Wednesday, September 30, 2009

First Pumas Goal Scorer Now First To Renew Contract

The Kitsap Pumas, who won the 2009 United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League's Northwest Division in their inaugural season, announced Wednesday forward Tony Kerr, who scored the team's first regular season goal, is now the first player to have his contract renewed for the 2010 season.

Kerr had seven goals and two assists in 14 games for the expansion franchise this season.

FC New York Close To Naming Head Coach

FC New York, a 2010 expansion team in the United Soccer Leagues First Division, reportedly are close to naming the franchise's first head coach, according to BigAppleSoccer.com.

The nominees for the job are Dan Fisher, current head coach of the Long Island Rough Riders in the USL Premier Development League, and former Rough Riders player Jim Rooney.

Fisher joined the Rough Riders in 2007 and the team has flourished under his watch after switching from the USL Second Division to the PDL. He is 27-12-9 in two seasons, including a 12-2-2 record this season and a trip to the playoffs, where they advanced to the divisional semifinal round.

Rooney played for the Rough Riders from 1994-97 and as a member of the 1995 USL2 Championship team. He spent the 1998 through 2002 seasons playing in Major League Soccer before returning to Long Island in 2004.

Another named mentioned as a possible candidate by BigAppleSoccer.com is Darren Tilley, fired Tuesday as head coach of the Rochester Rhinos, but NY FC team president Doug Anderson told the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle Tilley is not being considered.

USL Names First Division All-League Team

United Soccer Leagues Wednesday announced the 11 members of the 2009 USL First Division All-League First Team, selected by the league's coaches and general managers.

The league also stated all four defenders named to the team are also finalists for the Defender of the Year, to be announced at next week's USL1 Championship Banquet, held prior to the first leg of the two-game, aggregate-goal series.

The USL1 Coach of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards will also be handed out that night.

2009 USL1 ALL-LEAGUE FIRST TEAM

GOALKEEPER OF THE YEAR
Steve Cronin, Portland Timbers
- Finished third in league in goals against average (0.681) in first season with team
- Tied for first in league in wins with 15
- Tied for third in league in shutouts with 10
- Played third-most minutes on team

DEFENDERS
Nelson Akwari, Charleston Battery
- Played in all 30 games for team
- Played fourth-most minutes in league

Cristian Arrieta, Puerto Rico Islanders
- Defending USL1 Defender of the Year
- Finished tied for second in league in points with 25
- Tied for fourth in league in goals with 10
- Tied for seventh in league in assists with five

Matt Bobo, Charleston Battery
- Had third-most appearances and minutes played for team this season
- Two goals in 28 games this season
- Led Battery to third-best defensive record in league, allowed 21 goals

David Hayes, Portland Timbers
- Third straight All-League honor: twice with Portland, once with former Atlanta Silverbacks
- Had second-most minutes played in league
- Missed only two minutes of play all season
- Two goals, five assists this season

MIDFIELDERS
Daniel Paladini, Carolina RailHawks
- Five goals, five assists this season in 28 games
- Finished tied for 14th in league in points
- Had third-most minutes played on team this season

Ryan Pore, Portland Timbers
- Had 10 goals, two assists this season
- Finished tied for fifth in league in points, tied for fourth in goals
- Had a six-game scoring streak at one point in season

Ricardo Sanchez, Minnesota Thunder
- 2008 USL1 All-League Second Team member
- Finished fifth in league in points at 22 (seven goals, eight assists)
- Shared Assist Leader title this season with Wes Knight

FORWARDS
Charles Gbeke, Vancouver Whitecaps
- 2008 USL1 All-League Second Team member
- Finished tied for second in league in points at 25
- Won Goal Scoring Championship this season with 12

Mandjou Keita, Portland Timbers
- Won 2009 Scoring Championship with 29 points
- Finished tied for second in league in goals (11), third in league in assists (seven)

Johnny Menyongar, Rochester Rhinos
- Sixth player in USL1 history to be named to All-League Team six times, but first First Team honor
- Finished fourth in league in points (23 on 11 goals, one assist)
- Finished tied for second in league in goals (11)

FCD's Cunningham Selected MLS GOW Winner

Jeff Cunningham of FC Dallas, who scored the second of two goals unassisted in the 87th minute of a 3-0 win over Real Salt Lake Saturday at Pizza Hut Park, was selected Major League Soccer's Goal of the Week winner Wednesday in voting by fans at www.mlsnet.com.

Cunningham beat out Fredy Montero (Seattle Sounders), Chad Barrett (Toronto FC), Eddie Gaven (Columbus Crew) and Ramon Sanchez (San Jose Earthquakes) for the award.

Past Winners Hartman, Sala On MLS SOW Ballot

Former winners Kevin Hartman of the Kansas City Wizards (Week 11) and Dario Sala of FC Dallas (Week 20) are among the six goalkeepers on the ballot for the Week 28 Major League Soccer Save of the Week award, announced Tuesday and voted on by MLS fans at www.mlsnet.com through 2 p.m. Eastern time Thursday.

Also on the ballot are William Hesmer (Columbus Crew), Bouna Coundoul (New York Red Bulls), Ramiro Corrales (San Jose Earthquakes) and Josh Wicks (DC United).

Wave Sweeps Up Lance, Wiesner And Feenstra For 2010 Season

The Milwaukee Wave, set to join the National Indoor Soccer League as a 2010 season expansion franchise, announcing the signing Tuesday of three players with local ties to the community.

Forward Kyle Vance, a graduate of UW-Milwaukee and Franklin (MN) High School, played last season in the defunct Xtreme Soccer League with the Chicago Storm and has three goals in 15 games.

Vance also serves as assistant soccer coach at Marquette University High School in Milwaukee.

Midfielder Brett Wiesner will be in his fifth indoor soccer season and had 16 points on seven goals and two assists for the Wave in 2007. Wiesner also coaches Cedarburg Soccer Club and works with the Wave Summer Camps program.

Finally, goalkeeper Marcel Feenstra, discovered in an open tryout and working as a coach at Waukesha Soccer Club, Waukesha West High School and SC Waukesha, had a 10-3 record in his last two seasons with the Wave and has a 3.92 goals against average.

Islanders Out Of CCL Play; Crew Draws Keeps Them In

Mario Ortiz scored the game-winning goal in the sixth minute with help from Joel Huqui and Alejandro Vela as Mexico's Cruz Azul shut out the Puerto Rico Islanders of United Soccer Leagues First Division, 2-0, in Round 5 of Group C play in the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League Tuesday at Mexico City.

Emmanuel Villa, who leads Mexico's Apertura in goals with 10 this season, fired off an unassisted 51st minute insurance goal to literally lock up the Group C title and a berth in the knockout phase of the tournament at a 4-0-1 record with 13 points. It is the best record of any of the 16 teams involved in this round of play.

Puerto Rico, a semifinalist at last season's inaugural tournament, was mathematically eliminated from group play at 0-3-2 with two points and in last place. The Islanders will host Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew in the sixth and final round of pool play October 20 at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium in Bayamon.

Before then, the Islanders return to USL1 playoff action as they are in the semifinals of the league's playoffs as the third seed against the fifth-seeded Montreal Impact in a two-game, aggregate-goal series that begins Thursday at Saputo Stadium in Montreal before heading to Bayamon for leg two this Sunday.

The winner of that series faces the winner of the other semifinal match between the top seed and USL1 Commissioner's Cup regular season champion Portland Timbers and the defending league champion Vancouver Whitecaps, the seventh seed.

In other CCL play, Alexander Robinson scored the equalizing goal in second-half stoppage time as Costa Rica's Deportivo Saprissa played the Crew to a 1-1 draw Tuesday at Crew Stadium.

Robbie Rogers gave Columbus the opening score and nearly a lock on a spot in the knockout round with a goal in first-half stoppage time.

Columbus is in second place in Group C play at 2-2-1 with seven points, six behind Cruz Azul for the group bracket load, as the top two teams from each of four groups head to the next round. The Crew host the Islanders Tuesday and need a draw or better against them to advance to the knockout phase.

Saprissa, meanwhile, at 1-2-2 with five points, plays Cruz Azul October 20 in Mexico City in their final group phase game. To move on to the next round, Saprissa must win over Cruz Azul and hopes Puerto Rico pulls off an upset over the Crew.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

USL1 Announces 2009 All-League Second Team

United Soccer Leagues Tuesday announced the eleven players who were selected by the league's head coaches and general managers to the 2009 USL First Division All-League Second Team.

The USL1 First Team will be announced Wednesday, along with additional postseason awards.

USL1 ALL-LEAGUE SECOND TEAM

GOALKEEPER
Bill Gaudette, Puerto Rico Islanders
- 2008 USL1 Goalkeeper of the Year
- Finished fifth in league in goals against average (0.740)
- Tied for first in league in wins (15) and shutouts (12)
- Fourth on the team in minutes played

DEFENDERS
Stephen deRoux, Montreal Impact
- Was named to USL1 All-League First Team in 2008 with Minnesota Thunder
- One assist in 22 games with Montreal this season
- Missed seven games in midseason due to a fractured cheek bone

Cameron Knowles, Portland Timbers
- Third straight season named to the team
- On USL1 All-League Second Team in 2008, All-League First Team pick in 2007
- Helped Timbers through league-record 24-game winning streak and Commissioner's Cup regular season title
- Timbers defense finished tied for league lead in fewest goals allowed at 19 with Carolina RailHawks

John Krause, Puerto Rico Islanders
- One of two players to play all 28 games this season (Cristian Arrieta was the other)
- Islanders gave up 11 goals in 15 home games
- Had five goals last season, beating previous season's mark of three

Mark Schulte, Carolina RailHawks
- Second time on team
- Was named to 2002 USL1 All-League Second Team with Minnesota Thunder
- 2007 and 2008 USL1 All-League First Team member and USL1 Defender of the Year with Cleveland City Stars
- RailHawks defense finished tied for league lead in fewest goals allowed at 19 with Portland Timbers

MIDFIELDERS
Martin Nash, Vancouver Whitecaps
- 12th player in USL1 history to be named to All-League Team for fifth time
- On 1996, 2007 and 2008 USL1 All-League First Team with Vancouver; on 2000 Second Team with Rochester Rhinos
- Four goals, three assists in 25 games this season before suffering hamstring injury, but has returned for playoffs

Lawrence Olum, Minnesota Thunder
- Played the previous two seasons for the Portland Timbers
- Third on the team in minutes played
- Had career highs in goals (five) and assists (three) this season

Jonathan Steele, Puerto Rico Islanders
- 2008 USL1 Most Valuable Player
- Four goals and three assists in second season with franchise
- Third on the team in points in only 23 games this season

David Testo, Montreal Impact
- Sixth season in USL1, third with Impact
- Second All-League team honor
- Was named to 2003 Second Team with Richmond Kickers
- Only player for Impact to have over 2,000 minutes played this season (2,235 in 26 games) and first time he ever reached that plateau
- One goal, one assist this season

FORWARDS
Marlon James, Vancouver Whitecaps
- Missed parts of 2009 season with three injuries
- Nine goals in 17 games this season
- Finished sixth in USL1 in goals scored, eighth in points

Eddie Johnson, Austin Aztex
- Led team in scoring in rookie season with five goals and four assists in 22 games
- Finished second on team in minutes played behind Ryan McMahen and tied for 14th in USL1 in points

Defending WPS Champion Sky Blue FC Names Miettinen Head Coach

Sky Blue FC, the surprising defending champion of Women's Professional Soccer, announced Tuesday Paulina Miettinen will become their new head coach for the 2010 season.

