Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Timbers Claim 18-Year-Old Midfielder Renken Off Waivers

Major League Soccer's Portland Timbers announced Tuesday they have claimed 18-year-old US youth international midfielder Charles Renken off waivers.

Renken has been a member of US youth national teams since 2005 and recently took part in a training camp with the US U-20 National Team in Germany last fall.

He scored two goals in 11 appearances between 2007 and 2009 with the US U-17 National Team and was enrolled in the Vancouver Whitecaps Residency program for the 2009-10 season. Renken has also trained with England's Arsenal and Reading, and in Germany with 1860 Munich.

In 2011, he played in 10 games for the U-19 team of German Bundesliga franchise TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and took part in a first team friendly match with German's VfR Aalen.

Philadelphia Completes Transfer Of Torres By Exercising 2011 Contract Option

With the exercising of a 2012 contract option Tuesday, Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union completed a transfer from Colombia's America de Cali for the rights to midfielder Roger Torres, who was loaned to the Union for the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

In 46 games with the Union, 19 of which he started, he has scored three goals, all coming in 2011, and eight assists.

He started 15 games with Cali in 2009 after spending the 2008 season with Colombian first division "B" team Alianza Petrolea.

Comets' Tiguinho Named MISL's Player Of The Week

Missouri Comets forward Tiguinho was named Tuesday the Major Indoor Soccer League's Player of the Week for Week 13 of the 2010-11 season after scoring nine points, including five assists, in their record-breaking 33-12 victory last Wednesday over the Syracuse Silver Knights.

The game saw Missouri set new team and league records for most points scored by one team in an MISL game and the 45 point total is the highest total for a game this season.

Los Angeles Blues Unveils New Logo

The Los Angeles Blues of USL PRO Tuesday unveiled a new team logo created by Florida-based firm Dixon Minear Desing Marketing.

The logo is shaped in a "Swiss Shield", used by prominent soccer franchises in England (Arsenal and Liverpool), Spain (Sevilla FC) and the US (Major League Soccer's defending champion Los Angeles Galaxy), as well as used for US interstate highway signs.

The new logo incorporates elements done in Metallic Silver, Reflex Blue and Midnight Hour Blue shades, features wings on each side of the shield to represent Los Angeles as the City of Angels, and also addes mountain and ocean themese.

Rowdies Sign Antoniuk, Re-Sign Hill, Release Hayes

The Tampa Bay Rowdies of the North American Soccer League announced Tuesday the signing of forward Daniel Antoniuk to a one-year deal, the re-signing of midfielder Shane Hill to a two-year deal with an option for 2013, and the release of player/assistant coach David Hayes.

Antoniuk played last season in the NASL for FC Edmonton, scoring three goals and two assists in 21 games.

He also played for the Portland Timbers, Montreal Impact, Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks and Charleston Battery, all in the days in the USL First Division.

In 2007 with Atlanta, he led the league in points and assists, was named to their First Team All-League team, and took the Silverbacks to the league championship game.

Hill had two goals and an assist in 16 games last season, ten of which he started.

Revolutuion's Lekic Leaves After One Season For Danish SuperLiga

After scoring six goals in 23 games in his only season with Major League Soccer's New England Revolution, forward Rajko Lekic signed an 18-month contract with Lyngby Blodklub in the Danish SuperLiga Tuesday after the Revolution chose not to exercise his 2012 contract option.

Red Bulls Re-Sign Lindpere To Multi-Year Deal

Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls announced Tuesday they have re-signed midfielder Joel Lindpere to a multi-year deal.

Lindpere, who joined the team in March 2010 from Norway's Tromso, set team records last season for games started (all 34) and minutes played (3,048), scored seven goals and seven assists in regular season play and scored two goals in the postseason.

In 2010, he led the team in assists with six, was named their Most Valuable Player, and was named a finalist for MLS Newcomer of the Year.

The native of Estonia played for teams in his country (FC Flora Tallinn, FC Valga, JK Nommie Kalju and Lelle SK) and in Bulgaria for CSKA Sofia.

He has scored six goals in 76 appearances for Estonia's national team.

Chiles Takes Another PASL Player Of The Week Award

For the fourth time this season, San Diego Sockers forward Kraig Chiles was named the Professional Arena Soccer League's Player of the Week Tuesday, this time for Week 13 of the 2011-12 season.

Chiles scored seven goals and three assists last week and set a new single-season record for goals scored with 42 with three games left in the regular season. He also is second all-time in points scored for a season at 61, behind Bernie Lilavois, who had 68 in the 2008-09 season.

In January, Chiles has scored 38 points over eight games. He has scored at least three points in every game this season, except for November 19, when he was shut out.

Union Trades Le Toux To Whitecaps For Allocation Money

Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union Tuesday traded forward Sebastien Le Toux to the Vancouver Whitecaps in return for allocation money.

Le Toux was recently transferred to the Bolton Wanderers of the English Premier League.

Selected by the Union in the 2009 Expansion Draft from the Seattle Sounders, Le Toux started 28 games in the 2010 season and had 14 goals and 11 assists, earning him spots on the All-Star and Best XI teams.

In 2011, he had 11 goals and nine assists in regular season play and scored a goal in the first leg of the Eastern Conference semifinal series against the eventual conference champion Houston Dynamo.

Le Toux was a two-time Fair Play Award winner in 2010 and 2011 for being the least penalized player in the league.

Blast, Wave Officially Clinch MISL Playoff Berths

After action last weekend, the Baltimore Blast (Eastern Division) and Milwaukee Wave (Central Division) officially clinched Major Indoor Soccer League berths for the fifth and 17th time in a row, respectively, the league announced Monday.

The Blast, 13-4 and the defending league regular season champion, defeated the Norfolk SharX 18-10 Friday, then edged the Rochester Lancers 8-7 Saturday.

Baltimore is 5 1/2 games ahead of Rochester in the division standings and can clinch home field advantage for the Eastern Division Championship game with a win at First Mariner Arena Wednesday against the SharX, who hold the league's worst record at 3-15.

Milwaukee, 14-2 and the defending league champion, clinched their berth Sunday with a 25-10 win over the Syracuse Silver Knights at US Cellular Arena for head coach Keith Tozer's historic 700th career indoor soccer victory and are 4 1/2 games ahead of the Missouri Comets (11-8) in the division table.

With wins Saturday at home against the Blast in a league championship game preview and next Friday against the Wichita Wings (6-10), the Wave will clinch the division championship and will host the division's championship game.

Both the Blast and the Wave are five-time MISL champions.

In the race to fill the last two berths in the playoffs, the Lancers (8-10) lead the Silver Knights (6-12) by two games in the Eastern Division, while the Comets have a 3 1/2 game lead on the Wings for second place in the Central standings.

Union Releases Mondragon So He Can Return To Colombia

By mutual agreement Monday, Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union and goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon parted ways, allowing him to return to his native Colombia, where he will play once again for Deportivo Cali, where he started his professional career in 1990 before going to play for numerous European teams, lastly with Cologne in Germany, before coming to MLS last January.

In 27 starts with the Union, Mondragon posted seven shutouts.

He was named to the 2011 MLS All-Star Team and finished second in voting for the league's Goalkeeper of the Year award behind winner and retired Seattle Sounders star Kasey Keller.

Timbers Sign Scottish Forward Boyd As Designated Player

Major League Soccer's Portland Timbers announced the signing Monday of Scottish forward Kris Boyd to a Designated Player contract.

Boyd is the all-time leading scorer in Scottish Premier League history with 164 goals in 296 games between Kilmarnock and Rangers.

He was the most successful with Glasgow-based Rangers, scoring 101 goals and becoming a four-time league scoring champion. Boyd also led the team to two SPL championships, 2 Scottish Cups, and three Scottish League Cups.

Boyd shares the league record for most goals scored by a player in a single game at seven.

He also has played 18 times for his country's national team, scoring seven goals.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Toronto FC Signs Defender Miguel Aceval

Major League Soccer's Toronto FC signed defender Miguel Aceval Monday.

Aceval, a native of Santiago, Chile, began his career in the youth system of Chile's Colo-Colo and also played for CD Huachipato, Union Espanola and, most recently, CD Universidad de Concepcion, and in Uruguay for Defensor Sporting.

He also played his first game for Chile's national team in a 1-0 win September 4, 2011 versus Mexico.

Silverbacks Welcome Back McManus, Ruthven

The Atlanta Silverbacks of the North American Soccer League announced the returns of midfielder Tony McManus and defender Tyler Ruthven Monday.

McManus played for the Silverbacks in the USL First Division from 2005 to 2008 and had seven goals. He remains in third place on the team's all-time list for games played.

McManus split last season in the NASL between FC Tampa Bay (now Tampa Bay Rowdies) and the Carolina RailHawks.

Ruthven played in 27 of 28 games last season and scored a goal and two assists. He also received NASL Defender of the Week honors during the season.

USMNT Could Play Scotland In May

Talks are ongoing between the US Men's National Team and the Scottish Football Association to have a friendly match take place either May 27 or 29 as the US' final warmup before opening play in 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying June 8 against Antigua & Barbuda.

The US has only won one game out of six against Scotland -- in the US May 26, 1996 -- and their last game with Scotland ended in a 1-1 tie in November 2005 in Glasgow.

WPS Suspending 2012 Season To Deal With Legal Issues

Women's Professional Soccer's Board of Governors announced Monday the league will not play a 2012 season to focus on resolving legal issues as a result of an ongoing dispute with former magicJack FC owner Dan Borislow.

WPS CEO Jennifer O'Sullivan stated the league will return for a 2013 season.

Red Bulls Get Conde In Trade With Fire

Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls gained the right of first refusal on former Chicago Fire defender Wilman Conde Monday in exchange for allocation money.

Conde last played at Atlas de Guadalajara in Mexico's Primera Division, scoring two goals in 13 appearances.

He played 73 games with the Fire between 2007 and 2010, scoring four goals and three assists and leading them to three straight playoff appearances between 2007 and 2009.

Conde was twice named to the MLS All-Star team and to the 2009 Best XI team.

Before joining MLS, he played for several teams in Colombia.

Sporting Kansas City Signs Sassano To New Contract

Major League Soccer's Sporting Kansas City announced Monday they have re-signed midfielder Luke Sassano to a new contract.

Drafted by the New York Red Bulls in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft, he has played in 51 games over four seasons, including playoff games.

He played in nine regular season games for SKC last season, scoring his first career goal in a 4-1 win over FC Dallas; played in all four Lamar Hunt US Open Cup games, leading them to the quarterfinal round, and played in a friendly scoreless draw with Newcastle United of the English Premier League.

Sassano underwent surgery in September to repair a torn right knee lateral meniscus.

Tozer Earns 700th Indoor Soccer Win As Wave Beats Silver Knights

Milwaukee Wave head coach Keith Tozer became the first man in North American indoor soccer history to reach 700 career wins Sunday when his team, the best in the Major Indoor Soccer League this season and its defending champion, defeated the Syracuse Silver Knights 25-10 Sunday at US Cellular Arena in Milwaukee.

Ian Bennett (hat trick) and Nicolas Perera (two goals, two assists) led all scorers with six points each and Marco Terminesi (three-point goal, two-point goal), and Greg Howe (two goals, assist) had five points for the Wave, 14-2 and leading the Central Division.

Jon Gruenewald and Nelson Santana each had a pair of two-point goals for the Silver Knights, now 6-12 and in third place in the Eastern Division standings, 7 1/2 games behind the division-leading Baltimore Blast, whom the Wave next host Saturday.

Syracuse travels to the Norfolk Scope Arena next Monday to take on the worst team in the league, the Norfolk SharX.

