Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year From Soccer Scene USA!

As this is my last post for 2011, I want to take a moment to thank everyone, whether you are a casual reader of this blog or one of many followers I have, for taking the time to read and enjoy this blog.

Let's all hope that 2012 brings us plenty of goals and assists, lots of wins, and lots of exciting action.

Thanks again for your support...and if I could ask for one thing, if you like this blog, please make it a resolution for 2012 that you'll spread the word about it.

Joey Josephs
Soccer Scene USA

3...2...1...BOOM! Blast Ends Wave's Season Opening Winning Streak At Eight In Battle Of MISL Division Leaders

In a battle of division leaders in the Major Indoor Soccer League, the Eastern-leading and defending league regular season champion Baltimore Blast defeated the Milwaukee Wave, leader of the Central Division, 9-4 Saturday in the teams' annual New Year's Eve game at US Cellular Arena to end the Wave's season-opening winning streak at eight games.

Milwaukee led 4-0 after the first quarter on two-point goals by Guiliano Oliveiro and Nicholas Perera, but Baltimore's Max Ferdinard cut the lead in half with his goal with 4:45 left in the quarter.

The Wave never scored again as JT Noone and Stephen DeRoux had goals in the second and third quarters, respectively, to take a 6-4 Blast lead, then Baltimore put the final nail in the coffin on Pat Healey's three-point goal with 2:20 left to play in the fourth quarter.

Baltimore is now 8-3 and will host the second place Syracuse Silver Knights (6-6) at First Mariner Arena this Friday in a match of the Eastern Division's top two teams.

Despite the loss, the Wave still hold the best record in the league at 8-1 and will host the Missouri Comets next Saturday.

Silver Knights Take Bite Out Of SharX

After seeing their season- and franchise-opening nine-game losing streak end Thursday with an 18-16 victory by the Norfolk SharX over the Rochester Lancers, a fellow New York-based Major Indoor Soccer League franchise in the host Syracuse Silver Knights defeated them 23-13 Saturday at The Oncenter at the War Memorial.

Jeffrey Hughes led the Silver Knights with two two-point goals and a pair of assists, Slavisa Ubiparipovic also scored a pair of two-pointers, and three other players tallied three points, including Marcus Chantal, who had Syracuse's only three-point goal.

The Silver Knights are in second place in the Eastern Division standings at 6-6, 2 1/2 games behind the division-leading Baltimore Blast (8-3), who hosts them at First Mariner Arena this Friday.

Cecil Lewis led the SharX, still holding the worst record in the division and the league at 1-10, with a three-point goal. Norfolk is seven games behind the Blast and returns to Rochester Monday.

Silver Knights Sign Well-Traveled Forward Maher

The Syracuse Silver Knights of the Major Indoor Soccer League Friday signed well-traveled forward Anthony Maher to a contract Friday.

Maher has played in the MISL for the Cleveland Force, Kansas City and Missouri Comets, Chicago Riot and Storm, Philadelphia Kixx and California Cougars, and outdoors in USL Second Division wth the Wilmington Hammerheads and Syracuse Salty Dogs and in USL First Division for the Carolina RailHawks.

Wings Keep Comets From Claiming Turnpike Trophy In A Sweep

Edvin Worley scored his only goal in the game with 1:36 left to play to give the host Wichita Wings a 12-10 victory over the Missouri Comets Friday in Major Indoor Soccer League play at Hartman Arena and prevented the Comets from clinching the inuagural I-35 Series and its Turnpike Trophy prize.

The Comets had taken a 3-0 lead in their six-game series this season in the rivalry, which was announced this week, before losing Friday.

Kevin Ten Eyke led the Wings with four points on a two-point goal and two assists and Frederico Moojen had three with a standard goal and an assist.

The Wings are in last place in the three-time Central Division, six games behind the league's best team, the Milwaukee Wave (8-0).

Aduato Neto had three points for the Comets on a two-point goal and an assist.

The Comets are in second place in the division, 2 1/2 games behind the Wave, who they play at US Cellular Arena in Milwaukee next Friday.

Both Missouri and Wichita resume their series next Saturday at Hartman Arena, with the Comets set to take the trophy home, should they win.

Triple Hat Trick Does Little To Help Tijuana; Express Outlasts Revolucion

Cesar Romero set a new single-game record for goals with nine for Revolucion Tijuana in a Friday night Professional Arena Soccer League contest at host Turlock Express in Turlock, CA.

Too bad Tijuana didn't win the game, though.

Oscar Ramos (hat trick, two assists) and Uriel Robledo (two goals, three assists) led the Express with five points each in a 17-11 victory at Turlock Indoor Soccer. Jesus Belmonte had four points with a hat trick and an assist.

Guillermo Rodriguez and Christian Perez scored Tijuana's other goals in the loss.

Both teams will meet again January 20 at Furati Arena in Tijuana.

Turlock is currently 6-3 and in second place in the Western Division, a game behind the two-time defending league champion San Diego Sockers (5-0).

Tijuana, who travels to the Anaheim Bolts next Friday before facng Turlock again two weeks later, is 3-3 and tied with the Bolts for third place in the division.

Eller Leads Kings In Dual Victory Over Lightning At Cincinnati Gardens

Allen Eller had four goals to lead the host Cincinnati Kings to a 9-3 victory over the Louisville Lightning Friday at Cincinnati Gardens that served as a Professional Arena Soccer League regular season game and a Round of 16 game in the 2011-12 US Open Arena Soccer Championship tournament.

Kwame Sarkodie had a pair of goals and assists for the Kings, Sam Fiore added a brace and Jeff Henderson also scored a goal.

JT Murray scored two of Louisville's goals with Tee Shipalane adding the other.

The Kings will next face fellow PASL franchise Detroit Waza in the quarterfinals at a location and date to be announced.

In the league, Cincinnati improved to 3-5 on the season and are tied for fourth place in the Eastern Division with the Illinois Piasa (same record), both three games behind Detroit for the division lead. The Kings next host the Kansas Magic January 13.

Louisville is in sole possession of third place, 1 1/2 games behind Detroit, and they will host the Piasa next Saturday at Mockingbird Valley Sports Complex for their first game of 2012.

USMNT Finalizing Plans For Leap Day Game In Italy For Flood Victims

According to MLSsoccer.com, plans are being finalized for the US Men's National Team to play an international friendly against Italy in Genoa February 29 to raise money to benefit victims of flooding in the area three months ago.

The US has never won a game against Italy in 10 tries (0-7-3) and have played games in Catania and Rome in the past. Their last meeting was at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, held in the US, where the US lost 3-1.

Friday, December 30, 2011

NYRB's Sofer Confirms Henry To Be Loaned To Arsenal

Erik Soler, general manager of Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls, confirmed to the New York Post Friday forward Thierry Henry will be loaned to his former English Premier League team, Arsenal, where he is their all-time leading goalscorer, for two months.

Henry has already been practicing and training with the Gunners.

Should a deal be struck by Sunday, as is expected, Henry would begin playing as soon as a Monday game against Fulham and would return to New York by February 20 for the start of the Red Bulls' training camp in Arizona.

MLS Names Five Members To 2012 Generation Adidas Class, Sign Four College Seniors To Contracts

Major League Soccer and adidas Thursday announced the members of the 2012 class of Generation adidas and the signing of four college seniors to league contracts.

The players will be among 65 top professional prospects that will attend the 2012 adidas MLS Player Combine January 6-10 at Central Broward Regional Park in Fort Lauderdale, FL before possibly being selected in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, presented by adidas, January 12 at the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, MO.

Generation adidas players, in addition to be selected to train and play with an MLS franchise, receive grants to further their college education and they do not count against a team's salary cap.

Here are the members of the 2012 Generation adidas Class:

SAM GARZA, F, UC SANTA BARBARA/UNIVERSITY OF DENVER
- Had 17 goals and 10 assists at UCSB, was 2010 All-Big West Conference Co-Offensive Player of the Year and conference First Team member
- Was the 2008 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Newcomer of the Year at Denver before transferring to UCSB.

CHANDLER HOFFMAN, F, UCLA
- Led UCLA to 2011 NCAA Men's College Cup semifinals and led team and Pac-12 Conference in goals in 2011 with 18; also was fourth nationally in that category
- Was named to the All-Pac 12 First Team and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's Third Team in 2011

DARREN MATTOCKS, F, AKRON
- Member of Jamaican U-23 National player pool and a semifinalist for the 2011 Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy
- 39 goals scored in 47 career matches with Zips
- Was named Mid-American Conference Player of the Year in 2011 after scoring 21 goals
- Led Zips to 2010 NCAA Men's College Cup title

KELYN ROWE, M, UCLA
- Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year after scoring six goals, 10 assists while leading Bruins to College Cup semifinals
- Played on US U-18 and U-20 national teams; earned second invite to US U-23 training camp

ANDREW WENGER, F, DUKE
- First Duke player to earn a Generation adidas contract
- Finalist for Hermann Trophy
- Named 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference Offensive Player of the Year after leading conference with 17 goals
- Three-time All-ACC First Team member, 2009 ACC Rookie of the Year, and 2010 ACC Defender of the Year

Here are the five new collegiate signings:

TONY CASCIO, M, CONNECTICUT
- Was Preseason All-American and on MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List in 2011
- Named an NSCAA First Team All-American and Big East Conference Player of the Year in 2010
- Two-time all-Big East First Team member in 2009 and 2010, named to conference second team in 2011

NICK DELEON, M/F, LOUISVILLE/UNLV
- Started every game for the Cardinals since transferring from UCLA to Louisville in 2009
- Two-time All-Big East Conference member
- Second on Cardinals in scoring with six goals and six assists in 2011
- Was named second-team All-MPSF in freshman year at UNLV and a federation honorable mention award-winner in sophomore year before going to UCLA

LUIS SILVA, M, UC-SANTA BARBARA
- 2011 NSCAA First Team All-American, All-Big West Conference First Team and Big West Midfielder of the Year
- Third on NCAA Division I point scoring list with 17 goals and 10 assists
- Semifinalist for 2011 Hermann Trophy

CASEY TOWNSEND, F, MARYLAND
- Has played for US U-20 National Team
- MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist
- Two-time First Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference player
- 17 goals for Terrapins in 2011; ended career at Maryland as third-leading goalscorer in school history

Sky Blue FC Going With Marshall Plan In 2012

Sky Blue FC of Women's Professional Soccer announced the signing Thursday of defender/forward Nikki Marshall, reuniting her with head coach Jim Gabarra, who coached the former first round pick with the league's Washington Freedom in 2010, starting 24 games in that season before moving with the team to Boca Raton, FL, where the team name was changed to magicJack FC.

In June, she was traded by magicJack to the Boston Breakers, where she played in 14 games.

Marshall, who played on the US women's U-20 and U-23 national teams, is the all-time leading goal scorer in University of Colorado history with 42 and holds 17 other school records.

Dos Santos Trey Gives Sharks First Win Of MISL Season

Gerson Dos Santos had a six-point night, which including a game-winning three-point goal with 30 second left to play in the final quarter, as the host Norfolk SharX, winless in their first nine games of the 2011-12 Major Indoor Soccer League season, edged the Rochester Lancers 18-16 Thursday at the Norfolk Scope Arena for the franchise's first win.

Dos Santos also tallied a two-point goal and an assist.

Matthew Delicate had a four-point night for Norfolk (three-point goal, assist) and Matt Clare and Marcus Schmidt each scored three-point goals.

Rochester was led by Doug Miller, who had eight points on four standard goals, and Andrew Hoxie, who had seven points (two two-point goals and three assists).

