USA up to 33 in FIFA rankings

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The U.S. men's national team's victory over Mexico at Estadio Azteca in last month's friendly was touted as one that closed the gap between the two nations. At the very least, that is most definitely true in terms of FIFA rankings.Â

The United States' win was good for a three-place boost in the FIFA rankings, and it cost Mexico three places as well, as the Americans are up to 33rd in the world, while El Tri is down from 18th to 21st.

USMNT: The Good German Part 4 – The Adversary, The Gap & The Breach

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"There is a gap. It would be foolish not to recognize that." Jürgen Klinsmann was not hired to beat Mexico. The US had been regularly beating Mexico since 2002. To the extent he was haired to beat anyone; it was the major powers of Europe and South America that were to be his targets. The US didn't even need to beat Mexico to qualify for the World Cup, and that was the prize Klinsmann wanted.

Upside: That freedom

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Their Words "I think if a player plays with fear, there's only one way he's going to go. There'll be times when you think 'what's he doing?' but you have to give them that freedom." Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert. Other Sources U.S. aims to close gap on Mexico, the world - from ESPNLosAngeles' Scott French: Now the U.

US Earns Historic First Win In Mexico

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On a midweek FIFA date that saw US National Team manager Jurgen Klinsmann bring in mostly domestic and Mexican based players to his short camp in Mexico City, the US team did the unthinkable on Wednesday night by winning their first game at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.

A goal by Michael Orozco Fiscal in the 80th minute gave the United States its first ever win against Mexico in Mexico, 1-0, Wednesday night.

Can someone teach me to say "How do you like dem apples?" in Spanish?

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My player ratings will go up at MLSS shortly. Oh, and if you're wondering about "The Gap" everyone keeps talking about... they're having a big sale on kid's backpacks this week. Take it away, Michael Azteca Fiscal! - Greg Seltzer

Union notes, USA v Mexico news, NY stadium craziness, more

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What's happened to Roger Torres? Hoppenot is "The Jet." Carli Lloyd back home. Soccer stadium fever in NY. Klinsmann says USMNT is in Mexico to win. Howard says what gap? More news.

Upside: Totally fearless

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Their Words "Abby Wambach is tougher than anyone in the MLS — she runs around like a cross between Troy Polamalu and Clint Eastwood circa 1973. Totally fearless. When she gets knocked down, she gets up ... and if she doesn't get up right away, you know she actually got hurt." Grantland's Bill Simmons.

Soccer Players

Charlie Adam goes to Stoke

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The Liverpool legend has been sold to Stoke: Times are tough at Anfield

Charlie Adam who spanked the ball around with authority on the pitch and was mobbed off it as if he was Mick Jagger is departing for Stoke on a four year deal. In his closing statement the gap toothed legend said, " Gareth Bale may run but he cannot hide" and then he was gone.

Arsenal be bold: Offer a one year contract to Didier Drogba

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Reports from China indicate Didier Drogba and his former Chelsea team mate, Nicholas Anelka could leave Shanghai Shenhua because the club is unable to meet its wage commitments because of an escalating shareholder row. Both Drogba and Anelka earn a mind boggling £300,000 per week to play for 10th placed Shenhua.

The playoff race

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (Aug 27, 2012) US Soccer Players – Call it the pull towards mediocrity. Major League Soccer's odd version of parity is once again calling good teams into question while making sure there's no gap at the top of the table. With the top three even on games played, there's five points between first and third.

Man City dig deep to overcome a spirited Saints side, 3-2

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szólj hozzá: Man City vs Southampton 3:2 HIGHLIGHTS

What an absolutely engrossing match. City showing the fortitude and strength to dig deep to come back to equalize and then score the winner gives an indication of how hard it will be to stop them from repeating as Premiership winners. This was on a continuum from the last match of last season with the title on the line against QPR and then Sergio Aguero producing that immortal moment in the very last minute.

For MLS, digital is an attempt at filling the gaps

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By Dario Camacho - MIAMI, FL (Aug 10, 2012) US Soccer Players -- There is a gap that Major League Soccer is trying to bridge. Consider the nineteen existing teams as satellites floating on the vast landscape of North America. Each team is a self sufficient, independent identity, part of a set of niche markets that have entrenched soccer followers, groups, fans.


