Saturday, February 28, 2009

Drillers Sweep United In Doubleheader; Face Off Again March 8

The Edmonton Drillers swept Calgary United in a Professional Arena Soccer League doubleheader Friday at Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

The Drillers won the first game, 6-5, in overtime, and the second game, 4-3, in regulation.

Both teams will meet again March 8 in Calgary in a single game to crown the Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League representative to the PASL Pro's Championship Weekend tournament March 13-15 in Stockton, CA.

Earthquakes Shut Out Rapids

The San Jose Earthquakes shut out the Colorado Rapids in a Major League Soccer preseason contest Friday at Buck Shaw Stadium at the University of Santa Clara.

Cam Weaver (8') and Jamil Roberts (47') scored goals in the victory.

Dynamo Edge Impact In Testy Scrimmage

Brian Ching scored two second-half goals and Chris Wondolowski had the first point for Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo in a 3-2 preseason victory Saturday at Robertson Stadium against the United Soccer Leagues First Division's Montreal Impact.

The 70-minute scrimmage got heated in the 56th minute when Montreal's Roberto Brown elbowed Houston's Eric Ustruck and both benches clearly briefly. One player from the Dynamo was restrained by teammates and no punches were thrown, but Brown was ejected from the game.

Both teams are currently in the quarterfinal round of the new CONCACAF Champions League.

Houston dropped the first game of their two-match series to Mexico's Atlante, 1-0, while the Impact have a 2-0 lead over another Mexican franchise, Santos Laguna.

The Dynamo are 3-1-2 in preseason play.

San Jose Mercury News: Ring Out For Season With Rare Hip Injury

Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes announced Friday their top pick in the 2009 SuperDraft, Indiana defender Brad Ring, will miss the entire season after doctors found he has a rare hip ailment called avascular necrosis.

The ailment, found in an MRI by team doctors this week, is caused by interruption of normal blood flow to the femoral head, which fits into the hip socket.

It is the same condition that ended the career of many athletes, including two-sports star Bo Jackson, and, if untreated, could lead to severe arthritis and eventual hip replacement surgery.

Deja Vu All Over Again For Rapids, Galaxy In LHUSOC

Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids will once again face the Los Angeles Galaxy at The Home Depot Center April 7 in a 2009 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament play-in game, the Rapids announced Friday.

The two teams met last season in a similar set-up at the same place with Colorado winning, 1-0, May 27.

The winner of the play-in game gets to face the winner of a play-in game between Real Salt Lake and Seattle Sounders FC for a Round of 16 berth.

The top six teams from the 2008 MLS season already have quailifed for the tournament but the remaining league teams, except for Toronto FC, fight on in a series of play-in games for the field's final two slots.

BK Hacken Ends RSL's Winning Streak

With two goals in the final ten minutes of play, Swedish First Division team BK Hacken ended the preseason unbeaten streak of Major League Soccer's Real Salt Lake in a 2-1 loss Friday at the annual Tom Fitzgerald Memorial Soccer Festival in Tampa, FL.

RSL is now 3-1-1 and gave up their first goal in 442 minutes of play to Jonas Henriksson in the 82nd minute, which tied the game at 1-1. RSL's Yura Movsisyan scored the opening goal 10 minutes in and gave them their halftime lead.

Venicius Lopes scored the game-winner for Hacken in the 86th minute.

Red Stars Sign Brazilan F Cristiane

The Chicago Red Stars of Women's Professional Soccer signed Brazilian forward Cristiane as the last of the team's five allowed international roster players.

Since debuting with her country's team in 2003, she has scored 25 goals in 38 games and has led them to second place finishes at their last three events -- the 2004 Athens Olympics, the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup and the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Between the two Olympiads, she scored 15 goals in 18 games and was the top scorer at each one. She also was named to the '07 WWC's Tournament All-Star Team.

RailHawks To Host CD Olimpia March 27

The Carolina RailHawks of the United Soccer Leagues First Division will host CD Olimpia of Honduras in an exhibition game March 27 at WakeMed Soccer Park, the team announced Friday.

Founded in 1912, Olimpia plays in the top flight Liga Nacional de Honduras and have won 21 domestic titles.

They are also the only Honduran team to win the CONCACAF Champions League twice.

1790 Cincy Clinched Top Seed In PASL Playoffs

Matt Brienes had four goals and four assists and Garrett Buck and Jeff Hughes added two goals each as 1790 Cincinnati clinched the top seed in the upcoming Professional Arena Soccer League playoffs at Stockton Arena with a 15-5 victory Friday over the Derby City Stars, a potential expansion team in the 2009-10 season, at Game Time Training Center in Kentucky.

Montero Scores Brace As Sounders Win In Argentina

Fredy Montero scored two goals in a four-minute span as Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders FC defeated Estudiantes, 3-1, Friday in Argentina.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Richardson Traded From Rapids To TFC For Draft Pick

Toronto FC acquired forward Gregory Robinson from the Colorado Rapids Friday in return for a second round pick in the 2010 Major League Soccer SuperDraft.

Robinson, who had been a trialist at Colorado, is a member of Guyana's men's national team and previously played in Trinidad & Tobago for Joe Public FC.

Miami Herald: USL1 Ready With Backup Plan If Miami FC Blues Fold

United Soccer Leagues officials have a plan to release a revised 2009 First Division schedule within 48 hours if Miami FC Blues and their owner, Traffic Sports in Brazil, makes good on plans to fold the team March 8 unless the franchise a measure of improvement, according to Friday's Miami Herald.

The future of the team hinges on whether Barcelona FC in Spain remains a partner with Blues owner Marcelo Claure's plan to bid on a Major League Soccer expansion team for the city.

If the Blues fold, USL officials say Traffic Sports would lose future rights to own a team in Miami.

Wizards To Play Doubleheader With Thunder In Iowa

The Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer will play their final exhibition game of the season March 14 when they face the Minnesota Thunder of the United Soccer Leagues First Division in a doubleheader at Prarie High School in Cedar Rapids, IA.


The first teams of each squad will play first at 5:30 p.m. local time, followed by a game against both teams' reserve teams.

Impact Sign Sakuda, Mayard To Two-Year Deals

The Montreal Impact of the United Soccer Leagues First Division signed midfielders Kevin Sakuda and Pierre-Rudolph Mayard to two-year contracts Friday.

Sakuda spent six seasons with the Seattle Sounders of USL1 but, over the last four seasons, played 2,400 minutes over 28 games.

Mayard was with the Impact's reserve team, the Trois-Rivieres Attak in the Canadian Soccer League, where he was the team's leading scorer with eight goals in 16 games, 13 of them starts.

Both will join the team Saturday when they play Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo in a 60-minute scrimmage in Houston.

DC United Signs D Dejan Jakovic From Red Star Belgrade

Major League Soccer's DC United Friday signed defender Dejan Jakovic, who transferred to the team from Red Star Belgrade in Serbia's First Division.

He started three regular season games last season and two UEFA Cup games for Belgrade.

A member of Canada's men's national team, Jakovic played collegiately at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.

Redshirted in 2004, he was named to the Conference USA All-Conference Second Team in 2005.

In 2006, he started all 18 game he appeared in, had a goal and an assist, and was named First Team All-Region. The next season, he again earned that honor after scoring a team-leading six goals and an assist in 14 games, 13 of them starts.

Dynamo Signs First Homegrown Player

The Houston Dynamo of Major League Soccer announced the signing of goalkeeper Tyler Deric Friday, the team's first homegrown player signing in history and MLS' second ever, behind Tristan Brown of the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Deric was signed to the Dynamo's Youth Development Program in January 2007 and led Klein High School in Spring, TX to the UIL 5A State Championship as a sophomore in 2005.

He played collegiately at North Carolina, where he had a 0.94 career goals against average, and was named to the Atlantic Coast Conference's All-Freshman Team.

While training at the Dynamo's Academy, he occasionally played with the first team last season in preparation to join the team this season.

Breakers Sign Fabiana, Thompson To Contracts

The Boston Breakers of Women'sProfessional Soccer signed Brazilian forward Fabiana and Canadian National Team defender Candace Thompson to multi-year deals Wednesday.

Fabiana had two goals in the 2006 FIFA Women's World Cup and was on her country's silver medal-winning team at the Beijing Olympics.

She missed playing in the 2008 WWC due to a knee injury suffered while playing for her home professional team, Sao Paulo Corinthians.

Chapman was the first soccer player -- male or female -- to score a goal in the Beijing Olympics and the first Olympic athlete at the games to score a point in competition.

She has five goals in 62 career games for the Canadian women's team and led the Vancouver Whitecaps to the United Soccer Leagues' W-League Championship in 2006.

Freedom Sign Huffman, Singer, Gilbeau, Eyorokon To Deals

The Washington Freedom of Women's Professional Soccer Thursday signed midfielder Sarah Huffman, defender/midfielder Jill Gilbeau, and midfielder/forward Parrissa Eyorokon to contracts.

Huffman and Singer both played on the 2007 United Soccer Leagues W-League championship Freedom team and played at the University of Virginia. Huffman was the top overall pick in last October's WPS Draft and Singer was the eighth overall pick in the final draft in January.

Gilbeau played last season for the Freedom after four years at the University of Texas. She was the 22nd overall pick in January's draft.

Eyorokon, picked after Gilbeau in the January draft, was the 2007 Big 10 Player of the Year and recently played for the US U-23 Women's National Team in a three-team competition in Spain.

FC Gold Pride Signs Canadian, Brazilian, Two Americans

FC Gold Pride of Women's Professional Soccer announced the recent signings of Canada's Christine Sinclair, Erika from Brazil, and US Women's National Team players Nicole Barnhart and Leslie Osborne.

Sinclair was the eighth overall pick in the WPS Initial International Draft and is her country's leading scorer with 95 goals and a four-time Canadian Soccer Association Female Player of the Year from 2005 to 2008.

She played collegiately at the University of Portland (2001-05), where she was a two-time winner of the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy, given to the best male and female college soccer players of the year, in 2004 and 2005, and is only the third player in the award's history to win it in back-to-back seasons.

In the 2005 season, she set an NCAA Division I single season record for most goals in a season at 39.

She led Canada to their best Olympic Games finish, losing in the quarterfinals of the Beijing tournament, and will captain the team at the upcoming Cyprus Cup.

Sinclair was also a finalist for the 2008 FIFA World Player of the Year award.

Erika, the youngest player on the roster at 21, played for Brazil in the last three FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup tournaments (2004, 2006 & 2008) and led her country to the silver medal at the Beijing Olympics.

She was the 22nd overall pick in the Initial International Draft.

Barnhart finished her college career at Stanford (2000-04) with a school record 0.41 career goals against average, was named to the All-Pac 10 Conference team three straight seasons from 2002-04, and was a 2004 finalist for the Hermann Trophy.

Osborne has scored two goals in 57 games with the US Women's National team and was forced to miss playing in the Beijing Olympics due to recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

At the University of Santa Clara, she had 34 goals and 44 assists in her career and was on the All-West Coast Conference First Team every season.

In 2003, she was named the conference's Defender of the Year and overall Player of the Year, the first player to pull that feet off.

In her senior season, she won the Honda Award and was a semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy.

WPSL Aztec Announce Affiliation With WPS Breakers

The Boston Aztec of the Women's Premier Soccer League announced Friday an affiliation to serve as the reserve team for the Boston Breakers of Women's Professional Soccer.

The Breakers also have affiliation deals with two other WPSL franchises -- SoccerPlus CT and the New England Mutiny.