Both teams will meet again this Monday at Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial in Rochester, NY.

Norfolk (1-9) still maintains the worst record in the league and last place in its Eastern Division, six games behind the division-leading Baltimore Blast, and will face the Syracuse Silver Knights on the road Saturday before their Monday rematch with the Lancers.

Rochester, 5-7, is in third place in the division and three games behind the Blast for first place.

Wings Release Farias

The Wichita Wings of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced the release Thursday of forward Carlos "Chile" Farias.

General manager John Blazek said in a statement Thursday the decision was made for the best interest of the organization.

RailHawks Re-Sign Zimmerman

The Carolina Railhawks, the defending North American Soccer League regular season champion, announced the re-signing of midfielder Nick Zimmerman, the team's third leading goal and points scorer in 2011 with six goals and an assist for 11 points and started 24 of 28 regular season games after joining Carolina in April after playing for Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls and Philadelphia Union.

Zimmerman was also one of five RailHawks who played over 2,000 minutes last season.

Sounders Sign Swedish Defender Johansson To Multi-Year Deal

Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders announced the signing Thursday of Swedish defender Adam Johansson to a multi-year deal.

Johannson began his career in his home country in 2002, spending three seasons with second tier team Vastra Frolunda before joining IFK Goteborg of their top league, the Allsverskan, where he appeared in 129 games since 2005.

He has also played nine times for Sweden's men's national team, most recently in February 2011 against Cyprus.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sauerbrunn Reunites With Gabarra At Sky Blue FC

US Women's National Team defender Becky Sauerbrunn, the only three-time National Soccer Coaches Association of American All-American in University of Virginia history, signed a contract Wednesday with Sky Blue FC of Women's Professional Soccer, reuniting her with head coach Jim Gabarra.

The two worked together on the 2007 Washington Freedom in the USL W-League, then was selected by Gabarra for the Freedom's 2008 WPS squad with the third overall pick. Sauerbrunn would play three seasons there before joining now-defunct magicJack in 2011.

Sauerbrunn has played at every level of the US women's soccer program, including serving as captain of the U-19 and U-23 national teams.

Comets Take 3-0 Lead In New I-35 Series With Win Over Wings

After being down 7-4 after three quarters of play Wednesday, the Missouri Comets got two-point goals from Geison, Vahid Assadpour and Tiguinho for a 10-7 home win at the Independence Events Center in Independence, MO over the Wichita Wings in the third game of a recently-announced kickoff of the I-35 Series between the teams, in which the series winner earns the right to hoist the Turnpike Trophy and take ownership of it for a year.

The Comets currently lead the series 3-0 and can lay claim to the trophy with a win Friday at Hartman Arena in Wichita, KS.

Victor Quiroz scored two two-point goals and Jamie Harding added a three-point shot for Wichita's points.

The Comets are 8-5 and in second place in the league's three-team Central Division, 2 1/2 games behind the division's and the league's best team, the Milwaukee Wave (8-0), who they face on the road January 6.

The Wings are in last place in the division and are six games behind the Wave.

Adu Spending Week In Spanish La Liga With Rayo Vallecano

Midfielder Freddy Adu of Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union and the US Men's National Team, began a week-long training stint in Spain's La Liga with Rayo Vallecone Wednesday.

He was set to join the team two weeks ago, but was called up to a training camp with the US U-23 Men's Olympic Team in Florida.

After rejoining MLS last season from Benfice, Adu had two goals and an assist in 13 games, including playoffs, with the Union.

Between MLS stints with Philadelphia, DC United and Real Salt Lake, Adu has scored 14 goals and 20 assists in 109 regular season games.

Dynamo Trade Conditional Draft Pick To Toronto FC For Sturgis

The Houston Dynamo Wednesday acquired well-traveled midfielder Nathan Sturgis from Toronto FC in return for a conditional pick in the 2014 Major League Soccer SuperDraft.

Sturgis began his professional career as the 12th overall pick in the 2006 SuperDraft by the Los Angeles Galaxy, but has also played for the Columbus Crew, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps.

Earthquakes Sign Honduran Defender Bernardez

Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes signed Honduran defender Victor Bernardez to a 2012 season contract Wednesday.

Bernardez played in 22 games over the last three seasons, including three UEFA Europa League games, with Belgium's Anderlecht. He also has represented his country on their national team 52 times, including starting a 2010 FIFA World Cup game against Switzerland that ended in a scoreless draw.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Decu Gets PASL Top Player Award For Weeks 7 & 8

Costea Decu of the Detroit Waza, who scored five goals in his team's 8-5 win over the Cincinnati Kings December 17, was named the Professional Arena Soccer League's Player of the Week for Weeks 7 and 8 of the 2011-12 season Wednesday.

Ocala Stampede Joining USL PDL For 2012 Season

The USL Premier Development League announced Wednesday the Ocala (FL) Stampede will join the league as a 2012 expansion team.

The Stampede will likely be placed in the league's Southeast Division, facing regional foes FC Jax Destroyers, Orlando City U-23s (formerly Central Florida Kraze), IMG Bradenton Academics, Fort Lauderdale Schulz Academy and another expansion team in Brandon FC.

"Breaker" News: The O'Reilly Factor Coming To Boston

The Boston Breakers of Women's Professional Soccer announced Wednesday they have signed three-year Sky Blue FC veteran and long-time US Women's National Team midfielder Heather O'Reilly to a 2012 contract.

At Sky Blue, she had four goals and nine assists and started 49 of 50 games.

With the world's top-ranked women's national team, she started all 17 games she appeared in in 2011 and had three goals and three assists.

Comets, Wings Announce Start Of I-35 Series, Will Challenge For Turnpike Trophy

The Major Indoor Soccer League's Missouri Comets and Wichita Wings jointly announced Tuesday they are beginning an annual rivalry called the I-35 Series, in which both teams will vie for the prestigious Turnpike Trophy, which will reside with the winning team for a year.

The Comets already lead their six-game series this season two games to none with two more games coming up -- at Independence, MO Wednesday and in Park City, KS this Friday.

Wave Tie Best Start Ever With 10-6 Win Over Lancers

Greg Howes and Marcio Leite each had a two-point goal and an assist to lead the Milwaukee Wave to a 10-6 victory over the host Rochester Lancers Tuesday in Major Indoor Soccer League play at Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial to improve their record to a league-best 8-0, tying the team's best start.

Milwaukee was last 8-0 to start a seasn in the 2005-06 MISL season.

Gary Boughton led the Lancers with four points on a standard goal brace and Jeremy Ortiz had a two-point goal and an assist.

Forward Mauricio Salles, who was named Tuesday the league's Week 8 Player of the Week, was held to an assist in the loss.

Milwaukee leads the Central Division and will face the Eastern Division-leading Baltimore Blast (7-3) in their annual New Year's Day rivalry Saturday at US Cellular Arena in Milwaukee.

Rochester, now 5-6, is tied for second place in the Eastern Division with the Syracuse Silver Knights, both 2 1/2 games behind Baltimore in the standings, and will travel to face the winless (0-9) Norfolk SharX Thursday at Norfolk Scope Arena.

Defending PASL Champ Sockers Move On In USOASC Tournament

The two-time defending Professional Arena Soccer League champion San Diego Sockers defeated the independent Las Vegas Select 9-4 Tuesday at Del Mar Arena in a Wild Card Round game of the 2011-12 US Open Arena Soccer Championship tournament, where they are also the two-time defending champion.

Kraig Chiles led the Sockers with a hat trick, Eduardo Velez scored two goals and Majell Aterado assisted on four other goals in the victory.

The Sockers now move into the Round of 16 January 8 when they will host fellow PASL team Phoenix Monsoon.

San Diego's next regular season PASL game will be January 7 at home against the Anaheim Bolts.

Islanders Pick Up Option Years On Contracts Of Cunningham, Wilson

The Puerto Rico Islanders of the North American Soccer League announced Tuesday they have picked the 2012 season options on the contracts of defender Jamie Cunningham and midfielder Tyler Wilson, both of whom played their first professional seasons.

Cunningham, a two-time second team Daktronics All-American at Fort Lewis College, where he was also named winner of the Don Whalen Award as their outstanding male athlete, started 21 games for the Islanders, including games in the CONCACAF Champions League and Caribbean Football Union tournaments.

In four seasons at Fort Lewis, he scored 17 goals and five assists over 83 career games.

Wilson, who also made his debut on Puerto Rico's men's national team, played collegiately at Mount San Antonion College, where he was an All-League Second Team member, and University of California - Riverside.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Rowdies Sign Campbell, Announce Additional Player Moves

The Tampa Bay Rowdies of the North American Soccer League announced the signing Tuesday of Scottish midfielder Stuart Campbell.

Campbell has spent the last eight seasons playing in 288 games for the Bristol Rovers between England's Football League One and Football League Two, the third and fourth highest divisions in English soccer. He spent his last five seasons there as captain, earning the armband in November 2006.

He was a two-time Supporters Club Player of the Year at Bristol (2007-08 and 2009-10) and was runner-up to Rickie Lambert for the 2008-09 award. Campbell also led the Rovers to the quarterfinals of the FA Cup in 2007-08, their best finish in that tournament in 50 years.

The team was promoted to League One after the 2006-07 season, but was relegated back to League Two after the 2010-11 season.

Before playing at Bristol, he spent five seasons with Leicester City (1996-2000) and four with Grimsby Town (2000-04), where he scored 10 goals in 117 games.

Also, in 2000, he was loaned to Birmingham City for two games.

Campbell also played 15 games for Scotland's U-21 team.

In other Rowdies player news...

- The team declined their option on midfielder Jeremy Christie, making him a free agent after stating they would not make a new contract offer.

- Options were also declined on midfielders Mozzi Gyorio and Shane Hill, but both have been invited to next February's training camp as unsigned free agents.

USL PDL Changes Procedure To Select Teams For 2012 LHUSOC Field

During the recent Annual General Meeting of United Soccer Leagues in Clearwater Beach, FL, it was announced that, with the expansion of the field from 40 to 64 teams for the 2012 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament and the logistics that move will mean to the event, the USL Premier Development League has chosen to bypass the traditional policy of having all qualified US-based teams compete in a four-game qualification process to earn tournament berths, which has been used since 1997, and have awarded its 16 available spots to teams based on their 2011 season performance, in their respective conferences, according to the event's website, TheCup.us.

The teams to compete in the 2012 Lamat Hunt US Open Cup are as follows:

CENTRAL CONFERENCE
Michigan Bucks
Chicago Fire PDL
Des Moines Menace
Real Colorado Foxes

EASTERN CONFERENCE
Long Island Rough Riders
Reading United AC
MPS Portland Phoenix
Carolina Dynamo

SOUTHERN CONFERENCE
Laredo Heat
Chivas El Paso Patriots
Mississippi Brilla
Orlando City U23's (previously known as Central Florida Kraze)

WESTERN CONERENCE
Kitsap Pumas (defending USL PDL champion)
Portland Timbers U23s
Fresno Fuego
Ventura County Fusion

MISL Names Lancers' Salles Week 8 Player Of The Week

The Major Indoor Soccer League announced Tuesday Rochester Lancers forward Mauricio Salles, who scored nine points on two three-point goals, a two-point goal and an assist in last Thursday's 26-10 victory over the winless Norfolk SharX, was named the league's Player of the Week for Week 8 of the 2011-12 season.

Salles' output came one point away from tying the league's single-game high for most points be a player with ten, shared by Sinisa Ubiparipovic of the Syracuse Silver Knights and Geison of the Missouri Comets.

Salles is in second place in the league's Scoring Championship race with 39 points.

