USSoccerPlayers Archives for January 2008

Bradley Announces Camp Roster

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The following is a press release from the US Soccer Federation -- CHICAGO, IL (Dec 30, 2008) USSF -- US National Team head coach Bob Bradley has named 25 players to the training camp roster that will begin workouts Jan. 4 at US Soccer's National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

Tuesday's Daily: Papers

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With J Hutcherson -- What happens to Major League Soccer when nobody is left to cover the games locally? I'm not talking about a club-oriented soccer blog, but actual newspapers producing copy for a mainstream market. Most of us understand that in a lot of cities they're already using wire clips or stringers to cover games, devoting as little actual resources as possible.

American Abroad: Friday To Sunday

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By Graig Carbino - ALBANY, NY (Dec 29, 2008) USSoccerPlayers -- Though the National Basketball Association has tried to make Christmas Day about them, running games all afternoon and into the late evening, that doesn't realy compare to what happens in England the day after Christmas. Historically, managers in England have complained about the "fixture congestion" this time of year.

New England Signs 2008 Draft Pick

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The following is a press release from the New England Revolution -- FOXBOROUGH, MA (Dec 29, 2008) MLS -- The New England Revolution announced today that the club has signed midfielder Michael Videira to a Major League Soccer contract to play for the Revs. Per team and league policies, terms of the deal were not released.

Saturday's TV

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No live games today.

Sunday's TV

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EPL on Setanta: Newcastle United - Liverpool at 7am, Arsenal - Portsmouth at 9am, West Ham United - Stoke City at 3:20pm, and Bolton - Wigan Athletic at 5pm. On Fox Soccer Channel: Fulham - Chelsea at 9am, Blackburn - Manchester City at 11am, Everton - Sunderland at 1:30pm, West Bromwich Albion - Spurs at 5pm.

Selecting Positions And Formations

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When children start playing soccer at younger ages (U-6 and U-8), the emphasis should be on small-sided soccer. At these ages, teams should use a 3 v 3 or 4 v 4 without goalkeepers. They will eventually move to a 5 v 5 with a goalkeeper when they get to U-7 or U-8. The small-sided game maximizes the number of touches each player gets, and also gives them an opportunity to understand the basic concepts.

Monday's Daily: Staffing

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With J Hutcherson -- Here's what's funny about 'state of the anything' columns, they tend to make even disasters seem reasonable. Such as? Thanks for asking. The Arena Football League is on hiatus after a potential investor balked at their ability to turn a profit, exposing a severe financial crisis that the league quite simply couldn't overcome.

Farum Park

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With Michael Parkhurst making the move from the New England Revolution to FC Nordsjælland in the Danish SuperLiga, he also moves from a National Football League stadium to a much smaller venue. FC Nordsjælland play their home games at Farum Park, a 10,000-seater stadium in Farum. The team is only slightly older than Major League Soccer.

Thursday's TV

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Happy holidays everybody. No games today.

Tell Me About: The Silver Goal

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Leave it to soccer to come up with another color to dictate its rules on the field. There are already red, yellow and blue (indoor soccer) cards to discipline players. Now, in a sport where players play for teams called the Reds, Blues or Whites, they can play for silver. Well, they could. Like a few other soccer experiments, this one didn't last.

Chad Marshall Re-Ups With Crew

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The following is a press release from the Columbus Crew -- COLUMBUS, OH (Dec 26, 2008) MLS -- The MLS Cup-champion Columbus Crew announced today that it has re-signed Chad Marshall to a multi-year contract, keeping the 2008 MLS Defender of the Year in Black & Gold. No further terms of the deal were disclosed.

Wednesday's TV

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No live games today. GolTV's year in review show is at 11pm. All Times Eastern

LA Signs Ricketts

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The following is a press release from the LA Galaxy -- CARSON, CA (Dec 23, 2008) MLS -- The LA Galaxy have signed Jamaican goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, the club announced today. An experienced goalkeeper at the international level, Ricketts joins the Galaxy after previous stints with Village United of the Digicel Premier League in Jamaica, Bolton Wanderers of the English Premier League and Bradford City of League Two in England.

