USSoccerPlayers Archives for January 2017

Soccer TV: Everton vs Arsenal

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The weekend soccer TV has Everton trying to shake off a Europa League disappointment but the schedule isn't helping. The Premier League on NBC has Southampton vs West Brom on Saturday. At the U-17 World Cup, the USMNT plays England in the quarterfinals on Sunday.

Everton vs Arsenal on Sunday at 8:30am on NBCSN.

Decision Day looms in MLS

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Oct 20, 2017) US Soccer Players - You can almost hear the strings swell and the drums boom. Decision Day is nearly upon us.

Major League Soccer's branding for the final day of the regular season works on most levels. Decisions are coming based on the results of the round of games all happening on Sunday at 4pm ET.

What MLS leaders keep missing

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By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Oct 20, 2017) US Soccer Players - Some readers will be familiar with my occasional tendency to sift through developments from seemingly disparate quarters of the American soccer scene in search of deeper meaning.

So far October has brought us stunning World Cup qualification heartbreak, and a resulting tidal wave of anger, recrimination and soul-searching.

Pushing back against the business of Major League Soccer

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What to make of how the Columbus story is playing out? The Crew faithful started the week worrying about playoff position. They spent most of it dealing with the news that their club might be leaving at the end of next season. Making things worse, reports followed that the club processed season ticket renewals prior to any announcement of the intent to leave for Austin.

PSG keeps rolling in the Champions League

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Thursday's soccer news has the increasingly unavoidable conclusion that PSG is onto something. Buy one of the world's best players from one of the world's best clubs, spend on complimentary talent, and show the world you're serious. It's a louder version of the same model that has the Premier League clubs in contention in the Champions League.

What does Major League Soccer want?

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By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (Oct 18, 2017) US Soccer Players - Since its inception in 1996, Major League Soccer has been fighting for fans. As a fledgling league, plenty of fans spent their money and time to lay the foundation for future support in cities across North America.

The fight for fan attention has been an ever-present struggle for the league.

Saying goodbye to RFK

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Oct 18, 2017) US Soccer Players - Robert F Kennedy Memorial Stadium opened on October 5, 1961 when it hosted a National Football League game between Washington and the New York Giants. Originally called "DC Stadium", the city renamend it for Kennedy in 1968, a year after his death.

What’s good enough in MLS?

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Wednesday's soccer news starts with a basic question in the lead up to the final day of the 2017 MLS regular season. What's good enough in 2017? What stops a team from triggering an attempt at a rebuild? What has fans looking forward to next season even for a team that doesn't make the playoffs? Is that even possible in a league where a dozen teams make the postseason?

Borussia Dortmund under no illusions in the Champions League

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Wednesday's soccer news starts with Christian Pulisic's Borussia Dortmund drawing 1-1 at APOEL in the Champions League. APOEL scored in the 62nd minute with Sokratis equalizing for Dortmund in the 67th. In the other Group H game, Real Madrid and Spurs drew 1-1 at the Bernabeu. Those two are tied at the top of the group with seven points, with Spurs ahead on a tiebreaker.

Moving a Major League Soccer club

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By J Hutcherson (Oct 17, 2017) US Soccer Players - MLS has spent a lot of time over its existence blurring the line between clubs and franchises. It's an important distinction for soccer operation with international ambition, showing that a group of teams founded and allocated by a league and later added to through expansion is the same as a league of clubs.

Precourt announces the Crew might move to Austin

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Tuesday's soccer news starts with an MLS team potentially moving to a new city. News broke last night that the Columbus Crew might leave for Austin if they can't get a new stadium deal. Yes, the MLS team with the first soccer-specific stadium has decided that they're better off somewhere in downtown Columbus or a completely different city.

Learning from the NASL’s expansion problems

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By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Oct 16, 2017) US Soccer Players – We're nearing the end of the latest round of MLS expansion. Though commissioner Don Garber recently suggested that the next round might face a delay, the league was quick to confirm that they're set to announce two more teams in mid-December.

U-17 World Cup: USMNT 5 – Paraguay 0

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A closely contested first-half turned into a rout for the USMNT, advancing to the quarterfinals of the U-17 World Cup. The USMNT beat Paraguay 5-0 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Dehli. They now await the winner of tomorrow's England vs Japan game.

Tim Weah opened the scoring for the USMNT in the 19th minute.

The MLS playoff picture

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Monday's soccer news starts with the MLS table. Major League Soccer's normally unbalanced schedule is now locked in at 33 games played across both conferences with one game left in the 2017 regular season.

