Wednesday, February 29, 2012

USWNT Open Algarve Cup Play With Shutout Of Denmark

Alex Morgan scored two goals and Abby Wambach, Carli Lloyd and Sydney Leroux added goals as the US Women's National Team opened play Wednesday at the Algarve Cup in Portugal with a 5-0 victory over Denmark in Lagos.

The US team's next game is Friday at 10 a.m. US Eastern time against Norway, also in Lagos.

Reyna. Meola, Armstrong, DiCicco To Be Inducted Into National Soccer Hall Of Fame

The National Soccer Hall of Fame announced Wednesday the members of its Class of 2012, selected in recent voting -- former US Men's National Team captain Claudio Reyna and former USMNT goalkeeper Tony Meola from the Player Ballot, former player Desmond Armstrong from the Veteran Ballot, and former US Women's National Team head coach Tony DiCicco from the Builder's Ballot.

Reyna, currently youth technical for US Soccer, was named on 96.02% of ballots cast.

He played for the US team from 1994 to 2006 and was a member of four FIFA World Cup teams. Reyna had eight goals and 19 assists in 112 games with the team and had a 13-year playing career throughout Europe.

Meola, named on 90.2% of ballots cast, played from 1988 to 2006 and was the team's number one goalkeeper for the 1990 and 1994 FIFA World Cup and was a reserve on the 2002 team.

He won 37 games, 32 of them by shutout, ranking second all-time in team history behind Kasey Kellar.

In 2000, with Major League Soccer's Kansas City Wizards (now Sporting Kansas City), he led them to an MLS Cup and was the league's regular season and postseason Most Valuable Player and their Goalkeeper of the Year.

Armstrong, named on 53.66% of ballots cast, started 73 of 81 games for the USMNT from 1987 to 1994 and played 2,128 minutes in 1993, second-most all-time in team history behind Mike Lapeer's 2,205, also set in 1993.

DiCicco, named on 61.22% of ballots cast, led the USWNT to 103 wins in 199 matches between 1994 and 1999 and led them to the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup title at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena against China.

Tacoma's Lee Named PASL's Final Player Of The Week For 2011-12 Season

Tacoma Stars forward Mark Lee, who scored five goals and an assist in a 10-9 losing effort at the Anaheim Bolts in the second game of a doubleheader to end the 2011-12 regular season Sunday, was named Tuesday the Professional Arena Soccer League's Player of the Week for the final week of the season.

Lee scored 14 of Tacoma's 25 goals this season.

Whitecaps Sign Barbara To Contract

Major League Soccer's Vancouver Whitecaps officially signed forward Etienne Barbara, the 2011 North American Soccer League's Golden Ball winner and Most Valuable Player, Tuesday to a 2012 contract.

Barbara was acquired from the expansion Montreal Impact January 17, 2012, who made him the second overall pick in the Supplemental Draft, in exchange for Mexican defender Glenir Garcia.

Earthquakes Sign Supplemental Draft Pick Diaz Pizarro

Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes announced the signing Tuesday of 2012 Supplemental Draft selection Cesar Diaz Pizarro, a forward from Cal-Riverside.

He started in 53 of 74 games for the school and had 20 goals, eight of them game-winners, and eight assists in his career and finished as the school's all-time leader in games played and game-winning goals and second in points and goals scored.

In his 2011 senior season, he has a new single-season record nine goals, with four of them being game-winners, and three assists and started all 19 games that season. He was named the Big West Conference's Co-Offensive Player of the Year and to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's All-Far West Region Second Team and the conference's First Team.

Salles Sells Himself To Win MISL's Week 17 Player Of The Week Award

Rochester Lancers forward Mauricio Salles, who scored a combined 14 points over two games last week, with ten of those points coming in a victory over the Wichita Wings, was named Tuesday the Major Indoor Soccer League's Player of the Week for Week 17 of the 2011-12 season.

He is the second player this season to reach the 80-point plateau, joining league leader Geison of the Missouri Comets.

The Lancers will face the Eastern Division regular season champion Baltimore Blast in a two-game divisional championship series next Friday in Baltimore with Rochester hosting the second game next Sunday.

Silverbacks Re-Sign Midfielders Colaluca, Davis; Add Loaned Forward Santamaria

The Atlanta Silverbacks, the worst team last season in the North American Soccer League, announced the re-signings Tuesday of midfielders Nico Colaluca and Jordan David and received forward David Santamaria on loan from the league's Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

Colaluca joined Atlanta for the second half of the 2011 season after playing the first half in Sweden for Norrby IF. With the Silverbacks, he started five of eight games and scored his lone goal of the season in the final road game against the Strikers.

Colaluca played the 2007 through 2010 Major League Soccer seasons for the Colorado Rapids and New England Revolution.

Davis was the only Silverback to appear in all 28 games, starting all but one. He scored his first professional goal June 12, 2011 against FC Tampa Bay (now the Tampa Bay Rowdies).

A former captain of Georgia State University's men's soccer team, Davis spent three seasons with the Silverbacks U-23 team in the USL Premier Development League from 2006 to 2008.

Santamaria began his soccer career with Miami FC's youth academy, played one season of college soccer at Jacksonville University, then debut professionally in 2010 for the Carolina RailHawks, then in the US Soccer Federation's Division 2 Pro League before moving to the Strikers, where he scored two goals in 13 games last season.

FC Dallas Stuns USL PRO's Orlando City, Toronto Overwhelms BK Hacken At WDW Pro Soccer Classic

David Ferrera scored an unassisted goal in the fifth minute and assisted on a Fabian Castillo goal in the 33rd minute as Major League Soccer's FC Dallas shut out defending USL PRO champion Orlando City Soccer Club 4-0 Tuesday at the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, FL.

Castillo would later team with Ricard Villar in assisting Blaz Perez on his 55th minute goal and Andrew Wiedeman also scored for Dallas off a Jair Benitez assist.

FC Dallas will next face fellow MLS side Toronto FC, who defeated Sweden's BK Hacken 3-1 in the opening game of the doubleheader.

Nick Soolsma assisted on Moises Orozco's 85th minute game-winning goal and on Joao Plata's 90th minute insurance shot for Toronto.

Ryan Johnson gave Toronto a 1-0 halftime lead off a pass from Luis Silva, but Hacken countered in the 57th minute when Andrew Duggan converted a penalty kick.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Toronto FC Waives Bouchiba After Never Playing In A Game

Major League Soccer's Toronto FC announced the release Tuesday of midfielder Elbelkay Bouchiba, who was signed to a contract in February 2011 but missed the entire 2011 season after having surgery to repair an anterior cruciate ligament torn during the preseason.

Before coming to MLS, Bouchiba played for numerous teams in the Netherlands.

W-League Cobras Add Jarrow, Lizotte

The expansion Central South Carolina Cobras of the USL W-League announced the signing Mondays of Ali Jarrow and Ali Lizotte.

Jarrow was named to the All-Southeastern Conference Second Team and was named her team's Defensive Player of the Year in her senior season at the University of South Carolina. She last played professionally for Stjarnan FC in Iceland.

Lizotte, one of 12 founding members of the Cobras, finished in the all-time top ten in games started at Marshall University and was named to the Conference USA's Academic and Commissioner's Honor Rolls.

USL PDL's Worcester Hydra Signs First Player In Eade

USL Premier Development League franchise Worcester Hydra FC announced Tuesday the signing of their first player in goalkeeper Michael Eade.

Eade played three seasons at Park University in Parkville, MO and led them to two appearances in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics tournament. He had 16 shutouts and a 0.94 goals against average in his career there.

In 2008, he was named the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year after having a goals against average of 0.96 and 68 saves in 17 games that season.

Before enrolling at Park, Eads played in England for Tottenham Hotspur Academy and Luton Town FC Youth Training Scheme.

He also served as assistant women's soccer coach at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania.

NASL Extends Contract Of Commissioner Downs Through 2013 Season

The North American Soccer League announced Tuesday they have extended the contract of Commissioner David Downs through the end of the 2013 season.

The league begins its second seasson of play April 7 with all eight of their franchises, including the new San Antonio Scorpions, in action on that matchday.

Timbers Tie Earthquakes, Swedish Team Shutouts Chivas USA At Inaugural Portland Tournament

Major League Soccer's Portland Timbers opened play at their first annual preseason tournament at JELD-WEN Field with a 1-1 draw to the San Jose Earthquakes Monday in the nightcap of the first matchday.

Kalif Alhassan put Portland on the scoreboard in the 15th minute with an unassisted goal, but an own goal by the Timbers' Andrew-Jean Baptiste in the 60th minute forced the draw,

In the first game, Sweden's AIK, the lone non-MLS franchise in the four-team field, shut out Chivas USA 2-0.

Thursday, the round robin event continues with the Timbers facing AIK and San Jose meeting Chivas.

Impact Releases Westlake

The Montreal Impact, joining Major League Soccer as an expansion team this season, announced the release Monday of English midfielder Ian Westlake.

Westlake signed with Montreal midway during their 2011 season in the North American Soccer League and signed a contract December 5 to transition to their MLS roster.

United Signs Former Battery Goalkeeper Dykstra

Major League Soccer's DC United, currently competing in the annual Carolina Challenge Cup preseason tournament at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, SC and hosted by USL PRO's Charleston Battery, announced the signing Monday of goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra, who played last season for the Battery.

He started all 16 games for Charleston in 2011 and led USL PRO in goals against average (0.98) and goals allowed (16). Dykstra was also named the team's Betsy McAdams Newcomer of the Year.

After playing 73 games over four seasons with Virginia Commonwealth, where he had 18 career shutouts and was a two-time Colonial Athletic Association honoree, he played two seasons in MLS for the Chicago Fire, making 17 appearances over that time before joining Charleston.

Sounders Women Sign USWNT Forward Morgan To Join Teammates Solo, Leroux

The Seattle Sounders Women of the USL W-League announced the signing Monday of current US Women's National Team forward Alex Morgan, adding her to a 2012 roster that also includes fellow teammates goalkeeper Hope Solo and forward Sydney Leroux.

Morgan played collegiately at Cal-Berkeley and had five goals in ten games with the US U-20 Women's National Team before being promoted to the senior team in 2010, where she has scored 16 goals in 32 appearances. She was also, at age 22, the youngest player on the US team that competed at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany last summer.

Morgan was the number one overall pick last season of the Western New York Flash, who went on to take 2011 regular season and league championships honors in their debut season in Women's Professional Soccer, which is taking the 2012 season off for reorganization efforts.

She scored four goals for the Flash in 2011.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Crew Shuts Out College Of Charleston In Mount Pleasant, SC

Taking some time off before their next match at the Carolina Challenge Cup tournament Wednesday at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, SC against the Chicago Fire, Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew shut out College of Charleston's men's team 2-0 Monday at Patriots Point Athletic Complex in Mount Pleasant, SC.

After a scoreless first half, Olman Vargas put the Crew on the board in the 54th minute off a Korey Veeder assist and Kirk Urso connected with Eric Gehrig on a 71st minute pass.

Lilly Nominated For USOC Hall Of Fame Induction Class

Former US Women's National Team player Kristine Lilly, who retired in November 2011 after a 21-year career, has been named one of 28 finalists and the only one representing the sport of soccer, for induction into the 2012 class of the US Olympic Committee Hall of Fame, set for July 12 at the Harris Theater in Chicago.

Fans can vote once per day from Monday through April 9 at http://teamusa.org/halloffame to have be considered for induction.

Those votes will be combined with votes of US Olympians, Paralympians and USOC Family members and the winners -- six Olympians, one Paralympians and one Olympic team -- will be announced in May.

