Monday Evening Ticker: Qatar official responds to critics; Debuchy out three months; and more

Despite claims to the contrary, Qatar 2022 communications director Nasser Al Khater insists that cooling technology will work as expected.

Who should the USMNT call up in October?

With the U.S. Men’s National Team’s October friendlies fast approaching, we discuss Jurgen Klinsmann’s options as he decides on the roster to call in.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Harrison Shipp

Chicago Fire rookie Harrison Shipp picked up an assist in the Fire’s 3-3 draw with D.C. United, earning him SBI MLS Rookie of the Week honors.

Ellis finds World Cup roster answers as USWNT routs Mexico again

Megan Rapinoe, Stephany MayorPhoto by Brad Smith/ISI Photos

By CAITLIN MURRAY

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Thursday was the last chance for U.S. Women’s National Team players to show coach Jill Ellis they should be included on next month’s World Cup qualifying roster. Again, they made Ellis’ job very difficult.

It was only half as good as their previous rout of Mexico a few days earlier, but a 4-0 win on a chilly Thursday evening from four different goal-scorers surely gave Ellis plenty to think about.

“I’m going to go back and talk to the staff, but I think we got some answers,” Ellis said after the match. “Listen, this is a tough, tough job. That’s a fantastic group of 28 players we have here, so, they’ve made it hard.”

But just as with Saturday’s 8-0 rout of Mexico, it wasn’t a perfect showing. The Americans looked disjointed at times and struggled with possession up the field. Again, Mexican errors turned into the USWNT’s early goals.

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, U.S. Women's National Team, Women's Soccer | 4 Comments

Mid-day Ticker: Impact’s Saputo part of Bologna purchase; Fulham sacks Magath; and more

MLS: Montreal Impact-Jersey Unveil

Photo by Eric Bolte/USA Today Sports

By CARL SETTERLUND

If reports from the Italian newspaper Corriere di Bologna ring true, the Montreal Impact’s Joey Saputo is set to become the latest MLS owner to gain an ownership stake in a European club as well.

The Italian periodical says a deal worth roughly $23.5 million has been reached to pass over Serie B squad Bologna to a five-person investment group that includes Saputo.

Saputo has previously had several interactions with Bologna, acquiring three players from the team — most notably Marco Di Vaio — and the Impact have previously played Bologna in a friendly.

The century-old club has an up-and-down history, but has been in Serie A more often than not over the past two decades before their most recent relegation after the 2013-14 season.

Saputo would join the following list of MLS owners that also have a toe dipped into European waters: Stan Kroenke (Colorado Rapids/Arsenal), Erick Thohir (D.C. United/Inter Milan), City Football Group (New York City FC/Manchester City/Melbourne City FC/Yokohama F. Marinos), Red Bull GmbH (New York Red Bulls/Red Bull Salzburg/RB Leipzig), and AEG (LA Galaxy/Houston Dynamo/Hammarby IF).

Here are some other notes from around the soccer world: Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, International Soccer, MLS- Montreal Impact | 3 Comments

CCL Preview: Sporting KC hosts Saprissa with important points on the line

GrahamZusi (USA Today Images)

Photo by Stew Milne/USA Today Sports

By CARL SETTERLUND

Sporting Kansas City broke out of a four-game MLS losing streak against Chivas USA, and now their attention turns toward taking care of business in the CONCACAF Champions League.

Sporting KC currently sits in last place in Group 2, but they’ve only played one game so far and have a chance to potentially vault into first with two CCL games coming up in short order.

With a rare two weekends off from MLS action, Peter Vermes has the opportunity to field a competitive lineup when Costa Rican club Saprissa visits Sporting Park Thursday night. Continue reading »

Posted in CONCACAF Champions League, MLS- Sporting Kansas City | 11 Comments

Preview: USWNT squad gets last chance to impress Ellis before World Cup qualifying

Jill Ellis USWNT training by Brad Smith (ISI)Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos

By CAITLIN MURRAY

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — When the U.S. Women’s Nation Team crushed Mexico a few days ago, it was a bit strange. Strange, not for the U.S. women to win 8-0 against a team, but because they hadn’t been playing their best.

But that has to be a bit comforting as the focus, for now, is not on peaking in performance, but on finding a World Cup team in a very deep player pool.

World Cup qualifiers are around the corner and — even if no one with the team admits it — they should be as much of a breeze as Saturday’s 8-0 siege. These days, it’s a question of which players make the 23-player World Cup squad with all eyes on next summer’s tournament.

“I do. I think I do,” coach Jill Ellis said Wednesday when asked if she has a best starting XI in her mind. “But as I’ve said to players, every next roster is determined by performance. You can be set on someone today and then watch a game and it changes because, at this point, it’s about delivering.”

And that is what makes Ellis’ job so hard. Ellis called in 28 players for this camp, her longest since taking over as head coach in April, and all of the players can compete in the international level. Several of them will need to be cut.

Continue reading »

Posted in U.S. Women's National Team, Women's Soccer | 4 Comments

Soccer Thursday: Your Running Commentary

SevillaCelebrateEuropaLeague2014 (Getty)

By RYAN TOLMICH

With 24 games on the agenda, the debut of the Europa Leagues group stage takes center stage on a Thursday jam packed with quality soccer on TV.

