USSoccerPlayers Archives for January 2010

What We're Watching: Youth Team Wednesday

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Brad Friedel and his American teammates at Aston Villa are away to local rivals Birmingham City in the Carling Cup, 2:40pm on Fox Soccer Plus. The Europa League in on GolTV: Young Boys - VfB Stuttgart at 1pm and Atletico Madrid - Aris at 3pm. The US Under-17's play South Korea on Fox Soccer Channel at 7pm.

National Teamers Abroad: Spector Scores Two

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Jonathan Spector had two goals for West Ham United in their 4-0 Carling Cup win over Manchester United at Upton Park on Tuesday night. Spector scored West Ham's 22nd minute opener and again in the 37th. Carelton Cole also scored twice, with Robert Green picking up the shutout with five saves. In the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, Frank Simek started and went the distance in Carlisle's 3-1 win over Sheffield United.

MLS And The Silly Season

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With last week's expansion draft as the indicator, US Soccer Players writer Jason Davis outlines the difference between the transfer season in Europe and Major League Soccer's multiple drafts, trades, and transfer model. By Jason Davis - WASHINGTON, DC (Nov 30, 2010) US Soccer Players -- Part of following the game of professional soccer is keeping up with the "silly season.

DC In Progress

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With US National Team alum Ben Olsen becoming the youngest had coach in Major League Soccer, we look at how DC United sees itself as they try to recover from a tough 2010 season. Plus links in the Tuesday, Nov 30th, 2010 edition of The Soccer Daily. With J Hutcherson -- You have to hand it to DC United management.

What We're Watching: Tuesday's Carling Cup

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One game on the schedule and it's Jonathan Spector's West Ham United hosting Manchester United in the Carling Cup at 2:45pm ET on Fox Soccer Plus.

Olsen Named DC Coach

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Ben Olsen was named head coach of DC United on Monday, dropping the interim title he's held since replacing Curt Onalfo during the 2010 season. "We spent a great deal of time on this decision and interviewed a number of qualified candidates. The more we talked about what we were looking for in the next coach of D.

Olsen Named DC Coach

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Ben Olsen was named head coach of DC United on Monday, dropping the interim title he's held since replacing Curt Onalfo during the 2010 season. "We spent a great deal of time on this decision and interviewed a number of qualified candidates. The more we talked about what we were looking for in the next coach of D.

Nobody Settles For Ben Olsen

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In the Monday, November 29th, 2010 edition of The Soccer Daily, we talk about Ben Olsen losing he interim tag at DC United and what this should mean for the club. Also, links to soccer news from both sides of the Atlantic. With J Hutcherson -- Depending on when you're reading this, DC United will either be in the process of announcing their new coach or the decision will be public.

National Teamers Abroad: Dempsey Scores

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Not a lot of Americans seeing playing time over Thanksgiving Weekend, but Clint Dempsey capped several chances by scoring Fulham's goal in their 1-1 draw with Birmingham City in England's Premier League. Meanwhile, several disastrous results for Americans in Germany, while Hannover returned to the win column.

Newcastle Jets 2 - LA 1

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The Los Angeles Galaxy spent Thanksgiving in Australia, capping their MLS season with an exhibition game against the Newcastle Jets. The LA Galaxy lost their Australian exhibition in the early hours of Saturday morning East Coast time, falling to the Newcastle Jets 2-1 in The Qantas Challenge at Newcastle's EnergyAustralia Stadium.

What We're Watching: Villa On ESPN2

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The weekend schedule is highlighted by Aston Villa - Arsenal on Saturday morning, the Mexican playoffs, and a chance to see multiple obscure English teams with the second round FA Cup coverage on Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Soccer Plus. Plus, there's the La Liga Super Classico on Monday afternoon. Saturday EPL on ESPN2 and it's Aston Villa and their National Teamers Abroad hosting Arsenal at Villa Park at 7:30am.

What We're Watching: Friday

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FA Cup 2nd round on Fox Soccer Plus: Crawley Town - Swindon at 2:30pm. At 3am (technically early Saturday) Fox Soccer Channel has the Newcastle Jets - LA Galaxy friendly. All Times Eastern

Fulham And West Ham

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US Soccer Players' Tony Edwards looks at the state of soccer in greater London. What does the rise of Spurs mean for National Teamers Abroad clubs Fulham and West Ham United? A full stadium, two title contenders from London, both realistically thinking about Premier league and Champions League glory.

10 Questions With... Conor Casey

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In this week's 10 Questions, Clemente Lisi takes us into the Colorado Rapids' locker room to talk to Conor Casey just after his team won the 2010 MLS Cup. By Clemente Lisi - TORONTO, CA (Nov 25, 2010) US Soccer Players -- Colorado Rapids striker Conor Casey epitomizes the team he has played for over the past three seasons.

