Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

A showdown of current and former U.S. Men’s National Team players takes place when Tijuana faces Tigres, the 2. Bundesliga gets underway for a handful of U.S. players, and more in this upcoming weekend’s Americans Abroad action.

Earthquakes announce Argentine playmaker Perez Garcia as Designated Player signing

The San Jose Earthquakes have announced the signing of diminutive Argentina playmaker Matias Perez Garcia. He is the third Designated Player in the club’s history.

Who is this year’s biggest MLS All-Star Game snub?

The 2014 MLS All-Stars roster might be made up of 23 players, but there are still several deserving candidates who have been left off. Who is the biggest snub?

Should the Red Bulls go after Ronaldinho?

Ronaldinho(ISIPhotos.com)

By IVES GALARCEP

The minute Ronaldinho severed ties with Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro on Monday morning, you just knew the links to Major League Soccer would resurface.

This time around, it is the New York Red Bulls looking like a perfect fit for the skilled playmaker, and after seeing Barcelona star Xavi return to Europe after a flirtation with MLS, all eyes are waiting to see if Ronaldinho will be the latest star to sign in MLS, or pass on it.

As things stands, there are no concrete reports of an MLS move in Ronaldinho’s future, but in my latest Goal.com column, I break down why the Red Bulls should absolutely make  a play for the former Barcelona and AC Milan star.

In the column, I also reveal that Red Bulls officials met with representatives for Ronaldinho during the World Cup. Nothing came of those meetings, but you have to wonder if the club might not reconsider given the uncertain future of Thierry Henry.

So here is the question for SBI readers. Do you think the Red Bulls should sign Ronaldinho?

Cast your vote after the jump:

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Posted in Featured, MLS- New York Red Bulls, Uncategorized | 76 Comments

Garber on potential Miami franchise: “We will not expand unless we have a downtown stadium”

DonGarberMLSStateoftheLeague1 (USATodaySports)

By FRANCO PANIZO

Broward County might be attempting to lure David Beckham and his potential MLS expansion franchise away from Miami-Dade County, but it is apparently Miami or bust for the global icon.

MLS commissioner Don Garber recently told ESPN analyst Alexi Lalas that Beckham’s desired franchise in Miami will not come to fruition unless a downtown site is found for a soccer-specific stadium. Beckham has had initial troubles in securing land for a proposed stadium that he and his ownership group are planning to privately fund. Recent reports indicated Beckham’s group were listening to Broward County, but Garber does not seem keen on that idea.

“Miami remains a top priority for us, but we are mindful of the challenges we had in the past and must have the right ownership group and stadium location,” said Garber. “David has been working to secure additional partners, all if approved, would be terrific MLS owners. David and his partners have not yet been able to secure a site that we believe provides the proper access and iconic presence that will help ensure success.

“We remain focused on a downtown Miami location, and we will not expand to Miami unless we have a downtown site for the stadium.”

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Posted in Featured, MLS- Miami | 65 Comments

MLS Ticker: Galaxy deal Opare to D.C. United, NYC FC acquire Jacobson, and more

Kofi Opare

Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Kofi Opare is heading to the East Coast.

It was announced on Tuesday that the LA Galaxy have traded Opare and their second round 2015 MLS SuperDraft selection to D.C. United, who have swapped places in the allocation order with Bruce Arena’s side as part of the deal.

Opare, 23, was drafted by the Galaxy in the second round of the 2013 MLS SuperDraft. The centerback went on to make 11 starts in his time in LA and scored one goal.

“We are pleased to have acquired a smart, young defender in Kofi who has a very big upside, as well as securing a 2015 second round Superdraft pick,” said D.C. United general manager Dave Kasper in a statement. “This is an important move for us to make at this time to add depth to our squad as we enter the second half of the MLS season and the CONCACAF Champion’s League group stage. We welcome Kofi to the D.C. United family.”

The trade would seem to hint that the Galaxy are closing in on acquiring a player through the allocation process, but there is no word yet as to who it could be.

Here are more notes from around MLS:

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS All-Star Game, MLS- D.C. United, MLS- FC Dallas, MLS- LA Galaxy, MLS- New York City FC | 28 Comments

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Landon Donovan

Landon Donovan

Photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Those all-too-familiar remarks regarding Landon Donovan being over the hill will likely not be seen as much this week.

The claims of Donovan’s demise looked largely exaggerated this weekend, as MLS’s all-time leading scorer led the LA Galaxy to a thoroughly impressive 3-0 road victory over the Seattle Sounders. Donovan played a part in each of the goals, netting one and recording assists on the two others en route to being named SBI’s MLS Player of the Week.

