Monday, February 28, 2011

Orlando City On The Road To Possibly Brining MLS To Town

The Orlando City Soccer Club of USL PRO, formerly the Austin Aztex, have continued a slow process to possibly becoming a Major League Soccer expansion team.

On Monday, team officials met with MLS Commissioner Don Garber and league President Mark Abbott to discuss areas of interest including a review of Orlando's demographics, a report on the amount of fan and corporate support an MLS team would receive, and the development of a road map to chart the course toward having a successful franchise.

The sides first met in January during the MLS SuperDraft in Baltimore.

What Can Brown Do For The Pioneers? Try Loading Up A Roster!

The Western Mass Pioneers of the USL Premier Development League announced the signings Monday of five players who competed for Brown University in 2010 -- midfielders Evan Coleman, Thomas McNamara, Taylor Gorman, Jay Hayward and forward T.J. Popolizio.

All five were part of a Brown team that made it to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Men's College Cup tournament, defeating Boston College and ninth-ranked Connecticut before losing to California, and finished tenth nationally in the sport.

Coleman had two goals and three assists after starting 17 games in 2010. He started 48 games for Brown over three seasons.

A four-year starter for the Amherst Regional team before joining Brown, he was named Western Mass Most Valuable Player and to the All-New England Team in his senior year of high school.

Pizzolito played for new Pioneers head coach Joe Calabrese when Calabrese served last season as assistant coach for the USL PDL"s Albany BWP Highlanders.

USL PDL's Seawolves Names Nowland Player-Assistant Coach

The expansion North Sound Seawolves of the USL Premier Development League announced the signing Monday of Adam Nowland as their new player/asssistant coach.

Nowland, who played last season in the USSF Division 2 Pro League for FC Tampa Bay after playing from nine teams throughout the United Kingdom, began his professional career at Blackpool (England) in 1998 and became the youngest player in team history to score a goal.

Santana Ends Cougars Season With Hat Trick In Win Over Drillers

Swearing he would score a hat trick this season, Nelson Santana did so Sunday in the Professional Arena Soccer League's 11-8 victory by the California Cougars over the Edmonton Drillers of the Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League and a member of the PASL's Canadian Division.

The win ended California's season at 5-10-0, last place in the PASL's Western Division.

Edmonton moves to 6-5-0 and second place in the Canadian Division and will play at Calgary United Saturday with a chance of winning the division and earning a spot in the PASL's annual North American Championship tournament, taking place March 10-12 at Cincinnati Gardens, home to the Cincinnati Kings.

Silverbacks Signs Zahirovic, Parada, Robertson To Deals

The Atlanta Silverbacks of the North American Soccer League announced the signings Monday of Emsed Zahirovic, Jose Parada and Patrick Robertson.

Zahirovic has led B & H International of the First Division of the Atlanta District Amateur Soccer League in scoring three of the last four seasons and currently has 23 goals in 15 games in the 2011 season.

Parada was a four-time All-Conference USA player with the University of Tulsa, where he had 27 goals in 74 career games with the Golden Hurricane.

Robertson, who scored nine goals collegiately at Coastal Carolina University, has scored five goals over the last two seasons between the Puerto Rico Islanders, then of the USSF Division 2 Pro League, and Bayamon FC of the Puerto Rico Soccer League.

He last played for the Islanders during the 2010 SuperCopa tournament.

Union Draws To Greek Super League Team In Herkolian, Crete

Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union, spending the final stretch of their 2011 training camp in Crete through March 10, played Greek Super League franchise Ergotelis to a 1-1 draw Monday at Pancretan Stadium in Herkolian.

Justin Mapp and Kyle Nakawaza teamed to assist Carlos Ruiz on a goal in the 27th minute, only to have Ergotelis force the draw with two minutes left in regulation play on a penalty kick by Nikos Karelis.

Wednesday, the Union will play Greek Third Division team Hersonissos FC in Herkolian.

Alvarez Nabs Week 16 POTW Honor From MISL

After scoring 13 points in two games last weekend, the most ever by a player in league history, Missouri Comets forward Byron Alvarez was named the Major Indoor Soccer League's Player of the Week for Week 16 of the 2010-11 season Monday.

Alvarez also leads the league this season in hat tricks and game-winning goals with four each.

Friday, in an 11-6 win at the Independence Events Center in Independence, MO against the Omaha Vipers, Alvarez got his fourth hat trick of the season, then followed it up Sunday in a 23-7 rout of the Chicago Riot in Villa Park, IL with a three-point goal, a two-pointer and two assists.

Blast Inch Closer To Claiming MISL Regular Season Title

Max Ferdinand had a five-point night with a third quarter two-point goal and a three-point overtime game-winner as the Baltimore Blast edged the last-place Chicago Riot Sunday at the Odeum Sports & Expo Center in Villa Park, IL 16-13 and moved a step closer to capturing the 2010-11 Major Indoor Soccer League regular season championship and becoming host of the league's championship game.

Warren Ukah also scored a three-point goal and Machel Millwood and Matt Watson each had a brace of two-pointers as the playoff-bound Blast improved their record to a league-best 14-3, two games ahead of the similarly playoff-bound Milwaukee Wave (12-5).

Novi Marojevic had four points for the Riot, 4-14 on the season, on a three-point goal and an assist on Fred Degand's goal. Ante Cop, Alex Megson, Semir Mesanovic and Eric Duda also had two-point goals for Chicago.

Both the Blast and the Riot play for the final time this Friday in Baltimore, then the Blast meet the Wave in Milwaukee Sunday in what could decide the regular season league championship.

The Omaha Vipers and the Missouri Comets, currently tied at 7-11, will face off in the final games of the season to see who gets the third and playoff spot.

The regular season league champion earns a bye to the league championship game, which they host, while the second- and third-place teams meet in a two-game, aggregate-goal series to determine the regular season champion's opponent in the final game.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

City Islanders To Play Seven-Game Preseason Schedule

The Harrisburg City Islanders of USL PRO announced Saturday they will play a seven-game preseason schedule and will open their 2011 training camp March 14 at The Net Sports Complex in Palmyra, PA.

Their first three games take place at Lower Dauphin Middle School in Hummelstown, PA against the Saint Francis University Red Flash (March 16), the Villanova Wildcats (March 24) and Robert Morris University (March 26).

After traveling to Temple University's Ambler Field for a game versus the Owls March 30, the City Islanders return to Lower Dauphin April 2 for their final game there against Towson University.

Harrisburg will then meet the Penn State Nittany Lions at Jeffrey Field in State College, PA April 6 and end the season at Classics Park in Lancaster, PA April 9 against USL PRO's Pittsburgh Riverhounds, who Harrisburg host in their regular season opener April 16 at the Skyline Sports Complex.

All preseason games are free and open to the public.

Carrasco Goal Gives Fire First Preseason Win In Florida For 2011

Servando Carrasco scored the game's only goal in the final minute of a 30-minute period as the Chicago Fire shut out the Seattle Sounders 1-0 in Major League Soccer preseason play Saturday in Bradenton, FL.

The two teams played a standard 90-minute game, then played the additional half-hour segment.

Chicago, now 1-1-2 in Florida preseason games this season, will next prepare to play Toronto FC this Saturday in the annual Carolina Challenge Cup, hosted by the USL PRO's Charleston Battery at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, SC.

Sporting Kansas City Takes 2-0 Win Over Impact At Casa Grande, AZ

Major League Soccer's Sporting Kansas City handed the Montreal Impact of the North American Soccer League a 2-0 shutout loss Saturday in preseason play in Casa Grande, AZ.

The Impact will join MLS as a 2012 expansion team.

Kansas City's first goal came as Impact team captain Nevio Pizzolito, in deflecting a ball from midfielder Stephane Auvray, knocked it past his own goalkeeper Bill Gaudette in the 17th minute, then saw their own player -- C.J. Sapong -- connect on a 76th minute penalty kick.

The Impact faces another future MLS foe in FC Dallas Wednesday in Phoenix.

Piasa Wins First PASL Pro Frontier Division By Beating Vortex

The Illinois Piasa (pie-a-saw) won the Professional Arena Soccer League's first Pro Frontier Division championship Saturday with a 6-2 victory over the Ohio Vortex at SFF Arena Saturday.

The Piasa ended their inaugural season in the league at 9-3-0 and will be taking part in the 2010-11 PASL North American Championship Tournament March 10-12 at Cincinnati Gardens.

The Vortex finished their second season in PASL at 2-14-0, the worst record in the league.

Sockers Earn Top Seed In Postseason After Breaking Drillers

Nick Perera had a brace and three assists, Eric Wunderle had a hat trick and an assist and Kraig Chiles, who leads the Professional Arena Soccer League in goals this season, added two to reach 33 as the defending league champion San Diego Sockers ended their 2010-11 regular season with a 13-3 victory Saturday at Del Mar Arena over the Edmonton Drillers of the Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League, the PASL's Canadian Division champion at 6-4-0.

The Sockers, who finish the season 14-2-0, now have the top seed in the upcoming PASL North American Championship Tournament March 10-12 in Cincinnati at Cincinnati Gardens.

Kings End Road Schedule 10-5 Over Waza

Drew Ducker had four goals, Jeff Hughes had a hat trick, Matt Brienes added a brace and Kurt Fisher posted a goal as the Cincinnati Kings, 2010-11 champions of the Professional Arena Soccer League's Eastern Division, defeated the Detroit Waza 10-5 at the Taylor (MI) Sportsplex to end their road schedule.

The Kings (13-2-0) will close out their season at the Cincinnati Gardens this Friday against the Louisville Lightning before playing host to the league's North American Championship Tournament March 10-12, featuring teams from the PASL and affiliate leagues in Canada and Mexico.

Detroit ends their season at 8-6-0 in the Eastern Division.

Ballouchy Leads Red Bulls To Shutout Over Strikers In Fort Lauderdale

Mehdi Ballouchy assisted Thierry Henry on a goal two minutes into the game and had an unassisted goal in the 75th minute as Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls shut out the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the North American Soccer League 2-0 Saturday at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

The Red Bulls return home from their Florida training camp stint Sunday, then leave Thursday for Arizona to complete their preseason schedule, beginning Friday in Tucson, AZ against FC Tucson.

FC Dallas Wins WDW Pro Soccer Classic In PKs; Orlando City Takes Third

Major League Soccer's FC Dallas won the second annual Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic Saturday at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports complex in Lake Buena Vista, FL in a 5-3 penalty kick shootout over the Houston Dynamo after both teams played to a 1-1 regulation draw.

Team academy graduates Ruben Luna of Dallas (15') and Francisco Navas Cobo of Houston (88') scored the regulation goals.

In the earlier-played consolation game, Ian Fuller's unassisted goal in the 76th minute gave the new Orlando City Soccer Club of USL PRO a 1-0 victory over MLS' Toronto FC to take third place in their first major soccer tournament.

Comets Officially Eliminate Riot From Playoff Contention In Makeup Game

The Missouri Comets officially took the last-place Chicago Riot out of contention for a Major Indoor Soccer League playoff berth Saturday with a 23-7 rout at the Odeum Sports and Expo Center in Villa Park, IL.

The game was rescheduled from December 12, due to weather issues.

Lucas Rodriguez (two two-point goals and an assist on a Vahid Assadpour three-point goal) and Byron Alvarez (a two-point and a three-point goal) had five points each to lead the Comets in victory. Jamar Beasley and Geison Moura each had a pair of two-pointers and goalkeeper Danny Waltman scored a three-pointer as the Comets improved to 7-11 and are now tied for third place with the Omaha Vipers for the final available playoff spot.

Novi Marojevic assisted on a two-point shot from Bato Radoncic and a Roberto Gallo three-pointer and Alex Megson had a two-pointer for Chicago, in last place at 4-13.

