campaign.

Tony Meola rebuilding Armada as coach and technical director

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Photo by Logan Bowles/Jacksonville Armada FC

Tony Meola, the coach, knew he was in for a challenge when he took the reigns with Jacksonville Armada. But first, Tony Meola, the technical director, had to pave the way by reshaping and reloading a club in needof a facelift.

Entering his first head coaching job with the second-year club, Meola joined the Armada knowing the difficulties that would lie ahead.

MLS Ticker: Perez-Rosales trade, Timbers, Fire and more

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Photo by John Rieger/USA Today Sports

Two MLS veteran are switching Western Conference clubs this Tuesday, while the MLS Cup champions are close to adding another winger.

The Vancouver Whitecaps announced the acquisition of Blas Perez, signing the 34-year-old Panamanian striker to a one-year deal.

Europa League Preview: Fiorentina vs. Tottenham headlines round of 32

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The UEFA Europa League resumes this week, and the business begins to intensify as the knockout stage pits the final 32 teams against one another.

While some of Europe's top teams will be in action, Fiorentina-Tottenham headlines the pairings, with both teams coming into Thursday's match sitting in the top-three of Serie A and the English Premier League, respectively.

Tuesday Kickoff: Cahill, Nocerino, Neymar and more

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Many talented players have been making the move to China this winter, but one international star is on his way out.

In an announcement via Instagram, Australian international Tim Cahill agreed to terminate his contract with Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua after he was told he was not part of its plans for 2016.

Dunn nets five in USWNT rout of Puerto Rico

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Photo by Jerome Miron/USA Today Sports

The U.S. Women's National Team had no problem clinching the top spot in its CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Championship group on Monday.

It only took six minutes for the Americans to score, and many more goals followed en route to a 10-0 rout of Puerto Rico in the third and final group game of the tournament.

Beckham confirms PSG among potential investors in MLS Miami

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Photo by Robert Mayer/USA Today Sports

David Beckham's search for potential partners is remains ongoing and could lead him to a partnership with a familiar club.

According to the Guardian, Beckham's group is in talks with Paris Saint-Germain, as well as several other groups, over the sale of an equity stake in the MLS Miami franchise.

MLS Ticker: Acosta joins D.C. United, Impact and more

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After recently being linked with a move to the nation's capital, a dynamic 5-foot-3 midfielder is joining D.C. United.

D.C. United officially announced the signing of Argentine midfielder Luciano Acosta on loan from Argentine club Boca Juniors. The 21-year-old was acquired using Targeted Allocation Money, while the New York Red Bulls received a conditional 2017 MLS Draft pick for his rights.

Matt Miazga travels with Chelsea ahead of Champions League clash against PSG

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A series of injuries to Chelsea's key defenders may have opened the door for a high-profile debut for Matt Miazga.

Following injuries to John Terry and Kurt Zouma, Matt Miazga has been named to Chelsea's traveling squad ahead of Tuesday's UEFA Champions League meeting with Paris Saint-Germain.

The Weekend's Best: Messi, Juventus, Arsenal-Leicester and more

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One of the world's best players dazzled yet again, while several perennial powerhouses made major statements against fellow title contenders.Here are SBI's picks for The Weekend's Best (as voted by SBI's editorial staff):

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

LIONELMESSI (BARCELONA).

UCL Preview: PSG-Chelsea, Benfica-Zenit kick off round of 16 matches

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Almost one year ago, Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea played in one of the most intriguing and intense UEFA Champions League round of 16 battles.

Fast forward to 2016, the pair of European heavyweights kick off in the same round once again on Tuesday.

PSG, which has been unstoppable in domestic competition during the 2015-16 season, enters Tuesday's match on an impressive 23-game unbeaten streak.

Monday Kickoff: Verratti, Aurier, Matip and more

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Paris Saint-Germain is all the buzz this Monday morning, for both good and crazy reasons, after a weekend full of action.

Italian midfielder Marco Verratti, 23, has inked a contract extension with PSG that will see him stay with the Ligue 1 club until the summer of 2020. (REPORT)

Following the dismissal of Serge Aurier, who was indefinitely suspended by Paris Saint-Germain after making insulting remarks towards head coach Laurent Blanc, the club released a statement saying his statements were "clearly unacceptable.

Sunday Ticker: Barcelona, Arsenal win; Mata linked to China and more

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While a tussle at the top of the English Premier League created a stir in this year's title race, Barcelona's impressive five-goal second half easedthe side past Celta Vigo on Sunday.

La Liga leader Barcelona notched a 6-1 win over Celta Vigo behind a Luis Suarez hat trick. Lionel Messi scored off of a free kick, while also assisting off of a penalty kick.

MLS Ticker: Rapids add Eric Miller, D.C. United tops Rowdies, and more

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Photo by Eric Bolte/USA Today Sports

One trade and a glutof preseason matchesheadline the latest roundup of MLS news.

The Colorado Rapids announced the acquisition of 23-year-old right back Eric Miller from the Impact in exchange for general allocation money and a first round pick in the 2018 MLS Draft.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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Back on the scoresheet but not in the win column. That was Fabian Johnson's Valentine's Day.

Johnson ended a personal scoring drought that dated back to Dec. 5 and stretched over six games when he netted the opener in Borussia Moenchengladbach's clash with Hamburg on Sunday. Johnson struck 14 minutes in, doing well to track a deflected cross at the back post and one-time it home.

Must-See Goal: Lionel Messi to Luis Suarez

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Report: Sounders sell Obafemi Martins to Shanghai Shenhua

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Photo by Jennifer Buchanan/USA Today Sports

One of Major League Soccer's best attacking teams is reportedly parting ways with one of its best attacking players.

The Seattle Sounders are set to transfer veteran Nigeria forward Obafemi Martins to Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua, according to a report from the BBC.

Controversial call helps USWNT down Mexico

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Photo by Jerome Miron/USA Today Sports

Thanks to the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year and a questionable call in the penalty box, the U.S. Women's National Team progressed to the CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying semifinals on Saturday.

The Americans defeated Mexico, 1-0, after Carli Lloyd netted the game's decisive goal following El Tri goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago's penalty kick save.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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England's four best clubs to date this season go head-to-head this Sunday.

Arsenal hosts English Premier League leader Leicester City at Emirates Stadium, while second place Tottenham travels to City of Manchester Stadium to meet Manchester City.

Tottenham and Arsenal enter Sunday's contests five points behind Leicester.

Alejandro Bedoya assists on opener in Nantes victory

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Alejandro Bedoya may have been held off the scoresheet on Saturday, but the red-hot midfielder still found a way to make an impact.

Bedoya continued his fine run of form by assisting the opener in FC Nantes'2-1 victory at home over Lorient. The U.S. Men's National Team regular set up the game's first goal just 10 minutes in, collecting a pass in the penalty area, racing towards the end line and slicing back a low ball across goal that open teammate Adryan rifled home.