Blast To Induct Counce, Troy Into Team's Hall Of Fame

The Baltimore Blast of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced Tuesday former players Dan Counce and Rusty Troy will be inducted into the team's Hall Of Fame during a ceremony at Saturday's game against the Rochester Lancers at First Mariner Arena.

Counce wass the first player signed to a contract with the Blast and played four seasons before retiring at the end of the 1983-84 season. He is 18th on the team's all-time scoring list with 94 points over 117 games and was a player-coach on their 1983-84 championship team.

He rejoined the team in the 1986-87 season as their vice president and general manager.

Troy also played four seasons with the Blast, scoring 128 points in 185 games for 12th place on their all-time scoring list, and two seasons with the Baltimore Spirit, ranking 20th on that team's all-time scoring list with 189 points.

He was the Blast's first pick in the 1988 MISL College Dispersal Draft.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Silver Knights Storm Back From Halftime Draw To Beat Comets

Tied 6-6 at halftime, the Syracuse Silver Knights stormed to a 14-6 lead on four two-point goals in the third quarter en route to defeating the Missouri Comets 18-8 Friday in Major Indoor Soccer League play at The Oncenter in Syracuse, NY.

Cory Elenio led all scorers with a pair of two-point goals and an assist and Nelson Santana added two more two-point shots for the Silver Knights, now 5-6 and in third place in the Eastern Division, 2 1/2 games behind the division-leading Baltimore Blast (7-3), the league's defending regular season champion. Syracuse next hosts the league's winless team, the 0-9 Norfolk SharX, on New Year's Eve.

Lucas Rodriguez had a four-point night for the Comets with two goals and Geison Moura and Byron Alvarez each tallied a two-point goal as Missouri fell to 7-5, second place in the Central Division, 2 1/2 games behind the league-leading and defending league champion Milwaukee Wave (7-0). Missouri hosts the last place Wichita Wings of the Central Division this Wednesday at Independence Events Center.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Revolution Sign Re-Entry Draft Pick Simms

Major League Soccer's New England Revolution announced the signing Friday of midfielder Clyde Simms, who was selected in Stage 2 of the 2012 MLS Re-Entry Draft.

Simmis spent seven seasons with DC United, starting 147 of 182 games there and scoring three goals and seven assists.

He led United to back-to-back Supporters Shield titles in 2006 and 2007 and to the 2008 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup championship.

Galaxy Busy With Signings

The defending Major League Soccer champion Los Angeles Galaxy had a busy day Friday, re-signing defender Sean Franklin and midfielder Bryan Jordan to new deals, exercising the option year of the contract of forward Adam Cristman, and signing foward Pat Noonan and goalkeeper Nick Noble.

Franklin, the team's first-round pick in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft who went on to become the MLS Rookie of the Year that season, had four goals and three assists in 25 starts last season, started all four MLS Cup playoff games, and competed in the 2011 All-Star Game.

Jordan returns to Los Angeles for his fifth season and has appeared in 48 games over his last four seasons there.

Cristman had three goals last season for the Galaxy.

Noonan, picked up in Stage 2 of the 2012 Re-Entry Draft from the Seattle Sounders, where he started two of nine games last season, joins his fifth team in the last six seasons.

Noble spent the last two seasons with Swedish second division team Ljungskile SK, earning 21 shutouts in 59 appearances. He was drafted in 2007 by the Chicago Fire, but never played for the team, then left for Europe in December 2009.

US Women Ends 2011 As Best In The World By Five Points Over Germany

By a margin of five voting points, 2,148 to 2,143, the US Women's National Team ended 2011 as the top team in the final FIFA/Coca-Cola World Soccer Rankings over Germany, who stayed unchanged from their third quarterly poll at number two.

Japan had its best finish ever at third, up one from the last poll, swapping places with Brazil, who fell to fourth, with Sweden staying in fifth.

In the second five, France (up one) is sixth, followed by Canada (up two), England (down two), North Korea (down one) and Australia (unchanged) rounding out the top ten.

The US will have a busy schedule prior to the first quarterly poll of 2012 on March 16.

They will first compete for a spot in the 2012 London Olympics at the CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament in Vancouver in late January, then play New Zealand in a friendly February 11 in Frisco, TX at FC Dallas Stadium (formerly Pizza Hut Park), and, finally, will go for a third straight and ninth overall Algarve Cup February 29 to March 5 in Portugal.

Salles' Nine-Point Hat Trick Powers Lancers To Rout Of Still-Winless SharX

Mauricio Salles had a pair of three-point goals, a two-pointer and an assist for a nine-point hat trick to lead the host Rochester Lancers to a 26-10 rout of the still-winless Norfolk Sharx in Major Indoor Soccer League play Thursday at Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial.

Doug Miller had five points on a pair of standard goals and an assist and Jeremy Ortiz posted two two-point goals as the Lancers tied a season-high mark for points by one team in a game.

Norfolk, with the worst record in the league and its Central Division, is 0-9, five games behind the league's best team, the undefeated and defending league champion Milwaukee Wave (7-0).

The SharX were led by Andrew Marshall, who has a two-point goal and an assist.

The Lancers are now 5-5 and in second place in the Eastern Division, two games behind the Baltimore Blast (7-3). Rochester will host the Wave next Tuesday, then travel to take on the SharX next Thursday at the Norfolk Scope Arena in Norfolk's last chance to get a win in 2011.

Galaxy Sign Villarreal As Third Home Grown Player

The defending Major League Soccer champion Los Angeles Galaxy announced the signing Thursday of their third Home Grown Player to the roster in 18-year-old midfielder Jose Villarreal.

Villareal finished his first year at the Galaxy's youth academy, scoring three goals in six games, after coming over from local soccer club Pateadores, who won the US Soccer Development Academy's U-18 national championship and where Villarreal scored 20 goals in 31 games.

He also took part in the US Men's Olympic Team training camp in Germany last month and tallied an assist in three games with the team at the Milk Cup tournament in Northern Ireland.

Galaxy officials say Villarreal could make his debut March 7 when they play the first game of a two-game, aggregate-goal quarterfinal series in the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League against fellow MLS team Toronto FC at BMO Field.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

RailHawks On A High After Re-Signing Low

The defending North American Soccer League regular season champion Carolina RailHawks announced Thursday they have re-signed defender Kupono Low for his sixth season with the team in 2012.

Low, who leads the team in appearances (129), starts (123) and minutes played (11,145), is ranked third all-time in points (32), fourth in assists (ten) and sixth in goals (11), and was named to the NASL's Best XI in 2011.

McTavish Retires From DC United After Six Seasons

DC United defender Devon McTavish, citing health reasons for his decision, announced Thursday he is retiring from Major League Soccer after six seasons.

McTavish led the team to back-to-back Supporters Shield crowns in 2006 and 2007 and to the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup championship in 2008.

He started 70 of 85 career games since being selected in the 2006 MLS Supplementaal Draft, scoring one goal in 2008.

Beat Sign Forward Rebecca Moros

Women's Professional Soccer's Atlanta Beat, the worst team in the league the last two seasons, signed forward Rebecca Moros for the 2012 season Thursday.

She played her first two seasons in the league with the Washington Freedom, scoring two goals and starting 13 of 19 games in 2009 and starting all 23 games in 2010.

Moros signed with magicJack FC February 3, then joined the defending champion Western New York Flash July 7, starting 11 of 17 games there.

Pizza Hut No Longer Title Sponsor Of FC Dallas' Stadium

Pizza Hut announced Thursday they will end their sponsorship of the stadium in Frisco, TX used by Major League Soccer's FC Dallas, as of next Saturday, according to the Dallas Morning News.

The name change to FC Dallas Stadium will take effect January 8.

Union Signs Costa Rican Defender Lopez

Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union announced the signing Thursday of Costa Rican defender Porfirio Lopez to a 2012 contract.

Lopez has been playing with Costa Rican first division champion Deportivo Alajuelense on loan from China's Dalian Haichang, where he scored two goals in ten games before the loan.

He has played 16 games for Alajuelenese, leading them to the 2011 Summer and Winter Championship titles, and scored one goal in a 4-0 victory over Cartagines September 7.

He debuted with Santos de Guapiles in 2005, playing in 42 games before moving in 2009 to Puntarenas, where he scored one goal in 31 games.

Klinsmann Names 20-Man Roster For January Friendlies

US Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann named a 20-man roster Thursday for the team's next training camp January 3 in Phoenix that will cover their first two friendly matches of 2012 -- January 21 against Venezuela at University of Phoenix Stadium and January 25 in Panama City against Panama.

Here is the roster, by position and player's current team:

GOALKEEPERS
Bill Hamid - DC United
Sean Johnson - Chicago Fire
Nick Rimando - Real Salt Lake

DEFENDERS
Geoff Cameron - Houston Dynamo
A.J. DeLaGarza - Los Angeles Galaxy
Omar Gonzalez - Los Angeles Galaxy
George John - FC Dallas
Zach Loyd - FC Dallas
Michael Parkhurst - FC Nordsjaelland
Heath Pierce - Chivas USA

MIDFIELDERS
Klye Beckerman - Real Salt Lake
Ricardo Clark - Eintracht Frankfurt
Benny Feilhaber - New England Revolution
Jeff Larentowicz - Colorado Rapids
Brek Shea - FC Dallas
Graham Zusi - Sporting Kansas City

FORWARDS
Juan Agudelo - New York Red Bulls
Teal Bunbury - Sporting Kansas City
C.J. Sapong - Sporting Kansas City
Chris Wondolowski - San Jose Earthquakes

Timbers Announce James Will Not Return To Spencer's Coaching Staff

Major League Soccer's Portland Timbers announced Wednesday assistant coach Trevor Jones, who joined head coach John Spencer's staff for one season after spending five years with the Los Angeles Galaxy as assistant coach and player development director, will not return to the Timbers for the 2012 season.

WPS Champion Flash Sign Sky Blue Teammates For 2012

Defending Women's Professional Soccer champion Western New York Flash announced the signing of teammates from Sky Blue FC -- Adriana and Allie Long.

Adriana scored three goals and three assists in 11 starts last season and is currently playing for Atletico Madridand.

Long, entering her fourth season in WPS, played on the 2009 and 2010 Washington Freedom team, then joined Sky Blue in 2011.

In her two seasons with the Freedom, she had four goals and an assist in 39 games and, in 2011 with Sky Blue, she started 18 games and had three goals and an assist.

Long split her collegiate career with Penn State University, where she was a two-time All-Big Ten Conference player, and North Carolina, where she led them to a 2008 NCAA Women's College Cup championship.

NASL's Scorpions Sign Four Players

The new San Antonion Scorpions of the North American Soccer League announced the signings Wednesday of four players.

Left wing Walter Ramirez, born in Honduras, last plaed in his home country for CD Vida and in the US for Miami FC Blues back in their USL First Division days.

Defender Karsten Smith played last in USL PRO with FC New York and was a four-year player at American University, where he earned All-Patriot League honors in 2008.

Right back Dominic Papa trained earlier this year with Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls and has played for two semi-pro teams in Arizona -- outdoor team FC Tucson, who will join the USL Premier Development League in the 2012 season, and indoor team Arizona Heat -- and is the current assistant coach at South Mountain Community College.

Finally, midfielder Jeff Jennings was captain of his team at Fort Lewis College, a team head coached by Scorpions' head man Tim Harkinson.

USWNT Prepare For Busy Start To 2012 Schedule

The US Women's National Team, set to be announced Friday as the top team in the world in the final FIFA/Coca-Cola Women's Rankings for 2011, are set to start an ambitious 2012 schedule.

