Saturday, March 31, 2012

Three Cheers For Henry In Red Bulls Win

Reigning Major League Soccer AT&T Player of the Week winner Thierry Henry of the New York Red Bulls may have some nominations for the Week 4 award next week -- and possibly a bid for Goal of the Week -- after scoring his first hat trick for the team in a 5-2 victory Saturday over the expansion Montreal Impact at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.

Henry scored off assists by Rafael Marquez in the 28th minute and Dax McCarty in the 56th minute, then had an unassisted play in the 89th minute. He also teamed with Jan Gunnar Solli on Mehdi Ballouchy's goal in the 72nd minute.

Kenny Cooper added an unassisted Red Bulls goal in the 48th minute.

Montreal's Sanna Nyassi gave the Impact the opening lead in the 18th minute on a solo effort and Felipe Martins assisted Justin Mapp on his goal that put Montreal up 2-1 in the 38th minute, their last lead of the game.

The Red Bulls, at 2-2-0 with six points, are currently in a three-way tie for second place in the Eastern Conference standings with the Columbus Crew, who they face on the road next Saturday, and the defending conference regular season champion Houston Dynamo, both of whom are 2-1-0.

Montreal, 0-3-1 with a point, is tied for eighth place in the same conference with the Philadelphia Union, who played the Vancouver Whitecaps to a scoreless draw earlier in the day. The Impact play twice next week -- Wednesday at Real Salt Lake, next Saturday at home against Toronto FC.

Defending USL PDL Champions Re-sign Six, Adds Four More

The defending USL Premier Development League champion Kitsap Pumas announced the re-signing of six players and the addition of four players Friday.

Returning to the fold for 2012 are player/assistant coach Dustin Brim, goalkeeper Zac Lubin, defenders Taylor Hyde and Steve Mohn, midfielder Matt Friesen and midfielder/defender Kyle Johnson.

Brim started for the Pumas for their first two seasons before undergoing successful back surgeries. He served as an assistant coach last seaosn.

Lubin started two games in 2011, including a first round Lamar Hunt US Open Cup match against the PDL's Chivas El Paso Patriots, where he held them scoreless and saved two shots in a penalty kick shootout.

Hyde and Mohn were part of a defensive unit that had 12 shutouts last season.

Friesen had eight goals and three assists last season and Johnson posted a goal and an assist.

The newcomers to the Pumas are goalkeeper Liviu Bird, forward Christopher Bettencourt, defender Pierre Rappolt and midfielder Daniel Macleod.

Bird played collegiately at Highline Community College, then transferred to Seattle Pacific. He was part of the Pumas' inaugural roster but played on their reserve team last season.

Bettencourt graduated from Sacramento State, where he was named last season to the All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation's First Team after leading the Hornets with seven goals and assisting on four others. In his junior season, he set a school record in points with 27 and was named the federation's tournament Most Valuable Player and took the team to the second round of the NCAA College Cup tournament.

Rappolt graduated from Skyline Community College and played for the amateur team DV8 in the Peninsula Soccer League.

Macleod, a native of Scotland, played on his country's U-19 team and played two seasons in the Scottish Football League's Third Division for Elgin City.

Crew Keeps TFC Winless

Bernardo Anor had an unassisted 58th minute goal as the visiting Columbus Crew shut out Toronto FC 1-0 Saturday in Major League Soccer play at BMO Field.

The win was the Crew's second straight since losing their season opener, but Toronto FC remains winless and they lost their second straight home game.

The game also kicked off the 2012 Trillium Cup series between the two, to which TFC is the defending champion, despite the fact Columbus has a 5-0-2 record in series games played in Toronto.

The second game of the series will be played August 11 at Crew Stadium.

Columbus is now 2-1-0 with six points and is temporarily tied for second place in the Eastern Conference standings with the defending conference champion Houston Dynamo (2-1-0). The Crew hosts the New York Red Bulls next Saturday.

Toronto is 0-3-0 and shares a similar last place record with the Philadelphia Union in the conference's table. Toronto heads to Mexico Wednesday to meet Santos Laguna in the second leg of the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League semifinals with the aggregate goal series tied 1-1, then returns to league play next Saturday at the Montreal Impact.

One Day, He's Your Midfielder; The Next Day...

Simon Elliott, who started 21 of 24 games last season in Major League Soccer with Chivas USA, was reintroduced to the franchise as their new technical director and head scout Friday, working closely with head coach Robin Fraser.

He also has played 69 games for New Zealand's men's national team.

Blues Keep Abedzadeh On Roster

The Los Angeles Blues of USL PRO announced Friday they have re-signed goalkeeper Amir Abedzadeh, the 19-year-old son of legendary Iranian goalkeeper Ahmed Reza Abedzadeh, for the 2012 season.

Abedzadeh joined the Blues last season after four years in England, including a stint with the youth training program at English Premier League's Tottenham Hotspur, and served as the backup to Blues starting netminder Oscar Dautt.

Trialists Tally Goals For Rhinos In Shutout Of Colgate

Trialists Kendall McFayden and Gary Boughton scored goals for the host Rochester Rhinos of USL PRO in a 2-0 shutout of Colgate University in a preseason game Friday at Sahlen's Stadium.

McFayden scored in the 55th minute by helping to put in an Andrew Hoxie headers, then, two minutes later, Jimmy Lannon connected with Boughton on the insurance play.

The Rhinos return home Sunday for a preseason tilt against the University of Buffalo.

DC United Gets First Win Of Season Over FC Dallas

Maicon Santos scored two goals, both assisted by defending Golden Boot winner Dwayne De Rosario, and assisted on a Nick DeLeon goal as DC United won their first Major League Soccer game of the 2012 season 4-1 over FC Dallas Friday at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC.

DeLeon also assisted on a goal by Danny Cruz.

Dallas' lone goal came unassisted in the 41st minute by Blas Perez to tie the game at 1-1, but, in the second half, United fired off three unanswered goals.

Both United and FC Dallas are 1-2-1 with four points in their respective conferences.

DC is tied for third in the Eastern Conference standings with the Chicago Fire (1-0-1) and will host the Seattle Sounders next Saturday.

FC Dallas is tied for sixth in the Western Conference standings with the Portland Timbers (1-1-1) and host the New England Revolution this Thursday at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, TX.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Worcester Hydra Add Five More To Inaugural Roster

Expansion USL Premier Development League franchise Worcester Hydra FC announced the signings Friday of Ebrima Bagdie, Bruno Bonicontro, Michael Sokoff, Wilson Teixeira-Mineiro and Paulo Roberto Lopes De Cunha.

Bagdie, a native of Gambia, attended Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, MA before continuing his education at the University of Minnesota-Morris, where he led the team as a sophomore with 15 points on six goals and three assists and was named an All-Upper Midwest Athletic Conference selection.

Bonicontro had three goals and six assists for 12 points as a sophomore in 2011 with University of Massachusetts-Lowell. He played on four league championship teams and two district championship teams at Marlborough High School and, as a senior, was named an All-State, All-New England and league Most Valuable Player.

Sobroff redshirted the 2011 season at Rutgers due to an injury after transferring from the University of South Florida. Born in Framingham, MA, he played on Armenia's U-21 men's national team and led Framingham High School in points as a freshman and South Newton High School in points and goals in the 2006 and 2007 seasons.

Teixeira-Mineiro is a former Brazilian professional star with Botafogo and Corinthians, leading Botafogo to the country's 1995 championship.

Lopes Da Cunha previously played in the PDL for the Seacoast United Phantoms and began his playing career in Brazil with Corinthians' U-13 team in 1997.

VSI Tampa Flames Name Head Coaches For PDL, W-League Teams

The expansion VSI Tampa Flames Friday announced Joel Harrison and Joshua Walters, Sr. as head coaches of their USL Premier Development League and USL W-League franchises, respectively.

Harrison has over 20 years of college soccer coaching experience, including head coaching stops at Saint Leo University, University of Central Arkansas and Triton Junior College, and has a record of 143-69-12 in 12 seasons as a head coach.

In 2002 at Central Arkansas, he led them to their first Gulf South Conference championship in any sport and to the Final Four of the NCAA Division II Men's College Cup.

He was also a two-time conference Coach of the Year (2001, 2002) and the 2002 National Soccer Coaches Association of America South Region Coach of the Year.

At Saint Leo, he led them to their first Sunshine State Conference championship in 2005 and their first appearance in the NCAA D-2 tournament, while earning SSC and NSCAA regional coach of the year awards that season.

Walters recently was named assistant coach for the University of Central Florida's women's team after being their recruiting coordinator.

He came to UCF from Florida State University, where he spent two seasons as their director of soccer operations.

Walters was an assistant coach at the University of Houston, then at Utah State, before going to Tallahassee to join the Seminoles.

He also served 12 months as a First Lieutenant with Military Intelligence Brigade 52 of the Florida National Guard during Operating Enduring Freedom V in Bagram, Afghanistan. While there, he set up and directed a soccer clinic and set up games for Afghan youngsters, earning the NSCAA's Honorary All-American award at their 2005 convention.

During his tour of duty, he received the Bronze Star for Valor and Service, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and the Humanitarian Service Medal.

W-League Whitecaps Sign Ex-WPS Stars Johnson, French

With Women's Professional Soccer taking the 2012 season off, the Vancouver Whitecaps FC of the USL W-League announced the signings of defender Danielle Johnson and forward Mele French Friday.

Johnson last played for Melbourne Victory of the Australia's Westfield W-League in the 2011-12 season, starting all ten of her appearances.

Originally the 35th overall pick of Sky Blue FC in the 2010 WPS Draft, she started 11 of 13 overall games over her two seasons there.

She scored one goal and started 24 of 26 games with the USL W-League's Ottawa Fury between the 2008 and 2009 seasons.

Johnson played college soccer for Ole Miss and became the first player in school history to be a four-time All-Southeastern Conference and All-Region selection. She finished with the Rebels as their fourth all-time leader in career starts with 81.

French last played for the 2011 WPS champion Western New York Flash, who will play this season in the Women's Premier Soccer League's new Elite League, and also played in the W-League form as the Buffalo Flash.

In the 2010 season, she had three goals and three assists, including the game-winning assist, while starting ten of 12 games, including their W-League Championship final victory over Vancouver to become the first expansion W-League franchise to win the title.

Before the Flash, French played in Germany's women's Bundesliga in 2010 for SC Freiburg, in WPS for Sky Blue, who drafted her 60th overall in 2009, when they won the league championship, and with the Pali Blues, scoring two goals and two assist en route to their winning that season's regular season and league championship.

French had eight goals and eight assists in two combined seasons at the University of Oregon from 2002 to 2003, leading the Ducks in scoring both seasons.

FC Edmonton Adds Four More Players To 2012 Roster

FC Edmonton of the North American Soccer League announced the signings Friday of four players.

Fabien Vorbe and Adam West join after playing last season for the league runner-up Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

Vorbe previously played for Furman University and has played for Haiti's national team.

West played for many teams, including the Searrle Sounders of the United Soccer League's First Division.

Quebec native Fabrice Lassonde was last at FC Ingolstadt 04 in the German Bundesliga 2.

