Friday, September 30, 2011

Budnyy Becoming A Silver Knight In Syracuse

The Syracuse Silver Knights of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced the signing Friday of Ukranian-born forward Andriy Budnyy, who spent the 2011 USL PRO season with the Wilmington Hammerheads, where he was fourth on the team in scoring with 22 points in 20 regular season games (eight goals, six assists).

He began his soccer career in the US with the Cascade Surge of the USL Premiere Development League (2004-05), then moved up to USL First Division in 2006 with the Charlotte Eagles.

After the Eagles, he returned to his native country and played two seasons with Obolon Kviy, where he had a combined 28 goals, before returning to the States and playing for the Caroin RailHawks, who loaned him to Wilmington in 2009.

Holloway Steps Down As Ocean City Head Coach To Focus More On GM Duties; Oswald Named New Head Coach

The Ocean City Nor'easters of the USL Premier Development League announced a front office shakeup Friday that sees Neil Holloway turn head coaching duties over to Tim Oswald, allowing Holloway to focus more on his duties as the franchise's general manager.

Oswald has spent the past six seasons as head coach of the men's team at Rutgers University - Camden, where he has become the school's all-time winningest head coach and has led them to their current national ranking of 16th in the country.

Oswald has also coached Ocean City's teams in the USL Super-Y League.

Silverbacks Host Blanco's Irapuato FC October 19 In Friendly Game

The Atlanta Silverbacks, who finished the first season of the North American Soccer League with the worst record, will host Mexico's Irapuato FC, led by former star Cuauhtemoc Blanco of Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire, in an exhibition game October 19 at Atlanta Silverbacks Park, the Silverbacks announced Friday.

MLS Fans Name Montero, Perkins Week 28 Award Winners

Major League Soccer fans selected Seattle Sounders forward Fredy Montero and Portland Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins as the Week 28 AT&T Goal of the Week and league Save of the Week winner after this week's voting period ended Thursday.

Montero, who won the GOTW award last in Week 14 of this season, scored the game-winning goal in the 64th minute of a victory against the Vancouver Whitecaps last Saturday to garner 52 percent of the vote from fans.

Dwayne De Rosario of DC United was second with 25 percent of the vote, followed by Joel Lindpere (New York Red Bulls at 14 percent, Juan Pablo Angel of Chivas USA at six percent and Dane Richards (Red Bulls) rounding out the nominees at three percent.

Meanwhile, Perkins won a league-high fourth SOTW honor, having previously done so in Weeks 10, 17 and 18, by stopping a shot by New York's Thierry Henry in the 60th minute of Portland's 2-0 loss to the Red Bulls and getting 47.7 percent of votes cast.

Josh Saunders of the Los Angeles Galaxy finished second at 22.9 percent, followed by Tally Hall of the Houston Dynamo (18 percent), Jon Busch of the San Jose Earthquakes (ten percent) and Dan Kennedy of Chivas USA (1.4 percent).

WPS Champion Flash Re-Sign Four More Players; Six Now Back

The champion Western New York Flash of Women's Professional Soccer announced Thursday they have re-signed forwards Alex Morgan and Christine Sinclaie, US Coast Guard Goalkeeeper of the Yer Ashlyn Harris and midfielder Brittany Bock for the 2012 season.

The team previously re-signed WPS Defender of the Year Whitney Ergen and midfielder Becky Edwards.

Farfan Assists, Hits Game Winner As Union Edges United At PPL Park

Michael Farfan scored the unassisted game-winning goal in the 57th minute and earlier assisted on the second of two goals by Sebastien Le Toux in the 15th minute as the host Philadelphia Union edged DC United 3-2 in Major League Soccer play Thursday from PPL Park in Chester, PA.

Le Toux scored unassisted for the Union in the fourth minute to open the action as the Union improved to 10-7-13 with 43 points, putting them in second place in the Eastern Conference standings, two points behind Sporting Kansas City (11-9-11, 44) for the lead. Philadelphia travels to the West Coast Sunday to meet Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

United tied the game at 2-2 as Austin Da Luz assisted Dwayne De Rosario on an 21st minute strike and Andy Najar converted an unassisted play in the 30th minute. DC is in sixth place in the Eastern standings at 9-9-11 with 38 points and are two points behind the New York Red Bulls (8-7-15, 39 points) for fifth place. United takes on the Columbus Crew Sunday at Crew Stadium.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Klinsmann Announces 22-Man Roster For Honduras, Ecuador Friendlies

US Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann announced Thursday his 22-player roster for upcoming international friendly games against Honduras October 8 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami and Ecuador October 11 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.

The team is 0-2-1 under Klinsmann since taking over for Bob Bradley, who was fired after the team's performance at the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, where they advanced to the championship game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA, but lost to Mexico 4-2, and is ranked 31st in the world in the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola World Men's Soccer Rankings.

Here is the roster for the USMNT's games:

GOALKEEPERS
Bill Hamid - DC United
Tim Howard - Everton
Nick Rimando - Real Salt Lake

DEFENDERS
Carlos Bocanegra - Rangers
Timmy Chandler - Nurnberg
Steve Cherundolo - Hannover 96
Oguchi Onyewu - Sporting Lisbon
Michael Orozco Fiscal - San Luis
Tim Ream - New York Red Bulls
Jonathan Spencer - Birmingham City

MIDFIELDERS
Kyle Beckerman - Real Salt Lake
Michael Bradley - Chievo Verona
Clint Dempsey - Fulham
Maurice Edu - Rangers
Jeff Larentowicz - Colorado Rapids
Brek Shea - FC Dallas
Danny Williams - Hoffenheim

FORWARDS
Juan Agudelo - New York Red Bulls
Jozy Altidore - AZ Alkmaar
DaMarcus Beasley - Puebla
Teal Bunbury - Sporting Kansas City
Landon Donovan - Los Angeles Galaxy

Pappa In The House With Hat Trick To Lead Fire Over RSL

Marco Pappa was all the offense the Chicago Fire needed as they upset host Real Salt Lake 3-0 Wednesday in Major League Soccer play from Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT.

Daniel Paladini and Patrick Nyarko teamed to assist Pappa on the first goal in the ninth minute, Pavel Pardo had the honors on the second goal in the 36th minute, and Pappa scored on his own in the 75th minute for Chicago's third straight win.

The Fire are 7-8-15 with 36 points and are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings. Chicago travels to the Houston Dynamo Saturday.

Real Salt Lake is in third place in the Western Conference with a 15-9-6 record and 51 points. They take on the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Galaxy Saturday at The Home Depot Center.

James' Error Puts Sporting Kansas City At Top Of Eastern Conference Standings

Julius James of the Columbus Crew scored a game-winning own goal for his opponent, host Sporting Kansas City, in the 74th minute of a 2-1 Major League Soccer game Wednesday at Livestrong Soccer Park in Kansas City, KS to give the franchise that started the season with a 10-game road trip and lost their first 14 games in a row the lead in the Eastern Conference standings at 11-9-11 with 44 points.

Kei Kamara opened the scoring for Kansas City in the 15th minute off a penalty kick and Columbus, winless in their last six games, tied the game in the 34th minute when Robbie Rogers found Emilio Renteria for a goal.

Sporting Kansas City next faces the San Jose Earthquakes Saturday at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, CA and the Crew, in third in the Eastern standings at 11-12-8 with 41 points, hosts DC United this Sunday.

Rapids Ride High With CCL Group B Win Over Metapan Of El Salvador

Eddie Ababio, Quincy Amarkiwa and Omar Cummings scored goals as the defending Major League Soccer champion Colorado Rapids used a mostly MLS Reserve Division lineup to defeat host Isidro Metapan of El Salvador 3-1 in the fifth game of Group B play Wednesday to keep alive their plans to advance to the knockout stage of the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League tournament.

Colorado is in second place in the league standings at 3-2-0 with seven points (including a two-point penalty) and will travel to Mexico's Santos Laguna October 19 for the final game of pool play.

The Rapids return to league play Saturday when they host FC Dallas at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO.

Juninho Stoppage Time Game-Winner Helps Galaxy Edge Morelia In CCL Play

Juninho's goal in second-half stoppage time allowed host Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer to defeat Mexico's Morelia 2-1 in the fifth game of Group A pool play at the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League tournament Wednesday at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

Mike Magee opened the scoring for the Galaxy, then Morelia's Marquez Lugo forced the draw that was later broken by Juninho.

The four-team group, which also features LD Alajuelnese of Costa Rica, has a logjam for first place as the Galaxy (3-2-0), Morelia (3-2-0) and Alajuelnese (3-1-0 but play Thursday versus Motagua of Honduras) all have nine points and only the top two teams can advance to the knockout round with six other competitors.

The Galaxy host Real Salt Lake in their next MLS game Saturday, but end their CCL pool play schedule October 20 by hosting Motagua.

Tauro Breaks Four-Game CCL Losing Streak With Sanchez Hat Trick

Victor Medieta assisted on Marco Sanchez's hat trick as Panama's Tauro won their first game in Group C play at the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League tournament by a 5-3 score over Major League Soccer's FC Dallas at Rommel Fernandez Stadium in Panama City, Panama.

Luis Moreno opened the scoring for Tauro in the 12th minute off a Juan Barrera assist, but Dallas would would tie the game in the 23rd minute of a Jair Benitez penalty kick, but they never got close again.

Auriel Gallardo gave Tauro the 2-1 halftime lead in the 33rd minute when Carlos Rodriguez connected with him and expanded the lead to 4-1 with Sanchez's first two goals in the 77th and 82nd minute.

Dallas cut the deficit to 4-2 in the 85th minute as Andrew Jacobsen assisted on the first of Ruben Luna's two goals, but, two minutes later, Sanchez knocked in Tauro's final goal of the night to make it 5-2.

Luna's second goal was off a penalty kick in the final moments of second-half stoppage time.

Tauro remains in last place in Group C at 1-2-2 with five points and is mathematically eliminated from the competition.

Dallas, meanwhile is now 2-2-1 with seven points and tied for second place with MLS' Toronto FC, who boast the same record and who Dallas hosts in the final group play game October 18.

Dallas returns to MLS play Saturday when they head to Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO to face the defending MLS Cup champion Colorado Rapids.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

NASL Coaches Unveil 2011 Best XI

The North American Soccer League Wednesday named the members of their 2011 Best XI, selected in voting by the league's eight head coaches.

They are as follows:

GOALKEEPER
Brad Knighton - Carolina RailHawks
- First season with team
- Played every minute this season
- Was runner-up for NASL Golden Glove award
- 0.94 goals against average, 113 saves and eight shutouts this season

DEFENDERS
Hassoun Camara - Montreal Impact
- First season with team
- Led team in starts with 22
- Scored two goals and an assist this season

Lance Laing - Fort Lauderdale Strikers
- First season with team
- Was second on team in minutes played

Kupono Low - Carolina RailHawks
- Fifth season with team
- Played in 26 games and led team in minutes played
- Became team captain after goalkeeper Brad Rusin was transferred to HB Kage in the Netherlands

Toni Stahl - Fort Lauderdale Strikers
- Was 2009 Big East Conference Midfielder of the Year at University of Connecticut
- Drafted by Philadelphia Union in 2010 Major League Soccer SuperDraft

MIDFIELDERS
David Foley - Puerto Rico Islanders
- Had seven goals and six assists this season
- Joined team in 2010 in USSF Division 2 Pro League after playing seven seasons with England's Hartlepool United

Pascal Millen - FC Tampa Bay
- Second season with team
- Scored four goals and five assists
- Was named NASL's Offensive Player of the Week July 5

Shaun Saiko - FC Edmonton
- Led team in goal scoring (nine) and assists (five) in 27 regular season games and one game in the 2011 Nutrilite Canadian Championship

Matt Watson - Carolina RailHawks
- Third season with team
- Scored three goals and two assists in 2,031 minutes over 24 regular season games

FORWARDS
Mike Ambersley - FC Tampa Bay
- First season with team after spending 2010 USSF D-2 Pro League season with AC St. Louis
- Was third in the league in goals with a team-high 11 and in assists with a team-high seven; led team in minutes played at 2,275

Etienne Barbara - Carolina RailHawks
- Second season with team
- Was named league's first Golden Boot winner with 20 goals, also had eight assists this season
- Was NASL Offensive Player of the Month for April and May 2011

Silverbacks Loan Swiss Natives Schnorf To Third Division Team Until November 20

The Atlanta Silverbacks of the North American Soccer League announced Wednesday defender Mattias Schnorf, a native of Switzerland who left the team last Thursday to return there for personal reasons, has been loaned to Sportclub Young Fellow Juventus of the country's third division until November 20.

