Monday, January 31, 2011

Impact Names De Santis Sporting Director, Jordan Retires To Join Front Office

The Montreal Impact, playing the 2011 season in the North American Soccer League before heading to Major League Soccer in 2012, announced the promotion of former player, head coach and technical director Nick De Santis to sporting director and the retirement of goalkeeper Matt Jordan, who was named the team's director of soccer operations.

De Santis led the Impact to three USL First Division titles -- in 1999 as a player, in 2004 as head coach and in 2009 as technical director, a position he took in June 2008 -- as well as helped create the team that won the 2008 Nutrilite Canadian Championship and earned a spot representing Canada in the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League.

Jordan played 13 years at his position -- eight in Major League Soccer between FC Dallas, the Colorado Rapids and the Columbus Crew, four with the Impact and one season (2003-04) in the Danish SuperLiga with Odense Boldklub.

He had a record of 55-46-17 in MLS with 30 shutouts in 117 career games.

Jordan leaves the Impact in second place all-time in matches played (115), minutes played (10,238) and shutouts (42).

At Odense Boldklub, he went 15-3-3 with nine shutouts shuttling between the reserve and first teams.

In his new position, Jordan will serve as an assistant to De Santis on the first team and serve as a liaison between the team and MLS in matters of trades, player signings and loans, and acquiring foreign players.

Red Bulls Release Defender Boyens

Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls announced Friday the services of defender Andrew Boyens would not be needed this season.

Boyens, who has been with New York since 2008, mostly played in reserve team, Lamar Hunt US Open Cup and international friendly games. He was a first round pick of Toronto FC in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft after having an All-American season at the University of New Mexico.

He also played for his home country of New Zealand at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

Red Bulls Getting Hot-ter For 2011 Season

Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls announced the signing of defender Sacor Hot for the 2011 season Monday.

Hot is the fourth player to come from their Red Bull Academy to sign with the team under MLS' new Home Grown Player Rule, joining Juan Agudelo, Giorgi Chirgadze and Matt Kassel.

Red Bulls To Meet Mexico's Atlas In Glendale, AZ March 8

Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls announced Monday they will face Club Atlas de Guadalajara of Mexico's Primera Division March 8 at the Challenge Of The Sun exhibition match at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ.

The game will reunite current Red Bulls Designated Player and Mexican National Team member Raifa Marquez with the team where he began his professional career, playing 77 games from 1996 to 1999.

He then played the next seven seasons in Spain's La Liga with FC Barcelona, including being part of a 2008-09 season team that won six championship titles.

He played in ten regular season and two playoff games since joining New York midway through last season, but this will be Marquez's first full season there.

Fire Release Goalkeeper Dykstra

Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire announced Monday goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra has been released after two seasons with the team.

He played in 17 games last season, the only season he played, and finished 5-6-6 with five shutouts and a 1.28 goals against average.

US-Egypt Friendly In Cairo Canceled

The US Soccer Federation and the Egyptian Football Association jointly announced Monday a planned exhibition game between the two countries set for February 9 in Cairo has been canceled, due to the current political unrest in the country, and will not be rescheduled.

The US Men's National Team is now off until March, when they play two games -- March 26 against Argentina at New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ and March 29 against Paraguay at LP Field in Nashville.

Healey Gets Second MISL POTW Award Of Season

Baltimore Blast midfielder Pat Healey was named the Major Indoor Soccer League's Player of the Week Monday for Week 11 of the 2010-11 season, the first time he has been honored since January 3 after Week 7 play.

Healey had a combined four goals and two assists in back-to-back wins this weekend over the Chicago Riot, which put the Blast back into a tie for the league lead with the defending regular season champion Milwaukee Wave at 10-3 and sets up another first place showdown Thursday in Milwaukee.

Healey leads the team and is tied for third in the league in scoring with 43 points and is the team's second straight POTW winner, following goalkeeper Sagu, who won the Week 10 award.

Sangsuwangel Hat Trick Gives FC Indiana Upset Win Over Demize

Alex Sangsuwangel's hat trick gave FC Indiana, a member of the semi-pro Premier Arena Soccer League a 6-5 upset victory over the Springfield (MO) Demize of the Professional Arena Soccer League Sunday at the Lafayette Sports Club Arena in Lafayette, IN.

FC Indiana is currently 3-2-0 with nine points and is in third place in the Premier's Midwest Division.

The Demize are 1-6-2 in the PASL-Pro's Pro Frontier Division this season after promoting themselves from PASL-Premier last season. Springfield will host Piasa FC this Friday.

Silverbacks Announce Coaching Staff

The Atlanta Silverbacks, returning to professional outdoor soccer with the North American Soccer League in 2011 after a two-season hiatus, announced their coaching staff Sunday.

Former Mexican star Jose Manuel Abundis will serve as the team's head coach, his first such position in his career.

Abundis played for such Mexican Primera Division teams as Toluca, Atlante, Pachuca, CF Monterrey and Queratro, as well as one season in Major League Soccer -- 2006 with the New England Revolution.

His top assistant coach will be former Silverbacks player and assistant coach Alex Pineda Chacho. Chacho was the Most Valuable Player in Major League Soccer in the 2001 season and played over a decade with Honduras' national team.

Also returning to Atlanta is goalkeepers coach Jose "Gaucho" Pinho, who served with them in the 2007 and 2008 seasons in the USL First Division. He has also coached in Brazil, his home country, and played for their national team.

Blast Sweep Riot; Tied For League Lead Again With Wave

Pat Morris had five points on a three-point and a two-point goal as the Baltimore Blast completed a weekend sweep of the Chicago Riot with a 15-10 victory Sunday at the Odeum Sports & Expo Center in Villa Park, IL and regained a share of the lead in the Major Indoor Soccer League standings with the defending league regular season champion Milwaukee Wave, who they meet Friday at US Cellular Arena in Milwaukee.

Pat Healey scored a two-point goal and assisted on Morris' three-point shot and Worteh Sampson and Warren Ukah had a goal and an assist in the victory -- Sampson working with Guiliano Celenza and Ukah helping out Healey on his two-point goal.

The Blast and Wave are now tied at 10-3 heading into Friday's showdown.

Eric Duda had a goal and assisted on Miodrag Djerisilo's opening goal for the Riot, with Semir Mesanovic, Marco Sullo and Erik Luken posting goals as well.

Chicago is in last place in the league standings at 2-9, seven behind the co-leaders, and host the Missouri Comets this Sunday.

Dual Five-Point Nights Lead Vipers Over Comets

Andre Gustavo Sandri Silva and Carlos "Chile" Farias each had five-point nights with a three-point and a two-point goal as the host Omaha Vipers beat the Missouri Comets 16-10 in Major Indoor Soccer League play from the Omaha Civic Auditorium Sunday.

Victor Quiroz had a two-point goal and assisted on a Johnny Torres score and Tijani Ayegbusi also had a standard goal for the Vipers, now 6-7 and in third place, four games between the league co-leading Milwaukee Wave, the defending regular season champion, and the Baltimore Blast at 10-3. The Vipers will host the Wave Thursday.

Byron Alvarez led the Comets with five points as he had a pair of two-pointers and assisted on a Leo Gibson goal. Nick Kelly and Geison Moura each added goals as the Comets fell to 4-10, fourth place in the standings and 6 1/2 games behind the Wave and Blast. Missouri next plays this Sunday against the Chicago Riot at the Odeum Sports & Expo Center in Villa Park, IL.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Grimaldi Pushing For MISL Expansion Team In Wichita

Major Indoor Soccer League commissioner David Grimaldi recently told the Wichita Eagle he would like to see indoor soccer return to the city, possibly as soon as next season as part of an expansion to ten teams.

The city was home to the Wichita Wings, one of the top franchises in league history and home to some of the most dedicated wings in the sport, the Orange Army, named for the team's orange uniforms.

The newspaper cited two possible places for the team to call home:

- 5,000-seat Hartman Arena, currently used for indoor football

- 15,000-seat Intrust Bank Arena, used by the Wichita Thunder hockey team, but, with the arena's upper bowl closed off, as it is for the Thunder, seats 7,000

Stars Put Out The Fire In Tacoma On Howes Hat Trick

Player-head coach Greg Howes had a hat trick to carry the Tacoma Stars to a 7-4 victory over the Wenatchee Fire in Professional Arena Soccer League action Saturday from the Tacoma Soccer Center.

Daniel Gray had two more goals and Ian Weinberg, who had a hat trick in the Stars' last game, and Leighton O'Brien added solo goals as Tacoma improved to 8-4-0, good for second place in the Western Division. They will host the defending league champion San Diego Sockers Friday.

Wenatchee is now 3-5-0 and in third place in the new Pro Frontier Division. The Fire will face the Washington Soccer Association Rapids from the Premier Arena Soccer League Saturday at the Bellingham Sportsplex.

Blast Outlast Riot In First Game Of Home-And-Home Series

Lucio Gonzaga and Pat Healey had a pair of two-point goals each, Worteh Sampson had a two-pointer and an assist and four others scored two-pointers as the host Baltimore Blast outlasted the Chicago Riot 18-17 Friday at First Mariner Arena in a weekend home-and-home series.

The Blast, at 9-3, a half-game behind the league-leading and defending league regular season champion Milwaukee Wave, head to the Odeum Sports & Expo Center in Villa Park, IL Sunday.

Anthony Maher had two two-pointers and assisted on goals by Eric Lukin and Sandre Naumoski to lead the Riot, the worst team in the MISL at 2-8, 6 1/2 games behind the Wave, and Miodrag Djerisilo had a pair of twos and an assist.

Semir Mesanovic had the game's only three-point goal for the Riot.

Wave Takes Sting Out Of Vipers Bite In Milwaukee

Giuliano Oliviero and Marcio Leite had a two-point goal and assisted on goals by Marco Terminesi and Hewerton Moreira, respectively, as the Milwaukee Wave defeated the Omaha Vipers 10-6 in Major Indoor Soccer League play Saturday at US Cellular Arena in Milwaukee.

Travis MacKenzie also scored a two-pointer for the Wave, who lead the MISL standings at 10-3. They met the Vipers again Thursday in Omaha, then host the Baltimore Blast Friday in another showdown for first place in the league table.

Andre Gustavo Sandre Silva had a pair of two-pointers for the Vipers and Carlos "Chile" Farias added another. Omaha is in third place in the league at 5-7, 4 1/2 games behind the Wave, and will host the Missouri Comets Sunday.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Lightning Back On Winning Track After Beating Vortex

Adam Boyer had a hat trick and two assists to lead the host Louisville Lightning to an 8-3 victory at the Mockingbird Valley Soccer Complex over the Ohio Vortex in Professional Arena Soccer League play Friday for their second win in the last three games.

Darren Yeagle and Jerry Chavez each added two goals for Louisville and Chad Hagerty had a goal and an assist as the Lightning improved to 3-6-0, third place in the Eastern Division. The Lightning will host the Detroit Waza this coming Friday.

The Vortex fell to a division-worst 2-8-0 and will travel to the division- and league-leading Cincinnati Kings this Saturday.

Pumas Forward Mark Conrad Names PASL's Best For Week 12

Kitsap Pumas forward Mark Conrad was named Wednesday the Professional Arena Soccer League's Player of the Week for Week 12 of the 2010-11 season.

Conrad had a hat trick and assisted on three other goals as the host Pumas defeated the Tacoma Stars 8-5 last Friday at the Olympic Soccer & Sports Center.

Donatelli Heading To Earthquakes

Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes announced the signing Friday of midfielder Tony Donatelli, who had spent the last few seasons with two MLS expansion teams -- the Montreal Impact and the Vancouver Whitecaps -- while they were in either the USL First Division or the USSF Division 2 Pro League.

Donatelli most recently played for the Impact from mid-2008 to 2010, leading them to a USL-1 title in 2009 and the semifinals of the USL-1 (2008) and the USSF D-2 postseason playoffs as well as the Voyaguers Cup for winning the Nutrilite Canadian Championship in 2008, earning a spot in the CONCACAF Champions League.

