Friday, July 31, 2009

FC Dallas Transfers Cooper To Bundesliga 2

Major League Soccer's FC Dallas announced Friday the transfer of forward Kenny Cooper to TSV 1860 in Germany's Bundesliga 2, pending completion of a physical.

Team officials stated Cooper had expressed an interest in returning to Europe after his MLS contract expired next year and the move gives the team to explore other options.

Cooper, the team's second-leading goal scorer in history with 40 goals in 90 career games) and 2008 Most Valuable Player, joined FC Dallas in February 2006 after playing with Manchester United in England.

TSV 1860 finished the 2008-09 Bundesliga 2 season in 12th place.

Rimando Wins Voting For Save Of The Week Award

In voting by fans for the best denial of an opponent's goal this week, Real Salt Lake's Nick Rimando was named winner of Major League Soccer's new Save of the Week competition for Week 19 of the 2009 season.

Rimando beat out Kevin Hartman (Kansas City Wizards), Josh Saunders (Los Angeles Galaxy), Matt Reis (New England Revolution) and William Hesmer (Columbus Crew).

Galaxy's Donovan Named MLS POM For July

Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan was named Major League Soccer's Player of the Month for July 2009 Friday after scoring two goals and an assist in guiding the Galaxy to a five-game undefeated streak and a third-place showing in the Western Conference standings at 6-3-10 with 28 points.

Donovan is tied for third in the Budweiser Golden Boot goal scoring title race with Conor Casey of the Colorado Rapids at eight.

This is Donovan's fourth POM award in his career and first since April 2008.

Ljunberg To Miss Sounders Game Sunday Due To Ejection

Despite suffering from a migraine headache after the Major League Soccer All-Star Game, which the All-Stars lost in penalty kicks to Everton FC Wednesday in Sandy, UT, Seattle Sounders midfielder Freddie Ljungberg will miss Sunday's game at the San Jose Earthquakes due to a red card ejection in their last game against the Chicago Fire, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported Thursday.

Ljungberg originally thought he was suspended for two games after that game because he said he received both a yelllow card and a red card, but a review of the game showed he received an automatic red card, benching him from Sunday's game and costing him a fine.

However, should he receive another yellow card, he will be forced to sit out another game because he will have picked up his fifth one of the season, according to MLS rules.

Buete Goal Puts Charleston In Charge Of USL1 Standings

Dan Antoniuk assisted on a Scott Buete goal that served to be the game winner in the 48th minute of a 1-0 victory by the host Charleston Battery over the Austin Aztex in United Soccer Leagues First Division play Thursday at Blackbaud Stadium.

The victory, in a game marred by torrential rains and lightning, which causes a half-hour stoppage of play at one point, put the Battery back in charge of the league standings at 10-3-8 with 38 points. Charleston is now three points ahead of the Portland Timbers (9-1-8, 35), who they face on the road next Saturday, and the defending league regular season champion Puerto Rico Islanders (9-5-8).

The Battery next face the defending league postseason champion Vancouver Whitecaps next Friday at Swangard Stadium. After playing Portland next Saturday, they host the Cleveland City Stars August 11.

Austin will face the Carolina RailHawks this Saturday at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC, then head to Marina Auto Stadium August 8 to take on the Rochester Rhinos.

The Aztex are 3-10-7 with 16 points, but the league Thursday reduced their point total to 14 after ruling the team used an ineligible player in a 1-1 draw July 25 to the Montreal Impact. The unidentified player reportedly was to serve a one-game league suspension but played in the game, despite knowing that.

The USL took two points away from the team's total -- one that they earned for the draw, the second point as punishment for violating rules.

Beckham's Back Issues Could See Him Miss Rose Bowl Visit

Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham may wind up angering more soccer fans if a reported minor back injury keeps him out of Saturday's exhibition game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA between the Major League Soccer franchise and Spain's FC Barcelona.

Beckham missed practice Thursday to receive therapy for a back problem he says occurred three days ago, but Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said "we expect him to be ready for Saturday."

Red Bulls Play W Connection To Draw In CCL Preliminary Round Play

Despite not doing so well on the Major League Soccer scene this season, the New York Red Bulls began play in the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League tournament Thursday with a 2-2 draw to W Connection of Trinidad and Tobago in the first game of a two-game aggregate series in the Preliminary Round of Group D play at Manny Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella, Trinidad.

W took the early lead on a Jonathan Fana Farias goal in the 40th minute for the eventual halftime lead but the Red Bulls stormed into the lead in the second half on goals by Ernst Obster (47') and Alfredo Pacheco (60') before Hughton Hector fired the game-tying shot in the 71st minute.

Game 2 of this series will be played Wednesday at Giants Stadium.

The winner of this series will enter Group D for the Group Stage of the tournament against Pumas UNAM (Mexico), CSD Comunicaciones (Guatemala) and the winner of the other play-in series between Liberia (Costa Rica) and Real Espana (Honduras).

Thursday, July 30, 2009

USL PDL Announces 2009 All-Conference Teams

The United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League announced Thursday the names of 44 players selected to the 2009 All-Conference Teams by team coaches and general managers.

Eleven players were chosen to each of the four conference teams -- Central, Eastern, Southern and Western.

Five players named to the 2008 squads -- Dwyane Demmin of the Mississippi Brilla, Zak Boggs of the Bradenton Academics, Will Beague of the Ottawa Fury, Adam Gazda of the regular season champion Reading Rage and Mark Lee of the expansion Kitsap Pumas -- made the 2009 lists, with Demmin and Boggs named to teams for their third consecutive year.

Of the eight teams remaining in the PDL playoffs -- the Chicago Fire, Ocean City Barons, Des Moines Menace, Cary Clarets, Ventura County Fusion, Kitsap Pumas, Bradenton Academics and Laredo Heat -- Laredo had the most players named to a conference team with three. The Carolina Dynamo, a division champion who was eliminated in the opening round, also had three.

Here are the 2009 USL PDL All-Conference Teams:

CENTRAL CONFERENCE
G - James Maurer (Chicago Fire)
D - Anthony DiBiase (Forest City London)
D - Bonivenger Misiko (Fort Wayne Fever)
D - Wilson Neto (Thunder Bay Chill)
D - Brian Wurst (Kansas City Brass)
M - Dave Hertel (Michigan Bucks)
M - Nolan Intermoia (Thunder Bay Chill)
M - Brad Stisser (Real Colorado Foxes)
F - Andre Akpan (Chicago Fire)
F - Teal Bunbury (Rochester Thunder)
F - Tom Oatley (Kalamazoo Outrage)

EASTERN CONFERENCE
G - Tunde Ogunbiyi (Ocean City Barons)
D - Brien Chamney (Ottawa Fury)
D - Christian Ibeagha (Cary Clarets)
D - Rich Martinez (Long Island Rough Riders)
D - Sheanon Williams (Carolina Dynamo)
M - Will Beauge (Ottawa Fury)
M - Adam Gazda (Reading Rage)
M - Zach Lloyd (Carolina Dynamo)
F - Cody Arnoux (Carolina Dynamo)
F - Adam Arthur (West Virginia Chaos)
F - Aaron Wheeler (Reading Rage)

SOUTHERN CONFERENCE
G - Ryan Cooper (Laredo Heat)
D - Jamie Cunningham (Austin Aztex U23s)
D - Dwyane Demmin (Mississippi Brilla)
D - Thomas Wharf (Panama City Pirates)
D - Chris Williams (New Orleans Jesters)
M - Danny Galvan (Laredo Heat)
M - Greg Mulamba (Laredo Heat)
M - Gary Stopforth (New Orleans Jesters)
F - Zak Boggs (Bradenton Academics)
F - Salvador Luna (Rio Grande Valley Bravos)
F - Debola Ogunseye (Mississippi Brilla)

WESTERN CONFERENCE
G - Dustyn Brim (Kitsap Pumas)
D - Nick Cardenas (Ogden Outlaws)
D - Mark Lee (Kitsap Pumas)
D - Daniel Scott (Seattle Wolves)
M - Ely Allen (Seattle Wolves)
M - Tomislav Colic (Southern California Seahorses)
M - Michael Farfan (Los Angeles Legends)
M - Armando Ochoa (Hollywood United Hitmen)
F - Rory Agu (Tacoma Tide)
F - Brent Whitfield (Los Angeles Legends)
F - Ryan Youngblood (Portland Timbers U23s)

The USL PDL also announced the players who received the most votes for their respective teams in conference, but were not named to the All-Conference Teams.

CENTRAL CONFERENCE
Saidi Isaac (Indiana Invaders)
Yoram Mwila (Cleveland Internationals)
Kyle Segebart (Cincinnati Kings)
Jordan Webb (Toronto Lynx)
Armin Mujdzic (Des Moines Menace)
David Mueller (St. Louis Lions)
Justin Ferguson (Springfield Demize)

EASTERN CONFERENCE
Kevon Harris (Hampton Roads Pirahnas)
Ken Manaham (FC Fredericksburg Gunners)
Sean Kelley (Northern Virginia Royals)
Ian Stowe (Virginia Legacy)
Frank Alesci (Brooklyn Knights)
Jerrod Laventure (Newark Ironbound Express)
Matt Marcin (Rhode Island Stingrays)
Mike Konicoff (Westchester Flames)
Tim Murray (New Hampshire Phantoms)
Zach Carr (New Jersey Rangers)

SOUTHERN CONFERENCE
Lief Craddock (West Texas United Sockers)
Jorge Muniz (El Paso Patriots)
Janrai Gravely (DFW Tornados)
Jay Ambrosy (Houston Leones)
Felipe Lowall (Baton Rouge Capitals)
Tomislav Krizanovic (Central Florida Kraze)
Ryan McDonald (Nashville Metros)
Wilford Loizeau (Atlanta Blackhawks)

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Steve Reese (Cascade Surge)
Jason Devinish (Victoria Highlanders)
Gagandeep Dosanjh (Vancouver Whitecaps Residency)
Kristjan Johannson (Abbotsford Mariners)
Vinicius Oliveira (Yakima Reds)
John Prugh (Spokane Spiders)
Anthony Hamilton (Ventura County Fusion)
Richie Bindrup (BYU Cougars)
Eddie Gutierrez (Fresno Fuego)
Zach Brunner (Lancaster Rattlers)
Kristopher Minton (Orange County Blue Star)
Jacob Hustedt (Bakersfield Brigade)

Ljungberg Leaves Hospital After Suffering Migraine Headache

Seattle Sounders midfielder Freddie Ljungberg was released from a Salt Lake City, UT hospital Thursday after being admitted for an intense migraine headache suffered following Wednesday night's Major League Soccer All-Star Game against Everton FC of the English Premier League, which Everton won, 4-3, in penalty kicks after playing to a 1-1 regulation draw.

Ljungberg was photographed leaving Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT, site of the game, on a stretcher minutes after taking the final shot in the shootout.

The migraine headache was said to be not as severe as one he had earlier this season that caused him to miss two games.

Pozniak Rejoins Whitecaps; Parke Departs

The defending United Soccer Leagues champion Vancouver Whitecaps announced the re-signing of defender/midfielder Chris Pozniak for the remainder of the 2009 season with an option for 2010 and the official departure of defender Jeff Parke.

Pozniak returns to Vancouver after scoring one goal in 22 games this season for Dundee FC of Scotland's First Division. In 2008, he had one goal in 570 minutes of play over seven games for the Whitecaps.

He originally came to Vancouver after playing four games in Major League Soccer for Chivas USA, then finishing the 2007 season at Toronto FC, where he had three assists.

Parke, meanwhile, officially left the franchise to pursue other soccer options under an mutual agreement signed at the end of March 2009, and played in 11 games over all competitions this season.

He spent five seasons with the New York Red Bulls in MLS before becoming a third round selection of the Seattle Sounders in the 2008 MLS Expansion Draft and going through their inaugural training camp.