Schnorf previously played in the country's second division before joining the Silverbacks and had a tryout last month with the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer.

Rezendes Named New GM Of Hammerheads

The Wilmington Hammerheads of USL PRO announced Wednesday Scott Rezendes has been named the franchise's new general manager.

He graduated from George Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law And Communication, Economics and Government and a Masters of Business Administration degree in Sports Marketing and Finance.

Rezendes previously worked for the Major League Soccer Players Union in Washington, DC as a liaison regarding player salaries and employment matters and for Women's Professional Soccer's Washington Freedom (now magicJack) as director of gameday operations and marketing.

MLS Names Week 28 Team Of The Week Members

Major League Soccer announced Wednesday the members of the league's 28th Team of the Week for the 2011 season, which is compiled each week by staffers at MLSsoccer.com and honors the outstanding players and performances of the previous week.

GOALKEEPER
Tally Hall - Houston Dynamo

DEFENDERS
Stephen Keel - New York Red Bulls
Geoff Cameron - Houston Dynamo
Michael Farfan - Philadelphia Union

MIDFIELDERS
Adam Moffat - Houston Dynamo
Andy Najar - DC United
Dwayne De Rosario - DC United (MLS Week 28 Player of the Week)
Dane Richards - New York Red Bulls
Stephen King - DC United

FORWARDS
Juan Pablo Angel - Chivas USA
Fredy Montero - Seattle Sounders

MANAGER
Bruce Arena - Los Angeles Galaxy

HONORABLE MENTION
Jalil Anibaba - Chicago Fire
Brian Carroll - Philadelphia Union
Davide Chuimiento - Vancouver Whitecaps
Adam Cristman - Los Angeles Galaxy
Fabian Espindola - Real Salt Lake
Ryan Guy - New England Revolution
George John - FC Dallas
Kei Kamara - Sporting Kansas City
Kasey Keller - Seattle Sounders
Joel Lindpere - New York Red Bulls
Zach Loyd - FC Dallas
Zac MacMath - Philadelphia Union
Pablo Mastroeni - Colorado Rapids
Patrick Nyarko - Chicago Fire
Dominic Oduro - Chicago Fire
Jeff Parke - Seattle Sounders
Logan Pause - Chicago Fire
Josh Saunders - Los Angeles Galaxy
Khari Stephenson - San Jose Earthquakes

Pardo Re-Signs With Comets

The Missouri Comets of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced Tuesday they have re-signed goalkeeper Boris Pardo through the 2012-13 season.

Pardo backed up Danny Waltman last season and started two games, including a 23-20 come-from-behind win over the Omaha Vipers January 23, where he had 16 saves.

He played collegiately at Seton Hall from 2002 to 2006 and set the school record for shutouts with 16 and was the 2006 Big East Goalkeeper of the Year.

He began his professional soccer career in Chile before joining Major League Soccer in 2007 as a member of their league-wide goalkeeper pool. Pardo was later signed by the Kansas City Wizards (now Sporting Kansas City) in 2008 and played mostly on their Reserve League team.

Dike Scores Twice For Timbers In Reserve League Win Over Chivas USA

Bright Dike had a pair of goals, Jorge Perlaza, Rodney Wallace and Brian Umony added goals and Peter Lowry assisted on two scores as the Portland Timbers defeated Chivas USA 5-1 Tuesday in their home finale of the Major League Soccer Reserve League schedule at JELD-WEN Field.

The victory extended the Timbers' winning streak in the league to six games and they are second in the West Division at 5-2-2 with 17 points. Portland ends the Reserve League season this Monday at the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Chivas' only goal came off 16-year-old forward Ben Spencer, who made his debut and was assisted on his first career goal in the 62nd minute by Eric Gonzalez.

Chivas is in last place in the division at 1-3-3 with six points and will play the Los Angeles Galaxy in their season finale October 10 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

Toronto FC Ties Pumas UNAM In CCL Play; Close To Clinching Knockout Stage Berth

Major League Soccer's Toronto FC hosted Mexico's Pumas UNAM to a 1-1 draw in the fifth game of Group C play in the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League tournament Tuesday at BMO Field and moved one step closer to earning one of eight berths in the tournament's knockout phase, which go to the top two teams in each of four divisions after the end of group stage play.

Toronto took the lead in the 35th minute as Danny Koevermans assisted Peri Marosevic on a goal, but Erik Vera fed a pass to Marco Palacios for a 51st minute goal for Pumas.

Toronto will likely move on the next round of the tournament as they are 2-1-1 with seven points, tied for second place in the group with FC Dallas (2-2-1), who they meet in the final Group C game October 18 at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX.

Toronto returns to MLS play Saturday when they host the New York Red Bulls in an Eastern Conference contest.

Pumas UNAM leads the group at 2-1-2 with eight points and hosts Tauro of Panama, the last-place team in Group C at 0-2-2 with two points, October 19.

Sounders Tie Comunicaciones, Punches Ticket To CCL Knockout Stage

Osvaldo Alonso scored game-tying goals in the 44th and 89th minute as Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders became the first of eight teams to earn a spot in the knockout stage of the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League tournament with a 2-2 draw to Guatemala's Comunicaciones Tuesday in Group D play at Estadio Cementos Progreso in Guatemala City.

Transito Montepeque opened the game for the host team in the seventh minute with an assist off Carlos Meja and Rafael Morales scored their second goal unassisted in the 64th minute.

Seattle leads Group D with the tournament's best record at 3-1-1 with 10 points and will end group stage play October 18 by hosting Monterrey of Mexico.

Before that, though, the Sounders return to MLS play Saturday at the New England Revolution, then hosts MLS' Chicago Fire this Tuesday in the championship game of the 2011 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, where the Sounders are the two-time defending champions.

Comunicaciones is 2-2-1 with six points and will play at Herediano in Costa Rica October 19 to finish group play.

The top two teams in each of the CCL's four groups advance to the knockout stage

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Silver Knights Sign Former Riot Stars Berenzon, Megson

The Syracuse Sliver Knighs of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced the signings Tuesday of two former Chicago Riot players in defender Andre Berenzon and midfielder Alex Megson.

Berenzon, from Sao Paulo, Brazil, made his professional indoor soccer debut with the Rockford Rampage from 2008 to 2010 before joining Chicago for the 2010-11 season, where he was named to the league's All-Rookie Team.

Megson, from Tacoma, WA, played the 2009-10 season for the defending league champion Milwaukee Wave, then was traded after the season to Chicago.

The Silver Knights open their 2011-12 MISL season November 4 at the Oncenter War Memorial Arena against the Rochester Lancers.

MISL Revises 2011-12 Schedule Due To Arena Problems With Chicago Kick

Due to the inability of the Chicago Kick franchise to secure a deal for a home arena, the Major Indoor Soccer League announced the team will not join the league until the 2012-13 season, forcing the league to release a realignment of their schedule.

The new schedule is available at http://misl.uslsoccer.com/MISLschedules/index_E.html.

The league will now have seven teams competing this season -- the Baltimore Blast, Nofolk SharX, Rochester Lancers and Syracuse Silver Knights in the East Division and the defending champion Milwaukee Wave, the Missouri Comets and the Wichita Wings in the Central Division -- with each team playing a 24-game schedule.

The playoff format will remain unchanged: the top two teams in each division will meet the weekend of March 9-11 for a two-game, home-and-home series, with a mini-game immediately after the second game, if a series is tied, with the division champions meeting March 16-18 in a similar two-game championship series, with the highest ranked team choosing which game they will host.

Blast Re-Signs Ten Players To Deals

The Baltimore Blast of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced the re-signing Tuesday of ten players -- forwards Machel Millwood, Adauto Neto, Max Ferdinand, Adrian Bumbut and Lucio Gonzaga; midfielders Pat Healey and Scott Buete, defenders Mike Lookingland and Carlos Garcia, and goalkeeper Sagu.

Sagu will be in his eighth season with the Blast and was a three-time Goalkeeper of the Month last season. He gave up 82 goals in 18 games last season.

Garcia is in his fourth season with Baltimore.

Lookingland is in his seventh season with the Blast and was third in the league last season in blocks with 35.

Healey, in his fourth season, led the team in points with 48 and had career-highs in all scoring categories.

Neto and Buete are each in their fifth season with the team, while Gonzaga and Bumbut spend their fourth seasons each in a Baltimore uniform.

Ferdinand was second on the team in points with 43.

The Blast open their 2011-12 MISL season at First Mariner Arena November 12 against the Syracuse Silver Knights.

NASL Announces Golden Boot, Golden Glove And Fair Play Winners

The North American Soccer League announced Tuesday forward Etienne Barbara of the Carolina RailHawks, goalkeeper Evan Bush of the Montreal Impact and FC Tampa Bay are winners of the league's first Golden Boot, Golden Glove and Fair Play awards.

Barbara led the league with 20 goals and was a two-time Player of the Month. He also had four multi-goal games this season, including a hat trick in an August 27 game against the Atlanta Silverbacks.

Bush led the league with a goals against average of 0.76, allowed 14 goals in 19 games, and had a career-best nine shutouts, including seven in his last ten regular season games.

FC Tampa Bay had the best disclipined team in the league, based on the number of yellow and red cards issued.

Nominees Named For Week 28 MLS Save Of The Week Award

Voting has opened for fans to select the 28th winner of Major League Soccer's Save of the Week contest for the 2011 season, which honors the goalkeeper who makes the most outstanding save.

Fans can go to http://www.mlssoccer.com/ to view the nominees and cast their vote before 11:59 p.m. Pacific time Thursday.

The nominees for Week 28 are Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), Dan Kennedy (Chivas USA), Troy Perkins (Portland Timbers), Jon Busch (San Jose Earthquakes) and Josh Saunders (Los Angeles Galaxy)

Cincinnati Kings Promote Stahl To Head Coach Of Both Teams

The Cincinnati Kings, a year-round franchise that plays outdoors in the USL Premier Development League and indoors in the Professional Arena Soccer League, announced Monday they have promoted Roby Stahl to head coach of both teams.

Stahl had been the head coach of the PDL team and was an assistant coach under indoor season player/coach Craig Rhodis, who has been promoted to the front office as the franchise's director of soccer operations.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Wave Welcomes Back Howes For 2011-12 Season

The defending Major Indoor Soccer League champion Milwaukee Wave announced Monday three-time league Most Valuable Player Greg Howes will re-join the franchise for its 2011-12 season.

Howes will also serve as director of the team's Winter Academy.

For the past three seasons, Howes served as player/head coach of the Tacoma Stars of the Professional Arena Soccer League, but lead the Wave to their fifth MISL championship in 2010-11 after signing on in March 2010.