Lancers Hunt Down SharX At Norfolk Scope Arena

Doug Miller (two goals, assist) led all scorers with five points, Andrew Hoxie (goal, two assists) and Mauricio Salles (two goals) had four-point nights, and Elliot Fauske (three-point goal) and Ljubomir Kocic (goal, assist) tallied three points as the Rochester Lancers defeated the host Norfolk SharX 17-8 Sunday afternoon in Major Indoor Soccer League play at the Norfolk Scope Arena.

Matt Clare and Miguel Ferrar, with a goal and an assist each, led the SharX, who have the worst record in the league and the Eastern Division at 3-12, 10 1./2 games behind the division-leading Baltimore Blast (13-4), and Gary Brooks and Matthew Delicate each posted a two-point goal.

Rochester is 8-10 and in second place in the Eastern race, 5 1/2 games behind Baltimore. The Lancers travel to the Wichita Wings Saturday.

The SharX face the Blast this Wednesday at First Mariner Arena.

Lightning Defies Magic In First Of Two Games

Charlie Campbell had two scores and Lee Weyland, Darren Yeagle, Ryan McDonald, Oliver Dyson and Chris Markey each added goals as the Lousville Lightning got past the host Kansas Magic 7-6 Sunday in Professional Arena Soccer League play at EPIC Indoor Sports after being down at halftime 5-2.

Matt Germain had a hat rick, Mirsad Dzilic added two goals and Kyle Brown tallied another for the Magic.

Louisville is 9-4 and in second place in the Eastern Division race, 1 1/2 games behind the Detroit Waza (9-1), while Kansas is in third at 5-5, four games behind Detroit.

Both teams meet again Friday at Louisville's Mockingbird Valley Sports Complex.

Morgan, Wambach Lead USWNT To CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament Victory Over Canada

Alex Morgan scored two goals and assisted on teammate Abby Wambach's brace as the US Women's National Team, who qualified for a spot in the 2012 London Olympics by reaching Sunday's final of the CONCACAF Women's Olympic Tournament in Vancouver, British Columbia, defeated host Canada, who will also represent the confederation in the 12-team tournament, 4-0 to end the CONCACAF event by shutting out their oppoents 38-0.

Wambach's two goals also moved her into second place on the team's all-time goal scoring list with 131, surpassing former second place player Christine Lilly, who falls to third with 130, and puts her 20 goals away from Mia Hamm (150 goals) from the top spot.

USMNT goalkeeper Hope Solo also set a new CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament record for scoreless minutes at 454, counting all 450 minutes played in this event and four minutes played in the 2008 version, breaking the previous recod by Canada's Erin McLeod at 399 (21 minutes in 2004, 378 in 2008).

The US women (5-0-0) now will relax for a few days before training camp begins for their next game, a friendly February 11 at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, TX against New Zealand.

It will be the first time the stadium, home to Major League Soccer's FC Dallas and formerly called Pizza Hut Park, will host a USWNT game.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Revolution Opens Preseason With Win Over USL PDL Expansion Team

Sanny Nyassi scored a goal of Kelyn Rowe, the third overall pick in the 2012 Major League Soccer Draft, and Kenny Mansally converted a penalty kick in overtime as the New England Revolution opened their preseason schedule with a 2-1 win Saturday over expansion USL Premier Development League franchise FC Tucson in Casa Grande, AZ.

The game was played over two 35-minute regulation periods.

Milos Dragic scored the lone Tucson goal in the 101st minute.

Blast Slip Past Lancers At First Mariner Arena

Carlos Garcia, Mike Deasel, Machel Millwood and Mike Lookingland each had two-point goals Saturday to lead the Major Indoor Soccer League's Baltimore Blast to an 8-7 victory over the Rochester Lancers at First Mariner Arena in Baltimore in a battle of the top two Eastern Division teams.

Carlos "Chile" Farias had the game's only three-point goal for the Lancers and saw Ljubomic Kocic and Jake Schindler put up two-point goals in the loss.

With seven regular season games, the Blast led the division at 13-4 and host the Norfolk SharX Wednesday, then travel to meet the league's best team, the Central Division-leading Milwaukee Wave, next Saturday.

The Lancers are on the verge of being eliminated from playoff contention at 7-10, six behind the Blast. Rochester meets the SharX Sunday, then takes on the Wichita Wings next Saturday at Hartman Arena in Wichita, KS.

Bolts Rain Down Goals On Last Place Storm

Tomislav Colic had a five-point night with a hat trick and two assists and Felipe Gonzalez (four goals) and Juan Gonzalez (two goals, two assists) shared four-point nights as the Anaheim Bolts pummeled the worst team in the Professional Arena Soccer League and their Western Division, the Arizona Storm, formerly the Phoenix Monsoon, 17-3 Saturday at the Anaheim Convention Center to snap a five-game losing streak.

Enrique Tovar and Hugo Casillas each posted three points with a pair of goals and an assist.

Roberto DeLima had a goal and assisted on Javier Rodriguez's score and Roberto Ramos added another for the Storm (1-12). Arizona hosts the Turlock Express next Saturday.

Vortex Not Susceptible To Kansas' Magic

Steve Gillespie had a hat trick and Ryan McClay had a pair of goals and an assist as the Ohio Vortex upset the host Kansas Magic 9-6 Saturday in Professional Arena Soccer League play at EPIC Indoor Sports.

Levi Coleman led the Magic with two goals and an assist, while four others -- Matt Germain, Bryan Williams, Mirsad Dzilic and Brett Loving -- each scored a goal.

Ohio is 3-9 and in last place in the Eastern Division standings, seven games behind the division-leading Detroit Waza (9-2), who they face on the road next Saturday.

Kansas fell to 6-4 and in third place in the division standings, three behind the Waza, and they will host the Louisville Lightning Sunday.

Kings Edge Eastern-Leading Waza At Taylor Sportsplex

Kwame Sarkodie and Nik Djokic each had a pair of goals to lead the Cincinnati Kings to a 7-6 victory over the Professional Arena Soccer League Eastern Division matchup Saturday at the Taylor (MI) Sportsplex Saturday that also served as a quaterfinal contest in the 2011-12 US Open Arena Soccer Championship tournament.

The Kings now advance to the tournament's semifinal round, where they will meet Vitresse Dallas of the Premier Arena Soccer League.

Miko Djersilo and Dominic Scicluna had braces for Detroit, who remains atop the division at 9-2 and will host the Ohio Vortex next Saturday.

Cincinnati is 5-8 and in fifth place in the Eastern standings, seven games behind the Waza (9-2), who they face in Taylor next Saturday.

Chiles Sets New PASL Record, Sockers Win 21st Straight Regular Season Game

Kraig Chiles set a new Professional Arena Soccer League single season record for goals scored at 42 with three games left in the 2011-12 regular season after scoring four in a 13-2 win at home for the San Diego Sockers over Revolucion Tijuana 13-2 Saturday at Del Mar Arena in Del Mar, CA.

Aaron Susi had a four-point night with a goal and three assists and Diego Rovira added two goals and an assist for the now 13-0 Sockers, who officially clinched their third straight Western Division regular season championship Friday on the road against the Anaheim Bolts.

Cesar Romero scored both of Tijuana's goals.

The Sockers host the Arizona Storm, the former Phoenix Monsoon, February 11 at Del Mar Arena.

Tijuana, tied for second place in the division at 7-5 with the Turlock Express, welcome the Storm to town February 10 at Furati Arena.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

FC Dallas Open Preseason With 5-1 Win Over Houston Baptist

Scott Sealy had two goals and assisted on a third by Andrew Wiedeman as Major League Soccer's FC Dallas opened their 2012 preseason schedule Saturday with a 5-1 victory over Houston Baptist at adidas Field at FC Dallas Stadium (formerly Pizza Hut Park).

Moises Hernandez and Joe Madigan also scored for Dallas, with Kyle Herbison scoring Houston Baptist's lone goal in the 74th minute.

Sockers Takes PASL Western Division Title For Third Straight Season

Kraig Chiles had a hat trick, giving him 38 goals this season, three away from breaking a new single-season record, and Brian Farber led all scorers with two goals and three assists as, for the third straight Professional Arena Soccer League, the San Diego Sockers won the Western Division regular season title Friday after beating the Anaheim Bolts 10-5 at the Anaheim Convention Center for their 20th straight regular season victory.

The win also gives the Sockers, who will host the league's Newman Cup tournament March 9-11 at Del Mar Arena, a first round bye and they will face the winner of the match between the second and third seeded divisional teams in the semifinals the next day.

San Diego is the two-time defending Newman Cup champion and the two-time and defending US Open Arena Soccer Championship tournament champion.

Eric Wunderle added two goals and an assist in Friday's win for the Sockers, who are now 12-0 in the division and will host Revolucion Tijuana Saturday night.

The Bolts saw Adriano De Lima, Paul Wright and Enrique Tovar each had a goal and an assist for Anaheim, who lost their fifth straight game and are on the verge of being eliminated from playoff contention, and Tomislav Colic and Rafael Gayten also scored goals.

Anaheim, at 3-7 and tied for fourth place in the division with the Tacoma Stars, eight games behind the Sockers, host the Arizona Storm (formerly the Phoenix Monsoon) Saturday.

Blast Beat SharX At First Mariner Arena

JT Noone and Mike Lookingland had five-point nights with two goals and an assist and Machel Millwood (two goals) and Max Ferdinand (goal and two assists) contribute four points each as the Major Indoor Soccer League's Eastern Division-leading Baltimore Blast edged the worst team in the division and league in the Norfolk Sharx 18-10 Friday at First Mariner Arena in Baltimore.

Cecil Lewis and Miguel Ferrer each fired off three-point goals for Norfolk and Tennant McVea had a two-pointer and an assist, but the SharX rally was too little, too late.

The Blast are now 12-4 and host the division's second place team, the Rochester Lancers (7-9), five games behind Baltimore in the standings, Saturday.

Norfolk, the worst team this season in the league and the division, is 3-14, 9 1/2 games behind Baltimore, and will host the Lancers Sunday at the Norfolk Scope Arena.

Tijuana's Revolucion Rides Out Weak Arizona Storm

Cesar Romero (four goals) and Edgar Lemus (two goals, two assists) led host Revolucion Tijuana to a 12-3 victory over the Arizona Storm (formerly the Phoenix Monsoon) in Professional Arena Soccer League play at Furati Arena Friday.

Tijuana is in second place in the league's Western Division at 7-4, behind the undefeated San Diego Sockers (11-0), who will host them Saturday at Del Mar Arena.

Roberto Ramos' hat trick provided all the scoring for Arizona, the worst team in the league and the division at 1-10. The Storm travels to the Anaheim Bolts Saturday.

Kafedzic, Gemoules Leada Piasa To Rout Of Vortex

Elvir Kafedzic and Roger Gemoules led the host Illinois Piasa to a 12-3 rout over the Ohio Vortex as each had a hat trick and an assist Friday in Professional Arena Soccer League play at The Sports Academy in Glen Carbon, IL.

D.J. Newsom also had a four-point night for the Piasa with a goal and three assists, and Joe Reiniger and Tim Vance had braces each as Illinois improved to 6-8, fourth in the Eastern Division standings, three games behind the Kansas Magic (5-3) for third place and four behind the Louisville Lightning (8-4) for second place. The Piasa host the division-leading Detroit Waza (9-1) February 11.

Nate Yates had two of Ohio's goals with Matt Degilis scoring the other as the Vortex, last in the Easttern Division standings, sunk to 1-9, eight games behind the Waza. The Vortex next is at the Magic Saturday.

USL PDL's Fusion Shuts Out MLS' Chivas USA In Preseason Opener

Hagop Chirishian scored the lone goal as the Ventura County Fusion of the USL Premier Development League shut out Major League Soccer's Chivas USA 1-0 Friday in the opening game of their training camp at Oxnard College in Oxnard, CA.

