Monday, November 30, 2009

Rhinos Latest To Bolt USL1 For NASL

Make the Rochester Rhinos the eighth former member of the United Soccer Leagues First Division and the tenth overall member of the revived North American Soccer League.

In a posting on the website of Miami FC Blues, a fellow NASL franchise, team chief executive officer Rob Clark said the Rhinos were "joining a family of team owners who are further committee to investing in our league and their teams to further the development of players and support the future growth of the sport in North America."

The Rhinos join USL1 members Atlanta Silverbacks (who were dormant in the 2009 season), Carolina RailHawks, Miami FC Blues, Minnesota Thunder, defending champion Montreal Impact, 2010 expansion team Tampa Bay Rowdies and Vancouver Whitecaps, along with USL Second Division member Crystal Palace Baltimore, in the league. The lone team with no USL ties in the NASL is St. Louis United, who attempted unsuccessfully to join Major League Soccer as a future expansion franchise.

DC United Released Janicki, Allen

Major League Soccer's DC United announced the releases Monday of defender Greg Janicki and midfielder Ely Allen.

Janicki joined the team on loan in September 2008 and played 422 minutes in seven overall games, including five MLS starts.

Allen came to United July 24, 2009 and appeared in three CONCACAF Champions League games but did not play in any MLS contests.

Impact MVP Testo Signed To Two-Year Extension

Midfielder David Testo, named the Most Valuable Player for the United Soccer Leagues First Division champion Montreal Impact, was signed Monday to a two-year deal by the team now affiliated with the resurrected North American Soccer League.

Testo, in his third season in 2009, had one goal and an assist over all 26 games he started, playing 2,235 minutes, but also led the team in fouls with 38.

He was named for the first time in his career this past season to the USL1 All-League Second Team.

In related news, the Impact announced Monday defender Zanzan and midfielder Felix Brillant were released.

Whitecaps Ink Thordarson To One-Year Extension

The North American Soccer League's Vancouver Whitecaps announced Monday head coach Teitur Thordarson will remain in his position for the 2010 season after signing a one-year contract extension.

Thordarson led the Whitecaps to their second United Soccer Leagues First Division championship in three seasons in 2008 in his first season as their head coach.

Wolves No More In Seattle; Renamed Washington Crossfire

The operation of the Seattle Wolves of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League was placed under the umbrella of the Crossfire Premier Soccer Club Monday and the franchise will play in the 2010 PDL season as Washington Crossfire.

CPSC was founded in 1968 and has developed players for college, US national teams, and pro teams in the US and abroad.

The Wolves were created in 2002 and finished their first PDL season in 2009 with an 11-4-3 record, a spot in the playoffs and became the league's defending Northwest Division champion.

Battery Officially Moves Back To USL2

The Charleston Battery officially announced Monday they are returning to the United Soccer Leagues Second Division for the 2010 season after playing in their First Division for the past 12 seasons.

The Battery, who finished the 2009 USL1 campaign with a 14-5-11 record and 53 points, tying them for third place in the league's regular season standings (15-7-8), advanced to the first round of the league's playoffs, where they lost by a 4-2 aggregate score to the eventual champion Montreal Impact, who have now joined the new North American Soccer League.

The team was founded in 1993 and joined what was then called USL D-2 in 1995, winning the league title the next season.

The Battery will continue to hold its annual preseason Carolina Challenge Cup tournament, which featured the team facing competition from Major League Soccer clubs, though the Battery has never won the crown at their own tournament, and will take part in the 2010 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament.

WPS Freedom Renames W-League Team, Names GM And Jersey Sponsor

The Washington Freedom of Women's Professional Soccer announced Monday it is renaming its affiliate franchise in the United Soccer Leagues' W-League the Freedom Futures and has named former US Women's National Team and Freedom player Joanna Lohman as the newly-branded franchise's first general manager.

The Futures also announced American Fitness Tri, an annual Labor Day triathlon held in the DC area, will become the team's official jersey sponsor in the 2010 W-League season.

Rampage's Fabinho Named MISL POW For Week 3

Rockford Rampage defender Fabinho was named Monday the Major Indoor Soccer League Player of the Week for Week 3 of its inaugural season.

Fabinho scored a crucial three-point goal and played as a sixth attacker in the Rampage's 9-8 come-from-behind win against the Milwaukee Wave Friday at the Rockford MetroCentre.

The 2-0 Rampage, who lead the rechristened league formerly known as the National Indoor Soccer League, will face the winless Philadelphia Kixx (0-2) this Friday at the MetroCentre.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Fan Voting Underway For US Soccer Male, Female Athletes Of The Year

Fan voting recently began as the US Soccer Federation's eighth annual awards to select the 2009 Male and Female Athletes of the Year.

Voting takes place through December 13 at www.usssoccer.com and fans can vote as many times as they like.

Here are the nominees for the Male and Female Athletes of the Year.

MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR NOMINEES
Michael Bradley
Clint Dempsey
Landon Donovan
Tim Howard
Oguchi Onyewu

FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR NOMINEES
Shannon Boxx
Heather O'Reilly
Christie Rampone
Hope Solo
Abby Wambach

Athletica Signs Two International Talents

The St. Louis Athletica added two more international players to their roster for the 2010 Women's Professional Soccer season Monday in Swedish forward Madelaine Edlund and Brazilian forward Elaine.

Both players played last season at Umea IK in Sweden, who faced the WPS All-Stars in the league's inaugural postseason game August 30 at Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park, and were selected by the Athletica during the 2009 WPS International Draft held September 23.

Edlund is a member of her country's national team and was on the roster during the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup, but did not play in any games. She joined Umea in 2006 and has scored 60 goals in 130 career games.

Elaine, on Brazil's national team, played in the 2007 WWC and the 2004 Athens Olympics. In qualifying for the World Cup, she scored three goals in seven games. She played in six games during the Athens Games.

Whitecaps Release Midfielders Burgess, Versailles

The North American Soccer League's Vancouver Whitecaps announced the release Friday of midfielders Tyrell Burgess and Kenald Versailles.

Burgess played his rookie professional season with the Whitecaps and had one goals and two assists in 25 games in the recent United Soccer Leagues First Division season. Before coming to Vancouver, he spent three seasons with Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL.

Versailles, who joined the Whitecaps after five seasons in Haiti's Division 1 professional league and scored one goal in 15 games for Vancouver.

Rampage Take MISL Lead After Beating Wave

Jamar Beasley had a pair of two-point goals, including the game-winning sixth attacker goal with :52 left to play, as the Rockford Rampage took the lead in the Major Indoor Soccer League standings after two games with a 9-8 victory over the Milwaukee Wave Friday at Rockford's MetroCentre.

Fabinho scored a key three-pointer for the 2-0 Rampage and Hassan Minter added a standard goal.

For 1-1 Milwaukee, Troy Dusosky had two two-pointers and Travis McKenzie and Kyt Selaidopoulos also scored.

The Rampage continue their homestand next Friday when they welcome the Philadelphia Kixx while the Wave open their home season at US Cellular Arena next Sunday against La Raza de Monterrey.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Impact Lock Up Braz, Placentino For Two More Seasons

The Montreal Impact, defending champions of the United Soccer Leagues First Division who have defected to the revived North American Soccer League, announced Thursday they have re-signed defender Adam Braz and midfielder Rocco Placentino to two-year contract extensions.

Braz will be in his seventh straight season with the Impact. He has started 107 of 123 career games and played 9,622 minutes.

In 2009, he missed the first month of the USL1 season with a thigh injury, but came back in July and led his team to a playoff berth and their eventual third USL1 championshp. Braz played in every minute of every playoffs game he competed in.

He was named the team's Unsung Hero Award winner in 2009 after starting 18 of 22 games and a total of 1,690 minutes.

Placentino will be in his third straight season with Montreal and sixth overall, having played previously there in 2001 and 2002.

He had five goals and 11 assists for 21 points after starting 25 of 71 career regular season games for the Impact. In 2009, he had two goals and a team-high five assists for nine points in 22 games, 14 of which he started.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Whitecaps Name Will Stay When Team Joins MLS

The Vancouver Whitecaps, formerly of the United Soccer Leagues First Division and now part of the newly-revamped North American Soccer League for the 2010 season, will keep their franchise name when they become the newest member of Major League Soccer in the 2011 season.

Co-owner Jeff Mallett told the Vancouver Province Wednesday, "We are fully behind the Whitecaps name."

The team will unveil a new logo and adidas-designed uniform in May 2010.

Sounders Cut Rookies Fucito, Brown, Neagle

The Seattle Sounders of Major League Soccer announced the release Wednesday of rookie midfielder Michael Fucito and rookie defenders Evan Brown and Lamar Neagle.

All three were left unprotected in Wednesday's Expansion Draft to begin filling the roster for the league's newest member, the Philadelphia Union, joining in 2010, but were not selected in the draft.

None of the three saw any action with the Sounders during the 2009 regular season or playoffs.

MLS Champs Real Salt Lake Claim Thompson In Waiver Draft

Major League Soccer champion Real Salt Lake announced Wednesday they have acquired Houston Dynamo forward Abe Thompson in the league's special Waiver Draft.

Thompson has spent five seasons in the league and split the 2009 season between the Dynamo and the Kansas City Wizards.

In 89 career regular season appearances, 40 of them starts, Thompson has 15 goals and 12 assists.

His best season of his career was in 2007 with FC Dallas, where he had four assists and career-highs in goals (five), starts (15), appearances (24) and minutes played (1,127).

Crew To Open CCL Quarterfinal Series At Home March 9

Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew announced Wednesday they will host the first leg of the two-leg, aggregate-goal CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series against Toluca, champion of Mexico's Apertura league, March 9 at Crew Stadium.

The second leg of the knockout round match will be held in Toluca March 17 with the winner advancing to the tournament semifinals to face either Mexico's Pachuca or Guatemala's Comunicaciones.

Fire Pick Up 2010 Season Options On Brown, McBride

Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire Wednesday announced they have picked up the 2010 season options on defender C.J. Brown and forward Brian McBride.

Brown has been with the franchises since their inaugural season in 1998 and has been part of all five cup titles (1998 MLS Cup and 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2006 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup), three Eastern Conference championship titles and the 2003 Supporters Shield for having the best league record in the regular season.

He played in 18 regular season games in 2009 and played every minute of their postseason run, which ended in the Eastern Conference Championship game against Real Salt Lake.

He holds club records for games played (270) and minutes played (23,328).

Brown also played in 15 games with the US Men's National Team from 1998 to 2003, was a 2001 MLS All-Star team selection and was the team's US Soccer Federation Humanitarian of the Year from 2001 to 2003.

McBride joined Chicago in August 2008 after 4 1/2 seasons in Europe with Fulham FC. He began his MLS career with the Columbus Crew.

He was Chicago's Budweiser Golden Boot winner this season with seven goals in 22 games and was named the team's Most Valuable Player.

McBride appeared in 95 games with the USMNT, including playing on three FIFA World Cup teams.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Philadelphia Union Selects First 10 Players In Draft

The Philadelphia Union selected the first ten players for their 2010 Major League Soccer season debut through the holding of an Expansion Draft Wednesday.

Each MLS franchise was allowed to protect 11 players on their roster with the others made available for selection by the Union.

With each of the 15 league teams allowed to lose only one player during the draft, five MLS teams saw no one from their rosters be selected.

