Monday, August 31, 2009

WPS All-Stars Defeat Sweden's Best In Inaugural All-Star Game

After being down 2-0 at halftime, Women's Professional Soccer's All-Stars scored four unanswered goals in the second half, two from Christine Sinclair, as they defeated Umea IK of Sweden, 4-2, in the inaugural WPS All-Star Game presented by the US Coast Guard Sunday at the Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park in Fenton, MO.

Marta of the Los Angeles Sol, who was named the league's PUMA Golden Boot and Michelle Akers Player of the Year winner, added a goal and two assists, and Kristine Lilly also had a goal.

Umea took the early lead when Mami Yamaguchi assisted Madelaine Edlund scored the first goal in the third minute, then padded it in the 18th on an unassisted goal from Sofia Jakobsson.

RailHawks, Impact Knot First Game Of Two-Game Series

John Cunliffe's unassisted goal in the 63rd minute countered an earlier header goal from Tony Donatelli from Adam Braz in the 33rd minute and the host Montreal Impact and the Carolina RailHawks played to a 1-1 draw in the first game of a two-game series between these United Soccer Leagues First Division foes Sunday at Montreal's Saputo Stadium.

Game two of the series will be Wednesday night, also in Montreal.

The RailHawks have already clinched a playoff berth and are currently 14-5-7 with 49 points and in second place in the league table, three points behind the league-leading Portland Timbers, who were the first of three teams to qualify for playoff spots. The other team is the Charleston Battery.

The Impact remain in the hunt for a playoff spot at 9-10-6 with 33 points and in sixth place.

The top seven teams in the standings earn playoff spots, with the regular season champion earning a first-round playoff bye.

Break Up The Red Bulls! They've Won Two Straight Games!

Dane Richards scored an unassisted goal in the 63rd minute as the New York Red Bulls won back-to-back Major League Soccer games for the first time this season as they shut out the defending Eastern Conference and league champion Columbus Crew, 1-0, Sunday at Giants Stadium.

The wins assure the Red Bulls that they will not have the worst single-season record in league history while Sunday's loss was the first for the Crew by a league opponent since June 20 when FC Dallas beat them, 2-1, at Pizza Hut Park.

Before returning to league play, Columbus lost their second game in Group C play in the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League tournament, 5-0, to Mexico's Cruz Azul.

The Crew are 10-4-9 with 39 points and will be off until September 13 when they take on the current Western Conference-leading Houston Dynamo at Robertson Stadium.

The Red Bulls are now 4-16-4 with 16 points, are in last place in the Eastern Conference standings, and will try for a three-game winning streak September 18 when they host the New England Revolution.

Baudet Goal Gives Rapids First Win Over Dynamo In Two Seasons

Julien Baudet scored a 55th minute, game-winning goal off a Mehdi Ballouchy corner kick as the host Colorado Rapids defeated Major League Soccer's Western Conference-leading Houston Dynamo, 1-0, Sunday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO.

It was the Rapids' first win against the Dynamo since August 2007.

Houston holds the best record in the league and in the conference at 11-7-7 with 40 points. They have this week off before facing the current Eastern Conference champion Columbus Crew on the road September 13. They then travel to Mexico to meet Pachuca September 16 in the third round of Group C play.

Colorado, meanwhile, at 9-7-6 with 33 points, is in a three-way tie for fourth in the Western standings with Real Salt Lake (9-9-6) and Chivas USA (10-9-3). All three are a point behind the Seattle Sounders (8-6-10, 34) for third place, five behind the Los Angeles Galaxy (9-4-11, 38) for second and seven behind the Dynamo for first place. The Rapids play a two-game, home-and-home series with Toronto FC the next two weekends, beginning this Saturday at DSGP, then heading to BMO Field in Toronto September 12.

Sol's Marta Takes Two WPS Postseason Awards

Forward Marta of the regular season champion Los Angeles Sol won two awards as Women's Professional Soccer held their inaugural WPS Postseason Awards Saturday in St. Louis, MO, host to the league's first All-Star Game Sunday against Swedish champion Umea IK.

Marta was named the winner of the PUMA Golden Boot and the Michelle Akers Player of the Year awards and the Sol's head coach, Abner Rogers, who also served as coach for the WPS All-Stars, was named by his fellow coaches the Advocare Coach of the Year.

In other awards, Amy LePeilbet of the Boston Breakers was named the MedImmune Defender of the Year, Hope Solo of the St. Louis Athletica was named the Coast Guard Goalkeeper of the Year and player/head coach Christie Rampone of the league champion Sky Blue FC was named the Hint Water Sportswoman of the Year.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bulow Leads Kickers To USL2 Championship Over Eagles

David Bulow assisted Edson Elcock on a 63rd minute goal and scored on a penalty kick in the 86th minute as the Richmond Kickers became the 2009 United Soccer Leagues Second Division champions in a 3-1 victory over the Charlotte Eagles Saturday at University of Richmond Stadium.

John DiRaimondo also had an unassisted goal in the 83rd minute for the champions.

Diego Martins gave Charlotte their only lead in the 14th minute as Darren Toby assisted on his goal.

The Mark Of The "Ze" Forces Draw Between Rhinos, Whitecaps

Ze Roberto scored in the 80th minute off a Steve Kindel assist as the Rochester Rhinos forced a 1-1 draw with the host Vancouver Whitecaps Saturday in United Soccer Leagues First Division play at Swangard Stadium.

Vancouver opened the scoring in the 66th minute when Wes Knight fired a pass to Charles Gbeke.

Rochester is 9-8-8 with 35 points and in fifth place in the single table standings. They are on the road for their next two games -- Thursday at the league-leading Portland Timbers and next Sunday at the Puerto Rico Islanders.

Johnson Scores Lone Goal In Aztex Win At Home

Kyle Brown assisted Eddie Johnson on his game-winning 24th minute shot as the host Austin Aztex slipped past the Miami FC Blues, 1-0, in United Soccer Leagues First Division at Nelson Field on the campus of Reagan High School in Austin, TX Saturday.

Austin is 4-13-8 with 18 points and in tenth place in the league standings. They were penalized two standings points earlier this season for using an ineligible player. The Aztex travel to the Vancouver Whitecaps Wednesday before getting a rematch at Miami on Labor Day.

Miami is 7-14-4 with 25 points and in eighth place.

Islanders Outlast Thunder At Bayamon

The Puerto Rico Islanders scored a trio of unanswered goals as they defeated the Minnesota Thunder, 3-1, Saturday in United Soccer Leagues First Division play at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium in Bayamon, PR.

After Melvin Tarley scored the opening and lone goal for Minnesota in the sixth minute, Nicholas Addlery had an unassisted 39th minute goal for a 1-1 halftime tie, Domenic Mediate assisted Sean Fraser on the tie-breaking goal in the 64th minute, and Cristian Arrieta had a penalty kick in the 85th minute for the victory.

Puerto Rico is 12-5-8 with 44 points and in fourth place in the standings, two points behind the playoff-bound Charleston Battery (12-4-10, 46) for third, four behind the also-playoff-bound Carolina RailHawks (14-5-6, 48) and six behind the league-leading Portland Timbers (14-1-10, 52). The Islanders host the Rochester Rhinos next Sunday.

Minnesota is in ninth place in the table at 5-12-8 with 23 points and will host the Vancouver Whitecaps at the National Sports Center in Blaine, MN.

Beckham's Goal Hands Galaxy SuperClasico Title Again

David Beckham scored an 80th minute goal off a deflection of a throw-in Saturday and the Los Angeles Galaxy won the Honda SuperClasico series with fellow Major League Soccer foe Chivas USA in a 1-0 victory at both teams' shared home, The Home Depot Center.

The Galaxy, the host team for the game, won their fourth SuperClasico series crown in the last five years and are making a move for the lead in the Western Conference standings. LA is 9-4-11 with 38 points for second place, two behind the conference-leading Houston Dynamo (11-6-7, 40). Los Angeles gets a break from MLS play until September 12 when they host FC Dallas.

Chivas is now 10-8-3 with 33 points and tied for fourth place with Real Salt Lake (9-9-6). They will host the New England Revolution at THDC the day after the Galaxy next play.

RSL Gets Revenge On Wizards On The Road

Andy Williams and Robbie Russell teamed in the 18th minute on Pablo Campos' game-winning goal as Real Salt Lake defeated the host Kansas City Wizards, 1-0, Saturday at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.

RSL also got revenge on the only Major League Soccer franchise to beat them at home this season May 16.

Salt Lake is 9-9-6 with 33 points and tied for fourth place in the Western Conference standings with Chivas USA (10-8-3). They get a well-deserved rest break now before hosting the Chicago Fire September 12.

Kansas City is 5-10-6 with 21 points and in sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings. They travel to the New England Revolution next Saturday.

Namoff Scores United's First Goal This Month In Putting Out Fire

Christian Gomez assisted Bryan Namoff in the 41st minute on DC United's first goal in a Major League Soccer game since August 1 in a 1-0 victory Saturday over the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL.

The United, who have been shut out in their last two games, has a busy week upcoming. Wednesday, they will host MLS' Seattle Sounders in the championship game of the 2009 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament, then return to league play next Saturday against FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX next Saturday.

DC is now 7-5-11 with 32 points and in fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings, one point behind the New England Revolution (9-6-6, 33) for third place. They are also six points behind the Fire (10-6-8, 38) for second and seven behind the defending league champion Columbus Crew (10-3-9, 39) for first place.

Chicago is in second place in the Eastern table, a point behind the Crew, who the Fire hosts September 20. The Fire first has some time off to enjoy before traveling to Real Salt Lake September 12.

Ralston Rallies Revs To Victory Over Earthquakes

Steve Ralston scored his team-leading seventh goal of the season off a Shalrie Joseph assist in the 68th minute, then assisted Wells Thompson on his 74th minute game-winning goal as the New England Revolution extended the San Jose Earthquakes' Major League Soccer winless streak to 10 games in a 2-1 victory at Gillette Stadium.

San Jose is 0-8-2 in their last 10 games and had their only goal come in the 92nd minute as Ramon Corrales and Quincy Amarikawa assisted Ramon Sanchez.

The Revolution are 9-6-6 with 33 points and in third place in the Eastern Conference standings, five points behind the Chicago Fire (10-6-8, 38) for second place and six behind the defending MLS champion Columbus Crew (10-3-9) for first place. New England hosts the Kansas City Wizards next Saturday.

San Jose is in last place in the Western Conference at 5-12-5 with 20 points and host the Colorado Rapids September 18.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sounders Create Spanish Language Website

Noting the growth of Hispanic soccer fans in their area since joining Major League Soccer (and signing top Hispanic prospects), the Seattle Sounders announced a partnership Friday with La Raza del Noroeste, a local Spanish language newspaper owned by The Washington Post, to create a website in Spanish.

The paper's editor, Jorge Rivera, as well as Sounders players will contribute content to the site.

The site will also carry a Sounders show produced by Seattle's Univision affiliate.

WECMRD Freedom FC Joins Premier Arena Soccer League

The semi-professional Premier Arena Soccer League Saturday announced WECMRD Freedom FC, based in Edwards, CO, will join the league's 2009-10 season as an expansion team.

The team is owned by the Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation Department.

Brandt Marott was named the team's head coach and will also serve as the director of the new Freedom Soccer Academy.

Marott played professionally for the Anaheim Splash in the Continental Indoor Soccer League (1995-97) and the Milwaukee Wave of the National Professional Soccer League (1998) and semi-professionally for the Chicago Stingers of the United Soccer Leagues D-3 Pro League, now known as the Premier Development League (1999). He won championships with the Wave and Stingers before retiring in 1999.

