Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sockers Remain Perfect After Beating Revolucion Tijuana

Kraig Chiles increased his goal-scoring lead in the Professional Arena Soccer League to 17 goals in seven games with a hat trick and the San Diego Sockers remained unbeaten so far in the reintroduction to indoor soccer in a 13-6 victory over provisional member Revolucion Tijuana Wednesday at Del Mar Arena.

Dan Antoniuk also had a hat trick, Anthony Medina added two goals and two assists, and Paul Wright assisted on four scores.

The 7-0 Sockers, leader in the Western Division, host the California Cougars Saturday.

Revolucion Tijuana then welcomes the Cougars to Funati Sunday.

Illusion Advance To Next Round Of USOASC Play Over Piasa

Shaun David had a hat trick and an assist and Andrew Sandheinrich and Jon Fridal each added two goals as the Professional Arena Soccer League's St. Louis Illusion, the defending US Open Arena Soccer Champion, defeated their Premier Arena Soccer League developmental team Piasa 9-3 Wednesday night at The Game Arena in Glen Carbon, IL and advanced to the next round of the tournament.

The Illusion will next face the Premier league's Kansas City Kings at the Kansas City Soccer Dome February 5 in tournament play.

Dynamite Take Independent Cavaliers Out Of USOASC Play

The Colorado Springs Cavaliers became the first soccer team not affiliated with either the Professional or Premier Arena Soccer Leagues to be eliminated from the US Open Arena Soccer Championship Tuesday in an 8-4 loss to the Professional's Denver Dynamite.

The Dynamite will now advance to the quarterfinals at a date and time to be decided in Dallas against Vitresse Dallas of the Premier league.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

USL1, NASL Denied Sanctioning By US Soccer Board Of Directors

After a unanimous vote Tuesday by the US Soccer Board of Directors, neither the established United Soccer Leagues First Division nor the revived North American Soccer League will be sanctioned as an official Division II professional soccer league for the 2010 season, but both leagues have seven days to work out an interim solution for the upcoming season.

The board made its decision following a recommendation from their Professional League Task Force, who said neither league was able to provide a viable and sustainable operation for 2010 and neither met US Soccer's requirement of having a minimum eight viable teams to be sanctioned as a Division II league.

The decision, at the moment, leaves no second-tier professional soccer league in the US beneath top-tier Major League Soccer. USL1 had been sanctioned by the US Soccer board annually since its inception in 1997.

The board stated, however, it would sanction, on a provisional basis, a merged league for 2010.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Lightning To Unveil Mystery Player Monday

The Louisville Lightning will announce a major addition to their Professional Arena Soccer League expansion franchise roster at a noon local time news conference January 4, according to a team release Monday.

The Lightning would only say the player was "well known in the soccer community and has considerable domestic experience."

Sockers Beat Development Team; Advance To USOASC Quarterfinals

Paul Wright had a hat trick, Anthony Medina, Aaron Susi and Kraig Chiles had two goals each, and Nate Hetherington hit the game-winning shot as the Professional Arena Soccer League's San Diego Sockers beat their amateur affiliate in the Premier Arena Soccer League, the San Diego Fusion, 10-6 Monday in the 2009 US Open Arena Soccer Championship tournament at Del Mar Arena.

The Sockers now host the surprising Estadio Azteca All-Stars, also of the Premier League, Saturday with the winner advancing to the tournament quarterfinals.

The All-Stars became the first Premier league team to defeat a Professional team in tournament history when they ousted the defending Professional champion California Cougars.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Onalfo Returning To DC United As Head Coach

Former DC United player, assistant coach and director of youth development Curt Onalfo will return to the Major League Soccer franchise as their sixth head coach in team history, according to an announcement Monday.

Onalfo, who was 27-29-22 in two seasons as head coach of MLS' Kansas City Wizards, will be formally introduced at a news conference January 5 at RFK Stadium.

Ferdinand Named MISL's Player Of The Week

Max Ferdinand of the Baltimore Blast, who had his first professional hat trick that included a pair of three-point goals in a 10-8 victory Sunday over the Rockford Rampage that put the Blast in the lead in the standings, was named Monday the Major Indoor Soccer League's Player of the Week.

With 10 points in three games, Ferdinand is now third on the team in scoring and tied for 11th in the league standings in that category.

The 4-1 Blast take on the 3-2 Milwaukee Wave in both teams' annual New Years Eve contest Thursday at US Cellular Arena.

Wave Defeat Monterrey In OT

Guiliano Oliveiro had a hat trick in regulation play and Josh Rife scored the game-winning goal at 7:15 of overtime as the visiting Milwaukee Wave edged La Raza de Monterrey 19-17 in Major Indoor Soccer League play at Arena Monterrey Sunday.

With the victory, the Wave (3-2) moved into a tie for second place with the Rockford Rampage, a game behind the league-leading Baltimore Blast. Milwaukee will host the Blast in their traditional New Year's Eve game Thursday at US Cellular Arena.

Genoni Martinez and Byron Alvarez each scored five points for Monterrey (2-4), who are 2 1/2 games behind the Blast in fourth place in the standings. Monterrey hosts the last-place Philadelphia Kixx (1-4) January 3.

Ferdinand Hat Trick Leads Blast To Top Of MISL Standings

Max Ferdinand scored his first professional hat trick, which included a pair of three-point goals, and Lucio Gonzaga hit the game-winning goal as the Baltimore Blast took over the lead in the Major Indoor Soccer League standings Sunday in a 10-8 victory over the Rockford Rampage at the Rockford MetroCentre.

The Blast (4-1) will next travel to US Cellular Arena to face the Milwaukee Wave (3-2) in the league's lone non-weekend game -- an annual New Year's Eve encounter.

Semir Mesanovic, Matthew Stewart, Bado Radoncic and Eric Lukin scored goals for the Rampage, now 3-2. Rockford is now off until January 9 when they take on the Philadelphia Kixx at Liacouras Center at Temple University.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Dynamite Signs Ogletree To Contract

The Denver Dynamite of the Professional Arena Soccer League announced the signing Friday of midfielder Mike Ogletree.

Ogletree played three seasons at Loyola Marymount University in California, then was invited to combines for Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy and Chivas USA. He would later attend training camp with Chivas and was signed to play for the second half of the 2007 MLS season.

He also played for several semi-pro teams in the Los Angeles area before signing with the Dynamite.

Freedom Ink Deal With Norwegian Forward Mykjaland

The Washington Freedom of Women's Professional Soccer Wednesday signed Norwegian forward Lene Mykjaland to contract for the 2010 season.

Mykjaland currently plays for Roa in Norway's Toppserien league and was on her country's 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup and 2008 Beijing Olympic teams.

Fire Not Talking To Mexico's Sanchez About Coaching Vacancy

Frank Klopas, technical director of Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire, told Friday's Chicago Southtown Star the franchise is not considering former Mexican player and coach Hugo Sanchez to fill their head coaching job, still vacant since the firing of Denis Hamlett at the end of the season.

Sanchez, who played on three Mexican World Cup teams and was set to become their head coach for the 2010 event, was fired Sunday in his capacity with Almeria.

Klopas did state those canidates still on his short list for the position are:

- Former DC United head coach Tom Soehn

- Former Kansas City Wizards head coach Curt Onalfo, who is also being wooed by United, according to Friday's Washington Post

- Current New York Red Bulls interim head coach Richie Williams

- Current Real Salt Lake assistant coach Robin Fraser

- Current Chivas USA and former Fire player Jesse Marsch, who may retire after 14 seasons in MLS and has stated an interest in coaching

Reports also have the Fire talking to former El Salvador national team coach Carlos de los Cobos, but Klopas denies any talks have been scheduled.

Klopas did say he wants the franchise to have a new coach before the January 14 MLS SuperDraft in Philadelphia.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Lagos Resigns As President Of Crumbling Thunder

Manny Lagos announced his resignation Thursday as president of the Minnesota Thunder professional soccer team, who were members of the United Soccer Leagues First Division, according to The Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Lagos, who once was a player for the franchise, is the latest person to leave the organization, following general manager Djorn Buchholz and head coach Donny Gramenz.

Lagos told the paper his "reasons for leaving are numerous" and called the resignation "disappointing".

Team owner Dean Johnson had wanted the team to leave USL1 and be part of the re-forming North American Soccer League, but the team faces tough financial hurdles.

The Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission, who oversees operation of the Thunder's home field, the National Sports Center in Blaine, is currently hoping to find someone interested in owning a new franchise, possibly in USL1, for the 2010 season.

Hogges Coach's Future In Limbo With PDL Move

According to The Bermuda Sun Thursday, the future of Bermuda Hogges head coach Kyle Lightbourne is in jeopardy now that the team is moving from the United Soccer Leagues Second Division to the amateur Premier Development League for the 2010 season and that the Bermuda Football Association has taken over the day-to-day operations of the franchise.

With the team moving to the PDL, they must vastly change their roster as league rules state they may only carry 26 players, no fewer than three who can be under age 18 and no more than eight players over age 23.

Hogges co-owner Paul Scope told the newspaper Lightbourne could play a lesser coaching role with the team if he is not retained as head coach.

Vortex Captures Defender Wes Sechrist

The expansion Ohio Vortex of the Professional Arena Soccer League announced the signing Wednesday of veteran defender Wes Sechrist.

Sechrist began his professional soccer career in Cleveland with the Crunch of the National Professional Soccer League and spent the 2008-09 season with the Detroit Ignition of the former Xtreme Soccer League.

At Detroit, he has a goal, two assists and 28 blocked shots in 19 games that season.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Galaxy Acquire Three Players On Loan From Brazilian League

Major League Soccer's defending Western Conference regular season champion Los Angeles Galaxy acquire three players on loan from Sao Paulo FC of Brazil's Campeonato for the 2010 season.

Signed are forward Alex, midfielder Juninho and defender Leonardo.

The trio spent two weeks training with the Galaxy in October.

Whitecaps Sign Ex-USL Star Steele, Ex-MLS Player Janicki

The Vancouver Whitecaps of the North American Soccer League announced the signings Wednesday of midfielder Jonathan Steele and defender Greg Janicki to one-year contracts with option years.

Steele spent the last two seasons in the United Soccer Leagues First Division with the Puerto Rico Islanders, where he had seven goals and 18 assists in 56 combined regular season and playoff appearances.

He was the league's Most Valuable Player and Assist Champion in the 2008 season and was named a USL1 All-League Second Team member.

He also played in USL1 for the Syracuse Salty Dogs (2004), Rochester Rhinos (2005 and 2006) and the Carolina RailHawks (2007).

Steele won a title in the Major Indoor Soccer League in the 2005-06 season with the Philadelphia Kixx and also played for the Kansas City Comets and Baltimore Blast.

Janicki was released last month by Major League Soccer's DC United, who signed him to a development contract in September 2008, and he played in 10 games last season.

He came to United after spending the 2008 USL Second Division season with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.

He also played in the USL Premier Development League for the Michigan Bucks (2006) and the West Michigan Edge (2007).

USL Lays Out 2010 PDL Alignments

United Soccer Leagues Wednesday unveiled the alignment of all 68 teams that will compete in the 2010 season of the Premier Development League.

The league will still have four two-division conferences -- Central, Eastern, Southern and Western -- with at least six teams in each divisions.

