USSoccerPlayers Archives for January 2012

Tuesday's TV: EPL On ESPN2

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Like the title says, EPL on ESPN2: Liverpool - Fulham at 2:30pm. That's right, Fulham gets back-to-back visits to Liverpool, shutout 4-0 by Everton on Saturday. On the other side of Stanley Park, they now face Liverpool. This is an 8th vs 9th matchup, with Fulham trailing Liverpool by three points and a +9 goal difference.

Upside: ESPN

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Their Words "ESPN is solidifying its dedication to soccer year-round with the launch of ESPNFC. It represents one of ESPN's most significant global commitments to the sport and leverages the core strength of what ESPN does well – serve sports fans. In short, ESPNFC is the definitive source for soccer coverage worldwide.

Video: Week 8 Highlights

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Highlights from Week 8 of the 2012 MLS season.

Corner: MLS Style

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There was one moment among many during Saturday's Montreal - Portland game where the Impact decided to fight through a crowded box and take their chances. This was soccer without space. Enough ankles and feet made sure the ball got nowhere near goal. There was no threat from the wings, and, once committed, no real direction in that cavalcade of players.

Lenhart Wins POTW

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As we predicted in our review of Major League Soccer's Week 8, San Jose forward Steven Lenhart was named Player of the Week. Lenhart's super sub performance started with a 76th minute goal and ended with the stoppage time winner against Philadelphia.

The Future Of The Passing Game

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (Apr 30, 2012) US Soccer Players -- Does Barcelona continue to pass? It's one of the very basic questions to come out of Pep Guardiola's decision to part ways with Barcelona: the future of his version of the passing game. Guardiola insisted on moving the ball against all levels of opponents.

MLS Week 8: San Jose's Show

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If anybody expected San Jose to settle for the draw on the road in Philadelphia, guess again. The Earthquakes needed a stoppage time goal to disappoint the 18,581 fans at PPL Park and add to the pressure the Union are facing. It took until the 76th minute to get a goal, with Steven Lenhart opening the scoring for San Jose.

National Teamers Abroad: Clausura Ender

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The Clausura regular season ended over the weekend in Mexico, with DaMarcus Beasley taking a starring role in Puebla's 2-1 win over Tigres at the Estadio Universitario. Tigres were up 32 minutes in when Lucas Lobos scored. Puebla needed until the 83rd minute to come up with an equalizer. Beasley setup Luis Garcia, and it was Beasley scoring the winner four minutes later.

Video: USA - Brazil

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(Summary is not available.)

Upside: Pep

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Their Words "Thank you, Pep. For the happiness you have given us and for all you have done for your Barça; for having perfected a footballing model that can never be questioned again; for having represented the institution in such an exemplary fashion, honouring the values that define us as a Club; for all your support, affection and love".

Farfan Suspended

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Following up on yesterday's announcement that Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber had suspended and fined Philadelphia Union manager Peter Nowak and fined Chivas USA coach Robin Fraser, the League's Disciplinary Committee announced sanctions against Philadelphia defender Gabriel Farfan. Last week's 85th minute tackle on James Riley resulted in a red card for Farfan, who has had his suspension increased to a total of three games as well as being fined.

Toronto, New York, And Defense

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By Dario Camacho - MIAMI, FL (Apr 20, 2012) US Soccer Players -- If there was an iconic image during the Chicago vs Toronto game over the weekend, it was Aron Winter and his coaching staff's reaction just 25 seconds into the match. A set of grown men looking in abject horror and shock as Dominic Oduro slotted the ball past a sliding Milos Kocic.

Weekend TV: Mexico Regular Season Ends

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Saturday MLS on NBC Sports: NY - New England at 3:30pm. EPL on ESPN2: Stoke - Arsenal at 10am. On Fox Soccer: Wigan - Newcastle at 9:30am, Norwich - Liverpool at 12pm, and Everton - Fulham at 5pm. On Fox Soccer Plus: WBA - Aston Villa at 9:45am, Swansea - Wolverhampton at 6pm, and Sunderland - Bolton at 9pm.

Barcelona's Strength Of Transition

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (Apr 27, 2012) US Soccer Players -- So now we know. Pep Guardiola has exited Barcelona, stressing his belief that what once worked with a group of players shouldn't be expected to be effective after a few years. Relative to Barcelona's scale, 'effective' takes on a substantially different meaning then a struggling club looking to make its way toward respectability and eventually competing.

MLS Suspends Nowak

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Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber announced on Thursday that Philadelphia Union manager Peter Nowak would miss a total of two games following his red card against Chivas USA on April 21st. Nowak was also fined $5,000 dollars. Chivas USA coach Robin Fraser was fined $500 dollars. Both teams were also sanctioned, with Philadelphia fined $5,000 dollars and Chivas USA $2500 dollars for "the behavior of its players and team staff.

Friday's TV

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U.A.G. - Queretaro is on Univision at 9pm ET. Mexico's Clausura regular season concludes this weekend. Queretaro are 17th. 18th-place U.A.G. have already been relegated.

Upside: European Exits

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Their Words "We left our hearts and our souls out there on the pitch such was our effort and all we can say is it is a pity to go out on penalties." Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos. Other Sources Happiness in the Pacific Northwest - from ESPN.com's Leander Schaerlaeckens: The move wasn't straightforward. RSL rookie capitalizes on call up from reserve team to score first MLS goal - from The Salt Lake Tribune's Andy Friedlander:.

Video: Andrew Luck Interview

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Kick's Jimmy Conrad talks soccer with the soon-to-be #1 draft pick in the National Football League, Andrew Luck.

Questions: Playoffs, Ferreira, Garber, Nowak, Castrol

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By Tony Edwards - San Jose, CA (Apr 26, 2012) US Soccer Players -- In Thursday's edition, Tony asks about examines player confidence in Toronto, wonders when David Ferreira will be back for FC Dallas, and sees an unexpected entry in the MLS Castrol Index rankings. Who's going to the MLS Cup Playoffs?

Fox Soccer Announces Liverpool Documentary

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Fox Soccer will be filming a six-part behind the scenes documentary of Liverpool, titled "Our Liverpool: Never Walk Alone." The FA Cup final is expected to be the focus, with the series produced by former HBO 24/7 producer Scott Boggins. "This is going to be a truly remarkable series for every football fan on earth, watching the inner workings of one of the world's truly great clubs, and seeing things no one outside the inner.