Lilly made the most appearances ever in women's soccer with 352 and had 150 goals, third-best in USWNT history, and 105 assists, second-most in team history. She played on three US Olympic soccer teams in 1996, 2000 and 2004 and won two gold medals and a silver medal.

Dynamo Name Tagliarino Senior VP

Major League Soccer's defending Eastern Conference champion Houston Dynamo announced Monday David Tagliarino has been named senior vice president, replacing Rocky Harris, and will oversee the team's communications, marketing and sponsorship service departments.

Tagliarino joins the team after 11 years with SMG-Reliant Park, where he served as director of sports marketing and sponsorships and helped secured events such as Super Bowl XXXVIII, the 2011 and 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four, the 2008, 2010 and 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Regional Tournaments, and the 2002 and 2005 Big 12 Conference Football Championship Games.

He has also held sports-related positions with Enron, the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League, the Houston Aeros of Minor League Baseball, and the National Basketball Association's Houston Rockets.

Laredo Heat Welcome Cricket Communications As Title Sponsor

The Laredo Heat of the USL Premier Development League announced Monday Cricket Communications, a provider of unlimited wireless services with no contracts to 5.9 million customers in the US, has become the team's Title Sponsor for the 2012 season.

Cricket will have its logo appear on all Heat uniforms, along with other perks of the new partnership.

Rhinos Hand Our 2012 Season Team Awards At Home Finale

Prior to the Rochester Lancers defeating the Wichita Wings 10-2 Sunday in their final game of the 2011-12 Major Indoor Soccer League regular season at Blue Cross Arena, the team handed out their team awards for the season.

Here are the winners:

ESL FEDERAL CREDIT UNION TEAM MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Doug Miller

ISAAC HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR AND
PALMER'S DIRECT TO YOU MARKET/MISL OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE MONTH
Mauricio Salles

VISION AUTOMOTIVE DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Patrick Hannigan

GUARANTEED MORTAGE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Andrew Hoxie

FABER HOMES TEAM BUILDER
Lubo Kocic

DUNKIN' DONUTS COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD
Elliot Fauske

SMUGTOWN BEACON COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD
Jeremy Cruz

SALVATORE'S TEAM DEDICATION AWARD
David DiPasquale

TOTAL SPORTS EXPERIENCE MISL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE MONTH
Brayton Knapp

Alvarez Sets New Single-Game Scoring Record As Comets Strike Wave Hard

Byron Alvarez set a new Major Indoor Soccer League record for most points in a single game with 13 off a three-point goal and five two-pointers as the host Missouri Comets demolished the MISL regular season champion Milwaukee Wave 21-6 Sunday at Independence, MO's Independence Events Center.

These two teams will meet March 9 in Missouri and March 11 in Milwaukee to determine the league's Central Division Champion and who earns a berth in the league's Championship Series against the winner of the Eastern Division series between the Baltimore Blast and the Rochester Lancers March 10 and 12.

Geison added a two-point goal and four assists for the Comets, who end the regular season 15-9.

Guiliano Oliveiro led the Wave, now 15-9, with two two-point goals and an assist.

MISL Playoff Series Schedules Set

With the end of the regular season coming next Sunday, the Major Indoor Soccer League Sunday announced the schedule for their 2011-12 season playoffs.

All matchups, including the league championship game, are two-game, aggregate-goal series with a 15-minute non-golden goal mini-game to be played following the second game of each series if teams combine for a tied score.

EASTERN DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES - Baltimore Blast vs. Rochester Lancers
Game 1 - @ First Mariner Arena, Baltimore March 10
Game 2 - @ Blue Cross Arena, Rochester March 12

CENTRAL DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES - Milwaukee Wave vs, Missouri Comets
Game 1 - @ Independence Events Center, Independence March 9
Game 2 - @US Cellular Arena, Milwaukee March 11

The divisional champions will then meet in the 2011-12 League Championship Series the weekend of March 16-18.

PASL's Ron Newman Cup Playoff Schedule Officialy Released

With the end of the regular season Sunday, the Professional Arena Soccer League announced the schedule for their 2012 Ron Newman Cup playoff tournament, named after the long-time head coach of the San Diego Sockers, who serve as the host team for the event's divisional championship and league championship games March 9-10 at Del Mar Arena in Del Mar, CA.

MARCH 2
Eastern Division Semifinal - Kansas Magic @ Louisville Lightning

MARCH 3
Eastern Division Semifinal - Illinois Piasa @ Detroit Waza
Western Division Semifinal - Turlock Express @ Revolucion Tijuana

MARCH 9
Eastern Division Final - KAN/LOU winner vs. ILL/DET winner
Western Division Final - TUR.TIJ winner va. San Diego Sockers

MARCH 10
League Championship Game @ San Diego

Anaheim Ends PASL Season At .500 After Doubleheader Win Over Tacoma

The expansion Anaheim Bolts of the Professional Arena Soccer League ended their regular season and home schedules Sunday by beating the Tacoma Stars in a doubleheader at Anaheim Convention Center, winning by scores of 9-6 and 10-9.

In the first game, an afternoon contest, Adriano De Lima led all scorers with four goals for the Bolts, Hugo Casillas had a hat trick and Joe Allemand and John Sherman each added a goal.

Mark Lee had a hat trick for the Stars with three others -- Vitalie Bulala, Ed Walugembe and Stephen Mohn -- each added a goal.

In Game 2, De Lima struck the Bolts again, this time scoring two goals and three assists, Bernie Lilavois had a goal and two assists, and Tomislav Colic and Juan Gonzalez each had a goal and an assist.

Lee had a six-point evening for Anaheim, scoring five goals and an assist.

Bulala and Sean Morris each tallied a goal and an assist in the nightcap for Tacoma, with Walugembe and Brian Iotte posting goals in the loss.

Anaheim ended their first PASL season with an 8-8 record in the Western Division, but, since the team did not earn a spot in the league playoffs, as promised when the 2011-12 season began, all current Bolts season ticket holders will receive free season tickets for the 2012-13 season.

Tacoma ended their season 3-13.

Impact, SKC Play To Draw At Disney Pro Soccer Classic

Major League Soccer's Montreal Impact and Sporting Kansas City played to a 1-1 draw Sunday in action from the second annual Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, FL.

Montreal posted their goal in the 37th minute as Andrew Wenger assisted Mike Fucito to take the lead but, in the 70th minute, Michael Thomas fed a pass to Soony Saad for the game-tying score.

Ar the tournament's next matchday Wednesday, SKC will face the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Impact meet the defending Eastern Conference champion Houston Dynamo.

Klinsmann Adds Kljestan, Shea To USMNT Roster As Injuries Knock More Players Off Roster For Italy Game

US Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann announced Sunday he has added midfielder Sacha Kljestan and forward Brek Shea to the roster for Wednesday's friendly game against Italy in Genoa, due to having to loser more players to injuries.

Tommy Chandler (left hamstring strain), Landon Donovan (bronchitis) and Jose Torres (right hamstring strain) were the latest to withdraw from the team, joining Jermaine Jones, who served as captain on the team's opening season games against Venezuela and Panama last month, who pulled out Saturday with a right calf injury.

Chandler suffered his injury in a 1-1 draw for his Nurnberg team in Germany's Bundesliga against Werder Bremen Saturday and will be out two weeks.

Torres' injury also came in a 1-1 draw, this time for Torres' Pachuca against Tigres UANL in the Primera Division.

Donovan's condition caused him to miss the final game of his offseason loan to Everton in the English Premier League February 18 and he has not practiced for Major League Soccer's defending champion Los Angeles Galaxy since his return to the US.

US Soccer also announced more additions to the roster could be announced by Klinsmann Monday.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Blast Beats SharX At Norfolk Scope Arena

Machel Millwood had six points with pairs of goals and assists as the Major Indoor Soccer League's Eastern Division regular season champion Baltimore Blast defeated the Norfolk SharX 19-9 Sunday at Norfolk Scope Arena.

Stephen DeRoux had four points on two goals and Carlos Garcia (three-point goal), Max Ferdinand and JT Noone (goal and an assist each) added three points.

Miguel Ferrer for the SharX led all scorers with seven points on a three-point goal and two standard goals.

Baltimore, 16-6 on the season, plays their regular season home finale Friday against the Wichita Wings and the final regular season road game at the Syracuse Silver Knights next Sunday.

Norfolk, 5-18, plays their home and regular season finale next Sunday against Wichita.

Salles Leads Lancers In Final Regular Season Win Over Grounded Wings

Mauricio Salles scored a three-point goal and assisted on Jake Schindler's two-point goal as the host Rochester Lancers ended both their home and regular season Major Indoor Soccer League schedule Sunday with a 10-2 victory over the Wichita Wings at Blue Cross Arena.

John Ball assisted on Salles' goal and another three-pointer by Elliot Fauske.

Wichita's lone goal came in the second quarter when Kevin Ten Eyck connected with Bryan Perez.

The Lancers end their inaugural season with an 11-13 record and now will play the Baltimore Blast in a two-game, aggregate goal Eastern Division Championship series March 10 at Baltimore and March 12 in Rochester.

Wichita, 7-15 and in last place in the Central Division, ends their season on the road this Friday against the Blast and next Sunday at the Syracuse Silver Knights.

Blues Blanked By Mexico's U-20 National Team

Alfonso Tamay scored the game's only goal in the 59th minute and Mexico's U-20 National Team shut out USL PRO's Los Angeles Blues in a 1-0 victory Saturday at Titan Stadium at Cal State Fullerton.

Le Toux PK Gives Whitecaps 1-0 Win Over Dynamo

Sebastien Le Toux's penalty kick in the 15th minute after a foul against teammate Long Tan gave the Vancouver Whitecaps a 1-0 victory over the defending Major League Soccer Eastern Conference champion Houston Dynamo in the first game of the day Sunday at the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, FL.

Wednesday, Vancouver, 2-0-0 in the eight-team tournament, takes on Sporting Kansas City (0-0-1), while the Dynamo (0-1-1) faces the Montreal Impact (0-1-0 before Sunday's game against SKC).

Rapids Take Third In Inaugural Hawaiian Islands Invitational

Tony Cascio scored the game-winning goal off a Jamie Castrillin assist 30 minutes into the consolation game of the inaugural Hawaiian Islands Invitational tournament in Honolulu to defeat Australia's Melbourne Heart 1-0 Saturday.

Jones Out For USMNT Game In Italy Wednesday With Right Calf Injury

US Men's National Team midfielder Jermaine Jones, who served as captain on the team's 2012 season-opening wins over Venezuela and Panama, will miss Wednesday's game in Genoa against Italy after suffering a right calf injury.

Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said Saturday Jones will not be replaced on the team roster.

Budnyy Blast In Overtime Gives Silver Knights Win Over Wings

Andriy Budnyy's goal off a Daniel Stevens assist at 1:19 of overtime gave the host Syracuse Silver Knights an 8-6 victory over the Wichita Wings Saturday in Major Indoor Soccer League play at The Oncenter in Syracuse, NY.

Stevens also had an unassisted goal in the second quarter and Jeffrey Hughes and Nelson Santana each had a goal and assisted on the others' scoring strike in the victory.

Kevin Ten Eyck, Victor Quiroz and Jamar Beasley each had two-point goals for Wichita.

The Silver Knights, 9-14 in the Eastern Division, play their home and regular season finale next Sunday against the division regular season champion Baltimore Blast.

Wichita, in last place in the three-team Central Division, is 7-14 and hits the road for the rest of their schedule to the Rochester Lancers Sunday, the Blast this Friday and the Norfolk SharX next Sunday.