The 2010 PDL will feature five new teams -- the Dayton (OH) Dutch Lions, MPS Portland Phoenix and four yet-to-be-named teams in Albany, NY, Fort Lauderdale, FL, central New Jersey, and Rochester MN -- as well as the addition of two former USL Second Division teams in the Bermuda Hogges and the Western Mass Pioneers, both playing the Eastern Conference, and the return of the Vermont Voltage, who took the 2009 season off due to reconstruction of their stadium.

Two teams also change names in 2010 -- the Reading Rage, now affiliated with Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union, becomes Reading United, and the Seattle Wolves are now the Washington Crossfire after merging operations with the Crossfire Soccer Club.

Here are the conference and divisional alignments for the 2010 Premier Development League:

Great Lakes Division: Chicago Fire, Cincinnati Kings, Dayton Dutch Lions, Forest City London, Indiana Invaders, Kalamazoo Outrage, Michigan Bucks, Toronto Lynx
Heartland Division: Des Moines Menace, Kansas City Brass, Real Colorado Foxes, Rochester, MN (name TBA), Springfield Demize, St. Louis Lions, Thunder Bay Chill

Mid Atlantic Division: Bermuda Hogges, Carolina Dynamo, Central Jersey (name TBA), Hampton Roads Piranhas, Newark Ironbound Express, New Jersey Rangers, Northern Virginia Royals, Ocean City Barons, Reading United, West Virginia Chaos
Northeast Division: Albany, NY (name TBA), Brooklyn Knights, Long Island Rough Riders, New Hampshire Phantoms, Ottawa Fury, MPS Portland (ME) Phoenix, Vermont Voltage, Western Mass Pioneers, Westchester Flames

Mid South Division: DFW Tornados, El Paso Patriots, Houston Leones, Laredo Heat, Rio Grande Valley Bravos, West Texas United Sockers
Southeast Division: Atlanta Blackhawks, Baton Rouge Capitals, Central Florida Kraze, Fort Lauderdale, FL (name TBA), IMG Bradenton Academics, Mississippi Brilla, Nashville Metros, New Orleans Jesters, Panama City Pirates

Northwest Division: Abbostford Mariners, Kitsap Pumas, Portland Timbers U23, Spokane Spiders, Tacoma Tide, Vancouver Whitecaps Residency, Victoria Highlanders, Washington Crossfire, Yakima Reds
Southwest Division: BYU Cougars, Fresno Fuego, Hollywood United Hitmen, Lancaster Rattlers, Los Angeles Legends, Ogden Outlaws, Orange County Blue Star, Southern California Seahorses, Ventura County Fusion

Hamm Signs With Atlanta Beat

Defender Tracy Hamm, a 2006 graduate of California-Berkeley, signed a contract Tuesday to play for the expansion Atlanta Beat of Women's Professional Soccer.

Hamm was selected in the league's inaugural player draft last season for FC Gold Pride, but chose not to report to them.

Since graduating, she has been playing for the California Storm in the amateur Women's Premier Soccer League and serving as an assistant coach at her alma mater as well as being the director of coaching at Heritage Soccer Club in the Bay Area.

A three-time All-Pac 10 academic honorable mention, Hamm started every game in her final two seasons and finished her career with 12 goals.

In 2005, her defensive unit set a school record for goals against average (0.475, which was seventh best in the nation) and tied school marks for fewest goals allowed (11) and most shutouts (14) in a single season.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

USL2 Announces Home Openers For 2009 Season; Bermuda, Western Mass Move To PDL

United Soccer Leagues announced Tuesday the home openers for all six teams in the USL Second Division for the 2010 season.

Three of the teams -- the Real Maryland Monarchs, Charlotte Eagles and the defending champion Richmond Kickers -- will open the season April 17, with two others -- the returning Charleston Battery, formerly in USL First Division, and the Harrisburg City Islanders -- hosting games April 24, and the Pittsburgh Riverhounds rounding out the home opening games May 2.

Two teams will not return to USL2 for the 2010 season and will join the USL Premier Development League -- the Western Mass Pioneers and the Bermuda Hogges.

Here are the home opening games for the 2010 USL2 season:

April 17
Pittsburgh Riverhounds @ Real Maryland Monarchs
Charleston Battery @ Charlotte Eagles
Harrisburg City Islanders @ Richmond Kickers

April 24
Pittsburgh Riverhounds @ Charleston Battery
Real Maryland Monarchs @ Harrisburg City Islanders

May 2
Richmond Kickers @ Pittsburgh Riverhounds

MLS-Laden Roster Named For First USMNT Training Camp Of 2010

US Men's National Team head coach Bob Bradley, heading into a new year that includes playing in their sixth straight FIFA World Cup this summer in South Africa, announced Tuesday the 30 players, most of them coming from Major League Soccer teams, that he has invited to take part in the team's first training camp of 2010 starting January 4 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

The camp will lead up to the USA's first match of the year January 23 against Honduras at the camp's location.

13 of 16 MLS teams have players named to the roster with Chivas USA represented by four players, and defending MLS champion Real Salt Lake, 2008 champion and defending Eastern Conference regular season and Supporters Shield champion Columbus Crew, and FC Dallas each having three players on the roster.

The roster also features several 2009 MLS season award winners, including Chivas' Zach Thornton (Panasonic Goalkeeper of the Year), Chad Marshall of the Crew (Visa Defender of the Year), Jeff Cunningham of FC Dallas (Budweiser Golden Boot) and Omar Gonzalez of the Los Angeles Galaxy (Gatorade Rookie of the Year).

Here is the complete USMNT roster, by position and with current team affiliation:

Kevin Hartman - Kansas City Wizards
Troy Perkins - Valerenga
Nick Rimando - Real Salt Lake
Zach Thornton - Chivas USA

Kevin Alston - New England Revolution
Jonathan Bornstein - Chivas USA
Jimmy Conrad - Kansas City Wizards
Omar Gonzalez - Los Angeles Galaxy
Clarence Goodson - IK Start
Chad Marshall - Columbus Crew
Brandon McDonald - San Jose Earthquakes
Heath Pierce - FC Dallas
Marvell Wynne - Toronto FC

Kyle Beckerman - Real Salt Lake
Alejandro Bedoya - Orebro
Geoff Cameron - Houston Dynamo
Brad Davis - Houston Dynamo
Brad Evans - Seattle Sounders
Benny Feilhaber - Aarhus
Eddie Gaven - Columbus Crew
Sacha Kljestan - Chivas USA
Jeff Larentowicz - New England Revolution
Dax McCarty - FC Dallas
Chris Pontius - DC United
Robbie Rogers - Columbus Crew

Justin Braun - Chivas USA
Conor Casey - Colorado Rapids
Jeff Cunningham - FC Dallas
Robbie Findley - Real Salt Lake
Marcus Tracy - Aalborg

MLS Signs Three Seniors, Four Generation adidas Players To Contracts

Major League Soccer Tuesday announced the signings of three college seniors and four members of the 2010 Generation adidas class to contracts, making them eligible to participate in the upcoming adidas/MLS Player Combine January 8-12 in Fort Lauderdale, FL and be selected in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft January 14 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

Two of the seven players -- forwards Andre Akpan of Harvard and Teal Bunbury of the University of Akron -- are finalists for the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Award, handed out to the best male college soccer player in the country.

Akpan left Harvard as their all-time leading scorer with 127 points on 47 goals and 33 assists, as well as the 2009 Ivy League Player of the Year. His nomination to the Hermann Award is his third straight.

Bunbury led Akron to the 2009 NCAA College Cup final, where they lost to Virginia in a penalty kick shootout. He led the nation in goals with 17 and added five assists to lead the team in scoring this season with 39 points. The sophomore and 2009 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year is one of four members of the Generation adidas group, along with midfielders Dilly Duka (Rutgers) and Blair Gavin (University of Akron), and forward Jack McInerney (Cobb Soccer Club, Alpharetta, GA).

Bunbury played on Canada's under-17 team, Duka played on the US U-20 team with Gavin, who also was part of the US U-18 team, and McInerney was on the US U-17 team.

The other collegiate seniors signed are midfielder/forward Zach Loyd of the University of North Carolina and midfielder Toni Stahl of the University of Connecticut.

Generation adidas players receive the opportunity to further their future professional soccer careers and not lose collegiate eligibility, because they do not count on an MLS team's roster against the salary cap when drafted.

Fire Could Choose Former El Salvadoran Head Coach

Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire could be pursuing former El Salvador men's national team head coach Carols de los Cobos as their replacement for fired coach Denis Hamlett, according to published reports quoted Monday by

De los Cobos resigned from his job last week after the country's men's team failed to qualify for a spot in the field for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

He has previously managed teams in Mexico's First and Second Divisions.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Donovan, Solo, Heath, Gil Named US Soccer Athletes Of Year

US Soccer named forward Landon Donovan, goalkeeper Hope Solo and midfielder Tobin Heath and Luis Gil their 2009 Athletes of the Year Monday.

Donovan was named Male Athlete of the Year for the third time this decade, having previously won in 2003 and 2004. He joins goalkeeper Kasey Keller as a three-time award winner (1997, 1999, 2005).

Donovan had three goals and nine assists in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the US' sixth straight time in the tournament field.

He also was Major League Soccer's 2009 Volkswagen Most Valuable Player, leading the Los Angeles Galaxy to the 2009 regular season Western Conference title and their first playoff appearance since 2005. The Galaxy advanced to the MLS Cup title game in Seattle, where they lost to eventual champion Real Salt Lake.

Friday, Donovan and the Galaxy formalized a deal sending him on a short-term loan to Everton of the English Premier League. He will join the team January 15 and return to the Galaxy March 15.

Solo is the first goalkeeper to win the Female Athlete of the Year.

She was named the Most Valuable Player of the Algarve Cup in Portugal in March and was the WPS Goalkeeper of the Year with the St. Louis Athletica. She finished second in the league in saves and shutouts.

Heath was named the Young Female Athlete of the Year after scoring five goals and 10 assists en route to North Carolina capturing the 2009 NCAA Women's College Cup championship after going 23-3-1. Heath plays in the United Soccer Leagues W-League with the two-time defending champion Pali Blues.

Gil was the youngest player on the US Under-17 roster during the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Nigeria and is the youngest to be named US Soccer's Young Male Athlete of the Year since Freddy Adu did so in 2003.

Renamed Readin Rage To Become Union Affiliate

Major League Soccer's newest franchise, the Philadelphia Union, announced Monday their official minor league affiliate team will be Reading United AC of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League.

United was formerly known as the Reading Rage.

Crew Re-Signs Garey To Four-Year Deal

Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew announced the re-signing Monday of forward Jason Garey, the third overall pick in the 2006 SuperDraft out of the University of Maryland, to a four-year contract extension.

Garey led the Terrapins to the 2005 NCAA College Cup Championship and was named the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy winner that year as college soccer's best male player.

In 61 appearances over four seasons, he started 31 games and has 13 goals and four assists. In 2009 alone, he nearly reached career-highs in goals (four) and assists (two) in 15 games.

Millwood Named MISL Player Of The Week

Machel Millwood, who has his first hat trick of the season with the Baltimore Blast, including scoring the game-winning goal in a 9-8 victory over the Philadelphia Kixx Friday, was named the Major Indoor Soccer League Player of the Week Monday.