Kenny Caceros comes to Edmonton after playing in Ottawa for the Canadian Soccer Leagues' Capital City FC.

Visa Renewal Decision Causes Red Bulls, Rodgers To Part Ways

Due to the denial of having his visa application renewed Friday, Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls and forward Luke Rodgers agreed to part ways until the matter can be resolved

Rodgers started 20 of 23 games last season with nine goals and three assists.

MLS Issues Punishments, Fines To Moffat, Fernandez

Major League Soccer's Disciplinary Committee Friday handed down a one-game suspension and an unspecified fine to Houston Dynamo midfielder Adam Moffat for a reckless challenge in the 35th minute of last Friday's game at the Seattle Sounders that league officials felt endangered the safety of an opponent.

Also, the committee fined Sounders midfielder Alvaro Fernandez for contact embellishment in the 82nd minute of that game.

USWNT To Play China May 27 At PPL Park

The US Women's National Team announced Friday they will take on China May 27 at PPL Park in Chester, PA in a rematch of an October 2010 1-1 draw.

It will be the 13th time the USWNT has ever played in the Keystone State.

Rowdies Sign O'Brian To Two-Year Contract

The Tampa Bay Rowdies of the North American Soccer League announced Friday the signing of midfielder Dan O'Brian to a contract for the 2012 season with an option year for 2013.

O'Brian played for several professional teams in his career, including the Minnesota Thunder of the USL First Division in 2008 and 2009.

He played collegiately at Coastal Carolina, then at University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Blues Announce Partnership With smplsolutions

The Los Angeles Blues of USL PRO announced Friday they have formed a partnership with Orange County-based company smplsolutions, who specializes in providing clients with outstanding service in computer networking, telephone systems, video conferencing, voice and Internet circuit ordering and support, digital video surveillance, and voice and data cabling.

smplsolutions will also serve as the Blues' official phone provider.

Kickers Renew VistaOne Partnership

The Richmond Kickers of USL PRO announced Friday they have renewed an official partnership with local technology firm VistaOne and the company will have its logo placed on the pants of their team's kits this season.

Henry, Cannon Wins MLS Week 3 Awards

New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry and Vancouver Whitecaps goalkeeper Joe Cannon were named Friday winners of Major League Soccer's AT&T Player of the Week and the Save of the Week award for Week 3 of the 2012 season.

Henry scored two goals and an assist in last Sunday's 4-1 season-opening home win against the Colorado Rapids at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ and he earned 35 percent of the vote among those who voted, either on MLSSoccer.com or through a Mobile device.

Dominic Oduro of the Chicago Fire finished second at 27 percent, followed by Ricardo Villar of FC Dallas (16 percent). Olman Vargas of the Columbus Crew (15 percent) and Saer Sene (eight percent).

Cannon is the first two-time winner of his award this week and got 44.87 percent of the vote, followed by Zac MacMatch of the Philadelphia Union (18.87 percent), Donovan Ricketts of the Montreal Impact (17.66 percent), Dan Kennedy of Chivas USA (9.97 percent) and Kevin Hartman of FC Dallas (8.60 percent).

Eagles Sign Charlotte Native Clint Irwin

The Charlotte Eagles of USL PRO announced Thursday they have signed local product and goalkeeper Clint Irwin.

He last played for Capital City FC in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada after spending the 2011 Major League Soccer preseason for the New England Revolution and currently works with Charlotte United Football Club as a coach

Irwin began his soccer career with CUFB, leading them to back-to-back North Carolina Youth Soccer Association, and played high school soccer for Charlotte Christian, where, in 2006, he was named the state's high school soccer player of the year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and was selected to a NSCAA/adidas High School All-American team as the team finished as runnerup at a state tournament.

He then played collegiately at Elon College and was named to the All-Southern Conference team all four seasons. He had a single-season record for shutouts (ten) and a career record for career shutouts (22).

Irwin was also a finalist for the 2010 Lowe's Senior Class Award, honoring a top soccer player in four areas of excellence -- community, classroom, character and competition.

Charlotte opens their 2012 USL PRO season next Saturday against the defending league champion Orlando City Soccer Club.

Sanyang Goal Leads Battery Over RailHawks

In their final preseason game of 2012, Amadou Sanyang converted a Jose Cuevas corner kick in the 15th minute and scored the lone goal for the visiting Charleston Battery of USL PRO in a 1-0 victory over the North American Soccer League's Carolina RailHawks Thursday at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC.

The Battery open their season next Saturday at the Richmond Kickers.

FC Edmonton Announces Clarke Stadium Will Be New Home Pitch

FC Edmonton of the North American Soccer League, at an event Thursday that included the unveiling of their new kits for 2012, announced Clarke Stadium will replace Commonwealth Stadium as their home pitch for the upcoming season.

The team will, at its expense, install 3,000 new seats into the stadium, with 1,700 being chair-backed reserved seats, and new bench-level seating.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wings Re-Sign Three For 2012-13 MISL Season

The Wichita Wings of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced Thursday they have re-signed goalkeeper Sanaldo Carvalho, forward Jamar Beasley and defender Victor Quiroz for the 2012-13 season, beginning in November.

Carvalho had a .689 save percentage last season and was fifth-best in points per game at 12.08.

Beasley finished ninth in the league's scoring race with 59 points on 22 goals and 14 assists and was named by his teammates their Offensive Player of the Year.

Quiroz, who had nine goals and 16 assists for 38 points last season, was named by teammates their Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year.

Zapponi Latest To Join Stampede

The expansion Ocala Stampede of the USL Premier Development League announced the signing Thursday of Brazilian-born midfielder Gabriel Zapponi, who currently plays at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M.

In 2008, he played for his native country at Vasca da Gama and Flamengo and, in 2009 and 2010, he moved to Uniao Central Football Clube.

Sounders U-23s Open Preseason Against Bulldogs Sunday

Seattle Sounders U-23, formerly the Tacoma Tide in the USL Premier Development League, announced Thursday they will open their preseason schedule Sunday against the Gonzaga University Bulldogs at Sunset Stadium in Sumner, WA.

The Bulldogs finished the 2011 season with a 4-12-2 record.

Islanders Welcome Back Telesford, Richardson For Second Stints

The Puerto Rico Islanders of the North American Soccer League announced Thursday midfielder Osei Telesford and forward Greg Richardson are returning for second stints with the team.

Telesford, a Trinidad & Tobago native who played professionally for Joe Public, played for the Islanders in 2008 and led the team to the USL First Division championship after playing with the Carolina Dynamo in the USL Premier Development League in 2006, where he was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year.

He played collegiately for Liberty University, scoring eight goals in 65 career games, and had nine goals over 16 games for his home country's team.

Richardson, a native of Guyana, joined the Islanders after playing for the Carolina RailHawks in USL-1. In 2008, he played for Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids.

In 22 games for his country's national team, he has nine goals.

Strikers, Rowdies Announce Sponsorship Deal With FYSA

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Tampa Bay Rowdies of the North American Soccer League announced a joint partnership Thursday with the Florida Youth Soccer Association that designates both franchises as Official Youth Partner and Community Partner.

Both teams will contribute to the association's many projects and will have players attend the FYSA's state and regional championship games, as well as sponsor a Night Of Champions at a 2012 home game where all members of the Region Cup champion and runner-up teams will be recognized.

The partnership officially begins Saturday at FYSA's Lake Myrtle Complex when the Strikers and Rowdies meet in an preseason game.

Hamid Out 1-3 Weeks For United With Injuries

Major League Soccer's DC United announced Thursday goalkeeper Bill Hamid will be out one to three weeks with injuries incurred during Monday's 3-3 draw to El Salvador in Nashville, TN that ended the US U-23 National Team's chance of representing CONCACAF at the 2012 London Olympics.

Hamid suffered a Grade 1 deltoid ligament sprain and bone contusions in his talus and medial tibia.

WPSL Elite's Flash Sign Four For 2012 Season

The 2011 Women's Professional Soccer champion Western New York Flash, playing in the new Women's Premier Soccer League's Elite League for the 2012 season while WPS prepares for a 2013 seaason re-launch, announced the signing Thursday of midfielder Lori Lindsey, forward Adriana, goalkeeper Alli Lipsher and forward Stephanie Ochs.

Lindsey, a current member of the top-ranked-in-the-world US Women's National Team, played her last two seasons in WPS for the Philadelphia Independence, who advanced to losing efforts in the last two WPS Championship Games.

The former Virginia Cavalier also played in her career for the San Diego Spirit and the Washington Freedom in the Women's United Soccer Association.

Adriana played her first season in WPS with Sky Blue FC in 2011, starting 11 of 15 games and scoring three goals and three assists.

Lipsher spent the 2010 season with the WPS' Atlanta Beat, the league's worst team, starting seven games and making 44 saves, and was a two-time Player of the Week award winner. In 2009, the former Duke star played for the WPS' Boston Breakers, starting ten of 11 games and posting a 0.58 goals against average for the season with five shutouts, which put her fourth best in the league in that category.

Ochs was the third overall pick in the 2012 WPS Draft out of the University of San Diego and played for the US U-23 National Team at the Four Nations Tournament in Spain.

Tozer Names US Futsal National Team Training Camp Roster

Keith Tozer, head coach of the 2011-12 Major Indoor Soccer League champion Milwaukee Wave and current head coach of the US Futsal National Team, announced an 18-man roster Thursday for a training camp running Sunday through April 7 in Torrance, CA ahead of a CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament July 2-8 in Guatemala to compete in the 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Thailand.

The US team has won two CONCACAF Qualifying Tournaments in 1996 and 2004 and reached the Futsal World Cup in 2008 but were eliminated in group stage play.

12 of the 18 players recently completed MISL seasons and nine played in last October's Grand Prix of Futsal in Manaus, Brazil, with four of them -- Kraig Chiles, Jeff Hughes, Lucas Stauffer and Matthew Stewart -- scoring goals in that tournament.

Here is the breakdown of the USFNT roster for its training camp, listing players with hometowns and current team, if applicable:

GOALKEEPERS
Ryan Oster - Torrance, CA
Daniel Waltman - Gig Harbor, WA/Missouri Comets

DEFENDERS
Patrick Healey - Nottingham, MD/Baltimore Blast
Ljubomir Kocic - Metairie, LA/Rochester Lancers
Kevin Ten Eyck - Wichita, KS/Wichita Wings
Nelson Torres - Santa Clara, CA

MIDFIELDERS
Kraig Chiles - San Diego, CA/San Diego Sockers
Matt Clare - Brandon, FL/Norfolk SharX
Jeff Hughes - Independence, KY/Syracuse Silver Knights
Casey Macias - Irvine, CA
Angel Rivillo - Bala Cynwyd, PA/Wichita Wings
Alex Robles - Lynwood, CA
Lucas Stauffer - Faribault, MN
Matthew Stewart - Chicago, IL/Milwaukee Wave

FORWARDS
Byron Alvarez - Kansas City, MO/Missouri Comets
Machel Millwood - Laurel, MD/Baltimore Blast
Nicolas Perera - San Marcos, CA/Milwaukee Wave
Bato Radoncic - Chicago, IL/Missouri Comets

Battery Adds Three To 2012 Roster

The Charleston Battery of USL PRO announced the signings Wednesday of midfielders Tony Donatelli and Ryan Richter and defender Cody Ellison.

