Sunday, January 31, 2010

Outlaws Snap Five-Game Losing Streak, Beat Dynamite

Matt Clark and Jose Burciaga each scored hat tricks as the Texas Outlaws snapped ended a five-game losing streak with a 15-9 victory at home over the Denver Dynamite in Professional Arena Soccer League action Saturday.

The Outlaws are now 5-7 and in third place in the Western Division, while the Dynamite boast the worst record in the division and the league at 1-10.

Both teams meet again, this time in Denver, February 13, but, first, the Outlaws host the Alamo City Warriors of the amateur Premier Arena Soccer League this Saturday.

Oliviero Leads Wave Over Blast To Sweep Series

Guiliano Oliviero scored two two-point goals and assisted on a third as the visiting Milwaukee Wave defeated the host Baltimore Blast Saturday 10-6 in Major Indoor Soccer League play from First Mariner Arena.

The Wave, who, at 7-6, are tied with the Rockford Rampage (6-5) for second place in the league standings, a half-game behind the new leader, Monterrey La Raza, swept all four games of their season series with the Blast.

The Blast, meanwhile, are now in fourth place at 5-6, 1 1/2 games behind Monterrey.

Both Milwaukee and Baltimore have a common opponent in the next few weeks -- the last-place Philadelphia Kixx.

The Wave travel to Liacouras Center at Temple University this coming Saturday while the Blast host the Kixx February 12.

Monterrey Rocks The Rampage, Takes MISL Lead

Monterrey La Raza became the new leader in the Major Indoor Soccer League standings Saturday as Genoni Martinez and Hector Vallejo scored goals in a 4-2 victory over the Rockford Rampage at Rockford's MetroCentre to extend their winning streak to four games.

La Raza is now 7-5 and have a half-game lead over Rockford (6-5), who saw a three-game winning streak snapped, and the Milwaukee Wave (7-6), who defeated the Baltimore Blast 10-6 Saturday in Baltimore to sweep a four-game season series.

Jamar Beasley scored the opening and lone goal for Rockford in the loss.

Both two teams meet again next Sunday at Arena Monterrey.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Express Rolls Past Vortez To Stay Undefeated At Home

Jeff Hughes scored five goals and Sam Fiore added four more as the 1790 Cincinnati Express, leader of the Professional Arena Soccer League's Eastern Division at 8-3, defeated the expansion Ohio Vortex 15-5 at the Game Time Training Center in Fairfield, KY.

The Express have never lost in 13 games played at their home arena.

The same two teams meet again there this coming Saturday.

Lightning Strikes For Fifth Straight Win

Glenn Volk and Nick Judah each scored four goals to lead the expansion Louisville Lightning to a 15-6 rout of the Detroit Waza in Professional Arena Soccer League play Friday at the Mockingbird Valley Soccer Club in Louisville, KY.

The Lightning improved to 7-4 on the season and are in second place in the league's Eastern Division, one game behind the 1790 Cincinnati Express, who Louisville faces February 12 at the Game Time Training Center in Fairfield, KY.

Louisville first hosts another PASL expansion team, the Ohio Vortex, February 5 before meeting the Waza again the next night at Total Soccer in Royal Oak, MI.

Detroit (5-6) will hit the road Saturday to take on provisional member West Virginia Quantum Force of the amateur Premier Arena Soccer League.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Final 21 Names Announced For USL Player Showcase

United Soccer Leagues announced Friday the final 21 names of players invited to compete in the league's fourth annual USL Players Showcase February 4 through 6 at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleson, SC and hosted by the USL Second Division's Charleston Battery.

The fourth annual event gives coaches and scouts from USL First Division and Major League Soccer teams the opportunity to check out some of the best prospects the sport has to offer from their Premier Development League.

The event has seen over 100 players start their professional careers with a team over its history.

Of the 90 players who attended the 2009 combine, 25 signed with either an MLS or USL1 team, with 14 others signing with a USL2 franchise.

An additional name was added to the latest list after Richard Martinez (Long Island 2009, San Jose 2008, Westchester 2007-08) signed a professional contract after being selected.

Here are the names of the 21 additional invitees, in alphabetical order, along with their PDL experience, if applicable:

Francisco Aristeguita - Bradenton 2008
Kyle Bak - Rhode Island 2009
Matt Baker
Levi Coleman - Kansas City 2008-09, Palm Beach 2007
Jonathan Collier - Atlanta 2007-08
Julien Edwards - Des Moines 2009, Ottawa 2008
Kevin Gallagher - Bakersfield 2009, Los Angeles 2008
Adam Gazda - Reading 2007-09
Denis Geoffrey - Cary Clarets 2009, Cary RailHawks 2008
Brian Harris - St. Louis 2009
Justin Hoskins - Rochester 2009, Cascade 2008
Gift Maworeve
John Moore - Seattle 2009
Arie Muniz - Carolina 2009, Houston 2008
Kevin Noschang - Cincinnati 2008, Chicago 2006, Toledo 2005
Debola Ogunseye - Michigan 2009
Zach Prince - Chicago 2009, Colorado 2008
Daniel Revivo - Toronto 2007-09
Michael Strickland - Seattle 2009
Ryan Thompson - Bradenton 2008-09
Martin Vickerton - Ottawa 2007-09
Garrett Webb - Des Moines 2009, Kansas City 2008

Sockers Magic Number Is 1: Cougars See Win Streak Snapped At 5

Chiky Luna had a hat trick to lead the San Diego Sockers to an 11-10 victory over the defending Professional Arena Soccer League champion California Cougars in action Thursday at Stockton Arena.

The Sockers have the best record in the league at 11-1 and now have a magic number of one to clinch the league's Western Division crown.

Both teams meet again February 13 in Stockton, but the Sockers could claim the division title if the Cougars lose a home game February 6 against Revolucion Tijuana.

For the Cougars (9-4), the loss snapped a five-game winning streak and it was the third time they've lost to the Sockers this season, doing so in each game by a goal.

Brian Farber and Uriel Robledo each had hat tricks for the Cougars in the loss.

Union Gains Orozco On Loan Via Trade With Red Bulls

The expansion Philadelphia Union acquired former US U-23 National Team and current US Men's senior National Team defender Michael Orozco on loan from San Luis FC of Mexico's First Division after completing a Major League Soccer trade with the New York Red Bulls Friday.

The Union gave the Red Bulls allocation money in return for New York's slot as the top team on the league's allocation order to gain Orozco.

The allocation order list allows MLS teams a fair chance at gaining USMNT members who return to the States after playing overseas. With the Union taking Orozco, they now drop to the back order and the San Jose Earthquakes will acquire the next available USMNT player.

Orozco, who led the US U-23 team to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and played twice for the senior team, has been with San Luis for three seasons, but has fallen out of favor with their coaching staff.

At the Union, Orozco will be reunited with U-23 teammate Chris Seitz.

WPS Discontinues Operation Of Los Angeles Sol

The first regular season champion of Women's Professional Soccer, the Los Angeles Sol, are no longer part of the league after it was decided Thursday to end operating the franchise when a deal by a potential new ownership group fell through at the last minute.

The league has been running the Sol since late November when Anschutz Entertainment Group returned its majority ownership stake in the team to WPS.

The potential new owners, who were not named, had vowed to keep the team in Los Angeles and continue to play home games at The Home Depot Center.

The Sol finished the inaugural season of WPS with a 12-3-5 record and 41 points and lost to the eventual league champion, Sky Blue FC, 1-0 August 22 at The Home Depot Center.

WPS announced a three-round dispersal draft will be held February 4 to allow other league teams to select any of the 19 players from the Sol's roster. Players who signed guaranteed multi-year contracts with the league, like WPS All-Stars Marta and Shannon Boxx, and were allocated to the Sol will be placed with other WPS teams after the dispersal draft to finish out their contract.

The league will have eight teams in 2010 with the addition of the Atlanta Beat and Philadelphia Independence and will maintain a single standings table, as they had last year.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

MLS, Players Union Agree To Extend CBA To February 12

Major League Soccer and the Major League Soccer Players Union announced Thursday their current collective bargaining agreement, signed in 2005 and set to expire at midnight Sunday, will be honored through February 12 while talks continue on a new agreement.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber said "talks have been constructive and both parties believe it makes sense to continue to work hard to reach (an) agreement", but also stated there are still disagreements to work around in certain areas.

Players have been told by their union to continue to report to their team's training camps while the extended negotiations continue.

Had the current agreement been allowed to expire Sunday, MLS owners would have instituted a player lockout, which could have possibly delayed the start of the 2010 season.

Albany Highlanders Returning To USL PDL In 2010

The Albany (NY) BWP Highlanders, who played in the 2003 and 2004 seasons of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League, announced Thursday they will return for the league's 2010 season and join the Eastern Conference's Northeast Division.

The Highlanders, who have now incorporated the name of their youth organization -- Blackwatch Premier -- into its name, will play home games beginning in mid-May at Frank Bailey Field at Union College.

The team's best finish was in the 2004 season, when they were tied for second at 12-3-3 with 39 points, but lost a tiebreaker for a playoff berth.

Albany will unveil a new logo and website in the coming weeks, as well as announce personnel hirings.

Vortex Defender Pertz Gets Tryout With Timbers; Ball Signs With Team

The Ohio Vortex, an expansion team in the Professional Arena Soccer League, announced defender Michael Pertz will be participating in an invitation-only player combine this weekend for the Portland Timbers, who will play in the US Soccer Federation's Second Division league in 2010 before becoming an expansion team in Major League Soccer in 2011.

Pertz split his collegiate career between the University of Akron, Mount Vernon Nazarene University and Azusa Pacific University.

Separately, the Vortex welcomed veteran player John Ball to the team, who has spent the last six seasons playing for the Rochester Rhinos, who are leaving the United Soccer Leagues First Division to play in USSF2 before becoming an expansion team in the North American Soccer League.

Ball was fourth in USL1 last season in assists with six and leaves the Rhinos as their tenth all-time leading player in regular season points and ninth all-time leader in regular season goals and games played.

He began his career indoors with the Cleveland Crunch of the National Professional Soccer League in 1995 and also spent time with the Chicago Storm and the California Cougars in the second version of the Major Indoor Soccer League.

Ball also played the 1995 season of Major League Soccer with the Chicago Fire.

He led Southern Connecticut State to two NCAA Division II men's soccer championships among the five the school won with him on the roster.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Rowdies To Play Home Games At Steinbrenner Field

The Tampa Bay Rowdies of the 2010 US Soccer Federation Second Division and the 2011 North American Soccer League announced Wednesday they will initially play home games at Steinbrenner Field, according to the Tampa Tribune and the St. Petersburg Times.

Steinbrenner Field, formerly called Legends Field, is the spring training home of Major League Baseball's New York Yankees.

Nikolav May Leave Frankfurt For MLS' Red Bulls

According to the German website IVZ-Online.com, goalkeeper Oka Nikolov of Eintracht Frankfurt in the country's Bundesliga may leave the team to join Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls.

Nikolov turned down a two-year contract extension with Frankfurt, where his current deal expires June 30.

Impact Signs Two More International Players

The Montreal Impact, who will play in the 2010 US Soccer Federation Second Division and the North American Soccer League in 2011, announced the signings Wednesday of midfielder Helder Felipe Da Costa Soares and midfielder/forward Phillipe Billy for the next two seasons.

The signings up the number of international players under contract to the franchise at six.

Soares spent 10 years in Portugal's Second Division, playing for SC Freamonde (2000-04, 2006-09), FC Vizela (2003-06) and CD Feirense (2009).

Billy played 24 games between the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons at Stade Brestois in France's Ligue 2.