Schalke Wins, Rangers Out In Champions League

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In Wednesday's Champions League action, Schalke 04 advanced to the knockout stage while Rangers finished third in Group C with a loss to Manchester United. Jermaine Jones played 70 minutes and picked up a yellow card in the 65th for Schalke 04 in their 3-0 win over Lyon. Jefferson Farfan put Schalke up in the 13th minute and it was 2-0 seven minutes later when Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored.

What We're Watching: Primera Thursday

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The Mexican playoffs move to the semifinal round: Club America at 5pm on Galavision and UNAM Pumas - Monterrey at 10pm on Telemundo. All Times Eastern

Expansion Draft Sends McCarty To Portland And DC

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Dax McCarty finished the 2010 season as a member of MLS Cup finalists FC Dallas. On Monday, he was included in the list of players available for the expansion draft. On Wednesday afternoon, he briefly became a member of the Portland Timbers. Later that day, Portland traded him to DC United for Rodney Wallace and a 4th round 2011 SuperDraft pick.

MLS Plays The Schedule Game

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Jason Davis explains the issues MLS faces in 2011 with an expanded schedule, multiple club tournaments, and the impact of the FIFA calendar. By Jason Davis - WASHINGTON, DC (Nov 23, 2010) US Soccer Players -- When CONCACAF altered the World Cup qualification format for the region, a change approved by FIFA earlier this month, most of the focus was on the near certainty that the United States and Mexico would no longer play each.

Wednesday's Daily

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Europe Why is the Premier League so unpredictable this season? Blame technology, says Arsene Wenger -- from The Telegraph's Duncan White: "You must find somewhere else to make the difference." Sir Dave Richards and the ailing fortunes of Sheffield Wednesday -- from The Guardian's David Conn: The terms look generous for a takeover of what should still be one of England's bigger clubs.

National Teamers Abroad: Win For Milan

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Oguchi Onyewu wasn't involved in AC Milan's 2-0 Champions League win at Auxerre on Tuesday. Zlatan Ibrahimovic opened the scoring in the 64th minute with Ronaldinho adding a second goal in stoppage time. Milan advanced from Group G with the win. In England's League One, Frank Simek went the distance for Carlisle United in their 1-1 draw with Rochdale.

What We're Watching: UEFA Wednesday

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Another full schedule of UEFA Champions League games. In the 2:30pm slot, Fox Soccer Channel has Maurice Edu's Rangers at home to Manchester United (5pm - FS+). Fox Soccer Plus has Spurs - Werder Bremen (7pm FSC). Panathinaikos - Barcelona is on Fox Sports Espanol (5pm - FSC). Inter Milan - FC Twente is also on FSC at 12:30am.

Nowak Talks Expansion Draft

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Philadelphia Union manager Peter Nowak explained what went into his club's expansion draft to US Soccer Players' Michael Lewis, along with what Vancouver and Portland need to be considering in this year's draft. By Michael Lewis - NEW YORK, NY (Nov 23, 2010) US Soccer Players -- It has become an annual rite of Thanksgiving Day week.

How To Draft Expansion

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In the Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 edition of The Soccer Daily, we look at what Portland and Vancouver now face with the release of unprotected players available in the MLS expansion draft. Plus, playing down the ratings for the 2010 MLS Cup final. With J Hutcherson -- On Monday, the 16 Major League Soccer clubs that already have first team squads let Vancouver and Portland know who they'd be willing to part with in the.

What We're Watching: Tuesday

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UEFA Champions League in the 2:30pm slot: Fox Soccer Channel has Braga - Arsenal (5pm - FS+), Fox Soccer Plus has Auxerre at home to Oguchi Onyewu's Milan, and Fox Deportes has Ajax - Real Madrid (5pm - FSC). Also on FSC: Chelsea - MSK Zilina at 7pm. Fox Deportes has Roma - Bayern Munich at 9pm. All Times Eastern

MLS: The Cup And The Season

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After covering the 2010 MLS Cup, Clemente Lisi looks at themes that impacted 2010 and will influence what we see from Major League Soccer in 2011. By Clemente Lisi - TORONTO, CA (Nov 22, 2010) US Soccer Players -- Soccer, like life, is all about being at the right place at the right time. Indeed, Christmas came a month early for the newly-crowned MLS champion Colorado Rapids after striker Macoumba Kandji found himself with a.

Seasons Change

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In the Monday, November 22nd, 2010 edition of The Soccer Daily, we talk about the just completed Major League Soccer season before a quick lesson in how not to setup a playoff tiebreaker. With J Hutcherson -- I don't think anybody is going to hold up the 2010 Major League Soccer season as a high point in the League's history, but then again that's true of most seasons in any League.

MLS Cup: Colorado Wins In Overtime

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The 2010 MLS Cup needed overtime to decide a winner on Sunday night, with Colorado taking the honors with a 107th minute goal. On a cold night at Toronto's BMO Field, FC Dallas did as expected and took a first-half lead through their League MVP David Ferreira in the 34th minute of the 2010 MLS Cup final.

