RaulRealMadrid1-AlSadd2013 (AFP)

Cosmos sign Spanish legend Raul

The New York Cosmos have announced the signing of Real Madrid legend Raul, who joins on a multi-year deal that includes a role as a technical adviser for the club’s new youth academy.

QatarStadiumAlGharafa1 (Getty)

Thursday Kickoff: Spring World Cup in Qatar promoted by ECA; Rooney set to return; and more

The top clubs in Europe have proposed to move the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to late April and May, instead of moving it to the winter, combined with late kick off times to avoid the heat.

Michel by Tim Heitman USA TODAY

Controversial PK goal lifts FC Dallas over Whitecaps

The Vancouver Whitecaps were undone by an unfortunate penalty call as FC Dallas advanced to the conference semifinals with a 2-1 victory.

MLS Playoff Preview: FC Dallas host Vancouver Whitecaps in postseason opener

Dallas-Whitecaps-USAToday

Photo by Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports

 

By RYAN TOLMICH

After 34 grueling regular season contests, FC Dallas and the Vancouver Whitecaps are set to kickoff the MLS Cup Playoffs.

With a spot in the conference semifinals on the line, the two Western Conference sides collide Wednesday at Toyota Stadium for the first knockout round matchup of 2014.

The hosts, who finished the season four points ahead of Wednesday’s opposition, ended the regular season on somewhat of a sour note with a 2-0 loss to the Portland Timbers that snapped the team’s eight-game winning streak at home.

Shutout at Toyota Stadium for the second time all season, FC Dallas will look towards the goalscoring exploits of Fabian Castillo, Blas Perez and Mauro Diaz, who made his return with a substitute appearance last week after missing out on more than a month of action. Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS Playoffs, MLS- FC Dallas, MLS- Vancouver Whitecaps | 6 Comments

Tuesday College Soccer Rewind: Charlotte trumps Wake Forest, North Carolina pounds Georgia State, and more

Sunday at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, NC.  (Photo by Sam Roberts)

Photo by Charlotte 49ers Athletics

By AARON CRANFORD

SBI No. 10 Charlotte has had a tough schedule this season, but they fought through their demanding non-conference matchups and ended it on a high note with a 1-0 win at Wake Forest.

After a turnover by Demon Deacons goalkeeper Alec Ferrell, Brandt Bronico beat him and scored the lone goal of the night in the 27th minute. The 49ers also successfully completed their third consecutive shutout.

In Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the Tar Heels opened fire on Georgia State, sinking six in a 6-2 drubbing. Senior Andy Craven netted a hat trick, while Walker Hume, Verneri Valimaa and C.J. Odenigwe added the other three.

Adam Abdellaoui recorded a brace for the Eagles, but it was too late to stage a comeback by then. With the hat trick, Craven now has a total of 11 goals this season, which ranks second nationally.

None of the SBI Top 25 were upset Tuesday night. However, both No. 14 Davidson and No. 23 Louisville played to listless 0-0 draws against Virginia Tech and SIUE, respectively, while No. 25 Kentucky drew 1-1 with Ohio State.

If you missed it, here is the preview for this week’s top college matches. Take a closer look at Tuesday’s top college matches below: Continue reading »

Posted in College Soccer | 7 Comments

Wednesday Kickoff: Ancelotti blasts Blatter; Mourinho criticizes Schurrle, Salah; and more

CarloAncelottiRealMadrid4-2014 (Getty)

By RYAN TOLMICH

One day after FIFA president Sepp Blatter hinted that Manuel Neuer was deserving of winning the upcoming Ballon d’Or over Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlo Ancelotti has come out in defense of his star player.

The Real Madrid manager responded to Blatter’s knack for controversial statements by revealing his belief that it is impossible to keep the FIFA president quiet for long.