Donatelli played last season season for the Rochester Rhinos.

He began his professional career with the Vancouver Whitecaps in the USL First Division in 2006, leading them to a championship. After the 2008 season, he was traded to the Montreal Impact and led them to the 2009 USL-1 championship in a victory, ironically, over Vancouver.

Donatelli, who played four seasons at Temple, was signed by Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes in January 2011 but was waived before that season began.

Richter, who attended LaSalle University, was drafted fifth overall in the 2011 MLS Supplemental Draft by the Philadelphia Union but later was loaned to USL PRO's Harrisburg City Islanders.

Ellison played with Battery midfielder Jose Cuevas on the 2011 Fresno Fuego team in the USL Premier Development League.

Timbers U-23 Adds Five To 2012 Roster

The Portland Timbers U-23 of the USL Premier Development League announced the signings Wednesday of defenders J.J Greer and Eric Miller, midfielder Andrew Riberio and forwards Clark Phillips and Mark Sherrod.

Miller and Riberio played at Creighton, leadng the Bluejays to the 2011 NCAA College Cup semifinals, and Greer and Sherrod played at the University of Memphis.

Miller played in 24 games last season as a freshman and had two assists and helped the defense, which gave up only five goals, and was named to the College Soccer News All-Freshman Third Team and the Missouri Valley Conference's All-Freshman Team.

Before joining the Bluejays, Miller was called into a training camp with the US U-18 Men's National Team in February 2011.

Riberio, a junior this past season, started all 24 games and scored four goals, all of them game-winners, and has scored seven goals and two assists in 46 career games. A two-time Capital One College Sports Information Directors Association Academic All-Region VII first-team selection, Riberio was named an All-Missouri Valley Conference honorable mention selection in 2011.

Greer, a junior with the Tigers, helped the team record six shutouts, the most for them since the 2004 season, and was named to Conference USA's All-Conference second team.

In 51 games at Memphis, he has three goals and eight assists.

Sherrod scored 19 goals and had 42 points for Memphis in his redshirt sophomore season, earning C-USA Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year honors and being named a semifinalist for the 2011 Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy and a finalist for the SoccerNewsNet College Boot, given to the most outstanding collegiate player.

He also led the nation in goals per game in 2011 with 1.06 and was a National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-America third-team pick.

Phillips was a freshman at Gonzaga in 2011, leading the Bulldogs in goals (four), assists (three) and points (15) and was named the West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year and to the conference's All-Freshman team, as well as being named to their honorable mention list.

Ex-Heat Midfielder, Captain Galvan Becomes Assistant Head Coach

The Laredo Heat of the USL Premier Development League Wednesday named former defender and team captain Dany Galvan as assistant head coach, replacing Fernando Hernandez, who was elevated recently to head coach.

He also serves as a youth coach with the team's academy.

Holohan Joins FC Jax Destroyers As Assistant Coach

The FC Jax Destroyers of the USL Premier Development League announced the hiring Wednesday of assistant coach Donough Holohan, who has held numerous roles in professional soccer in the United Kingdom over the last 12 seasons, including working with Destroyers head coach Aidan Davison at Colchester United.

Rapids Women Name Balog Assistant Coach

The Colorado Rapids Women of the USL W-League announced Wednesday the hiring of Alexandre Balog as an assistant coach.

Currently in a similar position at Montana State University, Balog played professionally for teams in Belgium, Greece, England and Hungary, and previously coached at Christian Brothers College in Memphis, TN and Auburn University-Montgomery in Montgomery, AL.

Seattle Sounders Women Sign USMNT Player Cox

Add another player with US Women's National Team experience to the USL W-League's Seattle Sounders roster.

The team announced Wednesday it has signed defender Stephanie Cox, who has played in 81 USWNT games.

She began on the US U-19 national team, became captain of the US U-20 team at the 2006 World Championships and later played every game for the senior team at the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup, helped the team win the 2008 Olympic gold medal, and played on the 2011 FIFA WWC team.

Cox played her last two seasons professionally in Women's Professional Soccer with the Los Angeles Sol, where she was allocated in 2009 and played every minute of every game, and in 2010 with the Boston Breakers, where she led the team in minutes played with 2,038 and was the only player to have over 2,000 minutes on the pitch.

During her four seasons at the University of Portland, her 2005 team went undefeated and won the NCAA College Cup title.

Impact's Pizzolito Annnounces Retirement

Major League Soccer's Montreal Impact announced the retirement Wednesday of defender Nevio Pizzolito after 16 seasons, all with them, and that he has accepted a part-time job with the franchise as a technical director in Laval.

Their captain the last two seasons in the North American Soccer League (2011) and US Soccer Federation Division 2 Pro League (2010), Pizzolitto started 248 of 291 regular season games, scoring 11 goals and six goals over 33,000 minutes played.

He was a three-time Defensive Player of the Year (2005, 2008, 2009), a first team all-star in 2008 and a three-time second team all-star from 2004 to 2006.

Pizzolito is second all-time to current Impact assistant Mauro Biello in appearances, games started and minutes played and played five of his seasons with over 2,000 minutes played and ten of them with over 20 games played.

Pizzolito was part of three playoff championship teams (1995, 2004, 2009), five regular season championship teams (1995, 1996, 1997, 2005 and 2006) and the 2008 Canadian Nutrilite Championship in 2008 and played in ten CONCACAF Champions League games, including two recent quarterfinal games against Mexico's Santos Laguna.

He also played in eight games for Canada's national team, most notably at the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup and in one 2004 FIFA World Cup qualifying game.

Rapids Sign Forward Hill

Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids announced the signing Wednesday of former US Men's National Team and UCLA forward Kamani Hill after training with them for the last two weeks.

Hill started 32 of 40 games in two seasons (2004 and 2005) with the Bruins, scoring nine goals and 13 assists.

He then began his professional career in the German Bundesliga with VfL Wolfsburg, making his debut in January 2007. Hill played in nine first team and several second team games.

Hill then played in Portugal in 2009 with Vittaria SC and was loaned in 2010 to Aves in that country's second division.

He played as a substitute in two USMNT games in 2007 -- a 4-1 win over China June 2, then a 1-0 loss to Sweden August 22 -- and also played in 2005 for the US U-20 National Team.

Constanzo Signs 2-Season Stint With Riverhounds

The Pittsburgh Riverhounds of USL PRO announced the signing Wednesday of hometown star Richard Costanzo for the next two seasons.

He spent the last two seasons with the USL PRO's Rochester Rhinos, scoring four goals in 39 overall games and played in 2009 for the Minnesota Thunder, scoring one goal in 20 games, after splitting his college career between Penn State and the University of Maryland, where, in 2008, he led them to the Atlantic Coast Conference post-season title and to a spot in the NCAA Division I Men's College Cup torunament field.

Revs Sign Swedish Forward Runstrum

Major League Soccer's New England Revolution announced Wednesday Swedish forward Bjorn Runstrum has joined the team on a free transfer from Hammerby, where he scored three goals and three assists in 29 games this season and began his career with their youth program.

He also played in Italy for Bologna and Fulham with the English Premier League.

Strikers Named Jamaican Defender Blake To Team

The North American Soccer League's Fort Lauderdale Strikers announced the signing Wednesday of Jamaican defender Nickardo Blake, who was the 14th overall pick in the 2012 Major League Soccer Supplemental Draft from the University of Connecticut, but was never offered a pro contract.

MLS Joins World League Association

Major League Soccer, along with representatives from the English Premier League, France's Ligue 1, Spain's La Lima and the Dutch Eredivisie, anong others, announced the formation of the World League Association Wednesday.

MLS is a founding member of the WLA, along with the European Professional Football Leagues, South Africa's Premier Soccer League, the Thai Professional League and the United Arab Emirates League.

MLS commissioner Don Garber was also named to the WLA Board of Directors.

The new group will meet again this September in Bangkok, Thailand.

MLS Suspends, Fines Houston Clark For Verbal Barrage

After using a homophobic slur toward a ball boy that was picked up by field-level microphones in the seventh minute of the Houston Dynamo's Major League Soccer game against the host Seattle Sounders from Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field, which aired on the new NBC Sports Network, MLS suspended Dynamo midfielder Colin Clark three games and added an undisclosed fine, the league said Tuesday.

Toronto FC, Play To 1-1 Draw In CCL Semfinals

Herculez Gomez put Mexico's Santos Laguna on the scoreboard in the 30th minute Tuesday off an assist from Carlos Quintero, but Major League Soccer's Toronto FC got an equalizing shot five minutes later for a 1-1 draw in 2012 CONCACAF Champions League at BMO Field.

The two-game, aggregate goal semifinal series concludes next Wednesday in Toreon, Mexico.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Strikers Add King, Brown, Ramos To Roster

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the North American Soccer League announced the signings Tuesday of forward Darnell King, goalkeeper Lionel Brown and midfielder Hosman Ramos.

King played four seasons at Florida Atlantic University and was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's All-North Atlantic Region Team and a second team all-conference squad while at the school.

Brown played at the University of Connecticut and was invited to attend the 2012 NASL Combine held in Fort Lauderdale.

Ramos played the last two seasons for Blue Star Honduras in the Copa Latina tournament, which they won this year.

Dixon Carries Dynamo To Shutout Of SKC In MLS Reserve League Play

Alex Dixon scored a goal and assisted on two other goals as the Houston Dynamo shut out Sporting Kansas City 3-0 Tuesday in Major League Soccer Reserve League action from the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park, Kansas.

Both teams meet their next Reserve League opponents April 10 -- the Dynamo at FC Dallas, SKC hosting the Fire.

Barthelemy Leads NASL's FC Edmonton Over USL PDL's WSA Winnipeg

Sensay Barthelemy assisted on a 22nd minute goal by Alex Sements which preceded a goal two minutes earlier by Jordan Smith and then hit an unassisted goal in the 31st minute Sunday as FC Edmonton of the North American Soccer League defeated WSA Winnipeg of the USL Premier Development League 3-1 in a preseason game at Winnipeg Indoor Soccer Complex.

Moses Danto scored the lone Winnipeg goal in the 27th minute off an Ali Musse free kick to tie the game at 1-1.

Week 3 MLS Team Of The Week Announced

Major League Soccer announced Tuesday the members of the league's Team of the Week for Week 3 of the 2012 season, which is compiled each week by staffers at MLSsoccer.com and honors the outstanding players and performances of the previous week.