The Riot will meet the Comets one final time -- March 6 in Missouri's home season finale -- but will first host the first-place Baltimore Blast (13-5) Sunday.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Alvarez Triple Leads Comets Over Vipers For Last MISL Playoff Spot

Byron Alvarez had his fourth hat trick of the season as the host Missouri Comets defeated the Omaha Vipers 11-6 Friday in Major Indoor Soccer League play Friday at the Independence Events Center in Independence, MO.

Jamar Beasley assisted on a two-point goal by Leo Gibson and a three-point goal by Vahid Assadpour, and Tiguninho assisted the last two of Alvarez's three on the night.

Victor Quiroz, Johnny Torres and Andre Gustavo Sandri Silva each had two-pointers for Omaha.

The Comets are 6-11 and in fourth place in the league standings with the win. Missouri also is a 1/2 game behind the Vipers (7-11, third place) for the final MISL playoff berth.

Omaha will host the league-leading Milwaukee Wave, the defending regular season champion, next Friday, while the Comets are at the last-place Chicago Riot Saturday in a makeup contest from December 12, then host Chicago March 6.

Lightning End PASL Season With 13-6 Win Over Vortex

Simon Bird had a five point night with a hat trick and two assists to lead the Louisville Lightning to a 13-6 victory over the Ohio Vortex in their final home game at Mockingbird Valley Soccer Complex and final regular season game in the Professional Arena Soccer League for the 2010-11 season Friday.

Ross Hopkins also had a hat trick, Chad Hagerty had two goals and an assist, Lee Weyland had two goals that were assisted by Bird, and John Michael Hayden also had a brace for Louisville, who finished their season 7-8-0 and in third place in the Eastern Division standings.

Ohio, in last place at 2-13-0 in the division, ends their season Saturday on the road against the Illinois Piasa.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Rhinos To Play Three Free Preseason Games At Sahlen's Stadium

The Rochester Rhinos of USL PRO announced Friday their 2011 preseason schedule, which includes three games taking place at newly-named Sahlen's Stadium (formerly PAETEC Park and Marina Auto Stadium) with free admission.

Those games will be against SUNY-Binghampton (March 17 at 6 p.m. Eastern), the University of Buffalo (March 31 at 4 p.m. Eastern) and USL PRO's Pittsburgh Riverhounds (April 2 at 3 p.m. Eastern).

The Rhinos will also play on the road against St. Bonaventure March 26 at 3 p.m. Eastern at Corning Memorial Stadium and April 9 at Classics Park in Lancaster, PA againtst USL PRO's Harrisburg City Islanders.

Admission to the St. Bonaventure game will be $6.00 per person, but admission will be free to the City Islanders game.

Union Names Verizon Founding Corporate Partner

Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union announced Friday Verizon Communications has become their latest Founding Corporate Partner and will be the official provider of non-wireless services, including home and business landline, cable and Internet, for the team and their new home, PPL Park in Chester, PA.

Verizon will also become the sponsor of the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association and the Delaware Youth Soccer Association.

Dutch Lions Sign Three More To W-League Squad

The Dayton Dutch Lions, a USL PRO franchise that will field a team in the 2011 USL W-League, announced the signings Friday of three players to the women's team -- Jen Aqueci, Emily Hebbeler and Kelli Pawelko.

They were among 45 players who competed for roster spots at the expansion team's first open tryout.

Aqueci plays at Wright State University and was named to the First Team All-League and All-Newcomer Team in 2007 and was voted the team's Most Valuable Player in 2009.

Hebbeler has been the leading scorer the last two seasons at Cincinnati and teammate Pawelko was a three-year starter there and twice was named Big East Conference Player of the Week. Pawelko played last season in the W-League for the Cleveland Internationals and also played in Chicago for the club team Eclipse.

Charlotte Eagles Add Salvaggione To Roster

The Charlotte Eagles of USL PRO signed Chris Salvaggione to a contract Friday after playing the 2010 season in the USSF Division 2 Pro League with AC St. Louis.

He previously played in the USL Premier Development League for the Real Colorado Foxes and the Colorado Rapids Reserves and played college soccer at the University of North Carolina - Charlotte.

After college, he was drafted in the third round of the 2009 Major League Soccer SuperDraft by the New England Revolution, but chose to trial in Germany with teams such as FC Saarbrucken, FSV Frankfurt and KSU Klein-Karben.

FC Edmonton Sign Four More Players To Roster

FC Edmonton of the North American Soccer League announced the signings Friday of goalkeeper Rein Baart, midfielder Shaun Salko, midfielder/forward Kyle Yamada and forward Michael Cox.

Baart helped Holland's VVV Venlo gain promotion to the Eredivisie in 2007 and 2008 and also played in the Europa Cup for NEC Nijmegen.

Salko spent the last two seasons in England with Middlesbrough and played for Canada on its U-15, U-20 and U-23 national teams.

Yamada was a member of Canada's Beach Soccer National Team in 2006 and 2009.

Cox played for Edmonton during their exhibition season of 2010.

Islanders Get Pitchkolan From Rhinos For Transfer Fee

The Puerto Rico Islanders of the North American Soccer League acquired the services of defender/midfielder Aaron Pitchkolan from the Rochester Rhinos Friday for an undisclosed transfer fee.

Pitchkolan led the Rhinos to the regular season title last season in the USSF Division 2 Pro League and was named to the league's Best XI.

He played for FC Dallas in Major League Soccer from 2005 to 2009, then was transferred for a season to the San Jose Earthquakes.

Beat Sign Three Goalkeepers To Roster

The Atlanta Beat of Women's Professional Soccer announced the signing of three goalkeepers Thursday -- Allison Whitworth, Allison Lipsher and Kerri Butler.

Whitworth was drafted by FC Gold Pride in the inaugural 2009 season of WPS, but was traded to the Beat October 29, 2010, where she played three games before being traded to the Chicago Red Stars.

After playing collegiately at Auburn from 2005 to 2008, she played in the 2008 season of the USL W-League with the Atlanta Silverbacks, where she had an 8-0-0 record.

Lipsher had 33 career shutouts over her time at Duke (2004-07). She was with the WPS' Boston Breakers in March 2009, where she finished in the top four at her position in shutouts and then stayed for the 2010 season before playing professionally in Australia.

Butler, who took part in the Beat's open tryouts January 29-30 at KSU Soccer Stadium, will postpone her graduation from West Virginia to play her 2010 season in Atlanta.

She played on her school's 2007 and 2010 Big East Conference championship teams.

In 2008, Butler had 11 shutouts for the Mountaineer and, in 2009, she had 12 shutouts and 72 saves in 23 starts. She holds the conference record for most career shutouts.

MLS Reviewing Incident In Orlando With Revs' Joseph, Alston

Major League Soccer announced Thursday it is reviewing the details of an incident between New England Revolution players Shalrie Joseph and Kevin Alston last weekend in Orlando, FL that had the team send both players back to New England Monday.

The Boston Globe also reported Thursday Joseph wound up being arrested by Orlando police for trespassing at the Revolution's hotel while the team was in town for a training camp session, which ended Thursday after 11 days.

All-Texas Showdown In Orlando For WDW Pro Soccer Classic Title

It will be a battle of Major League Soccer teams, Texas style, Saturday at the second annual Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports complex in Lake Buena Vista, FL as FC Dallas and the Houston Dynamo will meet in the championship game of the four-team tournament after winning semifinal matches Thursday.

Brek Shea and David Ferreira teamed to assist Milton Rodriguez in the 30th minute on Dallas' only goal in a 1-0 win over Orlando City Soccer Club of USL PRO in the opening match.

In the nightcap, Cam Weaver scored the game-winning goal in the 68th minute as the Dynamo got past Toronto FC 3-2.

Both teams scored goals in the first 11 minutes -- Jacob Peterson of Toronto first in the seventh, Geoff Cameron following for Houston in the 11th.

Dwayne De Rosario put Toronto back on top in the 29th minute on a penalty kick, but Brad Davis fired off a shot two minutes before halftime for Houston to even the score, setting up Weaver's game-winner.

On Saturday, Orlando City and Toronto FC will play for third place, then Dallas and Houston will face off in the championship game.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pali Blues Names Tudela Head Coach

Jacob Tudela was named the new head coach Thursday of the two-time USL W-League champion Pali Blues for the 2011 season.

Tudela, currently head coach of Beach FC, has been coaching for the past seven years.

After three years playing for Indiana, he trained with the professional team Real Santa Cruz in Bolivia, then was offered a roster spot with the reserve team of Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy, but declined to accept it due to a knee injury.

W-League's Piranhas Sign First Player For 2011 Roster

The Virginia Beach Piranhas of the USL W-League signed their first player for the 2011 season Thursday in former Lee University midfielder Samantha Hare.

Hare led the school to three straight Southern States Athletic Conference championships and won numerous awards in her career, including being a two-time All-Southern States Athletic Conference Second Team player in her freshman and sophomore seasons.

She also was a National Soccer Coaches Association of America/National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics First Team All-American, an NSCAA All-Region player, a First Team All-SSAC pick, SSAC All-Tournament selection, an All-SSAC East Tournament player and an NAIA Tournament Most Valuable Player.

Hare redshirted her junior year due to a knee injury.

Blues Signs Argentine Midfielder Walter Gaitan To Deal

The Los Angeles Blues of USL PRO announced the signing Thursday of Argentine midfielder Walter Gaitan to a contract for the 2011 season.

He began his professional career at Argentina's Rosario Central in 1997, then headed to Spain's La Liga to play for Villarreal CF in 1998.

Gaitan returned to Argentina in 2000 to play for Boca Juniors, then came back to Mexico to play for Primera Division teams Tigres UANL and Nexaca, scoring 76 goals over 197 games since 2002.

He was also the top goal scorer in the 2005 Apertura tournament and the best player at the 2006 Clausura event.

Tampa Bay Loans Steele To RailHawks For 2011

FC Tampa Bay announced Thursday they have loaned midfielder Jonny Steele, in the final year of his contract, to fellow North American Soccer League franchise Carolina RailHawks for the 2011 season.

Steele came to Tampa Bay through a trade with the Vancouver Whitecaps in July 2010 after playing in 12 regular season games and three games of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship tournament.

Strikers Sign West, Platter To 2011 Contracts

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the North American Soccer League announced the signings Thursday of defender Adam West and goalkeeper Nicolas Platter.

West played collegiately at Washington from 2004 to 2006, then joined the USL First Division's Seattle Sounders, leading them to the league championship.

He appeared in seven games last season for the Rochester Rhinos, then of the USSF Division 2 Pro League, but now with USL PRO.

West took part in the first NASL Player Combine last month in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Platter left the University of California-Davis as their all-time shutout and saves leader and played five seasons in USL-1 with the Minnesota Thunder, then in ten games last season in USSF D-2 with the Carolina RailHawks.

Foxes Shake Up Earthquakes In Final London Training Camp Game

The Leicester City Foxes of England's Football League Championship ended the training camp stint in London of Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes with a 3-1 victory Thursday in Leicester City.

Reigning league Golden Boot and Most Valuable Player Chris Wondolowski scored for San Jose.

Los Angeles Blues Sign Suggs, Ex-Galaxy F/M Sesay

The Los Angeles Blues of USL PRO announced the signings Wednesday of defender Josh Suggs and former Los Angeles Galaxy forward/midfielder Israel Sesay.

Silverbacks Sign Gonzalez To 2011 Roster

The Atlanta Silverbacks of the North American Soccer League announced the signing Monday of the fifth player to their roster, midfielder Fernando Gonzalez, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Gonzalez played 78 career games for the University of South Florida and was in the player pool last year for Puerto Rico's U-21 Men's National Team.

Red Bulls, Fire Draw In Fort Lauderdale

The New York Red Bulls and the Chicago Fire played to a 1-1 draw Wednesday in Major League Soccer preseason play at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Joel Lindpere opened the scoring in the 18th minute for New York on an unassisted goal and the lead held through halftime before Marco Pappa was assisted by Patrick Nyarko in the 53rd minute on the game-tying goal.