Liverpool Offer Players In Part-Exchange In Fresh Dempsey Talks

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Liverpool has revived their move for Clint Dempsey by opening fresh talks with Fulham over a deal worth £7 million, can reveal.
The Merseysiders are back in negotiations with the Londoners, with discussions centring on the players who could move to Craven Cottage in part-exchange.
Liverpool are reluctant to meet Fulham's asking price for the 29-year-old even though the Londoners will settle for a fee of around £6-7m.

The Ox can replace Song for Arsenal

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If Arsenal fans were beginning to worry about the gap left in the Gunner's midfield by the sale of Alex Song to Barcelona, then Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is ready to put their minds at ease. The Turkish international Nuri Sahin from Real Madrid was rumoured to be on the verge of signing a year long loan [.

Rodgers May Look To Loans For Liverpool

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Brendan Rodgers may tap into the loan market if his bid to secure new signings for Liverpool looks like failing to bear fruit.
Rodgers has been at the helm of the Anfield club for a couple of months, but he has so far only brought in striker Fabio Borini from Roma.
Swansea's Joe Allen and Fulham forward Clint Dempsey are confirmed targets of the Reds boss, but deals do not look imminent and Rodgers is prepared to plug the gap with temporary measures.

English Premier League

Chelsea 2-0 Newcastle - Meireles takes the plaudits for me!.

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I have to say I really thought we played well. Considering Newcastle will be up there challenging for the top four positions this season, Chelsea put in a great performance and were worthy winners.

I think if you are a Newcastle fan, you would agree that you really missed Tiote in midfield and the new boy Anita struggled to bridge the gap.

Arsenal’s touted transfer targets to replace Alex Song

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Arsenal's touted transfer targets to replace Alex Song - originally posted on

After the sale of Alex Song to Barcelona, Arsenal have been left with a slight gap in the centre of their midfield. The media have speculated that moves for a number of holding midfielders could be on the cards, but it remains to be seen whether Arsene Wenger will reinvest the £15 million captured for the Cameroon international or stick with the players already at his disposal.

He Is Not One Of Us

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The finale

Finishing off the look at the midfield, we look at the link man within the midfield itself. Someone who is capable of supporting the attack and defence. Until Jack Wilshere comes back, at the moment I only really see two players who can perform this role.

First up, Mikel Arteta.

Olympics show just how far British football has fallen

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The Olympics have created a lot of controversy ever since professional athletes were allowed to compete in the Games. Many supporters feel they should be for amateurs only while others argue that most of them are in fact professionals since they train for their chosen sport 12 months a year.

Liverpool Youth Join U21 Premier League

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Starting with the NextGen U19 European competition last season, the past year has seen a widespread and increasing focus on youth development and providing a platform for young players to further improve their games and bridge the gap between youth and first team football.
Now, the Premier League has revealed that for the coming season the fractured reserve league system in England will largely take a back seat to a new U21 Premier League consisting of the 23 clubs—17 from the EPL and six from the Championship—whose academies qualify for Category One status.

Newcastle United Included In New U21 Competition

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Newcastle United is one of  17 Premier League teams that will play in a new Under-21 competition announced today, which is meant to bridge the gap between the U18 Academy teams and the first teams at English clubs. Richard Scudamore Barclays Premier League CEO Teams from 17 Premier League and six npower Championship clubs, [.

Alexi Lalas

Union Freekicks - Tuesday, August 21

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Union Notebook: Carroll's uncanny form continues vs. DC

Carrol only has six goals in his career, and three of them have come against D.C. on the road.

Fan Voting for 24 under 24 series.

I posted yesterday, but here is where you can actually vote for the players. You can vote as many times as you want it looks like.

Mind The Gap!: Klinsanity Makes History

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What a kickoff piece for Will Parchman; his first for TSG. An up-and-coming US footie writer that you should pay attention to.

"This is thunderdome."

Thanks for getting us started off right, Alexi.

THE GAP. Holy God the gap. This thing has dwarfed its own significance and taken on a life of its own.