He also spent time with Lecce in Italy's Serie A and Serie B (2001-04, 2005-06), RAEC Mons in Belgium's First Division (2004-05), and Stade Lavallois MFC in France's National Championship (2006-07).

Crystal Palace Baltimore Announces Name Change, Introduces Two Ex-Battery Mates

Crystal Palace USA, the American affiliate of England's Crystal Palace FC and a member of the 2010 US Soccer Federation Second Division and the 2011 North American Soccer League, announced Wednesday they will officially change their name to Crystal Palace Baltimore and their new website has been launched at www.palacebaltimore.com.

The team also announced the signing of two former members of the United Soccer Leagues Second Division's Charleston Battery -- midfielder Tsuyoshi Yoshitake and forward Randi Patterson.

Yoshitake had six goals and five assists in 27 appearances last season. Before joining Charleston, he spent time in the J-League in Japan for Yokohama FC (2002-07) and Tokyo Verdy 1969 (2008), and had a combined 15 goals and 10 assists.

Patterson had 19 goals in two seasons with the Battery.

MISL Announces New Rules For Goalkeepers

The Major Indoor Soccer League announced new rules Wednesday, effective with this weekend's games, that will help goalkeepers.

Goalkeepers can now throw the ball from inside their defensive third of the field -- the defensive yellow line, the midfield line and the offensive yellow line -- and can kick the ball from their own defensive area across their yellow line and midfield line.

If the goalkeeper is outside the defensive yellow line, he can kick it past the midfield line and past the offensive yellow line.

If the goalkeeper is inside their own defensive area and kicks it out of play, play will restart at the top of their arc. If he kicks the ball out of play oustide the defensive area, play begins again from where the ball left the field.

Capitals Name Veteran PDL Defender As Head Coach

The Baton Rouge Capitals of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League name veteran defender Stuart Hayers their new head coach Wednesday.

Hayers played over 3,000 minutes in the league between the New Orleans Shell Shockers and the Panama City Pirates.

USL Names Six PDL Coaches To Lead Teams At USL Men's Showcase

United Soccer Leagues announced Wednesday six head coaches from the Premier Developmental League -- Paul Baber (expansion MPS Portland Phoenix), Dave Dixon (Mississippi Brilla), Tony Glavin (St. Louis Lions), Chris Hanlon and Armen Tomase (Springfield Demize), and Mark Spooner (Kalamazoo Outrage) -- will lead teams during the league's 2010 USL Men's Showcase February 4-6 at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, SC, home to the USL2's Charleston Battery.

The invitation-only event gives USL and Major League Soccer coaches, general managers and scouts the opportunity to view the best 90 players in the country and help make decisions on playing careers.

70 players have already been announced for the event, with the naming of the final 20 coming soon.

Donovan Notches First Goal Under Everton Loan

Los Angeles Galaxy forward Landon Donovan scored his first goal for Everton of the English Premier League since the Major League Soccer star was loaned to the team in winning a 2-0 game Wednesday against Sunderland.

Donovan's goal, his first in four games with the team, came in the 19th minute off a pass from Tim Cahill, who scored Everton's first goal 13 minutes prior on a header.

Donovan is under loan to Everton through March 13, but the loan could be extended, depending on whether MLS and its players union can agree on a new collective bargaining agreement before a Sunday midnight deadline that would force owners to lock out players for the first time in league history.

Earthquakes Sign Wondolowsi To New Deal

Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes announced Wednesday they have re-signed forward Chris Wondolowski for the 2010 season.

He was acquired in June 2009 from the Houston Dynamo, where he had scored four goals and two assists in 37 games over four seasons. Wondolowski led the Dynamo to back-to-back MLS Cup titles in 2006 and 2007.

In 2008, he scored three goals in international competitions and led Houston to the final of the SuperLiga between MLS and Primera Division teams in Mexico.

At San Jose in '09, he appeared in 14 games and had three goals and an assist.

Fire Signs Polish Defender Krul To Deal

Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire announced the signing Wednesday of defender Krzysztuf Krul, who they have received on loan from Jagiellona Bialystok of Poland's Ekstraklasa Liga, where he played last season.

Krul also spent the previous two seasons on the reserve team with Real Madrid in Serie A.

He will fill a void on the roster created when defender Gonzalo Segares announced he signed a contract with Apollon of Cyprus.

Sounders To Break Average Home Crowd Record; Play Rapids In Exhibition Game

Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders will set a new league record for average home attendance this coming season as they announced Wednesday they will cap season ticket sales at 32,000 and have less than 1,000 season tickets available.

The Sounders, in their second season in 2010, set the old mark last year at 30,943 and had capped season ticket sales at 22,000.

The team will open the 2010 MLS season at Qwest Field March 25 against the expansion Philadelphia Union in the MLS First Kick game on ESPN2.

Seattle also announced Wednesday they will travel to Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO to play the Colorado Rapids March 19 in the first Charity Shield game.

The Rapids Community Care Foundation, organizers of the game, will donate proceeds from the preseason game to UNICEF for relief efforts following the devastating earthquake in Haiti.

Beat's New Stadium To Debut On FSC May 9

The expansion Atlanta Beat of Women's Professional Soccer will open their new, 8,300-seat, soccer specific stadium May 9 against the defending league champion Sky Blue FC and the game will be nationally televised on Fox Soccer Channel at 6 p.m. Eastern time, the team announced Tuesday.

The stadium is the first such stadium built for a professional women's soccer franchise.

Ex-Dynamo Star Holden Joins Bolton In EPL

Former Houston Dynamo midfielder Stuart Holden, whose Major League Soccer contract was not renewed after four seasons at the end of 2009, has joined Bolton of the English Premier League through the end of their season Tuesday.

Holden, who has two goals in 12 appearances for the US Men's National Team, who he hopes to play with during the upcoming FIFA World Cup, tried out last month for Bolton.

AC St. Louis Invited 14 To Tryout This Weekend

After having a pair of open tryouts for players last weekend, AC St. Louis of the North American Soccer League Tuesday released the names of 14 players Tuesday who have been invited to another tryout this Saturday and Sunday at Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park in Fenton, MO.

Invited to compete for spots on the team's inaugural roster are:

Joshua Aranda, M, St. Louis University
Nikolay Aleksandrov, D, George Washington University
Chad Becker, G, Rockhurst University
Greg Crook, G, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville
William England, F/M, Belmont Abbey
Samuel Hackett, F/M, Meramec Community College
Foday Kamara, D, Prince George's Community College
Damir Kordic, F, Missouri Baptist
Ryanell McPherson, F, Alabama A&M
Ryan Moore, M, St. Lawrence University
Ian Quattroch, F/M, Connecticut
Juan Reyes, D, University of Central Florida
Daniel Tongo, D, Lincoln Land Community College
Glenn Volk, D, Colgate

Dynamo Re-Sign Mulrooney, Robinson For 2010

Two members of the Houston Dynamo, who missed much of the 2009 Major League Soccer season due to separate knee surgeries, were re-signed Tuesday in defender/midfielder Richard Mulrooney and defender Eddie Robinson.

Robinson did not play until September of last season, but had played in at least 20 games during the last four seasons (2004-08).

An MLS All-Star in 2006, he led the Dynamo in giving up the fewest goals in MLS in the 2007 and 2008 seasons. He also did the same with the original San Jose Earthquakes in 2005, the franchise that later became the Houston Dynamo.

Robinson led San Jose to the 2001 and 2003 MLS Cup titles and the Dynamo to back-to-back crowns in 2005 and 2006.

Mulrooney missed the second half of the 2009 season, but had 11 combined assists in all competitions in the 2007 and 2008 seasons.

He has started at least 20 MLS regular season games in nine of his 11 seasons and was also on San Jose's two MLS Cup teams and the 2007 Dynamo championship squad.

Vancouver Signs Akwari, Cuts Pejic

The Vancouver Whitecaps of the North American Soccer League announced the signing of defender Nelson Akwari to a one-year deal with an option for the 2011 season Tuesday.

Akwari played the last two seasons in the United Soccer Leagues First Division with the Charleston Battery and was one of seven players on the roster to play in all 30 regular season games in 2009.

He also was fourth in the league in minutes played at 2,655 and was named to the league's All-League First Team.

Prior to Charleston, Akwari played with the USL Second Division's Charlotte Eagles and was in every game of his 2007 season and was named to that league's All-League First Team in 2006.

Before joining USL, he played a total of five seasons in Major League Soccer between the New York/New Jersey MetroStars (now New York Red Bulls), the Columbus Crew and Real Salt Lake.

The Whitecaps also announced Tuesday they would not pick up the 2010 season option on the contract of defender Shaun Pejic.

Pejic joined the team in August from York City FC of English Conference National and played 1,244 minutes over 15 games for Vancouver.

Could Ljungberg's Return To Sounders Camp Monday Mean Something?

On his personal website Tuesday, Seattle Sounders midfielder Freddy Ljungberg stated he would be returning to play for the Major League Soccer franchise in 2010 and will attend their training camp in Tukwila, WA this Monday.

Ljungberg's comments are raising eyebrows through MLS, as the league and its players union are attempting to sign a new collective bargaining agreement before their current deal expires Sunday and could cause the first player lockout by team owners in the league's history.

He did not attend the opening day of camp Monday, raising the ire of Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid, but Ljungberg called the incident a simple miscommunication issue.

Ljungberg said he was courted by several European teams in the offseason but that he wanted to honor the deal he signed with the Sounders.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Could MLS Lock Out Players Monday?

Unless a new deal on a collective bargaining agreement is reached before Sunday, Major League Soccer could have its first work stoppage in the 15-year history of the league, according to the Newark Star-Ledger.

Both the league and the MLS Players Union are working to come up with a new contract and players have been told by the union to report to their respective teams' preseason training camps while negotiations are underway.

At the heart of the dispute is the view of FIFPro, a Netherlands-based organization that represents all professional soccer players, including those in MLS.

FIFPro has repeatedly argued that MLS' single-entity structure, in which players sign contracts with the league, not the individual team they play for, violates the laws and regulations of FIFA, the sports' world governing body, by restricting player movement and eliminating free agency possibilities.

MLS has long since defended its operation, stating it has always followed FIFA regulations, and also point to a 2000 jury decision the league won in a federal antitrust suit filed by MLS players prior to forming their union, saying the current form of operation is legal.

Should an agreement not be signed by Sunday, the league has said it will lock out players for the first time in league history Monday.

Monday, January 25, 2010

USL W-League Releases 2010 Schedule

The United Soccer Leagues W-League released their 163-game schedule for the 2010 season Monday.

It will begin, for the second time in as many seasons, May 14 when the Charlotte Eagles host the Hampton Roads Piranhas at Charlotte Christian High School.

The defending regular season champion Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues will open defense of their crown May 22 on the road against the Long Island Rough Riders at Cy Donnelly Stadium and make their home debut against them May 30 at Newburgh Free Academy High School.

Meanwhile, the two-time defending league champion Pali Blues open their chance to win a third straight title at home June 5 against the expansion Santa Clarita Blue Heat at Palisades High School's Stadium by the Sea.

The regular season ends with four games on the schedule July 18.

The league's 2010 playoffs will run the same as last season.

The W-League regular season champion will earn a bye into the playoff semifinals, with the number two seed in that champion's conference also qualifying for a regional berth.

The top two teams in the Atlantic and Northeast Divisions of the Eastern Conference will advance to the postseason.

The top two Western Conference teams will meet for the conference championship and a playoff berth.

In the Central Conference, the top two teams from the Midwest Division will advance to the playoffs, along with the regular season champion of the Great Lakes Division.

The second and third best teams in the Great Lakes Division will make the playoffs and play for the fourth spot in the Central Conference tournament.