They are, however, not the only WPSL teams to set up WPS affiliations. The others are:

- Ajax America for the Los Angeles Sol
- California Storm for FC Gold Pride
- Atlantic City Diablos, Central Delaware Soccer Association Future and Philadelphia Liberty for proposed 2010 expansion team in Philadelphia

Stockton Breaks Another PASL Record In Rout Of Fire

Aaron Susi had five goals and two assists to lead the Stockton Cougars, the regular season Western Division champions of the Professional Arena Soccer League, to a 19-3 rout of the Wenatchee Fire Thursday at Stockton Arena.

The Cougars, who will host the league's four team championship tournament next month, set a new franchise record for most goals in a single game, breaking the old record of five days earlier in Denver against the Dynamite.

Brian Farber had four goals in the victory and ends the regular season with a career-high 35 goals in league games, two behind player-head coach Bernie Lilavois at 37.

Lilavois had a hat trick Thursday and finishes the PASL Pro season with 63 games. Adding other competitions this season, he has 71 points.

Stockton next faces the Premier Arena Soccer League's Tacoma Stars in a US Arena Soccer Open Cup semifinal game.

La Raza de Monterrey Wins Copa America Title

The National Indoor Soccer League's La Raza de Monterrey, who has also been playing as an potential expansion team in the Professional Arena Soccer League this season, defeated the Saskatoon Accelerators of the Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League and the PASL, 11-3, Thursday to win the inaugural Copa America championship at Monterrey, Mexico.

Tied 1-1 in the second period, La Raza built a 4-1 lead at halftime and extended it to 7-1 after three quarters and never looked back.

Kixx Sign M Sandre Naumoski For Rest Of Season

The Philadelphia Kixx of the National Indoor Soccer League signed midfielder Sandre Naumoski for the rest of the season Friday and will make his debut Sunday at the Wachovia Spectrum against the Rockford Rampage.

Naumoski was on the 2007-08 Kixx team before signing and playing 11 games this season for the Xtreme Soccer Leagues' New Jersey Ironmen.

He began his professional career in the Major Indoor Soccer League with the Kansas City Comets in 2003, then joined the Chicago Storm (2004-05) and St. Louis Steamers (2005-06).

When the Steamers folded, Naumoski was selected ninth overall in the 2006 MISL Disperal Draft by the Kixx and he was part of their 2007 MISL Championship team.

Seattle Times: Broken Big Toe Bone To Bench Sounders' Graham

A fractured tibial sesamoid bone in a big toe has put Seattle Sounders FC defender Taylor Graham on the sidelines indefinitely after X-rays found the problem Monday, according to the Seattle Times Friday.

He had played in five of six exhibition games for Major League Soccer's newest franchise, starting three.

Heart Surgery Could Sideline Rhinos' Smith For Season

Rochester Rhinos player Ross Smith told Friday's editions of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle heart surgery may prevent him from playing in the 2009 United Soccer Leagues First Division season unless they make the playoffs.

Smith will have surgery in Canada to repair heart valves and improve blood flow to the heart. He currently has an enlarged aorta due to those problems and surgery is the only option available.

Initial reports say he will be out of action for six months.

Wave To Play Local All-Star Team Outside March 4

The Milwaukee Wave of the Xtreme Soccer League will play an outdoor game March 4 against a local yet multinational all-star team at the Wisconsin Dells Center at the Chula Vista Resort in Milwaukee, WI.

The game will follow the championship game of the WDC's soccer league and will feature five players and a goalkeeper on each side, but with no walls.

Roth To Be Honorary Captain For Ironmen March 22

The Xtreme Soccer League's New Jersey Ironmen announced Thursday 1989 National Soccer Hall of Fame inductee and former New York Cosmos captain Werner Roth will be the honorary team captain when they host the Milwaukee Wave March 22 in an afternoon game at Newark's Prudential Center.

He played for the Cosmos from 1972-78 and won North American Soccer League championships in 1972, 1977 and 1978.

Roth also played 15 times for the US Men's National Team.

He recently started a soccer marketing boutique called Futbol Academia, which focuses on player development.

PDL's Odgen Outlaws Name Eck New Head Coach, Director Of Coaching

The Ogden Outlaws of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League announced Thursday Ted Eck will become the team's head coach and serve as Director of Coaching for the new Outlas FC youth program.

Eck served the past four seasons as Director of Coaching for Maui United in Hawaii and was the vice president of the Maui Youth Soccer League.

A graduate of Western Illinois University, Eck played 13 times for the US Men's National team.

He played for several indoor soccer teams, including the Ottawa Intrepid in 1989, where he won the Golden Boot in its league after scoring 21 goals in 26 games.

Eck then went to the Colorado Foxes, leading the team to back-to-back league championships in 1992 and 1993, but failed to make it a three-peat in 1994. He was also a three-time all-league player.

After the 1995 season, Eck was drafted third overall in the inaugural Major League Soccer draft in 1996 by the Dallas Burn (now FC Dallas), where he played for six seasons and had 12 goals in 170 career games.

Eck also won three Lamar Hunt US Open Cup championships with the San Jose Oaks (1992), Fresno, CA-based CD Mexico (1993) and the Burn (1997).

2007 USL1 DOY Hayes Heads To Timbers

The Portland Timbers of the United Soccer Leagues First Division announced the signing Thursday of 2007 league Defender of the Year Davd Hayes to a contract.

He played the last four seasons for the now-defunct Atlanta Silverbacks, where he had 15 goals and 14 assists during that stint. He was a two-time All-League First Team member in 2007 and 2008 and led the team to the USL1 championship game.

Hayes began his career in MLS with DC United (1999-2000) and the Chicago Fire (2001-02), but also saw time in USL1 with the Hampton Roads Mariners, Milwaukee Rampage and Richmond Kickers, all on loans.

In 2003, he played for the Rochester Rhinos in USL1.

In 234 USL1 games, he had 43 goals and 34 assists.

Rhinos Signs D Sancho To Two-Year Deal

The United Soccer Leagues First Division's Rochester Rhinos signed Trinidad & Tobago defender Brent Sancho to a two-year deal Thursday.

Sancho led St. Johns University to an NCAA College Cup championship in 1996 and began his professional career in 2000 with the USL1's Charleston Battery, leading them to an 18-8-2 record and a division title.

He then spent the next two seasons (2000-02) with the expansion Portland Timbers in USL1 and was named to the All-League Second Team in 2001.

Sancho returned to his home county in 2003, playing 58 games with Joe Public FC in the Pro League, then signed with Scotland's Dundee United, where he played in 48 games before being transferred to Gillingham of England's League One, where he played in 45 games.

He then returned to USL1 in 2008 with the former Atlanta Silverbacks, playing in eight games.

Beckham Frustrated He's Not Yet Milan's Property

Midfielder David Beckham, property of Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy through, at least this coming season, has begun to get frustrated over a deal not being reached yet to be able to stay with Italy's AC Milan past March 8, when his three-month loan to the Serie A team ends.

Beckham said Thursday a stalemate continues between the sides on a transfer fee. Milan offered $3 million to the Galaxy, but LA will accept no less than $10 million, and neither side will budge.

Beckham can become a free agent after the '09 MLS season.

AC Milan was recently eliminated in the UEFA Cup tournament Thursday by Germany's Bremen, who, despite playing a two-game, aggregate-goal series to a 3-3 draw, won on an away goals scored tiebreaker.

After the game, Beckham told reporters "(t)here's a lot going on and a lot being said and every day someone is asking me questions about what's happening."

He also said Milan being beaten in the tournament "doesn't change me wanting to play at this club and hopefully it doesn't change other people's views of me wanting to stay at this club."

Islanders Defeat Marathon In CCL Quarterfinal Leg One Match

Nicolas Addlery and Kendall Jagdeosingh scored back-to-back goals in a seven-minute, second-half stretch for the defending United Soccer Leagues First Division Commissioner Cup champion Puerto Rico Islanders to take a 2-1 lead over CD Marathon of Honduras after the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series Thursday in Bayamon, PR.

Marathon, the current leader in the Honduras Clausura standings, had been unbeaten in their last five home games before hitting the road.

Jerry Palacios, who scored Marathon's only goal to give them the early lead in the 41st minute, leads them in scoring in the Clausura with 14 goals.

The second game of the series is Wednesday in Honduras with the winner advancing to face either Santos Laguna of Mexico or the USL1's Montreal Impact in the semifinal round.

Wizards Tie CD Guadalajara In Exhibition

Graham Zusi's goal off a Davy Arnaud assist in the 81st minute forced Major League Soccer's Kansas City Wizards to take a 1-1 draw with Mexico's CD Guadalajara Thursday in a preseason game.

Carlos Brown had an unassisted goal in the 25th minute to give Chivas the early lead.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

W-League's Ouebec City Franchise Chooses Amiral

The Quebec City franchise in the United Soccer Leagues W-League announced Thursday their team name will be Amiral, the French equivalent to the military rank of admiral.

The Amiral also unveiled their team logo, which features a capital A in front of a silhouette of the famed hotel Chateau Frontenac, which opened in 1863 and is a popular landmark.

Thunder Sign Two, Cut Two

The Minnesota Thunder of the United Soccer Leagues First Division announced Thursday the signings of former DC United midfielder Rodion Dyachenko to a two-year contract with an option year and former University of Maryland defender Rich Costanzo to a three-year contract.

Dyachenko was released by the Major League Soccer franchise after three seasons and one goal and one assist in 42 games. He was the 31st overall pick in the 2006 MLS SuperDraft out of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

Costanzo led the Terrapins to the 2008 NCAA Men's College Cup championships and started all 26 games in his senior season. He began his college career at Penn State, but transferred to Maryland after his freshman season.

Minnesota also released midfielder Tighe Dombrowski (16 games in 2008) and defender Paul Moran (five games in 2008).

Blast To Induct Ronson, Chinapoo Into Team's Hall Of Fame

The National Indoor Soccer League's Baltimore Blast announced Thursday they will induct Billy Ronson and Richard Chinapoo into the team's Hall of Fame at halftime of their final regular season game March 7 against the Philadelphia Kixx.

Ronson was a member of the original Blast franchise in the Major Indoor Soccer League (1985-92) and in the revived MISL (1998-99) and was the MISL's leading scorer in the 1989 postseason. A 1991 league All-Star and the team's 1992 Most Valuable Player, Ronson is in fifth on the original Blast's all-time scoring list with 240 points and tied for fifth on the original postseason scoring list with 43.

He made a comeback with the second MISL franchise in the 1998-99 season, scoring 13 points in 17 games, and was the team's assistant coach and assistant general manager from 1998-2002.

Chinapoo had two stints with the team -- 1983 through 1998 and the 1990-91 season -- and was on the Blast's 1984 MISL Championship roster.

A back-to-back-to-back MISL All-Star from 1986 to 1988, he is sixth on the original team's scoring list with 206 points and is one of five Blast players to ever rack up 40 goals in a single season, doing so in 1986-87.

Red Bulls 2-0 On Argentine Visit

Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls continue their red-hot preseason schedule in Argentina, defeating two of the country's top First Division teams in three days.

Tuesday, they beat Velez Sarsfield, 2-1, in Buenos Aires and, Thursday, the Red Bulls headed to Pilar, where they edged Club Atletico River Plate by the same score.

The Red Bulls got the game-winning goal against Velez by Juan Pablo Angel in the 17th minute after Velez's Marcelo Barcovero knocked the ball into his own goal in the game's third minute.

Matias Conti (64') scored Velez's true goal.

New York took a 1-0 lead three minutes into the River Plate game as Khano Smith connected with Dane Richards, then broke a 1-1 tie caused by Red Bulls trialist Aklie Edwards scoring into his own goal in the 33rd minute with a Sinisa Ubiparipovic pass to Andrew Boyens in the 73rd minute.

