Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Parke Signs With Defending Champ Whitecaps

The defending United Soccer Leagues First Division champion Vancouver Whitecaps signed defender Jeff Parke to a contract Tuesday.

Parke, who trained with Seattle Sounders FC in March after being a third round selection in the Major League Soccer Expansion Draft, played five seasons with the New York Red Bulls, who selected him with the overall final pick in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft back in their MetroStars days.

In 138 career regular season and playoff games in MLS, he started 132 games and scored one goal and assisted on two goals.

Revs Sign Gambian Defender Emmanuel Osei

Major League Soccer's New England Revolution announced the signing Tuesday of Ghana defender Emmanuel Osei, who will occupy a senior international roster spot.

Osei joins the Revs from Liberty Professionals in Ghana's top soccer league. He also played internationally in Germany (AS Cham), Italy (AS Livonia) and Romania (FC Timisoara).

A member of their 2004 Olympic team, Osei began his professional career in 2002 with Ghana's Hearts of Oak.

Buffalo Flash Sign NJ Native, Portuguese National Team Member Kim Brandao

The expansion Buffalo Flash of the United Soccer Leagues W-League announced the signing of Rahway, NJ native and member of Portugal's women's national team, defender Kim Brandao, to a contract Tuesday.

Brandao has previous W-League experience with Jersey Sky Blue and the New Jersey Wildcats and recently led Portugal to their best finish ever at the Algarve Cup tournament there -- 3-0-1.

She has played every minute of all 14 international games she has played for Portugal and has international experience playing with Sweden's Falkopings KIK after the 2007 W-League season and Spain's CF Puebla after the '08 W-League season.

She played collegiately at Rutgers (2002-06), where she had 84 career appearances and was named to Soccer Buzz magazine's All-America Third Team, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and Soccer Buzz All-Mid-Atlantic First Team, and the All-Big East Conference Second Team in her career.

In 2006, Brandao led the Scarlet Knights to their best record in school history and was part of a team that allowed less than a goal a game and advanced to their first-ever Big East Conference Tournament final.

Brilla Signs Trio From D2 Francis Marion College

Mississippi Brilla FC of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League announced the signing Tuesday of three players from Francis Marion College, an NCAA Division II team who plays in the Peach Belt Conference -- defender Willie Hunt, midfielder Kyle Clinton and forward Juan Rivas.

The trio led the school to a 2008 record of 14-5-3, won the conference's regular season and tournament titles, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA College Cup.

Hunt was named to the NCAA D2 All-Southeast Region Second Team last season after starting all 22 games and scoring four goals and two assists. He was part of a defensive unit that had eight shutout victories and had a 1.35 goals against average in 2008.

Clinton and Rivas were both named to the All-Southeast Region Third Team. Clinton led the team in goals with ten and had five assists. Rivas had nine goals and five assists last season and led the team in 2007 in goals, assists and points.

Gros, Lucas Join PDL's Northern Virginia Royals As Assistant Coaches

The Northern Virginia Royals of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League announced Tuesday former Major League Soccer star Josh Gros and Tim Lucas will serve as assistant coaches for the 2009 season.

Gros retired from MLS at the end of last season following repeated head traumas after playing four seasons for DC United, who selected him with the 34th overall pick in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft.

Gros played collegiately at Rutgers and for the US Men's National Team in a 2-0 win over Mexico February 7, 2007.

Lucas, who will serve as goalkeeper coach, currently is an assistant coach at Oakton and Bishop O'Connell High Schools in Virginia.

Ughy Wins Final NISL POW Award Of Regular Season

La Raza de Monterrey's Mark Ughy was named Tuesday the final National Indoor Soccer League Player of the Week after scoring a hat trick and assisting on his team's first goal in a 19-4 victory Sunday over the Baltimore Blast, the regular season champion.

Ughy finished second on the team and fifth in the league in points with 47 on 19 goals and nine assists.

Monterrey now faces the Rockford Rampage in a two-game semifinal playoff series Thursday at home and Sunday in Rockford, IL. The winner of the series travels to the Blast to play for the inaugural NISL Championship.

Morristown (NJ) Daily Record: Red Bulls Season Ticket Holders To See No Price Change At New Stadium

Current season ticket holders of Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls will not see an increase in prices when they convert their seats from Giants Stadium to the new Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ, opening next season, according to a team spokesman in an interview in Tuesday's Morristown (NJ) Daily Record.

Current season ticket holders will receive the 2009 price for tickets in non-premium seating areas of the new arena, but if they wish to purchase premium seating, then they will pay a higher price.

Houston Chronicle: Dynamo Finds Forward In Akinbiyi

Major League Soccer's Houston Chronicle signed forward Ade Akinbiyi to a contract Monday, according to Tuesday's editions of the Houston Chronicle.

Akinbiyi has played the last 16 years on English league teams, most recently as a substitute for Burnley in the Football League Championship.

He could join the team as early as Friday in Washington, DC, where they will face DC United at RFK Stadium Saturday.

Seattle's Keller Named MISL POW

For the second time in as many weeks, a Seattle Sounders FC player was named Major League Soccer's Player of the Week Monday, but it wasn't Fredy Montero, who won that and was named Sierra Mist MLS Goal of the Week winner last week.

This time, goalkeeper Kasey Keller, a veteran member of the US Men's National Team but considered a rookie in MLS this season, had five saves as Seattle shut out their second straight opponent on the season in Real Salt Lake, 2-0.

Seattle is the first MLS expansion team since the Chicago Fire in 1988 to win its first two games and Keller is the first goalkeeper to win a POW award since current San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper Joe Cannon won one after Week 25 of the 2006 season with the Colorado Rapids.

Monday, March 30, 2009

USMNT Adds Chivas' Bornstein To Roster For Wednesday

Defender Jonathan Bornstein of Major League Soccer's Chivas USA was added to the roster for Wednesday's US Men's National Team's World Cup qualifying game against Trinidad & Tobago in Nashville.

Bornstein has made 14 appearances for the US team and last played during their 2-0 victory over Mexico February 11.

Bornstein played the full 90 minutes for Chivas Sunday in a 2-0 victory over FC Dallas.

Wildcats Sign Two Explorers To Contracts

The New Jersey Wildcats of the United Soccer Leagues W-League announced the signings Monday of two players from the La Salle University Explorers for the 2009 season -- midfielder Kim Lison and defender Michelle Verzi.

Lison finished as the school's seventh leading player in career assists with 13 and was named to the All-Atlantic 10 Honorable Mention Team in 2006 and the conference's Second Team in 2007.

Verzi transferred to La Salle from Seton Hall and was named three times to the A-10 Commissioner's Honor Roll. Last season, she was fourth on the team in assists with five and was named to the College Sports Information Directors Association/ESPN The Magazine All-District 2 team and Academic First Team, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-East Academic Team and the Philadelphia Inquirer All-Area Team.

Laredo Heat Sign Seven Players To Deals

The Laredo Heat of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League announced the signings of seven players to 2009 contracts Monday.

They are Juan de Dios Ibarra, Dany Galvan, Carlos Ordaz, Raul Quinones, Greg Mulamba, Ryan Cooper and Charles Browne.

Rampage-La Raza Playoff Series Set

The Rockford Rampage and La Raza de Monterrey will meet this week in a two-game aggregate-goal National Indoor Soccer League semifinal playoff series, the league announced Monday.

Rockford and Monterrey finished with the second and third best records in the NISL's inaugural season, respectively, and will face off to determine who takes on the regular season champion Baltimore Blast for the first NISL Championship April 11 in Baltimore.

Game one of the series is Thursday at Arena Monterrey with game two Sunday at the Rockford MetroCentre. If both teams are tied after Sunday, a golden goal overtime period will decide the winner.

Montero Nominated Again For Goal Of The Week

Major League Soccer Monday announced the nominees for Week 2 of the Sierra Mist Goal of the Week competition and last week's winner, Fredy Montero of Seattle Sounders FC, is back in the running.

Others nominated this week are Terry Cooke (Colorado Rapids), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Arturo Alvarez (San Jose Earthquakes), Luciano Emilio (DC United) and Eduardo Lillingston (Chivas USA).

Fans can view the nominated goals and vote for their favorite through Wednesday at www.mlsnet.com.

Whitecaps Shut Out Seattle University In Tsawwassen, BC

Charles Gbeke scored two goals to lead the defending United Soccer Leagues First Division champion Vancouver Whitecaps to a 4-0 shutout over Seattle University Sunday in a preseason game at Tsawwassen, British Columbia.

Marlon James had a goal and assisted on the first of Gbeke's goals, Martin Nash assisted on two other goals, Tyler Rosenlund had a score and Tyrell Burgess had an assist.

The Whitecaps improved their preseason record to 5-2-1 and will end the schedule Friday at the Burnaby Lake Sports Complex Friday when they face fellow USL1 foe Portland Timbers.

Vancouver also announced a scheduled exhibition game Wednesday against the USL Premier Development League's new Seattle Wolves FC has been cancelled.

Impact End Florida Training Trip With Win Over Miami FC

Joey Gjertsen had a goal in the 75th minute and assisted on Roberto Brown's goal in the 41st as the Montreal Impact met and beat a fellow United Soccer Leagues First Division franchise in the Miami FC Blues, 3-1, Sunday in Sunrise, FL.

The Impact ended their preseason schedule with a 9-2-2 record and will train one last day Monday in Sunrise before returning home Tuesday and continuing training Wednesday in Lachine, Quebec, Canada.

Ignition Win XSL Championship As Ironmen Edge Wave

The Detroit Ignition became the first champion of the Xtreme Soccer League Sunday while watching other teams play games.

Aduato Neto and Rey Martinez had a pair of two-point goals each as the New Jersey Ironmen edged the Milwaukee Wave, 15-14, Sunday at US Cellular Arena to give the Ignition the inaugural league championship.

The Ignition will raise their championship banner this Friday when they end their first home season at Compuware Sports Arena in Plymouth, MI when they face the Chicago Storm.

New Jersey's final two games of the season are Saturday, when they host the Wave, and Sunday against Detroit. Milwaukee's final game of the season is at the Storm Sunday.

Los Angeles Sol Win WPS' Debut Game Over Washington Freedom

And so it begins...again.

Womens professional soccer in the US began their latest attempt at capturing the hearts and minds of fans as Allison Falk and Camile Abily scored goals to lead the Los Angeles Sol to a 2-0 victory over the Washington Freedom in the inaugural game of Womens Professional Soccer Sunday at The Home Depot Center.

The announced crowd at the debut game was 14,832.

La Raza Ends NISL Regular Season By Beating Blast

Mark Ughy had a hat trick and two assists as La Raza de Monterrey upset the National Indoor Soccer League's regular season champion Baltimore Blast, 19-4, in the final game of the regular season Sunday at Arena Monterrey.

The win also knocked the Philadelphia Kixx out of a potential playoff berth and sets the stage for Monterrey to play the Rockford Rampage this week in a two-game, aggregate-score playoff series with the winner facing the Blast at First Mariner Arena for the league championship.

Rich Lesmes and P.J. Wakefield each scored goals for the Blast in the upset.

Newcomers Lead Chivas To First-Ever 2-0-0 Start

Newcomers Eduardo Lillingston and Bojan Stepanovic led Chivas USA to a 2-0 victory Sunday over FC Dallas in Major League Soccer action from Frisco, TX's Pizza Hut Park to close out Week 2 of the 2009 season.

Lillingston scored in the 56th minute off a Gerson Mayen pass and Stepanovic had an unassisted goal in the 75th minute.

Chivas is now 2-0-0 for the first time in club history while Dallas is 0-2-0 for their first time ever.