And That's

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By Andrew Dixon - MIAMI, FL (Dec 22, 2008) USSoccerPlayers -- It's the end of the year, so several Grown Men and Women with Opinions will be penning columns about the world of football from 2008. You know, salute the various domestic and international champions, speak about some off field issues that the game saw this year, pay homage to those special performances and moments that had the significant portions of the soccer world buzzing.

Tuesday's TV

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Argentine League on Fox Soccer Channel: Boca Juniors - Tigre at 5:30pm. All Times Eastern

Warzycha Promoted To Coach Of Crew

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The following is a press release from the Columbus Crew --COLUMBUS, Ohio — The MLS Cup-champion Columbus Crew announced today that former Crew standout and longtime assistant coach Robert Warzycha has been named the fifth head coach in club history. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

American Abroad: Moving On

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By Graig Carbino - ALBANY, NY (Dec 22, 2008) USSoccerPlayers -- There is a situation that comes up in everybody's life where you realize that it becomes hard to like someone who doesn't like you back. Maybe your ex-girlfriend got to a point where she just couldn't take you spending all Saturday on the couch watching your beloved game on FSC.

Monday's TV

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Everton - Chelsea on Setanta at 3pm. All Times Eastern

Saturday's TV

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Scottish Premier League on Setanta: Hamilton - Motherwell at 7:30am. EPL on Setanta: Hull - Sunderland at 10am and Fulham - Middlesbrough at 5pm. On Fox Soccer Channel: Bolton - Portsmouth at 10am, West Ham - Aston Villa at 12:30pm, and Blackburn - Stoke City at 8pm. The Championship on Setanta: Sheffield United - Crystal Palace at 12:15pm.

Sunday's TV

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EPL on Setanta: West Bromwich Albion - Manchester City at 8:30am. On Fox Soccer: Arsenal - Liverpool at 11am, Newcastle - Spurs at 5pm.Serie A on Fox Soccer: Torino - Napoli at 9am and Milan - Udinese at 2:30pm. La Liga on GolTV: Mallorca - Sevilla at 11am and Villarreal - Barcelona at 1pm. Ligue 1 on Setanta: Monaco - Bordeaux at 3pm.

Clearing

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Clearing is the process of getting the ball out of the defensive third of the field into the neutral and offensive third. When on defense, your players should be working to get the ball out as quickly as possible. They do not want to waste time with footwork or back passing in a pressure-level situation.

Subotic Chooses Serbia

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According to reports, Neven Subotic has opted to play his international soccer for Serbia, and will be part of their squad for UEFA World Cup Qualifying. Subotic was part of the United States youth national team program and also explored eligibility for Germany. That turned out not to be an option. He is a consistent presence for Borussia Dortmund this season.

Friday's TV

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EPL on Setanta: Stoke City - Manchester United at 7:40am, Liverpool - Bolton at 10am, Spurs - Fulham at 12:15pm, and Sunderland - Blackburn at 5pm. On Fox Soccer: Chelsea - West Bromwich Albion at 8am, Manchester City - Hull City at 10am, Aston Villa - Arsenal at noon, Portsmouth - West Ham United at 2:30pm.

Zavagnin Named Wizards Assistant

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The following is a press release from the Kansas City Wizards -- KANSAS CITY, KS(Dec 19, 2008) MLS -- The Kansas City Wizards announced Friday that retired midfielder Kerry Zavagnin will join the coaching staff for the 2009 season as an assistant coach. Zavagnin, 34, joined the Wizards in 2000 and helped lead the team to its first-ever MLS Cup championship.

Friday's Daily: Spend Some

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With J Hutcherson -- Who's up for one of those holiday columns where I run through a list of things to gift this great soccer nation of ours. Or something like that. Instead, let's spend our pre-Christmas Friday on one thing that might actually have short-term impact. That won't be the 2009 SuperDraft, the early results from the Hexagonal, or trying to tease out which MLS coach will get fired.