National Teamers Abroad: Flying The Flag For Bolton

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Stuart Holden's Bolton put up another impressive Premier League result, moving them into the top five and contender status with 14 games played in the Premier League season. Elsewhere, several big wins in the Bundesliga, but not a lot of National Teamer involvement. First Star: A big result for Stuart Holden and Bolton Wanderers, who beat Newcastle United 5-1 on the back of two goals from Johan Elemander (50th and 72nd).

What We're Watching: 2010 MLS Cup Edition

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The weekend schedule takes us to Toronto on Sunday night for the MLS Cup final. Dallas or Colorado for the championship. There's also Mexican league playoffs. Saturday EPL on ESPN2: Spurs - Arsenal at 7:30am. Fox Soccer Channel has Manchester United - Wigan Athletic at 10am, Jonathan Spector's West Ham away to Liverpool at 12:30pm, and Bolton - Newcastle United at 5pm.

2010 MLS Cup Preview: Pragmatism Vs Beauty

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US Soccer Players' writer Clemente Lisi checks in from Toronto with his thoughts on what awaits us on Sunday night at BMO Field. Will Dallas's flair overcome Colorado's determination? Is there even a favorite in this game? By Clemente Lisi – TORONTO, CA (Nov 19, 2010) US Soccer Players -- FC Dallas may be making its first-ever MLS Cup final appearance on Sunday when it takes on the Colorado Rapids, but their goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.

MLS Cup Tactics And Motivation

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In the Friday, November 19th, 2010 edition of The Soccer Daily, we talk about what FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman has done in the week leading up to MLS Cup. With J Hutcherson -- If your coaching style depends on appropriate motivation, you've got some options if you happen to be FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman.

Mike Stojanovic, 1947-2010

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On November 19th, we learned that Rochester Rhinos and NASL star Mike Stojanovic passed away from cancer at the age of 63. Here is Michael Lewis's interview with Stojanovic from August. Our sympathies go out to Stojanovic's family, friends, and fans. By Michael Lewis - Rochester, NY (Aug 25, 2010) US Soccer Players -- Looking at his frame today, it might difficult to imagine this 63-year-old man was one of the great players in American.

Pachuca 1 - Monterrey 1

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Pachuca opened their Apertura playoff series with a 1-1 draw at home to Monterrey on Thursday night Monterrey took the lead in the 55th minute. Pachuca equalized in the 67th when Franco Arizala scored. Jose Francisco Torres stated and went the distance for Pachuca. Herculez Gomez was a 61st minute substitute.

Friday's TV

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No games today in the What We're Watching category.

Tell Me About: Anderlecht

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In the latest edition of our Tell Me About series, Tony Edwards takes us through what we need to know about Beligan club Anderlecht. Why Are We Here? Anderlecht's #19 and EA Sports Fifa 2010 cover star, midfielder Sacha Klejstan who joined the club from Chivas USA over the Summer. Where Are We? Anderlecht is one of 19 municipalities in the Brussels-Capital region of Belgium.

DeMerit Joins Whitecaps

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Jay DeMerit has a new club. After leaving Watford at the end of his contract and playing for the United States, DeMerit signed with Vancouver and will play in Major League Soccer in 2011. "I am very thankful for my experiences with Watford FC and look forward to this new opportunity in Vancouver," DeMerit said.

10 Questions With... Paul Tamberino

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In Clemente Lisi's regular Tuesday feature, he talks to US Soccer Federation director of referee development Paul Tamberino. By Clemente Lisi - NEW YORK, NY (Nov 18, 2010) US Soccer Players -- Retired referee Paul Tamberino is famous for his role as an MLS match official. Winner of the 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001 MLS Referee of the Year award, Tamberino is currently US Soccer's Director of Referee Development.

Kansas City Tries Something Different

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In the Thursday, November 18th, 2010 edition of The Soccer Daily we pick up yesterday's announcement that the Kansas City Wizards are now Sporting Kansas City along with the regular links to soccer news in the US and Europe. With J Hutcherson -- Yeah, I know. The immediate response to the Kansas City name change is to laugh and head to a social network to let everybody else in on the joke.

Wizards Officially Become Sporting Kansas City

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Confirming days of media reports, Major League Soccer's Kansas City Wizards officially changed their name to Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday. The club unveiled a new logo at a media event. The name change is timed to go along with their move to their new soccer-specific stadium. The Wizards started out officially as The Wiz for the 1996 season, with that name extended to Wizards for '97.

What We're Watching: Thursday

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Fox Soccer Channel has Ebbsfleet United - AFC Wimbledon in an FA Cup 1st-round replay at 2:30pm ET.

Mandela Cup Result

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For those of you waiting to see today's South Africa - USA friendly, we won't mention the score unless you click through. The United States got a late goal from a new player to take the Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup 1-0 on Wednesday at Cape Town's Green Point Stadium. US coach Bob Bradley gave debuts to Teal Bunbury, Juan Agudelo, Mix Diskerud, and Gale Agbossoumonde with goalkeeper Brad Guzan wearing the captain's armband.