In Week 3 play, Chivas welcomes the defending MLS champion Columbus Crew to The Home Depot Center next Sunday and FC Dallas heads to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA to meet the New England Revolution, who have beaten Dallas in their last five meetings.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rampage Clinch Second Seed In NISL Playoffs With Win Over Twisters

The Rockford Rampage clinched the second seed in the upcoming National Indoor Soccer League playoffs with a 13-10 victory over the last place Massachusetts Twisters Saturday on the road in West Springfield, MA, according to Sunday's Rockford Register-Star.

Who the Rampage face in the playoffs will be determined by the final regular season game of the NISL's inaugural season Sunday.

If the league-leading Baltimore Blast defeat La Raza de Monterrey on the road Sunday in Monterrey, Mexico, the Rampage will take on the Philadelphia Kixx in a two-game, aggregate-goal playoff series beginning Thursday on the road and ends Sunday at First Mariner Arena.

Should La Raza win, they meet the Rampage again.

The winner of the playoff semifinal series plays the Blast, the regular season champion, in a one-game match April 11 for the first NISL champion.

Salles Penalty Kick Goal Lone Score For Rhinos

Mauricio Salles scored on a 59th minute penalty kick as the Rochester Rhinos of the United Soccer Leagues First Division shut out the Italia Shooters of the Canadian Soccer League, 1-0, Saturday at Rhinos Stadium, according to Sunday's Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.

Rochester now faces the University of Maryland on campus Wednesday, then travel for USL Second Division competition Friday at Crystal Palace Baltimore and Sunday at Real Maryland.

Montero Leads Sounders FC To Second Win

Major League Soccer's current Player of the Week and Sierra Mist's Goal of the Week winner, Fredy Montero of the Seattle Sounders FC, scored his third goal of the 2009 season as they shut out Real Salt Lake, 2-0, Saturday at Qwest Field.

Nate Jaqua scored the first goal for Seattle and Osvaldo Alonso assisted on both goals.

Seattle next heads north of the border to play Toronto FC at BMO Field next Saturday. Real, meanwhile, has a Thursday night nationally televised game against the defending MLS champion Columbus Crew.

Alvarez, Weaver Lead Earthquakes Over Dynamo

Arturo Alvarez and Cam Weaver each contributed a goal and an assist to the San Jose Earthquakes' 3-2 win over the Houston Dynamo in Major League Soccer play from Buck Shaw Stadium at the University of Santa Clara Saturday.

Chris Wondolowski had a goal and an assist for the Dynamo, who next travel to RFK Stadium in Washington, DC to face DC United next Saturday.

San Jose travels to Kansas City's CommunityAmerica Ballpark next Saturday.

Cummings Goal Dampers Wizards Goalkeeper Breaking Record

Goalkeeper Kevin Hartman became Major League Soccer's all-time career league saves person, but his Kansas City Wizards lost, 2-1, to the Colorado Rapids in their home opener at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO.

Hartman broke the previous record of 1,136 career saves, set by another former Wizard, Tony Meola.

After a scoreless first half, both teams traded goals in a four-minute span of the second half.

Terry Cooke had an unassisted goal for Colorado in the 65th minute, then Michael Kraus answered back for Kansas City in the 69th minute to cause a deadlock, later broken by a Colin Clark assist to Omar Cummings to win the game in the 74th minute.

The Rapids travel to The Home Depot Center next Saturday to take on the Los Angeles Galaxy and Kansas City hosts the San Jose Earthquakes next Sunday.

Revs Rectify Heaps' Error, Draw To Red Bulls

A Shalrie Joseph to Kenny Mansally pass play in the final minute of regulation time helped the New England Revolution erase an own goal by Jay Heaps in the 35th minute and caused a 1-1 draw Saturday at Giants Stadium aganst the New York Red Bulls in Major League Soccer action.

The Revolution have been on an 11-game regular season unbeaten streak dating back to September 17, 2005 and the Red Bulls are 8-3-3 in home season openers and have gone unbeaten in their last six.

The Red Bulls travel to Toyota Park to face the Chicago Fire next Sunday and the Revolution welcome FC Dallas to Gillette Stadium next Saturday.

United, Fire Settle For Draw At RFK Stadium

Luciano Emilio scored an unassisted goal in the seventh minute for DC United at RFK Stadium Saturday, but Marco Poppa teamed with Patrick Nyarko on a goal in the 53rd minute as the Chicago Fire created a 1-1 draw in Major League Soccer play.

United next hosts the Houston Dynamo next Saturday while the Fire welcome the New York Red Bulls to Toyota Park next Sunday.

Crew's Mistake Forces 1-1 Draw At Home With Toronto FC

Gino Padula mistakenly scored a goal for his opponent in the 84th minute as the defending Major League Soccer champion Columbus Crew began their Trillium Cup series with Toronto FC with a 1-1 draw Saturday at Crew Stadium.

Columbus had taken the lead on a penalty kick in the 30th minute by reigning league MVP Guillermo Barros Schelotto before Padula's blunder caused the tie.

Columbus is 9-0-3 in home games dating back to June 7, 2008.

The Crew now prepare for a busy week -- a nationally televised Thursday night game at Real Salt Lake, followed by a road trip to Chivas USA next Sunday.

Hejduk Rallies USMNT To Draw In El Salvador

Frankie Hejduk assisted on a Jozy Altidore header in the 77th minute, then scored a goal using his own head in the 88th minute as the US Men's National Team survived a partisan and quite hostile crowd of over 30,000 fans in San Salvador to play to a 2-2 draw in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The draw gave each team one point in the hexagonal standings, but the point gave the US the lead in the division at 1-0-1 with four points. El Salvador is in fourth place at 0-0-2 with two points.

The top three teams after 10 games are played automatically make the 2010 field, while the fourth place team must win a one-game playoff to advance.

Eliseo Quintanilla gave El Salvador the lead in the 15th minute, a lead that held for most of the game, and Cristian Castillo thought his goal in the 72nd minute would be enough to stop the US, but they rallied in the final 13 minutes to force the draw.

The USMNT has little time to rest, as they face Trinidad & Tobago Wednesday in a WCQ match at LP Field in Nashville.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

City Islanders Shut Out Lehigh University

Steve Fisher, Yu Hoshide and Tanner Wolfe scored goals as the Harrisburg City Islanders of the United Soccer Leagues Second Divison defeated Lehigh University Friday, 3-0, according to the Harrisburg Patriot-News Saturday.

The City Islanders next face fellow USL2 competitor Crystal Palace Baltimore.

Timbers Sign Visser To USL1 Team, Kwesele To PDL Team; Guante Released

The Portland Timbers, a 2011 Major League Soccer expansion team who will commit to playing their final two seasons in United Soccer Leagues, announced Friday the signing of goalkeeper Brian Visser to their USL First Division franchise and midfielder Mutanda Kwesele to their new Portland Timbers U23 team in the USL Premier Development League.

Visser recently graduated from DePaul University, where he was a two-tiwm All-Big East player selection and the conference's 2007 Goalkeeper of the Year. He led the team to a Big East Red Division title and their first trip to the NCAA College Cup tournament. Visser set several goalkeeping records at the school, including games played (75), career shutouts (28), single season shutouts (11), and single season goals-against average (0.62).

Kwesele played the last three seasons at Seattle University, who he led to back-to-back NCAA College Cup tournament appearances in 2006 and 2007. In 42 career games, he had two goals and five assists.

The Timbers also released midfielder Miguel Guante for the purposes of allowing him to fully recover from offseason microfracture surgery. He had two goals in 28 games last season.

Red Stars-Fighting Irish Game Cancelled

The Chicago Red Stars of Women's Professional Soccer announced Friday their planned exhibition game Saturday against Notre Dame in Rockford, IL has been cancelled due to weather and poor field conditions.

Chicago is next set to play the University of Illinois in Champaign, IL Tuesday.

Honduras' CD Olimpia Defeats RailHawks

Roger Roias and Jaime Rosales scored goals as CD Olimpia of Honduras edged the Carolina RailHawks of the United Soccer Leagues First Division, 2-1, Friday.

Sallieu Bundu scored the lone RailHawks goal.

Carolina next faces the USL Second Division's Richmond Kickers in Richmond, VA next Saturday.

DiRaimondo Claimed Off Waivers By DC United

Major League Soccer's DC United announced they acquired midfielder John DiRaimondo off the waiver wire Friday.

DiRaimondo was cut Wednesday by the Colorado Rapids, the team that selected him in the 2007 MLS Supplemental Draft. In two seasons with the team, he had one goal in 11 appearances.

Eagles Defeat City Stars In Cary Exhibition

In a bit of revenge, the Charlotte Eagles, the defending United Soccer Leagues Second Division regular season champion, defeated the Cleveland City Stars, who won the league's championship game over them but have now elevated themselves to USL First Division, 3-1, Friday in an exhibition game at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC.

Jacob Coggins, Ben Page and Gustavo Bentos scored goals for the Eagles while Ryan Stewart hit the lone goal for Cleveland.

The Eagles will next face the Charleston Battery at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, SC Tuesday.

Charlotte also announced Friday they will play Clemson University in an on-campus exhibition April 13.

Ignition One Step Closer To XSL Title

Mike Apple scored a pair of two-point goals, Josh Rife had a three-point goal, Miki Djerisilo had three assists and Ryan Mack added a goal as the Detroit Ignition moved one step closer to being crowned the first Xtreme Soccer League champion Friday with a 12-8 victory over the host New Jersey Ironmen at the Prudential Center in Trenton, NJ.

The Ignition are now 11-7 on the season while New Jersey was eliminated from championship contention with the loss, dropping them to an 8-9 record.

If, however, the Ironmen beat the 9-8 Milwaukee Wave Sunday at US Cellular Arena, Detroit officially clinches the championship.

The XSL, with only four teams, will not hold playoffs this season.

The Ignition are now off until next Friday when they close out their home season at Compuware Sports Arena in Plymouth, MI against the Chicago Storm.

US Women Still Number One In First Quarterly Poll

Despite failing to defend their Algarve Cup title in Portugal recently, the US Women's National Team remains the number one women's team in the world in the first FIFA/Coca-Cola World Women's Soccer quarterly poll of 2009, released Friday.

Brazil (was third, now second) and Germany (was second, now third) swap places in the top 10, followed by Sweden (unchanged at fourth) and North Korea (unchanged at fifth). Denmark moves up a spot to sixth with Japan (up two to seventh), France (unchanged at eighth), Norway (down three to ninth) and England (unchanged at tenth) rounding out the list.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Chivas USA Signs Serbian Stepanovic

Major League Soccer's Chivas USA announced the signing of Serbian midfielder Bojan Stepanovic Friday.

Stepanovic has been training with Chivas for the last month and spent the last two seasons in his home country playing for FK Srem in the First League, Serbia's second division league.

He will make his debut Saturday on the road against FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX.

Silverbacks Reunite Defensive Core For 2009 Season

The Atlanta Silverbacks of the United Soccer Leagues W-League announced the re-signings Friday of their defensive unit -- Ronda Brooks, Carolyn Ford, Rebecca Hall and Tara Minnax -- for the 2009 season.

Brooks, Ford and Hall are back for their third seasons with the team; Minnax for her fifth.

The foursome played a total 4,464 minutes last season on a defensive team that gave up only six goals and had ten shutouts en route to an undefeated regular season record.

Rhinos Welcome Back Ambersley, Signs Short

The Rochester Rhinos of the United Soccer Leagues First Division welcomed back midfielder Mike Ambersley with a two-year contract and signed defender Nathaniel Short to a one-year deal Friday.

Ambersley played with the Rhinos in the 2006 and 2007 USL1 seasons, then headed to the now-defunct Atlanta Silverbacks in 2008, though a preseason knee injury caused him to miss the entire season.

Short spent the last two seasons in the USL Premier Development League with the Cape Cod Crusaders, where he scored two goals in 16 games in the 2007 season.