Howard Wins Athlete Of The Year Award

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US National Team goalkeeper Tim Howard has been named the US Soccer Male Athlete of the Year. Howard had a superb 2008 in goal for the United States, with three consecutive shutouts in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying. Fellow National Team member Sacha Kljestan was named Young Male Athlete of the Year."It's a wonderful honor to accept this Male Athlete of the Year award," said Howard.

Tell Me About: The Transfer Window

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The transfer window is the only mandated time of the year when clubs around the world can buy and sell players. The window was put in place for the 2002-03 season by FIFA, the governing body of world soccer, to regulate the transfer market which had gotten out of control in the late 90's. It also sets a uniform period of time for the top European leagues to do their business.
TMA

Wednesday's Daily: Model To Scale

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With J Hutcherson -- Most of us get that it's probably not the best environment to be starting a new professional sports league. At the same time, it's also not the kind of thing that is planed in a matter of weeks. Women's Professional Soccer has been working on their 2009 launch since the era of easy mortgages.

United States Women 1 - China 0

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The following is a press release from the United States Soccer Federation --DETROIT, MI (Dec. 17, 2008) USSS -- The US Women's National Team defeated China 1-0 on a first-half goal from midfielder Heather O'Reilly to finish off an historic year with its 33rd victory of 2008. The Americans end the 2008 schedule and its post-Olympic Achieve Your Gold Tour with an overall mark of 33-1-2, the best ever in the 24-year history of the.

Matkovich Named Under-18 Coach

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The following is a press release from Chivas USA -- CARSON, CA (Dec 17, 2008) MLS -- Mike Matkovich, who served as an assistant coach on Chivas USA's technical staff during the 2008 Major League Soccer season, has left his post with the club to take the head coaching position for the United States Under-18 Men's National Team.

Perfect Setup

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By Graig Carbino - ALBANY, NY (Dec 17, 2008) USSoccerPlayers -- "Man, that's gonna be cold," was my first thought when the US Soccer Federation announced yesterday that the US Men would be playing their February 11th World Cup qualifier against Mexico in Columbus, OH. Shocked? Surprised? Disgusted? Come on, you didn't really think they were going to play this thing in Salt Lake City, did you?

Wednesday's TV

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Coppa Italia on GolTV: Fiorentina - Torino at 11am and Roma - Bologna at 4:45pm. UEFA Cup on Setanta: Hamburg - Aston Villa at 2:45pm. On GolTV: Milan - VfL Wolfsburg at 2:45pm.Colombian League on GolTV: Medellin - America at 8pm.Advanced notice for tomorrow morning's FIFA Club World Cup on Fox Soccer Channel: Al Ahly - Adelaide United at 2:30am and Gamba Osaka - Manchester United at 5:30am.

USA - Mexico In Columbus

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The following is a news release from the US Soccer Federation -- CHICAGO, IL (Dec 15, 2008) USSoccerPlayers -- For the third consecutive time in final round qualifying for the FIFA World Cup, US Soccer has selected Columbus Crew Stadium to host the home leg between the United States and Mexico. The USA's most anticipated match of the final round will be played Wednesday, Feb.

Stade de la Route de Lorient

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First off, we'll Anglicize the name to to Lorient Road in honor of our favorite American player for the home team, Stade Rennais defender Carlos Bocanegra. Joining the club for the start of this season, Bocanegra has become a regular starter for the red and black, currently fifth in Ligue 1. Lorient Road was originally built for the start of the 1912 season, it was rebuilt in the early part of the decade.

Tuesday's Daily: Repeating The Obvious

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With J Hutcherson -- Yes, we all get that FIFA's attempts to broaden the brand through new competitions hasn't exactly been what most of us would tag as a success. The FIFA Club World Cup has spent the last few years in Japan for a reason, the historic home of what most consider glorified friendlies.

WPS Announces Sponsor

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The following is a press release from Women's Professional Soccer -- WESTFORD, MA & SAN FRANCISCO, CA (December 15, 2008) – Today, global sportlifestyle brand PUMA and Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) announced an exclusive partnership making PUMA an official founding partner of WPS and an official sponsor of all WPS franchises.

