Michel by Tim Heitman USA TODAY

Controversial PK goal lifts FC Dallas over Whitecaps

The Vancouver Whitecaps were undone by an unfortunate penalty call as FC Dallas advanced to the conference semifinals with a 2-1 victory.

Americans Abroad: Midweek Rewind

Sacha Kljestan scored a game-winner in his first start for Anderlecht this season, Terrence Boyd opened his RB Leipzig scoring account, and more in the Americans Abroad’s midweek action.

TFC coach Vanney: Klinsmann and Bradley might not see “eye to eye” on Bradley’s optimal position

Toronto FC head coach Greg Vanney revealed that Michael Bradley and Jurgen Klinsmann don’t agree on the midfielder’s best position on the field.

Controversial PK goal lifts FC Dallas over Whitecaps

Michel by Tim Heitman USA TODAY

Photo by Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

Just days after scoring the goal that sent the Vancouver Whitecaps to the postseason, an unfortunate Kendall Waston handball proved to be the team’s demise.

The Costa Rican defender was called for a questionable handball in the 82nd minute, paving the way for a Michel penalty kick finish as FC Dallas topped the Vancouver Whitecaps, 2-1, to book a spot in the Western Conference semifinals.

Waston’s penalty was an unlucky one, as the Whitecaps defender was struck in the arm after an FC Dallas throw-in took a big hop in the penalty area. Referee Mark Geiger had a clear view and almost immediately pointed to the spot, giving Michel the chance to seal his team a Sunday matchup with the Seattle Sounders.

The hosts opened the scoring in the 40th minute through Tesho Akindele, who smashed home a pass from Mauro Diaz to give FC Dallas the lead. Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS Playoffs, MLS- FC Dallas, MLS- Vancouver Whitecaps | 31 Comments

Americans Abroad: Midweek Rewind

Sacha Kljestan RSC Anderlecht 69

By FRANCO PANIZO

A season mired in frustration may have just taken a turn for the better.

Sacha Kljestan received his first start for Anderlecht across all competitions this season on Wednesday, and all he did was make an emphatic statement for more playing time by scoring the game-winner in a 3-2 triumph over Kortrijk. Kljestan netted his first goal of the season – also his first since February – in the 85th minute to give Anderlecht a two-goal cushion, but it stood as the decisive tally after the advantage was trimmed in half in stoppage time. The goal helped Anderlecht stay ahead of Gent and remain in the top spot in the Pro League table while also improving the veteran midfielder’s chances of adding to his five league appearances.

Terrence Boyd also got his name on the scoresheet Wednesday, as he came off the bench and opened his account with RB Leipzig. Boyd entered the 2. Bundesliga club’s DFB Pokal match against Erzgebirge Aue just after the hour-mark, and scored the insurance goal in the 3-1 win in extra-time. Boyd’s goal came in the 108th minute, and about two weeks after he recovered from an ACL injury that sidelined him during the first few months of the season.

Returning from a spell on the sidelines of his own, Aron Johannsson made his season debut on Wednesday. Johannsson was given the nod in AZ Alkmaar’s 5-0 KNVB Cup tilt with GVVV Veenendaal, and lasted 62 minutes before being replaced. The match marked the forward’s first competitive appearance since playing in the U.S. Men’s National Team’s World Cup opener in June, and since undergoing two separate surgeries to heal his ankle and groin.

Here is how the Americans Abroad fared during the midweek action:

Continue reading »

Posted in Americans Abroad, Featured | 6 Comments

Evening Ticker: Newcastle ousts Man City from Cup; Genoa stuns Juve; and more

CityvsNewcastle

By CAITLIN MURRAY

The Manchester City squad that won last year’s League Cup in style is nowhere to be found, it seems.

Man City is out of the competition, suffering a stunning 2-0 home loss to an organized Newcastle United side Wednesday night.

The match fell apart for Man City quickly — just six minutes in, Newcastle’s Ryan Taylor stripped Fernandinho of the ball and set up Rolando Aarons for an early goal. Man City starter David Silva played just four minutes before exiting the match injured, requiring coach Manuel Pellegrini to use an early substitution.

It didn’t get much better from there for City. Looking sluggish and uninspired to equalize, Man City did better with possession but suffered from atrocious finishing.

Newcastle put the match out of reach in the 75th minute on a brilliant flash of individual effort from Moussa Sissoko, who shimmied through traffic to slot a shot in goal.