Aztex Sign Alcala, Callahan, Caugherty And Sias

The Austin Aztex, playing their first season in the United Soccer Leagues First Division after debuting last season in the USL Premier Development League, announced the signing Friday of Josh Alcala, Mike Callahan, Ryan Caugherty and David Sias.

Alcala is the sixth player from last season's PDL team to join the USL2 team and the 19th overall player to sign. He started and played every game for the University of South Carolina and was named the team's Most Valuable Offensive Player. He also was named to the Southeastern Conference's First Team and led the Gamecocks to three trips in four seasons to the NCAA College Cup tournament as well as #2 national rankings and the SEC championship in '08.

He signed his first professional contract with Crystal Palace Baltimore in December 2006 and had three goals and three assists in 19 games of the 2007 season.

In 2008, he tried for Major League Soccer's DC United when he heard about the formation of the Aztex and wanted to be involved with them.

Callahan is the fourth player from the University of North Carolina to be signed by the Aztex and the third one in the last two weeks. He tried out in January for MLS' New York Red Bulls.

Caugherty was selected 47th overall in the 2005 MLS SuperDraft by the Kansas City Wizards but chose to pursue a professional career in Europe.

Sias played and started all four seasons at California-Irvine. He was named to the Big West Conference's Second Team in 2007 and was the conference's Defensive Most Valuable Player. Sias was drafted 43rd overall in January's MLS SuperDraft by the Chicago Fire.

USL To Hold NYC Press Conference April 1

United Soccer Leagues will hold a major news conference at 11 a.m. Eastern time April 1 at the Yale Club of New York City, 50 Vanderbilt Avenue, in New York City.

The purpose of the press conference will be to announce a future USL expansion team for the city. There was no mention of in which of their four leagues -- First Division, Second Division, Premier Development or W-League -- the team will play.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Freedom Announce Major Signings

The Washington Freedom of Women's Professional Soccer announced the signings Thursday of forwards Abby Wambach and Lisa de Vanna, defender/midfielders Jayne Leigh Cargnoni, Kristin DeDycker, Madison Keller and Joanna Lohman; defender Christien Kamiski, and goalkeeper Kati Jo Spisak.

Wambach, of the US Women's National Team, was Rookie of the Year in the former Women's United Soccer Association in 2002 and was tied for the league lead in scoring in 2003, its final season, with Mia Hamm.

De Vanna, from Australia, is the team's third international player on their roster. She played in Sweden last season for AIK and had four goals for Australia's women's national team in the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup.

Keller, Kamiski and Spisak all played at various times for Freedom head coach Jim Gabarra on their similarly-named franchise in the United Soccer Leagues W-League.

Lohman has scored seven goals for the USWNT and was a two-time Hermann Award finalist and a three-time National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-American.

Cargnoni was a three-year starter at Wake Forest, was second among defenders in the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2005, and was on the 2005 USL W-League Western Conference champion San Diego Sunwaves team.

DeDycker was a two-time NSCAA All-American at the University of Denver and played in the final season of the WUSA in 2003 for the Atlanta Beat.

PDL's Kitsap Pumas Sign First Player

The Kitsap Pumas of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League announced Thursday they have signed defender Stephen Mohn as their first player.

Mohn played the last three seasons with the PDL's Tacoma Tide and helped them increase their win total over their first three league seasons from four in 2006 to 10 in 2007 to and 11-4-1 record and a Northwest Division championship in 2008.

Revolution Sign Cameroon Teen Ombiogno

Major League Soccer's New England Revolution announced the signing Thursday of forward Stephane Assengue Ombiogne.

The 19-year-old player played last season in his home country of Cameroon in Africa for Daga Young Stars.

Rhinos Shut Out University of Rochester

Ryan Heins and Danny Earls each had a goal and an assist in the first 15 minutes of the game and Chris Sanders and Johnny Menyongar added goals as the Rochester Rhinos of the United Soccer Leagues First Division shut out the University of Rochester, 4-0, Wednesday at PAETEC Park in Rochester, NY.

The Rhinos next host CSL Italia Saturday.

Impact Defeat Haitian Select Team In Florida

Massimo Di Ioia had a goal and assisted on another by Pierre-Rudolph Mayard as the Montreal Impact of the United Soccer Leagues First Division defeated a select team from Haiti, 4-1, Thursday at Westminster Academy in Lauderdale Lakes, FL.

Tony Donatelli and Stephen de Roux also had goals for the Impact, not 8-2-2 on their preseason schedule.

Bruce Lee scored Haiti's only goal in the 67th minute.

The Impact end their Florida training camp Sunday with a match against a USL1 foe, Miami FC Blues.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

USL Partners With NeuLion For Online Game Coverage

United Soccer Leagues Wednesday announced a partnership with NeuLion for the third season of streaming USL First Division matches.

The program, called USL Live, will carry all the league's matches in 2009, both live and on demand, that are not part of the league's television broadcasts on Fox Soccer Channel, for free for the first time ever.

NeuLion will also offer more video capablilities, including match highlights, team press conferences, interviews and features.

NeuLion also has partnerships with the National Hockey League, National Football League, American Hockey League, Universal Sports, Professional Bull Riders, Major League Soccer's Toronto FC and the Indy Racing League, as well as 175 college sports properties, 165 international TV channels from 35 countries and online broadcasts of the US, Canadian and Puerto Rican qualification games of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

11 Rattlers Sign Up For 2009 PDL Season

The Lancaster (CA) Rattlers of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League announced the signings of 11 veteran players for the 2009 season.

Back from their third seasons with the team are goalkeeper Zach Brunner, right defender Brandon Howell, forward Mauricio Harrie and midfielder Jose Garay.

In their second seasons are defenders Hector Macia and Taylor Rivas, midfielders Carlos Aguilar, Jesus Lopez and Miguel Ibarra and forwards Christian Hernandez and Aaron Parker Lott.

Tusculum Quintet Join Mississippi Brilla

Mississippi Brilla FC of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League announced the signing of five players, all from Tusculum College in Tennessee, for the 2009 season.

Tusculum, an NCAA Division II team and member of the South Atlantic Conference, recently was an Elite Eight participant in the NCAA College Cup National Tournament.

Midfielder Anteneh Lemma played last season for the expansion Panama City Pirates in the PDL and will be a senior this fall at Tusculum. He is a two-time All-Conference and All-Region award winner and is from Stockholm, Sweden

The second player is junior Lucas Paulini from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Third is midfielder Scott Lucky from Sacramento, CA who played for the PDL's Southern California Seahorses last season.

Next is the United Kingdom's Nick Rich, who was the conference's Freshman of the Year last season.

Finally, forward Corey McPherson from Dallas joins the fray.

Whitecaps Beat University Of British Columbia In Preseason Play

Marlon James scored two goals and Vicente Arze, Tyrell Burgess and Gordon Chin added scores as the defending United Soccer Leagues First Division champion Vancouver Whitecaps defeated the University of British Columbia, 5-2, Tuesday.

Tyson Keam and Scott Barling scored goals for the Thunderbirds in the loss.

City Islanders Sign Harrison, Buffington; Get Swartzendruber In Trade With CPB

The Harrisburg City Islanders of the United Soccer Leagues Second Division announced the signings Wednesday of goalkeeper Chase Harrison and forward Phil Buffington for the 2009 season and the acquisition of forward Brandon Swartzendruber from Crystal Palace Baltimore in return for defender Ryan Pierce.

Harrison was picked in the third round of the 2006 Major League Soccer Supplemental Draft by Real Salt Lake but, after spending most of that season on loan to the Virginia Beach Mariners of the USL First Division, he joined the Rochester Rhinos in 2007.

At Rochester, he started 18 games behind the pipes and had a 1.28 goals against average, before being traded to USL1's Portland Timbers, where he had a 1.76 GAA over six games.

Buffington played his rookie season in the USL Premier Development League's Mississippi Brilla, where he finished second on the team in scoring.

Swartzendruber played the 2007 and 2008 seasons for the now-PDL champion Thunder Bay Chill. In 2007, he finished second in the PDL in goals (16) and points and had four assists. In 2008, he had 13 goals and eight assists en route to the Chill winning their first-ever title.

Defending Champion Blues Add Cheney, Lang, Mora

The defending United Soccer Leagues W-League champion Pali Blues added three UCLA players to its roster Wednesday in Lauren Cheney, Kara Lang and Iris Mora.

Cheney, who plays for the US Women's National team, will play her final collegiate season for the Bruins in the fall.

She set a school freshman record with 19 goals in 2006 and was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/adidas First Team All-American team and Soccer Buzz magazine's National Freshman of the Year.

In 2007, she had 23 goals, nine of them game-winners, as she amassed 57 points for the Bruins. Cheney's trophy case filled with Soccer America, Soccer Buzz and Top Drawer Soccer National Player of the Year honors, as well as NSCAA/adidas and Soccer Buzz First Team All-America nods, the Pac-10 Conference's Player of the Year award, a spot on the NCAA All-Tournament Teams and the Soccer America College MVP Team, and finalist nominations for the Missouri Athletic Conference's Hermann Award and the Honda Award.

Last season, Cheney was named US Soccer's Young Female Athlete of the Year and led UCLA with 11 goals and nine assists for 31 points and won an Olympic gold medal at the Beijing Olympics.

Lang, a member of the Canadian Women's National Team, is the team's fourth all-time leading scorer in history with 30 goals in 85 games and is the women's world record holder for the youngest player to score their first international goal at 15 years, 132 days at the 2002 Algarve Cup in Portugal.

She has also scored goals in two FIFA Women's World Cups and played for Canada in Beijing.

In three seasons with UCLA, Lang, the top-ranked college recruit in 2005, has 29 goals and 18 assists for 76 career points and played three summers for the Vancouver Whitecaps of the United Soccer Leagues W-League.

Mora ended her Bruins career with 33 goals and 38 assists for 94 points in four seasons, winning NSCAA/adidas All-America and All-Pac 10 honors along the way and scoring 14 game-winning goals.

She has played for Mexico's National Team in the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup and the 2003 and 2007 qualification tournaments.

USL2 Champion Player Joins USL1's Rhinos

Defender/midfielder Kwame Sarkodie signed a one-year deal Wednesday with the Rochester Rhinos of the United Soccer Leagues First Division.

Sarkodie played last season for the USL Second Division champion Cleveland City Stars, who have been promoted to USL1 for the 2009 season. He also spent time with the Reserve Division team of Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids.

He also has had experience playing in the USL's Premier Development League with the Cincinnati Kings (2007) and Indiana Invaders (2005-06).

In 69 career collegiate games at the University of Cincinnati, he had three goals and six assists.

Rapids Sign Holody To Developmental Deal; DiRaimondo Cut

Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids announced the signing Wednesday of defender Michael Holody to a senior developmental contract spot and released midfielder John DiRaimondo.

Holody was the 59th overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft who played in six preseason games for the Rapids. He became the all-time leading player at the University of Michigan in minutes played at 6,498.

DiRaimondo started eight of 11 games in two seasons for the Rapids and scored his first professional goal last season in a game against the Kansas City Wizards.

He also was a member of Colorado's 2007 championship team in the former MLS Reserve Division.

Montero Named First Sierra Mist Goal Of The Week Winner

Adding to the award he earned Tuesday as Major League Soccer's first Player of the Week for the 2009 season after leading the expansion Seattle Sounders FC to a 3-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls in the season opener last Thursday by scoring two goals and assisting on the third, midfielder Fredy Montero was selected this week's winner of the Sierra Mist MLS Goal of the Week.

Montero was one of eight nominees this week for the award, voted on by fans visiting www.mlsnet.com through Wednesday.

Montero scored the team's inaugural MLS goal in the 12th minute, assisted in the 25th minute on Brad Evans' goal, then scored his second goal in the 75th minute.