GOALKEEPER
Dan Kennedy - Chivas USA

DEFENDERS
Shalrie Joseph - New England Revolution
Wilman Conde - New York Red Bulls
Raushawn McKenzie - Chivas USA

MIDFIELDERS
Lee Nguyen - New England Revolution
Marco Pappa - Chicago Fire
Sam Cronin - San Jose Earthquakes
Osvaldo Alonso - Seattle Sounders

FORWARDS
Kei Kamara - Sporting Kansas City
Thierry Henry - New York Red Bulls (MLS Week 3 Player of the Week)
Chris Wondolowski - San Jose Earthquakes

MANAGER
Robin Fraser - Chivas USA

HONORABLE MENTION
Chris Albright - Philadelphia Union
Victor Bernardez - San Jose Earthquakes
Jay DeMerit - Vancouver Whitecaps
Shaun Francis - Columbus Crew
Ned Grabavoy - Real Salt Lake
Chance Myers - Sporting Kansas City
Dominic Oduro - Chicago Fire
Emilio Renteria - Columbus Crew
Donovan Ricketts - Montreal Impact
James Riley - Chivas USA
Paolo Tornaghi - Chicago Fire
Casey Townsend - Chivas USA
Ricardo Villar - FC Dallas




Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sounders Women Sign Mexican National Team, Ex-Huskies F Perez

The Seattle Sounders Women of the USL W-League announced the signing of Mexican Women's National Team forward Veronica Perez Tuesday.

Perez is a graduate of the University of Washington and will be reunited at Seattle with fellow Huskies teammates Hope Solo, Kate Deines and Lindsay Elston.

She was a two-time Second Team All-Pacific 10 Conference selection and finished her career third in shots taken (194) and games played (83), fourth in game-winning goals (eight), tied for sixth in goals (21) and eighth in points (53).

Perez was the 37th overall pick in the 2010 Women's Professional Soccer Draft.

Nor'easters Return Seven For 2012 PDL Season

The Ocean City Nor'easters of the USL Premier Development League announced the return of seven players for the 2012 season.

John McCarty was an Atlantic 10 Conference All-Rookie Team selection from LaSalle University.

Alex Weidman led the Monmouth Hawks to the second round of the NCAA Men's College Cup tournament and was Ocean City's 2011 Defensive Most Valuable Player.

Kevin Curran led Loyola to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament semifinals and was the Nor'easters 2010 Defensive MVP.

Max Hamilton was a teammate of Weidman's at Monmouth, leading them to the Northeastern Conference tournament title, and was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America North Atlantic Region Team and the NEC's Second Team and All-Tournament teams.

Glenroy "Junior" Chapman, a teammate of McCarty's at LaSalle, was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Tournament team and a Soccer Six Player of the Week in 2011.

Terry Gibbs was named the 2011 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference's Player of the Year as a senior at Bloomfield College.

Also returning to the team is Gio Tacconelli.

MISL Announces Teams Will Play 26-Game Schedules In 2012-13

The Major Indoor Soccer League Board of Governors announced Tuesday franchises in the 2012-13 season will play a 26-game schedule, up two games from the recent season, with 13 of them taking place at home.

Despite the additional games, the season will still played in the same timeframe played this season. The 2012-13 regular season will start November 2, 2012 and conclude March 3, 2013.

The league also announced 336,000 fans attended MISL regular season games last season, an increase of 140,000 from the previous season, and 31,000 fans attended all six MISL playoff games.

Hammerheads Sign Ex-UNCW Teammates Roberts, Davidson

The Wilmington Hammerheads of USL PRO announced the signings of former University of North Carolina-Wilmington teammates midfielder Daniel Roberts and defender Christian Davidson.

Roberts started 10 games for UNC-W in 2011, scoring a goal and posting a game-high five assists, earning him All-Colonial Athletic Association First Team honors.

He finished his career there with 14 goals and 18 assists in 65 games.

Roberts also played in the USL Premier Development League with the Carolina Dynamo and was selected by the Houston Dynamo in Major League Soccer's 2012 Supplemental Draft.

Davidson started 16 games in 2010 and assisted on the game-winning goal against Winthrop in the championship game of the Courtyard by Marriott Classic.

In 2009, he led the team in assists with six, including one on another game-winning goal, this time against Northeastern in the CAA Tournament championship game.

Davidson played in 66 games for UNC-W.

Rhinos Sign Chilean Midfielder Zamudio

The Rochester Rhinos of USL PRO announced the signing Tuesday of Chilean midfielder Gusravo Zamudio, who last completed his second stint with Catholica in his country's First Division.

Zamudio began his career there in 2005, playing three seasons before leaving to play the 2009 and 2010 seasons in Hong Kong for Kitchee SC.

He led Catholica to two Chilean First Division titles and the 2011 Copa Chile title.

Zamudio appeared for the Rhinos in a 1-0 preseason loss to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, playing 60 minutes.

City Islanders Sign Former Whitecap Duckett

The Harrisburg City Islanders of USL PRO announced the signing Tuesday of former Vancouver Whitecaps star Bilal Duckett, who was selected with the first pick in the third round of the 2011 Major League Soccer SuperDraft out of Notre Dame and appeared in four games.

He was named to the Big East Conference Academic All-Star team in his junior and senior seasons with the Fighting Irish.

Alexandre Goal Gives Earthquakes Shutout Win Over Timbers In MLS RL Debut For Both

Jean-Marc Alexandre scored the lone goal of the game in the 53rd minute as the host San Jose Earthquakes shut out the Portland Timbers 1-0 Tuesday in both teams' Major League Soccer Reserve League debuts of the 2012 season at Nutrilite Training Facility.

San Jose next hosts the Vancouver Whitecaps Easter Sunday April 8, while the Timbers take on the Seattle Sounders April 10 at Starfire Soccer Complex in Tukwila, WA.

Bone Throws Fire First Reserve League Win Of 2012

Corben Bone's unassisted goal in the ninth minute gave the Chicago Fire a 1-0 victory Tuesday over Real Salt Lake in both teams' Major League Soccer Reserve League 2012 season debut and the home opener for the Fire at Toyota Park.

Chicago and RSL have a mutual next opponent in the Colorado Rapids -- Chicago travels to Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO, RSL hosts them at their training facility Easter Sunday April 8.

Nominees Announced For Week 3 MLS Save Of The Week

Voting has opened for fans to select the Week 3 winner of Major League Soccer's Save of the Week contest for the 2012 season, which honors the goalkeeper who makes the most outstanding save.

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

The nominees for Week 3 are Kevin Hartman (FC Dallas), Zac MacMath (Philadelphia Union), Donovan Ricketts (Montreal Impact), Joe Cannon (Vancouver Whitecaps) and Dan Kennedy (Chivas USA).





Union, Fire, Timbers Announce Friendlies With Aston Villa

Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union, Chicago Fire and Portland Timbers announced Tuesday they will play friendly games against Aston Villa of the English Premier League July 18 at PPL Park in Chester, PA, July 21 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL and July 24 at JELD-WEN Field in Portland, OR.

CFC Azul Signs Former Revolution Player Kinne

Expansion USL Premier Development League franchise CFC Azul announced Tuesday they have signed former New England Revolution player Ryan Kinne to a contract.

Kinne was selected in the third round of the 2011 Major League Soccer SuperDraft, but played only once for the senior team. He started and played in ten games for their Reserve League team.

Before joining the Revolution, Kinne played in ten games for the then-PDL expansion Central Jersey Spartans, scoring three goals.

He played collegiately at Monmouth, where he had 91 points of 35 goals and 21 assists and led the Hawks to four straight Northeast Conference regular season titles and back-to-back conference tournament titles. Kinne was also a two-time conference Player of the Year and National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-American.

As a senior at Naugatuck High School in Connecticut, he was an NSCAA state Player of the Year and an NSCAA All-American, while also leading the state in scoring.

He finished with a school record 79 goals to go with 26 assists.

During his career there, he was a two-time All-New England and All-Connecticut selection and a three-time All-League selection and led the school to two league titles.

Fuego Teams With Amusement Company To Bring Carnival Rides To Home Games

The Fresno Fuego of the USL Premier Development League announced a partnership Monday with Wold Amusements, a 15-year-old Hanford, CA-based traveling contractor, to set up carnival games and rides at team home games this season.

The games and rides will be in addition to free activities the Fuego already planned for the childrens' Fun Zone, though there will be admission charges to enjoy the carnival activities as well as enforced height requirements for some rides.

US U-23 National Team Eliminated From CONCACAF Tournament In Draw To El Salvador

Needing a win to stay alive in the quest of claiming one of two CONCACAF berths in the 2012 London Olympics men's soccer tournament, the US U-23 National Team were mere seconds away from claiming a berth before a last second shot by Jamie Alas in second-half stoppage time allowed El Salvador to gain a 3-3 draw and eliminated the US team from Olympic contention Monday at LP Field in Nashville, TN.

The US started hot as Brek Shea connected with Terrance Boyd for the first of his two goals of the game 61 seconds into it, but El Salvador scored back-to-back strikes from Lester Blanco and Andres Flores in the 35th and 37th minute to take a 2-1 halftime lead.

Boyd would score his second goal in the 65th minute off a pass from Freddy Adu and Joe Corona headed in a goal in the 67th minute to give the US a late 3-2 lead, needing only to hold the ball for the remaining game time to clinch a spot in the tournament semifinals, to be held Saturday at Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, KS, but the Alas goal ended any rally.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Whitecaps, Sounders Open Reserve League Seasons With 1-1 Draw

The Vancouver Whitecaps and the Seattle Sounders opened their respective 2012 Major League Soccer Reserve League seasons Monday with a 1-1 draw at Thunderbird Stadium on the campus of the University of British Columbia.

Alex Caskey put Seattle on the scoreboard first in the 72nd minute off a Leo Gonzalez assist, but Vancouver leveled things in second-half stoppage time as Carlyle Mitchell convered a pass from Jeff Parke.

Vancouver next plays at the Nutrilite Training Facility in San Jose, CA against the Earthquakes April 8 and the Sounders host the Portland Timbers April 10 at Starfire Soccer Complex in Tukwila, WA.

Sounders Announces July Friendly With Chelsea

Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders announced Monday they will host a friendly against Chelsea of the English Premier League July 18 at Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field.

Red Bulls' Henry Named MLS Week 3 Player Of The Week

New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry was named Monday Major League Soccer's Player of the Week for Week 3 of the 2012 season after scoring two goals and assisting on two other goals in Sunday's 4-1 rout of the Colorado Rapids at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.

MLS Announces Week 3 Goal Of The Week Nominees

Major League Soccer Monday announced the five nominees for the AT&T Goal of the Week award for Week 3 of the 2012 season.

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

The nominees are (with codes next to them) Saer Sene of the New England Revolution (G1), Olman Vargas of the Columbus Crew (G2), Dominic Oduro of the Chicago Fire (G3), Ricardo Villar of FC Dallas (G4) and Thierry Henry of the New York Red Bulls (G5).

Covino Joins CT FC Azul

Expansion USL Premier Development League franchise Connecticut FC Azul announced Monday the signing of former Western Mass Pioneers player Steve Covino.

Covino played 14 games for the Pioneers last season, scoring one goal. He also spent time last season with now-defunct USL PRO franchise FC New York.

Covino had ten goals and ten assists in 74 games at Siena College, where, in 2010, he had a career-beat season with eight goals and four assists for 20 points, the second-most points on the team that season, and was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Performance Subaru All-North Atlantic Region Team.

Vallow Returns To Rhinos As Goalkeeper Coach

The Rochester Rhinos of USL PRO announced Monday goalkeeper Scott Vallow was returning for a third stint with the team, but, this time, as their goalkeeper coach, a position he held in 2011 with the Women's Professional Soccer champion Western New York Flash.

