Sunday, February 28, 2010

Miami Moving Games To Fort Lauderdale; Could Change Name To Strikers

Miami FC Blues of the USSF Division II Pro League announced they will play all their 2010 season home games at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, where their crowds were ten times larger than in Florida International University in Miami, according to Saturday's South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Traffic Sports, which owns the franchise, says they hope to be able to convert Lockhart, a long-abandoned spring baseball stadium site, into a year-round training academy and the team's new headquarters.

The firm also stated they have applied for the trademark of the former North American Soccer League team in Fort Lauderdale, the Strikers, and will change the team's name to it when they begin in the new NASL in 2011.

Hurricane Warning Cancels Impact Game; Face Boavista FC Thursday

A planned Saturday exhibition game in Portugal between the Montreal Impact of the USSF Division II League and Ribeirao was cancelled due to hurricane warnings.

The Impact will now play Boavista FC in a preseason game Thursday in Porto, Portugal. Boavista won the country's national championship in 2001, played in the CONCACAF Champions League in 2000 and 2002, and was a semifinalist in the 2003 UEFA Cup.

Earthquakes Cool Off Fuego At Chukchansi Park

Bobby Convey, Javier Robles and Omar Jessey scored goals to lead Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes to a 3-2 victory Saturday over the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League's Fresno Fuego at Chukchansi Park in Fresno, CA.

Rodrigo Vianna Ferreira and Mihalo Jovanovich scored Fresno's goals.

The Earthquakes will face the University of California Golden Bears in an exhibition Monday at West Valley College in San Jose before leaving Thursday for a 10-day training camp stint in London.

Angel-ic Hat Trick Hands Red Bulls First WDW Pro Soccer Classic Title

Juan Pablo Angel scored goals in the 32nd, 37th and 49th minutes and Conor Chinn tacked on another in the 85th minute as the New York Red Bulls were crowned champions Saturday of the inaugural Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic with a 4-0 shutout of Toronto FC in the championship game at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports complex in Lake Buena Vista, FL, according to Sunday's Toronto Globe & Mail.

Chivas USA Draws, Then Beats Crew In Phoenix

Major League Soccer's Chivas USA and the Columbus Crew met Saturday in a pair of 60-minute-long preseason scrimmages in Phoenix, AZ.

In the first game, Eric Bonner scored for Columbus and Mariano Trujillo assisted Michael Galindo on a goal for Chivas in a 1-1 draw.

Game two saw Sergio Herrera score two goals and Emilio Renteria added a third as Chivas won a 3-0 shutout.

Chivas USA next faces the Fresno Fuego of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League this Saturday at Chukchansi Park in Fresno, CA.

Express Goes Undefeated At Home For Two Straight Seasons

The now two-time Professional Arena Soccer League Eastern Division champion 1790 Cincinnati Express got four goals from John Mellancamp and a hat trick and two assists from Jeff Hughes in a 14-4 victory over the Detroit Waza at Game Time Training Center in Fairfield, KY.

The victory also ended a second straight season of not losing a game at home as the Express are now 16-0.

Player-coach Dominic Scicluna led the Waza with a hat trick, but the Waza end their season 6-10 after beginning it 5-2, but then lost eight of their last nine games.

Vortex End Debut PASL Season With Doubleheader Win

The Ohio Vortex ended their debut season in the Professional Arena Soccer League with an 8-8 record Saturday after defeating the Winnipeg Alliance of the Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League in a doubleheader at MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada by scores of 5-4 and 7-5.

In the first game, five different Vortex players scored goals in the victory.

Allen Eller had a hat trick in the Vortex's nightcap win.

The Vortex finished the season by winning their last four games.

Winnipeg is in last place in the CMISL standings at 3-7.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Rhinos Sign Greenfield, Zahui To Contracts

According to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle Saturday, the Rochester Rhinos of the USSF Division II Pro League have signed defender/midfielder Jonathan Greenfield and midfielder Thierry Zahui to contracts for the 2010 season.

Greenfield played the last three seasons in the United Soccer Leagues First Division with the Minnesota Thunder and Zahui played for the Africa Sports National team.

Wambach Scores Both Goals In USMNT Win Over Norway At Algarve Cup

Abby Wambach scored goals in the 13th and 103rd minutes Saturday as the top-ranked US Women's National Team moved a step closer to appearing in another Algarve Cup championship game with a 2-1 victory over Norway.

The six-time Algarve Cup champions need to earn no less than a draw Monday against Sweden to appear in Wednesday's championship final.

Sockers Are Western Division Champs, Beat Tijuana

The expansion San Diego Sockers will not only be the host team for the upcoming 2010 Professional Arena Soccer League North American Championship, they will be playing for the league title after winning the Western Division title with a 12-6 victory Friday over Revolucion Tijuana at Del Mar Arena.

Paul Wright led the Sockers with a hat trick and improve their record to 12-3 with the final game of the regular season set for Saturday at home against the Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League's Edmonton Drillers.

Lightning Beat Waza, But Fail To Earn Playoff Spot

Simon Bird all scorers with four goals and two assists as the Louisville Lightning ended their debut season in the Professional Arena Soccer League with a 15-12 victory over the Detroit Waza at Mockingbird Valley Soccer Club in Louisville Friday, but ended their season without earning a playoff spot.

Safet Kovacevic, the league's leading scorer with 52 points, had a hat trick and three assists for Louisville and Glenn Volk had a hat trick and an assist.

The Lightning finished their season with an 11-5 record and in second place in the Eastern Division, won for the second straight season by the 1790 Cincinnati Express.

George McCatty and Lindsay Smith had hat tricks for Detroit in the loss. They are now 6-9 in the Eastern Division and ends their 2010 season Saturday on the road at the Express.

Buddle Blast Gives Galaxy Victory Over Wizards In Arizona

Edson Buddle scored the game's only goal Friday as Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy shut out the Kansas City Wizards 1-0 in preseason action from Tempe, AZ.

The two teams will meet again this Sunday at Arizona State University's women's soccer stadium.

Timbers Beef Up Roster With DeMartin, Gaudet, Pyzdrowski

The Portland Timbers increased the number of players on their 2010 USSF Division II Pro League roster to 22 with the signings Friday of forward Doug DeMartin, midfielder Derek Gaudet and goalkeeper Matt Pyzdrowski.

All three recently competed at the team's mini-camp and in a recent charity game against the University of Portland.

DeMartin led the Big 10 Conference in goals scored in his final two seasons at Michigan State. He had 17 goals in his 2008 season, leading them to the conference championship. He was named an All-American and was a finalist for two national player of the year awards, including the coveted Hermann Trophy by the Missouri Athletic Club.

A 2009 second-round draft pick of the Kansas City Wizards in the Major League Soccer SuperDraft, he has 38 goals and nine assists in 76 career games for the Spartans.

Gaudet spent the last three seasons with Halifax Dunbrack SC of the Nova Scotia Soccer League, where he was the league's Most Valuable Player and an all-star, leading the team to a top-of-the-table finish.

He made his professional debut in 2008 with Toronto FC of MLS.

Pzydrowski ranked among career leaders at Marquette University in goalkeeping minutes played (5,336), goals against average (1.37), shutouts (11) and saves (206).

Portland opens their 2010 USSF D2 Pro League season at home April 17 at PGE Park against the Rochester Rhinos.

RailHawks Sign Japanese Import Jun Marques Davidson

The Carolina RailHawks of the USSF Division II Pro League announced the signing Friday of midfielder Jun Marques Davidson, who has spent the last eight seasons in Japan's J-League, five of those seasons playing in their top tier.

He made his debut in the league in 2002 with Omiya Adija and saw them get promoted from the second division to the first division in 2004 after finishing second in the league that season. Davidson stayed with them until 2006, playing 86 matches, then joined Albirex Niigata for the last three seasons.

AC St. Louis Adds Six More To The Roster

A team known for signing talent in bunches, AC St. Louis of the USSF Division II Pro League announced the signings Friday of six more players -- Brazilian forwards Gauchinho and Cassiano Moreira, goalkeepers Chad Backer and Alec Duffy, and midfielders Jeff Cosgriff and Gilbert Pogosyan.

Gauchinho, born Jeferson Lima de Menezes, played the last four seasons in Denmark for Naestved BK, scoring 15 goals in 87 career games. He began his career in 2002 with Flamengo in his home country of Brazil.

Moreira, better known by his first name, had two goals in 13 games with EC Sao Jose in Brazil in 2009 and will be reunited in St. Louis with teammate Alex Titton.

Becker becomes the sixth player with ties to the local area signed to the franchise. He played in 67 games over four seasons with Rockhurst University in Kansas City, MO.

Duffy split his collegiate career between NCAA Division II Appalachian State and the University of Evansville. He also played in one game for Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls.

Cosgriff had nine goals in 64 career games at Santa Clara University.

Pogosyan had seven goals and three assists in his final season at Pasadena City College.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Miami FC Elevates Pastora To Head Coach

Miami FC Blues of the USSF Division II Pro League announced Friday they have elevated assistant coach Victor Pastora to head coach, replacing Crizam Cesar de Oliveiro Filho, known as Zinho.

Pastora becomes the third head coach in team history and, at 34, is their youngest to hold the job in team history.

He did serve as the team's interim head coach in August 2007 when the Blues fired Chiquinho de Assis.

Miami opens their 2010 season April 10 by hosting the Rochester Rhinos.

Kickers Unveil Preseason Schedule

The defending 2009 United Soccer Leagues Second Division champion Richmond Kickers unveiled their 2010 preseason schedule Friday, which includes five games at their new home pitch, Ukrop Park.

Two of the games will be against Old Dominion University March 31 and April 9.

The preseason opens March 6 against Virginia Commonwealth at Ukrop Park, followed by an appearance by Crystal Palace Baltimore of the USSF Division II Pro League March 13, and a third home game March 19 against William & Mary.

The Kickers then travel to Williamsburg, VA to face the Virginia Stars March 21 and face Longwood College in South Hill, VA March 27.

Richmond closes their schedule with road games against the University of Virginia (April 3) and the University of Richmond (April 13), both at Richmond, between their second game with Old Dominion.

The Kickers will begin defense of their 2009 USL2 title April 17 at Ukrop Park against the 2007 champion Harrisburg City Islanders.

Wildcats Welcome Forward Jess Fuccello Back For 2010 Season

The New Jersey Wildcats of the United Soccer Leagues W-League announced Wednesday forward Jess Fuccello will return for the team's 2010 season.

Fuccello is a senior at Penn, where she was named a two-time Ivy League Conference leading scorer. She also is a two-time Ocean County Player of the Year.

W-League's Piranhas Name Rizzo Assistant Coach

The Hampton Roads Piranhas of the United Soccer Leagues W-League announced the hiring Thursday of Cesar Rizzo as assistant coach.

Rizzo currently serves as the director of coaching for Old Dominion Soccer Club and is the boys and girls head soccer coach at Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School.

Kramer, Watkins Sign Deals With Baton Rouge Capitals

The Baton Rouge Capitals of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League announced the signings Tuesday of defender Trey Kramer and goalkeeper Michael Watkins.

Kramer played high school soccer at nearby Jesuit High School in New Orleans and under scholarship to play collegiately at University of West Florida - Pensacola.

Watkins finished his sophomore season at NCAA Division II Lincoln Memorial College and played in the 2009 season for Reading United FC.

