Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mutiny Sign Ten Players For 2009 Season

The New England Mutiny, defending champions of the Women's Premier Soccer Leagues East Conference, announced the signing of ten players for the 2009 season.

Veteran players returning are Jenny Maurer, Danielle Dakin, Becky Gundling, Karen Gurnon, Meghan Cunningham, Jessica Diakun and Erin Clark.

Maurer will play in her franchise-record seventh season after attempting to land a spot on a Women's Professional Soccer franchise in the offseason.

Dakin, who was the youngest player in team history two seasons ago, was named to the 2008 All-WPSL Final Four Tournament Team and will play this fall for the University of Connecticut Huskies.

Gundling has been a starter for the Huskies since her freshman season.

Cunningham and Clark will be in their third seasons each with the Mutiny.

Diakun returns to the Mutiny for her fifth season after missing the entire 2008 season with an injury.

New names to the Mutiny roster are Lauren Broder, Brittany Berry and Riley Houle.

Broder, a goalkeeper at the University of Hartford, will attempt to win the starting job behind the net, as Stephanie Labbe, an All-WPSL First Team selection and Canadian National Team member has chosen to play professionally in Sweden this year. Broder started all 19 games for Hartford last season and had a 0.65 goals against average.

Berry set a school record at Sci-Tech High School in Springfield, MA by scoring 59 goals in a season before transferring to Wilbraham & Monson this past gall.

Houle played on the US U-17 Women's National team at the Algarve Cup in Portugal and won the Golden Boot Award as leading scorer at the Elite Soccer Program, a camp for the top 150 high school players in the nation.

The Mutiny open their 2009 season May 16 at Northampton High School against the Maine Tide.

USL Announces Qualification Process For 2009 LHUSOC

United Soccer Leagues Thursday officially announced the qualification process for teams in their three mens' leagues -- First Division, Second Division and Premier Development League -- to participate in the 95th annual Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament.

40 teams will compete for the officially-sanctioned national soccer championship by US Soccer and will be placed in four categories -- Divisions I, II, III and Amateur.

Division I will consist of eight Major League Soccer teams -- the top six teams from last year's standings (Chicago Fire, Chivas USA, defending MLS champion Columbus Crew, Houston Dyanmo, Kansas City Wizards and New England Revolution) plus two teams who come out of a play-in round of games which will end by May 25. Those teams are the defending LHUSOC champion DC United, the New York Red Bulls, the Colorado Rapids and Seattle Sounders FC.

Divisions II and III will consist of all eight US-based teams in the USL First and Second Division, who automatically make the 40-team field, with USL2 teams doing so for the first time in the event's history.

The Amateur Division will be made up of eight teams each from the USL PDL and teams in leagues affiliated with the US Adult Soccer Association.

For the PDL, which consists of 61 US-based teams, all four May games will count as qualification games for the LHUSOC field with the top team from each PDL division earning a tournament berth.

The US Open Cup is a single-elimination tournament, with games tied after regulation play being decided first by two 15-minute overtime halves, then by penalty kicks, if necessary.

The 2009 tournament begins June 9 with all 32 lower division teams competing in 16 games. Those first-round winners advance to second round play June 16 with those winners facing MLS competition in the third round June 30.

Quarterfinal games will be held July 7, the semifinals are July 21 or 22, and the final game takes place September 2.

The overall champion gets their name placed on Dewar Challenge Trophy, located at the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, NY, and $100,000, with the runner-up earning $50,000. There is also a $10,000 prize for the Division II and III teams that advances the farthest in the tournament.

For a list of qualifying matches for USL PDL teams, visit www.uslsoccer.com.

Seitz Loaned To Timbers By Real Salt Lake

Major League Soccer's Real Salt Lake loaned goalkeeeper Chris Seitz to the Portland Timbers of the United Soccer Leagues First Division for Thursday's first of two home games in three days with the league-leading Carolina RailHawks at PGE Park.

Seitz will fill in for Timbers starting goalkeeper Steve Cronin, who suffered a mild ankle sprain Wednesday at practice.

Cronin's injury will be reexamined Friday and he could be eligible to play in the second game Saturday. Portland officials did not address what would happen if he is unable to play.

Swine Flu Concerns Postpones USL PDL Game At Rio Grande Valley

United Soccer Leagues announced Thursday that Saturday's Premier Development League season opener Saturday between the host Rio Grande Valley Bravos and the Laredo Heat has been postponed, due to concerns revolving the current outbreak of swine flu in the US.

USL officials have not announced when the game will be rescheduled.

Wolves Add Three US Youth National Team Members

The expansion Seattle Wolves of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League announced the signings Thursday of three players with experience in the US Youth National Team system.

The first is US U-17 National Team captain and defender Mykell Bates, who will be a sophomore this fall at Santa Clara University. He led the US team to the Round of 16 at the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup, where they lost to Germany, but Bates had three goals in the tournament. He was named the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's Player of the Year in 2007.

Fellow Santa Clara incoming sophomore and midfielder Brandon Zimmerman was an All-West Coast Conference Honorable Mention selection after playing in 19 games his freshman season. Zimmerman also was a student at the Crossfire Premier Academy in Tukwila, WA.

Finally, goalkeeper Tommy Meyer of Indiana University is a two-time NSCAA/adidas All-American and was named to the College Soccer News All-Freshman Second Team.

Philadelphia's MLS Franchise To Be Unveiled May 11

Keystone Sports & Entertainment, LLC, the owner of Philadelphia's incoming Major League Soccer expansion team in 2010, will hold a press conference May 11 at 11:30 a.m. Eastern time to unveil the team's name, logo, colors and ticket price structure.

The event will be hosted by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.

The team, which already has sold 6,000 season tickets, will play in an 18,500-seat soccer-specific stadium under construction in Chester, PA and will be MLS' 16th team.

Charlotte Lady Eagles Ink Five Vets For '09 Season

The Charlotte Lady Eagles of the United Soccer Leagues W-League announced Wednesday the re-signings of five veteran players.

They are forwards Ashley Swinehart (eighth season with team), Holly Ryder (third season) and Shelley Lyle (second season); midfielder Lulu Quigley (sixth season) and goalkeeper Katie Forbis (fourth season).

The Lady Eagles open their 2009 W-League season at Charlotte Christian School May 8 against the Hampton Roads Piranhas.

Mexico's Club America Edges Fire In Friendly

Juan Carlos Silva and Pavel Pardo scored first half goals in the second and 42nd minute, respectively, as Club America of Mexico's Primera Division defeated Major League Soccer's Chiacgo Fire, 2-1, Wednesday in an exhibition game at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL.

Chris Rolfe converted a Stefan Dimitrov pass into a 73rd minute goal, but it was not enough to beat a fired-up America team.

The Fire next host Seattle Sounders FC when they resume MLS play Saturday at home.

Red Bulls Advance In LHUSOC Play-In Round

John Wolyniec turned a pass from Dominic Oduro into an 80th-minute game-winning goal Wednesday as the New York Red Bulls edged the San Jose Earthquakes, 2-1, Wednesday in a Major League Soccer play-in game for the 2009 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, CA.

The top six MLS teams from last season already have earned byes through the first three rounds, but two other teams will enter the 40-team field by winning play-in games.

New York wasted little time in getting on the board as Mike Petke fired an unassisted goal in the game's second minute for the eventual halftime lead.

Pablo Campos would counter for the Earthquakes in the 71st minute with an unassisted play to tie the game at 1-1 before Wolyniec shut them down.

The Red Bulls next face the defending LHUSOC champion DC United at a time and location to be announced. That winner will be one of the two that takes the remaining spots in the bracket.

New York returns to MLS play Saturday when they are at the Los Angeles Galaxy while the Quakes host Chivas USA Saturday.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mathis Named Sierra Mist GOW Winner For Week 6

Real Salt Lake's Clint Mathis was named Wednesday the winner of the Major League Soccer/Sierra Mist Goal of the Week competition for Week 6 of the 2009 season by fans who voted at www.mlsnet.com.

Mathis scored off a Javier Morales assist in the 55th minute of their 6-0 rout of the New England Revolution last Saturday.

Morales, coincidentally, was named the MLS Player of the Week for Week 6 Monday.

Toronto FC Officially Names Cummings Interim Head Coach

Major League Soccer's Toronto FC, as expected, Wednesday named Chris Cummings their interim head coach for the remainder of the season, replacing John Carver, who abruptly resigned last Friday for personal reasons, later to discover those reasons were due to disagreements with league issues.

Cummings and Nick Dasovic, assistant coaches under Carver, had been filling in for Carver since his resignation, but Toronto FC officials wanted to name a new coach from within the organization as soon as possible.

Dasovic will now serve as the team's only assistant coach this season, with Toronto FC choosing not to name a second assistant coach until the offseason.

The team also announced goalkeeper coach Mike Toshack and strength and conditioning coach Paul Winsper will be retained in their positions.

This Year's MLS All-Star Game Opponent Will Be...

...Everton FC of the English Premier League.

Major League Soccer announced the opponent for the 2009 MLS All-Star Game at a news conference Wednesday. The game will originate from Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT July 29 at 9:30 p.m. Eastern time and air on ESPN2 and TeleFutura.

Everton FC has won nine league titles in its 107 seasons of existence and will try to win their third EPL championship title May 30 when they face Chelsea FC, who took on the MLS All-Stars in 2006.

Currently, Everton is in sixth place in the EPL standings, two points behind Aston Villa, but six ahead of Fulham and eight ahead of West Ham United, last year's opponent in the All-Star Game.

Since MLS abandoned the old Eastern versus Western Conference format for the game after the 2003 season, MLS is undefeated against international competition and have outscored their opponents, 13-4.

The All-Stars will play their third game against EPL talent (beat Fulham FC, 4-1, in 2005; beat Chelsea FC, 1-0, in 2006).

In 2004, the first season of the revamped game, the All-Stars defeated Chivas de Guadalajara of Mexico's Primera Division, 3-1, and, in 2007, they shut out Scottish League competitor Celtic FC, 2-0.

Milburn Magic Sign Averbuch, Bray, Sims

The Milburn (NJ) Magic of the Women's Premier Soccer League announced the signings Tuesday of Shira Averbuch, Carly Bray and Kelly Sims for the 2009 season.

Averbuch is the younger sister of Yael Averbuch, who plays for Sky Blue FC in Women's Professional Soccer. Shira was a two-time National Soccer Coaches Association of America Youth All-American and was a member of the US U-15, U-16 and U-17 girls national teams.

A four-time First Team All-Conference and a 2007 New Jersey All-State First Team selection at Montclair High School, where she had 62 goals and 45 assists in her career, Averbuch led Stanford last fall to a 22-2-1 record and a second place finish in the Pac-10 Conference as well as a spot in the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament.

Bray and Sims join the Magic following graduation from Arsenal Academy in England. Bray still plays for the Arsenal Ladies while Sims is at Reading FC with ex-Magic star Rachel Fell.

The Magic open their 2009 season at Milburn High School May 17 against the CDSA Future.

Outrage Women Sign Seven For 2009 Season

The Kalamazoo Outrage of the United Soccer Leagues W-League announced the signing Tuesday of seven players for their 2009 season roster.

Defender Sarah Burns played last season with the league's Michigan Hawks and was a two-time All-Mid American Conference star for Central Michigan University.

Goalkeeper Erin Carlson returns for her second season with the team. A star at Michigan State University from 2001 to 2005 and, before that,.at Portage Central High School, Carlson also works as a coach for the Outrage's parent company, TKO Premier Soccer Club, and is the goalkeeping coach at Kalamazoo College.