Vallow played for the Rhinos from 2000 to 2002, leading them to back-to-back A League championships in 2000 and 2001, then joined Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids for the 2003 and 2004 seasons, before returning for five more seasons from 2005 to 2010, leading them to the 2010 championship of the US Soccer Federation's Division 2 Pro League.

Vallow is the Rhinos' all-time leader in goalkeeper wins, saves and shutouts.

Orlando City Shuts Out UCF In Preseason Game

Jerome Mechack, Max Griffin and Adama Mbenge scored goals as defending USL PRO champion Orlando City Soccer Club shut out the University of Central Florida 3-0 Sunday in a preseason game at the UCF Soccer & Track Stadium.

Orlando City plays their final preseason game Saturday at the University of South Florida.

Rhinos Shut Out Bearcats At Home Preseason Opener

The Rochester Rhinos of USL PRO shut out the Binghampton University Bearcats 4-0 Saturday in the Rhinos' home-opening preseason game at Sahlen's Stadium.

Danny Earls assisted on goals by Tam McManus and JC Banks, Graziano Brito scored a third off a Tyler Rosenlund pass, and Conor Chinn added a late unassisted goal in the victory.

The Rhinos next host Colgate University Friday at Sahlen's Stadium.

Sporting Kansas City Drops Diop

Major League Soccer's Sporting Kansas City announced Monday they have waived forward Birahim Diop after playing in 32 regular season games since joining them in 2010 and scoring five goals.

Agudelo Undergoes Surgery For Left Knee Injury, Out Six Weeks

New York Red Bulls forward Juan Agudelo will miss the next six weeks of the 2012 season after undergoing surgery Monday to repair a torn medial meniscus in his left knee suffered when he played in the US U-23 National Team's 6-0 rout of Cuba last Thursday at the 2012 CONCACAF Men's Olympic Tournament at LP Field in Nashville, TN, the MLS franchise announced Monday.

Fredericksburg Hotspur Names Gibson Player-Assistant Coach

Fredericksburg Hotspur of the USL Premier Development League announced Monday Grover Gibson will join the team as a player-assistant coach.

Gibson retired from professional soccer after the 2009 Bundesliga 2 season in Germany with Rot-Weiss Ahlen after suffering a fractured eye socket.

He played 225 games for numerous German teams in his career, scoring a combined 18 goals.

Blues Shut Out LMU In Preseason Match

Park Cheunyong had a pair of goals and Israel Sesay and trialist Omid Shokoufandeh added goals as USL PRO's Los Angeles Blues shut out Loyola Marymount University 4-0 in a preseason game Sunday at Titan Stadium in Fullerton, CA.

The Blues will face two different teams Saturday in preseason play -- the US U-18 Men's National Team in the morning at The Hone Depot Center in Carson, CA and at Cal State Northridge that evening.

Zusi Takes League Lead In Assists As SKC Edges FC Dallas For Best Record In MLS

Graham Zusi took the Major League Soccer lead in assists with four Sunday after teaming on Aurelian Collin's 49th minute goal and working with Chance Myers of Kei Kamara's 88th minute game-winning goal as host Sporting Kansas City got past FC Dallas 2-1 at Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, KS.

Ricardo Villar put Dallas on the board in the 25th minute with an unassisted play.

SKC, the defending Eastern Conference regular season champion, now boasts the best record in MLS and in that conference at 3-0-0 with nine points. They will travel to The Home Depot Center Saturday to take on Chivas USA.

FC Dallas is 1-1-1 with four points and tied for sixth in the Western Conference with the Portland Timbers (same record). Dallas meets DC United at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC Friday.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Henry, Cooper Braces Hand Red Bulls First Win Of Season Over Rapids

Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper scored two goals apiece Sunday as the New York Red Bulls got their first win of the 2012 Major League Soccer season in a 4-1 victory over the Colorado Rapids at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.

Henry scored an unassisted goal in the third minute, then was later assisted by Wilman Conde on a 53rd minute goal.

Cooper was assisted by Henry on New York's second goal of the game in the sixth minute, then fed a pass to Ray Miller for an 89th minute point.

Colorado's only goal came off a Jaime Castrillion pass to Omar Cummings.

The Red Bulls are now 1-2-0 with three points and is tied for fourth in the Eastern Conference standings with the Columbus Crew (1-1-0) and the New England Revolution (1-2-0). New York hosts the expansion Montreal Impact this Saturday.

Colorado is now 2-1-0 with six points and is in a four-way tie for second in the Western Conference standings with the Seattle Sounders (2-0-0) and Real Salt Lake and the San Jose Earthquakes (both 2-1-0). The Rapids will host the Chicago Fire next Sunday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

Aztec MA Withdraws From WPSL Elite, But Remaining In League

The Women's Premier Soccer League announced Friday Aztec MA has decided to withdraw from its involvement in the new WPSL Elite league, meant to replace Women's Professional Soccer, while the league takes the 2012 season off to reorganize, but will remain in the WPSL's main league and its East-Northeast Division.

Aztec MA will be replaced in the eight-team Elite league by the New York Fury, to be coached by Paul Riley, who returns to the Fury after serving for two seasons in the same role with WPS' Philadelphia Independence.

The Fury joins former WPS franchises Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars and Western New York Flash, current WPSL teams ASA Chesapeake Charge, FC Indiana and the New England Mutiny, and new franchise Philadelphia Fever in the new venture.

WPSL will soon release a new schedule for WPSL Elite in the wake of the loss of Aztec MA.

Impact Upset Defending Champ Crew In MLS Reserve League Season Opener For Both

Lamar Neagle scored a 24th minute goal off an assist from Andrew Wegner and Miguel Montano added an unassisted 55th minute goal as the expansion Montreal Impact upset the defending Major League Soccer Reserve League champion Columbus Crew 2-1 Saturday at Crew Stadium in the season opener for both teams.

Aubrey Perry had the Crew's lone goal on an unassisted 89th minute strike.

The Crew next face Toronto FC at BMO Field this Saturday, while the Impact take on the New York Red Bulls next Sunday at Montclair State University.

Hammerheads Drain Battery In Preseason Game

An Andriy Budny goal off a Bryce Taylor pass and a free kick from Christian Davidson were all the visiting Wilmington Hammerheads needed to shut out the Charleston Battery 2-0 in a preseason game involving fellow USL PRO rivals Saturday at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, SC.

The Battery play their final preseason game Thursday against the defending North American Soccer League regular season champion Carolina RailHawks at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC.

Chivas Gets First Franchise Win Ever At Rio Tinto Stadium, Shuts Out RSL

Casey Townsend's goal off an Ante Jazic pass in the 72nd minute gave Chivas USA a 1-0 victory over host Real Salt Lake Saturday, marking their first win of the 2012 Major League Soccer season as well as the franchise's first victory ever at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Chivas, 1-2-0 with three points, is now tied for last place in the Western Conference standings with their Home Depot Center co-tenant and defending MLS Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy and hosts Sporting Kansas City next Saturday.

RSL is 2-1-0 with six points and in a four-way tie for second with the Seattle Sounders (2-0-0), the Colorado Rapids (2-0-0) and the San Jose Earthquakes (2-1-0), all one point behind the conference-leading Vancouver Whitecaps (2-0-1), who played DC United to a scoreless draw Saturday at BC Place. RSL travels to JELD-WEN Field next Saturday to meet the Portland Timbers.

Oduro Header Gives Fire Home Season-Opening Win Over Union

Dominic Oduro's header in the 28th minute gave the Chicago Fire a 1-0 Major League Soccer 2012 season home opening victory at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL Saturday over the winless Philadelphia Union.

The Fire improved to 1-0-1 with four points and is in third place in the Eastern Conference standings. Chicago plays at the Colorado Rapids next Sunday.

Philadelphia, 0-3-0, is tied for last place in the conference, sharing winless records with the New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC, both 0-2-0. The Union hosts the Western Conference-leading Vancouver Whitecaps (2-0-1, seven points) next Saturday at PPL Park in Chester, PA.

O Canada! US U-23s On Verge Of Elimination At CONCACAF Olympic Qualifier

Donell Henry and Lucas Cavallini scored second-half goals as Canada took a share of the lead in Group A of the 2012 CONCACAF Men's Olympic Qualifying Tournament at LP Field in Nashville by upsetting the United States 2-0, forcing our U-23 national team to either win their final group stage game Monday against El Salvador or fail to qualify for the London Olympics this summer.

With the result, Canada is now 1-0-1 and tied with El Salvador (same record), each with four points, the US is in third at 1-1-0 with three points and winless Cuba (0-2-0) has already been mathematically eliminated.

The top two teams in Group A after Monday will move on the semifinals and face the top two teams from Group B play (Mexico, Honduras, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago) in matches Saturday and Monday at Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, KS, Those winners will play for the championship title April 2, but both teams will earn berths in the London Olympics' tournament.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Strikers Rally Constantly In 7-2 Beating Of Barry University

Faced with a challenge throughout the day, Andy Herron had a hat trick, Walter Restempo added two goals and Polo Morales and Mark Anderson each scored a goal as the North American Soccer League's Fort Lauderdale Strikers defeated Barry University 7-2 Saturday in a preseason game at Fort Lauderdale Stadium.

Anderson, a graduate of Barry, played his first game against them since signing Friday with the Strikers.

The Strikers next host Bolivar U-19 Monday at Fort Lauderdale Stadium.

The Revolution Lasted Only 28 Seconds!

Saer Sene headed a Chris Tierney shot into the back of the net 28 seconds into the game as the host New England Revolution shut out the Portland Timbers 1-0 Saturday in Major League Soccer play from Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA.

It was the Revolution's sixth straight season-opening win at home and the first win in the coaching career of new head coach Jay Heaps.

The Revolution, 1-2-0 with three points, is in a tie for third in the Eastern Conference standings with the Columbus Crew (1-1-0) and will meet the defending MLS Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy next Saturday at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

Portland is now 1-1-1 with four points and is tied for sixth place in the Western Conference standings with FC Dallas (1-0-1). The Timbers host Real Salt Lake next Saturday at JELD-WEN Field.

Crew Shuts Out Impact At Crew Stadium

Milovan Mirosevic had an unassisted goal in the 30th minute and Olman Vargas completed a Shaun Francis pass in the 66th minute as the host Columbus Crew shut out the Montreal Impact 2-0 Saturday in Major League Soccer play at Crew Stadium.

Columbus is currently 1-1-0 with three points and in a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference standings with the New England Revolution (1-2-0). The Crew travels to Toronto FC next Saturday.

Montreal is 0-2-1 in its debut season with one point and is currently tied for fifth in the Eastern standings with the Chicago Fire (0-0-1). The Impact takes on the New York Red Bulls next Saturday at Harrison, NJ's Red Bull Arena.

Toronto's Frei Breaks Left Fibula, Out 8-10 Weeks

After a further medical review, Toronto FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei broke his left fibula while attempting to kick the ball during a Friday practice and will miss the next eight to ten weeks for the Major League Soccer franchise.

At the time of the injury, he was attended to by team medical staff, the leg was placed in an air cast, and he was helped off the field with the use of crutches, then transported to a local hospital for examination.