The team announced Wednesday they will face New Zealand February 11 in a friendly at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, TX, formerly Pizza Hut Park.

That game will take place after the USWNT competes to earn a spot in the 2012 London Olympics by taking part in the 2012 CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament in Vancouver, British Columbia.

In group play at that tournament, they will take on the Dominican Republic (January 20), Guatemala (January 22) and Mexico (January 24), with the goal being to make it as one of the two teams to meet in the championship game to earn a spot in the 2012 Olympic tournament field.

After the CONCACAF tournament and the New Zealand friendly, the US will defend its title at the 2012 Algarve Cup in Portugal, where, on Monday, they were drawn into Group B of the 12-team field, where they will play Denmark (February 29), Norway (March 2) and Japan (March 5) in group play.

The match with Japan will be the US' first meeting since losing to them in the final of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany.

Germany, Sweden, China and Iceland, whom the US beat 4-2 for the 2011 Algarve Cup title, the US' second straight and their eighth overall, make up Group A, while host Portugal and three other countries yet to be announced will compete in Group C.

Rhinos Sign UNC-W Goalkeeper Miller

The Rocheter Rhinos of USL PRO announced the signing Wednesday of former University of North Carolina-Wilmington goalkeeper Brandon Miller to a 2012 contract.

Miller, who started 14 games in his first three seasons there, earned All-Colonial Athletic Association honors in his senior year, where he had a 1.36 goals against average in the last 11 games of the season and had 68 saves over 18 games.

Impact Signs Brazilian Midfielder Martins

Major League Soccer's Montreal Impact announced the signing Wednesday of Brazilian midfielder Felipe Martins for the 2012 season.

Martins has been on loan to FC Wohlen in Switzerland's second division from rival FC Lugano, where he has scored seven goals in 50 games, 32 of them starts, over three seasons.

He has also played in Italy for Calcio Padova in their third division, starting when he was 17.

Union Signs Panamanian Midfielder Gomez

Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union announced the signing Wednesday of Panamanian midfielder Gabriel Gomez to a 2012 contract.

He last played in Mexico for second division team Indios de Cuidad Juarez.

In 74 career games for his country's men's national team since his debut in February 2003, he has scored eight goals.

He began his professional career in 2002 in Colombia with Envigado FC and has also played for San Francisco FC, Tauro FC, Deportivo Pereira and Independente Santa Fe.

Chivas USA Signs Ecuadoran Midfielder Minda

Major League Soccer's Chivas USA announced the signing Wednesday of Ecudoran midfielder Osvaldo Minda, who recently led Sociedad Deportivo Quinto to their fifth Serie A championship Sunday.

In 85 career games over three years with Quinto, he started 82 and scored 11 goals.

He also has started seven of 13 games for his country's men's national team.

Final FIFA Men's Poll For 2011 Shows Little Change; Spain Ends Year Number One

The final FIFA/Coca-Cola Men's Soccer Rankings for 2011, released Wednesday, saw Spain end the year as the world's number one team and the top ten in general staying unchanged from the November rankings.

Following Spain in the top ten were the Netherlands, Germany, Uruguay, England, Brazil, Portugal, Croatia, Italy and Argentina.

The US men's national team ends their season also unchanged at 34th.

They will begin their 2012 schedule January 21 by hosting Venezuela, ranked 39th in the world, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ, then traveling to Panama City four days later to play Panama at a yet-to-be-announced location.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

WPS Announces 2012 Draft Date, Location

Women's Professional Soccer announced Wednesday their 2012 Draft will be held at 2 p.m. Eastern time January 13 and will take place during the 2011 National Soccer Coaches Association of America's annual convention in Kansas City, MO.

Wave Clears Terminesi To Play

After missing the first seven games of the season due to an injury, the defending Major Indoor Soccer League champion Milwaukee Wave, now undefeated at 7-0 and leading the three-team Central Division in 2011, announced Wednesday forward Marco Terminesi has been cleared to play for the remaining 13 games of the season.

Terminesi led the league last season in three-point goals (three), two-point goals (22), total goals (25), assists (19), points (72) and game-winning goals (five) and scored in every game last season.

He also led the team in the postseason with five two-pointers and an assist as the Wave won the 2010 league championship.

USL W-League Unveils New Logo

The USL W-League unveiled a new, modern logo on its website Wednesday.

The new logo features the words "W-League" in a light gray font with a blue star separating thw words, with the term "Womens Pro-Am Soccer" in smaller, black type next to the USL logo.

The new logo will be immediately incorporated on all team websites, in marketing, public relations and sales materials and in in-stadium signage, among other areas.

Sky Blue Signs Free Agents In Davison, DaCosta

Sky Blue FC of Women's Professional Soccer announced the signing Monday of two free agents in forward Gemma Davison and midfielder Amanda DaCosta.

Davison began her professional soccer career in England's Women's Premier League, spending four seasons with Arsenal Ladies, before coming to the States in 2008 to play in the USL W-League, winning a title in 2010 with the Buffalo Flash, now the Western New York Flash.

With the Flash in 2011, she won her second championship after scoring a goal and two assists in five starts over 12 appearances.

DaCosta, a native of New York, played her rookie season in WPS for the now-defunct magicJack FC after spending her college career with Florida State University.

She was an All-American in her senior season with the Seminoles and was a four-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection. DaCosta shares a school record in game-winning assists with ten, is third in career assists with 24, and is fourth in career starts with 94.

She also spent time in the W-League with the Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues, a former affiliate of Sky Blue FC.

Palmetto FC Bantams Announce First Corporate Partnerships

Greenwood, SC-based Palmetto FC Bantams of the USL Premier Development League announced Tuesday their first corporate partnerships with BSN Sports and Nike.

BSN Sports, founded in 1972, is the largest distributor of team sports apparel and equipment in the US.

Timbers To Host Four-Team Preseason Tournament

Joining already planned preseason tournaments in Orlando, FL (Walt Disney World Soccer Classic), Charleston, SC (Carolina Challenge Cup) and Tucson, AZ (Tucson Desert Diamond Cup), the Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer announced Tuesday they will host a three-matchday, four-team tournament at JELD-WEN Field.

On the opening night of the tournament February 27, Chivas USA will face Sweden's AIK, followed by the Timbers hosting the Earthquakes.

Matchday two March 1 will see AIK take on San Jose with Chivas then playing Portland.

The final matchday March 4 will have the Earthquakes meeting Chivas and AIK taking on Portland.

Games will takes place at 8 and 10:30 p.m. Eastern time on matchdays.

Millwood Names MISL's Best For Week 7 Of 2011-12 Season

Baltimore Blast forward Machel Millwood, who scored 11 points in two wins last weekend for the current Eastern Division champion and defending regular season champion, was named Tuesday the Major Indoor Soccer League's Player of the Week for Week 7 of the 2011-12 season.

Millwood had a goal and an assists for three points in a 17-9 win Friday at First Mariner Arena in Baltimore against the Missouri Comets, then had a hat trick, including a three-point goal, and an assist for eight points in a 19-8 victory Sunday on the road against the worst team in the league and its Central Division, the winless Norfolk SharX at Norfolk Scope Arena.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Fire Announce Training Camp Friendly Game In New Orleans

To be held in conjunction with its Juniors affiliate in Louisiana, Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire announced Tuesday they will play a friendly game against Honduras' Real Espana February 4 at Tad Gormley Stadium in New Orleans.

The game will end the first of three stages of preseason training.

The first stage will begin January 20 through February 3 in Ave Maria, FL, then the team will head to New Orleans for two days of work February 4 and 5.

USL PRO Delays 2012 Schedule Release Due To City Islanders' Field Issues

USL PRO announced Tuesday it would delay the release of the league's 2012 schedule while the league and member franchise Harrisburg City Islanders assess concerns about the use of Skyline Sports Center for the team's home games next season following massive flooding in October 2011 that caused damage to the facility.

The league hopes to release the 2012 schedule the second week of January.

USWNT Star Wambach Named AP Female Athlete Of The Year

For the first time since the Associated Press instituted the naming of Male and Female Athlete Of The Year awards in 1931, US Women's National Team forward Abby Wambach was named Tuesday the first soccer player to receive the year-end honor for 2011.

Wambach received 65 of 214 votes cast with USMNT player and goalkeeper Hope Solo finishing second with 38 votes. University of Connecticut basketball star Maya Moore was third in the voting with 35.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Rhinos Sign MLS Veteran Forward Chinn To Deal

The Rochester Rhinos of USL PRO announced Monday they have signed former New York Red Bull and Real Salt Lake forward Conor Chinn for the 2012 season.

Chinn was the 34th overall selection out of the University of San Francisco in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, where he played in 78 games and had 37 goals and 12 assists.

Chinn was a two-time All-West Coast Conference First Team selection and was the conference's Player of the Year in 2008.

Bernier Returning To Impact In 2012

Major League Soccer's Montreal Impact announced Monday Quebec native and midfielder Patrice Bernier, who played for the team in USL First Division from 2000 to 2002, will return to them for their debut 2012 season.

Bernier has spent the last nine years playing for teams in Europe -- Moss FK and Tromso IL in Norway, FC Kaiserslautern in Germany, and FC Nordsjaelland and Lyngby BK in Denmark.

Crew Extends Marshall Plan Through 2015

Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew announced Monday veteran defender Chad Marshall will be staying with the team that drafted second overall in the 2004 SuperDraft through the 2015 season.

A two-time MLS Defender of the year and a Best XI pick in 2008 and 2099, he has also been a two-time MLS All-Star (2009 and 2010) and was named the team's Most Valuable Player in 2011, though having only an assist in 32 games last season.

He has started 196 of 199 career games with Columbus, tallying 13 goals and 10 assists.

Marshall has also scored 11 goals for the US Men's National Team.

Millwood Leads Blast To Rout Of SharX; Norfolk Still Winless

Machel Millwood had an eight-point night with a three-point goal, a pair of two-point shots and an assist as the Baltimore Blast, leader of the Major Indoor Soccer League's Eastern Division with a 7-3 record, 2 1/2 games ahead of the Rochester Lancers, defeated the Norfolk Sharx 19-8 Sunday at the Norfolk Scope Arena in Norfolk, VA.

The SharX are the worst team in the league and the Eastern Division at 0-8, six games behind the Blast.

Pat Healey, David Shawn and Carlos Garcia each added two two-point goals to the score for Baltimore and Matthew Delicate had a hat trick for the toothless SharX.

The Blast, the league's defending regular season champion, are now off until they play their annual New Year's Eve game against the defending league champion and current Central Division-leading Milwaukee Wave (7-0) at US Cellular Arena.

The SharX will look to snap their losing streak Thursday at the Lancers.

PASL To Reschedule Game With Bolts-Stars After Game Postponed Due To Field Conditions

The Professional Arena Soccer League will announced a new date in the next few days for a match between the Anaheim Bolts and the Tacoma Stars planned for Sunday at the Anaheim Convention Center, but postponed after new dasherboards set to be installed before the game were deemed not to meet league specifications.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sockers Slam Stars At Del Mar For Fifth Straight Win

Kraig Chiles had a pair of goals and three assists and Majell Aterado had two more goals and an assist as the two-time defending Professional Arena Soccer League champion San Diego Sockers remain undefeated on the 2011-12 season and undefeated at Del Mar Arena since returning to professional indoor soccer with an 8-3 wun over the Tacoma Stars Saturday.

The Sockers have the league's and the Western Division's best record at 5-0, putting them a game ahead of the expansion Turlock Express in the standings.

