Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Noonan Signs With Sounders

As expected, Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders signed former Columbus Crew, Colorado Rapids and New England Revolution forward Pat Noonan to a 2010 season contract Tuesday.

Noonan was released by the Rapids last Tuesday after having two goals in two combined starts in 17 games last season.

The ninth overall pick of the 2003 MLS SuperDraft from Indiana University, Noonan had 40 goals and 32 assists in 152 career league games after leading the Hoosiers to three NCAA College Cup championship games, winning it all in 1999.

Noonan played on three straight MLS Cup championship games in 2005, 2006 and 2007 with the Revolution and led the team to the 2007 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament.

In five seasons with New England, he was a two-time MLS All-Star (2004 and 2005) and tied for the Scoring Championship in 2004. He left the Revs as their third-best all-time player in career goals (37) and assists (25) in his five seasons there.

He scored one goal and assisted on two others in 2005 play on the US Men's National Team

WPS Unveils Women's Fantasy Sports Challenge

Women's Professional Soccer Tuesday launched WPS Fantasy Challenge, the first fantasy game for women's professional soccer fans.

The season-long contest allows fans to buy players for their team under a $10 million salary cap and winners earn weekly and season-ending prizes by scoring points based on how well their selections do in real games.

For more information about the fantasy league, go to www.womensprosoccer.com.

Brilla Adds Lindsey Wilson Teammates; Returns Four Others

Mississippi Brilla of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League announced Tuesday they have signed Lindsey Wilson College sophomore talents Michael Azira and Moses Aduny to 2010 season contracts.

Both played on the college's 2009 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) National Chapionship Team.

Azura was a Mid-South Conference All-Conference pick in the PDL last season, with four goals and three asssts.

Aduny, an All-American and the conference's Player Of The Year winner in 2009, had 11 goals and three assists after scoring 16 goals the previous season.

Rejoining the Brilla for the 2010 duty roster are goalkeeper Josh Pantazelos and teammates Willie Hunt and Lucas Paulini, who played last season for Tusculum College.

Hunt was the only Brilla player to play every minute of every 2009 game, finishing with a goal and an assist with the team.

Paulini had two goals and an assist and was named the USL PDL Goal Of The Week winner in 2009.

At Tusculum, Rich had a team-leading nine asssts, but one goal in the season, and Paulini had three goals in four games.

MISL Announces Rookie Of The Year And All-Rookie Team

The Major Indoor Soccer League announced Tuesday the first of their 2009-10 postseason awards with the naming of the Rookie Of The Year and the All-Rookie Team, selected by a panel of media members and MISL head coaches and general managers.

Forward Max Ferdinand of the Baltimore Blast was named to the team and also was named the league's Rookie Of The Year after scoring 35 points on 14 2-point goals and five assists.

He finished tied for third on the team in scoring and in seventh in the league in points, as well as leading the MISL in game-winning goals with four.

Ferdinand had two hat tricks during the season and scored at least a point in eight of 18 games played this season and two or more points in four other games.

For the week of December 18, he was named MISL Player of the Week.

The other members of the 2009-10 MISL All-Rookie Team are as follows:

2009-10 MISL ALL-ROOKIE TEAM

F - Rod Dyachenko, Baltimore Blast
- Had 19 points in 18 games this season on six goals and seven assists
- Scored 17 of thise points in final eight games of season

M - Andre Berenzen, Rockford Rampage
- Had eight points on three goals and two assists in 13 games last season

D - Angel Hernandez, La RaZa de Monterrey
- Had nine points this season on threeg goals and two assists in 19 games

D - Angel Garcia, La RaZa de Monterrey
- Had eight points this season in 17 games on three goals and two assists

Earthquakes Sign Former Fire Goalie Jon Busch

After being surprisingly cut prior to the start of the 2010 Major League Soccer season, 2008 league Goalkeeper of the Year Jon Busch found a new home Tuesday with the San Jose Earthquakes.

Busch played the last four seasons, including every minute of every game in the 2008 and 2009 seasons, for the Chicago Fire and had 21 shutouts in 63 career appearances with that team.

Busch won the 2008 honor, as well as the Fire's Most Valuable Player award, after earning a team-record-tying 10 shutouts that season.

He led the University of North Carolina-Charlotte to the semifinals of the 1996 NCAA Men's College Cup tournament over his four seasons there before playing in the A-League (formerly United Soccer Leagues First Division), where he was named the league's Goalkeeper of the Year and a First Team league selection in 2001.

In 2002, he moved to MLS with the Chicago Fire and started 83 of 84 career games, won 25 games and had 25 shutouts.

His current career record in MLS is 60-43-42 with 46 shutouts.

Busch also played once for the US Men's National Team in 2005 in a 3-0 victory over Colombia. He dressed for a 2009 game with Sweden but was never used.

Thorrington To Ride Fire Bench For Another Week

After missing their 2010 Major League Soccer season-opening game last Saturday at the New York Red Bulls, Chicago Fire midfielder John Thorrington announced Tuesday he may miss this week's road game against the Colorado Rapids due to a quadricep injury suffered in the preseason.

Thorrington said he would like to be able to return to the team April 10 when they open the home season at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL against the San Jose Earthquakes.

Revolution To Play Brazilian Team During World Cup Break

Major League Soccer's New England Revolution will host Cruziero of Brazil in an exhibition game June 13 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA as part of the team's and league's two-week break for the group phase of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, the team announced Tuesday.

The city will be part of a three-game US tour for Cruziero, currently playing in the group phase of the Copa Libertadores tournament.

Cruziero reportedly will begin the tour in Miami June 10 against the Haitian National Team, come to New England three days later, and end with a game in New Jersey, if possible.

Wizards To Find Way To Bring Chhetri Onto Roster

Major League Soccer's Kansas City Wizards are going to have to do a little magic tricks to allow recently-signed forward Sunil Chhetri, the first Indian-born player to join MLS, to be on the team.

The Wizards announced Tuesday Chhetri had received his P-1 work visa and International Transfer Certificate, allowing him the ability to now work in the US, but the team has 11 international players on their roster and only 10 spots on the roster to accommodate them.

Kansas City officials say they are looking to secure green cards for some of the international players to free up space on that part of the league-mandated 24-player roster, but must also cut a player, as they are now at 25 players.

The Wizards have yet to sign two picks from the 2010 MLS SuperDraft -- Korede Aiyegbusi and Mauro Fuzetti -- so their statuses could depend on what the team chooses to do.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

MLS Dynamo, PDL Heat To Meet In Corpus Christi June 10

Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo and the Laredo Heat of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League will play an exhibition game June 10, the night before the 2010 FIFA World Cup begins in South Africa, at Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi, TX, it was announced Tuesday.

It will be the first time the Dynamo ever played in Corpus Christi and, for the stadium, used for Texas League baseball games, it will be the first soccer games played there.

The Heat have won three of the last five PDL Mid-South Division championship titles and were champions of the league in 2007.

Red Bulls Sign Williams To Extenesion

Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls announced Tuesday they have signed assistant coach Richie Williams to a contract extension.

It will be his fifth year with the franchise as an assistant coach.

Williams, who was a former Red Bulls player, served twice as the team's interim head coach.

From June 27 to August 12, 2006, he coached the team for eight MLS regular season games and one in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup after Mo Johnston was fired. The Red Bulls finished the campaign, 4-3-2.

His second stint began August 21 and continued through the end of the season after Juan Carlos Osorio resigned to become head coach of MLS' Chicago Fire. That team went 3-3-2 over eight games.

Forest City London Retains Pereira

Forest City London of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League re-signed midfielder Michael Pereira, captain of last year's inaugural team, Tuesday.

A Canadian native, he played on numerous age level teams.

He plays collegiately at Providence and led them to a berth last season in a Big East Conference men's soccer tournament, where they lost to St. John's.

Pereira was called in January 2010 to a training session to select the next men's Canadian Olympic Team.

Mariners Name Knight As PDL Team Head Coach

The Abbotsford Mariners of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League announced the hiring Tuesday of Ian Knight as the team's head coach, effective Friday.

Among his career accomplishments, Knight served as head coach of the Mariners' USL Super-Y League team and was head coach of youth development at Grimsby Town. Knight also played on England's U-21 national team.

Ex-Wizards D Watson Signs Two-Year Deal With Aztex

The USSF Division 2 Pro League's Austin Aztex announced the signing to a two-year deal of former Kansas City Wizards defender Lance Watson Tuesday.

In four seaasons with the Major League Soccer club, he started 29 of 43 games and had his best season in 2008, when he started 19 games and assisted on their lone goal in a 1-1 draw to DC United.

He also played on the team's Reserve Division squad and, in 2007, was the only player to play every minute of every game that season, scoring three goals and two assists.

A 2006 second round MLS SuperDraft pick from the University of New Mexico, he had 22 goals and 22 assists in four seasons for the Lobos, finishing sixth all-time in points and goals and second all-time in assists.

Dallas' Davies Has Surgery On Broken Right Arm, Out 6-8 Weeks

FC Dallas defender Kyle Davies underwent surgery to repair a fractured ulna and a dislocated radius in his broken arm Tuesday and will miss six to eight weeks for the Major League Soccer franchise.

Davies collided with Houston Dynamo forward Dominic Oduro in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX.

MLS Confirms MLS Cup 2010 To Be In Toronto

Major League Soccer commissioner made the news official Tuesday: MLS Cup 2010, the league's championship game, will be played November 21 at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time from BMO Field in Toronto, making the championship game the league's first one not held in the US.

The game will air live on ESPN and Telefutura.

Union Release First Player After First Game

Major League Soccer's expansion Philadelphia Union, who made their league debut last Thursday in a loss to the Seattle Sounders, released their first player Tuesday in midfielder Dave Myrie.

The Costa Rican native, acquired from the Chicago Fire in the 2009 MLS Expansion Draft, played 25 minutes in the loss at Qwest Field.

Impact End Preseason With Victory Over Wake Forest

Reda Agourram and Roberto Brown scored goals as the USSF Division 2 Pro League's Montreal Impact ended their 2010 preseason with a 2-0 win Monday over the Wake Forest University Demon Deacons.

The game, originally scheduled for WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC, was moved to Smith Park in Greensboro, NC due to heavy flooding, which made the field unplayable.

The Impact end their 2010 preseason with a record of 3-2-3.

Earthquakes' Doyle Diligent In Wanting Busch

San Jose Earthquakes general manager John Doyle said Monday he is working on a deal to get former 2008 Major League Soccer Goalkeeper of the Year Jon Busch, who was surprisingly cut last week by the Chicago Fire, signed as a backup to starter Joe Cannon.

The Earthquakes began the season with an extra slot open on their 24-man roster and intend to offer it to Busch.

Sports Business Journal: Man U May Be MLS All-Star Game Opponent

Sports Business Journal reported Monday Soccer United Marketing, the marketing and commetcial arm of Major League Soccer, is currently working with CAA Sports on putting together a four-city US tour for English Premier League power Manchester United that would include competing against Major League Soccer's all stars this year in Houston's Reliant Stadium.

The league has not announced the date for the MLS All-Star Game.

Manchester United would also play exhibition games in Boston, Philadelphia and Toronto.