The Red Bulls will play the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the North American Soccer League at Lockhart Stadium, the Strikers' home pitch, Saturday.

Johnson Gives Timbers First Preseason Victory Over NASL's Impact

Eddie Johnson scored the game's only goal in the seventh minute as Major League Soccer's Portland Timbers shut out the North American Soccer League's Montreal Impact 1-0 in a preseason game Wednesday in Casa Grande, AZ.

The Impact will join MLS as an expansion team in 2012.

The Timbers, now 1-0-3 in the preseason, will play MLS' Sporting Kansas City Saturday in Casa Grande.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

MLS Announces Playoff Format For 2011 Season

Major League Soccer announced the details Wednesday of the league's postseason structure for the 2011 season.

Ten of the league's 18 teams will qualify for the playoffs, with the top three teams from each conference and the top four wild card teams, regardless of conference affiliation, making the field.

The four wild card teams -- to be ranked seventh through tenth -- will meet in one-game playoffs (7 hosting 10, 8 hosting 9), with the lowest-seeded winner getting the Supporters Shield champion in the semifinals and the highest-seeded winner getting the other conference champion.

The semifinal rounds will remain two-game, aggregate goal contests with the winners moving on to a one-game conference championship game at the home of the higher-seeded team and those winners would advance to the MLS Cup final.

The date and location of the 2011 MLS Cup will be announced soon.

McLoughlin Is Man Of The Match In Earthquakes Shutout Of Colchester United

Ellis McLaughlin had two goals and assisted Matt Luzunaris on another goal as Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes shut out England's Colchester United 3-0 Wednesday on the next-to-last day of San Jose's 10-day training camp stint in England.

They will end their training in the United Kingdom Thursday against Leicester City.

Edward Out 6-9 Months For FC Dallas After Knee Surgery

Major League Soccer's FC Dallas announced Wednesday defender Edson Edward will miss the next six to nine months after undergoing surgery Tuesday in Texas to reconstruct an anterior cruciate ligament and repair his lateral collateral ligament in his right knee after injuring it in an indoor training session February 3.

FC NY Signs Former Quinnipiac University Forward Brito

FC New York of USL PRO announced the signing Wednesday of former Quinnipiac University forward Graciano Brito to a contract.

Brito had been playing in Portugal for Clube Operario Desportivo.

As a senior in 2008 at Quinnipiac, he won the Northeast Conference's Player of the Year for the second straight season and was only the fifth player in conference history to do that.

He also led the conference in total games, goals per game and points per game as he led the team to the postseason for the first time since 2004.

Brito left Quinnipiac as their all-time goals leader with 48 and points leader with 92, with his 2008 totals of 18 goals and 39 points being NCAA Division I single season records.

A two-time National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-American, he was also named in 2008 to the All-American Third Team by College Soccer News after being declared national statistical champion in goals per game and points per game and to the Top 6 Senior College Forwards list by ESPNSoccernet.

Orlando City Signs Midfielder Boden To Two-Year Deal

Orlando City Soccer Club of USL PRO announced the signing Wednesday of midfielder Luke Boden to a two-year deal after he started and played 73 minutes in the team's recent 1-0 win over Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando.

Boden began his career at age 18 with Sheffield Wednesday in England and has been loaned out to several other English soccer clubs such as Chesterfield and Northampton Town.

He has played in 27 games combined with England's Football League, Football Association Cup and League Cup.

Tacoma Player-Coach Howes Named PASL's POTW For Week 15

Tacoma Stars forward/head coach Greg Howes was named Wednesday the Professional Arena Soccer League Player of the Week for Week 15 of the 2010-11 season after scoring a single-game league record of 11 points on a four-goal, seven-assist night in his team's 14-4 road win Saturday against the Wenatchee Fire.

Sounders Tie Dynamo In Preseason Game At ESPN WWOS

The Seattle Sounders saw Fredy Montero convert a 62nd minute penalty kick and rookie Michael Tetteh score his first goal in the 70th minute as they came back from an 0-2 deficit to tie the Houston Dynamo 2-2 Tuesday in a Major League Soccer preseason game at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, FL.

Houston took a 2-0 lead when Cam Weaver scored unassisted in the 11th minute and Brian Ching got a goal off a corner kick.

The Sounders are 2-2-2 in the 2011 preseason and next face the University of Central Florida Knights Thursday in Bradenton, FL.

The Dynamo next compete in the second annual Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Complex in Lake Buena Vista, FL Thursday and Saturday against Toronto FC, FC Dallas and the Orlando City Soccer Club of USL PRO.

Crew, RSL Play To Scoreless Draw In CCL Play, Sign New Goalkeepers

In the only CONCACAF Champions League matchup involving American teams, the Columbus Crew and Real Salt Lake of Major League Soccer played to a scoreless draw Tuesday in the first leg of their quarterfinal series at Crew Stadium.

Game two of the series takes place next Tuesday at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT.

Prior to the game, the Crew, in need of goalkeeping help with injuries to Will Hesmer and Andy Gruenebaum, signed Ray Burse to a short-team deal and Alex Riggs to a one-year deal.

Lenhart Brace Leads Earthquakes Over Birmingham City Reserves

Steven Lenhart had two goals and Joey Gjertson and Chris Wondolowski added goals as Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes defeated the reserve team on Birmingham City 4-0 Tuesday on the team's training camp phase in England.

The Earthquakes next face third division English team Colchester United Wednesday, then meets Leicester City Thursday.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Eagles Signs Former USL PDL GOTY Reed

The Charlotte Eagles of USL PRO announced the signing Tuesday of Eric Reed, the 2006 Goalkeeper of the Year with the Southern California Seahorses of the USL Premier Development League after having ten shutouts and a goals against average of 0.62 that season.

In 2007, he was named the Most Valuable Player with the USL First Division's California Victory.

In 2008, he led the Cleveland City Stars to the championship of the USL Second Division.

Finally, in 2009, with the Carolina RailHawks in USL-1, he was 13-5-2 with a 0.70 goals against average, had eight shutouts and made 58 saves.

Rhinos Sign Midfielder Stisser, Defender Traynor

The Rochester Rhinos of USL PRO announced the signings Tuesday of midfielder Brad Stisser and defender Will Traynor.

Stisser played 24 games in 2010 for AC St. Louis in the USSF Division 2 Pro League and scored five goals.

Traynor graduated from South Carolina, where he was a four-time Conference USA Academic All-Star and won the Commissioner's Award, given to student-athletes who earn a cumulative grade point average of 3.75 or higher.

Kings, Wave To Play In School Day Game March 2 In Milwaukee

The Cincinnati Kings, two-time champions of the Professional Arena Soccer League's Eastern Division, and the Milwaukee Wave, defending regular season champion of the Major Indoor Soccer League, will play each other in a special School Day Game March 2 at US Cellular Arena in Milwaukee, both teams said Tuesday.

The game will add to an already busy few weeks in that month for the Kings.

On March 4 and 5, Cincinnati's entry in the amateur Premier Arena Soccer League -- the Cincinnati Kings Reserves -- will take part in the 2010-11 PASL-Premier Tournament.

On March 11 and 12, the senior Kings -- and the Cincinnati Gardens -- will play host for the first time to the 2010-11 PASL North American Championship tournament.

Then, on March 19, Cincinnati will travel to Del Mar Arena in Del Mar, CA to face the defending league and tournament champion San Diego Sockers in the championship game of the 2010-11 US Open Arena Soccer Championship.

Cristman Gives Galaxy 2-0 Preseason Win Over Whitecaps

Adam Cristman scored a goal off a Miguel Lopez pass in the 59th minute, then assisted Chad Barrett on a 74th minute goal as the Los Angeles Galaxy shut out the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps 2-0 in a Major League Soccer preseason game Tuesday at Arizona State University in Tempe.

The Whitecaps, shut out for the second game in a row, will next play the amateur Arizona Sahuaros Sunday in Phoenix.

Strikers Welcome Back Arguez Following Loan To Estoril

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the North American Soccer League announced the return Tuesday of midfielder Bryan Arguez to the team after being loaned to Estoril.

He began his career with the US U-17 National Team in 2005 and quickly advanced to the U-20 team, playing eventually in two FIFA U-20 World Cups in Canada and Egypt.

An 11th overall pick in the Major League Soccer SuperDraft, he would later sign a deal to join Hertha BSC in the German Bundesliga for one season.

FC Tampa Bay Signs Savage; Announces Preseason Schedule

FC Tampa Bay of the North American Soccer League announced the signing Tuesday of midfielder Keith Savage to a one-year deal with a club option for the 2012 season.

Savage played 40 games over two seasons for the Portland Timbers in the USL First Division (2009) and the USSF Division 2 Pro League (2010), scoring three goals and three assists.

In his 2009 season, he was one of two Timbers to play all 30 regular season games and was part of the team that won the last USL-1 Commissioner's Cup as regular season champion after putting together a record 24-game unbeaten streak.

In 2010, he was hampered by injuries but did start eight of ten games as the end of the season.

He played collegiately at the University of West Florida, where he remains fourth on the all-time goal scoring list with 33 and was a 2006 National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-American in 2006.

Savage also played two seasons in the USL Premier Development League (2006, 2007) with the Central Florida Kraze, scoring 12 goals in 22 overall appearances.

He was the 43rd overall pick in the 2008 Major League Soccer SuperDraft by Chivas USA, but chose to sign with the Timbers.

Also Tuesday, the team announced their preseason game schedule.

It opens March 5 when they play the University of Tampa at Pepin Stadium, then follows with dates against Swedish First Division team BK Hacken (March 12 at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale), Florida Gulf Coast University (March 19), the University of Central Florida (March 26 or 27), St. Leo University (March 30) and the University of South Florida (April 3).

Toronto FC Promotes Bent To Assistant Coach

After serving three seasons as head coach of their senior youth academy team, Major League Soccer's Toronto FC promoted Jason Bent to assistant coach Tuesday.

Under Bent, the senior youth academy team qualified for the Canadian Soccer League playoffs in 2009 and 2010 and, last summer, for the first time in team history, two of the team's players signed professional contracts.

Bent played 32 games for the Canadian National Team as well as for many professional teams around the world before a serious knee injury ended his playing career.

Union Signs Former MLS MVP Ruiz To Deal

Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union Tuesday signed forward Carlos Ruiz, a former 2003 league Most Valuable Player and Budweiser Golden Boot winner, to a contract after a free transfer from Aris FC in Greece's SuperLiga.

Since leaving MLS after the 2008 season, when he spent time with the Los Angeles Galaxy and Toronto FC, he has also plyed in Paraguay for Olimpia and Puebla in Mexico.

In six MLS seasons, Ruiz had 82 goals and 17 assists.

He began his MLS career in 2002 with the Galaxy, where he had a league-high 24 goals to win the Golden Boot and the MVP award and led the team to the MLS Cup championship.

In 2003, he tied for the scoring lead in the league with 15 goals. Between 2002 and 2004, Ruiz scored 50 goals for the Galaxy.

From 2005 to 2008, he had 31 goals and nine assists with FC Dallas before returning to the Galaxy in 2008, then being traded to Toronto FC.

Shea Carries FC Dallas To Preseason Win Over Sounders

Brek Shea scored a goal and assisted on a Marvin Chavez goal as Major League Soccer's FC Dallas shut out fellow league foe Seattle Sounders 2-0 Monday in a preseason game in Orlando, FL.

FC Dallas will next play the New England Revolution Wednesday at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports complex in Lake Buena Vista, FL as a tuneup for the second annual Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic Thursday and Saturday featuring Toronto FC and the Houston Dynamo of MLS and the Orlando City Soccer Club of USL PRO, who Dallas faces Thursday night.