The Red Bulls are 3-1-2 in the preseason, 2-0 in Argentina, and are unbeaten in their last five games.

New York next faces a third First Division opponent in Argentinos Juniors Tuesday.

The MLS franchise leaves Argentina March 8.

Sebrango Scores Brace As Impact Beat Santos Laguna

Before 55,571 fans, the third-largest crowd to see a soccer game in Montreal Olympic Stadium history, Eduardo Sebrango scored both goals as the Montreal Impact of the United Soccer Leagues First Division shut out Santos Laguna of Mexico's Primera Division, 2-0, Wednesday in the first leg of the quarterfinals in the inaugural CONCACAF Champions League.

The second leg of the aggregate-goal series will be next Thursday in Torreon, Mexico.

Richie Signs With RailHawks For 2009 Season

The Carolina RailHawks of the United Soccer Leagues First Division announced the signing of former English and Scottish Premier League defender Paul Ritchie Wednesday.

Ritchie began his professional career with Hearts of Midlothian in Scotland (1992-99) and had six career goals in 133 games.

He then spent one season in the English Coca-Cola Championship with the Bolton Wanderers in 1999. The team recahed the semifinals of the FA Cup and League Cup tournaments that season.

Ritchie returned to Scotland in 2000 with Glasgow Rangers, but was immediately sold to Manchester City in the English Premier League. He would later be loaned to Portsmouth and Derby County before being transferred to Wallsall in England's League One.

He ended his European career at Dundee United.

USL1 Champion Whitecaps Heading To Tanzania

The defending United Soccer Leagues First Division champion Vancouver Whitecaps announced Wednesday they will visit Dar es Salaam, Tanzania for 10 days March 4-14.

The Whitecaps will play three exhibition games during the trip, all to be held at 60,000-seat Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium -- against the country's national team, known as the Taifa Stars (March 8), and two teams from their Premier League, Africans FC (March 11) and Simba FC (March 14).

Galaxy Release Five, Including G Steve Cronin

Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy Wednesday announced the release of five players -- goalkeeper Steve Cronin, defenders Brandon McDonald, Mike Randolph and Troy Roberts, and midfielder Ely Allen.

Cronin had a career-high 22 starts last season and went 6-9-6 with a 2.05 goals against average before missing the final two months of the season with a fractured right hand.

Randolph played in 39 games over two seasons and had a total of four assists.

Roberts played in 61 career games with Los Angeles, including a career-high 17 last season.

The Galaxy's roster, now at 27 players, must be reduced to 24 by Monday.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fire Burns Mexican League Team

Brian McBride, Austin Washington and Mike Banner scored goals to lead Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire to a 3-1 victory Wednesday to Monarcas de Morelia of Mexico's Primera Division at Celaya, Guanajuato, Mexico.

Sergio Blancas scored the lone goal for the host team.

Chicago ends their training camp stint in Mexico Thursday, then rests up before heading to Los Angeles Monday for the final leg of preseason work.

Red Stars Announce Preseason Schedule

The Chicago Red Stars of Women's Professional Soccer announced their 2009 preseason schedule, which leads them into the league's inaugural season at the end of March.

During their preseason stint, they will be forced to reduce their rosters from 28 players on Sunday to 24 March 13 and, finally, to 18 plus four developmental players by April 4.

Chicago opens the preseason March 7 by playing in a round-robin tournament between Northwestern University and Purdue University's women's teams.

The Red Stars then head to Sunrise, FL for a 10-day camp, where they will play the University of Miami (March 12), a yet-to-be-announced team March 15, and the league's Boston Breakers (March 18).

They return home to Chicago March 20, then host Notre Dame March 28 and play at Illinois March 31 before beginning their 2009 season on the road April 4 at St. Louis Athletica.

Cream Rising To The Top...Of The USL First Division

The Cleveland City Stars, defending champions of the United Soccer Leagues Second Division who have promoted themselves into USL First Division play this season, signed midfielder Max Cream Wednesday.

He began his professional career at age 15 by training with Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy, then chose to pursue playing chances in Europe the next season.

After stops with Stoke City, Dundee United's U-19 team and the reserve team of Dunfermline Athletic in the Scottish Premier League, he returned to the States and the Galaxy in 2006-07.

Cream headed to Germany in 2007 to play for SV Meppen and had four goals in 12 games. He played last season at Shelbourne FC of Ireland's First Division.

Rochester Rhinos Announce Preseason Plans

The Rochester Rhinos of the United Soccer Leagues First Division announced Wednesday their preseason plans for the 2009 season.

The team will hold an invitation-only player combine March 20 and 21 at Rochester Rhinos Stadium, then begin an eight-game schedule, with four home games.

The Rhinos open the schedule March 21, playing host to the newest USL1 franchise, the Cleveland City Stars, last season's USL Second Division champion.

They next host the University of Rochester March 25 and the Italia Shooters of the Canadian Soccer League March 28.

The club will play four of their five games in April on the road against the University of Maryland (April 1), Crystal Palace Baltimore of USL2 (April 3), Real Maryland Monarchs of USL2 (April 5) and St. Bonaventure Corning (April 9) before ending their schedule April 14 against the University of Buffalo.

LI Fury Re-Sign Quinn, Henderson For 2009

The Long Island Fury of the Women's Premier Soccer League announced Wednesday they have re-signed Lorraine Quinn and team captain Kelly Henderson to 2009 season contracts.

Both women are in their fourth season with the team and led the Fury to a national championship in 2006 and the East Conference, Mid-Atlantic Division title last season.

Bucks Finally Get Their Man In Parsons

Longtime Oakland University men's soccer team head coach Gary Parsons Wednesday was finally named the Director of Coaching for the Michigan Bucks of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League.

He recently retired from the Golden Bears after 28 years.

Parsons was recruited by Bucks chairman and CEO Dan Duggan in 1996 to become the Bucks' first head coach, but NCAA regulations would not allow Parsons to hold coaching jobs with a college and a professional team at the same time.

In 2006, Duggan had a deal to name Parsons the team's general manager, but Oakland University flip-flopped on their approval, repeatedly allowing him to go then changing their mind.

DC United To Begin LHUSOC Defense In Play-In Game

Major League Soccer's DC United, the defending champion of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament, will begin defense of their title April 22 at RFK Stadium in the nation's capital when they host FC Dallas in a play-in game.

United edged the Charleston Battery of the United Soccer Leagues First Division, 2-1, last season.

Tuesday, it was announced the San Jose Earthquakes will host the New York Red Bulls will meet in a similar play-in game April 29 at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, CA.

The top six teams from the 2008 MLS season are automatically entered in the annual tournament, but the remaining American-based team must compete in a series of play-in games to fill the final two MLS spots in the field.

Earthquakes-Red Bulls To Meet In LHUSOC Play-In Game

The San Jose Earthquakes will host fellow Major League Soccer franchise New York Red Bulls April 29 in a play-in game for the 2009 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament at Buck Shaw Stadium.

The winner of the game will advance to another play-in game against another MLS team, this time with a tournament berth on the line.

San Jose was beaten, 4-0, by Real Salt Lake last season in a LHUSOC play-in game, but are 10-8 overall in LHUSOC tournament play.

The top six MLS teams at the end of last season automatically qualify for tournament berths, but the remaining eight American-based team must earn their way in through play-in contests.

DC United Signs N'Silu, Cuts Vide

Major League Soccer's DC United announced the signing Tuesday of forward Mawate Ange N'Silu and the release of midfielder Joe Vide.

N'Silu played 31 games in all competitions last season for FC Le Mont, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, and scored 25 goals. He has been trying out with DC for three weeks.

Vide was signed off waivers July 16, two days after being released by the San Jose Earthquakes, who selected him in the 2007 MLS Expansion Draft. He had one goal for United in 13 overall games, eight of them MLS games.

Rampage Cut M Dino Delevski

The Rockford Rampage of the National Indoor Soccer League released midfielder Dino Delevski Tuesday.

In six games, he had 17 points on a three-point goal, four two-point goals, five one-point shots and six assists.

RSL Remains Undefeated In MLS Preseason

Major League Soccer's Real Salt Lake improved their 2009 preseason record to 3-0-1 Tuesday after shutting out the University of Tampa, 4-0, in the Sunshine State.

Luis Miguel Escalada, Will Johnson, Yura Movsisyan and Alex Nino scored goals for Salt Lake, who have beaten their opponents, 14-0, so far in the preseason.

RSL now has two days of practices at the University of South Florida before heading back to UOT Friday to meet BK Hacken of the Swedish First Division in the annual Tom Fitzgerald Memorial Soccer Festival.

WPS Franchises Show Off New Uniforms

Women's Professional Soccer Tuesday unveiled the official home and away uniforms and colors for the league's inaugural season.

Here is the breakdown for all their teams:

BOSTON BREAKERS
Home: Team Royal
Away: White

CHICAGO RED STARS
Home: Team Pearl Blue
Away: White

FC GOLD PRIDE
Home: PUMA Black
Away: Team Gold

LOS ANGELES SOL
Home: New Navy & Team Yellow
Away: White

ST. LOUIS ATHLETICA
Home: USA Forest Green
Away: Pace Grey

SKY BLUE FC
Home: Team Pearl Blue
Away: Team Orange

WASHINGTON FREEDOM
Home: New Navy
Away: PUMA Red

Sky Blue Signs North Carolina Trio To Contracts

Sky Blue FC of Women's Professional Soccer announced Tuesday the signing of three members of the US Women's National Team and the University of North Carolina -- Heather O'Reilly, Kacey White and Yael Averbach.

O'Reilly debuted with the USWNT in 2002 and was on their 2004 Athens Olympic and 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup teams. She was an Allocation Draft pick in September 2008.

White made her first appearance with the US at the 2006 Peace Queen Cup and was Sky Blue's third round pick in the WPS General Draft. She played for the United Soccer Leagues W-League's New Jersey Wildcats, where she was named the Championship Game Most Valuable Player, and played professionally in Sweden's Damallsvenskan for Balinge (2006, 2007) and AIK (2007).

Averbach, a three-time All-American with the Tar Heels, led them to NCAA Women's College Cup titles in 2006 and 2008 and was Sky Blue's first round pick in the January 2009 draft. She is currently captain of the US U-23 Women's National Team.

Northern Virginia Soccer Club Sign Uniform Sponsorship Deal With Umbro

The Northern Virginia Soccer Club announced Tuesday they have signed a deal with Umbro to be the group's primary uniform supplier through the 2012 season.

The deal covers the United Soccer League's Northern Virginia Royals of the Premier Development League, the Northern Virginia Majestics of the USL W-League, and all club-sponsored teams in the USL Super-Y and USL Super-20 League.

Umbro will also receive such club and in-stadium marketing components as balls, billboards and on-field signage.

FCD Signs Ferrera, Trades Serioux Back To Toronto

Major League Soccer's FC Dallas announced Tuesday the signing of Colombian midfielder David Ferreira and the trading of defender Adrian Serioux back to Toronto FC in return for a 2010 MLS SuperDraft pick and allocation money.

Ferreira was loaned to the team by their Brazilian affiliate team Clube Atletico Paranaense. In 175 games with them since 2005, he scored 38 goals and 47 assists.

He most recently played 13 games in Dubai for Al-Shabib, the eventual United Arab Emirates league champion, from February to June of 2008.

Serioux had four assists for Dallas last season, who received him in a 2007 trade with Toronto, who drafted him in 2006.

Dynamo, Atlante Play To Opening Game Draw

Gabriel Pereyra was assisted in the 82nd minute by Luis Venegas and Fernando Navarro on the goal that forced a 1-1 tie between Mexico's Atlante FC and Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo Tuesday in the first game of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal round at Robertson Stadium in Houston.