Jen Kohn, formerly Gaylor, a former Ferris State University player, returns as well for Kalamazoo after playing for the Detroit Jaguars and Minnesota Lightning in the W-League.

Chelsea Peterson from East Grand Rapids will join MSU in the fall and debuts with the Outrage. She is a three-time regional Olympic Development Program player and attended the adidas ESP program.

Nicole Dulyea won a National Championship in 2007 with the Bloomfield Force and was a Michigan High School Dream Team selection. This will be her second season at Kalamazoo.

Sarah Onderlinde, formerly Weesies, a star at Kalamazoo Christian High School who serves as a coach and conditioning trainer for TKO Premier, was an all-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association selection at Calvin College.

Sloane Levin, a Michigan native who attended Shattuck St. Mary's school in Minnesota, makes her debut with the Outrage before joining Virginia Tech in the fall.

LeToux Leads Sounders To Next Round Of LHUSOC Play-In Games

Sebastien LeToux scored two goals and assisted Sanna Nyassi and Stephen King on goals of their own as Seattle Sounders FC defeated Real Salt Lake, 4-1, Tuesday at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, WA in the latest round of Major League Soccer play-in games for the 2009 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament.

Will Johnson had RSL's lone goal in the loss.

The Sounders advance to face the Colorado Rapids in a final play-in round game this May at a to-be-determined site with the winner earning a berth in the 2009 tournament field.

FC Dallas Trades Pitchkolan To Quakes For Conditional Draft Pick

FC Dallas traded defender Aaron Pitchkolan Tuesday to the San Jose Earthquakes for a conditional 2011 Major League Soccer SuperDraft pick.

Pichkolan has scored five goals and an assist and started 41 of 68 career games over five seasons with Dallas. He has only appeared in one game this season -- March 29 verus Chivas USA as a halftime substitution.

If he starts at least 12 games with San Jose this season, Dallas' pick will be a third round selection, otherwise, it will be a fourth round pick.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

USL Names Austin's Johnson, Harrisburg's Severs Players Of The Week

United Soccer Leagues announced Tuesday forwards Eddie Johnson of the Austin Aztex and Chad Severs of the Harrisburg City Islanders were named the league's Players of the Week in USL First and Second Division, respectively.

Johnson scored two goals and assisted on a third in 3-0 win over the Cleveland City Stars while Severs had two of his team's goals in a 3-1 win over the Western Mass Pioneers.

Here are the other members of the USL1 and USL2 Teams of the Week:

USL1 TEAM OF THE WEEK

GOALKEEPER
Scott Vallow, Rochester Rhinos
Led team to scoreless draw at Puerto Rico Islanders

DEFENDERS
Marco Reda, Vancouver Whitecaps
Scored team's lone goal in 1-1 draw at Austin Aztex

Cristian Dios, Miami FC Blues
Led team to 2-1 victory over Montreal Impact

Ryan Caugherty, Austin Aztex
Led team to a 1-0-1 record over weekend

John Gilkerson, Carolina RailHawks
Led team in 1-0 victory over Minnesota Thunder

MIDFIELDERS
Martin Nash, Vancouver Whitecaps
Scored lone goal of game in 1-0 win over Portland Timbers

Brian Plotkin, Carolina RailHawks
Scored lone goal of game in 1-0 win over Minnesota Thunder

Tsuyoshi Yoshitake, Charleston Battery
Scored team's only goal in 1-1 draw against Minnesota Thunder

Noah Delgado, Puerto Rico Islanders
Led team to scoreless draw against Rochester Rhinos

FORWARDS
Johnny Menyongar, Rochester Rhinos
Scored both goals in 2-1 victory at Miami FC Blues

---------
USL2 TEAM OF THE WEEK

GOALKEEPER
Brian Rowland, Crystal Palace Baltimore
Led team to two shutout victories to start season

DEFENDERS
Tenywa Bonseu, Pittsburgh Riverhounds
Led team to 1-1 draw at Richmond Kickers

Sascha Gorres, Richmond Kickers
Led team to 1-1 versus Crystal Palace Baltimore

Andrew Marshall, Crystal Palace Baltimore
Led team in scoreless draw against Pittsburgh Riverhounds

MIDFIELDERS
Mike Burke, Richmond Kickers
Assisted on a goal in 2-2 draw against Harrisburg City Islanders

Val Teixiera, Crystal Palace Baltimore
Scored goal in 2-0 win over Bermuda Hogges

Zeke Dombrowski, Wilmington Hammerheads
Led team in 2-2 draw at Charlotte Eagles

Justin Evans, Pittsburgh Riverhounds
Led team in scoreless draw against Crystal Palace Baltimore

FORWARDS
Gary Brooks, Real Maryland Monarchs
Assisted on two goals in 3-2 win over Bermuda Hogges

Dustin Swinehart, Charlotte Eagles
Scored both goals in a 2-2 draw against Wilmington Hammerheads

Freedom's Wambach Named WPS POW

Washington Freedom forward Abby Wambach was named Tuesday the Women's Professional Soccer Player of the Week for Week 5 of the league's inaugural season.

She scored two goals Sunday in a 4-3 victory over FC Gold Pride at The Home Depot Center.

FC Dallas Gets Davies In Trade With RSL

Nearly two weeks after winning his rights in a special Major League Soccer draft lottery, Real Salt Lake traded defender Kyle Davies, a member of the US U-20 Men's National Team, to FC Dallas Tuesday for a second round pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft.

Davies spent the last two seasons with Southampton FC in the English Championship.

RailHawks Add Former Bruins D Brad Rusin

The league-leading Carolina RailHawks of the United Soccer Leagues First Division announced the signing Tuesday of former UCLA Bruins defender Brad Rusin.

Rusin scored four goals in 76 career games between 2005-08 and led the team to two Pac-10 Conference titles.

In 2008, he led a defensive unit that had eight shutouts, including six in a row, and allowed a 0.76 goals against average. Rusin had a career-high three goals that season, two of them game winners, as well as two assists, and was named an All-Pac-10 First Team selection and to Top Drawer Soccer's second tier Team of the Season.

To make room for Rusin on the Carolina roster, midfielder Nate Norman was released, but will remain with the team in a community outreach capacity.

The RailHawks play two games Thursday and Saturday against the Portland Timbers at PGE Park.

Buffalo Flash Sign Abdullah, O'Rourke To Deals

The expansion Buffalo Flash of the United Soccer Leagues W-League announced the signings of former Florida Gators star Ameera Abdullah and ex-North Carolina Tar Heels player Jessica O'Rourke.

Abdullah was drafted by FC Gold Pride of Women's Professional Soccer, but chose to join the new Flash. In 83 games for the Gators, she had 25 goals and 18 assists, was a two-time All-Southeastern Conference First Team member and National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-American as well as an All-SEC Second Team selection.

In her junior season, she was placed on the Missouri Athletic Club's Watch List for the Hermann Trophy, which goes to the outstanding male and female college soccer players.

She was appeared five times with US Youth National Soccer Teams and has an assist. She played on the U-16 and U-17 National Teams, attended training camp for the US U-20 team and last appeared with the U-23 team.

O'Rourke has previous W-League experience, having scored the lone goal for the FC Indiana Lionesses in a loss to eventual champion Pali Blues in the 2008 championship game and spent two prior seasons with the New Jersey Wildcats.

At North Carolina, she had 10 goals and 10 assists in 70 career games, led the Tar Heels in scoring in her junior year, and was named to an Atlantic Coast Conference Team of the Week.

The Flash launch their inaugural season in the league May 24 at home against another expansion team, the Quebec City Arsenal.

Two Good Camels Head To Mississippi Brilla

Mississippi Brilla of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League announced the signings Tuesday of Campbell University juniors Austin Skakle and Jason Keever for the 2009 season, which begins for them May 9 when they host the expansion Atlanta Blackhawks.

Skakle, a defender, has started for the Camels since his freshman season while Keever, a midfielder/forward, had six goals last season and was a second team all-conference player.

Spidal Named Head Coach Of PDL's Seattle Wolves

Seth Spidal was introduced Tuesday as the first head coach of the expansion Seattle Wolves of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League.

Spidal spent the last eight seasons as an assistant to head coach Dean Wurzberger at the University of Washington, leading the Huskies four times to the second round of the NCAA tournament, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2003.

He also was involved in the recruitment of two players who became back-to-back Pac-10 Conference Players of the Year -- Kevin Forrest in 2006 and Ely Allen in 2007.

The Wolves come to the PDL from the Starfire Premier League in Washington state, where they were the 2009 regular season and Premier Cup champions.

Seattle opens their debut season May 8 at the Yakima Reds and make their first home appearance May 13 against the Tacoma Tide.

Toronto FC To Name Interim Coach Wednesday

Major League Soccer's Toronto FC is expected to name either Chris Cummings or Nick Dasovic as the their interin head coach Wednesday after the abrupt resignation Friday of former head coach John Carver, who said he left for reasons involving MLS policies, not because of problems with his team's ownership.

Cummings and Dasovic have worked as assistants under Carver and the team says they are the only choices to fill the void.

Cummings ran the team during last Wednesday's 1-0 win over Chivas USA while Carver served a one-game suspension in a luxury box and during Sunday's 1-0 win over the Kansas City Wizards, both games taking place at BMO Field.

Carver was recently fined $750 for comments published in a Toronto newspaper about game officiating during a 3-2 loss to FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX April 19.

Toronto FC faces the defending champion Columbus Crew Saturday at BMO Field.

RSL M Morales Named POW Winner

Real Salt Lake midfielder Javier Morales, who assisted on two goals in his team's surprising 6-0 rout of the New England Revolution at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT Saturday was named Major League Soccer's Player of the Week for Week 6 of the 2009 season.

Morales had his first two assists of the season in that game. He assisted on 15 goals last season, four behind league leader and Most Valuable Player Guillermo Barros Schelotto of the defending champion Columbus Crew.

It's his final weekly honor since joining the team August 17, 2007 from Vecindario in Spain's Second Division. Morales is the first RSL plater to win a weekly award since Fabian Espindola did so for Week 23 of the 2008 season and is the fifth player from the team to win one, alongside Espindola, Robbie Findley, Chris Klein and Jeff Cunninghan, who won five weekly awards in his career there.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Three Ironmen Sign Up With PDL's Ironbound Express

The Newark Ironbound Express of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League announced the re-signing of twin brothers and midfielders Edison and Jonathon Bilbao, and the signing of Brazilian forward Tiguinho.

All three played in the inaugural season of the Xtreme Soccer League with the New Jersey Ironmen.

Born in Santiago, Chile, the brothers Bilbao moved to Carteret, NJ at age 11 and attended St. Benedict's Prep in Newark, NJ, home to former US Men's National Team stars Tab Ramos and Claudio Reyna.

The two then played collegiately at New Jersey City University, where Edison was a two-time New Jersey Athletic Conference Midfielder of the Year and Jonathon still holds the school record for most game-winning career goals with 13.

Edison had six game-winning goals for the NJCU Gothic Knights and finished fourth in school history in points with 79.

Jonathon had 72 career points on 23 goals and 26 assists in four seasons.

Edison had an assist in 10 games for the Ignition last season, gaining it during a 10-8 overtime victory against the eventual XSL champion Detroit Ignition.

Tiguinho had 27 points last season for New Jersey on a pair of three-point goals, 10 two-pointers and an assist and blocked 12 shots in 19 games. On the final weekend of the season, he scored nine points on four two-point goals and an assist.