American Abroad: Shifting Continents

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By Graig Carbino - ALBANY, NY (Dec 15, 2008) USSoccerPlayers -- Former New England Revolution defender Michael Parkhurst is the latest in a fairly substantial line of younger Americans that have transferred to lesser-known European leagues in search of better professional opportunities.Parkhurst's move to Danish side FC Nordsjælland came as a bit of a surprise as he has been seen as one of the league's best defenders over the past few seasons.

Sundhage Gets Contract Extension

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The following is a news release from the US Soccer Federation --CHICAGO, IL (Dec 15, 2008) USSF -- US Soccer has re-signed Pia Sundhage as head coach of the US Women's National Soccer Team for four more years. US Soccer President Sunil Gulati announced the extension today. Sundhage, 48, has led the USA to a record setting 32 wins so far in 2008 (32-1-2), which includes the team's memorable run to the Olympic title, culminating.

Monday's Daily: How To Build

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With J Hutcherson -- One would presume that a Major League Soccer club wouldn't hire a system coach when what they really need is a quick hit. Coaches who aren't principally motivators can certainly do a short-term job in those situations, but so could a long list of available options. Bruce Arena is running the show in Los Angeles in part because the Galaxy leadership demonstrated that they couldn't out-flash the bulk of the League.

The Long Ball

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For young soccer players who are participating in 4v4 or 5v5 games, learning how to kick and control the long ball is not as important as learning proper dribbling and passing techniques. However, as your players and the field size on which they are playing grow over time, it is important to begin incorporating the long ball into your practice sessions so that your players are better prepared to handle the situation when it arises.

United States 1 - China 0

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The following is a news release from the US Soccer Federation -- CARSON, CA (Dec. 13, 2008) USSF -- The US Women's National Soccer Team defeated China PR 1-0 in an entertaining match on a cool night at The Home Depot Center as Tina Ellertson scored her first international goal in the 61st minute.Ellertson, a defender in her previous 32 caps for the USA, was a forward in college at the University of Washington and.

Sunday's TV

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MFL Final: Toluca - Cruz Azul at 1pm. Caribbean Championship on Fox Soccer Channel: Jamaica - Grenada at 6pm.EPL on Setanta: Portsmouth - Newcastle United at 8:30am. On Fox Soccer Channel: Chelsea - West Ham United at 11am. Serie A on Fox Soccer: Inter - Chievo at 9am and Juventus - Milan at 2:30pm. Bundesliga on GolTV: Hoffenheim - Schalke 04 at 11am.

Saturday's TV

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EPL on Setanta: Middlesbrough - Arsenal at 7:40am, Liverpool - Hull City at 9:40am, Aston Villa - Bolton at 5pm, and Stoke City - Fulham at 6:45pm. On FSC: Manchester City - Everton at 1pm, Tottenham - Manchester United at 12:30pm, and Wigan Athletic - Blackburn at 8pm. The Championship on Setanta: Preston North End - Birmingham City at 12:15pm.

Sigi Schmid Free To Sign With Sounders

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The following is a news release from Major League Soccer --NEW YORK, NY (Dec 12, 2008) MLS -- Major League Soccer announced today that the Columbus Crew and Seattle Sounders FC resolved a potential contractual issue regarding former Crew coach Sigi Schmid. Columbus acquired allocation money and cash from Seattle, thus releasing Schmid from contractual obligations and allowing him to proceed with his contract negotiations with Seattle.

Houston Trades De Rosario

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WASHINGTON, DC (Dec 12, 2008) USSoccerPlayers -- In a surprise move, two time MLS Cup Most Valuable Player and Canadian National Team regular Dwayne De Rosario is now a member of Toronto FC. Rosario leaves the Houston Dynamo after three seasons in Houston and five with the club when they were located in San Jose.

FIFA Club World Cup Primer

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WASHINGTON, DC (Dec 12, 2008) USSoccerPlayers -- With the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup underway, here's what you need to know about the tournament. History FIFA started the Club Championship idea as a replacement for the old Toyota Cup, a competition limited to UEFA and CONMEBOL. It launched officially in January of 2000 in Brazil.
TMA

American Abroad: Premier League Standing

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By Graig Carbino - ALBANY, NY (Dec 11, 2008) USSoccerPlayers – With the Barclay's Premier League almost at its halfway point we felt it an opportune time to fill you all in on the progress of the five Americans who ply their trade in the English top flight. Graig Carbino takes you from London to Birmingham and back with his mid-season review.