Red Bulls Release Khano Smith

Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls, the worst team in the league this season, announced the release of midfielder Khano Smith Thursday.

Smith, a native of Bermuda, started six of eight games this season after coming to the team in an off-season trade with the Seattle Sounders for allocation money. He was signed by New York February 12.

He debuted for New York March 28 against the New England Revolution at Giants Stadium, but assisted on an own goal in a 1-1 draw.

Sky Blue Names Christie Rampone Interim Player-Coach

For the second time this season, Sky Blue FC of Women's Professional Soccer has gone through a head coaching change.

After Kelly Lindsey announced her immediate resignation Wednesday, team officials Thursday named current team captain and US Women's National Team star Christie Rampone as the team's interim head coach for the final two games of their season -- August 5 at Rutgers University against last-place FC Gold Pride and August 8 at the Maryland SoccerPlex against the Washington Freedom.

Sky Blue began the season with Ian Sawyers as head coach and general manager but, after confrontations with team management over his direction of the franchise, was first suspended, then fired, and Lindsey became solely the interim head coach May 23. The interim tag was taken off her June 20.

Sky Blue is currently 6-7-5 with 23 points and in fifth place in the league standings and is one of four teams vying for three available playoff spots behind the Los Angeles Sol, who are the WPS' first regular season champion and will host the championship game August 22 at The Home Depot Center against the survivor of the league's innovative stepladder-style playoff format.

Those teams -- Sky, the Freedom, the St. Louis Athletica and Boston Breakers -- are all separated in the standings by four points with two weeks left in the inaugural regular season. The two other teams in the league -- the Pride and the Chicago Red Stars -- were eliminated from postseason play.

Rampone has played in 12 games this season but has not talled a point or an assist. She missed the first two games of the season due to a strained hamstring and has missed the last two games following laparoscopic surgery but says she will be back for the home season finale August 5.

MLS Announces Week 19 Goal Of The Week Nominees

Major League Soccer released the nominees Thursday for the Week 19 Save of the Week Award, which goes to the goalkeeper who, by votes from MLS fans at www.mlsnet.com, had the most outstanding save of the previous week.

The nominees are William Hesmer (Columbus Crew), Kevin Hartman (Kansas City Wizards), Josh Saunders (Los Angeles Galaxy), Matt Reis (New England Revolution) and Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake).

Normally announced on Wednesdays with voting ending on Thursday afternoons, the voting was pushed back a day so as not to conflict with the MLS All-Star Game Wednesday in Sandy, UT. Voting closes at 2 p.m. Eastern time Friday.

AT&T Becomes Communications Sponsor Of MLS, USMNT & USWNT

Soccer United Marketing, the marketing arm of Major League Soccer, along with the US Soccer Federation and AT&T announced Wednesday AT&T has become the Offficial Communications Sponsor of MLS, as well as the US Men's and Women's National Teams.

AT&T's logo was prominently displayed on the jerseys of the players on the MLS All-Star team in the annual game Wednesday at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT, which MLS lost to Everton FC of the English Premier League, 4-3, in penalty kicks after playing to a 1-1 regulation draw.

It was seen on signage throughout the stadium.

The telecommunications giant already sponsors Mexico's men's national team as well as InterLiga, a competition between Mexican soccer teams, but played on US soil.

Wambach Wallop Lifts Freedom Over Breakers And Into Third Place

Abby Wambach scored a goal in the 73rd minute of play as the host Washington Freedom shut out the Boston Breakers, 1-0, in Women's Professional Soccer play at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, MD.

With the win, the Freedom climbed over the Breakers to third place in the league standings at 7-6-5 with 26 points. Boston is now hanging onto the fourth playoff spot at 7-7-4 with 25.

Both teams are on the road for their next game Saturday -- Washington will play FC Gold Pride, the worst team in the league, at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, CA; Boston faces the tough St. Louis Athletica at Anheuser-Busch Park in Fenton, MO.

Kickers Tie Playoff-Bound Hammerheads For USL2 Lead

Sascha Gorres connected with Ben Hunter on the lone goal of the game three minutes before halftime as the Richmond Kickers became tied for the lead in the United Soccer Leagues Second Division standings Wednesday after beating the host Harrisburg City Islanders, 1-0, at Skyline Sports Complex in Harrisburg, PA.

The Kickers are 9-3-5 with 32 points and tied with the playoff berth-clinching Wilmington Hammerheads (10-4-2).

Harrisburg remains in the hunt for one of the league's five playoff spots at 9-6-2 with 29 points and in third place.

Both Richmond and Harrisburg meet the Real Maryland Monarchs in their next game -- Ruchmond hosts them Saturday while Harrisburg travels to Rockville, MD Sunday.

USL1's Islanders Take First Leg Lead On MLS' Toronto FC

Kendell Jagdeosingh scored the game's lone goal in the 68th minute as the visiting Puerto Rico Islanders of the United Soccer Leagues First Division stunned Major League Soccer's Toronto FC, 1-0, in the first leg of a CONCACAF Champions League Group C Preliminary Round game at BMO Field in Toronto.

The second leg of the two-game, aggregate-goal series will take place next Tuesday at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium in Bayamon, PR.

The winner of this series will move into the Group Stage round in Group C with two automatic entrants -- defending MLS champion Columbus Crew and Costa Rica's Club Deportivo Saprissa -- and the survivor of another play-in series between Costa Rica's Herediano and Mexico's Cruz Azul.

MLS All-Stars Winning Streak Ends At Five Games; Everton Wins In PKs

For the first time in six games between Major League Soccer All-Stars and an international competitor, the visiting team won as Everton FC of the English Premier League won a penalty kick shootout, 4-3, after playing to a 1-1 regulation draw Wednesday at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT.

Everton's Louis Saha opened the scoring in the 12th minute on an unassisted goal as the MLS All-Stars were slow in playing cohesively.

Conor Casey of the Colorado Rapids fed a pass to Stuart Holden of the Houston Dynamo, who later found teammate Brad Davis, who knocked in the tying goal in the 26th minute.

In the first round of the shootout, MLS took the lead as James Vaughan of Everton missed his first shot, but Landon Donovan of the Los Angeles Galaxy connected.

Both Jo (Everton) and Davis (MLS) missed their second round shots, keeping MLS in the lead.

Leighton Banks tied the score at 1-1 for Everton in the third round and it stayed that way after Kansas City Wizards star Davy Arnaud's shot failed to hit the back of the net.

Phil Neville put Everton back on top in the fourth round, but Will Johnson of home pitch team Real Salt Lake leveled the contest at 2-2 by making his shot.

Round five saw Joleon Lescott and Casey make their team's respective goal attempts to even it up for a third time at 3-3.

In the final round, Jack Rodwell hit the game-winner after Freddie Ljunsberg of the Seattle Sounders blew MLS' chance to extend the shootout stage one more round.

Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard, a member of the US Men's National Team when not playing in the EPL, was named the Most Valuable Player of the game with seven saves in regulation play and three in the shootout.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

USL W-League Announces 2009 All-Conference Teams

The United Soccer Leagues W-League announced Wednesday the names of 33 players selected to the 2009 All-Conference Teams by team coaches and general managers.

Eleven players were chosen to each of the three conference teams -- Central, Eastern and Western.

Only two players named to the 2008 squads -- Seattle Sounders midfielder Michelle French and FC Indiana Lionesses forward Laura Del Rio -- made the 2009 lists.

French has been named to an all-conference team for the fifth time and Del Rio was named this week the league's Scoring and Goal Scoring Champion for 2009.

Of the four teams remaining in the W-League playoffs -- the regular season champion Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues, the Ottawa Fury, the defending league champion Pali Blues and the Washington Freedom -- Pali has the most players named to a conference team with four.

Here are the 2009 USL W-League All-Conference Teams:

2009 USL W-LEAGUE ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS

CENTRAL CONFERENCE
G - Shannon Lynn (FC Indiana Lionesses)
D - Jenny Jeffers (Chicago Red Eleven)
D - Ria Percival (Ottawa Fury)
D - Clare Rustad (Toronto Lady Lynx)
M - Gemma Davidson (Chicago Red Eleven)
M - Jennifer Hance (Ottawa Fury)
M - Fatima Leyva (FC Indiana Lionesses)
M - Rosa Tantillo (Buffalo Flash)
F - Laura Del Rio (FC Indiana Lionesses)
F - Amber Hearn (Ottawa Fury)
F - Caroline Smith (Minnesota Lightning)

EASTERN CONFERENCE
G - Michelle Betos (Atlanta Silverbacks)
D - Casey Brown (Boston Renegades)
D - Ashleigh Gunning (Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues)
D - Philisha Lewis (Tampa Bay Hellenic)
D - Brittany Taylor (Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues)
M - Lindsay Ozimek (Charlotte Lady Eagles)
M - Christine Rife (Charlotte Lady Eagles)
M - Megan Tomlinson (Atlanta Silverbacks)
F - Angelika Johansson (Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues)
F - Jen Parsons (Washington Freedom)
F - Brittany Tegeler (Washington Freedom)

WESTERN CONFERENCE
G - Katie Hultin (Seattle Sounders)
D - Jenea Gibbons (Los Angeles Legends)
D - Kelli Smith (Seattle Sounders)
D - Leah Tapscott (Pali Blues)
M - Michelle French (Seattle Sounders)
M - Tobin Heath (Pali Blues)
M - Nikki Marshall (Colorado Force)
M - Carmelina Moscato (Vancouver Whitecaps)
F - Iris Mora (Pali Blues)
F - Jodi Ann Robinson (Vancouver Whitecaps)

The USL W-League also announced the players who received the most votes for their respective teams in conference, but were not named to the All-Conference Teams.

CENTRAL CONFERENCE
Melissa Lesage (Quebec City Amiral)
Christina Julien (Laval Comets)
Jenn Wolbert (London Gryphons)
Heather McDougall (Hamilton Avalanche)
Casey Zimney (Rochester Rhinos)
Haley Ford (Cleveland Internationals)
Margaret Allgeier (Fort Wayne Fever)
Anna Stinson (Kalamazoo Outrage)
Courtney Nash (West Michigan Firewomen)

EASTERN CONFERENCE
Shaneka Gordon (Hampton Roads Pirahnas)
Lindsey Vera (Connecticut Passion)
Mary Casey (Northern Virginia Majestics)
Jennifer Woodie (Richmond Kickers)
Robyn Jones (New Jersey Wildcats)
Brooke DeRosa (Long Island Rough Riders)
Fortuna Velaj (Connecticut Passion)
Courtney McMahon (New York Magic)
Rachel Richards (Western Mass Lady Pioneers)

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Taryn Hemmings (Real Colorado Cougars)
Kay Hawke (Ventura County Fusion)

Rapids Sign Smith, Release Cooke

Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids announced the signing of Scottish midfielder Jamie Smith and the release of midfielder Terry Cooke Tuesday.

Smith started his professional career in his home country with Celtic FC, then traveled to ADO Den Haag in the Netherlands, before returning to Scotland with Aberdeen in their Premier League. He also played twice for Scotland's national team.

Cooke had four goals and 34 assists in 106 games over five seasons with the Rapids.

Dutchmen El Khalifi Joins Real Salt Lake

Major League Soccer's Real Salt Lake announced the signing Tuesday of longtime Dutch midfielder/forward Rachid El Khalifi to a three-year contract through the 2012 season.

He is eligible to join RSL's roster for their next game Saturday at the Chicago Fire.

El Khalifi spent two weeks as a trialist in RSL's preseason training camp in Southern California and impressed team officials.

He has spent his entire professional career playing for teams in the Duthc Eerste Divisie, or second division, scoring 33 goals over 260 games.

French Ligue 1 Champions Beat Impact

FC Girondins de Bourdeaux, champions of France's Ligue 1, defeated the Montreal Impact of the United Soccer Leagues First Division, 2-1, in an exhibition game at Saputo Stadium in Montreal Tuesday.