La Raza Sweeps Blast To Face Wave In MISL Championship Game

Victor Quiroz scored the game- and series-winning goal in the sixth minute of overtime as La Raza de Monterrey defeated the Baltimore Blast 10-8 in the second game of the Major Indoor Soccer League playoff semifinal series Monday at First Mariner Arena and will face the regular season champion Milwaukee Wave Sunday at the Associated Bank MISL Championship Game presented by The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Alejandro Moreno scored a pair of two-point goals to lead Monterrey in the game with Byron Alvarez and Carlos Farias also scoring goals.

For Baltimore, Machel Millwood had a deuce and Max Ferdinand and Guiliano Celenza forced the overtime period by knotting the game score at 8-8 after regulation time.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Rhinos Add Francks, Motagalvan And Hoxie To Roster

The Rochester Rhinos of the USSF Division 2 Pro League announced the signings Monday of midfielders Jamie Franks and Alfonso Motagalvan and forward Andrew Hoxie.

Franks spilt time in 2009 with the Wilmington Hammerheads in the United Soccer Leagues Second Division and the First Division's Charleston Battery.

He has one goal in 17 games at Wilmington and no goals in two appearances with the Battery.

A fourth-round pick of Chivas USA in the 2009 Major League Soccer SuperDraft, he was a member of Wake Forest's 2007 NCAA Men's College Cup national champions.

He also played in the USL PDL for the Ocean City Barons and the Carolina Dynamo.

Motagalvan assisted on one goal in 12 appearances with the defending USL PDL national champion Ventura County Fusion.

He played 81 games in his college career with the University of California-Santa Barbara and was an All-Big West Conference and All-Far West pick in 2009.

Hoxie, a graduate of William & Mary, was named the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year last season after scoring 91 points on 35 goals and 21 assists.

A third-round pick of the San Jose Earthquakes in the 2010 SuperDraft, Hoxie scored two goals and an assist during the recent MLS Combine.

Hoxie also spent time away from college with the PDL's Virginia Legacy, where he played in 48 total games.

Lady Eagles Keep Lyle, Whitehead In The Nest

The Charlotte Lady Eagles of the United Soccer Leagues W-League announced the re-signing of defender Shelley Lyle and goalkeeper Alyssa Whitehead Monday.

Lyle is a graduate of the University of Florida.

Whitehead led the nation in goals against average (0.31) and was third in the nation in save percentage (0.91%) at Samford University. She faced 169 shots last season and allowed six goals.

Brodigan Becomes Head Coach Of Spokane Spiders

The Spokane Spiders of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League announced Monday they have named veteran defender and coach Bernard Brodigan to their head coaching position.

Brodigan played for several leagues including USL First Division (Montreal Impact), Second Division (Everett Bigfoot) and PDL (Colorado Comets), the Pacific Coast Soccer League (Seattle Storm, Skagit Valley Rapids), World Indoor Soccer League (Utah Freezz, Houston Hotshots) and the Continental Indoor Soccer League (Dallas Sidekicks), as well as in Japan (Avispa Fukuoka in J-League Second Division).

He began his coaching career as an assistant with the Texas Spurs in 2004 and finished the season 10-7-1.

Brodigan became the first head coach of the Premier Arena Soccer League's Texas Thunder. The franchise won a conference title and Brodigan was named head coach of the Eastern Conference team for their All-Star Game that season.

In 2004, he was head coach of the DFW Tornados in the USL PDL, finishing the season 14-4-0 and losing 4-2 to the Central Florida Kraze in the Southern Conference semifinals. The Tornados also went 1-1-0 in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament.

Watson Tie-Breaker Helps Aztex Cool Off Heat

A second-half stoppage time goal by Jamie Watson led the Austin Aztex of the USSF Division 2 Pro League to a 2-1 victory Sunday against the Laredo Heat of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League.

Juan de Dios Ibarra scored Laredo's only goal in the 41st minute off a penalty kick, but Danny Santius tied the game for Austin in the 83rd minute before Watson's game-winner.

Islanders To Take On Barracudas In Antiqua And Barbuda April 10

The Puerto Rico Islanders of the USSF Division 2 Pro League announced Monday they will play Barracuda FC, a team made up mostly of members from the Antigua and Barbuda men's national team, in an exhibition April 10 in Antigua.

Barracuda FC, formed in 2008, is looking to join a professional league for the 2011 season.

Stars Win Two Preseason Games In Minnesota

After losing 2-0 to the U-18 team from Shattuck-St. Mary's Friday, the NSC Minnesota Stars of the USSF Division 2 Pro League won a pair of exhibition games Saturday at Parade Stadium in Minneapolis, MN.

In the first game, a regulation 90-minute contest, Neil Hravty, Lei Lei Gao and Lee Kouadio-Tobey scored to led the Stars to a 3-0 win over Marquette University's Golden Eagles.

In the second game, a 70-minute version played with most trialists, Kouadio-Tobey had two goals and Lucas Rodriguez and Leon Abravanel added one each in a 4-0 win over local amateur team St. Paul Twin Stars.

Rowdies Beat UCF Knights To Go 2-0 In Preseason

Takuya Yamada, Yendry Diaz and Aaron King scored goals as the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the USSF Division II Pro League won their second straight preseason game with a 3-0 victory over the University of Central Florida Knights men's team Friday.

Former Midfielder Noonan On Trial At Sounders

Midfielder Pat Noonan, who played in Major League Soccer for the New England Revolution, Columbus Crew and Colorado Rapids, is currently under trial with the Seattle Sounders, according to a team source Monday.

He was seen working out at Seattle's training facility in Tukwila, WA Monday.

Noonan started the 2009 MLS season with the Crew before being traded to the Rapids, who cut him last Tuesday after playing 17 games in Colorado.

RSL's Morales Wins First MLS POW Award

Real Salt Lake midfielder Javier Morales, who scored two goals and assisted on a third in a 3-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes Saturday at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, CA, was named the first Major League Soccer Player of the Week of the 2010 season.

US Women Defeat Mexico In First Of Two-Game Series

Amy Rodriguez, Shannon Boxx and Lauren Cheney scored goals as the world's number one-ranked US Women's National Team shut out Mexico 3-0 Sunday at Torero Stadium at the University of San Diego in the first of a two-game friendly series.

The win expanded their record against Mexican teams to 23-0-1 with the draw coming in 2007.

Also in the game, Kristine Lilly became the first US women's soccer player who has played on four different decades when she entered the contest in the 32nd minute.

She also appeared in her 343rd international match, most of any US player, and is second all-time on the team in goals with 159 behind Mia Hamm's 158.

The two teams will meet again Wednesday at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT.

Wave Overwhelm State Adult Indoor Soccer Team

JP Rodriguez had four goals, Kyle Lance and Brett Wiesner had hat tricks each, and Tenzin Rampo added a goal and an assist as the Major Indoor Soccer League regular season champion Milwaukee Wave defeated Madison United, champion of the Wisconsin Adult Soccer Association Major League, at a exhibition game Saturday at the Keva Sports Center in Middleton, WI.

Michael O'Neill led Madison with a hat trick.

The Wave will host the Associated Bank MISL Champiosnhip Game presented by The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel April 4 against the winner of a two-game, aggregate score semifinal series between La Raza de Monterrey and the Baltimore Blast, which La Raza leads 22-14.

Blues Hand Florida Gulf Coast University Shutout

Edward Santeliz scored the lone goal of the game as Miami FC Blues of the USSF Division 2 Pro League shut out Florida Gulf Coast University 1-0 Sunday in Fort Myers, FL.

The Blues close their preseason schedule Friday in Sunrise, FL and open the only season of the USSF-D2 April 10 at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale against the Rochester Rhinos.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Dynamo Corner Back Robinson Out For Thursday Home Opener

Houston Dynamo corner back Eddie Robinson was pulled in the 43rd minute of Saturday's 1-1 Major League Soccer draw Saturday to FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX due to a left hamstring strain.

Ryan Cochrane, who started four of six games he played in, replaced Robinson for the rest of the game and could start the team's home opener at Robertson Stadium Thursday against the defending MLS champion Real Salt Lake.

Robinson played only one game in 2009 before suffering a left knee injury that forced him to miss the remainder of the season. He could return to the Dynamo April 10 when they host the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Davies To Miss Two Months For FC Dallas After Collision

FC Dallas defender Kyle Davies broke his right arm and dislocated an elbow in a collision with Houston Dynamo forward Dominic Oduro in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX and will be out the next eight weeks of the 2010 Major League Soccer season, Dallas officials announced Sunday.

Davies replaced normal starting defender Ugo Ihemelu, who is also injured but expected to return to the team April 10 when they host the Columbus Crew.

RailHawks, Impact Draw At Cary

In a matchup of USSF Division 2 Pro League teams from the North American Soccer League Conference, the Carolina RailHawks and Montreal Impact played to a 1-1 draw Saturday at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC.

Kupono Low put the RailHawks on the scoreboard in the 69th minute in a shot from the penalty area, but Nevio Pizzolitto evened the score in the 82nd minute.

Toronto FC Signs D Dan Gargan

Prior to Saturday's Major League Soccer game with the Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium, Toronto FC announced the signing of defender Dan Gargan and placed him in the lineup for the game.

A third round pick of the Colorado Rapids in the 2009 MLS Supplemental Draft, he played 15 games before joining Chivas USA.

He briefly retired from the sport, then unretired in 2009 to join the Puerto Rico Islanders of the USSF Division 2 Pro League.

Early Buddle Blast For Galaxy Sends Revolution Spinning

Edson Buddle scored the game's only goal in the sixth minute as Major League Soccer's defending Western Conference regular season champion Los Angeles Galaxy shut out the New England Revolution 1-0 Saturday at The Home Depot Center.

The Galaxy face intercity rival Chivas USA Thursday at THDC in the first game of the two-game Honda SuperClasico series.

The Revolution have a week off before tackling their next opponent, DC United, next Saturday.

Crew Extend Season-Opening Win Streak To Six Over Toronto FC

The Columbus Crew extended their string of season-opening wins in Major League Soccer to six as Guillermo Barros Schelotto assisted on an Andy Iro goal in the 29th minute, then scored the game-winner in the 87th minute of a 2-0 victory over Toronto FC Saturday at Crew Stadium.

The loss ruined the head coaching debut for Preki, who came to Toronto after being fired from Chivas USA.

Both teams play again April 10 on the road -- Columbus at FC Dallas, Toronto at the New England Revolution.

Dynamo, Dallas Draw At Pizza Hut Park

The Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas played a 1-1 draw in a battle of Texas franchises in Major League Soccer Saturday at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX.

Mike Chabala opened the scoring in the 36th minute but Dallas' Atiba Harris scored two minutes later and neither side could capitalize again.

The Dynamo next draw the defending league champion Real Salt Lake at Robertson Stadium Thursday and FC Dallas takes a week off before facing the Columbus Crew in Frisco.

Lindpre Scores First Goal At Red Bull Arena -- AGAIN!

In a recent 3-1 preseason victory over Mexico's Santos Laguna, Joel Lindpre became the first New York Red Bulls player to score a goal at new Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.

In Saturday's 1-0 Major League Soccer victory over the Chicago Fire, Lindpere became the first Red Bull to score a goal against a league opponent, spoiling the debut for Fire head coach Carlos de los Lobos.

Both teams play again this Saturday -- the Red Bulls at the Seattle Sounders; the Fire at the Colorado Rapids.

