By IVES GALARCEP
The U.S. Men’s National Team roster announced on Thursday created plenty of buzz among U.S. fans, not only for the players who were on it, but for the one big name missing from the list.
Episode 34 of The SBI Show focuses on the U.S. roster, and we break down the selections, Donovan’s absence, and we project the lineup most likely to be on the field for June’s important World Cup qualifiers.
Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I also discuss MLS Week 12, David Beckham’s retirement, and more.
Give the show a listen after the jump:
By MICHAEL KLINE
The Barclays Premier League comes to a close this weekend, with a full slate of entertaining matches highlighting your Sunday morning.
Tottenham and Arsenal will take center stage on Sunday, with massive Champions League implications on the line.
Arsenal will visit St. James’ Park to face Newcastle, in a must-win situation. The Gunners control their own fate and the scenario couldn’t be more straightforward: win and they are in the Champions League. Their opponents Newcastle are in atrocious form at the moment, with their only win in their last five matches coming against the league’s worst club Queens Park Rangers.
Tottenham will play host to Paolo Di Canio and Sunderland on Sunday morning, with three points being the only objective for the match.
The Spurs’ fate rests in the hands of Newcastle United, who has to either beat or draw with Arsenal for Andre Villas-Boas and co. to have a shot at the Champions League. An Arsenal draw or loss and a Tottenham victory will see the Spurs move into the last Champions League place in England.
Here is a rundown of This Weekend’s Soccer on TV:
By IVES GALARCEP
Major League Soccer released a statement on Friday about the ongoing rumors surrounding Chivas USA and their current owners.
Recent reports in Mexico have stated that Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim is interested in purchasing the entire Chivas franchise, which would include Chivas USA. On Friday, his son-in-law Arturo Elias Ayub declared that him and Slim were not in discussion with Chivas.
MLS moved to deny the rumors on Friday, issuing a statement imploring that there was nothing to the talk.
“Major League Soccer is aware of recent media speculation concerning Chivas USA,” read a statement from the league issued on Friday. “Such speculation is completely unfounded and untrue. MLS is fully supportive of the current owners of Chivas USA and has never considered taking over the club or moving it.”
By MIKE McCALL
After a few weeks of largely unsurprising results, the National Women’s Soccer League got a little dose of unpredictability on Thursday night, setting things up for an interesting weekend.
The biggest shock came in Portland, where the first-place and previously-unbeaten Thorns lost, 1-0, to Sky Blue FC, locking the two into a tie atop the league standings. A few hours north, the Washington Spirit unleashed an impressive performance of their own in a 4-2 victory over the Seattle Reign — their first victory and an offensive explosion from a club that had scored just five goals in its previous five games.
And so the league will head into this weekend with two teams tied for first, followed by a cluster of four teams and the two stragglers in Chicago and Seattle.
For a look at what to expect this weekend, here are the matchups (all times local):
By MIKE GRAMAJO
With his five goals on the season, forward Brian Shriver looks to lead the Carolina RailHawks when they visit the Atlanta Silverbacks at Atlanta Silverbacks Park on Saturday in North American Soccer League action.
The RailHawks, who sit three points clear atop the NASL table, are entering this weekend’s play after mauling the San Antonio Scorpions, 5-2, last week.
Both Minnesota United FC and the Tampa Bay Rowdies, who are both winless in their last two games, are eying to snap their respective skids. The Rowdies sit second in the table, while United are right behind them in third.
The Fort Lauderdale Strikers picked up their first win of the season last Saturday, defeating United, 2-1, at Lockhart Stadium, but it’s the Scorpions who are in the hot seat. The Texas club have yet to win this season and to make things even worse, they have yet to taste victory in their new stadium, Toyota Park.
Here’s a closer look at Week Seven’s NASL matches:
By DAN KARELL
The Mayor of Hannover isn’t going anywhere.
A day before Hannover 96′s final game of the season against Fortuna Dusseldorf, right back Steve Cherundolo signed a one-year extension with the club through 2014. The American international, who holds 87 caps, broke the record this season for all-time appearances in the Bundesliga with the club, now sitting at 299 matches.