In alphabetical order, here are the Union's first 10 selections with position and former team:

Jordan Harvey - D - Colorado Rapids
Andrew Jacobsen - M - DC United
Brad Knighton - G - New England Revolution
Sebastien Le Toux - F - Seattle Sounders
Stefani Miglioranzi - M - Los Angeles Galaxy
Alejandro Moreno - F - Columbus Crew
Dave Myrie - D - Chicago Fire
Shea Salinas - M - San Jose Earthquakes
Shaver Thomas - D - Chivas USA
Nick Zimmerman - M - New York Red Bulls

The Union, the league's 16th team, will join the Eastern Conference next season and give both conferences an even number of teams at eight each.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fire Releases Head Coach Hamlett From Contract

Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire announced Tuesday head coach Denis Hamlett has been released from his contract, which was to expire at the end of year, effective immediately.

Hamlett will now pursue other coaching opportunities.

He was 24-17-19 in two seasons with the franchise.

Impact Welcomes Jansana Back To Family

The Montreal Impact of the North American Soccer League announced Tuesday Gil Orriols Jansana will return to the franchise as an assistant coach and physical performance manager.

Jansana was hired by the Impact in the winter of 2005-06, but left to take a job in Qatar with Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence, where he worked until October 2008.

He now completes head coach Marc Dos Santos' coaching staff, joining assistant coach Mauro Biello, who retired as a player last week, and Youssef Dahha, who has been their goalkeeper coach since 2004.

Barber To Join Whitecaps In March 2010 As Transition Team Member

Paul Barber, currently executive director of Tottenham Hotspur FC of the English Premier League, will resign from his current post March 1, 2010 to become the new chief executive officer of the Vancouver Whitecaps of the North American Soccer League.

Barber will be part of a transition team with team president Bob Lenarduzzi and chief operating officer Rachel Lewis that will guide the Whitecaps from their 2010 season in the new NASL to the 2011 Major League Soccer season, where they will be an expansion team.

Vancouver's Haber On Loan To West Bromwich Albion

Forward Marcus Haber of the North American Soccer League's Vancouver Whitecaps has been loaned to West Bromwich Albion of the English League Championship for the next four days, beginning Tuesday.

The 2009 Rookie of the Year in the United Soccer Leagues First Division, Haber had 20 points in 30 regular season games on eight goals and four assists. He was also named the team's Rookie of the Year and the Fan Favorite in voting on the team's website.

He also had three goals in six postseason games in USL1 and scored a goal in the only game of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship series he played.

Before coming to Vancouver, Haber spent two seasons on the U19 and reserve teams of FC Groningen in the Dutch Eredivisie.

Olsen Announces Retirement After 12 Seasons With DC United

Despite attempting comebacks after several ankle injuries over the years, midfielder Ben Olsen announced his retirement from Major League Soccer after 12 seasons with the only franchise he played for -- DC United.

He ends his career second on the team's all-time lists in games played (221), minutes played (17,098) and game-winning goals (13), third in assists (49) and shots on goal (155), and seventh in goals (120).

Olsen was the league's 1998 Rookie of the Year, a two-time MLS All-Star (1998 and 1999), the 1999 MLS Cup Most Valuable Player, the 2003 US Soccer Federation Humanitarian of the Year and a member of the 2007 MLS Best XI.

He led the United to two MLS Cup titles in 1999 and 2004, the 1998 CONCACAF Champions Cup and the InterAmerican Cup, and the 1999, 2006 and 2007 MLS Supporters Shields.

Olsen is one of seven United players to ever score a hat trick, his coming June 10, 2007 in a 4-2 win over the New York Red Bulls.

Olsen was also a member of the US Men's National Team, scoring six goals in 37 games.

MLS Announces Available Players For Union Expansion Draft

Major League Soccer Monday released the names of players eligible for selection by the expansion Philadelphia Union to begin the creation of a roster for the 2010 expansion team during Wednesday's Expansion Draft.

Each of the 15 MLS teams had to protect 11 players from selection by the Union and submit those lists to the league.

Of the 15 teams in the league, only 10 will lose players in the 10-round draft, as only one player from a team can be chosen.

Here are the names of those players eligible for selection in Wednesday's draft, by team:

CHIVAS USA
Jon Conway
Jim Curtin
Kevin Harmse
Ante Jazic
Dan Kennedy
Eduardo Lillingston
Jesse Marsch
Ante Razov
Marcelo Saragosa
Bojan Stepanovic
Claudio Suarez
Carey Talley
Shavar Thomas
Mariano Trujillo
Sasha Victorine
Chukwudi Chijindu
Gerson Mayer
Lance Parker

CHICAGO FIRE
Michael Banner
Cuautemoc Blanco
Calen Carr
Stefan Dimitrov
Andrew Dykstra
Dave Myrie
Chris Rolfe
Gonzalo Segares
Daniel Woolard
Peter Lowry
Austin Washington

COLORADO RAPIDS
Mehdi Ballouchy
Preston Burpo
Greg Dalby
Facundo Diz
Ty Harden
Jordan Harvey
Pat Noonan
Scott Palguta
Jacob Peterson
Steward Ceus
Mike Holody
Ross Schunk

COLUMBUS CREW
Jason Garey
Andy Gruenebaum
Frankie Hedjuk
Andy Iro
Alejandro Moreno
Stanley Nyazamba
Duncan Oughton
Gino Padula
Emilion Renteria
Kenny Schoeni
Kevin Burns
Cory Elenio
Alex Grendi

DC UNITED
Luciano Emilio
Christian Gomez
David Habarugira
Andrew Jacobson
Greg Janicki
Avery John
Thabiso Khumalo
Devon McTavish
Ange N'Silu
Ben Olsen (now retired)
Lawson Vaughn
Josh Wicks
Ely Allen
Brandon Barklage
John DiRaimondo
Milos Kocic
Tiyiselani Shipalane

FC DALLAS
Ray Burse
Steve Purdy
Pablo Ricchetti
Andrew Rocha
Dario Sala
Daniel Torres
Dave Van Den Bergh
Blake Wagner
Anthony Wallace

HOUSTON DYNAMO
Wade Barrett
Michael Chabala
Ricardo Clark
Ryan Cochrane
Luis Landin
Richard Mulrooney
Pat Onstad
Eddie Robinson
Abe Thompson
Craig Waibel
Tyler Deric
John Michael Hayden
Erik Ustruck

KANSAS CITY WIZARDS
Matthew Besler
Adam Christian
Herculez Gomez
Kevin Hartman
Santiago Hirsig
Aaron Hohlbein
Michael Kraus
Eric Kronberg
Rauwshan McKenzie
Kurt Morsink
Lance Watson
Matt Marquess
Boris Pardo

LOS ANGELES GALAXY
Todd Dunivant
Alecko Eskandarian
Alan Gordon
Leonard Griffin
Bryan Jordan
Jovan Kirovski
Chris Klein
Eddie Lewis
Stefani Miglioranzi
Tony Sanneh
Josh Saunders
Julian Valentin
Yohance Marshall
Kyle Patterson

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
Chris Albright
Gabriel Badilla
Jay Heaps
Amaechi Igwe
Edgaras Jankauskas
Brad Knighton
Mauricio Matamoros Castro
Stephane Ombiogno
Pat Phelan
Wells Thompson
Chris Tierney
Michael Videira
Robert Shuttleworth

NEW YORK RED BULLS
Andrew Boyens
Daniel Cepero
Walter Garcia
Leonid Krupnik
Caleb Patterson
Mike Petke
Jorge Rojas
Luke Sassano
Sinisa Ubiparipovic
John Wolyniec
Andongcho Mbuta
Nick Zimmerman

REAL SALT LAKE
Jean Alexandre
Pablo Campos
Rachid El Khalifi
Nelson Gonzalez
Ned Grabavoy
David Horst
Clint Mathis
Yura Movsisyan
Kyle Reynish
Robbie Russell
Andy Williams
Raphael Cox
Tino Nunez

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
Quincy Amarikwa
Bobby Convey
Simon Elliott
Aaron Pitchkolan
Antonio Riberio
Shea Salinas
Andrew Weber
Chris Wondolowski
Mike Graczyk
Jamil Roberts
Michael Zaher

SEATTLE SOUNDERS
Terry Boss
Chris Eylander
Taylor Graham
Stephen King
Sebastien Le Toux
Roger Levesque
James Riley
Zacharias Scott
Nathan Sturgis
Peter Vagenas
Tyson Wahl
Evan Brown
Michael Fucito
Lamar Neagle
Sanna Nyassi

TORONTO FC
Brian Edwards
Lesly Fellinga
Nick Garcia
Ali Gerba
Amado Guevara
Carl Robinson
Pablo Vitti
Gabe Gala

CONCACAF Supports US Bid For Future World Cups

CONCACAF, the organization of North and Central America and Caribbean region, officialy endorsed the US' bids to vie for hosting either the 2018 or 2022 event Monday.

Of those countries placing bids, the US became the lone representative for the games from CONCACAF after Mexico dropped out of the race in September.

"The United States can count on the full support of CONCACAF," regional president Jack Warner said Monday.

Sounders' Schmid Released From Hospital

Seattle Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid was released from a Bellevue, WA hospital Monday after entering Thursday, complaining of difficulty breathing later diagnosed with pneumonia, according to the Major League Soccer's franchise website.

He stated he will spend some time with family, then head back to work Monday.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Wave's Vosberg Named MISL's Player Of The Week

Milwaukee Wave goalkeeper Nick Vorsberg, who led his team to their fourth shutout and first road shutout in their 26-year history Sunday in a 15-0 rout of La Raza de Monterrey was named the Major Indoor Soccer League's Player of the Week for the second week of their inaugural season.

Vosberg stopped 13 shots in the victory, which was also his third career shutout.

His first two came while playing for the Utah Freeze in the Continental Indoor Soccer League and one of those came against the league's Monterrey franchise.

Battery To Charge Up In USL2 In 2010 Season

The Charleston Battery announced through their website Monday they will be moving from the United Soccer Leagues First Division to the USL Second Division in the 2010 season.

Team president Andrew Bell said the level of competition in USL2 is equal to that in USL1 and the move would significantly reduce travel expenses.

Battery officials also expressed concern over USL1 franchises that were members of the Team Owners Association breaking away to form their own league -- the revived North American Soccer League -- and how the defection of seven teams, including the league's defending champion Montreal Impact will hurt the league.

At one time, all teams in USL1 were part of the TOA except for the Battery.

Team CEO Tony Bakker said they did not join because "we totally disagreed with their stated vision to be a viable alternative league to Major League Soccer and to compete with Major League Soccer on and off the field."

North American Soccer League Officially Reborn

Though mostly expected, the North American Soccer League was officially reborn Monday as nine teams, most of which are defecting from the United Soccer Leagues First Division, were formally named.

The former USL1 teams are the Atlanta Silverbacks (who were inactive in the 2009 season), the Carolina RailHawks, Miami FC Blues, Minnesota Thunder, the defending USL1 champion Montreal Impact and the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Also joining are Crystal Palace Baltimore, who are in USL's Second Division; the Tampa Bay Rowdies, who were set to join USL1 as a 2010 season expansion team, and St. Louis Soccer United, who failed in a bid to become a future expansion team in Major League Soccer.

Most of the USL1 teams were part of the Team Owners Association, who have been feuding with USL for some time over the league's operation.