He joined the Ironmen through the Major Indoor Soccer League's last Supplemental Draft in 2007 and was signed as a Discovery Player. In 20 games that season, he had six goals and four assists for 16 points and added eight blocks.

Fire, Club America Announce Partnership

After months of negotiations between the two parties, Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire and Club America of Mexico's Primera Division announced the start of a strategic partnership Monday, beginning with an already-scheduled friendly game Wednesday at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL.

The two teams will later meet in another game at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.

The teams will now start developing joint corporate sponsorship opportunites, as well as summer camps and clinics and player development plans.

Colorado Lightning Leaving PASL, Selling Turf

The Colorado Lightning will not return for the second season of the Professional Arena Soccer League and has sold its turf, according to a report Monday on OurSportsCentral.com.

The Lightning had the worst record of the eight US-based teams in the league at 4-12-0.

First WPS Game Ball, Lineup Cards Head To National Soccer Hall Of Fame

The National Soccer Hall of Fame announced Monday they have received the official match ball and line-up cards from the inaugural game of Women's Professional Soccer March 29 between the Los Angeles Sol and the Washington Freedom.

The items will go on display next month.

Fury Adds Some Kiwi Power To The Roster

The Ottawa Fury of the United Soccer Leagues W-League announced the signings Monday of New Zealand national teammates Ria Percival and Amber Hearn.

Both last represented their country in the Cyprus Cup tournament.

Percival split playing time in the 2008 season with the FC Indiana Lionesses of the W-League and Lynn Avon United in Auckland, NZ. She also played for her country during the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup.

Hearn played last season at Auckland's Lynn Avon AFC after playing in England with Arsenal Ladies and Doncaster. In 2004, she led the Ladies to the Football Association Women's Premier Championship and the League Cup and the team advanced to the semifinals of the UEFA Women's Champions League.

At Beijing, she started every game in the group phase of the tournament and scored a goal in a 2-2 draw with Japan.

Hearn has also played for New Zealand's U-17 and U-20 national teams.

Blues Hope To Set A Guiness World Record May 9

The Pali Blues, defending champions of the United Soccer Leagues W-League, will attempt to set a new Guiness World Record at the team's season home opener May 9 against the Los Angeles Legends, according to the team Monday.

At halftime, the team hopes to set a record for the most people juggling a soccer ball at one time. The current record, set September 30, 2007 in Vienna, Austria, is 627.

Pumas Sign Sampson; Win Final Preseason Games

The expansion Kitsap (WA) Pumas of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League announced the signing Monday of Zack Sampson, a senior at North Kitsap High School, to a contract for the 2009 season.

Sampson, 18, had two shots on goal in his debut as a substitute for the Pumas in a 2-1 win Saturday against the Tacoma Stars of the Professional Arena Soccer League in an outdoor fundraising event.

Sampson also has played for Washington state's Crossfire Premier Soccer Club.

In the game against the Stars, Matt Friesen scored both goals for the Pumas.

Kitsap also recently edged the Seattle Pacific University Falcons by the same score to end their first-ever preseason schedule.

William Njamen scored the game-winning goal in the final minute of regulation to break a 1-1 draw.

Tony Kirk opened the scoring for the Pumas on a 15th minute penalty kick which Elliott Morton countered later with a goal for the Falcons.

Kitsap opens their inaugural PDL season against the Spokane Spiders Saturday.

Heat Takes Two Losses Saturday

Chris Wondolowski had a hat trick to lead Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo, the 2007 and 2008 MLS Cup champions, to a 4-0 rout of the Laredo Heat of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League in a friendly game Saturday at the University of Houston.

It was the first time in Heat history they have played against an MLS franchise in any event.

Later, in the inaugural LareDOS Cup match Saturday at Texas A&M International University, the Nueva Laredo Broncos of Mexico defeated the Heat, 5-2, in a penalty kick shootout after playing to a 1-1 draw in regulation.

The Heat open their 2009 PDL season Saturday in McAllen, TX against the host Rio Grande Valley Broncos, an expansion team this season.

Seven Nominated For Week 6 Sierra Mist MLS GOW Honors

Seven players were nominated Monday as candidates for Sierra Mist/Major League Soccer Goal of the Week honors for Week 6 of the 2009 season.

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

The winner gets his name (and his goal) put into consideration at the end of the season to be chosen the Goal of the Year for the 2009 MLS season.

Here are the nominees:

Clint Mathis, Real Salt Lake
Scored in the 55th minute on a Javier Morales assist in a 6-0 rout of the New England Revolution

Colin Clark, Colorado Rapids
Scored lone goal off Omar Cummings in the 60th minute of 1-1 draw against the Los Angeles Galaxy

Gonzalo Segares, Chicago Fire
Scored with assists from Tim Ward and Chris Rolfe in the 88th minute of a 2-2 draw against the Columbus Crew

Alejandro Moreno, Columbus Crew
Scored an unassisted goal in the 34th minute in 2-2 draw against the Chicago Fire

Luciano Emilio, DC United
Scored game-tying goal in 90th minute off assists from Santino Quaranta and Chris Pontiues in 3-2 win over New York Red Bulls

Andy Williams, Real Salt Lake
Scored an unassisted goal in the 85th minute of a 6-0 rout of the New England Revolution

Brian McBride, Chicago Fire
Scored a goal in the 86th minute with assists by Patrick Nyarko and Gonzales Segares in a 2-2 draw with th Columbus Crew

Menyongar's Duo Lead Rhinos To First Win Of The Season

Johnny Menyongar scored goals in the eighth minute off Andrew Gregor and in the 44th off Taiwo Atieno to give the Rochester Rhinos their first United Soccer Leagues First Division win of the season Sunday, 2-1, over the Miami FC Blues at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

The Rhinos, now 1-1-1 with four points and tied for fifth with the defending regular season champion Puerto Rico Islanders (1-0-1, four). They next travel to Cleveland Friday to face the former USL Second Division champion City Stars.

Miami's Connally Edozien knotted the game at 1-1 with help from Zoukar Tsiskaridze in the 20th minute for their only goal. The Blues, at 2-1-0 with six points and in second place in the standings, three points behind the Carolina RailHawks, hosts the Charleston Battery Saturday.

Plotkin Scores Only Goal In RailHawks Win

Brian Plotkin unassisted goal in the 58th minute was all the Carolina RailHawks needed to remain undefeated and on top of the United Soccer Leagues First Division standings Sunday with a 1-0 win over the visiting Minnesota Thunder at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC.

The RailHawks are 3-0-0 with nine points and play the Portland Timbers Thursday and Saturday at PGE Park.

Minnesota is 0-2-2 with four points, in sole possession of ninth place, and host the defending USL1 champion Vancouver Whitecaps at the National Soccer Center in Blaine, MN Saturday.

Freedom Shines Brighter Than FC Gold Pride

Abby Wambach scored goals in the 18th and 90th minutes and assisted on a Lori Lindsay goal in the 51st minute as the Washington Freedom earned their first win of the Women's Professional Soccer season by edging FC Gold Pride, 4-3, Sunday.

Allie Long added a goal for the Freedom in the match.

Tiffany Weimer assisted Tiffany Milbrett on her goal in the 30th minute for the Pride, then scored her own in the 75th minute of the loss. Christine Sinclair took a pass from Rachel Bushler in the 83rd minute for their final goal.

Both teams are tied for fourth in the league standings at 1-2-1 with four points.

Washington next hosts the St. Louis Athletica this Saturday while FC Gold Pride host Sky Blue FC the same night.

Dichio Gives Toronto FC First Win Under Dual Coaches

San Cronin and Marvell Wynne teamed to feed a pass to Danny Dichio in the 54th minute as Major League Soccer's Toronto FC shut out the Kansas City Wizards, 1-0, Sunday at BMO Field and took over the lead in the league's Eastern Conference standings with a 3-2-2 record and 11 points, a point ahead of the Wizards (3-3-1, 10 points) and the Chicago Fire (2-0-4, 10 points).

The game was Toronto's first under assistant coaches Chris Cummings and Nick Dasovic, who took over the team when head coach John Carver abruptly resigned Saturday for personal reasons.

It was the second time the Reds beat the Wizards in 2009, following a 3-2 victory on the opening Saturday of the season March 21.

Toronto next hosts the defending MLS champion Columbus Crew, who have yet to win a game and are mired in the cellar of the Eastern Conference at 0-2-4 with four points.

Kansas City hosts DC United May 6 at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Dias Goes From Hero To Goat For Mockingbird All-Stars

In a game designed to show support for Louisville, KY joining the Professional Arena Soccer League for the 2009-10 season, the Mockingbird Valley Soccer Club All-Stars defeated 1790 Cincinnati, 6-5, in a penalty kick shootout.

The game was organized by The Estopinal Group, the prospective owners of a Louisville franchise.

Vijay Dias became the game's hero for Mockingbird Valley by scoring the game-winning shootout goal after giving Cincinnati an own goal at the end of regulation play.

Pontuis Leads United Over Red Bulls

Chris Pontius worked with Santino Quaranta to help Luciano Emilio scored a game-tying goal in the 90th minute, then got help back from Thabiso Khumalo a minute later on the game-winning goal as DC United edged the New York Red Bulls, 3-2, Sunday in Major League Soccer action from Giants Stadium.

Quaranta and Bryan Namoff also assisted on Rodney Wallace's opening goal for United, now 1-1-3 with six points and in fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings.

Juan Pablo Angel and Dane Richards each scored goals for the Red Bulls, in sixth place in the conference table at 1-3-2 with five points.

United hosts FC Dallas Saturday at RFK Stadium while the Red Bulls head to The Home Depot Center to meet the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Carver Quit Over Problems With MLS, English Paper Says

Former Toronto FC head coach John Carver, who abruptly resigned from the team Saturday for personal reasons, told the Sunday Sun in Newcastle, England he left because of problems with Major League Soccer, not the franchise, but declined to go into detail about those problems.

"There is nothing else in the pipeline, and the people at Toronto have been fantastic to me. It is the MLS with whom I have issues," Carver said.

Carver was fined $750 Tuesday after comments made about league officiating were published in the Toronto Sun following a 3-2 loss last Sunday to FC Dallas.

In March, Carver was reportedly upset about being featured in a DVD provided to MLS game officials showing his behavior in a previous game.

Red Stars Break Boston In WPS Action

Karen Carney and Brittany Klein had a goal and two assists Saturday as the Chicago Red Stars shut out the Boston Breakers, 4-0, Saturday in Women's Professional Soccer play at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL.

The Red Stars, second in the league standings at 2-0-2 with eight points, will have next weekend off, then host Sky Blue FC May 10.

Boston, 2-2-0 with six points and in third, will host the league-leading Los Angeles Sol this Saturday.

City Islanders Send Pioneers Packing

Chad Severs had two goals and Ty Shipalane assisted on one in the 49th minute, then helped Brandon Swarzendruber score one in the 79th minute as the Harrisburg City Islanders defeated the Western Mass Pioneers, 3-1, in United Soccer Leagues Second Division play Saturday at Skyline Sports Complex in the Pennsylvania state capitol.

The City Islanders are now 1-0-1 with four points, are tied for the lead in the league standings with Crystal Palace Baltimore, and travel to the Bermuda Hogges Friday.

Western Mass loses their season opener and is tied for last place in the table with Bermuda.

Neil Krause scored for the Pioneers in the 76th minute on an assist by Yan Klukowski.

