Tuesday Ticker: Arsenal battle back to top West Ham, Ronaldo out for cup final, and more

Arsenal grabbed a much-needed 3-1 win vs. West Ham United, Cristiano Ronaldo was ruled out of Wednesday’s Copa del Rey final against Barcelona, and more news from around the world of soccer.

Beckerman and Edu battling for place on U.S. World Cup roster

Kyle Beckerman and Maurice Edu are enjoying strong runs of form as we draw closer to the U.S. Men’s National Team’s final pre-World Cup training camp. The big question now is whether they are fighting each other for the same World Cup spot, or do they have a chance of traveling to Brazil as teammates.

Report: Royal Caribbean form organization to oppose Beckham’s proposed PortMiami stadium

Royal Caribbean Cruises has rounded up some allies to form an organization to oppose David Beckham’s desired soccer-specific stadium in PortMiami, according to a report from the Miami Herald.

Tuesday Ticker: Arsenal battle back to top West Ham, Ronaldo out for cup final, and more

Arsenal (Getty Images)

By FRANCO PANIZO

Arsenal are back in fourth place in the Premiership and their dreams of playing in next season’s UEFA Champions League are still alive.

At least, for now.

The Gunners battled back from a 1-0 deficit to defeat West Ham United, 3-1, on Tuesday afternoon. The win saw Arsenal leapfrog Tim Howard and Everton for the Premiership’s lone Champions League qualifiers spot, but the Toffees have a game in hand to make up the one point difference.

Arsenal fell behind five minutes before halftime when Matthew Jarvis headed home a loose ball in the penalty area, but Lukas Podolski responded with the first of his two on the day in the 44th minute. Podolski recorded his brace 12 minutes from the final whistle, but not before Olivier GiroudĀ netted the winner in the 55th minute.

Everton will have a chance to reclaim fourth place when they host Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

Here are more news items from around the soccer world:

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Posted in CONCACAF, CONCACAF Champions League, European Soccer, Featured | 7 Comments

MLS Disciplinary Committee fines Crew’s Gonzalez for embellishment

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photo by Michael Burns/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Giancarlo Gonzalez’s embellishment late on Sunday has not gone unpunished.

The MLS Disciplinary Committee announced on Tuesday that it has fined Gonzalez an undisclosed amount for trying to dupe match officials into thinking he had been struck by Chris Wondolowski late in the 1-1 draw between the Columbus Crew and San Jose Earthquakes.

Gonzalez initially crashed into Wondolowski in an off-ball incident that went unnoticed and Wondolowski responded by getting in the Crew defender’s face, which then prompted Gonzalez to go down in a heap.

You can view the play in its entirety here:

What do you think of Gonzalez being fined by the Disciplinary Committee? Think he should have been suspended, too? Do you consider this worse than diving?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Columbus Crew | 69 Comments

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

Mesut Ozil of Arsenal

By FRANCO PANIZO

It might only be Tuesday, but that does not mean that there are no interesting soccer matches to keep you busy.

Arsenal and West Ham United (2:45pm ET, NBC Sports Live Extra) will get things underway on Tuesday afternoon in a Premiership match that should draw plenty of eyeballs stateside. The Gunners currently trail Tim Howard and Everton by two points in the standings, and anything but a victory could spell doom to Arsenal’s chances of reclaiming the UEFA Champions League qualifiers spot that the Toffees currently hold.

Other matches on tap are RSC Anderlecht’s clash with Zulte-Waregem in the Pro League play-offs and Borussia Dortmund’s DFB Pokal semifinals meeting with VfL Wolfsburg (2:30pm ET, ESPN3/Univision Deportes). Sacha Kljestan will try to get on the field for Anderlecht as they try and make a push up the postseason table in Belgium, and Dortmund will hope to be able to pick up a victory at home in an effort to still claim some hardware this season.

At night, Cruz Azul and Toluca will do battle in the opening leg of the CONCACAF Champions League finals (8pm ET, Univision Deportes). Cruz Azul will be at home for this first leg, so they will be looking to grab a victory before traveling to Toluca for next week’s decisive match.

If you will be watching any of today’s action, please leave your thoughts, opinions, analysis and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action.

Posted in CONCACAF, CONCACAF Champions League, Your Running Commentary | 45 Comments

Cahill, Armando available for Red Bulls-Union showdown

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photo by Robin Alam/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

HARRISON, N.J. — The New York Red Bulls will not be at full health on Wednesday, but they will be pretty close to it.