Lee Jones and Corey Bruce will be Marott's assistant coaches.

Goldthwaite Out 2-3 Weeks Following Sports Hernia Surgery

New York Red Bulls defender Kevin Goldthwaite will be out the next two to three weeks for the Major League Soccer franchise after undergoing successful surgery in Munich, Germany to repair a sports hernia.

He has played in 17 games for New York this season since being acquired in the 2007 midseason from Toronto FC.

In 2008, he was named the Red Bulls' Defender of the Year after having two goals and two assists in a career-high 28 games.

PDL Championship Member Joins USL1 Leaders

Defender Ivan Becarra, who scored the go-ahead goal in the Ventura County Fusion's first United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League championship season in the final game against the Chicago Fire Reserves, signed a deal Friday to join the USL First Division-leading Portland Timbers.

Before joining the Fusion, Becarra, then a forward, was selected 27th overall by the Columbus Crew in the 2006 Major League Soccer Supplemental Draft. He would play six games for the Crew in the former MLS Reserve Divsion and was loaned to the USL Second Division's Cincinnati Kings.

Rhinos Beef Up Roster With Velten, Nunes

The Rochester Rhinos of the United Soccer Leagues First Division announced the signings Friday of former Harrisburg City Islanders defender Tim Velten and veteran USL star midfielder Amaury Nunes to contracts in advance of a roster freeze deadline.

An eighth-round supplemental draft pick by the Baltimore Blast in the Major Indoor Soccer League in 2007 but never signed with them, Velten led the City Islanders to their first USL2 championship title in 2007. He would then play 31 games in 2008 for the USL1 Charleston Battery before playing 20 more this season for the City Islanders.

Nunes, a member of the 2009 USL2 All-League Second Team, had nine goals and two assists for 20 points in 12 games.

In 2008, he had eight goals and two assists in eight games for the USL's Premier Development League's Fresno Fuego before being sidelined with a knee injury. He also had eight goals in 2005 and 2007 with the team.

Battery Sign McClellan, Franks Before Roster Freeze

The Charleston Battery of the United Soccer Leagues First Division signed two members of the USL Second Division regular season champion Wilmington Hammerheads to their roster Friday before a freeze is placed on them for the rest of the season.

Goalkeeper Chris McClellan came to the Hammerheads after playing 57 games over the last two seasons with the Carolina RailHawks. In 2003, he began his professional career in USL2 with the Charlotte Eagles where, in 2005, he was named the league's Goalkeeper of the Year and the team won the league title.

Midfielder Jamie Franks, a rookie in professional soccer after winning a 2007 NCAA National Championship for Wake Forest, had a goal and an assist in 15 games with the Hammerheads. Franks was drafted in the fourth round of the 2009 Major League Soccer SuperDraft by Chivas USA, but refused to sign with them.

PDL's Goal Scoring Champion Now A Whitecap

Forward Aaron Wheeler, who was the Most Valuable Player in the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League and their Goal Scoring Champion for the Reading Rage, signed a deal with the USL First Division's Vancouver Whitecaps Friday ahead of the league's roster freeze deadline.

Wheeler finished the season with 39 points on 18 goals and three assists and had either a goal or an assist in 13 of their 17 combined games, both regular season and playoffs. He scored a goal in each of the Rage's last five combined games and ended the year with an eight-match point scoring streak.

In 2007, Wheeler was on another PDL Championship team -- the Hampton Roads Piranhas -- and had four goals in 307 minutes over 13 games.

Hammerheads Win Two Of Three USL2 Postseason Awards

Despite being upset in the United Soccer Leagues Second Division playoffs, the regular season champion Wilmington Hammerheads saw head coach David Irving and player Jamie Watson earn postseason honors Thursday at the annual USL2 Championship Banquet in Richmond, VA, site of Saturday's championship game between the host Richmond Kickers and the Charlotte Eagles.

Irving was selected Coach of the Year after leading the team to a 12-5-3 record and 39 points, tying them with the Kickers (11-3-6), but earning their first regular season crown in the 14-year history of the franchise on a tiebreaker.

He is 109-69-40 with the Hammerheads since joining them in 1999 and has led them to back-to-back USL2 Championship finals appearances in 2002 and 2003.

Forward Jamie Watson became the first Wilmington player in team history to be named USL2's Most Valuable Player and win either the Scoring Championship or the Goal Scoring Championship in the same season.

Watson won the Scoring Championship with 30 points on 12 goals and six assists, but lost the Goal Scoring Championship by one goal over Richmond's Matthew Delicate on the final day of the regular season. Watson also tied for third with three other players -- Diego Martins and Jorge Herrera of the Charlotte Eagles, and former Harrisburg City Islanders player Tiyiselani Shipalane -- in the Assists Championship with six each, and was fourth overall in shots with 38.

Before joining Wilmington, Watson had seven goals and three assists in 13 games in 2007 for the Austin Aztex in the Premier Development League. He also played in Major League Soccer for Real Salt Lake (2005-07) and FC Dallas (2008).

Scoreless Draw Ends Two Timbers Streaks

The Portland Timbers played to a scoreless draw Friday night in United Soccer Leagues First Division action against the host Charleston Battery at Blackbaud Stadium.

While the Timbers remain the best team in USL1 at 14-1-10 with 52 points, the draw ended the team's five-game winning streak and Ryan Pore's six-game scoring streak, but leaves intact the most important streak -- a now-league-record 24-game unbeaten streak. Portland, who has already clinched a USL1 playoff berth, next hosts the Rochester Rhinos Thursday at PGE Park.

Charleston is in third place in the league standings at 12-4-10 with 46 points, two behind the second place (and playoff-bound) Carolina RailHawks (14-5-6, 48) and six behind the Timbers. The Battery will host the Minnesota Thunder next Sunday.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Chivas Has News On Cuesta, Vaughn, Victorine, Curtin

Major League Soccer's Chivas USA officially received Thursday the P-1 work visa and International Transfer Certificate on defender Yamith Cuesta, loaned to the team August 14 from Colombia's Expreso Rojo and will be eligible to play Saturday in the last Honda SuperClasico game of the season with the Los Angeles Galaxy at The Home Depot Center.

The team also waived defender Lawson Vaughn, who has not played at all this season after appearing in only seven games last season due to injuries. He started 40 of 48 career games with the team since 2006 and had one goal and three assists.

Midfielder Sasha Victorine was placed Thursday on the Disabled List due to a concussion he sustained in a recent practice. He has not practiced in the last two weeks and last played in an MLS game August 8 at the Colorado Rapids.

Victorine can be taken off the DL October 3 when Chivas travels to DC United.

Finally, defender Jim Curtin will be out for four months after undergoing successful arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle Wednesday. He was placed on the Disabled List August 14.

Terminesi Takes Thunder To Shutout Over City Stars

Marco Terminesi assisted in the seventh minute on a Lawrence Olum goal, then scored back-to-back goals in the final two minutes of play as the host Minnesota Thunder shut out the Cleveland City Stars, 3-0, Thursday in United Soccer Leagues First Division play at the National Sports Center in Blaine, MN.

Terminesi was assisted by Jeremiah Bass on his 89th minute point and had an unassisted play in the 90th minute.

The Thunder are 5-11-8 with 23 points for ninth place in the league standings and travel to the Puerto Rico Islanders Saturday.

The City Stars fell to 3-16-7 with 16 points for tenth place in the 11-team table. They will next host the Montreal Impact at Middlefield Cheese Stadium in Bedford, OH next Saturday.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

USL1's Aztex Move To New Field in 2010 Season

The Austin Aztex of the United Soccer Leagues First Division announced Thursday they will move their home games to House Park in Austin, TX for the 2010 season.

The team currently plays home games at Nelson Field on the campus of Reagan High School in Austin.

Crossley Named Interim General Manager Of Boston Breakers

Women's Professional Soccer's Boston Breakers Wednesday named Andy Crossley the team's interim general manager, repacing Joe Cummings, who leaves the team Friday to become the new CEO and executive director of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

Crossley, the third employee hired by the Breakers, served as president and general manager of the original Brakers of the Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA) from 2000-2003, and joined by the current form of the Breakers in Octber 2007 as their Director of Business Development.

MLS Fans Make Voting History Again In Save Of The Week Decision

Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Pat Onstad and defender Wade Barrett made Major League Soccer fan voting history as the duo was named the Save of the Week winner Wednesday for Week 23 of the 2009 Major League Soccer season in fan voting at www.mlsnet.com.

Onstad, a two-time winner of the award in Weeks 12 and 17, and Barrett were selected the winner after a save of a Freddie Ljungberg goal in a 1-1 draw to the Seattle Sounders Saturday was voted the week's best save.

The duo beat nominees Joe Cannon (San Jose Earthquakes), Kevin Hartman (Kansas City Wizards), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), Stefan Frei (Toronto FC) and Jacques Harvey (Colorado Rapids).

USMNT Names Roster For Next Two WCQ Games

US Men's National Team head coach Bob Bradley Thursday announced a 24-player training camp roster for the team's next two CONCACAF 2010 World Cup Qualifying matches September 5 against El Salvador at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT and September 9 against Trinidad & Tobago at Hasley Crawford Stadium in Port-of-Spain.

Training camp begins Sunday in Utah, then the team leaves September 7 for Port-of-Spain.

The US is in third place in the final six-team hexagonal standings at 3-2-1 with 10 points, behind Costa Rica, the standings leader, and Honduras in second place, based on better goal differential to the Americans.

The top three teams in the standings after 10 games will automatically qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa while the fourth-place team must win a two-leg aggregate goal playoff against the fifth-place South American team to earn a tournament berth.

Ths US will play for the first time at Rio Tinto Stadium and in the state of Utah for the first time since beating Costa Rica, 3-0, June 4, 2005 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in CONCACAF qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

The Americans are 13-1-5 all-time against El Salvador and 4-0-3 in World Cup qualifying matches.

Against Trinidad & Tobago, the US is 10-1-2 overall, including 3-1-1 on the road.

Here is the roster for the US Men's National Team, listed by position, player and current team:

USMNT TRAINING CAMP ROSTER

GOALKEEPERS
Brad Guzan - Aston Villa
Tim Howard - Everton FC

DEFENDERS
Carlos Bocanegra - Rennes
Jonathan Bornstein - Chivas USA (MLS)
Steve Cherundolo - Hannover
Jay DeMerit - Watford
Clarence Goodson - IK Start
Oguchi Onyewu - AC Milan
Jonathan Spector - West Ham

MIDFIELDERS
Kyle Beckerman - Real Salt Lake (MLS)
Michael Bradley - Borussia Mochengladbach
Ricardo Clark - Houston Dynamo (MLS)
Clint Dempsey - Fulham
Benny Feilhaber - AGF Aarhus
Stuart Holden - Houston Dynamo (MLS)
Robbie Rogers - Columbus Crew (MLS)
Jose Francisco Torres - Pachuca

FORWARDS
Jozy Altidore - Hull City
Conor Casey - Colorado Rapids (MLS)
Brian Ching - Houston Dynamo (MLS)
Charlie Davies - FC Sochaux
Landon Donovan - Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)

Onyewu will not play in the game against El Salvador due to yellow card accumulation, but will be eligible to play against Trinidad & Tobago.

Nike Sells USL To NuRock Soccer Holdings

NuRock Soccer Holdings, an Atlanta-based real estate developers dealing in residential housing projects, became the new owners of United Soccer Leagues Thursday after purchasing the company from Nike.

NuRock currently owns and operates the Atlanta Blackhawks in the USL's Premier Development League and has the rights to acquire two USL First Division franchises in Atlanta and Birmingham, AL.