Cougars To Defend PASL Championship; Beat Drillers At Stockton Arena

The 2009 Professional Arena Soccer League champion California Cougars will defend their title at the upcoming North American Championship tournament March 12-14 at Del Mar Arena in San Diego, CA as they won their second straight Western Division title with a 9-6 win over the Edmonton Drillers of the Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League Thursday at Stockton Arena.

The Cougars finished the regular season with the same record as last season -- 12-4.

Enrique Tovar, California's leading scorer, had a hat trick and Nelson Santana had two goals and two assists in the victory.

Kixx Welcome Back Forward Shawn Boney

The Philadelphia Kixx of the Major Indoor Soccer League welcomed forward Shawn Boney back to the team he helped lead to MISL Championships in the 2001-02 and 2006-07 seasons Friday.

Boney was drafted by Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy in the second round of the 1997 MLS College Draft (now called SuperDraft) but chose to play indoor soccer.

He debuted in the sport with the Cleveland Crunch of the National Professional Soccer League and led them to the league title in the 1998-99 season. Boney was also named to the league's All-Rookie Team that season and played four seasons there.

In 2001, he was traded by the MISL's Detroit Rockers to the Kixx, where he stayed until 2008, when he joined the expansion Orlando Sharks. Despite the Sharks finishing with the worst regular season record in league history in their only season of play, Boney had nine goals and nine assists.

Last season, Boney moved to the New Jersey Ironmen of the failed Xtreme Soccer League and had three goals and four assists in 12 regular season games.

In his career, he has scored 128 goals, 96 assists and 116 blocks over 258 regular season games.

Thompson To Work With Timbers On And Off The Field

Defender Scot Thompson will continue to play for the USSF Division II Pro League's Portland Timbers this coming season and will serve as a community ambassador.

With the Timbers since 2004, Thompson has nine goals and nine assists in 144 career games.

Whitecaps Release Residency Managing Director And Head Coach

Thomas Niendorf, who served as an assistant coach for the Vancouver Whitecaps of the USSF Division II Pro League and head coach of the Vancouver Whitecaps Residency of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League, was relieved of his dual duties Thursday.

Current Whitecaps assistant coach Colin Miller will take over the coaching duties on an interim basis.

Fire, CD Guadalajara Trade Goals In 1-1 Draw

The Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer played Chivas de Guadalajara to a 1-1 tie Thursday in an exhibition game in Guadalajara, Mexico as part of the Fire's preseason training camp.

Brian McBride scored Chicago's only goal, which was later countered by Adrian Dominguez of CD Guadalajara.

Chicago is 2-0-1 in preseason play and will stay in Guadalajara through next Thursday. They will play one more exhibition game next Wednesday against a yet-to-be-announced opponent.

Toronto FC, Red Bulls To Meet In WDW Pro Soccer Classic Debut Final

Toronto FC and the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer will face off against each other Saturday in the championship game of the inaugural Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic at the renamed and renovated ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Lake Buena Vista, FL.

Toronto trialist Vincent Kayizzi scored his second goal of the preseason with the lone goal of the game in the 16th minute over FC Dallas to take on the Red Bulls, who won a penalty kick shootout 6-5 after playing to a scoreless draw against the Houston Dynamo.

In the first game of the doubleheader Saturday, the Dynamo will meet FC Dallas in an all-Texas showdown to win third place at the tournament.

USMNT Names 20-Man Roster For Netherlands Game

Hot off the heels of Wednesday's 2-1 win over El Salvador in Tampa, US Men's National Team head coach Bob Bradley wasted little time Thursday in naming a 20-man, mostly-European roster for their next international friendly, set for next Wednesday against the Netherlands in Amsterdam.

16 of the members will come from European teams, with three from Major League Soccer, and one player based out of Mexico.

The 20 will report to Amsterdam Sunday for three days of workouts before the game, which will air at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time on ESPN2.

Here is the roster for the USMNT game against Wednesday, listed by position and current team of each player:

GOALKEEPERS
Brad Guzan - Aston Villa
Marcus Hahnemann - Wolverhampton Wanderers
Tim Howard - Everton

DEFENDERS
Jonathan Bornstein - Chivas USA
Carlos Bocanegra - Rennes
Jay DeMerit - Watford
Clarence Goodson - IK Start
Heath Pierce - FC Dallas
Frank Simek - Sheffield Wednesday
Jonathan Spector - West Ham United

MIDFIELDERS
DaMarcus Beasley - Rangers
Alejandro Bedoya - Orebro
Michael Bradley - Borussia Monchengladbach
Landon Donovan - Everton
Maurice Edu - Rangers
Stuart Holden - Bolton Wanderers
Jose Torres - Pachuca

FORWARDS
Jozy Altidore - Hull City
Robbie Findley - Real Salt Lake
Eddie Johnson - Aris Thessalonki

MLS, Players Union Let CBA Expire; No Walkout Or Lockout Planned Yet

At 12:01 a.m. Friday, Major League Soccer and its Players Union saw the expiration of their current collective bargaining agreement after no talks on creating a new agreement have taken place since Monday in Washington, DC.

The current CBA deal, which was set to last five years when it was passed in 2005, expired initially at the end of January, but due to weather concerns canceling meetings in Washington, DC, the agreement was extended twice -- first to February 12, then to Thursday.

The league says, at this time, no owner lockouts of players is planned and the players union says they will not ask players to walk out on their teams.

In a statement released Thursday by MLS Commissioner Don Garber, he said "(w)e have told the Players Union that the League does not plan to lock out the players and we are prepared to begin the season under the current CBA while we continue to bargain to reach agreement on a new CBA."

Garber said the league "has listened to the issues raised by the Players Union and the league has made detailed proposals that have addressed these issues, inclduing in the areas of economics, guarenteed contracts, options and the ability of a player to move to another MLS Club if he is released by his current club" and that the proposals "signficantly increase our spending and provide substantially more rights to the players."

There is no word yet on when a next meeting between all parties is planned.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sounders Set To Sign Colombian Forward Montano

Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders are set to sign Colombian forward Miguel Montano to a contract in mid-March, according to the Argentinian newspaper Diario El Sol.

Montano had been set to play in Holland but visa issues prevented a move there. Montano says his visa paperwork has cleared for him to travel to Seattle soon.

Revolution Shuts Out College All-Star Team 6-0

Shalrie Joseph, Sainey Nyassi, Zack Schilwaski, Kheli Dube, Kenny Mansally and Emmanuel Osei all scored goals in a 27-minute span of the second half as Major League Soccer's New England Revolution shut out a team of college all-star players 6-0 Thursday at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, FL.

The Revolution, now 1-1 in preseason play, head back to their home base of Foxborough, MA before traveling on their last training camp stint to North Carolina in mid-March.

Battery Signs Falvey, Briggs, Bolton To Contracts

The Charleston Battery of the United Soccer Leagues Second Division signed three players Thursday, including two who played last season for the regular season champion Wilmington Hammerheads.

Defender Colin Falvey played 15 games with the defunct franchise and was named to the USL2 All-League Second Team.

Midfielder Mark Briggs also played at Wilmington but is now attached to Mosta of the Maltese First Division in Africa.

Midfielder Josh Bolton played 28 games in 2008 for the then-USL1 Atlanta Silverbacks and also played for the Rochester Rhinos in USL1 and the Harrisburg City Islanders in USL2.

Aztex Sign Former Galaxy D Griffin To Three-Year Deal

The Austin Aztex of the USSF Division II Pro League announced they have signed defender Leonard Griffin to a three-year contract Thursday.

Griffin spent the 2009 season with the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer, but saw no action due to injuries. He was loaned out after the season to the Hollywood United Hitmen of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League and he scored one goal in two games played.

He previously played three seasons in the PDL with the Orange County Blue Star (2001-03) while going to school at UCLA, where he played on their 2002 NCAA College Cup national championship team. At Orange County, he had two goals and two assists in 39 overall games as was named an All-Conference pick in 2003.

Griffin also had stints in USL First Division with the Portland Timbers (2007-08; two goals in 56 games) and in MLS for the Chicago Fire (18 games played over two seasons).

USMNT F Dempsey Back Next Month For Fulham

US Men's National Team forward Clint Dempsey is expected to return to playing with Fulham of the English Premier League by the middle of next month, according to The Associated Press Thursday.

Dempsey has been out since injuring his right knee in a 2-1 loss January 17 to Blackburn and is hoping to be considered for a spot on the US team for the upcoming FIFA World Cup.

NSC Stars Sign Four Defenders; Three Played For Thunder

The NSC Minnesota Stars of the USSF Division II Pro League announced the signings of four defenders Thursday, three of whom had experience with the Minnesota Thunder in the United Soccer Leagues First Division.

Neil Hlavaty led the Cleveland City Stars to the 2007 USL Second Division championship. He had started 10 of 12 games for Osters IF in Sweden until the team's financial condition forced them to release him. In October, he had a three-game tryout stint with Poland's Jagiellonia Bialystok.

Brian Kallman spent the last four seasons with the Thunder, playing in over 50 games, including 12 in 2009.

Andres Arango, born in Colombia but now a Canadian citizen after his family moved there as a child, played in 37 games over two seasons with the Thunder and also competed with the Montreal Impact and Toronto Lynx in USL1. With the Lynx, he was a two-time team Defensive Player of the Year in 2005 and 2006.

Chris Clements played 22 games last season for the Thunder after graduating from the University of Tulsa. Drafted in the fourth round of the 2009 Major League Soccer SuperDraft by the Columbus Crew, he chose to sign with the Thunder.

RailHawks Signs Maltese Veteran Forward Barbara

The Carolina RailHawks of the USSF Division II Pro League announced the signing Thursday of forward Etienne Barbara, who has spent the last 10 seasons in the Maltese Premier League in Africa.

He currently has four goals in 18 games played for Hiberians, but has also played for Floriana (1999-2003), Marsaxlokk (2003-05), Birkirkana (2005-07) and Sliema Wanderers (2007-08).

Sounders Finish Fifth At La Manga Cup II In Spain

Lamar Neagle scored the game's only goal off a Peter Vagenas corner kick as Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders finished in fifth place Thursday at the La Manga Cup II tournament in La Manga, Spain with a 1-0 victory over Norway's SK Brann.

The Sounders are now 3-1-0 in preseason play and allowed no goals scored in their last two games.

They will next face the Vancouver Whitecaps of the USSF Division II Pro League March 6 at Swangard Stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia.

SolarWorld To Be Timbers Jersey Sponsor For 2010

The Portland Timbers of the USSF Division II Pro League reached an agreement with Hillsboro, OR-based SolarWorld to become the official jersey sponsor of the team for the 2010 season.

SolarWorld is the largest solar manufacturer in America and is the first renewable energy company to be a sponsor of jerseys for a professional league franchise.

Nwourah Hat Trick Gives Midtjylland Win Over Sounders

Jude Nworuh scored a hat trick Wednesday as his FC Midtjylland team of Norway defeated the Seattle Sounders of Major League Soccer 3-1 in the second game of the 2010 La Manga Cup II tournament in La Manga, Spain.

Steve Zakuani scored the lone Sounders goal and Seattle faces Norway's SK Brann in their final game Thursday.

Rhinos Ink Midfielder, Two Defenders To Deals

The Rochester Rhinos of the USSF Division II Pro League announced the signings Wednesday of midfielder Roy Clark and defenders Rich Costanzo and Tyler Bellamy.

Clark, a native of Costa Rica, played the 2008-09 season for Club Sport Cartagines in the country's first division. In 2007-08, he played 18 games for Lower Hutt City AFC in New Zealand's first division.