Decu Double Leads Waza To Win Over Kings, Eliminates Them From Playoffs, Puts Piasa In

Costea Decu had a pair of goals as the 2011-12 Professional Arena Soccer League Eastern Division regular season champion Detroit Waza edged the Cincinnati Kings 7-6 in both franchises' final game of the season at Cincinnati Gardens.

The Waza end their regular season 12-4 and ousted the Kings (6-10) from the playoffs, giving the Illinois Piasa the final divisional playoff berth in the Newman Cup playoffs and a matchup against Detroit this Friday at the Taylor Sportsplex in Taylor, MI.

Cincinnati got two goals and an assist from Kwame Sarkodie and a goal and an assist from Drew Ducker.

Sockers Continue To Set Records In PASL

The two-time defending Newman Cup champion San Diego Sockers of the Professional Arena Soccer League won their franchise's 34th straight game and became the first PASL team to finish a regular season undefeated at 16-0 with a 9-4 victory over the Tacoma Stars Saturday at Del Mar Arena, site of the semifinal and final round of the 2011-12 playoffs March 9 and 10.

Aaron Susi (goal, two assists) and Eduardo Velez (hat trick) each gave the Sockers three points on the night, with Kraig Chiles and Brian Farber having a goal and an assist each.

The Sockers, as playoff tournament host, earn a bye into the Western Division Championship game March 9 against the winner of a semifinal matchup between Revolucion Tijuana and the Turlock Express, to be played at a to-be-determined date.

Tacoma got a hat trick from Mark Lee and a goal by Micah Wenzel in the loss, which drops the Stars to 3-11. The Stars close out their regular season Sunday at the Anaheim Bolts.

Vortex Beats Magic, But Kansas Goes To PASL Playoffs

Jordan Zapotechne (hat trick) and Matt Daglis (two goals, assist) led the host Ohio Vortex to a 9-6 victory over the playoff-bound Kansas Magic in the Professional Arena Soccer League 2011-12 season finale for both teams at the Camden Civic Center.

Chad Flath added a goal and an assist for the Vortex, who ends their season 4-12 and in late place in the Eastern Division.

Kansas, 8-8 and heading to face the Louisville Lightning (11-4) this Friday in the 2011-12 Ron Newman Cup playoff Eastern Division semifinal, got two goals each from Jason Jacob and Kasy Kiarash.

Crew, Battery Draw; United Puts Out Fire At Carolina Challenge Cup

Jose Cuevas assisted on a 40th minute goal from Dane Kelly and scored on an 89th minute penalty kick but the host Charleston Battery of USL PRO played Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew to a 2-2 draw Saturday at the 2012 Carolina Challenge Cup preseason tournament at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, SC.

The Battery has never won this tournament in the event's history.

Eddie Gaven, off an assist from Ethan Finley in the sixth minute, and Mirovan Mirosevic, off a 58th minute penalty kick scored goals for the Crew.

In the nightcap Saturday, newly-signed player Hamdi Salihi scored the game's only goal in the 66th minute off an Ethan Watts assist for a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Fire.

Galaxy, Revs Win 2-0 Shutouts At Desert Diamond Cup

Late goals by Paulo Cardozo (unassisted) and Mike McGee (assisted by David Beckham) led the defending Major League Soccer champion Los Angeles Galaxy to a 2-0 victory over Real Salt Lake in the second matchday of the second annual Desert Diamond Cup in Tucson, AZ.

Real Salt Lake was forced to play late in the game with nine men after a straight red card ejection for Ned Grabavoy and a second yellow card booked to Yordany Alvarez.

In the second game of the day, Kelyn Rowe scored both his team's goals as the New England Revolution shut out the New York Red Bulls by an identical score.

The tournament continues Wednesday when RSL faces New England and the Galaxy go up against the Red Bulls.

FC Dallas, Toronto FC Play To Draws At WDW Pro Soccer Classic

Major League Soccer's FC Dallas and Toronto FC played to draws Saturday to opponents BK Hacken of Sweden and host Orlando City Soccer Club of USL PRO Saturday at the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, FL.

FC Dallas's Fabian Castillo gave his team the halftime lead off a Zach Loyd assist in first-half stoppage time, then, in the 79th minute, BK Hacken evened the score when Karl Arkivuo assisted Mattias Ostberg on a header for a 1-1 draw.

John Rooney and Kevin Molino scored goals for the defending USL PRO champions and Miguel Aceval and Torsten Frings posted points for Toronto FC in a 2-2 draw in the nightcap.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Rage Forward Boyd Joins IFA Carling Partnership's Coleraine FC

The Hamilton FC Rage of the USL Premier Development League announced Saturday forward Aaron Boyd signed a professional contract with Northern Ireland's Coleraine FC of the IFA Carling Premiership.

The team is in fourth place in the standings, one out of qualifying for the field for the 2012-13 UEFA Europa League.

SeaWolves Retain Medical Sponsorships For 2012 Season

The North Sound SeaWolves of the USL Premier Development League announced Saturday they have retained their official marketing partnerships with Integrated Rehabilitation Group and Everett (WA) Physical Therapy.

IRG also works with the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League and the Washington Stealth of the National Lacrosse League.

Dutch Lions Sign Holowaty, Robinson

The Dayton Dutch Lions of USL PRO signed forward Daniel Holowaty and midfielder Torc Robinson to contracts for the 2012 season Saturday.

Holowaty led Rochester Institute of Technology in his senior season with eight goals, fifth most in the Liberty League last season, and 20 points, tying him for seventh place in that category, including his first career hat trick, which came in a 4-0 win over State University of New York-Morrisville September 7.

He finished as the school's 11th-highest all-time leader in points (61) and goals (24) and sixth-highest all-time in game-winning goals with ten.

He also was named to the 2011 Liberty League's First Team.

Robinson was a three-time Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference First Team member at East Stroudsburg University and, in 2009, was named to the ESPN:The Magazine Men's Soccer Academic All-America Team and to a National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Region Team.

City Islanders Re-Sign Langley

The Harrisburg City Islanders of USL PRO announced the re-signing Saturday of midfielder Morgan Langley after appearing in 20 games in his debut season following his college career at Swathmore College, where he graduated as their all-time leader in points and assists.

The native of Hawaii scored his first professional goal with Harrisburg in a 4-2 win over the Pittsburgh Riverhounds May 31, 2011.

After the USL PRO season, he signed with Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union, appearing in one game, but the team chose not to pick up the option year on his contract.

Magic Beat Vortex In First Game Of Season-Ending Series

Matt Germain had two goals and two assists and Matt Kuhn and Kasy Kiarash each had two goals and an assist as the Kansas Magic defeated the host Ohio Vortex 8-7 Friday in Professional Arena Soccer League play at the Canton Civic Center.

Kansas, 8-7 and has earned a playoff spot, will face the 3-12 Vortex again Saturday in both teams' final game of the regular season.

Stefan Ostergren (hat trick) and Mike Balogun (two goals, assist) had three points each for the Vortex.

Waza Defeat Lightning, Win Eastern Division Title

The Detroit Waza (11-3) won the Professional Arena Soccer League's Eastern Division regular season championship Friday with a 9-8 victory over the division's second-place team, the Louisville Lightning (11-5), handing Louisville their first loss at Mockingbird Valley Sports Complex in Louisville this season.

Detroit now moves onto the Ron Newman Cup's Eastern Division playoffs next Saturday, where they will host either the Cincinnati Kings (6-9) or the Illinois Piasa (6-10) at Taylor Sportsplex with the winner advancing to the tournament's final four March 9 and 10 in San Diego.

Revolucion Tijuana Ends Home Season With Win Over Stars

Oscar Espinoza (two goals and an assist) and Sergio Martinez (goal, two assists) had three points each Friday, leading host Revolucion Tijuana to a 13-6 home season finale over the Tacoma Stars in Professional Arena Soccer League play from Furati Arena.

Four others -- Juan Meza, Guillermo Rodriguez, Jose Juan Caballero and Jorge Blanco -- each scored a pair of goals as Tijuana ended their debut PASL season 10-6 and will host the 10-5 Turlock Express in the opening round of the league's Ron Newman Cup Western Division playoffs with the winner advancing to face the host San Diego Sockers for the division championship March 9.

Sean Morris and Stephen Mohn had braces for the Stars and Mark Lee and Amos Freiheit each added a goal and an assist for Tacoma, now 4-10 in the Western Division and who play at the Sockers Saturday and at the Anaheim Bolts to end their 2011-12 season.

FC Edmonton Signs Pinto, Joseph-Augustin; Release Chin, Farenik

FC Edmonton of the North American Soccer League announced Friday the signings of Chilean forward Yashir Pinto and French defender Jonathan Joseph-Augustin to contracts for the 2012 season, while also releasing forward Shawn Chin and defender Justin Farenik.

Pinto began his professional career in his native country, joining the youth team of Colo-Colo in 2001, then advancing to the senior team in 2008. He played in 18 Ligue and Cup appearances in his career there, leading them to back-to-back Cope Chile titles in 2008 and 2009.

In 2010, he was loaned to Chile's Nublense and has made 20 Ligue and Cup appearances since then.

He also has made numerous appearances for Chile's U-20 national team.

Joseph-Augustin recently finished a two-week training stint with Edmonton.

He came to the team from Saint Nazaire in France, where he has been training since July 2011. He has also played for teams in Belgium and the Netherlands and was on France's U-20 national team.

Chin, an American, scored two goals in 20 games with Edmonton last season.

Farenik, from Alberta, played with Edmonton's reserve team last season and was on a tryout contract with the senior team.

Townsend Brace Leads Chivas USA Over Loyola Marymount Lions

Casey Townsend, the fifth overall pick in the 2012 Major League Soccer SuperDraft, scored two goals to lead host Chivas USA to a 4-0 victory over the Loyola Marymount Tigers Friday at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

Allen Souza and Cesar Romero also scored goals in the preseason game.

The Rapids, 3-5-0 in preseason play, now head to Portland's JELD-WEN Field Monday to play Holland's AIK during Portland's first preseason tournament.

Rapids Sign Colombian Defender Luis Zapata

Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids announced the signing of Colombian defender Luis Zapata Friday.

Zapata recently assisted on a corner kick goal in Thursday's 3-1 loss to Yokohama FC of Japan in the Hawaiian Islands Invitational tournament in Honolulu.

He has played in his native country for Milionarios, Deportivo Cali, Deportivo Pereira and America de Cali in the first division and Deportivo Pasto in their second division, and for Caracas FC in Venezuela.

Timbers-Toronto FC Game At BMO August 15 Moved To Accomodate TV Coverage

Major League Soccer's Portland Timbers announced Friday their August 15 road match against Toronto FC at BMO Field has been moved from a 4 p.m. Pacific time start to a 4:30 p.m. start so it may be televised in Canada by TSN and the French language network RDS.

Bendik Joins Timbers As Goalkeeper

The Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer announced Friday the signing of goalkeeper Joe Bendik, who played the last two seasons in Norway for Sogndahl.

He started the team's final four games of the 2010 season in Norway, leading them to be promoted to the country's top soccer league, the Tippeliguen, then appeared five more times in 2011.

A three-year starter at Clemson, he started 61 games in his Tigers career, finishing as the school's all-time leader in wins, saves, shutouts and minutes played at the position. He also was named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference Second Team in 2008 and had the lowest goals against average in NCAA Division I soccer at 1.39 in 2009.

He joined the US U-17 Residency Program in 2005 and was part of their U-17 and U-18 National Teams.

