Klinsmann lashes out at MLS scheduling games on FIFA dates

U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann was critical Tuesday of MLS scheduling league games during international FIFA dates.

MLS Ticker: Houston’s Hall out for season with torn ACL, Kamara ineligible until 2015, and more

Tally Hall and Kei Kamara will not appear in MLS for the rest of the 2014 season

Who should the USMNT start vs. the Czech Republic?

Who will Jurgen Klinsmann start vs. the Czech Republic on Wednesday? Here is SBI’s projected starting lineup.

MLS executives set visit for Sacramento viability check

Sacramento Republic Bonney Field

By CAITLIN MURRAY

Sacramento, California is getting the chance to win over Major League Soccer.

Executives from MLS are scheduled to visit the California state capital this month to assess the region’s viability as a new home to an expansion franchise. According to a report in the Sacramento Bee, Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott and Charles Altchek, a special assistant to league Commissioner Don Garber, will visit the area on Sept. 18 and 19.

“I am extremely optimistic that Sacramento can present a compelling and winning case to Major League Soccer,” Mayor Kevin Johnson wrote in a memo to the city council Tuesday, revealing the details of the visit.

The visit will specifically focus on a development site known as the downtown railyards, where offices, housing, shops, an arts center and a museum just outside of downtown are planned by the 2020s. The development is in the first phase of five.

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Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Expansion | Leave a comment

Scorpions propose 10,000-seat stadium expansion as part of MLS push

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By CARL SETTERLUND

The San Antonio Scorpions are thinking big.

The Scorpions released a proposal on Tuesday to expand the their soccer-specific home venue, Toyota Field, by roughly 10,000 seats as part of the city’s ongoing push to gain an MLS franchise. The club currently plays in NASL, but has a desire to reach the United States and Canada’s top league in the near future.

“The escalating interest in the Scorpions and professional soccer over the past two years has been mind-boggling,” said Soccer for a Cause founder Gordon Hartman through a San Antonio Scorpions press release. “We are blessed to be a franchise playing in the North American Soccer League, however we must be prepared to expand once support and investment are secured to allow for additional opportunities.

“We want to be ready to take our venue to the next level as fan and sponsor support in soccer continues to grow.  The recent World Cup competition serves as a great example that the most popular sport internationally is gaining even more popularity all over the globe including San Antonio and South Texas.”

San Antonio has repeatedly finished near the top of the NASL in attendance, averaging over 80 percent of capacity since opening its 8,000-seat stadium in 2013.
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Posted in MLS- Expansion, NASL | 67 Comments

Twenty-nine players invited to U.S. Under-17 residency program

Head Coach: Richie Williams

By CARL SETTERLUND

Say hello to the next generation of U.S. Men’s National Team talent.

U.S. Soccer announced on Tuesday Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams’ decision on which 29 players to invite to for the 2014 Fall Semester of the U.S. U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida.

More than two-thirds of the roster are returnees from the 2014 Spring Semester, including LA Galaxy Academy defender Hugo Arellano, who is the most capped current U-17 player with 16 international appearances already. Twenty-four of the players invited for the fall semester have competed in recent major U-17 events, such as the Nordic Tournament and the third Copa Mexico.

The nine newcomers to the U-17 Residency Program are defenders Tyler Adams and Miles Stray, midfielders Keegan Kelly and Luka Prpa, and forwards Lucas Del Rosario, Ronaldo Escudero, Joe Gallardo, Lagos Kunga and Nick Taitague.

The players will undoubtedly be vying for a spot in the next major international tournament for U.S. Soccer, the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, which will take place in Honduras next February and March.

Here’s a breakdown of the 29 players invited:
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Posted in U.S. Youth National Teams | Leave a comment

College Soccer Weekend Rewind: UCLA starts strong, Indiana impresses, and more

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By IVES GALARCEP

In a weekend that saw several highly-ranked teams slip up, the top-ranked UCLA Bruins showed why the enter this season so highly regarded.

The Bruins, No. 1 in the SBI pre-season Top 25, opened their 2014 campaign with a pair of victories over the weekend, thrashing No. 22 Wake Forest, 3-1, on Friday, before edging a tough No. 7 North Carolina, 1-0, on Sunday.