From 2005 to 2007, he scored 29 goals for Club Universidad de Costa Rica, and he was also a member of the country's U19 national team.

Costanzo played 20 games for the Minnesota Thunder of the United Soccer Leagues First Division last season, scoring one goal.

He was the Big 10 Conference Freshman of the Year at Penn State in 2005, but later transferred to Maryland, where he was a member of the 2008 NCAA Men's College Cup championship team.

Bellamy completed his senior season at St. Bonaventure, scoring a goal and an assist in 18 games. In 2009, he was named a National Soccer Coaches Association of America Mid-Atlantic All-American player.

Impact Defeats Portuguese Second Division Team

In the first game of their current training camp stint in Portugal, the Montreal Impact of the USSF Division II Pro League defeated Sport Club Freamunde, a second division team in their League of Honor 5-2 Wednesday in Freamunde.

Freamunde is 6-7-7 with 25 points and in tenth place out of 16 teams in the league standings.

Scoring goals for Montreal were Roberto Brown, Felipe Soares, Pierre-Rudolph Mayard, Rocco Placentino and Reda Agourram.

The Impact next faces CD Ribeirao, a third division Portuguese team, Saturday.

Kljestan Game-Winner Helps US Beat El Salavdor

Sacha Kljestan scored a game-winning goal in the second minute of second-half injury time as the US Men's National Team, mostly made up of Major League Soccer stars, came from a goal down to defeat El Salvador 2-1 Wednesday in an international friendly at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL.

After a scoreless first half, Rudy Corrales put the lone El Salvador point on the board in the 59th minute.

Brian Ching of the Houston Dynamo headed a shot into the back of the net in the 59th minute to tie the contest before Kljestan, of Chivas USA, made the game-winner.

The US travels to Amsterdam next Wednesday to face the Netherlands in the final warmup game before US head coach Bob Bradley announces his final 23-man roster for the FIFA World Cup in June.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

US Women Open Algarve Cup Play Against Iceland

The top-ranked-in-the-world US Women's National Team opened play at the 2010 Algarve Cup tournament in Portugal with a 2-0 victory over Iceland Wednesday at Villa Real de San Antonio, Portugal.

Iceland helped the US cause with an own goal in the 60th minute by Sif Atiadottir, then, a minute later, Lori Lindsey assisted Lauren Cheney on the only true goal of the game.

The US next face Norway Friday in Olhao.

Veris Signs With The Blues

Miami FC Blues of the USSF Division II League announced the signing of defender Kyle Veris Wednesday.

He began his playing career in the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League with the Michigan Bucks before splitting collegiate playing time between Akron and Ohio State.

Drafted by the Los Angeles Galaxy in the 2006 Major League Soccer SuperDraft, he played 1,200 minutes in two seasons. He left the States in 2008 to spend a season with I.L. Hood Futbol Club before coming back in 2009 with the Puerto Rico Islanders of USSF D2.

Union Unveils Name For New Soccer-Specific Stadium

The Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer announced Wednesday their new soccer-specific stadium, currently under construction in Chester, PA, will be called PPL Park after Pennsylvania Power & Light signed an 11-year naming rights deal.

The stadium, to be open in mid-season 2010, will also host concerts, festivals and other events.

Blast To Induct Ercoli, Vaccaro Into Hall Of Fame

The Baltimore Blast of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced Tuesday forward Pat Ercoli and goalkeeper Chris Vaccaro will become the newest members inducted into the team's Hall Of Fame at a halftime ceremony March 6 during their game with La Raza de Monterrey.

Ercoli, now the general manager of the Rochester Rhinos of the USSF Division II Pro League, was a member of the original Blast franchise in the MISL from 1981 to 1985.

He was the second-leading goal scorer (34) and fourth-leading point scorer (49) on the 1983-84 MISL Championship team.

Ercoli is ninth in all-time team scoring with 176 point and tied for fifth in postseason scoring all-time at 43.

During the 1984-85 postseason, he led the league in goals with 16.

Vaccaro has two stints with the Blast (1980-81 and 1991-92 seasons) and five with the Baltimore Spirit of the National Professional Soccer League (1992-97).

He was the NPSL's Goalkeeper of the Year in 1993, as well as a First Team All-League selection that season, and a Second Team All-League pick in 1994.

Vaccaro also represented the Spirit in the 1993 and 1994 NPSL All-Star Games.

Vaccaro now serves as women's assistant coach and goalkeeper trainer for Stockton State College in New Jersey and is the head of goalkeeping for the state's Olympic Development Program.

MLS, WPS DC Teams To Hold Doubleheader

The DC Sports & Entertainment Commission announced plans Tuesday for Major League Soccer's DC United and the Washngton Freedom of Women's Professional Soccer to hold a soccer doubleheader May 1 at RFK Stadium.

In the opening game at 4 p.m. local time, United will face the New York Red Bulls, followed by the nightcap of the Freedom taking on the St. Louis Athletica.

Timbers Sign Former USMNT G Adin Brown

Former US National Team goalkeeper Adin Brown, who joined in 1998 and was the starting goalkeeper on the 2000 Olympics roster, returned to the States Tuesday to sign a new contract with the Portland Timbers of the USSF Division II Pro League.

Drafted in the third round of the 2000 Major League Soccer SuperDraft by the Colorado Rapids, where he played until 2001, he also played for the Tampa Bay Mutiny (2001) and the New England Revolution (2002-04).

He then spent the next five seasons at Norway's Aalesund FK, where he had 396 saves and a 1.73 goals against average.

Dynamo Defeats UCF Knights At ESPN's Wide World Of Sports

Dominic Oduro had a hat trick and trialist Navion Boyd started the scoring for Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo in a 4-1 victory over the University of Central Florida Knights of Conference USA Tuesday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Lake Buena Vista, FL.

Kevin George led UCF to their only goal.

The game was a final warmup before playing in the inaugural four-team Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic featuring the Dynamo, the New York Red Bulls, FC Dallas and Toronto FC.

Thursday, Houston opens play against the Red Bulls and Toronto faces FC Dallas, with the losers facing off Saturday afternoon and the winners playing for the championship that night.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Revolution Lose Preseason Opener In Orlando To FCD

The New England Revolution opened their 2010 Major League Soccer preseason slate Tuesday with a 2-0 loss to FC Dallas at ESPN's Wide World Of Sports complex in Lake Buena Vista, FL.

Atiba Harris and Martin Chavez scored goals for FC Dallas.

Wizards Not Renewing Contract Of Lopez; Traded Gil's Rights To RSL

Major League Soccer's Kansas City Wizards announced Tuesday they would not renew the contract of midfielder Claudio Lopez, who will leave the franchise after becoming their first Designated Player.

Lopez had 13 goals and 14 assists over those seasons.

Also, the team Tuesday traded their rights to US U-17 midfielder Luis Gil to defending MLS champion Real Salt Lake in return for an international roster spot, a 2011 second-round SuperDraft pick and 25 percent of any transfer fee, should a club outside MLS purchase his rights in the future.

Kansas City won the rights to Gil Monday in a weighted player lottery.

Lady Blues Retain Goalkeeper McNulty, Midfielder Koning

The Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues, defending regular season champion of the United Soccer Leagues W-League, announced Tuesday the re-signings of goalkeepers Erin McNulty and midfielder Mercede Koning.

McNulty played in 11 games last season for the Lady Blues and had a 0.40 goals against average, including three shutouts. She started all 25 games for Florida State in 2009, leading them to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Women's College Cup and finishing the season with a 0.88 GAA.

McNulty also has experience on Canada's youth national teams.

Koning played all 24 games for Brigham Young University last season and led them to the second round of the NCAA Women's College Cup.

USL2 Champ Kickers Welcome Youth Star; Re-Sign Mackenzie, Sign Villanueva

The defending United Soccer Leagues Second Division champion Richmond Kickers announced the signing Tuesday of youth academy star Roger Bothe, the re-signing of midfielder Ross Mackenzie and the signing of midfielder Jonathan Villanueva.

Bothe spent seven years in their system and played 22 times over three seasons for the Richmond Kickers Futures in the USL Premier Development League. He played collegiately at William & Mary and received numerous honors.

Mackenzie had one goal in 12 games with the Kickers after splitting the 2008 season with the Carolina RailHawks in USL First Division and the Wilmington Hammerheads in USL2. He is a 2006 graduate of Old Dominion University.

Villanueva joins the Kickers after leading the University of Virginia to the 2009 NCAA Men's College Cup title and won the tournament's Most Outstanding Offensive Player award. He scored nine goals and 18 assists in his career with the Cavaliers and was named to the Atlantic Coast Conference's All-Tournament Team in 2008 and the conference's All-Freshman Team in 2006.

Aztex Re-Signs Johnson, Bernard For 2010 Campaign

The Austin Aztex of the USSF Division II Pro League announced the re-signings Tuesday of forward Eddie Johnson and defender Kieron Bernard.

Johnson had five goals and four assists in 22 regular season games last season. He began his career playing on England's U16 through U20 national teams, joined Manchester United in 2001 at age 17, and also had stints with Royal Antwerp in Belgium and Coventry City in England.

Bernard was an original member of the Aztex's U23 team in the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League in 2008.

He anchored their defensive line in 2009 and started all 21 games he played.

Bernard also played for Portmore United in Jamaica's National Premier League.

He spent two seasons at San Jacinto College in Houston, TX and was named to the 2007 National Junior College Athletic Association All-America team and led the team to the semifinals of the NJCAA playoffs in 2008.

Islanders Re-Sign D Marco Velez For 2010 Season

The Puerto Rico Islanders of the USSF Division II Pro League announced the re-signing Tuesday of defender Marco Velez.

Velez joined the team late in the 2009 United Soccer Leagues First Division season after playing eight seasons with Toronto FC, becoming the first Puerto Rican-born player to play in Major League Soccer in 2001.

Wizards Win MLS Lottery For Gil, But May Trade Him Away

The Kansas City Wizards won a weighted Major Indoor Soccer lottery Monday to gain the 2010 season services of midfielder Luis Gil, a 16-year-old member of the US U-17 National Team.

Gil was named the Young Male Player of the Year by the US Soccer Federation in 2009.

Reports are, though, the Wizards will try to trade him to one of the league's West Coast-based teams, so he can be closer to his family in California.

Revolution Gain Desire To Sign Desire

Major League Soccer's New England Revolution, in Orlando, FL for the latest round of training camp, announced Monday they have signed midfielder Niouky Desire, a native of Senegal, to a contract and he will fill one of the team's eight international spots on their 2010 roster.

He has spent the past eight seasons playing in Dakar, the country's capital -- first for ASC Diaraf for four seasons, then another four seasons with Port Autonome.

Fire To Face CD Guadalajara Thursday In Closed Scrimmage; Cut Two Players

Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire announced Monday they will play 11-time Mexican Primera Division champion Chivas de Guadalajara in a closed scrimmage Thursday in Guadalajara, Mexico as part of a training camp stint that began Monday and ends March 7.

The Fire also announced the releases of defenders Austin Washington and Daniel Woolard.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Former MI Bucks Midfielder Now A City Islander

Midfielder Nate Jaqua signed a contract Monday to join the United Soccer Leagues Second Division's Harrisburg City Islanders for the 2010 season.

Jaqua, who also played in Major League Soccer for the Los Angeles Galaxy, among others, spent the 2006 to 2008 seasons with the Michigan Bucks of the USL Premier Development League.