Millwood now leads the team and the league in scoring with five goals and five assists for 15 points in four games.

The Blast travels to Rockford Sunday to meet the Rampage in a battle for sole possession of first place in the league standings, as both teams are 3-1.

Sol's Marta Named FIFA Women's Player Of The Year For Fourth Straight Time

Brazilian forward Marta, now playing in the US for the Los Angeles Sol in Women's Professional Soccer, was named FIFA's Women's World Player of the Year for an unprecendented fourth straight year at the annual World Player Gala Monday in Zurich, Switzerland.

Marta led WPS in scoring last season, winning the PUMA Golden Boot after having 10 goals and three assists. She also won the WPS' first Michelle Akers Player of the Year award.

She led the Sol to the league's first regular season title and took them to the WPS Championship, where they lost to Sky Blue FC.

Marta was named a First Team All-Star and scored a goal in the WPS All-Stars 4-2 win over Sweden's Umea IK in the inaugural game.

Fire Whittles Down List For New Head Coach

Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire announced Friday they will name a replacement for fired head coach Denis Hamlett by the middle of January, according to the Chicago Southtown Star Saturday.

Hamlett was released November 24 after two seasons, where he led them to back-to-back Eastern Conference championship games, both of which they lost.

The Fire's list of candidates for the job are:

- Current New York Red Bulls head coach Richie Williams

- Real Salt Lake assistant coach Robin Fraser

- Former Fire player and assistant coach and former DC United head coach Tom Soehn

- Former Kansas City Wizards head coach Curt Onalfo

- Current Chivas USA and former Fire player Jesse Marsch

Fire technical director Frank Klopas said he personally took himself out of the running for the position and also said he is not against bringing in an experienced international head coach to take the job.

Bertz Chooses New Career Over Staying With Rhinos

Defender Kenney Bertz announced his retirement from the North American Soccer League's Rochester Rhinos and the sport Friday after being told the team would not pick up his option for the 2010 season, according to Saturday's Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.

Bertz, who had played the last four seasons for the Rhinos, announced he will now pursue a career where he can use his college degree in criminology over staying with the team and playing for a severly reduced salary.

Illusion Takes Win Away From Lightning

For the second time in two games, a St. Louis Illusion scored a game-winning goal with 1:40 left to play, this time Josh Boyd, and the home team edged the expansion Louisville Lightning 10-9 Sunday in Professional Arena Soccer League play at The Game Arena in Glen Carbon, IL.

Elvir Kafedzic led all scorers with a hat trick and an assist and Jesse Elmore contributed two goals and an assist as the Illusion improved to 3-2 in the Eastern Division standings. They will defend their US Open Arena Soccer Championship title next Wednesday at home with a tournament game.

Louisville, now 2-2 in the Eastern Division, will travel to the Canton (OH) Civic Center to face the expansion Ohio Vortex.

Vitresse Dallas Ties Up Outlaws In USAOSC Play

Mario Torres had four goals to lead the Premier Arena Soccer League's Vitresse Dallas in an 11-2 rout of the Professional Arena Soccer League's Texas Outlaws in a 2009-10 US Open Arena Soccer Championship tournament game Sunday at the TGC Arena at the NYTEX Sports Centre in Richland Hills, TX.

Edgar Hernandez had two goals and an assist for Vitresse with Pablo Freidrich and Chase Wileman adding a goal and an assist each.

Jimi Webb and Eric Murillo scored Texas' goals in the loss.

The Outlaws return to PASL-Pro play January 10 at home against the defending league champion California Cougars.

Express Edges Waza At Royal Oak

Kevin Noschange had his first professional soccer hat trick as the defending Professional Arena Soccer League Eastern Division champion 1790 Cincinnati Express edged the Detroit Waza 9-7 at Total Soccer in Royal Oak, MI Sunday.

Waza player/head coach Dominic Scicluna had two goals and his twin brother Tino added a goal in the loss.

Both teams are now off until January 2.

The Waza will host the Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League's Winnipeg Alliance at the Taylor Sportsplex in Taylor, MI that day while the Express travels to The Game Arena in Glen Carbon, IL to face the defending US Open Arena Soccer Championship winner St. Louis Illusion.

Rampage Beat Monterrey; Face Co-League Leader Blast Sunday

Semir Mesnavoic had a pair of two-point goals, Jamar Beasley added the last two-pointer of the game, and Matthew Stewart had an unassisted three-point shot as the Rockford Rampage defeated La Raza de Monterrey 9-4 to take joint possession of the lead in the Major Indoor Soccer League standings Sunday at the MetroCentre in Rockford, IL.

The Rampage, at 3-1, are tied for the league lead with the Baltimore Blast, who they will host next Sunday.

Angel Hernandez and Mark Ughy had two-point goals for Monterrey, now 2-3 and in fourth place, 1 1/2 games behind the co-leaders. Monterrey welcomes the Milwaukee Wave to Arena Monterrey next Sunday.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Vortex Wins First League Game Against Express

Allen Eller tallied a hat trick and Lucas Martorawa scored the first and last goals of the game as the expansion Ohio Vortex won their first Professional Arena Soccer League game Saturday 9-6 over the 1790 Cincinnati Express at MultiPlex Ohio in Cleveland.

Adis Kuduzovic had two goals and two assists for the Vortex and Milko Cecez posted two more goals in the victory.

Matt Brienes led the Express, the defending Eastern Division champions, with two goals while Jack Cummings, Shawn Rockey, John Mellancamp each had a goal.

Ohio (1-3) is now off until January 2 when they face the expansion Louisville Lightning at the Canton Civic Center.

1790 has little time to rest as they travel Sunday to Total Soccer in Royal Oak, MI to play the Detroit Waza.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

United Takes Mexican Second Division Midfielder On Loan

Major League Soccer's DC United announced Friday they have accepted a loan on midfielder Cristian Castillo from Leon FC of Mexico's Second Division for the 2010 season.

Castillo, a native of El Salvador, had one goal in five games with Leon.

Shea Had Surgery On Torn Meniscus

Major League Soccer's FC Dallas announced Friday midfielder Brek Shea had surgery to repair a tear of the meniscus in the right knee Thursday in Dallas.

Shea appeared in nineteen games last season for Dallas, starting seven, and had four assists.

Wave Unveils Nominees For 2010 Team Hall Of Fame

The Milwaukee Wave of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced Friday the names of 10 nominees to be selected to be part of the raising of a Wall of Fame induction class.

Team alumni and current players will select two winners and those selected will be enshrined at a home game January 23 at US Cellular Arena against the Baltimore Blast.

The nominees are:

Lovelace Akah
- Played from 1999 to 2009 seasons,
- Won three league titles
- Second of team's all-time career blocked shots list

Louise Au
- Has been a season ticket holder every year of the franchise's existence

Greg Howes
- Played forward from the 2000 to 2008 seasons
- Is a four-time MISL Scoring Champion and a three-time league Most Valuable Player

Bryan "Moose" Koch
- Started with team as a ballboy and ascended over 20 years to become their assistant general manager

Ricky Mobley
- Played defender from 1992 to 1999 seasons
- Is fourth of all-time career blocked shots list

George Parker
- Scored 153 goals in 156 career games between the 1986 and 1991 seasons

Tony Pierce
- Goalkeeper in the 1980's and 1990's
- Is second on the all-time list in most statistical categories at position

Michael Richardson
- Scored 320 points, blocked 227 shots in seven-season career with team in late 1990's

Pat White
- Defender who won four league titles and leads the all-time career list in blocked shots at 452

Tom Wynn
- The "Voice of the Wave" for 20 years

USL Lays Out 2010 W-League Alignments

29 teams, led by the two-time defending league champion Pali Blues, including four expansion teams, were officially announced as members of the United Soccer Leagues W-League for the 2010 season Friday.

The new teams are the North Jersey Valkyries, the Colorado Rush, Santa Clarita Blue Heat and a yet-to-be-named team run by the Premier Development League's New Jersey Rangers.

Here are the conference and divisional matchups for the 2010 W-League:


Great Lakes Division: Hamilton Avalanche, Laval Comets, Quebec City Amiral, Ottawa Fury, Rochester Ravens, Toronto Lady Lynx
Heartland Division: Buffalo Flash, Chicago Red Eleven, Cleveland Internationals, Kalamazoo Outrage and London Gryphons

Atlantic Division: Atlanta Silverbacks, Charlotte Lady Eagles, Hampton Roads Piranhas, Northern Virginia Majestics, Tampa Bay Hellenic
Northeast Division: Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues, Long Island Rough Riders, New Jersey Wildcats, New York Magic, North Jersey Valkyries, Freedom Futures

Colorado Force, Colorado Rush, Pali Blues, Santa Clarita Blue Heat, Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps

Galaxy's Donovan Joins EPL's Everton On Loan

Pending approval for a work permit, forward Landon Donovan of Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy will begin a loan agreement with Everton of the English Premier League from January 1 through March 15.

He would return to the Galaxy in time for their season opening MLS game of the 2010 season March 27.

Millwood Hat Trick Places Blast In First Place Over Kixx

Machel Millwood had a trio of two-point goals as the host Baltimore Blast edged the Philadelphia Kixx 9-8 Friday to take the lead in the Major Indoor Soccer League standings at First Mariner Arena.

Robbie Aristodemo also added a three-point goal to give the Blast a 3-1 record.

Anthony Maher led the Kixx with a pair of two-point goals and Pat Morris and Leo Gibson has solo shots, but fell to 1-4, the worst record in the MISL.

The Blast hit the road for their next two games -- next Sunday at the MetroCentre against the Rockford Rampage and on New Year's Eve at the US Cellular Arena against the Milwaukee Wave, the only team to beat Baltimore this season.

Philadelphia is in last place at 1-4 but is off until January 3 when they face La Raza de Monterrey at Arena Monterrey.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Swedish Star Bachmann Joins Beat

The expansion Atlanta Beat of Women's Professional Soccer announced Thursday the signing of the number one pick in the 2010 Expansion Draft, Swedish star Ramona Bachmann.

Bachmann, named the country's soccer player of the year and a vice-champion in 2009, played for Umea IK in the Damallsvenskan, the country's top women's league.

Toronto FC Declines To Pick Up Options On Three Players

Major League Soccer's Toronto FC announced Thursday the contracts of forward Pablo Vitti and midfielder Lesly Fellinga and Amado Guevara would expire at the end of the year and their 2010 season options would not be picked up.

Vitti had two goals and an assist in the 2009 season, Fellinga appeared in four games but did not score, and Guevara, the league's Most Valuable Player in 2004 with the New York/New Jersey MetroStars, had five goals and six assists last season.

Hovaker Returns To Kixx

The Major Indoor Soccer League's Philadelphia Kixx re-signed goalkeeper Nick Hovaker Thursday, just in time for their game Friday on the road against the Baltimore Blast.

Hovaker played in six games last season in the National Indoor Soccer League as a backup to now-retired goalkeeper Peter Pappas and stopped 12 shots and had a goals against average of 0.75.

He went 3-6 (four no decisions) for the Kixx in the 2008 MISL season.

WPS Announces 2010 Home Openers For All But Two Teams

With the exception of the defending regular season champion Los Angeles Sol and the expansion Atlanta Beat, Women's Professional Soccer announced Thursday the home openers for their teams for the 2010 season, which officially begins April 10.