In nine previous seasons with the Wave, Howes is second all-time in goals scored with 314 and leads in one-point goals with 136, 58 of those coming in the 2003-04 season.

Austin Aztex Returning To USL PDL In 2012

The USL Premier Development League announced Monday the return of the Austin Aztex franchise to the league for the 2012 season.

The original Aztex were founded in 2008 and played that season in the USL PDL before promoting themselves to USL First Division in 2009, then moved to Orlando and rebranded themselves Orlando City Soccer Clun in 2011, winning the American Division regular season and divisional championship and the league championship in a shootout over the National Division champion Harrisburg City Islanders.

NASL Hands Out Final POTW Awards For Season To Pore, Kallman

The North American Soccer League announced Monday forward Ryan Pore of the Montreal Impact and defender Brian Kallman of the NSC Minnesota Stars are the league's Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively, for the 25th and final week of the inaugural 2011 regular season.

Pore, who wins the award for the second straight week, became the second player in team history to score a hat trick in a regular season in a 4-0 win Saturday at the Atlanta Silverbacks in Montreal's final game in the second-tier league before moving to Major League Soccer for the 2012 season.

Pore, loaned to Montreal by MLS' Portland Timbers July 22 for the rest of the season, finished as the Impact's top goal scorer with seven and point scorer with 15.

Kallman played all 90 minutes of the Stars' 2-1 win Saturday over the regular season champion Carolina RailHawks at WakeMed Soccer Park to clinch a playoff berth and face FC Tampa Bay this Saturday in a one-game quarterfnal match at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg.

Kallman has played every minute of the Stars' last four regular season games.

De Rosario Wins MLS Player Of The Week Award After Scoring Fastest Hat Trick Ever

For scoring the fastest hat trick in team and league history in a nine-minute span of a 4-1 win over Real Salt Lake Saturday at RFK Stadium Saturday, DC United forward Dwayne De Rosario was named Monday Major League Soccer's Player of the Week for Week 28 of the 2011 season.

De Rosario also had a goal and an assist in DC's 2-2 draw against Chivas USA last Wednesday.

The hat trick propelled De Rosario to the top of the leaderboard for the Budweiser Golden Boot award with 13 goals, putting him close to breaking his career high of 15 set in 2010.

It's the third time in the last eight weeks he has won the weekly award, having done so previously in Weeks 20 and 21, and the eighth time he has earned the honor in his career.

Nominees Named For Week 28 MLS AT&T Goal Of The Week Award

Major League Soccer Monday announced the five nominees for the AT&T Goal of the Week award for Week 28 of the 2011 season.

Fans can view the scoring plays of the nominees by visiting www.mlssoccer.com/att-goal-week and can vote for their choice either online or via their cell phone by texting to 22442 and typing in the code for their particular favorite. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time Thursday with the winner to be announced Friday.

The nominees are (with codes next to them) Joel Lindpere of the New York Red Bulls (G1), Dwayne De Rosario of DC United (G2), Juan Pablo Angel of Chivas USA (G3), Dane Roberts of the New York Red Bulls (G4) and Fredy Montero of the Seattle Sounders (G5).

WPS Names O'Sullivan New CEO

Women's Professional Soccer Monday named Jennifer Pogorlec O'Sullivan as the league's new CEO, replacing Anne-Marie Eileraas, who resigned from the post September 18.

O'Sullivan joins WPS from the Arena Football League, where she served as vice president of legal and labor affairs.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fire Burns Revolution For Three Goals In 30 Minutes In Victory

Sebastian Grazzini scored on a fifth minute penalty kick, then, four minutes later, assisted on Dominic Oduro's ninth minute play and Patrick Nyarko had an unassisted goal in the 30th minute as the host Chicago Fire defeated the New England Revolution 3-2 in Major League Soccer action Sunday at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL.

The Revolution's two goals came late in the game from Ryan Guy, whose first one was unassisted in the 90th minute and the second one came off a Milton Caraglio pass two minutes later.

The Fire are 6-8-15 with 33 points and in seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings. Chicago hits the road this week for games Wednesday against Real Salt Lake and Saturday at the Houston Dynamo.

New England is in last place in the Eastern Conference at 5-13-12 with 27 points and will host the Seattle Sounders Saturday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA.

Luna Looms Large For FC Dallas In MLS Reserve League Win Over Dynamo

Ruben Luna scored his team-high fourth goal of the season unassisted in the 74th minute as host FC Dallas shut out the Houston Dynamo 2-0 Sunday in a Major League Soccer Reserve League version of the Texas Derby at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX.

Dallas' other point came when Houston's Will Bruin headed a ball off a corner kick into his team's net.

Both FC Dallas (4-3-0, 12 points) and Houston (4-4-0, 12 points) are tied for second place in the league's Central/Mountain Division, eight points behind the Chicago Fire (6-1-1, 19 points) for the division lead.

Dallas travels next Sunday to Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO to face the Colorado Rapids, while the Dynamo host the Fire this Saturday.

Tampa Bay Shuts Down Strikers, Takes Third Seed In Playoffs

Keith Savage scored in the 68th minute off a Shane Hill assist and Mike Ambersley fed a pass to Matt Clare in second-half stoppage time as host FC Tampa Bay shut out the Fort Lauderdale Strikers 2-0 Saturday at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg to officially claim the third seed in the North American Soccer League playoffs.

Tampa Bay, who ends the season at 11-9-8 with 41 points, will host sixth-seeded NSC Minnesota Stars in a one-game quarterfinal next Saturday, while the Strikers, 9-8-11 with 38 points and the fourth seed, will host fifth-seeded FC Edmonton next Saturday at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

The highest-seeded team remaining after next weekend will face the regular season champion Carolina RailHawks in a two-game, aggregate-goal series October 8 and 15, with the lowest-remaining seed facing the second-seeded Puerto Rico Islanders in the other playoff semifinal.

Pore Pours It On Thick As Impact Shuts Out Silverbacks

Ryan Pore had a hat trick and Miguel Montano was assisted by Sinisa Ubiparipovis as the Montreal Impact shut out the host Atlanta Silverbacks 4-0 in the final game for both teams in the 2011 North American Soccer League season as neither qualified for the playoffs.

Montreal ended the inaugural campaign in seventh place at 9-11-8 with 35 points, while the Silverbacks were the worst team in the league wire-to-wire and finished with a record of 4-20-4 with 16 points.

Stars Clinch Final NASL Playoff Berth With Win Over Regular Season Champions

Brian Cvilikas' unassisted goal in the 52nd minute gave the NSC Minnesota Stars a 2-1 victory over the 2011 North American Soccer League regular season champion Carolina RailHawks Saturday at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC and clinched the sixth and final seed in the league's playoffs, which begin next Saturday at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, FL against third-seeded FC Tampa Bay in a one-game quarterfinal.

After a scoreless first half, it took only three minutes for Kyle Altman to convert a penalty kick, which was countered two minutes later to tie the game when Jonny Steele fed a pass to Pablo Campos.

The Stars finished the 2011 regular season at 9-10-9 with 36 points.

The RailHawks, meanwhile, end the season 17-8-3 with 54 points and get a first round playoff bye. They will face the highest-seeded surviving team in a two-game, aggregate-goal series at that team's home pitch October 8 with Carolina hosting the second game October 15.

Seattle Wins Cascadia Cup And Last Game At Vancouver's Empire Field

Fredy Montero scored two goals and Brad Evans had a 33rd minute penalty kick as the Seattle Sounders claimed the 2011 Cascadia Cup and won the final Major League Soccer game played against the Vancouver Whitecaps at Empire Field by a 3-1 score Saturday.

Vancouver, who has the worst record in the league and the Western Conference at 4-15-10 with 22 points, opened the game with their final goal scored there in the 22nd minute as Davide Chiumiento and Eric Haasli connected with Camilo for the 1-0 lead.

Montero had an unassisted goal in the 64th minute, then, with help from Evans and Leo Gonzalez, added the second goal three minutes later.

The Cascadia Cup was a three-team, season-long competition between the Sounders, Whitecaps and the Portland Timbers.

Vancouver will open a renovated BC Place stadium next Sunday when they play the Timbers in the first regular season league game played in a domed stadium.

Seattle, at 15-6-6 with 54 points and who clinched a playoff berth Friday when the Philadelphia Union and Sporting Kansas City played to a 1-1 draw, is in second place in the Western Conference table and travels to the New England Revolution next Saturday after playing against Comunicaciones in Guatemala in the fifth game of Group D play in the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League tournament.

Angel Brace Leads Chivas USA To Rout Of Toronto FC

Juan Pablo Angel scored the first and last goals for Chivas USA Saturday in a 3-0 rout of Toronto FC in Major League Soccer play at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA Saturday.

Ante Jazic and Justin Braun assisted Angel on the first goal in the 12th minute and Ben Zemanski and Marcos Mondaini teamed with him on a 77th minute strike.

Braun also had a goal in the 71st minute off Michael Umana.

Chivas is in seventh place in the Western Conference standings at 8-12-11 with 35 points and hosts the Philadelphia Union next Sunday.

Toronto FC is 6-13-12 with 30 points and is tied for seventh place in the Eastern Conference with the Chicago Fire (6-8-15). They will host Mexico's Pumas UNAM Tuesday in a Group C game in the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League tournament before welcoming the New York Red Bulls to town next Saturday.

Draw Is A Downer For Rapids, Earthquakes Wanting To End Winless Streaks

The San Jose Earthquakes, on an unassisted 19th minute goal by Chris Wondolowski for his team-high 11th of the season, and the defending Major League Soccer champion Colorado Rapids, who saw Drew Moor score on a 71st minute unassisted goal, played to a 1-1 tie Saturday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO that extended both teams' current winless streaks to three and five games, respectively.

The Rapids are 10-9-12 with 42 points and are in fifth place in the Western Conference. Colorado next plays Metapan of El Salvador in the fifth game of Group B play in the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League Wednesday on the road, then hosts FC Dallas, also playing in the CCL event, next Saturday.

San Jose, meanwhile, is in eighth place in the Western Conference at 6-11-13 with 31 points and will host Sporting Kansas City next Saturday at Buck Shaw Stadium.

De Rosario Takes Over Golden Boot Lead, Scores Fastest Hat Trick In DC United, MLS History

Dwayne De Rosario made Major League Soccer and DC United history Saturday by scoring the fastest hat trick in a 4-1 romp over Real Salt Lake at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC.

After assisting on a 13th minute goal by Andy Najar, De Rosario went to work, scoring his first goal in the 22nd minute off a Najar assist. Five minutes later, goal number two hit the back of the net, thanks to a feed from Josh Wolff and, four minutes after that, he topped it off with an unassisted play for a hat trick in nine minutes.

The trio of goals, his second hat trick of the season, also rocketed him into the lead for the Budweiser Golden Boot with 13 goals.

RSL's only output of the night came in the 86th minute as Paulo Araujo, Jr. assisted Alvaro Saborio on a goal.

DC United is now 9-8-11 with 38 points for sixth place in the Eastern Conference and will play on the road Thursday against the Philadelphia Union and next Sunday at the Columbus Crew.

RSL, who clinched an MLS playoff berth Friday for the fourth season in a row thanks to a 1-1 tie between the Union and Sporting Kansas City, hosts the Chicago Fire Wednesday, then faces the Los Angeles Galaxy next Saturday at The Home Depot Center.

Red Bulls Chop Down Timbers In Harrison

Dane Richards scored an unassisted goal in the 21st minute and Luke Rodgers had a 66th minute penalty kick as the host New York Red Bulls shut out the Portland Timbers 2-0 Saturday in Major League Soccer play Saturday at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.