European action is highlighted by a slew of big-name matches, including Everton’s clash with VfL Wolfsburg, Borussia Monchengladbach’s meeting with Villareal and a matchup between Inter Milan and Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk.

Meanwhile, 2013-14 champions Sevilla take on Dutch side Feyenoord, while Napoli hosts Sparta Praha and Tottenham Hotspur will welcome Partizan Belgrade to White Hart Lane.

In addition to Europa League action, the CONCACAF Champions League continues Thursday night with a pair of games, as Sporting KC host Costa Rica’s Deportivo Saprissa while while Metapan, also from Costa Rica, takes on El Salvador’s Herediano.

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

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

Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, Your Running Commentary | 7 Comments

MLS unveils new logo

MLSLogoEdit

By DAN KARELL

Major League Soccer is saying good bye to the old boot and ball logo as they enter a new era for the league.

MLS dropped their new logo on Thursday morning, featuring an updated crest that ditches the old design in favor of a customizable logo that has personalized color schemes for each team in the league, as well as a standard scheme for the league.

“The new brand’s design is intended to say “soccer” without the literal ball and cleat,” reads a press release on the MLS website, part of their “Next” rollout. “In the end, we decided that the inclusion of a ball and cleat is unnecessary as it dates us very quickly (due to the fast pace of innovation in our game) while many other ways exist to signal we are a soccer league. Our new brand will build meaning over time so that our new crest signifies soccer in North America and has a unique place in global sports.”

The new crest, in the form of a shield, similar to the NFL and NHL logos, bears the MLS name in the top left corner as well as a slash extending from the top right through the bottom left of the crest, which separates the dominant colors. The top half of the crest also contains three stars, which represents “for club, for country, and for community.”

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer | 232 Comments

MLS sets December date for upcoming expansion draft

NYCFC-OrlandoCityLogos
By CARL SETTERLUND

Christmas will come early for Orlando City and New York City FC fans.

MLS has reportedly chosen a date for the upcoming expansion draft that will furnish the rosters of the league’s 20th and 21st franchises.

The draft will take place at 2 p.m. on Dec. 10. The existing teams must turn in their lists of 11 protected players by the same time on Dec. 8, giving two days to assess the options.

The coin flip to decide which team selects first will take place on Sept. 24.

Each team can only lose a maximum of two players to NYCFC and the Lions. Once a player is picked the team he was picked from may add an additional player to its protected list. The expansion draft is only 10 rounds, so not every team will lose two players.

In past, MLS expansion drafts Generation Adidas and Homegrown Players were automatically exempt and do not count against the 11 protected players.

Orlando City announced on Tuesday that they will be keeping at least seven players from their squad this past season (including Kaká, who is on loan at São Paulo), while NYCFC has six players under contract, including Designated Players David Villa and Frank Lampard.

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What are you thoughts on the upcoming expansion draft? What do you think of the time frame? What should each team be focusing on?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Expansion, MLS- New York City FC, MLS- Orlando City | 28 Comments

Di Vaio leads Impact to CCL victory over Red Bulls

MarcoDiVaio (USA Today Images)

By RYAN TOLMICH

After both teams dominated group mate CD FAS, Wednesday’s clash between the Montreal Impact and New York Red Bulls gave both teams the chance to an upper hand in Group 3 of the CONCACAF Champions League. Behind a Marco Di Vaio goal, it was the motivated Impact who took that chance.

Di Vaio scored the game’s lone goal in the 16th minute, as the Impact positioned themselves well to advance to the quarterfinal round with a 1-0 win over the Red Bulls at Stade Saputo.

With mathematical elimination from the MLS Playoffs all but a formality, the Impact deployed a formidable starting XI that included Di Vaio and Ignacio Piatti, the teams two Designated Players, who were both withheld last weekend in preparation for the CCL.

Meanwhile, the Red Bulls featured a more makeshift lineup, as head coach Mike Petke opted to rest all but one starter from Saturday’s 2-2 draw with the Philadelphia Union. The visitors had played two games in the last week already and remain focused on the Eastern Conference playoff race.

The Red Bulls were punished almost immediately, as Piatti hit the post just three minutes into Wednesday’s matchup before providing the helper on Di Vaio’s opener 13 minutes later.

Continue reading »

Posted in CONCACAF Champions League, MLS- Montreal Impact, MLS- New York Red Bulls | 15 Comments

USMNT climbs one place to No. 17 in latest FIFA rankings

USMNT Starting Eleven

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

The U.S. Men’s National Team has earned a boost in the FIFA rankings thanks to their victory at the Czech Republic.

Coming off their 1-0 victory in Prague, the USMNT has moved up one place in the latest FIFA World Rankings to No. 17, one spot behind Mexico and one place ahead of England. The U.S. remain the third-highest ranked team in CONCACAF, with Costa Rica staying level at No. 15.

There was plenty of movement inside the top 20, with Colombia switching places with the Netherlands to move to No. 3 and Uruguay, Spain, and Switzerland all dropping in the top ten. Croatia fell three places to No. 19, and Algeria advanced four places to No. 20.