Bobby Boswell scored for Houston in the 34th minute on a Brad Davis assist.

Game two of the aggregate-goal series is next Tuesday in Atlante with the winner to meet the winner of the Santos Laguna (Mexico)-Montreal Impact (USL First Division) matchup in the semifinals.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

England's Asante Joins Sky Blue FC

Sky Blue FC of Women's Professional Soccer announced Monday they have signed defender Anita Asante of England's women's national team.

Asante was chosen as a post-draft discovery player October 3, 2008 and comes to Sky Blue from Chelsea Ladies FC in the England Women's Premier League.

Due to a commitment to play for England at the Cypress Cup tournament March 5-12, she will join Sky Blue afterwards.

She debuted with England in May 2004 and has scored one goal in 34 career games.

Asante began her professional career in the EWPL with Arsenal Ladies in 1998 and was a part of their 2006-07 team that pulled off "the quadruple", winning the UEFA Women's Cup, FA Women's National Premier League, FA Women's Cup and FA Women's Premier League Cup.

Fire Announce Training Camp Plans In Los Angeles

Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire announced Monday they will hold the final phase of their 2009 training camp March 2-11 at Mount San Antonio College in Los Angeles, CA.

They will train there prior to facing the Los Angeles Galaxy at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, AZ.

Chicago will end their current stint in Queretaro, Mexico Tuesday when they face Monarcas de Morelia of the Mexican Primera Division in Celaya, Guanajuato.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Islanders Re-Sign D Henry; Welcomes D Kevon Villaroel

The defending United Soccer Leagues First Division regular season champion Puerto Rico Islanders announced the re-signing of defender Nigel Henry and the addition of fellow Trinidad & Tobago National Team defender Kevon Villaroel Monday.

Henry had one assist in 27 games last season before suffering a season-ending injury during the league's playoff semifinals in Rochester, NY.

Villaroel last played for San Juan Jabloteh of his country's Pro League.

The Islanders are preparing to face CD Marathon of Honduras Thursday at Juan Loubriel Stadium in Bayamon in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals. Leg two of the aggregate-goal series will be in Honduras March 4.

United Edges Host Islanders, 2-1, Sunday

Christian Gomez and Clyde Simms scored goals in the 38th and 66th minutes, respectively, as Major League Soccer's DC United edged the Puerto Rico Islanders, the defending regular season champions of the United Soccer Leagues First Division, 2-1, Sunday at Juan Loubriel Stadium in Bayamon, PR.

Cristian Arrieta scored Puerto Rico's lone goal on a penalty kick in the final minutes of regulation play.

Millwood Earns Second NISL POW Award Of Season

Baltimore Blast forward Machel Millwood, who returned to the team this weekend after missing their last three games due to an ankle injury, was named National Indoor Soccer League Player of the Week Monday for the second time this season.

He is the third player, follwing Hewerton Moreira of the Philadelphia Kixx and Ivan Medina of La Raza de Monterrey, to win the award twice this season, and the fourth Blast player to win it.

Millwood had 14 points total in two games this weekend, with most of the points coming Saturday in a 23-9 rout of the Massachusetts Twisters at Eastern States Coliseum in West Springfield, MA, scoring five goals and two assists. He had a goal Friday at home against the Rockford Rampage in a 9-4 victory.

Millwood leads the team in points with 38 and is fourth in the league standings.

Storm Outlast Wave In Milwaukee, 17-16

Newcomer Dan Antoniuk had six points in only his second game with the Xtreme Soccer League's Chicago Storm Sunday to lead them to a 17-16 victory over the host Milwaukee Wave Sunday at US Cellular Arena.

Fabinho and Lazo Alavanja each added five goals for the Storm (5-8), who won their second straight game against a league-leading team.

With the Wave's (7-5) loss, the Detroit Ignition now have a 1/2 game lead in the league standings.

Both teams face off again Saturday at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, IL.

Accelerators Pummel Fire At Credit Union Centre

Jordan Schidlowsky had six goals to lead the Saskatoon Accelerators to an 18-2 victory over the Wenatchee Fire in Professional Arena Soccer League play at Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Rampage Edge Kixx In Second Half Of Weekend Series

Bato Radoncic and Enrique Tovar led the Rockford Rampage to a 4-2 National Indoor Soccer League victory Sunday over the Philadelphia Kixx in the second game of a home-and-home weekend series at the Rockford Rampage.

The Kixx won the opening game Saturday at Wachovia Spectrum, 11-10.

Anthony Maher scored Philly's only goal of Sunday's game.

The Kixx are solidly in third place in the NISL standings at 7-6, 1/2 games behind La Raza de Monterrey for second place and a game ahead of the Rampage (7-7) in fourth.

The top three teams in the standings at season's end make the playoffs.

Both Philly and Rockford meet again next Sunday at Wachovia Spectrum.

Sounders Win Closed Scrimmage Against USL1's Whitecaps

Major League Soccer's newest team, Seattle Sounders FC, got two goals each from Nate Jaqua and Fredy Montero as they defeated the defending United Soccer Leagues First Division's Vancouver Whitecaps, 4-0, Sunday in a closed scrimmage for their first game at Qwest Field in Seattle.

The Sounders leave for Argentina Wednesday for a 10-day, four-game training camp stretch before returning home March 12 to play the Colorado Rapids at Qwest Field.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cougars Clinch PASL Western Division Title

Player-head coach Bernie Lilavois had a nine-point night with five goals and four assists as the Stockton Cougars clinched the Professional Arena Soccer League's Western Division championship Saturday with an 18-12 victory in Denver against the Dynamite.

The game was the highest scoring game in league history with 30 total points scored.

Brian Farber and Majell Aterado had hat tricks for the Cougars and Nelson Santana and Ato Leone each scored two goals.

Denver was led by Gary Archibald with five goals and three assists.

Calgary United Handles Fire Quite Well

Calgary United set a Professional Arena Soccer League record for most goals in a game in a 22-2 romp over the Wenatchee Fire Saturday at home.

Felix Napuri had four goals in the victory and Sonny Gaetano and Kyle Yamada each had hat tricks for United.

Calgary next faces the Edmonton Drillers Friday in a doubleheader at Edmonton's Servus Place that could decide the league's Canadian Division title.

Bluewings Win Pan Pacific Championship In Shootout

The Suwon Bluewings, defending champions of South Korea's K-League, won the 2008 Pan Pacific Championship tournament Saturday at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA by defeating Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy in a 4-2 penalty kick shootout after playing to a 1-1 regulation draw.

Sean Franklin made a costly error for the Galaxy in the 39th minute by knocking the ball into the Suwon net, giving them their goal, causing Mike Magee to make an 88th minute penalty kick to force the shootout.

Magee and Chris Klein scored goals in the shootout for LA, but Eduardo De Oliveira, Yang Sang-Min, Lee Gil-Houn and Choi Sung-Hwan made successful shots for the champs.

FC Dallas, BK Hacken Play To 1-1 Draw

Major League Soccer's FC Dallas ended their preseason stretch in Sunrise, FL Saturday by playing BK Hacken of the Swedish First Division to a 1-1 draw.

Jeff Cunningham (Dallas) and Tom Soderburg (Hacken) scored the goals.

Dallas is 3-1-2 in preseason play this season, but return home to Dallas for a few days before traveling Wednesday to Curitiba, Brazil to train with partner club Clube Atletico Paranaense through March 6.

Chivas USA Plays Two Exhibition Games

Jim Curtin and trialist Eduardo Lillingston scored goals as Major League Soccer's Chivas USA defeated Swedish First Division team Hammarby IF, 2-0, in the first of two exhibition games Saturday at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

In the second game, a 70-minute match, Chivas played UCLA to a scoreless draw.

Chivas is 3-1-1 in preseason play and is off until next Sunday, when they face the Ventura County Fusion of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League at Valencia, CA.

Real Salt Lake Shutouts University Of Tampa

Yura Movsisyan and Clint Mathis scored goals as Major League Soccer's Real Salt Lake shut out the University of Tampa, 2-0, Saturday in the first of two games to be played over RSL's 11-day stay in the Sunshine State.

The second game will be played Tuesday, then Friday, RSL will take on BK Hacken of the Swedish First Division in the annual Tom Fitzgerald Memorial Soccer Festival.

RSL is 2-0-1 in preseason play.

Kixx Edge Rampage, 11-10, In Philly

Anthony Maher had two goals, Pat Morris added a three-point shot and player-head coach Don D'Ambra's first goal of the game was his 450th career goal as the Philadelphia Kixx edged the Rockford Rampage, 11-10, Saturday in National Indoor Soccer League play from Wachovia Spectrum.

The Kixx are now 7-5, tied with La Raza de Monterrey for second place in the standings, 2 1/2 games behind the Baltimore Blast. Rockford is now 6-7, four games behind the Blast in third place.

Both teams complete a home-and-home series Sunday in Rockford, then head back to Philly next Sunday.

Millwood Explodes For Blast Over Twisters

Machel Millwood had five goals and two assists to lead the Baltimore Blast to a 23-9 victory over the Massachusetts Twisters in National Indoor Soccer League play Saturday from the Eastern States Coliseum in West Springfield, MA.

Mike Lookingland and Jay Willis each added three-point goals as the Blast improved their record to 10-2 and have a 2 1/2 games lead over the Philadelphia Kixx and La Raza de Monterrey in the standings.

Everson Maciel led the Twisters with two of their four goals, the most goals and points Massachusetts has scored against Baltimore this season.

The Twisters, former champs in the American Indoor Soccer Association, are 1-12, 9 1/2 games out of first place.

Baltimore heads to Monterrey next Sunday while the Twisters are off until March 8 when they host La Raza.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Impact Attacks The Attak At Olympic Stadium

The Montreal Impact of the United Soccer Leagues First Division got themselves used to the surroundings of Olympic Stadium before their first leg match Wednesday in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series against Mexico's Santos Laguna by defeating the Impact's reserve team, the Trois-Rivieres Attak, 3-1, Saturday.

Eduardo Sebrango, Roberto Brown and Felix Brillant scored for Montreal, who are 7-0-2 in preseason games.

Elkana Mayard scored the Attak's lone goal.

Galliani Says AC Milan's Offer For Beckham Was Market Value

In the latest chapter of the soap opera that is becoming where midfielder David Beckham will next be playing soccer, AC Milan vice president Adriano Galliani, who seems obsessed with having Beckham on the team at any cost, told Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport Saturday his team's offer of $3 million to Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy is the market value for a player of his caliber and the offer would not be increased.

Friday, Tim Leiweke, president and chief executive officer of Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns the Galaxy, called the offer "ridiculous" and he immediately refused it.

MLS gave AC Milan and the Galaxy until February 13 to come up with an acceptable transfer fee for Beckham but that if a deal was not struck by then, Beckham would return to the Galaxy after his loan ends March 8.

Fire To Host First Leg Of Series With Club America Mapril 29

Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire announced Friday they will host the first leg of a two-game, home-and-home series with Club America of the Mexican Primera Division April 29 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL.

Game two of the series, to be played at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, will be announced at a later date.

Storm Sign Antoniuk To Deal

Prior to their Xtreme Soccer League contest Friday at the Detroit Ignition, the Chicago Storm signed forward Dan Antoniuk.

Antoniuk was the fourth-leading scorer in the Major Indoor Soccer League's final season in 2007 for the New Jersey Ironmen, also in the XSL. He led the league in three-point goals with 39 and game-winning goals with five. He also had 11 assists and 89 total points.

Energized Storm Stalls Ignition's 15-Game Home Winning Streak

Having lost the night before to the New Jersey Ironmen, arriving home at 4 a.m. Friday and playing a game in Detroit over 12 hours later, you would think the Chicago Storm would have three strikes against them, right?

