Thursday, September 30, 2010

Holden Gets Contract Extension With EPL's Bolton

Former Houston Dynamo and US Men's National Team midfielder Stuart Holden signed a contract extension with the Bolton Wanderers of the English Premier League through the 2012-13 season, according to The Houston Chronicle.

Holden's contract was to expire at the end of the current season.

After joining the team on a short-term loan in January 2010, he broke his right leg in a March 3 USMNT friendly against the Netherlands and was limited to three appearances with the Wanderers.

He has started all six of Bolton's games this season.

Freedom Agrees To Mutual Termination Of Bompastor's Contract

The Washington Freedom of Women's Professional Soccer announced a mutual agreement Thursday with player Sonia Bompastor to be released from her contract, so she may return to her native France to play for Olympique Lyonnais and for her national team during the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.

Lyonnais has already agreed verbally to return Bompastor to the Freedom for the 2011 WPS season after she is done with her commitment to her national team.

In 2010, Bompastor started 21 games and had two goals and five assists. She was also named the league's Player of the Week for Week 4 of the season after having a goal and an assist in a victory over the defunct St. Louis Athletica.

In 2009, she had four goals and six assists for the Freedom and was the WPS Player of the Month for May.

Dutch Lions Become Fifth Team To Commit To Playing In USL Pro In 2011

The Dayton Dutch Lions, an expansion team in the 2010 season of the USL Premier Development League that had planned to move up to the USL First Division in 2011, announced Thursday they will be part of the new USL PRO, a merger of the USL's First and Second Divisions, for the 2011 season.

Already committed to the new league are fellow USL teams the Charleston Battery, the last USL-2 champion, and the Richmond Kickers, the 2009 USL-1 champion, along with two new teams to be based in Puerto Rico -- Sevilla Football Club and Club Atletico River Plate.

Rapids' Cummings Named MLS POTM For September

Colorado Rapids forward Omar Cummings was selected Major League Soccer's Player of the Month for September Wednesday.

He scored six goals over four games he played during the month and led the team to a 3-1-1 record.

September 4, he scored two of the team's goals in a 3-0 home win over Chivas USA and, a few days later, was named the league's Player of the Week for the accomplishment.

Then, on September 11, he scored a new single-season career high ninth goal in a win at the New York Red Bulls, which later earned him Goal of the Week honors.

He would then have a goal and an assist in Colorado's 3-0 home win against the New England Revolution September 18 and wrapped up the honor Wednesday by scoring two goals in the first 15 minues of their 4-1 victory over the expansion Philadelphia Union.

Inbetween league games, he scored a goal for Jamaica's national team in an exhibition game against Peru in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Cummings has scored a point in five straight league games and has tallied seven goals during that span. The five-game scoring streak ties a league high with Toronto FC's Dwayne De Rosario, who did the same in April 2010.

Cummings is one game away from tying a Colorado team record of six straight games with a point done by John Spencer in 2003.

Cummings is tied for third in the league's Golden Boot race with 12 goals, one ahead of teammate Conor Casey (11) and two behind league-leader Edson Buddle of the Los Angeles Galaxy (14).

Vipers Sign Local Player During Recent Open Tryouts

The expansion Omaha Vipers of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced the signing of defender Aaron Polak, the only local player signed out of 143 players who attended a series of open tryouts last week.

Polak, who lives in Lincoln, NB and attended Hastings College, is a two-time Second Team All-American and also won regional and conference player of the year honors in his career.

He will join his fellow Viper teammates at training camp beginning the week of October 25.

Fire Hotter Than Earthquakes At Buck Shaw Stadium

Steven Kinney, Freddie Ljunberg and Patrick Nyarko all scored goals as the Chicago Fire shut out the San Jose Earthquakes in Major League Soccer play Wednesday from Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, CA.

Chicago improves to 7-10-8 with 29 points and is in fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings. The Fire next welcomes FC Dallas, riding a league-record 17-game unbeaten streak, to Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL Saturday.

San Jose, meanwhile, is 11-8-6 with 39 points and are tied for fifth place in the Western Conference standings with the Seattle Sounders (11-9-6). The Earthquakes travel to Crew Stadium to take on the Eastern Conference-leading Columbus Crew.

Cummings Double Gives Rapids Fifth Straight Home Win

Omar Cummings had a pair of goals to lead the host Colorado Rapids won their fifth straight home game at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerice City, CO Wednesday in a 4-1 rout of the expansion Philadelphia Union.

Macoumba Kandji and Wells Thompson assisted on Cummings' first goal in the eight minute and Kandji assisted Quincy Amarikwa on a 86th minute goal, whle Thompson also posted an unassisted goal in the 68th minute.

Cummings' second goal came unassisted in the 16th minute.

Jack McInermey scored Philadelphia's goal in the 90th minute.

The Rapids are now in fourth place in the Western Conference at 11-7-8 wth 41 points and will hist the worst team in the Eastern Conference and the league itself, DC United, Saturday.

Philadelphia is in fifth place in the Eastern Conference table at 7-13-6 with 27 points and will host the Houston Dynamo Saturday.

Out But Not Down -- Sounders Stun Marathon In CCL Group C Play

Despite being already eliminated from qualifying for the Knockout Stage of the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League tournament last week, Michael Fucito scored the only goals of the match as Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders shut out Mexico's Marathon 2-0 Wednesday in Group C play at Qwest Fied.

Seattle is now 1-4-0 with three points and ends their tournament stay October 19 when they host Saprissa of Costa Rica (2-2-1, seven points).

Marathon fell to 2-3-0 with six points, putting them one behind Saprissa for second place, which would earn them a berth in the next phase of the competition. They will host another Mexican foe, Monterrey, October 20.

Horst Game-Winner Puts D-2's Islanders In Charge Of Group D At CCL

David Horst scored two goals, including the game-winner in second half stoppage time, as the Puerto Rico Islanders of the USSF Division 2 Pro League, edged Toluca of Mexico 3-2 Wednesday in the fifth round of Group D play at the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League event at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium in Bayamon, PR.

David Foley also put the Islanders on the scoreboard with an unassisted goal in the 54th minute.

Hector Mancilla scored both of Toluca's goals in the loss.

The win by the Islanders propelled them ino the top spot in the four-team group with a record of 2-1-2 with eight points. Puerto Rico will end the six-game group stage phase of the tournament October 20 at Olimpia in Honduras.

Toluca still has a shot for one of the two available berths into the Knockout Stage at 2-2-1 with seven points, though they are tied with Olimpia (2-1-1) for second place and are a point behind the Islanders for first place. Toluca hosts El Salvador's FAS (0-2-2, two points) October 20 in the final game of group play.

Crew Shut Out By Municipal In CCL Group B Game

Pando Ramirez had all the offense his team needed Wednesday as Municipal of Guatemala shut out Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew 2-0 in the fifth round of Group B play in the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League tournament at Guatemala City, Guatemala.

Municipal is now in third place in the group standings at 2-1-2 with eight points, putting them one point behind the Crew (3-2-0, nine) for second and two points behind Santos of Mexico (3-1-1,10) for first place. Municipal will be at Santos for the final round of group play October 19.

The Crew is in second place and will travel to Trindad & Tobago to face winless Joe Public FC (0-4-1, one) October 21.

The top two teams in each of four groups will advance to the tournament's knockout phase.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

PASL Pro Releases Eastern, Western Division Schedules For 2010-11 Season

The Professional Arena Soccer League Wednesday released the 2010-11 season schedules for teams in the Eastern and Western Divisions, with the release of schedules for teams in its new Pro Frontier Division and a league affiliate, the Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League, to be done at a later date.

Four teams return for Season 3 of PASL-Pro in the Eastern Division: the Cincinnati Kings (a merged entity of the USL Premier Development League's Cincinnati Kings and the PASL-Pro's 1790 Cincinnati Express), the Detroit Waza, the Louisville Lightning and the Ohio Vortex. The St. Louis Illusion have folded.

In the Western Division are the defending North American champion San Diego Sockers, the California Cougars, Revolucion Tijuana and the Tacoma Stars (promoting themselves from PASL-Premier). The Texas Outlaws and Denver Dynamite have folded.

Each of the eight teams will be playing a 16-game regular schedule and, this season, will not have any games scheduled between PASL-Premier teams, which had counted as wins or losses for the Pro teams.

The 2010-11 season will begin November 12 when the Lightning play host to the Kings at the Mockinbird Valley Soccer Club and will end March 6, 2011 when the Detroit Waza play a doubleheader at the CMISL's Winnipeg Alliance.

Teams in the CMISL, whose regular season champion earns a berth in the PASL-Pro's North American championship tournament, along with the Liga Mexicana de Futbol Rapido, another affiliate, are the Calgary United, Edmonton Drillers, Prince George Fury, Saskatoon Accelerators and the Winnipeg Alliance.

The Sockers are also set to defend their title at the US Open Arena Soccer tournament, which begins for PASL-Pro teams December 4 when they meet teams who have won qualifying tournaments.

Wave To Have No Home Jerseys This MISL Season

The Milwaukee Wave, defending regular season champions of the Major Indoor Soccer League, announced Wednesday a unique season-long promotion in which the team will not have a standard home game jersey.

Players will wear customized jerseys for each game, which will have the logo of a different charitable organization the team is supporting this season.

The game-worn jerseys will then be autographed by the players and put up for auction, with proceeds going to the desiganted charity on the jersey.

The charities taking part in the promotion are MACC Fund, Children's Hospital, Go Pink!, Autism Society, Boys and Girls Club, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation/American Diabetes Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, United Way of Greater Milwaukee, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Special Olympics and Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Noonan Scheduled To Have Hip Surgery

Seattle Sounders forward Pat Noonan was set to undergo surgery on a hip Tuesday after being placed on the Major League Soccer team's injured list September 16, according to SeattlePI.com.

He started eight of 12 games for the Sounders this season with a goal and an assist, but hadn't played since July 15, when he started and played 88 minutes in a 1-0 win over DC United.

Wave Re-Sign Goalkeepers Vorberg, Feenstra For 2010-11 Season

The Milwaukee Wave of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced Tuesday they have re-signed goalkeepers Nick Vorsberg and Marcel Feenstra for the 2010-11 season, according to The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Vorsberg is the defending MISL Goalkeeper of the Year after leading the league in points per game at 9.48. This will be his seventh season in Milwaukee.

Feenstra will spend his third season with the Wave,

MISL's New Teams To Face Off In Omaha November 21

The Major Indoor Soccer League announced Tuesday their two expansion teams for the 2010-11 season -- the Omaha Vipers and the Missouri Comets -- will meet for the first time November 21 at the Omaha Civic Auditorium.

The league will release the rest of the season schedule next week.

Morales Goal Gives RSL Draw To TFC, But Advances Them To CCL Quarterfinals

Javier Morales' goal in the 68th minute countered a goal by Jacob Peterson in the 20th minute as the defending Major League Soccer champion Real Salt Lake played host Toronto FC in a fifth-round Group A match in the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League Tuesday at BMO Field.

The draw, combined with Cruz Azul of Mexico shutting out Panama's Arabe Unido 2-0 Tuesday, locked up spots in the quarterfinal round of the tournament for both RSL and Cruz Azul, tied for the group lead at 3-1-1 with 10 points.

RSL will host Cruz Azul in the sixth and final round of group play October 19.

Morales' goal also brike a four-game scoreless streak at BMO Field and extended Toronto's home winless streak in all competitions to six games.

