The Portland Timbers extended their unbeaten streak to an impressive 10 matches after their draw vs. the Vancouver Whitecaps. Here is a closer look at Portland’s run, and some other news and notes from the Timbers.
Major League Soccer announced on Tuesday in partnership with Manchester City and the New York Yankees that the 20th team in the league would be New York City FC.
The new team is expected to begin play in 2015.
“We proudly welcome two of the most prestigious professional global sports organizations to Major League Soccer,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. “This is a transformational development that will elevate the league to new heights in this country. The New York area is home to more than 19 million people, and we look forward to an intense crosstown rivalry between New York City Football Club and the New York Red Bulls that will captivate this great city.”
For Garber, it’s the successful finish of over three years of negotiations to bring a second team to New York City. For the league, the $100 million it has received in expansion fees can be spread around the league.
Manchester City will be the majority owner in the club, with the Yankees playing an active minority role. Though the team plans to have a permanent home eventually, they will begin MLS play in a temporary venue in 2015. Continue reading »
Conor O’Brien could not have asked for a much better way to end the season, as his club won their last match thanks to a goal from him.
O’Brien gave FC Nordsjaelland a 1-0 victory over Esbjerg in their season finale on Monday, scoring his first goal for the club in the first half on a shot from distance. O’Brien picked off a mis-hit clearance from goalkeeper Lucas Hradecky in the 33rd minute and proceeded to launch a shot from about 35 yards out into the open net to give second-place Nordsjaelland a fitting ending to their impressive campaign.
The goal may have been the American midfielder’s only one of the year for Nordsjaelland, but he netted four other times while with SonderjyskE during the first half of the Superliga season. In total, O’Brien finished with 30 league appearances (20 for SonderjyskE and 10 for Nordsjaelland).
Here is the goal (at the 0:43 mark):
What do you think of O’Brien’s goal? Would you like to see him get a look with the U.S. Men’s National Team during the Gold Cup?
Another South American forward is seemingly close to a move to Manchester City.
According to reports out of Italy, Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis was in London on Monday to meet with interim Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez, as well as to gauge City’s interest in a swap deal seeing Cavani go to the Etihad Stadium and Edin Dzeko going to Napoli.
The Italian second-place finishers lost manager Walter Mazzarri at the end of the season, forcing De Laurentiis to find a high level manager to coach the side in the Champions League next season. According to the reports, while in England, De Laurentiis sent one of his assistants north to Manchester to see if City would be interested in the potential striker swap. City already has Argentine internationals Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero playing up top for the club.
Dzeko has found a starting place very hard to come by since his move to City in 2011 from Wolfsburg, though he has continued to score goals at a good rate, hitting 14 in each of the last two season in the Premier League. Cavani had a breakout season for Napoli, bagging 29 goals in Serie A and 38 in all competitions.
Here are some more stories to get your Tuesday started:
After getting off to the kind of dominant start most expected, the past week has brought a bit of a reality check for the Thorns, courtesy of Sky Blue FC.
First, SBFC went up to Portland and upset the Thorns at home. Then, they put in another impressive performance this weekend that leaves them in a dead heat for first place — level on points, goal differential, goals scored and goals allowed.
And FC Kansas City landed a big result too, another sign that the National Women’s Soccer League season will be more than a one-horse race.
For more, check out our weekend recap and NWSL Power Rankings:
After starting the season in a slump, midfielder Keith Savage’s 90th minute strike lifted the Tampa Bay Rowdies to a 3-2 victory against Minnesota United FC on Saturday afternoon at the Metrodome during North American Soccer League action.
The Rowdies now sit with 11 points, tied in first place, after the Carolina RailHawks failed to record a victory against the Atlanta Silverbacks later that day.
Forward Ruben Luna recorded his fourth goal of the season for the Silverbacks, as they went on to defeat the RailHawks 2-0, which gave the them their first loss of the season.
The San Antonio Scorpions took their first victory of the season, defeating the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers 3-1, Saturday night at Toyota Field. The victory not only gave the Scorpions their first three points of the spring season, but lifted them over the Strikers who now sit in last place in the NASL standings.
Here’s a closer look at what happened in Week 7 in the NASL:
It’s no surprise that the Seattle Sounders upturn has coincided by the return to form of forward Eddie Johnson.
The U.S. international scored twice on Saturday in a 4-2 victory over FC Dallas, earning him SBI MLS Player of the Week for MLS Week 12. Johnson scored the game’s opening goal in the 15th minute with the outside of his right boot, before scoring the game winner in the 62nd, rounding FC Dallas goalkeeper Raul Fernandez before finishing into the roof of the net.
Honorable mention for this week’s honors go to Real Salt Lake’s Ned Grabavoy, New York Red Bulls’ Jamison Olave, and FC Dallas’ Michel.
What did you make of Johnson’s performance? Which player impressed you the most in MLS Week 12?
NEW YORK- Hertha Berlin defender John Anthony Brooks was considered a potential star addition for the U.S. Under-20 National Team heading into this summer’s Under-20 World Cup, but his delay in making a final decision has led to Brooks being left out of the U.S. team’s plans for the World Cup in Turkey.
“Everybody knows we’ve been following Brooks for a couple of years now,” Ramos said. “We’ve been inviting him to camps, he played with us in November, 2011, in a camp we had overseas. Last year, in September I decided to go to Germany and meet with him. He was very good about the meeting. He was very committed to us and the future, but yet, all the camps we’ve called him after he, for whatever reason, couldn’t make it.
“This particular month, obviously we had a FIFA deadline to meet,” Ramos said. “We gave him a deadline. We gave him a date. He couldn’t meet that deadline for us to get all the paperwork in so we’ve left him out of the 35-man roster.
U.S. Under-20 Men’s National team coach Tab Ramos announced a 22-player roster for the upcoming Toulon Tournament in France, the final warm-up for the U-20s before they compete in this summer’s Under-20 World Cup.
Dani Cuevas, Benji Joya and Cody Cropper lead the group of regular starters to be included in the squad, while Monterrey forward Alonso Hernandez is one of the new faces called up for the Toulon Tournament, which takes place from May 28th to June 8th.
Several regulars have been left out of the squad due to club commitments, including midfielders Jose Villarreal and Luis Gil. Much like Villarreal and Gil, DeAndre Yedlin is scheduled to play two MLS matches during the duration of the Toulon Tournament and was therefore not included in the squad.
One player not on the roster is German-American defender John Anthony Brooks, who has yet to publicly make a decision on whether he would play for the U.S. Under-20 National Team. If he were to play for the U.S. he would project as a starting centerback for the team.
One player on the Toulon Tournament roster who is seeing regular playing time in MLS is Shane O’Neill, who the Rapids released for the tournament. He is due to miss one match less than the other regulars missing the tournament.
Between some memorable MLS matches, the final weekend of the European season, and the continued analysis of the U.S. Men’s National Team roster, there was plenty to discuss on the latest episode of The SBI Show.
Episode 35 features discussion on everything from the Red Bulls-Galaxy match and the Sounders-FC Dallas shootout, to the final weekend in Europe’s top leagues.
Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I also take some time to discuss the U.S. Men’s National Team’s roster for June’s qualifiers, and Jurgen Klinsmann’s explanations for those decisions.