In the Eastern Conference, 1st-place and 3rd-place are called for. Toronto has the top spot a dozen points ahead of 2nd-place.

Back to the club schedule in Europe and Liga MX

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In the Bundesliga, Bobby Wood subbed out in the 79th minute for Hamburg's 3-2 loss at Mainz. Trailing from the 2nd minute, Walace equalized for Hannover in the 9th. Mainz went ahead in the 52nd and scored again in the 58th. Sejad Salihovic pulled a goal back for Hannover two minutes into stoppage time.

MLS Week 32: Draws and shutouts

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It was a full schedule in Major League Soccer in week 32. The games started with Chicago's 3-2 win over Philadelphia at Toyota Park. Nemanja Nikolic opened the scoring in the 3rd minute with the Union equalizing through an own-goal in the 6th. Alejandro Bedoya put Philadelphia up in the 13th. Mikolic equalized from the penalty spot in the 64th and scored again in the 78th.

Soccer TV: Liverpool vs Manchester United

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The weekend soccer TV schedule makes the case against Premier League scheduling. The highlight game of the weekend is Liverpool hosting Manchester United and it starts at 7:30am ET. That means the national broadcast window on NBC gets Watford hosting Arsenal. Also on the schedule, Borussia Dortmund is home against RB Leipzig.

MLS and the way(s) forward

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By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Oct 13, 2017) US Soccer Players - American soccer suddenly finds itself talking about things that are tough to pin down. Systems, structures, and cultural nuances can be slippery and difficult. Still, there's no time for it like the end of a three-decade run of consecutive World Cup qualifications.

Intrigue in the Western Conference

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Oct 13, 2017) US Soccer Players - Unlike the Eastern Conference, the Western Conference of MLS possesses a bit of intrigue with two weeks to go in the regular season. In the East, the only thing left to learn is the seeding of the six teams who have already locked in their playoff position.

The knockout round at the U-17 World Cup

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Friday's soccer news starts with the USMNT finishing in 3rd-place in Group A at the U-17 World Cup and drawing Paraguay in the Round of 16. That game is set for Monday in New Dehli. A point for the USMNT against Colombia would have won Group A, but there's an argument that depending on how Group D finishes this is a good matchup.

Arena exits USMNT

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USMNT coach Bruce Arena announced on Friday that he is stepping down following the World Cup qualifying exit at Trinidad & Tobago. Arena was brought in as Jurgen Klinsmann's replacement to qualify the team for the 2018 World Cup. Instead, the USMNT finished in 5th-place and will miss the tournament.

FIFA U-17 World Cup: USMNT 1 – Colombia 3

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The USMNT finished Group A play in 3rd-place following a 3-1 los to Colombia at the U-17 World Cup. With Ghana, Colombia, and the USMNT tied on points at six, Ghana won the group on the goal difference tiebreaker. Colombia took 2nd-place on the fourth tiebreaker, points obtained in the group matches between the tied teams.

Win for Houston and Kaka says goodbye in Orlando

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Thursday's soccer news starts with MLS action. Houston came back to beat Sporting KC 2-1 at BBVA Compass Stadium. Jimmy Medranda put Sporting up in the 33rd minute. Tomas Martinez equalized for Houston in the 63rd with an own-goal proving the difference in the 77th.

"The game had a playoff feel," Houston midfielder Ricardo Clark said.

Tell Me About: UEFA’s Nations League

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UEFA announced the makeup of their four leagues that will compete in the new Nations League. Europe is dropping most of their friendly dates in favor of a promotions and relegation format that features a playoff for the title. The new Nations League begins on September 6, 2018.

Why Now?

Club vs country in Europe is an ongoing negotiation.

Does Mexico have a momentum problem?

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By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (Oct 11, 2017) US Soccer Players - With World Cup qualifying now complete for Mexico, the attention will soon focus on the future. The World Cup draw, tune-ups against European foes before and after FIFA draws teams into groups. The endless debate on what the 23-man roster for Russia should look like.

The day after the Hexagonal

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Wednesday's soccer news starts with the responses to the USMNT missing out on the 2018 World Cup. The USMNT lost their final game in the Hexagonal 2-1 at Trinidad & Tobago, giving Panama and Honduras the gap in the table that both needed to advance. Panama advanced directly with Honduras now playing Australia over two legs to see if a fourth CONCACAF team can qualify for Russia 2018.

WCQ: Trinidad & Tobago 2 – USMNT 1

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The USMNT lost 2-1 to Trinidad & Tobago in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, finishing in 5th-place and missing the 2018 World Cup. Trinidad & Tobago took the early lead from a 17th-minute own-goal at Ato Boldon Stadium. They doubled it when Alvin Jones scored in the 37th minute. Christian Pulisic pulled a goal back in the 47th minute.

