This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

Barcelona open up their 2014-15 La Liga campaign Sunday againt Elche, headlining This Weekend’s Soccer on TV.

Friday Kickoff: Neymar to miss time with ankle sprain; Balotelli set for medical; and more

Barcelona forward Neymar picked up a left ankle sprain in Thursday’s training session.

Whitecaps acquire Rosales from Chivas USA in exchange for Reo-Coker

The Vancouver Whitecaps have added midfielder Mauro Rosales from Chivas USA in exchange for fellow midfielder Mauro Rosales.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

Ronaldo (Getty Images)

It is an extremely packed and important day across Europe, as games with massive implications take place across the continent. 

In England, Manchester United can take another step forward to another league title with a win at Wigan, while Manchester City has to top West Brom at home to hang on to its glimmer of hope. The title races are a bit more fierce in Germany, where second-place Bayern Munich can pull into first with a win at league-leading Borussia Dortmund; and in Italy, where unbeaten Juventus can reclaim first place with a win over third-place Lazio. 

Real Madrid is feeling the pressure in Spain, with its one-time 10-point lead down to one (with a game in hand) over hard-charging Barcelona. In order to restore the four-point edge, Jose Mourinho's side will need to fend off rival Atletico Madrid with the final Clasico of the season looming in a couple weekends.

If you will be watching any of Wednesday's games, please feel free to share any thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below. Enjoy the action (TV schedule is after the jump):

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Posted in Your Running Commentary | 68 Comments

Union’s Torres out with MCL sprain

Torres (Getty Images)

The news is not getting any better for the Philadelphia Union.

Already off to a struggling start, the Union learned that midfielder Roger Torres is expected to miss the next 8-to-10 weeks after spraining the MCL in his left knee during a reserve league match against the New England Revolution on Monday. That prognosis is early, though, as he needs to wait for swelling to go down before he can undergo an MRI to determine how severe the sprain really is.

"It doesn’t look good," Union manager Peter Nowak said on the club's official website. "His knee went completely to the side. I knew from the beginning there was something wrong. They will try and determine today and tomorrow what’s going to be the procedure from this but the MCL sprain is pretty bad. He’s going to specialists and getting everything checked out, but Roger will be without us for quite some time. It appears his injury is a lot more serious than we imagined."

The 20-year-old Torres, whose rights were fully purchased from Colombian side America de Cali in the offseason after two seasons on loan to Philadelphia, was expected to provide an attacking spark to the Union this year, but he has only played in two of the club's four games, started one and has accounted for one assist.

What do you think of this development? Were you expecting big things from Torres this season?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in MLS- Philadelphia Union | 10 Comments

Altidore scores twice in AZ draw

AltidoreGoal (Reuters Pictures)

While U.S. international forwards Clint Dempsey and Herculez Gomez continue their goal-scoring ways, Jozy Altidore maintains his.

Altidore scored both of AZ Alkmaar's goals in a 2-2 draw with FC Twente on Wednesday. He tallied in the third minute, heading home a corner kick (and getting away with a pushoff, to be fair) to give AZ the early lead. Twente levelled the score later in the half, but Altidore struck for the go-ahead goal in the 71st minute, working a give-and-go with Adam Maher, taking a touch to elude a centerback in the box and clinically finishing low and to the corner to cement his fifth multi-goal game of the season. 

Altidore exited in the 80th minute, and AZ conceded a brutal equalizer in the 90th minute to settle for the draw in a match with both league title and next season's UEFA Champions League implications at stake. Instead of taking the lead atop the table, putting pressure on Ajax and going five points clear of Twente, AZ is currently level with Ajax and two points clear of Twente in a tightly contested race.

For Altidore, he now has 17 goals in all competitions and 13 in league play, which ties him for seventh-most in the Eredivisie.