U.S. U-20 forward Joshua Perez nets for Fiorentina in top youth level

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Albeit at the youth level, American striker Joshua Perez is impressing with Fiorentina.

The 18-year-old forward started and scored a goal in Fiorentina's 3-2 win against Sampdoria in the Campionato Primavera Tim, Italy's top youth level, on Saturday.

After making a surging run into the penalty box in the 22nd minute, Perez beautifully chipped 19-year-old Sampdoria goalkeeper Samuele Massolo to score the game's first goal (watch his goal here).

Must-See Goals: Saturday's long-range blasts and curlers

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From Colombian international James Rodriguez to Slovakian forward Erik Jendrisek, many players scored impressive strikes this Saturday.

Rodriguez'srocket from outside of the penalty area for Real Madrid headlines the day's golazos, but there were a handful of others across the top leagues in Europe thathad many people buzzing.

Report: Fire trading Harry Shipp to Impact

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Photo by Mike DiNovo/USA Today Sports

A new era is beginning for the Chicago Fire, and Harry Shipp is reportedlynot going to be part of it.

A report by ChicagoNow.com is claiming the Fire have dealt the Fire homegrown standout to the Montreal Impact, in exchange for General Allocation Money and Targeted Allocation Money.

Report: Obafemi Martins attracting interest from Chinese Super League

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The Chinese Super League has made headlines recently for its massive spending spree on high-profile players around Europe, and now a star attacker from MLS is reportedly receiving interest.

According to ESPN FC, Seattle Sounders forward Obafemi Martins has attracted significant attention from multiple Chinese clubs.

Must-See Goal: Edgar Andrade

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Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Two of Italy's bestwill battle it out on Saturday, with Serie A's top spot up for the taking.

Juventus, winner of 12 consecutive matches, will host league leader Napoli. The two sides last met in September, when Napoli pulled out a 2-1 victory at home.

Guus Hiddink and Chelsea remain unbeaten since the Dutchman was named interim head coach for the second time in his career.

Midday Ticker: Messi first, Chicharito injured and more

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Lionel Messi has claimed a lot of accolades and awards in his storied career, but never before had he won this one. Somehow.

Messi earned his first La Liga Player of the Month award on Friday for his strong showing for Barcelona in January. The Argentine scored six goals in five matches for the Spanish giant.

MLS Ticker: Ciman extends, Fire, Red Bulls and more

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Photo by Dan Hamilton/USA Today Sports

The 2015 MLS Defender of the Year will remain in the league for a couple more years.

Laurent Ciman has signed an extension with the Montreal Impact, one that will see the defender stay with the Canadian club until 2018. The 29-year-old centerback was voted MLS Defender of the Year in 2015 after making27 regular season appearances.

Soccer Friday: Your Running Commentary

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The fight for a UEFA Champions League qualification spot in the German Bundesliga continues in Mainz on Friday.

Mainz 05 hosts fourth place Schalke 04 in Friday's marquee matchup in Europe. Mainz, currently in seventh and three points behind its Friday foe, is riding a two-game win streak that includes an important victory over Borussia Monchengladbach.

NASL Ticker: Chicago expansion, International Champions Cup and more

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A potential NASL expansion project continues to roll on, while one of this summer's biggest tournaments could be set to feature NASL representation.

Following the disbanding of theSting Trust, those behind theChicago NASL project have issued a statement thanking the group for their work in looking to bring a team to Chicago.

MLS Ticker: Koffie traded, Lizarazo, Crew and more

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Photo by Bob Frid/USA Today Sports

While a couple of recent jersey releases had mixed reviews, an Eastern Conference contender bolstered its midfield even more this offseason.

The New England Revolution acquired 24-year-old midfielder Gershon Koffie from the Vancouver Whitecaps, sending general allocation money and Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) to the Western Conference club in exchange for the midfielder.

Friday Kickoff: Johnson, Copa del Rey, Oscar and more

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After one of its star players pleaded guilty at Bradford Crown Court, English Premier League club Sunderland made an important decision on Thursday.

Sunderland has officially terminated 28-year-old English midfielder Adam Johnson's contract after he pleaded guilty to sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl.

European Weekend Preview: Arsenal-Leicester, Juventus-Napoli and more

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While Valentine's Day does fall on Sunday, love certainly won't be in the air when the English Premier League's top four teams are in action.

Kicking off the day's festivities will be league leader Leicester City traveling to the Emirates Stadium to face third place Arsenal. The Gunners sit five points behind Jamie Vardy and the Foxes.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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Alejandro Bedoya's goal-scoringtotal continues to rise, and he will have another chance to add to itas his red-hot club returns to the field on Saturday.

Bedoya will attempt to keep his recent run of form going when FC Nantes welcomes Lorient to town in a match-up of two clubs seeking aplace in Europe.

SBI Spotlight: USL MVP Matthew Fondy takes long road to Armada

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Matthew Fondy's road has never been easy.Fromundrafted prospect to Golden Boot winner, Fondy is now set for yet another new beginning.

The 26-year-oldhad a career year in 2015 as a member of Louisville City's inaugural team. The strikerrapidly emerged as the USL's best player in a campaign that saw the forward net22goals in 28 games.

NASL Ticker: Puerto Rico FC, Speas, Rayo OKC and more

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As the two other NASL expansion clubs continue to fill out their rosters ahead of the Spring season, Puerto Rico FC has taken a step towards preparing for the Fall campaign.

Puerto Rico FC announced that the club has set tryout dates throughout the U.S. ahead of the team's debut on July 2. Manager Adrian Whitbread and the rest of the technical staff will hold open tryoutsin Bradenton, Florida, onMarch 12-13and in Los Angeles onMarch 19-20.

Arsenal announced as MLS All-Star Game opponent

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The2016 MLS All-Stars will take the field against one of England's perennial heavyweights.

MLS announced on Thursday that Arsenal will serve as the opponent for the 2016 MLS All-Star Game, which is scheduled for July 28 at theSan Jose Earthquakes' Avaya Stadium. The trip stateside will be Arsenal's second in two years after not appearing in the U.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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This Valentine's Day, the English Premier League will feature a series of enticing matches to highlight the holiday.

Leading things off is a clash between the league-leading Leicester City and third-place Arsenal at Emirates Stadium. The Gunners trail the Foxes by five points in the standings heading into this meeting but they do boast the claim as one of the only two teams to hand Leicester City a defeat this season from when they won a 5-2 decision back in September.

Cameron Carter-Vickers named to Tottenham Europa League squad

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Cameron Carter-Vickers' rise through the ranks at Tottenham is set to continue.

