Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has been ruled out for the match along with the in-form Salomon Kalou and Yossi Benayoun. Lampard suffered a setback in training while recovering from a hernia operation and is expected to miss the Blues' next three matches. Kalou and Benayoun picked up injuries in Carling Cup play this week.
Manchester City, meanwhile, is facing a defensive crisis. If Micah Richards (hamstring) can't go, Roberto Mancini's side will be down to three fit starting defenders, as Jerome Boateng, Joleon Lescott, Wayne Bridge and Aleksandar Kolarov all are hurt.
Here are a few more stories to get your Friday started:
The top-two schools in the nation will face-off this weekend when No. 2 Tulsa travels to take on No. 1 Akron this Friday. Tulsa's offense, which has scored 18 goals through six games, will look to break down an Akron defense which has yet to concede a goal in 2010. If the Golden Hurricanes are going to pull off the upset they'll have to find a way to stop Darlington Nagbe, who has three goals through the first six matches. The game will be televised on Fox Soccer Channel starting at 8:00.
Two more top-five teams square off in the ACC when No. 3 North Carolina welcomes the No. 5 Maryland Terrapins to Chapel Hill on Saturday. The Tarheels have rebounded well after their early loss to Akron by winning their last four games. Maryland has enjoyed a stellar start of their own, going undefeated since losing their opening match to Michigan State.
Also on Friday, No. 10 Boston College and No. 11 Duke face each other. It's an important matchup for both teams, Duke is looking to rebound from a narrow loss to North Carolina and Boston College is looking to maintain their undefeated record.
Check out the rest of this weekend's top 25 action after the jump.
If Michael Bradley is to help Borussia Moenchengladbach break their recent string of dreadful performances, he'll likely have to outdo a fellow American central midfielder that he could play alongside next month.
Bradley is likely to face U.S. national team prospect Jermaine Jones when Schalke 04 hosts Moenchengladbach. Both teams are in dire need of a victory after less-than-stellar starts to the season, so winning the midfield battle could be pivotal in helping decide the outcome of the match.
Another intriguing American match-up on tap will be when Clint Dempsey and Fulham square off against Tim Howard and Everton. Having scored his first goal of the Premiership season last week, Dempsey will hope to find the back of the net again when he faces a shaky Everton defense that is hungry to record its first cleansheet.
Benny Feilhaber will also be worth keeping tabs on as he and AGF Aarhus take on Koge. Currently enjoying a good run of form, Feilhaber will be aiming to score his fifth goal in eight days as Aarhus attempts to remain atop the Danish second division.
Here is a rundown of who the Americans Abroad will be playing this weekend:
All the hype about this weekend's Major League Soccer action surrounds the Los Angeles-New York tilt that will feature the glitz and glamor of the league (sans Thierry Henry). But does that mean it's necessarily the best game of the weekend?
In Chicago, the Fire and Seattle Sounders will do battle in Freddie Cup II, with Freddie Ljungberg facing his former team for the second time since he was traded. In Salt Lake, RSL looks to keep pace in the race for the Supporters' Shield, while the rising Colorado Rapids look to further solidify a place in the postseason. In Kansas City, the Wizards and FC Dallas each come off exhilarating comebacks, with the Wizards still in the hunt for a playoff spot and FCD still riding an unbeaten streak that has reached 16 games.
Not to be overlooked is the Toronto-San Jose clash (pun intended) that features two teams fighting for their postseason lives. The question for you is:
With all the action taking place at mid-week, and all the big games we have taking place this weekend, Friday seems like the perfect time for the next SBI Live Q&A.
I will host the next Q&A at 1pm on Friday so get your soccer (and pop culture) questions ready to send my way. Want to discuss the CONCACAF Champions League craziness? The MLS Playoff race? The European league scene? The new season of Chuck? Let's have at it.
When Gale Agbossoumonde was loaned to Portuguese giant Sporting Club Braga last winter, things were looking pretty bright for the 18-year-old centerback.
His professional outlook hasn't changed, but his club status has. After a large turnover in Braga's front office and technical staff and despite Agbossoumonde showing well with the first team, the organization elected not to exercise its option to purchase Agbossoumonde from parent club Miami FC this summer, leaving him without a team after the European transfer window shut.
Meanwhile, the United States Under-20 standout is training with Portuguese second-division side G.D. Estoril Praia, along with fellow Americans Tony Taylor, Bryan Arguez and Greg Garza (who are all on-loan from Miami FC). Fernando Clavijo, now the director of soccer at Miami FC, said that within a few weeks Agbossoumonde will likely be joining a team in the Liga Intercalar, a reserve division in Portugal, in order to get some game experience prior to the opening of the next transfer window.
Disappointed that Agbossoumonde didn't stay with Braga? Where would you like to see him sign? Think it's good that he'll get some playing time regardless of the competition?
In 70 short days, FIFA will announce who will host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. The powers behind the United States’ bid to host the World Cup hope to win over some more people by releasing this inspiring video narrated by Morgan Freeman. If you haven’t seen it yet, enjoy:
Young Brazilian striker Neymar figures to have plenty of memorable games ahead of him, but none of those will be happening next month.
The 18-year-old has been left out of Brazil’s squad by coach Mano Menezes for the Selecao’s yet-to-be-announced friendlies in October. Neymar’s attitude recently caused him to be suspended and fined by his club team Santos. He reportedly cursed out his teammates and coach for not be allowed to take a penalty kick (His coach, Dorival Junior, wanted to keep him benched for longer and was promptly fired by the team).
Neymar scored a goal against the United States at the New Meadowlands Stadium in August in his first appearance with Brazil’s senior side.
Here are a few more stories to get you through your Thursday:
With a 4-2 loss Wednesday night to Miami FC, the dim USSF D-2 playoff aspirations of first-year club A.C. St. Louis were finally extinguished.
Abe Thompson proved to be too much for the St. Louis defense to handle in Miami, netting a hat trick and seeing Miami to their third straight win of the season, eliminating any remaining hope of postseason action for the visitors.
Miami's win was good news for three other clubs in USSF D-2 — Minnesota, Puerto Rico and Montreal all clinched playoff berths with the result, rounding out the eight-team playoff field that is scheduled to begin during the second weekend in October.
While those eight teams can rest easy with their playoff future now secure, there remains plenty to play for in terms of seeding. The D-2 playoff format gives the top two seeds of each conference the No. 1 and No. 2 overall seeds, with the following six seeded out accordingly.
On Tuesday it was Everton, which was stunned in penalty kicks by League One side Brentford, and Bolton, which fell, 1-0, to Burnley.
On Wednesday, three of the higher-spending clubs were all victims of upsets. Chelsea fell to Newcastle in a wild, 4-3 affair at Stamford Bridge, Liverpool went to penalties with League Two foe Northampton Town and lost in the shootout at Anfield, and Manchester City dropped a 2-1 result to West Brom.
Granted, the favored teams all trotted out makeshift lineups comprised almost exclusively of reserves, but what do you think about all of the upsets? Think Brentford and Northampton Town can keep advancing? Do you see a Manchester United-Arsenal final happening down the line?
Share your thoughts in the comments section below.