Miettinen, a former goalkeeper and defender for Finland's women's national team, will replace player-coach Christie Rampone, who coached them for the final two regular season games and the playoffs.

Rampone was the franchise's third coach of the season. The original head coach, Ian Sawyers, who also served as general manager, was fired May 28 after a five-day suspension following leading the team to a 1-4-2 record.

He was replaced by assistant coach Kelly Landon, who abruptly resigned July 29 after reportedly learning the team would not retain her for the upcoming season as she sided with Sawyers in how he ran the team.

Miettinen is currently serving as head coach of PK-35 in Finland's Premier League, where they are tied for first place, and will join Sky Blue FC after that season is over.

She previously was a head coach in the FPL with Helsinki's FC Kontu.

Miettinen was a three-time All-American as a forward at Franklin Pierce College in New Hampshire, where she later served as an assistant coach.

She also held similar duties at Barry University in Miami Shores, FL and at Florida State University.

Breakers Trade Rodriguez, Draft Pick To Independence For Two Draft Picks

The Boston Breakers of Women's Professional Soccer announced Tuesday they have traded forward Amy Rodriguez, selected with the first overall pick in the league's inaugural draft in 2009, and the fifth overall pick in the 2010 WPS Draft to the expansion Philadelphia Independence for their second and eleventh overall picks in the January 15 draft in St. Louis.

Rodriguez started 11 of 17 games for the Breakers in the league's first season and scored one goal with no assists.

She led USC to their first NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship in 2007 and was a member of the gold medal-winning US Women's National Team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

United Loses Wicks For Rest Of Regular Season

DC United goalkeeper Josh Wicks will miss the rest of the 2009 Major League Soccer regular season after dislocating a shoulder and spraining an ankle on the same play in Saturday's 2-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes at RFK Stadium, the team announced Monday.

Wicks came off near the goal line and went airborne to punch away an Earthquakes corner kick, jamming an arm against the ball while it was being simultaneously headed by San Jose player Ryan Johnson. When Wicks fell, he slid on the ground and twisted the knee.

Wicks took over the starting goalkeeping job from Louis Crayton in May and has started the last 17 games. Crayton was eventually released by United.

The injury now leaves rookie Milos Kocic, their 2009 second round SuperDraft pick from Baltimore's Loyola University, as their top player at the position.

Kocic started two regular season games this May, started four of DC's six games in the 2009 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament, and started two of four games in the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League event.

Since MLS rosters are now frozen for the rest of the season, the only way United could gain another goalkeeper is to select one from the league's player pool, used in such emergency situations, but United has not said if or when it will do so.

United is 8-7-12 with 36 points in the Eastern Conference standings and may need to run the table and win their final three games of the season to qualify for the playoffs.

United is also competing in Group B play in the CCL and are 2-2-0 with six points, tied for second in the group with Marathon of Honduras.

DC hosts Trinidad & Tobago's San Juan Jabloteh Wednesday in the fifth of six games of pool play, then ends the round October 20 at Mexico's Toluca.

The top two teams in each of the CCL's four groups advance to the knockout phase of the tournament.

Red Stars Exercise 2010 Options On Nine Players

The Chicago Red Stars of Women's Professional Soccer announced Monday they have exercised the contract options for the 2010 season for nine players -- defenders Marian Delmy, Ifeoma Doeke, Jill Oakes and Natalie Spliger; midfielders Chioma Igwe, Brittany Klein and Megan Rapinoe; goalkeeper Caroline Jonsson and forward Ella Masur.

Those players join midfielders Karen Carney and Lindsay Tarpley and defender Kate Markgraf on the 2010 roster, as they are all under contract for next season.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Two-Time Winner Montero An MLS GOW Nominee

Fredy Montero of the Seattle Sounders, winner of the first two Major League Soccer Goal of the Week awards this season, is one of five players nominated for the Week 27 award, voted on by MLS fans at www.mlsnet.com through 2 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday.

Montero scored Seattle's lone goal unassisted in the sixth minute of a 2-1 loss Saturday to the New England Revolution.

Other nominees on this week's ballot are:

Chad Barrett, Toronto FC
Assisted by Dwayne De Rosario and Marvell Wynne in the 46th minute of a goal in a 2-2 draw to the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park Saturday.

Jeff Cunningham, FC Dallas
Scored the second of two goals unassisted in the 87th minute of a 3-0 win over Real Salt Lake Saturday at Pizza Hut Park.

Eddie Gaven, Columbus Crew
Scored the game-winning goal off Emmanuel Ekpo in the 33rd minute of a 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Galaxy at Crew Stadium Saturday. The win extended the Crew's league-record home winning streak to 24 games, restored them to the lead in the Supporters Shield race, and clinched a playoff berth for the franchise.

Ramon Sanchez, San Jose Earthquakes
Scored the game-tying goal in the 58th minute of a 2-1 win over DC United Saturday at RFK Stadium for San Jose's first road win since June 2008.

Revs Lose Ralston For Season; Joseph Gets First MLS POW Honor

Major League Soccer's New England Revolution got good and bad news Monday.

Bad news first.

Team captain Steve Ralston, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in their 2-1 win Saturday over the Seattle Sounders, will miss the rest of the season.

Ralston ranked second on the team this season in goals and assists with seven each over 20 games played.

Ralston is MLS' all-time career leader in five categories -- games played (378), games started (372), minutes played (33,143), assists (135) and game-winning assists (44).

Now for the good news.

Midfielder Shalrie Joseph was named the MLS Player of the Week Monday for Week 27 of the 2009 season after scoring both his team's goals in Saturday's game.

He had a penalty kick goal in the 51st minute, then was assisted by Jeff Larentowicz and Wells Thompson in the 87th minute for his third multi-goal game of his career.

Joseph now has a career- and team-high eight goals this season and has either scored or assisted on 16 of his team's 31 goals this season.

Rochester Rhinos Fire Head Coach And General Manager

The Rochester Rhinos of the United Soccer Leagues First Division announced the release of head coach Darren Tilley and general manager Matt Ford Monday.

Tilley, a former player for the Rhinos, was 22-19-19 overall in two seasons at the helm. The Rhinos made the USL1 playoffs both seasons but were eliminated in the 2008 semifinals and, most recently, Sunday in Bayamon, Puerto Rico to the Puerto Rico Islanders in the 2009 quarterfinals.

Rochester won the first game of a two-game aggregate goal series against them Thursday, 2-1, but were beaten, 4-1, by the Islanders and Puerto Rico won the series by a combined 5-3 score.

USL1 Playoff Semifinal Matchups Set After Second Legs Played

The 2009 Commissioner's Cup champion Portland Timbers will meet the defending United Soccer Leagues First Division champion Vancouver Whitecaps in one of two semifinal matchups to be held this coming weekend after quarterfinal round play concluded with second leg games.

The Whitecaps, the seventh seed in the playoffs, advanced to meet the top-seeded Timbers after winning their two-game aggregate goal series with the second-seeded Carolina RailHawks by a 1-0 score from Thursday's game at Swangard Stadium. The two teams played to a scoreless draw Sunday at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC.

In the other semifinal series, the third-seeded Puerto Rico Islanders will face the fifth-seeded Montreal Impact.

Fabrice Noel and Nicholas Addlery scored a pair of goals each and Jonathan Steele assisted on every point as the Islanders won their second leg of their series with the sixth-seeded Rochester Rhinos, 4-1, Sunday at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium in Bayamon, PR to win by an aggregate score of 5-3. Rochester won the opening game, 2-1, Thursday at Marina Auto Stadium.

Montreal edged the fourth-seeded Charleston Battery, 2-1, Sunday at Blackbaud Stadium and swept the two-game series by a combined 4-1 score.

Nevio Pizzolitto had an unassisted goal in the 23rd minute for the Impact and Roberto Brown assisted Tony Donatelli on the 74th minute game-winning goal.

Ian Fuller was assisted by Stephen Armstrong on Charlotte's only goal of the game in the 16th minute.

As in the previous round, both matchups are two-game aggregate score series.

This Thursday, Vancouver will host Portland and Puerto Rico will welcome Montreal, with the reverse taking place Sunday.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Earthquakes Get First Road Win Since June 2008

Ramon Sanchez and Ryan Johnson scored unassisted goals in the 58th and 73rd minutes, respectively, as the San Jose Earthquakes won their first Major League Soccer road game since June 7, 2008, 2-1, Sunday over DC United at RFK Stadium.

The last time San Jose won on the road, they shut out the Columbus Crew, 2-0, at Crew Stadium.

Jaime Moreno, flanked by Chris Pontiue and Ben Olsen, gave United their only lead in the 26th minute.

With the loss, United has fallen out of the top eight teams in the league table for the playoffs, including wild card positions. At 8-7-12 with 36 points, they are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, one point behind the New England Revolution (10-8-7, 37) for third place and five behind the Chicago Fire (10-6-11, 41) for second place.

United takes a break from MLS play Wednesday when they host San Jose Jabloteh of Trinidad & Tobago in fifth round Group B pool play at the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League tournament, then host Chivas USA Saturday.

San Jose is in last place in the Eastern Conference standings at 6-12-7 with 25 points and host the New York Red Bulls Saturday.

Last Place Red Bulls Deny Three Points To Chivas USA

The New York Red Bulls may be the worst team in Major League Soccer this season at 4-17-6 with 18 points, putting them in the cellar of the Eastern Conference standings, but that doesn't mean they aren't able to pull off an occasional upset result.

Juan Pablo Angel was assisted by Sinisa Ubiparipovic in the 84th minute of a 1-1 draw at Chivas USA Saturday.

After a scoreless first 45 minutes, Angel's goal negated one twenty minutes earlier by Chivas when Maykel Galindo connected with Sacha Kljestan on a score.

The Red Bulls are at the San Jose Earthquakes next Saturday.

Chivas is 11-9-5 with 38 points and tied with the Seattle Sounders (9-7-11) for fourth place in the Western Conference standings. They are a point behind the Colorado Rapids (10-8-9, 39), who played to a scoreless draw on the road Saturday to the Kansas City Wizards, for third place and three behind the Los Angeles Galaxy (10-6-11, 41) for the second place spot. Chivas faces DC United on the road this Saturday.

De Rosario Has Goal, Assist; Toronto Plays Fire To Draw

Dwayne De Rosario scored a goal and assisted on a second as visiting Toronto FC played the host Chicago Fire to a 2-2 draw Saturday in Major League Soccer play at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL.

De Rosario struck first in the game for Toronto when Nana Attakora assisted on a sixth minute goal, but a Toronto error caused when Nick Garcia kicked the ball into his own team's net in the 14th minute knotted the score and it remained so through halftime.

Chad Barrett knocked in the leading goal for Toronto in the 46th minute off De Rosario and Marvell Wynne to take a 2-1 lead but, in the 78th minute, Brian McBride forced the draw as Justin Mapp fed him a pass and coverted it into a game-tying goal.

Toronto is in fifth place in the Eastern Conference race at 9-10-8 with 35 points and are a point behind DC United (8-6-12, 36) for fourth place and two behind the New England Revolution (10-8-7, 37) for third. Toronto is off until October 11 when they host the San Jose Earthquakes at BMO Field.