Despite Saturday's game being their last PASL game of 2011, San Diego will next host independent team Las Vegas Select in the Wild Card Round of the 2011-12 US Open Arena Soccer Championship tournament December 27 at Del Mar. San Diego returns to league play January 7 when they host the expansion Anaheim Bolts.

Raphael Cox, Dayo Oyetuga and Ian Weinberg each posted goals for Tacoma, in fifth place in said division at 3-5, putting them 3 1/2 games behind the Sockers. Tacoma ends 2011 Sunday with a road trip to Anaheim's Convention Center to play the Bolts.

Decu Decks Kings For Five Goals In Detroit Victory

Costea Decu scored five goals to lead Detroit Waza Flo Pro to an 8-6 victory over the Cincinnati Kings in both teams' final Professional Arena Soccer League games before the 2011-12 holiday break Saturday at Taylor Sportsplex in Taylor, MI.

Detroit now has sole possession of the lead in the league's Eastern Division and is a half-game ahead of the expansion Kansas Magic (4-1) and a full game ahead of the Louisville Lightning (4-2). They will return to action January 8 in Taylor when they face the Illinois Piasa.

Jeff Henderson led the Kings with two goals in their loss and are in fifth place in the same division, 3 1/2 games behind Detroit. Cincinnati hosts the Magic at Cincinnati Gardens January 13.

Piasa Punishes Vortex Behind Four Goals From Genoules

Roger Genoules led all scorers with four goals and Jon Fridal had a pair of goals and an assist as the Illinois Piasa won their final Professional Arena Soccer League game of 2011 9-5 over the host Ohio Vortex Saturday at the Canton Civic Center to end a two-game weekend series there.

The Piasa are in fourth place in the Eastern Division at 3-5, three games behind the Detroit Waza (5-1), and return to league play January 7 against the Louisville Lightning at the Mockingbird Valley Sports Complex.

Stefan Ostergren had a brace and an assist for the Vortex in their final 2011 game and are in last place in the division at 1-5, four games behind Detroit. Ohio visits the Lightning to start the 2012 schedule January 13.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Hoxie's Moxie Leads Lancers To Knocking Down Silver Knights

Andrew Hoxie had a five-point afternoon with a three-point and a two-point goal as the host Rochester Lancers got past the Syracuse Silver Knights 18-18 Saturday in a matinee Major Indoor Soccer League game at Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial in Rochester, NY.

Mauricio Salles had a pair of two-point goals and Kyle Manscuk had a three-point goal and an assist for the Lancers, in second place in the Eastern Division at 4-5, two games behind the Baltimore Blast (6-2). Rochester next plays a two-game, home-and-home series with the last-place and currently winless Norfolk SharX -- hosting them December 27, traveling to Nofolk two nights later.

Cory Elenio led the Silver Knights with five points with a  pair of two-pointers and an assist and Jeffrey Huston posted a pair of standard goals. Syracuse is 4-6, in third in the division and a half-game behind Rochester for second in the standings and 2 1/2 games behind Baltimore for the division lead. Syracuse hosts the Missouri Comets this Friday.

Austria's Herzog Joining Klinsmann's USMNT Staff As Assistant Coach

Austria midfielder Andreas Herzog announced his resignation Friday as the head coach of his country's U-23 men's team to become an assistant coach on longtime friend Jurgen Klinsmann's staff with the US Men's National Team.

The two played together in the mid-1990's at Bayern Munich in Germany's Bundesliga and led them to the 1996 UEFA Cup.

Herzog also played five seasons at Werder Bremen in Germany, then ended his playing career in Major League Soccer, appearing in 27 games for the Los Angeles Galaxy in 1994.

Herzog is the team's all-time leading scorer with 26 goals in 103 games from 1998 to 2003.

USL Hands Out 2011 Team, Executive Awards At Hall Of Fame Banquet

United Soccer Leagues announced the winners of its 2011 Team and Executive Awards Friday as part of the Hall of Fame Banquet that is part of this year's Annual General Meeting this weekend at Clearwater Beach, FL.

USL PRO
Regular Season Champion: Orlando City Soccer Club
Fair Play Award: Charlotte Eagles
Marketing: Orlando City
Communications: Harrisburg City Islanders
Betsy McAdams Key Grip Award: Whitney Woods, Charleston Battery
Executive of the Year: Bill Rudisill, Wilmington Hammerheads
Rookie Franchise of the Year: Wilmington Hammerheads
Progress Award: Pittsburgh Riverhounds
Organization of the Year: Orlando City


USL PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE
Regular Season Champion: Fresno Fuego
Fair Play Award: Mississippi Brilla
Marketing: Fresno Fuego
Communications: Reading United AC
Betsy McAdams Key Grip Award: Adam Small, Des Moines Menace
Executive of the Year: John Marrello, Thunder Bay Chill
Rookie Franchise of the Year: Hamilton FC Rage
Progress Award: Victoria Highlanders
Organization of the Year: Fresno Fuego


USL W-LEAGUE
Regular Season Champion: Ottawa Fury
Fair Play Award: (tie) Dayton Dutch Lions and Long Island Rough Riders
Marketing: Vancouver Whitecaps
Communications: Santa Clarita Blue Heat
Betsy McAdams Key Grip Award: Rachel Singer, Santa Clarita Blue Heat
Executive of the Year: Tim Schweitzer, Northern Virginia Majestics/DC United Women
Rookie Franchise of the Year: DC United Women
Progress Award: Santa Clarita Blue Heat
Organization of the Year: Ottawa Fury

Revolucion Tijuana Slips Past Stars At Furati Arena

Sergio Martinez had a hat trick and Guillermo Rodriguez and Gerardo Villa each had two goals as host Revolucion Tijuana edged the Tacoma Stars 13-10 Friday in a Professional Arena Soccer League game at Tijuana's Furati Arena.

Tijuana is tied for third in the PASL's Western Division with the Anaheim Bolts, sharing a 3-3 record and are both two games behind the two-time defending champion San Diego Sockers (4-0). Tijuana faces the Turlock Express in their next game on the road December 30.

Tacoma, who saw Amos Freiheit score two goals to lead the Stars, is 3-4 and 2 1/2 games behind San Diego for fifth place in the division. The Stars take on the Sockers Saturday in an attempt to end ther home unbeaten streak at Del Mar Arena.

Wave Continues To Ride Unbeaten Streak By Clipping Wings

Marcio Leite had a pair of two-point goals as the Milwaukee Wave retained the best record in the Major Indoor Soccer League and its Central Division with a 15-4 rout of the Wichita Wings Friday at US Cellular Arena in Milwaukee Friday.

Larry Inlow and Bryan Perez accounted for all of the Wings' points.

Milwaukee is 7-0 and will travel December 27 to play the Rochester Lancers.

The Wings are in last place in the division at 3-6, five game behind the Wave, and will play the Missouri Comets on the road December 28.

Blues To Become Pro Soccer's First Interactive Team

The Los Angeles Blues of USL PRO announced a partnership Friday with The Bar Pages, a technology and consulting firm specializing in the use of mobile barcodes, or QR or quick response codes, that will make them the first fully interactive professional soccer team in the country.

The company will allow people to access special content from the Blues' website and/or special deals at the stadium by scanning the bar codes into a patron's smartphone.

Blast Break Up Comets In First Home Win Of MISL Season

Aduato Neto and Carlos Garcia each had a pair of two-point goals as the host Baltimore Blast, leader of the Major Indoor Soccer League's Eastern Division, won their first home in six tries this season at First Mariner Arena 17-9 over the Missouri Comets Friday.

Mike Lookingland added a three-point goal for Baltimore.

The Blast are 6-3 and will next travel to the worst team in the league and its Central Division, the winless Norfolk SharX (0-7).

Recently signed midfielder Tiguinho had a five-point night with a three-pointer and a two-pointer in the loss, dropping Missouri to second place in the three-team Central Division at 7-4, two games behind the league's best team, the Milwaukee Wave, leading the division at 7-0. Missouri travels to the Syracuse Silver Knights next Friday.

Express Needs Overtime To Beat Bolts In Dual Purpose Game

Uriel Robledo had a four-point night with a hat trick and an assist and Eric Aragon added a goal and an assist as the host Turlock Express required a golden goal to defeat the Anaheim Bolts 9-8 Friday in a Professional Arena Soccer League game at Turlock Indoor Soccer in Turlock, CA.

The game also served as a Round of 16 contest in the 2011-12 US Open Arena Soccer Championship tournament.

Hugo Casillas had a hat trick for the Bolts and Patrick Ruiz had two goals and an assist.

Turlock is currently 6-3 and in second place in the Western Division, a half-game behind the two-time defending league champion San Diego Sockers (4-0), and will host Revolucion Tijuana December 30.

Anaheim evened their debut record to 3-3 and is in third place in the division, two games behind the Sockers. The Bolts welcome the Tacoma Stars to the Anaheim Convention Center Sunday.

Ordell, Fridal Braces Hand Piasa First Win Of PASL Season Over Vortex

Blake Ordell and Jon Fridal each had a pair of goals as the Illinois Piasa won their first Professional Arena Soccer League game of the 2011-12 season Friday at the Canton Civic Center 8-3 over the Ohio Vortex in the first game of a two-game weekend series.

Both teams meet again Saturday.

Stefan Ostergren, Steve Gillespie and Jordan Zapotechne scored Ohio's goals in the loss.

The Piasa remain in last place, though, in the Eastern Division at 1-5, 3 1/2 games behind the co-leading Detroit Waza and Kansas Magic, both 4-1 on the season.

The Vortex are at 1-3, tied for fourth in the division with the Cincinnati Kings (2-4), 2 1/2 games behind the co-leaders.

Judah Barrage Leads Lightning Over Kings

Nick Judah had four goals to lead the host Louisville Lightning of the Professional Arena Soccer League to an 8-7 victory Friday from the Mockingbird Valley Sports Complex.

JT Murray had two goals for the Lightning, Darren Yeagle added a goal and three assists, and Charlie Campbell posted a goal as Louisville improved to 4-2 for third place in the Eastern Division, a half-game behind the co-leading Detroit Waza and Kansas Magic, both 4-1, in the standings. The Lightning next host the Illinois Piasa January 7.

Drew Ducker and Jeff Henderson each had two goals for the Kings, 2-4 and tied for fourth with the Ohio Vortex (1-3), 2 1/2 games behind Detroit and Kansas in the division race. The Kings travel to the Taylor Sportsplex in Taylor, MI Saturday to face the Waza.

FC Dallas Trades Chavez To Earthquakes, Fires Gorman As Technical Director

Major League Soccer's FC Dallas announced Friday they traded midfielder Martin Chavez to the San Jose Earthquakes in exchange for allocation money and they fired their first technical director in Barry Gorman.

Chavez started a career-high 30 games last season and had six goals and four assists to lead the team to the MLS playoffs for the second straight year. He also scored the lone goal in a historic 1-0 win over Pumas UNAM in the Group Stage of the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League, the first time an MLS franchise has ever beaten a Primera Division opponent in any competition.

Chavez also has played 26 times for Honduras' men's national team since 2006.

Gorman was named to the first-ever opening in April 2010 and, until a new such person is hired, team president and CEO Doug Quinn, head coach Schellas Hyndman and Dan Hunt, chairman and vice president of Hunt Sports Group, will handle all player personnel decisions.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Comets Bring Back Tiguinho, Place Pardo On IR With Right Leg Injury

The Missouri Comets of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced Friday they have re-signed midfielder Tiguinho.

Chosen by the New Jersey Ironmen in the 2007 MISL Supplemental Draft and signed as a Discovery Player, he scored 12 goals in 14 games in the 2008-09 season for the Ironmen.