Toronto, 1-2-2 with five points, will finish out their run in the tournament October 19 when they host Arabe Unido.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

USL Names Former Canadian National Head Coach Walters As Technical Advisor

United Soccer Leagues announced Tuesday the hiring of former goalkeeper and Canadian National Team head coach Tony Walters as a technical advisor and he will work closely with USL National Technical Director Peter Mellor to support the development of teams in all USL leagues.

The Southport, England native made 300 appearances in England's First Division with Blackpool FC, but also played for Bishop Auckland, Macclesfield Town and Burnley, and represented England five times on their national team.

In 1972, he became manager of Plymouth Argyle and led them to a Third Division championship and a promotion three years later.

In 1975, Walters was named head coach of the Vancouver Whitecaps, then of the original North American Soccer League, and led them to an NASL Championship in 1979.

As head coach of Canada's National Team starting in 1981, Walters took the team to the quartefinals of the 1984 Summer Olympics and the finals of the 1986 FIFA World Cup, the highest point the team has ever reached.

Walters also served as the first director of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's Goalkeeper Institute. He still works for the NSCAA as a National Staff Coach as well as for US Soccer.

He also has been a staff coach for the English Football Association and Canadian Soccer Association, a coaching director at the Liverpool Youth Development Program, and a member of the FIFA Panel of Instructors and the CONCACAF Coaching Commission.

In 2001, he was inducted as a builder into the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame.

Currently, Walters is president and technical director of World of Soccer, Ltd, which produces soccer coaching and teaching systems and products that create team success through age-appropriate player development.

Freedom Accepts Resignation Of Gabarra After 10 Seasons

Women's Professional Soccer's Washington Freedom accepted the resignation Tuesday of head coach Jim Gabarra after 10 seasons with the franchise that included leading them to the 2003 Women's United Soccer Association's Founders Cup title and the 2007 USL W-League Championship.

Gabarra's teams won 65 games each between the 2001 to 2003 seasons and the 2007 to 2010 seasons.

The search for a new head coach has officially begun.

Last USL-2 Champion Commits To USL Pro For 2011 Season

The final champion of the USL Second Division, the Charleston Battery, announced Tuesday they will join the new USL Pro -- a merger of the USL First and Second Divisions -- for its inaugural season in 2011.

The Battery have previously won USL championship titles in 1996 and 2003.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Comets Sign Former Ignition Players Waltman, Sampson To Two-Year Deals

The expansion Missouri Comets of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced the signing Monday of two former members of the Detroit Ignition, who played in the second incarnation of the MISL and in the one-season Xtreme Soccer League, to two-year contracts.

Goalkeeper Danny Waltman played last season in the MISL with the Rockford Rampage. In 2008-09, Waltman became the first goalkeeper since 1998 to win a indoor soccer league's Most Valuable Player award as he led the Ignition to the XSL's only championship.

In 2007, with the MISL's Ignition, he led the league in wins and save percentage and was named to the All-League Second Team.

He began his pro soccer career with the MISL's Chicago Storm in 2004, where he won numerous Player of the Week awards and was named to the First Team All-Rookie Team.

Forward Worteh Sampson has played the last two outdoor seasons with the Charlotte Eagles of the USL Second Division.

He began his pro career in 2006 with the Ignition and still holds the team record for the fastest first goal scored to start a game at 11 seconds.

Sampson was one of the XSL's leading scorers in their lone season of 2008-09 before he tore his Achilles tendon and ending his season.

Kitsap Pumas Join PASL-Pro, Will Remain In USL PDL

The Kitsap Pumas are the latest soccer team to have a year-round presence as the current USL Premier Development League franchise announced Monday they will join the Professional Arena Soccer League for their 2010-11 season, beginning in November.

The Pumas will become a member of the PASL-Pro's new Pro Frontier Division that will be made up of expansion teams and those teams who do not have geographic rivals with current Eastern and Western Division teams.

Teams in the new division will be looking to join the league as full members for the 2011-12 season and will play a 12-game schedule, while teams in the other divisions will play a full 16-game schedule.

RSL Locks Up Playoff Berth; Other Berths Could Be Decided This Weekend

Major League Soccer's defending champion, Real Salt Lake, will earn a chance to become a two-time league champion, as they officially qualified for a playoff berth Monday after playing the Colorado Rapids to a 1-1 draw Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium.

RSL becomes the second of eight teams to officially clinch a playoff berth, joining another Western Conference team, the Los Angeles Galaxy, who also hold the league's bext record.

Several other teams have chances this week to lock down playoff berths.

The Columbus Crew can clinch a playoff spot if they beat or tie the San Jose Earthquakes and the Kansas City Wizards lose to the New York Red Bulls Saturday.

FC Dallas, unbeaten in their last 17 games, will earn a playoff berth if they win or play to a draw with the Chicago Fire and the Red Bulls beat Kansas City.

Two teams were officially eliminated from playoff contention this weekend -- the Houston Dynamo, despite beating the league's worst team in DC United Saturday, and the New England Revolution, who played the Crew to a 2-2 draw Saturday.

Toronto FC in the Eastern Conference and Chivas USA in the Western Conference could see their playoff hopes die this weekend.

Toronto will be watching the MLS Cup playoffs at home if they lose to the Seattle Sounders Saturday and the Earthquakes and the Colorado Rapids both win.

Chivas will miss the playoffs only if Seattle, San Jose and Colorado all win, but if one of them loses, a win against the Galaxy Sunday could keep the Goats in the playoff picture.

San Jose's Wondolowski Nets POTW After Having Hat Trick

San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski was named Major League Soccer's Player of the Week for Week 26 of the 2010 season after completing a hat trick in Saturday's 3-2 win over Toronto FC.

He became the first San Jose player to have a hat trick in a game since 2003 and the first to win a POTW award since Ronnie O'Brien in 2008.

Wondolowski has shattered his career-high for goals in a season, which was five in 2009, with 12 goals this season, tying him with Toronto's Dwayne De Rosario and Sebastien Le Toux of the expansion Philadelphia Union for third place in the Budweiser Golden Boot competition.

His goal total is also the most for an Earthquakes player since Brian Ching, now with the Houston Dynamo, in 2004.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

FC Gold Pride Wins 2010 WPS Championship

Christine Sinclair led her team with two goals, Marta had a goal and two assists, and Kandace Wilson  assisted on a goal and scored another as FC Gold Pride ended a wire-to-wire 2010 Women's Professional Soccer season by claiming the league's second championship 4-0 over the expansion Philadelphia Independence Sunday at Pioneer Stadium in Hayward, CA.

The Pride, who were the worst team in WPS in its inaugural season, finished the 2010 season with a record of 17-3-5, while the Independence capped their first season with a 10-11-4 record.

Wondolowski Triple Gives Earthquakes Advantage Over Toronto FC

Chris Wondolowski's hat trick was more than what Toronto FC could handle and the San Jose Earthquakes edged them 3-2 Saturday in Major League Soccer play at BMO Field in Toronto.

Dwayne De Rosario and Maicon Santos hit second half goals for Toronto in the loss.

San Jose is now 11-7-6 with 39 points and tied for fourth place in the Western Conference with the Seattle Sounders (11-9-6). The Earthquakes face two opponents this week, hosting the Chicago Fire Thursday, then meeting the Eastern Conference-leading Columbus Crew Saturday.

Union United In 3-0 Rout Of Chivas USA

The expansion Philadelphia Union routed Major League Soccer's worst team in the Western Conference, Chivas USA, 3-0 Saturday at PPL Park in Chester, PA.

Sebastien Le Toux led the Union with an assist on a Fred goal in first half stoppage time and a free kick goal in the 69th minute. Alejandro Moreno opened the scoring by heading a corner kick from Justin Mapp in the 25th minute.

Philadelphia is now 7-12-6 with 22 points and in fifth place in the Eastern Conference. The Union will host the Houston Dynamo this Saturday.

Chivas USA, at 7-14-4 with 25 points, will host the best team in the league and the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Galaxy, in the final Honda SuperClasico game of the 2010 season at the mutual home for both teams, Carson, CA's The Home Depot Center.

Dynamo Climb Out From Western Cellar; Keep United At Bottom Of Eastern

The Houston Dynamo, once two-time, back-to-back Major League Soccer champions, finally got out of the cellar of the Western Conference standings as they defeated the league's worst team, DC United of the Eastern Conference, 3-1 Saturday at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC.

United had the halftime lead as rookie Andy Najar scored his fifth goal of the season at the half-hour mark.

DC's Devon McIntosh inadvertently tied the game at 1-all in the 66th minute with an own goal, then Houston took over five minutes later as Geoff Cameron headed a pass from Brad Davis for the 2-1 lead.

Dominic Oduro then scored in second half stoppage time for Houston, now 7-14-6 with 26 points and in seventh place in the Western table. The Dynamo take on the expansion Philadelphia Union this Saturday at PPL Park in Chester, PA.

United falls to 6-18-3 with 18 points and takes on the Colorado Rapids on the road this Saturday.

Borchers Last Minute Goal Extends RSL's Home Unbeaten Streak To 24 Games

In the final minute of second half stoppage time, Nat Borchers' first goal of the season was enough for defending Major League Soccer champion Real Salt Lake to extend their league-record home unbeaten streak to 24 games in a 1-1 draw Saturday to the Colorado Rapids at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT.

Colorado scored first on Conor Casey's 11th goal of the season off a Kosuke Kimura assist and fourth in his last five games.

RSL is in second place in the Western Conference standings at 13-4-9 with 48 points and will travel to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA this Saturday to play the New England Revolution.

Colorado is in sixth place in the same conference at 10-7-8 with 38 points and will host the league's worst team, DC United, this Saturday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

Crew Draw Puts Them Back On Top On Eastern Conference

The Columbus Crew regained sole possession of the lead in Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference Saturday in a 2-2 draw with the New England Revoluion at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA.

Once again, New England turned a 2-0 advantage and three points in the standings into a draw and each team earning a single point.

The Revolution needed only two minutes to score their first goal as Pat Phelan converted a Marko Perovic free kick and held that lead into halftime, then Shalrie Joseph upped the lead to 2-0 on a 56th minute penalty kick.

An own goal by New England's Corey Gibbs in the 62nd minute gave the Crew their first point and Gullermo Barros Schelotto had Columbus' first true goal in the 80th minute to force the tie.

Columbus is now 13-7-6 with 45 points and will host the San Jose Earthquakes this Saturday.

New England, at 7-14-5 with 26 points, are tied for sixth place in the Eastern Conference with the Chicago Fire (6-10-6). The Revolution hosts the defending league champion Real Salt Lake this Saturday.

Sounders' Nkufo Puts Out Fire With Lone Goal Of Game

Seattle Sounders forward Blaise Nkufo followed up last week's first hat trick of his Major League Soccer career by posting the lone goal in second half stoppage time of a 1-0 win over the host Chicago Fire at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL Saturday.

Seattle improved to 11-9-6 with 39 points on the season and are in a tie for fourth place in the Western Conference standings with the San Jose Earthquakes (11-7-6). The Sounders will welcome Toronto FC to Qwest Field in Seattle this Saturday.

Chicago, at 6-10-8 with 26 points, is tied for sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings with the New England Revolution (7-14-5) and have two road games on their slate this week -- at San Jose Thursday and at FC Dallas, who are unbeaten in their last 17 league games, this Saturday.

FC Dallas Extends League's Longest Unbeaten Streak To 17 Games

FC Dallas extended their Major League Soccer record unbeaten streak to 17 games as they defeated the Kansas City Wizards 3-1 Saturday at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.

Dallas stormed their way to a quick 2-0 lead as David Ferreira assisted Martin Chavez on a fifth minute goal and Atiba Harris fed a pass to Milton Rodriguez in the 12th minute.