The Red Bulls are currently 8-7-15 with 39 points and are in fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings. New York travels to BMO Field next Saturday to face Toronto FC.

Portland falls to 10-13-7 with 37 points for sixth place in the Western Conference and will next face the worst team in the league and the conference, the Vancouver Whitecaps, in Vancouver's first game at a remodeled BC Place Stadium next Saturday.

Barrett Blast Gives Galaxy Win Over Crew

Chad Barrett scored the game's only goal in the third minute of second-half stoppage time as the Los Angeles Galaxy clinched the 2011 Major League Soccer Supporters Shield title with a league and Western Conference-best record of 17-3-10 and 61 points after shutting out the Columbus Crew 1-0 Saturday at Crew Stadium.

The Galaxy next host Mexico's Morelia at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA in the fifth game of Group A play in the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League tournament Tuesday, then return to MLS play at home next Saturday against the 2009 MLS Cup champion Real Salt Lake.

The Crew are now 11-11-8 with 41 points and tied for second place in the Eastern Conference standings with Sporting Kansas City (10-9-11), who they will face this Wednesday at Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, KS.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Davis To Cameron To Top Of Western Standings For Dynamo...For Now

Brad Davis' pass to Geoff Cameron in the 87th minute wound up being the goal that gave the Houston Dynamo a 1-0 shutout over host FC Dallas Saturday at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX and put them atop the standings in Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference at 10-9-12 with 42 points Saturday.

The Dynamo currently have a single point lead on Sporting Kansas City (10-9-11) and the Columbus Crew (11-10-8), both tied for second at 41 points, but SKC played to a 1-1 draw to the Philadelphia Union Friday and the Crew hosts the Western Conference and Supporters Shield-leading Los Angeles Galaxy (16-3-10, 58 points) Saturday.

Houston's next game is next Saturday when they host the Chicago Fire.

FC Dallas, currently in fourth in the Western Conference at 13-10-7 with 46 points, travels to the defending league champion Colorado Rapids next Saturday after facing Panama's Tauro on the road in the fifth game of Group C play Wednesday in the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League tournament.

SKC, Philly Draw Clinches MLS Playoff Berths For RSL, Seattle

Thanks to a 1-1 draw between Eastern Conference foes Sporting Kansas City and the Philadelphia Union Friday at Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, KS, Western Conference rivals Real Salt Lake (15-7-6) and the Seattle Sounders (14-6-9), both tied for second in their standings with 51 points, joined the Western- and Supporters Shield-leading Los Angeles Galaxy (16-3-10, 58 points) in clincing berths in the 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs.

This season, ten teams will qualify for the playoffs -- the top three teams in each conference and the next four best teams, regardless of conference.

RSL, league champions in 2009, will make their fourth straight trip to the playoffs after not doing so in their first three seasons of existence, while the Sounders, who became the first expansion team to make the playoffs in their first season, earned their third straight berth, but, in three previous trips, the Sounders have never advanced past the first round.

SKC Ties Crew For Eastern Conference Lead In Draw To Union

Sporting Kansas City, who started the 2011 Major League Soccer season having to play a league-record 10-game road trip due to construction continuing at their new home, Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, KS and have crawled their way out of the Eastern Conference cellar ever since, is now tied for the conference lead with the Columbus Crew after hosting the Philadelphia Union to a 1-1 draw Friday.

After a scoreless first half, Omar Bravo had Kansas City's goal in the 56th minute off a Kei Kamara assist, but Sebatien Le Toux countered for the Union seven minutes later as Michael Farfan fed him a pass.

Kansas City is now 10-9-11 with 41 points, joining the Crew (11-10-8) at the top of the conference table. The Crew can re-take the conference lead with a win or tie Saturday at Crew Stadium against the Western Conference and Supporters Shield-leading Los Angeles Galaxy, then Columbus heads to SKC this Wednesday.

Philadelphia is also still in the playoff hunt at 9-7-13 with 40 points, putting them alone in third place, two points behind the logjammed lead. The Union hosts DC United next Thursday at PPL Park in Chester, PA/

Friday, September 23, 2011

Silver Knights Sign Steele As First Player

The expansion Syracuse Silver Knights of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced the signing Friday of Jonny Steele as their first player on their inaugural roster.

Steele, a native of Larne, Northern Ireland who began his career in 2004 with England's Wolverhampton Wanderers, has played on 12 professional teams and was part of his country's U-19 national team.

In 2008, he was a USL First Division First Team All-League selection and the league's Most Valuable Player with the Puerto Rico Islanders, now in the North American Soccer League.

He is currently on loan to the NASL regular season champion Carolina RailHawks for the remainder of their 2011 season.

Comets Keep Assadpour Through 2013-14 Season

The Missouri Comets of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced Friday they have signed Vahid Assadpour to a three-year contract extension, keeping him on the roster through the 2013-14 season.

Assadpour was one of five players on the team to play in all 20 regular season games last season and was fourth in scoring with 35 points, including a season-high four points on two assists and a two-point goal in a 21-20 victory January 23, 2011 against the Omaha Vipers.

He also was tied for third in the league in three-point goals scored with four.

City Islander Goalkeeper Harrison Joins Union

Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union announced Friday they have signed Harrisburg City Islanders goalkeeper Karry "Chase" Harrison, who led them to the 2011 USL PRO National Division Championship, to a contract.

The City Islanders, though, would lose the league's inaugural Championship Game to American Division champion Orlando City Soccer Club in a shootout.

Harrison, in his second stint with Harrisburg, had a record of 8-6-6 with five shutouts and a 1.30 goals against average. In 2009 with the team, then in the USL Second Division, he was 8-4-4 with eight shutouts and a 0.81 GAA and was named the division's Goals Against Average Champion and a member of the All-League Second Team.

Seattle's Fernandez, Phiily's MacMath Win MLS Week 27 Awards

Major League Soccer fans selected Seattle Sounders forward Alvaro Fernandez and Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Zac MacMatch as the winners Friday of the league's AT&T Goal of the Week and MLS Save of the Week voting for Week 27 of the 2011 season.

Fernandez won 33 percent of the vote from fans to edge Will Bruin of the Houston Dynamo, who had 28 percent.

Khari Stephenson (San Jose Earthquakes - 20 percent), Danny Koevermans (Toronto FC - 14 percent) and Nick LaBrocca (Chivas USA - five percent) rounded out the ballot.

MacMath earned 31.63 percent of the vote for the weekly save honor to beat Nick Rimando of Real Salt Lake (28.11 percent), Kasey Kellar of the Seattle Sounders (26.39 percent), Josh Saunders of the Los Angeles Galaxy (11.06 percent) and Sean Johnson of the Chicago Fire (2.81 percent).

Red Bulls Suspend Marquez For Saturday After Comments Made After RSL Loss

Taking the rest of the team's defensive corps -- though making mention of defender Tim Ream -- to task for their inability to play up to this level after losing 3-1 to Real Salt Lake Wednesday, New York Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe announced Friday he was suspending Designated Player Rafa Marquez for Saturday's home game against the Portland Timbers for his postgame comments.

Ream and Marquez reportedly talked after he made the disparaging comments but, despite Ream choosing to forget all about what has said, Backe felt he had no choice but to discipline Marquez.

US Women Hold Slim Five-Point Lead In Latest Women's World Rankings

By a mere five ranking points -- 2,151 to 2,146 -- the US national team remains the top-ranked women's team in the world over Germany in the third set of quarterly FIFA/Coca-Cola rankings, released Friday.

Since the last rankings prior to the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany, the US made it to the championship game of that tournament, but lost to Japan, and just went 1-0-1 in a two-game series with Canada last Saturday at Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, KS -- played to a 1-1 draw -- and Thursday at JELD-WEN Field in Portland, OR -- won by the US 3-0.

The top seven teams in the newest poll were unchanged: the US, Germany, Brazil, Japan, Sweden, England and France.

North Korea, who has gone 3-2-0 in games played since the last poll, returned to the top ten at eighth, up four from their previous position of 12th, with Canada and Australia, both down a place from the last poll, at ninth and tenth, respectively.

The US national team's next game is set for November 19 against Sweden at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ and the final FIFA women's soccer poll of 2011 would be released December 23.

Wambach Scores Two As USWNT Defeats Canada 3-0 To End Celebration Series

Abby Wambach was assisted by Kelley O'Hara on goals in the 63rd and 70th minute to extend her streak of US Women's National Team games played with a goal scored to six straight in a 3-0 win over Canada in the second game of the Celebration Series Thursday at JELD-WEN Field in Portland, OR.

Wambach now has 125 career goals, five behind Kristine Lilly for second place on the team's all-time scoring list. Mia Hamm is the team's all-time leading scorer at 158 goals.

Alex Morgan added a goal in the final seconds of second-half stoppage time for the US, the world's top-ranked women's team.

The USWNT also announced Thursday their next game will be November 19 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ, where they will meet Sweden.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Illinois Piasa Named Co-Head Coaches And Player/Assistant Coach

The Illinois Piasa of the Professional Arena Soccer League announced Joe Reiniger will serve as a co-head coach with player-co-head coach Justin McMillan and that Elvir Kafedzic will be a player-assistant coach for the 2011-12 season.

Reiniger played indoor soccer professionally for the St. Louis Ambush of the National Professional Soccer League and the St. Louis Steamers and Milwaukee Wave in the Major Indoor Soccer League and was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2001 MISL Championship while at Milwaukee.

McMillan led Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville as captain to the NCAA College Cup Final Four in 2001. He then joined the Indiana Blast of the A-League in 2003 as their Rookie of the Year and was named that in 2005 with the Steamers. McMillan also served as team captain and assistant coach of the PASL Pro's St. Louis Illusion.

He was the former head coach of River Cities FC of the Women's Premier Soccer League and led them to back-to-back Midwest Region Regular Season Championships in 2005 and 2006 and to the WPSL National Championship game in 2005.

Kafedzic, born in Bosnia and emigrated to St. Louis in 1999, played for Affton High School and at Lindenwood College, where he led them to a National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics. He also played professionally for the Steamers, Chicago Storm and California Cougars in MISL and AC St. Louis in the USSF Division 2 Pro League (now the North American Soccer League).

Kickers Re-Sign Kalunga, Vercollone And Yomby To New Deals

The Richmond Kickers of USL PRO announced Thursday they have signed defenders Henry Kalungi and Luke Vercollone for the fourth and fifth seasons, respectively, in 2012 and signed defender William Yomby to a multi-year contract.

Between them, the trio have four goals and three assists last season and were named to the league's Team of the Week 11 times.

The Kickers had 12 shutout victories in 2010 and gave up 21 goals.

Perez Goal Gives Islanders Undefeated Home Season In NASL

Yaikel Perez's goal in the fifth minute offf Kevin Villaroel gave the host Puerto Rico Islanders a 1-0 shutout over FC Tampa Bay Wednesday in Puerto Rico's home and regular season finale in the North American Soccer League at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium in Bayamon, where the team was the only NASL franchise to finish the home season undefeated this season.

The Islanders end the regular season in second place at 15-6-7 with 52 points and will host a playoff game October 8.

FC Tampa Bay, also heading to the playoffs, is 10-8-9 with 38 points and are tied with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers (9-7-11) for third place in the standings.

Both teams meet for the last time in the regular season Saturday at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, FL, with a home playoff game on the line next Saturday for the winner.

Angel Brace Causes Chivas USA To Draw To DC United

Juan Pablo Angel was assisted in the 57th minute by Nick LaBrocca and in the 69th minute by Ante Jazic as visiting Chivas USA came back from a 2-0 deficit to cause a 2-2 draw with DC United Wednesday at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC in Major League Soccer play.