Wave Slip Past Comets In MISL Central Division Series Preview

Hewerton Moreira led all scorers with seven points on a pair of goals and three assists in the Major Indoor Soccer League's Central Division regular season champion Milwaukee Wave's 15-14 victory over the host Missouri Comets Friday at Independence Events Center in Independence, MO in a preview of the upcoming two-game Central Division Championship Series.

Jonathan Greenfield put up four points on a pair of goals and JP Rodrigues scored a three-point goal for the 18-5 Wave.

Tiguinho led the Comets with six points on two goals and two assists and Leo Gibson had four points on two goals as Missouri fell to 14-5.

Both teams meet again Sunday at Independence, MO.

Battery Extends avVenta Worldwide Jersey Sponsor For Fourth Season

The Charleston Battery of USL PRO announced Friday avVenta Worldwide has extended their jersey sponsorship with the franchise for a fourth season in 2012.

This season, the company's logo will appear on not one or two, but four differently-designed jerseys from Umbro.

The first jersey will feature gold and black stripes, the second will have vermilion and black stripes, the third, to be worn on Opening Day of their season April 14 to celebrate their 20th anniversary as a franchise, will have black and white stripes, and the final, a pink jersey, will be worn May 12 in a fundraiser for Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Dragon Bolt Charleston.

Whitecaps Shut Out Impact At WDW Pro Soccer Classic

The Vancouver Whitecaps shut out the expansion Montreal Impact 3-0 Friday in the second game of the opening night of the second annual Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic, being held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Lake Buena Vista, FL.

Eric Hassli put the Whitecaps up 1-0 for the eventual halftime lead on a 38th minute goal, assisted by Martin Bonjour; Darren Mattocks, the team's second overall pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, had an unassisted goal in the 70th minute and, ten minutes later, newly-acquired Sebastien Le Toux scored in the 80th minute on a penalty kick

The Whitecaps and Impact next play in the tournament Sunday, when they face the Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City, respectively.

In the first game of Friday's action, the defending MLS Eastern Conference champion Dynamo played SKC to a scoreless draw in a rematch of the 2011 MLS Eastern Conference Championship game.

Besides featuring those Major League Soccer teams, the tournament features defending champion Toronto FC and the host franchise, the defending USL PRO champion Orlando City Soccer Club, who face off Saturday.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Palmetto SC Bantams Add Two Clemson Forwards

The expansion Palmetto SC Bantams of the USL Premier Development League announced the signings Friday of two Clemson University forwards -- junior Austin Savage and sophomore Josh Duran.

Sounders U-23 Signs Trio Of Former Academy Players

Seattle Sounders U-23 of the USL Premier Development League announced the signings Friday of three former members of their youth academy in Darwin Jones, De Andre Yedlin and Troy Pederson.

Jones had 15 goals and ten assists last fall at Highline Community College and will attend the University of Washington as a freshman this fall.

Yedlin played on Seattle's U-17/U-18 team and was named to the West Conference Best XI all-star team. he will start as a freshman this fall at University of Akron and has been named a College Soccer News Freshman All-American.

Pederson played last fall at College of Charleston, where he was named to the Southern Conference's All-Freshman Team.

Sky Blue FC Announces 20-Player Pool For Japan Trip In March

Sky Blue FC of Women's Professional Soccer, which will not play a 2012 season, announced Thursday a 20-player roster for a series of games against INAC Kobe Leonessa of the Plenus Nadeshiko League in the cities of Kagoshima and Okinawa, Japan March 20 and 24, respectively.

The team will leave New York March 15 and spend ten days in Japan.

Here is the Sky Blue roster, by position:

GOALKEEPERS
Brittany Cameron
Chantal Jones
Robyn Jones

DEFENDERS
Anita Asante
Jazmyne Avant
Kendall Fletcher
Nikki Marshall
Rebecca Moros
Alex Sahlen

DEFENDER/MIDFIELDER
Camille Levin

MIDFIELDERS
Carolyn Black
Brittany Bock
Amanda DeCosta
Beverly Goebel
Taylor Lylle
McCall Zerboni

FORWARDS
Malissa Henderson
Laura Heyboer
Casey Noguiera
Nikki Washington

Fire-Toronto FC Match At BMO Field In July Pushed Back To September

Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire announced Thursday the second of three games this season against Toronto FC, originally scheduled for July 21 at BMO Field in Toronto, has been rescheduled for September 12 at 7 p.m. Eastern time.

The two teams initially meet in Toronto April 21 for a 3:30 p.m. Eastern time game to be nationally televised on NBC Sports Network, then host Toronto August 4 at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time from Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL.

RailHawks Welcome Back Lowery For 2012

The defending North American Soccer League regular season champion Carolina RailHawks announced Thursday the return of midfielder Amir Lowery to their 2012 roster after spending the last two seasons with the Montreal Impact in the former USL First Division and the US Soccer Federation's Division 2 Pro League, where he played in 54 regular season and playoff game during that time.

The Impact have now moved to Major League Soccer for the 2012 season.

Lowery was the 45th overall pick in 2005 MLS SuperDraft by the Colorado Rapids but also played in the league with the San Jose Earthquakes and Sporting Kansas City over his three-season MLS career.

He played collegiately from Wake Forest, starting 62 consecutive games out of 74 career matches.

Lancers Lay Claim To Final MISL Playoff Berth After OT Win Over Wings

Mauricio Salles highlighted a team-record ten-point night with a three-point goal at the 5:57 mark of overtime as the host Rochester Lancers defeated the Wichita Wings 20-17 Thursday at Blue Cross Arena to capture the final Major Indoor Soccer League playoff berth and advance to the two-game Eastern Division Finals against the division champion Baltimore Blast.

Carlos "Chile" Farias added a three-point goal, a two-point goal and an assist on the night for Rochester, now 10-13 on the season.

Wichita, in last place in the Central Division at 7-15 and on a five-game road trip to end the regular season, also got ten points from Kevin Ten Eyck on two three-point goals and two two-pointers and Bryan Perez had five points on a three- and a two-point goal.

The Wings travel Saturday to face the Syracuse Silver Knights before returning to Rochester for another game this Sunday.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

USMNT Names Roster For Leap Year Game In Italy

US Men's National team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann announced Thursday his roster for this Wednesday's international friendly match against Italy in Genoa:

GOALKEEPERS
Brad Guzan - Aston Villa
Tim Howard - Everton
Nick Rimando - Real Salt Lake

DEFENDERS
Carlos Bocanegra - Rangers
Geoff Cameron - Houston Dynamo
Timmy Chandler - Nurnberg
Steve Cherundolo - Hannover 96
Clarence Goodson - Brondby
Michael Parkhurst - FC Nordsjaelland
Jonathan Spector - Birmingham City

MIDFIELDERS
Michael Bradley - Chievo Verona
Maurice Edu - Rangers
Fabian Johnson - Hoffenheim
Jermaine Jones - Schalke 04
Jose Torres - Pachuca
Danny Willaims - Hoffenheim

FORWARDS
Jozy Altidore - AZ Alkmaar
Terrence Boyd - Borussia Dortmund
Edson Buddle - Los Angeles Galaxy
Clint Dempsey - Fulham
Landon Donovan - Los Angeles Galaxy

W-League's FC Jax Destroyers Named Coaching Staff

The expansion FC Jax Destroyers of the USL W-League announced Thursday Marc Osterberger would be their first head coach with Dave Simone serving as assistant coach and technical advisor.

Osterberger played four seasons at Radford University, served as head coach of Maryland's Olympic Development Program from 2002 to 2005, was an assistant coach at Towson University from 1999 to 2005 and currently serves as technical director for Jacksonville Youth Soccer Club's girls team.

Simone was an age group coach with the US Olympic Development Program from 1983 to 2005 and was named to the US Soccer Federation's National Coaching Staff in 1989. He was also the assistant women's coach at Georgia and coached with other teams in his career.

Hammerheads Signs Midfielders Taylor, Chrishian

The Wilimington Hammerheads of USL PRO announced the signings Thursday of midfielders Bryce Taylor and Hagop Chrishian.

Taylor impressed Hammerheads head coach David Irving at the recent USL PRO Combine in Bradenton, FL. He previously played for the USL Premier Development League's Mississippi Brilla in 2010 after playing collegiately at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, TX, where, in his senior season, he started 19 of 22 games and was third on the team in points with 21 on seven goals and seven assists.

Chrishian played three seasons at Pasadena City College (2007-09), then on the 2009 USL PDL champion Ventura County Fusion, and finally for AC St. Louis in the 2010 US Soccer Federation's Division 2 Pro League.

USWNT Preparing For Algarve Cup In Portugal, 23-Player Roster Announced

The US Women's National Team arrived in Portugal Tuesday to compete in the annual Algarve Cup February 29 to March 7, a tournament they have won seven out of the past nine years, three straight times from 2003 to 2005, and eight times overall.
The team, placed in Group B in the 12-team event, will open group play February 29 and March 2 in Lagos, Portugal against Denmark and Norway, then travel to Faro March 5 to face Japan in a rematch of the championship game of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany, which Japan won, as well as the 2011 Algarve Cup, where the US won 2-1 in group play in Villa Real de San Antonio.

The US will be meeting Denmark for the tenth time at the Algarve Cup and lead the series 8-1-0, including back-to-back tournament championship wins in 2007 and 2008.

They will face Norway for the 14th time at the tournament, the most meetings ever, and are 8-4-1 against them.

Germany, Sweden, Iceland and China make up the Group A field, while host Portugal is in Group C with Ireland, Wales, Hungary.

Only the winners of Group A and B compete for the tournament titles with the two second-place teams playing for third place and the two third-place teams meeting for the fifth place crown. The winner of Group C will face the best fourth-place team from either A or B for seventh place, the second place Group C gets the worst fourth-place team of the higher groups for a ninth place meeting and the third- and fourth-place Group C teams play each other for 11th place.

USWNT head coach Pia Sundhage announced last Friday a 23-player roster for the tournament, with only 21 allowed to be suited for a game.

Here is thr roster, by position:

GOALKEEPERS
Nicole Barnhart
Ashlyn Harris
Hope Solo

DEFENDERS
Rachel Buehler
Stephanie Cox
Whitney Ergen
Meghan Klingenberg
Amy LePeilbet
Heather Mitts
Kelley O'Hara
Christie Rampone
Becky Sauerbrunn

MIDFIELDERS
Shannon Boxx
Tobi Heath
Lori Lindsey
Carli Lloyd
Heather O'Reilly
Megan Rapinoe
Amy Rodriguez

FORWARDS
Lauren Cheney
Sydney Leroux
Alex Morgan
Abby Wambach

Wave Are MISL Central Division Champs After Beating Silver Knights In Syracuse

The defending Major Indoor Soccer League champion Milwaukee Wave moved another step closer to retaining their title Wednesday as Marcio Leite had a seven-point night with a three-point goal, a two-point goal and an assist and Marco Terminesi added a pair of goals in a 15-12 victory over the host Syracuse Silver Knights at The Oncenter.

The victory for Milwaukee also ended a rare three-game losing streak and improved their record to 17-5 with their final two regular season games coming this Friday and Sunday at the Missouri Comets, who they will face next month for the Central Division championship in a similar two-game series.

For Syracuse, Cory Elenio tallied his third straight hat trick, earning seven points on a three-point goal and a pair of two-point shots, and Slavisa Ubiparipovic opened the game with a three-point goal.

The Silver Knights are 8-14 and in third place in the Eastern Division standings, one game behind the Rochester Rhinos (9-15) for second place and the final spot in the division final against the regular season divisional champion Baltimore Blast (15-6). Syracuse hosts the Wichita Wings this Saturday and ends their home and regular season schedule next Sunday against the Blast.