The U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team defender has been named to Tottenham's squad for the Europa League knockout. Carter-Vickers has been named as a member of Tottenham's B-List, which isfor locally-trained players born after January 1994.

USWNT thrash Costa Rica in Olympic qualifying opener

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Photo by Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports

The U.S. Women's National Team couldn't have imagined a better start to the team's run through CONCACAF's Olympic qualifying tournament.

Led by an Alex Morgan tally just 12 seconds into the match, the USWNT cruised past Costa Rica, 5-0, at Toyota Stadium in the reigning Women's World Cup winners' first gameof Group A play.

Thursday Kickoff: Kompany, Liverpool, Blanc and more

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One of the Premier League star's most decorated defenders looks set to return in the very near future, while one club's supporters have succeeded in halting the seemingly never-ending increase in ticket prices.

Vincent Kompany could make his return to action this weekend against Tottenham. The Manchester City centerback hasplayed just nine minutes over the past three months due to a calf injury.

Mexico uses second-half headers to top Senegal

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MIAMI It took Mexicoa little while to find its feet, but in the end El Tri did more than enough to start 2016 on a positive note.

Second-half headers from Jesus Duenas and substitute Rodolfo Pizarro allowed Mexico to overcome a subpar first 45 minutes and defeat Senegal, 2-0, in a friendly at Marlins Park on a chilly Wednesday night.

Red-hot Alejandro Bedoya scores winner against Bordeaux

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Alejandro Bedoya just won'tstop scoring.

Facing off with Bordeaux in a Coupe de France Round of 16 clash, Bedoya scored the game-winning goal in the 118th minute to seal a 4-3 Nantes victory. The goal is Bedoya'sfourth in the U.S. Men's National Team midfielder'slast six games.

Bedoya beganthe game on the bench before being substituted on in the 108th minute of action.

Thriving at Reading, Danny Williams hoping to realize dream of playing in EPL

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Danny Williams is happy. Happy at Reading FC, happy with the Royals' fans, and happy with how he has been playing this season.

That said, he is not opposed to moving outside of his current comfort zoneto accept a new challenge.

Williams has been having a strong season with Reading thus far in the English Championship, as he leads the club in goals scored with five and is a regular starter in its midfield.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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Photo by Joe Camporeale/USA Today Sports

The start of Olympic qualifying kicks off for the U.S. Women's National Team on Wednesday, while several of Europe's top clubs take the field in cup action.

Facing off with Costa Rica, the USWNT is set to begin itsOlympic qualifying campaign with the first match-up of the CONCACAF tournament.

MLS Ticker: Sapong, NYCFC, Revolution and more

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Photo by Eric Hartline/USA Today Sports

While the Philadelphia Union were able to sign one of its key attackers to extension, New York City FC officially revealed its new kit on Wednesday.

The Philadelphia Union have agreed to a three-year extension with forward C.J. Sapong. The 27-year old tallied nine goals and four assists in 27 games for the Union in 2015.

SBI Spotlight: After growing up in Brazil, Luis Felipe is back in the USA for next step in pro career

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Luis Felipe has spent most of his life growing up in Brazil, but has always felt very American.

Born in New York to Brazilian parents, Felipe leftthe country at just three years old due to health issues caused by the local weather. Felipe settled in his parents' native country of Brazil, working his way up through the youth ranks at Brazilian club Cruzeiro while in pursuit of a pro career.

Midday Ticker: Schelotto, Chicharito and more

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A familiar face to MLS fans has been forced to depart a head coaching role, while a Mexican star is set to miss time due to injury.

Former Columbus Crew starGuillermo Barros Schelotto has been forced to leave his managerial position at Palermo after he failed to gain the necessary coaching licenses.

Reports: U.S. U-23 forward Maki Tall on trial at Standard Liege

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U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team forward Maki Tall is on the hunt for a new club.

According to L'Equipe, Tall has been training with Belgian side Standard Liege for a 10-day period.Tall has reportedly been released from his contract from Swiss club FC Sion, which he signed with last summer.

Karl Ouimette strives for key role with Red Bulls in 2016

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Photo by Kevin Jairaj/USA Today Sports

While Matt Miazga's rise with the New York Red Bulls has been well-documented, another young Red Bull is preparing himself to fill the void left by the now-Chelsea player.

After joining the Red Bulls last season, centerback Karl Ouimetteprobably didn't see as much time as he would have liked.

Report: David Beckham offering stake in MLS Miami team

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Photo by Robert Mayer/USA Today Sports

David Beckham is reportedly on the hunt for a bit more financial muscle to join hisMLS Miami project.

According to the Miami Herald, Beckham has spent the past six months shopping an ownership stake to potential buyers all over the world. Beckham is in search of help in easing the$300 million price tag that a new stadium in the city will command.

Wednesday Kickoff: Allegri, Johnson, Messi and more

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Juventus managerMassimiliano Allegri insists that there is "nothing" to recent reports linking him with a move to Chelsea. (REPORT)

Sunderland winger Adam Johnson has pleaded guilty toone count of sexual activity with a child and one charge of grooming while also denyingtwo charges of sexual activity with a girl aged under 16.

MLS Ticker: Rapids land Conor Doyle, DCU signs Acosta and more

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A pair of transactions made by D.C. United, as well as a new addition to the New York Red Bulls has MLS buzzing on Tuesday.

D.C. United has traded forward Conor Doyle to the Colorado Rapids in exchange for a 2017 third-round selection. The 24-year old spent his last three seasons with D.C., tallying four goals and an assist.

Red Bulls hoping Gideon Baah can fill the void at centerback

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Photo Credit: New York Red Bulls

With Damien Perrinelle still recovering from a season-ending knee injury from last November, and the recent sale of Matt Miazga, the New York Red Bulls are in need of starting-caliber centerbacks.

The Red Bulls added a candidate to help fill that need on Tuesday, signing of Ghanaian defender Gideon Baah.

Jurgen Klinsmann left satisfied after USMNT's winter camp proves successful

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Photo by Kelvin Kuo/USA Today Sports

Four weeks of training, two friendly wins, and no serious injuries.

For the U.S. Men's National Team, this winter camp was nothing if not successful.

The U.S. wrapped up its first get-together of 2016 last Friday by picking up a narrow 1-0 victoryover Canada courtesy of a late Jozy Altidore goal.

Hope Solo would skip Olympics due to Zika virus

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Photo by Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

The ongoing spread of the Zika virus has threatened to cause plenty of problems ahead of the 2016 Olympics, and U.S. Women's National Team goalkeeper Hope Solo is certainly concerned aboutwhat lies ahead.

Speaking to Sports Illustrated, Solo stated that she would skip this summer's Olympic Games due to the virus.

Midday Ticker: New Premier League logo, Chiellini, Marcelo and more

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After unveiling a revamped logo and parting ways withsponsor Barclays, the English Premier League will certainly have a new look to it next season.