The MLS Trading Game

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Article by Leanne Elston

As far as I'm concerned, Major League Soccer is, aside from the League of Parity, also the League of Trades. (Known alternatively as the League of Wait, What? and League of No Really, Where Are They Now? respectively.) While player transfers are part of the game no matter where you go in the world (looking at you, Robin Van Persie), it's always felt to me like MLS has a particular affinity for trading, and trading, and then trading some more.

The MLS Trading Game

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Article by Leanne Elston

As far as I'm concerned, Major League Soccer is, aside from the League of Parity, also the League of Trades. (Known alternatively as the League of Wait, What? and League of No Really, Where Are They Now? respectively.) While player transfers are part of the game no matter where you go in the world (looking at you, Robin Van Persie), it's always felt to me like MLS has a particular affinity for trading, and trading, and then trading some more.

The Rest

And We’re Back…

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It's been several weeks since we've had a new post here on Two Touch Pass, and I've spent a week or so contemplating my first post back. I suppose the reason we went away for awhile had to do with our busy lives, full of new adventures, big moves, and the many distractions we have in life. But, I'll be completely honest, my absence has been due to a post-Olympic hangover that has required me to catch my breath (weeks later) after stressing for 3 weeks.

German Bundesliga – Season Predictions – 2012/13

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The 2012-13 German Bundesliga season is about to start with Borussia Dortmund aiming for a third straight title. It's been a fantastic run for Dortmund who are looking to match Bayern Munich's run of three consecutive league titles from 1998 to 2001.

Overall, the Bundesliga remains one of the most competitive and popular leagues in the world along with attendance averaging over 45,000 per match last season.

Mikel’s Mad Thinking

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Chelsea's midfielder, John Obi Mikel, must be in cloud cuckoo land after claiming that the Blues will regain the Premier League title and defend their Champions League trophy this season.
Speaking ahead of the campaign, which got off to a solid start with a 2-0 away win against Wigan, the 25-year-old Nigeria international is in an overly optimistic mood.

Mark Ogden on signing RvP, imploding and conspiracy theories

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Mark Ogden, Daily Telegraph Northern Football Correspondent, looks ahead to United's 2012-2013 season.

Scott the Red: United never implode at the end of the season. What do you think happened?

Mark Ogden: United have had a few wobbles during the run-in in the past, so it wasn't totally unusual that it happened last season.

The After Bar: USMNT 1 - Mexico 0

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That just happened. An understrength, but undeterred U.S. men's national team walked into Estadio Azteca and weather the crowd and 75 years of history to smash-and-grab a 1-0 win against Mexico. A series of substitutes for Jurgen Klinsmann's side, Brek Shea on... well... the break played the ball across the front of goal where Terrance Boyd backhealed the ball towards an onrushing Michael Orozco Fiscal (why was he so far upfield!

Wasted Space

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If you were to walk down layer road you would see what used to be the home of the barside, terrace 3 and the family enclosure. Three to many of the sections that were filled by many loyal supporters. These supporters would flood the gates, fill the stands and sing their hearts out to encourage their home team on to win a football match.

Chicago Fire vs. Toronto FC - MLS #22 - Three Questions

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Our regular 3 questions exchange is back and just as good as ever. I worked with Duncan Fletcher over at Waking the Red for this exchange. Tomorrow night is going to be very fun. The Fire will have a chance to scrub away the bad taste from the late equalizer given up in San Jose last weekend. There is no better way to do that than earn all 3 points tomorrow night in front of the Fire faithful at Toyota Park.

Piqué: “Winning The Super Cup Isn’t Crucial”

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The Spanish Super Cup is fast approaching and Gerard Piqué says:

"I think that winning the Super Cup would give us confidence. It's a special game against a special opponent and I'm sure it would give us a lot of confidence for the start of the new season, but I don't see it as something crucial.

Muang Thong Are Back

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Last year was a bit of a non event in Thai football. It had plainly been decided before a ball was even kicked in anger that the teams from a certain city would be allowed to win everything including American Idol and the Boat Race.

For the rest it meant going through the motions. Yes, they were allowed to win games but, heaven forbid, not against the favoured teams from the favoured city.