On that date, the Washington Freedom will open the league's second season at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, MD against the Boston Breakers.

On April 11, the league's two new teams -- the Heat and the Philadelphia Independence -- will face off at John A. Ferrell Stadium at the University of West Chester in West Chester, PA.

Also, the defending league champion Sky Blue FC opens their season against the Chicago Fire at Yurcak Field on the campus of Rutgers University in Piscataway, NJ and FC Gold Pride travels to the Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park in Fenton, MO to meet the St. Louis Athletica.

The Pride open their season April 17 at their temporary home -- Castro Valley High School in Castro Valley, CA -- while renovations are completed on their new home, 5,000-seat Pioneer Stadium at California State University-East Bay.

Finally, on April 18, the Independence faces the Breakers at Harvard Stadium.

Battery Invites MLS Champ, Toronto, DCU To Challenge Cup

The Charleston Battery of the United Soccer Leagues Second Division announced Thursday defending Major League Soccer champion Real Salt Lake will join fellow franchises DC United and Toronto FC in the field for the 2010 Carolina Challenge Cup preseason tournament, to take place March 13, 17 and 20 at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, SC.

The round-robin tournament will be contested over the three dates with each team playing their opponents three times during doubleheader sessions with the team with the best overall record winning the event.

Since the tournament began in 2004, the host Battery has never won the competition.

W-League Welcomes Colorado Rush And Santa Clarita Blue Heat For 2010 Season

The United Soccer Leagues W-League announced the addition of two teams for the 2010 season Thursday -- the Colorado Rush and the Santa Clarita Blue Heat.

The Rush, established as a girls youth soccer program in 1997, has won more US Youth Soccer National Championship than any other such club program.

Erik Bushey was named the Rush's first head coach and Tim Schulz will serve as his assistant coach.

The Blue Heat take over the franchise rights of the former Ventura County Fusion via transfer.

Eduardo Zatarain, current head coach of the Santa Clarita United Soccer Club, will hold the same position with the Blue Heat.

Zatarain was a member of the first Western Soccer Alliance championship team in 1986 in the Hollywood Kickers. The league eventually grew into the A-League and eventually morphed into the USL Forst Division. He also played as a forward with the Los Angeles Aztecs.

Russell Finch, who recently was on the coaching staff for Arsenal FC in England, will be his assistant coach.

Sergio Salvadori, current director of coaching for Santa Clarita Valley Magic Soccer Club, will serve as the Blue Heat's technical director.

Vartughian Joins Union Coaching Staff

Major League Soccer's expansion Philadelphia Union announced Wednesday Rob Vartughian has joined the coaching staff as an assistant coach and goalkeeper coordinator.

A former goalkeeper at St. Bonaventure and Wake Forest, he spent the last seven seasons at Maryland, leading them to two NCAA College Cup titles. He also served as an assistant coach at Penn.

FC Gold Pride Moving To Renovated Pioneer Stadium

FC Gold Pride of Women's Professional Soccer announced Wednesday they have signed a two-year deal with California State University - East Bay to begin playing league games at 5,000-seat Pioneer Stadium, a soccer-specfic stadium, for the 2010 season, and will move their offices to the new location.

The team was a secondary tenant at Buck Shaw Stadium, a 10,500-seat stadium with the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer and, as such, was limited as to what dates they could secure for home games.

Pioneer Stadium will undergo a $2.5 million renovation, but the Pride will play initial home games next season at Castro Valley High School until the work is complete.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

W-League's Whitecaps Shake Up Coaching Ranks

The Vancouver Whitecaps of the United Soccer Leagues W-League Wednesday named Hubert Busby, Jr. as the franchise's sixth head coach in history and also named him to the same position with the team's U-18 Prospects.

Current Prospects head coach Jesse Symons, who held the title since 2006, has been elevated to assistant coach of the W-League team.

Busby spent the 2009 season with the regular season champion Los Angeles Sol of Women's Professional Soccer and is the technical director of the North Shore Soccer Development Centre and Mountain WFC of the USL Super-Y League.

In 2003, Busby led the Ottawa Wizards to the Canadian Soccer League championship. In 2005, he came to USL First Division as the head coach of the Toronto Lynx.

PDL's Dutch Lions Sign Moens, Wigger

The expansion Dayton (OH) Dutch Lions of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League announced the signings Wednesday of Oscar Moens and Johan Wigger.

Moens, a goalkeeper, played professionally in the Netherlands for Dutch teams AZ Alkmaarm PSV Eindhoven and Willem II.

Wigger is currently captain of Germany's fifth division SV Meppen, but played also for FC Emmen in the Eerste Divisie. He will also work with the Dutch Lions in their sales and marketing department, beginning January 1, 2010.

NSCAA Honors USL PDL, W-League Players Chosen As All-Americans

The National Soccer Coaches Association of America Wednesday released their annual list of NCAA Division I, II and III collegiate All-American players and 45 members of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League and 31 USL W-League players were named.

Here are the lists of players, listed by name, position, college and PDL or W-League team:


Jeffrey Attinella, K, South Florida, Bradenton Academics
Zach Loyd, D, North Carolina, Carolina Dynamo
Ike Opara, D, Wake Forest, Cary Clarets
Kyle Nakazawa, M, UCLA, Los Angeles Legends
Anthony Ampaipitakwong, M, Akron, Bradenton Academics
Corben Bone, M, Wake Forest, Carolina Dynamo
Tony Tchani, M, Virginia, Hampton Roads Pirahnas
Teal Bunbury, F, Akron, Rochester Thunder
Andre Akpan, F, Harvard, Chicago Fire

Brian Perk, K, UCLA, Seattle Wolves
Mark Blades, D, Northwestern, Chicago Fire
Barry Rice, D, Kentucky, Chicago Fire
Conor O'Brien, M, Bucknell, Cary Clarets
Two-Boys Gumede, M, Alabama-Birmingham, Panama City Pirates
Nane Joseph, F, Old Dominion, Hampton Roads Pirahnas
Darlington Nagbe, F, Akron, Cleveand Internationals
Garrett Webb, F, Drake, Des Moines Menace

Tim Ream, D, St. Louis, Chicago Fire
Indy Smith, D, North Carolina - Wilimington, New Orleans Shell Shockers
Irving Garcia, M, UC-Irvine, Orange County Blue Star
Michael Farfan, M, North Carolina, Los Angeles Legends
Zack Schilawski, F, Wake Forest, Cary Clarets
William Schuler, F, North Carolina, Cary Clarets
Andrew Hoxie, F, William & Mary, Virginia Legacy

Ryan Thompson, K, University of Tampa, Bradenton Academics
Kevin Gallaugher, D, Cal State Dominguez Hills, Bakersfield Brigade
Jon David Gruenewald, M, Rollins College, Central Florida Kraze
Tom Settle, M, Fort Lewis College, Ventura County Fusion

Sean Paradise, K, Lees-McRae, Fredericksburg Gunners
Dan Ingvarsson, D, University of Tampa, Bradenton Academics
Marc Goulet, M, Southern New Hampshire, New Hampshire Phantoms
Berin Boracic, F, Lees-McRae, Fredericksburg Gunners

Jamie Scope, D, Incarnate Word, Austin Aztex U23s
Pascal Millen, F, University of Tampa, Chicago Fire
Adrian Schippers, F, Southern New Hampshire, New Hampshire Phantoms

Zach Carr, K, Stephens Tech, New Jersey Rangers
Santiago Mejia, M, Loras, Rochester Thunder
Geoff Pezon, M, Messiah College, Reading Rage
Jon Ports, M, York, Reading Rage
Matthew Brady, F, Catholic, Northern Virginia Royals

Michael Stark, D, Roanoke, Virginia Legacy

Chris Faustino, D, Stevens Tech, New Jersey Rangers
Kendall McFayden, D, Medalle, Austin Aztex U23s
Miguel Bonilla, M, Loras, Rochester Thunder
Patrick Brown, M, Lynchburg, Virginia Legacy



Kristin Olsen, K, Southern California, Pali Blues
Becky Edwards, D, Florida State, Washington Freedom
Whitney Ergen, D, North Carolina, Pali Blues
Blakely Mattern, D, South Carolina, Charlotte Lady Eagles
Tobin Heath, M, North Carolina, Pali Blues
Sophia Schmidt, M, University of Portland, Vancouver Whitecaps
Lauren Cheney, F, UCLA, Pali Blues
Tiffany McCarty, F, Florida State, Washington Freedom
Kelley O'Hara, F, Stanford, Pali Blues

Carolyn Blank, M, West Virginia, Jersey Sky Blue
Sinead Farrelly, M, Virginia, Richmond Kickers Destiny
Christen Press, F, Stanford, Pali Blues

Alyssa Naeher, K, Penn State, Western Mass Lady Pioneers
Casey Brown, D, Boston University, Boston Renegades
Ali Riley, D, Stanford, Pali Blues
Brittany Taylor, D, Connecticut, Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues
Mariah Noguiera, M, Stanford, Pali Blues
Laura Heyboer, F, Michigan State, West Michigan Firewomen
Sydney Leroux, F, UCLA, Vancouver Whitecaps
Katie Schoepfer, F, Penn State, Washington Freedom

Erin Mruz, M, Grand Valley State, West Michigan Firewomen
Irie Dennis, F, Grand Valey State, West Michigan Firewomen
Becca Mays, F, Metro State, Real Colorado Cougars

Jessica Murphy, F, Cal State Dominguez Hills, Los Angeles Legends
Jocelyn Charette, F, Seattle Pacific, Los Angeles Legends
Gabriela Demoner, F, Franklin Pierce, Boston Renegades

Shameka Gordon, D, West Florida, Tampa Bay Hellenic
Brittany Godin, M, College of St. Rose, Rochester Ravens
Shaneka Gordon, F, West Florida, Hampton Roads Piranhas
Angelika Johansson, F, Franklin Pierce, Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues

Brianna Young, M, Trinity, Real Colorado Cougars

USMNT Opening 2010 Schedule Against Honduras, Netherlands

The US Men's National Team, preparing for possibly their best run ever in the 2010 FIFA World Cup this June, announced this week they will open their 2010 playing schedule against fellow CONCACAF competitor Honduras January 23 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA to end their January training camp.

The US faced Honduras four times this season, including twice in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2010 World Cup, and won every meeting, tying the record for most matches against one opponent in US team (four - vs. Poland, 1973).

On March 3, the last match before the US competes in World Cup, they will travel to Amsterdam to meet the world's number three-ranked Netherlands, who they have never beaten.

Their last meeting was a 1-0 loss February 18, 2004. Before that, the US fell 2-0 to them May 29, 2002, before playing in that year's World Cup.

Donovan Inked To Four-Year Contract Extension

Los Angeles Galaxy forward and 2009 Major League Soccer Volkswagen Most Valuable Player Landon Donovan signed a four-year contract extension through the 2012 season Wednesday.

The deal will allow Donovan to be loaned to European league teams on a short-term basis.

He finished the 2009 season with a team-high 12 goals and six assists and became the first Galaxy player since Carlos Ruiz in 2002 to win the league's top prize.