The new NASL had already applied for certification as a Division II Professional Outdoor Soccer League, the same designation that USL1 has, with the US Soccer Federation.

The league has not yet launched a website and has a search underway to name their first commissioner.

USL has responded strongly against the league's creation and has threatened legal action against certain teams for acts the USL feel have damaged their league.

The original NASL operated in the US and Canada from 1968 to 1984.

Wave Rolls Over Monterrey In First Road Shutout

Brett Wiesner had a two-point and a three-point goal and Ian Bennett added a pair of two-point goals as the Milwaukee Wave opened their Major Indoor Soccer League season with the franchise's first road shutout in their 26-year history 15-0 against La Raza de Monterrey at Arena Monterrey.

Kyt Selaidopoulous, Ryan Mack and Hewerton added goals in the victory.

The shutout win is also Milwaukee's first since January 28, 1995.

Both teams will meet again December 6 at US Cellular Arena in Milwaukee, but first the Wave heads to the Rockford Rampage this Friday.

Garber Wants Montreal Impact As 19th Team In 2012

In an interview with The Associated Press, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber said he would like to have the Montreal Impact become the league's 19th team when they expand again in 2012, but only if the team can get their current stadium remodeled and expanded.

The Impact, defending champion of the United Soccer Leagues First Division but potentially headed to a revived North American Soccer League, plays home games at 14,000-seat Saputo Stadium, but Garber said he is willing to work with the provincial government in Quebec to help them get financing to make enhancements to the facility.

Garber said he would like a third MLS franchise in Canada, following Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps, who are also bolting USL1 in 2010 for the NASL.

Real Salt Lake Wins MLS Cup In PKs Over Galaxy

Robbie Russell scored the game-winning penalty kick goal in the seventh round of a 5-4 shootout as Real Salt Lake became the first Major League Soccer team to win the MLS Cup against the Los Angeles Galaxy Sunday at Qwest Field in Seattle in their first appearance since the Chicago Fire in 1998.

It is the first professional sports championship for the city of Salt Lake City since the Utah Stars won the American Basketball Asssociation championship in 1969.

The Galaxy took the early lead in regulation play as Landon Donovan and David Beckham teamed to allow Mike Magee to score the opening goal in the 41st minute and Los Angeles held the lead into halftime.

In the 64th minute, former Galaxy star Robbie Findley exacted revenge on the team that traded him in 2005 by scoring a game-tying unassisted goal.

RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando was named the game's Most Valuable Player.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sounders Coach Schmid Hospitalized For Pneumonia

Sigi Schmid, head coach of Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders, was hospitalized Thursday for pneumonia, team officials said recently.

Schmid experienced shortness of breath Thursday and was rushed to a local hospital where he received the diagnosis.

He was expected to be released Saturday.

Shot In The Ankle Should Allow Beckham To Play In MLS Cup

Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham will need a injection Sunday to reduce the pain of a nagging bone bruise in an ankle, but Beckham said Saturday the shot will not affect his plans to play in Sunday's Major League Soccer championship game against Real Salt Lake at Qwest Field in Seattle.

Beckham said the injury has bothered him for some time.

Cougars Halt The Revolucion In Tijuana

The defending Professional Arena Soccer League champion California Cougars defeated Revolucion Tijuana, a team competing in the league's Flight F, made up of members of the second-tier Premier Arena Soccer League and franchises expressing interest in joining the league as an future expansion team, 6-4, Saturday in Tijuana, Mexico.

The Cougars are now 2-1 in Flight B and next host the Denver Dynamite December 8 at the Turlock Indoor Soccer Center in Turlock, CA.

Tijuana, as a Flight F member, do not have their games count in their flight's standings, but they do for their opponents. They will next host the league's best team, the San Diego Sockers, December 11.

Outlaws Take The Boom Out Of The Dynamite

The Texas Outlaws evened theor Professional Arena Soccer League record to 1-1 Saturday with a 12-6 victory over the Denver Dynamite at Denver's Bladium.

The Outlaws, who compete in Flight B, host the St. Louis Illusion December 6 at the TCG Arena at NYTEX Sports Centre.

The Dynamite, 0-2 in the flight, are at the defending PASL champion California Cougars December 6.

Express Train Rolls Over Waza

The defending Professional Arena Soccer League Eastern Division champion 1790 Cincinnati Express ran roughshod over the Detroit Waza in an 11-3 victory Saturday at the Game Time Training Center in Fairfield, OH.

Jeff Hughes had four goals and an assist to lead all scorers, Matt Brienes had a hat trick and an assist and rookie Kevin Noschang scored his first two professional goals of his career in the victory to improve to 2-0 in Flight A. The Express next travels to Canton, OH December 5 to face the expansion Ohio Vortex.

The Waza, 1-2 in Flight A, also visit the Vortex next Sunday.

Sockers Go 4-0 In 15-3 Rout Of Knights

The expansion San Diego Sockers have the best record in the Professional Arena Soccer League after demolishing the Las Vegas Knights of the second-tier Premier Arena Soccer League 15-2 Saturday at Del Mar Arena.

Kraig Xhiles and Anthony Medina each had hat tricks in the victory, Miguel "Chiky" Luna had a pair of goals and Brian O'Connor, Erc Wunderle, Aaron Susi, Garth Archibald, Nate Hetherington and Scott Martin all added single goals.

The Sockers, 4-0 and in the lead in Flight A, will host the Denver Dynamite Decemeber 5.

The Knights played their only game of the schedule against a Professional league team.

Reininger Leads Illusion In PASL Season Opener

Joe Reininger has a pair of goals and an assist as the St. Louis Illusion opened its 2009-10 Professional Arena Soccer League season at The Game Time Arena in Glen Carbon, IL Saturday with a 7-5 victory over the Kansas City Kings of the amateur Premier Arena Soccer League.

The Illusion, who play in Flight A, next host the expansion Louisville Lightning December 4, then hit the road to take on the Texas Outlaws at TCG Arena at NYTEX Sports Centre.

The Kings, who are in Flight F, made up of provisional league members whose games count in Professional league games, will host the Outlaws December 12 at the Kansas City Soccer Dome.

Gonzaga Leads Blast In Blowout Over Kixx

Lucio Gonzaga led all scorers with seven points on a pair of two-point goals and a three-point shot, Jonathan Greenfield had five points on a two- and three-point goal and Billy Nelson tallied a three-pointer as the host Baltimore Blast blew out the Philadelphia Kixx 19-8 Saturday in Major Indoor Soccer League play at First Mariner Arena in Baltimore.

Denison Cabral and Mike Lookingland also scored for the Blast, now 1-1 in the league.

Ptah Myers, Ryan Heins, Rey Martinez and Aduato Neto scored goals for the Kixx, winless in the league's first two games of the season.

Both teams will have plenty of down time before their next games. Philadelphia travels to the Rockford Rampage December 4 while the Blast take a trip to La Raza de Monterrey December 13.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sockers 3-0 After Chiles Hat Trick Leads Them Over Cougars In OT

Kraig Chiles led the expansion San Diego Sockers to a 5-4 overtime victory over the defending Professional Arena Soccer League champion California Cougars Friday at Del Mar Arena in Del Mar, CA.

Chiles scored the Sockers' first goal in the second quarter, the game-tying goal with 2:23 left in regulation play, and the game-winning goal in overtime as San Diego improved to the best record in the league and in Flight B at 3-0 heading into Saturday's game against the Las Vegas Knights of the amateur Premier Arena Soccer League at Del Mar Arena.

The Cougars are 0-1 in Flight B and will travel to Tijuana, Mexico to face Revolucion Tijuana Saturday.

DCU's Olsen To Announce Retirement Next Week

After overcoming several debilitating ankle injuries to attempt to revive his career, DC United midfielder Ben Olsen is expected to announce his retirement next week from Major League Soccer, Friday's Washington Post reports.

A member of United's 1999 and 2004 MLS Cup title teams and the 2000 Summer Olympics and 2006 FIFA World Cup squads, Olsen started 200 of 211 regular season games since joining the team in 1998, putting him second in team history in both categories behind Jaime Moreno.

He also will finish third on the team's all-time assists list with 49.

Olsen was named the league's Humanitarian of the Year in 2003.

Mullan Undergoes Surgery To Clean Out Right Ankle

Houston Dynamo midfielder Brian Mullin will make a full recovery in time for the 2010 season of Major League Soccer after undergoing surgery Friday to remove bone spurs and loose material from his right ankle, according to The Houston Chronicle.

Mullin started 23 games this season for the Dynamo and had four assists.

Holden Being Scouted By Scottish Premier League Team

Midfielder Stuart Holden of Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo has reportedly been scouted for the last 18 months by the Aberdeen Reds, a Premier League team in Scotland, according to Friday's Houston Chronicle.

Holden was born in Aberdeen and lived there until age 10, when his father's oil industry job caused them to relocate to Houston.

Holden, who started for the US Men's National Team Wednesday in a 3-1 exhibition loss to Denmark, was unavailable for comment Friday about the interest of the Reds.

USL Unveils Organization And Executive Honors At AGM

On the first day of the United Soccer Leagues Annual General Meeting in Tampa, FL Friday, the league announced winners of organizational and executive awards for the 2009 season among its four entities -- First Division, Second Division, Premier Development League and W-League.

The newest award among those presented is the Betsy McAdams Key Grip Award, which goes to a member of a team staff deemed excellent in their work but not a team executive.

The award was posthumously named for McAdams, an original employee of the USL1's Charleston Battery in 1993, who held many jobs within the organization, concluding as the team's chief executive office in May 2008.

McAdams passed away in June 2009 after a long battle with brain cancer.

Here are the winners from each of the USL's leagues:

USL FIRST DIVISION
Regular Season Champion, Fair Play, Marketing and Organization of the Year winner - Portland Timbers
Communcations Award - Vancouver Whitecaps
Betsy McAdams Key Grip - Carmen Vanessa Figueroa, Puerto Rico Islanders
Sprinturf Executive of the Year - Merrit Paulson, Portland Timbers
Rookie Franchise of the Year - Austin Aztex

USL SECOND DIVISION
Regular Season Champion - Wilmington Hammerheads
Fair Play - Charlotte Eagles
Marketing - Harrisburg City Islanders
Communications - Real Maryland Monarchs
Betsy McAdams Key Grip - Whitney Woods, Wilmington Hammerheads
Sprinturf Executive of the Year - Pete Medd, Crystal Palace Baltimore
Organization of the Year - Richmond Kickers

USL PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE
Regular Season Champion and Marketing - Reading Rage
Fair Play - Virginia Legacy
Communications - Seattle Wolves
Betsy McAdams Key Grip - Fabricio Codeceira, Fresno Fuego
Rookie Franchise of the Year - West Texas United
Sprinturf Executive of the Year - David Markley, Austin Aztex U23
Organization of the Year - Des Moines Menace

USL W-LEAGUE
Regular Season Champion, Communications and Organization of the Year- Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues
Fair Play - West Michigan Firewomen
Marketing - Colorado Force
Betsy McAdams Key Grip - Win Puffer, Washington Freedom
Rookie Franchise of the Year - Quebec City Amiral
Sprinturf Executive of the Year - John Pugh, Quebec City Amiral

ADDITIONAL USL AWARDS
USL Progress Award - Chicago Red Eleven (W-League)
Archie Moyland Award - Betsy McAdams (posthumously)
USL Employee of the Year - Erin McGauley

USL Fires Off Warning To TOA; New League Could Revive NASL Name

United Soccer Leagues, on the first day of the Annual General Meeting in Tampa, FL Friday, issued a statement regarding the announcement that the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Crystal Palace Baltimore have decided to join a new, yet unnamed, professional outdoor soccer league set to start play in April 2010.