Penalties Are Part Of The Game

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (Apr 26, 2012) US Soccer Players -- Just before the start of the penalty phase of last night's Champions League semifinal, one of the announcers decided it was worth reminding the viewing audience that penalties might not be the best way to decide a soccer game. Nothing new here of course.

Monterrey Wins Champions League

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Though they lost 2-1 on the night, Monterrey's first-leg result was the difference in the CONCACAF Champions League final. Monterrey beat Santos Laguna 3-2 on aggregate, with Neri Cardozo scoring in the 81st minute at the Nuevo Estadio Corona. Santos had taken a 2-0 lead with goals from Daniel Luduena (45th) and Oribe Peralta (50th).

Video: No Holden Back

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The latest episode of Stuart Holden's video diary.

Dallas 1 - Salt Lake 1

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Dallas and RSL split the points on Wednesday night in front of 10,069 fans at FC Dallas Stadium. Dallas opened the scoring from the penalty spot in first-half stoppage time, with Tony Beltran called for a handball in the box and Brek Shea converting the ensuing penalty. Salt Lake's Emiliano Bonfigli equalized in the 72nd minute.

Thursday's TV: Europa Semis

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GolTV has the semifinals of the Europa League: Valencia - Atletico Madrid at 3pm and Bilbao - Sporting at 5pm ET. Oguchi Onyewu returned to Sporting's lineup over the weekend.

Upside: Upset

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Their Words "We fought for 90 minutes in the first game, and after that to go 2-0 down, we did what we could and it's fantastic what we've done. Everybody played 150 per cent for the team, and to be fair we tried to survive, and we survived pretty well!" Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech. Other Sources MLS commissioner says Rapids an example of U.

San Jose's Unlikely Role

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By Jason Davis - WASHINGTON, DC (Apr 25, 2011) US Soccer Players -- A funny thing happened on the way to crowning Sporting Kansas City Major League Soccer's best team. Funny as in surprising, because while we were all lining up to sing the praises of Peter Vermes's team with its overwhelming athleticism (see how fast they are?

Barcelona And The Bulls

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (Apr 25, 2012) US Soccer Players -- Remember last season when our friends in the English media entertained themselves by asking what Pep Guardiola really had left to prove at Barcelona and speculating on whether or not he would choose to stay with the club following their Champions League final win over Manchester United?

Aston Villa 1 - Bolton 2

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Eric Lichaj got the start for Aston Villa and Tim Ream started for Bolton on Tuesday. Bolton's three points leaves them a point out of safety, trailing 17th-place Wigan. However, Bolton has played 34 games to Wigan and the rest of the relegation threatened teams' 35. Stephen Warnock opened the scoring for Villa in the 61st minute,with Bolton equalizing from the penalty spot a minute later.

Wednesday's TV

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Champions League on FX: Real Madrid - Bayern Munich at 2:45pm. Bayern leads 2-1. Serie A on Fox Soccer Plus: Roma - Fiorentina at 9am and Cesena - Juventus at 12pm. On Fox Soccer: Milan - Genoa at 12pm. CONCACAF Champions League on Fox Soccer: Santos Laguna - Monterrey at 8pm. Monterrey leads 2-0. All Times Eastern

Video: Herculez Gomez Interview

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Kick's Jimmy Conrad speaks with Santos Laguna and US National Team forward Herculez Gomez.

Upside: Games Won

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Their Words "I don't put a lot into it, to be honest. Obviously, they get counted up and it ends up at 100 wins, but I just want to do well for this club. Hopefully I can get a few more and we can make the playoffs." San Jose coach Frank Yallop on winning his 100th MLS game. Other Sources All good streaks must come to an end - from The Kansas City Star's Charles.

5 Questions: Progress, Double Reds, Forest, Line-up, Games Played

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By Tony Edwards - San Jose, CA (Apr 24, 2012) US Soccer Players -- In Tuesday's edition, we question whether or not an MLS club has really made a "very huge progression," talk about the red cards scenario RSL faced last Saturday, and the disparity when you compare games played in Major League Soccer.

van Persie Wins Football Writers' Award, Dempsey Finishes Fourth

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England's Football Writers' Association named Arsenal's Robin van Persie their Footballer of the Year. van Persie already won the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year. Speaking for the Football Writers' Association chairman Steve Bates said in a press statement: "The considerable size of his majority in the votes cast by our members reflected the general view that he has been the season's most outstanding individual performer.

SFA Suspends Rangers From Transfer Market

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After going into administration earlier this season, Rangers have been suspended from making transfers for one year, the Scottish Football Association announced on Tuesday. Rangers will be unable to register players, meaning they can't sign a player and have him appear for the club. Rangers joint administrator Paul Clark said in a press statement: "All of us working on behalf of the Club are utterly shocked and dismayed by the draconian sanctions imposed on Rangers.

Tuesday's TV: EPL And Champs

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The second-leg of the Barcelona - Chelsea Champions League semifinal is on Fox Soccer at 2:30pm. Chelsea leads 1-0. Eric Lichaj's Aston Villa host Tim Ream's Bolton at 2:45pm on Fox Soccer Plus. Both Times Eastern

Upside: Table

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Their Words "I want to be a mid-table side, or even a bit better, from the start until the end of the season because if you struggle to be in mid-table until the last game of the season, then that is not what you want." Fulham manager Martin Jol. Other Sources Top MLS teams have built records without a highly-paid designated player - from The Province's Randy Phillips: Does the Impact, with a 1-5-2 record.

Pontius Wins POTW

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Chris Pontius's hat-trick on Sunday night earned him Player of the Week honors for Week 7, Major League Soccer announced on Monday. In rainy weather, Pontius scored three of DC's four goals in a 4-1 win over New York. Pontius received all of the first-place votes.

Video: Week 7 Highlights

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Highlights from Major League Soccer's Week 7, courtesy of Kick.

Corner: Portland

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For those that have been following Major League Soccer for a few seasons, what happened in Week 7 probably isn't much of a surprise. What we thought we knew going into the season had already been disrupted, and what the opening six weeks suggested turned out not to hold in Week 7. Favorites lost. Unheralded teams got big wins while still remaining in serious trouble.