In 2010 in USSF-D2, he started 27 of 30 games and had seven goals and three assists for the Impact after scoring two goals and three assists in the regular season and two goals in four playoff appearances for Montreal in the 2009 USL-1 playoffs.

In 2008, he split time with both teams. joining Montreal via trade in June. Donatelli played a combined 26 games that season, but scored all four of his goals for Montreal. He also played in eight CCL games with the Impact, scoring three goals overall.

In 2007 with the Whitecaps, he started 20 of 27 games with four goals and two assists after scoring two goals and two assists in 24 appearances, including seven starts, in his debut season of 2006.

Donatelli had 19 goals and 12 assists overall in 134 appearances, 84 of them starts, over his five years with both teams in both leagues.

He also played indoor soccer during the outdoor offseason with the Philadelphia Kixx of the Major Indoor Soccer League between 2006 and 2008, scored 35 goals in 59 appearances and winning an MISL championship in 2006.

Donatelli played college soccer at Philadelphia's Temple University, finishing his four-year career tied for first in career assists with 20 and eighth in points in team history with 64.

In his senior season with the Owls, he was named to the All-Atlantic 10 Conference and All Mid-Atlantic Region First Team and was named the Philadelphia Soccer Seven Player of the Year winner.

Wave Take Back Sole Possession Of MISL Lead

Hewerton Moreira and Marco Terminesi had a pair of two-point goals, Guiliano Oliveiro scored the game's only three-point goal and Troy Dusosky and Kyt Selaidopoulos each had a two-pointer and an assist as the Milwaukee Wave retook sole possession of the lead in the Major Indoor Soccer League standings Friday in Independence, MO by beating the Missouri Comets 17-16 at the Independence Events Center.

Tom Oatley also had a goal for the Wave.

The Wave, the league's defending regular season champion, are now 9-3, a half-game ahead of the Baltimore Blast and will next host the Omaha Vipers Saturday at US Cellular Arena.

Byron Alvarez led the Comets with a six-point night on a pair of standard goals and a pair of assists while Jamar Beasley and Vahid Assadour tallied four points each on a two-pointer and two assists.

Leo Gibson and Lucas Rodriguez had a two-point goal and an assist as the Comets fell to 4-9, tied for last place in the league standings with the Chicago Riot. Chicago will travel to the Omaha Civic Auditorium to play the Vipers Sunday.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Rodgers Crosses Pond To Reunite With Backe At Red Bulls

Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls announced the signing Friday of forward Luke Rodgers, who has played his entire professional soccer in England before now. most recently at Notts County, where he was led by current Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe.

Rodgers helped Notts County get promoted to League One, England's third division league, by winning the fourth division League Two title in 2009-10.

Rapids Sign Akpan, Smith To Deals

Major League Soccer's defending champion Colorado Rapids re-signed forward Andre Akpan and midfielder Jamie Smith to new contracts Friday.

Akpan, the 22nd overall pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, played 13 minutes of one regular season game in his debut season, but played in two games of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament. He was also loaned last season to FC Tampa Bay of the USSF Division 2 Pro League and the Real Maryland Monarchs in USL Second Division.

Smith, who came to Colorado July 28, 2009, has started 19 of 26 career games with a goal and nine assists, eight of those coming in 2010 when he led the team in that category. He also played in two MLS Cup postseason games in 2010.

Waddell Commits To Fourth Season As Piranhas Head Coach

Wendy Waddell will retain her duties as head coach of the Hampton Roads Piranhas in the USL W-League for a fourth straight season, according to the franchise Friday.

She has played for Hampton Roads since 2004 and was a player-head coach from the 2008 to 2010 season, where she announced her retirement as a player to concentrate on solely being the coach.

Waddell played high school soccer at Livonia High School in Rochester, NY, then went on to Monroe Community College before playing collegiately at Virgina Tech.

W-League's Fury Adds Loney As Assistant Coach

The Ottawa Fury of the USL W-League announced the addition Friday of Kwesi Loney as an assistant coach.

Loney recently served as assistant coach under Sandy Mackie at his alma mater, Carleton University, where he played from 2000 to 2002, leading the Ravens to a runner-up finish at the national championships in his final season.

At Carleton in 2010, the Ravens finished 9-4-2.

Before joining Carleton, he spent two seasons with the Algonquin Thunder, serving as assistant coach in 2008 and head coach in 2009.

The Thunder were two-time Ontario Colleges Athletic Association Provincial champions and twice reached the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association championship game.

Loney was named Coach of the Year by both organizations in 2009.

In 2003, Loney played for the Ottawa Wizards of the Canadian Soccer League and represented his country at the World University Games in South Korea.

He also played for the Ottawa Royals in 2004, leading them to an Ontario Cup title, and for the Fury in the USL Premier Development League.

Little Caesars To Extend Fuego Sponsorship For Fifth Straight Year

The Fresno Fuego of the USL Premier Development League announced Friday Little Caesars, the fourth-largest pizza chain in the US, will return as a team sponsor for a fifth straight season and their logo will appear on all uniforms in the 2011 season.

Little Caesars joins Marquez Brothers and El Mexicana brand, Comcast and Supercuts as major corporate sponsors for the season.

Hammerheads Sign Former Campbell, Furman Midfielder Jata

The Wilmington Hammerheads of USL PRO announced the signing Friday of former Campbell and Furman University midfielder Richard Jata for the 2011 season.

Jata recently finished his first season as a volunteer assistant coach at Campbell while completing his degree in communication studies.

Jata began his college career at Furman, where he led the team in scoring in 2004 with four goals and three assists over 17 games and was named one of the country's top 100 freshman players by CollegeSoccer.com.

He later transferred to Campbell, where he was a second-team National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-American and a first-team All-South Regional pick in 2008, when he led the Fighting Camels to a second Atlantic Sun regular season championship and a third trip to the conference's championship game in four years.

Jata was the '08 A-Sun's player of the year, a first-team all-conference pick for the third straight season, and the school's Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year after scoring a career-high 28 points in 17 games on 12 goals and four assists to lead the conference in goals per game (0.71) and points per game (1.65).

In three seasons at Campbell, the Fighting Camels were 20-1-1 in games, including 8-1-0 in the 2008 seasons. He had 12 game-winning goals in his career, second-most in league history, and had 71 points, 15th best in school history, on 28 goals and 15 assists over 57 games.

He ranked 15th in the nation in goals per game in 2008, was 19th overall in points per game and tied a conference record with seven game-winning goals. Jata scored in each of Campbell's last nine games that season.

Jata was also a second-team All-South Region pick in 2006 and 2007 and was twice named to the A-Sun All-Tournament team in his final two seasons there.

He was selected by Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire in the fourth round of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft and played last summer in the USL Premier Development League with the Carolina Dynamo.

Dutch Lions Name van Hoeven Technical Director

The Dayton Dutch Lions of United Soccer Leagues announced Friday Cor van Hoeven will begin his duties as technical director for the franchise February 5.

He signed a four-year contract January 1, 2011, but delays in processing his visa paperwork caused the delay in starting work for them.

Van Hoeven will be responsible for overseeing all five units of the organizations -- teams in USL PRO, USL W-League and USL Super-20 League, soccer camps and clinics, and their youth academy -- and will also coach one or two youth teams and the 2011 Super-20 League team.

Crew Welcome Back Cunningham With Multi-Year Contract

Forward Jeff Cunningham, the second all-time leading scorer in Major League Soccer history, returned to the team he began his career with -- the Columbus Crew -- by signing a multi-year contract Friday.

Cunningham was selected by Columbus in Stage 2 of last month's inaugural MLS Re-Entry Draft after being made available to it by FC Dallas after scoring 11 goals in 2010, a season after winning the league's Budweiser Golden Boot Award with 17.

He was originally drafted by the Crew in the first round of the 1998 MLS SuperDraft and played seven seasons, leaving after the 2004 season. During that time, he scored 62 goals and was a league Best XI pick in 2002.

After the Crew, he played in MLS for the Colorado Rapids, Real Salt Lake, Toronto FC and Dallas.

Cunningham is one goal behind former DC United forward Jamie Moreno, now retired, on the league's all-time scoring list at 132.

MLS Announces Roster Rules For 2011; Dynamo Moved To Eastern Conference

Major League Soccer announced Friday player and roster rules for all franchises in the 2011 season and news that, to have a balanced league with nine teams in each conference, the two-time Western Conference and MLS Cup champion Houston Dynamo will now move to the Eastern Conference and the league's two expansion teams -- the Portland Timbers and the Vancouver Whitecaps -- will take their places in the Western Conference.

The complete list of player and roster rules are available at www.mlssoccer.com, but here are some of the highlights:

- Each team will have a 30-man roster, with the salaries of the first 20 spots on the roster counting against each team's $2.675 million salary cap. The maximum budget charge to any player on a roster, even Designated Players, is now $365,000.

- Teams can now sign an unlimited number of home grown players to their rosters.

- 144 spots will be available on leaguewide rosters for international players.

- Rosters will be frozen on September 15, 2011.

- There will be two international transfer windows available for players to jump to foreign teams -- January 21 to April 15 and July 15 to August 14.

As for the Dynamo, the reason they were the franchise selected to move into the Eastern Conference was that they were the furthest eastern franchise in the Western Conference, located 100 miles east of FC Dallas.

Galaxy Sign Argentine Midfielder Lopez; Reunites With 2011 Draft Pick Cardozo

Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy announced Friday they have signed Argentine midfielder Miguel Lopez, on loan from Quilmes in that country's Primera B Nacional (second division) league, to a contract for the 2011 season that reunited him with fellow Quilmes teammate and 2011 first-round SuperDraft pick Paolo Cardozo.

Lopez appeared in 21 games from Quilmes and helped them earn a promotion to the main Primera Division in August 2010 before the Apertura season.

He began his soccer career at age 10 in the youth system of Gimnasia La Plata, where he stayed for seven years.

In 2005, Lopez joined the first team of Deportivo Coreano in Tomeo Argentina B and played through the 2008 season before signing with Defensores Cambaceres in Argentina's Primera C league.

USL PRO Teams Attend Revenue-Boosting Workshop

Owners and executives of the 15 teams in USL PRO, the merger of the former USL First and Second Divisions, took part in a seven-hour workshop at the league's headquarters Thursday in Tampa, FL to discuss ways franchises could boost their revenues, not just this season but for seasons to come.

Teams were given practical advice and manuals that covered ticket sales, sponsorship sales, marketing, promotions, communications and new media ventures.

Fire Defender Kinney Out Until May Due To End-Of-Season Injury

Chicago Fire defender Steven Kinney will be out until May of the upcoming Major League Soccer season, the team reported Thursday, due to continued rehabilitation on an Achilles injury suffered in the 57th minute of their 2010 season finale at Chivas USA October 23.

Kinney had surgery four days later and he has been doing rehab ever since, but will be with the team during their preseason training camp.

The Fire open the 2011 MLS season March 19 at FC Dallas.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Comets Sign Sponsorship Deal With Local Bank

The Missouri Comets of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced the signing Thursday of a three-year sponsorship with Citizens Bank and Trust.

The bank's logo will now appear on the team's jerseys -- home and road -- as well as on their field at the Independence Events Center in Independence, MO.

Also, beginning with Friday's home game against the co-leading Milwaukee Wave through the end of the 2013-14 season, the bank will donate $5 to the Boys and Girls Club of Kansas City for every save goalkeeper Danny Waltman makes.

Husband, Wife Named Head, Assistant Coach For W-League's Hamilton Avalanche

The Hamilton Avalanche of the USL W-League named Joe Moscato as the team's first head coach Tuesday and his wife, Carmelina, will serve as an assistant coach.

Mr. Moscato formerly was affiliated with the Dixie Soccer Club and led seven teams to Ontario Cup championships and one team to a national championship.

He also served as an assistant coach with the W-League's Toronto Lynx in 2004, where current Hamilton technical director Brett Mosen was the head coach.