Notre Dame’s title defense started off with mixed results. The No. 6 ranked Fighting Irish beat No. 10 Marquette, 2-1, on Friday, but couldn’t knock off No. 2 Georgetown, as the two powerhouses settled for a 0-0 tie on Sunday.

Traditional power Indiana entered the season unranked, but had the kind of weekend that could change that. After tying Georgetown, 1-1, in their opener on Friday, the Hoosiers defeated Marquette, 1-0, on Sunday.

No. 16 Coastal Carolina impressed over the Labor Day weekend, first by rallying from two goals down to beat No. 4 UConn, 3-2, on Friday, then by nearly pulling off another comeback in a hard-fought 3-2 loss to No. 3 Maryland on the road. The Chanticleers may have lost playmaker Pedro Ribeiro to MLS, but with Sergio Camargo pulling the strings in their attack, Coastal should be a handful all season.

Here is rundown of the top college results from this past Labor Day Weekend:

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Posted in College Soccer, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

EPL summer transfers smash spending record

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By CARL SETTERLUND

Although all the official numbers aren’t in, British financial analysts Deloitte think they’ve got a handle on roughly how much money exchanged hands this summer — and it’s quite a lot.

Deloitte estimates that English Premier League clubs spent a total of £835 million, or roughly $1.4 billion, smashing last year’s record EPL transfer window total of £630 million, which was the first time total spending eclipsed one billion U.S. dollars.

Unsurprisingly, Manchester United broke the spending record for a single club, racking up a tab believed to be in the range of £150 million. Headlining that group is, of course, British record signing Angel di Maria, who joined Louis van Gaal’s revamped side for $98 million.

Although having the World Cup as a showcase probably helped increase the cost of several transfers, much of the increased spending Deloitte attributed to television money, which allowed clubs outside of the tradition power concentration — Hull City, for example — to increase their spending.
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Posted in European Soccer | 12 Comments

SBI MLS Goal of the Week: Robbie Keane

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Photo by Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports
 

Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS Weekly Awards, MLS- LA Galaxy, SBI MLS Awards, SBI MLS Goal of the Week | 2 Comments

SBI MLS Save of the Week: Bill Hamid

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Photo by Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS Weekly Awards, MLS- D.C. United, SBI MLS Awards, SBI MLS Save of the Week | 3 Comments

Red Bulls Notes: Cahill away for key stretch, Petke takes blame for Robles miscue, & more

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Photo by USA Today Sports Images

By CARL SETTERLUND

The New York Red Bulls have a game in hand over three of the five Eastern Conference teams currently in playoff position, but the club is set to face a hectic eight-day stretch that could go a long way in determining their postseason chances.

Unfortunately for the Red Bulls (7-8-10), they will be without the influential Tim Cahill for at least this Saturday’s game against Sporting Kansas City and perhaps for the rematch of last weekend’s loss to D.C. United as well.

Cahill, who has been called to the Australian national team, is set to feature for the Socceroos in friendlies against Belgium on Thursday and Saudi Arabia next Monday. That leaves Cahill with under 48 hours to get back to New Jersey for a home fixture against D.C. next Wednesday.

Red Bulls coach Mike Petke was asked on a Tuesday conference call whether Cahill would only be missing this weekend’s game.

“I’m going to have to check, but to be honest with you, I was under the impression it would be more than that,” Petke said.

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Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- New York Red Bulls | 5 Comments

Tuesday Kickoff: Schweinsteiger named Germany captain; Monaco VP expresses regret; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Germany has found their successor to Philipp Lahm as the team looks into the future.

Coach Joachim Löw has named Bastian Schweinsteiger as Germany’s new captain, taking the place of the retired Lahm. Germany plays their first post-World Cup match on Wednesday in a friendly match against Argentina in Dusseldorf, before opening up their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign on Sunday against Scotland in Dortmund.

“Bastian is an absolute leader, he has always taken responsibility for the national team, on and off the field,” Löw told the German Football Federation website. “In Bastian I have great confidence, and not only myself but also our entire sports management staff. Above all, he unites all the players behind him – no matter what age, no matter what club they play for. I know Bastian is always there when we need him. Bastian Schweinsteiger will be a great and worthy captain of our national team.”