Nike and Umbro will maintain a sponsorship agreement with USL which makes Nike an exclusive league sponsor and Umbro the official sponsor and exclusive supplier of match balls for USL1, USL2, PDL and W-League teams.

USL Founder and President Francisco Marcos called the sale "the best of both worlds for USL."

"We have new ownership that will focus solely on developing and growing the leagues, and Umbro and Nike Soccer join us as sponsors to support our franchise owners, teams and athletes," Marcos said.

RailHawks Clinch Playoff Berth With Rout Of Blues

The Carolina RailHawks became the second United Soccer Leagues First Division franchise to clinch a playoff berth Wednesday after handing the Miami FC Blues their worst loss of the season in a 9-0 rout at Cary, NC's WakeMed Soccer Park.

Joseph Kabwe led the RailHawks with a hat trick and an assist, Sallieu Bundu added two goals and an assist, Gregory Richardson was credited with a goal and a pair of assists and John Cunliffe, Daniel Paladini and Andriy Budnyy added goals to extend Carolina's current unbeaten streak to eight games (4-0-4) and gave themselves sole possession of second place in the division standings at 14-5-6 with 48 points, two behind the Portland Timbers (14-1-9) for first place.

The RailHawks have a two-game series this Sunday and next Wednesday against the Montreal Impact at Saputo Stadium.

Miami, meanwhile, is 7-13-4 with 25 points and in eighth place. They will face the Austin Aztex on the road at Nelson Field this Saturday.

Cruz Azul Beats Black And Gold Crew Black And Blue

Jamie Lozano had a hat trick and assisted Marvin Nunez on a fourth minute shot as Mexico's Cruz Azul shut down Major League Soccer's defending league champion Columbus Crew, 5-0, in Group C play Wednesday in the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League tournament.

Nunez also scored on an unassisted goal five minutes after helping Lozano make his opening shot.

Columbus' Chad Marshall also unintentionally helped Cruz Azul's cause with an own goal.

Cruz Azul leads the group at 2-0-0 with six points while the Crew are 1-1-0 with three points and tied for second with Saprissa of Costa Rica, their next opponent, who they face on the road September 16.

Cruz Azul will travel to Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium in Bayamon, PR September 15 to face the Puerto Rico Islanders of the United Soccer Leagues First Division.

Dynamo Draw To Arabe Unido In Wild CCL Group A Game

Orlando Rodriguez headed a shot from Jose Justavino into the back of the net in the 91st minute as host Arabe Unido of Panama and the Houston Dynamo of Major League Soccer played to a 1-1 draw Wednesday in the second game of Group A play in the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League tournament at La Chorrera, Panama.

Kei Kamara gave Houston the early lead in the 69th minute on an unassisted goal.

The game was a physical one, as three Houston players (Andrew Hainault, Stuart Holden and Corey Ashe) and two Aribe Unido players (David Daniels, Omar Camarago) were each ejected at various points Wednesday and will miss their next scheduled CCL group phase game -- Houston at Mexico's Pachuca September 16; Arube Unido at El Salvador's Metapan September 15.

Both teams are tied for the group lead at 1-0-1 with four points.

Toluca Hands United Second Group B Loss

Hector Mancilla scored two goals in the final 11 minutes of play and Vladimir Marin had the game-winning goal as Mexico's Toluca of the Primera Division defeated Major League Soccer's DC United, 3-1, Wednesday in the second game of Group B play in the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League tournament at RFK Stadium.

Toluca improved to 2-0-0 with six points, tying them with Honduras' CD Marathon, their next opponent at home in group play September 17.

United, meanwhile, is 0-2-0 and tied with San Juan Jabloteh of Trinidad & Tobago for last place in the four-team group. Both teams meet in Trinidad & Tobago September 15.

Real Salt Lake Rocks Chivas In Shutout

Robbie Findley had two goals while Fabian Espindola joined Kyle Beckerman in assisting Pablo Campos on a game-winning 43rd minute goal, then had an unassisted goal in the 75th minute as host Real Salt Lake shut out Chivas USA, 4-0, Wednesday in Major League Soccer play from Sandy, UT's Rio Tinto Stadium.

RSL is now 8-9-6 with 30 points and are tied with the Colorado Rapids (8-7-6) for fifth place in the Western Conference standings. They will next travel to the Kansas City Wizards Saturday.

Chivas is at 10-8-3 with 33 points and tied for third with the Seattle Sounders (8-6-9), two points behind the Los Angeles Galaxy (8-4-11), who Chivas plays Saturday at their shared home of The Home Depot Center, for second place in the Western standings, and seven behind the Houston Dynamo (11-6-7) for first place.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Baltimore Sun: Parent Club Calls Up Harada

Center back and center midfielder Shintaro Harada of Crystal Palace Baltimore in the United Soccer Leagues Second Division has been called up by their parent club, London's Crystal Palace FC, for an unknown amount of time, according to Wednesday's Baltimore Sun.

Crystal Palace Baltimore president Pete Medd called Harada, who was named to the USL2's All-League First Team this week, "our most consistent performer since our inception three years ago."

Fire Transfers Soumare To France's Boulogne

Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire announced the transfer Wednesday of defender Bakary Soumare to Boulogne of France's first division, pending a physical.

Soumare, the second overall pick in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft, started 55 of 62 games with the Fire and was named the team's Defender of the Year in 2008, as well as being named to the MLS Best XI.

Seattle's Le Toux Named LHUSOC Player Of The Round

Forward Sebastien Le Toux of Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders was named Wednesday the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Player of the Round for assisting on both goals in a 2-1 victory against fellow MLS foe, the Houston Dynamo, in the semifinal round July 21 at Tukwila, WA.

Le Toux is the two-time defending leading scorer in the tournament.

Jaqua Wins Voting For MLS Goal Of The Week

Nate Jaqua of the Seattle Sounders was named the winner Wednesday of fan voting for Major League Soccer's Goal of the Week competition for the 23rd week of the 2009 season.

Jaqua was nominated for his game-tying goal off assists from Steve Zakauni and James Riley in the 70th minute of a 1-1 draw of Sunday's road game against the Houston Dynamo.

Jaqua beat nominees Juan Pablo Angel of the New York Red Bulls, Dave van den Bergh of FC Dallas, Kheli Dube of the New England Revolution, Omar Cummings of the Colorado Rapids, Mike Banner of the Chicago Fire, and Landon Donovan of the Los Angeles Galaxy for the weekly award.

Shipalane Loaned To DC United From USL2's City Islanders

Major League Soccer's DC United announced the acquisition of midfielder Tiyiselani "Tiyi" Shipalane on loan from the Harrisburg City Islanders of the United Soccer Leagues Second Division for the remainder of the 2009 season.

Shipalane will serve as a roster replacement for Thabiso "Boyzzz" Khumalo.

Shipalane had six goals and six assists in his first season with the City Islanders after joining them from the Michigan Bucks of the USL Premier Development League, where he had 11 goals and nine assists in 46 games over three seasons, including a game-winning goal that gave the Bucks their 1996 PDL National Championship title.

USWNT Announces Latest Training Camp Roster For Germany

US Women's National Team head coach Pia Sundhage Tuesday announced the names of 26 players invited to participate in a training camp September 21-October 2 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA ahead of an October 29 friendly against Germany.

It is the first training camp the world's top-ranked women's team has held since the recent end of the first season of Women's Professional Soccer, where all but three members of the roster have been playing.

The USWNT will train and play without two longtime stalwarts of the team.

Midfielder Lindsay Tarpley is out eight to ten weeks after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament while training with the WPS' Chicago Red Stars, and defender Christie Rampone, who recently was named player/head coach of the league champion Sky Blue FC, is three months pregnant with her second child due in March 2010.

Here are those players invited to the USWNT training camp:

USWNT TRAINING CAMP ROSTER

GOALKEEPERS
Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride)
Ashlyn Harris (North Carolina)
Hope Solo (St. Louis Athletica)

DEFENDERS
Brittany Bock (Los Angeles Sol)
Rachel Buehler (FC Gold Pride)
Lori Chalupny (St. Louis Athletica)
Stephanie Cox (Los Angeles Sol)
Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers)
Heather Mitts (Boston Breakers)
Meghan Schnur (Sky Blue FC)
Cat Whitehill (Washington Freedom)

MIDFIELDERS
Yael Averbuch (Sky Blue FC)
Shannon Boxx (Los Angeles Sol)
Tina DiMartino (FC Gold Pride)
Tobin Heath (North Carolina)
Angela Hucles (Boston Breakers)
Brittany Klein (Chicago Red Stars)
Lori Lindsey (Washington Freedom)
Carli Lloyd (Chicago Red Stars)
Heather O'Reilly (Sky Blue FC)
Leslie Osborne (FC Gold Pride)
Megan Rapinoe (Chicago Red Stars)
Kacey White (Sky Blue FC)

FORWARDS
Lauren Cheney (UCLA)
Amy Rodriguez (Boston Breakers)
Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)

Saprissa Comes From Behind To Beat Islanders In CCL Group Play

Armando Alonso assisted on Jairo Arrieta's 35th minute game-tying goal, then later was helped by Andre Nunez on a 49th minute play as Costa Rica's Deportivo Saprissa came from behind to defeat the Puerto Rico Islanders of the United Soccer Leagues' First Division, 3-1, Tuesday in San Jose, Costa Rica in the second game of Group C play at the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League.

Walter Centeno scored for Saprissa unassisted in the 40th minute as the team is now 1-1-0 in group play with three points and are tied for the lead in their standings with Cruz Azul of Mexico and the defending Major League Soccer champion Columbus Crew, who play each other at Mexico City Wednesday. Saprissa will host the Crew September 16.

Dominic Mediate scored the Islanders' lone goal in the 26th minute to take the early lead.

Puerto Rico, a semifinalist in the first season of the Champions League, is now 0-2-0 and in last place. They will host Cruz Azul at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium in Bayamon, Puerto Rico September 15.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Gbeke Named USL1 Player Of The Week

Forward Charles Gbeke of the defending league champion Vancouver Whitecaps was named the United Soccer Leagues First Division Player of the Week Tuesday after scoring a combined three goals in a win and a draw this past weekend.

Gbeke is in fourth place in the league in goals scored with eight, three behind Portland Timbers forward Mandjou Keita, also named to the Team of the Week, with 11.

Here are the members of the USL1 Team of the Week:

USL1 TEAM OF THE WEEK

GOALKEEPER
Hunter Gilstrap, Cleveland City Stars
Had three saves in 1-0 win over Minnesota Thunder

DEFENDERS
Jeremy Tolleson, Carolina RailHawks
Led team in scoreless draw at Rochester Rhinos

Cedric Joqueviel, Montreal Impact
Led team in 2-0 win over Austin Aztex

Takashi Hirano, Vancouver Whitecaps
Led team in a draw and win last week

MIDFIELDERS
Ian Fuller, Charleston Battery
Scored team's goal in 1-1 draw against Vancouver Whitecaps

Nano Short, Rochester Rhinos
Scored goal in 3-3 draw against Minnesota Thunder

Jason Hotchkin, Cleveland City Stars
Had a goal and an assist this weekend over a win and a loss

Jeremiah Bass, Minnesota Thunder
Scored goal in 3-3 draw at Rochester Rhinos

FORWARDS
Peter Byers, Montreal Impact
Had a combined two goals in win and draw this week

Mandjou Keita, Portland Timbers
Scored two goals, assisted on third in 3-1 win over Miami FC Blues

Vitresse Dallas To Serve As Reserve Squad For Outlaws

Vitresse Dallas, the 2008-09 champion of the Premier Arena Soccer League, who won the title in their second season of existence, announced Tuesday they will serve as the official reserve squad to the Texas Outlaws of the upper-level Professional Arena Soccer League.