Wrong.

Despite being down 4-0 to the Ignition at Compuware Arena Friday, the Storm ended Detroit's 15-game Xtreme Soccer League home winning streak, 15-7, as Ian Bennett led all scorers with eight points, including a hat trick.

The Storm (4-8) host the Milwaukee Wave Saturday, then welcome the Ignition to town Sunday.

The Ignition (7-4) remain in a tie with the Wave for first place in the four-team league and have their next home game next Saturday against the Ironmen.

Earthquakes Put Out Fresno's Fuego In Shutout

Arturo Alvarez had two goals and Ryan Johnson, Darren Huckerby, Cam Weaver and Pablo Campos added goals as Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes handed the Fresno Fuego of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League a 6-0 loss Friday at Chukchansi Park in Fresno, CA.

The Earthquakes continue their 2009 MLS preseason schedule next Friday when they host the Colorado Rapids at Buck Shaw Stadium.

Timbers Sign Josten, Cameron; Cut Little

The Portland Timbers of the United Soccer Leagues First Division signed forward George Josten and midfielder Josh Cameron Friday, both of whom attended the team's tryout at PGE Park.

Josten played for the Columbus Crew Reserve Division team in Major League Soccer last seasons, assisting on two goals in 11 games. At Gonzaga University, he had 34 goals and 17 assists in his career. Josten was also the team's first All-American soccer player in 2007 and was the first Bulldog ever placed on the Hermann Award Watch List this past season.

Cameron joins the Timbers from Oregon State University, where he had four goals and 11 assists in 73 career games. He led the Beavers in assists in his junior and senior season and led the Pac-10 in assists in 2007 with seven.

Portland also released midfielder Bryan Little, who assisted on one goal in 17 games last season.

Illusion Trio Score Two Each To Oust Spirits

Elvir Kafedzic, Ricky Andrews and Brandon Gibbs each scored two goals as the St. Louis Illusion of the Professional Arena Soccer League beat the Springfield Spirits of the Premier Arena Soccer League, 10-5, at The Game Arena Friday in Glen Carbon, IL.

St. Louis has two games left on their schedule -- March 7 hosting 1790 Cincinnati and traveling to Detroit to meet the Waza Flo Pro March 8.

Waza Flo Pro Defeat Resting 1790 Cincinnati

Having already clinched the Professional Arena Soccer League's Eastern Division and choosing to rest players, 1790 Cincinnati were beaten Friday by the home Detroit Waza Flo Pro, 4-3, at Compuware Sports Arena in Plymouth, MI.


Blake Ordell, Tommy Eller, Art Griffin and Derek Garrambone scored for Detroit (5-9) while Tim Brown, Tony Capurro and Jeff Hughes did so for Cincinnati (11-3).


Both teams face the Saskatoon Accelerators next week with Cincinnati getting first crack at home Friday before Detroit hosts them Saturday.

Blast Beat Rampage At First Mariner Arena

PJ Wakefield hit a game-winning three-point goal and Carlos Garcia, Machel Millwood and Scott Buete scored as well as the National Indoor Soccer League-leading Baltimore Blast defeated the Rockford Rampage, 9-4, Friday at First Mariner Arena.

The Blast (9-2) are 2 1/2 games ahead of La Raza de Monterrey in the standings while Rockford (6-6) is 3 1/2 games behind Baltimore.

Jamar Beasley and Enrique Tovar scored goals for Rockford.

The Blast are at the last-place Massachusetts Twisters Saturday and Rockford hosts the Philadelphia Kixx Sunday.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Freedom Signs Internationals Sawa, Bompastor

The Washington Freedom of Women's Professional Soccer announced the signings Friday of Japanese midfielder Homare Sawa and French defender Sonia Bompastor.

Sawa was a member of their 2008 Beijing Olympics team, which finished fourth. A two-time Asian Football Confederation Player of the Year in 2004 and 2008 and a runner-up in 2007, she has played in 130 games and scored 60 goals since debuting on Japan's national women's team at age 15.

She also scored the first goal in the franchise history of the Atlanta Beat of the former Women's United Soccer Association, where she played from 2001 to 2003.

Sawa also led her team to a third place finish at the AFC Women's Asian Cup.

Bompastor has played 100 games for her country's team since February 2000, including the 2001 UEFA Women's Championship and the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup, and led three French teams to six titles in four years.

Pali Blues Name Shaylon Jalayer Assistant Coach

The defending United Soccer Leagues W-League champion Pali Blues announced the addition of Shaylon Jalayer as assistant coach Friday.

Jalayer has owned Soccer Odyssey in Southern California for 10 years and serves as associated head coach of the Riverside Community College women's soccer team and as technical director with Corona United SC.

He played collegiately at Azusa Pacific University and represented Iran in the 1995 World Futbol Rapido Championships and the US at the 1994 Futsal World Cup.

Jalayer played professional in Iran for the Premiere League's Teraktor Sazi in 2002 and spent several seasons in the American Professional Soccer League with the Washington Stars.

USL2's Hammerheads Announce Preseason Plans

The Wilmington Hammerheads of the United Soccer Leagues Second Division announced Friday they will face two USL First Division teams in exhibition games -- against the Charleston Battery April 1 on the road and hosting the Carolina RailHawks April 14.

The Hammerheads will also host their annual fan fest April 19, featuring teams from North Carolina's Wilmington and Chapel Hill campuses and Duke joining the USL2 team with each team playing two, 60-minute matches.

Leiweke: New AC Milan Claims Are "Nonsense"

Tired of dealing with reports from AC Milan vice president Adriano Galliani saying a deal can still be worked out to keep midfielder David Beckham from returning to Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy at the end of a three-month loan March 8, Anschutz Entertainment Group president and chief executive officer Tim Leiweke told Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper Friday any comments from Galliani are simply "nonsense".

Galliani told the paper Thursday they were still talking to the Galaxy about a transfer deal and that something could be announced Friday.

"Two weeks ago, Milan made a ridiculous offer that took me just a few seconds to reject," Leiweke said. "With this figure, the Galaxy wouldn't even be able to cover the loss in revenue from shirt sales."

"Since then, I haven't heard a thing and no meeting has been set up."

Leiweke also blasted Milan over how long this process has taken, since the team stated many times how interested they were in keeping Beckham.

"If Milan are so determined to buy him, why are they dragging this out for so long?," Leiweke said. "If they think they'll get him on the cheap that way, they're wrong."

MLS Commissioner Don Garber recently declared if a deal between the Galaxy and Milan for Beckham's services wasn't finalized by February 13, Beckham would be returning to Los Angeles at the end of his loan deal.

Borkowski: Sakaguchi To Join FC Indiana In March

Shek Borkowski, head coach of the FC Indiana Lionesses of the United Soccer Leagues W-League announced Friday Japanese midfielder Muzuho Sakaguchi will join the team in March.

Borkowski met with Sakaguchi and her representative last week and is planning to make her the team's last signing for the 2009 W-League season.

"I like Sakaguchi," Borkowski said in a press release. "For me, she is the Fernando Redondo of the Japanese Women's National Team. She is a defensive midfielder, but not a typical one."

"Instead," he says, "she is a deep-lying playmaker. She breaks up opposition attacks with sharp ackling and sets in motion attacks of her own with crisp, short passing."

"She does not score many agoals, but she can control a game like few other central midfielders. She plays with her head up, always reading the movement around her, always aware of where her next pass in going. And at only 21 years of age, she has a great future ahead."

Sakaguchi was a member of her team's fourth place finish at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Sounders Sign '09 Draft Pick Brown

Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders FC announced the signing Thursday of 2009 MLS SuperDraft pick and defender Evan Brown to a contract.

Brown, from Wake Forest, where he helped the Demon Deacons hold opponents scoreless in 14 games last season, was the 16th overall draft pick. He had two goals and eight assists in his final Demon Deacons season.

Crystal Palace Baltimore Signs Three More For '09

Crystal Palace Baltimore Thursday signed three players to 2009 United Soccer Leagues Second Division contracts -- Stephen Basso, Billy Chiles and Kevin Gnatiko.

Basso, a midfielder, played in USL2 last season for the Real Maryland Monarchs, where he was second on the team in minutes played and was in 17 games. He was also named to the league's Team of the Week three times in 2008.

Chiles, a goalkeeper, ended his college career at Towson University with a record of 19-7-5 with 15 shutouts and a school-best 0.77 goals against average.

Gnatiko, a forward, played last season at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, where he had 12 goals and 12 assists in his career. He was named in 2007 to the America East All-Conference Second Team. He played soccer last season in the USL Premier Development League with the Cape Cod Crusaders.

Cooper's Second-Half Foursome Lead FCD To Win Over FIU

Kenny Cooper scored four second-half goals as Major League Soccer's FC Dallas routed Florida International University, 9-0, Thursday in exhibition play in Sunrise, FL.

Dallas is 3-1-1 in the preseason and have shut out two opponents.

They will host Sweden's BK Hacken Saturday in another preseason game in Sunrise.

Ironmen Beat Storm, Neto Earns 100th Career Goal

Leading scorer Lucio had a two-point and three-point goal and Aduato Neto scored his 100th career goal in the first period of the New Jersey Ironmen's 13-4 victory over the Chicago Storm in Xtreme Soccer League matinee play Thursday at the Prudential Center.

Andy Rosenbrand and Frederico Moojen scored goals for Chicago.

The Ironment next head to Detroit Sunday for a match with the Ignition, while the Storm heads to Milwaukee to meet the Wave Saturday.

Los Angeles Sol Sign Three International Players

The Los Angeles Sol of Women's Professional Soccer announced the signings Thursday of three international players -- France's Camile Abily, China's Han Duan and Sweden's Johanna Frisk.

Abily played midfielder last season for Olympique Lyonnais and has scored eight goals in 46 games for her national team.

Duan played 20 times for the Steel Roses and played for Dalian Football Club. In 2006, she finished seventh in the voting for FIFA Women's Player of the Year. It was the first time since Sun Wen in 2002 that a Chinese player finished in the top ten.

Frisk has been with Umea IK since 2006.

RailHawks Signs Sallieu Bundu From City Stars

The Carolina RailHawks of the United Soccer Leagues First Division announced the signing Thursday of forward Sallieu Bundu, who played last season for the USL Second Division champion Cleveland City Stars.

The City Stars have promoted themselves into USL1 play this season.

Bundu had 11 goals last season, including the game-winning goal in the USL2 Championship Game, and was named three times to the USL2 Team of the Week. He was also named to the 2008 USL2 All-League Second Team.

Whitecaps Sign Ex-Battery Captain Reda

The defending United Soccer Leagues First Division champion Vancouver Whitecaps announced the signing of former Charleston Battery defender and team captain Marco Reda to a one-year contract with a 2010 option Thursday.

Reda played in 23 regular season games for the Battery and had one assist.

He also led the Battery to the championship game of the 2008 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament, where they lost to Major League Soccer's DC United, 2-1.

AC Milan Doesn't Give Up On Beckham

In the latest chapter of the soap opera that is the possibility of David Beckham staying with Italy's AC Milan and not returning to Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy, Milan vice president Adriano Galliani said Thursday in Milan "we have taken steps forward" to complete a transfer deal with MLS.

Galliani spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport in Milan after the team returned from playing a 1-1 draw against Werder Bremen in the UEFA Cup.

Beckham, on a three-month loan to Milan which ends March 8, has repeatedly said he'd like to stay in Milan and the Serie A franchise has been trying to oblige, despite MLS telling Milan if a deal wasn't worked out by February 13, Beckham would return to Galaxy at the end of the loan.

Personally, I've grown tired of this story...and I think many of you have, too.