Being Barcelona

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (Apr 20, 2012) US Soccer Players -- You have to feel for opponents of Barcelona. No matter what they do over the course of a game, win or lose it's still going to be about Barca. Barca, Barca, Barca, the team that can't simply have a bad game or a misplay that turns their regular 90 minutes of brilliance into an obvious reason for losing.

MLS Week 7: Things Change

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Apparently, how you beat Sporting Kansas City is figure out a way for them to spot you a goal and then shut them out. At least that's how it worked for Portland, who became the first club to beat KC this season with a 1-0 win. The own-goal came in the 41st minute, with both teams finishing with two shots on frame.

National Teamers Abroad: Beasley, Altidore Score

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Primera Division, and DaMarcus Beasley scored for Puebla in a 3-2 loss to Club America. Beasley equalized in the 48th minute, a minute after Puebla had given up an own-goal. America would get an 86th minute winner from the penalty spot. Herculez Gomez subbed out in the 57th minute for Santos Laguna in a 3-0 shutout of Tigres.

Video: Kick Interview With Landon Donovan

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Kick's Jimmy Conrad interviews US National Team player Landon Donovan.

Upside: Soccer Support

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Their Words "The fans have been fantastic. The support they've given me is unbelievable, and they've just got to keep supporting. Look at the numbers they traveled in on Tuesday. Can you imagine giving them a top side?" Leeds United manager Neil Warnock. Other Sources Striking Comparisons: U.S. Options at Forward - from the NY Times' John Godfrey: Given all that, here is a look at six forwards to keep an eye on in the.

Roundtable: Surprises, The West, And NBC Sports

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US Soccer Player MLS writers Justin Shaffer, Dario Camacho, and Tony Edwards debate the first month of the season, NBC Sports Channel's coverage of the League, and the situation in Southern California. What has surprised you the most so far this season? Dario Camacho: Toronto. Say what you will about their current problems, but by year's end last year it looked like they had turned the corner.

Slumping In Portland And Vancouver

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By Dario Camacho - MIAMI, FL (Apr 20, 2012) US Soccer Players -- Seven weeks in and Portland and Vancouver are already feeling the dog days of a sophomore slump. If this is a surprise then by all means let it surprise you. The word surrounding writers, beat reporters, and pundits before the start of the season concerned what almost felt like the overkill of offense that both second year clubs were amassing.

Video: US Soccer Technical Workshop

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United States National Team coach Jurgen Klinsmann explains the purpose of the Technical Department Workshop that took place earlier this week. Courtesy of US Soccer's Studio 90.

Weekend TV: Another Clasico

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Saturday MLS on NBC Sports Network: Toronto - Chicago at 3:30pm. EPL on ESPN2: Arsenal - Chelsea at 7:30am. On Fox Soccer: Newcastle - Stoke at 9:30am, QPR - Spurs at 12pm, and Fulham - Wigan at 5pm. On Fox Soccer Plus: Aston Villa - Sunderland at 10am, Blackburn - Norwich at 2pm, and Bolton - Swansea at 6pm.

Popular Soccer

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (Apr 20, 2012) US Soccer Players -- Given my lengthy response to the first one, we're going to go ahead and wade right into the reader mail this week. We'll start with a technical note. I was asked if it makes more sense to send in an email rather than reply to my articles in the comments section.

Friday's TV: Liga And Primera

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Bundesliga on ESPN Deportes: Mainz - VfL Wolfsburg at 2:30pm. Primera Division on Fox Deportes: Morelia - Atlante at 9pm. Both Times Eastern

Upside: Bringing It In MLS

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Their Words "We have to understand, you just have to bring that every night if you want results. It doesn't matter who you play: If you don't bring that in this League, it's going to be a long night." DC United coach Ben Olsen. Other Sources Q & A with Jurgen Klinsmann: U.S. Soccer Technical Department Workshop - from US Soccer: "Everybody is together and putting things down on the table with their own specific.

Questions: Crew, Revs, Nielsen, Beaverton, Attendance

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By Tony Edwards - San Jose, CA (Apr 19, 2012) US Soccer Players -- It's Thursday, and Tony joins Robert Warzycha in looking for answers in Columbus, details Kansas City's impressive defense, and offers no excuses for MLS attendance. What is Coach Robert Warzycha doing to shake up the Columbus attack?

Hejduk Retires

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United States National Team defender Frankie Hejduk officially announced his retirement on Thursday. Hejduk won 85 caps with the National Team, playing in the 1998 and 2002 World Cups and missing out on a third World Cup in '06 due to injury. Hejduk played for Tampa, Bayer Leverkusen, St Gallen, Columbus, and Los Angeles.

Marquez, Chavez Suspended And Fined

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Major League Soccer's Disciplinary Committee announced the retroactive punishments from last Saturday's New York - San Jose game. New York's Rafa Marquez has been suspended for three games and fined for dragging down and kicking San Jose's Shea Salinas and San Jose's Marvin Chavez has been suspended for one game and fined for a tackle from behind that was missed by the officiating crew.

CCL: Monterrey 2 - Santos Laguna 0

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Monterrey took advantage of hosting the opening leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final series, shutting out Santos Laguna on Wednesday in front of a large crowd at their Tecnologico stadium. Humberto Suazo opened the scoring in the 60th minute, doubling the lead in the 86th. Goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco recording the clean sheet.

MLS Wednesday: Draw And A Win

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DC United and Montreal played out a 1-1 draw in front of 10,135 fans at RFK Stadium on Wednesday night. Bernardo Corradi put Montreal up a goal in the 68th minute, with Maicon Santos equalizing for United four minutes later. Both teams had trouble getting their shots on frame, with United finishing with 2 of their 18 on goal to the Impact's 1 from 12.

Thursday's TV: Europa And Copa

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Europa League on GolTV: Sporting - Bilbao at 3pm and Atletico Madrid - Valencia at 5pm. Copa Libertadores on Fox Deportes: Santos - The Strongest at 6:30pm and Universidad - Nacional at 9pm. All Times Eastern

Upside: Wednesday Games

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Their Words "You know they are playing for more being at the bottom of the table so you can't think that this team isn't going to come out and give one-hundred percent. We've got to be ready from opening kickoff." DC United forward Chris Pontius. Other Sources I Am Iron Man - from Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl: "You can say it," Friedel interrupts with a laugh.