Chicago, at 10-6-11 with 41 points, are in second place in the Eastern Conference, five points behind the defending conference, regular season and league champion Columbus Crew (12-4-10, 46). The Fire are at the Los Angeles Galaxy Friday.

Cunningham Tied For Golden Boot Lead; FC Dallas Shuts Out RSL

Jeff Cunningham scored a pair of goals and entered the race for the Budweiser Golden Boot award as host FC Dallas shut out Real Salt Lake, 3-0, in Major League Soccer play Saturday at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX.

Cunningham has 15 goals this season, tying him with Conor Casey of the Colorado Rapids for the Golden Boot, awarded to the league's top goal scorer each seasn.

Cunningham struck first in the fifth minute on assists from Dave van den Bergh and David Ferreira, then again on an unassisted 87th minute point.

Van den Bergh assisted Ferreira in the 10th minute on another goal.

Dallas is 5-1-0 in their last six games and are unbeaten at home against RSL (7-0-0) in team history. FCD is in seventh place in the Western Conference standings at 8-12-6 with 30 points and will play the New England Revolution in the opening game of a soccer doubleheader Wednesday at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The opening game will pit the national teams of Mexico and Colombia in a friendly.

Real Salt Lake, 9-11-7 with 34 points and in sixth place in the Western table, are off for the next 18 days, resuming MLS play October 14 when they welcome the New York Red Bulls to Rio Tinto Stadium.

Crew Regain Supporters Shield Lead, Shut Out Galaxy

Eddie Gaven scored off an Emmanuel Ekpo assist in the 31st minute and Steven Lenhart had an unassisted insurance goal in the 59th minute as the defending Major League Soccer champion Columbus Crew regained the lead in the race for the Supporters Shield, which goes annually to the team with the best record in the league, by shutting out the Los Angeles Galaxy, 2-0, Saturday at Crew Stadium.

The win also increased their home-game winning streak in the league to 22 games at 16-0-6 and lead the league overall with a 12-4-10 record and 46 points.

After taking time off Tuesday to host Saprissa of Costa Rica in a CONCACAF Champions League group play game, Columbus will be back in action next Saturday hosting the Seattle Sounders.

The Galaxy suffered their first loss in 13 games and won 10 of their last 17 games. Los Angeles is 10-6-11 with 41 points and are in second place in the Western Conference standings, two behind the Houston Dynamo (12-8-7, 43). The Galaxy hosts the Chicago Fire Friday.

Joseph Rallies Revs Over Sounders At Gillette Stadium

Shalrie Joseph scored a penalty kick in the 51st minute, then was assisted by Jeff Larentowicz and Wells Thompson on a game-winning 87th minute strike as the host New England Revolution edged the Seattle Sounders, 2-1, Saturday in Major League Soccer play at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA.

Fredy Montero gave Seattle the lead in the sixth minute on an unassisted goal.

The Revs are now 10-8-7 with 37 points and in third place in the Eastern Conference standings, four points behind the Chicago Fire (10-6-11, 41) for second. New England travels to the Colorado Rapids next Saturday.

Seattle, at 9-7-11 and 38 points, are tied for fourth in the Western Conference standings with Chivas USA (11-9-5) and is a point behind the Rapids (10-8-9, 39) for third place. The Sounders are at the defending league champion Columbus Crew next Saturday.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Stepanovic Out For Chivas; Razov Has Successful Surgery

Rookie midfielder Boran Stepanovic will be out the next four to six weeks for Major League Soccer's Chivas USA after dislocating the patella in his righ knee during the team's exhibition match Wednesday with parent club Chivas de Guadalajara, the team announced Saturday.

In 16 matches, seven of them starts, Stepanovic has a goal and two assists this season.

Also, Chivas USA reports forward Ante Razov underwent successful surgery Wednesday to repair a torn Achilles tendon in his left ankle and remove bone spurs. He was already placed on the team's disabled list and will miss the rest of the 2009 season.

New Ownership Group Announced For Denver Dynamite

The Denver Dynamite of the Professional Arena Soccer League made a number of announcements Saturday, highlighted by news of a new ownership group.

Joe SaPereira and Mac Howell, who served as co-owners of the franchise, have joined with Chuck Estrada to form Rocky Mountain Arsenal, LLC. Howell will continue serving as the team's media relations director and Estrada retains his duties as technical director and goalkeeping coach.

The Dynamite finished 9-7 in the PASL's first season and advanced to the playoffs, where they lost, 10-9, to Tigres Dorados MRCI Oaxaca in the quarterfinals of the North American Championships.

In other team news...

- John Wells, who served last season as the head coach of the intrastate rival Colorado Lightning, will hold the same position with the Dynamite.

- The Dynamite released a new logo that features Colorado's colors of red, yellow and blue.

- Assistant coach Jeremy Gibe will not return to the Dynamite, choosing to serve his country in Iraq as a military contractor.

- The Dynamite will have a new Premier Arena Soccer League affiliation with the Highlands Ranch Heat, who debuted in their summer league. The Heat will play in the winter and summer seasons. Also, the Dynamite Reserves in the Premier league will be renamed Rocky Mountain Arsenal.

- Home games for the 2009-10 season, scattered around many sites last season, will all take place at the Bladium Sports Club.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Rapids Lose Midfielders Peterson, Smith For Rest Of Season

Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids announced Friday midfielders Jacob Peterson and Jamie Smith will miss the remainder of the 2009 season.

Peterson torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during Wednesday's 1-1 draw against the San Jose Earthquakes and will undergo surgery next week.

He started 12 of 23 games, played 1,131 minutes and had two goals and two assists this season.

Smith recently completed posterior lateral stabilization surgery after injuring his left knee August 30 in the first half against the Houston Dynamo and is now undergoing rehabilitation.

He started three of four games for the Rapids, played 216 minutes, and had an assist August 23 against the Chicago Fire.

USA Women Remain #1 In Third Quarterly FIFA Women's Soccer Poll

The US Women's National Team remains the best team in the world after the third quarter FIFA Women's Soccer World Rankings were released Friday.

There was little movement among teams in the top 10 from the previous poll.

Germany rose to second, Brazil dropped to third and Sweden and North Korea remain fourth and fifth, respectively. In the bottom five, Japan climbed a spot to sixth, Norway improved three places to seventh, England went up one to eighth, Denmark dropped three spots to ninth, and France rounds out the list, falling two places.

The final 2009 women's world soccer poll will be released December 18.

Ching To Stay With Dynamo Through 2013

Despite already having a year left on his current contract, Houston Dynamo forward Brian Ching Friday signed a four-year contract extension, keeping him with the 2006 and 2007 Major League Soccer champions through 2013.

Ching, who scored four goals in a 5-2 win over the Colorado Rapids at Robertson Stadium in the team's first game April 2, 2006 after relocating from San Jose, CA, where they were the original San Jose Earthquakes, leads the Dynamo with eight goals in 18 games this season and nine in all other competitions.

He has scored 49 goals in 115 career games, 102 of which he started, a team record, as well as five playoff goals in seven matches, including the game-tying and game-winning penalty kick shootout goal in their 2006 MLS Cup victory over the New England Revolution. He was also named the 2006 MLS Cup Most Valuable Player.

Ching has been named to three MLS All-Star teams and played on both league championship teams.

He also has made 32 appearances for the US Men's National Team, scoring eight goals and four assists overall, and was on the 2006 FIFA World Cup team.

Lower Seeds Win Opening Leg Games In USL1 Playoffs

The lower-seeded teams in the quartefinal brackets of the United Soccer Leagues First Division playoffs took first leg victories Thursday in the two-leg, aggregate-goal quarterfinal matchups.

At Swangard Stadium, the defending league champion Vancouver Whitecaps got a 77th minute pass from Marlon James to Randy Edwin-Bonsu for the game's only goal as the seventh-seeded team shut out the second-seeded Carolina RailHawks.

Game two moves to WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC Sunday.

Kenney Bertz and John Ball had goals for the sixth-seeded Rochester Rhinos in a 2-1 victory over the third-seeded Puerto Rico Islanders Thursday at Marina Auto Stadium in Rochester, NY.

Bertz scored in the 64th minute off a Tim Velten assist; Nano Short took part in Ball's goal.

Nicholas Addlery gave the Islanders an unassisted goal in the 72nd minute.

Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium in Bayamon, PR will host Sunday's second game.

Finally, David Testo had a 10th minute goal off a Joey Gjertsen pass and Rocco Placentino fired off the insurance goal in the 88th minute off Eduardo Sebrango as the host and fifth seed Montreal Impact shut out the fourth-seeded Charleston Battery at Saputo Stadium.

The scene shifts Sunday to Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, SC.

DC United Outlasts Marathon In Group B Pool Play

Luciano Emilio had a pair of second-half scores and Jaime Moreno added another as Major League Soccer's DC United kept alive a chance to move into the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League with a 3-0 rout of Marathon of Honduras at RFK Stadium Thursday in the fourth round of Group B pool play.

Both teams are now 2-2-0 with six points and in second place in the four-team group, six points behind Mexico's Toluca, who are undefeated in four games and have 12 points.

Should United and Marathon finish in a tie for second place, as the top two teams from each of the four pool groups qualify for the knockout phase, DC would gain the second place berth, based on a current +1 goal differential.

DC will next host Trinidad & Tobago's San Juan Jabloteh September 30 and Marathon attempts to end Toluca's unbeaten string October 1.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Parent Beats Kid In Inaugural ChivaClasico

Omar Arellano's shots hit the back of the net twice as Mexico's Chivas de Guadalajara defeated their sister American soccer franchise, Chivas USA of Major League Soccer, 2-0, in the inaugural version of the ChivaClasico event at the Rose Bowl Wednesday in Pasadena, CA.

Chivas USA returns to MLS play Saturday when they host the New York Red Bulls at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

Thornton Wins Week 27 MLS Save Of The Week Vote

Zach Thornton of Chivas USA was selected by Major League Soccer fans as the winner Thursday of the Save of the Week contest for Week 27 of the 2009 season.

Thornton beat out Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), Jon Busch (Chicago Fire), Joe Cannon (San Jose Earthquakes), Kevin Hartman (Kansas City Wizards) and Donovan Ricketts (Los Angeles Galaxy) in the online voting at www.mlsnet.com.

MLS Announces 2010 Season Home Openers

Major League Soccer Thursday announced the 2010 season home openers for 15 of their 16 franchises, including the expansion Philadelphia Union.

The league said the home opener for Toronto FC will be announced after more is learned about the progress of the franchise getting a new grass field installed to replace a turf field at BMO Field.

As reported yesterday, the Union will open their inaugural season, as well as the league's season, March 25 when they play in the 2010 First Kick presented by Dick's Sporting Goods Park against the Seattle Sounders at Qwest Field. The game will air on ESPN2 at 9:30 p.m. Eastern time.

Philadelphia's first home game will be April 10 at Lincoln Financial Field against DC United and will air at 3 p.m. on Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports en Espanol. The Union were to open a new stadium in Chester, PA in time for the upcoming season, but construction delays have forced the new team to sign a multi-year deal with Lincoln Financial Field and their main tenant, the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles, to play temporarily there.

The 2010 regular season will run from March 25 through October 24, but, for the first time in league history, will take a break during the group phase of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

The last MLS game played before the World Cup starts will take place June 10 and, as the rest of the league schedule is being created, no MLS games will be played during the semifinals or the championship game on the event.

