Report: Defoe being chased by QPR, West Ham

Jermain Defoe could be on his way out of Toronto FC, with both QPR and West Ham highly interested in the veteran forward.

Monday Kickoff: Man United agree Falcao loan; Chicharito joins Real Madrid; and more

Manchester United are set to make one more major signing this summer, with Radamel Falcao ready to move on-loan to Old Trafford.

Green joins Hamburg on season-long loan

Bayern Munich winger Julian Green has completed a season-long loan to Hamburg SV, and will join his new teammates following U.S. Men’s National Team camp.

Europa League group stage set

SevillaCelebrateEuropaLeague2014 (Getty)

By TYLER GRAY

Defending champion Sevilla are in for a dogfight thanks to a stiff Europa League draw.

The Europa League draw took place Friday in Monaco as 48 teams were separated into 12 groups, and Sevilla now know which clubs stand in their way of lifting the cup for a fourth time since 2005. The Spanish club was assigned to Group G, which also features Dutch side Feyenoord, Belgium’s Standard Liege and Croatian club Rijeka.

Other notable groups include Group H, which features Roberto Martinez’ Everton, which will look to make a splash against a solid group featuring Wolfsburg, Krasnodar, and Lille.

Meanwhile, Group C might end up being the most competitive, with Tottenham Hotspur, Besiktas, Partizan Belgrade and Asteras Tripoli. Group A could provide some drama between Villareal, Borussia Monchengladbach, Zurich, and Apollon Limassol.

Here are the complete results of the draw: Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer | 9 Comments

SBI’s Top 40 MLS Draft College Prospects

roldan-Washington-GoHuskies.com

By IVES GALARCEP

When Jurgen Klinsmann decided to call up Stanford forward Jordan Morris, there was suddenly a slight spike in interest in the college soccer game, and just what sort of talent might be available.

For MLS teams, the instant-impact blue chip prospects are a thing of the past, with more players either leaving college early or skipping college altogether in favor of turning pro in either MLS or overseas.

That exodus has put a drain on the top tier talent in the college game, and with several of the best college players also having academy ties to MLS teams, that makes the hunt for college talent to select in the MLS Draft a tougher proposition than it has ever been.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t talent. There is still some quality to be had for teams with high draft picks in January’s MLS Draft, and for teams with a discerning eye for talent, who just might be able to find the next gem like FC Dallas’ Tesho Akindele, Toronto FC’s Nick Hagglund and Colorado’s Marlon Hairston.

Something to consider when you peruse this list is that this is not necessarily meant as a list of the college players who will have the best college seasons, but rather the players who are generating the most attention and interest from MLS scouts, and those who stand the best chance of being drafted and making a team come January.

So who are the MLS Draft prospects you should be watching for during the 2014 college season? Here is SBI’s list of the Top 40 MLS Draft Prospects in College Soccer: Continue reading »

Posted in College Soccer, MLS Draft 2015, Uncategorized | 11 Comments

SBI College Preview: Preseason Top 25

Patrick Hodan, Evan Panken

BY IVES GALARCEP

The 2014 college soccer season kicks off today and while Notre Dame heads into the new campaign wearing the crown, several teams look ready snatch it off of the heads of the Fighting Irish.

The reality of the new college season is that there is no clear-cut favorite, no juggernaut comparable to the 2008 Maryland team or 2010 Akron side that finished undefeated. There are a half dozen teams that you can call title contenders, and as many as a dozen teams with strong chances of reaching the College Cup semifinals this season.

The Pac-12 will once again feature some powerhouses, with UCLA and Washington leading the charge out west. Some conference shifting has perennial powers Notre Dame (ACC) and Maryland (Big 10) playing in new places, against newly-minted rivals.

Conference title races will be fun to watch, as well the continued growth of some outstanding pro prospects in the college game, like UCLA’s Leo Stolz and UConn’s Cyle Larin and Washington’s Cristian Roldan. MLS scouts will have their eye on a draft class that should yield some good defender and midfield options in 2015.

So which teams are the best heading into the 2014 college season? Here is the SBI College Soccer Top 25:

Continue reading »

Posted in College Soccer | 2 Comments

NASL Week 8: A Look Ahead

BillyForbesSanAntonioScorpions1-FortLauderdaleStrikers (SanAntonioScorpions)

By RYAN TOLMICH

Just one week after reclaiming the league’s top spot, the San Antonio Scorpions will look to build their lead over Minnesota United FC in what has been a season-long wrestling match between the two clubs.

The Scorpions, who sit two points ahead of Minnesota United, will attempt to pick up some much-needed points when they take on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers on Friday evening. Meanwhile, Minnesota United, who enter the weekend on an 11-game unbeaten streak, head up to Canada for a match against FC Edmonton.

Other games from Week 8 include a clash between Ottawa Fury FC and the Tampa Bay Rowdies, a matchup between the Carolina RailHawks and Atlanta Silverbacks and a meeting between Indy Eleven and the New York Cosmos.