Spain Finishes Year As FIFA's Top Men's Team

Spain was named 2009's top men's soccer team in the world in the final monthly FIFA/Coca-Cola World Rankings unveiled Wednesday.

The remainder of the top ten teams were unchanged from the November survey -- Brazil second, Netherlands third, Italy fourth and Portugal fifth, followed by Germany, France, Argentina, England and Croatia rounding out the list.

The US men's team ended the year at their November ranking of 14th.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Percovich Joins Preki At Toronto FC; Winsper Departs

Major League Soccer's Toronto FC announced Monday Leo Percovich will be reunited with new head coach Preki as he becomes the team's goalkeepers coach.

The two previously served those roles at Chivas USA, where Percovich joined in January 2008.

Before Chivas, Percovich spent two seasons at the Colorado Rapids (2006, 2007).

Toronto FC also announced strength and conditioning coach Paul Winsper opted out of accepting a new contract with the franchise and has agreed to take a position with Nike in their corporate offices in Beaverton, Oregon.

Winsper spent 10 years with English soccer team Newcastle United.

United Purchases Rights To Shipalane Of City Islanders

Becoming the first player to jump from their team straight to Major League Soccer, midfielder Tiyiselani "Tiyi" Shipalane of the Harrisburg City Islanders of the United Soccer Leagues Second Division was acquired Monday by DC United.

Shipalane, the USL2's 2009 Rookie of the Year and a First Team All-League pick, played 18 games for the City Islanders, scoring six goals and six assists.

He was loaned to United after the 2009 USL2 season and played in three games of the CONCACAF Champions League during his stint. After impressing team officials, DC exercised the option to purchase his rights.

Before joining Harrisburg, Shipalane played three seasons with the Michigan Bucks in the USL Premier Development League.

He was a three-time All-American and the 2006 National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics Region XI Player of the Year at Lindsey Wilson College.

Terminesi Named MISL Player Of The Week

Marco Terminesi of the Milwaukee Wave was named Monday the Major Indoor Soccer League Player of the Week.

He had a career-high nine points on a pair of two-point goals, a three-point goal and two assists in the Wave's 27-6 win Saturday over the Philadelphia Kixx Saturday at US Cellular Arena in Milwaukee.

He now leads the team in scoring with 13 points and in second in the league in that category.

Estadio Azteca Pulls Off USOASC Upset

Clemente Fonseca's golden goal game-winner in overtime saw the Estadio Azteca All-Stars of the Premier Arena Soccer League pull off the biggest upset in the two-year history of the US Open Arena Soccer Championship tournament with a 5-4 victory Sunday over the Professional Arena Soccer League's defending champion California Cougars at Turlock Indoor Soccer in Turlock, CA.

It was the first time in nine games a Premier team has beaten a Professional team in the single-elimination event.

Jaime Portillo scored the game's first goal for Estadio Azteca and Jose Martinez had two goals, including the one that sent the game into overtime.

The Cougars return to league play Saturday when they face the Premier's Tacoma Stars at Estadio Azteca in Sacramento, CA.

Brothers In Arms Lead Waza Over Cincinnati Saints

Tino Scicluna scored a hat trick and brother Domenic Scicluna added two goals and assisted on three others as the Detroit Waza of the Professional Arena Soccer League advanced at the 2009 US Open Arena Soccer Championship tournament with a 9-2 win over the Cincinnati Saints Sunday at the Taylor Sportsplex in Taylor, MI.

The Saints compete in the amateur Premier Arena Soccer League and are affiliated with the Professional Arena Soccer League's defending Eastern Division champion 1790 Cincinnati Express.

Drew Ducker had a pair of goals for Detroit.

The Waza next host the Express this Sunday in a Professional game at Total Soccer in Royal Oak, MI.

Blast Edges La Raza In Monterrey

Lucio Gonzaga led the Baltimore Blast with a hat trick that included a three-point shot in a 14-13 victory over La Raza de Monterrey in Major Indoor Soccer League play at Arena Monterrey Sunday.

Robbie Aristodemo, Machel Millwood, Max Ferdinand and Giuliano Celenza each added standard two-point goals for Baltimore, who are tied for the lead in the league standings with the Rockford Rampage (2-1). They will host the Philadelphia Kixx (1-2) this Friday at First Mariner Arena.

John Krause led Monterrey with a three-point goal, a two-point goal and an assist and Victor Quiroz, Byron Alvarez, Genoni Martinez and Mark Ughy all added goals in the loss. At 2-2, Monterrey is tied for third place with the Milwaukee Wave (1-1) and are a half-game behind the Blast in the standings. La Raza heads to the Rampage's MetroCentre this Sunday.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Outlaws Defeat Kings In Kansas City

Alex Sabando had two goals as the Professional Arena Soccer League's Texas Outlaws defeated the Kansas City Kings of the amateur Premier Arena Soccer League 7-5 Saturday at the Kansas City Soccer Dome.

Renato Pereira and Renixon Castro also scored for the Outlaws, who are 3-2 and in third place in the league's Eastern Division. They will host the Premier's Springfield Demize this Saturday at the TCG Arena at NYTEX Sports Centre.

James Katawja had a hat trick for the Kings in the loss.

Waza Defeats Vortex In Cleveland

Tommy Eller had two goals to lead the Detroit Waza to a 10-5 victory over the expansion Ohio Vortex in a Professional Arena Soccer League game at the Cleveland Metroplex Saturday.

Steve Gillespie was one of five players who score for Ohio in the loss, Darrel Quinn assisted on two goals, and Dado Girozdanic had an assist.

The 3-2 Waza will host a US Arena Soccer Open Cup tournament game Sunday while the winless Vortex (0-3) hosts the defending Eastern Division champion 1790 Cincinnati Express Sunday.

Cougars Put Out The Fire In Sacramento

Brian Farber had a hat trick and five assists as the defending Professional Arena Soccer League champion California Cougars mauled the Premier Arena Soccer League's Wenatchee Fire 17-0 Saturday at Estadio Azteca Arena in Turlock.

With his eight points, Farber became the Professional's all-time points leader, passing former player/head coach Bernie Lilavois. He also extended his consecutive point-scoring streak to 21 games dating back to last season.

The win was the Cougars' first shutout in history and the team's biggest margin of victory ever. They also scored the most goals in a Professional league game this season.

The Cougars (3-1) will meet the Estadio Azteca All Stars in a US Arena Soccer Open Cup tournament game in Turlock Sunday.

Dynamite Finally Gets First PASL Win Of Season

After giving up 48 points in their first four Professional Arena Soccer League games, the Denver Dynamite finally exploded as Tony Avery had four goals and three assists in a 15-8 victory over the Fort Collins Fury of the amateur Premier Arena Soccer League at the Bladium Arena.

Michael Ogletree, called up from Denver's Premier affiliate, the Highlands Ranch Heat, scored his first goal with the team.

The Dynamite, 1-4 and in last place in the Western Division, will host a US Arena Soccer Open Cup tournament game this Saturday at the Bladium.

Express Makes Impact On Winchester

Matt Brienes had five goals, Jeff Hughes had four goals and two assists, and John Mellencamp, nephew of the same-named singer scored his first two professional goals as the Eastern Division-leading 1790 Cincinnati Express defeated the Winchester Impact 13-4 Saturday in Professional Arena Soccer League play at the Game Time Training Center.

The Impact are members of the amateur Premier Arena Soccer League.

The Express head to the expansion Ohio Vortex this coming Saturday.

Wave Rolls Over Kixx In Milwaukee

Brett Wiesner and Marco Terminesi tallied hat tricks and Troy Dusosky assisted on four goals as the Milwaukee Wave washed over the Philadelphia Kixx in a 27-6 rout in Major Indoor Soccer League play Saturday at US Cellular Arena.

The victory was Milwaukee's largest since defeating the Detroit Rockers 29-7 March 5, 2000.

Terminesi had a career-high nine points in the win and took over the team's point scoring lead with 13. Wiesner had six points on the win and is second in points on the team with 12.

The Wave (2-2) are off until December 27 when they travel to La Raza de Monterrey while the Kixx (1-3) are at the Baltimore Blast this Friday.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sockers Play Indoor Soccer Game Outside? In The Rain?!

In an outdoor "indoor" soccer game held at Furati Stadium in Tijuana, Mexico, the San Diego Sockers improved their Professional Arena Soccer League record to 6-0 Friday with a 5-4 victory over Revolucion Tijuana.

Revolucion Tijuana is a member of Liga Mexicana Futbol Rapido and is playing seven games this season against PASL teams which count in the those team's records, but not Tijuana's.

Aaron Susi scored the first and last goals for the Sockers with Dan Antoniuk, Brian O'Connor and league leader Kraig Chiles adding points. Chiles has 14 goals this season.

The Sockers are now off until December 28 when they host their Premier Arena Soccer League sister San Diego Fusion in a US Open Arena Soccer Championship tournament game at Del Mar Arena.

Tijuana's next game against a PASL team will be February 6 at Stockton Arena against the defending league champion California Cougars.

Alagic Goal Gives Illusion Win Over Outlaws

Vedad Alagic scored the game-winning goal off Lawrence Olum's third assist of the game with 1:40 left to play as the St. Louis Illusion edged the Texas Outlaws 11-10 in Professional Arena Soccer League play at The Game Arena in Glen Carbon, IL Friday.

Olum also added a goal in the victory.

Elvir Kafedzic led the Illusion (2-2 in Eastern Division) with two goals and two assists.

Jamie Harrigan had a hat trick and two assists for the Outlaws (2-2 in Western Division).

The Illusion host a US Open Arena Soccer Championship elimination game next Friday, then face the Louisville Lightning next Saturday.

The Outlaws take on the second-tier Premier Arena Soccer League's Kansas City Kings on the road Saturday.

Lightning Annihilate Quantum Force In USOASC Game

Glenn Volk led all scorers with an amazing eight goals and two assists as the expansion Louisville Lightning of the Professional Arena Soccer League struck hard and fast repeatedly in a 22-1 blowout over the second-tier Premier Arena Soccer League's West Virginia Quantum Force in their first US Open Arena Soccer Championship tournament game Friday at the Mockingbird Valley Soccer Club.

Aziz Beganovic had a hat trick and an assist, Safet Kovacevic tallied two goals and three assists, and Mariano Gonzales had five assists and a goal.

Every Lightning player except two -- defender Jonathan Kincheloe and goalkeeper Frank Peabody -- scored goals in the game.

Had this game been a Professional Arena Soccer League, the following records would have been tied or broken:

- Most goals in a game by one team record broken (22)
- Most goals in a single game by one player (Volk's eight would've broken record set by Jay Hamilton with seven)
- Largest margin of victory record broken (21)

The Lightning return to league action next Saturday when they travel to the defending USOASC champion St. Louis Illusion.

The Quantum Force hits the road Saturday to take on the 1790 Cincinnati Express.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Washington Post: Fire Interested In NYRB Interim Head Coach Williams

Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire are interested in speaking with New York Red Bulls interim head coach Richie Williams about filling their vacancy, according to Friday's Washington Post.

The Fire released Dennis Hamlett at the end of the 2009 season.

Williams played eight seasons in the league with DC United and the Red Bulls and has won three MLS Cup championships in only 216 career games.

Williams took over the Red Bulls in August 2009 from former Fire head coach Juan Carlos Osario, who abruptly resigned. The Red Bulls went 3-3-2 under Williams' leadership.