Earthquakes Sign G Mike Graczyk

Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes announced the signing Wednesday of goalkeeper Mike Graczyk.

Graczyk trained last season with the team, as well as with the Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas.

His rights were traded in the offseason from Colorado to DC United.

Graczyk played in one exhibition game for San Jose last season against El Salvador's CD FAS and played three games with the Earthquakes' team in the MLS Reserve Division.

Athletica Come To Terms With Ellertson, Alves

Women's Professional Soccer's St. Louis Athletica announced the signings Tuesday of Tina Ellertson and Daniela Lima Alves.

Ellertson was a member of the 2007 US team for the FIFA Women's World Cup and has been with the top-ranked US Women's National Team since 2005. She began her career as a defender but has been converted to a forward.

Alves won silver medals on two of three Olympic Games teams from Brazil and will be reunited at St. Louis with former Brazilian head coach Jorge Barcellos, holding the same job with Athletica.

She has started 16 straight Olympic tournament game since the 2000 Sydney Games and 10 straight for her home country in the Women's World Cup since 2003.

City Islanders Open Preseason With Win Over Bucknell

Eddie Yah turned a Yu Hashida pass into the lone score of the game in the 21st minute as the United Soccer Leagues Second Division's Harrisburg City Islanders beat Bucknell University, 1-0, Tuesday in a preseason game at Hempfield High School.

The City Islanders next face Lehigh University Friday.

Chicago Tribune: Blanco's Says This Is Last Season With Fire

At the team's annual kickoff luncheon, Chicago Fire star Cuautemoc Blanco announced Tuesday he will leave the Major League Soccer team at the end of the season and either find another MLS team to play for or return to Mexico, according to Wednesday's Chicago Tribune.

Blanco, who will make $3 million this season, is not unhappy with the Fire in any way; he just wishes to explore all possible playing options.

He signed an 18-month-long contract in mid-2007 with an option for the 2009 season.

Blanco was used as a substitute in Saturday's 3-1 win to open the season against FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX because Fire head coach Denis Hamlett felt Blanco wasn't in top shape after suffering a knee injury that slowed him down in the preseason.

Railhawks Sign Sierra Leone D Mustapha Pa Sama

The Carolina RailHawks of the United Soccer Leagues First Division signed defender Mustapha Pa Sama from Sierra Leone to a contract Tuesday.

Sama began his professional soccer career at age 17 with Wellington People in his country's National Premier League.

He has also played in Norway, Belgium, Vietman, Indonesia and, most recently, in Damascus, Syria with Al-Wahda.

He has played 36 times since 1996 for his country's national team and has captained the team four times.

FCD's Sala Out 4-6 Weeks After Undergoing Knee Surgery

Major League Soccer's FC Dallas announced Tuesday goalkeeper Dario Sala will miss the next four to six weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a torn medial meniscus in his right knee.

He suffered the injury while the team was holding preseason training in Florida, but had an initial MRI done on the knee and no tear was found, so he proceeded to travel with them to Brazil. Upon returning, he was still in pain, missed a few practices and wore a knee brace. A second MRI found the injury.

Saturday, he started and made three saves in the team's season-opening 3-1 loss to the Chicago Fire at Pizza Hut Park.

Last season, he had a career-high seven shutout victories and started a career-high-tyng 28 games.

Sala has 18 career shutout victories, second most in team history behind Matt Jordan with 30.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sounders Sign Forrest After Release By Rapids

Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders FC announced the signing Tuesday of forward Kevin Forrest as a Senior Developmental Roster player.

Drafted third overall by the Colorado Rapids in the 2008 MLS Supplemental Draft, he played nine games before being loaned to the Sounders, then of the United Soccer Leagues First Division, for the rest of the season.

Forrest was waived by the Rapids last week.

Freedom Name Washo New President And GM

The Washington Freedom of Women's Professional Soccer announced Tuesday Mark Washo has become the team's new president and general manager, replacing Joseph Quinn, who is leaving the organization.

Washo was acting president of the company he founded, MMW Marketing Sports & Entertainment, and previously worked for Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire as executive vice president. He was in charge of the Fire's ticket sales and marketing, customer services marketing and community relations departments.

Battery Charges Up With Bobo, Yoshitake

The Charleston Battery of the United Soccer Leagues First Division announced the signings Tuesday of defender Matt Bobo and midfielder Tsuyoshi Yoshitake.

Bobo spent the past three seasons with the defunct Atlanta Silverbacks, scoring two goals and two assists in 79 career games. He also won consecutive USL Premier Development League championships with the Chicago Sockers and was on the Milwaukee Wave United's 2002 championship team, as well as played for the USL Second Division's Richmond Kickers.

Bobo attended Eastern Illinois University and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Yoshitake played the last two seasons in Japan's J1 League for Tokyo Verdy 1969 after six seasons with Yokahama FC (2000-06), where he led them to promotion to the J1 in 2006. In 150 career J1 games, he had 15 goals and 10 assists.

Both players competed for the Battery as guest players during the recent Carolina Challenge Cup tournament, which, once again, the Battery failed to win.

Athletica Sign G Hope Solo To Deal

The St. Louis Athletica of Women's Professional Soccer announced the signing Monday of goalkeeper and US Women's National Team member Hope Solo to a contract.

Solo joins USWNT teammates Lori Chalupny and Angie Woznuk on the roster.

Solo played every minute of all six games at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where the USWNT won the gold medal.

She also was the starting goalkeeper for the USMNT at the Four Nations Cup, Algarve Cup and Peace Queen Cup tournaments, and was named Player of the Tournament during the 2009 Algarve Cup.

Thunder Sign Two Local Talents To Three-Year Deals

The Minnesota Thunder of the United Soccer Leagues First Division announced the signings Monday of local star forwards Geoffrey Myers and Dan O'Brien to three-year contracts.

Myers is the second player in state soccer history -- behind Thunder team president Manny Lagos -- to be named a two-time Minneapolis Star-Tribune Metro Player of the Year.

He led Armstrong High School with 70 goals and 27 assists in three seasons after the family moved to Minneapolis from the African nation of Liberia when he was 16.

Last season, he led the Minnesota TwinStars club team with 14 goals and five assists.

O'Brien, who did not play a single USL1 game in 2008, returns for his second season.

RailHawks Sign F Gavin Glinton

The Carolina RailHawks of the United Soccer Leagues First Division announced the signing Monday of forward Gavin Glinton.

Glinton spent the last two seasons in Major League Soccer for the San Jose Earthquakes.

Selected in the second round of the 2002 MLS SuperDraft by the Los Angeles Galaxy, he had two goals in 31 games his first season and led the team to an MLS Cup title.

The next season, he played for the Dallas Burn (now FC Dallas), then retired from the game during the 2004 season and became assistant coach at his alma mater, Bradley University.

He returned to the game as a player in 2006 with the USL1's Charleston Battery, leading the team in goals (11) and points (22) in 23 games and was named the team's Most Valuable Player.

Montero Gets Named First MLS POW Of Season

Forward Fredy Montero, who scored the first and third goals of the expansion Seattle Sounders FC's season in a 3-0 win over the New York Red Bulls Thursday night at Qwest Field in Seattle on the opening night of the 2009 Major League Soccer season, was named Monday the league's first Player of the Week for the season.

Montero's first goal, scored in the game's 12th minute, is also one of eight nominees for Sierra Mist Goal of the Week, voted by fans at www.mlsnet.com.

Montero also assisted on Brad Evans' goal in the victory.

Acquired by Seattle in January on loan from Colombia's Deportivo Cali, he spent the last two seasons leading the Copa Mustang league in goals -- 2007 with 13 for Atletico Huila and last season with 16 for Cali.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Chalupny Leads Athletica To Win Over Notre Dame

US Women's National Team member Lori Chalupny, a native of St. Louis, led her hometown Athletica of Women's Professional Soccer to a 3-1 victory over Notre Dame in preseason play Sunday at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.

Chalupny assisted on goals in the sixth minute by Kerri Hanks and the 24th minute by Angie Woznuk before scoring her own on a 58th minute penalty kick.

The Fighting Irish's lone goal came from Amanda Clark.

FC Gold Pride Beats Bay Area All-Stars

FC Gold Pride of Women's Professional Soccer defeated the Bay Area All-Stars, a group of women representing the universities of California, Santa Clara, San Francisco and Stanford, along with players from the Women's Premier Soccer League's California Storm, 3-0, Sunday at the University of San Francisco.

Stacy Alberico began the scoring with an unassisted goal in the 67th minute, followed by Christine Sinclair feeding a pass to Liz Bogus four minutes later and Kandace Wilson roundind out the scoring on a Marissa Abegg assist in the 86th minute.

FC Gold Pride will face the Boston Breakers in their WPS home opener April 5 at Santa Clara University's Buck Shaw Stadium.

Rockford's Beasley Tabbed Again As NISL POW

Forward Jamar Beasley of the Rockford Rampage was named National Indoor Soccer League Player of the Week for the second time both this season and this month Monday.

Beasley, who was the POW March 9, had a hat trick and an assist in the Rampage's 24-20 win over La Raza de Monterrey Sunday.

He is sixth in points on the Rampage with 22 on nine goals and four assists.

MLS Announces First Week Of Nominees For Goal Of The Week

Major League Soccer Monday announced the first nominees for Sierra Mist Goal of the Week, voted on by fans at www.mlsnet.com.

They are:

- Fredy Montero, Seattle Sounders
- Kenny Cooper, FC Dallas
- Davy Arnaud, Kansas City Wizards
- Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Columbus Crew
- Amado Guevara, Toronto FC
- Cuahtemoc Blanco, Chicago Fire
- Paulo Nagamura, Chivas USA
- Chris Pontius, DC United

Voting takes place through Wednesday with results announced Thursday. The winner automatically qualifies for consideration as the Sierra Mist Goal of the Year.

Honduran National Team Stuns Impact In Sunrise, FL

The men's national soccer team of Honduras, ranked 40th in the world by FIFA this month, defeated the Montreal Impact of the United Soccer Leagues First Division, 2-0, in an exhibition match Sunday in Sunrise, FL.

Honduras scored in the 47th and 62nd minutes to see the Impact's preseason record fall to 7-2-2.

The Impact next face Haiti's men's national team Thursday in Sunrise, FL.

Gonzaga's Golden Goal Lifts Ironmen Over Wave

Lucio Gonzaga, the leading scorer in the Xtreme Soccer League this season, had two goals, including the golden goal game-winner :27 into overtime, as the New Jersey Ironmen edged the Milwaukee Wave, 15-12, Sunday at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.

Tim O'Neill also had a pair of goals in the victory.

New Jersey hosts the league-leading Detroit Ignition Friday, then travels to the Wave's US Cellular Arena for a game this Sunday.

Ignition Regain Sole Possession Of XSL Lead

The Detroit Ignition regained sole possession of first place in the Xtreme Soccer League standings Sunday with an 11-4 victory over the Chicago Storm at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, IL.

Leo Gibson led Detroit with a three-point goal and Mike Apple, Zach Wilkes, Droo Callahan and Ryan Mack all added two-point shots for Detroit.

The Ignition travel to the New Jersey Ironmen Friday, then welcome the Storm to the Compuware Sports Arena in Plymouth, MI April 3.

Kixx End Wachovia Spectrum Run With Victory

Led by a one goal, five assist performance by Ricardinho, the Philadelphia Kixx played their final regular season home game of the National Indoor Soccer League at the Wachovia Spectrum Sunday with a 25-5 rout of the last-place Massachusetts Twisters.

Pat Morris had five points for the Kixx with a three-point and a two-point goal and Lee Tschantret and David Castellanos each added three-point goals in the victory.