Henri Saivet opened the scoring for Bordeaux in the 37th minute with an unassisted play for the eventual halftime lead.

Ciaran O'Brien, named the Player of the Game, fed a pass to Tony Donatelli in the 66th minute to force a tie before Jaroslav Plasil and Jossie Ferreira Vieira teamed to assist Yoann Gouffran on the game-winning goal in the 80th minute.

The Impact return to USL1 play Saturday at the Miami FC Blues before hosting Argentina's River Plate next Tuesday in an exhibition game.

DC United, Firpo Kick Off CCL Play With Draw

In the opening match of the Preliminary Round and the 78-game second season of the CONCACAF Champions League, Major League Soccer's DC United and CD Firpo of El Salvador played to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their two-leg, aggregate score Group B play-in series Tuesday at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC.

Marco Benitez gave Firpo the early lead on an unassisted goal in the 26th minute, but United's Jaime Moreno fired off a penalty kick in the 42nd minute to knot the score for good.

Game two of the series will be at Firpo August 4.

The winner of the series moves into Group B, joining Toluca (Mexico) and Marathon (Honduras) as well as the winner of another play-in series featuring San Francisco (Panama) and San Juan Jabloteh (Trinidad & Tobago).

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Timbers Loan Jallow To Swedish Fourth Division Team For Rest Of Season

The Portland Timbers of the United Soccer Leagues First Division announced Tuesday they have loaned forward Antouman Jallow to Sandvikens IF of Sweden's Fourth Division for the rest of their season.

Jallow, a native of Uppsala, Sweden, scored goals for Portland in a July 2 exhibition game against Germany's Bayern Munich II and in a 3-0 road win against the Miami FC Blues in league play July 19.

Before joining the Timbers, Jallow played in his native country for Gefle IF (2005-06) and Sirius IK (2007-08).

Wizards Sign Hungarian F Zoltan Hercegfalvi

Major League Soccer's Kansas City Wizards will officially introduce Hungarian forward Zoltan Hercegfalvi to the media at their weekly news conference Wednesday.

The first Hungarian to play in MLS since Istaban Urbanyi in 1997 (23 games with the original San Jose Earthquakes), he spent over 20 years with Honved FC, beginning at age six in their youth system.

His first stint ran from 1998 to 2003, then he played for two other teams in Hungary -- FC Feherver and Lombard-Papa TFC -- and Slavia Prague in the Czech Republic before rejoining Honved in 2006.

He is eligible to play Saturday when the Wizards travel to FC Dallas.

Freedom's Wambach Named WPS POW For Second Time

Washington Freedom forward Abby Wambach was named Tuesday Women's Professional Soccer's Player of the Week for Week 18 of their inaugural season and the second time this season.

She scored two goals in a 3-2 win over the Chicago Red Stars and the Freedom are now tied with Sky Blue FC for the fourth and final spot in the league's playoffs.

Wambach, who won the honor previously in Week 5, joins Marta of the Los Angeles Sol as the only players to win the weekly award twice.

Impact Welcomes Back Defender Aaboubou

The Montreal Impact of the United Soccer Leagues First Division announced the return of defender Hicham Aaboubou to the team for the next two seasons Tuesday.

A native of Morocco, he played for Montreal in the 2007 USL1 season, starting three of 11 games and playing a total of 416 minutes.

He recently played for the Impact in two exhibition games -- July 1 against Haiti and July 8 against Syria.

In 2008, Aaboubou played for the University of Montreal Carabins.

From 1994-2006, he played for Kawkab AC Marrakech in Morocco. During that time, the team was elevated to the country's First Division from 2002 to 2006. He scored six goals in 48 career games for them.

Richardson, Ceus Named USL's Best

Carolina RailHawks forward Gregory Richardson and Charlotte Eagles goalkeeper Steward Ceus were named United Soccer Leagues Players of the Week Tuesday for the First and Second Division, respectively.

Richardson had a hat trick in the RailHawks' 4-0 rout over the Miami FC Blues.

Ceus had a total of nine saves in shutout wins over Real Maryland (three saves) and Crystal Palace Baltimore (six saves).

Here are the other players named to the USL1 and USL2 Teams of the Week:

USL1 TEAM OF THE WEEK

GOALKEEPER
Bill Gaudette, Puerto Rico Islanders
Had five saves in scoreless draw at Portland Timbers

DEFENDERS
Matt Bobo, Charleston Battery
Scored goal in 2-1 win over Carolina RailHawks

Stephen Keel, Portland Timbers
Led team in scoreless draw against Puerto Rico Islanders

Nigel Henry, Puerto Rico Islanders
Led team in scoreless draw at Portland Timbers

MIDFIELDERS
Tyrell Burgess, Vancouver Whitecaps
Assisted on goal in 4-2 win over Puerto Rico Islanders

A.J. Godbolt, Austin Aztex
Scored goal, assisted on another in 2-2 draw against Montreal Impact

Ciaran O'Brien, Montreal Impact
Assisted on two goals in 4-1 win over Cleveland City Stars

Tiger Fitzpatrick, Rochester Rhinos
Assisted on two goals in 4-1 win over Cleveland City Stars

FORWARDS
Gifton Noel-Williams, Austin Aztex
Scored goal, assisted on another in 2-2 draw against Montreal Impact

Paulo Araujo, Miami FC Blues
Scored both goals in 2-1 win at Minnesota Thunder

---

USL2 TEAM OF THE WEEK

DEFENDERS
Colin Falvey, Wilmington Hammerheads
Led team in 2-1 win at Harrisburg City Islanders

Ryan Pierce, Crystal Palace Baltimore
Led team in scoreless draw against Charlotte Eagles

Nathan Salsi, Pittsburgh Riverhounds
Scored goal in 3-0 victory over Western Mass Pioneers

Josh Rife, Charlotte Eagles
Led team in two road shutouts

MIDFIELDERS
Jamie Franks, Wilmington Hammerheads
Scored goal in 3-2 win over Richmond Kickers

Amaury Nunes, Charlotte Eagles
Scored goal in 3-0 win at Real Maryland Monarchs

Jeff Hughes, Pittsburgh Riverhounds
Scored goal in 1-1 draw against Western Mass Pioneers

Jorge Herrera, Charlotte Eagles
Assisted on goal in 3-0 win at Real Maryland Monarchs

FORWARDS
Kenny Bundy, Wilmington Hammerheads
Combined for a goal and an assist in two wins

Randolph Jerome, Pittsburgh Riverhounds
Scored two goals, assisted on third in 3-0 win against Western Mass Pioneers

Real Maryland Routs CSD Municipal In Exhibition

Ryan Cordeiro and Jamie Holmes scored goals as the Real Maryland Monarchs of the United Soccer Leagues Second Division played to a 2-0 victory over CSD Municipal, a 26-time First Division champion in Guatemala, in an exhibition game Saturday at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, MD.

The game was highlighted by two delays -- one near halftime for an on-field altercation and its resolution, the other because of a thunderstorm.

The Monarchs return to USL2 play this weekend, traveling to the Richmond Kickers Saturday, then hosting the Harrisburg City Islanders.

The top five teams in the division advance to the playoffs starting August 19.

Galaxy Get Lifetime Ban Lifted On Beckham's Heckler

Through the intervention of Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy, an unidentified member of the team's booster group, the LA Riot Squad, will not be banned for life from attending events at The Home Depot Center.

The fan was taunted by Galaxy midfielder David Beckham during a July 19 exhibition game against AC Milan after fans booed Beckham in his first action since returning to Los Angeles following an extended loan to AC Milan.

Galaxy management claimed Beckham had stated partial responsibility for the incident and that he was unaware of stadium polices regarding fans entering the field of play for any reason. Beckham also was fined $1,000 by MLS for his conduct.

Monday, July 27, 2009

EPL's Burnley Plays Timbers To PK Shootout Win

Burnley FC of the English Premier League played the United Soccer Leagues First Division's Portland Timbers to a 4-2 penalty kick shootout victory in an exhibition game Saturday at PGE Park as part of a tour Burnley is doing prior to the start of the 2009 EPL season.

George Josten and Rodrigo Lopez scored for Portland while Steven Caldwell and Richard Eckersley did so for Burnley in the 2-2 regulation draw.

USL Announces Statistical Award Winners In PDL, W-League

United Soccer Leagues Monday announced the 2009 statistical award winners for the Premier Development League and W-League season.

In the PDL, the regular season champion Reading Rage had two winners -- forward Aaron Wheeler (Scoring and Goal Scoring Champion) and midfielder Jon Ports (Assists Leader).

Wheeler led the Rage with 17 goals and three assists for 37 points. Ports was the only player in the PDL to have double digits in assists this season with 10, in addition to his three goals, for 16 total points.

Mississippi Brilla goalkeeper Josh Pantazelos won the Goal Against Average championship with a 0.615 average. He also led the PDL in shutouts with eight.

On the W-League side, the FC Indiana Lionesses swept all four awards.

Forward Laura Del Rio was named the Scoring (40 points) and Goal Scoring (18) Champion after finishing second last season in Scoring and was the Assist Leader with nine. Del Rio has scored 75 points in her last two seasons on 31 goals and 13 assists, the most any W-League player has scored over that time.

Midfielder Monica Ocampo was named Assist Leader with 11 this season. Combining the seven goals she also had in 2009, she finished seventh in the league in scoring with 29 points.

Goalkeeper Shannon Lynn, who had a 0.166 average, gave up only two goals, and had 10 shutout victories in 12 games played, was named the Goals Against Average Champion.

The W-League will announce their 2009 All-Conference Team Wednesday, followed by the PDL doing so Thursday.

USL Announces PDL, W-League Playoff Schedules

United Soccer Leagues announced the format for the next round of the 2009 season playoffs in the Premier Development League and the W-League this weekend.

In the PDL, the Des Moines Menace and Laredo Heat will host the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of the Elite Eight Friday and Saturday.

On Friday at Valley Stadium in West Des Moines, IA, the Chicago Fire will face the Ocean City Barons in the opening game of the doubleheader, followed by the host Menace taking on the Cary Clarets.

Meanwhile, at Texas A&M International University in Laredo, TX, the Kitsap Pumas open the doubleheader Friday against the Ventura County Fusion and the host Heat meet the Bradenton Academics.

Winners face off Saturday at the respective locations.

In W-League playoff news, the regular season champion Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues will host the defending league champion Pali Blues Friday at Newburgh Free Academy in upstate New York and the Ottawa Fury will travel to the Maryland SoccerPlex Saturday to meet the Washington Freedom.

Winners will compete for the W-League Championship August 7.

Premier Arena Soccer League Crowns Summer Champions

Jessica Parker scored two goals to lead Chico United to a 3-1 win over Azteca Sunday to win the Premier Arena Soccer League's Women's Championship.

Chico started the season 0-5-1, then won their next two games to move from sixth place to fourth place in the standings and qualify for a playoff berth.

In round-robin tournament play, they defeated Azteca and Sacramento by one point and played the defending champion Off The Wall Santa Clara to a draw.

In Men's Summer League play, Suad Arnautovic had four goals and an assist and was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player in leading Santa Clara to an 8-4 victory over La Cabana.

Five Named For MLS GOW Ballot This Week

Major League Soccer announced the ballot Monday for voting on this week's Goal of the Week winner, which begins Monday through 2 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday on www.mlsnet.com.