Kansas City got on the scoreboard in the 57th minute on a goal from Ryan Smith.

Dallas' Jeff Cunningham ended the contest in the 65th minute with his 131st career goal, putting him one behind Jaime Moreno to tie the league's all-time goal scoring record.

Dallas improved to 11-2-13 with 46 points and holds down third place in the Western Conference. They will host the Chicago Fire this Saturday.

Kansas City, meanwhile, is 9-10-6 with 33 points and in third place in the Eastern Conference. The Wizards face the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ this Saturday.

Dike Duo Extends Timbers Winning Streak To Nine Games

Bright Dike, assisted on both of his goals by Doug DeMartin, led the Portland Timbers to their ninth straight USSF Division 2 Pro League victory Saturday 3-1 over Crystal Palace Baltimore at Paul Angelo Russo Stadium in Baltimore, MD.

George Josten had Portland's other goal and the Timbers, who have the fourth seed in the upcoming league playoffs, improved to 13-7-9 with 48 points, good for third place in the USL Conference. The Timbers end their 2010 season on the road next Saturday at the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Gary Brooks had the lone Baltimore point and the team maintains the worst record in the NASL Conference and the league at 6-17-6 with 24 points. Baltimore closes the book on their season Friday at the FC Tampa Bay Rowdies.

Austin Returns As USSF D-2's Best Team After Win Over AC St. Louis

With one week left in the inaugural (and lone) season of the USSF Division 2 Pro League, the Austin Aztex regained their spot as the best team in the league and the USL Conference with a 4-2 victory Saturday over AC St. Louis at House Park in Austin, TX.

Michael Callahan, Kieron Bernard, Max Griffin and Randi Patterson scored goals to give the Aztex a 15-5-8 record with 53 points, knocking the Rochester Rhinos off the top spot they've traded several times this season after the Rhinos lost 1-0 to the Miami FC Blues Saturday, and can officially clinch the conference title and the top seed in the upcoming playoffs with a win either Friday at the Carolina RailHawks or next Sunday at the Montreal Impact.

Gauchin and Luke Kreamalmeyer posted goals for AC St. Louis, who are 7-13-8 with 29 points and in fifth place in the NASL Conference. They will end their 2010 season at Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park Saturday against the Rhinos.

Blues Up Winning Streak To Four With Victory Over Rhinos

Christian Gomez scored the game's lone goal in the final minute of second half stoppage time as the host Miami FC Blues shut out the Rochester Rhinos 1-0 Saturday in USSF Division 2 Pro League play at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

The Blues, winners of their last four games, are 7-11-11 with 32 points and are in fourth place in the NASL Conference. They will end their 2010 season and the franchise's history next Saturday when they host the Puerto Rico Islanders.

The Blues will become the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the North American Soccer League in 2011, should the league receive US Soccer Federation approval.

RailHawks Earn Tie For Lead In NASL Conference With Win Over Islanders

Matt Watson scored the final goal of the first half off a Daniel Paladini assist and Tom Heinemann was assisted by Josh Gardner on the game-winning first goal of the second half as the Carolina RailHawks defeated the Puerto Rico Islanders 2-1 Saturday in USSF Division 2 Pro League play at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC to claim a tie for first place in the NASL Conference standings.

The RailHawks (12-9-8, 44) are tied with the Vancouver Whitecaps (10-5-14) at the top of the standings table in the conference, but Carolina now holds the second seed in the league playoffs, due to a tiebreaker. Carolina ends their season at home Friday when the Austin Aztex hit town.

Kendall Jagdeosingh had Puerto Rico's lone goal in the 19th minute off a Noah Delgado assist.

The Islanders, who hold the eighth and final playoff spot, are 9-11-9 with 36 points and are in fifth place in the USL Conference. Puerto Rico will end their 2010 season on the road in the final game for the Miami FC Blues before they become the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the 2011 season.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sebrango Makes Historic Impact For Montreal In Win Over Vancouver

Eduardo Sebrango scored his fifth goal of the season and his 100th career point in the 29th minute as the Montreal Impact shut out the Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0 Friday in USSF Division 2 Pro League play at Swangard Stadium.

Montreal is 11-11-7 with 40 points and in third place in the NASL Conference. The Impact also hold the sixth playoff seed in the league playoffs. The Impact close out their season next Sunday at the Austin Aztex.

The Whitecaps, who lead the NASL Conference at 10-5-14 with 47 points, have the second seed and will end their regular season next Saturday against the Portland Timbers at Swangard.

Red Bulls Stun Galaxy At The Home Depot Center

Dane Richards had a goal in the 37th minute and Juan Pablo Angel posted a point on a penalty kick in the 60th minute as the New York Red Bulls shut out the best team in Major League Soccer, the Los Angeles Galaxy, 2-0 Friday at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

The Red Bulls are now tied for the lead in the Eastern Conference standings at 13-8-5 and 44 points with the Columbus Crew, who have two fewer losses at 13-6-5. New York hosts the Kansas City Wizards next Saturday.

The Galaxy, who have already clinched an MLS Cup playoff spot, are now 15-6-5 with 50 points and will take on Chivas USA in the final Honda SuperClasico match of the 2010 season at The Home Depot Center.

Louisville Lightning Re-Sign Forward Kovacevic To 2010-11 Contract

Louisville Lightning forward Safet Kovacevic was re-signed by the Professional Arena Soccer League franchise Friday for the 2010-11 season.

Kovacevic finished with 28 goals, third most in the league, and 24 assists for 52 points.

His best showing last season was a five-goal, two-assist night against another 2010 expansion tea, the Ohio Vortex, in a 18-4 romp and he was named to the PASL All-League First Team.

Western New York Joining WPS In 2011

Women's Professional Soccer announced Friday Western New York will have an expansion franchise in the league in the 2011 season, bringing the league back to at least eight teams.

The expansion team will be owned by Joe Shalen, who owned the 2010 USL W-League Champion Buffalo Flash, but will carry a new name and logo.

The team will also split home games between Rochester, NY's Marina Auto Stadium and Niagara Field at Niagara University in Lewiston, NY.

Two Puerto Rican-Based Teams To Join USL Pro For 2011 Season

At a news conference Wednesday in San Juan, Puerto Rico, organizers from USL PRO, created by a merger of the USL First amd Second Divisions, announced two Puerto Rican-based clubs, Sevilla Football Club Puerto Rico and Club Atletico River Plate Puerto Rico will join the league for the 2011 season.

Both teams would join Barracuda FC of Antigua & Barbuda as the cornerstones of a Caribbean Division in the league.

NSC Stars Ends D-2 Season With Third Straight Win, Beat Rowdies

Devin Del Do assisted on goals by Simone Bracalello in the 39th minute and Kantaro Takada in the 44th minute as the NSC Minnesota Stars ended their regular season in the USSF Division 2 Pro League with a 3-1 victory over the FC Tampa Bay Rowdies Friday at Tampa's Steinbrenner Field.

The win ruined the debut of Perry Van Der Beck, who added head coach to his myriad of duties after the mutual release of former head coach Paul Daglish.

Lucas Rodriguez opened the scoring for the Stars with an unassisted 14th minute goal.

The Stars ended the regular season on a three-game winning streak and finished 11-12-7 with 40 points in the USL Conference. They currently hold the sixth seed in the league playoffs.

Tampa Bay, who got a goal in the 73rd minute from Maykel Galindo, are in last place in the USL Conference at 6-12-11 with 29 points and will end their season at home next Friday against Crystal Palace Baltimore.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Adams Header In Overtime Puts Independence Into WPS Championship Versus Pride

The expansion Philadelphia Independence, who finished their first season in Women's Professional Soccer with a third place record, will face the 2010 regular season champion FC Gold Pride in the 2010 WPS Championship Game presented by Citi Sunday at Pioneer Stadium in Hayward, CA after Danesha Adams headed in a shot from Tina DiMarino in the 103rd minute in a 2-1 overtime victory over the host Boston Breakers Thursday at the WPS Super Semifinal at Harvard University.

Boston's lone goal came in the 22nd minute as Kristine Lilly assisted on a score by Lauren Cheney, but Philadelphia countered seven minutes later when Amy Rodgriguez, who scored an overtime goal against the Washington Freedom in last Sunday's First Round matchup, teamed with Caroline Seger on the game-tying goal.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Beckham's Management Group Suing In Touch Over Bogus Story

The management group for Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham announced Thursday they will sue the weekly magazine In Touch for an undisclosed sum after they published the claim of a prostitute, 26-year-old Irma Nici, who said she slept with Beckham five times in 2007 and that he also slept with another prostitute, despite the management company telling the magazine the story was "completely untrue and totally ridiculous" before it was published.

In a statement, the mamagement firm said, "Sadly we live in a world where a magazine can print lies and believe they can get away with it."

FC Tampa Bay Releases Head Coach Paul Daglish; Van Der Beck To Coach Final Two Games

By mutual agreement Thursday, the FC Tampa Bay Rowdies announced head coach Paul Daglish is leaving the franchise and former Rowdies star Perry Van Der Beck, who serves as the franchise's executive vice president, technical director and director of player development, will coach the team for their final two games of the USSF Division 2 Pro League season at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa -- Friday against the NSC Minnesota Stars and next Friday versus Crystal Palace Baltimore.

The Rowdies are currently in last place in the USL Conference at 6-11-11 with 29 points.

Sounders Name McLoughlin New Team President

Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders announced Thursday Peter McLoughlin has become their new president, replacing Tod Leiweke, who is leaving the organization to return to the National Hockey League as the CEO and part owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Coincidentally, McLoughlin spent the last four years in the NHL as the CEO of St. Louis Blues Enterprises.

McLoughlin also becomes president of the National Football League's Seattle Seahawks and of First & Goal.

Wizards Mount Memorable Comeback At Home To Beat Dynamo

Josh Wolff needed help from Michael Harrington in the 97th minute as the Kansas City Wizards made Major League Soccer history at CommunityAmerica Ballpark Wednesday in a 4-3 victory over the Houston Dynamo.

The victory was the first in MLS history for a team who was down two goals or more at halftime.

Cam Weaver was part of Houston's first two goals, scoring off assists from Brad Davis and Mike Chabala in the 13th minute, then assisting in the 34th minute on a Dominic Oduro play.

After Kei Kamara put in a goal for the Wizards in the 35th minute, thanks to assists by Craig Rocastle and Ryan Smith, Adrian Serioux posted an unassisted play for the Dynamo in the 37th minute for a 3-1 halftime lead.

Teal Bunbury had an unassisted goal for Kansas City in the 60th minute and Serioux gave the Wizards an own goal in the 72nd minute to knot the score at 3-3 before Wolff's game-winning play.

The seven combined goals in the game also tied the mark for the most in a regular season game this season. The Dynamo defeated the Chicago Fire by a similar 4-3 score exactly 30 days ago.

The Wizards are now 9-9-6 with 33 points and in third place in the Eastern Conference standings. They will host FC Dallas, who are on a 16-game unbeaten streak this season, Saturday.

Houston is in last place in the Western Conference at 6-14-5 with 23 points and will travel to the worst team in the league and the Eastern Conference, DC United, this Saturday.

FC Dallas Extend Unbeaten Streak To 16 Games With Draw To Revolution

David Ferreira made a penalty kick in the 80th minute, then teamed with Eric Avila on Jeff Cunningham's goal in the 93rd minute as FC Dalls extended their Major League Soccer unbeaten streak in 2010 to 16 games in a 2-2 draw with the New England Revolution Wednesday at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX.

FC Dallas is now 10-2-13 with 43 points and are in third place in the Western Conference standings. They will look to push the streak to 17 games Saturday at the Kansas City Wizards.

