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CCL Preview: Timbers, D.C. United looking to clinch high seeds in group stage finale

The Portland Timbers and D.C. United both head into Tuesday’s CCL action hoping to secure a top four seed in the tournament’s knockout stage.

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UCL Preview: Roma host Bayern; Man City travel to CSKA Moscow; and more

AS Roma look to prove their UEFA Champions League prowess when they host German leaders Bayern Munich in Tuesday’s Champions League action.

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SBI World Player of the Week: Sergio Aguero

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero scored four goals in Saturday’s 4-1 rout of Tottenham, earning SBI World Player of the Week honors in the process.

Finlay, Schoenfeld combine to lead Crew to road victory over Red Bulls

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 Photo by Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

 

By RYAN TOLMICH

In a matchup that could turn out to be a potential playoff preview, the Columbus Crew appeared to be a team with all of the makings of a true postseason threat.

The Crew overwhelmed the Red Bulls, 3-1, Sunday at Red Bull Arena, as Ethan Finlay picked up a goal and two assists to deal the Red Bulls their first home loss in eight games. With the win, the Crew moved up to fourth place in the Eastern Conference ahead of the Red Bulls, and leave the Crew tied on points with third-placed Sporting Kansas City heading into the final week of the season.

After exchanging chances throughout the first 17 minutes, Crew forward Aaron Schoenfeld opened the scoring with a finish from close range to give the visitors the lead.

Schoenfeld benefitted from the service of Finlay, who found the lanky forward in the center of the box with a cross from the right side. After muffing his first touch, Schoenfeld recovered in time to fire a shot past Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles to put the Crew ahead.

“I feel like I’ve been knocking on the door for a couple weeks now,” Schoenfeld said of the goal, “and I was just glad to finally break through.” Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, MLS- Columbus Crew, MLS- New York Red Bulls | 10 Comments

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Return from injury. Make regular season debut. Deliver solid performance.

Geoff Cameron checked off all those boxes for Stoke City on Sunday, as he contributed 28 minutes off the bench in a 2-1 victory over Swansea City. Cameron entered the game with the score at 1-1, but he helped make the difference in his first Premiership appearance of the campaign by picking off a pass that led to the Potters’ winner. The versatile veteran, who just recovered from a hernia issue, was deployed in a defensive midfield role and his impactful showing there could pave the way for more playing time in the near future.

Cameron was not the only American to make his season debut this weekend. Having also just returned to full health after dealing with an ACL injury, Terrence Boyd was inserted into RB Leipzig’s clash with FC Nurnberg on Friday. Boyd played 29 minutes in his club debut, but was on the losing end as he and Leipzig were blanked, 1-0.

While Boyd and Cameron provided a quick jolt of energy to an Americans Abroad contingent that had been growing a bit stale in recent weeks, there were some negative developments involving two returning U.S. Men’s National Team players. Jozy Altidore did not make Sunderland’s 18-man roster for a humiliating 8-0 loss to Southampton on Saturday, and Joe Corona suffered a foot injury as a substitute in Club Tijuana’s 2-1 win vs. Queretaro on Friday.

Here is how the Americans Abroad did this weekend:

Continue reading »

Posted in Americans Abroad, Featured | 35 Comments

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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The Seattle Sounders and Los Angeles Galaxy are down to two regular season meetings between them to determine not only the top seed in the MLS playoffs, but the winner of the 2014 Supporters Shield.

The first of those two meetings takes place today, with the Galaxy playing host to the Sounders at Stub Hub Center.

In the MLS Eastern Conference, the New York Red Bulls play host to the Columbus Crew in a clash of teams with aspirations of jumping past Sporting Kansas City for third place in the East. The Red Bulls can move past Sporting KC with a victory today, while the Crew would pull even on points with Sporting KC with a victory.

In Europe, Inter Milan faces off against Napoli in a key Serie A battle. Both teams have had somewhat disappointing starts to their domestic campaign, but a win could push them back toward the Top Five.

In the college ranks, SBI No. 1 Indiana takes on perennial powerhouse Maryland in a key Big Ten clash.

In Brazil, Internacional faces Corinthians in what should be an entertaining affair.

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 TV schedule is after the jump):

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Your Running Commentary | 31 Comments

LegenD: Human

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Photo by Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports

Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- LA Galaxy, U.S. Men's National Team | 30 Comments

Whitecaps in playoffs driver’s seat after draw with Earthquakes

Photo by Kelley L Cox USA Today
Photo by Kelley L. Cox/USA TODAY Sports

By EVAN REAM

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — It wasn’t exactly a memorable way to close the Buck Shaw Stadium chapter of the San Jose Earthquakes history, but it certainly felt fitting.

The Quakes quietly drew the Vancouver Whitecaps, 0-0, in front of a sold-out home crowd on Saturday, in what should be their last match until they open a new 18,000-seat stadium next year. The Quakes probably won’t mind not returning to Buck Shaw as they closed out their dismal 2014 by setting a club record for consecutive matches without a win.

The match held major playoff implications for the Whitecaps, though. They entered Saturday’s match even with the Portland Timbers on points, albeit with a game in hand, on the bubble of playoff position. With the result, the Canadian side moved to a one-point lead over their Pacific Northwest rivals with one game left to play.

“It was a trap game for us, it really was. They had nothing to lose,” said Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson. “Obviously they replaced the manager so Ian’s come in. The players are fighting for contracts. We’ve got everything to lose because of the 32 games we’ve had prior to this. It was a trap game. I just said to the group in there, for me, this is as important of a result as it was in Seattle last Friday.”

Continue reading »

Posted in MLS- San Jose Earthquakes, MLS- Vancouver Whitecaps | 2 Comments

D.C. United clinch top spot in East with win over Fire

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Photo by Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sport

 

By RYAN TOLMICH

After spending last season buried in the doldrums of the league’s cellar, D.C. United have clinched the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

D.C. United locked up the conference’s number one seed Saturday with a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Fire at RFK Stadium.

The hosts opened the scoring in the 31st minute through Chris Pontius, who was left wide open on the backpost to head home to push D.C. United ahead.

Following a goalkick, D.C. United quickly moved the ball up field with Eddie Johnson finding space on the right side. The forward looped in a cross to Pontius on the backpost, who was left all alone to score the game’s opener. Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, MLS- Chicago Fire, MLS- D.C. United | 10 Comments