On Tuesday, England's top division released its new logo, created byDesignStudio and Robin Brand Consultants, for the upcoming Premier League campaign.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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An FA Cup replay betweenWest Ham United-Liverpool headlines Tuesday's action, while cup competition is on display in Germany and South America.

After playing to a 0-0 draw at Anfield on Jan. 30, West Ham will host Liverpool today, as both sides look to advance to the tournament's fifth round of play.

SBI Spotlight: Danny Williams hoping career year for club will mean more looks for country

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Danny Williams has been in the U.S. Men's National Team picture for more than four years, but his placein the squad has never really been toosecure and his appearances have been sporadic at best.

Thankfully for him, he is having a career year at Reading that should help his cause.

Most leagues in Europe are past the halfway point in their seasons, and so far one of the biggest American surprises is Williams.

NASL Ticker: Minnesota United inks Cruz, Rowdies to face Leicester and more

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An American playing abroad is heading back to the U.S., and will join one of the NASL's strongest sides in recent years.

Minnesota United announced the signing of 26-year-old Danny Cruz on Monday. The former Philadelphia Union midfielder spent last season on loan with Norwegian club FK Bodø/Glimt, scoring two goals in 15 appearances.

Report: Barcelona, Atletico among investors in 16-team Pro Futsal League

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Soccer's continued rise in America took a different path last week when Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban announced his investment in the Pro Futsal League (PFL).

That's not the only interesting part, though.

On Monday, the Dallas Morning News revealed that PFL will consist of 16 franchises and will additionally feature various NBA owners and many prestigious world soccer clubs.

Dortmund manager Tuchel calls Pulisic 'integral' to squad

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Christian Pulisic's rise to the Borussia Dortmund first team may havebeen swift, but it appears that the U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team playmaker has already solidified his role with the Bundesliga powerhouse.

Speaking ahead of Dortmund's DFB-Pokal quarterfinal clash with Stuttgart, manager Thomas Tuchel said that he already views Pulisic as a major contributor to the club's first team.

MLS Ticker: Kouassi tears ACL, Espinoza joins Honduras and more

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Despiteannouncing Xavier Kouassi as their latest Designated Player a week ago, the New England Revolution received some bad news regarding their new signing on Monday.

Kouassi has reportedly suffered an ACL injury, and will miss roughly six months of action. The 26-year-old, who is still with Swiss side FC Sion, sustained the injury in the team's 1-0 win against FC Zurich on Sunday.

Carlos Ruiz eligible to play vs. USMNT after reduced suspension

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Guatemala's all-time leading goal-scorer was expected to miss his nation's two World Cup qualification matches against the U.S. Men's National Team in March, but he will now be eligible to play after his six-month suspension was cut short on Monday.

Carlos Ruiz was originally suspended by the disciplinary body of Guatemala's top league, Liga Nacional de Futbol de Guatemala, after he struck center official Ever Lopez during a league game in November.

Tuesday Kickoff: Messi, Alves, De Gea and more

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Despite an original flurry of Spanish reports stating that one of the game's biggest stars would undergo surgery this week,Barcelona has revealed that Lionel Messi won't miss time for the club.

Messi, who missed part of Barcelona's FIFA Club World Cup competition in December, is expected to return to training on Wednesday despite reports stating the forward would be undergoing kidney surgery.

Red Bulls Notes: Robles, Ouimette return; trio injured and more

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Photo by Gary Rohman/MLS/USA TODAY Sports

Hanover, NJ —After spending a week in Orlando, Florida for the team's first-half of preseason training, the head coach Jesse Marsch and the New York Red Bulls returned to New Jersey on Monday.

U.S. Men's National Team goalkeeper Luis Robles and Canada defender Karl Ouimette joined the team at Monday'straining session, after having served significant stints with their respective national teams throughout the month of January.

Midday Ticker: Ronaldo's future, Messi, Everton and more

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Two of the game's biggest stars dominated afternoon headlines on Monday, while Everton is set to be purchased by two American investors over the coming days.

Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo said he will remain in Madrid for the final two years left on his current contract before making a decision on his future, saying: "I want to stay here for two more years, and then we'll see about the future.

NASL Ticker: Senna returns to Villarreal, Strikers sign UCL veteran and more

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A former NASL star has found apost-playing career job with his former club, while a UEFA Champions League veteran and MLS veteran headline the most recent batch of NASL signings. Here's a closer look at some of Monday's NASL news and notes:

Former New York Cosmos star Marcos Senna has returned to Villarreal in a role with the club'sDepartment of Institutional Relations.

USMNT 1, Canada 0: The SBI Breakdown

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Photo by Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports

It may not have been the prettiest U.S. Men's National Team victory in recent memory, but this past Friday's narrow 1-0 win against Canada was telling as the U.S. concluded the annual January camp.

Riding a late Jozy Altidore game-winner, the USMNT slipped past the rival Canadians for their second victory in as many games to start 2016.

MLS Ticker: Crew waive Gall, Sporting KC kit and more

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Photo by Greg Bertram/USA Today Sports

The Columbus Crew have reportedly waived Romain Gall and Sergio Campbell. Gall, a former U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team midfielder, made three appearances in two years for the club, while 2015 draft pick Campbell played once. (REPORT)

Sporting Kansas City has unveiled itsnew dark blue secondary kit, which features a henley collar, a new stripe pattern and a pair of silver stars to recognized the club's MLS Cup victories.

The Weekend's Best: Zlatan, Leicester and more

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One title contender in England established itself as the unlikely alpha dog, while France's best sealed yet another statement victory on the back of its star striker. Here are SBI's picks for The Weekend's Best (as voted by SBI's editorial staff):

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC (Paris Saint-Germain).

Monday Kickoff: Lavezzi to China, Lewandowski, Neymar, and more

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Paris-Saint Germain manager Laurent Blanc has confirmed that Ezequiel Lavezzi is set to join Shanghai Shenhua. (REPORT)

Robert Lewandowski's agent, who had said there was "something" to recent transfer rumors, insists that any reports linking his client with a move to Spain is merely "speculation".

Omar Gonzalez scores first Liga MX goal, saves Pachuca

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Pachuca was en route to dropping points to Pumas UNAM on Sunday, but an American centerback soared high to head home the equalizing effort.

Omar Gonzalez headed in the game-tying goal for Pachuca in the 88th minute, forcing a 1-1 tie on the road at Estadio Olímpico Universitario.

The 27-year-old U.

MLS Ticker: D.C. United, TFC-Galaxy, Timbers-Sounders and more

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The first weekend of February was filled with preseason friendlies and scrimmages, but most of the buzz surrounded D.C. United, which released its new jersey and is reportedly close to signing a new Argentine.

