USWNT rolls past Mexico to qualify for World Cup

Led by a Carli Lloyd brace, the U.S. Women’s National Team qualified for the 2015 World Cup with a 3-0 win over Mexico Friday night.

GalaxySounders1019 (USA Today Sports)

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

Episode 173 of The SBI Show looks back at the Major League Soccer’s disappointing showing in the CONCACAF Champions League, looks ahead to MLS Week 34, and more.

StuartHoldenBolton1-Sunderland2013 (Getty)

Holden releases open letter to fans; reiterates commitment to return

U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Stuart Holden has reiterated his desire to return to the field in an open letter released Friday, stating that retirement is not an option.

College Weekend Preview: Creighton vs. Georgetown, Louisville vs. Clemson headline week 9

Fabian Herbers 5894

Photo by Creighton Athletics

By AARON CRANFORD

SBI No. 7 Creighton and Big East Offensive Player of the Week Fabian Herbers will host No. 15 Georgetown Saturday, and they will be searching for their first win against a ranked conference foe this season.

The Blue Jays only have one loss on the year, but they were defeated by Saint Louis midway through and drew against Xavier Sunday. Only one of their wins has come against ranked opposition, and that was against Stanford in their opening match in August .

They have a tough four days ahead, as they play the Hoyas and No. 8 Marquette, but Herbers will try to lead his side after scoring in both matches last weekend. The Hoyas have not looked like their former self in their past two matches, suffering losses to both Providence and Seton Hall, but they will be looking to bounce back Saturday.

Friday, No. 23 Louisville faces off against Clemson, who topped No. 13 Coastal Carolina during the week (ESPN3, 7:30 p.m.). Since losing four consecutive matches, the Cardinals have rebounded, winning three in a row and topping Syracuse last Friday.

Clemson ended the Chanticleers eight-game winning streak Tuesday and will now hope to ruin the Cardinals momentum.

Marquette and Xavier will meet in another marquee Big East matchup Saturday. The Golden Eagles have struggled as of late, winning only once in their last five matches. Conversely, the Musketeers are eager to stretch their good form. They are unbeaten in eight games played.

Finally, No. 2 UCLA, who claimed first place in the Pac-12 with their second win over Washington Thursday, will play a side, Oregon State, they dominated Sunday.

The Beavers won during the midweek against San Diego State, but they must face star midfielder Leo Stolz, who provided another assist against the Huskies and will surely be a harder task for them to handle.

Check out a rundown of this weekend’s top college matches: Continue reading »

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USWNT rolls past Mexico to qualify for World Cup

Lloyd vs Mex by Bill Streicher USA TODAY
Photo by Bill Striecher/USA TODAY Sports

By CAITLIN MURRAY

As if there was ever really any doubt, the U.S. Women’s National Team will be in Canada for the World Cup next summer.

A dominant USWNT cruised past Mexico in PPL Park on Friday, 3-0, assuring the Americans a spot in the 2015 Women’s World Cup. Mexico is not out of it as they can still qualify.

As has been the case throughout this CONCACAF qualifying tournament, the USWNT looked dominant but let chance after chance go by. The Americans out-shot Mexico, 21-to-1.

“Overall, this tournament has been great and it’s taught us a lot,” brace-scorer Carli Lloyd told Fox Sports afterward. “We’ve been playing against bunker teams.”

Indeed, Mexico looked less interested in scoring goals than there were in minimizing USWNT goals. They had some help, as the Americans hit the woodwork three times on the night and failed to capitalize on several Mexican back line breakdowns.

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Posted in Featured, U.S. Women's National Team, Women's Soccer | 1 Comment

SBI College Soccer Top 25 (Oct. 24 Edition)

Men's Soccer vs. St. Louis University, 10/01/14_Mike Dickbernd

By IVES GALARCEP

The Indiana Hoosiers may have suffered a defeat after reaching the peak of the SBI Top 25, but they certainly weren’t alone among rank teams struggling to earn results.

A whopping 14 of 15 teams in last week’s Top 15 suffered losses or settled for ties, with UCLA the only team to post a pair of victories to climb up to No. 2.

The Hoosiers held on to the top spot despite losing to Maryland by virtue of an impressive mid-week victory against Notre Dame.

Stanford and California climbed up the rankings to give the Pac-12 a whopping four teams in the top 10.

Here is the latest SBI College Soccer Top 25 (for Oct. 24th)

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NWSL stars Wambach, Angerer, Boquete named to 2014 FIFA Ballon d’Or shortlist

AbbyWambachUSWNT1-Mexico2014 (USATODAYSports)

Photo by Russ Isabella/USA TODAY Sports

By DAN KARELL

FIFA revealed their shortlist for the 2014 Women’s Ballon d’Or award on Friday afternoon, and the list contains a number of familiar faces as well as some noticeable absences.

U.S. Women’s National Team all-time leading goalscorer Abby Wambach headlines the shortlist despite a club year with the Western New York Flash that was plagued by some injury.

In addition to Wambach, the National Women’s Soccer League was represented by three other star players — German goalkeeper Nadine Angerer and Spanish midfielder Verónica Boquete for the Portland Thorns, as well as Japanese midfielder Nahomi Kawasumi from NWSL’s Seattle Reign.

Also included on the shortlist for the 12th consecutive year is Brazilian star midfielder Marta.

Notably absent is Alex Morgan, who was on the shortlist the last three years but struggled to overcome a lingering ankle injury over the past 12 months, and was ruled out last week for the rest of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying with another ankle knock.

Former USWNT head coach Pia Sundhage made the coach’s shortlist for the award, as did Seattle Reign head coach Laura Harvey.

The ten-player and ten-coach shortlists will be whittled down to a top three on Dec. 1 by a partnership between FIFA and French publication France Football. The men’s shortlist will be named on Oct. 28.

Here’s a look at the full player and coach’s shortlist for the FIFA women’s Ballon d’Or:

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Posted in FIFA, International Soccer, U.S. Women's National Team, Women's Professional Soccer, Women's Soccer | 1 Comment

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 »

Posted in NASL | 3 Comments

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 direct off a corner kick, 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.

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Posted in College Soccer | 1 Comment