“It always surprises me what he does, but what are we going to do,” Ancelotti said of Blatter. “It is impossible to shut up the FIFA president. This is a matter which is always talked about. It is Cristiano’s year, he is scoring goals and winning important trophies, so there is no doubt that he is the Ballon d’Or. So [Blatter's] words do not make much sense.”

Here are some more news and notes to kickoff your Wednesday morning: Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, Featured, FIFA, International Soccer | 12 Comments

MLS Ticker: Martins signs extension with Sounders; Chivas wants Torres to stay; and more

Obafemi Martins Seattle Sounders 2093

By CAITLIN MURRAY

Obafemi Martins is staying put in Seattle.

The Nigerian forward who has enjoyed a breakout year with the Seattle Sounders signed a multiyear contract extension to stay with the MLS Supporter’s Shield-winning team, the Sounders announced Tuesday.

As usual, terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Martins was clear about his plans, telling the Seattle Times: “I hope to play here for at least three years, as the contract says.”

Reports indicate the contract, worth more than $3 million per year, is for two years with a third-year option.

For Martins, who turned 30 also Tuesday, 2014 has been one of his most successful years to date. He joined the Sounders in 2013, but has been on fire during this season, recording a club-record 17 goals and 13 assists.

Here are some other Major League Soccer notes from Tuesday evening:

Continue reading »

Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Chivas USA, MLS- New York Red Bulls, MLS- Seattle Sounders | 20 Comments

Vela, Corona among 10 foreign-based players called up for Mexico friendlies

CarlosVelaMexico1-SouthAfricaWorldCup2010 (Getty)

By RYAN TOLMICH

After a three-and-a-half year absence, Carlos Vela has finally accepted a call-up to the Mexico National Team.

The Real Sociedad winger is one of 10 foreign-based players called in for Mexico’s upcoming friendly matches against the Netherlands and Belarus on Nov. 12 and 18, respectively. The 25-year-old, who hasn’t featured for El Tri since 2011, had previously turned down call-ups from previous manager Jose Manuel de la Torre and his successors for the 2013 Gold Cup and the 2014 World Cup.

Vela is joined on the roster by a 21-year-old Jesus ‘Tecatito’ Corona, who could make his full El Tri debut after making six appearances and scoring twice this season for F.C. Twente in the Netherlands. Corona has previously played with the Mexican Under-17s and U-20s, scoring five goals in 15 appearances at the latter level.

Manger Manuel Herrera’s call-ups also include regulars Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez, Guillermo Ochoa and Raul Jimenez, as well as a returning Jonathan Dos Santos, who is a little more than 12 months returned from suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

Have a closer look at the list of foreign-based call-ups below:

Continue reading »

Posted in International Soccer, Mexican Soccer | 32 Comments

Report: Police preparing charges after altercation at FC Dallas-Timbers match

TimbersSupportersatToyotaPark (USATODAYSports)

Photo by Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports

By DAN KARELL

A Portland Timbers supporter could be facing criminal charges after being involved in an altercation with an FC Dallas fan during Saturday’s match at Toyota Stadium.

According to a report in the Oregonian, an upset FC Dallas fan angrily reacted to chants the fan termed as vulgar from the visiting Timbers supporter. The report adds that the Lone Star Brigade, a group of Timbers supporters based in Texas, said that the FC Dallas fan “head butted” the Timbers fan, and the Timbers fan acted in self defense by punching at the FC Dallas fan.

FC Dallas released a statement to the Oregonian on Tuesday though, stating that police in Frisco, Texas, have reviewed film from the game and were ready to move forward with charges against the Timbers fan.

“Violence of any kind is not tolerated at Toyota Stadium,” read FC Dallas’ statement. “The incident in question was reported to police and it will be filed as a criminal case. The confrontation was also captured on video. Police viewed the video and are moving forward with a criminal case against a visiting supporter. Due to the ongoing investigation, FC Dallas is unable to comment further on the incident.”

Continue reading »

Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- FC Dallas, MLS- Portland Timbers | 34 Comments