D.C. United is reportedly nearing a deal to add 21-year-old, 5-foot-3 Luciano Acosta on loan from Argentine club Boca Juniors.

Must-See Goal: Riechedly Bazoer

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USMNT 1, Canada 0: Match Highlights

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Photo by Kelvin Kuo/USA Today Sports


Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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If there were any lingeringthoughts about Christian Pulisic's cameo last week serving as just a one-off for the promisingyoungster, they wereput to bed this weekend.

Pulisic played for Borussia Dortmund for the second straight game, as he once again came off the bench in the club's scoreless draw with Hertha Berlin on Saturday.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Following Saturday's exciting English Premier League action, Sunday offers a match with more of the same buzz and drama.

Chelsea hosts Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in an important matchup for both sides. The Red Devils are currently on the outside of a UEFA Champions League qualification spot looking in.

Saturday Ticker: Leicester-Man City, Lavezzi, Liverpool-Sunderland and more

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While English Premier League leader Leicester City will be thoroughly elated with its massive 3-1 win against Manchester City on Saturday, the club also announced positive news regarding Jamie Vardy's future at King Power Stadium.

Leicester confirmed on Saturday the 29-year-old Vardy has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal with the club, keeping the Englishman with the team until June 2019.

Must-See Goals: Saturday strikes

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Another weekend, another Saturday filled with spectacular strikes and free kicks.

From the German Bundesliga to the Turkish Süper Lig, many players made their mark. Headlining this Saturday's strikes is an outside-the-box volley from 22-year-old FC Augsburg defender Konstantinos Stafylidis.

Lee Nguyen makes his mark with strong January camp showing

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Photo by Kelvin Kuo/USA Today Sports

Less than a week after U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann called him "one of the winners" of the January camp, Lee Nguyen put in another strong showing during Friday's friendly against Canada.

"Like anyone, you hope for positive steps going forward," Nguyen told SBI after the game.

USA vs. Canada: SBI Live Commentary

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CARSON, California — The U.S. Men's National team will look to make it 2-0 to cap off a successful January camp with a victory against Canada tonight at StubHub Center (10:30pm, Fox Sports 1).

Jordan Morris is in the starting lineup tonight, partnering with Jozy Altidore in a 4-4-2 formation, while San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper David Bingham earns the start in what will be his first national team appearance.

SBI USMNT Man of the Match: Jozy Altidore

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Jozy Altidore netted the first goal of the U.S. Men's National Team's 2016 campaign last time out, and the forward one-upped his performance Saturday night with a lategame-winner.

Level through the first 89 minutes, Altidore's last-gasp winner proved to be the difference in the U.S. Men's National Team's1-0 victory on Saturday.

Late Jozy Altidore winner leads USMNT past Canada

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Photo by Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports

Carson, Calif. After opening the 2016 campaign with a late win over Iceland, the U.S. Men's National Team repeated the feat Saturday against Canada.

Relegated to the bench after starting last time out, Ethan Finlay did not take long to have an impact on Saturday night.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Saturday's English Premier League showdown between Leicester City and Manchester City may determine which side will be lifting the trophy by season's end.

League leader Leicester travels to the City of Manchester Stadium to take on an in-form forward in Sergio Aguero. The Foxes, meanwhile, will be looking at star striker Jamie Vardy to continue his impressive season.

Ashley Cole hoping to change negative opinions of him

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Ashley Cole knew it was coming.It was inevitable, of course.

Ever since Cole uttered the words "I'm not ready to relax on a beach yet" when talking about why he chose Roma over MLS almost two years ago, theveteran Englishman has become one of the top public enemies to many of the league's fans.

SBI Reader Poll: Is Ronaldo or Neymar having a better season?

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Two superstars in the world of soccer celebrate birthdays today, and each is having a fantastic season.

Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Brazilian playmaker Neymar turn 31 and 24, respectively, today. Both, alongside Argentine talent Lionel Messi, are considered to be the best players in the world, having finished second (Ronaldo) and third (Neymar) in the voting for the most recent Ballon d'Or award.

Bobby Wood's late goal rescues Union Berlin

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Bobby Wood picked up where he leftfor Union Berlin on Friday, and it just so happens that his late finish rescued a point for his 2. Bundesliga side.

Wood got the second half of the season startedby scoring an 86th-minute equalizer for FC Union Berlin in its 2-2 draw with Kaiserslautern.

U.S. U-19s finish scoreless in Copa de Atlantico after losing to Canary Islands

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The newly-created U.S. Under-19 Men's National Team's start to 2016 has not goneas well as envisioned.

The U.S. ended its Copa de Atlantico campaign on Friday with a 1-0 loss to lowly Canary Islands, which were playing with 10 men. Brad Friedel's side held the man-advantage since the first half, but was unable to capitalize and finished the tournament scoreless.

Soccer Friday: Your Running Commentary

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Having recently played each other in the DFB Pokal, Borussia Mönchengladbach-Werder Bremen is sure to be entertaining rematch this Friday.

The two sides played a 4-3 thriller on Dec. 15, and Werder Bremen walked away the victor. Now, they meet at Borussia-Park with each team needing all three points for different reasons.

Defensive improvement remains focus for USMNT ahead of Canada match

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Despite some continued issues at the back, the U.S. Men's National Team kicked off its 2016 campaign with a 3-2 win on Sunday against Iceland, and now theUSMNTwill shift its attention to its northern brethren while looking to fix what went wrong last time out.

After a positive start to the new year, the U.

New USL San Antonio club reveals name, colors and crest

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Photo by USL

USL's latest expansion team has a name and crest.

Spurs Sports & Entertainment announced San Antonio FC as the official name of the new USL club, while the team also revealed its badge with black, silver and red as its colors.

"This is San Antonio's club," San Antonio FC managing director Tim Holt said during Thursday's revealing at the AT&T Center's Rock & Brews.

Geoff Cameron out for Stoke City's clash with Everton

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Geoff Cameron's return from injury will not occur this weekend against Everton.

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes revealed on Friday that the U.S. Men's National Team defender will miss this weekend's action due to a nagging ankle injury. Cameron has been out of commission since being forced to come off injured in a Jan.

MLS Ticker: St. Louis, Union, Cato and more

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Photo by Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports

One city appears to already be the favorite for an MLS expansion spot.

MLS commissioner Don Garber insists that the league will begin searching for a stadium site in St. Louis immediately. He did not promise St. Louis an expansion spot, but he did say that now "is the right time" and a team could open as soon as 2020.

European Weekend Preview: Man City-Leicester City; Leverkusen-Bayern and more

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The European club season is hitting a critical stageas teams jockey for position at the top of the table, while many sides will be looking to distance themselves from the relegation zone.

English Premier League leader Leicester City will continue its historic campaign on Saturday against Manchester City.

Friday Kickoff: Teixeira, Copa del Rey, Lazio and more

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Following in the footsteps of many others this winter, another talented Brazilian is heading to China.

Shakhtar Donetsk confirmed the transfer ofAlex Teixeira to Chinese club Jiangsu Suning FC, and will receive $56 million (€50 million) for the 26-year-old midfielder. (REPORT)

Sevilla pummeled Celta Vigo, 4-0, in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals, thanks to a Kévin Gameiro double and goals from Adil Rami and Michael Krohn-Dehli.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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Bobby Wood enjoyed a strong first half of the season in the 2. Bundesliga, and now it is about trying to carry that momentum over into the final months of the campaign.

Wood and FC Union Berlin return from their winter break on Friday when they visit Kaiserslautern, and the U.S. Men's National Team striker will surely be looking to add to his team-high seven goals in league play.

Sigi Schmid pleased with Sounders progress in new 4-3-3 look

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Photo by Casey Sapio/USA Today Sports

The Seattle Sounders' formational shiftis a work in progress, but so far so good.

The Sounders have switched things up this preseason, practicing in a 4-3-3 formation rather than the 4-4-2 that they have used in recent years. Part of the idea behind the tactical switch is to get more of the club's talented forwards on the field at once, which makes sense given that it boasts Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins, Nelson Haedo Valdez and Jordan Morris.

MLS Ticker: Crew, Rapids, Red Bulls, Galaxy and more

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A pair of teams made signings of international players, while two others revealed new looks for the 2016 season.

The Columbus Crew announced on Monday that the club had signed Norwegian international forwardOla Kamara. The 26-year-old most recently featured forMolde FK in the top flight of Norway whileon loan from FK Austria Wien.

U.S. U-19s overwhelmed by France in Copa de Atlantico

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After falling to Spain in its first game of the Copa de Atlantico, the U.S. Under-19 Men's National Team was overwhelmed in itssophomore effort of the tournament.

The U.S. was thrashed by France, 5-0, on Wednesday in its second game of the tournament, which is being held in the Canary Islands and marks Brad Friedel's first tournament in charge of the U-19 group.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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The English Premier League title race will feature a crucial fixture this weekend when table-topping Leicester City visits second-place Manchester City.

Manuel Pellegrini's squad is trailing by three points heading into Saturday's contest, but a win would give City the tiebreaker for the temporary table lead after the two sides drew 0-0 on Dec.

NASL Ticker: Armada, Miami FC, Rayo OKC, and more

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The Jacksonville Armada have made a significant addition to the club's forward pool, while the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Miami FC and Rayo OKC remainbusy ahead of preseason.

Reigning USL MVP and Golden Boot winner Matthew Fondy has signed with the Jacksonville Armada following a transfer from Louisville City.

Report: U.S. U-20 forward Joshua Perez signs with Fiorentina

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Since U.S. Men's National Team midfielder Michael Bradley left AS Roma, there has been a noticeable absence of Americans playing abroad in Italy.

That is not the case any longer.

According to Goal USA, U.S. Under-20 forward Joshua Perez has signed a multi-year contract with Serie A club Fiorentina.

SBI Reader Poll: How will the Galaxy do in 2016?

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Photo by Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports

This is not the LA Galaxy that you are used to seeing.

The Galaxy have taken a surprisingly different approach to fine-tuning their roster this offseason, electing to acquire and sign several proven veterans as opposed to building through younger players capable of contributing right away.

Christian Pulisic added to Dortmund Europa League roster

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Christian Pulisic may soon have a chance to play in the UEFA Europa League.

Borussia Dortmund updated its roster for the European competition on Thursday, and added the 17-year-old American midfielder.Dortmund will face off with Portuguese club FC Porto during the first leg of the round of 32 on Feb.

Confident C.J. Sapong ready to lead Union in 2016

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Photo by Derik Hamilton/USA Today Sports

The last 12 months provided a whirlwind of challenges for Philadelphia Union forward C.J. Sapong.

Sapong was traded to the Union by Sporting Kansas City, suffered an early-season injury, went into the league's mandated rehab program after a DUI arrest and then found himself in fine form at the start of the summer.

MLS Ticker: Casillas, Whitecaps-Sounders, Fire and more

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While the first Cascadia clash of the new year was anything but friendly on Wednesday, a new report making the rounds has New York City FC linked to a high-profile Spanish goalkeeper.

NYCFC is reportedly interested in signing FC Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas as soon as possible. The 34-year-old Spanish netminder's current contract with the Portuguese side runs until 2017.

Thursday Kickoff: Costa, Lukaku, Barcelona-Valencia and more

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Chelsea continued to struggle in English Premier League play on Wednesday, and to make matters worse, the club's star striker was once again the center of controversy this season after a confrontation.

Tension escalated in first-half stoppage time between Diego Costa and Watford defender Juan Carlos Paredes, and following the game, head coach Guus Hiddink said Paredes provoked Costa to react by punching him in the back.

U.S. Soccer sues USWNT players union over CBA

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U.S. Soccer has taken the U.S. Women's National Team's players union to court.

On Wednesday, the U.S. federation "reluctantly" filed a lawsuit against the USWNT players union after union representative and executive director Richard Nichols said he did not believe there to be a collective bargaining agreement currently in place.

USMNT holds steady in latest FIFA rankings

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There are many movers in the latest edition of the FIFA rankings, but the U.S. Men's National Team is not one of them.

In spite of a 3-2 friendly win against Iceland, the USMNT is still 32nd in the world according to February's edition of the rankings. CONCACAF rival Costa Rica lost a contest against Venezuela, 1-0, on Tuesday, but managed to climb six spots in the rankings into 31st.

Stuart Holden announces retirement

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After battling withinjury after injury throughout the past six years, Stuart Holden has decided to hang up his boots and focus on the next chapter of his life.

The former U.S. Men's National Team midfielder announced his retirement as a soccer player on Wednesday. In ending his playing career, the 30-year-old retires with 25 caps for the USMNT, having scored three goals and taken part in the 2010 World Cup and 2008 Olympics.

Alejandro Bedoya stays hot with game-winner, assist in Nantes victory

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Whatever has gotten into Alejandro Bedoya in recent weeks is really benefitting FC Nantes.

Bedoya kept his hot-streak going on Wednesday, as he talliedthe game-winner and delivered an assist in the first half of Nantes'3-1 victoryover GFC Ajaccio. The goal was Bedoya's third in his last four matches across all competitions, and second decisive strike in that stretch of games.

Matt Miazga included on Chelsea Champions League roster

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Chelsea is set to resume UEFA Champions League play later this month, and its recently acquired American defender mightbe along for the ride.

Matt Miazga was among the 22 players that Chelsea named toitsChampions League roster on Wednesday. The Blues are set to resume play on Feb. 16 in the first of two quarterfinal legs against French champion Paris Saint-Germain, and included Miazga in their list of eligible players.