The league is mostly made of members of the USL First Division Team Owners Association, led by the defending USL1 champion Montreal Impact, along with the Carolina RailHawks, Miami FC Blues, Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps, and St. Louis Soccer United, a group that failed to be selected as a future expansion franchise in Major League Soccer.

The Rowdies paid a $750,000 fee to become an expansion team in USL1 and Crystal Palace Baltimore was set to promote themselves from the USL Second Division for the 2010 season.

In the statement, USL said they "will pursue all actions to protect (the league's) interests and those of the USL1 teams from any breach of contract caused by Tampa and Baltimore."

USL also accused the TOA of "tortously interfering with USL1 team owners that contractually obligated to participate in the 2010 season" and of making "several misleading statements in a variety of press releases to taint the reputation of USL and its long history of developing the sport of soccer in the United States and Canada."

In a related matter, according to USL News, a website not officially affiliated with the league, Miami FC officials Monday registered two trademark claims with the US Patent and Trademark Office to use the name North American Soccer League, LLC as the name of the new league, which is attempting to receive certification from the US Soccer Federation to be designated a Division II Professional Outdoor League.

The new league has said they will announced their name next week.

The Blues reportedly incorporated North American Soccer League, LLC in the state of Delaware September 22, 2009.

Kovacevic Hat Trick Leads Lightning Over Waza

Safet Kovacevic scored a natural hat trick to lead the host Louisville Lightning to a 8-3 victory over the Detroit Waza in Professional Arena Soccer League play Friday at a sold-out Mockingbird Valley Soccer Club in Louisville, KY.

Kovacevic has scored five goals in the expansion franchise's first two games.

Both teams are now 1-1 in the league's Flight A standings with the Lightning facing another expansion team, the Ohio Vortex, Sunday in Canton, OH, while the Waza take on defending Eastern Division champion 1790 Cincinnati Express Saturday in Fairfield, OH.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Kixx Defeat Polish Team In Exhibition

The Philadelphia Kixx of the Major Indoor Soccer League defeated Pogon Szczecin of the Polish Premier League 20-10 in an exhibition game Thursday at Tri-State Sports in Aston, PA.

Pogon Szczecin was promoted this season from the Polish Second Division, where they finished in second place the year before, and are currently on a tour of US cities.

The Kixx return to MISL play Saturday when they head to First Mariner Arena in Baltimore to take on the Baltimore Blast.

Rilatt Stays As Head Coach Of Timbers U23s

The Portland Timbers of the United Soccer Leagues First Division announced Friday Jim Rilatt, an assistant coach for the team since 2007, will remain head coach of the Portland Timbers U23s in the USL Premier Development League.

Rilatt led the expansion franchise to an 11-3-2 record with 35 points and earned a playoff spot after finishing second in the 10-team Western Conference, Northwest Division. The Timbers U23s led the PDL in goals scored last season with 43.

Spain Takes Number One Spot Away From Brazil; USA Falls To 14th

After over four months as the top men's soccer team in the world, Brazil handed over that spot to Spain in the latest monthly FIFA/Coca-Cola World Soccer Rankings, announced Friday.

The Netherlands and Italy held firm to their third and fourth place spots in the top ten with Portugal surging five spots from tenth to fifth.

Germany dipped one place to sixth, France climbed two spots to seventh, and Argentina, England and Croatia all fell two spots to eighth through tenth, respectively.

The United States fell three places from 11th to 14th in the November poll.

The final poll for 2009 will be announced December 16.

Two More USL Teams Defect To New Outdoor League

The Tampa Bay Rowdies and Crystal Palace Baltimore are the latest members of United Soccer Leagues to announce they are leaving the organization to join a soon-to-be-sanctioned Division II professional outdoor league starting in April 2010.

The additions bring to nine the number of teams involved in the new league, which will announce its name next week.

Joining the league are six current members of the USL First Division -- the Atlanta Silverbacks (who were on hiatus in the 2009 season), the Carolina RailHawks, Miami FC Blues, Minnesota Thunder, the current USL1 champion Montreal Impact, and the Vancouver Whitecaps -- along with St. Louis Soccer United, which failed in an attempt to join Major League Soccer in the 2011 season.

The Rowdies were set to join USL1 as an expansion franchise in 2010 and Baltimore is the first USL Second Division team to state their intentions to leave.

The league has sent an application to the US Soccer Federation to become a sanctioned D2 league, which would compete against USL1 on that level, one step below MLS.

League president Joey Saputo of the Impact said the search is on to name the league's first commissioner.

Galaxy's Donovan Wins 2009 MLS MVP

Los Angeles Galaxy forward Landon Donovan was named the winner of Major League Soccer's 2009 Volkswagen Most Valuable Player award for the first time in his storied career Thursday.

Donovan led the Galaxy this season with 12 goals and six assists in 25 games and was a part of a dramatic worst-to-first turnaround for the franchise, earning them the Western Conference regular season and postseason crowns and their first trip to the MLS Cup title game since 2005.

Donovan beat out Budweiser Golden Boot winner Jeff Cunningham of FC Dallas and Shalrie Joseph of the New England Revolution for the honor.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Biello Announces Retirement, Becomes Assistant Coach For Impact

The Montreal Impact announced Thursday Mauro Biello, the team's captain since 2001, retired as a player after 19 seasons, 16 of those in Montreal, but will become an assistant coach for them in the 2010 season.

Biello will also serve as the director of Montreal's soccer schools.

Bielli led the Impact to three United Soccer Leagues First Division titles (1994, 2004, 2009), five USL1 Commissioner's Cup as regular season chmpion (1995, 1996, 1997, 2005, 2006) and the 2008 Nutrilite Canadian Championship.

He was named the team's Most Valuable Player four times (1997, 1998, 2001, 2005), a five-time USL1 All-League First Team member (1997, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2005) and a 2002 USL1 All-League Second Team member.

He leaves USL1 as the league's all-time points leader with 253 points on 90 goals and 73 assists in 429 career games, 344 of which he started, and leaves the Impact as the all-time best player in games played, games started, minutes played, goals, assists, points, game-winning goals and shots on goals.

Toronto FC Names Preki Head Coach

Major League Soccer's Toronto FC announced Thursday Predrag "Preki" Radosavljevic as the team's new head coach, replacing interim coach Chris Cummings, whose contract was not renewed October 27.

Known better as Preki, he recently left MLS' Chivas USA by mutual agreement after leading the team to a 40-29-21 record in three seasons and making three trips to the league playoffs, yet being eliminated in the first round each time.

Calloway Returns To Menace As Head Coach

Seven years to the day he left the franchise to pursue another coaching opportunity, Laurie Calloway was named the new head coach of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League's Des Moines Menace and the director of coaching at their youth academy.

Calloway spent the 2001 and 2002 PDL seasons with the Menace. In 2001, the team finished fourth in the playoffs and had a regular season record of 11-7-2. The next season, led by Tomas Boltnar, who won the PDL's Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player, and Calloway, named Coach of the Year, the Menace finished 15-0-3 and outscored their opponents 68-19.

On November 18, 2002, Calloway resigned to join the now-defunct Syracuse Salty Dogs in USL1, leading them to a 26-20-10 record in two seasons before folding in October 2004.

He then headed to the USL1's Rochester Rhinos from 2005 to 2007, earning a record of 40-21-23 record and leading his team to the playoffs all three seasons before resigning to focus on working with youth soccer.

Before making his first trip to the Menace, Calloway was the head coach of the San Jose Clash in Major League Soccer in 1996 and 1997, going 21-29 in two seasons.

To take his current stint with Des Moines, Calloway has stepped down as technical director of the Rochester Futbol Club and McQuaid Jesuit High School.

USL Awards PDL Franchise To Dayton, OH For 2010

United Soccer Leagues announced Wednesday Dayton, OH will join the Premier Development League in the 2010 season.

The Dayton Dutch Lions will be supported in part by Dutch Eredivisie leader FC Twente, who are currently 11-0-2.

FC Twente finished second in the league last season and in fourth place in 2007, qualifying via playoffs over Ajax for the UEFA Champions League for the first of two straight appearances.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

MLS To Hold Expansion Draft For Union November 25

The roster for Major League Soccer's newest team, the Philadelphia Union, who will join in the 2010 season, will begin to take shape November 25 when the league holds a 10-round Expansion Draft via conference call.

The league announced MLS franchises will be able to trade players through noon Eastern time November 23, then must submit a list of 11 protected players to the league by 3 p.m. Eastern time that day.

The Union will not be able to claim more than one player from any MLS franchise.

For the complete breakdown of all the conditions of the draft, visit www.mlsnet.com.

Red Bulls Terminate Contract Of D Leo Krupnick

Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls announced Wednesday the termination of the contract of defender Leo Krupnick.

Krupnick joined the team July 13 from Maccabi Haifa in Israel's Premier League and started two of three games for New York this season.

Whitecaps Sign Sanchez; Offer Tryouts To Two Players

The Vancouver Whitecaps announced Wednesday they have signed free agent midfielder Ricardo Sanchez for the 2010 season.

Sanchez spent the last two seasons in the United Soccer Leagues First Division with the Minnesota Thunder.

In 2009, he was fifth in scoring in USL1 with 22 points and shared the Assist Leader title with fellow teammate Wes Knight with eight each.

The season before, Sanchez was named to the USL1 All-League Second Team after getting 10 goals and four assists in 28 games.

Sanchez joined the Thunder after a season with the now-defunct California Victory in USL1.

He also has extensive experience in Mexico with Futbol Club Atlas, Rebeceros de la Piedad, Club Celaya, Club Deportivo Irapuato, Club Deportivo Guadalajara and Club Tijuana.

In related news...

Vancouver head coach Teitur Thordarson also announced the offering of tryouts to former Thunder midfielder/forward Melvin Taylor and former Miami FC Blues defender Zourab Tsiskandze.

Former USWNT, WPS Star Hucles Named USSF Female Humanitarian Of The Year

Midfielder Angela Hucles, a former member of the US Women's National Team and Women's Professional Soccer's Boston Breakers after retiring from the sport this October, was named Wednesday the US Soccer Federation's Female Humanitarian of the Year for 2009.

Hucles is a spokesperson for America SCORES New England, which provides soccer and creative writing programs for inner-city children in the Boston area.

Earlier, the USSF named Jimmy Conrad of the Kansas City Wizards and Logan Pause of the Chicago Fire as co-winners of the men's award from Major League Soccer.

Kickers Youth Soccer Club Now Own Defending USL2 Champions

The defending United Soccer Leagues Second Division champion Richmond Kickers announced Wednesday the team's youth soccer club has become their new owner.

The Richmond Kickers Youth Soccer Club is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed in May 2000 when the Eastern FC and Richmond United youth clubs merged with the Kickers professional club.

Since then, the RKYSC has merged with groups in Midlothian, Ashland and Pocoshock, and now boasts over 6,000 players from ages 3-19 participating with the club.