Moscato's wife recently helped Canada's Women's National Team qualify for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup this summer in Germany by winning the CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament.

She played on two Penn State teams that advanced to the Final Four of the NCAA Women's College Cup tournament, was an assistant coach at the University of Louisville until 2009, and played in the W-League for the Ottawa Fury and the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Warren Calls It A Career...This Time, For Good!

Goalkeeper Joe Warren, who played his entire 13-year professional soccer career in his home state of Minnesota, announced -- for the second and final time -- his retirement from the game Thursday.

He played 12 years with the Minnesota Thunder from 1985 to 2007, leading the team to the 1999 A-League Championship, before retiring after the 2007 season, but was called back into duty in the 2010 season for the NSC Minnesota Stars, then of the USSF Division 2 Pro League, now the North American Soccer League, after starting goalkeeper Louis Crayton suffered a season-ending knee injury in the opening game of last season.

Warren was 10-8-4 last season with a 0.99 goals against average and played 2,181 minutes last season.

Onalfo Reunited With Arena At Galaxy

Former Kansas City Wizards and DC United head coach Curt Onalfo is reuniting with his former college, Major League Soccer and US Men's National Team head coach Bruce Arena at the Los Angeles Galaxy as the team hired him Thursday to become Arena's assistant coach and the head coach of the Galaxy's MLS Reserve Division team.

Onalfo began his playing career with the Galaxy in 1996, playing 13 games, then played for Arena, who coached him at the University of Virginia, at DC United in 1998 before retiring in 1999 to become his assistant coach until 2001. He then served with Arena from 2001 to 2005 on the USMNT.

Rhinos Goalkeeper Vallow Retires To Become Assistant Coach For Flash

Scott Vallow announced Wednesday he is retiring as a goalkeeper with the Rochester Rhinos of USL PRO to become assistant coach of the expansion Western New York Flash of Women's Professional Soccer.

Vallow played nine seasons with the Rhinos (2000-02, 2005-10) and leaves as the team's all-time leader in wins (83) and shutouts (34) and in the top three all-time at his position in regular season starts (168), appearances (166) and minutes played (15,053).

He led the Rhinos to back-to-back A-League championships in 2000 and 2001 and was named the league's Goalkeeper of the Year after the 2000 season.

Vallow joined Major League Soccer after the 2002 season and played the 2003 and 2004 seasons with Colorado Rapids before returning to the Rapids in 2005.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Riot Signs Myers, Releases Zebic

The Chicago Riot of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced Wednesday they have signed midfielder Ptah Myers, formerly of the defunct Philadelphia Kixx, to a contract and released forward Zlatko Zebic.

Myers played six seasons in the MISL, scoring 73 goals, 33 assists for 168 points and blocked 126 shots in 160 career goals.

Myers will debut with the Riot Saturday when they travel to the league co-leading Baltimore Blast.

Scorpions Announce National And Local Sponsorship Deals

San Antonio Scorpions FC, set to join the North American Soccer League for the 2012 season, announced the signing of sponsorship deals with Nike and local charity Harvey's Heroes Wednesday.

The charity, headed by current chairman and CEO of Sirius Computer Services, Harvey Najim, will allow 500 special needs and underprivileged children in San Antonio to attend each Scorpions home game in their inaugural season.

Labatt Breweries Sign Five-Year Partnership With BC Place, Lions, Whitecaps

Labatt Breweries announced Wednesday they have signed a five-year partnership for Budweiser to be the official beer of BC Place stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia, as well as their professional teams -- the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League and the Vancouver Whitecaps of Major League Soccer.

The deal gives Labatt access to both teams' logos and branding and also gains the brewer exclusive rights to media and signage for both teams' home games.

Orthopaedics Firm Remains Jersey Sponsor For Independence

The Philadelphia Independence of Women's Professional Soccer announced Wednesday Premier Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Associates, LTD will remain their front jersey sponsor for the 2011 season, their second straight with the two-year-old franchise that finished as runner-up to FC Gold Pride for the 2010 league championship.

The firm will also expand their orthopaedic support services with the team.

PDL's Rovers Announces Roster's First 15 Players

The expansion River City Rovers (Louisville, KY) of the USL Premier Development League announced the names of the first 15 players on its inaugural roster Wednesday after holding a three-day tryout session January 7-10.

The players were contacted Sunday and offered contracts, which all accepted.

Another tryout will take place the weekend of March 12 for those from out-of-state students who could not attend the January session.

Here are the 15 inital players, listed by jersey number, position, hometown and college:

1 - Kees Heemskerk, G, Zaandam, Holland, College of Charleston
2 - Brett Gregory, D, St. Louis, Bellarmine
3 - Bradley Chuck, D, Shelbyville, KY, Belmont
4 - Ryan Smith, M/F, Louisville, Louisville
5 - Andrew Farrell, M, Louisville, Louisville
6 - Sam Brooks, D, Solihull, England, Kentucky
7 - Jacob Kemper, M/F, Crestwood, KY, Kentucky
8 - Dustin Downey, D/M, Owenton, KY, Northern Kentucky
10 - Sunny Jane, M, Louisville, Maryland
11 - Aaron Horton, F, Lewis Center, OH, Louisville
13 - Alex Winrich, M, Louisville, Dayton
15 - Josh Lipka, M/F, Lexington, KY, Louisville
16 - Kyle Richard, M, Louisville, Notre Dame
17 - Chad Hagerty, M/D, Louisville, Kentucky
22 - Zach Byrd, M, Lexington, KY, Evansville
25 - Austin Dini, D, Winchester, KY, Marshall

Timbers Add 2010 Stars Brown, Purdy To 2011 MLS Roster

The Portland Timbers, joining Major League Soccer this season, announced the signings Wednesday of two players from the 2010 USSF Division 2 Pro League season -- goalkeeper Adin Brown and defender Steve Purdy.

Brown returned to the States in 2010 after playing 69 games over five seasons in Norway with Aalesund FC.

The third overall pick in the 2000 MLS SuperDraft by the Colorado Rapids, Brown started a total of 83 games in five seasons for the Rapids (2000, 2001), Tampa Bay Mutiny (2001) and New England Revolution (2002-04).

With New England, he led them to three straight playoff appearances and the 2002 MLS Cup championship game.

He also played on the U-23 US Men's National Team from 1998 to 2000, helping them earn a bronze medal at the 1999 Pan-American Games and qualify for the 2000 Olympics.

Purdy played 1,536 minutes over 24 games for the Timbers in 2010.

He began his professional career in Germany's 2 Bundesliga with TSV 1860 Munich from 2007 to 2008, then came home in 2009 to play for MLS' FC Dallas.

He also was a member of the US' U-18, U-20, U-23 and senior men's national team.

Strikers Retain Shore As Head Coach

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers, formerly the Miami FC Blues, of the North American Soccer League announced Wednesday they have signed head coach Daryl Shore to a contract extension.

Shore was promoted from assistant coach to head coach in July 2010 after Victor Pastora was fired as head coach and led the Blues to a 5-5-3 record in the USSF Division 2 Pro League, including winning their last five games of the season.

Shore played goalkeeper in college at Birmingham-Southern College, then went on to play professionally for the Birmingham Grasshoppers and the New Orleans Riverboat Gamblers.

He served 10 seasons under five different head coaches with Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire before joining the Blues.

Earthquakes Keep Bingham In California Thanks To MLS Lottery

The San Jose Earthquakes won a weighted lottery Wednesday to gain the services of Cal-Berkeley goalkeeper David Bingham for the 2011 Major League Soccer season and keep him in the Golden State.

The Earthquakes were one of 13 MLS teams who participated in the lottery, held whenever a player signs a league contract after the annual SuperDraft is held, and had only an 8.8 percent chance of winning his rights -- the New England Revolution (23.6), Toronto FC (17.9), Chicago Fire (15.3) and Seattle Sounders (10.8) had a better chance to acquire him.

Bingham, who recently signed a Generation adidas contract to become the 11th member of its 2011 class, had a trial with Fulham of the English Premier League before signing with MLS.

Flash Acquire Final Season Of Marta's Contract With WPS

Women's Professional Soccer announced Tuesday superstar forward Marta, in the final year of her league-arranged contract, will play the 2011 season for the expansion Western New York Flash.

Named FIFA;s Women's World Player of the Year for a record fifth consecutive year, Marta is the only player in WPS history to win the Michelle Akers Player of the Year award and the league's Golden Boot as its top scorer.

She originally joined the Los Angeles Sol in the league's inaugural season in 2009, leading them to the first regular season league title before the team lost to Sky Blue FC in the championship final and folded before the 2010 season began.

Marta played last season for the FC Gold Pride, the wire-to-wire regular season champion and eventual league champion, before they folded prior to the upcoming season.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Union Bids Farewell To Goalkeeper Knighton

Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union released goalkeeper Brad Knighton Tuesday.

Knighton, acquired in the 2009 MLS Expansion Draft from the New England Revolution, started his first of eight games for the Union after a 1-0 win over the Chicago Fire September 11, 2010.

Fire Keeps Robinson For Another Season

Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire announced the re-signing Tuesday of defender Dasan Robinson, who has started 71 of 80 matches and has three goals and an assist since joining the team from the University of Dayton in 2006.

He began his career with the Chicago Fire Premier in the USL Premier Development League, starting 29 games between the 2004 and 2005 seasons, before being selected by the senior team as a second round pick in the 2006 MLS Supplemental Draft.

Supercuts Expands Sponsorship With Fresno Fuego

Minneapolis, MN-based national hair salon chain Supercuts announced Tuesday they will become a jersey sponsor for the USL Premier Development League's Fresno Fuego in their fifth year of a marketing partnership.

They will join restaurant chain El Mexicano, a team sponsor since 2003, and telecom giant Comcast as jersey sponsors.

Supercuts will also partner with the Fuego's youth team affiliate, California Victory, ranked as the tenth best boys soccer club in the US by Soccer America magazine.

For the second season in a row, the Fuego will play the first game of the 2011 USL PDL against their 2010 home opener opponent, the Hollywood United Hitmen, April 29 at Chukchansi Park.

USL PRO's FC New York Picks Belson Stadium As Home Pitch

FC New York of USL PRO announced Tuesday Belson Stadium, on the campus of St. John's University, will serve as their home pitch in the team's and league's inaugural season.

They will play their home opener April 30 against Orlando City Soccer Club.

Norfolk SharX Join USL I-League

The resurrected USL I-League announced Tuesday the Norfolk (VA) SharX will join the league, along with the Rochester (NY) Lancers and an unnamed team in Syracuse, NY.

The team will play home games at the Norfolk Scope Arena.

NASL Releases 2011 Schedule And Playoff Format

The North American Soccer League, operating as a stand-alone league in 2011 after being merged with USL First Division into the USSF Division 2 Pro League, released their inaugural season schedule and playoff format Tuesday.

The league's eight teams -- Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks, FC Edmonton, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Montreal Impact, NSC Minnesota Stars, FC Tampa Bay and Puerto Rico Islanders -- will each play a 28-game regular season, facing the other seven teams four times, twice at home and away.

The regular season opens April 9 with four games (FC Edmonton @ Fort Lauderdale, Puerto Rico @ Carolina, Minnesota @ Atlanta and Montreal @ FC Tampa Bay) and end September 24 with three games (Fort Lauderdale @ FC Tampa Bay, Montreal @ Atlanta and Minnesota @ Carolina) and all eight teams will be in a single standings table for 2011.

In the postseason, the top six teams will qualify for the playoffs with the top two teams gaining byes into the semifinal round.

The remaining four teams (6th seed @ 3rd seed, 5th seed @ 4th seed) will play each other in single games to advance to the semifinals with the lowest remaining seed facing the top seed and the highest facing the second seed.

The two-game, aggregate-goal NASL Championship Series will take place the weekends of October 22 and 29 with the higher seeded team hosting the second game.

To see the entire 2011 NASL schedule, go to http://nasl.com.