Serie A

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What's Calcio, and for that matter what's Serie A mean?It's the Italian word for soccer, but it also carries with it the Italian style of soccer. Serie A (pronounced Ah) literally means A Series, as in the A level of competition. Though there is a move to totally revamp the structure, there is also Serie B and Serie C1 and C2.
TMA

Friday's Daily

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On TV FIFA Club World Cup: Al Ahly - Pachuca on Fox Soccer Channel at 11:30pm. All Times Eastern The Wonderful World of Soccer Media: Europe Ukraine and Poland Face Questions on 2012 Soccer Tournament -- from The New York Times' Nicholas Kulish and Michael Schwirtz: There are tangible fears that private investment dollars, which Ukraine in particular had hoped would help build up the country's infrastructure ahead of the championship, will dry up.

Toronto Sells Out Season Tickets For '09

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The following is a news release from Toronto FC -- TORONTO, ONTARIO (Dec 11, 2008) MLS -- Toronto FC announced Thursday that the team has sold out its season seats for the 2009 Major League Soccer season. The team has capped season sales at 16,000 for the second straight season.The team is also proud to announce that 95% of those season seats came in the form of renewals.

Grouping The Designates

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By Andrew Dixon - MIAMI, FL (Dec 11, 2008) USSoccerPlayers -- A few weeks ago a sports columnist proclaimed the "David Beckham experiment" an abject failure in Los Angeles. The reason should be common to most MLS fans, has Beckham raised the American game? It's naive if anybody really expected Becks to turn MLS into the EPL in a season and half.

Thursday's Daily: Suspension

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With J Hutcherson -- If you're following the wider version of American sports and wondering what Major League Soccer can learn from the problems facing the Arena Football League, there's a quick answer. Nothing. For those of you not following the 50-yard indoor war, they're coming ever-so-close to calling it done for 2009.

Ibrox

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DaMarcus Beasley and Maurice Edu play at one of the most historic stadiums in world soccer. Ibrox, the home of Rangers FC. Aptly named, it's located in the Ibrox neighborhood of Glasgow, Scotland.Like a lot of British stadiums, Ibrox started as a very different stadium to the one that currently occupies the same land.

CONCACAF League Quarterfinals Announced

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WASHINGTON, DC (Dec 10, 2008) USSoccerPlayers -- The Houston Dynamo will need to get past Mexico's Atlante, as they learned their CONCACAF Champions League opponent on Wednesday. The winner of that home-and-home series will face the winner of Santos - Montreal.On the other side of the bracket, UNAM Pumas faces Cruz Azul, while Marathon plays Puerto Rico.

Official Statement On Sigi Schmid's Status With Columbus

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The Columbus Crew released the following statement from president and general manager Mark McCullers, addressing MLS Coach of the Year Sigi Schmid's future with the Columbus Crew."Sigi Schmid has formally declined our last contract offer and will not be returning as head coach of the Columbus Crew. Sigi was the ideal person to turn around our competitive program and create a championship mentality within our club.

Wednesday's Daily: Spinning The Economy

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With J Hutcherson -- Not to put too fine a point on it, but Major League Baseball is paying players an average of a little over $2.9 million. Sure, you could field a Major League Soccer squad for that, buy a few sections worth of season tickets at the soccer-specific venue of your choice, get the second most expensive designated player with change left over, etc.

American Abroad: Hahnemann, Simek Injured

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Burnley 2 - Cardiff 2Robbie Blake put Burnley 1-0 up in the 14th minute, with Jay Boothroyd pulling Cardiff even in the 26th. Cardiff took the lead through Wayne Routledge in the 47th, but couldn't hold it when Steve Thompson equalized in the 76th minute. Eddie Johnson came on in the 73rd minute as a substitute for the injured Boothroyd"I don't think we can complain," said Cardiff manager Dave Jones.