He will undergo an MRI next week to determine the severity of the injury and the need for surgery.

Dynamo Star Clark Facing Possible Disciplinary Action Over Slur To Ball Boy

Major League Soccer may soon levy disciplinary action against Houston Dynamo player Colin Clark after he was heard uttering a homophobic slur to a ball boy in the seventh minute of Friday's night game against the host Seattle Sounders, a 2-0 loss that was nationally televised by NBC Sports Network.

Microphones on the field picked up the use of the slur after Clark felt the ball boy took too long responding to his request for a new ball for a throw-in. He would pick the ball up on his own, make the offensive comment to the boy, then threw the new ball in himself.

The team was made aware of the issue and stands behind their concern that Clark did apologize to them for the indiscretion.

Clark also posted an apology on his Twitter at 3 a.m. Eastern time Saturday, saying, in part, "It's not who I am and it won't happen again."

Wondolowski Brace Gives Earthquakes Shutout Over TFC

Chris Wondolowski, who tied for Major League Soccer's Golden Boot last season with winner Dwayne De Rosario, scored a pair of goals and Shea Salinas added another as the San Jose Earthquakes shut out Toronto FC 3-0 Saturday in a matinee game at BMO Field Saturday.

Wondolowski now lead the teams in goals with three and has scored six career goals against Toronto.

San Jose, 2-1-0 with six points, is in a temporary five-way tie for the lead in the Western Conference standings with Real Salt Lake, the Seattle Sounders, Colorado Rapids and the Vancouver Whitecaps, all 2-0-0. The Earthquakes travel to the Sounders next Saturday.

Toronto is winless in its first two games and are tied with the Philadelphia Union, New York Red Bulls and DCU United in the Eastern Conference standings.

Toronto hosts Mexico's Santos Laguna Wednesday in the first leg of the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League semifinals, then returns to league play next Saturday when they host the Columbus Crew.

Agudelo Done With US U-23 Team After Tearing Left Knee Meniscus

New York Red Bulls and US U-23 National Team forward Juan Agudelo suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee during Thursday's 6-0 rout of Cuba in the first game of Group A play at the 2012 CONCACAF Men's Olympic Qualifying Tournament at LP Field in Nashville and was pulled from the roster for Saturday's second group phase game against Canada.

Agudelo has returned to New York to meet with Red Bulls medical staff to discuss treatment options.

Roster rules of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament forbid a team to replace an injured player with someone new.

Blues Sign Ex-UC-Irvine Forward Garcia

The Los Angeles Blues of USL PRO Friday welcomed forward Irving Garcia to their roster for the 2012 season.

Garcia began his soccer career at Yavapai College in 2008, then transferred to UC-Irvine the next season, scoring seven goals and nine assists over his next two seasons, leading them to back-to-back Big West Conference Tournament titles.

He also played in the USL Premier Development League for the Orange County Blue Star, the New York Red Bulls in Major League Soccer, and Antigua GFC in Guatemala.

DC United's Rozeboom To Have Surgery April 5 On Torn ACL In Left Knee

Major League Soccer's DC United announced Friday midfielder Lance Rozeboom, the 26th overall pick in the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft out of the University of New Mexico, will have surgery April 5 on a tore anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, which he suffered in practice Friday.

He was an unused substitute in this past Sunday's 3-1 loss to the defending MLS Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy.

Rozeboom was signed to a contract March 7 after preseason stints in Bradenton, FL, Tucson, AZ and in DC.

At New Mexico, he had six goals and five assists in 78 games, starting 68, including a run of 66 consecutive games from the start of his sophomore season to the end of his senior season.

In 2011, where the Lobos went 18-0-4, he started all 22 games and had three goals and two assists.

Strikers Sign Nova Southeastern Star Forward Hassan

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the North American Soccer League announced the signing Friday of Nova Southeastern University alumnus and forward Aly Hassan, who scored 36 goals in four seasons there, the fifth-best total in school history.

He was named a unanimous All-Region selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and Daktronics and a unanimous All-Sunshine State Conference First Team winner.

In 2007, after scoring 24 goals and eight assists for Cypress Bay High School, Hassan was named the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel's Broward County Player of the Year.

Toronto's Frei Injures Left Leg At Practice, Out For Saturday, At Least

Major League Soccer's Toronto FC announced Friday goalkeeper Stefan Frei suffered a left leg injury during practice Friday and will miss, at least, Saturday's home opener at BMO Field against the San Jose Earthquakes.

It's the second most recent blow to the team's roster, following news last weekend that team captain and defender Stefan Frei suffered a hamstring injury and is out now four to six weeks.

Estrada, Davis Lead Sounders To Shutout Of Dynamo

Reigning Major League Soccer Player of the Week winner David Estrada scored his fourth goal in the last two games in the 23rd minute and Brad Davis posted a 27th minute penalty kick as the host Seattle Sounders shut out the defending Eastern Conference champion Houston Dynamo 2-0 Friday at Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field.

Seattle (2-0-0, six points) is a four-way tie for first place in the Western Conference with Real Salt Lake, the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Colorado Rapids, who all share a similar record.

The Sounders next host the San Jose Earthquakes next Saturday.

Houston, who won their first two games of the season in 1-0 shutouts, is now 2-1-0 with six points on their seven-game road trip before opening their new home pitch, BBVA Compass Stadium, May 12 against DC United and is tied for first place in the Eastern standings with defending regular season conference champion Sporting Kansas City (2-0-0, six points).

The Dynamo are off until April 15 when they face the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Whitecaps' Cannon Wins MLS Week 2 Save Of The Week Award

By a nearly 7-to-1 voting margin, Vancouver Whitecaps goalkeeper Joe Cannon's stop of a shot by Chivas USA Casey Townsend in last Saturday's 1-0 victory at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA was named Friday the Major League Soccer Save of the Week winner for Week 2 of the 2012 season.

Cannon's save earned 67.36 percent of the combined online and text votes, easily trouncing Tally Hall of the Houston Dynamo, who got 10.08 percent.

The other nominees this week -- FC Dallas' Kevin Hartman (8.15), Matt Reis of the New England Revolution (7.57) and Joe Willis of DC United (6.9) -- could not reach double-digits percentages.

Rowdies Sign Goalkeeper Fontein, Defender Washington To One-Year Deals With Club Options

The Tampa Bay Rowdies of the North American Soccer League announced the signings Friday of goalkeeper Andrew Fontein and defender Draymond Washington to guaranteed contracts for the 2012 season with a club option for 2013.

Fontein became the all-time leader in wins (50), shutouts (29), goals against average (0.88) and win percentage (.747) at UC-Irvine, where he was a three-time All-Big West Conference First or Second Team selection and was the conference's 2011 Goalkeeper of the Year.

Washington played 15 times last season in the USL Premier Development League for the Real Maryland Monarchs and appeared in 68 games over four seasons at George Mason University.

Battery Signs Rookie Goalkeepers In Kann, Klasila

The Charleston Battery of USL PRO announced the signings Friday of rookie goalkeepers Alec Kann, who played at Santa Clara University, and Kevin Klasila, who played for Furman University.

Both players performed well in the team's preseason schedule, earning contracts.

Breakers Name Lilly Assistant Coach

Kristine Lilly, the most capped member of the US Women's National Team in their history, will join the Boston Breakers of the Women's Premier Soccer League's WPSL Elite as their assistant coach, the team announced Friday.

Lilly served on the pitch as the Breakers' captain during the 2009 and 2010 seasons in Women's Professional Soccer, which suspended operations for the 2012 season. She started 42 of 43 games during that time, scoring six goals and six assists.

She also played for the Breakers in the Women's United Soccer Association from 2001 to 2003, being named a First Team All-League player each season.

In her debut season of 2001, she had three goals and a league-best 11 assists, then followed that in 2002 with a career-best eight goals and 13 assists after starting all 19 games.

In the league's final season in 2003, she again started all 19 games, had three goals and four assists and led them to the first-ever playoff appearance.

Red Stars Sign Fowlkes, Mautz; Bring Back Wenino

The Chicago Red Stars of the Women's Premier Soccer League's WPSL Elite announced the signings of defender/midfielder Lauren Fowlkes and forward Alyssa Mautz and the return of defender Michelle Wenino.

Fowlkes was the fifth overall pick of the Philadelphia Independence in the 2011 Women's Professional Soccer Draft and was co-captain at Notre Dame, leading them to the 2010 NCAA Women's College Cup championship. She also played for the US U-20 and U-21 Women's National Teams.

Mautz was drafted by Sky Blue FC in the 2011 WPS Draft and played for the US U-20 and U-23 Women's National Teams. She played her freshman collegiate season at St. Louis before transferring to Texas A&M, where she earned All-Big 12 Conference honors.

Wenino was originally drafted by the Red Stars in the 2010 WPS Draft, then played the 2011 season for Sky Blue.

Johnson Edges MLS POTW To Get Week GOTW Honors

Ryan Johnson's 62nd minute goal for Toronto FC in a 3-1 loss to the Seattle Sounders, in which Major League Soccer's Week 2 Player of the Week David Estrada had a hat trick, received 37 percent of all votes cast and was named the league's Week 2 Goal of the Week.

Estrada finished second with 22 percent, followed by Davy Arnaud of the Montreal Impact (16 percent), Robbie Keane of the Los Angeles Galaxy (14 percent) and Nick DeLeon of DC United (11 percent) on this week's ballot.

Here's a recap of this week's Goal of the Week nominees:

Crew Signs Schoenfeld After Trade With Impact

The Columbus Crew signed forward Aaron Schoenfeld Friday after trading a conditional 2013 Major League Soccer Supplemental Draft pick to the Montreal Impact to gain his rights.

Schoenfeld, the 20th overall pick in the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft out of East Tennessee State University, scored 20 goals and 10 assists in 72 career games for the school.

Sounders Buy Out Contract Of Midfielder White

Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders announced Thursday they bought out the contract of midfielder O'Brian White, who has been undergoing rehab following blood clot surgery in April 2011.

He joined the Sounders after being traded from the Vancouver Whitecaps in November 2010 and played his first two MLS seasons with Toronto FC after being the 2008 Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy winner and Soccer America's Player of the Year while at the University of Connecticut.

Rapids Release Unused Emory

Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids announced the release Thursday of midfielder Steven Emory, who was signed by the team before the 2011 season but never played a senior team regular season game.

His only appearance for the Rapids was against MLS' Chicago Fire March 30, 2011 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL in a Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament game.

Emory made nine appearances last season for Colorado's MLS Reserve League team and played in both of their 2012 games before his release.

Fourth USWNT Member Joins W-League's Sounders In Midfielder Rapinoe

The Seattle Sounders of the USL W-League welcomed the fourth member of the current US Women's National Team roster to the franchise Thursday in midfielder Megan Rapinoe, joining goalkeeper Hope Solo and forwards Sydney Leroux and Alex Morgan.

The four were named Wednesday to a 23-player roster that will compete in the inaugural three-team Women's Kirin Challenge Cup tournament in Japan against the host country April 1 and Brazil April 3.

Rapinoe has scored 12 goals in 47 career games with the team, including a goal and three assists at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany.