Wicks Recovering From Right Knee Surgery

Goalkeeper Josh Wicks of Major League Soccer's DC United is recovering Wednesday following surgery on his right knee, the second operation Wicks has gone under in less than three weeks.

Team officials did not state what the cause for having the surgery done was.

Wicks went under the knife October 29 after colliding with a player in a September 27 game against the San Jose Earthquakes.

Despite the newest surgery, doctors still say Wicks will remain out of action for four to six months.

Danish Comeback Ends USA's 2009 Season

Johan Absalonsen, Soren Ricks and Martin Bernburg scored goals in a 10-minute span of the second half as Denmark came from behind to defeat the US Men's National Team 3-1 Wednesday in a friendly at Aarhuis, Denmark.

The US took the early lead when FC Dallas forward Jeff Cunningham, making his first appearance for the national team since 2005, scored on a left-footed shot in the 26th minute for his first goal in 12 games for his country.

The US ends their 2009 season with a record of 14-9-2.

Donovan, Onstad Win Fan-Selected MLS Postseason Awards

Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder/forward Landon Donovan and Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Pat Onstad were named winners of the AT&T Goal of the Year and Degree Men Save of the Year awards Wednesday, two awards selected by Major League Soccer fans throughout the season.

Donovan's winning play came in Week 22 of the season when he scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 win over the New England Revolution. It was selected the best from a field of all 32 weekly selections voted by fans as well as eight other nominees.

It is Donovan's first Goal of the Year award of his career.

Meanwhile, Onstad was named the inaugural winner of the Save of the Week contest, which began in Week 11 of the season, after winning weekly awards four times himself and once in a combined nomination.

Onstad stopped a penalty kick and the subsequent rebound in a 1-0 win over the Colorado Rapids during Week 5 of the season.

Clark Bids Farewell To Dynamo

Midfielder Ricardo Clark has played his final game in Major League Soccer with the Houston Dynamo and will pursue opportunities to play internationally, according to Tuesday's Houston Chronicle.

Clark told the team of his intentions in an e-mail before competing in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Clark is currently in Denmark to play a friendly game Wednesday with his US Men's National Team co-horts and could not be reached for comment.

Tampa Bay Rowdies To Name Dalglish Head Coach

Paul Dalglish, a former player with Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo, will become the first head coach in the revived history of the Tampa Bay Rowdies, who join the United Soccer Leagues First Division as a 2010 season expansion team, according to The Tampa Tribune Tuesday.

Dalglish is the son of legendary Liverpool and Scotland player Kenny Dalglish.

Cougars Welcome Back Two Members Of 2005 Team

The defending Professional Arena Soccer League champion California Cougars welcomed back two member of their original 2005 team that played in Stockton in midfielder/defender Craig Scheer and forward Vicente Figueroa.

Both will be eligible to play in the Cougars season opener Saturday against the San Diego Sockers at Del Mar Arena.

Scheer last played for the Baltimore Blast in the National Indoor Soccer League, now the rebranded Major Indoor Soccer League, last season, blocking one shot but scoring no goals in 11 games played as the Blast became the NISL's only champion.

In the 2005-06 season in the second version of the MISL, he has five goals and five assists for 10 points and, the next season, he blocked 11 shots, had eight two-point goals and six assists for 22 points.

He also spent time in the MISL with the New Jersey Ironmen.

Figueroa comes to the Cougars after playing in the amateur Premier Arena Soccer League for Off The Wall Santa Clara.

He was the MISL's 2005-06 Rookie of the Year after scoring 26 goals and four assists for 30 points that season. He then had 18 two-point goals and five three-point shots in 23 games the next season.

A torn right anterior cruciate ligament and a right lateral meniscus tear caused in a friendly game against the Stars of Mexico forced Figueroa to miss the entire 2007-08 season.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

MLS Announces Roster For Generation adidas Tour Of South Africa

Major League Soccer Tuesday announced the names of 18 members of their Generation adidas program who will travel to South Africa on an 11-day tour later this month.

The team will play three friendly games against teams in the country's Premier Soccer League, attend the live draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Cape Town, and tour sites in the country.

Ten teams are represented on the Generation adidas roster, with five players selected from FC Dallas.

Here are the players, listed alphabetically by MLS franchise:

CHICAGO FIRE
Patrick Nyarko
Baggio Husidic

COLORADO RAPIDS
Ciaran O'Brien
Rob Valentino

DC UNITED
Chris Pontius
Rodney Wallace

FC DALLAS
Brek Shea
Peri Marosevic
Bruno Guarda
Eric Avila
Josh Lambo

HOUSTON DYNAMO
Danny Cruz

KANSAS CITY WIZARDS
Chance Myers
Roger Espinosa

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
Kevin Alston

NEW YORK RED BULLS
Jeremy Hall

REAL SALT LAKE
Tony Beltran

TORONTO FC
Stefan Frei

Martinez Named MISL's First Player Of The Week

The Major Indoor Soccer League named defender Genoni Martinez of La Raza de Monterrey as the first Player of the Week for the 2009-10 season Tuesday.

Martinez, the team's captain, led all scorers with six points on a two-point goal, a three-point goal and an assist in Monterrey's 15-13 victory at home Sunday against the Philadelphia Kixx.

Martinez is a five-time MISL Defender of the Year selection and was a First Team selection and the January 2008 Defender of the Month last season in what was the National Indoor Soccer League.

Crew Draw Mexican Champion Toluca In CCL Quarterfinals

Major League Soccer's 2008 MLS Cup champion and 2009 Eastern Conference and Supporters Shield champion Columbus Crew will face Mexico's Primera Division champion Toluca in the two-game, aggregate-score quarterfinal round of the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League, it was announced Tuesday.

The Crew will host the first leg of the series between March 9-11,2010 at Crew Stadium, then travel to Toluca for the second leg between March 16-18, 2010. Firmer dates will be announced next week.

The winner of that series will advance to the CCL semifinals to face the winner of the Cominicaciones (Guatemala)-Pachuca (Mexico) quarterfinal bracket with the first leg between March 30 and April 1 and the second between April 6-8.

That winner makes it to the two-game championship final, with legs scheduled between April 20-22 (first) and April 27-29 (second).

Monday, November 16, 2009

MLS Announces 2009 Best XI

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber revealed the names Monday of the members of the league's 2009 Best XI -- the best 11 players of this season at each position -- selected in a vote of league players, coaches, general managers and media members.

This year's Best XI:

- features a goalkeeper, three defenders, five midfielders and two forwards.

- has six previously selected players and five newcomers.

- has all three nominees for the league's Volkswagen Most Valuable Player listed and seven finalists for other post-season awards.

- features the top two finishers in the Budweiser Golden Boot competition.

- has representatives from 10 teams, with the Houston Dynamo being the only team to have two players named.

- has 10 members of the 2009 MLS All-Star Team named.

- has nine members with experience on the US Men's National team and two who have never been invited to play for them.

Here are, by position, the 2009 MLS Best XI

2009 MLS BEST XI

GOALKEEPER
Zach Thornton, Chivas USA
- 2009 Goalkeeper of the Year and Comeback Player of the Year
- Last named to Best XI in 1998 with the Chicago Fire
- Led all goalkeepers in goals against average (0.87) and shutouts (12)
- Led Chivas to fourth straight playoff appearance

DEFENDERS
Geoff Cameron, Houston Dynamo
- Finalist for 2009 Visa Defender of the Year
- First-timer on MLS Best XI
- Two goals, six assists in 29 games this season
- Member of 2009 MLS All-Star Team

Wilman Conde, Chicago Fire
- Two goals, two assists in 19 games this season
- First-timer on MLS Best XI

Chad Marshall, Columbus Crew
- 2008 and 2009 Visa Defender of the year
- Two-time MLS Best XI honoree
- Had four goals for second straight season; tied for third most on team in 2009

MIDFIELDERS
Dwayne De Rosario, Toronto FC
- Fourth time named to MLS Best XI
- 11 goals, six assists in first season with team after being traded by Houston Dynamo
- First MLS Best XI player to be named to team with three different clubs

Landon Donovan, Los Angeles Galaxy
- Had 12 goals as Galaxy made MLS playoffs for first time since 2005
- Third time named to MLS Best XI
- Named to MLS All-Star team for ninth time in career
- MLS Player of the Month for July 2009 and Player of the Week winner for Week 29

Stuart Holden, Houston Dynamo
- Played in a career-high 26 games and scored a career-high six goals
- Member of USMNT this year
- First Best XI nod and made first MLS All-Star team

Shalrie Joseph, New England Revolution
- Had a career-high eight goals and eight assists; led Revolution in scoring
- Named to MLS All-Star team for sixth time in career
- Named to fourth MLS Best XI
- Finalist for 2009 Volkswagen MLS Most Valuable Player

Freddie Ljungberg, Seattle Sounders
- First MLS Best XI nod and All-Star team selection
- MLS Player of the Month for October
- Finalist for MLS Newcomer of the Year

FORWARDS
Jeff Cunningham, FC Dallas
- Career-high 17 goals to win 2009 MLS Budweiser Golden Boot; also had eight assists
- Finalist for 2009 Volkswagen MLS Most Valuable Player
- Had 16 goals in the final 14 games of the season
- Second in all-time career goals with 121
- Third MLS Best XI nomination

Conor Casey, Colorado Rapids
- Had career-high 16 goals in 24 games to finish second in 2009 MLS Budweiser Golden Boot race
- Scored two game-winning goals for USMNT in World Cup Qualifying matches for the 2010 event in South Africa
- Three-time MLS Player of the Week winner and May 2009 Player of the Month
- Named to first MLS All-Star team
-

Monterrey Edges Kixx In Their MISL Season Opener

Genoni Martinez had a two-point and a three-point goal against his former team and Byron Alvarez had a pair of two-point goals as La Raza de Monterrey slipped past the Philadelphia Kixx, 15-13, Sunday at Arena Monterrey in Major Indoor Soccer League play.

Chile Farias, Mark Ughy and Armando Teran all scored two-point shots for Monterrey.

Pat Morris fired a game-ending three-pointer for the Kixx and Ricardinho, Sandre Naumoski, Anthony Maher and Ryan Heins had Philadelphia's other points.

The Kixx face the Baltimore Blast at First Mariner Arena this Saturday and Monterrey will host the Milwaukee Wave next Sunday.

Waza Opens Season With Win Over Expansion Vortex

Drew Ducker has two goals and Pat Griffin scored the game-winning point with 2:03 left in the third quarter as the host Detroit Waza came back from a 3-1 second quarter deficit to defeat the expansion Ohio Vortex Saturday 6-4 in Professional Arena Soccer League play at Total Soccer Royal Oak in Royal Oak, MI.

Last year, the Waza started the season 0-6 and didn't earn their first PASL win until December 20.

Israel Jones scored the Vortex's first goal in its history but the Waza scored four straight goals after being down 3-1 to take a 5-3 lead and eventually won their season opener.

Both teams face the expansion Louisville Lightning this coming weekend -- Detroit travels to the Mockingbird Valley Soccer Club to play them Friday; Louisville opens the Vortex's home season next Sunday at the Canton Civic Center.

Sockers Slip Past Outlaws In PASL Play

Aaron Susi had a hat trick and Anthony Medina had two goals as the San Diego Sockers won their second game of their inaugural Professional Arena Soccer League season with a 7-5 victory over the host Texas Outlaws Sunday at TCG Arena at NYTEX Sports Centre.