Earthquakes Get OK To Proceed On Building New Soccer-Specific Stadium

Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes received the official approval of the San Jose Planning Commission to begin building a new 18,000-seat soccer-specific stadium on a 14 acre plot of land across from San Jose International Airport after the commission Wednesday unanimously rejected a request filed by a resident in January to halt the project due to environmental and noise abatement concerns.

The commission granted the team the authority to proceed with the project in December 2011, but had to deal with the resident's challenge to it.

The stadium is now set to be completed in time for the 2013 MLS season.

Revolution Upset Galaxy, RSL Shuts Out Red Bulls As Desert Diamond Cup Play Opens

Trialist Jeremiah White scored the game-winning goal off an Alex Purdie pass in the 74th minute as the New England Revolution upset the defending Major League Soccer champion Los Angeles Galaxy 3-2 in the opening game Wednesday of the second annual Desert Diamond Cup preseason tournament at Kino Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Tucson, AZ.

New England got on the board first in the second minute on an unassisted Benny Feilhaber strike, but returning Galaxy star forward Edson Buddle evened the score at 1-1 in the 31st minute off a David Beckham assist.

The Revolution took the lead back at 2-1 five minutes later when Kelyn Rowe connected with John Lozano before Los Angeles leveled the score again at 2-2 on an unassisted Mike Magee play.

In the second game of the night, Paulo, Jr. was assisted by Fabian Espindola and Chris Wingert on a 75th minute goal as Real Salt Lake shut out the New York Red Bulls 1-0.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Zusi Staying With SKC

Major League Soccer's Sporting Kansas City announced they have re-signed midfielder Graham Zusi to a new contract after having his best season ever in 2011 with five goals and nine assists in 35 appearances.

Zusi also scored his first two goals for the US Men's National Team, including the lone goal in a 1-0 win January 25 at Panama.

Chivas Signs Romero, Vagenas, McKenzie For 2012

Chivas USA of Major League Soccer announced the signings Wednesday of Cesar Romero, Peter Vagenas and Rauwshan McKenzie for the 2012 season.

Romero, who has been with the team this preseason, previously played for Revolucion Tijuana in the Professional Arena Soccer League and for Murcielagos FC de Guamuchi in Mexico's second division.

Vagenas appeared in 16 games for the league's Vancouver Whitecaps in 2011.

McKenzie played his last two MLS seasons with Real Salt Lake after beginning his professional career at the Kansas City Wizards (now Sporting Kansas City).

Dynamo Signs Goalkeeper Marscheider

The defending Major League Soccer Eastern Conference champion Houston Dynamo announced the signing Wednesday of goalkeeper Erich Marscheider, who has played in four preseason games this year.

He spent the last 3 1/2 seasons playing for the Colorado Rush of the USL Premier Development League, where he won the organization's 2011 Golden Gloves Award as best goalkeeper throughout their system.

Whitecaps Signs Defender Klazura

Major League Soccer's Vancouver Whitecaps announced Wednesday the signing of defender Greg Klazura, the 21st overall pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft out of Notre Dame.

He played in 44 career games for the Fighting Irish over five seasons and was co-captain in his final season there, assisting on three goals in 18 starts and was named for the second time to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's Scholar All-Region Team and was a finalist for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award.

In 2008, he led the Chicago Fire to a USL Super-20 League North American championship. For the last two summers, Klazura started a total of 13 games for the USL PDL's Indiana Invaders.

Union Waives Khalfan, Re-Signs Williams

Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union announced Wednesday the release of midfielder Nizar Khalfan and the re-signing of defender Sheanon Williams.

Khalfan was claimed in a Waiver Draft November 23, 2011 after being released by the Vancouver Whitecaps that same day.

In 2011, he started nine of 22 games and had a goal and four assists.

Khalfan joined Vancouver midway through the 2009 USL First Division season and played in a total of 58 games between USL-1, the USSF Division 2 Pro League, and MLS.

Williams joined the Union in August 2010 from the Harrisburg City Islanders of USL PRO and started at right back the next month. He would start 40 games since signing with the Union, scoring a goal and three assists.

Gatti Retires From Impact As Player, Will Coach Academy's U-14 Team

Montreal Impact defender/midfielder Simon Gatti of  Major League Soccer announced his retirement as a player Wednesday to become the new head coach of the team's boys U-14 youth academy team.

He played in 122 regular season games, starting 100, and had two goals and six assists in his career.

Gatti led the Impact to a 2006 USL First Division Commissioner's Cup (best regular season record) and a 2009 league championship, as well as the 2008 Amway Canadian Championship (then called the Nutrilite Canadian Championship).

Shea Gives US U-23 National Team Victory Against His FC Dallas Teammates

Brek Shea, who plays for FC Dallas in Major League Soccer, scored the game-winning goal in the 51st minute Wednesday as his US U-23 Men's Olympic National Team defeated his MLS team 2-1 at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, TX.

The game's first two goals were scored in nearly the same fashion -- a header off a corner kick; first in the 15th minute when Andrew Jacobson hit the back of the net after a Fabian Castillo assist for FC Dallas, then, four minutes later, Fredy Adu connected with Ike Opara for the game-tying goal.

USL PDL's Rovers See Two Offered Deals With Bosnian Soccer Team

The Louisville, KY-based River City Rovers of the USL Premier Development League announced Wednesday midfielder Dustin Downey and midfielder/forward Ryan Smith have been offered contracts with FC Velez in Bosnia-Herzegovina after they traveled there to attend tryouts at Velez's request.

MISL Will Crack 300K Total Attendance Mark This Weekend

The Major Indoor Soccer League announced Wednesday, with ten games regular season games left on the schedule, will likely reach the 300,000 mark in total attendance for a season.

The league currently stands at 294,242 total fans in attendance, up 95,000 from last season, and the Eastern Division-leading Baltimore Blast set a new league-high for single game attendance with 9,644 attending last Saturday's game at First Mariner Arena against the Central Division regular season champion Milwaukee Wave.

USL PRO's Blues Team With Mexican-Themed Restaurant And Lounge

The Los Angeles Blues of USL PRO announced Wednesday an exclusive marketing partnership with Mexican-themed restaurant and lounge Matador Cantina in Fullerton, CA to host a number of team-releated events this season.

Rowdies Sign Former US U-20 National Team Player Picault

The Tampa Bay Rowdies of the North American Soccer League announced the signing Wednesday of forward/midfielder Fabrice Picault to a contract for 2012 with a club option for the 2013 season.

Picault, a former member of the US U-20 National Team and who turns 21 Thursday, will officially join the Rowdies Friday.

He spent the last four seasons in Italy's Primavera, the top youth league of the country's Serie A, with Cagliari Calcio and attended the 2012 NASL Combine in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Sounders Names Garza Director Of Communications

Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders announced Tuesday Jeff Garza has become their new director of communications after spending the last seven seasons with the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League, six of them as a communications assistant.

He will now handle the day-to-day operations of the Sounders' media relations department.

SKC Signs 2012 SuperDraft Pick Hedrick

Major League Soccer's Sporting Kansas City announced the signing Tuesday of second round 2012 MLS SuperDraft selection Cyprian Hedrick, a defender from Coastal Carolina chosen with the 30th overall pick.

Born in Cameroon, Hedrick began playing at San Jacinto College, earning National Soccer Coaches Association of America honors before transferring to Coastal Carolina.

As a freshman with Coastal Carolina, he was named to the NSCAA's Men's Collegiate Scholar-Athlete All-American list and, in 2011, was named the Big South Conference Defensive Player of the Year, as well as to the Big South Conference First Team and the NSCAA All-South Atlantic Team.

Cobras Sign Former College Of Charleston Stars As First Roster Players

The expansion Central South Carolina Cobras of the USL W-League announced Tuesday they have signed former College of Charleston four-year starters Jamie Stewart and Claire Wigfall-Brown as their first roster players.

Stewart, currently assistant coach at The Citadel, was a two-time Second Team All-Southern Conference and a three-time All-Conference Tournament Team player.

Wigfall-Brown was a three-time All-Southern Conference player, won the Serena Williams Outstanding Student-Athlete Awards and was named to the conference's 25th Anniversary Women's Championship Team.

USL Enters Into Deal With Uni-Sport

United Soccer Leagues announced a new partnership Tuesday with Los Angeles-based company Uni-Sport to become the official patch and heat transfer supplier for team uniforms throughout the organization.

All names and numbers on player jerseys will be done by the company at a discounted rate to franchises.

Blast's Millwood Named MISL's Top Player For Week 16

Baltimore Blast forward Machel Millwood, who was named the Major Indoor Soccer League Player of the Week for Week 7 of the 2011-12 season, was honored again Tuesday, this time for Week 16.

Millwood had a hat trick for the Eastern Division-leading Blast in a 17-13 win over the league's best team, the Central Division-leading Milwaukee Wave.

Millwood leads the Blast and in fourth in the league in points with 63 and joins teammate Aduato Neto as Blast players awarded the weekly prize twice this season.

Express Forward Quiroz Named PASL Best's For Second Time In 2011-12

Turlock Express forward Jorge Quiroz, named the first Professional Arena Soccer League Player of the Week for the 2011-12 season, won the award again Tuesday for the 16th week of the season and scoring a hat trick and an assist in a 7-6 win Friday over Revolucion Tijuana.

Quiroz has scored at least a point in all ten games he's played for the Express this season and is second in the league with 21 and tied for sixth in scoring with 35 points.

Rowdies Re-Sign Ambersley For Three More Seasons

The Tampa Bay Rowdies of the North American Soccer League announced the re-signing of forward Mike Ambersley to a three-year contract Tuesday.

Ambersley joined the Rowdies after spending the 2010 USSF Division 2 Pro League season with AC St. Louis, where he scored nine goals in 23 games.

At Tampa Bay last season, he led the team in goals (11), assists (seven), points (29), minutes played (2.275), matches played (27) and matches started (25). His goal total was third best in the league and earned him a spot on the Best XI.

Tampa Bay scored 41 goals in 2011, tying them for second-best in the NASL.

Ambersley was named NASL Player of the Month for August 2011 after scoring three goals and three assists and was the Offensive Player of the Week on June 13, 2011.

MLS Commissioner Garber To Visit Orlando March 1

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber will make a visit to Orlando next Thursday to meet with city Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, the owners of the defending USL PRO champion Orlando City Soccer Club, community leaders, local fans, and media during an open-to-the-public town hall meeting to discuss the viability of the city to become a future MLS expansion city.

While Garber has said his primary expansion focus is seeing the New York City area getting another professional team and the league's 20th, Orlando is a potential expansion market, as well.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

MISL Announces Playoff Schedule For Eastern Division Finals

The Major Indoor Soccer League announced Tuesday the schedule for the 2012 Eastern Division Finals between the division champion Baltimore Blast and either the Rochester Lancers or the Syracuse Silver Knights.

The Lancers (9-13) lead the Silver Knights (8-13) by a half-game in the division standings behind the Blast, who are 15-6, for the last playoff spot.

Should both Rochester and Syracuse finish with similar records, the Lancers get the berth by way of a 4-2 season series advantage over the Silver Knights.

Game one of the series would be played with either opponent at Baltimore's First Mariner Arena March 10 with the second game at the opponent's home March 12, either Blue Cross Arena if Rochester or The Oncenter if Syracuse.

Union Signs Five Players Tuesday, Four Of Them Draft Picks

Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union announced the signings Tuesday of four draft selections in Greg Jordan, Raymon Gaddis, Antoine Hoppenot and Krystian Witkowski and the re-signing of Chase Harrison.