Crew Sign Former Galaxy Midfielder Josh Gardner

Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew announced the signing Monday of former Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Josh Gardner.

The former 13th overall pick in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft, Gardner was part of the team's 2005 MLS Cup and Lamar Hunt US Open Cup championship teams, scoring one goal in 25 games that season.

Before coming to the Galaxy, he played for the University of Cincinnati Bearcats, playing in all 60 games from 2001 to 2003.

He was one of three players in his freshman season with the Bearcats to start all 19 games that season.

As a sophomore, he led the team in assists with five and was named to the Conference USA All-Conference Second Team.

As a senior, Gardner was tied for the team lead in goals and assists (six each) and started every game.

After the Galaxy, he spent the last four seasons with the USL First Division's Seattle Sounders (2007, 2008) and the Carolina RailHawks of USL-1 (2009) and the USSF Division 2 Pro League (2010), where he was part of the league runner-up team to the Puerto Rico Islanders.

He had seven goals and three assists in 52 games with the Sounders and six goals and seven assists in 54 games with the RailHawks.

Tierney Leads Revolution To Second Shutout In Preseason

In a five-minute span of the second half, Chris Tierney had an unassisted 68th minute goal, then assisted Pat Phelan on his 73rd minute score as Major League Soccer's New England Revolution improved to 2-0-0 in preseason play with a 2-0 victory over the US U-17 Boys' National Team Monday at the University of Central Florida's Track & Soccer Complex in Orlando, FL.

The Revolution wrap up 11 days in the area -- and their preseason schedule -- with a game Wednesday at ESPN's Wide World Of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, FL against FC Dallas. Dallas will compete against Toronto FC and the Houston Dynamo of MLS and the new Orlando City Soccer Club of USL PRO Thursday and Saturday at the second annual Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Stars Sign Defender/Assistant Coach Friedland To New Deal

NSC Minnesota Stars defender and assistant coach Kevin Friedland was signed to a new contract Monday with the North American Soccer League team that includes working in the front office to help develop business relationships and sponsorship opportunities with the franchise.

He has three assists in 22 regular season games last season and will enter his eighth professional soccer season in 2011.

Riverhounds Keep Defenders Harada, Katic

The Pittsburgh Riverhounds of USL PRO announced Monday the re-signings of defenders Shintaro Harada and Nikola Katic.

Harada, the last USL Second Division Defender of the Year last season, will begin his 11th professional season in 2011, while Katic will be in his third with the team.

Orlando City Signs Defender Stewart To Two-Year Deal

After impressing coaches with his play during his full 90-minute performance in Saturday's 1-0 win over Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Orlando City Soccer Club of USL PRO announced the signing of Jamaican defender Demar Stewart to a two-year contract Monday.

Stewart, who has played ten times for the Reggae Boyz, his country's national team, led Portmore United to the 2004-05 Digicel Premier League title in Jamaica.

In 2007, he was signed by Sheffield United in England, but was loaned to White Star Woluwe FC in Belgium.

In 2008, he was the first Jamaican to be loaned to a Chinese Super League franchise, going to the Chengdu Blades.

Impact To Face Red Bulls In May 11 Exhibition

Preparing to make the leap into Major League Soccer in 2012, the Montreal Impact, currently of the North American Soccer League, announced Monday they will host MLS' New York Red Bulls in an exhibition game May 11 at Saputo Stadium in Montreal.

Blast Aristodemo Named MISL POTW For Week 14

Baltimore Blast midfielder and team captain Robbie Aristodemo was named Monday the Major Indoor Soccer League Player of the Week for Week 14 of the 2010-11 season after scoring four goals over the weekend, including a hat trick in Sunday's 20-9 win over the Milwaukee Wave at US Cellular Arena in Milwaukee that included making a three-point shot.

He scored a two-point goal in Fridays 14-10 win over the Omaha Vipers at First Mariner Arena in Baltimore.

With scoring two short-handed goals this weekend -- the three-pointer in Sunday's game and his lone goal Saturday -- he became the league leader in that category with two.

Aristodemo, the fourth different Blast player to win a weekly award, is eighth on the team and tied for 19th in the league in scoring with 23 points.

FC Tampa Bay Signs Two, Releases Two

FC Tampa Bay of the North American Soccer League announced Monday they have signed goalkeeper Jeff Attinella to a one-year contract with a club option for the 2012 season and defender Andres Arango to a two-year contract with a one-year club option for the 2013 season.

Attinella recently graduated from the University of South Florida, where he played in 61 games between 2007 and 2010 and finished with a career record of 38-14-9 and a 0.79 goals against average.

In 2009, the Clearwater, FL native was named Big East Conference Goalkeeper of the Year and to the conference's First Team, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Performance Subaru Men's Division I All-American First Team and the NSCAA Men's Division I All-Northeast Region First Team.

He played high school soccer for Countryside High School, leading them to a state title in 2005 and a number one national high school ranking in 2006. Among his many awards, he was a three-time all-county, four-time all-conference and one-time all-state team selection and was named Most Valuable Player in 2006.

Arango, who was released by mutual consent Monday by the NASL's NSC Minnesota Stars, played in 28 of 30 games for them last season, was second on the team in minues playes and tied for second in most games played.

He began his career in USL First Division with the Montreal Impact in 2003, then returned to them in 2007, playing in 21 games that season.

From 2004 to 2006, he played in 69 games for the USL-1's Toronto Lynx, where he was named a two-time team Defensive Player of the Year (2005 & 2007), led them to the final of the Open Canada Cup, and a 10-game undefeated streak at home.

The Colombian-born Arango, who now holds Canadian citizenship, debuted for Canada's U-20 men's national team as they reached the quarterfinals of the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship. He played in 20 combined games between the U-20 and U-23 national teams between 2002 and 2003.

FC Tampa Bay made room for their new acquisitions Monday by releasing midfielder Scott Buete and goalkeeper Phil Lamarre.

Blast Win Fourth Of Five Games Against Wave

The Baltimore Blast moved a step closer to dethroning the Milwaukee Wave as Major Indoor Soccer League regular season champions with a 20-9 thrashing Sunday at US Cellular Arena in Milwaukee.

Robbie Aristodemo will likely be named MISL Player of the Week Monday after having a seven-point night, thanks to a hat trick of two two-point goals and a three-poiner to lead the 13-3 Blast, who are 1 1/2 games ahead of the Wave, now 12-5, in the standings.

Machel Millwood, Lucio Gonzaga and Pat Morris each had three-point goals for Baltimore and Aduato Neto and Max Ferdinand had single two-point goals in the victory.

Troy Dusosky has a three-pointer for the Wave and Joe Hammes, Hewerton Moreira and Travis MacKenzie had standard goals in the loss.

Baltimore has won four of the five meetings against the Wave this season, with the last game to take place March 6, also at US Cellular Arena.

Before then, the Blast travel to the last-place Chicago Riot this coming Sunday and the Wave are off until a road trip to the Omaha Vipers March 4.

Comets Pull Off Seven-Point Rally To Upend Riot

The Missouri Comets came back from a 7-2 deficit in the fourth quarter to hand the Chicago Riot their sixth straight Major Indoor Soccer League road game loss with a 9-7 victory Sunday at the Independence Events Center in Independence, MO.

Byron Alvarez had a pair of two-point goals for the Comets, Vahid Assadpour posted a three-point show and Leo Gibson added a two-pointer as the Comets improved to 5-11, fourth place in the league standings.

Missouri, Chicago and the Omaha Vipers are all fighting to earn the last of three league playoff berths, as the Baltimore Blast (13-3) and Milwaukee Wave (12-5) have claimed the first two.

The Comets are 1 1/2 games behind the Vipers (7-10) for the third spot and will host Omaha this Friday, while the Riot, in last place at 4-12, are 2 1/2 games away from the playoff berth and host the Blast this Sunday.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Farber Wrecks Havoc Over Cougars In Sockers' Latest Win

Brian Farber scored a goal and assisted on four others as his two-time Professional Arena Soccer League Western Division champion San Diego Chargers issued a 9-5 beatdown of his former team, the California Cougars, Saturday at Del Mar Arena.

Kraig Chiles added two goals and four others -- Aaron Susi, Dan Antoniuk, Anthony Median and Eric Wunderle -- scored goals for the cause.

The 13-2-0 Sockers will end their regular season Saturday when they host the Edmonton Drillers of the Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League.

California, last in the division at 4-10-0, will play the Drillers at Stockton Arena next Sunday.

Fridal Hat Trick Leads Piasa Over Lightning

Jon Fridal's hat trick led the Illinois Piasa to an 11-8 victory over the Louisville Lightning Saturday in Professional Arena Soccer League play at the Mockingbird Valley Soccer Complex in Louisville.

The expansion Piasa, who, at 8-3-0, won their first Pro Frontier Division championship by a half-game over the Kitsap Pumas (8-4-0), will end their regular season and hone season schedule Saturday against the Ohio Vortex.

Darren Yeagle had two goals and an assist and Tommy Clines added two more goals for Louisville, who have lost two games in a row and are in third place in the Eastern Division at 6-8-0. The Lightning end their home season this Friday against the Vortex, then finish their 2010-11 season on the road March 4 against the Eastern Division champion Cincinnati Kings.

Revolution Opens Preseason Schedule With 2-0 Shutout Of UCF In Orlando

Ryan Kinne scored an unassisted goal in the 36th minute and Chris Tierney worked with team captain Shalrie Joseph on another score as the New England Revolution opened their six-game Major League Soccer preseason schedule with a 2-0 victory over the University of Central Florida Knights Sunday at the UCF Track and Soccer Complex.

The Revs' next game is Monday against the US U-17 Boys' National Team.

FC Dallas Beats SMU, Heads To Orlando For WDW Pro Soccer Classic

Rubin Luna had a goal and assisted on Paul Ogunyemi's goal late in the game and Milton Rodriguez scored his third goal in his last two games as FC Dallas beat Southern Methodist University 3-1 Friday in a Major League Soccer preseason game.

Arthur Ivo had the lone Mustangs goal.

FC Dallas now heads to Orlando to compete with MLS representatives Toronto FC and the Houston Dynamo and new USL PRO team Orlando City Soccer Club in the second annual Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic Thursday and Saturday at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports complex.

Before then, Dallas plays the Seattle Sounders in a Monday preseason contest.

Whitecaps Play US U-18's To 2-2 Draw

Philippe Davies assisted on a Long Tan goal in the 13th minute and worked with Nizar Khalfan on a Camilo de Silva Sanvezzo score in the 72nd minute as Major League Soccer's Vancouver Whitecaps tied the US U-18 men's national team 2-2 in a preseason match Saturday in Avondale, AZ.

Robert Kristo tied the game for the US U-18's in the 51st minute off an Alec Cochran assist and Vince Cicciarelli fed a pass to Aaron Kovar in the 62nd minute for a goal.

The Whitecaps will next play the defending MLS Western Conference and Supporters Shield champion Los Angeles Galaxy in a closed game Sunday at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ.

Neal Gives USL PRO's Orlando City Preseason Win Over MLS' Union

Lewis Neal scored a penalty kick goal in the 19th minute as Orlando City Soccer Club of USL PRO shut out Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union 1-0 Saturday in preseason play at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando.

Neal made the lone goal of the contest after Philadelphia's Carlos Valdos received a straight red card.

The Union ended their first stage of their training in Orlando, the first year of a recently-signed four-year deal with Orlando City, and will return to Philadelphia Sunday before heading to Heraklion, Crete to finish their training camp.

During this phase, they will play Greece Third Division team Hersonisos FC and Greek Super League opponent Ergotelis FC.

Wave Ride Out Riot To 16-Point Wipeout At US Cellular Arena

Marco Terminesi and Evan McNeley had five point nights for the defending Major Indoor Soccer League regular season champion Milwaukee Wave in a 20-4 rout of the Chicago Riot Sunday at US Cellular Arena in Milwaukee.

