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Avi Creditor
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The 2011 Eastern Conference finalists clash at Livestrong Sporting Park with plenty to play for in 2012, as Sporting Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo meet with an eye on improving their respective standing as the playoffs approach. Sporting KC is still very much in the mix for the Supporters' Shield, while the Dynamo have fallen a bit out of form (1-2-2 in their last five games), tumbling to fourth in the tightly contested East. Out West, the Colorado Rapids' faint hopes at making the playoffs are on the line at the Home Depot Center, where the last two MLS... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2012 at Soccer By Ives
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Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com With the window closing until the MLS roster freeze deadline, a potentially major signing is in the offing for one team. Former U.S. national team goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann has signed with MLS and will be assigned to a team through the allocation order, the league announced Friday afternoon. Hahnemann was most recently with Everton last year as the third-string goalkeeper behind Tim Howard and Jan Mucha and did not play a single game. He has not played a competitive match in more than a year after becoming the backup at Wolverhampton in the 2010-11 season. He... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2012 at Soccer By Ives
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The U.S. Under-18 men's national team training camp in the Netherlands has produced a series of encouraging results, and the U-18s will look to make it 4-for-4 in friendlies when they close their training camp Sunday with a friendly against a selection from Belgian side Club Brugge. With wins over the Feyenoord academy, the Netherlands U-18 national team and Borussia Dortmund's U-18 side, the U-18s have enjoyed success during their training camp abroad. Seven players have scored the seven U.S. goals as Javier Perez' side has spread out the wealth. Bayern Munich youth forward Julian Green, representing the United States... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2012 at Soccer By Ives
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Getafe have become giant killers in Spain, and after already making one of the country's two superpowers an early victim in 2012, they have their sights set on the other. Barcelona, playing without the injured Andres Iniesta and Jordi Alba, will aim to avoid suffering the same fate as Real Madrid did a few weeks ago when squaring off against the Spanish underdog Saturday. Losing at Getafe is nothing new for Barcelona, which fell to them 1-0 in one of two meetings last year. Elsewhere around the world, Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea clash in West London with the side... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2012 at Soccer By Ives
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Photo by ISIphotos.com The Chicago Fire are climbing up the Eastern Conference standings, but they are not standing pat prior to this weekend's roster freeze deadline. The Fire signed 35-year-old Mexican forward Guillermo Franco on a free transfer Friday, adding the World Cup veteran as another attacking option after the team loaned forward Orr Barouch to Israeli side Bnei Yehuda on Thursday. The well-traveled Franco was most recently with Pachuca after stops at Velez Sarsfield, West Ham, Villarreal, Monterrey and San Lorenzo in his native Argentina. "(Franco) has a wealth of international playing experience and will be a great asset... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2012 at Soccer By Ives
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Come Thursday morning, Marcus Tracy will have an MLS team to call his home. The weighted lottery for the former Wake Forest standout, Hermann Trophy winner and Aalborg BK striker will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday. Of the 17 eligible teams for the lottery (Vancouver and Colorado are prohibited after winning the rights to Lee Nguyen and Kamani Hill earlier this season), eight are participating, MLS announced Wednesday evening. The New England Revolution have the best odds (33.2 percent) at securing the services of Tracy, whose knees (he has been plagued by chronic tendinitis) may not be the best... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2012 at Soccer By Ives
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Only five places remain up for grabs in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying hexagonal. Mexico became the first nation to clinch a place in the final qualifying round, topping Costa Rica 1-0 at Estadio Azteca Tuesday night on the strength of a 60th-minute Javier Hernandez header. With the win, Mexico improved to a perfect 4-0-0 and assured itself of finishing atop Group B regardless of the outcome of the final two matches. The second spot in Group B is very much up in the air, as El Salvador crept a point ahead of Costa Rica with a 3-2 win over... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2012 at Soccer By Ives
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With the Colorado Rapids turning to an alternate forward partnership with Conor Casey nursing an injury and Omar Cummings away on international duty, rookie Tony Cascio stepped up to help deliver a convincing victory with one of his best performances in his first season MLS. Cascio starred in Colorado's 3-0 win over the Portland Timbers Friday with a goal and an assist to take home SBI MLS Rookie of the Week honors. Cascio set up Andre Akpan's opening goal and then added one of his own, sticking with a rebound of his own saved shot to give the Rapids a... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2012 at Soccer By Ives
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After a franchise-record winless skid, the New England Revolution have been reduced to the role of MLS playoff spoiler, and that's exactly the role they played this past week in cooling off the hottest team in the league. The Revolution snapped a 10-game winless stretch by ending the Columbus Crew's six-game unbeaten streak with a 2-0 result to claim SBI MLS Team of the Week honors. Making the performance more impressive is that the Revs were able to halt in-form attacking players Federico Higuain and Jairo Arrieta, and the attack was led by Diego Fagundez and Dimitry Imbongo instead of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2012 at Soccer By Ives
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On a night when the U.S. men's national team is in a fight to stave off a worst-case scenario in the semifinal round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, the Mexican national team can wrap up a place in the hexagonal. Mexico faces Costa Rica at Estadio Azteca and can clinch a spot in the final qualifying round with a win or a draw. The fight for second place in Group B is more intriguing, with El Salvador, Costa Rica and Guyana all jockeying for position. Canada, meanwhile, continues to sit atop Group C after a win over Panama on Friday,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2012 at Soccer By Ives