In 2006, he led the league in assists with 11, then finished second in the same category the next seasons with ten.

He was also a three-time consecutive member of the league's Top XI team.

Miami FC Welcomes Rodrigues Home, Re-Signs Goldberg

Miami FC Blues of the USSF Division II Pro League announced Monday former 2006 first round United Soccer Leagues First Division draft pick, defender JP Rodrigues, has returned to the team, and they have also re-signed midfielder Jarryd Goldberg.

Rodrigues played a total of 57 games over the 2007 and 2008 season teams and had one goal in 4,500 minutes played. He also has appeared nine times for the national team of his native Guyana.

Goldberg played in 1,730 minutes over 25 games last season.

USMNT Names Final Roster For El Salvador Game Wednesday

US Men's National Team head coach Bob Bradley announced his 20-man roster Saturday for their next international friendly match, to be played Wednesday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa against El Salvador.

The roster is made up mostly of Major League Soccer stars, except for defender Clarence Goodson, who Bradley called up last Wednesday from Norway's IK Start.

Goodson scored the USMNT's only goal in a 3-1 season-opening loss to Honduras January 23 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

Here is the final roster for Wednesday's game, listed by position and current team:

GOALKEEPERS
Troy Perkins - DC United
Nick Rimando - Real Salt Lake

DEFENDERS
Jonathan Bornstein - Chivas USA
Clarence Goodson - IK Start (Norway)
Chad Marshall - Columbus Crew
Heath Pierce - FC Dallas
Marvell Wynne - Toronto FC

MIDFIELDERS
Kyle Beckerman - Real Salt Lake
Geoff Cameron - Houston Dynamo
Brad Davis - Houston Dynamo
Brad Evans - Seattle Sounders
Eddie Gaven - Columbus Crew
Sacha Kljestan - Chivas USA
Dax McCarty - FC Dallas
Chris Pontius - DC United
Robbie Rogers - Columbus Crew

FORWARDS
Conor Casey - Colorado Rapids
Brian Ching - Houston Dynamo
Jeff Cunningham - FC Dallas
Robbie Findley - Real Salt Lake

PDL's Sockers Affiliate Themselves With Aztex; Three Players Re-Signed

The West Texas Sockers, in its second season in the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League, announced an affiliation deal Monday with the Austin Aztex of the USSF Division II Pro League for the 2010 season, giving the Aztex access to their players.

The deal had been in the works since talks began between the teams began in November at the USL Annual General Meeting, but was formally announced today.

The Aztex are also an affiliate of Stoke City in the Barclays Premier League in England.

The Sockers also announced the re-signing of three players from last season's inaugural roster -- goalkeeper Leif Craddock, defender Raul Franco and midfielder Wally Valdivia.

Craddock was named the team's Most Valuable Player by the players in 2009 and was a Second Team All-Conference selection.

Among goalkeepers in the PDL, he was tied for fourth in games played (four), was sixth in saves (75), was eighth in minutes played (1,347) and tied for eighth in wins (seven).

Franco had one goal in 15 regular season games last season and started in both playoff games.

Valdivia had two goals in 13 regular season games last season.

AC St. Louis Signs Fifth Native Son To Roster

Midfielder Luke Kreamalmeyer became the fifth player from the local area to sign a contract Monday to play for AC St. Louis of the USSF Division II Pro League.

He joins fellow comrades Steve Ralston, Tim Velten, Zack Bauer and Jack Traynor on the roster.

Kreamalmeyer spent the last four seasons in the United Soccer Leagues First Division with the Carolina RailHawks (four goals, one assist in 30 regular season games in 2009), the Rochester Rhinos (four goals, nine assists in 30 regular season games in 2008) and the Portland Timbers (nine goals over the 2006 and 2007 seasons).

A two-time All-Missouri Valley Conference First Team member in his junior and senior seasons, he had 26 goals and 20 assists from 2001 to 2004 at Bradley University, and was drafted 37th overall in the 2005 Major League Soccer SuperDraft by Real Salt Lake.

Blast's Sagu Named MISL POW After Shutout Victory

Goalkeeper Sagu of the Baltimore Blast was named Monday the Major Indoor Soccer League's Player of the Week after leading his team to a 9-0 shutout victory over the Rockford Rampage Sunday at the Rockford MetroCentre by stopping all 16 shots he faced.

It was Sagu's fifth win of the season, tying him for second among goalkeepers this season, as well as the third shutout of his career, the second in Blast history, and the first on the losing side for the Rampage.

He is third in the MISL in points per average at 9.63 and has a 4.41 goals against average.

Sockers Stunned By Tijuana; Still Can Clinch PASL Western Division Title

Anthony Medina had a hat trick and Dan Antoniuk, Paul Wright and Diego Rovira added goals but the San Diego Sockers lost their second straight Professional Arena Soccer League game in a row for the first time this season Friday to expansion hopeful Revolucion Tijuana 9-6 in Mexico.

The Sockers have the best record in the league at 11-3 and are one win away from clinching their first-ever PASL Western Division title. They will also host the league's championship tournament next month at Del Mar Arena.

San Diego has two games left on their schedule, both at home -- this Friday against Tijuana in a rematch, and this Saturday against the Edmonton Drillers of the Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League.

Vortex Defender Pertz To Try Out For USL2's Richmond Kickers

The expansion Ohio Vortex of the Professional Arena Soccer League announced Sunday defender Michael Pertz will join 100 other participants from 18 countries in a tryout this weekend to possibly join the defending United Soccer Leagues Second Division champion Richmond Kickers.

Pertz played collegiately at the University of Akron, Mount Vernon University in Ohio, and California's Azusa Pacific University.

MLSPU Head Says Work Stoppage Could Happen

A day after Major League Soccer president Mark Abbott stated the league could start the upcoming 2010 season under the terms of an expired collective bargaining agreement, Bob Foose, executive director of the league's Players Union, told The Associated Press in an e-mail the league has never been serious in negotiations on signing a new deal.

The league and its union signed their first collective bargaining agreement in 2004 and that deal expired on January 31, 2010, but was extended to February 12 as talks began and was then extended again to February 25 when a meeting in Washington, DC was postponed due to a major snowstorm which affected the northeast region of the country.

Talks will resume Monday but, if a new deal isn't reached by Thursday, the league could face its first work stoppage in history.

Saturday, many members of the Players Union stated little progress has been made on a new deal with the league, though Abbott said league owners had proposed increasing players salaries overall by $60 million under a new five-year deal during a round of talks held Wednesday.

Foose countered those claims in the e-mail by saying MLS' plan would slow salary growth from 5.9 percent to 4.8 percent annually and from 33 percent to 26 percent during the overall length of the deal.

The union's main contention is players want more freedom of movement within the league and want to see more players signed to guaranteed contracts.

MLS, which has always operated as a single-entity, signs players to contracts with the league and are then awarded to member teams.

"(MLS) has made significant proposals in the areas of economic, guaranteed contracts, options and the operation of the right-of-first-refusal that teams have," said Abbott. "These changes, these proposales that we made, represent significant changes from the current CBA."

"If the players choose to strike, it won't be because the league hasn't made significant proposals. It will be because the players continue to insist on changes in our system that we simply can't make."

Foose said if the changes they request aren't made, "more and more quality players who should be playing in MLS will not be doing so."

He said, "It will also be a shame if the league's refusal to improve its system results in a work stoppage."

Abbott discounted talk of a work stoppage and said "we will not make changes that threaten our ability to grow the league in the long run and to have a sustainable and viable league."

Express Defends PASL Eastern Division Title

For the second straight season, the 1790 Cincinnati Express have clamed the Professional Arena Soccer League's Eastern Division title Saturday after beating the St. Louis Illusion 5-3 at The Game Arena in Glen Carbon, IL.

The Express lost to the California Cougars, the defending Western Division champion, in last season's championship tournament, held at the Stockton Arena in Stockton, CA.

Once again, Cincinnati will join the six-team field for the PASL title, including the league's Western Division champion and a wild card entrant, and the champions of two other leagues -- the Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League and Mexico's Rapid Football League (LMFR).

Ljungberg Assists On Goals As Sounders Win At La Manga Cup II

After being shut out Thursday in their first game at the 2010 La Manga Cup II tournament in La Manga, Spain 3-0 by three-time Norwegian champion and tournament winner Rosenborg BK, Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders rebounded and defeated another Norwegian team, Stabaek IF 2-0.

Freddie Ljungberg assisted on first half goals spread out over 12 minutes by Fredy Montero and Roger Levesque in the victory.

The Sounders' next game will be this Thursday against either a third team from Norway, SK Brann, or SonderjyskE of Denmark, who face off against each other Monday.

Wave's Swift "Kixx-s" Help To Regain Top Spot In Standings

Travis McKenzie had a pair of two-point goals and an assist and Joe Hammes scored a game-winning three-point play in the third quarter as the Milwaukee Wave regained the lead in the Major Indoor Soccer League standings after edging the Philadelphia Kixx 15-10 Sunday at US Cellular Arena.

Nine Wave players contributed to the cause, improving their record to 9-6 and putting them a half-game ahead of La Raza de Monterrey (9-7), who is off this coming weekend.

Aduato Neto led the Kixx, who had their two-game winning streak snapped with the loss, with two two-point goals.

Philadelphia (5-7, three games behind Milwaukee in fifth place) takes on the Baltimore Blast next Sunday at First Mariner Arena in Baltimore.

Milwaukee travels to the Rockford MetroCentre on that same day to tangle with the Rockford Rampage, now on a five-game losing streak.

Blast Hand Rampage First Shutout Loss In Team History

Billy Nelson fired off a three-point goal and Rod Dyachenko, Robbie Aristodemo and Machel Millwood added scores as the Baltimore Blast handed the Rockford Rampage a 9-0 shutout loss at the MetroCentre Sunday in Major Indoor Soccer League action.

It was Rockford's first shutout loss in the team's history, going back to the American Indoor Soccer League and the National Indoor Soccer League before joining the MISL, and extended the Rampage's current losing streak to five games.

Baltimore is now even at 7-7 on the season and are 1 1/2 games behind the league-leading Milwaukee Wave (9-6) in the standings. The Blast will host the Philadelphia Kixx next Sunday at First Mariner Arena.

Rockford, now 6-9 and three games behind the Wave in the five-team league, hosts Milwaukee next Sunday.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Jones Leads Whitecaps To 2-1 Win Over MLS Champs

Marlon Jones scored both goals as the Vancouver Whitecaps of the USSF Division II League got past the defending Major League Soccer champion Real Salt Lake 2-1 Saturday as the Whitecaps ended their current phase of preseason training in Casa Grande, AZ.

The Whitecaps return home Sunday and have all next week off before resuming training next Monday ahead of a March 6 friendly against MLS' Seattle Sounders at Swangard Stadium.

MLS President Tells AP League Can Begin Season Under Old CBA

In a last-ditch attempt to avoid the league's first work stoppage on any kind, Major League Soccer president Mark Abbott told The Associated Press he could see the 2010 season taking place under the policies of a collective bargaining agreement that expired January 31.

The current five-year-long deal was extended due to good faith negotiations of the league and its players union to February 12, and then extended again to February 25, after a scheduled meeting in Washington, DC were cancelled due to a major winter snowstorm in the area.

Abbott says the two sides return to the bargaining table Monday in DC.

