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
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?
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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.
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
By DAN KARELL
This season’s bi-annual Clasico Regiomontano has even more on the line, with both Tigres UANL and Monterrey battling for top seeds in the Liguilla.
With four weeks remaining in the season, Monterrey host arch-rival Tigres in the most anticipated game of the weekend. Both squads are tied on 23 points, but Monterrey have a game in hand, and are looking to recover after a 2-0 loss to Club America. Tigres are rolling on all cylinders as they hold a nine-game unbeaten run in all competitions, including four wins in Liga MX in that span.
The likes of Dorlan Pabon taking on Hernan Berbano and the American pair of Jose Torres and Herculez Gomez make this weekend’s bout a must-watch encounter.
Elsewhere in Liga MX action, Club America visit Ronaldinho and Queretaro, Toluca takes on defending champions Club Leon, and Club Tijuana face Chivas Guadalajara, with the Goats hoping to stop their slide towards relegation.
Here’s a look at this weekend’s Liga MX slate:
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