23 for 2015: Projecting the USMNT Gold Cup roster (September 2014 Edition)

The November friendlies against Scotland and Austria helped give Jurgen Klinsmann his last look of the year at his USMNT player pool. With those games in mind, here is the latest SBI 23 for 2014.

MLS Ticker: Earthquakes address Kinnear rumor; Plata called-up to Ecuador; and more

The San Jose Earthquakes have addressed the Dom Kinnear rumors, Real Salt Lake’s Joao Plata has been called up by Ecuador, and more news around MLS.

SBI Live Q&A (September 30th Edition)

It is time to discuss all things soccer in the latest SBI Live Q&A.

Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

Frank Lampard comes on Manchester City
By CARL SETTERLUND

With eight UEFA Champions league games on Tuesday, there are options abound for those able to sneak away from work or stream online.

Manchester City already have their backs against the wall in a competitive Group E that also includes Bayern Munich and red-hot Roma, which is still unbeaten this season.

City manager Manuel Pellegrini will be hoping the feel-good story of the past couple weeks continues on with Frank Lampard an option to make his unlikely return to UCL play. A second straight loss for Man City would put them in peril of dropping out in the group stage.

In Group F, which is similarly competitive, Barcelona will try to take control of the group away to Paris Saint-Germain. PSG will be without Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Ajax are also in action today.

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): Continue reading »

Posted in Your Running Commentary | 1 Comment

23 for 2015: Projecting the USMNT Gold Cup roster (September 2014 Edition)

USMNT Starting Eleven

Photo by Thomas Eisenhuth/ISIphotos.com

 

By FRANCO PANIZO

The 2015 Gold Cup might still be a few months away, but it is not too early to take a look at which players could wind up contributing to the U.S. Men’s National Team as it attempts to defend its title.

After coming up victorious in the last edition of the Gold Cup in 2013, the U.S. will try and win the tournament for a second straight time next summer in order to book a place in the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia.

U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann still has nine months to identify talent that could help his side’s cause at the Gold Cup, but that process officially began earlier this month when the Americans went on the road and beat the Czech Republic, 1-0.

There were encouraging and strong performances in that match in Prague from some of the younger prospects in the pipeline, as well as a handful of the regular veterans. Conversely, there were also some disappointing outings that left plenty of questions as to which players will still be in the picture to partake in the Gold Cup next June.

There is plenty of time left for players to boost their stock, or possible see their stock dominish. For now, here is the September 2014 edition of the SBI Projected USMNT Gold Cup roster, as selected by SBI’s editorial staff:

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Posted in CONCACAF, CONCACAF Gold Cup, Featured, U.S. Men's National Team | 10 Comments

MLS Ticker: Earthquakes address Kinnear rumor; Plata called-up to Ecuador; and more

Dominic Kinnear

Photo by Joshua Weisberg/ISIphotos.com

By CARL SETTERLUND

With rumors of a potential Dominic Kinnear return to San Jose spinning wildly throug MLS media circles, the Earthquakes took time to address the reports.

The Houston Chronicle reported on Friday that the Houston Dynamo would allow Kinnear to leave the club with a year left on his contract this offseason if the Earthquakes offer him their head coaching position. The Earthquakes are currently managed by Mark Watson, who took over for Frank Yallop midway through the 2013 season, but they’re on the verge of missing the playoffs for the second consecutive year.

Although they didn’t address Kinnear by name, the ‘Quakes seemed to be aware of the buzz and indicated that if they were to move on from current coach Mark Warner, it won’t be happening immediately.

“All decisions regarding our technical staff and players will be made at the conclusion of the season,” the club said in a statement.

Kinnear also downplayed the situation on Saturday.

“I’m always kind of fighting those rumors,” Kinnear said. “I think it’s unfair that it’s always brought up because San Jose already has a coach and I have a contract through 2015.”

Although Scottish by birth, the 47-year-old Kinnear has long called the San Jose area his home, playing much of his professional career in the Bay Area and also coached the Earthquakes as an assistant to Frank Yallop during the 2001 and 2003 MLS Cup seasons.

Kinnear was named head coach in 2004 and has remained in that job for a decade, although the franchise moved to Houston in 2006.

Here are some more MLS stories to catch you up on the latest around the league:

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Posted in Featured, International Soccer, Major League Soccer, MLS- Houston Dynamo, MLS- Portland Timbers, MLS- Real Salt Lake, MLS- San Jose Earthquakes | Leave a comment

SBI Live Q&A (September 30th Edition)

Silva-D.C.United-UsaToday

 

It is the last day of the month, and one last chance in September to talk all things soccer in the latest SBI Live Q&A.

Join me as I take your soccer-related questions (and pop culture questions) for the next hour. Feel free to ask about MLS, international soccer, USMNT, college soccer, or anything else that comes to mind.

Get your questions ready and join me after the jump:

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Posted in Featured, SBI Live Q&A | 1 Comment

SBI MLS Goal of the Week: Obafemi Martins

Obafemi Martins Seattle Sounders 2093

Photo by Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports
 

Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS Weekly Awards, MLS- Seattle Sounders, SBI MLS Awards, SBI MLS Goal of the Week | 6 Comments

Who will Ellis call in for USWNT World Cup qualifiers?

Jill Ellis USWNT training by Brad Smith (ISI)

By CAITLIN MURRAY

U.S. Women’s National Team coach Jill Ellis has difficult decisions ahead of her.

It’s not so much the fact that the USWNT faces World Cup qualifiers next month. With more World Cup slots up for grabs in 2015, CONCACAF rival Canada bypassing qualifying and home field advantage, the Americans should easily coast through.

Rather, the difficult part is paring down the roster.

After calling in 28 players for the longest training camp Ellis has hosted since taking over as head coach, she has to cut her group to 20 for qualifiers, which begin for the USWNT on Oct. 15 in Kansas City against Trinidad & Tobago.

In some ways, the USWNT is playing some of best soccer it has played in a while and the bench remains exceptionally deep, meaning there are no easy cuts among the eight.

What makes the roster even harder to predict is Ellis’ newness — she has been in the job for little more than half a year. Her approach since being appointed in April has been to evaluate a wide range of players and consistency has not been the name of the game.

In the last World Cup cycle, then-coach Pia Sundhage rarely made changes, virtually guaranteeing some players their spots. But it feels very different this time around, Abby Wambach told reporters from Rochester, N.Y., where the USWNT played their final friendly before World Cup qualifiers.

“The team is more difficult to make right now,” Wambach said. “Pia had a set lineup that was in play for a couple of years and, because Jill is so new to the team in terms of being a head coach, some players have gotten a chance when maybe they wouldn’t have. The reality is, this is going to be one of the toughest rosters to make.”

Here is SBI’s 20-player roster prediction for Women’s World Cup qualifiers:

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Posted in U.S. Women's National Team, Women's Soccer | 11 Comments