Whitecaps Reuniting Watson With Rennie

Major League Soccer's Vancouver Whitecaps Friday announced the signing, effective January 1, of English midfielder Matt Watson, currently playing for the Major Indoor Soccer League's Baltimore Blast until the end of the month.

Watson will be reunited in Vancouver with new head coach Martin Rennie, where they were together for three of Watson's four seasons with the Carolina Railhawks, with the team winning the 2011 regular season championship in the revived North American Soccer League. Watson had eight goals and 11 assists in 107 career appearances.

Watson also played in the former USL Second Division with the Richmond Kickers, now in USL PRO, where he led them to the league's 2006 and 2007 regular season championship and the 2006 USL-2 title.

Crew Bag Buckeye Goalkeeper As Their Latest Home Grown Player

Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew announced the signing of former Ohio State University goalkeeper Matt Lampion Thursday as the sixth local player on the roster and the second, after Aaron Horton on Lewis Center, OH, to be signed under the league's Home Grown Player initiative.

After redshirting at Northern Illinois in 2008, Lampion transferred to the Buckeyes, where he appeared in 56 games, earned a goals against average of 0.86 and finished second on the school's all-time list in career shutouts with 24.

Established Independent Team FC Tuscon Now Joining USL PDL In 2012

United Soccer Leagues announced Thursday FC Tucson, established in 2010 and who played an independent schedule this past season, has joined the USL Premier Development League for the 2012 season.

FC Tucson is owned by FC Tucson Events, organizers of, among other events, the second annual FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup preseason tournament from February 22 to March 3, which will see four Major League Soccer compete for the title -- the New York Red Bulls, New England Revolution, Real Salt Lake and the defending league champion Los Angeles Galaxy.

Strikers Exercise 2012 Options On Five Players

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers, runners-up to the NSC Minnesots Stars for the North American Soccer League championship in 2011, announced Thursday they have exercised the 2012 option years on the contracts of five players -- forward Brian Shriver, defender Tony Stahl, midfielder Walter Restrepo, defender Scott Gordon and midfielder Patrick Otte.

Shriver led the team in goals in the regular season with six and led the league in playoff goals with five.

Stahl was second on the team in matches started with 21 and was named to the league's Best XI team.

Restrepo, a midseason acquisition, started in five of the Strikers' last 11 regular season games.

Gordon, in the same way as Restrepo, started 14 games in the second half of the 2011 season.

Otte started three games for Fort Lauderdale before undergoing season-ending knee surgery.

Timbers Become First Team To Sign Player To New Young Designated Player Spot

The Portland Timbers announced Thursday 19-year-old Colombian forward Jose Adolfo Valencia will join the team as its -- and Major League Soccer's -- first player signed to the league's new Young Designated Player spot on a team roster.

The Young Designated Player spot was created to allow international players under the age of 23 to sign a professional contract at a lesser salary cap hit than a traditional Designated Player spot takes on a roster.

Whitecaps Win Weighted Lottery To Gain Ex-USMNT Player Nguyen

The Vancouver Whitecaps won a weighted lottery Thursday at Major League Soccer headquarters in New York City to gain the playing rights to former US Men's National Team midfielder/forward Lee Nguyen, who signed a multi-year deal with the league December 6.

Nguyen spent the last three seasons playing soccer in his parents' home country of Vietnam, where he became the first American to play for their top professional league and was the country's highest-paid athlete. Nguyen played for Hoang Anh Gia Lai (2009-10) and Binh Duong FC (2010-11) and scored a combined 14 goals in 29 games in the V-League.

Before playing in Vietnam, he spent two seasons each with PSV Eindhoven and Randers FC.

Donovan Heading To Everton...AGAIN!

Major League Soccer's Landon Donovan of the defending league champion Los Angeles Galaxy will be taking his talents -- on loan, again, of course -- to Everton of the English Premier League for two months, according to the Galaxy Thursday.

Donovan, who has international experience playing for Bayern Munich and Bayern Leverkusen in Germany's Bundesliga, played in 13 games for the Toffees in 2010, scoring two goals.

His first game with Everton will be January 4 when they face the Bolton Wanderers and his loan ends after a February 25 match against Arsenal. Donovan will return for the Galaxy in time to host the first game of a 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series against MLS' Toronto FC at The Home Depot Center March 7, then play in the Galaxy's 2012 MLS season opener March 10 against a yet-to-be-announced opponent.

Donovan had 16 goals and five assists over all competitions in the 2011 MLS season.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

FC Tampa Bay No More -- Team Wins Legal Battle, Reborn As Tampa Bay Rowdies Thursday

After a three-year-long legal battle, the Tampa Bay Rowdies will finally return to professional soccer in the 2012 North American Soccer League season after the current team, called FC Tampa Bay and owned by Citrus Sports Group, LLC, won the rights to their original name back from Dallas-based retro sports apparel company Classic Ink.

The Rowdies will unveil their new logo Thursday, which will see the current shield logo dropped for a more retro style consistent with the name Rowdies fans have always loved.

Bolts Forward Tovar Named PASL's Best For Week 6

Anaheim Bolts forward Enrique Tovar was named Wednesday the Professional Arena Soccer League's Player of the Week for Week 6 of the 2011-12 season after having a hat trick last Saturday and a goal and four assists last Sunday in a weekend road sweep of the Phoenix Monsoon.

Generation adidas Team Ends 10-Day Amsterdam Tour 1-2 With Loss At Almere City

Jonathan Roberson and Thijs Suijter scored goals as Almere City FC of the Dutch Eerste Divisie, its second division, shut out Major League Soccer's Generation adidas team 2-0 Wednesday in Almere, Netherlands to end a 10-day, three-game tour of Amsterdam at 1-2.

The Generation adidas team returns to the States Thursday.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Toronto Hires Kerr As GK Coach, Replaces Toshack, Who Left Portland

Major League Soccer's Toronto FC announced Wednesday they have hired Stewart Kerr as their new goalkeeper coach, replacing Mike Toshack, who left his Portland Timbers team Wednesday to be reunited with Timbers head coach John Spencer, who served on the Houston Dynamo's 2007 and 2008 teams.

Kerr played for nine seasons (1993-2001) with Celtic FC of the Scottish Premier League, where he led them to two Scottish League titles and two Scottish Cup crowns. He was loaned to Brighton in the UK for one season while with Celtic and ended his career in 2002 with Wigan Athletic in the English Premier League.

Before going to Toronto, he served in the same capacity with Motherwell in Scotland.

Sounders Hand Out 2011 Team Awards

Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders announced the winners Tuesday of the 2011 Major League Soccer team's postseason awards.

Midfielder Osvaldo Alonso, who set new career-high numbers in almost all categories, including games played (33), goals (31), assists (three), shots (54), shots on goal (11) , fouls committed (56) and fould suffered (39), was named the 2011 team Most Valuable Player.

He appeared in 44 of 47 games in all 2011 competitions, had a team-high 3,820 minutes played over all games and led all midfielders in the league with 2.891 minutes of playing time in games.

Jeff Parke was named Defender of the Year after starting a career-high 28 games, including a string of 19 straight from May 21 to September 24, and played the full 90 minutes in 32 of 33 league appearances in 2011.

Parke also had an assist in four games of the 2011 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament.

Forward Fredy Montero, for the third time in a row, was named the Budweiser Golden Boot for scoring the most team goals with 12, a career-best and was tied for fifth in MLS in that category. He also had the fifth-highest amount of assists in 2011 with nine and tied the league mark for game-winning goals with five.

Montero had 18 goals and 11 assists in all competitions, covering 41 games in 2011, and set a new team record for most points scored in a season with 33.

Finally, for the second straight year, defender James Riley was named their Humanitarian of the Year. Riley donates time for the Renton (WA) Skyways Boys & Girls Club, Special Olympics, Make-A-Wish Foundation, America SCORES, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, among other charities.

Hamliton FC Moving USL PDL, W-League Operations To McMaster University, Starting In 2012

Hamilton FC Rage of the USL Premier Development League and USL W-League announced Wednesday they have reached an agreement with the athletics and recreation departmenr of McMasters University to move their operations there, beginning with the 2012 season.

The Rage will use Ron Joyce Stadium for each of the franchise's home games.

MISl Cracks 100K Total Attendance After Six Weeks

The Major Indoor Soccer League announced Wednesday the league's total attendance for games through Week 6 of the 2011-12 season reached the 100,000-fan mark.

OSCS Signs Chin To Extension Through 2014 Season

The defending USL PRO champion Orlando City Soccer Club announced Wednesday they have signed forward and local Rollins College graduate Dennis Chin to a contract extension through the 2014 season.

Chin had four goals in 15 appearances in all competitions last season, starting three of those games.

Blues Sign 2010 USL PDL MVP

The Los Angeles Blues of USL PRO announced Wednesday they have signed former Kitsap Pumas and University of San Francisco player Brayn Burke to a deal.

Burke was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2011 PDL National Championship Game as he assisted on Robby Christie's 11th minute goal that defeated the Laredo Heat 1-0.

Scorpions Sign First Two Players, Complete Coaching Staff

The expansion San Antonio Scorpions of the North American Soccer League announced the signings Wednesday of their first two players -- veteran Major League Soccer stars Kevin Harmse and Greg Janicki -- and the addition of Alen Marcina as assistant coach and Juan Lamadrid as goalkeeper coach on head coach Tim Harkinson's staff.

Harmse was born in South Africa, but grew up in Canada. He began his pro career in Norway in 2003, then joined the Vancouver Whitecaps, then of the USL First Division in 2004.

He then debuted in MLS with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007, moving later to Toronto FC before heading back to Vancouver, now in MLS/

Janicki, who grew up in Rochester, MI, played his college soccer at Michigan State University, where he was a second team National Soccer Coaches Association of America/adidas All-Great Lakes Team member and an All-Big Ten Conference First Team during his career.

He also played in the USL Premier Development League while in college with the Michigan Bucks and the former West Michigan Edge.

He signed his first pro contract in 2008 with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of USL-1, then later signed a developmental deal with MLS' DC United.

He would sign with Vancouver in 2009 while they were in USL-1, then was named Defender of the Year and to the Best XI in the one-season USSF Division 2 Pro Leagie in 2010.

FC Edmonton Adds Paulus To Coaching Staff

FC Edmonton of the North American Soccer League announced Tuesday they have added Jeff Paulus to the coaching staff as their secod assistant coach for the 2012 season.

Paulus joined the team during off-season training and will join head coach Harry Sinkgraven and first assistant Hans Schrijver on the bench.

Paulus led Northern Alberta Institute of Technology to the gold medal at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association's National Championship tournament and was named the 2011 Coach of the Year in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference.

Sounders Sign Morales To Multi-Year Deal

Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders announced Tuesday they have signed midfielder Mauro Rosales to a multi-year deal after scoring five goals and a team record 13 assists in 26 appearances in the 2011 season, the third-most appearances in the league last season.

US Soccer Sanctions WPS As Division I League For 2012, But Conditions Place For Future Sanctioning

The US Soccer Board of Directors announced Tuesday they will sanction Women's Professional Soccer as a Division I Professional League for a third straight season in 2012, despite still not maintaining the required eight teams to earn that status.

WPS currently operates five teams -- Atlanta Beat, Boston Breakers, Philadelphia Independence, Sky Blue FC and the defending champion Western New York Flash -- after terminating magicJack FC after the 2011 season for failure to meet league standards.

However, US Soccer warned WPS that to be sanctioned for the 2013 season, they must have a minimum of six teams for that season and, for the 2014 season, they must have the required eight teams for sanctioning, as well as meet specific team and league financial requirements.