Vortex Gets First Road Win Of Season Over Waza

In the highest-scoring Professional Arena Soccer League game in its two seasons of existence, Allen Eller had six goals and an assist to lead the expansion Ohio Vortex to a 14-12 victory over the Detroit Waza Saturday at Total Soccer Royal Oak.

It was the second time this season Eller has had a double hat trick and he ties a league record for most goal in a PASL game.

Fernando Gatica led the Waza with five goals and three assists.

The Vortex, last in the Eastern Division, are at the expansion Louisville Lightning Thursday. Detroit, meanwhile, takes on the 1790 Cincinnati Express in Fairfield, KY next Saturday.

D'Ambra's Return As Player-Coach Leads Kixx To Victory

Player-coach Don D'Ambra, returning to the dual role for the Philadelphia Kixx, hit a game-winning three-point goal on a sixth attacker situation as they edged La Raza de Monterrey 18-17 Saturday in Major Indoor Soccer League play from the Liacouras Center at Temple University.

His goal was part of a 10-point fourth quarter that started with midfielder Ptah Myers, named this week as the new men's soccer coach at Philadelphia University, scored his 150th career goal.

The Kixx have now won four of their last five games.

With the win, Philadelphia (5-6) is tied with the Baltimore Blast (6-7) for third place in the five-team league, 1 1/2 games behind La Raza (9-7) and the Milwaukee Wave (8-6), tied for the league lead.

The Kixx will travel to the Wave Sunday at US Cellular Arena while La Raza takes on the Blast at First Mariner Arena March 6.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Chivas USA Wins Two Games Over NPSL Team

Major League Soccer's Chivas USA swept a pair of 60-minute scrimmages with San Diego Boca FC of the amateur National Premier Soccer League by scores of 5-1 and 3-0 Saturday at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

In the first game, Mariano Trujillo assisted on four of the goals while, in the second game, Chukwandi Chijindu led the team with a goal and an assist.

Chivas now has Sunday off, but travel to Phoenix for a week of training. They will face league competition next week -- the Kansas City Wizards on Wednesday and the Columbus Crew on Saturday.

Lightning Defeat Express Before Record Crowd For First Time Ever

The expansion Louisville Lightning defeated the defending Professional Arena Soccer League Eastern Division champion 1790 Cincinnati Express 8-5 Friday before a record crowd of 1,547 at Mockingbird Valley Soccer Club in Louisville, KY for the first time this season.

The Express retain the top spot in the division at 10-3 and travel to the St. Louis Illusion Saturday.

The Lightning, in second place at 9-5, are now off until this Friday, when they host the Ohio Vortex, another expansion team this season.

MLS President Fires Back At Players Union Members Complaints

With the threat of the first-ever work stoppage in Major League Soccer history coming this Thursday unless a new collective bargaining agreement is reached before then, MLS president Mark Abbott blasted comments by members of the MLS Players Union saying the league is not willing address issues toward reaching a new deal, according to SoccerByIves.net.

Abbott said the players union has been "mis-characterizing the scope, extent and seriousness of the proposals the league has made."

"We can't compel (the players union) to accept those proposals, we can't compel them to appreciate those proposals but I can tell you that they are significant," Abbott continued.

He said claims by players the league isn't negotiating in good faith "is a complete mis-characterization of what has happened over the past few weeks, or months for that matter."

Abbott, who stated MLS has agreed to increase spending on players by over $60 million, said "the country is going through some tough economic times, and our teams continue to have a lot of financial challenges and our owners continue to lose significant amounts of money, and we are still able to put a very, very significant economic proposal on the table."

"We've made a proposal to guarantee a significant number of (player) contracts. We've made a proposal to limit the number of options, unilateral options, the league has in player contracts."

But Abbott says one issue will not be discussed -- free agency -- stating it "is not something we think is good for the league."

The current collective bargaining agreement both sides have worked under for five years expired February 12, but talks were extended through this February 25, due to the cancellation of a meeting in Washington, DC caused by a blizzard which severely affected the Northeast.

Loaned Former Whitecap Haber Loaned Out Again

Former forward Marcus Haber of the USSF Division II's Vancouver Whitecaps, who was loaned out to West Bromwich Albion of the English Championship last month for an undisclosed fee, has been loaned out again, this time to Exeter of England's League One, according to The Province in Vancouver Friday.

Haber was the 2009 United Soccer Leagues First Division Rookie of the Year.

Union To Play FC Dallas, Rowdies In Tampa In March

Major League Soccer's expansion team, the Philadelphia Union, will head to Tampa in March for two preseason games at Pepin Stadium in Tampa, FL, it was announced Friday.

The first game will be March 14 against MLS foe FC Dallas; the second game will be March 19 against the FC Tampa Bay Rowdies of the USSF Division II League.

Impact Defeats Two University Teams In One Game

The Montreal Impact of the USSF Division II League held an interesting series of games Friday against two different Canadian universities in Broussard, Quebec, but won the match 2-1.

In the first of two 40-minute halves, Reda Agourram scored in the fifth minute for the only goal against the University of Quebec at Montreal.

In the second half against McGill University, Roberto Brown gave Montreal a 2-0 lead in the 45th minute but Jeremy Hurdle cut the lead to one in the 77th minute.

The Impact are off from training camp duty Saturday but will leave Sunday afternoon for their next phase in Portugal.

Ferdinand Hat Trick Carries Blast To Upset Of La Raza

Max Ferdinand had a hat trick and Denison Cabral, Rod Dyachenko and Jonathan Greenfield contributed goals as the host Baltimore Blast upset the Major Indoor Soccer League-leading La Raza de Monterrey 12-8 Friday at First Mariner Arena.

Shaun David, the league's reigning Player of the Week, Alejandro Morales, Jorge Duran and Victor Santibanez all scored goals for Monterrey, who now lead the league with a 9-6 record.

Baltimore improves to 6-7 and is two games behind Monterrey in third place.

Both teams play more this weekend -- La Raza travels to the Philadelphia Kixx Saturday, the Blast are at the Rockford Rampage Sunday.

Friday, February 19, 2010

MLS Season In Jeopardy As Impasse Approaches On New CBA

The 2010 season of Major League Soccer, set to begin March 25, may be in jeopardy as the league and its players union have yet to come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement to replace one that has been extended twice, the latest extension ending Thursday.

According to SoccerByIves.net, the league has refused to back down from its views on free agency and giving teams control of player personnel decision.

"We feel the league's not taking us very seriously at all. We're pretty far apart at this stage," said Houston Dynamo goalkeeper and executive committee member of the MLS Player Union.

The union wants to players not wanted by their former teams the ability to sign freely with another club as players in other professional sports have the opportunity to do.

League spokesman Will Kuhns said talks are still "ongoing" and the league is hopeful that a "mutually beneficial conclusion" can be reached.

If a new agreement isn't reached by Thursday, a player lockout by the owners or a strike by the players will be the next step and the first work stoppage either way in league history.

Red Eleven Re-Sign Six For 2010 Season

The Chicago Red Eleven of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League announced the re-signing of six players Friday -- Rachel Sloan, Julia Victor, Kelli McLaughlin, Krystin Miller, Fanta Cooper and Michele O'Brien.

Sloan was the leading scorer in her sophomore season for Marquette University and had fiev game-winning goals.

She was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Northeast Region team and became the first Marquette soccer player, male or female, to be named to the All-Big East Conference First Team.

Sloan also led the Red Eleven's team in the USL Super-20 League to a runner-up finish in the championship game and was named to the All-Tournament Team.

Victor, also at Marquette, was tied for second in scoring with three goals and eight points in her junior season and was named to the All-Big East Conference Third Team.

With the Red Eleven last season, she had two goals and two assists.

McLaughlin was the leading scorer last season for the Iowa Hawkeyes with nine goals and six assists, which tied her for fifth all-time in school history for most assists in a single season.

Miller was second on the University of Illinois Illini in minutes played last season and was the 2008 Big 10 Conference Sportsmanship Award winner.

Aztex Sign Dragavon Through 2011; Plan Two-Game Series With Dynamo

The Austin Aztex of the USSF Division II League announced Friday the signing of goalkeeper Ben Dragavon through the 2011 season.

Dragavon nearly signed with Austin in 2009 but was offered a contract to join Major League Soccer's Reserve Goalkeeper Pool and was called up by the Seattle Sounders when Chris Eylander, backup to starter Kasey Keller, went down with an injury.

Dragavon served as a backup to Eylander when he was the Sounders starter in the United Soccer Leagues First Division in 2007-08 and went 2-1-0 and gave up five goals in 316 minutes played.

The Aztex also announced they will play a two-game weekend series in March with MLS' Houston Dynamo.

The first game will be March 7 at Houston's Carl Lewis Track Stadium; the second will be March 14 at Austin's Nelson Field.

US Stars Davies, Oguchi On Mend Following Injuries

Two US Men's National Team members -- forward Charlie Davies and defender Oguchi Onyewu -- are making strides back to playing soccer following injuries.

Davies has returned to France's Sochaux of Ligue 1 five months after suffering multiple injuries in an October 2009 one-car accident that killed the passenger.

Davies suffered two broken bones in his right leg, a dislocated and broken left elbow, multiple facial lacerations, a ruptured bladder and bleeding on his brain.

In a post on Sochaux's website, Davies said he's "come on a long way" and "I'm probably a month away from being able to train regularly, and then I need a little more time to be able to get match-fit again."

He hopes to play again for Sochaux before the end of the Ligue 1 season, but chances of him being named to US team for the FIFA World Cup are dicey at best, considering how long he has been away.

Onyewu trained Thursday with his USMNT counterparts Thursday at The Home Depot Center as they prepare to face El Salvador this Wednesday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

Onyewu had surgery to repair a ruptured patella tendon in a knee caused during the US' final CONCACAF qualifying game for the World Cup October 19 against Costa Rica.

He will take part in one more training session Friday, then will stay in California to continue his rehabilitation.

Wave Call Up Two From Reserves To Fill Roster Spots

The Major Indoor Soccer League's Milwaukee Wave Friday called up two members of their Wave Reserves team -- forward Alex Megson and midfielder Pablo -- to fill holes in their roster, caused by medical issues.

Megson and Pablo have trained with the Wave this season and were instrumental in their winning of the President's Cup tournament last weekend in Madison, WI.

The two will replace Jonathan Santos, who was placed on the season-ending injured reserve list following a knee injury, and Marco Terminesi, who is on the five-game injured reserve list following an illness.

Megson played in 2009 for the Wenatchee Fire in the Professional Arena Soccer League and had a team-high 22 goals and three assists in 11 games. He then moved outdoors and led the Kitsap Pumas of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League to the Western Conference's Northwest Division title in their first season as a franchise, contributing two goals and four assists in 14 games.

During the President's Cup tournament, he scored 17 goals in three games and was 3-for-3 in penalty kicks.

Pablo, born Pablo Daniel de Silva, played for Brazil's Malwee in 2006, then was loaned to Foz de Iguaca.

He later played for a Hungarian team in the UEFA Champions League and also played on Brazil's national arena soccer team in a 2008 tournament in Mexico.

Pablo played every minute of the President's Cup tournament.

MLS Signs US U-17 Forward Luis Gill, Will Hold Lottery Monday

Major League Soccer announced Friday they have signed US U-17 National Team forward Luis Gill to a contract and will award his rights to a franchise Monday during a weighted lottery.

In 18 international games in 2009, covering 1,477 minutes, he had four goals and four assists, and was named the 2009 US Soccer Federation's Young Male Player Of The Year.