For a complete look at the 2010 USL W-League schedule, visit www.uslsoccer.com.

Rampage's Moura Named MISL POW

Midfielder Geison Moura of the Rockford Rampage was named the Major Indoor Soccer League Player of the Week Monday.

Moura had two goals for the second time in his last three games, as well as an assist, Saturday in a 22-12 win over the Philadelphia Kixx.

Moura is fourth on the team in scoring with 11 points on five two-point goals and an assist and is closing in on beating his career point total of 18 set last season in the National Indoor Soccer League.

Earthquakes Could Sign Brazil's Eduardo Soon

Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes could soon sign Brazilian forward/midfielder Eduardo, born Eduardo Adelino de Silva, to a contract, according to Monday's San Jose Mercury News.

Eduardo, who will beging practicing with the team when preseason camp opens Monday at Oakland Coliseum, was a trialist at the end of last season.

He became available after his last club, FC Basel in the Swiss Super League, changed head coaches and failed to renew his contract after four seasons, in which he led them to a pair of Swiss League and Swiss Cup titles. In 96 games over that time, he had 17 goals.

Before joining Basel, he had eight goals in 57 appearances for France's FC Toulouse.

He also played for Belgium's R. Charleroi and Rio de Janeiro's Vasco de Gama.

Monterrey Rides Out Wave, But Loses Alvarez To Injury

Mark Ughy and Evan McNeley each scored a pair of two-point goals as La Raza de Monterrey defeated the Milwaukee Wave 15-8 Sunday in Major Indoor Soccer League action at Arena Monterrey.

Monterrey improved its record to 6-5 and is in second place in the league standings, one game behind the Rockford Rampage (6-4), who they face on the road this Saturday.

Though Monterrey won, they will lose the services of Byron Alvarez for an undetermined period of time after he left the game in the second quarter with an injured leg and was later seen on crutches.

Alvarez, the Most Valuable Player in the lone season of the National Indoor Soccer League, also for Monterrey, is the team's third-leading scorer this season with 20 points.

Jonathan Santos and Guiliano Oliviero each fired off three-point goals in the loss, which dropped the Wave to 6-6 and a tie with the Baltimore Blast (5-5) for third place, a game behind the Rampage. Milwaukee travels to the Blast this coming Saturday.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Chivas USA Welcomes Juarez, Theslof, Gonzales To Staff

Major League Soccer's Chivas USA announced the appointments of Carlos Juarez as an assistant coach, Nick Theslof as a technical coach and Daniel Gonzales as goalkeeper coach Sunday.

Juarez will join Carlos Llamosa as an assistant coach. Juarez has served as a US Soccer Federation coach since 1989, coaching at various times the U17, U20 and U23 teams.

He also served as head coach of the San Diego Spirit in the Womens United Soccer Association from 2000 to 2002 and, before that, coached the mens and womens soccer teams at Cal Poly Pomona from 1997 to 2000.

Theslof comes to Chivas after serving a similar post at Bayern Munich in Germany's Bundesliga, along with being a scout.

From 2002 to 2007, he was head coach of the Orange County Blue Star in the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League.

He played professionally for the Columbus Crew in MLS and the Orange County Wave of the A-League, now known as USL First Division.

Gonzales spent the 2000 to 2003 MLS seasons with the Colorado Rapids in his current Chivas position.

USWNT, Sol Midfielder Aly Wagner Announces Retirement

US Women's National Team midfielder Aly Wagner, who played professionally in the debut season of Women's Professional Soccer with the Los Angeles Sol, announced her retirement Saturday.

Wagner was a member of the 2003 and 2007 teams at the FIFA Women's World Cup and the 2004 and 2008 US Olympic women's teams.

She leaves the US team as their 13th leading player in game played (131) and 12th all-time in scoring (63 points on 21 goals and 42 assists).

Wagner was the number one pick of the San Diego Spirit in the Womens United Soccer Association, then played in France for Olympique Lyonnaise after the league folded before returning to the States to join WPS.

Arena Joins US Soccer Hall Of Fame Class Of 2010

Bruce Arena has been named the representative coming from the Builders Ballot to earn induction into the US Soccer Hall Of Fame this summer, the organization announced Saturday.

Arena, currently head coach of Major League Soccer's defending Western Conference regular season champion Los Angeles Galaxy, was named to 78% of ballots from Builders voters, well over the 50% needed for induction.

Arena coached 18 seasons at the University of Virginia from 1978 to 1995 and led the Cavaliers to five NCAA College Cup titles before leaving to join MLS' DC United, where they won two MLS Cup championships and a Lamar Hunt US Open Cup title between 1996 and 1998.

He became the head coach of the US Men's National Team in 1998, leading them to the quarterfinals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, the farthest the team had ever gone in history, but was fired from the team in 2006.

Arena returned to MLS in 2007 as the head coach of the New York Red Bulls until the 2008 season when he was fired and became the Galaxy's coach.

Arena now joins Player Class inductees Thomas Dooley and Preki Radosavljevic, both former USMNT players, into the Hall of Fame.

A selection off the ballot of the Veteran Players' Committee will be announced soon.

Wave Edge Blast At US Cellular Arena

Marco Terminesi scored five points after a two-game absence as the host Milwaukee Wave edged the Baltimore Blast 13-10 Saturday in Major Indoor Soccer League play from US Cellular Arena in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee improves to 6-5 on the season, a half-game behind the league-leading Rockford Rampage. The Wave travel to La Raza de Monterrey Sunday.

Baltimore is tied with Monterrey at 5-5, a full game behind the Rampage in the standings. The Blast host the Wave this coming Saturday.

Rampage Snap Losing Streak And Lead MISL

Geison Moura had a pair of two-point goals and an assist and Semir Mesanovic fired a three-point shot as the Rockford Rampage snapped a two-game Major Indoor Soccer League losing streak Saturday with a 22-12 victory over the Philadelphia Kixx at the Liacouras Center at Temple University.

The Rampage now take sole possession of the lead in the MISL with a 6-4 record, a half-game ahead of the Milwaukee Wave, who edged the Baltimore Blast 13-10 Saturday in Milwaukee.

Pat Morris also scored four points for the Kixx and Aduato Neto assisted on three two-point goals as Philadelphia lost for the first time in four games to Rockford.

The Rampage next host La Raza de Monterrey next Saturday at the Rockford MetroCentre.

The Kixx, in last place in the league with a 3-5 record, 2 1/2 games behind the Rampage, host the Wave February 6.

Honduras Stuns USMNT In 2010 Season Opener

Carlos Pavon has a penalty kick goal in the 19th minute and assisted Jerry Palacios on a 37th minute score as Honduras defeated the US Men's National Team 3-1 Saturday in their 2010 season opener at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

It was the second time the US has lost to its CONCACAF counterpart on American soil and was the first loss against them since 2001.

Both teams were playing with second-string squads as many of the star players are under commitments to European teams at this time.

The US, ranked 14th in the world, played mostly with 10 men as Jimmy Conrad received two yellow cards in the first 19 minutes, creating the opening goal for Honduras, ranked tied for 37th.

Roger Espinoza also scored for the Hondurans.

The US' next match will be February 24 against El Salvador at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Atlanta Beat Name Robbie Nicholson As Assistant Coach

The Atlanta Beat of Women's Professional Soccer named Robbie Nicholson as their assistant coach Saturday, reuniting him with Beat head coach Gareth O'Sullivan.

The two worked together in similar roles with the women's team at Christian Brothers University in Memphis from 1997 to 2003 and won an NCAA Division II women's championship, the school's first, in 2002. The team also won five Gulf South Conference titles during their sting.

Nicholson also spent five seasons as an assistant with the men's program at the University of Memphis, where they won the Conference USA championship in 2004, and 10 seasons working with the GSC Fury and MidSouthFutbol programs.

Crystal Palace Baltimore To Welcome Lupton As GM, Release 2010 Schedule

Crystal Palace Baltimore, a member of the North American Soccer League Conference of the US Soccer Federation's Division II professional league, will introduce Keith Lupton as their new general manager and release their 2010 season schedule at a press conference Wednesday at the ESPN Zone in Baltimore, the Baltimore Exmainer reported Friday.

Kovacevic Leads Lightning Over Illusion

Safet Kovacevic scored a hat trick Friday to lead the host Louisville Lightning to an 8-1 victory over the St. Louis Illusion in a Professional Arena Soccer League game before a record-breaking crowd of 1,047 at the Mockingbird Valley Soccer Club.

The Lightning next host the Detroit Waza this coming Friday, while the Illusion are back in action Saturday at the 1790 Cincinnati Express.

Friday, January 22, 2010

USL2 Unveils 2010 Playing Schedule

The United Soccer Leagues Second Division, sanctioned by the US Soccer Federation as the only Division III Professional soccer league in the country, announced Friday six teams will compete in the 2010 season, which runs from April 17 to August 14.

Those teams -- the Charleston Battery, Charlotte Eagles, Harrisburg City Islanders, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Real Maryland Monarchs and the defending champion Richmond Kickers -- will play each opponent four times during the season (twice both home and away).

The regular season champion will receive a bye and will host the USL2 Championship Game August 28. The second and third place regular season teams will meet August 21 in a one-game playoff to determine the opponent in the Championship Game.

For a complete look at the USL2's 2010 schedule, visit http://www.uslsoccer.com/.

Aztex Sign Ex-Thunder, Timbers Star M Olum To Two-Year Deal

The Austin Aztex of the United Soccer Leagues First Division announced the signing Friday of 2009 USL1 All-League Second Team midfielder Lawrence Olum to a two-year contract.

Olum spent last season with the Minnesota Thunder after spending the previous two seasons with the Portland Timbers.

At Minnesota, he had five goals and three assists in 28 games and was fourth on the team in minutes played at 2,399.

In 44 career games over his two years at Portland, he had six goals and an assist.

Olum started his soccer career in the USL's Premier Development League with the St. Louis Lions in their debut season of 2006 and had a team-high nine goals.

Rowdies Announce First Player Signing

The Tampa Bay Rowdies of the North American Soccer League announced their first player signing Friday -- New Zealand midfielder Jeremy Christie.

He scored one goal in five qualifying games to get New Zealand into the field for this summer's FIFA World Cup in South Africa and also played for his home country during the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.

Revs, Rapids Complete Multi-Player Deal

In a Major League Soccer trade Friday, the New England Revolution sent midfielders Jeff Larentowicz and Wells Thompson to the Colorado Rapids in exchange for goalkeeper Preston Burpo, defender Cory Gibbs, allocation money and a third round 2011 MLS SuperDraft pick.

Larentowicz and Thompson played all their previous professional seasons in New England -- Larentowicz since being drfated in the fourth round of the 2005 MLS Supplemental Draft out of Brown, Thompson since being selected fifth overall in the 2007 SuperDraft out of Wake Forest.

Larentowicz scored nine goals in 113 career appearances, starting 103, and also appeared in 10 playoff games.

Thompson scored two goals in 71 regular season appearances, 36 of them starts, and played in eight playoff contests.

Burpo was 6-10-8 in two seasons with Colorado with a 1.67 goals against average and four shutouts.

He began his pro career in the United Soccer Leagues First Division with the Seattle Sounders in 1997 and left as the team's all-time leader in games (143), saves (631) and minutes played (12,846) and had a GAA of 1.14.

Burpo joined MLS in 2000 with the Kansas City Wizards before heading to his first Colorado stint that season. He went to Chivas USA in 2006, then to the San Jose Earthquakes in 2008, before being traded back to Colorado in May 2009.

Gibbs' professional resume began in 2001 when he spent two seasons in Germany with St. Pauli, then joined the Dallas Burn (now FC Dallas) in MLS. He would later be transferred to Feyenoord of the Dutch Eredivisie in 2005 and would also play for Den Hagg before going to England in 2006 to play from Charlton Athletics.