US U-23's Porter Adds Boyd, Rowe To Training Camp Roster

US U-23 National Team head coach Caleb Porter Tuesday added forward Terrance Boyd and midfielder Kelyn Rowe to the roster for their latest traning camp in Lakewood Ranch, FL ahead of competing in 2012 CONCACAF Qualifying for the London Olympics beginning in March, bringing the number of campers to 30.

Boyd, born in Berlin, plays for the reserve team of Borussia Dortmund in Germany's Bundesliga and scored ten goals in 15 games this season. He took part in the US team's last training camp last month and has scored two goals in two appearances on the team this season.

Rowe finished his sophomore season at UCLA, where he was named the Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year with six goals and ten assists and led the Bruins to the semifinals of the 2011 NCAA College Cup tournament.

He will be the third collegiate player on the roster, following Andrew Wenger and Sebastian Ibeagha, both from Duke.

New Downtown Stadium For Dynamo Gets Name

The new downtown stadium for Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo will be called BBVA Compass Stadium, according to a report by Houston's FOX affiliate Tuesday, with a news conference set for Wednesday afternoon.

The naming rights deal is reportedly worth $20 million over ten years.

Groundbreaking for the stadium, to replace using University of Houston's Robertson Stadium, where the team moved after changing their name from the original San Jose Earthquakes in 2007, took place in February of this year and the stadium will open officially May 12, 2012.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hammes Named MISL's Week 6 Player Of The Week

Milwaukee Wave defender Joe Hammes was named Tuesday the Major Indoor Soccer League's Week 6 Player of the Week for the 2011-12 season after scoring seven points with a three-point goal, two-point goal and a pair of assists in a win over the Rochester Lancers Saturday that keeps the defending league champion undefeated so far this season at 6-0.

Named the Defensive Player of the Montn for November, Hammes' 19 points and five assists this season ties him in each category for the most among players at his position.

NASL Announces 2012 Player Combine

The North American Soccer League announced Tuesday they will hold their 2012 Player Combine February 10-12 in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Players interested in being invited to participate will be able to fill out an online application starting Monday through January 10 at http://nasl.com/, with players receving intivations on a rotating basis.

Generation adidas Players Win Second Tour Game At Voldendam

Dilly Duka, Will Briun and Omar Salgado scored goals to lead Major League Soccer's group of Generation adidas players to a 3-2 victory over FC Voldendam of the Netherlands' Eerste Divisie, their second division league, in the second game played during a 10-day tour of Europe Tuesday in Voldendam, Netherlands.

Their third and final game of the tour will be Wednesday against another Eerste Divisie team, Almere City FC, at Almere City.

Rapids Named Tim Hinchey Team President

Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids announced Monday Tim Hinchey, formerly the team's chief marketing officer, was named the team's new president.

Hinchey has other 20 years of professional sports experience, working with the National Basketball Association in the US, and the English Premier League and English Football League Championship in the United Kingdom.

SKC Sends Bravo Back To Mexico To Play For Cruz Azul

After one season as the team's second Designated Player in history, Major League Soccer's defending Eastern Conference regular season champion, Sporting Kansas City, announced Monday they agreed to a deal to send Omar Bravo back to Mexico's Primera Division to play for Cruz Azul.

Bravo played 10 seasons in Mexico's top division before moving to MLS.

In 27 regular season games with SKC, he had nine goals and two assists and was one of Commissioner Don Garber's picks for the 2011 MLS All-Star Team.

Sounders' Friberg Heading Back To Sweden With Malmo FF

Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders announced Monday midfielder Erik Friberg has been transferred to his native country of Sweden to play for Malmo FF.

Born in Goteborg, Friberg played in 26 games since signing with the Sounders two years ago this month and had a goal and two assists.

Friberg played his first five professional seasons in Sweden with Vastra Frolunda IF (2005-06) and BK Hacken (2007-10).

Connecticut FC Azul Joins USL PDL For 2012 Season

United Soccer Leagues announced Monday Connecticut FC Azul, to be based in Hamden, CT, will join the USL Premier Development League as an expansion franchise in the 2012 season.

It will be the state's first soccer franchise.

Galaxy Signs Sarvas From Costa Rica's LD Alajuelense

The defending Major League Soccer champion, the Los Angeles Galaxy, announced the signing Monday of midfielder Marcelo Sarvas from Costa Rica's LA Alajuelense.

Sarvas played for four teams in Sweden from 2004 to 2008 and several other clubs before playing in Costa Rica.

Monday, December 12, 2011

NASL Announces 2012 Schedule Plans, Playoff Format

The North American Soccer League will begin their 244-game 2012 regular season schedule April 7 with games involving all eight teams, including the expansion San Antonio Scorpions, the league announced Monday.

The games set for that day are:

- the defending national champion NSC Minnesota Stars hosting the defending league regular season champion Carolna Railhawks at the Metrodome.

- the last-place Atlanta Silverbacks hosting the Scorpions at Silverbacks Park..

- the league runner-up Fort Lauderdale Strikers hosting FC Edmonton at  Lockhart Stadium.

- the Puerto Rico Islanders host FC Tampa Bay at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium in Bayamon, PR.

Other home games announced are as follows:

- The RailHawks host the Silverbacks April 14 at WakeMed Soccer Park and FCTB hosts Edmonton at Al Lang Stadium the same night.

- The Scorpions make their debut in NASL at home April 15 versus the Islanders at STAR Soccer Complex.

The NASL announced all teams will again play in single table format and play each of the other seven teams four times -- twice home, twice away -- and the playoff format remains the same from their inaugural 2011 season.

The top six teams qualify for the playoffs, with the top two teams earning byes into the quarterfinal round after ending the regular schedule the weekend of  September 22-23. The remaining teams -- 3 vs. 6, 4 vs. 5 -- play in one-game elimination matches  the weekend of September 29-30  then those winners advance to a two-leg league semifinal series, followed by those winners meeting in a two-game NASL Championship series with Leg One between Octoer 20 and 21 and the Second Leg between October 27 and 28.
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Former Galaxy Defender Berhalter Head Coach Of Swedish Team

Former defender Gregg Berhalter, who retired from Major League Soccer's defending champion Los Angeles Galaxy at season's end, was named Monday the new head coach of Swedish second division team Hammarby IF for two seasons with a option year on a third season.

The team is minority-owned by Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns the Galaxy.

Berhalter replaces interim head coach Roger Sandberg, who coached the team in their final 12 games and watched them finish 11th in their league.

Union Signs Second Home Grown Player In McLaughline

Midfielder Jimmy McLaughlin became the second Home Grown Player signed to the roster of Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union Monday, following 15-year-old player Zach Pfieffer.

McMalughlin was named the Patriot League's Rookie of the Year in 2011 after having a goal and three assists in his freshman season with Colgate and started 22 games.

The 19-year-old graduated from the developmental team of the Union, FC Delco, and played on the senior team in friendly games this season against Everton and Real Madrid, as well as also graduated from the Union's own youth system.

Ten Players Selected In Final Phase Of 2012 MLS Re-Entry Draft

Ten of the 50 players eligible for selection to a new Major League Soccer franchise for the 2012 season were chosen during Monday's Stage 2 of the 2012 MLS Re-Entry Draft from New York City.

Prior to the draft, a deal was made with the Seattle Sounderss and the Vancouver Whitecaps, with Vancouver gaining a 2014 MLS SuperDraft pick from  Seattle, in exchange for swapping picks in the draft. Seattle, with the first pick, selected fromer DC United star Marc Burch, while Vancover, who picked 14th in each round of the draft, chose not to acquire a player.

Teams that selected players in this phase of the draft now must make a legitmate offer to the player within seven days, but, if no deal is reached, the drafting team gets the right of first refusal.

The other 40 players not selected are free to negotiate with any MLS franchise on a first-come-first-served basis.

Also, after all other teams had a chance to pass on another team's players, the defending MLS champion Los Angeles Galaxy regained the services of Dasan Robinson and Frankie Hejduk.

Here is how Stage 2 of the Re-Entry Draft, listed by round, current team, pick, and former team:

2012 MLS RE-ENTRY DRAFT - STAGE 1

ROUND 1
Seattle Sounders - Marc Burch (DC United)
New England Revolution - Nate Jaqua (Seattle Sounders)
Chicago Fire - Kheli Dube (New England Revolution)
Colorado Rapids - Baggio Husidic (Chicago Fire)
Los Angeles Galaxy - Andrew Boyens (Chivas USA)

ROUND 2
New England Revolution - Clyde Simms (DC United)
Colorado Rapids - Hunter Freeman (Houston Dynamo)
Los Angeles Galaxy - Chris Leitch (San Jose Earthquakes)

ROUND 3
Los Angeles Galaxy - Pat Noonan (Philadelphia Union)

ROUND 4
Los Angeles Galaxy - Jon Conway (Chicago Fire)

W-League's Central Carolina Cobras Announce Coaching Staff

The Central Carolina Cobras, joining the USL W-League for the 2012 season, announced Monday Sandy Burns will be the team's first head coach and Cally Morrill and Debbie Smith, who played at Alabama and South Carolina, respectively, will serve as player/assistant coaches.

Orlando City Soccer Club Acquires Seminole Soccer Complex And Florida Soccer Alliance

The defending USL PRO champion Orlando City Soccer Club announced Monday it has acquired a controlling interest in the Seminole Soccer Complex in Sanford, FL and the Florida Soccer Alliance, based at the complex.

All players under FSA teams will now become part of the new Orlando City Youth Soccer Club, to be headed by Brian Pederson.

Pederson previously served as the youth soccer director of the Minnesota Thunder Academy and works with Orlando City as their youth camps and clinics director.

USL Announces Team Award Finalists For HOF Banquet

United Soccer Leagues Monday announced the finalists for its 2011 Team Awards, to be handed out Friday during the annual Hall of Fame Banquet at the Hyatt Regency in Clearwater Beach, FL.

The banquet is part of the league's Annual General Meeting, which runs Thursday through Sunday.