Here is the schedule for the first three weeks of the 2010 MLS season, along with game times and networks carrying the games (all times Eastern):

WEEK 1
March 25, 2010
First Kick presented by Dick's Sporting Goods Park
Philadelphia Union @ Seattle Sounders, 9:30 - ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN360.com

March 27, 2010
Toronto FC @ Columbus Crew, 4 p.m.
Chicago Fire @ New York Red Bulls, 7 p.m. - ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN360.com
DC United @ Kansas City Wizards, 8:30 p.m.
Houston Dynamo @ FC Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
Real Salt Lake @ San Jose Earthquakes, 9 p.m.
New England Revolution @ Los Angeles Galaxy, 11 p.m.- Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Sports en Espanol

March 28, 2010
Colorado Rapids @ Chivas USA, TBA - TeleFutura

WEEK 2
April 3, 2010
Chicago Fire @ Colorado Rapids, TBA
New England Revolution @ DC United, 7:30 p.m.
Kansas City Wizards @ Houston Dynamo, 8:30 p.m.

WEEK 3
April 10, 2010
DC United @ Philadelphia Union, 3 p.m. - Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Sports en Espanol
Toronto FC @ New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m.
San Jose Earthquakes @ Chicago Fire, 8:30 p.m.
Seattle Sounders FC @ Real Salt Lake, 9 p.m.

Quakes, Rapids Play To Another Draw

For the second time in five days, a goal in second-half stoppage time by Conor Casey caused the Colorado Rapids, this time the host, playing the San Jose Earthquakes to a 1-1 draw Wednesday in Major League Soccer play at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO.

Casey scored in the 93rd minute after San Jose's Chris Wondolowski fired a 67th minute penalty kick for the initial lead.

The Rapids are now 10-8-8 with 38 points and are in a tie for third place in the Western Conference standings with the Seattle Sounders (9-6-11). Colorado next faces the Kansas City Wizards on the road this Saturday.

San Jose, with the worst record in MLS at 5-12-7 with 22 points, will be at DC United Sunday.

Crew Blanked Again By Cruz Azul In CCL Pool Play

Pablo Zeballos and Alejandro Vela scored goals as Mexico's Cruz Azul again shut out the defending Major League Soccer champion Columbus Crew, 2-0, Wednesday in the fourth game of Group C pool play in the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League at Crew Stadium.

Cruz Azul, who beat the Crew in Mexico, 5-0, August 26, became the first team to clinch one of eight berths in the knockout round of the competition with the victory on the road Wednesday. They are 3-0-1 with 10 points and will likely win Group C. Their next opponent will be the Puerto Rico Islanders of the USL First Division in Mexico September 29.

Columbus is 2-2-0 with six points and can clinch the second place berth from the group if they beat Saprissa of Costa Rica in Round 5 of pool play September 29.

PDL's Pumas Shutout USL1's Timbers In Friendly

Alex Megson scored the game's lone goal in the 12th minute Wednesday as the Kitsap Pumas of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League defeated the USL First Division Commissioner's Cup champion Portland Timbers, 1-0, in an exhibition game at PGE Park.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

PASL's Fire Goes Out For 2009, Coming Back In 2010

The Wenatchee (WA) Fire will not play in the 2009 season of the Professional Arena Soccer league and will return in 2010, according to Wednesday's Wenatchee World.

The team played its first four home games with the new league at the Town Toyota Center before a financial dispute with arena management forced them to relocate to the Sportsplex for the rest of the season.

The Fire also have a similarly-named franchise in the developmental Premier Arena Soccer League, which will remain active.

Sounders Part-Owner Joins USA World Cup Bid Committee

Actor, comedian and host of The Price Is Right Drew Carey is the latest celebrity name added to the USA World Cup Bid Committee, a group hoping to get America to once again host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022, according to The Seattle Times.

Carey is also part-owner of the Seattle Sounders of Major League Soccer.

FIFA is expected to announced the host countries for the '18 and '22 events in December 2010.

Kitsap Sun: Pumas Down To Six For Head Coaching Vacancy

The Kitsap Pumas, who played their expansion season in the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League this season, have narrowed their list of candidates to become the team's new head coach to six, according to Wednesday's Kitsap Sun.

Three of the names being considered are current Grenada head coach Tommy Taylor, former head coach of the PDL's Des Moines Menace Casey Mann, and former Seattle University head coach Peter Fewing.

Taylor brought the Grenada team to the US in July to compete in the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Mann, the 2009 PDL Coach of the Year, did not have his contract renewed and led the Menace to the league's 2005 championship. He has a career record of 48-19-13.

Fewing was with Seattle University from 1998-2006 and led the team to two national titles.

USL1 Crowns Statistical Awards Winners

The United Soccer Leagues First Division announced the winners Wednesday of its four statistical awards for the 2009 season.

Mandjou Keita of the regular season champion Portland Timbers won the Scoring Champion with 29 points on 11 goals and seven assists. He finished in second place for both the Goal Scoring and Assist titles and would've been the third player in league history to win all three major awards in the same season. Jean Harbor (1991) and Peter Hattrup (1994) were the other players to pull off the feat.

Charles Gbeke won his first Goal Scoring Championship in his seven-year career when he scored his 12th goal of the season for the defending champion Vancouver Whitecaps in their final game of the regular season. It is the second time in three years he has finished a season in double digits in goals scored.

Ricardo Sanchez of the Minnesota Thunder and Wes Knight of the Whitecaps share the Assist Leader award after tying with eight each.

Finally, Dusty Hadock won the league's Goals Against Average award with a 0.279 average in a minimum 1,200 minutes played, allowing five goals this season. It is the third time he has won this award.

MLS Announces Road, Home Opener For Philadelphia Union

Major League Soccer announced Wednesday its newest franchise, the Philadelphia Union, will make their debut as an expansion franhicse on the road March 25, 2010 at Qwest Field against the Seattle Sounders and their home debut April 10, 2010 against DC United at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Union also announced the team and the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles reached a multi-year agreement allowing the expansion team to play home games at Lincoln Financial Field while work continues on a new soccer-specific stadium in Chester, PA.

The league had planned to release home and road opening dates for all teams for the 2010 season Wednesday.

DC United To Play Marathon Without Namoff

Major League Soccer's DC United announced Tuesday defender Bryan Namoff will not play in Thursday's game against Marathon of Honduras in fourth round Group B pool play Thursday in the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC.

Namoff has been suffering from severe headaches after receiving a blow to the head in an MLS match two weeks ago against the Kansas City Wizards.

He leads the team in minutes played at 2,326 and is tied for second in assists with four.

Beat, Independence Select International Players In WPS Draft

The expansion Atlanta Beat and Philadelphia Independence continued their march toward completing their player rosters for their 2010 debut seasons in Women's Professional Soccer by selecting the rights to five players each in the league's second International Draft Tuesday.

The draft does not reflect any intent or commitment on a selected player's behalf to sign with either WPS expansion franchise or that any offer has been made to any player. It is simply the start of a process that could lead to signing a contract with a league franchise, but not necessarily the team that drafted them.

Here are the selections of each team:

PHILADELPHIA INDEPENDENCE
1. Caroline Seger - M - Sweden
3. Charlotte Rohlin - D - Sweden
5. Hollmfriidur Magnuisdoittir - M - Iceland
7. Fara Williams - M - England
9. Lianne Sanderson - F - England

ATLANTA BEAT
2. Ramona Bachmann - F - Switzerland
4. Johanna Rasmussen - F - Denmark
6. Mami Yamaguchi - M - Japan
8. Maurine Dorneles Goncalves - M - Brazil
10. Therese Sjorgran - M - Sweden

Waston Header Knocks Islanders Out Of CCL

With a 93rd minute header from Kendall Waston creating an eventual 1-1 draw, Saprissa of Costa Rica mathematically eliminated the Puerto Rico Islanders of the United Soccer Leagues First Division from further Group C play in the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League after Tuesday's game at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium in Bayamon, PR.

Puerto Rico had the lead in the 72nd minute as Nicholas Addlery and Fabrice Noel teamed to feed a pass to Josh Hansen for a goal before Saprissa's game-tying shot.

The Islanders, who travel to Rochester, NY Thursday to play the Rochester Rhinos in the first game of a two-game aggregate-goal quarterfinal series in the USL1 playoffs, are 0-2-2 with two points and have no chance of advancing to the knockout stage of the CCL after reaching the tournament semifinals last season.

They will next face Cruz Azul of Mexico (2-1-0, six points) on the road next Tuesday.

Saprissa is 1-2-1 with four points and in third place in the group and will take on Major League Soccer's defending champion Columbus Crew, who leads the group at 2-0-1 and seven points, at Crew Stadium next Tuesday.

Holden Double Leads Dynamo Over Aribe Unido

Stuart Holden scored goals in the 74th and 92nd minutes Tuesday as Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo defeated Panama's Arabe Unido, 5-1, in the fourth round of Group A pool play in the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League at Robertson Stadium.

Corey Ashe assisted on a strike by Cam Weaver in the 49th minute and had an unassisted goal in the 69th minute for the Dynamo.

Eddie Robinson had Houston's first point of the game in the 12th minute on an unassisted goal.

Orlando Rodriguez was fed a pass by Alejandro Velez in the 69th minute for Arabe Unido's only goal.

Both teams are tied for second place in the four-team group at 2-1-1 with seven points, two points behind leader Pachuca of Mexico (3-1-0, 9), but should both teams be tied at the end of the six rounds of pool play, Houston would have the tiebreaking advantage, based on goal differential.

Houston will next host Pachuca next Wednesday in Round 5 play.

Arabe, who lost their first game in the tournament, will host Metapan of El Salvador (0-4-0) next Tuesday night.

Metapan has already been eliminated from the event.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

MLS Issues Additional Fines, Suspensions To Saragosa, Spencer, Yallop

Major League Soccer's Disciplinary Committee Tuesday issued additional fines and suspensions on Chivas USA midfielder Marcelo Saragosa, Houston Dynamo assistant coach John Spencer and San Jose Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop for recent incidents.

Saragosa received a red card for dangerous play against Seattle's Fredy Montero in Saturday's game.

Spencer was ejected from their game Saturday against Real Salt Lake and failed to leave the field in a timely manner.

Both Saragosa and Spencer received automatic one-game suspensions and $500 fines for their discretions, but now Saragosa is out a second game and fined another $500 and Spencer was suspended for a second game and fined an additional $1,000.

Saragosa will miss Chivas games against the New York Red Bulls Saturday and next Saturday's contest versus DC United.

Spencer will miss next Saturday's contest against the Kansas City Wizards and October 18 against the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Yallop was fined $750 for confronting league officials after the Earthquakes' game against the Colorado Rapids Friday.

City Stars Announce End Of Season Awards

The Cleveland City Stars of United Soccer Leagues First Division held their 2009 end-of-season banquet Monday and announced their award winners for the season.

Defender Troy Roberts - Player of the Year (voted by team), Most Valuable Player (voted by coaching staff)

Goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap - Community Service Award

Director of stadium operations Kevin Carpenter - Front Office Employee Of The Year

Stadium manager Terry Lawriw - Outstanding Service Award

Volunteer coordinator Joan Ibbett - Volunteer Of the Year

Portland's Josten Named Last USL1 POW For 2009 Season

Portland Timbers forward George Josten, who scored both his team's goals in a 2-1 win over the Cleveland City Stars last Thursday, was named the final United Soccer Leagues First Division Player of the Week for the 2009 season.