USWNT Wins Four Nations Tournament With Shutout Over Host China

Amy Rodriguez assisted in the 31st minute on a goal from Carli Lloyd, then scored her own with the help of Tobin Heath as the world's number one women's soccer team -- the US -- won the 2011 Four Nations Tournament in Chongqing, China Tuesday with a 2-0 victory over the host country.

The win, coupled with a 1-0 defeat of Sweden by Canada in the opening game of the day, helped break a four-way tie for the tournament championship at 1-0-1 as the US and Canada ended tied at 2-0-1, but, thanks to a 2-1 victory over Canada Sunday, the US claimed one of the tiebreakers to settle the matter -- head-to-head matchup.

The team now returns to the States for a well-deserved week off before another training camp is called February 3-9 in Florida to determine the roster for the 2011 Algarve Cup tournament in Portugal.

Chivas USA Toasts New Sponsorship Deal With Grupo Modelo

Major League Soccer's Chivas USA announced Tuesday a new multi-year corporate sponsorship deal with Grupo Modelo, the leading beer brewer in Mexico and one of the top brewers in the world, that will see the company's Corona Extra brand receive a major push.

Details of the agreement are set to be officially announced at a news conference in Los Angeles February 16, but the deal will see the Corona Extra logo on the team's jerseys, as well as gaining a significant presence at home games and other team events.

Golden Bears Goalkeeper Bingham Joins 2011 Generation adidas Class

California Golden Bears goalkeeper David Bingham became the 11th member Monday of the 2011 class of Generation adidas players in Major League Soccer and will be part of a lottery Wednesday afternoon with interested MLS teams.

He is the second goalkeeper in the class, joining Maryland's Zac MacMath, who was chosen by the Philadelphia Union in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, and is the sixth player from the Berkeley school in the class, joining already drafted players Servando Carrasco (Seattle Sounders), Hector Jimemez (Los Angeles Galaxy), Demitrius Omphroy (Toronto FC), Davis Paul (Chicago Fire) and A.J. Soares (New England Revolution).

Bingham was a National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-American as an junior in 2010, posting eight shutouts in 20 games that season, including the NCAA College Cup tournament, and gave up one goal in four different games.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Red Bulls Add Norwegian Midfielder Jan Gunnar Solli To Roster

Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls signed Norwegian midfielder Jan Gunnar Solli to the roster Monday.

He most recently played for SK Brann in Norway from 2007 to 2010, scoring eight goals in 97 matches.

At SK Brann, he led them to their first Norwegian Premier League title since 1963 in 2007 and helped them reach the Round of 32 at the 2007-08 UEFA Cup.

Solli began his professional career in 2000 with Odd Grenland in the NPL, where he played 54 games over four seasons.

He was transferred in 2003 to Rosenborg BK, scoring three goals in 85 games between then and 2006, and leading them to three NPL titles -- back-to-back championships in 2003 and 2004, and another in 2006.

The team also won the Norwegian Cup in 2003 and reached the Group Stage of the 2004-05 UEFA Champions League.

Solli also plays for his country's national team, last appearing in a 2-1 victory over Iceland in an 2012 UEFA European Championship qualification match September 30, 2010.

Sky Blue Adds Free Agent Goalkeeper Kristin Arnold

Sky Blue FC of Women's Professional Soccer announced the signing Monday of free agent goalkeeper Kristin Arnold, who played collegiately at Texas A&M from 2006 to 2009 and was part of the US U-20 and senior Women's National Team.

She will join another ex-USWNT goalkeeper, Jenni Branam, and England National Team member Karen Bardsley in the battle for the starting spot.

Union To Hold Part Of Training Camps In Orlando Through 2014

Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union and USL PRO's Orlando City Soccer Club announced a partnership Monday that will see the Union hold part of their preseason training camps through the 2014 MLS season in Orlando.

The camp segments there will be sponsored by the Union's newest corporate sponsor, Bimbo Bakeries, who became the team's new jersey sponsor.

The first camp in Orlando, taking place January 31-February 20, will include both teams playing an exhibition game February 19 at the Florida Citrus Bowl.

USL PRO Announces Postseason Format

USL PRO, the newly-merged combination of the former First and Second Divisions, announced Monday the format for postseason play in the inaugural season.

Eight teams will qualify for postseason play -- the top three teams in the American (Charlotte Eagles, Richmond Kickers, Charleston Battery, Orlando City Soccer Club, Wilmington Hammerheads) and National (Dayton Dutch Lions, Harrisburg City Islanders, Rochester Rhinos, Pittsburgh Riverhounds and FC New York) Divisions, and the top two teams from its International Division (Antigua Barracuda FC, Puerto Rico United, Sevilla FC Puerto Rico, Los Angeles Blues and River Plate FC).

All playoff games, including the championship game, will be single-elimination games and the postseason opens with the quarterfinal round, taking place August 19-21.

In that round, the matchups will be as follows:

- International Division #2 @ International Division #1
- National Division #3 @ National Division #1
- American Division #3 @ American Division #1
- National Division #2 vs. American Division #2 with the team with the most regular season points hosting

After the quarterfinals, teams will be re-seeded for the semifinals, set for August 26-28, with the top seed hosting the fourth seed and the second seed hosting the third seed.

The championship game will be held at the highest seeded team's pitch between September 2 and 4.

The league previously announced its 180-game regular season schedule, which runs from April 2 to August 13.

All teams in the league will play a 24-game schedule.

In the American and National Division, each of the 10 combined teams will play each other in a home-and-home series, play two games on the road at either the Caribbean or Los Angeles, and host two games versus International Division teams.

In the International, each team will play the other four teams four times (two home, two away) with four other games home-and-home against American and National Division foes.

Crew Sign Nyamekye To Multi-Year Deal

Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew announced the signing of defender Kwaku Nyamekye, born in Switzerland but of Ghanian descent, to a multi-year contract Monday.

He was the team's fourth round pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft out of Harvard, but did not report until he graduated in July and has been training with Columbus ever since.

A five-time letter winner in soccer and basketball at the International School of Geneva, Nyamekye started 71 of 73 games for the Crimson over four years, scoring 11 goals and six assists.

He was a three-time National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Northeast Region player and a four-time All-Ivy League star.

MISL Player Of The Week Is Goaltender For Second Straight Week

The Major Indoor Soccer League Monday named Baltimore Blast goalkeeper Sagu Player of the Week for Week 10 of the 2010-11 season, the second time in as many weeks the position has won the award.

Ante Cop of the Chicago Riot was the Week 9 winner.

The first POTW winner this season at goalkeeper was Nick Vorsberg of the Milwaukee Wave in Week 2.

Sagu stopped 33 of 42 shots he faced this weekend and gave up a combined nine goals in wins over the Wave Friday and the Missouri Comets to again be tied for the league lead at 8-3 with the Wave.

Comets Beat Off Vipers In Highest Scoring MISL Game This Season

Byron Alvarez had a hat trick, Vahid Assadpour scored a two-point goal and an assist, and Jamar Beasley scored a pair of two-point goals in a 36 second span of the fourth quarter as the Missouri Comets got past the host Omaha Vipers 21-20 Sunday at the Omaha Civic Auditorium in the highest scoring Major Indoor Soccer League game this season.

The previous mark was a 24-11 victory November 26 by the Milwaukee Wave over the Comets at US Cellular Arena in Milwaukee.

Boris Pardo had a three-point goal for the Comets and Jamie Hardin, Leo Gibson and Birche Luiz added two-point goals to their cause.

Carlos Farias had a seven-point night for the Vipers with a two-point goal, a three-point goal and two assists. Andre Gustavo Sandri Silva added five points on a pair of two-pointers and and assist, Johnny Torres had a pair of standard goals, Ryan Junge posted a three-pointer, and Frederico Moojen (two-point goal, assist) and Marcelo Fontana (two-point goal) also scored for the Vipers.

Missouri is now 4-8 and in fourth place, 4 1/2 games behind the co-leading Wave and the Baltimore Blast, both 8-3. The Comets host the Wave this Friday.

Omaha is now 5-6 and in third, three behind the co-leaders, and will travel to Milwaukee this Saturday.

Both Missouri and Omaha meet again this coming Sunday at the Omaha Civic Auditorium.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Weinberg Hat Trick Gives Stars Win At Home Over Tijuana

Ian Weinberg had a hat trick and Todd Stauber assisted on two goals and scored one himself as the Tacoma Stars got past Revolucion Tijuana 8-6 Saturday in Professional Arena Soccer League play at the Tacoma Soccer Center.

The Stars are 7-4-0 and in second place in the Western Division, as well as being undefeated in five home games. Tacoma will host the Wenatchee Fire this Saturday.

Revolucion Tijuana is in third place in the division at 5-4-0 and travel to the defending league champion San Diego Sockers this Saturday.

USWNT Beat Canada At Four Nations; All Four Teams Tied At 1-0-1

Lindsay Tarpley assisted Lauren Cheney on a goal in the 54th minute and scored the game-winning goal with Cheney's help in the 70th minute as the US Women's National Team defeated Canada 2-1 Sunday at the Four Nations Tournament in Chongqing, China and set up an interesting final day to the tournament Tuesday.

The win ended Canada's 11-game unbeaten streak against the US team.

Tarpley's goal was the 31st of her career, moving her past Brandi Chastain into 11th place on the team's all-time scoring list, and was her first goal for the team since a 4-0 win over the same country May 25, 2009 in Toronto.

She tore her anterior cruciate ligament at the end of the inaugural season of Women's Professional Soccer in 2009 with the Chicago Red Stars and her appearance in China was her second international game since the injury.

All four teams in the tournament -- the others being the host country, China, and Sweden -- are tied in the standings with records of 1-0-1 and four points.

For the USWNT to win the tournament, they must beat China Tuesday and hope Sweden and Canada play to a tie.

If that doesn't happen, the US must hope they can win one of three tiebreakers against whomever wins the Sweden-Canada game -- goal differential, goals scored or head-to-head result.

Hughes Hat Trick Carries Kings To Win Over Lightning

Defending Professional Arena Soccer League Most Valuable Player Jeff Hughes had a hat trick and Kwame Sarkodie and Sam Fiore had two goals each as the Cincinnati Kings, leader of the Eastern Division and holder of the league's best record at 10-2-0, slipped past the Louisville Lightning Saturday at Mockinbird Valley Soccer Complex in Louisville, KY.

Drew Ducker, Eddie Hertsenberg and Adam Ross also scored goals for the Kings, who host the Ohio Vortex this Saturday.

The Lightning, 2-6-0 and in third place in the Eastern Division, host the Vortex this Friday.

Blast Dodge Comets To Share League Lead Again With Wave

Max Ferdinand had a three-point goal and an assist as the Baltimore Blast got past the host Missouri Comets for a 15-13 victory Saturday in Major Indoor Soccer League play at the Independence Events Center in Independence, MO.

Pat Morris had a two-pointer and an assist and Pat Healey, Lucio Gonzaga, Carlos Garcia, Warren Ukah and Guiliano Celenza all scored goals for Baltimore, who is now tied once again for the league's best record with the Milwaukee Wave at 8-3.

The Blast will play a home-and-home series this coming weekend with the Chicago Riot, beginning Saturday in Baltimore, then heading to Chicago.

Byron Alvarez had two two-point goals and Leo Gibson added a three-pointer to lead the Comets.

Lucas Rodriguez had a two-pointer and an assist and Bryon Perez and Jamar Beasley scored goals as well.

The Comets are 3-8 and tied for last place in the league with the 2-7 Riot. Missouri plays at the Omaha Vipers Sunday.

Wave Roughs Up Riot At US Cellular Arena

Hewerton Moreira and Guiliano Oliviero each had a pair of two-point goals and Tom Oatley scored a three-point goal as the Milwaukee Wave regained part of the spot in the Major Indoor Soccer League standings with a 16-8 win over the Chicago Riot Saturday at US Cellular Arena in Milwaukee.