There Will Be Discipline In MLS

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By Jason Davis - WASHINGTON, DC (Apr 18, 2011) US Soccer Players -- On Saturday, Rafa Marquez made the balance of a soccer game all but irrelevant. When the New York Red Bulls defender blatantly bear-hugged San Jose's Shea Salinas, rode the Quakes midfielder to the ground, and then kicked Salinas, that moment late in the first-half made it hard for people to talk about anything else.

Video: Questions For Holden

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US National Team and Bolton midfielder Stuart Holden answers question that don't necessarily involve soccer. Courtesy of Kick.

The Premier League's Awards

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (Apr 18, 2012) US Soccer Players -- It's 20th anniversary awards season in the Premier League, and as expected they've taken the noble way out of picking an MVP for the first two decades of Premier League soccer. Instead, it's a Best XI, and yes they're playing in a 442.

Wednesday's TV: Barca

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The Champions League moves to FX with Chelsea - Barcelona at 2:30pm. The opening leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final is on Fox Soccer and TeleFutura: Monterrey - Santos Laguna at 10pm. Both Times Eastern

Video: U-20's vs UW

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The United States Under-20 National Team scrimmaged the University of Washington on April 15th. Highlights courtesy of US Soccer Communications.

Hall Of Fame Induction Set For May 30th

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The United States Soccer Federation announced on Tuesday that the 2012 Hall of Fame induction will be held before the USA - Brazil game on May 30th in Landover, MD. The 2012 induction class of Claudio Reyna, Tony Meola, Desmond Armstrong, and Tony DiCicco will be presented to the crowd prior to the start of the game at FedEx Field.

Upside: Fabrice

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Their Words "I am naturally very pleased to be discharged from hospital and would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to every single member of staff at The London Chest Hospital who have played a part in my care. Their dedication, professionalism and expertise is simply amazing and I will forever be in their debt.

Questions: Goals, Leads, 433, United, San Jose

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By Tony Edwards - San Jose, CA (Apr 17, 2012) US Soccer Players -- Time for questions, with Tony asking about Portland's defensive problems, the mindset needed to play a 433, and scoring woes at DC United. How often does a team lead MLS in both goals scored and goals allowed? Not often even at this stage, but right now, the Red Bulls are in the conversation, having scored 16 (first) and allowed 10 (tied.

The Difference In Soccer Design

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (Apr 17, 2012) US Soccer Players -- Once upon a time, the US National Soccer Team Players Association had an event in the magical land of Las Vegas. On the schedule was a game, so uniforms were needed. I came up with a traditional design mashing together vintage Crystal Palace and Birmingham City shirts, and nobody complained.

New National Team Jerseys

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The United States Soccer Federation revealed the design for the new National Team home shirts on Monday. In a press release, US Soccer described the design as "The American flag is utilized as the jersey's inspiration, with a shirt that features horizontal red and white stripes and a blue crew neck collar.

Rolfe Back In Chicago

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Chris Rolfe is once again a member of the Chicago Fire. Rolfe's contract with Aalborg in Denmark's SuperLiga was ended by mutual consent. The 29-year-old last played with Chicago in 2009. "I'm thrilled to return to Chicago and play for the Chicago Fire," Rolfe said in a press statement. "The Fire has always been a special place for me.

Tuesday's TV: Semis

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The Champions League semifinal stage begins with Bayern Munich hosting Real Madrid at 2:45pm on Fox Soccer. Copa Libertadores on Fox Deportes: Deportivo Quito - Chivas at 7pm. Both Times Eastern

Upside: Everton

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Their Words "We're in seventh position and if back in October someone had said we'd be in seventh position above Liverpool I think we'd have snapped their hands off. So I think we've really got to kick on now." Everton captain Gary Neville. Other Sources Comebacks are on the rise - from Soccer America's Ridge Mahoney: A peek at last year's stats reveals that only one team, Seattle, compiled a .

Kennedy Wins POTW

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Bucking the trend of goal scorers being named Major League Soccer's Player of the Week, Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy won the honor for Week 6. Kennedy had four saves in a 1-0 shutout of Toronto. Kennedy received five of the 17 first-place votes. Also receiving votes were Kansas City's Aurelian Collin (3), LA's Landon Donovan (2), Seattle's Zach Scott(2), LA's David Beckham (1), LA's David Junior Lopes (1) DC's Joe Willis (1), Dallas's Blas.

Corner: FA Cup

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The wonder and appeal of the FA Cup got the help of derby crowds over the weekend. The luck of the draw had Liverpool-based teams playing each other on Saturday and London clubs facing off on Sunday. That guaranteed the kind of atmosphere associated with big clubs in big games. What the oldest knockout tournament in the world didn't get was the kind of quality expected at this stage of the tournament.

Video: Week 6 Highlights

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Highlights from Week 6 of the 2012 Major League Soccer season, courtesy of Kick.

The Whitecaps Transition

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By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (April 16, 2012) US Soccer Players -- A Canadian team has never made the MLS playoffs. Toronto FC recently made headlines by reaching the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League, but success at the MLS level remains, for the time being, elusive. The Montreal Impact, in its first year in the League, is already suffering from the expansion blues and it seems like a longshot that they'll make.

MLS Week 6: Win For LA

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Who would've thought that the Los Angeles Galaxy coming back against Portland would be enough to push the Sporting Kansas City - Real Salt Lake game from the headline, but that's what happens when the best team on paper in Major League Soccer gets it right on the field. The 3-1 win wasn't easy for LA, trailing from the 23rd minute after Kris Boyd scored.

National Teamers Abroad: Altidore Scores

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Jozy Altidore was the US National Team player on the score sheet over the weekend, putting the ball in the back of the net with a tremendous equalizer in the 24th minute. Unfortunately for AZ, they ended up losing 3-2 to PSV Eindhoven. PSV got a stoppage time goal to take all three points, with AZ now trailing leaders Ajax by six goals in the Eredivisie.

Video: Nicol Talks Liverpool - Everton

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Former New England Revolution manager Steve Nicol remembers his playing days with Liverpool and the big games against Everton.

