Monday Evening Ticker: Ronaldinho leaves Mineiro; Messi tax trial gets go ahead; and more

Brazilian star Ronaldinho has parted ways with Atletico Minero after signing an extension just this past January.

MLS Ticker: Espindola returns to full training; Lade loaned to Cosmos; and more

D.C. United announced on Monday that Fabian Espindola has returned to full training, but the prognosis on Jeff Parke and Chris Pontius was not as positive.

Green excited to build off World Cup experiences with FC Bayern in USA

Julian Green is looking forward to coming to the USA with Bayern Munich as part of their preseason tour of the USA.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: David Estrada

EstradaSounders (Getty)

In three years in MLS, David Estrada had never scored a single goal in MLS play.

On Saturday, he took a major step toward making up for that drought, scoring a hat-trick to help Seattle post a 3-1 victory against Toronto FC. A performance that made Estrada the easy choice for SBI MLS Player of the Week.

Estrada beat out a field of Player of the Week contenders that included Sporting KC striker Kei Kamara, Seattle teammate Alvaro Fernandez and Real Salt Lake's Fabian Espindola.

What did you think of Estrada being named Player of the Week? An easy call, or did you think someone else deserved it this week?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in MLS- Seattle Sounders, SBI MLS Player of the Week | 15 Comments

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

Clarence Goodson 2 (Getty Images)

By FRANCO PANIZO

If Clarence Goodson is trying to keep himself in the conversation for a spot on the U.S. men's national team for this summer's World Cup qualifying, he did a good job of that this weekend.

Playing in his third game since Denmark's Superliga's winter break ended, Goodson scored the winner as Brondby IF knocked off FC Nordsjaelland, 2-1. The goal, which came on a headed effort, was Goodson's second of the season. The victory put Brondby seven points clear of the relegation zone.

Fabian Johnson also helped his team get on the scoresheet, drawing a penalty kick that was converted by a teammate in TSG 1899 Hoffenheim's 2-1 defeat to VfB Stuttgart. Johnson drew the foul after making a run from deep on the left flank. He started and went 90 minutes in the match.

Another positive from this weekend was Alejandro Bedoya ending his spell on the bench for Rangers by starting and playing 83 minutes in the club's 2-1 loss to Dundee United. The match may not have been good from a team perspective, but it marked Bedoya's first appearance for Rangers since December 17.

Here is how the Americans Abroad fared this weekend:

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Posted in Americans Abroad | 15 Comments

Keane’s brace powers Galaxy over DC United

Keane

BY ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, Calif. — During the first two weeks of their season, the Los Angeles Galaxy struggled to score goals, but against DC United, the goals finally came.

And they came in bunches.

Robbie Keane scored two goals and Marcelo Sarvas added a third as the Galaxy defeated DC United, 3-1 on Sunday at Home Depot Center. United broke the Galaxy's shutout bid in the 86th when rookie Nick DeLeon scored the first goal of his MLS career. The win came on the night when the 2011 MLS Cup champion winning side was honored with a pregame championship ring presentation. 

After struggling to put the ball in the back of the net in his past three appearances, Keane was relieved that, at long last, the goals had come. 

"I don’t mind missing chances, I mind when I’m not in the position to score them," Keane said. "As long as I keep getting in the positions to score them, then I know that I’ll eventually score.

"You try not to let it weigh on your mind too much, but football can take you over. That was probably a little bit of the case, but I knew that as long as I kept plugging away and getting into positions, I knew that I’d score." 

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Posted in MLS- D.C. United, MLS- LA Galaxy | 17 Comments

Shea leads USA U-23s to win over Silverbacks

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photo by John Dorton/ISIphotos.com

Brek Shea led the U.S. Under-23 men's national team to victory in their final tuneup before Olympic qualifying, scoring two goals in a 3-0 victory over the Atlanta Silverbacks.

Shea scored his brace against the NASL club in the first half of the closed-door scrimmage played at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn. on Sunday night. Michael Stephens capped the affair with a goal in the second half.

The U.S. team opens its Olympic qualifying campaign versus Cuba on Thursday, March 22 in the nightcap of a Group A doubleheader in Nashville.

What do you think of the United States beating the Silverbacks? Expecting Shea to carry this scoring momentum into Olympic qualifying?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in U.S. Men's Olympic Team | 32 Comments

LA Galaxy vs. D.C. United: Match Night Commentary

LA Galaxy Logo D.C. United Logo

The Los Angeles Galaxy have lost two straight matches at Home Depot Center, but will be heavily favored to stop the surprising skid when they take on D.C. United tonight (7pm, Direct Kick).