New England opened the scoring when Chris Tierney assisted Shalrie Joseph on a fifth minute goal for the eventual halftime lead, then saw Marko Perovic and Matt Reis team on a 66th minute goal for the 2-0 Revolution advantage before Dallas recovered enough to give each team a point in their standings.

The Revolution are 7-14-4 with 25 points and are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference. New England hosts the Eastern Conference-leading Columbus Crew Saturday.

Thompson Hat Trick Leads Blues To Third Straight Win.

Abe Thompson had a hat trick to lead the host Miami FC Blues to a 4-2 victory over AC St. Louis Wednesday in USSF Division 2 Pro League play at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Paulinho Le Petit scored the other goal for Miami.

Brad Stisser tallied both of St. Louis goals.

Miami (6-11-11) and AC St. Louis (7-13-8), both with 29 points, are tied for fourth place in the NASL Conference standings, but both teams have officially been eliminated from playoff contention.

Miami hosts the Rochester Rhinos this Saturday and the Puerto Rico Islanders October 1 in their last games before becoming the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the 2011 season.

St. Louis travels to the Austin Aztex's House Park this Saturday, then host the Rhinos October 2 at Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park.

Islanders Play FAS To Draw In CCL Play

The Puerto Rico Islanders of the USSF Division 2 Pro League played FAS of El Salvador to a scoreless draw on the road in Round 4 play in Group D of the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League tournament Wednesday.

Puerto Rico is now in second place in the group at 1-1-2 with five points, two points behind their next opponent, division leader Toluca of Mexico, next Wednesday.

FAS is mathematically eliminated from moving to the next round of play, sporting an 0-2-2 record with two points. They will host Honduras' Olimpia next Thursday.

Sounders Mathematically Eliminated From CCL Play In Monterrey Win

Despite ending a 281-minute scoreless streak in the tournament off an opponents' own goal, Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders lost 3-2 to Monterrey of Mexico in Round 4 of Group C play in the 2010 CONCACAF Champions League Wednesday in Monterrey.

Monterrey's Sergio Perez scored the own goal in the 28th minute, but Nate Jaqua assisted Michael Fucito on a goal in the 44th minute to give Seattle a 2-0 lead at halftime, but it would implode late in the second half.

Humberto Suazo assisted Aldo De Nigus on a goal in the 74th minute for Monterrey, then, a minute later, the two switched roles and tied the game at 2-2 before Luis Ernesto Perez scored the game-winning point in the 78th minute.

Monterrey is undefeated at 4-0-0 with 12 points and leads the group, while the Sounders are 0-4-0 and in last place.

Monterrey will travel to Costa Rica next Tuesday to play Saprissa and Seattle will host Honduras' Marathon the same night.

Defending MLS Champs End League's Losing Streak In Panama During CCL Play

Defending Major League Soccer champion Real Salt Lake became the first franchise in six tries to win a game in Panama during the CONCACAF Champions League tournament as they edged Arabe Unido 3-2 Wednesday in Round 4 of Group A play.

RSL also swept the two-game series as they beat then 2-1 August 18 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT.

Will Johnson led Salt Lake with goals in the 10th and 43rd minute and Alvaro Saborio sandwiched a goal in at the 36th minute to put them on top of the group standings at 3-1-0 with nine points.

RSL will face fellow MLS colleague Toronto FC at BMO Field in Toronto next Tuesday in the fifth of six rounds of play.

Arabe Unido is in last place at 1-3-0 with four points and has little chance of being one of the top two teams in the group who advance to the Knockout Stage of the tournament. They will travel to Mexico's Cruz Azul next Tuesday.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pali Blues Name Guerrero General Manager

The two-time USL W-League champion Pali Blues announced Wednesday Viva Ann Guerrero, who joined the team during the 2010 season, has been named the new general manager, replacing Jason Lemine.

Guerrero is currently president and CEO of Balls Without Borders, Inc., a non-profit organization that hands out donated soccer balls to children in war-torn regions of the world and teach them the game of soccer.

She played soccer for over 10 years on both California-based and national teams.

Guerrero graduated from University of California-Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies-Political Science with an empashis in sociology. She also has an Associates degree from Santa Monica College and completed graduate classes at UC-Berkeley's Haas School of Business.

She also has worked with the US Commerce Department and the Department of Federal, Legislative and Intergovernmental Relations within the Los Angeles Mayor's Office.

Henry To Miss Galaxy Game Anyway For Red Bulls With Sprained Knee

After being hit with a major fine but not being suspended by Major League Soccer for a move that took FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman out of action for up to three weeks, New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry will miss Saturday's game at The Home Depot Center against the best team in the league, the Los Angeles Galaxy, with a sprained right knee, team officials said Tuesday.

Henry was fined $2,000 Monday by the MLS Disciplinary Committee for making a celebratory kick after Mehdi Ballouchy scored the game-tying goal in a 2-2 draw against FC Dallas last Thursday. Hartman was injured when the ball hit him, causing a torn medial collateral ligament and forcing MLS officials to issue the fine.

Henry suffered his injury September 4 in a loss to the defending league champion Real Salt Lake, but has chosen to play through the pain.

United's Pontius Undergoes Season-Ending Right Hamstring Surgery

Forward Chris Pontius of Major League Soccer's worst team this season, DC United, underwent season-ending surgery Tuesday to repair a proximal avulsion on his right hamstring that has caused him pain most of the season.

He reaggravated the injury while training in the preseason with the US Men's National Team and the pain has gotten worse throughout the MLS season. Pontius is expected to be out for six months.

In 2010, Pontius, the seventh overall pick in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft by United out of the University of California-Santa Barbara, finishes with two goals and one assist after starting 13 of 17 games.

In 2009, he started 31 of 44 games in all competitions and had eight goals and six assists total, with four goals and three assists coming in MLS play. He also was a finalist for the league's Gatorade Rookie of the Year award.

Mendoza Goal Puts Crew On Top Of Group B Standings In CCL; Toronto-Cruz Azul Play To Draw

Andres Mendoza scored in the 87th minute as the host Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer beat Santos Laguna of Mexico's Primera Division 1-0 at Crew Stadium in round four of Group B play in the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League tournament.

With the win, the Crew took the lead in the group standings at 3-1-0 with nine points and two rounds of play left in the group stage. Columbus travels next Wednesday to Municipal in Guatemala.

Santos Laguna is two points behind Columbus in second at 2-1-1 with seven points and will host Joe Public of Trinidad & Tobago next Wednesday.

Meanwhile, in Group A play, Major League Soccer's Toronto FC and Mexico's Cruz Azul played to a scoreless draw in Mexico Tuesday.

Azul leads the group at 2-1-1 with seven points and hosts Arabe Unido of Panama next Tuesday.

Toronto FC is in third place at 1-2-1 with four points and hosts the defending MLS champion Real Salt Lake next Tuesday at BMO Field.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Red Stars Free Cristiane To Let Her Play In Brazil With Santos FC

Having not made the 2010 Women's Professional Soccer playoffs, the Chicago Red Stars announced the release Tuesday of Brazilian forward Cristiane, so she can join Santos FC in her home country for she can be eligible to play for them in upcoming tournaments and postseason play.

She will be make her first appearance for Santos FC Wednesday.

With the Red Stars in 2010, she finished second in WPS in shots taken with 79 and had three goals and two assists. In 42 career games with Chicago, she has 10 goals and two assists.

She is also tops on the team's all-time list in goals scored and appearances.

Kickers Begin Forming 2011 Roster By Re-Signing Dos Santos, Foglesong And Gorres To Multi-Year Deals

The Richmond Kickers of USL PRO announced Tuesday they are beginning to form the 2011 team roster by re-signing midfielders Gerson dos Santos and Bobby Foglesong, and defender Sascha Gorres to multi-year deals.

Dos Santos, in his third season with Richmond in 2011, scored two goals in 19 games this season and started 19 games in his debut season of 2009.

He played 45 times over three seasons with Virginia Commonwealth University.

Foglesong was the first player to join the professional roster from the team's Super Y-League program in 2008 and scored four goals in the 2010 season.

At Old Dominion University, he had seven goals and seven assists in 78 career games.

Finally, Gorres, to be in his seventh season in 2011, was second on the team last season in assists with three and is fifth on their all-time list in that category wth 29.

He is a two-time USL Second Division All-League First Team (2006 and 2008) and All-League Second Team selection (2009, 2010).

He was drafted by the Kickers in 2005 out of the University of North Carolina-Pembroke.

MLS Disciplinary Committee Issues $2K Fine On Henry; Two-Game Suspension, $1K Fine To Shea

Major League Soccer's Disciplinary Committee issued one of the largest fines in league history -- $2,000 -- to New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry and doubled the suspension and quadrupled the fine on FC Dallas forward Brek Shea Monday after incidents during their 2-2 draw Thursday.

Henry was fined for a celebratory kick of the ball into the back of the net following Mehdi Ballouchy scored the game-tying goal for New York that caused Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman to develop a strained medial collateral ligament in his right knee, which will put him out of action for two to three weeks.

The referee at the game did not issue a yellow card to Henry but, if he has, Henry would've been ejected from the game, as he already earned a yellow card, and would have been forced to miss their next game Friday against the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Shea was originally fined $250 and suspended a game for an attack on New York's Chris Albright during the game, but increased the fine to $1,000 and the suspension to two games, due to his reckless behavior and his refusal to leave the field in a timely manner after earning a red card.

Dallas plays at the Kansas City Wizards Saturday.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ex-Cleveland Internationals Player Joins MLS' Crew For Rest Of Season

Defender Josh Williams, who has played the last four seasons for the Cleveland Internationals of the USL Premier Development League, signed Monday with Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew for the remainder of the 2010 season.

Williams was also a four-year starter and two-time team captain at Cleveland State University, where he was named to the All-Horizon League First Team in his senior year after scoring a team-leading six goals along with three assists.

Seattle's Nkufo Named POTW After First Career Goals, Hat Trick

After scoring his first official goals leading to a first official hat trick in his sixth game in Major League Soccer, Seattle Sounders forward Blaise Nkufo was named the league's Player of the Week Monday for Week 25 of the 2010 season.

The Sounders defeated the Columbus Crew 4-0 Saturday at Crew Stadium.

Nkufo joins Steve Zakuani (Week 17) and Fredy Montero (Week 22) as 2010 POTW winners.

Wizzards Shut Out Chivas USA At The Home Depot Center

Kei Kamara scored a goal in the 70th minute and Teal Bunbury followed up with one in the 83rd minute as the Kansas City Wizards shut out Chivas USA 2-0 Sunday in Major League Soccer play at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

The Wizards are 8-9-6 with 30 points and in fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings. They play twice at CommunityAmerica Ballpark this week -- Wednesday against the Houston Dynamo and Saturday versus FC Dallas.

Chivas fell to 7-13-4 with 25 points, good for seventh place in Western Conference. The Goats next travel to the expansion Philadelphia Union Saturday.

Rodriguez Goal Sends Independence To WPS Super Semifinal Versus Breakers

Tina DiMartino assisted Amy Rodriguez on a goal in the 120th minute as the expansion Philadelphia Independence advanced to the next round of the Women's Professional Soccer Playoffs presented by MedImmune by shutting out the Washington Freedom 1-0 in the WPS First Round Game Sunday at John A. Farrell Stadium at the University of West Chester in West Chester, PA.

The Independence now head to Harvard University Thursday to face the Boston Breakers in the WPS Super Semifinal, with the winner of that game traveling to Pioneer Stadium in Hayward, CA next Sunday to meet the 2010 regular season champion FC Gold Pride in the WPS Championship Game.