Video: Conrad Interviews DeMerit

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Kick's Jimmy Conrad interviews Vancouver Whitecaps defender Jay DeMerit.

Upside: Liverpool And London

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Their Words "Tomorrow the city will divide into Red and Blue as Liverpool and Everton battle it out for a pace in the ultimate football final. On Sunday, that rivalry will be forgotten as we pause to remember the 96 who never came home from their semi-final, almost a quarter of a century ago." Walton MP Steve Rotherham.

The Supporters' Shield In 2012

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By Dario Camacho - MIAMI, FL (Apr 13, 2012) US Soccer Players -- With all due respect to those fans wondering why they don't have a home date against the Galaxy, the biggest casualty with Major League Soccer's move to an unbalanced schedule is the importance of the Supporters' Shield. For those reared on European leagues, the Supporters' Shield is as close as MLS will get to crowning a true champion.

Weekend TV: The FA Cup

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Saturday MLS on NBC Sports Network: Philadelphia - Columbus at 3:30pm. Liverpool - Everton 7:30am - Fox Soccer The Merseyside derby moves to Wembley, with Tim Howard's Everton looking for a return trip should they advance to the final. Everton have handled a Cup run and league play well, currently 7th to Liverpool's 8th in the Premier League table.

FA Cup: Howard Talks Penalties

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With the FA Cup semifinal on Saturday, Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard spoke to his club's official site about his planning should the game against Liverpool go to penalties. "I think saving penalties and goalkeeping in general has to be instinctual. If I watch too much film or video then that can play negatively on my mind.

Learning From Sporting

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (Apr 13, 2012) US Soccer Players -- The big game is in Kansas City this weekend, and we're all supposed to be nodding along with talk of how revolutionary Sporting KC already is this season. As bandwagons go, it's an easy one to climb aboard. The results are already in Sporting's favor.

Video: Altidore's Two Goals

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AZ forward Jozy Altidore talks with US Soccer following his two-goal performance on Wednesday.

Friday's TV

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Bundesliga on GolTV: 5th-place VfB Stuttgart host 8th-place Werder Bremen at 2:30pm. Championship on Fox Soccer Plus: Southampton - Reading at 2:45pm. Primera Division on Univision Deportes: U.A.G. host DaMarcus Beasley's Puebla at 9pm. Univision Deportes is a new channel, so check your local listings.

Upside: Liverpool

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Their Words "I think it's fair to say no supporter would be delighted with the results we've achieved this year. We feel we are a club that needs to be perceived as the strongest club in football and we want to get there." Liverpool chairman Tom Werner. Other Sources Scheduling EPL as opponent helps MLS pay bills and acts as measuring stick - from The Sporting News's Brian Straus: "Ultimately we selected Chelsea, as they.

CONCACAF Announces Futsal Qualifying

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The United States will meet Panama, hosts Guatemala, and the winner of a Canada - El Salvador playoff in Group A of the CONCACAF Futsal Championship. Group B includes Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, and St Kitts and Nevis. Guatemala City's Domo Polideportivo will serve as the venue for all games. Four teams advance to the 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Thailand this November.

Questions: Beckerman, Ties, Careers, Berhalter, Monitors

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By Tony Edwards - San Jose, CA (Apr 12, 2012) US Soccer Players -- In Thursday's edition, Tony doesn't question the value of Kyle Beckerman and Graham Zusi, asks about goals in this weekend's Houston-Chicago game, and wonders if 'soccer player' needs to be on an executive's resume. How good was Kyle Beckerman this past weekend?

Schalke 04 Coming To America

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The Philadelphia Union announced on Thursday that they'll be playing Jermaine Jones's Schalke 04 on May 9th at PPL Park. "Over the last two years we have hosted top English, Mexican, Spanish and Scottish clubs to play the Union," Philadelphia CEO Nick Sakiewicz said. "Now it is only fitting that we bring one of Germany's top Bundesliga clubs to the Greater Philadelphia region for the first time for our fans to enjoy.

The European Tables And Your Letters

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (Apr 11, 2012) US Soccer Players -- In a follow-up to yesterday's column on the scenarios facing several National Teamers Abroad clubs, it's easy enough to pick one-day winners, losers, and open questions without it having a whole lot of meaning. In the Bundesliga, Hannover 96 took advantage while Schalke 04 didn't.

Video: No Holden Back

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The latest episode of Stuart Holden's online show, from Kick.

National Teamers Abroad: Wednesday Results

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Jozy Altidore was the difference for AZ Alkmaar on Wednesday, scoring both goals in the 2-2 draw with Twente. Altidore opened the scoring in the third minute, with Twente equalizing in the 31st. It was Altidore again in the 70th minute, with Twente coming up with the equalizer in stoppage time. In Belgium's Jupiler League, Sacha Kljestan and Anderlecht beat Mix Diskerud's Gent 4-1 in the playoffs.

Thursday's TV: Serie And Liga

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Serie A on Fox Soccer: Bologna - Cagliari at 2:30pm. La Liga on GolTV: Villarreal - Malaga at 2pm and Sevilla - Zaragoza at 4pm. ESPN Deportes has Racing Santander - Mallorca at 3pm. Copa Libertadores on Fox Deportes: Flamengo - Lanus at 6:30pm and Nacional - Vasco de Gama at 8:30pm. All Times Eastern

Upside: ASG

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Their Words "Hosting a club as successful and prominent as Chelsea FC makes the AT&T MLS All-Star Game a destination event for the North American soccer community, one that will attract a global television audience. Our players relish the opportunity to challenge the world's best and play under the All-Star spotlight.

Real Salt Lake or Sporting KC?

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By Jason Davis - WASHINGTON, DC (Apr 11, 2011) US Soccer Players -- It's awfully early in the season for a "battle for supremacy", but this is sports, and such things come with the territory. Two teams who have managed to separate themselves early on and a schedule that keeps them separated fro the rest of the regular season.

MLS All-Stars Will Play Chelsea

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In a press conference at the Philadelphia Union's PPL Park on Wednesday, Major League Soccer announced the MLS All-Stars will play Chelsea on July 25th (8:30pm ET - ESPN2). Philadelphia manager Peter Nowak will coach the All-Stars. "We are excited to have the chance of a re-match against the MLS All-Stars and are in no doubt it will provide a competitive fixture as we build towards the 2012/13 season, having lost narrowly in the match.