Let's face it. No matter what he "really" says about being willing to play out his time with the Galaxy if he can't stay in Milan, he wants to stay in Milan.

If he doesn't, I personally think Beckham will not give the Galaxy 100% effort and brood and whine about not wanting to leave Milan in the first place.

MLS doesn't really need Beckham. It never truly did.

There are plenty of other players worthy of taking up the spotlight if Beckham really wants out of LA...and they should get his spotlight the second he exits stage left.

The first season of Beckham in MLS was a constant game of "Is Beckham Healthy Enough To Play This Week?", where he were subjected to seeing Beckham sitting on a bench because of on-again, off-again injuries. When he did deem himself worthy to play, he did little to make people care whether he came off the bench or not.

If Milan wants him bad enough, give them Beckham -- no strings attached.

Better to have players honored to be where they are and willing to give you 100% than to have someone who would rather be playing anywhere but where he is.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bayern Munich Head Coach Wants Donovan To Stay

Shunning the opinion of his team's chairman, Bayern Munich head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, once considered a possible choice to become head coach of Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy, said Thursday he would like to see the German Bundesliga team help keep forward Landon Donovan on the team when his lease ends March 15.

Klinsmann said Donovan "has the potential to succeed and we're keen to make sure he does", even though chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said in an interview with a German newspaper the team would rather sign a younger forward than Donovan, if the need was there.

City Islanders Welcome Back F Chad Severs

Forward Chad Severs, the all-time leading goal scorer for the Harrisburg City Islanders, signed a 2009 contract Thursday to return to the United Soccer Leagues Second Division franchise.

He spent the last three seasons in USL First Division with the Rochester Rhinos, scoring three goals and an assist in 24 regular season games there.

At Harrisburg in 2005, he scored 22 goals in 33 games.

Pierce Joins Hammerheads For 2009 Season

Defender Rusty Pierce, who played the past eight seasons in Major League Soccer for the New England Revolution, Real Salt Lake and the Columbus Crew, signed a 2009 contract Thursday with the Wilmington Hammerheads of the United Soccer Leagues Second Division.

Pierce played collegiately at North Carolina-Greensboro from 1997 to 1999.

Galaxy To Face Bluewings For PanPacific Championship

Edson Buddle and Jovan Kirovski scored goals to lead Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy to a 2-0 victory over defending Japan J-League champion Oita Trinita in the opening round of the 2009 Pan Pacific Championship tournament at The Home Depot Center Wednesday.

The Galaxy now advance to the championship game Saturday night against Suwon Samsung Bluewings, defending champs of Korea's K-League.

Cho Yong-Tae scored the lone goal in the 81st minute of Suwon's 1-0 victory over China's Shandong Luneng Taishan FC.

Defending Champ Crew Play (And Win) Two In Bradenton

The defending Major League Soccer champion Columbus Crew played and won two preseason games Wednesday at IMG Academies in Bradenton, FL -- 2-0 to the University of Tampa and 6-0 to the University of Central Florida.

In the Tampa victory, Emmanuel Ekpo and Brian Caroll scored goals for the Crew.

Against Central Florida, Pat Noonan, Kevin Burns, Duncan Oughton, Ty Shipalane, Jordan Seabrook and Jason Garey scored goals and Steven Lenhart assisted on two scores.

First Round Draft Pick Scores Goal For Chivas USA

2009 Major League Soccer SuperDraft first round pick Michael Lahoud, the only pick by Chivas USA in the draft, scored the game-winning goal Tuesday in the 65th minute of a 1-0 victory over Mexican team Irapuato in Guadalajara, Mexico Tuesday.

Chicago Fire Tie Mexican Club Quereataro FC

Justin Mapp scored the opening and lone goal for Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire in the 34th minute of their exhibition game with Mexico's Queretaro FC Wednesday in Queretaro, but Edwin Castillo forced the game to end in a 1-1 draw on a 90th minute score.

Sounders FC Ink Jhon Kennedy Hurtado To Contract

Major League Soccer expansion team Seattle Sounders FC announced the signing Wednesday of Colombian defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado to a contract.

After playing the 2008 season for Deportivo Cali, where he played with future Sounders teammate Fredy Montero, he had a trial with Italy's AC Milan and played the second half of a January 22 exhibition game against Germany's Hannover.

In 2007, he played for Real Cartagena in Colombia's First Division.

Between the First and Second Divisions in Colombia, Hurtado has played in 121 games since 2004.

Earthquakes Sign Forward Qunicy Amarikwa

Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes announced the signing Wednesday of forward Quincy Amarikwa, the 32nd overall pick in the 2009 SuperDraft from the University of California-Davis.

In 2008, he led the Aggies to the second round of the NCAA Men's College Cup for the first time in school history.

In 77 career games at the school, Amarikwa had 31 goals and seven assists.

He recently scored his first goal in a San Jose uniform Friday when they met the expansion Seattle Sounders FC.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ignition Take Sole Possession Of XSL Lead In Matinee Over Ironmen

Josh Rife scored five points on a two-point and three-point goal and Kyt Selaidopoulos and Ryan Mack added two two-pointers each as the Detroit Ignition took a half-game lead over the Milwaukee Wave in the Xtreme Soccer League standings Wednesday with a 21-13 matinee victory on the road against the New Jersey Ironmen.

Chile Farias had a hat trick for the Ironmen in the loss.

Detroit hosts the Chicago Storm Friday at Compuware Sports Arena, then has a rematch with the Ironmen at home February 28.

Breakers Sign FIFA World POY Finalist Kelly Smith

Forward Kelly Smith, a finalist for the FIFA World Player of the Year for the second time in her career and a member of the English National Team, signed a multi-year contract Wednesday with the Boston Breakers of Women's Professional Soccer.

Smith, the seventh overall pick in the league's International Draft, played collegiately at Seton Hall University from 1997-99 and was the NCAA's leading scorer for two straight seasons.

She was also the only English player to compete in the last professional women's league with the Philadelphia Charge of the Women's United Soccer Association, where she was a teammate of current Breakers star Heather Mitts of the US National Team.

In 76 games over 14 seasons with her country's team, she scored 33 goals and was named to the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup All-Tournament Team with four goals in four games played and advanced the team to the quarterfinals before being eliminated.

In 2007, she led Arsenal Ladies to a rare "quadruple", winning titles at the English Women's Premier League, the FA Cup and League Cup, and the UEFA Women's Cup.

Richards Re-signed, Roth Cut By Red Bulls

Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls announced the re-signing of midfielder Dane Richards and the release of midfielder David Roth Wednesday.

Richards had a career-high three goals and a team-high six assists in 23 games, 18 of them starts.

In 2007, he was named the league's Rookie of the Year after scoring two goals and six assists in 28 regular season games.

Roth, the 44th overall pick in the 2008 SuperDraft from Northwestern, suffered a left knee injury during the preseason, which kept him out of action until June. He had three assists in 10 games for their Reserve Division team and played in the team's third round game in the 2008 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament against Crystal Palace Baltimore of the United Soccer Leagues Second Division, but did not play for the senior team.

WPSL's Salt Lake City Sparta Retains Coaching Staff

Salt Lake City Sparta of the Women's Premier Soccer League announced Wednesday they have retained the services of head coach Dennis Burrows, assistant coaches Damian Munoz and Ab Rees, goalkeeper coach John Ragsdale and technical advisor Patrick Rennie for the 2009 season.

They will also be the league's only franchise in the state of Utah as the Utah Avalanche have dropped out of the WPSL for the 2009 season.

Joslin Joins WPSL's FC Thomasville Dragons

FC Thomasville (GA) Dragons of the Women's Premier Soccer League announced Wednesday Alastair Joslin, Director of Soccer Operations for Associated Soccer Group Florida, will become Director of Player Management for the franchise.

He has previously served as Director of Soccer at Highlands Soccer Club, a former women's soccer head coach at Virginia Intermont College and a former varsity boys' head coach at Virginia High School.

Aztec Name Simpson Player Personnel Director, Nelson GM

The Boston Aztec of the Women's Premier Soccer League announced Dushawne Simpson as their Director of Player Personnel and Brandon Nelson as their General Manager Wednesday.

Simpson served as the Aztec's first head coach in team history and was head coach of the Aztec's men's team in the outdoor National Premier Soccer League last season and spent three seasons as head coach of their indoor team in the Premier Arena Soccer League, where they won the league championship in 2005.

He also spent five years as the technical director for the New England Aztec girls' team.

Nelson has worked in the office of Nike and adidas and spent the last three years as an assistant coach under Simpson.

Islanders Signs Addlery, Fraser, Nunez To Deals

The defending United Soccer Leagues First Division's Commissioners Cup champion Puerto Rico Islanders announced the signings Wednesday of Nicholas Addlery, Sean Fraser and Martin Nunez to contracts for the 2009 season.

Addlery played last season for the defending league champion Vancouver Whitecaps, scoring four goals and an assist in 27 games.

Fraser was transferred to the Islanders by Miami FC Blues, where he scored four goals last season.

Nunez had five goals and two assists last season for the Carolina RailHawks, where he played after refusing not to go to Miami, who drafted him in the USL1 Draft.

Byars Joins Impact For Next Two Seasons

Forward Peter Byars signed a two-year contract Wednesday to play for the United Soccer Leagues First Division's Montreal Impact.

Byars joined the team August 19, 2008 and had three goals in seven regular season games.

He also scored a goal in their 4-1 win over Joe Public FC of Trinidad & Tobago during group play in the inaugural CONCACAF Champions League.

Byars will play for Montreal next Wednesday at Olympic Stadium when they host the first leg of quarterfinal play against Mexico's Santos Laguna.

Rapids Sign Cummings, Ihemelu To Four-Year Deals

Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids announced the signings Wednesday of forward Omar Cummings and defender Ugo Ihemelu to four-year contracts.

Cummings was the team's second-leading scorer last season, setting career highs with six goals, four assists, 26 games played and 17 games started.

Ihemelu started 16 of 18 games and played 1,493 minutes last season and helped the Rapids allow a league-low 278 shots on goal.

Sounders To Play Chelsea In July 18 Exhibition Game

Major League Soccer announced Tuesday the expansion Seattle Sounders will host Chelsea of the English Premier League in an exhibition game at Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field July 18.

The game will be televised live by ESPN at 3 p.m. Eastern time.

Chelsea last faced an MLS squad at the 2006 Pepsi/MLS All-Star Game, which they lost. In 2007, they took on the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Chelsea has finished second in the EPL the last two seasons after winning back-to-back titles in 2004-05 and 2005-06. They won the 2007 FA Cup and the 2005 and 2007 Carling Cups and were runners-up in the UEFA Champions League in 2008.

The Blues also have a history in Seattle.

In 1967, Chelsea defeated an amateur team from the city, 5-0. In 1977, the Sounders, then in the North American Soccer League, beat Chelsea, 2-0. Their last visit was in 2004 when Chelsea won, 4-2, over Scottish Premier League team Celtic.

Cooper Gives FC Dallas Win Over Rapids In Florida

Kenny Cooper hit the lone goal of the game in the 57th minute as FC Dallas shut out the Colorado Rapids, 1-0, Tuesday in a Major League Soccer preseason game in Sunrise, FL.

Dallas is 2-1-1 in the preseason and faces Florida International University Thursday in Sunrise.

Thunder Signs MLS Vets To Contracts

The Minnesota Thunder of the United Soccer Leagues First Division Tuesday signed forward Quavas Kirk to a two-year contract and midfielder Youssouf Kante to a three-year deal.

Kirk played 10 games last season for DC United in Major League Soccer and scored one goal. He was traded by the Los Angeles Galaxy after three seasons February 15, 2008 for Greg Vanney.

