GalaxySounders1019 (USA Today Sports)

The SBI Show: Episode 173 (Talking CONCACAF Champions League, Previewing MLS Week 34, and more)

Episode 173 of The SBI Show looks back at the Major League Soccer’s disappointing showing in the CONCACAF Champions League, looks ahead to MLS Week 34, and more.

USWNT rolls past Mexico to qualify for World Cup

Led by a Carli Lloyd brace, the U.S. Women’s National Team qualified for the 2015 World Cup with a 3-0 win over Mexico Friday night.

StuartHoldenBolton1-Sunderland2013 (Getty)

Holden releases open letter to fans; reiterates commitment to return

U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Stuart Holden has reiterated his desire to return to the field in an open letter released Friday, stating that retirement is not an option.

The SBI Show: Episode 173 (Talking CONCACAF Champions League, Previewing MLS Week 34, and more)

GalaxySounders1019 (USA Today Sports)

 Photo by USA TODAY Sports



Major League Soccer fans will endure a wide range of emotions this week as the CONCACAF Champions League failures of some teams come just as other teams prepare to take important steps toward the MLS playoffs.

Episode 173 of The SBI Show takes a look back at a disappointing group stage for American MLS teams, with just one of four advancing to the CCL quarterfinals after Sporting KC and Portland were eliminated. D.C. United join the Montreal Impact as the lone MLS representatives in the knockout rounds.

Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I also look ahead at MLS Week 34, including the key Seattle Sounders-LA Galaxy clash, as well as the New York Red Bulls’ visit to Sporting Kansas City. We also discuss the season’s first edition of ‘El Clasico’, between Barcelona and Real Madrid, and more.

Give Episode 173 of The SBI Show a listen after the jump:

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, Podcasts, U.S. Men's National Team, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Sinama-Pongolle scores late winner to lead Fire over Dynamo


Photo by Guy Rhodes/USA TODAY Sports


As Friday’s matchup with the Houston Dynamo headed into extra time, the Chicago Fire looked destined to extend their MLS record with their 19th draw of the season. However, a late goal from Florent Sinama-Pongolle ensured the Fire would close out the season with a maximum three points.

Sinama-Pogalle scored in stoppage time in midfielder Logan Pause’s sendoff game, as the Fire picked up a 2-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo, who saw the Dominic Kinnear end in a loss.

The Frenchman’s winner came in the 91st minute via a cross form midfielder Grant Ward, as Sinama-Pogalle’s near post run was rewarded with a pinpoint ball from Ward. Sinama-Pogalle responded with a thumping header to lock up a late victory for the Fire. Continue reading »

Posted in MLS- Chicago Fire, MLS- Houston Dynamo | Leave a comment

College Weekend Preview: Creighton vs. Georgetown, Louisville vs. Clemson headline week 9

Fabian Herbers 5894

Photo by Creighton Athletics


SBI No. 7 Creighton and Big East Offensive Player of the Week Fabian Herbers will host No. 15 Georgetown Saturday, and they will be searching for their first win against a ranked conference foe this season.

The Blue Jays only have one loss on the year, but they were defeated by Saint Louis midway through and drew against Xavier Sunday. Only one of their wins has come against ranked opposition, and that was against Stanford in their opening match in August .

They have a tough four days ahead, as they play the Hoyas and No. 8 Marquette, but Herbers will try to lead his side after scoring in both matches last weekend. The Hoyas have not looked like their former self in their past two matches, suffering losses to both Providence and Seton Hall, but they will be looking to bounce back Saturday.

Friday, No. 23 Louisville faces off against Clemson, who topped No. 13 Coastal Carolina during the week (ESPN3, 7:30 p.m.). Since losing four consecutive matches, the Cardinals have rebounded, winning three in a row and topping Syracuse last Friday.

Clemson ended the Chanticleers eight-game winning streak Tuesday and will now hope to ruin the Cardinals momentum.