April 2012 FIFA Ranking

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The United States dropped two places to 29th in the April 2012 FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. The USA didn't play during the rankings period. Mexicomoved up two places to 20th, remaining first overall in CONCACAF. Spain remains the World #1, with Germany, Uruguay, Holland, and Portugal rounding out the top five.

Holland, England, And Germany

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (Apr 11, 2012) US Soccer Players -- Courtesy of the break between the end of the European seasons and the beginning of EURO 2012, there's a month or less left in most of the European leagues. That means midweek games that could determine a team's season, and we get some of them later today involving and impacting US National Team players.

Wednesday's TV: EPL On ESPN2

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Like the title says, we get a Wednesday game on ESPN2: Manchester City - WBA at 2:30pm. EPL on Fox Soccer: Wigan - Manchester United at 2pm and QPR - Swansea City at 5pm. Serie A on Fox Soccer Plus: Juventus - Lazio at 2:45pm and Inter Milan - Siena at 5pm. La Liga on ESPN Deportes: Granada - Bilbao at 2pm.

Joseph Suspended

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New England Revolution midfielder Shalrie Joseph was suspended and fined for a "reckless challenge that endangered the safety of his opponent" Major League Soccer's Disciplinary Committee announced on Tuesday. Joseph was yellow carded for his 62nd minute tackle of Dallas's Ricardo Villar. Joseph will miss Saturday's home game against DC United.

Upside: Everton's Trip

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Their Words "It's magical to go to Wembley again. To take Everton to Wembley and to take them into a derby game as well is something special." Everton manager David Moyes. Other Sources Sounders FC's March Burch just missed a header versus D.C. United – and it stays in his head - from The News Tribune's Don Ruiz: "They all know I can still play.

CONCACAF Announces Hosts For 2013 Youth Championships

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Mexico will host the 2013 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship and Panama will be the site for the U-17 Championship, the Confederation announced on Tuesday. The U-20's will kickoff on February 18th, 2013 running through March 2nd. Puebla will be the host city, using the Estadio Cuauhtemoc and Estadio Universitario Lobos stadiums.

Questions: Three, Tactics, NASL. HDC, Gers

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By Tony Edwards - San Jose, CA (Apr 10, 2012) US Soccer Players -- In today's edition, Tony looks at MLS teams winning three in a row convincingly, Chivas' home attendance, Colorado's tactical shift, the opening of the NASL season, and Carlos Bocanegra's view on Rangers' future. How many MLS teams have won three consecutive games by three or more goals?

MLS All-Star Game Will Use adidas micoach

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Major League Soccer announced on Tuesday that the 2012 MLS All-Star Game at PPL Park in Chester, PA will be the first professional game to use adidas's micoach system. As explained in the press release, micoach provides "real time performance metrics on the field of play including player position, power output, speed, distance covered, intensity of play, acceleration and GPS heat mapping.

A Year Later

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By Justin Shaffer - SEATTLE, WA (Apr 5, 2012) US Soccer Players -- This week, the Colorado Rapids' Brian Mullan makes his first trip to Seattle since his brutal two-footed sliding tackle broke Steve Zakuani's fibula and tibia. The infamous moment occurred April 22nd, during the home leg of Colorado's season series with Seattle.

National Teamers Abroad: Bank Holiday

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We went with that headline since 'Dempsey Scores' has gotten repetitive. Guess what? Clint Dempsey scored, equalizing in the 82nd minute to split the points with Chelsea. Dempsey's header cancelled out Frank Lampard's 45th minute penalty, with Fulham moving into 9th place and Chelsea falling to 6th. Fortunately for Chelsea, there's a 10-point gap between 6th and 7th.

Tuesday's TV: Premier, Liga, Serie

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EPL on Fox Soccer: Blackburn - Liverpool at 3pm. Serie A on Fox Soccer Plus: Chievo - Milan at 2:30pm. ESPN Deportes has La Liga: Barcelona - Getafe at 3pm. Bundesliga on GolTV: Mainz - Cologne at 2pm. Copa Libertadores on Fox Espanol: Quito - Defensor at 5:30pm, Zamora - Arsenal at 7:45pm, and Nacional - Penarol at 10pm.

Upside: Halves

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Their Words "The best thing that happened was that at halftime the score was 0-0. We had a good start for the first 10 minutes, but the rest of the half was not our best performance. Credit to the subs for making a difference in the game in the second half. That's why we talk about depth all the time.

Henry Wins Third POTW Award

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Once again it's Thierry Henry picking up Major League Soccer's Player of the Week award. MLS announced on Monday that Henry had become the first player to win the award in three consecutive weeks. In Week 5, Henry scored twice and had an assist as New York beat Columbus 4-1. Henry did not receive the majority of the votes this time, picking up nine of 19.

Video: Week 5 Highlights

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Highlights from the fifth week of the Major League soccer regular season, courtesy of Kick.

Corner: Sporting Kansas City

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Five weeks in, and it's too early to know what 'good' really means in Major League Soccer. Yes, the team we all expected to face only the occasional challenge en route to a second consecutive Supporters' Shield is currently bottom of the Western Conference. And another team that most expected to be the best in the weaker Eastern Conference is the only team with a perfect record in MLS.

What Ever Happened To: Werner Roth

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By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (April 9, 2012) US Soccer Players – Werner Roth played for the famed New York Cosmos for much of the 1970's, an eight-year span that was highlighted by the team winning the 1977 Soccer Bowl. "Where to start," Roth mused when asked about the Cosmos. "The players, the international travel, the adventures are all memorable – especially my roommate of three years Franz Beckenbauer – that culminated in.

MLS Week 5: New York Continues To Impress

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In the battle of teams loaded with designated players, the New York Red Bulls are the unlikely vanguard so far in Major League Soccer this season. With a slate of Saturday games, they were the ones scoring four goals in a 4-1 win over Columbus at Crew Stadium. And once again it was value for money, with Thierry Henry scoring twice after two straight MLS Player of the Week performances.

