MIKE GRAMAJO

USL Pro

Louisville City FC named USL Pro’s latest expansion franchise

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

After months of negotiations between Orlando City president Phil Rawlins and minority owner Wayne Estopinal, Orlando's USL Pro franchise will be officially relocating and named Louisville City FC. The team is expected to begin play in 2015.

"We are excited for the future of pro soccer in Louisville," Rawlins said in a statement.

USL Pro Week 6: A Look Ahead

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

After starting their first four-games of the season on the road, Oklahoma City Energy FC kick off their home season at Pribil Stadium, hosting the 2013 USL Pro champions Orlando City SC on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. ET.

The Energy currently sit in fifth place in the standings, after suffering their second defeat against FC Dallas' reserves during week four.

USL Pro Week 4: A Look Ahead

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

While a majority of USL Pro clubs have already seen action in the 2014 season, Arizona United SC officially enters the mix this weekend when they make their league debut on Saturday at home against Oklahoma City Energy FC.

The Energy are coming off a 4-2 loss to LA Galaxy II after winning their first-ever match against the Orange County Blues FC.

USL Pro Week 3: A Look Ahead

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

There are several solid USL Pro match-ups on tap for this weekend, but none may be bigger than the debut of the Oklahoma City Energy FC, who are coached by MLS champion goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen.

The Energy will travel to California on Saturday to take on the Orange County Blues FC before making the trek north to kick off against the LA Galaxy II on Monday.

USL Pro Week 2: A Look Ahead

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

Despite a slow start to the season, week two will feature a wider slate of teams in action.

Orlando City SC kick off their final home season in the USL Pro when they welcome the Pittsburgh Riverhounds to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.

USL Pro Week 1: A Look Back

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

Week one of the 2014 USL Pro season is in the books, and it brought plenty of action during opening weekend.

The LA Galaxy II lived up to the hype in their USL Pro debut at the StubHub Center as they went on to claim a 3-1 victory over the Orange County Blues FC on Saturday night in front of 1,259 fans.

USL Pro Week 1: A Look Ahead

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

After a busy offseason, USL Pro is back with more teams and more Major League Soccer influence.

Three new expansion franchises will make their debut, including Oklahoma City Energy FC and Sacramento Republic FC, but all eyes should be on LA Galaxy II, the first MLS-owned team in USL Pro.

Report: New proposed Louisville team could become USL Pro affiliate for MLS Orlando City

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

Not only is Orlando's USL Pro franchise move to Louisville, Kentucky becoming more and more likely, a potential partnership is also in the brewing for the near future.

Orlando City SC President Phil Rawlins told the club's website that if the ownership group in Louisville does buy Orlando's USL franchise, then they will become Orlando City's USL Pro affiliate in 2015, the year the Lions will join MLS.

Orlando City relocating to Wide World of Sports complex for upcoming season

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

After receiving the go-ahead to build a soccer-specific stadium that should make way for a Major League Soccer franchise in central Florida, Orlando City Soccer Club announced on Tuesday that they will play at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex for the upcoming 2014 USL Pro season.

North American Soccer League

USL Pro/NASL Ticker: USL Pro Tulsa franchise unveils name; Silverbacks sign international trio; and more

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

Beginning in 2015, the Tulsa Roughnecks FC will be the second professional soccer team in the state of Oklahoma.

After it was announced that Tulsa will be getting a USL Pro franchise, the choosing of the name of the team was left to fans, with 50 percent opting for Roughnecks, paying homage for the original Tulsa Roughnecks that played in the NASL from 1978-1984.

NASL Week 14: A Look Back

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

Their season may have ended last month, but Manny Lagos' men decided to go out with a bang.

Omar Daley's hat-trick and Pablo Campos' second-half brace lifted Minnesota United FC to a 6-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rowdies at Al Lang Stadium.

"I'm very proud of the guys as it certainly was a wild game," Minnesota head coach Manny Lagos told NASL.

NASL Week 13: A Look Ahead

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

After failing to clinch the NASL Fall Season title last week, the New York Cosmos will have another chance to put the season to bed when they visit Toyota Field to battle the San Antonio Scorpios on Saturday (8:30 p.m. WATCH HERE).

"We want to spoil their party," Scorpions interim coach Alen Marcina told NASL.

NASL Week 12: A Look Back

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

Despite being statistically out of the NASL Soccer Bowl race, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers haven't given up on their season yet.