MLS And The 2010 Story

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In the November 17th, 2010 edition of The Soccer Daily we talk State of the League the day after Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber gave his annual address. With J Hutcherson -- It's tough to really judge what happens over the course of a teleconference with a sports commissioner billed as a 'State of the League.

November 2010 FIFA Rankings

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The United States moved up a spot to 24th in the November 2010 FIFA Rankings released on Wednesday. The US gained 9 points with no games played during the rankings period. Mexico stays 28th. FIFA Rankings

Respect And Multiple Drafts

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In the Tuesday, November 16th, 2010 edition of The Soccer Daily, we talk about respecting Dallas and Colorado and the potential for shakeups across MLS with the implementation of the re-entry draft. With J Hutcherson -- During Monday's media call, FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman did exactly as expected and talked a bit about 'respect.

Scouting Report: South Africa

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Clemente Lisi looks at another team in transition as South Africa and the United States will be trying new looks for the Mandela Challenge Cup on Wednesday (2pm ET – ESPN2). By Clemente Lisi - NEW YORK, NY (Nov 16, 2010) US Soccer Players -- A new-look United States team closes out 2010 with a return to South Africa - just five months after exiting the World Cup in the Round of 16.

MLS Names Best XI

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On Wednesday, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber released the League's Best XI for 2010. MLS Goalkeeper of the Year the LA Galaxy's Donovan Ricketts is also the keeper for the Best XI. The defenders are Defender of the Year Jamison Olave from Real Salt Lake, the Galaxy's Omar Gonzalez, and Salt Lake's Nat Borchers.

What We're Watching: Wednesday

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South Africa - USA is on ESPN2 and Galavision at 2pm. ESPN2 has Brazil - Argentina at noon. England - France is on Fox Soccer Channel at 3pm. ESPN Deportes has Portugal - Spain at 4pm and Sweden - Germany at 6pm. Panama - Honduras is on GolTV at 8:30pm. All Times Eastern

USA - Chile Set For January 22nd, 2011

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The United States will play Chile at the Home Depot Center in Carson California on January 22nd, 2011 the US Soccer Federation announced on Monday. Click here for ticket information.

What We're Watching: Tuesday

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Fox Soccer Plus has Woking - Brighton in an FA Cup first-round replay at 2:30pm ET.

The Hermann Trophy And The National Team

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US Soccer Players writer Jason Davis looks at the impact of Hermann Trophy winners as members of the US National Team. By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Nov 15, 2010) US Soccer Players -- If Kansas City Wizards forward, University of Akron product, and 2009 Hermann Trophy winner Teal Bunbury plays in South Africa this week, he will become the latest in a long line of Hermann Trophy winners to represent the United States National.

Playoffs End In MLS And Open In Mexico

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In the Monday, November 15th, 2010 edition of The Soccer Daily, we talk about the Dallas - Colorado MLS Cup matchup and the prospects for Pachuca making a run in the Apertura playoffs and the FIFA Club World Cup. With J Hutcherson -- It's no knock against Colorado or Dallas to say that neither of them would be involved in the best case scenarios for MLS Cup 2010.

Dallas Advances To MLS Cup

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FC Dallas upset the Supporters' Shield winners Los Angeles Galaxy at the Home Depot Center on Sunday night to take the Western Conference slot in next Sunday's MLS Cup final. Dallas might have been the Western Conference contender to finish the regular season on a down note, but they more than made up for it at the Home Depot Center on Sunday night.

National Teamers Abroad: Goals And Season Enders

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Over the weekend the Mexican Apertura regular season came to an end and two Americans scored in Europe. First Star: Stuart Holden scored the third goal to give Bolton Wanderers' a 3-0 lead at Wolverhampton Wanderers, and that turned out to be the winner. Bolton went up within sixty seconds from and own goal.

Rapids Win The East

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Colorado won the battle of the Western Conference wild card teams playing in the Eastern Conference bracket to advance to the 2010 MLS Cup. The Colorado Rapids are the Eastern Conference champions, beating San Jose 1-0 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Saturday night. Kosuke Kimura had the game's only goal in the 42nd minute.

What We're Watching: Conference Final Weekend

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The weekend schedule is highlighted by Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference final on Saturday and Sunday's Western Conference final. It's also the closing regular season weekend for Mexico's Apertura and on Saturday Manchester United travels to Villa Park in a game live on ESPN2. Saturday Major League Soccer's unlikely Eastern Conference final is on Fox Soccer Channel at 9:30pm with Colorado hosting San Jose.

Another Look At The Money Game

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What does it take to really compete in the major European soccer leagues? The quick answer is money and lots of it. In today's Daily, we discuss the situation at Spurs. With J Hutcherson -- On Thursday, Tottenham Hotspur announced what has become all too common in the upper reaches of professional soccer.