Kixx Midfielder To Become Head Coach Of Philadelphia University's Men's Soccer Team

Ptah Myers, midfielder for the Philadelphia Kixx of the Major Indoor Soccer League, was named Thursday the new head men's soccer coach at Philadelphia University.

Myers was an assistant coach last season at Villanova University.

Myers will continue to play for the Kixx while serving in his new duty.

Timbers Adding Joy To Roster

The Portland Timbers of the USSF Division II League announced Thursday they signed defender Ian Joy, who played eight seasons in Europe and two with Real Salt Lake in Major League Soccer.

He split the 2009 season between RSL and FC Ingolstadt 04 in Germany.

DC United Waives Goalkeeper Milos Kocic

Major League Soccer's DC United announced Thursday they have waived goalkeeper Milos Kocic, one of five players selected by them in the second round of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft.

Kocic played in four league games in 2009 and had a record of 1-2-1 with a 2.34 goals against average.

He also played in five of the team's six games in the 2009 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament and in three CONCACAF Champions League games.

Ex-Battery Star Spicer Heads To Rhinos

The Rochester Rhinos of the USSF Division II League announced the signing Thursday of midfielder Darren Spicer, who spent the last two seasons in the United Soccer Leagues First Division with the Charleston Battery.

He had 10 goals and five assists in 66 appearances with the Battery, covering 3,532 minutes.

A four year starter at Princeton, Spicer began his pro career by being drafted 13th overall by Chivas USA in the 2006 Major League Soccer Supplemental Draft, but played for Brinkumer SV in the Oberlig Nord.

In 2007, he spent the season with the USL1's Minnesota Thunder.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Donovan Named Player Of The Month At Everton

Forward Landon Donovan of Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy was named Thursday the Player of the Month for January by fans of Everton in the English Premier League, where he is playing under a loan agreement.

Donovan had a goal and an assist in five games last month.

Sounders Open La Manga Cup II Play In Spain With Loss

Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders lost their opening game of the 2010 La Manga Cup II in Spain Thursday 3-0 to Rosenborg BK, the reigining Norwegian champion and three-time tournament winner.

The Sounders next play Sunday afternoon against another Norwegian team, Stobak.

Crystal Palace Baltimore Replaces One Goalkeeper With Two

Crystal Palace Baltimore of the USSF Division II League announced Thursday the signings of goalkeepers Chase Harrison and Evan Bush to replace Brian Rowlands, who has retired to become assistant men's soccer coach at the University of Maryland.

Harrison spent four seasons at Virginia Tech (2002-05) and had a 1.12 goals against average in 79 career games with the Hokies.

He also played in offseasons for the West Virginia Chaos in the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League.

Drafted in the third round of the 2006 Major League Soccer Supplemental Draft by Real Salt Lake, he would eventually be loaned to the USL First Division's Virginia Beach Mariners for two games before RSL would waive him.

He played in USL1 for the Rochester Rhinos (18 games in 2007), Portland Timbers (six games in 2008) and the USL Second Division's Harrisburg City Islanders.

Bush was a three-time All-Missouri Valley Conference First Team, the 2005 MAC Newcomer of the Year and a Freshman All-America selection with the University of Akron.

He holds career conference records in wins (62), shutouts (48) and goals against average (0.60).

Bush played in the USL PDL for the Chicago Fire Premier, Cleveland Internationals and the Cape Cod Crusaders and was named to the PDL's All-Central Conference team in 2006.

He had seven appearances last season in USL1 with the Cleveland City Stars.

Somerset Medical Center To Be Presenting Sponsor For WPS' Defending Champion

Somerset Medical Center in central New Jersey was named Thursday as the presenting sponsor for the defending Women's Professional Soccer champion Sky Blue FC.

The facility will appear in logos on their game uniforms and will be the official medical providers to the franchise.

WPS Releases 2010 Season Schedule

Women's Professional Soccer unveiled the league's 2010 schedule Thursday, which has been expanded to each team plaing 24 games with the addition of the expansion Atlanta Beat and the Philadelphia Independence and the loss of the regular season champion Los Angeles Sol.

Each team will play 12 home games then play the other teams in the league either three or four times.

The regular season opens April 10-11 with four games: one on April 10 (Boston Breakers at the Washington Freedom) and three on April 11 (FC Gold Pride at St. Louis Athletica, Atlanta at Philadelphia, and defending league champion Sky Blue FC hosting the Chicago Red Stars).

The complete 2010 WPS 96-game schedule ends September 12 with Washington hosting Atlanta.

Once again, Fox Soccer Channel will air league games, beginning April 11 with the Sky Blue-Red Stars match at Rutgers University in Piscataway, NJ.

All eight teams will be featured on the channel during the first month of the season and seven of them will be shown in the last nine weeks of the regular season.

The WPS will hold their second All-Star Game presented by the US Coast Guard during the season (June 30, location yet to be announced) versus playing at season's end.

The playoffs will continue their 2009 format with the regular season champion getting a bye straight to the WPS Championship Game September 28 and the second place team earning a bye to the WPS Super Semifinal September 20. The third and fourth place teams will play a one-game playoff September 19 to determine who moves on in the playoffs.

For more on the 2010 WPS Schedule, visit www.womensprosoccer.com.

Islanders Sign Three More To Contracts

The Puerto Rico Islanders of the USSF Division II League announced the signings Thursday of Chris Nurse, Richard Martinez and Junior Sandoval.

Nurse started his career with the National Conference of England, first with Stevenage Borough (2004-05), then with Moorgreen (2005-06) and Hinkley United (2006-07).

In 2008, he had stints with Tamworth, Welling United and Halesowan Town before joining the Rochester Rhinos of the United Soccer Leagues First Division in 2009, then joined AFC Telford United before signing with Puerto Rico.

Martinez played four seasons with Hofstra University and was named to the 2006 Colonial Athletic Conference All-Rookie Team in 2006, the conference's All-Second Team in 2007, the conference's All-First Team and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's All-Southeast Region in 2008, and was the conference's Defender of the Year and again made the conference All-First Team.

He also played in the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League for the Long Island Rough Riders and the Westchester Flames, and played five games for Puerto Rico's men's national team.

Sandoval, a native of Honduras, played at Georgia Perimeter College in Atlanta and was their leading scorer in 2009 with 29 points on nine goals and 11 assists. He was also named to the National Junior College Athletic Association's Region 17 First Team.

Oduro Scores Twice As Dynamo Beat San Jacinto College

Dominic Oduro scored twice and Blessing Kaku and Cam Weaver added goals as Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo defeated San Jacinto College in Texas 4-1 to improve their preseason record to 3-0, all coming against college competition.

The Dynamo previously beat Houston Baptist and Southern Methodist University.

The team heads to Orlando next week to continue preseason training and will play three games.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

USL Names Preble Director Of Communications

United Soccer Leagues announced the hiring of Jay Preble as their Director of Communications Wednesday.

Preble has spent the last 13 years in a similar capacity with the National Hockey League's Tampa Bay Lightning and has over 20 years of media experience, including stints with The Tampa Tribune and The Associated Press.

Dempsey Could Return For Fulham And USMNT

Midfielder Clint Dempsey is on course to return to play for Fulham in the English Premier League, as well as for the US Men's National Team, sooner than expected.

Dempsey, who injured his right knee in a 2-0 loss to Blackburn January 17, could also be on the roster when the USMNT begins play at the FIFA World Cup.

AC St. Louis Signs Four Players; Roster Now At 16

AC St. Louis of the USSF Division II League increased their roster for the 2010 season to 16 players with the signing Wednesday of four players -- forward Alex Titton, defenders Mark Bloom and Christian Nzinga, and midfielder Hagop Chirishian.

Titton played for EC Sao Jose in his native Brazil and had a trial with the reserve team of the English Premier League's Tottenham Hotspur FC.

Bloom had 13 goals and nine assists in his career at Berry College in Rome, GA.

Nzinga started his career with West Ham United's Academy for three seasons and has played professionally in Europe, Italy, Germany and Norway.

Christian had five goals and three assists in 16 games last season for the defending United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League champion Ventura County Fusion.

Gotsmanov Joins NSC Minnesota Stars

The NSC Minnesota Stars of the USSF Division II League announced the signing Wednesday of Andrei Gotsmanov, who played collegiately at Creighton.

In 2008, he was named the Missouri Valley Conference's Player of the Year, the Most Valuable Player of the conference tournament, which they won, and a semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy, which goes to college soccer's best male and female players.

He was drafted by Major League Soccer's New England Revolution in the second round of the 2009 SuperDraft, but chose to complete his work toward a college degree instead of turning pro.

When he graduated, the Revolution had no space on their roster for him, so Gotsmanov tried out for a team in Sweden and played for an amateur team in Nebraska before signing with the former Minnesota Thunder of the United Soccer Leagues First Division. He would play one game against the eventual USL1 champion Montreal Impact in July 2009 before suffering an injury and never played again that season.

MLS Name Lalas, Freedman To Head New Editorial Staff For Revamped Website

Major League Soccer announced Wednesday Greg Lalas and Johan Freedman have been tapped to lead a new editorial team that will be part of the revamping of the league's website as well as all 16 individual franchises' websites in early March.

Lalas will serve as the Editor In Chief and work out of New York City while Freedman will be the Managing Director and work out of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Wave Forward Terminesi May Have Brain Tumor

The Major Indoor Soccer League's Milwaukee Wave announced Wednesday forward Marco Terminesi has been placed on their injured reserve list as he undergoes an examination in his home country of Canada for a possible brain tumor.

Terminesi is the team's leading scorer and the third leading scorer in the league with 35 points in nine games. He played for the Wave last season in the defunct Xtreme Soccer League and had 52 points in 20 league games.

In a letter to teammates Monday, Terminesi said doctors told him he has a tumor on the pineal gland in the center of his brain and that they will observe him for the next six weeks, then perform an MRI to see if the tumor has changed its size or shape before doing a biopsy.

He began to show symptoms of nausea, headaches and vertigo after a January 10 game against La Raza de Monterrey. He sat out games for the Wave the next weekend, then returned to score five points on a three-point goal and a two-point goal January 23 in a 13-10 win over the Baltimore Blast, his last game with the Wave.

Terminesi, who played outdoors for the Minnesota Thunder in the United Soccer Leagues First Division last season, will be eligible to return for the Wave March 7.

Chivas Loses In Last Game On Mexican Tour

Joshua Boateng and Oscar Pelayo scored goals as the University of Guadalajara ended a tour of Mexico by Major League Soccer's Chivas USA with a 2-1 victory Tuesday in Guadalajara.

Justin Braun scored the lone Chivas goal.

The Red & White return to Los Angeles Wednesday, then ready themselves to continue training in Phoenix, where they will face the Kansas City Wizards and Columbus Crew during a week of preseason camp.

US Men's, Women's Teams Make Roster Changes

US Men's National Team head coach Bob Bradley has added defender Clarence Goodson to the roster for their match next Wednesday in Tampa's Raymond James Stadium against El Salvador in a exhibition match on the road to playing in the FIFA World Cup in June.

Goodson, now the only non-Major League Soccer player on the roster, scored the lone US goal in their 3-1 season-opening loss to Honduras January 23 at The Home Depot Center and returned to IK Start in Norway after the game.

Meanwhile, Atlanta Beat midfielder Tobin Heath has been replaced on the US Women's National Team roster by Chicago Red Stars midfielder Megan Rapinoe for their trip to the 2010 Algarve Cup tournament in Portugal.