Here are the candidates for this week and what earned them a nod:

Jason Garey, Columbus Crew
Scored game-winning goal on a 92nd minute header in 2-2 draw versus Toronto FC

Claudio Lopez, Kansas City Wizards
Scored team's lone goal unassisted in 26th minute of 1-1 home draw versus the Los Angeles Galaxy

Landon Donovan, Los Angeles Galaxy
Was assisted by David Beckham in 33rd minute of 1-1 draw versus the Kansas City Wizards

Ryan Johnson, San Jose Earthquakes
Scored the opening goal of the game off assists by Cornell Glen and Michael Zaher in a 2-2 home draw versus DC United

Mehdi Ballouchy, Colorado Rapids
Scored their final goal unassisted in the 67th minute of a 4-0 home win over the New York Red Bulls

MLS Awards Houston 2010 All-Star Game

With the 2009 edition set to take place Wednesday at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT, Major League Soccer announced Monday the Houston Dynamo will be the host franchise for the 2010 MLS All-Star Game.

No date or opponent were announced for the game, which will take place at either Robertson Stadium on the campus of the University of Houston or at Reliant Stadium.

The game, however, will be the seventh edition in which MLS players face an international opponent as MLS looks to continue its tradition of "MLS Takes on the World".

The MLS All-Stars will face Everton of the English Premier League in this year's contest.

RSL's Movsisyan Named Week 19 Player Of The Week

Real Salt Lake forward Yura Movsisyan, who came off the bench to score two goals in a 4-2 victory over FC Dallas Friday at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT, was named Monday Major League Soccer's Player of the Week for Week 19 of the 2009 season.

It was Movsisyan's third two-goal performance of his career and he is second on the team in goals with six, one shy of his team-leading seven he scored in 2008. He has 13 career goals for RSL, putting him in a tie for third on their all-time scoring list.

Movsisyan last was named MLS Player of the Week after the 2008 Western Conference semifinal against Chivas USA.

Houston's Onstad Replaced By Chivas' Thornton On All-Star Team

Major League Soccer announced Sunday Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Pat Onstad strained his back Saturday in a 1-0 loss to the New England Revolution and will be replaced on the league's All-Star Team for Wednesday's match at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT against Everton FC of the Barclays Premier League by Chivas USA goalkeeper Zach Thornton.

Thornton, in his sixth All-Star appearance and first since playing for the Chicago Fire in 2003, is second in the league in shutouts (seven) and third in the league in goals against average (0.88). He has also played every minute of every game for Chivas this season and went 401 minutes between April 22 and May 16 this season without giving up a goal.

Pride Ties Game With Athletica, But Still Get Eliminated

Christine Sinclair scored a game-tying goal in the 87th minute off a Tina DeMartino assist to play the host St. Louis Athletica to a 1-1 draw in Women's Professional Soccer play Sunday from Anheuser-Busch Park in Fenton, MO, but the point each team earned was not enough to keep FC Gold Pride in the running for a playoff spot.

Niki Cross gave St. Louis the lead in the 28th minute off a Kendall Fletcher assist.

St. Louis is close to locking up second place in the league's inaugural season and a playoff semifinal bye with an 8-6-3 record and 27 points. They will host the Boston Breakers Saturday.

The Pride, meanwhile, are 3-9-5 with 14 points for the worst record in the league and will host the Washington Freedom Saturday.

Wambach Powers Freedom To Victory Over Eliminated Red Stars

Abby Wambach had two goals and Allie Long fired off an unassisted score as the Washington Freedom defeated the host Chicago Red Stars, 3-2, at Toyota Park Sunday and officially eliminated the Red Stars from the Women's Professional Soccer playoff race.

Megan Rapinoe and Karen Carney scored goals for Chicago.

The Freedom are 6-6-5 with 23 points and tied for the fourth and final playoff spot with Sky Blue FC (6-7-5). Washington hosts the Boston Breakers Wednesday at Maryland Soccerplex, then plays at the last-place and playoff-eliminated FC Gold Pride Saturday.

Chicago, 4-9-5 with 17 points, travels to the regular season champion Los Angeles Sol next Sunday.

Fury Wins Central Conference Championship Without Scoring A Goal

The Ottawa Fury didn't have to do much to win the 2009 United Soccer Leagues W-League Central Conference Championship over the host FC Indiana Lionesses at Jefferson High School in Indianapolis, IN.

It's hard to lose a 2-1 game where you don't even score a goal.

"Huh?," you ask.

After Indiana's Nikki Lyons put the Lionesses on the board with an unassisted goal in the 14th minute, Corrie Moore and Jennifer Hance deflected blocked shots into their own net, allowing the Fury to win the title without much effort.

The Fury will now move on to the W-League Semifinal (date, time and location to be announced Monday) against the Washington Freedom.

That winner faces the two-time Western Conference champion and defending league champion Pali Blues at Pacific Palisades High School.

Jerome Leads Riverhounds Over Pioneers

Randolph Jerome assisted Nathan Salsi on a 45th minute goal, then scored back-to-back penalty kick goals in the 75th and 86th minutes as the host Pittsburgh Riverhounds shut out the Western Mass Pioneers, 3-0, in United Soccer Leagues Second Division play Sunday at Chartiers Valley High School.

Pittsburgh is 5-8-4 with 19 points and in eighth place in the league standings, one point behind the Pioneers (5-8-5, 20).

The Riverhounds will host the USL2-leading Wilmington Hammerheads, who clinched the division's first playoff berth Saturday, next Saturday.

Western Mass ends their 2009 season on the road August 15 at the Charlotte Eagles.

Richardson Hat Trick Gives Miami Blues At RailHawks

Gregory Richardson scored a hat trick and Connally Edozien added a goal as the host Carolina RailHawks shut out the Miami FC Blues, 4-0, in United Soccer Leagues First Division play at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC.

The game set a number of records for Carolina: largest margin of victory in a USL1 game, most wins in a regular season and most goals ever scored in a USL1 game.

Richardson has scored four goals in only two games this season.

Carolina, at 10-5-3 with 33 points, is two points behind the Portland Timbers (9-1-8), Charleston Battery (9-3-8) and defending regular season champion Puerto Rico Islanders (9-5-8) -- all with 35 points -- for the USL1 lead. The RailHawks host the Austin Aztex Saturday.

Miami is 7-8-3 with 29 points and is in sixth place. They will host the Montreal Impact Saturday.

Mexico Routs US, 5-0, To Win CONCACAF Gold Cup

Giovani dos Santos scored a pair of goals to earn Most Valuable Player honors, Carlos Vela had a goal and two assists, and Jose Antonio Castro and Guillermo Franco added goals as Mexico won their record fifth CONCACAF Gold Cup in a 5-0 rout of the US Men's National team before a pro-Mexico crowd Sunday at a sold-out Giants Stadium.

Mexico won their first Gold Cup since 2003 and ended a 15-game winless streak against the Americans, who were handed their worst loss on home soil since a 5-0 drubbing by England June 16, 1985.

The US also ended a 58-game home winning streak against CONCACAF opponents.

The US and Mexico will meet again, this time in the resumption of 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying, August 12 in Mexico City.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

James Scores Two In Whitecaps Stunner Over Islanders; Three-Way Tie For USL1 Lead Again

After stopping play for over 90 minutes due to weather, Marlon James had a pair of goals as the defending United Soccer Leagues First Division champion Vancouver Whitecaps defeated the Puerto Rico Islanders, 4-2, Saturday at Swangard Stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The win for the Whitecaps (6-7-3, 21 points) put the Islanders (9-5-8) back into a three-way tie for the lead in the league standings with the Charleston Battery (9-3-8) and the Portland Timbers (9-1-8), all with 35 points.

The Whitecaps hit the road next week to play the Rochester Rhinos Friday and the Cleveland City Stars Saturday.

Puerto Rico is off until August 8 when they host the Miami FC Blues at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium in Bayamon.

Freedom, Blues Advance In W-League Playoffs

Meghan Lenczyk scored a goal in the 76th minute off Caitlin Miskel and Brittany Tegeler claimed the game-winning point in the 85th minute off Molly Menchel as the Washington Freedom won the United Soccer Leagues W-League Eastern Conference Championship, 2-1, over the Charlotte Lady Eagles Saturday at Atlanta Silverbacks Park.

Ashley Swinehart had Charlotte's only score on a 25th minute unassisted goal.

In other W-League playoff action, the defending league champion Pali Blues won their second straight Western Conference Championship with a 5-2 victory over the Colorado Force.

The final piece to the W-League playoff puzzle will be named Sunday when the Ottawa Fury challenge the FC Indiana Lionesses for the Central Conference Championship at Jefferson High School in Indianapolis, IN.

USL PDL Crowns Division Champions

The final eight teams have been named for the next round of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League playoffs after divisional championship games were played Saturday.

Here's the recap:

- In the Central Conference, the Chicago Fire won the Great Lakes Division championship with a 2-1 victory over the Kalamazoo Outrage at Loy Norrix High School. The Fire next face the Des Moines Menace, winners of the Heartland Division title in a 2-1 victory over the Real Colorado Foxes, for the conference crown at Valley Stadium in West Des Moines, IA.

Cameron Jordan scored on a 27th minute penalty kick and Joseph Salem assisted Jack Pearson in the 38th minute on a goal to lead the Menace.

Lorne Donaldson opened the game's scoring with a fourth-minute penalty kick for the Foxes.

- In the Eastern Conference, the PDL regular season champion Reading Rage put a last-minute goal by their own goalkeeper, giving the expansion Cary Clarets a 2-1 victory in the Mid-Atlantic Championship game.

Thomas Drake had Cary's lone true goal in the 60th minute, three minutes after Jon Ports assisted Aaron Wheeler on a Rage goal.

The Clarets will now take on the Ocean City Barons for the conference championship.

Tyler Bellamy gave the Barons a 2-1 overtime win at Algonquin College Soccer Complex over the host Ottawa Fury. J.T. Noone tied up the game with his own play in the 60th minute.

Liam Maloney scored for Ottawa in the seventh minute of a Joel Theissen assist.

- In the Southern Conference, Steven Morris had the game-winning goal and an assist and Zak Boggs also had a goal and an assist as the Bradenton Academics edged the Mississippi Brilla, 3-2, at Jackson, MS' Millsap College to win the Southeast Division title.

Ederson Lopes added a goal for the Academics, who next face the Laredo Heat, who won the Mid-South Division championship in a 1-0 victory against the West Texas United Sockers at Laredo, TX's Texas A&M International University.

- Finally, in the Western Conference, Sam Myerson scored back-to-back overtime goals tolead the Ventura County Fusion to a 3-1 upset victory over the Hollywood United Hitmen to claim the Southwest Division title.

Peter Hazdovac was assisted by Earl Alexander in the 26th minute as Hollywood took the early lead before Felix Motogalvan worked with Bryan Byrne on a game-tying maneuver in the 35th for the Fusion.

The Fusion will next take on the Northwest Division champion Kitsap Pumas, who shut out the Seattle Wolves, 2-0, Saturday at Bremerton Memorial High School.

Harrisburg Blunder Gives Hammerheads USL2 Lead

An own goal by a Harrisburg City Islanders player in the 72nd minute was the game winner as the Wilmington Hammerheads broke up a three-way tie prior to the game and took over sole possession of the United Soccer Leagues Second Division in a 2-1 victory Saturday at Harrisburg's Skyline Soccer Complex.

Kenny Bundy had a penalty kick goal in the 63rd for the Hammerheads, now 10-4-2 with 32 points. Wilmington will face the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on the road next Saturday.

Harrisburg, who saw Mo Odour assist Chad Severs on their only goal in the 54th minute, is 9-5-2 with 29 points and tied for second place with the Richmond Kickers (8-3-5), who the City Islanders host Wednesday before traveling to the Real Maryland Monarchs next Sunday.

Aztex Duo's Goals Hold In Draw With Impact

A.J. Godbolt assisted on a goal by Gifton Noel-Williams in the 66th minute, then Noel-Williams reciprocated three minutes later, assisting on Godbolt's goal as the host Austin Aztex played to a 2-2 draw to the Montreal Impact in United Soccer Leagues First Division play Saturday at Nelson Field.

Rudolph Mayard (77') and Roberto Brown (89') scored goals for Montreal.