Here is what’s on tap for the NASL this week: Continue reading »

Posted in NASL | 1 Comment

USL Pro Week 24: A Look Ahead

FejiroOkiomahCharlotteEagles1-USLProFinalOrlandoCity (OrlandoSentinel)

By AARON CRANFORD

Week 23 was tense in USL Pro, producing nine red cards and featuring a massive altercation between the Wilmington Hammerheads and the Orange County Blues.

Expect this week to have more of the same.

The regular season is winding down, and playoff positions are on the line. The Richmond Kickers and Sacramento Republic are both looking to seize first place from Orlando, which recently have been in a minor slump.

All eyes will be on the Republic as they play the Hammerheads on Saturday night. Both sides are in good form, and both currently are playoff bound, so the game will be crucial for both as the regular season ends in less than 10 days.

Here is a look at the upcoming games this weekend:

Continue reading »

Posted in USL Pro | 3 Comments

Orlando City’s Yordany Alvarez retires from professional soccer

Yordany Alvarez OCSC

By MIKE GRAMAJO

Orlando City Soccer Club may have already started building their Major League Soccer squad for next year, but one of their prolonged players won’t be there come 2015.

Midfielder Yordany Alvarez, who was on loan from Real Salt Lake and signed an MLS contract for 2015 with OCSC, announced his retirement from professional soccer on Friday after suffering a concussion on June 7 during USL Pro play.

“We are deeply saddened by this news, but Yordany’s long-term health and well-being must be at the forefront of any decision regarding his future,” Orlando City President Phil Rawlins said in a news release.  “To that end, both the Club and the entire Orlando Health medical staff were very prudent throughout this process in making sure he underwent extensive examinations to determine the possible causes of his condition and to find the best treatment so he can continue to live a full life.”

Continue reading »

Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Orlando City, USL Pro | 3 Comments

Dynamo punish Sporting KC on a rainy night at Sporting Park

CRAZY SKY SKC-HOU (Peter Aiken USA Today)

Photo by Peter Aiken/USA Today Sports

By TATE STEINLAGE 

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Forty minutes into a long and dreary weather delay Friday, the ominous skies above Sporting Park lightened. The color? Orange.

It was a case of foreshadowing.

The Houston Dynamo overcame a 77-minute delay and a Sporting Kansas City equalizer to snap a seven-game road losing streak with a 3-1 victory over their Eastern Conference rival.

Dom Dwyer erased a 1-0 deficit before the hour mark after Will Bruin put the Dynamo up initially, but Houston, led by the left foot of Brad Davis, scored twice in the remaining half hour to see Sporting KC’s recent defensive woes continue.

“When they came back into the game, obviously they were carrying a lot of momentum,” Houston Dynamo manager Dominic Kinnear said. “Sometimes it does take a set piece to put your nose ahead. We got two of them so it was good, and we withstood some pressure there. Taking advantage of set pieces and the way Brad (Davis) spins the ball in was obviously very important for us tonight.”

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Houston Dynamo, MLS- Sporting Kansas City | 7 Comments

USMNT to host Honduras in Florida for October friendly

Dempsey-Honduras- ISIPhoto by ISIPhotos.com

By RYAN TOLMICH

While Landon Donovan is set to end his illustrious international career in October, the U.S. Men’s National Team has found its first opponent for the post-Donovan era.

U.S. Soccer announced Friday that the USMNT is set to host fellow CONCACAF side Honduras for an Oct. 14 friendly at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Florida.

The matchup will be the the second post-World Cup home game for the U.S., coming just four days after a clash with Ecuador in East Hartford, Connecticut, that is set to serve as Donovan’s send-off.

It will also mark the national team’s second visit to Florida this year, having previously faced Nigeria in June for a pre-World Cup send-off.

Kickoff time and ticketing information are yet to be announced.

How do you feel about the matchup with Honduras? What players would you like to see called up? Plan on attending?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Featured, U.S. Men's National Team | 26 Comments

This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

Andrea Pirlo Juventus (Getty Images)

By RYAN TOLMICH

Following the starts of the Premier League and La Liga in recent weeks, Italy’s Serie A is set to kick off its season this weekend.

Three-time reigning champions Juventus kick off the first game of the post-Antonio Conte era Saturday in a clash with 2013′s 16th-place side, Chievo Verona. Saturday will also see a clash between two of last season’s top four teams when Roma takes on Fiorentina. Meanwhile, the rest of the league’s action spills into Sunday, with AC Milan taking on Lazio, Napoli visiting Genoa and Torino hosting Inter Milan.

Meanwhile, the Premier League boasts a full slate of its own, headlined by a meeting between Chelsea and Everton. After a pair of disappointing draws, the Toffees will be looking to pick up their first victory of the new season against Chelsea, which have cruised to consecutive victories to start the campaign.