Two Teams, Two Games, Two Draws For Pittsburgh, Richmond

After two games of the 2009 United Soccer Leagues Second Division season, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and the host Richmond Kickers are 0-0-2 and tied for fourth place in the league standings after playing each other to a 1-1 final score Saturday at University of Richmond Stadium.

Both goals were scored in a four-minute span of the first half -- Richmond's on a pass from Matthew Delicate to Joey Worthen in the 36th minute, Pittsburgh's on a Randolph Jerome unassisted play in the 40th minute.

The Riverhounds host the Real Maryland Monarchs this Saturday while the Kickers hit the road to meet the Western Mass Pioneers.

Monarchs Crown The Hogges With Brooks' Help

Gary Brooks assisted on Sean Rush's goal in the third minute of the game, then later helped Jamie Holmes gain a goal in the 75th minute as the Real Maryland Monarchs opened their 2009 USL Second Division season with a 3-2 win over the Bermuda Hogges at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, MD Saturday.

Tom Taylor had an unassisted goal in the 33rd minute for the Monarchs (1-0-0, three points), who are now in second place in the league standings.

Stephen Astwood was assisted by Lashon Dill on a 38th minute Hogges goal and Damilo Coddington added a 76th minute unassisted shot.

The Hogges welcome the co-league-leading Harrisburg City Islanders this Friday and the Monarchs, 0-2-0 and tied for last place with the Wilimington Hammerheads, are at the Pittsburgh Riverhounds next Saturday.

Eagles, Hammerheads Bang Out 2-2 Draw

Dustin Swinehart was assisted by Jorge Herrera in the 48th minute and Diego Marlins in the 61st minute, respectively, to cut a 1-0 disadvantage for the Charlotte Eagles, but Aaron King fired the game-tying goal in the 64th minute off Christopher Murphy as the Wilimingon Hammerheads forced a 2-2 draw with Charlotte Saturday in United Soccer Leagues First Division play at Charlotte Christian High School.

Jamie Watson, in the 27th minute, scored an unassisted goal for Wilmington.

Both teams now share a 0-0-1 record and a common opponent next weekend -- Crystal Palace Baltimore, currently tied for the lead in the league's single table standings with the Harrisburg City Islanders, and a common location for the games -- the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.

Charlotte gets the Palace first next Friday, Wilmington comes the next night.

Nash Leads Whitecaps In Whitewash Of Timbers

In 2011, the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Portland Timbers will carry Major League Soccer standings implications as both will be joining the league as expansion franchises.

But, for now, the defending United Soccer Leagues First Division champion and their fellow rival will finish out their time in USL1.

Martin Nash scored the lone goal in the 63rd minute as the Whitecaps got their first win of the season, 1-0, over the Timbers at Swangard Stadium.

Vancouver is at 1-1-2 with five points and tied for third place in the league standings with the expansion Austin Aztex. The Whitecaps are at the Minnesota Thunder next Saturday.

Portland opened their 2009 season Saturday and are tied for last place in the standings with the Cleveland City Stars. They host the Montreal Impact next Saturday at PGE Park.

Johnson Leads Aztex To First USL1 Franchise Win

Eddie Johnson scored goals in the 13th and 90th minutes and assisted on Sullivan Sliva's 71st minute goal as the Austin Aztex won their first United Soccer Leagues First Division game of the season, 3-0, over the Cleveland City Stars at Nelson Field in Austin, TX.

The Aztex, who fielded a team in the USL Premier Development League last season, were named an expansion franchise for USL1 in the offseason and are now tied with the defending league champion Vancouver Whitecaps at 1-0-2 with five points.

The City Stars, defending USL Second Division champions who decided to promote themselves to USL1 status, are still winless this season at 0-2-0.

Sounders Sounding Strong Again In Win Over Earthquakes

Steve Zakauni scored a 42nd minute goal on assists from Tyrone Marshall and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and assisted with Nate Jaqua on a 50th minute goal by Brad Evans as Seattle Sounders FC got back on the winning track in Major League Soccer Saturday, 2-0, over the San Jose Earthquakes at Qwest Field in Seattle.

Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller, who came back after serving a one-game red-card suspension for being ejected during an April 11 game with the Kansas City Wizards, posted his fourth straight season and set a new league record for not allowing an opposing goal to start a season at 389 minutes, breaking the old mark of 375 set by Ronald Waterreus of the New York Red Bulls.

The Sounders are 3-2-0 with nine points and tied for second in the Western Conference with Real Salt Lake. Seattle heads to Toyota Park to meet the Chicago Fire next Saturday.

San Jose is 1-2-2 with five points and are tied for fifth in the conference with the Houston Dynamo. The Earthquakes host league and conference-leading Chivas USA at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, CA.

Chivas USA Throws Rings Around The Hoops

Atiba Harris and Alecko Eskandarian scored goals in the 68th and 91st minutes, respectively, as Chivas USA continued to prove they are the best team in Major League Soccer with a 2-0 win at The Home Depot Center Saturday over FC Dallas.

Chivas has the league's best record and lead the Western Conference at 5-1-1 with 16 points. They will face the San Jose Earthquakes next Saturday at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, CA.

Dallas is at 1-4-1 with four points and tied for last place in the Western table with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Donovan Goal Knots Galaxy, Rapids In 1-1 Draw

Landon Donovan scored his third goal of the season on a Chris Klein pass in the 82nd minute as the Los Angeles Galaxy and Colorado Rapids played to a 1-1 draw in Major League Soccer Saturday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO.

The Rapids scored first in the 60th minute as Omar Cummings and Mehdi Ballouchy assisted on Colin Clark's goal.

Colorado, who next hosts Real Salt Lake this Saturday, is 2-2-2 with eight points and in fourth place in the MLS Western Conference.

The Galaxy are one of two winless teams in MLS, is at 0-1-4 with a single point and are tied for last with FC Dallas. Los Angeles hosts the New York Red Bulls next Saturday.

The other winless team is the defending MLS champion Columbus Crew.

RSL Hands Revolution Worst Loss Ever

On August 26, 2006, Real Salt Lake was given its worst loss as a Major League Soccer franchise, 6-0 to the New York Red Bulls.

Nearly 13 years to the day, RSL gave the New England Revolution its worst loss in the 13-year history of the franchise in a 6-0 rout Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium.

RSL set team records for most goals in a single game and in a second half at six and total shots faced at 29 and tied the league mark for most goals scored in a single game.

Clint Mathis and Andy Williams had a goal and an assist each to lead RSL to a 3-2-0 recod and nine points, putting them in a tie for second in the Western Conference standings with Seattle Sounders FC.

Jamison Olave, Yura Movsisyan, Luis Miguel Escalanda and Robbie Findley added goals for RSL, Javier Morales assisted on two goals and Robbie Russell and Ned Grabavoy assisted on a goal each.

New England fell to 2-1-2 with eight points, good for a tie for third in the Eastern Conference with Toronto FC.

RSL next travels to Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO to play the Rapids next Saturday while the Revolution hope to get back on track when they host the Houston Dynamo next Sunday.

Crew Still Struggles, But Keeps Home Winning Streak Intact

The defending Major League Soccer champion Columbus Crew extended their current winning streak at Crew Stadium to 13 games, but in an ugly way with a 2-2 draw to the Chicago Fire Saturday.

Chicago could say they own Crew Stadium, going 8-5-6 in games played there in the series, which they lead, 17-10-11, and are 4-0-3 in their last seven games there.

Columbus last beat Chicago on the home pitch July 3, 2004.

For Chicago, Gonzalo Segares teamed with Patrick Nyarko on a Brian McBride goal in the 86th minute, then scored his own with assists by Tim Ward and Chris Rolfe minutes later. The Fire, at 2-0-4 with 10 points, are tied for the lead in the Eastern Conference standings with the Kansas City Wizards.

Chad Marshall opened the scoring for the Crew in the 25th minute off a Guillermo Barros Schelotto assist. Alejandro Moreno put Columbus up, 2-0, in the 34th minute on an unassisted goal. The Crew are 0-2-4 with four points and in last place in the conference table.

The Fire return home to Toyota Park Saturday to host Seattle Sounders FC and the Crew hit the road to BMO Field to face Toronto FC.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Quakes D Cochrane Out 10-12 Weeks After Ankle Surgery

San Jose Earthquakes defender Ryan Cochrane will miss the next 10 to 12 weeks of Major League Soccer play after undergoing successful arthroscopic surgery Saturday on his left ankle.

The injury caused him to miss some time in preseason training, but he did start two games for San Jose this season, including last Saturday's game against the Los Angeles Galaxy at Buck Shaw Stadium.

In six MLS seasons, Cochrane has scored four goals in 105 career games.

Seattle Wolves Gain Two New Community Partners

The expansion Seattle Wolves of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League announced Friday World Soccer Daily and Who Are Ya Designs have become the team's latest community partners.

World Soccer Daily, which airs from 10 a.m. to noon Pacific time on XM Sirius Radio Channel 125 is the only nationally syndicated talk show on global professional soccer and is hosted by Steven Cohen and Kenny Hassan.

Who Are Ya Designs markets themed T-shirts centered on witticisms relevant to soccer.

The Wolves open their debut home season in the PDL May 13 against the Tacoma Tide.

Toronto FC Head Coach John Carver Resigns

John Carver, head coach of Major League Soccer's Toronto FC since February 1, 2008, announced his immediate resignation Saturday for personal reasons.

Assistant coaches Chris Cummings and Nick Dasovic will run the team Sunday when they host the Kansas City Wizards at BMO Field, but the team will announce a decision on a new head coach early next week.

Carver was fined $750 Tuesday by MLS after making public comments about the officiating during a 4-3 loss to FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park.

Jazic Placed On Chivas USA's DL With Concussion

Major League Soccer's Chivas USA announced Friday defender Ante Jazic was placed on the team's disabled list and must now miss a league-minimum six games.

Jazic suffered a concussion during training camp March 11 and has been out of action ever since.

Chivas, holding the best record in MLS, hosts FC Dallas at The Home Depot Center Saturday.

Crystal Palace Goes "Hogges" Wild

Dan Lader and Val Teixiera scored goals and Mateus dos Anjos and Shintaro Hirada assisted on the respective goals as Crystal Palace Baltimore beat the Bermuda Hogges, 2-1, Friday at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County in United Soccer Leagues Second Division play.

Baltimore currently leads the league standings at 1-0-1 with four points, but the rest of the league -- the Charlotte Eagles, Western Mass Pioneers, Wilmington Hammerheads and Real Maryland Monarchs -- officially kicks off their seasons Saturday. Bermuda is 0-1-0.

Baltimore will be on the road next weekend, taking on the Eagles Frday and the Hammerheads Saturday.

Bermuda stays in the state of Maryland to play the Monarchs this Saturday.

Second Half Surge Lead Blues To Second Sraright Win

Diego Serna scored on a penalty kick in the 50th minute, then watched as Leo Inacio Nunes fired an unassisted shot into the net five minutes later as Miami FC Blues christened their new home of Florida International University Stadium Friday with a 2-1 win over the Montreal Impact in United Soccer Leagues First Division play.

Joey Gjertsen took a pass from Rocco Placentino in the 75th minute for Montreal's goal, but it was too late to start a rally.

Miami FC is now tied for the lead in the USL1 standings with the Carolina RailHawks at 2-0-0 with six points and will host the Rochester Rhinos Sunday.