Edu Update

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US National Team and Rangers midfielder Maurice Edu was forced to leave Wednesday's Scottish Premier League game against Hibernian after apparently reinjuring his knee in the 43rd minute. Rangers announced on Friday that he will be held out of this weekend's game but is expected to recover quickly. "Maurice Edu took a knock on the knee that he had the operation on a couple of years ago," Rangers manager Walter Smith told the club's official.

What We're Watching: Friday

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The American contingent at Pachuca has a shot at the Apertura playoffs on Friday night away to Necaxa on Azteca and ESPN Deportes at 9pm ET in their regular season finale.

MLS Coaches Discuss Playoff Format

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By Michael Lewis – NEW YORK, NY (Nov 11, 2010) US Soccer Players -- Memo to the powers that be of MLS who are pondering the future of the playoff system: Here is some unsolicited input from the ones in which the post-season matters the most - the coaches. After all, their livelihoods live and die about reaching the playoffs.

New Faces Cheat Sheet

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Not up on the new recruits US National Team coach has called up for Wednesday's game in South Africa? We can help. Juan Agudelo Forward New York Red Bulls Height: 6'1" Agudelo turns 18 on November 17th and started his career as an academy player with New York. He had two appearances in 2010 with the Red Bulls' first team in regular season play, adding three more in the Open Cup, and was a surprise.

10 Questions With… Taylor Twellman

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By Clemente Lisi - BOSTON, MA (Nov 11, 2010) US Soccer Players – Recently retired New England Revolution striker Taylor Twellman is still getting used to the word "former" that now proceeds his name whenever people talk about him. Twellman, who only played in two games in 2009 and none this season, announced last week that he was forced to retire following a string of concussions over the past few years.

18 Called Up For South Africa

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On Thursday, United States National Team coach Bob Bradley named his 18-player roster for Wednesday's friendly against South Africa in Cape Town (2pm ET – ESPN2). "This game is a good opportunity to look at some different players and assess their place in the pool as we continue to build for the next cycle," Bradley said.

Hyndman Wins MLS Coach Of The Year

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FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman was named Major League Soccer's Coach of the Year on Sunday, leading Dallas to a lengthy regular season undefeated streak and now a spot in the Western Conference finals. After coming close to qualifying for the playoffs in 2009, Dallas came on late in the MLS season by simply not losing.

Five For Finals

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Five For Finals With J Hutcherson -- First off, thanks to all of those who are or have served in the US Armed Forces. Once again, our attention turns to the run-up for Conference Final weekend in Major League Soccer. Here are five things from the opening round I think will impact this weekend's games.

Altidore Scores, Edu Injured

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Jozy Altidore started and went the distance for Villarreal in their Copa del Rey 2nd-leg against Club Polideportivo Ejido. Altidore scored Villarreal's second goal in the 89th minute to win 2-0 on the night and 3-1 on aggregate. Jefferson Montero opened the scoring in the 18th minute at El Madrigal. Maurice Edu was forced out of Rangers' 3-0 loss to Hibernian in the 43rd minute with Hibs already up 2-0.

What We're Watching: Thursday

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Serie A on Fox Soccer Channel: Parma - Sampdoria at 2:30pm ET.

MLS Announces Re-Entry Draft

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Major League Soccer announced the schedule for the first re-entry draft in League history. A result of the collective bargaining agreement with the MLS Players Union, the re-entry draft will allow out of contract players that meet certain requirements to sign with new clubs. MLS outlined the process in a press release: The priority order for the Re-Entry Draft is reverse order of finish in 2010, taking into account playoff performance.

CCL Quarterfinals Scheduled

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CONCACAF released the schedule for the quarterfinals of the 2010-11 Champions League on Wednesday. Columbus hosts Real Salt Lake on Tuesday, February 22nd with the return leg scheduled for Tuesday, March 1st. CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals All Times US Eastern (local times in parentheses) First Leg Tuesday, February 22 Columbus Crew (USA) vs.

American Strikers Are Strong In Playoffs

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By Clemente Lisi - NEW YORK, NY (Nov 10, 2010) US Soccer Players -- When the San Jose Earthquakes eliminated the New York Red Bulls from the MLS Cup playoffs last Thursday night, it was striker Chris Wondolowski's goal that proved to be the game-winner. Over the weekend, the Conor Casey-led Colorado Rapids outlasted the Columbus Crew.

Report: CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Approved

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Univision is reporting that the new CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying format has been approved by FIFA. Under the new system, the Hexagonal stage will be replaced by two groups with those two group winners advancing to the World Cup. The runners-up will play each other for the 3rd qualifying slot, with 4th-place entering into a playoff against the 5th-place team from CONMEBOL.