Wizards Make Onalfo's Homecoming A Loss

Kei Kamara, Davy Arnaud, Ryan Smith and Jack Jewsbury scored goals as the Kansas City Wizards welcomed former head coach Curt Onalfo back to CommunityAmerica Ballpark Saturday with a 4-0 victory over Onalfo's new team, DC United in Major League Soccer play.

The Wizards next host the Colorado Rapids April 10, but United hosts the New England Revolution next Saturday at RFK Stadium.

Defending MLS Champs Post Largest Road Victory Ever

Javier Morales scored twice and assisted on a Fabian Espindola goal as defending Major League Soccer champion Real Salt Lake posted their largest road victory in team history in a 3-0 shutout of the San Jose Earthquakes Saturday at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, CA.

RSL next travels to Robertson Stadium Thursday to face the two-time, back-to-back league champion Houston Dynamo.

San Jose has the coming weekend off, then heads to Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL to take on the Chicago Fire.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

La Raza Takes Lead In MISL Championship Semifinals

La Raza de Monterrey won the first game of a two-game aggregate goal Major Indoor Soccer League playoff semifinal series Friday at Arena Monterrey 22-14 over the Baltimore Blast.

The two teams face off again Monday in Baltimore and, should the second game end in a tie, a Golden Goal tiebreaker will be used to settle who the regular season champion Milwaukee Wave will host in the 2010 MISL Championship Game April 4 at US Cellular Arena.

United Brings Back Talley, Signs Rice

Major League Soccer's DC United Friday welcomed back defender Carey Talley to the franchise he began his career with in 1998, and signed defender Barry Rice, a rookie from the University of Kentucky.

Talley was acquired off waivers by United from Chivas USA, where he spent the last two seasons.

In 2009, he started all 27 games he appeared in, but had only one assist. In the previous season, Talley started 15 of the team's last 16 games over all competitions.

Talley was chosen in the 1998 MLS College Draft, starting 16 of 18 games over all competitions and played in all five MLS Cup playoff games. In 1999, he had four goals and again started every playoff game. In 2000, he had three goals and an assist and started 28 of 29 games. Finally, in 2001, he had two goals and three assists in 22 starts.

He would be traded to the Kansas City Wizards before the start of the 2002 season and he would finish in two seasons by starting 32 of 44 games played.

He would then be traded to FC Dallas (four assists in 43 games, 33 of them starts over two seasons) and defending MLS champion Real Salt Lake.

At RSL in 2006, he started all 30 regular season MLS games and had eight assists.

In 2007, he would become third on the team in games played (26), games started (25) and goals (tied with three).

Rice was a two-time Southeastern Conference Defender of the Year at Kentucky during the 2007 and 2008 seasons and was a member of the SEC All-Freshman Team in 2006. He finished his Wildcats career with 12 goals and seven assists over 78 games. He leaves Lexington as the school's sixth all-time scorer in game-winning goals and seventh in career games played.

Tar Heels Shut Out RailHawks At Southern Pines

Billy Schuler and Michael Farfan scored goals as the University of North Carolina men's soccer team shut out the Carolina RailHawks of the USSF Division 2 Pro League 2-0 Friday in an exhibition game at Pinecrest High School in Southern Pines, NC.

The RailHawks will next face USSF foe Montreal Impact Saturday at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC.

Cummings Hands Chivas First Home Opening Loss Since 2005

Omar Cummings scored the game's only goal in the 55th minute Friday as the Colorado Rapids shut out host Chivas USA 1-0 in both teams' Major League Soccer season opener at The Home Depot Center.

For Chivas, it was the first loss in their home season opener since 2005.

Chivas next faces the defending Western Conference regular season champion Los Angeles Galaxy Thursday in the first of two Honda SuperClasico games against each other at The Home Depot Center.

Colorado, meanwhile, will host the Chicago Fire next Saturday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Timbers Shut Out Vancouver In Preseason Match

In 2011, these two teams will meet as Major League Soccer rivals.

However, Friday, Doug DeMartin and Bright Dike scored goals, each assisted by Ryan Pore, as the Portland Timbers shut out their USSF Division 2 Pro League foe Vancouver Whitecaps 2-0 in a preseason tilt at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, WA.

The Timbers are 3-0-1 in the preseason and will next face the University of Portland Saturday on campus.

Toronto FC Picks Up Goalkeeper, Cuts Another; Signs Saric

Major League Soccer's Toronto FC announced Friday they claimed goalkeeper Jon Conway off waivers from Chivas USA, waived goalkeeper Brian Edwards and signed midfielder Martin Saric.

Conway, in his 11th MLS season, was a third round 2000 MLS SuperDraft pick by the San Jose Earthquakes and joined Chivas in September 2009 after playing four seasons with the New York Red Bulls.

In 2008 with the Red Bulls, he had career highs in starts (28), saves (98) and minutes played (2,520) and ended the season with seven shutouts and a 1.50 goals against average.

With Chivas in 2009, he played in one game -- a 2-0 loss to Chivas de Guadalajara in an exhibition game September 23 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA.

Edwards was Toronto's second round pick in the 2008 SuperDraft and started all nine games he took part in, finishing with a 3-4-2 record.

Saric, a native of Argentina, spent much of the preseason with Toronto after playing last season in Slovenia with NK Celje.

Cougars To Gamble Against Rebels In Las Vegas Saturday

The Brigham Young University Cougars of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League will take on the University of Nevada-Las Vegas Rebels of the collegiate Mountain West Conference Saturday at Johan Soccer Stadium in Las Vegas.

The Cougars opened their preseason schedule by defeating NCAA Division II Mesa State College in 3-0 and 2-1 victories in back-to-back games.

They will open their 2010 regular season at the Orange County Blue Star May 8 and start their home schedule May 21 against the Los Angeles Legends in Provo, UT.

USL, PRSL May Form League Venture

United Soccer Leagues and officials of the Puerto Rico Soccer League reached a memorandum of understanding Friday to explore the future creation of a Caribbean Division within USL.

The division would combine four current, but yet undecided, members of the PRSL and Caribbean members of CONCACAF, the governing body for soccer in North America.

Several PRSL teams could also join current USL leagues and men's youth teams could be entered into the USL Super Y-League playoffs this fall.

Red Bulls Sign Newest Academy Graduate

Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls announced the signing of 17-year-old Colombian native and Red Bull Academy member Juan Audelo to one of two 2010 roster spots available to academy graduates Friday.

Audelo, who lives in Barnegat, NJ, is the second player to come through the doors of RBA and played for the US in the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup and the US U-20 National Team that played in the Copa Chivas tournament in Guadalajara, Mexico.

MLS franchises are allowed to fill two roster spots with developmental players, who do not count toward the 24-man regular season roster limit.

RailHawks To Create Independent U-23 Team

The Carolina RailHawks of the USSF Division 2 Pro League announced plans Friday to create an independent U-23 youth men's team.

The team would play a schedule made up of games against Major League Soccer and United Soccer Leagues teams as well as the US U-17 and U-18 Development Academy teams.

RailHawks assistant coach Dewan Bader will serve as head coach for the team with help from assistants Henry Gutierrez and Rick King.

The trio led the USL Premier Development League's Cary Clarets last season to a 9-4-3 regular season record and a playoff berth, though they lost in the semifinals to the Chicago Fire Premier 2-1.

Suarez Retires In Phone Interview On Mexican Sports Show

In a telephone interview aired during a sports show on TV Azteca Friday, Chrivas USA defender and former US National Team member Claudio Suarez announced his retirement from the game and stated he wants to become a coach of a team in Mexico.

Suarez played for several Mexican Primera Division teams including UNAM Pumas, Chivas de Guadalajara and Tigres.

He is the all-time leader in appearances for the Mexican National Team at 178 games.

Revs Sign Perovic, Welcome Back Smith, Cut Badilla

Major League Soccer's New England Revolution announced the signing of midfielder Martin Perovic Friday on a free transfer from FC Basel of the Swiss League, the return of midfielder Khano Smith in a Revs uniform, and the release of defender Gabriel Badilla.

Perovic fell out of favor with manager Thorsten Fink earlier this season with the franchise and also has played for Red Star Belgrade in his native Croatia.

Smith left the Revolution in 2008 when he was chosen by the Seattle Sounders in the MLS Expansion Draft but was later traded to the New York Red Bulls, who cut him halfway through the season.

He later signed a short-term deal with Lincoln City of the English League 2, but that deal expired in January.

Badilla missed the entire 2009 season with New England due to a back injury and only appeared in six games over the last two years.

MISL Names Final Players Of The Month For 2009-10 Season

The Major Indoor Soccer League announced Friday the final Player of the Month awards for the 2009-10 regular season and saw all three selections be repeat winners.

For the second month in a row, Philadelphia Kixx forward Aduato Neto was named Offensive Player of the Month for March 2010 after scoring 19 points in seven games over a 23-day span of the schedule.

He finished the season as the league leader in points (65) and assists (28).

Josh Rife of the Milwaukee Wave, this week's MISL Player of the Week, was named Defensive Player of the Month for the second time in four months, having won the award before in December 2009.

Rife had 14 points on a three-point goal, five two-point goals and an assist and blocked 10 shots as the Wave won the regular season championship with a 4-0 month.

Rife finished tied with Pat Morris of the Philadephia Kixx for the league lead in blocks at 36.

Wave goalkeeper Nick Vorberg, who was Goalkeeper of the Month for January, went 2-0 in the month and stopped 31 of 42 shots. His 2009-10 record is 8-4 with a league-best 9.48 points against average.

Former MLS MVP Gomez Joining Miami FC

According to several Miami-area newspapers, former three-time Major League Soccer Best XI member and 2006 league Most Valuable Player Christian Gomez will become the sixth former league player to join Miami FC Blues of the USSF Division 2 Pro League for the 2010 season.

He will become the sixth former MLS star to sign with the franchise.

Gomez became a free agent when DC United, who he played with for five seasons, chose not to offer him a contract for this season.

In five seasons with United and one with the Colorado Rapids, he scored 48 goals and 39 assists in 130 league games.

In the 2006 season at United, he had 14 goals and 11 assists that season.

AthletiCo Expands Partnership With Red Stars Through 2012 Season

AtletiCo, a provider of physical and occupational therapy in Illinois and Wisconsin, announced Thursday it has extended their partnership with the Chicago Red Stars in Women's Professional Soccer.

The company will continue to sponsor youth summer camps and remain the presenting sponsor of the Illinois Women's Soccer League's Adopt-A-Player program.

In the program, girls' teams from the ChicagoLand area adopt a Red Stars player for collectible trading cards, visits by players to their adopted team's practices, and other training tips.

Dynamo Sign Appiah To Last Developmental Roster Spot

Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo announced the signing Thursday of Ghana midfielder and 2010 MLS SuperDraft pick Sammy Appiah to the last of four developmental spots on their roster this season.

A third-round pick in the draft, Appiah had 11 goals and 10 assists in his college career at Boston University and was named a First Team All-America East Conference selection in 2009.

He has played in nine preseason games for the Dynamo, mostly as a defensive midfielder.

DC United Signs Bolivian D Juan Manuel Pena

Major League Soccer's DC United announced the signing Thursday of Bolivian defender Juan Manuel Pena, who played 14 seasons in Spain's La Liga and for his country in the 1994 FIFA World Cup held in the US.

He will be eligible to play for them next Saturday when they host the New England Revolution at RFK Stadium.