We'll post video of Altidore's goals as soon as we can, but in the meantime, what did you think of his performance today? Starting to feel better about the U.S. forward situation?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Americans Abroad | 50 Comments

Must-See Goal: Dorlan Pabon

Pabon (Getty Images)

Bend it like Beckham, meet Power it like Pabon.

Colombian side Atletico Nacional sits atop its group in the Copa Libertadores, and the play of Dorlan Pabon is a big reason why. The 24-year-old Colombian international attacker, who leads the tournament with six goals, sent a powerful, swerving free kick from more than 40 yards into the right upper 90 as part of Atletico Nacional's 3-0 victory over Penarol Tuesday night that is worth at least a few looks. 

Atletico Nacional is one of seven clubs that have already clinched places in the tournament's Round of 16, joining Brazilian sides Vasco de Gama and Fluminense, Chilean sides Union Espanola and and Universidad de Chile, Argentine side Lanus and Paraguayan side Libertad. With teams having just one or two group games remaining, 17 sides are alive for the final nine berths in the knockout round.

Video of Pabon's vicious strike is after the jump:

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Posted in Must-See Goals, South American Soccer | 16 Comments

Record-setting season puts Dempsey in demand

Dempsey (Getty Images)

There isn't going to be a bigger story involving an American soccer player this summer than the one surrounding Clint Dempsey and his club future.

After tallying his 22nd goal in all competitions to rescue yet another point for Fulham against Chelsea on Monday, Dempsey's stock continues to grow in value as he heads toward the final year of his Fulham contract. His contract status means the Cottagers could be forced to sell him in order to avoid the risk of losing him to a free transfer in a year.

Fresh reports out of the UK suggest that Arsenal have kept a watchful eye on Dempsey and are set to make a £10 million move to try and acquire the in-form American from London rival Fulham.

Here is my Fox Soccer column on Dempsey and why his banner year will mean a likely exit from Craven Cottage.

Give the column a read and let us know where you think Dempsey will wind up. Like the idea of Arsenal buying Dempsey, or are you hoping he lands somewhere else in the Premier League? Would you like him to stay at Fulham?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Americans Abroad, European Soccer | 89 Comments

Nowak to coach MLS All-Stars vs. Chelsea

Nowak (Getty Images)

Peter Nowak had success as an MLS All-Star manager against Chelsea in 2006, and he'll get the opportunity to repeat that feat this summer.

Nowak will coach the MLS All-Stars against Chelsea at PPL Park on July 25, the league announced on Wednesday, marking the second consecutive season that the host city's coach will have the honors of leading the MLS side during the mid-summer classic. Hans Backe had the honor of doing so last year against Manchester United at Red Bull Arena.

While the Union's performance so far this season hasn't exactly meritted All-Star notoriety, it would appear that going forward the MLS All-Star coach will continue to be selected based on logistical convenience.

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Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS All-Star Game | 29 Comments

USL Pro: A Look Back at Week 1

USL Pro Logo

 

By FRANCO PANIZO

The 2012 USL Pro season officially kicked off this past weekend, and two teams exchanged blows after playing twice in three days.

The Pittsburgh Riverhounds and Antigua Barracuda FC kicked off the second year of USL Pro action last Friday night, with the Riverhounds taking a 1-0 decision thanks to a Mike Seth goal in the first half. Richard Hunter Gilstrap recorded the cleansheet for Pittsburgh in the season opener played in front of 1,800 spectators at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.

The Riverhounds were unable to repeat that type of performance in their rematch at the same venue on Sunday, as the Barracudas exacted revenge with a 3-1 win over Pittsburgh in front of 1,200 fans. Quinton Griffith opened the scoring off a free kick and Stefan Smith bagged a brace before Michael Green knocked in a late consolation goal for the visitors.

Here's a look back at all the Week 1 action in USL Pro:

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Posted in USL Pro | 4 Comments

Barcelona 4, Getafe 0: Match Highlights

Posted in Match Highlights | 11 Comments