The Aztex are 3-9-7 with 16 points and in ninth place in the league standings with their next games Thursday at the Charleston Battery and next Saturday at the Carolina RailHawks.

Montreal is 6-8-4 with 22 points, are in seventh place, and host Miami FC Blues August 1.

Menyongar, Fitzpatrick Team For Two Of Rhinos' Goals

Tiger Fitzpatrick teamed with Johnny Menyongar on back-to-back goals in the 41st and 46th minutes as the host Rochester Rhinos stormed to a 4-1 victory over the Cleveland City Stars in United Soccer Leagues First Division action Saturday at Marina Auto Stadium in Rochester, NY.

Warren Ukah and Taiwo Atieno also scored goals for the Rhinos, 8-5-5 with 29 points and in fifth place in the league's single table standings.

Ibrahim Kante had a last minute penalty kick for Cleveland, but it was too late for the last place team, 2-12-6 with 12 points.

Both teams host the defending league champion Vancouver Whitecaps next weekend -- Rochester on Friday, Cleveland on Saturday.

Glen Counters United Goals In Draw With Earthquakes

Cornell Glen and Michael Zaker teamed on a Ryan Johnson goal in the 36th minute and later Glen had a penalty kick goal in the 62nd minute as the host San Jose Earthquakes played DC United to a 2-2 draw Saturday in Major League Soccer play at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, CA.

United saw Christian Gomez scored both their goals on a penalty kick in the third minute and an unassisted play in the 21st minute.

DC is now in third place in the Eastern Conference standings at 6-3-10 with 28 points. They are a point behind the Chicago Fire (7-3-8, 29), who played the host Seattle Sounders to a scoreless tie earlier in the day, for second place and are two points behind the Columbus Crew (7-3-8, 30) for the division lead. United will face the Western Conference-leading Houston Dynamo on the road next Saturday.

San Jose, at 3-10-4 with 13 points, are in the cellar of the Western Conference and host the Seattle Sounders next Sunday.

Crew Regain EC Lead Off Garey's Foot

Jason Garey scored a game-winning goal in the 92nd minute off a Frankie Hedjuk assist after earlier working with Brian Carroll on Steven Lenhart's 76th minute game-tying score as the host Columbus Crew regained control of Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference standings in a 3-2 victory Saturday over Toronto FC at Crew Stadium.

Eddie Gaven had the Crew's first goal with assists from Danny O'Rourke and Duncan Oughton in the 32nd minute.

Dwayne De Rosario and Ali Gerba scored Toronto's goals in the loss.

The Crew (7-3-8, 30) now have a one-point lead over the Chicago Fire (7-3-8, 29), who played the Seattle Sounders to a scoreless draw Saturday afternoon at Qwest Field, and faces the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO next Saturday.

Toronto is in fourth place in the conference at 7-7-5 with 26 points, four behind the Crew. Toronto faces the New England Revolution next Saturday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA.

Dube Scores Revs' Goal, But Dynamo Still Tops In Western Conference

Steve Ralston and Kevin Alston supported Kheli Dube on his goal in the 76th minute as the New England Revolution shut out the current Western Conference-leading Houston Dynamo, 1-0, Saturday in Major League Soccer play from Robertson Stadium at the University of Houston.

New England is 6-5-5 with 23 points and in fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings. The Revolution will host Toronto FC next Saturday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA.

Houston retains the Western Conference standings lead at 9-5-5 with 32 points and hosts DC United next Saturday.

Donovan, Beckham Team For Goal In Galaxy-Wizards Draw

Landon Donovan scored his team-high eighth goal of the season with help from David Beckham in the 33rd minute as the Los Angeles Galaxy snapped a four-game winning streak with a 1-1 draw to the Kansas City Wizards in Major League Soccer play Saturday at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.

The Galaxy are in third place in the Western Conference with a 6-3-10 record and 28 points and are a point behind the second place Seattle Wolves (7-3-8, 29), who played the Chicago Fire to a scoreless draw Saturday, and four behind the Houston Dynamo (9-5-5, 32), who were shut out at home, 1-0, by the New England Revolution, for first place. Los Angeles heads to the Revolution August 8.

Claudio Lopez launched a long-range missile kick into the back of the net in the 26th minute to give the Wizards the early lead.

The Wizards are 5-6-6 with 21 points and are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference. They travel to FC Dallas next Saturday.

Rapid-Fire Colorado Hands New York Another Loss

Jacob Peterson, Pat Noonan, Nick LaBrocca and Mehdi Ballouchy scored unchallenged goals as the host Colorado Rapids shut out the New York Red Bulls, 4-0, Saturday in Major League Soccer action at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO.

The Rapids are now 7-5-6 with 27 points and tied for fourth place in the Western Conference with Chivas USA (8-6-3, 27). They will next face the Eastern Conference-leading Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium next Saturday.

New York, losers of their fifth straight game and winless in their last 12, have the worst record in MLS at 2-15-4 with 10 points. The Red Bulls have an extended break until August 15 when they host Chivas at Giants Stadium.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Johnson, Soumare Named All-Star Replacements

Major League Soccer announced Saturday Real Salt Lake midfielder Will Johnson and Chicago Fire defender Bakary Soumare have been added to the MLS All-Star Game roster as injury replacements.

Johnson will replace New England Revolution midfielder Shalrie Joseph, who has been diagnosed with bone bruising in his right knee.

Soumare takes over for Houston Dynamo forward Brian Ching, who has decided to rest up after playing a grueling schedule for the US Men's National Team that has included the FIFA Confederations Cup and the CONCACAF Gold Cup, where they will meet Mexico for their potential third straight tournament title Sunday at Giants Stadium.

Khumalo, Simms Undergo Successful Surgeries For DC United

Forward Thabiso "Boyzzz" Khumalo and midfielder Clyde Simms will miss playing time for Major League Soccer's DC United after undergoing successful surgeries.

Khumalo had wrist surgery last week in Virginia to repair a broken radius suffered in the team's July 21 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup victory over the Rochester Rhinos and will be out four to six weeks.

Simms went to Munich, Germany for sports hernia surgery on his right side and will be out two to three weeks.

Central, Eastern Conference Finals In W-League Playoffs Set

The Ottawa Fury will meet the host FC Indiana Lionesses for the United Soccer Leagues W-League Central Conference Championship Sunday after winning their respective playoff semfinal matchups Friday at Jefferson High School in Indianapolis, IN.

Both teams beat expansion squads -- Ottawa over the Chicago Red Eleven, 4-2; FC Indiana shutting out the Buffalo Flash, 3-0.

The championship game is Sunday.

Elsewhere, in the Eastern Conference Championship, the Washington Freedom will face the Charlotte Lady Eagles Saturday night at Atlanta Silverbacks Park after beating their respective playoff semifinal opponents, the Tampa Bay Hellenic and the Silverbacks, respectively, by 2-1 scores Friday.

Defending PDL Champions Given Cold Shoulder By Foxes

There will be a new United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League champion crowned this postseason as Sean Sandoval assisted Byron Cephers in the 49th minute as the expansion Real Colorado Foxes stunned the defending champion Thunder Bay Chill, 1-0, to win a Central Conference, Heartland Division playoff semifinal matchup Friday at Valley Stadium in West Des Moines, IA.

The Foxes will face the host Des Moines Menace for the divisional title Saturday.

In another playoff semifinal Friday, the Bradenton Academics shut out the expansion New Orleans Jesters, 1-0, at M&F Bank Stadium/Freedom Ridge Park in Mississippi to advance to the Southern Conference, Southeast Division championship game Saturday against the host Mississippi Brilla Saturday.

Eagles Crown Monarchs; Three-Way Tie For USL2 Lead

Amaury Nunes, Chris Lemons and Patrick Daka led the Charlotte Eagles to a 3-0 United Soccer Leagues Second Division victory over the host Real Maryland Monarchs Friday at Richard Montgomery High School.

Charlotte improves to 6-5-5 with 23 points with the win and are in fourth place, six points behind the league's tri-leading Wilmington Hammerheads (9-4-2), Harrisburg City Islanders (9-4-2) and Richmond Kickers (8-3-5), all at 29 points, in the league standings.

The Eagles are on the road for their next two games -- at Crystal Palace Baltimore Saturday and at the Bermuda Hogges next Saturday.

Maryland is 7-8-1 with 22 points and in fifth place, seven points behind the triumverate. The Monarchs are off until next Saturday, August 1, when they are at the Kickers.

Araujo Goals Lift Blues Over Thunder

Paulo Araujo scored goals in the 12th minute off Orlando Bursu and in the 62nd minute by Edwin Miranda as the Miami FC Blues edged the host Minnesota Thunder, 2-1, Friday in United Soccer Leagues First Division play at the National Sports Center in Blaine, MN.

Marco Terminesi had Minnesota's lone goal in the 74th minute off a Lawrence Odum assist.

Miami is 7-7-3 with 24 points and in sixth place in the league standings. They will travel Sunday to WakeMed Soccer Park to play the Carolina RailHawks.

Battery Recharges Three-Way Tie For USL1 Lead

Matt Bobo and Tom Heinemann scored goals within a nine-minute span of the first half and the host Charleston Battery are back in a three-way tie for the lead in the United Soccer Leagues First Division with a 2-1 win over the Carolina RailHawks Friday at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, SC.

Tsuyoshi Yoshitake assisted on Bobo's 31st minute play and Scott Buete did so for Heinemann in the 40th minute to improve to 9-3-8 with 35 points, tied with the Portland Timbers (9-1-8) and the defending USL1 regular season champion Puerto Rico Islanders (9-4-8). Charleston is off until Thursday when they host the Austin Aztex.

Kupono Low fed a pass to Luke Kreamalmeyer in the 87th minute for Carolina's lone goal. The RailHawks are 9-5-3 with 30 points and is in fourth place, five points behind the tri-leaders. Carolina hosts the Miami FC Blues Sunday and the Aztex next Saturday.

Movsisyan Leads Rally As Real Salt Lake Stuns FC Dallas

Yura Movsisyan had two goals as part of a four-point rally that included an own goal by the opposing team as host Real Salt Lake defeated FC Dallas, 4-2, Friday in Major League Soccer action from Rio Tinto Stadium.

Dallas took a 2-0 lead into halftime as Jeff Cunningham knocked in an unassisted goal in the 13th minute, then assisted David Fereira and Dave van den Bergh on a 21st minute score.

Movsisyan started the comeback with an assist from Javier Morales in the 55th minute, then Robbie Findley tied the game at 2-all with a 62nd minute penalty kick.

With a tie looming in the final minutes of the game, Dallas' Daniel Torres gave RSL the lead on an own goal with two minutes in regulation time left and Movsisyan's 93rd minute shot was the game-winner.

RSL is 6-7-5 with 23 points and in sixth in the Western Conference standings with Dallas six points behind in seventh at 4-9-5.

Both teams play again next Saturday -- RSL at the Chicago Fire, FC Dallas hosting the Kansas City Wizards.

Friday, July 24, 2009

United Signs Ex-Wolf Allen To Replace Barklage

Major League Soccer's DC United signed midfielder Ely Allen Friday to fill the roster spot of injured player Brandon Barklage and will be eligible to play for them August 1 when they travel to the Houston Dynamo.

A second round pick of the Los Angeles Galaxy in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft, he started 11 of 12 games in the 2008 season before being released in February 2009.

He would then sign with the expansion Seattle Wolves of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League, where he scored six goals and six assists in 19 games this season.

Dynamo Loses Mulrooney For Rest Of Season

Houston Dynamo midfielder Richard Mulrooney will miss the rest of the 2009 Major League Soccer season following microfracture surgery last week on his right knee, the team announced Friday.

Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear believed Mulrooney would only be out through September, but was given the final diagnoses Friday.

Denver Post: Diz Joining Rapids Saturday Versus Red Bulls

Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids announced the signing of Argentinian forward Facunda Diz Friday, according to The Denver Post.