Terminesi extended his goal scoring streak that began last season to 24 games with a three-point and a two-point goal, while McNeley had a three-pointer and assisted on a pair of goals.

Travis MacKenzie (two two-point goals) and Hewerton Moreira (two-point goal and two assists) had four points each for the Wave and Ian Bennett, Kyt Selaidopoulous and Ryan Mack added two-point goals.

The Wave improved to 12-4, a half-game behind the league-leading Baltimore Blast (12-3), who hosts Milwaukee Sunday in a battle for the top of the standings table.

Eric Lukin and Bato Radoncic scored goals for the Riot, who, at 4-11, are tied with the Missouri Comets for last place in the standings, eight games behind the Blast. Chicago travels to the Comets Sunday.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Impact Signs American Goalkeeper Gaudette

The North American Soccer League's Montreal Impact announced the signing Saturday of American goalkeeper Bill Gaudette, who has played his last three seasons with the Puerto Rico Islanders, both in the USL First Division and the USSF Division 2 Pro League.

He led the Islanders to a USL-1 regular season title in 2008 and was named the league's Goalkeeper of the Year, then, in 2009, led them to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League.

The Islanders won the 2010 USSF D-2 league championship in the only year of existence for the merged USL First Division and NASL.

Gaudette played collegiately at St. John's, posting a 43-12-12 career record, and also played with the Brooklyn Knights of the semi-pro USL Premier Development League.

Drafted ninth overall by the Columbus Crew in the 2005 Major League Soccer Draft, he would play a combined 17 games with them during the 2006 and 2007 seasons.

Beat Come To Contract Terms With Salem, Bethke

The Atlanta Beat of Women's Professional Soccer announced the signings Friday of midfielders Angel Salem and Katie Bethke for the 2011 season.

Salem, a free agent from Sky Blue FC, the league's first champion in 2009, is the first graduate of Francis Marion University in Florence, SC to play professional soccer.

Bethke graduated from the University of Minnesota. In her senior season of 2009, she scored a career-high 11 goals, with a team-high three of them being game-winners, and 29 points, as well as being named to the Big 10 All Conference Second Team and the All-Region Team.

Late Padilla Ends Chivas' Preseason Schedule With Win

Jesus Padilla scored the lone goal of the game in the 89th minute off a long pass from Michael Umara as Chivas USA shut out the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0 in their final Major League Soccer preseason game Friday in Casa Grande, AZ.

Chivas returns to Los Angeles and will begin finishing their training camp starting Tuesday at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

Morris Brace Keeps Blast On Top In MISL Standings

Pat Morris had a pair of two-point goals and Mike Lookingland, Guiliano Celenza, Robbie Aristodemo, Lucio Gonzaga and Zach Wilkes added two-pointers as the Baltimore Blast got past the Omaha Vipers 14-10 in Major Indoor Soccer League play Friday from First Mariner Arena in Baltimore.

The Blast lead the league with a record of 12-3 and are a game ahead of the Milwaukee Wave, the defending league regular season champion, at 11-4. Both teams face off for the fifth time this season Sunday at US Cellular Arena.

The two teams have clinched postseason berths recently.

Frederico Moojen had a hat trick for the Vipers and Curiel Hernandez and Johnny Torres added goals for the Vipers, now 7-10 and in third place, six games behind the Blast with 12 games left overall this season.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Revolution Trade Fred Back To DC United

The New England Revolution traded midfielder Fred to DC United Friday in return for a second round pick in the 2013 Major League Soccer SuperDraft.

The Revolution selected Fred, who began his professional career in 2007 at DC United for three seasons, in Stage 2 of the inaugural MLS Re-Entry Draft.

Bunbury Now To Miss 4-6 Weeks For Sporting Kansas City

Major League Soccer's Sporting Kansas City announced Friday forward Teal Bunbury, who dislocated his right elbow Tuesday after colliding with Houston Dynamo defender Andrew Hainhault in a preseason game in Phoenix, will now miss four to six weeks with the injury after it was examined by team doctors in Kansas City.

When the injury occurred Tuesday, team officials had said he would be out of action for two to four weeks.

Sockers Keep Franco, Hernandez, Sanchez, Valdivia Around For 2011

The West Texas Sockers of the USL Premier Development League announced the re-signings Friday of four local products -- Raul Franco, Junior Hernandez, Chris Sanchez and Oswaldo "Wally' Valdivia -- for the 2011 season.

Franco was an all-district star at Odessa High School and an all-conference player at University of Texas-Permian Basin.

Hernandez was a two-time all-district player at Midland Lee High School before transferring to Midland High School for his senior year.

Sanchez lettered for two years at Midland Lee after moving to the Permian Basin.

Valdivia has scored three goals in 19 games with the Sockers and was an all-district player at Odessa Permian High School.

Hammerheads Sign Cuero, Budnyy To Contracts

The Wilmington Hammerheads of USL PRO announced the signings of Andres Cuero and Andriy Budnyy Friday.

Cuero, a senior this coming season at North Carolina-Charlotte, finished 2009 tied for second in the Atlantic 10 Conference in assists with a career-high seven.

He started 13 of 17 games last season and was one of five players to have 30 shots on goal this season.

In 2008, Cuero was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Third Team All-Mid-Atlantic Region, and to the All-Tournament Teams as the Davidson/adidas Classic, the UNC-Wilmington/Courtyard by Marriott Classic and the Charlotte NIKE Invitational.

He also spent time in the USL Premier Development League in 2008 with the Austin Aztex.

Budnyy led Azusa Pacific University to two Golden State Athletic Conference titles, a Region II title and a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics National Final during his senior season, as well as winning the GSAC Player of the Year award,

Born in the Ukraine, he returned there after graduating college and spent two seasons with Obolon Kviy in the country's first division, scoring 28 goals.

He then came back to the States to score five goals in nine starts with the Carolina RailHawks in USL First Division.

Budnyy was loaned to the Hammerheads for one game by the RailHawks in 2009, scoring the game-winning goal against the Richmond Kickers.

Silverbacks Sign Four More For 2011 Season

The Atlanta Silverbacks of the North American Soccer League announced the signings Friday of defenders Kohei Matsushita and Matthias Schnorf, midfielder Shane Maroney and forward Matt Horth.

Matsushita has played for Japan's Ehime FC since 2006.

Schnorf was last with FC Winterthor of Sweden's second division Challenge League and played six team for their senior national team.

Maroney, the first Georgia native -- from Senioa -- to sign with the team, played 72 games over four seasons with Berry College in Rome, GA.

Horth broke the all-time goal scoring record at Gordon College in Massachusetts with 36 in four seasons, including 15 goals in his first 18 games in 2010. He was a four-time Commonwealth Coast Conference First Team player and the conference's Rookie of the Year.

FC Dallas Signs Sixth Home Grown Player In Goalkeeper Sanchez

FC Dallas Friday announced the signing of goalkeeper Richard Sanchez, the team's sixth Home Grown Player on their 2011 roster.

He was the top goalkeeper at the Universidad Catolica tournament in Chile this January when he played on Mexico's U-17 National Team.

FC Edmonton Added To Nutrilite Canadian Championship Tournament

FC Edmonton, an expansion team in the North American Soccer League this season, will join fellow NASL foe, the Montreal Impact, and Major League Soccer's Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps for the 2011 Nutrilite Canadian Championship tournament, according to the Canadian Soccer Association Friday.

The addition of Edmonton now turns the once three-team event, won the last two seasons by Toronto, into a four-team one, creating a pair of home-and-away, aggregate goal series for the semifinals, leading to a similarly-formatted championship final.

In those matchups, set for April 27 and May 4, Toronto FC will face FC Edmonton and the Whitecaps wothout the Impact.

Winners move on to a two-game final series May 18 and 25 to determine the champion, who will represent Canads in the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League tournament.

Union Ship Jackson To Dallas For 2013 Second Round Draft Pick

The Philadelphia Union Friday traded midfielder Andrew Jacobsen to FC Dallas Friday in return for receiving their second round pick in the 2013 Major League Soccer SuperDraft.

A graduate of California in 2008, he was initially drafted by DC United, but chose to play in France for Lorient in Ligue 1, but came back to United in 2009 and scored one goal over 17 appearances.

The Union acquired him in the 2010 MLS Expansion Draft from United and started 13 of 25 games last season with Philadelphia.

Chivas USA Signs Second Uruguayan Player In A Month

Major League Soccer's Chivas USA announced the signing Friday of Uruguayan forward Diego Chaves, the second player signed from that country this month, following the earlier signing of Gaston Puerari.

Chavez scored a goal over ten appearances in 2010 for Nacional in the Apertura tournament.

He began his professional career with the Montevideo Wanderers (2004-09), scoring 27 goals in 93 appearances.

Chavez then traveled to Mexico to play for Queretaro (2009-10) and Veracruz (2010).

Blast, Wave Clinch Playoff Berths; Third Spot Still Open

With the 2010-11 regular season ending in a mere 13 games, the Major Indoor Soccer League confirmed Friday the Baltimore Blast and the league's defending champion, the Milwaukee Wave, have clinched two of the three available spots in this season's playoffs.

The league's remaining teams -- the Chicago Riot, Missouri Comets and Omaha Vipers -- will now fight for the third and final playoff spot.

The 2010-11 MISL playoffs begin the weekend of March 18 as the second and third place teams in the league meet in a two-game, home-and-home series to determine who will meet the regular season champion, who hosts the MISL Championship Game and has a bye through then.

MISL Names Joe Della Penna Director Of Officials

Though the current season ends in mid-March, the Major Indoor Soccer League announced the hiring Friday of Joe Della Penna as their new director of officials.

He will be responsible for assigning officials, reviewing game tapes of their work, and handling their training and discipline.

MLS, FOX Extend National Broadcast Rights Deal Through 2011 Season

Major League Soccer and FOX Sports announced Friday a one-year extension of their national broadcast rights deal, which they have had since 2003.

Through Fox Soccer Channel, the network will show in 2011 up to 31 regular season games, three exclusive MLS Cup playoff games and a conference championship game -- all in high definition.

Here is the complete Fox Soccer Channel schedule (Times Eastern; home teams listed first):

March 19 - 9 p.m. - Colorado Rapids vs, Portland Timbers
March 25 - 10 p.m. - Seattle Sounders FC vs. Houston Dynamo

April 1 - 7:30 p.m. - Columbus Crew vs. FC Dallas
April 8 - 9 p.m. - FC Dallas vs. Colorado Rapids
April 16 - 7 p.m. - Toronto FC vs. DC United
April 22 - 9:30 p.m. - Colorado Rapids vs. Seattle Sounders FC
April 23 - 11 p.m. - Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Portland Timbers
April 29 - 8:30 p.m. - Houston Dynamo vs. DC United

May 6 - 10:30 p.m. - Portland Timbers vs. Philadelphia Union
May 14 - 9 p.m. - Real Salt Lake vs. Houston Dynamo

June 3 - 11 p.m. - Los Angeles Galaxy vs. DC United
June 10 - 8:30 p.m. - New York Red Bulls vs. New England Revolution
June 11 - 10 p.m. - Seattle Sounders FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
June 17 - 8:30 p.m. - Sporting Kansas City vs. San Jose Earthquakes
June 25 - 11 p.m. - San Jose Earthquakes vs. Los Angeles Galaxy

July 2 - 7 p.m. - DC United vs. Philadelphia Union
July 9 - 10:30 p.m. - Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Chicago Fire
July 16 - 4 p.m. - Seattle Sounders FC vs. Colorado Rapids
July 29 - 7:30 p.m. - Philadelphia Union vs. Colorado Rapids
July 30 - 7:30 p.m. - Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Los Angeles Galaxy

August 5 - 9:30 p.m. - Colorado Rapids vs. Columbus Crew
August 13 - 8:30 p.m. - Sporting Kansas City vs. Los Angeles Galaxy
August 20 - 10 p.m. - Portland Timbers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
August 27 - 10:30 p.m. - Chivas USA vs. Real Salt Lake

September 9 - 11 p.m. - Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Colorado Rapids
September 16 - 11 p.m. - Portland Timbers vs. New England Revolution
September 23 - 8:30 p.m. - Sporting Kansas City vs. Philadelphia Union

October 1 - 7:30 p.m. - Toronto FC vs. New York Red Bulls
October 15 - 10:30 p.m. - Seattle Sounders FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes

Sporting Kansas City Signs Second Home Grown Player

Sporting Kansas City announced the signing Friday of 19-year-old defender Kevin Ellis, their second player signed under Major League Soccer's new Home Grown Player initiative.