Montreal is 0-1-1 with a point, are tied with the Rhinos for eighth place in the standings, and take on the defending Commissioners Cup champion Puerto Rico Islanders at Bayamon, PR next Saturday.

Battery Charges Itself To Third Staright Draw

Tsuyoshi Yoshitake scored on a 38th minute penalty kick for the Charleston Battery, but it was not enough to lead the United Soccer Leagues First Division team to its first win of the season Friday at Blackbaud Stadium.

Yoshitake's goal countered one in the sixth minute by Leonel Saint-Preux off a Ricardo Sanchez assist as the Battery played the Minnesota Thunder to a 1-1 draw Friday.

Charleston is 0-0-3 with three points and in fourth place in the USL1 standings. They will travel to Florida International University Stadium next Saturday to play the Miami FC Blues.

The Thunder are 0-1-2 with six points and tied for fifth with the expansion Austin Aztex and the defending league champion Vancouver Whitecaps. Minnesota hits the road Sunday to Cary, NC to face the Carolina RailHawks, currently tied for the lead in the standings table with the Miami FC Blues.

Dynamo Sign Kinnear To Multi-Year Extension

Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo signed head coach Dominic Kinnear Friday to a contract extension through the 2014 season.

Kinnear began his coaching career as an assistant to Frank Yallop with the original San Jose Earthquakes and was on the staff when they won MLS Cups in 2001 and 2003. Kinnear was elevated to head coach in 2005 when Yallop joined the Los Angeles Galaxy in the same capacity and led San Jose to the Supporters Shield that season for having the league's best regular season record.

He moved with the team when they relocated to Houston to become the Dynamo and became the second head coach in MLS history to led a franchise to back-to-back MLS Cup titles in the 2006 and 2007 seasons.

Kinnear has the highest winning percentage in MLS history at .594 and is the longest-tenured head coach of any major sports team in the city's history.

Friday, April 24, 2009

PDL's LA Blues Merge To Form Hollywood United Hitman

The United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League announced a merger between the Los Angeles Blues, the brother franchise to the Pali Blues in the USL W-League, and Hollywood United FC of the Los Angeles Coast Soccer League.

The new team will be called Hollywood United Hitmen and will be owned by United's Anthony LaPaglia, star of the CBS series Without A Trace, and have acquired the former rights of the area, which originally belonged to the now-folded San Fernando Valley Quakes.

The Hitmen will share Pacific Palisades High School's Stadium by the Sea with the women's Blues, the defending W-League regular season and league champion.

Many celebrities have or still play for United including Ray Winstone (Beowulf), Vinnie Jones (The Condemned), Jason Statham (The Transporter series, Crank & Crank: High Voltage) and Brandon Routh (Superman Returns), among others.

Boltnar Retires As Menace's All-Time Leading Scorer

Tomas Boltnar announced his retirement Friday from the Des Moines Menace of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League as their all-time leading scorer after playing since the 2002 season.

Boltnar was a two-time PDL Most Valuable Player in 2002 and 2003 and led the franchise to the league championship in 2005.

In his debut season of 2002, Boltnar's team went 15-0-3 and he scored a goal in all but one game. He was named the PDL Rookie of the Year that season along with his MVP award.

He also played on four Lamar Hunt US Open Cup teams -- 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006.

Boltnar will continue to coach two Menace Academy boys teams and work as a cost analyst with Kum & Go.

He and his wife are expecting a baby girl in July, to join two-year-old son Dominick.

11 Stay, 11 More Signed By Phantoms

The New Hampshire Phantoms of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League announced the signing of 11 players from the 2008 roster and 11 more who are joining the team this season.

Returning to the franchise are:

- Defenders Matt Delaney, Gabe Mercier, Joe Annese and Patrick Gay

- Midfielders Brendan Joseph, Michael Todesca and James Palumbo

- Forwards Nick Todesca and Paulson Edum

- Goalkeepers Jon Mayo and Tim Murray

Coming in with the Phantoms for the 2009 season are:

- Defenders Josh Grenier, Johany Gallego and Joey Barima

- Midfielders Johnny Valencia and Mike Adam

- Forwards Danny Hernandez, Ethan Lapierre and T.J. Thompson

- Goalkeeper Phil Tuttle

The Phantoms end their preseason schedule Sunday at Clark University in Worcester, MA before opening their 2009 USL PDL campaign by hosting the New Jersey Rangers at Southern New Hampshire University.

United Signs Avery John After Revs Trade Him

Major League Soccer's DC United acquired defender Avery John in a trade Thursday with the New England Revolution for a conditional MLS SuperDraft pick in 2010 or 2011 and signed him in time to play for his new team Sunday at Giants Stadium against the New York Red Bulls.

United released forward Francis Doe to make room for John on the roster.

The Chin Returns To Vancouver

The defending United Soccer Leagues First Division champion Vancouver Whitecaps announced Thursday midfielder Gordon Chin will return to the team after a five-year hiatus.

Chin has playing soccer internationally, including last season with Yantai Yiteng in the Jia League, China's second-tier professional league.

The Whitecaps host the Portland Timbers Saturday at Swangard Stadium.

Mexico's Gonzalez Joins Chicago Red Eleven

The Chicago Red Eleven, the United Soccer Leagues W-League affiliate of the Chicago Red Stars of Women's Professional Soccer, announced the signing Thursday of Mexican Women's National Team player Monica Gonzalez, who holds dual citizenship having been born in Corpus Christi, TX but living in Mexico City.

Gonzalez has played 83 games and scored 10 goals for Mexico since 1999 and was team captain from 2003 to 2007. She has played on their 2007 Pan American Games, 2004 Athens Olympics and 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup squads, and was named a FIFA World All-Star in 2007.

She played collegiately at Notre Dame, leading the Fighting Irish to three NCAA Final Fours (1997, 1999, 2000), and scoring 17 goals and 17 assists in her career. In her senior season with the Irish, she started all 21 games and was named to the NCAA Division I All-America team and the ESPN:The Magazine Academic All-America team.

She played professionally for the Boston Breakers (2002 and 2003) in the former Women's United Soccer Association, where she was selected with the 11th overall pick in the '02 league draft. Gonzalez earned a berth on the WUSA's final All-Star team in 2003.

The Red Eleven, an expansion team this season in the W-League and one of many with WPS ties, will open their season May 17 against the FC Indiana Lionesses at Kuntz Stadium in Indianapolis.

King Loaned To Hammerheads Until May 30

The first-place Carolina RailHawks of the United Soccer Leagues First Division announced Thursday forward James King has been loaned to the Wilmington Hammerheads of the USL Second Division until May 30.

King was signed in the offseason from the USL1's Charleston Battery, where he had six goals and two assists in 28 games last season.

He has not played for Carolina in their first two USL1 games, but did play against Wilmington when the teams met in an April 14 exhibition game.

Are Monarchs Beginning To "Real"-ly Look Like DC United?

The Real Maryland Monarchs of the United Soccer Leagues Second Division announced the signing of four players who had experience playing with Major League Soccer's DC United.

Jeff Caroll played three games in the 2006 MLS season for DC after being drafted 39th overall in their league's SuperDraft.

Brother Pat Carroll debuted professionally for United July 24, 2008 against the Houston Dynamo.

Former Connecticut graduate Ryan Cordeiro played eight games and had one assist.

Finally, Sergio Sallas, who joins the Monarchs from Bolivia's Club Deportivo Aurora, played for United in the 2000 season.

The Monarchs open their USL2 season Saturday at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, MD.

MLS Cashing $10M Check From AC Milan For Beckham Debacle

The long story that was Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham getting his wish to play in Italy for AC Milan the rest of the season, instead of returning to his Major League Soccer as he was supposed to, ended Thursday with the Italian Serie A team giving MLS $10 million in return for allowing him to stay in Milan.

Beckham was loaned to AC Milan in January with him to be returned to MLS March 8, but Milan officials and Beckham wanted to extend the loan agreement.

He now is the property of AC Milan through July 1, then he will return to the Galaxy but can not officially play for the MLS franchise until the next FIFA international transfer window opens July 15.

At the end of this MLS season, Beckham can walk away from his contract with the Galaxy, which he has said he intends to do, and can return to Milan or any other international team. He could, however, always return to MLS at his choosing.

Men Arrested For Throwing Flares At Toronto FC Game

Police in Toronto arrested two men who threw flares during a Major League Soccer game Wednesday night at BMO Field between Toronto FC and Chivas USA.

A police spokesman said one of the lit flares landed on the field, causing $2,000 in damages, and the other landed on a women spectator's leg, causing burn injuries.

Toronto police charged the two, one of them a 17-year-old, with possession of a weapon for dangerous purposes, assault with a weapon, assault causing bodily harm, and mischief under $5,000.

No date for a judicial hearing was announced.

If The US Gets To Host Either The 2018 Or 2022 World Cup,..

...58 operators of major stadiums in the country, including all but one stadium used in the National Football League, say they are interested in hosting games, according to The Associated Press Thursday.

The different venues cover 49 major metropolitan TV markets in the country and two of them -- Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA (New England Revolution) and Qwest Field in Seattle (Seattle Sounders FC) -- host Major League Soccer teams.

The lone NFL stadium not wanting World Cup games? Candlestick Park in San Francisco, home to the San Francisco 49ers.

FIFA, the world governing body for soccer, requires countries interested in hosting World Cups to provide a list of a minimum 12 stadiums that seat over 40,000 fans in their bids. To host either an opening game or a championship final, stadiums must seat a minimum 80,000 fans.

FIFA will announce the sites for both future World Cups in December 2010. The US is set to win only one possible event.

Ching Uses Head To Earn Goal Of The Week Honor

Brian Ching's header in the 20th minute of the Houston Dynamo's 1-0 Major League Soccer victory Sunday over the Colorado Rapids was the favorite of soccer fans, who voted him winner Thursday of the MLS/Sierra Mist Goal of the Week for Week 5 of the 2009 season.

Ching now qualifies for the Goal of the Year award at the end of the season.

Wizards Magically Appear At Top Of Eastern Conference Table

Claudio Lopez's penalty kick in the third minute of the game, caused by the ejection of Carlos Johnson for the second time this season for denying a goal-scoring opportunity, allowed the Kansas City Wizards to shut out the New York Red Bulls, 1-0, Thursday in Major League Soccer play at CommunityAmerica Ballpark in Kansas City, MO.

The goal also ended New York's 240-minute streak of not allowing a point in a game and put the Wizards on top, albeit briefly, of the Eastern Conference standings at 3-2-1 with 10 points, one ahead of the Chicago Fire. After starting 0-2-0, KC has gone 3-0-1 in its last four games.

The Red Bulls, who played the remaining 87 minutes with 10 men, fell to 1-3-2 with five points and is in sixth place in the Eastern table. Both teams are back in action Sunday on the road -- New York at DC United and Kansas City at Toronto FC.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

DC United Begins LHUSOC Defense By Winning Play-In Game

Major League Soccer's DC United, the defending champion of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament, began their defense the hard way Wednesday -- by having to win a play-in game.

Because of the fact United did not have one of the top six records last season in MLS, which would've earned them a tournament bye until the third round, the defending champs beat FC Dallas, 2-0, at RFK Stadium to move a step closer to making the field of America's oldest club tournament.

Chris Pontius fed a pass to Fred in the 21st minute for United's first goal, then iced the game when Santino Quaranta assisted on a goal by Brandon Barklage in the 66th minute.

United will now advance to the next round of play-in games (date and time to be announced), where they will play the winner of an April 29 game between the New York Red Bulls and the host San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium.