Midfielder Tim Cahill and centerback Armando are set to be available for the Red Bulls’ home game vs. the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday night. Cahill and Armando had been dealing with hamstring issues that forced them out of action. Cahill missed a 2-2 draw in Montreal on April 5 and the following 1-0 loss to D.C. United while Armando was out only for the match at RFK Stadium.

“They went full today, they went full yesterday,” said head coach Mike Petke, whose Red Bulls are still seeking their first win of the season after an 0-2-4 start. “Tim’s been out of action for a while, Armando for just 10-11 days, so it all comes down to what’s the best fit tomorrow, if they start or come off the bench. We’re going to figure that out.

“Do we have a minute put down? No. I think with someone like Armando, it would be reckless to start him, but I think if we needed to we could get away with it. As far as I know [and] as far as he’s relaying to us and the medical staff, Tim feels good but he’s been out for a while. It’s just about figuring out what the best role is for him, to throw him right back in or give him an opportunity off the bench and give him one more week to really get into it.”

While Petke left the door open for Cahill to get a start, the Australian international hinted at being used in a reserve role.

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Posted in MLS- New York Red Bulls | 3 Comments

SBI MLS Save of the Week: Steve Clark

Steve Clark

Posted in MLS Weekly Awards, MLS- Columbus Crew, SBI MLS Awards, SBI MLS Save of the Week | 3 Comments

U-20 USMNT kicks off Dallas Cup with pair of wins

Soccer - International Soccer - FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013 - Group stage - Group A - Ghana v USA

By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team is off to a dream start at the Dr Pepper Dallas Cup.

A day after securing a 3-2 win over Argentine club River Plate, the U.S. blanked German side Eintracht Frankfurt, 3-0, on Monday. Real Salt Lake’s Benji Lopez, Philadelphia Union’s Zach Pfeffer and Lorient’s Romain Gall each found the back of the net in the triumph.

Lopez netted the winner near in the 43rd minute off a feed from Pfeffer, who added a goal of his own shortly after halftime. Gall added another goal three minutes before the final whistle to ensure the Americans would get the win and improve to 2-0.

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Posted in U.S. Under-20 National Team | 21 Comments

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Harrison Shipp

HarrisonShipp1 (ISIPhotos.com)

By IVES GALARCEP

The Rookie of the Year race is turning into a one-man show in MLS, with Harrison Shipp once again displaying the qualities that have him looking very much like the best first-year pro in Major League Soccer.

Shipp turned in another solid performance for the Chicago Fire last weekend, proving to be a handful all match in a 1-1 tie against the Montreal Impact. An outing that earned Shipp SBI MLS Rookie of the Week honors for the third time this season.

Matched up against another top rookie, Montreal’s Eric Miller, it was Shipp who stood out the most with his excellent movement, passing and set-piece delivery.

Shipp edged out Tommy McNamara for this week’s honors. McNamara was outstanding for Chivas USA in their 1-1 tie against the Portland Timbers, though a knee injury cut short his appearance and could threaten to leave him sidelined for an extended period of time.

What did you think of Shipp’s performance this past weekend? Which rookie impressed you the most in MLS Week Six?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in MLS- Chicago Fire, SBI MLS Rookie of the Week | 3 Comments

NASL Week One: A Look Back

CosmosWinOpener (NASL)

By IVES GALARCEP

The New York Cosmos picked up right where they left off after winning last year’s NASL Soccer Bowl, opening the 2014 season with a resounding victory over the Atlanta Silverbacks on Sunday.

Captain and defender Carlos Mendes led the charge for the Cosmos, scoring the first two goals of his professional career in New York’s 4-0 mauling of the Silverbacks. Mendes earned NASL Player of the Week honors for his role in the victory.

The Cosmos were one of three teams to post opening-week victories in the opening week of NASL. Minnesota United delivered an early statement victory over the San Antonio Scorpions, while the Fort Lauderdale Strikers gave a rough welcome to NASL to expansion side Ottawa Fury, beating the Canadian club 2-0.

The league’s other expansion team, Indiana Eleven FC, enjoyed a better start to life in the NASL, recording a 1-1 tie against the Carolina Railhawks in front of a sold-out crowd of 11,048.

Here is a recap of the weekend’s action in NASL:

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Posted in NASL, Uncategorized | 16 Comments