National Teamers Abroad: Dempsey, Bradley, Beasley Score

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Clint Dempsey was once again the story for Americans scoring abroad. While other National Teamers got on the score sheet, Dempsey had two goals in Fulham's 3-0 shutout of Bolton. Dempsey opened the scoring in the 30th minute from a free kick, scoring again in the 45th. Mahamadou Diarra finished off the goals in the 80th minute with Mark Schwarzer picking up the shutout.

Upside: Revs In The Last Minute

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Their Words "We did all right. We definitely did not play our best game. We were a little bit off and we were not as cohesive as we needed to be. That being said, it was 0-0 at halftime." New England goalkeeper Matt Reis. Other Sources How to respond to Mexico's domination? - from MLSsoccer.com's Jonah Freedman: It's a state of affairs that doesn't sit well with US Soccer president Sunil Gulati.

MLS And The Value Of Creativity

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By Dario Camacho - MIAMI, FL (Apr 6, 2012) US Soccer Players -- Last weekend was a treat for fans of Major League Soccer. Early in the season, the customary games where things look amiss between two clubs trying to obtain match fitness shouldn't be new to the faithful followers of the League. If there was any cobwebs lingering in the engines of some of the players that performed in the games last weekend, it.

Weekend TV: El Super Classico

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Saturday EPL on ESPN2: Sunderland - Spurs at 7:30am. On Fox Soccer: Chelsea - Wigan at 9:30am, Stoke - Wolverhampton at 12pm, and Bolton - Fulham at 5pm. Fox Soccer Plus has Liverpool - Aston Villa at 9:45am and Norwich - Everton at 5pm. Championship on FS+: Nottingham Forest - Bristol City at 7pm. Scottish Premier League on FS+: Kilmarnock - Celtic at 7am.

Playing The Barcelona Game

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (Apr 5, 2012) US Soccer Players -- Credit Chelsea with understanding the challenge that is Barcelona. So far, Chelsea have been saying the right things in the run-up. Yes, that can quickly fall into the realm of extreme hopefulness. Chelsea can't help but be aware of that, but their words still count.

Dallas 1 - New England 0

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FC Dallas defender Ugo Ihemelu was the hero on Thursday night in Frisco, scoring five minutes into stoppage time to beat New England. Ihemelu headed in a Zach Loyd free kick for the game's only goal. Ihemelu was suffering from a leg cramp and had almost asked to be subbed late in the game. "I knew if I had to come out last minute, I would pull myself out or they would pull me out,".

Tough Thursday For Americans In Europa League

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After the first-leg results, the odds were stacked against the National Teamers Abroad clubs looking to advance in the Europa League quarterfinals. Jermaine Jones's Schalke 04 drew Bilbao 2-2 on the night, exiting the tournament 6-4 on aggregate. Jones got the start with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (28th) and Raul (52nd) scoring.

Friday's TV: England

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Premier League on Fox Soccer: Swansea - Newcastle United at 11:30am. Championship on Fox Soccer Plus: Reading - Leeds United at 9am and Barnsley - West Ham United at 12pm. Primera on Azteca and Fox Deportes: Morelia - Atlas at 9pm. All Times Eastern

Upside: Keepers

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Their Words "If you speak to managers, they'll say the best keepers aren't those that make 10 great saves in a game, it's the ones who make one or two." Everton defender Phil Jagielka. Other Sources Dream dies for Toronto FC - from The Toronto Sun's Ryan Wolstat: To add insult to injury, the hosts added another just prior to the final whistle.

Henry Named Player of the Month

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New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry has been named Major League Soccer's Player of the Month, MLS announced on Thursday. Henry has been involved in eight of the ten Red Bulls goals in 2011, and was named Player of the Week twice during the month of March. Henry received 17 of the 25 first-place votes.

Questions: Seattle, Bora, Schellas, Tijuana, Progress

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By Tony Edwards - San Jose, CA (Apr 5, 2012) US Soccer Players -- In Thursday's edition, Tony looks at Seattle's challenges, asks about Club Tijuana's form in the Clausura, wonders what Bora Milutinovic is up to, and joins Schellas Hyndmann in seeking answer's to Dallas' sloppy early season play. After a tough loss to San Jose, going on the road, and earlier elimination from the CONCACAF Champions League, what's the best news to come.

Moving On In Major League Soccer

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (Apr 5, 2012) US Soccer Players -- In last week's episode of 30 Rock, the plot revolved around something that's familiar to anyone who has been in a job role for an extended period of time. Things rarely change, and it's easy enough to chart the repetition year after year.

Salt Lake 1 - Montreal 0

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Real Salt Lake beat Montreal on Wednesday night from the penalty spot, with Paulo Junior converting in the 13th minute. Montreal's Justin Braun was called for a hand ball in the box to setup the penalty. Two RSL players were injured during the game, Ned Grabavoy (ribs) and Javier Morales (hamstring).

CCL: Santos Laguna And Monterrey Advance To Final

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Santos Laguna 6 - Toronto 2 (7-3 agg) The second-half of the Santos Laguna - Toronto semifinal series second-leg turned into a familiar story for Major League Soccer clubs playing in Mexico. After heading into halftime tied 2-2 with Toronto ahead on away goals, the bottom fell out for the MLS club. It was Toronto going ahead on the road, with Joao Plata scoring in the 14th minute.

Video: Klinsmann Interview

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United States National Team coach Jurgen Klinsmann speaks with US Soccer's Studio 90.

Thursday's TV: Europa Quarters

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Europa League quarterfinal second-legs are on GolTV: Hannover 96 - Atletico Madrid is at 2pm, with Steve Cherundolo's Hannover trailing Atletico Madrid 2-1. Bilbao host Schalke 04 at 5pm with Jermaine Jones's Schalke behind 4-2. Copa Libertadores on Fox Deportes: Libertad - Nacional at 7pm. All Times Eastern

Upside: At Santos

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Their Words "We have to be aware of everything, we can expect everything,." Toronto coach Aron Winter. Other Sources TFC seeks win against all odds - from Fox Soccer's Ives Galarcep: History isn't exactly on TFC's side either. Toronto FC in tough to advance against heavily favoured Santos - from The Toronto Star's Daniel Girard: "We want to go to the club world championships and there's no doing that without beating Toronto.

Video: Jimmy Conrad Interviews Chris Coleman

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Kick's Jimmy Conrad talks to Wales coach and former Fulham manager Chris Coleman about Clint Dempsey.