The game was played in two 30-minute halves.

USWNT Qualifies For Fifth Straight Olympics In 2012 By Beating Costa Rica At CONCACAF Tournament

The world's top-ranked US Women's National Team qualified for their fifth straight berth in the Summer Olympics tournament Friday with a 3-0 shutout of Costa Rica in the semifinals of the 2012 CONCACAF Women's Qualifying Tournament at BC Place in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The US, who won the Group B title in the eight-team tournament, will face host Canada, the Group A winner, for the tournament title Sunday night.

Canada, who also advances to the Olympics this summer in London by reaching the CONCACAF championship game, did so after beating Mexico 3-1 in Friday's second semifinal game.

It was the third time the US has beaten Costa Rica to earn an Olympic berth, having done so previously in 2004 and 2008.

The US gained the eventual 1-0 halftime lead after Shannon Boxx connected with Tobin Heath in the 16th minute, then late goals by Carli Lloyd, assisted in the 72nd minute by Abby Wambach, and by Alex Morgan, whose 89th minute goal was unassisted, locked up the victory, kept the team's record undefeated in 2012 at 4-0-0 and extended their scoring advantage over their opponents to 34-0.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Kitson Leaves Rhinos To Join English Fourth Division Team

Goalkeeper Neil Kitson of the USL PRO's Rochester Rhinos has left the team to join Northampton Town, a team in England's fourth division, according to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle Friday.

Kitson re-signed with the Rhinos recently, but the contract offered a clause that allowed for him to be freely transferred to a Major League Soccer or European team before February 1, and he has spent the last two weeks training with the team.

Kitson was born and raised in New York City, but his parents grew up in England.

Rochester head coach Jesse Myers, while happy for Kitson to achieve his dream of playing in England, said he has no interest in re-signing Kitson when his contract with Northampton Town ends in May.

Union's Mwanga Training With EPL's Aston Villa

Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union announced forward Danny Mwanga will spend the next ten days traning with Aston Villa, currently in 11th place in the English Premier League standings.

He is the seventh Union player to be training abroad this offseason and will return to the Union February 6 for their second phase of preseason training in Orlando.

Mwanga had five goals and four assists in 28 games for the Union last season.

Toronto FC Set To Defend Title At Amway Canadian Championship, Schedule Announced

Major League Soccer's Toronto FC will look to win the 2012 Amway Canadian Championship tournament (formerly the Nutrilite Canadian Championship) for a fourth straight year when the event takes place in May.

The schedule for the tournament -- featuring Toronto FC, Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps of MLS and FC Edmonton of the North Amerian Soccer League -- was released Friday.

The winner of the event takes home the Voyageurs Cup and earns a berth representing the country at the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League tournament. Montreal won the inaugural event while a member of the USL First Division in 2008, with Toronto winning the next three years.

All games in the tournament, including the final, are two-game aggregate goal contests.

Leg 1: May 2 @ Olympic Stadium, Montreal
Leg 2: May 9 @ BMO Field, Toronto

Leg 1: May 2 @ Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton
Leg 2: May 9 @ BC Place, Vancouver.

Leg 1: May 16
Leg 2: May 23

Union, Saprissa Announce Strategic Partnership

Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union and Costa Rica Primera Division franchise Deportivo Saprissa announced a strategic partnership Friday that will focus on player development and training methodology, but will also cover best practices in commercial, stadium and financial operations.

Saprissa is a three-time CONCACAF Champions Cup, five-time Central American and 29-time Primera Division champion.

Timbers Hire Former Star Knowles As Assistant Coach

Major League Soccer's Portland Timbers announced Thursday former player Cameron Knowles will join the team for the 2012 season as an assistant coach, teaming with Mike Toshack and Amos Magee on head coach John Spencer's staff.

Knowles played professionally for seven seasons, including four with the Timbers while a member of USL First Division from 2007 to 2010. During that time, he played in 77 games, was named a three-time USL-1 All-League selection, was a finalist for the league's Defender of the Year award in 2007 and led the Timbers to the league's Commissioners Cup in 2009 for having the best regular season record.

He most recently played for the Montreal Impact in the 2011 North American Soccer League.

A native of Auckland, New Zealand, Knowles was a two-time All-Mid-American Conference First Team selection while at the University of Akron, where he led them to four straight appearances at the NCAA College Cup tournament.

Toronto FC Signs Ecuadorian Defender Caicedo

Major League Soccer's Toronto FC signed Ecuadorian defender Geovanny Caicedo to a 2012 contract.

Caicedo has played his entire career in Ecuador, beginning with Huracan and last being at LDU Quito, where Toronto teammate Joao Plata once played.

Caicedo has appeared eight times with his country's national team, was on their 2011 Copa America team, and last played for them against the US Men's National Team October 11, 2011.

Wave Get Past Wings At Hartman Arena

Greg Howes led all scorers with five points on two goals and an assist and Marco Terminesi (goal, two assists) and Marcio Leite (two goals) added four points as the Milwaukee Wave, the best team in the Major Indoor Soccer League at 13-2 in the Central Division and about to become a wire-to-wire regular season champion, got past the Wichita Wings 16-13 in their final regular season meeting at Hartman Arena in Wichita, KS Thursday.

After a 2-2 tie after the first quarter, the Wave exploded for five goals by five different scorers to take a 12-7 halftime lead. Wichita fought back and cut the deficit to four at 14-10 after three quarters, but when Nicolas Perera scored for Milwaukee, even a last chance, sixth attacker, three-point shot by Larry Inlow wasn't able to create a rally for the Wings.

The Wave, who gave head coach Keith Tozer his 699th career indoor soccer coaching victory, will look to hand him win number 700 Saturday when they host the Syracuse Silver Knights at US Cellular Arena.

Wichita, 6-10 and in last place in the Central Division, 7 1/2 games behind Milwaukee, are off until February 4 when they host the Rochester Lancers.

Impact Ends Preseason Swing Through Mexico With 1-1 Draw To Club Atlas

Major League Soccer's newest franchise, the Montreal Impact, ended their recent tour of Mexico Wednesday with a 1-1 draw to Club Atlas of the country's Primera Division in Guadalajara.

Sanna Nyassi had Montreal's goal in the 57th minute, but Atlas needed only three minutes to even the score.

The Impact return home Sunday, then get two days off, before returning to training camp this Wednesday.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dynamo Announces Sponsorship With Mazda

Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo announced a sponsorship deal with Mazda Thursday, making the car company the official vehicle of the team and a founding partner in their new downtown stadium, BBVA Compass Stadium, which opens May 12.

Among the perks of the deal, the new stadium will have four parking spaces reserved specifically for select fans who drive Mazdas, allowing them to park for free at home games on a first-come, first-served basis.

Earthquakes Re-Sign Busch, Sign Turkish Forward Guveijsik

Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes announced the re-signing of goalkeeper Jon Busch and the signing of Turkish forward Sercan Guvenisik.

Busch, who signed with San Jose March 30, 2010, had seven of the team's club record 13 shutouts last season and started 33 of 34 games. He also led the league in saves with 113.

Busch has a 74-61-60 career record with the Earthquakes, Chicago Fire (2007-10) and Columbus Crew (2002-06).

He also played two times for the US Men's National Team; once in 2005, the other time in 2009.

Guvenisik, who trained last season with San Jose, last played for his second time with SC Preussen Muenster of Germany's Bundesliga 3, scoring 14 goals in 56 games. He first played there in 2005-06.

He has also played in Germany for SC Paderborn 07, Rot-Weiss Essen FC, Carl Zeiss Jena, SC Feucht and MSV Duisberg, and in his native Turkey for Vestal Manisaspor and Denizlispor.

Blues Sign Former Dutch Lions Star Davis IV

The Los Angeles Blues of USL PRO announced the signing Thursday of former Dayton Dutch Lions forward George Davis IV, who finished in the top tean on the team in goals (seven) and points (16).

RailHawks Sign Shipalane, Palacio

The Carolina RailHawks, defending regular season champions of the North American Soccer League, announced the signings Thursday of midfielders Tiyiselani "Ty" Shipalane and Mike Palacio for the 2012 season.

Shpalane last played for the RailHawks in the 2010 season in the USSF Division 2 Pro League and recently played in his native South Africa for Pretoria in their National First Division. He also has played for Major League Soccer's DC United and the Harrisburg City Islanders in USL.

Palacio played last season for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, who lost the NASL Championship Series to champion Minnesota Stars FC.

He is the all-time leader in assists at Stony Brook University with 26 and led them to their first appearance at the NCAA College Cup in 2005, then became the 21st overall pick in the 2008 MLS Supplemental Draft by the New York Red Bulls.

Orlando City Sells Alvarez To RSL; Sign English Midfielder Rooney

The defending USL PRO champion Orlando City Soccer Club announced Thursday the sale of the contract of midfielder Yordany Alvarez to Major League Soccer's Real Salt Lake and the signing of English midfielder John Rooney to a 2012 contract.

Alvarez played for the team in 2009 and 2010 when they were the Austin Aztex and played in 21 games in 2011.

He also scored the game-tying goal in a third round 2011 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament game against MLS' FC Dallas.

Rooney, a second round pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft by the New York Red Bulls, played in five regular season games and two Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament games last season, and scored his only goal of 2011 in an LHUSOC game against then USL PRO-franchise FC New York.

He began his career in the youth system with England's Everton and debuted at 17 with Macclesfield Town in English League Two, where he scored three goals in 45 appearances.

NYRB, USMNT D Ream Signs Two-Year Deal With Bolton

Defender Tim Ream of Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls and the US Men's National Team signed a two-year deal Thursday to play for the Bolton Wanderers in the English Premier League.

Ream spent his only two seasons in MLS with the Red Bulls, who drafted him in 2008. He had started 28 games over that time, was a finalist for MLS Rookie of the Year in 2010, and was named to the MLS All-Star Team last season.

He also played six times for the USMNT.

Bolton currently is in 17th place in the English Premiership standings, two points above the relegation zone.

Eckersley Cuts Ties With Burnley, Signs With Toronto FC

Major League Soccer's Toronto FC announced Thursday defender Richard Eckersley, who was on loan last season from Burnley, severed his ties with that team by mutual agreement Wednesday and signed a new deal to stay with the Reds.

Eckersley, who signed a four-year contract with Burnley in 2009, had been pretty much on loan throughout his time there and left with 18 months left on the deal.

At Toronto FC, Eckersley started 22 games last season, played in all 4 games of the 2011 Nutrilite Canadian Championship, which the team won to earn a berth in the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League tournament, and has played in six of those games so far.

Dynamo-Earthquake Game Moved Up A Day To Set Up San Francisco Treat

Major League Soccer announced Wednesday the Houston Dynamo-San Jose Earthquakes 2012 regular season match set for March 18 at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, CA has been moved up a day to March 17 and the location has been changed to AT&T Park in San Francisco.

The MLS game will now become part of a doubleheader that day featuring Mexico's National Team against Senegal.

Impact Shuts Out Itesco University In Guadalajara

Miguel Montano and Aaron Schoenfeld each scored two goals and Juan Jose Pena, Reda Agourram and Mircea Ileu each added a goal as Major League Soccer's Montreal Impact shut out Itesco University 7-0 in a preseason match in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The Impact conclude their South of the Border swing of their training camp Thursday against Club Atlas of the Primera Division.

Comets Burn Up MISL Record Book With Win Over Silver Knights

Tiguinho had a nine-point night on two goals and five assists, Geison fired off four goals, and Byron Alvarez and Vahid Assadpour each had a hat trick and an assist for seven points as the Missouri Comets set Major Indoor Soccer League records for most points by a single team this season and largest victory margin in a 33-12 thrashing of the Syracuse Silver Knights Wednesday at Independence Events Center in Independence, MO.