FC Gold Pride Signs WPS' First Norwegian Player

FC Gold Pride Friday announced the signing of midfielder Solvieg Gulbrandsen, the first player on a Women's Professional Soccer roster from Norway.

The Pride chose her in the 2009 International Discovery Draft.

She debuted internationally with her country's women's national team in 1998 and is now its most capped player in history with 139 appearances.

She played in three FIFA World Cups (1999, 2003, 2007), a pair of Olympics (2000, 2008) and three Women's Euro championships (2001, 2005, 2009).

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Yakima Reds Name Silva Co-Owner, Head Coach And Technical Director

Alex Silva was named Thursday the new co-owner, head coach and technical director of the Yakima Reds of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League.

Silva bought 50 percent of the franchise from fellow co-owner Perry Piercy, who bought the team last season.

As a head coach, he replaces Hector Vega, who resigned after the Reds finished the 2009 season with a 3-11-2 record and 11 points.

Silva previously served as an assistant coach at Overlake High School in Yakima, WA until 2006.

Galaxy's Donovan Could Be Loaned To Everton

Officials of Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy and Everton FC of the English Premier League are discussing a short-term loan that would send forward Landon Donovan to England to tune up before the 2010 MLS season and the FIFA World Cup.

Donovan has not been successful in playing in three previous loans to international teams, all in the German Bundesliga.

In 1999, at the age of 16, Donovan signed a six-year contract to play for Bayern Leverkusen, but never played in his first two seasons and was later loaned to MLS' San Jose Earthquakes in 2001.

In January 2005, he returned to Leverkusen on another loan and started two of nine games, but scored no goals and returned to the Galaxy two months later.

In 2009, Donovan was loaned to Bayern Munich and appeared in five Bundesliga games and one German Cup contest, but had four goals.

MLS Names Invitees To 2010 Player Combine

Major League Soccer Thursday announced the names of 64 college seniors invited to attend the league's 2010 adidas MLS Player Combine January 8-12 at Central Broward Regional Park in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

All 16 coaches from MLS teams, including the new Philadelphia Union, will attend the combine to scout players for possible selection during the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, to be held in Philadelphia January 14.

The 64 players, representing 44 colleges and universities, were selected by a panel of coaches from NCAA Division I schools and MLS. They will be split up into four teams and will play two games each during the combine.

The teams at the event and their coaching staffs will be:

Team Predator X
Head Coach: Matthew Spear, Davidson University
Assistant: Brad Wylde, Executive Director of the South Charlotte (NC) Soccer Association

Team Condivo
Head Coach: Michael Noonan, Brown University
Assistant: Leigh Cowlishaw, head coach of Richmond Kickers, United Soccer Leagues Second Division

Team Jabulani
Head Coach: Jorge Salcedo, UCLA
Assistant: Nathan Williams, head coach of Placer United Soccer Club

Team F50i
Head Coach: Todd Yeagley, University of Wisconsin
Assistant: Larry Sunderland, Player Personnel Director of MLS' Chicago Fire

Of the 90 players invited to the 2009 combine, 42 were drafted by MLS franchises, with 10 of them selected in the first round.

UCLA has the most invitees to the combine at four players, while Connecticut, Louisville and Notre Dame have three invitees.

Here are the list of players, by position and school, who have been invited to the combine:


Brooks Haggerty - North Carolina
Jovan Bubonja - University of Illinois-Chicago
Frederick Hall - Quinnipiac University
Brian Perk - UCLA
John Moore - Stanford

Kevin Tangney - Maryland
Olukorede Aiyegbusi - NC State
Tim Ream - St. Louis University
Kwame Watson-Siriboe - Connecticut
Phil Edginton - Louisville
Ben Clark - St. John's
Justin Morrow - Notre Dame
Ofori Sarkodie - Indiana
Martin Haderag - California-Santa Barbara
Chad Borak - California State University - Northridge
Chris Schuler - Creighton
Julien Edwards - Drake
Kris Banghart - University of Denver
Nick Cardenas - San Diego State University
Tyler Barry - University of California - Berkeley
Adam Welch - Lehigh
Steven Kinney - Elon
Ryan Peterson - University of San Diego

Samuel Appiah - Boston University
Carlos Villa - University of Hartford
Zach Schilawski - Wake Forest
Zach Loyd - North Carolina
Austin da Luz - Wake Forest
Drew Yates - Maryland
Ronnie Bouemboue - NC State
Ross LaBauex - Virginia
Joseph Noone - Temple
Isaac Kissi - University of Dayton
Mike Seamon - Villanova
Othaniel Yanez - Louisville
Steffan Vroom - DePaul of Connecticut
Fred Brown - Louisville
Michael Thomas - Notre Dame
Toni Stahl - Connecticut
Mike Pezza - Connecticut
Nelson Becerra - St. John's
Bright Dike - Notre Dame
Jason Yeisley - Penn State
Mauro Fuzetti - Michigan
Eric Alexander - Indiana
Irving Garcia - University of California - Irvine
David Walker - University of California - Santa Barbara
Andrew Hoxie - William & Mary
Nane Joseph - Old Dominion
Two-Boys Gumede - University of Alabama-Birmingham
Andre Akpai - Harvard
Craig Henderson - Dartmouth
Nick Elenz-Martin - Brown University
Kyle Nakawaza - UCLA
Michael Stephens - UCLA
David Estrada - UCLA
Adam Welch - Lehigh
Conor O'Brien - Bucknell
Collen Warner - University of Portland
Conor Chinn - University of San Francisco
Kwaku Nyamekye - Harvard
Seth Sinovic - Creighton
Justin Davis - New Mexico

MISL Names First Players Of The Month

The Major Indoor Soccer League named Baltimore Blast forward Lucio Gonzaga, Milwaukee Wave defender Troy Dusosky and Rockford Rampage goalkeeper Danny Waltman as the Players of the Month for November.

Gonzaga was named the Offensive Player of the Month after scoring seven points on a three-point goal and a pair of two-point goals in his debut match with the Blast -- a 19-8 win over the Philadelphia Kixx November 21. He now leads the team in scoring and is tied for fourth in the league in the same category.

Dusosky had a pair of two-point goals and blocked two shots in his first two games with the Wave to take Defensive Player of the Month honors. The Wave's defense held opponents to a combined nine points in those games.

Waltman averaged eight points in two games against the Blast and the Wave -- both wins -- and stopped 27 of 35 shots faced.

USL Sues Rhinos, Rowdies, Baltimore For Breach Of Contract

In its effort to keep its organization from crumbling underneath itself, United Soccer Leagues Wednesday filed a lawsuit in Hillsborough County Civil Court in Florida against Crystal Palace Baltimore, the Rochester Rhinos and the Tampa Bay Rowdies for breach of contract, according to the website The Kartik Report.

The teams had committed to join USL First Division for the 2010 season but have since defected to the new North American Soccer League, which features many of USL1's teams, including their defending champion, the Montreal Impact.

Crystal Palace Baltimore had been playing in the USL Second Division and had decided to move up to USL1 for the upcoming season.

USL is based in Tampa, FL.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Revs Re-Sign Players; Castro Fined, Suspended; Videira Had Hernia Surgery

Major League Soccer's New England Revolution announced the re-signings Tuesday of three players for the 2010 season -- forward Kheli Dube and midfielders Kenny Mansally and Sainey Nyassi.

All three will be in their third season with the franchise.

Dube has played in 47 games overall and has scored 12 goals and four assists, Mansally has four goals and three assists in 43 appearances, and Nyassi has four goals and two assists in 54 games played.

In other team news, the MLS Disciplinary Committee issued a two-game suspension and a $1,000 fine on midfielder Mauricio Castro for striking a ball that was in play into the stands during the team's November 7 game against the Chicago Fire.

Castro will miss the first two games of New England's season when the schedule is announced.

Finally, midfielder Michael Videira will be out six to eight weeks after undergoing hernia repair surgery Tuesday. He will be ready to join the team for preseason workouts.

USL To Hold 2010 Men's Player Showcase In Charleston

United Soccer Leagues announced Wednesday the fourth annual Men's Player Showcase, which will see 90 of the best under-23 players in the country be invited to show their talents before scouts from USL and Major League Soccer, will take place February 4-6 at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, SC.

The event is hosted by the now-USL Second Division's Charleston Battery.

Of the 90 players invited to the 2009 event, 25 signed deals with an MLS or USL1 team and 14 signed with a USL2 franchise.

In the three previous years of the event, 116 players signed a professional contract.

For more information about the event or to fill out an application, visit

MLS Commissioner Meets With Officials In Montreal

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber spent Tuesday and Wednesday in Montreal, meeting with Joey Saputo, president of the North American Soccer League's Montreal Impact, and government officials about the second-largest market in Canada joining MLS for the 2012 season as its 19th franchise.

The league adds the Philadelphia Union for the 2010 season and the Portland Timbers from the United Soccer Leagues First Division and the Vancouver Whitecaps, formerly of USL1 but now in the NASL, both join in 2011, giving the league 18 teams.

The Impact are the defending USL1 champions but have defected to the NASL.

Montreal opened Saputo Stadium, a soccer-specific stadium, in May 2008. It seats 13,034 fans but, through expansion, could meet MLS' stadium standards.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

WPS Players Are Three Of Five Finalists For FIFA Women's Player Of The Year Award

In Zurich, Switzerland Monday, the world governing body for soccer, FIFA, announced the five finalists for the organization's 2009 Women's World Player of the Year award, to be handed out at a gala ceremony December 21 in Zurich, as three players who competed in the inaugural season of Women's Professional Soccer are up for the honor.

First is France's Cristiane, who plays for the Chicago Red Stars. She was the only person in WPS' first season to score a hat trick and was fourth overall in the league in goals scored with seven.

Second is Brazil's Marta, a member of the Los Angeles Sol and one of two three-time winners of the award. She was named the league's first Michelle Akers Player of the Year winner and league Most Valuable Player. Marta had 10 goals and three assists for the Sol.

The last is England's Kelly Smith with the Boston Breakers, who finished fifth in the league in goals with six in 15 games. She was also named the league's Player of the Month for April.

The other players nominated for the award are Germany's Birgit Prinz, like Marta, a three-time winner of the WPOY award, and Inga Grings.

Monday, December 7, 2009

City Stars Cut From USL1; Three Teams Left In League

United Soccer Leagues have ended a franchise agreement with the Cleveland City Stars, who joined the league's First Division in 2009 after playing their first two seasons in the Second Division, where they became league champion in 2008, according to

USL said they hope to get new ownership to run a franchise in the Cleveland market.

Following the defection of most USL1 franchises, including the defending USL1 champion Montreal Impact, to the new North American Soccer League, USL1 now has only three teams -- the Austin Aztex, Portland Timbers and Puerto Rico Islanders.

Also, according to the website, the Bermuda Hogges of the USL Second Division are considering a move down to the league's Premier Development League to save money. They joined USL2 in 2007.

Ex-Ignition Stars Lead Waza Over Express

Three former members of the Xtreme Soccer League's Detroit Ignition were able to lead their new team, the Detroit Waza of the Professional Arena Soccer League, to a 10-6 victory over the defending PASL Eastern Division champion 1790 Cincinnati Express Sunday at Total Soccer in Royal Oak, MI.