Here are the other members of the final 2009 USL1 Team of the Week:

USL1 TEAM OF THE WEEK

GOALKEEPER
Keith Wiggans, Charleston Battery
Had three saves in scoreless draws at Rochester Rhinos

DEFENDERS
Greg Shields, Carolina RailHawks
Led team to 2-0 win over Montreal Impact

Kenney Bertz, Rochester Rhinos
Led team in scoreless draw against Charleston Battery

Matt Bobo, Charleston Battery
Led team in scoreless draw at Rochester Rhinos

MIDFIELDERS
Jonathan Steele, Puerto Rico Islanders
Scored goal in 3-1 win at Miami FC Blues

Tsuyoshi Yoshitake, Charleston Battery
Scored goal, assisted on another in 3-2 win at Minnesota Thunder

Gordon Chin, Vancouver Whitecaps
Led team in 2-1 win over Cleveland City Stars

Ricardo Sanchez, Minnesota Thunder
Scored goal in 3-2 loss to Charleston Battery

FORWARDS
Teteh Bangura, Cleveland City Stars
Scored goal in 2-1 loss at Vancouver Whitecaps

Nicholas Addlery, Puerto Rico Islanders
Scored goal, assisted on another in 3-1 win at Miami FC Blues

The Winner Of Major League Soccer's Week 27 Save Of The Week Award Will...

...not be Toronto FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei, who has won the fan-voted award the last three weeks and four times this season.

The ballot was announced Tuesday for the weekly award and fans can see each nominee's top performance and vote for the winner through 2 p.m. Eastern time Thursday at www.mlsnet.com.

Three former winners are among the six names on the ballot -- Kevin Hartman of the Kansas City Wizards (Week 11), Donovan Ricketts of the Los Angeles Galaxy (Weeks 14 & 18) and Nick Rimando (Week 19).

The other nominees are Jon Busch of the Chicago Fire, Zach Thornton of Chivas USA and Joe Cannon of the San Jose Earthquakes.

Monday, September 21, 2009

USL1's Aztex Making First Trip To England In October

The Austin Aztex, who finished with the second-worst record in the United Soccer Leagues First Division at 5-17-8 and 21 points, announced Monday they will make their first-ever trip to England in October.

The Aztex will play two exhibition games against English Premier League teams during the trip -- October 14 against their affiliate team Stoke City and October 20 against Burnley.

RSL To Face BYU Cougars In Annual Exhibition Game October 2

Major League Soccer's Real Salt Lake announced Monday they will travel to Provo, UT October 2 to face the BYU Cougars in their annual exhibition game.

BYU, a member of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League's Southwest Division, finished the 2009 season with a 7-5-4 record and 25 points, but failed to gain one of the division's three playoff spots.

USL1 Announces Quarterfinal Playoff Pairings

The United Soccer Leagues First Division announced the matchups for the quarterfinal round of their 2009 playoffs Monday.

This season, all rounds of the playoffs, including the championship game, will be played in two-game, aggregate-goal series.

The 2009 Commissioner's Cup champion Portland Timbers, who finished with the league's best record, receive a bye to the semifinal round October 1 and 4 and will face the lowest remaining seed from the quarterfinals.

Here are the quarterfinal matchups, set for Thursday and Sunday:

#2 Carolina RailHawks vs. #7 Vancouver Whitecaps
@ Vancouver Thursday, @ Carolina Sunday

#3 Puerto Rico Islanders vs. #6 Rochester Rhinos
@Rochester Thursday, @Puerto Rico Sunday

#4 Charleston Battery vs. #5 Montreal Impact
@Montreal Thursday, @ Charleston Sunday

1790 Cincinnati Revamps Name, Logo, Colors, Website

1790 Cincinnati of the Professional Arena Soccer League announced a complete revamping of the franchise Monday, starting with a name change to 1790 Cincinnati Express.

The 1790 in the name refers to the year the city was founded; Express serves as a tribute to the Union Terminal train station, located on the city's southwest side, which was a major hub of the railroad industry.

The team also announced new colors of sky blue, black, gray and white and a new logo featuring a passenger train going across the team crest.

The Express also launched a new website -- www.1790cincinnatiexpress.com -- and will also launch accounts on social networking sites Facebook and Twitter.

Week 27's MLS GOW Nominees Announced

Major League Soccer Monday announced the ballot of nominees for the Goal of the Week award for Week 27 of the 2009 season, voted on by fans at www.mlsnet.com.

Sainey Nyassi, New England Revolution
Had an unassisted goal in 13th minute of 1-1 draw to New York Red Bulls Friday

Brad Davis, Houston Dynamo
Scored game-winning goal in 81st minute of 3-2 win over Real Salt Lake Saturday off a Geoff Cameron assist

Yura Movsisyan, Real Salt Lake
Scored game-tying goal off Pablo Campos in 60th minute of 3-2 loss to Houston Dynamo Saturday

Edson Buddle, Los Angeles Galaxy
Scored insurance goal in 83rd minute off Landon Donovan and David Beckham assists in 2-0 win over Toronto FC

Josh Wolff, Kansas City Wizards
Scored goal in 77th minute of 3-2 win over FC Dallas Saturday off assists from Zoltan Hercegfalvi and Claudio Lopez

Dax McCarty, FC Dallas
Scored unassisted goal in 44th minute of 3-2 loss to Kansas City Wizards Saturday

Peter Lowry, Chicago Fire
Scored both his team's goals in sixth and 35th minute of 2-2 draw with the Columbus Crew

Voting for the weekly award runs through 2 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday.

Dynamo's Davis Named MLS POW Winner

Houston Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis was named Monday Major League Soccer's Player of the Week for Week 27 of the 2009 season after scoring the game-winning goal and assisting on two others in their 3-2 victory over Real Salt Lake Saturday at Robertson Stadium.

Davis has five goals and 10 assists this season for Houston, coming close to career-best marks of six (in 2003 with the Dallas Burn, now called FC Dallas) and 11 (2006 with the Dynamo), respectively.

Yoshitake Charge For Battery Ends USL1 Regular Season

Tsuyoshi Yoshitake assisted on Dan Antoniuk's 79th minute game-winning goal and scored with help from Jamie Franks in the the 26th minute as the Charleston Battery defeated the Minnesota Thunder, 3-2, Sunday in the final game of the 2009 United Soccer Leagues First Division regular season at the National Sports Center in Blaine, MN.

Darren Spicer gave Charleston the opening lead in the 17th minute off a Nelson Akwari pass.

Melvin Tarley had an unassisted goal in the 28th minute for Minnesota and Marco Terminesi assisted on a 35th minute strike from Ricardo Sanchez.

The Battery ended the regular season 14-5-11 with 53 points, tied for third place in the standings with the Puerto Rico Islanders (15-7-8), but the league will announce playoff matchups Monday.

Minnesota ended their season in eighth place at 7-13-10 with 31 points.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Top Two In The East Play To 2-2 Draw In Chicago

Two teams, two players, two goals each, nothing settled.

That's the easiest way to sum up Sunday's game at Toyota Park between the top two teams in Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference as the defending conference and league champion Columbus and the second-place Chicago Fire played to a 2-2 draw.

Peter Lowry was assisted by Brian McBride and Brandon Prideaux on a sixth minute score for Chicago, then hit an unassisted shot in the 35th minute for the eventual 2-0 halftime lead.

In the second half, it was all Guillermo Barros Schelotto for the Crew as Robbie Rogers contributed to a 55th minute goal, then Schelotto scored on a penalty kick in the 78th minute for the game-tying goal.

Columbus is now 11-4-10 with 43 points and remains atop the conference table. The Crew host Mexico's Cruz Azul Wednesday in the fourth round of pool play in the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League tournament, then return to MLS play Saturday when they host the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Chicago remains in second in the standings at 10-6-10 with 40 points and hosts Toronto FC this Saturday.

Islanders End Season Giving Miami The Blues

Nicholas Addlery scored in the first minute of the game on a Cristian Arrieta assist, then assisted Jonathan Addlery 25 minutes later on a goal as the Puerto Rico Islanders concluded their 2009 United Soccer Leagues First Division season Saturday with a 3-1 win over the Miami FC Blues at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

John Hansen had a goal in the 60th minute for Puerto Rico, who will be the third seed in next week's USL1 playoffs as they finished the season with a 15-7-8 record and 53 points.

Miami, who earned their only goal when Puerto Rico's Dan Grogan deflected a shot into their net in the 73rd minute, ended their season at 8-17-5 with 29 points.

Beckham Leads Galaxy Over Toronto FC, In Second Place In Western Standings

David Beckham had a game-winning goal off Chris Birchall in the ninth minute of play, then teamed with Landon Donovan on Edson Buddle's insurance goal in the 83rd minute as the Los Angeles Galaxy moved into second place in Major League Soccer's Western Conference with a 2-0 victory Saturday against Toronto FC at The Home Depot Center.

The Galaxy are 10-5-11 with 41 points and trail the conference-leading Houston Dynamo (12-8-7, 43) by two points and could take over the lead next Saturday, if they defeat the defending MLS champion Columbus Crew next Saturday at Crew Stadium.

Houston will be off from MLS play until October 4, but will play two pool play games in the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League tournament until then.

Toronto FC is 9-10-7 with 34 points and is tied with the New England Revolution (9-8-7) for fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings. They will be at Toyota Park next Saturday to face the Chicago Fire.

Conrad Nets Game-Winner For Wizards Over FC Dallas

Jimmy Conrad's unassisted goal in the 80th minute gave the Kansas City Wizards their first Major League Soccer win at CommunityAmerica Ballpark since June 13 and their third win in the last four games as they edged FC Dallas, 3-2, Saturday.

In their last home win, Kansas City beat the New England Revolution, 3-1.

Claudio Lopez assisted on two goals for Kansas City -- a ninth minute shot by Santiago Hirsig and teamed with Zoltan Hercegfalvit on Josh Wolff's 77th minute strike.

Dax McCarty had an unassisted point for Dallas in the 44th minute and David Ferreira assisted Jeff Cunnigham on a 54th minute goal.

The Wizards are 8-11-6 with 30 points and in sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings. They will host the Colorado Rapids next Saturday.

FC Dallas is 7-12-6 with 27 points and in seventh place in the Western Conference standings. They face Real Salt Lake at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX next Saturday.

Davis Leads Dynamo Over Real Salt Lake

Brad Davis made the Houston Dynamo the seventh team in Major League Soccer history to take a 2-0 lead in the first five minutes of a game as the Western Conference leaders got by Real Salt Lake, 3-2, Saturday at Robertson Stadium in Houston.

Davis assisted on Brian Ching's goal 70 seconds into the contest, then helped Geoff Cameron with his strike in the fifth minute, before scoring the game-winning goal off a Cameron assist in the 81st minute as Houston improved to 12-8-7 with 43 points.

Kyle Beckerman and Yura Movsisyan had goals for Real Salt Lake, once a potential playoff team, now dangerously close to being out of the running, at 9-10-7 with 34 points and in sixth place in the Western standings.

