Photo by Creighton Athletics
By AARON CRANFORD
SBI No. 7 Creighton and Big East Offensive Player of the Week Fabian Herbers will host No. 15 Georgetown Saturday, and they will be searching for their first win against a ranked conference foe this season.
The Blue Jays only have one loss on the year, but they were defeated by Saint Louis midway through and drew against Xavier Sunday. Only one of their wins has come against ranked opposition, and that was against Stanford in their opening match in August .
They have a tough four days ahead, as they play the Hoyas and No. 8 Marquette, but Herbers will try to lead his side after scoring in both matches last weekend. The Hoyas have not looked like their former self in their past two matches, suffering losses to both Providence and Seton Hall, but they will be looking to bounce back Saturday.
Friday, No. 23 Louisville faces off against Clemson, who topped No. 13 Coastal Carolina during the week (ESPN3, 7:30 p.m.). Since losing four consecutive matches, the Cardinals have rebounded, winning three in a row and topping Syracuse last Friday.
Clemson ended the Chanticleers eight-game winning streak Tuesday and will now hope to ruin the Cardinals momentum.
Photo by Bill Striecher/USA TODAY Sports
By CAITLIN MURRAY
As if there was ever really any doubt, the U.S. Women’s National Team will be in Canada for the World Cup next summer.
A dominant USWNT cruised past Mexico in PPL Park on Friday, 3-0, assuring the Americans a spot in the 2015 Women’s World Cup. Mexico is not out of it as they can still qualify.
As has been the case throughout this CONCACAF qualifying tournament, the USWNT looked dominant but let chance after chance go by. The Americans out-shot Mexico, 21-to-1.
“Overall, this tournament has been great and it’s taught us a lot,” brace-scorer Carli Lloyd told Fox Sports afterward. “We’ve been playing against bunker teams.”
Indeed, Mexico looked less interested in scoring goals than they were in minimizing USWNT goals. They had some help, as the Americans hit the woodwork three times on the night and failed to capitalize on several Mexican back line breakdowns with poor finishing.
By FRANCO PANIZO
If Aron Johannnsson’s performance for AZ Alkmaar’s reserves earlier this week was any indication, he might just be ready to make his competitive return.
Johannsson made his way back from groin and ankle injuries on Monday by scoring in a reserve game for AZ, and that outing could help convince the coaching staff that he is healthy enough to partake in the club’s league encounter with FC Groningen on Saturday. The 23-year-old forward has not seen time in a competitive match since making his lone World Cup appearance in June, and is likely champing at the bit to get back in the mix to help an AZ side that is currently in ninth place in the Eredivisie.
While Johannsson will be focused on trying to make his comeback official, Edgar Castillo will be out for payback. Castillo and his club, Atlas, were eliminated from the Copa MX by Puebla on Wednesday, but the two sides will coincidentally meet again in a league fixture on Saturday that is sure to be plenty intense. Michael Orozco did not feature for Puebla in the midweek match, but should resume playing in his regular starting spot this weekend to make the clash with Castillo and Atlas even more intriguing.
Another potential match-up abroad involving Americans could take place in Germany, as Hertha Berlin and Hamburg lock horns on Saturday. Brooks seems the more likely of the two U.S. Men’s National Team World Cup scorers to start, but there is a chance Green could too given that he has had another week to fully heal the bruised ribs that have troubled him in recent weeks.
Here is who the Americans Abroad battle this weekend: Continue reading
By RYAN TOLMICH
Just nine words into his open letter, U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Stuart Holden made his intentions very clear: retirement is not an option.
The 29-year-old midfielder, who has been battling injuries for a majority of the past four seasons, reiterated his desire to battle back from his ailments in an open letter released on ESPN on Friday.
“Of course, I am constantly being asked about my future by fans, friends, teammates and coaches. My answer is: I need time,” Holden said. “Time to heal, time to work hard, time to prepare, and time for a comeback of epic proportions. I will continue to tackle this challenge with great fortitude and I can’t wait to prove to all of you, but mostly myself, that this is possible!
“I thank all of my supporters for their continued inspiration and motivation, because without you I wouldn’t be where I am. Stay tuned, because this isn’t over yet.”
Check out a video of Holden discussing his return after the jump:
By IVES GALARCEP
The Indiana Hoosiers may have suffered a defeat after reaching the peak of the SBI Top 25, but they certainly weren’t alone among rank teams struggling to earn results.
A whopping 14 of 15 teams in last week’s Top 15 suffered losses or settled for ties, with UCLA the only team to post a pair of victories to climb up to No. 2.
The Hoosiers held on to the top spot despite losing to Maryland by virtue of an impressive mid-week victory against Notre Dame.
Stanford and California climbed up the rankings to give the Pac-12 a whopping four teams in the top 10.
Here is the latest SBI College Soccer Top 25 (for Oct. 24th)
Photo by Russ Isabella/USA TODAY Sports
By DAN KARELL
FIFA revealed their shortlist for the 2014 Women’s Ballon d’Or award on Friday afternoon, and the list contains a number of familiar faces as well as some noticeable absences.
U.S. Women’s National Team all-time leading goalscorer Abby Wambach headlines the shortlist despite a club year with the Western New York Flash that was plagued by some injury.
In addition to Wambach, the National Women’s Soccer League was represented by three other star players — German goalkeeper Nadine Angerer and Spanish midfielder Verónica Boquete for the Portland Thorns, as well as Japanese midfielder Nahomi Kawasumi from NWSL’s Seattle Reign.
Also included on the shortlist for the 12th consecutive year is Brazilian star midfielder Marta.
Notably absent is Alex Morgan, who was on the shortlist the last three years but struggled to overcome a lingering ankle injury over the past 12 months, and was ruled out last week for the rest of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying with another ankle knock.
Former USWNT head coach Pia Sundhage made the coach’s shortlist for the award, as did Seattle Reign head coach Laura Harvey.
The ten-player and ten-coach shortlists will be whittled down to a top three on Dec. 1 by a partnership between FIFA and French publication France Football. The men’s shortlist will be named on Oct. 28.
Here’s a look at the full player and coach’s shortlist for the FIFA women’s Ballon d’Or: