Sunday, October 31, 2010

Draw Gives Islanders USSF Division 2 Pro League Championship Over RailHawks

The Puerto Rico Islanders are the first -- and will be only -- champion of the USSF Division 2 Pro League after they played the Carolina RailHawks to a 1-1 draw Saturday at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC and won the two-game total goal series by a 3-1 aggregate.

The Islanders won the opening game of the series last Sunday at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium in Bayamon, PR 2-0.

All the goals Saturday were scored in a two-minute span of the first half.

Sandy Gbandi had an unassisted goal in the eighth minute for the Islanders, then Floyd Franks assisted Tom Heinemann on the game-tying goal in the tenth minute.

The USSF Division 2 Pro League was created to allow teams from the former USL First Division, now merged with the USL Second Division as USL PRO, and the revived North American Soccer League, to compete in a league while both entities work out logistics to be able to be recertified by the US Soccer Federation as separate second division leagues for the 2011 season.

Lindpere Goal Puts Red Bulls Ahead Of Earthquakes In MLS Cup Playoff Series

Joe Lindpere's unassisted goal in the 55th minute was all the New York Red Bulls needed to shut out the San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 in Game 1 of their Major League Soccer Eastern Conference playoff series Saturday at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, CA.

Game two of this total goal series will be Thursday at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.

Avila Game-Winner Gives FC Dallas 1-0 Lead Over Defending MLS Champs

Eric Avila scored the game-winning goal in the 88th minute off a David Ferreira assist as host FC Dallas took the first game of their Major League Soccer Western Conference playoff series with a 2-1 win over the defending conference and league champion Real Salt Lake Saturday at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX.

Salt Lake scored first in the 15th minute as Andy Williams fed a pass to Fabian Espindola, but Dallas evened the score a minute before halftime as Jeff Cunningham drilled an unassisted goal.

Game two of the total goal series is next Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT.

US Women Crush Guatemala; Earn Semifinal Berth In CONCACAF Women's World Cup Qualifying Tournament

Amy Rodriguez had a hat trick, Abby Wambach and Megan Rapinoe had two goals each, and Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd added single goals as the world's top-ranked US Women's National Team routed Guatemala 9-0 Saturday in their second game of Group B at the 2010 CONCACAF Women's World Cup Qualifying Tournament in Cancun, Mexico and have officially earned a spot into the tournament semifinals next week.

The US will finish group play Monday against Costa Rica, who officially captured the second place spot in the group with a 3-0 victory over Haiti Saturday. The Americans beat Haiti Thursday 5-0.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fire Defender Kinney Has Sugery To Repair Ruptured Achilles

Defender Steven Kinney of Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire had surgery Tuesday to repair a ruptured right Achilles tendon suffered in last Saturday's 4-1 win over Chivas USA, the Fire announced Friday.

He is expected to make a full recovery.

United Midfielder Simms Has Second Successful Hernia Surgery

Midfielder Clyde Simms of Major League Soccer's DC United underwent successful surgery in Munich, Germany on a left side hernia Friday and is expected to make a full recovery.

He had similar surgery on his right side done in July 2009, also in Munich.

Despite the injury, Simms started 18 of 20 games this season and became the sixth player in team history to surpass playing in over 150 games at 153.

Lightning Signs Midfielders Bird, Horne And Jouaux To Deals

The Louisville Lightning of the Professional Arena Soccer League announced the signings Friday of midfielders Simon Bird, David Horne and Tony Jouaux for the 2010-11 season.

Bird averaged two goals per game and had three assists for 12 points in five games for the 2009-10 expansion team.

He played three seasons for the University of Louisville, leading them in scoring each season, and finished with 29 goals over 50 games.

Bird also was named a Big East Conference Player of the Year and was invited to participate in 2003 Major League Soccer Combine.

Bird also played for many teams in England after leaving the Cardinals.

Horne, who also is the team's general manager, was third on the team in scoring with 25 points on 18 goals and a team third-best seven assists.

Jouaux, also a former Cardinal, scored five goals and two assists in seven games for the Lightning last season.

Fire Release Assistant Coach And Fitness Specialist

Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire announced the release Thursday of first assistant coach Mike Matkovich, who has been with the team for two seasons, and fitness specialist Alvaro Briones, who joined the franchise in January.

Wambach Hat Trick Leads USWNT To Opening Rout Of Haiti At CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Tournament

Abby Wambach earned her sixth career hat trick and assisted on an Amy Rodriguez goal as the world number one-ranked US Women's National Team shut out Haiti 5-0 in the opening round of Group B play at the 2010 CONCACAF Women's World Cup Qualifying Tournament in Cancun, Mexico.

The US women are 24-1-0 alltime in the tournament and won their 17th straight qualifying game.

Rachel Buehler opened the scoring for the US off a Carli Lloyd free kick and, later, Christime Lilly assisted on one of Wambach's trio of goals.

The US faces Guatemala on Saturday and Costa Rica this Monday in their other pool games with the top two teams from each pool heading to the semifinals, where the top team from Group A, featuring Canada, Guyana, Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago, will face the second place Group B, and vice versa, with those winners advancing to the championship game and both make the field for the FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany next year.

The consolation game winner will then meet a fifth-place team from another region in a two-game, total goal series to earn CONCACAF's third tournament berth.

Also, Thursday, Costa Rica shut out Guatemala 1-0.

BMO Financial Group Signs Four-Year Deal To Be Whitecaps First Founding Partner

Extending a partnership that has taken place between their incarnations in the USL First Division and the USSF Division 2 Pro League over the past five seasons, BMO Financial Group of Canada announced Thursday they have signed a new four-year deal with the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps, beginning with the 2011 season.

BMO will continue to sponsor Kickin' with the Caps, which gives players on youth soccer teams in the province of British Columbia the chance to attend Vancouver home games during the season, and BMO Club Night, featuring chats with team coaches and autograph sessions with Whitecaps players.

Mastroeni's First Playoff Goal Gives Rapids Early Lead Over Crew

Pablo Mastroeni scored his first playoff goal of his career in the 23rd minute off assists from Conor Casey and Omar Cummings as the Colorado Rapids took a 1-0 lead over the Columbus Crew in the first game of their 2010 Major League Soccer Eastern Conference semifinal series Thursday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO.

The two-game, total goal series moves now to Crew Stadium in Columbus next Saturday.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Impact Cut Five Players For 2011 Season

The Montreal Impact of the North American Soccer League announced Thursday they have chosen not to extend contracts to five players for the 2011 season -- forward Eduardo Sebrango, midfielders Patrick Leduc, Rocco Placentino and Filipe Soares, and defender Wesley Charles.

Sebrango was the oldest player in the USSF Division 2 Pro League in 2010 at age 37, scoring five goals in 24 games. He returned to the Impact in the 2009 USL First Division season after playing the previous three seasons at the Vancouver Whitecaps.

In 136 career matches over six seasons at Montreal, he started 104 and had 45 goals and 100 points over 9,440 minutes played. He leaves the franchise as their second highest goal scorer and point tallier behind Mauro Biello.

Leduc spent all 11 seasons of his outdoor career with the Impact and is third on their all-time list in matches played (222) and fifth in minutes played at 15,166. In 2010, he scored 10 goals in 16 games.

Placentino, who played previously for them in 2001 and 2002, returned in 2008. In 95 regular season games, he scored eight goals and 13 assists for 29 points over 3,967 minutes played, including starting 10 of 24 games in 2010 and acoring three goals and two assists.

Soares joined the Impact this January and had a goal and an assist in 1,084 minutes played over 18 regular season games in his first professional season in North America.

Charles, acquired as a free agent in July, played 540 minutes over eight games this season.

USL Hall Of Fame To Induct McAdams, Lilley, Miller November 19

United Soccer Leagues will induct former Charleston Battery executive Betsy McAdams, current Rochester Rhinos head coach Bob Lilley and former Rhinos star Doug Miller into their Hall Of Fame during a ceremony November 19 at the Hyatt Regency in Tampa as part of the annual USL SoccerFest, which includes the league's Annual General Meeting.

McAdams, who died in 2009 and had been with the Battery since the team's creation in 1993, held many jobs, the last being chief operating officer in 2008. She will become the 46th person to be inducted to the Builder wing.

Lilley, who just finished the one and only season of the USSF Division 2 Pro League as their Coach of the Year, becomes only the ninth Coach wing inductee.

Lilley also served as a head coach with the Hershey Wildcats of the A-League and the Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps of USL First Division.

At Hershey, he led the Wildcats to the 2001 A-League National Championship final, a Northern Conference championship and three Atlantic Division titles in five seasons from 1997 to 2002 and was named the A-League Coach of the Year in 1997.

He joined Montreal in 2002 and led the Impact to the A-League's Eastern Conference title and was named the league's Coach of the Year.

After two seasons with the Impact, he went to the Vancouver Whitecaps in 2004 and they won a USL-1 Championship in 2006 over the Rochester Rhinos.

Miller, currently the owner of the Rochester Ravens of the USL W-League, which is moving to Women's Professional Soccer for the 2011 season as Western New York, spent eight seasons as a player with the Rhinos and is their all-time leading scorer.

A three-time All-League selection (1996 and 1997 in A-League, 2003 in USL-1), Miller was the A-League's Scoring and Goal Scoring Champion as well as the league's Most Valuable Player.

He led the Wildcats to the 2001 A-League championship game and the Rhinos to two league titles (A-League and USL-1) and two championship games at the Lamar Hunt US Open Soccer Cup tournament.

Miller is the 22nd person to be inducted to the Player wing.

NASL Upset With Rhinos Defection To USL Pro, Exploring Legal Options

The North American Soccer League, at their Annual General Meeting November 7 and 8 in Miami, will take up the matter of how to respond to recent news that the Rochester Rhinos, who finished the lone season of the USSF Division 2 Pro League as its regular season champion, have announced they will join the new USL PRO, a merger of its USL First and Second Divisions, for their debut season in 2011, even though the Rhinos made a multi-year commitment to the NASL.

NASL CEO Aaron Davidson said "it is unfortunate that the Rochester Rhinos, a team with a successful track record over its fifteen year history at the second division level, is steeping down to third division".

MISL Extends Partnership With Kendis Industries Through 2011-12 Season

The Major Indoor Soccer League announced Thursday they have extended their relationship with Kendis Industries as the league's official supplier of game balls through the 2011-12 season.

The company also supplies balls for every franchise's summer soccer camps, as well as creates promotional mini balls, squeeze ballas and replica balls. Kendis will continue to lead its name to the MISL's annual Scoring Champion Award.

The 2010-11 season Kendis ball will be red with three white stripes and will carry the league's new logo.

MLS Announces Finalists For 2010 Year End Awards

Major League Soccer Wednesday announced the three finalists for each of the league's Year End Awards, scheduled to be handed out between November 3 and 19.

The finalists for the ten major awards were selected based on voting by MLS players, general managers, head coaches, referees and media members.

Here is the list of the awards and their finalists, along with the date the award will be announced:

GOALKEEPER OF THE YEAR - November 3
Kevin Hartman - FC Dallas
Donovan Ricketts - Los Angeles Galaxy
Nick Rimando - Real Salt Lake

INDIVIDUAL FAIR PLAY - November 3
C.J. Brown - Chicago Fire
Sebastien Le Toux - Philadelphia Independence
Chris Wondolowski - San Jose Earthquakes

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR - November 3
Danny Mwanga - Philadelphia Union
Andy Najar - DC United
Tim Ream - New York Red Bulls

VISA DEFENDER OF THE YEAR - November 5
Nate Borchers - Real Salt Lake
Omar Gonzalez - Los Angeles Galaxy
Jamison Olave - Real Salt Lake

adidas REFEREE OF THE YEAR - November 5
Mark Geiger
Kevin Stott
Baldomero Toledo

MLS W.O.R.K.S. HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR - November 8
Brian Ching - Houston Dynamo
Jimmy Conrad - Kansas City Wizards
Seth Stammler - New York Red Bulls

COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR - November 10
Chris Albright - New York Red Bulls
Bobby Convey - San Jose Earthquakes
Brek Shea - FC Dallas

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR - November 10
Thierry Henry - New York Red Bulls
Joel Lindpere - New York Red Bulls
Alvaro Saborio - Real Salt Lake

COACH OF THE YEAR - November 11
Hans Backe - New York Red Bulls
Schellas Hyndman - FC Dallas
Jason Kreis - Real Salt Lake

VOLKSWAGEN MOST VALUABLE PLAYER - Novermber 19
Edson Buddle - Los Angeles Galaxy
David Ferreira - FC Dallas
Chris Wondolowski - San Jose Earthquakes

In other announcement news, the team award for Fair Play will be named November 3, the adidas Assitant Referee of the Year award will be handed out November 5, the league's 2010 Best XI will be unveiled Novermber 15 and the fan-selected AT&T Goal of the Year and NAPA Auto Parts Save of the Year will be named November 17.

PASL Champion Sockers Keep "Chiky" Around To Defend Crown

The defending Professional Arena Soccer League North American Champion San Diego Sockers announced the re-signing of midfielder Miguel "Chiky" Luna to a one-year contract Wednesday.

Luna scored 15 goals in 15 games for the Sockers, who defeated Guadalajara, Mexico for the league championship. He scored a game-winning goal with 19 seconds left in a 6-5 overtime win against Mexico City in the NAC semifinals and, in a come-from-behind 11-7 win over Vitesse Dallas of the Premier Arena Soccer League to earn a berth in the 2010 US Open Arena Soccer Championship field, he scored five goals.

Luna also had another game-winning goal last season in a 5-4 win over the Edmonton Drillers of the Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League, an affiliate to PASL-Pro.

Chivas USA Fires Vasquez After One Season

Major League Soccer's Chivas USA announced the firing of head coach Martin Vasquez Wednesday after he led the team to the worst record in the Western Conference at 8-18-4 with 28 points in his only season on the job.

Vasquez served as an assistant coach with the team from 2005 to 2007, then left to hold the same post with head coach Jurgen Klinsmann at Bayern Munich in the German Bundesliga from 2008 to 2009.

A search for a new head coach has already begun.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Nash Ends Playing Career With Whitecaps To Join Coaching Staff

Midfielder Martin Nash announced Wednesday he is retiring after ten seasons as a player with the Vancouver Whitecaps, who will join Major League Soccer as a 2011 expansion team, but will stay on with the franchise in other duties.

Nash began his soccer career in 1995 at the age of 19 with the Vancouver 86ers, who eventually became the Whitecaps, and also played for his home country of Canada's national team and for teams in England during his 16-year career.

In 2000 and 2001, Nash led the Rochester Rhinos to back-to-back USL First Division titles, then, in 2004, he came back to Vancouver in 2004 for his final stint with the team, which included leading the Whitecaps to USL-1 championships in 2006 and 2008.

In 2009, he was named the team's 19th captain and led them to the 2009 USL-1 Championship Game, where they lost to the Montreal Impact.

The Whitecaps just completed the 2010 season in the USSF Division 2 Pro League, where Nash started 33 of 36 matches, played 2,957 minutes and won the team's Dominic Mobilio Golden Boot award after scoring five goals and assisting on eight others. He was also named to the league's Best XI team.

He was a three-time USL-1 All-League First Team selection in 1996, 2007 and 2008, and the team's MVP and Fan Favourite in 2007, along with earning USL-1 All-League Second Team mentions iin 2000 with the Rhinos and in 2009 with Vancouver.

Nash leaves the Whitecaps after ten seasons as their seventh-highest all-time leading scorer with 110 points on 31 goals, fifth-best all-time on the team, and 48 assists, third-best all time on the team. He also ranks sixth all-time in appearances for Vancouver at 285 and minutes played at 22,942.

Adding his time playing in England and in Rochester, Nash had 45 goals and 74 assists in 421 appearances.

He also played 38 times for Canada's men's national team, scoring two goals. Nash led the team to a CONCACAF Gold Cup title in 2000 in Los Angeles and played for Canada's U-20 and U-23 Olympic team. His last game for Canada came in 2008.

Nash will now join the Whitecaps as an assistant coach with the Vancouver Whitecaps Residency in the USL's Premier Development League and a talent scout for the senior team, among other duties, including continuing to make appearances for the franchise at community events.

Wondolowski Adds To Trophy Case By Being Named MLS Player Of The Month

San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski, who won Major League Soccer's Budweiser Golden Boot as the league's top scorer in the 2010 regular season and is a three-time winner of their Player of the Week within the last five weeks, was named Wednesday the MLS Player of the Month for October.

Wondolowski scored six goals in the month, including his second hat trick of the season, to win the Golden Boot with a new team single-season goals record of 18, edging Los Angeles Galaxy forward Edson Buddle with 17, and led the Earthquakes to their first MLS Cup playoff appearance since the team was reborn in 2007.

Wondolowski, a strong candidate to be voted MLS' Most Valuable Player, was named the league's POTW in Weeks 26, 28 and the just-completed 30th.

Crew Signs Harrison As Backup Goalkeeper For MLS Cup Playoffs

In need of a backup goalkeeper in time for the opening game of their Major League Soccer Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Colorado Rapids, beginning Thursday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO, the Columbus Crew signed Chase Harrison to a short-term contract Tuesday.

The Crew lost the services of starting goalkeeper Will Hesmer to a broken shoulder in the late stages of Sunday's regular season-ending match with the Philadelphia Union and elevated backup goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum, who has only played in preseason games, the CONCACAF Champions League tournament and the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament, to the starting job.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fire Announce 2010 Postseason Awards Ahead Of Fundraising Party

Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire announced Tuesday the winners of their 2010 postseason awards, though the players will officially receive their honors at a fundraiser in Chicago November 9 for the Chicago Fire Foundation.

Midfielder Logan Pause, an eight-year veteran, was named the team's Most Valuable Player by local media and the team's technical staff, even with scoring one goal and three assists in 26 games this season in winning the award for the first time, beating out midfielder Patrick Nyarko for the honor.

Retiring defender C.J. Brown, the last member of Chicago's original roster, was named the Defender of the Year, also by the local media and team technical staff, after helping the team to eight shutouts this season. Brown, who played for the team for 13 years, will leave as the longest consecutive tenured player with one MLS franchise. He started all but six of 296 career appearances and played 25,738 regular season minutes in his Men In Red career.

Midfielder Marco Pappa became the eighth different Fire player to win the team's Budwesier Golden Boot Award after leading the team in goals with seven in 25 games, a career high, along with a career high five assists.

Defender Dasan Robinson was named the team's MLS W.O.R.K.S Humanitarian of the Year for his work off the field with Urban Initiatives, a health and education soccer program, as well as being spokesperson for the team's annual School Supply Drive. Robinson also donated time this season to Athletes In Action and by coaching youth soccer teams for the Chicago Kickers, as well as joining other Fire players in planting a tree at Toyota Park on Earth Day and working with the Fire Foundation.

Marta Joins List Of Seven WPS Players Nominated For FIFA Women's World Player Of The Year; Montoya, Sundhage Nominated For World Coach Of The Year

Forward Marta of the new Women's Professional Soccer champion FC Gold Pride, the four-time defending champion, is one of seven players from the league being nominated for FIFA Women's World Player of the Year, to be awarded at a ceremony January 10 in Zurich, Switzerland.

She is joined as a nominee with fellow Pride teammates midfielder Camile Abily of France and forward Christine Sinclair of Canada, along with midfielder Caroline Seger (Sweden) of the expansion Philadelphia Independence, forward/midfielder Kelly Smith (England) of the Boston Breakers, and two members of the US Women's National Team -- goalkeeper Hope Solo of the Atlanta Beat and forward Abby Wambach of the Washington Freedom.

The US team's head coach, Pia Sundhage, along with Pride head coach Albert Montoya, are two of ten nominees for the FIFA World Coach of the Year award, also to be presented that night.

Washington Post: Olsen Not Considered For United Head Coaching Situation, Will Stay With Team

Former Major League Soccer player Ben Olsen, who spent his entire 12-year career with DC United, will not be considered to take over the full-time head coaching job with the franchise, according to an interview with team president Kevin Payne for Tuesday's Washington Post, but Payne said all four of the candidates currently interested in the job would be willing to retain him in his former role as assistant coach.

DC finished with not only MLS' worst record this season at 6-20-4 with 22 points, but it was the team's worst record in its history.

Olsen took over the team after former Kansas City Wizards head coach Curt Onalfo was fired in August and went 3-8-1 in his term.

Payne said two of the four coaching candidates he has on a short list are from overseas and he will also talk to current MLS coaches about taking the job once they end their respective MLS Cup Playoffs run.

Asked if he thought Olsen could handle the head coaching duties, Payne first said, "I don't think he is ready", but later added "I fully expect Ben will be our head coach someday".

The status of assistant coach Kris Keldermann and goalkeeper coach Mark Sampson are up in the air at the moment.

Chad Ashton, who had been handling the day-to-day responsibilities of the team to help out Olsen, will return to his former position as techincal director.

Payne said United would like to name a new head coach within the next six weeks.

Comets Sign Forward Alvarez To Two-Year Deal

Forward Byron Alvarez, who played last season in the Major Indoor Soccer League for the now-defunct La RaZa de Monterrey, who won the league championship, signed a two-year deal with the expansion Missouri Comets Monday.

In 14 games last season for La RaZa, he had 11 goals and six assists. Between the 2007-08 and 2009-10 seasons for Monterrey, the Mexico City-born Alvarez scored 39 goals and was named the Most Valuable Player in the 2007-08 season of the National Indoor Soccer League, the predecessor to the third version of the MISL.

After playing for several minor league teams in Mexico, Alvarez joined the MetroStars (now New York Red Bulls) in Major League Soccer in 2003. The next season, he transferred to the Portland Timbers of the USL First Division, where he became the team's all-time leading goal scorer with 41 and their all-time points leader at 91.

Alvarez was selected by Monterrey in the 2007 MISL Expansion Draft, during its second machination.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Rattlers Leaving USL PDL For NPSL

According to OurSportsCentral.com, a minor league sports news website, the Lancaster (CA) Rattlers, who played the 2007 to 2010 seasons in the USL Premier Development League, announced Monday they will move the team into the amateur National Premier Soccer League for the 2011 season.

Rochester Rhinos, Replanted Aztex To Join USL PRO; Now At 11 Teams

The top two teams in the USL Conference of the USSF Division 2 Pro League -- the Rochester Rhinos and the Austin Aztex -- announced they are joining USL Pro, a merger of the former USL First and Second Divisions, for their debut season in 2011, increasing the membership to 11 out of a possible 18-20 teams that will compete in a four-region nationwide outdoor league.

However, in a stunning announcement, the Aztex also announced Monday they are relocating the franchise to Orlando and will now call themselves Orlando City Soccer Club. They will be remain owned by Phil Rawlins, now president of Orlando Sports Holdings, with Brendan Flood, majority owner of Burnley FC of the English Football League Championship, and Charlotte, NC businessman Dan Williams serving as minority owners.

Rawlings said OCSC will retain the services of Aztex head coach Adrian Heath and a majority of the former Aztex players for the 2011 season. OSCS will also keep its affilation agreement with Stoke City of the English Premier League, also owned by Rawlings.

The Aztex, who started play in the 2008 USL Premier Development League, came to USL First Division in 2009 and was named the league's Rookie Franchise of the Year.

Austin finished second in the USSF D-2 League's USL Conference with a record of 15-7-8 with 53 points and made the league's playoffs.

The Rhinos, owned by Rob Clark, since 2008, has made the playoffs in the USL and the D-2 League throughout its 15 years of existence, and ended the D-2 season with the league's best record at 16-8-6 with 54 points.

Rhinos head coach Bob Lilley was recently named the USSF D-2 Coach of the Year.

Golden Boot Winner Captures Third MLS POTW Award In Five Weeks

For the third time in five weeks, San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski was named the final Major League Soccer Player of the Week Monday.

Wondowloski, who stunned MLS by taking the 2010 Golden Boot Award away from long-running leader Edson Buddle of the Los Angeles Galaxy with 18 goals, won the award previously in Weeks 26 and 28.

Wondolowski had a hat trick in a 3-0 win over Chivas USA last Wednesday, then scored San Jose's only goal in a 4-1 win over the host Kansas City Wizards Saturday to end his scoring week.

His 18 goals are a new team record, beating the old mark by Ronald Cerritos of 15 goals in 1998. Half of Wondolowski's goals were game-winners (nine) and his total is slightly more than half of all the goals San Jose scored this season of 34 goals.

He also set a new league record by scoring his team's final ten goals.

Galaxy's Donovan Wins MLS Silver Boot Award With Career-High 16

Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan was named the winner Sunday of Major League Soccer's 2010 Silver Boot Award for the player with the most assists this season.

Donovan assisted on 16 goals, three more than his previous-best total for a season with 13.

David Ferreira of FC Dallas finished second in the category with 13, Brad Davis of the Houston Dynamo was third with 12, Sebastien Le Toux of the Philadelphia Union had 11 for fourth place, and four others -- Freddie Ljungberg and Patrick Nyarko of the Chicago Fire, along with Bobby Convey of the San Jose Earthquakes and Fredy Montero of the Seattle Sounders -- each tied for fifth with 10.

MISL Unveils New Logo

The Major Indoor Soccer League Monday officially unveiled a new logo on their website -- http://www.misl.net/ -- as well as on all of their member clubs' websites and the league's social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter.

The new logo replaces the former logo of a red shield with a silhouetted player in the center of it in white with five stars at the top of the shield, to recognize the league's original five teams from last season, and the letters MISL in blue.

Now, the logo has taken the look of the original league logo from the 1978-79 debut season, with a rectangular shape, with the letters MI and SL split by the silhouetted player in white, supplemented with a larger thin blue square border with the words Major Indoor Soccer League in blue lettering, except for the first letter of each word, which is in red.

The league also has a secondary logo, featuring everything the new primary logo except the border; a wordmark, featuring the same silhouette splitting the MISL letters, and a final identity for the website in which the silhouette is used to split the MI and SL in the team's URL and a star replaces the dot in the .net address.

Islanders Take 2-0 Lead In USSF D-2 League Championship Series

The Puerto Rico Islanders saw Sandy Gbandi (49') and Jonathan Fana (87') score second-half goals as they took a 2-0 lead over the Carolina RailHawks in Game 1 of the two-game, aggregate goal USSF Division 2 Pro League Championship Series Sunday at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium in Bayamon, PR.

The series now shifts to WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC for the second game Saturday.

Should the series end in an aggregate tie, both teams will play two 15-minute overtime periods with no golden goal, followed by a shootout, if still tied after 120 minutes.

Wondolowski Edges Buddle For MLS Golden Boot Award

Thanks to four goals scored in his final two games, three of them coming on a hat trick in a Wednesday win over Chivas USA, San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski won Major League Soccer's Golden Boot Award as the league's top goal scorer with 18 goals, one better than Los Angeles Galaxy forward Edson Buddle, who has 17 goals but lead the competition until the final weekend of the season.

Wondolowski's last goal was San Jose's only goal in a 4-1 loss to the Kansas City Wizards, while Buddle played in the Galaxy's 2-1 win over FC Dallas, but did not score a goal.

Toronto FC forward Dwayne De Rosario was third in the competition with 15 and Omar Cummings of the Colorado Rapids and Sebastien Le Toux of the expansion Philadelphia Union were tied for fourth with 14.

Galaxy End Season As League's And Western Conference's Best In Win Over Dallas

David Beckham scored a game-tying goal in the 33rd minute and Juninho had the game-winner in the 46th minute as the Los Angeles Galaxy officially won Major League Soccer's Western Conference regular season title -- and the number one seed in the MLS Cup Playoffs that came with it -- as well as the Supporters Shield for having the league's best record in a 2-1 victory Sunday at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA against FC Dallas, who lost two games in a row to end the season after going on a league-record-tying 19-game unbeaten streak.

Dallas took the lead in the 22nd minute on an Atiba Harris goal and ends the season 12-4-14 with 50 points.

Both teams now move on to Western Conference playoff matches this week with the Galaxy traveling to the fourth-seeded Seattle Sounders next Sunday, then hosting Seattle November 7 at The Home Depot Center, while Dallas, the third seed in the conference, hosts second-seed and defending conference and league champion Real Salt Lake this Saturday before heading to Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT for game two of their series November 6.

Crew End Regular Season By Beating Union To Snap Losing Streak; Columbus Loses Hesmer For Playoffs

Guillermo Barros Schelotto scored off a 15th minute penalty kick and assisted Andres Mendoza on a 79th minute strike as the Columbus Crew snapped a six-game Major League Soccer losing streak by defeating the expansion Philadelphia Union 3-1 Sunday at Crew Stadium.

Emilio Renteria added a Crew goal in the 42nd minute as Columbus finished their 2010 season with a regular season record of 14-8-8 and 50 points, finishing in second place in the Eastern Conference and taking the second seed in the upcoming MLS Cup Playoffs, where they will meet the Colorado Rapids, who move from the Western Conference and take the Eastern's third seed.

The two-game, aggregate goal series begins Thursday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO before moving to Crew Stadium November 6.

The winner will take on the winner of the other Eastern Conference semifinal series between the top seed New York Red Bulls and the fourth seed San Jose Earthquakes, also transplanted from the Western Conference.

The Crew, however, lost goalkeeper Will Hesmer for the playoffs after he fractured a shoulder following a collision with Union defender Danny Califf in the 85th minute.

Hesmer started all 30 games for Columbus this season and had 11 shutouts.

He will be replaced by backup Andy Gruenebaum, who has not played in an MLS game this season, but played for Columbus in all six rounds of pool play in the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League tournament and in four rounds of the 2011 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament.

Philadelphia, meanwhile, who saw Sebastien Le Toux score their lone goal, ended their inaugural league season at 8-15-7 with 31 points, good for seventh place in the eight-team Eastern Conference.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Chivas USA Announces 2010 Season Award Winners Before Fire Game

Prior to Saturday night's 2011 season-ending Major League Soccer match with the Chicago Fire at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA, Chivas USA gave out their annual team awards.

Defender Jonathan Bornstein, who played in his final MLS game before readying himself to join Tigres in Mexico's Primera Division January 1, 2011, was named the first winner of the renamed Claudio Suarez Award, which goes to the player "who best represents the spirit" of the team.

Bornstein, named the team's MLS W.O.R.K.S Humanitarian of the Year in 2008 and the franchise's Defender of the Year in 2009, was named to the MLS All-Star team for the fourth straight year and played for the US Men's National Team at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

For Chivas, he assisted on two goals in 20 matches, 16 he started.

Off the field, Bornstein served as a representative for the team at community and charitable events and was always accessible to media outlets about the team's work.

Forward Justin Braun was named the team's Most Valuable Player after scoring a team-leading nine goals before Saturday's game and added three assists, tying him for first in the category with six other players. Three of his goals were game-winners this season. He had started 23 of 27 games before Saturday's contest and played 2,028 minutes, third most on the team.

The third-year player also was named the league's Player of the Week for Week 15 of the 2010 season after scoring two goals in a game against the Kansas City Wizards.

Michael Umana, who joined the team in the 2010 preseason, earned the Wizards' Defender of the Year award after playing a team-leading 2,483 minutes and starting 28 games before Saturday. In all but three games this season, he played the full 90 minutes.

Michael Lahoud won the team's MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Year honor for his work with Compton United, a program that mentors and trains at-risk children in soccer, the Wall-Las Memorias Project, where he volunteered to take an HIV test during National HIV Testing Week, Chrysalis, a group that finds jobs for homeless and impoverished people in Los Angeles, and America SCORE LA, a program for budding poet-athletes.

Wizards Hand Out Team Awards In Pregame Ceremony

Prior to Saturday night's final home game for Major League Soccer's Kansas City Wizards at CommunityAmerica Ballpark against the San Jose Earthquakes, the team handed out player awards for the 2010 season.

Forwad Kei Kamara was the big winner in the voring for the awards, done by players, coaches and media members, as he was named the Sprint Most Valuable Player and the Budweiser Golden Boot winner.

He had career-highs of ten goals and six assists for 26 points in 28 games before Saturday, putting him in ninth place on MLS' Golden Boot list, and also four game-winning goals, tying him for fourth in the league in that category. Kamara's point toal doubled his previous season of 13.

Kamara also fired off 90 shots in 2010, fourth most in the league, and had 32 of them be shots on goal, eighth best in the league.

Goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen won the Providence Medical Center Defensive Player of the Year award.

One of two newcomers on the 2010 MLS All-Star team, he recorded 80 saves, fifth best in the league, and a 1.17 goals against average, along with ten shutouts, the second most by a Wizards goalkeeper in a single season in team history.

He also was voted a six-time NAPA Save of the Week winner by fans voting throughout the season on http://www.mlssoccer.com/.

Before Saturday's game, he was one of four players in the league to play in every minute of every match this season.

Defender Jimmy Conrad was named the team's 2010 MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Year for his continued work with such charities as the Autism Speaks Foundation, the Child Protection Center, and the Boys & Girls Club, as well as his contributions to the Pepsi Refresh Project, where he won $25,000 for Belvidere Park, the City Union Mission and the Kansas City Zoo.

Defender Konner Knoll won the 2010 Bob Gansler Kansas City Wizards Juniors Player of the Year award, named for the former head coach of the senior team from 1996 to 2006 and the US Men's National Team at the 1990 FIFA World Cup.

Knoll is a three-year member of Kansas' team through the US Olympic Development Program and a four-year starter at Wichita Southeast High School. He was one of three members of the Juniors team that were invited to train for a week in August with the senior Wizards.

VYPE magazine named him the top male soccer prospect in the city of Wichita for the 2010-11 season and he is ranked 14th among 2011 graduates on TopDrawerSoccer.com's Top 20 Players To Watch In The Heartland Region.

McBride Bids Farewell To Fire Fans With One Last Goal in Chivas Victory

Brian McBride, one of many Major League Soccer stars who have announced their retirement at the end of this season, scored one final goal in the 40th minute as the Chicago Fire defeated Chivas USA 4-1 Saturday at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA in a game that had no effect on the league's upcoming playoffs.

Calen Carr and Baggio Husidic added goals for the Fire, who end their 2010 regular season with a 9-12-9 record and 36 points to finish fourth overall in the Eastern Conference, but not good enough to earn a playoff berth.

Giancarlo Maldonado scored Chivas' only goal and the Goats finished last in the Western Conference standings at 8-18-4 with 28 points.

Dynamo Snap Sounders' Five-Game Winning Streak At Robertson Stadium

Geoff Cameron scored a 27th minute goal off a Dominic Oduro assist and Cam Weaver headed a Mike Chabala pass to the back of the net as the former two-time, back-to-back Major League Soccer champion Houston Dynamo pulled off a 2-1 upset win over the playoff-bound Seattle Sounders in both teams' final game of the 2010 season at Robertson Stadium in Houston Saturday.

James Riley scored Seattle's only goal -- and his first of the season -- in the 12th minute.

The Dynamo ended the season seventh in the Western Conference with a 9-15-6 record and 33 points.

Seattle, meanwhile, finished 14-10-6 with 48 points in the Western Conference and will be the third seed in their playoffs next week against the defending league champion Real Salt Lake.

Moreno Retires As All-Time Leading Scorer, But DC United Is STIIL DC United

Jaime Moreno ended his career in Major League Soccer as their all-time leading goal scorer with a penalty kick for his 133rd goal, but the league's worst team in the Eastern Conference and in the league overall, DC United, finished with their worst record ever of 6-20-4 and 22 points as Toronto FC, behind two second-half goals from Dwayne De Rosario, beat them 3-2 Saturday at RFK Stadium.

Santino Quaranta gave United the lead within the first minute of the game, but that was the last lead they'd see Saturday.

Maicon Santos tied the game at 1-1 with a 23rd minute goal off a Nick LaBrocca assist.

United, among the other lowlights the team suffered this season, lost their 11th game at home.

Toronto finished the 2010 regular season campaign as the fifth place team in the Eastern Conference with a 9-13-8 record with 35 points.

Diop Hat Trick Leads Wizards In Upset Of Playoff-Bound Earthquakes

Birahim Diop, who had only scored two goals so far this season for the Kansas City Wizards, helped give the team a great sendoff after two seasons at CommunityAmerica Ballpark with a hat trick in a 4-1 home win Saturday over the Major League Soccer playoff-bound San Jose Earthquakes.

San Jose allowed Kansas City's last goal as Eduardo fired off an own goal.

The Earthquakes' lone goal came from Chris Wondolowski, who took the albeit temporary lead in the league's Golden Boot race with his 18th goal, putting him one ahead of Los Angeles Galaxy star Edson Buddle, who has 17 and plays Sunday against FC Dallas at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

Should both players tie for the Golden Boot award, Buddle would win by winning a tiebreaker for having the most assists this season with two over Wondolowski's one.

The Wizards, who finish third in the Eastern Conference at 11-13-6 with 39 points, were not able to earn a playoff berth.

San Jose, who end their season 13-10-7 with 46 points, is moved into the Eastern Conference bracket as the fourth seed and will face the conference regular-season champion New York Red Bulls in the first round.

RSL Draw To Rapids Gives Galaxy Western Title, Supporters Shield; Western Playoffs Set

Alvaro Saborio scored both of his goals in second-half stoppage time as Major League Soccer's defending champion Real Salt Lake played the host Colorado Rapids to a 2-2 draw Saturday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO.

The draw, however, officially gave the Los Angeles Galaxy the Western Conference regular season championship, home field advantage through the championship final, and the Supporters Shield for having the most points in the regular season at 56 points on a league-best 17-7-5 record

RSL, who finished the regular season with a 14-game unbeaten streak, ended their season in second place record-wise at 15-4-11 and had 56 points as well, but the Galaxy won the Supporters title on a tiebreaker.

Colorado took a 2-0 lead in a five-minute stretch of the first half as Omar Cummings scored in the 16th minute and Conor Casey followed up five minutes later with another goal.

The Rapids ended their season with a record of 12-8-10 with 46 points but, having one of the two lowest records in the Western Conference, they will compete in the Eastern Conference playoffs against the second-seeded Columbus Crew.

RSL will take on third-seeded FC Dallas in the opening round of the playoffs.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

MLS Playoff Matchups To Be Determined With Final Weekend Of Play

Only two things are a certainty as Major League Soccer prepares for the start of the 2010 MLS Cup Playoffs, beginning next week:

1. The New York Red Bulls are the 2010 Eastern Conference champions and have home field advanatge through the conference final, and the Columbus Crew finished second in the conference and will have the second seed in the conference playoffs.

2. The Los Angeles Galaxy and the defending league champion Real Salt Lake will be the top two seeds in the Western Conference playoffs.

3. FC Dallas, the Seattle Sounders, Colorado Rapids and San Jose Earthquakes will all host the first game of their respective two-game aggregate goal series.

4. The Galaxy, RSL, Red Buls and Crew will all host the second game of their two-game first-round series.

Everything else -- and there's a lot of everything else left to settle -- will be decided by the end of the final weekend of the 2010 season Sunday.

First of all, two teams from the Western Conference will cross over to the Eastern Conference playoffs to balance out the playoff matchups, but we won't know until after Sunday which two.

Second, the Galaxy currently have a one-point lead over RSL (56-55) for both the Western regular season title and the Supporters Shield, which goes to the team with the best overall record. If both teams finish tied in season points after this weekend, RSL will win the conference and the Shield by a goal differential tiebreaker.

Now comes the fun part.

The Galaxy will win the Supporters Shield and the Western Conference title AND RSL will finish in second place IF either LA defeats FC Dallas, RSL loses to the Rapids OR LA ties Dallas while RSL either ties or loses to the Rapids.

Situations are reversed (RSL is Western and Supporters champ, LA finishes second) IF RSL defeats Colorado AND LA ties or loses to FC Dallas OR RSL ties Colorado and LA loses to Dallas.

FC Dallas will be the third seed in the Western Conference playoffs if they beat LA OR if they tie LA and the Sounders tie or lose to the Housron Dynamo.

Seattle will be the third seed in the Western playoffs and Dallas drops to fourth IF Seattle beats Houston AND Dallas loses to the Galaxy OR if Seattle beats Houston by 11 or more goals AND Dallas ties the Galaxy.

San Jose will be the fourth seed in the Western playoffs and Seattle will become the third seed in the Eastern playoffs IF the Earthquakes beat the Kansas City Wizards by more than two goals AND Seattle ties Houston.

The Earthquakes are fourth in the Western playoffs, Colorado becomes the third seed and Seattle becomes the fourth seed, both in the Eastern bracket IF San Jose beats KC AND Seattle loses to Houston.

Colorado becomes the fourth seed in the Western playoffs IF they beat RSL AND BOTH Seattle loses to Houston and San Jose ties or loses to Kansas City.

San Jose will be the third seed and Seattle the fourth seed in the Eastern bracket IF Seattle loses by two or more goals to Houston AND San Jose plays Kansas City to a tie.

IF Seattle loses by one goal to Houston AND San Jose ties Kansas City, San Jose is the third seed in the Western on a total goals scored tiebreaker.

Seattle earns the third seed in the Eastern playoffs and San Jose is the fourth seed there IF both teams lose to Houston and Kansas City, respectively.

Finally, Seattle is the fourth seed in the Western playoffs, Colorado is the third seed in the Eastern and San Jose is the fourth seed in the Eastern IF Seattle beats or ties Houston, Colorado defeats RSL AND San Jose either loses to ties Kansas City OR if Colorado ties RSL AND San Jose loses to Kansas City.

Got all that?

Maybe it'll be easier to just announce the playoff brackets after all the dust settles.

Lightning Announce A Number Of Signings

The Lousville Lightning of the Professional Arena Soccer League Friday announced a number of player signings before the start of the 2010-11 season.

First, the team re-signed defender Ryan McDonald and goalkeeper Ross Kaufman.

McDonald finished tied for eighth on the team in scoring last season with seven goals and an assist in ten games.

Before coming to Louisville, McDonald played in the USL Premier Development League's Nashville Metros.

Kaufman will serve as a backup to starting goalkeeper Frank Peabody. Kaufman played collegiately with St. Louis University and won the Mark Demling Award, given to a player who puts the team first and is an unselfish player, during his junior season as a Billiken.

As a freshman, he earned Atlantic 10 Conference Rookie of the Week honors and had a 12-3-1 record with a goals against average of 0.81 and led the team to a shutout upset of then-ninth-ranked Indiana University, playing with Darren Yeagle, who also signed with the Lightning this week,

In his senior year, he led the Billikens to the second round of the NCAA College Cup and won the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/adidas Scholar All-Region squad.

Yeagle, a Louisville native, signed a one-year contract to join the Lightning Friday.

He was a NSCAA High School Boys All-American in 2004, a 2005 Parade magazine All-American in high school, as well as a Gatorade state Player of the Year and state Mr. Soccer in Kentucky, and played four times, starting twice for the US U-20 National Team.

He redshirted his freshman season at Indiana, but was still named by College Soccer News as one of the Top 100 Freshman To Watch in 2005.

In 2006, as a redshirt freshman, he led the team with seven goals, including four game-winning goals, and was named a Big Ten Conference Freshman of the Year and a Second Team All-Conference player. One of his game-winning goals was against Penn State in the Big Ten Conference Championship Game.

After suffering a knee injury, he played only seven games for the Hoosiers in 2007, then played ten games in 2008 due to injuries.

He scored 12 goals in 21 games last season as a senior, where he scored both goals in a 2-0 victory in the NCAA College Cup against the sixth-ranked Louisville Cardinals.

Finally, the Lightning re-signed defender Adam Boyer, who had ten goals in 15 games last season to fnish fifth in scoring on the team, and had ten assists, fourth-best on the roster. He was also named to the All-PASL Honorable Mention team.

Boyer is now an assistant men's soccer coach at Centre College in Danville, KY, where he was a four-year letterman, and also is the U-17 boys coach at Central Kentucky Soccer Club.

He captained Centre in three of his four seasons and was a three-time NSCAA/adidas South Central Regional All-Ameican, a two-time All-Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference First Team selection and a 2008 NSCAA/adidas All-American and Academic All-American. Boyer played in all 74 games in college, scoring nine goals and 12 assists.

Vipers Forward Torres To Be Inducted In 2010 MVC Hall Of Fame Class

Forward Johnny Torres of the expansion Omaha Vipers in the Major Indoor Soccer League will be one of six members of the Class of 2011 inducted into the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame at a ceremony March 4 in St. Louis, the conference announced Friday.

Torres, born in Medellin, Colombia, will become the MVC HOF's first soccer representative and the sixth graduate of Crieghton University to be inducted.

Torres was named National Player of the Year in 1996 by Soccer America and in 1977 by the Missouri Athletic Club and the Hermann Trophy committee before the two groups later combined the award into one entity, now awarded to the best male and female college soccer player in the country.

He led the Bluejays to their first-ever NCAA College Cup appearance in 1996 and, in 1977, was also named the conference's Player of the Year.

Torres is the only Bluejay soccer player -- male or female -- to be named a two-time first team All-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

He was inducted into the university's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004 and earned the most online votes in a fan poll that created the MVC All-Centennial Team during the 2006-07 season.

Torres was a three-time all-region and all-conference honoree during his college career from 1994 to 1997.

He now serves as the Bluejays' full-time assistant coach and completed his bachelor's degree there in the fall of 2007, followed by earning a degree in social work from Creighton in the spring of 2008, thanks to earning an NCAA Degree Completion Award.

He ended his Creighton career as the conference's all-time scoring (128 points) and assists leader (36), and his 46 goals with the Bluejays ranks him fourth all-time on the team's scoring list.

After playing at Creighton, Torres was the fifth overall pick in the first round of the 1998 Major League Soccer SuperDraft by the New England Revolution and played there until the 2002 season. He would later play in MLS for the Chicago Fire and defunct Miami Fusion before joining United Soccer Leagues to play outdoors for the Minnesota Thunder and the Milwaukee Wave United before playing indoors with the MISL's Milwaukee Wave.

Riverhounds Become Ninth Team To Join USL Pro

The Pittsburgh Riverhounds Friday became the ninth team to commit themselves to playing in the new USL PRO, a merger of the former USL First and Second Divisions, in the 2011 season.

The Riverhounds began their franchise in 1996 as a member of the former USL A-League and, in 2010, finished third in USL-2, their best finish since 2006, and earned a spot in the league playoffs.

The 2010 team saw three players claim USL-2 postseason awards -- Shintaro Harada (Defender of the Year), Hunter Gilstrap (Goalkeeper of the Year) and Jeremy Deighton (Rookie of the Year).

Pumas Sign Current, Former Players To PASL-Pro Roster

The Kitsap Pumas, who have become a year-round team playing both outdoor and indoor soccer, announced Friday they have signed Matt Friesen, Greg Miley, Kellen Wantulok, Tyler Hyde, Kyle Johnson and Mark Conrad to contracts to play on their inaugural roster for their new Professional Arena Soccer League franchise.

Friesen, Miley, Wantulok and Hyde all are coming over from the Pumas outdoor team in the USL Premier Development League, while Johnson and Conrad are former Pumas who are returning to the team.

The Pumas also named current Evergreen College men's head coach John Purtleman assistant coach to goalkeeper-head coach Dustyn Brim.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Red Bulls Go From Worst To First; Beat Revolution, Named Eastern Conference Champs

Dane Richards scored off a Juan Pablo Angel assist in the 17th minute and Joel Lindpere added insurance in the final minute of second-half stoppage time off a Tony Tchani pass as the New York Red Bulls capped off a worst-to-first turnaround in Major League Soccer with a 2-0 win over the New England Revolution at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ Thursday.

The victory gives the Red Bulls their second Eastern Conference regular season championship in the club's history and assures them home-pitch advantage through the conference championship game.

New York, after finishing dead last in the conference last season, ended their 2010 season with a record of 15-9-6 with 51 points and will likely secure the second seed in the eight-team playoffs, beginning next week, behind the 2010 Western Conference regular season and Supporters Shield champion Los Angeles Galaxy.

The Revolution close the book on their season at 9-16-5 with 32 points and in a fifth-place tie in the Eastern Conference standings with Toronto FC (8-13-8).

Crew Routs Joe Public To Advance Again To CCL Quarterfinals

Emilio Renteria scored two goals and Andres Mendoza and Duncan Oughton added goals as a mostly-reserve team of Columbus Crew players led the Major League Soccer team to a 4-1 road victory over Joe Public FC of Trinidad & Tobago in the final game of Group B play in the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League tournament and earned their second straight trip to the tournament quarterfinals early next year after finished second in the group followinng pool play.


Trent Noel scored Joe Public's lone goal of the contest, which ended their campaign in last place in their group at 0-5-1 with a point.

The Crew (4-2-0, 12 points) finished a point behind Santos of Mexico (4-1-1, 13) in the group standings and now join defending Major League Soccer champion Real Salt Lake as the first two MLS teams to qualify for the knockout stage in the same year.

The victory for Columbus also snapped a six-game losing streak over all competitions and was the team's first win in seven overall road games and the second road win in seven CCL games.
With the Crew-Joe Public match officially ending the Group Phase of the competition, the top two teams from each of their four divisions will make the eight-team field for the quarterfinal round, set to begin early 2011.

Here is a look at the two top teams in each group after pool play, with teams listed in order of finish:

GROUP A - Real Salt Lake - MLS (4-1-1, 13 points), Cruz Azul - Mexico (3-2-1, 10 points
GROUP B - Santos - Mexico (4-1-1, 13 points), Columbus Crew - MLS (4-2-0, 12 points)
GROUP C - Monterrey - Mexico (5-0-1, 16 points, best in CCL), Saprissa -Cpsta Rica (3-2-1,10 points)
GROUP D - Olimpia - Honduras (4-1-1, 13 points), Toluca (Mexico - 3-2-1, 10 points)

All eight teams will send representatives to New York November 1 at CONCACAF's World Headquarters for the Quarterfinal Draw, where teams will be set up in two-game, aggregate-goal series in late February and early March 2011.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Comets Sign Perez, Harris, Dyson To Deals

The expansion Missouri Comets of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced the signings Thursday of midfielder Bryan Perez and defenders Brian Harris and Oliver "Olly" Dyson.

Perez recently played in the USSF Division 2 Pro League for the Miami FC Blues. He is the all-time career leader in goals (29), points (70), shots (160) and games played (78) at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Harris and Dyson played last season for former Comets and St. Louis Steamers star Tony Glavin on his St. Louis Lions franchise in the USL Premier Development League.

MLS Announces Expansion Draft Procedures

Major League Soccer announced the rules Thursday for the league's Expansion Draft, to be held by conference call November 24 at 2 p.m. Eastern time in New York, which will help to start stocking players for the league's two 2011 season entries -- the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps, formerly of the USSF Division 2 Pro League.

Each team will be allowed to select as many as ten players during the ten-round event with Portland winning the first pick.

Each current MLS franchise will submit a list of 11 protected players to the league office by 2 p.m. Eastern time November 22, with the lists to be made public that day.

Teams must protect any Designated Players who have no-trade clauses in their contracts and players in the Generation adidas program who will not graduate at the end of the 2010 season and all Home Grown players are automatically exempt from the draft.

One either Portland or Vancouver selects an unprotected player from a current MLS roster, that team can move another unprotected player to the protected list with no current team losing more than three players.

Brown To Douse Flame On Fire Career Saturday

Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire announced the last remaining member of their original 1998 roster, which shockingly won an MLS Cup title and the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup in that first season, will retire after 13 seasons following Saturday's road game at Chivas USA.

Defender C.J. Brown, the number one overall pick in the 1998 Supplemental Draft out of San Jose State University, was a 2001 MLS All-Star selection and won the league's Defender of the Year award in 2006, as well as being named a three-time team Humanitarian of the Year for his many years of work in the Chicagoland area.

On the pitch, Brown has played 370 times for the Fire in all competitions over his 13 seasons, the most in team history. Entering Saturday's game, he has five goals and 15 assists in his career and has led the team to six domestic championships.

He also played 15 times for the US Men's National Team, including being a member of the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup team that took third place in the tournament.

Brown began his soccer career with the San Francisco Bay Seals of the now-USL Premier Development League from 1994 to 1997, playing in 47 games.

First Coaches Named For 2010 W-League Combine

The first four coaches who will take part in the 2010 USL W-League Combine set for December 16 through 19 at the IMG Academies in Bradenton, FL were named Thursday, with more announcements to come in later weeks.

Tony DiCicco, former US Women's National Team head coach and current head of the Boston Breakers in Women's Professional Soccer, will join Syracuse University women's head coach Phil Weddon, former Antigua and Barbuda National Team head coch Lenny Hewlett, and Aaron Lines, who led the Buffalo Flash, soon to join WPS in 2011 under a new name, to the 2010 W-League Championship at the combine.

The combine, which has seen a combined 25 players over the first two seasons being selected to play on a Women's Professional Soccer franchise, allows elite college players to showcase their talents before coaches from the W-League and WPS as well as coaches from international teams.


Over 60 percent of all players on WPS rosters have played in the USL W-League.

96 players will be invited to attend the combine, with 12 being goalkeepers, who will be asked to arrive December 15 to take part in a special technical session.

Applications are now being accepted for players wishing to be invited to participate in the third annual event by visiting www.w-leaguecombine.com/application before November 26.

USSF D-2 Completes Postseason Award Announcements

The USSF Division 2 Pro League announced Thursday Vancouver Whitecaps star Jay Nolly was named the league's Goalkeeper of the Year and midfielder Ryan Pore of the Portland Timbers, who already won the Goal Scoring and Scoring Championships, was named the league's Most Valuable Player.

The league also announced the members of their first -- and only -- Best XI.

All award winners were selected in a poll that included the general manager and head coach of every D-2 franchise, as well as media members (print, broadcast and online) who cover their home franchise.

Here are the players named to the USSF D-2's Best XI

USSF DIVISION 2 PRO LEAGUE BEST XI

GOALKEEPER
Jay Nolly, Vancouver Whitecaps (named Thursday Goalkeeper of the Year)

DEFENDERS
Greg Janicki, Vancouver Whitecaps (named Wednesday Defender of the Year)
Aaron Pitchkolan, Rochester Rhinos
Troy Roberts, Rochester Rhinos

MIDFIELDERS
Ryan Pore, Portland Timbers (named Goal Scoring Champion and Scoring Champion in regular season, named Most Valuable Player Thursday)
Martin Nash, Vancouver Whitecaps
Jamie Watson, Austin Aztex
Paulo Araujo, Jr., Miami FC Blues
Daniel Paladini, Carolina RailHawks

FORWARDS
Eddie Johnson, Austin Aztex
Ali Gerba, Montreal Impact

Vipers Add Former Miami FC Blues Midfielder Paulo Le Petit

The expansion Omaha Vipers of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced their latest signing Thursday -- Sao Carlos, Brazil-born midfielder Paulo Le Petit, who played this season for the Miami FC Blues of the USSF Division 2 Pro League.