The Outlaws' second season in the equally-young league will start in October.

MLS Offers Tag Team Nomination For Save Of The Week

After Major League Soccer took the unusual step (which fans who voted approved) of nominating a non-goalkeeper in Toronto FC defender Amado Guevara as a candidate for Save of the Week last week, MLS announced a tag team nomination Tuesday on this week's ballot for the Week 23 award.

Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Pat Onstad, a two-time SOW winner in Weeks 12 and 17 of the season, is joined with defender Wade Barrett for stopping a Freddie Ljungberg shot in Sunday's game against the Seattle Sounders at Robertson Stadium.

Also on the ballot are former SOW winners Stefan Frei of Toronto FC (Week 15), Kevin Hartman of the Kansas City Wizards (Week 11) and Nick Rimando of Real Salt Lake (Week 19), as well as Joe Cannon of the San Jose Earthquakes and Jordan Harvey of the Colorado Rapids.

As always, fans can check out videos of each nominee's saves and vote for their favorite through 2 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday at www.mlsnet.com.

Monday, August 24, 2009

USL2 Names All-League Players, Postseason Award Nominees

The United Soccer Leagues announced Monday the members of the 2009 season First Team and Second Team All-League stars from the Second Division, as well as announced the nominees for its three major postseason awards -- Most Valuable Player, Defender of the Year and Coach of the Year.

Those awards will be handed out Friday at the league's annual Championship Banquet.

Here are the selected players:

USL2 ALL-LEAGUE FIRST TEAM

GOALKEEPER
Ronnie Pascale, Richmond Kickers
- named Goalkeeper of the Year
- lost to Chase Harrison of Harrisburg for GAA Championship, but led league in wins with 11 and tied Harrison for most shutouts with eight
- two-time winner; last won in 2006

DEFENDERS
Dustin Bixler, Harrisburg City Islanders
- named to Second Team in 2008
- played 1,161 minutes this season

John Borrajo, Real Maryland Monarchs
- played in every minute of every game this season

Shintaro Harada, Crystal Palace Baltimore
- second time on First Team
- played in all 20 games this season

Yomby William, Richmond Kickers
- played in 18 games this season

MIDFIELDERS
Tiyi Shipalane, Harrisburg City Islanders
- played three previous seasons in Premier Development League with Michigan Bucks
- named 2009 USL2 Rookie of the Year
- had six goals and six assists before being loaned to MLS' DC United for rest of season

Kenny Bundy, Wilmington Hammerheads
- fourth season with team
- four goals and nine assists in 20 games this season
- was named to USL2 All-Second Team in 2004

Mike Burke, Richmond Kickers
- third straight year on All-First Team
- three goals, seven assists in 2009

Jorge Herrera, Charlotte Eagles
- second straight season on All-First Team
- six goals, six assists in 2009 for team

FORWARDS
Matthew Delicate, Richmond Kickers
- Goal Scoring Champion in 2009 with 13
- finished second in Scoring Champions race with 28 points (13 goals, two assists)

Jamie Watson, Wilmington Hammerheads
- Scoring Champion in 2009 with 12 goals and six assists (30 points)

---

USL2 ALL-LEAGUE SECOND TEAM

GOALKEEPER
Chase Harrison, Harrisburg City Islanders

DEFENDERS
Colin Falvey, Wilmington Hammerheads
Sascha Gorres, Richmond Kickers
Andrew Marshall, Crystal Palace Baltimore

MIDFIELDERS
Justin Evans, Pittsburgh Riverhounds
Jamie Franks, Wilmington Hammerheads
Amaury Nunes, Charlotte Eagles
Val Teixeira, Crystal Palace Baltimore

FORWARDS
Almir Barbosa, Western Mass Pioneers
Damico Covington, Bermuda Hogges
Chad Severs, Harrisburg City Islanders

---

USL2 POSTSEASON AWARDS

DEFENDER OF THE YEAR
Dustin Bixler, Harrisburg City Islanders
John Borrajo, Real Maryland Monarchs
Shintaro Harada, Crystal Palace Baltimore
Yomby William, Richmond Kickers

COACH OF THE YEAR
David Irving, Wilmington Hammerheads
Leigh Cowlishaw, Richmond Kickers
Anthony Hudson, Real Maryland Monarchs
Bill Becher, Harrisburg City Islanders

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Jamie Watson, Wilmington Hammerheads
Matthew Delicate, Richmond Kickers

Dube Leads List Of Seven In MLS GOW Ballot

New England Revolution forward Kheli Dube, named Major League Soccer's Player of the Week Monday for scoring a hat trick in a 3-1 home victory Sunday over Real Salt Lake, is one of seven players on the ballot for MLS Goal of the Week voting for Week 23 of the 2009 season.

Fans can see videos of each nominated player's goals and vote for their winner by 2 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday at www.mlsnet.com.

Here are the other six nominees:

Landon Donovan, Los Angeles Galaxy
Scored in the 10th minute off Mike Magee in a 2-0 win over the Chicago Fire Wednesday

Juan Pablo Angel, New York Red Bulls
Scored first of two goals in eighth minute off an Albert Celades assist in 3-2 win over FC Dallas Sunday

Dave van den Bergh, FC Dallas
Scored in the 72nd minute off Dax McCarty in 3-2 loss to New York Red Bulls Sunday

Omar Cummings, Colorado Rapids
Scored both his goals in a 10-minute span of the second half in 3-2 loss to Chicago Fire Sunday

Mike Banner, Chicago Fire
Scored unassisted goal in 85th minute of 3-2 home win over Colorado Rapids Sunday

Nate Jaqua, Seattle Sounders
Scored game-tying goal in 70th minute of 1-1 draw to Houston Dynamo Sunday

Dube Hat Trick Earns Him Week 23 Award

New England Revolution forward Kheli Dube, who scored all his team's goals in a 3-1 victory Sunday over Real Salt Lake at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA, was named Major League Soccer's Player of the Week Monday for Week 23 of the 2009 season.

It was Dube's first career hat trick and he became the fifth player in Revolution history to pull off the feat. It's also the team's first hat trick since Taylor Twellman did so in a 3-1 win over the Columbus Crew September 10, 2005.

Gbeke Twin Goals Give Whitecaps Win Over Blues

Charles Gbeke scored two goals in a 10-minute span of the second half as the host Vancouver Whitecaps, the defending United Soccer Leagues First Division champions, shut out the Miami FC Blues, 2-0, Sunday at Swangard Stadium.

Gbeke was assisted in the 80th minute by Gordon Chin and in the 90th by Randy Edwini-Bonsu.

The Whitecaps are 8-9-7 with 31 points and currently hold the seventh spot in the league standings. Vancouver hosts the Rochester Rhinos Saturday.

Miami is 7-12-4 with 25 points and in eight place. The Blues are on the road twice this week -- at the Carolina RailHawks Wednesday and next Saturday at the last-place Austin Aztex.

Impact Defeat Last Place Aztex At Saputo Stadium

Cedric Joqueviel scored in the 23rd minute off a David Testo assist and Peter Byers had the unassisted insurance goal in the final minute of play as the host Montreal Impact shut out the Austin Aztex, 2-0, Sunday in United Soccer Leagues First Division play at Saputo Stadium.

Montreal improved to sixth place in the league standings at 9-10-5 with 32 points. They will play a two-game series with the Carolina RailHawks this Sunday and September 2 at Saputo.

Austin is in last place in the standings at 3-13-8 with 15 points, including a two-point penalty for using an ineligible player earlier this season. They will host the Miami FC Blues Saturday.

Sounders Get Help From Ex-Dynamo Star In Draw

Nate Jaqua, a former member of Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo, now owners of the best record in the league as well as the lead in the Western Conference standings, was assisted by Steve Zakauni and James Riley on a 70th minute goal that helped his new employer -- the Seattle Sounders -- gain a 1-1 draw Sunday at Robertson Stadium at the University of Houston.

Seattle, at 8-6-9 with 33 points, is now tied for third place in the Western Conference standings with Chivas USA (10-7-3) and are two points behind the Los Angeles Galaxy for second (8-4-11, 35) and seven behind the Dynamo for first. They will host Toronto FC Saturday at Qwest Field.

Houston, who got the opening goal of the game in the 36th minute as Brad Davis fed Geoff Cameron, has the best record in MLS at 11-6-7 with 40 points and will play this Sunday at the Colorado Rapids. Before that, the Dynamo will host Panama's Arabe Unido in Round 2, Group A play at the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League.

Dube Scores First Hat Trick For Revs Since 2005 In Win

Kheli Dube had his first career hat trick and the first hat trick for the New England Revolution in nearly four Major League Soccer seasons in a 3-1 victory over Real Salt Lake Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

Taylor Twellman scored New England's last triple play September 10, 2005 in a 3-1 win over the Columbus Crew.

New England's Darrius Barnes provided RSL's only goal on an own goal in the 85th minute.

The Revolution (8-6-6, 30 points) are now tied for third in the Eastern Conference standings with Toronto FC (8-8-6) and host the San Jose Earthquakes this Saturday.

RSL, at 7-9-6 with 27 points, is in sixth place in the Western Conference standings and has two games this week -- Wednesday at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT against Chivas USA and this Saturday at the Kansas City Wizards.

Banner Leads Fire Over Rapids At Toyota Park

Mike Banner had an unassisted goal with five minutes left to play and assisted on Dasan Robinson's game-winning goal in the 93rd minute as the host Chicago Fire edged the Colorado Rapids, 3-2, Sunday in Major League Soccer play at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL.

Cuautemoc Blanco scored Chicago's first goal in the 72nd minute on a penalty kick.

Omar Cummings had both of Colorado's goals -- a solo shot in the 48th minute and another goal 10 minutes later with help from Jamie Smith.

The Fire are now 10-5-8 with 38 points, good for second place in the Eastern Conference standings, one point behind the defending conference and league champion Columbus Crew (10-3-9, 39). Chicago will host DC United Saturday.

Colorado is fifth in the Western Conference standings at 8-7-6 with 30 points and host the Western Conference-leading Houston Dynamo next Sunday.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Red Bulls' Angel Leads Them To End Of Winless Streak

Juan Pablo Angel scored in the fourth minute off an Albert Celades pass then had an unassisted game-winner in the 88th minute as the New York Red Bulls snapped a Major League Soccer-record 13-game losing streak and 15-game winless streak with a 3-2 win over FC Dallas Sunday at Giants Stadium.

The win, the team's first since a 4-1 defeat of the San Jose Earthquakes May 8, also at Giants Stadium, was the second first win for interim head coach Richie Williams, who was named to the position after Juan Carlos Osorio abruptly resigned last week. It is the second time Williams is serving as an interim coach for New York, having previously done so when Mo Johnston resigned.

Celades also teamed with John Wolyniec in the 27th minute on a Dane Richards goal for New York, who are still in last place in the Eastern Conference at 3-16-4 with 13 points and have the worst record in the league this season after winning the Western Conference Championship last season.

Dax McCarty led Dallas with a goal off a Jeff Cunnigham assist in the 18th minute and an assist on Dave van den Berghs 72nd minute play. DC Dallas is 6-11-5 with 23 points and in seventh place in the Western Conference standings. They are now off until September 5 when they host DC United.

Timbers Officially Clinch First USL1 Playoff Spot

Mandjou Keita scored two goals and Ryan Pore extended his goal-scoring streak to six games as the host Portland Timbers became the first United Soccer Leagues First Division team to clinch a 2009 season playoff berth and extended their league-leading unbeaten streak to 23 games with a 3-1 victory at PGE Park Saturday over the Miami FC Blues.

Tim Merritt had Miami's lone goal.