Matt Stewart had a two-point goal and an assist and Ian Bennett added a standard goal for the Wave, now tied for the league lead with an 8-3 record.

The Wave will travel to the Missouri Comets this coming Friday, then will return home for a game next Saturday against the Omaha Vipers.

Bato Radoncic and Semir Mesanovic had a two-pointer and an assist and Sandre Naumoski and Miodrag Djersilo also posted two-point goals for Chicago, who, at 2-7, are tied for last place in the league with the Comets (3-8).

The Riot travels to the league co-leading Baltimore Blast this coming Saturday.

Bunbury Goal Ties USMNT With Chile In 2011 Opener

Teal Bunbury scored the equalizing goal in the 74th minute as the US Men's National Team opened their 2011 season with a 1-1 draw to Chile at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

After a scoreless first half, Esteban Paredas scored for Chile in the 54th minute.

The USMNT's next game will be February 9 against Egypt in Cairo.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

NASL Denied Division 2 Sanctioning For 2011 Season, Will Resubmit Application

The North American Soccer League confirmed news Saturday from the US Soccer Federation that the league's provisional sanctioning as a Division 2 Professional League for the 2011 season was withdrawn, due to the league's inability to meet new, tougher standards for such league.

The NASL announced they will work closely with USSF officials to resolve the issues preventing the league from being granted sanctioning and will resubmit an application in time for being reviewed at the federation's Annual General Meeting February 11 and 12, but also said they will not pursue sanctioning for any division lower than Division 2 Professional.

Chivas Cuts Three, Invites Three As Non-Roster Invitees To Training Camp

New head coach Robin Fraser released three members of former head coach Martin Vasquez's roster with Major League Soccer's Chivas USA as the team opened training camp Friday -- forwards Maykel Galindo and Rodrigo Espinoza and defender Dario Delgado.

Galindo spent the second half of the 2010 season on loan to FC Tampa Bay of the then-USSF Division 2 Pro League, now with the North American Soccer League.

His best season with Chivas was in 2007 when he scored 12 goals.

Espinoza had a goal and an assist in his rookie season of 2010 and Delgado played in 22 games but registered no goals or assists.

Fraser brought back midfielder Francisco "Panchito" Mendoza as one of three non-roster invitees to the camp. Mendoza played 111 games over three seasons with Chivas before the club released him in 2008 and had been playing throughout Mexico ever since.

Also at camp are defender Joaquin Beltran and goalkeeper Sergio Arias.

Beltran played 10 seasons with Pumas UNAM in Mexico's Primera Division, appearing in 326 games.

Arias was a member of parent club Chivas de Guadalajara's youth academy and was a member of Mexico's U-17 boys' team that won the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Peru.

Sounders To Host Three-Day Cascadia Summit Tournament With MLS Newcomers

The Seattle Sounders will prepare former USL First Division alumni in the Portland Timbers and the Vancouver Whitecaps for life in Major League Soccer by hosting both teams as part of a three-day Cascadia Summit preseason tournament March 4-6 at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, WA.

On the opening night, the Sounders will face the Timbers, followed the next night (March 5) by the Timbers and the Whitecaps meeting each other, and ending the final night (March 6) with Seattle playing Vancouver after each team's U-18 boys' youth academy teams meet.

Blast, Wave Tied Again For MISL Lead

Robbie Aristodemo and Mike Lookingland scored three-point goals to lead the host Baltimore Blast to a 14-6 victory over the defending Major Indoor Soccer League regular season champion Milwaukee Wave Friday at First Mariner Arena and both teams are now tied for the lead in the standings at 7-3.

The Blast have won two of three games in their six-game series this season.

Pat Morris had a goal and assisted on a Warren Ukah score, and Carlos Garcia and Worteh Sampson knocked in two-point goals for Baltimore.

Marco Terminesi assisted on goals by Tom Oatley and Josh Rife and Hewerton Moreira had an unassisted goal.

Both teams are in action again Saturday -- the Blast at the Missouri Comets, the Wave hosting the Chicago Riot.

They will meet face-to-face again February 4 at US Cellular Arena in Milwaukee.

Sockers Slip Past Knights To Reach USOASC Semifinal

Majell Aterado had a hat trick, including the game-winning goal, as the defending Professional Arena Soccer League North American and US Open Arena Soccer Championship champion San Diego Sockers edged the host Las Vegas Knights of the amateur Premier Arena Soccer League 10-9 Friday.

Dan Antoniuk added two goals and two assists, Chiky Luna had a pair of goals, and Eric Wunderle had a goal and two assists for the Sockers.

Luis Suarez had a hat trick for the Knights.

The Sockers now head to the tournament semifinals at the Tacoma Soccer Center February 5 against the PASL-Pro's Tacoma Stars.

San Diego returns to PASL-Pro play January 29 when they host Revolucion Tijuana at Del Mar Arena.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Los Angeles Blues Land Four More Players

The Los Angeles Blues of USL PRO Thursday announced the signing of four more players, taking their current roster in the new league to eight players.

Forward-midfielder Dane Saintus, who played collegiately at SMU, was selected 54th overall in the 2010 Major League Soccer SuperDraft by FC Dallas.

Defender Cameron Dunn, the 46th overall pick in the 2007 SuperDraft by Chivas USA, was a three-time All-Big West Conference player at California-Irvine. After being released by Chivas, he played in the former USL First Division for the California Victory and the Portland Timbers.

Forward Seyed Hosseini, born in Iran, played five seasons for his country's professional league and was on the 2007 league champion Saba Battery roster.

Forward Jaime Chavez was the leading scorer in 2010 for the Hollywood United Hitmen in the USL Premier Development League and played on Chivas USA's U-17 boys' team in 2004-05.

Orlando City To Face MLS Teams At 2011 WDW Pro Soccer Classic

Orlando City Soccer Club of USL PRO announced Friday they will be the lone non-Major League Soccer team to participate in the upcoming two-day 2011 Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic February 24 and 26 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, FL.

The MLS teams in the event -- the Houston Dynamo, Toronto FC and FC Dallas -- all played in last year's inaugural tournament.

The New York Red Bulls won last year's tournament with a 4-0 victory over Toronto FC. Juan Pablo Angel had a hat trick and Conor Chinn scored the other goal for the Red Bulls.

Patterson Gets Powered Up To Join Battery

The Charleston Battery of USL PRO announced Friday they have signed midfielder Nicki Patterson to a contract after playing the last two seasons in USL Second Division -- 2009 with the Harrisburg City Islanders, 2010 with the Real Maryland Monarchs.

He was a four-year starter at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas from 2005 to 2008.

Whitecaps Sign Canadian Defender Rochat

Major League Soccer's Vancouver Whitecaps announced the signing of Canadian defender Alain Rochet Friday.

He has been on loan to the team from FC Zurich in the Swiss Super League since August 16 after starting six of 14 games for Zurich.

San Antonio Scorpions To Hold Logo Design Contest

The San Antonio Scorpions, a North American Soccer League expansion team in 2012, announced Friday they will hold a contest to allow artists and designers to create suggestions for the team's logo.

Artists can send their conceptions by e-mail to jlizardo@starsoccerusa.com or drop them off at the South Texas Area Regional (STAR) Soccer Complex in San Antonio by 5 p.m. Central time February 4.

A group of judges will select three finalists from all entries and fans will be allowed to cast one voter per day on their favorite logo at www.soccerforacause.com or by filing out an entry form in the San Antonio Express-News between February 15-28 with the winner to be announced in March.

The winning logo's artist will receive $1,000 cash, a VIP outing for 20 at a Scorpions home game and an assortment of team gear with their logo on them.

Each of the runners-up will receive a team jersey with the new logo and 10 tickets to any home game.

Fans who vote on the logos will also be eligible for a drawing to win team gear and four tickets to a home game.

USWNT Open 2011 With Loss At Four Nations Tournament

The US Women's National Team, who began 2011 the same they ended 2010 -- on top of the FIFA women's world soccer rankings -- lost the opening game of their season Friday to Sweden 2-1 at the Four Nations Tournament in Chongong, China.

Carli Lloyd gave the US their lone goal in the 11th minute off an assist from Lauren Cheney, but Sweden countered five minutes later as Therese Sjogran fired off a pass to Stina Segerstrom to eventually end the first tie in a 1-1 draw.

With an assist from Lina Nilsson in the 61st minute, Chicago Red Stars player Kosovare Asllani scored the game-winning goal for Sweden.

It was the seventh time since the end of the 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup -- and the first time in over seven years overall -- that the USWNT lost a game in which they took the opening lead.

Both countries are scheduled to meet again June 6 in Wolfsburg, Germany in Group C pool play at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, but could face off even earlier -- in March at the Algarve Cup tournament in Portugal.

The US faces Canada in the next round of the round-robin tournament Sunday, then meets host country China.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Union Adds Colombian National Team Players Mondragon, Valdes

Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union announced the signing of two members of Colombia's men's soccer team -- goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon and defender Carlos Valdes.

Mondragon, who has played 50 times for his country since debuting in 1993, last played for FC Cologne in Germany's Bundesliga.

Valdes, with only four caps for Colombia, last played in the country's first division with Independente Santa Fe.

Comets Sign Andrews, Barton; Cut Dastan

The Missouri Comets of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced Thursday they have signed defenders Coady Andrews and Casey Barton to contracts.

Andrews, who lives in Shawnee, KS, started all 18 games last season for the University of Missouri-Kansas City Kangaroos, scored four goals, and played the third-most minutes in the 2010 season.

In 2009, he played 1,428 minutes and started 15 of 16 games.

He has also played outdoor soccer for the USL Premier Development League's Kansas City Brass and the Professional Arena Soccer League's Kansas City Kings.

Brown, from Wichita, KS, split time in the 2002-03 MISL season with the Cleveland Force and the original Kansas City Comets, then played the 2004-05 season for the Comets, before taking a year off from the sport.

He returned to the game in the 2006-07 season with the Philadelphia Kixx and blocked 27 shots in 23 games, third most of the team, en route to them winning the MISL Championship.

To make room for the new roster additions, the Comets Thursday cut defender Shaun Dastan.

PDL's Fusion Hosting Timbers, United In Preseason Matches

The Ventura County Fusion of the USL Premier Development League will host two more Major League Soccer teams -- the Portland Timbers and DC United -- in preseason games next month, the franchise announced Thursday.

The Fusion will face the Timbers, one of MLS' new franchises in 2011, February 4 at Ventura College in Ventura, CA and take on United February 19 at Oxnard College in Oxnard, CA.

The game will take place during each MLS team's preseason camps -- the Timbers from February 1-8; United's from February 16-26.

The Fusion recently played against the other 2011 MLS season expansion team, the Vancouver Whitecaps, during a 12-day training camp.

Fire Loan Castillo For Five Months To Greece's Aris

Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire announced Thursday they have loaned Designated Player and forward Nery Castillo to Aris in Greece for five months.

Chicago got Castillo on an 18-month loan back in July 2009 from Shakhtar Donetsk in the Ukraine, who still holds his rights.

Castillo did not score a goal or log an assist in eight regular season games for the Fire in 2010.

He last played in Greece in the 2006-07 season for Olympiakos.

Sporting Kansas City Re-Signs Harrington For 2011 Season

Major League Soccer's Sporting Kansas City announced the re-signing of defender Michael Harrington for the 2011 season.

Harrington is the team's fourth longest tenured player, having played in 120 games, including postseason games, since being selected by the then-Kansas City Wizards with the third overall pick in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft.

He enters 2011 having five goals and 13 assists in his career.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Griffit Back With Crew For 2011

Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew Wednesday re-signed midfielder Leandre Griffit, who joined the team in May 2010 and debuted July 24 against the Houston Dynamo, one of three regular season games he played in.

Griffit also started four of five games in the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League.

Talley Retires After 13 MLS Seasons

Midfielder/defender Carey Talley announced his retirement from professional soccer Wednesday after 13 seasons in Major League Soccer.

