Zusi extends Sporting KC unbeaten streak in 1-1 draw vs. Union

Goals from Graham Zusi and Brian Brown helped Sporting Kansas City and the Philadelphia Union settle for a 1-1 tie at Sporting Park on Friday night.

The SBI Show: Episode 154 (Talking USMNT, MLS, Eddie Johnson’s Twitter beefs, and more)

Episode 154 of The SBI Show discusses the reported friendly between the USMNT and Colombia, looks ahead to this weekend’s MLS action, breaks down Eddie Johnson’s latest Twitter spats, and more.

MLS Week 21: A Look Ahead

Fresh off of a 3-0 midweek victory over the Seattle Sounders, the LA Galaxy host the Portland Timbers in a Western Conference clash.

Johnson, Rolfe, lead D.C. United to emphatic win vs. TFC

Chris Rolfe

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By CLIFF STARKEY

WASHINGTON—D.C. United are quickly putting the memory of last season well behind them.

Both D.C. United—second place in the Eastern Conference—and Toronto FC—one spot behind—wanted to use Wednesday’s game in the nation’s capital as an opportunity to keep pace with Eastern Conference-leading Sporting Kansas City, as well as further separate themselves from the rest of the playoff-seeking pack.

In the end, it was D.C. United who made the most of the night, and came away with those important three points.

Exceptional goalkeeping by Bill Hamid led the way for D.C. United to a 3-0 victory over Eastern Conference rival Toronto FC at RFK Stadium. Goals from Eddie Johnson, Chris Rolfe, and an own goal by Nick Hagglund ensured that D.C. United remain in the thick of the race for the Eastern Conference title.

D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen was understandably upbeat after the game.

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- D.C. United, MLS- Toronto FC | 23 Comments

Revolution rout Rapids to end 8-game losing streak

Lee Nguyen, Chris Tierney

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By CARL SETTERLUND

FOXBORO, Mass. — Although winning streaks are undoubtedly more challenging, there’s a reason why there’s something impressive in its own right about long losing streaks — because every once in a while the breaks fall like they did for the New England Revolution on Wednesday night.

The Revolution kept their eight-game losing streak from spilling over into a fourth month with a 3-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids in front of 13,831 at Gillette Stadium. An own goal by Colorado Rapids defender Drew Moor in the 10th minute gave the Revs a rare early lead. Late strikes from Lee Nguyen and Kelyn Rowe secured the win.

It was the team’s first win since May 24.

“It’s been a tough stretch, obviously,” said Revs coach Jay Heaps. “I felt that, to be honest with you, the let-down from Saturday was big and so I’m proud of our guys for the quick turnaround.”

New England lost to the Columbus Crew on Saturday thanks to a late Ethan Finlay strike.

Nguyen, who leads New England (8-11-2, 26 points) in scoring this season with seven goals, played a part in all three scores on Wednesday. Nguyen had the shot on Moor’s own goal, scored on a free kick from the edge of the box in the 75th minute, and then set up Rowe’s tally three minutes after that.

“Lee is, for me, one of the best players in his position in the league,” Heaps said. “I think when he’s playing well, he’s leading the attack in the other team’s half. He’s not dropping back too deep. He’s getting the ball in advanced positions and he’s running at teams because he has that innate ability to find the open guy or take the shot himself. He set up Kelyn perfectly.”

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Colorado Rapids, MLS- New England Revolution | 6 Comments

Liverpool top Man City in penalty kicks at Yankee Stadium

EdinDzekoManCity1-Liverpool2014YankeeStadium (Getty)

By RYAN TOLMICH

BRONX, N.Y. —Much like last season’s title race, Premier League sides Liverpool and Manchester City stayed neck-and-neck for the duration of Wednesday night’s International Champions Cup contest.

However, it was the runners-up, Liverpool, who bested their Premier League rivals, topping Man City 3-1 on penalties after the two sides played to a 2-2 draw through 90 minutes at Yankee Stadium.

After a busy opening 15 minutes, Liverpool created the best chance of the half via the head of new signing Rickie Lambert.

Lambert’s header, which was assisted by Jordan Henderson, came off with power but lacked direction, as the ball smashed straight into the chest of Man City goalkeeper Willy Caballero, who did well to get across his backline and into the position to make a save.

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Posted in European Soccer, Featured | 10 Comments

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

Perry Kitchen

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

While Sporting Kansas City has kept their four point lead at the top of the Eastern Conference, both D.C. United and Toronto FC are doing their best to keep pace.