Making matters worse for Man City, Yaya Toure was also substituted after an apparent injury to his groin. Toure and Silva, who has a knee injury, will be evaluated on Thursday.

As Newcastle advances to the quarterfinals, it’s not a good look for City, a team that’s won just six of their first 15 games across all competitions this season.

Here are some more news items from overseas Wednesday night:

Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, International Soccer | 1 Comment

TFC coach Vanney: Klinsmann and Bradley might not see “eye to eye” on Bradley’s optimal position

MichaelBradleyJurgenKlinsmann1 (USATODAYSports)

Photo by Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

By DAN KARELL

The long-discussed argument over Michael Bradley’s best position is now playing out on a national team level.

In his end-of-season press conference, Toronto FC head coach Greg Vanney revealed to local media that he had spoken with U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann since taking the job, though the conversation centered around where on the field Klinsmann believed Bradley should be playing.

Bradley, who normally has played more of a holding midfield role or box-to-box midfield role while with the USMNT and his various clubs in Europe and the USA, was pressed higher up the field into an attacking role during the World Cup after Jozy Altidore went down injured 21 minutes into the opening match against Ghana. Bradley received a fair bit of criticism during the World Cup despite playing a relatively new role. It seems though that it’s a role that Klinsmann would rather see Bradley play.

“I have spoken to Jurgen,” Vanney said. “Most of the conversation to be fair was Jurgen telling me how he thinks Michael should be played, and my conversations are more with Michael and how Michael feels he should be played.

“I think Jurgen feels he is a player who should be higher up the field, but I don’t know that Jurgen and Michael see things exactly eye to eye,” Vanney later added.

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, MLS- Toronto FC, U.S. Men's National Team | 59 Comments

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

JamesRodriguezRealMadrid1-DeportivoLaCoruna2014 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Just days after coming away with a morale-boosting 3-1 victory over rival Barcelona, Real Madrid head into the Catalan country as they begin their defense of the Copa Del Rey.

A strong Madrid side featuring Karim Benzema, James Rodriguez, Keylor Navas, and Javier Hernandez all start against third division club Cornella, who play just ten minutes away from the Nou Camp in Barcelona. Later in the day, Sevilla visit Barcelona suburb Sabadell in the Copa Del Rey as well.

A nearly-full schedule of Serie A is also in action on Wednesday, headlined by Genoa hosting defending champion Juventus. Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is in the starting lineup, and will make his 500th Serie A appearance when the game officially kicks off. Other games to watch this afternoon in Italy include Inter Milan vs. Sampdoria and AS Roma vs. Cesena.

In England, three League Cup games are on the schedule, with Manchester City hosting Newcastle and Tottenham taking on Brighton and Hove Albion. Stoke City also face Southampton.

The day’s soccer action wraps up in the evening with the start of the 2014 MLS playoff schedule, as FC Dallas take on the Vancouver Whitecaps in the Western Conference knockout round. Later, Santos Laguna travel to face Jose Torres, Herculez Gomez, and Tigres UANL in the Copa MX.

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 schedule is after the jump):

Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, Featured, Mexican Soccer, Your Running Commentary | 6 Comments

Report: Wood forced to train with reserves after frustrating the 1860 Munich coaching staff

Wood-1860Munich-ISI

By RYAN TOLMICH

U.S. Men’s National Team forward Bobby Wood has reportedly ruffled some feathers on the club level.

The 1860 Munich forward was left out of the squad for Wednesday’s DFB Pokal meeting with Freiburg after reportedly being demoted for the time being by the coaching staff. Wood, who made his U.S. Men’s National Team debut in August, reportedly trained with the reserve team this week along with teammate Markus Hofer.

“They are not disgraced,” said manager Markus von Ahlen on Wood’s absence Wednesday. “They had the day off because they have exercised with the amateurs yesterday.

“(It was) an overall decision,” added von Ahlen. “Not a decision against Wood and Hofer, but for other players.”

Wood’s demotion reportedly stems from assistant coach Filip Tapalovic’s displeasure with the forward, as Wood trained away from the rest of the team earlier this week. The decision to train with the reserves is only expected to be temporary.

The 21-year-old forward has appeared in six games this season for 1860 Munich and has yet to score.

What do you make of Wood’s exclusion? What do you expect from Wood this season?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Americans Abroad, Featured | 14 Comments