Who should the USMNT start vs. Canada?

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Nearly a month's worth of hard work resulted in the U.S. Men's National Team picking up a win in the first of its 2016 winter camp friendlies, and now the Americans areaiming to wrap up things up with another victory against a familiar foe.

The U.S. will write the next chapter in its series vs.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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There will be plenty of domestic action across Europe on Wednesday, but it's cup drama that's heating up in Spain, as Barcelona takes on Valencia in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals.

Since returning to Chelsea this season, Guus Hiddink has kept a clean record as head coach. The Blues will travel to Watford, as the former looks to ascend into the top half of the English Premier League.

Jerome Kiesewetter impresses in first action with USMNT

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Photo by Chris Humphreys/USA Today Sports

On the outside, Jerome Kiesewetter was as composed as ever, directing cross after cross into the box while repeatedly besting his defender down the wing in his U.S. Men's National Team debut. But on the inside? "Goosbumps".

Kiesewetter was one of several U.

NASL Ticker: Kranjcar, Rayo OKC, Rowdies and more

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The New York Cosmos have added a major name for a preseason training stint, while several other NASL clubs have added to their ranks as we move closer towards the preseason.

Croatian international Niko Kranjacar has joined the Cosmos for preseason training in an effort to maintain fitness. The former Tottenham midfielder is currently a free agent after most recently featuring for Dynamo Kyiv and Queens Park Rangers.

Galaxy announce capture of Nigel De Jong

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Following a series of big-name additions, the LA Galaxy's offseason spending spree has yielded the club a high-level holding midfielder.

The Galaxy announced on Wednesday that the club has added Dutch international and two-time World Cup veteran Nigel de Jong. The Galaxy have signedthe 31-year-old midfielder by utilizingTargeted Allocation Money.

Strikers looking to set new standard as club continues international push

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Photo by Fort Lauderdale Strikers

Soccer clubs are a business, albeit onesthat arevery different than the companies that hold brick and mortar locations on busy streets, and theFort Lauderdale Strikers believe they have found a take on the soccer business that is perfectly suited for the NASL and Americansoccer as a whole.

SBI College Spotlight: Rozhansky moves to Maryland after opting to stay in school

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Photo by Virginia Cavaliers Athletics

From one college powerhouse to the next.

Talented midfielder Jake Rozhansky has officially made the move from Virginia to Maryland, and is excited for many reasons. The main one: he's close to home.

Trying to finish his bachelor's degree in government and politics, Rozhansky chose Maryland because it offered the chance to work towards graduation with the added bonus of being close to where he grew up.

Wednesday Kickoff: Martinez, Mexico, Cheryshev and more

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The European transfer window may be shut, but there has still been plenty of news from all over the world to go with some last-minute wheeling and dealing.

Chinese Super League spending continued asGuangzhou Evergrande spent $46 million to acquire Jackson Martinez from Atletico Madrid. Martinez becomes the latest star to go to China this window, following Gervinho, Freddy Guarin and Ramires.

MLS Ticker: Nocerino, Kappelhof, Wingert and more

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While the race for Italian star Antonio Nocerino has heated up, one MLS side has reportedly been ordered to end its pursuit for the Milan midfielder.

Orlando City SC has been ordered to cease its chase for Nocerino because of D.C. United's discovery rights claim. D.C. filed its claim for the 30-year-old last month.

Must-See Goal: Jamie Vardy

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Toyota Stadium to host second leg of Olympic qualifying playoff

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Photo by Photo by Peter Aiken/USA Today Sports

In order to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero, the U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team will have to make its way through Frisco, Texas.

On Tuesday, U.S. Soccer announced that Toyota Stadium in Frisco will be the site of the Americans' return leg of the two-game Olympic Qualifying series against Colombia.

Stanford coach says Jordan Morris raised profile of college soccer

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Photo by Tony Quinn

To Stanford head coach Jeremy Gunn, Seattle Sounders and U.S. Men's National Team forward Jordan Morris' rise to soccer stardom in the U.S. not only put the Pac-12 program on the map, but also showcased the talent college soccer has to offer.

Gunn was appointed head coach of an average Stanford soccer program in 2012, but has turned it into a force to be reckoned with whilehelping guide the Cardinal to their first NCAA championship in program history last season.

U.S. U-20 midfielder Kyle Scott reveals new deal with Chelsea

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Another American has inked a deal with English Premier League club Chelsea.

On Tuesday, Kyle Scott announced via his personal Instagram account that he had signed a new contract with Chelsea. Scott originally signed with the team in December 2014.

Born in England, the 18-year-old midfielder has U.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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Now that the winter transfer window is closed, English Premier League sides can focus on the rest of the 2015-16 season. Clubs across England have the chance to test their new additions on Tuesday, as many are in action.

League leader Leicester City plays host to Liverpool in Tuesday's headliner, but Manchester United takes on Stoke City in another must-see EPL matchup.

Midday Ticker: Guardado, Infantino, Vardy and more

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FIFA's presidential race is heating up, but the main storyline this Tuesday is the injury of a Mexican international playing abroad.

Mexican midfielder Andres Guardado, 29, will be sidelined for "some weeks" after suffering a hamstring injury during PSV Eindhoven's 4-2 win vs. De Graafschap on Saturday.

SBI Spotlight: Valentin chasing new American dream after European stint

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Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/Portland Timbers

Growing up in the American soccer scene, Zarek Valentin had heard all about the American dream of plying his trade in a European league. For years, Europe has been the promised land, a place where American players can make their name among the very best while earning a comfortable living playing a sport they love.

Brad Evans and Michael Orozco released by USMNT

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Two starters from Sunday's 3-2 friendly win against Iceland are heading back to their respective clubs.

On Tuesday, U.S. Soccer announced that Brad Evans and Michael Orozco have been released by the U.S. Men's National Team.

According to the press release, Evans is suffering from tightness in his hamstring and was released to the Seattle Sounders as a precaution.

MLS Ticker: Sarvas, Aristeguieta, Atlanta United and more

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Photo by Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports

While the winter transfer window for some leagues ended in Europe, there were a few MLS clubs involved in the action on a busy Monday.

D.C. United acquired 34-year-old midfielder Marcelo Sarvas from the Colorado Rapids, sending Targeted Allocation Money and a 2018 conditional draft pick to the Western Conference club.

Tuesday Kickoff: Messi, Montero, Toure and more

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Photo by Matthew Emmons/USA Today Sports

A wild transfer deadline day on Monday saw many players join different leagues and teams, but there are a handful of storylines and transfers still being talked about this Tuesday morning.

Argentina national team head coach Gerardo Martino said 28-year-old star Lionel Messi will not play in the Olympics so that he will be ready to participate for his country during this summer's Copa America Centenario in the U.