South Africas Roster For Nov 17th

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The South African National Team has called up 23 players to face the United States in next Wednesday's friendly in Cape Town (Nov 17th 2pm – ESPN2). GK: Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Moeneeb Josephs (Orlando Pirates) DEF: Morgan Gould (SuperSport), Siboniso Gaxa (Lierse), Tsepo Masilela (Maccabi Haifa), Siyabonga Sangweni (Golden Arrows), Anele Ngcongca (Genk), Bevan Fransman (Hapoel Tel Aviv), Siyanda Xulu (Mamelodi Sundowns), Keegan Ritchie (Moroka Swallows) MID: Teko Modise (Orlando Pirates), Andile Jali (Orlando.

Home Or Away?

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With J Hutcherson -- It's Super Club Wednesday, English edition with Manchester City hosting Manchester United (3pm - ESPN2) once again raising the home or away question for American fans. Home would be watching the National Team players on Fulham's roster play Chelsea (2:30pm - FSC). Away would be the big names taking the attention.

Convey Wins Comeback Player

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San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Bobby Convey was named Major League Soccer's Comeback Player of the Year for 2010 on Wednesday. Convey has been a crucial part of the Earthquakes this season, starting 28 games and scoring one goal with five game-winning assists. MLS Comeback Player of the Year Winners 2010: Bobby Convey – San Jose Earthquakes 2009: Zach Thornton – Chivas USA 2008: Kenny Cooper – FC Dallas 2007: Eddie Johnson – Kansas City Wizards.

Advantage Los Angeles

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With J Hutcherson -- Yesterday, it was the underdogs in the Conference finals. Today it's the team that should be everybody's favorite. Our Supporters' Shield winning Los Angeles Galaxy went through a bit of a drift highlighted by losing two in a row and then tying from week 21 to 23. For any other MLS team, that would have been a very big deal.

Another Unhappy Ending At Chivas USA

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By Tony Edwards – SAN JOSE, CA (Nov 8, 2010) US Soccer Players -- Two teams, separated by thousands of miles, that consider themselves more than just organizations, but institutions. Coincidentally, two teams that wear red and white. Two multilingual coaches taking their first steps into club management expected to succeed immediately.

What We're Watching: Wednesday

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EPL on Fox Soccer Channel has Chelsea hosting Eddie Johnson and Clint Dempsey's Fulham at 2:30pm and Newcastle - Blackburn at 5pm. On ESPN2: Manchester City - Manchester United at 3pm. Fox Soccer Plus has Wigan - Liverpool at 2:30pm and Jonathan Spector's West Ham United hosting West Bromwich Albion at 5pm.

Once Again, Convey Makes The Transition

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By Jason Davis - WASHINGTON DC (Nov 8, 2010) US Soccer Players -- Bobby Convey scored twice for San Jose on Thursday night, sending his San Jose Earthquakes through to the next round of the MLS playoffs. His first was an opportunistic take, a calmly placed shot to New York goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul's right in the sixth minute.

U-20s Roster Announced

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United States Under-20 National Team coach Thomas Rongen has called 21 players into the squad for the Torneo de las Americas that will run from November 21-29th at Georgia's Kennesaw State University. The United will play Colombia at 3:30pm ET on November 26th and Mexico at 3:30pm on the 28th. GK: Cody Cropper (Ipswich Town - Athens, GA), Eduardo Fernandez (Real Salt Lake AZ - Casa Grande, AZ) DEF: Gale Agbossoumonde (GD Estoril Praia -.

What We're Watching: Tuesday

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EPL on Fox Soccer Channel: Spurs - Sunderland at 3pm ET.

Los Angeles Advances

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Two early goals from the LA Galaxy all but ended their Western Conference playoff series with Seattle within half an hour, winning 2-1 on the night and 3-1 on aggregate. LA entered the game with a one goal advantage from the first-leg, adding another when Edson Buddle scored in the 19th minute on Sunday night at the Home Depot Center.

Different Expectations

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With J Hutcherson -- So what did we learn this weekend from Major League Soccer? In the broadest terms, not a lot. Real Salt Lake exiting the playoffs might be a surprise, but it can't be considered a huge upset. Dallas has been a tough team for weeks, putting up the kind of results that should impress anybody else in this League.

National Teamers Abroad: Bolton Make Statement

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First Star: Stuart Holden started and went the distance in Bolton's big win over Spurs at the Reebok Stadium on Saturday. Just days after Spurs made a case as one of the better teams in England with a Champions League win over Inter Milan, it was Bolton's turn to show their game with a 4-2 win. Kevin Davies opened the scoring in the 31st minute with Gretar Steinsson making it 2-0 in the 56th.

What We're Watching: Monday

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La Liga on ESPN Deportes: Sevilla - Valencia at 3:30pm ET. As of Friday when we put these guides together, this is an 8th vs 4th matchup.

MLS Playoffs: Colorado And Dallas Advance

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Holding a one-goal lead going into the second leg at Crew Stadium, Colorado needed penalties to get past Columbus on Saturday night after losing 2-1 in regulation. With the aggregate score at 2-2, neither team could get a goal in overtime. Columbus's Brian Carroll missed their final penalty attempt with Colorado advancing 5-4.