A third round SuperDraft pick of the Galaxy in 2005, his best season was in 2006 when he had two assists in 22 games.

Kante played 22 games last season for the USL1's Seattle Sounders, who now join MLS as an expansion team in 2009. He has one goal and two assists.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rhinos Sign Sanders To Contract

The United Soccer Leagues First Division's Rochester Rhinos announced Tuesday forward Chris Sanders signed a one-year contract with the franchise with an option for 2010.

Sanders gave up his senior season of eligibility at the University of Portland to play professionally last season with FC Nurnberg in the German Bundesliga.

The Rhinos also signed midfielder Ze Roberto.

Worthen Returns To Kickers, Kalungi Signs Up

The Richmond Kickers of the United Soccer Leagues Second Division announced Tuesday midfielder/defender Joey Worthen will return to the team after four seasons and defender Henry Kalungi also signed a contract.

Worthen was with the Kickers for the 2004 and 2005 seasons before leaving to spend a season in Major League Soccer (2006 with Real Salt Lake) and two more in the USL First Division (2007 and 2008 with Carolina RailHawks).

He played 46 games in his previous Kickers stint, scoring eight goals overall. In the 2004 season, he was tied for fourth on the team in points (13) and goals (five).

In 2006, he played a total of 29 minutes in three games for Real Salt Lake.

At Carolina, he was in 27 regular season games and had three goals and two assists.

Kalungi played the 2008 season with the FC Fredericksburg Gunners of the USL Premier Development League for 1,240 minutes over 14 regular season games and led them to four shutout victories.

Islanders Ink Clarke To Three-Year Deal

The defending United Soccer Leagues First Division's Commissioner Cup champion Puerto Rico Islanders returned to Bayamon after a training stint in Bradenton, FL Tuesday and announced head coach Colin Clarke, the league's Coach of the Year last season, has signed a three-year contract.

Clarke led the Islanders to the 2008 USL1 Championship Game, where they lost to the eventual champion Vancouver Whitecaps. He was also named Coach of the Year at the annual ASES Awards in Puerto Rico and the Islanders were crowned Team of the Year.

In 2007, the team advanced to the semifinals of the USL1 playoffs, losing to the eventual champion Seattle Sounders. The Islanders also earned a spot in the inaugural CONCACAF Champions League by finished third in the Caribbean Football Union's Club Champions Cup tournament.

Puerto Rico prepares to host two important game in the next few days at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium in Bayamon -- Saturday against Major League Soccer's DC United and February 26 against CD Marathon of Honduras in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals.

Donovan May Return To Galaxy March 15

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rimmenigge told the Munich-based newspaper TZ Tuesday forward Landon Donovan will probably return to Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy after his loan period to the German Bundesliga team expires March 15.

Donovan has scored four goals for Munich in exhibition games, but none in either Bundesliga or German Cup play.

Galliani Still Hopeful Of Making Deal For Beckham

Despite Major League Soccer announcing Friday a deadline was reached for Italian soccer team AC Milan to make a deal to keep Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham and that he would return to Los Angeles when his loan to them ends March 9, team vice president Adriano Galliani still holds out hope of working out a deal, according to the ANSA news agency in Italy Tuesday.

Galliani told the agency talks between the team and MLS are ongoing and a deal could be reached by this Friday.

Wells Retires From MLS After Five Seasons

Goalkeeper Zach Wells, who has been recovering from offseason foot surgery, announced Tuesday he is retiring from Major League Soccer after five seasons.

He ended his career with DC United, who acquired him in a trade with the Houston Dynamo December 12, 2007 for defender Bobby Boswell. He played in 31 overall games there, going 13-15-3.

In 2008, he was 8-8-1 in 17 games with one shutout and a 1.65 goals against average.

He began his career with the New York Red Bulls, where he played for two seasons before being traded to Houston for a fourth round MLS SuperDraft pick. He served as a backup goalkeeper on the Dynamo's 2006 and 2007 MLS Cup championship teams.

Monday, February 16, 2009

WPS Finalizes Contract For Use With USMNT Players

Women's Professional Soccer announced the signing Monday of a three-year contract allowing players from the US Women's National Soccer Team to be paid for both on-field play and off-field marketing, advertising and sponsorship deals.

The average salary for a WPS player in their inaugural season is $32,000 for seven months of play, but can be supplemented through marketing, advertisisng and endorsement opportunities.

Pali Blues Signs Stanford's Press

The Pali Blues, defending champion of the United Soccer Leagues W-League, announced the signing of Stanford forward Christen Press Monday.

Press started every game in her sophomore season for the Cardinal and earned spots on the All-Pac 10 Second Team and Top Drawer Soccer's Second Team.

The Pac-10's Freshman of the Year in 2007, Press has 24 goals and 17 assists for 65 points in her two-season career, including 16 goals and 11 assists last season.

The Blues open defense of their W-League title May 9 at the Stadium by the Sea in Pacific Palisades, CA against the Los Angeles Legends.

Woodie Named Player-Coach Of Richmond Kickers Destiny

Veteran defender Jen Woodie, a 2006 graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and current assistant coach of the University of Richmond women's soccer team, was named Monday player-coach for the United Soccer Leagues W-League's Richmond Kickers Destiny.

Woodie has played 51 games in the team's first six seasons of existence and assisted on one goal in a 2-1 win June 5, 2008 over the Hampton Roads Piranhas.

Hotchkin Re-Signs With City Stars

Midfielder/forward Jason Hotchkin re-signed with the United Soccer Leagues First Division's Cleveland City Stars Monday.

Hotchkin joined the team at the end of the 2008 USL2 season after playing indoors for the New Jersey Ironmen of the Xtreme Soccer League and had a goal and an assist in five regular season games.

He also played every minute of every postseason match leading to the City Stars being crowned USL2 champions in 2008. The team has since chosen to promote themselves to USL1.

He will be reunited in Cleveland with new head coach Rod Underwood, who served as head coach of the South Carolina Shamrocks in the former USL D3 Pro League, now called USL2.

Hotchkin also played in the USL for the Charlotte Eagles and Wilmington Hammerheads in USL2, the Philadelphia Kixx and Ironment in the former Major Indoor Soccer League, TuS Koblenz in Germany, and IK Brage in Sweden.

Blast's Bumbut Named NISL POW

As to be expected, Baltimore Blast rookie Adrian Bumbut was named Monday National Indoor Soccer League Player of the Week.

Bumbut scored five goals, including a three-point shot, for 12 points in the team's 37-5 pasting of the Massachusetts Twisters Saturday at Eastern States Coliseum in West Springfield, MA, the league's only game this weekend.

Bumbut set individual team highs for the Blast in points and goals scored.

A DC United Stimulus Plan That Works

Victor MacFarlane, executive chairman of Major League Soccer's DC United and team president Kevin Byrne joined county executive Jack Johnson, Senator Anthony Muse, and Delegate Melony Griffith Monday in announcing the introduction of legislation authorizing a new stadium be built for the franchise in Prince Georges County, MD.

The 24,000-seat soccer-specific stadium would cost between $180 and $195 milion, but would take no money from taxpayer or state lottery funds for construction.

The stadium would generate between $65 and $80 million in annual economic impact to the state, the equivalent to what 1,000 new jobs would provide to the area, according to the findings of a commissioned report on the project.

In fact, the report states, every $100 million spent in construction costs would create the equivalent of 1,300 new full-time jobs in the area.

Seven sites, five of them at or near current Metro transportation sites, are being considered for the new stadium. Groundbreaking is set for this year with the project completed in time for the 2012 MLS season.

Red Bulls Sign Angel To Multi-Year Deal

Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls signed 2007 league Most Valuable Player Juan Pablo Angel to a new multi-year deal Monday.

Angel joined the team as their official Designated Player April 17, 2007 and has scored 33 goals in 47 regular season games.

In 2008, he led the Eastern Conference with 14 goals in 23 regular season games, even with missing seven games due to an injury.

In his 2007 debut season after spending most of his professional career in Argentina, he broke a team record for goals in a single season with 19 in 24 games, was a two-time MLS Player of the Month in May and June, and was the leading votegetter for the MLS All-Star Game.

He will begin the 2009 MLS season nine goals shy of breaking the team's all-time record for regular season scored in a career.

Whitecaps Defeat Trinity Western University

The defending United Soccer Leagues First Division champion Vancouver Whitecaps defeated Trinity Western University, 3-1, Friday in preseason play.

Marlon James, Marcus Haber and Alex Semenets scored goals in the victory.

Ironmen Edge Storm In Hoffman Estates

Chile Farias had five points on a two-point and three-point goal as the New Jersey Ironmen edged the host Chicago Storm, 15-13, Sunday in Xtreme Soccer League play at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, IL.

Randi Patterson, Lucio, Tiguinho, Evan McNeley and Nebo Stamenkovic also scored for the Ironmen.

Chris Cerroni had a similar outing for the Storm as Farias, with Ian Bennett, Frederico Moojen, Will Kletzien and Andy Rosenbrand adding goals for Chicago.

The Ironmen host the Detroit Ignition Wednesday in a Businessman's Special promotion that afternoon, then face the Storm again Thursday.

The Storm, after playing New Jersey, have games at the Ignition Friday and at the Milwaukee Wave Sunday.

Wave Give Tozer Career Coaching Victory Number 600

Chad Burt had two goals and Brett Wiesner and Mario Terminesi each added scores as the Milwaukee Wave beat the Detroit Ignition, 8-4, in Xtreme Soccer League play Sunday at US Cellular Arena in Milwaukee.

The win was head coach Keith Tozer's 600th career coaching victory and his 394th with the Wave.

Leo Gibson and Ryan Mack scored for the Ignition.

Milwaukee next hosts the Chicago Storm Sunday. Detroit travels to the New Jersey Ironmen for a Businessman's Special daytime game Wednesday.

Beckham Injures Hamstring In Loss By AC Milan

It looks like midfielder David Beckham may come back to Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy a little more banged up now than when he left on a three-month loan to Italy's AC Milan in Serie A.

Beckham played 56 minutes Sunday in a 2-1 loss to Inter Milan before being replaced due to a hamstring injury. He has also played a half in Wednesday's exhibition game with England's national team against Spain.

No word was released on the severity of the injury, but the news must not sound good to Galaxy officials.

Personally, the conspiracy theorist in me thinks this could be the start of another season of playing "Will Beckham Play For The Galaxy This Week?".

I'm not trying to say Beckham isn't truly hurt or anything, but it just seems rather convenient that, just after all the hoopla between all parties in trying to have Beckham stay with AC Milan (and being told by MLS that ain't happening and he comes back to LA March 8, like it or not), he comes up injured during a game with Milan.

I could see the injury being serious enough that, if this is the last season he plays in LA before he can legitimately get out of his contract and go wherever we wants to play, he will milk it all the way through the MLS season, say how hard he tried to rehab the injury and how badly he wanted to play for the Galaxy again, then, when the MLS season ends, his hamstring will feel just fine for him to walk out of MLS and head back to Milan.

Well, if that's the case, then I say good riddance to him, his wife, his family and everything else.

Beckham was truly perfect for Hollywood -- a fake and a phony who wanted the money to play here and be the idol of adoring fans, but not do anything worthy of earning the money.

So, MLS, let him go where he wants. If he really wants to be in Milan, grant his wish.

It would be the perfect ending to this Hollywood story.

Earthquakes Shutout Dynamo, 2-0, At Cal Poly-SLO

The San Jose Earthquakes shut out the two-time Major League Soccer champion Houston Dynamo Sunday at the MLS Central Coast Showcase tournament on the campus of Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo.

