Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

Red-hot Chelsea and forward Diego Costa travel to Manchester to take on reigning English Premier League champions Manchester City in today’s marquee match-up.

Gordon’s winner caps Galaxy rally past FC Dallas

Alan Gordon’s late winner helped complete the Los Angeles Galaxy’s comeback in a 2-1 victory against FC Dallas at Stub Hub Center on Saturday night.

Wright-Phillips hat trick leads Red Bulls over Sounders

Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his third hat-trick of the season to lead the Red Bulls to a 4-1 victory over the visiting Seattle Sounders.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

Chelsea Striker  Diego Costa Celebrates Scoring  his 2nd goal in 4-2 win

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

 

Chelsea is threatening to run away with the English Premier League title before fall officially begins, and standing in the way of an early Blues runaway is the defending champion Manchester City.

The Citizens play host to Jose Mourinho’s side today in the weekend’s marquee match-up. Chelsea has cruised to a 4-0 start, and could open up whopping eight-point lead on Manchester City with a win. Manuel Pellegrini will need to find a way to contain red-hot Chelsea striker Diego Costa, who is expected back in the starting lineup after being rested for Chelsea’s mid-week Champions League action.

Manchester United hit the road to take on Leicester City, looking to build some momentum after last week’s impressive 4-0 romp over Queens Park Rangers. A win in Leicester could propel the Red Devils ahead of the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham, and within striking distance of a top four place in the Premier League.

In Spain, Barcelona puts their perfect record on the line against a Levante side sitting in last place in La Liga. Neymar and Lionel Messi have been working well together, but it has been Barcelona’s defense, which has yet to allow a goal in league play, that has been a telling story in the early season.

If you will be watching today’s action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Today’s Soccer TV schedule is after the jump):

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Posted in Featured, Uncategorized, Your Running Commentary | 2 Comments

Saturday College Rewind: Saint Louis beats Creighton, Gonzaga upsets UNLV, and more

Robbie Kristo (Saint Louis)

By AARON CRANFORD

The list of unbeaten college teams keeps getting shorter and shorter, and Saturday saw two more teams fall from the list.

SBI No. 23 Saint Louis defeated No. 10 Creighton, 1-0, on Saturday to drop the Blue Jays from the ranks of the unbeaten. Senior Robert Kristo scored the Billikens’ game-winning goal in overtime.

The Billikens are on a four-game win streak, and they have used the help of freshman goalkeeper Sascha Otte, who made eight saves against the Bluejays, to continue their good form. The Bluejays are now 5-1-1 this season.

The upset of the day saw SBI No. 21 UNLV drop a 4-2 decision to a Gonzaga side that hadn’t won before Saturday. Sophomore midfielder Jakob Granlund scored the first two goals for the Zips to help hand UNLV its first loss of 2014.

SBI No. 14 Coastal Carolina suffered its second defeat in three matches, allowing a pair of late goals in a 2-1 loss to UAB. The Chanticleers opened the scoring through Sergio Camargo, but the Blazers responded with first-half strikes from Pachinno Roberts and Freddy Ruiz.

SBI No. 5 UCLA topped UC Santa Barbara, 1-0, with senior midfielder Leo Stolz scoring the game-winning goal in front of 5,104 people.

Here is rundown of Saturday’s top college results:

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Must-See Goal: Pablo Hernandez

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Gordon’s winner caps Galaxy rally past FC Dallas

Alan Gordon (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Photo by Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports Images

By MARK EDWARD HORNISH

CARSON, Calif. —  The crushing heatwave in Southern California gave way this weekend to the first blush of autumn, and with it came hints of playoff soccer at StubHub Center.

FC Dallas, firmly cemented in fourth place in the Western Conference, came to Los Angeles looking to end the Galaxy’s four-game home winning streak.

For 83 minutes it looked like they might leave with at least a point. But Alan Gordon headed home a curling Robbie Keane cross in the dying minutes of the match to grab the 2-1 victory.

The result sent the Galaxy into a tie with the Seattle Sounders for first place in both the Western Conference and the Supporters’ Shield race.

