Peguy Luyindula New York Red Bulls 3

Petke faces tough lineup decisions after substitutes make impact vs. Sporting KC

Photo by Jerry Lai/USA TODAY Sports   By FRANCO PANIZO HARRISON, N.J. — Mike Petke has some tough decisions to make. Some real tough decisions. Having seen Peguy Luyindula and Ambroise Oyongo come off the bench to help the New York […]

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Onyewu signs short term contract with Charlton

Oguchi Onyewu has signed a contract through January with Championship club Charlton Athletic.

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Friday Kickoff: Gerrard could leave Liverpool; Neymar expected to play in 2016 Olympics; and more

Steven Gerrard’s future could lie away from Anfield as Liverpool have yet to offer their captain a new contract.

Petke faces tough lineup decisions after substitutes make impact vs. Sporting KC

Peguy Luyindula New York Red Bulls 3

Photo by Jerry Lai/USA TODAY Sports

 

By FRANCO PANIZO

HARRISON, N.J. — Mike Petke has some tough decisions to make. Some real tough decisions.

Having seen Peguy Luyindula and Ambroise Oyongo come off the bench to help the New York Red Bulls rally to victory vs. Sporting Kansas City on Thursday, Petke will have to carefully weigh whether or not to start them when his club’s Eastern Conference semifinal series vs. D.C. United begins on Sunday.

Both Luyindula and Oyongo played integral parts in helping the Red Bulls unlock Sporting KC’s defense in Thursday’s play-in game, with each recording assists in the 2-1 victory at Red Bull Arena. Luyindula had secondary helpers on both New York goals while Oyongo delivered the game-winning cross, albeit via a right-footed cross that should’ve been dealt with.

Assists aside, the two dynamic players helped the Red Bulls open up a Sporting KC defense that was standing tough. Luyindula brought an instant spark and added dimension to the attack after coming on in the 65th minute, holding the ball well in the advanced central midfielder role and combining with captain Thierry Henry and the author of both of of the heroic goals, Bradley Wright-Phillips.

“Peguy, when he’s on, is able to control the ball, is able to do
things with the ball that not many people can: spreading the ball out, hold the ball for us when we’re giving it away too much.” said Petke. “I thought he did well. I thought he stepped into a difficult situation where we weren’t having success going through the middle and him jumping into the middle spot. I think there were times that he did well, held the ball for us, linked up well with Thierry and Bradley.”

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Liga MX Round 15: A Look Ahead

LuisGabrielReyAmerica1-Chivas2014 (Imago7)

By DAN KARELL

The most anticipated match on the Mexican league calendar has finally arrived.

On Saturday evening at Estadio Azteca, Club America take on Chivas Guadalajara in the Apertura edition of the Super Clasico, with both teams again at opposite ends of the table. Chivas continue to struggle this season, and if they can’t turn around their fortunes in the next few months, they could be relegated.

America, on the other hand, remain at the top of the table despite two defeats in their last three games. Manager Antonio Mohamed is feeling the heat from the fans and local media, and he’ll want to make a statement against Chivas to relieve some of the pressure.

With only three matches left in the Apertura, the race to qualify for the playoffs, or Liguilla, is heating up. Queretaro, Club Leon, Santos Laguna, Club Tijuana, and Pumas UNAM all sit three points or less behind the final playoff spot, and will need to put together a late-season run to continue their season into late November and December. Queretaro take on fourth-place Tigres UANL and Leon face second-place Atlas, in two of the bigger games to keep an eye on this weekend.

Here’s a look at this weekend’s Liga MX slate:

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NASL Week 18: A Look Ahead

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By EVAN REAM

Two games in particular stand out in the final weekend of regular season NASL play as both the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Carolina RailHawks have a chance of garnering the fourth and final postseason spot.

The Strikers have the easier job, taking on expansion side Ottawa Fury FC at home Saturday night in a game that they will likely just need a point in to secure a first-round match against No. 1 seeded Minnesota United.