Schweinsteiger is still recovering from an injury, and therefore goalkeeper Manuel Neuer will be the interim captain for the match against Argentina. Meanwhile Mesut Özil, Mats Hummels, and Jerome Boateng have all been ruled out of Wednesday’s friendly match.

Here are some more stories to kick off your Tuesday:

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Posted in European Soccer | 18 Comments

Klinsmann lashes out at MLS scheduling games on FIFA dates

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Photo by Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

Never one to shy away from letting his opinions be heard, Jurgen Klinsmann has a bone to pick with MLS regarding its scheduling.

Namely, he does not like that the league has games during FIFA international fixture dates.

Klinsmann touched on a topic on Tuesday that has been discussed at length in recent years by saying that MLS needs to find a way to avoid playing league fixtures on dates designated for international matches. The U.S. head coach said those dates are made to help build national teams and that there should not be the tug-of-war that often comes from MLS clubs looking to keep their players.

That is especially true during the fall months when the battle for playoff spots ramps up, and is affecting Klinsmann now more than ever as a growing number of his regulars ply their trades in MLS.

For Klinsmann, the current setup simply “is not working anymore” and is a “lose-lose” situation.

“Canada, Honduras, Costa Rica, Mexico, whoever plays in MLS, the foreign guys, they all go,” Klinsmann told reporters in Prague. “But I compromise my own players? It’s because the coaches say, ‘We need them now badly to go towards the playoffs. Now it’s really going to get hectic. ‘There’s something wrong, then, because the other nations, they benefit from the professional league in MLS. They call them because it’s a FIFA fixture date.

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Posted in Featured, U.S. Men's National Team | 47 Comments

MLS Ticker: Houston’s Hall out for season with torn ACL, Kamara ineligible until 2015, and more

TallyHall

Photo by USA Today Sports Images

By CARL SETTERLUND

The Houston Dynamo’s hopes for a late-season playoff push just became much more difficult.

The Dynamo announced on Tuesday that goalkeeper Tally Hall, a two-time MLS All-Star, has suffered a torn right ACL and will be out for at least the rest of the 2014 season.

Hall suffered the injury during Houston’s 3-1 win vs. Sporting Kansas City on Friday night, tearing his ACL after what looked to be a routine jump up to collect a ball. He planted his foot when he landed, and immediately appeared to tweak his right knee.

The Dynamo, currently in ninth place in the congested Eastern Conference — but only five points out of a playoff spot — confirmed the news on twitter, adding that Hall will undergo surgery at Houston Methodist Hospital on Friday.

Hall had played in 24 out of 25 games this season. The goalie job will now likely be left in the hands of untested homegrown player Tyler Deric, who had four career MLS appearances to his name before he came on late in Friday’s match to replace Hall.

Here are some more MLS notes to round out your Tuesday:
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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Houston Dynamo, MLS- LA Galaxy, MLS- Real Salt Lake, MLS- Seattle Sounders | 6 Comments

Who should the USMNT start vs. the Czech Republic?

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Photo by Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports
 

By FRANCO PANIZO

Finding the right balance between fielding an experimental lineup and one capable of grabbing a result. That is what Jurgen Klinsmann is tasked with as a new World Cup cycle officially gets underway on Wednesday.

The U.S. Men’s National Team is set to play its first post-World Cup friendly with a match against the Czech Republic in Prague, and Klinsmann has to decide which combination of players will allow him to get a good look at some of the many unproven youngsters he’s summoned while also giving the Americans a solid shot at picking up a victory on European soil.

While Klinsmann has included several youngsters in his 21-man roster  - initially 22 before Geoff Cameron had to withdraw because of injury – it seems unlikely that he will go with a largely inexperienced starting lineup. Instead, it seems more probable that Klinsmann deploys one or two youngsters before inserting a few more as the game goes on.

Which players will Klinsmann turn to then? Here is a projected lineup SBI could see taking the field on Wednesday:

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Posted in Featured, International Soccer, U.S. Men's National Team | 50 Comments