Heath is suffering from an undisclosed illness.

Rapinoe scored four goals last season for the US women, including the lone goal in a 1-0 semifinal win against Norway that advanced the Americans to the 2009 Algarve Cup final, which they lost in penalty kicks to Sweden.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

USMNT To Announce Final World Cup Warmup Game Wednesday

The US Men's National Team will hold a press conference Wednesday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia to announce it will be the site for the team's final warm-up game before competing in the FIFA World Cup for the sixth straight time.

The game, against Turkey, will take place May 29, a few days before the US opens pool play in the World Cup against June 12 against England at Rustenburg, South Africa.

The stadium is also part of the US bid to host games for either the 2018 or 2022 World Cups.

Baton Rouge Capitals Sign Lindsay Wilson Defending Duo To Deal

Defenders Chris Williams and Joe Tait, members of the defending National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics national champion Lindsay Wilson College, will team up again, this time for the Baton Rouge Capitals of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League, as the two signed contracts Tuesday.

Williams was the Most Valuable Player of the NAIA title tournament. Tait played professionally for Hartlepool United of England's Coca-Coca Football League 1.

Red Eleven Sign Two New Players; Another Elevated To Player-AGM

The Chicago Red Eleven of the United Soccer Leagues W-League announced the signings Tuesday of Erin Jacobsen and Danielle Kot and the promotion of current player Bonnie Young to player-assistant general manager.

Jacobsen started every game in her first two seasons with the University of Wisconsin and was named to the Big 10 Conference All-Freshman and the USL All-Select Team in 2008. She also led Ohio Elite to the 2007 North American Championship of the USL Super-Y League.

Kot, from the University of Illinois, was named to the Big 10 All-Freshman Team, the Top Drawer Soccer All-Rookie Team and the Soccer Buzz All-Freshman Great Lakes Region teams, and, as a sophomore, added All-Big 10 Second, Soccer Buzz All-Great Lakes Region Second, and All-Big 10 Academic teams toher list of accomplishments.

Young currently serves as the senior girls director of coaching at the Naperville Soccer Association, working with teams U-13 and up.

She also served as an assistant coach at Monmouth University, the University of Rhode Island, West Chester (PA) United, Nether Providence Athletic Association and Villa Maria Academy.

At Penn State University, she was a two-time Defensive Most Valuable Player, All-Mid-Atlantic Region selection and All-Big 10 Conference pick.

Young scored the first hat trick in the history of Nittany Lion women's soccer as a freshman in 1998.

She was drafted 14th overall in the Women's United Soccer Association Draft in 2002 by the New York Power. Young later joined the W-League's New Jersey Wildcats in 2004 and 2005, leading them to a league title in '05.

She played last season for the two-time defending W-League champion Pali Blues and for Jersey Sky Blue in the 2008 season.

Rhinos Sign Hamilton, Kissi To Contracts

The Rochester Rhinos of the USSF Division II League announced the signings Tuesday of forward Anthony Hamilton and midfielder Isaac Kissi.

Hamilton joins the Rhinos after having eight goals and three assists for the defending United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League champion Ventura County Fusion. He was the 31st overall pick of Chivas USA in the 2007 Major League Soccer Supplemental Draft and played only seven games over two seasons with the Red & Black.

Kissi, a native of Brong-Ahafo, Ghana, was selected 42nd overall by Chivas in the recent MLS SuperDraft after three seasons at the University of Dayton. He had 15 goals and eight assists in 52 games with the Flyers, including nine goals and four assists in 16 games last season, which led to his being named the team's Most Valuable Player.

FC Dallas Shuts Out Mustangs; Heading Soon For Orlando

David Ferreira, Atiba Harris, Duke Hashimoto and Anthony Wallace scored goals to lead Major League Soccer's FC Dallas to a 4-0 victory Tuesday over Conference USA's Southern Methodist University at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX to remain undefeated in preseason play.

The team will continue to train Wednesday and Thursday at home before heading to Orlando for a 10-day stint, in which they will play five games -- two against college opponents, three versus MLS teams.

MISL Announces Rescheduled Date, Location For Kixx-Wave Game

The Major Indoor Soccer League announced Tuesday an original scheduled game February 6 between the Milwaukee Wave and the Philadelphia Kixx at the Liacouras Center at Temple University has been rescheduled for March 17 at 10:30 a.m. at Milwaukee's US Cellular Arena.

The original game was postponed due to the recent East Coast blizzard but was moved to Milwaukee because of scheduling conflicts at Liacouras Center that would not allow the game to be played before the MISL regular season ends March 21.

The Wave were already scheduled to play a School Day game that day, but it has changed from being an intrasquad scrimmage to an actual league game.

Both teams will also play their final regularly scheduled 2009-10 season finale in Milwaukee March 20.

Fire Win Presidents' Day Doubleheader In Arizona

Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire opened their 2010 preseason schedule by winning both games of a doubleheader Monday in Tempe, AZ at Arizona State University's women's soccer stadium.

In the opening game, John Thorrington's penalty kick in the 38th minute was the game-winner in a 1-0 victory over the amateur Arizona Sahuaros of the National Premier Soccer League.

In the nightcap, Collins John and Stefan Dimitrov scored two goals each as the Fire defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps of the USSF Division II League 4-1.

The Fire will return to Chicago Thursday, then leave for a stay in Guadalajara, Mexico February 22 through March 3, then head to final training camp sessions in Jackson, MS and New Orleans.

USMNT M Feilhaber Injured Ankle In Training With Denmark Team

Midfielder Benny Feilhaber, a member of the US Men's National Team, injured an ankle in training Monday with AGF Aarhus of Denmark, which is currently on winter break.

Aarhus' team doctor said Feilhaber was taken to a local hospital for X-rays and an MRI and says while the ankle looks sprained and is not a serious injury, he will not know more until test results of the scans are released Tuesday.

Feilhaber has scored one goal in 18 games this season for Aarhus.

Milwaukee Loses Santos For Season With Knee Injury

The Major Indoor Soccer League's Milwaukee Wave have lost defender Jonathan Santos for the rest of the season after completely tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in practice last Wednesday.

He will end the season with 11 points on one two-point goal, one three-point goal and six assists.

Wave head coach Keith Tozer will place Santos on the injured reserve list, but is uncertain whether we will sign some to fill his roster spot.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Foley Parts Way With Hartepool United, Will Join USSF D2's Islanders

Hartepool United of England's Coca-Cola Football League One and forward David Foley have officially parted ways, according to Sky Sports, and he will now join the Puerto Rico Islanders of the USSF Division II League.

Foley had fallen out of favor with Hartepool head coach and former Major League Soccer head coach Colin Clarke and approached sporting director Chris Turner about gaining his immediate release.

Sounders Make Roster Moves

Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders announced the completed transfer of defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, the extension of the contract on midfielder Brad Evans and the re-signing of defender Tyson Wahl.

Hurtado now is permanently attached to the Sounders after being loaned to them by Colombia's Deportivo Cali.

Evans had three goals and two assists last season and Wahl started nine games for Seattle.

Also, according to the Swiss newspaper SonntagsBlick, Seattle will reportedly sign forward Blaise Nkufo from FC Twente after Major League Soccer returns from its FIFA World Cup break.

Nkufo, a native of Zaire, has scored 109 goals in 203 games for FC Twente, but has family in Vancouver, WA.

He is set to play for Switzerland in the FIFA World Cup, then will join Seattle after MLS ends its World Cup break for group play June 11-25.

Franks Reunited With Rennie At RailHawks

Midfielder Floyd Franks signed a contract Monday with the Carolina RailHawks of the USSF Division II League, reuniting him with head coach Martin Rennie.

Rennie coached Franks in the United Soccer Leagues Second Division in 2008 with the eventual league champion Cleveland City Stars, assisting on one goal in 17 games.

Franks spent the last 2 1/2 seasons with Blockhus FC of Denmark's Second Division, where he scored four goals and 13 assists in 33 games.

The 10th overall pick in Major League Soccer's 2006 Supplemental Draft, he scored one goal -- July 19, 2007 in a 3-0 win over Toronto FC -- for the Chicago Fire.

He was a four-year starter at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, where he tallied 18 goals and 15 assists in 71 career games, 63 he started.

Franks was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team, the conference's Second Team as a sophomore, the All-C-USA First Team, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-South team as a junior, and the All-Atlantic 10 Conference First Team as a senior.

Monterrey's David Named MISL POW

After scoring nine points at home Sunday night on three two-point goals and a three-point goal in a 25-10 rout of the Baltimore Blast, La Raza de Monterrey's Shaun David was named the Major Indoor Soccer League Player of the Week Monday.

David, signed last month, has 13 points in four games this season.

Former Rhino Defender Smith Joins Timbers

The Portland Timbers of the USSF Division II League announced the signing Monday of former Rochester Rhinos defender Ross Smith, who returns to the US after playing six games in England for Ebbsfleet United FC.

In 2008, he played 15 games for the Rhinos, scoring two goals over 1,292 minutes. He led the Rhinos to the semifinals of the United Soccer Leagues First Division playoffs and was a three-time Team of the Week member during the 2009 regular season.

Smith has extensive international experience, playing for Montrose FC in Scotland (2003-04) and England's Margate FC (2004-05), Gravesend & Northfleet FC (2005-07) and Dagenham & RedBridge (2007-08).

At Gravesend & Northfleet, he was the 2006 Player of the Year and, at Dagenham & RedBridge, he led the team to the third round of the 2007-08 FA Cup tournament.

He played 75 games collegiately at the University of Rhode Island, where he led the Rams to an Atlantic 10 Conference championship title in his freshman season of 1999.

In his junior year of 2001, he was named to the All-New England Third Team and the All-Atlantic 10 Team.

He was named in his junior and senior years to the conference's All-Academic team and was team captain in his final season of 2002.

Sounders Travel To La Manga Cup Tournament In Spain

Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders will travel to La Manga, Spain to compete in the 11th annual La Manga Cup tournament and attempt to become only the second MLS team to win the event.

The New York Red Bulls were champions of this tournament in 2004.

The tournament opens Thursday when the Sounders face tough competition in three-time champion Rosenborg BK of Norway.

If Seattle wins, they will face the winner of the match between Denmark's FC Nordsjalland and Norway's Stabaek Sunday.

Streaks Extended As La Raza Hosts Blast

Shaun David led all scorers with nine points on three two-point goals and a three-point shot and Genoni Martinez accumulated eight via two three-pointers and a two-pointer as La Raza de Monterrey devastated the Baltimore Blast 25-10 in Major Indoor Soccer action Sunday at Arena Monterrey in a game that saw numerous red cards and ejections.

Armando Teran, Mark Ughy, Yotsi Martinez Olvera and Carlos Farias added standard two-point goals in the victory, which improves Monterrey's record to a league-leading 9-5 and extends their winning streak to six games.

Robbie Aristodemo led the Blast with four points on two goals, while Denison Cabral had a power play goal and Machel Millwood and Lucio Gonzaga contributed goals to the game, but the 5-7 Blast are now in a three-way tie for third place in the five-team league with the Philadelphia Kixx (4-6) and Rockford Rampage (6-8), both of whom played Sunday, as well, with the Kixx winning 8-7 at the Rockford MetroCentre.

For Baltimore, the loss was their worst since March 29, 2009, when they lost to the Rampage 19-4.

Both Monterrey and Baltimore meet again this Friday at First Mariner Arena in Baltimore.