Tuesday's Daily: US Outlet

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With J Hutcherson -- One has to wonder what it would take for the UEFA Champions League to get over with a sizable North American audience. We don't need to go through the reasons why it should be a given that the highest level of club soccer should be grabbing the highest viewer numbers. Last year, the final got over the one share mark, reportedly drawing 1.

American Abroad: Bigger Decision

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By Graig Carbino - ALBANY, NY (Dec 8, 2008) USSoccerPlayers -- The January transfer window is almost upon us and it will soon be decision time for a few American players abroad. Bobby Convey, Heath Pearce, DaMarcus Beasley and others could quite possibly be on the move when the winter trading season opens in a few weeks time.

Monday's Daily: What Angle

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With J Hutcherson -- In Sunday's Guardian, Portsmouth keeper and occasional columnist David James wrote the following: "Whereas I used to watch programmes such as Match of the Day religiously, and take on board everything that was said, now I don't really care." He was making a point about moving past the opinion of pundits, but I think it goes broader for a lot of people in the game.

Youth Coach

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Pinpointing the single most crucial stage in player development is never clear-cut. Every player develops at a different pace and each youngster has a unique set of priorities at various times of their lives.There is, however, a few constants throughout the lives of these players, and one of them is coaching.

US Women Win Under-20 World Cup

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The United States Under-20 Women's National Team are world champions after beating North Korea 2-1 on Sunday in Chile. Sydney Leroux opened the scoring for the United States in the 25th minute, with Alex Morgan making it 2-0 just before halftime. North Korea ruined Alyssa Naeher's shutout in second half injury time when Cha Hu Nam scored.

League Vs. League

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By Graig Carbino - ALBANY, NY (Dec 5, 2008) USSoccerPlayers -- We are always looking for a good comparison. Someone like someone, something that sort of works with something else, like for like, etc. In sports we like to compare teams from this age to dynasties from the past. We argue that a player today is better than a player from 30 years ago or vice-versa.

Saturday's TV

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EPL on Setanta: Fulham - Manchester City at 7:40am, Blackburn - Liverpool at 9:40am, Bolton - Chelsea at 5pm, and Newcastle Stoke City at 6:45pm. On Fox Soccer Channel: Arsenal - Wigan Athletic at 10am, Manchester United - Sunderland at 12:30pm, and Hull City - Middlesbrough at 8pm. The Championship on Setanta: Queens Park Rangers - Wolverhampton Wanderers at 12:15pm.

Sunday's TV

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Under-20 Women's World Cup Final: United States - North Korea at 4:30pm on ESPN2 and Galavision. U-17's on Fox Soccer Channel: United States - Brazil at 4:30pm.EPL on Setanta: West Bromwich Albion - Portsmouth at 10am. On Fox Soccer: Everton - Aston Villa at 11am.Serie A on Fox Soccer: Milan - Catania at 9am and Sampdoria - GEnoa at 2:30pm.

Friday's Daily: Could Be More

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With J Hutcherson -- Though the Sunderland faithful might disagree, there's something to be said for quitting. Roy Keane's exit will be picked over by the English media until it becomes evidence of broad failure, but the reality is something most of us get. There are times when it really does make the most sense to walk away.

Borussia Park

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Michael Bradley is now the second American player to appear for Borussia Moenchengladbach, following Kasey Keller's run with the club from 2005-07. The club moved to Burussia Park to start the 2004-05 season. The stadium has a listed capacity of 54,067, but that includes standing areas. Though standing areas aren't allowed at the higher levels of the English and Scottish leagues, the Bundesliga does allow them.

Under 20 Women 1 - Germany 0

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The following is a news release from the US Soccer Federation --COQUIMBO, CHILE (Dec 4, 2008) USSF -- The US Under-20 Women's National Team booked a place in the championship game of the FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup with a hard-fought 1-0 semifinal victory over Germany in front of 15,548 fans. In the championship game, the USA will face North Korea, which dramatically defeated France, 2-1, in the other semifinal from a goal in second.