She played collegiately at the University of Portland, where she had 30 goals and 28 assists for 88 points over 60 career goals, a point total good for tenth best in Pilots history.

While at Portland, she was the second overall pick in the 2009 Women's Professional Soccer Draft by the Chicago Red Stars and was named to the league's First Team All-Star Team. Rapinoe split the 2011 season playing with the Philadelphia Independence and magicJack FC, coached by USWNT teammate Abby Wambach.

WPS recently announced it would not operate a 2012 season, but will return in 2013.

She last played in Australia's Westfield W-League as a guest player for two playof games with Sydney FC, who she led to their league championship with a goal with eight minutes left in their championship final.

Galaxy Loses Perk For Four To Six Weeks After Hernia Surgery

Major League Soccer's defending champion Los Angeles Galaxy announced Thursday goalkeeper Brian Perk, who underwent hernia surgery Wednesday, will be out of action for the next four to six weeks.

Perk has not played in either the team's first two MLS regular seasons or the Galaxy's two games in the quarterfinals of the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League against Toronto FC and played sparingly in the preseason with the injury.

US Men's Olympic Team Opens CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament With Rout Of Cuba

Joe Corona had his first career hat trick and Freddy Adu and Juan Agudelo added goals as the US U-23 Men's National Team, attempting to earn one of two spots representing CONCACAF at this summer's Olympics in London, shut out Cuba 6-0 in the first game of Group A play Thursday at the 2012 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament at LP Field in Nashville, TN.

The US also scored off an own goal from Cuba's Diz Pe.

The US team, who now leads the group with a 1-0-0 record and three points, faces Canada in the second group stage game Saturday. Canada and El Salvador are both 0-0-1 with a point and tied for second place after playing to a scoreless draw Wednesday and Cuba is now 0-1-0 with no points.

Sundhage Brings USWNT's Algarve Cup Roster Back For Three-Team Tournament In Japan

US Women's National Team head coach Pia Sundhage Wednesday brought together again her 23-player roster from the 2012 Algarve Cup tournament in Portugal that finished third earlier this month and will see them compete at the inaugural Women's Kirin Challenge Cup in Japan next month.

The tournament, which will feature three of the top four teams in the latest FIFA Women's World Rankings, will have the US facing the host country April 1 in Sendai, followed by an April 3 game in Chiba against Brazil.

The top-ranked US team is 9-1-0 this season, with their loss coming to Japan March 5 in Portugal, denying the US a chance to defend their Algarve Cup championship won in 2011.

Here is the USWNT roster, by position, for the Women' Kirin Challenge Cup:

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
Tobin Heath
Lori Lindsey
Carli Lloyd
Heather O'Reilly
Megan Rapinoe
Amy Rodriguez

FORWARDS
Lauren Cheney
Sydney Leroux
Alex Morgan
Abby Wambach

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Strikers Sign Former Barry University Midfielder Anderson

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the North American Soccer League announced the signing Thursday of former Barry University midfielder Mark Anderson, who was named the 2011 Daktronics NCAA Division II National Soccer Player of the Year and the Capital One Academic All-American Player of the Year.

The native of Durham, England played from age 10 to 16 in the youth program of English Premier League team Sunderland and played for Great Britain at the 2011 World University Games in Shenzhen, China, starting every game and scoring two goals.

The Strikers will play Barry Saturday in a preseason game at Fort Lauderdale Stadium.

Dynamo, New Stadium Name Levy Restaurants Official Restaurant Partner

Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo and its new home pitch, BBVA Compass Stadium, announced Thursday Levy Restaurants, based in Chicago, will be their official restaurant provider, responsible for providing top-notch food for fans and club suite members.

The 22,000-seat stadium, which will also serve as the new home for Texas Southern University football, will officially open May 12 when the Dynamo host DC United.

W-League's Cobras Sign Former Terrier Goalkeeper Reuter

The expansion Central South Carolina Cobras of the USL W-League announced the signing Thursday of former Boston University goalkeeper Christina Reuter, who will also serve as the team's goalkeeper coach.

Reuter, now an assistant coach at Seton Hall, graduated in 2008 and led FC Slovacko of the Czech Republic to a second place finish in that country's top women's professional league.

The Terriers were 51-22-12 in regular season play and 24-5-4 in America East Conference play during her tenure and was the conference's 2007 Goalkeeper of the Year and a four-time letter winner.

Reuter led Boston University to two America East Conference Tournament titles in 2005 and 2007 and to three straight appearances at the NCAA Women's College Cup tournament from 2005 to 2007.

She left the Terriers as third on their all-time list in career saves with 147 and fourth in career goals against average at 0.77.

Stampede Corrals Former Fury Defender Stephenson

The expansion Ocala Stampede of the USL Premier Development League announced the signing Thursday of former Ottawa Fury defender Mike Stephenson.

The native of Bristol, England turned down a professional team offer to come to the US, where he attended High Point University on a soccer scholarship, playing his freshman season, before transferring to South Carolina's Limestone College, where he earned a scholarship in soccer and tennis.

At Limestone in 2011, he was named their Defensive Most Valuable Player.

Blues Sign Welsh Midfielder Bond

The Los Angeles Blues of USL PRO announced Thursday they have signed Welsh midfielder Chad Bond.

Bond played for his country's U-17 and U-19 teams in Wales and began his professional career in 2008 with Swansea City, now of the Barclays Premier League in England.

He has played for teams in Wales' first division at Port Talbot Town, Neath FC and Llanelli FC, who loaned him this season to Afan Lido FC.

Galaxy To Play Tottenham Hotspur July 24 At The Home Depot Center

In the second such announcement of the day Thursday, the defending Major League Soccer champion Los Angeles Galaxy will host Tottenham Hotspur of the Barclays Premier League in a friendly game July 24 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

Earlier Thursday, MLS' New York Red Bulls announced Tottenham will be their opponent for the inaugural New York Invitational Cup match July 31 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.

Chin Goal Gives Orlando City Fourth Straight Preseason Win

Dennis Chin scored the game's lone goal off an assist from Jamie Watson in the 61st minute as defending USL PRO champion Orlando City Soccer Club shut out the University of Tampa 1-0 in preseason play Wednesday from the Seminole Soccer Complex in Sanford, FL for their fourth straight preseason victory.

Orlando City next plays the University of Central Florida Sunday at the UCF Soccer Stadium.

Red Bulls To Face Tottenham Hotspur July 31 At Inaugural New York Invitational Cup

Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls announced Thursday they will play Barclays Premier League franchise Tottenhan Hotspur in the inaugural New York Invitational Cup July 31 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.

Tottenham is currently fourth in that league's standings.

The two teams last played at Red Bull Arena July 22, 2010, beating them 2-1 during the New York Football Challenge.

Strikers Draw To FAU In Boca Raton

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the North American Soccer League remain undefeated in preseason play Wednesday at 4-0-2, despite playing to a 1-1 draw at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL.

Patrick Otte put the Strikers on top in the 26th minute, but Jefferson Dias was able to knock the ball into the net for the tie in the 81st minute.

Fort Lauderdale will host Barry University Saturday.

Silverbacks End Home Preseason Schedule Undefeated

David Santamaria scored the first and the game-winning goal of the night and Borfor Carr added a game-tying strike as the Atlanta Silverbacks, the worst team last season in the North American Soccer League, ended their home preseason schedule at Atlanta Silverbacks Park undefeated with a 3-2 victory Wednesday over Clayton State University.

Arturo Cruz and Jonathan Ray scored goals for CSU.

The Silverbacks will play two games Saturday at Georgia State University; one against the host school, the second against Furman.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

WPSL Elite's Flash Re-Signs Goebel, Signs Five Newcomers

The Western New York Flash, playing in the new Women's Premier Soccer League's WPSL Elite after WPS announced they would not hold a 2012 season, announced Wednesday they have re-signed Beverly Goebel and signed five new players in Tori Huster, Katherine Reynolds, Angela Salem, Emily van Egmond and Nikki Marshall.

Goebel started three of 14 games for the 2011 WPS Champion Flash, scoring a goal and an assist. A 2009 graduate of the University of Miami, she was the 27th overall pick of the Washington Freedom in the 2010 WPS Draft.

Huster, a second round 2012 WPS Draft selection of the Flash, graduated in 2011 from Florida State University and started 91 games in her career, tallying 20 goals and 19 assists overall, and finishing fourth on the team in points her senior season with six goals and an assist.

Reynolds and Salem were teammates last season with WPS' Atlanta Beat.

Reynolds started and played every minute of all 18 games last season and previously played in the USL W-League for Seattle Sounders Women and the WPS' Philadelphia Independence.

Salem, who started nine of 11 games for the Beat in 2011, also played in WPS for Sky Blue FC and is the first female alumnus of Francis Mason University to become a professional women's soccer player.

Van Egmond has played for her native Australia's national team and was the youngest player for their team to ever score a goal, doing so at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany.

Marshall split time in the 2011 WPS season with the Boston Breakers, now also a part of WPSL Elite, and magicJack FC, the team that caused WPS to disband for one season.

A seventh round 2010 WPS Draft pick by the Freedom, she holds the school record for career point at Colorado University.

Blues Signs Canadian Defender Bushiri

The Los Angeles Blues of USL PRO announced the signing Wednesday of Canadian defender Ladislas Bushiri.

Born in Congo, Africa, he played on his country's U-16, U-18 and U-23 national teams.

He last played in Jakarta, Indonesia for Persitara Jakarta Utara, a top-level team.

Bushiri started his career in the Canadian Professional Soccer League, spending the 2004 season with St. Anthony Italia, then joining the Ottawa Fury of the USL Premier Development League from the 2005 to 2007 seasons before then heading to Germany's VfL Wolfsburg of their Bundesliga.

Bushiri impressed Blues coaches and team management during a recent week-long trial in November 2011.

Toronto FC Signs 2011 Draft Pick Burgos, Jr.

Major League Soccer's Toronto FC announced the signing Wednesday of defender and 2011 second round MLS SuperDraft pik Efrain Burgos, Jr., who holds dual citizenship in the US and El Salvador.

Burgos, Jr played college soccer at San Jose State, then transferred to Cal Poly, and also spent summers playing in the USL Premier Development League.

Despite being invited three times to training camps with El Salvador's men's national team, he has not played in any games for them.

Valencia CF Of Spain's La Liga Coming To MLS To Play In Friendlies

Valencia CF of Spain's La Liga will play two games in the US against Major League Soccer this spring, according to announcements made Wednesday.

First, Valencia will face the Portland Timbers May 23 at JELD-WEN Field, then will take on the Houston Dynamo in the fourth annual BBVA Compass Dynamo Charities Cup game at new BBVA Compass Stadium May 31.

Valencia has won six La Liga titles -- their last in the 2003-04 season -- and seven Copa del Ray titles -- their last being in 2008 -- and has advanced to the championship game in seven major European events, winning four.

Crew Signs Defender Vukovic

Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew announced the signing Wednesday of Montenegro native defender Nemanja Vukovic, who played in three games this preseason over trials in Charleston, SC and Columbus, OH.