The Memphis, TN native graduated from North Carolina and was selected 14th overall in the 1998 MLS College Draft (now called SuperDraft) by DC United and led them to the CONCACAF Champions League and Interamerican Cup championships in his first season with them, and started 16 of United's final 18 MLS regular season games.

In 1999, when they won the MLS Cup, Talley was a regular starter.

He was traded after the 2002 season to the Kansas City Wizards (now Sporting Kansas City), then played for FC Dallas, Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA before going back to United in March 2010, who then traded him to the Red Bulls September 15, 2010 for a second round pick in the 2011 SuperDraft.

Talley had 20 goals and 28 assists over his MLS career and started 262 of 315 regular season appearances, the eighth-highest amount of appearances in league history.

Hagerty Named PASL Player Of The Week For Week 10

Midfielder Chad Hagerty of the Louisville Lightning was named Wednesday the Week 10 Player of the Week in the Professional Arena Soccer League after scoring four goals in a 10-4 win on the road Saturday against the Detroit Waza.

Hagerty had five goals and an assist in the team's inaugural season of 2010.

FC Tampa Bay To Play 2011, 2012 NASL Seasons At Al Lang Stadium

FC Tampa Bay announced Wednesday they will play their 2011 and 2012 home seasons in the North American Soccer League at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, FL, the former home of Tampa Bay Rays spring training from 1998 to 2008.

The stadium, which seats over 7,000, will be converted from a baseball to a soccer stadium in time for the team's 2011 home opener April 9 versus the Montreal Impact.

FC Tampa Bay played their 2010 season in the USSF Division 2 Pro League at Legends Field in Tampa, home to spring training for the New York Yankees.

Dynamo Signs Academy Products Soto, Dixon To Contracts

Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo announced the signings of midfielder Josue Soto and forward Alex Dixon, who came through the ranks of the team's youth academy, to contracts Wednesday.

The team stated Saturday offers were made to both players, the Dynamo's third and fourth home-grown players, joining goalkeeper Tyler Deric and midfielder Francisco Navas Cobo.

Soto, born in Fort Worth, TX but raised in Monterrey, Mexico, played his first two seasons of college soccer at Campbell University before transferring to SMU for his final two seasons.

At SMU, he led the Mustangs to the quarterfinals of the 2010 NCAA College Cup tournament and, in that same season, was named a second team All-Midwest Region and second team All-Conference USA player after leading the team in assists with seven.

He recently took part in the 2011 adidas MLS Combine in Fort Lauderdale, FL and is the first home grown player in league history to sign with a team after finishing his college eligibility.

Dixon, a former Parade magazine and National Soccer Coaches Association of America High School All-American, played three seasons at North Carolina, leading the Tar Heels to the College Cup event every season.

FC Dallas Re-Signs Midfielder Marvin Chavez

Major League Soccer's FC Dallas announced the re-signing of Honduran-born midfielder Marvin Chavez to his third season with the team in 2011.

He had three goals and four assists in 20 regular season appearances last season.

Galaxy Sign Angel To Multi-Year Designated Player Contract

Major League Soccer's defending Western Conference regular season and Supporters Shield champion, the Los Angeles Galaxy, announced Wednesday the signing of former New York Red Bulls forward Juan Pablo Angel to a multi-year Designated Player, joining David Beckham and Landon Donovan as the team's maximum three such players allowed on a team roster.

After scoring 58 goals in 102 regular season games for New York over four seasons, Angel's contract was not renewed, making him eligible for selection in the league's inaugural Re-Entry Draft, created through the terms of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between MLS and its players union.

The Galaxy chose Angel in the Stage 2 of the process December 15.

Western New York Flash Signs Ex-Pride Star Midfielder Becky Edwards

The Western New York Flash of Women's Professional Soccer announced the signing Tuesday of midfielder Becky Edwards, who won a 2010 regular season and league championship title with the now-defunct FC Gold Pride.

She had a goal and an assist and started 20 of 24 matches last season.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Orlando City Signs Forward Devorn Jorsling

Orlando City Soccer Club of USL PRO announced the signing Tuesday of Trinidad and Tobago forward Devorn Jorsling, who last played for Defense Force FC of the Digicel Pro League, scoring 16 goals last season.

Jorsling is third in league history in goals scored with over 100.

He was the league's 2008 winner of the Golden Boot after scoring 29 goals that season.

In his 13 appearances for his home country's men's national team, he has scored 11 goals, and has scored 14 in 27 overall games for them.

Hill Returns To Tampa Bay As Head Coach

FC Tampa Bay of the North American Soccer League announced Tuesday former Tampa Bay Rowdies player-head coach Ricky Hill is returning to the team as its new head coach, according to TampaBay.com.

Hill replaces Paul Daglish, who was fired with two games left to play in the 2010 USSF Division 2 Pro League season.

Hill returns to Tampa Bay after serving as technical director of CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh in the Trinidad & Tobago Football League, where they won the league's championship this season, as well as the First Citizen Cup and the Caribbean Club Championship.

At the 2003 CONCACAF Club Championship, Hill was named Coach of the Year.

He played professionally for 17 years, mostly with Luton Town FC in England from 1976 to 1989 and scored 54 goals. Luton Town won a Second Division Championship in 1981 and the Littlewoods Cup in 1988.

After stints in France (Le Havre FC) and back in England (Leicester City) from 1989 to 1991, Hill came to the Rowdies, then of the American Soccer League as player-head coach, leading to league championship game appearances in 1991 and 1992. Hill was named a league All-Star and their Coach of the Year in 1992.

Hill returned to Luton Hill in 2000 as its head coach, but left after the team went 2-11-8 in 21 games.

He would later coach the U-19 Sheffield Wednesday and U-17 Tottenham Hotspur youth teams.

Hill also played three times for England's men's national team between 1982 and 1986.

Revolution Re-Sign Sinovic

Major League Soccer's New England Revolution announced Tuesday they have re-signed defender Seth Sinovic to a 2011 contract.

The 25th overall pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, Sinovic appeared in 20 regular season games last season and started two of four games in the SuperLiga tournament.

RSL Signs Former Fire Defender Brown As Assistant Coach

Major League Soccer's 2009 MLS Cup champion, Real Salt Lake, announced the hiring of former Chicago Fire defender C.J. Brown as an assistant coach Tuesday, maintaining the team's uniqueness as the only team in the league to be made up of veteran players.

Brown replaces Robin Fraser, who was named the new head coach of Chivas USA earlier this month.

Brown played in over 300 games for the Fire from its debut season in 1998 to this past season. He led the franchise to the 1998 MLS Cup title and to the 2003 MLS Cup championship game, as well as to four Lamar Hunt US Open Cup championships in 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2006.

MLS Holds First Supplemental Draft Since 2009

The Vancouver Whitecaps selected defender Michael Boxall from the University of California-Santa Barbara with the first pick in Major League Soccer's Supplemental Draft, held Tuesday via conference call from league headquarters in New York.

The league's other 2011 season expansion team, the Portland Timbers, selected forward Spencer Thompson from California-Irvine.

It's the first time MLS has held such a draft since abolishing it after the 2009 season. It was revived as part of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement reached between players and team owners.

Here are the round-by-round selections of the draft:

MLS 2011 SUPPLEMENTAL DRAFT

ROUND 1
1. Vancouver Whitecaps - Michael Boxall, D, California-Santa Barbara
2. Portland Timbers - Spencer Thompson, F, California-Irvine
3. Los Angeles Galaxy - Daniel Keat, M, Dartmouth (from DC United)
4. New York Red Bulls - Jimmy Maurer, GK, South Carolina (from Chivas USA)
5. Philadelphia Union - Ryan Richter, F, LaSalle
6. New England Revolution - Hunter Christiansen, M, Tulsa
7. Houston Dynamo - Evan Newton, G, Old Dominion
8. Toronto FC - J.C. Banks, M, Wisconsin-Green Bay
9. Chicago Fire - Amani Walker, F, California-Irvine
10. Sporting Kansas City - Sam Scales, M, Ohio State
11. Seattle Sounders - Josh Ford, G, Connecticut
12. Portland - Robby Lynch, M, Evansville (from DC United via Columbus Crew)
13. Toronto - Steven Beattie, F, Northern Kentucky (from New York Red Bulls)
14. Real Salt Lake - Jeff Attinella, GK, South Florida
15. FC Dallas - Alexis Pradie, D, Embry Riddle (from San Jose Earthquakes)
16. Los Angeles - Ryan Thomas, D, Stanford
17. FC Dallas - Paul Ogunyemi, M, Schoolcraft College
18. FC Dallas - Brayan Martinez, M, Seton Hall (from Colorado Rapids)

ROUND 2
19. Vancouver - Joe Anderson, M, Coastal Carolina
20. Portland - Raymundo Reza, F, San Diego State
21. DC United - Blake Brettschneider, D/M/F, South Carolina
22. Chivas USA - Ernesto Carranza, M, Sacramento State
23. Philadelphia - Josh Walburn, D, Princeton
24. New England - Fernando Cabadas, M, Sacramento State
25. Houston - Sergio Castillo, M, Creighton
26. Toronto - Spencer Thompson, F, Michigan State
27. Chicago - Yannick Salmon, M, Rutgers
28. Sporting Kansas City - Mike Jones, D, SIU-Edwardsville
29. Seattle - Corey Anthony, D, California-Irvine
30. Columbus Crew - Ben Sippola, Butler
31. New York - Teddy Schneider, D, Princeton
32. Real Salt Lake - Andrew Cost, M, Penn State
33. San Jose Earthquakes - Phillip Tuttle, GK, Notre Dame
34. Los Angeles - Dustin McCarty, M, North Carolina
35. FC Dallas - Ariel Osorio, M, SMU
36. Colorado Rapids - Philip Bannister, F, Loyola (MD)

ROUND 3
37. Vancouver - Santiago Bedoya, D, Northeastern
38. Portland - Taylor Mueller, D, Washington
39. DC United - passed
40. Chivas USA - Curtis Ushedo, D, UAB
41. Philadelphia - Matthew Marcin, M, Providence
42. New England - Andrew Sousa, M, Providence
43. Houston - passed
44. Toronto - Scott Rojo, M, High Point
45. Chicago - Sam Arthur, F/D, South Carolina
46. Sporting Kansas City - Michael Mravec, M, UAB
47. Seattle - Sean Morris, M, Seattle University
48. Columbus - Andy Adlard, M/F, Indiana
49. New York - passed
50. Real Salt Lake - Nick Lowe, F, Gonzaga
51. San Jose - Victor Cortez, D, South Florida
52. Los Angeles - Zach Johnsn, GK, West Virginia
53. FC Dallas - Craig Hill, GK, SMU
54. Colorado - Javed Mohammed, D, South Florida

Monday, January 17, 2011

Women's Major League Soccer Debuting In 2011

A new women's professional soccer league, Women's Major League Soccer, will begin playing its debut season May 15, according to OurSportsCentral.com and Wikipedia.com.

The league will have two divisions -- an eight-team Elite Division (Chicago Breeze, Cleveland Internationals, Columbus Crew, FC Indiana, Fort Wayne SC, Grand Rapids Alliance, Indiana Invaders FC, Springfield (MO) Demize and a five-team Division 2 (Evansville, IN and Michigan City, Kalamazoo, Lansing and Westfield -- all in Michigan).

The Elite Division will begin play May 15 and each team will have a 14-game regular season.

Teams will earn three points for a win, one point for a draw and no points for a loss with a three-step tiebreaking system (goal difference then goals for then head-to-head record).

At the end of the Elite season, the team with the most points will be named WMLS champion with the last place team in the standings demoted to Division 2. The Division 2 champion will then be promoted to the Elite Division.

Seahorses Make Front Office Changes

The Southern California Seahorses of the USL Premier Development League announced two changes Monday to the team's front office after being with the franchise for ten years.

Mark Schrock became the new general manager, replacing Paul Gizzi, who has decided to focus more on fundraising activties for the franchise.