Gordon has now scored five goals in nine appearances for the Galaxy since returning to the club in late August.

“There wasn’t much for me to do, honestly,” said Gordon about the goal. “It was a pretty good ball.  I just got my head on it. Trying to be in the right places is the most import thing, because I know we have a lot of guys who can deliver those balls.”

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Posted in Featured, MLS- FC Dallas, MLS- LA Galaxy, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Wright-Phillips hat trick leads Red Bulls over Sounders

WrightPhillips-RedBullsSounders-USATodayPhoto by Brad Penner/USA Today Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

HARRISON, N.J. — After missing out on his team’s last two games due to injury, Bradley Wright-Phillips made his triumphant return Saturday night by picking up right where he left off.

Wright-Phillips led the way with a hat-trick as the New York Red Bulls overwhelmed the visiting Seattle Sounders, 4-1, at Red Bull Arena.

Less than 30 seconds from the opening kickoff, Wright-Phillips, who head coach Mike Petke admitted was questionable heading into the match, scored his 22nd goal of the season to give the Red Bulls the early 1-0 lead.

The 29-year-old forward’s opener was created by winger Lloyd Sam, who worked into space on the right side. Sam then played in a cross to Wright-Phillips, who laid the ball off to a trailing Ambroise Oyongo. The midfielder’s initial shot was saved by Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei, but the ensuing rebound trickled into the path of Wright-Phillips, who smashed the ball into the net to open up a 1-0 lead.

“When you haven’t played for a couple of games, it’s good to not do anything and get a tap in,” Wright-Phillips said of his first goal. “I was happy with that.”

“We designed a play to score in the first 30 seconds,” joked Petke after the game. “I’m serious, it worked just right.”

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- New York Red Bulls, MLS- Seattle Sounders | 15 Comments

Gritty Crew win snaps Revolution winning streak

FedericoHiguainColumbusCrew1-NewEnglandRevolution (USATodaySports)

Photo by Trevor Ruszkowski/USA Today Sports

By DAN KARELL

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Columbus Crew added to their playoff portfolio on Saturday evening with a gritty victory against one of the Eastern Conference’s hottest teams.

Buoyed by a terrific Federico Higuain free-kick goal just minutes into the second half, the Crew held off the New England Revolution, 1-0, ending the Revolution’s five-game winning streak. The win keeps the Crew in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, above the Philadelphia Union and Toronto FC, who are hot on their tails.

The Revolution remain in third place in the standings, in front of the New York Red Bulls and Crew.

“It’s a fantastic win on a fantastic night,” Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter said. “I think it’s difficult for the other team to create chances when they don’t have the ball, or they have the ball in their half, (and) it becomes hard. I think we did a good job in the first half. After we scored, they came out with everything they had.”

Going up against one of the hottest clubs in MLS, the Crew came out of the locker room with a fire and intensity that hasn’t been seen in the first half in most games this season.

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Timbers trounce Whitecaps again, jump into playoff spot

Fanendo Adi vs Whitecaps (By Steve Dykes - USA Today Sports)Photo by Steve Dykes/USA Today Sports

By MIKE DONOVAN

PORTLAND, Ore. — In a battle between teams fighting for the fifth-and-final playoff spot in the Western Conference, the Portland Timbers had their way with the Vancouver Whitecaps Saturday afternoon, moving the home side above the red line.

Two Fanendo Adi goals in a four-minute span broke the game open while Diego Valeri added a goal and an assist as Portland (9-8-12, 39 points) defeated their Cascadian rival, 3-0, at Providence Park.

After being staked to a lead by a first-half Valeri strike, the Timbers used Adi’s two second-half goals to leave Vancouver (8-7-13, 37 points) on the outside looking in at the MLS Western Conference playoff race. Twenty minutes after the second half restart, Valeri stole the ball from Matias Laba before playing in Adi. The 23-year-old forward slipped the ball past David Ousted and sent the Timbers Army into delirium. Continue reading »

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Fire battle back in second half to ensure draw with D.C. United

QuincyAmarikwaPerryKitchenDCUnitedChicagoFire (USAtodaySports)

Photo by Mike DiNovo/USA TODAY Sports Images

 

By DAN KARELL

D.C. United looked well on their way to securing another crucial late-season victory, but the Chicago Fire had other ideas.