DC, who beat Chivas 3-0 11 days earlier, off a Charlie Davies hat trick, got a 39th minute goal by Dwayne De Rosario off Andy Najar and Ethan White had an unassisted gaol in the 47th minute.

Chivas is now 7-12-11 with 32 points and in seventh place in the Western Conference and will host Toronto FC this Saturday at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

DC is in sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings at 8-8-11 with 35 points, two points behind the New York Red Bulls (7-7-15, 36) for sole possession of fifth place. United hosts Real Salt Lake Saturday, who has been on a five-game winning streak.

Saborio, Espindola Team Up To Lead RSL To Fifth Straight League Win

Alvaro Saborio scored in the ninth minute off an Andy Williams pass, then teamed with Collen Warner on the second goal of the night from Fabian Espindola in the 21st minute as Real Salt Lake extended their Major League Soccer winning streak to five games with a 3-1 rout of the host New York Red Bulls Wednesday at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.

Espindola added to RSL's lead in the 11th minute with an unassisted goal.

Joel Lindpere ended the potential shutout for New York in the 69th minute off a feed from Rafael Marquez.

RSL is now 15-7-6 with 51 points, tying them for second in the Western Conference standings, along with the Seattle Sounders (14-6-9). and are at DC United this Saturday.

The Red Bulls are in fifth place in the Eastern Conference table at 7-7-15 with 36 points and will host the Portland Timbers Saturday.

Stephenson Strike Means Earthquakes, Timbers Share A Point In Standings

Rafael Baca assisted on Khari Stephenson's 70th minute strike as the San Jose Earthquakes tied the host Portland Timbers 1-1 Wednesday in Major League Soccer action from Portland, OR's JELD-WEN Field.

Kenny Cooper scored for Portland in the ninth minute off a Darlington Nagbe assist.

The Earthquakes are 6-11-12 with 30 points and in seventh place in the Western Conference standings and will travel to the defending league champion Colorado Rapids Saturday.

Portland, meanwhile, is 10-12-7 with 37 points for sixth place in the conference and will take on the New York Red Bulls Saturday at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.

Pumas Pound FC Dallas At Pizza Hut Park In CCL Play

Emilio Orrantia assisted on goals in the 84th minute by David Izazola and the 90th by Eduardo Aguirre as Mexico's Pumas UNAM shut out Major League Soccer's FC Dallas 2-0 Wednesday at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX in the fourth game of six in CONCACAF Champions League Group C action.

It was Dallas' first loss in a CCL tournament game.

Both teams are now tied for the group stage lead at 2-1-1 with seven points, but Pumas has a +5 goal differential to FC Dallas' zero, at the moment.

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

Pumas will travel to MLS' Toronto FC next Tuesday, while FC Dallas, after hosting MLS' Houston Dynamo this Saturday, return to tournament play next Wednesday at Panama's Tauro.

Gabas Goal Gives LD Alajuelnese Victory Over Galaxy In CCL Play

Pablo Gabas scored the game's only goal off a free kick as Costa Rica's LD Alajuelnese shut out Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy 1-0 in the fourth of six games in CONCACAF Champions League Group A play Wednesday at Alejandro Morera Soto Stadium in Alajuela, Costa Rica for the Galaxy's second group stage loss.

Alajuelnese now leads the four-team group with a 3-1-0 record and nine points and will host Motagua of Honduras next Thursday.

The Galaxy, MLS' defending Supporters Shield and Western Conference regular season champion, are now 2-2-0 with six points and temporarily tied with Mexico's Morelia, who they host next Wednesday at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

Pavon Brace Leads Real Espana Over Rapids In CCL Play

Carlos Pavon scored the game's opening goal in the 12th minute off Henry Acosta and a game-winning and unassisted 33rd minute strike as Honduras' Real Espana handed the host and defending Major League Soccer champion Colorado Rapids a 2-1 loss in CONCACAF Champions League Group B play Wednesday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerice City, CO for the Rapids' second straight loss.

Andre Akpan tied the game at 1-1 in the 18th minute as Colorado got its own unassisted play.

Both teams now share third place in the four-team group at 1-2-1 with four points, but Real Espana currently leads the goal differential tiebreaker -1 to -3 for the Rapids.

Real Espana next hosts Mexico's Santos Laguna, tied for the group lead with Isidro Metapan of El Salvador, next Tuesday.

The Rapids return to MLS play Saturday when they host the San Jose Earthquakes, then play their fifth of six CCL group stage games at Metapan next Wednesday.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Revolution Lose Lekic For A Month To Sprained Left Ankle

Major League Soccer's New England Revolution announced Wednesday they will be without forward Rajko Lekic for a month after he sprained his left ankle in last Friday's 3-0 win at the Portland Timbers.

Lekic suffered the injury jumping between teammate Milton Caraglio and Portland defender Eric Brunner for a ball, which Brunner would win, in the game's 42nd minute.

Spain Returns To #1 In The World In Latest FIFA Men's Rankings; US Falls To 31st

Well, THAT didn't last long.

After holding the top spot in the monthly FIFA/Coca-Cola World Men's Soccer Rankings last month, the Netherlands were supplanted by previous (and longer-term) number one team in the world, Spain, in the latest rankings released Wednesday, and the Dutch fell to second place.

There was much movement in the poll's top 10 this month, except for Germany, who remained unchanged at third.

Uruguay moved up a spot to fourth, Portugal climbed the most among the ten -- three places -- to fifth, Italy rose one to sixth, Brazil dropped one to seventh, England plummeted four places to eighth, and Croatia and Argentina each fell one spot to ninth and tenth, respectively.

The US men's national team, now coached by Jurgen Klinsmann, lost two games last month by 1-0 scores -- to Costa Rica at The Home Depot Center September 2, then to Belgium in Brussels September 6 -- and has fallen from 28th to 31st place in the standings, lower than they were under former head coach Bob Bradley, now taking over the helm with Egypt.

They will play two friendly games before the next poll is released October 19 -- October 8 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami against Honduras and October 11 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ against Ecuador.

Social Commerce Site LivingSocial Signs Two-Year Deal As DC United Sponsor

Popular social commerce website LivingSocial signed a two-year deal Tuesday to become an official corporate partner of Major League Soccer's DC United.

The site will now offer fans deeply-discounted, team-specific daily deals and also run special in-stadium Instant Deals on team merchandise at home games, beginning with Wednesday's contest at RFK Stadium against Chivas USA.

Fire Enters Into Four-Team International Strategic Alliance

In a deal announced Tuesday in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire became part of a four-team strategic alliance with Spain's Atletico Madrid, Mexico's Club America and Brazil's Sport Club International that will allow all the teams the ability to take advantage of unique opportunities desgined to make each team more competitive in their own countries.

MLS Names Members Of Week 27's Team Of The Week

Major League Soccer announced Tuesday the members of the league's 27th Team of the Week for the 2011 season, which is compiled each week by staffers at MLSsoccer.com and honors the outstanding players and performances of the previous week.

GOALKEEPER
Nick Rimando - Real Salt Lake

DEFENDERS
Ashtone Morgan - Toronto FC
Omar Gonzalez - Los Angeles Galaxy
Bryan Jordan - Los Angeles Galaxy

MIDFIELDERS
Mike Magee - Los Angeles Galaxy
Teemu Taino - New York Red Bulls
Alvaro Fernandez - Seattle Sounders
Mauro Rosales - Seattle Sounders

FORWARDS
Robbie Keane - Los Angeles Galaxy
Danny Koevermans - Toronto FC (MLS Week 27 Player of the Week)
Darlington Nagbe - Portland Timbers

MANAGER
Hans Backe - New York Red Bulls

HONORABLE MENTION
Juan Agudelo - New York Red Bulls
Kalif Alhassan - Portland Timbers
Luiz Camargo - Houston Dynamo
Aurelian Collin - Sporting Kansas City
Mamadou "Futty" Danso - Portland Timbers
Benny Feilhaber - New England Revolution
Sean Johnson - Chicago Fire
Patrick Nyarko - Chicago Fire
Jaminson Olave - Real Salt Lake
Troy Perkins - Portland Timbers
Camilo Sanvezzo - Vancouver Whitecaps
Roger Torres - Philadelphia Union

Koevermans Header Gives Toronto FC Win Ove Tauro in CCL Play

Forward Danny Koevermans, Major League Soccer's current Player of the Week, definitely earned Player of the Night status from Toronto FC as his 40th minute header was the only goal scored in a 1-0 victory over Panama's Tauro in the fourth game of Group C play in the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League tournament Tuesday at BMO Field in Toronto.

Toronto is in second place in the group standings at 2-2-0 with six points, but is two points behind fellow MLS franchise FC Dallas (2-0-1, seven) for first place. Toronto next hosts Mexico's Pumas UNAM next Tuesday.

Tauro is in last place at 0-2-2 with two points and will host Dallas next Wednesday.

The top two teams in this group after six games will join the top two teams from the other three pools in the tournament's knockout phase.

Arias Penalty Kick Gives Herediano First Win In CCL Over Sounders

Yosimar Arias' 25th minute penalty kick led previously winless Herediano of Costa Rica to a 1-0 shutout of Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders in the fourth game of Group D play at the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League tournament Tuesday at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, WA.

The Sounders remain the top team in the group with a 3-1-0 record and nine points and next faces Comunicaciones in Guatemala next Tuesday.

Herediano, now 1-3-0 with three points but still in last place, travel to Mexico to play Monterrey next Tuesday.

Eight teams -- the top two teams coming from each of four, four-team groups -- will advance to the tournament's knockout stage.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sounders Lose Rosales For 2-4 Weeks To MCL Tear In Right Knee

Seattle Sounders midfielder Mauro Rosales, who suffered a small tear of the medial collateral ligament in his right knee in a 3-0 win over DC United Saturday in which he assisted on two goals to set a new single-season club record for assists with 12, will miss the next two to four weeks with the injury, the team announced Tuesday.

Rosales has also scored five goals for Seattle this season.

Nominees Named For MLS Week 27 Save Of The Week Award

Voting has opened for fans to select the 27th winner of Major League Soccer's Save of the Week contest for the 2011 season, which honors the goalkeeper who makes the most outstanding save.

Fans can go to http://www.mlssoccer.com/ to view the nominees and cast their vote before 11:59 p.m. Pacific time Thursday.

The nominees for Week 27 are Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Zac MacMath (Philadelphia Union), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), Kasey Keller (Seattle Sounders) and Josh Saunders (Los Angeles Galaxy).

Division-Leading Fire Lead By Chaves Brace In 3-2 Win At FC Dallas

Diego Chaves scored goals off a penalty kick in the 25th minute and then unassisted two minutes later as the Central/Mountain Division-leading Chicago Fire edged FC Dallas 3-2 Tuesday in Major League Soccer Reserve League play at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX.

FC Dallas cut the lead to one at 2-1 in the 31st minute as Jair Benitez connected with Bryan Leyva on a goal, but it was the closest they would get.

Orr Barouch ended the scoring for the Fire in the 69th minute off a Kellen Gulley pass, then Dallas' Andrew Wiederman found Daniel Garcia for the game's final goal in the 85th minute.

The Fire, at 6-1-1 with 19 points, travel to the Houston Dynamo for their next game October 1, but FC Dallas, in fourth place in the division at 3-3-0 with nine points, will host the Dynamo Sunday.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Rapids' Wallace Out For Season After Knee Rehab Causes Surgery To Be Done

Defender Anthony Wallace of the defending Major League Soccer champion Colorado Rapids will miss the rest of the season, the team announced Monday, after he underwent surgery to repair damaged cartilage in his right knee that was found while undergoing rehabilitation for a sprained left knee he injured in his last appearance with the Rapids August 5 against the Columbus Crew.