American Abroad Update: Spector Set For Return, Villa Advances

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WASHINGTON, DC (Dec 5, 2008) USSoccerPlayers -- United States and West Ham United defender Jonathan Spector told USSoccerPlayers on Thursday that his recovery from a hip injury that has kept him out of the squad since last season is almost completed. "I'mcurrently back in training with the team, and will be playing in my first reserve team game on December 11th," Spector said.

Under-20 Women 3 - England 0

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CHILLAN, CHILE (Nov 30, 2008) USSF -- The US Under-20 Women's National Team advanced to the semifinals of the 2008 FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup with a 3-0 win over England in front of more than 11,000 fans at Estadio Nelson Oyarzun in Chillan, Chile. With the win, the US advances to the semifinal and will play the winner of Monday evening's quarterfinal between Brazil and Germany.

Monday's Daily: Experience Required

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With J Hutcherson -- Credit Brad Friedel for setting the Ripken mark in the English Premier League, along with the kind of quote that basically says all anybody ever needed to about an appearance record. "I have never appeared in a game hoping to attain an appearance record. I appear because I am under contract to play football and I love football.

American Abroad: Friedel Shows Up

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By Graig Carbino - ALBANY, NY (Dec 1, 2008) USSoccerPlayers -- Being consistent is not easy. Whether it's in your everyday life or your work routine, doing things over and over the right way is a tough proposition. Are you always on top of your game? Have you ever taken a sick day when you probably could have made it in?

Tuesday's Daily: Company

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With J Hutcherson -- Shocked looks all around, but Cristiano Ronaldo is now officially the best player on the planet. Well, at least according to France Football Magazine. As good as Ronaldo obviously is, there's still the feeling that we're in an era without enough truly elite players. There are those who still put up Spain '82 as the height of competition for recent World Cup play, even if we're stretching 'recent' to before Cristiano.

Sundhage Names Friendly Roster

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The following is a news release from the US Soccer Federation -- CHICAGO, IL (Dec 2, 2008) USSF -- US Women's National Team head coach Pia Sundhage has called in 22 players as the gold medal-winning US team returns to the field in December for two matches against China, the first taking place on Dec.

MLS Releases '09 Schedule

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The following is a news release from Major League Soccer -- NEW YORK, NY (Dec 2, 2008) USSoccerPlayers -- Major League Soccer's 14th season begins with "First Kick," the weekend of March 19-22, 2009, when 14 teams kickoff the 2009 MLS regular season. Highlights of First Kick include the inaugural game for 2009 expansion team Seattle Sounders FC.

Schelotto Stays With Crew

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WASHINGTON, DC (Dec 2, 2008) USSoccerPlayers -- Major League Soccer MVP and MLS Cup MVP Guillermo Barros Schelotto has ended speculation that he might not be with the Columbus Crew for 2009 by signing a new contract with Major League Soccer. Though specifics were not revealed, Schelotto will count as a designated player.

Wednesday's Daily: Facing The Crew

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With J Hutcherson -- Instead of playing 'watch Columbus wreck their squad,' yesterday's news that Guillermo Barros Schelotto will be with them in 2009 told us two things. They'll get a deal done and they'll spend to do it. Remember, most rumors had the Crew grinding Schelotto to take a deal that kept him at the League maximum with the substantial risk he ended up elsewhere.

Tell Me About: The Mexican League

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SeasonLike a lot of Central and South American domestic leagues, the Mexican Football League has two separate seasons every 12 months. The first is the Apertura (opening), the Fall league that runs from late summer to late December. The second is the Clausura (closing), running from January until late May/early June.
TMA

American Abroad: Thursday Update

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UEFA CupStandard Liege 3 - Sampdoria 0Oguchi Onyewu started as usual for Liege and grabbed their second goal in an impressive night for the Belgian club. Igor De Camargo put Liege 1-0 up in the 23rd, with Onyewu scoring in the 35th, and Milan Jovanovic making it 3-0 in the 43rd.Liege advance to the round of 32 with one game left in Group C play.

Thursday's Daily: Bill To Build

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With J Hutcherson -- Does anybody really need yet another Major League Soccer club getting clever with it and refusing to spend on a keeper? If reports prove accurate, this time it's San Jose falling for the League logic that really believes you can put just about anybody in goal and things will work out.