Kixx Slip Past Rockford, Both Plus Blast In Three-Way Tie For Last

Don D'Ambra scored his first goal as the returning player-head coach with a power play effort and Ptah Myers, Aduato Neto and Pat Morris added goals as the Philadelphia Kixx edged the Rockford Rampage 8-7 Sunday in Major Indoor Soccer League play Sunday at the Rockford MetroCentre.

The 4-6 Kixx, now tied for last place in the five-team MISL with the Rampage (6-8) and the Baltimore Blast (5-7), are now 4-1 this season against Rockford.

Geison Moura had a pair of two-point goals and Matthew Stewart scored the lone three-point shot of the night.

Philadelphia has two games this coming weekend -- hosting first place La Raza de Monterrey Saturday and traveling to the Milwaukee Wave Sunday.

Rockford, meanwhile, hosts the Blast next Sunday.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Le Toux Hat Trick Leads Union Over Tar Heels In Greensboro

Sebastian Le Toux, a longtime member of the Seattle Sounders, first in the United Soccer Leagues First Division, then in Major League Soccer, had a hat trick as the expansion Philadelphia Union won their first preseason game in team history Saturday 5-0 over the North Carolina Tar Heels in Greensboro, NC.

Le Toux went unprotected by the Sounders before the MLS Expansion Draft, allowing Philadelphia to claim him.

FC Gold Pride Releases Ex-USWNT Member Chastain

FC Gold Pride of Women's Professional Soccer released former US Women's National Team forward Brandi Chastain Friday, according to the San Jose Mercury News, to make room for new acquisitions gained from the demise of the Los Angeles Sol franchise, which folded after a deal for a new owner to purchase the team fell through.

Chastain, known for her exuberant celebration when the USWNT won the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup in the US, led the team to another in 1991 and to a gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

She also played professionally in the Women's United Soccer Association with the San Jose CyberRays.

Chivas Defeats Irapuato On Mexican Tour

Maykel Galindo had two goals to lead Major League Soccer's Chivas USA to a 3-1 victory Saturday over Irapuato in Irapuato, Mexico as part of their preseason schedule.

Chivas' other goal came off an own goal by Irapuato's Ghandi Vega.

Chivas, 4-0 in preseason play, faces the University of Guadalajara Tuesday.

Riverhounds Lure Severs Away From In-State Rival

The Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the United Soccer Leagues Second Division signed former Harrisburg City Islanders star Chad Severs to a contract Thursday.

Severs began his career in the Keystone State capital in 2005 and was the USL2 Rookie of the Year with 13 goals and five assists. He also earned the first of two namings to the USL2 All-League Team.

He then played for the USL First Division's Rochester Rhinos in the 2006 and 2007 seasons, but was loaned out several times to Harrisburg and the former Wilmington Hammerheads of USL2.

In 2008, he left the States for New Zealand, joining Otago United, but came back to Harrisburg last season and scored nine goals and was named to the All-League team again.

Cougars Win First Shootout In PASL History Over Sockers

By a 2-1 score, the defending Professional Arena Soccer League champion California Cougars won the first shootout in league history in a 7-6 victory over the San Diego Sockers Saturday at Stockton Arena.

Despite the loss, Sockers star Kraig Chiles had a hat trick to increase his goals scored total this season to 30.

The Sockers, who lead the league's Western Division at 11-2, have a magic number of one to clinch the division title in their debut season. San Diego faces Premier Arena Soccer League team Revolucion Tijuana in their next two games -- at Tijuana this Friday and at Del Mar Arena February 26.

The 11-4 Cougars, in second place, host the Edmonton Drillers of the Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League, February 25.

Toronto FC Offers Trial To F Paul Dickov

Forward Paul Dickov was offered a tryout Friday with Toronto FC of Major League Soccer.

Dickov, who was released recently by Leicester City in the English Championship earlier this month, has played in England for Arsenal, Manchester City and Blackburn Rovers.

A native of Scotland, he has scored one goal in ten appearances for their national team.

Stephens Scores Two Against Alma Mater In Galaxy Win

Michael Stephens, a first round pick of the Los Angeles Galaxy in last month's Major League Soccer SuperDraft, scored two second-half goals against his alma mater, UCLA, in a 4-2 victory over the Bruins in preseason play Friday at The Home Depot Center.

FC Dallas Handles Golden Hurricanes At Pizza Hut Park

Brek Shea assisted on three goals, David Ferreira had two goals and an assist, and Bruno Guarda had a goal and an assist as Major League Soccer's FC Dallas routed the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane of Conference USA 7-1 Saturday in a preseason game at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX.

Martin Chavez and trialist Misho Fahim also added goals in the victory.

Ashley McInnes scored Tulsa's lone goal.

FC Dallas is 2-0 in preseason play and next faces another C-USA team in Southern Methodist Uniersity Tuesday.

Oduro, Weaver Deuces Lead Dynamo Over Mustangs

Dominic Oduro and Cam Weaver each scored two goals Saturday as Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo shut out the Southern Methodist University Mustangs of Conference USA 4-0, according to The Houston Chronicle.

Dynamo forward Luis Angel Landin sprained his right ankle in the victory. There was no further word on his injury.

Former Brazilian Teammates Give Earthquakes Win Over Wizards In Arizona

Former Brazilian men's national teammates Eduardo and Andre Luiz connected on the lone goal of the game as the San Jose Earthquakes shut out the Kansas City Wizards 1-0 Saturday in a Major League Soccer preseason game at The Soccer Stadium at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ.

The victory ended the Wizards' two-game preseason winning streak and the goal was the first given up by Kansas City.

The game was played in three 45-minute periods.

Fontana Leads Wave Over Rampage At Home

Marcelo Fontana assisted on a Troy Dusosky two-point goal and connected on a game-winning three-point shot as the Milwaukee Wave edged the Rockford Rampage 5-4 in Major Indoor Soccer League play Saturday at US Cellular Arena in Milwaukee.

With the victory, the Wave (8-6) are now a half-game behind La Raza de Monterrey (8-5) in the league standings.

Semir Mesanovic scored a pair of two-point goals for Rockford for their first loss to the Wave in four games. The Rampage (6-7) are now two games behind Monterrey in the table.

Milwaukee and Rockford have a common next opponent in the last-place Philadelphia Kixx (3-6; three games out of first): The Rampage host them at the MetroCentre Sunday while the Wave welcome them next Sunday.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

FC Dallas Surprisingly Releases D Aziz Ansah

Less than two months after signing him and having head coach Schellas Hyndman call him a great addition to the defensive unit, Major League Soccer's FC Dallas Saturday released defender Aziz Ansah.

Ansah played recently for his home country of Ghana and appeared nine other times for them. He had spent the last two seasons with Nigeria's Heartland and has experience playing in Belgium, Israel and Italy.

Union Finally Gets To Face Someone Other Than Themselves

After playing mostly intrasquad games, Major League Soccer's newest franchise, the Philadelphia Union, will finally line up against a real opponent Saturday when they face the University of North Carolina Tar Heels at Macpherson Stadium in Greensboro, NC.

Earthquakes To Take On Fuego Again In Preseason

Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes will meet up again with the Fresno Fuego of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League February 27 at Chukchansi Park in Fresno, CA.

Last year, also in a preseason contest, Arturo Alvarez scored twice to lead San Jose to a 6-0 victory. Ryan Johnson, Darren Huckerby, Cam Weaver and Pablo Campos provided the other goals.

Doubleheader Saturday Planned For Chicago Fire

Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire will have a busy Saturday at Arizona State University's women's soccer stadium in Tempe as they play a soccer doubleheader.

In the first, which will be closed to the public, the Fire will face the Vancouver Whitecaps of the USSF Division II League's NASL Conference. Later in the day, they will welcome fans to see them take on the Arziona Sahuaros of the amateur National Premier Soccer League.

Nyassi, Neagle Lead Sounders Over Whitecaps

Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders, behind a pair of goals by Sainey Nyassi and a third by Lamar Neagle, defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps of the USSF Division II League's NASL Conference 3-2 Thursday in a preseason match at Casa Grande, AZ.

The Sounders joined MLS from the United Soccer Leagues First Division in 2009 and the Whitecaps will join MLS in the 2011 season.

Seattle now heads to La Manga, Spain to continue their preseason schedule with three games February 18-25.

Kixx Head Coach To Become Player-Head Coach Again

Don D'Ambra of the Major Indoor Soccer League's Philadelphia Kixx announced Friday he will return to his dual role as player and head coach when they travel to the Rockford Rampage Sunday at the Rockford MetroCentre.

D'Ambra, who will be in his 16th indoor soccer season and 13th with the Kixx when he returns, retired as a player after the 2009 season and chose to devote his time to his other duties.

He is the franchise's all-time leader in points (884), goals (380), power play goals (42), game-winning goals (46), games played (436) and shots (1,560) and is one of 15 players in league history to score 1,000 points.

In 2009, D'Ambra had 64 points on 21 goals and 22 assists.

Rhinos Sign West, Kitson, Aguilar

The Rochester Rhinos of the USSF Division II's NASL Conference Friday signed defender Adam West, goalkeeper Neil Kitson and forward/midfielder Carlos Aguilar.

West spent the 2009 season in the United Soccer League's Premier Development League with the Tacoma Tide, scoring one goal in 16 games. He also appeared in 29 games over the 2007 and 2008 seasons for the USL First Division's Seattle Sounders and was on their 2007 USL1 Commissioner's Cup regular season championship team.

Kitson, a Soccer America Collegiate Most Valuable Player during three seasons at St. John's, was a third round pick of the Kansas City Wizards in the 2009 Major League Soccer SuperDraft. In his 2008 season at St. John's, he has a school record 15 shutouts and 95 saves over 2,228 minutes played and has a 0.48 goals against average.

Aguilar had six goals and seven assists last season for California-Irvine, was named to the All-Big West Conference First Team and was the conference tournament's Most Valuable Player. He transferred there from Taft College, where he scored both goals as his team won the 2007 California Collegiate State Soccer Championship.

PASL Awards North American Championship Tournament To San Diego

The Professional Arena Soccer League announced Friday the 2010 North American Champioship Tournament will be held at Del Mar Arena in Del Mar, CA, home to the returning and revived San Diego Sockers franchise.

San Diego was awarded the tournament after the 1790 Cincinnati Express, who, by virtue of having the best record in the league's debut season, earned the right to host the tournament, felt they did not have a facility adequate enough to hold the tournament.

Six teams will qualify for the tournament in 2009 -- the winners of the Eastern and Western Divisions and a wild-card entrant from PASL, the overall champion of the Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League, and two teams from Mexico -- La Raza de Guadalajara and Sidekicks de Estado de Mexico.

In the PASL's first season, the California Cougars defeated the Express 13-5 for the inaugural championship.

The Express is almost certain to gain a spot in the 2010 tournament, even though it retained an automatic berth in the event by potentially hosting it.

Add Another Local Talent For AC St. Louis

Defender Jack Traynor became the fourth locally born and raised player to sign with AC St. Louis of the NASL Conference in the USSF Division II League Friday.

Traynor joins Steve Ralston, Tim Velten and Zach Bauer as St. Louis natives on the team roster, now at 13 players.

A four-year letterman at Notre Dame, Traynor was drafted by Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls in the MLS SuperDraft.

He also played in the United Soccer Leagues First Division in Miami FC, now also in USSF2, where he had four assists in 20 games, 17 which he started.