Aron Johannsson AZ Alkmaar 29

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

Aron Johannsson could make his official AZ Alkmaar return, Edgar Castillo seeks revenge, and more in this upcoming weekend’s Americans Abroad action.

PerryKitchenD.C.United1-ChicagoFire2014 (USATODAYSports)

D.C. United secure No. 1 CONCACAF Champions League ranking, quarterfinal dates set

D.C. United have earned the No. 1 seed heading into the Championship stage of the 2014 CONCACAF Champions League, and along with the Montreal Impact will host the second leg of the quarterfinals.

ALbania-Serbia-ESPNFC

Friday Kickoff: UEFA issues ruling on Serbia-Albania; Rodgers discusses Balotelli struggles; and more

UEFA have punished both Serbia and Albania following the game-halting incident that occurred when the two teams faced off on Oct. 14.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

Aron Johannsson AZ Alkmaar 29

By FRANCO PANIZO

If Aron Johannnsson’s performance for AZ Alkmaar’s reserves earlier this week was any indication, he might just be ready to make his competitive return.

Johannsson made his way back from groin and ankle injuries on Monday by scoring in a reserve game for AZ, and that outing could help convince the coaching staff that he is healthy enough to partake in the club’s league encounter with FC Groningen on Saturday. The 23-year-old forward has not seen time in a competitive match since making his lone World Cup appearance in June, and is likely champing at the bit to get back in the mix to help an AZ side that is currently in ninth place in the Eredivisie.

While Johannsson will be focused on trying to make his comeback official, Edgar Castillo will be out for payback. Castillo and his club, Atlas, were eliminated from the Copa MX by Puebla on Wednesday, but the two sides will coincidentally meet again in a league fixture on Saturday that is sure to be plenty intense. Michael Orozco did not feature for Puebla in the midweek match, but should resume playing in his regular starting spot this weekend to make the clash with Castillo and Atlas even more intriguing.

Another potential match-up abroad involving Americans could take place in Germany, as Hertha Berlin and Hamburg lock horns on Saturday. Brooks seems the more likely of the two U.S. Men’s National Team World Cup scorers to start, but there is a chance Green could too given that he has had another week to fully heal the bruised ribs that have troubled him in recent weeks.

Here is who the Americans Abroad battle this weekend: Continue reading »

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Midweek College Rewind: Indiana edges Notre Dame, UCLA tops UW again, and more

Men's soccer UCLA at Washington

Photo by Wilson Tsoi /Huskies Athletics

By AARON CRANFORD

SBI No. 4 Washington fell to UCLA for the second Thursday in a row, and to make matters worse for the Huskies, a Seattle native scored the game-winning goal.

Seattle native and Seattle Sounders Academy U-18 product Seyi Adekya scored the game-winning goal in the 54th to give the Bruins a 2-1 victory, and extend UCLA’s winning streak to three games.

The Huskies could not enact revenge against UCLA even though they jumped out to an early start with a goal from Ian Lange in the 3rd minute. But Leo Stolz assisted Aaron Simmons to tie the match in the 37th.

Adekya provided the winning finish for the Bruins, who struck a blow to Washington’s Pac-12 title hopes with the victory.

SBI No. 1 Indiana found the early winner from a common goal-scoring defender Wednesday against No. 17 Notre Dame.

In the 19th minute, Hoosers senior Patrick Doody scored his third goal of the year, which makes him tied for second for goals with Indiana. The Fighting Irish could not find an equalizer after attempting nine shots throughout the match.

SBI No. 16 Coastal Carolina had their seven-game winning streak snapped against Clemson Tuesday evening.

Tigers freshman Oliver Shannon scored the game-winning goal in overtime to top the Chanticleers 2-1.

The Tigers scored early in the match, but the Chanticleers answered three minutes later. Tigers midfielder Alexandre Happi scored in the 3rd minute, while the Chanticleers midfielder Elis Bjornsson responded in the sixth minute. 90 minutes passed by before Shannon’s golden goal gave the Tigers the upset win.

No. 2 Syracuse rebounded from their weekend loss to Louisville by routing Bucknell 4-1 Tuesday. The Orange forward Chris Nanco set the tone by scoring his fifth goal of the season within the first minute of the match.

Furthermore, Emil Ekbloom scored his 7th for the Orange in the 22nd minute. Bucknell gained one back with Ben Durleth’s goal in the 56th, but Oyvind Alseth quickly responded in the 58th and earned his brace with another goal in the 66th.