USMNT 3, Iceland 2: Match Highlights

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Vermes explains Nemeth sale, Palmer-Brown loan

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Photo by John Rieger/USA Today Sports

The early parts of the offseason saw Sporting Kansas City make headlines for their additions. The past few days have seen them in the news for their subtractions.

Sporting KC made a pair of surprising moves in the past four days, first transferring talented striker Krisztian Nemeth to Al-Gharafa in Qatar on Friday and then loaning out promising teenage centerback Erik Palmer-Brown to FC Porto on Monday for all of 2016.

Shane O’Neill joins fourth-tier English club Cambridge United on loan

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After bouncing from Cyrus to Belgium and back to Cyprus, Shane O'Neill is heading to England to play in the country's fourth tier.

O'Neill will join League Two club Cambridge United on loan from Cypriot club Apollon Limassol until the end of the 2015-16 season.

O'Neill had reportedlysigned a two-year deal with Belgian club Royal Mouscron-Peruwelz in August, but has since returned to Cyprus within a few months without playing a single game for RMP.

Sporting KC ships Erik Palmer-Brown to Porto for entire 2016 MLS season

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Photo by Kelley L Cox/USA Today Sports

Erik Palmer-Brown will not be spending 2016 with Sporting Kansas City. Instead, he will be with Portuguese power FC Porto.

Sporting KC announced on Monday afternoon that it has loaned Palmer-Brown to Porto for the entire 2016 MLS season. The 18-year-old centerbackhas played in 13 league matches for his localteam since signing as a Homegrown Player in August 2013, with seven of those appearances coming during the 2015 campaign.

Evening Ticker: Debuchy, Cheryshev, Fletcher and more

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After a busy January transfer window, Monday represented European club's final chance at making moves before the summer. Here's a closer look at which club's took advantage on a busy deadline day:

Right back Mathieu Debuchy, 30, joins Ligue 1 side Bordeaux on loan until the end of the season.

USMNT 3, Iceland 2: The SBI Breakdown

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The U.S. Men's National Team rang in the new year by delivering a narrow victory, and also a mixed overall showing.

The U.S. used a 90th-minute goal from Steve Birnbaum to come from behind and defeat Iceland, 3-2, in a friendly at StubHub Center on Sunday in the Americans' first match of 2016.

MLS Ticker: Nemeth, Kouassi, Gashi, De Jong and more

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Photo by Gary Rohman/MLS/USA TODAY Sports

Krisztian Nemeth's transfer from Sporting Kansas City to Qatari club Al-Gharafa drew the confusion and ire of many, and the Hungarian international has spoken out as to why he chose to move there.

In a post on his official Facebook page, Nemeth expressed his disappointment with how Sporting KC handled his attempt at negotiating for a new contract, and signing with Al-Gharafa "was the only way to get out of it.

Report: Danny Williams linked to Swansea City move

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Danny Williams has been in fine form for Reading as of late, and the U.S. Men's National Team midfielder has reportedly caught the eye of an English Premier League suitor because of it.

According to Sky Sports, Premier League club Swansea City is reportedly in talks with Reading with regards to the addition of 26-year-old midfielder.

The Weekend's Best: Ronaldo, AC Milan and more

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January ended with many important clashes going down, and so there were scores of must-see moments from over the weekend. Here are SBI's picks for The Weekend's Best (as voted by SBI's editorial staff):

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

CRISTIANO RONALDO (Real Madrid). The Portuguese star showcased why he was still one of the world's best players on Sunday, scoring a hat trick to help Real Madrid defeat Espanyol, 6-0.

Kellyn Acosta shakes off nerves to impress in USMNT debut

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It is not uncommon to see U.S. Men's National Team players struggle with nerves in their debuts. The weight of themoment can get to them, and has caused even the most giftedyoungsters to deliver duds.

Kellyn Acosta could have been the latest example of that, but he fought off those customaryfirst-game jitters to turn ina performance that both he and head coach Jurgen Klinsmann were proud of.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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While several U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team players are looking to impress Jurgen Klinsmann in the current annual winter camp, there is already one youngster abroad who is surely garnering attention.

Desevio Payne received another start in the Eredivisie on Saturday,as he got the nod and went the distance in FC Groningen's 3-1 win over PEC Zwolle.

Fitter Jozy Altidore looking to make up for missed opportunities

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It pains Jozy Altidore to think of what might have been, but the U.S. Men's National Team forward is determined to do his part in making up for lost time.

A frequent contributor to the national team since he was 18 years old, Altidore has surged up the USMNT's all-time goal-scoring charts while maintaining his status as one of the nation's top forward options.

Monday Kickoff: Guardiola, Terry, Gotze and more

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Transfer deadline day for many European leagues is upon us after a weekend full of intense matches, and the announcement of an impending coach has stolen the spotlight this Monday morning.

After weeks of speculation, Manchester City confirmed that current manager Manuel Pellegrini will leave the club at the end of the 2015-16 season, and current Bayern Munich head coach Pep Guardiola will replace him on a three-year deal.

USMNT nabs late win vs. Iceland in first game of 2016

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CARSON, Calif. Despite playing catch-up for most of the match, the U.S. Mens National Team managed to squeak out a late win against Iceland in their first friendly of 2016.

The U.S. came from behind to pick up a3-2 win over Iceland at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, on Sunday afternoon.

SBI USMNT Man of the Match: Michael Bradley

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Throughout the past several years, Michael Bradley has proven to be one of the U.S. Men's National Team's most important players, and Sunday's 2016 debut proved no different.

Featuring in the first USMNT game of 2016, Bradley continued to show his influence by notching a pair of assists in a 3-2 victory over Iceland.

Steve Birnbaum puts a tough year behind him in win over Iceland

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Photo by Brad Mills/USA Today Sports

It's not easy to stand out from the crowded field of potential U.S. Men's National Team centerbacks, but Steve Birnbaum made a strong case for himself on Sunday.

Birnbaum scored the game-winning goal and assisted another in the 3-2 win over Iceland.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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While several U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team players are looking to impress Jurgen Klinsmann in the current annual winter camp, there is already one youngster abroad who is surely garnering attention.

Desevio Payne received another start in the Eredivisie on Saturday,as he got the nod and went the distance in FC Groningen's 3-1 win over PEC Zwolle.

MLS Ticker: Palmer-Brown, Sounders, Red Bulls and more

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Photo by Casey Sapio/USA Today Sports

The U.S. Men's National Team's first game of 2016 garnered most of Sunday's attention, but a young American's potential move to Portugal headlines transfer news in MLS.

Erik Palmer-Brown has reportedly left Sporting Kansas City's training camp in Tucson, Arizona, and is heading across the Atlantic to join Portuguese club FC Porto on loan.