Houston will be off from league play until October 4 when they host the Kansas City Wizards. The Dynamo will host Arabe Unido of Panama Tuesday and Mexico's Pachuca September 30 in the next two rounds of Group A pool play in the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League.

Real Salt Lake, meanwhile, is at FC Dallas next Saturday.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Menyongar Voted Rhinos MVP Again By Teammates

Rochester Rhinos forward Johnny Menyongar was named the team's most valuable player by a vote of his teammates for the second season in a row Friday, according to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.

Menyongar recently tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in last Sunday's scoreless draw at the Miami FC Blues and will miss the team's run in the upcoming USL1 playoffs.

The award was announced Friday before the Rhinos played to a scoreless draw to the Charleston Battery in the regular season home finale at Marina Auto Stadium.

Menyongar had a career-high 11 goals this season, six more than his previous single season high. He now joins Doug Miller (twice) and Craig Demmin (four) as multiple-time MVP selections.

In other team awards announced Friday...

- Midfielder Tiger Fitzpatrick was named the Community Service Award winner for the second straight season.

- Player/assistant coach Brent Sancho was named the Leadership/Dedication Award winner.

- Midfielder/defender Nano Short was named Rookie of the Year.

- Defender John Ball won the Coaches Performance Award.

MLS Champs Welcome Schoeni Back

The defending Major League Soccer champion Columbus Crew announced the return Friday of goalkeeper Kenny Schoeni to the roster for his third stint.

He trained with the team in 2007 and started two games in the former Reserve Division, then was placed in the league's goalkeeper pool, providing help for teams with an emergency need for a goalkeeper.

Last season, he started four of five games in the Reserve Division, posting a 0.80 goals against average, but was never used as a third-string goalkeeper on the roster during their 2008 MLS Cup championship run.

After being cut April 2, Schoeni signed with Miami FC Blues of the United Soccer Leagues First Division, where he had a 1-4-2 and a 1.57 goals against average in seven games.

Schoeni was the Big West Conference Goalkeeper of the Year in 2006 after transferring to Cal-Irvine when Vanderbilt discontinued their men's soccer program after being there three seasons.

Defendinc Champs Are Seventh Seed In USL1 Playoffs

The defending United Soccer Leagues First Division champion Vancouver Whitecaps will defend their crown starting as the seventh seed in the league playoffs, beginning Thursday, after edging the Cleveland City Stars, 2-1, Friday at Swangard Stadium.

The Whitecaps end their season 11-10-9 with 42 points, while the City Stars had a disappointing debut season in the league after coming over this season as the 2008 champion in USL Second Division. Cleveland finished 4-18-7 with 19 points, the worst record in the league.

RailHawks End Season With Second Seed In Playoffs

Daniel Paladini had a penalty kick in the 59th minute and newcomer Matthew Delicate contributed on Brian Plotkin's 90th minute goal as the Carolina RailHawks clinched the second seed in the upcoming United Soccer Leagues First Division playoffs with a 2-0 victory over the Montreal Impact Friday at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC.

The RailHawks finished their season 16-7-7 with 55 points.

The Impact ended their season with a 12-11-7 record with 43 points and are tied at the moment with the Rochester Rhinos (11-9-10) for fifth place in the league standings. Rochester played to a scoreless draw with the Charleston Battery Friday at Marina Auto Stadium in Rochester, NY.

1-1 Draws Theme For Friday Night In MLS

Draw were the theme of the night Friday in Major League Soccer play as both scheduled games ended in 1-1 scores.

On the East Coast, John Wolyniec's 69th minute goal off Dane Richards and Macoumba Kandji allowed the host New York Red Bulls to knot the score with the New England Revolution at Giants Stadium.

Sainey Nyassi scored New England's goal unassisted in the 13th minute.

The Revolution are 9-8-7 with 34 points and tied for fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings with Toronto FC (9-9-7). They next travel to Pizza Hut Park to face FC Dallas September 30.

The Red Bulls have the worst record in the conference and the league at 4-17-5 with 17 points. They will take on Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center next Saturday.

Meanwhile, on the West Coast, Conor Casey scored his league-leading 18th goal in 14 games on a 93rd minute penalty kick to force a 1-1 draw between his Colorado Rapids and the host San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium in the first of a two-game series.

Ryan Johnson had San Jose's goal in the eighth minute off Brandon McDonald.

The Rockies are 10-9-7 with 37 points and are now in sole possession of fourth place in the Western Conference standings.

San Jose is in last place in the conference at 5-12-6 with 21 points.

Both teams play again Wednesday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Timbers Announce Date For Semifinal Home Playoff Game

The United Soccer Leagues First Division regular season champion Portland Timbers announced Friday they will host a home game in the semifinal round of the league playoffs October 4 at 4 p.m. Pacific time from PGE Park.

By winning the Commissioner's Cup for winning the regular season title, the Timbers earned a bye into the semifinal round of the playoffs, which begin next Thursday.

This season, all rounds of the playoffs, including the USL1 Championship Game, will be played as two-game, aggregate-goal series.

The Timbers will face the lowest remaining seed after the first round of play in the semifinals.

Depcrynski Announces Retirement From Kickers

Tim Depcrynski, who has served as president of the 2009 United Soccer Leagues Second Division champion Richmond Kickers since 1998, announced his retirement from the organization Friday, effective September 30.

He began with the franchise as their vice president and general manager in August 1997, then became team president the next year.

Deprcrynski also served six seasons on the USL First Division Executive Committee and was re-elected to serve on the USL2 Executive Committee this season.

During his tenure with the Kickers, the team won five USL1 and two USL2 championships, including this season's, was a three-time USL Organization of the Year winner (2000, 2006, 2007), won the 1998 USL1 Progress Award and won the USL 10+ Club Award in 1998 for being with the league for over 10 years.

Josten Leads Timbers In Regular Season Home Finale Win

George Josten was assisted by Johan Claesson (6') and Mandjou Keita (55') on goals as the 2009 United Soccer Leagues First Division Commissioner's Cup champion Portland Timbers ended their regular season Thursday at PGE Park with a 2-1 victory over the last-place Cleveland City Stars.

The Timbers concluded the season with a 16-4-10 record and 58 points and has a bye until the semifinal round of the USL1 playoffs.

Ryan Stewart scored the lone City Stars' goal unassisted in the 63rd minute. Cleveland has the league's worst record at 4-18-7 with 19 points and plays the defending league champion Vancouver Whitecaps Friday on the road in their season finale.

Frei Wins Third Straight, Fourth Overall MLS SOW Award

For the third straight week and fourth time since the award debuted in Week 10 of the 2009 season, Toronto FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei was selected by fans as the winner Thursday of the Week 26 Major League Soccer Save of the Week award.

Frei first won the award, voted on by MLS fans at www.mlsnet.com, in Week 15 of the season.

He beat out Julien Baudet (Colorado Rapids), Donovan Ricketts (Los Angeles Galaxy), Jon Busch (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake) and Kasey Keller (Seattle Sounders) on this past week's ballot.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

PDL's Highlanders Defeat USL1's Aztex In Exhibition

The Victoria Highlanders, an expansion team this past season in the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League, got penalty kick strikes from Pele (22') and Patrick Gawrys (62') as they defeated the Austin Aztex of the USL First Division, 2-0, Tuesday in an exhibition game at Bear Mountain Stadium in Langford, British Columbia.

Toronto's White Takes MLS GOW Award

Assisted by teammates Dwayne De Rosario and Sam Cronin, O'Brian White scored for Toronto FC in the 71st minute of a 3-2 win Saturday over the Colorado Rapids and was voted by fans the winner of Major League Soccer's Goal of the Week competition Wednesday at www.mlsnet.com.

White beat out De Rosario, FC Dallas teammates Jeff Cunninghan and Atiba Harris, Jamison Olave of Real Salt lake, Chris Rolfe of the Chicago Fire and Fredy Montero of the Seattle Sounders in the balloting.

Pachuca Shuts Out Dynamo In Mexico

Edgar Benitez and Paul Nicholas Aguilar scored goals as Mexico's Pachuca shut out the Houston Dynamo of Major League Soccer, 2-0, Wednesday in the third round of Group A pool play at the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League.

Pachuca is 2-1-0 with six points, is second in the group behind Panama's Arabe Unido, who the Dynamo next face Sept 22, and travels to El Savador's Metapan the same day.

Houston is in third place at 1-1-1 with four points.

Gaven Strike Gives Crew Win Over Saprissa

Eddie Gaven fired off the only goal of the game in the fifth minute as Major League Soccer's defending champion Columbus Crew shut out Costa Rica's Saprissa, 1-0, on the road Wednesday in the third round of Group C pool play at the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League.

The Crew are 2-1-0 with six points, one point behind Mexico's Cruz Azul for the lead in the group standings with both teams set to meet in fourth round play at Crew Stadium September 22.

Saprissa, 1-2-4 with four points and in third place, travels to the Puerto Rico Islanders of the United Soccer Leagues First Division on the same day.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

FC Dallas Signs First Juniors Player To Pro Roster

Major League Soccer's FC Dallas announced the signing of Chihuahua, Mexico native midfielder Bryan Leyva to the senior roster from the club's Junior program, their first such signing.

Leyva, whose family came to the US in 2000, led the Juniors to a second-place finish in the 2009 MLS/Soccer United Marketing U-17 Cup tournament.

Kickers Give Team Awards To Burke, William

The new United Soccer Leagues Second Division Champion Richmond Kickers announced Wednesday midfielder Mike Burke has won the team's Supporters Choice Most Valuable Player award for the fifth straight season and defender Yomby William won the Player's Choice MVP award.

Burke was third on the team in scoring this season with 13 points and had seven assists to become the team's all-time assist leader with 55. He was also named to the USL2 All-League First Team.

William, the USL2 Defender of the Year and also a USL2 All-League First Team selection, was a seven-time pick for the USL2 Team of the Week weekly competition, most of any Kickers player this season. He led the Kickers in allowing the fewest goals this season at 18.

Indoor Soccer Returns To Canton, OH With Ohio Vortex

For the first time in 14 years, indoor soccer will return to Canton, OH's Civic Center as the Professional Arena Soccer League Wednesday announced the Ohio Vortex will become the league's third expansion team in the 2009-10 season.

The Civic Center was the former home to the Canton Invaders of the American Indoor Soccer Association and National Professional Soccer League from 1984-1995. The franchise won six league championships between 1984 and 1990.

The Vortex will join the Eastern Conference with 1790 Cincinnati, the Detroit Waza Flo Pro, the St. Louis Illusion and the expansion Louisville Lightning.

The Vortex, Lightning and the revived San Diego Sockers are joining the PASL in the upcoming season.

MLS To Take Break During 2010 Season For World Cup

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber, in announcing plans for the league's 2010 season schedule, stated Wednesday the league will take a two-week break from playing June 11-25 so as not to conflict with group stage play in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

With the Philadelphia Union joining MLS as an expansion team that season, the league will now have a balanced conference format of eight teams in two conferences, so all 16 teams will play every opponent twice in 2010 season.

The 2010 season will open with a single game October 24 and ends with the MLS Cup championship game November 21 at a site to be determined.

Chivas Activates Suarez From DL

Major League Soccer's Chivas USA announced Tuesday they have reinstated Claudio Suarez from the disabled list to the 24-man roster.

Suarez went on the DL June 27 after straining his right calf in a 1-1 draw to Mexico's San Luis during the 2009 SuperLiga tournament.