He was brought to the senior team through the Sporting Kansas City Juniors academy, where he has been for the last four years.

Ellis played with the academy's teams at the inaugural Soccer United Marketing Cup U-17 tournament in 2007 and at the 2009 Kansas State Cup and Region II Regionals with their U-19 team.

He led Barton County Community College to back-to-back Region IV championships and the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament in 2009 and 2010 and set new all-time school records in his first two seasons in goals (34) and points (80).

In 2010, Ellis was named the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Defensive Player of the Year and named to the All-Region VI First Team and the NJCAA All-Tournament and First Team All-American teams.

Former Goalkeeper Onstad Comes Out Of Retirement To Help DC United

Former Major League Soccer goalkeeper Pat Onstad, who retired at the end of the 2010 season after playing eight seasons with the San Jose Earthquakes and Houston Dynamo, came out of retirement for DC United Thursday as an assistant coach, due to the fact injured goalkeepers are a commodity.

Steve Cronin broke his wrist last week during training camp and Bill Hamid is undergoing right shoulder surgery.

Onstad was the oldest player in MLS last season at age 43.

Impact Signs Tsiskradze, Kreamalmeyer To 2011 Contracts

The North American Soccer League's Montreal Impact announced the signings Thursday of defender Zourab Tsiskaridze and midiflder Luke Kreamalmeyer.

Tsiskaridze started 25 of 31 regular season games last season with the Vancouver Whitecaps, then in the USSF Division 2 Pro League, now in Major League Soccer.

Before coming to the US to play for the States at the Miami FC Blues of USL First Diision in 2009, he spent the 2007 and 2008 season playing in France.

Kreamalmeyer, drafted by MLS in 2005 by Real Salt Lake, he played for the Portland Timbers (USL-1, 2006, 2007, 10 goals), Rochester Rhinos (USL-1, 2008, five goals in 34 games), Carolina RailHawks (2009, USL PRO) and AC St. Louis (2010, USL PRO; five goals in 25 games).

Fire, Florida Gulf Coast Draw In Ave Maria, FL

Marco Pappa had an unassisted goal in the 35th minute and later assisted Kwame Walker-Siriboe on a 48th minute score as Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire played to a 2-2 draw Thursday in MLS preseason play against Florida Gulf Coast University in Ave Maria, FL.

The game was played under three, 30-minute periods.

Andres Navas and Scotty Harrison scored for Florida Gulf Coast.

The Fire will be part of a doubleheader Saturday at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, FL against fellow MLS team New York Red Bulls at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. local time.

Dynamo Crush Crew To Remain Undefeated In Preseason Play

Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo improved their 2011 preseason record to 3-0 Thursday in Phoenix, AZ with a 4-2 victory over the Columbus Crew in a game played over three, 40-minute periods.

Danny Cruz, Eddie Robinson, Brian Ching and Jason Garey scored goals for the Dynamo, while Justin Meram had both of Columbus' goals.

The Crew will host MLS' Real Salt Lake this Tuesday in the first leg of the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League tournament quarterfinals.

National Soccer Hall Of Fame Class Of 2011 Elections Underway

The ballots are out and voting has begun to name members of the 2011 class to the National Soccer Hall of Fame, according to the US Soccer Federation Thursday, who are running the election since the hall is currently looking for a new home after closing its previous location in Oneonta, NY in 2010.

Voting in three categories -- Player, Veteran Player and Builder -- will take place through March 11 by Hall of Fame members, soccer administrators and soccer media members.

Those in the Player category are those who have been retired between three and ten calendar years and have wither played in at 20 international games for the US or played five seasons in an American first division professional league (e.g., Major League Soccer) and been named to a post-season all-league or all-star team at least once in their career.

The nominees on the Player ballot are:

Chris Armas (first-time eligible)
Mike Burns
Mauricio Cienfuegos
Raul Arce Diaz
Marco Etchevarry
Chris Henderson
Cobi Jones (first-time eligible)
Jason Kreis (first-time eligible)
Roy Lassiter
Carlos Llamosa (first-time eligible)
Shannon McMillan
Joe-Max Moore
Victor Noguiera
Peter Nowak
John O'Brien
Cindy Parlow
Eddie Pope (first-time eligible)
Tiffany Roberts
Danielle Slaton (first-time eligible)
Earnie Stewart
Steve Trittschuh (final-time eligible; moves to Veteran ballot in 2012 voting)
Carlos Valderrama
Tisha Venturini-Hoch
Peter Vermes

Any nominee appearing on 66.7 percent of ballots will earn election into the Hall, but anyone appearing on less five percent of ballots will be dropped from the Player ballot.

Voters can choose up to 10 nominees in the Player category.

Ten players are listed on the Veteran Player ballot, which covers those who have been retired more than 10 years.

Voters can select up to five candidates, but a person's name must be on a minimum of 50 percent of all the ballots to earn a spot in the Hall and, if no one gets that 50 percent minimum, no members of this ballot will qualify for induction.

The nominees on the Veteran Player ballot are:

Desmond Armstrong
George Best
Julio Cantillo
Teofilo Cubillas
John Doyle
Linda Hamilton
Bil McPherson
Shep Messing
Bruce Murray
Glenn Myernick

Finally, seven names are nominated for selection from the Builder ballot, which covers those who have made a non-playing capacity while sustaining a major and positive impact on the USSF on a national team or professional franchise for ten years. Those who were nominated as a referee to this list must serve for at least seven years as a FIFA referee.

The nominees on the Builder ballot are:

Chuck Blazer
Bob Contiguglia
Tony DiCicco
Bob Gansler
Fernando Marcos
Fritz Martin
Sigi Schmid

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Timbers Sign Former U-23 Midfielder Braun, Goalkeeper Gleeson

The expansion Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer announced the signing of midfielder Freddie Braun and goalkeeper Jake Gleeson, both who played in 2010 for the Portland Timbers U-23s, the first USL Premier Development League champion to complete a season undefeated in its history at 20-0-0.

Braun, a 2010 graduate of Louisville, had five goals and eight assists in 16 games, with his assist total ranking third among league leaders, and had three goals and an assist in the playoffs. He was also named to the USL PDL All-League Team.

Gleeson went 14-0-0 with eight shutouts during the regular season and was the league's Goals Against Average Champion with a 0.36 average, giving up five goals in 15 games.

WPS Releases 2011 Schedule

Women's Professional Soccer announced Thursday their 2011 season schedule, which begins April 9 with the host Atlanta Beat playing the Boston Breakers at KSU Soccer Stadium in Kennesaw, GA and ends with three games on August 14.

Each of the league's six teams -- the Beat, Breakers, Sky Blue FC, Philadelphia Independence, magicjack Washington Freedom and the expansion Western New York Flash -- will play an 18-game schedule (nine home, nine away) with the top four teams in the single table advancing to the league playoffs.

Despite the Washington Freedom's name change, the team will play all but one or two games at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL.

WPS will also take a two-week break from June 25 to July 4 for the group stage of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany.

For the third straight year, Fox Soccer Channel will air WPS Sunday on FOX Soccer, a national game of the week every Sunday evening.

For a complete look at the 2011 WPS regular season schedule, visit www.womensprosoccer.com.

USL PDL Releases 2011 Schedule

The 64-team USL Premier Development League announced Thursday their 512-game 2011 regular season schedule, which begins with the Fresno Fuego hosting the Hollywood United Hitman for the second year in a row April 29 at Chukchansi Park in Fresno, CA, and ends with ten games on July 24.

The league will have nine new teams this season -- the Akron Metro FC Summit Assault, Fredericksburg Hotspur, Hamilton FC Rage, FC Jax Destroyers (Jacksonville, FL), North Sound Seawolves (Everett, WA), RGV Grandes (Rio Grande Valley of Texas), River City Rovers (Louisville, KY) and WSA Winnipeg.

Also joining the PDL for 2011 are the Real Maryland Monarchs, who played the last three seasons in the former USL Second Division.

Three teams have returned to the league with new names -- the El Paso Patriots (now Chivas El Paso Patriots), Ironbound Express (now Jersey Express) and the Hampton Roads Piranhas (now Virginia Beach Piranhas).

PDL teams play a 16-game season -- eight games at home, eight on the road, and all but ten teams will earn postseason berths.

Here are the breakdowns of the league's four geographical conferences and nine divisions.

CENTRAL CONFERENCE - GREAT LAKES DIVISION
Akron Summit Assault
Chicago Fire
Cincinnati Kings
Forest City London
Hamilton FC Rage
Indiana Invaders
Michigan Bucks
River City Rovers
Toronto Lynx

CENTRAL CONFERENCE - HEARTLAND DIVISION
Des Moines Menace
Kansas City Brass
Real Colorado Foxes
Springfield Demize
St. Louis Lions
Thunder Bay Chill
WSA Winnipeg

EASTERN CONFERENCE - NORTHEAST DIVISION
MPS Portland Phoenix
New Hampshire Phantoms
Ottawa Fury
Vermont Voltage
Western Mass Pioneers

EASTERN CONFERENCE - MID-ATLANTIC DIVISION
Bermuda Hogges
Brooklyn Knights
Central Jersey Spartans
Jersey Express
Long Island Rough Riders
Ocean City Nor'easters
Reading United FC
Westchester Flames

EASTERN CONFERENCE - SOUTH ATLANTIC DIVISION
Carolina Dynamo
Fredericksburg Hotspur
Northern Virginia Royals
Real Maryland Monarchs
Virginia Beach Piranhas
West Virginia Chaos

SOUTHERN CONFERENCE - MID-SOUTH DIVISION
Baton Rouge Capitals
Chivas El Paso Patriots
Laredo Heat
New Orleans Jesters
RGV Grandes FC
West Texas United Sockers

SOUTHERN CONFERENCE - SOUTHEAST DIVISION
Central Florida Kraze
FC Jax Destroyers
Fort Launderdale Schulz Academy
IMG Bradenton Academics
Mississippi Brilla
Nashvile Metros

WESTERN CONFERENCE - NORTHWEST DIVISION
Abbotsford Mariners
Kitsap Pumas
Portland Timbers U23s
North Sound Seawolves
Tacoma Tide
Vancouver Whitecaps Residency
Victoria Highlanders
Washington Crossfire

WESTERN CONFERENCE - SOUTHWEST DIVISION
BYU Cougars
Fresno Fuego
Hollywood United Hitmen
Los Angeles Legends
Ogden Outlaws
Orange County Blue Star
Southern California Seahorses
Ventura County Fusion

The Portland Timbers U23s, the first team in the league's 15-year history to finish the season undefeated, will begin defense of their league crown May 6 at home against the Victoria Highlanders, and the league runnerup, the Thunder Bay Chill will open their 2011 season at WSA Winnipeg May 28.

To view the entire 2011 USL PDL schedule, go to http://pdl.uslsoccer.com.

Sounders To Defend Two-Time LHUSOC Championship Soon

The US Soccer Federation Thursday announced the format for the 2011 edition of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament, entertng its 98th year as the nation's oldest annual soccer tournament.