Padro Navaro's three-point goal and a two-pointer by Franco Cartiera were all Massachusetts could score.

Philadelphia's fate for an NISL playoff spot now hinges on the league-leading Baltimore Blast beating La Raza de Monterrey this Sunday, the final day of the league's regular season. If Baltimore loses, the Kixx are out of the playoffs.

Donovan's Rally Too Late To Avoid Draw For Galaxy

Defending Major League Soccer Golden Boot Award winner Landon Donovan of the Los Angeles Galaxy made a triumphant return to his team Sunday after spending the offseason with Bayern Munich in Germany by scoring two goals in a five-minute span, but it was not enough to avoid opening the 2009 season at The Home Depot Center with a 1-1 draw against DC United.

The Galaxy have gone 0-3-2 in MLS season openers since last winning one -- a 3-2 decision to the New England Revolution in 2005.

United took the halftime lead at 1-0 in the 44th minute on a Christian Gomez penalty kick, then extended the advantage on a Chris Pontius goal, assisted by Rodney Wallace in the 62nd minute.

Donovan scored for Los Angeles on a 80th minute penalty kick and on a pass from Kyle Patterson in the 85th minute.

The Galaxy are the first MLS team to enjoy a week off this Saturday, but return April 4 to host the Colorado Rapids. United hosts the Chicago Fire at RFK Stadium this Saturday.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Real Salt Lake Ends Preseason By Beating USL1's Austin Aztex

Major League Soccer's Real Salt Lake ended their preseason schedule Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT with a 3-1 victory over the Austin Aztex of the United Soccer Leagues First Division.

Jamison Olave, who scored the first goal last season in the new facility, scored the first goal there for the 2009 season in the 37th minute for the eventual halftime lead.

Austin's Kieron Bernard tied the game at 1-1 in the 71st minute, but Yura Movsisyan would score his seventh goal in nine preseason games in the 82nd minute to break the tie, then watched as Javier Morales put the icing on the cake two minutes into second half stoppage time.

RSL finished the preseason with a 7-1-1 record and outscored their opponents by an aggregate score of 25-5.

They open their 2009 MLS season at Qwest Field in Seattle next Saturday against the expansion Seattle Sounders.

Blast Close Out Home Season With Rout Of Twisters

Guiliano Celenza had four goals and an assist as the National Indoor Soccer League's Baltimore Blast closed out their first home season at First Mariner Arena with a 20-9 rout of the last-place Massachusetts Twisters.

Jay Willis led the Twisters with two goals and an assist.

The Blast end the inaugural NISL season next Sunday at Arena Monterrey against La Raza de Monterrey while the Twisters close up shop at the Eastern States Coliseum next Saturday against the Rockford Rampage.

Dube Scores Game-Winner For Revs In Season Debut

Kheli Dube turned a pass from Jeff Larentowicz in the 55th minute into the lone score of the game as the New England Revolution shut out the San Jose Earthquakes, 1-0, Saturday in both teams' Major League Soccer 2009 season debuts at Buck Shaw Stadium at the University of Santa Clara.

Both teams play next Saturday -- the Revolution taking on the New York Red Bulls at Giants Stadium and the Earthquakes hosting the two-time MLS Cup champion Houston Dynamo.

Nagamura Scores Two Goals In Four Minutes As Chivas Outrides Rapids

Paulo Nagamura scored back-to-back goals in the 55th and 59th minutes to give Chivas USA a 2-1 season-opening Major League Soccer victory over the Colorado Rapids at The Home Depot Center Saturday.

Colorado took the lead into halftime on an unassisted Omar Cummings goal in the 30th minute.

The Rapids open their home season at Dick's Sporting Goods Park next Saturday against the Kansas City Wizards. Chivas hits the road next Sunday to face FC Dallas.

Guevara's Duo Leads Toronto Over Wizards

In an early bid to be Major League Soccer's first Player of the Week for the 2009 season, Amado Guevara scored unassisted goals in the 53rd and 62nd minutes to lead Toronto FC to a 3-2 victory Saturday over the Kansas City Wizards at CommunityAmerica Ballpark in Kansas City, MO.

Jim Brennan gave Toronto the early lead with an assist from Dwayne De Rosario.

In a losing cause, Davy Arnaud both of the Wizards' scores, assisted by Claudio Lopez in the 36th minute and Santiago Hirsig and Roger Espinosa in the 76th minute.

Next Saturday finds Toronto heading to Crew Stadium to take on the defending MLS Cup champion Columbus Crew while Kansas City heads to Dick's Sporting Goods Park to play the Colorado Rapids.

Fire Open Brimstone Cup Series With Win Over Hoops

After spotting FC Dallas a 1-0 lead nine minutes into the game, Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire got goals from Justin Mapp, Brian McBride and Cuauhtemoc Blanco to take a 3-1 victory in their season opener at Pizza Hut Park and the first game in the 2009 Brimstone Cup series.

Kenny Cooper scored Dallas' lone goal of the night on an unassisted play.

Mapp took a pass from Patrick Nyarko in the 38th minute to tie the contest at 1-1 heading into halftime. McBride scored on a 51st minute penalty kick and Blanco had a goal in the second minute of second half stoppage time.

Chicago heads to RFK Stadium next Saturday to face DC United while Dallas hosts Chivas USA next Sunday.

Crew Open Defense Of MLS Cup In Draw With Dynamo

In a matchup of the last three Major League Soccer championship teams, the defending champion Columbus Crew and the 2006 and 2007 champion Houston Dynamo played to a 1-1 draw Saturday to open their respective seasons at Robertson Stadium in Houston.

After a scoreless first half, Chris Wondolowski fed a pass to Brian Ching in the 53rd minute for the Dynamo to take the lead before reigning league Most Valuable Player Guillermo Barros Schelotto picked up where he left off last season, scoring the game-tying goal off a Jason Garey assist in the 81st minute.

The Crew open their home season next Saturday against Toronto FC while the Dynamo will travel to face the San Jose Earthquakes next Saturday.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Red Bulls Keep Zimmerman, Cut Palacio

Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls announced the signing of their 2008 third round MLS SuperDraft selection, midfielder Nick Zimmerman, to a contract and cut midfielder Michael Palacio.

Zimmerman was drafted out of George Mason University, where he was a two-time All-Colonial Athletic Association player and a National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Region III member. He led the team last season in goals (six) and assists (five) and scored 13 goals and 21 assists in 75 career games with the school.

Palacio, a 2008 second round Supplemental Draft pick, spent most of the season on the team's Season-Ending Injury List after suffering a knee injury April 20.

Suarez Rethinks Retirement, Returns To Chivas USA

Former retired Chivas USA defender Claudio Suarez became newly-re-signed Chivas USA defender Claudio Suarez as he signed a new Major League Soccer contract Friday.

He announced his retirement earlier this month, but said he had a change of heart. He will not be eligible to compete in the team's 2009 season opener at The Home Depot Center Saturday against the Colorado Rapids, but will be placed on the roster next week.

Also, the team placed defenders Bobby Burling and Lawson Vaughn on their Disabled List, meaning they must miss a minimum six MLS games before returning.

Earthquakes Sign McDonald To Deal

Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes signed midfielder Brandon McDonald to a developmental deal Friday.

McDonald, the 23rd overall pick in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft, played his rookie season with the Los Angeles Galaxy, where he had one goal and an assist in 1,036 minutes of play, starting 10 of 16 games.

Ignition, Wave Tied For Lead In XSL Homestretch

With four games left in the inaugural regular season of the Xtreme Soccer League, the Detroit Ignition and Milwaukee Wave are tied for the lead with 9-7 records after the Ignition edged them, 19-12, Friday at Compuware Sports Arena in Plymouth, MA.

The regular season champion will also become the league's first champion. If both teams end up tied at the end of the season, Detroit will become champion by virtue of taking the lead in the head-to-head tiebreaker, 4-3.

Miki Djerisilo, Ryan Mack and Kyt Selaidopoulos each had three-point goals for Detroit in the victory.

Marco Terminesi led the Wave with a hat trick and an assist.

Both games play again Sunday on the road -- Detroit at the Chicago Storm, Milwaukee at the New Jersey Ironmen.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Rampone, Kai Sign With Sky Blue FC

Sky Blue FC of Women's Professional Soccer announced the signings Friday of current US Women's National Team players Christine Rampone and Natasha Kai.

They join fellow USWNT members Heather O'Reilly and Kacey White on the team.

Rampone has played in 215 games for the USWNT and has been on three FIFA Women's World Cup and three Olympic teams, winning the first FIFA WWC title in 1999 and gold medals with the 2004 and 2008 Olympic teams.

Rampone played all three seasons of existence in the Women's United Soccer Association with the New York Power (2001-03). She graduated from Monmouth University, where she finished her career as their all-time leading scorer with 79 goals and 54 assists.

Kai has scored 24 goals in 67 USWNT games in her career and was the first player in Western Athletic Conference history to win three Player of the Year awards.

Rapids Finish Roster By Signing Palguta, Richardson

Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids completed their 24-man regular season roster for 2009 Friday by signing defender Scott Palguta and forward Gregory Richardson.

Palguta spent the last four seasons in the United Soccer Leagues First Division with the Rochester Rhinos, where he played for now-Rapids assistant coach Steve Guppy.

Colorado regained the rights to Richardson in a February 27 trade with Toronto FC.

Canadian PDL Teams To Face Off In Inaugural Tournament

The defending United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League champion Thunder Bay Chill, long with fellow Canadian PDL franchises Ottawa Fury and Toronto Lynx, and expansion team Forest City London, announced Friday they will compete in the inaugural Victoria Challenge Cup tournament.

Most of the games in the round-robin event will be held May 15-17 at the Algonquin College Soccer Complex in Ottawa, but FC London and Toronto will not formally play each other until June 3 in Toronto, with the games counting as a tournament affair.

The Chill will open the tournament May 15 against the Fury.

Thunder Bay won the Heartland Division last season with a 13-2-1 record, won the Central Conference championship, and defeated the Laredo Heat to become the first Canadian USL PDL champion.

On May 16, FC London will take on the Chill and the Lynx face the Fury.

On May 17, London will meet Ottawa and Thunder Bay gets Toronto.

USMNT Names Roster For Next Two World Cup Qualifiers

US Soccer announced the 22-man roster Friday for the US Men's National Team's next two FIFA World Cup qualifying games against El Salvador March 28 and versus Trinidad & Tobago April 1 in Nashville.

The team includes all 11 starters from February 11's 2-0 win over Mexico to open the final round of qualifying in the CONCACAF region for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Here are the players named, listed by position and current team:

GOALKEEPERS
Brad Guzan - Aston Villa
Tim Howard - Everton
Marcus Hahnemann - Reading

DEFENDERS
Carlos Bocanegra - Rennes
Danny Califf - Midtjylland
Jay DeMerit - Watford
Frankie Hedjuk - Columbus Crew (MLS)
Oguchi Onyewu - Standard Liege
Heath Pierce - Hansa Rostock
Jonathan Spector - West Ham

MIDFIELDERS
Freddy Adu - AS Monaco
DaMarcus Beasley - Glasgow Rangers
Michael Bradley - Borussia Moenchengladbach
Maurice Edu - Glasgow Rangers
Sacha Kljestan - Chivas USA (MLS)
Pablo Mastroeni - Colorado Rapids (MLS)
Jose Francisco - Pachuca

FORWARDS
Jozy Altidore - Xerex
Brian Ching - Houston Dynamo (MLS)
Clint Dempsey - Fulham
Landon Donovan - Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)
Eddie Johnson - Cardiff City

Howard will not be able to play in the El Salvador match after accumulating too many yellow cards, but Mastreoni can come back after being suspended from the Mexico game for the same offense. Howard can play against Trinidad & Tobago.

DeMerit and Spector are back on the roster after recovering from injuries.