It was the first time the teams met since the Express routed Detroit 11-3 November 21.

Drew Ducker had two goals and three assists, Matt Johnson had a goal and three assists and Zach Wilkes posted two goals as the Waza evened their record to 2-2 and are in third place in the division standings. They will travel to Cleveland Saturday to play the expansion Ohio Vortex.

The Express remain in the lead in the division at 3-1 and host the West Virginia Quantum Force of the Premier Arena Soccer League Saturday.

MLS Generation Adidas Tour Ends With Sunday Win

Patrick Nyarko of the Chicago Fire and Roger Espinosa of the Kansas City Wizards scored goals Sunday as members of Major League Soccer's Generation adidas team ended a three-game tour of South Africa with a 2-0 victory over Ajax Cape Town in Cape Town, winning two of three games played against reserve teams from the country's Premier Soccer League.

The team returns to the States Tuesday.

Red Bulls Name Soler GM And Sporting Director

Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls named Erik Soler the team's new general manager and sporting director Monday.

Soler played professionally from 1978 to 1998 in Norway and Germany and was the founder and CEO of International Sports Management from 1995 to 2000, when the company was sold to ProAcrtive. He then stayed with the firm until 2000.

He also was a TV commentator for ViaSat since 1998 and served as co-owner and chairman of the board for IK Start in Norway from 2002 to 2008.

Gibson Goal Scoring Outburst Wins MISL POW Award

Philadelphia Kixx forward Leo Gibson, who scored his first four two-point goals of the season in Friday's 20-6 upset win over the previously unbeaten Rockford Rampage, was named the Major Indoor Soccer League's Player of the Week Monday.

With his eight points, Gibson had the most points by a player in a single league game this season and moved into third place in the league scoring race.

Timbers Sign Kirk, Release Nine Players

The Portland Timbers of the United Soccer Leagues First Division announced Monday they have signed free agent defender Quavas Kirk to a contract for the 2010 season.

Kirk, a third round pick of Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy in the 2005 SuperDraft, played 15 games last season for the Minnesota Thunder and was a two-time USL1 Team of the Week selection.

He had two assists in 33 games over three seasons (2005-07) with the Galaxy before being traded to DC United in 2008, where he had ten goals and led them to the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament championship title.

The Timbers also announced the release of nine players -- forwards Jason McLaughlin, Kevin Forrest and Antouman Jallow, defenders David Hayes, Cameron Dunn and Ivan Becarra, midfielders Shaun Higgins and Tom Polti, and goalkeeper Brian Visser.

Farber Extends Point Streak In Cougars Win Over Dynamite

Brian Farber had a hat trick and two assists to extend his regular season point scoring streak to 19 games in the Professional Arena Soccer League in a 9-8 nail-biting win over the winless Denver Dynamite at Turlock Indoor Soccer Sunday in Turlock, CA.

The Cougars, 3-1 in the Western Division and the defending league champion, will take on the Wenatchee Fire of the second level Premier Arena Soccer League Saturday at Estadio Azteca Sports Arena.

The Dynamite, also in the division but winless in four games, have given up 48 goals so far this season. They will host a Premier league team, the Fort Collins Fury, Saturday at Bladium Denver.

Hudson Leads Outlaws Over Illusion

Keegan Hudson had four goals and an assist to lead the host Texas Outlaws to a 9-3 victory Sunday over the defending US Open Arena Soccer Cup champion St. Louis Illusion in Professional Arena Soccer League play at TCG Arena at NYTEX Sports Centre.

Dominic Schell added a pair of goals and assists in the win and Jared Lee scored a point.

Roger Gemoules had two of St. Louis' three goals in the loss.

Texas (2-1 in Western Division) and St. Louis (1-2 in Eastern Division) will meet again Friday at The Game Arena in Glen Carbon, IL.

Monterrey Gains Revenge On Wave At Milwaukee's Home Opener

Led by goalkeeper Jose Bontti's 21 saves, six points from forward Chile Farias and three assists from Genoni Martinez, La Raza de Monterrey handed the Milwaukee Wave their first home season-opening loss since the 2006-07 Major Indoor Soccer League season in a 15-4 romp Sunday at US Cellular Arena.

It was sweet revenge for Monterrey, who were beaten 15-0 November 22 at Arena Monterrey for the largest shutout in team history and the largest on the road.

La Raza is now 2-1 and tied with the Rockford Rampage (2-1) and the Baltimore Blast (1-1), who Monterrey hosts next Sunday, for the lead in the MISL standings.

Milwaukee, at 1-2, is tied for last place with the Philadelphia Kixx, who they welcome to town this Saturday.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Chiles Tallies Four As Sockers Blast Dynamite

Kraig Chiles scored four goals and increased his league lead in that category to 15 as the San Diego Sockers pummeled the winless Denver Dynamite 15-5 Saturday in Professional Arena Soccer League action at Del Mar Arena.

The Sockers are 3-0 and lead the Western Division. They will travel to Tijuana, Mexico this Friday to face Revolucion Tijuana.

Demver, at 0-3 in the division standings, has given up 39 goals so far this season. The Dynamite are back in action Sunday as they face the defending league champion California Cougars in Turlock, CA.

Express Avoids Being Sucked Into Vortex

Jeff Hughes led the defending Professional Arena Soccer League Eastern Division champion 1790 Cincinnati Express with a hat trick Saturday in an 8-6 win on the road against the expansion Ohio Vortex in Cleveland, OH.

Hughes now has 10 goals for the 3-0 Express, who travel Sunday to the Detroit Waza.

Adam Campellone scored twice for the winless (0-2) Vortex and Allen Eller had a goal and an assist in the loss.

Ohio will welcome the Waza to Cleveland this Saturday.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sounders Hand Out 2009 Team Awards

Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders announced the winners Friday of their 2009 season awards.

The team's Most Valuable Player was goalkeeper Kasey Keller, who was nominated for MLS' 2009 Goalkeeper of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and Individual Fair Play awards, and was named to the Starting XI for the All-Star Game.

Keller set a league record this past season for consecutive scoreless minutes to start a season (457) and was the first goalkeeper in league history to post three consecutive shutouts to start a career.

He was second in the league in goals against average (0.92) and tied for second in wins (12) and shutouts (10).

Keller played the most minutes of any Sounder player in their debut season with 2,549.

Tyrone Marshall, who had two goals and two assists after starting 27 of 29 regular season games he played in, was named Defender of the Year.

Defender Taylor Graham was named the Humanitarian of the Year for his work with MLS W.O.R.K.S, America SCORES Seattle and Seattle Children's Hospital.

Finally, forward Fredy Montero, the 2009 MLS Newcomer of the Year, won Seattle's Budweiser Golden Boot award.

Montero, named an All-Star Game starter and March 2009's Player of the Month in MLS, was tied for third in the league in goals (12) and game-winning goals (four), led the league in shots (86) and was seventh in shots on goal (32).

Swedish Forward Asllani Joins Red Stars

The Chicago Red Stars of Women's Professional Soccer announced the signing Friday of Swedish forward Kosovare Asllani for the 2010 season.

Asllani recently won a Damallsvenskan championship in her home country with Linkopings, which she joined in 2007.

She also has been with her country's women's team since 2008.

Valentine Named New Ottawa Fury PDL Head Coach

The Ottawa Fury of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League named Carl Valentine as the team's new head coach Friday.

Valentine replaces Stephen O'Kane, who resigned for family reasons after two seasons with the franchise.

Valentine played for the original Vancouver Whitecaps in the first North American Soccer League and the Vancouver 86ers, later renamed Whitecaps, in USL First Division. He also served as head coach of the 86ers/Whitecaps from 1994-99 and amassed a record of 80 wins and 75 losses with no draws.

Lightning Win First Road Trip As PASL Expansion Team

Glenn Volk had a hat trick and Safet Kovacevic extended his goal scoring streak to three in as many games as the expansion Louisville Lightning edged the defending US Open Arena Soccer Cup champion St. Louis Illusion 7-5 Friday in Professional Arena Soccer League play at Glen Carbon, IL.

The Lightning next host a USOASC match at the Mockingbird Valley Soccer Club in Louisville next Friday night.

St. Louis, meanwhile, travels to the Texas Outlaws Sunday.

Kixx Hand Rampage First MISL Loss

Leo Gibson had four two-point goals to lead the Philadelphia Kixx to a 20-6 upset victory over the previously unbeaten Rockford Rampage Friday in Major Indoor Soccer League play at the Rockford MetroCentre.

Joe Di Buono and Ricardinho each added a three-point goal, Aduato Neto had a pair of two-point goals and two assists, and Jeremy Ortiz and Joe Taylor scored two-pointers as well for the Kixx.

The Kixx built a 14-0 lead in the game and never looked back.

Gary Brooks, Bato Radoncic and Semir Mesanovic all scored for the Rampage.

Rockford, still leading the league at the moment at 2-1, hosts La Raza de Monterrey December 20.

Philadelphia, at 1-2, will face the Milwaukee Wave at US Cellular Arena next Saturday.

Friday, December 4, 2009

USMNT Learns World Cup Placement, Group Stage Schedule

The US Men's National Team will begin their bid for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa as the second-seeded team in Group C and will open play against top-seeded England June 12 at Rustenborg as the 32 competing teams were placed in their groups Friday in the globally televised draw in Cape Town, South Africa.

After playing England, the US plays Slovenia (June 18 at Johannesburg) and Algeria (June 23 at Tshwane/Pretoria) for the first time in international competition.

Here are the breakdown of all eight World Cup groups, listed in order of seeding:

GROUP A - South Africa (host nation), Mexico, Uruguay, France
GROUP B - Argentina, Nigeria, South Korea, Greece
GROUP C - England, USA, Algeria, Slovenia
GROUP D - Germany, Australia, Serbia, Ghana
GROUP E - Netherlands, Denmark, Japan, Cameroon
GROUP F - Italy, Paraguay, New Zealand, Slovakia
GROUP G - Brazil, North Korea, Ivory Coast, Portugal (considered "The Group of Death")
GROUP H - Spain, Switzerland, Honduras, Chile

Reis Out Four To Six Months After Rotator Cuff Surgery

New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis will miss four to six months, including part of the 2010 Major League Soccer season, after undergoing surgery Tuesday to repair an injured left rotator cuff, the Boston Herald reported Wednesday.

Reis reportedly had been playing with the pain for the last two months of the 2009 season.

The Revolution now will have find capable goalkeeping talent as, besides the loss of Reis, the team lost backup Brad Knighton to the expansion Philadelphia Union in last week's Expansion Draft as an unprotected pick.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Union Gets Rights To Califf In Trade With Dynamo

In return for allocation money, the expansion Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer acquired the rights to US Men's National Team defender Danny Califf from the Houston Dynamo Thursday.

Califf currently plays for FC Midtjylland in the Danish SuperLiga.

Fire Exercise Option On Loaner Pappa, Signs Him Through 2012 Season

Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire Thursday signed midfielder Marco Pappa to a contract through the 2012 season.

The Fire signed him after exercising an option in their loan agreement with Guatemala's CSD Municipal that allowed Pappa's rights to be transferred to Chicago.

Pappa joined the Fire July 30, 2008 and started three of six games that season. This past season, he had five goals and four assists and started all but two of the team's 30 regular season games.