Wallace had started eight of ten games for the Rapids this season, assisting on one goal.

He came to the Rapids July 30, 2010 after a trade with FC Dallas and played in seven regular season games in the 2010 season and started four games in the MLS Cup playoffs.

Impact's Pore, Stars' Johnson Win Week 24 NASL Honors

Montreal Impact forward Ryan Pore and NSC Minnesota Stars goalkeeper Joe Warren were named Monday the North American Soccer League's Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively, for Week 24 of the inaugural 2011 season.

Pore scored goals in the 12th and 78th minute as the host Impact, fighting for the sixth and final playoff berth available, shut out FC Edmonton 2-0 at Saputo Stadium.

Since joining the Impact on loan from Major League Soccer's Portland Timbers, Pore has scored four goals and assisted on another over ten games, nine of which he started.

Warren won the weekly defensive award for the third time this season after tallying seven saves in a 1-1 tie against FC Tampa Bay at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, FL.

Toronto's Koevermans Named Week 27 MLS Player Of The Week

Toronto FC forward Danny Koevermans, who scored both of his team's goals in an eight-minute span of the second half in a 2-1 victory over the defending league champion Colorado Rapids, was named Major League Soccer's Player of the Week Monday for Week 27 of the 2011 season.

Ashtone Morgan assisted on his first strike in the 52nd minute and Nick Soolsma was credited with the assist on his 60th minute goal.

Koevermans, a Designated Player who came to the team just before the summer international transfer window opened, has scored six goals in seven games at Toronto and joins Week 8 winner Joao Plata as the only Toronto players to win the weekly honot.

Nominees Announced For Week 27 MLS Goal Of The Week Award

Major League Soccer Monday announced the five nominees for the AT&T Goal of the Week award for Week 27 of the 2011 season.

Fans can view the scoring plays of the nominees by visiting www.mlssoccer.com/att-goal-week and can vote for their choice either online or via their cell phone by texting to 22442 and typing in the code for their particular favorite. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time Thursday with the winner to be announced Friday.

The nominees are (with codes next to them) Danny Koevermans of Toronto FC (G1), Nick LaBrocca of Chivas USA (G2), Will Bruin of the Houston Dynamo (G3), Alvaro Fernandez of the Seattle Sounders (G4) and Khari Stephenson of the San Jose Earthquakes (G5).

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Arnaud Scores Game-Winner For SKC In Reserve League Game Versus RSL

Davy Arnaud scored the lone goal of the game as visiting Sporting Kansas City shut out host Real Salt Lake 1-0 Sunday in Major League Soccer Reserve Leage play from the RSL Practice Facility.

SKC is 3-2-2 wth 11 points in the Central/Mountain Division standings and will be at FC Dallas for their next game October 5, while RSL is 3-5-2 with 11 points and will host the Chicago Fire October 8.

Ekpo Leads Crew In 2-1 Reserve League Win Over Union

Emmanuel Ekpo had an unassisted goal in the 16th minute, then assisted on Josh Gardner's game-winning goal in the 75th minute as the Columbus Crew defeated the Philadelphia Union 2-1 Sunday in Major League Soccer Reserve League play at Chester Park in Wallingford, PA.

Jack McInerney had the Union's lone goal unassisted in the 14th minute.

The Crew are 6-1-0 with 18 points in the East Division and host DC United October 2, while the Union are 2-6-1 with seven points and host Toronto FC October 16.

US, Canada Women's Teams Play To Draw In Celebration Series

Playing in the first of a two-game Celebration Series, the US and Canadian women's national teams played to a 1-1 draw Saturday at Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, KS as Abby Wambach scored for the US on a tenth minute penalty kick and Kelly Parker assisted Melissa Tancredi on a 42nd minute goal.

The game was the first for the world's top-ranked US team ince losing the championship game of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup to Japan in Germany and extended their domestic winning streak to 53 games. It was also their first game played in the state of Kansas, as four others games played in Kansas City were played in Kansas City, MO. The US are 7-2-1 in 2011.

The series ends Thursday with a game at Portland, Oregon's JELD-WEN Field.

FC Tampa Bay Earns Home NASL Playoff Game With Draw And Help

FC Tampa Bay clinched a quarterfinal home game in the North American Soccer League playoffs Saturday after a 1-1 draw with the NSC Minnesota Stars at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, FL Saturday and thanks to FC Edmonton losing earlier in the night to the Montreal Impact at Saputo Stadium.

The Stars scored in the 54th minute as Anthony Hamilton fed a pass to Brian Cvilikas, but Tampa Bay countered five minutes later when Mike Ambersley assisted Aaron King on a goal.

FC Tampa Bay is 10-8-8 with 38 points and tied for third in the standings with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers (9-7-11). Tampa travels to the Puerto Rico Islanders for a game previously scheduled for September 10, but postponed due to Tropical Storm Maria, then host the Strikers Saturday to break the tie between two playoff-bound teams.

The NSC Stars hold the sixth and final spot in the playoffs with 33 points on an 8-10-9 record and will travel to the regular season champion Carolina RailHawks Saturday in their season finale.

Villegas Goal Gives Islanders 1-0 Win Over Regular Season Champion RailHawks

Petter Villegas scored off a Kevin Villaroel assist in the 57th minute as the host Puerto Rico Islanders beat the Carolina RailHawks 1-0 in a battle between the top two teams this season in the North American Soccer League Saturday at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium in Bayamon, PR.

The Islanders are in second place at 14-7-6 with 49 points and host FC Tampa Bay Wednesday in their home and regular season finale, rescheduled from September 10 due to Tropical Storm Maria.

The RailHawks are the league's regular season champions and are currently 17-7-3 with 54 points. They welcome the NSC Minnesota Stars to WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC for their final game of the season at home.

Strikers, Silverbacks Score In Final Minute For 1-1 Draw

Nico Colaluca and Brian Shriver scored goals in the final minute of play for their respective teams as the visiting Atlanta Silverbacks, the worst team in the North American Soccer League, and the host Fort Lauderdale Strikers played to a 1-1 draw Saturday at Lockhart Stadium.

The Strikers are 9-7-11 with 38 points and are tied for third place in the league standings with FC Tampa Bay (10-8-8), who they host in their home and regular season finale this Saturday to break the tie beween the playoff-bound teams.

Atlanta, 4-19-4 with 16 points, travel to the Montreal Impact this Saturday to end their 2011 season.

Pore, Montano Team On Goals In Impact Win Over FC Edmonton

Miguel Montano connected with Ryan Pore on goals in the 12th and 78th minute as the host Montreal Impact, playing their home season finale at Saputo Stadium, shut out FC Edmonton 2-0 Saturday in North American Soccer League play.

The Impact are 8-11-8 with 32 points and in seventh place in the standings, two points behind the NSC Minnesota Stars (8-10-9, 33) from taking the sixth and final playoff berth. Montreal ends its regular season this Saturday at the last-place Atlanta Silverbacks.

FC Edmotnon ends their 2011 season with a record of 9-7-11 and 38 points, but have qualified for the playoffs.

Galaxy Shut Out Whitecaps At The Home Depot Center

Mike Magee had a pair of goals, David Beckham had two asissts and Robbie Keane and Bryan Jordan had a goal and an assist each as the best team in Major League Soccer, the defending Western Conference regular season champion and Supporters Shield champion Los Angeles Galaxy, shut out the league's and conference's worst team in the Vancouver Whitecaps 3-0 Saturday at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

Keane and Beckham worked with Keane on the game's first goal in the 40th minute, Jordan assisted Keane on his 64th minute strike, and Beckahm and Jordan collaborated on Magee's 75th minute goal.

The Galaxy, who recently became the first team to clinch one of 10 playoff berths in MLS this season, are 16-3-10 with 58 points. Los Angeles next heads to Costa Rica to face LD Alajuelnese in group stage play at the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League tournament Wednesday before taking on the Eastern Conference-leading Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium this Saturday,

Vancouver, last in the conference and league at 4-14-10 with 22 points and winless on the road at 0-11-5, host the Seattle Sounders Saturday in their final game at Empire Field before moving to the renovated BC Place Stadium.

Fernandez Brace Carries Sounders To Win, But Team To Lose Rosales To Injury

Alvaro Fernandez had two goals to lead the host Seattle Sounders to a 3-0 shutout of DC United Saturday in Major League Soccer play from CenturyLink Field, but the team will be without Mauro Rosales for some time after spraining a medial collateral ligament in a collision with United's Daniel Woolard.

Rosales teamed with Brad Evans to team on a 35th minute goal by Mike Fucito and with Fredy Montero on Fernandez's first in the 47th minute to tally a team record 12 assists on the season.

Fernandez's second goal in the 60th minute was unassisted.

Seattle is in second place in the Western Conference standings at 14-6-9 with 51 points. The Sounders welcome Herediano of Costa Rica to town Tuesday for a 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League griup phase game, then return to league play Saturday at the Vancouver Whitecaps, the worst team in the league this season.

DC United is 8-8-10 with 34 points and is in sixth place in the Eastern Conference heading into games they'll host against Chivas USA Wednesday and Real Salt Lake this Saturday.

RSL Wins Fourth Straight Game, MLS-Best 10th At Home

Nat Borchers scored in the 54th minute off a Kyle Beckerman free kick as Real Salt Lake shut out Sporting Kansas City 1-0 Saturday for their fourth straight win and Major League Soccer-best tenth at Rio Tinto Stadium this season.

Sporting Kansas City, who have gone from cellar dwellers in the Eastern Conference after a league-record 10-game road trip to start a season to contenders for a possible spot, got their first loss in their last three games.

RSL is in third place in the Western Conference standings at 14-7-6 with 38 and travels to face two Eastern Conference foes this week -- the New York Red Bulls Wednesday and DC United this Saturday.

Bruin Makes Return For Dynamo With Game-Winner Over Earthquakes

Returning after two months following knee surgery and scoring for the first time since having a hat trick April 29 against DC United, Will Bruin was assisted on an 80th minute game-winning goal by Luiz Camargo and Danny Cruz as the host Houston Dynamo edged the San Jose Earthquaes 2-1 Saturday in Major League Soccer play from Robertson Stadium.

San Jose opened the scoring in the 40th minute when Steven Beltashour and Joey Gjertsen assistd Khari Stephenson on their lone goal, which gave them the halftime lead.

Brad Davis tied the game for Houston in the 48th minute on a penalty kick.

The Dynamo, 9-9-12 with 39 points, are tied for third place in the Eastern Conference with the Philadelphia Union (9-7-12) and will take on FC Dallas this Saturday at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX.

San Jose is in eighth place in the Western Conference at 6-11-11 and 29 points and travel this week to the Portland Timbers Wednesday and the defending league champion Colorado Rapids this Saturday.

Rogers Goal Leads Red Bulls Over FC Dallas In Frisco

For the first time since July 6 after being sidelined with a planter fasciitis injury, Luke Rodgers scored a goal as he led the New York Red Bulls to a 1-0 victory over FC Dallas in Major League Soccer play Saturday from Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX.

Juan Agudelo and Stephen Keel teamed to assist Rodgers on the lone goal.

The Red Bulls are now fifth in the Eastern Conference standings at 7-6-15 with 36 points and has two games this coming week at home -- versus Real Salt Lake Wednesday and against the Portland Timbers this Saturday.

FC Dallas, who has gone scoreless in their last two games, are 13-9-7 with 46 points for fourth place in the Western Conference and returns to play in the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League tournament Wednesday when they host Mexico's Pumas before welcoming the in-state rival Houston Dynamo to town this Saturday.