The Timbers lead the league at 14-1-9 with 51 points and next travel to Blackbaud Stadium this Friday to face the Charleston Battery.

Miami, meanwhile, is 7-11-4 with 25 points, is in eighth place in the league standings, and takes on the defending league champion Vancouver Whitecaps Sunday at Swangard Stadium.

Kickers To Host Spiders Next Saturday For USL2 Championship

The Richmond Kickers will host the Charlotte Eagles next Saturday at University of Richmond Stadium for the 2009 United Soccer Leagues Second Division Championship after both teams advanced to the final game via identical 1-0 semifinal victories Saturday.

At Richmond, the Kickers won in overtime as Matthew Delicate hit the game-winner in the 120th minute over the Harrisburg City Islanders.

Gustavo Bentos scored in the 85th minute off a Josh Rife assist as the Eagles upset the regular season champion Wilmington Hammerheads at Legion Sports Complex.

City Stars No Longer Worst In USL1, Just In Tenth

Teteh Bangura scored the game-winning goal off a Jason Hotchkin assist in the 23rd minute as the Cleveland City Stars finally climbed out of the cellar in the United Soccer Leagues First Division standings with a 1-0 victory at Middlefield Cheese Stadium in Bedford, OH Saturday over the Minnesota Thunder.

The City Stars, who promoted themselves to USL1 this season after winning the USL Second Division title a year ago, are 3-15-7 with 16 points for tenth place in the 11-team league.

Minnesota is at 4-11-8 with 20 points.

Both teams meet again Thursday at the National Soccer Center in Blaine, MN.

Wondolowski Nets Game-Winner For Earthquakes

Ramiro Corrales and Bobby Convey combined in the third minute of second half stoppage time to help Chris Wondolowski scored the game-winning goal as the host San Jose Earthquakes took a 1-0 win over the Kansas City Wizards in Major League Soccer play Saturday at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, CA.

The Earthquakes still maintain the worst record in the Western Conference and second-worst in the league this season at 5-11-5 with 20 points and will be at the New England Revolution next Saturday.

Kansas City is 5-9-6 with 21 points and are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference after the loss. The Wizards host Real Salt Lake next Saturday at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.

Kljestan Pair Helps Chivas Beat Toronto FC

Sacha Kljestan got assistance from Maykel Galindo and Jesse Marsch on a 32nd minute score, then was helped by Maicon Santos in the 61st as host Chivas USA shut out Toronto FC, 2-0, Saturday in Major League Soccer play at The Home Depot Center.

Chivas improved to 10-7-3 with 33 points and is in third place in the Western Conference standings, two points behind the Los Angeles Galaxy (8-4-11, 35), who played to a scoreless draw at DC United Saturday, and six points behind the conference-leading Houston Dynamo, who, at 11-6-6 with 39 points, has the league's best record.

Chivas plays two contests this week -- Wednesday at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT against Real Salt Lake and next Saturday against the Galaxy at THDC.

Toronto moves to 8-8-6 with 30 points and is third in the Eastern Conference standings, five points behind the Chicago Fire (9-5-8, 35), who host the Colorado Rapids Sunday, and nine points behind the defending league champion Columbus Crew (10-3-9, 39), who are idle under next Sunday, when they face the New York Red Bulls at Giants Stadium.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

US Women To Play Germany In Augsberg In October

Two of the top three teams in the women's soccer world rankings will meet for the first time since January 2007 when the number-one US team faces third-ranked Germany October 29 in Augbserg, Germany, the US team announced Friday.

The game will be played at Impuls Arena, a new 30,000-seat stadium that will serve as one of nine stadiums to host games for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.

The US is 16-4-4 all-time against Germany.

Sky's The Limit; Upset Sol To Become WPS Champions

Heather O'Reilly scored in the 17th minute off a Natasha Kai assist as Sky Blue FC pulled off the upset and became the first champion of Women's Professional Soccer in a 1-0 victory over the runaway regular season champion Los Angeles Sol Saturday at the WPS Championship Game presented by MedImmune at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

Sky Blue, who finished the regular season earning the fourth seed in the inaugural stepladder playoff format on the final day of the season, defeated the Washington Freedom (opening round) and the St. Louis Athletica (Super Semifinal) on the road to make it to the final game.

With the playoff wins, Sky Blue finishes with an overall record of 10-8-5. The Sol complete their season with a 12-4-5 mark.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Residency Beefs Up Roster, Signing Three; Cut Two

The defending United Soccer Leagues First Division champion Vancouver Whitecaps announced the signings of three players to their Premier Development League team, the Vancouver Whitecaps Residency, for the rest of the 2009 season with an option for the 2010 season.

Midfielder Nizar Khalfan recently played for Moro United in Tanzania's Premier League and played in the 2007-08 season for Al Tadamon of Kuwait's Premier League.

Defender Michael Ndubuisi Onwatuegwa, who just goes by Michael, spent the last three seasons with Persiba Bantul in Indonesia's Premier League.

Finally, defender Nadir Haroub was loaned to the Whitecaps Residency from Young Africans FC, where he has been the last three seasons. Prior to that, he played one season in Zanzibar's top league.

To make room for the new acquisitions on the Residency roster, defenders Paul Hamilton and Navid Mashinchi were released.

Osorio Resigns As Red Bulls Head Coach; Williams In Charge Again

New York Red Bulls head coach Juan Carlos Osorio announced his immediate resignation Friday with the Major League Soccer franchise and team officials named assistant coach Richie Williams to serve again as interin head coach through the end of the season.

Williams went 4-3-2 in his last interim stint -- from June 27 to August 12, 2006 following the firing of Mo Johnston, now head coach at Toronto FC.

Red Bulls officials said a search for a new head coach has immediately begun.

Osorio joined the Red Bulls as head coach December 18, 2007 after resigning from a similar position with the Chicago Fire. In two seasons, the Red Bulls went 12-27-13 under his watch, but won the 2008 Western Conference Championship title and played against the current champion Columbus Crew in the MLS Cup final.

Battery Ties Up Whitecaps At Blackbaud Stadium

For the second time in nearly two weeks, the defending United Soccer Leagues First Division champion Vancouver Whitecaps and the Charleston Battery faced off, this time with both teams earning a point in the standings due to a 1-1 tie Thursday at Blackbaud Stadium.

On August 7 at Saputo Stadium, the Whitecaps held firm and won, 2-1, over the Battery.

Wes Knight fed Charles Gbeke with a pass in the fifth minute which gave Vancouver the early lead, but two minutes into the second half, Tsuyoshi Yoshitake drove a shot to Ian Fuller and connected with the back of the net for the tying goal.

Charleston is now 12-4-9 with 45 points for second place in the USL1 standings, three behind the Portland Timbers, who the Battery host next Friday.

Vancouver is at 7-9-7 with 28 points and in seventh place. They will host the Miami FC Blues at Saputo this Sunday.

Joseph Goal Gives Revolution Win Over Sounders

Assisted by Steve Ralston and Edgaras Jankauskas, Shalrie Joseph scored the game-winning goal in the 21st minute as his New England Revolution defeated the host Seattle Sounders, 1-0, Thursday in Major League Soccer play from Seattle's Qwest Field.

The Revolution are 7-6-6 with 27 points, good for fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings and host Real Salt Lake Sunday.

Seattle, hoping to regain second place in the Western Conference, remained in third place at 8-6-8 with 32 points. They are at the Houston Dynamo Sunday.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

WPS Fan Voting Extended Due To Technical Glitch

Due to a technical glitch involving an online vote counter, Women's Professional Soccer announced Thursday fan voting for three post-season awards -- Player of the Year, Defender of the Year and Goalkeeper of the Year -- has been extended through 8 p.m. Eastern time Monday.

The ballots of each award are available at www.womensprosoccer.com.

PDL's Wolves Tie Huskies In Friendly Match

The Seattle Wolves of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League played to a 2-2 draw Wednesday over the University of Washington Huskies men's team in preparation to defend their title at the annual Copa Washington amateur soccer tournament the weekend of August 28.

Daniel Phelps and Quinton Beasley scored for the Huskies of the Pac-10 Conference while Pedro Batres and Alex Chursky did the same for the Wolves.

Portland's Pore Named USL1 Goal Of The Week Winner

Portland Timbers midfielder Ryan Pore was named Thursday the Week 19 winner of the United Soccer Leagues First Division's Goal of the Week award.

Pore scored the game-winning goal off a Kevin Forrest assist in the 83rd minute of their 1-0 win August 12 over the Montreal Impact.

The Timbers are currently on a league-record 22-game winning streak.

USL Announces Second Division 2009 Season Stat Champs

United Soccer Leagues Thursday announced the four winners of statistical awards for the 2009 USL Second Division season, and, for the first time since 2001, the same player was not named both Goal Scoring and Scoring Champion.

Matthew Delicate of the Richmond Kickers won the Goal Scoring Championship on the final day of the regular season with 13 to beat Jamie Watson of the regular season champion Wilmington Hammerheads, who came close to keeping the double-award swing going another season.

Watson would, however, win the Scoring Championship with 30 points in 12 goals and six assists.

Wilmington teammate Kenny Bundy won the Assist Leader crown with nine this season.

Finally, Harrisburg City Islanders goalkeeper Chase Harrison won the Goals Against Average Championship with a 0.182 average in 16 games. He finished the season 8-4-4 with all the wins coming in shutouts.

The league will announce more postseason awards Monday.

MLS Fans Give Midfielder Save Of The Week Award

For the first time since the award was created before Week 10 of the 2009 season, Major League Soccer announced a player other than a goalkeeper has won the majority of votes from fans at www.mlsnet.com in the weekly Save of the Week competition.

Toronto FC midfielder Amado Guevara received more votes for the Week 22 award than the other players on the ballot, all goalkeepers -- Bouna Coundoul (New York Red Bulls), Zach Thornton (Chivas USA), A.J. DeLaGarza (Los Angeles Galaxy), William Hesmer (Columbus Crew) and Pat Onstad (Houston Dynamo).

American Airlines To Fly High With Revolution, Patriots

American Airlines announced Thursday it has entered into a three-year marketing partnership with the New England Revolution of Major League Soccer and the New England Patriots of the National Football League.

Among the many perks of the deal, the airline will now be the Official Airline and Official Sponsor of both teams and their stadium, Gillette Stadium.

32 Stadiums In 27 Cities Still In Running For 2018, 2022 World Cups

The USA Bid Committee, a non-profit group serving on behalf of the US Soccer Federation and created to bring the FIFA World Cup back to the US in either 2018 or 2022, announced Thursday they have trimmed a list of 45 potential stadium locations in 38 US cities down to 32 stadiums in 27 cities as part of the US' bid to be the host country for a future event, to be decided by FIFA in December 2010. The list was previously trimmed from an original 58 stadium in 45 cities in June.

In June, the 38 cities were asked to complete a Requests For Proposal, detailing specific information on their city in areas such as tourism, climate, secuity, transportation, training sites and promotion, and return them for consideration by July 29.

Of those 38 cities, 11 were removed from consideration to be placed in the US's final bid package to be submitted to FIFA -- Birmingham, AL; Cincinnati, OH; Columbus, OH; Fayetteville, AR; Knoxville, TN; Las Vegas, NV; Minneapolis, MN; New Orleans, LA; Pittsburgh, PA; Salt Lake City, UT and San Antonio, TX.

Of the 32 stadiums remaining in the 38 cities, the average seating size of a facility is nearly 74,000.

FIFA requires host country candidates for World Cup bids provide a list of between 12-18 stadiums with seating capacity over 40,000 fans. For a particular stadium to be considered to host the Opening Match or Final Match, it must hold a minimum 80,000 fans.

In 1994, the last time the US hosted the event, it utilized stadiums in nine cities.