Diz has played professionally for many teams in his home country and comes to MLS from Club Athletico Platense, where he had nine goals in 15 games.

He will officially debut with Colorado Saturday when they host the worst team in MLS, the New York Red Bulls.

Garber Fines Beckham $1,000 For Incident With Fans

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber announced Friday he has fined Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham $1,000 for his part in an incident between himself and rowdy fans during Sunday's 2-2 exhibition draw against AC Milan.

Beckham, in his second game back with the Galaxy since returning from Milan, where he was loaned out, confronted members of the Galaxy's fan club, the L.A. Riot Squad, who constantly booed him throughout the first half. When one fan made rude comments to Beckham, he challenged the fan to come down and say his comments to his face, but the fan was arrested by security at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA, where the game took place, and has now been permanently banned from attending any events there.

Earthquakes Sign El Salavdor Team Captain Sanchez

Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes announced the signing Thursday of El Salvador national team captain and midfielder Ramon Sanchez.

Sanchez last played in his country's First Division for Alianza FC, where he was the team's second-best scorer with three goals this season.

He also has played for Arcanese, San Salvador FC and CD Chalatenango. In 227 First Division games, he has scored 19 goals.

Sanchez has been on the roster in the 2003, 2007 and 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup tournaments and has played in every FIFA World Cup qualifying game.

For his country's team, he has scored two goals in over 50 appearances.

He led El Salvador's U-22 team to the Juegos Deportivos Centroamericanos title game, where they defeated Mexico.

Sol Become WPS' Inaugural Regular Season Champion

The inevitable became official.

The Los Angeles Sol, who have run roughshod over all the teams in the inaugural season of Women's Professional Soccer, officially became the league's first regular season champion Thursday, despite doing so in a scoreless draw against the FC Gold Pride at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, CA.

The Sol, 11-2-5 with 38 points, have two games left -- both on the road -- on their schedule -- August 2 at the Chicago Red Stars and August 9 at the Boston Breakers -- before they host the WPS Championship August 22 at The Home Depot Center.

FC Gold Pride are the worst team in WPS at 3-9-4 with 13 points and next face the St. Louis Athletica Sunday at Anheuser-Busch Park in Fenton, MO.

Chursky Hat Trick Has Wolves Beating Timbers

Alex Chursky's hat trick was more than enough for the visiting Seattle Wolves as they edged the Portland Timbers U23s, 3-2, Thursday in a United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League Western Conference, Northeast Division playoff game at PGE Park.

Pernell Brown and Ryan Youngblood scored for the Timbers in the loss.

The Wolves will meet the Kitsap Pumas for the divisional championship Sunday at Bremerton Memorial High School.

In other playoff games Thursday...

- The Chicago Fire shut out Forest City London, 1-0, in a Central Conference, Great Lakes Conference playoff game at Hefner Stadium in Fort Wayne, IN.

Chicago will face the regular season champion Kalamazoo Outrage for the title Saturday at Loy Norrix High School in Kalamazoo, MI.

- The Ventura County Fusion stunned the host Los Angeles Legends, 2-1, in a Western Conference, Southwest Division playoff game at Buena High School in Los Angeles.

The Fusion will meet the Hollywood United Hitmen for the divisional championship Saturday at Pacific Palisades High School's Stadium by the Sea.

Islanders-Timbers Draw Changes Little In USL1 Standings

Before the night began Thursday, the Puerto Rico Islanders (9-4-7) and the Portland Timbers (9-1-8) were tied for the lead in the United Soccer Leagues First Division standings with 34 points.

After meeting each other on the pitch at Portland's PGE Park, not much changed...except that both teams played to a scoreless draw and they are still tied for the lead in the standings.

Two other teams are currently nipping at the heels of the duo -- the Charleston Battery (8-3-8, 32 points, third) and the Carolina RailHawks (9-4-3, 30 points, fourth), who play each other Friday at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC.

Puerto Rico hits the road again Saturday against the defending league champion Vancouver Whitecaps while the Timbers are off until August 1 when they face the Minnesota Thunder in Blaine, MN.

United To Now Face Firpo In CCL Preliminary Round

Major League Soccer's DC United will now face CD Luis Angel Firpo of El Salvador in a two-game, aggregate-goal series in the Preliminary Round of Group B play at the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League after the previous representative, Chalatenango, failed to meet confederation tournament requirements by submitting a signed participation agreement.

United will host the first leg of the series Tuesday at RFK Stadium, then will travel to Firpo August 4.

The winner of the series meets Toluca (Mexico), Marathon (Honduras) and either San Juan Jabloteh (Trinidad & Tobago) or San Francisco (Panama) in Group B play the week of August 18.

US Earns Third Straight Gold Cup Final Trip; Shuts Out Honduras

Clarence Goodson and Kenny Cooper were assisted on goals by Stuart Holden as the US Men's National Team defeated Honduras, 2-0, Thursday in the semifinals of the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup at Soldier Field in Chicago.

The US, the 2005 and 2007 tournament champion, will vie for their record fifth overall title Sunday against Mexico, who beat Costa Rica in a penalty kick shootout in the other semifinal in Chicago Thursday.

It was the Americans' third win in the last six weeks over Honduras including a 2-0 win in Gold Cup group play.

The US also extended their unbeaten streak in home games against CONCACAF opponents to 58 games. Their last loss came to Honduras in qualifying for the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Boston Herald: Breakers GM Cummings To Become NSCAA CEO/Executive Director

Joe Cummings, general manager of the Boston Breakers in Women's Professional Soccer, announced his resignation Thursday, effective at the end of the season, to become the new CEO and executive director of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America in mid-September, according to the Boston Herald.

Cummings has been with the association for 30 years and served as its president in 2004.

Harrisburg Patriot-News: Harrisburg Gets Nunez On Loan; Suspends Three Players For Saturday

The Harrisburg City Islanders, in the midst of a three-way tie for the lead in the United Soccer Leagues Second Division standings, announced Thursday they have acquired the services of forward Tino Nunez on loan from Major League Soccer's Real Salt Lake.

Nunez has appeared in three MLS games this season, all off the bench, but has no statistics.

Last season, he scored five goals for RSL's former team in the MLS Reserve Division and had a goal over nine regular season games with the senior team.

He played on the University of California-Santa Barbara's 2006 NCAA College Cup championship team.

In related team news...

- Harrisburg head coach Bill Becher announced Phil Buffington is out indefinitely with a knee injury after undergoing an MRI. No word on when surgery will take place.

- Becher has suspended Jason Massie, Nicki Paterson and Cody Reinberg for Saturday's home game against the Wilmington Hammerheads for "violation of team rules".

Washington Post: Khumalo Out 2-6 Weeks For Broken Right Wrist

DC United's Thabiso "Boyzzz" Khumalo will be out for two to six weeks of Major League Soccer play after undergoing surgery Thursday to repair a broken right wrist injured Tuesday in the late minutes of their 2-1 win over the United Soccer Leagues First Division's Rochester Rhinos in the semifinals of the 2009 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament at the Maryland Soccerplex in Boyds, MD, according to The Washington Post.

If, following surgery, Khumalo's injury requires only wearing a cast to the elbow, he will be out two weeks; otherwise, he will be out the full six weeks.

Khumalo has started two of eight MLS games he has been in this season and started all five games in defense of their LHUSOC championship, scoring two goals.

Rhinos Ink Kindel For A Year, McFarlane For Two Years

The Rochester Rhinos of the United Soccer Leagues First Division announced the signings of defender Steve Kindel to a one-year contract and forward Errol McFarlane to a two-year deal Thursday.

Kindel played in two stints with the Vancouver Whitecaps (1997-98; 2000-08) and scored 31 goals over 240 matches, as well as leading them to USL1 championship seasons in 2006 and 2008. He also have five goals in 28 games for R.A.E.C. Mons in Belgium's Third Division A.

McFarlane, a native of Trinidad & Tobago, has played 11 times for his country's national team and previously played for St. Ann Rangers in their Pro League and for Al-Mabarrah in Lebanon's Premier League.

ESPN Soccernet: Dynamo F Arnoux Heading To Everton

Forward Cody Arnoux of the Carolina Dynamo in the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League signed a contract Thursday with Everton FC of England's Barclays Premier League and could compete for his new team when they face the Major League Soccer All-Stars July 29 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT, according to ESPN Soccernet.

He is the second player from a PDL team to join Everton this year, following midfielder Anton Peterlin of the Ventura County Fusion. Both players trained with the team in March and impressed enough people to be offered contracts.

Arnoux had been with the Dynamo since 2007 and has scored 13 goals and five assists in his career there. He last played for Carolina July 1 in a 1-0 win over the Cary Clarets. He played collegiately at Wake Forest from 2006 to 2008 and had 33 goals and 18 assists in 64 games there. He was a semifinalist for the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy in 2008.

Those same Clarets eliminated the Dynamo from the 2009 USL PDL Playoffs Tuesday with a 3-1 victory at Carolina's Macpherson Stadium.

Galaxy's Ricketts Voted SOW Winner

Los Angeles Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts was voted by fans the winner of Major League Soccer's Save of the Week competition for Week 18 of the 2009 season.

Ricketts had back-to-back saves to protect LA's 3-1 win over the New York Red Bulls last Thursday at Giants Stadium.

FC Dallas Signs Benitez, Cuts Dello-Russo

Major League Soccer's FC Dallas announced Wednesday they have signed defender Jair Benitez, on loan from Colombia's Deportivo Cali to Independente Medellin, where he led the team to two national championships at Copa Mustang in 2002 and 2004.

Benitez began his professional career, playing mostly in Colombia.

In 1999, he began with Envigado FC, then headed to Independente Santa Fe the next season before splitting time in 2001 with Envigado and Independente Medellin.

In the 2002-03 season, he split between Medellin and Deportivo Pereira, then joined Colon (2003-04), Medellin (2004-05) and Deportivo Cali (2006-08), who loaned him to Medellin.

In 344 international games, he has scored 19 goals.

In 2009 with Medellin, he played in 17 games, including regular season and Copa Libertadores champsionship games.

Dallas also announced, to make room on the roster for Benitez, they have released defender Michael Dello-Russo, a fourth round pick in the 2006 MLS Supplemental Draft from the University of Maryland.

He played in 11 regular season contests, starting four of them, in his 3 1/2 years on the team.

Aluko Goal Leads Athletica Over Cloudy Sky

Eniola Aluko opened the second half with a goal three minutes in as the host St. Louis Athletica shut out Sky Blue FC, 1-0, in Women's Professional Soccer play Wednesday at Anheuser-Busch Park in Fenton, MO.

The win brought the Athletica back to second place in the league standings at 8-6-2 with 26 points, while Sky Blue continues to hold tightly to keep the league's fourth spot in the standings at 6-7-4 with 22 points.

St. Louis hosts FC Gold Pride Sunday for their next game and the Boston Breakers host Sky Blue FC Saturday.

Sutton Leads Flash Over Amiral In Expansion Team Playoff Battle

Erika Sutton scored two goals, Maria Ruiz had a goal and an assist and Jacquie Lacek and Jamie Craft contributed by having goals as the host Buffalo Flash shut out the Quebec City Amiral, 5-0, Wednesday in a United Soccer Leagues W-League Central Conference quarterfinal playoff game between two 2009 expansion season teams.

The win advances the Flash to a divisional semifinal playoff game at Jefferson High School in Indianapolis, IN against the host FC Indiana Lionesses.

Should Buffalo win Friday, they will meet the winner of the Chicago Red Eleven - Ottawa Fury game, also at Jefferson Friday, for the Central Conference crown this Sunday.

PDL Team Honorees Lead Sockers Over Aztex U23

Ben Everson, a member of this week's United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League's Team of the Week, and Dominic Furness, announced Wednesday as the league's Player of the Week for the final week of the 2009 season, scored unassisted goals to lead the host West Texas United Sockers over the Austin Aztex U23s, 2-1, in the PDL's Southern Conference, Mid-South Division semifinal at Grande Communications Stadium in Midland, TX.