Ryan Johnson was the star of the game, assisting on the game-winning shot by Cam Weaver in the 61st minute, then scoring an unassisted goal eight minutes later.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

1790 Cincinnati Wins PASL's Eastern Division Championship Over Illusion

Jimmy Cummings had four goals and an assist, Garrett Buck contributed a hat trick and Matt Brienes had two goals as 1790 Cincinnati edged the St. Louis Illusion, 13-7, Saturday at Game Time Training Center to clinch the Professional Arena Soccer League's first Eastern Division Championship and a bye into the league Championship Weekend March 13-15 in Stockton, CA.

Cincinnati, formerly the Cincinnati Excite of the American Indoor Soccer Association, are now 11-2 and will have a playoff game March 14.

The Illusion (7-6) are in a tie with the Denver Dynamite for the wild card playoff spot.

Richmond Kickers Indoor Beat Gunners In Sixth Straight Home Sellout Victory

Andy McIntosh had two goals as the Richmond Kickers Indoor defeated the FC Fredericksburg Gunners, 8-4, Saturday in Premier Arena Soccer League play at Richmond, where they played before their sixth straight sellout crowd.

Steven Ruff had two of Fredericksburg's goals in the loss.

Blast Explode Again Over Twisters At Eastern States Coliseum

Rookie Adrian Bumbut assured himself of National Indoor Soccer League Player of the Week honors next week as he scored a career-best 12 points on five goals, including a three-point shot, and an assist as the Baltimore Blast ripped the Massachusetts Twisters, 37-5, Saturday at Eastern States Coliseum in West Springfield, MA.

Matt Tirschmann added a hat trick in the record-setting victory for the 7-2 Blast, who has their highest point total of the season.

Jeff Deren had a three-point goal and Franco Cartiera had Massachusetts' other goal.

The Blast have outscored the Twisters, former champions in the American Indoor Soccer Association, 90-11, this season with two more contests this season -- next Saturday at ESC and March 21 in Baltimore's home season finale.

The Twisters are a league-worst 1-10.

Red Bulls Edge Toronto FC In Bradenton

John Wolyniec, Matthew Mbuta and Lionel Saint-Preux scored goals as the New York Red Bulls edged Toronto FC, 3-2, in a Major League Soccer preseason game Friday at IMG Academies in Bradenton, FL.

Pablo Vitti and Chad Barnett scored goals for Toronto.

Cunningham's Brace Leads FC Dallas Over University Of Memphis

Jeff Cunningham scored two goals to lead Major League Soccer's FC Dallas to a 5-1 victory Saturday over the University of Memphis men's team at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX.

Sean Bucknor, Dax McCarty and Jamie Watson added goals for the Hoops.

Sean Goulding scored the lone goal of the Tigers of Conference USA.

Dallas leaves Monday for a three-game, six-day Florida training camp stint before returning home February 22.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

AC Milan's Ancelotti: We Can Still Work Out A Deal With Beckham

Defiant to the very end, head coach Carlo Ancelotti of Italian Serie A team AC Milan told the ANSA news agency Saturday he still believes the team can work out a deal with Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy to keep midfielder David Beckham with the franchise.

Beckham has been on a three-month loan to Milan, but both parties have stated an interest in staying there when the loan ends March 8.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber stepped in Wednesday, setting a Friday deadline for Milan to make an acceptable offer to the league and Galaxy and stating if a deal wasn't set by then, Beckham would be coming back to Los Angeles March 8.

No deal was announced Friday.

Megson, Garcia Lead Fire Over Spokane Soccer Club

Alex Megson had a double hat trick of six goals and Junior Garcia added a third hat trick and assisted on four other scores as the Wenatchee Fire of the Professional Arena Soccer League defeated Spokane Soccer Club Friday in Spokane, WA.

Spokane became a late fill-in for the Colorado Lightning, who announced earlier this week they would not play any further road games on the PASL schedule due to economic issues. Reports say Spokane is also being considered as the Lightning's new home next season.

Spokane, who were led by Mike Ramos with five goals in the loss, had seven players on the team who competed for the Spokane Spiders of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League.

FC Dallas Announces Dates For US-Brazil Challenge

Major League Soccer's FC Dallas announced plans Friday to meet its Brazilian affiliate team Clube Atletico Paranaense in the third annual USA-Brazil Challenge.

The two-game series will take place March 4 in Curitiba, Brazil, with the second game set for March 14 at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX.

Both teams have split the first two challenges -- Paranaense winning both games in 2007 and Dallas doing so in 2008.

RSL Shocks Defending Japanese Super League Champion

Tino Nunez was named the game's most valuable player after scoring two goals to lead Major League Soccer's Real Salt Lake to a 8-0 rout of defending Chinese Super League champion Shangdong Cuneng Taishan Friday in an exhibition game at Oxnard, CA.

Will Johnson, Yura Movsisyan, Alex Nimo, Arthur Aghasyan and Luis Miguel Escalada each added goals in the victory.

RSL also announced it was cancelling a scheduled Saturday game at California-Irvine and allowing players to have President's Day weekend off before returning to training camp Tuesday in Park City, UT.

Islanders Announce Returning Players

The Puerto Rico Islanders, the defending United Soccer Leagues First Division Commissioner's Cup champion, announced Friday the names of 19 players returning to the team for the 2009 season.

They include USL1 Goalkeeper of the Year Bill Gaudette, USL1 Defender of the Year Cristian Arrietta and USL1's Most Valuable Player, midfielder Jonathan Steele.

Here are the names of the returning players by position:

GOALKEEPERS
Bill Gaudette
Justin Myers

DEFENDERS
Cristian Arrietta
Alexis Rivera
Daniel Ojeda
John Krause
Scott Jonas
William Yomby

MIDFIELDERS
Noah Delgado
Petter Villegas
Jonathan Steele
Andres Cabrero
Osei Telesford
James Marcelin
Sandy Gbandi

FORWARDS
Kendall Jagdeosingh
Joshua Hansen
Kevin Mesa
Fabrice Noel

The Islanders are conducting a training camp in Tampa ahead of facing Honduras' Marathon in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series February 29 at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium in Bayamon, PR.

Before then, the Islanders will host Major League Soccer's DC United February 21.

Cannon Booms His Way To New Contract

Joe Cannon, a two-time Major League Soccer Goalkeeper of the Year during his 10-year playing career, signed a multi-year contract Friday to stay with the San Jose Earthquakes.

Cannon, who played every minute of every game last season, was a member of the original Earthquakes team from 1998 to 2002, before they moved to Houston and were rebranded the Houston Dynamo.

Cannon, who also played with the Colorado Rapids and the Los Angeles Galaxy, is second in league history in shutouts with 65, third in league history in starts at goal (245) and saves (1,026), and fifth in the league history in wins (92).

It's A Done Deal: Beckham Stays In LA With Galaxy

Midfielder David Beckham must come back to Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy March 9 after his loan period to Italy's AC Milan of Serie A ends the day before, Anshutz Entertainment Group CEO Tim Leiweke announced Friday after no deal was reached to keep him in Europe.

Two British newspapers, The London Sun and the Daily Telegraph, reported Friday Milan had offered the Galaxy a transfer fee of $15.1 million for his services but, reached while on vacation in Vail, CO, Leiweke told The Associated Press the story was false.

Beckham had repeatedly said while he remains under contract to the Galaxy, he had grown accustomed to playing in Italy and would like to stay past the loan period, if possible. Milan officials mistakenly believed they could make a deal with Los Angeles to have him stay up until the day his loan to them ends, but MLS Commissioner Don Garber made it clear Wednesday if a deal between the parties wasn't settled Friday, MLS and the Galaxy wanted him back.

However, Beckham's Galaxy contract allows him to leave the team and void his contract after the 2009 MLS season and then play anywhere he wants without compensation.

FC Indiana Wooing Japanese Star To Team

The FC Indiana Lionesses of the United Soccer Leagues W-League are currently wooing Japanese club Tasaki Perule FC about acquiring the services of midfielder Mizuho Sakaguchi for the 2009 season, head coach Shek Borkowski said Friday.

The defending US Open Cup champion and 2008 W-League Championship finalist Lionesses took a big hit when six players from last year's squad were drafted and signed by franchises in Women's Professional Soccer.

Sakaguchi led Japan to a fourth place finish at the 2008 Beijing Olympics tournament.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Coloradoan: Lightning Cancels Road Games Due To Expenses, PASL Future In Doubt

In an attempt to save money, the Colorado Lightning of the Professional Arena Soccer League announced Thursday it was cancelling all remaining road games and its future in the league for next season is in doubt, according to The Coloradoan.

The Lightning were to play against the Stockton Cougars at Stockton Arena Thursday, but backed out of the game and, in retaliation, Stockton has said they will not honor a commitment to travel to Fort Collins for a scheduled February 22 game.

Stockton replaced the Lightning with the Chico Bigfoot of the second-tier Premier Arena Soccer League Thursday.

Colorado has cancelled games at the Wenatchee Fire Saturday, La Raza de Monterrey of the National Indoor Soccer League Sunday, and the Texas Outlaws in Dallas February 28.

At 4-7 in the team's and league's inaugural season, the Lightning will not qualify for the playoffs and team officials had already taken the step of moving home games from the 5,289-seat Budweiser Events Center to the 500-seat Fort Collins Indoor Soccer Club to cut costs.

Storm Sign Clay, Osmanovic To Deals

The Chicago Storm of the Xtreme Soccer League announced the signings Friday of defenders Carlos Clay and Alen Osmanovic.

Clay trained with the Storm last season, but was not offered a contract. He played for Chicago Fire Premier in the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League, as well as internationally in Spain and Italy.

Osmanovic is reunited with Storm head coach Steve Morris, who was an assistant coach at the Milwaukee Wave. In three seasons there, Osmanovic had 21 goals, eight assists and 42 blocked shots in 75 games.

RailHawks Sign Tolleson, Stewart To Deals

The Carolina RailHawks of the United Soccer Leagues First Division announced the signings Friday of Jeremy Tolleson and Jack Stewart.

Tolleson played last season for the USL Second Division champion Cleveland City Stars, who have promoted themselves to USL1, and led the team in minutes played.

Stewart was drafted by Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire in the 2005 SuperDraft with the 10th overall pick. He split time in the '06 season with the Fire and Real Salt Lake, where he went to in 2007.

In 39 career MLS games, he has scored a goal and assisted on another.

Vancouver Province: Whitecaps Sign D Marco Reda

Defender Marco Reda, captain last season of the Charleston Battery in the United Soccer Leagues First Division, will be joining the defending league champion Vancouver Whitecaps after signing a new contract, according to the Vancouver Province.

Reda played 1,730 minutes over 21 games last season in Charleston, assisting on one goal.

In 2007, injuries forced him to play only eight games for Toronto FC in Major League Soccer.

Clavijo Joins USL1's Miami FC Blues As Director Of Soccer

Miami FC Blues of the United Soccer Leagues First Division introduced US Soccer Hall of Fame member Fernando Clavijo Friday as the team's new Director of Soccer.

Clavijo, born in Uruguay but a US citizen since 1987, played for many indoor and outdoor soccer teams in his career before venturing into coaching.

In 1991, he began as a player-coach for the St. Louis Storm. In 1997, he was named Coach of the Year in the Continental Indoor Soccer League with the Seattle SeaDogs.

He also coached the US National Futsal Team and worked with former US men's head coach Bora Milutinovic on both Nigeria's men's national team and the New York/New Jersey MetroStars in Major League Soccer in 1998.

Clavijo held two head coaching stints in MLS -- 2000-03 with the New England Revolution and 2004-08 with the Colorado Rapids.

He appeared in 61 games with the US Men's National Team and eight for the US National Futsal Team.