Here is the list of the 27 cities still in the running for selection onto the USA's bid and the stadiums that could be utilized:

Atlanta
Georgia Dome (71,250 capacity)

Baltimore
M & T Bank Stadium (71,008)

Boston
Gillette Stadium (71,693)

Charlotte
Bank of America Stadium (73,778)

Cleveland
Cleveland Browns Stadium (72,000)

Dallas
Cotton Bowl (89,000)
New Cowboys Stadium (100,000)

Denver
Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium (76,125)

Detroit
Ford Field (67,188)
Michigan Stadium (108,000)

Houston
Reliant Stadium (71,500)

Indianapolis
Lucas Oil Stadium (64,200)

Jacksonville
Jacksonville Municipal Stadium (82,000)

Kansas City
Arrowhead Stadium (77,000)

Los Angeles
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (93,667)
Rose Bowl (92,000+)

Miami
Land Shark Stadium (formerly Dolphins Stadium - 75,540)

Nashville
LP Field (69,143)

New York/New Jersey
New Meadowlands Stadium (82,000)

Oakland
Oakland-Alameda County Stadium (63,026)

Orlando
Florida Citrus Bowl (65,916)

Philadelphia
Lincoln Financial Field (67,594)

Phoenix/Glendale
University of Phoenix Stadium (71,000)

San Diego
Qualcomm Stadium (70,500)

San Francisco
Stanford Stadium (50,500)

Seattle
Husky Stadium (72,500)
Qwest Field (67,000)

St. Louis
Edward James Dome (67,268)

Tampa
Raymond James Stadium (65,856)

Washington, DC
FedEx Field (91,704)
RFK Stadium (56,692)

Dynamo Makes Landin Their First Designated Player

Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo announced Thursday they acquired Mexican forward Luis Angel Landin on loan from Cruz Azul of their Primera Division through the end of 2010, when Houston will have the option to acquire his rights permanently.

Landin will also becomes Houston's first Designated Player, allowing him to be paid in excess of each MLS franchise's salary cap, with only a portion of that salary paid by the team itself.

Landin began his career in the youth system of rival Mexican team Pachuca and he debuted for team in 2004 at the age of 19.

In the 2009 Clausura, Landin had seven goals. He also has appeared five times of Mexico's national team.

Once he officially joins the roster, upon receipt of his work visa, Landin will be ineligible to play for Houston during the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League as he is already on the roster of Cruz Azul.

Whitecaps' Gage Heads To Germany For Two-Week Trial

Vancouver Whitecaps defender/midfielder Ethan Gage will be joining the U-23 team of German Bundesliga franchise Eintracht Frankfurt for two weeks, according to the United Soccer Leagues First Division franchise Wednesday.

Gage has made 21 appearances, including 12 starts, this season between USL1 games and the Nutrilite Canadian Championship tournament, where the winner qualified to represent Canada in the CONCACAF Champions League tournament.

He scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 NCC victory May 27 against the USL1's Montreal Impact.

Timbers Add PDL Champion Player To Roster

Midfielder Rodrigo Lopez, who led the Ventura County Fusion recently to their first United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League championship over the Chicago Fire Reserves, signed a contract to play for the USL First Division-leading Portland Timbers for the rest of the season Wednesday.

He previously played for Portland as a guest in a July 25 exhibition match against Burnley FC of the English Premier League and scored a goal in the 2-2 draw.

Lopez spent 18 months in the youth academy with Mexico's Chivas de Guadalajara before joining Major League Soccer's Chivas USA at age 18, where he had one goal in eight games over a three-season span (2005-08).

He played last season in the Mexican Primera Division with Queretaro.

In 2006, he was a member of the US U-20 National Team.

Herrera Rallies Eagles Over Monarchs In USL2 Playoff Game

Jorge Herrera had a fourth-minute penalty kick then assisted Gustavo Bentos on his 80th minute goal as the Charlotte Eagles defeated the Real Maryland Monarchs, 3-1, Wednesday in a United Soccer Leagues Second Division quarterfinal playoff game at Charlotte Christian High School.

Dustin Swinehart also scored in the 16th minute off a Diego Martins pass to advance the Eagles to the league semifinals Saturday at Legion Sports Complex in Wilmington, NC against the regular season champion Wilmington Hammerheads.

The winner of that game meets the winner of Saturday's other semifinal game at the University of Richmond against the host Kickers and the Harrisburg City Islanders for the USL2 Championship August 29.

Sky Blue Sky High After Advancing To WPS Title Game

Defender Keeley Dowling hit the game-winning and lone goal in the 30th minute as Sky Blue FC, the fourth-seeded team in Women's Professional Soccer's inaugural playoff season, shut out the second-seeded and host St. Louis Athletica, 1-0, to win the league's first Super Semifinal game at Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park in Fenton, MO.

Sky Blue now advances to the WPS Championship presented by MedImmune Saturday at The Home Depot Center against the heavily-favored regular season champion Los Angeles Sol.

Rhinos, Thunder Rumble To Draw At Marina Auto Stadium

Warren Ukah had an unassisted goal in the 16th minute, then assisted Nano Short on a 48th minute score as the host Rochester Rhinos played the Minnesota Thunder to a 3-3 draw Wednesday in United Soccer Leagues First Division play at Marina Auto Stadium.

Andrew Gregor scored in the 37th minute off Ryan Heins as the Rhinos are in fifth place in the league standings at 9-8-6 with 33 points. They will next host the Carolina RailHawks this Saturday.

For Minnesota, in ninth place at 4-10-08 with 20 points, Lawrence Olum fired the first shot in the sixth minute, thanks to a Rod Dyachenko assist, then watched as Rich Constanzo's unassisted play took place in the 42nd minute for a 2-1 Thunder halftime lead.

Ricardo Sanchez teamed with Jeremiah Bass on the Thunder's final goal in the 90th minute to give each team a point in the standings.

The Thunder take on the last place Cleveland City Stars Saturday at Middlefield Cheese Stadium in Bedford, OH.

Dynamo Brings "A" Game To CCL Group Opener

Stuart Holden assisted Brian Ching on the only goal of the game in the 57th minute as the host Houston Dynamo of Major League Soccer shut out Isidro Metapan of El Salvador, 1-0, in the opening game of Group A play Wednesday in the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League tournament at Robertson Stadium at the University of Houston.

The Dynamo, in Round 2 of the six-game, double-round-robin phase of the competition, will travel to Panama's Deportivo Arabe Unido next Wednesday and Metapan takes on Mexico's Pachuca at home next Tuesday.

Magee Leads Galaxy Over Fire At Toyota Park

Who needs David Beckham anyway?

Suspended following being ejected in last Saturday's game at home against the Seattle Sounders, Mike Magee stepped up and scored a game-winning goal with an assist from Jovan Kirovski in the 23rd minute and helped Landon Donovan with an insurance goal in the 54th minute as the Los Angeles Galaxy shut out the Chicago Fire, 2-0, Wednesday in Major League Soccer play at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL.

Magee's assist was his team-leading sixth of the year and the goal was his second of the season as the Galaxy lept over the Sounders into second place in the Western Conference standings at 8-4-10 with 34 points, five points behind the Houston Dynamo (11-6-6, 39).

Donovan had his 10th goal of the season, tying him for second in the Budweiser Golden Boot race with Guillermo Barros Schelotto of the defending champion Columbus Crew and Fredy Montero of the Sounders.

Los Angeles further put out Chicago's flames by allowing them no shots on goal.

Despite the humiliating defeat, the Fire still hold on to second place in the Eastern Conference standings at 9-5-8 with 35 points, four behind the Crew (10-3-9, 39).

The Galaxy are at DC United this Saturday while the Fire host the Colorado Rapids next Sunday.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Soccer America Names 16 W-League Players As Preseason All-Americans

Soccer America announced Wednesday their list of 2009 preseason All-America female players and, of the 22 named, 16 have had experience in the United Soccer Leagues W-League, including three members of the two-time, back-to-back league champion Pali Blues -- senior defender Whitney Engen and senior midfielder Tobin Heath, both of whom play collegiately at North Carolina, and UCLA senior forward Lauren Cheney.

Here are the list of W-League experienced players named to the magazine's preseason First and Second Team All-American squads:

FIRST TEAM

GOALKEEPER
Alyssa Naeher, Penn State, senior - Western Mass Pioneers (2006)

DEFENDERS
Becky Edwards, Florida State, senior - Washington Freedom
Whitney Engen, North Carolina, senior - Pali Blues
Brittany Taylor, Connecticut, senior - Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues

MIDFIELDER
Tobin Heath, North Carolina, senior - Pali Blues

FORWARDS
Lauren Cheney, UCLA, senior - Pali Blues
Nikki Marshall, Colorado, senior - Colorado Force
Casey Nogueira, North Carolina - Cary Lady Clarets

---

SECOND TEAM

GOALKEEPER
Erin Guthrie, senior, Jersey Sky Blue (2007, now known as Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues)

DEFENDER
Bri Young, sophomore, Texas A&M - Real Colorado Cougars

MIDFIELDERS
Hailey Beam, senior, Charlotte - Charlotte Eagles
Amanda DaCosta, junior, Florida State - Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues
Elisabeth Redmond, senior, Duke - New Jersey Wildcats/Jersey Sky Blue

FORWARDS
Laura Heyboer, sophomore, Michigan State - Kalamazoo Outrage/West Michigan Firewomen
Corky Julien, senior, James Madison - Ottawa Fury/Laval Comets
Sydney Leroux, sophomore, UCLA - Vancouver Whitecaps (2005)

Crew Ink Venezulean Forward Emilio Renteria

The defending Major League Soccer champion Columbus Crew Wednesday signed Venezuelan forward Emilio Renteria to a contract.

Renteria recently spent the last two seasons in his country's first division with Caracas FC, where he scored a combined 16 goals and led them to two appearances in the Copa Libertadores tournament, including a run to the tournament's quarterfinal round in 2009, their farthest reach ever.

Before that, he scored 14 goals over two seasons (2005-07) with UA Maracaibo in the first division and also led them to a pair of Copa Libertadores appearances.

In the 2004-05 season, he scored 12 goals for Deportivo Italia in the first division after playing the previous three seasons (2001-04) in Spain's second division for Levante UD.

Renteria also played on his home country's U-17, U-20 and U-23 teams, totalling 19 goals, and scored three goals with the senior team.

Zakauni Game Winner Earns Goal Of The Week Award

Steve Zakauni's 22nd-minute game-winning goal for the Seattle Sounders in a 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy last Saturday at The Home Depot Center was named Major League Soccer's Goal of the Week for Week 22 of the 2009 season Wednesday in fan voting at www.mlsnet.com.

Brad Davis assisted on the goal.

Zakauni's goal beat out efforts by Chivas USA's Maykel Galindo, the Columbus Crew's Eddie Gaven, Toronto FC's Dwayne De Rosario and the Chicago Fire's Chris Rolfe.

Biello Hits Tie-Breaker As Impact Dim City Stars' Light

Leonardo Di Lorenzo assisted team captain Mauro Biello in the 75th minute to snap a draw and give the visiting Montreal Impact a 2-1 victory over the last place Cleveland City Stars Tuesday in United Soccer Leagues First Division play at Middlefield Cheese Stadium in Bedford, OH.

After a scoreless first half, Peter Byers had a goal in the 59th minute off Tony Donatelli to give Montreal the lead, but the lead lasted 10 minutes before Ryan Stewart connected with Jason Hotchkin on the leveler for Cleveland.

Montreal remains in the hunt for a possible USL1 playoff spot at 8-10-5 with 29 points and in sixth place while the City Stars, at 2-15-7 with 23 points, are destined not to qualify for the playoffs in their first season since choosing to leave USL Second Division, where they were the defending champion.