The team also set a record with three players scoring a hat trick in a game and the 45 combined points set an MISL record.

Brian Harris (two goals, assist) and Bato Radoncic (goal, three assists) each had five-point nights for the Comers, 11-6 and in second place in the Central Division standings, 3 1/2 games behind the league's best team, the Milwaukee Wave (12-2). The Comets host the current Eastern Division and defending league regular season champion Baltimore Blast February 10.

Cory Elenio led th Silver Knights with five points on a goal and three assists, and Daniel Stevens (two goals) and Alex Megson (goal, two assists) compiled four points each.

Syracuse fell to 6-11, good for third in the Eastern Division, six games behind the Blast (11-4), and will face the best team in the league this season, the Milwaukee Wave, this Sunday at US Cellular Arena.

USMNT Wins Third Straight Under Klinsmann In Panama

Graham Zusi of Major League Soccer's Sporting Kansas City scored the lone goal of the game in the eighth minute as the US Men's National Team won their second straight game of 2011 and third straight for head coach Jurgen Klinsmann in a 1-0 victory over Panama Wednesday in a friendly at Rommel Fernandez Stadium in Panama City, Panama.

The US played most of the second half down a man when FC Dallas' Geoff Cameron challenged soon-to-be teammate Blas Perez of Panama for a shot and Cameron was quickly issued a straight red card by the referee in the 52nd minute.

The US will now be off until their next training camp prior to a February 29 visit to Genoa, Italy to face Italy, the 2006 FIFA World Cup champions.

Breakers Sign Aussie Butt

The Boston Breakers of Women's Professional Soccer announced Wednesday the signing of Australian midfielder Tameka Butt, who is currently playing for the Brisbane Roar, the defending champion of Australia's W-League in this weekend's Grand Final championship game.

Butt has led the Roar to two premiership titles during her tenure there.

She has played in 23 games over four years for the Australian Women's National Team and led them to the 2010 AFC Women's Asian Cup championship. Butt also was a member of her country's 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup team that played in Germany last summer.

Butt also captained Australia's U-20 team from 2007 to 2009, leading them to the AFC Women's U-17 Asian Championship and the 2009 AFC Women's U-20 Asian Championship tournaments. She also captained their 2008 ASEAN Women's Cup championship team.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fire Sign Re-Entry Draft Pick Dube

Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire announced the signing of their only selection in last month's 2011 Re-Entry Draft, former New England Revolution forward Kheli Dube.

The eighth overall pick of the Revolution in the 2008 MLS Supplemental Draft. Dube scored four goals and four assists that season, leading them to the 2008 SuperLiga title and himself to a finalist nomination for MLS Rookie of the Year.

He played collegiately at Lindsay Wilson College (2004-05), a National Association for Intercollegiate Atheltics school, and the NCAA's Coastal Carolina (2006-07), where we has named the South Atlantic Conference's 2007 Player of the Year.

He also competed in 41 games for the Michigan Bucks of the USL Premier Development League, socring 25 goals and leading them to a North American Championship title in 2006 and to a return trip to the championship final in 2007.

DC United Signs Argentine Defender Dudar

Major League Soccer's DC United announced the signing Wednesday of Argentine defender Emiliano Dudar on a free transfer from Switzerland's BSC Young Boys, where he has played the last three seasons.

Dudar also played in Switzerland for Bellinzoza and FC Chiasso, in Brazil for Vasco de Gama, in Paraguay for Libertad and in his home country for Independiente, Banfield and Velez Sarsfeld.

Ogden Outlaws Part Ways With GM, Search Begins For Replacement

The Ogden Outlaws of the USL Premier Development League announced Wednesday a mutual decision to release general manager Miguel Hernandez.

No reason was given for his release, but the team said a search has begun for his replacement.

Hi-Ho, DeSilva! Ocala Stampde Names Brazilian Head Coach

The expansion Ocala (FL) Stampede of the USL Premier Development League announced Wednesday they have named Brazilian-born star Anderson DaSilva the team's first head coach.

DaSilva has served the past five years as head coach at The Villages Charter School in The Villages, FL.

MLS' Sounders Buy PDL's Tide; Renamed Them Sounders U-23

Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders announced Wednesday they have purchased the Tacoma Tide franchise of the USL Premier Development League and have renamed them Sounders FC U-23, beginning with thr 2012 season.

The team will be operated by Pierce County businessmen Lane Smith and Cliff McElroy, who bought the Tide and their sister franchise, Sounders Women of the USL W-League, in November 2011, and will be led on the pitch by head coach Darren Sawatzky, Sounders FC U23's director of youth development.

Strikers Sign Former Fire Forward Herron

Forward Andy Herron, who had stints with Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire from 2004 to 2006, then again in 2008, signed a contract to play the 2012 season for the North American Soccer League's Fort Lauderdale Strikers Wednesday.

Herron's best season with Chicago was in 2006, when he scored the game-winning goal over the Los Angeles Galaxy to lead the Fire to the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup title, led the team in the MLS season in goals with nine and was named the team's Most Valuable Player.

Before MLS, the native of Costa Rica played for his country's Club Herediano and helped them win the country's top championship in 2004.

Byrd Named PASL's Best For Week 12

Detroit Waza forward Aaron Byrd, who scored the game-winning goal at the buzzer in a 13-12 victory over the Ohio Vortex last weekend, was named Wednesday the Professional Arena Soccer League's Week 12 Player of the Week for the 2011-12 season.

Byrd had his first seven-point game of his career (five goals, two assists) and his first five-goal game of his career.

Silverbacks Sign Hungarian Goalkeeper Illyes

The Atlanta Silverbacks, last season's worst team in the North American Soccer League, signed goalkeeper Daniel Illyes to a contract Wednesday.

He has played his last ten seasons in his native Hungary, including eight in their First Division.

He recently led Egri FC to a 2011 league title and promotion to the country's Second Divisuion.

Sky Blue FC Adds Kipp As Goalkeepers Coach

Sky Blue FC of Women's Professional Soccer announced the hiring Tuesday of Nathan Kipp as the team's goalkeeper coach.

Kipp worked in the league's first two seasons at the Chicago Red Stars under then-head coach now Sky Blue assistant coach Emma Hayes, then worked last season for the Boston Breakers.

Kipp played the position in college at UNC-Greensboro and semi-professionally in USL for the Carolina Dynamo.

He began his coaching career in 2003 at Iona College, teaming up for the first time with Hayes, who was their head coach, then returning to his alma mater in Greensboro in 2005.

PDL's Knights Name LIU Trio To Front Office Positions

In a major restructuring of their front office, the Brooklyn Knights of the USL Premier Development League announced the additions of Matt Guercio, John Crimarco and Matt Pucci as general manager, director of operations and director of media/public relations Tuesday.

The trio have worked together at Long Island University's Post Athletics Department -- Guercio since 2006, the other two joining in August 2011.

Wave's Bennett Named Week 12 MISL Player Of The Week

Forward Ian Bennett of the league-leading Milwaukee Wave was named Tuesday the Major Indoor Soccer League Player of the Week for Week 12 of the 2011-12 season.

Bennett scored 15 points in three games last week, tallying two goals and two assists in a 23-10 romp last Monday over the Rochester Lancers, and a combined two goals and four assists in a weekend split with the Wichita Wings.

Bennett has scored points in all but three of 14 games this season and leads the team in points with 38 on 12 goals, including three three-point goals, and 11 assists.

Scorpions Signs Saaverda As Senior Player, Head Coach Of New Reserves Team

The expansion San Antonion Scorpions of the North American Soccer League announced the signing Tuesday of Mexican midfielder Javier Saaverda as a member of their inaugural player roster and as head coach of the newly-created Scorpions Reserve team that will be selected March 4 at a tryout.

Saaverda began his professional career in Mexico in 1996 with Toros Neza and also played for Tigres UANL, Morelia, Jaguares, Indios, Necaxa and the Mexican Men's National Team.

In a separate announcement Tuesday, the Scorpions named new corporate sponsors in Bud Light (official domestic beer and sponsor of the Bud Light Beer Garden), Gold's Gym (official gym) and Univision San Antonio (official Spanish language broadcaster).

Chivas Adds Colombia's Valencia, El Salvador's Iraheta

Major League Soccer's Chivas USA announced the signings Tuesday of Colombian defender John Alexander Valencia and El Salvadoran midfielder Marvin Iraheta.

Valencia last played for Corporacion Popular Deportivo Junior, also known as Atletico Junior, where he led them to the country's 2011 Fall Championship.

Before Atletico Junior, he spent three seasons (2005-07) with Independiente Medellin.

Iraheta played at the New York Cosmos Academy, winning the US Development Academy's U-17/U-18 National Player of the Year award for the 2009 and 2010 seasons, and also competed in the Cosmos' inaugural game against English Premier League powerhouse Manchester United at Old Tratford in the United Kingdom.

Braun Leads Impact To First MLS Preseason Win In Mexico

Justin Braun scored the lone goal in the 63rd minute of a 1-0 victory over Mexican Primera Division team Estudiantes Tecos Tuesday in Guadalajara, Mexico for the first Major League Soccer preseason win for its new Montreal Impact franchise.

The game was played in two 40-minute halves.

The Impact continue their preseason trip in Mexico with games Wednesday against local university Iteso and Thursday against Primera Division foe Club Atlas.

US U-23 MNT Beats LD Alajuelense Reserves In Alajuela, Costa Rica

Dilly Duka assisted on a Tony Taylor goal in the 41st minute as the US U-23 Men's National Team, preparing to compete in the 2012 CONCACAF Men's Olympic Qualifying Tournament in late March for a berth at the London Olympics, shut out the reserve team from LD Alajuelense 1-0 Tuesday in Alajuela, Costa Rica.

The US, host of the tournament, will play in Group A, set to play their games at LP Field in Nashville, against Cuba March 22, Canada March 24 and El Salvador March 26, and must reach the championship game, set for LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in Kansas City, KS, against the semifinal winner from Group B, featuring Mexico, Honduras, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago, to earn a trip to London this summer.

USWNT Shuts Out Mexico At CONCACAF Tourney, Wins Group; Facing Costa Rica Friday

Carli Lloyd had a hat trick and Heather O'Reilley added another goal as the US Women's National Team won the Group B title at the 2012 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament Tuesday in Vancouver, British Columbia with a 4-0 victory over Mexico to advance to the semifinal round Friday, where they will face Costa Rica, the runner-up in Group A, for a berth in Sunday's championship game and an automatic bid to the 2012 London Olympics.

Though the USWNT beat Mexico in a friendly game last June, many view this victory as redemption for losing to them 2-1 in a 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Qualifying game that forced them to face Italy in a playoff to earn a spot at the event last summer in Germany.

The USWNT won all three of their pool games by a combined score of 34-0.

Against Costa Rica in team history, the US has won all seven games they've played.

In Friday's other semifinal, host Canada, winner of Group A, will face Mexico, the second-place Group B finisher.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Kirovski Announces Retirement; Joining Galaxy As Assistant Coach

Major League Soccer's defending champion Los Angeles Galaxy announced Tuesday player Jovan Kirovski has ended his playing career after 20 seasons and will become an assistant coach for them in 2012.

He spent the last five seasons, including the last three, with Los Angeles and was on their MLS Cup title team in 2011.

Kirovski began his MLS career with the Galaxy in 2004, but later played with the Colorado Rapids and San Jose Earthquakes before returning to Los Angeles.

He was the first American to sign with England's Manchester United in 1992, joining their youth academy, but he left in 1996 after never playiing in a single game.