MLS Commish Says Expanding DP Rule Could Come "Shortly"

Speaking to reporters at halftime of Thursday's 2010 season opener at Qwest Field between the host Seattle Sounders and the expansion Philadelphia Union, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber said a decision on expanding the number of Designated Players a team may have to two from one could come "shortly".

The rule, enacted prior to the 2007 season and dubbed the Beckham Rule, named after English midfielder and Los Angeles Galaxy player David Beckham, the first person to receive the designation, allows teams to sign a high-profile player for the maximum salary under the league's salary cap, but can pay him over that amount out of their own pocket.

Since the rule was passed, 10 teams have exercised its provisions, with 12 players given that designation.

As of the start of the 2010 season, five MLS teams have such players on their roster -- the Columbus Crew (Guillermo Barros Schelotto), Chicago Fire (Cuauhtemoc Blanco), the Galaxy, New York Red Bulls (Juan Pablo Angel) and the Seattle Sounders (Freddie Ljungberg).

Joseph To Skip Revs Season Opener To Rest Hip Injury

Midfielder Shalrie Joseph will miss the 2010 Major League Soccer season opener for the New England Revolution against the defending Western Conference regular season champion Los Angeles Galaxy Saturday at The Home Depot Center, team officials said Thursday.

Joseph has a right hip flexor injury that is not considered serious, but he has not participated in workouts this week and will not play Saturday in order for the injury to heal.

He could play in their next game at DC United April 3.

Wizards Signs MLS' First Indian Player On Roster

Major League Soccer's Kansas City Wizards announced the signing Thursday of the league's first player from India, national team forward Sunil Chheti.

He also is the second person in the country's history to play professionally in another country.

Released last week by Dempo SC in India's I League, Chheti will become Kansas City's seventh international player on their roster.

In 35 games for India's men's national team, Chheti has 16 goals.

Montero Leads Sounders To MLS Season Opener Win Over Union

Fredy Montero assisted on the first goal of the 2010 Major League Soccer season by Brad Evans in the 12th minute, then scored himself in the 42nd minute as the Seattle Sounders spoiled the debut of the expansion Philadelphia Union 2-0 Thursday at Qwest Field.

The game, seen by over 36,000 fans, was a physical contest that also saw the first ejection of the season by Union defender Toni Stahl, who earned a red card in the 40th minute for a second hard foul against Montero, forcing Philadelphia to play a man down the rest of the game.

The Sounders travel to Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ next Saturday to face the New York Red Bulls while the Union next play April 10 when they take on DC United at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia in the first of two home games before moving into their true home pitch, PPL Park in Chester, PA.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Houston Chronicle: Local Sports Authority To Take Role In New Dynamo Stadium

The Harris County-Houston Sports Authority agreed Thursday to take a role in the creation of a new stadium in downtown Houston that will become the new home for Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo as well as the Texas Southern University football team, according to The Houston Chronicle.

Recently, the city of Houston and Harris County, along with the Dynamo, agreed to spend $60 million on a new stadium with the city and county pitching in $10 million each and the Dynamo the rest.

The authority will now negotiate a lease with the Dynamo, oversee construction of the stadium and serve as the landlord.

The Dynamo currently play at Robertson Stadium on the University of Houston campus but could be in a new home by the 2012 MLS season.

Dynamo's Barrett Retires As Player, Becomes Assistant Coach

Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo announced the retirement Thursday of defender Wade Barrett and his immediate hiring as a new assistant coach for the team.

Barrett leaves the team as third best all-time in games played (140), games started (139) and minutes played (12,399).

He began as a member of the original San Jose Earthquakes, leading them to the 2001 MLS Cup title and the 2005 MLS Supporters Shield.

In 2006, the team moved to Houston and were rebranded the Dynamo. The franchise won back-to-back MLS Cup titles in 2006 and 2007 under Barrett's leadership as team captain.

Reading United Announces Partnership With Apparel Supplier

Reading United AC, formerly the Reading Rage, of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League, announced Thursday Xara Soccer has entered into an apparel and programming sponsorship with the franchise.

The company released unveiled new kits for the franchise's PDL and men's and women's USL Super-20 League teams, as well as created team warmups, soccer camp jerseys and camp balls.

Sinclair New Head Coach Of Hamilton Avalanche

The Hamilton Avalanche of the United Soccer Leagues W-League announced Thursday Jimmy Sinclair will become the team's new head coach.

Sinclair has over 30 years experience in North American soccer and played for the Hamilton Steelers, Buffalo Stallions and Tacoma Stars in his career.

Jaqua To Miss First Six Weeks For Sounders With Injury

Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders will be without midfielder/forward Nate Jaqua for the first six weeks of the 2010 season after being placed on injured reserve Thursday with a pubic symphosis injury.

He will be eligible to return to the team May 2 against the Columbus Crew at Qwest Field.

Jaqua, in his ninth season in the league, started 27 of 28 games in 2009 and had career highs in goals and assists with nine and seven, respectively.

Toronto FC Gets LaBrocca, Draft Pick From Rapids For Wynne

Toronto FC acquired midfielder Nick LaBrocca and a 2011 third-round Major League Soccer SuperDraft pick from the Colorado Rapids Thursday in exchange for trading defender Marvell Wynne, who had reportedly fallen out of favor with Toronto head coach Preki.

LaBrocca is in his fourth season in the league after being drafted in 2007's SuperDraft by the Rapids.

In 2009, he started 28 of 29 games, played a career-high 2,434 minutes and scored a career-high-tying two goals en route to being named Colorado's Young Player of the Year.

In 2008, LaBrocca was the only Rapids player to compete in all 30 regular season games and he scored his first career goal -- a game-winner -- against the New England Revolution.

LaBrocca will be in uniform Saturday when the Rapids open their 2010 MLS season Saturday at the Columbus Crew.

Red Bulls Sign Trio Of 2010 SuperDraft Picks

Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls announced the signing of three selections from the 2010 MLS SuperDraft Wednesday.

Defender Tim Ream, the 18th overall selection from St. Louis University, was the Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year for 2009 with a career-high six goals and five assists. He also assisted on a goal in last week's 3-1 win to christen Red Bull Arena, their new stadium in Harrison, NJ.

Forward Conor Chinn, the 34th overall selection from the University of San Francisco, was a 2009 All-West Coast Conferece selection after tallying 10 goals and three assists.

He also was the 2008 conference's Player of the Year with 17 goals.

In four preseason games, Chinn has scored four times.

Midfielder Irving Garcia, the 50th overall pick of St. Louis University, led the Billikens to two straight Big West Conference titles and led the league in points and assists in the 2009 season. He was also a conference Player of the Year.

Sounders Sign Draft Picks Estrada, Fucito

Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders finalized their 24-player roster for the 2010 season Wednesday by signing 2010 SuperDraft pick David Estrada and 2009 picks Michael Fucito.

Estrada, a midfielder, was the 11th overall pick out of UCLA, where he was a four-time All-Pac 10 Conference selection.

Born in Mexico but raised in Salinas, CA, Estrada, who has started two of six preseason games for Seattle, was named Soccer America Freshman of the Year in 2006 when he led the team in scoring with 28 points and had a freshman goal scoring record of 12, four of them game-winners.

In 69 starts out of 78 career games, he had 22 goals and 14 assists.

Fucito, the 46th overall pick from Harvard, will be in his second stint with the Sounders.

He was originally signed July 3, 2009 and played in two friendly matches against Chelsea and FC Barcelona before being released Movember 25 of the year.

Fucito led the Crimson in his senior year in total points earned. He also was a second-team All-American and led the team to the second round of the 2008 NCAA College Cup.

He would finish with Harvard as their fourth highest all-time career scorer with 32 goals and 24 assists.

Red Stars Shut Out Fighting Irish In South Bend

Julianne Sitch scored the game's lone goal with assists from Kosovare Asilani and Cristiane as the Chicago Red Stars of Women's Professional Soccer shut out Notre Dame's women's team 1-0 Wednesday in South Bend, IN.

Chicago is now 2-1 in preseason play and will hold dual scrimmages March 31 against Northwestern and DePaul Universities in Evanston, IL.

Impact, Battery Battle To Draw In Cary, NC

The Montreal Impact of the USSF Division 2 Pro League and the Charleston Battery of the United Soccer Leagues Second Division played to a 1-1 draw Wednesday at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC.

Tom Heinemann headed in a goal in the 39th minute to give the Battery the lead but, with three minutes left in the match, Hicham Aaboubou scored for the Impact.

The Impact will next face fellow USSF D2 foe Carolina RailHawks Saturday in Cary.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

City Islanders Shut Out Bucknell

With mostly a roster of trialists, the Harrisburg City Islanders of the United Soccer Leagues Second Division defeated Bucknell University Tuesday 2-0 at Millersville University.

The City Islanders play the last of three exhibition games Thursday against Crystal Palace Baltimore, a former USL2 foe now playing in the USSF Division 2 Pro League.

Garber To Push For More DPs On MLS Rosters?

In a conference call Tuesday to discuss league matters before the kickoff of the 2010 Major League Soccer season Thursday night, commissioner Don Garber said he may announce an expansion of their Designated Player rule to allow teams to carry two such players on rosters, instead of one.

The rule, dubbed the Beckham Rule, after the English midfielder became the first player to take advantage of this rule when he joined the Los Angeles Galaxy, allows teams to sign one player to a contract for an unlimited amount, with only $400,000 of the player's salary counting against the team's salary cap. The rest of the salary is paid by the other league members.

Since Beckham joined MLS, Cuauhtemoc Blanco (Chicago Fire), Juan Pablo Angel (New York Red Bulls), Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Columbus Crew) and Freddie Ljungberg (Seattle Sounders) have been signed under that policy.

"It is in all our best interests," Garber said, "to ensure that we have star players that can help drive interest in our league and grow attendance and ratings."

Next Two MLS Cup Sites Reportedly Named

According to stories in Toronto's two major newspapers, the Globe & Mail and The Sun, Major League Soccer will hold the 2010 MLS Cup championship game November 21 at a revamped BMO Field, making it the first time the game will be played outside of the United States.

Another new facility, Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ, could soon be named the site for the 2011 league championship game, according to reports.

Chivas Waives Talley, Conway

To get at the league-mandated deadline of Wednesday to be at 24 players on the roster, Major League Soccer's Chivas USA waived defender Carey Talley and goalkeeper Jon Conway.

Talley started 42 of 43 appearances for the team since 2008.

Conway, who joined the team September 11, 2009 after having stints with the New York Red Bulls and the San Jose Earthquakes.

The only game Conway played in was the exhibition ChivaClasico game 12 days after joining the Wizards against Chivas de Guadalajara, their Mexican parent club.

City Of Houston, Harris County May Soon Approve New Dynamo Stadium

The city of Houston and Harris County, TX are set to vote in the next few weeks on the possibility of Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo to get a new soccer-specific stadium by 2012.

Under the deal, the Dynamo would pay $60 million of the cost of the new stadium, which would be located in the downtown area, with the city and county each paying $20 million.

If the measure passes the city council March 31 and the county commissioners April 13, construction on the new facility would begin October 1 and be completed in time for the 2012 season.

The Dynamo, two-time, back-to-back MLS Cup Champions, had the fourth best home attendance in the league in '09 at over 17,000 fans per regular season game.