Earthquakes Sign Veteran M Joey Gjertsen

Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes Thursday signed midfielder Joey Gjertsen, who played in the United Soccer Leagues First Division with the Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Gjertsen will fill a roster void left when the Philadelphia Union selected midfielder Shea Salinas during the MLS Expansion Draft.

Chivas USA Trades Harmse To Dynamo For Conditional Draft Pick

Chivas USA Thursday traded midfielder Kevin Harmse to the Houston Dynamo for a conditional third or fourth round pick in the 2010 Major League Soccer SuperDraft.

Harmse started eight of 12 games he played for Chivas in 2009 but missed the second half of the season with a right knee injury.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Red Bulls Christen New Stadium With Exhibition Against Santos

Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls will christen their new $200 million, 25,000-seat Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ March 20 with an exhibition game March 20 against Brazil's Santos, the first team of legendary soccer star Pele.

They will play their first MLS game there March 27 against the Chicago Fire.

Red Bull Arena replaces their longtime home, Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, which will be demolished and replaced by the new Meadowlands Stadium.

Union Signs Califf; Names Dellacamera Play-By-Play Voice

Major League Soccer's newest team, the Philadelphia Union, announced the signing of US Men's National Team defender Danny Califf Thursday.

Califf joins the Union from FC Midtjylland of the Danish SuperLiga.

He was drafted in 2000 by MLS' Los Angeles Galaxy and led them to the 2000 CONCACAF Champions Cup, the 2001 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup and the 2002 MLS Cup.

In 2005, he was traded to the San Jose Earthquakes, then left the States to join Aalborg BK in the Danish SuperLiga.

Also, the team announced current ABC/ESPN soccer play-by-play voice JP Dellacamera will serve in that capacity on televised home games. He will retain working with ABC/ESPN as their main voice on MLS games.

Four MLS Team Heading To Walt Disney World

Major League Soccer confirmed Thursday FC Dallas, Toronto FC, the Houston Dynamo, and the New York Red Bulls will compete in the inaugural Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic February 25 and 27 at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, FL.

The event will be the first at the to-be-rechristened facility -- it opened as the Disney Wide World Of Sports Complex -- and will be part of the 2010 ESPN The Weekend promotion.

In the doubleheader on February 25, the Dynamo will face the Red Bulls at 6 p.m. Eastern time, followed by FC Dallas-Toronto at 8:30 p.m.

The winners will meet February 27 for the championship with the losers competing in the consolation game.

Rapids Trade Peterson To Toronto For Allocation Cash

Midfielder Jacob Peterson, the 21st overall pick of the Colorado Rapids in the 2006 Major League Soccer SuperDraft, was traded to Toronto FC Thursday in return for allocation money.

Peterson was the Rapids' Rookie of the Year in 2006 and had led Indiana to back-to-back NCAA College Cup titles.

Last season, he had two goals and two assists in 23 games, 12 of which he started.

Martinez Reunites With De Los Cobos At Fire

Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire signed midfielder Julio Martinez to a contract after receiving him on loan from Mexican Second Division team Club Leon FC.

He will be reunited at Chicago with head coach Carlos de los Cobos, who was his head coach with El Salvador's national team.

Martinez scored two goals in 10 games with the team.

Wizards Sign Guadeloupe M Auvray, Colombian D Escobar

The Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer signed midfielder Stephane Auvray and defender Pablo Escobar to contracts Thursday, according to FootyTweets.com.

Auvray played for the Guadeloupe national team and has spent the last 10 professional seasons in France.

Escobar played the 2009 season for Deportivo Cali in Colombia after spending three and a half seasons with Deportivo Quindio.

Aztex Ink Alvarez To Three-Year Deal

The Austin Aztex of the United Soccer Leagues Conference of the new US Soccer Federation's Division 2 professional league announced they have re-signed midfielder Yordany Alvarez to a three-year deal.

Alvarez, who defected from Cuba to the US after playing in a March 2008 tournament in Tampa, scored three goals with two assists in 14 games last season before suffering a foot injury.

He tried out for the team last spring in California.

DC United Signs Former Man U D/M N'Galula

Major League Soccer's DC United announced the signing Thursday of former Manchester United defender/midfielder Floribert N'Galula, according to BehindTheBadge.com.

N'Galula began his career in Belgium, spending four years in the youth system of Anderlecht from 1999 to 2003 before spending five seasons (2003-07) with the English Premier League powerhouse.

He then played for FC Randers in Denmark (2007-08) and Rotterdam in the Dutch Eredivisie (2008-09). At Rotterdam, he played 12 games for their reserve team.

Ex-Dynamo Midfielder Clark Heading To Bundesliga

Former midfielder Ricardo Clark of Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo is set to sign a contract Thursday to play for Eintracht Frankurt in Germany's Bundesliga through the end of the season.

Clark became a free agent at the end of the 2009 MLS season when his contract was not renewed.

Frankfurt's head coach told The Associated Press Clark will need some time to get into playing shape.

Eintracht Frankfurt has 27 points in 18 games this season and are 11 points behind leader Bayern Leverkusen.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sol Add Interim Head Coaching Tag To GM Naimo

The defending Women's Professional Soccer regular season champion Los Angeles Sol added the duties of interim head coach to those of general manager Charlie Naimo Wednesday.

The team is currently under league control while their previous owner, Anschutz Entertainment Group, completes a transition to a new ownership group, who vows to keep the team in Los Angeles and playing home games at The Home Depot Center in nearby Carson, CA.

Former head coach Abner Rogers chose not to stay with the team during the process.

The Sol also announced the signings of three international players to their roster -- Denmark defenders Julie Rydahl Bukh and Cathrine Paaske-Sorenson, and Czech Republic forward/midfielder Paulina Scasna, who becomes the first Eastern European player in WPS history.

Scasna previously played in the Women's United Soccer Association for the Philadelphia Charge.

USL Names First 70 Invitees To 2010 Player Combine

United Soccer Leagues Wednesday announced the first 70 of 90 players invited to participate in their 2010 USL Showcase February 4-6 at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, SC.

The fourth annual event, hosted by the Charleston Battery of the USL Second Division, gives coaches and scouts from USL and Major League Soccer teams to check out some of the best prospects the sport has to offer.

In 2010, the USL First Division will be a conference in the US Soccer Federation's planned second-level professional league, but will continue to operate franchises in the USL Second Division and Premier Developmental League.

Of the first 70 players to be named (the remaining 20 will be named soon), 59 have experience playing in the PDL, with 39 having spent at least two seasons in the league.

Of the 90 players who attended the 2009 combine, 25 signed with either an MLS or USL1 team, with 14 others signing with a USL2 franchise.

Overall, 109 players have begun their professional careers by attending this combine.

Here are the names of the 70 initial invitees, in alphabetical order, along with their PDL experience, if applicable:

Leon Abravanel - Kitsap 2009, Nevada 2004
David Acosta - New Orleans 2008
Djamel Bekka - Panama City 2009, Carolina 2008
Joe Bendik - Atlanta 2007
Mark Bloom - Southern California 2009, Atlanta 2008
Matthew Brady - Northern Virginia 2006-09
Jason Bristol - Nashville 2006-09
Stephen Brocks - St. Louis 2009
Luis Campo - Panama City 2009, Palm Beach 2008
Dominic Casciato - DFW 2009, Chicago 2008, Ottawa 2007
Brandon Chagnard - New Orleans 2006-09
Dennis Chin - Central Florida 2005-09
Mark Conrad - Kitsap 2009
Mark DeSantis
Anthony DiBiase - London 2009, Ottawa 2007
Oliver Dyson - St. Louis 2008-09
Cody Ellison
Sterling Flunder - Portland 2009, West Virginia 2008
Eric Gehrig - Chicago 2008-09
Greg Gehrig
Javier Gonzales - Brooklyn 2007-09
Jon Gruenewald - Central Florida 2008-09
Happy Hall - Bradenton 2005, 2007, 2009
Sean Hantec - West Virginia 2009, Indiana 2007
Kevan Hawkins - Nashville 2009
Cameron Hepple - Bradenton 2009
Joseph Hideman - Ogden 2007-09
Kirk Hudgins - Cary 2007
Willie Hunt - Mississippi 2009
Machel James - Michigan 2009
Justin Jenkins - Cincinnati 2009
Jesse Kehoe - Central Florida 2009, Palm Beach 2005
Austin Knight
David Lilly - Mississippi 2007, 2009; West Virginia 2006
Bryan Lowder - Nashville 2006-08
Scott Lucky - Mississippi 2009, Southern California 2008
Andre Manders - Bradenton 2008-09
John Markey - Panama City 2009, Baton Rouge 2008, DFW 2007
Alexander Marrello
Richard Martinez - Long Island 2009, San Jose 2008, Westchester 2007-08
Steven McCarthy - DFW 2009
Rory McCrea - Ocean City 2009
Jamie Melas
Steven Morris - Bradenton 2009
Jamal Neptune - Ocean City 2009
Bryan Newbold - Cary Clarets 2009, Cary RailHawks 2008
Bim Ogunyemi - Michigan 2009
Kenny Orelaja - Cary 2008
Vince Petrasso - Cary 2008, Toronto 2008
Stephen Phillips - Kitsap 2009, Ogden 2008
Jordan Raybould - Kansas City 2006-09
Julian Robles - Michigan 2009, Los Angeles 2007-08
Sam Roca - Nashville 2009
Kyle Russell - Michigan 2007-09, Chicago 2006
Tyler Schaefering - St. Louis 2009
Jeff Schield - Nashville 2009, Indiana 2008
Adrian Schippers - Ottawa 2009, New Hampshire 2008
Jacob Schmoker
Nicklaus Schuermann
Evan Schwartz
Joel Smith - Orange County 2007-09
Jacob Stacy - Michigan 2008-09, West Michigan 2005-07
Jason Stenta - Kalamazoo 2009
William Swetra - Ocean City 2009
Nathan Thackeray - Kalamazoo 2009, St. Louis 2009
Alexander Trujillo
Alex Weekas
Philip Wilson - Cary Clarets 2009, Fort Worth 2004-09, Cary RailHawks 2008
Robert Youhill - Long Island 2008, Ocean City 2007
Kevin Zimmerman - London 2009

Blast Sign Wilkes For Rest Of Season

The Baltimore Blast of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced the signing Wednesday of defender Zach Wilkes for the remainder of the season.

Wilkes spent the last two seasons with the Detroit Ignition, who played the 2008 season in the National Indoor Soccer League and won the only championship in the history of the Xtreme Soccer League in 2009.

Wilkes played three seasons at Madonna University in Livonia, MI from 2001-04. In his final season of 2004, he earned Honorable Mention kudos from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, was named to their Region 8 All-Region Team, and was named to the All-Conference First Team in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference.

He finished his career there in the top ten in games played, games started and minutes played.

Wizards Get Approval For New Soccer-Specific Stadium

Major League Soccer's Kansas City Wizards will become the first professional sports franchise to play home games in the state of Kansas after Wyandotte County officials approved a plan to have a new soccer-specific stadium and youth soccer complex built in Kansas City, KS.

Construction of the site will begin Wednesday.

The new stadium will eventually replace CommunityAmerica Ballpark, home to the city's minor league baseball team, the KC T-Bones, where the Wizards have played for the last two seasons since leaving their longtime home, Kansas City, MO's Arrowhead Stadium, where they played from the league's inception in 1996 to 2007.

USMNT Forward Dempsey Won't Need Knee Surgery

US Men's National Team forward Clint Dempsey gave his fellow teammates a sigh of relief Tuesday by learning he will not need surgery on a right knee he injured Sunday as his Fulham team lost to Blackburn in English Premier League play and he could play with the US during the FIFA World Cup in June.