He also played in Germany for Borussia Dortmund, becoming the first American to ever lead a team to a UEFA Champions League title, then went to FC Kolm.

Kirovski spent time in Portugal with Sporting Lisbon and in England with Crystal Palace and Birmingham City.

Kivovski has scored 11 goals in 62 games for the US Men's National Team in his career.

Rowdies Sign Former Stars, Hammerheads F/M Mulholland

The Tampa Bay Rowdies of the North American Soccer League announced the signing Tuesday of English forward/midfielder Luke Mulholland.

Mulholland, a native of Preston, England, played late in the 2011 season for the defending NASL champs Minnesota Stars FC after starting the year with USL PRO's Wilmington Hammerheads, where he was named their Rookie of the Year after leading the team with nine goals and finishing second in assists with five.

Mulholland played collegiately at Wingate University, where he had 37 goals and 26 assists in 73 games and, in 2009, was named a First Team All-American and the Player of the Year in the South Atlantic Conference.

MLS All-Star Game Coming To Philadelphia July 25

Major League Soccer announced Tuesday the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game will be played July 25 at PPL Park in Chester, PA, home ptich for the Philadelphia Union.

For the ninth year in a row, the best of MLS will face a yet-to-be-named international opponent.

The game will be televised in English on ESPN2 and TSN in Canada, in Spanish on either Galavision or Telefutura, and in French on Canada's RDS.

Red Bulls, Pumas To Meet In Preseason Game February 23 In Phoenix

Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls announced Monday they will compete against Pumas UNAM of Mexico's Primera Division in the second annual Reto del Sol (or Challenge of the Sun) preseason match February 23 at Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ, home to Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks.

Pumas recently won the 2011 Clausura title for the seventh time in their history against Monarcas Morelia.

The Red Bulls lost 1-0 in the inaugural game in 2011 to Mexico's Club Atlas.

Hamilton FC Rage Announces Barsalona Heading To Germany

Hamilton FC Rage of the USL Premier Development League announced Monday player Andrew Barsalona has signed a contract to play for Eintracht Braunschweig of Germany's Bundesliga 2.

The grauduate of the University of Alabama-Birmingham played nine games last season with Hamilton, assisting on one goal.

Washington State-Based USL PDL Teams To Compete For Ruffneck Cup

Washington state soccer news website goalWA.net and Ruffneck Scarves jointly announced Monday the creation of an annual tournament, the Ruffneck Cup, featuring the state's four members of the USL Premier Development League -- the defending champion Kitsap Pumas, Tacoma Tide FC, the North Sound Seawolves and the Washington Crossfire.

The winning team in the season-long competition will receive a championship trophy and specially-designed Ruffneck Cup scarves, and will be honored at a championship dinner at a local pub.

The USL PDL has yet to announce its 2012 season schedule, but when it is released, the parties will announce the dates, times and locations for games in the series to take place.

Monday, January 23, 2012

W-League's Whitecaps Name Symons Head Coach

Vancouver Whitecaps FC of the USL W-League announced Mionday Jesse Symons has returned to the team as head coach of their senior women's team and their Girls Elite team (formerly called Vancouver FC Prospects).

From 2006 to 2010, he served as Prospects head coach and the team won two Pacific Coast Soccer League Women's Premier Division titles, including going 16-0-0 in his first season in 2006.

He also was part of the Whitecaps FC's 2010 W-League team that went undefeated for the first time in team history and saw them make the league championship game.

He recently coached Mountain United FC's U-15 and U-16 girls teams in the inaugural mini-season of the EA Sports British Columbia Soccer Premier League and saw the U-16 team win the first adidas Champions Cup at the U-18 level.

Sockers Pound Away At Renamed Storm

Kraig Chiles had a pair of goals and assists, Diego Rovira has two goals and an assist, and Ze Roberto also popped a brace on the scoresheet as the two-time defending Professional Arena Soccer League Newman Cup champion San Diego Sockers improved to 11-0 Sunday with a 9-3 win over the Arizona Storm, formerly called the Phoenix Monsoon, at the Phoenix Sports Center.

Brain Farber scored a goal and an assist for the Sockers and Chad Hagerty and Eric Wunderle each had a goal for the Sockers, who have been the best team in the PASL all season. San Diego travels to face the Anaheim Bolts this Friday before returning to Del Mar Arena Saturday, where they have not lost a game in their existence there in two seasons, against red-hot Revolucion Tijuana.

The Storm got a goal and an assist from Jonny Steele and goals from Roberto Ramos and Ian Gonzalez in the loss, dropping them to 1-9, last place in the Western Division and 9 1/2 behind the Sockers. Arizona is off until February 4 when they host the Turlock Express.

Dzilic's Deuce Is Game-Winner For Magic Over Kings

Mirsad Dzilic scored his second goal of the game with 2:16 left to play as the host Kansas Magic edged the Cincinnati Kings 6-5 Sunday in Professional Arena Soccer League play from EPIC Indoor Sports.

Chaz O'Dell also has a brace and Kyle Brown and Bryan Williams added a goal each as the Magic improved to 5-3, good for third place in the Eastern Division standings, three games behind the division-leading Detroit Waza (9-1). The Magic host the Ohio Vortex Saturday.

Allen Eller had a pair of points, Drew Ducker had a goal and an assist, and John Williams and Ryan Keiser each added a goal as the Kings fell to 4-8, fifth in the Eastern standings and six behind the Waza, who they next face on the road Saturday.

USWNT Earns CONCACAF Tournament Semifinal Berth With Rout Of Guatemala

After scoring a team-record 14 goals in a shutout of the Dominican Republic Friday, the US Women's National Team earned a spot Sunday in the semifinal round of the 2012 CONCACAF Olympic Women's Qualifying Tournament in Vancouver, British Columbia as Sydney Leroux, who recently became the number one overall draft pick of the Atlanta Beat in the 2012 Women's Professional Soccer Draft, scored five goals as the US ran roughshod over Guatemala in their second Group B game 13-0.

The 27 goals scored in this two-game stretch bettered the old mark of 24 goals in 1991 in 12-0 victories oer Mexico and Martinique, and the 13 goals scored Sunday were the second-most in USWNT history.

Leroux, playing in only her second game for the USWNT, joined Amy Rodriguez (Friday), Abby Wambach (October 23, 2004 vs. Ireland), Michelle Akers (November 24, 1991 vs Chinese Taipei), Tiffany Milbrett (November 2, 2002 vs. Panama) and Brandi Chastain (April 18, 1991) as players who scored five goals in one game.

Leroux, who holds dual citizenship by having a Canadian mother and an American father, is the first USWNT player, though, to score five goals in her second team appearance and the first player since Danielle Garrett (now Fotopoulos) in 1996 against Ukraine to have a hat trick in her second game

Entering in the second half, Leroux scored goals in the 48th, 51st, 57th and 70th minutes uncontested, then nailed the last goal with three minutes left in regulation.

Abby Wambach scored two goals and an assist before being rested at halftime, increasing her career goal total to 129, putting her third on the women's world career scoring list behind Germany star Birgit Prinz, and behind two former US stars in Kristine Lilly (130) and Mia Hamm (156).

Alex Morgan had a goal and three assists for the US, Lauren Cheney and Rodriguez each had a goal and an assist, and Carli Lloyd, Lori Lindsey and Megan Rapinoe posted goals in the victory.

The USWNT next faces Mexico Tuesday for the Group B title and a spot in the semifinals against the second-best team from Group A, should they win or draw. Mexico claimed its semifinal spot Sunday with a 7-0 victory over the Dominican Republic.

Semifinal tournament winners move into the championship game and automatically earn berths at the 2012 London Olympics this summer, regardless of who wins the game.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

US U-23 MNT Play To Scoreless Draw With Deportivo Saprissa Reserves

As part of their current preparation for the upcoming 2012 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament, which their country will host in late March, the US U-23 Men's National Team played to a scoreless draw Saturday to the reserve team of Costa Rica's Deportivo Saprissa in Costa Rica.

The US team next faces the reserves from LD Alajuelense Wednesday, then return to The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA for the next phase of their training camp.

Impact Open MLS Preseason With Scoreless Draw Against Chivas De Guadalajara

The Montreal Impact, Major League Soccer's newest franchise, officially opened the league's preseason schedule Sunday by playing to a scoreless draw with Chivas de Guadalajara in Guadalajara, Mexico, where the Impact is training through next Sunday.

They will play three more games against Mexican teams in Estudiantes Tecos Tuesday, Iteso Wednesday and Club Atlas Thursday before leaving the country.

Wave Edges Wings In Second Leg Of Three-Game Series In Wichita

After an 18-16 loss Friday night at Hartman Arena, Greg Howes scored two goals and Joe Hammes added a three-point goal as the Major Indoor Soccer League's best team, the Central Division-leading Milwaukee Wave, got past the host Wichita Wings 9-6 in the second game of a three-game series in Wichita, KS.

Jamar Beasley and Bryan Perez each had a goal and an assist for the Wings, who are now 6-9 and in last place in the division, while the Wave boast a 12-2 record.

Both teams meet for the final time this season Thursday.

Kocic Scores Game-Winner In OT For Lancers Over Silver Knights

Ljubonic Kocic scored the second of his goals Saturday night at 2:10 of overtime as the host Rochester Lancers edged the Syracuse Silver Knights 12-10 in Major Indoor Soccer League play at The Oncenter in Rochester, NY.

Andriy Bundyy led the Silver Knights with a hat trick and Jeffrey Hughes has two goals and an assist.

Rochester, 7-9 in the Eastern Division, is in second place, 4 1/2 games behind the defending league regular season champion Baltimore Blast (11-4), who they'll face next Saturday at First Mariner Arena in Baltimore.

Syracuse, meanwhile, is 6-10 and in the third place in the division, 5 1/2 games behind Baltimore. They next face the Missouri Comets in Independence, MO Wednesday.

Radoncic Has Brace In First Game With Comets; Missouri Beats SharX

Forward Bato Radoncic, signed earlier this week by the Missouri Comets for the rest of the 2011-12 Major Indoor Soccer League season, had a brace, joining Geison as top scorers, as the Comets defeated the host Norfolk SharX 14-6 Saturday at the Norfolk Scope Arena.

Tennant McVea and Matt Clare each had a goal for the SharX and Gary Brooks led them with a goal and an assist.

Missouri is 10-8 and in second place in the league's Central Division, four games behind the best team in the division and the league, the Milwaukee Wave (12-2). The Comets host the Syracuse Silver Knights Wednesday.

Norfolk remains the worst team in the Eastern Division and the league at 3-13, 8 1/2 games behind the division-leading Baltimore Blast (11-4), who hosts them Friday at First Mariner Arena.

Red Bulls Sign Former Orange, Reading United Goalkeeper Vuolo

Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls signed former goalkeeper and Downingtown, PA native Jeremy Vuolo to a 2012 contract this week, according to his former USL Premier Development League team, Reading United AC Saturday.

Vuolo spent last season with AC Oulu in Finland after taking part in the 2011 USL PRO Combine and had 11 shutouts in 24 matches and gave up one goal or less in all but five of those games.

At Reading United, he played the most games (66) and total minutes (5,176) of any player on the team since 2005 and, in his final season there, went 8-2-3 with a .946 goals against average.

Vuolo played for Reading United from age 16 through his college career at Syracuse University.

Sockers Go To 10-0 By Getting Past Express At Del Mar Arena

Kraig Chiles had four goals and Eric Wunderle added two more as the two-time Professional Arena Soccer League North American champion San Diego Sockers improved to 10-0 and retain their dominance inside Del Mar Arena with a 10-8 victory over the Turlock Express Saturday.

The Sockers have never lost in Del Mar Arena since returning to professional indoor soccer.