Marquette and Xavier will meet in another marquee Big East matchup Saturday. The Golden Eagles have struggled as of late, winning only once in their last five matches. Conversely, the Musketeers are eager to stretch their good form. They are unbeaten in eight games played.

Finally, No. 2 UCLA, who claimed first place in the Pac-12 with their second win over Washington Thursday, will play a side, Oregon State, they dominated Sunday.

The Beavers won during the midweek against San Diego State, but they must face star midfielder Leo Stolz, who provided another assist against the Huskies and will surely be a harder task for them to handle.

Check out a rundown of this weekend’s top college matches: Continue reading »

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USWNT rolls past Mexico to qualify for World Cup

Lloyd vs Mex by Bill Streicher USA TODAY
Photo by Bill Striecher/USA TODAY Sports


As if there was ever really any doubt, the U.S. Women’s National Team will be in Canada for the World Cup next summer.

A dominant USWNT cruised past Mexico in PPL Park on Friday, 3-0, assuring the Americans a spot in the 2015 Women’s World Cup. Mexico is not out of it as they can still qualify.

As has been the case throughout this CONCACAF qualifying tournament, the USWNT looked dominant but let chance after chance go by. The Americans out-shot Mexico, 21-to-1.

“Overall, this tournament has been great and it’s taught us a lot,” brace-scorer Carli Lloyd told Fox Sports afterward. “We’ve been playing against bunker teams.”

Indeed, Mexico looked less interested in scoring goals than there were in minimizing USWNT goals. They had some help, as the Americans hit the woodwork three times on the night and failed to capitalize on several Mexican back line breakdowns.

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Posted in Featured, U.S. Women's National Team, Women's Soccer | 1 Comment

SBI College Soccer Top 25 (Oct. 24 Edition)

Men's Soccer vs. St. Louis University, 10/01/14_Mike Dickbernd


The Indiana Hoosiers may have suffered a defeat after reaching the peak of the SBI Top 25, but they certainly weren’t alone among rank teams struggling to earn results.

A whopping 14 of 15 teams in last week’s Top 15 suffered losses or settled for ties, with UCLA the only team to post a pair of victories to climb up to No. 2.

The Hoosiers held on to the top spot despite losing to Maryland by virtue of an impressive mid-week victory against Notre Dame.

Stanford and California climbed up the rankings to give the Pac-12 a whopping four teams in the top 10.

Here is the latest SBI College Soccer Top 25 (for Oct. 24th)

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NWSL stars Wambach, Angerer, Boquete named to 2014 FIFA Ballon d’Or shortlist

AbbyWambachUSWNT1-Mexico2014 (USATODAYSports)

Photo by Russ Isabella/USA TODAY Sports


FIFA revealed their shortlist for the 2014 Women’s Ballon d’Or award on Friday afternoon, and the list contains a number of familiar faces as well as some noticeable absences.

U.S. Women’s National Team all-time leading goalscorer Abby Wambach headlines the shortlist despite a club year with the Western New York Flash that was plagued by some injury.

In addition to Wambach, the National Women’s Soccer League was represented by three other star players — German goalkeeper Nadine Angerer and Spanish midfielder Verónica Boquete for the Portland Thorns, as well as Japanese midfielder Nahomi Kawasumi from NWSL’s Seattle Reign.

Also included on the shortlist for the 12th consecutive year is Brazilian star midfielder Marta.

Notably absent is Alex Morgan, who was on the shortlist the last three years but struggled to overcome a lingering ankle injury over the past 12 months, and was ruled out last week for the rest of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying with another ankle knock.

Former USWNT head coach Pia Sundhage made the coach’s shortlist for the award, as did Seattle Reign head coach Laura Harvey.

The ten-player and ten-coach shortlists will be whittled down to a top three on Dec. 1 by a partnership between FIFA and French publication France Football. The men’s shortlist will be named on Oct. 28.

Here’s a look at the full player and coach’s shortlist for the FIFA women’s Ballon d’Or:

Continue reading »

Posted in FIFA, International Soccer, U.S. Women's National Team, Women's Professional Soccer, Women's Soccer | 1 Comment