Here are the finalists for the awards:

ROOKIE FRANCHISE OF THE YEAR

USL PRO
Antigua Barracuda
Dayton Dutch Lions
Wilmington Hammerheads

USL W-LEAGUE
DC United Women
Dayton Dutch Lions
Fredericksburg Impact

USL PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE
Fredericksburg Hotspur
Hamilton FC
WSA Winnipeg

MARKETING AWARD

USL PRO
Charleston Battery
Orlando City Soccer Club
Rochester Rhinos

USL W-LEAGUE
Charlotte Lady Eagles
DC United Women
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Virginia Beach Pirahnas

USL PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE
Des Moines Menace
Fresno Fuego
Reading United AC

PROGRESS AWARD

USL PRO
Charlotte Eagles
Harrisburg City Islanders
Pittsburgh Riverhounds

USL W-LEAGUE
Colorado Rush
Rochester Ravens
Santa Clarita Blue Heat

USL PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE
Central Florida Kraze
Chivas El Paso Patriots
Victoria Highlanders

MEDIA AWARD

USL PRO
Charleston Battery
Harrisburg City Islanders
Wilmington Hammerheads

USL W-LEAGUE
DC United Women
Ottawa Fury
Pali Blues
Santa Clarita Blue Heat
Virginia Beach Pirahnas

USL PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE
Michigan Bucks
Portland Timbers U-23
Reading United AC

BETSY MCADAMS KEY GRIP

USL PRO
Alli D'Amico, Los Angeles Blues
Alex Wolf, Orlando City Soccer Club
Whitney Woods, Charleston Battery

USL W-LEAGUE
Rita Ostin, Colorado Force
Rachel Singer, Santa Clarita Blue Heat
Diane Voice, Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Remy DuCote, Northern Virginia Majestics/DC United Women

USL PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE
Fabricio Codeciera, Fresno Fuego
Bev Houle, New Hampshire Phantoms
Carol Senechal, Virginia Beach Piranhas
Adam Small, Des Moines Menace
Scott Taylor, Mississippi Brilla

EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR

USL PRO
Phil Rawlings, Orlando City Soccer Club
Bill Rudisill, Wilmington Hammerheads
Shelley Sowers, Richmond Kickers

USL W-LEAGUE
Jeremy Auyer, Charlotte Lady Eagles
John Pugh, Ottawa Fury
Tim Schweitzer, Northern Virginia Majestics/DC United Women

USL PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE
John Marrello, Thunder Bay Chill
Todd Meiners, Des Moines Menace
Alex Silva, North Sound SeaWolves
Jeff Van Holle, West Texas United Sockers
Scott Zapko, Carolina Dynamo

ORGANIZATION OF THE YEAR

USL PRO
Orlando City Soccer Club
Richmond Kickers
Wilmington Hammerheads

USL W-LEAGUE
Charlotte Lady Eagles
Ottawa Fury
Santa Clarita Blue Heat
Vancouver Whitecaps FC

USL PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE
Fresno Fuego
Kitsap Pumas
Laredo Heat
Thunder Bay Chill

Express Spilt Weekend Series With Stars With Sunday Victory

Adrian Gutierrez and Jesse Herta each posted a brace as Uriel Robledo had a goal and an assist as the Turlock Express defeated the host Tacoma Stars 10-6 Sunday to split a two-game weekend Professional Arena Soccer League series at Starfore Sports Center in Tukwila, WA.

Ian Weinberg had a hat trick for the Stars.

Turlock's next two games to end the month and 2011 will be at Turlock Indoor Soccer Friday against the Anaheim Bolts and December 20 versus Revolucion Tijuana.

Tacoma travels to Tijuana this Friday and to Anaheim next Sunday.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Toronto's Frei Training This Week At Liverpool FC

Toronto FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei will leave the Major League Soccer franchise this week to train with Liverpool FC of the English Premier League and return next Sunday.

Frei, who finished his third season with Toronto and the league after being drafted 13th overall in the 2009 SuperDraft, appeared in 27 games this past season and has six shutouts. He also played in all four games of the 2011 Nutrilite Canadian Championship, which they won for the third straight year and earned a berth in the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League tournament.

Djokic Brace Leads Kings Over Saints In USOASC Wild Card Game

Nik Djokic scored a pair of goals as the Professional Arena Soccer League's Cincinnati Kings defeated the Cincinnati Saints of the Premier Arena Soccer League 8-4 in a Wild Card Round match in the 2011-12 US Open Arena Soccer Championship Saturday at Game Time Training Center in Fairfield, OH.

The Kings were runners-up in last year's tournament to the two-time defending champion San Diego Sockers of the Professional league.

Cincinnati returns to league play December 30 against the Louisville Lightning at Cincinnati Gardens and the game could possibly serve as a Round Of 16 tournament game, with the winner moving to the Round Of 8 to face the Professional's Detroit Waza.

Tovar Hat Trick Gives Bolts 6-2 Win Over Monsoon

Enrique Tovar led all scorers with a hat trick as the Anaheim Bolts defeated the Phoenix Monsoon 6-2 Saturday at Phoenix's Castle Sports Club in the first game of a two-game Professional Arena Soccer League series.

Both teams play again Sunday.

Silver Knights Implode The Blast At First Mariner Arena

Daniel Stevens has a pair of two-point goals and Marcus Chantei and Jeffrey Hughes added three-point goals as the Syracuse Silver Knights stunned the host and defending regular season champion Baltimore Blast 12-9 Saturday in Major Indoor Soccer League play at First Mariner Arena in Baltimore.

Machel Millwood had a three-pointer for Baltimore and Max Ferdinand, JT Noone and Mike Lookingland each posted a two-point goal in the loss.

Syracuse, 4-5 and in second place in the Eastern Division, 1 1/2 games behind the Blast, travel to the Rochester Lancers (3-5) next Saturday.

Baltimore hosts the Missouri Comets (3-4) this Friday.

Comets Keep SharX Winless

Geison led the Missouri Comets with two two-point goals as they defeated the host Norfolk SharX 15-4 to keep them winless in Major Indoor Soccer League play at 0-7, the worst record in the league and the division.

Brady Bryant and Matt Clare scored standard goals for the SharX, who are 4 1/2 games behind the Baltimore Blast for first place in the Eastern Division and will host them next Sunday.

Missouri is in second place in the Central Division at 7-3, a game behind the league's and the division's best team in the 6-0 Milwaukee Wave, the league's defending champion. Missouri next plays the Eastern Conference-leading and defending regular season champion Baltimore Blast (5-3). Friday.

Wave Remain Undefeated, Stab At Heart Of Lancers 24-9

Joe Hammes had a five-point night with a three-point and a two-point goal, Greg Howes has a pair of two-pointers and JP Rodriguez added a three-point shot as the best team in the Major Indoor Soccer League as well as its defending champion, the Milwaukee Wave, extended their record to 6-0 with a 24-9 thrashing of the Rochester Lancers Saturday at US Cellular Arena.

Maurico Salles matches Hammes' output for the Lancers and Jeremy Ortix tacked on two two-point goals in the loss.

Milwaukee leads the Central Division by a game over the Missouri Comets (7-3) and hosts the Wichita Wings (3-5, last in Central Division) Sunday.

Rochester, now 3-5, are third in the Eastern Division, two games behind the Baltimore Blast (5-3) for the division lead and will host the Syracuse Silver Knights next Saturday.

Magic Edges Piasa At The Sports Academy

The Kansas Magic got a hat trick from Bryan Williams and two goals from Matt Klaus in a 7-6 road victory in the Professional Arena Soccer League Saturday against the host Illinois Piasa at The Sports Acdemy in Glen Carbon, IL.

Roger Genoules had a four-point night for the Piasa with a hat trick and an assist and Jusin Judiscak posted a goal and an assist.

Kansas is now off until January 13 when they travel to the Cincinnati Kings.

The Piasa, however, will play the Ohio Vortex in a weekend series next Friday and Saturday at the Canton Civic Center.

Stars Derail Express In First Game Of Weekend Series

Eli Gordley had a hat trick and Ian Weinberg and Amos Freiheit posted two goals each as the host Tacoma Stars edged the Turlock Express 10-6 Saturday in the first game of a two-game Professional Arena Soccer League weekend series at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, WA.

Adrian Gutierrez led the Express with a hat trick, Pablo Lopez added a pair of goals and Martin Arata added another.

Both teams meet again Sunday.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Molinari Returning To Pioneers As Head Coach

Having played with them twice in his career in the 2003 season, then the 2006 through 2010 seasons, the USL Premier Development League's Western Mass Pioneers announced Saturday fan favorite Federico Molinari has become their new head caoch, replacing Joe Calabrese, who agreed to leave the team after one season.

The native of Argentina currently lives in Ludlow, MA and has worked with a number of youth and college teams in the area.

Silver Knights Add Chantei, Forbes To Roster

The Major Indoor Soccer League's Syracuse Silver Knights added Marcus Chantei and Kenardo Forbes to their roster this week in hopes of turning their fortunes around after starting the season 3-0 but have lost their last five games.

Chantei previously played in the MISL with the California Cougars and the Baltimore Blast, whom the Knights face Saturday at First Mariner Arena.

Forbes recently played for Waterhouse FC of the Jamaican National Premier League.

Chiles Golden Goal Ends Comeback Victory For Sockers Over Revolucion Tijuana

Kraig Chiles had two goals and an assist, including the game-winning goal in the first minute of overtime, as the two-time defending Professional Arena Soccer League champion San Diego Sockers defeated Revolucion Tijuana 6-5 Friday night at Furati Arena in Tijuana, Mexico after coming back from a 5-2 deficit late in the third quarter.

Anthony Medina, whose power play goal sent the game into overtime, along with Brian Farber and Dan Antoniuk, added goals for the Sounders, leaders of the Western Division at 4-0, one game ahead of the Turlock Express (4-2).

Revolucion Tijuana was led by Jose Rodriguez's two goals and the team is 2-3 in the same divison, two games behind the Sockers for the lead.

Both teams next host the Tacoma Stars -- Tijuana this coming Friday, San Diego next Saturday at Del Mar Arena, where the Sockers have never lost in their league existence.

MLS Has 50 Players Eligible For Selection In Stage 2 Of Re-Entry Draft

Major League Soccer Friday announced the 50 players eligible for selection in Stage 2 of the 2012 Re-Entry Draft, to be held December 12 at 2 p.m. Eastern time at the league's headquarters in New York.

Only three players were selected by teams during the draft's first stage this past Monday.

CHICAGO FIRE
G - Jon Conway
G - Alex Duffy
M - Baggio Husidic

CHIVAS USA
D - Andrew Boyans
M/F - Chukwudi Chijindu
M - Simon Elliott
G - Zach Thornton
M - Mariano Trujillo

COLORADO RAPIDS
D - Mike Holody

COLUMBUS CREW
M - Kevin Burns
F - Jeff Cunningham

DC UNITED
M - Brandon Barklage
D - Marc Burch
G - Steve Cronin
D - Devon McTavish
M - Clyde Simms
D - Zed Jayner

FC DALLAS
D - Maykel Galindo
M - Maicon Santos

HOUSTON DYNAMO
D - Hunter Freeman
F - Jason Garey
D - Eddie Robinson

LOS ANGELES GALAXY
D - Frankie Hedjuk
D - Dasan Robinson

MONTREAL IMPACT
M - Ryan Pore

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
D - Ryan Cochrane
F - Kheli Dube
M - Pat Phelan

NEW YORK RED BULLS
D - Chris Albright
G - Bouna Coundoul

PHILADELPHIA UNION
G - Chase Harrison
M - Stefan Miglioranzi

PORTLAND TIMBERS
G - Adin Brown
M - Rodrigo Lopez
M - Peter Lowry

REAL SALT LAKE
M - Nelson Gonzalez
D - Rauwshan McKenzie
M - Blake Wagner

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
D - Chris Leitch
M - Andre Luis Moreiera
M - Jacob Peterson
F - Scott Sealy
G - Andrew Weber

SEATTLE SOUNDERS
F - Nate Jaqua
F - Pat Noonan

SPORTING KANSAS CITY
D - Shavar Thomas

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS
D - Greg Janicki
D - Jonathan Leathers
M - Peter Vagenas

Comets Cap Blast's Winning Streak At Five With Come-From-Behind Victory

Down 10-4 entering the fourth quarter, the Missouri Comets got three-point goals from Christiano Doaz and John Sosa and a two-pointer from Lucas Rodriguez to end the five-game overall winning streak of the host Baltimore Blast in a 12-10 Major Indoor Soccer League victory Friday at First Mariner Arena.

Geison and Ryan Junge scored earlier two-point goals for the Comets, now 6-3 and in second place in the Central Division, a game behind the defending league champion Milwaukee Wave (5-0), and will face the worst team in the league, the Eastern Division's Norfolk SharX (0-6), at the Norfolk Scope Saturday.

Max Ferdinand had a six-point night on a hat trick for the Blast, and JT Noone and Machel Millwood also contributed a two-pointer each as Baltimore continues to lead the Central Division at 5-2, two games behind the Rochester Lancers (3-4), and will host the third place Syracuse Silver Knights (3-5) Saturday.