“For nearly 15 years, only for one club. Steven Cherundolo is a perfect example of loyalty reliability and performance, I am pleased that he will remain in the coming season with us,” Hannover manager Mirko Slomka said in a statement on the club’s website.
The 34-year-old Rockford, Illinois native first joined Hannover in January of 1999 after two seasons of college soccer at the University of Portland. Though 12 managers have come and gone since then, Cherundolo was one of the few constants, earning him the nickname the “Mayor of Hannover” and earning him club captaincy in 2010.
What do you make of the move? Do you see Cherundolo retiring at the club?
Share your thoughts below.
By THOMAS FLOYD
Come Sunday afternoon, Red Bull Arena certainly won’t be short of star power.
Fresh off a 4-1 win midweek over Philadelphia, Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and the Los Angeles Galaxy will try to make it 2-for-2 on their East Coast swing with a win over Thierry Henry, Tim Cahill and the New York Red Bulls. Barring an MLS Cup clash, it will be the only meeting this year between the high-profile clubs.
Elsewhere around the league, the Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers will meet in a Cascadia Cup tilt; the Seattle Sounders will try to continue their surge against first-place FC Dallas; and Toronto FC and the Columbus Crew will renew their Trillium Cup feud.
Here is a rundown of the Week 12 slate:
By DAN KARELL
In Jurgen Klinsmann’s roster press release on Thursday, the U.S. Men’s National Team head coach alluded to the possibility of bringing in 22-year-old Icelandic forward Aron Johannsson in for a look for this summer’s Gold Cup.
Unfortunately for Klinsmann, he may be too late.
According to ESPN, the Alabama-born player would accept a call up from Iceland for their upcoming World Cup qualifier on June 7 against Slovenia rather than wait for a chance to represent the U.S. at the 2013 Gold Cup or in other matches.
Johannsson, a teammate of U.S. National Team forward Jozy Altidore at AZ Alkmaar in the Dutch Eredivisie, moved to Iceland with his parents at the age of three and has represented the island nation at the U-21 level, playing eight matches in qualification for the U-21 European Championships.
This season Johannsson has split time with AGF Aarhus in the Danish Superliga and AZ, making a combined 23 appearances and scoring an impressive 17 goals.
What do you make of this news? Do you feel that the U.S. is missing out on a great player? Would you rather see other players given a chance at the Gold Cup?
Share your thoughts below.
By DAN KARELL
A day after hearing that defender Matt Besler and midfielder Graham Zusi would be joining the U.S. Men’s National Team, Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes found out he’d be without two additional players for a three week stretch in the middle of the season.
Having just returned to the club, forward Kei Kamara has been called up by Sierra Leone and reserve winger Soony Saad has accepted a call-up to represent Lebanon, after filing a one-time switch with FIFA following a career representing the U.S. at the youth level.
The call-ups will leave Vermes without Besler, Zusi, and Kamara for a three week stretch between May 27 and June 18, though Saad will only be gone from May 25-31. The foursome will each miss at least two matches, May 28 in the U.S. Open Cup and June 1 at Montreal.
Here are some more stories to get you caught up around the league:
By THOMAS FLOYD
Two moments stick out to Caleb Porter regarding Rodney Wallace’s rapid ascent from useful utility player to emerging MLS standout.
The first was in late January, at Estadio Nacional in San Jose, Costa Rica. With the host nation locked in a scoreless Copa Centroamericana semifinal against Honduras, Wallace not only secured passage to the title game by converting a late back-post header — he also gave Porter a glimpse of his underestimated class in the final third.
The second was in mid-March, under the bright lights of a Cascadia Cup clash between the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders. Given 10 minutes off the bench by Porter, Wallace again showcased that uncanny awareness close to goal, looping a 90th-minute header into the back of the net to give the Timbers a hard-earned road point.
At that point, Porter was sold.
“You want the players on the field that you trust, players you can count on,” Porter said. “When he pulled that header out to give us a result in the final minutes against Seattle on the road, I thought to myself, ‘This guy’s got it. He’s got game-changing ability. He’s got mental toughness.’ When you want more out of a player and you get more with the game on the line, you feel like you can trust him.”