Gerba Brace, Donatelli PK Lift Impact To Victory Over Rowdies

Ali Gerba scored goals off assists from Leonardo Di Lorenzo in first half stoppage time and Richard Pelletier in the 82nd minute as the host Montreal Impact knocked the FC Tampa Bay Rowdies out of consideration for a USSF Division 2 Pro League playoff berth in a 3-0 rout Sunday at Saputo Stadium.

Tony Donatelli opened the scoring for the Impact on a 10th minute penalty kick.

The Impact (10-11-7, 37 points), of the NASL Conference and currently tied for the sixth seed in the playoffs with the NSC Minnesota Stars of the USL Conference (10-12-7, 37), will travel to the NASL Conference-leading Vancouver Whitecaps Friday.

The Rowdies, who host the Stars Friday at Steinbrenner Field, are 6-11-11 with 29 points and have the worst record in the USL Conference.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

RSL Set New Home-Game Winning Streak In Shutout Of Fire

Alvaro Sabario's first-half stoppage time penalty kick was all host and defending Major League Soccer champion Real Salt Lake needed to defeat the Chicago Fire 1-0 Saturday at Sandy, UT's Rio Tinto Stadium to set a new record for overall wins at home at 23, breaking the previous mark, set by the 2008-09 Columbus Crew of 22.

RSL is in second place in the Western Conference standings at 13-4-8 with 47 points and are four points behind the Los Angeles Galaxy (15-5-5, 50) for the conference lead and the Supporters Shield, which goes to the team with the most points at the end of the season. They will host the Colorado Rapids next Saturday.

The Fire, losers of their last five games, is 6-9-8 with 26 points, holds fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings and will host the Seattle Sounders this coming Saturday

Nkufo's First Career Hat Trick Guides Sounders To Shutout Of Crew

Blaise Nfuko scored the first hat trick of his Major League Soccer career and Nathan Sturgis added a penalty kick as the Seattle Sounders stunned the current Eastern Conference-leading Columbus Crew 4-0 Saturday at Crew Stadium.

The Sounders are 10-9-6 with 36 points and are tied with the San Jose Earthquakes (10-7-6) for fifth place in the Western Conference standings. Seattle travels to the Chicago Fire next Saturday.

Columbus retains the best record in the Eastern race at 13-7-5 with 44 points. The Crew next faces the New England Revolution Saturday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA.

De Rosario Deuce Gives Toronto FC Win Over Former Team

Dwayne De Rosario, part of two Major League Soccer Cup title seasons with the Houston Dynamo, scored a pair of goals against his old team, including the game-winner four minutes into second half stoppage time, as Toronto FC edged the Dynamo 2-1 Saturday at Robertson Stadium on the campus of the University of Houston.

Houston's goal came in the 18th minute as Brian Ching headed in a shot from teammate Brad Davis.

Toronto FC, struggling to gain a playoff berth, is 8-10-7 with 31 points for third place in the Eastern Conference standings. They will next host the San Jose Earthquakes next Saturday.

Houston is last in the Western Conference standings at 6-13-5 with 23 points and have two road games this week -- Wednesday against the Kansas City Wizards and Saturday against DC United, the worst team in the Eastern Conference and the league itself.

Rapids Trio Leads Them To Victory Over Revolution

Omar Cummings scored his team-leading 11th goal of the season and his fifth goal in the last four games as the host Colorado Rapids shut out the New England Revolution in Major League Soccer play Saturday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO.

Conor Casey became the first player in Rapids history to have a double-digit total in goals for three straight seasons with his 10th goal of the season and Wells Thompson added another in the victory.

The Rapids are 10-7-7 with 37 points in the Western Conference and will next face the defending league champion Real Salt Lake next Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT.

New England, meanwhile, at 7-14-3 with 24 points, is tied for sixth in the Eastern Conference race with the expansion Philadelphia Union (6-12-6). The Revolution will travel to FC Dallas this Wednesday.

Donovan Duo Keeps Galaxy With Best Record In MLS Over United

Landon Donovan scored his team's two goals in the last nine minutes of regulation play as the Los Angeles Galaxy, current leader of Major League Soccer's Western Conference standings and the leader in the race for the Supporters Shield for the best record in the league, edged MLS' worst team, DC United, 2-1 Saturday at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

The Galaxy, 15-5-5 with 50 points, will host the New York Red Bulls this Friday.

Andy Najar scored his fourth goal of the season for United in the 60th minute, but the team is now 5-17-3 with 18 points and in last place in the Eastern Conference. DC will host the Houston Dynamo next Sunday at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC.

Alhassan's Lone Goal Gives Timbers Eighth Straight Win, Fourth Straight Shutout

Kalf Alhassan's goal in the final minute of regulation play gave the Portland Timbers a 1-0 win Saturday over the host Puerto Rico Islanders at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium in Bayamon, PR for their eighth straight USSF Division 2 Pro League victory and their fourth straight shutout.

The Timbers, holding on to the fourth seed in the league's approaching playoffs, is 12-7-9 with 45 points and is in third place in the USL Conference standings. They will travel to Crystal Palace Baltimore next Saturday.

Puerto Rico, in possession of the seventh playoff seed, is 9-10-9 with 36 points, is in fifth place in the USL Conference and will face the Carolina RailHawks next Saturday at Cary, NC.

RailHawks Roll Over Crystal Palace Baltimore

The Carolina RailHawks, currently in second place in the NASL Conference at 11-9-8 with 41 points and holding the fifth seed in the upcoming playoffs, defeated host Crystal Palace Baltimore 4-2 Saturday in USSF Division 2 Pro League play.

The Railhawks took a rapid 3-0 lead in the first 14 minutes of the game as Gregory Richardson scored an unassisted goal in the ninth minute, Floyd Franks fed a pass to Marques Davidson a minute later and Kupono Low converted a penalty kick.

Baltimore cut the lead to 3-2 as Dan Lader assisted Shaun Pepic on a 50th minute goal and Neto assisted Alan Sanchez on a score nine minutes later, but Carolina struck last when Tom Heinemann posted an unassisted goal in the 65th minute.

The RailHawks are four points behind the Vancouver Whitecaps (10-4-14, 44) for the conference lead. Carolina hosts the Puerto Rico Islanders, thr seventh-seeded playoff team, next Saturday at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC.

Baltimore has thw worst record in the league and the NASL Conference at 6-16-6 with 24 points and hosts the Portland Timbers next Saturday.

Stars Win Third Staright Game On Del Do's Second Staright GWG

For the second time in four days, a goal by Devin Del Dio was all the host NSC Minnesota Stars needed to win a USSF Division 2 Pro League game; this time, a 1-0 upset at the National Soccer Center in Blaine, MN against the NASL Conference-leading Vancouver Whitecaps Saturday.

The Stars, now on a three-game winning streak, hold the sixth seed in the upcoming league playoffs and are 10-12-7 with 37 points, fourth place in the USL Conference race. Minnesota travels to the FC Tampa Bay Rowdies this Friday.

Vancouver is 10-4-14 with 44 points and is the current second seed in the playoffs. The Whitecaps will host the Montreal Impact this Friday at Swangard Stadium.

Gil Scores First Professional Goal In Game-Winner For AC St. Louis

16-year-old superstar Luis Gil, loaned to AC St. Louis of the USSF Division 2 Pro League by the defending Major League Soccer champion Real Salt Lake, made his first professional goal count as he scored the game-winner in second half stoppage time in a 2-1 victory over the Austin Aztex Saturday at the Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park in Fenton, MO.

Brad Stisser opened the scoring for St. Louis in the 61st minute off a Chris Salvaggione assist, but Edward Johnson knotted the game at 1-all in the 90th minute for the Aztex.

St. Louis, out of the running at the moment for a possible playoff berth, is in fourth place in the NASL Conference at 7-12-8 with 29 points. They will travel to Austin next Saturday for a rematch, but will head to the Miami FC Blues first Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale.

Austin is 14-5-8 with 50 points and is second in the USL Conference, two points behind the Rochester Rhinos (15-7-8, 51) from regaining the conference lead, the best record in the league and the top playoff seed. The Aztex currently hold the third playoff seed behind the Rhinos and the Vancouver Whitecaps, the NASL Conference leader. The Aztex are off until they meet St. Louis again.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

US Men Return To South Africa November 17 For Nelson Mandela Challenge

The US Men's National Team announced Friday they will face South Africa November 17 at Green Point Stadium in Cape Town for the 2010 Nelson Mandela Challenge competition.

It will be the team's 11th game on that country's soil, their first game in the competition since beating them 1-0 in 2007, and their first game in the country since the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The game will be televised live on ESPN2 and Galavision.

Thompson Rallies Blues To Upset Win Over USSF D-2's Beat Rhinos

Abe Thompson assisted on a game-tying goal by Danilo Martins in the 17th minute, then scored the tiebreaking goal unassisted seven minutes later as Miami FC Blues stunned the best team in the USSF Division 2 Pro League, the Rochester Rhinos, 2-1 Friday at Marina Auto Stadium in Rochester, NY.

Anthony Hamilton had Rochester's lone goal in the 10th minute and keep the best record in the league and the USL Conference and the top seed in the playoffs at 15-7-6 with 51 points, but the Austin Aztex (14-4-8, 50, second place in conference, third in playoff seeding) could retake the best overall record, if they beat AC St. Louis Saturday at the Anheuser-Busch Soccer Complex in Fenton, MO.

The Rhinos and the Blues face off again next Saturday in Fort Lauderdale's Lockhart Stadium.

Miami, at 5-11-11 with 26 points, is tied for fourth place in the NASL Conference with AC St. Louis (6-11-8), who they host this Wednesday.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Beat, USWNT Goalkeeper Solo To Have Right Shoulder Surgery Wednesday

Goalkeeper Hope Solo of the US Women's National Team and the Atlanta Beat of Women's Professional Soccer will be out for five to six months after she undergoes surgery in Birmingham, AL Wednesday on her right shoulder, the Beat announced Friday.

She played 22 games this WPS season between the former St. Louis Athletica and the Beat, starting six of nine games with Atlanta and winning them all, allowing only two goals.

Solo led the league in saves this season with 104 and finished in the top three in goals against average (1.64), shutouts (six), and wins (six) in 2010.

If the USWNT wins the CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament in Mexico beginning next month for a spot in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany, which is a strong possibility, and Solo is deemed healthy, she will be named to the team.

Since 2005, Solo has played 95 times for the world's number-one ranked women's soccer team.

Kickers Name Burke Six-Time Winner Of Supporters Choice Award; Delicate Named Players Choice MVP

The Richmond Kickers, soon to be a member of USL Pro, Friday named midfielder Mike Burke winner of the team's Supporters Choice award for the sixth straight season and forward Matthew Delicate won the 2010 Players Choice MVP award.

The Kickers lost to the Charleston Battery in the final championship game of the USL Second Division. The league's First and Second Division recently announced they will merge for the 2011 season under the name USL Pro.

Burke also was named the league's final Assist Leader with five in the 2010 regular season and one in a 3-1 win over the Real Maryland Monarchs in the second round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament in June.

A three-time USL-2 All-League First Team selection, Burke is the franchise's all-time leader in assists with 61.

Delicate scored 11 goals and assisted on two others for 24 points in the 2010 season. He is third on the team's all-time goals scored list with 37.

Lightning Name Nichols New Head Coach; Team Re-Signs Hayden, Peabody

The Louisville Lightning of the Professional Arena Soccer League announced Friday Ted Nichols will become the team's new head coach, replacing Scott Budnick, who recently resigned to devote more time to family and his law practice, and re-signed midfielder John Michael Hayden and goalkeeper Frank Peabody for the 2010-11 season.