Fulham stated he sustained moderate damage to the knee but expect him to play again before the season ends in May.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Donovan May Not Want To Come Back To Galaxy In March?

Stop yourself if you've read something like this before.

Los Angeles Galaxy forward Landon Donovan, now under loan to Everton of the English Premier League through March 13, has told The Associated Press he might not return to Major League Soccer once his loan ends.

"If I look back after 10 weeks and say I really want to stay, then maybe I can make that happen," Donovan said.

Donovan could mirror what happened last year between the Galaxy and midfielder David Beckham, who demanded (and got) his loan to AC Milan in Italy's Serie A extended, causing him to miss the first four months of the 2009 MLS season.

Chivas Renews Loans On Three; Cuts Nagamura Loose

Major League Soccer's Chivas USA announced Tuesday they will renew loans on players Jesus Padilla, Maicon Santos and Yamith Cuesta, who all signed with the franchise in August 2009.

Padilla had one goal for Chivas last season.

Santos had a goal and an assist in the regular season and scored the first goal in a 2-2 playoff draw against the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Cuesta helped the backline, who allowed 11 goals over the 11 combined regular season and playoff matches he played in.

Chivas also announced midfielder Paulo Nagamura, who became a free agent after his contract was not renewed following last season, has signed a contract with Tigers UANL of Mexico's First Division.

In three seasons with Chivas, he had eight goals and seven assists over 73 games.

Midfielder Andrew Gregor Announces Retirement After 12 Years

Midfielder Andrew Gregor, who has played both indoor and outdoor soccer over a 12-year career, announced his retirement Tuesday.

He has played for a total eight teams over his career and has scored 44 goals and 33 assists in 211 overall regular season games.

He last played for the Rochester Rhinos in the United Soccer Leagues First Division and was a four-time USL1 All-League First Team selection in 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2007.

Crew Keeps Schelotto On 2010 Roster

Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew re-signed 2008 regular season Most Valuable Player and MLS Cup MVP Guillermo Barros Schelotto to a contract for the 2010 season, which will be his fourth with the franchise and his twentieth in professional soccer.

He will, however, not be given the Designated Player tag he had last season, meaning his full salary will be paid by the team and be counted toward meeting the league's salary cap.

In 78 combined regular season and playoff games over four seasons, he has 26 goals and 39 assists.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Wilkinson To Stay With Timbers In 2011 MLS Move

Gavin Wilkinson, current general manager and head coach of the Portland Timbers of the United Soccer Leagues Conference of the upcoming US Soccer Federation's Second Division professional league, will become technical director of the franchise when it becomes a part of Major League Soccer in the 2011 season, it was announced Monday.

A former player with the Timbers from 2001 to 2006 and a player/assistant coach in those last two seasons, he is fourth all-time in team history in games played (124) and minutes played (10,181).

As a coach, he has a career mark of 37-22-29 in three seasons, including a league-record 24-game winning streak and claiming the 2009 USL First Division's Commissioner's Cup for having the best regular season record in the league last season.

Wilkinson, a two-time USL1 Coach of the Year, led them to two USL1 playoff semifinal appearances.

He also spent 13 years playing soccer for six countries -- Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Portugal and Singapore.

Crystal Palace Baltimore Signs Veeder; Sending To London Soon

Crystal Palace Baltimore of the North American Soccer League Conference of the upcoming US Soccer Federation Second Division League announced the signing Monday of midfielder/defender Korey Veeder, formerly of the US U-17 National Team, to a three-year contract.

He will train with his new teammates in Baltimore before eventually being sent to their English parent club, Crystal Palace in London, then be loaned to a European soccer team.

Miami FC Signs Third Member Of US U-20 National Team To Roster

Miami FC Blues of the North American Soccer League Conference in the upcoming US Soccer Federation Second Division league announced the signing of forward Bryan Alvarez to the team Monday and that he will be immediately loaned to its parent club, CD Estaril-Praia in Portugal's Liga Vitalis.

He is the third member of the US U-20 National Team that competed in the most recent FIFA World Cup in Egypt to join the team, following Gale Agbossoumonde and Tony Taylor.

Drafted by Major League Soccer's DC United in 2007, he was transferred to Hertha BSC in Germany's Bundesliga in 2008.

Rockford's Cop Named MISL POW After Last Minute Calling

Goalkeeper Ante Cop, who was a last-minute replacement Sunday for Rockford Rampage starting goalkeeper Danny Waltman after an ankle injury Saturday, was named the Major Indoor Soccer League Player of the Week Monday.

Cop allowed only three two-point goals in Rockford's 7-6 win over the Milwaukee Wave Sunday, pulling off a weekend home-and-home series sweep and placing them in a tie for first place in the standings with the Baltimore Blast.

DC United Signs Aussie Forward Danny Allsopp

Major League Soccer's DC United announced the signing Monday of Australian native and forward Danny Allsopp.

Allsopp most recently played in Qatar for Al-Rayyan and has played for several teams in his home country (Melbourne Victory, Carlton, South Melbourne and Croydon) and in England (Manchester City, Hull City, Notts County and Wrexham).

Lightning Strike Waza At Taylor Sportsplex

The Louisville Lightning edged the Detroit Waza 7-6 Sunday in Professional Arena Soccer League play at the Taylor (MI) Sportsplex.

The expansion Lightning improved to 5-4 and are tied with the St. Louis Illusion for second place in the Eastern Division, one game behind division-leader 1790 Cincinnati Express.

The Waza evened their record at 5-5 and are in fourth place in the division.

Both teams meet next January 29 at the Mockingbird Valley Soccer Club, but the Lightning host the Illusion first this Friday.

Martinez's Trey Gives Monterrey Victory Over Blast

Genoni Martinez's game-winning three-point goal gave La Raza de Monterrey a 7-6 win over the Baltimore Blast in Major Indoor Soccer League play Sunday.

Hector Vallejo and Mark Ughy scored two-point plays for Monterrey, now 5-5 and tied for third place with the Milwaukee Wave, a half-game behind the co-league leading Blast and the Rockford Rampage. Monterrey will host the Wave next Sunday.

Denison Cabral led the Blast with two two-point goals and Guiliano Celenza added another goal as they fall to 5-4 and tied with Rampage. Baltimore faces the Wave on the road this Saturday.

Rampage Sweep Wave, Tied For MISL Lead With Blast

Matt Stewart scored a pair of two-point goals and Bado Radoncic had a three-point goal as the Rockford Rampage completed a weekend, home-and-home Major Indoor Soccer League sweep of the Milwaukee Wave with a 7-6 win Sunday at US Cellular Arena in Milwaukee.

The Rampage are now 5-4 and tied with the Baltimore Blast for first place in the league while the Wave dropped to 5-5 and into a tie for third place with La Raza de Monterrey, who they face next Sunday on the road after hosting the Blast this Saturday at First Mariner Arena. Rockford plays this Saturday on the road against the Philadelphia Kixx.

The Wave were without their top two scorers on the team -- Marco Terminesi (30 points), who was ill, and Kyt Selaidopoulos (19 points), who twisted an ankle in Saturday's loss and kept out of Sunday's game.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ex-United Head Coach Joining Whitecaps As Technical Director

According to several news outlets in the Canadian city of Vancouver, Tom Soehn, former head coach of Major League Soccer's DC United, will join the Vancouver Whitecaps of the North American Soccer League Conference of the new US Soccer Federation Second Division as technical director.

As a player, Soehn led the Chicago Fire to the MLS Cup title in 1998, and would later serve as assistant coach there under current US Men's National Team head coach Bob Brdaley.

In three seasons with United, Soehn went 36-30-24.

Dempsey Injury Could Hamper US World Cup Plans

US Men's National Team defender Clint Dempsey will be examined Monday to determine the severity of a knee injury suffered Sunday in a 2-0 victory by Blackburn over his Fulham squad in English Premier League soccer.

Dempsey left the game in the 62nd minute with the injury, which Fulham's manager said might be to a posterior cruciate ligament.

If that dignosis holds true, rehabilitation on the injury would definitely prevent him from playing on the US team for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

Sockers Double Up Outlaws; Magic Number Four To Clinch Division

Kraig Chiles, Diego Rovira and Chiky Luna each scored hat tricks as the best team in the Professional Arena Soccer League, the San Diego Sockers, routed the Texas Outlaws 14-7 Saturday at Del Mar Arena.

Paul Wright led the Sockers with five points on two goals and three assists and took over the league Scoring Championship title from teammate Chiles, who still leads the Goal Scoring Championship.

The Sockers, 10-1 and leading the Western Division, lowered its magic number for clinching the division title and a playoff berth to four with the win. They are now off until January 28 when they travel to face the defending PASL champion California Cougars.

The Outlaws evened their record to 4-4, are third in the division, and meet the Cougars Sunday.

Eller Ends Home Season For Vortex With Double Hat Trick

Allen Eller scored a Professional Arena Soccer League record six goals to lead the host Ohio Vortex to a 12-9 victory Saturday over the Louisville Lightning in their home season finale at the Canton Civic Center.

In the Vortex's last two games, Eller has scored a combined 19 goals.

Milko Cecez added a hat trick and an assist for Ohio, now 4-5 on the season. The Vortex are off until January 29 when they travel to the 1790 Cincinnati Express.

Safet Kovacevic and David Horne each tallied four points for Louisville, who evens their debut season record at 4-4. The Lightning travel to the Detroit Waza Sunday.

Rampage Knock Wave Out Of First Place Tie

Gary Brooks and Geison Moura had a pair of two-point goals to lead the host Rockford Rampage to a 10-7 win over the Milwaukee Wave in Major Indoor Soccer League play at the Rockford MetroCentre.

The teams are playing a weekend home-and-home series with the second game Sunday at US Cellular Arena in Milwaukee.

The Rampage snapped a three-game losing streak and improved their record to 4-4, good for third place in the five-team league, one game behind the league-leading Baltimore Blast (5-3).

Milwaukee (5-4), who was tied for first place with the Blast going into this weekend's play, is now a half-game behind Baltimore.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Outlaws Allow Transfer Of David To MISL's La Raza De Monterrey

The Texas Outlaws of the Professional Arena Soccer League announced the immediate transfer Friday of forward Shaun David to La Raza de Monterrey of the Major Indoor Soccer League.

There was no word on if a transfer fee was paid to Texas.

David led the Outlaws in scoring with 11 goals and 10 assists in seven games and was second in the league in total points scored.

He will begin playing for Monterrey Sunday when they host the Baltimore Blast at Arena Monterrey.

Gillespie's Game Winner Helps Vortex Beat Waza

Steve Gillespie's game-winning goal with 2:07 left to play in the fourth quarter helped the host Ohio Vortex avoid overtime and beat the Detroit Waza 8-7 Friday in Professional Arena Soccer League play from the Canton (OH) Civic Center.

Allen Eller led all scorers with four goals for the Vortex, now 3-5, but in last place in the PASL's Eastern Division. Adis Kuduzovic added two goals and assisted on another for Ohio.

Player-head coach Dominic Scicluna and teammate Blake Ordell each had a pair of goals as the Waza fell to 5-4 but are in third place in the division.

Both teams next host the Louisville Lightning -- Ohio on Saturday, Detroit Sunday.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Athletica Trade Loyden To Red Stars For Tarpley

The St. Louis Athletica traded goalkeeper Jillian Loyden to the Chicago Red Stars for forward/midfielder Lindsay Tarpley at Friday's 2010 Women's Professional Soccer Draft in Philadelphia.

Loyden played in three games for the Athletica last season, replacing starter Hope Solo, and had two shutouts. She was also a winner of the WPS Player of the Week in the league's debut season.