Schrock was the chief administrative officer for the team's ownership group, Missionary Athletes International, who also operate the Charlotte Eagles of USL PRO and the Charlotte Lady Eagles of the USL W-League.

Matt Morse announced his resignation as the franchise's game day operations chief and will be replaced by current director of player personnel Juan Mares.

The Seahorses are 84-58-78 in their first 10 seasons.

Dutch Lions Sign Five-Year Partnership With FC Twente

The Dayton Dutch Lions of USL PRO announced Monday they have finalized a five-year partnerhsip with FC Twente of the Dutch Premier League.

FC Twente is the league's 2010 champion and is a two-time winner of the Best Academy in Holland (2007 and 2008).

Revolution Cut Ties With Osei After Drafting Soares

Major League Soccer's New England Revolution released defender Emmanuel Osei Monday.

The Ghanian native who started 41 of 44 games over the past two seasons was deemed expendable after the team drafted California defender A.J. Soares with the sixth overall pick in Thursday's 2011 MLS SuperDraft in Baltimore.

Red Bulls Add Halvorsen As Backe's Top Assistant

Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls announced Monday the addition of Jan Halvor Halvorson as the top assistant coach to head coach Hans Backe, replacing Goran Aral.

He joins the Red Bulls after serving as head coach of Notodden FK in Norway's second dvision.

Halvorson had previous managerial experience with Sogndal and IK Start in Norway's Premier League amd GIF Sundsvall in Sweden and played 10 seasons as a defender in Norway and the Netherlands.

Cooper Returning To MLS With Timbers

The Portland Timbers announced the return of US Men's National Team forward Kenny Cooper to Major League Soccer Monday.

A star for four seasons with FC Dallas, scoring 40 goals in 90 regular season games, Cooper left the States in 2009 to join 1860 Munich in Germany's 2 Bundesliga, where he played for two seasons.

Riot Goalkeeper Cop Named MISL's Best For Week 9

Chicago Riot goalkeeper Ante Cop was named the Major Indoor Soccer League's Player of the Week for Week 9 of the 2010-11 season Monday.

He had 22 saves, assisted on a Bato Radoncic goal and scored the game-winning three-point goal with 32 seconds left as the Riot won their first home game of the season 14-12 Sunday over the Baltimore Blast.

Lopez Scores Four As Fire Beat Premier's Snohomish Skyhawks

Elias Lopez led all scorers with four goals as the host Wenatchee Fire of the Professional Arena Soccer League defeated the Snohomish Skyhawks of the amateur Premier Arena Soccer League 8-5 Saturday at the Wenatchee Valley Sportsplex.

Cristian Barboza, Mauricio Lopez, Garret Brown and Edgar Leon added scores for the Fire, now 2-4 and in third place in the Pro Frontier Division of PASL-Professional. They will travel Saturday to play another Premier team, the WSA Rapids, then will host Revolucion Tijuana in the Professional league Sunday.

Wilber Villasco, Hector Rodriguez, Lucas Dourado, Bryan McLeod and Paul Franklin scored goals for the Skyhawks.

Sockers Rock Tijuana On The Road

Dan Antoniuk had two goals and an assist and Diego Rovira added two more as the defending Professional Arena Soccer League champion San Diego Sockers defeated Revolucion Tijuana 6-3 Sunday at Furati Arena in Tijuana, Mexico.

Anthony Medina posted a goal and an assist and Kraig Chiles added a point to the Sockers' scoreboard.

Miguel Marion, Oliver Jimenez and Guiilermo Lucero scored Tijuana's goals in the loss.

San Diego leads the Western Division at 8-2-0 and faces the Las Vegas Knights on the road Friday as part of the 2010-11 US Open Arena Soccer Championship tournament, which they are the defending champions of, then welcomes Tijuana to Del Mar Arena in Del Mar, CA January 26.

Tijuana is in third place in the division at 5-3-0 and heads to the Tacoma Stars this Saturday.

Howes Hat Trick Puts Stars In USOASC Semifinals

Player-head coach Greg Howes had a hat trick to give the Tacoma Stars a 7-5 road victory Saturday in Professional Arena Soccer League play at Stockton Arena over the California Cougars.

The game also served as a quarterfinal game in the 2010-11 US Open Arena Soccer Championship and, with the win, Tacoma now moves onto the semifinals, where they meet the winner of this Saturday's game with the defending league and USOASC champion San Diego Sockers at the Premier Arena Soccer League's Las Vegas Knights.

Clemente Fonseca led the Cougars with two goals and an assist.

The Stars, 6-3-0 and in second place in the PASL's Western Division, travel Friday to meet the Kitsap Pumas.

The Cougars, 2-8-0 and in last place in the division, heads north of the border to play Calgary United of the Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League Saturday.

Last Place Riot Outlast Blast In Villa Park

Novi Marojevic and Ante Cop each scored a three-point goal and Bato Radoncic fired off a pair of two-point shots as the last place Chicago Riot got past the Baltimore Blast 14-12 in Major Indoor Soccer League action Sunday at the Odeum Sports & Expo Center in Villa Park, IL.

Alex Megson and Erik Lukin each had a two-point play and the Riot, at 2-6, are tied for last place with the 3-7 Missouri Comets, 4 1/2 games behind the league-leading Milwaukee Wave, MISL's defending regular season champion.

Max Ferdinand and Pat Healey led the Blast with a two-pointer and an assist each, and Adrian Bumbut, Matt Watson, Pat Morris and Worteh Sampson posted goals in the loss.

Baltimore is now 6-3, a game behind the Wave, who they host at First Mariner Arena Friday.

The Riot then get the Wave at US Cellular Arena in Milwaukee Saturday.

Junge Brace Gives Vipers Win Over Host Comets

Ryan Junge scored a pair of two-point goals and Mauricio Hernandez opened the game with a two-pointer as the Omaha Vipers edged the host Missouri Comets 6-4 Sunday in Major Indoor Soccer League play at the Independence Events Center in Independence, MO.

The Vipers evened their record in their inaugural season to 5-5, good for third place in the five-team MISL, and it puts them a game behind the Baltimore Blast for second place and 2 1/2 games behind the defending regular season champion Milwaukee Wave.

Vahid Assadpour and Leo Gibson had two-point goals for Missouri.

The Comets, also an expansion team this season, are 3-7 and tied for last place with the Chicago Riot (2-6), 4 1/2 games behind the Wave.

Omaha and Missouri will meet again next Sunday at the Omaha Civic Center.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Dynamo Extends Contract Offers To Academy Midfielders Soto, Dixon

Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo confirmed Saturday they have extended contract offers to two midfielders currently enrolled in the team's youth academy, Josue Soto and Alex Dixon.

Should the two accept the offers, the Dynamo would be tied with FC Dallas for having the most Home Grown Players on a league roster with five.

Soto, who finished his college career at SMU, was one of the first players to join the academy when it opened in January 2007 and was offered his deal Wednesday, which made him ineligible for selection in Thursday's 2011 MLS SuperDraft.

Born in Fort Worth, TX, but raised in Monterrey, Mexico, Soto has dual citizenship.

Dixon completed his junior season at North Carolina and came to the Dynamo Academy in late '07. He led the Tar Heels to three straight appearances in the NCAA College Cup tournaments and scored a goal in three straight games of the 2009 tournament.

Hagerty's Quartet Of Goals Leads Lightning Over Waza

Chad Hagerty scored four goals to lead the Louisville Lightning to a 10-4 win over the Detroit Waza in Professional Arena Soccer League play Saturday at the Taylor Sportsplex in Taylor, MI.

The Lightning are now 2-5-0 and tied for third place with the Ohio Vortex in the league's Eastern Division. They will host the Cincinnati Kings, the division's and the league's best team, next Saturday at the Mockingbird Valley Sports Complex.

Detroit falls to 5-4-0 and are alone in second place in the division behind the 8-2-0 Kings. The Waza will host the Winnipeg Alliance of the Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League next Sunday.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Beat Adds USWNT Defender Heather Mitts To 2011 Roster

The Atlanta Beat, who had the worst record in Women's Professional Soccer last season, improved themselves again Friday by signing current US Women's National Team defender Heather Mitts to a 2011 contract.

Mitts started 15 of 17 games last season for the league's Philadelphia Independence after joining WPS in 2009 with the Boston Breakers, whom the league assigned her to as part of a USWNT allocation process.

She previously played in Philadelphia with the Charge of the Women's United Soccer Association from 2001 to 2003.

Mitts has played 114 times for her country's national team, earning gold medals on the 2004 and 2008 Olympic teams.

Kings Stretch Home Winning Streak To 21 Games

Jeff Hughes had four goals, Drew Ducker had a hat trick and Shaun Lamar scored the opening goal as the Cincinnati Kings, the team with the best record in the Professional Arena Soccer League, extended their franchise-record winning streak at home to 21 games with an 8-3 beatdown of the Detroit Waza.

The Kings are 9-2-0 and lead the Eastern Division standings. Cincinnati next plays the Louisville Lightning next Saturday at the Mockingbird Valley Soccer Club.

Detroit falls to 5-3-0 and in second place in the division, but hosts the Lightning Saturday at the Taylor (MI) Sportsplex

Cougars Strike Stars Hard At Stockton Arena

Enrique Tovar had two goals and two assists and Uriel Robledo had a goal and two assists as the host California Cougars edged the Tacoma Stars 6-5 in Professional Arena Soccer League play Friday at Stockton Arena.

Greg Howes led the Stars with a goal and an assist.

California improves to 2-7-0 on the season and is in last place in the Western Division while the Stars are 5-3-0 and in third place in the divisional race.

Both teams will meet again Saturday in Stockton for a 2010-11 US Open Arena Soccer Championship tournament quarterfinal game with the winner moving to the semifinal round.

Terminesi Hat Trick Puts Wave On Top Of MISL Standings

Marco Terminesi had six points off a hat trick and Matt Stewart added five points on a three-point and two-point goal as the host Milwaukee Wave, despite not having three of their best players on the pitch due to a suspension, decimated the Omaha Vipers 21-6 Friday in Major Indoor Soccer League play at US Cellular Arena in Milwaukee.

The Wave played without Troy Dusosky, Evan McNeley and Hewerton Moreira, who all were suspended for Friday's game by the league office for their involvement in a fight during their game Sunday against the Baltimore Blast.

Kyt Selaidopoulous had a two-pointer and an assist and Joe Hammes, Josh Rife, Ian Bennett and Guiliano Oliviero all scored standard goals for the Wave, now 7-2 and a half-game ahead of the Blast, who they play on the road next Friday.

Frederico Moojen, Carlos "Chile" Farias and Victor Quiroz scored two-point goals for the Vipers, who are 4-5, in third place in the league standings and three games behind the Wave. The Vipers travel to the Missouri Comets Sunday.

Friday, January 14, 2011

WPS Gets Sahlen Packing Company As National Sponsor

Buffalo, NY-based Sahlen Packing Company, owners of the expansion team Western New York Flash, became the latest national sponsor for Women's Professional Soccer as the league's Official Hot Dog brand, the league announced Friday prior to holding the 2011 WPS Draft in Baltimore at the annual convention of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

The deal will see players on all team sport a Sahlen logo on all their uniforms.

Sahlen joins PUMA, Playtex, Citi, the US Coast Guard and MedImmune as WPS national sponsors for the season.