The top five in the world rankings currently sits as: Germany, Argentina, Colombia, the Netherlands, and Belgium.

Back in CONCACAF, Panama jumped eight places to No. 55, while Honduras fell 13 spots to No. 56. On the back of their run to the Copa Centroamericana final, Guatemala advanced an incredible 77 places to No. 57.

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What do you think of the latest FIFA rankings? Glad to see the U.S. move back up? Think they could jump a few more places in October?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Featured, U.S. Men's National Team | 18 Comments

Thursday Kickoff: Schweinsteiger remains sidelined; Ronaldinho makes debut; and more

BastianSchweinsteigerBayernMunich1-RealMadridUCL2014 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Bastian Schweinsteiger isn’t any closer to returning to the field.

The Bayern Munich midfielder continues to struggle with patellar tendonitis in his knees, and hasn’t trained fully since the end of August, when he was shut down due to continued problems.

Schweinsteiger’s last competitive appearance was the World Cup final on July 13, when he played all 120 minutes, and the latest news is that he’s now expected to miss Germany’s next international matches on Oct. 11 at Poland and on Oct. 14 against the Republic of Ireland. Schweinsteiger was appointed captain of the national team after the international retirement of Philipp Lahm.

“Bastian is now only in the beginning of the whole training process,” Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told reporters. Rummenigge added that while he’s not a doctor, he hoped that Schweinsteiger would make a quick return.

Bayern’s injury problems aren’t getting much better, as Franck Ribery has reportedly been shut down for at least two weeks with fresh knee problems. Ribery was ruled out of Bayern’s 1-0 victory over Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League due to the injury.

Here are some more stories to start your Thursday:

Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, Featured, Mexican Soccer | 5 Comments

Americans Abroad: Midweek Rewind

Herculez Gomez Tigres UANL (Getty Images)

By FRANCO PANIZO

Herculez Gomez apparently did not get the memo that Wednesday night was supposed to be all about Ronaldinho.

Gomez spoiled the Brazilian legend’s much-anticipated debut at Queretaro, scoring an early goal to pace Tigres to a 1-0 road victory in Copa MX play. The 32-year-old forward struck just nine minutes into the match, tucking the winning shot just inside of the far post despite slipping on his take. The tally was his second in as many Copa MX appearances for Tigres, and might earn him some extended looks in the club’s upcoming league matches.

Another positive development involving Americans in Mexico came in Club Tijuana’s 2-0 loss to Chivas de Guadalajara on Tuesday. The Xolos may have been shutout but several youngsters saw time in the match, including Under-20 U.S. Men’s National Team defender John Requejo and former New York Red Bulls forward Amando Moreno. Talented prospect Alejandro Guido also saw time for Tijuana, starting and going the distance.

One other noteworthy performance came in the UEFA Champions League, as Sacha Kljestan made a rare Anderlecht cameo by coming off the bench in a group stage road draw vs. Galatasaray. Kljestan entered the match in the 66th minute to help protect a 1-0 lead, but unfortunately for the Belgian club, Galatasaray found the equalizer a minute into stoppage time to salvage a point and deliver a gut-wrenching blow.

Here is how the Americans Abroad did during the midweek action:

Continue reading »

Posted in Americans Abroad, Featured | 11 Comments

SBI Wednesday Rewind: MLS to get new logo; hints suggest Miami MLS franchise coming along; and more

garber-mls

Major League Soccer has been using variations of its familiar boot-and-ball logo since the league’s inception. But that might be changing soon. Sources told SBI’s Franco Panizo that MLS will announce a new logo that will bring a new look to the league.

Meanwhile, David Beckham & co.’s attempts to bring a MLS franchise to Miami have not gone so well as every stadium site they’ve explored has had problems. But Marcelo Claure, a member of Beckham’s MLS ownership group, insists some big announcements are on the horizon and Miami will indeed have an MLS franchise.

And Sacramento Republic FC is making a big push to woo MLS executives when they visit the California state capital this week. Republic released renderings of a proposed stadium on Wednesday and announced that they signed an agreement for land where the stadium could be built.

Here is a rundown of all the stories featured on SBI Wednesday:

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
Sources: MLS to unveil new logo on Thursday

Claure says announcements on Miami MLS franchise forthcoming

Sacramento Republic signs agreement for MLS stadium site, releases renderings

Curtin remains in coaching limbo as Union continue playoff push

Must-See Goal: Fabian Espindola

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

U.S. TOURNAMENTS
Dynamic Dempsey-Martins partnership proves to be difference in Open Cup

D.C. United seize control of CCL group with victory over Waterhouse FC

CCL Preview: Red Bulls, Impact square off in vital Group 3 encounter

INTERNATIONAL SOCCER
Wednesday Kickoff: Rooney praises Ferguson; AC Milan facing potential Seedorf lawsuit; and more

UCL Rewind: Roma thrash CSKA; Boateng goal downs Man City; and more

UCL Preview: Bayern Munich, Manchester City set to clash yet again as group stage continues

 

Posted in SBI Daily Rewind | 2 Comments