In December, she completed a loan to the Central Coast Mariners of Australia's W-League and was named the league's Goalkeeper of the Year after tallying a 7-2-1 record.

Tarpley, recently named US Soccer's Female Player of the Decade, was a two-time WPS POW winner. In 119 career appearances with the US Women's National Team, she has 30 goals.

2010 Womens Professional Soccer Draft Selections

Here is the complete round-by-round recap of the 2010 Women's Professional Soccer Draft, held Friday in Philadelphia (* - represents selection made via trade):

ROUND 1
1. Atlanta Beat - Tobin Heath, M, North Carolina
*2. Boston Breakers - Lauren Cheney, F, UCLA
3. FC Gold Pride - Kelley O'Hara, F, Stanford
4. Chicago Red Stars - Whitney Engen, D, North Carolina
*5. Los Angeles Sol - Nikki Washington, F, North Carolina
6. Sky Blue FC - Brittany Taylor, D, Connecticut
7. Washington Freedom - Nikki Marshall, D/M/F, Colorado
*8. Los Angeles Sol - Casey Nogueira, F, North Carolina
9. Los Angeles Sol - Kiersten Dallstream, F, Washington State
*10. FC Gold Pride - Ali Riley, D, Stanford
*11. Boston Breakers - Alyssa Naeher, G, Penn State

ROUND 2
*12. FC Gold Pride - Becky Edwards, D/M, Penn State
13. Philadelphia Independence - Malorie Rutledge, M, LSU
*14. Los Angeles Sol - Michelle Enyeart, F, Portland
15. Chicago Red Stars - Jessica McDonald, F, North Carolina
16. Boston Breakers - Jordan Angeli, D, Santa Clara
*17. St. Louis Athletica - Kristina Larsen, F, UCLA
18. Washington Freedom - Carly Dobratz, M, Washington State
19. St. Louis Athletica - Ashlyn Harris, G, North Carolina
*20. FC Gold Pride - Kaley Fountain, F, Wake Forest

ROUND 3
21. Atlanta Beat - Blakely Mattern, D, South Carolina
*22. Los Angeles Sol - Kiki Bosio, F, Santa Clara
*23. Atlanta Beat - Shameka Gordon, D/M, West Florida
24. Chicago Red Stars - Kelsey Davis, G, Portland
25. Los Angeles Sol - Estelle Johnson, D, Kansas
26. Sky Blue FC - Katie Schoepfer, F, Penn State
27. Washington Freedom - Beverly Goebel, M, Miami
28. St. Louis Athletica - Amanda Poach, M, Santa Clara
*29. Sky Blue FC - Melissa Clarke, M, LSU

ROUND 4
30. Atlanta Beat - Jill Hutchinson, F, Wake Forest
31. Philadelphia Independence - Kelly Henderson, D/M, Boston College
32. FC Gold Pride - Erin Guthrie, G, Rutgers
33. Chicago Red Stars - Michele Weissenhofer, F, Notre Dame
34. Boston Breakers - Katherine Reynolds, D, Santa Clara
35. Sky Blue FC - Danielle Johnson, D, Ole Miss
36. Washington Freedom - Kristi Eveland, D, North Carolina
37. St. Louis Athletica - Veronica Perez, M/F, Washington
38. Los Angeles Sol - Mary Casey, G, Maryland

ROUND 5
39. Atlanta Beat - Mallori Lofton-Malachi, G, South Florida
(pick later traded to Philadelphia Independence)
40. Philadelphia Independence - Carrie Patterson, F, Georgia
(pick later traded to Atlanta Beat)
41. FC Gold Pride - Ashley Bowyer, M/D, Ohio State
42. Chicago Red Stars - Sophie Reiser, M/F, Columbia
43. Boston Breakers - Cynthia Morote-Ariza, F, Loyola-Chicago
44. Sky Blue FC - Meagan Snell, F, Santa Clara
45. Washington Freedom - Lauren Robertson, G, Ohio State
46. St. Louis Athletica - Carolyn Blank, M/D, West Virginia
47. Los Angeles Sol - Lindsay Browne, M/F, Clemson

ROUND 6
48. Atlanta Beat - Kasey Langdon, F, Oklahoma State
49. Philadelphia Independence - Jennifer Anzivino, D/M, Rutgers
(pick later traded to Sky Blue FC)
50. FC Gold Pride - Elizabeth Harkin, D, Arizona State
51. Chicago Red Stars - Fiona O'Sullivan, M/F, San Francisco
52. Boston Breakers - Carly Peetz, D, Nebraska
53. Sky Blue FC - Kelly Isleib, M, Utah
54. Washington Freedom - Mara Osher, D/M, Boston University
55. St. Louis Athletica - Sarah Teegarden, M, Wisconsin-Milwaukee
56. Boston Breakers - Gina DiMartino, M/F, Boston College
(pick traded from Los Angeles Sol)

ROUND 7
57. Atlanta Beat - Shaneka Gordon, F, West Florida
58. Philadelphia Independence - Caitlin Farrell, D, Wake Forest
59. FC Gold Pride - Lauren Wilmoth, D, UCLA
60. Chicago Red Stars - Jackie Santacaterina, M, Illinois
61. Boston Breakers - Casey Brown, D, Boston University
62. Philadelphia Independence - Danielle Collins, D/M, William & Mary
63. Washington Freedom - Caitline Miskel, M/F, Virginia
64. St. Louis Athletica - Elisabeth Redmond, M, Duke
65. Boston Breakers - Taryn Hemmings, F, Denver

North American Soccer League Launches Website

The North American Soccer League officially launched its website -- http://nasl.com/ -- at the 2010 National Soccer Coaches Association of America convention Friday in Philadelphia, PA.

Created by Hamilton, Ontario-based MRX, a sports marketing firm who has also created sites for the Canadian Football League and teams in the American Hockey League, among other clients, the site has pages for each of its member teams, gives a brief history of how the latest machination of the league was created, and explains how it will operate within the confines of the US Soccer Federation's planned Division II professional league for the 2010 season, as well as its future plans.

Fans can also sign up for a newsletter and can find links to follow the league on Facebook and Twitter.

WPS, Puma Show Off New 2010 Game Ball

Not to be outdone by Major League Soccer and adidas unveiling their new match ball for the 2010 season in Philadelphia, site of not only Thursday's 2010 MLS SuperDraft and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America conference, Women's Professional Soccer and PUMA showed off their new ball for the league's second season Thursday.

The WPS PWR-C1.10 is made with 20-panel construction developed to improve shooting speed and flight distance. The ball is also abrasion-resistant and water-repellent and, in an industry first, is high frequency-molded, not hand-stitched, to provide improved stability of form and less water uptake.

USMNT To Face El Salvador In Tampa February 24

US Soccer announced Thursday the US Men's National Team will take on El Salvador in their next-to-last game before having to finalize the roster for the 2010 FIFA World Cup February 24 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

The game will air live at 7 p.m. Eastern time on ESPN Classic and TeleFutura.

The US is 14-1-5 all-time against El Salvador and has outscored them 45-13. Their only loss came February 19, 1992 in San Salvador.

The two countries last met in a CONCACAF World Cup qualification final match September 5, 2009 in Sandy, UT, which the US won 2-1. Ths US is also 2-1-1 in games played in Tampa.

El Salvador's coach at the time, Carlos de los Cobos, recently resigned to become the head coach of the Chicago Fire in Major League Soccer.

The US opens their pre-World Cup schedule Janaury 23 against Honduras at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA, then, after playing El Salavdor, closes the books March 3 in Amsterdam against The Netherlands.

Former USMNT Stars Preki, Dooley Named NSHOF Class Of 2010

The National Soccer Hall of Fame Thursday announced former US Men's National Team players Preki and Thomas Dooley will make up the Class of 2010 to be inducted at a later date.

Dooley, in his first year of eligibility, was named on 83 of 117 ballots, while Preki's name made it on 80 ballots.

Dooley, US Soccer's 1993 Male Player of the Year, is one of five USMNT players in the modern era to start every game in consecutive FIFA World Cups, doing so in 1994 and 1998. In 81 appearances for the USMNT, he scored seven goals.

Preki is the only player in Major League Soccer history to start each of the first eight All-Star Games. He retired from the game as the league's all-time leading point scorer and is the first player in league history to have five 10-goal, 10-assist seasons. In 28 games for the USMNT, he had four goals.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

2010 MLS SuperDraft Selections

Here is the complete round-by-round recap of the 2010 Major League Soccer SuperDraft, held Thursday in Philadelphia:

ROUND 1
1. Philadelphia Union - Danny Mwanga, F, Oregon State
2. New York Red Bulls - Tony Tchani, M, Virginia
3. San Jose Earthquakes - Ike Opara, D, Wake Forest
4. Kansas City Wizards - Teal Bunbury, F, Akron
5. FC Dallas - Zach Loyd, M, North Carolina (a)
6. Philadelphia Union - Amobi Okugo, M, UCLA (b)
7. Philadelphia Union - Jack McInerney, F. Cobb Soccer Club (c)
8. Columbus Crew - Dilly Duka, M, Rutgers (d)
9. New England Revolution - Zach Schilawski, F, Wake Forest
10. Chivas USA - Blair Green, M, Akron
11. Seattle Sounders - David Estrada, F, UCLA
12. Columbus Crew - Bright Dike, F, Notre Dame
13. Chicago Fire - Corben Bone, M, Wake Forest
14. New York Red Bulls - Austin de Luz, M, Wake Forest (e)
15. Real Salt Lake - Collen Warner, M, Portland (f)
16. Los Angeles Galaxy - Michael Stephens, M, UCLA (g)

a - acquired from Toronto FC
b - acquired from FC Dallas
c - acquired from DC United
d - acquired from Colorado Rapids
e - acquired from Houston Dynamo
f - acquired from Los Angeles Galaxy
g - acquired from Real Salt Lake

ROUND 2
17. Philadelphia - Toni Stahl, M, Connecticut
18. New York - Tim Ream, D/M, St. Louis
19. San Jose - Michael Thomas, M, Notre Dame
20. Kansas City - Olukorende Aiyegbusi, D, North Carolina State
21. FC Dallas - Andrew Wiedeman, F, California (h)
22. Colorado Rapids - Andre Akpan, F, Harvard (i)
23. Colorado - Ross LaBauex, M, Virginia (j)
24. Toronto FC - Zachary Herold, D, West Pines United Club (k)
25. New England - Seth Sinovic, D, Creighton
26. Chicago - Kwame Watson-Siriboe, D, Connecticut (l)
27. Seattle - Mike Seamon, M/F, Villanova
28. San Jose - Justin Morrow, D/M, Notre Dame (m)
29. Chicago - Drew Yates, M, Maryland
30. San Jose - Steven Beitashour, D/M, San Diego State (n)
31. New England - Zac Boggs, M/F, South Florida (o)
32. Real Salt Lake - Justin Davis, M/F, University of New Mexico

h - acquired from Toronto FC
i - acquired from FC Dallas
j - acquired from DC United
k - acquired from Colorado Rapids
l - acquired from Chivas USA
m - acquired from Real Salt Lake via FC Dallas via Columbus Crew
n - acquired from Houston Dynamo
o - acquired from New York Red Bulls via Los Angeles Galaxy