Le Petit will join his fellow teammates at their first training camp session Monday in Omaha, NE.

Islanders Eliminated From CCL After Shutout Loss To Olimpia

Roger Rojas scored twice and Fabio De Jouz added another as Olimpia of Honduras eliminated the USSF Division 2 Pro League's Puerto Rico Islanders from the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League tournament after defeating them 3-0 Wednesday in Tegucigalpa to claim the Group D title and advance to the tournament quarterfinals early next year, along with second-place finisher Toluca of Mexico.

Olimpia finished group play at 4-1-1 with 10 points. Toluca shut out CD FAS of El Salvador in Mexico 5-0 to claim the other quarterfinal berth from the group.

The Islanders, who ended group play in third place at 2-2-2 with eight points, now prepares themselves to take on the Carolina RailHawks in the two-game, aggregate-goal championship series of the D-2 league, beginning in Bayamon this Sunday and concluding next Sunday in Cary, NC.

Sockers Re-Sign Susi For 2010-11 PASL-Pro Season

The defending Professional Arena Soccer League North American Champion San Diego Sockers announced the re-signing Wednesday of forward and team captain Aaron Susi.

Susi, who came to the Sockers from the Major Indoor Soccer League and PASL-Pro's California Cougars, finished 12th in the league in goals with 16 and 14th in the league in scoring with 28 points, tacking on 12 assists.

The 2010 season will be Susi's 14th in professional indoor soccer and his fifth season with the Sockers over two leagues -- MISL and PASL-Pro.

From 2001 to 2003 in the MISL, Susi scored 63 points in 58 games for the Sockers.

In 369 career indoor soccer games, he has scored 209 goals and earned 453 points.

Susi also works with the Sockers in their front office.

Earthquakes Hand Out 2010 Season Player Awards

Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes Wednesday announced the winners of its team's 2010 end-of-season awards before playing their final regular season home game that night against Chivas USA at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, CA.

Forward Chris Wondolowski was named the team's Most Valuable Player prior to him having his second hat trick of the season in a 3-0 win over Chivas that snapped the team's six-game losing streak to him since returning to the league in 1998.

He is now tied for the league's Golden Boot award with Los Angeles Galaxy forward Edson Buddle at 17 goals in advance of Saturday's final regular season game at the Kansas City Wizards and his goals set a new single-season goal scoring mark for the Earthquakes, breaking the old record of 15 in 1999 by Ronald Cerritos. Wondolowski also has tied a league-record goal scoring streak at nine games, equaling the mark set by Galaxy forward Carlos Ruiz from August 2002 to April 2003.

Before Wednesday, Wondolowski, in his third season at San Jose, led the league in game-winning goals with eight, with five of them coming in 1-0 wins, and he was tied with teammate Ryan Johnson for seventh place on the all-time goals scored list.

Wondolowski accounted for 46.7 percent of their 2010 regular season scoring with 14 of the team's 30 goals this season before Wednesday, the third highest percentage in league history.

Goalkeeper Jon Busch was named the team's Defensive Player of the Year and Goalkeeper of the Year Wednesday.

He led the Quakes in allowing 29 goals through Wednesday, down from allowing 50 in the 2009 season, and Busch has recorded six of the team's record-tying 12 shutouts.

Since joining the team as a free agent from the Chicago Fire March 30, he has posted a 6-5-5 record with a goals against average at 0.94 before Wednesday;s win. If he finishes with an under one average, he will become the first Earthquakes goalkeeper since Pat Onstad (0.97) in 2005 to do that.

Finally, defender Jason Hernandez was named the Earthquakes MLS W.O.R.K.S Humanitarian of the Year for his works on such efforts as Amway Kicks For Kids, Verizon's Adopt-A-Team and the Xfinity Clinic Series, as well as being the team spokesperson for Nothing But Nets and the Get Earthquakes Fit program.

On the pitch, Hernandez has played in every minute of every game except two this season and became team captain when defender Ramiro Corrales had to sit out games with a strained left knee.

San Jose's backline, with his help, are currently tied for fourth in the league in goals allowed with 29.

WPS Announces List Of Protected, Available Players For Upcoming Expansion Draft

In advance of the league's next Expansion Draft November 4, in which the new Western New York franchise will beging to stock its roster with players, Women's Professional Soccer Wednesday released the list of players unprotected by all seven of its current teams, as well as those players and free agents who are not eligible for selection.

During the draft, Western New York will be able to choose up to nine players with no current WPS team losing more than two players. Once an available player is selected, teams can move another player from the available list to the protected list.

Here are the lists from each team, listed alphabetically:

WPS UNPROTECTED PLAYERS

ATLANTA BEAT
Kaley Fountain
Angie Kerr
Johanna Rasmussen

BOSTON BREAKERS
Liz Bogus
Cynthia Morote-Ariza
Ashley Phillips
Ji-So Tun (holds WPS rights)

CHICAGO RED STARS
Kelsey Davis
Jessica McDonald
Julianne Sitch

FC GOLD PRIDE
Brittany Cameron
Rosie Tantillo
Kim Yokers

PHILADELPHIA INDEPENDENCE
Heather Mitts
Lyndsey Patterson
Sarah Senty

SKY BLUE FC
Shannon Myers
Angela Salem
India Trotter

WASHINGTON FREEDOM
Jill Gilbeau
Beverly Goebel
Christie Welsh
---------------------------
WPS PROTECTED PLAYERS

ATLANTA BEAT
Eniola Aluko
Lori Chalupny
Tina Ellertson
Tobin Heath
Lauren Sesselman

BOSTON BREAKERS
Jordan Angeli
Lauren Cheney
Ifeoma Dieke
Taryn Hemmings
Amy LePeilbet
Kristine Lilly
Alyssa Naeher
Leslie Osborne
Alex Scott
Kelly Smith

CHICAGO RED STARS
Veronica Boquete
Karen Carney
Marian Dalmy
Whitney Engen
Karina LeBlanc
Jillian Loyden
Ella Masur
Casey Nogueira
Megan Rapinoe
Natalie Spilger

FC GOLD PRIDE
Kiki Bosio
Carrie Dew
Becky Edwards
Kristen Graczyk
Marta
Tiffeny Milbrett
Ali Riley
Kandace Wilson

PHILADELPHIA INDEPENDENCE
Danesha Adams
Jennifer Buczkowski
Allison Falk
Val Henderson
Nikki Krzysik
Lori Lindsey
Joanna Lohman
Holmfridur Magnusdottir
Amy Rodriguez
Caroline Seger

SKY BLUE FC
Karen Bardsley
Jenni Branam
Kiersten Dallstream
Kendall Fletcher
Danielle Johnson
Laura Kalmari
Heather O'Reilly
Brittany Taylor

WASHINGTON FREEDOM
Kristi Eveland
Nikki Marshall
Erin McLeod
Becky Sauerbrunn
Abby Wambach
---------------------------
PROTECTED FREE AGENTS
Marisa Abegg
Camile Abily
Anita Asante
Ramona Bachmann
Nicole Barnhart
Stacy Bishop
Carolyn Blank
Brittany Bock
Sonia Bompastor
Shannon Boxx
Rachel Buehler
Meghann Burke
Candace Chapman
Katie Chapman
Stephanie Cox
Cristiane
Niki Cross
Laura Del Rio
Lisa DeVanna
Gina DiMartino
Tina DiMartino
Keeley Dowling
Fabiana
Formiga
Jen Grubb
Solveig Gulbrandsen
Erin Guthrie
Ashlyn Harris
Kelly Henderson
Sarah Huffman
Chioma Igwe
Estelle Johnson
Robyn Jones
Natasha Kai
Brittany Klein
Daphne Koster
Sara Larsson
Allison Lipsher
Carli Lloyd
Mallori Lofton-Malachi
Allie Long
Manya Makoski
Brett Maron
Analisa Marquez
Meagan McCray
Kia McNeill
Caitlin Miskel
Kasey Moore
Rebecca Moros
Lene Myjkaland
Rebecca Nolin
Monica Ocampo
Kelley O'Hara
Patrizia Panico
Kelly Parker
Christie Rampone
Sophie Reiser
Katherine Reynolds
Leigh Ann Robinson
Rosana
Lianne Sanderson
Homare Sawa
Meghan Schnur
Christine Sinclair
Hope Solo
Lindsey Tarpley
Lydia Vandenbergh
Sarah Walsh
Nikki Washington
Elise Weber
Kacey White
Cat Whitehill
Allison Whitworth
Mami Yamaguchi
McCall Zerboni

Another Wondo-ful Game For Playoff-Bound Earthquakes

Chris Wondolowski had his second hat trick of the Major League Soccer season Wednesday in a 3-0 victory for his San Jose Earthquakes against visiting Chivas USA at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, CA and put himself into a tie for the league's Golden Boot award with Edson Buddle of the Los Angeles Galaxy at 17 goals with each team having one game left in the season.

Wondolowski also set a new single-season goal scoring mark for the franchise, breaking the old record of 15 by Ronald Cerritos in 1999. He has also scored the Earthquakes' last nine goals, matching a league-record scoring streak of the Galaxy's Carlos Ruiz from August 2002 to April 2003.

The Earthquakes also snapped a six-game winless streak against Chivas, going 0-4-2 before Wednesday's game.

San Jose, headed to the MLS Cup Playoffs beginning next week, are 13-9-7 with 46 points and in fifth place in the Western Conference standings. They will end their regular season on the road Saturday at the Kansas City Wizards.

Chivas, meanwhile, is 8-17-4 with 28 points and in last place in the Western Conference table, The Goats travel to the Chicago Fire Saturday in their final 2010 games.

USSF D-2 Announces Four Of Seven Postseason Awards

The USSF Division 2 Pro League presented the first four of seven planned postseason awards Wednesday following its first and only regular season.

The league was created by the US Soccer Federation as a temporary merger between the USL First Division and the revamped North American Soccer League so teams in both leagues could compete in 2010, despite not gaining official certification to operate as single leagues.

Portland Timbers midfielder Ryan Pore, who will move with the franchise to Major League Soccer in 2011, was named USSF D-2 Goal Scoring and overall Scoring Champion. He had 15 goals and five assists for 35 points in 29 regular season games. The Timbers, as a team, scored a league-high 34 goals this season.

Vancouver Whitecaps defender Greg Janicki won the 2010 Defender of the Year award after leading the MLS-bound team in giving up a D-2 low of 22 goals in 30 games.

Midfielder Max Griffin of the Austin Aztex was named the league's Rookie of the Year after having ten goals and five assists for 25 points in 29 games, putting him in a tie for third in the league scoring race.

Rochester Rhinos head Bob Lilley, who led the team to the regular season title with an 16-8-6 record and 54 points, was named the Coach of the Year. The Rhinos had an astounding +14 goal differential (scored 38 goals, allowed 24) and were the best disciplined team in the league.

Thursday, the league's Best XI will be announced, as well as the Most Valuable Player and Goalkeeper of the Year.

Klein, Lewis Announce Retirements With Galaxy

Midfielders Chris Klein and Eddie Lewis separately announced their retirement from Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy Wednesday after the team finishes play in the 2010 MLS Cup Playoffs.

Klein began his career with the Kansas City Wizards in 1998, where he led them to a 2000 MLS Cup title and the 2004 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup championship, before heading to Real Salt Lake, then the Galaxy.

At one point, Klein played in a still-standing league record 141 consecutive games.

At Los Angeles, he has scored 79 career goals, but only two so far in 10 games this season, the fewest he has played in his career.

Klein also played 23 times for the US Men's National Team since 2000.

Lewis, in his third season with the team since signing in August 2008, played three seasons with the original San Jose Earthquakes from 1996 to 1999, then spent six seasons playing for four teams in England before returning to MLS with the Galaxy, where he has scored three goals in 46 career games.

Lewis played 82 times for the USMNT, scoing 10 goals.

The Galaxy, set to clinch the Western Conference regular season title and the Supporters Shield for best overall record in MLS this season, will close out the 2010 regular season Sunday against FC Dallas at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

Vipers Add Ricardinho To Inaugural Season Roster

The Omaha Vipers of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced the signing of midfielder Ricardinho, born Ricardo Cavalcante, to their inaugural season roster Wednesday.

Ricardinho won an MISL championship in the 2004-05 season with the Milwaukee Wave before joining the Detroit Ignition in their first season in 2006-07, where he scored 24 points in 28 games.

He reached career highs in the Ignition's 2007-08 season in the National Indoor Soccer League in goals (20), assists (15) and total points (58).

In the 2008-09 NISL season with the Philadelphia Kixx, he had 13 goals, led them in assists with 22, and had 49 points.

In 2009, Ricardinho was a two-time NISL Player of the Week winner.

Strong Performances At Euro 2012 Move Croatia, Russia Into FIFA Top 10; USA Drops To 25th

Croatia and Russia used strong qualifying performances in recent Euro 2012 matches to put themselves into the top ten in the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola World Men's Soccer Rankings, released Wednesday.

In another month of little movement among teams in the September rankings, Croatia moved a mere two spots from 11th to ninth in the October poll, but Russia's play vaulted themselves 15 spots from 25th to tenth.

Their additions replace Egypt, who dropped from ninth to 11th last month, and Chile, who fell from tenth to 14th.

Spain and the Netherlands remain the world's two best men's national teams in the new survey with Brazil (third) and Germany (fourth) trading positions from last month.

Fifth through eighth in the poll remains the same -- Argentina, England, Uruguay and Portugal.

The US Men's National Team -- following a 2-2 draw to Poland October 9 at Chicago's Soldier Field and a disappointing scoreless draw against Colombia three days later at Chester, PA's PPL Park -- fell seven places in the new rankings, dropping to 25th from 18th.

The US will end their 2010 campaign on the day the next rankings are released when they travel to Cape Town to face South Africa in a friendly November 17.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Whitecaps Release Six Players As MLS Transition Begins

The Vancouver Whitecaps, preparing for their transition from being a USSF Division 2 Pro League franchise this season to a Major League Soccer team for the 2011 season, announced the release of six players Tuesday -- goalkeeper Dan Pelc, defenders Nelson Akwari, Zurab Tsiskaridze and Chris Williams, mdfielder Alex Elliott, and forward Jonathan McDonald.

Pelc, who came to Vancouver from the Canadian Soccer League's Serbian White Eagles, saw no action with the senior Whitecaps, but did play in six games for their USL Premier Development League affiliate, the Vancouver Whitecaps Residency, and had a goals against average of 1.83.

Akwari joined the Whitecaps in January from the Charleston Battery of the USL Second Division and started 27 games for Vancouver, scoring a goal and an assist.

Tsiskaridze spent the 2009 season with former USL First Division team Miami FC Blues, who were part of the USSF Division 2 Pro League, as were the Whitecaps. In 2010, he assisted on a goal and started 25 of his 31 games on the pitch.

Williams has been with the Whitecaps since coming from the Battery in November 2009 and started nine of 17 games played.

Elliott joined Vancouver midway through the 2010 season after playing professionally in Germany and started two of ten games for the Whitecaps.

McDonald, who came from Costa Rica's Club Sport Herediano this summer, started only one of seven games he took part in playing.

Attakora Leads Toronto FC In CCL Group Stage Finale Against Arabe Unido

Nana Attakora headed in a pass by Nick LaBrocca at the half-hour mark to give Major League Soccer's Toronto FC a 1-0 victory at BMO Field in Toronto over Panama's Arabe Unido in the final game of Group A play at the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League tournament.

The win evened Toronto's final record to 2-2-2 with eight points and finishes them third in the four-team group, ahead of Arabe Unido, who finished 1-5-0 with three points.

Defending League Champs Give MLS First Team To Win Group Stage In CCL

Paulo Araujo, Jr. scored goals in the 42nd and 60th minutes and Collen Warner tacked on an insurance goal in the 69th minute as the defending champion in Major League Soccer, Real Salt Lake, became the first US team to win a group title in the CONCACAF Champions League after beating Mexico's Cruz Azul 3-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT.

Cesar Villaluz tried to rally Cruz Azul, but his goal two minutes after Warner scored failed to provide a spark.

Both teams had already clinched berths in the tournament quarterfinals, a two-game aggregate-goal compeition with matches set for February 22 or 24 and March 1 or 3, but the result would decide the group winner.

RSL extended their overall home unbeaten streak this season to 29 games and was their 11th straight overall win. Salt Lake also become the second non-Mexican team since Marathon of Honduras to win a group stage with a 4-1-1 record and 13 points.

Cruz Azul finished second in the group at 3-2-1 with ten points.

Saprissa Ends Sounders Run In 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League

David Guzman's tie-breaking goal in the 87th minute gave Costa Rica's Saprissa a 2-1 victory over Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders in the final game of Group C play in the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League Tuesday at Qwest Field in Seattle.

Saprissa finishes the group stage in second place with a 3-2-1 record and ten points and makes them the first team from their country to advance to the two-match quarterfinal knockout stage, to be held February 22-24 and March 1-3. They finished three points behind group champion Monterrey, who are 4-1-0 with 13 points and plays their final group match at Honduras against Marathon Wednesday.

Seattle finishes in last place in the group at 1-3-0.

Nate Jaqua gave Seattle their only lead in the 17th minute, but Jairo Arrieta tied the game at 1-1 nine minutes later, then Saprissa simply bided their time until Guzman got the game-winning goal.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hagerty Signs 2010-11 Contract With PASL-Pro's Louisville Lightning

The Louisville Lightning of the Professional Arena Soccer League announced the signing of midfielder Chad Hagerty to a contract for the 2010-11 season, according to LouisvilleCatholicSports.com Tuesday.

Hagerty had five goals and an assist in six games for the expansion franchise last season.

Comets Sign Two Players With Kansas City Playing Ties

The expansion Missouri Comets of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced the signings of goalkeeper Boris Pardo and defender Nate Houser, both who have past ties to playing in Kansas City, to one-year contracts Tuesday.

Pardo was signed to a contract by the Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer in 2008, but played on their Reserve Division team that season and was cut in March 2009.

He played collegiately at Seton Hall from 2002 to 2005 and set a single-season school record for shutouts with 16. He also was named the Big East Conference's 2006 Goalkeeper of the Year.

After playing professionally in Chile, Pardo signed a contract with MLS in 2007 to be placed in their emergency goalkeeper pool.

Houser will continue to serve as the women's and men's soccer coach at Baker University in KC, where he has held those roles since 2003 and 2008, respectively.

He played for Baker from 1990 to 1994 and was the first men's soccer player to be inducted into the school's Hall of Fame in 2007.

Drafted by the MISL's Wichita Wings in 1993, Houser was traded the next day to the Kansas City Attack/Comets, where he played for 11 seasons between the MISL and the National Professional Soccer League.

Houser was an NPSL All-Star selection in 1999 and 2000 and was on the Attack's 1997 NPSL championship team.

WPS Announces Procedure For Upcoming Expansion Draft

Women's Professional Soccer, preparing to welcome Western New York as a franchise for the 2011 season, announced the procedures Tuesday for holding an Expansion Draft November 4 to stock the teams with initial players.

As of the close of business Tuesday, each current WPS team was to submit a list of up to 10 protected players to the league office with the lists to be released Wednesday at 5 p.m. Eastern time.

Teams could not protect free agents but could protect those with no-trade clauses in their contracts.

Next Wednesday, Western New York will be able to select up to nine players in the Expansion Draft. For each player a current team loses, they can add another to their proected list, but no team will lose more than two players.

Fans can follow the draft online via the league's website or Twitter account.

Timbers Sign Three Current Teammates To MLS Contracts, Trade For Fourth

The Portland Timbers, currently transitioning from being a member of the USSF Division 2 Pro League to Major League Soccer for its 2011 debut season, announced the signing Tuesday of three current players -- forward Bright Dike, midfielder Ryan Pore and goalkeeper Steve Cronin -- and also signed former Austin Aztex forward Eddie Johnson, who was transferred for no fee to the team.

Dike, who was drafted in the first round of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft by the Columbus Crew but was released before this season began, scored 10 goals in 25 games for the Timbers and finished fourth in the league's goal scoring race.

Pore won the D-2 League's Golden Boot with 15 goals and also had five assists. In two seasons with the team in two leagues (2009 in the USL First Division, 2010 in D-2), he scored 25 goals. Drafted by the Kansas City Wizards in 2005, he scored three goals in 58 MLS games before going to Portland.

Cronin, who played in MLS for the Los Angeles Galaxy, was the USL-1 Goalkeeper of the Year in 2009 and played on both league's Timbers teams.

Johnson had 14 goals for the Aztex last season and leaves Austin as their all-time leader in points (48), goals (20) and assists (eight).

The Timbers finished the D-2 League's only season with a third place finish in the USL Conference at 13-7-10 with 49 points before losing by a 2-1 aggregate score in the quarterfinals of the league playoffs to the Vancouver Whitecaps, who will also join MLS in 2011.

Rampage Out For 2010-11 MISL While Waiting On Prospective New Owner

The Rockford Rampage of the Major Indoor Soccer League, who started play in 1995 as the Rockford Thunder of the now-defunct American Indoor Soccer League, announced Monday they would not take part in the upcoming MISL season while a search is on to find a new owner, according to the Rockford Register Star.

The Rampage, who finished in last place last season at 7-13 and have averaged over 1,000 fans in their last two seasons at the Rockford Metrocentre, joined the Philadelphia Kixx and the defending league champion La RaZa de Monterrey, as not fielding teams this season.

Rampage founder and president Oscar Albuquerque, in an e-mail to the newspaper, said they have been negotiating with a potential buyer since July and this buyer is not only willing to pay $250,000 for the team but "is presenting a letter of intent to us soon" and willing to keep the team in the city.