Preview: Trinidad & Tobago vs USMNT

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The USMNT plays Trinidad & Tobago at Ato Boldon Stadium (8pm ET - beIN Sport) in the final game of the Hexagonal round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. For the USMNT, the stakes are clear. 3rd-place and avoiding an intercontinental playoff against Australia.

We learned earlier on Tuesday that it will be Australia waiting on the CONCACAF 4th-place finisher.

Game day for Trinidad & Tobago vs USMNT

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It's time to say goodbye to the 2017 CONCACAF World Cup qualifying cycle one way or the other. Sure, one team will end up in 4th-place and have to play Australia in a November playoff, but for everybody else tonight is it. No more wondering if the old "win at home, draw on the road" script is flipped.

Soccer TV: Trinidad & Tobago vs USMNT

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It's the final match day for CONCACAF World Cup qualifying with one automatic place left. The USMNT sits in 3rd-place and controls their own World Cup destiny at Trinidad & Tobago. That game is on beIN Sport and NBC Universo.

Trinidad & Tobago vs USMNT at 8pm on beIN Sport. The USMNT knows that a win will advance them to the World Cup.

What the 1989 USMNT can teach the 2017 version

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By Clemente Lisi – WASHINGTON, DC (Oct 9, 2017) US Soccer Players – Halloween may be just a few weeks away, but signs of the holiday are all around us. Pumpkins and skeletons adorn the outside of homes and stores have stocked the shelves with candy and costumes. Given this bewitching time of year, it seems fitting then that the USMNT has given a fright to everyone from soccer officials right on down to the fans.

FIFA U-17 WORLD CUP: USMNT 1 – Ghana 0

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The USMNT advanced to the knockout round at the U-17 World Cup with a 1-0 shutout of Ghana in Group A. The USMNT finishes out the group against Colombia on Thursday (10:30am ET - FS2). Ayo Akinola subbed on for the USMNT in the 63rd minute, scoring the game's only goal in the 75th. Justin Garces kept the clean sheet for the USMNT.

Return to normal for the USMNT

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We start the soccer news with the quick takeaway from the USMNT's 4-0 shutout of Panama on Friday. This is how it's supposed to go at home in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. The visiting team tries something that doesn't work and is unable to make the adjustments necessary to salvage a point. Only making things worse is when the home team turns the game into a major statement.

MLS Week 31: Shutout for the Red Bulls

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MLS went with a short schedule due to the international break, with only six teams in action. The New York Red Bulls shutout Vancouver 3-0 at home. Daniel Royer opened the scoring in the 33rd minute with Bradley Wright-Phillips doubling the lead in the 58th. Felipe finished off the goals in the 72nd minute.

WCQ: USMNT 4 – Panama 0

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The USMNT had few issues with Panama in pursuit of a crucial three World Cup qualifying points. Tim Howard picked up the shutout in a game marked by a standout performance from Christian Pulisic. It was Pulisic opening the scoring in the 8th minute. He had the assist on Jozy Altidore's goal in the 19th.

Soccer TV: New York Red Bulls vs Vancouver Whitecaps

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Though most of the league is taking the international break off, there are still MLS games on the weekend soccer TV schedule. New York plays Vancouver on UniMas. The rest of the weekend schedule is all about World Cup qualifying and the U-17 World Cup.

New York Red Bulls vs Vancouver Whitecaps at 5pm on Saturday on UniMas.

FIFA U-17 World Cup: India 0 – USMNT 3

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The USMNT U-17s opened the World Cup with a 3-0 shutout of hosts India at Jawaharal Nehru Stadium in New Dehli. Josh Sargent opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 30th minute. Chris Durkin doubled the lead in the 51st, capitalizing on a USMNT corner kick. Andrew Carleton finished off the goals in the 84th minute.

Preview: USMNT vs Panama

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Oct 6, 2017) US Soccer Players - A day ahead of a World Cup qualifier against Panama (7pm ET - ESPN2) that could make or break his team's chances of making next year's tournament in Russia, USMNT coach Bruce Arena exuded the kind of casual confidence that has come to define his coaching style in a long and successful career.

Game day for USMNT vs Panama

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Friday's soccer news starts with the obvious. The USMNT plays Panama tonight in Orlando in another game with three crucial World Cup qualifying points on the line. Plenty of people with plenty of opinions have already let us know about the potential pitfalls and scenarios should those three points not end up with the USMNT.