Down 10-4 in the fourth quarter, Turlock attempted a comeback, scoring four goals by Uriel Robledo, Adrian Gonzalez, Jorge Quiroz, who led the Express with two goals and three assists, and Samaul Saldate, but it was to no avail.

The Sockers, leader of the Western Division and holder of the league's best record, travel to the Phoenix Monsoon Sunday.

Turlock is 7-5 and tied for second place in the division with Revolucion Tijuana (6-4), both four games behind San Diego. The Express is now off until February 4 when they face Phoenix on the road.

Piasa Crown Kings With Two Late Goals In Victory

With their game tied at 4-4 in the fourth quarter, Joe Reininger assisted Justin Judiscak on a goal with 9:28 left to play and Roger Gemoules hit the final score with five seconds left as the host Illinois Piasa edged the Cincinnati Kings 6-4 Saturday in Professional Arena Soccer League play at The Sports Academy in Glen Carbon, IL.

Judiscak and Elvir Kafedzic led the Piasa with two goals each and Illinois is now 4-8 and in fifth place in the Eastern Division, six games behind the Detroit Waza (9-1), and will host the Ohio Vortex this Friday.

Cincinnati is 4-6 and in fourth place, five behind the Waza, and will take on the Kansas Magic on the road Sunday.

Lightning Withstand Late Rally By Vortex For Win

The Louisville Lightning edged the host Ohio Vortex 9-7 Saturday in Professional Arena Soccer League play at the Canton Civic Center.

Louisville opened the game with five unanswered goals, two of them from John Michael Hayden, before Ohio's Andy Lorei, who had two goals and an assist in the loss, and Jordan Zapatechne, off an assist from Judson McKinney, stopped the shutout.

Down 6-2 at halftime, though, Ohio cut the deficit to 6-5 after three quarters on three straight goals, then Louisville's Nick Judah, with help from Darren Yeagle, who led the Lightning with two goals and the assist on Judah's goal scored, followed by goals from Ohio's Ronnie Stolz and McKinney to tie the game at 7-7.

Simon Bird, though, scored the second of his goals for Louisville in the fourth quarter and Ryan McDonald added another for the Lightning victory.

The Lightning are now 8-4 in the Eastern Division standings and in second place, two games behind the Detroit Waza (9-1). Louisville travels to the Kansas Magic next Sunday.

Ohio remains in last place in the division at 1-8, 7 1/2 games behind Detroit, and takes on the Illinois Piasa on the road this Friday.

Clark Uses His Head To Lead USMNT To 1-0 Win Over Venezuela To Open 2012 Calendar

Ricardo Clark hit a header in the seventh minute of second-half stoppage time, aided by an assist from Jermaine Jones, as the US Men's National Team opened their 2012 season with a 1-0 victory over Venezuela Saturday at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ.

The USMNT next travels to Panama City Tuesday to face the Panamanian men's national team.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

High-Powered Tijuana Derails Express At Furati

Cesar Romero (four goals and an assist), Jose Rodriguez (hat trick and two assists) and Oscar Rivas (five assists) each had five-point nights as the high-powered Revolucion Tijuana lineup outlasted the Turlock Express 15-9 Friday in Professional Arena Soccer League play at Furati Arena in Tijuana, Mexico.

The league's defending Player of the Week, Tijuana's Gerardo Villa, had four goals in the victory, improving their record to 6-4, good for third place in the Western Division standings, 3 1/2 games behind the two-time PASL Newman Cup champion San Diego Sockers (9-0). Tijuana hosts the expansion Phoenix Monsoon this coming Friday.

Jorge Quiroz had a hat trick and an assist for Turlock, Jesse Horth matched Jorge's hat trick, Pablo Lopez added two goals, and Adrian Gutierrez had a goal as the Express fell to 7-4, second place in the division and three games behind the Sockers, who hosts them Saturday at Del Mar Arena, where the Sockers have yet to lose in nearly three seasons with the PASL.

Jamaican Defender Thomas Signs With Impact

Major League Soccer's expansion Montreal Impact announced Friday they have signed Jamaican National Team defender Shavar Thomas to a 2012 deal.

The tenth overall pick in the 2003 MLS SuperDraft by the Dallas Burn (now called FC Dallas), he played two different times (2004-06 and 2009-11) for Kansas City (now called Sporting Kansas City), as well as the Los Angeles Galaxy, Chivas USA and the Philadelphia Union.

He started 158 of 170 regular season games and played in five playoff games in his MLS career, scoring three goals and an assist, and he led Kansas City to the 2004 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup title.

Thomas has played 43 times for Jamaica's national team since 1999 and was named team captain in 2001. He led them to back-to-back titles at the 2008 and 2010 Caribbean Championships and has played on their 2004 Olympic and 2009 and 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup teams.

Whitecaps, Jarju Mutual Agree To Part Ways; Team Declines Option On Davies Deal

Major League Soccer's Vancouver Whitecaps announced Friday they and forward Mustapha Jarju agreed to mutually terminate his contract and that they are declining the 2012 option year in the contract of midfielder Philippe Davies.

Jarju joined Vancouver iin July 2011 after three seasons in Belgium with Royal Albert-Elisabeth Club de Mons and appeared in ten regular season games.

Davies, who joined in 2007 as a member of the team's residency program, played 11 times last season for their USL Premier Development League U-23 team and eight for their MLS Reserve League team.

In 2009 (USL First Division) and 2010 (USSF Division 2 Pro League), Davies appeared in a combined 34 games for Vancouver.

Wings Battle Back To Hand Wave First Road Loss Of Season

Victor Quiroz had seven points on a three-point goal and a pair of two-pointers and Jamar Beasley added a pair of two-point goals as the host Wichita Wings came back from a 16-9 third quarter deficit to hand the Major Indoor Soccer League's best team, the Milwaukee Wave, their first road loss of the season in an 18-16 victory at Hartman Arena, where these two teams meet again this Thursday.

Greg Howes led the Wave with two two-pointers and an assist and Ian Bennett pumped in a pair of goals.

The upset-minded Wings are last in the three-team Central Divisionat 6-8, 5 1/2 games behind the Wave, who fall to 11-2.

Blast Blows Up SharX In First Of Two Games Over Two Weeks

Max Ferdinand had three two-point goals and an assist to lead the Eastern Division-leading Baltimore Blast to an 18-2 rout of the Norfolk SharX, the team with the worst record in the Major Indoor Soccer League, Friday at First Mariner Arena in Baltimore.

Warren Ukah posted two two-pointers as the Blast improved to 11-4 on the season.

Miguel Ferrer assisted Matthew Delicate on Norfolk's only goal of the night, preventing a shutout for the Blast. The SharX are a league-worst 3-12, eight game behind the Blast.

Both teams meet again this Friday at the same location.

USWNT Rocks Dominican Republic In CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament Opener

Amy Rodriguez scored five goals, Heather O'Reilly had a hat trick and Abby Wambach put up two more goals and the US Women's National Team opened their 2012 season with a record-breaking 14-0 win over the Dominican Republic in the first game of Group B play at the 2012 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament Friday at BC Place in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The margin of victory was the highest in a CONCACAF final since the USWNT shut out Haiti 8-0 in 1994.

Carli Lloyd, Rachel Buehler, Tobin Heath and Lauren Cheney also scored goals for the USWNT, who next play Guatemala Sunday.

Byrd Strikes Fast In Last 1:44 As Waza Edges Vortex

Aaron Byrd had five goals -- two of which came in the final 1:44 of the game -- and a pair of assists to lead the Professional Arena Soccer League Eastern Division-leading Detroit Waza to a 13-12 win over the Ohio Vortex at the Canton Civic Center in Canton, OH Friday.

Victor Otieno added two goals for the Waza, 9-1 on the season. Detroit next hosts the Cincinnati Kings January 28 at the Taylor Sportsplex in Taylor, MI.

Andy Lorei led the Vortex with four goals and Jordan Zapotechne, Ross Ashley and Stefan Ostergren each posted two goals. Ohio remains in last place in the division at 1-7, seven games behind Detroit. The Vortex hosts the Louisville Lightning this Saturday.

Lightning Strikes Piasa Behind Campbell's Brace

Charlie Campbell had a pair of goals to lead the host Louisville Lightning to a 7-4 victory over the Illinois Piasa in Professional Arena Soccer League play Friday at the Mockingbird Valley Sports Complex.

Adam Boyer had a goal and an assist and four others -- Luis Pacheco, Tee Shipalane, Oliver Dyson and Scott Stockum -- added a goal each as the Lightning improved to 7-4, second place in the Easter Division standings and 2 1/2 games behind the division-leading Detroit Waza (9-1).

Elvir Kafedzic led the Piasa with a brace and Mike Jones and Jon Fridal posted scores as Illinois fell to 4-8, fourth place in the division and six behind the Waza.

Both teams next face the Ohio Vortex -- Louisville on the road Saturday, Illinois hosting them at The Sports Academy in Glen Carbon, IL this coming Friday.

Dempsey, Wambach, Shea, Leroux Named US Soccer's 2011 Athletes Of The Year

In a vote of US Soccer fans, media members and US Soccer officials, US Soccer announced Friday US Men's National Team forward Clint Dempsey (Male Athlete) and midfielder Brek Shea (Young Male Athlete) and US Women's National Team forwards Abby Wambach (Female Athlete) and Sydney Leroux (Young Female Athlete) were named the 2011 Athlete of the Year winners.

Dempsey was last named Male Athlete of the Year in 2007 and ends the two-year run of Landon Donovan, who has won the award four times overall (2003, '04, '09, '10).

Dempsey led the US team in scoring at the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament, hosted by the US, with three goals, and has scored 24 goals in his career with the team. He also recently became the highest-scoring American player in the English Premier League, passing former teammate Brain McBride.

Shea became the first 1990's-born player to make an appearance for the team, made eight overall in 2011 and is one of three players to appear in every game for new team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

He plays in Major League Soccer for FC Dallas and has scored 11 goals in 31 career games, as well as being named to the league's 2011 Best XI.

Wambach, who won the award for a fifth overall time and second straight year, ties Mia Hamm (1994-98) for most times winning the award.

She started 2011 by missing games due to nagging injuries, but came back and scored goals in the first four games of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany, giving her 13 in the history of the event and moving her past Michelle Akers into first place on the team's all-time list at the tournament,

She also extended her streak of being the team's leading scorer in every world championship she has competed.

Leroux, who was recently taken as the first overall pick in the 2012 Women's Professional Soccer Draft by the Atlanta Beat, played for both the US U-23 Women's Team and the senior team last year, scoring a combined 30 goals over 36 games.

Friday, January 20, 2012

magicJack FC Returning To WPS -- Sort Of!

A court case between Women's Professional Soccer and Dan Borislow, owner of magicJack FC, a team the league disbanded at the end of the 2011 season for his failure to adhere to league policies, ended surprisingly Wednesday in Palm Beach County (FL) Circuit Court with an agreement that allows Borislow, creator of the popular phone device, to return to the league and play an exhibition schedule the next two seasons against the rest of WPS.

The team will play seven or eight games, with at least two in South Florida, and the rest at home pitches of WPS franchises.

Judge Meenu Sasser ruled last week WPS didn't follow their own policies in properly disbanding the franchise, thereby allowing Borislow to re-form the franchise.

He says he hopes to re-sign all of his team's players, including US Women's National Team players Abby Wambach, Hope Solo, Megan Rapinoe and Christie Rampone.

SharX Announce Front Office Hirings

The Norfolk SharX of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced the hirings of Jim Gooley as general manager, Lucy Gimbel as their director of operations and Tory Catindig as director of group sales Friday.

The hirning of Gooley allows current team president Marcie Laumann to hold only her current title.