Second place D.C. United host third-place TFC on Wednesday evening in their third meeting of the regular season, with both teams gunning for a victory. D.C. have won three matches in a row even without the injured Fabian Espindola while TFC are hoping to get out of a slump, winning just once in their last seven matches.

It’s a busy evening for Major League Soccer on Wednesday as three other games take place in addition to the one at RFK Stadium. The struggling New England Revolution host the Colorado Rapids, the exciting Vancouver Whitecaps travel to the Chicago Fire, while Real Salt Lake host Thierry Henry and the New York Red Bulls.

Also in action on Wednesday evening are a couple of friendly matches. Manchester City face Liverpool in a preseason friendly match at Yankee Stadium and Club America host host La Liga champions Atletico Madrid at Estadio Azteca. The final place in the Copa Libertadores final is up for grabs as well with favorites San Lorenzo visiting Bolivar. Finally, NWSL leaders Seattle Reign FC visit the Houston Dash, with the match on ESPN3.

If you will be watching today’s action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Today’s Soccer TV schedule is after the jump):

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Posted in European Soccer, Featured, Major League Soccer, NWSL, Your Running Commentary | 42 Comments

SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 20)

Benny Feilhaber

By IVES GALARCEP

After an extended break for the World Cup, the SBI MLS Power Rankings are back, and a lot of the same teams are stacked near the top, while some of the usual suspects continue to bring up the rear.

Sporting Kansas City has overcome the defensive crisis that had them severely short-handed in the back and are now atop the Eastern Conference. Benny Feilhaber’s heroics coupled with Peter Vermes ‘ability to maintain a strong patchwork defense, has helped the champions regain their title-winning swagger.

D.C. United has enjoyed a serious climb up the charts over the past two months, with a 5-1-1 mark since the end of may pushing Ben Olsen’s side into second place in the East.

Out West, the Seattle Sounders have been threatening to lap the field, but the Los Angeles Galaxy showed on Monday that they are still very much a title contender, and a team nobody wants to have to deal with in the stretch run.

Then you have the Portland Timbers, who are slowly starting to creep up the standings as they erase the memories of a horrendous start to the season. Caleb Porter’s side looks like a good bet to chase down a playoff spot, though it won’t be easy in the stacked Western Conference.

Here are the SBI MLS Power Rankings for Week 20:

 

 

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, SBI MLS Power Rankings, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

SBI MLS Goal of the Week: Federico Higuain

Federico Higuain

Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Columbus Crew, SBI MLS Goal of the Week | 2 Comments

MLS Ticker: Union sign Algerian goalkeeper Mbolhi; Orlando City end pursuit of Robinho

RaisMbolhiAlgeria2-RussiaWorldCup2014 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

The Philadelphia Union have added a World Cup goalkeeper to their squad.

The Union announced at a press conference at Noon on Wednesday that they’ve signed Algerian international goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi, fresh off guiding Algeria to their first ever knockout round appearance at the 2014 World Cup. The 28-year-old’s contract, which will become official upon the receipt of his international transfer certificate and his P-1 visa, was not disclosed.

Mbolhi, a native of France who played for his birth nation at youth level before switching to Algeria in 2010, has spent the last four years under contract with CSKA Sofia in Bulgaria, though he’s spent two loan spells with Krylya Sovetov in the Russian Premier League and Gazelec Ajaccio in France’s Ligue 2.

In the introductory press conference, Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz revealed that Mbolhi rejected offers from clubs participating in the UEFA Champions League to join the Union.

Here are some more notes from around the league:

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Orlando City, MLS- Philadelphia Union | 27 Comments

Report: USMNT lining up September friendly vs. Colombia in San Antonio

Clint Dempsey

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

The U.S. Men’s National Team could be playing their first home game following the World Cup against one of the tournament’s most exciting teams.

According to a report in San Antonio, the USMNT are set to face Colombia in a friendly match on Sept. 9 at the Alamodome in San Antonio. The match, which falls on an official FIFA date, would be the USMNT’s second since the World Cup following an already announced friendly match at the Czech Republic on Sept. 3, but first match at home since June.

If true, stars such as James Rodriguez for Colombia and Nacogdoches, Texas native Clint Dempsey could grace the field against one another in the 65,000 seat-capacity Alamodome. U.S. Soccer has yet to issue a formal announcement about the friendly match but the report states that one is expected on Thursday.

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Posted in Featured, International Soccer, U.S. Men's National Team | 45 Comments