Finally, reigning La Liga champions Atletico Madrid will look to shake off a disapointing opening game draw when they host newly-promoted Eibar. Meanwhile, Real Madrid takes on Real Sociedad, while Barcelona visits Villareal.

In other action, Mario Balotelli will likely make his Liverpool debut against Tottenham Hotspur, Bayern Munich visits Schalke 04 and Paris Saint-Germaine hosts Saint-Etienne.

Here’s a rundown of This Weekend’s Soccer on TV:

Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, Featured, Major League Soccer, Mexican Soccer, Soccer on TV | 4 Comments

SBI’s 2014 College Soccer Kickoff

NotreDame-NationalChampionship-ISI

By IVES GALARCEP

The chase for the NCAA title begins today all across the country, and the start of the college soccer season also signals the beginning of a process that will lead several college players to the pros.

An exodus of top talent from last season has seen the college game lose such standouts as Harrison Shipp, Andre Blake, Patrick Mullins and Steve Neumann, but a new generation of talented players will step up to fill the void and become the next targets for professional scouts.

The college game itself has enough drama to make it enjoyable to follow, as perennial powers jockey for position in traditional conference strongholds like the Pac-12, ACC, Big Ten and Big East. Teams like UCLA, Maryland, Notre Dame, Georgetown and UConn will be competing not only for conference honors, but also for a chance to lift the trophy Notre Dame won in 2013.

SBI will be providing regular coverage of the college game, and also keeping you up to date on the top pro prospects in the game that you need to be keeping an eye on. Today was our day to drop a series of team previews and player profiles to help introduce you to the 2014 college season, as it kicks off today.

Here is a rundown of SBI’s College Soccer Season Preview Stories, giving you what you need to follow the college game this season:

FOR STARTERS

SBI Preseason Top 25

SBI’s Top 40 MLS Draft Prospects in College Soccer

College Soccer Week 1: A Look Ahead

TEAM PROFILES

UCLA

Georgetown

Notre Dame

Washington

UConn

North Carolina

PLAYER PROFILES

Leo Stolz. UCLA star poised to lead Bruins to title, while also generating big interest from pro teams.

Cyle Larin. Young Canadian striker will lead UConn, and is turning heads with Canadian national team.

Ramon Martin Del Campo. From unknown to called up by the U.S. Under-23 national team after scrimmaging vs. the USMNT, Martin Del Campo’s career is on the rise.

————–

Will you be following college soccer this season? Which teams would you like to see covered by SBI? Which players would you like to read about?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in College Soccer, Featured, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

John Brooks (Getty Images)

By FRANCO PANIZO

John Brooks has not played in a competitive game since scoring the dramatic winner in the U.S. Men’s National Team’s World Cup opener vs. Ghana, but an injury to one of his club teammates may change that.

Brooks is poised to earn his first start of the season for Hertha Berlin after Sebastian Langkamp was ruled out for up to a month earlier this week. The young U.S. centerback has not made an official appearance for club or country since his heroic second-half cameo in the Americans’ 2-1 win over Ghana on June 16 in Natal, but could make a good case for himself to regain a starting spot on his club with a solid performance against Bayer Leverkusen.

While Brooks is searching for his first minute of the season on Saturday, Tim Howard’s hunt for Everton’s first victory will continue. The Toffees have demoralizingly settled for late draws to start the Premiership season, and things will not get any easier as they host a star-studded Chelsea side that has won both its games by a combined scored of 5-1.

For Eric Lichaj, Nottingham Forest’s road trip to Sheffield Wednesday could mark another appearance for the Reds. Lichaj has played in each of Nottingham’s four games in the Championship, and is eyeing his latest start in order to help keep the club remain undefeated and at the top of the Championship standings. The fullback will, however, need to show he is physically ready to get the start for Nottinham after going the distance in Tuesday’s Capital One Cup victory.

Here is who the Americans Abroad do battle with this weekend:

Continue reading »

Posted in Americans Abroad, Featured | 5 Comments

MLS Week 25: A Look Ahead

Henry-D.C.UnitedRedBulls-USATodaySports

Photo by Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

As one of the league’s fiercest rivalries, Sunday’s clash between D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls is sure to feature the tenacity and aggression that have come to define the series. However, Sunday’s edition should feature a little something extra with both teams jockeying for playoff position.

D.C. United enter the weekend sitting atop the Eastern Conference, despite a 4-1 midweek thrashing at the hands of the LA Galaxy. Meanwhile, the Red Bulls remain just one point ahead of the New England Revolution and Philadelphia Union for the conference’s final playoff spot.

Elsewhere in MLS, Sporting KC clashes with the Houston Dynamo, Toronto FC hosts the New England Revolution and Los Angeles divides as Chivas USA takes on the LA Galaxy.

Here’s a look at this weekend’s MLS slate: Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer | Leave a comment