Nichols has served for 14 years as a head coach and goalkeeper trainer at the Mockinbird Valley Soccer Club, home to the Lightning.

He has also been a member of the boys soccer coaching staff since 2000 at St. Xavier High School in Louisville, a six-time state champion.

Nichols played college soccer at Aurora University, then at Monmouth College, where he earned a degree in sports administration and minored in sports marketing.

After graduating from Monmouth, he worked in Major League Baseball for the Chicago Cubs and Montreal Expos.

He later moved his family to Louisville to join McCormick Equipment Company, where he advanced to become the company's owner.

Hayden formerly played in Major League Soccer with the Houston Dynamo.

Peabody started all but one game last season for the Lightning and gave up two goals all season.

King Knocks In Game-Tying Goal For Rowdies In Draw With Aztex

Aaron King scored his team-leading 10th goal of the USSF Division 2 Pro League season in second half stoppage time and his fourth goal in the last four games as the FC Tampa Bay Rowdies played the Austin Aztex to a 1-1 draw Thursday at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.

The Rowdies have long been eliminated from the league's playoff picture, but played the spolier role and improved their record to 6-10-11 with 29 points, keeping them in last place in the USL Conference standings. They next face the Montreal Impact this Sunday at Saputo Stadium.

Maxwell Griffin scored Austin's lone goal and his eighth of the season in the 50th minute off an assist by Leoanrd Griffin.

The Aztex, twice holders of the best record in the USSF D-2, are now in second place in the USL Conference at 14-4-8 with 50 points, two points behind the Rochester Rhinos (15-6-6, 51) to take over the best record for a third time. Austin also currently holds the third seed in the league's upcoming playoffs.

Austin travels to AC St. Louis' Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park in Fenton, MO this Saturday.

FC Dallas Snaps Home Winning Streak, Expands Unbeaten Streak To 15 Games

Despite Jair Benitez accidentally scoring in his own team's goal in the 82nd minute, FC Dallas extended their unbeaten streak in Major League Soccer this season to 15 games, while ending a six-game home winning streak in a 2-2 draw with the New York Red Bulls Thursday at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX.

Milton Rodriguez and Eric Alexander comtributed to both of Dallas' goals.

In the 24th minute, Alexander and Heath Pierce shared assist duties on a Rodriguez goal for the early lead, which was countered in first half stoppage time when new Red Bull player Mehdi Ballouchy posted his first goal off a Joel Lindpere pass.

Alexander put Dallas up 2-1 in the 68th minute with a goal off a Rodriguez plass, but both teams earned a point, thanks to Benitez's error.

Dallas is in third place in the Western Conference standings at 10-2-12 with 42 points, putting them three poisnts behind defending league champion Real Salt Lake (12-4-8, 44) for sole possession of second place and six points behind the conference-leading Los Angeles Galaxy (14-5-5, 47) for the top spot in the standings and the race for the Supporters Shield, which goes to the team with the best overall record.

Dalas will host the New England Revolution this Wednesday at Pizza Hut Park.

The Red Bulls, meanwhile, are second in the Eastern Conference standings at 12-8-5 with 41 points, four points behind the conference-leading Columbus Crew (13-6-5, 44). New York takes on the Galaxy next Friday at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

United Goalkeeper Hamid Out For Season After Labrum Surgery

Major League Soccer's DC United announced goalkeeper Bill Hamid will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum.

The first member of the team's youth academy to make the professional roster in September 2009, Hamid became, at 19, the youngest goalkeeper to win an MLS game May 5, 2010 against the Kansas City Wizards.

He finished his season with a 3-5 record, one shutout, 20 saves and 1.25 goals against average.

Sounders Lose Noonan For Rest Of Season With Adductor Strain

Seattle Sounders midfielder/forward Pat Noonan will miss the rest of the 2010 Major League Soccer season after being placed on the disabled list Thursday with an adductor strain.

He had a goal and an assist this season and started eight of 12 games, making his last appearance July 15 in a 1-0 win over DC United, in which he played for 88 minutes.

Midfielder Brad Evans was taken off the disabled list Thursday and moved to the senior roster to fill Noonan's roster spot.

Evans will be eligible to play for Seattle October 2 against Toronto FC at Qwest Field.

Garcia Out For Rest Of Season With Sports Hernia Surgery

New York Red Bulls midfielder Irving Garcia underwent surgery Thursday in New Brunswick, NJ for a sports hernia and is out for the rest of the season.

Garcia did not play in any MLS games this season, but did play in four games of the 2010 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament, assisting on a goal

Garcia was a fourth round pick out of California in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft.

To fill his spot on the 24-man senior roster, forward Giorgi Chirgadze was removed from the disabled list and returned to the main roster.

WPS Announces Winners Of Year-End Awards

Women's Professional Soccer announced the winners Thursday of year-end awards from the 2010 regular season.

The big winner was Marta of the 2010 regular season champion FC Gold Pride, who won the league's Player of the Year award and the PUMA Golden Boot for the second straight year.

Marta nearly doubled the number of goals she had in the league's inaugural 2010 season with that season's regular season champion, the Los Angeles Sol, from 10 to 19, and was named the WPS Player of the Week three times in the 2010 season.

Also, for the second year in a row, defender Amy LePeilbet, now with the expansion Philadelphia Independence, was named the 2010 MedImuune WPS Defender of the Year.

Nicole Barnhart of the Pride, who led the league in shutouts with eight and was tied for second in the league in saves and save percentage, was named the Coast Guard Goalkeeper of the Year.

Ali Riley of the Pride was named the league's Rookie of the Year. She started 23 games this season and assisted on three goals.

Paul Riley of the Independence, who led them to a second place finish at 10-10-4 with 38 points and their first appearance in the league playoffs in their first season of play, was named Coach of the Year.

Finally, Natalie Spilger of the Chicago Red Stars was named WPS Sportswoman of the Year for her off-the-field work with Greenlaces,org, a group promoting global environmental issues and energy conservation.

USL Names Murray Communications Coordinator, Promotes D'Amico

United Soccer Leagues announced Thursday they have hired former sportswriter Nicholas Murray as communications coordinator and promoted Brian D'Amico to senor director of youth development.

Murray spent the last eight years as both a freelance writer and a staff member at the Tampa Tribune, where he also served as an assistant editor. He was the beat writer for local high school soccer and the FC Tampa Bay Rowdies of the USSF Division 2 Pro League.

D'Amico joined the USL Super Y-League/Super-20 League staff in February. He is a 2007 graduate of Ohio State University and received his Masters of Education degree in 2010 from Xavier University.

Red Bulls Get Talley In Trade With DC United

Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls officially announced Thursday they have acquired defender Carey Talley from DC United in exchange for a conditional second round pick in the 2011 SuperDraft.

The trade was completed late Wednesday before the league's trade deadline passed.

Though he is eligible to play immediately, Red Bull officials said he will not dress for Thursday's road game at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX against FC Dallas.

Fire To Name Posada New Team President Thursday

Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire will introduce Julian Posada as the team's new president Thursday at a news conference, according to the Chicago Tribune. Posada replaces Dave Greeley, who announced his resignation last month

In 2008, Posada founded Cafe Media, a media company targeting second- and third-generation Latinos in Chicago.

Before that, he worked for the Tribune company as general manager of Hoy, a Spanish-language daily newspaper in Chicago and Los Angeles.

Stars Win Rain-Soaked Game Over RailHawks

Despite a 90-minute delay in starting the game due to thunderstorms and playing on a rain-soaked field at the National Soccer Center in Blaine, MN, Devin Del Do scored the game's only goal in the 37th minute off a Lucas Rodriguez assist as the NSC Minnesota Stars blanked the Carolina RailHawks 1-0 Wednesday in USSF Division 2 Pro League play.

The Stars (9-12-7, 34) are currently tied for the fifth seed in the upcoming playoffs with the Montreal Impact (9-11-7) and are in fifth place in the USL Conference standings. Minnesota travels to face the FC Tampa Bay Rowdies next Friday.

Carolina is in second place in the NASL Conference standings at 10-9-8 with 38 points and has the fifth seed in the playoffs. The RailHawks take on Crystal Palace Baltimore on the road Saturday.

The champions of the league's conferences plus the next six teams, regardless of conference affiliation, will make the league's inaugural playoffs.

FASA To Field Teams In USL PDL And W-League In 2011

United Soccer Leagues announced Wednesday the Fredericksburg (MD) Area Soccer Association will field expansion teams in the USL Premier Development League (Fredericksburg Hotspur) and the USL W-League (Fredericksburg Impact) in the 2011 season.

The association currently runs numerous teams within the USL Super Y-League and Super-20 League.

W-League Champion Leaving To Join WPS In 2011

The Buffalo Flash, who defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps to win their first USL W-League Championship, have agreed on an amount to pay for a franchise fee to become a member of Women's Professional Soccer for the 2011 season, according to Wednesday's Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.

The report also said the team would split their home game schedules between Buffalo's Demske Sports Complex and Marina Auto Stadium in Rochester, NY, home to the Rochester Rhinos of the current Division 2 Pro League and the soon-to-be North American Soccer League and the Rochester Ravens of the W-League.

Toluca Leads CCL Group D After Shutout Of Islanders

Osvaldo Gonzalez, Juan Cuevas and Emmanuel Cerda had second half goals as Mexico's Toluca shut out the Puerto Rico Islanders of the USSF Division 2 Pro League 3-0 in Round Three play in Group D of the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League Wednesday.

Toluca leads the grouping at the halfway mark of the six-round Group Stage at 2-0-1 with seven points and will travel to Honduras to play Olimpia next Thursday.

Puerto Rico is close behind in second place at 1-1-1 with four points and meets FAS in El Salvador next Wednesday.

The top two teams in each of four groups moves on to Knockout Stage play.

Defending RSL Champs Maul Toronto In CCL Match

Andy Williams assisted on goals by Kyle Beckerman and Jamison Olave, Alvaro Saborio added a penalty kick goal in the 69th minute, and a debuting Paulo Araujo, Jr. scored in the 80th minute with help from Robbie Findley and Ned Grabavoy as the defending Major League Soccer champion Real Salt Lake won another game in Group A play in the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League 4-1 over MLS' Toronto FC.

Maicon de los Santos had Toronto's lone goal off an O'Brian White assist in the eighth minute.

RSL is tied for the lead in Group A at 2-0-0 with six points, along with Mexico's Cruz Azul.

In Round Four of the competition,  RSL will face Panama's Arabe Unido on the road next Wednesday.

Toronto FC is tied for last place in the group with a 1-2-0 record and three points and gets Cruz Azul next Tuesday.

Toronto FC Signs Second Youth Academy Prospect

Major League Soccer's Toronto FC announced the signing Wednesday of forward Nicholas Lindsey from their youth academy to their senior roster.

Lindsay joins defender Doneil Henry, who was added to the roster last mnth, as their second such youth academy player to sign with the team.

He appeared in two games for Toronto -- versus Vancouver in a Nutrilite Canadian Championship game June 2 and substituting in a July 21 game against the Bolton Wanderers, then of the English Premier League.

Wondolowski Goal Rattles Earthquakes To Victory Over Union

Chris Wondolowski scored his ninth goal of the season in the 69th minute as the host San Jose Earthquakes shut out the expansion Philadelphia Union 1-0 in Major League Soccer action Wednesday at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, CA.

San Jose is 10-7-6 with 36 points and in fourth place in the Western Conference standings. The Earthquakes will travel to Toronto FC next Saturday.