The SBI staff chose the veteran over a lengthy list of worthy candidates. Players like Yannick Djalo, Diego Valeri, Olmes Garcia, Pedro Morales and Marcelo Sarvas were also deserving, but fell into the category of honorable mention as they were not better than Donovan this week.

What do you think of Landon Donovan being named SBI MLS Player of the Week? Agree with the decision? Who else impressed you in this round of action?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Featured, MLS Weekly Awards, MLS- LA Galaxy, SBI MLS Awards, SBI MLS Player of the Week | 95 Comments

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Marlon Hairston

Marlon Hairston

By TATE STEINLAGE 

It wasn’t a glamorous week for MLS rookies, but don’t tell Marlon Hairston that.

The Colorado Rapids midfielder wasn’t in the starting lineup for the Colorado Rapids’ weekend match against Chivas USA, but his talents were certainly needed when Jared Watts went down with an injury in the 42nd minute.

Hairston came on and put in an excellent shift for the better part of 45 minutes, including making 28 successful passes in 30 attempts, in the Rapids’ easy 3-0 victory over Chivas USA on Friday. The victory positions Colorado fourth — just two points behind the LA Galaxy for second — in the tight Western Conference.

The 20-year-old midfielder’s performance saw him named SBI’S MLS Rookie of the Week, edging out FC Dallas’ Tesho Akindele for the honors.

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Agree that Hairston was the Rookie of the Week? What did you think about Hairston’s effort in Colorado’s big home win? Was it a disappointing week for MLS rookies?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS Weekly Awards, MLS- Colorado Rapids, SBI MLS Awards, SBI MLS Rookie of the Week | 6 Comments

Howard signs multiyear deal to join NBCSN’s broadcast team

Tim Howard

Photo by Perry McIntyre/ISIphotos.com

On the field and in the booth. That is where you will be able to find Tim Howard this season.

Howard has agreed to a multiyear deal with NBC Sports Group that will see him work up to 10 Premiership games this season on days that his club, Everton, does not play. He will serve as a game commentator or on-site studio analyst for high-profile matches.

The 35-year-old goalkeeper, who transformed into a full-blown celebrity in the United States this summer because of his sterling World Cup performance with the U.S. Men’s National Team, started working for NBCSN last season. He did seven games and received much public approval.

Howard has yet to publicly announce whether he expects to continue to play or retire internationally.

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What do you think of Howard signing on to do up to 10 Premiership games this season for NBCSN? Like what he brings to the table as a commentator and analyst?

Share your thoughts below.

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

Tuesday Kickoff: Chelsea attempt to offload Torres; Napoli pursuing Fellaini; and more

FernandoTorresChelsea1-UCLAtleticoMadrid2014 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

With the signing of Didier Drogba late last week, Chelsea are left with a conundrum.

The club is only allowed to register 17 foreign players over the age of 21 and the club currently has 18 players vying for a spot. As such, manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that he will look to sell one of his foreign players, with forward Fernando Torres at the top of the list.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Torres would be available for a £20 million transfer fee but his age (30) and wages (reportedly £175,000 per week) have made other teams shy away from trying to sign the Spanish international. If Chelsea can’t offload Torres this summer, they may have to part ways with either John Obi Mikel or starting goalkeeper Petr Cech.

“From the group you are expecting us to have as a squad, I have to send one away because we have one extra foreign player,” Mourinho told the Telegraph. “So from all these players, if you think all of them have to stay, you are wrong. One of them has to go.”

Here are some more stories to kick off your Tuesday:

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Posted in European Soccer, Featured | 26 Comments

Donovan, Galaxy thrash Sounders

Galaxy_Sounders

 Photo by Jane Gershovich/JaneG. Photography

By JASON MITCHELL

SEATTLE — It was billed as matchup showcasing two elite MLS teams, but only one showed up.

The LA Galaxy came into the Emerald City on Monday night and ran the Seattle Sounders off their own field, scoring three first-half goals en route to a 3-0 romp in front of 39,304 at CenturyLink Field.

The Galaxy dominated from the start, combining beautifully and with verve, piling up chances through Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane, and Marcelo Sarvas. Donovan led the way with a goal and two assists. Sarvas added a pair of assists as well.

Gyasi Zardes, slipping into dangerous channels and pockets throughout the match, opened the scoring in just the eighth minute. Sarvas found Donovan streaking into the penalty area, and Donovan laid off a beautiful one-touch pass to Zardes, who easily beat Stefan Frei from the penalty spot for the 1-0 lead. It was Zardes’ sixth goal in his last seven matches.

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Posted in Featured, MLS- LA Galaxy, MLS- Seattle Sounders | 56 Comments