Le Toux Snaps Union's Franchise-Record Losing Streak

Sebastien Le Toux ended the Philadelphia Union's franchise-record eight-game Major League Soccer losing streak Saturday off a pass from Roger Torres in the 32nd minute as they shut out the Eastern Conference-leading Columbus Crew 1-0 at Crew Stadium.

The Union are 9-7-12 with 39 points and tied for third place in the conference standings with the Houston Dynamo (9-9-12) and travels to Sporting Kansas City this Friday.

The Crew maintain their spot at the top of the table at 11-10-8 with 48 points and will host the best team in the league, the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Galaxy, this Saturday.

Oduro Game-Winnrer For Fire Hands Chivas Fourth Straight Loss

Dominic Oduro scored a game-winning goal in the 85th minute off assists from Patrick Nyarko and Diego Chaves as the host Chicago Fire edged Chivas USA 3-2 Saturday in Major League Soccer play from Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL.

Chivas has lost their last four games.

The Fire took a 2-0 lead into halftime as Sebastian Grazzini assisted on Cory Gibbs' second-minute goal and Chivas' Juan Pablo Angel had an own goal in the 26th minute.

Angel righted himself in the 61st minute with a goal assisted by Mariano Trujillo and, two minutes later, Chivas tied the game at 2-2 when Zarek Valentin fed a pass to Nick LaBrocca.

Chicago is now 5-8-15 with 30 and is tied for seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings with Toronto FC (6-12-12). The Fire hosts the New England Revolution next Sunday.

Chivas is 7-12-10 with 31 points and in seventh place in the Western Conference table and travels to DC United Wednesday.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Koevermans Brace Gives Toronto FC Matinee Win Over Champion Rapids

Danny Koevermans scored goals off assists from Ashtone Morgan in the 52nd minute and Richard Eckersley and Nick Soolsman eight minutes later as Toronto FC edged the defending Major League Soccer champion Colorado Rapids 2-1 Saturday afternoon at BMO Field and extended their unbeaten streak to three games.

Toronto is now 6-12-12 with 30 points and in sole possession of seventh place in the Eastern Conference. They will now return to play in the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League this Tuesday when they host Panama's Tauro, then head to Chivas USA's The Home Depot Center for MLS play next Saturday.

The Rapids, who have lost three straight games and are winless in their last four, saw Sanna Nyassi score an unassisted gol in the 70th minute and are 10-9-11 with 41 points, fifth place in the Western Conference. Colorado will host Real Espana in CCL group phase play Wednesday, then hosts the San Jose Earthquakes next Saturday.

Timbers Enter Playoff Hunt In 3-0 Rout Of Revolution At JELD-WEN Field

Before a Major League Soccer single-game record crowd of 20,323, Diego Chara, Kenny Cooper and Darlington Nagbe scored goals to lead the host Portland Timbers to a 3-0 shutout of the New England Revolution Friday at JELD-WEN Field for Portland's third win in their last four games.

Portland led 1-0 after ten minutes when Lovel Palmer connected with Chara and, in the 33rd minute, Cooper scored off a pass from Mike Chabala to cement a 2-0 halftime lead, one they never gave up.

Kalif Alhassan assisted on Nagbe's goal in the 66th minute.

Portland, 10-12-6 with 36 points, is now in sixth place in the Western Conference standings and hosts the San Jose Earthquakes this Wedesday before traveling to the New York Red Bulls next Saturday.

The Revolution, who snapped a four-game unbeaten streak, are 5-12-12 with 27 points and are tied for last place in the Eastern Conference table with Toronto FC (same record) and the Chicago Fire (4-8-15). New England next plays the Seattle Sounders October 1 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA.

Friday, September 16, 2011

RSL Signs Home Grown Player Muniz To Deal, Will Play In 2012 Season

Major League Soccer's Real Salt Lake announced Thursday they signed midfielder Nico Muniz, the team's second Home Grown Player, to a contract ahead of the league's roster freeze deadline, but he will only practice with the senior team for the rest of the season and play in the 2012 season.

Fans Give Whitecap Players Sweep In Weekly Awards; Signs Mitchell

Fans selected Vancouver Whitecaps forward David Chuimiento and goakeeper Joe Cannon as winner of Major League Soccer's Week 26 AT&T Goal of the Week and league Save of the Week awards in results announced Friday.

Chuimiento won his award with 64 percent of the vote over second-place Roger Torres of the Philadelphia Union at 14 percent.

The Union's Sebastien Le Toux and Chris Wondolowski of the San Jose Earthquakes finished tied for third with eight percent each and Andres Mendoza of the Columbus Crew was last at six percent.

Cannon garnered 46.72 percent of the vote to easily outdistance Matt Pickens of the Colorado Rapids (24.15 percent), Bouna Coundoul of the New York Red Bulls (13.56 percent), Kevin Hartman of FC Dallas (12.42 percent) and Jon Busch of the San Jose Earthquakes (3.15 percent).

The Whitecaps, the league's worst team this season, also announced Thursday they have signed Trinidad & Tobago defender Carlyle Mitchell to a contract before Thursday's 2 p.m. Eastern time deadline to freeze rosters for the rest of the season.

In 2009, Mitchell, then with Joe Public FC in the Trinidad & Tobago League, led the to the league championship, the Trinidad & Tobago Cup, the Trinidad & Tobago Classic and Trinidad & Tobago Pro Bowl titles.

DiCicco Retires From Breakers; Cole Named New Head Coach

Former US Women's National Team head coach Tony DiCicco, the all-time winningest coach in US Soccer history at 103-8-8, announced his immediate retirement Thursday as head coach of Women's Professional Soccer's Boston Breakers franchise and turned the reigns over to former associate head coach Lisa Cole.

DiCicco will remain with the franchise as a consultant.

In three seasons with the team, DiCicco was 23-26-10 and brought the Breakers to within a game of the 2010 WPS Championship Game.

Cole previously worked with DiCicco as president and assistant coach of SoccerPlus Connecticut Reds of the Women's Premier Soccer League.

Lilley Chooses Not To Return To Rhinos For 2011 USL PRO Season

After leading the team to regular division titles in the 2010 US Soccer Federation's Division 2 Pro Leagueand the 2011 USL PRO National Division, Rochester Rhinos head coach Bob Lilley announced Thursday he will not return to the team for the 2012 season.

In two seasons, Lilley had a record with the Rhinos of 28-16-10, and his contract was set to expire at the end of the calendar year.

USL PRO Champion Lions Find Work In MLS

Three members of the first USL PRO national champions, Orlando City Soccer Club, found work Thursday in Major League Soccer on the final day team could add or cut players for the remainder of the season.

The league's Most Valuable Player Yordany Alvarez and team leading scorer Maxwell Griffin were loaned for the rest of the 2011 season to Real Salt Lake and the San Jose Earthquakes, respectively. Both are under contract to Orlando City for the 2012 season and will return to them for preseason camp in February.

Alvarez spent time with RSL, playing in one MLS Reserve League game as a guest player.

Meanwhile, Sporting Kansas City signed defender Lawrence Odum to a contract. He played in 21 games last season for the Lions.

O'Kane Back As Head Coach Of USL PDL"s Ottawa Fury

After suffering their worst record in the USL Premier Development League since 2007, the Ottawa Fury men's team announced Thursday Stephen O'Kane will return as head coach of the franchise for the 2012 season.

O'Kane left the team for personal reason after the 2009 season after leading them to an undefefeated regular season and their first USL PDL postseason berth that season, where they lost in extra time to the Ocean City Barons (now Nor'Easters) in the opening round of the playoffs.

Langley Leaves USL PRO's City Islanders For MLS' Union

Midfielder Morgan Langley became the third player from the 2011 USL PRO National Division champion Harrisburg City Islanders to join the roster of Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union Thursday, the final day player transactions could be made this season.

Langley scored two goals in 20 games this season with Harrisburg, who lost to 2011 American Division and regular season champion Orlando City Soccer Club in the league's inaugural championship game.

Galaxy Acquires Robinson In Trade With Toronto For Davies

Major League Soccer's best team this season, the Western Conference-leading and defending regular season champion Los Angeles Galaxy, added defender Dasan Robinson to their roster Thursday in a trade with Toronto FC for defender Kyle Davies.

Thursday at 2 p.m. Eastern time was the deadline for all final trades for the season, meaning all rosters are now locked.

Robinson, drafted by the Chicago Fire in the 2006 MLS SuperDraft, started two of five games with them before being traded in July 2011 to Toronto for defender Dan Gargan and a second round draft pick, but never played a game for Toronto.

Davies has not played this season for the Galaxy.

MLS Names Members Of Week 26's Team Of The Week

Major League Soccer announced Thursday the members of the league's 26th Team of the Week for the 2011 season, which is compiled each week by staffers at MLSsoccer.com and honors the outstanding players and performances of the previous week.

GOALKEEPER
Matt Pickens - Colorado Rapids

DEFENDERS
Omar Gonzalez - Los Angeles Galaxy
James Riley - Seattle Sounders
Perry Kitchen - DC United

MIDFIELDERS
Gershon Koffie - Vancouver Whitecaps
Graham Zusi - Sporting Kansas City
Dwayne De Rosario - DC United
Pablo Cardozo - Los Angeles Galaxy

FORWARDS
Chris Pontius - DC United
Chris Wondolowski - San Jose Earthquakes
Charlie Davies - DC United (MLS Week 26 Player of the Week)

MANAGER
Ben Olsen - DC United

HONORABLE MENTIONS
Darrius Barnes - New England Revolution
Kyle Beckerman - Real Salt Lake
Teal Bunbury - Sporting Kansas City
Davide Chuimiento - Vancouver Whitecaps
Julian de Guzman - Toronto FC
Jay DeMerit - Vancouver Whitecaps
Fabian Espindola - Real Salt Lake
Roger Espinoza - Sporting Kansas City
Eric Haasli - Vancouver Whitecaps
Daniel Hernandez - FC Dallas
Sean Johnson - Chicago Fire
Will Johnson - Real Salt Lake
Sebastien Le Toux - Philadelphia Union
Rajko Lekic - New England Revolution
Tim Ream - New York Red Bulls
Nick Rimando - Real Salt Lake
Mauro Rosales - Seattle Sounders
Camilo Sanvezzo - Vancouver Whitecaps
Andy Williams - Real Salt Lake
Marvell Wynne - Colorado Rapids

Thursday, September 15, 2011

FC Dallas To Remember Rhine At Home Game Saturday

With players and fans wearing black armbands, among other forms of tribute, Major League Soccer's FC Dallas said Wednesday they will honor the memory of former player and broadcaster Bobby Rhine, who died on Labor Day of a heart attack at age 35, at Saturday's game against the New York Red Bulls at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX.

Rhine's initials will be painted on the field, a banner will be hung from the team's broadcast booth, a moment of silence will be observed in his memory and the team will show a video tribute on their scoreboard at halftime.

Also, the team announced Wednesday defender Zach Loyd, who had been wearing Rhine's uniform number -- 19 -- this season, will change his number to 12 for the rest of the season in honor of him.

Fire Waives Midfielder Marko Maric

Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire announced Wednesday they have waived midfielder Marko Maric, who has been on their injured list following their April 14 game against the Portland Timbers, the only game he appeared in this season.

Mendoza Brace In Crew Draw Gives Them Sole Possession Of Eastern Conference Lead

Unassisted goals in the 69th and 76th minute from Andres Mendoza led the host Columbus Crew in a 2-2 draw to the Houston Dynamo in Major League Soccer play Wednesday from Crew Stadium and put them back in sole possession of the lead in the Eastern Connference standings.

Houston, however, opened the scoring in the 34th minute when Jermaine Taylor connected with Je-Vaughn Watson to give the Dynamo the eventual halftime lead before Mendoza's strikes put the Crew on top 2-1.