Philadelphia is 6-12-6 with 24 points and tied for sixth in the Eastern Conference race wth the New England Revolution (7-13-3). The Union hosts Chivas USA next Saturday.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Comets Sign Assistant Coaches With Ties To Head Coach Roentved

The Missouri Comets, an expansion team in the 2010-11 season of the Major Indoor Soccer League, announced Wednesday Vlatko Andonowski and Douglas McLagan will serve as assistant coach under the franchise's first head coach, Kim Roentved.

Both players have ties to the Comets head coach.

Andonowski began his professional career with the MISL's Wichita Wings in 2000. He then joined the Comets in 2001, staying until 2005.

Duing that tenture, Andonowski was named the team's Most Improved Player and Defender of the Year in 2002, and was the team's Most Valuable Player in 2005. He also as a two-time MISL All-Star.

He now serves as director of coaching of Futura FC and as head coach of the semi-pro Kansas City Kings.

McLagen was a four-time All British Collegiate Team member at Cardiff University in Cardiff, Wales from 1982-86, then joined the Comets with Roentved from 1988 to 1990. and later for the Wings in 1990-91.

In 1991, he became the head coach of the Blue Springs (MO) High School boy's soccer team and they became the first high school team not from St. Louis to win a State Championship.

Slight Movement In Latest FIFA World Rankings; US Firm In 18th

Spain, the 2010 FIFA World Cup champion, retained the spot in the organization's latest men's world soccer rankings, released Wednesday.

The Netherlands hold onto the second spot in the latest poll results, with Germany (third) and Brazil (fourth) trading places from last month.

Argentina is flat in fifth, England moved up one slot to England, Uruguay fell a spot to seventh and Portugal (eighth), Egypt (ninth) and Chile (tenth) keeping their positions from the August survey.

The US Men's National Team, who plays at Chicago's Soldier Field October 9 versus Poland and October 12 against Colombia in their first exhibition game at PPL Park, home to the MLS' Philadelphia Union, remain in 18th place.

The next monthly poll will be released October 20.

Rapids Beef Up Roster At Trading Deadline With Acquisition Of Mullin From Dynamo

In their second trade in the last 24 hours and their last before Major League Soccer froze franchise rosters for the remainder of the season, the Colorado Rapids announced Wednesday they have acquired midfielder Brian Mullin from the Houston Dynamo for midfielder Colin Clark, allocation money, and a fourth round pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft.

Tuesday, the Rapids got forward Macoumba Kandji from the New York Red Bulls in exchange for midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy.

United Signs Brother Of Former Star Fred After Trial Period

Major League Soccer's DC United, in hopes of rebounding from a season that has seen them stay mostly in the cellar of the Eastern Conference standings in 2010, announced the signing of midfielder Junior Carreiro, the brother of former United play Fred, who now plays for the expansion Philadelphia Union.

Carreiro played one season in Brazil's Serie A with Nautico before the team was relegated to the country's second division after the 2009 season.

Carreiro has appeared as a guest player in exhibition games against El Salvador and Portsmouth of the English Premier League since beginning a trial period with United in March.

Chivas USA Win Penalty Kick Shootout To Take First ChivaClasico Trophy Versus Parent Club

Michael Lahoud scored the game-winning goal in a penalty kick shootout as Major League Soccer's Chivas USA faced off against their parent club, Mexico's Chivas de Guadalajara, in a 4-2 victory Tuesday night at PETCO Park in San Diego, CA to capture the first ChivaClasico Trophy match.

Both teams played the regulation 90 minutes to a scoreless draw.

Chivas USA returns to MLS play Saturday when they host the Kansas City Wizards at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

Vipers Sign Farias, Junge To Two-Year Contracts

The Omaha Vipers, one of two expansion teams in the Major Indoor Soccer League, announced Wednesday they have signed their first two players to two-year contracts -- forward Carlos "Chile" Farias and defender Ryan Junge.

Farias has played in five indoor or outdoor soccer leagues, including Major League Soccer, in his career and last played with the defending MISL champ La RaZa de Monterrey, where he was named the Championship Game's Most Valuable Player.

In 1996, he was the Continental Indoor Soccer League's Rookie of the Year and was a three-time league All-Star in 1999, 2001 and 2004.

Junge is an Omaha native who played two seasons at Creighton University (2004-06) and started 79 of 83 career games.

From 2007 to 2009, he played in MLS for the Columbus Crew, who drafted him in the second round of the 2007 Supplemental Draft.

Pride's O'Hara Named Last WPS POTW Of Regular Season, But Will Miss Playoffs With Injury

Women's Professional Soccer Tuesday named forward Kelley O'Hara of the 2010 regular season champion FC Gold Pride the final Player of the Week for the season after scoring two goals and assisting on a third in a 4-1 win Saturday over the Philadelphia Independence at Pioneer Stadium in Hayward, CA on the final day of the regular season.

The win -- both in the game and for the award -- wound up being O'Hara's last appearance this season, as she partially tore her right quadricep muscle in the 55th minute of the game and will miss the next four weeks, making it impossible for her to compete in the 2010 WPS Championship Game presented by Citi September 26 at Pioneer Stadium.

O'Reilly could also miss participating for the top-ranked-in-the-world US Women's National Team at a training camp prior to when they face China next month in a two-game series in our country.

O'Reilly is the third Pride player this season to win the weekly honor, following three-time winner Marta (Weeks 6, 9 and 12) and Christine Sinclair (Week 14).

The Pride went from being the worst team in the league's inaugural season to winning the regular season title with a 16-3-5 record and 53 points, as well as ending the regular season with a 13-game winning streak.

Deportivo Saprissa Keeps Sounders Silent In CCL Play

David Guzman scored a goal in the 56th minute and Allen Aleman knocked in a point in the 81st minute as Deportivo Saprissa of Costa Rica kept Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders winless in Group C play of the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League tournament Tuesday from San Jose, Costa Rica.

Saprissa is in second place in the group standings at 2-1-0 with six points, three behind first place Marathon of Honduras, who they face on the road next Wednesday.

Seattle is 0-3-0 at the halfway point of the stage with the top two teams from each of four groups advancing to the Knockout Stage. They will travel to Monterrey, Mexico to face Monterrey next Wednesday.

Crew Shuts Out Joe Public In Round Three Of CCL Group Play

Leandre Griffit, Jason Garvey and Steven Lenhart scored second half goals to lead Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew to a 3-0 shutout of Trinidad's Joe Public FC in the third round of Group B play Tuesday in the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League tournament at Crew Stadium in Columbus, OH.

The Crew are in second place out of four teams in the group at 2-1-0 with six points, one behind leader Santos Laguna of Mexico (2-0-1, seven points), who Columbus hosts in Round 4 next Tuesday.

Joe Public is 0-2-1 with a point and in last place. They will next host Guatemala's Municipal next Thursday.

The top two teams in each of four groups will advance to the Knockout Phase of the competition.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

United Signs Spanish-Born Forward Varela To Contract

Major League Soccer's worst team this season, DC United, announced the signing of Spanish-born forward Carlos Varala to a contract after granting him a trial August 24.

Varala has spent his entire 18-year career in the Swiss Super League, serving two stints with Servette and FC Basel and also playing for Aarau, Young Boys and NE Xamax.

Pride's Marta Takes WPS PUMA Golden Boot For Second Season

After scoring her 19th goal Saturday in a 4-1 victory over the expansion Philadelphia Independence, forward Marta of the 2010 Women's Professional Soccer regular season champion FC Gold Pride won the PUMA Golden Boot as the league's top goal scorer for the second time in as many league seasons.

Abby Wambach of the Washington Freedom finished second in the goal scoring race with 13, Amy Rodriguez of the Independence was third with 12, followed by Kelly Smith of the Boston Breakers (11) and Marta's teammate with the Pride, Christine Sinclair (10).

Fire Signs Serbian Midfielder Bratislav Ristic

Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire announced the signing of free agent Serbian midfielder Bratislav Ristic, who joins the team after playing for FC Rad Belgrade in his home country.

He began his pro soccer career at age 16 in 1996 with FC Radnicki in then-Yugoslavia and was later called up to the country's U-18 national team, where he played 10 games.

In 1998, he was sold to Belgium's Brugge KV, leading them to the Belgian Cup and SuperCup titles in 2001-02 and the Belgian First Division Championship in 2002-03.

He would be sold again in 2003 to FC Metalurh Donetsk, appearing in 70 games between 2003-06 and was the team's assist leader in 2005-06 with 19.

After playing in Spain (Club Malaga CF), Russia (FC Kuban Krasnodor) and Bulgaria (PFC Slavia Sofia), he landed at FC Red Belgrade, playing in 11 games last season.

Red Bulls Midfielder Stammler To Retire To Pursue Advanced Degree

New York Red Bulls midfielder Seth Stammler,, the team's longest continuously tenured player, announced Tuesday he will retire at the end of the 2010 Major League Soccer season to pursue an advanced degree from the University of Chicago.

Stammler said the move had been discussed with team officials for some time and felt now was the time to make the announcement.

Stammler is currently tied for second on the team in matches started (126) and third in matches played (142) and has played 11,157 minutes.

A second round pick from Maryland in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft, he currently has six goals and 13 assists in his career and was nominated for the team's all-time Best XI.

Red Bulls Get Ballouchy From Rapids In Return For Kandji

Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls acquired midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy from the Colorado Rapids Tuesday in exchange for midfielder/forward Macoumba Kandji.

Ballouchy has scored three goals this season for the Rapids. who acquired him in a 2007 trade with Real Salt Lake in exchange for midfielder Kyle Beckerman.

Ballouchy scored two goals for RSL, who drafted him in 2006.

Kandji played his entire MLS career at New York after being picked up from the USL First Division's Atlanta Silverbacks in 2008. He has four goals this season for the Red Bulls.

MLS Teams To Play 34-Game Schedule In 2011

With the additions of the Portland Timbers and the Vancouver Whitecaps for the 2011 season, Major League Soccer announced Tuesday teams will play a 34-game regular season schedule, beginning March 19 and ending October 22.

The league also announced there will be no break this season for the CONCACAF Gold Cup or any other international tournaments. MLS took a two-week break this season so as not to conflict with Group Stage play in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

MLS will announce the regular season and postseason formats and the date and location for MLS Cup 2011 at a later date.

Toronto FC Fires Johnston, Preki; Names Cochrane, Brennan, Dasovic To Fill Posts

Major League Soccer's Toronto FC announced the terminations Tuesday of general manager Mo Johnston and head coach Preki.

Johnston will be replaced on an interim basis by Earl Cochrane, director of the team's youth academy, and will be assisted by former player Jim Brennan.

Assistant coach Nick Dasovic will take over for Preki, with none of the current assistant coaching staff being released.

Team officials say Cochrane and Dasovic will be in the running to be named permanent replacements in their jobs.

Toronto, once holding the sixth seed in the MLS Cup playoffs, is now in third place in the Eastern Conference standings at 7-10-7 with 28 points and six games remaining, has lost their last six games, has been shut out in five of those games, and is danger of missing the playoffs for a fourth straight season.

Aztex Extend Heath's Contract Through 2013 Season

The Austin Aztex of the USSF Division 2 Pro League announced Monday head coach Adrian Heath's contract has been extended through the 2013 season.

The team, formerly part of the USL First Division,until it and the North American Soccer League were not granted US Soccer Federation approval for Second Division Pro status, is now in second place in the USSF D-2's USL Conference with a 14-4-7 record and 49 points, putting them three points behind the second place Rochester Rhinos (15-6-6, 51) to regain the best record in the conference and the league, as well as the top seed in the league's playoffs. Austin holds the third playoff seed.