Johnson returns to the roster for his first game since September 2008, when they last played Trinidad.

Brilla Re-Signs D Jacob Lawrence

Mississippi Brilla FC of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League Friday announced the re-signing of defender Jacob Lawrence to a third season in 2009.

Lawrence was the Most Valuable Player on Bowling Green State University's 2008 men's team, finishing second on the team in goals and points scored.

He is a three-time Mid-American Conference All-Tournament Team member, won the MAC's Student Athlete of the Week award and was named to ESPN:The Magazine's Academic All-District First Team and the MAC's Academic All-Conference Team.

Flash Sign Ex-Pali Blues M Rosie Tantillo

The expansion Buffalo Flash of the United Soccer Leagues W-League announced the signing of their first player Friday -- midfielder Rosie Tantillo, who played for the defending league champion Pali Blues last season.

Tantillo has played on the US Women's National U-21 and U-23 teams and was a four-year starter at the University of Southern California.

At the Trojans, she was named Pac-10 Conference Freshman of the Year in 2003 was earned three straight spots on the All Pac-10 Team.

Kickers Re-Sign Jones, Nti; Announce Preseason Schedule

The Richmond Kickers of the United Soccer Leagues Second Division announced Friday they have re-signed defender Kelvin Jones for a fourth season and are bringing back midfielder Kofi Nti.

Jones led the Kickers to back-to-back USL2 regular season championships in 2006 and 2007 and the league championship title in 2006. He started all 19 games for them last season and contributed to the team's eight shutouts in 2008. He began his professional career by spending the 2004 and 2005 seasons with the USL First Division's Charleston Battery.

Nti returns to the Kickers senior squad after a two-year hiatus. He spent the 2008 season with the Kickers Future franchise in the USL Premier Development League.

The team also announced they will play five preseason games, but none will be open to the public.

Their schedule of games begins Sunday when they host Longwood University at Sports Backers Stadium in Richmond, followed by William & Mary (March 25) and Virginia Commonwealth University (March 29). Their lone road game will be April 7 at the University of Richmond, then they close out the schedule April 10 by hosting the University of Virginia.

Portland Timbers To Join MLS In 2011

Major League Soccer confirmed Friday the Portland Timbers of the United Soccer Leagues First Division will become an expansion team in the league in 2011, joining the defending USL1 champion Vancouver Whitecaps, who was named the league's 17th team days earlier.

The Timbers are owned by Merritt Paulson, owner and president of Shortstop, LLC, who is also the parent company of the minor league baseball team the Portland Beavers of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League. Paulson is the son of former US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

The Timbers, whose storied history goes back to the days of the North American Soccer League, will play games at PGE Park, which will become a renovated, soccer-specific stadium. A new stadium will be built for the Beavers.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber says no more teams will be joining the league for the 2011 season, but the race is now on to fill two slots for the 2012 season.

Red Bulls Sign D Carlos Johnson

Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls Thursday signed defender Carlos Johnson to a contract, hours before the team opened the 2009 MLS season in a 3-0 loss at Qwest Field in Seattle to the expansion Seattle Sounders.

Johnson previously played for Bryne FK in Norway's Second Division.

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Trujillo Signs With Chivas, Makes Devut Saturday

Veteran Mexican First Division midfielder Mariano Trujillo signed with Major League Soccer's Chivas USA Thursday after training with them since late February.

He will debut with Chivas in their season opener Saturday at The Home Depot Center against the Colorado Rapids.

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Earthquakes Welcome Elliott Back To MLS

After spending 2 1/2 years with Fulham FC in the English Premiership, Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes announced the signing of midfielder Simon Elliott Thursday.

Before leaving the States and MLS, Elliott played a total of 181 games over seven years with the Columbus Crew and Los Angeles Galaxy, scoring 11 goals and having 54 assists.

Montero Makes Impact As Sounders Earn Debut MLS Win

Colombian superstar Fredy Montero, acquired on loan this season from Deportivo Cali, scored the first and third goal in the history of the Seattle Sounders as a Major League Soccer expansion franchise Thursday and assisted on the team's second goal by Brad Evans in a 3-0 victory at Qwest Field in Seattle over the New York Red Bulls.

Seattle became the first MLS expansion team since the Chicago Fire in 1998 to win their inaugural game as a franchise.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

RSL Announces Deals With JetBlue, Burger King, KUTV-TV

Major League Soccer's Real Salt Lake announced Wednesday new sponsorship agreements with JetBlue Airways and Burger King and a broadcast deal with KUTV-TV, according to Thursday's Salt Lake Tribune.

JetBlue becomes the official airline of the team and their new home field, Rio Tinto Stadium, in Salt Lake City. Burger King becomes a "Royal Sponsor" and is the team's and the field's official fast food restaurant.

KUTV will air 24 RSL games this fall, most on their new 2.2 digital channel debuting in April. In addition to six games being broadcast on Fox Soccer Channel or ESPN2, all 30 of the team's games will be televised this season.

Fire Signs Ward, Dimitrov

Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire announced the signings Wednesday of defender Tim Ward and forward Stefan Dimitrov and both are now eligible to play in the team's season opener Saturday against FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX.

Ward was picked in the first round of the 2005 MLS SuperDraft by the MetroStars after playing one season at St. Louis University in 2004.

He was then traded to the Columbus Crew, where he played two seasons, before being traded to the Colorado Rapids last season.

Dimitrov played three seasons at Concordia College, where he scored the most goals in the 2008 NCAA Division II regular season with 23 in 17 games and also had an assist. He scored at least one goal in 13 of those games and had seven multi-goal games.

Crew Get Brunner In Trade, Then Sign Him

The defending Major League Soccer champion Columbus Crew announced Wednesday they signed defender Eric Brunner to a deal after acquiring his rights in a trade with the New York Red Bulls in return for a 2011 conditional MLS SuperDraft pick.

Brunner was selected 16th overall by the Bulls in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft, but left the team in May to join Miami FC Blues of the United Soccer Leagues First Division, where he played in a combined 11 games, including four Lamar Hunt US Open Cup games.

He has yet to make his MLS debut.

Red Stars Announce Preseason Games With ND, Illinois

The Chicago Red Stars of Women's Professional Soccer announced Wednesday they will close their inaugural exhibition season with games March 28 against the University of Notre Dame women's team and the University of Illinois' women's team March 31.

The Red Stars open their WPS season with two road games -- April 4 at St. Louis Athletica and April 11 at the Washington Freedom -- before playing their home opener April 19 against Sky Blue FC.

Breakers, Red Stars Draw In Rain-Soaked Game

Under rainy skies and played under three 45-minute periods, the Boston Breakers and the Chicago Red Stars played to a 1-1 draw Wednesday in Women's Professional Soccer preseason play in Lauderhill, FL.

Both goals came in the first period -- by Karen Carney for Chicago in the 17th minute and Kristine Lilly of Boston in the 36th minute.

Boston will take on the University of Florida women's soccer team Saturday.

Fox Soccer Channel Announces WPS Announcing Team

Fox Soccer Channel, who will be begin exclusive live weekly telecasts of Women's Professional Soccer games March 29 when the Los Angeles Sol host the Washington Freedom at The Home Depot Center, announced Wednesday Mark Rogondino and Jenn Hildreth will be the channel's on-air talent for the broadcasts.

Rogondinho has been with Fox Soccer Channel (formerly Fox Sports World) since 2002 and has been with Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy broadcast team since 2004, beginning as sideline reporter and moving into the booth in the 2006 season. He also played collegiately at San Diego State University.

Hildreth is new to FSC, but has worked for many cable sports outlets and is an Emmy Award-winning features reporter, host, sideline reporter, anchor, color analyst and play-by-play announcer. During her current stint at Fox Sports South, she is the top color commentator for Southeastern Conference women's college soccer and has been a part of their college football and basketball preview shows since 2005. A three-sport star at Emory University in soccer, track and field, and basketball, she was color analyst for coverage of the Women's United Soccer Association's Atlanta Beat in the league's final season in 2003 for Comcast Sports.

Three-Time Monmouth Captain Heller Joins Wildcats

The United Soccer Leagues W-League's New Jersey Wildcats announced the signing Wednesday of three-time Monmouth University captain Brittani Heller to a contract.

After scoring a pair of goals in her rookie season of 2006, she was named Northeast Conference Defensive Player of the Year and to the All-NEC First Team and All-Tournament Team after a three-goal, two-assist regular season in 2007.

Last season, she had three goals and an assist and was named to the NEC All-Conference Team. She led Monmouth to their first conference championship season in 11 years.

Austin Aztex Sign D Adams To Two-Year Deal

The Austin Aztex of the United Soccer Leagues First Division announced the signing Wednesday of defender Lyle Adams to a two-year deal.

Adams started 91 of 95 career games the past four seasons at Wake Forest and led them to the 2007 NCAA College Cup championship.

He was drafted 26th overall in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft by DC United, but chose to sign with Austin, where he will be reunited on the team with two former foes from his Atlantic Coast Conference playing days -- A.J. Godbolt of Maryland and Zach Pope of Duke.

Battery Sign Three To Deals After Challenge Cup Play

The Charleston Battery of the United Soccer Leagues First Division announced the signings Wednesday of defender O'Brian Woodbine and midfielders Kenji Treschuk and Tyler Hemming.

All three recently played for the Battery in the sixth annual Carolina Challenge Cup, hosted by Charleston at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, SC.

Woodbine played last season for Reno FC in the Jamaican Premier League and is on his country's national team.

Treschuk joins the Battery after two seasons with the now-Major League Soccer Seattle Sounders. In 53 career games with the former USL1 team, the Penn State graduate scored three goals and was on the team's 2007 championship roster.

Hemming spent his last two seasons in MLS with Toronto FC and is a former member of Canada's U-20 Men's National Team. He was a four-year starter at Hartwick College and was a two-time Atlantic Soccer Conference Player of the Year.

Whitecaps To Join MLS In 2011; Timbers, Too, On Friday?

Two more United Soccer Leagues First Division teams will be heading to Major League Soccer for the 2011 season, according to reports Wednesday.

As expected, MLS officially welcomed the defending USL1 champion Vancouver Whitecaps as the league's 17th team. The team will play in the 2009 and 2010 USL1 seasons at Swangard Stadium before heading to a revamped, 20,000-seat, soccer-specific BC Place Stadium for their debut MLS campaign.

Meanwhile, while MLS won't officially confirm anything (other than they have rented hotel rooms in this city for Friday), according to Thursday's edition of the Portland Oregonian, the league will also name the Portland Timbers as a 2011 expansion team and MLS' 18th team.

The Timbers will play home games at a renovated PGE Park and will also stay in USL1 for the 2009 and '10 seasons.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Islanders Take 2-0 Lead In CCL Semifnal Over Cruz Azul

Nicholas Addlery and Sandy Gbandi scored goals as the Puerto Rico Islanders of the United Soccer Leagues First Division defeated five-time CONCACAF champion Cruz Azul of Mexico, 2-0, Tuesday in game one of their CONCACAF Champions League semifinal series at Bayamon, Puerto Rico.

The Islanders are the lone non-Mexican team left in the tournament.

Game two of the series will take place April 7 at Estadio Azul in Mexico City with the winner meeting the winner of the other semifinal between Mexico's Atalante and Santos Laguna for the championship.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

CBC: Vancouver Whitecaps To Go MLS In 2011

The Vancouver Whitecaps, currently defending champions of the United Soccer Leagues First Division, will be named Thursday a Major League Soccer expansion franchise for the 2011 season, according to CBC.

MLS is set to announce two cities for the honor that day, with Ottawa, Portland, OR and St. Louis also in the running.

Red Bulls Sign Goalkeeper Alec Duffy

Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls announced the signing Tuesday of goalkeeper Alec Duffy, who went undrafted in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft.