Geoff Cameron would later assist Calen Carr on the game-tying 86th minute goal for Houston.

The Crew are now 11-9-8 with 41 points, one behind Sporting Kansas City (10-8-10,40) in the standings, and will travel to the Philadelphia Union this Saturday.

Houston, meanwhile, is 8-9-12 with 36 points and tied for third in the Eastern table with the Union (8-7-12) and will host the San Jose Earthquakes Saturday at Robertson Stadium.

Montero Brace Keeps Sounders Unbeaten In CCL Play

Fredy Montero had a pair of goals, including the game-winner, as Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders edged Costa Rica's Herediano 2-1 Wednesday at Alejandro Morera Soto Stadium in San Juan, Costa Rica to remain the top team in Group D of the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League tournament and the only undefeated one in the 16-team field.

Jose Cancela tied the game at 1-1 with Herediano's only goal.

Seattle (3-0-0, nine points) and Herediano (0-3-0, zero points, last place) will meet again next Tuesday, this time in Seattle.

Crowd Cries "Brava" To Bravo Hat Trick In Pumas CCL Win Over Toronto FC

Martin Bravo had a hat trick and assisted on another goal as Pumas UNAM of Mexico's Primera Division shut out Major League Soccer's Toronto FC 4-0 in Game 3 of Group C play at the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League tournament Wednesday in Mexico City.

It was Pumas' first win in eight tournament games and Toronto's second straight loss in this season's event.

Pumas, now 1-1-1 with four points, is in second place in the four-team group and will face group-leading FC Dallas of MLS next Wednesday at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX.

Toronto, meanwhile, is in third place at 1-2-0 with three points. After returning to league action Saturday when they host the defending league champion Colorado Rapids Saturday at BMO Field, they will host last-place Tauro of Panama next Tuesday.

FC Dallas Sets Franchise, CCL Record For Fastest Goal Scored In Draw To Tauro

Danny Cruz scored the fastest goal in the history of Major League Soccer's FC Dallas franchise and the CONCACAF Champions League off a Jackson Goncalves assist 23 seconds into an eventual 1-1 draw to Panama's Tauro in the third game of Group C play in the 2011-12 tournament Wednesday at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX.

Tauro tied the game in the 32nd minute as Luis Moreno converted a penalty kick after Dallas' Ugo Ihemelu tripped Victor Mendieta.

With each team earning a point in the standings, FC Dallas remains on top at 2-0-1 and returns to tournament play next Wednesday, when they host Pumas UNAM of Mexico, but will first take on the New York Red Bulls in MLS play Saturday at Pizza Hut Park.

Tauro, meanwhile, is in last place at 0-1-2 with two points and will travel to MLS' Toronto FC next Tuesday.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Piasa Sign Deal To Play Home Games At The Sports Academy

Illinois Piasa of the Professional Arena Soccer League and its sister franchise in the Premier Arena Soccer League, announced Thursday they have signed a one-year deal with options for three more years to play home games at The Sports Academy in Glen Carbon, IL.

Hankinson Named Inaugural Scorpions Head Coach

The San Antonio Scorpions, joining the North American Soccer League for the 2012 season, named veteran head coach Tim Hankinson to said position Wednesday.

Hankinson has held similar positions with Alabama A&M, DePaul, Syracuse, Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO and St. Edwards University in Austin, TX.

Former USMNT Head Coach Bradley Takes Job With Egyptian Men's Team

Former US Men's National Team head coach Bob Bradley reportedly beat out former Ghana head coach Milovan Rajevac, former Colombia and Trinidad & Tobago head coach Francisco Maturana, and ex-Montenegro head coach Zoran Filipovic to fill an opening on Egypt's men's national team and will sign the contract this weekend in Cairo, according to an Associated Press interview with Azmi Megahed, press officer for the country's football federation.

Bradley was fired by US Soccer in July after the USMNT lost the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup title to Mexico 4-2 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA.

MLS Teams Lose First Two Games In CONCACAF Champions League Group Play

After five teams representing Major League Soccer in the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League tournament -- the defending league champion Colorado Rapids, Supporters Shield champion Los Angeles Galaxy, FC Dallas, Toronto FC and the Seattle Sounders -- went 8-0-1 in their combined first nine games, the league lost two games on Tuesday night in the third matchday of Group Stage play to Mexican teams.

Daniel Luduena, Oribe Peralta, Carlos Darwin Ouintero and Christian Suarez scored goals as Mexico's Santos Laguna thrashed the Rapids 4-1 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO and, at 2-1-0 with six points, joined Metapan of El Salvador at the top of the Group B standings.

The Rapids, 1-1-1 with four points and in third place, got its only goal from Brian Mullin.

Santos and Metapan will meet in the next group stage game next Wednesday to decide temporary sole possession of first place.

The Rapids, after traveling to BMO Field to face Toronto FC in MLS play Saturday, will host Spain's Real Espana next Wednesday.

Meanwhile, in Mexico, Adrian Aldrete scored the game-tying goal in the 88th minute and Miguel Sabah scored the game-winner in the second minute of second-half stoppage tme as Morelia got past the Galaxy 2-1 to tie for the lead in the Group A standings at 2-1-0 with six points.

Landon Donovan assisted Robbie Keane in the 52nd minute as the Galaxy put up the early lead.

Morelia travels to Honduras next Thursday to face Motagua in the next round of group play, while the Galaxy, who host the Vancouver Whitecaps Saturday on the MLS schedule, will head to Costa Rica next Wednesday to play LD Alajuelnese.

After the 16-team field, split into four, four-team groups, plays six games among the opponents in their groups, the top two teams from each group will advance to the tournament's knockout stage, to be held at a later date.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Union Sign English Defender Tait After Three-Week Trial

After a three-week trial with the team, Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union signed English defender Joe Tait to a contract Tuesday.

Tait, who last played in USL PRO with the league's worst team, the Dayton Dutch Lions, played in two Reserve League games during his trial -- a 1-0 loss to the Columbus Crew and a 2-0 win over the New England Revolution, where he assisted on a goal.

He also scored a goal in a 5-3 friendly victory over USL PRO's Harrisburg City Islanders, the 2011 National Division regular season champion.

Tait moved to the US in 2010 and signed with the Baton Rouge Capitals of the USL Premier Development League and was named the league's Defender of the Year that season.

To make room for Tait on the roster, forward Levi Houapeu, who has a left ankle sprain, was placed on their Disabled/Season-Ending Injury List.

Nominees Announced For Week 26 MLS Save Of The Week Award

Voting has opened for fans to select the 26th winner of Major League Soccer's Save of the Week contest for the 2011 season, which honors the goalkeeper who makes the most outstanding save.

Fans can go to http://www.mlssoccer.com/ to view the nominees and cast their vote before 11:59 p.m. Pacific time Thursday.

The nominees for Week 26 are Matt Pickens (Colorado Rapids), Bouna Coundoul (New York Red Bulls), Kevin Hartman (FC Dallas), Joe Cannon (Vancouver Whitecaps) and Jon Busch (San Jose Earthquakes).

Revolution Loses Midfielder McCarthy For Season To Shoulder Surgery

New England Revolution midfielder Stephen McCarty has seen his 2011 Major League Soccer season end after undergoing shoulder surgery, the team announced Monday.

McCarty first suffered his injury in May and has been dealing with recurrences of the pain throughout the season, most recently last Sunday.

He has started 18 of 21 games for the Revolution this season.

Sounders Sign Meredith, Lose Seamon For Season With Ankle Injury

Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders announced Monday they have signed goalkeeper Bryan Meredith to replace Terry Boss on the roster and have lost midfielder Michael Seamon for the rest of the season due to a lateral ankle tendon injury.

Boss was already lost to the team for the season after suffering a concussion while playing recently for the Puerto Rican men's national team in a FIFA 2012 World Cup qualifying game.

Meredith, the 29th overall pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft from Monmouth University, trained with the Sounders in the preseason, then went on to play for the eventual 2011 USL Premier Development League champion Kitsap Pumas.

In 2010 at Monmouth, he was named to the All-Northeast Conference First Team and was the conference tournament's Most Valuable Player.

As a junior in 2009, he led the nation in goals against average at 0.306 and led the conference in shutouts with 12.

Seamon last played in MLS September 9, 2010, starting three of eight games in his first season with Seattle.

He did play 85 minutes of a third round game in the 2011 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup and Seamon started in eight games with their MLS Reserve League squad.

Monday, September 12, 2011

New MISL Franchise In Chicago To Be Called The Kick

The new Major Indoor Soccer League franchise in Chicago, set to join the league for its 2011-12 season, will be called the Chicago Kick, according to OurSportsCentral.com.

The Kick replace the Chicago Riot, who played last season but folded during the offseason, and its name is not related to the former Philadelphia Kick that played previously in the MISL.

No home arena has been announced for the team, but they open at home November 27 against the defending MISL champion Milwaukee Wave after first facing the new Rochester Lancers November 12 at Blue Cross Arena at War Memorial.

NASL Names Gyorio, Jonke Week 23 Winners

FC Tampa Bay midfielder Mozzi Gyorio and FC Edmonton defender John Jonke were named Monday the North American Soccer League's Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week for Week 23 of the inaugural 2011 season.

Gyorio, the eighth player from the team to win a weekly award, second only to the regular season champion Carolina RailHawks, scored the game-winning goal in the 77th minute of a 2-1 victory at NSC Minnesota Stars Tuesday that clinched the franchise's first-ever playoff berth.

Gyorio has scored two goals this season, both on free kicks, and has started 18 of 22 games for Tampa Bay.

Jonke led the team to a 2-1 win Wednesday against the last-place Atlanta Silverbacks that clinched a playoff berth for the Stars, then scored his only goal this season in 17 games Sunday in a 2-1 loss to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

Nominees Named For Week 26 MLS AT&T Goal Of The Week Award

Major League Soccer Monday announced the five nominees for the AT&T Goal of the Week award for Week 26 of the 2011 season.

Fans can view the scoring plays of the nominees by visiting www.mlssoccer.com/att-goal-week and can vote for their choice either online or via their cell phone by texting to 22442 and typing in the code for their particular favorite. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time Thursday with the winner to be announced Friday.

The nominees are (with codes next to them) Roger Torres of the Philadelphia Union (G1), Davide Chiumiento of the Vancouver Whitecaps (G2), Sebastien Le Toux of the Philadelphia Union (G3), Andres Mendoza of the Columbus Crew (G4) and Chris Wondolowski of the San Jose Earthquakes (G5).

USMNT To Visit Red Bull Arena For First Time Against Ecuador October 11

For the first time in team history, Red Bull Arena, home to Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls, will host the US Men's National Team when they face Ecuador October 11 in an international friendly, according to US Soccer Monday.

The game will air on ESPN, ESPN3.com and Univision at 7 p.m. Eastern time.

In the last game against these two teams, the US won 3-1 in March 2007 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

The US Women's National Team played to a 1-0 victory over Mexico June 5 when they played at Red Bull Arena prior to competing at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.

The US men are 0-2-1 under new head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

Davies Hat Trick Earns Him MLS Player Of The Week Award

DC United midfielder Charlie Davies, who had all his team's goals in a 3-0 victory against Chivas USA Saturday at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA, was named Monday Major League Soccer's Player of the Week for Week 26 of the 2011 season.

With Saturday's output, Davies is now in second place with 11 goals in the league's Golden Boot race, one behind co-leaders Thierry Henry of the New York Red Bulls and Landon Donovan of the Los Angeles Galaxy.

He also is the third United player in the last six weeks to win the award, following Dwayne De Rosario (Weeks 20 and 21) and Chris Pontius (Week 22).