Paul Wright added a goal and two assists for the Sockers and, with seven points in the first two points, has become the league's scoring leader.

The Sockers open their home schedule this weekend at Del Mar Arena with games Friday against the defending league champion California Cougars and Saturday against the Las Vegas Knights.

Texas travels to the Denver Dynamite Saturday.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sockers Make Successful Return To Indoor Soccer

Paul Wright had two goals and two assists and Miguel "Chiky" Luna added two more goals as the San Diego Sockers made their debut in the Professional Arena Soccer League with a 12-6 victory over the Denver Dynamite Saturday at the Bladium in Denver.

Dan Antoniuk, Aaron Susi, Kraig Chiles and Garth Archibald all scored for the Sockers.

The Dynamite were led by Chad Pearson, who had a hat trick, and Josh Fallin, who had a goal and two assists. John Molet scored the game's opening goal for Denver.

The Sockers return to action Sunday at the Texas Outlaws, then open their home season at Del Mar Arena this Saturday against the defending league champion California Cougars.

Denver is off until this Saturday when they host the Outlaws.

Pappas Retires, Sanaldo Signed; D'Ambra To Only Coach Kixx

With a day before they open their 2009-10 Major Indoor Soccer League season on the road at La Raza de Monterrey, the Philadelphia Kixx announced goalkeeper Peter Pappas has retired from the sport and the franchise signed Sanaldo to fill his spot between the pipes.

Also, forward/head coach Don D'Ambra stated Saturday he will serve only as head coach for the first time since taking over the team in the 2002-03 MISL season from Omid Namazi.

Pappas, whose jersey and number will be retired this season at a home game at the Liacouras Center at Temple University, played his entire 13-year professional indoor career with the Kixx.
In 416 regular season games, he amassed 26,606 minutes and one second in goal, saving 5,399 shots and winning 2,430 games. He also spent over 2,000 minutes in goal and saved 450 shots in the playoffs.

Pappas was a four-time MISL Goalkeeper of the Year (2001, 2004, 2005, 2007) and an eight-time All-League pick, either in MISL or the National Indoor Soccer League, which became the recently revamped MISL.

Sanaldo played last season in the NISL for the Rockford Rampage, earning a 10-8 record and saving 164 shots while leading the team to the NISL's only champiosnhip game, a loss to the Baltimore Blast.

He also played in the MISL for the Blast, Kansas City Comets, Detroit Ignition and California Cougars.

D'Ambra says if he is needed due to injuries, he would consider playing again, but has decided to concentrate on coaching the team this season.

The Kixx open their home season January 9 against the Rampage.

RSL Wins Eastern Conference Title In PKs Over Fire

Ned Grabavoy scored the game-winning point in the seventh round of a 5-4 penalty kick shootout as Real Salt Lake, a member of Major League Soccer's Western Conference, won the 2009 Eastern Conference championship with the Chicago Fire after 90 minutes of regulation play and 30 minutes of overtime settled little at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL Saturday.

Real Salt Lake now faces the Los Angeles Galaxy at Seattle's Qwest Field next Sunday for the MLS Cup title.

RSL, who joined the league in 2005, was placed in the Eastern Conference playoff bracket as the fourth seed to balance out the conference brackets and, with their win, causes another championship game in league history in which both teams come from the same conference.

Last season, the New York Red Bulls, an Eastern team, was placed in the Western bracket and won the conference title, only to lose 3-1 in the 2008 MLS Cup final to true Eastern Conference foe Columbus Crew.

In 1998, the Fire and DC United, both Eastern, played each other for the title with Chicago winning 2-0. United then faced the Kansas City Wizards, again an all-Eastern final, edging them 3-2 in 2004.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Undermanned US Team Loses To Slovakia

Without the services of forward Landon Donovan, goalkeeper Tim Howard and defenders Oguchi Onyewu, Jay DeMerit and Chad Marshall, the US Men's National Team fell 1-0 Saturday to Slovakia in an international friendly in Bratislava.

Donovan's Los Angeles Galaxy won Major League Soccer's Western Conference Championship Friday night 2-0 over the Houston Dynamo and will meet the winner of Saturday's Eastern Conference Championship game between the Chicago Fire and Real Salt Lake at Toyota Park.

Howard was given the game off by US head coach Bob Bradley.

Oguchi (knee surgery), DeMerit (eye surgery) and Marshall (knee sprain) are all recovering from injuries.

The US will close out its 2009 season schedule Wednesday when they play Denmark on the road.

Galaxy Reach MLS Cup By Beating Dynamo For Western Conference Championship

Despite the lights going out twice at The Home Depot Center due to a power outage, the Los Angeles Galaxy kept their energy up and advanced to next Sunday's Major League Soccer championship game by defeating the Houston Dynamo 2-0 Friday to win the 2009 Western Conference Championship.

After 90 minutes of regulation time failed to settle anything, Gregg Berhalter fired off an unassisted goal in the 103rd minute, then watched as Landon Donovan scored a penalty kick goal six minutes later to ice the game for Los Angeles.

The Galaxy will now head to the 2009 MLS Cup next Sunday at Qwest Field in Seattle against the winner of Saturday night's Eastern Conference title game at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL between the host Chicago Fire and Real Salt Lake.

Kixx Sign 2004-05 MISL MVP Aduato Neto

The Philadelphia Kixx of the Major Indoor Soccer League welcomed back former 2004-05 season Most Valuable Player and forward Aduato Neto to their roster Friday.

Neto played last season in the now-defunct Xtreme Soccer League with the New Jersey Ironmen, where he finished third in the league in scoring with 46 points on 15 goals and 16 assists and earned a place on the All-League Team.

Neto has also played for the Cleveland Force and the Baltimore Blast in the second version of the MISL before joining the Ironmen.

In 155 career games, including playoffs, he has scored 127 goals and 88 assists.

The Kixx open their season on the road Sunday at Arena Monterrey against La Raza de Monterrey and begin their home season at Temple University's Liacouras Center January 9 against the Rockford Rampage.

Brisson OT Goal Gives Rampage Revenge Win Over Blast

Last season, the Baltimore Blast ended the first (and only) season for the National Indoor Soccer League by defeating the Rockford Rampage for the league championship.

Friday, the two teams met again under a new banner, that of the revived Major Indoor Soccer League, but, this time, the result was much different.

Chris Brisson scored a two-point goal at the 9:47 mark of overtime as the Rampage opened the league's season with a 10-8 win over the Blast at First Mariner Arena.

Bato Radoncic, Matthew Stewart, Gary Brooks, Ibrahim Kante also scored two-pointers for the Rampage in regulation play.

Rockford (1-0) is now off until the night after Thanksgiving when they host the Milwaukee Wave at the Rockford MetroCentre.

Baltimore (0-1), meanwhile, looks for its first home win of the season next Saturday when they host the Philadelphia Kixx.

USWNT Announced Final Training Camp Roster For 2009

Despite finishing the 2009 schedule with a 7-0-1 record, US Women's National Team head coach Pia Sundhage announced the names of 24 players invited to participate in the team's final training camp of the year, set for December 5-15 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

18 of the players competed in the inaugural season of Women's Professional Soccer with four coming from the league champion Sky Blue FC and two from the regular season champion Los Angeles Sol. Two players also represent the Philadelphia Independence, one of two expansion teams for the 2009 season; the other being the Atlanta Beat. The other six invited are considered the best players in the nation in college soccer heading into the 2009 NCAA Women's College Cup tournament, which ends December 4 and 6 in College Station, TX.

Here is the training camp roster by position and current assignment:

GOALKEEPERS
Nicole Barnhart - FC Gold Pride
Alyssa Nasher - Penn State
Hope Solo - St. Louis Athletica

DEFENDERS
Brittany Bock - Los Angeles Sol
Rachel Buehler - FC Gold Pride
Lori Chalupny - St. Louis Athletica
Amy LePeilbet - Boston Breakers
Heather Mitts - Philadelphia Independence
Meghan Schnur - Sky Blue FC
Cat Whitehall - Washington Freedom

MIDFIELDERS
Yael Auerbuch - Sky Blue FC
Shannon Boxx - Los Angeles Sol
Tobin Heath - North Carolina
Carli Lloyd - Sky Blue FC
Christine Nairn - Penn State
Heather O'Reilly - Sky Blue FC
Leslie Osborne - Boston Breakers
Megan Rapinoe - Chicago Red Stars

FORWARDS
Lauren Cheney - UCLA
Ella Masur - Chicago Red Stars
Casey Nogueira - North Carolina
Kelly O'Hara - Stanford
Amy Rodriguez - Philadelphia Independence
Abby Wambach - Washington Freedom

1790 Cincinnati Express Open Season Against Expansion Lightning

Jeff Hughes had a hat trick and Matt Brienes added two goals as the defending Professional Arena Soccer Leagues Eastern Division champion 1790 Cincinnati Express opened theirs and the league's second season with a 6-5 come-from-behind win over the expansion Louisville Lightning Friday at the Mockingbird Valley Soccer Club in Louisville, KY.

The game drew a crowd 20 percent larger than the facility's capacity.

Mariano Gonzalez and Safet Kovalevic had two goals each for the Lightning in their debut.

The Express will host the Detroit Waza next Saturday at the Game Time Training Center in Fairfield, OH while the Lightning host Detroit next Friday.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Impact Sign Head Coach Through 2011 Season

The defending United Soccer Leagues First Division champion Montreal Impact announced Friday they have signed head coach to a contract through the end of the 2011 season.

The Impact, who beat the Vancouver Whitecaps in an all-Canadian USL1 championship game in the 2009 season, are set, along with Vancouver and several other teams, to start a new second-level professional outdoor soccer league in April 2010.

Dos Santos led the Impact to a 12-8-6 season this record and their third league title in team history.

In related team news...

Forward Eduardo Sebrango underwent sports hernia surgery Tuesday and is expected to fully recover in time for the start of training camp.

Kickers Re-Loan Bumbut To Blast For MISL Season

The defending United Soccer Leagues Second Division champion Richmond Kickers announced Friday they are re-loaning midfielder Adrian Bumbut to the Baltimore Blast of the newly-revamped Major Indoor Soccer League for their 2009-10 season, which starts Friday at First Mariner Arena in Baltimore against the Rockford Rampage.

Bumbut was on the Blast's 2008-09 National Indoor Soccer League championship team that beat the Rampage for the title and had six goals in eight games played.

With the Kickers the past two seasons, he scored six goals and four assists overall and finished the 2008-09 USL2 season tied for fifth on the team in scoring.

Portland, ME Joiniing USL PDL In 2010 Season

Maine Professional Soccer announced Friday they will join the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League for the 2010 season with the expansion MPS Portland Phoenix.

The team will be led by former Cape Cod Crusaders head coach and general manager Paul Baber.

Whitecaps Sign Williams To One-Year Deal With Option

The Vancouver Whitecaps, a member of a proposed new outdoor soccer league to begin play in April 2010, signed defender/midfielder Chris Williams Thursday to a one-year conttact with an option year.

Williams spent the last two seasons with the Charleston Battery of the United Soccer Leagues First Division. In 2009, he had a goal and two assists in 31 games in all competitions.

He previously played the 2005 and 2006 seasons for the USL1's Toronto Lynx and the 2003 and 2004 seasons with the Montreal Impact, then in the A-League, now called USL1.

At Montreal, he led the Impact to the A-League championship in 2004.