Duffy played two seasons at Applachian State University, then transferred to the University of Evansville for the 2007 and 2008 seasons.

In 2008, Duffy went 8-6-2 in 16 games, had six shutouts, and a 1.45 goals against average.

In 2007, he was the team's Most Valuable Defensive Player with 74 saves and three shutouts en route to a 10-win season.

Revolution Sign Duke D Darrius Barnes

Major League Soccer's New England Revolution announced the signing Tuesday of former Duke defender Darrius Barnes.

The team's third-round pick in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, he had one goal and nine assists in 77 career games, starting 70 of them.

He was named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference Second Team in 2008.

Red Stars Sign USWNT M's Lloyd, Tarplay

The Chicago Red Stars of Women's Professional Soccer announced Tuesday the signings of current US Women's National Team midfielders Carli Lloyd and Lindsay Tarplay.

Lloyd is the reigning US Soccer Female Player of the Year and scored the game-winning goal in the gold medal game against Brazil in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She also was the top scorer with four goals and was named the Most Valuable Player at the 2007 Algarve Cup tournament in Portugal.

Tarplay has 112 career appearances for the USWNT and played in all 34 games on the 2008 domestic schedule as well as all 12 games of the 2004 and 2008 Olympic games. Last year, she was third on the team in scoring with 12 goals and 29 points.

WPS Board Of Governors Approve Philly Franchise For 2010

The Board of Governors for Women's Professional Soccer Tuesday officially approved the city of Philadelphia receiving a 2010 expansion franchise.

The ownership group, Philadelphia Women's Pro Soccer, Inc., will be led by David Halstead and Matthew Driver.

The group will announce the team's name, logo and colors at an April press conference.

WPSL's Rain To Play Argentina's WNT July 16

The Portland Rain, an expansion franchise in the Women's Premier Soccer League, announced Tuesday they will host Argentina's Women's National Team July 16 at Hillsboro Stadium in Portland, OR.

Real Maryland Monarchs To Play CD Aguila April 11

The Real Maryland Monarchs of the United Soccer Leagues Second Division announced Tuesday they will host Club Deportivo Aguila in an international friendly April 11 at Lester Stadium on the campus of Montgomery High School.

In 2007, the Monarchs lost, 2-0, to Luis Angel Firpo in an exhibition game.

Gonzalez Retires From Thunder; Gibson Transferred To CCS

The Minnesota Thunder of the United Soccer Leagues First Division announced Tuesday Luchi Gonzalez has retired from professional soccer and will now teach algebra and coach the boys' varsity soccer team at Christopher Columbus High School in Miami, FL.

Gonzalez had two goals and five assists in 29 games last season.

The team also announced forward Leo Gibson has been transferred to the Cleveland City Stars for an unknown fee. He had nine goals and five assists in 48 games played over three seasons for the Thunder.

City Stars Sign Ex-Crew F Pierre-Louis

The Cleveland City Stars of the United Soccer Leagues First Division announced the signing Tuesday of forward Ricardo Pierre-Louis, who played last season for the defending Major League Soccer Columbus Crew.

Drafted 22nd overall by Columbus in the 2008 SuperDraft, he replaced midfielder Adam Moffat on the roster when he got injured in June.

Pierre-Louis, a member of the Haitian National Team, had 101 goals and 33 assists in 63 career games at Lee University, a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics school in Tennessee.

He was a three-time Southern States Athletic Conference pick, a three-time Athlete of the Year at the school, and the 2007 NAIA Player of the Year.

He was also the only player from an NAIA school invited to the 2008 MLS Player Combine.

Garber Suspends Houston's Kamara Two Games, Fined $500

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber announced Monday he has suspended Houston Dynamo defender Kei Kamara for the first two games of the season and fined him $500 after being involved in an incident with a league officiating crew at a February 15 preseason game against the San Jose Earthquakes.

Kamara will miss Sunday's season opener against the defending MLS champion Columbus Crew and next Saturday's game against the Earthquakes.

Sounders Sign Levesque, Scott; Ljungberg To Miss Season Opener

Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders FC announced the signings of forward Roger Levesque and defender Zack Scott.

Also, Freddie Ljungberg, who is recovering from hip surgery, told the Seattle Times Tuesday he will not play in the team's inaugural game Thursday at Qwest Field against the New York Red Bulls, but should be able to compete next Saturday when they host the defending MLS champion Columbus Crew.

Levesque was drafted 23rd overall in the 2003 MLS SuperDraft by the San Jose Earthquakes, where he played three games before being loaned to the Sounders, then of the United Soccer Leagues First Division.

He scored eight goals for Seattle in 2004 and 10 in the first USL1 championship season in 2005. Two seasons later, he won a second USL1 title and was named to the All-USL1 Second Team.

Levesque is fifth in team history in goals with 27 and seventh all-time in assists (16) and games played (130).

Scott was also a member of Seattle's two championship teams during his seven years there.

He is sixth all-time in league appearances at 139 and fifth overall in minutes played at 11,171.

Earthquakes Sign Zaher To Developmental Deal

Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes announced the signing Monday of defender Mike Zaher to a developmental deal.

Zaher played his rookie season in MLS with DC United, where he played in three senior games and eight games in all competitions. He also started nine of 10 games on the team's Reserve Division squad.

Zaher, who played at UCLA, was the 30th overall pick in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft by Toronto FC, who later traded him to United in return for a first round Supplemental Draft selection.

USWNT To Play Japan In Two-Game Series In May

The world's top ranked women's soccer team, the US Women's National Team, will host Japan to open their 2009 domestic schedule, according to US Soccer Monday.

They will face each other for the first time since the semifinals of the Beijing Olympics, where they won, 4-2, May 20 at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX, then May 23 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake City, UT.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Wave Take XSL Lead In Victory Over Ignition

Marco Terminesi became the Milwaukee Wave's leading scorer in the Xtreme Soccer League season with a two-point and a three-point goal in a 13-2 rout of the Detroit Ignition Sunday at US Cellular Arena.

Pernambuco added a pair of two-pointers for the Wave, who now lead Detroit by a full game in the standings. Jonathan Santos and Dino Delevski also scored for Milwaukee, who face Detroit again Friday at Compuware Sports Arena.

Zach Wilkes scored Detroit's only goal.

Ironmen Defeat Storm At Prudential Center

Tim O'Neill's game-winning goal gave the New Jersey Ironmen a 9-8 victory over the Chicago Storm Sunday at the Prudential Center in Trenton, NJ in Xtreme Soccer League play.

The victory put the Ironmen two games behind the league-leading Milwaukee Wave, who they face Sunday, in the XSL standings.

Chile Farias had a three-point goal for New Jersey and Evan McNeley and Aduato Neto scored as well for New Jersey.

Chris Brisson had two two-point goals for the Storm with Lazo Alavanja and Dan Antoniuk scoring goals for Chicago.

Pali Blues Sign UNC F Nikki Washington

The defending United Soccer Leagues W-League champion Pali Blues announced the signing of current University of North Carolina forward Nikki Washington, who has led the Tar Heels to two NCAA College Cup titles in three years.

In her just completed junior season, Washington had five goals and three assists for 19 points and was named to the SoccerBuzz All-American Third Team.

She began her Tar Heel career with three goals and nine assists in 2006, making herself a finalist for the SoccerBuzz National Freshman of the Year award and saw her be named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference Second Team and the All-Freshman Team and Top Drawer Soccer's Rookie National Team.

In 2007, she was named the Most Valuable Player of the ACC Tournament and to the SoccerBuzz All-Southeast Region Second Team. She had seven goals and seven assists that season for 21 points.

A member of the US Women's National Team's U-16, U-17 and U-20 squads, she has also been a three-time National Soccer Coaches Association of America Youth All-American from 2003 to 2005 with the Dallas Texans club team and has led them to three straight Premier League titles, the 2003 State Cup, the 2003 and 2004 Lake Highlands Classic titles, the 2005 U-18 Disney Showcase and the 2004 and 2006 Olympic Development Program's National Championships.

Charlotte Eagles Open Training Camp, Announce Preseason Dates

The Charlotte Eagles opened their 2009 United Soccer Leagues Second Division season training camp Monday and announced a five-game preseason schedule.

The Eagles begin March 27 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC against the Cleveland City Stars, who won the 2008 USL2 championship, but are now in USL First Division.

The Charleston Battery welcome Charlotte to Blackbaud Stadium March 31, followed by games against Liberty University (April 4 in Charlotte), Davidson College (April 7 in Davidson, NC) and University of North Carolina-Charlotte (April 17 at Charlotte).

Aztex Stun MLS Defending Champion Crew

Eddie Johnson scored in the 25th minute off a Yordany Alvarez assist as the United Soccer Leagues First Division's Austin Aztex shut out the defending Major League Soccer champion Columbus Crew, 1-0, Saturday in Austin, TX.

Austin next heads to Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake City, UT Saturday to face MLS' Real Salt Lake.

Stockton Cougars Are PASL-Pro Champions

Aaron Susi had a hat trick to lead the Stockton Cougars to a 13-5 victory over 1790 Cincinnati Sunday to win the inaugural Professional Arena Soccer League championship at Stockton Arena.

It is the Cougars' first title in their four years of existence, going back to the Major Indoor Soccer League as the California Cougars.

La Raza's Alvarez Named NISL POW

Byron Alvarez, who had eight points on a hat trick (one three-point goal and two two-pointers) and an assist in La Raza de Monterrey's 35-4 annihilation of the Massachusetts Twisters Sunday at Arena Monterrey, was named Monday the National Indoor Soccer League Player of the Week.

Alvarez is now the leading scorer in the league with 52 points.

Volkswagen Renews Partnership Deal With MLS

Volkswagen Monday announced they have signed a multi-year deal to retain the company's status as the Official Automotive Sponsor of Major League Soccer.

Volkswagen began their sponsorship last season.

The car company will also renew their presenting sponsorship of MLS' DC United.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Salt Lake Tribune: USWNT To Face Japan May 23 At Rio Tinto Stadium

The US Women's National Team announced Saturday they will make the first trip to the state of Utah in six years when they face Japan's women's national team in an exhibition game May 23 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake City, UT, the Salt Lake Tribune reported Sunday.

The USWNT last played in the state in 2003 against Ireland.

Rio Tinto Stadium is the new home of Major League Soccer's Real Salt Lake and will serve as a home pitch for some US Men's National Team games this season.

Fire-Galaxy Play To Draw At PHX Soccer Clasico

Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire and Los Angeles Galaxy played to a 1-1 draw Saturday at the inaugural PHX Soccer Clasico at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, AZ.

Josh Tudela scored for the Galaxy in the fourth minute and Mario Pappa responded for the Fire in the 30th minute.

The Fire travel to Pizza Hut Park to face FC Dallas in their 2009 MLS season opener Saturday.

Los Angeles Sol Shut Out Gold Pride In Preseason Debut

Katie Larkin scored in the 35th minute and Aya Miyama did so in the 90th as the Los Angeles Sol defeated the FC Gold Pride, 2-0, Saturday in a Women's Professional Soccer preseason game at The Home Depot Center.

Both teams meet again Tuesday morning.

WPSL's Fury Signs Five To Deals

The Long Island Fury of the Women's Premier Soccer League announced the signings Saturday of five players -- Vicki DiMartino, Karin Simonian, Kristi Abbate, Samantha Falk and Deanna Murro.

DiMartino became the first woman to score a goal in five straight FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup games and earned the Silver Ball as the second-highest scorer in the tournament with six goals. She played at Massapequa High School and is on the Long Island Junior Soccer League's Albertson Fury '90, currently the fourth-best club team in the nation.

A new member of the US U-20 Women's National Team player pool, she will suit up for Boston College this fall.