ROUND 3
33. Philadelphia - Kyle Nakazawa, M/F, UCLA
34. New York - Conor Chin, F, UCLA
35. Chivas USA - Kevin Tangney, D, Maryland (p)
36. Kansas City - Nick Cardenas, D, San Diego State
37. San Jose - Andrew Hoxie, F, William & Mary (q)
38. FC Dallas - Jason Yeasley, F, Penn State
39. Real Salt Lake - Chris Schuler, D, Creighton (r)
40. Colorado - Chad Borak, D, Cal State Northridge
41. Kansas City - Mauro Fuzetti, M/F, Michigan (s)
42. Chivas USA - Isaac Kissi, M/F, Dayton
43. Houston Dynamo - David Walker, M/F, Cal-Santa Barbara (t)
44. FC Dallas - Eric Alexander, M, Indiana (u)
45. Chicago - Steven Kinney, D, Elon
46. Houston - Samuel Appiah, M, Boston University
47. Chivas USA - Ben Zemanski, M, Akron (v)
48. New England - Jason Griffiths, M/F, Kentucky (w)

p - acquired from San Jose Earthquakes
q - acquired from Toronto FC
r - acquired from Los Angeles Galaxy via DC United
s - acquired from New England Revolution
t - acquired from Seattle Sounders
u - acquired from Columbus Crew
v - acquired from Los Angeles Galaxy
w - acquired from New York Red Bulls via Real Salt Lake

ROUND 4
49. Philadelphia - Brian Park, G, UCLA
50. New York - Irving Garcia, M/F, UC-Irvine
51. Chicago - Sean Johnson, G, University of Central Florida (x)
52. Kansas City - Ofori Sarkodie, D, Indiana
53. Toronto - Nane Joseph, M, Old Dominion
54. FC Dallas - Dane Saintus, M, Southern Methodist University
55. DC United - Jordan Graye, D, North Carolina
56. Colorado - Chris Cutshaw, M/F, Bradley
57. New York - Adam Welch, D, Lehigh
58. Chivas USA - Chris Ross, M, Colgate (y)
59. Seattle - Jamel Wallace, M, San Diego State
60. Columbus - Kwaku Nyamekye, D, Harvard
61. Columbus - Othaniel Yanez, M, Louisville (z)
62. Houston - Evan Holden, D, University of New Mexico
63. Columbus - Shaun Francis, D, Lindsay Wilson College (aa)
64. Real Salt Lake - Kris Banghaut, D, University of Denver

x - acquired from San Jose Earthquakes
y - acquired from Toronto FC via Chivas USA
z - acquired from Chicago Fire
aa - acquired from Los Angeles Galaxy

Three Major Trades Highlight 2010 MLS SuperDraft

At the 2010 Major League Soccer SuperDraft in Philadephia, three major trades took place.

The expansion Philadelphia Union, who chose forward Danny Mwanga with the first overall pick in the draft, traded allocation money to FC Dallas in exchange for the sixth overall pick. The Union selected midfielder Amobi Okugo from UCLA with the pick.

Second, the New York Red Bulls acquired defender Chris Albright from the New England Revolution in exchange for the team's second (31st overall) and third round (48th overall) picks.

Albright appeared in 27 games over two seasons at New England but was limited to one game last season due to a season-ending knee injury.

New England chose midfielder/forwards Zak Boggs of South Florida and Jason Griffiths of Kentucky with the picks.

Finally, defending league champion Real Salt Lake traded defender Clint Mathis from the Los Angeles Galaxy and Los Angeles' 15th overall pick for RSL's 16th overall pick and a third round pick in 2011. RSL selected Portland midfielder Collen Warner with the 15th pick and the Galaxy chose midfielder Michael Stephens of UCLA with the 16th pick.

Continental Tire Becomes Official MLS Sponsor

Major League Soccer and its marketing division Soccer United Marketing announced Thursday Continental Tire has become the Official Tire of Major League Soccer.

The deal allows the company to use league and team logos in their marketing efforts and provides game signage and other benefits.

MLS, adidas Unveil 2010 Game Ball At SuperDraft

Major League Soccer, in association with adidas, unveiled the league's official ball for the 2010 season at the annual SuperDraft, held Thursday in Philadelphia.

The ball has the same technology to be used in the Jabulani ball commissioned for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

It will also feature a Grip 'n' Groove profile, giving it exceptional flight and a perfect grip in all weather conditions.

The ball will be available in sporting goods stores and online February 1 for a suggested retail price of $150.

Red Stars Re-Sign Cristiane

The Chicago Red Stars of Women's Professional Soccer announced the re-signing of Brazilian forward Cristiane Thursday.

A finalist for the 2009 FIFA Women's Player of the Year award, she led the team in goals with seven and scored the first and only hat trick in the league's debut season in a 3-1 win over FC Gold Pride July 12.

Chicago Red Eleven Team With Sports Communcations Firm

The Chicago Red Eleven of the United Soccer Leagues W-League announced a partnership Thursday with Resolution Sports, a sports communications firm that will now handle the team's communications needs for the 2010 season.

An affiliate of the Chicago Red Stars of Women's Professional Soccer, the Eleven finished their debut season in the W-League at 10-1-1, finishing second in the Midwest Division of the league's Central Conference and making the playoffs.

Kickers Re-Sign Delicate, Vercollone, Carrieri, Elcock

The defending United Soccer Leagues Second Division champion Richmond Kickers announced the re-signings Thursday of Matthew Delicate, Luke Vercollone, Chris Carrieri and Edson Elcock.
Delicate came to the Kickers in 2009 after several seasons in USL First Division with the Rochester Rhinos. He was USL2's Goal Scoring Champion with 14 and also had two assists and was named to the league's All-League First Team.

He will also remain as head coach of Richmond's U-11 Boys Central team.

Vercollone, who has two assists last season after coming over from the Charleston Battery in USL1, will play in his third season with the Kickers and stay as head coach the Kickers U-15 Boys South team.

Carrieri, who came out of retirement late in the 2008 season, had one goal in seven games last season. This will be his first full season with Richmond since the 2006 season, when he led the team and league in assists and was named to the USL2 All-League Second Team.

Elcock joined the Kickers in late July 2009 and scored a goal in an exhibition game against CSD Comunicaciones of Guatemala.

PDL's Rangers To Field A W-League Team In 2010

The New Jersey Rangers of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League announced Wednesday they will field a similarly-named team in the USL W-League, beginning this season.

The team will be led by Rangers PDL head coach Andy Rotsides and be assisted by Dominick Bucci.

They will play their six planned home games at Morris Catholic High School beginning in May.

Perkins Returns To United In Trade With Union

One-time DC United goalkeeper Troy Perkins, who has also played for the US Men's National Team, returned to the Major League Soccer team's roster late Wednesday as the franchise completed a trade with the expansion Philadelphia Union prior to Thursday's 2009 MLS SuperDraft in Philadelphia.

Perkins last played in MLS in 2007 and recently left Norwegian first division professional team Valerenga due to undisclosed family reasons.

In the trade, United gives the Union midfielder Fred, the seventh overall pick in Thursday's draft and allocation money.

Perkins started all 77 games he appeared in with United over four seasons and amassed a record of 36-19-22 with a 1.22 career goals against average.

His wins (36), saves (274), shutouts (19) and GAA (1.22) all rank second in team history.

Fred has scored 11 goals and 16 assists in 72 games over three seasons, 60 of them starts. His best season came in 2007 when he had seven goals and seven assists. In 2009, he started 17 of 23 games and had two goals and four assists.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Scheletto Agrees In Principle To New Crew Deal

Midfielder Guillermo Barros Schelotto, the Most Valuable Player in the 2008 Major League Soccer season and in the MLS Cup championship game, agreed in principle Wednesday to a one-year contract with an option year for 2011, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

Schelotto, though, will not carry the Designated Player tag he had last season, allowing him to be paid more than any other player on the roster. He made $650,000 in 2009.

He has scored 24 goals and 33 assists in 73 career games with Columbus.

Impact Makes Major Moves Wednesday

The Montreal Impact, the 2009 United Soccer Leagues First Division champion now playing in the North American Soccer League Conference of the new US Soccer Federation's second-tier professional league, announced several major player moves Wednesday.

First, the Impact traded midfielder Tyler Hemming to the Charleston Battery of the USL Second Division in return for receiving midfielder Pierre-Rudolph Mayard on loan from March 10 through August 13 of 2010.

Mayard played two seasons for the Impact's developmental team, the Trois-Rivieres Attak in the Canadian Soccer League, leading them to the Open Canada Cup title in 2007 and the CSL's championship game in 2008, before joining Montreal in 2009, where he had a goal and an assist.

Hemming had three assists in 26 USL2 games for the Battery.

Second, Montreal signed 2007 team Most Valuable Player and three-time USL All-League Second Team member Leonardo Di Lorenzo to a contract through the 2012 season.

The midfielder has started 84 of 94 career games for the Impact, scoring nine goals and 15 assists for 33 points.

Finally, the Impact announced midfielder/defender Simon Gatti will return to play the 2010 option year in his contract while defender Alex Surprenant has been released.

Pali Blues Land Nittany Lion And Two Aussies For 2010

The two-time defending United Soccer Leagues W-League champion Pali Blues announced the signing Wednesday of Penn State senior forward Danielle Toney and Australian Women's National Team defenders Claire Polkinghorne and Karla Reuter for the 2010 season.

Toney had 12 goals and six assists for 30 points last season for the Nittany Lions and was named a National Soccer Coaches Association of America First Team All-Great Lakes Region player and a Big 10 Conference First Team member.

Polkinghorne and Reuter were teammates with the Queensland Roar in Australia's W-League. Polkinghorne has scored two goals in 26 appearances with the national team and Reuter has been with the team since 2002.

Former Wolf Becoming A Puma For 2010

Forward Daniel Scott, who played last season for the Seattle Wolves in the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League, will join the league's Kitsap Pumas in 2010, according to The Maui Times.

Scott, a graduate of Gonzaga, had the second-most goals of all Northwest Division players last season with 18 and was named to the league's Western Conference First Team.

In 2008, he led the Tacoma Tide to the PDL's Northwest Division title.

USMNT G Perkins Quits Valerenga; Heads Home For Family Reasons

US Men's National Team goalkeeper Troy Perkins has chosen to playing for Norway's Valerenga to return to the States and deal with undisclosed family issues, the team said Wednesday.

Perkins reportedly will return to play in Major League Soccer, but it is unknown who he would play for. He last played with DC United in the 2007 season.

FC Dallas Signs M David Fereira For 2010 Season

Major League Soccer's FC Dallas announced Wednesday they have signed Colombian midfielder David Fereira to a contract for the 2010 season.

One of two players on the team to play in all 30 regular season games, Fereira, loaned to Dallas by Brazil's Clube Atletico Paranaense, was the second leading goal scorer on the roster with eight and second in assists with seven.

Five of his goals and assists came after the MLS All-Star Game break.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Waworusek Leaves Whitecaps For Baltimore

Todd Wawrousek has left the Vancouver Whitecaps as their assistant coach after three seasons to take the similar position with Crystal Palace Baltimore, CPB officials announced Tuesday.

Both teams will be members of the US Soccer Federation's Second Division in the North American Soccer League Conference for the 2010 season.

Wawrousek began his duties with Crystal Palace last week.

In his three seasons at Vancouver, he led them to the United Soccer Leagues First Division playoffs in 2007, to the league title in 2008, and a spot in the Championship Game in 2009, where they lost to the Montreal Impact, also part of USSF2's NASL Conference.

Before coming to Vancouver, he served in a similar capacity with the United States Interregional Soccer League's Hershey (PA) Wildcats and led them to the 2001 USISL Finals.

PDL's Rattlers To Play International Friendlies

The Lancaster Rattlers of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League announced Tuesday they will host the Chivas de Guadalajara Under-20 Reserve Team in a game January 23 at Antelope Valley High School in Lancaster, CA.

The team is also working to play international friendlies with Mexico's U-20 National Team and El Salvador's U-21 National Team in the offseason.