Guevara Ends Unbeaten Streak For Chivas USA

With an unassisted goal by Amado Guevara in the 36th minute, Toronto FC upset Major League Soccer's hottest team this season, Chivas USA, 1-0, Wednesday night at BMO Field in Toronto.

The victory was Toronto's first in five matchups and Guevara's goal was his team-leading third of the season and first since scoring two goals against the Kansas City Wizards in the season opener March 21 at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.

Coincidentally, Toronto, 2-2-2 with eight points and tied for second place in the Eastern Conference standings with the New England Revolution, hosts Kansas City Sunday in their third game in eight days.

Chivas, still with the league's best record at 4-1-1 with 13 points, hosts FC Dallas Saturday. Chivas beat them, 2-0, at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX March 29.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

WPS Adds AdvoCare International As Founding Partner

Women's Professional Soccer announced Wednesday AdvoCare International, LP as a new founding partner and the company's Rehydrate Electrolyte Replacement Drink will become the league's official isotonic beverage for players, both on and off the field.

AdvoCare, in return, gets branding opportunities in return, including their name placed on a postseason award.

Revs D Albright Out 6-8 Weeks After Successful Knee Surgery

Defender Chris Albright will miss six to eight weeks of the Major League Soccer season after the New England Revolution player underwent successful surgery Wednesday on a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee.

He originally suffered the injury during training for last Friday's match on the road against DC United and was awaiting the results of a scan of the injury.

New England makes their first trip to Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT to face Real Salt Lake Saturday.

Gilstrap Commits To Another Season With City Stars

Goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap will return for his third straight season with the Cleveland City Stars of the United Soccer Leagues First Division after signing a contract Wednesday.

Gilstrap joins Anthony Stovall as the only players on the roster who have been with the team since their 2007 inception in USL Second Division.

The 2008 USL2 champions, the City Stars chose to promote themselves to the First Division this season.

Gilstrap played recently in the South African Premier League for Maritzburg United.

He had a combined goals against average of 1.03 with seven shutouts in playing at Clemson and the College of Charleston.

In 2006, he was selected 13th overall by Miami FC in the USL1 Draft, then joined the City Stars.

In 2007, he had six shutouts in 12 games, won the USL2's Goals Against Average championship with a 0.50 mark and was named to a USL2 Team of the Week in August of that year for a seven-save performance in a shutout over the Harrisburg City Islanders.

Last season, he has a 1.125 GAA in eight games, including three shutout victories, en route to Cleveland's USL2 title.

The City Stars face a fellow USL1 expansion team in the Austin Aztex Saturday.

Blues Sign North Carolina Tar Heels Duo

The defending United Soccer Leagues W-League champion Pali Blues announced the signings Wednesday of two players from the University of North Carolina -- goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris and defender Whitney Engen.

Harris was a four-year starter at her position and was the first four-time Parade magazine All-American in girls high school soccer and a four-time National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-American while at Satellite High School in Florida, where she led them to state championships in 2002 and 2003.

In 2004, she was named both the Gatorade and Parade National Girls High School Player Of The Year.

She was part of the champion US team at the FIFA U-19 World Cup and is currently part of the US U-23 Women's National Team.

Engen is a three-year starter who was converted last season to defender from forward, where she had 18 goals and 21 assists in her first two seasons at North Carolina. She had three assists last season for the Tar Heels and has led them to two NCAA Tournament championships.

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

Laredo Heat Name Four To 2009 Roster

The Laredo Heat of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League announced the return Wednesday of Dionisio "Nicho" Infante for his fifth season with the team and Frank Lara, who will graduate from Lyndon Baines Johnson High School in Laredo this May, and signed newcomers Albert Escovar and Erick Acevedo.

Escovar recently graduated from Texas A&M International University and Acevedo played last season in the PDL for the expansion Houston Leones.

Ex-Ironman To Play For Inbound Express In 2009 Season

Defender Oral Bullen, who played in every game for the Xtreme Soccer League this season for the New Jersey Ironmen, will suit up for the Newark Ironbound Express in the 2009 United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League season, according to the Express Wednesday.

He had a three-point goal, a pair of two-point goals and an assist for New Jersey in theirs and the league's inaugural season.

Before joining the Ironmen, he spent two seasons in the Major Indoor Soccer League with the Milwaukee Wave. In 2006, he played in 18 games and had two goals and three assists for seven points, along with five blocked shots. In 2007, he had a goal and six assists as well as blocked 21 shots.

He also has previous USL experience with the First Division's Portland Timbers in 2006, where he was named to a Team of the Week once that season.

Sky Blue FC Steals Victory From Lionesses

Sharolta Nonen and Rosana scored late goals as Sky Blue FC of Women's Professional Soccer stunned the FC Indiana Lionesses of the United Soccer Leagues' W-League, 2-1, Tuesday in an exhibition at Kuntz Stadium in Indianapolis.

Lisa-Marie Woods scored what FCI thought would be the game-winning goal in the 72nd minute before Nonen, off a Sarah Walsh assist, and Rosana, off a Natasha Kai assist, fired two quick shots to take the victory.

The Lionesses next face the Chicago Red Stars of WPS at Kuntz Stadium May 2.

Ireland's Womens Team To Train With FC Indiana

The FC Indiana Lionesses of the United Soccer Leagues W-League announced Thursday Ireland's women's national team received permission from the FAI International Committee to begin preparing for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup by attending an 11-week training camp with the Lionesses.

During the camp, Ireland will face the Lionesses and two teams from Women's Professional Soccer -- the Chicago Red Stars and the Los Angeles Sol -- in friendly matches.

Qualifying matches for the 2011 Women's World Cup begin September 19 and Ireland has been drawn to Group Six, featuring Russia, Switzerland, Israel and Kazakhstan.

DeRosario Could Miss Several Weeks For Toronto FC

Major League Soccer's Toronto FC could be without midfielder Dwayne DeRosario for at least four to six weeks after he aggravated a hamstring during Sunday's game at FC Dallas, according to the Toronto Globe & Mail Tuesday.

He left Sunday's game in the 74th minute and is now scheduled to miss at least their next two games against Chivas USA Wednesday and this Sunday against the Kansas City Wizards.

Third Sol Player Wins WPS Player Of The Week Award

For the third time in four weeks of Women's Professional Soccer's inaugural season, a member of the league-leading Los Angeles Sol takes Player of the Week honors.

Tuesday, midfielder Aly Wagner, who assisted on Marta's goal in a 1-0 Sol win at The Home Depot Center Sunday against FC Gold Pride, was named the award winner.

She joins Aya Miyama (Week 1) and Marta (Week 2) as Sol winners.

In Week 3, Kelly Smith of the Boston Breakers was the winner.

Whitecaps Tie Newcomer Aztex On The Road

The defending United Soccer Leagues First Division champion Vancouver Whitecaps hardly look like what they're supposed to be as their record fell to 0-1-2 with two points Tuesday as they played to a draw with the expansion Austin Aztex at Nelson Field in Austin, TX.

Vancouver scored first in the 18th minute on a pass from Wes Knight to Marco Reda and the lead held until the 67th minute when Sullivan Silva fed a shot to Gifton Noel-Williams, scoring the game-tying shot for Austin (0-0-2, two points).

Both teams are back in action Saturday -- Vancouver hosting the Portland Timbers, Austin hosting the Cleveland City Stars.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

NYAC Re-Signs Alisha Moran For 2009 Season

The New York Athletic Club of the Women's Premier Soccer League have welcomed the return of Alisha Moran to their 2009 roster.

Moran, who played collegiately at Harvard, joined Ireland's women's national team in 2005 and has played 36 games for them.

She was the 2007 FAI Eircom International Player of the Year for her play during qualifying for the FIFA Women's World Cup.

Rampage Retain 15 Members Of 2008 Roster

The Los Angeles Rampage of the Women's Premier Soccer League announced they have retained 15 members of their 2008 Western Conference franchise's roster for the 2009 season.

Among them are team co-captains Susie Mischenko of Cal State Northridge and Tessa Troglia of Cal State Los Angeles, CSUN's Kristy Krohn and Shanna Hudson, CSULA's Ana Coria, Cal Poly Pomona's Pamela Leyva and USC's Marihelen Tomer.

Hudson returns after missing the 2008 season with a season-ending foot injury in last season's opening game at Ajax America Women.

Tomer was a 2008 WPSL All-Pacific Conference pick.

Long Island Fury Sign Cerrone, Newman For 2009 Season

Hannah Cerrone, the 2008 All-Women's Premier Soccer League's Second Team and East Conference First Team member, and Cody Newman signed new contracts with the Long Island Fury.

Cerrone, a star at Boston College, was named last fall to the Soccer Buzz Northeast Region First Team. In 2007, she was named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman team and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Northeast Second Team, as well as being named Soccer Buzz Northeast Freshman of the Year.

Newman, in her fourth season with the Fury, plays collegiately at Duke and was named to the 2008 All-ACC Freshman team, the NSCAA All-Rookie Team and the ACC Academic All-American Team.

Portland Rain Signs Pilots M/F Natalie Budge

The expansion Portland Rain of the Women's Premier Soccer League announced the signing of ex-University of Portland midfielder/forward Natalie Budge.

Budge had 31 goals and 26 assists for 88 career points with the Pilots and ranks tenth overall in points, ninth overall in goals and 13th overall in assists.

She played the 2008 season professionally in Germany.

In 2006, she was a member of the US U-21 Women's National Team.

Bay State Select Adds Four More To Roster

Bay State Select of the Women's Premier Soccer League announced the signings of four players.

Julie Morrissey led the University of Cincinnati to their first-ever appearances in the Big East Conference tournament, scoring 20 points and leading the team in game-winning goals in starting all 22 games last season and midfield and forward.

Stephanie Gordon started in all 23 games for Northeastern University as a freshman and was named to the Colonial Athletic Association's All-Tournment First Team. She has tied a school record for shutouts and is sixth on their all-time list in saves for a season with 110. The Huskies earned their first CAA Championship and NCAA Tournament bid this past season.

Jen Leverton led St. John's University in scoring, goals, game winning goals and total shots on goal and to their fifth consecutive Big East Conference tournament appearance.

Clemson University's Tara Cort played all 17 games for the Tigers at midfielder -- one of two freshman to play every game last season -- and was tied for third on the team in scoring and fourth overall in shots. She also had a game-winning goal last season.

Nieva Joins WPSL's Dallas Premier Women's SC

University of Houston midfielder/forward Christine Nieva, a member of Mexico's women's national team, signed a contract with the Women's Premier Soccer League's Dallas Premier Women's Soccer Club.

She will be reunited with goalkeeper Tina Rincon of Texas Tech University, forward Leslie Hall of Iowa State, 2008 WPSL All-Big Sky Conference player Carley Phillips of Southern Methodist University, defender Kate Marr of Oklahoma, and midfielder Rebecca Mendoza of Notre Dame -- all of who played for the Dallas Sting '87 Royal team that won four North Texas state soccer championships and finished third in Nationals in 2002 and 2003.

USL Names Week 2's USL1, USL2 Players Of The Week

The United Soccer Leagues announced Tuesday Miami FC Blues forward Diego Serna and Harrisburg City Islanders forward Steve Fisher were named the USL First and Second Division Players of the Week, respectively, for the second week of the 2009 season.

Serna had a goal and two assists in his team's 3-1 win over the Cleveland City Stars, the former 2008 USL2 league champion who chose to promote themselves into USL1.