The Galaxy will have to shake off the disappointment of being eliminated from the CONCACAF Champions League, and will have the benefit of facing a short-handed D.C. United side playing without U.S. Under-23 national team call-ups Bill Hamid and Perry Kitchen.

SBI will be providing live commentary on today's match so please feel free to follow along here. As always, please feel free to share your own thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Tonight's commentary is after the jump):

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Posted in MLS- D.C. United, MLS- LA Galaxy | 16 Comments

Ten-man Rapids knock off mis-firing Union

RapidsLockerRoom (Getty)

By JOEY SAMUEL

CHESTER, Pa. — The Philadelphia Union created a good number of chances in the first half of Sunday's match against Colorado, but they ultimately paid the price for not being able to put any of those chances in the net.

Despite losing Jeff Larentowicz to a red card, the Colorado Rapids scored two goals in a six-minute span and held on with only ten men to defeat the Philadelphia Union, 2-1, in the Union's home opener at PPL Park on Sunday.

After a lackluster first half in which both teams, especially the Union, missed some quality chances, Colorado found their feet when in the 56th minute, Omar Cummings sent a deceptive cross over the Union defense to Jaime Castrillon, who finished for his first career MLS goal. 

Things looked better for the Union, though, when two minutes later Jeff Larentowicz was shown a second yellow card for a harsh challenge on Keon Daniel. But instead of equalizing, the Union found themselves in a bigger hole when rookie Tony Cascio beat Chris Albright along the left flank and sent his shot past Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath to double Colorado's lead.

Philadelphia got a goal back when a good cross from substitute Roger Torres found Colombian forward Lionard Pajoy, who headed in a goal for the Union. But 10-man Colorado defended valiantly and held on for a 2-1 win, their second in two games to start the season.

"I'm very proud of my players. They got a result they deserve," said Rapids coach Oscar Pareja. "It's a hard place to play. Philadelphia did a good job of pressuring in the first half, taking the ball away from us. But the boys reacted well in the second half, all the credit goes to them."

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Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Colorado Rapids, MLS- Philadelphia Union | 17 Comments

Gatt recalled by Molde, will miss Olympic qualifying

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photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

U.S. Under-23 men's national team head coach Caleb Porter will need to call in another player for his Olympic qualifying side, as defender Josh Gatt has returned to Molde FK.

Having suffered a string of injuries, the Norweigian club recalled Gatt on Sunday, leaving the United States without one of its more talented and versatile players. Molde FK is currently preparing for its title defense and begins its season next Friday against Stomsgodset.

Gatt is no stranger to missing out on U.S. U-23 team camps. He was not a part of the February camp as he continued to recover from the knock he sustained while with the U.S. team in the January camp in Los Angeles.

A replacement is expected to be added by Porter by March 20, when official Olympic qualifying rosters are due to CONCACAF. Two options Porter could turn to are Philadelphia Union defender Sheannon Williams and Tijuana left back Greg Garza.

What do you think of Gatt missing out on qualifying? Think his standing with the team is in jeopardy? Who would you like to see brought in to replace Gatt?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Americans Abroad, U.S. Men's Olympic Team | 36 Comments

Union vs. Rapids: Match Day Commentary

Philadelphia Union Logo Colorado Rapids Logo

The Philadelphia Union play their first home game of the 2012 MLS season today when they take on the Colorado Rapids at PPL Park (4pm, NBC Sports Network).

The Union come in smarting after a rough 3-1 loss at Portland, and will be without midfielder Freddy Adu, who is now with the U.S. Olympic qualifying team. Philadelphia will look to get the attack going against a Colorado Rapids side that posted a 2-0 victory in their season opener against Columbus last week.

The Union have shaken up the defense today, with Dan Califf on the bench and veteran Chris Albright in the squad. Left back Porfirio Lopez is in the lineup again after his shaky performance against the Timbers. Offensively, Danny Mwanga is in the starting lineup today, and will partner Lionard Pajoy in the 4-4-2 formation. 

For Colorado, they will be fielding the same squad that beat Columbus last week, and Omar Cummings and Jaime Castrillon will be two players to watch today in the Rapids attack.

SBI will be providing live commentary on today's match so please feel free to follow along here. As always, you are welcome to share your own thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Commentary is after the jump):

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Posted in MLS- Colorado Rapids, MLS- Philadelphia Union | 5 Comments