Garcia nabs a brace in RSL victory over Impact

Second half substitute Olmes Garcia scored twice after coming on as RSL topped the visiting Montreal Impact, 3-1.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

Sacha Kljestan and RSC Anderlecht kick off their new season, the Club Tijuana aim to rebound, and more in this upcoming weekend’s Americans Abroad action.

Henry, Wenger gush over Zelalem’s potential

Thierry Henry and Arsene Wenger were the latest to publicly sing the praises of Arsenal midfielder and potential U.S. Men’s National Team player Gedion Zelalem.

Garcia nabs a brace in RSL victory over Impact

OlmesGarciaRSLCelebratesGoal1-MontrealImpact2014 (USATodaySports)

By TYLER GRAY

SANDY, Utah. - It had been one year and 11 days since Olmes Garcia last scored a goal. Just to prove a point, he scored two.

Real Salt Lake scored once from Luke Mulholland and a brace from Olmes Garcia to negate Hassoun Camara’s first-half strike for the 10-man Montreal Impact. The visiting squad couldn’t muster enough to threaten the home side after a red card to midfielder Issey Nakajima-Farran in the 65th minute, and RSL secured the 3-1 victory on Thursday evening at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Garcia was all smiles after the game, at one point lifting RSL defender Abdoulie Mansally off the ground in the locker room. The exuberant 21-year old had scored the game-winning goal and then iced the match with a second in stoppage-time.

“He was fantastic – threatening and quality,” head coach Jeff Cassar said. “The two goals were world-class. The final ball to him was fantastic. It’s what we want from him. He gave a fantastic performance, and he also worked very hard on the defensive end. Just a great night from him.”

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Montreal Impact, MLS- Real Salt Lake | Leave a comment

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

Sacha Kljestan Anderlecht (Getty Images)

By FRANCO PANIZO

Summer vacation is over for Sacha Kljestan.

Kljestan and Anderlecht are set to kick off their Pro League campaign on Sunday, when they host promoted side Royal Mouscron-Perewelz. The veteran midfielder will be looking for a start in the match after being an unused substitute for much of last season, and he will have the knowledge that a solid performance could help him carve out a more permanent place in the lineup.

One team looking to bounce back from a surprising season-opening defeat is Club Tijuana. The Xolos suffered a 1-0 defeat to Puebla last weekend, and are keen on rebounding on Saturday when they visit the famed Estadio Azteca to square off with Club America in a match that could see Joe Corona move into Tijuana’s starting lineup to add some offensive punch.

After helping hand the Xolos the bitter loss last week, Michael Orozco and Puebla will return to action on a jampacked Saturday in Liga MX. Puebla will have their home opener against Veracruz, who the Camoteros will try and sink so as to move to a solid 2-0 in the Apertura campaign.

Here is who the Americans Abroad take on this weekend:

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Posted in Americans Abroad, Featured | 1 Comment

Henry, Wenger gush over Zelalem’s potential

GedionZelalem (ISIPhotos.com)

Photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

HARRISON, N.J. — You can add Thierry Henry to the list of people that are high on Arsenal prospect and potential U.S. Men’s National Team player Gedion Zelalem.

Henry and his New York Red Bulls are set to play host to Arsenal on Saturday in a rare stateside friendly for the Premiership club. Zelalem, a talented 17-year-old midfielder, has been included in the Gunners’ 20-man roster for that match but not many observers have seen enough of him to really have an opinion on just how good he is and if he is as promising as U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has stated.

Ever the avid Arsenal supporter, Henry is quite up to date on the happenings at the club. He is familiar with Zelalem and believes the youngster is the real deal.

“Quality, good on the ball, great vision,” said Henry of Zelalem during a press conference on Thursday. “Everybody’s talking about him. It’s not an easy place to break into the first squad, Arsenal, but he has the quality and the right boss to make sure that he can do it. Hopefully for us, as an Arsenal fan, he can perform and be a great player for us.”

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Posted in Americans Abroad, Featured | 43 Comments

DeMerit announces retirement in open letter to Whitecaps fans

Jay DeMerit

Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

One of U.S. Soccer’s most perseverant players has played his last game.

Jay DeMerit has announced his retirement in an open letter to Vancouver Whitecaps fans. DeMerit’s decision comes after two injury-plagued seasons in Vancouver in which the centerback suffered a torn Achilles tendon in the season opener in 2013 and another torn tendon in his left ankle in June.

DeMerit, 34, leaves the game after an admirable career that saw him work his way up the divisions in England before making the U.S. Men’s National Team’s 2010 World Cup roster. He started all four of the Americans’ games that summer in South Africa, and made 25 appearances for the U.S. in total.