Waiting For Results In Major League Soccer

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By Jason Davis - WASHINGTON, DC (Apr 4, 2011) US Soccer Players -- Allow me to present the current resumes of two different Major League Soccer teams: Team A: Four games played with three losses and one draw, for a total of one point in the League. Scored two goals in four matches and have a -4 goal differential.

Toronto Plays Away

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (Apr 4, 2012) US Soccer Players -- On the off chance Toronto FC surprises a lot of people and wins tonight against Santos Laguna in Torreon, there's going to be a long line of folks feeling the overwhelming need to apologize. Who am I kidding, this is soccer punditry where instead of mea culpas we'll get the expected 'I knew it all alongs,' or its close relative 'moving right.

Toronto's Frei Out Longer Than Expected

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In a brief press statement on Wednesday, Toronto FC confirmed that goalkeeper Stefan Frei's injured ankle required surgery and he would miss between four and six months. Frei was initially expected back within 10 weeks after breaking his fibula before the diagnosis of ligament damage in his left ankle.

Wednesday's TV: More Champs

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UEFA Champions League on Fox Soccer: Chelsea - Benfica at 2:30pm with Chelsea leading 1-0 and Real Madrid - APOEL at 5pm (2:30pm on Fox Soccer Plus and some Fox Sport regional networks) with Real leading 3-0. CONCACAF Champions League semifinal second-legs on Fox Soccer and TeleFutura: Satos Laguna - Toronto at 8pm with the series tied 1-1 and UNAM Pumas - Monterrrey at 10pm with Monterrey leading 3-0.

Upside: Stadiums

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Their Words "Stadium safety and security is a balance between good design and good management. Despite the growing number of excellent stadia being built around the world, there is currently no international industry kitemark or certification which exists." FIFA head of security Chris Eaton. Other Sources MLS: Things we learned in Week 4 - from ESPN's Leander Schaerlaeckens: Consequently, RSL has a core that isn't frazzled when it plays in a hostile environment.

Questions: Shots Taken, Whitecaps, Possession, Yellows, Clasico

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By Tony Edwards - San Jose, CA (Apr 3, 2012) US Soccer Players -- In Tuesday's edition, Tony looks at shots taken and goals scored in MLS, inquires, wonders if Vancouver's attack will catch up to its defense, and asks about changes to the Whitecaps. Which team leads MLS in total shots taken? Kansas City, with a whopping 81 in four games, after Sunday night.

Ferreira Out For Dallas

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FC Dallas will lose 2010 League MVP David Ferreira for up to two months after he required surgery for a fractured right foot. Ferreira was injured in training camp, with the club hopeful it wouldn't require surgery. "David's injury hasn't responded to treatment the way we expected," Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman said in a press statement.

Video: MLS Week 4 Goals

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The highlight goals from Week 4 of the MLS season, courtesy of Major League Soccer's Kick

Must See: Watching Soccer In America

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (Mar 30, 2012) US Soccer Players -- Consider the state of the American soccer fan. Easy access to the world's schedules of club soccer on channels most people have. Game after game calling for attention, and every weekend someone pointing out a total number that's almost always more than 50.

U-20 Camp Announced

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The United States Under-20 National Team will be in camp from April 9th through the 16th, the US Soccer Federation announced on Monday. U-20 coach Claudio Reyna has called in 24 players for a camp that will include two games against club teams. "We've had three camps this year and taken advantage of the opportunity to cast a wide net in evaluating the player pool," Ramos said.

Tuesday's TV: Champs

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USA Women - Brazil is at 7am on ESPN2. UEFA Champions League second leg quarterfinals on Fox Soccer: Barcelona - Milan at 2:30pm with the series 0-0 on aggregate and Bayern Munich - Olympique Marseilles at 5pm with the series 2-0 Bayern. All Times Eastern

Upside: Chinaglia

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Their Words Giorgio Chinaglia was one of the most exceptional soccer players to ever play in the United States and the New York Cosmos' greatest player ever. from the New York Cosmos's official site. Other Sources Giorgio Chinaglia, Cosmos and Lazio Star, Dies at 65 - from The NY Times' Jack Bell: Chinaglia was elected to the U.

Henry Wins Second Consecutive POTW

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New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry was named Major League Soccer's Player of the Week for Week 4, the League announced on Monday. 21 of the 25 media voters selected Henry as their first choice. Henry scored three and picked up an assist in the 5-2 win over Montreal.

Corner: EPL Relegation Zone

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As it stands, four teams are within three points of each other at the wrong end of the Premier League table. Two of those teams - Queens Park Rangers, who beat Arsenal over the weekend, and Wigan Athletic, who've won two in a row - are in the relegation zone in 18th and 19th-place tied on 28 points. Also tied on 28 points and level on goal difference with QPR is 17th-place Blackburn.

Choosing Soccer Over Baseball

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By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Apr 2, 2012) US Soccer Players -- There is a large number of American soccer fans who don't really care that another baseball season officially began last week when the Seattle Mariners played the Oakland A's in Tokyo. Opening Day will be this Thursday when the season gets underway in earnest for all Major League Baseball teams.

MLS Week 4: East Wins Respect

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DC United pulled off a shock with the Friday game, and it's as much as how they scored their four goals as it is that they scored them at all. Remember, DC is supposed to be all but written off already. They're a team with noticeable problems and unlikely answers. None of that seemed to be a problem on Friday night.

National Teamers Abroad: Dempsey Puts On Show

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Clint Dempsey scored his 13th goal of the Premier League season in a 2-1 Fulham win against Norwich City. After opening the scoring two minutes in, Dempsey setup Damian Duff's 13th minute winner. Norwich pulled a goal back in the 77th minute. Zak Whitbread subbed out at halftime for Norwich. ‘When you're two-nil ahead and you concede one it's always going to be a bit scary," Dempsey told his club's official site.

Honduras And Mexico Advance To Olympics

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Honduras became the first team to advance in the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament on Saturday In Kansas City, beating El Salvador 3-2. Honduras opened the scoring against El Salvador in the first minute, with El Salvador equalizing in the 75th to send the game into extra time. They traded goals again, with Honduras scoring in the 100th minute and El Salvador equalizing five minutes later.