The City Stars host the Minnesota Thunder this Saturday while the Impact face off against the Austin Aztex at Saputo Stadium.

RailHawks Stall Whitecaps Potential Win

Andry Budnyy scored off a John Cunliffe assist in the 87th minute as the host Carolina RailHawks attempted to climb their way back to the top of the United Soccer Leagues First Division standings Tuesday with a 1-1 draw against the defending league champion Vancouver Whitecaps at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC.

The RailHawks are 13-5-5 with 44 points and are in a tie for second place with the Charleston Battery (12-4-5), four points behind the league-leading Portland Timbers (13-1-9, 48), and next head to Marina Auto Stadium in Rochester, NY Saturday to take on the Rochester Rhinos.

Mason Trafford assisted Marcus Haber on Vancouver's sixth minute goal and fell to 7-9-6 with 27 points, good for sixth place in the league standings. They will face the Battery Thursday night at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, SC.

CD Marathon Outlasts United With Two Late Goals

Jerry Palacios and Mario Berrios scored goals in the final seven minutes of the game as CD Marathon of Honduras snapped a 1-1 draw and defeated Major League Soccer's DC United Tuesday in the first round of Group B play in the 2008-09 CONCACAF Champions League tournament at Honduras.

Luciano Emilio scored United's lone goal in the 48th minute but a collision of heads during the scoring of the goal left him a bloody mess and he was taken off the field for medical attention.

Walter Martinez opened the scoring for Marathon in the 23rd minute.

24 teams from around the world are competing in the second annual tournament to determine the best professional team in the confederation. The top two teams in each of six groups will advance to the quarterfinal round of the tournament next year.

The other teams in Group B are Mexico's CD Toluca and San Juan Jabloteh of Trinidad & Tobago.

United will host Toluca at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC August 26 and Marathon will welcome San Juan to town the same night.

Crew Open CCL Play With Shutout Of USL1's Islanders

The defending Major League Soccer champion Columbus Crew became the second league team to win a game in the CONCACAF Champions League Tuesday in a 2-0 rout over the Puerto Rico Islanders of the United Soccer Leagues First Division in an opening round Group C at Crew Stadium.

Steven Lenhart scored the game-winning goal in the 58th minute off an assist by reigning MLS Player of the Week Chad Marshall and Alejandro Moreno helped Robbie Rogers put in a goal in the 79th minute.

With the win, the Crew extended their home unbeaten streak in all competitions to 23 games.

24 teams from around the world are competing in the second annual tournament to determine the best professional team in the confederation. The top two teams in each of six groups will advance to the quarterfinal round of the tournament next year.

The other teams in Group C are Mexico's Cruz Azul and Saprissa of Costa Rica.

The Islanders are at Saprissa August 25 and the Crew travel the same day to Cruz Azul.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

FC Dallas Gets Chavez On Loan From CD Marathon

Major League Soccer's FC Dallas announced Tuesday they have acquired forward/midfielder Marvin Chavez on loan from CD Marathon of Honduras' Primera Division.

Chavez had 11 goals and 11 assists for Marathon in the 2008-09 season and scored the game-winning goal against MLS' DC United to advance to the quarterfinals of the first CONCACAF Champions League tournament last season.

Chavez spent his first three professional seasons at CD Victoria and had 23 goals and 17 assists.

He also has played 18 times for his country's national team.

WPS Announces Draft Plans For New Teams

Women's Professional Soccer Tuesday announced the formats for how the league's two 2010 season expansion teams -- the Philadelphia Independence and the Atlanta Beat -- will fill their rosters.

On September 15, an Expansion Draft will be held where each team will select up to nine players from other WPS franchises.

Each current franchise will be able to protect 10 players on their roster, with no team able to lose more than three players from their roster. As a protected player from a team is chosen, the team losing the player can protect an additional player.

On September 22, the Independence and Beat, in order, will swap picks in the 2009 International Draft over the first 10 selections until each team has chosen five international players for their rosters.

Finally, at the 2010 WPS Draft January 15 during the annual National Soccer Coaches Association of America convention in Philadelphia, the Beat will have the first pick and the Independence the second pick in the first round of the draft, as well as another pick later in the round. After that, they will have one pick for the remaining six of seven planned rounds.

Milbrett, Lilly Replace Formiga On WPS All-Star Roster

Women's Professional Soccer announced Tuesday FC Gold Pride forward Tiffeny Milbrett will be added to the roster for the 2009 WPS All-Star Game Presented By The Coast Guard August 30 against Umea IK of Sweden August 30 at the Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park in Fenton, MO to replace midfielder Formiga, who was the team's lone selection on the Starting XI for the game.

Formiga missed the last few games of the regular season with a medial collateral ligament strain in her right knee.

Milbrett was seventh in the league in shots (47) and shots on goal (20) and second on her team in goals scored with four.

The league also announced Boston Breakers forward Kristine Lilly will take Formiga's spot in the starting lineup.

US Coast Guard Becomes Presenting Sponsor Of WPS All-Star Game

The US Coast Guard was officially named Tuesday the presenting sponsor of the inaugural Women's Professional Soccer All-Star Game August 30 at the Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park in Fenton, MO.

The game, now called the 2009 Women's Professional Soccer All-Star Game Presented By The Coast Guard, will pit the WPS All-Stars against Swedish team Umea IK.

The armed services' logo will now appear on all game jerseys as part of an agreement signed Tuesday and the Coast Guard becomes the fifth national league partner and the second partner, after MedImmune (championship game), to sponsor a league postseason event.

WPS Opens Fan Voting For Postseason Awards

Women's Professional Soccer announced the ballots for three of the league's inaugural postseason awards to be voted on by fans -- the Michelle Akers Player of the Year, the MedImmune Defender of the Year and the Goalkeeper of the Year.

Fans can select their favorite players at www.womensprosoccer.com beginning Tuesday through 5 p.m. Eastern time August 21 with the winners to be announced at the WPS All-Star Gala August 29 in St. Louis.

Other awards to be announced that night are the PUMA Golden Boot (leading scorer), AdvoCare WPS Coach of the Year Award, and the Hint Water Sportswoman of the Year.

Here are the choices for the fan awards:

MICHELLE AKERS PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Eniola Aluko - St. Louis Athletica
Sonia Bompastor - Washington Freedom
Shannon Boxx - Los Angeles Sol
Lori Chalupny - St. Louis Athletica
Marta - Los Angeles Sol
Hope Solo - St. Louis Athletica
Abby Wambach - Washington Freedom

MEDIMMUNE DEFENDER OF THE YEAR
Anita Asante - Sky Blue FC
Tina Ellertson - St. Louis Athletica
Allison Falk - Los Angeles Sol
Amy LePeilbet - Boston Breakers
Christie Rampone - Sky Blue FC

GOALKEEPER OF THE YEAR
Jenni Branam - Sky Blue FC
Carolina Johnson - Chicago Red Stars
Karina LeBlanc - Los Angeles Sol
Erin McLeod - Washington Freedom
Hope Solo - St. Louis Athletica

Onstad Vies Again For Third SOW Award

Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Pat Onstad, who was the winner in Weeks 12 and 17 of the new Major League Soccer Save of the Week competition, is one of six nominees fans can choose for the Week 22 award through Thursday at 2 p.m. Eastern time at www.mlsnet.com.

The other nominees are Amado Guevara (Toronto FC), Bouna Coundoul (New York Red Bulls), Zach Thornton (Chivas USA), A.J. DeLaGarza (Los Angeles Galaxy) and William Hesmer (Columbus Crew).

Earthquakes Sign Brazilian Defender Fabio De Silva

Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes acquired the services of defender Fabio de Silva Tuesday on loan from Brazilian club Rio Blanco and announced he will play Saturday for them against the Kansas City Wizards.

In his second stint with Rio Blanco, he served as their captain and led them to a fourth place finish.

He also played in Brazil for Sport Club Recife (1997-2001), Campinense (2001), Treze (2001) and Clube Nautico Capibanbe (2008).

In Serbia, he played at Napredak Krusevac (2007), Rad Belgrado (2002-05, 2007) and Red Star Belgrade (2005-08).

Tarley, Noviello Named USL's Top Players Of Week

United Soccer Leagues named Minnesota Thunder forward Melvin Tarley and Wilmington Hammerheads midfielder Jyler Noviello the Players of the Week in the First and Second Divisions, respectively, Tuesday.

This is the final week of the USL2 awards this season.

Tarley scored the game-winning goal off a Ricardo Sanchez assist in the 68th minute of a 1-0 road win against the Miami FC Blues last Friday, then scored both goals in a 2-2 draw Sunday at the Austin Aztex.

Noviello had the game-winning goal for the eventual regular season champion Hammerheads in the 29th minute of a 2-0 win Friday at home against the Real Maryland Monarchs, then had an unassisted goal in the 73rd minute in a 2-2 draw at home against the Richmond Kickers.

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

USL1 TEAM OF THE WEEK

GOALKEEPER
Caleb Patterson-Sewell, Carolina RailHawks
Had seven saves in scoreless draw at Vancouver Whitecaps

DEFENDERS
John Krause, Puerto Rico Islanders
Scored lone goal in 1-0 win against Montreal Impact

David Hayes, Portland Timbers
Assisted on goal in 4-1 win at Rochester Rhinos

Jeremy Tolleson, Carolina RailHawks
Led team in scoreless draw at Vancouver Whitecaps

Chris Pozniak, Vancouver Whitecaps
Led team in scoreless draw against Carolina RailHawks

MIDFIELDERS
Ricardo Sanchez, Minnesota Thunder
Assisted on goals by Melvin Tarley in 1-0 win at Miami FC Blues and 2-2 draw at Austin Aztex

Tsuyoshi Yoshitake, Charleston Battery
Scored two goals in 4-1 win over Cleveland City Stars

Ryan Pore, Portland Timbers
Had combined two goals and an assist in two road wins

FORWARDS
Jean Alexandre, Austin Aztex
Had goal and assist in 2-2 draw against Minnesota Thunder

Mandjou Keita, Portland Timbers
Had goal and assist in 4-1 win at Rochester Rhinos

---

USL2 TEAM OF THE WEEK

GOALKEEPER
Danny Waltman, Pittsburgh Riverhounds
Had six saves in 1-0 win over Crystal Palace Baltimore

DEFENDERS
Rusty Pierce, Wilmington Hammerheads
Led team in 2-0 win over Real Maryland Monarchs

Ben Johnson, Charlotte Eagles
Assisted on goal in 3-0 win over Western Mass Pioneers

Cody Bragg, Pittsburgh Riverhounds
Led team in 1-0 win over Crystal Palace Baltimore

MIDFIELDERS
Edens Chery, Western Mass Pioneers
Assisted on goal in 2-1 win over Harrisburg City Islanders

Amaury Nunes, Charlotte Eagles
Scored two goals in 3-0 win over Western Mass Pioneers

Ryan Solle, Wilmington Hammerheads
Scored goal in 2-2 draw at Richmond Kickers

FORWARDS
Almir Barbosa, Western Mass Pioneers
Scored goal in 2-1 win at Harrisburg City Islanders

Matthew Delicate, Richmond Kickers
Scored both goals in 2-2 draw with Wilmington Hammerheads

Bill Brindley, Pittsburgh Riverhounds
Scored lone goal in 1-0 win over Crystal Palace Baltimore

Marshall First Defender To Win MLS POW This Season

Defender Chad Marshall of the defending league champion Columbus Crew became the first player at his position to win Major League Soccer's Player of the Week award this season Monday.