Wizards Add Zambrano To Coaching Staff

Major League Soccer's Kansas City Wizards announced Thursday former head coach Octavio Zambrano will join the coaching staff of new head coach Peter Vermes as an assistant coach.

Zambrano will serve with the team's other assistants -- Kerry Zavagnin, Zoran Savic and John Pascarella.

Zambrano, who most recently was head coach of FC Tatabanya in Hungary, was a former MLS head coach with the Los Angeles Galaxy (32-18-0 record) and the New York/New Jersey MetroStars (48-37-8; now called New York Red Bulls).

New Philly WPS Team Finds A Home

The Philadelphia Independence, an expansion team in the 2010 season of Women's Professional Soccer, announced Wednesday it will play their inaugural season of home games at John A. Farrell Stadium at West Chester University.

The stadium currenty seats 7,500, but could be expanded t0 10,000 seats, and is located 20 miles west of Philadelphia, 15 miles north of Wilmington, DE, and 10 miles from theit training camp in Downingtown, PA.

Sky Blue Reunites Kalmari With Former Player, Now Head Coach

Forward Laura Kalmari, the all-time leading scorer for Finland's Women's National Team with 33 goals in 118 appearances, was signed to a 2010 season Women's Professional Soccer franchise in Sky Blue FC.

A three-time women's soccer female athlete of the year, Kalmari will be reunited with former Finnish team captain and now Sky Blue head coach Paulina Miettinen.

Kalmari last played in the Damallsvenskan with AIK Stockholm and spent time in the Finnish Premier League with Puistolen Urheilijat, Malman Pallosuera and HJK Helsinki before going to play college soccer at the University of Portland for one season.

She also returns to the States in 2000, where she paced her for her TNA Knockouts Title defense Sunday against Bobby Lashley at the Boston Renegades in the Women's United Soccer Association.

Generation adidas Loses Second Of Three South Africa Games

In the second game of a three-game trip against the best reserve teams from the South African First Division, Major League Soccer's Generation adidas team lost 2-1 to Santos Wednesday in Cape Town.

Mohamed (33rd minute) and Paulse (72nd) put Santos on top and in control of a wild match, where 33 fouls were called.

Chicago Fire forward Patrick Nyarko scored for MLS in the 93rd minute.

The Generation adidas is 1-1-0 in the series and ends it Sunday against Ajax Cape Town Sunday.

Espindola Latest For Long-Term Extension; Completes Knee Surgery

Major League Soccer champion Real Salt Lake signed a fourth player to a contract extension through the 2013 season, this being forward Fabian Espindola Wednesday.

He joins midfielder Javier Morales and defenders Jamison Olave and Chris Wingert in signing long-term contracts.

Since joining the team in August 2007, he has started 33 of 46 regular season games for the defending MLS Cup champion. In his career, he has 10 goals and five assists in MLS regular season play, with a career-high five of those goals coming in 2008.

Meanwhile, Espindola, Olave and Morales are all set to return during preseason training camp in February after undergoing seperate but successful knee surgeries Tuesday.

Espindola (torn meniscus in right knee) and Olave (loose cartilage and bone spurs) both had surgery to shore up nagging injuries, while Morales had his torn meniscus and strained lateral collateral ligament in the right knee repaired following a collision with Los Angeles Galaxy's star David Beckham during the MLS Cup victory over them.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tsiskaridze Joins Whitecaps From Blues

The Vancouver Whitecaps of the North American Soccer League announced the signing Wednesday of defender/midfielder Zourab Tsiskaridze to a one-year contract with an option for the 2011 season.

He played last season for the Miami FC Blues when both were in the United Soccer Leagues First Division and had a goal and an assist over 18 games.

Before heading to Miami, the Tbilisi, Georgia native who moved to Poland in 1990 and to the US in 2001, spent 18 months with FC Sete 34 in France's third division.

Kixx Sign Martinez For Rest Of MISL Season

The Philadelphia Kixx Wednesday signed defender Rey Martinez to a contract for the remainder of the inaugural Major Indoor Soccer League season.

Martinez, a former national team player in his native Cuba, scored a two-point goal for the Kixx in their November 21 loss to the Baltimore Blast, who he led to the 2008 championship in the league's second incarnation.

He spent last season in the Xtreme Soccer League, where he did not miss a single game for the New Jersey Ironmen. Martinez finished fifth in scoring on the team, scoring 13 goals and four assists for 31 points.

Martinez also played in the original MISL (St. Louis Steamers), Major League Soccer (Colorado Rapids), and the United Soccer Leagues First (Rochester Rhinos, Carolina RailHawks) and Second Divisions (Real Maryland Monarchs).

Chapman Reunites With Friends In Chicago

The Chicago Red Stars of Women's Professional Soccer announced the signing Wednesday of Arsenal Ladies midfielder Katie Chapman for the 2010 season.

Chapman will be reunited with fellow English National Team midfielder Karen Carney and former Arsenal assistant coach Emma Hayes, now the Red Stars' head coach. The three were at Arsenal from 2006 to 2008.

In 73 games for her country's national team, Chapman scored seven goals.

Chapman began her professional career at Millwall Lionesses from 1992 to 2000, then joined Fulham (2000-04) and Charlton Athletic (2004-06) before joining Arsenal.

Vasquez Returns To Chivas USA As New Head Coach

Martin Vasquez, who served as an assistant coach for Chivas USA during their first three seasons in Major League Soccer from 2005 to 2007, returned to the Red & Black Wednesday as their new head coach, replacing Preki, who was released by mutual agreement after the recent season.

Vasquez had a 15-year playing career between MLS, the Mexican First Division, and teams in Europe.

He most recently served as an assistant coach for Germany's Bayern Munich from July 2008 to April 2009.

Heaps Announce Retirement After 11 MLS Seasons

Defender Jay Heaps announced his retirement from professional soccer Wednesday after 11 seasons in Major League Soccer, eight of them with the New England Revolution, where he had played since the 2001 season.

Heaps began his career with the Miami Fusion and was the 1999 MLS Rookie of the Year. He stayed with Miami until it folded in 2001.

He was one of three Revolution players to start in all four of the team's appearances in the MLS Cup (2002, 2005, 2006, 2007), all of which they lost, but he led them to the 2007 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup and the 2008 SuperLiga titles.

Heaps leaves New England as their all-time leader in games played (243), games started (238) and minutes played (21,619), and their fifth all-time leading player in assists (26).

On a league level, he was eighth all-time in games played (314), fourth in games started (299) and third in minutes played (27,363).

He finished his MLS career with 17 goals and 34 assists, scoring nine of his goal total in New England.

Heaps also made several appearances with the US Men's National Team.

Edmonton Drillers To Join NASL When Whitecaps Leave

The North American Soccer League announced Tuesday the Edmonton Drillers, currently playing in the Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League and the Professional Arena Soccer League, will return to outdoor play in 2011 and replace the Vancouver Whitecaps when they transition to Major League Soccer in that season, Wednesday's Edmonton Journal reports.

The Drillers were part of the original NASL from 1979 to 1982.

Los Angeles City Council Approves Plan To Host World Cup Games

The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to submit a bid to be a host city in the US for games of either the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Los Angeles' application will be included in the the official bid by the US, which will be forwarded to FIFA before the deadline of May 14, 2010.

The city was one of nine cities used to host 1994 World Cup games, with the Rose Bowl and Stanford Stadium used for games.

The US joins Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan, Russia and combined bids by Netherlands/Belgium and Spain/Portugal in bidding for both events, while Qatar and South Korea are bidding to host the 2022 World Cup.

FIFA's executive commitee will name the host countries for the 2018 and 2022 Cups in December 2010.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Whitecaps Sign MVP Nolly To One-Year Deal With Option

The North American Soccer League's Vancouver Whitecaps announced Tuesday they have re-signed their 2009 Most Valuable Player, goalkeeper Jay Nolly, to a one-year contract with an option year.

2010 will be his third season with Vancouver and he has a 31-21-18 record in 71 career games with 23 shutout victories and a 1.16 goals against average over 6,355 minutes played.

Nolly played every minute of all 40 combined games for the team between the 2009 United Soccer Leagues First Division season and the Nutrilite Canadian Championship.

Before joining Vancouver, Nolly played three seasons in Major League Soccer between Real Salt Lake and DC United.

Atlanta Beat To Have World's First Soccer-Specific Women's Stadium

The Atlanta Beat of Women's Professional Soccer announced a partnership with Kennesaw State University Tuesday to build a $16.5 million, 8,300-seat stadium on the school's campus that would become the world's first soccer-specific stadium for a professional women's team.

The stadium, which can be expanded to 16,000 for concerts, will house both programs and will be completed for the Beat to play in during their 2010 expansion season in WPS.

Menace Staying At Valley Stadium For Two More Seasons

The Des Moines Menace of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League will continue to play home games at Valley Stadium through the 2011 season after signing a two-year extension with the West Des Moines Community School District, the team announced Monday.

Valley Stadium is the fourth home field for the Menace in their history, following Dowling High School (1994), McGrange Stadium at Hoover High School (1995-04) and Waukee Stadium (2004-07).

United, Dynamo Players To Go On AFE Tour

Marc Busch and Devon McTavish of DC United and Mike Chabala and Bobby Boswell of the Houston Dynamo will leave Wednesday for a Major League Soccer Stars Tour, presented by Armed Forces Entertainment.

The players will visit Hawaii, Kwajalien and Guam over the tour, which ends December 13, and will conduct youth and adult soccer clinics.

Generation adidas Team Wins First Of Three Games In South Africa

Chris Pontius of DC United and Patrick Nyarko of the Chicago Fire scored goals as a team of Major League Soccer's Generation adidas players defeated the Orlando Pirates 2-0 Tuesday in the first game of a three-game series in South Africa.

The game took place at the University of Johannesburg Soccer Grounds in Auckland Park.

USL Terminate All Minnesota-Based Teams

Due to outstanding debts to the league and others, United Soccer Leagues announced Monday they have terminated all Minnesota-based franchises in their leagues -- the Minnesota Thunder of USL First Division, the Rochester Thunder of the USL Premier Development League, and the Minnesota Lightning of the USL W-League, according to

The league, which has lost 10 teams recently to the newly-formed North American Soccer League, wants to have a Minnesota-based team in the USL1 for the 2010 season.

The website also reports a former part-owner of the Thunder is expected to create a new team for the 2010 PDL season.

Sky Blue FC Signs Swedish Star Landstrom

Defending Women's Professional Soccer champion Sky Blue FC signed Swedish Women's National Team forward Jessica Landstrom to a contract Monday.

Landstrom, a native of Stockholm, played this past season for the champion of her country's Damallsvenskan league, Linkopings FC.

MLS Champ RSL Trades Seitz To Union For Allocation Money

Major League Soccer champion Real Salt Lake traded unimpressive goalkeeper Chris Seitz to 2010 expansion franchise Philadelphia Union Monday in return for allocation money.

Seitz, the league's third overall pick in the 2007 SuperDraft, started seven games in three seasons and finished with a 1-4-2 record and a 1.86 goals against average.

In 2009, he started four games, including his first career win and career shutout in a 1-0 victory August 29 at the Kansas City Wizards, and finished the season 1-1-2 with a 1.25 GAA.