California's Morgan Top Pick In 2011 WPS Draft

Alex Morgan, California Golden Bears star and rising star of the US Women's National Team, was selected as the top overall pick by the expansion Western New York Flash during the 2011 Women's Professional Soccer Draft, held Friday in Baltimore as part of the annual convention of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

Here is a round-by-round recap of the selection made in the draft:

2011 WPS DRAFT

ROUND 1
1. Western New York Flash - Alex Morgan, F, California
2. Philadelphia Independence - Sinead Farrelly, M, Virginia
3. Washington Freedom (via trade with Atlanta Beat) - Meghan Klingenberg, M, North Carolina
4. Washington - Christen Press, F, Stanford
5. Philadelphia - Lauren Fowlkes, F, Notre Dame
6. Boston Breakers - Keelin Winters, M, Portland
7. Atlanta - Kylie Wright, M, UCLA
8. Western New York - Elli Reed, D, Portland

ROUND 2
9. Philadelphia - Jennifer Stoltenberg, F, Oregon
10. Washington - Omolyn Davis, M, George Mason
11. Philadelphia - Caitlin Farrell, D, Wake Forest
12. Boston - Whitney Palmer, F, Oklahoma

ROUND 3
13. Western New York - Rose Augustin, M, Notre Dame
14. Atlanta - Meghan Lencyzk, F, Virginia
15. Philadelphia - Lauren Barnes, D, UCLA
16. Sky Blue FC - Alyssa Mautz, M, Texas A&M
17. Washington - Amanda DeCosta, M, Florida State
18. Philadelphia - Bianca D'Agostino, M, Wake Forest
19. Boston - Katie Sheeleigh, F, Harvard

ROUND 4
20. Western New York - Ashleigh Bowers, GK, Niagara
21. Sky Blue FC - Lauren Alkek, D, Oklahoma
22. Washington - Katie Fraine, GK, Florida
23. Philadelphia - Teresa Rynier, M, James Madison
24. Boston - Tanya Taylor, F, UC-Irvine

USL PRO Announces 2011 Schedule, Divisional Alignment

The first season of USL PRO, a merger between the United Soccer League's former First Division and Second Division, will kick off with a 180-game regular season April 2 and end August 13.

The league's 15 teams will play in three five-team divisions -- the American (Charleston Battery, Charlotte Eagles, Orlando City, Richmond Kickers, Wilmington Hammerheads), International (Barracuda FC, Los Angeles Blues, Puerto Rico United, River Plate Puerto Rico, Sevilla FC Puerto Rico) and the National (Dayton Dutch Lions, Harrisburg City Islanders, FC New York, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Rochester Rhinos).

Teams will play a 24-game schedule, facing each team in their division twice -- once at home, once on the road.

The league will announce the postseason format in the coming weeks.

For a look at the 2011 USL PRO schedule, go to www.uslsoccer.com.

FC Tampa Bay Signs Rodrigues To Two-Year Deal

FC Tampa Bay of the North American Soccer League announced the signing of defender J.P. Rodrigues to a two-year contract with a club option for a third season.

The Tampa native, who played at Land O' Lakes High School, spent the last four seasons with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers (then Miami FC Blues), then was loaned to Major League Soccer's DC United after the 2010 USSF Division 2 Pro League season.

Rodrigues has represented Guyana from 2006 to 2010 in international competition, including in FIFA qualification games for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

He was the Atlantic Sun Conference Defender of the Year in his final season at Belmont University in Nashville, where he played from 2002 to 2005.

Union Not Picking Up Option On Stahl's Contract

Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union announced Friday they will not pick up the 2011 option on midfielder Toni Stahl, the 17th overall pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft from the University of Connecticut.

He debuted with the Union March 25 in a road game against the Seattle Sounders, playing 41 minutes before being ejected due to gaining his second yellow card of the match.

He also played in a Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament game against the New York Red Bulls and in international friendlies with Scotland's Celtic FC, England's Manchester United and Mexico's Chivas de Guadalajara.

On-Pitch Fight Sees Six Players Suspended By MISL

The Major Indoor Soccer League announced suspensions Friday for six players -- three each from the league-tying Baltimore Blast and Milwaukee Wave -- for their actions during a fight which occurred during a game Sunday at US Cellular Arena in Milwaukee, which the Blast won 12-6.

Baltimore's Lucio Gonzaga was suspended for two games -- Saturday's road trip to the Chicago Riot and next Friday's home game against the Wave for kicking a player, which caused him to be ejected from the game, then being the first player to come off the bench during the fight. Mike Lookingland (third player off the bench) and Warren Ukah (stomping on a player) will miss Saturday's road game at the Riot for their involvement in the fracas.

Milwaukee's Troy Dusosky (violent conduct), Evan McNeley (third player off the bench) and Hewerton Moreira (first off the bench) will all miss Friday's home game against the Omaha Vipers.

Fire Welcome Goalkeeper Conway From Toronto FC In Draft Day Trade

The Chicago Fire gained the services of former Toronto FC goalkeeper Jon Conway Thursday in a trade for their third-round pick in Thursday's Major League Soccer SuperDraft in Baltimore.

Conway began his career in 2000 with the original San Jose Earthquakes, where he played for five seasons, making 18 appearances over that time.

He was traded to the New York Red Bulls in 2006, playing in 69 games over the next three seasons and posting a 1.345 goals against average before being traded next to Chivas USA for the 2009 season, then finally to Toronto.

With MLS bringing back the Reserve Division in the 2011 seasons, Conway could serve as a starter on that team.

Toronto selected midfielder Joao Plata from LDU Quito of Ecuador with the pick they received.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Galaxy Gain Barrett In Draft Day Trade With Toronto FC

The defending Western Conference and Supporter's Shield winning Los Angeles Galaxy acquired forward Chad Barrett from Toronto FC Thursday in a draft day trade at the 2010 Major League Soccer SuperDraft in Baltimore in return for future considerations.

Barrett, the third overall pick by the Chicago Fire in the 2005 draft, spent six seasons between them and Toronto, tallying 34 goals in 147 regular season games.

Impact Signs Aaboubou To New One-Year Deal

The Montreal Impact of the North American Soccer League announced Thursday the re-signing of defender Hicham Aaboubou to a one-year deal.

Aaboubou started all 24 games he appeared in last season in the USSF Division 2 Pro League, and played all 90 minutes in four league playoff games as well as in two games of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship.

He also reached the 2,000-minutes-played plateau for the first time in his career, playing 2,123 minutes last season.

USMNT To Play Two Games In March

The US Men's National Team announced Thursday they will play two exhibition games over a three-day stretch in March, following their opening game of the 2011 schedule January 22 against Chile at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

First, the US will play Argentina March 26 at New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, then will fly to LP Field in Nashville March 29 to take on Paraguay.

Earthquakes Trade Draft Pick To Acquire Lenhart From Crew

The San Jose Earthquakes acquired forward Steven Lenhart from the Columbus Crew for the 15th overall pick in Thursday's 2011 Major League Soccer SuperDraft in Baltimore.

With the draft pick, the Crew selected forward Justin Meram from the University of Michigan.

Lenhart, the 48th overall pick in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft, had 14 goals and four assists in 69 appearances with the Crew and played in six playoff games.

In 2010, Lenhart had six goals, second-best on the team, and two assists and started 17 of 27 regular season games.

Vancouver Selects Salgado As Top Pick In 2011 MLS SuperDraft

The Vancouver Whitecaps, one of two expansion teams in the 2011 season for Major League Soccer, chose forward Omar Salgado of the US U-20 National Team as the top pick in the 2011 SuperDraft, held Thursday in Baltimore as part of the annual convention of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

Salgado, who holds dual citizenship in the US and Mexico, played in nine games for the US U-20 team in 2010 and was in the youth system of Mexico's Guadalajara from 2008 to 2010. He also played on Mexico's U-17 and U-20 national teams.

The other expansion team, the Portland Timbers, with the second pick in the draft, chose forward/midfielder Darlington Nagbe of the new national champion University of Akron, one of five players from the school selected in the draft, with four of the five chosen in the top seven picks, including the second through fourth pickx. Nagbe recently was named winner of the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy as the outstanding men's soccer player in the country.

Here is a round-by-round look at the selections made in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft:

MLS SUPERDRAFT

ROUND 1
1. Vancouver Whitecaps - Omar Salgado, F, US U-20 National Team
2. Portland Timbers - Darlington Nagbe, F/M, Akron
3. DC United - Perry Kitchen, M, Akron
4. Chivas USA - Zarek Valentin, D, Akron
5. Philadelphia Union - Zack MacMath, GK, Maryland
6. New England Revolution - A.J. Soares, D, California
7. Houston Dynamo - Kofi Sarkodie, D, Akron
8. Vancouver (from Toronto FC) - Michael Nanchoff, M, Akron
9. Chicago Fire - Jalil Anibaba, D, North Carolina
10. Sporting Kansas City - C.J. Sapong, F, James Madison
11. Houston (from Portland and Seattle FC) - Will Bruin, F, Indiana (1,2)
12. Columbus Crew - Rich Balchan, D, Indiana
13. New York Red Bulls - Corey Hertzog, F, Penn State
14. Chivas USA (from Real Salt Lake) - Victor Estupinan, F, LDY Quito (Ecuador) (3)
15. Columbus (from San Jose Earthquakes) - Justin Meram, M, Michigan (4)
16. Los Angeles Galaxy - Paolo Cardoza, M, Quilmes (Argentina)
17. FC Dallas - Bobby Warshaw, D, Stanford
18. Colorado Rapids - Eddie Abablo, D, North Carolina

1, 2 - Seattle Sounders traded the pick and a one-year international roster spot to Portland Timbers for 20th overall pick and allocation money. Portland then traded the pick to the Houston Dynamo for allocation money.
3 - Real Salt Lake traded the pick to Chivas USA for allocation money
4 -  San Jose traded the pick and sent allocation money to the Columbus Crew in return for forward Steven Lenhart

ROUND 2
19. Vancouver - Jeb Browsky, M, Notre Dame
20. Seattle (from Portland) - Michael Tetteh, California-Santa Barbara
21. Seattle (from DC) - Juan Leone Cruz, M, Southern Methodist
22. Portland (from Chivas USA and Real Salt Lake) - Chris Taylor, D, Tulsa
23. Philadelphia - Michael Farfan, M, North Carolina
24. New England - Stephen McCarthy, M, North Carolina
25. New York (from Houston) - John Rooney, M, Macclesfield Town (England)
26. Toronto FC - Demitrius Omphroy, D, California
27. Seattle (from Chicago) - Servando Carrasco, M, California
28. Columbus (from SKC and Philadelphia) - Cole Grossman, M, Duke
29. Seattle FC - Bryan Meredith, GK, Monmouth
30. New York (from Columbus) - Tyler Lassiter, D, North Carolina State
31. DC United (from RSL) - Chris Korb, D, Akron
32. Kansas City (from RSL) - J.T. Murray, D, Louisville
33. San Jose - Anthony Ampaipitakwong, M, Akron
34. Los Angeles - Hector Jimenez, M, California
35. FC Dallas - Charlie Campbell, M/F, Louisville
36. Colorado - Colin Givens, D, Michigan State

ROUND 3
37. Vancouver - Bilal Duckett, D, Notre Dame
38. New York (from Portland) - Billy Cortes, M, Maryland
39. New England (from DC) - Steven Perry, F, Notre Dame
40. Chivas USA - Jon Okafor, M, Brown
41. Philadelphia - Levi Houapeu, F, Maryland-Baltimore County
42. New England - Ryan Kinne, M/F, Monmouth
43. Toronto (from Houston) - Matt Gold, D, Ohio State
44. Toronto (from Toronto and Colorado) - Junior Burgos, M, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
45. Chicago - Jason Herrick, F, Maryland
46. Kansas City - Konrad Warzycha, M, Ohio State
47. Seattle - Alex Caskey, M, Davidson Collehe
48. Columbus - Bernando Anor, M, South Florida
49. Chicago (from New York) - Joao Plata, M, LDU Quito (Ecuador) (5)
50. Los Angeles (from Real Salt Lake) - Joe Willis, GK, Denver (6)
51. Chicago (from San Jose) - David Paul, F, California
52. Real Salt Lake (from Los Angeles) - Jarad Van Schalk, M, Portland
53. FC Dallas - Scott Gordon, D, Lynn University
54. New England (from Columbus) - Alan Koger, F, William & Mary

5 - Chicago Fire traded pick to Toronto FC for a player to be named later.
6 - Los Angeles Galaxy traded pick to DC United for United's two first-round picks in 2011 MLS Supplemental Draft