The Seattle Sounders of Major League Soccer are the two-time defending champions and will be one of 40 teams who will be whittled down from an initial field of over 155 teams to compete for the title during the single elimination tournament, beginning June 14 and ending October 4.

The tournament pits the best teams from Division I professional soccer (MLS), Division III (USL PRO), and Amateur ranks (teams from the USL Premier Development League, US Adult Soccer Association and the National Premier Soccer Leage) in a race to reach the tournament's championship final, where the winner of that game gets $100,000 and the loser gets $50,000.

Since MLS came into being in 1996, only one non-MLS team has won the tournament -- the Rochester Rhinos of the USL A-League (now USL PRO).

MLS has six teams that have automatically qualified for the tournament and have byes through the third round June 28 based on their 2010 regular season records: the Sounders, Columbus Crew, FC Dallas, Los Angeles Galaxy, New York Red Bulls and Real Salt Lake.

The remaining 10 US-based teams, including the expansion Portland Timbers, will face off in a series of play-in games for the final two berths, representing MLS.

All 11 USL PRO teams, a USSF Division 2 Pro League -- Charleston Battery, Charlotte Eagles, Dayton Dutch Lions, Harrisburg City Islanders, Los Angeles Blues, FC New York, Orlando City Soccer Club, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Richmond Kickers, Rochester Rhinos and Wilmington Hammerheads -- have also received berths in the field.

Due to the fact they did not receive sanctioning for the 2011 season by the USSF in time to be included, no US-based team from the North American Soccer League was invited to participate in the tournament.

The top team from each of the nine divisions in the USL Premier Development League, one of three amateur league involved in the open competition, will qualify for the 40-team field based on the results of four pre-selected 2011 regular season games -- two home, two away.

The USASA will see their first and second place teams from each of four regions advancing to the tournament and the NPSL will have a qualfying tournament to determine their four representatives.

Along with the prizes for the tournament finalists, $100,000 to the winner, $50,000 to the runnerup, the furthest advancing Division III team (USL PDL, USASA, NPSL) team will get a $10,000 prize.

All tournament games will be played on Tuesdays.

Here is the breakdown of the 2011 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament schedule:

2011 LAMAR HUNT US OPEN CUP TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
May 30 - Deadline for teams to qualify for tournament

June 14 - First Round (32 from USL PRO and Amateur Division play)

June 21 - Second Round (First Round winners)

June 28 - Third Round (Second Round winners face MLS teams)

July 12 - Quarterfinals

August 30 - Semifinals

October 4 - Final

Sounders Keep Alonso Under Contract Until 2014

Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders announced Thursday midfielder Osvaldo Alonso will remain with the franchise through the 2014 season after signing a contract extension.

He had a goal and an assist over 23 regular season appearances last year and was named the team's Most Valuable Player.

In 2009, Alonso had one goal and three assists for Seattle.

Before coming to MLS, Alonso was the 2008 Rookie of the Year in the USL Ssecond Division with the Charleston Battery and was voted their team Most Valuable Player.

He was also capped 37 times by the Cuba men's national team.

United Cuts James; Trades Int'l Roster Spot For Allocation Cash From Galaxy

Major League Soccer's DC United announced Thursday they have waived defender Julius James and separately received an international roster spot from the Los Angeles Galaxy in exchange for allocation money.

James played for DC for 1 1/2 seasons, starting a total of 24 of 31 regular season games after being traded by the Houston Dynamo August 14, 1999.

A member of Trinidad & Tobago's men's national team, Jones was the ninth overall pick in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft by Toronto FC out of the University of Connecticut and he started ten of 13 games.

Revolution Signs Defender Cora From Argentina's Chacarita Juniors

Major League Soccer's New England Revolution announced Thursday the signing of defender Franco Cora from Argentina's Chacharita Juniors.

Cora impressed Revolution staff enough through a video that the team sent assistant coach Stephen Myles to Argentina on two separate occasions to scout him in person.

Chivas Gives Up Allocation Cash To Timbers For Zizzo

Chivas USA gave Major League Soccer allocation money to the Portland Timbers Wednesday in exchange for midfielder Sal Zizzo.

Zizzo, who Chivas won the playing rights to in a weighted lottery July 21, 2010, appeared in ten games last season, starting one game, and having an assist.

After playing college soccer for two seasons at UCLA, Zizzo went to Germany and played for Hannover 96 in the Bundesliga, making eight appearances over two seasons. He was also playing on their reserve team, Hannover 96 II.

A former member of the US U-18 and U-20 teams, he made one appearance for the senior national team -- on August 22, 2007 at Sweden.

Waza's Decu Named PASL's Player Of The Week

After scoring four goals and assisting on three other goals in a 10-9 overtime win at home to the Louisville Lightning Saturday at the Taylor (MI) Sportsplex, forward Costea Decu of the Detroit Waza was named Wednesday the Professional Arena Soccer League's Player of the Week for Week 14 of the 2010-11 season.

Decu is the team's new record holder for most points in a season with 38, crushing the old record of 29 by Fernando Gatica last season.

MacKenzie OT Goal Lifts Wave Over Vipers

Travis MacKenzie scored the game-winning goal at the 1:46 mark of overtime as the Milwaukee Wave, the defending Major Indoor Soccer League regular season champion, got past the Omaha Vipers 10-8 in a rare Wednesday game at the Omaha Civic Auditorium.

The game was originally scheduled for February 3 in Omaha, but was postponed due to the Midwest blizzard.

Ian Bennett and Guiliano Oliveiro each had a pair of two-point goals for the Wave, now 11-4 and a half-game behind the league-leading Baltimore Blast (11-2) in the standings prior to their next meeting this Sunday at First Mariner Arena in Baltimore.

Ryan Junge and Victor Quiroz pumped in respective three-point goals and Johnny Torres scored on a penalty kick as the Vipers fell to 7-9 and in third place in the standings, 4 1/2 games behind the Wave for second place and five behind the Blast to take over the lead.

The Vipers travel to the Blast Saturday.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

DC United Gives Up Allocation Ranking Spot To Sign Davies

Major League Soccer's DC United, the worst team in the league last season, gave up their spot in the league's allocation money rankings to acquire former US Men's National Team forward Charlie Davies, who is making a comeback after suffering serious injuries in a 2009 car crash in Washington, DC that killed his passenger and caused him to miss out on playing for the USMNT for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

He was signed on loan for the 2011 season by Sochaux of France's Ligue 1.

Davies' professional career began in Sweden with Hammarby IF, where he scored six goals in 11 games across all competitions, before he left for France, where he scored two goals in eight games for Sochaux in 2009 before the accident.

Davies has been in training camp with United the last two weeks as a trialist.

Impact Sign Gatti To New Deal

The North American Soccer League's Montreal Impact announced the re-signing Wednesday of defender/midfielder Simon Gatti to a one-year deal, according to the Montreal Gazette.

In 99 regular season appearances over the last five seasons, 78 of them as a starter, Gatti has two goals and four assists.

Battery Inks Pevertey To 2011 Contract

The Charleston Battery of USL PRO announced Wednesday they have signed midfielder Cole Pevertey to a 2011 contract.

After playing on his native New Zealand's U-20, Olympic and senior national teams, he began his professional career with Hawke's Bay United, where he appeared in 45 games between 2007 and 2008.

Last season, he began with Team Wellington, but returned to Hawke's Bay.

LA Blues To Host Four Games At Centennial High School

The expansion Los Angeles Blues of USL PRO announced Wednesday they will play four home games in their -- and the league's -- debut season at Husky Stadium on the campus of Centennial High School in Corona, CA.

Those games will take place May 14 (versus the Charlotte Eagles), June 24 (versus the Harrisburg City Islanders), July 31 (against Puerto Rico United) and August 10 (versus Sevilla).

Rhinos Sign Former Islanders Forward Jagdeosingh To Deal

The Rochester Rhinos of USL PRO announced the signing Wednesday of former Puerto Rico Islanders forward Kendall Jagdeosingh to a one-year deal with an option for the 2012 season.

Jagdeosingh led the Islanders to the 2010 USSF Division 2 Pro League championship title and led them to a USL First Division regular season and to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League tournament in 2008.

He represented Trinidad and Tobago in the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament and played three seasons (2004-05, 2007) with Caledonia AIA of that country's professional league.

USL W-League Schedule Released

The USL W-League officially released their 158-game 2011 regular season schedule Wednesday, with the season beginning May 14 and ending July 17 and 22 of the league's 27 teams making the playoffs.

The teams will be in three geographic conferences -- the Central, the Eastern (broken into the Atlantic and Northeast Divisions) and the Western.

Depending on the conference, teams will play between 10 and 14 games each.

There are four new teams in the league this season -- the Dayton Dutch Lions, Los Angeles Strikers, Victoria Highlanders and the Fredericksburg Impact -- and three teams with new names: Hamilton Rage (formerly the Avalanche), Washington (DC) FC (formerly Washington Freedom Futures) and the Virginia Beach Piranhas (formerly Hampton Roads Piranhas).

Here are the conference alignments for the 2011 USL W-League season:

CENTRAL CONFERENCE
Hamilton Rage
Laval Comets
London Gryphons
Ottawa Fury
Quebec City Amiral
Rochester Ravens
Toronto Lady Lynx

EASTERN CONFERENCE - ATLANTIC DIVISION
Atlanta Silverbacks
Charlotte Lady Eagles
Dayton Dutch Lions
Fredericksburg Impact
Northern Virginia Majestics
Virginia Beach Piranhas

EASTERN CONFERECE - NORTHEAST DIVISION
Long Island Rough Riders
New Jersey Rangers
New Jersey Wildcats
New York Magic
North Jersey Valkyries
Washington FC

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Colorado Force
Colorado Rush
Los Angeles Strikers
Pali Blues
Santa Clarita Blue Heat
Seattle Sounders Women
Vancouver Whitecaps
Victoria Highlanders

For more information on the 2011 USL W-League schedule, visit www.uslsoccer.com.

Valentin Retires From Soccer To Join MLB's Colorado Rockies

FC Tampa Bay of the North American Soccer League reported Wednesday defender Julian Valentin has retired from professional soccer to become the assistant editor of advertising, marketing and publications for Major League Baseball's Colorado Rockies of the National League.

FC Tampa Bay Signs Former CPB Midfielder Yoshitake To Two-Year Deal

FC Tampa Bay of the North American Soccer League signed Japanese midfielder Tsuyoshi Yohsitake, who split last season with Crystal Palace Baltimore and the Austin Aztex of the USSF Division 2 Pro League, to a two-year deal Wednesday.

In 24 appearances last season at Austin, he scored three goals before his loan ended and appeared in seven games for Baltimore after his return.

He began his professional career in Japan in 2000 with Yokohama FC, where he scored nine goals in 133 appearances over six seasons.

In 2007, he signed with Tokyo Verdy, but injuries limited him to playing in five games that season.

Yoshitake played the 2009 season with the Charleston Battery, then of USL First Division, where he had six goals and five assists in 26 games, was a five-time USL-1 Player of the Week winner, and was voted the team's Newcomer of the Year.

Bunbury Out 2-4 Weeks With Dislocated Elbow

Major League Soccer's Sporting Kansas City announced Wednesday forward Teal Bunbury will miss two to four weeks of play after dislocating an elbow in a preseason match Tuesday in Phoenix against the Houston Dynamo.

Bunbury dislocated the elbow after colliding with Houston defender Andrew Hainhault.

Dynamo Sign Jamaican Defender Taylor

Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo announced the signing Wednesday of Jamaican defender Jermaine Taylor, who comes to them in a transfer from St. George's in his country's professional league.

Taylor, whose cousin, Fabian, once played in MLS with the MetroStars in 2004, has been capped 37 times for his national team and led the Reggae Boyz to the 2010 Digicel Caribbean Cup championship, playing all 510 minutes of five games over nine days, two of them going into overtime, and helping them in allowing only three goals scored against them.