FC Dallas Places Wallace On DL, Signs Purdy As Replacement

Major League Soccer's FC Dallas announced Tuesday defender Anthony Wallace will be placed on the disabled list, effectively ending his 2009 season with the team, after injuring his left knee.

Wallace played in seven games this season.

The team later signed defender Steve Purdy as a roster replacement for Wallace.

Fire Signs Costa Rican Defender Myrie

Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire announced the signing Tuesday of Costa Rican defender David Myrie.

Myrie played last season for Liga Deportivo Alajuelense after spending a season at Puntarenas and two seasons before that with Cadiz in Spain's third division.

DC United Makes CCL History; Kicks SJJ Out Of Tournament

Christian Gomez had a 14th minute penalty kick goal hold up as the lone goal as Major League Soccer's DC United defeated Trinidad & Tobago's San Juan Jabloteh, 1-0, in Group B third round play in the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League tournament at Hansley Crawford Stadium Tuesday in Port-of-Spain.

It was the first time United has ever won a CCL group stage game in their history and the victory was enough to eliminate San Juan Jabloteh from advancing to the knockout stage.

United is 1-2-0 with three points and in third place in the group. They will host Marathon of Honduras in the next round September 24.

San Juan (0-3-0, 0, last place) ends their campaign at Mexico's Toluca September 23.

Cruz Azul Storms Back To Handle Islanders In Draw

Pablo Zeballos had a pair of strikes in the 39th and 68th minutes and Alejandro Vela scored the game-tying shot in the 86th minute as Mexico's Cruz Azul played to a 3-3 draw with the Puerto Rico Islanders of the United Soccer Leagues First Division in the third game of Group C pool play in the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium in Bayamon, PR.

The game was a rematch of the two-game semifinals from the inaugural CCL tournament, which Cruz Azul won in penalty kicks after playing to an aggregate 3-3 draw.

Cristian Arrieta gave Puerto Rico the early lead in the 24th before Zeballos' first goal leveled the contest at 1-1. A minute later, Fabrice Noel broke the deadloack and Nicholas Addlery allowed the Islanders to take a 3-1 lead into halftime before Azul regained their composure and fired off two unanswered goals.

Before the game, Cruz Azul last allowed goals in a 6-2 win over Herediano in the first leg of the Preliminary Round level. Puerto Rico, meanwhile, had only scored two goals in four total CCL games.

Cruz Azul maintained the lead in the group standings at 2-0-1 with seven points and travels to face the defending Major League Soccer champion Columbus Crew September 23 at Crew Stadium in Round 4 play.

Puerto Rico, at 0-2-1 with one point and in last place, desperately needs a win September 22 when they host Costa Rica's Saprissa.

WPS' Newest Teams Begin Stocking Rosters In Expansion Draft

The newest franchises in Women's Professional Soccer -- the Atlanta Beat and the Philadelphia Independence -- began the process of putting together their inaugural season rosters by participating in an Expansion Draft.

Each teams could select up to nine players from all current WPS franchises, with no current team allowed to lose more than three in the draft, and could protect two more players after losing a player from their roster.

The Beat and Independence also had to pick one player from each each existing team before choosing a second or third player from a particular team.

Here are the results of the two-round WPS Expansion Draft:

WPS EXPANSION DRAFT

FIRST ROUND
1. Atlanta - Leigh Ann Robinson, D, FC Gold Pride
2. Philadelphia - Lori Lindsey, M, Washington Freedom
3. Philadelphia - Jen Buczkowski, D, Sky Blue FC
4. Atlanta - Amanda Cinalli, F, St. Louis Athletica
5. Philadelphia - Nikki Krzysik, D, Chicago Red Stars
6. Atlanta - Katie Larkin, D/M, Los Angeles Sol
7. Philadelphia - Sue Weber, D, Boston Breakers

SECOND ROUND
8. Atlanta - Sharolta Nonen, D, Los Angeles Sol
9. Philadelphia - Sarah Senty, D, Washington Freedom
10. Atlanta - Sara Larsson, D, St. Louis Athletica
11. Philadelphia - Danesha Adams, M, Chicago Red Stars
12. Atlanta - Noelle Keselica, F, Sky Blue FC
13. Philadelphia - Kelly Schmedes, F, Boston Breakers

The Heat (14th) and Independence (15th) passed on their next two picks, ending the draft.

Menyongar Named USL1 POW, Then Is Out For Season

Rochester Rhinos forward Johnny Menyongar was named the United Soccer Leagues First Division's Player of the Week for Week 23 of the 2009 season Tuesday after scoring all his team's goals in a 2-1 victory at the Miami FC Blues last Tuesday, which secured the Rhinos' 14th straight playoff berth in as many years of existence.

Now, for the bad news...

On Sunday, Menyongar suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during a scoreless draw on the road against those same Blues and the team announced Tuesday he is done for the season, finishing with 11 goals.

He will miss the team's season finale at home Friday against the Charleston Battery and the upcoming playoffs.

Here are the other players selected to the USL1 Team of the Week:

USL1 TEAM OF THE WEEK

GOALKEEPER
Evan Bush, Cleveland City Stars
Had eight saves in 1-0 win at Portland Timbers

DEFENDERS
Lyle Adams, Austin Aztex
Scored goal in 2-1 win at Portland Timbers

John Krause, Puerto Rico Islanders
Scored goal in 2-0 win against Carolina RailHawks

Stephen deRoux, Montreal Impact
Led team in a draw and a win last weekend

MIDFIELDERS
Tsuyoshi Yoshitake, Charleston Battery
Led team in 2-1 win over Miami FC Blues

Jason Hotchkin, Cleveland City Stars
Scored lone goal in 1-0 upset win at Portland Timbers

Gordon Chin, Vancouver Whitecaps
Scored goal, assisted on another in 2-1 win over Austin Aztex

Joseph Kabwe, Carolina RailHawks
Led team in 2-1 win over Puerto Rico Islanders

FORWARDS
Marco Terminesi, Minnesota Thunder
Scored two combined goals in a draw and a win last week

Peter Byers, Montreal Impact
Scored two combined goals in a draw and a win last week

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Earthquakes Release Fabio Da Silva

Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes announced Tuesday they have terminated the contract of defender Fabio da Silva.

He played 90 minutes in two of the team's exhibition games against the El Sueno de tu Vida All-Stars and Club Deportivo Aguila, but saw no MLS action.

Frei To Go For Three SOW In A Row?

Toronto FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei, selected by fans the last two weeks as winner of the Major League Soccer Save of the Week competition, is one of six names on the ballot for the Week 25 award, with voting taking place now through 2 p.m. Eastern time Thursday at www.mlsnet.com.

Frei is also the only three-time winner of the award, which began with Week 10 of the 2009 season, having first being selected in Week 15.

Four other veteran winners are on the ballot -- Donovan Ricketts of the Los Angeles Galaxy (Weeks 14 & 18), Nick Rimando of Real Salt Lake (Week 19) and Kasey Keller of the Seattle Sounders (Weeks 10 & 21).

Also nominated this week are Julien Baudet (Colorado Rapids) and Jon Busch (Chicago Fire).

Dynamo Gets Thompson, Allocation Money From KC For Kamara

The Houston Dynamo acquired forward Abe Thompson and allocation money from the Kansas City Wizards in exchange for forward Kei Kamara Tuesday on the deadline date for trades in Major League Soccer for the 2009 season.

Kamara, who came to Houston in July 2008 in a trade with the revived San Jose Earthquakes, had a career-high five goals with the Dynamo this season. In 32 regular season career games, 26 of them starts, he has seven goals and three assists.

Thompson, who spent the first three and a half years with FC Dallas, started one game out of eight for the Wizards this season. In 85 career games, he has 14 goals and 12 assists.

Red Bulls Terminates Contract, Loan Deal Of Pacheco

Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls Monday announced the immediate termination of a loan deal and contract with defender Alfredo Pacheco, who was signed April 17 from CD FAS in El Salvador's First Division.

He appeared in 14 games for New York this season.

Seven Players Vie For MLS Goal Of The Week

Seven players are on the Week 26 ballot for Major League Soccer Goal of the Week voting, which runs through 2 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday at www.mlsnet.com.

The first pair of players comes from Saturday's 1-1 draw between the Chicago Fire and Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT.

Chris Rolfe had Chicago's goal in the 44th minute off assists from Marco Pappa and Mike Banner, while Jamison Olave scored the game-tying shot in the 72nd minute off Andy Williams.

Duo number two come from Toronto FC's 3-2 win over the Colorado Rapids at BMO Field Saturday.

Dwayne De Rosario scored the home team's first goal in the 19th minute, thanks to help from Marvell Wynne, and O'Brien White teamed with Kosuke Kimura and Omar Cummings on a 71st minute goal.

In FC Dallas' shocking 6-3 road win over the Los Angeles Galaxy, Jeff Cunningham tallied the second of his two goals in the game in the 86th minute off Brek Shea and Atiba Harris, who, four minutes earlier, scored off a Dax McCarty assist.

Finally, Seattle Sounders star Fredy Montero had the game-winning goal in the 84th minute of a 2-1 win Saturday at RFK Stadium over DC United with James Riley assisting.

Cunningham Named MLS POW For Third Time

FC Dallas forward Jeff Cunningham was named Major League Soccer Player of the Week for the 26th week of the 2009 season after scoring two goals and assisting on two others in a 6-3 win Saturday over the Los Angeles Galaxy.

It is the third time this season he has won the award and joins Conor Casey of the Colorado Rapids and Josh Wolff of the Kansas City Wizards as three-time winners.

Cunningham, who previously won in Weeks 16 and 20, is in second place overall in the Budweiser Golden Boot competition with 12 goals, one behind Casey for the lead and one ahead of Fredy Montero of the Seattle Sounders.

He is also second on the league's all-time goal scoring list at 116, 13 behind DC United's Jaime Moreno.

This was Cunningham's third multi-goal game of the season and he is third all-time in that league category behind Ante Razov of Chivas USA (22) and Landon Donovan of the Los Angeles Galaxy (21).

FC Dallas tied a season high for goals scored in a single game in the victory. The last time Dallas scored six goals was when Cunningham scored four of them in a 6-0 shutout of the Kansas City Wizards August 1.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Crew Wins Supporters Shield Showdown Over Dynamo

In a matchup of not only the top teams in each conference but of MLS Cup champions in the last three seasons, Eddie Gaven's penalty kick in second half stoppage time gave the defending champion Columbus Crew a 2-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo, winners of the 2006 and 2007 Major League Soccer Cup championships, at Crew Stadium Sunday.

With the victory, the Crew took the lead in the race for the Supporters Shield, which goes to the team with the league's best record at season's end. Columbus is now 11-4-9 with 42 points and continues to lead the Eastern Conference.

Columbus won for the sixth time in their last seven games and extended their league-record unbeaten streak at home to 21 games (15-0-6).

Frankie Hedjuk opened the scoring for the Crew with an unassisted 34th minute goal.

Houston, leaders of the Western Conference at 11-8-7 with 40 points despite losing their second straight game and winning one game in their last six and two in their last 10, saw Brian Ching and Geoff Cameron assist Cam Weaver on their team's lone goal in the 80th minute.

Both teams have busy weeks this week as they compete in group pool play at the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League and have MLS matches this weekend.