Garber Wants New Stadium For DCU; Will Change Designated Player Rule

As parts of a wide-ranging conference call Tuesday, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber told reporters he is tired of hearing politicians talk about giving DC United a new soccer-specific stadium but doing nothing constructive to make it happen.

Garber said the league has made plenty of commitments to the area "with no commitment in return" from politicians who say one thing and do another and, if something doesn't get soon, he will "do something about it" and allow the franchise to possibly move out.

DC United plays in 45,000-seat RFK Stadium, former home of the NFL's Washington Redskins and Major League Baseball's Washington Senators and current home of MLB's Washington Nationals.

Garber also said, according to the Toronto Sun, he will announce new provisions next week to the league's Designated Player rule, which allows MLS teams to sign one player for an unlimited amount, but are only responsible for playing that player the maximum salary allowed in the league's Collective Bargaining Agreement, with the rest of the league picking up the difference.

The rule has allowed teams like the New York Red Bulls (Juan Pablo Angel), Los Angeles Galaxy (David Beckham) and Seattle Sounders (Freddie Ljungberg) to join MLS rosters.

Wizards Waive Kraus To Meet Roster Limit

Major League Soccer's Kansas City Wizards reached the league's mandatory 24-player roster Wednesday deadline by placing forward Michael Kraus on waivers Tuesday.

Kraus was chosen by the Wizards with the 48th overall pick in the 2007 MLS Supplemental Draft and spent his first two seasons playing for their former Reserve Division team.

He debuted with the senior team in the 2008 MLS Cup Playoffs against the Columbus Crew.

Kraus scored his first career goal March 28, 2009 against the Colorado Rapids and played in 10 other games last season.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Revolution Adds Roy As Goalkeeper Coach

Major League Soccer's New England Revolution named Remi Roy as their new goalkeeper coach Tuesday.

Roy replaces Gwynne Williams, who left the team in February after five seasons.

Roy served for 10 years as an assistant coach and goalkeeper coach for the men's and women's soccer teams at the University of Mobile (AL) and also held a similar position with Puerto Rico's men's national team in preparation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Associated Bank Joins MISL Championship Game As Sponsor

The Milwaukee Wave, regular season champions of the Major Indoor Soccer League, announced Tuesday Associated Bank will serve as a sponsor of the upcoming MISL Championship Game April 4 at US Cellular Arena.

The game will be now be called the Associated Bank MISL Championship Game presented by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

The Wave will meet the winner of a two-game, aggregate-goal semifinal series between the Baltimore Blast and La Raza de Monterrey, to be held April 26 and 29, in the championship game.

RailHawks Reward Touray's Play With Contract

Gambian forward Sainey Touray, who leads the USSF Division 2 Pro League's Carolina RailHawks in preseason goals with four, was rewarded for his play Tuesday by signing a 2010 season contract.

Touray played on his country's U-17 and U-20 teams and led Wallidan to Gambia's Premier League championship in 2008 with a team-leading nine goals.

After scoring two goals in six games for the reserve team of Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls in 2008, he returned to Wallidan in 2009 and scored six goals.

Kalamazoo Outrage Name Adrian Men's Head Coach

The Kalamazoo Outrage of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League announced Tuesday Chris Adrian will become the team's new head coach, replacing Mark Spooner, who resigned to join Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire.

Adrian played for the Outrage's parent club, TKO Premier Soccer, as well as at Hackett High School in Kalamazoo and for their previous PDL team, the Kalamazoo Kingdom.

Adrian currently coaches the men's and women's soccer teams at Kalamazoo College.

Battery Signs Zaher, Gruenewald After CCC Performances

After their performances in the recent Carolina Challenge Cup preseason tournament, the host team, the Charleston Battery of the United Soccer Leagues Second Division, announced the signings Tuesday of defender Mike Zaher and midfielder Jon Gruenewald.

Zaher, who played collegiately for UCLA, played 10 games in the 2009 Major League Soccer season for the San Jose Earthquakes. He was drafted in the third round of the 2008 MLS SuperDraft by Toronto FC, but was later traded to DC United for an undisclosed draft pick.

He also played three seasons with the USL Premier Development League -- 2005 with the Boulder Rapids Reserve and the 2006 and 2007 seasons with the San Fernando Valley Quakes.

Gruenewald, who graduated from Rollins College in Orlando, FL, had four goals and four assists in two combined seasons for the PDL's Central Florida Kraze.

Noel Becoming First Haitian To Play In China

Forward Fabrice Noel ended 2 1/2 seasons playing for the Puerto Rico Islanders of the USSF Division 2 Pro League after signing a one-year deal to play for Shanghai East Asia of the second level Chinese Jia League.

Noel, who also played professionally for the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer, will become the first native of Haiti to play on a Chinese professional soccer team.

Aztex Sign Ex-Bruin Griffin To Join Brother; Release Saint-Preaux, Dragovon

The Austin Aztex of the USSF Division 2 Pro League Tuesday announced forward Maxwell Griffin, brother of defender Leonard Griffin, signed a one-year contract with two option years.

Griffin, a two-time Offensive Most Valuable Player at UCLA, as well as their all-time leading goal scorer with 28 goals, was one of 18 players in Bruins history to score a hat trick.

He played in the 2006 and 2008 United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League seasons for the San Fernando Valley Quakes and the 2009 PDL season with the Los Angeles Legends.

In 25 combined games over the two franchises, he has three goals and two assists.

The Aztex also released forward Leonel Saint-Preaux and goalkeeper Ben Dragavon after failing team physicals due to pre-existing medical conditions.

MLS Releases Details Of New CBA

Now that the 2010 Major League Soccer season will start on time Thursday following passage of a new five-year collective bargaining agreement with their Players Union, MLS officials Tuesday released some of the key elements of the new deal, reached in Washington, DC.

Terms Of The Agreement
It officially takes effect Thursday and runs through January 31, 2014.

Guaranteed Contracts
All players who are at least 24 and have been in the league for three seasons can now earn guaranteed contracts.

Players' Salaries And Salary Cap
The per-team salary cap grows for $2.315 million in 2009 to $2.55 million, an increase of 10.15 percent, with annual increases of five percent.

The minimum salary for senior roster players grows from $34,000 in 2009 to $40,000 in 2010, an increase of 17.64 percent, with annual increases also of five percent.

For players who made less than $125,000, the minimum increase in base salary will be 10 percent for those who play in at least two-thirds of their club's games and 12.5 percent for those who play in at least three-quarters of their club's games.

Player Movement
While MLS players did not gain the free agent policies they wanted, MLS will establish a "re-entry draft" for players who are out of contract.

Those eligible for this draft and their terms will be:

- Players at least age 23 with three years of league service and whose option is not exercised will be made available to all clubs at their option salary.

- Players at least age 22 with one year of service and who are asked to take a pay cut after their contract is terminated will be made available to all teams at current salary.

- Players at least age 30 with eight years of service and whose contract has expired will be made available to all clubs at a salary equal to 150 percent of their last salary, unless his current team makes a qualified offer of at least 105 percent of his last salary.

- Players at least age 25 with four or more years of service and whose contract has expired will be made available to all clubs at a salary equal to their final year contract salary, unless his current team offers him a base salary of at least as much as the base salary paid in the last year of the old contract.

Option Years In Player Contracts
Players at least 25 with four years of MLS service will be allowed to have no more than two option years placed in a contract.

All other players will be allowed to have no more than three options years placed in a contract.

Player Benefits
All players will gain a package of benefits including increases in 401K contributions from the league, appearance fees, increased per diem when traveling and reimbursement of relocation expenses, and full health care benefits for players and their families at no cost.

Bonuses
The new CBA includes a package of bonuses for wins in league games and international tournaments as well as appearance fees for taking part in international exhibition games.

Reserve Division
MLS and the Players Union will create a committee to study the possible re-launch of the Reserve Division, which ended after the 2008 season.

If rosters are expanded to create RD teams again, those who play on those teams will earn a minimum salary of $31,250 with additional annual increases.

Rapids Waive Noonan

Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids announced Tuesday they waived forward/midfielder Pat Noonan, who came to the team in a June 15, 2009 trade with the Columbus Crew.

In 2009, Noonan started nine of 17 games and scored two goals.

In 152 combined career games over seven seasons with the Rapids, Crew and New England Revolution, Noonan had 40 goals and 32 assists.

Houston Chronicle: Weaver Out Two Weeks For Dynamo

Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo said Monday forward Cam Weaver, one of the team's promising pick-ups in the latter part of last season, will miss the first two weeks of the 2010 season after an MRI Monday discovered a right knee strain, The Houston Chronicle said.

Weaver was injured in an on-field collision with the ball in Wednesday's game against the San Jose Earthquakes.

Earthquakes Place Elliott, Ribiero, Graczyk On Waivers

Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes announced Monday they have waived midfielders Simon Elliott and Antonio Ribiero and goalkeeper Mike Graczyk.

Elliott started 12 of 15 games he played in during the 2009 season.

Ribiero started all seven games he appeared in last season after joining them in June 2009 from the Montreal Impact, now of the USSF Division 2 Pro League.

Graczyk did not play at all during the 2009 regular season.

United Signs Honduran Native, Cut DiRaimondo

Major League Soccer's DC United announced the signing Monday of midfielder/forward Andy Najar and the release of midfielder John DiRaimondo.

Najar, 17 and a native of Honduras who has his green card, played in five of the team's preseason games this season and scored four goals on United's U-16 team then scored nine more with the U-18 team as a forward.

In 2008 at Edison High School in Alexandria, LA, he scored 22 goals that season.

Najar becomes the second player the team has signed from their DC United Academy, following goalkeeper Bill Hamid, who joined in September 2009.

DiRaimondo appeared in one MLS game and eight overall matches last season.

Sounders Release G Chris Eylander

Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders released backup goalkeeper Chris Eylander, who led the team to a championship in the United Soccer Leagues First Division but served behind starter Kasey Keller, Monday.

Eylander made one appearance for the Sounders since being signed January 6, 2009 -- he started in place of Keller in a 2-0 loss to Chivas USA. He also played for Seattle in a 4-1 victory over defending league champion Real Salt Lake in a play-in game for the 2009 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament.

Hampered by injuries, he was kept on the disabled list for much of the year and eventually lost his backup job to Terry Boss.

Rhinos Acquire M Tyler Rosenlund

The Rochester Rhinos of the USSF Division 2 Pro League announced the signing Monday of midfielder Tyler Rosenlund, who split time last season between Toronto FC in Major League Soccer and Surrey United in the Pacific Coast Soccer League.

At Toronto, he played eight games over two seasons and was the first Canadian-born MLS player to score a goal at BMO Field in a September 6, 2008 game versus Chivas USA.

Rosenlund won a NCAA College Cup National Championship in 2006 at University of California-Santa Barbara over UCLA.

W-League Whitecaps Re-Sign Three, Add One

The Vancouver Whitecaps of the United Soccer Leagues W-League announced the re-signing Monday of midfielders Sophie Schmidt and Desiree Scott, and welcomed forward Kendra Flock to the roster.

Schmidt, in her sixth season in 2010, has four goals and six assists in 34 career games.

Scott recently graduated from the University of Manitoba after five years and rejoins the team for the first time since appearing in five games in 2006, the season they won the league postseason title.

Vermeulen will be in her third season of play in 2010. She added four assists in 12 games in 2009 with the three goals she had in all of 2008.