Jordan, a midfielder from Creighton, was the 32nd overall pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft.

Gaddis, a defender from West Virginia, was the 33th overall pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft.

Witkowski and Hoppenot, a midfielder from Marist and a forward from Princeton, respectively, were the 26th and 39th overall picks in the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft.

Harrison, a goalkeeper, was signed by the Union in September 2011, but saw no playing time.

Veteran Sebrango Signs With Impact

Major League Soccer's Montreal Impact announced the signing Tuesday of veteran forward Eduardo Sebrango, who has been with the team during training camp.

Sebrango has played on five championship teams in USL First Division -- two with the Impact in 2004 and 2009, two with the Vancouver Whitecaps (now in MLS) in 2006 and 2008, and with the 2000 Rochester Rhinos.

He is second all-time in North American second division scoring with 239 points on 104 goals and 31 assists in 18,430 minutes played over 270 games.

Sebrango, who had two stints with Montreal (2002-05, 2009-2011), has scored 51 goals and 11 assists for 112 points in 149 regular season games and is in second place all-time in team history behind current assistant coach Mauro Biello in goals and points scored.

He came out of a 2010 retirement June 21, 2011 and played for their North American Soccer League team, finishing second in points with six goals and an assist, and started seven of 13 games.

A native of Cuba, he also played 24 times for their national team.

CFC Azul Signs Four With Connections To Central Connecticut State

Expansion USL Premier Development League franchise CFC Azul announced the signing of four players Tuesday, all of whom have ties to Central Connecticut State University -- soon-to-be seniors defender Mamadou Dioubate, forward Thomas Obasi and midfielder Jesse Menzies, and graduate forward Bryan Zobre.

Dioubate, Obasi and Menzies led the Blue Devils to a 10-8-1 record last season and a 7-3 record in the Northeastern Conference, winning their regular season title.

Dioubate transferred to CCSU from Monroe College, where he played on a 2010 championship team. He started all 19 games for the Blue Devils this season and had a goal and an assist, earning National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-North Atlantic honors.

Obasi transferred from Liverpool College in 2011 and started all 19 games last season, scoring three goals, including two game-winners, and two assists to also pick up NSCAA All-North Atlantic recognition.

Menzies started every game as a freshman, 16 of 17 as a sophomore, scoring a goal and two assists, and 18 of 19 last season, scoring a goal and eight assists.

Zobre played his first college seasons at Dutchess Community College before transferring to CCSU in 2005 for his final two seasons. He played last season in the PDL with the Western Mass Pioneers.

Southern WV King's Warriors Name Reitnour Head Coach, Technical Director

The expansion Southern West Virginia King's Warriors of the USL Premier Development League Tuesday named Scott Reitnour their first head coach and technical director.

Reitnour, a former player, coach and summer camp director with the USL PRO's Charlotte Eagles, has been boys head coach at Wesleyan Christian Academy in High Point, NC for the last nine years and has coached boys and girls teams for 13 years.

His teams at Wesleyan have won five Piedmont Athletic Conference of Independent Schools conference titles and made four appearances in state championship games, winning two titles.

Reitnour has won won multiple coaching honors from PACIS, the North Carolina Soccer Coaches Association, and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

He has also coached classic and premier level teams with the Piedmont Triad Football Club and runs Image Dei Soccer Academy.

Reitnour played on three nationally ranked teams at Houghton College from 1993 to 1995, captaining two of them, and later became an assistant coach at Houghton and Alfred University.

Monday, February 20, 2012

DC United Signs De Rosario To New Contract

Major League Soccer's DC United announced the signing of defending Most Valuable Player Dwayne De Rosario to a new contract Monday.

De Rosario, who played for three league teams last season (Toronto FC in March, the New York Red Bulls in April, and United from June to the end of the season), won the league's Golden Boot last season with 16 goals and 11 assists, 13 and seven, respectively, coming from his time with United.

Brilla Adds Morgan-White Group As New Business Partner

The Mississippi Brilla of the USL Premier Development League announced Monday Morgan-White Group, a Jackson, MS-based insurance firm founded in 1987, has joined the franchise as a business partner, adding themselves to a roster that includes M&F Bank, Tellus Operating Group, 3G Homes, Baptist Health Systems, Mississippi Sports Medicine and Cline Tours.

Hammerheads Sign Lassiter, Horwarth

The Wilmington Hammerheads of USL PRO Thursday announced the signings of two former members of Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls in defender Tyler Lassiter and goalkeeper Alex Horwath.

Lassiter, selected in the second round of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft out of North Carolina State, had 12 goals in 73 career games with the Wolfpack, was named to the Atlantic Coast Conference's All-Freshman Team, and led the team in his senior season in goals (six) and assists (six), earning a place on the All-ACC Second Team.

He debuted with the Red Bulls in a 2-1 win over former USL PRO franchise FC New York in a June 28, 2011 game in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament, then was loaned two months later to the North American Soccer League's 2011 regular season champion Carolina RailHawks for the rest of the season.

Horwath signed with the league in April 2010 and joined the San Jose Earthquakes in August of that year to replace an injured player on the roster, then joined the Seattle Sounders in October for the rest of that season. He would sign with New York March 25, 2011 and debut the next day in a scoreless draw against the Columbus Crew.

MISL Announces Dates For Two-Game 2012 Central Division Finals Series

The Major Indoor Soccer League announced Monday the league's best team this season, the Milwaukee Wave (16-5) will face the Missouri Comets (14-8) for the 2011-12 Central Division Finals in a two-game aggregate goal series.

Game one of the series will take place March 9 at Independence Events Center in Independence, MO, with game two set for March 11 at US Cellular Arena in Milwaukee.

Should the score of the series be tied after the second game, a 15-minute mini-game will be held to determine the winner, who will face the Eastern Division champion in the two-game 2011-12 MISL Championship Series.

The Comets have already clinched second place in their division this season, but the Wave need only one more win to lock up the divisional regular season title and the league's best record of 2011-12.

Silverbacks Sign Honduran Midfielder Turcios

The Atlanta Silverbacks of the North American Soccer League, the worst team in the league in 2011, signed Honduran midfielder Danilo Turcios Monday.

Turcios spent the 2005, then the 2007 to 2012 seasons with CD Olimpia in Honduras. He has also played in Honduras for Universidad (1996) and  Motagua (2000), and in Uruguay for three teams between 2002 and 2005 -- CM Maldonado, Defensor Sporting and Penarul.

Turcios also spent the 2004 season in Mexico with Estudiantes Tecos and the 2006 season in Guatemala with Comunicaciones.

Turcious played 85 times for his country's national team.

MLS Releases 2012 Reserve League Schedule

Major League Soccer Monday unveiled the 2012 Reserve League schedule, with its schedule running from March 12 to September 30.

Each of the league's 19 teams will play a 10-game schedule, with teams split between the Eastern, Central and Western conferences.

Teams in the six-team Central and Western conferences will play each of their opponents twice (once home, once away), while teams in the seven-team Eastern conference will play four opponents twice each (once home, once away), one opponent solely at home and another solely on the road.

As always, of the three conference champions for 2012, the team with the most points at the end of the season will be named MLS Reserve League champion.

To view the 2012 MLS Reserve League schedule, visit www.mlssoccer.com/reserve/2012/schedule.

Sounders End FL Preseason Schedule With Win Over FGCU In Bradenton

Newly-signed former US Men's National Team forward Eddie Johnson made a successful debut with the Seattle Sounders as one of five goal scorers in a 5-0 rout of Florida Gulf Coast University Sunday in a Major League Soccer preseason game at IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL.

Johnson, who returns to MLS after playing four years overseas, was selected earlier last week by the expansion Montreal Impact in an allocation draft, but was later traded to the Sounders for players Lamar Neagle and Michael Fucito, scored the game's first goal.

Also scoring for Seattle, now 3-0-2 in the preseason, were Christian Sivebaek, David Estrada and Alex Caskey, with an unidentified FGCU player scoring an own goal in the 84th minute of the game.

The game was Seattle's last in Bradenton for the preseason. They now travel to Mexico Wednesday to play Primera Division team Atalanta FC Wednesday in Cancun for their final preseason game.

Tijuana Takes Final PASL Western Division Playoff Berth With OT Win At Anaheim

Revolucion Tijuana, by virtue of a 12-11 overtime victory against the Anaheim Bolts Sunday at the Anaheim Convention Center, captured the third and final playoff berth in the Professional Arena Soccer League's Western Division as part of the upcoming Newman Cup tournament March 9-10 at Del Mar Arena in Del Mar, CA, home of the currently undefeated and two-time defending PASL champion San Diego Sockers.

As host of the tournament, the Sockers earn a bye into the Western Division Championship Game March 10 and will face the winner of the semifinal matchup between Tijuana and the Turlock Express, who have captured second place in the division.

That winner of the divisional championship game will be the winner of the Eastern Division Championship for the Newman Cup March 10.

Tijuana (8-6) and Anaheim (6-7) both play their regular season home finales this weekend against the Tacoma Stars -- at Tijuana Friday, at Anaheim Saturday.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Comets Get Past Lancers In Independence

Neto led all scorers with seven points (three-point goal and two two-pointers) and Geison added a brace as the host Missouri Comets got past the Rochester Lancers 13-11 Sunday in Major Indoor Soccer League play from Independence Events Center in Independence, MO.

The Comets are 14-8 and in second place in the Central Division, 2 1/2 games behind the league-leading Milwaukee Wave (16-5) in the standings, but both will meet to decide the division champion and earn a spot in the two-game MISL Championship Series next month. Missouri, though, will host Milwaukee this Friday.

Doug Miller had five points for the Lancers on a brace and an assist and Mauricio Salles made a three-point goal.

Rochester is 9-13 and in second place in the Eastern Division, a half game ahead of the Syracuse Silver Knights (8-13) for the division's other playoff spot, where they will meet the Baltimore Blast (15-6) in the first round of next month's playoffs. The Lancers host the Wichita Wings (7-12) in a two-game regular season series this Thursday and next Sunday.

Dos Santos Game-Winner Gives SharX Win Over League-Leading Wave

Gerson Dos Santos scored the second of his goals on the day with 59 seconds left to play Sunday as the worst team in the Major Indoor Soccer League this season, the Norfolk SharX, stunned the league's best team, the Milwaukee Wave, 14-13 at the Norfolk Scope Arena.

Dos Santos also had an assist for the SharX, who have won their last two games.

Matt Clare led Norfolk with a six-point performance on pairs of goals and assists.

Tom Oatley (three-point goal) and Greg Howes (goal, assist) were the leading scorers for the Wave.

Norfolk is 5-17 and in last place in the Eastern Division since the season began. The SharX hope to play spoiler again next Sunday when they host the division-leading Baltimore Blast.

Milwaukee, losers of three straight for the first time this season, are 16-5 and lead the Central Division by 2 1/2 games over the Missouri Comets (14-8), but both teams will meet in the playoffs for the division title and a spot in the MISL Championship Series next month. The Wave travel Wednesday to the Syracuse Silver Knights (8-13), then face the Comerts at Independence Events Center this Friday.

Dynamo Corrals Mustangs In Preseason Victory

Brian Ownby, Will Bruin, Emerson Sato and Colin Rolfe each scored goals as the defending Major League Soccer Eastern Conference champion Houston Dynamo shut out the Southern Methodist University Mustangs of Conference USA 4-0 Saturday in a preseason game at Houston Amateur Sports Park.

The Dynamo next face members of the Dynamo Academy Monday at the same location as Saturday's game.