If the buyer comes through on his commitment, the Rampage will return for the 2011-12 MISL season as an expansion team. If not, Albuquerque said, the franchise has been receiving interest from United Soccer Leagues, who would be willing to have the Rampage join their revived I-League for their inaugural 2011 season.

So far, the only team announced as a league member are the Rochester Lancers.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Applications Being Taken For 2011 USL W-League Combine

Applications are now being accepted for players wishing to be invited to participate in the third annual USL W-League Combine December 16-19 at IMG Academies in Bradenton, FL by visiting www.w-leaguecombine.com/application between Monday and November 26.

The combine, which has seen a combined 25 players over the first two seasons being selected to play on a Women's Professional Soccer franchise, allows elite college players to showcase their talents before coaches from the W-League and WPS as well as coaches from international teams.

Over 60 percent of all players on WPS rosters have played in the USL W-League.

96 players will be invited to attend the combine, with 12 being goalkeepers, who will be asked to arrive December 15 to take part in a special technical session.

Dates Set For Games In USSF Division 2 Pro League Championship Series

The USSF Division 2 Pro League Monday announced dates for the two games of its first -- and only -- league championship series against the second-seeded Carolina RailHawks and the eighth-seeded Puerto Rico Islanders.

The two-game, aggregate-goal series will begin this Sunday at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium in Bayamon, PR, then heads to WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC next Sunday for the final leg.

If both teams are tied after the second game, two 15-minute overtime periods will be played, followed by a shootout, if they remain tied through 120 minutes of play.

The RailHawks won their two-game series with the sixth-seeded Montreal Impact 2-1 after a 2-0 shutout Sunday at home. Montreal had won the first game last Thursday 1-0.

After playing to a scoreless draw in their first game at Puerto Rico, the Islanders advanced to the finals with a 2-0 victory over the fifth-seeded Vancouver Whitecaps in the last game for the team in the league before heading to Major League Soccer for the 2011 season and the last game at Swangard Stadium in Bunbury, British Columbia.

Zakuani Becomes Latest Two-Time MLS Player Of The Week In 2010 Season

Seattle Sounders forward Steve Zakuani scored a unassisted goal in the ninth minute and assisted Osvaldo Alonzo on an 18th minute strike to lead them to a 2-1 win over Chivas USA Friday in Seattle and was named the Major League Soccer Player of the Week for Week 29 of the 2010 season.

He joins Sebastien Le Toux of the Philadelphia Union, Chris Wondolowski of the San Jose Earthquakes, Javier Morales of Real Salt Lake, Edson Buddle of the Los Angeles Galaxy and Dwayne De Rosario of Toronto FC as two-time weekly winners this season.

Zakuani, after having four goals and four assists in his rookie season of 2009, currently has ten goals and six assists on the 2010 season.

Blast Announce 2010-11 Roster; Four Players Join 14 Returnees

The Major Indoor Soccer League's Baltimore Blast announced Monday the team has re-signed 14 players to contracts for the 2010-11 season, which begins November 19 with their home opener at First Mariner Arena against the expansion Chicago Riot, and signed four new players.

Returning for Baltimore on the pitch are forwards Adrian Bumbut, Giuliano Celenza, Max Ferdinand, Lucio Gonzaga and Machel Millwood, midfielders Robbie Aristodemo, Scott Buete and Pat Healey, defenders Carlos Garcia, Mike Lookingland, Billy Nelson and Zach Wilkes, and goalkeepers Sagu and Dave Kern.

Ferdinand was the league's Rookie of the Year last season, scoring 35 points in 18 games for the Blast.

Millwood was named to the All-League First Team last seasons and Gonzaga and Sagu were named to the All-League Second Team.

Joining the team are forwards Adauto Neto, Matt Watson and Warren Ukah and defender Rich Costanzo.

Neto played on two championship teams for the Blast between 2005 and 2008, when he scored 107 points over that span, and was a First-Team All-MISL selection from the Philadelphia Kixx, who have folded. He is the league's defending Scoring Champion after having 65 points on one three-point goal, 17 two-point goals and 28 assists, including a 19-game scoring streak He also was a two-time MISL Offensive Player of the Month in the 2009-10 season.

Watson, who played three seasons with the Blast and was on their 2008 and 2009 championship teams, is currently with the Carolina RailHawks of the USSF Division 2 Pro League, who will meet the Puerto Rico Islanders in a two-game series for the league's first and only championship. In his three seasons with Baltimore, he scored 25 goals and 58 points in 55 games.

Watson took the 2009-10 MISL season off to recover from ankle surgery.

Ukah spent the 2007-08 MISL season with the Milwaukee Eave and was named to the league's All-Rookie Team after scoring 39 points on 14 goals and 11 assists. He has also played for several United Soccer Leagues teams and for the Jamaican National Premier League.

Costanzo played this summer for the USSF D-2's Rochester Rhinos and had two goals and an assist. He led the University of Maryland to an NCAA College Cup title in 2009 after transferring from Penn State.

Off the pitch, the Blast have retained the services of head coach Danny Kelly and assistant coach David Bascome for their fifth season together.

Revamped MISL Announces 2010-11 Regular Season Schedule

A revamped Major Indoor Soccer League featuring two teams from last season -- the defending regular season champion Milwaukee Wave and the Baltimore Blast -- and three new franchises: the Missouri Comets, Omaha Vipers and the Chicago Riot, announced its 2010-11 regular season schedule Monday at http://www.misl.net/.

The defending league champion La RaZa de Monterrey chose not to compete this season due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Alex on Mexico, along with the Philadelphia Kixx and Rockford Ranpage franchises.

The Riot was approved by the league last week to join MISL this season and will be headed by Peter Wilt, who has operated Chicago teams in the National Indoor Soccer League (Chicago Power), Major League Soccer (Chicago Fire) and Women's Professional Soccer (Chicago Red Stars). Wilt will serve as the franchise's president, CEO, and official spokesperson with former Rampage head coach Jeff Kraft being named the team's head coach and director of team operations.

Chicago will play their home games at the Odeum Expo Center in Villa Park, IL, where a news conference will be held Tuesday to officially announce the team's arrival.

As for the league, the 2010-11 season opens November 12 at the Independence Events Center in Independence, MO, when the Comets host the Vipers in each team's inaugural game, and ends March 13, 2011 with two games -- the Vipers at the the Wave and the Blast hosting the Comets.

All but three of the league's 50 games over a 17-week season will be played on Thursday, Friday or Saturday nights.

As was the case last season, the top three teams after the regular season ends will advance to the playoffs, beginning the weekend of March 18-19, 2011, with the regular season champion earning a bye in the first round and being named the host for the MISL Championship Game.

The second- and third-place teams will face off in a two-game, aggregate-goal series to decide who takes on the regular season champion for the league championship.

RailHawks-Islanders To Meet In USSF D-2's Championship Series

The lone season of the USSF Division 2 Pro League will end in the next two weekends with the Carolina Railhawks and the Puerto Rico Islanders, both of whom will be part of the revived North American Soccer League in the 2011 season, playing for the championship title after winning their respective semifinal series Sunday.

The second-seeded RailHawks won their two-game aggregate-goal series with the sixth-seeded Montreal Impact by a 2-1 score after winning Sunday's game at WakeMed Soccer Park 2-0. Matt Watson assisted on goals by Brad Rusin in the 72nd minute and Tom Heinemann in the 89th minute to advance to the two-game final, beginning next Saturday or Sunday in Bayamon, PR and ending October 30 or 31 in Cary, NC.

Montreal won Game 1 of the series 1-0 Thursday at Saputo Stadium on a 35th minute unassisted goal.

In the other semifinal series, Nick Addlery scored goals in the 113th and 120th minutes as the Islanders, the worst of the eight seeds in the tournament, shut out the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-0 in overtime in Vancouver's final game as a second division team and playing their final game at Swangard Stadium.

The Whitecaps will join the Portland Timbers, another USSF D-2 franchise, in Major League Soccer for the 2011 season and will play home games for their first season at Empire Field on the grounds of the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver before moving into a renovated BC Place stadium in Vancouver in 2012.

Both Vancouver and Puerto Rico played to a scoreless draw in the first game of their series Thursday at Bayamon, PR.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Union Close Out Home Schedule With Stunner Over Red Bulls

Fred posted the game's first goal in the eighth minute and Senastian Le Toux assisted Michael Orozco Fiscal on a 28th minute goal as the expansion Philadelphia Union closed out their first home season at PPL Park in Chester, PA with a 6-3-6 record after upsetting the Eastern Conference-leading New York Red Bulls 2-1 Saturday in Major League Soccer play.

Danleigh Borman scored the Red Bulls' lone goal in the 48th minute.

The Union, who began their initial season playing home games at Lincoln Financial Field, home to the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles, are now 8-14-7 with 31 points and in seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings. Philadelphia will travel to the Columbus Crew (13-8-8, 47 points), who are a point behind the Red Bulls (14-9-6, 48) for the Eastern Conference lead and the second seed in the MLS Cup playoffs.

New York will host the New England Revolution this Thursday at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.

Joseph Goal Gains Revs Win, Knocks Wizards Out Of Postseason, Puts Rapids In

A Shalrie Joseph goal in the 31st minute of a 1-0 win by the host New England Revolution over the Kansas City Comets at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA Saturday allowed the Wizards to be eliminated from playoff contention and have the Colorado Rapids, a 3-1 upset winner later in the day to the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Galaxy, be awarded the last of the eight available playoff berths.

The Revs are 9-15-5 with 32 points and tied for fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings with Toronto FC (8-13-8). They will end their season Thursday when they travel to Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ to face the New York Red Bulls, current leaders of the Eastern Conference.

Kansas City, third in the Eastern standings at 10-13-6 with 36 points, will host the playoff-bound San Jose Earthquakes in their final game at CommunityAmerica Ballpark before moving into a new stadium for the 2011 season.

Defending Champs End FC Dallas' 19-Game Unbeaten Streak

Javier Morales teamed with Robbie Russell to assist Ned Grabavoy on a 59th minute goal and then was helped by Kyle Beckerman and Robbie Findley on an 89th minute play as the defending Major League Soccer champion, Real Salt Lake, ended FC Dallas' league-record-tying 19-game unbeaten streak with a 2-0 shutout Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Dallas will now have to share their mark with the Columbus Crew in the MLS history book and it was the Hoops' first loss since being beat 1-0 by the Los Angeles Galaxy, the current Western Conference and Supporters Shield leader, in May.

RSL, who, by virtue of the win, clinched home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs and set up a possible rematch with Dallas, became the second team in MLS history to finish unbeaten at home at 11-0-4, extended their own unbeaten streak to 13 games overall, and stretched their home-game winning streak to 24 games.

RSL is 15-4-10 with 55 points and are in second place in the Western Conference standings, one point behind the Galaxy (17-7-5, 56 points) for the conference and Supporters Shield lead, as well as the number one seed in the MLS Cup playoffs. They will end their season next Saturday at the Colorado Rapids.

Dallas is 12-3-14 with 50 points, in third place in the Western table, and closes their regular season at the Galaxy next Sunday, the final day of the 2010 regular season.