Flock started all but one of 14 games for the University of Victoria, where she had 14 goals and two asssts last season.

Fire Waives Goalkeeper Jon Busch

The man who played every game in goal the last two seasons for Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire won't do so this coming season as the franchise waived goalkeeper Jon Busch Monday.

Busch joined the team in March 2007 and went 31-25-23 with 27 shutouts in 79 total competitions in three seasons and was the MLS Goalkeeper Of The Year in 2008.

He also led the Fire to back-to-back appearances in the Eastern Conference Finals and to the 2009 SuperLiga title.

Busch began his professional soccer career in the United States Interregional Soccer League in 1997 after going undrafted by MLS. He would play for the Carolina Dynamo, Worcester Wildfire, Hampton Roads Mariners and the Hershey Wildcats, who he led to the championship game of the A-League (then USISL, now United Soccer Leagues First Division) and was the 2001 Goalkeeper of the Year.

He joined MLS the next season with the Columbus Crew, who he led to the 2002 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup title over the Los Angeles Galaxy.

In 147 career games with both teams, Busch was 60-43-42. He finished in the top 10 in all major league goalkeeping categories. He is first in all-time save percentage at 75.9% and fifth all-time in career goals against average at 1.20.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Atlanta Beat To Host Revamped WPS All-Star Game

The expansion Atlanta Beat will be the host franchise for Women's Professional Soccer's second annual All-Star Game presented by the US Coast Guard June 30 at their new stadium in Kennesaw, GA.

The game, which will be televised live by Fox Soccer Channel, will have some major changes take place from the inaugural event.

First, the WPS All-Star Game has been moved to the midseason from the postseason to be more in line with the dates of other all-star games in the sport.

Second, the field for the game will be selected in a different manner.

36 players will be named to a pool -- 22 through voting by fans, players. team owners and media, 14 by WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci and the game's coaches. Online voting for fans will take place starting in May with ballots going out to the rest in June.

All 36 players will then head to Atlanta and the All-Star team's head coach and captains will select the Starting XI in a "playground pick-em"-style public event June 7.

Pali Adds Two Danish National Team Midfielders

The two-time defending United Soccer Leagues W-League champion Pali Blues announced the signing Monday of two midfielders from the Danish Women's National Team -- Cathrine Paaske-Sorenson and Julie Rydahl Bukh.

Both are currently playing in their country's Premier League with Fortuna Hjorring and will join the Blues in early June.

The duo led Sydney FC to a championship this season in Australia's A-League and played plast season for Linkoping in Sweden's Damallsvenskan.

Paaske-Sorensen, a two-time Danish Women's Player of the Year, began her professional career in 1996 with Denmark's B 1921. She earned his first cap with her country's national team in 2000 and received her 100th cap in August 2009.

Rydahl Bukh, who has 50 caps since 2001 with the Danish women's team, led Brondby IF to six straight Danish league championships after joining them in 2001 from Viborg FF in the Premier League, where she started in 1999.

Brown Back With Brilla For 2010 Season

The Mississippi Brilla of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League announced the return Monday of Michael Brown to the roster for the 2010 season.

Brown, who played every minute of every game since the team began in 2007, suffered a season-ending injury in the 10th game of the regular season in 2009.

Brown also coaches the team's Juniors youth club.

BYU Cougars To Play Two Games With Mesa State

The Brigham Young University Cougars, who play in the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League, announced Monday they will play a doubleheader this Saturday at Walker Field in Grand Junction, CO against NCAA Division II Mesa State University.

The first of two games will be an 80-minute contest; the second a 60-minute game.

Mesa State went 2-15-2 in the 2009 season and 2-11-1 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, allowing teams to score an average of 2.16 goals per game while they scored only 0.68 goals per game.

T-Mobile To Be Official Wireless Provider To Dynamo For Two Seasons

The Carolina Dynamo of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League announced Monday T-Mobile will become the franchise's official wireless services provider for the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

The deal gives T-Mobile many marketing opportunities with Carolina through branding, direct marketing, game signage, print advertisements and couponing.

Riverhounds Sign Four For 2010 Roster

The Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the United Soccer Leagues Second Division announced the signing Monday of four players -- veteran soccer players Shintaro Harada, Louis Rolko and Travis MacKenzie and rookie Sterling Flunder.

Harada is a two-time USL2 All-League selection with Crystal Palace Baltimore, now in the USSF Division 2 Pro League.

Rolko attended an invitational team combine in February and spent two seasons with the USL2's Charleston Battery.

MacKenzie spent the last two seasons playing indoors for the Major Indoor Soccer League's Milwaukee Wave,

Flunder participated in the annual USL Combine in January and played the 2009 Premier Development League season for the Portland Timbers U-23 after competing for the 2008 West Virginia Chaos.

FC NY Tabs Connecticut Football Club For Partnership

FC New York, a 2011 expansion franchise in the United Soccer Leagues First Division, announced Monday they have selected Connecticut Football Club to be its official farm system operation.

FC New York will have teams in the USL1, Premier Development and Super-20 League.

Blues Upbeat After Two Weekend Wins

Miami FC Blues of the USSF Division 2 Pro League won two preseason games this weekend -- a 4-0 victory Saturday over Barry University and a 5-1 win against Soccer Locker, a local amateur team, Sunday.

Rowdies Upset MLS Expansion Team In Tampa

Forward Aaron Wheeler headed in a shot fed from midfielder Takuya Yamada as the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the USSF Division 2 Pro League upset Major League Soccer's newest franchise, the Philadelphia Union, 1-0 Friday at Pepin Stadium on the campus of the University of Tampa.

The Rowdies will next face the University of Central Florida Knights this Friday at the Lake Myrtle Complex in Tampa.

Kickers, RailHawks To Host Mexican Olympic National Team

The defending United Soccer Leagues Second Division champion Richmond Kickers and the Carolina RailHawks of the USSF Division 2 Pro League separately announced they will host the 2008 Mexican Olympic National Team in two of three games of a tour in April.

The Kickers will face them April 21 at the University of Richmond Stadium, then head to Cary, NC's WakeMed Soccer Park to face the RailHawks April 25.

Soccer365.com: Rapids Loan Ceus Again To USL2's Eagles For Season

For the second season in a row, Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids announced Monday they will loan goalkeeper Steward Ceus to the Charlotte Eagles of the United Soccer Leagues Second Division for the 2010 season, according to Soccer365.com.

With the Rapids recently signing Ian Joyce as their top goalkeeper, there was deemed little chance Ceus would get a chance to play there, so he was loaned out again to the Eagles.

Wave's Rife Named Final MISL POW Of Season

Milwaukee Wave defender Josh Rife was named the final Major Indoor Soccer League Player of the Week for the regular season Monday.

Rife had a three-point and a two-point goal and blocked a shot in a 14-12 win Wednesday at US Cellular Arena in a special School Day game against the Philadelphia Kixx, then blocked three more shots in a 12-10 victory three nights later against the same opponent in the same place.

Rife had 28 points for the Wave this season and finished tied for third in the league in blocks (36) and power play goals (four).

Martinez Hat Trick Gives La Raza Win Over Rampage

Genoni Martinez had an eight-point hat trick, which included a pair of three-point goals, as La Raza de Monterrey, headed to the Major Indoor Soccer League playoffs this weekend against the Baltimore Blast, defeated the Rockford Rampage 18-11 Sunday at Arena Monterrey.

Mark Ughy had a pair of two-point goals, Victor Quiroz had four points on a standard goal and two assists, and Armando Teran and Byron Alvarez each posted a goal as Monterrey finished the MISL regular season with an even 10-10 record.

For the Rampage, who went from one time leading the league to finishing in last place at 7-13, Bato Radoncic had four points on two goals, Fred DeGand fired off a three-pointer and Chris Brisson and Jamar Beasley each had a goal.

Monterrey will open the league's two-game, aggregate-score semifinal playoff series Friday at home against the Blast with the reverse taking place next Monday at First Mariner Arena.

Should the aggregate score be tied after next Monday's game, a Golden Goal tiebreaker will decide who will face the regular season league champion Milwaukee Wave April 4 at US Cellular Arena for the one-game league championship.

Kixx End Regular Season By Beating Playoff-Bound Blast

Ptah Myers led all scorers with five points on a three-point goal and two assists as the host Philadelphia Kixx ended their 2010 Major Indoor Soccer League season Sunday with a 19-12 victory over the playoff-bound Baltimore Blast at Temple University's Liacouras Center.

Pat Morris had a pair of two-point goals in the win and Aduato Neto became the MISL Scoring Champion with a two-point goal and two assists to finish the season with 64 points.

The Kixx completed the 2010 campaign in fourth place at 8-12.

Pat Healey and Max Ferdinand led the Blast with two two-point goals and Rod Dyachenko had a standard score and an assist as Baltimore finished 11-9 and heads into a two-game, aggregate-goal semifinal series with La Raza de Monterrey to determine who faces the regular season champion Milwaukee Wave at the 2010 MISL Championship Game presented by The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel April 4 at Milwaukee's US Cellular Arena.

Game one of the series will be Friday at Arena Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico with the second game next Monday at First Mariner Arena in Baltimore.

If the aggregate score is tied after both games are played to regulation time, a Golden Goal period will take place next Monday.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Dynamo Beat Chivas In Santa Barbara

Dominic Oduro, Brad Davis and Adrian Serioux scored goals as the Houston Dynamo defeated Chivas USA 3-1 Saturday in a Major League Soccer exhibition game at Harder Stadium on the campus of the University of Califonia-Santa Barbara.

Chivas' lone goal came the 83rd minute as Yamith Cuesta headed a corner kick from Gerson Mayen.

Chivas opens their 2010 MLS regular season at The Home Depot Center Friday against the Colorado Rapids while the Dynamo travel to Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX Saturday for an intrastate showdown with FC Dallas.

Wizards Defeat USSF D2's AC St. Louis In Series Opener

Craig Rocastle and Chance Myers scored goals as Major League Soccer's Kansas City Wizards shut AC St. Louis of the USSF Division 2 Pro League 2-0 in the first game of a two-game exhibition series in Kansas City, KS Saturday.

Game two of the series will be at the Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park in Fenton, MO April 3.

Moreno Continues Being One-Man Scoring Machine; DCU Wins Carolina Challenge Cup

Jaime Moreno, Major League Soccer's all-time leading scorer, was the only player DC United needed to win the seventh annual Carolina Challenge Cup, hosted by the United Soccer Leagues Second Division's Charleston Battery, 1-0 over the Battery Saturday to finish with a perfect 3-0-0 record and nine points.

Moreno scored all five points United had in the tournament.

Once again, the host Battery finished in dead last in their own tournament.

Revolution Derails Carolina In Cary

Zach Schilawski snapped a tie with a game-winning goal in the 87th minute, two minutes after Mark Schulte set it up, as Major League Soccer's New England Revolution defeated the Carolina RailHawks of the USSF Division 2 Pro League 2-1 Saturday at WakeMed Sports Park in Cary, NC.

For the second year in a row in preseason play, Schulte scored the only goal against the Revolution.

Pat Phelan gave New England the lead in the 41st minute when he headed a corner kick by Mike Mansally.

The Revolution next face the North Carolina men's team Friday at Southern Pines, then host the USSF-D2's Montreal Impact at WakeMed next Saturday.