Taylor began playing professionally in 2004 with Harbor View in 2004, but left in 2009 to join St. George's.

Sky Blue FC Invites Eight Free Agents To Training Camp

Sky Blue FC, the first champion in Women's Professional Soccer in 2009, announced Tuesday it has invited eight free agent players to attend their preseason training camp, which begins March 1, to vie for a possible spot on their roster when they travel to Antalya, Turkey to play in the 2011 International Women's Tournament of Champions March 12-20.

Invited are goalkeeper Erin Guthrie of Rutgers, defenders Kika Toulouse (Virginia), Lindsey Johnson (Santa Clara), Kasey Richards (Connecticut), Kelly Lynch (Virginia Tech) and Kristen Medeiros (Southern Methodist) and forward Kimberly Newsome (Central Florida).

Beat Sign Three More To 2011 Roster

The Atlanta Beat, the team with the worst record wire-to-wire in Women's Professional Soccer last season, announced the signing of Vendula Strnadova, Megan Jesolva and Collen Flanagan to 2011 season contracts Tuesday.

Strnadova, born in the Czech Republic, spent three seasons with the University of Memphis and was named Conference USA Offensive Most Valuable Player, National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Central Region First Team, First Team College Sports Information Directors Association/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District and Second Team NSCAA/adidas Scholar All-American.

She played every match in 2009 for the Tigers, leading them to their third straight C-USA conference championship with a goal and two assists in tournament play.

Before Memphis, she was on her home country's U-19 Women's National Team and was in the National Team Pool for the US Olympic Team.

Jeselova, from California-Berkeley, was named 2009's top collegiate player by Soccer Buzz magazine and played on the US' U-16, U-17 and U-23 National Teams.

Flanagan will be reunited in Atlanta with fellow University of Virginia teammate Meghan Lenczyk, selected by the Beat in the 2011 WPS Draft.

She was a member of the US U-23 Women's National Team and the US U-17 National Team Pool.

Flanagan started all 22 games for Virginia in the 2009 season after starting 21 of 23 games in 2008.

Davies May See Soccer Comeback Continue With DC United

After suffering numerous serious injuries 16 months ago in a car accident in Washington, DC, hours before playing for the US Men's National Team in that city, The Washington Post reports Monday Major League Soccer's worst team in league history and in 2010, DC United, could sign forward Charlie Davies to a contract.

If the deal is worked out, he would be loaned to United for a year by Sochaux of France, the team who owns his rights.

USSF Rules Five NASL Teams Ineligible For 2011 LHUSOC Tournament

The US Soccer Federation announced Tuesday that five North American Soccer League franchises -- the Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks, FC Tampa Bay, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and the NSC Minnesota Stars -- will not be able to compete in the upcoming 2011 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament, the oldest club tournament in the country, according to the Gwinnett (GA) Daily Post.

USSF president Sunil Gulati, in a conference call Monday, said it would be too difficult for the organization to change the tournament's structure to allow the teams to play.

Richards Scores, Assists, But Red Bulls Lose To Chivas In Guadalajara

Dane Richards scored off a pass from Rafa Marquez in the 29th minute, then assisted Juan Agudelo ten minutes later on another strike to the back of the net, but Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls lost 3-2 Tuesday to Chivas de Guadalajara, the parent franchise of MLS' Chivas USA, in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The Red Bulls return to the States Wednesday before heading to Fort Lauderdale, FL for the next part of their 2011 season training camp.

RSL Shuts Out Chivas USA In Final Preseason Game Before CCL Series With Crew

2009 Major League Soccer champion Real Salt Lake, in their last Major League Soccer preseason game before preparing to play the Columbus Crew in the quarterfinals of the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League tournament, shut out Chivas USA 2-0 Tuesday at Chivas' training site in Casa Grande, AZ.

RSL's first goal came in the 62nd minute off an own goal from Chivas' Jimmy Conrad, but Will Johnson fired a pass from Alvaro Saborio in the 70th minute for Salt Lake.

RSL will travel to Columbus and Crew Stadium next Tuesday for game one of the two-game, aggregate goal series, which moves to Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT for game two March 1.

The winner of the series will meet the winner of the series between Saprissa of Costa Rica and Olimpia of Honduras in the semifinals, set for March 15 and April 2.

Chivas USA, meanwhile, will host the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps in their next game in Casa Grande Saturday.

Rodrguez Brace Leads FC Dallas Over Houston Baptist University

Milton Rodriguez had a pair of goals and Ricardo Villar and Bruno Guarda scored goals as Major League Soccer's FC Dallas defeated Houston Baptist University 4-1 Tuesday in preseason play at the Pizza Hut Park complex in Frisco, TX.

FC Dallas will next host Southern Methodist University Friday.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

FC Tampa Bay Adds Hayes As AC, Faylo As Head Trainer

FC Tampa Bay of the North American Soccer League, which begins play in April, announced Tuesday former player David Hayes will become an assistant coach and James Faylo will become the team's head trainer.

Hayes played last season for the Carolina RailHawks in the USSF Division 2 Pro League.

He played collegiately at Southern Maryland Community College and Wingate University before being drafted professionally by DC United in the third round of the Major League Soccer College Draft in 1999, making 15 appearances from 1999, when the team won the MLS Cup, to 2000, as well as scoring six goals in 14 games for MLS Pro-40.

He then scored 21 goals over 100+ appearances between MLS' Chicago Fire (2001) and the Richmond Kickers (2002, 2004) and Rochester Rhinos (2003) in USL First Division.

Hayes next joiined USL-1's Atlanta Silverbacks from 2005 to 2008, winning the league's Defender of the Year award in 2007 and being a finalist for the 2008 award, being named to the 2007 and 2008 USL-1 First Team and being named team co-captain in 2008.

From Atlanta, he joined the Portland Timbers in 2009, where he was named captain for a team that won the USL-1 Commissioner's Cup as having the league's best record, including a 24-game unbeaten streak, as well as winning the 2009 Cascadia Cup between them, the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Seattle Sounders.

He was also a finalist again for the USL-1 DOTY award that season, made his third straight USL-1 First Team and served as the assistant coach for the USL Premier Development League's Portland Timbers U-23s.

Faylo previously served as head athletic trainer for the Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena Football League and as a certified trainer for NFL Europe.

From 1998 to 2007, he also worked with US Soccer as a certified athletic trainer and was responsible for the national soccer teams.

In 1992, Faylo, who got his Bachelors of Science degree in Physical Education at State University of New York and a Master's degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion from California University of Pennsylvania, was the athletic trainer of the Tampa Bay Rowdies and, from 1995 to 1998, worked for the now-defunct Tampa Bay Mutiny of MLS.

Piranhas To Still Have Bite, But Just A New Name

The Hampton Roads Piranhas' franchises in the USL Premier Development League and W-League announced Tuesday they are changing their name to the Virginia Beach Piranhas, beginning with the 2011 season, to better reflect the teams' proud roots in the city.

Bunbury Dislocates Elbow In Scrimmage With Dynamo

Sporting Kansas City forward Teal Bunbury is at a local Phoenix hospital after dislocating an elbow during a Major League Soccer preseason scrimmage against the Houston Dynamo in the Arizona city Tuesday.

He was challenging Houston's Andrew Hainhault for a ball in the second period of the scrimmage and laid on the ground for about 10 minutes while being treated before being transported to the hospital.

Crew Wins Latest MLS Lottery To Gain Rights To Veeder

The Columbus Crew won the latest weighted lottery over Toronto FC, the Seattle Sounders and the defending Major League Soccer champion Colorado Rapids Tuesday to acquire the rights to US U-20 National Team defender Korey Veeder.

The Crew (19.31%) had the third-best chance of gaining Veeder, ahead of the Rapids (10.34%), but behind Toronto (45.52%) and Seattle (24.83%).

A former member of the US U-17 Residency Program at IMG Academies in Bradenton, FL, Veeder played in 2010 in the USSF Division 2 Pro League with Crystal Palace Baltimore.

He is also part of the player pool for the US U-20 national team and hopes to be called to assist in qualifying the team for the upcoming CONCACAF tournament.

FC Dallas Trades Pierce To Chivas USA For Allocation Money

Major League Soccer's FC Dallas traded US Men's National Team defender Heath Pierce to Chivas USA Tuesday in return for allocation money, hours after Dallas beat Houston Baptist University 4-1 in a preseason game at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX.

Pierce joined Dallas in 2009 after professionally for a combined four seasons in Denmark (FC Nordsjaelland - 2005, 2006) and Germany (Hansa Rostock - 2007, 2008).

In 2009, he started 32 games, then started 27 of 28 last season, tallying six assists, before an injured hamstring kept him out of being on the roster when FC Dallas made the MLS Cup playoffs.

Vipers Cut Farias, Bontti; Sign Sanaldo

The Omaha Vipers of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced the release Monday of forward Carlos "Chile" Farias and goalkeeper Jose Bontti and the signing of goalkeeper Sanaldo.

Sanaldo, who has played professionally since age 17, played in the MISL for the Baltimore Blast and the Detroit Ignition, leading them to the 2006 Championship Game, a 13-8 loss to the Philadelphia Kixx.

He last played for the Rockford Rampage in the latest version of the MISL.

Dynamo Sign 2011 First Round Supplemental Draft Pick Newton

Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo signed goalkeeper Evan Newton, the seventh overall pick in the 2011 MLS Supplemental Draft, to a contract Monday.

The graduate of Old Dominion University, where he still is the school's all-time leader in saves and shutouts, was a 2010 First Team All-Colonial Athletic Association member with a 1.07 goals against average.

Newton also was a member of the US U-17 boys' national team.

FC Dallas Releases Forward Jason Yeasley

Major League Soccer's FC Dallas announced the release of second-year forward Jason Yeasley Monday.

A three-time team captain at Penn State, where he won the 2009 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award and had 24 goals and 16 assists in 62 career games, played in Dallas' first four games of the 2010 MLS season but scored no goals or assisted on a goal.

Earthquakes Sign Stephenson To Three-Year Deal

Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes Monday signed midfielder Khari Stephenson to a three-year contract.

Stephenson joined the team in August 2010 on loan from Norway's Aalesunds FK.

Galaxy Sign All Five 2011 MLS SuperDraft, Supplemental Draft Picks

Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy, the defending Western Conference and Supporters' Shield champion, announced the signing Monday of all five of their 2011 SuperDraft and Supplemental Draft picks -- midfielders Paolo Cardozo, Hector Jimenez, Dan Keat, Ryan Thomas and Dustin McCarty.

Cardozo has impressed the coaching staff since the 2010 MLS Combine, scoring two goals and setting up a third through all three preseason games they played after coming to the Galaxy through the youth system at River Plate in Argentina before joining Mexico's Quilmes and getting them promoted to the Mexican Primera Division.

Jimenez had 28 assists in his college career at California and was a three-time First Team All-Pac 10 Conference selection. He played in two of the Galaxy's three preseason games.

Keat, the third overall pick in the Supplemental Draft, was a National Soccer Coaches Association of America Third Team All-American in 2008 at Dartmouth but injured his left heel in training and has not played for the team yet.

Thomas, a Stanford grad, will be reunited at Los Angeles with Jimemez, his teammate at local youth team Arsenal FC, which won three Utah Youth Soccer Association national titles. He also played in all three Galaxy preseason tilts.

McCarty, brother of DC United midfielder Dax McCarty, played his freshman season with the University of Central Florida, where he was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team before transferring to North Carolina for his final three seasons.

With the Tar Heels, he led the team to three semifinal appearances at the NCAA College Cup and a finals appearance in 2008.

In the Galaxy's three preseason games, he has played at left back.

Goalkeeper Zach Johnson, drafted by Los Angeles in the third round of the Supplemental Draft from West Virginia, chose to pursue other professional opportunities over joining the Galaxy.