Marshall takes the Week 22 honor for scoring the game-winning goal in the 10th minute of their 2-0 win over FC Dallas, leading the defensive unit to the team's third straight shutout, and extending their league-record home game unbeaten streak to 20 games.

The goal was Marshall's fourth of the season, his third header goal from a set piece this season and the team's third straight header goal on the schedule.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Chivas USA Loaned Padilla

Major League Soccer's Chivas USA announced the signing Monday of forward of Jesus Padilla, who comes to them on loan from their parent club, Chivas de Guadalajara.

He has scored a goal in 24 appearances with the club's first team and four others in 10 tournament game matches.

Padilla joined Guadalajara's youth system at age 14 and debuted with the first team at the 2006 Apertura tournament.

Red Bulls Sign Garcia To Contract

Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls announced the signing Monday of defender Walter Garcia, who joins them from Quilmes Atletico Club in Argentina's second division.

Garcia began his career at Argentino Juniors, where he played in 51 games over three seasons from 2001-04 before moving to Club Atletico San Lorenzo de Almagro in 2005, where he had three goals in 61 games.

In 2006, he split time between FC Rubin Kazin in Russia and Calico Cantania in Italy before returning to Quilmes to score one goal in 14 games in 2007.

Garcia also played on Argentina's 2003 South American Youth Championship team and on Argentina's U-20 team in the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship.

USL2 Playoff Schedule Announced

The playoff schedule for the 2009 United Soccer Leagues Second Division playoffs was announced Monday.

In the opening game Wednesday, the fourth-seeded Charlotte Eagles will host the fifth-seeded Real Maryland Monarchs at Restart Field with the winner traveling Saturday to Legion Sports Complex in Wilmington, NC to take on the top-seeded and regular season champion Wilmington Hammerheads.

Also Saturday, the third-seeded Harrisburg City Islanders will take on the second-seeded Richmond Kickers at the University of Richmond Stadium.

Winners of Saturday's games will meet August 29 at the home of the higher-seeded team for the USL2 Championship Game.

Five Players With Something In Common For MLS GOW

Major League Soccer announced the nominees for the Week 21 Goal of the Week competition Monday and all five players on the ballot have a common theme this week -- their respective teams won games by 2-0 scores this weekend.

Also, four of the five goals scored were game-winning goals for their teams.

Fans can view the nominees and videos of their goals, as well as vote for their favorite, by going to www.mlsnet.com before 2 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday.

They are:

Dwayne DeRosario, Toronto FC
Scored game-winning goal in 30th minute off Sam Cronin in 2-0 win over DC United

Maykel Galindo, Chivas USA
Scored game-winning goal in 14th minute off Chukwudi Chijindu and Bojan Stepanovic in 2-0 win over New York Red Bulls

Eddie Gaven, Columbus Crew
Scored unassisted goal in 87th minute of 2-0 win over FC Dallas

Steve Zakauni, Seattle Sounders
Scored game-winning goal in 22nd minute off Brad Evans in 2-0 win over Los Angeles Galaxy

Chris Rolfe, Chicago Fire
Scored game-winning goal in 13th minute off Marco Pappa in 2-0 win over Kansas City Wizards

Tarley's Twin Goals Tie Thunder, Aztex At Nelson Field

Melvin Tarley's second goal of the night, assisted by Ricardo Sanchez in the 89th minute, caused the visiting Minnesota Thunder to play to a 2-2 draw Sunday against the Austin Aztex in United Soccer Leagues First Division play in Austin, TX.

Tarley tied the game at 1-1 in the 53rd minute when Leonel Saint-Preux fed him a pass to take away Austin's halftime advantage.

Jean Alexandre had a goal off an Eddie Johnson assist in the 41st minute, then returned the favor by working with Sullivan Silva on his 74th minute goal for the Aztex.

Minnesota is 4-10-7 with 19 points and in ninth place in the league standings and have two games on the schedule this week -- at the Rochester Rhinos Wednesday and at the Cleveland City Stars Saturday.

Austin, 3-12-8 with 15 points, including a two-point deduction for using an illegal player in a game earlier this season, is in 10th place and travels to the Montreal Impact next Sunday.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fire Fines Head Coach, Soumare For Locker Room Incident

Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire announced Saturday the team has fined head coach Denis Hamlett and defender Bakary Soumare undisclosed amounts for their involvement in a locker room incident during halftime of their August 9 game against the Houston Dynamo.

Team officials would not comment on what caused the incident.

Fire Creep Closer To Crew By Beating Wizards

Chris Rolfe and Mike Banner scored goals off assists by Marco Pappa and Logan Pause, respectively, as the Chicago Fire shut out the Kansas City Wizards, 2-0, Sunday in Major League Soccer action from CommunityAmerica Ballpark.

The Fire improved to 9-4-8 with 35 points and remain in second place in the Eastern Conference standings but are now four points behind the Crew (10-3-9, 39), who are tied for the most points in the league standings with the Western Conference-leading Houston Dynamo, who have the most wins at 11-6-6. Chicago hosts the Los Angeles Galaxy Thursday at Toyota Park.

Kansas City remains in sixth place in the Eastern Conference at 5-8-6 with 21 points and will be at the San Jose Earthquakes Saturday.

Brindley's Goal Gives Riverhounds Final Win Of Season

Jeff Hughes assisted Bill Brindley on a goal in the 13th minute of play as the host Pittsburgh Riverhounds shut out Crystal Palace Baltimore, 1-0, in the final weekend of United Soccer Leagues Second Divsion play Saturday at Chartiers Valley High School.

The Riverhounds closed out the 2009 campaign with a 6-10-4 record and 22 points to finish in eighth place.

Crystal Palace finished their season in sixth place with the Western Mass Pioneers as both teams had 6-9-5 records and 23 points.

Delicate Duo Knots Kickers With Hammerheads

Matthew Delicate had both goals for the host Richmond Kickers in a 2-2 draw with the Wilmington Hammerheads Saturday at the University of Richmond Stadium in a game to determine who the United Soccer Leagues Second Division regular season champion would be.

Ryan Solle and Jyler Noviello scored for the Hammerheads.

Both teams finished the USL2 season with 39 points each but Wilmington (12-5-3) won more games than Richmond (11-3-6), thereby winning the regular season title and earning a first round playoff bye.

The Kickers open the playoffs Saturday as the number three seed and host the third-seeded Harrisburg City Islanders.

In the other playoff game Saturday, it'll be the fifth-seeded Real Maryland Monarchs facing the fourth-seeded Charlotte Eagles at Charlotte Christian High School.

Nunes Scores Twice In Eagles Finale Against Pioneers

Amaury Nunes scored twice and Gustavo Bentos had the other goal as the host Charlotte Eagles closed out the 2009 United Soccer Leagues Second Division season with a 3-0 rout of the Western Mass Pioneers Saturday at Charlotte Christian High School.

The Eagles finished 8-5-7 with 31 points, tying them for third place in the single table standings with the Harrisburg City Islanders (9-7-4, 31).

Western Mass ended their season 6-9-5 with 23 points and tied for sixth with Crystal Palace Baltimore, who had a similar record.

Islanders Impact Montreal, 1-0

John Krause had the game's only goal in the 37th minute off a Cristian Arrieta assist as the host Puerto Rico Islanders shut out the Montreal Impact, 1-0, Saturday in United Soccer Leagues First Division play from Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium in Bayamon, PR.

The defending USL1 regular season champions will head to Columbus, OH Tuesday to face Major League Soccer's defending champion Columbus Crew in a Group C game at the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League before hosting the Minnesota Thunder August 29.

Montreal, at 7-10-5 and 26 points, is tied for sixth with the defending USL1 champion Vancouver Whitecaps (7-9-5, 26) and hosts the Austin Aztex next Sunday.

Timbers Win First-Ever Game In Rochester Against Rhinos

Ryan Pore and Mandjou Keita each contributed a goal and an assist as the Portland Timbers extended their record United Soccer Leagues First Division unbeaten streak to 22 games in a 4-1 victory over the host Rochester Rhinos Saturday at Marina Auto Stadium.

It was Portland's first win in Rochester in seven games and the Timbers' fourth straight victory.

Takayuki Suzuki and Keith Savage added goals for Portland, who leads USL1 at 13-1-9 with 48 points. They will host the Miami FC Blues at PGE Park next Saturday.

John Ball assisted Warren Ukah on Rochester's only goal as they've lost three of their last four games and are 9-8-5 with 32 points, good for fifth place in the league standings. The Rhinos host the Minnesota Thunder this Wednesday.

Sounders See Beckham Ejected, Beat Galaxy

The Seattle Sounders were instrumental in seeing Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham get ejected in the 17th minute of their 2-0 victory Saturday at The Home Depot Center after Beckham tackled Seattle's Peter Vagenas spikes up.

Fredy Montero scored Seattle's other goal with help from Vagenas and Nate Jaqua in the 54th minute as the Sounders jumped to second place in the Western Conference standings at 8-6-8 with 32 points, seven points behind the conference-leading Houston Dynamo (11-6-6, 39), who they face on the road next Sunday. Houston played to a scoreless draw at Real Salt Lake Saturday.

Chivas Ends Scoreless Draught, Losing Streak

Maykel Galindo scored Chivas USA's first goal in 335 minutes in the 15th minute on a Chukwudi Chijindu assist and Eduardo Lillingston had help from Michael Lahoud and Gerson Mayer on a second-half stoppage time goal in a 2-0 victory over the hapless New York Red Bulls, the worst team in Major League Soccer, Saturday at Giants Stadium.

The win also ended Chivas' five-game losing streak.

Chivas is 9-7-3 with 30 points and is tied for fourth place in the Western Conference standings with the Colorado Rapids (8-6-6, 30) and hosts Toronto FC next Saturday.

The Red Bulls are 2-16-4 with 10 points and host FC Dallas next Sunday.

Crew Extends Winning Streak By Beating FC Dallas

The defending Major League Soccer champion Columbus Crew retained the top spot in the Eastern Conference standings and extended their current winning streak to five games and their unbeaten streak at home as they shut out FC Dallas, 2-0, Saturday at Crew Stadium.

Chad Marshall and Eddie Gaven scored goals as the Crew improved to 10-3-9 with 39 points, tied for the most points in the league with the Western Conference leader Houston Dynamo (11-6-6) and now have a 20-game unbeaten regular season winning streak. If you add two games won in the 2008 MLS Cup playoffs, the streak grows to 22 games.

Columbus last lost at home to the San Jose Earthquakes June 8, 2008.

FC Dallas snapped a two-game winning streak and are now 6-10-5 with 23 points, good enough for seventh place in the Western Conference standings.

The Crew take a break from MLS play Tuesday when they host the Puerto Rico Islanders of the United Soccer Leagues First Division in a Group C game in the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League before traveling to the New York Red Bulls, holder of the worst record this season in MLS at 2-16-4 with 10 points, August 30.

Dallas is at the Red Bulls next Sunday.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cuesta Loaned To Chivas USA From Colombia's Expreso Rojo; Curtin, Razov Placed On IR

Major League Soccer's Chivas USA announced Saturday they have acquired defender Yamith Cuesta on loan from Expreso Rojo of Colombia's second division.

Cuesta, also a member of Colombia's U-20 National Team, debuted professionally with first division team Santa Fe in 2007, scoring two goals in 24 games. He enjoyed Expreso Rojo in 2008.

In related news, Chivas placed defender Jim Curtin and forward Ante Razov on their disabled list, meaning they must miss a minimum of six games, making them eligible to return September 26 against the New York Red Bulls.

Curtin has a pereneus brevis tear in his left ankle and is scheduled to have surgery August 26, which would put him out of action for four to six months.

Razov has not played this season due to right ankle tendonitis, which he had surgery to correct January 30.