Soccer TV: USMNT vs Panama

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World Cup qualifying resumes in CONCACAF on Friday's soccer TV schedule with the USMNT looking for three points at home against Panama. Costa Rica hosts Honduras and Mexico is at home against Trinidad & Tobago. There are also World Cup qualifiers on the schedule from Europe and Africa and the U-17 World Cup begins in India.

USMNT: “We understand what’s at stake”

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By Charles Boehm – ORLANDO, FL (Oct 5, 2017) US Soccer Players - Even in a palpable stressful situation, with the World Cup dreams of millions riding on his team's next 90 minutes of play, Bruce Arena found a way to summon his trademark droll sarcasm.

"Good morning everyone," he said to a jam-packed press conference room at Orlando City Stadium on Thursday, on the eve of the USMNT's massive World Cup qualifier vs.

Playing up the opponent in CONCACAF

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The USMNT is a day away from the next game that counts in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. It's the next must-win scenario in a schedule full of them. Obviously, all of those must-win games didn't turn into three points.

Given the stakes, there's a tendency to build up the state of CONCACAF. Is this region more difficult than most outside observers might expect?

The last week of the Hexagonal

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By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (Oct 4, 2017) US Soccer Players - The CONCACAF Hexagonal will culminate over the next week. Come Tuesday evening, three national teams will be making plans for Russian accommodations. Another team will eye Asia for their own passage. Two will be left wondering what could have been.

With the MLS rulebook, optics always matter

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Oct 4, 2017) US Soccer Players - Major League Soccer has a problem on its hands, one that may lead to a resolution without precedent in the modern history of top level professional sports in America. How the league handles the problem could have a major impact on the playoff race in both conferences.

Minnesota wins at Atlanta

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Wednesday's soccer news starts with Minnesota getting a late winner to beat Atlanta 3-2 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Abu Danladi put Minnesota up in the 48th minute. Atlanta went a man down in the 60th with Kyle Reynish seeing red for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity.

Hector Villalba equalized for Atlanta in the 67th with Julian Gressel scoring five minutes later.

MLS avoids the tanking problem, but that doesn’t make it easier for clubs

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By J Hutcherson (Oct 3, 2017) US Soccer Players - At the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, the best player available by most metrics ended up selected late in the fourth round. Marcus Tracy chose Europe and it took 55 picks before an MLS team decided his MLS rights were worth it. That Tracy's career didn't play out as expected is irrelevant to the SuperDraft story.

Barcelona’s future

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Tuesday's soccer news starts with La Liga facing the same existential crisis as the rest of Spain. With Catalonia wanting to be a separate country, that means the potential for a La Liga without Catalonian clubs. The Express's Joe Short has Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu making an obvious point about his club's future.

5 MLS games to watch in October

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By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Oct 2, 2017) US Soccer Players – The start of October is when MLS teams go into overdrive. After spending the summer laying the groundwork for a playoff push, the Fall is when some teams either surge and clinch a postseason berth or totally collapse and start rebuilding for next season.

From Shield to Cup

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It's not lost on anybody in MLS that the US Open Cup and the Supporters' Shield are secondary to the MLS Cup. You can go ahead and add the CONCACAF Champions League title in as well. Winning the MLS title is what counts most, and that requires navigating the playoffs. It's also not lost on anybody in MLS that the playoffs often aren't reflective of regular season performance.

Cameron back in action for Stoke City

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The USMNT players in Europe and Mexico roundup starts with Geoff Cameron's return for Stoke City in the 2-1 win over Southampton at the Britannia Stadium. Mame Diouf put Stoke up in the 40th with Southampton equalizing in the 75th. Peter Crouch scored Stoke's winner in the 85th minute.

"We got a good reward for our efforts, in terms of our performance we've played better and you've got to give credit to Southampton because they like to keep the ball away from you," Stoke City manager Mark Hughes said.

MLS Week 30: Toronto takes the Shield

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The 2017 Supporters' Shield race is over. Toronto beat the New York Red Bulls 4-2 to take the Shield at BMO Field. Justin Morrow scored for Toronto in the 32nd and 37th minutes. New York answered back with Gonzalo Veron scoring in the 39th and Daniel Royer equalizing from the penalty spot in the 77th.

USMNT World Cup qualifying roster – October 2017

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US Soccer released the roster for the October 2017 World Cup qualifiers on Sunday. USMNT coach Bruce Arena called in 26 players to prepare for Friday's game against Panama (7:30pm - ESPN2). The USMNT travels to Trinidad & Tobago for the final CONCACAF World Cup qualifier on October 10 (8pm ET - beIN Sport).