Gooley began his career with the USL's D-3 Pro League as an announcer and salesman for the Central Jersey Riptide and their sister team, the Central Jersey Splash of the USL W-League, eventually becoming the vice president of sales and the general manager of both teams.

In 2003, he joined the W-League's New Jersey Wildcats, who, two seasons later, won the league championship and were named USL Franchise of the Year.

He then joined Wildcats head coach Charlie Naimo and communications director Patric Santo Pietro to form Jersey Sky Blue, which earned the W-League's 2006 Franchise of the Year, before joining Women's Professional Soccer as the current Sky Blue FC.

Gooley also worked for two seasons as director of gameday operations for the Major Indoor Soccer League's New Jersey Ironmen, owned by the National Hockey League's New Jersey Devils.

Gimbel began professionally with the USL's Hampton Roads Piranhas franchise in 2003 in game day set-up, then was added the responsibilities of game day music and atmosphere in 2004.

In 2011, she became director of operations for both their Premier Development League and W-League teams.

She began with the SharX in a similar position this season, working with volunteers, scheduling team travel and appearances, and managing the front office.

Catindig graduated from Old Dominion University with a degree in communications and has been a fan of the indoor game for some time.

Beat Signs Former Sky Blue Midfielder Johnson

The Atlanta Beat, the worst team in Women's Professional Soccer in 2010 and 2011, announced the signing Friday of former Sky Blue FC midfielder Danielle Johnson.

The 35th overall pick in the 2010 WPS Draft from Ole Miss, where she was the only player in school history to be a four-time All-Southeastern Conference and All-Region player from 2006 to 2009, started 11 of 13 games for Atlanta over two seasons.

At Ole Miss, she started 81 games, putting her fourth on the all-time list for that category.

Independence Warms Up To Icelandic Duo For 2012

The Philadelphia Independence, two-time, back-to-back Women's Professional Soccer runners-up, announced the return of fan favorite Holmfridur "Frida" Magnusdottir and the addition of Katrin Omarsdottir, both of who recently played for Iceland's 2009 UEFA Championship team.

Magnusdottir was a member of the 2010 Independence team that reached their first WPS Championship game, then played half of the 2011 season before returning to Iceland to play for Valur Rekjavik.

In 2010, she scored three goals in 18 games with Philadelphia, and, in 2011, she had a goal and an assist over 12 games, six of which she started.

Omarsdottir, a graduate of UC-Berkeley, was third on her team in points last season with two goals and four assists. At Berkeley, she was third on her team in goals in 2009 with five and was named a Pacific-10 Conference Honorable Mention player.

Toronto FC Releases Iro, Marosevic

Major League Soccer's Toronto FC announced the release Friday of defender Andy Iro and forward Peri Marosevic.

Iro, acquired in a July 2011 trade with the Columbus Crew, started 13 regular season games for Columbus and played in seven CONCACAF Champions League games.

Marosevic, signed in the same month aferr being cut by FC Dallas, started four of seven games last season, scoring two goals, and played in seven CCL games, scoring one goal overall.

Vancouver Gets International Roster Spot From Rapids For Allocation Cash, Adds New Assistant Coaches

Major League Soccer's Vancouver Whitecaps gained an international roster spot to be used by January 1, 2015 an a second round pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft from the Colorado Rapids in exchange for allocation money Friday.

The team also announced Carl Robinson and Jake De Clute will join head coach Martin Rennie's staff as assistant coaches.

Dutch Lions Re-Sign DeLass, Smith For 2012

The Dayton Dutch Lions of USL PRO announced the re-signings Friday in midfielder Joel DeLass and defender Shane Smith.

DeLass played in 22 games last season and had one assist. He joined the team from the former Charlotte Eagles in the USL Second Division.

Smith previously played in the PDL with the Houston Leones and also played indoor soccer for the Alamo City Warriors.

Sockers Add Former Cougar Sutton For Rest Of Season

The two-time defending Professional Arena Soccer League Newman Cup and US Open Arena Soccer Championship champion San Diego Sockers announced Friday they have added defender Antonio Sutton for the rest of the 2012 season and will suit up Saturday for his home season debut against the Turlock Express at Del Mar Arena.

Sutton played the last three seasons with the PASL's California Cougars, the last two as a player/head coach, and was a two-time All-PASL Second Team player.

In 33 regular season games with the Cougars, Sutton had 24 goals and ten assists.

He began his pro indoor soccer career with the Sacramento Knights of the Continental Indoor Soccer League in 1997 and led them to a league championship two seasons later.

Before joining the Cougars, he also played for the Philadelphia Kixx, La Monterrey de RaZa, the Dallas Sidekicks and the Cleveland Crunch.

Last summer, he scored two goals in a US Arena Soccer Team exhibition game against Mexico.

Islanders Sign National Team Players Ramos, Marrero

The Puerto Rico Islanders of the North American Soccer League announced Friday they have signed forward Hector "Pito" Ramos and Joseph "Jackie" Marrero, members of their country's national men's team, to contracts for the 2012 season.

Ramos played last season in USL PRO for Puerto Rico United before the team folded during the season and he later joined the Islanders on loan from Caguas de Criollas.

In current 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying games, he is the team leader in goals with four.

Marrero debuted for the national team in November 2011 in a 3-0 win over St Lucia, assisting on a goal by Ramos, then scored a goal two minutes later.

RailHawks Sign Former Crew, Dynamo Player Jason Garey

The defending North American Soccer League regular season champion Carolina RailHawks announced the signing Friday of Jason Garey, who formerly played in Major League Soccer with the Columbus Crew and Houston Dynamo, scoring a combined 15 goals and six assists.

Garey was the third overall pick of the 2006 MLS SuperDraft by the Crew from Maryland, where he remains the school's all-time points (140) and goals (60) leader.

In 2005 for the Terrapins, he led them to an NCAA College Cup. Garey also led the team in his career to four appearances in the College Cup tournament, as well as Atlantic Coast Conference regular season and tournament champions.

He also won the Hermann Trophy, awarded to the best men's college soccer player of the year, by the Missouri Athletic Club.

Garey led the Crew to back-to-back MLS Supporters Shield titles in 2008 and 2009 and the MLS Cup title in 2009. He was also named their 2010 Humanitarian of the Year.

FC Dallas Signs Panamanian Defender Rodriguez

Impressed with his play with Panama's Tauro FC during their games in the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League Group Stage, Major League Soccer's FC Dallas announced the signing Friday of defender Carlos Rodriguez.

Rodriguez also played for his country's men's national team in 2011 friendlies against Paraguay and Costa Rica and is on the roster for their January 25 friendly in Panama City against the US Men's National Team.

DC United Gets Cruz In Trade With Dynamo For Partial Allocation Money

Major League Soccer's DC United received the rights to former Houston Dynamo star midfielder Danny Cruz Friday in exchange for giving the Dynamo partial allocation money.

The 41st overall pick in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft graduated from the Generation adidas class after the 2011 season, started 13 of 20 regular season games and all four playoff games, including the 1-0 loss in the 2011 MLS Cup to the defending champion Los Angeles Galaxy.

Cruz has also played for the US U-17 and U-20 national teams.

Southern West Virginia King's Warriors Join USL PDL For 2012 Season

The USL Premier Development League announced Friday the addition of the Southern West Virginia King's Warriors, based in Beckley, WV, for the 2012 season.

The King's Warriors are owned by Dr. James Blume and the Nehemiah Group, a Christian non-profit organization in Forest Hill, WV, where he is also founder of Forest Hill Family Practice and is pastor of Countryside Baptist Church.

The team will play home games at the YMCA Paul Cline Memorial Youth Sports Complex in Beckley, WV.

Comets Sign Radoncic For Rest Of Season

The Missouri Comets of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced Friday they have signed forward Bato Radoncic for the rest of the season and he will be in uniform Saturday when the Comets travel to the Norfolk SharX.

Radoncic last played in the MISL for the Chicago Riot, finishing fourth in the league in points (49) and goals and was named a First Team All-MISL selection.

He began his soccer career in his home country of Montenegro with second division outdoor team Berane. In 2001, he moved to the US and played for the Milwaukee Rampage of the A-League.

He first played the indoor game for the American Indoor Soccer Association's Rockford Rampage, where he was named the league Most Valuable Player after the 2006-07 season and led the team to the league championship in the 2007-08 season.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Whitecaps Sign Midfielder Davidson For 2012

Major League Soccer's Vancouver Whitecaps announced the signing Thursday of midfielder Jun Marques Davidson, who has dual citizenship in the US and Japan.

Davidson spent most of the last ten years playing for various teams in the J League and J League Division Two, but will be reunited in Vancouver with head coach Martin Rennie, whom he played for in 23 games in 2010 with the Carolina RailHawks, then of the USSF Division 2 Pro League, helping them win the North American Soccer League Conference championship and playing in the league's only championship game.

USL Announces First 97 Invitees To 2012 USL PRO Combine In Bradenton, FL

United Soccer Leagues officially announced the names Thursday of the first 97 invitees to its 2012 USL PRO Combine, to be held for the first time at IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL January 26-29.

The combine gives invited players the opportunity to show off their talents to potential USL PRO, North American Soccer League, Major League Soccer and international teams.

Of the 97 invited, 58 played last season in the USL's Premier Development League.

Also, in a new twist for the combine, players will be split into six teams, with each team playing three games during the event, similar to what MLS does at its own combine.

Testing, training sessions and, for the second time, two sessions involving the development of goalkeepers will take place.

Here is the list of the initial invitees to the USL PRO Combine, listed by position, with, if applicable, previous USL PDL team and college:

Robert Mueller - Austin Aztez U23s, University of Montevallo
Warren Gross - Penn State
Alec Kann - Mississippi Brilla, Furman
Zach Lubin - Kitsap Pumas, St. Martin's
Ben Ur - Dalhouse University
Michael Watkins - Baton Rouge Capitals, Lincoln Memorial College
Phil Boerger - Des Moines Menace, Syracuse University
Ryan Brooks-Newton - Vermont Voltage, American International
William Hale - West Virginia Chaos, Lander University
Brandon Heembrook - Ottawa Fury, Domincian College
Emmanual Frias - Laredo Heat, Texas A&M International
Joseph Marino - Ocean City Nor'easters, SUNY Bridgeport

Dillon Barna - Ventura County Fusion, Westmont College
Derrick Bassi - Vancouver Whitecaps U23s, Simon Fraser University
Araia Berhane - Fresno Fuego, San Francisco State
John Bilyeu - St, Louis Lions, Missouri S&T
Jeremy Cheeseman - New Jersey Rangers, Brockport College
Anthony Costa - McMaster College
Ben Elliott
Edward Estrada - Laredo Heat, University of the Incarnate Word
Jordan Farahani - Thunder Bay Chill, University of Saskatchewan
Ryan Griffin - MPS Portland Phoenix, University of Tampa
Spencer Jacoby - University of Main at Fort Smith
Thurston Johnson - Fort Lauderdale Schulz Academy, Saint Leo University
Jared Kukura - UC San Diegio
Michael Langford - Springfield Demize, University of the Incarnate Word
Dean Lovegrove - St. Louis Lions, Midwestern State University
Julian Konner McNamara - Toronto Lynx, Oakland University
Stephen Millage - Fort Lauderdale Schulz Academy, Florida Gulf Coast University
Tyler Nichol - St. Louis Lions, Avila University
Sean O'Reilly - Northern Virginia Royals, St. Francis University
Nick Rich - Mississippi Brilla, Virginia Commonwealth
Alex Rodriguez - Tyler Junior College
Drew Russell - Vancouver Whitecaps U23s, Yavapai College
Henrique Sousa - St. Louis Lions, Rocgers State University
Daniel Villegas - FC Jax Destroyers
Marquel Waldron - Bermuda Hogges, University of West Florida
Draymond Washington - Real Maryland FC, George Mason University
Eric Zuehsow - George Mason University
Jonathan Evans - Oakland University
Max Gunderson - Laredo Heat, University of the Incarnate Word
Matheau Hall - Vermont Voltage, Grand Canyon University
Justin Ferguson - Belmont University
Mark Lavery - Oglethorpe University
Chris Phillips - Liberty University
Sean Reynolds - Thunder Bay Chill, University of West Florida
Mackenzie Ward - Clemson