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In an abbreviated week for MLS, one of the most in-form players on one of the league's most in-form teams stood tallest. Eddie Johnson's two-goal performance to lift the Seattle Sounders to a come-from-behind, 2-1 victory over Chivas USA made him the easy pick for SBI MLS Player of the Week. Johnson's two scores not only delivered three more points to a team now within six points of the Supporters' Shield with seven games remaining, but he also set a single-season club record for goals with 13, breaking the mark set by teammate Fredy Montero. Johnson, who has emerged as... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2012 at Soccer By Ives
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It pays to be a Designated Player in MLS, and, as it turns out, the league is seeing a return on its DP investments from a merchandising standpoint as well. Seven of the top 10 selling MLS jerseys belong to Designated Players, with David Beckham and Thierry Henry leading the way, respectively, according to figures released on Tuesday. Los Angeles Galaxy captain Landon Donovan ranks behind them, followed by Seattle's Fredy Montero, D.C. United's Dwayne De Rosario and San Jose's Chris Wondolowski. De Rosario is not technically a DP even though his salary, which is paid down with allocation money,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2012 at Soccer By Ives
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While the U.S. men's national team is gearing up for Tuesday's all-important World Cup qualifier against Jamaica, its all-time leading scorer is continuing his return to fitness on the MLS reserve level. Landon Donovan, who was left out of the two matches against Jamaica as he nurses a hamstring injury, returned to the field Monday, shaking off the rust with a goal in an assist in his first nine minutes off the bench in the Los Angeles Galaxy's 4-0 reserve match victory over Portland. Donovan came on in the 57th minute and combined with Pat Noonan for two scores in... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2012 at Soccer By Ives
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The U.S. men's national team will attempt to take a big step toward the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying when it faces Jamaica in the fourth match of the six-game semifinal round (8 p.m., beIN Sport). To get three points, though, the Americans will have to do something they have never done in their history: Win a World Cup qualifier on Jamaican soil (0-0-4 all-time). With Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley out injured and Clint Dempsey's effectiveness unknown after his transfer saga, a number of questions face Jurgen's Klinsmann's side, which is looking to add to the momentum... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2012 at Soccer By Ives
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If you did not think MLS had a serious interest in luring Didier Drogba to North America this summer, think again. Speaking at a panel at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit in New York on Thursday, MLS comissioner Don Garber said that the league offered Drogba a salary of more than $10 million per year, which would have been an MLS record. Drogba ended up joining former Chelsea teammate Nicolas Anelka at Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua for an even higher payday. "We offered Didier Drogba, great Chelsea player, over $10 million a year to play," Garber said, when talking about... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2012 at Soccer By Ives
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New York Red Bulls Designated Player Tim Cahill has not taken long to find his form in MLS, accounting for a goal and two assists in five matches since joining the league and giving opposing defenders problems with his trademark aerial ability and runs into the area. It was more of the same on the international level for Cahill Thursday night. Cahill scored the opening goal of Australia's 3-0 victory over Lebanon in a World Cup qualifying tune-up friendly, netting for the 25th time in his international career. Cahill started the play by swinging the ball back to a defender... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2012 at Soccer By Ives
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Photo by ISIphotos.com The U.S. Under-20 women's national team is a game away from being on top of the world for a record third time, but standing in its way is an opponent on a roll, and one that has already dealt the Americans a setback during this year's FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup. The U.S. U-20 women brace for a rematch with Germany in the World Cup final in Tokyo (Saturday, 6:10 a.m., ESPNU/ESPN3.com), less than two weeks removed from a 3-0 loss in their Group D finale to the defending tournament champions. Since then, the U.S. women won... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2012 at Soccer By Ives
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What a difference a few days made for the Colorado Rapids and Portland Timbers. After Portland stifled the Rapids with a 1-0 result at Jeld-Wen Field last Friday to put the 2010 MLS Cup winners in last place in the Western Conference, the Rapids bounced back with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over the Timbers at Dick's Sporting Goods Park Wednesday night. The win allowed the Rapids to leapfrog the now-last-place Timbers and Chivas USA and climb into seventh in the West, four points behind sixth-place Dallas with a game in hand and eight points behind fifth-place Vancouver with both teams... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2012 at Soccer By Ives
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The international break means that most MLS teams are out of action this week, but there are still a pair of games Wednesday night, including one that will have the attention of all of the teams in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Columbus Crew, winners of four straight games and unbeaten in their last six, can end the night as high as third place in the East and be within a point of second-place New York. They look to continue their astonishing rise up the table with a match at the New England Revolution, who are looking to snap... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2012 at Soccer By Ives
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Photo by ISIphotos.com Dwayne De Rosario made history in MLS' Week 26, and he also made his way to SBI's MLS Best XI. De Rosario's 100th career goal was the highlight of his week, which included two quality performances for D.C. United against New York and Real Salt Lake. He was also denied his 101th career goal on a couple of occasions by Real Salt Lake and U.S. national team goalkeeper Nick Rimando, who makes the Best XI cut this week as well. Columbus' Federico Higuain continued what is quickly becoming the norm for him with another Player of the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2012 at Soccer By Ives
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The Columbus Crew are making some serious waves as the season reaches its most vital point on the calendar. The Crew's second consecutive six-point week not only catapulted them into the Eastern Conference playoff picture, but also up a couple of spots to eighth in SBI's MLS Power Rankings as they brace for another match Wednesday night against sputtering New England. San Jose held firm atop the rankings with a convincing victory over Chivas USA, while Portland continues its ascent from the bottom after a second straight victory, one that brought the club out of the Western Conference cellar and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2012 at Soccer By Ives