He was the first player signed by the Whitecaps in November 2010 in preparation for the club’s entry into MLS. In his three-and-a-half seasons in Vancouver, DeMerit made 69 league starts in 71 appearances and had a goal and an assist.

Before arriving in MLS and becoming an MLS All-Star in 2012, DeMerit spent the bulk of his career at Watford. He helped the club reach the Premiership and served for some time as the Hornets’ captain.

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What do you think of DeMerit’s decision to retire? What is your favorite memory?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Featured, MLS- Vancouver Whitecaps | 28 Comments

New York City FC add Lampard as Designated Player

Frank Lampard of Chelsea

Photo by Ben Queenborough/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

New York City FC have signed their second Designated Player, and he is well-known player still capable of making an impact.

NYC FC announced on Thursday at a formal press conference in Brooklyn that they have signed free agent midfielder Frank Lampard. The 36-year-old Englishman is on a two-year deal that starts on Aug. 1.

Lampard is now the fourth player on the expansion club’s roster, joining fellow DP David Villa, defender Jeb Brovsky and goalkeeper Josh Saunders.

“I am really excited about joining New York City FC and helping to play a real part in building something special in one of the sporting capitals of the world,” said Lampard in a statement released by the club. “The passion of the nation’s fans at the World Cup was second to none and I am looking forward to meeting New Yorkers and tapping into their love of the game. It is a privilege to be able to help make history here in New York City – I just can’t wait to get started and be part of it.

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Posted in Featured, MLS- New York City FC | 90 Comments

U.S. set to host Women’s World Cup qualifying games across 4 cities

USWNT_Celebrates_Concacaf-2011

By CAITLIN MURRAY

The stage is now set for CONCACAF qualifying for the 2015 Women’s World Cup — and the U.S. Women’s National Team will have home field advantage.

From Oct. 15-26, Kansas City, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. will serve as host cities for the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship, where three teams will qualify for the World Cup. The group stages will be played in the three National Women’s Soccer League cities before moving to Philadelphia for the knockout rounds.

The qualifying tournament had been originally planned to be played in Cancun and Playa del Carmen in Mexico, but U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati told reporters in May the United States would host due to concerns with Mexico’s venues.

“We are honored to serve as the local organizing committee for this tournament as we continue to support and grow women’s soccer in this region on a large scale,” Gulati said Thursday in a statement. “The second season of the National Women’s Soccer League has been exciting to follow, and this tournament provides fans with another opportunity to see some of the best women’s soccer players in the world compete on the international level.”

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Posted in Featured, NWSL, U.S. Women's National Team, Women's Soccer | 12 Comments

Earthquakes push five past Fire in impressive victory

Shea Salinas

Photo by Casey Valentine/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Not since 2012 had the San Jose Earthquakes offense been so deadly, putting up five goals on Wednesday in an impressive victory over the Chicago Fire.

The Earthquakes were on the sweet end of a 5-1 rout against the Fire at Buck Shaw Stadium on Wednesday night, with five different players finding the back of the net for San Jose.

Shea Salinas, Atiba Harris, Chris Wondolowski, Yannick Djalo and Cordell Cato all netted against a Fire team that was poor defensively. Salinas opened the scoring with a splendid strike just before the end of the first half, and it opened the floodgates in the closing 45 minutes.

The Fire scored a consolation goal through Grant Ward in the 75th minute to make the score 3-1, but never really seemed capable of rallying and went on to concede twice more.

Here are the match highlights:

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Posted in Featured, MLS- Chicago Fire, MLS- San Jose Earthquakes | 11 Comments

Summer Friendly Rewind: Tottenham edges Toronto, Villa blank Dallas and more

Jermain Defoe, Ryan Mason

By FRANCO PANIZO

Jermain Defoe had a chance to topple his former club with his new one, but he and Toronto FC were ultimately undone by a late goal.

Andros Townsend scored in the 85th minute and Tottenham edged Defoe and Toronto FC, 3-2, in a thrilling friendly at BMO Field on Wednesday. The Reds, playing in front of a crowd of 22,591, had pulled on even terms through a pair of second half goals before allowing Townsend to find the winner.

After falling behind to a first-half brace from Argentine midfielder Erik Lamela, TFC responded with goals form Andrew Wiedeman and Jordan Hamilton in a largely entertaining second half. Toronto would not salvage a result, however, as Lewis Holtby found Townsend on the game’s decisive play.

Defoe was Toronto FC’s captain, but was starved of service and did not make that much of an impact against Spurs.

Here are more friendly results from around North America:

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Posted in European Soccer, Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Columbus Crew, MLS- FC Dallas, MLS- Toronto FC | 15 Comments