The Sockers now advance to the divisional final Saturday at Texas A&M International University in Laredo, TX against the Laredo Heat.

The two team split their regular season series this season -- West Texas won, 1-0, May 15 in Midland; Laredo won, 1-0, July 17 in Laredo.

Barons Shut Out Rough Riders In USL PDL Playoffs

Byron Carmichael and Rory McCrea scored goals off J.T. Noone assists in the 23rd and 73rd minutes, respectively, as the visiting Ocean City Barons upset the host Long Island Rough Riders, 2-0, Wednesday at St. Anthony's High School to advance to the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League's Eastern Conference, Northeast Division Final.

Saturday at the Algonquin College Soccer Complex, the Barons will meet the host Ottawa Fury for the title.

Hammerheads, Kickers Join City Islanders In USL2 Logjam

Jamie Franks, Phil Hufstader and Andre Budnyy led the host Wilmington Hammerheads to a 3-2 win over the Richmond Kickers Wednesday at Legion Sports Complex in a United Soccer Leagues Second Division game that threw another monkey wrench into the league's standings as the homestretch of the 2009 season approaches.

Wilmington (9-4-2, 29) is now tied with the Kickers (8-3-5), who got goals Wednesday from Matthew Delicate and Mike Burke in the loss, and the Harrisburg City Islanders (9-4-2), who both teams face next at Harrisburg's Skyline Sports Complex on their respective schedules -- Wilmington this Saturday, Richmond next Wednesday.

Thunder Communicates Well Against Guatemalan Team

Marco Termenisi scored a goal in the fourth minute and Dale Weiler followed suit in the 81st minute as the host Minnesota Thunder of the United Soccer Leagues First Division defeated CSD Comunicaciones of Guatemala, 2-0, Wednesday in an exhibition at the National Sports Center in Blaine, MN.

The Thunder return to USL1 play Friday when they host the Miami FC Blues.

Impact Stops Two Streaks In Victory Over City Stars

The Montreal Impact ended a five-game losing streak Wednesday as well as saw a scoreless streak stop at 468 minutes, the longest in team history, as they defeated the last-place Cleveland City Stars, 4-1, in United Soccer Leagues First Division play at Montreal's Saputo Stadium.

Eduardo Sebrango had a pair of goals, including the scoreless streak snapper in the ninth minute, and Ciaran O'Brien and Joey Gjertsen added goals as the Impact are now at 5-8-3 with 18 points and tied for seventh place in the league's single table standings with the defending league champion Vancouver Whitecaps (5-7-3). Montreal will travel to Nelson Field Saturday to face the Austin Aztex.

Cleveland is 2-10-6 with 12 points and saw Pato Aguilera scored their only goal in the 13th minute to even the score at 1-1. The City Stars, who promoted themselves to USL1 from their Second Division, are at the Rochester Rhinos Saturday.

River Plate Defeats Toronto FC In PKs For Carlsberg Cup

Gustavo Fernandez broke a 3-3 tie in penalty kicks and Marco Velda failed to send the contest into a ninth round as River Plate of Argentina, a 33-time Primera Division champion, defeated Major League Soccer's Toronto FC, 4-3, in a shootout to win the Carlsberg Cup exhibition match Wednesday at Toronto's BMO Field.

The game went into a shootout after 90 minutes of scoreless regulation play.

Toronto is 0-4-1 in home-based international exhibition games.

Nairn Goal Gives USWNT Three-Game Sweep Of Canada

Christine Nairn scored her first international goal of her career in the 89th minute as the top-ranked US Women's National Team swept a three-game series with Canada with a 1-0 victory Wednesday at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, SC.

Nairn became the youngest USWNT player since Heather O'Reilly in 2002 against Italy to score a goal for the team (Nairn is 18, O'Reilly was 17 at the time).

The US hasn't lost a game to Canada since 2001 and are 40-3-4 overall against their northern neighbors.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Successful Marshall Plan Lands Force Star A POW Honor

Colorado Force midfielder Nikki Marshall was named the final United Soccer Leagues W-League Player of the Week for the 2009 regular season Wednesday.

Marshall scored two goals against the Los Angeles Legends and one against the Vancouver Whitecaps to see the Force qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 1998, when they won the then-W2 Championship title.

The Force will face the defending conference and league champion Pali Blues for the Western Conference championship Saturday at Pacific Palisades High School in Pacific Palisades, CA.

Here are the other members selected for the W-League Team of the Week, as well as Honorable Mention picks:

USL W-LEAGUE TEAM OF THE WEEK

GOALKEEPER
Carianne Betts, Cleveland Internationals
Had 11 saves in a 1-1 draw against Minnesota Lightning

DEFENDERS
Katie Kane, Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues
Played 270 minutes in 2-0-1 week for regular season champions, assisting on two goals

Anna Caniglia, Ottawa Fury
Had a combined two goals and an assist in 2-0-1 week for Fury

Rachel Sloan, Chicago Red Eleven
Scored goal in 3-1 victory over Fort Wayne Fever

MIDFIELDERS
Sarah Wagenfuhr, Buffalo Flash
Played all 180 minutes in two games during week; was defensive MVP in 1-1 draw with Ottawa Fury

Megan Tomlinson, Atlanta Silverbacks
Had a combined two goals and an assist in 2-0-0 week for Silverbacks

Monica Ocampo, FC Indiana Lionesses
Had a combined five goals and two assists in 2-0-0 week for Lionesses

FORWARDS
Jocelyn Charette, Los Angeles Legends
Had combined three goals in 256 minutes played over 1-1-1 week

Caitlin Miskel, Washington Freedom
Had combined two goals in 194 minutes played over 2-0-1 week

Tiffany Cameron, Toronto Lady Lynx
Scored both goals in 2-0 win over Quebec City Amiral

HONORABLE MENTIONS

MIDFIELDER
Emily Creesy, Ventura County Fusion
Scored two goals in 3-1 victory over Seattle Sounders

FORWARDS
Jordan Pawlik, Fort Wayne Fever
Had a combined goal and four assists in 270 minutes played over 1-2-0 week

Jodie Taylor, Pali Blues
Scored two goals in 4-1 win over Seattle Sounders

Furness Named USL PDL's Final Player Of The Week For '09 Regular Season

Midfielder Dominic Furness of the West Texas United Sockers was named Wednesday the final United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League Player of the Week for the 2009 season after scoring a goal and assisting on a second in their 3-1 win over the Rio Grande Valley Bravos.

The Sockers, in their inaugural league season, earned themselves a spot in the USL PDL playoffs, where they will host the Austin Aztex U23s in a battle of expansion playoff teams Wednesday night at Grande Communications Stadium in Midland, TX.

The winner of the game travels to Texas A&M International University in Laredo, TX Saturday to meet the Laredo Heat for the Southern Conference, Mid-South Division championship.

Here are the other members named to the USL PDL Team of the Week, as well as the honorable mention selections:

USL PDL TEAM OF THE WEEK

GOALKEEPER
Ryan Cooper, Laredo Heat
Had four saves in a 1-0 win over West Texas United Sockers to clinch regular season division title in Southern Conference, Mid-South Division

DEFENDERS
Raul Rivera, Fresno Fuego
Assisted on two goals in 3-1 upset of Hollywood United Hitmen

Dan Belke, Brooklyn Knights
Scored game-winning goal in 3-1 victory over Ocean City Barons

Tom Milroy, Cascade Surge
Led defensive unit in 1-1 draw with Yakima Reds

MIDFIELDERS
Pedro Pereira, Austin Aztex U23s
Scored game-tying goal off a free kick in 1-1 draw versus El Paso Patriots

Dave Hertel, Michigan Bucks
Had a hat trick in 5-2 win over Toronto Lynx

Nolan Intermoia, Thunder Bay Chill
Had combined four goals in 1-0-1 week for Chill

Eddie Floyd, Hampton Roads Pirahnas
Scored both goals in 2-1 win over Virginia Legacy

FORWARDS
James Taranto, Reading Rage
Had combined six goals and an assist in 3-0-0 week for PDL regular season champions

Greg Howes, Tacoma Tide
Had combined five goals in 1-1-0 week for Tide

HONORABLE MENTIONS

MIDFIELDERS
Will Beague, Ottawa Fury
Scored both goals in 2-0 win versus Brooklyn Knights

Evan Morgan, Seattle Wolves
Scored lone goal as a substitute in 1-0 win over Abbotsford Mariners

FORWARD
Ben Callon, New Orleans Jesters
Scored game-winning penalty kick in 2-1 victory over Panama City Pirates which sent expansion Jesters into first PDL playoff appearance

Whitecaps Released Combative Defender Wesley Charles

The Vancouver Whitecaps of the United Soccer Leagues First Division announced the release of defender Wesley Charles after a second incident this season where he has attacked a fellow player.

Charles was tackled by defender Jeff Parke during Tuesday's practice session and Charles attempted to hit him afterwards. Whitecaps officials immediately dismissed him from the grounds and the practice continued without further incidents.

Team officials said this was the second time in the last month Charles had been disciplined for being too aggressive toward a teammate.

Charles has played 33 games over two half-seasons with the Whitecaps. Before joining Vancouver, he spent 11 seasons with the League of Ireland.

Timbers Add Forrest To Roster For Rest Of Season

The Portland Timbers of the United Soccer Leagues First Division announced the signing of forward Kevin Forrest for the remainder of the 2009 season Wednesday.

Forrest has been practicing with the team since Monday and was a guest player who scored a goal in Portland's 2-0 exhibition victory July 2 against Bayern Munich II of Germany's Bundesliga.

The third overall pick of the Colorado Rapids in the 2008 Major League Soccer Supplemental Draft, Forrest played one game for their former Reserve Division team, then was loaned to the Seattle Sounders for the rest of the season, where he played in nine senior games.

A three-time All-Pac 10 Conference player at the University of Washington, he led the conference in scoring in his junior season of 2006 with 16 goals and was named the conference's Player of the Year.

He left the Huskies as their eighth-highest all-time leading goal scorer with 34.

MLS Reveals Save Of The Week Nominees For Week 18

Major League Soccer Wednesday announced the nominees for Save of the Week for Week 18 of the 2009 season.

They are Joe Cannon (San Jose Earthquakes), Matt Reis (New England Revolution), Jon Busch (Chicago Fire), Donovan Ricketts (Los Angeles Galaxy), Zach Thornton (Chivas USA) and William Hesmer (Columbus Crew).

Fans can view each candidate's outstanding save and vote for their favorite through 2 p.m. Eastern time Thursday at www.mlsnet.com.

MLS Fans Forgive And Forget: Namoff Wins GOW

DC United's Bryan Namoff, who scored a goal off a Christian Gomez assist in Saturday's 3-1 home win against the Colorado Rapids at RFK Stadium, was selected Major League Soccer's Goal of the Week winner Wednesday in fan voting at www.mlsnet.com.

Namoff was selected despite the fact he also scored Colorado's goal in the same game by accidentally hitting the ball into his own team's goal in the 14th minute.

But, let's just let bygones be bygones, hmmm?

DC United One Step Closer To Defending LHUSOC Crown

Jamie Moreno scored on a 41st minute penalty kick and Thabiso "Boyzzz" Khumalo snapped a tie with his game-winning goal in the 82nd minute as an all-Major League Soccer final has been set for the championship game of the 2009 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament as the defending champion DC United edged the Rochester Rhinos of the United Soccer Leagues First Division, 2-1, Tuesday in semifinal play at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, MD.

Tai Atieno knotted the game at 1-1 in the 62nd minute for Rochester.

United will meet the Seattle Sounders September 2 in the championship final at the SoccerPlex for the $100,000 first prize. The loser takes home $50,000.