Whitecaps Rock University Of Victoria In Exhibition

Dever Orgill and Alex Semenetz each had two goals and Justin Moore tallied one as the Vancouver Whitecaps of the USSF Division 2 Pro League shut out the University of Victoria 5-0 Saturday at Vancouver Island.

The Whitecaps next host league competition when they face the Portland Timbers this Friday at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, WA.

Newcomer Saborio Pays Immediate Dividend For Defending MLS Champ

Rookie Alvaro Saborio scored the lone goal in the 56th minute as the defending Major League Soccer champion Real Salt Lake shut out Toronto FC 1-0 in the final night of the 2010 Carolina Challenge Cup at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, SC.

RSL finished the four-team round-robin tournament, which also featured DC United of MLS and the host, the Charleston Battery of the United Soccer Leagues Second Division, with a 2-1-0 record and six points for second place behind United, who won the title in a 2-0 victory over the Battery, who have never won the event they host in its now seven-year history.

Salt Lake opens defense of its title next Saturday at Buck Shaw Stadium at the University of Santa Clara while Toronto travels to Columbus that day to play the Crew.

New York Christens Red Bull Arena With Victory Over Santos

Joel Lindpere scored the first goal in the history of the new home for Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls in a 3-1 victory over Brazil's Santos Laguna Saturday at a sold-out Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.

The $200 million stadium was set to open for the 2009 season but construction and weather delays pushed the opening back a season.

Mike Pelke and Dane Richards also scored in the victory.

New York plays its first league game there next Saturday against the Chicago Fire.

Rookie Oatley Leads Wave In Scoring Over Kixx In Regular Season Finale

Rookie Tommy Oatley from Western Michigan University and who plays outdoors for the Kalamazoo Outrage of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League had five points to lead the Major Indoor Soccer League regular season champion Milwaukee Wave to a 12-10 win over the Philadelphia Kixx in their regular season Saturday at US Cellular Arena, site of the 2010 MISL Championship Game presented by The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel April 4.

The Wave end the regular season with an eight-game winning streak and a 14-6 record. They will now await the winner of next weekend's two-game, aggregate-goal series between the Baltimore Blast and La Raza de Monterrey to determing their opponent in the title game.

Ptah Myers led the Kixx with six points and they fell to 7-12 on the season, with their season finale coming Sunday against the Blast.

Earthquakes, Timbers Play To Draw In San Jose

Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes and the Portland Timbers of the USSF Division 2 Pro League played to a 1-1 draw Saturday at Buck Shaw Stadium at the University of Santa Clara.

After being scoreless for over the first half hour of play, Cornell Glen gave San Jose the early lead in the 71st minute, but Scot Thompson hit the equalizing goal nine minutes later.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Crew Eliminated From CCL Quarterfinals, Extend MLS' Losing Streak In Mexico

Antonio "Sinha" Nelson scored two goals and Hector Raul Mancilla added a third as Mexico's Toluca defeated Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew 3-2 in the second leg of the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series, winning the series by an aggregate score of 5-4 Wednesday in Toluca, Mexico.

Guillermo Barros Schelotto scored both of Columbus' goals, but it wasn't enough to keep MLS from extending their losing streak in games played north of the border to 20 matches.

Toluca will face fellow Mexican Primera Division foe Pachuca in a two-game semifinal series.

Union To Host La Liga's Valencia This Summer

While a date has not been finalized, Major League Soccer's expansion Philadelphia Union announced Wednesday they will host Valencia of Spain's La Liga sometime this summer at their new PPL Park in Chester, PA.

Valencia is currently 13-5-8 wih 47 points and is in third place, 18 points behind co-leading Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Red Stars Ride Bulls To Victory

Cristiane and Brittany Klein scored goals Wednesday as the Chicago Red Stars of Women's Professional Soccer shut out the University of South Florida's women's team 2-0 at Tampa, FL.

The Red Stars, 1-1 in preseason play, will travel to South Bend, IN next Wednesday to face Notre Dame's women's soccer team.

RSL Assures Battery Won't Win CCC...AGAIN!

Robbie Findley, Javier Morales and Fabian Espindola scored goals as the defending Major League Soccer champion Real Salt Lake defeated the Charleston Battery 3-1 in the second of three matchdays Wednesday in the seventh annual Carolina Challenge Cup at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, SC.

The event, which the United Soccer Leagues Second Division hosts but has never won in its history, pits three MLS teams -- RSL, Toronto FC and DC United -- against the Battery in a round-robin competition.

Charleston is 0-2 in this year's event.

Rudolph Mayard scored the only Battery goal in the game.

Real Salt Lake will face Toronto FC in the final day of competition this Saturday.

Timbers To Host Costa Rica's Puntarenas FC May 1

The Portland Timbers, playing in the 2010 USSF Division II Pro League before possibly joining Major League Soccer for the 2011 season, announced Wednesday they will host Puntarenas FC of Costa Rica's Primera Division May 1 at 7 p.m. local time at PGE Park.

Puntarenas FC, despite being founded in 2004, has earned a reputation for winning, reaching the semifinal round in five of the last nine touraments held, including making the finals of the 2009-10 Apertura season..

Currently tied for second in the league's Group B stadings with a 3-0-1 record, Puntarenas also took part in the 2006-07 CONCACAF Champions League tournament.

WPS Champ Partners With Minor League Baseball Champion

Sky Blue FC, the defending champion of Women's Professional Soccer, announced Saturday they have entered into a partnership with the Lakewood (NJ) BlueClaws, the Class A minor league affiliate to Major League Baseball's Philadelphia Phillies.

The BlueClaws are the defending champion of the South Atlantic League.

The two teams will share ideas on marketing efforts and ticket promotions.

Roselund Goal Gives Rhinos Win Over Impact

In their only exhibition against a USSF Division 2 Pro League opponent, Tyler Roselund scored the game's only goal in the ninth minute as the Rochester Rhinos shut out the Montreal Impact 1-0 Saturday at Marina Auto Stadium in Rochester, NY.

The Rhinos next face St. Bonaventure University March 27 at Corning Memorial Stadium in Corning, NY.

NO STRIKE! MLS, Players Union Agree On New CBA

The 2010 Major League Soccer season will start as expected Thursday after it was announced Saturday afternoon in Washington, DC the league and its players union reached a tentative agreement on a new five-year collective bargaining agreement which takes effect Thursday and runs through December 31, 2014.

The deal is subject to approval by the league's Board of Governors and the membership of the MLS Players Union, but it is considered a done deal by both sides.

Coming to terms on the new agreement avoided a potential players strike, which would've been the league's first work stoppage in their 15-year history.

Under the new CBA, most players will be able to earn guaranteed contracts, but, in lieu of becoming free agents when contracts expire, option years are declined or a player reaches a certain age, a re-entry draft will be created to find the player a new team.

Friday, March 19, 2010

DC United Finally Releases M Danny Szetala

Major League Soccer's DC United officially released former US Olympic team and US U-20 midfielder Danny Szetala Friday.

The league allocated him to United in July after playing for Brescia in Italy's Serie B.

Szetala, who previously played in MLS with the Columbus Crew, tore his the meniscus in his right knee on the second day of preseason training this year. He made only nine appearances last season for DC.

United officials said his high salary and lackluster play were the main reasons for his release.

Impact To Face Antigua Barracuda FC In Two-Game Series

The Montreal Impact of the USSF Division II Pro League announced Friday they will play a two-game, home-and-home series this spring and fall with Antigua Barracuda FC, a team mostly made up from members of the Antigua and Barbuda national men's team.

Game one will be April 17 in Antigua with the second set for September 4 at Saputo Stadium in Montreal.

US U-20 WNT Pool Player Goul Joins Chicago Red Eleven

The Chicago Red Eleven of the United Soccer Leagues W-League, the official affiliate to the Chicago Red Stars in Women's Professional Soccer, announced the signing Friday of University of Texas sophomore goalkeeper and US U-20 Women's National Team pool player Alexa Goul.

Goul finished fifth in the Big 12 Conference in shutouts with four and seventh in saves with 61 last season.

She only played one year of high school soccer -- during her senior season at Neuqua Valley High School in Napierville, IL -- and led them to a 17-win season. Goul only allowed six goals that season.

Despite the lack of playing experience, she was named an All-American, an ESPNRise.com First Team All-American, Player of the Year by The Napierville Sun, a Top 11 All-State player by the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times, and was chosen The Southtown Daily Herald's All-Area First Team selection.

RGV Bravos Welcome Back "Chava" And "Moreira"

The Rio Grande Valley Bravos of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League announce the returns to the franchise of forward Salvador "Chava" Luna and technical director Ismael "Moreira" Braga.

Luna spent the last two months in Brazil shifting stints between Botafogo of the country's first division and their men's U-20 team.

The second-leading scorer in the PDL in 2009 with 16 goals in 14 games, Luna will spend some time training with the Austin Aztex of the USSF Division II Pro League while Bravos' players go through the physical conditioning phase of their preseason schedule.

Former Star Escovar Joins Heat As Assistant Coach, Strength And Conditioning Coach

Former Laredo Heat player Albert Escovar re-joined the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League as the team's assistant coach and strength and conditioning coach, the team announced Friday.

Escovar graduated in December 2009 from Texas A&M International University with a degree in Fitness and Sports All Level Certification.

A native of Colombia, Escovar has lived in the US 12 years, beginning in Orlando.

Revolution Re-Signs D Darrius Barnes

Major League Soccer's New England Revolution announced the signing Friday of second-year defender Darrius Barnes.

Barnes was one of the team's starting central defenders in his inaugural season there.

Riverhounds Name Rotz Assistant Coach

The United Soccer Leagues Second Division's Pittsburgh Riverhounds announced the promotion of John Rotz from director of team operations to assistant coach Friday.

Rotz has been with the organization since 2007, beginning as a summer youth camp instructor.

Timbers To Have 10 Home Games Televised Regionally By FSN

Fox Sports Networks will air ten regular-season home games of the USSF Division II Pro League's Portland Timbers this season from PGE Park, beginning April 22 at 7 p.m. Pacific time against AC St. Louis.

AC St. Louis, the NSC Minnesota Stars and Crystal Palace Baltimore will be frequently televised opponents as each team will appear twice on Timbers' broadcasts in the five-state regional area.

A second game with St. Louis will air May 15 at 7 p.m.

The Stars will face Portland June 17 and August 11, both at 7 p.m.

Baltimore comes to May 13 at 7 p.m. and on the final broadcast August 29 at 6 p.m.

The remaining games will be against the Vancouver Whitecaps (April 29 - 7 p.m.), the Carolina RailHawks (June 6 - 6 p.m.), FC Tampa Bay Rowdies (June 27 - 5 p.m.) and the Austin Aztex (August 26 - 7 p.m.).

PDL's Ocean City Franchise Now Called Ocean City FC Nor'Easters

For their 14th season as a franchise in United Soccer Leagues and their eighth in the Premier Development League, Ocean City, NJ's franchise has been re-named Ocean City FC Nor'Easters, according to an announcement Thursday on a local TV station.

The team, formerly called the Ocean City Barons, recently ended their relationship with the South Jersey Barons youth academy and held a Name The Team contest to come up with a new identity.

Matt Jernee of Absecon, NJ was the winner of the contest.

The Nor'Easters, named for a strong winter weather pattern which normally brings much snow with it, as several did this winter, will also adopt the team colors of their affiliate, Reading FC of the English Championship -- blue and white.