The Strikers ran riot on Saturday night, thrashing the Atlanta Silverbacks, 6-2, at Lockhart Stadium, which finished the chances of the Silverbacks winning the fall title.

NASL Week 11: A Look Back

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By MIKE GRAMAJO

After a two-game losing streak, the Tampa Bay Rowdies are still vying for a Soccer Bowl berth.

Luke Mulholland's 76th minute penalty kick goal lifted the Rowdies to victory, defeating the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, 2-1, at Al Lang Stadium in front of 3,854 fans.

SBI NASL Power Rankings: Week 10

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

Despite their early hurdles this season, the New York Cosmos have responded back to their critics by performing highly on the field, going seven games unbeaten as they enter the final push for a 2013 Soccer Bowl berth.

A victory last week at Minnesota put Giovanni Savarese's men seven points clear atop the NASL fall standings with 21 points, and host the Carolina RailHawks on Saturday.

NASL Week 10: A Look Ahead

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

Looking to snap their four-game winless streak, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers welcome the Tampa Bay Rowdies to Lockhart Stadium on Saturday evening (7:30 p.m. WATCH HERE) in a Florida Derby with big implications.

Both sides suffered crucial away defeats last week, which may have hindered their chances of finishing as fall champions.

SBI NASL Power Rankings: Week 9

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

There's no denying that the New York Cosmos are the hottest team in the North American Soccer League right now.

Despite needing a second-half rally last Sunday against the Tampa Bay Rowdies, the Cosmos are now on a six-game unbeaten run with five left to play.

NASL Week 9: A Look Ahead

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

Looking to remain at the peak of the North American Soccer League standings, the New York Cosmos face another big test on Sunday evening (5:00 p.m. WATCH HERE).

The Cosmos host the Tampa Bay Rowdies at James Shuart Stadium, with first place in the league on the line.

NASL Week 8: A Look Back

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

Two second-half goals from Georgi Hristov was all the Tampa Bay Rowdies needed to stroll to a 3-1 victory over the Atlanta Silverbacks at Al Lang Stadium.

The victory on Saturday lifted the Rowdies into second place, which sets up a mouth-watering matchup next Sunday against the first-place New York Cosmos.

NASL Week 8: A Look Ahead

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

The race to Soccer Bowl 2013 is past the halfway point in the North American Soccer League fall season.

The Tampa Bay Rowdies will try to remain the only unbeaten side in the fall season when they host the Atlanta Silverbacks on Saturday evening (7:30 p.m. WATCH HERE) at Al Lang Stadium.

NASL Week 7: A Look Back

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

Despite their road woes, life at home has been solid for the New York Cosmos as they went on to defeat Minnesota United FC, 1-0, on Saturday night to send them atop the North American Soccer League standings.

"We find ourselves in a good situation," Cosmos coach Giovanni Savarese told NASL.

NASL Week 7: A Look Ahead

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

After losing their last two matches, which were on the road, the Carolina RailHawks look to change things around when they return home on Saturday.

The RailHawks will take another shot at the Tampa Bay Rowdies when they welcome the St. Petersburg side to WakeMed Soccer Park on Saturday evening.

NASL Week 6: A Look Back

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

It's getting a bit rowdy in the North American Soccer League standings.

The Tampa Bay Rowdies defeated the Carolina RailHawks, 3-2, on Saturday night at Al Lang Stadium to ensure first place in the league standings, while also keeping head coach Ricky Hill's side unbeaten in the fall season.

NASL Week 5: A Look Back

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

There's no stopping the rejuvenated Fort Lauderdale Strikers as they extended their winning streak to three games, topping the Carolina RailHawks, 1-0, on Friday evening at Lockhart Stadium.

"It was a tough match against the top team in the league, but we got the win," Strikers manager Günter Kronsteiner told the Sun Sentinel after the game.

NASL Week 5: A Look Ahead

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

After taking a second consecutive victory last week, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers are riding high in confidence as they enter week five of the North American Soccer League.

While head coach Gunter Kronsteiner's men are looking to continue their current form, they welcome the league-leading Carolina RailHawks to Lockhart Stadium on Friday.

NASL Week 4: A Look Ahead

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

After taking pole position atop the North American Soccer League standing last week, the Carolina RailHawks look to continue their current good form as they welcome Minnesota United FC to WakeMed Soccer Park (Saturday, 7 p.m. WATCH HERE).

RailHawks forward Brian Shriver, who bagged a brace against the New York Cosmos last Saturday, currently leads the NASL Golden Boot race with 11 goals.

