SBI MLS Team of the Week: Columbus Crew

The Columbus Crew showed off their postseason credentials with a dominating 3-1 victory at the New York Red Bulls, earning the Crew SBI MLS Team of the Week honors.

Wolverhampton decline to offer Agudelo contract citing fitness issues

Juan Agudelo’s trial with Championship club Wolverhampton has ended without a contract due to a lack of match fitness and work permit issues, according to Wolverhampton’s coach.

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SBI MLS Player of the Week: Lee Nguyen

New England Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen scored a pair of goals to lead his side to a 2-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo.

NASL Week 16: A Look Back

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Photo by Rob Kinnan/Carolina RailHawks

  By EVAN REAM It wasn’t the result they wanted, but the Carolina RailHawks kept their playoff hopes alive with a 1-1 draw against the visiting Fort Lauderdale Strikers Saturday night. The Strikers came in two points ahead of Carolina, and nearly left with a five-point stranglehold on the final NASL playoff spot, but Nacho Novo’s back heel goal eight minutes from time made sure that both sides split the points. Mark Anderson put Fort Lauderdale ahead in the 67th minute of the match with a clean finish, but the Strikers were unable to hold on for the victory which would have all-but guaranteed them a postseason spot. With two matches left to play Fort Lauderdale remain in the fourth and final playoff position while Carolina and FC Edmonton each sit two points behind. Here’s a look at the rest of the weekend’s action in the NASL: Continue reading »

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Crew notes: Trapp draws praise of Henry; Parkhurst weighs in on Klinsmann, Garber; and more

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Photo by Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports

 

By RYAN TOLMICH

Having already been labeled as “The Franchise”, the Columbus Crew’s Wil Trapp has drawn plenty of praise from in and around the club. Now, in addition to the respect he’s earned in the Crew locker room, the 21 year-old midfielder has earned a stamp of approval from one of soccer’s legends.

Following the Crew’s 3-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls Sunday, Thierry Henry was quick to praise the play of Trapp, who played a key part in the waves of attacking play that gave the Red Bulls’ defense trouble throughout the game.

“Wil Trapp was outstanding today,” Henry said. “I know (Federico) Higuain usually gets all the (credit), their striker will get (some too) I’m sure because he scored two goals, and (Ethan) Finlay wasn’t bad either, but Wil Trapp is the key of that team.

“Today, he was giving the tempo of the team, bringing the ball out from the back, Higuain doesn’t have to drop and get the ball, he will get it in a good position because Wil Trapp does his job. Difficult to stop. He has, hopefully for him, a good future. As Americans, you should be happy.

“Today I thought he was the difference.”

Here are some more Crew notes from Sunday’s victory over the Red Bulls: Continue reading »

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SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Harrison Shipp

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Photo by Brad Mills/USA Today Sports

 

By RYAN TOLMICH

Despite seeing his side slump to a loss, Chicago Fire rookie Harrison Shipp once again demonstrated just how dangerous he can be on the attack.

The rookie midfielder was a threat throughout the Fire’s 2-1 loss to D.C. United, with the Fire’s lone finish coming as a result of the attacking intelligence of Shipp, who has been recognized as SBI MLS Rookie of the Week.

Trailing 2-0, Shipp was able to pull his side within one with a perfectly timed run through the highly-regarded D.C. United defense. After receiving the pass from Patrick Nyarko, Shipp calmly tapped the ball past goalkeeper Bill Hamid for the Notre Dame product’s seventh goal of the year.

Shipp beat out a field including Pedro Ribeiro and Steve Birnbaum for this week’s honors.

What did you think of Shipp’s performance this week? Which rookie impressed you in MLS Week 33?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in MLS- Chicago Fire, SBI MLS Rookie of the Week | 1 Comment

SBI MLS Team of the Week: Columbus Crew

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Photo by Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports

By DAN KARELL

The Columbus Crew showed on Sunday afternoon that they were not satisfied with merely earning a place in the 2014 MLS playoffs.

One day after qualifying for the postseason, the Crew outplayed the New York Red Bulls on the road on the way to a 3-1 victory, moving Gregg Berhalter’s team into fourth place above the Red Bulls with one week remaining in the season. The Crew’s performance made them an easy choice for SBI MLS Team of the Week honors.

Even with Federico Higuain back in the lineup, the Crew were lifted by big performances from goalkeeper Steve Clark, midfielders Wil Trapp and Tony Tchani, and forward to Ethan Finlay and Aaron Schoenfeld, the latter two combining for all three Crew goals on the afternoon.

The Crew beat out the New England Revolution and Philadelphia Union for this week’s honors.

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What did you think of the Crew’s performance? Which team stood out the most to you in MLS Week 32?

Share your thoughts below.

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Wolverhampton decline to offer Agudelo contract citing fitness issues

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Photo by USA TODAY Sports

By DAN KARELL

Juan Agudelo’s lack of match fitness has come back to haunt him as he continues to look for a new home.

The 21-year-old forward was released from his trial with Wolverhampton on Monday without a contract offer, with Wolves manager Kenny Jackett citing a lack of recent games under Agudelo’s in addition to work permit issues as a reason for the end of the trial.

“Juan is not a player that (we) are going to pursue,” Jackett said. “We felt that match fitness was the key for Juan. To get him up to Championship standard he would need to play games and it is hard to go from nothing straight into the Championship.

“That can be tough, and while the odd player does it most people don’t – you need a run of games and need to build up. So it was nothing to do with his ability levels, just that he hasn’t played.”

Continue reading »

Posted in Americans Abroad, Featured | 41 Comments

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Lee Nguyen

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By RYAN TOLMICH

For the eighth time this season, Lee Nguyen scored a game-winning goal for the New England Revolution.

The midfielder had a pair of finishes Saturday to lead the Revs to a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over the Houston Dynamo, earning Nguyen SBI MLS Player of the Week.

With his side down a goal, Nguyen netted the equalizer in the 65th minute with a right-footed curler that left Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric frozen. Nguyen then netted his 17th goal of the season in the 87th minute to clinch the Eastern Conference’s second seed for his side.

Nguyen beat out a crowded field including Ethan Finlay, Eddie Johnson and Nick Rimando for this week’s honors.

What did you think of Nguyen’s performance? Who stood out to you in MLS Week 33?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Featured, MLS- New England Revolution, SBI MLS Player of the Week | 7 Comments