Dynamo Sign Jamaican M Lovel Palmer

Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo announced the signing Friday of midfielder Lovel Palmer, who joins the franchise from Harbour View in Jamaica, who he led as captain to a first place tie in their professional league with three games left in the 2009-10 season.

Palmer has been with the team since being a teenager and has worn the captain's armband since August 2005 when he was 21.

He has played 12 times for Jamaica's men's national team, last doing so February 10 when he scored their lone goal in a 2-1 loss to Argentina.

Palmer spent two one-week tryout periods with the Dynamo -- the first February 22-27 at the inaugural Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic in Lake Buena Vista, FL, where he scored a goal in a game against fellow MLS foe FC Dallas; and the week of March 7, where he played in preseason games against the Austin Aztex of the USSF Division II Pro League (March 7) and MLS' Chicago Fire (March 11).

Tacoma News Tribune: Sounders Cut Neagle, Wallace

Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders announced Thursday they have released veteran player Lamar Neagle and 2010 MLS SuperDraft pick Jamel Wallace, according to the Tacoma News-Tribune.

MLS Champs Sign Melia, Schuler To Development Deals; Cut Cox

The defending Major League Soccer champion Real Salt Lake announced Thursday they have signed goalkeeper Tim Melia and defender Chris Schuler to developmental contracts and cut defender/midfielder Raphael Cox.

Melia played the last two seasons with the Rochester Rhinos in the United Soccer Leagues First Division. The Rhinos now play in the USSF Division II Pro League.

In 2009, he had a 6-3-7 record with the team, a goals against average of 0.97, and he led te RailHawks to the semifinals of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament.

Schuler, a three-time All-Missouri Valley Conference First Team selection, started all four collegiate seasons at Creighton University and was selected by RSL in the third round of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft.

Cox started two of six games last season and scored his only career goal July 18, 2009 in a 3-1 loss to the Columbua Crew in MLS play.

Blues Signs Pair Of Goalkeepers And Midfielders

Miami FC Blues of the USSF Division II Pro League announced the signings Thursday of goalkeepers Lance Parker and Caleb Patterson and midfielders Sean Cannon and Gabriel Hoyos.

Parker was a two-time All-Missouri Valley Conference Second Team member at Missouri State University, where he twice has a goals against average below 1.0. He also played in the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League for the Colorado Rapids U23s and in Major League Soccer for Chivas USA, where they played during the 2008 North American SuperLiga.

Patterson, born in Tennessee but raised in Australia, played in the youth system of Australia's Toowoomba Raiders. He played professionally for MLS' New York Bulls and the Cleveland City Stars and Carolina RailHawks in United Soccer Leagues. At Carolina last season, he was named the USL First Division Goalkeeper of the Year after having a 0.533 goals against average.

Cameron makes his second career stop with the Blues, having previously been with them in 2007 before being called up to the national team of Guyana.

Hoyas played youth soccer for the Weston Fury and was at SC Frelberg in Germany's Bundesliga.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wave To Play State Champs In Warmup Game

The Major Indoor Soccer League regular season champion Milwaukee Wave announced Thursday they will play a friendly game of indoor soccer against Wisconsion Major League champion Madison United March 27 at the KEVA Sports Center in Middleton, WI.

The game will be a warmup match before the Wave take on the winner of the Baltimore Blast-La Raza de Monterrey two-game series for the MISL Championship, sponsored by The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, April 4 at US Cellular Arena.

Severe Winter Weather Cancels Charity Shield Game

Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids annnounced Thursday their planned Charity Shield game against the Seattle Sounders, set for Saturday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO, has been cancelled due to severe winter weather heading for Denver and its surrounding areas.

The game will not be rescheduled and fans who bought tickets have return options.

Brooks Welcomed Back To Crystal Palace Baltimore

After spending the 2009 season with their rival, Real Maryland FC Monarchs of the United Soccer Leagues Second Division, forward Gary Brooks signed Thursday to play for Crystal Palace Baltimore of the USSF Division II Pro League, where he is their all-time leading goal scorer, tallying 14 in two seasons there.

He had six goals in 14 appearances with the Monarchs last season.

United Undefeated In Carolina Challenge Cup

Major League Soccer's all-time leading scorer, Jaime Moreno, scored the lone goal of the game Wednesday as DC United went 2-0-0 in the seventh annual Carolina Challenge Cup preseason tournament at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, SC with a 1-0 victory over fellow MLS foe Toronto FC.

United has six points in the four-team, round-robin competition hosted by the Charleston Battery of the United Soccer Leagues Second Division, who have never won the tournament in its history. The host Battery are not expected to challenge for the title this season as they are tied with Toronto with records of 0-1-1 with one point and one game left to play. Defending MLS champion Real Salt Lake is 2-1-0 with three points.

On the final matchday Saturday, RSL takes on Toronto and the Battery face United.

NSC Minnesota Stars Sign Three More To Roster

The NSC Minnesota Stars of the USSF Division II Pro League announced the signings Thursday of goalkeepers Louis Crayton and Joe Warren and midfielder Simone Bracalello.

Crayton, a native of Liberia, was released by Major League Soccer's DC United in 2008 after 18 games following injuring his hip.

Before joining MLS, he played for eight teams over 11 seasons in Switzerland and began his career with the St. Joseph Warriors in Liberia.

He retired from international competition with his country's national team in 2008 after making 36 appearances over nine years.

Warren will be coming out of retirement to join the Stars, who was been training with for some time.

He retired from the United Soccer Leagues First Division's Minnesota Thunder in 2007 as their longest-tenured player in history and had spent several seasons as an assistant coach at St. Olaf College in Minnesota.

Bracalello, a native of Genoa, Italy, played in the youth systems of UC Sampdoria, FC Sestrese Calcio and Sarona 1907 FC before debuted with Sarona in the 2002-03 season, where he played one game in Italy's fourth division Serie C2 league.

He would later train with Calcio Como in Italy's second division and played for the club's Primavera team, which competed against other U-20 teams from Italy's top two divisions.

Bracalello had three goals and six assists in 23 games for AC Preto in the 2007-08 Serie C2 season.

He also trained in Australia's A-League with the Newcastle Jets and Pescara in Italy's Series C1.

The Stars also announced they will play three preseason games, beginning this Saturday in Faribault, MN against Shattuck-St. Mary's.

On March 27 at Parade Stadium in Minneapolis, they will face the Marquette Univerity Golden Eagles, then, on April 4, will play back-to-back exhibition games against Creghton University and AC St. Louis, also in USSF-D2, at Creighton in Omaha, NB.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Rowdies Take Lambo On Loan; Burt Signs

The Tampa Bay Rowdies of the USSF Division II Pro League announced Wednesday they have acquired the services of goalkeeper Josh Lambo on loan for the entire 2010 season by Major League Soccer's FC Dallas.

Lambo was drafted by Dallas in the first round of the 2008 MLS SuperDraft and was listed on the roster as the backup goalkeeper in 15 of 32 regular season games, but never saw any playing time.

He did post a 2-0 shutout of Costa Rica's Sport Herediano in a friendly game for Dallas June 16, 2009.

The Rowdies also signed midfielder Chad Burt, a graduate of Northeast High School in Pinellas County, FL and the assistant director of coaching for the Simply Soccer Futbol Club in St. Petersburg, FL.

A preseason trialist with Tampa Bay, he has scored a goal and an assist over two games.

In 2009, he played outdoors for the Carolina RailHawks for the United Soccer Leagues First Division and indoors for the Major Indoor Soccer League's Milwaukee Wave, where he had 13 points over 20 games for the team. He also spent time USL1 with the former Atlanta Silverbacks and the Premier Development League's Colorado Rapids U-23 team.

Diop Reunites Again With Zambrano At Wizards

Major League Soccer's Kansas City Wizards announced Wednesday they have welcomed Senegalese defender Birahim Diop back to the league with a 2010 contract and he will be reunited with current assistant coach Octavio Zambrano.

Zambrano first worked with Diop in MLS with the New York Red Bulls after playing previously in Senegal for US Rail de Thies in that country's Premier League (15 goals in 25 career games), then hooked up again at FC Tilgul-Tiras Tiraspol in Moldova.

Diop also played for ASC Jeanne D'Arc in Dakar and Deportivo Pereira in Colombia.

DC United Signs D Adams To Developmental Contract

Major League Soccer's DC United signed defender Lyle Adams, the 26th overall pick in the league's 2009 SuperDraft, to a developmental contract Wednesday.

The native of Kingston, Jamaica had trials with clubs in Austria, Switzerland and Belgium before joining the Austin Aztex of the United Soccer Leagues First Division.

He played collegiately for four seasons at Wake Forest, scoring 11 goals and six assists and winning a national championship in 2007.

Reading United FC Signs Hedges, Sapong

Reading United FC, formerly the Reading Rage, 2009 regular season champions in the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League, announced Wednesday they have signed Matt Hedges and C.J. Sapong to 2010 contracts.

Hedges was the 2009 Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year after scoring five goals and three assists for Butler University last season.

Sapong has scored 25 goals in three seasons for James Madison University in the Colonial Athletic Association, where he was been selected a three-time all-league First Team pick.

In 2007, he was named the association's Rookie of the Year.

He also has been named a National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-South Atlantic First Team member.

Top Two Women's Teams In The World To Play May 22 In Cleveland

In a rematch of the March 3 final of the Algarve Cup in Porto, Portugal, the top two ranked women's teams in the world -- the US and Germany -- will play an international friendly May 22 at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

The game will mark the first time Germany has played on US soil since winning the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup and the US' first game in Cleveland since defeating China 2-0 June 16, 2007.

The US captured their seventh Algarve Cup crown in Porto with a 3-2 victory.

Sounders Sign Colombian F/M Prospect Montano

Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders, looking to sign a player whose talent can grow with the franchise, signed forward Miguel Montano Wednesday.

Team general manager Adrian Hanauer sees Montano serving a role on the team in the future as a forward or midfielder, but says he doesn't see Montano making the same sort of impact fellow Colombian Fredy Montero has.

Hanauer said Montano could be used in upcoming CONCACAF Champions League or 2010 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup competitions.

Wave Take Kixx To School; MISL Playoff Matchups Set

Ian Bennett and Josh Rife scored five points each Wednesday as the Major Indoor Soccer League regular season champion Milwaukee Wave edged the Philadelphia Kixx 14-12 in a retooled School Day game at US Cellular Arena in Milwaukee.

The Wave were scheduled to hold an intrasquad game for school children in the area, but the game was revamped after a major winter snowstorm forced an original February 6 game in Philadelphia to be moved to Milwaukee when Kixx officials were unable to reschedule the game at their home arena.

The game became the first of back-to-back games with Philadelphia with the second game set for Saturday.

Milwaukee, who improved to 13-6 on the season and now boast the second-longest winning streak in team history at seven games. Their previous longest winning streak was eight to open the 2005-06 MISL season.

The Wave also eliminated the Kixx (7-11) from the league playoff picture and set up the final schedule.

By way of winning the regular season championship, the Wave will host the 2010 MISL Championship Game presented by The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel April 4 at US Cellular Arena.

The Wave will meet the winner of a two-game, aggregate-goal semifinal series between the second place Baltimore Blast and the third place La Raza de Monterrey for the title, with that series taking place March 26 and 28.