18 Cities Placed In USA Bid To Host Future World Cups

The USA Bid Committee, formed to give the United States the ability to host either the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup, formally announced the 18 potential cities they will include in the official bid package that will be presented to FIFA by the May 14 deadline.

FIFA will announce the winning bids for both events in December.

The stadiums to be considered from these cities boast an average seating capacity of 78,000, higher than the 40,000 capacity requirement to host Cup games but less than the 80,000 capacity requirement to host the Opening or Final Game.

Three cities have two stadiums that will be used -- Dallas, Los Angeles and Phoenix/Glendale, AZ.

The 18 potential cities were whittled down from a list that most recently was at 27. The nine cities taken out of contention for hosting duties were Charlotte, NC, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Jacksonville and Orlando, FL, Oakland and San Francisco, CA and St. Louis.

Here are the 18 potential cities under consideration for games and the stadiums to be used:

Atlanta - Georgia Dome (70.868)
Baltimore - M&T Bank Stadium (71,008)
Boston - Gillette Stadium (73,393)
Dallas - Cotton Bowl Stadium (89,000), Cowboys Stadium (91,000)
Denver - Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium (75,165)
Houston - Reliant Stadium (76,000)
Indianapolis - Lucas Oil Stadium (66,500)
Kansas City, KS and MO - Arrowhead Stadium (75,364)
Los Angeles - Los Angeles Coliseum (93,607), The Rose Bowl (89,000)
Miami - Landshark Stadium (80,240)
Nashville - LP Field (75,000)
New York/New Jersey - New Meadowlands Stadium (84,046)
Philadelphia - Lincoln Financial Field (69,111)
Phoenix/Glendale, AZ - University of Phoenix Stadium (71,362)
San Diego - Qualcomm Stadium (67,700)
Seattle - Qwest Field (68,056), Husky Stadium (72,500)
Tampa - Raymond James Stadium (75,000)
Washington, DC - FedEx Field (89,600)

Should the US win the right to host either Cup, the list of cities and stadiums will likely be cut down one last time to 12.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Riverhounds Promote Evans To Head Coach, Klein To GM

The Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the United Soccer Leagues Second Division announced Monday they have promoted head coach Gene Klein, who has been with the franchise since its founding in 1999 and served in his previous role since 2005, to general manager, and named former player Justin Evans as the team's new head coach.

Evans was the team's first-ever draft pick in 1999 and has been serving as a player/assistant coach since the 2008 season.

USL Stars Sweep 2009 MAC Hermann Trophy Ceremony

University of Akron sophomore forward Teal Bunbury and Stanford University senior forward Kelley O'Hara were named winners of the 2009 Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy as the best players in men's and women's college soccer for the season.

Both players are also members of clubs in the United Soccer Leagues -- Bunbury with the expansion Rochester Thunder in the Premier Development League, O'Hara with the two-time defending W-League champion Pali Blues.

Bunbury is the first Akron player to win the award and the third sophomore in history to do so. He led the nation in goals last season with 17, including five game-winning goals, and had five assists en route to being named the 2009 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year.

Akron finished their season with a penalty kick shootout loss to Virginia in the 2009 NCAA College Cup tournament.

Bunbury has chosen to give up his final two seasons of college eligibility to join Major League Soccer and will be selected in Friday's SuperDraft.

O'Hara, a member of the US Women's National Team, set new Cardinal single season record for goals (26) and points (65) and led the nation in both categories.

She also had 13 assists last seaosn, good for third best in a season in school history.

O'Hara finished her college career by leading Stanford to their first NCAA Women's College Cup title and a program-best 25-1-0 record. She finished with the team's second-highest career goals (57) and points (156) totals.

She also was the Pac-10 Conference's Player of the Year in 2009 as well as a National Soccer Coaches Association of America First Team All-America member and an Academic All-American member.

Kixx's Morris Named MISL POW

Philadelphia Kixx defender Pat Morris was named Monday the Major Indoor Soccer League's Player of the Week for Week 9 of the 2009-10 season after scoring 12 points on five two-point goals and two assists during a weekend home-and-home sweep of the Rockford Rampage.

In the opening game Saturday at their new home arena, the Liacouras Center at Temple University, Morris scored eight of his overall points on a three two-point goal hat trick and two assists in a 23-20 victory.

On Sunday, at the Rockford MetroCentre, the Kixx won 10-9 as Morris scored two more two-point goals.

Morris leads the league in blocks with 14, is tied for sixth overall in points with 21 and is second among all MISL defenders in scoring.

NASL Holds Inaugural Annual General Meeting

Though the North American Soccer League will not be able to operate a separately sanctioned Division II professional league by the US Soccer Federation until the 2011 season, representatives from the league's 11 teams held their inaugural Annual General Meeting last Thursday through Saturday in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

The NASL, which recently announced it would challenge United Soccer Leagues First Division as a Division II league in the 2010 season, was created mostly from members of the Team Owners Association, a group of USL1 teams that objected to the league now being run by an outside entity with no ties to the league.

Those teams that bolted from USL1 are the Atlanta Silverbacks (who were inactive in USL1 in 2009), Carolina RailHawks, Miami FC Blues, Minnesota Thunder, Montreal Impact (the defending USL1 champion), the expansion Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Other teams in the league are Crystal Palace Baltimore of the USL Second Division, expansion team AC St. Louis and the Edmonton Drillers, set to join NASL in 2011 when the Whitecaps move to Major League Soccer.

After both leagues were denied certification by the USSF, the federation, in an agreement, created a stopgap league -- the USSF Second Division -- for the 2010 season, with both leagues agreeing to work matters out to be able to both be granted certification for 2011 and beyond.

The NASL will be a six-team conference in the new USSF2 with Crystal Palace, Carolina, Miami, Montreal, St. Louis and Vancouver as members.

At the Fort Lauderdale meeting, the NASL announced the following:

- They will launch a website during this week's annual convention of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America in Philadelphia, which will also feature the Major League Soccer SuperDraft on the 14th and the Women's Profeesional Soccer Draft the next day, after the league announced a partnership with Canadian event planning and technology provider MRX.

- The establishment of several committees created by their Board of Directors: Executive, Finance, Expansion, Marketing, Broadcast and Competition.

- The league's members will deal with the submission of recommendations regarding competition-related matters by the USSF for 2010

- The league's members approved several hirings of executive staff, which will be announced in the coming weeks.

Tovar Torrent Leads Cougars Over Outlaws

Enrique Tovar scored four goals to lead the defending Professional Arena Soccer League champion California Cougars to an 8-5 win Sunday over the Texas Outlaws at the TCG Arena at NYTEX Sports Centre in North Richland Hills, TX.

Dominic Schell led the Outlaws with a pair of goals and a pair of assists.

Both teams meet again next Sunday at Turlock Indoor Soccer in Turlock, CA.

Monterrey Rocks Wave Into Tie For MISL Lead

Chile Farias had a pair of three-point goals and a two-pointer to lead the host La Raza de Monterrey to an 18-10 win over the Milwaukee Wave Sunday in Major Indoor Soccer League play at Arena Monterrey.

Guiliano Oliviero led the Wave with a two-pointer and an assist.

The loss caused the Wave to fall into a first-place tie with the Baltimore Blast at 5-3 in the standings. Monterrey is 4-5, two games behind the co-league leaders.

Monterrey will host the Blast next Sunday while the Wave have a weekend home-and-home series this Saturday and Sunday with the Rockford Rampage, Milwaukee will host next Sunday's game.

Kixx Finish Weekend Sweep Of Rampage

Pat Morris scored on two power-play goals and Leo Gibson's game-winning goal helped the Philadelphia Kixx edge the Rockford Rampage 10-9 Sunday in Major Indoor Soccer League play at the Rockford MetroCentre.

The Kixx swept a two-game, home-and-home series, having beaten them 23-20 Saturday at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia.

Matthew Stewart had a pair of two-point goals and Semir Mesanovic had a three-point shot and assisted on two other scores in the loss, Rockford's third straight.

The Kixx are now 3-5, 2 1/2 games behind the co-league leading Baltimore Blast and Milwaukee Wave. The Rampage drop to 3-4, two games behind the duo.

Philadelphia hosts Rockford again January 23 but the Rampage play another weekend home-and-home series against the Wave (at MetroCentre Saturday, at US Cellular Arena Sunday).

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Illusion Win At Swanner's Old Stomping Ground

The defending US Open Arena Soccer champion St. Louis Illusion made head coach Jamie Swanner's first trip in many years to the Canton (OH) Civic Center memorable Saturday as they defeated the expansion Ohio Vortex 11-8 in Professional Arena Soccer League play.

Swanner won several championships in the former American Indoor Soccer League and American Indoor Soccer Association with the Canton Invaders.

Wes Sechrist assisted on three goals for the Illusion in win while Ohio's Adam Campellone scored four goals in the loss.

The Illusion head to Taylor, MI Sunday to face the Detroit Waza at the Taylor Sportsplex. Ohio will host the expansion Louisville Lightning this Saturday.

Kixx Outlast Rampage In Liacouras Center Debut

In the franchise's first home game in their new arena, the Liacouras Center on the campus of Temple University, Aduato Neto had four two-point goals and Anthony Maher and Pat Morris scored six-point hat tricks to lead the Philadelphia Kixx to a 23-20 victory over the Rockford Rampage Saturday in the first of a weekend home-and-home Major Indoor Soccer League series.

Sandre Naumoski also scored for the Kixx, now 2-5 and still in last place in the league standings.

Semir Mesanovic led the Rampage with a pair of two-point goals and is in third place with an even 3-3 record.

The series resumes Sunday at the Rockford MetroCentre.

Wave Beat Blast To Take Over MISL Lead

Kyt Selaidopoulos scored both the game-tying and game-winning goals in regulation play as the Milwaukee Wave took over the lead in the Major Indoor Soccer League standings following an 11-9 victory over the Baltimore Blast Saturday at First Mariner Arena.

Marco Terminesi, this week's MISL Player of the Week and the Offensive Player of the Month for December, made his case for consideration as a three-time POW winner by having a two-point and a three-point goal in the contest.

Giuliano Oliviero scored the other Wave goal.

Lucio Gonzaga led the Blast with an equal five-point performance, echoing Terminesi, with Carlos Garcia and Jonathan Greenfield also contributing two-point goals.

The Wave, now 5-2 and a half-game ahead of the 5-3 Blast, host La Raza de Monterrey Sunday.

Baltimore, meanwhile, travels to Monterrey next Sunday, then plays the Wave at Milwaukee January 23 before hosting them again January 30.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Lillingston Returns To Mexico On Loan Through June

Major League Soccer's Chivas USA announced Saturday forward Eduardo Lillingston is now on loan to Club Tijuana of Mexico's second division through the end of their season in June.

Lillingston, who played 12 seasons in Mexico's Primera Division before joining MLS last season, led Chivas in goals with eight in 2009 and assisted on two other goals.

He will be able to rejoin Chivas when the international transfer window opens July 15.

PDL's Ocean City Barons Break Ties With South Jersey Barons After 13 Years

The Ocean City Barons of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League announced Friday they have ended their affiliation with the South Jersey Barons youth soccer academy after 13 years and will announce a new team name and club structure soon.

The new team will remain in the PDL for the 2010 season.

Donavan Assists On Opening Goal In Everton Debut

Forward Landon Donovan assisted on Leon Osman's header goal in the 10th minute as Everton, who has the star of Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy on their team for a 10-week loan period, played to a 2-2 draw with Arsenal Saturday in English Premier League play.

Donovan was loaned to Everton through March 13, when he will return to train with the Galaxy before their 2010 MLS season opener (provided a player lockout doesn't occur) against the New England Revolution March 27.