Fisher contributed on both of his team's goals in a 2-2 draw to the Richmond Kickers at the University of Richmond.

Fisher tied the score at 1-1 in the 23rd minute on an unassisted goal, then took over the lead before halftime by assisting Mo Odour on a score.

USL also announced the other members of the first Team of the Week in USL1 for the 2009 season.

They are:

GOALKEEPER
Dustin Hudock, Charleston Battery
Led team to second straight shutout victory

DEFENDERS
Lyle Adams, Austin Aztex
Scored goal in 1-1 draw against Minnesota Thunder

Nevio Pizzolitto, Montreal Impact
Led team in scoreless draw at Charleston Battery

Frankie Sanfilippo, Charleston Battery
Led team to pair of shutout victories

Jack Stewart, Carolina RailHawks
Led team to pair of victories

MIDFIELDERS
Leonardo Di Lorenzo, Montreal Impact
Led team in scoreless draw at Charleston Battery

Tsuyoshi Yoshitake, Charleston Battery
Led team in scoreless draw against Montreal Impact

Josh Gardner, Carolina RailHawks
Assisted on lone goal in 1-0 win over Rochester Rhinos

FORWARDS
Marcus Haber, Vancouver Whitecaps
Scored team's only goal in 2-1 loss at Puerto Rico Islanders

Nicholas Addlery, Puerto Rico Islanders
Scored both of his team's goals in 2-1 win over Vancouver Whitecaps

USL will release its first USL2 Team of the Week April 28.

Crystal Palace Baltimore Signs Vranis To Contract

Crystal Palace Baltimore of the United Soccer Leagues Second Division announced the signing Tuesday of 19-year-old midfielder Neil Vranis.

Vranis graduated from Winston Churchill High School, where he led the team in goals last season with 12 and had four assists. He was named to the All-County, Metro and State teams.

He also led the Baltimore Bays U-18 team to a National Championship in 2008 by scoring 15 goals.

Baltimore hosts the Bermuda Hogges Friday at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.

Timbers Sign D Danson, Cut Loose D Vua

The Portland Timbers of the United Soccer Leagues First Division announced the signing Tuesday of defender Mamadou Danson and the release of defender Dieumerci Vua.

Danson, a native of Serrekunda, Gambia, played in eight games last season for the Cary Clarets of the Premier Development League, scoring two goals in 675 minutes of play.

He played collegiately the last two seasons at Southern Polytechnic State University, where he was named twice to the All-Southern States Athletic Conference team and scored 35 career goals, including a conference-leading 19 goals last season, when he became the school's first All-American soccer player.

The Timbers open the 2009 USL1 season Saturday at Swangard Stadium against the defending champion Vancouver Whitecaps.

Carver Gets Fined For Public Comments On Officiating

Major League Soccer announced Tuesday Toronto FC head coach John Carver was fined $750 for making public comments criticizing league officiating after his team fell, 4-2, to FC Dallas Sunday at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX.

Carver's postgame comments appeared in Monday's edition of The Toronto Sun.

Wolff Named MLS Player Of The Week

Kansas City Wizards forward Josh Wolff, who scored both his team's goals in the last 12 minutes of an eventual 2-2 draw to the Chicago Fire on the road Saturday, was named Major League Soccer's Player of the Week for Week 5 of the 2009 season.

He scored in the 78th minute on a Claudio Lopez assist, keeping Kansas City's streak of games playing without being shut out to 17 straught, then scored again in the 89th minute.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Wolff became the third person in MLS history -- and the second one this season -- to score two goals past the 75th minute mark to narrow a two-goal deficit, then eventually tie the game.

Landon Donovan of the Los Angeles Galaxy was the last to complete the feat March 22 in a 2-2 draw to DC United at The Home Depot Center. Carlos Quintanilla of United was the first to do so in a 2003 game at the New England Revolution, but United won the game, 4-3.

The award is Wolff's sixth of his career and first since Week 27 of the 2006 season.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Wambach Coming Home As USWNT Plays Canada In Rochester, NY

US Women's National Team member Abby Wambach, a native of Pittsford, NY, will return home when she leads her world top-ranked team in an exhibition game July 19 at Rochester Rhinos Stadium in Rochester, NY against Canada, according to Monday's Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.

Wambach, a national high school player of the year for Mercy High School in 1997, now plays for the Washington Freedom in Women's Professional Soccer.

She has 99 career goals in 127 games for the team and will soon become the fifth US women's plate to score 100 goals.

ESPN is set to televise the game.

Whitecaps Women Name Hermus, Hall To Koch's Staff

The Vancouver Whitecaps of the United Soccer Leagues W-League announced Monday Randee Hermus and Raegyn Hall will work under head coach Alan Koch for the 2009 season.

Hermus will be a player-assistant coach and Hall will return as assistant coach and goalkeepers coach.

Hermus played part of six seasons in the W-League with the Whitecaps, including their debut season in 2001 and their championship seasons of 2004 and 2006 and was part of the league's 2005 All-Western Conference Team.

She has played 52 career games so far with nine goals and three assists and is currently 14th on the team's all-time scoring list with 21 points.

Hermus has 113 career goals with the Canadian Women's National Team and became the fourth member of the team to earn 100 appearances.

Hall, in his second season with the Whitecaps, works with Hall at Simon Fraser University and served as goalkeeper coach for Canada's U-20 women's team as they won the CONCACAF Women's U-20 Championship in Puebla, Mexico and helped the team qualify for the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Chile in 2008.

The team also announced Diane Voice will return for her ninth season as team manager. She joined the team in 1989, when they were known as the Vancouver 86ers.

Magic Re-Sign Seven, Add Eight More To Team

The Milburn Magic of the Women's Premier Soccer League announced the re-signings of seven members of their 2008 squad and the signing of eight new players for the 2009 campaign.

Returning to the Magic are goalkeeper Lia Fierro and teammate Kim Malecki, both from Monmouth University; Kaitlin Blaine and Tara Ricciardi from Providence College, Towson University's Ashley Ventura, Fairfield University's Chrissie Sidie and Kean University's Lara Kaminski.

Joining the franchise for the 2009 season are:

- Katherine Sheeleigh, the 2007 Ivy League Player of the Year at Harvard, who led the school to the 2008 Ivy League Championship with six goals and five assists that season. She played in the final regular season game for the Magic in 2008.

- Amanda Malkiewicz, who had four goals and five assists in all 22 regular season games last season for East Carolina University as a freshman. She was named to Conference USA's All-Freshman team.

- Katy Fissel of Madison High School, who has five goals as a freshman with the Colonels and was named to the All-Freedom Conference Team.

- Leah Jerome of Fordham University, the school's 2007 Atlantic 10 Conference Student-Athlete of the Year.

- College of Holy Cross defender Biz Shenk.

- Lehigh University defender Sarah Stackhouse.

- Marylanne DeLargy and Laura Kurash of the Magic's Youth Premier Soccer League.

Piranhas To Become Affiliate Of WPS' Freedom

The Hampton Roads Piranhas of the United Soccer Leagues W-League announced Monday they have reached an agreement Monday with the Washington Freedom of Women's Professional Soccer to become the Freedom's official affiliate franchise.

The deal will allow both teams to scout for potential players and the Piranhas will also set up preseason and postseason exhibition matches for the Freedom.

PDL's Thunder Signs Local Talent Zietlow

The Rochester (MN) Thunder, an expansion franchise in the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League this season, signed local player John Zietlow to a contract Monday.

Zietlow went to elementary through eighth grade at Resurrection Lutheran School, then played high school soccer at Mayo High School, where he was a three-time all-conference player, captain of the team his senior year and a track star.

Now finishing his sophomore year at St. Olaf College, Zietlow is majoring in chemistry and has plans to go to medical school after earning his undergraduate degree.

At St. Olaf, he is a two-time All-Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Far West Region member, as well as the team's Most Valuable Player.

This season, he added academic awards from the MIAC and the NSCAA to his resume.

Zietlow led the MIAC in points in 2008 with 36 and was second in goals at 13. He also had 13 assists.

The Thunder open their debut season May 9 on the road against the Des Moines Menace.

Sockers Shut Out Eastern New Mexico In Exhibition

Lukas Garcia scored the game's only goal off an assist from Carlos Guillen as the expansion West Texas United Sockers of the United Soccer Leagues' Premier Development League shut out Eastern New Mexico University, 1-0, Sunday in Portales, NM.

The Sockers will end their inaugural preseason schedule this weekend with a two-game series against Mexico's Juarez at Grande Communications Stadium.

McBride, Wolff Highlight Week 5 Goal Of The Week Candidates

The two players who scored for their respective teams in a 2-2 draw Saturday at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL -- Brian McBride of the Chicago Fire and Josh Wolff of the Kansas City Wizards -- highlight the six nominees announced Monday for Major League Soccer's Sierra Mist Week 5 Goal Of The Week award.

McBride scored two goals in the first 20 minutes and both in a seven-minute stretch of that time to give the Fire the early lead, then Wolff scored two goals in a 12-minute span of the second half for the draw.

The other nominees for this week are:

Ben Olson, DC United
Scored game-tying goal in second half stoppage time on a Jaime Moreno assist in a 1-1 tie with the New England Revolution.

Juan Pablo Angel, New York Red Bulls
Scored on a Macoumba Kandji assist in the 57th minute of a 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake.

Brian Ching, Houston Dynamo
Scored only goal unassisted in 20th minute of 1-0 win over Colorado Rapids.

Chad Barrett, Toronto FC
Scored game-tying goal off assists from Amado Guevara and Fuad Ibrahim in 3-2 loss to FC Dallas.

MLS fans can vote for this week's winner at www.mlsnet.com through Wednesday.

The winner gets his name -- and goal -- placed in nomination for the Sierra Mist Goal of the Year competition at the end of the season.

Marta's Goal Gives Sol Third Straight Shutout Victory

Aly Wagner fed a pass to Marta in the 47th minute for the lone score as the Los Angeles Sol took sole possession of the lead in the debut season of Women's Professional Soccer with a 1-0 victory over FC Gold Pride at The Home Depot Center.

The Sol are not only undefeated at 3-0-0 with nine points, they have yet to give up a goal.

Los Angeles next hits the road to meet the St. Louis Athletica at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Saturday.

FC Gold Pride is 1-1-1 with four points and tied with the Chicago Red Stars for third in the league standings. They next host the Washington Freedom next Sunday.

The Red Stars and Sky Blue FC played to a scoreless draw in Sunday's other game.

St. Louis Illusion Wins Inaugural US Open Arena Soccer Championship

The St. Louis Illusion defeated the Detroit Waza Flo Pro, 8-3, to claim the inaugural US Open Arena Soccer Championship Sunday at The Game Arena in Glen Carbon, IL.

It is the Gateway City's first professional indoor soccer championship since the St. Louis Ambush captured the 1994-95 National Professional Soccer League championship.

The Illusion join La Raza de Monterrey (Copa America) and the Stockton Cougars (PASL Pro Championship) as trophy winners from the inaugural season of the Professional Arena Soccer League.

Cooper Combo Gives FC Dallas First Win Of Season

Kenny Cooper got an assist from David Ferreira in the 44th minute for his first goal and connected on a penalty kick in the 84th minute for the game-winning goal as FC Dallas got their first victory of the 2009 Major League Soccer season Sunday, 3-2, over Toronto FC at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX.

Dax McCarty's feed to Drew Moor in the 25th minute opened the scoring for Dallas before Cooper created the 2-0 halftime lead.