In Toronto, he was voted the Fan Favourite for the 2005 season and won the Lynx's Public Relations Award in the 2006 season.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

De Rosario Wins Two Of Toronto FC's Year End Awards

Dwayne De Rosario, acquired by Major League Soccer's Toronto FC in a trade with the Houston Dynamo in December 2008, was named the team's Most Valuable Player and Golden Boot winner as 2009 season awards were handed out Thursday.

De Rosario, a native of Toronto, was the first player in team history to have a double-digit total in goals scored in a season with 11 to go with six assists. He also finished second on the team in minutes played at 2,444, behind Jim Brennan's 2,478, was third in MLS in shots on goal at 36, and was tied for fourth in MLS in scoring.

He also tallied the franchise's first hat trick in the final game of the 2009 Nutrilite Canadian Championship and was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.

He was twice named Toronto's Man of the Match (May 23 against the New England Revolution, July 18 against the Houston Dynamo) and their Player of the Month in July and September 2009.

A selection to the 2009 MLS All-Star Game, De Rosario could not play due to commitments Toronto FC had in competing in the first season of the CONCACAF Champions League.

Goalkeeper Stefan Frei, who was voted for three straight weeks by MLS fans the winner of the Save of the Week competition, was named Defender of the Year after starting all 26 games he appeared in and had 98 saves and a 1.49 goals against average. He was also a two-time team Player of the Month in March and April 2009.

Defender Brennan was named the team's US Soccer Federation/MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Year candidate after donating time to KidSport Ontario and Spread The Net, which raises funds to provide mosquito netting to homes in the African countries of Liberia and Rwanda to prevent the spread of malaria.

Chivas USA, Preki Part Ways

Major League Soccer's Chivas USA announced Thursday that, by mutual agreement, head coach Preki Radosavljevic will not return for the 2010 season.

Preki served as an assistant coach to former head coach Bob Bradley, now head coach for the US Men's National team, in the 2006 season and was elevated to the top coaching job January 17, 2007.

Preki had the best winning record of any coach in team history at 40-29-21, a .561 winning percentage.

In 2009, the team finished 13-11-6 with 45 points in the Western Conference and missed winning the Supporters Shield for best league record by four points over the Columbus Crew (13-7-10, 49).

Chivas made the MLS Cup Playoffs this season, but lost 3-2 in aggregate play to the Los Angeles Galaxy in the Western Conference Semifinals.

Preki's contract with the team was to expire at the end of the year.

Coundoul, Kandji Undergo Surgeries For Red Bulls

Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls announced Thursday goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul and forward Macoumba Kandji underwent surgeries this week.

Coundoul had a cyst removed and a small tear in his patella tendon repaired Tuesday and will be out six to eight weeks. He came to New York as a free agent from the Colorado Rapids June 29 and started eight games with a 1.25 goals against average and two shutouts.

Kandji will miss the next four to six weeks after having his right adductor muscle repaired as well as having hernia surgery. The league's Player of the Week in Week 8, Kandji had two goals and four assists in 23 games this season.

Kixx Bring Castellanos, Ortiz Back; Add Gibson, Rowley

In what seems to be a daily ritual heading into their 2009-10 season in the revived Major Indoor Soccer League, the Philadelphia Kixx Thursday announced the re-signing of forwards David Castellanos and Jeremy Ortiz and the signing of new forwards Leo Gibson and Pete Rowley.

Castellanos, a member of the Kixx's 2007 championship team in the second version of the MISL, will be in his fifth season with the team. He had 20 points on eight goals and three assists last season in the National Indoor Soccer League. He now has 54 career points entering this season.

Ortiz, in his first season after graduating La Salle University, had 14 points on five goals and four assists.

Gibson spent his last two seasons with the Detroit Ignition of the MISL (2007-08) and the Xtreme Soccer League (2008-09). On the XSL's only championship team, he was fifth in points with 25 on eight goals and eight assists.

Rawley, who graduated from Syracuse, played outdoors for the FC Reading Revolution in the amateur National Premier Soccer League and the Charleston Battery in the United Soccer Leagues First Division.

The Kixx open their 2009-10 MISL season on the road Sunday against La Raza de Monterrey and open their home season at Temple University's Liacouras Center January 9 against the Rockford Rampage.

Vermont Voltage Return To USL PDL In 2010 Season

The Vermont Voltage announced Thursday they will return to the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League for the 2010 season after taking this season off due to renovations at their home field, Collins Perley Complex.

The organization's women's team did compete in the USL W-League in 2009.

Among the improvements made at the complex are a new lighting system, new seating areas, a new drainage system for the field and new home and visitor locker rooms.

1790 Cincinnati Express Signs 15 Players, Head Coach

The defending Eastern Division champion 1790 Cincinnati Express of the Professional Arena Soccer League announced the signings Thursday of new head coach Alex Rawlings and 15 players, 12 of them from last season's roster.

Rawlings replaces player-head coach Craig Rhodis, who will be Rawling's assistant coach and serve as the team's director of soccer operations.

Signed to the roster for this season are:

GOALKEEPER
Craig Salvati
Zac Van Frank

FORWARD
Matt Brienes
Jack Cummings
Andy Farrel

MIDFIELDER
Tim Brown
Eddie Hertsenberg
Jeff Hughes
Shawn Rockey
Kevin Noshang

DEFENDER
Garret Bude
Sam Fiore
Jeff Henderson
Lionel Jackson
Kurt Fischer

The Express open their 2009-10 PASL season Friday night at the expansion Louisville Lightning with their home opener set for November 21 at the Game Time Training Center in Fairfield, OH against the Detroit Waza.

Galaxy's Gonzales Named MLS Rookie Of The Year

For the second year in a row, the Los Angeles Galaxy has taken Major League Soccer's Rookie of the Year award with Omar Gonzales named the 2009 season winner Thursday.

Sean Franklin won the award last year.

Gonzales was one of 14 players in MLS this season to play in all 30 regular season games. He had a goal and an assist and was second among all league rookies in minutes played at 2,672, just behind Darrius Barnes of the New England Revolution at 2,700.

Timbers Loan USL1 Scoring Champion To Indian Team

The Portland Timbers of the United Soccer Leagues First Division announced Wednesday forward and 2009 league scoring champion Mandjou Keita has been loaned to Salgoacar Sports Club of India's I League for the 2009-10 season with the ability to be recalled at any time during the season.

Keita, the team's Most Valuable Player by a vote of fans, has 11 goals and seven assists last season for 29 points in 29 games.

Salgoacar has a 1-2-3 record with six points in their 26-game regular season and Keita could start for them as early as Saturday against JCT.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rival Pro Outdoor League To USL1 Announced

The defending United Soccer Leagues First Division champion Montreal Impact have joined six other teams from the league -- the Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks, Miami FC Blues, Minnesota Thunder and Vancouver Whitecaps -- as well as the unaffiliated St. Louis United to create a rival Division II professional outdoor soccer league that will begin play in April 2010.

The yet-to-be-named league has named Montreal's president, Joey Saputo, as the chairman of the board of governors and St. Louis owner Jeff Cooper as their official spokesperson.

The USL1 teams are all members of the Team Owners Association, who have been upset for some time with the way the current league operates and the new league has already sent in applications with the US Soccer Federation and the Canadian Soccer Association to have the new league certified.

The Silverbacks are the only USL1 team that did not play in the 2009 season, choosing to take a year off.

FCD's Davies Underwent Hernia Surgery

FC Dallas defender Kyle Davies underwent hernia surgery last Friday and will be out for the next two to three months, according to the Major League Soccer franchise Wednesday.

Davies, who started 10 of 11 games after signing April 28 following a trade from Real Salt Lake, will rehab at his home in Danville, CA and with FC Dallas medical staff.

Kixx Ink Four Returning Midfielders, One Newcomer To Team

The Philadelphia Kixx of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced the re-signings Wednesday of four midfielders -- Ricardinho, Angel Rivillo, Sandre Naumoski and Ryan Heins -- and the signing of a rookie midfielder in Joe Taylor.

Ricardinho was second on the Kixx in scoring last season in the former National Indoor Soccer League with 49 points on 13 goals and 22 assists.

Rivillo had 15 points last season on four goals and seven assists.

Naumoski has 108 points and 61 blocks in his extensive professional indoor career with the Kansas City Comets, St. Louis Steamers, Chicago Storm, New Jersey Ironmen, and the Kixx.

Heins will be in his third season with the Kixx and had six goals and an assist last season for 14 points.

Taylor is a graduate of Villanova University, where he was a four-year starter and the team's captain in 2008.

The Kixx open their 2009-10 season Sunday on the road against La Raza de Monterrey.

Arena Named MLS Coach Of The Year For Second Time

After leading the Los Angeles Galaxy to one of Major League Soccer's biggest one-season turnarounds ever, head coach Bruce Arena was named Wednesday the league's 2009 Coach Of The Year.

After going 8-13-9 with 33 points and giving up a league-high 62 goals in 2008, the Galaxy went 12-6-12 with 48 points, won the Western Conference regular season championship and are two wins away from another MLS Cup title.

The Galaxy will host the Houston Dynamo Friday at The Home Depot Center for the 2009 Western Conference Championship and could face the winner of Saturday's Eastern Conference Championship game -- either the Chicago Fire or Real Salt Lake -- at the MLS Cup November 22 at Qwest Field in Seattle.

Arena last won MLS Coach of the Year in 1997 with DC United and joins current US Men's National Team head coach Bob Bradley (1998 - Chicago Fire, 2006 - DC United) and current Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid (1999 - Los Angeles Galaxy, 2008 - Seattle) as two-time winners.

Schmid and current Crew head coach Robert Warzycha were finalists for the 2009 award.

USMNT's Davies Released From DC Hospital

US Men's National Team forward Charlie Davies was released Tuesday from a Washington, DC hospital nearly a month after being seriously injured in a car accident October 13 that took the life of a 22-year-old female passenger.

The accident took place in the early morning hours of the day the US was set to play Costa Rica in their final CONCACAF qualiying match for the 2010 FIFA World Cup at RFK Stadium.

Davies will undergo extensive physical therapy to deal with his injuries, which includes several broken bones, including two in his right leg, and a lacerated bladder.

He will be out of action from 6 months to a year, meaning he will not be eligible to compete for the US in South Africa for the World Cup.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kixx Re-Sign Di Buono, Roberts, Coleman; Add Kletzien

The Philadelphia Kixx of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced the re-signings Tuesday of veteran defenders Joe Di Buono, Clay Roberts and Kevin Coleman, and welcomed the arrival of defender Will Kletzien.

Di Buono had five points and 14 blocks in his first season with the Kixx last year. He began his professional career in the second version of the league in 2007 with the Milwaukee Wave, now part of the new MISL.

Roberts was a member of the Kixx's 2005-06 team and their 2007 MISL Championship roster. He had one goal and five blocks in 12 games last season. From 2004 to 2006, Roberts played outdoors for the Charlotte Eagles in the United Soccer Leagues Second Division.

Coleman is in his second season at Philadelphia and had an assist and two blocks in 2008-09.

Kletzien played for the Chicago Storm of the now defunct Xtreme Soccer League, where he did not miss a single game in the league's only season. He had a two-point goal, seven assists and 11 blocks.

The Kixx open their 2009-10 season Sunday at La Raza de Monterrey, then opens the home season January 9 at the Liacouras Center at Temple University against the Rockford Rampage.