Columbus travels to Costa Rica to play Saprissa in Group C play Wednesday, then has a showdown in the Eastern Conference with the second-place Chicago Fire at Crew Stadium.

Houston heads to Mexico to take on Pachuca Wednesday in Group A play, then welcomes Real Salt Lake to Robertson Stadium this Saturday.

City Stars Topple Timbers At PGE Park

Jason Hotchkin had the game's lone goal in the 24th minute as the Cleveland City Stars, second to last in the United Soccer Leagues First Division standings, stunned the 2009 Commissioner's Cup champion Portland Timbers, 1-0, Sunday at PGE Park.

Since having a league-record 24-game unbeaten streak snapped at home September 3 by the Rochester Rhinos, the Timbers, who end the regular season 15-5-10 with 55 points, lost two of their last three games.

Cleveland is 5-17-7 with 22 points for tenth place and ends their season Friday at the defending league champion Vancouver Whitecaps.

Whitecaps Keeping Chin Up Wins Game Over Aztex

Gordon Chin assisted on a Marcus Haber goal in the 80th minute then scored his own goal six minutes later with help from Lyle Martin as the defending United Soccer Leagues First Division champion Vancouver Whitecaps edged the Austin Aztex, 2-1, Sunday at Swangard Stadium.

The Whitecaps earned the seventh and final playoff spot with the victory and are 10-10-9 with 39 points. They will close out the 2009 season at home this Friday against the Cleveland City Stars.

Jarius Holmes scored Austin's lone goal in the 51st minute on a Kyle Brown assist and finished their first season in USL1 with the worst record in the league at 5-17-8 with 21 points, including a two-point penalty for using an ineligible player in a game this season.

Byers Goal Forces Draw Between Impact, Thunder

Peter Byers scored a goal in the 85th minute off a Roberto Brown assist as the Montreal Impact forced a 1-1 draw with the Minnesota Thunder in United Soccer Leagues First Division play Sunday in Montreal's home season finale at Saputo Stadium.

The Impact are 12-10-7 with 43 points, are in fifth place in the standings and will compete in the league playoffs. They end their 2009 regular season Friday against the Carolina RailHawks at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC.

Marco Terminesi had Minnesota's goal in the sixth minute off a Nathan Knox assist. The Thunder are 7-12-10 with 31 points and host the Charleston Battery next Sunday at the National Sports Center in the final game of the 2009 USL1 regular season.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Chivas Shuts Out Revolution At THDC

Sacha Kljestan scored on a penalty kick in second half stoppage time and Maicon Santos had the game-winning goal in the 10th minute off assists from Justin Braun and Carey Talley as Chivas USA shut out the New England Revolution, 2-0, Sunday in Major League Soccer play from The Home Depot Center.

Chivas is now 10-9-3 with 33 points and in sixth place in the Western Conference standings. They will travel to Qwest Field Saturday to face the Seattle Sounders.

New England is 9-7-6 with 33 points and in fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings. They will meet the worst team in MLS, the New York Red Bulls, Friday at Giants Stadium.

RailHawks Win; Timbers Clinch Commissioners Cup

In one United Soccer Leagues First Division game Saturday night, two teams won.

Gregory Richardson and Andriy Budnyy scored goals to lead the Carolina RailHawks to a 2-1 victory over the Puerto Rico Islanders at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC to regain sole possession of second place in the league standings at 15-7-7 with 52 points.

Nick Addlery had Puerto Rico's lone goal as the Islanders dropped to third place at 14-7-8 with 50 points.

Meanwhile, the RailHawks win allowed the league-leading Portland Timbers to clinch their first USL1 Commissioners Cup championship since 2004 and gain a bye to the semifinal round of the league playoffs, set for October 1-4.

Carolina ends their regular season at home next Friday against the Montreal Impact, while the Islanders close their 2009 schedule at the Miami FC Blues next Saturday.

FC Dallas Knocks Galaxy Out Of Orbit

Jeff Cunningham had a pair of goals and assisted on scores by Dax McCarty, who also assisted Atiba Harris on a goal, and David Ferreira as FC Dallas stunned the Los Angeles Galaxy, 6-3, Saturday in Major League Soccer action at The Home Depot Center.

Dave van den Bergh also scored for Dallas, who are in seventh place in the Western Conference standings at 6-11-6 with 24 points. They will travel to the Kansas City Wizards next Saturday.

Dallas gave LA their first point of the contest when Jair Benitez had an own goal, but A.J. DeLaGarza and Edson Buddle had goals for the Galaxy, who remain in second place in the Western Conference at 9-4-11 with 38 points, two behind the conference-leading Houston Dynamo (11-7-7, 40). The Galaxy host Toronto FC next Saturday.

Fire Tied With Crew For Eastern Lead After Draw With RSL

The Chicago Fire and the defending Eastern Conference and Major League Soccer champion Columbus Crew share first place in the conference standings Saturday after the Fire played to a 1-1 draw with Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Chris Rolfe struck first for Chicago in the final minute of the first half with assists from Marco Pappa and Mike Banner before RSL's Jamison Olave sent both teams off the pitch with a single standings point after Andy Williams fed him the game-tying pass in the 72nd minute.

Chicago (10-6-9) shares the same point total of 39 with Columbus (10-4-9), but the Crew can regain sole possession of the conference lead, if they don't lose to the Western Conference-leading Houston Dynamo Sunday at Crew Stadium. The Crew then hosts the Fire next Sunday.

Real Salt Lake is 9-9-7 with 34 points and in fifth place in the Western table. They will travel to Robertson Stadium to face the Dynamo next Saturday.

Lone Wolff Goal Gives Wizards Win Over Red Bulls

Josh Wolff scored unassisted in the10th minute as the Kansas City Wizards shut out the New York Red Bulls, 1-0, Saturday in Major League Soccer play at Giants Stadium.

The Wizards are 7-11-6 with 27 points and in sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings. They will host FC Dallas next Saturday at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.

The Red Bulls remain the worst team in the conference and the league at 4-17-4 with 16 points and host the New England Revolution Friday.

Deja Vu All Over Again As Sounders Defeat United

Fredy Montero scored a game-winning goal in the 84th minute off a James Riley assist as, for the second time in 10 days, the Seattle Sounders defeated DC United, 2-1, Saturday at RFK Stadium in Major League Soccer play.

The last time these teams met -- on the same pitch, by the way -- Seattle won their first championship trophy, the 2009 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, in a similiar 2-1 fashion.

Seattle scored in the fifth minute when Peter Vagenas found Steve Zakuani for their first goal, which stood through halftime.

Rodney Wallace's unassisted goal in the 54th minute tied the game for United before Montero iced the contest a half hour later.

The Sounders are 9-6-10 with 37 points and in third place in the Western Conference, a point behind the Los Angeles Galaxy (9-4-11, 38) for second place and three behind the Houston Dynamo (11-7-7, 40) for first place. Seattle hosts Chivas USA next Saturday at Qwest Field.

United is 8-6-12 with 36 points and in third place in the Eastern Conference, three behind the co-leading Chicago Fire (10-6-9) and the defending conference and league champion Columbus Crew (10-4-9), both with 39 points. The Crew can regain sole possession of the conference lead Sunday when they host the Dynamo. DC is now off until September 27 when they host the San Jose Earthquakes.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

De Rosario, Attakora Lead TFC Over Rapids

Dwayne De Rosario scored in the 19th minute off a Marvell Wynne assist and assisted O'Brian White on his 71st minute goal as Toronto FC edged the Colorado Rapids, 3-2, Saturday in Major League Soccer play at BMO Field in Toronto.

Amado Guevara helped Nana Attakora score the game-winning point in the 74th minute to improve to 9-9-7 with 34 points, good for fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings.

Toronto is currently two points behind DC United (8-5-12, 36) for third place in the conference, four behind the Chicago Fire (10-6-8, 38) for second and five behind the defending conference and league champion Columbus Crew (10-4-9, 39).

DC United hosts the Seattle Sounders in a rematch of the 2009 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament final later Saturday, the Fire are at Real Salt Lake Saturday and the Crew host the Western Conference-leading Houston Dynamo Sunday.

Conor Casey had his 18th goal of the season in 13 games to continue to lead the Budweiser Golden Boot competition with a 49th minute tally off Kosuke Kimura and Omar Cummings for the Rapids' first goal.

Michael Holody followed in the 89th minute with an unassisted affair.

The Rapids are 10-8-6 with 36 points and are in third place in the Western standings, two behind the Los Angeles Galaxy (9-4-11, 38) for second place and five behind the Dynamo (11-7-7, 41) for first place.

The Galaxy host FC Dallas Saturday.

Colorado is back in action next Friday at the San Jose Earthquakes.

Conway Heads To Chivas In Trade With Red Bulls

Major League Soccer's Chivas USA received New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Jon Conway Saturday in return for a fourth round pick in the 2011 SuperDraft.

Conway will be eligible to play for Chivas Sunday when they face the New England Revolution.

Conway played most of the last four seasons at New York and is third in team history among goalkeepers in games played (63), minutes played (5,553) and saves (242), and is tops in goals against average with a minimum of 2,000 minutes played at 1.36.

Huckerby Done For SJ This Season; Burling Picked Up

The San Jose Earthquakes announced Saturday midfielder Darren Huckerby will miss the rest of the Major League Soccer season after undergoing surgery in Vail, CO to repair a torn labrum in his right hip.

Huckerby finishes the 2009 season with three goals and three assists in 14 games.

He was the league's Newcomer of the Year last season and won the team's Most Valuable Player and Budweiser Golden Boot awards.

On Friday, San Jose also picked up defender Bobby Burling from Chivas USA in return for a 2010 third round MLS SuperDraft pick.

Burline started 19 of 23 games at Chivas over the past three seasons. He played in three games with the Red & Black this season.

RailHawks Get Delicate From USL2 Champion Kickers

The Carolina RailHawks will debut a new acquisition, forward Matthew Delicate, Saturday when they host the Puerto Rico Islanders in United Soccer Leagues First Division play at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC.

The RailHawks acquired Delicate from the new USL Second Division champion Richmond Kickers, who defeated the Charlotte Eagles for the league title recently.

In his first season with Richmond, he won the USL2 Goal Scoring championship with 13 and had two assists. Before joining the Kickers, he spent three seasons with the USL1 Rochester Rhinos (2006-08) where he led the team in points in 2006 (19) and was second in points in 2005 (13).

Delicate holds career records for goals (44) and points (101) at Virginia Commonwealth.

Buete's Beauty Gives Battery Win Over Blues

Scott Buete had an unassisted game-winning goal in the final minute of play as the host Charleston Battery edged the Miami FC Blues, 2-1, Friday in United Soccer Leagues First Division play in their home season finale at Blackbaud Stadium.

The Battery took the early lead when Randi Patterson assisted on a Darren Spicer goal in the 30th minute, then saw the score tied at 1-1 in the 73rd when Bryan Shriver fired a pass to Aaron King.

Charleston's win improved their record at 13-5-10 with 49 points and put them in a tie for third place in the USL1 standings with the Carolina RailHawks (14-7-7), both of whom are playoff-bound. The Battery finished their regular season with road trips next Friday at the Rochester Rhinos and next Sunday at the Minnesota Thunder.

Miami, 8-16-4 with 28 points, are out of the running for a playoff spot, but play out the string Sunday at the Rhinos and next Saturday hosting the Puerto Rico Islanders.