The Aztex travel to the FC Tampa Bay Rowdies Thursday.

MLS Disciplinary Committee Retroactively Fines, Suspends RSL's Morales

Major League Soccer's Disciplinary Committee Monday announced midfielder Javier Morales of defending league champion Real Salt Lake will miss Saturday's home game against the Chicago Fire and be fined $250 after kneeing Seattle Sounders defender Osvaldo Morales in the 40th minute of last Thursday's game.

The penalty, worthy of a red card ejection, was not caught by the game referee, but was seen by committee officials, who review all video footage from every MLS game and have the power to retroactively issues cards, fines and suspensions, should an incident happen the game's referee doesn't call.

Monday, September 13, 2010

RailHawks' Schulte Out For Season With Torn ACL

The Carolina RaiHawks of the USSF Division 2 Pro League announced Monday team captain Mark Schulte will miss the rest of the season after tearing an anterior cruciate ligament during an 11-on-11 scrimmage last week that will require surgery.

Schulte had a goal an as assist in 23 matches, 22 of which he started, and he played a team-leading 2,025 minutes this season.

WPS Commissioner Stepping Down, Role To Be Filled By Incoming CEO

Women's Professional Soccer commissioner Tonya Antonucci announced Monday she is resigning following the 2010 WPS Championship Game September 26 and will be replaced by the league's general counsel, Anne-Marie Eileraas, who will hold the new title of CEO.

Chivas Forward Alan Gordon Named MLS POTW

Chivas USA forward Alan Gordon, who assisted on both goals in his team's 2-0 win Friday against the New England Revolution at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA, was named Major League Soccer's Player of the Week for Week 24 of the 2010 season.

Gordon, a former Los Angeles Galaxy player who was traded for allocation money August 5, earned his first weekly honor in his career.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

James Gives DC United Shutout Win Over Toronto FC

Julius James scored the game's lone goal in the 81st minute as Major League Soccer's worst team this season, DC United, defeated Toronto FC 1-0 Saturday at BMO Field in Toronto for United's second win in six games under former player and assistant coach and now head coach Ben Olsen.

United still has the worst record at 5-16-3 with 18 points, last place in the Eastern Conference, and will take on the league's best team, the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Galaxy, next Saturday at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

Toronto, shut out for the fifth time in the last six games, remains in third place in the Eastern standings at 7-10-7 with 28 points and will meet the Houston Dynamo at Robertson Stadium next Saturday.

Red Bulls Earn Fourth Win In Six Games By Beating Rapids

Thierry Henry scored the second goal of his Major League Soccer career, Tim Ream scored his first league goal and Dane Richards' goal held off a potential charge by opponent Omar Cummings as the New York Red Bulls defeated the Colorado Rapids 3-1 Saturday at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ for the team's fourth win in their last six contests.

The Red Bulls are in second place in the Eastern Conference standings at 12-8-4 with 40 points and will take on FC Dallas next Saturday at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX.

Colorado is in fourth place in the Western Conference at 9-7-7 with 34 points and will host the New England Revolution next Saturday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO.

Le Toux Goals Leads Union Over Fire In Team's First Shutout Victory

Sebastien Le Toux's 11th goal of the season, which came in the first half, led the expansion Philadelphia Union to a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Fire Saturday at PPL Park in Chester, PA for the Major League Soccer franchise's first shutout victory.

The Union, at 6-11-6 with 24 points and tied for sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings with the New England Revolution (7-13-3), are on a three-game unbeaten streak and look to extend it Wednesday when they travel to Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, CA to meet the San Jose Earthquakes.

Chicago, at 6-8-8 with 26 points, is fifth in the Eastern Conference and will face the defending league champion Real Salt Lake next Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT.

Scoreless Draw Extends Streaks For FC Dallas

FC Dallas saw their unbeaten streak in Major League Soccer grow to 14 games and they earned their league-leading 11th draw in a scoreless contest Saturday against the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, CA.

Dallas is 10-2-11 with 41 points and is in third place in the Western Conference standings. They will host the New York Red Bulls next Saturday at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX.

San Jose, who are unbeaten at home since last losing to the Seattle Sounders July 31 and have lost one of their last five games, are 9-7-6 with 33 points and tied with the Sounders (9-9-6) for fifth place in the Western Conference. The Earthquakes host the expansion Philadelphia Union Wednesday.

Galaxy Takes Sole Possession Of Supporters Shield With Win Over Crew; Beckham Makes Season Debut

Edson Buddle scored his league-leading 14th goal of the season in the 13th minute off Sean Franklin and Landon Donovan had his league-leading 14th assist of the season when Dema Kovalenko scored in the 35th minute as the Los Angeles Galaxy regained sole possession of Major League Soccer's Supporters Shield, given to the team with the best regular season record, and the Western Conference lead with a 3-1 victory Saturday against the Eastern Conference-leading Columbus Crew at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

Jovan Kirovski added a 55th minute free kick to the tally for the Galaxy, now 14-5-5 with 47 points.

David Beckham made his 2010 season debut for Los Angeles in the 70th minute, playing the final 20 minutes, but earning a yellow card four minutes into his return.

Beckham has been recovering from surgery on his left Achilles tendon caused during his loan to Italy Serie A franchise AC Milan in March 2010.

Andres Mendoza's goal for the Crew in the 85th minute came too late to start a rally and Columbus fell to 13-6-5 with 44 points. They will host the Seattle Sounders next Saturday.

Sky Blue Ousted From WPS Playoffs; Playoff Schedule Set

The defending Women's Professional Soccer champion Sky Blue FC failed to qualify for the league's 2010 playoffs as, on the final night of the regular season Saturday, they played the Boston Breakers to a scoreless draw at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, NJ, sending the Breakers to the playoffs as the league's second seed of four teams to qualify.

Sky Blue ended the season in fifth place at 7-10-7 with 28 points, while the Breakers finished 10-8-6 with 36 points.

Also, the 2010 regular season champions, FC Gold Pride, closed out their campaign with a 4-1 victory over the expansion Philadelphia Independence at Pioneer Stadium in Hayward, CA.

Kelley O'Hara was assisted by Marta on goals in the 40th and 52nd minute, and O'Hara returned the favor for Marta when she scored in the 41st minute to lead the Pride, who finished the regular season at 16-3-5 with 53 points.

Marta also assisted Christine Sinclair on a 65th minute goal for the Pride.

Lianne Sanderson had Philadelphia's lone goal in the 51st minute.

Finally, Abby Wambach's goal in the 88th minute gave the Washington Freedom a 1-0 victory over the expansion Atlanta Beat at the Maryland SoccerPlex and helped them clinch the fourth and final playoff berth.

The Freedom finished the regular season 8-9-7 with 31 points and the Beat ended their inaugural season where it seemed to stay -- in last place -- at 5-13-6 with 21 points.

The 2010 WPS Playoffs schedule is now set, beginning next Sunday when the fourth-seeded Freedom travel to the third-seeded Independence in the First Round Game.

The winner of the game advances to face the second-seeded Breakers at Harvard University September 22 or 23 and that winner meets the Pride for the 2010 WPS Championship September 26 at Pioneer Stadium.

Islanders Knock Aztex Off Top Perch In USL Conference, Playoff Race

Unanswered goals in the 61st, 70th and 87th minute led the host Puerto Rico Islanders to a 3-1 victory over the Austin Aztex Saturday at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium in Bayamon, PR in USSF Division 2 Pro League play, knocking the visitors off their perch as the best team in the league and the USL Conference.

It also helped Puerto Rico that the Rochester Rhinos shut out the FC Tampa Bay Rowdies Saturday at Marina Auto Stadium 3-0 to put them back in the conference lead and regained the top seed in the league playoff picture.

Jamie Watson gave Austin a lead they thought would hold up early on, as the Aztex this season were 13-1-1 before Saturday's game when scoring first and 8-1-1 when leading games at halftime.

The Islanders are currently 9-9-9 with 36 points and are in fourth place in the USL Conference and hold the sixth seed in the playoff race. Puerto Rico will host the Portland Timbers next Saturday.

Austin, currently seeded third in the playoffs, is 14-4-7 with 49 points and is second in the USL Conference standings, two points being the Rhinos (15-6-6, 51). The Aztex will take on the FC Tampa Bay Rowdies this Thursday at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.

Thompson Game-Winner Gives Blues Upset Win Over Impact

Abe Thompson's tiebreaking goal in the 82nd minute gave the Miami FC Blues, the worst team in the USSF Division 2 Pro League and its NASL Conference, a 2-1 upset victory over the Montreal Impact Saturday at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Miami, now 4-11-11 with 23 points, opened the game with Christian Gomez scoring a goal off an early free kick before Montreal's Edward Sebrango tied the contest at 1-1 with an assist from Ali Gerba in the 53rd minute.

The Blues will travel to face the best team in USSF D-2, the USL Conference-leading Rochester Rhinos, this Friday at Marina Auto Stadium.

Montreal, currently in seventh place in the race for the league playoffs and in third place in the NASL Conference at 9-11-7 with 34 points, hosts the FC Tampa Bay Rowdies next Sunday at Saputo Stadium.

Mobulu Assists Extends Winning Streaks For Vancouver Over Baltimore

Ridge Mobulu assisted Randy Edwin-Bonsu on a 70th minute goal and Terry Dunfield on a score six minutes later as the Vancouver Whitecaps shut out host Crystal Palace Baltimore 3-0 Saturday in USSF Division 2 Pro League action to extend their road unbeaten streak to 11 games and their overall winning streak to nine games.

The Whitecaps, currently the leader in the NASL Conference standings at 10-3-14 with 44 points, holds the second seed in the league's playoff race and has won 19 of their last 20 games. Vancouver travels to the NSC Minnesota Stars, currently holders of the eighth and final playoff berth,, next Saturday.

Crystal Palace Baltimore is out of contention for a playoff berth and is 6-15-6 with 24 points, good for fifth place in the NASL Conference. They will host the Carolina RailHawks next Saturday.

Rhinos Regain Top Spot In League Standings And Top Seed In Playoffs

Jonathan Greenfield and Isaac Kissi scored unassisted goals in the 41st and 45th minute and Tyler Rosenlund was assisted by Felix Montagalvan on a 49th minute goal as the host Rochester Rhinos shut out the FC Tampa Bay Rowdies 3-0 Saturday at Marina Auto Stadium to regain the best record in the USSF Division 2 Pro League and the USL Conference, as well as the top seed in the league's playoff picture.

The Rhinos are now 15-6-6 with 51 points and will host the Miami FC Blues this Friday.

Tampa Bay is in last place in the USL Conference at 6-9-10 with 28 points and host the Austin Aztex Thursday at Steinbrenner Field.

Stars Silence AC St. Louis; Enter USSF D-2 Playoff Race

Simone Bracalello scored in the 25th minute off a Scott Lorenz assist and later hit a free kick to help the NSC Minnesota Stars shut out AC St. Louis 3-0 in USSF Division 2 Pro League play Saturday at the Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park in Fenton, MO and claimed the eighth and final seed in the league playoffs.

Bracalello now has four goals this season for the Stars.

Ely Allen added his third goal of the season in the 33rd minute with help from Daniel Wasson for Minnesota, now 8-12-7 with 31 points and in fifth place in the USL Conference standings. They will host the Carolina RailHawks Wednesday at the National Soccer Center in Blaine, MN.

AC St. Louis is in fourth place in the NASL Conference standings at 6-11-8 with 26 points and will host the Austin Aztex next Saturday.