Five SBI ranked sides went down during the middle of the week, with SBI No. 3 UC Irvine and No. 6 Penn State headlining the losing sides.

Meanwhile, after their upset win against Syracuse Friday, Louisville continues to look sharp, defeating Evansville 3-0 at home Tuesday. Andrew Brody, Tim Kubel and Ivan Gutierrez netted the goals for the Cardinals.

Here is a closer look at the rest of the top mid-week college results: Continue reading »

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NASL Week 17: A Look Ahead

FCEdmonton-Strikers

By EVAN REAM

With just two weeks remaining in the NASL season, FC Edmonton travel to Fort Lauderdale to take on the Strikers, with the winner stepping into the driver’s seat for the fourth and final playoff spot.

While the Strikers are on an absolute tear with 10 points in their previous five matches, head coach Günter Kronsteiner made waves by benching NASL second-leading goalscorer Fafa Picault against Carolina for a perceived lack of effort in practice.

The Eddies come into the match in good form as well following a convincing away win in the Canadian derby at Ottawa, but will face a stiff challenge in south Florida where the Strikers have won their last three matches at home.

Fort Lauderdale currently has a two-point lead on Edmonton in the combined standings.

Here’s a look at the rest of the weekend’s action in the NASL: Continue reading »

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MLS referee Rivero suspended after arrest for fraud

Rivero-referee-USAToday

Photo by Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports
 

By RYAN TOLMICH

Almost a month after being charged with insurance fraud, an MLS referee has been issued a suspension.

Jose Carlos Rivero, who most recently took charge of the Columbus Crew’s 3-1 win over the New York Red Bulls this past Saturday, was suspended Thursday as a result of an Oct. 6 arrest for allegedly claiming over $14,000 in unemployment benefits while employed.

“The Professional Referees Organization is fully aware of the alleged charges against Jose Carlos Rivero,” P.R.O. said in a statement Thursday night. “Mr. Rivero has been suspended with immediate effect and will be not be assigned to any further matches pending the outcome of the legal proceedings.”

Rivero, who has officiated 17 games this season, worked at least three games following his arrest earlier this month

The 33-year-old was set to work this weekend’s meeting between Toronto FC and the New England Revolution as the fourth official.

What do you think of the handling of Rivero’s case?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Major League Soccer | 9 Comments

D.C. United secure No. 1 CONCACAF Champions League ranking, quarterfinal dates set

PerryKitchenD.C.United1-ChicagoFire2014 (USATODAYSports)

Photo by Mike Dinovo/USA TODAY Sports

By DAN KARELL

For the first time in the current format of the CONCACAF Champions League, an MLS team has secured the No. 1 seed in the knockout round.

D.C. United were rewarded for their perfect group stage campaign by being seeded as the top team in the Championship stage, with a place at the bottom of the bracket and a quarterfinal matchup against Costa Rican club Alajuelense. D.C. United are the lone American club remaining in the tournament after the New York Red Bulls, Sporting Kansas City, and Portland Timbers were all eliminated out in the group stage.

The other MLS side remaining in the tournament is the Montreal Impact, who are seeded fourth and have been drawn with Liga MX side Pachuca in the quarterfinals.

In addition to the seeding, CONCACAF also announced the order of the two-legged ties and the approximate dates for the games, though the exact dates and start times will be determined as we get closer 2015.

Continue reading »

Posted in CONCACAF Champions League, Featured, MLS- D.C. United, MLS- Montreal Impact | 18 Comments

Friday Kickoff: UEFA issues ruling on Serbia-Albania; Rodgers discusses Balotelli struggles; and more

ALbania-Serbia-ESPNFC

By RYAN TOLMICH

UEFA have  come to a resolution with regard the incident in the Oct. 14 Euro 2016 qualifying matchup between Serbia and Albania.

The matchup, which was halted due to a political flyover that saw both players and supporters brawl on the field, has been ruled to be a 3-0 victory for Serbia, who have been subsequently deducted three points. In addition, the Serbians will now be required to play a pair of games behind closed doors.

Albania, meanwhile, has been charged with refusing to play and, along with Serbia, has been fined $126,000.

The punishments stem from a now highly-publicized incident between the two, as Serbia’s Bekim Balaj ripped down an Albanian flag carried by a drone, causing rioting between both sets of players, staff and supporters.

Here are some more news and notes to kickoff your Friday morning: Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, Featured, International Soccer | 5 Comments