Steven King scored the game-winning goal in the 95th minute off a Sebastien Le Toux assist as the Sounders edged the Houston Dynamo, 2-1, in overtime.

Ade Akinbiyi put the Dynamo on top with an unassisted goal in the 32nd minute.

Nate Jaqua tied the game at 1-1, thanks to Le Toux and Roger Levesque, in the 89th minute, setting the two-period, 30-minute-total procedure.

Dynamo Defender Cameron Named LHUSOC Player Of The Round

Defender Geoff Cameron of Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo was named Player of the Match Tuesday for the quarterfinal round of the 2009 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament.

Cameron scored the game-winning goal in the 16th minute of their 4-0 July 7 rout of the Charleston Battery of the United Soccer Leagues First Division, then added another goal in the 73rd minute.

The Dynamo take on fellow MLS side Seattle Sounders in the semifinals Wednesday at Qwest Field.

Schilawski Leads Clarets To Mid-Atlantic Division Final

Zach Schilawski scored goals in the 59th and 72nd minutes and Vince Petrasso knocked in a shot at the 90th minute as the Cary Clarets advance to the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League Eastern Conferemce, Mid-Atlantic Division championship game with a 3-1 victory over the Carolina Dynamo Tuesday at Macpherson Stadium in Charlotte, NC.

Brian Shriver tied the game for Carolina at 1-1 in the 66th minute off an Arie Muniz assist.

The Clarets will next face the Reading Rage in the championship game Saturday at Exeter High School in Exeter, PA.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Kai Named WPS Player Of The Week

Sky Blue FC forward Natasha Kai was named Tuesday Women's Professional Soccer's Player of the Week.

She scored two goals in her team's 4-1 win over the Washington Freedom.

Kai leads the team in scoring with five goals, three of them coming in the last three weeks, and is fourth in the league in that category.

Parkhurst, Busch Return To US Roster For Honduras Game

US Soccer announced Tuesday defender Michael Parkhurst and goalkeeper Jon Busch will rejoin the US Men's National Team roster for their CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal game against Honduras Thursday at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Parkhurst had played in the team's first two pool games in the tournament, but missed Saturday's Haiti game because he was recalled by Denmark's FC Nordsjaelland to open their season.

Busch replaces Luis Robles, who has been recalled by FC Kaiserslauten of Germany's Bundesliga for a similar reason as Parkhurst.

Impact Releases Grande After Altercation

The Montreal Impact of the United Soccer Leagues First Division announced the release Monday of midfielder Sandro Grande.

Grande was initially suspended indefinitely by the team following a July 11 incident with team captain and player-coach Mauro Bello during a game at the Minnesota Thunder.

This was the second time Grande was disciplined by the team. In May, he was suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules.

Hayes, Barbosa Named USL's Best For Week

Defender David Hayes of the Portland Timbers and forward Almir Barbosa of the Western Mass Pioneers were named Tuesday the United Soccer Leagues First and Second Division Players of the Week.

Hayes scored the team's lone goal in a 1-1 draw at Miami FC Blues that helped the Timbers set a new single-season high undefeated streak of 16 games (9-0-7), breaking the previous mark of 15 (10-0-5) set by the 2005 Montreal Impact.

Barbosa combined for three goals and an assist during a weekend series with the Bermuda Hogges where the Pioneers went 1-0-1.

Here are the other selections to the USL1 and USL2 Team of the Week:

USL1 TEAM OF THE WEEK

GOALKEEPER
Srdjan Djekanovic, Montreal Impact
Allowed one penalty kick goal in two weekend games

DEFENDERS
Christian Arrieta, Puerto Rico Islanders
Scored team's lone goal in 1-0 win at Montreal Impact

Troy Roberts, Cleveland City Stars
Led team in scoreless draw against Charleston Battery

John Ball, Rochester Rhinos
Led team in scoreless draw against Montreal Impact

MIDFIELDERS
Tony McManus, Portland Timbers
Led team in 3-0 win at Miami FC Blues

Gregory Richardson, Carolina Dynamo
Scored goal in 2-1 win over Vancouver Whitecaps

Johnny Menyongar, Rochester Rhinos
Scored goal in 1-1 draw against Charleston Battery

Keith Savage, Portland Timbers
Scored goal in 3-0 win at Miami FC Blues

FORWARDS
Rod Dyachenko, Minnesota Thunder
Scored lone goal in 1-0 win over Austin Aztex

Randi Patterson, Charleston Battery
Scored goal in 1-1 draw at Rochester Rhinos

---

USL2 TEAM OF THE WEEK

GOALKEEPER
Chase Harrison, Harrisburg City Islanders
Had three saves in 1-0 win over Pittsburgh Riverhounds

DEFENDERS
Kenny Cutler, Richmond Kickers
Led team in 2-1 win at Crystal Palace Baltimore

Dustin Bixler, Harrisburg City Islanders
Led team in 1-0 win over Pittsburgh Riverhounds

Luke Williams, Charlotte Eagles
Assisted on team's lone goal in 1-1 draw against Real Maryland Monarchs

MIDFIELDERS
Amaury Nunes, Charlotte Eagles
Scored team's lone goal in 1-1 draw against Real Maryland Monarchs

Damon Ming, Bermuda Hogges
Scored goal in 2-2 draw at Western Mass Pioneers

Mark Newkowksi, Western Mass Pioneers
Scored goal in 5-0 win over Bermuda Hogges

FORWARDS
Gary Brooks, Real Maryland Monarchs
Scored team's lone goal in 1-1 draw at Charlotte Eagles

Jamie Watson, Wilmington Hammerheads
Scored two goals in 3-1 win over Real Maryland Monarchs

USL W-League Playoff Schedule Announcement

United Soccer Leagues Tuesday announced the schedule for the first week of the W-League playoffs, beginning Wednesday night and concluding with divisional finals this weekend.

Here are the matchups, by conference (all times Eastern):

USL W-LEAGUE CONFERENCE PLAYOFF SCHEDULE

CENTRAL CONFERENCE
Divisional Match: Quebec City Amiral @ Buffalo Flash
Wednesday, 7 p.m. @ Orchard Park High School, Orchard Park, MY

Semifinal I: Chicago Red Eleven vs. Ottawa Fury
Friday, 5 p.m. @ Jefferson High School, Indianapolis, IN

Semifinal II: QCA/BUF winner @ FC Indiana Lionesses
Friday, 7:30 p.m. @ Jefferson High School, Indianapolis, IN

Conference Final: CHI/OTT vs. BUF/QCA/FCI winners
Sunday, 7:30 p.m. @ Jefferson High School, Indianapolis, IN

EASTERN CONFERENCE
Semifinal I: Tampa Bay Hellenic vs. Washington Freedom
Friday, 5 p.m. @ Atlanta Silverbacks Park, Atlanta, GA

Semifinal II: Charlotte Lady Eagles @ Atlanta Silverbacks
Friday, 7:30 p.m. @ Atlanta Silverbacks Park, Atlanta, GA

Conference Final: TB/WASH winner vs. CHAR/ATL winner
Saturday, 7:30 p.m. @ Atlanta Silverbacks Park, Atlanta, GA

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Conference Final: Colorado Force @ Pali Blues
Saturday, 6:30 p.m. @ Stadium by the Sea, Pacific Palisades High School, Pacific Palisades, CA

USL PDL Playoff Schedule Announced

United Soccer Leagues Tuesday announced the schedule for the first week of the Premier Development League playoffs, beginning Tuesday night and concluding with divisional finals this weekend.

Here are the matchups, by conference and division (all times Eastern):

USL PDL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE

CENTRAL CONFERENCE - GREAT LAKES DIVISION
First Round: Thursday 7/23 - 8 p.m. @ Hefner Stadium, Fort Wayne, IN
Chicago Fire vs. Forest City London

Division Final: Saturday 7/25 - 7:30 p.m. @ Loy Norrix High School, Kalamazoo, MI
CHI/FCL winner @ Kalamazoo Outrage

CENTRAL CONFERENCE - HEARTLAND DIVISION
First Round: Friday 7/24 - 8:30 p.m. @ Valley Stadium, West Des Moines, IA
Real Colorado Foxes vs. Thunder Bay Chill

Division Final: Saturday 7/25 - 8:30 p.m. @ Valley Stadium, West Des Moines, IA
RCF/TBC winner @ Des Moines Menace

EASTERN CONFERENCE - MID-ATLANTIC DIVISION
First Round: Tuesday 7/21 - 7:30 p.m. @ Macpherson Stadium, Charlotte, NC
Cary Clarets @ Carolina Dynamo

Division Final - Saturday 7/25 - 7:30 p.m. @ Exeter High School, Exeter, PA
CARY/CAR winner @ Reading Rage

EASTERN CONFERENCE - NORTHEAST DIVISION
First Round: Wednesday 7/22 - 8 p.m. @ St. Anthony's High School, Long Island, NY
Ocean City Barons @ Long Island Rough Riders

Division Final - Saturday 7/25 - 7 p.m. @ Algonquin College Soccer Complex, Ontario, Canada
OCB/LIRR winner @ Ottawa Fury

SOUTHERN CONFERENCE - MID-SOUTH DIVISION
First Round: Wednesday 7/22 - 9:30 p.m. @ Grande Communications Stadium, Midland, TX
Austin Aztex U23s @ West Texas United Sockers

Division Final: Saturday 7/25 - 9:15 p.m. @ Texas A&M International University Soccer Complex, Laredo, TX
AUS/WTXU winner @ Laredo Heat

SOUTHERN CONFERENCE - SOUTHEAST DIVISION
First Round: Friday 7/24 - 8 p.m. @ M&F Bank Stadium/Freedom Ridge Park, Mississippi
New Orleans Jesters @ Bradenton Academics

Division Final: Saturday 7/25 - 8 p.m. @ Millsap College, Jackson, MS
NO/BRAD winner @ Mississippi Brilla

WESTERN CONFERENCE - NORTHWEST DIVISION
First Round: Thursday 7/23 - 5 p.m. @ PGE Park, Portland, OR
Seattle Wolves @ Portland Timbers U23s

Division Final: Saturday 7/25 - 10 p.m. @ Bremerton Memorial High School Stadium, Bremerton, WA
SEA/POR winner @ Kitsap Pumas

WESTERN CONFERENCE - SOUTHWEST DIVISION
First Round: Thursday 7/23 - 10 p.m. @ Buena High School, CA
Los Angeles Legends @ Ventura County Fusion

Division Final: Friday 7/24 or Saturday 7/25 - TBA @ Pacific Palisades High School, Pacific Palisades, CA
LA/VCF winner @ Hollywood United Hitmen

Blanco Named MLS' Best For Week 18

Chicago Fire midfielder Cuauhtemoc Blanco, who had a goal and an assist in their 2-0 victory Saturday over the San Jose Earthquakes at Toyota Park, was named Monday Major League Soccer's Player of the Week for the 18th week of the 2009 season.

It is the second such career honor for Blanco, who was named to his second MLS All-Star team in as many seasons.

Blanco leads the league in assists with seven.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Lionesses Win Second Straight Conference Title

Laura Del Rio had an amazing five goals and an assist and Monica Ocampo had a hat trick and two assists as the FC Indiana Lionesses captured their second straight United Soccer Leagues W-League Central Conference, Midwest Division title Sunday with a 9-0 rout of the host West Michigan Firewomen in Grand Rapids, MI.

Fatima Leyva assisted on five of the nine goals and Nikki Lyons also scored for FC Indiana, who also earned home field advantage in the playoffs, which begin Wednesday with the Quebec City Amiral facing the Buffalo Flash.

The winner of that game faces the Lionesses Friday in the conference semifinal.

That winner moves to the conference final Sunday against the winner of the Chicago Red Eleven-Ottawa Fury game, to be played Wednesday, as well.

FC Indiana ends their season 10-0-2 with 32 points, while the Firewomen go 0-11-1 with one point.