Fort Lauderdale comes into the game unbeaten in their last five matches, while Ottawa has dropped three straight after a promising mid-season run of form.

With a win, the Strikers will secure their first playoff spot since 2012, but with a tie they could still get in with a RailHawks loss or a win that doesn’t make up a goal differential of four.

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

Posted in NASL | 2 Comments

Midweek College Rewind: Stanford draw with UCLA; Creighton downs Marquette; and more

Men's soccer UCLA at Washington

Photo by Wilson Tsoi/Washington Athletics

By AARON CRANFORD

Both No. 2 UCLA and No. 5 Stanford had players score a brace, but neither side could find a win in the thrilling 2-2 tie Thursday night.

Cardinal midfielder Corey Baird scored a brace, netting one in the 14th minute and in the 77th minute, while Bruins forward Seyi Adekoya also slotted two on the night. Adekoya equalized by scoring 34 seconds after the opening goal by Baird. Adekoya finished his second in the 59th minute, but the Bruins could not hold on for the win.

No. 7 Creighton bounced back from their weekend loss to No. 15 Georgetown with an important 2-0 win against No. 8 Marquette Wednesday.

Ricardo Perez opened the scoring in the 30th minute after Timo Pitter assisted, and Pitter scored a goal of his own to secure the Blue Jays’ win in the 79th minute. With the loss, the Golden Eagles have gone winless in their last five matches.

Meanwhile, No. 5 Notre Dame and No. 18 Michigan State played to a 1-1 draw Wednesday. Fighting Irish midfielder Evan Panker tallied the first goal of the match in the 56th minute, but the Spartans found a late equalizer from Tim Kreutz in the 80th minute.

If you missed it, here are Tuesday’s midweek results. Take a closer look at Wednesday’s and Thursday’s top college matches below:

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Onyewu signs short term contract with Charlton

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By DAN KARELL

Oguchi Onyewu has found himself a new club, at least for the time being.

English Championship club Charlton Athletic announced on Friday that they had signed Onyewu to a two-month contract. Onyewu will wear the No. 15 for the Addicks and he comes in as a replacement for Michael Morrison, who just completed a loan move to Birmingham City.

The American centerback has been without a club since last May, when Sheffield Wednesday and Onyewu couldn’t agree on a new contract after a strong half-season at the club. Since suffering a ruptured patellar tendon in his left knee in Oct. 2009, Onyewu has struggled to find a consistant and regular place in a team’s starting lineup, hopping from club to club in Portugal, the Netherlands, Spain, and now England.

Onyewu is available to make his debut on Saturday against Sheffield Wednesday at Charlton’s home stadium, the Valley. Charlton are currently in ninth place in the 24-team Championship.

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What do you think of this news? Do you see Onyewu breaking into the Charlton starting lineup this fall?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Americans Abroad, Featured | 13 Comments

Friday Kickoff: Gerrard could leave Liverpool; Neymar expected to play in 2016 Olympics; and more

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By DAN KARELL

A man who’s name is as synonymous as the soccer team he plays for and the city he’s always lived in could be moving to greener pastures.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard’s days with the club could be numbered, as the club have yet to offer Gerrard a new contract, with his current one expiring this coming June. The 34-year-old admitted in an interview that he doesn’t feel like he’s ready to wrap up his career, meaning that his future could lie away from Anfield.

“I won’t be retiring this summer,” he says. “I will play beyond this season. We will have to wait and see if that’s at Liverpool or somewhere else. That’s Liverpool’s decision.”

Gerrard has been a key starter and member of the first team for Liverpool since making his debut in late 1998, and was given the captain’s armband in Oct. 2003. Gerrard helped lead Liverpool to one of their greatest feats in the 2005 UEFA Champions League final, coming back from a three-goal deficit to beat AC Milan.

Gerrard, who has made just short of 500 appearances in his career for the Reds, has played nine English Premier League games this season, scoring two goals. He has been criticized for some of the team’s early-season struggles.

Here are some stories to kick off your Friday:

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Posted in European Soccer, Featured, South American Soccer | 12 Comments