Pappa’s late double leads Sounders to Supporters’ Shield

Marco Pappa’s second-half double helped lead the Seattle Sounders to a 2-0 win against the Los Angeles Galaxy, and the 2014 Supporters’ Shield.

Kendall Waston (USA TODAY Sports)

Waston’s winner leads Whitecaps to playoffs

Kendall Waston’s game-winning header helped lead Vancouver to a 1-0 victory vs. Colorado, and a place in the 2014 MLS playoffs.


Saturday European Rewind: Real Madrid top Barcelona; Man City upset by West Ham; and more

Real Madrid bounced back after conceding an early goal to pick up a 3-1 victory over Barcelona.

As he finds success on the club level, Morales also making progress with USMNT

Alfredo Morales USMNT 75


BOCA RATON, Fla. — Jurgen Klinsmann often encourages his U.S. Men’s National Team players to push themselves to the highest levels, but one youngster who recently went against that line of thinking and has reaped tremendous benefits is Alfredo Morales.

Morales is an every-game starter for FC Ingolstadt these days, which is part of the reason that they are enjoying an incredible and undefeated start to their season. The 24-year-old Morales’ performances in central midfield have helped the club post a 6-0-4 to reach the top of the 2. Bundesliga table, and also seen him reenter the U.S. picture after being out of it for quite some time.

That Morales finds himself in these favorable situations is not simply down to him working hard. Rather, a calculated decision made on his part in May 2013 to move away from childhood club Hertha Berlin, which had gained promotion to Germany’s top tier, paved the way for him to enjoy these successes. It was a difficult choice, but a necessary one.

“Sometimes there is the point where you have to move, you have to go somewhere,” Morales told SBI. “Because I play for Hertha Berlin 13 years and when you come from the whole youth system and you know everybody – I love the city, I love the club, everything’s cool – but sometimes you’re always like a little boy.

“Yeah, maybe I could play there but now I decided to go the 2. Bundesliga and I think it’s the best decision I could make.”

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Posted in Americans Abroad, U.S. Men's National Team | 20 Comments

The SBI Show: Episode 173 (Talking CONCACAF Champions League, Previewing MLS Week 34, and more)


 Photo by USA TODAY Sports



Major League Soccer fans will endure a wide range of emotions this week as the CONCACAF Champions League failures of some teams come just as other teams prepare to take important steps toward the MLS playoffs.

Episode 173 of The SBI Show takes a look back at a disappointing group stage for American MLS teams, with just one of four advancing to the CCL quarterfinals after Sporting KC and Portland were eliminated. D.C. United join the Montreal Impact as the lone MLS representatives in the knockout rounds.

Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I also look ahead at MLS Week 34, including the key Seattle Sounders-LA Galaxy clash, as well as the New York Red Bulls’ visit to Sporting Kansas City. We also discuss the season’s first edition of ‘El Clasico’, between Barcelona and Real Madrid, and more.

Give Episode 173 of The SBI Show a listen after the jump:

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Posted in Major League Soccer, Podcasts, U.S. Men's National Team, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Pappa’s late double leads Sounders to Supporters’ Shield



Photo by Jane Gershovich/JaneG. Photography


SEATTLE — It took all spring, summer, and much of autumn, and even that wasn’t enough. It took nearly 90 more minutes of tense, testy, and at times ugly soccer, but the Seattle Sounders won their first Supporters’ Shield on Saturday afternoon, the last day of their 2014 season.

Second-half substitute Marco Pappa netted twice to lift the Sounders to a 2-0 win over the visiting LA Galaxy in front of 57,673 at CenturyLink Field.

“First off,” said Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid, “I want to congratulate our team for 34 solid weeks. I think winning the Supporters’ Shield is a reflection of what you’ve done. It’s work over a period of time. It’s 34 weeks of training. It’s 34 weeks of games. It’s all of that put together.”

Needing just a tie to win the Shield, the Sounders managed only four shots — all from Pappa — against a Galaxy team that successfully packed the box and eliminated counter attacks with quick, efficient fouls.

“I’m not going to put that in the category of one of our best games,” said Schmid.

Pappa first struck off a beautiful pass into space from Obafemi Martins, darting into the penalty area in the 85th minute for a one-touch strike past goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.

The Galaxy (17-7-10, 61 points) nearly responded twice in the waning moments of the match.

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Posted in Featured, MLS- LA Galaxy, MLS- Seattle Sounders | 27 Comments

Waston’s winner leads Whitecaps to playoffs

Kendall Waston (USA TODAY Sports)

 Photo by USA TODAY Sports


The Vancouver Whitecaps were 20 minutes away from seeing their season end, and playoff hopes dashed, but their biggest player stepped up with the biggest play of the season.

Costa Rican defender Kendall Waston lifted his 6-foot-5 frame into the air and headed home a Pedro Morales corner kick in the 70th minute to help give the Whitecaps a 1-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids at BC Place on Saturday night.

After shaking off a mark from Rapids forward Deshorn Brown, Waston jumped over Nick LaBrocca and Shane O’Neill to place his header past Clint Irwin.

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Posted in Featured, MLS- Colorado Rapids, MLS- Vancouver Whitecaps | Leave a comment

Saturday European Rewind: Real Madrid top Barcelona; Man City upset by West Ham; and more




Despite conceding minutes into the first El Classico of the 2014-15 season, Real Madrid proved to be the dominant side.

The reigning Champions League winners bounced back from a fourth minute Neymar goal with finishes from Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe and Karim Benzema to pick up a 3-1 victory over rivals Barcelona Saturday at the Bernebau.

Back in England, Manchester City were shocked by the surprising West Ham, who topped the reigning champions, 2-1, to climb up the Premier League table to fourth.

In addition, Borussia Dortmund’s struggles continued against Hannover, Paris Saint-Germain trounced Bordeaux and Liverpool slumped to a scoreless draw against Hull City.

Here is a closer look at all of Sunday’s action from across Europe’s top leagues:

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Posted in European Soccer, Featured | 2 Comments

Timbers win at FC Dallas, but fall short of playoffs

PDX FCD by Jerome Miron USA TODAY
Photo by Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports


Coming into the match one point behind the Vancouver Whitecaps for the final playoff spot, the Portland Timbers delivered the victory they needed to have a chance for the post-season.

It wound up not being enough.

Darlington Nagbe and Maxi Urruti had the goals as the Timbers beat the Texas side, 2-0, to extend their season, but only for a few hours. Vancouver’s 1-0 victory against Colorado eliminated the Timbers from the playoffs.

It took until his 32nd game of the season, but Nagbe finally scored his first goal of the season when his long range shot took a deflection off Zach Loyd’s foot and left Chris Seitz helpless. The goal was a long time coming for the 24-year-old who notched nine tallies in the 2013 season. Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- FC Dallas, MLS- Portland Timbers, Uncategorized | 2 Comments