Lancers Win At Wings' Last Home Game Of 2011-12 MISL Season

Mauricio Salles and Doug Miller each scored a three-point and a two-point goal to lead all scorers as the Rochester Lancers defeated the Wichita Wings in Wichita's final 2011-12 regular season home contest at Hartman Arena 16-10.

Gary Boughton added a pair of goals in the victory.

Angel Rivillo Ruiz had a goal and two assists for Wichita and Bryan Perez added a goal and an assist.

Rochester, 9-12 and close to clinching the second Eastern Division playoff spot and playing the Baltimore Blast in a one-game divisional championship round in March, hosts Wichita, dead last in the Central Division at 7-12, this Thursday at The Oncenter, but first faces the Missouri Comets (15-6, second in Central behind the league-best Wave at 16-4) in a match.

Blast Gets Past Wave In Latest MISL Championship Series Preview

Machel Millwood had a natural hat trick and Shaun David fired off a three-point shot as the host Baltimore Blast, the 2011-12 Major Indoor Soccer League's Eastern Division regular season champion, beat the league's most dominant team in the Central Division-leading Milwaukee Wave 17-13 Saturday in another preview of the upcoming MISL Championship Series.

Max Ferdinand also have three points with a goal and an assist for Baltimore, now 15-6 and facing the Norfolk SharX on the road Sunday.

Ptah Myers, Stephen DeRoux and JT Noone each added a goal for the Blast.

Guiliano Oliveiro led the Wave (16-4) with a pair of two-point goals, Jonathan Greenfield got off a three-point goal and Marcio Leite and Hewerton Moreira each had a goal and an assist.

Milwaukee travels Sunday to face the SharX, then at the Syracuse Silver Knights Wednesday, before facing the Missouri Comets next Friday and Sunday at Independence Events Center.

Orlando City, MLS' Union Play To Draw At Florida Citrus Bowl

Danny Califf scored for Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union on a 27th minute header, but Max Griffin of the defending USL PRO champion Orlando City Soccer Club scored a goal late in the second half and both teams played to a 1-1 draw Saturday at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando.

Orlando City will now get ready to be the only non-MLS team in the field for the 2012 Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic, beginning next Saturday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Lake Buena Vista, FL against Toronto FC.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Lancers Offer Two-Game Contract...To Allen Iverson?!

The Rochester Lancers of the Major Indoor Soccer League said Friday they offered former NBA All-Star Allen Iverson a contract to play in their final two regular season home games.

The contract would have called for Iverson to make a base salary of $20,000 per game, a $5,000 bonus for each goal he scored, as well as bonuses for wins and merchandise sales.

The deal would nearly match a contract he was offered from Turkey's professional basketball team, Beskitas, that would have forced him to move out of the US.

Fire Teams Spilt Simulataneous Doubleheader In Oxnard, CA

Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire spilt a doubleheader of preseason games in Oxnard, CA Saturday, with the senior team losing to the San Jose Earthquakes 2-0 off goals by Steven Lenhart and Brad Ring, and the Fire reserve team beating the USL Premier Development League's Ventura County Fusion 2-1 off a 58th minute penalty kick from Orr Barouch and a 68th minute header from Pari Pontazopoulus.

The senior Fire returns home Saturday night, then leave for Charleston, SC Wednesday to compete in the Carolina Challenge Cup at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, SC.

FC Dallas Withstands Golden Hurricanes Ar FC Dallas Stadium

Blaz Perez and Scott Sealy scored two goals each and Brek Shea added another as Major League Soccer's FC Dallas defeated the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane 5-1 Saturday in an MLS preseason game at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, TX.

Omar Mata scored Tulsa's lone goal on a fifth-minute penalty kick.

Dallas will end their preseason schedule with a game Wednesday in Frisco against the US U-23 Men's National Team, then heads to Orlando to play in the second annual Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex.

RailHawks' Agbossoumonde To Miss US U-23 NT Training Camp With Toe Injury

A toe injury suffered in a previous training camp session forced defender Gale Agbossoumonde, recently loaned to the defending North American Soccer League regular season champion Carolina RailHawks by Portugal's Estroil Praia, to announce Saturday he will not take part in the US U-23 National Team's next 10-day training camp, starting Sunday in Frisco, TX and ending February 29 with a friendly against Mexico at FC Dallas Stadium.

Express Edges Tijuana To Clinch PASL Playoff Berth; Tijuana Can Claim Last Spot Sunday

The Turlock Express captured the second of three playoff berths in the Professional Arena Soccer League's Western Division with a 7-6 victory over Revolucion Tijuana Friday to improve to 10-5 on the season.

Jorge Quiroz led all scorers with four points for Turlock on a hat trick and an assist, Martin Arista had two goals and an assist, Uriel Robledo had a goal and an assist and Jesus Belmonte added a goal.

Edgar Lemus had a hat trick for Tijuana with Jose Rodriguez adding two more goals and Gerardo Villa another goal.

The Express now join the two-time defending champion San Diego Sockers, undefeated this season at 14-0 and in the last 32 regular season games, in the Newman Cup playoffs March 9 and 10 at Del Mar Arena in Del Mar, CA.

Tijuana (8-6) can clinch the third berth Sunday by defeating the Anaheim Bolts (6-7) at the Anaheim Convention Center and, if they do so, will face Turlock again in a rematch March 9.

That winner will face the host Sockers for the divisional crown and a spot in the Newman Cup championship game.

Sockers Welcome Back Five, Add Three To 2012 USL PDL Roster

The West Texas Sockers of the USL Premier Development League announced Friday the re-signing of five players from last year's roster -- Jose Anchondo, Uli Guillen, Jaime Ibarra, Isaias Miramontes and Tyler Tarango -- and the addition of three players for the 2012 season in Joel Musambi, James Duvcevski and David Freeland.

Anchondo and Guillen were previously teammates at Odessa High School and the University of Texas-Permian Basin.

Ibarra will likely replace Leif Craddock as the Sockers' starting goalkeeper after playing his sophomore season at Southern Methodist University, where he led the Mustangs to back-to-back shutouts in the semifinals and final of the 2011 Conference USA Tournament, sending them to a berth in the NCAA Men's College Cup tournament.

Miramontes returns for his third season with West Texas and is sixth in Sockers history in minutes played at 1,600.

Tarango appeared in 15 of the team's 16 games last season. He plays collegiately at McMurry University.

Musambi, a native of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, joins West Texas after playing his sophomore season at Spring Arbor University in Michigan.

Duvcevski, a native of Australia, comes to the Sockers after playing at St. Peter's College in Jersey City, NJ.

Freeland was a 2008 Junior College All-American at Richland College in Dallas, leading them to a national championship. He was the 2011 Lone Star Conference Preseason Player of the Year at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, TX and was named a three-time All-District player in high school at Permian High.

Red Bulls Release Hot, Kassel

Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls announced Friday they have waived defender Sacir Hot and midfielder Matt Kassel.

Hot, signed January 31, 2011 as a Home Grown Player out of Boston College, made his debut June 20 in a Lamar Hunt US Open Cup game against former USL PRO franchise FC New York, but never saw any regular season action in 2011.

Kassel, a graduate of Red Bull Academy, signed January 25, 2011, played in two regular season games last season for a total of 87 minutes, and appeared in two LHUSOC games. He spent three seasons at the University of Maryland, leading the Terrapins to an NCAA College Cup championship in his junior season.

Impact Ends MLS Preseason Stint In California With Draw, Win Friday

The expansion Montreal Impact ended their first Major League Soccer preseason stint in California Friday with a scoreless draw against the UCLA Bruins and a 3-1 victory over the USL Premier Development League's Ventura County Fusion, with both games played at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

W-League's Impact Retain Coaching Staff, Make Player Moves

The Fredericksburg Impact, playing their second season in the USL W-League, announced Friday the coaching staff of head coach Jen Woodie and assistant cach Pete Cinalli will be retained.

Cinalli also serves as general manager of the Fredericksburg Area Soccer Association, who owns the Impact and their sister team, Fredericksburg Hotspur, in the USL Premier Development League.

The team has also recently signed Nikki Pond, who will play her freshman season at Michigan State University this fall, and Ashley Herndon, who played her first season at Winthrop University, to 2012 contracts, as well as signing former or current University of Richmond players Carter Blair, Anne Rieser, Nicole Marks and Kristen Lybert.

Woodie was a former player and assistant coach at Richmond.

W-League's Blues Get Hubka Back, Add MD Teammate Hastings

The Pali Blues of the USL W-League announced the re-signing of Maryland midfielder/forward Danielle Hubka and the addition of fellow Terrapin forward Lydia Hastings for the 2012 season.

Both ladies led the Terrapins to the third round of the 2011 NCAA Women's College Cup tournament and have played together on the US U-18 and U-20 Women's National Teams.

Hubka had five goals and three assists last season with the Blues.

Hastings, who led Maryland in scoring her freshman season, has started 79 of 81 games at the school.

Kings Beat Vitesse Dallas In USOASC Semifinal, Will Face Sockers Again For Championship March 3

Allen Eller had two goals and three assists and Kwame Sarkodie added a hat trick as the Professional Arena Soccer League's Cincinnati Kings defeated Vitresse Dallas of the Premier Arena Soccer League 10-5 at Game Time Training Center to advance once again to the final of the 2011-12 US Open Arena Soccer Championship, where they will have a rematch after the defending two-time champion San Diego Sockers, also of the Professional Arena Soccer League, March 3 at Del Mar Arena in Del Mar, CA.

Adan Ramirez led Dallas with two goals and an assist.

The Kings will close out PASL regular season play next Saturday at Cincinnati Gardens against the Eastern Division-leading Detroit Waza.

Strikers Re-Signs Thompson As Player, Add Assistant Coach Duties; Shriver Traded, Two Others Reassigned

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the North American Soccer League announced several player moves Friday.

First, the team re-signed forward Abe Thompson and added to him the position of assistant coach, replacing Jim Rooney, who accepted a similar role with the US U-17 Men's National Team.

Thompson, who last was a player/assistant coach with the New Orleans Riverboat Gamblers, is the first such combination with the Strikers since Zinho in 2007, who had five goals and five assists that season.

Thompson is third on the team's all-time list in goals scored with 13 and will become the all-time leader in that category with six goals in 2012.

Second, the Strikers traded forward Brian Shriver to the defending regular season champion Carolina RailHawks in return for cash and future considerations. Shriver requested the trade so he may pursue non-soccer-related opportunities with the University of North Carolina, his alma mater,

Finally, David Santamaria and Cristian Quinones will not return to Fort Lauderdale after being reassigned by the team's owner, Traffic Sports USA.

Galaxy Announce Departure Of Payne, Name McGowan His Replacement

The defending Major League Soccer champion Los Angeles Galaxy announced Friday the departure of Tom Payne, longtime president of business operations, and the naming of new chief operating officer Chris McGowan as his replacement.

McGowan held a similar post with the National Hockey League's Los Angeles Kings, which, like the Galaxy, are owned by Anschutz Entertainment Group.

Impact Selects Johnson, Then Trades Him To Sounders For Neagle, Fucito

The expansion Montreal Impact acquired the rights to former US Men's National Team forward Eddie Johnson through Major League Soccer's allocation draft during a Friday teleconference at league headquarters in New York City, then, an hour later, traded his rights to the Seattle Sounders for Lamar Neagle and Mike Fucito, both of whom who led the Sounders to the 2011 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup championship for a third time, defeating the Chicago Fire 2-0 October 4 and led Seattle to a second-place regular season finish in the league's Western Conference, behind the eventual champion Los Angeles Galaxy.