He has played in his country's first division for OFK Grbalj, FK Kom and FK Buducnost Podgorica and spent the 2009 to 2011 seasons with Panaitolikos in Greece's second division, helping them to be promoted to the Greek SuperLiga.

Stampede Adds Three Local Players To Roster

The expansion Ocala Stampede of the USL Premier Development League announced the signing Wednesday of three local players to their inaugural roster in Wyatt Stephens, Bryce Ciambella and Lex Craggs.

Stephens played for the University of Tulsa before transferring to the University of Cincinnati.

With the Golden Hurricanes, he led them to the Conference USA tournament championship in his freshman year, but they ended their defense of the title in his sophomore year. Tulsa also advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA College Cup in his freshman year, where they lost 1-0 to the University of Akron.

Ciambella played collegiately at Creighton and for the Florida Rush club soccer team.

Craggs is a three-year starter for Ocala's Forest High School.

PDL's Sounders U23s Name Assistant Coaches

Seattle Sounders U23, formerly the Tacoma Tide of the USL Premier Development League, announced Wednesday the assistant coaches who will work with head coach Darren Sawatzky on his 2012 PDL team staff in Mike Jennings, Jason Prenovast and Ben Dragavon.

Jennings, an original founder of the Tide, will also remain in his position as technical director. He was named National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics' 1985 National Coach of the Year at the University of Puget Sound.

Prevenost is head coach at Highline Community College and has led them to seven Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges Divisional Championships. He is also a member of the state of Washington's Olympic Development Program.

Dragavon, current goalkeeper coach at Western Washington University, played in Major League Soccer for several teams, including the Seattle Sounders senior team.

Battery Charges Past Coastal Carolina In Preseason Game

Charlie Romero scored the game's ony goal four minutes before halftime off a corner kick from Jose Cuevas as the Charleston Battery of USL PRO shut out Coastal Carolina University 1-0 Tuesday in a preseason game in Myrtle Beach, SC.

The Battery next face USL PRO competition in a preseason game Saturday against the Wilmington Hammerheads at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, SC.

Levya Goal Carries FC Dallas To Second Straight MLS RL Victory

Bryan Leyva's unassisted goal with six minutes left in regulation time led FC Dallas to a 1-0 shutout of the Colorado Rapids Tuesday in Major League Soccer Reserve League action from Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO.

Dallas is 2-0-0 with six points and leads the Central/Mountain Division standings. They will next host the Houston Dynamo at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, TX April 10.

Colorado, meanwhile, is winless in its first two games and is tied for last place in the division with the Chicago Fire, who play the first of their 10-game season schedule April 2 at Commerce City, CO.

Porter Names Final Roster For US Team At CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament

Head coach Caleb Porter Tuesday announced his final 20-man U-23 Men's National Team roster that will compete in the 2012 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament with the goal of making it to the April 2 championship game at Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, KS and be one of the two teams to represent the confederation at the upcoming London Olympics.

The US, as host, were drawn to Group A in the eight-team tournament and will face Cuba (Thursday), Canada (Saturday) and El Salvador (next Monday) in group play games at LP Field in Nashville, TN.

Group B, whose games will take place Friday, Sunday and next Tuesday at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA, will feature Honduras, Mexico, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago.

The top two teams in each group will advance to the tournament semifinals March 31 at Livestrong, with the Group A winner facing the Group B runner-up and vice versa, with those winners making the championship game.

14 of the 20 players selected for the US team come from Major League Soccer franchises.

Here is the US U-23 Men's Olympic Team roster for the tournament:

GOALKEEPERS
Bill Hamid - DC United
Sean Johnson - Chicago Fire

DEFENDERS
Perry Kitchen - DC United
Ike Opara - San Jose Earthquakes
Kofi Sarkodie - Houston Dynamo
Zarek Valentin - Montreal Impact
Jorge Villafana - Chivas USA
Sheanon Williams - Philadelphia Union

MIDFIELDERS
Freddy Adu - Philadelphia Union (team captain)
Joe Corona - Club Tijuana (Mexico)
Mix Diskerud - Gent (Belgium)
Jared Jeffrey - Mainz (Germany)
Amobi Okugo - Philadelphia Union
Michael Stephens - Los Angeles Galaxy

FORWARDS
Juan Agudelo - New York Red Bulls
Terrance Boyd - Borussia Dortmund (Germany)
Teal Bunbury - Sporting Kansas City
Joe Gyau - Hoffenheim (Germany)
Brek Shea - FC Dallas
Tony Taylor - Estoril Praia (Portugal)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Burns To Right Arm, Shoulder To Sideline Mattocks

Vancouver Whitecaps forward Darren Mattocks, the second overall pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, will miss at least Saturday's home game at BC Place against DC United after suffering burns to his upper right arm and shoulder while making dinner Sunday, according to the team Tuesday.

Brown, Buffington Returning To Brilla For Sixth Season

Mississippi Brilla of the USL Premier Development League announced Tuesday local players Michael Brown and Phillip Buffiington, who have been on the roster since the team's debut in 2007, will return for their sixth seasons.

Stampede Signs Two Former Haitian U-17 National Team Members

The expansion Ocala Stampede of the USL Premier Development League announed Tuesday their first two roster signings in formrr Haitian U-17 National Team players Joseph Jerome and Bitielo Jean-Baptiste.

Jerome also played for Haitian first division teams Roulado FC and Aigle Noir.

Jean-Baptiste last played for River Plate Puerto Rico in USL PRO before it was disbanded by the league for failing to meet requirements of a franchise.

Dwyer Goal Gives SKC, RSL 1-1 Draw In Reserve League Play

Dom Dwyer hit a goal in the 88th minute as visiting Sporting Kansas City and host Real Salt Lake played to a 1-1 draw in Major League Soccer Reserve League play Tuesday at RSL Training Field.

Both teams play again next Tuesday -- RSL at the Chicago Fire, SKC hosting the Houston Dynamo.

Week 2 MLS Team Of The Week Announced

Major League Soccer announced Tuesday the members of the league's Team of the Week for Week 2 of the 2012 season, which is compiled each week by staffers at MLSsoccer.com and honors the outstanding players and performances of the previous week.

GOALKEEPER
Tally Hall - Houston Dynamo

DEFENDERS
Marvell Wynne - Colorada Rapids
Chris Schuler - Real Salt Lake
Zach Loyd - FC Dallas

MIDFIELDERS
Landon Donovan - Los Angeles Galaxy
Felipe - Montreal Impact
Roger Espinoza - Sporting Kansas City
Alvaro Fernandez - Seattle Sounders

FORWARDS
Fabian Espindola - Real Salr Lake
David Estrada - Seattle Sounders (Week 2 Player of the Week)
Robbie Keane - Los Angeles Galaxy

MANAGER
Oscar Pareda - Colorado Rapids

HONORABLE MENTION
Davy Arnaud - Montreal Impact
Matt Besler - Sporting Kansas City
Ramiro Corrales - San Jose Earthquakes
Adam Moffat - Houston Dynamo
Hanyer Mosquera - Portland Timbers
Jamison Olave - Real Salt Lake
Matt Pickens - Colorado Rapids
Mauro Rosales - Seattle Sounders
C.J. Sapong - Sporting Kansas City
Seth Sinovic - Sporting Kansas City
Paulo Tomaghi - Chicago Fire
Joe Wilis - DC United
Graham Zusi - Sporting Kansas City

Nominees Announced For Week 2 MLS Save Of The Week

Voting has opened for fans to select the second winner of Major League Soccer's Save of the Week contest for the 2012 season, which honors the goalkeeper who makes the most outstanding save.

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

The nominees for Week 2 are Tally Hall of the Houston Dynamo, Matt Reis of the New England Revolution, Joe Cannon of the Vancouver Whitecaps and Joe Willis of DC United.

SKC, Livestrong Sporting Park Nominated For Awards

Major League Soccer's Sporting Kansas City and its new home pitch, Livestrong Sporting Park, were nominated in separate categories Monday for the 2012 Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily Sports Business Awards, to be awarded May 23 in New York City.

The team is up for Team of the Year against the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League's Boston Bruins, the Dayton Dragons of Minor League Baseball, Stewart-Haas Racing of NASCAR and Major League Baseball's Texas Rangers.

The stadium is up for Sports Facility of the Year against Orlando's Amway Center, New Orleans' Mercedes-Benz Superdome and Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, AZ, the new home spring training home for Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies.

Battery Signs Bundu

The Charleston Battery of USL PRO announced Tuesday they have signed forward Salieu Bundu, who spent the 2011 season on loan to the Charlotte Eagles by the North American Soccer League's Carolina RailHawks, scoring seven goals.

Bundu began his pro career in 2008 with the Cleveland City Stars in the USL Second Division, scoring the game-winning goal in the league championship game, before heading to the RailHawks, who went from USL First Division in 2009 to the US Soccer Federation's Division 2 Pro League in 2010 to the NASL in 2011.

TFC's Frings Out 4-6 Weeks With Strained Right Hamstring

Major League Soccer's Toronto FC announced Tuesday captain Torsten Frings will be out four to six weeks after straining his right hamstring during Saturday's 3-1 loss to the Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field.

Sky Blue FC Loses Opening Game Of Japanese Series

Yukari Kinga hit the game-tying goal early in the second half and Megume Takase scored the game-winner in the 85th minute as Japanese team INAC Kobe Leonessa edged Sky Blue FC of Women's Professional Soccer 2-1 Tuesday in the first game of a two-game series from Kagoshima Prefectural Kamioke Athletics Stadium in Kagoshima.

Casey Nogueira scored Sky Blue's goal in the 45th minute.

The two teams meet again Wednesday at Comprehensive Athletic Park in Okinawa, Japan.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Maduro Signed By Red Bulls

Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls announced the signing Monday of midfielder Ryan Maduro, who played in two games last season for their MLS Reserve League team in 2011.

He also had training stints within the last year in England with Sheffield Wednesday and Blackpool.

Orozco Loaned To NASL's Strikers From Mexico's UANL Tigres

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the North American Soccer League announced Monday they have acquired defender Emilio Orozco on loan for the 2012 season from Mexico's UANL Tigres of the Primera Division.

Orozco has played for the US U-17 and U-20 Men's National Team and also attended the US U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, FL.

He will be reunited in Fort Lauderdale with a former Tigres teammate in forward Leopoldo Morales.

SKC Signs Supplemenral Draft Pick Singh

Major League Soccer's Sporting Kansas City announced Monday they have signed 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft pick Shawn Singh, a defender who started 56 games for the UCLA Bruins in his career and tallied ten assists.

Singh earned a spot with the Bruins as a walk-on in 2008 and was named in 2010 to the All-Pacific 10 Conference Second Team and a honorable mention selection in 2011 on the All-Pacific 12 Conference team.

Singh played in three preseason games for SKC, assisting on a goal in a 5-1 win over FC Tucson of the USL Premier Development League and scoring a penalty kick goal in a game against the US U-17 Men's National Team.

Smith Goal Gives Riverhounds Preseason Win Over Rhinos

Dwayne Smith's goal in the 26th minute gave the host Pittsburgh Riverhounds a 1-0 shutout over the Rochester Rhinos Sunday in USL PRO preseason play at Peters Township High School.