What We're Watching: Sunday

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MLS Playoffs on ESPN: Los Angeles - Seattle at 9pm. Premier League on Fox Soccer Plus: Arsenal - Newcastle United at 8:30am and Blackburn - Wigan at 10:30am. Fox Soccer Channel has Liverpool - Chelsea at 11am and West Bromwich Albion - Manchester City at 5pm. FA Cup on FS+: Southport - Sheffield Wednesday at 5pm and Burton Albion - Oxford at 7pm.

Sanneh And Victorine To Serve As Sports Envoys

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US National Team alumni Tony Sanneh and Sacha Victorine will be serving as sports envoys as part of a US Embassy program in conjunction with US Soccer. The two will host soccer clinics in Cyprus focused on training as well as "how playing sports can help the participants stay active and healthy throughout their life.

Schalke 04 3 - St Pauli 0

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Jermaine Jones returned for Schalke on Friday, starting and playing 81 minutes in the win over St Pauli. Raul opened the scoring in the 14th minute. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar followed in the 53rd and it was Raul again with a goal in the 81st minute. The three points move Schalke out of the relegation zone for the time being.

What We're Watching: Saturday

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MLS Playoffs: Columbus - Colorado at 4pm on TeleFutura and Salt Lake - Dallas at 10pm on Fox Soccer Channel. You can read our preview here. EPL on ESPN2: Stuart Holden's Bolton gets the easily accessible television slot away to Spurs at 8:30am. Bolton are 11th on goal differential in the Premier League table with 12 points, seven places and three points behind Tottenham.

First And Out

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With J Hutcherson -- It's a quick drop from playing up a one goal advantage to scheduling end of season exit interviews in Major League Soccer. At least that's how it worked for New York on Thursday night. On paper at least, this was New York's series to lose. That they managed to do just that at home in such spectacular fashion is a tough way to end a turnaround season.

Olave Wins Defender Of The Year

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Good news for Real Salt Lake heading into their game two playoff showdown with FC Dallas. Jamison Olave has been named the MLS Defender of the Year. Olave played in 27 MLS games, scoring three goals. MLS Defender of the Year Winners 2010: Jamison Olave – Real Salt Lake 2009: Chad Marshall – Columbus Crew 2008: Chad Marshall – Columbus Crew 2007: Michael Parkhurst – New England Revolution 2006: Bobby Boswell – D.

Europa League: Villarreal Lose, Anderlecht Draw

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Jozy Altidore started and played 61 minutes in Villarreal's 1-0 loss to PAOL Salonika on Thursday. PAOK's goal came in the 70th minute when Vieirinha scored. The loss means Villarreal fall to third in Group D. In Group G, Sacha Kljestan started for Anderlecht who drew 1-1 with AEK Athens at the Spyros Louis Stadium.

MLS Playoffs: San Jose Advances

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The San Jose Earthquakes reversed a 1-0 first-leg loss and advanced to the Eastern Conference championship and the expense of the regular season East winners New York on Thursday night, beating them 3-1 at Red Bull Arena. Bobby Convey was the hero for San Jose, scoring in the 6th and 76th minutes. Juan Pablo Angel got the aggregate equalizer just two minutes later, but MLS scoring champion Chris Wondolowski lived up to his billing with.

What We're Watching: Friday

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The FA Cup on Fox Soccer Plus: Rochdale - FC United of Manchester (the 7th division club) at 3:45pm ET.

10 Questions With... Chris Wondolowski

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By Clemente Lisi - NEWARK, NJ (Nov 3, 2010) US Soccer Players -- Squad player turned star striker Chris Wondolowski has been Major League Soccer's biggest success story this season. Chosen 41st overall in the 2005 MLS Supplemental Draft by the San Jose Earthquakes, Wondolowski only made two appearances for the team that year.

Red Bulls Need Lindpere

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By Michael Lewis - Montclair, NJ (Nov 4, 2010) US Soccer Players -- His best all-around midfielder has been hobbled with a groin injury the past week or so, but Red Bulls coach Hans Backe had all the confidence in the World that Joel Lindpere would be ready for the second leg of the Eastern Conference semifinals series match against the San Jose Earthquakes "Lindpere is no problem," Backe said with a smile after practice.

The Red Bulls Advantage

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With J Hutcherson -- Does anybody else get the feeling that New York enters tonight's game (8pm ET - ESPN2) sort of expecting Chris Wondolowski to score? Major League Soccer's version of the old "you can't stop him, only hope to contain him" cliché is the scariest player on the field, regardless of whether or not Thierry Henry plays.

AC Milan 2 - Real Madrid 2

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In Champions League action on Wednesday, Oguchi Onyewu wasn't involved in Milan's 2-2 draw with Real Madrid at the San Siro. With Real Madrid up a goal just before halftime, Milan's Filippo Inzaghi scored in the 68th and 78th minutes. Real Madrid needed a stoppage time equalizer to split the points. Real Madrid leads Group G with 10 points.