Simonian plays for W.T. Clarke High School, the US U-15 Womens National Team and the Albertson Fury Premier '92 in the LIJSL. She was named two weeks ago to the US U-17 Women's National Team player pool.

Abbate, an honors student at Northport High School, plays for the LJISL's Fury '93, the Eastern New York Olympic Development, the Region I and the US U-15 National teams.

Falk is a graduate of Jericho High School and will attend the University of Miami this fall.

Murino, a graduate of Connetquot High School, plays for the Fury '92, Eastern NY ODP and Region I teams.

1790 Cincinnati, Stockton To Meet For Inaugural PASL Pro Championship

1790 Cincinnati and the Stockton Cougars will meet Sunday at Stockton Arena for the first Professional Arena Soccer League championship after winning semifinal matches Saturday.

Cincinnati, the top seed in the tournament, got two goals each from player-head coach Criag Rhodis, Garrett Buck and brothers Jack and Jimmy Cummings, and a goal from Jeff Hughes to defeat Tigres Dorados MRCI Oaxaca of Mexico, 10-6, in the first semifinal.

Miguel Coos, Alberto Espinosa and Julio Juarez scored for the Tigres in the loss.

In the second game, player-head coach Bernie Lilavois had a goal and three assists to lead the tournament host Cougars to a 10-9 overtime victory against the Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League champion Edmonton Drillers.

Antonio Sutton, Aaron Susi and Ato Leone scored two goals each and Brian Faber had a goal and two assists for the Cougars.

Phil Pavicic had a hat trick for the Drillers and Sinisa Matic assisted on four goals.

Cincinnati and Stockton met once in the regular season with 1790 winning, 8-7, in overtime at the Game Time Training Center in Kentucky.

Earthquakes End Preseason By Beating Galaxy

Rookie Quincy Amarkiwa scored the lone goal of the game in the 78th minute and Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes ended their preseason schedule Saturday at Buck Shaw Stadium on the University of Santa Clara campus with a 1-0 win over the Portland Timbers of the United Soccer Leagues First Division's Portland Timbers.

The Earthquakes host the New England Revolution in their 2009 MLS season opener Saturday.

Lopez Leads Wizards To 4-0 Win Over USL1's Thunder

Claudio Lopez had two goals and assisted on a Jack Jewsbury goal as Major League Soccer's Kansas City Wizards ended their preseason schedule Saturday with a 4-0 shutout of the Minnesota Thunder of the United Soccer Leagues First Division.

Roger Espinoza also scored for Kansas City, who ends the preseason with a 5-0-4 record and scored 32 goals, giving up 11.

The Wizards open their MLS schedule at home Saturday against Toronto FC.

RailHawks Win In Rennie's Debut At Home

In the first game for new Carolina RailHawks head coach Martin Rennie, who joins the club from the Cleveland City Stars, who have promoted themselves from the United Soccer Leagues Second Division to their First Division, former City Stars captain Mark Schulte scored the lone goal in a 1-0 win over Major League Soccer's New England Revolution at the inaugural Community Shield match at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC Saturday.

The RailHawks next face CD Olimpia of Honduras in Cary March 27.

Kai Gives Sky Blue FC First Preseason Win Over Freedom

Natasha Kai scored the game-winning goal in the 86th minute on a pass from fellow US Women's National Team member Heather O'Reilly to give Sky Blue FC a 1-0 victory over the Washington Freedom in a Women's Professional Soccer preseason game Saturday at Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, MD.

Sky Blue next faces the University of North Carolina women's team Friday at Greensboro, NC.

Kixx Upset Blast, Still In Playoff Hunt

Pat Morris had a three-point goal and Angel Rivillo, Joe Di Buono, John Barry Nusum and Jeremy Ortiz scored two-point goals as the Philadelphia Kixx stunned the league-leading Baltimore Blast, 11-6, Saturday in National Indoor Soccer League play at Wachovia Spectrum.

Billy Nelson, Carlos Garcia and Guiliano Celenza scored goals for the Blast.

Philadelphia's win keeps them in the NISL playoff hunt with five games on the schedule after Sunday's play.

The Kixx will earn a playoff spot if they beat the last-place Massachusetts Twisters next Saturday in Philly's final regular season home game at the Wachovia Spectrum before it is torn down and if La Raza de Monterrey beats the Rockford Rampage next Sunday.

If the Rampage win, the Kixx still get in if the Blast beats La Raza in Monterrey on the last day of the regular season next Sunday.

If the Kixx lose to the Twisters, though, all bets are off.

RSL Wins Carolina Challenge Cup, United Takes Third, Battery Drained

Major League Soccer finished first, second and third in the sixth annual Carolina Challenge Cup tournament Saturday at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, SC, hosted by the Charleston Battery of the United Soccer Leagues First Division, who have yet to win the event they created.

Yura Movsisyan and Clint Mathis led Real Salt Lake to the CCC championship with a 2-1 victory over Toronto FC in the championship game to finish the round-robin competition with a 3-0 record.

Dwayne DeRosario scored the lone Toronto goal.

In the nightcap, a rematch of the 2008 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup championship game, DC United shut out the Battery, 2-0, to claim the Coffee Pot Cup on goals from Luciano Emilio and Andrew Jacobsen.

FCD Wins Game, But CAP Wins USA-Brazil Challenge

It only took Jeff Cunningham 52 seconds to score the lone goal in game 2 of the 2009 USA-Brazil Challenge between Major League Soccer's FC Dallas and their Brazilian affiliate, Clube Atletico Paranaense, for a 1-0 victory Saturday at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX.

It did, however, take the rest of the game and a 5-4 penalty kick shootout by CAP to lose the two-game series.

Cunningham's goal forced the shootout to settle things after the aggregate score became 4-4 and CAP made all their penalty kicks, while Dallas missed one.

Dallas opens their 2009 MLS season Saturday at home against the Chicago Fire.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Canadian, Mexican Teams Advance In Inaugural PASL Pro Championship Tournament

Joseph Costouros scored the golden goal to lead the Edmonton Drillers to an 8-7 overtime victory over La Cabana De Tijuana in the first game of the inaugural Professional Arena Soccer League Championship Tournament Friday at Stockton Arena.

The Drillers, the champion of the affiliated Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League, advance to face the host Stockton Cougars in one of Saturday's semifinal games.

Eduardo Velez led Tijuana, winners of the LMFR Baja Division, in the loss.

In the second game, another LMFR champion, Tigers Dorados MRCI Oaxaca of the Central Division, edged the Denver Dynamite, who earned a wild card berth, 10-9, and will face the top-seeded 1790 Cincinnati Saturday.

PASL teams from the US and Canada played against each other during the season, but not against Mexican teams.

Rapids Chunk Schunck, Boot Keel Out

Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids Friday announced forward Ross Schunk, the team's fourth round pick in the 2009 SuperDraft, signed a contract for the season.

The team also released defender Stephen Keel, who led the Rapids to back-to-back MLS Reserve Division championships in 2006 and 2007. The division has since been abolished.

In four seasons with Colorado, Keel started seven of 10 games and had career-high numbers last season in games played and started (six out of six) and minutes played (540).

Breakers Sign Four Players As Roster Limit Nears

The Boston Breakers of Women's Professional Soccer, forced to finalize a 24-player roster for the 2009 season by Monday, announced the signings Friday of defenders Nancy Augustyniak-Goffi, Amy LePeilbet and Sue Weber and goalkeeper Kristin Luckenbill.

All four players have been in the team's training camp.

No "Bogus" Win For FC Gold Pride Over Cal Bears

Liz Bogus scored two goals and Tiffeny Millbrett had a goal and three assists as FC Gold Pride of Women's Professional Soccer opened their inaugural preseason Thursday with a 6-1 win over the University of California Golden Bears at Danville, CA.

Carrie Dew, Brandi Chastain and Eriko Anderson added goals for the Pride, who scored all their points in the first half.

Cal's Alex Morgan prevented a shutout with her score.

PASL Pro Announces Inaugural Postseason Awards

The Professional Arena Soccer League, in the midst of the league's first Championship Weekend going on in Stockton, CA Friday through Sunday, announced the members of the PASL's First and Second Teams, the league's Most Valuable Player and the Coach of the Year Friday.

Two members each from 1790 Cincinnati and the Stockton Cougars are named to the First and Second Teams, with the St. Louis Illusion having two players on the First Team.

The Wenatchee Fire and Calgary United are the other PASL teams represented on the teams.

Midfielder Brian Farber, a member of the PASL First Team with the Cougars, was also named the league's Most Valuable Player after scoring 35 points with 39 goals this season.

Craig Rhodis of 1790 Cincinnati was named Coach of the Year.

Here are the members of the league's First and Second Teams:

PASL Pro First Team
D - Justin McMillian, St. Louis Illusion
D - Garrett Buck, 1790 Cincinnati
M - Brian Farber, Stockton Cougars
F - Aaron Susi, Stockton Cougars
F - Elvir Kafedzic, St. Louis Illusion
G - Craig Salvati, 1790 Cincinnati

PASL-Pro Second Team
D - Jeff Hughes, 1790 Cincinnati
D - Pedro Lupercio, Stockton Cougars
M - Majell Aterado, Stockton Cougars
M - Shawn Rockey, 1790 Cincinnati
F - Junior Garcia, Wenatchee Fire
G - Bryan Klaus, Calgary United

Defending Champ Crew Sign Grinaldi To Developmental Deal

The defending Major League Soccer champion Columbus Crew signed midfielder Alex Grinaldi to a developmental contract Friday after performing well so far in preseason play.

Grinaldi, a two-time Offensive Most Valuable Player at Penn, has scored two assists in six of eight preseason contests.

At Penn, Grinaldi had eight goals and 20 assists in 65 career games and finished third on the Ivy League school's all-time assist list.

He was a third round pick of the Crew in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft.

Waddell Returns To Lead Piranhas, Denkler Joins As Assistant Coach

The Hampton Roads Piranhas of the United Soccer Leagues W-League announced Friday Wendy Waddell will return as the team's head coach after leading them to a 7-6-1 record in 2008.

Waddell will be seconded on the team by assistant coach Jennifer Denkler, who served last season in a similar capacity with the Piranhas' team in the USL Super-20 League.

Rough Riders Open The "Flood" Gates

Gary Flood, who spent the last two seasons with Major League Soccer's New England Revolution, signed a 2009 contract with the Long Island Rough Riders of the United Soccer Leagues' Premier Development League.

Flood played in 10 games for the Revs during that time after being selected in the second round of the 2007 MLS SuperDraft.

Flood was a team captain for the three-time Colonial Athletic Association champion Hofstra Pride and was the CAA Tournment's Most Valuable Player in 2005.

Red Bulls Defeat Crystal Palace Baltimore In LHUSOC Rematch

In a rematch of a meeting in the 2008 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament, Khano Smith and Matthew Mbuta scored goals as Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls shut out Crystal Palace Baltimore of the United Soccer Leagues Second Division, 2-0, Thursday in an exhibition game in Baltimore, MD.

The Palace won their previous game by the same score.

Baltimore now prepares to host another USL1 franchise, the Rochester Rhinos, April 3.

City Stars Get New Home Field And New Stadium Name

The Cleveland City Stars, the former United Soccer Leagues Second Division champions who have moved to USL First Division this season, announced Friday a deal has been reached with the Bedford, OH school district to play 2009 season home games as Bearcat Stadium after playing their first two seasons at Krentzler Stadium in Cleveland.

Bearcat Stadium, in a deal between the City Stars and a local sponsor, will be renamed Middlefield Cheese Stadium.

The City Stars have agreed to sponsor free soccer clinics for youth players and offer performance and attendance incentives for local students to earn tickets to games.

The stadium seats 5,000 and can handle 3,000 extra standing room fans.