The second half barely started when Adrian Serioux took passes from Carl Robinson and Amado Guevara in the 46th minute to cut Dallas' lead to one, then knotted the game at 1-1 in the 59th when Guevara and Fuad Ibrahim teamed with Chad Barrett on a goal.

FC Dallas is now 1-3-1 with four points and in seventh place in the Western Conference. Toronto is 1-2-2 with five points and tied with the New York Red Bulls for fifth in the Eastern Conference.

Dallas and Toronto have a common MLS opponent in their upcoming schedules -- Chivas USA, the team with the best record in the league and in the Western Conference at 3-1-1 with ten points.

Dallas first takes on fellow MLS franchise DC United at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC Wednesday in a play-in game for the 2009 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament, then returns to league play Saturday against Chivas at The Home Depot Center.

Toronto, meanwhile, gets Chivas Wednesday at BMO Field, then travels to Kansas City Sunday to face the Wizards at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Kickers, City Islanders Start Season With Draw

Steve Fisher scored an unassisted goal in the 23rd minute and assisted on a Mo Odour goal in the 43rd minute, but the Harrisburg City Islanders and the host Richmond Kickers played to a 2-2 draw to open their respective United Soccer Leagues Second Division seasons Saturday at Richmond, VA.

Matthew Delicate opened the scoring for Richmond in the 16th minute off a Mike Burke pass, then saw Fisher knot the game on his play. In the second half, after Odour's goal, David Bulow made a successful 50th minute penalty kick to force the draw.

This Saturday, Richmond plays host to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds while the City Islanders welcome the Western Mass Pioneers.

Ching's Goal Gives Dynamo First Win Of Season

Brian Ching scored a goal in the 20th minute off assists from Brad Davis and Stuart Holden as the Houston Dynamo got their first win of the 2009 Major League Soccer season, 1-0, over the Colorado Rapids Sunday at Robertson Stadium at the University of Houston.

The Dynamo are 1-2-2 with five points and are currently tied for fifth place in the Western Conference standings with the San Jose Earthquakes. Colorado is 2-2-1 with seven points and in third place in the table.

Houston enjoys the week off before resuming play May 3 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA to face the New England Revolution.

Colorado will host the Los Angeles Galaxy this Saturday.

Breakers Tie Sol For WPS Lead By Beating Freedom

The Boston Breakers shared the lead in Women's Professional Soccer with the Los Angeles Sol at 2-1-0 with six points after defeating the Washington Freedom, 3-1, Saturday at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, MD.

Both teams played to a 1-1 first half tie as Boston's Kelly Smith scored on a 56th minute penalty kick and Washington's Lori Lindsay evened the score four minutes later on a pass from Rebecca Moros.

Christine Latham was assisted by Alex Scott on a 76th minute Breakers goal, then iced the game with an Angela Hucles unassisted goal five minute later for the victory.

Boston travels to face the Chicago Red Stars Saturday while the Freedom (0-2-1, one point, tied with Sky Blue FC for fifth place in the standings) are at FC Gold Pride next Sunday.

California Clasico Not Quite Clasico; 1-1 Draw To Galaxy

It was billed as the California Clasico, but it was anything but as the Los Angeles Galaxy and the host San Jose Earthquakes played to a 1-1 draw in Major League Soccer action Saturday at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland, CA.

San Jose scored quickly as Chris Leitch fed a pass to Pablo Campos in the fifth minute and held on for the halftime lead.

But, in the 76th minute, Landon Donovan and Dema Kovalenko teamed on a goal by Brian Jordan to force the draw.

The Galaxy remain winless in MLS at 0-1-3 with three points and are in sixth place in the Western Conference table. They will hope for their first win of the season Saturday at the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

San Jose is 1-2-2 with five points and in fifth place in the conference standings and travel to the Seattle Sounders Saturday.

Chivas Takes Western Lead, Shuts Out Sounders FC

Chukwudi Chijindu scored the game-winning goal for Major League Soccer's Chivas USA in the 84th minute off assists by Bojan Stepanovic and Gerson Mayer as they defeated the expansion Seattle Sounders FC, 2-0, Saturday at The Home Depot Center.

Seattle's James Posey gave Chivas the 1-0 lead in the 32nd minute off an own goal.

Chivas leads the Western Conference and has the league's best record at 4-0-1 with 13 points and next travels to Toronto FC Wednesday.

Seattle, after starting the season 3-0-0 with nine points, has lost their last two games and are now in second place in the conference table. The Sounders host the San Jose Earthquakes next Saturday at Qwest Field.

Aztex's USL1 Debut Is A Draw To Thunder

Lyle Adams scored a goal in the 69th minute off Sullivan Silva as the debuting Austin Aztex forced a 1-1 draw in their inaugural United Soccer Leagues First Division game when they hosted the Montreal Impact Saturday.

The Aztex had a team in the USL Premier Development League last season, but this is the senior team's first season in USL1.

Austin earned its first standings point (0-0-1) and are tied with the Impact and the defending champion Vancouver Whitecaps (both 0-1-1), who they host Tuesday.

Leonel Saint-Preux had the Thunder's opening unassisted goal in the 51st minute. Minnesota next travels to the league-leading Carolina RailHawks at WakeMed Soccer Park next Sunday.

Serna Makes Blues Smile Over City Stars

Diego Serna scored an unassisted goal in the 37th minute and assisted Alen Marcina on a 28th minute opener and a 79th minute play from Leo Inacio Lunes as the Miami FC Blues defeated the Cleveland City Stars, 3-1, Saturday in United Soccer Leagues First Division play.

The City Stars, the 2008 USL Second Division champions who promoted themselves into USL1 this season, evened the game at 1-1 in the 33rd minute off a Anthony Stovall to Ricardo Pierre-Louis score.

Cleveland, 0-1-0 with a point and tied for ninth with the Portland Timbers, who have not started league play yet, and the Rochester Rhinos, meets a true USL1 expansion team this Saturday when they travel to the Austin Aztex, while the Blues host the Montreal Impact this Friday.

RailHawks Get Win Over Rhinos, Tops In USL1

Sallieu Bundu scored off a Josh Gardner pass in the 53rd minute as the Carolina RailHawks took the lead in the United Soccer League First Division standings with a 1-0 win at WakeMed Soccer Park Saturday over the Rochester Rhinos.

The RailHawks have the league's best record at 2-0-0 with the maximum six points and host the Minnesota Thunder next Sunday.

Rochester is 0-1-0 with no points and are tied for ninth with the Portland Timbers, who have yet to start their season, and the Cleveland City Stars, the former USL Second Division champions who elevated themselves to USL1 in the offseason.

Addlery Gives Islanders Win Over Defending USL1 Champions

Nicholas Addlery provided all the scoring the defending United Soccer Leagues First Division Commissioner's Cup champion Puerto Rico Islanders needed Saturday at Juan Loubriel Stadium in Bayamon, PR in a 2-0 victory over the defending league champion Vancouver Whitecaps.

Addlery's first goal came in the sixth minute off a Noah Delgado assist, then scored in the 38th minute with help from Cristian Arrieta.

Vancouver started the scoring in the second minute of the game on a Luca Bellisomo-to-Marcus Haber play.

The Islanders, who finished with the best regular season record last season, is 1-1-0 with three points and tied for second in the standings table with the Miami FC Blues. They will host the Rochester Rhinos Friday.

The Whitecaps are 0-1-1 with a point and are tied for fifth with the Austin Aztex, Montreal Impact and Minnesota Thunder. Vancouver is at the expansion Aztex Tuesday.

Two Players, Two Goals: A 2-2 Draw For Fire, Wizards

Brian McBride and Josh Wolff were key players for their respective teams as the Chicago Fire and Kansas City Wizards played to a 2-2 draw Saturday in Major League Soccer play from Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL.

McBride had goals in the 13th minute off a Wilman Conde assist and had help from Cuauhtemoc Blanco seven minutes later to put the Fire up, 2-0, at the half.

In the second half, Wolff took a pass from Claudio Lopez in the 78th minute for KC's first goal, then, thanks to Michael Harrington in the final minute of regulation play, fired a shot into the net to force the draw.

The Fire lead the Eastern Conference standings at 2-0-3 with nine points and are at the defending MLS champion Crew next Saturday.

The Wizards, 2-2-1 with seven points and in third place in the Eastern table, host the New York Red Bulls Thursday at CommunityAmerica BallPark.

Kandji Leads Red Bulls Over Real Salt Lake

Macoumba Kandji had an unassisted goal in the second minute of play and assisted on Juan Pablo Angel's 57th minute goal as the New York Red Bulls got their first win of the Major League Soccer season with a 2-0 victory over Real Salt Lake at Giants Stadium Saturday in a rematch of the 2008 MLS Cup Western Conference final.

The Red Bulls took that victory, too, then lost to the now-defending league champion Columbus Crew.

New York is now 1-2-2 with five points and tied with Toronto FC for fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings. They travel to the Kansas City Wizards Thursday.

RSL is 2-2-0 with six points and is in fourth place in the Western Conference standings. They host the New England Revolution Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

City Stars Sign Five In Time For USL1 Season Opener

Hours before the Cleveland City Stars make their United Soccer Leagues First Division debut on the road Saturday against the Miami FC Blues, the former 2008 USL Second Division champions announced the signing of four players -- defenders Ibrahim Kante and Stephen Cruickshank, and midfielders Pato Aguilera and Steve Gillespie -- and the loan of a fifth -- goalkeeper Chris Seitz.

Kante played the last two seasons with USL2's Crystal Palace Baltimore, scoring three goals and an assist in 25 games over that time. In 2003, he joined Major League Soccer's New England Revolution, then moved to the A-League, USL's predecessor, in 2004, to play for Milwaukee Wave United.

He spent the 2004 to 2006 seasons in the Major Indoor Soccer League with, in order, the St. Louis Steamers, Kansas City Comets and Baltimore Blast.

Cruickshank is in his second season at the City Stars.

He started his career in Trinidad with Caledonia AIA in 2006, then joined the City Stars in their 2007 debut season in USL2, but missed most of the season with an ankle injury.

He returned to Trinidad after the 2008 USL2 season and played for St. Annes Rangers and Ma Pau FC.

Cruickshank has also played four games for the Trinidad & Tobago national team.

Aguilera comes to the City Stars from the Montreal Impact in USL1, where he had a goal and an assist in 23 games in his only season there.

Drafted by the Columbus Crew in the 2000 MLS SuperDraft, he was traded to the Revolution in 2001 before playing in USL for the Virginia Beach Mariners.

In 2003, at Virginia Beach, he was fifth in the league in points with 29, eighth in goals at 10 and tied for third in assists with nine.

Before having a second stint with the Mariners, Aguilera played for the USL1's Rochester Rhinos and Huracan del Paso of Bolivia's first division.

Gillespie was captain of the 2006 and 2007 Mount Union College team and he led them in goals and assists in both seasons.

In 2007, he was named Ohio Athletic Conference Midfielder of the Year and All-OAC First Team member, as well as being named to the All-Great Lakes Region First Team.

After the 2007 season, he played in the USL Premier Development League with the Cleveland Internationals, where he finished third on the team in points.

Last season, he began on the City Stars' reserve team, but joined the Crew's reserve team in September.

Seitz, the fourth overall pick in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft after playing two seasons at Maryland, including winning an NCAA title in his freshman season, is on loan to the City Stars for Saturday's game from Real Salt Lake in MLS and returns to RSL afterwards.

He has played on the US U-20, U-23 and senior Men's National Teams.