Goodson Moves To Brondby

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Clarence Goodson will join Brondby in Denmark's SuperLiga when the transfer window reopens in January. Brondby made the announcement on Wednesday. Goodson has been with Norway's IK Start since 2008. Start's Tippeligaen season ends this week. Goodson has 16 National Team caps.

What We're Watching: Thursday

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One game on the schedule tonight and it's the MLS Playoffs on ESPN2: New York - San Jose at 8pm ET.

Twellman Announces Retirement

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Taylor Twellman officially retired from the New England Revolution on Wednesday, ending his professional soccer career at age 30. Twellman suffers from post-concussion syndrome that cost him most of the last two MLS seasons and has emerged as one of the leading advocates of preventing that from happening to others.

Najar Named Top Rookie, Ricketts Wins Keeper Award

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DC United winger Andy Najar was named Major League Soccer's Rookie of the Year on Wednesday. At 17, Najar is the League's youngest Rookie of the Year. Najar scored seven goals in League and US Open Cup play and saw time in 26 MLS games. He joins Ben Olsen as DC Rookie of the Year winners. Los Angeles Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts was named the League's Goalkeeper of the Year.

Sticking With A Style

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With J Hutcherson -- Rangers' 3-0 loss at Valencia on Tuesday is already enough of an indicator for some to write off their chances in Group C. With two games remaining, I wouldn't be so quick. Yes, it's daunting to think they will almost assuredly need three points against Manchester United at home later this month to setup another must win against Bursaspor in Turkey.

Valencia 3 Rangers 0

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Maurice Edu started and played 84 minutes in Rangers' Champions League loss at Valencia on Tuesday. Roberto Soldado scored in the 33rd and 71st minutes, with Alberto Costa adding a third in stoppage time. Valencia goalkeeper Cesar needed one save for the shutout. "We still have a chance to put pressure on Valencia in terms of getting that second spot in Group C," Rangers manager Walter Smith said.

What We're Watching: Wednesday

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Champions League on Fox Soccer Channel: Oguchi Onyewu's Milan hosts Real Madrid at 3:30pm (6pm on FS+). On Fox Soccer Plus: Chelsea - Spartak Moscow (6pm on FSC). Shakhtar Donetsk - Arsenal is on FSC at 8pm. All Times Eastern

Tell Me About: AS Saint-Etienne

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Why Are We Here United States National Team captain Carlos Bocanegra made a move to his second French club in the off season. It's also the name of an English band from the early 90's that was named for the club not the city. Where Are We In the city of Saint Etienne in eastern central France, about 40 miles from Lyon.

Tuesday's Daily

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Europe Cryptic Benitez turns on Hodgson -- from BBC Sport: On Monday, the former Liverpool boss was in equally combative mood. 3 ways Tottenham can knock Inter Milan out of their stride -- from The Daily Mail: Someone needs to take responsibility for marking him closely tonight.... Toure admits 'problems' at City as Mancini calls for order -- from The Independent's Ian Herbert: One of the new pieces of ‘evidence' of a rocking ship.

National Teamers Abroad: A Win And A Loss

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Michael Parkhurst was a 54th minute substitute in Nordsjaellands 4-1 loss to Odense BK on Monday at Farum Park. Parkhurst entered with the score 3-1 after a barrage of Odense goals early in the first-half (5th, 12th, and 28th). Nordsjaelland pulled a goal back when Andreas Bjelland scored two minutes into the second-half, but it was Odense again in stoppage time.

CCL: All MLS Quarterfinal

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Real Salt Lake and the Columbus Crew will play each other in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League, the Confederation announced on Monday. The pairing guarantees that an MLS team will make the semifinal round. Columbus will host the opening leg of the two-game series the final week of February, with Salt Lake's home game the first week of March.

What We're Watching: Tuesday

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Champions League on the Fox Sports regional networks: Bursaspor - Manchester United at 3:30pm. On Fox Soccer Channel: Spurs - Inter also at 3:30pm. Same time for Maurice Edu and Rangers at Valencia on Fox Soccer Plus. FSC also has Copenhagen - Barcelona at 6pm. All Times Eastern

Mastroeni's Goal

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By Jason Davies – WASHINGTON, DC (Nov 1, 2010) US Soccer Players -- A Pablo Mastroeni goal is a rare occurrence, like a blue moon or finding a winning lottery ticket lying on a street corner. Like the lottery ticket, it's found treasure - a bit of fortune coming out of nowhere, mostly unexpected. It's even better when it comes when it's most needed.

A Goal Up

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With J Hutcherson -- I think we can politely describe the style on display from the weekend playoff openers as 'conservative.' That way we don't have to point out that teams home and away seemed more concerned with starting the second leg down more than one goal than actually imposing their brand of soccer on game one.