Jesus Cortes - Laredo Heat, University of the Incarnate Word
Steven Covino - Western Mass Pioneers, Siena
Daniel Fabian - Providence
Eric Goldberg - Colorado
Manuel Gonzalez - Fort Lauderdale Schulz Academy, Florida Gulf Coast University
Justin Hay - Belmont University
Hunter Jarrett - University of San Francisco
Richard Kerster - Fort Lauderdale Schulz Academy, Florida Atlantic
Tomoyuki Kinoshita - Aoyama Gakuin University (Japan)
David Malloy - Chicago Fire Premier, Rhode Island
Michael Marousek - Victoria Highlanders, St. Francis Xavier University
Nicholas Millington - Elon
Will Moorad - IMG Bradenton Academics, Belmont University
Josh Northeu - University of Saskatchewan
Stephen Roche - Dublin Institute of Technology (Ireland)
Simson Rosembert
Bryce Taylor - Mississippi Brilla, Midwestern State University
Fabien Vorbe - Furman
Edgar Zaldivar Delgado - North Carolina Wesleyan
Michael Azira - Mississippi Brilla, Lindsay Wilson College
Adrian Azira - Orange County Blue Star
Juan Nino - Liberty University
Jarod Stigall - University of Denver
Matthew Aldred - University of West Florida
Adam Bettencourt - Tacoma, Tide, Sacramento State
Lance Nelson - University of Mobile
Ryan Roushandel - Atlanta Blackhawks, Central Florida

Jerson Barandica-Hamilton - University of Saskatchewan
Sean Coleman - Real Maryland FC, Johns Hopkins
Matt Freisen - Kitsap Pumas, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs
Thomas Garner - North Carolina
Nester Hernandez - St. Louis Lions, Lewis University
Marko Kepcija
Bouna Kourouma
Yuri Moreira - Western Mass Pioneers, Wheaton College
Aboucarim Ndaw - Real Maryland FC
Andrew Olsen - Dartmouth
Tyler Reinhart - Fresno Fuego, Cal Poly-Pomona
Kenny Sacramento - WSA Winnipeg,
Lawrence Sobah - Des Moines Area Community College
Travis Wall - Ohio Wesleyan University
Parker Walton - Northern Virginia Royals, George Mason University
Tyler Witmer - Reading United, Temple
Gibson Bardsley - Washington Crossfire, Western Washington University
Dion Peters - West Virginia Chaos, University of Charleston
Emmanuel Elomobor - Southern Poly State
Shawn Guderian - UNC-Wilmington

Blues Sign Forward Gonzalez For 2012 Season

The Los Angeles Blues of USL PRO announced the signing Thursday of forward and Long Beach natuve Luis Gonzalez for the 2012 season.

Gonzalez played the last two seasons in the USL Premier Development League with the Thunder Bay Chill, leading them to the Heartland Division and Central Conference titles in 2011.

Before then, Gonzalex spent his college career split between Cerritos College (2008-09) and Cal Poly Pomona (2009-11).

With Cerritos, he was a two-time National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division III All-American and a California Collegiate Athletic Association South Coast Conference Most Valuable Player. He ended her career there was 52 goals and 36 assists before joining Cal Poly Pomona.

At Cal Poly, Gonzalez was a two-time NCAA Division III All-American and made the All-CCAA First Team twice. In 2011, he was named the CCAA Most Valuable Offensive Player of the Year. With the Broncos, Gonzalez had 26 goals and 14 assists.

Sporting Kansas City Signs Forward Peterson

Major League Soccer's Sporting Kansas City signed forward Jacob Peterson Thursday.

After playing for the US on the U-17 and U-21 national teams and leading the Indiana Hoosiers to back-to-back NCAA College Cup championships in 2003 and 2004, Peterson has played six seasons in MLS with the Colorado Rapids, who selected him 21st overall in the 2006 MLS SuperDraft, Toronto FC and the San Jose Earthquakes, tallying a combined nine goals and ten assists in 138 career regular season games.

Emory On Board With Rapids For 2012

Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids Thursday announced the re-signing of midfielder Steven Emory, who started six of nine games in the MLS Reserve League, scoring two goals.

He also played in one regular season game -- a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Fire in a 2011 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup play-in game.

First FIFA Men's Soccer Rankings Of 2012 Same As Last Of 2011

With only 11 games played worldwide in December, the first FIFA/Coca-Cola World Men's Soccer Rankings of 2012, released Wednesday, saw the same teams in the top ten as the last poll of 2011.

Spain starts the year at number one, followed by the Netherlands, Germany, Uruguay, England, Brazil, Porugal, Croatia, Italy and Argentina.

The US Men's National Team, opening their 2012 schedule with games Saturday at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ against Venezuela, then traveling to Panama City to play Panama this Wednesday, rose slightly in the new poll from 34th to 33rd.

Chicago Inferno Going From Amateur Ranks To USL PDL

The Chicago Inferno, an amateur team that has won three regional tournament trophies since 2009, are the latest team to join the USL Premier Development League for the 2012 season, the league announced Thursday.

The team is led by president Todd Short and has named Branko Savic as its first head coach.

Savic was an All-American player at Lindenwood University and played professionally in his home country of Serbia with FK Cukaricki and FK Zeleznik. In 2010, he was a player/head coach with the Chicago Storm, who won the 2010 indoor Ultimate Soccer League title.

NASL Releases 2012 Season Schedule

The North American Soccer League unveiled their 2012 regular season schedule on their website Thursday, with all eight teams, including the new San Antonio Scorpions playing a combined 112-game regular season taking place over 25 weeks beginning April 7 and ending the weekend of September 22-23.

Each team will play a balanced 28-game schedule, playing the other seven teams in the league four times (two home, two away).

Among the games set for opening day of the season, the defending league champion Minnesota Stars FC will face the defending regular season champion Carolina RailHawks at the Metrodome.

The Scorpions, the only expansion team this season (Ottawa joins in 2013), will play their inaugural game at the Atlanta Silverbacks, the worst team in the league last season, April 7, then host their first game at Heroes Stadium April 15 against the Puerto Rico Islanders.

The playoff format has not changed from 2011:

- The top six teams at the end of the regular season advance to the playoffs, with the top two teams earning byes into the semifinal round.

- The remaining four teams will compete in single-game quarterfinal matchups (3 vs. 6, 4 vs. 5) the weekend of September 29-30.

- Winners of quarterfinal matchups will play in two-leg, aggregate-goal semifinal series the next weekend, with those winners advancing to a two-leg championship series October 20-21 and October 27-28.

To view the complete 2012 NASL schedule, visit www.nasl.com/index.php?id=12.

Union Forward Paunovic Retires...For The SECOND Time

Forward Veljko Paunovic of Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union announced his retirement from professional soccer Wedesday -- again!

Paunovic, who has played in over 400 games in five different countries over 18 years and scored 86 goals, cited family reasons for his retirement, the same reason he used for his first retirement in 2008.

In 2011, Paunovic scored three goals and three assists in 15 Union games.

FC Dallas Loans Goncalves To Brazil's Cruziero For 2012 Season

Major League Soccer's FC Dallas announced Wednesday they have loaned Brazilian-born midfielder Jackson Goncalves to home country team Cruzeiro for the entire 2012 season.

FC Dallas president and CEO Doug Quinn said the decision was made because Goncalves "needed to spend some time at home in Brazil for personal reasons".

Goncalves joined FC Dallas from Sao Paulo August 13, 2010 and started nine regular season games and four playoff games that season, tallying an assist.

In 2011, he has eight goals and three assists in all competitions and played the most most minutes on the team (1,952) and started 22 of 28 games.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Breakers Add Midfielder D'Agostino

The Boston Breakers of Women's Professional Soccer announced the signing of former Atlanta Beat midfielder Bianca D'Agostino for the 2012 season.

Originally selected with the 18th overall pick in the 2011 WPS Draft by the Philadelphia Independence, she was later signed as a free agent with the Beat and started five of ten games last season.

Union Set To Transfer Le Toux To Wanderers

Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union is reportedly set to transfer the rights to forward Sebastien Le Toux freely to the Bolton Wanderers of the English Premier League by Friday, according to FoxSoccer.com Wednesday.

The deal would free up the money needed to help re-sign younger forward Danny Mwanga and protect them from trade offers by other MLS teams.

Le Toux, who joined the Union in their 2010 inaugural season after playing for many years with the Seattle Sounders, scored 25 goals and 20 assists for Philadelphia.

Galaxy Re-Signs Beckham For Two More Seasons

The defending Major League Soccer champion Los Angeles Galaxy announced Wednesday they have re-signed midfielder David Beckham to a two-year contract after helping lead the team to the Western Conference regular season title, a second straight Supporters Shield for having the best overall record and, most importantly, the 2011 MLS Cup.

Calling the re-signing "an important decision for me", Beckham said he is "still passionate about playing in America and winning trophies with the Galaxy".

In five seasons with the Galaxy, he has scored 11 goals and 21 assists, with his best season being last season, where he scored two goals and 15 assists.

Sounders Sign Cato For 2012 Season

Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders announced the signing Wednesday of Trinidad & Tobago forward Cordell Cato, who played on his country's 2011 CONCACAF U-20 Championship team.

Cato has played professionally for Trinidad & Tobago's San Jose Jabloteh and for Defence Force FC in Port of Spain.

Cato trained last summer with Seattle.

Toronto FC Releases Yourassowsky After One Season

Belgium native and midfielder/defender Mikael Yourassowsky was waived Wednesday by Major League Soccer's Toronto FC after starting 13 of 21 regular season games and assisting on one goal in his first league season.

He also scored a goal July 2 against MLS' Vancouver Whitecaps during a Nutrilite Canadian Championship game.

MISL To Surpass 200K In Attendance This Weekend, 300K Before Season Ends

The Major Indoor Soccer League announced Wednesday it will surpass the 200,000 mark for overall attendance this season this weekend and could crack the 300,000 mark before the current season ends.

The league saw its highest-attended game of the season last Saturday at Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO when the Missouri Comets played the Wichita Wings before 8,276 fans. The game was held in conjunction with the city's recent hosting of the annual convention of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

League teams are currently averaging 4,000 fans per game, with the defending regular season champion Baltimore Blast leading the leading in average attendance with 5,749 per game.

Fire Re-Signs Pardo For 2012 Season

Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire announced Wednesday they have re-signed Mexican midfielder Pavel Pardo for the 2012 season.

Pardo, who spent 19 season playing for his home country, came to the league in 2011 and started 11 of 12 games.

Sporting Kansas City Re-Sign Sinovic To 2012 Deal

Major League Soccer's Sporting Kansas City Wednesday re-signed defender Seth Sinovic for the 2012 season.

Sinovic was initially selected by the New England Revolution in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft and started 18 of 20 regular season games and four games in the former SuperLiga between MLS and Mexican Primera Division teams.

He joined SKC in May 2011, played in 23 regular season games, and led them to their run to the championship game of the MLS Eastern Conference Playoffs.

Sinovic was left unprotected by the team prior to the 2011 MLS Expansion Draft and was selected by the Montreal Impact, but was traded back to Kansas City five days later.