FC Dallas Re-Signs McCarty

Major League Soccer's FC Dallas announced the re-signing of midfielder Dax McCarty Tuesday.

McCarty has been with the franchise ever since he was drafted sixth overall in the 2006 SuperDraft and was named for the first time this week to the US Men's National Team rosters for their upcoming friendly games against Slovakia and Denmark.

He started 27 of 28 games this season and had career highs in goals (three) and assists (six).

In 71 career games, he has four goals and 15 assists.

USL Issues Response To Formation Of New League

United Soccer Leagues Tuesday issued a statement in response to a plan by five USL First Division teams, as well as a former USL1 franchise and an independent team, to submit an application to the US Soccer Federation to form a new Division II Men's Outdoor Professional League for the 2010 season.

The yet-to-be-named league would feature five members of the Team Owners Association -- the defending USL1 champion Montreal Impact, the Vancouver Whitecaps, Carolina RailHawks, Minnesota Thunder and Miami FC -- as well as the Atlanta Silverbacks, who sat out of the 2009 USL1 season, and St. Louis United.

While USL1 says it is not against the creation of another Division II professional outdoor league, they "oppose the current application before the (US Soccer) Federation on the grounds there is misrepresentation, interference with USL business operations and substantial debt amongst the membership of the parties applying for certification."

The league is "currently working with USL-1 member teams on reforming the structure of league management" and said "USL's ownership structure and franchise system has been, and will continue to be, in compliance with all USSF and FIFA statutes" since it was created in 1993.

Montreal president Joey Saputo, chairman of the TOA, issued two counterstatements on the USL1's position Tuesday.

First, he said "there are still ongoing talks between the Montreal Impact and the USL", that all options are open for the 2010 season "including the possibility that the Impact take part in the USL-1 or in a new league", but that it "is already November 10 and we needed to submit to the (USSF) an application for the creation of a new league for this option to remain viable."

However, at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Saputo said Montreal was "fully committed to its fellow teams and to the league application" and "since USL has historically and currently been unwilling to grant is that necessary ownership and control (they want), we have applied to launch a new league and that endeavour has my personal attention and commitment."

Montero Wins Newcomer Of The Year; Thornton Earns Second Award

Seattle Sounders forward Fredy Montero and Chivas USA goalkeeper Zach Thornton were named Tuesday Major League Soccer's Newcomer of the Year and Comeback Player of the Year, respectively, for the 2009 season.

Montero, who beat fellow Seattle teammates Kasey Kellar and Freddie Ljungberg for the honor, is the third player to win the award, which goes to a player competing in his first MLS season but has previous professional experience that would disqualify him from being named Rookie of the Year.

Luciano Emilio (DC United - 2007) and Darren Huckerby (San Jose Earthquakes - 2008) were the previous winners.

Montero led the team in goal scoring at 12, had seven assists, and was tied with teammate Nate Jaqua for second highest point total on the roster.

Montero was the first MLS Player of the Week and the MLS Player of the Month for March this season. In the month, he scored four goals and an assist.

Thornton picked up his second MLS postseason award after being named Goalkeeper of the Year last week.

He led Chivas to a 13-11-6 record, had a career-best 12 shutouts, one shy of a team record, and had a 0.87 goals against average, lowest since Houston Dynamo star Pat Onstad had a 0.82 in 2007.

Thornton led in GAA and shutouts in the league and was second in wins overall with 12.

He beat Chicago Fire forward Brian McBride and DC United midfielder Ben Olsen in the voting by MLS players, coaches, general managers and media.

Ohio Vortex To Split Games Between Canton, Cleveland

The expansion Ohio Vortex of the Professional Arena Soccer League announced Monday they will play five home games in January 2010 at the Canton Memorial Civic Center, according to the Canton Repository.

Those games will be January 2 and 16 (against the expansion Louisville Lightning), January 3 (against the Winnipeg Alliance), January 9 (versus the St. Louis Illusion), and January 15 (hosting the Detroit Waza.

The Vortex will also have three games at the Cleveland Metroplex Sports Complex -- December 5 and 19 against the 1790 Cincinnati Express, and December 12 against the Waza.

Denzil Antonio, the 1990-91 season Defender of the Year in the National Professional Soccer League with the Canton Invaders, will serve as the team's head coach.

Vermes To Get Interim Tag Removed With Wizards Tuesday

Major League Soccer's Kansas City Wizards have called a news conference for Tuesday afternoon to name Peter Vermes as the team's head coach, according to The Kansas City Star.

Vermes served as the team's interim head coach since Curt Onalfo was fired midway through the season.

He led the team to a 3-6-3 record during his tenure and the Wizards finished the 2009 season 8-13-9 overall with 33 points, missing the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time in three years.

Dynamite Sign Ryals, Carrillo, Miller To Deals

The Denver Dynamite of the two-year-old Professional Arena Soccer League announced the signings Monday of defender/midfielder Brett Ryals, defender Mario Carrillo and midfielder Chris Miller.

Ryals was an original member of the Denver Dragons (now Colorado Predators) in the Premier Arena Soccer League and played for the Colorado Comets in the United States Interregional Soccer League.

In three preseason games with the Dynamite, he has four goals and three assists.

Carrillo played in the PASL-Premier with Dallas Vitresse, Duncanville Revolution and Rockwall Raptors and in the USISL for the Mesquite Kickers.

Miller is a graduate of Colorado State University's Pueblo campus and will make his professional debut Saturday when the Dynamite opens their season Saturday at Bladium Denver against the expansion San Diego Sockers.

Rampage Re-Signs Beasley For 2010 Season

The Rockford Rampage of the revived Major Indoor Soccer League announced the re-signing Monday of midfielder Jamar Beasley.

Beasley played in 19 games last season in the former National Indoor Soccer League and had nine goals and four assists for 22 points.

He led the Detroit Ignition in scoring in the 2006-07 season of the second MISL and the lone season (2007-08) of the Xtreme Soccer League.

He was the MISL's 2006-07 season Most Valuable Player, when he led the league with 40 goals and 107 points.

Beasley also played in Major League Soccer for the New England Revolution (1998-2001) and the Chicago Fire (2001).

He missed the end of the 2007-08 regular season and the team's playoff run, which ended in a loss to the Baltimore Blast for the NISL's lone championship, with a fractured patella.

The Rampage meet the Blast in Baltimore this Friday to open the new MISL season.

National Soccer Hall Of Fame Announces 2010 Player Ballot

The National Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum Monday announced the names of 24 people nominated for induction into the Class of 2010 as players.

They are:

- Mike Burns
- Mauricio Cienfuegos
- Raul Diaz Arce
- Thomas Dooley
- John Doyle
- Marco Etcheverry
- Robin Fraser
- Chris Henderson
- Eduardo Hurtado
- Dominic Kinnear
- Roy Lassiter
- Shannon McMillan
- Joe-Max Moore
- Victor Nogueira
- Peter Nowak
- John O'Brien
- Preki Radosavljevic
- Mike Sorber
- Ernie Stewart
- Steve Trittschuh
- Carlos Valderrama
- Tisha Venturini-Hoch
- Peter Vermes

To read bios of any of the nominees, please visit www.soccerhall.org.

Kitsap Pumas Get New Head Coach And First Jersey Sponsor

The Kitsap Pumas of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League named former Seattle University head coach Peter Fewing as their new head coach Monday.

In 18 seasons with the school (1988-2006), he led them to five regional championships and the 1997 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and 2004 NCAA Division II Men's Soccer Championships.

He also played for the USL First Division's Seattle Storm from 1985-90 and was the team's all-time assist leader, second on the team in appearances with 78, and in the top ten in total points.

Fewing currently works on ESPN Radio AM 710 in Seattle and was a member of the broadcast crew from Major League Soccer's expansion Seattle Sounders.

The Pumas also announced Monday Windermere Real Estate, founded in 1972 by John Jacobi, will serve as the team's first jersey sponsor.

Windermere is the leading real estate firm in the western US and the Canadian province of British Columbia with 290 offices regionally.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Kixx Retain Myers, Maher

The Philadelphia Kixx of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced the re-signings Monday of midfielder Ptah Myers and forward Anthony Maher.

Myers will be in his sixth season at the Kixx and was the fifth-highest scorer on the team last season with 33 points on 13 goals and seven assists. He was 140 career points on 61 goals and 30 assists.

Maher will be in his second season with Philadelphia and his ninth overall in indoor soccer. He was fourth on the team in points with 44 last season and also cracked the 100 goal and 200 point plateaus.

United's James Out 3-4 Months After Surgery

DC United defender Julius James will be out three to four months for the Major League Soccer team after undergoing surgery Friday to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

James was signed by United August 14 after being traded by the Houston Dynamo.

He started eight of nine MLS games this season and 13 of 14 games in all competitions.

Cougars Hand Stars Of Mexico Second Preseason Loss

Newcomer Isaias Bardales had four goals in his Professional Arena Soccer League debut as the defending champion California Cougars slipped past the Stars of Mexico 9-8 in an exhibition game at Stockton Arena.

Ato Leone, Uriel Robledo, Majell Aterado and Vicente Figueroa added goals for the Cougars, who open their 2009 season in the two-year-old league November 20 at home against the revived San Diego Sockers.

Eduardo Velez, a former Cougar, had a hat trick and an assist for the Mexico team, who previously lost Saturday to the Sockers 9-5 at Del Mar Arena.

USMNT Names Roster For Final 2009 Friendlies

US Men's National Team head coach Bob Bradley announced a 22-player roster Monday for the team's final two friendly contests of 2009 -- this Saturday in Bratislava against Slovakia and next Wednesday at NRGi Park in Denmark.

Half of the roster have already arrived in Bratislava in the former republic of Czechoslavakia with the rest set to come in the next few days.

The final two games will wrap up the USMNT's season at 24 games, third-most in a calendar year in team history. The team also played in a team-record 21 official competitions this year -- all 12 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches in the CONCACAF region, the five in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and the four in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The US and Slovakia will play for the first time ever. As Czechoslavkia, the USMNT lost to them 5-1 June 10, 1990 in the opening round group match of the World Cup in Florence, Italy.

The US and Denmark have met five teams with both teams claiming a 1-1-3 record. Their last meeting was a 3-1 victory by the US January 20, 2007 at The Home Depot Center, but this will be their first meeting on Danish soil.

Here is the roster for the US Men's National Team by position:

GOALKEEPERS
Brad Guzan - Aston Villa
Marcus Hahnemann - Wolverhampton
Troy Perkins - Valerenga

DEFENDERS
Carlos Bocanegra - Rennes
Jonathan Bornstein - Chivas USA
Steve Cherundolo - Hannover
Jimmy Conrad - Kansas City Wizards
Clarence Goodson - IK Start
Frankie Hedjuk - Columbus Crew
Chad Marshall - Columbus Crew
Heath Pierce - FC Dallas
Jonathan Spector - West Ham

MIDFIELDERS
Michael Bradley - Borussia Monchengladbach
Clint Dempsey - Fulham
Benny Feilhaber - AGF Aarhus
Sacha Kljestan - Chivas USA
Dax McCarty - FC Dallas
Robbie Rogers - Columbus Crew

FORWARDS
Jozy Altidore - Hull City
Conor Casey - Colorado Rapids
Jeff Cunningham - FC Dallas
Eddie Johnson - Fulham