NASL Week 2: A Look Back

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

While one team continues their struggles at home, another learns from their first road match since 1984.

The Tampa Bay Rowdies and New York Cosmos battled to a scoreless draw, Saturday night at Al Lang Stadium in front of an announced sold-out crowd of 7,032.

NASL Week 2: A Look Ahead

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

After a thrilling first week of the fall campaign, four first-place teams battle for a sole position atop the NASL table.

The New York Cosmos head south to St. Petersburg for their first road trip of the season, as they take on the Tampa Bay Rowdies at Al Lang Field on Saturday.

NASL Season Preview: Tampa Bay Rowdies

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

This past spring didn't go as planned for the 2012 North American Soccer League Champions.

After a disappointing campaign, the Tampa Bay Rowdies look to turn things around in the upcoming Fall Season when they kickoff against the San Antonio Scorpions on Saturday, August 3, at Toyota Field.

NASL Week 13: A Look Ahead

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

Two points separate the Carolina RailHawks and the Atlanta Silverbacks at the top of the North American Soccer League standings, but that all can change with so much on the line when they meet on Saturday at WakeMed Soccer Park.

A victory for the first-place RailHawks would effectively end the season and give them the honor of hosting the 2013 Soccer Bowl this fall, but if there is one team they are wary of, it's the Silverbacks.

NASL Week 9: A Look Back

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

With 2013 North American Soccer League spring campaign coming to a close, week nine action saw the Atlanta Silverbacks hold on to their first place spot in the table while there is a three-way tie in second place, as the Tampa Bay Rowdies, Carolina RailHawks and Minnesota United failed to secure victory this weekend.

NASL Week 8: A Look Back

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

There's a new team at the top of the standings.

The Atlanta Silverbacks defeated the San Antonio Scorpions, 1-0, on Saturday, leap-frogging past the Carolina RailHawks and Tampa Bay Rowdies to the pole position in the North American Soccer League.

Minnesota United made up for last Saturday's defeat to the Tampa Bay Rowdies at the Metrodome by returning the favor, defeating the Rowdies on the road by a 3-2 margin, the same as the prior week's result.

NASL Week 7: A Look Ahead

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

With his five goals on the season, forward Brian Shriver looks to lead the Carolina RailHawks when they visit the Atlanta Silverbacks at Atlanta Silverbacks Park on Saturday in North American Soccer League action.

The RailHawks, who sit three points clear atop the NASL table, are entering this weekend's play after mauling the San Antonio Scorpions, 5-2, last week.

NASL Week 3: A Look Back

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

If we learned anything in NASL this past weekend, it's that you can never count the Atlanta Silverbacks out.

The Silverbacks were down 3-1 in the first half after Luke Mulholland scored in the 24th and 44th minute for the Rowdies, but a second-half surge lead Atlanta to one of the biggest NASL comebacks in recent memory as Pedro Mendes scored a pair of goals to help lead a 4-3 comeback victory.

NASL Week 2: A Look Ahead

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

It's not just Major League Soccer clubs that are opening soccer-specific stadiums anymore.

The San Jose Scorpions will open up their new stadium, named Toyota Field, when they host the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday night in NASL week two action. The 8,000 seat facility is across the street from their former stadium, and it's expandable to 18,000 seats if the club ever makes the jump to MLS.

Mexican Soccer

Liga MX Weekend Preview: Monterrey eyes playoff spot, America and UANL to play for first place; and more

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

As the 2013 Clausura comes to its final week before the Liguilla, Monterrey look to build from their recent CONCACAF Champions League three-peat and clinch the last playoff spot in the Mexican table.

Los Rayados earned their first road victory of the season last Saturday, beating Tigres 1-0 in the Clasico Regionmontano, which kept their playoffs hopes alive.

Liga MX Weekend Preview: Santos face Toluca; Pumas host Tigres; and more

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

Thirteen weeks into the Clausura season, the parity amongst Liga MX teams is easy to see when looking at the standings. Just ten points separate third-placed Club America from the 14th-placed Puebla.

However, first-placed Tigres UANL have quietly stayed undefeated and will look to extend their lead at the top of the table when they visit fifth-placed Pumas on Saturday.

The Rest

Orlando City coach Heath on Kaka: ‘We hope we can get it done’

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By MIKE GRAMAJO

While much credit can be attributed to owners Flavio Augusto da Silva and Phil Rawlins for luring Brazilian star Ricardo Kaka to Orlando City SC as the club's first Designated Player, the credit could soon be given to the man who will eventually coach the midfielder.