By IVES GALARCEP
Tim Howard may be taking a break from the U.S. Men’s National Team, but he will still have plenty of big games to keep him busy over the next year with Everton.
The first of those tough tests awaits today against high-flying Arsenal. The Gunners come in off a last-minute victory in their opener, and they face a Toffees side that will be desperate to avoid starting the season off by dropping points in two straight matches.
The Bundesliga season is underway, and while Bayern Munich draws most of the attention, two of the teams expected to try and knock the champions off their perch square off in an early-season clash as Borussia Dortmund meets Bayer Leverkusen.
In Spain, the opening weekend kicks off today, with Sevilla taking on Valencia in a clash of top La Liga sides. Meanwhile, in Brazil, Atletico Mineiro takes on Internacional in an intriguing clash.
MLS has a marquee match-up on the schedule as well, with the top two teams in the East facing off as D.C. United visits Sporting Kansas City.
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 on TV is after the jump):
by TYLER GRAY
Two hot teams and an even hotter evening set the stage for an unforgettable performance from FC Dallas.
A first-half red card sent off Blas Perez and looked like it might doom FC Dallas, but they scored two goals while down a man to silence Real Salt Lake, 2-1, and vault themselves into a three-way tie for first place in the Western Conference. Goals from Je-vaughn Watson and Fabian Castillo were more than enough to stun a visiting RSL.
The match was testy from the beginning with both Perez and Michel picking up early yellow cards.
Things got even more interesting in the 45th minute when an altercation between Dallas forward Blas Perez and RSL defender Chris Schuler resulted in the Panamanian seeing his second yellow and being sent off.
Schuler was fighting for position to win a header when Perez went down under the challenge. The RSL defender thought he went down a little too easily and shoved him in the chest when Perez tried to stand up. The Panamanian embellished his fall and was shown his second yellow of the night. Schuler also received a yellow for his contribution.
By FRANCO PANIZO
The competition for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s vacant starting goalkeeper spot is on, and Brad Guzan will attempt to help his cause by trying to move Aston Villa to a 2-0 start to the season.
After winning their season opener on the road against Stoke City, Aston Villa will open the home part of their schedule when they face an 0-1 Newcastle United side on Saturday. Guzan will have a chance to not only keep the Villans perfect through the first two weeks of the Premiership, but a strong performance in between the pipes would surely do him no harm in attempt to begin convincing U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann that he is the player most ready to fill in for Tim Howard.
Howard is the American involved in one of the weekend’s most intriguing contests, as he and Everton take on Arsenal on Saturday. The Toffees settled for a draw after letting a late lead slip away on opening weekend, but grabbing their first victory of the season at home against the 1-0 Gunners will not be easy and likely require Howard to turn in one of his usual impressive outings in goal.
Wondering what other matches are worth watching? Look no further than Herculez Gomez, Jose Torres and Tigres’ duel with Morelia on Friday, and Alejandro Bedoya and Nantes’ match against Monaco on Sunday.
Gomez will be hoping to have earned a starting spot for Tigres after his midweek goal-scoring performance in Copa MX play, and could make a very strong statement with another impactful outing. Bedoya, meanwhile, will be looking to return to Nantes’ lineup as the club takes on a talented Monaco side that is eager to bounce back from a surprising 0-2 start in Ligue 1.
Here is who the Americans Abroad lock horns with this weekend:
Photo by USA Today Sports Images
By RYAN TOLMICH
For the third and final time of 2014 MLS regular season, the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers are set to do battle in a Cascadia Cup showdown.
One of the league’s fiercest rivalries continues Sunday, when the Sounders and Timbers collide at Providence Park. Despite all of the story lines that accompany true rivalry games, both sides enter the weekend with plenty to play for as the MLS season enters its final third.
Elsewhere in MLS, the high-scoring LA Galaxy clash with the speedy Vancouver Whitecaps, second-place D.C. United visits first-place Sporting KC, and Toronto FC host the Chicago Fire.
Here’s a look at this weekend’s MLS slate: Continue reading
By RYAN TOLMICH
Much like the five signings that preceded him, New York City FC’s Kwame Watson-Siriboe is set to go on loan ahead of the club’s first season.
The 28-year-old defender, who was acquired in a trade from Real Salt Lake on Aug. 11, will join the Carolina RailHawks on loan for the remainder of the 2014 NASL season.
“We are delighted to add a player with Kwame’s experience at this point of the season,” said RailHawks head coach Colin Clarke. “We want to thank New York City FC for making this deal happen, and we look forward to Kwame helping us reach our goals and win the championship.”
Prior to joining NYCFC, Watson-Siriboe made 19 appearances with Real Salt Lake throughout the 2012-13 season. However, the defender has yet to see the field since suffering a torn right anterior cruciate ligament in June 2013.
The RailHawks, who currently sit in sixth place in the NASL combined standings, resume NASL play Saturday when they take on the Tampa Bay Rowdies at WakeMed Soccer Park.
What do you think of Watson-Siriboe’s move to the RailHawks? How will the RailHawks fare the rest of the NASL season?
Share your thoughts below.
Photo by Meg Williams/Portland Thorns FC
By CAITLIN MURRAY
While the 2014 regular season of the National Women’s Soccer League has allowed some teams to change course and blaze a new trail, for others it’s looked like deja vu. With two very different playoff scenarios this weekend, both of those sentiments are set to play out.
Keeping old storylines alive, Saturday offers an identical rematch to last year’s semifinal between two very close teams, the Portland Thorns FC and FC Kansas City. The Thorns brought in a new coach, Paul Riley, and shuffled the roster, but found the exact same chemistry issues and inconsistency as last season. Kansas City again played attractive, positive soccer, but gave up games late.
Meanwhile, Sunday brings a matchup between two clubs that have worked hard to reinvent themselves. Last year’s two worst teams make their post-season debut as the Washington Spirit attempt to beat the Seattle Reign FC, a team that has all but steamrolled its way through the regular season.
With a slew of U.S. Women’s National Team stars back from a friendly this week — including the likes of Hope Solo, Alex Morgan and Sydney Leroux — the very best talent in women’s soccer will be on display as four teams fight for a spot in the NWSL championship.
Here’s a closer look at this weekend’s NWSL semifinal matchups:
By RYAN TOLMICH
When Barcelona kick off their 2014-15 La Liga campaign Sunday, they will likely do so shorthanded.
Barcelona are set to take on Elche on Sunday and, as expected, forward Luis Suarez will be unavailable due to suspension. However, Suarez’s absence may be compounded due to the injury woes of Neymar, who picked up a sprained ankle this week in training.
Meanwhile, the other two pillars of La Liga’s triumvirate, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid, collide once again Friday in the second leg of their Super Cup clash. The two will resume play at Atletico’s Vicente Calderon Stadium after drawing 1-1 at the Bernabeu Tuesday.
In addition to the action in Spain, the Premier League returns for the league’s second showing, with the weekend’s action highlighted by a Saturday clash between Arsenal and Everton. The action is also highlighted by Louis Van Gaal’s second outing in charge of Manchester United, who take on Sunderland Sunday.
In other action, Bayern Munich takes on Wolfsburg, Borussia Dortmund hosts Bayer Leverkusen and Chelsea take on the recently promoted Leicester City.
Here’s a rundown of This Weekend’s Soccer on TV: