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CCL Preview: Timbers, D.C. United looking to clinch high seeds in group stage finale

The Portland Timbers and D.C. United both head into Tuesday’s CCL action hoping to secure a top four seed in the tournament’s knockout stage.

FrancescoTottiASRoma1-Chievo2014SerieA (Getty)

UCL Preview: Roma host Bayern; Man City travel to CSKA Moscow; and more

AS Roma look to prove their UEFA Champions League prowess when they host German leaders Bayern Munich in Tuesday’s Champions League action.

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SBI World Player of the Week: Sergio Aguero

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero scored four goals in Saturday’s 4-1 rout of Tottenham, earning SBI World Player of the Week honors in the process.

SBI MLS Goal of the Week: Lloyd Sam

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Photo by Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports

Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS Weekly Awards, MLS- New York Red Bulls, SBI MLS Awards, SBI MLS Goal of the Week | Leave a comment

SBI World Team of the Week: Deportivo La Coruna

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On paper, Deportivo La Coruna was supposed to have little chance against previously-unbeaten Valencia. Depor was mired in a four-match losing streak, while Valencia was riding high off an impressive rout of Atletico Madrid before the international break.

Deportivo La Coruna didn’t stick to the script though, handing Valencia their first loss of the La Liga season in a 3-0 victory at Estadio Riazor. The victory helped Depor earn SBI World Team of the Week honors.

An early own goal by Jose Gaya gave Depor the 1-0 lead, and Lucas Perez made it 2-0 with an insurance goal just before halftime. Valencia never could break through, and Toche’s 79th-minute dagger put the match out of reach for Deportivo.

Deportivo beat out Manchester City, Lazio, Toluca and Southampton for this weekend’s honors.

What did you think of Deportivo’s performance? Which team impressed you the most this past weekend?

Share your thoughts below.

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CCL Preview: Timbers, D.C. United looking to clinch high seeds in group stage finale

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Photo by Steve Dykes/USA TODAY Sport

 

By RYAN TOLMICH

Despite being on opposite ends of the current MLS playoff spectrum, the Portland Timbers and D.C. United enter Tuesday night’s CONCACAF Champions League action with an eye on the knockout round.

Both sides head into Tuesday undefeated in CCL play, although the Timbers still have everything to play for as the team heads down to Honduras to take on Olimpia, who they previously topped, 4-2, within the friendly confines of Providence Park.

The Timbers face a favorable scenario for advancement, as either a win or a draw would secure a spot in the knockout stages. Even a one-goal loss would be good enough to see the Timbers through via a tiebreaker.

In addition to advancement, the Timbers could go so far as lock up the top overall seed in the next stage, as the team currently stands out with Mexico’s Pachuca as the two teams who can finish with the highest goal differential amongst those who could finish with all 12 points. Continue reading »

Posted in CONCACAF Champions League, Featured, MLS- D.C. United, MLS- Portland Timbers | 1 Comment

UCL Preview: Roma host Bayern; Man City travel to CSKA Moscow; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Italy’s rising stars face their toughest test in the UEFA Champions League when Bayern Munich come to town.

After recording a win against CSKA Moscow in their return to the UEFA Champions League and earning a huge point on the road at Manchester City, AS Roma now face Pep Guardiola’s powerful Bayern squad, with a place in the knockout rounds potentially on the line. Roma captain Francesco Totti became the oldest player to score in the Champions League when he scored against Man City on Sept. 30 and Guardiola has already singled him out as a player that Bayern have to take seriously, despite his age.

Man City meanwhile take the nearly 1,600 mile trip east to chilly Moscow, where the Citizens are in desperate need of a win to revive their Champions League campaign. Due to sanctions from UEFA for racist actions from some CSKA Moscow fans, the match will be played in front of an empty stadium, which could taken away from the match’s energy and atmosphere.

Elsewhere in Champions League action, Chelsea take on Slovenia’s NK Maribor without Diego Costa due to his nagging hamstring injury, Barcelona face Ajax as the two legendary clubs renew rivalries, and Paris Saint-Germain visit APOEL without the services of Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Ezequiel Lavezzi.

Here’s a full list of today’s UCL action:

Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, Featured, UEFA Champions League | Leave a comment

SBI World Player of the Week: Sergio Aguero

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By IVES GALARCEP

Sergio Aguero has had plenty of impressive performances for Manchester City before, but his virtuoso effort in Saturday’s 4-1 drubbing of Tottenham may just have been his best ever.

The Argentine striker notched four goals, and could probably have scored eight, in helping lead the defending English Premier League champions to an easy victory against Spurs. The performance made Aguero the easy pick for this week’s SBI World Player of the Week honors.

Aguero converted a pair of penalty kicks, while missing another, and added a pair of outstanding goals in the run of play to lead the rout.

Continue reading »

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Tuesday Kickoff: Platini champions Financial Fair Play; Chilean official makes WC proposal; and more

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By DAN KARELL

UEFA’s Financial Fair Play initiative has made plenty of opponents, but UEFA president Michel Platini is still championing the cause.

In a speech made in Rome on Tuesday to sports ministers in European Union nations, Platini touched on a number of topics including ending third-party ownership, the enhanced cooperation between UEFA and the EU, and statistics of Financial Fair Play since it went into effect at the start of the 2011-2012 season.

“We have started to put football on the right track,” Platini said. “Each of us must measure how far we have come. Aggregate losses among European clubs, which had reached €1.7bn in 2011, fell to €800m in 2013, a drop of more than 50% in less than two years. Thanks to financial fair play, we are therefore heading in the right direction.”

Platini also appealed to the audience to support UEFA, confirming that some legal challenges against Financial Fair Play could be coming in the near future.

“Previously unthinkable reforms have been adopted and implemented and they have proved successful,” Platini said. “The basis for [financial fair play] comes down to two sayings: ‘you should live within your means’ and ‘there’s a line that must not be crossed’.”

Ahead of this season, both Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City were given strong sanctions for spending beyond FFP regulations, including squad deductions in the UEFA Champions League and a conditional €60 million fine.

Here are some more stories to kick off your Tuesday:

Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, Featured, FIFA | 3 Comments