Matt Watson’s late second half goal ensured that the Fire would share the spoils with the Eastern Conference-leading D.C. United, as the two combined to score six goals in a 3-3 draw on Saturday evening at Toyota Park. Luis Silva finished the match with a pair of goals for D.C. United, including one on a beautifully taken free kick.

The evening got off to a bang for the hosts, as forward Quincy Amarikwa put them up 1-0 in the 60th minute, when he curled one in on a far post strike. Jeff Lawrentowicz added the Fire’s second in the 32nd minute, cannoning home a free kick.

Then it was time for D.C. United to make a huge comeback and get back into the game.

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Chicago Fire, MLS- D.C. United | 2 Comments

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

Brad Guzan of Aston Villa

By IVES GALARCEP

Brad Guzan and Aston Villa are enjoying a dream start to their English Premier League season, and the Villans sit in second place in the league through four matches. Led by Guzan’s play in goal, and an improved defense that has allowed just one goal so far this season, Aston Villa are riding high after beating Liverpool last week.

Another very tough test awaits today as Arsenal looks to hand the Villans their first loss of the season, while also trying to climb back into the top four. Arsene Wenger’s side has just one in in four matches this season (to go with three ties), but has the weapons to test Guzan.

In Italy, AC Milan and Juventus square off in a Serie A clash of unbeaten teams. Milan are off to a promising start to the new season, and will be looking to send a statement to the defending Serie A champions with a win at the San Siro.

Today’s MLS schedule features several important matches with playoff implications, including Vancouver’s visit to Portland, Houston’s trip to take on the Philadelphia Union, and the Columbus Crew meet the New England Revolution.

If you will be watching today’s action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Today’s soccer TV schedule is after the jump):

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Posted in Featured, Uncategorized, Your Running Commentary | 122 Comments

Friday College Rewind: Duke upsets UNC; Cal hands Delaware first loss; and more

College

Photo by Duke Photography

 

By AARON CRANFORD

Another week, another college team tumbles from the top spot in the nation.

Duke upset new SBI No.1 North Carolina, 2-1, on Friday night with a late goal from freshman Cameron Moseley. UNC’s Tyler Engel scored the lone goal for the Tar Heels in the first half, but Duke senior Sean Davis scored a spectacular free kick to level the score in the 75th minute. Moseley scored the game-winning goal in the 81st minute.

No. 15 California handed No. 20 Delaware its first loss of the season, posting a 4-2 victory over the Blue Hens. Senior Connor Hallisey and sophomore Christian Thierjung both had braces. The Blue Hens’ Tobias Muller scored a brace of his own in the second half, but the Golden Bears’ Thierjung scored his two within the first five minutes, setting the tone for the rest of the match.

Meanwhile, other ranked sides had a difficult Friday. Another top team, No. 3 George Mason, underperformed, playing to a listless 0-0 draw with Seton Hall, and No. 9 New Mexico played to a 1-1 draw with Drexel.

No. 11 Michigan State welcomed struggling Maryland to the Big Ten by beating them 1-0 in College Park, Maryland.

The Terps were offensively frustrated throughout the night, as junior goalkeeper Zach Bennett grabbed his fifth shutout this season. Junior Jason Stacy gave the Spartans the lead in the ninth minute, and they held on from there to snatch an important away win in the difficult Big Ten conference.