Johnson played six seasons in MLS, scoring 41 goals in a combined 127 appearances between FC Dallas and Sporting Kansas City, then spent the last four years playing with Fulham in the English Premier League, Cardiff City in Wales and Greece's Aris FC.

Neagle had five goals and two assists in 23 league appearances for Seattle last season, starting in nine.

Fucito had six goals and three assists in 28 appearances over all competitions in the last two seasons, 17 of those as a starter, including two goals and two assists in 19 MLS regular season games, 13 of which he started. He also played in three MLS Cup playoff games in 2011.

Friday, February 17, 2012

WPSL Elite Division Adds Two More Teams

The Women's Premier Soccer League announced two more additions to their planned WPSL Elite League, which will fill the top level women's soccer league void left by Women's Professional Soccer's decision to suspend the 2012 season and return in 2013.

The league added the New England Mutiny and the Philadelphia Fever Thursday and Friday, respectively, to join WPS members Boston Breakers and Western New York Flash and former WPS franchise Chicago Red Stars, along with FC Indiana, formerly of the USL W-League, the ASA Chesapeake Charge and Boston's Aztec MA.

USL PDL's Palmetto FC Bantams Sign First Five Players

Palmetto FC Bantams, an expansion team in the USL Premier Development League in 2012, announced the signings Friday of five players from their home state of South Carolina -- current University of South Carolina Gamecocks sophomores goalkeeper Robert Beebe, midfielders Ryan Freiberger and Brandon Troyer, and senior defenders Mike Mangotic and Eric Martinez.

Beebe, Friberger and Troyer were all teammates at South Carolina United FC Academy and Beebe, Troyer and Martinez were name 2011 ESPN High School All-Americans.

Beebe was also South Carolina's 2011 Gatorade Player of the Year.

Friberger was a three-time All-State selection.

Troyer started all 19 games for the Gamecocks last season and was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team and was CollegeSoccerNews.com's Freshman of the Year for 2011.

Mangotic has started every game for the Gamecocks in his career, either at defender or forward.

Martinez started every Gamecocks game in 2011 and is a former member of the US U-18 National Team.

Santa Clarita Bule Heat Promote AC Martinez To Head Coach

The defending USL W-League Western Conference champion Santa Clarita Blue Heat Friday promoted assiatant coach Charles Martinez to head coach for the 2012 season after 2011 league Coach of the Year candidate Fabian Sandoval announced his resignation to pursue other interests.

Martinez has spent 20 years directing top boys and girls soccer team to club and high school level championships and played in his native Ecuador for their U-17 national team, at Universidad de Cuenza and at Deportivo Cuenza in their first division.

Cristman Carries Galaxy To Win Over Chivas At THDC

Adam Cristman assisted on a Pat Noonan goal in the 21st minute, then scored unassisted ten minutes later as the defending Major League Soccer champion Los Angeles Galaxy edged Chivas USA 3-2 Thursday in preseason play at The Home Depot Center.

Dan Roat put the Sounders up 3-0 off a pass by Rafael Garcia in the 40th minute.

Michael Lahoud (53rd minute) and Cesar Romero (77th minute) rallied Chivas from behind in the second half, but it wasn't enough.

Rapids Obtain Argentine Midfielder Rivero On Loan For 2012 Season

Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids announced Thursday they have acquired Argetinian midfielder Martin Rivero on loan for Rosario Central, currenly in his country's second division, and has started in the first half of their current season.

He scored four goals in 30 appearances, 16 he started in 2011.

Rivero debuted with the team's youth program in 2008.

Sounders Shut Out US U-17 MNT In Bradenton, FL

Sammy Ochoa assisted on a David Estrada goal in the 24th minute, then scored one unassisted eight minutes later to lead Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders to a 3-0 shutout over the US U-17 Men's National Team in preseason play Thursday at IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL.

Zach Scott added a goal two minutes after Ochoa scored during the 70-minute match.

Seattle ends their preseason stint Sunday when they host Florida Gulf Coast University.

USL PDL Announces 2012 Alignment, Regular Season Schedule

United Soccer Leagues Thursday announced a record 73 teams, including 13 expansion franchises, will play in the 2012 USL Premier Development League season, covering 584 regular season games played between April 22 and July 15.

The teams will again be placed in nine divisions over four georgraphical conferenes -- the Central, Eastern, Southwest and Western -- and each team will play a 16-game schedule (eight home, eight away).

Here is the breakdown of all the conferences and division members for the 2012 season:

CENTRAL CONFERENCE - GREAT LAKES DIVISION
Chicago Fire
Chicago Inferno (expansion)
Cincinnati Kings
Forest City London
Hamilton FC Rage
Michigan Bucks
River City Rovers
Toronto Lynx

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

EASTERN CONFERENCE - MID-ATLANTIC DIVISION
Baltimore Bohemians (expansion)
Bermuda Hogges
Brooklyn Knights
Central Jersey Spartans
Long Island Rough Riders
New York Rangers FC
Ocean City Nor'easters
Reading United AC
Westchester Flames

EASTERN CONFERENCE - NORTHEAST DIVISION
Boston Victory (expansion)
CFC Azul (expansion)
MPS Portland Phoenix
Ottawa Fury
Seacoast United Phantoms (were New Hampshire Phantoms)
Vermont Voltage
Western Mass Pioneers
Worcester Hydra (expansion)

EASTERN CONFERENCE - SOUTH ATLANTIC DIVISION
Carolina Dynamo
Fredericksburg Hotspur
Nashville Metros
Northern Virginia Royals
Plametto SC Bantams (expansion)
Real Maryland Monarchs FC
Southern West Vrginia King's Warriors (expansion)
Virginia Beach Piranhas
West Virginia Chaos

SOUTHERN CONFERENCE - MID-SOUTH DIVISION
Austin Aztex (expansion)
El Paso Patriots (were Chivas USA El Paso Patriots)
Laredo Heat
New Orleans Jesters
Texas Dutch Lions (expansion)
West Texas Sockers (were West Texas United Sockers)

SOUTHERN CONFERENCE - SOUTHEAST DIVISION
FC Jax Detroyers
Fort Lauderdale Schulz Academy
IMG Bradenton Academics
Mississippi Brilla
Ocala Stampede (expansion)
Orlando City U-23s (were Central FL Kraze)
Panama City Beach Pirates (expansion)
VSI Tampa Flames (expansion)

WESTERN CONFERENCE - NORTHWEST DIVISION
Fraser Valley Mariners FC (were Abbotsford Mariners)
Kitsap Pumas (defending champion)
North Sound Seawolves
Portland Timbers U-23
Sounders U-23 (weee Tacoma Tide)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23
Victoria Highanders
Washington Crossfire

WESTERN CONFERENCE - SOUTHWEST DIVISION
BYU Cougars
FC Tucson (expansion)
Fresno Fuego
LA Misionairos FC (were the Los Angeles Legends)
Ogden Outlaws
Orange County Blus Star
Pali Blues
Southern California Seahorses
Ventura County Fusion

The league will announce the playoff format for the 2012 season at a later date.

To view the complete 2012 USL PDL schedule, visit http://pdl.uslsoccer.schedules/.

Porter Names 23-Man Training Camp Roster For US U-23 MNT Match Versus Mexico

Head coach Caleb Porter of the US U-23 Men's National Team announced Thursday he has invited 23 players, 15 of whom play in Major League Soccer, to a 10-day training camp beginning Sunday at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, TX, prior to a February 29 showdown there against Mexico.

The game, to air at 10 p.m. Eastern time on Univision, will be the team's last friendly game before taking on all competitors in the opening of the 2012 CONCACAF Men's Olympic Qualifying Tournament, which this country hosts.

If the US team advances to the championship game of the tournament, win or lose, they will earn a spot in the field at the 2012 London Olympics this summer.

Here is the roster of players, listed alphabetically by position and with current team:

GOALKEEPERS
Bill Hamid - DC United
Sean Johnson - Chicago Fire

DEFENDERS
Greg Garza - Club Tijuana
Perry Kitchen - DC United
Alfedo Morales - Hertha Berlin
Ike Opara - San Jose Earthquakes
Kirk Sarkodie - Houston Dynamo
Zarek Valentin - Montreal Impact
Jorge Villafana - Chivas USA

MIDFIELDERS
Joe Corona - Club Tijuana
Mikkel Diskerud - Gent
Dilly Duka - Columbus Crew
Jared Jeffrey - Mainz
Amobi Okugu - Philadelphia Union
Michael Stephens - Los Angeles Galaxy

FORWARDS
Freddy Adu - Philadelphia Union
Juan Agudelo - New York Red Bulls
Terrance Boyd - Dortmund
Teal Bunbury - Sporting Kansas City
Joe Gyua - Hoffenheim
Jack McInerney - Philadelphia Union
Brek Shea - FC Dallas
Tony Taylor - Estoril Praia

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Johnson Returning To MLS After Four Years Overseas

Major League Soccer signed former US Men's National Team forward Eddie Johnson to a multi-year contract Thursday and will determine which team's roster he'll join Friday via the league's allocation process.

Johnson played eight seasons in MLS -- six with FC Dallas, two with Sporting Kansas City -- and scored 41 goals in 127 appearances, but has played the last four seasons overseas.

In 42 USMNT games, Johnson scored 12 goals.

Elenio Rejoins RailHawks For 2012 Season

The defending North American Soccer League regular season champion Carolina RailHawks announced Thursday midfielder Cory Elenio became the sixth member of last year's team to re-sign.

Elenio, the 20th overall pick of the Columbus Crew in the 2008 Major League Soccer Supplemental Draft, has played in 36 games the last two seasons for Carolina.

He was a two-time Missouri Valley Conference First Team selection in 2006 and 2007 at the University of Evansville, where he had 18 goals and 19 assists over four seasons and remains their 18th all-time leading scorer with 55 points.

Timbers Sign Cameroon's Songo'o

Major League Soccer's Portland Timbers announced the signing of Cameroon midfielder Franck Songo'o, who has assisted on four goals this preseason as a non-roster player.

Songo'o, who began his career in France with their U-17 and U-19 national teams, played professionally for Albacete Balompie S.A.D. and Real Zaragoza in Spain and at Portsmouth FC in the English Premier League.

He also played for his country in a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying game against Cape Verde in 2008 and on their 2008 Olympic team.

Whitecaps Agree To Future Designated Player Signing

Major League Soccer's Vancouver Whitecaps announced Thursday Scotland midfielder Barry Robson will join the team in July on a free transfer from Middlesbrough of the English Championship and will become their second Designated Player.

At Vancouver, he will reunite with current assistant coach Paul Ritchie, who played with him for three seasons (2004-06) at Dundee United in the Scottish Premier League.

Robson also played for Celtic in the UEFA Champions League, leading them to the 2008 Scottish Premier League championship and the 2009 Scottish League Cup title.

He also has represented 16 times on their national team.

Ching Returned To Dynamo In Trade With Impact

Major League Soccer's Montreal Impact, debuting this season, announced Thursday they have traded disgruntled forward Brian Ching back to the Houston Dynamo in return for a conditional first-round pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft.

Ching was originally left unprotected by Houston during the 2012 MLS Expansion Draft and threatened to retire if the Impact selected him, which they did and he subsequently followed through with his plan. He later changed his mind and had been getting along well with Impact teammates.

Monday, however, Ching asked for -- and was granted -- a leave of absence for "personal reasons", but those reasons were he wanted to travel to Houston to personally renegotiate his return.

Ching will take a pay cut to play for the defending Eastern Conference champions, but, according to the Houston Chronicle Thursday, has been guaranteed a front office job when he truly retires, possibly as early as 2013.