Here is rundown of Friday’s top college results:

FRIDAY

Duke 2, (1) North Carolina 1 (Recap)

Seton Hall 0, (3) George Mason 0. (Recap)

(9) New Mexico 1, Drexel 1. (Recap)

Maryland 0, (11) Michigan State 1. (Recap)

Kentucky 0, (13) Furman 0. (Recap)

(15) California 4, (20) Delaware 2. (Recap)

(18) Stanford 2, SIUE 1. (Recap)

Lipscomb 4, (22) Memphis 3. (Recap)

Boston College 2, Louisville 3. (Recap)

Virginia Tech 2, Wake Forest 0. (Recap)

Posted in College Soccer | 1 Comment

SBI Friday Rewind: Las Vegas stadium deal likely kaput; FIFA decision coming on Qatar; and more

LasVegasStadium_Exterior (FindlaySportsLV)

It’s a fierce fight for the remaining expansion slot up for grabs in Major League Soccer, and it looks like Las Vegas may have to bow out. Reports out of Sin City indicate a plan to build an MLS stadium there will not get approval from the city council. If it is rejected when it comes up for a vote next month, that will likely mean a knockout for the Las Vegas bid for an MLS team.

Meanwhile, everyone is going to have to wait a bit longer to hear anything from FIFA ethics investigations related to awarding the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively. FIFA ethics chief Hans-Joachim Eckert said a decision over alleged potential bidding corruption is unlikely to come until next spring.

And the 2020 European Championships are set, with England playing host for the key matches of the tournament, including the final at Wembley Stadium in London.

Here is a rundown of all the stories featured on SBI Friday:

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
Report: Las Vegas stadium proposal on the rocks

The SBI Show: Episode 165 (Talking the new MLS logo, U.S. Open Cup Final, and more)

MLS Week 28: A Look Ahead

Sounders add Nigerian defender Apam

Toni nets second-half brace as Sporting KC win CCL clash with Deportivo Saprissa

MINOR LEAGUE SOCCER
USL Pro semifinals: A Look Ahead

NASL Week 12: A Look Ahead

Fort Lauderdale Strikers sold to Brazilian trio

COLLEGE SOCCER
College Weekend Preview: Delaware’s California Clashes, Virginia-Notre Dame Headline Week 4

SBI College Soccer Top 25 (Sept. 19th Edition)

INTERNATIONAL SOCCER
Friday Kickoff: 2018, 2022 World Cup decision to come in Spring; Maradona discusses drug regrets; and more

UEFA selects 13 host cities for Euro 2020, London’s Wembley Stadium to host final

Europa League Rewind: Howard stars for Everton; Sevilla beat Feyenoord; and more

Liga MX Round 9: A Look Ahead

This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

 

Posted in SBI Daily Rewind | 1 Comment

USL Pro semifinals: A Look Ahead

NemanjaVukovicSacramentoRepublic1 (SacramentoRepublic)

By EVAN REAM

With MLS officials currently in town, possible future stadium renderings released and a letter of intent signed for a bid for that stadium site, the city of Sacramento has entered full celebration mode.

Though the MLS representatives are not scheduled to stay for the game, the No. 2 seed Republic will hope to continue the celebration on the field when they take on rivals and No. 3 seed LA Galaxy II on Saturday night at Bonney Field.

In four meetings this year, Los Dos only posted a single victory against Sacramento. That win came in the final game of the regular season, when the Republic rested most of their starters in a 2-1 result that was Sacramento’s only loss at Bonney Field all season.

The Republic are coming off of a 4-1 blowout win against in-form Wilmington in a game that was decided by three Sacramento goals off set pieces. With a 9-1-2 record in their last 12 games, the Republic are the hottest side in USL and the title favorites after No. 1 seed Orlando City was upset at home in the quarterfinals.

If the Galaxy II hope to advance, they will need to stop MVP candidate Rodrigo Lopez, who scored eight of his 10 regular season goals at Bonney Field. The task of stopping “RoRo” will be more difficult than usual as Los Dos captain and holding midfielder Rafael Garcia was sent off in a 2-1 victory over Rochester, meaning he will be suspended for the game against the Republic.

Chandler Hoffman, who has earned appearances with the Galaxy first team thanks to strong play in USL Pro, powers a talented Galaxy II front line that finished second in the league with 54 goals.

Here’s a look at the other semifinal matchup in USL Pro:

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Posted in USL Pro | 8 Comments